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EOne Turning Gillian Flynn’s Debut Novel ‘Sharp Objects’ Into Drama Series From Marti Noxon

By | Tuesday July 8, 2014 @ 11:13am PDT

EOne Turning Gillian Flynn’s Debut Novel ‘Sharp Objects’ Into Drama Series From Marti NoxonThree months ahead of the premiere of Gillian Flynn‘s Gone Girl movie at Fox, eOne Television said today that it will develop and produce her first novel Sharp Objects as a one-hour drama series. Marti Noxon will serve as showrunner/writer on the project, while Flynn will be an executive producer (she adapted her own book for Gone Girl). Blumhouse Productions is producing and Jason Blum and Charles Layton will also executive produce, extending that shingle’s relationship with eOne which produced Blumhouse’s Sinister and Insidious films. eOne Television CEO John Morayniss and EVP US Scripted Television Michael Rosenberg will oversee the drama sereis for eOne, which is handling worldwide distribution.

Sharp ObjectsSharp Objects, published by Crown in 2006, centers on reporter Camille Preaker, who after a short stay at a psych hospital must return to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls — and deal with her neurotic, hypochondriac mother and the half-sister she barely knows. She must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story and survive the homecoming. Read More »

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Neve Campbell Signs With Paradigm

By | Friday June 13, 2014 @ 4:30pm PDT

Neve Campbell EXCLUSIVE: Paradigm has signed Scream actress Neve Campbell. The star of Wes Craven’s horror franchise first broke out on Fox drama Party of Five before leading the cast of the 1996 goth teen hit The Craft. Playing final girl Sidney Prescott in Scream, Scream 2, Scream 3, and 2011′s Scream 4 earned Campbell a place in horror history, while she added dramas like Wild Things, 54, Panic, Three To Tango, and When Will I Be Loved to her resume. Campbell also voiced Simba’s daughter in animated sequel The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride. She co-wrote, produced, and starred in Robert Altman’s penultimate film, the 2003 ballet drama The Company. In February Campbell bowed out of TNT pilot Guilt By Association. Her recent television appearances include roles in Titanic: Blood and Steel, Grey’s Anatomy, and Mad Men as well as The Simpsons, The Philanthropist, and Medium. She’ll next be seen in indie Walter with Milo Ventimiglia and William H. Macy and continues to be managed by Mosaic.

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‘San Andreas’ Adds Will Yun Lee; Lee Tergesen To Lead ‘Taken’ Spoof ‘Tooken’; ‘The DUFF’ Rounds Out Cast

By | Wednesday May 28, 2014 @ 12:43pm PDT

will yun leeWill Yun Lee (Red Dawn, Total Recall, The Wolverine) has locked a role in New Line, WB, and Village Roadshow’s disaster pic San Andreas. Lee will play Dr. Kim Chung, the co-director of the Cal-Tech Seismology Lab in the film about an ex-Special Ops firefighter (Dwayne Johnson) scouring Northern California for his family after the Big One hits. He was recently tapped for a recurring role on HBO’s vamp series True Blood and also appears in Fox’s upcoming Melissa McCarthy comedy Spy and Duane Adler’s Make Your Move, opposite Korean superstar BoA. San Andreas is produced by Beau Flynn. Rob Cowan is executive producer, and Hiram Garcia is co-producer. Tripp Vinson also serves as a producer on the film which hits theaters next summer and begins filming in Australia next month. Lee is repped by APA and Zero Gravity Management.

Lee tergesen TookenThe Americans and Longmire thesp Lee Tergesen (Monster, Wayne’s World, Point Break) has a particular set of skills, which Elevative Entertainment has tapped for its upcoming spy comedy spoof Tooken. The Naked Gun-style send-up of actioner Taken sees Tergesen play the Liam Neeson role as “Bryan Millers,” with Lauren Stamile (Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, and the upcoming USA series Complications) as his ex-wife and Laura-Leigh (We’re the Millers, The Client List) playing their daughter Kim. Reno Wilson (Mike & Molly, Transformers: Age of Extinction), Joyce Bulifant (The Mary Tyler Moore Show), and Ray Abruzzo (The Sopranos, Last Vegas) round out the cast. Actor-turned-director John Asher, who co-starred with Tergesen on USA’s Weird Science, is at the helm of the film which begins lensing in LA next week. Read More »

