ITV Confirms Simon Cowell Returning To Boost ‘Britain’s Got Talent’

Deadline contributor Tim Adler files this international report:

Simon Cowell will return as one of the judges on next year’s Britain’s Got Talent, ITV boss Adam Crozier has confirmed. The X Factor impresario will resume his seat on the talent show following the recent exits of judges David Hasselhof and Michael McIntyre. Speaking to press this afternoon in London, the ITV boss also hinted that ITV Studios may be in the market to buy an American production company, pointing out that the U.S. is the second-liveliest market for independent TV producers apart from the UK. For now though, Crozier is concentrating on wiping out the £612 million worth of debt he inherited by year’s end. “When you inherit something that isn’t working, the worst thing you can do is start bolting things on,” he said. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Community’ & ‘Prime Suspect’ Rise, ‘Parks & Recreation’ Slips

Nellie Andreeva

Against lighter competition, The X Factor‘s Top 7 results show last night (3.1/9) was even with its last Thursday episode two weeks ago and up 19% from last week’s results edition, which aired on Wednesday. Bones (2.8/7) was up a … Read More »

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NBC’s ‘Prime Suspect’ To Shut Down Production

By | Tuesday November 15, 2011 @ 1:02pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Maria Bello is hanging up her hats. NBC’s low-rated new cop drama Prime Suspect, which was left off the network’s midseason schedule, will wrap production this month. I hear that the show’s cast and crew were notified of the shutdown … Read More »

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NBC To Give ‘Harry’s Law’ Full-Season Order; ‘Prime Suspect’ Gone?

By | Monday November 14, 2011 @ 2:54pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Harry’s Law is featured on NBC’s just-released midseason schedule, so this seams like a foregone conclusion, but word is that NBC is giving a full-season to David E. Kelley’s sophomore series. Also looking good to get a back order … Read More »

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NBC’s Midseason Schedule: ‘Up All Night’, ‘Whitney’, ‘Rock Center’, ‘Harry’s Law’ Move; ‘Community’ Benched; ‘Suspect’ Pulled

Nellie Andreeva

NBC To Give ‘Harry’s Law’ Full-Season Order; ‘Prime Suspect’ Gone?

After a pretty dismal fall, NBC is shaking things up in midseason with several scheduling changes. Gone from the lineup is struggling freshman Prime Suspect (NBC says it hasn’t made a final decision on its cancellation), while four series — Whitney, Up All Night, Harry’s Law and Rock Center With Brian Williams — are on the move. NBC is creating a multi-camera comedy block in the 8-9 PM Wednesday hour with Whitney and midseason comedy Are You There, Chelsea (formerly Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea; No alcohol-flavored title in the family hour.) The block, which will debut January 11, brings together two female comedians with similar sensibility in Whitney Cummings and Chelsea Handler, on whose books Chelsea is based. A month later, the two comedies will be followed by low-rated newsmagazine Rock Center With Brian Williams. It will take over the Wednesday 9 PM slot from Harry’s Law, which is moving to Sundays. Rock Center had to move out of the Monday 10 PM slot to make room for NBC’s highest-profile new series this season, Broadway drama Smash, which will premiere on February 6 and run in the post-The Voice slot as originally scheduled. NBC’s other changes for midseason include new comedy Up All Night moving to Whitney‘s Thursday 9:30 PM slot; 30 Rock replacing Community on Thursdays at 8 PM; and the John Grisham adaptation The Firm, originally slated for a Sunday midseason run, sliding into Prime Suspect‘s Thursday 10 PM slot. The order for Community has not been reduced, so it’s unclear what NBC will do with the remaining episodes of the college-set comedy. Missing from the midseason lineup is NBC’s ambitious new drama series Awake, which recently took an unplanned break to work on scripts. Here is NBC’s midseason schedule (with premiere dates) that also includes new reality series Fashion Star on Tuesdays at 10 PM and the return of Celebrity Apprentice on Sundays: Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Ends Fall Run With A Bang, ‘Big Bang’ Tops Night

Nellie Andreeva

ABC’s veteran medical drama Grey’s Anatomy (4.0/10 in adults 18-49) had its fall finale last night. The series ended on a high note – Grey‘s was up 14% from its fast national rating last week. Private Practice (2.9/8), which is heading into its two-hour fall finale next week, was up 12%. On a low note, ABC’s canceled drama Charlie’s Angels (1.1/3) at 8 PM was down a tenth to a series low in its final airing. It dragged down ABC’s nightly average, so the network (2.7/7, 8 million) finished third in both 18-49 and total viewers.

