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TCA: ‘Suburgatory’ Stars Could Be Taking A Shot In ‘Selfie’

By | Tuesday July 15, 2014 @ 1:12pm PDT

TCA: ‘Suburgatory’ Stars Could Be Taking A Shot In ‘Selfie’Actors from ABC’s canceled comedy Suburgatory could turn up on ABC’s newest comedy Selfie, said Emily Kapnek, creator and EP of both, at today’s TCA panels.
“I’m absolutely in love with those actors.  If there’s an opportunity to bring them in organically, I would love to,” said Kapnek. She appeared on today’s panel with actors Karen Gillan (Doctor Who) and John Cho (Star Trek), who portray a modern-day Eliza Doolittle and Professor Henry Higgins in this contemporary update of My Fair Lady/ Pygmalion.
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Several Comedies Looking For New Homes

By | Saturday May 10, 2014 @ 5:52pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ALAN TUDYK, ALLIE GRANT, JEREMY SISTO, JANE LEVY, CARLY CHAIKIN, REX LEE, CHERYL HINESAs TBS announced today a sixth and final season for Cougar Town, several other comedies are attempting, like Cougar Town, to find a new home after being cancelled or passed over at the broadcast networks. I hear Warner Bros TV’s Suburgatory — which is three seasons into its run the way Cougar Town was when it was facing cancellation at ABC and moved to TBS — is exploring other options for the quirky comedy, cancelled on by Thursday by ABC, with sibling TBS among the possibilities. Similarly, I hear 20th Century Fox TV is determined to work hard on finding a new home for Friends With Better Lives, which was cancelled by CBS today after a short midseason run. 20th TV also is said to be shopping the Kevin Hart comedy pilot starring Romany Malco, which came very close to a series order at ABC. The network instead went with the ABC Studios’ produced Black-ish starring Anthony Anderson on Thursday, with the project’s showrunner Larry Wilmore announcing a day later that he would depart to host a show on Comedy Central.

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ABC Cancels ‘Suburgatory’ & ‘Super Fun Night’

By | Friday May 9, 2014 @ 12:26pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ALAN TUDYK, ALLIE GRANT, JEREMY SISTO, JANE LEVY, CARLY CHAIKIN, REX LEE, CHERYL HINESABC‘s comedy cleanup continued with cancellations of Suburgatory and Super Fun Night. They join fellow ABC comedy casualties Trophy Wife, The Neighbors and Mixology. Suburgatory and The Neighbors‘ fate was sealed last night when ABC picked up to series comedy pilots Selfie, from Suburgatory creator Emily Kapnek, and Galavant, from The Neighbors creator Dan Fogelman. Suburgatory had a lot going for it in season one — a big ratings start as a breakout hit and a breakout star in Jane Levy. The series started meandering creatively in Season 2. It attempted a reboot in Season 3 with casting and setting changes but that failed to bring viewers back. Still, ABC president Paul Lee loved the show, whose name sounded great in Lee’s British accent, and there was a small chance for a limited Season 4 order until Selfie got the go-ahead. Still in negotiations for a pickup is Friday comedy Last Man Standing.

2014 ABC Pilots
UPDATE: ‘Nashville’ Renewal Focuses On Tax Credit Issues

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TCA: ‘Suburgatory’ Cast Trim Helps Core Characters Un-Assimiliate

By | Friday January 17, 2014 @ 2:57pm PST

TCADeadline__140109155905In May, ABC‘s  last-minute third-season renewal of Suburgatory as midseason replacement came at a price: lower license fee and the exit of Alan Tudyk and Rex Lee as series regulars. Lee played the high school’s guidance counselor and Tudyk was Jeremy Sisto’s country-clubbing dentist pal.  Suburgatory launched well in the fall of 2011  but lost steam in its second season (It’s third-season return, on Wednesday, clocked 5.3 million viewers and a 1.6 demo rating, off The Middle’s 7.5 million viewers and 1.8 rating). Not surpringly, a Q&A session at the TCA Winter TV Press Tour began with  a series of “bummer questions.” Read More »

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‘Suburgatory’ Creator Emily Kapnek Sued By Gotham Group Over Unpaid Commissions

By | Tuesday November 12, 2013 @ 6:02pm PST

The ABC  comedy series’ creator has been hit with a breach-of-contract and fraud suit by her former manager. In a suit filed today in LA Superior Court (read it here), The Gotham Group‘s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein claims that Emily Kapnek stopped paying commissions after the Suburgatory creator signed a two-year overall deal with the series’ producer Warner Bros. TV in April.

