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Michelle Fairley Joins ABC’s ‘Resurrection’

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 10:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Michelle Fairley Joins ABC’s ‘Resurrection’SPOILER ALERT: This story contains references to story elements and events in Season 3 of Game of Thrones

Michelle Fairley is coming back from the dead. No, this is not a surprise plot twist on HBO’s blockbuster Game of Thrones, where Fairley’s Catelyn Stark faced a spectacular demise. The Northern Irish actress is joining ABC’s drama Resurrection for a season-long story arc. She will play Margaret Langston, the formidable matriarch of the Langston clan, mother of Henry and Fred (Kurtwood Smith, Matt Craven). Dead for more than three decades, she will reappear in Arcadia as one of the returned. Read More »

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Frances Fisher Joins Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds In ‘Woman In Gold’

By | Wednesday July 9, 2014 @ 5:06pm PDT

Frances Fisher Joins Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds In ‘Woman In Gold’EXCLUSIVE: With filming underway in LA, The Woman In Gold has added Frances Fisher to its cast. Fisher, whose ABC freshman hit Resurrection was renewed for a second season, joins Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Orphan Black‘s Tatiana Maslany, Daniel Brühl, and Katie Holmes in the fact-based drama about a Holocaust survivor who sets out to retrieve family possessions seized by the Nazis, including Gustav Klimt’s famous painting The Lady In Gold. Read More »

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Full 2013-2014 TV Season Series Rankings

By | Thursday May 22, 2014 @ 4:40pm PDT

Sunday Night Football Top RatedNBC has won the 2013-14 TV season — but you already knew that — with Sunday Night Football finishing the season as the No. 1 show in primetime in total viewers (21.528 million viewers) and among adults 18-49 (9.971 million viewers), based on Live+Same Day data from Nielsen. NBC’s The Blacklist and ABC’s Resurrection are the only freshman series to make the Demo Top 1o List for the season that officially wrapped last night. And Blacklist alone makes the Total Viewer Top 10 among newbies. NBC20Historically, Fox’s American Idol fell off both lists, making room for adds. In its defense, Idol’s two nights landed in the Top 20 in the demo — and Top 25 in total viewers — which puts it ahead of most broadcast primetime programming. Meanwhile, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, in its seventh season, maintained its No. 2 status in overall audience (19.960 million viewers) and the demo (7.88 million), and rose to No. 2 in the demo — behind only NBC’s football in both.

Related: NBC Poised To Win 2013-14 Demo For First Time In 10 Years

Sunday Night Football mopped up this season the franchise not only finished No. 1 for the season, in 2+ and the demo, but also among adults 18-34 and 25-54 — which included season wins not only with men 18-49, 18-34 and 25-54 but also with women 18-34 and 18-49. NBC also notes that 12 SNF games averaged at least 20 million viewers, tying the network’s Sochi Winter Olympics for most primetime telecasts with an average of 20 million viewers tuned in (not including pre-/post-shows).

Related: ABC To Win May Sweep For First Time In 14 Years

LOGO_-ONAIR_Resurrection_57778_302As usual, the TV Season Rankers Lists are full of inequities. ABC’s Resurrection, for instance, makes the Demo Top 10 (and barely misses the Total Viewer Top 10 at No. 11), in part because it ran zero repeats in its time slot; other freshman dramas saw their season averages tugged downward by encore-episode ratings in their slots. I know — cry me a river. Yes, we did not include pre- and post-game shows — and yes, we went with actuals in the demo this year, eliminating all those pesky three- and four-way ties. And yes, the lists are a bit beauty-pageant,  given that a series’ success tends not to be based on whether it finished the season as the country’s 33rd-most-watched series, but whether it improved the network’s ratings performance in its time slot, how much it costs to make, who owns it, ancillary market potential, etc.

