Ratings Rat Race: ‘Scandal’, ‘Parenthood’ & ‘Community’ Finales Up; ‘Crazy Ones’ Down

By | Friday April 18, 2014 @ 9:08am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

scandal-season-finaleOn a night of season finales, Scandal‘s closer dwarfed them all, drawing a 3.4 in adults 18-49 and 10.5 million total viewers Thursday. The twisty ABC drama was up 13% in 18-49 and 14% in viewers from last week to log its second highest numbers ever in both categories and the highest-rated finale to date.

Related: ‘Scandal’: Shonda Rhimes Whips Up Spoiler Storm With Season Finale

Against the Scandal closer, the season finale of NBC’s Parenthood (1.3) was up 18% from last week. But versus last year’s finale, which aired in January in nbclogothe series’ previous Tuesday 10 PM slot, it was down 24%. Community (1.0) also inched up in its season finale, up 11% from last Thursday. (Compared with last May’s finale, it was down 23%). The bumps help as both shows are being considered for (possibly partial) final-season orders. Community edged the only NBC comedy already assured a return next season, Parks And Recreation (0.9), which slipped a tenth (10%) from last week to hit a series low. Hollywood Game Night (0.9) was down 18% from its most recent original two weeks ago, also marking a series low.

Related: On The Bubble: Where Endangered Broadcast Series Stand

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David Hudgins Inks Overall Deal With Sony Pictures TV

By | Friday April 11, 2014 @ 12:20pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

DHudginsPicIn a competitive situation, Parenthood executive producer David Hudgins has signed an overall deal with Sony Pictures TV. Under the two-year pact, he will develop and potentially join existing studio projects. Hudgins is coming off a two-year overall deal at Universal TV where he worked on Jason Katims’ Parenthood, most recently as executive producer, in addition to developing a number of projects, including a legal drama that sold to CBS earlier this season. Before that, Hudgins worked on Friday Night Lights for the entire run of the series, serving as co-showrunner with Katims on the final season, which earned four Emmy nominations including best drama series. Hudgins, repped by WME and Bryan Wolf, previously created Fox’s short-lived drama Past Life and worked on the WB drama Everwood.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Shark Tank’ & ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Fall, ‘Scandal’ Steady, ‘Elementary’ Rises, ‘Reign’ & ‘Community’ Hit Lows

By | Friday April 11, 2014 @ 9:11am PDT

KERRY WASHINGTONLike last week’s announcement that David Letterman was retiring in 2015, yesterday’s news that Stephen Colbert would take over CBS’ Late Show overshadowed Thursday’s primetime as the big action on TV. But that didn’t mean there was a lot going on last night. With its penultimate episode before next week’s Season 3 finale, Scandal (3.0/9) not unexpectedly ramped it up with more tension and potentially explosive outcomes. The Shonda Rhimes-produced drama also bopped up 3% among adults 18-49 compared with last week’s season low. Lead-in Grey’s Anatomy (2.5/8) dipped 7% from its April 3 episode. With Once Upon A Time In Wonderland wrapped up for good last week, ABC kicked off its Thursday primetime with a special Shark Tank (1.6/6). The first of a two-nighter, the entrepreneurial reality series was down 20% from its last regular Friday airing on April 4 but gave ABC a six-month high in adults 18-49 for the 8 PM slot. With a 2.4/8 rating, ABC was tied with CBS for the 18-49 top spot, but the latter finished first in total viewers with 9.76 million. Read More »

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On The Bubble: Where Endangered Broadcast Series Stand

By | Wednesday April 9, 2014 @ 2:25pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

networklogosIt is very difficult for showrunners to wrap production on a season without knowing if their series would get another season. Unfortunately, that is the nature of the network business, and about two dozen shows go though that every year. Here is a look at each network’s comedy and drama series in peril and their odds for survival.

