Showtime has picked up a second season of Lisa Kudrow’s online-turned-television comedy series Web Therapy. Kudrow stars as Fiona Wallice, the self-professed and self-serving psychotherapist who treats patients for three minutes via webcam. Season 2 will be comprised of at least 10 half-hour episodes. It will air on the network in 2012 and include the arc with Meryl Streep, which ran on the online version of the improv comedy series last year. “We are thrilled that Showtime will air more of the half-hour format of Web Therapy, we really love this version of the show,” Kudrow said. “Of course, we are over the moon that Meryl Streep will be in this coming season. She was effortlessly hilarious and it’s a great story. We have Lily Tomlin back who is ALWAYS fantastically funny. Conan O’Brien is beyond, fantastic, he’s a perfect improviser. We’re honestly giddy over the people we have for this season.”
Cable’s longest-running animated series South Park is headed for the 20-season mark. Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of the no-holds-barred animated comedy, have closed a new deal with Comedy Central for three more seasons of South Park. The pact will keep the series on through 2016, extending its run to 20 seasons. Parker and Stone will continue to write, direct and edit every episode of South Park, as they have since the series’ premiere in 1997. “The collective genius of Matt and Trey knows no bounds,” Comedy Central’s president Michele Ganeless said. “Week after week and season after season they continue to surprise and delight South Park fans, and that includes all of us here at Comedy Central. We’re thrilled that the adventures of Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman will continue through 2016.”
The X Factor has not been the runaway success for Fox some had projected, but it has delivered solid enough ratings to earn a second season. The network just announced that it has renewed Simon Cowell’s singing competition. Fox’s president of alternative Mike Darnell called the show “a monumental success.” “It’s won every night it’s been on the air, the talent is phenomenal, the live shows are spectacular and picking it up is a complete no-brainer,” he said. Added Cowell: “I am absolutely thrilled with the news. I have loved making the show.” After staying flat for its pre-taped portion, X Factor perked up in its first live show last week, matching its series-sigh premiere demo rating (4.4 in Live+Same Day). The show, which has averaged a 4.7/11 in 18-49 and 13.5 million viewers in Live+7/most current for its 20 weeks on the air, has improved Fox’s fall performance and its fortunes on Wednesday and Thursday, propelling the network to the top spot on Thursday in 18-49 for the first time in its history.
Comedy Central has picked up a third season of comedy series Workaholics, with stars/co-creators Blake Anderson, Adam Devine, Anders Holm and Kyle Newacheck set to return. “It’s such an honor to be able to keep Workaholics going,” said Comedy Central’s head of programming Kent Alterman. “We feel like the show is one big public service announcement, teaching the youth of America how to engage with the workplace.”
MTV has renewed Rob Dyrdek’s series Ridiculousness for a second season. The show, in the vein of America’s Funniest Home Videos and Tosh.0, airs at 10 PM and features Dyrdek’s take on funny amateur viral videos. “Rob is a powerhouse talent with a long history with MTV, and his brand of comedy, from Ridiculousness to Fantasy Factory, is a perfect fit on our network,” MTV head of programming David Janollari said. Ridiculousness has been a promising new series for MTV, averaging a 1.8 persons 12-34 rating and 1.9 million viewers. It is exec produced by Dyrdek, Jeff Tremaine, Shane Nickerson and Christian Duguay.
Sons Of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter should be in a better mood today then Friday, when he spewed venom at bloggers in a Twitter rant. Halfway through SOA‘s fourth season, FX this morning renewed Sutter’s hit biker drama for a fifth season with a 13-episode order. The series starring Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman and Katey Sagal is having its highest-rated season. It’s currently the No. 1 scripted drama series on basic cable and is the highest-rated series ever on FX with an averaged of 5.8 million total viewers and 3.9 million adults 18-49. That is up +30% and +26%, respectively, vs Season 3. The Season 4 premiere September 6 became the most-watched program in FX history with 6.5 total viewers. On a multi-telecast weekly basis, Season 4 is averaging 9 million total viewers and 6 million adults 18-49. “Everyone at FX is very grateful to Kurt Sutter, his many writing, directing and producing collaborators and his masterful cast for making such a compelling and beautifully crafted show,” FX president John Landgraf said. “It is no small challenge to bring the themes of a great, ancient play like Hamlet into a wholly original television setting and to tell this complex story in a way that is both riveting and accessible to a broad audience.” Sutter executive produces SOA with John Linson, Art Linson and Paris Barclay. FX Prods and Fox 21 …
ABC has ordered full seasons of its new series Revenge and Suburgatory. The network also has ordered six more scripts of its sophomore comedy Happy Endings. The news comes after some encouraging ratings news on all 3 shows this morning, with Happy Endings and freshman Revenge posting week-to-week gains and Suburgatory matching its performance from last week. No word on struggling freshman Charlie’s Angels yet but the feeling is that, like with the other 3 show, ABC will wait to see how the series does tonight before making the final decision.