Goldsmith-Vein says in the lawsuit that she had managed Kapnek’s career starting in 1999, after having been her agent the year before, and had always received her 10%. But Goldsmith-Vein claims that after Kapnek landed her first overall deal this spring, she “reached a point where she believed she was self-reliant, discarded plaintiffs, and broke her word and the parties’ contract. In direct violation of the Gotham Management Agreement and her promise to plaintiffs, Kapnek has failed to make any further commission payments at all to plaintiffs, whether related to Suburgatory, the Warner Bros Deal or any other matter, and plaintiffs fear that future breaches will be forthcoming.”
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Alan Tudyk & Rex Lee Leaving ‘Suburgatory’

By | Friday May 31, 2013 @ 1:22pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: I hear ABC‘s last-minute third-season renewal of Suburgatory as midseason replacement came with a reduction in the license fee, which is leading to budget cuts and some tough choices. I’ve learned that two of the series’ eight regulars, Alan Tudyk and Rex Lee, have not been picked up for next season. They could potentially appear as guest stars. I hear there may be further trims, with other regulars potentially being cut or reduced to recurring. Suburgatory‘s remaining regular cast includes stars Jane Levy and Jeremy Sisto as well as Cheryl Hines, Carly Chaikin, Ana Gasteyer and Allie Grant. Both Tudyk and Lee have been on the show since the beginning. Lee, who plays the high school’s guidance counselor, was a guest star in the pilot but was promoted to regular right after. Tudyk playes Sisto’s trusted, country club-loving friend. Suburgatory was a breakout hit when it launched in fall 2011 but lost steam, ratings-wise and creatively, in Season 2, ending up on the bubble.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘American Idol’ Continues To Rise, ‘Suburgatory’ Finale Slips, ‘Dateline’ & ‘Survivor’ Even With Last Week

By | Thursday April 18, 2013 @ 9:07am PDT

Did you know that a woman hasn’t won American Idol (3.3/9) in six years? That will not be the case this year with the five remaining finalists all female. Which is why it was Ladies Night on Idol on Wednesday. What that actually meant for the live two-hour show was that Angie Miller, Janelle Arthur, Candice Glover, Kree Harrison and Amber Holcomb sang songs from the 1989 to 1994 years of their respective births.  It also meant there was some more tension between female judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey with the former disagreeing with the latter’s assessment of one contestant with a “simmer down, sir.” Last night’s Idol was also up from last week. It rose 3% from the fast nationals of its April 11 show and, because there was no change last week, the same from that broadcast’s final numbers. This is the fourth broadcast in a row that Idol has seen consecutive growth. Hitting 12.4 millon viewers on Wednesday, Idol was also up 2% in overall viewers from last week’s final numbers. With the 8 PM to 10 PM IdolFox took top spot for the night in total viewers and among Adults 18-49.
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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Nashville’ And ‘Chicago Fire’ Drop In Week 2, ‘Arrow’ Steady, ‘Suburgatory’ Modest In Return

By | Thursday October 18, 2012 @ 9:40am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It was a rather atypical Wednesday night, with usual demo winner Fox airing a mix of a little bit of baseball, rain delay-filling sitcom reruns and an hour of The X Factor that inadvertently ran simultaneously on both coasts. Or as Simon Cowell put it, “a total f up,” that will result in last night’s two-hour episode airing in its entirety on Tuesday night, pre-empting Fox’s fledgling comedy block and facing an all-new The Voice.

Related: “Total F Up”: Baseball Rain Delay Pushes Tonight’s ‘X Factor’ To Tuesday

With Fox out of sorts, CBS swooped in and won the night in adults 18-49 (2.7/8), along with total viewers (10.8 million). Survivor: Philippines (2.7/8) and Criminal Minds (3.1/8) were both up a tenth from last week’s fast nationals, while CSI (2.4/7) was down two tenths. CSI‘s ratings fluctuations have been puzzling — it went up last week when it faced the premieres of ABC’s Nashville and NBC’s Chicago Fire  and then retreated last night when its time-slot rivals dropped significantly from their debuts. (CSI still ruled the 10 PM hour.) Read More »

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WME Signs Jane Levy, Star Of ‘Suburgatory’