With all the drama carnage at ABC this season (Lucky 7, Betrayal, Killer Women, Mind Games, The Assets), the network is pretty lean on the hourlong side, and all shows currently on the air have a good shot at coming back. agents of shieldThat includes two freshman series, fall drama Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., despite slipping in the ratings, and midseason entry Resurrection. Of returning dramas, there is no doubt about renewals for Shonda Rhimes’ Grey’s Anatomy, especially with stars Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey signed on, and Scandal, as well as Castle and Once Upon A Time. While it was heavily on the bubble last season, country music drama Nashville appears in a stronger position this spring and looks likely to continue. And, despite its ratings erosion, Revenge remains a signature, upscale drama for ABC that the network also owns. Because of its heavy mythology with a revenge storyline that has been central to the show since the pilot, it is unlikely that ABC would abruptly end the series without giving it a final chapter to wrap things up.

Things are far murkier on the comedy side where there are three shoe-ins, anchors Modern Family and The Middle and freshman The Goldbergs. None of these hail from ABC’s sister studio, and building a steady comedy pipeline at ABC Studios has been important for the overall health of the company. There are three ABC Studios-produced comedy series on ABC at the moment, all on the bubble: freshmen Trophy Wife and Mixology and sophomore The Neighbors. The network will likely renew at least one comedy from its own studio. (Last year, it picked The Neighbors vs. 20th TV’s How To Live With Your Parents.) Of the three, Trophy Wife seems to have the biggest support and is the most promotable, with KATE SIMSES, ADAM CAMPBELLa star cast led by Malin Akerman and Bradley Whitford. But the name cast also makes Trophy Wife the most expensive, and its ratings are pretty soft. The Neighbors, which comes from prominent Disney writer Dan Fogelman, costs way less, and, while only doing so-so on Fridays, it could deliver something ABC Studios has not seen in a while: a third-year comedy. (Fogelman also has comedy pilot Galavant in the running at ABC.) Then there is Mixology, which has not done well behind Modern Family. It stands out with its unusual structure — set in a bar over the course of one night — it has quickly built a core fan base and has supporters at ABC. But relaunching a heavily serialized comedy in the fall four months after a brief midseason run would be a challenge and growing ratings for such a show with a continues storyline would be very difficult. ABC has a recent history of sticking with narrow, quirky relationship comedies like Happy Endings and Don’t Trust the B—- but all were eventually cancelled. 20th TV’s Last Man Standing starring Tim Allen is quietly wrapping its third season. It has done a decent job as a Friday 8 PM anchor and is ABC’s only multi-camera series. With several high-proile multi-camera pilots, the network could use Last Man Standing as a building block. (How about Allen paired with another comedy vet, Henry Winkler of The Winklers?). Read More »

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Mae Whitman To Star In High School Comedy ‘The DUFF’

By | Wednesday April 9, 2014 @ 11:07am PDT

Mae Whitman The DUFFParenthood‘s Mae Whitman is in negotiations to lead CBS Films comedy The DUFF, adapted from Kody Keplinger’s coming-of-age novel. She’ll star as Bianca, a 17-year-old girl who deals with the ignominy of being labeled the “designated ugly fat friend” of her social group by leading her fellow DUFFs in a scheme to overthrow the school’s evil queen, Madison. McG is producing via his Wonderland Sound and Vision banner alongside Mary Viola and Lane Shefter. CBS Films’ Alex Ginno and VP of Production Mark Ross are overseeing for the studio. Ari Sandel, who won an Oscar for the 2007 live-action short West Bank Story, is directing with filming set to begin this summer in Atlanta. Bandslam‘s Josh Cagan wrote the screenplay. Whitman is best known for playing Ann Veal on Arrested Development and most recently appeared on the big screen in The Perks of Being A Wallflower. She’s repped by ICM.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Wonderland’ Finale Down, ‘The Millers’ Surges, ‘Surviving Jack’ Slips & ‘Community’ Hits Series Low

