On The Bubble: Where Endangered Broadcast Series Stand

By | Wednesday April 9, 2014 @ 2:25pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

networklogosIt is very difficult for showrunners to wrap production on a season without knowing if their series would get another season. Unfortunately, that is the nature of the network business, and about two dozen shows go though that every year. Here is a look at each network’s comedy and drama series in peril and their odds for survival.

With all the drama carnage at ABC this season (Lucky 7, Betrayal, Killer Women, Mind Games, The Assets), the network is pretty lean on the hourlong side, and all shows currently on the air have a good shot at coming back. agents of shieldThat includes two freshman series, fall drama Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., despite slipping in the ratings, and midseason entry Resurrection. Of returning dramas, there is no doubt about renewals for Shonda Rhimes’ Grey’s Anatomy, especially with stars Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey signed on, and Scandal, as well as Castle and Once Upon A Time. While it was heavily on the bubble last season, country music drama Nashville appears in a stronger position this spring and looks likely to continue. And, despite its ratings erosion, Revenge remains a signature, upscale drama for ABC that the network also owns. Because of its heavy mythology with a revenge storyline that has been central to the show since the pilot, it is unlikely that ABC would abruptly end the series without giving it a final chapter to wrap things up.

Things are far murkier on the comedy side where there are three shoe-ins, anchors Modern Family and The Middle and freshman The Goldbergs. None of these hail from ABC’s sister studio, and building a steady comedy pipeline at ABC Studios has been important for the overall health of the company. There are three ABC Studios-produced comedy series on ABC at the moment, all on the bubble: freshmen Trophy Wife and Mixology and sophomore The Neighbors. The network will likely renew at least one comedy from its own studio. (Last year, it picked The Neighbors vs. 20th TV’s How To Live With Your Parents.) Of the three, Trophy Wife seems to have the biggest support and is the most promotable, with KATE SIMSES, ADAM CAMPBELLa star cast led by Malin Akerman and Bradley Whitford. But the name cast also makes Trophy Wife the most expensive, and its ratings are pretty soft. The Neighbors, which comes from prominent Disney writer Dan Fogelman, costs way less, and, while only doing so-so on Fridays, it could deliver something ABC Studios has not seen in a while: a third-year comedy. (Fogelman also has comedy pilot Galavant in the running at ABC.) Then there is Mixology, which has not done well behind Modern Family. It stands out with its unusual structure — set in a bar over the course of one night — it has quickly built a core fan base and has supporters at ABC. But relaunching a heavily serialized comedy in the fall four months after a brief midseason run would be a challenge and growing ratings for such a show with a continues storyline would be very difficult. ABC has a recent history of sticking with narrow, quirky relationship comedies like Happy Endings and Don’t Trust the B—- but all were eventually cancelled. 20th TV’s Last Man Standing starring Tim Allen is quietly wrapping its third season. It has done a decent job as a Friday 8 PM anchor and is ABC’s only multi-camera series. With several high-proile multi-camera pilots, the network could use Last Man Standing as a building block. (How about Allen paired with another comedy vet, Henry Winkler of The Winklers?). Read More »

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Q&A: Producer Colin Callender On His Next Chapter, Converging Theater, Film & Television And Taking On Harry Potter

By | Friday April 4, 2014 @ 1:21pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

callenderColin Callender‘s first producing effort, a nine-hour TV adaptation of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s stage production of The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby launched UK’s Channel 4 and won him his first Emmy in 1983. After a stint as an independent producer in his native Britain, Callender joined HBO where he shepherded films and miniseries like Angels In America, John Adams, Maria Full Of Grace and American Splendor to the tune of 104 Emmy Awards, 29 Golden Globes, 3 Oscars, and top awards at the Sundance Film Festival. Since leaving HBO in 2008, he has kept a low profile. Having started his career in theater, as stage manager at London’s Royal Court Theatre, Callender returned to his roots and built a theater slate during a break from television because of a three-year non-compete with HBO. His first play ever as a producer was Nora Ephron‘s Lucky Guy starring Tom Hanks, which was a hit last year. A year later, he is probably the busiest Broadway producer at the moment with three high-profile shows, Hedwig And The Angry Inch starring Neil Patrick Harris, which already is sizzling at the boxoffice, Harvey Fierstein’s Casa Valentina and Kenneth Branagh’s Macbeth in his New York debut. Callender also has teamed with J.K. Rowling and British theater producer Sonia Friedman for an original stage play for UK theatre based on the Harry Potter stories. Read More »

