CBS Corp. President and CEO Leslie Moonves this afternoon addressed what went down with Charlie Sheen on the CBS hit Two and a Half Men earlier this year by issuing this easily-understandable two-word assessment: “Shit happens.” Featured in conversation at the Hollywood Radio and Television Society Newsmaker Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Moonves elaborated that what happened to the show was “unfortunate” and “wasn’t fun. There’s no good when there are lawyers involved with a television show.” But he is encouraged to find that Men’s ratings are up from what they were a year ago with Ashton Kutcher having replaced Sheen in the cast. He added, “I’m happy that Charlie has a show with a very good showrunner and a very good studio in Lionsgate. We wish him well. We’re more than happy with how well Ashton has done other than his comments about Penn State (condemning via Twitter the firing of head coach Joe Paterno). But I’m glad (Two and a Half Men) is a chapter that’s closing, and with these numbers I’m hoping this show will last for many, many years.” Moonves wouldn’t commit, however, to a multi-year renewal of the show going forward.
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2ND UPDATE, 3:35 PM: A federal court said it could take weeks before it decides whether to grant an injunction sought by NFL players to stop a league-imposed lockout. That’s because the judge wants both sides to agree to federal mediation to help resolve an impasse in finalizing a new collective bargaining agreement, according to Bloomberg. “Both sides are at risk. This is a good time to come back to the table,” the judge said. “This is really a matter to be resolved, in my view, with the services of the federal court.” Today’s hearing in St. Paul lasted five hours. Read More »
At the panel for CBS’ new cop/family drama Blue Bloods, the show’s writers-executive producers Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess were asked about departing the anti-hero drama genre they mastered on HBO’s The Sopranos to take on the CBS series starring Tom Selleck.
“We did the anti-hero for all those years, it was wonderful, it’s an old tradition…but every great character you see on TV right now is dark, they have a problem, we were very interested, as a curative after the Sopranos, to find out what a hero is,“ said Green. Added Burgess: “We were very conscious that we wanted to rediscover the hero, and write that, we did the other thing and now we want to do this. “
There is one element in Paul Lee’s background that in my opinion makes him well equipped for his new job as ABC Entertainment Group president. It’s not his 6-year tenure as president of ABC Family, he will find soon enough that broadcast TV is a whole new ball game. It’s not his degree from Oxford either, it is probably too highbrow for the populist nature of U.S. broadcast TV. It is Lee’s very first job out of college as a BBC reporter stationed in Belfast, Northern Ireland, covering the conflict during a particularly critical period. If he wasn’t afraid to step into a real-life crossfire, he probably won’t be intimidated by facing critics and reporters at TCA on Sunday or tough talent negotiations and difficult decisions at ABC in the future.
Lee, who turned 50 a couple of weeks ago, is asked to build a third consecutive TV network almost from scratch. He launched BBC America and put the channel on the map with such series as the British version of The Office and Changing Rooms, both of which were successfully remade by U.S. networks, NBC and TLC (Trading Spaces). Then at ABC Family, he inherited a neglected channel whose purchase had been deemed one of the worst business deals in TV history that was stuffed with repurposed ABC shows, no original series and a dying original movie franchise. He rebuilt the channel with a demo-focused original fare like The Secret Life of the American … Read More »
The leadership at the Academy of TV Arts and Sciences must be breathing a sigh of relief after last week’s Primetime Emmy nominations. As the awards show’s future hangs in the balance, the Academy probably couldn’t have asked for a much better list of nominees.
It offers a compelling underdog story – dismissed Tonight Show host Conan O’Brien getting 4 noms for his 7-month stint on the NBC show – as well as plenty of intrigue: will O’Brien be a presenter on the broadcast which airs on NBC, what he would say if he wins.
But most importantly, the list is brimming with big, buzzworthy shows. With the possible exception of The Big Bang Theory, which surprisingly missed the cut for best comedy series (but landed another lead actor nom for star Jim Parsons), the shows that have dominated pop culture for the past year: Glee, Lost, Modern Family, Dexter, True Blood and Mad Men, all earned best series nominations and all, with the exception of True Blood, also scored multiple acting noms. (The list of top nominees also includes the biggest reality series on TV, including American Idol and Dancing with the Stars)
I hear talks between the TV Academy and the Big 4 broadcast networks that hold the rights to the Primetime Emmy telecast have not started in earnest. The current eight-year “wheel” deal is up at the Aug. 29 telecast, which also will mark the end of the 4 networks’ exclusive … Read More »
The CW today became the first broadcast network to announce premiere dates for its fall lineup. As usual, the CW will roll out the bulk of its schedule ahead of the traditional fall premiere week, starting on September 8 with the debut of new drama Hellcats.
