The last time that This Week beat NBC’s Meet The Press in a November sweep in the 25-54 demo, ABC host George Stephanopoulos was working closely with Bill Clinton in the first year of the new President’s …
EXCLUSIVE: Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who are behind NBC‘s upcoming live staging of The Sound Of Music, are developing another ambitious event program for the network. The duo has teamed with NBC for Nemesis, an eight-hour miniseries about famous Prohibition agent Eliot Ness, who was portrayed by Kevin Costner in Brian Fe Palma’s Oscar-winning The Untouchables. The project, from Sony Pictures TV — where Zadan and Meron’s Storyline Entertainment has a long-form deal — is based on the book Nemesis: The Final Case Of Eliot Ness by William Bernhardt. It tells the true story of Ness in 1935, post-Untouchables, as Cleveland’s newly appointed Director of Public Safety. Bodies have started turning up — each one decapitated and dissected with a doctor’s skill and a madman’s bent. The police are baffled and the population is terrorized over America’s first serial killer, the so-called “Torso Killer.” Though it’s not his turf, Ness is forced to take over the case, but the more energy he pours into the investigation, the more it takes over and threatens to destroy his life.
Development Season 2013: Fewer Dramas, Bigger (And Overblown) Commitments, Early Orders, Spinoffs, Adaptations & Remakes
Network drama has been on a roll with a string of strong premieres the last two seasons — Revolution, The Following and Arrow last season and The Blacklist, Sleepy Hollow and Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Originals this fall. But the genre will have to rely heavily on the quality vs. quantity principal if its wants to continue its hot streak as the volume is definitely not there for next season. The drama buying got off to a very sluggish start in the summer and never found a higher gear. Drama pitches were down across the board. For instance, I hear NBC took in 280 hourlong pitches, down from 330 last season. It eventually ordered 20-30 fewer drama scripts this year vs. 2012. “It was like Halloween with the networks living on a street where no one came to trick or treat,” one industry insider lamented. “They were open for months but no one was knocking on their doors.” Why was that? Likely because network dramas are not that special any more.
For decades, the broadcast networks were the home of drama series everyone was watching and critics loved. Then in 1999, David E. Kelley almost didn’t go out on stage to receive a best drama series Emmy for his ABC series The Practice. In his defense, he said he “thought they had made a mistake, and that The Sopranos had won.” It hadn’t, and broadcast dramas held their grip on the top a category for four more years until HBO’s mob drama in 2004 became the first cable show ever to win the best series Emmy in a precursor of the tidal shift to come. Cable dramas now have won the top Emmy for the past seven years, with no signs of them letting up, while the U.S. commercial broadcasters were shut out completely from the category the last two years. Right now, working on a cable drama is more prestigious that writing on a broadcast one. With broadcast dramas no longer the syndication cash cows they once were, studios don’t pay a premium for writers to develop such shows anymore. “If they are not getting real money to develop for broadcast, writers may as well do cable for the creative freedom,” one observer noted. Besides the prestige and awards recognition, cable dramas also are becoming more lucrative financially because of services like Netflix where serialized series are a top draw. And let’s not forget that the highest-rated scripted series on television for the past two years is a cable drama, AMC’s The Walking Dead. All that has led to an exodus of broadcast showrunners to cable. The writers room of Emmy-winning first season of Showtime’s Homeland alone featured enough showrunner-level writers to service several broadcast dramas.
Roseanne Barr Slams NBC, Anderson Cooper & Hollywood In Twitter Rant: “I’m Never Going To Work In Television Again”
Roseanne Barr might not be heading back to primetime after all, according to the comedienne’s own Thanksgiving weekend Twitter rant. Earlier this year NBC set Barr to develop and star in a new sitcom co-written with Nurse Jackie showrunner Linda Wallem, but in a series of Tweets over the holiday Barr made her discontent with that project known. “I’m never going to work in television again. I’m never going to even attempt it,” she Tweeted. Without naming Wallem specifically, Barr wrote of a female showrunner who disappeared on her for seven weeks and turned in a script she didn’t like:
“[The] development process went like this: show runner disappeared for 7 weeks-never returned any calls from me-I was told she ‘goes in2 a cave’. I was also told that this was ‘her process’-and that the result would be fantastic. I asked why I had been removed totally from the process. They had less than no interest in including me in the development of a show that was built on ‘my brand’. It was horrible, but I kept on bc i kept on bc I had 2 C it thru-out of a bizarre interest in the insane outcome. The script didn’t resonate with me-I tried 2 b kind about it There were hardly any jokes in the script, and I didn’t connect with the characters at all. My family told me 2 quit-I kept on trying.”