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Tribeca Film Festival Unveils Shorts Lineup

By | Tuesday March 11, 2014 @ 9:00am PDT

tribeca-film-festival-logo_1New York, NY [March 11, 2014] The 2014 Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), presented by AT&T, today announced its lineup of 58 short films, 29 of which are world premieres. The selections were curated from 3,074 submissions. The 2014 program includes shorts from 16 countries, including Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, India, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Scotland, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

The shorts will be presented in 9 thematic programs —5 narrative, 3 documentary, and 1 experimental. Last year’s popular genre-specific program returns this year as “Totally Twisted” with some added unusual comedies. Here’s the full list of the short film selections within the nine programs is as follows:

Read More »

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SXSW: Showtime’s ‘Penny Dreadful’ Debuts Juan Antonio Bayona-Helmed Premiere Episode

By | Sunday March 9, 2014 @ 8:51pm PDT

Penny Dreadful Showtime SXSWLiterary and cinematic roots run deep in Showtime’s new psychosexual horror series Penny Dreadful, which debuts in May with an episode helmed by The Orphanage director Juan Antonio Bayona. Josh Hartnett, Eva Green, Timothy Dalton, and Harry Treadaway star in the show created by Oscar-nominated scribe John Logan and exec produced by Sam Mendes which crosses the mythologies of iconic horror figures from Frankenstein, Dracula, and Dorian Gray lore in a Victorian England setting. “We wanted to pay respects to the mythology but bring them to a new level,” said Bayona of the show’s twisty take on well-known stories and characters.

Coincidentally, another thread connects the Penny Dreadful gang in front of and behind the camera. “There’s a lot of James Bond on this show: John wrote Skyfall, Sam directed it, Eva was in Casino Royale – I said to someone, I think I’m being groomed for the next Bond movie,” said Hartnett at a Q&A following the premiere of Penny Dreadful’s first episode Sunday at SXSW. Hartnett plays American gunslinger Ethan Chandler, who is recruited by Sir Malcolm (Dalton, a former 007 himself) and the enigmatic Vanessa Ives (Green) for a supernatural mission in London. The gothic series is one of a handful of television projects highlighted this year in SXSW’s new programming slate devoted to episodic /TV content.

Related: Showtime Lands Horror Drama From John Logan & Sam Mendes Read More »

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Jack Huston, Rose Leslie Among Cast For ITV’s ‘The Great Fire’ Miniseries

By | Tuesday, 4 March 2014 10:34 UK

rose lesliejack hustonITV has set the roster for its upcoming four-part miniseries that follows the lives and loves of both historical and fictional characters in 1666 London as The Great Fire rages. Broadchurch‘s Andrew Buchan, Rose Leslie (Utopia, Game Of Thrones, Downton Abbey), Jack Huston (American Hustle, Boardwalk Empire) and Daniel Mays (Mrs Biggs, andrew buchanWelcome To The Punch) have each taken on key roles in the production from Fleming and Mistresses‘ Ecosse Films. Inspired by the real events of 1666 when nearly half of London was destroyed in less than a week, the drama is written by Tom Bradby, political editor of ITN and author of Shadow Dancer. The story unfolds over four consecutive days as the fire takes hold of the city and the people desperately attempt to overcome the flames amid a threat to the monarchy. Buchan will play humble baker Thomas Farriner in whose shop the fire began on September 2, 1666. Leslie plays his sister-in-law with whom he has a complex relationship. Huston is the playboy King Charles great fireII and Mays is Samuel Pepys, a close confidante. Per ITV, pyrotechnics and special effects, as opposed to CGI, will create the fire sequences as London burns. Also in the cast are … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Shark Tank’ & ‘20/20’ Rebound Post-Olympics; ‘Hannibal’ Soft In Return; CBS Lineup Down