On Wednesday, September 8, Cycle 15 of AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL (8:00-9:00 p.m.) kicks-off the 2010-2011 season, followed by the series premiere of new drama HELLCATS (9:00-10:00 p.m.). HELLCATS is a drama about a young pre-law student (Aly Michalka) whose world is turned upside-down when she loses her scholarship and has to join the college’s competitive cheerleading squad. Ashley Tisdale also stars as a young woman who is totally committed to the cheerleading squad to realize her dreams.
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NBC’s The Office without Steve Carell is now a reality. First, he let it slip while promoting Date Night that he was considering an exit when his contract expires at the end of the upcoming 7th season. Now Carell confirmed his plans to reporters while promoting his next feature Despicable Me. No big surprise here, and NBC brass already said at the upfronts that they are making plans for the show in the event of Carell’s departure.
For Deadline today, freelance journalist Diane Haithman covered the Hollywood Radio and Television Society’s Newsmaker luncheon at the Beverly Hilton:
What will the TV industry have left to buzz about after fallen NBC talk show host Conan O’Brien’s new 11 PM show launches in November on TBS? And the world finally finds out whether his young, hip, Twitter-happy fans will follow him from NBC to cable? Once again, NBC and Conan launched the discussion at yet another industry gathering. O’Brien’s choice to sign with TBS instead of Fox after the “fairly catastrophic” NBC debacle (as FBC’s Kevin Reilly called it) was used as a starting point for a discussion about whether cable TV represents the television industry’s sweet spot in 2010. Oprah Winfrey’s move from syndication to starting her own cable network got a mention, too, but that was announced way back in 2009 — and she’s just not as much fun to talk about as Conan.
On the panel billed as “a post-upfronts look at the business of the business”: O’Brien’s attorney Leigh Brecheen, partner and head of television at the law firm Bloom Hergott; Paul Lee, president of ABC Family; Steve Mosko, president of Sony Pictures Television; Kevin Reilly, president of Fox Broadcasting Company; Chris Silbermann, president of ICM; and Tim Spengler, president of Initiative USA.
Well, time will tell whether cable is good to Conan – but what about everybody else? The rest of the discussion revolved around whether 2010’s promising upfronts mean that traditional, scripted broadcast TV series are back on top – and whether the networks can exist in happy harmony with cable channels, online TV options and VOD. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Denis Leary and Jim Serpico’s Apostle has inked a two-year overall deal with Fox TV Studios to develop and produce new cable series. Additionally, the company is in negotiations with CBS TV Studios for a deal that would cover broadcast projects as well as shows targeting the studio’s cable sibling Showtime.
Splitting the broadcast and cable areas of their TV business and setting them up at different studios marks a new stage in the evolution of Apostle. Launched in 1994, the company’s TV division set up shop at Sony in 2003 when the studio came on board to co-produce Apostle’s series for FX Rescue Me starring Leary. (The penultimate season of the firefighter drama premieres next week.) Apostle had been based at Sony TV until the studio recently decided to largely get out of the pod business, opting not to renew its overall deals with several companies, including Apostle, Tantamount and Timberman/Beverly. Tantamount and Timberman/Beverly have since inked deals with CBS Studios.
Before signing with Sony, New York-based Apostle developed a couple of projects with cable-focused FtvS. (FtvS’ executive vp scripted programming David Madden’s relationship with Leary goes even further back – he produced the 1995 movie Operation Dumbo Drop, which stared Leary.) “I think beyond the fact that they are really good creative auspices, they are also very hands-on, cost-conscious produces who have been able to produce Rescue Me in a remarkably … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: End Of An Era: NBCU Top Marketing Executive John Miller To Step Down
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – June 21, 2010 – After one of the longest and most successful careers in entertainment marketing, John Miller, Chief Marketing Officer and President of The NBC Agency, will now transition to a new role within NBC Universal. Miller, who will remain the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of NBC Universal Television Group, will be working full-time on the NBCU Comcast integration.
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Criminal Minds fans launched a massive campaign to bring back co-star A.J. Cook, whose option for next season wasn’t picked up, including setting up an online petition that has gathered more than 35,000 signatures and mailing thousands of lipsticks and file folders to CBS. Well, I hear she might be coming back in the fall but only for one episode. CBS has been firmly standing by its decision to part ways with the actress, and there is no deal in place with her, but I hear showrunner Ed Bernero is behind the idea to get Cook back for one episode so her character JJ’s story could be tied up and given a proper exit. Cook had been largely quiet on the controversy besides tweeting a note to the show’s fans last week, thanking them for their support. Meanwhile, her co-star Paget Brewster is in discussions with CBS over the network’s offer to keep her on the show as a regular but for reduced number of episodes.
CBS’ ‘Criminal Minds’ Cuts Female Cast But Will Add New Female Cast Member; Fans and Co-Stars Back ‘Minds’ Actresses