TVBizwire

Whose Future Is Brightest Among CW's Bubble Shows?

The CW is getting closer to deciding the fate of its six bubble shows, and EW.com’s Inside TV reports that two of those shows, “Hart of Dixie” and “The 100,” are likely to receive renewals.

“The Carrie Diaries,” meanwhile, is likely to be canceled, while freshman sci-fi shows “The Tomorrow People” and “Star-Crossed” are looking less likely to return, the story says. The fate of “Beauty and the Beast” is still hanging in the balance, the report adds.

“Opinions on this show are all over the place, from another 13 episodes, to a possible six-episode final season (the same strategy the CW took with the longer-running ‘Nikita’) to outright cancellation,” the article adds.

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Daytime Talk Host Ventures Into Cable

Ellen DeGeneres has a new project in the works for cable. The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that the daytime TV fixture is working on a design competition show that will debut on HGTV in 2015.

The six-episode show, “Ellen’s Design Challenge,” marks DeGeneres’ A Very Good Production’s first venture into cable, the story reports. The series will feature six competitors as they take on challenges involving designing and building furniture within 24 hours.

"I'm so excited about this show because I love finding really special pieces of furniture," DeGeneres said. "One time I found a beautiful one-of-a-kind armoire that spoke to me in a way I'd never experienced. It turned out there was a drifter living inside of it, but that's a story for another time."

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China vs. NBC: Latest Episode of Drama Series Gets Deleted

The most recent episode of a popular NBC drama series has been deleted from China’s major video streaming websites, reports the Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker.

The plot line of the episode of "The Blacklist" portrays the Chinese government in a less than flattering light, which appears to have prompted the move from Chinese censors, the story reports.

In the episode, a Chinese immunologist has agreed to tell the U.S. about a secret weapons project, but is jailed by her government for treason. After she’s whisked from a Chinese labor camp by U.S. agents, she’s brought to Washington, D.C.

The story reports: “After appearing online Tuesday morning -- U.S. shows are typically posted within hours of airing stateside -- the episode had been removed by Wednesday. Little was said formally, but editors at Tencent posted a message in the comments section of the episode's trailer.”

The message read: "Unfortunately, Episode 19 of ‘The Blacklist’ failed to get approval from censorship because it touched sensitive topics. So it could not be put online. Please inform each other and keep monitoring our updates."

It’s the second episode of “The Blacklist” to be pulled in China. Last fall, an episode that included an ex-Chinese state security officer shooting a CIA agent in Shanghai was pulled, the story notes.

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Netflix Signs 'Arrested Development' Creator Mitch Hurwitz to Groundbreaking Deal

Netflix has signed “Arrested Development” creator Mitch Hurwitz to a multiyear deal, which Deadline.com calls “a rare pact with a writer-producer for the streaming giant.”

With the deal, Hurwitz will create and produce new original series for Netflix under The Hurwitz Company banner. He will also develop projects with other producers as a non-writing executive producer and will consult with the service on its comedy series.

“We are lucky to be in business with Mitch Hurwitz, a true genius with one of the most distinctive voices in comedy today,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “Mitch’s inventive approach to ‘Arrested Development’ -- one of the top TV comedies of this generation -- was ahead of its time, and we’re fortunate to have him on our team.”

The report adds: “The Netflix deal focuses on creating new series for the streaming service. As for ‘Arrested Development,’ there have been conversations between Netflix, Hurwitz and the series’ producers 20th TV and Imagine TV about doing more, possibly in the form of an original movie or another season, though there isn’t anything tangible on that front yet.”

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Mitch Hurwitz

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Aaron Sorkin Apologizes for the First Two Seasons of 'The Newsroom'

Aaron Sorkin apologized for the first two seasons of HBO’s “The Newsroom,” telling an audience at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival, “You and I got off on the wrong foot,” reports BuzzFeed.

“I’d like to start over,” Sorkin said. He was responding to a question from interviewer Jon Favreau about what he learned about the media during the series.

"I think that there’s been a terrible misunderstanding. I did not set the show in the recent past in order to show the pros how it should have been done,” Sorkin said. “I set the show in the recent past because I didn’t want to make up fake news. It was going to be weird if the world that these people were living in did not in any way resemble the world that you were living in. … Also, I wanted the option of having a terrific dynamic that you can get when the audience knows more than the characters do.”

He added, “So, I wasn’t trying to and I’m not capable of teaching a professional journalist a lesson. That wasn’t my intent and it’s never my intent to teach you a lesson or try to persuade you or anything.”

Sorkin, who is also known for "The West Wing" and "Sports Night" along with his work in features including "Moneyball" and "A Few Good Men," added: “I like writing romantically and idealistically. I try to balance that with just enough realism so that it feels like whatever romantic ideal is in there is somewhat attainable. It’s not a cartoon. It’s not animated. … These are people who are trying to do the news well when market forces work against them.”

"The Newsroom," which ended its second season in September, is set to return to HBO for a third and final season this fall. The series stars Jeff Daniels.

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Discovery Boss Responds to Everest Disaster, Says Network Will Continue to Create Death-Defying Live Events

The Discovery Channel remains committed to creating big death-defying live events, even after a disaster prompted the channel to pull the plug on "Everest Jump Live." That was the message from Discovery Group President Eileen O’Neill, who talked about the situation with The Hollywood Reporter.

