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Jason Ritter Inks Development Deal With UMS, Will Star In New Jason Katims Drama

Jason Ritter has signed a development deal with Universal Media Studios to star in a new hourlong drama series from Parenthood and Friday Night Lights exec producer Jason Katims. Our sister site TVLine broke the news today. That means Ritter will stick around at NBC, where his drama The Event aired for one season, and also stick with Katims, who cast him as Lauren Graham’s love interest last season on Parenthood. Ritter, repped by ICM and manager Joannie Burstein, will reprise that role this season on multiple episodes. What remains unclear is the fate of Ritter’s former series The Event, which we reported last month was trying to find a way to land on its feet at sister network Syfy. Talks about the financial feasibility of moving a network show to cable did take place, but it’s been quiet on that front for a while.

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NBC’s ‘The Event’ May Continue As Miniseries On Syfy

By | Wednesday June 1, 2011 @ 12:45pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Minutes after NBC canceled freshman The Event on the unlucky Friday, May 13, the show’s creator Nick Wauters and executive producer Steve Stark told fans that there was a possibility for the sci-fi drama to continue elsewhere. That possibility is now taking shape. I hear there are talks with Syfy to pick up The Event as a miniseries. Helping things is the fact that Syfy and The Event producer, Universal Media Studios, are NBCUniversal corporate siblings. But migrating a broadcast show to cable is never easy, and I hear discussions are underway to see if it would be financially feasible for The Event to continue on Syfy. If that happens and if the mini does well, it could potentially launch another season of the alien drama. Syfy has been active post-upfronts this year. The cable network also has been kicking the tires of the Fox pilot Locke & Key, but there haven’t been any substantial discussions.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Canceled Freshmen ‘The Event’ & ‘Chicago Code’ Rise In Finales

Nellie Andreeva

These are the type of double-digit ratings gains network executives love to see their series hit in the season finales. Except when ratings don’t matter since the shows have already been canceled. All three recently axed Monday freshman series — NBC’s The Event and Law & Order: Los Angeles and Fox’s The Chicago Code — posted big week-to-week increases last night, which marked the final bow for The Event and Chicago Code and the last in-season episode of LOLA, which will finish its run over the next few weeks. The Event (1.5/4) was up 15% for its highest 18-49 rating since November. LOLA (1.4/5) was up 27%, and The Chicago Code (2.0/5) was up 11%. Meanwhile, returning series were down vs. their previous finales. Fox’s House (3.3/10) was down 23% from its season ender last May. The hourlong performance finale of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars (4.6/13, 22.2 million viewers) held up better, down 6% from the fall performance finale. Versus last spring’s cycle, the Monday Dancing closer was actually up, by 15% in 18-49 and 14% in total viewers, to draw the franchise’s largest audience for a spring performance finale. The premiere of The Bachelorette (2.8/7) was flat with last season’s debut. ABC easily won the night in 18-49 (3.4/9) and total viewers (13.6 million). CBS aired all repeats.

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UPDATE: NBC Cancels ‘The Event’, Talks Underway To Continue The Show Elsewhere

By | Friday May 13, 2011 @ 10:56am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE: No surprise there – NBC has pulled the plug on the low-rated sci-fi drama The Event, which started off strongly but quickly fizzled. But there is a twist, and it’s not only the big surprise planned by the producers for the finale. Talks are underway with at least one distribution partner to take over the serialized drama. The Event executive producer Steve Stark wouldn’t comment, but I hear new original programming player Netflix’s name tossed around. Word is that there has been interest from several cable and digital entities. Stark said that they are exploring the opportunities with  the “full support” of the studio, UMS. “NBC has been an amazing partner, it launched the show beautifully,” he said. Added creator Nick Wauters: “We have a dedicated fan base, and we promised them we will deliver one way or another and will continue to tell our stories.”

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RATINGS RAT RACE: CBS Hits Low; ‘Castle’, ‘Chicago Code’ Only Gainers Amid Declines

Nellie Andreeva

A competitive NBA playoff game on TNT that went into overtime, Miami vs. Boston, took a toll on the broadcast networks last night, with most series down from last week. The disintegration of CBS’ once-formidable Monday lineup continues. How I Met Your Mother (2.5/8) was down 11% from last week to tie its series low. Mad Love (1.8/5) was down 18% for a series low, Mike & Molly (2.2/5) and Hawaii Five-0 (2.3/6) were both down 8%. Both Mike & Molly and Hawaii Five-0 also hit new series lows for a second consecutive week. Once a demo leader on Mondays, CBS (2.1/6, 7.3 million) finished third behind ABC (3.8/10, 17.7 million) and Fox (2.3/6, 6.7 million).

