The two-hour premiere last night of Frank Darabont’s LA Noirish limited event series pulled in 2.3 million total viewers for TNT. Debuting at 9 PM, the heavily promoted Mob City drew 801, 000 viewers among Adults 18-49 and 875,000 viewers among the Adult 25-54 demo. While something quite different for TNT as a limited event series, and with good potential digital life, Mob City’s results last night are at the top end between the cable station’s two most recent debuts Monday Mornings and King And Maxwell - both of whom have since been cancelled. The David E. Kelly medical drama pulled in a weak 1.34 million total viewers at 10 PM on February 4 this year with just 386,000 among Adults 18-49 and 472,000 among the 25-54 demo. The Rebecca Romijn and Jon Tenney P.I. drama drew 3.5 million total viewers with 825,000 among Adults 18-49 and a bit more than 1 million among Adults 25-54 on June 10. Mob City is based on John Buntin’s book L.A. Noir: The Struggle For The Soul Of America’s Most Seductive City. Starring Neal McDonough, Ed Burns, Milo Ventimiglia and Jon Bernthal, the one-hour six-episode series is set to run until December 18. Like the LA Noir book, Mob City focuses on the war between the Police Chief William Parker’s LAPD and newly transplanted gangsters like Mickey Cohen for control of LA during the 1940s. TNT picked up the drama from the former Walking Dead showrunner and fellow …
TNT has officially cancelled David E. Kelley/Sanjay Gupta’s Monday Mornings after one season. There was not much hope for the medical drama, which opened with an underwhelming 1.34 million viewers and ended its freshman run at the same level, with the finale drawing 1.37 million. But, like Kelley’s previous series, NBC’s Harry’s Law, Monday Morning quickly developed a small but devoted and passionate fan base. Monday Mornings, about the lives of a group of surgeons, starred Ving Rhames, Alfred Molina and Jennifer Finnigan. “(David E. Kelley, Bill D’Elia and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, on whose novel the series was based) crafted a unique and powerfully moving drama full of memorable situations and characters brought to life by a terrific ensemble cast,” TNT said in a statement. “Unfortunately the show never built its audience enough to warrant its continuation.”
It is the end of the road for Southland after five seasons, one on NBC and four on TNT. The critically praised cop show has been a source of pride for TNT brass who rescued the series after NBC dropped it before Season 2. “TNT has made the difficult decision not to renew Southland for another season,” the network said in a statement. “We are enormously proud of Southland, which stands as one of the best police dramas ever made.”
Southland most recently drew 1.8 million viewers for its fifth-season finale. With the end near, three of the show’s four main actors — Ben McKenzie, Regina King and Shawn Hatosy — booked pilots, with McKenzie playing the male lead in a drama produced by Southland studio and TNT sibling WBTV. There had been talk about about doing a movie or four-hour mini wrapping the story but insiders say the chances are slim as the economics of that would be hard to pull off. Southland‘s fifth-season finale now serves as a fitting series finale with the poignant title “Reckoning”. It came from two of the series’ three executive producers, written by Jonathan Lisco and directed by Chris Chulack, who also helmed the pilot.
As expected, TNT has renewed Dallas for a third season. No final decision on veteran Southland and freshman Monday Mornings, but neither is expected to be renewed. TNT will likely make the end of the two dramas official in the next two weeks as the cable network is gearing for its May 15 upfront presentation. Also likely coming up in the next week or so are the new TNT series pickups, with the Howard Gordon-produced Legends and Michael Bay-produced The Last Ship expected to get a nod. Produced by Warner Horizon Television, Dallas is a follow-up of the iconic 1980s series. TNT has ordered 15 episodes for the third season, which is slated to launch in early 2014. “Although we said goodbye to Larry Hagman and his iconic character J.R. Ewing this year, Dallas has many more stories left to tell, and the Ewing clan will continue to honor J.R.’s memory by keeping its audience surprised and delighted,” TNT’s head of programming Michael Wright said.
It’s pilot screening time. CBS just started viewing its pilots, with the other networks slated to follow over the next few days. Feedback from the screenings and extensive focus group testing inform the networks’ series pickup decisions and are capable of catapulting a pilot from an also-run to frontrunner status overnight, as it happened with CBS’ Blue Bloods three years ago. Here is what I hear as of this weekend, with information still missing on a few late pilots.