Even so, we love our lists. Check them out:

Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Simpsons’ Rises With Lego-Themed Episode, ‘Resurrection’ Finale Steady, ’60 Minutes’ & ‘American Home Builders’ Fall, ‘Cosmos’ Up

By | Monday May 5, 2014 @ 9:07am PDT

SIMPSONS LEGO 3They were really building something on The Simpsons (1.9/6) on Sunday. “You’re right,” Marge said to a questioning Bart last night, “something is different about the Simpsons today.” Of course, the answer wasn’t just that Homer was “wearing a tie.” It was that the Fox show was almost completely full of the Danish interlocking blocks for its 550th episode. Being the Matt Groening-created show, the “Brick Like Me” episode made a nod to Warner Bros’ blockbuster The LEGO Movie and also went very much down its own CGI road. And that worked out well for the long-running series with a 19% rise among adults 18-49 and a 26% rise in viewers to 4.3 million. The rest of Fox’s mainly animated night was on an upward turn for the most part as well. While Bob’s Burgers (1.1/4) was even with last week, American Dad (1.3/4) bopped up 8%. The highest-rated show of the night, Family Guy (2.2/7), saw a 5% rise, while Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (1.6/5) gained 14% from its April 27 episode after a couple of weeks staying steady. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Crisis’ Falls Sharply, ‘Believe’ & ‘Resurrection’ Hit Lows, ‘Cosmos’ & ‘American Dream Builders’ Fall

By | Monday March 31, 2014 @ 9:28am PDT

The Good WifeWhile AMC’s The Walking Dead wrapped its fourth season last night, there were no premieres or finales on primetime broadcast TV on Sunday, but there sure was a lot of action. For one thing, CBS‘ primetime was pushed back more than 20 minutes on the East Coast and the Central time zone due to overruns from the NCAA Tournament. That slide means the networks’ ratings are all over the court and likely to see greater-than-usual adjustments when final numbers comes in later today. As it stands right now, 60 Minutes (2.5) started off the night at 7:30 PM, with The Amazing Race (2.0) at 8:30 PM and The Mentalist (1.6) at 10:30 PM. A week after the sudden and shocking death of male lead Josh Charles’ Will Gardner, The Good Wife (1.7)  faced the fallout. As Julianna Margulies’ Alicia Florrick struggled with the loss of her former lover, the show was up from last week’s 1.5 to match its second-best result among adults 18-49 of the season so far and, with 10.39 million watching, hit its second-best total viewership of the cycle. Of course, expect that to change in final numbers. Preliminary ratings have CBS winning the night with a 2.3/6 rating and 11.729 million watching.

Related: ‘Walking Dead’ Showrunner Talks Bloody Finale, Teases “Action-Heavy” Season 5
Read More »

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ABC’s ‘Mind Games’ Cancelled, To Be Replaced By ‘Celebrity Wife Swap’ & ‘Resurrection’ Repeats

By | Thursday March 27, 2014 @ 5:40pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

mind-gamesABC has pulled the plug on midseason drama Mind Games after five low-rated airings. For the next two weeks, the network will use the Tuesday 10 PM slot for extra sampling of its promising midseason Sunday drama Resurrection, which will air repeats in the slot. Beginning April 15, ABC will launch Season 3 of utility player Celebrity Wife Swap in the q0 PM hour. The writing has been on the wall since Mind Games debuted to a 1.1 demo rating only two days after ABC’s Oscar telecast, where the procedural starring Christian Slater and Steve Zahn was promoted. It dived to a 0.6 in its second week, matching that rating again this Tuesday when it was hampered by the the lack of original lead-in. Mind Games became the third ABC drama casualty in the Tuesday 10 PM slot this season, joining cancelled freshmen Lucky 7 and Killer Women.

