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NBC Cancels 1st Fall Series – From Conan

Nellie Andreeva

NBC today pulled the plug on legal drama Outlaw after putting the freshman series on production hiatus last week. It hails from Conan O’Brien’s once NBC-based production company Conaco. Conan and company were shocked when, in the middle of his fight with NBC Universal brass over The Tonight Show hosting gig last January, the network picked up their pilot. NBC gave Outlaw a solid sampling after America’s Got Talent but the series never took hold in its permanent Friday 10 PM time period where it was crushed by CBS’ Blue Bloods. Starting this Friday, NBC will air a second hour of newsmagazine Dateline in the time slot. (NBC had been airing a 2-hour Dateline from 8-10 PM, leading into Outlaw.) This Friday, the network will premiere new reality series School Pride at 8 PM, which will now be followed by a 2-hour Dateline.

The remaining 4 original episodes of Outlaw will air Saturdays at 8 PM over the next five week (preempted on October 30th for a previously scheduled Shrek special). The Jimmy Smits-starring Outlaw in its do-or-die airing this past Friday was only able to match its underwhelming 1.0 rating in adults 18-49 from the week before and drew 4.2 million viewers, down 11%. On the other hand, Outlaw‘s lead-in, the two-hour Dateline (1.6/6) spiked 23% from the previous week, which probably helped NBC brass’ decision to stick with a 2-hour edition of the primetime newsmagazine on the night. Earlier today, Outlaw gained some ratings … Read More »

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NBC’s ‘Outlaw’ Goes On Production Hiatus

Nellie Andreeva

NBC is stopping production on new legal drama Outlaw while keeping the show on the air. Starting tomorrow, the freshman series will go on production hiatus while the network monitors closely its ratings performance. Eight episodes of Outlaw have been produced; 3 of them have already aired, with 5 more in the can. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Tom Selleck’s ‘Blue Bloods’ Wins Slow Friday

Nellie Andreeva

The Week 2 declines continued on Friday, with every show sliding from its Premiere Week numbers. Tom Selleck’s new series Blue Bloods at 10 PM (2.0/7, 11.2 million) was once again the top program of the night by a mile in 18-49 and total viewers, down modest 9% from last week.

Also posting a respectable 9% decline was the other freshman series in the 10 PM slot, NBC’s Outlaw (1.0/4, 4.7 million). Unfortunately, the legal drama starring Jimmy Smits started off very low last week and still drew only half of the demo rating and less than half of the audience of Blue Blood last night. Outlaw finished tied for second place in the 10 PM hour with ABC’s 20/20 (1.0/4, 4.5 million, down 23% from last week) CBS’ other two Friday dramas, Medium (1.1/4, 5.6 million) and CSI:NY (1.7/6, 9.7 million) were down 14% and 15%, respectively. They still won their time slots in both measures, another sign how low the high water mark on Friday has fallen. Naturally, CBS won the night in both total viewers (8.9 million) and adults 18-49 (1.6/6).

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Blue Bloods’ Solid, ‘Outlaw’ Dives And CW Sci-Fi Duo Rocks

Nellie Andreeva

It was mostly carnage on the first Friday of the season, with NBC’s freshman Outlaw barely surviving the transition to Fridays and CBS’ veteran CSI: NY and Fox’s summer entry The Good Guys also hard-hit in their move to TV’s equivalent of a grave yard. But if there is one man impervious to time slots, it’s Tom Selleck as loyalists tuned in for the premiere of his new CBS cop drama Blue Bloods, the highest-rated program on TV last night with an audience number rarely seen on Friday night: 13 million. Also logging a strong debut was the reunited CW duo of Smallville and Supernatural. Here is a quick network-by-network round-up:

Where is Ghost Whisperer when you need it? The cancelled drama starring Jennifer Love Hewitt was one of very few series that could open Friday night with a decent number. Still, CBS showed some nice rating build-up hour-to-hour and easily won the night in 18-49 and total viewers. It was successful in bringing in the (mostly older) available audience on Friday night, with two series crossing the 10 million viewer mark, CSI: NY and Blue Bloods. New 8 PM anchor Medium (1.4/5, 6.1 million) was the night’s weakest link, down 39% from the season premiere of Ghost Whisperer last fall and down 33% from its own season premiere in the 9 PM last year. (Even at those mediocre rating levels, the … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Survivor’ Up In Return And ‘America’s Got Talent’ Finishes Strong

