ABC has done the inevitable, pulling the plug on midseason comedy Work It. The critically panned cross-dressing comedy opened with a so-so 2.0 rating among adults 18-49 and 6.1 million viewers and plunged 20% in Week 2 to a 1.6. Work It joins such other recent comedy to bite the dust after 2 airings as NBC’s The Paul Reiser Show and CBS’ How To Be A Gentleman (thought the latter got one extra outing on Saturday.) For the time being, ABC will air Last Man Standing reruns in Work It‘s Tuesday 8:30 PM slot but the network has a half-hour series ready to go, the long-delayed third season of Cougar Town. During ABC’s TCA executive session held just before the premiere of Work It, the network’s chief Paul Lee said that he and his team “have an idea” where Cougar Town would go. The single-camera comedy with a female lead, Couteney Cox, is not an ideal companion to the traditional sitcom Last Man Standing toplined by Tim Allen, but a time slot is a time slot. “Hoping CT’s premiere date will be announced Tuesday. Fingers crossed,” Cougar Town co-creator Bill Lawrence wrote on Twitter last night following word of Work It‘s cancellation. Added co-creator Kevin Biegel, “You should all hear very soon about Cougar Town‘s return date. Everyone gets a kiss, a hug and a handshake for waiting patiently.”
GLAAD, which had waged a campaign against Work It, deeming it offensive … Read More »
ABC’s yet-unscheduled Cougar Town should start warming up. The network’s cross-dressing comedy Work It (1.6/4) took a 20% dive in its second airing, pretty much sealing the fate of the critically panned series. Its lead-in, Last Man Standing (2.2/6), was down 8% from last week to tie its season low. At 9 PM, Celebrity Wife Swap (2.1/5) was flat, while Body Of Proof (1.6/4) perked up 7%.
CBS’ NCIS (4.1/11) was even with last week. NCIS: LA (3.4/8) was down 3%, while Unforgettable (2.2/6) dropped 15% to tie its series low. CBS (3.2/8 in 18-49, 16.3 million total viewers) won the night in 18-49 and total viewers, dominating every hour of primetime. NBC’s The Biggest Loser (2.4/6) was flat, while Parenthood (1.8/5) was up 6%. Fox aired reruns.
ABC’s new series Work It didn’t set the world on fire in its premiere last night, but it didn’t crash and burn either. The cross-dressing comedy opened with a 2.0/5 among adults 18-49 and 6.1 million viewers. That was down 17% in 18-49 from the premiere in the time slot of the now defunct Man Up!, but in terms of retaining the Last Man Standing lead-in, Work It! did actually a little better than Man Up! with 83% vs. 80%. Of course, matching the performance of a swiftly canceled series is not that reassuring. Last Man Standing (2.4/6) was up 9% in 18-49 from the series low it posted with its most recent original three weeks ago. In its regular slot premiere, Celebrity Wife Swap (2.2/5) was down 8% from its preview behind The Bachelor on Monday, while Body Of Proof (1.5/4) tied the series low rating it posted with its last original four weeks ago. Read More »
Two years ago, groups representing Italian Americans were up in arms over promos for an upcoming series that was seen as perpetuating stereotypes about the ethnic group and called upon the network to scrap it. The backlash continued even after the series, MTV’s Jersey Shore, premiered, with several advertisers, including computer maker Dell, pulling out. But several months later, all was forgotten and the reality show went on to become a ratings mega hit and a pop culture phenomenon.
Now, LGBT advocacy groups are up in arms over ABC’s upcoming cross-dressing comedy Work It, urging the network not to air it because it “reinforces negative and damaging stereotypes about transgender people,” according to the Human Rights Campaign. Like with Jersey Shore, the backlash is based mostly on promos (video below), which are chock-full of gags featuring the leads, played by Ben Koldyke and Amaury Nolasco, dressed as women, while the show itself is split evenly between the characters’ normal lives as heterosexual men and their undercover jobs as female pharmaceutical reps. The outrage has zeroed in on a print ad for Work It featuring the two leads in drag, standing at urinals. An image like this will “make it more difficult for transgender people to gain full equality — including the important right to access public accommodations appropriate to their gender identity,” Mark Snyder from the Transgender Law Center wrote. “We ask that ABC … keep the show’s bathroom advertisement out of circulation, and seriously consider whether airing this show is worth the damage it has the potential to do,” GLAAD’s Matt Kane wrote in a post titled “Why ABC’s New Sitcom Work It Hurts The Transgender Community.” (In addition to promos, GLAAD has also screened the pilot.) “The fact is ABC should not air this show at all, as it will contribute to a climate in which transgender people are something to be laughed at, rather than treated with the respect and dignity that everyone deserves.” Read More »
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, abc.com 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 »
At the end of ABC’s TCA executive panel, president Paul Lee admitted that he had asked a network PR executive beforehand, “Shall I go out in a dress?” That probably would’ve been appropriate given that ABC’s new cross-dressing comedy Work It, which has not even been scheduled yet, emerged as the main attraction at the Q&A session even somewhat overshadowing the official announcement of Desperate Housewives coming to an end. The first mention of the Bosom Buddies-esque multi-camera comedy starring Ben Koldyke and Amaury Nolasco as out-of-work car salesmen who dress as women to get jobs as pharmaceutical reps came when Lee was asked to discuss the network’s new crop of comedies. When he got to Work It, the British-born Lee said, “I’m a Brit, it is in my contract that I have to do one cross-dressing show a year; I was brought up on Monty Python. What can I do?” Later on he was asked about a trend of many new shows featuring central characters who are orphans that harkens back to Victorian times and Charles Dickens. Admitting that he didn’t notice an orphan pattern in picking up series, Lee noted, “We don’t sit there and think, ‘Work It! That goes all the way back to Shakespeare!’ ” Read More »
Fresh off his co-starring turn on HBO’s Entourage as Ari Gold’s long-suffering assistant Lloyd, Rex Lee has joined the cast of ABC’s new single-camera comedy series Suburgatory as a regular. Suburgatory centers on Tessa (Jane Levy), a teen girl whose quality of life takes a nosedive when her family moves from the big city to the suburbs. Lee, repped by APA and Thruline, will play Mr. Wolf, Tessa’s high school guidance counselor who is inviting and slightly clueless to the bitchiness and the back-stabbing within the student hierarchy. He was a guest star in the pilot and is now being added to the series as a regular. Entourage kicked off its final season last night.