CBS aired a new The Big Bang Theory (5.2/15, 15.7 million) and Rules Of Engagement (3.6/9), followed by drama reruns of Person Of Interest (2.0/5) and The Mentalist (1.9/5). For a third straight week, Big Bang went up in the fast nationals vs. the previous Thursday. The last two times, the comedy posted a new Thursday high in 18-49 and may again tie or surpass its current Thursday best (5.4) when the Live+Same Day ratings are released this afternoon. Big Bang once again topped the night in both 18-49 and total viewers. Rules was down a tenth from last week. CBS (2.8/7, 10.9 million) topped the night in viewers and finished second in 18-49 to Fox.

The second results edition of Fox’s The X Factor (3.3/9) was down 8% from last week. Bones (2.7/7) was down 18% from its season premiere last week. Fox (3.0/8, 9.5 million) still won the night in the demo. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: CBS, NBC Comedies Rebound, ‘Bones’ Debuts, ‘Big Bang’ Rocks

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE 2 PM: Big boost in the finals for Big Bang, which indeed posted a new 18-49 Thursday with a 5.4 rating, up from 5.1 in the fast nationals. Going up a tenth are ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, NBC’s The Office and Parks & Recreation, Fox’s The X Factor and the CW’s The Vampire Diaries, which hit a season high.

PREVIOUS: All series that were pushed down by Game 6 of the World Series last Thursday bounced back last night. CBS’ The Big Bang Theory (5.1/15 in adults 18-49, 15.5 million) was up 13% from its fast national 18-49 rating last week. The hot comedy posted a new Thursday high in total viewers and will do the same in adults 18-49 when the finals are released later today. (It currently runs tied with the Thursday demo high it logged just two weeks ago but will be adjusted up as it always does.) Big Bang once again ranked as the highest-rated program of the night in 18-49 and total viewers. Rules Of Engagement (3.7/10, up 12%, 11.9 million) also posted new Thursday highs in total viewers and 18-49. Person Of Interest (2.7/7, 11.7 million) was flat, while The Mentalist (2.9/8, up 16%, 13.6 million) hit a season high in 18-49 and drew its largest audience since the season premiere.

Fox’s The X Factor (3.6/10, 11.3 million) aired its first-ever result show, which also was the series’ first hourlong edition. For those reasons, there is no apples-to-apples comparison to previous episodes, but X Factor grew nicely half-hour to half-hour, from a 3.3 to a 4.0 in the demo. At 9 PM, Bones opened its seventh season with a 3.3/8 in adults 18-49 and 10 million viewers. In 18-49 that was up 22% from the show’s debut last season, but this year Bones had a lofty X Factor lead-in vs. being a self-starter at 8 PM last year. Additionally, there was a significant half-hour-to-half-hour drop-off, from a 3.5 to a 3.1, which you don’t want to see in a 9 PM drama. Still, Fox (3.4/9, 10.6 million) edged CBS (3.3/9, 12.9 million) for the top spot in 18-49 to post a seventh consecutive Thursday demo win this season. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Epic Game 6 Boosts Fox, ‘Prime Suspect’ Hits Low

Nellie Andreeva

After a lousy ALCS championship series and a slow start to the World Series, Fox got cooking last night with a thrilling 11-inning Game 6, which forced a rare World Series Game 7 (we hadn’t had one in nine years). It’s a dream come true for Fox executives and a nightmare for NBC ones whose Friday premieres of Grimm and Chuck tonight will have to face that game. (CBS has opted to sub its originals with repeats at the last minute.) The big game last night, which will propel Fox to an easy nightly win in 18-49 and total viewers when time-adjusted ratings are released, impacted the competition in a typical pattern, pushing down male-skewing shows like CBS’ The Big Bang Theory and Person Of Interest and NBC’s Community and The Office, while boosting female-oriented series such as ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, NBC’s Whitney and the CW’s The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle.