Related:
TCA: ‘Mind Games’ Challenges TV Critics
2014 ABC Pilots

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘The Good Wife’ Up With Bombshell Episode; ‘American Dream Builders’ Starts Low; ‘Believe’ & ‘Crisis’ Slip

By | Monday March 24, 2014 @ 9:13am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

joshcharlesjulianaCBS’ The Good Wife pulled off the ultimate shocker last night by killing off a popular lead character with absolutely no warning. But by keeping the surprise under wraps for the benefit of its regular viewers in order to achieve the emotional impact the plot twist was intended to have, the series passed on attracting a larger crowd, something ABC’s Scandal has made a business of with promos like “Don’t miss an OMG moment that will change the course of Scandal history in the last 30 seconds of next week’s episode.” Last night’s fast nationals are a little scrambled because of a 41-minute NCAA overrun on the East Coast, but Good Wife has tentatively averaged a 1.5 rating in 18-49, up 15% from last week, and 8.9 million total viewers. Good Wife‘s numbers will likely go up in the finals because the current ratings don’t include the East Coast broadcast of the final 11 minutes, which included the bombshell, and because more viewers than usual probably fired up their DVR last night prompted by the online storm of fan reaction to the stunning twist. Still, even with the modest 15% increase, the 1.5 demo number represents a two-and-a-half-month high for Good Wife. CBS’ The Amazing Race (1.8) was flat, and The Mentalist (1.2) was down 8% as it bled into late night.

Related: ‘Good Wife’ Creators Pen Letter To Fans After Shocking Plot Twist

AmericanDreamBuilders_PNBC’s midseason Monday lineup begins to resemble the network’s troubled Thursday, with Crisis as the best performer last night at a 1.3 in 18-48. Both Crisis at 10 PM and Believe (1.2) at 9 PM dropped by double digits from their Sunday debuts last week, by 19% and 20%, respectively. They weren’t helped by NBC’s newest unscripted entry, American Dream Builders. Slotted in Extreme Makeover: Home Edition‘s old 8 PM slot, it couldn’t recapture the ratings magic the ABC renovation series had for a number seasons, opening to a disappointing 0.9 rating last night. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Soft Start For ‘Believe’ & ‘Crisis’ As NBC Reintroduces Drama To Sundays, ‘Resurrection’ Slips But Still Solid

By | Monday March 17, 2014 @ 10:18am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

If ABC last week was hoping for a little bit of luck crisis-s1-keyartwith new drama Resurrection, which was sandwiched between established Sunday dramas Once Upon A Time and Revenge, NBC was praying for nothing short of a miracle last night, launching two new dramas, Believe and Crisis, with no original lead-in on a night on which it had no recent drama tradition. The last time NBC attempted to premiere a new drama on Sunday was five years ago with the short-lived Kings, with only two brief drama runs (Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Harry’s Law) since then on the night, which NBC has been filling up with reality programming post-football. Following a The Voice repeat (1.4), new drama Believe made its time-slot premiere at 9 PM with a 1.4 in adults 18-49 and 6.5 million viewers. At 10 PM, believenew drama Crisis opened to a 1.6 in 18-49 and 6.5 million viewers. Neither showed a breakout potential but, given the circumstances, neither tanked either. Believe‘s premiere rating was a little more than a half of what its preview behind Voice did on Monday (2.7), but those samplings rarely boost series debuts unless the pilot wows the audience. For instance, CBS’ midseason drama Intelligence logged a 2.4 in its preview behind NCIS but only a 1.1 in its regular slot debut on Monday. It’s been a rough midseason for new dramas, with no show besides ABC’s Resurrection debuting to more that 1.7 in 18-49. (Crisis and Believe still finished ahead of the premieres of ABC’s three other midseason entries, Mind Games, Killer Women and The Assets.) Crisis also managed to build on its lead-in, a rare feat for a 10 PM drama, and it finished only a tenth off No. 1 in the hour, beating CBS veteran The Mentalist.

Mostly positive news for ABC. Breakout Resurrection (3.0) was down from the its fast national last week (21% from the final) but still delivered a potent number to finish as the top program of the night in 18-49 and total viewers (10.8 million), more than doubling the rating of its 9 PM drama competitors, Believe and The Good Wife. In my book, the network’s MVP last night was Once Upon A Time (2.3), which not only has provided a strong launching pad for Resurrection but also has found a new momentum with its new witch storyline, matching last week’s midseason premiere fast national rating. On the flip side, Revenge (1.7) at 10 PM slipped 11% from its midseason debut last week, barely edging NBC’s Crisis. ABC still won the night comfortably in adults 18-49 (2.1) though the total viewer crown went to CBS this time. Read More »

