Dan Bucatinsky already acts on one Shonda Rhimes series (Scandal) and serves as a writer on another (Grey’s Anatomy). He now will try to expand Rhimes’ ABC portfolio with a new hourlong series. The network has bought Show & Tell, a dramedy from Bucatinsky and Rhimes’ Shondaland. Inspired by Bucatinsky’s book about parenthood, Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight?, Show & Tell is described as a fast-paced dramedy about the lives, loves, and scandalous secrets of a group of parents whose kids attend the same school. Bucatinsky is writing and will executive produce with Shondaland’s Rhimes and Betsy Beers. ABC Studios, where Shondaland is based, is producing what marks Shondaland’s fifth project this development season. Bucatinsky, repped by CAA and attorney Bob Myman, is nominated for an Emmy for his recurring role on Scandal as the long-suffering husband of Cyrus (Jeff Perry). Rhimes is with ICM Partners, Beers with UTA.
Lyndon Smith (90210) has been cast in a heavily recurring role on NBC’s family dramedy Parenthood. She will play Natalie, a fellow freshman in Drew’s (Miles Heizer) college class at Berkeley on whom Drew quickly develops a huge crush. Smith is with Main Title and Buchwald.
Harry Dean Stanton and Daniel Stern are set for appearances on HBO’s upcoming series Getting On, a U.S. version of the award-winning BBC Four medical comedy. Stanton will play Leonard Butler, a frail but feisty octogenarian who only has only one thing on his mind: sex with his girlfriend from his assisted living facility. Stern will play Richard James, husband to director of medicine Dr. Jenna James (Laurie Metcalf). Charming and erudite, but at times can be like a bull in a China shop.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Back in March, Craig T. Nelson, who stars as Zeek Braverman on the long-running NBC drama Parenthood, spoke out to Entertainment Tonight about how he felt his show was being underappreciated and poorly marketed and promoted by NBC. “There are all of these people responding to our show,” he said, “and NBC is completely out of it. They don’t promote the show, you don’t see anything about it out there. It’s like this hidden gem, but why are they ashamed of it?” Well, it seems someone at NBC listened, because there today was a TCA panel session promoting the forthcoming fifth season of the series — a rarity in the out-with-the-old, in-with-the-new world of the press tour. And this came after NBC had moved the show into the premium time period of Thursday nights at 10 PM beginning Sept. 26, concurrent with a full season renewal. So Nelson was asked if he felt at all vindicated to see the impact his words had on the NBC brass. “Well, I don’t know about that,” he cautioned. “I can just tell you that, you know, you get associated with a show that you love and a show you believe in, with a cast that’s just extraordinary, and you get frustrated with the fact it …
EXCLUSIVE: This is the news Parenthood fans had been waiting for — I’ve learned that Ray Romano has closed a deal to return to the quirky NBC dramedy next season, reprising his character as Sarah’s (Lauren Graham) boss/paramour Hank Rizzoli. I hear Romano will have a major presence, appearing in as many as 12-15 episodes, in line with the 14 episodes he did this season.
Parenthood‘s recent fourth season finale threw Hank’s future into question when Sarah turned down her handsome young fiancé Mark Cyr (Jason Ritter) for Hank, only to learn that Hank was moving to Minnesota to be near his daughter. I hear Romano’s decision to return stems from the great relationship he’d developed with Parenthood developer/executive producer Jason Katims working on the show, something he had enjoyed since joining the cast at the beginning of last season. The underrated Parenthood, which has been one of the most reliable NBC drama performers, is moving to the high-profile Thursday 10 PM slot this fall. Romano, repped by ICM Partners, Conversation Company and Jon Moonves, won an Emmy for his starring role on the CBS comedy Everybody Loves Raymond and co-created and starred on the praised TNT dramedy Men Of A Certain Age.