132937_GROUP_FINALr2David Letterman’s announcement yesterday of his retirement was the big news in TV and certainly the end of an era for late night. However, in primetime, there was another end. Officially cancelled last week by ABC, limited run Once Upon A Time In Wonderland (0.9/3) wrapped its first and only season last night. Having debuted on October 10 last year with 1.7 rating among adults 18-49 and soon dipping below a 1.0, the fantasy drama spinoff of Once Upon A Time was down 10% from its result of last week. The rest of ABC’s night with dramas Grey’s Anatomy (2.6/7) and the ever intrigue-filled Scandal (2.8.9) saw the Shonda Rhimes-produced shows even and down 10% respectively from last week. That’s a season low tie for Scandal. Read More »

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Richard Dreyfuss To Co-Star In TBS Comedy Pilot ‘Your Family Or Mine’

By | Monday March 31, 2014 @ 11:48am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Richard Dreyfuss TBS Comedy Your Family Or MineEXCLUSIVE: Richard Dreyfuss has joined the TBS comedy pilot Your Family Or Mine, from Greg Malins, Sony Pictures TV and Fanfare. Based on a Keshet format, the show centers on Oliver and Kelli, who are living proof of the adage “When you marry someone, you don’t just marry them, you marry their whole family.” It is a family comedy with an unusual structure — each episode focuses on a different side of the family: one week featuring the couple dealing with Kelli’s family, the next spent with Oliver’s. Dreyfuss, repped by APA and The Schiff Co., will play Ricky, Oliver’s father, opposite JoBeth Williams’ Louis. This marks the first series-regular role for Oscar-winner Dreyfuss since his starring turn on the 2001 CBS drama The Education Of Max Bickford. Over the past decade he’s done arcs on Showtime’s Weeds and NBC’s Parenthood. He most recently wrapped Darren Aronofsky and Joel Viertel’s feature Zipper and was seen in Paranoia.

Related: 2014 TBS Pilots

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‘Once Upon A Time In Wonderland’ Officially Cancelled, Series Finale Airs Next Week

By | Friday March 28, 2014 @ 12:20pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Once Upon A Time In Wonderland CancelledUnlike other limited-run series this season like CBS’ Hostages and ABC’s Betrayal, which quietly finished their freshman runs with no hope of coming back, ABC is actually officially announcing that next week’s season finale of Once Upon A Time In Wonderland will be its series finale. The network’s most trusted utility player, Shark Tank, which was summoned in for repeat airings when The Assets and Lucky 7 were axed earlier this season, will air a special episode on April 10, after which repeats of Grey’s Anatomy will take over the Thursday 8 PM slot after that. Originally envisioned as a bridge between the fall and spring runs of mothership Once Upon A Time, Wonderland was instead fast-tracked for fall. That put additional pressure on the franchise creators to mount two complex, special effects-heavy productions simultaneously with little lead time — and possibly over-saturating the schedule with both series airing at the same time. (ABC brass have since admitted that that scheduling strategy was probably a mistake.) Wonderland opened with a disappointing 1.7 in adults 18-49 and quickly slipped below the 1.0 demo rating, most recently logging a 0.9 last night. It was originally eyed for an expanded limited run of as many as 17 episodes but, following its slow start, it ended up producing 13 episodes, all of which will have aired.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Surviving Jack’ Soft In Debut, ‘Vampire Diaries’ Hits Low, ‘Scandal’ & ‘Parenthood’ Rise

By | Friday March 28, 2014 @ 10:13am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

survivingjackIf launching drama series in midseason is hard, launching comedy series in midseason is daunting. Fox’s Surviving Jack was the latest example, debuting to a 1.3 in 18-49 and 5.1 million viewers at 9:30 PM last night despite mostly positive reviews based on the standout performance of star Chris Meloni. Surviving Jack followed American Idol (1.9), which, in its switch to half-hour result shows, tied last week’s series low. For comparison, at 8 PM, with no lead-in and scathing reviews, Fox’s fall comedy Dads premiered to a 2.1 fast national demo rating in September. American Idol and The X Factor have never been compatible lead-ins for comedies. The previous comedy series to launch behind Idol was the 2011 Breaking In, which opened with a 3.5 demo rating but on a 7.3 Idol 18-49 lead-in (Yes, Idol was pulling in that kind of numbers only three years ago) for a 48% retention. Surviving Jack‘s was 68%. At 8 PM, Hell’s Kitchen (1.8) was up a tenth from last week’s fast national. Read More »

