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TCA: Justin Halpern Says Dad Better Suited For ‘Surviving Jack’ Than ‘$h*! My Dad Says’

By | Monday January 13, 2014 @ 5:36pm PST

TCA Fox’s new Surviving Jack, about a dad and his relationship with his son in the ’90s, is based on Justin Halpern’s autobiographical book, I Suck At Girls. Halperin also created CBS’ comedy $h*! My Dad Says — also about his relationship with his father — based on his book that was, in turn, based on his Twitter feed. TV critics attending a Q&A about Jack at TCA this afternoon Surviving-Jack noted the similarity between the two comedies and asked what went wrong with the CBS one. “It was really bad,” Halpern said. “You’re aware you created that show,” joked Bill Lawrence, who exec produces Jack with Halpern, Patrick Schumacker and Jeff Ingold. “Yes, and I put the blame squarely on Patrick,” Halpern joked. The CBS sitcom, he said, was “very much the wrong tone.”  The dad character, he said, did not live well in a multi-cam sitcom world where it’s all about setup and punch lines. On a single cam, “the comedy comes more organically,” he said.

Related: TCA: Cast Losing Sleep Over Fox’s ‘The Following’

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Fox Picks Up Andy Samberg & Chris Meloni Comedies, ‘Us & Them’ And ‘Enlisted’, Almost Doubles New Series Volume

By | Wednesday May 8, 2013 @ 7:15pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Having just ordered its new drama series for next season, Fox also has made its comedy pickups, ordering four new shows in addition to the previously ordered Dads, executive produced by Seth MacFarlane. They are the Andy Samberg starrer, now titled Brooklyn Nine-Nine; Surviving Jack starring Chris Meloni; Enlisted starring Geoff Stults; and Us And Them starring Jason Ritter and Alexis Bledel. All have received 13-episode pickups. Additionally, the order for the Seth Green-Giovanni Ribisi starrer Dads, originally for 6 episodes, has been upped to 13. The new comedies join newly picked-up dramas Rake, Gang Related, Sleepy Hollow, and Almost Human. That is five new comedy series and four dramas, almost double the number of new scripted series Fox picked up last year (three comedies, two dramas). With American Idol on its last legs, the network clearly is stocking up on the scripted side and expanding its push in live-action comedy. Studio-wise, four of the new shows came from Fox sibling 20th TV, two each from Warner Bros and Sony and one from Universal TV.

Fox’s four new half-hour series choices came out of the five half-hour pilots that had been in contention from the get-go. Over the past week or so, the fifth, To My Future Assistant, began to fade as I hear it came in below exceptions. Meanwhile, Surviving Jack (formerly I Suck At Girls) has been steadily rising, buoyed by what I hear were stellar testing results for Meloni. The former Law & Order: SVU star originally turned down the project, and it took a lot of effort on the part of the producers to get him to do it. It was all worth it as the actor helped secure the pilot a series pickup. Also playing in the pilot’s favor is the fact that Surviving Jack comes from veteran comedy showrunner Bill Lawrence. It is shaping up to be a strong pickup season for Lawrence, whose NBC comedy pilot Undateable also looks very good to get a series order, along with Second Floor on TBS. Fun fact: Fox is reuniting Cougar Town co-creators Lawrence and Kevin Biegel, who is behind another newly picked-up comedy series, Enlisted.

With the pickups, Fox has a total of eight new and returning comedy series on tap for next season. Four of them are guy half-hours — cop show Brooklyn Nine-Nine (formerly Schur/Goor), Army comedy Enlisted, Dads and Surviving Jack — and female/family series New Girl, The Mindy Project, Raising Hope and Us And Them. While Us And Them, about a couple navigating their family and friends, would fit seamlessly into Fox’s existing Tuesday comedy block, it is unclear what the network would do with its guy shows, which could stand on their own as a block or get scheduled around Fox’s male-skewing Sunday animated comedies. Fox’s comedy pilots that didn’t make the cut are Assistant, Two Wrongs and The Gabriels. Overall, Fox didn’t throw curve balls in its series orders this season, largely sticking with pilots that had emerged as frontrunners. Here are descriptions of Fox’s new comedy series along with first-glimpse photos:

Related: PRIMETIME PILOT PANIC: Rumor Mill

Related: Fox Picks Up Dramas ‘Rake’, ‘Gang Related’, ‘Sleepy Hollow’ And ‘Almost Human’
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Chris Meloni To Play Leo Durocher In Jackie Robinson Film ‘42’