EXCLUSIVE: Shawn Levy’s ensemble comedy This Is Where I Leave You, about a dysfunctional family gathered at the funeral of its patriarch, has added Dax Shepard to the mix. He’ll play a popular Howard Stern-like radio shock jock opposite Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Jane Fonda, Timothy Olyphant, Ben Schwartz, Corey Stoll, Rose Byrne, Kathryn Hahn, and Adam Driver. Filming is underway in NYC on the novel adaptation, which is scripted by author Jonathan Tropper from his 2009 book. Shepard recently joined the cast of The Judge with Robert Downey Jr and is a regular on NBC‘s Parenthood. He’s repped by CAA and Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler & Feldman.
NBC’s 2013-14 Schedule: ‘Revolution’ Moves To Wednesday, ‘Parenthood’ To Thursday, ‘Blacklist’ Gets Post ‘Voice’ Slot
Family comedies and action dramas dominate NBC‘s new series additions for next season. NBC is introducing six series in the fall — comedies Welcome to the Family, Sean Saves the World, and The Michael J. Fox Show; and dramas The Blacklist, Ironside and Dracula; with five more set for midseason– comedies The Family Guide and About A Boy, and dramas Believe, Crisis and Crossbones. (Dracula and Crossbones were carried over from last upfront/off-season). Not scheduled yet are newly picked up dramas Chicago PD and The Night Shift and comedy Undateable as well as last-minute renewal Community. On the returning series side, missing from the announcement are long-time reality staple Celebrity Apprentice and well reviewed freshman drama Hannibal as NBC is yet to make a pickup decision on both. Here is NBC’s fall and midseason schedules with analysis and new series descriptions underneath. As expected, the network is spreading its launches between the fall and spring, tied to its Winter Olympics coverage:
NBC FALL 2013-14 SCHEDULE
(New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET)
8-10 p.m. – “The Voice”
10-11 p.m. – “THE BLACKLIST”
8-9 p.m. – “The Biggest Loser” (New Day and Time)
9-10 p.m. – “The Voice” (New time)
10-11 p.m. – “Chicago Fire” (New Day and Time)
8-9 p.m. – “Revolution” (New Day and Time)
9-10 p.m. – ”Law & Order: SVU”
10-11 p.m. – “IRONSIDE”
8-8:30 p.m. – “Parks and Recreation” (New time)
8:30-9 p.m. – “WELCOME TO THE FAMILY”
9-9:30 p.m. – “SEAN SAVES THE WORLD”
9:30-10 p.m. – “THE MICHAEL J. FOX SHOW”
10-11 p.m. – “Parenthood” (New Day and Time)
8-9 p.m. – “Dateline NBC”
9-10 p.m. – “Grimm”
10-11 p.m. – “DRACULA”
7:00-8:15 p.m. – “Football Night in America”
8:15-11:30 p.m. – “NBC Sunday Night Football”
NBC has handed the expected early renewals to its stronger drama series: freshmen Revolution and Chicago Fire as well as Parenthood, Grimm and veteran Law & Order: SVU. All have received full-season, 22-episode pickups. Missing from the drama list is recent addition Hannibal, which has dropped in the ratings the past two weeks after a solid start, and fellow midseason drama Deception. I hear NBC has not closed the door completely on Deception though a renewal appears unlikely. “On the verge of our 2013 fall scheduling decisions, we’re pleased to renew five drama series that will be important to our new-season lineup,” NBC’s entertainment president Jennifer Salke said. “We’re especially pleased to be renewing Revolution and Chicago Fire — two first-season successes — and there will be more returning series announcements made in the next couple of weeks.” Those announcements will no doubt include reality hit The Voice and veteran comedy Parks And Recreation, which are assured a return for next season. All the other NBC comedies are heavily on the bubble. Things look a little better for The New Normal, which just won a GLAAD Award and comes from top producer Ryan Murphy, with Matthew Perry starrer Go On also in contention. Meanwhile, cult favorite Community‘s future is cloudy, with the future of multi-camera entries Whitney and Guys With Kids also in limbo. NBC might keep one of the multi-cam sitcoms for continuity as it is likely to order at least one, the Sean Hayes/Victor Fresco project, and expanding NBC’s multi-camera footprint appears to be a priority for the network’s brass.
