Jun 22, 2009
UPDATE: "Yes, I've left 'Heroes' to concentrate on my development. It's a bummer and I'm sad to go, but NBC wants me to focus on development, which is very exciting," Fuller told TVWeek's Vlada Gelman.
Bryan Fuller has apparently left "Heroes"-- again.
The writer/producer has quietly departed the NBC drama, just a few months after he returned to the show with much fanfare, a person familiar with the situation said. Fuller is now focusing on developing new projects as part of his overall deal with Universal Media Studios, the insider said, describing the move as something which took place "a while ago."
Ain't It Cool News first reported the possibility of a Fuller exit via the Twitter feed of one of its correspondents.
Fuller rejoined "Heroes" with much fanfare toward the end of last season. It's unclear why he's now opted to depart again.
Just a few days ago, Fuller seemed very upbeat about the upcoming fourth season of "Heroes."
"What I'm excited about with season four is getting everybody back to the basic principle of ordinary people in an extraordinary world and how these characters are relatable to us and what we would do if we were in their situations, and really grounding it in that conceit," Fuller told SciFiWire.com, a genre website owned by NBC Universal.
The story described Fuller as "happily committed to 'Heroes'," and said the writer was spending his free time developing a comic book tied to his late ABC drama "Pushing Daisies."
The only sign Fuller gave that indicated interest in another project was when he repeated his desire to work on a new "Star Trek" TV series.
"I'm hoping that by the time they're ready to do a television series that I am available and can participate, because, I mean, even if it's J.J. Abrams' team, I would love to join that team for a new 'Star Trek' series," Fuller said. "I think it would be a ball."
NBC is moving to "Heroes" to 8 p.m. Mondays this fall. It's widely expected the network will soon announce a finale timetable for the show, which could wrap as early as next spring.
Jun 17, 2009
After months of speculation, ABC chief Steve McPherson may finally be ready to reveal the details of his reorganized network-studio structure.
According to two people familiar with the situation, an announcement on who's doing what at the newly merged ABC and ABC Studios is "imminent." A press release could come as soon as Thursday, the insiders said.
Both the Hollywood Reporter and Daily Variety have already published stories in recent weeks outlining the expected new shape of the company. Both publications have speculated that Suzanne Patmore-Gibbs is in line to serve as McPherson's scripted development chief.
One word of caution: Media types have been predicting this announcement would come "any minute now" for a couple of months. It's worth remembering that McPherson moonights as a vinter-- and, like Paul Masson once said....
Well, let's let Orson remind us:Oh, and for anyone wondering why the headline on this post sounds somehow familiar, let's get in the MoJoe Retromobile for this semi-classic campaign from 1981:
Jun 11, 2009
"My Name is Earl" will not go on. Here's the statement from 20th Century Fox TV:
"Greg Garcia's brilliant My Name is Earl kept America laughing for the past four seasons and certainly deserved to continue for many more. While we had hoped to find a way to produce additional episodes for TBS, in the final analysis we simply could not make the economics work without seriously undermining the artistic integrity of the series. As none of us, Greg included, want the show to go out on anything but a high note, we regret that we must put to rest any speculation that Earl will continue. We are grateful to everyone at TBS for their enthusiasm for the series and wish to offer our heartfelt thanks to the cast and crew of My Name is Earl for their incredible work."
Jun 4, 2009
TheWB.com is getting into business with Jordan Levin, former chief executive officer of the website's predecessor, The WB network.
Levin, along with his Generate partners Pete Aronson and Michael Petok, will executive produce a "Dawson's Creek"-style coming-of-age drama called "The Lake" for WB.com. Jason Priestley is directing the webisodes, which is from writers/creators Meredith Lavender and Marcie Ulin.
Generate and Warner Bros. Television Group's Studio 2.0 are producing the project, which is set to premiere August 10. Epsidoes will run between seven and ten minutes it length, with the WB.com ordering a first cycle of 12 episodes.
