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USA Network Unveils Drama Development Slate And Plans For Daytime

By | Thursday May 16, 2013 @ 8:45am PDT

USA Network unveiled its drama development slate today and said it will start production this summer on the pilot Horizon, the period genre drama from The Walking Dead producer Gale Anne Hurd that the network pushed in February. The new slate (see the full list below) includes Complications, the latest from Burn Notice‘s Matt Nix; the new Rob Thomas project Blanco County; and works from Doug Liman and David Semel. The news comes on the heels of the network’s newest original series, the Jeff Eastin-created Graceland, joining the summer drama schedule with a premiere set for June 6.

Related: USA Picks Up ‘Sirens’ And ‘Playing House’, Orders Half-Hour Pilot Read More »

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CBS Inks Library Deal For Hulu Plus

By | Monday November 5, 2012 @ 9:23am PST

Yes, the agreement brings CBS — the lone major network that doesn’t own a piece of Hulu — a little closer to the streaming enterprise. But not by much. The shows covered by the new deal come from CBS’ vault; they aren’t next day showings of current hits. Series being offered include Medium and CSI: Miami and golden oldies such as Star Trek, I Love Lucy and The Twilight Zone. Also, most of the shows are just being made available to people who subscribe to Hulu Plus, not to the free, ad-supported site. There’ll be some exceptions, but they’ll be announced later. Also, clips from Entertainment Tonight will be available on the free and paid sites beginning on the day they’re broadcast. This isn’t the first time that CBS has worked with Hulu: It provides programming for Hulu’s paid service in Japan, and CW — which is half-owned by CBS — has a deal with the service.

Here’s the release: Read More »

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Ken Sanzel Sells Modern-Day Robin Hood Drama, Chilean Format Adaptation To NBC

By | Monday October 8, 2012 @ 9:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Ken Sanzel is having a busy first development season at Universal TV, which he signed an overall deal in April. Sanzel has sold two drama projects to NBC, which he is writing and executive producing.

Hood reimagines Robin Hood as an Iraq War veteran-turned-outlaw in an Upstate NY county besieged by rapacious bankers and a corrupt, privatized police department.

Gen Mishima is based on a Chilean format created by created by Enrique Videla and Vladimir Rivera for Parox S.A. and TV Chile. Sergio Aguero, a producer focusing on Latin and international material who brought in the format, will executive produce the NBC adaptation with Sanzel. It centers on a journalist and a FBI agent who investigate an underground culture of a group of brilliant kids who were part of an experimental school training the next generation of leaders which burned down years ago.

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UPDATE: Julianna Margulies, David Krumholtz & CBS Pay Tribute To Tony Scott

By | Monday August 20, 2012 @ 10:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: Tributes to Tony Scott from the Hollywood community have been pouring in following the director-producer’s tragic death. They include remembrances by the stars of the TV series he produced: The Good Wife‘s Julianna Margulies and NumbersDavid Krumholtz. Numbers marked the first TV series for Ridley and Tony Scott’s Scott Free Prods. It was followed by CBS’ acclaimed legal drama The Good Wife, with the duo also behind The Pillars Of The Earth limited series and its sequel, World Without End, History’s Gettysburg special and the upcoming A&E miniseries Coma, which debuts in two weeks, on Labor Day. (There are no plans to shift the premiere date in light of Tony Scott’s passing.) CBS and CBS Studios, the network and studio behind both Numbers and The Good Wife, also issued a statement (below):

Related: Hammond On Tony Scott: An Appreciation

ER alumna Julianna Margulies scored a rare second successful TV series with The Good Wife, which has earned her an Emmy, a Golden Globe and a SAG Award. Here is her statement released to Deadline:

I was so deeply saddened to hear the news today of Tony Scott’s death.
I have had the pleasure of working with him for the past 4 years on The Good Wife and I couldn’t have asked for a  more wonderful producer. His kindness, intelligence and talent inspired all of us. We will miss him every

Read More »

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Hammond On Tony Scott: An Appreciation

Pete Hammond

It is doubly sad and ironic that action movie maestro Tony Scott would apparently choose to end his life by jumping from a bridge. This is the kind of scene you would more likely see because he was calling the shots from behind the camera – not the stuff of his life. The industry is going to have a very hard time accepting his death now or that there won’t be any more Tony Scott movies in the future. Even though he was 68 years old (an advanced age in youth-obsessed Hollywood), his career as a director, producer, and partner with brother Ridley was still so vital on all fronts. His career in fact seemed to reflect the name of his terrific final feature, Unstoppable (2010). To me, it seemed he was getting better, more accomplished, more defined with each passing year. What a shame we won’t see where he might have gone with the long-awaited sequel to his first major hit Top Gun (1986) 25-plus years after the first one. He was even hoping to tackle a remake of Sam Peckinpah’s classic western The Wild Bunch. Not sure if that was a good idea – but if anyone could have pulled it off, Scott probably could have.

