Sunday night saw three season finales as The Amazing Race (2.3/6), The Mentalist (1.7/5) and Red Widow (0.9/2) wrapped up their runs. The long-running CBS reality series ended its 22nd season with a two-hour finale that was the highest-rated regularly scheduled show of the night. Still, Race dipped 4% from its April 28 show and was down 15% from the 2.7/7 of its Season 21 finale on May 6, 2012. The Mentalist followed and concluded its fifth season with the true identity of serial killer Red John narrowed to seven names. The second-most-watched show of the night, the police procedural bopped up 6% from last week. However, compared to its Season 4 finale on May 17, 2012, Mentalist was down 32%. Earlier in the night, 7 PM’s 60 Minutes (1.2/4) was the most-watched show of the night with 10.50 million viewers, though it fell 20% to a season low. With 9.393 million watching, CBS won Sunday in total viewers, while Fox was tops in adults 18-49.
Dancing With The Stars just returned this week for its 16th cycle, and today ABC announced that the reality competition series will head off the dance floor this season May 20 with a performance show and on May 21 with a live two-hour results show. Additionally, new reality series Splash will end its freshman season May 7, Revenge will wrap its second season May 12 and fellow drama Red Widow will end its first season May 5. The network announced other shows’ season enders: Check out the full list so far from ABC here:
ABC‘s Red Widow arguably had the biggest marketing campaign of any midseason series, including plum spots during the network’s Oscar broadcast last Sunday. For all that promotional blitz, the two-hour premiere of the mob drama fell short, extending the underwhelming track record of this year’s crop of broadcast midseason replacements. Red Widow drew a 1.4/4 among adults 18-49 from 9-11 PM and 6.9 million viewers. That was down 36% from last midseason’s debut of GCB and this fall’s opener for 666 Park Avenue. Both Sunday 10 PM ABC dramas had hourlong premieres and both have been cancelled. On the bright side, Red Widow saw very little audience erosion throughout its two-hour debut, indicating a possible future cult following. Leading into Red Widow was Once Upon a Time (2.1/6), which didn’t benefit from the Oscar exposure either, down 13% from its last original two weeks ago to a series low.
Twilight writer Melissa Rosenberg, executive producer/showrunner of ABC/ABC Studios’ upcoming drama series Red Widow, has boarded another ABC/ABC Studios drama project as showrunner, pilot Big Thunder. Rob Bowman (Castle) is directing the pilot, written by Jason Fuchs. Based on Disney’s Big Thunder Mountain roller coaster ride, Big Thunder centers on a brilliant, late 19th century New York doctor. He and his family are given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to relocate to a frontier mining town run by a powerful, but mysterious tycoon but quickly realize that not everything in Big Thunder is as it seems. For Rosenberg, the gig stems from the overall deal she signed with ABC Studios for her Tall Girls Prods. in October. She executive produces Big Thunder with Fuchs and Chris Morgan. Red Widow, which UTA-repped Rosenberg adapted from the Dutch series Penoza, premieres March 3.
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
The ongoing winter TCA in Pasadena has introduced a number of new shows with serialized, mystery and/or whodunit plot lines: Sundance’s Ripper Street and DirecTV’s Rogue, to name a couple. At several TCA panels, a big question has been whether the episodes ordered for the show will lead the audience to a satisfying story conclusion — or leave audiences tweeting in post-traumatic frustration as they did when The Killing failed to solve its whodunit at the end of its first season.
ABC’s new drama Red Widow tells the story of Marta Walraven (Radha Mitchell), a housewife forced to continue the work of her organized crime husband Franklin after he is assassinated in a drug-related incident. The series is based on the 2010 Dutch drama series Penoza. Following today’s TCA panel on the show, executive producer Melissa Rosenberg promised that the 8 episodes ordered would wrap up key plot points.
EXCLUSIVE: Twilight writer Melissa Rosenberg is formalizing her relationship with ABC Studios with an overall deal. The rich pact for Rosenberg and her Tall Girls Prods, which is being finalized, stems from her partnership with the studio on the upcoming midseason ABC series Red Widow. Rosenberg wrote the drama, an adaptation of the Dutch series Penoza, and is executive producing/showrunning for ABC Studios and Endemol. The series stars Rahda Mitchell as a widow of an assassinated criminal who is suddenly forced to adopt her late husband’s role in order to protect her family.
EXCLUSIVE: In his first regular series gig since the end of ER, Goran Visnjic has joined ABC’s midseason drama series Red Widow. The project, from Twilight writer Melissa Rosenberg, Endemol and ABC Studios, is based on a Dutch format and centers on Marta Walraven (Radha Mitchell) who, after her gangster husband is brutally murdered by a rival cartel, takes on the gangsters and the FBI to unveil the truth about her husband’s death. Visnjic will play Schiller, the mafia mob boss. The role was played in the pilot by Thomas Kretschmann as a guest star. Visnjic joins fellow new Red Widow regular Clifton Collins Jr.
