Netflix Eyes ABC Drama Series ‘The River’

By | Thursday March 22, 2012 @ 7:13am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

The River NetflixEXCLUSIVE: Netflix, already in talks with 20th Century Fox TV about possibly picking up recently canceled Fox series Terra Nova, may also be eying another freshman drama facing cancellation: ABC’s The River. I’ve learned that the streaming … Read More »

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Ratings Rat Race: ‘Cougar Town’ Slips More, ‘River’ Bottoms Out, ‘Unforgettable’ Hits Low

By | Wednesday February 22, 2012 @ 9:13am PST
Nellie Andreeva

In its winter finale, Fox’s Glee (2.9/8) recouped some of the 15% ratings drop last week with an 4% uptick. New Girl (3.0/8) was down a tenth, while Raising Hope (2.2/5) was up 5%. ABC’s Last Man Standing proves to … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Slow Start For ‘RIver’

By | Wednesday February 8, 2012 @ 9:02am PST
Nellie Andreeva

It looks like ABC’s topper Paul Lee was half-right in his hypothesis that during the current economic downturn viewers would flock to genres that were popular during the depression. It worked for fairy tales, with the success of Once Upon Read More »

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Steven Spielberg & Oren Peli’s ‘The River’ To Debut On U.K. iTunes One Day After U.S.

By | Tuesday January 31, 2012 @ 2:51am PST

Steven Spielberg/Oren Peli thriller series collaboration The River makes its U.S. debut on February 7 on ABC. In a first for producer ABC Studios, the shows will then be available via iTunes in the U.K. 24 hours later. There is currently no U.K. broadcaster deal for The River, although an announcement is expected soon. Meanwhile, U.K. iTunes customers can watch the series on a one-day delay during its entire run. Experiments like this are partly a means to deter piracy and are proving more frequent (they’re also welcome for frustrated fans in Europe). In 2010, for example, ITV made Vampire Diaries available on iTunes in the U.K. before it started airing the popular show. In France, leading broadcaster TF1 makes episodes of shows like House available via its own VOD service on a 24-hour delay from the U.S. TF1 also airs the series on TV at a one-season delay and the show remains a ratings powerhouse. In the U.S., Fox last Read More »

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Steven Spielberg Works Behind The Scenes To Navigate ABC’s ‘The River’: TCA

By | Tuesday January 10, 2012 @ 1:58pm PST

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

The name Steven Spielberg seems to be attached to an ever-increasing number of series — in broadcast network primetime in particular. Those include Fox’s on-the-bubble Terra Nova as well as the forthcoming NBC musical drama Smash and ABC’s horror hour The River, the Bruce Greenwood-starrer that’s been tagged “Paranormal Activity outdoors” and premieres February 7 in the Tuesday 9 PM slot. But it remains something of a mystery exactly what Spielberg’s input might be as executive producer on any of these projects — or if it’s largely ceremonial and meant simply to attach his powerful brand. The subject was raised this morning at the TCA session for The River, where it was noted that Spielberg always is too busy to grace one of these panels with his presence. One of the three exec producers who was there, Zack Estrin, begged to differ: “Oh, I think he actually is here in this room,” he said. “(Spielberg’s) influence with stories, his influence when he watches the cuts is amazing. I mean, he’s off doing a movie — or two — and the fact he finds time to watch these cuts and give us notes and be just incredibly supportive is great for us. To have someone like him at our hip and giving us guidance that’s not superficial but indeed foundational is pretty great.” Read More »

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Scott Michael Foster Inks Talent Deal With ABC, Lands Recurring Role On ‘The River’

By | Wednesday August 31, 2011 @ 3:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Former Greek star Scott Michael Foster has signed a talent holding deal with ABC, reuniting with the network’s president Paul Lee, who as head of ABC Family developed and launched Greek. In addition to being available for ABC … Read More »

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Final Thoughts On The Broadcast Upfronts: Wind Of Change

Nellie Andreeva

Exactly 20 years ago, German rock band Scorpions released Wind of Change, which became an anthem for our generation of young Eastern Europeans going through a dramatic political change: the fall of communism. Coming back from the broadcast upfront presentations in New York last week, I’ve been having a hard time getting the catchy tune out of my head. While less far-reaching and profound, there is a clear sense of changing of the guard and a new direction for the broadcast networks this year. I can’t remember a time where the majority of the networks had new heads at their upfront presentations. Paul Lee took over for Steve McPherson at ABC, Bob Greenblatt for Jeff Gaspin and Angela Bromstad at NBC, and Mark Pedowitz is succeeding Dawn Ostroff at the CW. There is a similar changing of the guard among the top TV producers this year. Upstart Chernin Entertainment and DreamWorks TV, which is re-entering the broadcast arena, topped the pods with the most new series, three each, with another recently launched company, Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment, scoring two new shows. And in its first season, Marty Adelstein and Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps/Adelstein Prods.got one pilot, Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing, picked up to pilot, with another, Fox’s Family Album, in serious contention. Meanwhile, such longtime upfront fixtures as Jerry Bruckheimer TV, Mark Gordon Co. and Wonderland didn’t land any new series for next season. Read More »

