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UPDATE: ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ Author Says Direct “Development” Connection Between Warner Bros’ ‘Gravity’ & Adaptation Of Her 1999 Novel Of The Same Name

By | Wednesday April 30, 2014 @ 1:19pm PDT

DJP LEGAL BADGEUPDATE, 1:19 PM: Turns out Tess Gerritsen has strongly believed for a few months that her 1999 Gravity novel and the 2013 Alfonso Cuaron-directed film of the same name might have a lot more in common than she first assumed. Shifting from her previous stance that all the two shared was a title, the best selling author yesterday sued Warner Bros for more than $10 million and breach of contract over gravity__140430034905the Gravity movie. Here’s perhaps why. “In February 2014, Ms. Gerritsen received startling new information from a reliable source,” said a statement posted on the author’s blog late last night. “She was told that at least one individual who was key to the development of the film Gravity had also been connected to her project while it was in development, and would have been familiar with her novel.” No names are given nor what the individual in question’s role was.

tess gerritsenIn yesterday’s filing in federal court, Gerritsen, upon whose books TNT‘s flagship drama series Rizzoli & Isles is based, never provided a true smoking gun as to how her novel about a female astronaut trapped in space ended up as a 2013 movie with a similar main character with seemingly nothing to do with her. The hugely successful writer did claim in her court filing that recently … Read More »

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Jan Nash Set As ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ Showrunner

By | Monday November 18, 2013 @ 10:58am PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Jan Nash is joining TNT‘s flagship drama series Rizzoli & Isles as executive producer/showrunner. She will succeed creator/executive producer Janet Tamaro, who stepped down as showrunner in September, right after the series wrapped production on Season 4. One of the first orders of business for Nash and her writing team will be dealing with the death of Rizzoli & Isles co-star Lee Thompson Young, who committed suicide in August during the filming of the second-to-last episode of Season 4. His death was not addressed in the final episodes of Season 4 and will be dealt with at the opening of Season 5. Rizzoli & Isles is TNT’s No. 1 show of all time and the No. 2 scripted series in the history of ad-supported cable television, behind only AMC’s The Walking Dead. The series reunites Nash with Warner Bros TV and its cable division Warner Horizon. She previously worked with the studio on another TNT drama series, Memphis Beat, as well as CBS procedural Without A Trace. Nash, repped by WME, started her career on the ABC comedy Ellen.

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‘Rizzoli & Isles’ Showrunner Janet Tamaro Steps Down

By | Friday September 13, 2013 @ 11:44pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: It’s never good news when the creator/showrunner of a successful series exits. That has happened on TNT’s flagship drama Rizzoli & Isles, with Janet Tamaro, who developed the series based on the novels by Tess Gerritsen and served as executive producer/showrunner on the first four seasons. The departure of Tamaro, who will remain as a consultant while developing new projects, comes less than a month after production on Rizzoli & Isles was shut down and the show’s writers had to regroup following the sudden passing of co-star Lee Thompson Young. It also comes just as production wrapped on Season 4. (The death of Young, who committed suicide during the filming of the second to last episode, will be addressed at the beginning of Season 5.) It follows persistent talk about discord on the Rizzoli & Isles set and speculation that Tamaro may depart. “This is what we all dream of getting to do,” Tamaro said in a statement. “And I got to do it for four phenomenal seasons. I’m at the top of my game, thanks in large part, to this unbelievable experience and show. It’s time to challenge myself and develop new projects. TNT and Warner Horizon have been a dream to work with, and I look forward to doing it again. The heartache for me will be leaving … Read More »

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UPDATE: ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ Stops Production Following Lee Thompson Young’s Death

By | Monday August 19, 2013 @ 12:25pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

2ND UPDATE: Rizzoli & Isles will stay dark tomorrow as the producers continue to evaluate the situation.

UPDATE, 12:25 PM: Production on TNT’s hit drama Rizzoli & Isles has been shut down in light of the sudden passing of co-star Lee Thompson Young, whose body was discovered in his apartment after he failed to show up for work this morning. The producers of the series, in which Thompson played star Angie Harmon’s partner on the force, are currently evaluating whether to resume production tomorrow or go on hiatus while the cast and crew cope with Young’s death and writers figure out how to write off his character. Here is TNT, Rizzoli & Isles‘ studio Warner Bros TV and executive producer Janet Tamaro’s statement today on Young’s death: “Everyone at Rizzoli & Isles is devastated by the news of the passing of Lee Thompson Young. We are beyond heartbroken at the loss of this sweet, gentle, good-hearted, intelligent man. He was truly a member of our family. Lee will be cherished and remembered by all who knew and loved him, both on- and offscreen, for his positive energy, infectious smile and soulful grace. We send our deepest condolences and thoughts to his family, to his friends and, most especially, to his beloved mother.”

