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TVBIZWIRE
Jul 28, 2015
1:29 pm
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Cable Comedy Series to Wrap (TVWeek)

The endgame was announced for a comedy series that has had a good run on TV Land after spinning off from the network’s hit “Hot in Cleveland.” The cable network announced that it has greenlighted season five of “The Soul Man,” which will be the show’s final season.

Created by Suzanne Martin and Cedric the Entertainer, the show stars Cedric along with Niecy Nash, Wesley Jonathan and Jazz Raycole. TV Land ordered a 12-episode fifth season.

“The sitcom, which follows Cedric as R&B super-star-turned minister Reverend Boyce ‘The Voice’ Ballentine, is the network’s highest-rated original series among African Americans P25-54 and African American Women 25-54,” TV Land noted in its announcement. “Over the course of four seasons, the series averaged a 2.20 AA P25-54 rating and a 2.65 rating among AA W25-54. Last season, ‘The Soul Man’ averaged a 1.07 rating among African American P25-54 viewers, up +365% compared to the TV Land prime average among the demo and among AA W25-54, Season 4 averaged a 1.32 rating, up +340% compared to the TV Land prime average.”

Keith Cox, Executive Vice President of Development and Original Programming for TV Land, said: “It has been amazing working with Cedric, Niecy, Wesley and the rest of the cast and crew on what has truly been a memorable and fun experience. We appreciate the fans and all the love the show has received over the years, and we plan to give the viewers something very special this season.”

The announcement adds: “Since the series launch in 2012, ‘The Soul Man’ has followed Boyce after he relocated with his wife, hairdresser Lolli (the recently Primetime Emmy-nominated Niecy Nash) from Las Vegas to St. Louis, where they’re constantly caught between the pull of the glam celebrity life and the simple life of a reverend’s family. They’ve always had plenty of obstacles in their way, including Boyce’s brother Stamps (Jonathan), who is still trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life, and their unruly cousin Nikki (recurring guest star Sherri Shepherd), who always finds a way to make trouble. ‘The Soul Man’ has continued to evolve and become a fan-favorite, especially on social media, where memes from the show often see thousands of shares and have gone viral.”

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TVBIZWIRE
Jul 28, 2015
1:21 pm
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Hallmark Bringing Back Fan-Favorite Series (TVWeek)

A fan-favorite series that Hallmark Channel says is its most social series of all time is being brought back for a third season. The network today announced the pickup of the frontier drama “When Calls the Heart.”

Series stars Lori Loughlin, Erin Krakow, Daniel Lissing, Jack Wagner and Kristina Wagner will all be back, with the new season due in February 2016. A two-hour sneak peek at the season’s first two episodes will take place during the 2015 holiday season.

Hallmark has ordered 10 hours for season three, which will air Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT. The program is based on the bestselling book series by Janette Oke.

Michelle Vicary, Executive Vice President, Programming, Crown Media Family Networks, said in announcing the pickup: “‘When Calls The Heart’ has a passionate loyal fan base in the television landscape and their devotion to the captivating storylines and characters has made this series grow with outstanding ratings and top social media engagement. We are incredibly proud of the series’ success and look forward to bringing families back together on Sunday nights in its new day and time period.”

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TVBIZWIRE
Jul 28, 2015
1:17 pm
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Olsen Twins May Be a Part of ‘Fuller House’ After All (Us Weekly)

Even after it was announced that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen would not be involved in the Netflix “Full House” reboot “Fuller House,” hopes were revived today for fans of the Olsen twins.

Us Weekly reports that Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, appearing today at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Beverly Hills, got those hopes fired up again when he told reporters: “The Olsen twins are teetering on whether or not they’ll be around.”

Sarandos also noted: “We’ve been able to reassemble all of the [rest of the] cast.”

However, the twins’ participation is far from a done deal. Sarandos noted that at this point Mary-Kate and Ashley are not part of the plan. Said Sarandos: “They’re not in the current creative.”

He also commented on how the other cast members are taking to the new production, saying they’ve “fallen right back into their roles,” and adding that the new project is “very much in the same spirit” as the original “Full House.”

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TVBIZWIRE
Jul 28, 2015
1:09 pm
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Landmark ‘Sesame Street’ Production Announced (TVWeek)

A new TV series is about to debut that represents a landmark for the Sesame Street franchise. Univision Communications announced plans for “Sesame Amigos,” which will be the first Spanish-language production from Sesame Workshop aimed specifically at U.S. audiences.

The series is set to premiere Aug. 1 on Univision as part of the Planeta U children’s programming block.

Alberto Ciurana, president of Programming and Content for Univision Communications, said in the announcement: “’Sesame Amigos’ is a new and innovative show designed specifically for Spanish-speaking families in the U.S. While versions of ‘Sesame Street’ air in more than 150 countries, ‘Sesame Amigos’ will provide Spanish-speaking preschoolers the tools they need to succeed in the United States.”

The initial order is for 26 episodes of the 30-minute show, which will feature Latino celebrities including Diego Luna, Carlos Calderon, Tony Dandrades, Pablo Ramirez, Aislinn Derbez and Vadhir Derbez.

Please click here for more details.

