NBC has shipped pirate drama Crossbones to Saturday for its last two airings, with this Friday’s episode the last to air in the series’ regular Friday 10 PM slot. The John Malkovich starrer will then be replaced by an NBC News special and Dateline for the following two weeks. Crossbones, which had been in the works for a long time, having been announced at NBC’s 2012 May upfront, started slow and has since lost half of its premiere rating, most recently drawing a 0.5 in 18-49 and 2.7 million viewers last Friday. NBC often sends underperforming dramas to end their runs on the low-trafficked Saturday night, something it previously did with Smash and Crisis.
Ratings Rat Race: Barbara Walters’ ’20/20′ Interview With Elliot Rodger’s Father Propels ABC Friday Night
Barbara Walters’ 20/20 interview with Elliot Rodger’s father was the cornerstone of Friday night’s scant original programming, drawing 6.2 million total viewers and rallying ABC in the evening’s win among all broadcast networks to 5.1M total viewers besting CBS (4.9M), NBC (3.3M), Fox (2.05M) and CW (898K). Though 20/20 was the number two show among total viewers, notching just behind CBS’s repeat of Blue Bloods (6.3M) –the top show of the night — it managed to be the number one in both adults 18-49 (1.3/5) and 25-54 (1.7/6).
Nonetheless, among Walters’ 20/20 greatest hits in the ratings annals, the Peter Rodger interview ranks behind her May 2nd interview with Donald Sterling girlfriend V. Stiviano which drew 7.14 million and a 1.7 rating in Adults 18-49. The most watched Barbara Walters interview on 20/20 ever was her March 3, 1999, interview with Monica Lewinsky. That edition of 20/20 was watched by an estimated 70 million viewers — a record for a news program.
20/20 saw double digit week-to-week gains across the board in total viewers (+24%), A18-49 (+18%) and A25-54 (+13%). The news show more than doubled NBC’s audience at 10 P.M. for its original air of Crossbones in total viewers (2.3M) and more than tripled in A18-49 (0.4/2). For the 2013-14 season 20/20 registered 6.3 million total viewers in live + same day averages, with 1.5/5 in A18-49 and 2.1/6 in A25-54.
With mostly repeats rounding out most of the night, NBC’s news special A Leap of Faith: A Meredith Vieira Special was another fresh telecast of the night drawing 3.8M viewers from 8-10 …
Lots going on in this first trailer for NBC‘s new pirate drama. Crossbones stars a white-goateed John Malkovich as Blackbeard — Genius. Madman. Legend., we’re told — who reigns over a rogues gallery of outlaws and miscreant sailors in 1715. He comes up against Tom Lowe (Richard Coyle), an assassin masquerading as a physician who is sent to the Bahamian island of New Providence, the first functioning democracy in the Americas, and tasked with taking out the ruthless and much-feared Blackbeard. Swashbuckling, torture, explosions and pillaging ensue. The cast also includes Claire Foy, David Hoflin, Yasmine Al Massri and Tracy Ifeachor. Have a look, ye landlubbers:
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.
Alcatraz alum David Hoflin and Yasmine Al Massri have been cast as regulars in the NBC pirate drama Crossbones, from Luther creator Neil Cross. The series is set in 1715 on the Bahamian island of New Providence where the diabolical pirate Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard (John Malkovich), reigns over a rogue nation of thieves, outlaws and miscreant sailors. Aussie Hoflin, repped by Resolution and Genesis, will play Vane, a pirate captain known for being a vicious, villainous and murderous predator. Al Massri will play Selma, a poised and elegant Arabian woman who is Blackbeard’s one confidante. Filming is set to begin right away in Puerto Rico.
Nora Kirkpatrick (The Office), Joel David Moore (Avatar) and Jessica Walter (Arrested Development) will co-star opposite Jaime Pressly in the TV Land single-camera comedy pilot Jennifer Falls. It centers on Jennifer Doyle (Pressly), a hot-tempered, high-flying businesswoman who gets fired from her job and is forced to move back with her mom (Walter), bringing along her teenage daughter. Moore will play Jennifer’s brother, who had lived in her shadow, and now she works for him in his bar. Kirkpatrick, repped by Innovative and the Burstein Co., will play Jennifer’s sister-in-law. Jennifer used to babysit her and …
EXCLUSIVE UPDATED: British actor Richard Coyle (W.E.) has been cast as the co-lead opposite John Malkovich in the NBC pirate drama Crossbones. Also cast in the series, from Luther creator Neil Cross and producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, are Claire Foy and Tracy Ifeachor. Crossbones is set in 1715 on the Bahamian island of New Providence where the diabolical pirate Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard (Malkovich), reigns over a rogue nation of thieves, outlaws and miscreant sailors. To gain control of this fearsome society, Tom Lowe (Coyle), a highly skilled undercover assassin, is sent to the pirates’ haven to take down the brilliant and charismatic Blackbeard. But the closer Lowe gets, the more he finds that his quest is not so simple. Lowe can’t help but admire the political ideals of Blackbeard, whose thirst for knowledge knows no bounds. Foy will play Kate, the beautiful Governor’s daughter, now a pirate who works for Blackbeard and is a love interest for Lowe.
