The ABC comedy series’ creator has been hit with a breach-of-contract and fraud suit by her former manager. In a suit filed today in LA Superior Court (read it here), The Gotham Group‘s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein claims that Emily Kapnek stopped paying commissions after the Suburgatory creator signed a two-year overall deal with the series’ producer Warner Bros. TV in April.
Goldsmith-Vein says in the lawsuit that she had managed Kapnek’s career starting in 1999, after having been her agent the year before, and had always received her 10%. But Goldsmith-Vein claims that after Kapnek landed her first overall deal this spring, she “reached a point where she believed she was self-reliant, discarded plaintiffs, and broke her word and the parties’ contract. In direct violation of the Gotham Management Agreement and her promise to plaintiffs, Kapnek has failed to make any further commission payments at all to plaintiffs, whether related to Suburgatory, the Warner Bros Deal or any other matter, and plaintiffs fear that future breaches will be forthcoming.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: I hear ABC‘s last-minute third-season renewal of Suburgatory as midseason replacement came with a reduction in the license fee, which is leading to budget cuts and some tough choices. I’ve learned that two of the series’ eight regulars, Alan Tudyk and Rex Lee, have not been picked up for next season. They could potentially appear as guest stars. I hear there may be further trims, with other regulars potentially being cut or reduced to recurring. Suburgatory‘s remaining regular cast includes stars Jane Levy and Jeremy Sisto as well as Cheryl Hines, Carly Chaikin, Ana Gasteyer and Allie Grant. Both Tudyk and Lee have been on the show since the beginning. Lee, who plays the high school’s guidance counselor, was a guest star in the pilot but was promoted to regular right after. Tudyk playes Sisto’s trusted, country club-loving friend. Suburgatory was a breakout hit when it launched in fall 2011 but lost steam, ratings-wise and creatively, in Season 2, ending up on the bubble.
UPDATE SATURDAY 7:40 PM: It’s official, the deal has closed and The Neighbors has been renewed for next season.
PREVIOUS FRIDAY PM: Two members of ABC‘s freshman class, drama Nashville and comedy The Neighbors, will make it to a second season. The deal is not quite done for the Dan Fogelman comedy The Neighbors but is expected to close. Sophomores fared better, with four, red-hot Scandal, Open Upon A Time, Revenge and Last Man Standing all getting third season renewals. They’re joined by veterans Modern Family, The Middle, Grey’s Anatomy and Castle. ABC is expected to renew unscripted staples Shark Tank, Dancing With The Stars and The Bachelor on Monday.
Did you know that a woman hasn’t won American Idol (3.3/9) in six years? That will not be the case this year with the five remaining finalists all female. Which is why it was Ladies Night on Idol on Wednesday. What that actually meant for the live two-hour show was that Angie Miller, Janelle Arthur, Candice Glover, Kree Harrison and Amber Holcomb sang songs from the 1989 to 1994 years of their respective births. It also meant there was some more tension between female judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey with the former disagreeing with the latter’s assessment of one contestant with a “simmer down, sir.” Last night’s Idol was also up from last week. It rose 3% from the fast nationals of its April 11 show and, because there was no change last week, the same from that broadcast’s final numbers. This is the fourth broadcast in a row that Idol has seen consecutive growth. Hitting 12.4 millon viewers on Wednesday, Idol was also up 2% in overall viewers from last week’s final numbers. With the 8 PM to 10 PM Idol, Fox took top spot for the night in total viewers and among Adults 18-49. Read More »
Nicki Minaj showed up on time and it was Beatles night on American Idol (3.5/10) on Wednesday. The Top 9 finalists took turns over the two-hour live show with tunes from the Fab Four and a hefty dose of ballads. The night of sad songs saw Idol slip 3% in fast nationals from last week’s 3.6/11, and down 8% from its March 13 finals. If last night is like most Idol live shows, expect to see upward adjustment in the final numbers. The most-watched show of Wednesday night, Idol dipped 3% to 12.7 million viewers from the 13.1 million who tuned in March 13. Fox still won the night in total views and the adults 18-49 demographic.
