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‘Lone Star’ Standout To ‘Criminal Minds’

EXCLUSIVE: In her first gig since the swift cancellation of the praised Fox drama Lone Star, Adrianne Palicki has signed on to guest-star in an episode of Criminal Minds that pays homage to Oliver Stone’s seminal criminal satire Natural Born Killers. Read More »

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Fox Weathering Rough Fall TV Season

Nellie Andreeva

After years of languishing in last place in the fall before coming to life in January with the return of American Idol and 24 to win the season, Fox turned the lights on in a big way last fall. There was the introduction of Glee, solid performances from its returning shows led by House, and an ALCS championship and World Series won by the Yankees. But this fall, the network has returned to its old struggling ways, leading the broadcast networks with the steepest ratings declines for the first 4 weeks of the season, down 12% in adults 18-49 and 8% in total viewers. It’s been a rough fall for Fox from the start, with the shockingly low-rated premiere of the now-defunct new drama Lone Star on the very first night of the season. Fox was at a disadvantage going into the season as it was saddled with the less watched NLCS championship this year as part of its arrangement with TBS, in which the two finals alternate between the two networks. And then on Friday, the Rangers beat the Yankees to become ALCS champions and make it to the World Series for the first time — a great feat for the Texas team but a big blow to Fox as Yankees-less World Series generally draw significantly lower ratings than those with the MLB’s marquee franchise in them. Also, the NLCS final on Fox failed to go to 7 games this year, with the deciding 6th game falling on the least watched night of television, Saturday. (Fox still did respectable business last night with a 3.0 rating in 18-49 and 10.2 million viewers.) Read More »

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LIVE+7 TV RATINGS: ‘Grey’s’ Tops Premiere Week; ’90210,’ ‘Gossip’ & ‘Fringe’ Gain Big

Nellie Andreeva

Live+7 and C3 ratings for premiere week were released today, with most series posting double-digit increases when 7 days of DVR viewing was added to their original premiere week tally. In Live+Same day premiere week rating, no series cracked the 6 rating among adults 18-49. In Live+7, 4 series did that: ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy (6.8 rating, +25.9%), which surpassed Fox’s Glee (6.6, +17.9%) was the highest-rated program of premiere week among adults 18-49. ABC’s Modern Family (6.4, +25.5%) and CBS’ The Big Bang Theory (6.00, +22.4%) followed. On a percentage basis, CW’s 90210 (1.3) was the biggest gainer, up 44.4%, followed by Fox’s Fringe (3.1), up 40.9% and CW’s Gossip Girl (1.4), up 40%. Overall, returning series gained more than freshmen as viewers went primarily for old favorites when programming their DVRs. Read More »

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New Project At Fox For ‘Lone Star’ Director

By | Monday October 4, 2010 @ 11:46am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: The (500) Days of Summer helmer has his hands full as director of the Spider-Man feature reboot for Sony, which is in the thick of casting. Now, shortly after canceling his new drama Lone Star, Fox is jumping back in business with Marc Webb who directed the much-lauded pilot for the short-lived Southwest soap. The network has picked up Battleground, a single-camera comedy executive produced by Webb. Read More »

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Fox’s ‘Human Target’ Moves To Wednesdays

Nellie Andreeva

In the fallout of the Lone Star cancellation, Fox’s drama Human Target will move from Fridays to Wednesdays, taking over the slot originally given to Lie To Me. Lie to Me was to premiere on Nov. 10 and run in the Wednesday 8 PM slot, leading into an one-hour Hell’s Kitchen. But as the crime procedural was summoned yesterday to take over the Monday 9 PM period vacated by the cancelled Lone Star staring next week, Human Target will now take its place on Wednesdays. It will premiere Nov. 17. A two-hour Hell’s Kitchen will air on Nov. 10. Instead of launching Human Target‘s second season this past Friday as first planned, Fox held back, airing a Human Target rerun instead, followed by the season debut of The Good Guys. The network will now run House repeats in the Friday 8 PM hour.