Related: Tony Scott Jumped To Death From Bridge In Suicide

It was exactly one year ago, almost to the day, that I spoke to Scott and his brother Ridley about their enormously successful TV/film production company Scot Free … Read More »

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MyNetwork TV Unveils 2012-2013 Schedule

By | Monday June 11, 2012 @ 11:27am PDT

The Monday-Friday affiliate broadcaster has added former Fox series House, Numbers and USA Network’s White Collar to its fall lineup. They join fellow procedurals Law & Order: SVU, which it has aired for one season, and Monk, which is starting its third season. Here’s the full schedule: Read More »

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Neil Patrick Harris To Host Tony Awards Again

By | Tuesday April 3, 2012 @ 8:07am PDT
Mike Fleming

Tony Awards Host Neil Patrick HarrisNot sure how many Broadway fans will get the hockey reference, but Neil Patrick Harris has made it a hat trick and agreed to host the upcoming Tony Awards for the third time in four years. NPH is good at it, and it is nice that Broadway has stability on the hosting front. I’m already wondering what will happen late this year when AMPAS starts looking around again for an Oscar host. Billy Crystal certainly stopped the bleeding by stepping in after Eddie Murphy dropped out along with producer Brett Ratner, but Crystal’s usual schtick felt dated to me. Read More »

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CBS’ Weird Title Punctuation Obsession

By | Monday November 14, 2011 @ 8:08pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

It seems like CBS brass approach creating the titles of their shows the way they select their bank account passwords — by trying hard to assemble an unduplicatable sequence of letters and numbers. Consistently over the past years, the network has employed unusual (and rather annoying for writers) punctuation in their show titles. First it was Numb3rs, then $#*! My Dad Says and Hawaii Five-0, which the network insisted we spell with a zero instead of the letter “O”. And today came the announcement of CBS’ latest stump-the-keyboard series title, ¡Rob! That is the name of the network’s midseason comedy series starring Rob Schneider. The choice of punctuation is related to the series’ plot about a lifelong bachelor (Schneider) who marries into a tight-knit Mexican-American family. Still, can we keep the quirkiness and whimsy in the shows and off their titles, por favor?

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UTA Signs Showrunner Ken Sanzel

By | Thursday October 20, 2011 @ 6:57am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Veteran showrunner Ken Sanzel has signed with UTA, where he will be represented by a team of agents in TV and film. He was most recently at WME. The former New York City cop, who was a member of the Decoy Squad in the NYC Transit Police Department, serves as executive producer/showrunner on CBS’ midseason drama The 2-2, executive produced by Robert De Niro. Before that, Sanzel spent several years as executive producer/showrunner on CBS’ long-running drama Numbers and did a brief stint at the helm of another CBS drama, Blue Bloods. Sanzel continues to be managed by Jeff Field of Field Entertainment and attorneys Bob Wallerstein and Ryan Nord.

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Gersh Signs David Krumholtz

By | Tuesday October 11, 2011 @ 7:09am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Actor David Krumholtz has signed with Gersh. This marks Krumholtz’s return to the agency where he had been a long-time client. He was recently at CAA. Krumholtz co-starred on NBC’s short-lived drama series The Playboy Club and is already fielding new pilot/series offers following the period drama’s cancellation last week. Krumholtz previously starred on the long-running CBS procedural Numb3rs, a role he landed while at Gersh. On the feature side he will next be seen in A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, reprising his role as Goldstein from the previous 2 movies in the franchise. Krumholtz will continue to be repped by Jeff Golenberg at The Collective and attorney Warren Dern.