On CBS’ Survivor: Caramoan (2.5/8), the Fan and Favorite tribes were scrambled to add some new juice to the contest. It wasn’t as dramatic as the meltdown Brandon Hantz had last week, though, and the series slipped 7% from the season high of that March 13 show. With 9.59 million viewers, the one-hour Survivor was the second-most-watched show of the night and the second-highest-rated among adults 18-49 after Idol. CBS’ other shows of the night saw steady rises on their return from three weeks of repeats. A new Criminal Minds (3.0/8) was up 15% from its last original February 27. CSI (2.3/6) had an even stronger return: The procedural was up 21% from its February 27 show to take its 10 PM slot in viewers and the demo. Read More »
On the second night of its three-night live round American Idol (3.7/10) saw a surprising flameout by contestant Charlie Askew over criticism from the judges. Besides the profound dismay from judge Nicki Minaj over Askew’s performance, the two-hour show also saw Idol continue its weekly Wednesday ratings slide. While a final numbers adjustment is likely, last night’s Idol slipped 3% in fast nationals from its February 28 show to hit a new in-season Wednesday result. That’s the fourth week in a row for the show to hit such a low and the worst Wednesday performances since Idol’s first season in summer 2002. Also down in total viewership with 12.7 million from last week’s 13.1 million, last night’s Idol was up 9% in fast nationals from Tuesday’s broadcast. With Idol as the most watched show of the night, Fox won Wednesday in total viewers and among Adults 18-49.
Survivor: Caramoan(2.5/7) saw the Fans team lose yet again to the Favorites. The second most watched show of the night with 9.36 million viewers and the second program of the night among the 18-49, the fourth week of the competition show’s 26th season dipped 4% from last week’s show. CBS ran repeats of Criminal Minds … Read More »
Suburgatory star Jane Levy has signed up to play the lead in In A Dark Place. The film is a psychological thriller focused around a young American governess, played by Levy, who goes to London to take care of a doll. The family treats the doll like it was their son and expects the governess to take care of it as such. Gold Circle is financing the film with Bharat Nalluri to direct from a screenplay by Stacey Menear. Paul Brooks, Roy Lee and Jim Weddaa will produce. Scott Niemeyer and John Middleton will serve as the executive producers of In A Dark Place. Besides this new role and her role on the ABC sitcom, the actress is also going to be the lead in the upcoming Fede Alvarez-directed remake of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead. Jane Levy is repped by WME and Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern.
The adults 18-49 usage from 8-11 PM last night was up 12% from last Wednesday, which was Halloween. The tide lifted almost all ships as all networks but Fox posted week-to-week gains on the night.
As could be expected, the improvement was most dramatic for NBC (+1.2 18-49 rating), which subbed its low-rated Wednesday comedies and Law & Order: SVU with a special live edition of The Voice, which was displaced from Tuesday because of election coverage. The Voice (3.7/10) was down sharply, by 20%, from its Tuesday telecast last week but still handily won vs. rival The X Factor (2.6/7, even with last Wednesday’s fast national) to finish as the No.2 program of the night in the demo behind ABC’s Modern Family. The Voice widened its margin of victory from the first time the two singing competition series went head-to-head in September, when The Voice logged a 3.3 vs. 2.7 for X Factor. The Voice also gave a big boost to rookie Chicago Fire (2.3/6), which shot up 53% from last week’s fast national for a series high and first No. 1 finish in the 10 PM hour (tie). (Chicago Fire‘s lead-in last night was up 118% from last week’s SVU broadcast.) It was a great sampling opportunity for Chicago Fire; we’ll have to wait until next week to see how many new viewers will come back. For now, NBC is basking in its first in-season … Read More »
It was a rather atypical Wednesday night, with usual demo winner Fox airing a mix of a little bit of baseball, rain delay-filling sitcom reruns and an hour ofThe X Factor that inadvertently ran simultaneously on both coasts. Or as Simon Cowell put it, “a total f up,” that will result in last night’s two-hour episode airing in its entirety on Tuesday night, pre-empting Fox’s fledgling comedy block and facing an all-new The Voice.
With Fox out of sorts, CBS swooped in and won the night in adults 18-49 (2.7/8), along with total viewers (10.8 million). Survivor: Philippines (2.7/8) and Criminal Minds (3.1/8) were both up a tenth from last week’s fast nationals, while CSI (2.4/7) was down two tenths. CSI‘s ratings fluctuations have been puzzling — it went up last week when it faced the premieres of ABC’s Nashville and NBC’s Chicago Fire and then retreated last night when its time-slot rivals dropped significantly from their debuts. (CSI still ruled the 10 PM hour.) Read More »
EXCLUSIVE:WME Entertainment has signed Jane Levy, the star of the ABC series Suburgatorywho’s about to pop with starring roles in the Josh Schwartz-directed Fun Size at Paramount, and the Fede Alvarez-directed remake of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead for FilmDistrict. In the latter film, she plays Mia, a character that closely follows the insane arc of Ash in the 1981 original, a role played by Bruce Campbell. Mia is one of five young people who head to the remote cabin where evil awaits. Recovering from a recent overdose, Mia is particularly vulnerable. Levy had most recently been at Gersh. She remains with James Suskin at Suskin Management and with attorney Robert Offer.