Newcomer Hannah Sullivan has landed a series regular role on another new ABC comedy, Work It. The multicamera comedy, from Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen, is about out-of-work car salesmen Lee (Ben Koldyke) and Angel (Amaury Nolasco), who dress as women to get jobs as pharmaceutical reps. In a recasting, Sullivan, repped by SDB and Prodigy Talent, will play Kat, the edgy, sarcastic teenage daughter of Koldyke and Beth Lacke. She replaces Kacie Lynch, who played the part in the pilot.
On A&E’s Stephen King’s Bag of Bones, a two-night, four-hour miniseries based on King’s bestseller, Melissa George joins Pierce Brosnan … Read More »
After getting to the brink of extinction on ABC, NBC and Fox last year, multicamera comedies staged a comeback this upfront season. While the genre has been alive and well on CBS, the number of multicamera comedies on the other broadcast networks had steadily declined in the past few years to three during the 2009-10 season — the short-lived ABC’s Hank, Fox’s Brothers and NBC’s 100 Questions, which didn’t even air in-season — then to only one this season, ABC’s Better with You, which also has been canceled. But sitcoms rebounded this year, with ABC, Fox and NBC ordering a total of five multicamera comedies: NBC’s Whitney and Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea, ABC’s Last Man Standing and Work It and Fox’s I Hate My Teenage Daughter. Three of them, Last Men Standing, Whitney and I Hate My Teenage Daughter, are on the fall schedule in key slots — Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing is launching a new comedy block for ABC on Tuesday, while Whitney and Teenage Daughter landed their networks’ cushiest time periods: after The Office and The X Factor, respectively. Read More »
With Fox done with its series orders and NBC pretty much done too, attention is focusing on ABC and CBS. ABC is expected to make its series pickups tomorrow. Here is the latest buzz on the two networks:
Assured to get series orders are early frontrunners GOOD CHRISTIAN BITCHES and CHARLIE’S ANGELS, along with the modern fairy tale ONCE UPON A TIME. Shonda Rhimes’ PR drama SCANDAL looks solid, with one or both of PAN AM and procedural IDENTITY also expected to get a green light. Thriller THE RIVER is rumored for an order, though it’s unclear if it will be a regular or limited-series one. Other possibilities on the drama side include the Hamptons-set REVENGE, which has been gathering momentum, and Marc Cherry’s HALLELUJAH, possibly for midseason with some retooling, while 1840s detective show POE has been fading.
On the comedy side, the TIM ALLEN pilot, APT. 23 and SUBURGATORY are considered a go, with SMOTHERED, WORK IT and BAD MOM as possibilities.
With CBS’ most guarded secret — who will replace Charlie Sheen — out, a lot of the intrigue surrounding CBS’ presentation next week is gone. Luckily, we still have series pickups and schedule to try to figure out. On the drama side, the rise of the J.J. Abrams/Jonah Nolan crime drama PERSON OF INTEREST remains in what is considered a frontrunner status. Ensemble cop drama ROOKIES and procedural THE REMEMBERER also appear strong. PI … Read More »
Michael Landes is set to co-star on CBS’ untitled Peter Knight comedy pilot, a workplace ensemble about the young-adult employees at a high-powered venture capital firm. Landes will play one of the employees, Andrew, a handsome, cocky and annoyingly smart full-fledged workaholic. Landes, repped by CAA and Untitled, recently completed Lumpy, The Congress and 11:11:11 and did a two-month run in David Mamet’s play House Of Cards at the Almeida theater.
