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Ratings Rat Race: NBC Lineup Up, ‘Middle’, ‘Arrow’ & Grammy Noms Down Wednesday

By | Friday December 7, 2012 @ 8:47am PST
Nellie Andreeva

There is an avalanche of ratings this morning as Nielsen has released both the delayed Wednesday numbers and the fast nationals for last night. Before we move to Thursday night, here’s a snapshot of the broadcast network’s Wednesday night performance.

There was an invisible tide lifting NBC’s underperforming Wednesday lineup. Whitney (1.3/4) was up 18% from its last original two weeks ago. Guys With Kids (1.4/4) was up 27%, Law & Order: SVU (1.6/4) up 23% and Chicago Fire (1.9/5) up 36%. Freshman Chicago Fire posted a series high in total viewers (7.2 million) and matched its best 18-49 result logged by the series premiere and tied for first place in the 10 PM hour. Read More »

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Kimberly Williams-Paisley Getting Promoted To Regular On ABC’s ‘Nashville’

By | Monday November 26, 2012 @ 2:37pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Kimberly Williams-Paisley is poised to make her guest-starring stint on ABC’s new drama Nashville permanent. The According To Jim alumna in August signed on for a multi-episode arc on the soap set against the backdrop of the Nashville music scene. She ended up appearing in six of the original 13 episodes of the freshman drama, which was recently given a full-season pickup. Now she is set to appear in at least three episodes of Nashville‘s back nine with an option to become a series regular in Season 2 if the show is renewed. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Whitney’ Low In Return, ‘The X Factor’ Rises

By | Thursday November 15, 2012 @ 10:17am PST
Nellie Andreeva

NBC’s attempt to improve its fortunes on Wednesday by replacing underperforming (and already cancelled) newbie Animal Practice with sophomore Whitney is not working, at least not from the get go. In its second season premiere last night, Whitney (1.4/4 in adults 18-49) matched the debut in the Wednesday 8 PM slot of its predecessor Animal Practice. It was down 30% from Whitney‘s debut in the time period last spring and tied as its series low. Guys With Kids (1.3/4), the only Wednesday series to still be awaiting a decision on a back order, was flat with two weeks ago and also tied as a series low. Law & Order: SVU (1.6/4) was down 6% from two weeks ago, and it too tied its series low. After the big ratings jump last week when it followed an original Voice, newly picked up Chicago Fire (1.6/5) retreated 27% for a net gain of .1 vs. its original two weeks ago. But it held onto 100% of its lead-in, something no other 10 PM rookie drama has been able to do this season.

The other new Wednesday 10 PM drama that received a full-season order over the past week was ABC’s Nashville (1.8/5), which reversed its ratings downtrend last week with a .2 uptick. But the rise was short-lived as the soap dropped .2 last night to return to the series low level of two weeks ago. The entire ABC Wednesday lineup was in negative territory last night. The Middle (2.5/8) was down 7%; The Neighbors (1.9/5) down 10% to tie its series low; Modern Family (4.6/12) down 4% and Suburgatory (2.4/6), which continues its pendulum swings, down 17% from last week’s season high to tie its season low. Read More »

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ABC’s ‘Nashville’ Gets Full-Season Order

By | Monday November 12, 2012 @ 4:35pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

ABC has handed out its second full-season order to a freshman show this season, drama Nashville, starring Connie Britton. The soap, created by Callie Khouri, was one of the best reviewed new shows this fall. It was a late starter, held back two weeks because of presidential debate coverage. Nashville has been soft in the ratings but had an 11% ratings uptick last week to a 2.0 in adults 18-49 rating. The show went through growing pains, including a showrunner change, with Dee Johnson replacing Jim Parriott. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Chicago Fire’ Rises, ‘Nashville’ Flat, World Series’ Game 1 Down

By | Thursday October 25, 2012 @ 9:53am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

There was encouraging news for freshman dramas Chicago Fire (1.8/5 in adults 18-49, up 20% from last week) and Nashville (2.0/6, flat) last night after those alarming 21% and 29% second-week drops last Wednesday. Both shows are still a ways off from challenging 12-year-old CSI (2.4/6 in 18-49, up 4%) for the top spot in the 10 PM hour. But finding the bottom or, in the case of Chicago Fire, bouncing back in Week 3 is a good sign, especially against the World Series. Chicago Fire was helped by its lead-in, the 300th episode of Law & Order: SVU (1.8/5), which was up 13% from last week.

