The launch strategy for new drama The Finder was probably the most puzzling element in Fox’s midseason announcement last week (that and seeing flash-mob series Mobbed on the schedule, after American Idol no less). Fox had originally scheduled the Bones spinoff, which premieres January 12, to follow a Bones rerun. Now the network has switched the repeat with an original Bones, which will no doubt boost the Finder debut. But the move will disrupt the run of Bones as the January 12 episode is the fall finale, originally scheduled for December 15. A repeat of Bones’ Finder spinoff episode will air next week instead. Starting January 19, The Finder will run behind American Idol on Thursday while Bones goes on hiatus.
EXCLUSIVE: TLC has given the green light to Hook, Line & Sisters, a seven-episode family docu reality series set in the competitive world of deep-sea fishing. The series, set to premiere on December 29, chronicles the lives of the Andersons, a Colorado family of a dad, mom and two twentysomething daughters who make a living deep-water fishing in Alaska. The series chronicles the quartet’s daily life on a boat together during the 3-month fishing season, when they put everything on the line for a successful catch in the face of potential financial hardship. Patriarch Dean Anderson is the captain of the Memry Annea, a grizzled sea dog known as much for his aggressive fishing as his salmon hauls. His wife, Susan, manages the family’s finances and also referees familial feuds. The series, produced by Screaming Flea Prods, centers on Dean’s daughters — 26-year-old Sierra and 21-year-old Memry — rare female fishers in a male-dominated industry. Sierra has her father’s sea-loving spirit and strives to please him, while fashionista Memry has a more tumultuous relationship with her dad.
Fox has extended the run of Allen Gregory … sort of. The network will preempt the seventh and final (for now) episode of the low-rated freshman animated series, slated for Sunday, December 11, to air an all-holiday-themed animated block. A Christmas The Cleveland Show episode will run in the 8:30 PM slot that night, while the last installment from Allen Gregory‘s 7-episode order will air in the time period the following Sunday. That’s expected to be the show’s series finale as a renewal is extremely unlikely. Five episodes in, the series is still sliding in the ratings after a lackluster premiere.
Fox Announces Midseason Sched: ‘Touch’ Gets Monday 9 PM Slot, ‘American Idol’ Paired With ‘Mobbed’ On Wednesdays
Fox today was the last broadcast network to reveal its midseason plans. There were no major surprises. The J.J. Abrams-produced time-travel drama Alcatraz will air in the Monday 9 PM slot as announced at Fox’s upfront in May. As expected, it will share the slot — once occupied by real-time drama 24 – with 24 star Kiefer Sutherland’s new drama series Touch. Alcatraz launches on January 16, Touch on March 19 after a preview on January 25 behind American Idol.
Resurrected comedy Breaking In officially joins Fox’s new two-hour, four-show Tuesday comedy block that will launch March 6, when Glee goes on hiatus before returning with all-original episodes. With pilots Family Album and Little In Common dead, Fox is short a show for the block, so it will air New Girl reruns along with new episodes of New Girl, Raising Hope and Breaking In. The multi-camera I Hate My Teenage Daughter, which premiered after The X Factor last night, is not on the schedule, but Fox says that it will return as originally planned in spring, airing behind a 90-minute Idol performance show. Idol‘s premiere date has been tweaked. The reality competition series was originally going to launch its 11th season behind the NFC Championship game on Jan. 22. Idol will still air after the big game, but as a special. The new season will now start on Jan. 18 with a Wednesday-Thursday premiere. Fox also kept its original scheduling plan for Bones spinoff The Finder intact. It will premiere on January 12 behind a Bones rerun and will air after the Idol results show starting the following week. Bones will return in the spring. New animated series Napoleon Dynamite has been assigned the Sunday 8:30 PM slot currently occupied by Allen Gregory, also per Fox’s original plans. Here is Fox’s midseason schedule with premiere dates:
ABC’s November 18 order of one additional episode to freshman drama Pan Am stands. Back then, the network opted for a one-episode back order to the 1960s drama, bringing the first-season run of Pan Am to 14 episodes, but producer Sony Pictures TV didn’t accept the offer right away. The negotiations between the sides stretched into the holiday weekend and were still in full force yesterday. To help shore up a full-season order, Sony added Steven Maeda as showrunner a month ago. In the end, the studio took ABC’s original offer and will produce one extra episode. This morning, one of the show’s stars, Karine Vanasse, tweeted that the cast and crew have “received THE call” and that “Pan Am is only coming back for one more episode after Christmas.” As ABC stated back on November 18, it will make final decision on the fate of the show beyond its first season in May. On ABC’s midseason schedule, Pan Am is being replaced by new dramedy GCB on Sundays 10 PM beginning in March.
