EXCLUSIVE: Kimberly Williams-Paisley is poised to make her guest-starring stint on ABC’s new drama Nashville permanent. The According To Jim alumna in August signed on for a multi-episode arc on the soap set against the backdrop of the Nashville music scene. She ended up appearing in six of the original 13 episodes of the freshman drama, which was recently given a full-season pickup. Now she is set to appear in at least three episodes of Nashville‘s back nine with an option to become a series regular in Season 2 if the show is renewed.
EXCLUSIVE: According To Jim alumna Kimberly Williams-Paisley is returning to ABC with a multi-episode arc on the network’s new drama series Nashville, a family soap set against the backdrop of the Nashville music scene that follows one star at her peak (Connie Britton) and one on the rise (Hayden Panettiere). On the Lionsgate/ABC Studios series, Williams-Paisley will play Peggy Samper, an old flame and former co-worker of Teddy Conrad (Eric Close), husband of Rayna Jaymes (Britton). Williams-Paisley, repped by Gersh and Kritzer, Levine, Wilkins, Griffin, Nilon, knows well the Nashville music scene — she lives in Nashville and is married to country music star Brad Paisley.
Tessa Thompson is set to recur on another new ABC drama, 666 Park Avenue, about a young couple (Dave Annable, Rachael Taylor) who sign up as managers of a mysterious Manhattan building. Thompson will play Laurel Harris, a media consultant with an inside track on New York politics. She entices Henry (Annable) with her contacts, offering to open doors for him, and her presence complicates his relationship with his girlfriend (Taylor).
Meet another Lawson. Charley Koontz has booked a two-episode arc on hit USA series Royal Pains, playing Hank and Evan’s likeable overweight cousin who is suffering from a medical condition exacerbated by his extra weight. Owen was taken advantage of financially by …
TNT & TBS Upfront News: ‘Closer’ Spinoff & ‘Band’ Ordered To Series, ‘Conan’ Hits The Road, New Movie Franchise Greenlighted
As we reported last week, TBS this morning officially announced the series pickup of hourlong comedy The Wedding Band. Also officially ordered to series is The Closer spinoff Major Crimes. More news in TNT and TBS’ upfront release:
TNT and TBS, which staged their Upfront presentation today in New York, are making bold moves to bolster their remarkably strong foundations in original programming. The networks are developing extensive new lineups of scripted and unscripted series and making a new push into half-hour comedy in partnership with some of the top talents in the industry, from award-winning actors to acclaimed producers, writers and best-selling authors.
This year marks the beginning of production of the final season of the blockbuster hit The Closer, starring Kyra Sedgwick. TNT confirmed today that it has ordered a 10-episode season of Major Crimes, a series set in the Los Angeles Police Department that promises to become television’s next great crime drama. The seventh and final season of The Closer will include 15 episodes in 2011 and six in summer 2012, leading into the launch of Major Crimes, starring Mary McDonnell (Battlestar Galactica). McDonnell has been featured on The Closer as Capt. Raydor, who was often on a collision course with Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, played by Sedgwick. Major Crimes will be executive-produced by James Duff, creator of The Closer, along with Greer Shephard and Michael M. Robin. Major Crimes and The Closer come to TNT from Warner Bros. Television.
TNT is working with several chart-topping authors on a new lineup of original movies set to debut in November and December 2011. The TNT Tuesday Night Mystery (working title) will feature a slate of six contemporary crime dramas, from true-crime stories to fictional mysteries. TNT is developing the two-hour movie Innocent, based on the book by best-selling author Scott Turow. TNT is also developing movies based on Richard North Patterson’s Silent Witness; Sandra Brown’s Ricochet; Lisa Gardner’s Hide; April Smith’s Good Morning, Killer; and Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark’s Deck the Halls. The TNT Tuesday Night Mystery marks TNT’s return to original TV movies, a format that has earned the network many Emmys, along with unprecedented ratings that hold records yet today.
For TBS, Conan O’Brien is taking his late-night talk show CONAN on the road for the first time. O’Brien will set up shop at the Beacon Theater in New York Oct. 31-Nov. 3 to celebrate the first anniversary of his arrival at TBS. The event will mark O’Brien’s first stint in New York since he hosted Late Night with Conan O’Brien. In 2012, CONAN will hit the road again for a stop in Chicago.
Diane Haithman is an AwardsLine contributor
Hayden Panettiere, 23, began her career as a child actor on the soaps One Life to Live and Guiding Light, and met an untimely death as Kirby Reed in Scream 4. But she is perhaps best known as Claire Bennet, the high-school cheerleader with supernatural powers on NBC’s Heroes. She’s trying to change that girl-next-door image in ABC’s Nashville, portraying ambitious, conniving country-pop diva Juliette Barnes, youthful nemesis of old-school country star Rayna Jaymes (Connie Britton). Apparently the catfight chemistry is working: ABC recently handed the freshman series created by Callie Khouri (Thelma & Louise) a full-season order. And both Panettiere and Britton scored big at the Golden Globe nominations: Panettiere netted a nom for best supporting actress in a TV series, miniseries, or motion picture, and Britton is up for best actress in a TV drama.
AwardsLine: This role was a lot to take on with singing. What led you to accept the part of Juliette?
Hayden Panettiere: I love the fact that this character that Callie Khouri created is so multidimensional; there’s so many layers to her. But this was a big deal for me because I really wanted to break away from my character in Heroes. I’m so deeply blessed that I got to play that character, don’t get me wrong, but I knew after that character it would be an uphill battle for people to see me as anything besides the all-American cheerleader.
Ray Richmond is an AwardsLine contributor
The Golden Globes are the awards that love you immediately and without reservation. The SAG Awards are the ones that—while somewhat more tentative—like to honor their favorites repeatedly. Those tendencies held form yet again in the TV nominations announced last month, bringing a certain consistency to exercises that typically lack it.
Indeed, if you’re looking for a red carpet to be rolled out to welcome the new kids, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is your go-to gang. Rarely does a first-year show with even moderate buzz escape Globe voters’ attention. This year, it heaped attention on freshmen including HBO’s Aaron Sorkin cable-news drama The Newsroom and star Jeff Daniels; the HBO comedy Girls and its multihyphenate young star Lena Dunham; Julia Louis-Dreyfus from the rookie HBO comedy Veep; star Don Cheadle from Showtime’s House Of Lies; lead Connie Britton and supporting player Hayden Panettiere from the ABC soap Nashville; and, most surprisingly, a comedy/musical series nod for NBC’s Smash.
The inclusion of Smash was perhaps easy to predict, because it’s the rare comedy/musical series that is both comedy and musical. It took the spot previously held down by Fox’s Glee, the category winner in 2010 and ’11 that failed to make the Golden …