First off, congratulations to all writers, producers, actors and agents who landed new series this week. I know it wasn’t easy. Here is Deadline’s annual list of those who excelled at the upfronts. I tried to be inclusive, but if I’ve missed anyone who’s had a banner week, let me know. I’ve also compiled a list of pods and independent producers with multiple broadcast series.
Cougar Town co-creator Bill Lawrence and his Doozer banner had three new series unveiled at the upfronts this week: comedies Undateable on NBC, Surviving Jack on Fox and Ground Floor on TBS. Also, TBS recently renewed Cougar Town for a fifth season.
Related: 2013-14 Schedule Grid & Top Face-Offs
J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot claimed one of the top new drama series last season with NBC’s Revolution and one of the hottest sophomore shows with CBS’ Person Of Interest. The company is keeping the momentum with two new series orders for next season: Almost Human at Fox and Believe at NBC.
Independent producer Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment received two new series orders from the broadcast networks: Back In The Game at ABC and Friends With Better Lives at CBS. Additionally, his freshman ABC comedy The Neighbors was renewed and his ABC pilot Bad Management is in serious contention for a series pickup. Kaplan also received two cable series orders in the past month, for Chasing Life on ABC Family and Instant Mom on NickMom, and also has comedy series Wendell & Vinnie on Nick at Nite and pilot HR at Lifetime.
Writer-producer Julie Plec also landed two new series this week, both at the CW: She wrote/executive produces the planted Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals and executive produces The Tomorrow People. Additionally, she executive produces TVD, giving her three series on the air next season. (Fellow Tomorrow People executive producer Greg Berlanti has two, including returning CW hit Arrow.)
Another drama writer-producer, former ER showrunner David Zabel, saw both of his pilots picked up. He is the writer/exec producer on ABC’s Betrayal and co-writer/exec producer on ABC’s Lucky 7. READ MORE »
UPDATED: Will Chuck Lorre have four series on CBS next fall? It certainly looks that way, with veteran Two And A Half Men eying an 11th season renewal.
“We’ve told (Two And A Half Men producer) Warner Bros. TV … Read More »
He’s back! After a month-a-half hiatus, Two And A Half Men co-star Angus T. Jones is returning to the set of the CBS comedy next week to film his first episode following the release of his controversial … Read More »
Anna Faris has been tapped as the lead in Mom, CBS‘ comedy pilot from Chuck Lorre, the man behind the network’s comedy series Two And A Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly. Mom, which Lorre co-wrote on spec with two members of his Two And A Half Men team — executive producer Eddie Gorodetsky and story editor Gemma Baker — centers on a newly sober single mom (Faris) who tries to pull her life together in Napa Valley. The project, produced by Warner Bros TV and studio-based Chuck Lorre Prods, was taken to CBS last month, landing a pilot order.
This marks a rare foray into TV for feature actress Faris, The House Bunny star who has been on the wish list of comedy pilot casting directors for several years. Her only previous series credits include a high-profile guest arc on the final season of NBC’s Friends as the birth mother of the twin babies adopted by Monica and Chandler, and another one on HBO’s Entourage where she played herself. Faris, repped by WME, Anonymous Content and attorney Robert Offer, also played the lead in Jhoni Marchinko’s 2005 NBC comedy pilot Blue Skies and has twice hosted NBC’s Saturday Night Live. On the feature side, her credits include the Scary Movie franchise, Lost In Translation and most recently, The Dictator and What’s Your Number? Read More »
Back in early 2011 when Charlie Sheen went on a rampage trashing Two And A Half Men, the brunt of his attacks were directed … Read More »
Chuck Lorre had some harsh words in his latest vanity card about Mitt Romney’s ability to relate to most Americans and “idiotic game shows like The Bachelor.” But he chose to address those topics and more … Read More »
UPDATED CLIP: Here’s Warner Bros TV producer Chuck Lorre (Big Bang Theory, Two And A Half Men, Mike & Molly) on Conan:
This marks an end of an era for the newly minted ICM Partners — one of the most respected TV lit agents in the business, Bob Broder, is leaving the agency to join longtime client Chuck Lorre at his Chuck Lorre Prods. Under his huge new deal at Warner Bros TV that Broder negotiated for his client, Lorre is beefing up his banner into a full-fledged production company. Broder will play a key role in the expansion, assisting in managing all operations of the company as Lorre continues to develop, write and produce comedy series and venture out into feature films, as well as dramatic and potential longform TV projects and stage plays. Lorre said he approached Broder with the idea of quitting “being one of the most successful literary agents in the history of the business” to help him run his company. “To my amazement, he said yes,” Lorre said. “I was only kidding, but it’s a little too late to tell him that, so I’m just going to say how grateful I am to have such an incredibly wise, experienced and vaguely ruthless guy at the helm of this thing.”
Broder, whose career as an agent spans more than four decades, represents some of ICM Partners’ biggest moneymakers including Lorre, director-producer Jimmy Burrows and Christopher Lloyd, creator of the hit comedy Modern Family. (Lorre is behind Two And A Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly.) All of them will stay with ICM, while Broder also will continue to be involved in their careers. Read More »
Warner Bros. TV has locked in comedy heavyweight Chuck Lorre for four more years. The Presidential term length of the deal fits Lorre’s position as the studio’s biggest money maker with three sitcoms that have been sold in syndication, Two And A Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly.