Drama Lucky 7 may live up to its name. The blue-collar ensemble about gas station employees who win the lottery seemed a little off brand for ABC and its glitzy dramas. But I hear the project based on a British format, which hadn’t drawn much attention, came in above expectations, making it a contender in what’s shaping to be a very tight race. It’s tight because two slots have already been penciled in for Marvel‘s S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Once Upon A Time spinoff, whose early footage I hear ABC brass liked. Also boosted by corporate synergy is major contender Big Thunder, based on the Disney ride. Word is ABC may choose one of its two soapy pilots, Westside and Betrayal, with Westside having the edge at the moment. (However, Betrayal‘s David Zabel has two irons in the fire as he is also behind Lucky 7.) The gothic soap Gothica has cooled off a bit while high-concept The Returned, about deceased coming back to life as their old selves, is heating up after another great pilot directing performance by Charles McDougall who, in his typical fashion went over on filming days (by 4 I hear) but delivered a strong pilot. Among the character procedurals, Murder In Manhattan, Doubt, Killer Women and Influence all seem in the mix.
TNT Series ‘Dallas’, ‘Southland’, ‘Boston’s Finest’ & ‘Monday Mornings’ End Winter Runs With Their Fate Undecided
The two-hour second season finale of TNT‘s Dallas tonight promises to answer the question who killed J.R. But the bigger question is when TNT will decide the fate of its four winter original series, Dallas, drama Southland and docu-reality series Boston’s Finest, which end their seasons on Wednesday, and drama Monday Mornings, which wrapped its freshman season last Monday.
Of the four, only Dallas appears to be a slam dunk for renewal. Hurt by its relocation to Mondays, Dallas was down from its big opening last June when it earned a second-season renewal a couple of weeks into its run. But ratings have rebounded, fueled by the sudden death of star Larry Hagman. The episode, in which Hagman’s character J.R. was laid to rest, drew 3.6 million viewers, rising to 4.9 million in Live+7. Tonight’s finale also is expected to pull in solid ratings. With its pre-sold title, Dallas also has generated strong international sales for TNT sibling Warner Bros. TV, so a renewal is fully expected.
That can’t be said for another WBTV-produced drama, Southland, which is finishing its fifth season. The critically praised cop show has been a source of pride for TNT brass who …
Former Battlestar Galactica star Jamie Bamber has landed the lead in Sky1 HD’s upcoming eight-part series, The Smoke. Bamber, who also stars in TNT’s David E. Kelley medical drama Monday Mornings, will play a firefighter in the drama about the lives of a crew in a London fire station. Rhashan Stone (Strike Back) has also been cast along with Pippa Bennett-Warner and Taron Egerton. Written by Lucy Kirkwood (Skins), the series hails from Shine’s Kudos Film and Television. Production is gearing up in London for air in early 2014. Law & Order UK and Broadchurch‘s Jane Featherstone is exec producing with The Hour‘s Noelle Morris for Kudos. Anne Mensah is exec producer for Sky; Mike Barker (Silent Witness) is directing; Chris Fry (Mayday) is producer. Bamber is repped by Alan Siegel Entertainment, Paradigm and Independent Talent.
TNT has tweaked the premiere dates for four of the nine original series (scripted and unscripted) it is running this summer. The change is biggest for Franklin & Bash, whose third season will launch June 19 instead of the previously announced July 24. The show, starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Breckin Meyer and new female lead Heather Locklear, will start with a two-hour season opener. Other three series’ launch dates will be shifted by a week: The fourth season of Rizzoli & Isles and the second season of Perception will start June 25 instead of June 18, and new unscripted series Cold Justice will premiere September 3 instead of August 27.
It came from Ving Rhames on the final question from the panel for his new series, TNT‘s medical drama from David E. Kelley and Sanjay Gupta Monday Mornings, in which he plays a trauma surgeon. The question, addressed to him and neurosurgeon/CNN medical correspondent Gupta, on whose book the show is based, was whether trauma surgeons are different from other types of surgeons. Rhames took a different direction in his answer, giving thanks for his role, which got a little awkward toward the end. “One of the things I really love about this show is I think we just happen to be surgeons, but in reality deals with the human condition, the human experience, and for myself as an African American actor, it’s so well written and well rounded. We don’t get to see these type of images often as African American people, so I thank David E. Kelley, the writers, Sanjay Gupta. And I also thank, and I mean this in a respectful way, TNT for doing something on a level a bit above some of the Tyler Perry shows (which air on TNT sibling TBS). Thank you.”
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.
At today’s TCA panel on TNT’s new medical drama series Monday Mornings, executive producer David E. Kelley (Chicago Hope, The Practice, Doogie Howser M.D.) admitted reservations about a taking on another medical show. But he said he went back into the operating room because of the participation of neurosurgeon and co-executive producer Sanjay Gupta. The series is based on the book by Gupta. The surgeon also serves as CNN chief medical correspondent.