Nellie Andreeva

After a string of returning series on the CW and NBC premiered lower this fall, CBS veteran Survivor bucked the trend in its new Wednesday 8 PM slot. (Actually, that was Survivor’s original slot when it launched in the summer of 2000 before moving to Thursdays in Season 2.) Survivor: Nicaragua (3.9/12 in adults 18-49, 12 million viewers) was up 8% in the 18-49 demo and 3% in total viewers from the premiere of Survivor: Samoa cycle last fall, an encouraging sign as scheduling moves late in a series’ lifespan most often lead to audience erosion. Against the February debut of the all-star Heroes vs. Villains, the new Nicaragua was down 13%. Survivor boosted the two-hour season finale of Big Brother (2.9/8), which was renewed for another cycle yesterday. The summer reality series was up 7% Read More »

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Wanda De Jesus Departs ‘Law & Order: LA’

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE UPDATED: Law & Order: Los Angeles co-star Wanda De Jesus is exiting the upcoming NBC series. De Jesus filmed two episodes of the Law & Order spinoff playing Lieutenant Arleen Gonzales, the cool and authoritative captain of the LAPD Robbery Homicide Division. I hear that after two episodes, the producers on the Wolf Films/UMS procedural decided to take the role in a different direction. (The character already had been tweaked once, having originally been written as a male.) De Jesus’ scenes will be reshot, and meetings are underway with potential replacements. Series regularly do recastings after the pilot. Since LOLA went straight to series, the show’s producers have to make adjustments as they go. NBC is said to be interested in possibly casting De Jesus, who is the significant other of Jimmy Smits, star of NBC’s new fall series Outlaw, in another project. LOLA stars Skeet Ulrich, Corey Stoll, Alfred Molina, Terrence Howard, Megan Boone and Regina Hall.

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TCA: Early Launch For 2 NBC Series; NBC Brass Talk ‘Office’, Robert Greenblatt, Piers Morgan

Nellie Andreeva

At the top of NBC’s executive session, NBC Uni TV Entertainment chairman Jeff Gaspin announced that a couple of series will premiere early behind the final episodes of America’s Got Talent. The second season of Parenthood will launch on Sept. 14, after the second-to-last episode of Talent. New Friday drama Outlaw will get a sneak preview after the Wednesday finale of Talent.

Additionally, primetime entertainment president Angela Bromstad said the network has extended its production deal with Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey’s Film 44, which will now take over the NBC pilot for Prime Suspect, which the network plans to shoot off-cycle. Alexandra Cunningham (Desperate Housewives) is now writing the script for the adaptation of the iconic British series, which will be a 2-hour pilot. (Hank Steinberg was originally tapped as writer last development season) NBC also announced a development deal with Gladiator producers Laurie MacDonald and Walter Parkes.

Another piece of news, Rob Lowe will now be a regular on Parks & Recreation. And 30 Rock will do a live episode on Oct. 14, going back to the SNL roots of creator/star Tina Fey and frequents SNL host Alec Baldwin.

Gaspin, whose last TCA appearance came in the midst of the Conan O’Brien-Jay Leno debacle in January, opened the NBC executive session by saying: “I’m happy to be at TCA under different circumstances than last time. I’d like to thank ABC for creating the headlines this time.”

Asked whether he or NBC Uni … Read More »

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Melora Hardin Joins NBC’s New ‘Outlaw’

By | Friday July 23, 2010 @ 4:47pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: I hear Melora Hardin is set to join NBC’s new drama series Outlaw in a key recurring role. She has also closed a deal to return to The Office for a multi-episode arc. Outlaw stars Jimmy Smits as Cyrus Garza, a U.S. Supreme Court justice who quits the bench and returns to private practice. Hardin will play Claire Sax, a powerful senior partner in an elite law firm and love interest to Garza. Hardin replaces Gina Gershon who played the role in the pilot.

On The Office, Hardin will reprise her character Jan Levinson, Michael Scott’s unstable ex-girlfriend. With Jan and another Michael former love, Holly (Amy Ryan), both returning to The Office, Michael might be tying up some loose ends in what will be Carell’s final season on the comedy series. Hardin, repped by the Paul Kohner Agency and Framework, recently released her first studio album and next stars in the upcoming WWE comedy feature Knucklehead.

It’s been a busy week for major recasting on newly picked up broadcast series as many of them are heading into production. In the past couple of days NBC and CBS set new leads on Harry’s Law (Nate Corddry), Friends with Benefits (Zach Cregger) and $#*! My Dad Says (Jonathan Sadowski).

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