Hulu Plus has acquired subscription video on demand rights for CBS’ Elementary. This is an SVOD component of the exclusive off-network rights deal announced last week by WGN America for the drama series. Under the deal, Hulu Plus has the …
Tribune’s WGN America continues to aggressively build its programming slate with a second high-profile off-network acquisition. On the heels of its deal with Warner Bros for Person Of Interest, WGN has picked up exclusive off-network cable rights to another CBS procedural drama, sophomore Elementary, from CBS TV Distribution. The deal seals Elementary‘s renewal for next season and probably beyond. No premiere date has been announced, but Elementary is eyed as a companion to POI, which debuts on WGNA in fall 2015, with Elementary expected to join the cable network’s lineup around that time. No one is commenting but I hear the license fee for Elementary is in line with or a tad higher than that $1.1 million-$1.5 million per episode that POI commanded. (Both deals include a carved out broadcast window.) “Elementary is a first-rate drama and terrific addition to the lineup of compelling content that is redefining WGN America,” said WGNA president Matt Cherniss. “It’s a perfect complement to our recent off-network acquisition, Person of Interest.”
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Not surprisingly, today’s freewheeling TCA panel of showrunners from CBS dramas echoed entertainment president Nina Tassler’s defense of traditional network television at her executive session earlier in the morning. On the panel were Rob Doherty (Elementary); Gary Glasberg (NCIS); Robert and Michelle King (The Good Wife) and Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman (Person Of Interest). Glasberg said you just can’t argue with the wider-than-cable exposure a network show can bring. “We have 18 million Facebook followers. It’s crazy,” the producer said.
After a career mostly in feature film, Nolan said he appreciates the immediacy of TV. Still, he noted that the producers had joked backstage about the pressure of producing 22-24 episodes rather than cable’s usually smaller series orders. “It’s very difficult. The [number of episodes] is probably calibrated not to the length of the season but to the exact point a showrunner will have a nervous breakdown,” Nolan said. He added that the absolute breakdown point would be 25. One of the realities of 22-24 episode orders: A single season eats up a lot of story. The panelists addressed some of the big changes that have recently occurred on their shows.
Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Sherlock Holmes’ brother Mycroft Holmes (Rhys Ifans) “will absolutely be back” in Season 2 of CBS’ Elementary, creator/producer Robert Doherty confirmed at this evening’s PaleyFest: Made in NY panel. Doherty said the series plans to include “as much as we can get” of the character. “You’ll see him a couple more times in the first 12 (episodes) and four more times in the back 12,” said Doherty, who was joined on the panel by EPs Craig Sweeney and Carl Beverly and cast members Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Aidan Quinn and Jon Michael Hill. The panel was moderated by TV Guide’s Bruce Fretts. Doherty added that Mycroft will be coming to New York and “circumstances will draw him back into Sherlock and Joan’s orbit”. Producers also confirmed that guest Natalie Dormer (as Irene Adler) will return “around midseason” and that the show hopes to have Sean Pertwee return as Inspector Lestrade but nothing has been confirmed.
The Paley Center for Media, which has held its annual TV festival in Los Angeles for decades, today announced it’s going to throw one in New York too — but only New York-produced programs need apply. The first …
Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man) has been cast in the recurring role of Sherlock Holmes’ older brother, Mycroft Holmes, in the upcoming second season of CBS’ drama series Elementary. He will make his debut in the season premiere, which will be shot on location in London. In the episode, Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) is called to London to revisit an old case, where he is forced to face his brother. Although the siblings suffered a drastic falling-out a few years earlier, Mycroft allows Sherlock and Joan (Lucy Liu) to stay in his new home, 221B Baker Street. With Joan in the middle, the brothers are forced to confront their very complicated history.
