ABC is a tough act to follow at TCA this summer when it comes to diversity. ABC has new comedies about a Mexican family, an Asian family and a Black family and a new drama starring Viola Davis. Next at TCA is CBS, which has a new comedy series about an Irish American clan and dramas starring Tea Leoni, Josh Duhamel and Scott Bakula. Its only minority lead is Maggie Q, who plays the co-lead to Dylan McDermott on drama Stalker. CBS Chairman Nina Tassler faced multiple questions about the lack of diversity on the network’s new series.”We don’t look at fall as the defining mark of giving us our diversity quota,” Tassler said, noting the cast of daytime talk show The Talk, Lucy Liu on Elementary and summer series Extant, headlined by Halle Berry. (She faced criticism even on Extant, with a critic arguing that the entire supporting cast of the sci-fi drama is White, down to Berry’s artificial son.) Tassler also pointed at different elements of diversity, like a gay main character on The McCarthys. Additionally, on the final season of Two And A Half Men, Walden and Alan are going to get married as a gay couple in order to adopt a child because Walden finds it difficult to adopt as a straight single man. Tassler called it a “positive statement”about the fact that gay couples can adopt children. …
Emmy nominated Cara Buono (Mad Men) has been tapped for a heavily recurring role on CBS’ Person Of Interest. Her character is described as a femme fatale who’s uniquely qualified to navigate the new world order of Season 4 of the procedural drama, created by Jonathan Nolan and co-produced by J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot. Buono received an Emmy nod for her Season 4 turn as Dr. Faye Miller on AMC’s Mad Men. Other small screen credits include The Sopranos, Third Watch, and guest spots on Elementary, Castle and The Good Wife. Her film credits include indie The Discoverers, Matt Reeves’ vampire remake Let Me In, Hulk and Beer League. Person Of Interest Season 4 premieres on Tuesday, September 23 at 10 PM.
Richie Keen has been tapped to direct TV Land’s comedy pilot Teachers. Based on the popular web series, Teachers revolves around six elementary school teachers who are trying to mold the minds and lives of America’s youth, but they don’t really seem to have their own lives together at all. From making their class help them stalk exes online, to altering a grade because the art teacher is “kind of a bitch,” these teachers certainly are changing the world, one student at a time. Keen’s previous directing credits include It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, New Girl, Mixology and Sirens. He’s repped by CAA, Scott Fedro of Lonestar Entertainment, and attorney Adam Kaller.
Ophelia Lovibond To Recur On ‘Elementary’, Gabrielle Walsh On ‘Vampire Diaries’, Sydney Penny On ‘Pretty Little Liars’
British actress Ophelia Lovibond is set to make her U.S. television debut as a recurring on Season 3 of CBS’ drama Elementary. Lovibond will play Kitty Winter, Detective Sherlock Holmes’ (Jonny Lee Miller) new apprentice in New York, who immediately becomes rivals with her predecessor, Joan Watson (Lucy Liu). Kitty’s reasons for undertaking Holmes’ partnership are nebulous, and her new arrangement with Sherlock will have ongoing repercussions for his relationship with Joan. Lovibond most recently appeared on UK comedy series Mr. Sloane, and can next be seen in Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy to be released on August 1.
Entertainment One Films has picked up U.S. and Canadian rights to Miss Meadows, written and directed by Karen Leigh Hopkins. The deal marks the first film acquisition under Barry Meyerowitz who is integrating his Phase 4 Films into eOne.
Katie Holmes stars as a sweet and proper elementary school teacher who’s moonlighting as a gun-toting vigilante. James Badge Dale, Mary Kay Place and Jean Smart co-star. Crazy Heart’s Eric Brenner and Rob Carliner are producing. Pic is slated for a fall theatrical release.