Fox is expected to win Wednesday with Game 1 of the World Series. Time zone-adjusted ratings won’t be available until later today, but in the fast nationals the game between the Giants and the Tigers (3.2/9 in 18-49) is down 18% from last year’s opening game and is expected to stay in negative territory. Last fall’s Game 1 of the World Series also was down year-to-year, by 11% in 18-49, as neither series has featured a big audience draw like the Yankees or Red Sox. Read More »

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‘Nashville’s Callie Khouri Talks TV & Women

By | Wednesday October 24, 2012 @ 4:12am PDT

Callie Khouri NashvilleThe Oscar-winning screenwriter of Thelma And Louise and director of The Divine Secrets Of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood has one of the rare critical hits of this fall TV season, NashvilleCallie Khouri talked to Salon recently about how she went from not wanting to write for TV to realizing that telling stories about women is more respected on the small screen:

I’m just liking TV so much more than features right now, just in terms of what you can get made… I don’t think any studio — it was a long shot at the time – but I don’t think any studio in a million years would make Thelma And Louise right now. But there’s so many other kinds of movies they won’t make right now.

People who make TV also seem much more comfortable making shows for women than people making movies do. Because you’re allowed. You’re allowed to make things for women on television and … you don’t have to go through the humiliation of having made something directed at women. There it’s just accepted, whereas if it’s a feature, it’s like “So, talk to me about chick flicks.”

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Nashville’ And ‘Chicago Fire’ Drop In Week 2, ‘Arrow’ Steady, ‘Suburgatory’ Modest In Return

By | Thursday October 18, 2012 @ 9:40am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It was a rather atypical Wednesday night, with usual demo winner Fox airing a mix of a little bit of baseball, rain delay-filling sitcom reruns and an hour of The X Factor that inadvertently ran simultaneously on both coasts. Or as Simon Cowell put it, “a total f up,” that will result in last night’s two-hour episode airing in its entirety on Tuesday night, pre-empting Fox’s fledgling comedy block and facing an all-new The Voice.

Related: “Total F Up”: Baseball Rain Delay Pushes Tonight’s ‘X Factor’ To Tuesday

With Fox out of sorts, CBS swooped in and won the night in adults 18-49 (2.7/8), along with total viewers (10.8 million). Survivor: Philippines (2.7/8) and Criminal Minds (3.1/8) were both up a tenth from last week’s fast nationals, while CSI (2.4/7) was down two tenths. CSI‘s ratings fluctuations have been puzzling — it went up last week when it faced the premieres of ABC’s Nashville and NBC’s Chicago Fire  and then retreated last night when its time-slot rivals dropped significantly from their debuts. (CSI still ruled the 10 PM hour.) Read More »

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Ratings Rat Race: Strong Start For ‘Arrow’, ‘Nashville’ Debut OK, ‘Chicago Fire’ Low

By | Thursday October 11, 2012 @ 9:35am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It felt like Premiere Week last night with three new series debuting as the major networks held back their rollouts to avoid a pre-emption from the first presidential debate last Wednesday and the CW opted for a late fall launch this year.

The CW received good ratings news for the premiere of Arrow, which drew a very big for CW standards audience of 4 million to become the network’s most-watched series premiere since flagship The Vampire Diaries. This was the CW’s largest viewership in the Wednesday 8 PM time period in three and a half years, since the May 2009 season finale of America’s Next Top Model, and the most watched CW telecast on any night in three years, since November 11 2009.

What’s more, Arrow (1.3/4 in adults 18-49, 1.1/4 in 18-34) tied NBC in the 8 PM hour in total viewers, 18-49 and 18-34. The higher 18-49 number for the superhero drama indicates a broader, older-skewing show in the vein of Nikita vs. the CW’s normal fare. Arrow also boosted its lead-out, veteran Supernatural (2.6 million, 1.0/3), which jumped 40% in viewers from its season premiere last week. Read More »

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Kimberly Williams-Paisley Joins ‘Nashville’, ’666 Park Ave’ & ‘Royal Pains’ Book Actors

By | Wednesday August 29, 2012 @ 4:23pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: According To Jim alumna Kimberly Williams-Paisley is returning to ABC with a multi-episode arc on the network’s new drama series Nashville, a family soap set against the backdrop of the Nashville music scene that follows one star at her peak (Connie Britton) and one on the rise (Hayden Panettiere). On the Lionsgate/ABC Studios series, Williams-Paisley will play Peggy Samper, an old flame and former co-worker of Teddy Conrad (Eric Close), husband of Rayna Jaymes (Britton). Williams-Paisley, repped by Gersh and Kritzer, Levine, Wilkins, Griffin, Nilon, knows well the Nashville music scene — she lives in Nashville and is married to country music star Brad Paisley.