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Sam Jaeger Enlists For ‘American Sniper’; Jon Tenney Joins ‘The Best Of Me’

By | Tuesday March 25, 2014 @ 7:29pm PDT

Sam JaegerSam Jaeger has joined the cast of Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper. The film stars Bradley Cooper as decorated marksman Chris Kyle, whose memoir American Sniper: The Autobiography Of The Most Lethal Sniper In U.S. Military History serves as the basis for the Warner Bros film. Village Roadshow is co-producing and co-financing. Jaeger will play Captain Martens, who welcomes Chris back to Iraq for his second tour of duty and is his commanding officer on his subsequent tour. Jaeger is a regular on NBC’s Parenthood and appeared in last year’s The Truth About Emanuel. He next will be seen in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice. Jaeger is repped by Greene & Associates and Circle of Confusion.

Jon TenneyJon Tenney has booked a role in The Best Of Me, Relativity’s adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel.The pic ttells the story of Dawson and Amanda, former high school sweethearts who find themselves reunited after 20 years apart when they return to their small town for the funeral of a beloved friend. Their reunion reignites the love they’ve never forgotten, but the duo find the very same forces that drove them apart before live on. Tenney plays Harvey, father of Amanda (played as a teenager by Liana Liberato and as an adult by Michelle Monaghan). Read More »

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Ratings Rat Race: ‘American Idol’ Hits New Low, ‘Reign’ Rises, ‘Scandal’ & ‘Grey’s’ Up

By | Friday March 21, 2014 @ 9:26am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

scandalRemember when Thursday was the biggest night on television with the top networks drawing 18-49 ratings in the double digits? That was all a distant memory last night. With CBS’ regular lineup led by The Big Bang Theory benched for NCAA basketball, the highest-rated broadcast network Thursday night was ABC with a 2.0 average in 18-49. Only two series — ABC dramas Grey’s Anatomy (2.4, up 0.1 from last week) and Scandal (2.9, +0.2) — crossed the 2.0 demo rating threshold.

Among those that didn’t was Fox’s American Idol (1.9), its first time ever below 2.0. The singing competition continued its downward spiral, off 14% from last Thursday and this Wednesday’s series low to a new series low. Its lead-in, Hell’s Kitchen (1.7), was down 11% in its second week. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Return & ‘Scandal’ Steady, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ & ‘Community’ Tie Lows, ‘Idol’ Even

By | Friday March 14, 2014 @ 9:16am PDT

HELL'S KITCHEN MARCH 13 DEBUTHe’s back and already it’s like Gordon Ramsay never left. The Season 12 premiere of Hell’s Kitchen (1.9/7) last night saw Fox’s favorite screaming cook return to train, torture and systematically eliminate another set of aspiring chefs. With a move from last year’s Tuesday debut to Thursday and down to one hour from the two-hour premiere last year, Hell’s Kitchen was basically steady last night compared with the Season 11 opener. Dipping just 5% from the 2.0/7 of March 12, 2013, HK actually saw a 4% bop up in viewership from last year to 5.3 million. However, last night was down 13% from the 2.2 rating of its two-hour Season 11 finale on July 25 last year — a Thursday. In another move announced last week for Thursdays on Fox, American Idol (2.2/6) shifted from 8 PM to the 9 PM slot previously occupied by the floundering Rake. The move was neither a benefit nor hindrance for the one-hour live results show as Idol was even with last’s week’s all-time low among the key demo. Overall, CBS won the night with a 2.5/8 rating and 10.60 million viewers.