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SURPRISE! Holdout CBS To Deliver Content To Hulu – But Only For Japan Market

By | Thursday September 1, 2011 @ 6:09am PDT

This is big news for whichever Big Media corporation ultimately buys Hulu now that bids are in for the online TV service. Until now Hulu’s content providers have been limited to mostly NBCUniversal, News Corporation, and The Walt Disney Company. CBS has long been rumored to join, but today boss Les Moonves announced he was dipping a toe into the enterprise instead of jumping in fully. Back in June, insiders told me that reports claiming holdout CBS was joining Hulu as soon as this fall on a non-exclusive basis were “overblown”. But there were talks going on between CBS with Hulu, which also has been in talks with Viacom and Time Warner for a paid subscription service. Hulu in Japan is the Company’s first international expansion but the service also has an office in Beijing:

NEW YORK and TOKYO– CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS. A and CBS) and Hulu today announced a multi-year, non-exclusive licensing agreement that will enable certain television shows from across CBS Corporation to be streamed instantly by subscribers to Hulu’s new subscription-only service in Japan.

Under this new deal, Hulu subscribers in Japan will have access to previous seasons of CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION, CSI: MIAMI, CSI: NY, NCIS and The CW’s “90210,” as well as a broad range of library programming including “Numb3rs,” “Star Trek” and “TwinPeaks.”

“We’re thrilled to have CBS’s world class content be part of Hulu’s first international market and their new venture in

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CBS Shows To Run North And South Of The Border On Netflix

By | Wednesday July 27, 2011 @ 7:10am PDT

CBS chief Les Moonves has said that his company would work with Netflix in other countries. Still, this deal confirms “CBS’ ability to successfully monetize its library,” says Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker, who forecasts it will add 6 cents to CBS’ earnings per share beginning next year.

NEW YORK and BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – July 27, 2011 — CBS Corporation [NYSE: CBS.A and CBS] and Netflix, Inc. [Nasdaq: NFLX] today announced a two-year, non-exclusive international licensing agreement that will enable certain television shows from across CBS Corporation to be streamed instantly to Netflix subscribers in Canada and Latin America. The agreement follows a separate domestic deal announced between the two companies in February. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Beginning in September, and for only $7.99 a month, Netflix members in Canada will be able to enjoy both the current and complete back seasons for CW hit “90210,” as well as past seasons of critically lauded fan favorites from SHOWTIME such as “Californication,” “Dexter,” and “The United States of Tara.” Canadian members will also have access to a broad range of CBS library programming, including “Numb3rs,” “Sleeper Cell,” and “Twin Peaks.”

Netflix announced in early July that it would be launching in 43 countries across Mexico, South America and the Caribbean later this year. Under this new deal with CBS, previous seasons of series, including “90210,” “Medium,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Californication” and “Dexter,” will be available for Latin American members to watch instantly, as will a broad range of library titles, including the original “Star Trek,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Charmed,” and “Twin Peaks.”

Read More »

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CBS Licenses 2,000 TV Episodes To Amazon Streaming Service

By | Wednesday July 20, 2011 @ 6:31am PDT

Look out Netflix…The deal brings old series including Star Trek, Frasier, and Cheers to Amazon Prime, increasing its library of streamable movies and TV shows to 8,000. Although the companies aren’t talking about the terms, Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker says it’s a “big positive” for CBS. Unlike the two-year deal that CBS cut with Netflix in February, she says the arrangement with Amazon probably just runs for 18 months and would include a payment for each subscriber as well an upfront fee. “These differences make a lot of sense to us given that Amazon is still in a ‘build-out’ phase when it comes to its streaming TV offering,” Ryvicker says in a report. The bottom line: She expects CBS to see $100M in revenue, most of it early in 2012.

Here’s the release about CBS’ deal with Amazon:


NEW YORK and SEATTLE – July 20, 2011 — CBS Corporation [NYSE: CBS.A and CBS] and [NASDAQ: AMZN] today announced a non-exclusive licensing agreement that will enable Amazon customers to stream television shows from CBS’s vast library. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

 Amazon Prime customers will be able to instantly watch thousands of episodes from the CBS library at no additional cost to their membership. With the deal, Amazon will add 2,000 episodes to grow the total number of Prime instant videos to more than 8,000 movies and television shows, and offer full seasons for 18 popular television

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NBC Unveils 2011-2012 Primetime Schedule

By | Sunday May 15, 2011 @ 10:45am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

NBC is introducing 12 new series next season — six dramas, including acquisition The Firm, and six new comedies. As we predicted, the network is planning a splash in midseason by holding one of its biggest new shows, Smash, to launch in January with freshman hit The Voice. NBC has put six new series — dramas The Playboy Club, Prime Suspect and Grimm and comedies Up All Night, Free Agents and Whitney — on the fall schedule and has slots reserved for Smash and The Firm in midseason. Drama Awake and comedies Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea; Bent and BFF have yet to be scheduled. For analysis of the schedule, including NBC chief Bob Greenblatt talking the rational behind some key scheduling decisions and the reasons to renew Chuck and cancel Law & Order: Los Angeles, read Analysis Of NBC Schedule: Bob Greenblatt On Renewing ‘Chuck’ & Canceling ‘LOLA’. You can see previews of all new series here.