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It’s Official: Fox Cancels ‘Lone Star’

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: We have the first cancellation of the 2010-2011 season. No big surprise here – Fox today pulled the plug on the critically praised new soap Lone Star after 2 low-rated airings. Starting next Monday, Lone Star will be replaced by procedural Lie to Me, which has been called to duty earlier than planned. Lie To Me‘s third season will launch next week in the Monday 9 PM slot, which the crime drama once occupied. Following Fox’s cancellation, 20th Century Fox TV decided to immediately cease production on the show, which was filming Episode 6. It is not clear what will happen with the 3 produced episodes that have not aired yet.

The writing was pretty much on the wall after the much-hyped Lone Star opened with a 1.3 rating in 18-49 last week. It got a reprieve but, instead of rebounding, it actually slipped from its disastrous premiere last night to a 1.0 rating, tied with the CW’s Gossip Girl in the 9 PM hour. That’s how, armed with strong reviews, solid cast and a big marketing campaign, Lone Star, became one of the biggest series misfires in recent TV memory. The consensus was that it was a series better suited for cable. But, since Lone Star was developed and budgeted as a broadcast series and in light of its quick demise on Fox without any devoted following, an afterlife for the series on cable appear extremely unlikely.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Dancing’ Wins, ‘Event’ Drops, No Miracle Bounce For ‘Lone Star’

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED WITH FINAL NUMBERS: Here we are in the oh-so-important week 2 of the season. On the first night, it was great news for ABC, pretty good news for CBS, and not so good news for NBC and Fox.

NBC’s flagship drama The Event (2.9/7 in adults 18-49, 9 million viewers overall) was down 19% from its promising premiere last week. The number will go up – NBC points out that the supernatural thriller was the most time-shifted series on the first 3 nights of last week. Still, a worrisome sign for the serialized series. Also down, 9%, was NBC’s new 10 PM drama Chase (2.1/5), which finished third in the hour. At 8 PM, Chuck (2.0/5) was flat, the only NBC series to not post a week-to-week drop.

Lone Star creator’s Kyle Killen prayers for a miracle ratings rebound in Week 2 were not answered. The soap (1.0/3) fell 23% from its disastrous premiere rating and tied the CW for fourth place in the 9 PM hour. What’s worse, the numbers fell precipitously from the first to the second half-hour, by almost 50%. There is no chance the series would continue at these levels. House (3.8/10) was down 10% from its disappointing season premiere and is now running neck-and-neck with CBS’ comedies for second place behind ABC in the 8 PM hour.

Read More »

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ANALYSIS: Lessons Of Premiere Week

Nellie Andreeva

Broadcast networks’ premiere week wrapped last night. It was the most competitive start of the season in recent memory, with the vast majority of new and returning series – some 60 shows – launching over the past seven days. After the initial shock waves from the disastrous premiere ratings for Fox’s new drama Lone Star on Monday, there were no huge surprises – the shows stayed mostly on target, and no network tanked completely, with each having at least one bright spot to brag about. Of course, some did better than others (See the network-by-network analysis below.) But first, some overall thoughts on premiere week.

  • The changing of the guard on broadcast television seems completed, with last season’s hot rookies Glee and Modern Family becoming the new top dogs. The second-season premieres of Glee (5.6/16 in 18-49) and Modern Family (5.1/14) were the No.1 and No.3 scripted series last week, beating the season openers of such established veterans as House and Desperate Housewives. They were also both up significantly from their series debuts last year, a rare feat during a premiere week in which returning series were mostly down or flat with the exception of CBS’ Two and a Half Men and NBC’s The Office, which might have benefitted from the publicity surrounding star Steve Carell’s final season on the show. Still, most returning shows did return at their levels from the end of last season, and their numbers are expected to

Read More »

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‘Lone Star’ Creator Rallies Support: ‘We’re Going To Have To Pull Off A Minor Miracle’

Nellie Andreeva

Ahead of next week’s second airing of new Fox drama series Lone Star, which got a temporary reprieve after its disastrous premiere ratings on Monday, the show’s young creator Kyle Killen this morning wrote this emotional plea for support on his blog.

