Fox and its 20th Century Fox TV studio have suffered a setback in its trademark legal dispute with the owner of a small chain of independent stand-up comedy clubs in the UK. Mark Tughan, whose Comic Enterprises owns four Glee Clubs, registered the trademark in 1999, and in 2011 he filed a lawsuit against Fox over musical dramedy Glee, claiming the name of the show infringes on his trademark, creating a confusion that his venues are somehow associated with the series. Earlier today, a British judge ruled in Tughan’s favor on the infringement and “tarnishment” issues while rejecting his claim of harm being caused to him by the Glee series, which airs in the UK on Sky Broadcasting, partly owned by Fox. While handing a victory to Tughan, the judge expressed an opinion rather than ordering actions such as an injunction banning the series from airing in the UK, something Tughan had sought. Fox will request an appeal, which, if granted, could drag on for as long as a year, during which time Glee would continue to air in the UK.
Fox Midseason: ‘Glee’ Returns To Tuesday, ‘Brooklyn’ Moves Behind ‘New Girl’, ‘Mindy’ Takes Hiatus, ‘Following’ Gets NFC Launch
Fox is making some scheduling changes for midseason. The underperforming two-hour Tuesday comedy block will be scaled to an hour beginning February 25, when Glee will return to the Tuesday 8 PM slot where it did pretty well during the 2011-12 season. Fox brass hope that the move would help the show regain some footing, which it has lost airing behind a very weak The X Factor this fall. The hourlong Fox comedy block will consist of New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which will move to the 9:30 slot on February 4. It will replace The Mindy Project, which will go on hiatus after a winter finale on January 28, returning on April 1 after Brooklyn Nine-Nine ends its freshman run. The move comes after the sophomore comedy starring Mindy Kaling hit a new series low (1.2 in 18-49) this week. The show’s crew already has been told of the scheduling change, and Mindy is planning a month-long production hiatus around the holidays which the writers will use to regroup and plot the show’s April re-launch.
Fox also is changing its launch plans for midseason dramas The Following and Rake. Instead of premiering new legal dramedy Rake behind the NFC Championship Game on January 19 as previously announced, Fox will launch the second season of gritty drama The Following after the big game for a two-night season premiere on Sunday, January 19 and Monday, January 20 when the series will debut in its regular Monday 9 PM slot, following the season finale of Sleepy Hollow. The argument is that the dark, male skewing Following would be more compatible with the football game than the lighter, more female-friendly Rake. The new series starring Greg Kinnear will premiere January 23 in its regular Thursday 9 PM slot, following American Idol. As previously announced, new Fox comedy Enlisted will premiere on Friday, January 10, and original episodes of New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine will air after the Super Bowl on February 2. Remaining unclear if the spring scheduling of comedy Dads, which will air its last originals in its Tuesday February 4 and February 11 before going on hiatus to make room for Glee. It could come back later in the season, a return date is TBD. Here are Fox’s updated winter premiere dates:
The episode’s three-hankie music covers have been released, media polls have been created so you can vote which made you cry hardest, the creator has spoken of weeping cast members shooting excruciatingly emotional scenes, the tabloids have written about the mysterious exclusion from the episode of the actress who played his original love interest – it’s time for Fox to air the Cory Monteith tribute episode of Glee tonight and see how America reacts.
Fox and the show creators had decided, shortly after Monteith’s death, to air a couple of original episodes first, followed by a Monteith tribute episode this week, which got the episode away from the crush of new-show premieres and returning show debuts. Among Fox competitors this week, talk seemed to be split between those who think this episode will pack a wallop, and those who expressed surprise the episode hasn’t generated more buzz and wonder if Fox waited too long to deal on-air with the actor’s death.
Angel alum Alexis Denisof has booked an arc on another genre show, NBC’s supernatural crime drama Grimm, co-created by Angel co-creator David Greenwalt. He will play Viktor Albert Wilhelm George Beckendorf, the cunning, smart, funny and ruthless first cousin to Eric Renard (James Frain). Denisof is with Evolution and APA.
Phoebe Strole, member of the original cast of the 2006 musical Spring Awakening, is reuniting with co-star Lea Michele on Michele’s Fox series Glee. Strole, repped by APA and Principal Entertainment NY, will recur as Penny Owen, a sophomore in college who wants to get into nursing school and who becomes Sam’s (Chord Overstreet) new love interest.
Fox has a Thursday problem. The problem is X Factor followed by Glee. Their ratings are not catastrophic — they’re just not what the show once enjoyed, or what Fox would like to see again. The X Factor’s Thursday results show was down 25% in overall audience last season, and 21% in the demo (9.5 million viewers, 3.3 rating) compared to the season previous, and the season previous wasn’t anything to write home about — which is why all but one of the show’s non-Simon Cowell judges, and one of two hosts, are not returning in the fall. Glee, meanwhile fell another 13% in the demo, and 10% overall, last season (3.3 rating, 8.1 million viewers) – and that’s with just one rerun in the ratings mix – making it that show’s lowest-rated season yet. Back in its second season, Glee managed to snag 10.3 million viewers and a 4.2 rating with around a dozen repeats factored in.
Enter Demi Lovato.
In one of those the-whole-is-bigger-than-the-sum-of-its-parts theme nights, the popular singer/former child star has been signed to appear in at least six episodes of Glee this coming season, while also appearing as X’s sole surviving non-Simon judge. That’s at least six Lovato-themed Thursdays this season — more than a third of Glee‘s episode order for the season. It’s the former Disney Channel star’s first major acting gig since Sonny With A Chance called it a day. She’ll first appear in the second part of Glee’s Beatles tribute, on October 3, as TVLine noted.
Fox has released the first promo for the upcoming 5th season of Glee. Dubbed Once Again, the upbeat trailer features Lea Michele, Chris Colfer, Jane Lynch and Matthew Morrison. There is no mention of the recently deceased Cory Monteith. The show returns on September 26 with two Beatles-themed …
“He was very special to me and also to the world and we were very lucky to witness his incredible talent, his handsome smile and his beautiful heart,” said Lea Michele tonight …