By | Wednesday August 22, 2012 @ 10:42am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: WME Entertainment has signed Jane Levy, the star of the ABC series Suburgatory who’s about to pop with starring roles in the Josh Schwartz-directed Fun Size at Paramount, and the Fede Alvarez-directed remake of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead for FilmDistrict. In the latter film, she plays Mia, a character that closely follows the insane arc of Ash in the 1981 original, a role played by Bruce Campbell. Mia is one of five young people who head to the remote cabin where evil awaits. Recovering from a recent overdose, Mia is particularly vulnerable. Levy had most recently been at Gersh. She remains with James Suskin at Suskin Management and with attorney Robert Offer.

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ABC’s ‘The Neighbors’ And ‘Suburgatory’ To Swap Time Slots

By | Monday July 23, 2012 @ 2:52pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ABC Fall Schedule Suburgatory NeighborsEXCLUSIVE: I hear that ABC is planning a tweak in its Wednesday fall schedule. New comedy The Neighbors, originally slated for the post-Modern Family 9:30 PM slot, will move to 8:30 PM, while Suburgatory, which was to stay put at 8:30 PM, will move to 9:30 PM. A switch to the 8 PM family hour would make sense for The Neighbors as it hails from Dan Fogelman, writer of such Disney animated hits as Cars and Tangled, and is more kids-friendly than the average network fare. It is about a regular family that moves into a gated community where everyone else is an alien. Additionally, after a promising freshman showing at 8:30 PM, a run behind Modern Family could lift Suburgatory to the next level. Here is a trailer for The Neighbors.

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EMMYS: ‘Suburgatory’s Jane Levy

By | Saturday June 16, 2012 @ 6:13pm PDT

Vlada Gelman is West Coast Reporter at TVLine

Boardwalk Empire

Jane Levy had only one credit to her name – Showtime’s Shameless – before landing the lead role in ABC’s Suburgatory. But watching the young actress hold her own as Tessa Altman against established actors like Jeremy Sisto, Ana Gasteyer and Cheryl Hines, it’s clear her talent is greater than her years. Now, the ingénue is on the radar of Emmy voters too.

AWARDSLINE: What has it been like carrying a show?
LEVY: I don’t really feel like I am [but] I’m constantly told that. At first, it was heavily narrated, and most of the show was about either Tessa or George’s storyline. But halfway through the season, [creator] Emily [Kapnek] realized that we have such a strong ensemble cast and she had to use them. I feel extremely safe, like I don’t even need to do anything because I’m surrounded by incredible actors and hilarious people. I don’t feel the need to be funny because of them.

RelatedEMMYS: Comedy Series Overview Read More »

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EMMYS: Comedy From Female Perspective

By | Thursday June 14, 2012 @ 10:41pm PDT

Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.

Boardwalk EmpireIf the 2011-2012 TV schedule is any indication, girls just want to be funny. There are probably more new comedies created, co-created or executive-produced by women in primetime than at any time in history: 2 Broke Girls (Whitney Cummings), The B**** In Apartment 23 (co-creator Nahnatchka Khan) and Girls (Lena Dunham, 2011’s best first screenplay winner at the Independent Spirit Awards for Tiny Furniture). There are more who also might find themselves in the Emmy mix, and Awardsline spoke separately to some of them: Jessika Borsiczky, co-executive producer of Showtime’s House of Lies; Emily Kapnek, creator and co-executive producer of ABC’s Suburgatory; Elizabeth Meriwether, creator and co-executive producer of the Fox comedy New Girl and Emily Spivey, the Saturday Night Live veteran who created and is a co-executive producer of NBC’s Up All Night.

AWARDSLINE: There’s been a lot said about the new shows with women at the helm, especially in comedy. Certainly female comedy was a goldmine for the movies in 2011 with Bridesmaids. What’s going on?
EMILY SPIVEY: I think there just happened to be some ladies with ideas that people liked, I don’t think it was a big conspiracy to get a bunch of ‘lady shows’ on the air. The time has come when more ladies are trying comedy. In the past it was kind of a man thing, especially with stand-up. I think women are really finding their voices and being allowed to be a little more aggressive and speaking about topics that maybe a few years ago were a little more taboo than they are now.
JESSIKA BORSICZKY: We are sort of hitting a place where there’s some real seniority to women in television. When I started at HBO (in the movie division) in 1992 I certainly wasn’t running television shows, it took a long time. But obviously storytelling and movies reflect what’s interesting about our times. The universe of what it is to be a modern woman right now is deep, it’s changing, there’s a lot of fluctuation in family and marriage. Women are now out-earning men and out-educating men and having babies without men so there are a lot of stories to tell. And look at Girls, it’s also showing us a side of what it is to be a young woman that’s new. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘American Idol’ Hits Some High Notes

