Fox Gives Early Renewals To ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’, ‘The Mindy Project’, ‘New Girl’ & ‘The Following’

By | Friday March 7, 2014 @ 4:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Brooklyn-nine-nineThis is gutsy. Fox has handed early renewals for next season to comedies Brooklyn Nine-Nine, New Girl and The Mindy Project and drama The Following. Golden Globe-winning freshman Brooklyn Nine-Nine is picked up for a second season, Mindy and The Following for a third and New Girl for a fourth. They join three other Fox scripted series that already have been picked up for next season: freshman drama Sleepy Hollow; veteran Bones, renewed for a 10th season; and Glee, which has a final sixth season as part of a two-year pickup. That is a lot of programming already locked in for next season though Fox has extra holes to fill following the cancellation of The X Factor. Networks are not required to make any renewal decisions until May, and most wait to see their pilots before making decisions. Fox, of course, declared in January that it was breaking away from the pilot cycle, so the network also may be going on its own timetable with renewals. But most of all, today’s pickups are about Fox brass giving a vote of confidence to series they feel strongly about creatively.

Related: Fox’s Abolishment Of Pilot Season: Practical Guide To How Will It Work

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘New Girl’ & ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Drop Post-Super Bowl, ‘Biggest Loser’ Ties Finale Low

By | Wednesday February 5, 2014 @ 10:05am PST
Nellie Andreeva

dads_fox_adCan you guess which Fox comedy series got special airings after the Super Bowl on Sunday? Last night, the network’s Dads (1.5) was even with its airing last week, while New Girl (1.6) and Brooklyn Nine-Nine (1.4) were both down, by 16% and 26%, respectively. There are rarely big bumps for the shows chosen to follow the big game but double-digit drops are unusual. Last year, CBS’ Elementary posted a 5% gain in the fast nationals for its first outing after the post-Super Bowl episode that aired four days after the big game vs. two for Fox’s New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The ratings hold should give confidence to Dads, which does not get a fraction of the attention and critical praise New Girl and Brooklyn get but fared on par with them last night despite no Super Bowl exposure. This was Brooklyn‘s debut in its new 9:30 PM slot where it tied the last original of predecessor The Mindy Project. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘New Girl’ Solid After Super Bowl, ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Sampled

By | Monday February 3, 2014 @ 10:23am PST
Nellie Andreeva

new-girl-zooey-deschanel-prince-jake-johnson-636-380Half-hour comedy series have not been a major post-Super Bowl draw since the heyday of Friends, which drew a massive 52.9 million viewers in 1996, followed by NBC’s 3rd Rock From The Sun (33.7 million) two years later. Since then, comedies airing after the big game have stayed in the low-20 millions: Family Guy (22.0 million in 1999), Malcolm In The Middle (21.4 million in 2002), The Simpsons (23.1 million in 2005) Fox_Broadcasting_Company111004142957-200x101and The Office (22.9 million in 2009). Last night, Fox‘s New Girl did better than all of them, drawing 25.8 million viewers. Rookie comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, followed with 14.8 million. With its young skew, New Girl did particularly well in the demos, posting a 11.1 rating in adults 18-49. (Brooklyn Nine-Nine got a 6.7). New Girl topped last year’s post-Super Bowl entry, CBS drama Elementary, which drew the smallest viewership in the spot in a decade — by 23% in total viewers and by 42% in 18-49. It also edged the previous half-hour comedy to follow the Super Bowl, The Office, by 13% in total viewers.

Related: Super Bowl Ratings Down Double Digits From 2013, Still In Top 5 Ever

But here comes the caveat: New Girl aired a half-hour episode vs. an hourlong for most previous sitcoms, including Office, and viewership declines steadily after the end of the game. For the whole hour post-Super Bowl, Fox averaged 20.8 million viewers, just shy (by 64,000) of the delivery of Elementary last year and below the other comedies that aired hourlong episodes. Plus, because of a blackout, Elementary started outside of primetime on the East Coast vs. a 10:23 PM start for New Girl. (Brooklyn got on at 10:54 PM). Like was the case with Elementary last year, the goal for New Girl – owned by Fox sibling 20th TV — was not just getting eyeballs, it was also helping the show sell in syndication, a process currently underway. Elsewhere on Sunday, both NBC and ABC touted year-to-year primetime ratings gains vs. the Super Bowl though no other broadcast network came even close to a 1.0 18-49 rating against the game on Fox. Read More »