Tessa Thompson is set to recur on another new ABC drama, 666 Park Avenue, about a young couple (Dave Annable, Rachael Taylor) who sign up as managers of a mysterious Manhattan building.  Thompson will play Laurel Harris, a media consultant with an inside track on New York politics. She entices Henry (Annable) with her contacts, offering to open doors for him, and her presence complicates his relationship with his girlfriend (Taylor).

Meet another Lawson. Charley Koontz has booked a two-episode arc on hit USA series Royal Pains, playing Hank and Evan’s likeable overweight cousin who is suffering from a medical condition exacerbated by his extra weight. Owen was taken advantage of financially by … Read More »

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Dee Johnson Joins ABC’s ‘Nashville’ As New Showrunner, Inks Overall Deal

By | Wednesday August 22, 2012 @ 1:44pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: There is a change at the helm of ABC’s high-profile new drama Nashville. Veteran showrunner Dee Johnson has come on board as executive producer/showrunner, replacing Jim Parriott. Johnson will serve as an executive producer alongside series’ creator Callie Khouri, the pilot’s director R.J. Cutler and Steve Buchanan. The showrunner gig will fall under a shared overall deal Johnson has closed with the two studios behind Nashville, Lionsgate TV and ABC Studios.

Nashville, which is getting strong early praise, is a family soap set against the backdrop of the Nashville music scene that follows one star at her peak (Connie Britton) and one on the rise (Hayden Panettiere). Parriott joined the series, currently in production on Episode 3, after it had been picked up to series in May and assigned the Wednesday 10 PM slot. Ultimately, it turned out not to be a good fit, which led to the showrunner change. Johnson was already in the Lionsgate TV fold, having served as showrunner on the current second season of the company’s Starz’s drama Boss, which has wrapped production. I hear Johnson is in first position to Boss if the Kelsey Grammer series gets renewed for a third season.

Oscar winner Khouri hails from the feature world and, aside from writing two pilot scripts, has no series experience. Johnson has background in guiding series creators with little or no showrunner experience. She served as showrunner for the pilot and … Read More »

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Producers Callie Khouri, R.J. Cutler On ‘Nashville’: TCA

By | Friday July 27, 2012 @ 10:58am PDT

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TV coverage.

Oscar-winning Thelma And Louise screenwriter Callie Khouri found herself this morning at TCA on a panel promoting the new ABC serialized ensemble drama Nashville starring Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere that might best be described as “Dallas in Tennessee.” Khouri is an executive producer of the new series. And if it seemed weird that such an esteemed feature scribe (who also wrote Something To Talk About and Divine Secrets Of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood) would be producing her first series for TV, her partner on the project is equally odd: R.J. Cutler, known primarily for his unscripted shows and whose past projects have included the likes of Flip That House and Greatest American Dog. Khouri admitted this kind of project is brand new for her but that she’s having a blast doing it. “I’m actually loving it because with a feature, you do it and it’s over”, she said. “But I’m getting to sit with some absolutely incredible writers and fan out stories that go on for a long time. And so I can plan for characters to go through things and go through changes that you would never be able to do in a feature film, because you cover such a long period of time. And I love that. It’s so much fun. It’s writing at a much faster pace than I’m used to, but that’s the only thing I’m having trouble with. Everything else about it is just so inspiring, to be able to take each character on a long journey and see them change, see them grow and put them through trial by fire.” Read More »

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CAA Moves Nashville Office Into New Headquarters

By | Monday June 4, 2012 @ 11:30am PDT
Mike Fleming

NASHVILLE (June 4, 2012) – Creative Artists Agency (CAA), the world’s leading entertainment and sports agency, today celebrates the opening of its new office in downtown Nashville. The move into the 23,000-square-foot penthouse space in the SunTrust Building, located next door to the historic Ryman Auditorium, brings the agency’s Nashville operations, led by John Huie and Rod Essig, along with Scott Clayton, Marc Dennis, and Darin Murphy, to the core of the city’s music scene. As part of the evening’s festivities, CAA will host an open house for guests at its 20th annual summer BBQ benefiting The PENCIL Foundation, a local organization connecting community and business leaders with Metro Nashville Public Schools.

