With upfronts happening in NYC this week, it feels like a lot of the TV action is occurring off-screen. But the reality wars and multiple finales Monday proved the small screen still has a lot of moving and shaking going on. Coming off three nights last week of the live playoff round and a season low, The Voice (3.6/10) took a hit last night — and not just because the AC wasn’t working in the studio for the first part of the show. The Voice was down 12% to hit a performance low for this season, and while it was the night’s top-rated show, CBS’ How I Met Your Mother bested it for the first time in their overlapping half hour. Of course, with a live show expect to see those numbers adjusted in final ratings. The Voice’s lead-out Revolution (1.9/5) was also down, but only 5% from last week. NBC still won in the adults 18-49 demo, while ABC was tops in total viewers.
2ND UPDATE THURSDAY PM: I’ve now learned the name of the stuntman who suffered serious head injuries in last week’s accident during filming of ABC’s series Castle. Kieran Gallagher, who was Ed Helms’ stunt double in The Hangover II and III, “is still in the hospital,” a source said. “He has been taken off the ventilator and showing good signs of recovery. Every day he seems to be getting stronger.” Gallagher’s series credits include CSI, Chuck, The Office and Raising Hope.
UPDATE: I’ve learned more details about the accident on the set of Castle last night. According to talent manager William Blaylock, the actress injured in the accident is his client Karen David. “Karen was the actress in the scene with the stuntman,” he said. “They fell from a moving van when a door would not shut. Karen was in the emergency room for hours being treated. She has been released but is in serious pain and has to wear a neck brace.” The stuntman, who sustained a head injury, is still hospitalized in serious condition.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
As the ABC dramedy Castle moves toward the conclusion of its fourth season, the question of when lead characters Richard Castle and NYPD Detective Kate Beckett (played by Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic, respectively) finally will do the deed took center stage. It was the burning question addressed at tonight’s spirited PaleyFest salute to Castle at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, where creator/exec producer Andrew W. Marlowe was asked to spill the beans on how long the chaste dance toward the bedroom would last. “Do I know when it will happen? Yes,” he replied. “When it does happen, it will open up a lot of different areas in the storytelling. It will be the next evolution in the characters’ relationship.” Marlowe acknowledged that a lot of people believe the characters’ getting together physically could prove a creative kiss of death for the show, using the model of another ABC dramedy – Moonlighting – which famously imploded after David Addison (Bruce Willis) and Maddie Hayes (Cybill Shepherd) did the deed. “I’m not someone who believes in The Curse of Moonlighting,” Marlowe stressed. “Moonlighting fell apart because (the producers) couldn’t meet their delivery dates (and not necessarily because of the storyline). But there will come a time when we can’t keep these characters apart.”
Although they are certainly best known for those other awards they hand out in February, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences do a lot more throughout the year. One of its prized events happened Thursday evening at a dinner at the Beverly Wilshire, where the 26th annual Don and Gee Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowships were awarded to what Academy president Tom Sherak described as the “Academy’s Magnificent 7.”
The Nicholl Fellowships were established in 1985 and are now chaired (and hosted) by new Academy governor Gale Anne Hurd, who told me she’s been on the Nicholl committee since 1989. Each of the writing fellows (or teams) will receive a $35,000 prize in order to continue developing their scripts (checks are handed out in installments with the understanding that the recipients will complete a feature-length screenplay during their fellowship year), and the Academy is not involved otherwise commercially with the scripts in any way and holds no rights to them. Even with the Oscars in the mix, Sherak opened the program by saying: “This is my favorite event. It’s nights like this that I wish I were an agent. You want to sign every one of them.” He added these few winners were chosen from among a record 6,730 entries by the 24 judges and committee members who read everything.
It was quite a night that also included a rousing keynote address from David Seidler, this year’s reigning Best Original Screenplay winner for The King’s Speech and “new Academy member” at age 74. At the reception before the dinner, I asked Seidler how the Oscar has changed his life at this age. He joked, “Producers now owe me more, but it takes them longer.” Seidler is red-hot, though, having completed two new scripts over the summer and now embarking on two rewrites. He asked me who I thought was the front-runner to win Original Screenplay this year and I suggested probably Woody Allen for Midnight In Paris. “Well, he has me beat then,” Seidler said. Allen at 76 would usurp Seidler as the oldest winner ever in that category, meaning that Seidler’s record could be short-lived. His speech, which he said was working on right to the last minute, won over the crowd and certainly provided inspiration for the writers in attendance.