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Writers Sue Fox, Peter Chernin, WME And Others Claiming ‘New Girl’ Is A Ripoff

By | Friday January 17, 2014 @ 4:05pm PST

newgirlIn Hollywood’s latest “you stole my idea” case, a pair of screenwriters have filed a lawsuit claiming the Zooey Deschanel sitcom was based on their work. Stephanie Counts and Shari Gold claim that Fox’s New Girl and their 2006 pilot Square One contain similarities “so numerous and specific that independent creation was obviously impossible.” They name as defendants New Girl exec producer Peter Chernin, creator Elizabeth Meriwether, director Jake Kasdan, WME and Fox parent company 21st Century Fox.

Weighing in at 90-plus pages, the suit filed Thursday in California’s Central District (read it here) claims a laundry list of “similarities between the shows’ themes, structure, setting, overall story and plot arcs, specific plot devices, interpersonal twists, dialogue, sequence of events, tenor, specific scenes and elements of scenes, character identities, character personalities, character relationships, character interaction, character development, character idiosyncrasies, and character names require the conclusion that defendant Meriwether not only knew of Square One, but copied Square One to create New Girl.” The plaintiffs say their show was based on Counts’ personal experience, when she moved into a three-man bachelor pad after a divorce. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ABC’s ‘Killer Women’ Drops To O.7 Rating In Week 2

By | Wednesday January 15, 2014 @ 9:07am PST
Nellie Andreeva

How many periods can ABC fill with Shark Tank repeats? Following the network’s move on Friday to killer2pull low-rated limited series The Assets and replace it with reruns of the hit reality series, it has another strong candidate in Killer Women. Following its underwhelming debut with a 0.9 18-49 rating last week, the procedural drama dropped 22% to an instant-cancellation 0.7 rating that spelled the demise of the series’ predecessor in the Tuesday 10 PM slot, Lucky 7. Things were more encouraging for ABC early on, with Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2.2) and The Goldbergs (1.8) both posting second consecutive 0.1 bumps. Trophy Wife (1.1) was flat.

CBS’ lineup kept steady. NCIS (3.0) was even with last week, NCIS: LA (2.4) matched its last original (as well as the preview of new drama Intelligence in the slot last Tuesday), and Person Of Interest (2.0) too was flat with last week. CBS won the night in 18-49 (2.5) and total viewers (15.9 million). Read More »

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TCA: Yvonne Strahovski Joins ’24: Live Another Day’

By | Monday January 13, 2014 @ 8:00am PST
Nellie Andreeva

strahovskiFormer Chuck star Yvonne Strahovski is back in the field with another turn a spy. The Dexter alumna has been cast Fox‘s event series 24: Live Another Day that will be set and filmed in London. The … Read More »

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New Line Engages In ‘Fist Fight’ Pitch With ‘New Girl’s Max Greenfield

By | Thursday December 12, 2013 @ 2:41pm PST
Mike Fleming

max greenfieldEXCLUSIVE: New Line Cinema has acquired Fist Fight, a comic pitch based on an idea by New Girl star Max Greenfield. The actor brought the idea to 21 Laps and developed it with them and writers … Read More »

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Fox Midseason: ‘Glee’ Returns To Tuesday, ‘Brooklyn’ Moves Behind ‘New Girl’, ‘Mindy’ Takes Hiatus, ‘Following’ Gets NFC Launch

By | Thursday November 21, 2013 @ 4:30pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Fox is making some scheduling changes for midseason. The underperforming two-hour Tuesday comedy block will be scaled to an hour beginning February 25, when Glee will return to the Tuesday 8 PM slot where it did pretty well during the 2011-12 season. Fox brass hope that the move would help the show regain some footing, which it has lost airing behind a very weak The X Factor this fall. The hourlong Fox comedy block will consist of New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which will move to the 9:30 slot on February 4. It will replace The Mindy Project, which will go on hiatus after a winter finale on January 28, returning on April 1 after Brooklyn Nine-Nine ends its freshman run. The move comes after the sophomore comedy starring Mindy Kaling hit a new series low (1.2 in 18-49) this week. The show’s crew already has been told of the scheduling change, and Mindy is planning a month-long production hiatus around the holidays which the writers will use to regroup and plot the show’s April re-launch.

