It looks like no renewal deal is coming today for Fox’s veteran medical drama House. Or Bones. The network’s two longest-running and strongest drama series are in a similar position: both have been the subject of complex, drawn-out renewal negotiations as neither has a deal for next season. In both cases, the studios (Universal Media Studios for House and 20th Century Fox TV for Bones) have been looking for two-season pickups and have been looking to resolve things sooner rather than later as they also have to make deals with the series’ creators/executive producers, David Shore and Hart Hanson, respectively. (UMS also has to deal with re-signing the original supporting cast on House whose contracts are up, though star Hugh Laurie is locked in for next season.) And in both cases, the holdup has been haggling with the network over license fees.
Because of the rare cross-pollination of NBC’s studio producing for competitor Fox, the House negotiations have garnered a lot more attention. Since talks had stalled/moved extremely slowly, a deadline was set, originally for last week, then pushed to end of day today, as a way to help speed things up. But after making progress at the beginning of the week, mostly on the length of the pickup, the two sides couldn’t bridge the gap as Fox wouldn’t budge on its request for reducing the license fee for the show, … Read More »
Fox has just given an early second-season pickup to animated comedy Bob’s Burgers. This is the third scripted series to be renewed for next season, following the January pickup of another freshman comedy, Raising Hope, and Fringe. “Bob’s Burgers has proved to be a perfect neighbor to our slate of fan-favorite animated families this year,” said Fox’s entertainment president Kevin Reilly. “The series has found its own really unique, irreverent voice and is doing consistent business for us on Sundays, so we’re excited to serve up another season to the fans.”
After a big premiere boosted by an NFL overrun, Bob’s Burgers settled into a so-so ratings territory, posting a 2.2 in adults 18-49 for its most recent original. Fox’s decision to renew Bob’s Burgers is also interesting as the network has two new animated series on tap for next season, Allen Gregory and Napoleon Dynamite. But, with a 13-episode order, Bob’s Burgers can split the season with the newcomers, whose combined order is for 13 half-hours. Bob’s Burgers, from 20th TV, was created by Loren Bouchard who executive produces and writes with Jim Dauterive.
Fox has picked up animated comedy American Dad! for a seventh season with a 22-episode order. “This is fantastic news,” said Roger the Alien. “But you do realize I’m not real, right?”
With the renewal, Fox now has all returning comedies from its Sunday animated block locked in for next season. However, because the order for American Dad, now in its sixth season, came in late and because Fox has 2 new animated series on deck for next season, Allen Gregory and Napoleon Dynamite, the network is expected to air only portion of American Dad’s 22-episode order during the upcoming 2011-12 season, running the remaining episodes the following season. This has actually been the airing pattern for American Dad all along, since the show’s premiere after the Super Bowl in 2005, with each of its seasons usually spread over two broadcast cycles.
The 20th TV-produced American Dad, which centers on ultra-conservative, staunch GOP supporter and CIA agent Stan Smith (Seth MacFarlane), was co-created by Seth MacFarlane, Mike Barker and Matt Weitzman who are exec producing with Kenny Schwartz, Rick Wiener and Nahnatchka Khan. Upcoming guest voices for this season include Anjelica Huston, Elisabeth Shue, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Burt Reynolds and Cee-Lo Green.
Fox has renewed Gordon Ramsay’s newest culinary competition series, Masterchef, for a second season. This is Ramsay’s third successful series on Fox, following Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares. The other person with 3 series on Fox – Seth MacFarlane. Masterchef was the highest-rated new summer series among adults 18-49. It is produced by Reveille, Shine TV and One Potato Two Potato.