ABC’s V (1.9/5 in adults 18-49, 5.4 million viewers) was the only program to show week-to-week demo gains last night, an uptick of 6% in 18-49.
Fox’s Kevin Reilly And Mike Darnell On ‘American Idol’ & ‘Fringe’ Moves; No Back Orders For ‘Running Wilde’ & ‘Good Guys’
“We have been looking at Thursday for a long time,” Fox’s reality chief Mike Darnell said. “It is a tough nut to crack, and if you want …
EXCLUSIVE: Last season’s Fox comedy pilot Breaking In may make it to the air after all. I hear the network is in negotiations with Sony Pictures TV to pick up the project starring Christian Slater to series for midseason. The single-camera workplace comedy set at a digital security firm, is rumored as a possible replacement for underperforming fall comedy Running Wilde, which has not received a back order. Fox’s midseason schedule announced in May has Running Wilde airing after American Idol‘s 90-minute performance show on Tuesday, sharing the 9:30 PM slot with midseason comedy Mixed Signals.
The New York Television Festival has announced the primetime lineup for its sixth annual event. Because of its September dates – this year it will take place from Sept. 20-25, overlapping the broadcast network’s premiere week – the festival regularly features premieres of new fall series. This year, the festival …
Lionsgate TV is making a return to broadcast TV ‘s primetime this fall with the new Fox comedy series Running Wilde, which it took over at the pilot stage. Now the company is staying active in network development with another broadcast project, 87th Precinct, which has received a script order …
If you wondered how long it took before first Arrested Development-related question at the Running Wilde panel came in, it was a couple of minutes. The comparisons are inevitable: new Fox comedy series Running Wilde was created by Arrested alums Mitch Hurwitz, Will Arnett and Jim Vallely and stars Arnett, with …
By now you may have already heard that David Cross is joining Mitch Hurwitz and Will Arnett’s new comedy series Running Wilde, bringing in another piece to the Arrested Development reunion that’s …
Of the 38 new broadcast scripted series next season, only one, Fox’s comedy Running Wilde, chose to go with SAG in what has become a watershed moment in the primetime dynamic between AFTRA and SAG, with AFTRA overtaking SAG as the top actors union. For the first time, AFTRA will represent more scripted series on the broadcast networks next season than the field’s long-time dominant player SAG. There will be 45 AFTRA series on the air next season vs. 38 SAG shows. That is a big swing from last year when 48 series were under SAG and 26 under AFTRA. It is the result of a second consecutive freshman class on the broadcast networks dominated by AFTRA-represented shows.
Of the 38 new comedy and drama series picked up for next season at the 5 broadcast nets, 34 are under AFTRA jurisdiction and 4 are under SAG. Last year, there were 24 new series, 18 represented by AFTRA and 6 by SAG. But it’s important to note the SAG affiliation for the majority of new series repped by the union was not by choice but automatic because they were based on existing properties or spinoffs of existing SAG-represented series. Last year, that included all 6 SAG series: the remakes V and Eastwick on ABC, spinoffs NCIS: LA on CBS and The Cleveland Show on Fox and ABC’s comedy The Middle and Fox’s Glee, originally developed during previous cycles. (Glee was the result of off-cycle development.) This year, the list of SAG-represented new series include spinoffs Law & Order: Los Angeles on NBC and the untitled Criminal Minds spinoff on CBS, the Nikita remake on the CW as well as one brand new series, Running Wilde.
AFTRA had had limited presence on the broadcast networks’ scripted series, mostly courtesy of Sony TV, which has long been closely associated with the smaller actors union, producing all of its series under AFTRA. But the mass switch from SAG to AFTRA among all major TV studios began during last year’s pilot season. It was fueled by fears of a potential SAG strike and was helped by the studios’ transition from film to digital video (If a series is filmed on 35 mm, it can only be covered by SAG; if it’s shot on digital video, it can be represented by SAG or AFTRA). In 2009, broadcast pilots went to to 90%-plus AFTRA affiliation from 90%-plus SAG pilot representation the year before. This year, with no labor stoppage on the horizon, SAG was expected to regain pilot ground, especially with a more moderate leadership in place. In fact, new SAG president Ken Howard listed retention of coverage of network pilots as a top priority when he ran for office in the fall. But the TV studios overwhelmingly stuck with AFTRA, which dominated pilot season for a second straight year with more than 90% representation. Why? Studio insiders tell me AFTRA continues to be considered the safer, more stable alternative.
SAG still represents most returning series (34 vs. 11 for AFTRA) but two years of overwhelmingly more new series under AFTRA have undercut SAG’s dominance even in that area. While the larger actors union continues to represent the vast majority of returning series at ABC, Fox and CBS, at NBC and the the CW, the unions have almost equal representation: 57%-43% in SAG’s favor. “If AFTRA and SAG don’t merge, AFTRA will be the dominant player in primetime within a couple of years,” one industry insider told me.
The drumbeat has been growing louder for a merger between SAG and AFTRA, which tried to unite unsuccessfully in 1998 and 2003. The dramatic representation shift in primetime may serve as a catalyst for that. I hear actors who work in both film and television are becoming increasingly frustrated that they have to be represented by one union when they do a feature and another when doing a series. The same is true for TV actors who appear on both SAG and AFTRA series. By dividing their earnings between the two unions, some of them don’t qualify for health insurance through neither of SAG nor AFTRA, even though their total yearly income would’ve easily push them over the threshold at either union.
The SAG/AFTRA relations seem to be thawing: The two unions recently approved a joint bargaining agreement and have been holding joint Wages & Working Conditions meetings in preparation for negotiation of the AFTRA Exhibit A and SAG TV/Theatrical contract that expires on June 30, 2011. That date comes right after the next development cycle for the broadcast networks, which no doubt will make for an eventful pilot season next year.
Following are lists of new and returning broadcast series by actors union affiliation:
UPDATED: Fox is going with a very traditional fall rollout, premiering almost all of its series during the official premiere week. (The network used to be more adventurous in the past with early launches but, with shortened post-season baseball coverage, it has now reverted to more conservative premiere plans.) One interesting element in the Fox premiere dates announcement – the network is giving up, at least for now, original programming in late-night on Saturday for the first time in 16 years, opting for reruns of new series Lone Star and Running Wilde instead. Fox began programming the 11 PM-12:30AM block on Saturday nights in 1989 and has always aired originals in it except for the 1994-95 season when it repurposed HBO’s Tales From the Crypt before launching MadTV in the fall of 1995. Most recently, The Wanda Sykes Show aired Saturday nights in late night last season, before being cancelled in May. It replaced long-time staple MadTV. The reruns may be a temporary place holder while Fox looks for new original(s) to air against NBC’s Saturday Night Live.
Saturday, September 11
8:00-8:30 PM: COPS (Season Premiere, 800th Episode)
8:30-9:00 PM: COPS (Encore Episode)
9:00-10:00 PM: AMERICA’S MOST WANTED (Season Premiere)
Monday, Sept. 20
8:00-9:00 PM: HOUSE (Season Premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM: LONE STAR (Series Premiere)