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Alex Barnow & Marc Firek Ink Overall Deals With Sony Pictures TV

By | Thursday June 5, 2014 @ 11:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

firekbarnowUPDATED: Comedy writers Alex Barnow and Marc Firek are staying at Sony TV but no longer exclusively as a writing team. The Mr. Sunshine co-creators have closed their first individual two-year overall deals with the studio after four consecutive overall pacts there as a duo. They still intend to work together but will also develop on their own. Barnow and Firek had been a team since meeting at a backyard barbecue/political fundraiser 15 years ago. A gig on the Sony TV-produced comedy ‘Til Death led to their first overall deal with the studio. They have been at Sony ever since. Barnow and Firek worked on the studio’s CBS comedy series Rules Of Engagement before they co-created with star Matthew Perry Mr. Sunshine. The two, repped by UTA and Hansen Jacobson, are currently executive producers/writers on Sony TV’s ABC comedy The Goldbergs, which is returning for a second season.

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In Other News: ‘Body Of Proof’ Picked Up, ‘Better With You’, ‘Mr. Sunshine’, ‘No Ordinary Family’, ‘Off The Map’ ‘Outsourced’ Dead

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: Pickup news flashes are flying fast and furious today, so some have fallen through the cracks as I try to stay afloat. Here are some notable renewal/cancellations: As expected, Body of Proof became the second ABC freshman series after Happy Endings to make the cut for a second season. Better With You, Off the Map, No Ordinary Family and Mr. Sunshine are canceled. Also dead is NBC’s freshman comedy Outsourced.

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Ratings Rat Race: Strong Start For ‘Breaking In’, Quiet Finish For ‘Mr. Sunshine’ & ‘Map’

By | Thursday April 7, 2011 @ 10:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Last May, Breaking In was not part of Fox’s plans for the 2010-11 season as the network had passed on the workplace comedy pilot in favor of Raising Hope, Running Wilde and Traffic Light.

Last night, the series premiere of Breaking In drew a 3.5/9 in adults 18-49 and 9.9 million viewers to rank as the highest-rated Fox live-action comedy telecast in over 3 years in 18-49 and total viewers and log the best lead-in retention for a sitcom airing after American Idol in 4 years, since ‘Til Death on Apr. 4, 2007. The Christian Slater-starring Breaking In also outperformed the two other freshman comedies Fox tried out behind Idol this spring, Raising Hope (by 6%) and Traffic Light (by 25%).

The solid premiere numbers are a nice validation for pilot testing as Breaking In scored the highest marks of all Fox pilots last season. Props to Sony TV, which didn’t give up after Fox passed on the pilot and extended the options on the entire cast, to Fox for eventually reversing its decision and giving Breaking In a second chance, to Slater for trying a comedy after his two disastrous drama turns in My Own Worst Enemy and The Forgotten and to his adorable daughter who made his pimping of the Breaking In premiere on American Idol last night far less awkward than other similar cross-promotions on the reality hit. As for the 90-minute Idol (7.1, 22.5 million), it was down … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ABC Freshman Series & ‘Survivor’ Hit Lows, Univision Third Again

Nellie Andreeva

A two-hour American Idol (7.5/21 in adults 18-49, 23.6 million viewers) delivered another dominating Wednesday win for Fox. The Top 11 performance show (redux) was down 5% from last week’s Top 11 performance episode and 1% in total viewers. But in the apples-to-apples comparison to last week’s fast national numbers for the show, which always climbs in the finals, Idol was down 3% in 18-49 and up a fraction in total viewers.

CBS’ Survivor: Redemption Island (2.9/9) was down 6% from last week and is the show’s lowest-rated regular telecast ever. Criminal Minds (3.4/9) was down 6% from its last original two weeks ago. With a new Criminal Minds as a lead-in vs. a repeat last week, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (2.3/5) was up 5%.

Following reruns of The Middle and Modern Family, Mr. Sunshine (1.4/4) was down a steep 33% from last week when it followed a new Modern Family for a new series low. Midseason drama Off the Map (1.3/4) was down 13% to tie its series low.

NBC aired a new Minute to Win It (1.1/3), down 8% from last week, a rerun Law & Order: SVU and a new SVU (2.4/6), down 8%.

For a second time this week, Univision finished third for the night in adults 18-49. Last night, it outpaced ABC and NBC.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘The Middle’ & ‘Survivor’ Hit Lows

Nellie Andreeva

Fox’s two-hour American Idol performance show (7.7/22 in adults 18-49, 23.5 million viewers) was up 1% from last week in 18-49 and 4% in total viewers. Vs. the same week last year, Idol was down a modest 8% in the demo. Fox dominated Wednesday night in 18-49 and total viewers.

In its first original airing in Daylight Saving Time, ABC’s 8 PM comedy The Middle (2.0/6) was down 13% from its last fresh episode on March 2 to hit a season low. Following a Middle repeat at 8:30 PM, Modern Family (4.3/12) was actually up 2% from its most recent original on March 2. With a new Modern Family as a lead-in vs. a rerun last week, Mr. Sunshine (2.2/6) was up 22% from last week. But vs. the last time Mr. Sunshine followed a new Modern Family original, the Matthew Perry-starring midseason comedy was down 13%. Boosted by a stronger lead-in from Mr. Sunshine, ABC’s midseason drama Off the Map (1.5/4) at 10 PM was up 15%.