NBC FALL 2011-12 SCHEDULE (New programs in UPPER CASE)
8-10 p.m. – The Sing-Off
10-11 p.m. – THE PLAYBOY CLUB

8-10 p.m. – The Biggest Loser
10-11 p.m. – Parenthood

8-8:30 p.m. – UP ALL NIGHT
8:30-9 p.m. – FREE AGENTS
9-10 p.m. — Harry’s Law
10-11 p.m. — Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

8-8:30 p.m. – Community
8:30-9 p.m. — Parks and Recreation
9-9:30 p.m. – The Office
9:30-10 p.m. – WHITNEY
10-11 p.m. – PRIME SUSPECT

8-9 p.m. – Chuck
9-10 p.m. – GRIMM
10-11 p.m. – Dateline NBC

Encore programming

7- 8:15 p.m. — Football Night in America
8:15-11:30 p.m. — NBC Sunday Night Football

7-8 p.m. – Dateline NBC
8-10 p.m. – The Celebrity Apprentice
10-11 p.m. – THE FIRM

8-10 p.m. – The Voice
10-11 p.m. – SMASH

Here is NBC’s release with descriptions of all new series: Read More »

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MORE TURMOIL: ‘Blue Bloods’ Creators Exit

By | Friday April 22, 2011 @ 5:30pm PDT

EXCLUSIVE: This is why so many Hollywood creatives don’t understand the decisions of the networks and the Big Media corporations who run them. Because here’s a show that’s doing well in its primetime slot. And just a few days ago, freshman drama Blue Bloods was praised by Armando Nunez, president of CBS Studios International. “It’s perhaps not as sexy to talk about, but it has proven a success both on the network and in terms of global distribution,” he said. It tops the charts of how this season’s freshman shows have performed, with Blue Bloods sold around the world not just to tiny channels but to big ones like Sky Atlantic in the UK, Australia’s Network Ten, and Discovery Latin America. So what do CBS and CBS Studios and its executive producer Leonard Goldberg, who also happens to be a CBS Corporation board member, do? They exit the show’s creators Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green (formerly of The Sopranos). Because I’m told Goldberg and the network think the show needs be “more procedural.” As if CBS doesn’t already have procedural shows coming out of its wazoo. And this latest firing comes nine months ago after then-showrunner Ken Sanzel exited the CBS series because of creative tensions with Tom Selleck over scripts that the actor felt were too procedural.

Of course, it’s a ridiculous conflict of interest for Goldberg to both be on the CBS Corp board and to be running one of its shows. … Read More »

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Showrunner Ken Sanzel Exits ‘Blue Bloods’ After Creative Tension With Tom Selleck

EXCLUSIVE: I learned this morning that Tom Selleck hasn’t been accepting the scripts which CBS’ Blue Bloods executive producer Ken Sanzel has been giving him. So a standoff developed over character vs procedural visions for the series, summarized to me as “creative tension”. By midday, Sanzel was still staying with the show. No more. Insiders just emailed me that the former New York cop told the staff late today that he is leaving. There’s no exit date yet. “He’s a stand-up guy; he won’t leave the network or studio hanging,” a network source explains. “Simply creative differences. It happens. He was brought in after the pilot as a showrunner to set the show up. We often do this for pilots picked up to series that have great writers but who haven’t run shows before.” Now, to replace Sanzel, Selleck wants to find ”his guy” who must also meet with studio/network approval. Unfortunately this turmoil is especially embarrassing because it’s executive produced by Leonard Goldberg, a CBS Corporation board member.