Fox also is changing its launch plans for midseason dramas The Following and Rake. Instead of premiering new legal dramedy Rake behind the NFC Championship Game on January 19 as previously announced, Fox will launch the second season of  gritty drama The Following after the big game for a two-night season premiere on Sunday, January 19 and Monday, January 20 when the series will debut in its regular Monday 9 PM slot, following the season finale of Sleepy Hollow. The argument is that the dark, male skewing Following would be more compatible with the football game than the lighter, more female-friendly Rake. The new series starring Greg Kinnear will premiere January 23 in its regular Thursday 9 PM slot, following American Idol. As previously announced, new Fox comedy Enlisted will premiere on Friday, January 10, and original episodes of New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine will air after the Super Bowl on February 2. Remaining unclear if the spring scheduling of comedy Dads, which will air its last originals in its Tuesday February 4 and February 11 before going on hiatus to make room for Glee. It could come back later in the season, a return date is TBD. Here are Fox’s updated winter premiere dates: Read More »

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Damon Wayans Jr. To Stay On ‘New Girl’ For The Remainder Of The Season

By | Wednesday November 6, 2013 @ 6:15pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

The Coach is staying on. Original New Girl co-star Damon Wayans, Jr., who returned to the show for an arc this fall, will continue on the Fox comedy for the rest of the season. He is expected to … Read More »

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‘Blacklist’ Sets DVR Record, Retains 100% Of Premiere Demo Rating In Week 2; ‘New Girl’ Tops Percentage Gains With 89%

By | Sunday October 20, 2013 @ 3:31pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

After becoming the first broadcast show to grow by 5 million viewers or more from Live+Same Day to Live+3, NBC‘s hot freshman The Blacklist has set another DVR record, becoming the first broadcast series to add more than 6 million viewers from L+SD to Live+7. Both milestones were achieved by Blacklist’s second episode, which averaged 17.9 million viewers in Live+7, up 6.50 million or 57% vs. the 11.35 million who watched live or the night of the original airing.

Proving that DVR viewing is growing in leaps and bounds this season, the previous record for Live+7 viewership gain was posted only a week earlier, by CBS monster hit The Big Bang Theory, which added 5.7 million viewers for its season premiere between Live+SD and Live+7. What’s more, The Blacklist was able to erase its entire 13% Second Week drop among adults 18-49 in Live+SD through time shifted viewing. The second episode of the James Spader starrer rose to a 5.49 18-49 rating in week two, matching exactly its premiere 18-49 result. It appears to be the only new series to hold onto its premiere rating in Week 2 this season. The Blacklist also supplanted ABC‘s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. as the No.1 new series in 18-49 as S.H.I.E.L.D. dropped 23% in Week 2 L+7 vs. its debut to a 5.4. For Fox‘s Sleepy Hollow, which launched a week earlier, the Week 2 drop-off in L+7 was 9%. Big Bang remained the highest-rated broadcast program for a second straight week (7.6 in L+7), eclipsing NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Decent Openings For ‘Dads’ & ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’, ‘Mindy’ Down