By | Saturday March 1, 2014 @ 10:07am PST
Nellie Andreeva

hugh-dancy-hannibal-season-2-premiere-recap-nbcWith the Olympics over, ABC returned to its dominant self on Friday, paced by Shark Tank (2.1 in adults 18-49, up 24% from last week) and 20/20 (1.8, up 29%), which were back to finishing 1-2 for the night. Shark Tank drew its second largest audience ever (7.8 million). ABC’s comedies returned lower from their last originals, Last Man Standing (1.2, down 20%) and The Neighbors (1.0, down 9%). Still, ABC easily top the night, equaling its season high in the demo (1.7)

On NBC, Grimm returned from hiatus to a 1.4, down a tenth from its last original on Jan. 24. It led to the second season premiere of Hannibal, which posted a 1.1 demo rating. That was down from Hannibal‘s series premiere (1.6) in the Thursday 10 PM slot last season and the debut of Dracula (1.8) in the Friday 10 PM hour earlier this season. NBC points out that Hannibal’s Season 2 premiere topped the last five episode of Hannibal‘s first season. But those five episodes aired after the end of the season with very low HUT levels and in a vacuum, with no programming support. For instance, the Season 1 finale of the drama series posted a 0.8 in 18-49 behind an hourlong rerun of The Office, which manged a 0.5 in the demo. Last night, it followed … Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Irish Film & TV Academy Nominations; Sky Renews ‘Stella’; Sylvie Pialat Honored In France; More

byzantiumThe Irish Film and Television Academy has unveiled its nominees for the 11th annual Irish Film and Television Awards, which takes place on April 5 in Dublin. In the Best Film category are Neil Jordan’s Byzantium; John Michael McDonagh’s Calvary; Steph Green’s Run & Jump; Stephen Brown’s The Sea; and John Butler’s The Stag. Ruiri Robinson is nominated for director for his debut sci-fi feature film The Last Days On Mars alongside Butler, Jordan and McDonagh. The Best Actor category includes Brendan Gleeson for Calvary; Domhnall Gleeson for About Time; Ciarán Hinds in The Sea; and The Stag’s Andrew Scott. Antonia Campbell-Hughes is nominated for Best Actress in 3096 Days, alongside Saoirse Ronan in Byzantium; Jane McGrath in Black Ice; and Kelly Thornton in Life’s A Breeze. The male supporting race includes Colin Farrell for Saving Mr Banks; Michael Fassbender for 12 Years A Slave; Edward MacLiam for Run & Jump and Peter McDonald for The Stag. Female supporting actors recognized are Sinead Cusack for The Sea; Fionnula Flannigan for Life’s A Breeze; Amy Huberman for The Stag and Orla O’Rourke for Calvary. Up for Best International Film are 12 Years A Slave, Gravity, Philomena and The Wolf Of Wall Street. Among TV nominees is Gillian Anderson thriller The Fall; HBO’s Game Of Thrones; historical action drama Vikings; period crime series Quirke; and urban drama Love/Hate. Downton Abbey, Moone Boy and Dracula also scored acting nods. The full list of IFTA nominees is here. Read More »

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Warner Bros Scheduling Spree Continues With ‘The Conjuring 2′, ‘Mean Moms’, 2 Others

By | Tuesday February 25, 2014 @ 5:07pm PST

warner_bros_logo-2__130321233618__130419003343__131121204956__131213030736__140121202406__140209183407__140215004412The company has been on a release-date roll, slating a dozen films since Friday. In its second announcement today, Warner Bros has set theatrical debuts for the Untitled New Line Horror Film (October 3), Mean Moms (May 8, 2015), The Conjuring 2 (October 23, 2015) and How To Be Single (February 12, 2016). The NL horror pic is getting a jump on this year’s Halloween fare, steering clear of Universal’s Dracula Untold (October 17) and Paramount’s Paranormal Activity 5 (October 24). Warners must have good vibes about Mean Moms, the feature directing debut of veteran TV helmer Beth McCarthy-Miller. The comedy about the cutthroat world of competitive parenting in the suburbs has no stars booked but has a plum start-of-summer launch date to itself for now. The sequel to last summer’s horror hit The Conjuring is slated for the 2015 trick-or-treat season, a week after Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak begins its Halloween haunt. And How To Be Single is the first rom-com set for the 2016 Valentine’s Day weekend, going up against the Lionsgate actioner Gods Of Egypt and Universal’s Untitled Pets Project from Illumination Entertainment.