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New ABC Drama ‘The Whispers’ Leaves Los Angeles For Vancouver As California Still Grapples With Runaway Production

By | Friday May 23, 2014 @ 11:17am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

BRIANNA BROWN, KYLIE ROGERS, BARRY SLOANE, LILY RABE, KYLE HARRISON BREITKOPF, MILO VENTIMIGLIAThe cast of one newly picked broadcast series wasn’t exactly jumping for joy during upfront week. That’s when the actors from the ABC alien drama The Whispers, which stars Milo Ventimiglia, Lily Rabe and Barry Sloane, found out that the series would be moving to Vancouver after filming the pilot in Los Angeles. I hear several members of the cast were not happy, and conversations are still ongoing with the series’ producer, ABC Studios. In the end, all actors will likely move or risk being sued for breach of contract. While I hear it wasn’t spelled out to the cast going into the pilot that the project will definitely move if picked up, there is nothing in the actors’ contracts that guarantees that the show would shoot in Los Angeles. Actually, I hear there is language that indicates that the show could move once ordered to series.

Related: Where Hollywood’s Union Jobs Are Going: Call These States The Runaway 3

califtaxcreditStill, such uprooting is never pleasant and illustrates the toll runaway production takes on everyone. There are a lot of advantages to filming in Los Angeles — an abundance of production facilities and experienced crews, closeness to the project’s writers and executives, access to a pool of guest actors and directors as well as great climate and locations. The Whispers picked LA for the pilot mainly because it offered the variety of landscapes it needed, including desert. One thing Los Angeles does not offer is tax breaks, and that alone is pushing drama series production away from California.
Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Last Comic Standing’ OK In Return, ‘Gang Related’ Premiere Soft

By | Friday May 23, 2014 @ 9:22am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

jb-smoove-lcsIf a rerun of The Big Bang Theory is the top program of the night by a landslide, it must be summer. CBS’ comedy juggernaut (2.2 among adults 18-49 for a repeat) ruled the first night after the official end of the 2013-14 broadcast season, which featured two premieres and a finale. After a four-year break, NBC’s Last Comic Standing returned last night, drawing a 1.7 in 18-49 for its eighth season premiere. That was down 15% from the show’s last season debut in June 2010, but a lot has changed in four years, so that number is pretty solid. It tied the iHeart Radio Music Awards as the top rating NBC has seen on Thursday in months. It outperformed significantly NBC’s recent in-season unscripted premiere, American Dream Builders, and built on its lead-in, Hollywood Game Night (1.1), by 55%.

101_gangrelated_mobile_carousel-carousel-360x282Last Comic also almost doubled the rating for the other premiere last night, Fox dark drama Gang Related (0.9), originally picked up for midseason 2014. Despite a solid lead-in from Kitchen Nightmares (1.5, down 12% from last week), Gang Related‘s performance was more in line with a low-cost import (NBC’s Crossing Lines and Saving Hope opened with a 0.7 last summer) than a Hollywood-made original drama (CBS’ Under The Dome premiered with a 3.2 in 18-49 last summer, ABC’s Mistresses with a 1.2). The Gang Related debut was even … Read More »

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UPFRONTS 2014: The Overachievers

By | Friday May 16, 2014 @ 4:28pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

overachieversIt 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:

dcHow 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

AmblinTVIt’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

keshetIsrael’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

kaplan__130220013414-150x150berlantiThere 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). ferrell-mckay-cp-getty-71523538Will 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. rashidajonesRashida 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

Shonda RhimesKevinWilliamsonSeveral 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. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, ‘Elementary’ & ‘Vampire Diaries’ Finales Fall, ‘Big Bang Theory’ Hits Finale Viewership High, ‘American Idol’ Up Again

ELLEN POMPEO, SANDRA OHChaucer said that “there is an end to everything, good things as well.” So the Middle Ages poet was right of the 2013-2014 television season and of Sandra Oh‘s stint on Grey’s Anatomy (2.5/8) after 10 seasons. There were explosions, both emotional and literally, and there was fallout as well as dancing as Dr. Cristina Yang left Seattle Grace Hospital. Ratingswise it was a bit of a flat line for ABC and the Shonda Rhimes-created show, with Grey’s staying even with last week’s show. While Grey’s overall season bopped up 5% among adults 18-49 from Season 9 to garner the series’ best demo result in three years, last night’s finale was down double digits from the previous finale on May 16, 2013. With a repeat as a lead-in, the end of Season 10 saw a 19% drop from the Season 9 ender to hit a season-finale low. But with that said, if precedent is any indication, Grey’s could see an adjustment upward in the final numbers later today. Lead-out Black Box (1.1/4) saw its fourth-week numbers dip 8% from its May 8 results; granted, it was postponed in the San Diego market for news coverage of the fires there but that’s also the third week in a row the newbie show has gone down.

