Max Greenfield has joined Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler in the cast of They Came Together. Greenfield, seen on Fox’s New Girl, will play the wayward couch surfing younger brother of Rudd’s character. David Wain directs the romantic comedy. Wain wrote the script with Michael Showalter. The duo last worked together on Wet Hot American Summer. Lionsgate is behind They Came Together. Showalter will produce. Wain will be the Executive Producer. Greenfield is repped by WME and Greenlight Management.
Damon Wayans Jr is heading to the Tuesday 9 PM slot after all. The actor starred in the pilot for Fox’s New Girl but had to pull out because his series in first position, ABC’s Happy Endings, was surprisingly renewed for a second season last May. Now he will face New Girl as ABC is slotting Happy Endings in the Thursday 9 PM slot this fall. ABC opening a 9-10 PM comedy block on Tuesday is surprising given the fact that the network last May said it would expand its new Last Man Standing-anchored Tuesday 8-9 PM comedy block to 10 PM in January with the younger-skewing Cougar Town and Don’t Trust The B—- in the 9 PM hour. But the network abandoned the idea, with ABC topper Paul Lee citing the strength of New Girl for the decision. Now the network is pitting Happy Endings and Don’t Trust The B— against New Girl and Mindy Kaling’s The Mindy Project.
By the beginning of February last year, the broadcast networks had renewed nine scripted series: ABC’s Modern Family, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Castle, The Middle and Cougar Town, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory (three-year pickup) and NCIS and Fox’s Raising Hope. A month later, the number climbed to 10 with a two-year deal for CBS’ How I Met Your Mother. We’re at the end of February now, and the networks are yet to pick up a single existing scripted series for next season. That is a very unusual pattern as the broadcast networks normally like to reward their top performers with early renewals.
There is no doubt that shows like ABC’s Modern Family and Once Upon A Time, CBS’ 2 Broke Girls and NCIS or Fox’s New Girl will be back next season. And yet, two-and-a-half months before the upfronts, there is not a single scripted series except for those under multi-year deals (Big Bang, How I Met Your Mother, The Simpsons) to have their places on the schedule for next season already secured. The dry spell may finally be broken soon as Fox is nearing a decision on freshman Terra Nova, whose chances for renewal have increased over the past few weeks.
The CW hasn’t been able to successfully launch a reality series in its six-year history. (Long-running hit America’s Next Top Model originated on UPN.) That is not going to change after the premiere of the network’s latest unscripted effort, fashion docu series Remodeled, which opened last night with miniscule 707,000 viewers and 0.3/1 among adults 18-49 to rank as the CW’s lowest-rated series premiere ever. That was well below the CW’s two most recent reality series, the short-lived H8R, which opened with 1.3 million viewers and a 0.6 18-49 rating in September, and Shedding For The Wedding (1.2 million, 0.5). In Remodeled‘s defense, the other two series had America’s Next Top Model as lead-in, while it followed a new 90210, which returned from a five-week hiatus with 1.3 million viewers and a 0.6/2 in 18-49, down 25% in the demo from its last original. Still, the CW put a lot of muscle behind the reality series starring modeling industry veteran Paul Fisher, scheduling multiple runs of its first two episodes. In fact, the network delayed the return of freshman drama Ringer by three weeks to launch Remodeled in its Tuesday 9 PM slot. After a similar pre-emption of New Girl by Fox to accommodate new reality series The X Factor, the freshman comedy never regained the ratings strength it once had. We will see what the impact will be on Ringer.
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Nobody could be happier about the success of Fox’s comedy hit New Girl than executive producer Liz Meriwether and star Zooey Deschanel, whose performance has caused the word “adorkable” to enter the popular lexicon. No wait — it’s possible that the Adam F. Goldberg and Christian Slater, executive producer and star of the comedy Breaking In, are even happier: At a TCA panel on Fox comedies Sunday, Goldberg says the renewal of his series was linked to New Girl’s success. “[Fox Entertainment president] Kevin Reilly said: ‘I want to build a whole comedy night,’ so he picked up the actors’ options,” said Goldberg on a panel that included actors and producers from Breaking In, New Girl and Raising Hope, which will represent Fox’s Tuesday night comedy block. “I was in a holding pattern. Nobody wanted New Girl to work more than I did, because that meant we could come back.”
Seconds after the Producers Guild announced the TV series nominations for its 2012 awards, commenters started asking in disbelief: Where is Breaking Bad? Indeed, the acclaimed AMC drama was conspicuously missing from the PGA Award nominations. Underscoring what appeared like a baffling omission, the WGA announced its TV series nominations minutes later, and Breaking Bad led the pack with three nominations. But while their ceremonies are only a month apart in January-February, the PGA Awards and WGA Awards’ eligibility windows vary wildly, leading to the puzzling discrepancies.
It turns out Modern Family was the Robin that signaled the comedy spring at the broadcast networks. Two years after the Emmy-winning ABC series became the first out-of-the-gate big comedy hit in years, the genre’s comeback is complete, while dramas appear headed for a down cycle. Here are the facts:
Kevin Reilly, entertainment president of Fox Broadcasting Company, says that building awareness of new shows online before they premiere has become its new mantra. Reilly, giving the keynote this afternoon in Cannes, highlighted the new comedy New Girl as an example of how Fox uses social networks to build awareness. The network pre-released an episode on iTunes and VOD before it even aired the pilot, and got 2 million downloads. Fox has given New Girl an early back-nine pickup after two highly rated airings, bringing the order for the Zooey Deschanel comedy to 24 episodes. Reilly said that Fox really started exploiting social media with Glee. The show was streamed on Hulu before its TV premiere, and songs were pre-released on iTunes to keep social media chatter going. Reilly said: “The series premiered as a bona fide hit, which I am certain would not have been the case had we marketed it in a more traditional way.” Here’s the full transcript of Reilly’s speech:
A common interpretation is that all Hollywood executives are idiots. Granted, I’ve known quite a few who have personally contributed to that interpretation — but it’s not why it continues to ring true.
What it really speaks to is an underlying truth about creativity itself.
And it takes on new meaning in this time of massive, unnerving shifts in the marketplace. Having worked the better part of my 25 year career as a creative executive in our business, there are many days when I know very little. But I remain enamored with creative people and energized by magical moments of inspiration.
I’ve spent a lot of time encouraging, corralling, protecting and sparring with creative people. And I head up a television network– an organization that strives to nurture talent through a process in which their original ideas become a mass appeal product. Unfortunately, through this process, executives often become part of the problem in their attempts to help.
The challenge is that agendas rarely line up.