ABC’s Dancing With the Stars (4.1/11) was down 9% from last week, while Castle (3.1/8) was up 7%. Castle was joined in the plus ratings column by Fox’s The Chicago Code (1.7/4, up 6%). Its lead-in, freshly renewed House (2.9/9) was flat, tying last week’s season low.

NBC’s bubble shows Chuck (1.3/4) and Law & Order: LA (1.2/3) didn’t boost their chances to come back with last night’s ratings performances, down 7% and 14%, respectively, and Chuck tying its series low. The Event (1.1/3), which is beyond the bubble and into graveyard territory, was down 15% and tied as series low.

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Ratings Rat Race: ‘House’, ‘Chicago Code’, ‘Mike & Molly’ & ‘Hawaii Five-0′ Hit Lows

Nellie Andreeva

CBS has got to fix its Monday 9 PM problem as it is starting to seriously impact the 9:30 PM and 10 PM shows. Last night, freshmen Mike & Molly (2.3/6) at 9:30 PM and Hawaii Five-0 (2.4/6) at 10 PM both hit series lows, down 12% and 14%, respectively, from last week. They followed a Two and a Half Men rerun (2.2/6). Things looked better in the 8 PM hour, where How I Met Your Mother (2.7/8) was up 8% from its last original April 18, while midseason comedy Mad Love (2.2/6) was up 10% from last week when it was the sole original in a lineup of repeats.

This will not help UMS in its drawn-out difficult negotiations with Fox for a House pickup — last night the medical drama hit a new season low with a 2.9/8 in 18-49, down 9% from its last original two weeks ago. The Chicago Code (1.6/4) also hit a low, down 11%, as its chances for renewal are slipping away.

ABC (3.9/10, 18 million viewers) won another Monday with a potent Dancing With the Stars (4.4/12, down 6%) against a weakened CBS Monday lineup without Two and a Half Men originals. Castle (2.9/7, 12.2 million) was down a tenth from its last original April 11 but dominated the 10 PM hour in both 18-49 and total viewers. NBC’s Chuck (1.4/4) and Law & Order: LA (1.4/4) both climbed 8% from their most recent originals, … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: NBC Freshman Monday Dramas Up, Still Low

Nellie Andreeva

How underperforming is NBC Monday’s lineup? Even if the other networks air color bars in primetime, it probably won’t crack the 1.5 demo rating mark. With CBS and Fox largely in reruns last night, NBC’s originals The Event and Law & Order: Los Angeles both drew a 1.3/3 in 18-49. On the bright side, that was up 18% from the 1.1/3 the two dramas posted last week, and The Event jumped 27% from the first half-hour, when it faced ABC’s Dancing With the Stars performance show, to the second half-hour, when it ran against comedy Better with You. But even against all-rerun competition at 10 PM, LOLA still finished distant third in adults 18-49 (1.3/3) total viewers (5.8 million). Such low levels of viewership last night certainly wouldn’t help NBC’s new reality series The Voice, which launches tonight.

ABC’s Dancing (4.5/13) was up 13% from last week’s season low. A new Better Than You (2.6/6) at 9:30 PM was up also by 13% from what an original Cougar Town did in the slot last week in the fast nationals (the shows following Dancing tend to drop a tenth in the finals because of overrun.) CBS’ only fresh offering last night was comedy Mad Love (2.0/5) at 8:30 PM, which was flat with last week. CBS continues to do tryouts in the 9 PM slot given the uncertain future of Two and a Half Men. Last night, a Big Bang Theory rerun (2.3/6) did 15% better than the Two and a Half Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: CW Monday Dramas Return Higher, NBC Lineup Hits Season Low

Nellie Andreeva

It was another sad Monday ratings performance for NBC, which hit another season low on the night with all original programming. Chuck (1.3/4) was even with last week, tying its series low. But it also delivered NBC’s highest demo rating last night. The Event (1.1/3) was down 13% from its last original two weeks ago for a series low. And the relaunch of Law & Order: Los Angeles continues to sputter. In its second week since the series’ return last Monday, the Law & Order spinoff drew a 1.1/3, down a steep 27% from the two-hour midseason premiere last week. Such an underwhelming performance bodes well for David E. Kelley’s Harry’s Law, which did better in the slot earlier this midseason.