CBS will kick off its new NFL Thursday football franchise September 11 and roll out its Thursday entertainment lineup October 30. It’s part of the net’s “multi-phase rollout” for its new season announced today. In between those two Thursdays: the network’s Sunday slate will unveil the night before the official start of the TV season — traditionally Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday, except when it’s NBC’s turn to broadcast the trophy show, including this year, when the ceremony gets bumped to steer clear of NBC’s NFL commitments. Also, Premiere Week will open with a one-hour The Big Bang Theory leading in to the premiere of new series Scorpion on that first Monday of the season. NCIS: Los Angeles will move to its new Monday time period the following week, joining launches of new drama Stalker and returning Criminal Minds during the season’s second week.
“The addition of Thursday Night Football provides the flexibility to strategically roll out our fall season in multiple waves, maximizing promotional platforms and scheduling opportunities to give our new and returning series the best possible launch,” CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler said in today’s announcement. Here’s CBS’s primetime rollout schedule:
ABC News has snagged NBC News’s Subrata De to become VP of Multi-Platform Newsgathering. ABC News President James Goldston announced De’s hire this morning in a memo to staff. De most recently had been exec producer of MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports since January of ’12. Before that, she was producer for NBC News’s Brian Williams. In her new gig, De will have oversight of ABC News’s domestic, foreign, digital and social media newsgathering; the new post is intended to unify the division’s editorial operation—”expanding cooperation across our broadcast and digital platforms to improve our reporting and to use our resources more effectively,” as Goldston explained. The job is an expansion of the one held by Kate O’Brian, until she departed ABC News last year to become president of Al Jazeera America. Today’s announcement also includes news of expanded roles for David Reiter and Wendy Fisher.
More from Goldston’s memo after the jump:
Fox is beefing up its drama and comedy teams with the hire of Beth Miyares as SVP Drama Development & Programming, and Conor Welch as VP Comedy Development & Programming. As part of a restructuring implemented in March, the network combined development and current both on the drama and comedy side. Miyares, who has background in both drama development and current programming, will report to Terence Carter, EVP Drama Development & Programming. “Beth is a gifted creative executive with years of experience shaping and growing hits, from both a network and studio perspective, which makes her the perfect fit to round out our drama leadership team,” Carter said. Miyares, who joins fellow SVPs James Oh and Charlie Andrews, comes from CBS Television Studios, where she served as VP Drama Development and oversaw pilot development and production as well as series transition for Hawaii Five-O, Blue Bloods, Elementary, Beauty And The Beast and Reign. This marks her return to Fox, where she previously served as VP Current Programming, working on Fringe, Prison Break, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and The O.C. Welch, who will report to Suzanna Makkos, EVP Comedy Development & Programming, most recently was Head of Feature Film for comedy video website Funny or Die. Prior to that, he served as VP Development and Production at Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Films. “With a pedigree from Funny or Die …
It wasn’t easy but we survived another pilot season. Congratulations to all writers, producers and agents who celebrated the pickup of a new series this week. Here is Deadline’s annual honor roll of those who excelled at the upfronts and a list of pods and independent producers with multiple broadcast series on the schedule:
How about DC‘s superhero effort this upfront? Warner Bros. TV made a big push with its sibling comic book banner this season, resulting in four pilots, all of them picked up to series: Gotham at Fox, The Flash and iZombie on the CW and Constantine on NBC.
Related: CW 2014 Fall Schedule
It’s been a great year for Amblin TV. The company, which last summer received a straight-to-series order for drama Extant on CBS, added three more series over the past week, dramas Red Band Society at Fox, Whispers at ABC and Public Morals at TNT. That brings the independent company’s tally to eight series, including Under the Dome at CBS, The Americans at FX, Falling Skies at TNT and Halo at xBox/Showtime.
Related: CBS 2014 Schedule
Israel’s Keshet saw drama Allegiance and comedy Your Family Or Mine get pickups at NBC and TBS, respectively, while limited series Dig was presented at USA’s upfront. (The company also has dramas Tyrant and Homeland and unscripted series Rising Star, Boom and Deal with It.) 3 Arts received straight-to-series orders for comedies Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Mr. Robinson at NBC and Mulaney at Fox, has Cabot College in talks for a six-episode order at Fox (as well as returning series Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Parks And Recreation, both from Mike Schur, The Mindy Project).