FX Announces Midseason Schedule
USA Network has firmed up its midseason schedule, which will feature the return of White Collar on January 17 and Royal Pains on January 18 and the premiere of new drama Common Law on January 26. White Collar and Royal Pains will air on the same nights they did in the summer — Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively — but will slide from 9 PM to 10 PM. Common Law, which stars Michael Ealy and Warren Kole as a pair of detectives forced to attend couples counseling, will air Thursdays at 10 PM. For the first time in awhile for a rookie USA series, Common Law will launch with no original lead-in from an established show. This past midseason, Fairly Legal launched on Thursdays 10 PM behind Royal Pains.
HBO’s off-beat comedy series Eastbound & Down will return for a third season on February 19, followed by the debut of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s latest series Life’s Too Short. The comedies will air in the 10 PM hour, following new drama Luck, which launches January 29 following a preview after the season finale of Boardwalk Empire on December 11. Life’s Too Short is a faux documentary starring actor Warwick Davis as a fictionalized version of himself: a down-and-out little person desperately trying to hustle and connive his way back into the spotlight. Gervais will be able to promote Life’s Too Short with his stint as host of the Golden Globes in January.
FX has set its midseason lineup, which will feature the return of Justified and Archer and the debut of new animated comedy series Unsupervised. The third season of drama Justified will premiere January 17 and continue to air Tuesdays at 10 PM. Comedy Archer will open its third season January 19 and will air Thursdays at 10 PM. The animated Archer will be paired with Unsupervised, whose premiere will follow Archer on January 19 at 10:30 PM. Unsupervised, which will be animated by Archer executive producers Adam Reed and Matt Thompson, centers on two optimistic best friends navigating the harsh landscape of teenage life and trying to do what’s right without any parental guidance. The series, created and executive produced by Rob Rosell, Scott Marder and David Hornsby, features a voice cast that includes Justin Long, Kristen Bell, Fred Armisen, Romany Malco, Kaitlin Olson and Alexa Vega, along with Rosell and Hornsby. Unsupervised is produced by FX Prods, in association with Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton’s RCG Prods and Floyd County.
TNT Greenlights ‘Hornet’s Nest’ To Extend Mystery Movie Series; Sherry Stringfield and Virginia Madsen To Star
While original TV movies continue to struggle on broadcast TV as evident by the underwhelming ratings for the Hallmark Hall Of Fame film on ABC last night, the genre’s resurgence on basic cable continues. TNT has decided to extend its Mystery Movie Night franchise into the spring, greenlighting today the original movie Hornet’s Nest, an adaptation of the Patricia Cornwall novel that will star Sherry Stringfield and Virginia Madsen. The green light for Hornet’s Nest comes ahead of the debut of the TNT Mystery Movie Night, which features original movies based on popular crime novels. The franchise is set to premiere tomorrow with Scott Turow’s Innocent and continues Wednesday with the Sandra Brown novel Ricochet, starring John Corbett, Julie Benz and Gary Cole. The series will feature six movies this month and in December before returning in the spring with Hornet’s Nest and three other movies to be announced. Hornet’s Nest, based on Cornwell’s New York Times bestseller, centers on a serial killer in Charlotte, N.C., who targets out-of-town businessmen. Police Chief Judy Hammer (Madsen) pairs her top deputy (Stringfield) with a cub reporter (Robbie Amell) to address the crisis. Michael Boatman and Michael Silver co-star. Dee Johnson (TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles) is writing the script. ER alumna Stringfield is with APA and John Carrabino.
With One Life To Live slated to air its final episode on January 13, ABC has set a January 16 launch date for the soap’s replacement, one-hour daily lifestyle talk show The Revolution. The show has tweaked its concept since first being announced in April. It will still chronicle one woman’s personal journey over the course of five months, but its focus will now be on a team of experts including Ty Pennington, Tim Gunn, Harley Pasternak, Dr. Jennifer Ashton and Dr. Tiffanie Davis Henry giving viewers tips and tools to transform their lives. The final episode of OLTL was taped on November 18, a few days before Prospect Park announced it won’t proceed with its plans to continue the soap online, so it’s unclear whether the network would make changes to the series’ final episode.