ABC’s Dancing With the Stars performance show (3.9/11) was down 13% from last week to rank as the lowest-rated spring performance telecast ever for the venerable reality franchise. In its special airing after Dancing, a new Cougar Town (2.3/6) was down 15% from its last original Feb. 2. Proving that comedy series do better in a block, even with a weaker lead-in, that last original followed a Modern Family repeat. The first of a slew of specials about the upcoming Royal Wedding, ABC News: William & Catherine: A Modern Fairytale, averaged a 1.7/4 at 10 PM. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: NCAA Championship Game, ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Down

Nellie Andreeva

It was all about hoops and hoofs last night as the NCAA men’s basketball championship game and ABC’s Dancing with the Stars were the two main attractions, while  Univision (1.6/4 in adults 18-49) pulled off another No. 3 finish in adults 18-49. No time-zone-adjusted viewer or demo numbers for the game are available yet, but CBS is expected to carry the night in 18-49, while ABC (4.0/10, 18.2 million) may have the edge in total viewers.

The NCAA final between UConn and Butler was down from last year’s face-off between Duke and Butler. In the metered market household ratings, last night’s game pulled a 13.3/21, down 17% from last year’s title game but up from the 2009 and 2008 finals. With NCAA men’s basketball coverage expanding to four networks this year as TNT, TBS and truTV joined CBS, the combined tournament household rating average was the highest since 2005.

Dancing (4.6/12 in 18-49) took a fall, and it was not limited to Kirslie Alley’s tumble on the dance floor (video below). Against the basketball game, the reality competition was down 12% in the demo from last week. Ditto for Castle (2.9/7), down 9% and bound for a double-digit decline in the finals as its fast national numbers are inflated by Dancing overrun.

Following a Chuck rerun (0.6/2), The Event (1.2/3) held steady at its series-low mark, while the season finale of Harry’s Law (1.3/3) was down 19% in the … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ABC Easily Tops Rerun-Heavy Monday, Univision Third

Nellie Andreeva

ABC dominated Monday night with Dancing with the Stars and Castle. Dancing (5.1/14 in 18-49, 22.3 million in the fast-national Nielsen ratings) was flat with the fast-national ratings for its season premiere last week, as was Castle (3.3/8, 12.8 million). Because DWTS rises in the finals and Castle drops when following the reality juggernaut, vs. the final numbers last week, DWTS was down 4% and Castle was up 6%. For the night, ABC averaged a 4.5/12 in 18-49 and 19.2 million viewers.

CBS (1.9/5, 6.2 million), whose only original last night was midseason comedy Mad Love (2.1/6, 5.6 million), finished second, paced again by a Two and Half Men repeat (2.3/6, 7.6 million) as its top performer.

Spanish-language broadcaster Univision (1.7/4 in 18-49) was third for the night in the adult demo, ahead of NBC’s all-original lineup and Fox and the CW, which aired all repeats.

NBC’s special saluting President George H.W. Bush (0.9/3, 4.2 million) barely registered at 8 PM. The Event (1.2/3, 4.4 million) and Harry’s Law (1.6/4, 8.2 million) were both even with last week’s series lows in 18-49.

Note: Starting with last night’s ratings, Nielsen is now reporting duplicate viewing, meaning that if the same viewer watches a show live and then again in playback, that second viewing counts towards the program’s Live+same day rating.  The same applies if a viewer rewinds and re-watches content on their DVR.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Down, Slew Of Shows Hit Lows

Nellie Andreeva

The season premiere of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars (5.1/15 in adults 18-49, 22.3 million viewers) was down 20% from the March premiere last year to rank as the show’s lowest-rated spring premiere since Season 2 in 2006. But vs. the fall cycle’s debut, Dancing was flat and easily the top program of the night in 18-49 and total viewers. Buoyed by a Dancing lead-in (and probably some overrun), Castle (3.3/9) at 10 PM was up 18% from its last original Feb. 28, when it followed The Bachelor. ABC easily won the night in 18-49 (4.5/13) and viewers (19.1 million).

All NBC series hit series lows. Chuck (1.5/4) was down 6% from last week, The Event (1.2/3) was flat and tied its series low, and Harry’s Law (1.6/4) was down 11%.

