Emma Bell (Final Destination 5) is heading to Southfork Ranch. The actress has landed the new series regular role of Emma Brown in the upcoming second season TNT’s new Dallas series, from Warner Horizon. Brown is described as a sheltered classic beauty who was raised by her grandmother and has traveled through Europe since she was a toddler. An avid equestrian, she feels safest in her bubble but is about to discover what lies beyond. The Walking Dead alumna Bell, repped by ICM Partners, co-starred on the NBC drama pilot Midnight Sun this past season.
The original 1980s Dallas was a big hit overseas. So it is no surprise that the revival also has done well in its premiere. The debut of the Warner Horizon-produced series, which airs on TNT in the U.S., drew 2.934 million viewers on U.K’s Channel 5 last night (5.1 rating/13 share at 9 PM). It ranked as Channel 5’s number one show for the night and as the most watched UK debut of a US series during the 2011/12 season, surpassing previous leader, Channel 4’s Homeland premiere, by 746,000 total viewers.
In other Dallas news, Mitch Pileggi (Sons Of Anarchy), who did an arc on the show’s first season, is being promoted to regular. He plays Brenda Strong’s ex-husband, Harris Ryland, who controls influence over the entire Ewing family. Pileggi is with Pakula/King & Assoc.
TNT made the announcement during last night’s season 1 finale. The network had previously said it would return in 2013. And here’s a good reason why. Dallas is cable’s #1 new drama with adults 18-49 and adults 25-54 for the year-to-date. The Southfork reboot also is right behind TNT’s Perception among cable’s top new series of the year-to-date among total viewers. For its first season, Dallas averaged 4.5 million viewers in live plus same day delivery, with 1.4 million adults 18-49 and 1.8 million adults 25-54. TNT says the first season ended with 4.3 million viewers for last night’s episode — up 32% over last week’s episode. The show also scored significant growth over last week among key demos, with adults 18-49 up 58% to 1.6 million and adults 25-54 up 49% to 1.9 million. Cynthia Cidre and Michael M. Robin serve as executive producers on the series created by David Jacobs. Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray and Larry Hagman, all from the original, star in the rebooted series that features the next generation of Ewings who take ambition and deception to a new level. TNT did not announce an exact date for the return, only that it would debut in January.
TNT has started its renewals with a fourth season order to its new flagship series, Rizzoli & Isles, and a second season pickup of freshman Dallas. Both have received 15-episode orders to air in 2013.
After excelling behind The Closer on Mondays, Rizzoli & Isles has drawn 7.1 million viewers in its new Tuesday 9 PM timeslot and ranks as summer’s #1 returning scripted series on basic cable. “Anchoring a new night in its third season, Rizzoli & Isles has proven itself to be a strong and enduring hit, not only in terms of the great storylines and performances, but also in terms of the show’s stellar ratings,” said TNT’s head of programming Michael Wright. Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander star in Rizzoli & Isles, which was developed for television by executive producer Janet Tamaro from characters created by best-selling crime novelist Tess Gerritsen. Warner Horizon Television is producing, with Janet Tamaro and Bill Haber and Michael Katleman exec producing.
Dallas, also from Horizon Television, is basic cable’s #1 new series in total viewers, and currently averages 6.9 million viewers in its first season. Understandably, given the fact that it is a followup to a 1980s series, it is older-skewing. “Dallas has been a success for us on every …
Frank Darabont’s LA Noir continues to gain momentum at TNT. I hear the project, Darabont’s followup to The Walking Dead, is expected to land a series order after TNT brass officially screen it early next month. LA Noir tells the true story of a decades-long conflict between the LAPD, under the determined leadership of Police Chief Parker (Neal McDonough), and ruthless criminal elements led by mobster Mickey Cohen, a one-time boxer who rose to the top of LA’s criminal world.
Additionally, TNT may renew all four series currently on the air. Rizzoli & Isles and freshman Dallas are considered shoe-ins — Rizzoli & Isles is The Closer‘s heir apparent as TNT’s new flagship series, and Dallas is considered a marquee property. Despite a significant dropoff in Week 2, Falling Skies is still the No.1 scripted cable show in adults 18-49. The sci-fi series also anchors TNT’s genre Sunday night and is big internationally, making it even more lucrative for the network, which owns it. That makes a renewal is likely. Franklin & Bash posted an encouraging ratings uptick this week though TNT will probably monitor the dramedy’s performance for another week or two before making a decision. Franklin & Bash star Breckin Meyer just got a renewal for his other series at Turner, TBS comedy Men At Work, which he created and exec produces but doesn’t appear in.
2ND UPDATE: Lee Rich, the powerful TV mogul responsible for some of the medium’s most popular programming like The Waltons, Dallas, and Eight Is Enough, died on Thursday. He was 93, according to Warner Bros. (Even though the birthdate on his official biography would make him only 85). Recognized inside and outside the television industry for his extrardinarily successful career spanning six decades, he helped found and became chairman of Lorimar in its heyday (where he was nominated for 5 Emmys and won Best Drama Series for The Waltons) and later took over MGM-UA. His death comes just as Warner Bros Television next month unveils its next generation Dallasdrama series on TNT.
“Lee’s passion for television, his business acumen, and his love of the creative process made him an extraordinary mentor for all of us who had the good fortune to work for him,” said Bruce Rosenblum, President Warner Bros. Television Group and Chairman & CEO, Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. “Lee was a creative force who established the gold standard for independent production companies, and the Lorimar/Warner Bros merger was transformational for Warner Bros. Television.” Said CBS Corp chief Les Moonves: “Lee Rich was a giant in the television industry who produced some of the most iconic series in the history of the medium and influenced audiences worldwide. He also served as an early mentor to me while I was at Lorimar, providing valuable guidance for which I will forever be appreciative.” TV icon Norman Lear called Rich “one of the greatest producers to ever come out of advertising and he knew talent better than anyone else.”
