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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 on the studio’s Fox freshman series Ben And Kate this past season alongside creator/executive producer Dana Fox. He will now join another 20th TV/Fox comedy series, New Girl, where he will serve as co-executive producer next season, in addition to developing new projects. “Dave proved himself invaluable on Ben And Kate, really stepping up and taking on a leadership role when Dana went on maternity leave,” said 20th TV chairman Gary Newman. “Although that show ultimately didn’t go the distance, we knew we wanted to stay in business with him.” Feeney is with UTA.

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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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‘New Girl’ At PaleyFest: New Episodes Will Show How Characters Lost Their Virginity, A Funeral, And Major Guest Stars

By | Monday March 11, 2013 @ 10:11pm PDT

Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.

At tonight’s PaleyFest panel on Fox’s New Girl, star Zooey Deschanel revealed that this week the show is shooting a flashback episode that details how the main characters lose their virginity. While offering few specifics, creator and executive producer Liz Meriwether, who wrote the episode, said cryptically that Max Greenfield’s Schmidt, playing the scene as his overweight younger self, would be seen “in that dorm room moving through space a little bit. He gets very overzealous with some lube.” No clues were revealed about the other characters’ first-time experiences. Earlier in the session, Meriwether said the show’s writing process always includes some “real shit and some stupid shit,” and that this episode will fit that signature mold of combining the silly with emotions that are “beautiful and real.” The panel at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills included Deschanel; Meriwether; executive producers Brett Baer, Dave Finkel, Jake Kasdan and Katherine Pope; and cast members Greenfield, Jake Johnson, Lamorne Morris and Hannah Simone.

Earlier this month the show was renewed for a third season, but there were plenty left to talk about regarding the remaining episodes this season. Panelists confirmed news reports that Episode 20, airing in a few weeks, takes the cast to Chicago after the death of Nick’s (Johnson) father. While again not revealing too many spoilers, producers said the episode would feature guest stars Margo Martindale (who died on Justified but won an Emmy for her role) as Nick’s mother and Nick Kroll as Nick’s brother. Also guest starring as Nick’s grandmother: Ellen Albertini Dow, who played the “rapping granny” in The Wedding Singer, variously reported to be either 94 or 99. The episode was directed by Kasdan, who said setting the show in Chicago and blending regulars with guest cast made this episode feel “like the pilot for a different show.” And he added that “Elvis shows up” — played by Deschanel. Read More »

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Fox Early Renewals: ‘The Following’, ‘New Girl’, ‘Raising Hope’ & ‘Mindy Project’

By | Monday March 4, 2013 @ 12:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

The FollowingFox has handed early renewals to midseason drama The Following and Tuesday comedies New Girl, Raising Hope and The Mindy Project. They join recently renewed veteran Bones, with negotiations for a fifth season of Glee ongoing. Per star Kevin Bacon’s deal, The Following pickup is for a 15-episode second season, same as Season 1. It will likely return next midseason. The Following, from creator/executive producer Kevin Williamson and Warner Bros. TV, has emerged as a big DVR performer, rising to No. 2 broadcast drama and No. 3 drama overall this season in Live+7 ratings.

Fox hinted at the renewal of New Girl, Raising Hope and The Mindy Project last week when it slotted repeats of the three comedies on its summer schedule. New Girl, from creator Liz Meriwether, Chernin Entertainment and 20th TV, is Fox’s highest-rated comedy. It has been renewed for a third season. Raising Hope, from creator Greg Garcia and 20th TV, has been a great utility player, delivering solid ratings wherever dispatched by the network. Mindy Kaling’s freshman Mindy Project, from Universal TV and 3 Arts has been soft in the ratings but has done well with critics and is a favorite of Fox brass.

