There are no hard rules for AFI‘s list of Top 10 programs of the year as the film institute tends to mix critical darlings with crowd pleasers, series, miniseries and TV movies. (Cable ratings juggernauts The Walking Dead and American Horror Story: Asylum made the AFI Awards list last year, along with the HBO movie Game Change). No longform entries on this year’s list, which features one major surprise — the omission of ABC’s Emmy-winning Modern Family, which had been among AFI’s Top 10 programs each of the past four years. Also MIA this season is Showtime’s drama Homeland, which made the cut the last two years. This is the most drama-heavy AFI list I can remember, with only one half-hour series, HBO’s Veep. (Netflix’s hourlong Orange Is The New Black was nominated as a comedy by the WGA but is competing as a drama for the Golden Globes and the Emmys.)
Related: AFI’s Top 10 Films: Good News For Majors
The guilty pleasure on the roster is ABC’s hot sophomore drama Scandal, landing its first major best series awards recognition. The rest of the series have been in top awards consideration and received WGA noms last week, with the exception Game Of Thrones, which was not in the running due to a submission error. Returning from last year are Game Of Thrones, Emmy winner Breaking Bad and Mad Men. Here is the full list: READ MORE »
There will be less Scandal on ABC‘s schedule this season than originally planned. The network has reduced the order for the hot Shonda Rhimes drama from 22 to 18 episodes. The network wouldn’t give a reason for … Read More »
It’s Anthony Weiner Week on broadcast TV! Two primetime drama series announced they will air competing Weiner-esque storylines, political scientists have navel-lint gazed in press reports about the phenomenon, and The Reporters Who Cover Television are poised … Read More »
The Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts is about to get a taste of some Olivia Pope – kind of. On the day of the Season 10 debut of Grey’s Anatomy, President Barack Obama today used … Read More »
Joanne Kelly, who is finishing a five-year run on Syfy’s top-rated drama Warehouse 13, has been tapped for a major recurring role on the new CBS drama Hostages. She plays Vanessa, an ambitious ambassador and the sister of the First Lady of the United States (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio). Kelly is with Domain and Joannie Burstein.
Heroes alum Jack Coleman has been cast in a multi-episode arc on ABC’s Scandal. Per Shonda Rhimes’ gag order, little is known about his character Daniel Douglas, who is a charming Southerner with ties to one of the gladiators. He’s repped by Domain and Framework. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: A Friend-ly gladiator is joining the gang on Shonda Rhimes’ hot Washington DC drama Scandal. Friends alumna Lisa Kudrow has been tapped for a recurring role on the ABC series’ upcoming third season. In … Read More »
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 … Read More »
Spoiler alert! Jake Ballard probably won’t rot in that hole for long. Scott Foley, who recurred as romantic foil Jake on Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal this season, has closed a deal to join the hot ABC … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: It’s a family affair. Scott Foley and brother-in-law Patrick Wilson are teaming up to produce Ward’s Wife starring former Scrubs star Donald Faison. The Scandal and The Goodwin Games actor’s feature directorial debut will also be produced by Mob … Read More »
Matt Webb Mitovich is an AwardsLine contributor.
Looking for a female TV character who’s as fierce in her work life as she is in her (messy) love life? It’s been handled. As Olivia Pope on ABC’s Scandal, Kerry Washington – building on a career that has included Oscar-winning films such as Ray and Django Unchained - stands in the eye of a pop-culture storm, fronting a show that drops jaws with astounding frequency, makes Twitter all atwitter and offers, at long last, a chance for a black woman to win a lead drama actress Emmy.
AwardsLine: You have said that your decision was not so much to do TV, but to do a Shonda Rhimes show.
Kerry Washington: Even more so, my decision was to do this show. When I read the script, I was blown away. And knowing that this (was a Rhimes production) reinforced the idea that this could be a really amazing opportunity.
AwardsLine: With your first full season behind you, how has the product met the promise?
Washington: I will just say that the level of excellence that the people around me produce on a daily basis continues to astound me. The writing that I’m able to hold in my hands, the level of acting I’m surrounded by, the cinematographers, the costume design—all of it feels like a magical product. Read More »
Diane Haithman is a contributor to Deadline.
Scandal fans watched tonight’s jam-packed season finale and received a major revelation SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! because of a single line (“Dad???”). The ABC drama’s ’gladiators’ as they are called heard it live at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at the end of the first-ever onstage table read of the show using the finale script. The session ended about 10 minutes into the 10 PM PT airing. The cast whooped and hollered too. “The satisfying part is, I knew all along,” Morton crowed as the cast finished reading Act 6 which revealed that Rowan (Joe Morton) is the father of Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington). At the top of the session, show creator/executive producer Shonda Rhimes said she hoped the experiment would give the audience a feeling of what it’s like to be in the room at a real table read. Washington said she didn’t know that would be a plot twist until the first table read of the script. “I grew up in a household where Joe Morton is a great American hero,” she said. “Every week I would say: ‘Joe, I really hope we have some scenes together. He’d say: ‘We do. We do.’ ”
Related: ABC To Air Some Dramas In Two Batches Of 12 Episodes
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ABC is changing things up in scheduling some of its serialized dramas. Taking a page from the cable model, the network will air what ABC president Paul Lee called “a selected group” of dramas in two uninterrupted runs, one in the fall and one in the spring, bridged by limited series. The series that will follow the new scheduling pattern include Once Upon A Time, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and likely Revenge, with others TBD. So far, the network only has set up a bridge series for Once, new adventure reality series The Quest. Lee said such bridge series won’t necessarily be all unscripted. Two cycles of 12 episodes would bring the total orders for the shows to 24, which is hard on a complex, serialized drama, but Lee indicated that number has not been set in stone. He said that the network is looking to further shake up the traditional broadcast scheduling model with “quality launches” throughout the season. Lee also said that new fall drama Betrayal is designed as a limited series, airing 12-13 episodes a season. The same applies to midseason drama Resurrection, which will replace it in the Sunday 10 PM slot in midseason.
Related: ABC 2013-14 Schedule Read More »