Related:
Warner Bros Dates ‘Inherent Vice’, ‘Entourage’, ‘The Intern’
Warner Bros Sets 2015 Release Read More »

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Hot TV Trailer: ‘Penny Dreadful’

By | Friday February 14, 2014 @ 4:27pm PST

Showtime has deployed the first full trailer for its psychosexual horror series that bows May 11. Penny Dreadful unites some of literature’s creepiest characters — including those ripped from tales of Frankenstein, Dorian Gray and Dracula — deposits them in Victorian London and lets the mayhem begin. Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton and Eva Green star in the eight-episode Sunday night series, which co-stars Reeve Carney, Rory Kinnear, Billie Piper, Danny Sapani and Harry Treadaway. It’s written by John Logan, who exec produces with Sam Mendes and Pippa Harris. Here’s a look at the sex and blood and imagery:

Related: TCA: John Logan Says He Wrote ‘Penny Dreadful’ After Re-Visiting “Poor Vengeful Monstrous Creature That Is Frankenstein”

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WGN America Developing Eliot Ness Drama Series With Dennis Lehane & Michael Dinner

By | Friday February 14, 2014 @ 12:56pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

eliotnessEXCLUSIVE: Famous prohibition agent Eliot Ness wasn’t even 30 years old when hit the pinnacle in his career by taking down Al Capone with his law enforcement team dubbed The Untouchables. The following two decades of his life are the subject of Ness, a drama series in development at WGN America from The Blacklist duo of Sony Pictures TV and Davis Entertainment. The project is based on Douglas Perry’s biography Eliot Ness: The wgnnewlogoRise And Fall Of An American Hero, which is being published next week. The adaptation will be written by renowned crime novelist Dennis Lehane (Shutter Island; Mystic River; Gone, Baby, Gone), with Sony TV-based Michael Dinner (Justified) set to direct. The two are executive producing with Davis Entertainment’s John Davis and John Fox.

Ness’ 1929-31 heroics going after crime boss Capone in Chicago were chronicled in the 1959 ABC drama series The Untouchables starring Robert Stack as Ness and Brian De Palma’s Oscar-winning movie of the same name toplined by Kevin Costner. Ness will follow is the real (and untold) story of Ness lehanepost-Untouchables when he became the top cop in Cleveland, the most dangerous city in America during the 1930s. He spent the next decade fighting the mob, his own corrupt police department, and a serial killer on the streets. All while battling his alcoholism, serial philandering and the constant need for acclaim. (Ness was broke and an alcoholic when he died from a massive heart attack at 55 in 1957). Coincidentally, Sony TV is developing another project about Ness’ years in Cleveland on the longform side. Nemesis, an eight-hour miniseries for NBC, zeroes in on Ness’ hunt for the so-called Torso Killer, billed as America’s first serial killer. The mini is based on different source material, the book Nemesis: The Final Case Of Eliot Ness by William Bernhardt, with Craig Zadan and Neil Meron executive producing. Read More »

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BBC America Developing Robin Hood Drama Series ‘Nottingham’ From ‘Dracula’ Creator