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Fox To Air New ‘Mindy Project’ & ‘New Girl’ After ‘American Idol’ In April

By | Wednesday February 20, 2013 @ 2:20pm PST

There’s going to be a little bit more of The Mindy Project and New Girl on Fox in April. The network announced today that it would be airing new episodes of the comedy series on April 4 right after American Idol. That’s a big lead-in boost for the shows, which usually air on Tuesdays. A “Date Night” episode of New Girl will be broadcast at 9 PM right after Idol, with an episode of The Mindy Project following at 9:30 PM. Fox did have an encore of Glee scheduled in the April 4 Thursday night slot but decided to move it to give the comedies a little bit of Idol love as it has for other shows like Touch and Glee itself in previous years.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘New Girl’ & ‘Mindy Project’ Up, ‘Go On’ & ‘New Normal’ Hit Series Lows, ‘The Taste’ Falls

By | Wednesday January 30, 2013 @ 9:19am PST

It was a night of a lot of not-so-new chess pieces put in place on television Tuesday. With ABC and Fox having pulled shows from their schedule last week, last night saw their replacements debut. In its first week as a one-hour, The Taste (1.6/4) had a hard second week. The cooking competition show fell 24% from its two-hour premiere January 22. With Don’t Trust The B—- In Apt. 23 pulled from the schedule last week, ABC began the first week of its double shot of Happy Endings on Tuesday. The 9 PM (1.2/3) regular time slot broadcast dipped 8% from Happy Endings’ last original show on January 15. The replacement 9:30 PM (1.3/3) airing of Happy Endings was up from Apt. 23’s 1.1/3 of two weeks ago. Now that Private Practice is no more, ABC ended the night with a special primetime repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live (1.2/3) from January 24 when the show was “hijacked” by Matt Damon. The indefinite pulling of Ben And Kate from Fox’s Tuesday comedy block last week meant that last night began with the first of several back-to-back episodes of Raising Hope. The 8 PM (1.7/5) was even with last week’s show but the 8:30 PM (1.5/4) replacement airing rose 25% from last week’s Ben And Kate in the same time slot. That wasn’t the only rise Fox saw on Tuesday. New Girl (2.5/7) was up 14% from last week and The Mindy Project (1.7/4) saw a rise of 13% from January 22. Read More »

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UTA Signs Zooey Deschanel

By | Friday December 21, 2012 @ 10:35am PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Zooey Deschanel has signed with UTA. She was with CAA. Indie film darling Deschanel stars on Fox’s comedy series New Girl, which has earned her Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. Deschanel is also a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter who records and performs in the band She & Him. Additionally, she is a co-founder of the female-targeted entertainment and pop culture website, which she created along with partners Sophia Rossi and Molly Mcaleer. (Rossi is also repped by UTA.) This season, Deschanel and Hello Giggles ventured into series development with Must Be Nice, a comedy written by New Girl consulting producer J.J. Philbin, which sold to Fox with a script commitment. Deschanel’s feature credits include 500 Days Of Summer and Almost Famous. She continues to be repped by manager Sarah Jackson and attorney Steve Warren.

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Fox Sets ‘Glee’, ‘Mindy Project’, New Girl’ And Animation Return Dates

By | Thursday December 13, 2012 @ 3:17pm PST

Glee will be back on January 24, 2013, Fox announced today. The musical comedy-drama’s return for more of its fourth season was just one of many Fox series the network set Winter 2013 premiere dates for. The Simpsons is back for more of its 24th season on January 6, along with new episodes of Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy and American Dad. A week later, on January 13, The Cleveland Show returns to the network’s Sunday animation block. The Mindy Project and New Girl are back on January 8, as are Raising Hope and Ben And Kate. The network also announced a half hour behind the scenes Inside The Following special on Saturday January 19, two days before the new Kevin Williamson-produced serial killer drama series debuts.

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RATINGS RATE RACE: ‘Happy Endings’ & ‘Don’t Trust The B’ Open Soft, ‘Emily Owens’ Drops In Week 2, ‘Vegas’ Hits Low

By | Wednesday October 24, 2012 @ 10:42am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It was the first edition of the “comedy sigalert” three-way Tuesday face-off last night as ABC launched its new comedy block of Happy Endings and Don’t Trust The B—- In Apt. 23 to face NBC’s Go On and The New Normal and Fox’s New Girl and The Mindy Project (Mindy was pre-empted last night for a relocated The X Factor).

Fox’s New Girl (2.7/7) came out the dustup unscathed, on par with its last original two weeks ago. It also topped its now two comedy competitors in the 9 PM slot: NBC’s Go On (2.5/7, down 11% from its fast national two weeks ago, 4% from the final) and Happy Endings (1.9/5), finishing right behind CBS’ NCIS: LA (2.8 from 9-9:30 PM) in the half-hour.