The renewal for Law & Order: SVU comes before the producers have secured the return of star Mariska Hargitay. Today’s announcement gives producer Dick Wolf two series on the NBC schedule next season, L&O: SVU and Chicago Fire. They could be joined by the proposed Chicago Fire spinoff. The renewal brings more good news for Grimm, which recently received a temporary time slot upgrade and The Voice lead-in. Here are details about NBC’s newly renewed dramas:
Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
At this evening’s PaleyFest panel on NBC’s Parenthood, the question on everyone’s mind was whether Parenthood will be around to make audiences bawl for a 5th season? Oddly, this question got punted to 15-year-old Max Burkholder, who gamely tried to answer. “I don’t think there’s any way to know, or anything to officially announce, but I’m definitely crossing my fingers.” According to the moderator, TVLine’s Michael Ausiello, some fingers are crossed already for Monica Potter to win an Emmy nod. Her character fought cancer this season. He offered that Potter portrayed “the C word, but now there’s talk that she might be a contender for the E word.” Pplot twists have included abortion, illness, autism and heartbreak, but an audience member stood up to show her bald head. She thanked the producer and cast for this season’s cancer story: “You brought the cameras into my life,” she said. Tissues had been distributed in advance to the audience because this extended-family drama from executive producer Jason Katims has a penchant for making people cry. (So did his Friday Night Lights.) The large Parenthood panel included Katims and cast members Craig T. Nelson, Peter Krause, Lauren Graham, Dax Shepard, Erika Christensen, Monica Potter, Sam Jaeger, Mae Whitman, Jason Ritter, Joy Bryant and young actors Miles Heizer and Burkholder.
Amazon.com’s expanded content licensing agreement with NBCUniversal Cable and New Media Distribution announced today adds hundreds of past episodes of NBC shows to Prime Instant Video, including Parks & Recreation, Parenthood, Friday Night Lights, Heroes and Battlestar Galactica. Prime members can stream the shows on Kindle Fire or compatible Amazon Instant Video devices, including iPad, Roku, Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3, according to the company. There are now a total of 22,000 movies and TV episodes that can be streamed through Amazon’s subscription service, which competes with other digital providers, including Netflix. Amazon Prime subscribers who pay a flat $79 fee can watch at no additional charge. Viewers who are not Amazon Prime subscribers may rent or purchase the shows at prices starting at $3.99.
Following his starring role on the TNT dramedy Men Of A Certain Age, which he also co-created, Ray Romano is staying in dramedy mode with an arc on the upcoming season of NBC’s Parenthood. He will play a photographer and former photojournalist who befriends Sarah (Lauren Graham) and complicates her relationship with Mark (Jason Ritter); his character will be introduced in the season premiere. Following the end of Men Of A Certain Age, Romano reunited with his Everybody Loves Raymond co-star Patricia Heaton in a two-episode guest stint on her ABC comedy series The Middle last fall.
NBC is bringing back two more series: dramedy Parenthood and comedy 30 Rock. As expected, the pickup of 30 Rock will be for a seventh and final season, and it is expected to be abbreviated one, consisting of 13-14 episodes. The two join previously renewed freshmen Grimm and Smash and veteran Law & Order: SVU.
Despite flying largely under the radar, thanks to a big DVR play Parenthood is actually NBC’s second-highest-rated drama only behind the Voice-boosted Smash, averaging a 2.6 18-49 rating in Live+7. Meanwhile, Tina Fey’s 30 Rock is the most acclaimed NBC series currently on the air with three best comedy series Emmys among other accolades. Still awaiting word are fellow bubble shows Up All Night, which is all but certain to return; Community; as well as Whitney and Harry’s Law, both about 50-50.