“Lee Rich was an indelible talent who helped to shape the television landscape,” said Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, Co-Chairmen and CEOs of MGM. “We are incredibly proud that MGM is a part of his legacy. Lee’s role as Chairman and CEO of MGM/UA and the prolific body of work he created throughout his career continue to inspire the work we do today.”
Rich started his media career at Benton & Bowles advertising agency where he packaged and sold such seminal sitcoms as The Dick Van Dyke Show for Procter & Gamble and The Danny Thomas Show and The Andy Griffith Show, both for General Foods. In those early days of television, admen like Rich enjoyed almost total control over programming, and Rich ultimately headed the television programming and media departments. He left the agency as SVP in 1965 to form his own production company, Mirisch-Rich Productions which produced Rat Patrol and one of the first Garry Marshall/Jerry Belson shows, Hey, Landlord. Rich returned to advertising to run the Leo Burnett Agency. But then he left again to form the indie Lorimar Productions (later known as Lorimar Television and Lorimar Distribution) with Irwin Molasky and Merv Adelson. Here is a wonderful 1999 interview done with Rich by the Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences (obit continues below):
TNT has released a new promo image for its new Dallas series. It features the cast of the reboot in a shower room, evoking the classic scene from the original series, in which Bobby Ewing, after being dead for a season, reappeared alive in the shower to reveal that the entire season had been a dream. For those who don’t get the reference, TNT’s promo department has added a tagline, “They’re Back. And No, You’re Not Dreaming.” Note the strategic placement of the younger stars in the front line of the risque shoot, while Patrick Duffy’s pose is almost identical to that from the original scene.
TNT gave viewers their first glimpse of its newly greenlighted series Dallas on Monday night during the season premieres of The Closer and Rizzoli & Isles. The Warner Horizon Television-produced project — which got the go-ahead late last week with a 10-episode order for a summer 2012 premiere — is from executive producer Cynthia Cidre, who also wrote the pilot. Michael M. Robin directed the pilot and also executive produced. The cast includes Josh Henderson, Jesse Metcalfe, Jordana Brewster, Julie Gonzalo and Brenda Strong along with a couple of original Dallas denizens you might recognize.
EXCLUSIVE: TNT’s Dallas reboot is starting to take shape. Josh Henderson (Desperate Housewives) has landed one of the leads in the project, playing J.R.’s son. Additionally, original Dallas stars Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray are now all confirmed to return to Southfork.
The updated Dallas pilot, from Cane creator Cynthia Cidre and Warner Horizon, centers on the offspring of bitter rivals and brothers J.R. (Hagman) and Bobby Ewing (Duffy) — J.R.’s son, John Ross (Henderson) and Bobby and Pam Ewing’s adopted son, Christopher – who clash over the future of the Ewing dynasty while the fate of Southfork itself weighs in the balance. Henderson joins Jordana Brewster, who was recently cast as Elena, the gorgeous daughter of the ranch’s cook who is locked into a love triangle with Christopher and John. Michael M. Robin (The Closer) is set to direct and executive produce the pilot.
Hagman gained worldwide fame for his portrayal of oil baron J.R. Ewing on the original soap, which ran from 1978 to 1991. Following months of negotiations over salary demands, Hagman has finally signed on for the Dallas reboot after verbally committing to the project last week. Gray and Duffy, who came on board late …
The pilot, from writer Cynthia Cidre and Warner Horizon, centers on the offspring of bitter rivals and brothers J.R. and Bobby Ewing – J.R.’s son, John Ross, and Bobby and Pam Ewing’s adopted son, Christopher – who clash over the future of the Ewing dynasty while the fate of Southfork itself weighs in the balance. Brewster will play Elena, the gorgeous daughter of the ranch’s cook who is locked into a love triangle with Christopher and John.
Brewster joins Dallas alums Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray who are set to reprise their roles from the original series as Bobby and Sue Ellen, respectively. After months of negotiations, fellow Dallas star Larry Hagman, who played the Machiavellian J.R., recently stated that he had verbally committed to the project but is yet to sign a deal, something that could happen next week. Hagman had been holding out for money, prompting the studio and the network to come up with a Plan B, with Cidre writing an alternative pilot script in which Hagman’s J.R. is only represented through flashbacks from the original series. Brewster, repped by CAA and Management 360, has recurred on Chuck and Dark Blue and next reprises her role as Mia Toretto in the upcoming The Fast and …
EXCLUSIVE: After one of the longest courtships in recent TV history, TNT is prepared to proceed with its Dallas reboot without original star Larry Hagman over salary issues. Hagman and fellow Dallas alums Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy were first approached by TNT and Warner Horizon TV about joining a potential updated Dallas series in late summer 2009 when the project was put in development. A year later, at the beginning of September this year, TNT ordered 3 pilots, including Dallas. The reboot, written and executive produced by Cane creator Cynthia Cidre, was described by the network as focusing “on the offspring of bitter rivals and brothers J.R. and Bobby Ewing, who clash over the future of the Ewing dynasty while the fate of Southfork itself weighs in the balance.” The subsequent breakdown for the pilot listed the characters of J.R.’s son, John Ross, and Bobby and Pam Ewing’s adopted son, Christopher, as the leads, while Duffy’s Bobby, Hagman’s J.R. and Gray’s Sue Ellen were down as supporting. TNT has since cast the other two pilots ordered at the same as Dallas, Perception and the untitled Allan Loeb project, as well as another one, Bird Dog, which it greenlighted almost 2 months later. But there has been virtually no movement on Dallas as TNT and Warner Horizon had been looking to lock in the original actors before casting the leads. While Gray and Duffy had …