The former West Wing star didn’t mince words, even if they were obviously in jest. In an appearance on the Late Show With David Letterman set to run tonight, Rob Lowe told Dave that the real reason both he and Rashida Jones are splitting NBC‘s Parks & Recreation later this season is because “Amy Poehler has deeply offended both of us.” Lowe then went on to call the past and future Golden Globes co-host “a prick.” Of course, Letterman wasn’t buying it. He responded with – just watch the clip, you’ll see:
FXX hasn’t really unveiled itself — the FX comedy-network spinoff debuts originals of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, The League and late-night strip Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell launch tomorrow night — but the network’s already talking about its Labor Day Warmup numbers. Seems that when you used to be Fox Soccer Channel, even a lobotomizingly long 7 AM-to-midnight Parks & Recreation rerun marathon, followed by a two-hour Mad About You exhumation. will churn up enough viewers to generate gimongous ratings percent increases. This also serves to explain why reporting percent increases so often can be a mug’s game.
Paced by its Parks & Rec marathon, FXX posted primetime gains of 860% in adults 18-34 compared with September 2012 averages. And by 860% we mean 48,000 viewers instead of 5,000. In total viewers, FXX’s Find This Channel Labor Day rerun marathon coughed up a slightly less impressive 108% increase, from 39,000 soccer viewers to 81,000 Parks & Rec-aholics.
Comparing Labor Day to Labor Day, the results are even more stupendous: For Total Day, FXX posted gains of 1,850% in 18-49 compared to Fox Soccer Channel. In fairness, Fox Soccer Channel only averaged 2,000 viewers last Labor Day. FXX’s comedy retread-a-thon logged 54,000 viewers.
Moral of this story? It’s good to be the former Fox Soccer Channel.
She is one of the hottest TV stars at the moment. In her first gig on a U.S. comedy series, Orphan Black leading lady Tatiana Maslany has booked an arc on NBC’s Parks & Recreation, playing a love interest for Tom (Aziz Ansari). Canadian-born Maslany, repped by Resolution and Characters Talent Agency, recently won the Critics Choice TV Award for best drama actress and the TCA drama acting award for her role on BBC America’s clone drama Orphan Black.
NBC‘s Parks & Recreation may have been renewed for 22 episodes, but two of its co-stars, Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones, are only staying for the first 13. Lowe and Jones are set to exit the off-beat comedy halfway through Parks & Recreation‘s upcoming sixth season. I hear NBC is looking to keep Lowe in the fold, finalizing a development deal with an actor for a potential new series. Meanwhile, Jones has been ramping up her producing career, setting her production company with Will McCormack at Warner Bros. TV and tapping Wonderland Sound and Vision’s Jeff Grosvenor to run it. Jones was the first actor to join Amy Poehler on Parks & Rec (then still perceived to be an Office spinoff). Lowe, who next stars in National Geographic’s Killing Kennedy, joined as a guest star at the end of Season 2. Their characters share a storyline on the show — they’re having a baby. The duo’s departure was first reported by Buzzfeed. Season 6 of Parks & Recreation launches on September 26 with the daunting task of its hour-long premiere facing the hour-long season opener of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory.
UPDATE: NBC’s ‘Guys With Kids’, ‘Up All Night’, ‘Whitney’ & ’1600 Penn’ Cancelled, ‘Parks & Recreation’ Renewed
2ND UPDATE, 2:45 PM: More cleanup at NBC. Freshman comedy Guys With Kids and sophomore Up All Night also are gone. It comes down to Go On, The New Normal and Community on the comedy side, on which NBC is yet to make a decision… Hannibal looks promising on the drama side, and people are cautiously optimistic about Community among half-hours. The cancellation of both Whitney and Guys With Kids means that NBC won’t have an existing multi-camera companion for the only multi-cam new comedy series it has picked up so far, Sean Saves The World. It may be paired with another multi-cam comedy project that is awaiting word on a pickup, pilot Undateable. As for Up All Night, the cancellation is a formality as the series died when the plan to convert it from a single- to multi-camera format fell apart. The axing gives CBS the free and clear to pickup its untitled Greg Garcia comedy pilot, starring Up All Night‘s Will Arnett, to series.