Maybe ABC should’ve tried a Charlie’s Angels series with Charlie Brown as the boss. Last night, a rerun of the 45-year-old cartoon It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown at 8 PM drew a 2.3/6 among 18-49, which was higher than any episode of the canceled Charlie’s Angels in the slot. Vs. last year, the Charlie Brown animated special was up 5%. Grey’s Anatomy (3.7/9) was up 3% from last week, and Private Practice up 4%. Read More »

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Ratings Rat Race: ‘X Factor’ To Hit (Or Tie) Series High, ‘Man Up’ Drops, ‘NCIS: LA’ Hot

Nellie Andreeva

Jay Leno Gets Big Ratings Boost From President Obama’s Appearance

The live show stage brought the long-awaited ratings bump on The X Factor. The first live performance edition of the reality series last night posted a 4.3/10 in 18-49 from 8-10:30 PM, a series-high fast national result. The show’s premiere posted a 4.2 fast national before rising to a 4.4 in the finals, so X Factor is on track to at least match that when the Live+Same Day ratings are released later today. (UPDATE 2 PM: X Factor rose to a 4.4 in the finals.) Compared with last Tuesday, X Factor was up 10% in 18-49 and 13% in total viewers to 11.8 million. Fox won the night in 18-49 and finished second to CBS in total viewers. Read More »

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Ratings Rat Race Update: ’2.5 Men’ Reverses Downward Trend As All CBS Comedies Gain

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE 2:45 PM: As expected, most CBS series were adjusted down in the finals after a bump in the fast nationals from a NFL pre-emption in Baltimore. But even with the adjustment, all CBS comedies posted gains vs. last week. The news is especially important for Two And A Half Men, which had been sliding every week since its hugely rated season premiere. Last night, Men logged a 5.5/13 in 18-49, up 4% from last week, and 15.3 million viewers, up 1%. The comedy starring Ashton Kutcher is still comfortably ahead of the performance the same week last fall with leading man Charlie Sheen, up 25% in 18-49. Mike & Molly (4.2/10 in 18-49) was up 8% week-to-week, 2 Broke Girls (4.5/11) was up 2% and How I Met Your Mother (4.3/12) also was up 2%. Hawaii Five-0 (3,1/8) was flat. For the night, CBS (4.1/10) edged Fox (3.9/10) in 18-49. Fox’s coverage of Game 4 of the World Series stretched beyond primetime, averaging a 4.2/11 from 8-11:40 PM. Read More »

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NBC’s ‘Prime Suspect’ Gets Order For 6 More Scripts

By | Wednesday October 12, 2011 @ 12:34pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

NBC is solidifying its support for well-received but struggling new drama Prime Suspect with a six-script order. It follows similar script pickup for sophomore dramedy Harry’s Law yesterday. Prime Suspect is NBC’s only new fall scripted series whose fate … Read More »

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Ratings Rat Race: ‘Charlie’s Angels’ Dives, ‘Suspect’ Steady, ‘Office’, ‘Grey’s’ Hit Low

Nellie Andreeva

Fox got some really bad news last night when the Yankees get eliminated from the playoffs, leaving the network’s post-season baseball coverage without its 2 biggest draws – the Yankees and the Red Sox, which bowed out a week ago. Softening the blow was the fact that the network won its third Thursday in a row among adults 18-49 with The X Factor (3.8/10), which still refuses to grow but has been extremely persistent in its ratings performance. The reality series matched its fast national rating from last week, just as it did on Wednesday. (X Factor always gets adjusted up in the ratings.) Keeping steady was actually a major accomplishment last night as the big Yankees-Tigers game on TBS pushed most broadcast series down.

There were only 2 other series not to drop week-to-week last night and one of them was a show that needed good news — NBC’s Prime Suspect (1.5/4), which matched its performance last week even as its lead-in, Whitney (2.3/6) was down 8%. Prime Suspect is the only new NBC series whose fate is undecided but the network’s brass are rallying behind it, and its hold last night is encouraging thought it needs to eventually grow to earn a pickup. That could happen next week when the network will start airing reruns of the show in the Monday 10 PM slot vacated by cancelled Playboy Club to give the crime drama starring Maria Bello additional sampling. Prime Suspect was not the lowest-rated NBC series on Thursday this time – it was tied with Community (1.5/5), which was down 17%. Parks & Recreation (1.9/5) was down 10%, while The Office (3.1/8) was down 11% to log its lowest-rated episode in 6-and-a-half years, since the finale of its poorly rated 6-episode first season in the spring of 2005. While baseball was a factor, it is still disconcerting for the veteran comedy to drop so much as it raises concerns about the show’s viability without star Steve Carell. Read More »

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MIPCOM Briefs: ITV Sells NBC’s ‘Prime Suspect’ To 30 Territories; Overseas Buyers Get ‘Happily Divorced’

The international TV market got underway in Cannes this morning with a flurry of announcements. Here are a few titbits:

– ITV Studios Global Entertainment, the TV distribution arm of the Brit broadcaster, has sold the new NBC version of Prime Suspect to over 30 territories worldwide. This is despite the show teetering on the verge of cancellation in the U.S. ITV, which co-produced the remake with Universal Media Studios, has licensed the Maria Bello vehicle to broadcasters including Nine (Australia), TVNZ (New Zealand) and TV3 (Ireland). Prime Suspect drew an underwhelming 1.5 18-49 rating in its second week on NBC. My colleague Nellie Andreeva reports that NBC’s chief Bob Greenblatt is willing to give the struggling show, which got mostly positive reviews, a bit more time.

