Former House executive producer Thomas Moran is back at Fox with a new drama project. The network has handed a script commitment with sizable penalty to St. Nick, an irreverent drama about a young Catholic priest going down a morally corrupt road for all the right reasons. Moran is writing and executive producing for 20th Century Fox TV. Moran, repped by the Shuman Co. and attorney Michael Gendler, currently consults on another 20th TV drama, the Howard Gordon-produced Legends for TNT (through Fox 21). He was on House for the medical drama’s entire eight-season run, rising through the ranks from supervising to executive producer, and previously worked on JAG and NCIS.
Gordon Ramsey’s latest Fox reality series, Hotel Hell, will premiere on April 6, taking over slot of another Ramsey show, Kitchen Nightmares, Fridays at 8 PM. In Hotel Hell, the foul-mouthed chef will try to fix substandard hotels. Fox’s animated series Bob’s Burgers will launch its second season on March 11, joining the network’s Sunday animated block at 8:30 PM. Dramedy Bones will return from hiatus on April 5. Fox also has set a date for the series finale of House — May 21.
It’s the end of the road for veteran medical drama House, which will bow out after the end of its current eighth season on Fox in May. The network has granted creator David Shore’s wish for an early decision to allow him to give the series and its characters a proper ending. The move opens the door for renewal of another Fox drama in need of an early verdict, freshman Terra Nova.
Shore originally was hoping for a resolution by end of last year but he and the network “agreed mutually to put it off until after the first of the year,” Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly said at TCA in January. At the time he admitted that he’s been “avoiding” making the decision because “it’s hard to imagine the network without House… It’s going to be a close call.” I hear the network made that call over the past 24 hours, siding with Shore who felt that creatively the series was in a place where he wanted to bring it home. Shore had the support of fellow House executive producer Katie Jacobs and star/executive producer Hugh Laurie. “While it’s with much regret, and a lump in our throats, we respect the decision Hugh, David and Katie have made,” Reilly said in a statement today. …
‘House’ To End Run On Fox After 8 Seasons
Here is an open letter written by House creator/executive producer David Shore, executive producer Katie Jacobs and star/executive producer Hugh Laurie discussing the decision to end the medical drama after the end of this season, the show’s eighth.
After much deliberation, the producers of House M.D. have decided that this season of the show, the 8th, should be the last. By April this year they will have completed 177 episodes, which is about 175 more than anyone expected back in 2004.
The decision to end the show now, or ever, is a painful one, as it risks putting asunder hundreds of close friendships that have developed over the last eight years – but also because the show itself has been a source of great pride to everyone involved.
Since it began, House has aspired to offer a coherent and satisfying world in which everlasting human questions of ethics and emotion, logic and truth, could be examined, played out, and occasionally answered. This sounds like fancy talk, but it really isn’t. House has, in its time, intrigued audiences around the world in vast numbers, and has shown that there is a strong appetite for television drama that relies on more than prettiness or gun play.
But now that time is drawing to a close. The
It was another case of “when the cat’s away…” last night as Fox and ABC battled it out last night while CBS’ formidable Monday lineup was once again in repeats. But CBS wasn’t completely out — a repeat of Two And A Half Men (3.0/7 in adults 18-49, 10 million viewers) was the top-rated and most-watched program of the night against mostly original competition on the other networks. Both Fox dramas, House (2.8/8) and Alcatraz (2.7/7), were down 10% from last week. Alcatraz is shaping up to be as big a DVR player as J.J. Abrams’ other Fox series, Fringe, gaining 37% in Live+3 last week. Fox (2.8/7, 8.5 million) won the night in 18-49 and total viewers. ABC’s The Bachelor (2.6/7) was down 4% from last week, while Castle was a repeat. NBC’s Who’s Still Standing (1.7/5) was flat with last week, while Fear Factor (1.5/4) aired a rerun to replace the controversial donkey semen episode that was pulled at the last minute. Rock Center With Brian Williams (0.8/2) was down 50% from last week’s two-hour episode that featured a GOP debate. At the CW, the 100th episode of Gossip Girl (1.4 million, 0.8/3 in 18-34, 0.7/2 in 18-49) posted across-the-board gains from last week: 25% in total viewers, 14% in 18-34 and 17% in 18-49. Hart Of Dixie (1.5 million, 0.6/1 in 18-49) was up too, 21% in viewers and 20% in 18-49.