Related: NBC’s New Series Pickups
UPDATE, 1:58 PM: The axe has begun to fall on NBC’s bubble comedies: Whitney and 1600 Penn. The cancellation of Whitney frees up two comedy pilots to get series orders — NBC’s Undateable, which stars Whitney‘s Chris D’Elia, and CBS’ Friends With Better Lives, which stars Zoe Lister Jones. Whitney has been a lightning rod since its launch, drawing polarizing reactions and getting mostly panned by critics. It started off OK in the ratings last season but gradually fizzled. It returned late last fall and did decent business on Wednesday but its long-term prospects remained dim. Not much to say about freshman 1600 Penn, whose cancellation was a mere formality after a dismal midseason run.
RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Zero Hour’ Falls, ‘Vampire Diaries’ Up, ‘Idol’ Rises, ‘Parks & Recreation’ And ‘Community’ Hit Lows
The second week of ABC’s Zero Hour (1.1/3) saw nightmares of Nazis, more secrets revealed and the Book of Revelation consulted. The new conspiracy drama also the ratings spiral downward. Coming off the lowest-rated in-season debut ever for a scripted show on ABC, the Anthony Edwards show fell 21% from last week. With a 1.3/4, the CW’s 8 PM The Vampire Diaries actually beat both Zero Hour and NBC’s Community (1.1/3) and the 8:30 PM Parks And Recreation (1.3/4) among the key 18-49 demographic for the hour. The CW show was up a strong 30% from last week while the NBC comedies were down 8% and 13% from last week respectively. Thursday also saw series’ lows for both NBC comedies. Beauty And The Beast (0.6/1) was also up on the CW. The show rose 20% from last week’s 0.5/1 fast nationals.
The Vice President’s cameo on the NBC comedy aired last night, and it looks like he got dangerously close to his first on-screen kiss (save all those campaign appearances with wife Jill, that is). There was no Joe Biden bump for Parks And Recreation in the ratings, though — the show drew a 1.7/4 and was flat with last week.
UPDATE: Whitney now has also been officially picked up. The order for Parks & Rec is for a full-season 22 episodes. No definitive word on the size of the orders for the two freshmen shows yet, but they may be for 13 episodes in line with Community. UPDATE: Up All Night star Christina Applegate indicated on her Twitter feed that the show’s order is indeed for 13 episodes.
PREVIOUS: NBC has resumed the renewal of comedy series with the pickups of Parks & Recreation and Up All Night for season five and two, respectively. There is talk that freshman Whitney also is getting renewed but no confirmation on that yet. And still no renewal for NBC’s flagship comedy series The Office. Up All Night co-executive producer, Everybody Loves Raymond veteran Tucker Cawley, is expected to be upped to executive producer/showrunner on the family/workplace comedy for Season 2, succeeding Jon Pollack, who left to join new NBC comedy series Go On as co-executive producer. Cawley is with CAA.
While Fox wrapped its new series pickups and existing series renewals within a couple of hours yesterday, for NBC, whose upfront presentation is on the same day as Fox, it has become a week-long ordeal. After early series pickup of comedy Go On and renewals of Grimm and Smash last month, the network began its orders/renewals in earnest on Monday morning. Four days later, it’s still nowhere near done.
NBC’s highest-rated comedy series, The Office, is yet to get a renewal. (With stars Ed Helms, John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer poised to return that now appears imminent.) The fate of NBC’s second most watched drama series, Harry’s Law (8.8 million viewers, only a fraction behind the Voice-boosted Smash with 9.0 million), is hanging in the balance. There’s no word on Parks & Recreation, Up All Night and Whitney. The Office, Parks & Recreation and Up All Night are all fully expected to return, and I hear their renewals may be done in one fell swoop. Buzz is also encouraging on Harry’s Law, which I hear is eyed for a potential 13-episode midseason order. The multi-camera Whitney is on the fence but not dead as the sole multi-camera comedy series picked up for next season so far, newbie Guys With Kids, is still looking for a companion.
Which brings us to the NBC pilots. Word is the network has not officially released those that haven’t been picked up despite speculation that it is pretty much done with its orders. That includes two of NBC’s highest-testing and well-received pilots, the multi-camera comedies Daddy’s Girls and Lady Friends, which had been in limbo but presumed dead. (Will ABC or CBS make a play for them?) On the drama side, none of the pilots that have not been picked up already seem to be in contention anymore.