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today that the new docu-series Beverly’s Full House, featuring supermodel Beverly Johnson, will premiere in February. It will be a “humorous and heartfelt” look at what happens when three generations of Johnson’s family — her daughter, son-in-law and their newborn daughter — comes together under one roof in her Palm Springs home. The series is produced for OWN by Good Clean Fun; Jason Carbone, Nick Lee and Johnson executive produce.
Maria Bello is hanging up her hats. NBC’s low-rated new cop drama Prime Suspect, which was left off the network’s midseason schedule, will wrap production this month. I hear that the show’s cast and crew were notified of the shutdown just as NBC was making its midseason schedule announcement yesterday afternoon. Prime Suspect, a remake of the popular British series with Bello in the role originated by Helen Mirren, will complete Episode 12, which is now wrapping filming, and Episode 13, which starts shooting this week, before shutting down for the holiday and for the season. That fulfills the series’ original 13-episode order. I hear people on the show were told that Prime Suspect has been canceled. There will be no more episodes produced this season (and likely ever), but technically, according to a rep for the network, NBC brass are still “considering their options” for the show, which hypothetically could be picked up for next season. Emphasis on hypothetically.
Broadcast networks’ infatuation with lower-license-fee internationally produced drama series, which began during the run-up to the 2007 writers strike, is entering a major new phase with NBC’s midseason scheduling of the Entertainment One-produced 22-episode drama The Firm, based on John Grisham’s novel and the Tom Cruise-starring movie. Back in 2007, two of the acquired series stockpiled by the U.S. networks as strike contingency, Flashpoint by CBS and Crusoe by NBC, aired in-season on Fridays and Saturdays, and Flashpoint even got a brief turn in the Thursday 10 PM slot when the broadcast nets ran out of originals at the height of the labor dispute. But since then, NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox have largely limited lower-license-fee drama series acquisitions to summer runs. (Fox’s attempt to extend the run of such a series, The Good Guys, into the regular season backfired.) Then in April, NBC picked up The Firm based on a spec script by Lucas Reiter. Two weeks later, at NBC’s upfront presentation, the network announced The Firm as a midseason replacement to air on Sundays. And today, the straight-to-series drama was upgraded to the Thursday 10 PM slot, which for years had been considered NBC’s top drama slot, home of such iconic series as Hill Street Blues, LA Law and ER.
CBS has ordered three additional episodes from modestly rated A Gifted Man, bringing the medical/ghost drama’s freshman season to 16 episodes. It is not clear what CBS plans to put in the low-trafficked Friday 8 PM time slot after A Gifted Man ends its run. The network is yet to schedule midseason drama The 2-2, but, judging by how A Gifted Man and Chaos struggled there, CBS will probably think twice before slotting another newbie in the hour. A Gifted Man was the only new CBS series this fall that hadn’t heard about its fate via an episodic/script order or cancellation. It has been averaging a low 1.2 rating among adults 18-49 in the Friday 8 PM slot. But in total viewers, the series starring Patrick Wilson has been solid, most recently drawing 8.3 million viewers, more than double the audience of its nearest competitor in the hour. Of the other four freshman CBS series this fall, 2 Broke Girls, Person Of Interest and Unforgettable have been given full-season pickups, while How To Be A Gentleman was canceled.
As usual, CBS will be making only minor tweaks to its schedule in midseason. The network’s new mulch-ethnic family comedy series ¡Rob! starring Rob Schneider will air in the Thursday 8:30 PM slot beginning January 12. To make room, CBS just cut the order for Rules Of Engagement, which airs in the time period; Rules will return later in the spring following ¡Rob!’s eight-week run. Based on Schneider’s real-life experiences, ¡Rob! stars the actor as a lifelong bachelor who just married into a tight-knit Mexican-American family. (Thus the Spanish-style punctuation of the title) Meanwhile, CBS’ reality series Undercover Boss will return to Sundays, serving as a bridge between the two cycles of The Amazing Race at 8 PM. It premieres on January 15. No word yet when and where CBS’ midseason drama The 2-2 will air.
Harry’s Law is featured on NBC’s just-released midseason schedule, so this seams like a foregone conclusion, but word is that NBC is giving a full-season to David E. Kelley’s sophomore series. Also looking good to get a back order is freshman Grimm, which also is on NBC’s midseason schedule. UPDATE: I have learned that for now, the fairytale drama has received an order for additional scripts. Ominously missing from the schedule is rookie Prime Suspect. It seems like NBC brass in finally throwing the towel on the struggling remake. UPDATE: A rep for NBC says that the network brass are “considering our options” on Prime Suspect, which has not been officially canceled.