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ABC Unveils 2011-2012 Schedule: New Comedy Block On Tuesday With Tim Allen

Nellie Andreeva

Home Improvement star Tim Allen is returning to ABC’s primetime, and the network will use his star power to launch a new comedy block. As we predicted, the network is opening up a 8-10 PM comedy block on Tuesday, with Allen’s comedy Last Man Standing anchoring it. ABC will be launching roughly half of its 13 new scripted series in the fall, including Charlie’s Angels, which has been given the tough task to open Thursday night. The network proved it was serious about Happy Endings, giving the modestly rated midseason series its prime comedy slot after Modern Family. Also noteworthy: 1960s soap Pan Am landed the post-Desperate Housewives slot, and ABC opted to go scripted in the Sunday 8 PM slot long occupied by Extreme Makeover: Home Edition with new fantasy series Once Upon a Time. ABC’s top series, Dancing With the Stars, Grey’s Anatomy and Desperate Housewives are staying put. Held for midseason are high-profile new entries Good Christian Belles and The River as well as returning comedy Cougar Town. All fall series have received traditional 13-episode orders, while the size of the orders for most midseason shows have not been determined. Here is ABC’s release with the fall schedule:

New ABC series for the 2011-12 season are “Apartment 23,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “Good Christian Belles,” “Last Man Standing,” “Man Up,” “Missing,” “Once Upon a Time,” “Pan Am,” “Revenge,” “The River,” “Scandal,” “Suburgatory” and “Work It.”

“America’s Funniest Home Videos,” “The Bachelor,” “Body of Proof,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “Happy Endings,” “Secret Millionaire,” “Shark Tank” and “20/20” join previously announced returning series “Castle,” “Cougar Town,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Middle,” “Modern Family” and “Private Practice.” “Saturday Night College Football” also returns.

ABC’s fall primetime schedule is as follows; new shows are in bold:

MONDAY

 8:00 p.m.                    “Dancing with the Stars”
10:00 p.m.                  “Castle”

TUESDAY

 8:00 p.m.                    “Last Man Standing”
 8:30 p.m.                    “Man Up”
9:00 p.m.                    “Dancing with the Stars the Results Show”
10:00 p.m.                  “Body of Proof”

WEDNESDAY

 8:00 p.m.                    “The Middle”
8:30 p.m.                    “Suburgatory”
9:00 p.m.                    “Modern Family”
9:30 p.m.                    “Happy Endings”
10:00 p.m.                  “Revenge”

THURSDAY

 8:00 p.m.                    “Charlie’s Angels”
9:00 p.m.                    “Grey’s Anatomy”
10:00 p.m.                  “Private Practice”

 

FRIDAY

 8:00 p.m.                    “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”
 9:00 p.m.                    “Shark Tank”
 10:00 p.m.                  “20/20”

SATURDAY
 8:00 p.m.                    “Saturday Night College Football”

SUNDAY

 7:00 p.m.                    “America’s Funniest Home Videos”
8:00 p.m.                    “Once Upon a Time”
9:00 p.m.                    “Desperate Housewives”
10:00 p.m.                  “Pan Am”

 

 

NEW FALL AND MIDSEASON SERIES:

Read More »

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3RD UPDATE: ABC Picks Up 7 New Dramas, 5 Comedies, ‘Smothered’ Still Alive

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE 1:10 PM: The last comedy pilots to get the nod at ABC today are Suburgatory and the cross-dressing Work It. Another buzzed-about pilot, Smothered, has not been picked up but remains in contention. Among those that are not moving … Read More »

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ABC Studios Inks Deals With ‘River’ Duo

By | Tuesday March 22, 2011 @ 8:42am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ABC Studios has inked separate deals with Michael Green and Zack Estrin to serve as executive producers on the studio’s horror drama pilot The River and the potential series.