ABC is sticking to a relatively traditional fall rollout, premiering the bulk of its lineup during the official premiere week of September 24. The biggest exception is high-profile new drama Nashville, which will launch October 10. (ABC had success last fall with a late premiere for Once Upon A Time, which debuted even later, on Oct. 23.) New comedy The Neighbors will premiere behind Modern Family before, as we reported, it swaps time slots with fellow Wednesday comedy Suburgatory. Here are ABC’s premiere dates:
Friday, September 14
8-9 PM: “Shark Tank”
9-10 PM: “What Would You Do?”
10-11 PM: “20/20″
Monday, September 24
8-10 PM: “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars”
10-11 PM: “Castle”
Tuesday, September 25
8-10 PM: “Dancing with the Stars the Results Show”
10-11 PM: “Private Practice”
Wednesday, September 26
8-9 PM: “The Middle” (special one-hour premiere)
9-9:30 PM: “Modern Family”
9:30-10 PM: “The Neighbors” (series premiere)
EXCLUSIVE: I hear that ABC is planning a tweak in its Wednesday fall schedule. New comedy The Neighbors, originally slated for the post-Modern Family 9:30 PM slot, will move to 8:30 PM, while Suburgatory, which was to stay put at 8:30 PM, will move to 9:30 PM. A switch to the 8 PM family hour would make sense for The Neighbors as it hails from Dan Fogelman, writer of such Disney animated hits as Cars and Tangled, and is more kids-friendly than the average network fare. It is about a regular family that moves into a gated community where everyone else is an alien. Additionally, after a promising freshman showing at 8:30 PM, a run behind Modern Family could lift Suburgatory to the next level. Here is a trailer for The Neighbors.
Jane Levy had only one credit to her name – Showtime’s Shameless – before landing the lead role in ABC’s Suburgatory. But watching the young actress hold her own as Tessa Altman against established actors like Jeremy Sisto, Ana Gasteyer and Cheryl Hines, it’s clear her talent is greater than her years. Now, the ingénue is on the radar of Emmy voters too.
AWARDSLINE: What has it been like carrying a show? LEVY: I don’t really feel like I am [but] I’m constantly told that. At first, it was heavily narrated, and most of the show was about either Tessa or George’s storyline. But halfway through the season, [creator] Emily [Kapnek] realized that we have such a strong ensemble cast and she had to use them. I feel extremely safe, like I don’t even need to do anything because I’m surrounded by incredible actors and hilarious people. I don’t feel the need to be funny because of them.
In a nutshell, Fox’ and CBS’ lineups, pushed down by ABC’s broadcast of the CMA Awards last Wednesday, rebounded slightly last night, while the ABC series were dented by the pre-emption, all returning lower after the break. Fox won the night in 18-49 with The X Factor (3.8/10, 11.2 million), which was up a tenth from its fast national 18-49 rating last Wednesday and up 10% in total viewers. (The reality competition always gets adjusted up in the finals.)
CBS’ Survivor: South Pacific (3.3/9, 11.5 million) picked up 2 tenths from its fast national last week, Criminal Minds (3.7/9, 12.5 million) perked up 9%, and CSI (2.6/7, 10.5 million) rose a tenth. In their tight demo rating race at 10 PM, CSI and ABC’s Revenge finished tied for No.1, with CSI once again topping the hour in total viewers. CBS (3.2/8, 11.5 million) was No.1 for the night in viewers and third in 18-49.
ABC’s The Middle (2.9/9) was even with its fast national 2 weeks ago (down a tenth from the final), Modern Family (5.5/14) was down a tenth, and Happy Endings (3.2/8) was down 9%. The declines for rookies Suburgatory (2.8/8) and Revenge (2.6/6) were in the double-digits: 10% and 13%, respectively. ABC (3.3/9, 8.9 million) finished second for the night in 18-49 and third in total viewers.
NBC’s Up All Night (1.9/5, 4.8 million) was up a tenth in 18-49, after being stuck at a series-low 1.8 demo rating for … Read More »
ABC has ordered full seasons of its new series Revenge and Suburgatory. The network also has ordered six more scripts of its sophomore comedy Happy Endings. The news comes after some encouraging ratings news on all 3 shows this morning, with Happy Endings and freshman Revenge posting week-to-week gains and Suburgatory matching its performance from last week. No word on struggling freshman Charlie’s Angels yet but the feeling is that, like with the other 3 show, ABC will wait to see how the series does tonight before making the final decision.