Ifeachor, repped by NB Management and UK’s United Agents, will play Nenna, a smart, powerful fighter who exhibits complete loyalty and a slight fear for Captain Blackbeard. Coyle, repped by IFA and Troika, had a major seasonlong arc on USA’s Covert Affairs as Annie’s love interest Simon Fischer. Cross …
EXCLUSIVE: Feature and TV director David Slade (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) is set to direct the opening episode of the upcoming NBC pirate drama Crossbones starring John Malkovich. Crossbones, from Luther creator Neil Cross and producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, is set in 1715 on the Bahamian island of New Providence where the diabolical pirate Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard (Malkovich), reigns over a rogue nation of thieves, outlaws and miscreant sailors. Cross wrote the script and is executive producing with Parkes, MacDonald and Ted Gold for Parkes/MacDonald Prods; Georgeville TV; and Universal V. This is the latest high-profile NBCUni drama with straight-to-series order whose first episode Slade has been tasked with directing. He helmed the opener of NBC’s Hannibal, on which he has served as executive producer and directed multiple episodes, and is doing the same for Helix, Syfy‘s upcoming series from Battlestar Galactica developer/executive producer Ron Moore.
Related: 2013-14 NBC New Series
The Sarah Connor Chronicles creator Josh Friedman has closed an overall deal at Universal Television. Under the two-year pact, Friedman will serve as co-executive producer on the upcoming NBC pirate drama Crossbones starring John Malkovich. Additionally, he will develop and supervise projects for the studio. “Josh Friedman puts a distinct, unique spin on everything he writes,” said Uni TV EVP Bela Bajaria. “He taps into interesting worlds and is a very talented writer. We’ve followed his career for years and are excited to be in business with him.”
Crossbones, from Luther creator Neil Cross and producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, is set in 1715 on the Bahamian island of New Providence where the diabolical pirate Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard (Malkovich), reigns over a rogue nation of thieves, outlaws and miscreant sailors. Cross wrote the script and is executive producing with Parkes, MacDonald and Ted Gold for Parkes/MacDonald Prods; Georgeville Television; and Universal Television.
In a major casting coup for NBC, the network has landed Oscar-nominated John Malkovich to topline new action-adventure series Crossbones, from Luther creator Neil Cross and feature producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald and Georgeville TV. He will play the notorious English pirate Blackbeard, a role Brit Hugh Laurie flirted with for a while but ultimately did not commit to. The 10-episode Crossbones is set in 1715 on the Bahamian island of New Providence, the first functioning democracy in the Americas, where the diabolical pirate Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard (Malkovich), reigns over a rogue nation of thieves, outlaws and miscreant sailors. Part shantytown, part marauder’s paradise, this is a place like no other on Earth — and a mounting threat to international commerce. The series, originally picked up for this midseason, has not been slotted and will likely launch next season.
In what would be a major casting coup for NBC, the network is in talks with former House star Hugh Laurie to topline new action-adventure series Crossbones, from Luther creator Neil Cross and feature producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald. Unlike House, where Brit Laurie played an American, he would be able to use his normal British accent in Crossbones as he would play the notorious English pirate Blackbeard.
The companies’ newly launched Sierra/Engine Television creates a new distribution and production venture for the global TV marketplace. The entity will debut at MIPCOM this year and combine Sierra/Affinity‘s international film sales and distribution expertise with Engine Entertainment‘s strength as a distributor of TV programming for global audiences. It will be run by Engine CEO Chris Philip. It’s the latest move into the TV business for Sierra/Affinity, which earlier this month pacted with Georgeville Television to distribute overseas Georgeville’s Crossbones, a 10-episode order for NBC from Luther creator Neil Cross and producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald; Hunters (aka Epidemic), a 13-episode order for ABC from J. Michael Straczynski and Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment. The new Sierra/Engine will offer the titles to MIPCOM next month.