At CBS, the first Daylight Saving Time original of How I Met Your Mother (2.9/9) was down from the last fresh episode Feb. 28 for a season low. With a new HIMYM as a lead-in vs. a repeat last week, Mad Love (2.3/7) was up 10% from last week. Following a Two and Half Men (2.6/7) repeat, Mike & Molly (3.0/8) was down 12% from its last original Feb. 28 (also following a Men rerun) for a series low. But that didn’t affect Hawaii Five-0 (2.9/8), which was up 4% from its last original Feb. 21.

Fox’s House (3.4/10) was down a tenth (3%) from last week, while The Chicago Code (1.9/5) … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘The Bachelor’ Finale Down As Most Other Shows Hit Lows

Nellie Andreeva

ABC dominated the ratings last night with the two-hour season finale of The Bachelor (4.5/12, 13.8 million viewers) and The Bachelor: After the Final Rose special (4.7/12, 13.9 million). Both were down from last spring, the finale by 15% in 18-49, the post-finale special by 11%. In 18-49, it was the lowest-rated Bachelor finale in almost 3 years, since May 2008. Still, the finale hit a season high and was up a whopping 29% from the most recent regular episode. In total viewers, the Bachelor closer was the third most watched in the last 11 seasons. For the night, ABC (4.5/12, 13.9 million) posted a season high in 18-49 and logged its highest Monday average in almost a year.

Fox and NBC, which aired originals against ABC’s Bachelor-themed lineup, were both down from their last originals, with most series posting lows. House (3.5/10) was down 8% from last week, The Chicago Code was off by 5%. NBC’s Chuck (1.6/5) was down 6% from its last original 2 weeks ago to a series low. The Event (1.2/3) tumbled 14% from its disappointing two-hour spring premiere last week to also hit a series low. At 10 PM, Harry’s Law (1.7/5, 10 million) was down 6%, tying its series low, but drew its largest overall audience in 6 weeks.

The only original on CBS was new comedy Mad Love (2.1/6), which was down 13% from last week for a series low. Both weeks it followed … Read More »

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NBC Announces Season Finale Dates

Nellie Andreeva

NBC just released the dates for the season finales of its series. The way some of them are floundering (The Event, Chuck, Outsourced, Perfect Couples), those may as well be series finales. Three of the network’s comedies, flagship The Office, Parks & Recreation and Community, will have hourlong closers.  Here is the list, from the newest drama, Harry’s Law, on Apr. 4 to the oldest reality series, The Biggest Loser, on April 24: Read More »

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NBC Cuts Back Order For ‘The Cape’

By | Tuesday February 1, 2011 @ 5:54pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Things are not looking good for midseason drama The Cape. NBC just cut the order to the comic book-inspired series from 13 to 10. That means stop of production for the show, which is now wrapping Episode 10. After an OK start on Sunday earlier this month, The Cape has been sliding in its regular Monday 9 PM slot. Last night, the show drew a 1.5/4, down 6% for a series low. It is not clear if the shortened order will affect the return of The Event to the Monday 9 PM berth, currently scheduled for Feb. 28. One possible scenario floated around has The Cape finishing its 10-episode run on Feb. 28, with The Event relaunching with 2 back-to-back episodes (instead of a recap and an original) the following Monday, March 7.

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Producer Steve Stark Signs Overall Deal With Universal Media Studios

By | Tuesday January 18, 2011 @ 10:14am PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: After a two-year run as an independent producer, Steve Stark has signed an overall deal with Universal Media Studios. He  is already in business with the studio on the freshman UMS drama series for NBC The Event, which he brought to the network and is now executive producing.  He also has a long-standing relation with NBC through the Grammnet/CBS Studios-produced Medium, on which he serves as an executive producer. The supernatural crime drama started off on NBC where it aired for 5 seasons before moving to CBS. Additionally, Stark is executive producing the upcoming USA light legal drama Fairly Legal. Read More »

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Virginia Madsen Joins NBC’s ‘The Event’

