ABC’s Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues to serve as a promotional platform for Marvel’s movies. Eleven days after the release of the next Marvel/Disney movie, Thor: The Dark World, the November 19 episode of ABC’s freshman series …
NBC is up with every single one of its series on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights compared to Premiere Week 2012. The network has won seven of nine hours in the demo among broadcasters. In total viewers, it’s won six of the week’s first nine primetime hours and has moved from third place to first — making those Comcast guys look pretty clever for having re-upped NBC programming chief Bob Greenblatt’s contract without waiting for Premiere Week numbers.
The most CBS-ish new series of the 2013-14 TV season got off to a strong start last night, while the most NBC-like new series floundered. Nothing new there. Lucky for NBC, it aired the CBS-ish one — the new procedural crime drama The Blacklist, starring James Spader. Unfortunately for CBS, it aired the NBC-like, highly serialized event series that bellyflopped in same time slot as The Blacklist — the Toni Collette-Dylan McDermott starrer Hostages.
Once upon a time, long before DVRs, Netflix and original scripted cable programing, broadcast network execs eagerly anticipated the start of their new TV season to see which of the many, many new series they’d thrown against the wall would stick. These days, each network has one key new series it needs to work — really work, not “Vegas is the No. 1 new drama” work — to call a season successful.
ABC, for instance, needs to launch Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. If it clicks, nothing else matters. Super Fun Night? It can bomb — which is good because ABC has already decided to premiere the show with its second episode and that’s never a good sign. And Lucky 7 may be the series that demonstrates America will not watch a show about how winning the lottery messes you up — because that is their financial strategy. Weeks before S.H.I.E.L.D.’s scheduled unveiling, The Reporters Who Cover Television were already squealing with delight after being treated to its super-secret screening at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2013, though there have been disturbing reports of subsequent scripts coming in so not-good that Joss Whedon had to take a break from the 85 other projects he’s working on to step in and do last-minute rewrites.
NBC, meanwhile, needs a 10 PM drama that isn’t flukey, isn’t serializes and doesn’t start to come apart at the seams in the second half of the season, like Revolution did last season. No matter how much you read about NBC badly needing to re-establish itself in comedy on Thursday nights (it’s over, get over it), Monday at 10 is NBC’s Must Fix TV. A Blacklist hit gives NBC the bright shiny 10 o’clock light with which to dazzle affiliate station execs grousing about the lousy lead-ins they’ve been getting for their late local news. The Blacklist needs to look as good ratings-wise, five or six weeks from now, as it did last night.
It took him a while to find out about it but David Straiton wants his money from the animated show he says he co-created and he wants to put his former business partner in front …
Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Smaug’ Score Recording Locks Down Town Hall; Martin Scorsese Tops Marrakech Fest Jury; More
Wellington Residents Can’t Access Town Hall During ‘Smaug’ Recording
New Zealand website Stuff reports that the people of Wellington have “essentially lost access” to the Town Hall while the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra records the score for …
Global Showbiz Briefs: Channel 4 Picks Up U.S. Series; San Sebastian To Premiere ‘Young And Prodigious Mr Spivet’; More
Channel 4 Imports ‘Hostages’, ’100′, ‘Tomorrow People’, ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’
Britain’s Channel 4 has acquired a quartet of U.S. shows that will air in early 2014, including three from Warner Bros International Television: Hostages will air on Channel 4, while The 100 and The Tomorrow People will air on sister channel E4. Also coming to Channel4 is Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., the new series from Marvel Television and ABC Studios. It premieres on C4 in the fall, soon after its ABC launch in the U.S. In a new commission, C4 has ordered Making Liberty, a three-part series based around the luxe Regent Street department store. Rize USA is producing the series that focuses on the store as it preps for the Christmas season. It will air in the fall.
‘The Young And Prodigious Mr Spivet’ Premiere Will Close San Sebastian
Amélie director Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s latest film, The Young And Prodigious Mr Spivet is set to world premiere at the San Sebastian Film Festival. It will close the proceedings on September 28. Helena Bonham Carter, Judy Davis, Kyle Catlett, Callum Keith Rennie, Robert Maillet and Dominique Pinon star. Gaumont backed the 3D movie about a 12-year-old child prodigy who lives on a ranch in Montana. His great talent for cartography and inventions soon is rewarded. A scientific institute announces that he has won a prestigious award, and he sets out across the country to collect it. The Weinstein Co. acquired the pic in Cannes.
TCA: ‘Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Teases Film Links & Returning Characters, Unveils Official Poster
Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
UPDATE 10:30 PM: The official poster for Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.l.E.L.D. has just been revealed.
PREVIOUS 7 PM: There are no stats available on whether heavy secrecy, heavy branding or heavy hype has any correlations with TV quality. But all have raised anticipation for ABC’s new superhero drama with the unwieldy title, Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.l.E.L.D. AT TCA, TV journalists were not given the usual screeners or previews of Marvel’s first TV series (from Joss Whedon and the creative team of Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen, with additional EP’s Jeph Loeb and Jeffrey Bell, all on today’s panel). Instead, reporters were only allowed to watch the pilot on big screens during lunch hour before the late afternoon panel. And earlier at ABC’s TCA day, entertainment president Paul Lee had joked that secrecy surrounding the show is such that TV writers could expect to be asked to submit “a sample of your grandmother’s urine or the Marvel guys won’t let you in.”
On the panel, producers and cast insisted the secrecy is not a promotional gimmick but necessary. Loeb said that the show’s first day of shooting took place on a military base, with both military security and Marvel security personnel. Still, the producer said someone snapped a picture of a vehicle on the road on its way to the set and the shot went viral. He complained about the 24-7 news cycle. “What we are trying to do with this show is bring back some of the urgency of television,” Loeb said. The idea, he added, is to get back to a place where people watch the show in real time before every element has been “shared and re-shared and spoiled and revealed and un-revealed”…
Whedon was asked to reveal what kind of notes the producing team is getting from ABC. “We’ve gotten trust, which is different than freedom,” said Joss, who is also at work on the Marvel movie The Avengers: Age of Ultron. “They are making sure it’s what they want for their company and their network, but they are supportive of our vision. We are all really trying to make the same show. We are on the same page, which occasionally has not happened to me.”
The irony wasn’t lost on Joss Whedon as he lobbied for more original content in Hollywood in his anything-goes Comic-Con Q&A Friday evening. The director behind both Marvel’s The Avengers and indie Shakespeare pic Much Ado About Nothing acknowledged his own recent successes with adaptations big and small between answering Whedonverse queries from fans. “I do feel like we are in desperate need of new content,” he said. “Pop culture is eating itself at a rate that is going to be dangerous. Too many narratives are built on the resonance of recognition. That’s going to become really problematic. Even though it’s enormous fun to work on something I read as a child, I think it’s important for us to step back from that and create new universes, new messages, and new icons … so that 10 years from now we can reboot those.”
Whedon said he’d like to do more with Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, the indie web series he directed, co-wrote, and produced during the WGA strike. He drew loud cheers with the dream project idea of getting the crew of Serenity back together, but he expressed no interest in returning to other projects he was formerly attached to, like his Wonder Woman script for Warner Bros. and DC. “I don’t like to go back to things,” he said, “and I also feel there’s plenty of room for a new iconic female heroine. So let’s look to the future.”