NBC’s Wednesday lineup returned refreshed from a break. Revolution (1.3) was up a tenth from its last original on March 19, Law & Order: SVU (1.7) was up 13%, and Chicago PD (1.6) was up 14%. On the opposite side, the CW dramas were down. Arrow (0.8) fell 11% from last week. After a promising start, new drama The 100 (0.6) posted a second week of double-digit declines, down 14% and falling under 2 million viewers (1.9 million). There was little change at the other networks. Fox’s two-hour American Idol (2.1) matched last Wednesday’s fast national. CBS’ Survivor (2.2) slipped a tenth from last week but still edged Idol in the demo for a fourth consecutive week. Criminal Minds (2.5) was up 14% from its last original two weeks ago and is poised to edge Idol in 18-49 in the 9 PM hour for the first time, while CSI (1.9) was down a tenth.
CBS Renews 9 Drama Series, 5 Comedies, 2 Reality Shows For Next Season; No ‘Mentalist’, ‘Crazy Ones’ Or ‘Intelligence’
“With the addition of the NFL on Thursday night our schedule is pretty darn tight,” CBS’ CEO Les Moonves told investors this week, indicating the network planned to only add two new drama and two new comedy series for next season. Here is the proof of just how tight the network’s 2014-15 schedule is shaping up to be. As it does every year, in one fell swoop the network has renewed the bulk of its lineup. That includes nine drama series — flagship NCIS, NCIS: LA, Criminal Minds, Person Of Interest, Elementary, CSI, Hawaii Five-0, Blue Bloods and critical darling The Good Wife — and five comedies: 2 Broke Girls, freshman The Millers and the three Chuck Lorre series, veteran Two And A Half Men, Mike & Molly and freshman Mom. They join Lorre’s The Big Bang Theory, which was just given a big three-season pickup. On the reality side, The Amazing Race and Undercover Boss are being renewed, joining Survivor, which is set for a milestone 30th cycle next season, as well as newsmagazines 60 Minutes and 48 Hours. All in all, 20 programs.
Not picked up is The Mentalist, the veteran procedural’s first time not being among the early renewals. The long-running drama has been on the bubble and, unlike Hawaii Five-0, Blue Bloods or The Good Wife, whose ratings have been on par or lower, Mentalist is not owned by CBS, making off-network money for the company the way the other three shows do. But The Mentalist is a very important property for Warner Bros TV with a very lucrative syndication deal and strong international sales, so expect the studio to fight hard for a seventh-season renewal, especially after the post-Red John creative reboot of the show was deemed successful. (The Mentalist creator/showrunner Bruno Heller’s expected departure to run his new series, Gotham at Fox, is not expected to be a major factor in the decision-making.)
Thomas Gibson & Joe Mantegna Near Deals To Return To ‘Criminal Minds’ But Kirsten Vangsness & A.J. Cook May Not Come Back
CBS’ long-running crime drama Criminal Minds once again is going down to the wire in securing the cast (and in this case a renewal) for next season. I’ve learned that after a long pause in the talks, Criminal Minds stars Thomas Gibson, Joe Mantegna, Shemar Moore, Kirsten Vangsness and A.J. Cook, whose deals are up at the end of this season, received final offers from producer ABC Studios and CBS on Friday. I hear the studio and network put a clock on the negotiations, which have to conclude by end of day tomorrow for the series to get renewed. I hear leads Gibson and Mantegna, whose re-signing is considered crucial to the the pickup, are close to new agreements though sources caution that no deals have been made yet, while Moore is deep in negotiations but far apart on the money.
Meanwhile, I hear fan favorite Vangsness and Cook have turned down the offers, and with the clock ticking, it is unclear whether the two would come back next season. I hear the duo, who are negotiating together, have decided to take a stand on the treatment of female cast members on the show as the two have consistently been been paid less than half of what all of their male counterparts — not just stars Gibson and Mantegna — are making. With the new offers again positioning them well below all other cast members, I hear Vangsness and Cook are willing to walk if they don’t get some parity with their co-stars.
EXCLUSIVE: Criminal Minds executive producer/showrunner Erica Messer has closed a new two-year overall deal with ABC Studios. Under the pact, she is set to continue as showrunner on the studio’s veteran crime drama. Locking in Messer has been considered key to Criminal Minds‘ renewal. CBS did not pick up the show for another season along with its other series because of too many uncertainties as Messer and key cast members Thomas Gibson, Joe Mantegna, Shemar Moore, Kirsten Vangsness and A.J. Cook all had no deals beyond this season. ABC Studios and CBS are yet to lock in the actors, but Messer’s deal is expected to help the process. I hear besides money, a major holdup in the actors’ negotiations had been the fact that it was unclear who would run the show next season. Messer is very well liked among the cast and crew of Criminal Minds, so her coming back would likely help the actors commit. Of course, the studio and network also have to bridge the salary gaps between what the actors ask for and what they offer, by most accounts nominal raises.
Less than two weeks before CBS’ upfront presentation, I hear there has been little movement on the money issue, leading to speculation that CBS may come out with a best and final offer. The actors don’t negotiate together, so it is conceivable that CBS renews the show with some of the cast signed and continues negotiations with the others after the upfront. That happened two years ago when Gibson and Moore’s contracts were up. Moore closed before the upfronts, while Gibson’s deal didn’t close until late June. And if CBS, which is footing the bill on the show, decides to play hardball and not renew Criminal Minds if agreements with actors could not be reached, the series could potentially move to ABC, whose sibling ABC Studios is reaping the financial benefits of the show’s lucrative off-network deal and strong sales around the world — the way CBS took in NBC’s Medium several years ago. Most insiders stress such a nuclear option is extremely unlikely, and CBS will find a way to bring Criminal Minds for a ninth season.
CBS Renews ‘Elementary’, ‘The Good Wife’, ‘Blue Bloods’, ‘NCIS: LA’, ‘POI’, ‘Mentalist’, ’2 Broke Girls’, ‘Mike & Molly’, ‘Hawaii’
CBS kept the tradition of renewing most of its slate in one fell swoop. Demonstrating its signature stability, the network has picked up most of its current series for next season, with two major exceptions: veteran …
CBS’ Nina Tassler: TV Violence Conversation Shouldn’t “Devolve Into Discussion Of One Show Vs. The Other” – TCA
Violence on TV has been a major topic during the current TCA press tour, and along with references to the recent massacres in Aurora and Newtown, the discussion frequently included CBS‘ dark and violent serial killer procedural …
EXCLUSIVE: A decade ago, Criminal Minds executive producer/ showrunner Erica Messer landed her first staff writing job on the ABC spy drama Alias. During her two-season stint on the show, she wrote three episodes, all of them directed by Alias executive producer/director Ken Olin. Now the two get to work together again on an episode of a primetime drama written by Messer, this time with Olin in front of the camera: Actor-turned-director Olin is set to guest star in an upcoming episode of CBS’ Criminal Minds, which will shoot in January and air in February. Fittingly, the episode will mark the drama directing debut of another actor venturing behind the camera, Criminal Minds star Thomas Gibson.
In the episode, the BAU travels to the Eastern Shore of Maryland to investigate the disappearance of two teenage girls. All roads lead to their father, Bruce (Olin), who despite his professed innocence looks more and more guilty with each turn. With time running out, the team uncovers a dark family secret that leads to a shocking conclusion. “I am beyond thrilled to have Ken Olin bring this character to life and can’t wait for Thomas to have a shot behind the camera,” Messer said.