By | Wednesday September 18, 2013 @ 9:27am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Addressing the rampant criticism of Fox’s racy new comedy Dads, Fox chief Kevin Reilly at TCA read a potpourri of scathing reviews CBS megahit The Big Bang Theory had received before its launch. Judging by its opening last night, Dads maybe better compares to another multi-camera sitcom that was universally panned, ABC’s Work It. Fox’s sons-fathers comedy opened with a 2.1/7 in adults 18-49 last night. Given all the backlash and the fact that Dads was a self-starter at 8 PM, that was a decent number, in line with Work It’s debut last year (2.0) and short of Big Bang‘s opening (3.7 in 2007). Fox’s best reviewed new comedy, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2.5/8) built on its lead-in, and both Dads and Brooklyn were up from the openers of Raising Hope (1.7) and Ben & Kate (2.1/6) in the 8 PM and 8:30 PM slots last fall. But the latter opened against regular competition while Dads and Brooklyn ran virtually unopposed last night, and Brooklyn boasts popular former SNL star Andy Samberg as the lead. Is their start strong enough to withstand NCIS, boosted by the pending departure of fan favorite cast member Cote de Pablo, and ABC’s heavily promoted Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.? New Girl (2.9/8) was up a tenth from last year’s opener, which aired during premiere week. Meanwhile, despite Fox’s efforts to bring new audiences to The Mindy Project — with a big-for-a-sophomore-series marketing campaign that included early release of the premiere episode online — the off-beat comedy returned to a 1.9/5, down 21% from its series debut last year and the lowest-rated member of Fox’s new Tuesday comedy block. New Girl and Mindy will face The Voice next week. With the all-original lineup, Fox won the night in adults 18-49. Read More »

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CAA Signs Zooey Deschanel

By | Thursday August 15, 2013 @ 12:21pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Zooey Deschanel is making a major representation change. The New Girl star has re-signed with CAA after a seven-month stint at UTA. Additionally, she has left long-time manager Sarah Jackson. For the time being, Deschanel is not taking in a new manager. “I worked with Zooey for over 17 years, and have the highest regard for her as an artist and a person,” Jackson said. “I’m very proud of the career she is currently enjoying and wish her the very best.” Jackson had been with Deschanel for her entire career to date, which has made the actress a TV star and indie darling and has earned her an Emmy and two Golden Globe nominations. Jackson’s Seven Summits continues to represent clients that include Homeland‘s Morena Baccarin, top-grossing comedian Russell Peters, Paula Malcomson, Tyler James Williams and Michael Urie. Read More »

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‘New Girl’ Duo Jake Johnson & Max Winkler Launch Shingle At 20th Century TV

By | Wednesday July 10, 2013 @ 6:25pm PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Having worked together on New Girl and the feature Ceremony, Jake Johnson and Max Winkler have now formally teamed up with a production company at 20th Century Fox TV. The new shingle is called … Read More »

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Netflix Snags Fox’s ‘New Girl’ In Multi-Year Deal

By | Monday July 1, 2013 @ 3:00am PDT

New Girl is coming to Netflix starting today. The streaming service and Fox have inked a multi-year deal to bring the network’s highest rated comedy to the subscription-based digital outlet. The first season of the Chernin Entertainment and 20th Century Fox TV-produced series from creator Liz Meriwether will be available July 1 with subsequent cycles like the recently ended Season 2 to follow after their broadcast season is complete. “New Girl has proven to be the biggest breakout sitcom hit of the season and we are thrilled to be able offer it so quickly to our U.S. subscribers,” said Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos in a statement. “We are delighted that Netflix viewers will now have the opportunity to enjoy this remarkable comedy. As a leader in digital distribution, Netflix is an important partner for us. We are thrilled to continue building our relationship with them,” added Fox TV Distribution’s EVP Worldwide Pay TV and VOD Gina Brogi. Read More »

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EMMYS Q&A: Jake Johnson

By | Thursday June 20, 2013 @ 10:30pm PDT

Michael Ausiello is Editor-in-Chief of TVLine.

Jake Johnson took Emmy watchers by surprise earlier this year when the New Girl actor elected to exit the supporting actor category in favor of the coveted, competitive lead race (pitting him against such awards heavyweights as Alec Baldwin, Jim Parsons and Jon Cryer). But upon closer inspection, the move was something of a no-brainer. The burgeoning relationship between Johnson’s Nick and Zooey Deschanel’s Jess was the driving force behind the Fox comedy’s stellar second season, and it cemented the actor’s status as a bonafide romantic leading man. In a recent conversation, the 34-year-old Chicago native talks about entering the lead-actor Emmy race, opens up about butting heads with series creator Elizabeth Meriwether, and votes for his favorite Season 2 episode.