By | Tuesday February 11, 2014 @ 3:19pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Prince Of ThievesEXCLUSIVE: What if Robin Hood and his traditional nemesis, the Sheriff of Nottingham, were the same person? That is the premise of Nottingham, a Game Of Thrones reinvention of the classic mythology in the works at BBC America. The series project is written by Dracula creator Cole Haddon, who again takes on a classic villain character. BBC America The GameSony Pictures TV and studio-based Davis Entertainment, the companies behind NBC hit The Blacklist, are producing, with Haddon and Davis Entertainment’s John Davis and John Fox executive producing. Described as a soapy class drama, Nottingham centers on the Sheriff of Nottingham whose wife is killed by King John’s men. When nobody is brought to justice, the Sheriff launches a one-man war against the Crown. By day, he remains the reviled Sheriff, loyal servant of the King, but by night he puts on a hood and, using the intelligence he gains from his office, attacks the King where it hurts the most — his coffers. Read More »

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SXSW: ‘Neighbors,’ ‘Joe,’ Wes Anderson Q&A Round Out Features Lineup; New Episodic TV Section Unveiled

By | Thursday January 30, 2014 @ 12:00pm PST

SXSW 2014 moviesUniversal’s May comedy Neighbors, David Gordon Green’s Nic Cage starrer Joe, and Mike Myers’ directorial debut docu Supermensch are just a few of the newly announced titles set to screen at SXSW 2014, which debuted its full Features line-up today. They join previously announced opener Chef, from Jon Favreau, the world premiere of the Veronica Mars movie in a slate packed with over 115 features, 76 world premieres, Nic Cage in Joe10 North American premieres, including the latest films from Alejandro Jodorowsky (The Dance of Reality), Jason Bateman (Bad Words), Nacho Vigalondo (Open Windows), a special screening of 1954′s original Gojira with Q&A with Godzilla remake helmer Gareth Edwards, and a rare Texas appearance by UT grad Wes Anderson who will present his new film Grand Budapest Hotel in an extended Q&A session.

Related: Jon Favreau’s ‘Chef’ To Open SXSW; ‘Veronica Mars’ Movie Among Premieres

In recent years SXSW has increased its television-focused programming, debuting SXSW alum Lena Dunham‘s Girls in 2012 and presenting a Bates Motel panel in 2013. fromdusktilldawnThis year the Austin film fest is introducing an entire Episodic programming section devoted to small screen works. In addition to a previously announced screening of Fox’s COSMOS: A SpaceTime Odyssey with Neil deGrasse Tyson, the Episodic section will include Hulu and Lionsgate TV’s supernatural comedy Deadbeat starring Tyler Labine with cast and crew Q&A, a screening of El Rey and Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn pilot, AMC’s 1980s-set computer drama Halt and Catch Fire, Showtime’s John Logan-created Penny Dreadful, and HBO’s new sitcom Silicon Valley co-created by Mike Judge. Read More »

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BSkyB, HBO Pact To Co-Produce “Epic” Original Dramas, Extend UK Output Deal

By | Thursday, 30 January 2014 08:36 UK

bskybUK pay-TV giant BSkyB announced better-than-expected half-year operating profits this morning in London — and a major deal to expand its existing relationship with HBO. The pair has been cozy since 2010 when the Sky Atlantic channel became the “home of HBO” series. That exclusive first-run output deal will now be extended through 2020, giving Sky customers continued access to the entire HBO catalog including such shows as Game Of Thrones and Girls, as well as new series like True Detective and Looking. The extension of the pact could be worth up to £275M over five years. The partners have also committed to co-develop and produce what BSkyB CEO Jeremy Darroch calls, “epic drama of a truly spectacular scale.” The partners say they will make original drama series for broadcast on their respective networks and are looking at projects with the potential to run for multiple seasons. The high-end TV tax credit now flourishing in the UK has already brought American shows to shoot locally and this deal will likely see the Sky/HBO co-pros taking advantage of the incentives. The two companies will jointly finance the projects.

Related: Will BSkyB’s Soccer Rights Loss Be A Win For British TV Producers?