EXCLUSIVE: Oscar nominated actress Virginia Madsen (Sideways) is joining NBC’s freshman drama The Event as a recurring. The actress — who’s coming off of ABC’s summer series Scoundrels — will play Catherine Lewis, the widow of a U.S. senator from Alaska who has assumed her husband’s post. A former powerhouse attorney, the Harvard grad is determined to carry out her husband’s legacy at any cost. As Deadline told you back in November, the role was originally offered to Friday Night Lights MVP Connie Britton. The Event is currently on hiatus and is slated to return to the schedule on Feb. 28. Michael Ausiello is contributing to Deadline.com and Movieline.com as he preps for the January launch of TVLine.com, a new TV-centric website from MMC.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Sing-Off’ Up In Debut, American Country Awards Disappoint

Nellie Andreeva

CBS and NBC had the 8-10 PM time period pretty much all to themselves last night, with ABC and Fox largely out of contention. Fox aired the inaugural American Country Awards, which flopped with a 1.5/4 rating among adults 18-49 and 6 million viewers overall.  For comparison, the 44th Annual Country Music Association Awards on ABC drew a 4.7/13 in 18-49 and 16.5 million viewers last month, and the Academy of Country Music Awards on CBS averaged a 3.2/8, 13.1 million in April. Meanwhile, ABC’s  Dancing with the Stars spinoff Skating with the Stars (1.0/3, 4.8 million) shed another 17% week-to-week in its third airing for a new low. Following a Modern Family rerun, which aired after the 90-minute Skating, ABC’s Castle (2.2/6) was down 12% from its last original on Nov. 15 for a season low.

NBC took advantage of the weakened competition. The 8-10 PM season premiere of reality series The Sing-Off (2.8/7) was up 22% from the show’s series premiere last year for a series high. Despite having a stronger lead-in than its regular one, The Event, freshman Chase (1.5/4), whose order was recently reduced from 22 to 18 episodes, was down 6% from last week.

It was a mixed bag for CBS. How I Met Your Mother Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: CBS Tops Monday With Reruns; NBC, Fox & CW Series Gain

Nellie Andreeva

This is a throwback to the dog days of summer: CBS’ all-rerun Monday lineup dominated the original competition last night. The network’s comedy reruns – Two And A Half Men (3.0/8), How I Met Your Mother (2.7/8), Rules Of Engagement (2.4/6) and Mike & Molly (2.3/6) – ranked as the 4 highest-rated programs on the night among adults 18-49. With a Hawaii Five-0 repeat (1.9/5) also winning its 10 PM slot, CBS easily topped the night in 18-49 (2.4/6) and total viewers (8.6 million).

ABC’s Dancing with the Stars spinoff Skating with the Stars (1.2/3) dived 50% from its mediocre premiere behind Dancing’s performance finale last week. In another CMA tie-in, ABC aired the CMA Country Christmas special (1.4/4) from 9:30-11 PM, following a 90-minute Skating.

With no Dancing and CBS in repeats, NBC, Fox and the CW’s originals posted ratings increases. NBC’s Chuck (2.0/6, 6.2 million) was up 18% from last week to match its season high in 18-49 and hit a new season high in total viewers. The fall finale of The Event (1.9/5) was up 12%, while Chase (1.6/4) was up 12%. Following a House repeat (1.6/4) a new Lie to Me (2.2/6, 6.3 million) on Fox was up 29% to post season highs in adults … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Fox Dramas, ‘Mike & Molly’ Gain As Most Monday Series Tie Lows

Nellie Andreeva

NBC is making changes on Monday in midseason and they can’t come soon enough as the network had another dismal ratings performance  last night, with none of its series crossing the 2 demo rating mark. Chuck (1.8/5, 5.5 million) came the closest, down 10% from its last original 2 weeks ago (it was preempted for Matt Lauer’s interview with George W. Bush last Monday) and tying its series low. In total viewers, it drew its largest audience since premiere week. Freshmen The Event (1.7/4) and Chase (1.2/3) were both flat, tying last week’s all-time lows. NBC (1.6/4, 5.3 million) finished a distant fourth for the night.

ABC’s Dancing with the Stars (4.0/10, 20.6 million), which switched from a two-hour to a 90-minute format, was flat with last week’s  season low for a performance show but will probably adjust up in the finals. With Dancing shrunk to 90 minutes, ABC ran a rerun of The Middle (2.3/6) at 9:30 PM to get additional exposure for the underrated sophomore comedy, which has been doing solid business at 8 PM on Wednesday. Castle (2.5/7) was flat with last week and currently tying its season low.

With a Middle repeat instead of original Dancing to go against at 9:30 PM, CBS’ new comedy Mike & Molly (3.8/9, 12.3 million) perked up, up 9% from … Read More »

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