Related: ‘Big Bang Theory’ Gets 3-Year Pickup

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NBC Schedules 10 Season Finales

By | Tuesday March 11, 2014 @ 3:34pm PDT

NBC_logoIt’s that time of year, when the TV viewers’ thoughts turn to plot wraps and cliffhangers. NBC today announced season-finale dates for 10 of its series.  The Voice will wrap with a two-hour edition on May 20, and Community‘s term ends April 17. On the drama side, the 2013-14 season of Parenthood also wraps April 17, The Blacklist checks off its last episode May 12, Chicago Fire goes out May 13, Revolution wraps May 14, Grimm’s story ends May 16, the Law And Order: SVU and Chicago P.D. shifts end May 21, and Hannibal‘s last meal is set for May 23. The network last month announced an April 24 date for its hourlong Parks And Recreation finale featuring Michelle Obama.

Related: 2014 NBC Pilots

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Nico Santos Joins ‘Mall Cop 2′; Adam Pally & Rosa Salazar Star In ‘Night Owls’; Patrick Fischler Cast In Beatty’s Howard Hughes Pic

By | Monday March 10, 2014 @ 8:20pm PDT

Nico SantosNico Santos has joined the cast of the Kevin James sequel Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. He will play Brian, the sassy receptionist at a Las Vegas hotel. Santos is a frequent panelist on Chelsea Lately and a regular on Night Crew. He recently signed a talent holding deal with CBS after the network’s Diversity Showcase in January. He is repped by Greene & Associates, manager Bernie Spektor and attorney Gregg Gelman

adam Pally Rosa SalazarAdam Pally and Rosa Salazar have been tapped to star in Night Owls, an indie dramedy from director Charles Hood. Pally plays as a workaholic who has a drunken one-night stand with a beautiful train wreck (Salazar) — who he discovers to his horror is his boss’ jilted ex-mistress. Pally is a regular on The Mindy Project and starred on Happy Endings. He appears in the upcoming feature comedy Search Party, as does Salazar, whose credits include Parenthood and American Horror Story. He is repped by CAA and 3 Arts; she is with Paradigm and Seven Summits Management.

Patrick FischlerPatrick Fischler has joined the cast of Warren Beatty’s untitled Howard Hughes project. He will play the director who is screen testing and casting Hughes’ love interest (Lily Collins). Martin Sheen was cast in the Read More »

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R.I.P. Sheila MacRae

By | Friday March 7, 2014 @ 4:32pm PST

Opening Night Of "A Catered Affair" - ArrivalsThe Honeymooners actress Sheila MacRae has died. The 93-year-old UK-born MacRae passed away March 6 , at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, NJ. She is best known to American audiences for her 4-year stint as Alice Kramden in the mid-’60s revival of The Honeymooners within The Jackie Gleason Show on CBS. In addition to her 1966-70 run as Ralph Kramden’s wife, MacRae was on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 with her then husband, singer Gordon MacRae, the night the Beatles debuted in America. The actress appeared on General Hospital in the 1960s and on NBC’s Parenthood TV series for the 1990-91 season. MacRae had a career on the stage as well in Guys and Dolls, Absurd Person Singular and other productions. One of her last acting appearance was in the one-women show An Evening With Sheila MacRae.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Scandal’, Grey’s Anatomy’ & ‘Crazy Ones’ Down, ‘Two & A Half Men’, ‘Elementary’ & ‘Reign’ Up, ‘Wonderland’ Returns Even

By | Friday March 7, 2014 @ 9:06am PST

KERRY WASHINGTONReturning strong last week after a long winter break, both ABC’s Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy took a hit last night. Back for the second week since its break, the Shonda Rhimes produced political intrigue series drew a 2.8/8 among adults 18-49 last night. That’s a sharp 18% drop from last week’s results. The Washington D.C.-based show was led in by Rhimes’ Seattle-based Grey’s, which also had returned on February 27. The medical drama pulled a 2.6/7 in the key demo – a 16% slide from last week. ABC started the night with the return of another show that had taken a long hiatus. Back with its first new show since December 12, 2013, Once Upon A Time In Wonderland (0.8/3) was even with that last original. That left the fantasy-drama tying a series low.
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Ratings Rat Race: Strong Return For ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ & ‘Scandal’; ‘American Idol’, ‘Rake’ Hit New Lows; Tweaked CBS Lineup Debuts

