Fox‘s low-rated midseason series Rake will end its run sooner than expected and on a different night. The drama, which originally aired on Thursday, was bumped to Fridays where it was to air its final two episodes this and next week. Instead, Rake‘s last two episodes will run back-to-back this Saturday, April 5. On Friday, April 4, Fox will air a repeat of the last season finale of Kitchen Nightmares leading to the hourlong series finale of Raising Hope. Kitchen Nightmares‘ new season, which continues a storyline from the last cycle as it is set at the same restaurant, will debut as planned next Friday, but with a two-hour episode instead of one hour behind Rake. In fact, the Gordon Ramsay series is slated to air two-hour segments through May 2.
The CW’s new Friday lineup premiered last night, anchored by summer breakout Whose Line Is Is Anyway at 8 PM. The improv comedy opened its second cycle with a 0.6 in adults 18-49 and 1.91 million viewers. That was down sharply from the 1.1 for the show’s summer debut but that opener was boosted by curiosity as it marked the comedy’s return after a six-year hiatus. Last night’s Whose Line edged the summer finale (0.5). It also topped in the demo the second Friday airing of Fox’s Rake (0.5, flat with last week, 1.92 million) at 8 PM. Whose Line’s viewership was the largest for a regularly scheduled CW programming in the hour in almost three years, since the May 2011 season finale of former Friday dweller Supernatural. At 9 PM, Hart of Dixie (0.4, 1.23 million) rose by a tenth in 18-49 in its new home vs. its last airing on Monday and by 19% in total viewers. It tied Fox in the hour in 18-49, facing an Enlisted rerun (0.4) and new Raising Hope (0.4).
Fox’s ‘Rake’ Moves To Fridays, Thursday’s ‘American Idol’ Shifts To 9 PM, Paired With ‘Hell’s Kitchen’
Fox‘s new drama Rake has faced the inevitable after the new series low of 0.8 in adults 18-49 last Thursday. The network is moving the underperforming series to Fridays beginning next week. Season 12 of Gordon Ramsay’s utility player Hell’s Kitchen, which had not been scheduled, will run on Thursday at 8 PM, leading into the American Idol results show, which will move to 9 PM. The new Fox Thursday lineup will also debut next week, with Rake airing on Thursday one last time this week. On Fridays, Rake will replace another Ramsay series, Kitchen Nightmares, which has been slated to air in the 8 PM hour. It now has been put on the bench for later. Rake will be followed by Enlisted and Raising Hope. Once the Idol results show shrinks to half-hour on March 27, it will be followed by new comedy Surviving Jack starring Chris Meloni as previously scheduled.
Greg Kinnear starrer Rake, based on the popular Australian series, never connected with viewers. It got off to a soft start, logging a 1.7 in its Jan. 23 debut and wasn’t helped by the fact that it had to face three weeks of Olympics coverage two weeks into its run.
As Fox’s incarnation of Rake continues to struggle in the ratings, the Aussie series on which it’s based is coming to America. Netflix has inked a deal to stream the first two seasons of Rake, which stars Richard Roxburgh as Cleaver Greene, the flawed but likable defense attorney whose clients range from bigamists to cannibals to serial killers. (Greg Kinnear stars as Keegan Deane on the Yank iteration.) The original series will bow March 1 on the streaming service. Essential Media & Entertainment and Blow By Blow Productions produce the Aussie and American versions of Rake. Season 3, which bowed last week Down Under, will run stateside on DirecTV’s Audience Network starting in April.
“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,” goes Leo Tolstoy’s famous opening line from Anna Karenina. The same applies for successful and unsuccessful shows: For those that work, the reason is always the same — all elements magically came together. For those that don’t, there is a usually a host of factors for each individual demise. But there have been a slew of ill-fated broadcast dramas recently that shared one thing — an unlikable antihero at the center. Two of the biggest flops of the past few years, Fox’s Lone Star and NBC’s Do No Harm and The Playboy Club, had that in common. That also applies to Fox’s newest drama entry Rake, which has been doing poorly, opening low and sliding to a 1.1 in its third airing last Thursday, despite solid reviews and a likable star in Greg Kinnear.
The Shield‘s Vic Mackey and The Sopranos’ Tony Soprano ushered in the era of the antihero, which has dominated cable ever since with such series as Showtime’s Dexter, Shameless and now Ray Donovan, AMC’s Breaking Bad and Mad Men, and FX’s Rescue Me and Sons Of Anarchy. Most have been commercial and critical successes.