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ABC’s ‘Resurrection’ Rises, As Does Fox’s ‘Cosmos’ In Significant Live+3 Viewing

SAMAIRE ARMSTRONG, MARK HILDRETH, DEVIN KELLEY, KURTWOOD SMITH, OMAR EPPS, LANDON GIMENEZ, FRANCES FISHER, NICHOLAS GONZALEZ, MATT CRAVENABC’s Resurrection rose on the third day of DVR viewing  to bring in additional 3.1 million viewers who, added to the 13.9 million who watched the show’s premiere on a Live+Same Day basis, brings its opening tally to 17 million viewers. More important to ABC, the new drama series’ launch saw a demo spike from a 3.8 L+SD rating to a 5.0 with three days of delayed viewing factored in.

Related: TCA: ‘Resurrection’ Producers Sort Out Crowded Resurrection Landscape

Meanwhile, Fox’s premiere of Seth MacFarlane’s Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey jumped 33%, from a 2.1 demo rating to a 2.8 with Live+3 Day viewing. In overall audience, Cosmos climbed from 5.770 million viewers to 7.536 million — not bad for a science show. In addition to its Fox broadcast network play, the launch of the Neil de Grasse-hosted show aired on nine other networks, including NatGeo.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Strong Start For ABC’s ‘Resurrection’, Fox’s ‘Cosmos’ Solid

By | Monday March 10, 2014 @ 1:12pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

LOGO_-ONAIR_Resurrection_57778_302UPDATE 1:20: Cosmos‘ premiere totals came in. Across the 10 Fox-owned US networks, led by FBC, the science program drew 8.5 million total viewers and a 2.9 in adults 18-49.

PREVIOUS: This is the type of premiere ratings ABC had been praying for. After a string of disappointments – Lucky 7 and Betrayal in the fall and most recently The Assets, Killer Women and Mind Games – new drama Resurrection last night opened to a 3.6 rating in adults 18-49 and 13.3 million total viewers, the highest rating for a midseason drama launch in two years and the highest-rated and most-watched broadcast program last night. A lot had been riding on Resurrection, with ABC going all in on promoting the supernatural drama it considered its last and best hope for a ratings success. (Had it failed, all those Am I Dead? #ABC billboards would’ve taken on a whole new meaning.) 

Related: ABC Hopes For Ratings ‘Resurrection’ With New Drama Amid Freshman Show Struggles

abc46The best news for Resurrection was that it broke out on its own at 9 PM, spiking from its lead-in, Once Upon A Time (2.3 in 18-49, 7.3 million), whose midseason premiere was up 21% in the demo from the fall finale on December 15. That is a great number given that it fell on the first night of daylight savings time when viewers are still adjusting. At 10 PM, Revenge (1.9, 6.5 million) didn’t take advantage of its big Resurrection lead-in, though riding its coattails was enough for a 46% jump in 18-49 from the show’s most recent original on January 19. Resurrection‘s strong premiere marks another success for the pilot’s director Charles McDougall, who previously helmed the pilot for another ABC Sunday 9 PM series that helped changed the network’s fortunes, Desperate Housewives (as well as CBS’ The Good Wife). McDougall is back at ABC this season, helming pilot Secrets & Lies. Resurrection also marks a successful first series launch for Brad Pitt’s Plan B, which is producing with Brillstein Entertainment, just a week after the company landed a Best Picture Oscar for 12 Years A Slave. Paced by Resurrection, ABC posted rare Sunday night ratings wins in 18-49 and total viewers with regular programming for a second Sunday victory in a row, following the Oscars the previous week. Read More »

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ABC Hopes For Ratings ‘Resurrection’ With New Drama Amid Freshman Show Struggles

By | Friday March 7, 2014 @ 3:41pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

LOGO_-ONAIR_Resurrection_57778_302NBC’s ads for midseason drama series Believe feature front and center its mastermind, newly minted Oscar winner Alfonso Cuarón, touting his best director statuette for Gravity. Meanwhile, the promos for another heavily marketed midseason drama that premieres within a day of Believe, ABC’s Resurrection, don’t even mention the fact that it comes from the producers of best picture Oscar winner 12 Years A Slave. Brad Pitt’s Plan B is behind Resurrection, with the company’s two other principals, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, who shared in the best picture Oscar with him, executive producing the series. Just like Plan B’s 12 Years A Slave managed to top Gravity and seven other movies to land the biggest prize, ABC probably hopes its show would spark some ratings magic. And boy, does the network need some of that.