NBC’s Midseason Schedule: ‘Up All Night’, ‘Whitney’, ‘Rock Center’, ‘Harry’s Law’ Move; ‘Community’ Benched; ‘Suspect’ Pulled
After a pretty dismal fall, NBC is shaking things up in midseason with several scheduling changes. Gone from the lineup is struggling freshman Prime Suspect (NBC says it hasn’t made a final decision on its cancellation), while four series — Whitney, Up All Night, Harry’s Law and Rock Center With Brian Williams — are on the move. NBC is creating a multi-camera comedy block in the 8-9 PM Wednesday hour with Whitney and midseason comedy Are You There, Chelsea (formerly Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea; No alcohol-flavored title in the family hour.) The block, which will debut January 11, brings together two female comedians with similar sensibility in Whitney Cummings and Chelsea Handler, on whose books Chelsea is based. A month later, the two comedies will be followed by low-rated newsmagazine Rock Center With Brian Williams. It will take over the Wednesday 9 PM slot from Harry’s Law, which is moving to Sundays. Rock Center had to move out of the Monday 10 PM slot to make room for NBC’s highest-profile new series this season, Broadway drama Smash, which will premiere on February 6 and run in the post-The Voice slot as originally scheduled. NBC’s other changes for midseason include new comedy Up All Night moving to Whitney‘s Thursday 9:30 PM slot; 30 Rock replacing Community on Thursdays at 8 PM; and the John Grisham adaptation The Firm, originally slated for a Sunday midseason run, sliding into Prime Suspect‘s Thursday 10 PM slot. The order for Community has not been reduced, so it’s unclear what NBC will do with the remaining episodes of the college-set comedy. Missing from the midseason lineup is NBC’s ambitious new drama series Awake, which recently took an unplanned break to work on scripts. Here is NBC’s midseason schedule (with premiere dates) that also includes new reality series Fashion Star on Tuesdays at 10 PM and the return of Celebrity Apprentice on Sundays:
I hear that NBC is about to make some scheduling moves. The network is keeping mum, but there is speculation that rookie comedies Up All Night and Whitney, both with full-season orders, may be swapping places. Up All Night is getting murdered in the Wednesday 8 PM slot, so it will probably benefit from a protected run behind The Office. It also is single-camera and has a workplace element like the rest of NBC’s Thursday’s lineup. Up All Night will likely move to the Thursday 9:30 PM spot, but Whitney may be a bit too racy for the Wednesday family hour. Also possibly on the move is NBC’s new fairytale drama Grimm, which started off strong in the Friday 9 PM slot but has been slipping since. While the series’ long-term potential is still unclear, given the dearth of strong prospects at NBC this fall — especially on the drama side — the network probably should give the newbie a shot.
EXCLUSIVE: CBS has cut the order to veteran comedy Rules Of Engagement from 18 to 13 episodes. Rules was originally picked up for 18 episodes, with two leftover episodes from last season bringing the total order to 20 half-hours. (Rules, which wraps production December 6, will now air 15 episodes.) The long-running comedy was slated to air on Saturdays, but after freshman How To Be A Gentleman‘s underwhelming launch in the Thursday 8:30 PM slot, Rules was summoned in and took over the post-Big Bang Theory berth. It currently tops the 8:30-9 PM time period in total viewers with 11.6 million and averages a healthy 3.7 rating in 18-49, after setting highs in several categories this fall. With rookie 2 Broke Girls performing as well as it does along with all CBS returning comedies, the network needs an opening to launch its midseason comedy starring Rob Schneider, so a shorter, 15-episode run of Rules will provide a slot for the newbie. As for next season, given Rules‘ solid performance, the veteran has a good shot to return, especially if the Schneider series underperforms and/or CBS expands its comedy offerings to eight in two-hour comedy blocks on Mondays and Thursdays.
NEW YORK – Nov. 11, 2011 – MSNBC’s newest daytime show, “NOW with Alex Wagner,” will debut on Monday, November 14 at noon ET. The show is hosted by Alex Wagner and will feature regular contributors and panelists to provide insight and perspective, giving viewers a broad understanding of what’s shaping the political and cultural landscape. “NOW with Alex Wagner” will go beyond the headlines to examine the forces driving the day’s stories in politics, news and culture. Guests and panelists for Monday, Nov. 14 include Dan Rather of HDNet’s “Dan Rather Reports,” Maggie Haberman of Politico, John Heilemann of New York Magazine, and MSNBC’s Rev. Al Sharpton.