Emmy nominated Cara Buono (Mad Men) has been tapped for a heavily recurring role on CBS’ Person Of Interest. Her character is described as a femme fatale who’s uniquely qualified to navigate the new world order of Season 4 of the procedural drama, created by Jonathan Nolan and co-produced by J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot. Buono received an Emmy nod for her Season 4 turn as Dr. Faye Miller on AMC’s Mad Men. Other small screen credits include The Sopranos, Third Watch, and guest spots on Elementary, Castle and The Good Wife. Her film credits include indie The Discoverers, Matt Reeves’ vampire remake Let Me In, Hulk and Beer League. Person Of Interest Season 4 premieres on Tuesday, September 23 at 10 PM.
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Not surprisingly, today’s freewheeling TCA panel of showrunners from CBS dramas echoed entertainment president Nina Tassler’s defense of traditional network television at her executive session earlier in the morning. On the panel were Rob Doherty (Elementary); Gary Glasberg (NCIS); Robert and Michelle King (The Good Wife) and Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman (Person Of Interest). Glasberg said you just can’t argue with the wider-than-cable exposure a network show can bring. “We have 18 million Facebook followers. It’s crazy,” the producer said.
After a career mostly in feature film, Nolan said he appreciates the immediacy of TV. Still, he noted that the producers had joked backstage about the pressure of producing 22-24 episodes rather than cable’s usually smaller series orders. “It’s very difficult. The [number of episodes] is probably calibrated not to the length of the season but to the exact point a showrunner will have a nervous breakdown,” Nolan said. He added that the absolute breakdown point would be 25. One of the realities of 22-24 episode orders: A single season eats up a lot of story. The panelists addressed some of the big changes that have recently occurred on their shows.
EXCLUSIVE: Tribune’s WGN America continues to aggressively build its programming slate under the new regime. On the heels of greenlighting its first two original drama series, the cable network has nabbed the off-network rights of Person Of Interest in a deal with Warner Bros. Domestic TV Distribution. This deal, which will see POI premiere on WGNA in fall 2015, marks the first time the network has purchased the exclusive cable window to a syndicated series. “Person of Interest is a fantastic show with a top notch creative team behind it, and we are excited to be the exclusive syndicated cable home for the show as we continue to transform WGN America into a destination for quality premium content,” said Matt Cherniss, President/GM, WGN America and Tribune Studios.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
The third-year CBS hit crime drama Person Of Interest introduced its two newest regulars, Sarah Shahi and Amy Acker, tonight during the second of the Paley Center’s five-night PaleyFest: Made in NY celebration honoring TV shows that shoot in New York. Both actresses had been recurring on the show before getting upped – Acker for two seasons, Shahi for just one. “It was one of those when I first got the job where, if the audience took to me, if the storylines worked, maybe they’d make me a regular,” Shahi said. “So even when I had the job I felt like I was auditioning for the job.” But clearly, the audition went well, as Shahi is now a full-timer in portraying government assassin Samantha Shaw on the series. It worked out nicely for Acker, too, as her character root (a highly intelligent computer hacker and contract killer) received her promotion to regular cast status for the third season. Yet she admitted during the fairly subdued session that getting comfortable in the character’s skin has taken some getting used to since she’s “not a computer person.” She added, “I can barely check my email. So sometimes I’ll get lines and say, ‘What the heck am I talking about here?’” Showrunner Jonathan Nolan was also asked early on what the point was to add regulars to an already successful show. He explained that he and his fellow producers (including J.J. Abrams) simply couldn’t pass up the chance to work with actresses the caliber of Acker and Shahi. “Plus, when you add a few new characters, that actually winds up adding five or six new relationships,” Nolan said. “It gives us that much more of a challenge, which is great fun.”
The Killing‘s Michelle Forbes has been cast in a recurring role on the Wolf Films/Universal Television NBC series Chicago Fire. She plays Gail McLeod, a high ranking consultant with the State Fire Marshal’s office, who keeps a sharp eye on budgets and performance at the city’s fire houses. And 51 is definitely under her microscope.
Smash co-star Leslie Odom, Jr. has been booked for a potentially recurring role on CBS’ Person of Interest. He plays Peter, an educated, even-tempered tech executive. Highly analytical, he plays his cards close to the vest. Repped by Bauman Redanty and Shaul and manager Joan Sittenfield.
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s Comic-Con coverage
During a standing-room-only panel at Comic-Con, Person Of Interest creator-showrunner Jonathan Nolan confirmed that recurring player Amy Acker has been elevated to series regular status. She portrays the mysterious Root, the conflicted cyber-terrorist introduced in Season 1 and last seen in a mental institution. Acker previously appeared in POI exec producer JJ Abrams’ Alias and Joss Whedon’s Angel, and she currently stars in Whedon’s feature film Much Ado About Nothing. CBS‘ Person of Interest kicks off its third season September 24 on a new night (Tuesday) and time (10 PM).