– Meanwhile Shine International, the TV distribution arm of News Corp’s Shine Group, has licensed more than 200 hours of programming to Discovery Networks Latin America/US Hispanic. It’s the biggest commission Shine has brokered with DLA/USH to date, and includes cooking competition show MasterChef, game show The Biggest Loser, and unscripted format One Born Every Minute. Read More »

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Second Time No Charm For ‘Playboy Club’ ‘Charlie’s Angels’ & ‘Prime Suspect’: What Went Wrong?

By | Sunday October 2, 2011 @ 1:50pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

NBC’s The Playboy Club and Prime Suspect and ABC’s Charlie’s Angels had two things in common going into this fall. Highly recognizable titles, for once, as they all were based on famous brands. And they all got on the air after 2 consecutive rounds of development. Now they share something else: they all launched to disappointingly low ratings and are staring down the cancellation barrel. How did that happen?

Just a month ago, things were looking up for the 3 series. Besides pre-sold titles, all were backed by extensive promotional campaigns and all had a strong marketing hook. For Playboy Club, it was the Playboy empire which threw its support by hosting  pre-launch parties at the Playboy mansion and doing a special cover of Playboy magazine promoting the show’s launch. For Charlie’s Angels, it was Drew Barrymore’s involvement as an executive producer. (She even appeared as a presenter at the Emmys alongside the series’ stars.) Prime Suspect had a well-known film actress, Maria Bello, as the lead. Additionally, in their road to the screen, all 3 drams seemed to follow the successful formula of CBS’s Hawaii Five-0. CBS originally put the reboot of the classic procedural in development during the 2008-09 development season with Ed Bernero as the writer. The project didn’t go to pilot, and the following season, CBS tried again with new writers: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Peter Lenkov. The script sailed through the pilot stage and the show landed on CBS’ 2010 fall schedule. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Gentleman’ Debuts Low, ‘Angels’, ‘Whitney’ & ‘Suspect’ Drop

Nellie Andreeva

NBC’s Bob Greenblatt Not Rushing To Cancel Low-Rated ‘Playboy Club’ Or ‘Free Agents’

CBS’ decision to put two unproven new series back-to-back on lucrative Thursday night — comedy How To Be A Gentleman and drama Person Of Interest — was quite a gamble for a risk-averse network like CBS. And now, the tandem starts to spell trouble for the network in their first airing together. In its premiere, How To Be A Gentleman (2.7/8) was down 33% from the debut of the now-defunct $#*! My Dad Says in the 8:30 PM slot last year but still did better than anything but X Factor in the half-hour. Gentleman dragged down Person Of Interest (2.7/7, 12.4 million), which slid a modest 13% from its premiere last week directly behind The Big Bang Theory. The ripple effect continued with The Mentalist (2.5/7, 12.7 million), down 11%. The only good news for CBS last night came at 8 PM, where Big Bang (4.8/15, 14.5 million) matched the fast national 18-49 rating for its season premiere last week and was once again the top program of the night in viewers and the 18-49 demo. CBS (3.0/8, 12.3 million) was No. 1 for the night in total viewers and second in 18-49.

How quickly they fall. After a disappointing start last week, ABC’s Charlie’s Angels (1.5/4) took a 29% dive in Week 2 and is facing likely early cancellation. Grey’s Anatomy (3.5/9) was down 15% from its two-hour opener last week. At 10 PM, Private Practice launched its fifth season with a 2.8/8, down 15% from last season’s debut and its lowest-rated premiere ever, but it still won the 10 PM hour in 18-49. ABC (2.6/7, 8.4 million) finished third for the night in viewers and 18-49. Read More »

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PREMIERE WEEK: Comedies In Comeback, Dramas Mixed While NBC & CW Struggle

Nellie Andreeva

As network executives break out the “I Survived Premiere Week” T-shirts, they are probably relieved as most nets have something to brag about. Overall, the comedy genre’s comeback was in full force: Half-hour series had a big showing, claiming the top six highest-rated non-sports programs of premiere week among adults 18-49, including rookies 2 Broke Girls (7.1/16 in Live+Same Day) and New Girl (4.8/12) and returning Two and a Half Men (10.7/25), Modern Family (average of 6.1/16 for two episodes), How I Met Your Mother (5.0/13) and The Big Bang Theory (5.0/15). (Additionally, Modern Family, HIMYM and The Middle were all up double-digits from last fall’s premieres, while Big Bang was essentially flat). For comparison, the highest-rated drama series last week was veteran NCIS (4.3/12) and the highest-rated reality series was the X Factor premiere (4.4/12).