By | Wednesday February 1, 2012 @ 2:54pm PST
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Chris Meloni has been set to play Leo Durocher in 42, the Brian Helgeland-directed biopic for legendary Pictures about Jackie Robinson and the breaking of baseball’s color line. Chadwick Boseman is playing Robinson, and Harrison Ford is playing Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers general manager who signed the second baseman and changed the world. Gersh-repped Meloni plays Leo the Lip Durocher, who was the Dodgers manager and who was an avid supporter of Robinson, and stuck up for him when he faced racism from crowds, and sometimes opposing even his own dugout. Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull is producing and chief creative officer Jon Jashni exec producing along with former Disney chairman Dick Cook. They’ve got Robinson’s widow, Rachel, consulting. (Getty Images photo of Durocher and Robinson when he was with the minor league Montreal Royals)

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‘Law & Order: SVU’s Chris Meloni Joins HBO’s ‘True Blood’ As New Regular

By | Tuesday December 13, 2011 @ 5:40pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Former Law & Order: SVU star Chris Meloni has lined up his next series gig, a regular role on the upcoming fifth season of HBO’s drama True Blood. Series creator/executive producer Alan Ball told TVLine.com, which broke the news, that Meloni will play ”an ancient, powerful vampire who holds the fate of Bill and Eric in his hands.” The deal took a long time to close over scheduling issues with the Man Of Steel Superman movie, in which Gersh-repped Meloni plays a major role. This marks Meloni’s return to HBO where he co-starred on prison drama Oz.

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First Look At Henry Cavill As ‘Man Of Steel’

Mike Fleming

Warner Bros today released a first photo of British actor Henry Cavill as Superman in Man of Steel, the franchise reboot that’s being directed by Zack Snyder and produced by Christopher Nolan. Cavill stars with Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Michael Shannon, Antje Traue, Julia Ormond, Russell Crowe, Chris Meloni, Harry Lennix and Laurence Fishburne. Currently in production, Man of Steel is slated for release on June 14, 2013:





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‘Law & Order: SVU’ Update: Ice-T Signs On, Could Det. Benson Get Female Partner?

Nellie Andreeva

With Chris Meloni out and Mariska Hargitay back part-time, Law & Order: SVU has locked co-star Ice-T full-time for next season. And the following one, if the veteran crime drama is renewed for a 14th season. Ice-T made the announcement on Twitter this morning. “I’ve just locked in my new SVU deal,” he wrote. “So I’ll officially be back for the next 2 years at least. DONE.” Meanwhile, the search continues for Meloni’s replacement. It is still in a wish-list stage, and I hear there is even a scenario where the new lead would be female, working alongside Hargitay’s Det. Olivia Benson. As for Jennifer Love Hewitt, who had been talked about as a potential new addition when Hargiay scales back her duties in the second half of the season, I hear that is not happening.

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Chris Meloni To Exit ‘Law & Order’ SVU’, NBC Moves To Replace Him

By | Tuesday May 24, 2011 @ 3:43pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Only a week ago during NBC’s upfront conference call, the network’s chairman Bob Greenblatt said he was confident that Chris Meloni would be back on Law & Order: SVU next season. But, following negotiations that didn’t result in a deal, Meloni will be leaving the veteran crime drama after 12 seasons. His leading lady, Mariska Hargitay, closed her deal to return next season full-time for the first 13 episodes and part-time for the back nine as the network and Dick Wolf are preparing for an overhaul of the long-running series. The plan originally included a new female lead, a role Jennifer Love Hewitt is being considered for. But now that will be expanded to the male lead, too. Word is NBC has already sent out feelers to agencies that they’re looking for a name actor to replace Meloni. It is the end of an era at SVU, with longtime showrunner Neal Baer and Meloni leaving now and Hargitay scaling back as she also is mulling an exit after next season. L&O veteran Warren Leight is taking the reins of the series next season. As for Meloni, some sources say that he and NBC simply couldn’t agree on a new deal as the actor had been looking for a salary increase. But sources close to the actor say he’d had enough. “It was a great run and a wonderful experience,” the source said. “Now he is ready for the next chapter of his life.” Read More »

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Bill Butler Lands At Industry Entertainment

Mike Fleming

Bill Butler, a longtime fixture at Gersh’s New York headquarters before leaving to become manager, has landed at Industry Entertainment as a partner. He’ll continue to be Gotham-based, and starts off with the following clients, most long timers from Gersh: Chris Meloni, Melina Kanakaredes, Jane Krakowski, Calista Flockhart, Victor Garber, Cindi Lauper, Mario Cantone, Dagmar Dominczyk, Elena Rogers, Lee Tergesen and Dean Winters, the latter of whom he’ll manage with Industry’s Sandra Chang.

More Talent Agents Becoming Managers

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