“‘The Lake’ is in the tradition of the greatest shows from The WB Network, coming of age stories told with an authentic voice,” said Craig Erwich, Executive Vice President, Warner Horizon Television. “With Jordan’s track record at The WB and Jason’s association with one of the seminal TV dramas in ‘Beverly Hills, 90210,’ we have the perfect creative team to bring this show to life.”
Levin-- whose exit from the WB was a bit bumpy-- said he was glad "to be associated once again with The WB in its new incarnation and for Generate to be producing an original series that really reflects the brand built by the TV network, but with a focus on the various media platforms its audience has grown accustomed to since the days of ‘Dawson’s Creek’ and ‘Felicity'."
According to a WB.com release, "The Lake" will revolve around "four families who have spent each summer together at the fictional Lake Eleanor, exploring the freedom, escape and opportunity for reinvention and experimentation that the summer season signifies to young adults everywhere. Even though they spend just three months out of the year with one another, the characters have a rich and complicated history – complete with romance, friendship, scandal, betrayal and heartbreak."
In addition to airing episodes on TheWB.com, producers plan to have characters from the show pop up across a wide array of social networking and video sharing sites.
News of "The Lake" first surfaced last month on website Tubefilter.tv.
Jun 3, 2009
Matt Drudge is currently having much fun with the videoclip below from last night's Brian Williams exclusive with President Obama.
"NBCNEWS ANCHOR BOWS BEFORE PRESIDENT?," Drudge asks. It looks more like a healthy nod to us, but judge for yourself.
UPDATE: Early numbers from Nielsen show Williams' White House special won its 9 p.m. hour, with a 2.6/7 in adults 18-49. That was the second highest-rated show of the night, behind only NBC's "Law & Order: SVU." Among all viewers, the Obama special attracted a little over 9 million pairs of eyeballs.
May 25, 2009
File this one under #jumpingonthebandwagon. Or, possibly, #aheadofthecurve.
"The Biggest Loser" producer Reveille and Brillstein Entertainment Partners are developing a reality TV show concept built around Twitter, the fast-growing microblogging service. The two companies announced their plans Monday, saying they "have partnered with Twitter" on the idea and that the concept is "the first worldwide television series to use the service to direct the action of the show."
Details of the project were few, but Reveille and Brillstein said the idea will put "ordinary people on the trail of celebrities in a revolutionary competition format."
May 20, 2009
CBS is shifting first-year hit "The Mentalist" to Thursdays and slightly shaking up its Monday comedy lineup.
The generally stable network is taking a couple of dice-rolls next season, though compared to ABC and NBC, promises to be an island of stability, according to the fall schedule just released by the network in New York.
Highlights include "The Mentalist" move to Thursdays at 10, behind "CSI," and "The Big Bang Theory" shifting to 9:30 p.m. Monday behind "Two and a Half Men." New drama "Three Rivers" has landed Sundays at 10, while, as expected, NBC drama "Medium" will relocate to Fridays at 9... on CBS.
The full schedule is after the jump:
May 19, 2009
Before NBC asked Jay Leno to host a 10 p.m. weeknight show, Jeff Zucker says he asked Oprah Winfrey to go primetime for the Peacock.
That's according to TVWeek's Jon Lafayette, who just got out of an NBC roundtable with Leno and Zucker. Reports Lafayette:
Before deciding to put Jay Leno in primetime, NBC offered its 8 p.m. timeslot to Oprah Winfrey.
NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker said that the idea of have a nightly show in prime time wasn’t a new idea.
NBC talked to Ms. Winfrey about two years ago, Mr. Zucker said. She passed but said she might have considered it earlier in her career, he said. NBC also discussed an 8 p.m. show with David Letterman when the “Late Show” host’s contract was coming up at CBS.
Click here for the full story.
NBC is crediting "fans and TV critics" for helping to save "Chuck." And the network showed its appreciation for the effort by letting the New York Times break the news that Subway had come on board as a new mega-sponsor of the show.
The Times says that next season, a main character in the series—Sarah—will get a job crafting sandwiches for the 'Bway.
Quotes from NBC's official release after the jump.