PREVIOUS 11:30 AM: Rizzoli & Isles co-star Lee Thompson Young has died in apparent suicide. He was 29. “It is with great sadness that I announce that Lee Thompson Young tragically took his own life this morning”, said Young’s long-time manager Jonathan Baruch. “Lee was more than just a brilliant young actor, he was a wonderful and gentle soul who will be truly missed. We ask that you please respect the privacy of his family and friends as this very difficult time.” Young played Detective Barry Frost on TNT’s flagship drama Rizzoli & Isles, which was just renewed for a fifth season. He started his acting career early as the lead of Disney Channel’s first original series, The Famous Jett Jackson, executive produced/directed by Shawn Levy.I am stunned and truly saddened by the news of Lee’s passing,” Levy said. Read More »

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TNT’s ‘Rizzoli & Isles’, ‘Major Crimes’ & ‘Perception’ Renewed

By | Thursday August 15, 2013 @ 10:40am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

TNT has ordered 15-episode new seasons of three of its highest performing original summer series, Rizzoli & Isles, The Closer spinoff Major Crimes and Perception, for next summer. The three join recently renewed Falling Skies. No decisions have been made yet on freshman King & Maxwell and Franklin & Bash, whose future is uncertain, as is that of the 2 reality series TNT launched in the summer, The Hero and 72 Hours.

The four renewed TNT dramas rank among basic cable’s Top 10 series with total viewers this summer, with Rizzoli & Isles leading the pack at No.1. Falling Skies and Rizzoli & Isles are two of basic cable’s Top 5 dramas with adults 18-49. “With the renewals of Rizzoli & Isles, Major Crimes, Falling Skies and Perception, TNT has built an incredibly strong arsenal of scripted series,” Michael Wright said. “And it’s only going to get stronger with the addition of Mob City and the return of Dallas this winter, not to mention the debuts of The Last Ship and Legends next summer.” Read More »

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‘Rizzoli & Isles’ Lands Syndication Deal, ‘Scandal’ Acquired By BET

By | Monday July 15, 2013 @ 1:55pm PDT

Warner Bros Domestic Television Distribution a broadcast weekend off-net window for the TNT drama Rizzoli & Isles in 95% of the country for a fall 2015 debut. The detective series debuted its fourth season June 25 as the highest-rated cable premiere of the summer, drawing 6.6 million total viewers, with 2.3 million adults 25-54 and 1.8 million adults 18-49 — up double digits in viewership and the key demos compared with the previous season. Rizzoli & Isles has been sold into 170 markets including stations owned by Fox, CBS, Sinclair, Hearst, Gannett, Lin, Local TV, Cox, Raycom, Weigel, Meredith, Mission, Nexstar, New Age, Journal, Scripps, Gray, Grant, Max Media, London, West Virginia, Media, Lockwood, Drewry, Cordillera, Bonten, Bahakel, Citadel, Diversified, Woods, Schurz and Mckinnon. The show was developed for TV by Janet Tamaro, who serves as executive producer with Bill Haber and Michael Katleman. The series is from Hurdler Productions and Ostar Productions in association with Warner Horizon Television.

BET Networks has licensed rights to air current season episodes of ABC’s Scandal. The pact calls for each episode to air on BET no earlier than eight days after its original broadcast on ABC, exclusively starting in the fall. BET also will debut the first two seasons of the series this summer and is also licensing exclusive off-network cable rights to the series starting in … Read More »

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TNT’s ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ Returns Strong,’Perception’ Dips

By | Wednesday June 26, 2013 @ 12:31pm PDT

TNT’s detective and medical examiner team-up series returned last night for a fourth season up double digits in viewership and the key demos. At 9 PM, Rizzoli & Isles pulled in 6.6 million viewers, with 2.3 million adults 25-54 and 1.8 million adults 18-49. That’s an 18% rise in viewers, 19% in 25-54 and 17% in 18-49 compared with the Season 3 premiere June 5, 2012. Additionally the series can put in its cap that Tuesday’s results make Rizzoli & Isles the top telecast so far of the summer on basic cable in viewers and adults 25-54. Things were not on the rise at lead-out Perception on a new night. Back for a second season, the crime drama starring Eric McCormack garnered 4 million viewers with 1.2 million adults 25-54 and 1 million adults 18-49. That’s down from the 5.6 million viewers who tuned in for the Season 1 debut of Perception on July 9, 2012 with The Closer as its lead-in. In terms of the demo, the show dipped last night from the 1.5 million in 25-54 and 1.1 million in adults 18-49 who watched the series premiere last summer on a Monday night.

