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TV’s Sexual Revolution: Female-Driven Series Dominating Early Orders

Nellie Andreeva

How many new comedy series with a female lead were picked up last May? Zero. How many have been picked up so far this season? Every single one. All four new comedy series ordered so far by Fox and NBC this season have female leads. That is how many the four broadcast networks combined have on the air this season: NBC’s 30 Rock starring Tina Fey and Parks and Recreation starring Amy Poehler, and ABC’s The Middle starring Patricia Heaton and Cougar Town starring Courteney Cox. Half of those were created by women. All four of the newly picked series come from female creators. While not at 100%, female-centered series are also dominant on the drama side. One of the two new Fox dramas, Alcatraz, has a female lead, Sarah Jones, and was co-written by a female writer, Liz Sarnoff. Of the two NBC drama pickups, one is the female-centered Prime Suspect starring Maria Bello and written by Alexandra Cunningham and the other the female-skewing Smash, which has two leads, one played by Debra Messing. And the two locks at ABC are all about ladies (though penned by male writers), Charlie’s Angels and Good Christian Bitches.

The four newly picked up half-hour series will probably be joined by 3-4 more for a complete domination of the freshman comedy class of 2011 the way ensemble relationship comedies were all the craze last year. What’s more, it looks like as many as three new comedy series are two-female lead shows. Read More »

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TCA: New ‘Nikita’ Series ‘Is Not A Rehash’

By | Thursday July 29, 2010 @ 6:25pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

After a popular Nikita movie and series, why retell the story yet again in a new series? It’s a legitimate question and one the writer of the upcoming CW series Nikita Craig Silverstein asked himself when Warner Bros. TV approached him with the idea to do something with the title. “I took it upon myself to find a way — could it be done fresh? Could we have a take where you didn’t know how this story was going to end? And that’s when I came upon the idea of following Nikita (Maggie Q) after she had left the agency which is a chapter that’s never been told, and at the same time doing justice to the origin story of Nikita, that dark fairy tale of taking a girl and changing her life, changing her identity, and the kind of Pygmalion aspect of transforming her into a killer, a beautiful killer and giving her etiquette lessons and all that stuff.  We’re doing that with the character of Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca). You don’t know which way this girl is going to go, you don’t know how the story is going to end.  So it’s not a rehash.”

McG hit on the empowered female characters theme in Nikita. “From my experience with Charlie’s Angels on down, it’s just I like the idea of empowered female characters that don’t apologize for being beautiful, but are very, very intelligent and multi-dimensional, and I think Maggie nails that voicing.”

Director Danny Cannon shed some light on the action-packed pilot’s budget. “I’m very proud that this pilot cost a third of what other pilots cost this year.  And that’s because I did … Read More »

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