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TV coverage.
NBC’s quirky comedy Parks And Recreation, which just wrapped production on its fourth season over the weekend, shot two versions of the season finale. It is not a case of the producers prepping both a season and a series finale as NBC is yet to make a renewal decision on the comedy starring Amy Poehler but a creative decision tied to this season’s story arc. A major focus of the ongoing season of Parks and Recreation has been the city council campaign of Leslie Knope (Poehler), a deliberate parallel to the presidential election year. At tonight’s PaleyFest panel featuring cast members and producers of the show, co-creator/executive producer Michael Schur revealed that the production team shot two versions of the season finale: In one, Leslie wins the election. In the other, she loses.
It was partly “in case we changed our minds,” and partly to throw outsiders “off the scent.” Schur said, adding that there were some 200 baffled extras on the set who were told to whoop it up to celebrate Leslie’s win, then change the mood when “we did the same scene but she lost.” Schur confirmed that the season will not end it a cliffhanger, but he would not reveal which scene will air. “No one outside the production really knows,” he said. Poehler added that both the acceptance speech and the concession speech were touching for her and “brought on …
Kathryn Hahn, the female lead of NBC’s short-lived comedy series Free Agents, is staying at the network with a four-episode arc on Parks and Recreation. She will play the campaign manager of Amy’s (Amy Poehler) opposition in the election. Hahn is repped by Gersh and Brillstein Entertainment.
Nora Zehetner is set to recur on another series, USA’s upcoming buddy-cop dramedy Common Law, about butting detectives Travis (Michael Ealy) and Wes (Warren Kole) ordered to attend couples therapy. She will play a pretty and offbeat female detective fresh out of training at Quantico and the new head of the digital technology unit. She’s immune to Travis’ flirty charms but is impressed by Wes. Zehetner, repped by APA and the Schiff Co, has recurred on Grey’s Anatomy, Mad Men and Heroes.
Deadline TV contributor Diane Haithman files this report:
NBC’s Parks And Recreation, which stars Amy Poehler as a small town public servant, has a sterling pedigree for an Emmy. It was created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, who respectively are the creator and creative team member for NBC’s multi-award-winning veteran comedy The Office. And The Office was adapted by Daniels from the popular BBC series created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, who join Daniels as executive producers of the U.S. version.
But there’s a downside to being part of this royal family. While The Office has been crowned with the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, Parks And Recreation has not. Poehler was nominated in 2010 but did not win. Plus, out of the box, the show had to live down comparisons to The Office ever since the newer series came on the TV landscape in April 2009. It even airs in the Thursday 9:30 p.m. time slot just after The Office — which won for Outstanding Comedy in 2006 and which in turn follows 30 Rock, which took the crown in 2007, 2008, and 2009. Yet, even as a direct descendent of Emmy-winners, Parks And Recreation remains a commoner, like Kate Middleton before Prince William handed her the wedding ring.
Mike Schur has shared in The Office’s Emmy success, but Parks And Recreation is his own offspring. Nevertheless, he has to constantly correct the popular misconception that Parks and Recreation is an Office spinoff. That’s because the newer show was originally intended to be a spinoff, but then developed with its own original concept. But Schur says the real inspiration for Parks and Recreation came from another multiple-Emmy winner. “I was a huge West Wing fan, and I thought maybe we could think of this as a half-hour comedy version. In The West Wing, it’s about Russia about to invade China. In our show, it’s about your local garbage. We did some research into the lives of municipal government bureaucrats and it was like, wow, this has just not been done. There have been shows about mayors or governors or presidents, but not about the unelected officials doing their day jobs.”
At last night’s Parks and Recreation panel at the PaleyFest moderated by TVLine’s Michael Ausiello, the show’s co-creator/showrunner Mike Schur laughed off speculation that co-star Rob Lowe could be leaving Parks to replace Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men. Per TVLine, he first suggested that several other Parks co-stars were joining other shows, including Hawaii Five-0, but later explained that Lowe — who skipped the panel because he was on the East Coast looking at colleges with his children — is a full-time castmember and will remain sofor many years to come. Of course, Parks and Recreation itself is yet to to renewed for next season.