Related: TCA: ‘Resurrection’ Producers Sort Out Crowded Resurrection Landscape

ABC is on an unenviable streak of three consecutive new drama entries hitting a 0.6 rating in adults 18-49 — an all-time low on a Big 4 network: The Assets (which was billed as a limited series), Killer Women and Mind Games. That, coupled with the 0.7 low marks for the long-forgotten Lucky 7 and Betrayal and the 0.8 for Once Upon A Time In Wonderland makes for a very dismal freshman drama record this season. Read More »

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TCA: ‘Resurrection’ Producers Sort Out Crowded Resurrection Landscape

By | Friday January 17, 2014 @ 12:17pm PST

TCAABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee was guilty of some wishful thinking this morning when he told TV critics he’s so proud of his network’s upcoming limited-series Resurrection because, among other things, it’s something he’s “not seeing on television at the moment.” Resurrection, premiering Sunday, March 9,  is about a small town in Missouri in which people who have been dead for years have turned up alive again and not a day older than the day they died – starting with 8-year-old Jacob who died more than three decades earlier and suddenly turns up alone in a rice paddy in a rural Chinese province.

Related: TCA: Paul Lee High On Marvel’s ‘Agent Carter’

Days earlier, Sundanceresurrection2 Channel announced it had renewed for a second season The Returned, about a small French town in which some of the residents one day get on with their lives, not realizing they’ve been dead for years. The French series is based on the 2004 French film called Les Revenants. The second season is about to go into production and will debut on Sundance in late 2014. And, if that’s not enough, A&E is developing an English-language adaptation of Les Revenants. ABC’s limited series is based on Jason Mott’s novel The Returned. Read More »

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Omar Epps To Lead Neo-Noir Thriller ‘One Small Mistake’

By | Tuesday December 10, 2013 @ 5:23pm PST

Omar EppsEXCLUSIVE: Omar Epps will star in One Small Mistake, a neo-noir thriller about a man searching for truth and justice in a bigoted small town. British Emmy-nominated Alexander Harvey is directing a script adapted by Guy Bennett from French author Jean Francois Coatmeur’s La Bavure. Stefan Raiser and Felix Zackor of Munich-based Dreamtool Entertainment are producing the pic. Epps, who made his debut in 1992′s Juice and starred in Major League II, Higher Learning, Scream 2, Love & Basketball, and Against the Ropes. He’ll be seen next spring on ABC’s drama Resurrection produced by Plan B, debuting March 9. Epps is repped by Anonymous and WME.

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ABC Midseason: ‘Mixology’ In Post-‘Modern Family’ Slot, ‘Revenge’ Slides To 10 PM

By | Tuesday November 19, 2013 @ 11:45am PST
Nellie Andreeva

ABC has firmed up its midseason scheduling plans. With Super Fun Night only getting a Back 4 order, the network will try out another new comedy series, Mixology, in the Wednesday 9:30 PM slot behind Modern Family. The high-concept series, which takes place at a bar over the course of one night and features a 10-member core cast, will premiere on February 26. ABC previously used flagship Modern Family to launch another single-camera young ensemble comedy, Happy Endings, which recently ended its run. Meanwhile, Suburgatory will return to its original Tuesday 8:30 PM slot where it was so successful in its first season, launching Season 3 on January 15 to succeed departing Back In The Game.