It was busy day for renewals and cancellations. Two more that happened this afternoon: Fox has officially ordered a ninth season of summer staple So You Think You Can Dance, and Adult Swim committed to a second season of NTSF:SD:SUV::
Despite sliding in the ratings this past summer, So You Think You Can Dance still ranked as No. 1 in its time period among adults 18-49, adults 18-34 and teens. It was created by Simon Fuller and Nigel Lythgoe and comes from 19 Entertainment and dick clark productions.
Returning for a second season of 15-minute cop procedural parody NTSF:SD:SUV:: are creator/star/executive producer Paul Scheer, executive producers Jonathan Stern and Curtis Gwinn and the series’ cast. Production on Season 2 will begin in early 2012. The first-season finale airs tonight at 12:15 AM. NTSF:SD:SUV::, also known as the National Terrorism Strike Force: San Diego: Sport Utility Vehicle::, is a clandestine team of government agents working together to protect San Diego from numerous terrorist threats coming in daily from such evil countries as Mexico, Canada and Guam. The series stars Scheer, Rebecca Romijn, Rob Riggle, Kate Mulgrew, Brandon Johnson, June Diane Raphael, Martin Starr and sentient robot S.A.M. (voiced by Peter Serafinowicz). Scheer is repped by UTA and Principato-Young, Stern is repped by Principato-Young and Gwinn is repped by the Rothman-Brecher Agency …
Second Time No Charm For ‘Playboy Club’ ‘Charlie’s Angels’ & ‘Prime Suspect’: What Went Wrong?
UPDATED: NBC is giving new comedy series Up All Night and Whitney a major vote of confidence with early full-season pickups. Meanwhile, as we indicated in the ratings story earlier this morning, low-rated new drama The Playboy Club has become the first new series to be canceled this fall. The 1960s drama is being pulled from the schedule effective immediately and will be replaced by Brian Williams’ new primetime newsmagazine, Rock Center With Brian Williams, which will premiere October 31. For the next three weeks, NBC will air repeats of its other struggling new drama, the well-received Prime Suspect, in the Monday 10 PM hour for additional sampling, while keeping originals on Thursday. “We made comedy an important goal for us this season and I’m very pleased to be making full-season commitments to both Whitney and Up All Night,” NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt said. “We’re thrilled with the creative direction of both shows as well as the potential for them to continue to build loyal audiences over the coming months.”
While not breakout hits of the size of Fox’s New Girl or CBS’ 2 Broke Girls, Up All Night and Whitney have been solid in their first couple of weeks, especially compared to the performance of NBC’s new drama series. The pickup of Whitney, which will be joined shortly by a full-season order for 2 Broke Girls at CBS, will give Whitney Cummings, who created and stars in Whitney and co-created 2 Broke Girls, two successful new shows this fall. As for Playboy, the series was expected to get the ax last week after its low-rated premiere was followed by a Week 2 decline, but Greenblatt gave the period drama another shot. Unfortunately, the series dropped again last night to a 1.2 demo rating despite its lead-in actually improving a bit.
Lifetime has renewed its promising new docu-series Dance Moms for a second season with a 13-episode order. The series starring infamous dance instructor Abby Lee Miller will wrap its first season October 5. Over the past four weeks, Dance Moms has averaged 1.6 million total viewers, growing 62% since the premiere. With a median age of 38, Dance Moms, produced by Collins Avenue, is also Lifetime’s youngest-skewing original program. Season-to-date, the show has averaged 1.3 million viewers and 657,000 adults 18-49.
UPDATED: Oxygen this morning officially announced that it is proceeding with casting for a second season of reality series The Glee Project. Because Glee itself has not been renewed for a fourth season, Oxygen stopped short of announcing an official second season renewal of the reality series but that is considered a formality. Beginning in November, Oxygen will hold a multiple-city open casting call tour including New York, Chicago and Nashville. After a shaky ratings start, The Glee Project grew into a critical and commercial hit for Oxygen by the end of its freshman run. The series, executive produced by Glee‘s Ryan Murphy, was conceived to complement Oxygen’s 2010 deal for the off-network right to Glee.
After it just wrapped a sixth consecutive summer ratings victory, USA Network has renewed the remaining three original summer series that hadn’t gotten a pickup yet: sophomore Covert Affairs, veteran Royal Pains and freshman Necessary Roughness. All have received 16-episode orders. “USA’s original programming blew through all expectations this summer,” USA co-presidents Jeff Wachtel and Chris McCumber said. “Every series in our unprecedented lineup was a standout.”
USA unspooled a record eight original series this summer and, with the exception of Law & Order: CI, which ended its 10-season run, the network has renewed all others including White Collar, Burn Notice, In Plain Sight (for a final season), freshman Suits and now Covert Affairs, Royal Pains and Necessary Roughness. USA’s haul of seven series renewals in one season is the largest ever for a cable network and more than the broadcast networks normally bring back too. What’s more, USA didn’t cancel a single show, also something pretty unprecedented.