EXCLUSIVE: Parenthood Co-Executive Producer Sarah Watson has signed a two-year overall deal with Universal Television, the studio behind the NBC dramedy. This marks the first overall pact for Watson, who has been on Parenthood since day one, rising through the ranks from producer to co-executive producer. Keeping Watson in the fold was important to Parenthood executive producer/showrunner Jason Katims who has a new pilot, County, in consideration at NBC. Under her pact, Watson is expected to work on Parenthood if it is renewed for a fourth season, which appears likely, or County, if it is picked up to series. Additionally, UTA-repped Watson will embark on her first development.
RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Work It’ Drops 20% In Week 2; ‘Unforgettable’ Down; ‘Body Of Proof’ & ‘Parenthood’ Up
ABC’s yet-unscheduled Cougar Town should start warming up. The network’s cross-dressing comedy Work It (1.6/4) took a 20% dive in its second airing, pretty much sealing the fate of the critically panned series. Its lead-in, Last Man Standing (2.2/6), was down 8% from last week to tie its season low. At 9 PM, Celebrity Wife Swap (2.1/5) was flat, while Body Of Proof (1.6/4) perked up 7%.
CBS’ NCIS (4.1/11) was even with last week. NCIS: LA (3.4/8) was down 3%, while Unforgettable (2.2/6) dropped 15% to tie its series low. CBS (3.2/8 in 18-49, 16.3 million total viewers) won the night in 18-49 and total viewers, dominating every hour of primetime. NBC’s The Biggest Loser (2.4/6) was flat, while Parenthood (1.8/5) was up 6%. Fox aired reruns.
Good news for Parenthood — NBC has just picked up 2 more episodes of the family dramedy, which should bring the order for this season to 18. The news comes on the heels of Parenthood‘s most recent episode posting the only ratings increase on Tuesday night. Airing in the 10 PM hour, Parenthood logged a 2.2 rating in adults 18-49, up a tenth from last week.
Jason Katims specializes in heartstrings-tugging family shows, from the football clan he executive produced on DirecTV/NBC’s Friday Night Lights to the blood ties of the Bravermans he lays bare in NBC’s Parenthood. Both his two drama series followed feature films of the same name, both are low-rated despite a passionate and vocal fan base, and both have fought to be renewed each year. Friday Night Lights ended its fifth and final run recently, but Parenthood will start Season Three this fall. Now, Emmy voters could conceivably nominate both shows and cast members this year. Friday Night Lights received 2010 Emmy nods for Outstanding Drama Series and for stars Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton, so a posthumous award is very possible in 2011. Katims talks to Deadline TV Contributor Diane Haithman:
DEADLINE: Does Friday Night Lights have a shot at Emmy even though it’s cancelled?
JASON KATIMS: I really don’t know the answer to that. Let’s talk about getting nominated first. I do know that with the actors getting nominated last year, plus two additional nominations for casting and writing, we were shocked. Earlier in the run, when we were hearing all these Emmy rumors, I remember getting up at some ungodly hour to hear the live feed of the announcements. And of course we didn’t get any nominations. So I was really thrilled to see what happened last year, and I hope it will help in this final season to maybe have the show break through. It reminds me a lot of a Friday Night Lights episode about the final seconds of the game. It would honestly be more meaningful now after the series is over to have that kind of recognition.
DEADLINE: Do you thinks there’s any hope for Parenthood as an Emmy wild card?
KATIMS: I think so. As the show continued into its second season, I really noticed a change in the way critics and viewers were looking at the show. It has 15 series regular characters in it — probably twice as many as most shows — and it takes some time for the audience to get to know them and get comfortable with who they are and get to understand all the relationships. Once they have that, the enjoyment of the show really goes up so much. I also think if you look at our cast, Lauren Graham, Peter Krause, they are worthy of being recognized. We’ll see how far we get this year.