Related: Paul Lee Defends ‘Grey’s Anatomy’s Move To 8 PM Next Season

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T.R. Knight Joins Amazon’s ‘Hysteria’; Adrienne C. Moore Upped To Regular On ‘Orange Is The New Black’

By | Thursday May 15, 2014 @ 9:56am PDT

Grey’s Anatomy alum T.R. KnightTRKnight2 is set as a male lead opposite Mena Suvari in Amazon Studios’ drama pilot Hysteria, from Shaun Cassidy, Alcon Entertainment and Universal TV. It centers on Dr. Logan Harlow (Suvari), an exceptionally bright but socially awkward neurologist/psychiatrist at the University of Texas Medical School who travels to her hometown of Austin, TX to investigate a mysterious epidemic among high school girls that might be spreading through technology. Knight, repped by Gersh and Thurline, will play Logan Harlow’s brother, Carter James Harlow, a fiercely intense man who’s been on death row since he was 19 years old and is two months away from execution. In the last few days of his life, and after attempting to kill himself by setting fire to his cell, he tries to convince his sister that the panic currently swallowing Austin is the same hysteria that sent him to prison 25 years ago, and if she will help to exonerate him, he’ll give her the clues she needs to resolve the crisis.
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TNT Introduces New ‘Boom’ Tagline; TNT & TBS Unveil 2014-2015 Development Slates

By | Wednesday May 14, 2014 @ 6:30am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

boomTNT is tweaking its branding. After the cable network introduced its signature We Know Drama tagline in 2001 and shortened it to Drama. in 2008, it is now expanding it to TNT Drama. Boom. The brand update reflects TNT’s new direction, with more action-adventure, sci-fi/fantasy and mystery/suspense series alongside crime dramas or, as TNT programming chief Michael Wright put it, more “drama that thrills.” It will be unveiled at TNT and TBS’ upfront presentation today where TNT will tout its slate of new series The Last Ship, Legends, Murder In The First, Public Morals, Proof and The Librarians, a take on TNT’s Librarian original movie franchise. ITBSlogo__130507225714ts development slate includes projects (some previously announced) from Vince Vaughn, Greg Berlanti, Scott Winant, Donnie Wahlberg, Mark Gordon and Joe Carnahan, as well as a sequel to King’s 1980 bestseller Firestarter. TBS, which just picked up new half-hour series Angie Tribeca, Buzzy’s and Your Family Or Mine, is developing projects from Ed Helms and John Krasinski. Here are details about TNT and TBS’ development slates:

Related:
TNT’s New Series Trailers
TBS’ New Series Trailers

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ABC Upfronts Presentation 2014 Live-Blog: Network Touts “Passion Projects” And “Raw” ‘American Crime’

By | Tuesday May 13, 2014 @ 12:37pm PDT

ABC Upfronts 2014ABC will unveil its new Shonda Rhimes Thursday in the fall, and new comedy Black-ish that got the plum post-Modern Family timeslot (though its showrunner Larry Wilmore has departed for Comedy Central where he will replace Stephen Colbert). This morning, on a phone call with reporters, ABC programming chief Paul Lee had to defend his move of Rhimes’ sexy Grey’s Anatomy to the broadcast-prudish 8 PM timeslot, as well as the cultural diversity of his new series. Let’s see how these primetime schedule moves play in Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall to advertisers — and with Jimmy Kimmel:

Upfronts2014_badgePresentation about to begin….

4:12 PM ET: Anne Sweeney gives her final pitch to advertisers as co-chair of Disney Media Networks and Disney/ABC President, while people in the hall mull her decision to quit so she can go realize her dream of becoming a TV director. She introduces her successor, Ben Sherwood. He stands in the audience and salutes her. “Ben, I think you’re going to be great and I can’t wait to see you onstage next year,” she says. “Don’t forget — I’m still a shareholder.”