NBC is keeping "Chuck" on Monday nights, but fans will have to wait to see the show.
The series won't return until after the Olympics, the network is expected to announce later this morning. The New York Times just reported the midseason move for "Chuck," along with a new sponsorship deal with Subway that will have a main character working for the sandwich giant.
"Chuck" creator Josh Schwartz told TV MoJoe he's more than cool with NBC's scheduling.
"We are happy to be back," he e-mailed after the Times broke the "Chuck" scheduling. "Ready to serve—whenever. Wherever. We have the best audience in the world and we will do everything we can to make this worth the wait."
Look after the jump for the ABC fall schedule. The leak was right: "Flash Forward" is Thursdays at 8. And hey, it's new Mark Burnett reality show "Shark Tank" Tuesdays at 8.
Comedies, as expected, are ABC's big Tuesday and Wednesday play.
“Our focus is always on delivering the best stories with the most memorable characters on TV, whether that’s established audience favorites or innovative new shows,” said ABC Entertainment Group President Steve McPherson. “This year we’ve got the best of both. We’re headed into the season with a strong slate of returning series as well as great new shows from one of our best development seasons ever.”
May 18, 2009
No surprise, but it looks as if NBC has made it official and greenlit another round of "Law & Order." Representatives for the network couldn't be reached, but industry insiders say it's a done deal.
With "Chuck" back for another season, the only two question marks on NBC are "My Name is Earl" and "Medium." Neither show has been considered likely to return.
UPDATE: Hearing NBC has ordered 16 episodes.
Fox has announced its new fall schedule. And surprise! "Fringe" is moving to Thursdays at 9. Details/analysis to come.... but the full schedule is after the jump.
May 17, 2009
Informed source says the deal is done. "Chuck" will be back for 13.
May 15, 2009
Fox has ordered a second, 13-episode season of the Joss Whedon sci-fi drama "Dollhouse," people familiar with the matter said.
Many media types had written off the show for dead, since its ratings on Friday have been...suboptimal. And yet, insiders at the network have been cautioning for weeks that the show shouldn't be cut out.
Last month, TVWeek reported that, "Fox executives are holding out a glimmer of hope for the show, noting its loyal core and its strong DVR numbers." The reason Fox wanted to take a chance on the show: Whedon's audience is loyal and predictable, and it's not hard to see Fox's sales department arguing that it's easier to sell a 1.2 demo rating from "Dollhouse" than a reality show averaged a 1.6.
It's also good business for sister studio 20th Century Fox TV, which always does a good job exploiting properties via DVD and iTunes sales.
As part of the deal to bring back "Dollhouse," it seems likely 20th will have to deliver the show to Fox at a lower cost. However, executives at the network and studio aren't talking right now, making it tough to get details on the deal.
May 14, 2009
This year's Tony Awards could be legend....wait for it....
OK, never mind. But the good news is: CBS has snagged multitalented "How I Met Your Mother" star Neil Patrick Harris to host the 63rd annual Tony Awards. The show is June 7.
I had figured—perhaps, "hoped" is a better word—NPH's gig hosting the TV Land Awards a few weeks ago was a test run for a bigger stage. By all accounts, Harris did great, clearing the way for his Tony triumph.
Harris also killed as host of "Saturday Night Live" earlier this season. True triple threat, he.
If my master plan for Harris unfolds as I envision it, look for "The Neil Patrick Harris Variety Hour" to be announced within the next six months. In-between, I've got the fingers crossed for NPH to fill-in for the pregnant Julie Chen on "Big Brother" this summer, assuming the Chenbot needs relief as her due date looms.
A few more details on the hiring over here at TVWeek.com.
May 11, 2009
David Letterman's writers will no longer have to compete with the likes of Tony Bennett as part of a just-announced Emmys rule change.
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has decided to split up the series and specials categories for both writing and directing in a variety, music or comedy program. Until recently, one-off specials were grouped together with ongoing series such as "Late Show with David Letterman" or "Real Time with Bill Maher."
More on the story over at TVWeek.com.