House‘s ratings upswing couldn’t have come at a better time. As conversations between Fox and Universal Television over the future of the veteran medical drama continue, House last night came back strong from a two-month hiatus. Returning to its old Monday 8 PM slot, the series starring Hugh Laurie with Melanie Lynskey as guest drew a 3.1/8 in adults 18-49, up 19% from its last original telecast on November 28. In its regular 9 PM time period debut, new drama Alcatraz (3.0/7) was down 9% from its two-hour premiere last Monday. It matched the second-week fast-national rating for Terra Nova despite starting off higher with a stronger premiere and airing at 9 PM with a lead-in from House vs. a 8 PM berth for Terra Nova. The Fox dramas were helped by CBS, whose formidable Monday lineup was in repeats last night. Also taking advantage of that was ABC’s The Bachelor (2.7/7), up 13% from last week. But Castle (2.1/5) at 10 PM was down 5%. NBC’s Who’s Still Standing (1.7/5) was up 6% from its most recent episode two weeks ago. With a Republican presidential debate airing under the aegis of Rock Center With Brian Williams, the newsmagazine not surprisingly posted its highest ratings ever: The two-hour debate averaged 7.1 million viewers, the second-highest audience for a GOP debate this cycle behind ABC’s December 10 special. Fox (3.0/8, 8.8 million) won the night in 18-49 and total viewers.
With so many Fox series in limbo for next season, the network’s entertainment president Kevin Reilly spent the entire TCA executive session fielding questions about the future of veteran medical drama House, low-rated sci-fi drama Fringe, freshman Terra Nova and musical dramedy Glee, leaving virtually no time for him to brag about the Fox ratings gains this past fall. (He still found a way to mention the network’s 14% year-to-year ratings increase in one of his answers.)
In a nutshell, no decision has been made on House, Terra Nova or Fringe. Things don’t look good for Fringe, though it, along with House, will get satisfying finales if this proves to be the end of the road for them. Glee meanwhile looks very good to return though the plan for a spinoff has been scrapped. And, oh yeah, low-rated freshman animated comedy Allen Gregory has been officially canceled. Here are the details from Reilly, who also addressed the future of American Idol host Ryan Seacrest:
On Glee: “There will be no spinoff. The characters (who are seniors) will be graduating. (Co-creator) Ryan Murphy and the guys have come up with a really cool idea… that I think is going to really give us something cool to dig into next season. … It would be a cool season next year.” Despite the enthusiastic thumbs-up, Reilly declined …
When Fox’s executives face reporters during the network’s portion of the winter TV Critics Association press tour on Sunday, the futures of two series — freshman Terra Nova and veteran House — are expected to be a popular topic (along with the survival chances of low-rated cult favorite Fringe of course). The producers of Terra Nova and House were hoping to find out whether their shows are being renewed by end of December. (House creator David Shore has been vocal about needing time to end the series properly if this indeed is its final season.) That didn’t happen, but Fox brass are pressed to make a decision quickly, especially in the case of Terra Nova, which has to go into production by April in order to be ready for fall. And what a difficult decision it is going to be as the network will have to make it in a vacuum. Three of Fox’s four new drama series this season, or 75%, have yet to premiere. And the network’s drama pilot scripts are only now starting to come in. So the network, which doesn’t have many drama slots open, may have to make a decision on two hourlong series before the debut of the majority of its freshman dramas and before it has seen its drama development for next season. Things may get a little bit clearer in the next three weeks, when midseason dramas Alcatraz and The Finder will premiere and Touch will get a preview ahead of its March debut. Still, committing to new seasons of two modestly rated existing series so early with so many unknowns is risky.
The broadcast season unofficially kicks off tonight. And just like in a kids board game, the youngest of the networks, the CW, got to start first, unspooling its new series Ringer starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. Also launching tonight are the new seasons of the CW’s 90210 and NBC’s Parenthood, marking the unofficial start of the new season, which kicks in on Monday. Here are the networks’ standings going into the fall season:
With Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies on tap for baseball’s postseason this year, along with the heavily promoted The X Factor and new big-budget dinosaur drama Terra Nova, Fox is in a position to significantly outperform last fall when the network carried the National League Championship Series and had two DOA shows, drama Lone Star and comedy Running Wilde. The question marks at the network this fall are the new comedies, New Girl and I Hate My Teenage Daughter, though both are propped up by solid lead-ins, Glee and X Factor, respectively, and whether Glee and House can rebound after a disappointing 2010-11 season. If the stars align and X Factor lives up to its ratings expectations, Fox may win the fourth quarter as it did two years ago when it also had the American League Championship Series and the highly rated freshman season of Glee.
Fox’s main rival for the top spot in the fall will be the epitome of stability, CBS, which will get a ratings boost from the re-launch of Two and a Half Men. The consensus is that CBS has potential breakout hits on its hands with new Monday comedy Two Broke Girls, which is launching behind the much-hyped return of Two and a Half Men, and possibly Thursday drama Person of Interest. The network is getting high marks for taking its aging series such as the CSI franchise and Survivor and relocating them to troubled spots on the schedule that they shore up. The network is expected to accomplish that again this season with the mothership CSI series, which is moving to Wednesday 10 PM, with its replacement on Thursday, Person of Interest, looking to do at least as well as CSI if not better. The only question marks at CBS are new Thursday 8:30 comedy How To Be a Gentleman and where Men will settle after the initial ratings spike.