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TNT Shifts Four Summer Series Premieres

By | Wednesday April 10, 2013 @ 10:49am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

TNT has tweaked the premiere dates for four of the nine original series (scripted and unscripted) it is running this summer. The change is biggest for Franklin & Bash, whose third season will launch June 19 instead of the previously announced July 24. The show, starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Breckin Meyer and new female lead Heather Locklear, will start with a two-hour season opener. Other three series’ launch dates will be shifted by a week: The fourth season of Rizzoli & Isles and the second season of Perception will start June 25 instead of June 18, and new unscripted series Cold Justice will premiere September 3 instead of August 27.

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TNT Announces Summer Premiere Dates For New Dwayne Johnson Series ‘The Hero’, ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ & More: Video

By | Thursday March 21, 2013 @ 12:01pm PDT

Other networks are announcing their season finales this week but TNT is putting up dates for when its shows are coming back and when new series are debuting this summer. The network announced that the Dwayne Johnson reality competition show The Hero will premiere on June 6 at 8 PM. The Electus produced show aims to push its contestants to see if they have what it takes to be heroes. Another new competition series 72 Hours will debut right after at 9 PM on June 6. 72 Hours drops three new competing teams of strangers into the wilderness with only a single bottle of water and a GPS tracking device with three days to find a briefcase of cash and win a $100,000 prize. Starring Jon Tenney and Rebecca Romijn, new private eye drama King & Maxwell premieres on June 10 at 10 PM. The last new show that TNT is offering this summer is going by the working title Cold Justice which starts on August 27. The unscripted procedural follows two real-life female investigators as they look into old unsolved small town murder cases.

With those new shows now on the schedule, old series are also back. Falling Skies is back with its third season with a two-hour premiere on June 9. Major Crimes returns for its Season 2 on June 10 while Rizzoli & Isles is back for Season 4 on June 18. Perception has its … Read More »

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TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles’ Summer Finale Earns Season High

By | Wednesday August 15, 2012 @ 2:49pm PDT

Last night’s summer finale of TNT’s crime solving series was big. Big audience with a big jump. Rizzoli & Isles drew in 6 million viewers on Tuesday night. That’s a season three high for the series starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander. Last night was up 36% from the previous week and up 7% from the 2011 summer finale. The episode of Rizzoli & Isles last night was also up 55% (1.6 million) in the key Adult 18-49 demo and up 49% (2.0 million) among Adults 25-54 from the most recent episode. New season three episodes are scheduled to air starting in November. Rizzoli & Isles sits behind The Closer, which came to a seven-season close last week, and its spinoff Major Crimes as the most-watched scripted series on basic cable this summer. All three are on TNT.

RELATED: ‘The Closer’ Finale Draws 9.1 Million, Spinoff ‘Major Crimes’ Opens With 7.2 Million

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UPDATE: TNT Renews ‘Dallas’ And ‘Rizzoli & Isles’

By | Friday June 29, 2012 @ 11:31am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

TNT has started its renewals with a fourth season order to its new flagship series, Rizzoli & Isles, and a second season pickup of freshman Dallas. Both have received 15-episode orders to air in 2013.

Related: Frank Darabont’s ‘LA Noir’ Nears Series Order At TNT

After excelling behind The Closer on Mondays, Rizzoli & Isles has drawn 7.1 million viewers in its new Tuesday 9 PM timeslot and ranks as summer’s #1 returning scripted series on basic cable. “Anchoring a new night in its third season, Rizzoli & Isles has proven itself to be a strong and enduring hit, not only in terms of the great storylines and performances, but also in terms of the show’s stellar ratings,” said TNT’s head of programming Michael Wright. Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander star in Rizzoli & Isles, which was developed for television by executive producer Janet Tamaro from characters created by best-selling crime novelist Tess Gerritsen. Warner Horizon Television is producing, with Janet Tamaro and Bill Haber and Michael Katleman exec producing.