Sanzel, a longtime Numb3rs showrunner, was handpicked by CBS and CBS Studios to executive produce with creators Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green, who continue with the show. ”Ken is a real take-charge tough guy and everyone knows it. They begged  him to take the show. He was reluctant to do it. And Selleck was not crazy to have Ken imposed on hm. But Ken was doing the network bidding thanklessly,” an insider tells me. Sanzel’s vision was for a compelling crime procedural, whereas Selleck wanted softer character exploration. Sanzel knew the network was behind him. But Selleck wanted to be in charge of the show.  “Too many cooks,” one of my insiders explains. “They love him at CBS. But Selleck realized it’s not the show he thought he was in. Ken calls Nina Tassler and says, ‘What do you want to do?’ And she says, ‘Let me talk to Tom.’” Today, it became clear to me it was just a matter of hours before Sanzel left the show. ”Not bail on them in one day. Just saunter off peacefully,” a source tells me. “If we were to count up every single show where there’s creative friction between actors and producers, we’d have a number like the census bureau.” Read More »

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Full Series Rankings For The 2009-10 Broadcast Season

By | Thursday May 27, 2010 @ 11:49pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

I’ve been doing complete season listings of all broadcast series ranked by adults 18-49 rating and total viewer average for years, and a lot of people in the TV industry have told me they find them very helpful. So here they are: the series rankers for the 2009-10 season in adults 18-49 and total viewers (scroll down for that). A few fun facts from the lists: The highest-rated new series this past season: CBS’ Undercover Boss. The highest-rated new scripted series: Fox’s Glee (in 18-49) and CBS’ NCIS: LA (in total viewers). The highest-rated series to get canceled: Fox’s 24. The lowest-rated scripted series to get renewed on the Big 4 networks: CBS’ Medium (in 18-49) and NBC’s Parks & Recreation (in total viewers).

2009-10 SERIES RANKER IN ADULTS 18-49 (rating/share) Live +7






Read More »

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Ken Sanzel To Run CBS’ ‘Blue Bloods’

By | Monday May 24, 2010 @ 5:23pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Longtime Numbers showrunner Ken Sanzel is coming on board CBS’ new cop drama *Sep 12 - 00:03*series Blue Bloods as showrunner. He is finalizing a deal to executive produce with creators Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green, who will continue to write and be very involved in the show, as well as Leonard Goldberg. Coincidentally, the Tom Selleck-starring Blue Bloods, about a multi-generational family of New York cops, is set to inherit Numbers’ Friday 10 PM time slot this fall. And Sanzel himself was a New York cop before becoming a writer. CBS traditionally teams the creators of its newly picked up series who have limited showrunner experience with seasoned showrunners after the pilot. Last year, it tapped Dee Johnson to run The Good Wife. She exited after the original 13-episode order was completed, with co-creators/executive producers Michelle and Robert King taking over showrunner duties. WME-repped Sanzel, who executive produced and ran Numbers for most of the crime procedural’s six-season run on CBS, is under an overall deal at CBS Studios, which produces Blue Bloods. This development season, he wrote, directed and executive produced the CW pilot presentation Nomads, which, along with medical drama presentation HMS, remains in contention for a midseason order.

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ABC Announces 2010-11 Schedule

By | Tuesday May 18, 2010 @ 5:34am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

When Will ‘V’ Come Back? Where Will ‘Off The Map’ Launch? More About ABC’s Schedule

New series for the 2010-11 season are Better Together, Body of Proof, Detroit 1-8-7, Happy Endings, Mr. Sunshine, My Generation (form. Generation Y), No Ordinary Family, Off the Map, Secret Millionaire, which ABC picked up after an initial run on Fox, and The Whole Truth.

America’s Funniest Home Videos, The Bachelor, Brothers & Sisters, Dancing with the Stars, Desperate Housewives, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Supernanny, V and 20/20 join previously announced returning series Castle, Cougar Town, The Middle and Modern Family. Saturday Night College Football also returns. The network is yet to make pickup decisions on three other unscripted series, veteran Wife Swap, Shark Tank and recent entry Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.

Held for midseason are new drama Off The Map, new comedies Mr. Sunshine and Happy Endings as well as returning drama V and veteran reality series Supernanny.

(New shows in bold)


8:00 p.m. Dancing with the Stars

10:00 p.m. Castle


8:00 p.m. No Ordinary Family

9:00 p.m. Dancing with the Stars the Results Show

10:00 p.m. Detroit 1-8-7


8:00 p.m. The Middle

8:30 p.m. Better Together

9:00 p.m. Modern Family

9:30 p.m. Cougar Town

10:00 p.m. The Whole Truth


8:00 p.m. My Generation

9:00 p.m. Grey’s Anatomy

10:00 p.m. Private Practice


8:00 p.m. Secret Millionaire

9:00 p.m. Body of Proof

10:00 p.m. 20/20


8:00 p.m. Saturday Night College Football


7:00 p.m. America’s Funniest Home Videos

8:00 p.m. Extreme Makeover: Home

Read More »

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