Related: Chuck Lorre To Re-Up With Warner Bros. TV
The just-finalized new development and production deal includes a component for feature films Lorre would write, develop and/or direct for Warner Bros. Pictures. But its main focus will remain television, where Lorre also plans to expand his turf with forays into drama series and longform projects in addition to developing new comedy shows. Lorre will be targeting both broadcast and cable networks with his new development through his Chuck Lorre Prods., Warner Bros. TV and Warner Horizon TV. Additionally, Lorre will continue as executive producer of Two And A Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly. Read More »
A decade ago, Chuck Lorre was in the final year of a pricey overall deal with Warner Bros. TV that had yielded no series, raising questions about his future at the studio. Then, at the very end of … Read More »
Chuck Lorre’s TV vanity cards are coming to a bookstore near you. Simon & Schuster announced today that the executive producer of CBS’ Two and a Half Men, Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly has signed a … Read More »
Chuck Lorre has experienced the lows and highs of network TV situation comedies, from the challenging situation with Grace Under Fire (1993-98) and Cybill (1995-98) to his current status as co-creator and driving force behind a trio of CBS comedies: Two And A Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly. It doesn’t sound like it’s gone according to any kind of plan, and in fact that’s the case, as the sometimes fiery, always funny, veteran showrunner makes clear. If he deserves at least a humanitarian Emmy for surviving the ordeal of Two And A Half Men star Charlie Sheen’s three-and-a-half men meltdown the previous season, he’s been in the game long enough not to expect much.
AWARDSLINE: Let’s start with Two And A Half Men. Why was it important to you to keep it on the air even after part of that eighth season got scratched?
CHUCK LORRE: It wasn’t simply my decision. There were a lot of people involved and so forth. Including, you know, you’ve got Warner Bros. who had a great deal with it, economically, at stake. But by and large there was a family of people that had worked together for eight years and a lot of people were counting on the show continuing for a number of reasons. One was it was a livelihood for a lot of people and we had a great time on it and had a lot of fun doing the show all the time. Read More »
Charlie Sheen’s attacks on the series Two And A Half Men and its executive producer Chuck Lorre, which led to Sheen’s firing last year, were “heartbreaking”, Lorre said today at the Banff World Media Festival. “The guy was my friend and colleague for 8 1/2 years. I don’t think we ever had an argument.” Lorre says he was proud of the show. “For it to end like that was devastating – I don’t know what to say about it other than I was heartbroken and hurt”, he said. What’s more, he and his colleagues didn’t have a firm game plan when they re-launched the show with Ashton Kucher. “There was no development process,” he says. “We actually made all of our mistakes on television….If you watch the 24 shows we did last year, you can watch us stumbling around trying to figure things out. I think we still are, honestly.” Read More »
UPDATED: Walden Schmidt is dropping the beard and getting a haircut. That was one of the headlines from TCA’s Two And A Half Men session this morning, which featured star Ashton Kutcher with a new clean-cut look. The onscreen transformation will happen on the show’s upcoming episode Monday.
During the panel, co-creator Chuck Lorre talked about how close he came to ending Two And A Half Men after the controversial exit of original star Charlie Sheen. “We absolutely considered it,” he said. “We never imagined we would be in a position to consider it any other way. It looked as slightly impossible and ridiculous thing to do.” Eventually, he and co-creator Lee Aronsohn opened up to the possibility of continuing the show with another star. “We thought if we fail, no one will be psychically harmed. It seemed like such a heartbreaking way to end (the show).”
Kutcher, whose deal is up at the end of the season, was asked about the prospect of him continuing on the show next fall. “The deal we structured was kinda a test deal,” he said. “The show is outperforming the numbers from before I was here, and I think people are responding to it. For me having a show people like and want more of will dictate my decision. Right now I’m looking at (summer) as a hiatus, I have a lot of fun and would love to come back.”
Also at the panel, Aronsohn addressed speculation about the behind-the-scenes fight between Lorre and Sheen, which was fueled by comments during the actor’s rampage last spring. “I never saw it, that was never the case,” Aronsohn said. “Chuck has always been extremely respectful of Charlie, and Charlie has been respectful of Chuck. What has been built up as a feud never existed.” Read More »
Charlie Sheen’s public rants against Two And A Half Men co-creator Chuck Lorre ultimately got the actor fired from the hit comedy series. But if Lorre had his way, he would’ve left first, … Read More »
Chuck Lorre’s latest elaborate tongue-in-cheek holiday card makes light of a pretty tough year for the prolific writer-producer. He was the target of public insults as well as a multimillion dollar lawsuit by Charlie Sheen over Two And A Half Men. Then Lorre had to transition the show from Sheen to new … Read More »
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Hall of Fame Committee announced today that it has tapped reality show producers Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jonathan Murray, Michael Eisner, Sábado Gigante game-show host Don Francisco, Sherman Hemsley, lighting designer Bill Klages, Chuck Lorre and I Love Lucy duo Vivian Vance & William Frawley for induction into the academy’s Hall of Fame. The 21st annual induction ceremony is set for March 1 at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The nine new inductees were recognized for their extraordinary contributions to TV after candidates were submitted to the Hall’s selection committee, which is chaired by WME Entertainment board member Mark Itkin and includes Fox alternative president Mike Darnell, Warner Bros TV president Peter Roth, veteran executive Fred Silverman, CBS Entertainment chief Nina Tassler and Dolby Labs’ Steve Venezia. Bunim, Vance and Frawley will be honored posthumously. From the TV Academy’s release highlighting the new members: Read More »