It was a slow start for Happy Endings and Don’t Trust The B— (1.7/4), which have been left to fend for themselves this fall after alternating for a run behind hit Modern Family last season. Not surprisingly, both comedies were down sharply from their most recent season/series debuts behind Modern Family last season: -39% for Happy Endings and -41% from Don’t Trust The B—-, which hit a series low. On the bright side, Happy Endings was up 12% from its April season finale. Of the other comedies last night, Fox’s Raising Hope (1.7/5) was even with last week; Ben And Kate (1.4/4) showed some spark, up 17% from last week, while NBC’s The New Normal (1.8/4) was down 10% from two weeks ago. (The presidential debate pre-empted the networks’ 9-11 PM programming last Tuesday). Read More »

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Fox Buys Underdog Comedy From ‘New Girl’ Co-Star Jake Johnson, Max Winkler, Imagine

By | Monday October 22, 2012 @ 3:27pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: New Girl co-star Jake Johnson is expanding his relationship with Fox, the network behind the quirky comedy. Johnson has teamed with writer-director Max Winkler for The B Team, a single-camera comedy produced by 20th Century Fox TV and Imagine TV. Johnson and Winkler are co-writing the project, about five regular underdogs who, sick of getting screwed over, come together and form a real-world version of The Avengers. But, lacking any actual superpowers, they must rely on their intelligence and cunning to turn the tables on those who take advantage of the powerless. Winkler is attached to direct the potential pilot, while Johnson is poised to make his directorial debut with an episode if the project goes to series. The two executive produce with Imagine’s Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo. Read More »

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Fox’s ‘New Girl’ & ‘Raising Hope’ Get Orders For Two Extra Episodes

By | Monday October 22, 2012 @ 11:25am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

New Girl Extra Episodes FoxOn the heels of freshman The Mindy Project getting a pickup for two more episodes, bringing its first season order to 24 episodes, Fox has done the same with its two returning live-action comedies: New Girl and Raising Hope. With struggling newcomer Ben And Kate‘s order at 19 episodes vs. 24 for the rest of Fox’s Tuesday comedies, it is clear Fox plans to sub Ben And Kate with The Goodwin Games in midseason.

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Olivia Munn To Do Arc On Fox’s ‘New Girl’

By | Thursday September 27, 2012 @ 8:10am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Olivia Munn has been tapped for a guest-starring arc on the Fox comedy series New Girl. She will play Angie, Nick’s (Jake Johnson) new love interest who is sexy, earthy, charming and can hold her own with the group. Munn, repped by CAA and Mosaic, will film her episodes before production starts on Season 2 of HBO’s Newsroom, on which she co-stars. She was recently seen in Magic Mike and Babymakers. 

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Emmy Episode Snafu For ‘New Girl’ Co-Star

By | Wednesday September 12, 2012 @ 3:02am PDT

New Girl‘s Max Greenfield (aka “Schmidt”) nearly missed his shot at an Emmy. His reps had selected the episode “Control” for his Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series category. But the DVD reproduction house erroneously sent out the “Bad in Bed” episode for him. When the mistake was discovered, the Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences arranged to send out new DVDs before the September 17th deadline.

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Fox To Preview New Comedies ‘Ben & Kate’, ‘The Mindy Project’ Online Ahead Of Debut

By | Monday July 23, 2012 @ 9:09am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Mindy Project FoxIn what has become a TV industry standard, Fox will preview new comedy series Ben And Kate and The Mindy Project in advance of their fall primetime debuts. The previews will be on Facebook and other online sites — including Yahoo, Hulu, AOL, MSN, and Xfinity — and via participating cable, satellite and telco distribution partners on both VOD and online platforms from August 27 to September 9. The series premiere September 25. Last year, Fox successfully previewed New Girl on iTunes, VOD, airplanes and Hulu and in hotels for two weeks, resulting in big premiere numbers for the comedy starring Zooey Deschanel.

Related: ANALYSIS: Behind ‘New Girl’s Surprisingly Big Opening And The iTunes Experiment

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Jake Kasdan Signs Two-Year Overall Deal With 20th Century Fox TV

By | Wednesday July 11, 2012 @ 4:03pm PDT

Jake Kasdan will serve as exec producer on both New Girl and the new comedy Ben And Kate, as well as develop additional projects under the exclusive two-year overall deal announced today. He’ll also be available to direct pilots he did not personally develop, 20th Century Fox TV chairman Gary Newman said. Kasdan directed the New Girl pilot and went on to direct multiple episodes. He also served as exec producer on the series and will continue in both capacities under his new deal. Kasdan also directed the pilot for Ben And Kate, which was ordered to series by Fox and premieres September 25. “Jake is an incredibly good partner to the creators; he helps realize their vision and is sensitive and fantastic with actors”, Newman said. On the big screen, Kasdan served as producer, director and writer of Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007), as a producer on Friends With Kids (2011) and directed last year’s Bad Teacher.