It’s January, time for some TV pageantry. I’m not talking about beauty pageant pro Honey Boo Boo’s Sunday return to TV with several specials on TLC, but rather about the semi-annual tradition known as Television Critics Association press tour, which starts today in Pasadena. The two-week affair features broadcast and cable networks touting their upcoming shows. Increasingly, hit series make repeat appearances alongside newbies. This time around, that includes NBC’s Revolution and Grimm, ABC’s Shark Tank, IFC’s Portlandia and CBS’ Elementary (tied to the freshman’s post-Super Bowl episode). For the casts and producers of Revolution and Elementary, this marks the second consecutive TCA press tour after first facing the critics in July. Also returning to TCA after a decade-long break is Arrested Development, which has been revived by Netflix.
Below is a basic schedule for the tour, which kicks off with a packed lineup that includes panels for David E. Kelley’s new TNT drama Monday Mornings, TBS import Cougar Town, A&E’s Psycho prequel Bates Motel executive produced by Carlton Cuse, and Christopher Guest’s new HBO series Family Tree. HBO once again is bringing out the star power for its movies, with Al Pacino, Helen Mirren and David Mamet on tap for Phil Spector and Michael Douglas, Matt Damon and Steven Soderbergh for Behind The Candelabra. Here is the schedule, and check back for Deadline’s TCA coverage:
Friday, January 4 – Cable: Turner, Nat Geo, A&E, HBO, IFC
Saturday, January 5 – Cable: Discovery, Starz, BBC America, Viacom Networks
Sunday, January 6 — NBCUniversal: NBC
You wouldn’t think so based on the lousy prime time ratings for everybody except NBC so far in the 2012-2013 season. But CBS’ dauntless Chief Research Officer David Poltrack vigorously argued today in his annual industry forecast at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference that broadcasters are in great shape. Poltrack projects that advertiser spending for time on the major broadcast networks will fall 2% next year vs 2012. That’s good: It would represent 3% growth if you factor out this year’s boost from the Olympics and the elections. “The economy is finally gaining momentum in the right direction,” Poltrack says. (Zenith Optimedia also predicts a 2% drop for network TV to $16.9B in 2013.) As for the recent ratings, Poltrack says not to worry: The slide is due to what he calls “a chaotic start” with some shows premiering a week early, the presidential debates, and Hurricane Sandy. That’s “not indicative of how the season will progress,” says Poltrack.
CBS has picked freshman drama Elementary to follow the network’s broadcast of the Super Bowl on February 3. The networks occasionally opt to launch new series behind the Super Bowl, like Fox did with American Dad (in tandem with The Simpsons) in 2005, and CBS premiered Undercover Boss the last time it had the Super Bowl in 2010. But for the most part, the rule of thumb has been to put a young show on an upswing behind the big game to help it get to the next level. Recent examples include CBS’ Criminal Minds, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, Fox’s Glee and NBC’s The Voice. (Overall, reality series have fared better than scripted following American TV’s highest-rated yearly telecast.)
Is the black hole known as ABC’s Thursday 8 PM slot ready to swallow another high-profile scripted series? Shawn Ryan’s well received submarine drama Last Resort launched to a modest 2.2 rating/share in adults 18-49 last night. That was just a tenth better than last fall’s debut of the now-defunct Charlie’s Angels in the hour but qualifies as ABC’s best drama debut in the slot in three years as My Generation was DOA in the period in 2010. ABC continues to dispatch new scripted fare to the Thursday 8 PM slot where it’s only had success with the unscripted Wipeout for the past few years.
Last Resort was one of two new series to premiere last night. The other, CBS’ Sherlock Holmes drama Elementary, did better, winning the 10 PM slot with a 3.1/9 in 18-49 and 13.3 million total viewers. It built on its lead-in (2.9/8), a rare feat for a 10 PM show, and it was up by 11% in the demo from the season premiere of The Mentalist in the time slot last fall. One encouraging sign for Last Resort was the 15% 18-49 rise from the first to the second half-hour. (Elementary‘s demo rating slipped by 9% from the first to the second half-hour.)