Related: ABC’s New Series Trailers

4:39 PM ET: “Our shows rock — OK, that’s the upfront. Want to go to the pub?” ABC programming chief Paul Lee said opening his dog and pony show.  Least objectionable programming is dead, he said. This year, Lee says he approached “some of the greatest storytellers in the world and asked them one thing: bring us your passion project — we’ll take off the handcuffs…And in my opinion they do not disappoint.” He said the new shows include “One of most blistering pieces of raw film ever scheduled on broadcast television” but didn’t say which show he was talking about. Jumping right in to address that which had reporters’ knickers in a knot earlier in the day, Lee said his new primetime schedule “most of all reflects the already changed face of America…We set out to reflect America,” he said, as he began to talk about new Wednesday comedy Black-ish.

Related: Paul Lee Defends ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Move To 8 PM, ‘Trophy Wife’ Cancellation

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ABC’s Paul Lee Defends ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Move To 8 PM, Cultural Diversity Of New Series, ‘Trophy Wife’ Cancellation

By | Tuesday May 13, 2014 @ 10:51am PDT

ABC-logo-2014__140506025424-150x150PaulLee__140117213814-275x413ABC programming chief Paul Lee spent a surprising amount of time this morning on the phone trying to calm reporters whose undies seemed bunched over the move of Grey’s Anatomy to 8 PM Thursday (to make room for Shonda Rhimes new drama How To Get Away With Murder at 10 PM) and the quantity of the culturally diverse new series Lee has ordered for next season.

Related: ABC 2014 Schedule

“We wanted to reflect the changed face of America,” Lee explained, in re the new series’ cultural diversity. But his comment also applied to the many questions he took on his move of Grey’s Anatomy into the timeslot that, decades ago, was known as The Family Hour. It’s a notion that, practically speaking, ended years ago for American viewers,  thanks to the more adult original programming now available in the hour on cable and other programing platforms, and via DVR viewing, etc. But, it’s a concept to which some watchdog groups, politicians, advertisers – and reporters, apparently –  have clung. Lee noted the move was made, not to push the envelope but because the network has “stumbled” at 8 on Thursdays in the past “so this made all the sense in the world.”

Related: ABC’s New Series First Looks
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ABC 2014 Schedule: ‘Scandal’ Moves To 9 PM As Part Of Shonda Rhimes Thursday; ‘Black-ish’ Gets Post-‘Modern Family’ Slot

By | Tuesday May 13, 2014 @ 8:45am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

scandal-season-finaleA Shonda Rhimes 8-11 PM Thursday lineup highlights ABC’s fall schedule, with Rhimes’ red-hot Scandal bracing for a 9 PM showdown with another sizzling drama that is moving to Thursday next season, NBC’s The Blacklist. Here is ABC’s fall schedule, which ABC president Paul Lee says “reflects a judicious mix of boldness and stability,” followed by analysis and new series descriptions:

ABC FALL 2014-2015 SCHEDULE
(New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET)

MONDAY
8 PM Dancing with the Stars
10 PM Castle

TUESDAY
8 PM SELFIE
8:30 PM MANHATTAN LOVE STORY
9 PM Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
10 PM FOREVER

WEDNESDAY
8 PM The Middle
8:30 PM The Goldbergs
9:00 PM Modern Family
9:30 PM BLACK-ISH
10:00 PM Nashville

THURSDAY
8 PM Grey’s Anatomy
9 PM Scandal
10 PM HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER/SECRETS & LIES

FRIDAY
8 PM Last Man Standing
8:30 PM  CRISTELA
9 PM Shark Tank
10 PM 20/20

SATURDAY
8 PM  Saturday Night Football

SUNDAY
7 PM America’s Funniest Home Videos
8 PM Once Upon a Time
9 PM Resurrection/AMERICAN CRIME
10 PM Revenge Read More »

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Shonda Rhimes Inks New Four-Year Deal With ABC Studios

By | Tuesday May 13, 2014 @ 7:30am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

shondarhimesAfter lengthy negotiations, ABC Studios/Disney has closed a new mega deal with ABC’s most important drama producer, Shonda Rhimes. The four-year extension, valued at eight figures, will keep Rhimes at ABC Studios through May 2018. Rhimes has created three series for ABC and its sister studio, all of which have gone the distance: Grey’s Anatomy, which is going into its 11th season, sizzling DC drama Scandal, which is heading into Season 4, and Grey’s Anatomy spinoff Private Practice, which ran for six seasons. Additionally, though her ABC Studios-based company ShondaLand with producing partner Betsy Beers, Rhimes has produced a number of projects for the studio. The latest, drama How To Get Away With Murder starring Viola Davis, was ABC’s hottest pilot this season, easily landing a series order and a spot on ABC’s fall schedule. Rhimes is with ICM Partners and Michael Gandler.