Related: Fall 2013 Freshman Series Scorecard: Gainers and Slackers

ABC is making changes to some previously announced midseason moves. Once Upon A Time and Revenge are still slated to return from their winter hiatuses on March 9, joined by new drama Resurrection. But Revenge will move to 10 PM, with Resurrection taking over its 9 PM slot. With its supernatural theme (Resurrection is about deceased loved ones returning to a small town), it is considered a better fit for dark-ish fairytale drama Once than the glitzy soap Revenge. On Thursday, ABC was to launch adventure reality series The Quest, from The Amazing Race creators, on January 2. The competition has now been pushed to summer, with cooking reality series The Taste and CIA drama The Assets taking over Thursday night while Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal are on hiatus, returning on February 27. In another tweak, Nashville — originally slated to go on hiatus like Once, Grey’s and Scandal under ABC’s newly adopted split-season model before returning on February 26 — will now stay on, airing a total of four originals in January and February. I hear ABC brass felt that maybe they were taking too many dramas off, and Nashville‘s strong DVR following could help it through repeats. Of the freshman dramas, Betrayal will have aired its entire limited-run first season before it goes off the air, while Once Upon A Time In Wonderland will air its fall finale on Dec. 12 and will return with a few more originals in the spring. New procedurals Killer Women and Mind Games will split the Tuesday 10 PM slot previously occupied by cancelled drama Lucky 7. Here are ABC’s new mideason premiere dates, followed by descriptions of the new series: Read More »

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Kevin Reynolds Signs On For Jesus Christ Pic ‘Resurrection’

By | Monday September 30, 2013 @ 10:17am PDT
Mike Fleming

LD Entertainment has committed to produce/finance Resurrection, with Kevin Reynolds directing a film about the first 40 days after the death of Jesus Christ. Patrick Aiello is producing with LD Entertainment CEO Mickey Liddell, and the film is eyeing an Easter Weekend 2015 berth. This joins the growing volume of films derived from the New and Old Testaments. Scripted by Paul Aiello, The Resurrection is told through the eyes of an agnostic Roman Centurion charged by Pontius Pilate to investigate rumors of a risen Jewish Messiah and to locate Christ’s missing body in order to subdue an imminent uprising in Jerusalem. Along Centurion’s mission, his doubts of such a supernatural occurrence peel away as he encounters the Apostles and other historic Biblical characters and reviews the events following the Resurrection. Liddell described the film as Gladiator in tone. Read More »

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TCA: ABC Announces Spring Premiere Dates, Including Launch Of ‘Resurrection’

By | Sunday August 4, 2013 @ 10:47am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: ABC today revealed its midseason scheduling plans that support the strategy for limited runs of its serialized dramas laid out by topper Paul Lee at the upfronts. New drama Resurrection will debut March 9, taking over the Sunday 10 PM slot from another serialized rookie which will have a limited-run first season, Betrayal. Similarly, new reality series The Quest will premiere Jan. 2, following the the first 8 episodes of the Once Upon A Time spinoff, Once Upon A Time In Wonderland, which will air in the fall through mid-December. The remaining four originals will get on the air once The Quest ends its run, and Lee indicated today that additional episodes could be added to the spring cycle. ABC also has set midseason return dates for its older serialized dramas, Grey’s Anatomy, Nashville, Once Upon a Time, Revenge and Scandal, whose seasons will be split in two stretches of largely all-original episodes, one in the fall and one in the spring. Here are ABC’s midseason premiere dates: Read More »

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Tara Butters & Michele Fazekas To Run New ABC Drama ‘Resurrection’

By | Tuesday May 14, 2013 @ 7:22am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Reaper creators Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas have joined new ABC drama series Resurrection as showrunners. Written by Aaron Zelman and directed by Charles McDougall, Resurrection, one of the best-received ABC drama pilots this year, revolves around the people of Arcadia, MO, whose lives are forever changed when their deceased loved ones suddenly start to return. Butters and Fazekas will executive produce alongside Zelman, JoAnn Alfano, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Jon Liebman for Brillstein Entertainment, Plan B and ABC Studios. For ICM Partners-repped Fazekas and Butters, the gig stems from the overall deal they signed at ABC Studios in February. As part of the deal, they served as executive producers/showrunners on ABC/ABC Studios pilot Gothica, working alongside creator/executive producer Matt Lopez.

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