Since wrapping his nine-year stint on NBC’s medical drama ER, Visnjic, repped by WME, Management 360 and attorney Barry Tyerman, has done arcs on Leverage and Pan Am. On the feature side, he has just been cast in Ridley Scott’s The Counselor.
EXCLUSIVE: Radha Mitchell has joined the cast of Olympus Has Fallen. The actress will play “Leah” the wife of Gerard Butler‘s Secret Service character in the White House thriller. Mitchell, who starts filming next week in Shreveport, Louisiana, joins Butler, Angela Bassett and Aaron Eckhart in the film. Olympus Has Fallen sees the president, played by Eckhart, and key members of his administration taken hostage. Butler’s character tries to stop the terrorist plot. Antoine Fuqua is directing. Mark Gill, Alan Siegel and Butler are producing the Millennium Films project. Avi Lerner and Trevor Short are executive producing. Mitchell also plays the lead in ABC’s new drama series Red Widow. (see the trailer here) Based on an Dutch series, Red Widow is about a woman pulled back into her family’s criminal past. The show, written and executive produced by The Twilight Saga screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg and produced by ABC Studios, starts filming its season in Vancouver in August. Radha Mitchell is repped by ICM Partners and managed by Rick Ax.
EXCLUSIVE: Clifton Collins Jr has joined ABC’s upcoming drama series Red Widow as a series regular. Based on the Dutch series Penoza, Red Widow centers on Marta Walraven (Radha Mitchell) who, after her gangster husband is brutally murdered by a rival cartel, takes on the gangsters and the FBI to unveil the truth about her husband’s death. Collins will play FBI agent James Ramos. He was originally approached to play the role in the pilot but wasn’t available. Mido Hamada was cast in the part, which is now being recast. Collins Jr, repped by APA and Industry Entertainment, just wrapped the Guillermo del Toro/Warner Bros feature Pacific Rim and the Taylor Hackford-directed Parker.
British actress Lara Pulver (MI-5) has been added as a series regular to another new drama series, Starz’s Da Vinci’s Demons. Written by David S. Goyer, Da Vinci’s Demons is a historical fantasy, following the “untold” story of the world’s greatest genius Leonardo da Vinci (Tom Riley) during his turbulent youth in Renaissance Florence. Pulver will play famed enchantress and political machinator Clarice Orsini, aristocratic wife of Florentine ruler Lorenzo Medici. The actress, known to U.S. audiences for her arc on True Blood, playing fairy Godmother Claudine Crane, is riding high on her talked-about guest stint as femme fatale Irene Adler in the opening episode from Season 2 of the BBC/PBS …
UPDATED: Last year, most midseason series received shorter orders for fewer of the standard 13 episodes new shows get. That included ABC’s GCB (10), The River (8) and Scandal and Don’t The B—- (7), CBS’ Rob (8) and NBC’s Bent (6) and Best Friends Forever (6).
This year, the networks are not as stingy to new shows, with only two midseason series, ABC’s drama Red Widow starring Radha Mitchell and NBC’s late pickup, comedy Next Caller starring Dane Cook, getting fewer than 13 episodes — 8 and 7, respectively.
But there are a number of returning series whose orders are shorter than the standard full-season 22 episodes (13 for midseason shows getting a second-season pickup). NBC did a lot of that on the comedy side, which the network’s topper Bob Greenblatt said at the NBC upfront was how they could afford to pick up as many (7) new comedy series. Of NBC’s returning comedy series only flagship The Office and Parks & Recreation have received 22-episode renewals. The rest, 30 Rock, Community, Up All Night and Whitney have been picked up for 13 episodes each. For 30 Rock, that marks the final season. During a press call on Monday, Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly criticized the shorter orders for returning comedy series, calling them potentially “confusing.”
Also getting a 13-episode order is ABC’s procedural Body Of Proof, which is …
ABC’s The Neighbors - Comedy
Produced by ABC Studios. From writer/executive producer Dan Fogelman and executive producers Aaron Kaplan, Jeff Morton and Chris Koch. Directed by Chris Koch (pilot):
ABC’s 666 Park Avenue – Drama
Produced by Bonanza Productions in association with Alloy Entertainment and Warner Bros Television. From writer/executive producer David Wilcox and executive producers Matthew Miller, Leslie Morgenstein, Gina Girolamo. Directed by Alex Graves (pilot):