Related: NBC 2014 Schedule
There are several producers and production companies that landed two new series orders this week. Warner Bros. TV-based Greg Berlanti executive produces the CW’s The Flash, which he also co-wrote, and NBC’s Mysteries Of Laura. (He also has Arrow at the CW). Independent producer Aaron Kaplan received orders for Mysteries Of Laura at NBC and Secrets & Lies at ABC. (He also has cable series Chasing Life and Instant Mom). Sony TV-based Jamie Tarses is behind new NBC comedy Marry Me and TBS’ Your Family Or Mine (along with TNT’s Franklin & Bash). Will Ferrell and Adam McKay‘s Uni TV-based Gary Sanchez landed its first broadcast series times two, with pickups for comedies Bad Judge and Mission Control at NBC (company also has Drunk History at Comedy Central). Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly have midseason series The Odd Couple on CBS and The Club on ABC (as well as Elementary, Unforgettable, Justified, Hindsight and Masters Of Sex). Marty Adelstein, with Becky Clements, is shepherding new ABC comedy Cristela and NBC drama Aquarius starring David Duchovny. (He also has Last Man Standing, with Clements, and Teen Wolf.) Jake Kasdan executive produces ABC’s Fresh Off The Boat and Fox’s Weird Loners (as well as Fox’s New Girl). Tim Kring has two event series, NBC’s Heroes: Reborn and USA’s Dig. Vince Gilligan has Battle Creek on CBS as well as Better Call Saul on AMC, while Rob Thomas has iZombie for CW and a Veronica Mars Web spinoff for CW digital. Rashida Jones has two new series, one as a producer, NBC’s A to Z, and one as an actress, TBS’ Angie Tribeca, where she plays the lead. In a rare feat, Laurie Metcalf is a regular on two comedy series, CBS’ The McCarthys and HBO’s Getting On. Electus has new series introduced this week, Jane The Virgin on the CW and the unscripted DVF Project on E! (Tina Fey and Robert Carlock have new comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, while their Cabot College is in talks for a Fox order.)
Related: Fox 2014 Schedule
Several prolific writer-producers have expanded their portfolios. Shonda Rhimes has added How To Get Away With Murder to create a rare Shonda lineup on ABC, with Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Murder on Thursday next fall. Kevin Williamson has new CBS drama Stalker, which he created, joining his other series, The Following on Fox and The Vampire Diaries on the CW.
CBS 2014 Schedule: Monday Comedy Block Trimmed, ‘NCIS: New Orleans’ Gets Post-‘NCIS’ Slot, ‘NCIS: LA’ To Monday, ‘CSI’ To Sunday, ‘The Amazing Race’ To Friday
With only two new comedy series vs. six new dramas, CBS gave indications it may be retreating in comedy. It happened not on Thursday, where CBS expanded its comedy block to two hours last season, but on Monday, where the network’s traditional two-hour comedy block has been a 28-year-old tradition. A lot of veterans are on the move, including NCIS: Los Angeles, CSI and The Amazing Race. Here is the schedule, followed by analysis and descriptions of the new series:
CBS FALL 2014-2015 SCHEDULE
(New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET/PT)
8 PM – The Big Bang Theory/2 Broke Girls
8:30 PM – Mom
9 PM – SCORPION
10 PM – NCIS: Los Angeles
8 PM – NCIS
9 PM – NCIS: NEW ORLEANS
10 PM – Person Of Interest
8 PM – Survivor
9 PM – Criminal Minds
10 PM – STALKER
8-11 PM ET – NFL THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (Sept 11-Oct 23)
Beginning Oct 30:
8 PM – The Big Bang Theory
8:30 PM – The Millers
9 PM – Two And A Half Men
9:30 PM – THE MCCARTHYS
10 PM – Elementary
8 PM – The Amazing Race
9 PM – Hawaii Five-0
10 PM – Blue Bloods
8 PM – Crimetime Saturday
9:00 PM – Crimetime Saturday
10 PM – 48 Hours
7 PM – 60 Minutes
8 PM – MADAM SECRETARY
9 PM – The Good Wife
10 PM – CSI/CSI: CYBER
CBS Pre-Upfront Breakfast: Les Moonves & Co. Talk About ‘HIMYD’ Non-Order, Monday Comedy Block Downsize & Future Of ‘CSI’
CBS is the only broadcaster that still invites the press to breakfast in order to reveal/pitch its primetime plans for next season. It has become an Upfront Week tradition. CBS also is the network that most closely guards its schedule for maximum drama at the breakfast. Here’s how it went:
9 AM ET: CBS Corp chief Leslie Moonves: “The only thing I’m gonna say — when did all the late-night guys start being the arbiters, the ones being fed the lines.. certainly not going to have Dave come out and put down other networks. I liked it much better when network execs put down other networks,” he said, noting in particular how much he loved nicking Jeff Zucker when Zucker ran NBC. That said, Les give Jimmy Kimmel’s seventh-inning stretch during ABC’s upfront presentation a thumbs up.