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Shades Of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’: ‘The Blacklist’ Post-Super Bowl Episode To Be Two-Parter

By | Monday May 12, 2014 @ 9:20am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

NBC-The-BlacklistThe highest-rated drama telecast ever to air after the Super Bowl was ABC’s Thursday 9 PM series Grey’s Anatomy in 2006, during the show’s second season. The episode, crafted as the opening hour of a two-part storyline, greysdrew 37.9 million viewers, with the conclusion on Thursday also garnering blockbuster ratings. NBC‘s head of scheduling Jeff Bader, who orchestrated the Grey’s Super Bowl scheduling while at ABC, is taking a page out of that rule book with The Blacklist. Also in its second season and about to move into the Thursday 9 PM slot, The Blacklist landed the post-Super Bowl spot on February 1 before it makes its Thursday debut February 5. At NBC’s upfront presentation today, chairman Bob Greenblatt announced that the episodes will be a two-part arc, clearly intended to give The Blacklist‘s Thursday premiere a hefty boost. Also at the presentation, Greenblatt promised more crossovers among Dick Wolf’s three NBC series: Law & Order: SVU, Chicago Fire and Chicago PD, and confirmed that the final season of Parks & Recreation will be 13 epsidoes.

RelatedJeff Bader’s First Big Test: Fixing NBC’s Thursday Night

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NBC 2014 Schedule: ‘Blacklist’ & ‘Biggest Loser’ Move To Thursday To End Comedy Block, ‘State Of Affairs’ & ‘Marry Me’ Get Post-’Voice’ Slots, ‘Parks’ To Midseason

By | Sunday May 11, 2014 @ 9:30am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

NBC-The-BlacklistNBC, which is projected to win the season among adults 18-49 for the first time in 10 years, is betting big on The Blacklist with a post-Super Bowl berth and a high profile new time slot. The network has made the bold Thursday move we’d been expecting, shifting the flagship drama starring James Spader to the 9 PM tentpole slot on February 5, after a big showcase behind the Super Bowl on Feb. 1. Without further ado, here is NBC’s fall schedule, followed by analysis:

Related: Jeff Bader’s First Big Test: Fixing NBC’s Thursday Night

NBC FALL 2014-2015 SCHEDULE
(New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET)

MONDAY
8-10 p.m. — “The Voice”
10-11 p.m. — “The Blacklist” / “STATE OF AFFAIRS” (beginning Nov. 17)

TUESDAYFall Schedule 2014
8-9 p.m. — “The Voice”
9-9:30 p.m. — “MARRY ME”
9:30-10 p.m. — “About a Boy”
10-11 p.m. — “Chicago Fire”

WEDNESDAY
8-9 p.m. — “THE MYSTERIES OF LAURA”
9-10 p.m. — “Law & Order: SVU”
10-11 p.m. — “Chicago P.D.”

THURSDAY
8-9 p.m. — “The Biggest Loser”
9-9:30 p.m. — “BAD JUDGE” (“The Blacklist” beginning Feb. 5)
9:30-10 p.m. — “A TO Z”
10-11 p.m. — “Parenthood”/”Allegiance”

FRIDAY
8-9 p.m. — “Dateline NBC”
9-10 p.m. — “Grimm”
10-11 p.m. — “CONSTANTINE” Read More »

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Jeff Bader’s First Big Test: Fixing NBC’s Thursday Night

By | Saturday May 10, 2014 @ 9:49pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

nbclogoartisticTomorrow we’ll get a glimpse of NBC’s schedule for the 2014-15 season. It will mark the second NBC sched overseen by Jeff Bader since he was poached from ABC in August 2012. Last May, the changes he and his NBC bosses implemented were pretty subtle: creating a 9-11 PM genre block on Fridays, replacing the struggling Wednesday 8-9 PM comedy block with a drama (Revolution) and try dramas, Believe and Crisis, vs. reality series on Sundays in midseason after football. The first worked, the other two not so much, with all three drama series getting cancelled. Now NBC, assured to win the season in adults 18-49 with football, The Voice, hot freshman The Blacklist and some help from the Olympics, has to tackle heads-on the major problem that its Thursday lineup has become. While the network had been gradually losing positions on the night with its diminishing two-hour comedy block and a revolving door of reality and drama series at 10 PM, the problem became glaring this season, following the end of The Office which, even on its last legs, held the night together.