EXCLUSIVE: NBC has teamed with writer Justin Adler (Better Off Ted), director John Hamburg (Meet The Parents franchise) and producer Aaron Kaplan (The Neighbors) for single-camera comedy 30 And Counting, which has received a script commitment with a sizable penalty. Based on the 2013 Sky Living series created by written by Chris Little and Tom Vinnicombe, 30 And Counting revolves around three college friends who are convinced that while their 20s were a time of discovery and their 40s a time of responsibility, their 30s is the decade that will define them. That leaves them 3,652 days to set the course for the rest of their lives. The clock is now ticking … 30 and counting. Adler is writing the adaptation, with Hamburg set to direct. Warner Bros. TV is producing, with Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment and Bwark Prods., producer of the original series. Adler, Hamburg and Kaplan executive produce with Little, Vinnicombe and Bwark’s Iain Morris.
The news that Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B, and Howie Mandel were returning as judges on NBC‘s summer competition series America’s Got Talent came complete with carefully crafted quotes from the network’s reality-TV chief and the show’s exec producer. The announcement was greeted with — yawns, Stern having made sure he was the headline by announcing his return to the show 24 hours ahead of the NBC announcement. Breaking the news on his SiriusXM radio program, Stern was sure to let listeners know he’s the BFD on AGT, saying, in response to radio sidekick Robin Quivers’ question as to whether Klum, B, and Mandel would be back: “Let’s put it this way: When they asked me if [returning] was conditional, I said … let them all come back.” Here’s the full release:
NEW YORK, NY — Nov. 20, 2013 — Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howie Mandel are set to return as judges to NBC’s top-rated summer competition series “America’s Got Talent.” Nick Cannon will also return as host.
The announcements were made by Paul Telegdy, President of Alternative and Late-Night Programming, NBC Entertainment.
“Howard, Heidi, Mel and Howie have proven that they are a dynamic quartet of judges who aren’t afraid to share their opinions, while at the same time creating fireworks of their own,” Telegdy said. “Along with Nick serving as an incomparable host, our talent on ‘Talent’ is among the finest on all of television.”
“The judges on ‘America’s Got Talent’ this past season were fun, astute and really knew how to spot talent,” said Trish Kinane, Executive Producer and President of Entertainment, FremantleMedia North America. “We are delighted to have this vibrant group of diverse, discerning personalities returning to take the show to new heights next season.”
Bob Costas will host the network’s primetime and late night coverage of the 2014 Sochi Winter Games in February. No big surprise there — Costas has served as primetime host for every Olympics on NBC since 1992. But it’s only the second time he’s hosted both in primetime and late night (he did same during the 2000 Sydney Olympics). With the 2014 assignment, he becomes U.S. television’s first 10-time Olympic primetime host. The previous record-holder, Jim McKay, hosted eight times for ABC. (Costas served as NBC’s late night host at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.)
In today’s announcement, Costas, who has the longest tenure of the network’s sports announcers (34 years), called the Olympics “a three-week miniseries which, if done well, should bring viewers not only compelling athletic performances, but a sense of the host city and country, and an appreciation of what is a truly global gathering.”
After teaming with Awkward creator Lauren Iungerich for a comedy project at NBC, former MTV boss David Janollari, who developed and put Awkward on the air, has partnered with another key player from the flagship MTV series for an NBC comedy produced by Universal TV where Janollari’s production company David Janollari Entertainment is based. The untitled Erin Ehrlich project, written by Ehrlich, is an ensemble comedy about a group of young 20-something nursing students and the doctors, hospital staff and patents they encounter on their way to becoming full-fledged nurses at St. Genevieve’s Hospital (“Saint G’s”).
NBC Gives Pilot Order To Comedy ‘Bad Judge’ From Anne Heche & Gary Sanchez; Kate Walsh To Star & Executive Produce
NBC has handed an early pilot order to Bad Judge, a single-camera comedy starring and executive produced by former Private Practice star Kate Walsh. The single-camera project, from Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez Prods and actress Anne Heche, was written by Chad Kultgen (The Incredible Burt Wonderstone) based on an idea brought to Gary Sanchez by Heche. It centers on a hard-living, sexually unapologetic woman (Walsh) who plays with the law, and whose life on the edge is constantly in balance as she also happens to be a judge in the criminal court system. Universal TV, where Gary Sanchez Prods. and Heche have deals, is producing. Heche and Jill Messick executive produce alongside Walsh, Kultgen, Ferrell and McKay. Bad Judge was a late pitch buy last development season, and emerged as a contender for an off-cycle pilot order in March when Walsh started circling the project.