You’re Invited To Our Stunning Upset

Do you like to root for the underdog? Because I’ve got an underdog of epic proportions for you. We’re talking long, long shot. Like a legless horse in the Kentucky Derby. A blind basketball team facing the 95 Bulls. If somehow Rudy and Rocky had a baby it still wouldn’t be as big an underdog as our little show… Lone Star.

You may have heard about last Monday night when several heavily sequined, dancing celebrity, conspiracy laden, bowling shirted nuclear bombs landed directly on our heads. When everyone who watched your show is a paid critic or someone you went to high school with, that’s less of a premiere than a slideshow.

But! BUT!

But here we are. Still alive. A little groundhog peeking out of a bomb crater to see if there’s six more weeks of nuclear winter or if, perhaps, something can grow in this hole. And that’s where you come in.

For us to survive we’re going to have to pull off a minor miracle. Statistically, new shows tend to lose viewers in their second week. We’re aiming to gain them. In fact, screw it, let’s just double our audience. The

Read More »

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‘Lone Star’ Not Canceled By Fox… Yet

By | Wednesday September 22, 2010 @ 1:59pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Despite its disastrous premiere this week, the new Fox drama series Lone Star will air its second episode next Monday at 9 PM as planned. So don’t believe that Internet chatter to the contrary. That said, I hear the network is going to be looking very closely at whether the dismal numbers improve for the series that night. Otherwise, the show could have a short future. But Fox execs are shattered. They thought they got this one right.

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ANALYSIS: The Demise Of ‘Lone Star’ And The Longevity Of Veterans ‘Dancing’ & ‘Men’

By | Tuesday September 21, 2010 @ 3:04pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It was hyped more than a heavyweight championship match, and the broadcast networks’ first ratings face-off last night didn’t disappoint. There was no clear winner but there was a big flop, Fox’s new drama Lone Star, and, as we know, there is nothing Hollywood relishes more than a failure. Lone Star was given the strongest possible drama lead-in on Fox with House as well as the lion share of the network’s fall marketing dollars. It also received mostly glowing reviews. So how come it drew premiere numbers that wouldn’t even pass muster at a top cable network (4.1 million viewers and a 1.3/3 in adults 18-49)? It held on to less than a third of the House lead-in and bled profusely from the first to the second half-hour. Why did the pilot directed by Marc Webb bomb so badly?

Some attribute it to confusing marketing (“they never really explained what the show really was”) and soft pre-launch tracking (“tracking never suggested that there was huge interest in the show”). Others point to Lone Star‘s rural Texas setting, not exactly Fox’s bread-and-butter as the network’s shows traditionally do best in the large cities, and to its old-fashioned Southern soap feel and pace. Some also singled out the morally ambivalent hero at the center of the show that some viewers may have had problem sympathizing with. I personally can see Fox’s rationale putting Lone Star behind House, another show with a flawed character, … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Solid Start For ‘Event,’ ‘Hawaii’, ‘Mike & Molly’ But ‘Lone Star’ Flops

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE 2PM: The Final Live+Same Day ratings just came in. Veterans Dancing with the Stars (5.1/13 among adults 18-49 in the finals), Two and a Half Men (4.9/12) and House (4.2/11) as well as rookie Hawaii Five-0 (3.9/11) all gained .1 from this morning’s fast nationals, while The Event (3.6/9), Castle (2.7/7) and Chuck (2.0/5) dropped .1, and Chase (2.3/6) was down .2. (NBC’s early numbers were boosted by an NFL game in New Orleans.)

9:30AM: And they’re off! The broadcast networks last night began what is shaping up to be one of the most competitive seasons in years. The opening night featured the premieres of 5 new series airing against Monday Night Football on ESPN. No blockbuster out-of-the-gate hits despite heavy promotion for Hawaii Five-O and The Event. But three of the rookies did solid business: the new Chuck Lorre comedy for CBS Mike & Molly (3.9 rating/10 share in adults 18-49, 12.2 million viewers overall), the Hawaii Five-0 reboot on CBS (3.8/10, 13.8 million viewers), and NBC’s The Event (3.7/9, 11.2 million). One did just OK: NBC’s Jerry Bruckheimer-produced drama Chase (2.5/7, 7.9 million). And one flat-out bombed: Fox’s much-lauded Lone Star (1.3/3, 4.1 million).

