At the end of its day at Summer TV Press Tour 2014, NBC brought out four of the showrunners on returning drama series to take questions. Matt Olmstead (Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D.) said that when he was working on a cable program, “I missed doing 22 [episodes],” while John Eisendrath (The Blacklist) said, “Having never done a 12-episode order, I’m totally jealous.”
Eisendrath was set up to vent about the fact that neither The Blacklist nor its star James Spader scored Drama Series Emmy noms on Thursday. He said he’d be lying if he said he wasn’t disappointed. “I think he’s completely deserving of it. The competition is fierce, that’s the reality — TV is thriving, there’s that much competition. I was disapointed, but I understand how it happened and what happened. We have to continue to do the best shows we can and hope we’re on long enough for people to reconsider,” he concluded, diplomatically.
All the showrunners were asked a certain number of beauty-pageant questions, like ‘what qualities are necessary in a showrunner?’ Jason Katims (Parenthood, About A Boy) went with “embrace the collaborative nature of making a television show”; Eisendrath went with “not to panic..and be open to new ideas.” Asked what was the most difficult part of the job, Olmstead said, “Trying to figure out what … Read More »
Universal TV has locked in one of the key writer-producers on its NBC drama Chicago Fire. The studio has signed an overall deal with Andrea Newman, who has served as co-executive producer on the firefighter drama since after the pilot. Under the pact, Newman will continue as co-exec producer on Chicago Fire while also developing other projects. Because of a shortage of experienced, senior level drama writer-producers, the studios have been particularly aggressive this year in pursuing seasoned scribes. Newman, repped by ICM Partners and Jeff Frankel, has worked on such series as The Secret Circle, Human Target, Private Practice, Cold Case, 24 and Felicity.
NBC has given early renewals for next season to three more dramas: Chicago Fire, its spinoff Chicago P.D., and Grimm. All hail from Universal TV. They join hot freshman The Blacklist, which already was picked up for a second season. Also set to return next season are veteran comedy Parks And Recreation (Season 7), flagship reality series The Voice (Cycle 7), and Celebrity Apprentice (Cycle 14), which skipped a season.
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The renewal of Dick Wolf’s Chicago Fire for a third season and Chicago P.D. for a second opens the door to further expanding the franchise with a long-rumored Chicago-set medical drama though that likely won’t happen for next season. Last year, NBC picked up all of Wolf’s series at the same time. This time, Law & Order: SVU is not part of the package as the veteran usually gets a renewal close to the upfronts. But with the Chicago franchise blossoming, would the last representative of Wolf’s previous power NBC procedural brand, Law & Order, call it a day? (From what I hear, that doesn’t seem very likely, at least not this season.)
Chicago Fire and especially Chicago P.D. have benefited from franchise crossovers that have lifted ratings. Another one is coming with a massive bomb explosion storyline, which will span the April 29 episode … Read More »
NBC announced today it will offer digital series for four of its primetime series; Chicago Fire, Parks And Recreation, Grimm, and Parenthood to keep fans focused in February while Olympics take over NBC’s primetime. All digital series will be streamed on NBC.com, Hulu and YouTube.
From today’s announcement: Read More »
The debut season of NBC‘s Chicago PD isn’t just going to see characters crossover with parent series Chicago Fire. It will also feature a Chicago-NY crossover with the network’s crime drama juggernaut Law & Order franchise – and that’s just the beginning, exec producer Dick Wolf teased today at TCA. The new police-focused series debuted earlier this month to OK ratings, focusing on Chicago Fire character Detective Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) and a new cast of cops fighting crime in the Windy City. Overlap with Fire began with episode 1. “[David] Eigenberg was there with Pouch the dog,” Wolf noted, adding that storylines between the two Chicago dramas will arc “over a couple of episodes” with some regularity. PD star Sophia Bush revealed that she’s heading to New York this week to film a scene with Law & Order: SVU‘s Mariska Hargitay. Last fall it was reported that a PD/SVU crossover would air in February after the Sochi Olympics in which the New York unit comes to Chicago in pursuit of an interstate perp. “There is going to be a major crossover at the end of the season, a story that is so big it involves everybody,” Wolf teased.