Related: EMMYS: Comedy Series Overview Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Debuts Down, ‘NCIS’ Finale Down, ‘The Voice’ Dips, ‘Wipeout’ Hits Series Low

By | Wednesday May 15, 2013 @ 9:17am PDT

There were a lot of moves on television last night and not just the five finales inprimetime. So You Think You Can Dance (1.9/6) was back for a 10th season with a first-time May sweep debut. Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy were joined by guest judge Jesse Tyler Ferguson of Modern Family as LA hopefuls auditioned and angled for a ticket to Las Vegas. The premiere stumbled 14% from last season’s debut on April 24, 2012 but was up 19% from Season 9’s finale on September 18. The other dance show of the night, ABC’s Dancing With The Stars (1.8/5), was up 6% from its results show from last week and was the third-most-watched show of the night with 11.59 million viewers.  Back on Fox, the season finales of comedies New Girl (2.1/6) and The Mindy Project (1.3/4) followed. The second-season ender of the Zooey Deschanel starrer was even with its May 7 show but down 25% from its May 8, 2012 Season 1 finale. The freshman finale of Mindy was also even with last week’s show. Over on ABC and moved to Tuesday, Wipeout (1.1/4) saw the second week of its latest season fall 15% from its May 9 premiere and tie a series low. At 10 PM, Body Of Proof (1.4/4) was even with last week’s show.

NCIS  (3.2/10) wrapped its 10th season Tuesday. The night’s most watched show with 18.16 million viewers was up a scant 3% from last week, and the powerhouse procedural was down 11% from last season’s finale. NCIS: LA (2.5/7) had a similar but slightly more exaggerated result: The spinoff was up 4% from its May 7 episode but fell 17% from its two-hour Season 3 finale last year on May 15, 2012. The now-cancelled Golden Boy (1.2/4) ended its tractionless freshman season, with a ratings drop and the loss of more than 6 million viewers from its lead-in summing up the police drama’s problems. The fact that last night’s show was flat with its May 7 airing to tie a Tuesday broadcast low does too. CBS won the night in total viewers with 12.870 million, while NBC took the top spot in adults 18-49. Read More »

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‘New Girl’ & New Comedy Series To Air After The Super Bowl On Fox

By | Monday May 13, 2013 @ 5:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Remember that joke Jimmy Kimmel made at ABC’s 2010 upfront a day after Fox had announced that Glee would air after its Super Bowl broadcast? “Apparently, they are trying to set a new Guinness World record for the most 43-year-old drunk guys saying ‘What the fuck is this?’ all at once”? He could crack another one tomorrow as Fox has slated another female-centered series to air after the Big Game on February 2: comedy New Girl. The quirky show starring Zooey Deschanel won’t be airing an hourlong episode. Instead, Fox plans to pair it with one of its new comedy series. Fox is launching three male comedies next fall that would work well for the football game — cop show Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Army half-hour Enlisted and guys-and-their-dads sitcom Dads. Fox seems particularly high on Dads and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which have been slotted as part of Fox’s Tuesday comedy block.

Related: Fox Greenlights Event Series ‘Wayward Pines’ Read More »

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David Feeney Inks Overall Deal With 20th TV, Joins ‘New Girl’ As Co-Executive Producer

By | Monday April 15, 2013 @ 5:12pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Comedy writer-producer David Feeney has closed an overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV. The two-year pact stems from Feeney’s stint as executive producer/co-showrunner Read More »

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Fox Pushes Season Finale Dates Of 4 Series

By | Tuesday March 12, 2013 @ 1:54pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

With more and more broadcast series ending their seasons earlier and earlier, Fox is delaying the season finales of four series this year. The network today amended the list of season finale dates it issued two weeks ago with new dates for New Girl, The Mindy Project, Kitchen Nightmares and Touch. Comedies New Girl and Mindy Project, originally slated to wrap their seasons May 7, will now air their finales May 14. Kitchen Nightmares and Touch will finish their seasons May 10. In Fox’s previous plan, Kitchen Nightmares was to end its original run April 6, followed by Touch‘s closer April 26. The reason for the tweaks is that Fox brass decided to have more originals on in May. The rest of the network’s season-finale dates remain unchanged. Here is the full list of Fox’s season finales/summer premieres: Read More »

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