By | Friday February 28, 2014 @ 9:47am PST
Nellie Andreeva

tony-goldwyn-scandal-recap-abcThis is the much-needed good ratings news ABC had been desperately waiting for after the string of disastrous premieres for The Assets, Killer Women, Mind Games and most recently Mixology. It came courtesy of Shonda Rhimes, who’s become the network’s single most important producer. Both Rhimes dramas, Grey’s Anatomy (3.0) and Scandal (3.3), returned up from their two-and-a-half-month-long hiatuses, bringing a sigh of relief to ABC brass who took on a risky experiment by doing cable-style split seasons with a long break for all of their top serialized dramas this season. Grey’s Anatomy was up 11% from its last original on December 12, Scandal was up a tenth. That’s with virtually no lead-in as ABC aired a low-rated Oscar special at 8 PM (1.0).

Fox’s American Idol (2.3 in 18-49) was down a tenth from last week to hit an all-time demo low for a second consecutive Thursday. It ticked up in total viewers, from 9.2 million to 9.8 million. Rake (0.8) tumbled 20% from last week to a new series low en route to cancellation.

Related: The Challenges Of Dramas With Antihero Lead On Broadcast TV

CBS introduced its tweaked Thursday comedy lineup, with Two And A Half Men and The Crazy Ones switching time periods. Read More »

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Geoffrey Arend Joins CBS Drama Pilot ‘Madam Secretary’; Matt Lauria In ‘Navy St.’

By | Tuesday February 25, 2014 @ 5:42pm PST

arend1Body of Proof alum Geoffrey Arend has signed on as a series regular opposite Tea Leoni and Tim Daly in CBS’ drama pilot Madam Secretary, from creator/ep Barbara Hall, ep Morgan Freeman and CBS Studios. Written by Hall, the series explores the personal and professional life of a maverick female Secretary of State (Leoni) as she drives international diplomacy, wrangles office politics and balances a complex family life. Arend, repped by UTA and TGE, will play Matt, a speechwriter for Secretary of State McGill (Leoni). Lori McCreary and Tracy Mercer also exec produce.

Related: 2014 CBS Pilots

Friday Night Lights alum Matt Lauria has been tappedlauria2 for a starring role opposite Frank Grillo in DirecTV’s gritty drama series Navy St., returning to the satcaster where FNL ended its run. From Byron Balasco and Endemol Studios, the dark family drama is set against the backdrop of Navy Street, a Venice, CA-based mixed martial arts (MMA) gym owned by Alvey Henderson (Grillo), a former fighter who never made it big due to a drug addiction but is now sober. Lauria will play Ryan Revis, a world class athlete and UFC light heavyweight champion who is returning to the gym that made him a star from time in prison. Lauria, repped by WME and Gotham/Principal, recently recurred on Parenthood.

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Colton Dunn Joins NBC Pilot ‘The Pro’; Jonathan Tucker In DirecTV Series ‘Navy St.’

By | Tuesday February 11, 2014 @ 9:40am PST
Nellie Andreeva

dunnActor-writer Colton Dunn (Key & Peele) has been cast opposite Rob Lowe and Rob Riggle in NBC’s single-camera comedy pilot The Pro. Written by  Pete Huyck and Alex Gregory, The Pro centers on former tennis doubles champion “Big Ben” Bertrahm (Lowe), whose career flame-out and misguided investments have left him working as the pro at a tennis and golf club. Dunn will play Lewis, the head engineer and club bookie who fears a change in the status quo when successful and wealthy Bobby Welch (Riggle) arrives as the new tennis pro. Dunn, repped by Paradigm and Prinicpato-Young, has recurred on Parks And Recreation, The League and Burning Love. Read More »

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