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The planned multi-series crossovers could pave the way for more integration within the Chicago Fire/Chicago PD/SVU TV universe. Read More »
Melissa Ponzio has booked a recurring role on NBC’s firefighter drama Chicago Fire. She will play Donna, a love interest to Chief Wallace Boden (Eamonn Walker). Ponzio, repped by Domain and Kass Management, recently recurred on The Walking Dead and Teen Wolf.
Copper alum Kevin Ryan is set to recur on another NBC hourlong series, the upcoming Crossbones. On the pirate drama, he will play Finnegan, a heavily-tattooed, hard and solemn pirate with a scar across one eye, who becomes involved with Blackbeard (John Malkovich). Ryan is with Mosaic, Resolution and attorney David Matlof.
Lucky 7 co-star Christine Evangelista has been cast in a recurring role on NBC’s firefighter drama series Chicago Fire. She will play Allison Rafferty, a new paramedic at 51, a firecracker who gives as good as she gets and knows what she’s doing when the bells go off. Evangelista is with WME, MJ Management and Rick Genow at Stone, Meyer, Genow, Smelkinson and Binder.
Julian Sands (24) has been tapped for a heavily recurring role on NBC’s new pirate drama series Crossbones starring John Malkovich. He will play William Jagger, an aristocrat-turned-privateer and governor of Jamaica who dispatches Tom Lowe (Richard Coyle) to accompany inventor-mathematician Benedict Nightingale and his Marine Chronometer to England by way of a secret convoy. Sands is with SDB and Seven Summits Pictures and Management.
ABC’s gloppiest-named new series, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. may be the hottest launch of the three-day-old broadcast TV season, but The Big Story so far in Premiere Week ?
NBC is up with every single one of its series on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights compared to Premiere Week 2012. The network has won seven of nine hours in the demo among broadcasters. In total viewers, it’s won six of the week’s first nine primetime hours and has moved from third place to first — making those Comcast guys look pretty clever for having re-upped NBC programming chief Bob Greenblatt’s contract without waiting for Premiere Week numbers.
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Mad Men‘s Kiernan Shipka and Mason Dye have booked young leads in Lifetime‘s original movie Flowers In The Attic. Based on V.C. Andrews’ controversial best-selling book, Flowers weaves the gothic tale of four young siblings, two boys and two girls, who, after the tragic death of their father, are subjected to cruel emotional and physical abuse resulting from a dark, long-hidden family secret. Abandoned by their mother (Heather Graham) and forced to endure unimaginable treatment living in the attic of their grandparents’ mansion, the children form a family unit of their own. But as the oldest boy (Dye) and girl (Shipka) come of age emotionally and physically while caring for their younger brother and sister, their family’s sordid past entraps them further as they try to survive and escape from the harsh conditions in which they live. Ellen Burstyn plays the children’s grandmother, Olivia.
Mena Suvari has been cast in a recurring role on the NBC drama Chicago Fire. She will play Isabella, a close friend of Dawson (Monica Raymond) who is enlisted to help Mouch (Christian Stolte) with his campaign as President of the Chicago Firefighters Union. But although Mouch and Isabella have a strictly professional relationship, things heat up between Isabella and one of Mouch’s fellow firefighters. Suvari … Read More »
The Killing‘s Michelle Forbes has been cast in a recurring role on the Wolf Films/Universal Television NBC series Chicago Fire. She plays Gail McLeod, a high ranking consultant with the State Fire Marshal’s office, who keeps a sharp eye on budgets and performance at the city’s fire houses. And 51 is definitely under her microscope.
Smash co-star Leslie Odom, Jr. has been booked for a potentially recurring role on CBS’ Person of Interest. He plays Peter, an educated, even-tempered tech executive. Highly analytical, he plays his cards close to the vest. Repped by Bauman Redanty and Shaul and manager Joan Sittenfield.