Kelley said the book made him realize that the show, whose large ensemble cast includes Ving Rhames, Bill Irwin, Alfred Molina and Emily Swallow (on the panel,) could offer “fertile story-telling ground”, adding: It only came to fruition when Sanjay agreed to stay with it. The book is what made me want to do the series, but I wanted to keep the voice that came with us. He assured me he would not abandon us, and stay with us”.
Angelique Cabral has booked a recurring role on the second season of ABC’s Don’t Trust The B—- In Apartment 23. She will play Fox Paris, a woman who is also a junior analyst at the financial firm where June (Drema Walker) has just been hired. Cabral, repped by Pakula/King and Karen Forman Management, is currently co-starring in the feature The Perfect Family with Emily Deschanel.
Maureen Sebastian has landed a potentially recurring role on the new NBC drama Revolution, playing the wife of Aaron (Zak Orth) in flashbacks. She is repped by Buchwald/Fortitude and manager Susan Yoo.
Wendy Crewson (Saving Hope, The Vow) has booked a recurring role on ABC’s Revenge, playing Helen, a powerful business executive. She is repped by Domain and manager Perry Zimel.
Tara Summers has been cast in a recurring role on FX’s Sons Of Anarchy. She will play Karen Dunhill, who is working alongside Tara (Maggie Siff). Summers also will recur on the TNT David E. Kelley drama Monday Mornings reprising …
EXCLUSIVE: Drama pilot Scent Of The Missing is not going forward at TNT. In May, the cable network picked up one of its four pilots, David E. Kelley’s Monday Mornings, to series and passed on another, Western Tin Star. At the time, TNT kept search-and-rescue drama Scent Of The Missing in contention, saying that it planned to shoot a few more procedural pilots and would make a decision after seeing all of them. While Scent Of The Missing is out of consideration, the network is proceeding with its plan — I hear it will film 2-3 pilots in the fall, one or two of them procedurals. The fourth pilot of the latest batch, Frank Darabount’s L.A. Noir, was a late order for TNT’s Sunday genre lineup. A decision on it is still pending though there has been strong pickup buzz on the period drama.
Executive produced by co-writers Carol Mendelsohn, Melissa R. Byer & Treena Hancock and Barry Josephson, Scent Of The Missing centers on Susannah (Tricia Helfer), a tenacious, strong-willed K-9 Search and Rescue volunteer who works with an equally determined partner — her mischievous golden retriever. Eric Winter and Summer Glau co-star.
NBC has pulled the plug on one of its most watched series, David E. Kelley‘s Harry’s Law starring Kathy Bates. The Oscar winner posted the news on Twitter. “Sad news today. Harry’s Law will not be renewed for a 3rd season. We are all terribly sad. Many thanks for all your support.” A rare TV series with a 60something as the lead, Harry’s Law defied the odds and, while very soft in the younger demo, drew eyeballs. This season it has been NBC’s second most-watched drama series with 8.8 million viewers, just a smidgen behind Smash, which had a Super Bowl-boosted launch and NBC’s biggest series, The Voice, as a lead-in. It has been a bittersweet week for Kelley who just got a series order at TNT for his new medical drama Monday Mornings.
Heading into its upfront presentation next week, TNT has greenlighted two new unscripted series: the police procedural docu-drama Boston Blue, executive produced by Blue Bloods co-star and Boston native Donnie Wahlberg, and competition series 72 Hours, from the executive producer of Extreme Makeover and The Moment Of Truth. TNT has ordered eight episodes of each series to launch next year.
EXCLUSIVE: In David E. Kelley’s first foray into cable, TNT has given a pilot order to a new medical drama from The Practice creator and CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Kelley wrote the script for the project, tentatively titled Chelsea General, based on Gupta’s upcoming novel Monday Mornings. Kelley and Gupta, who is a practicing neurosurgeon, are executive producing. “Chelsea General promises to be a smart, witty and extremely powerful medical drama, the kind of series David E. Kelley is renowned for making,” said Michael Wright, EVP and head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies. “We look forward to working with David and Sanjay in bringing the doctors’ fascinating stories and characters to television.”
Set to be published in March 2012, Gupta’s Monday Mornings is set at Chelsea General and follows the lives of five surgeons as they push the limits of their abilities and confront their personal and professional failings. The book uses as its backdrop the hospital’s Monday Morbidity and Mortality conference, considered the most secretive meeting in all of medicine, where doctors gather for a confidential review of complications and errors in patient care. The book takes a look at how surgeons come to terms with mistakes and try to learn from them.
Chelsea General is Kelley’s first project as a free agent. The Emmy-winning writer-producer opted not to renew his overall deal at Warner Bros. TV in May so he can pursue passion projects in different areas, including cable. This marks Kelley’s return to the medical genre 17 years after he created CBS’ Chicago Hope.