Peter Tolan came to the TCA Winter TV Press Tour to talk about Fox’s new Rake, based on the successful Australian series about a charming, self-destructive lawyer with no self-edit button, on which Tolan’s joining series creator Peter Duncan as executive producer. One critic reminded Tolan he’s best known at press tour for his profanity-laced screeds against broadcast TV, and wondered what he was doing at one now. “I’m glad you asked me that question “ he said, explaining he’s so annoyed by a note he got from the Fox publicity department about coming to the tour today as to what he could, and could not, talk about in the presence of TV critics. “I was so upset I wrote about it in my journal.” Out came the journal:
Sept 16: First Day of Shooting, Greg showed up drunk and with hooker named Tammy on his arm, claiming she is part of his “process”… demanded we give Tammy producer credit, so now she’s a fucking co-EP.
Fox has set return dates for sophomore drama The Following and American Idol and a premiere date for new drama Rake. Season 13 of American Idol will have a two-night launch January 15-16. Sleepy Hollow will wrap its freshman season on January 20 at 8 PM, leading to the second-season debut of Following, which will succeed Sleepy Hollow, returning to its Monday 9 PM slot. New legal drama Rake will kick off on Sunday, January 19, following the NFC Championship Game, before moving into its Thursday 9 PM berth on January 23. New comedy Enlisted will debut on Friday, January 10. The network also confirmed that new comedy Surviving Jack will air behind Idol on Thursdays for eight episodes in spring (no premiere date set yet) when Idol‘s result show is cut to 30 minutes for the first time, and noted that fellow midseason comedy Us & Them also will have a spring debut. The new season of Fox’s Saturday late-night Animation Domination High-Def block will launch January 11 with Lucas Bros. Moving Co. and Golan The Insatiable. Here are Fox’s midseason premiere date:
Global Showbiz Briefs: BBC One Preps ‘Gangsta Granny’; Pathé Boards ‘Suffragette’ With Carey Mulligan; More
BBC One’s ‘Gangsta Granny’ Rounds Out Cast
Julia McKenzie, Joanna Lumley, Rob Brydon and Miranda Hart will star in Gangsta Granny, BBC One’s 60-minute adaptation of David Walliams’ best-selling children’s novel. The comedy-drama tells the story of young Ben (Reece Buttery), who is bored while staying with his dull grandma (McKenzie). Then one day, Grandma tells Ben a story that she was once an international jewel thief, and together they go on a wild adventure. Directed by Matt Lipsey, Gangsta Granny will be produced by Jo Sargent and executive produced by Mark Freeland. It begins filming Sunday for broadcast at Christmastime
The Breaking Bad veteran will continue to develop original projects for the studio and will serve as co-EP on Fox’s upcoming midseason drama Rake. Sam Catlin shared a pair of Emmy noms for AMC’s Breaking Bad as Outstanding Drama Series in 2010 and 2012 and won the WGA Award last year. His credits also include Canterbury’s Law, Kidnapped and the comedy feature The Great New Wonderful. Catlin, who also signed a 2-year overall deal with Sony Pictures Television in August 2011, is represented by UTA and attorney Ken Richman.
Sydney-based Essential Media and Entertainment, producer of the Australian TV series Rake and executive producer of the Fox adaptation, is opening a Los Angeles office which will be headed by Simonne Overend, who has been named VP of Drama Development. Overend will be working closely with Essential CEO Chris Hilton and Head of Drama Ian Collie to build a full drama slate for the US market. The Sony TV/Fedora Entertainment-produced Rake starring Greg Kinnear appears a lock for a series pickup at Fox, which is expected to start making series orders later today or tomorrow.
Tara Summers (Boston Legal) rounds out the regular cast of Fox‘s hourlong pilot Rake, about criminal defense lawyer Keegan Joye (Greg Kinnear), brilliant, frustratingly charming, and with zero filter. Summers, repped by Resolution and Framework Entertainment, plays Leanne Zander, Keegan’s extremely put-upon but no-nonsense assistant. She recently recurred on FX’s Sons Of Anarchy and TNT’s Monday Mornings.
Related: Sam Raimi To Direct Fox Pilot ‘Rake’
EXCLUSIVE: Sam Raimi, one of the hottest feature directors at the moment coming off helming blockbuster Oz The Great And Powerful, has signed on to direct Fox hourlong pilot Rake starring Greg Kinnear. This is a major coup for the network and Rake producer Sony Pictures TV, which started talks with the director weeks before Oz opened to a gigantic $80 million at the domestic box office, with its worldwide tally nearing $300 million after 10 days. Rake, which is slated to go into production in a few days, marks Raimi’s first pilot directing gig. In addition to directing, Raimi will serve as an executive producer on the pilot alongside original series creator Peter Duncan, Peter Tolan, Michael Wimer, Richard Roxburgh and Ian Collie. Kinnear is co-executive producing. Based on the Australian comedic drama, Rake follows the chaotic and comedic life of criminal defense lawyer Keegan Joye (Kinnear), brilliant, frustratingly charming, and with zero filter. Rake extends Raimi’s relationship with Sony, where he spearheaded the Spider-Man franchise on the feature side, directing the 2002 blockbuster and its two sequels. In TV, Raimi executive produces Starz’s flagship drama Spartacus. He is with CAA.