By | Thursday May 17, 2012 @ 10:25am PDT

American Idol RatingsAmerican Idol increased its ratings range last night. The last show before next week’s Season 11 finale saw Idol (4.8/14) up 7% from last week. The two-hour Top 3 performance show garnered 17.3 million viewers, a 5% rise compared with last week and its best since March 28. Meanwhile, CBS’ two-hour season finale of Criminal Minds (3.5/10) was up 21% over last week and up 6% on last year’s one-hour finale. It was the series’ best adult 18-49 rating since January 25. Fox won the night in the demo and total viewers, up over nearest rival CBS by 78% in 18-49 and 66% in overall viewers.

Related: Jimmy Kimmel Bests Jay Leno & David Letterman Read More »

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ABC Renews Seven Hit Scripted Series; No ‘Happy Endings’… For Now

By | Thursday May 10, 2012 @ 5:51pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: ABC just made its “no-brainer” renewals, picking up its strongest scripted series. That includes freshmen Once Upon A Time, Suburgatory and Revenge, comedies Modern Family and The Middle and dramas Grey’s Anatomy and Castle. (The renewal for Grey’s comes after the main cast signed new deals.) Surprisingly not on the list is sophomore comedy Happy Endings, but I hear that deal is closing, so the show will be back. Also expected to return are two freshman comedy series that didn’t make the first cut, Last Man Standing and Don’t Trust The B—-. Looking good is Shonda Rhimes’ midseason drama Scandal. Talks are still ongoing on a potential 13-episode pickup of Grey’s spinoff Private Practice, which logged underwhelming ratings this week after a promising start on Tuesday. The future of GCB and Body of Proof is unclear, with both having a shot depending on ABC’s new drama series choices. UPDATE: I hear Body Of Proof now looks promising — the procedural starring Dana Delany is a big money-maker for ABC’s sister studio ABC Studios. And of course, fellow bubble ABC series Cougar Town just found a new home at TBS. ABC is yet to make its unscripted renewals, which will likely come tomorrow, with Dancing With The Stars, The Bachelor/Bachelorette and Shark Tank certain to get the nod.

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TV Showrunners On Women, Comedy And What It Takes To Be Funny These Days: TCA

Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.

Do shows like Don’t Trust the B— In Apartment 23, CBS’ 2 Broke Girls and the Fox series New Girl mean we’re in some kind of women’s renaissance in network TV? At this morning’s TCA session on Apartment 23, creator/executive producer Nahnatchka Khan concluded, well, maybe. But in an afternoon panel featuring producers from ABC’s successful Wednesday night comedy block, the female showrunners of The Middle, Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline, pointed out that they’ve been funny for some time now — behind the scenes. “It’s exciting, but we always thought women had funny things to say,” said Heisler. “I think Tina Fey — and us — poked a little hole that allowed for this. We’ve been doing it for a while, and we’re glad to have company.” The Middle is a family show, not a snarky sitcom about a bitch or an emotionally unstable female roommate. But after the panel, Heisler said the show will continue to borrow as guest stars the veterans of that classic comedy about the “girl” who’s gonna make it after all, The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Harking back to his Lou Grant character, Ed Asner will portray the editor of the local paper. Read More »

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Ratings Rat Race: ‘Survivor’ Up, Everyone Else Down As CBS Tops Night In 18-49

Nellie Andreeva

Fox and ABC, which have alternated at the top of the Wednesday 18-49 rankings this season, finished tied last night — but for second place, not first . Paced by Survivor, CBS (3.1/8) posted its first Wednesday demo win this season, edging Fox and ABC (3.0/8). Heading toward its season finale, Survivor: South Pacific (3.3/9) was up 6% from last week. Criminal Minds (3.4/8) was down 8% from its last original two weeks ago and CSI (2.5/7) was down 4%, with both series tying their season lows.