May 7, 2009
ABC is showing some love to new drama “Castle.”
The network this week decided to dump a planned episode of so-so sitcom “Surviving Suburbia” in order to expand “Dancing With the Stars” to two full hours. The result: A massive 40% ratings uptick for 10 p.m. drama “Castle.”
No surprise, then, that ABC today decided to preempt next Monday’s “Suburbia” for yet another supersized “Dancing.” It’s one more sign that executives at the network are feeling good about bringing the Nathan Fillion-led “Castle” back for a second season.
The networks just can’t wait to start planning for the 2009-10 season.
NBC has already ordered all of its new series for fall. Fox is busy promoting “Glee” and will soon start hyping “Cleveland.”
Now comes word that ABC has given an official series pickup to “Modern Family,” the mockumentary-style comedy from producers Steve Levitan and Chris Lloyd. The network has ordered 12 episodes in addition to the pilot.
20th Century Fox, which has a rich overall deal with Levitan and Lloyd, is behind the show.
In addition to “Family,” ABC has all but given the thumbs up to “Flash Forward,” a new sci-fi drama that the network has already starting hyping on air. Don’t be surprised if ABC starts banging the drum for “Family” during its upcoming series finales.
UPDATE: Talked to an ABC insider who says that today's pickup was the result of "through the roof" testing. In addition, the network is looking to signal its commitment to comedy with the early greenlight.
May 4, 2009
It's no gossip, girl: The CW is moving out of the Sunday night zip code.
The network is nearing a deal with affiliates to give up programming Sunday night this fall, a spokesman for the network confirmed Monday. Sunday has been the CW's weakest night since it launched; predecessor WB also never had much luck on the evening.
By abandoning Sundays, the CW is opening the doors to syndication companies to begin flooding its affiliates with programming alternatives. The CW currenly airs three hours of primetime programming on Sundays, from 7-10 p.m, and two additional hours from 5-7 p.m.
For more on this story, visit TVWeek.com.
Apr 29, 2009
There's news on the Dr. Oz front.
On Tuesday's edition of "The Oprah Winfrey Show," Ms. Winfrey let loose with a couple of details about the new Dr. Mehmet Oz-hosted program she's producing in conjunction with Sony.
First, a premiere date: It will bow Monday, Sept. 14.
Second, Ms. Winfrey revealed that the series will be called "The Dr. Oz Show." Sony and Harpo Productions had been using the working title "Dr. Oz."
Ms. Winfrey also told viewers she plans to "say goodbye" to Dr. Oz with a special retrospective featuring highlights of his 55 appearances on "Oprah" over the past five years. It will air May 12.
There's more Donald in the works at NBC.
The network Wednesday greenlit a third cycle of "The Celebrity Apprentice," the reality competition show from Donald Trump and Mark Burnett. No shocker, given its nice Sunday night ratings.
The Internet had been buzzing about a return to the civilian format of "Apprentice." For now, however, NBC is only revealing plans to recruit another batch of slightly well-known people and pit them against one another.
I'm still holding out for Mr. T, Justine Bateman, Ricky Schroeder, Scott Bakula, Mindy Cohn and the guy who played Skippy on "Family Ties" to square off in a battle of the former 1980s NBC stars. You know it's a genius idea. Especially since The Donald still has '80s hair.
Standard-issue quotes and a few more details here.
Apr 27, 2009
Negotiating in the press is nothing new for TV stars seeking a raise. Now, "American Idol's" Paula Abdul is putting a 2009 twist on contract talks: Negotiating by Twitter.
Abdul on Monday sent out the following tweet to her 33,000 followers on the microblogging service:
RT: @MediaPost: 'Idol' Judges May Leave Hit Show: http://tinyurl.com/c3xhnk. But like I’ve said, I love being part of Idol.
The link in Abdul’s tweet was to a brief news item on MediaPost.com about recent rumblings that Abdul and Simon Cowell may leave the show after next season. Those rumblings are widely believed by cynical media insiders to be the opening salvos in the two judges’ contract renegotiations.