Comedy’s hot streak this fall continues with another solid opening for a new half-hour show, ABC’s Suburgatory. The comedy starring Jane Levy and Jeremy Sisto drew a 3.3/9 among adults 18-49 at 8:30 PM, up 27% from the premiere of Better With You in the slot last fall for ABC’s biggest comedy debut in the half-hour in eight years. It also grew significantly from its lead-in, The Middle (2.6/8), which was down 16% from its season premiere last week. Suburgatory joins Fox’s New Girl, CBS’ 2 Broke Girls and NBC’s Up All Night and Whitney as the latest new comedy this season to open well. That gives every major broadcast network at least one promising new comedy in a single season — something we haven’t seen in ages — sealing the comedy genre’s comeback after a long drought. And comedy is not done for the season, with at least two more buzzworthy new half-hour entries — ABC’s Tim Allen-starrer Last Man Standing and Apartment 23 – showing potential to break out.
In its third week, Up All Night (2.1/6) shed two tenths vs. its time-slot premiere last week. It still performed better than all other NBC series on the night: doomed freshman Free Agents (1.0/3, down 23%), equally endangered sophomore Harry’s Law (1.2/3, flat with its season premiere last week) and Law & Order: SVU (2.0/5, down 17%). Read More »
Jay Mohr has been tapped for a major recurring role on ABC’s new comedy series Suburgatory. The show, from creator Emily Kapnek and Warner Bros. TV, tells the story of bright urban teenager Tessa (Jane Levy) whose single dad (Jeremy Sisto) moves her from New York City to the “white-picket-fence nightmare” of the suburbs. In the pilot, the two become close with their new neighbor, Real Housewives-type Dallas Royce, who sets her sights on the hunky single dad, and her daughter Dalia (Carly Chaikin), who reluctantly becomes Tessa’s school buddy. Mohr will play Dallas’ husband Steven Royce who models his life after the two Donalds: Trump and Draper. In business, he’s a shark, which affords his family their elegant lifestyle but he is rarely home and, when it comes to monogamy, he and Dallas employ a “don’t ask, don’t tell” philosophy. Paradigm-repped Mohr previously starred on the CBS comedy Gary Unmarried and CBS drama The Ghost Whisperer.
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.
At today’s final TCA panel on the ABC single-camera comedy Suburgatory — the story of a bright urban teenager (Jane Levy) whose single Dad (Jeremy Sisto) moves her to the “white-picket-fence nightmare” of the suburbs — show creator and executive producer Emily Kapnek said she was not influenced by the ABC family hit Pretty Little Liars in creating the fictional wealthy suburb these characters inhabit. Rather, Kapnek said, she was more inspired by the tone of ABC’s long-running life-in-the-suburbs hit Desperate Housewives, now entering its eighth and final season. She called Suburgatory “more satirical’” than Pretty Little Liars, with its suburbia featuring a “horror, zombieland quality” similar to what she sees in Housewives. Kapnek said the town is a healthy split between a realistic, contemporary atmosphere and a “stylized, evergreen suburbia.” But Kapnek’s biggest inspiration for the show was reality: her own experience moving from an urban environment with a single parent into a suburb “where families didn’t look like ours and we didn’t’ have as much as they did … there was an economic divide, there were expensive bat mitzvahs … [the difference was] all of the fortune the kids had, and the families were incredibly intact.” Read More »
Fresh off his co-starring turn on HBO’s Entourage as Ari Gold’s long-suffering assistant Lloyd, Rex Lee has joined the cast of ABC’s new single-camera comedy series Suburgatory as a regular. Suburgatory centers on Tessa (Jane Levy), a teen girl whose quality of life takes a nosedive when her family moves from the big city to the suburbs. Lee, repped by APA and Thruline, will play Mr. Wolf, Tessa’s high school guidance counselor who is inviting and slightly clueless to the bitchiness and the back-stabbing within the student hierarchy. He was a guest star in the pilot and is now being added to the series as a regular. Entourage kicked off its final season last night.
Newcomer Hannah Sullivan has landed a series regular role on another new ABC comedy, Work It. The multicamera comedy, from Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen, is about out-of-work car salesmen Lee (Ben Koldyke) and Angel (Amaury Nolasco), who dress as women to get jobs as pharmaceutical reps. In a recasting, Sullivan, repped by SDB and Prodigy Talent, will play Kat, the edgy, sarcastic teenage daughter of Koldyke and Beth Lacke. She replaces Kacie Lynch, who played the part in the pilot.
On A&E’s Stephen King’s Bag of Bones, a two-night, four-hour miniseries based on King’s bestseller, Melissa George joins Pierce Brosnan … Read More »