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TVBIZWIRE
Jul 28, 2015
9:21 am
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Lawsuit Accuses Conan of Stealing Jokes (THR)

A lawsuit has been filed against Conan O’Brien, TBS and members of the Conan team alleging copyright violation on four jokes, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The complaint, filed in a California federal court, alleges that jokes about Tom Brady, Caitlyn Jenner, airlines and the Washington Monument were lifted from Robert Kaseberg, THR reports. The San Diego man, who filed the suit July 22, says the jokes were posted on his personal blog and on Twitter before they found their way into the “Conan” monologue.

The report cites an example that Kaseberg says he published on Jan. 14, 2015, in which he reportedly wrote: “A Delta flight this week took off from Cleveland to New York with just two passengers. And they fought over control of the armrest the entire flight.” O’Brien reportedly told essentially the same note that night on his show.

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TVBIZWIRE
Jul 28, 2015
9:09 am
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Tom Cruise Lights It Up in Lip Sync Battle With Jimmy Fallon — Here’s the Video (NBC, YouTube)

Tom Cruise dropped in on NBC’s “Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon” for a lip sync battle for the ages against the late-night show’s host, delivering a knockout rendition of “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” and joining Fallon for a duet on “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.” (We don’t know what Jimmy was thinking. Cruise practically invented lip-syncing years ago in “Risky Business.”)

Here’s the video:

TVBIZWIRE
Jul 28, 2015
9:01 am
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Netflix Rolls Out Launch Dates, Announces Series Renewal (USA Today)

Netflix made a batch of programming announcements today, including announcing the renewal of the series “BoJack Horseman” for a third season, USA Today reports. The animated show’s second season rolled out July 17.

“The streaming service also announced premiere dates for the fourth season of ‘Longmire’ (Sept. 10) and Aziz Ansari’s new series — which also gets a name — ‘Master of None’ (Nov. 6) at the start of its session on the opening day of the Television Critics Association summer press tour,” the publication reports.

The Western-themed “Longmire” moves to Netflix for a 10-episode season four after airing its first three seasons on A&E.

Netflix also took the wraps off premiere dates for a number of original comedy specials, the report notes. “Demetri Martin: Live (At the Time)” is due Aug. 14; “Anjelah Johnson: Not Fancy” bows Oct. 2; “Anthony Jeselnik: Thoughts and Prayers” rolls out Oct. 16; “John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid” arrives Nov. 13; “Brent Morin” debuts Dec. 1; and “Mike Epps: After Dark” unspools Dec. 18.

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TVBIZWIRE
Jul 28, 2015
8:57 am
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Plans Set for Documentary About One of Rock’s Greatest Icons (TVWeek)

One of the most iconic musicians in the history of rock ‘n’ roll will be at the center of a new Netflix Original Documentary. Set to premiere on the streaming service on Sept. 18 is “Keith Richards: Under the Influence.”

Directed by Oscar winner Morgan Neville, the program will examine the musical influences that have shaped the legendary Rolling Stones guitarist.

“If there’s a Mount Rushmore of Rock ’n’ Roll, Keith’s face is surely on it,” Neville said. “He has always represented the soul of rock music — for all of the light and dark shades that implies. To my relief, Keith Richards turned out to be a real man — full of humor, knowledge and wisdom. That’s the real Keith we’ve worked to capture in our film and I’m honored to bring it to a global audience via Netflix.”

Please click here for more about the project.

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TVBIZWIRE
Jul 28, 2015
8:44 am
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NBCU Announces Succession for Key Executive Post (Multichannel News)

NBCUniversal has announced a change in a top executive position, where a 27-year veteran of the company is headed out. Multichannel News reports that the media giant promoted Ian Trombley to president of operations and technical services.

Trombley succeeds NBCU veteran John Wallace, who has been with NBC since signing on as a page in 1988. Trombley “will head up the company’s owned studio and post production operations servicing television and film,” the story reports.

Multichannel News adds: “Trombley and Wallace will work together for the next five weeks for the transition ensure a smooth transition before Trombley assumes the role on September 8, NBCU said.”

Trombley, who has been serving as executive VP of television operations, will report to NBCU Executive VP Adam Miller.

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TVBIZWIRE
Jul 28, 2015
8:11 am
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Singer Lands Role on Drama Series (THR)

A multiple Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter will try his hand at acting on a TV drama series. According to The Hollywood Reporter, British recording artist Ed Sheeran is joining the upcoming FX drama “The Bastard Executioner.”

The Medieval series from “Sons of Anarchy” creator Kurt Sutter stars Lee Jones, Stephen Moyer and Katey Sagal. Sheeran will have a recurring role as Sir Cormac, described in the report as “an ambitious and deadly protege of a high-ranking church elder.”

THR notes: “The series, which is being billed as a blood-soaked medieval epic that tells the story of a 14th century warrior whose life is forever changed when a divine messenger beseeches him to lay down his sword and lead the life of a journeyman executioner, is currently filming in Sheeran’s native U.K.”

Sheeran, 24, is a six-time Grammy nominee known for hits including “Thinking Out Loud” and “Sing.”

The show is set for a 10-episode season launching this fall.

Here’s a trailer for “The Bastard Executioner”:

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