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EMMYS: Zooey Deschanel On ‘New Girl’

By | Monday June 18, 2012 @ 8:20pm PDT

Charlie Mason is an AwardsLine contributor

Boardwalk EmpireA whole thesaurus-full of adjectives has been bestowed upon Zooey Deschanel over the course of her almost-15-year showbiz career. But none have had quite the staying power of “adorkable,” the descriptor that Fox coined to sum up her character Jess Day on the fall breakout New Girl. Mind you, it doesn’t faze the 32-year-old actress, who in real life comes off far brainier than zany. “It was a really great tagline for the show’s first season,” says the sitcom veteran (Frasier), movie star (Elf) and indie darling ((500) Days of Summer). “I can’t complain.” Nonetheless, it probably won’t be long until she gets stamped with another label: Emmy nominee.

AWARDSLINE: I hope you’re not superstitious, because I’d like to wish you luck with that Emmy nod I suspect you’re about to get.
ZOOEY DESCHANEL: Oh, thanks. But I haven’t won anything since fifth-grade student council, so I try not to think about that stuff. I mean, obviously, I would be to-the-moon excited if I were to be recognized. But I would never want to even assume (that I might get a nomination). Read More »

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EMMYS: Comedy From Female Perspective

By | Thursday June 14, 2012 @ 10:41pm PDT

Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.

Boardwalk EmpireIf the 2011-2012 TV schedule is any indication, girls just want to be funny. There are probably more new comedies created, co-created or executive-produced by women in primetime than at any time in history: 2 Broke Girls (Whitney Cummings), The B**** In Apartment 23 (co-creator Nahnatchka Khan) and Girls (Lena Dunham, 2011’s best first screenplay winner at the Independent Spirit Awards for Tiny Furniture). There are more who also might find themselves in the Emmy mix, and Awardsline spoke separately to some of them: Jessika Borsiczky, co-executive producer of Showtime’s House of Lies; Emily Kapnek, creator and co-executive producer of ABC’s Suburgatory; Elizabeth Meriwether, creator and co-executive producer of the Fox comedy New Girl and Emily Spivey, the Saturday Night Live veteran who created and is a co-executive producer of NBC’s Up All Night.

AWARDSLINE: There’s been a lot said about the new shows with women at the helm, especially in comedy. Certainly female comedy was a goldmine for the movies in 2011 with Bridesmaids. What’s going on?
EMILY SPIVEY: I think there just happened to be some ladies with ideas that people liked, I don’t think it was a big conspiracy to get a bunch of ‘lady shows’ on the air. The time has come when more ladies are trying comedy. In the past it was kind of a man thing, especially with stand-up. I think women are really finding their voices and being allowed to be a little more aggressive and speaking about topics that maybe a few years ago were a little more taboo than they are now.
JESSIKA BORSICZKY: We are sort of hitting a place where there’s some real seniority to women in television. When I started at HBO (in the movie division) in 1992 I certainly wasn’t running television shows, it took a long time. But obviously storytelling and movies reflect what’s interesting about our times. The universe of what it is to be a modern woman right now is deep, it’s changing, there’s a lot of fluctuation in family and marriage. Women are now out-earning men and out-educating men and having babies without men so there are a lot of stories to tell. And look at Girls, it’s also showing us a side of what it is to be a young woman that’s new. Read More »

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Max Greenfield Joins ‘They Came Together’

By | Wednesday May 16, 2012 @ 2:35pm PDT

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.

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Single-Camera Comedy Mayhem: ABC, NBC & Fox To Clash In Tuesday 9-10 Hour In Fall

By | Tuesday May 15, 2012 @ 8:51am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Happy Endings ABC ScheduleDamon 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 New Girl FoxHappy 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.

Related: 2012-13 ABC Schedule: Comedy Block On Friday, ‘Revenge’ Gets ‘Housewives’ Slot Read More »

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