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Jim Parriott To Run New ABC Drama ‘Nashville’

By | Wednesday May 23, 2012 @ 5:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Veteran writer-producer Jim Parriott has come on board ABC’s high-profile new drama series Nashville as executive producer/showrunner. The series, from Lionsgate TV and ABC Studios, is a family soap set against the backdrop of the Nashville music scene that follows one star at her peak (Connie Britton) and one on the rise (Hayden Panettiere). On the show, which landed the Wednesday 10 PM slot on the fall schedule, Parriott will serve as an executive producer alongside creator Callie Khouri, the pilot’s director R.J. Cutler and Steve Buchanan. Parriott most recently executive the ABC/ABC Family series Missing. His EP credits also include Covert Affairs, Sons Of Anarchy and Defying Gravity.

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ABC First Look Teasers: 2012-13 New Shows

Nellie Andreeva

ABC’s The Neighbors - Comedy
Produced by ABC Studios. From writer/executive producer Dan Fogelman and executive producers Aaron Kaplan, Jeff Morton and Chris Koch. Directed by Chris Koch (pilot):

ABC’s 666 Park Avenue – Drama
Produced by Bonanza Productions in association with Alloy Entertainment and Warner Bros Television. From writer/executive producer David Wilcox and executive producers Matthew Miller, Leslie Morgenstein, Gina Girolamo. Directed by Alex Graves (pilot):

Read More »

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PRIMETIME PILOT PANIC: Which Pilots Look Good At ABC

By | Friday May 11, 2012 @ 11:50am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ABCUPDATE FRIDAY AM: I’ve started hearing that drama pilot ZERO HOUR is heating up again and looks promising for a series order.

PREVIOUS THURSDAY 8PM: With NBC and Fox pretty much done with their new series pickups, ABC, which presents its fall schedule right after them on Tuesday, is at bat next. Here is my last take on the ABC pilot field heading into tomorrow, when the network is expected to make its picks. On the drama side, NASHVILLE is on the schedule. Fellow soaps AMERICANA and RED WIDOW (formerly Penoza) also look strong, along with the male-skewing LAST RESORT, which I hear may be launched as a limited/midseason series. In the magical series face-off between 666 PARK AVE and GOTHAM, (Beauty & The Beast has dropped out of contention), 666 seems to have the upper hand but that could change. I hear Marc Cherry’s DEVIOUS MAIDS is fading fast though one should never count Cherry out. MISTRESSES has a series order. On the half-hour side, the Reba McEntire starrer MALIBU COUNTRY, the MANDY MOORE comedy and the DAN FOGELMAN alien sitcom, now called Neighbors, look good. COMEBACK JACK (form. Red Van Man) and Claudia Lonow’s HOW TO LIVE WITH YOUR PARENTS are also in contention, while there is speculation that early favorite AMERICAN JUDY may be redeveloped in lieu of a straight pickup as ABC … Read More »

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ABC Pilots ‘Nashville’ & ‘Penoza’, Fox’s Karyn Usher Add To Casts

By | Tuesday March 13, 2012 @ 1:21pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Actor-comedian-singer Charles Esten (Enlightened) is set to co-star in ABC’s drama pilot Nashville. Written by Callie Khouri, directed by R.J. Cutler and produced by Lionsgate and ABC Studios, Nashville is described as a family soap about love, country music, family, politics and sex, all set against the backdrop of the Nashville music scene. It centers on 40-year-old Nashville fading superstar Rayna James (Connie Britton) whose label requires her to team up with teen sensation Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) on tour–or else face the loss of her own tour and the label’s promotion of her latest record, whose sales have been underwhelming. Esten, repped by Stone Manners Salners, will play Deacon, songwriter, lead guitar player, and Rayna’s former lover.