Dallas, also from Horizon Television, is basic cable’s #1 new series in total viewers, and currently averages 6.9 million viewers in its first season. Understandably, given the fact that it is a followup to a 1980s series, it is older-skewing. “Dallas has been a success for us on every … Read More »

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Frank Darabont’s ‘LA Noir’ Nears Series Order At TNT

By | Thursday June 28, 2012 @ 12:28pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Frank Darabont’s LA Noir continues to gain momentum at TNT. I hear the project, Darabont’s followup to The Walking Dead, is expected to land a series order after TNT brass officially screen it early next month. LA Noir tells the true story of a decades-long conflict between the LAPD, under the determined leadership of Police Chief Parker (Neal McDonough), and ruthless criminal elements led by mobster Mickey Cohen, a one-time boxer who rose to the top of LA’s criminal world.

Additionally, TNT may renew all four series currently on the air. Rizzoli & Isles and freshman Dallas are considered shoe-ins — Rizzoli & Isles is The Closer‘s heir apparent as TNT’s new flagship series, and Dallas is considered a marquee property. Despite a significant dropoff in Week 2, Falling Skies is still the No.1 scripted cable show in adults 18-49. The sci-fi series also anchors TNT’s genre Sunday night and is big internationally, making it even more lucrative for the network, which owns it. That makes a renewal is likely. Franklin & Bash posted an encouraging ratings uptick this week though TNT will probably monitor the dramedy’s performance for another week or two before making a decision. Franklin & Bash star Breckin Meyer just got a renewal for his other series at Turner, TBS comedy Men At Work, which he created and exec produces but doesn’t appear in.

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TNT’s ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ Slightly Down, ‘Franklin & Bash’ Slightly Up In Return

By | Wednesday June 6, 2012 @ 1:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

After airing behind TNT’s flagship drama The Closer for its first two seasons, Rizzoli & Isles did well in its first outing in the anchor 9 PM position. The third-season premiere of the female procedural drew 5.62 million total viewers last night, down 13% from the Season 2 opener in the Monday 10 PM slot but ranking as basic cable’s No. 1 Tuesday premiere ever for an original scripted drama series. Rizzoli & Isles was followed by the second-season debut of Franklin & Bash (3.1 million), which was up 12% vs. the series premiere last year when the show aired on Wednesday at 9 PM with no original lead-in. In adults 18-49, both Rizzoli & Isles and Franklin & Bash actually matched their premiere performances last year with 1.5 million and 1.1 million viewers, respectively.

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‘Rizzoli & Isles’ Hits Season High In Viewers

By | Monday August 29, 2011 @ 11:15am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

DVR viewing boosted TNT’s hit Rizzoli & Isles to a season high in total viewers. In Live+7, the show’s Aug. 8 episode drew more than 9.1 million viewers, 2.6 million of them in the adults 18-49 demo and 3.4 million in adults 25-54. Veteran The Closer didn’t do too shabby either, logging 8.7 million viewers in Live+7, 2.5 million adults 18-49 and 3.2 million adults 25-54 for its Aug. 8 episode.

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TNT Announces Fall/Winter Schedule

Nellie Andreeva

TNT has set its fall/winter schedule, which includes the continuation of the current seasons of The Closer, Rizzoli & Isles and Leverage, which all return with new episodes on Nov. 27/Nov. 28; the new season of Southland, which will kick off in January; and the first installment of the network’s new original movie franchise TNT Mystery Movie Night, which will debut Nov. 29. In the scheduling release, TNT also announces additional castings on several of its movies, including Alfred Molina joining Scott Turow’s Innocent, Dermot Mulroney tapped to star in Silent Witness, and Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Kevin Alejandro coming on board Hide. Here is a detailed list of TNT’s upcoming premiere dates: Read More »

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TNT Renews ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ For 3rd Season

By | Friday August 5, 2011 @ 12:31pm PDT

TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles, which kicked off its second season this summer with 8.6 million viewers and is battling the network’s The Closer for the top viewership ranking among all basic cable series, has been renewed for a third season. TNT has ordered 15 episodes for a summer 2012 launch. The series, from Warner Horizon Television, Hurdler Prods and Ostar Prods, stars Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander and is based on Tess Gerritsen’s bestselling crime novels about a tough Boston cop (Harmon) and her medical-examiner partner (Alexander), who are opposites but always seem to get the bad guys. Lee Thompson Young, Bruce McGill and Jordan Bridges also star. The current second season airs Mondays through Sept. 12 before it returns to complete its run in November and December.