HBO-Logo__121023094105-275x116The moves come as the 21st Century Fox-controlled BSkyB has been fending off aggressive rival BT which has been muscling in on sports rights usually held by Sky. Movies and entertainment programming are the other key draws for Sky subscribers and today’s deal will see that offer bolstered. Sky has been on a drive to invest £600M a year in original British content and has committed to more than 100 hours of original drama this year. Sky Atlantic has already partnered with Canal Plus on The Tunnel, with BBC America on Fleming, and with Showtime on John Logan’s Penny Dreadful. Sky Living co-produces NBC series Dracula while Sky Arts has the Jon Hamm/Daniel Radcliffe series A Young Doctor’s Notebook. Click over for full details of the new HBO pact: Read More »

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NBCU International Television Production Strikes Deal For All Of Matchbox Pictures

nbcu tv prodAfter acquiring an equity stake in Australian producer Matchbox Pictures in 2011, NBCUniversal International Television Production has now taken full ownership of the company via an undisclosed investment. This adds to NBCU’s stable of overseas production labels that also includes Carnival Films (Downton Abbey, Dracula), reality producer Monkey Kingdom and factual shingle Chocolate Media, all in the UK; as well as Lark Productions in Canada. Matchbox launched in 2008 and develops and produces drama, matchbox1comedy, documentary and young adult television, and feature films. Earlier this month, NBC greenlighted The Slap, an eight-episode mini based on Matchbox’s 2011 complex family drama series. Universal Television and Matchbox are producing with Matchbox co-founder Tony Ayres as exec producer. Other recent Matchbox credits include the dramedy Camp which aired on NBC this summer and AACTA winning action adventure series Nowhere Boys, which Ayres created. Ayres, with co-founder Penny Chapman, will lead the creative team at Matchbox on the scripted side, and Kylie Washington will head up unscripted. The company will continue to operate as a distinct entity led by managing director Chris Oliver Taylor. NBCU provides a distribution network for Matchbox’s content outside of Australia and New Zealand.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Enlisted’ Surges In New Slot, ‘Shark Tank’ Hits Series High

By | Saturday January 25, 2014 @ 10:02am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Enlisted-Pilot_SC27_0157Very encouraging news for Fox’s new comedy Enlisted. After launching to a 0.7 rating in adults 18-49 and dropping to a 0.6 in Week 2, the comedy jumped 67% in its third outing last night to a 1.0. The radical improvement was the result of a scheduling move, with Fox swapping Enlisted and Raising Hope to give the newbie a better lead-in from Bones. Some of the ratings gains for Enlisted vs. Raising Hope in the 9 PM time period were organic and some were because Bones (1.8) itself was up this week, by 20%. Enlisted‘s lead-in retention was 56% vs. 46% for Raising Hope last week. As for Raising Hope, it logged a 0.8 in its new 9:30 PM slot, also an improvement over last week’s 0.7.

Related: Fox Moves ‘Enlisted’ To Friday 9 PM Slot

Viewers already are frustrated with the broadcast schedule that constantly switches between originals and reruns, making it hard to know when your show is on (unless your DVR does it for you.) So it is hard to explain CBS’ decision to bring Undercover Boss from a monthlong hiatus last Friday only to air a rerun again last night. The unscripted series showed resilience in its return last week, posting a 14% gain vs. its last original on Dec. 16 but who knows how long it can keep up with the scheduling shell game. Read More »

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TCA: NBC Brass On Thursday Woes & Plans (Football?) And Future Of Bubble Series

By | Sunday January 19, 2014 @ 3:43pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

tca1__130610173119The success on other nights this fall has made NBC‘s ratings struggles on Thursday even more glaring. “Thursday night is a real challenge for us, something that we’re well aware of as we head into pilot season and start to think about the fall schedule next year,” NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt said at TCA today. “Comedy has proven to be very difficult for us.” No kidding. This past Thursday, The Michael J. Fox Show hit a series low of 0.6 rating in 18-49, a number a show rarely logs and lives to MichaelJFoxShowsee another airing. ”We’re, obviously, not happy about a .6 for any show and especially for Michael J. Fox,” Greenblatt said. “We like that show. We like Sean Hayes’ show a lot. Creatively, we think they’re good shows, and we’re really unhappy that we can’t find an audience for them in those time periods. So we’re going to still work hard to see what we can do on Thursday nights. It is a real, real uphill battle.”