Comedies also stood out among the crop of new series, with two potential breakout hits, Fox’s New Girl and CBS’ 2 Broke Girls; two promising new entries, NBC’s Whitney (3.3/8) and Up All Night (2.4/7); and only one dud, NBC’s Free Agents (1.3/4). In contrast, there were no drama breakouts this past week, with four solid openers — ABC’s Revenge (3.3/9) and Pan Am (3.1/8) and CBS’ Person of Interest (3.1/8) and Unforgettable (2.9/8) — and three disappointments in NBC’s The Playboy Club (1.6/4) and Prime Suspect (1.8/5) and ABC’s Charlie’s Angels (2.1/6). Read More »

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Ratings Rat Race: ‘Big Bang’ Tops, ‘Angels’ & ‘Prime Suspect’ Soft, ‘X Factor’ Holds

Nellie Andreeva

Last night’s ratings continued the trend this premiere week of new comedies on average opening stronger than the dramas. Two more high-profile new dramas, ABC’s Charlie’s Angels and NBC’s Prime Suspect, had lackluster openings, while NBC’s comedy Whitney was promising. CBS’ Person of Interest was solid (as has been every series — new or returning — on CBS this week), but at first blush it looks more like The Mentalist than the series it replaced, CSI, in terms of breakout potential. Here is the rundown network-by-network.

ABC’s Charlie’s Angels reboot (2.1/6 in 18-49, 8.7 million) got off to a slow start given its pre-sold title. (Last fall, CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 reboot premiered with a 3.9 demo rating.) Still, Charlie’s Angels was up 31% from last fall’s debut in the slot of My Generation, which was canceled a couple of weeks later. Despite a slightly better lead-in this year, Grey’s Anatomy‘s (4.1/10) two-hour premiere was down 24% from last season’s hourlong opener (which too was down 21% year-to-year) to log the veteran medical drama’s lowest-rated season premiere. ABC (3.4/9, 9.8 million) was third for the night in demo and viewers.

CBS opened big with two back-to-back episodes of The Big Bang Theory, which drew a 4.8/15 — down a fraction (2%) from Big Bang‘s Thursday debut last fall — and 14.1 million viewers at 8 PM and a 5.0/14 and 14.7 million at 8:30 PM. Big Bang was the top program of the night by a wide margin in both 18-49 and total viewers. Person of Interest (3.1/8, 13.2 million) was down 9% in the demo from last fall’s premiere of veteran CSI in the Thursday 9 PM hour. The Mentalist (2.8/7, 13.4 million) was down 18% from last season’s opener. CBS (3.6/10, 13.4 million) finished No. 2 in 18-49 and first in viewers. Read More »

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TCA: NBC Lets Slip A Slight British Accent

Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.

At the NBCUniversal press sessions at Monday’s TCA, not one but two of the new series introduced here are re-imaginings of British shows. In the morning, it was the comedy Free Agents. This afternoon, it was the Maria Bello starrer Prime Suspect, a re-invention of the critically acclaimed British procedural drama starring Helen Mirren as Jane Tennison, a homicide detective with a dark side. This time around, England is New York City, and Maria Bello is Jane Timoney, a brilliant “bad cop” disliked by her squad. She’s all tough and stuff. At age 44, Bello joins the ranks of glamorous middle-aged actresses who have found a place for themselves in TV’s procedural dramas.

Also like the producers of Free Agents, co-executive producer/writer Alexandra Cunningham said the show would be a little less dark than seems to suit British tastes: While the New Jane drinks like the Old Jane, the story lines won’t delve into alcoholism. New Jane smokes like Old Jane — but in the USA in 2011, she’s trying to quit. (Bello also confessed that she is a smoker.) Said Cunningham: “The thing that makes this different from other procedurals is the humor,” which she adds will harken to the style of Hill Street Blues and Barney Miller. Read More »

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TCA: Peter Berg Confirms ‘Friday Night Lights’ Movie In The Works, 2012 Start Eyed

Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.

After today’s TCA panel for NBC’s Prime Suspect, the series’ executive producer Peter Berg confirmed that a movie version/sequel to his critically acclaimed NBC/DirecTV drama series Friday Night Lights, which recently ended … Read More »

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