ABC’s series were up from the depressed ratings levels for their Thanksgiving Eve episodes, though those segments were labeled as specials and won’t count towards the shows’ season averages. Versus the most recent regular episodes on November 16, The Middle (2.8/8) was down a tenth fast national-to-fast national and Suburgatory (2.8/8) was flat (down a tenth from the final). Modern Family (5.0/13) was down 9% (11% from the final) to log its lowest-rated regular telecast to date, Happy Endings (2.9/7) was also down 9% and Revenge (2.4/6) was down 8%. Read More »

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Is Warner Bros And ABC’s New TV Rights Agreement “A Turning Point” For Digital And Syndication Deals?

It gets a bit technical, but Warner Bros Television Group and ABC may have cracked the code to resolve one of the TV industry’s more vexing problems: How should program producers and networks split the rights to air TV shows as digital platforms become a bigger part of the distribution mix? They announced today a two-year deal that gives ABC broader and clearer opportunities to run WBTVG shows while they’re hot: ABC can include the shows in a TV Everywhere, subscription-based online feed of the network which the companies say is “currently under development.” The network also has right to make up to five recently aired episodes of current WBTVG programs — including The Middle, Work It, and Suburgatory – available via VOD as soon as the day after they first appear on TV. They can run on the network’s main Web sites, and Hulu, as well as an ABC-branded VOD service carried by traditional pay TV distributors. In return, WBTVG can begin syndicating series earlier than previous deals allowed: It can license serialized shows such as Gossip Girls that work well on subscription VOD services like Netflix at the end of the broadcast year in which the episodes first air. The studio also can begin syndicating sitcoms and procedural dramas to TV stations and cable networks after three years, down from four. Since WBTV is the largest independent TV … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘X Factor’ Slips, ‘Revenge’ Climbs, ‘Up All Night’ Hits Low

Nellie Andreeva

Fox’s newly renewed The X Factor returned to Wednesdays for its second live show, which delivered  a 3.9/10 among adults 18-49 and 11.5 million. That was down 10% in the demo from the fast national rating for the series’ first live-performance episode last Tuesday (X Factor usually gains a tenth in the finals, which it did again last night per data just released by Fox; its 4.0 final rating is down 9% from the final for last week’s live show). The two-hour X Factor led Fox to a decisive nightly victory in 18-49 and a very close No. 2 finish in total viewers behind CBS (3.3/9, 11.8 million).

CBS’ Survivor: South Pacific (3.5/10, 11.9 million) was up a tenth from its fast national demo rating last week, putting the reality veteran on track to post new season highs in 18-49 and total viewers for a second straight week. Last week, Survivor climbed from a 3.4 to a 3.5 in the demo to clear a new season high and will likely be adjusted up to a 3.6 today to post a new season best. Criminal Minds (3.6/9, 12.8 million) was down 8% in the demo from its last original two weeks ago, while CSI (2.7/7, 10.6 million) was up a tenth. Read More »

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Ratings Rat Race: All Originals Rise Against Repeats Led By ‘Happy Endings’ & ‘Revenge’

Nellie Andreeva

With all broadcast networks featuring repeats on their schedules last night, the originals perked up. ABC got the biggest lift with three shows posting double-digit gains from last week: Happy Endings (3.5/9) was up 17%, despite following a repeat Modern Family (4.4/12) vs. an original last week, to hit a series high. Revenge (2.8/7) was up 12% against all-rerun competition at 10 PM. Fellow rookie Suburgatory (3.4/9) was up 10%, building on its The Middle (3.1/10, up 3%) lead-in. CBS’ only original offering last night, Survivor: South Pacific (3.4/10, 11.6 million), posted the franchise’s largest audience since last December. In 18-49, it was up a tenth from last week to tie its highest rating this season, which was for the September premiere. If the veteran reality series is adjusted up in the final as it often does, it will post a season high. (UPDATE 1:30 PM: Survivor indeed went up a tenth in the finals to post the franchise’s best 18-49 number since December.) The CW’s America’s Next Top Model hit a cycle high in total viewers (2.2 million, up 15% from last week) and 18-49 (1.0/3, up 11%). Its lead-in, a Ringer repeat, also was up in total viewers and flat in the demo. NBC and Fox aired all repeats by choice (NBC) or necessity (Fox) as Game 6 of the World Series was postponed. Neither cracked the 1.0 rating in 18-49. ABC (3.3/9, 9.5 million) won the night … Read More »

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