Related: TCA: NBC’s ‘Believe’ Is No ‘Touch’ – Or ‘Touched By Angel’ – Says JJ Abrams

Greenblatt’s initial assessment of Michael J. Fox Show‘s renewal chances was pretty grim: “Obviously, we have to see how it plays out for the next few months and then get in the scheduling room and make some hard decisions. It’s not anywhere near where we’d like it to be.” He got more optimistic as the session went on. “I’d love to figure out a way to bring it back,” he said. “We may move it around the schedule a little bit.” Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: CBS’ ‘Undercover Boss’ Up In Return, NBC Dramas Rebound

By | Saturday January 18, 2014 @ 9:33am PST
Nellie Andreeva

undercover-boss-logo_20110328001421CBS’ Undercover Boss showed no signs of rust in its return from a monthlong hiatus, logging a 1.6 at 8 PM last night, up 14% from its last original on December 16. But that had little impact on the rest of CBS’ lineup, with Hawaii Five-0 (1.5) matching its fast national from last week and Blue Bloods (1.4) slipping a tenth. A stronger lead-in helped NBC’s 9-11 PM dramas. After dropping last week with a low-rated Olympics special at 8 PM, Grimm (1.5) and Dracula (0.9) both rebounded with Dateline (1.5) back, up 15% and 29%, respectively. Fox’s Bones (1.5) held steady, but the network’s comedies each slipped a tenth to rank as the lowest-rated programs of the night. Raising Hope posted a 0.7, while Enlisted logged a 0.6 in its second week. Also down a notch this week were ABC’s comedies. Last Man Standing (1.4) was down a tenth, The Neighbors (0.9) down o.2. But with Shark Tank (2.1) and 20/20 (1.7) steady, matching season highs and repeating as the two highes- rated programs of the night, ABC again was No.1 in adults 18-49 (1.7) . CBS was tops in viewers (10.6 million). On the CW, The Carrie Diaries (0.4) was up a tenth.

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TCA: John Logan Says He Wrote ‘Penny Dreadful’ After Re-Visiting “Poor Vengeful Monstrous Creature That Is Frankenstein”: Video

By | Thursday January 16, 2014 @ 2:08pm PST

TCADeadline__140109155905“I’m a total monster geek,” award-winning playwright turned go-to James Bond scriptwriter John Logan said when asked how he wound up  writing and exec producing Showtime’s psychosexual horror series Penny Dreadful. The pay cable network has ordered eight episodes of the series that features some of literature’s most iconic monsters, including Frankenstein, Dracula, and Dorian Gray. Josh Hartnett, Eva Green, Timothy Dalton, Rory Kinnear, Harry Treadaway, Reeve Carney and Billie Piper star.

Reading a lot of Wordsworth2014 Winter TCA Tour - Day 8 led him to re-read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, he explained, adding, “I started thinking about why, almost 200 years later, we’re still reading ‘Frankenstein‘ and I think it’s because the monster breaks my heart. Growing up as a gay man before that was as socially acceptable as it is now, I knew what it was like not to feel socially acceptable, but the same thing that made me monstrous to some people made me who I was.”  Re-visting Frankenstein, he said, “I wept reading about the pathos and suffering of the poor, vengeful, monstrous creature.“ Read More »

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Thomas Kretschmann Joins ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Cast

By | Wednesday January 15, 2014 @ 11:25am PST

'Stanlingrad 3D' Premiere - The 8th Rome Film FestivalMarvel‘s follow-up to The Avengers has found another villain: It’s Thomas Kretschmann, the German actor who plays Van Helsing in NBC’s upcoming series Dracula. His deal has been sealed now we’ve been told and he joins James Spader on the bad guy list for The Avengers: Age Of Ultron; Spader was cast as Ultron back in August. Kretschmann’s film credits include roles in Tom Cruise’s 2008 Valkyrie and most recently Stalingrad, the highest-grossing Russian in history that is getting an IMAX run in the U.S.  in February. The Joss Whedeon pic already has Aaron Johnson and Elisabeth Olsen aboard as new superheroes Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, respectively, among the full cast returning from the first mega-blockbuster. Disney has given the sequel a May 1, 2015 release date.

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