Suleka Mathew (Hawthorne) and Jaime Ray Newman have been added to the cast of ABC’s drama pilot Penoza, written and executive produced by Twilight scribe Melissa Rosenberg. Based on a Dutch format, it centers on Martha (Radha Mitchell), the widow of an assassinated criminal who is forced to adopt her husband’s role in a crime syndicate in order to protect her family. Mathew, repped by SDB Partners and John Crosby Management, will play Marta’s best friend Dina. Newman will play Marta’s younger sister Kat. Also cast in the pilot are Sterling Beaumon and Jacob Salvati as Marta’s sons.

Louise Lombard has joined Fox’s … Read More »

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Connie Britton To Star In ABC’s ‘Nashville’

By | Tuesday March 6, 2012 @ 11:20am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Connie Britton NashvilleFriday Night Lights alumna Connie Britton has closed a deal to star in ABC’s drama pilot Nashville, after lengthy negotiations. Written by Callie Khouri, directed by R.J. Cutler and produced by Lionsgate and ABC Studios, Nashville is described as a family soap about love, country music, family, politics and sex, all set against the backdrop of the Nashville music scene. It centers on 40-year-old Nashville fading superstar Rayna James (Britton) whose label requires her to team up with teen sensation Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) on tour–or else face the loss of her own tour and the label’s promotion of her latest record, whose sales have been underwhelming. Complicating things for Rayna, a married mother of two, is that she is the family’s sole breadwinner. This marks Britton’s return to broadcast television after recently starring on the first season of FX’s anthology horror drama American Horror Story. She previously toplined with Kyle Chandler Friday Night Lights, reprising the role she created in the hit Peter Berg movie of the same name. The drama series, which originated on NBC before migrating to DirecTV, earned Britton two Emmy nominations. On the big screen Britton, repped by WME and Untitled Entertainment, will next be seen in Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World opposite Keira Knightly and Steve Carell.

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Eric Close To Co-Star In ‘Nashville’, Two Other ABC Pilots Add To Casts

By | Monday March 5, 2012 @ 6:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Without A Trace alum Eric Close has been cast in ABC’s drama pilot Nashville. Written by Callie Khouri, directed by R.J. Cutler and produced by Lionsgate and ABC Studios, Nashville is described as a family soap about love, country music, family, politics and sex, set against the backdrop of the Nashville music scene. It centers on 40-year-old Nashville superstar Rayna James who is stunned to find that her star is fading and her label requires her to team up with teen sensation Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) on tour –- or else face the loss of her own tour and the label’s promotion of her latest record, whose sales have been underwhelming. Gersh-repped Close will play Rayna’s husband who is now living on his wife’s salary.

Jessy Schram has been added to the cast on ABC’s drama pilot Last Resort, about the crew of a U.S. nuclear submarine who, after ignoring a questionable order to fire nuclear missiles, escape to a NATO outpost where they declare themselves to be the world’s smallest nuclear nation. Schram will play Sam’s (Scott Speedman) dutiful wife whose patience for his return is growing thin. The actress, who has been recurring on Falling Skies and Once Upon A Time, is repped by Mitchell Gossett who recently left UTA and returned to CESD, and KLWGN

Danielle Nicolet has been … Read More »

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‘Heroes’ Alumna Hayden Panettiere To Star In ABC Drama Pilot ‘Nashville’

By | Wednesday February 29, 2012 @ 8:27pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Former Heroes star Hayden Panettiere is heading back to primetime with a starring role in ABC’s drama pilot Nashville. Written by Callie Khouri, directed by R.J. Cutler and produced by Lionsgate and ABC Studios, Nashville is described as a family soap about love, country music, family, politics and sex set against the backdrop of the Nashville music scene. It centers on 40-year-old Nashville superstar Rayna James who is stunned to find that her star is fading and her label requires her to team up with teen sensation Juliette Barnes (Panettiere) on tour–or else face the loss of her own tour and the label’s promotion of her latest record, whose sales have been underwhelming. On Nashville, Panettiere, repped by WME and Brookside Artist Management, joins previously cast Robert Wisdom, Powers Boothe, Clare Bowen and Jonathan Jackson. The actress, best known for her role as cheerleader Claire Bennett on the NBC drama Heroes, recently toplined the Lifetime telefilm Amanda Knox: Murder On Trial In Italy and co-starred in the feature Scream 4. In addition to acting, Panettiere also has done singing on the side, recording several songs. Here is the music video for her debut single, the 2008 Wake Up Call: Read More »

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