Related: CBS 2014 Schedule
“This really is the best era in the history of television — right now… a great time to be in the television business….We love the fact so many of the Silicon Valley companies are getting into production — not so easy!” Les says.
“We are going to have 90 hours of original programming in the summer. The September to May doesn’t quite work the way it used to.” Moonves says CBS’ summer series Under The Dome was the most-watched new drama of the television season, beating NBC’s The Blacklist. As part of that strategy, CBS is officially retiring the term “midseason,” chairman Nina Tassler says.
So far both NBC and Fox are introducing new drama series on Thursday next season, Allegiance and limited series Gracepoint, respectively. CBS, which as usual is keeping things extremely close to the vest, may join the party with new drama series Scorpion, which is rumored to possibly head to Thursday. It is unclear if that would mean a move for current Thursday 10 PM dweller Elementary or there could be a return to a two-hour drama block on the night.
Said to be for midseason is Matthew Perry’s Odd Couple reboot, due to Thursday’s pre-emption for NFL football in the fall. Also likely launching in midseason: new CSI spinoff CSI: Cyber.
Meanwhile, time is running out for a decision on How Met Your Dad. I hear CBS has until this Wednesday to pick up the project or the rights revert back to producer 20th Century Fox TV, which plans to take it elsewhere. There had been little communication between the two sides in the last few days, following CBS’ decision not to pick up HIMYD with its first batch of new series on Friday. The network also just cancelled 20th’s Friends With Better Lives and The Crazy Ones.
Fox 2014 Schedule: ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ & ‘Mulaney’ Join Sunday Animated Block, ‘Glee’ Held For Midseason
Animation domination no more. Fox is abandoning its all-animated Sunday comedy block and reverting to a mix of live-action and animated comedies on the night, with Brooklyn Nine-Nine and newbie Mulaney joining The Simpsons and Family Guy. Meanwhile, for the first time since its launch, Glee is not on in the fall schedule for its final season. Here is Fox’s fall schedule, followed by analysis and description of the network’s new series.
FOX FALL 2014 SCHEDULE
(New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET/PT)
8-9 PM – GOTHAM
9-10 PM – Sleepy Hollow
8-9 PM – UTOPIA
9-9:30 PM – New Girl
9:30-10 PM – The Mindy Project
8-9 PM – Hell’s Kitchen
9-10 PM – RED BAND SOCIETY
8-9 PM – Bones
9-10 PM – GRACEPOINT
8-9 PM – Masterchef Junior
9-10 PM – UTOPIA
7-10:30 PM – Fox Sports Saturday
7-7:30 PM – NFL Game
7-8 PM – Bob’s Burgers
8-8:30 PM – The Simpsons
8:30-9 PM – Brooklyn Nine-Nine
9-9:30 PM – Family Guy
9:30-10 PM – MULANEY