NBC didn’t make any changes in midseason, despite pulling in a 0.6-0.7 in 18-49 with comedy series like The Michael J.Fox Show. But it made the issue a priority. “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 … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Two And A Half Men’ Finale Falls, Last ‘Surviving Jack’ Up, ‘American Comedy Awards’ Debuts Weak, ‘Big Bang Theory’ & ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Down

surviving jack finale 2With the NFL Draft providing significant competition, for the Big 4 on Thursday it was a primetime with a couple of endings — one permanent. After just more than a month on the air, Fox put Surviving Jack (1.2/3) out of its ratings misery yesterday as one of a group of comedy cancellations. and its short run wrapped with a 20% jump up from last week’s rating in adults 18-49.  Maybe news of the cancellation got Jack some juice as did the 7% rise American Idol (1.6/5) saw last night with its live half-hour result show as the lead-in. Fox’s night started off with Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen (1.5/5), which dipped 6% from its May 1 show.

Related: ESPN’s NFL Draft Scores Record Ratings

two-and-a-half-menTwo And A Half Men (2.1/6) finished its 11th season last night with a wedding and the usual sitcom shenanigans that accompany such a TV event. The Chuck Lorre series was even with its May 1 show but took a steep divorce of 40% from last year’s season ender on May 9, 2013. Maybe that was a result of the NFL Draft, but CBS had downs and dips almost all night starting with The Big Bang Theory (3.7/13). Despite being the highest-rated and most-watched show of the night (14.17 million), the other Lorre series fell 18% to hit a season low in preliminary numbers. Two And A Half Men’s lead-out The Millers (2.0/6) was even with its May 1 show and hence tied a series low. Freshman Bad Teacher (1.3/4) slipped 7% from last week while Elementary (1.5/4) stumbled 6% to tie a series low. Like last Thursday, CBS won the night among adults 18-49 (2.0/6 rating) and total viewers (8.78 million.) That’s a slight 9% drop from May 1. Read More »

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UPDATE: ABC Renews ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, ‘Scandal’, ‘Revenge’, ‘Castle, ‘Resurrection’ & ‘Once Upon A Time’

By | Thursday May 8, 2014 @ 7:05pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ShondaUPDATED: If you haven’t figured out the pattern of ABC‘s renewals, the network is starting with all current series from sibling ABC Studios that it wants to bring back. As should be expected, dramas are first, beginning with the obvious ones: Shonda Rhimes’ Grey’s Anatomy, picked up for Season 11; Rhimes’ Scandal, ordered for Season 4 (Rhimes-produced pilot How To Get Away With Murder just got a series ABC logo 2014pickup too); the entire ABC Sunday drama lineup: Once Upon A Time (for season 4), rookie Resurrection (for Season 2) and Revenge (for Season 4) as well as Monday veteran Castle for Season 7. The only dramas missing from the list are freshman Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is under Marvel’s purview and could be bundled with Agent Carter, and Nashville, which is a co-production with Lionsgate TV, so it may be in a different category.

Related: 2014 ABC Pilots

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Jenna Bans Inks New Overall Deal With ABC Studios

By | Thursday May 8, 2014 @ 9:13am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

bansEXCLUSIVE: Marking her 10-year anniversary at ABC Studios, where she started her writing career in 2004, Jenna Bans has signed a new two-year overall deal with the studio. Bans is the creator/executive producer of ABC’s drama pilot Sea of Fire, from ABC Studios and Sony TV. If the pilot goes to series, she will continue as executive producer/showrunner. For the past seven years, Bans has been one of the most trusted writer/producers of ABC Studios’ top drama creator, Shonda Rhimes. Bans worked on Rhimes’ medical dramas Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. She has been on Rhimes’ latest series, hot DC drama Scandal, since after the pilot, most recently as consulting producer while working on her pilot. Bans also created and executive produced the ABC/ABC Studios medical drama Off the Map, executive produced by Rhimes. UTA-repped Bans got her break when she was hired as a staff writer on the first season of ABC Studios’ ABC dramedy Desperate Housewives just as she was about to enroll in law school.

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