CBS’ reality veteran Survivor (3.0/9) was down 6% from last week to a series low. Following a Criminal Minds repeat (2.1/6), midseason drama Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (2.2/6) was down 12% from last week when it had an original lead-in. It was beat in the 10 PM hour by NBC’s veteran Law & Order: SVU (2.6/7), which was up 8% from its most recent original on Feb. 23. Like the Criminal Minds spinoff, Law Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Idol’ Slips But Still Dominates

Nellie Andreeva

With a two-hour American Idol (7.4/21 in adults 18-49, 24.9 million viewers), Fox easily won last night in 18-49 and total viewers. Versus last Wednesday’s performance show, Idol was down 9% in the demo. (All week-to-week comparisons this week are probably affected by the switch to daylight saving time. TV use in the 8-10 slot last night was down 4% from last week.) Compared with the comparable telecast last year, Idol was down also 9% in 18-49.

The time shift also likely impacted the rest of the 8 PM shows last night. CBS’ Survivor: Redemption Island (3.1/10) was down a tenth from last week for a new series low; NBC’s Minute to Win It (0.9/3) was down 10%, also for a series low; and the CW’s America’s Next Top Model (0.8/3) was down 27%. (ABC aired comedy repeats in the 8 PM hour.)

CBS’ Criminal Minds (3.6/10) was flat with its most recent original two weeks ago, while its spinoff Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (2.6/7) shot up 18% with an original Minds as a lead-in versus a repeat last week. Following a Modern Family repeat, midseason ABC comedy Mr. Sunshine (1.8/5) was flat with last week and tied a series low. Ditto for midseason drama Off the Map (1.4/4) at 10 PM. NBC aired Law & Order: SVU repeats at 9 PM and 10 PM.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: With Established Lead-Ins In Repeat, Midseason Series Slip

Nellie Andreeva

With most of its main competition in repeats, Fox’s American Idol does feel like the only game in town these days. Last night’s two-hour Top 13 performance show (8.0/22 in adults 18-49, 24.2 million viewers) dominated, up 3% in 18-49 and 6% in total viewers from last Wednesday’s performance show. Versus the comparable telecast last season, Idol was off by just 1% in the demo and up 6% in total viewers. (See Reinventing Idol: Will the Reality Veteran Finish Up In the Ratings Without Simon?)

Against Idol, CBS’ Survivor, just renewed for next season, drew the second-highest rating of the night, a 3.2/9 in 18-49, down 3% from last week. With Criminal Minds a repeat, spinoff Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (2.2/6) was down 15% from last week (when it had an original lead-in) for a series low.

Similarly, following a Modern Family repeat, new comedy Mr. Sunshine (1.8/5) was down 25% and is now tracking below Cougar Town in the slot. At 10 PM, struggling new medical drama Off the Map (1.4/4) was down 18% from last week for a series low. (ABC aired The Middle repeats in the 8 PM hour.)

CW’s America’s Next Top Model (2.3 million, 1.3/4 in 18-34) perked up, up 18% from last week in the demo and posting its largest audience this season. Top Model also beat an original of NBC’s Minute to Win It in 18-49 (1.1 vs. 1.0) to finish fourth in that demo … Read More »

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RATINGS RATE RACE: Solid Debut For ‘Criminal Minds’ Spinoff, ‘Survivor’ Premiere Hurt By ‘Idol’, ‘Mr. Sunshine’ Takes Dive

Nellie Andreeva

The premiere of CBS’ Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior drew a 3.3 rating/10 share in adults 18-49 and 12.9 million viewers last night. It dominated the 10 PM hour, built slightly on its lead-in, mothership Criminal Minds series (3.2/9, 12.8 million) and ranked as CBS’ top-rated program of the night. Vs. the premiere of The Defenders in the same slot in September, Suspect Behavior was up 14% in the demo.

CBS’ Survivor was impacted by its new regular competition, Fox’s American Idol. The debut of Survivor: Redemption Island (3.2/9, 11.2 million), the first season premiere of the veteran reality show to face Idol, was down 29% from the show’s spring premiere last season in its old Thursday 8 PM slot. It was Survivor‘s lowest-rated opener and lowest-rated regular telecast ever.  Survivor didn’t go down without a fight. It dinged Idol a bit, with the 8-9 PM portion of the singing competition slipping 14% from last Wednesday.

Fox’s American Idol aired a two-hour episode (8.1/23, 22.8 million), which was down 4% from last week’s hourlong show. Vs. the comparable episode last season, Idol was down 21% but that episode was highly promoted as it featured the debut of Ellen DeGeneres as new judge. Extending Idol from an hour to two-hour this week pushed the 9 PM shows down. For instance, Criminal Minds was down 11%.

Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Mr. Sunshine’ Off To Solid Start, ‘Blue Bloods’ Rebounds Big

Nellie Andreeva

ABC’s new Matthew Perry comedy series Mr. Sunshine had a promising debut last night, drawing a 3.7/10 in adults 18-49 and 10.6 million viewers at 9:30 PM. It was helped by a hot Valentine’s Day episode of Modern Family (5.0/13, 13.11 million, up 9% in the demo from its last original on Jan. 19). In the battle of the former Friends stars, the premiere of Mr. Sunshine couldn’t quite match the series premiere of Courteney Cox’s Cougar Town in the same slot (4.3/11, 11.4 million on Sep. 23, 2009 with a 4.3/12, 12.7 million Modern Family lead-in). Still, Mr. Sunshine marked ABC’s best series debut this season in 18-49, retained solid 74% of its Modern Family demo lead-in and posted the best numbers in the slot in total viewers and 18-49 since the series premiere and second episode of Cougar Town, respectively. Modern Family‘s numbers are even more impressive given its weak lead-in last night, freshman comedy Better with You (2.0/5), which was down 9% in the demo from its last original on Jan. 19 to hit a series low. At 8 PM, The Middle (2.6/7) was even with its last original. Ditto for midseason drama Off the Map (1.9/5), which finished last in the 10 PM hour.

NBC’s Law & Order: SVU (2.6/7, 8.1 million) once again won the 10 PM slot in the demo, but it was down 10% from last week. Meanwhile, CBS’ Blue Bloods (2.3/6, 12.5 million) … Read More »

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ABC Slots ‘Mr. Sunshine’ Behind ‘Modern Family’ And ‘Happy Endings’ At 10 PM

Nellie Andreeva

This trend of comedies at 10 PM seems to be catching on quickly at the broadcast networks. Right after NBC announced that it will expand its 8-10 PM Thursday comedy block to 11 PM in midseason, ABC is doing the same with its Wednesday 8-10 PM comedy block. Beginning April 13, the network will air midseason comedy Happy Endings at 10 PM, followed by Modern Family reruns branded as “fan favorites” at 10:30 PM.

ABC will start warming up the Wednesday 10 PM slot with comedies this month by pulling canceled legal drama The Whole Truth earlier than previously planned and replacing it with Modern Family and Cougar Town repeats. Before that, from February 9 through April 6, ABC’s other midseason comedy, Mr. Sunshine, will take over the network’s plum post-Modern Family slot at 9:30 PM to give the Matthew Perry-starring comedy the best possible launching pad. One Friends alum, Courteney Cox, will make room for another, Perry, as Cougar Town, which airs in the 9:30 PM time period, will go on hiatus, returning on April 13. With the time off, Cougar Town now has 20 of its 22 episodes scheduled, with the remaining 2 expected to get a berth too, either replacing a Cougar Town rerun or in a different spot on the schedule. As previously announced, anchoring the Wednesday lineup at 10 PM from Feb. 9 through April 6 will be the new medical drama Off the Map. With … Read More »

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Lizzy Caplan To Guest Star On ‘Mr. Sunshine’

By | Friday November 12, 2010 @ 9:11pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Lizzy Caplan is back in business with Sony TV and studio-based producer Jamie Tarses – she has signed on for a guest shot on their new ABC series Mr. Sunshine starring Matthew Perry. Caplan famously stepped in at the last minute to play a lead on the Sony/Tarses pilot for CBS Mad Love as a guest star and helped the pilot score a midseason order but she also caused a holdup in the deal as the network and the studio first tried to persuade her to stay on and then had to find a replacement when she declined. (Judy Greer was eventually cast in the role.) Mr. Sunshine stars Perry as Ben Donovan, the sports arena manager for the Sunshine Center, a second-tier arena in San Diego. Caplan will play a woman with whom Ben has a romantic interlude and then is surprised to see her showing up at work the next morning … as his boss’ (Allison Janney) new assistant. Caplan joins other recently booked guest stars on the show, including Nick Jonas, Jimmy Connors, James Taylor and Jorge Garcia. Caplan, who recently starred on Straz’s comedy Party Down, is developing a comedy at HBO with Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. The project, based on Julie Klausner’s memoir I Don’t Care About Your Band, which is eyed as a potential starring vehicle for Caplan.

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TCA: Matthew Perry Talks ‘Mr. Sunshine’

Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

At ABC’s TCA panel on his new show Mr. Sunshine, which he stars in, executive produces, and co-writes, Matthew Perry was in fine form. He was sardonic about everything, even his own well-publicized problems with Vicodin addiction in the mid-1990s that made him something less than a Mr. SunshinePerry made clear that his character, Ben Donovan, who’s the manager of a second-tier sports arena in San Diego and in Perry’s words a “selfish jerk, was not-so-loosely based on himself.  “The reason that my character has only thought about himself is I knew somebody for whom that was the case for a long time.. I’m much nicer now.” Perry, now 40, was asked whether anything specific changed him for the better. “I would say if you want to find out the answer to that, just pick up any newspaper from 1996 or look at any magazine cover.” Perry cracked.  “They say, hey, write what you know. I knew if I wrote something, I would like that to be a component of it.” Read More »

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