CBS today said it is moving its Big Brother eviction show from Tuesdays to Thursdays beginning July 11, meaning the long-running reality series will now be broadcast on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays this summer. The new night is not a coincidence: CBS now owns Thursdays and during the official TV season airs the one-two punch of The Big Bang Theory and Two And A Half Men in the first hour of primetime. Big Brother attracts those same younger-skewing demographics. With Big Brother in the timeslot this summer, CBS can promo the comedies during its reality competition series in the hour. The network today also shifted NCIS: Los Angeles and Person Of Interest to new time periods Tuesday nights this summer, starting July 9. That lines up the latter series, which is also moving to Tuesdays in the fall. Here’s the new schedule:
Either the use of ’TOLDJA’ is a lovely homage to me (see left) or else someone’s infringing on Deadline’s trademark. Just kidding… The CBS/Warner Bros Television hit show Person Of Interest will be featured on nearly 40,000 limited edition collectible key cards at nearly 30 participating hotels throughout the San Diego area during the 2013 Comic-Con this month. Not surprising that the network and studio are sucking up to the show’s executive producer, Bad Robot Productions’ JJ Abrams, since he’s become a humongous draw because of directing both the new Star Trek and Star Wars franchises. Meanwhile POI itself seems especially prophetic given all the national security surveillance news headlines right now. “There is no place that the Machine cannot access. It is now infiltrating your hotel room. You are most definitely being watched,” says the studio’s slogan. The collectibles will feature 2 separate designs, including one starring Reese and Finch (Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson). This marks the 6th consecutive year that Warner Bros has been the official Comic-Con hotel keycard sponsor and the first time that a single show has been selected. Person Of Interest holds its Comic-Con panel session on July 20, with executive producers Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman joined by members of the cast. The crime series finished the 2012–13 season as TV’s 3rd most-watched drama (behind only NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles), averaging 16.2M viewers per episode, a +12% increase above Season 1. The show’s Season 3 begins on September 24.
This is a news that has been long time coming: all aired episodes of CBS/Warner Bros.’ drama series Person Of Interest are finally available digitally. The first two seasons of the crime drama are now available via digital download to own through all digital retailers, including iTunes and Amazon Instant Video. The series is still not available for streaming. “We are all excited that new and existing fans of Person Of Interest can finally catch up with the first two seasons,” said series’ executive producer J.J. Abrams, who had voiced his frustration over POI‘s unavailability online that made it difficult for new viewers to join the show. Digital deals are being negotiated between TV studios and networks. CBS is traditionally conservative when it comes to digital exposure of their shows, with the downloading pact between the network and Warner Bros. TV for POI taking particularly long to hammer out. For comparison, Abrams/Warner Bros.’ freshman NBC drama Revolution has been available both for downloads and streaming. POI, which is yet to be taken out to the off-network syndication market, is coming off a strong second season, boosted by new lead-in Two And A Half Men, averaging 16.2 million viewers, a 12% increase above the show’s previous season. It relocates to Tuesday 10 PM in the fall.
Finch and Reese are about to meet their match. In-demand Fairly Legal star Sarah Shahi has been tapped for a recurring role on the sophomore CBS drama Person Of Interest. She will play Shaw, a fearless, sexy and witty operative in a secret paramilitary organization that tracks and eliminates terrorists before they can act. As POI creator/executive producer Jonathan Nolan put it, “if James Bond and Sarah Connor had a kid, Shaw would kick its ass.” Shahi will first appear in the February 21 episode titled Relevance, which will be directed Nolan. For now, Shahi has been booked for an arc this season, but I hear she may continue in Season 3 of the drama that has been growing in the ratings, boosted by a Two And A Half Men lead-in.
EXCLUSIVE: Joe Mazzello (The Pacific, The Social Network) is set set for multi-episode arcs on the FX drama Justified. Mazzello, repped by UTA and Podwall Entertainment, will play Preacher Billy, a preacher who has saved the lives of drug addicts. He will next be seen in G.I. Joe 2.
Army Wives co-star Sterling K. Brown is set to recur on the sophomore CBS drama Person Of Interest. The actor, repped by Innovative and JWS Entertainment, will play Cal Beecher, a no-nonsense narcotics detective … and a potential love interest for Detective Carter, played by series star Taraji P. Henson.
EXCLUSIVE: Michael Emerson, best known for playing Ben Linus on Lost, has joined the cast of Woody Allen’s next film. Emerson will shoot while on hiatus from his new series Person Of Interest. He joins Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, Bobby Cannavale and Bradley Cooper in the untitled picture that Allen will shoot in the U.S.
SECOND UPDATE: As expected, Big Bang was adjusted up to a 5.3 demo rating in the finals, edging Idol‘s 5.2 from 8-8:30 PM.
UPDATE: In the time-adjusted fast nationals, American Idol went up a tenth to a 5.7 in 18-49 from 8-9 PM and tied The Big Bang Theory’s non-time zone-adjusted 5.2 demo fast-national rating from 8-8:30 PM. But Big Bang too is projected to go up a tenth in the finals to a 5.3, so the standings in the half-hour are expected to remain the same.
PREVIOUS: After ABC’s Modern Family on Wednesday logged its best ratings ever against American Idol, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory did one better last night, besting the Fox reality juggernaut for the first time. Big Bang‘s 100th episode drew a 5.2/14 in 18-49, even with its fast national rating last week. It edged Idol‘s 5.1 demo rating from 8:30 PM. Idol grew to a 6.1 from 8:30-9 PM to top the night with a 5.6/15 in 18-49. But, just like on Wednesday, Idol was down sharply from last year, 28% from its Thursday premiere (20% from the 8-9 PM hour). With Idol as a lead-in, new Fox drama The Finder (2.2/5) was up 29% from its underwhelming premiere last week, but it still held onto a paltry third of the Idol 8:30-9 PM demo rating. Fox (3.9/10, 12.3 million) won the night in 18-49 but not in total viewers, with CBS (3.5/9, 14.0 million) topping that.