Spike TV has greenlighted four new reality series: Undercover Stings from Cops creator John Langley, about cops orchestrating sting operations; Big Easy Justice from Al Roker and Jennifer Lopez’s production companies, about a New Orleans bounty hunter; American Digger from the producers of Spike’s hit Auction Hunters, about a relic hunter digging up people’s properties for histotic artifacts; and World’s Worst Tenants from Zoo Prods., about a professional evictor. Additionally, Spike has ordered 20 more episodes of the SallyAnn Salsano-produced Repo Games. Sharon Levy, Spike’s EVP original series, said that the new shows are part of the network’s push to expand its core men 18-34 demo to the older men 34-49 demographic that was launched with such recent series as Auction Hunters, Bar Rescue and Repo Games. In primetime, Spike’s median age is currently 40, up from 38 last year. The median age for the network’s highest-rated unscripted original, Auction Hunters, is 41; for Bar Rescue it’s 42. “We have had success in our quest to broaden out our audience,” she said. “The new series continue that and hone our brand as a destination for dynamic characters that exist in high risk/high reward situations.” The goal is to have 52 weeks of originals on Spike every year, she added. Here are detailed descriptions of the new series, including the sizes of their orders:
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – August 2, 2011 – After recording its best second quarter ever, Bravo Media announced it will increase its must watch original programming with three new series and three returning favorites. The new series include Around the World in 80 Plates (working title), a culinary competition following chefs as they compete in world-renowned restaurants around the globe, Paint the Town (working title), which gives viewers an exclusive look inside the lives of six 20-something women working in New York City’s hippest art galleries and Newlyweds: The First Year (working title), a docu-series capturing six couples throughout their first year of marriage. The network will also air a special, Thicker Than Water: The Marinos, following the chaotic lives of a tight-knit, multi-generational family in New Jersey on Sunday, August 21 at 11p.m ET/PT. After recently concluding successful seasons, Bravo has renewed several of its hit series including a seventh season of The Real Housewives of Orange County, a fourth season of Top Chef Masters and a fifth season of Million Dollar Listing LA.
Nickelodeon has picked up a third season of the hit live-action comedy Big Time Rush. The series, created by Scott Fellows and produced in partnership with Sony Music, chronicles the adventures and misadventures of four best friends from Minnesota who move to Los Angeles and trade in their hockey sticks and parkas for a chance at music stardom. Starring Kendall Schmidt, James Maslow, Carlos Pena and Logan Henderson, Big Time Rush will commence production on 20 episodes in January 2012. Currently in its second season, the series averages 3.9 million total viewers per episode.
It is not MTV’s flagship series anymore (that would be Jersey Shore), but The Real World continues to be a signature series for the cable channel and the show that started the current docu-reality craze. Now MTV announced it is renewing the reality veteran for Seasons 27 and 28. Currently airing its 25th season, and in casting for its 26th season, MTV’s The Real World is to date the longest-running reality series in history. The current season is set in Las Vegas and has ranked No.1 with persons 12-34 in its time period. Last week’s episode averaged a 2.3 rating (in 12-34) and 2.2 million total viewers, up 28% from the previous week’s season premiere. “The Real World has remained relevant for 25 seasons because it continues to capture the lives of young adults, hold a mirror to the challenges they face, and truly reflect the current generation,” the show’s exec producer Jonathan Murray said. He created the series with Mary-Ellis Bunim.
CBS has renewed its flagship reality series Survivor for next season, ordering two more editions of the show, its 23rd and 24th. Additionally, Jeff Probst has signed a new deal to continue as host and an executive producer. This season, Survivor moved from its original Thursday time period to Wednesdays, helping the network shore up the Wednesday 8 PM slot. Mark Burnett, Probst and David Burris are executive producing.
CBS made the announcement this morning – How I Met Your Mother has been renewed through the 2012-2013 season as part of a 2-year deal between CBS and 20th Century Fox TV. As we reported on Friday, the pact is said to be for a license fee of $3.3 million per episode. “We are so proud of this show and all of its creative and ratings achievements,” said CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler. “HIMYM’s brilliant producing team continues to find inventive ways to tell funny stories that stir pop culture conversation; it has become a go-to destination for top guest stars and its amazing ensemble cast brings to life characters that audiences want to hang out with every Monday night.” Currently in its sixth season, HIMYM is posting year-to-year increases in viewers and key demos. The series is averaging 9.48 million viewers (+8% vs. last year) and 3.8/09 in adults 18-49 (+9%). It is CBS’s highest-rated series among adults 18-34 (3.3/10). Additionally, co-star Neil Patrick Harris has landed 4 consecutive Emmy nominations.