Kings creator … Read More »

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Leslie Hope To Star In ABC’s ‘The River’

By | Monday March 14, 2011 @ 6:47pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

24 alumna Leslie Hope has landed the female lead in ABC’s drama pilot The River, a thriller/horror drama from Paranormal Activity mastermind Oren Peli, which is being directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. Described as being in the mold of Paranormal Read More »

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TV CASTINGS: Slew Of Actors Join Pilots

Nellie Andreeva

Saturday Night Live alum Tim Meadows has joined NBC’s untitled Kari Lizer project. The workplace comedy centers on Mary (Sarah Paulson), a relationship-challenged woman who, with the help of her co-workers, guides people through unexpected career transitions and downsizings. Meadows, repped by APA and Brillstein Entertainment, will play Mary’s  partner, a psychotherapist and the reality check to Mary’s eternal optimism.

Off the Map co-star Zach Gilford has been cast as the male lead in the Fox single-camera pilot Iceland. The project centers on Mackenzie (Kerry Bishe), a twentysomething woman whose fiance recently passed away. Gilford, from WME and D/F Management, will play a guy friend of Mackenzie described as “bad influence.” For Gilford, the casting is in second position to Off the Map. He is the third cast member from the midseason drama to book a pilot this season along with Martin Henderson and Rachelle Lefevre, both cast in NBC’s Reconstruction.

Paul Blackthorne (Lipstick Jungle) has just been cast in the ABC drama pilot The River directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. The horror thriller centers on Lincoln Cole (Joe Anderson) who, after his famous TV explorer father Dr. Emmet Cole (Bruce Greenwood) goes missing way up the Amazon, reluctantly abandons his medical studies and follows in his father’s footsteps. Blackthorne, repped by SDB Partners, Seven Summits & Optimism, will play the producer of Emmet Cole’s long-running documentary series. Read More »

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Kris Polaha Among Latest Pilot Additions

Nellie Andreeva

Life Unexpected star Kristoffer Polaha has been tapped for a co-starring role on the CBS/CBS Studios drama pilot Ringer. The project centers on troubled young woman Bridget (Sarah Michelle Gellar) who, while on the run from the mob, hides out … Read More »

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‘The River’ & ‘Awakening’ Find Their Leads, Two Board ‘Tagged’ & ‘Wonder Woman’

By | Thursday March 3, 2011 @ 5:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

British actor Joe Anderson (Across the Universe) has landed the lead in ABC’s drama pilot The River directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. The horror thriller, from DreamWorks TV, ABC Studios and Paranormal Activity mastermind Oren Peli, centers on Lincoln Cole (Anderson) … Read More »

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‘Lone Star’ Leads Book Pilots: Jimmy Wolk To ‘Georgetown’, Eloise Mumford To ‘River’

Nellie Andreeva

It’s been a big week for the Lone Star leading trio. Adrianne Palicki (on right in the photo), was just cast as the new Wonder Woman in David E. Kelley’s pilot for NBC. Now the show’s star, Jimmy Wolk and other female lead, Eloise Read More »

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‘Unknown’ Helmer Jaume Collet-Serra To Direct ABC Pilot ‘The River’

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Jaume Collet-Serra, director of the upcoming thriller Unknown starring Liam Neeson, will make his TV directing debut with the ABC pilot The River, a horror drama from Paranormal Activity writer-director Oren Peli. Described as being in the mold of … Read More »

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ABC Takes To ‘The River’ With ‘Paranormal Activity’ Filmmaker Oren Peli

By | Thursday September 2, 2010 @ 2:30pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

You thought a suburban home was scary.  How about the Amazon river? Oren Peli, the writer-director of the indie phenomenon Paranormal Activity, is bringing to primetime The River, a cinema verite-style thriller drama in the vein of Paranormal Activity set on a mysterious river. After a heated bidding between ABC and NBC, the project is close to landing at ABC with a rich put pilot commitment. The TV division of DreamWorks, the studio that discovered Israeli-born video game designer Peli and his $15,000 supernatural thriller Paranormal Activity that ended up grossing almost $200 million worldwide, is producing with ABC Studios. Peli hatched the idea for the project with veteran TV writer Michael R. Perry (Law & Order: SVU) who penned the upcoming Paranormal Activity sequel. Perry is writing the pilot script, with Peli possibly directing. Peli also is executive producing with his producing partners Jason Blum and Steven Schneider as well as Perry and DreamWorks TV’s Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey. According to one description of the project floating around, The River follows the story of a famed adventuter/tv personality who goes missing and is presumed dead deep in the Amazon. His friends and crew go to look for him on their state-of-the-art research vessel. Read More »

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