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TNT Announces Summer Schedule

Nellie Andreeva

TNT just unveiled its summer schedule, setting premiere dates and time slots for new series Franklin & Bash and Falling Skies and returning shows The Closer, Rizzoli & Isles, Hawthorne, Men of a Certain Age, Memphis Beat and Leverage. Meanwhile, OWN announced its new unscripted series Kidnapped by the Kids, about workaholic parents spending a week of quality time with their kids, will premiere April 4 in the Monday 9 PM time slot. Here is TNT’s summer lineup:

New Series:
Franklin & Bash
– Series premiere Wednesday, June 1, at 9 p.m.
Mark-Paul Gosselaar (NYPD Blue) and Breckin Meyer (Road Trip) star in this lighthearted legal drama as two fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants lawyers working for a button-down law firm.

Falling Skies – Two-hour series premiere Sunday, June 19, at 9 p.m.; regular timeslot Sundays at 10 p.m.
Noah Wyle (ER) stars in this drama series from DreamWorks Television and executive producer Steven Spielberg about the aftermath of an alien invasion and the resistance movement formed by the survivors.

Returning Series:
Men of a Certain Age
– Premiere: Wednesday, June 1, at 10 p.m. – Season 2 continues: Six summer episodes

Memphis Beat – Premiere: Tuesday, June 14, at 9 p.m.  – Season 2: 10 episodes

Hawthorne –Premiere: Tuesday, June 14, at 10 p.m.  – Season 3: 10 episodes

Leverage – Premiere: Sunday, June 26, at 9 p.m. – Season 4: 10 summer episodes

The Closer – Premiere: Monday, July 11, at 9 p.m.  – Season 7: 10 summer episodes

Rizzoli & Isles – Premiere: Monday, Read More »

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ANALYSIS: Lessons Of The Fall & What Lies Ahead For The Big 4 Broadcast Networks

Nellie Andreeva

As broadcast network executives were leaving for their holiday destinations last week, most of them were certainly glad to get away, and not only because of  the dreary wet Los Angeles weather. The broadcast networks had little to cheer about this fall, which failed to produce breakout hits of the size of Modern Family or Glee a year ago. This year, the breakout hits were all on cable: The Walking Dead on AMC and Rizzoli & Isles on TNT, which ranked as the top basic cable series of 2010 among adults 18-49 and total viewers, respectively. The biggest new reality hit was also on cable, MTV’s Jersey Shore, which launched at the very end of 2009. Here are some notes on the fall season, evaluation of the performance of the individual networks and a look ahead at midseason.

- The biggest thing on TV this season has been football, which set ratings records for NBC and ESPN. It dwarfed the entertainment competition not only in live viewing but also in Live+7 where scripted series gain a significant chunk of their viewership.

- It’s nearly impossible to launch a new series at 8 PM. Two of the 3 new 8 PM series, NBC’s Undercovers and ABC’s My Generation, are history, while ABC’s No Ordinary Family was on a ratings decline until moving to 9 PM where its numbers stabilized. NBC’s new reality series School Pride barely registered in the Friday 8 PM slot, raising concern over CBS’ plan to launch new drama Chaos in the slot in midseason.

- Big-name producers don’t guarantee success unless the name is Chuck Lorre. While the Lorre-produced new CBS sitcom Mike & Molly is the highest-rated new series this fall in the 18-49 demo, J.J. Abrams’ Undercovers went bust as did the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced ABC legal drama The Whole Truth, while another Bruckheimer series, Chase, is fading. The jury is still out on Dick Wolf’s Law & Order spinoff Law & Order: Los Angeles, which has had so-so ratings so far. Next up are Shonda Rhimes with ABC’s Off the Map and David E. Kelley with NBC’s Harry’s Law.

- Texas proved the unluckiest setting for new series. Of the four freshman series set and filmed in the Lone Star state, My Generation, Lone Star, The Good Guys and Chase, 3 have been already been canceled and one, Chase, is struggling. Read More »

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TNT Renews Medical Drama ‘Hawthorne’

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: I hear TNT tomorrow will announce a 10-episode Season 3 pickup for the Sony TV-produced medical drama starring Jada Pinkett Smith. With The Closer, Rizzoli, Leverage, Memphis Beat and now Hawthorne all getting renewed, the only TNT summer series waiting its fate is Jerry Bruckheimer’s cop drama Dark Blue. While attracting about half of the audience of TNT’s Monday juggernauts The Closer and Rizzoli & Isles, Hawthorne has been a solid performer ratings-wise, with its audience averaging 3.4 million viewers. What’s more, it was used to successfully launch a new series this summer, the off-beat Memphis Beat. The renewal for the quirky cop show starring Jason Lee has been in the works for awhile, so Read More »

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