Here is a rundown network-by-network:

For me, one of the biggest surprises of the night was how well Two And A Half Men did. In its eighth season, which hung in the balance when star Charlie Sheen … Read More »

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TCA: Fox ‘Lone Star’ Deep In Heart Of Texas

What’s up with TV and Texas this season? This fall’s crop of new TV series includes NBC’s Chase shooting in Dallas, and ABC’s My Generation, shooting in Austin. At today’s TCA, Fox presented the new drama Lone Star — which, with that title, couldn’t really be set anywhere else. The show’s lead character (played by relative newcomer James Wolk) has two wives and two lives in two different locations, Houston and Midland. It will actually be shot in Dallas, the setting for another Fox series introduced earlier this year, The Good Guys. (Executive producer Peter Horton, who plans to direct some episodes, he joked of his involvement: “I thought it was going to be shot in San Francisco.”)

Lone Star creator/executive producer (and native Texan) Kyle Killen explained that when he pitched the series, ”I sold it as Dallas without the cheese.

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Former 20th TV Drama Topper Moran Joins ABC Studios As New Head Of Drama

Nellie Andreeva

PatrickMoranEXCLUSIVE: Former 20th Century Fox TV SVP drama Patrick Moran has been tapped as new head of drama at ABC Studios. He will replace Josh Barry, who is stepping down from his post after a year. Barry, a 10-year ABC/ABC Studios veteran, is well-regarded and, while the top drama job at the studio didn’t quite work out for him, I hear he could stay within the company in a different capacity.

Meanwhile, Moran exited his post as head of drama for 20th TV in early May when the studio tapped Michael Thorne for the job.  Moran spent 7 years at 20th TV. He was upped to SVP in August 2007 and took over the drama department in January 2008, following the promotion of EVP Jennifer Nicholson Salke. He oversaw the development of the studio’s breakout freshman hit Glee as well as other 20th hourlong series such as Bones, Lie to Me and Prison Break. This development season, he shepherded the development of new Fox series Lone Star and Ride-Along, as well as Breakout Kings, which landed at A&E, and Chaos, which got close to a series order at CBS.

Barry joined Touchstone TV in 2000 where he worked on Alias and The Amazing Race. As executive director at the studio and then vp drama development at ABC, he helped develop Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy. He became SVP and head of drama for ABC Studios in June 2009 as part of the executive … Read More »

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Fox Unveils Fall Premiere Dates, Reruns To Succeed ‘Wanda Sykes’ On Saturday

Nellie Andreeva

foxlogo.thumbnailUPDATED: Fox is going with a very traditional fall rollout, premiering almost all of its series during the official premiere week. (The network used to be more adventurous in the past with early launches but, with shortened post-season baseball coverage, it has now reverted to more conservative premiere plans.) One interesting element in the Fox premiere dates announcement – the network is giving up, at least for now, original programming in late-night on Saturday for the first time in 16 years, opting for reruns of new series Lone Star and Running Wilde instead. Fox began programming the 11 PM-12:30AM block on Saturday nights in 1989 and has always aired originals in it except for the 1994-95 season when it repurposed HBO’s Tales From the Crypt before launching MadTV in the fall of 1995. Most recently, The Wanda Sykes Show aired Saturday nights in late night last season, before being cancelled in May. It replaced long-time staple MadTV. The reruns may be a temporary place holder while Fox looks for new original(s) to air against NBC’s Saturday Night Live.

Saturday, September 11

8:00-8:30 PM: COPS (Season Premiere, 800th Episode)
8:30-9:00 PM: COPS (Encore Episode)
9:00-10:00 PM: AMERICA’S MOST WANTED (Season Premiere)

Monday, Sept. 20
8:00-9:00 PM: HOUSE (Season Premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM: LONE STAR (Series Premiere)

Read More »

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