EXCLUSIVE: Matt Olmstead, executive producer of NBC’s Chicago Fire and co-creator/executive producer of its upcoming spinoff Chicago PD, has signed a rich two-year overall deal with Universal Television, the studio behind the two series, along with Wolf Films. Under the seven-figure pact, Olmstead will continue as showrunner on Chicago Fire and also will serve as showrunner on Chicago PD, working on both series with Chicago Fire creators/exec producers and Chicago PD co-creators/exec producers Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, as well as exec producer Dick Wolf. Making things a bit easier logistically is the fact that Chicago PD has a midseason order. “Matt is an experienced and creative showrunner and we were thrilled with his stellar work on Chicago Fire, Uni TV EVP Bela Bajaria said. “We look forward to extending our relationship with him on Chicago PD and at Universal TV”. Read More »
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: Read More »
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Chicago Fire creator and exec producer Dick Wolf sounded confident this morning that his freshman firefighter drama would be renewed for a second season, considering that the hour has helped to goose ratings in its Wednesday night time slot 17% this season with adults 18-49. How confident is he? “We even know what the first episode of the third season is,” Wolf admitted at today’s NBC Summer Press Day. “We are definitely looking at the remainder of this season as a jumping-off point for next season.” And in fact, as Deadline has reported extensively, a Chicago Fire spinoff is very much in the works, with the rookie season finale tabbed as the jumping-off point for a series centered in the Chicago Police Department. It too will be from Wolf Films and Universal TV. However, in keeping with his tight-lipped style, Wolf would say only, “We always talk about every possible permutation of what can happen, but we never talk about development.” When asked if it is in fact renewed, might he consider a storyline paying homage to the responders of last week’s Boston Marathon bombing. “Dealing with terrorism is very very tough, that’s all I’m gonna say,” Wolf said, before adding, “The last thing we want to do is exploit a tragedy that is so specific that it would be difficult.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Taylor Kinney is in talks to join the cast of The Other Woman, the film that Nick Cassavetes will direct for Fox. While talks are underway and they have to work around his schedule on his series Chicago Fire, I’m told that Kinney plans to join Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Game Of Thrones‘ Nikolaj Coster Waldau and Kate Upton in the film. Julie Yorn is producing and Melissa Stack wrote the script, about two women in bed with the same guy who get mad he’s even more prolific and plot revenge. Kinney, an up and comer who was last seen playing one of the SEAL Team shooters in Zero Dark Thirty, is repped by Gersh and Principal Entertainment LA.
EXCLUSIVE: Kelly Blatz has joined NBC‘s proposed Chicago Fire spinoff, from Wolf Films and Universal TV. Blatz will guest star in the Chicago Fire freshman season finale, which serves as planted spinoff for a potential new drama series, a cop drama about the Chicago Police Department. Blatz will play the young but seasoned Officer Elam, a role that would be one of the leads of the potential spinoff. He joins recently cast Melissa Sagemiller, Tania Raymonde and Scott Eastwood. The Chicago Fire spinoff project is being developed by Chicago Fire creators/executive producers Derek Haas and Michael Brandt and executive producers Matt Olmstead and Wolf. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Melissa Sagemiller has been tapped for what is considered the leading new addition in the proposed Chicago Fire spinoff, from Wolf Films and Universal TV. Sagemiller will appear in the Chicago Fire freshman season finale, which serves as planted spinoff for a potential new drama series, a cop drama about the Chicago Police Department. Sagemiller will play Detective Willhite, a member of the Chicago PD Intelligence Unit. The gig reunites Sagemiller with Wolf Films and NBC after doing a major arc on Law & Order: SVU as ADA Gillian Hardwicke two years ago. Coincidentally, SVU too is a spinoff, spawned from the long-running Law & Order series. In the Chicago Fire spinoff project, which is being developed by Chicago Fire creators/executive producers Derek Haas and Michael Brandt and executive producers Matt Olmstead and Wolf, Sagemiller joins recently cast Tania Raymonde and Scott Eastwood.
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It is still unclear which Chicago Fire actors would transfer to the spinoff series, with Jon Seda, who has been recurring as Chicago PD Detective Antonio Dawson, considered a strong possibility. Sagemiller’s series credits also include Sleeper Cell and Raising The Bar. She is with Paradigm and the Schiff Co.