O'Neill's comments, and the scrapping of "Everest Jump Live," followed an avalanche on Mount Everest that killed more than a dozen people.

“We're going to continue to do events we feel are responsible and are excited about and we're really well prepared for,” O’Neill said. “We knew there was a chance that forces of nature could disrupt this at different times and this one turned out to be catastrophic. We reacted accordingly. We're sobered by the things that we prepared for when they actually happen -- but it's not going to dissuade us from doing very smart projects.”

O’Neill added that the network will continue to prepare a year ahead of such events, starting by creating protocols and an “exhaustive amount of preparation and research.”

Asked whether the network would return to Mount Everest with daredevil Joby Ogwyn, who was to have jumped off the summit with a winged suit and cameras, O’Neill said: “We've had that discussion a bit and it's definitely too soon. It starts with a full evaluation of what those circumstances might look like. Part of the cancellation this year was the realization that the mountain was going to be closed for the foreseeable future.”

eileen o'neill.pngEileen O'Neill

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Cult Favorite TV Show Eyed for Reboot

The creator of a beloved TV show that aired for 11 seasons says he's working on bringing back the cult favorite. The show is “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” and Wired reports that the show’s creator, writer and producer Joel Hodgson would like to see it rebooted.

In an interview, Hodgson, who also hosted the series from 1988 to 1993, says he’s hoping to start a new online version of the show. It would feature a new host and cameos from previous stars.

“I’ve talked to a bunch of fans about their lives and what ‘MST3K’ means to them. I’m overwhelmed by how people took to that show. It really affected them. I thought, if enough people still love it, maybe we can bring it back,” Hodgson said.

He added, “Even avid viewers sometimes don’t realize that every major role in the show had been swapped out over time. So in my mind, the show is built to be refreshed with new people and new ideas.”

The team reunited earlier this month for a special on National Geographic Channel called “Total Riff Off,” which overdubbed nature shows such as “Honey Badgers.” The original “Mystery Science Theater” featured Hodgson and his robots watching cheesy movies and making wisecracks.

The show ran from 1988-1999, including runs on Comedy Central and Sci Fi Channel (now Syfy).

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'Fargo' Showrunner Signs Overall Deal with FX

FX’s studio arm, FX Productions, has signed “Fargo” showrunner Noah Hawley to a two-year overall deal, The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports.

With the deal, Hawley will continue to work on “Fargo” while also developing new projects for cable and broadcast.

"As is evident by the universal acclaim and extraordinary reviews pouring in for ‘Fargo,’ Noah Hawley is one of the most talented writer-producers in this business," said FX original programming president and FXP topper Eric Schrier. "His remarkable creative achievement with ‘Fargo’ is a testament to his skill and ability. We look forward to continuing our relationship with him."

After including live-plus-3 DVR viewing, “Fargo” attracted 6.3 million viewers in its debut, the story notes.

noah hawley.pngNoah Hawley

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Bravo's Andy Cohen Points the Finger After 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' Fight -- But He's Not Blaming Either of the Two Combatants

Bravo’s Andy Cohen may have found the culprit in a physical brawl on "Real Housewives of Atlanta" that ended up with a criminal charge being filed against one of the show's stars and a harsh rebuke against the cable channel from a civil rights group.

TheWrap.com reports that Cohen is pointing the finger at the use of props on the "Real Housewives" reunion show where the conflict broke out. Both a scepter and a megaphone played a part in the episode, and some viewers argued that Kenya Moore provoked Porsha Williams into the fight not only with her language but with the use of the props.

Cohen followed up with an announcement on Twitter, writing, “It’s official -- no more props at reunions.”

An arrest warrant was issued for Williams last week as a result of the attack, and she was charged with simple battery.

As previously reported, the brawl also raised concern from the civil rights group ColorOfChange.org, which claimed that the episode demonstrates a “pattern of violent, stereotypical portrayals of Black people across many of Bravo’s Black reality franchises.”

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TV Movie Producer Targeted by Writers Guild

The Writers Guild of America-West has threatened to bar a prolific producer of television movies from using guild writers unless he settles what is alleged to be millions in unpaid residuals.

Variety reports that the guild's board notified producer Larry Levinson of its position last month, stating in a letter to Levinson that the guild will refuse to enter into an agreement with any Levinson company until Levinson "fully complies with its past residuals obligations -- including accrued interest -- and provides assurances that its scofflaw behavior will not continue in the future.”

Larry Levinson Productions has created about 200 TV movies, with many of them airing on Hallmark Channel or in association with Hallmark Entertainment. The guild claims unpaid residuals and interest owed on 38 of those projects, according to a report on Deadline.com.

An arbitration hearing is set for Aug. 14, but the guild’s current contract expires May 1. “If Levinson doesn’t pay up, the guild says, it won’t let him sign a new deal, which would keep him from hiring WGA writers,” the Deadline report notes.

Levinson didn’t return several requests from Deadline for comment, the piece adds. “A source involved in the current dispute said Levinson told the guild that he has met all of his residuals obligations and doesn’t owe his writers anything,” the article reports.

Among Levinson's many credits are the TV movies "Rough Riders" (1997), "Love Comes Softly" (2003) and "Love's Enduring Promise" (2004).

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