Beth Lacke has been cast as a regular on ABC’s comedy pilot Work It. The multicamera project, from Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen, is about out-of-work car salesmen Lee (Ben Koldyke) and Angel (Amaury Nolasco), who realize that it is a woman’s world and decide that to find work again and succeed, they must dress as women to get jobs as pharmaceutical reps. Lacke, repped by Innovative and Sanders.Armstrong.Caserta, will play Lee’s hardworking wife, a nurse.
Gregg Binkley has been added to the cast of Fox’s comedy series Raising Hope as a regular for Season 2. Binkley has recurred on the show this season as supermarket manager Barney, appearing in 13 episodes. Binkley, repped by David Shapira & Associates and Schachter Entertainment, previously recurred on Raising Hope creator Greg Garcia’s comedy series My Name Is Earl.
Gerald McRaney is set to star opposite Becki Newton in CBS’ untitled Filgos family comedy pilot. It centers on Joe Reilly (McRaney), a blue-collar guy who wrestles with how to parent his unmarried grown daughter Eileen (Newton) and her 12-year-old son while sharing a house with them as well as his wife and his recently widowed mother. McRaney, who co-starred on NBC’s freshman series Undercovers last fall, recently played the male lead in the TNT drama pilot Bird Dog. He is with Stone Manners Salners and Course Management.
In a recasting, Dean Collins has been tapped to play the younger lead in ABC’s comedy pilot Lost and Found, which centers on Jo (Jordana Spiro), a narcissistic thirtysomething New York City bartender and party girl whose life is turned upside-down when the conservative 18-year-old son (Collins) she gave up for adoption at 16 turns up on her doorstep. Collins replaced Gary Clayton who was originally cast in the role but was recast after the pilot’s table read. Collins, repped by Howard Entertainment and Coast to Coast Talent, was a series regular on Fox’s The War At Home.
Kevin Corrigan has been cast in CBS’ untitled Peter Knight comedy pilot, a workplace ensemble about the young-adult employees at a high-powered venture capital firm. It centers on Danny … Read More »
Rochelle Aytes (Detroit 1-8-7) has been cast in another project for the network, comedy pilot Work It. The multicamera project, from Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen, is about out-of-work car salesmen Lee (Ben Koldyke) and Angel (Amaury Nolasco), who realize that it is a woman’s world and decide that to find work again and succeed, they must dress as women to get jobs as pharmaceutical reps. Aytes, who also co-starred on ABC’s The Forgotten and did an arc on Desperate Housewives, will play Lee and Angel’s new boss.
Rhea Seehorn has been added to NBC’s untitled Whitney Cummings comedy pilot. The project, written by Cummings, centers on young couple Whitney (Cummings) and Alex (Chris D’Elia), who tackle the ups and downs of a committed relationship torn between their friends Lily (Zoe Lister-Jones) and Neal (Maulik Pancholy), who think that everyone has to tie the knot, and Mark and Roxanne (Seehorn), who think no one should. Roxeanne is described as a no-B.S. divorcee stuck paying alimony to a loser ex-husband. Seehorn, repped by Phoenix Artists and Untitled, recently co-starred in TNT’s Allan Loeb pilot.
Arrested Development alum Jeffrey Tambor is set to co-star in NBC’s single-camera comedy pilot Bent. The project, from writer/exec producer Tad Quill, is a romantic comedy about recently divorced Type-A single mother Alex (Amanda Peet), who tries hard not to fall for sexy surfer-dude contractor Pete (David Walton), who she’s hired to re-do her kitchen. Tambor will play Pete’s dad, a former actor who lives with Pete and needs to be driven everywhere. A performer who’d like to get back in the game, he plays piano in the Nordstrom lobby and still chases after the ladies. Tambor, repped by Gersh and the Burstein Co., is coming out in Win Win, The Hangover 2 and Paul.
Ben Koldyke has landed the second lead opposite Amaury Nolasco in ABC’s comedy pilot Work It. The multicamera project, from Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen, is about out-of-work car salesmen Lee (Koldyke) and Angel (Nolasco), who realize that it is a woman’s world and decide that in order to find work again and succeed they must dress as women to get jobs as pharmaceutical reps. Also cast in the pilot is Kristin Eggers.
Rick Gomez (Justified) and Richard T. Jones (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) have joined Peter Tolan’s comedy pilot for Fox Council of Dads. The pilot, which is being directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, tells the story of Michael, who just before he dies enlists five friends from all aspects of his life to become a … Read More »
British helmer Mark Mylod (Entourage), who directed the pilots for the U.K. series Shameless and its U.S. version on Showtime, has signed on to direct ABC’s drama pilot Once Upon a Time. The project, from Lost executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, centers on a woman with a troubled past who is drawn into a small town in Maine where the magic and mystery of Fairy Tales just may be real.
John Dahl, who has helmed multiple episodes of Dexter, Californication and Justified, is set to make his pilot directing debut with the CW’s Cooper and Stone. The pilot, from writer-exec producer Laurie Arent and CBS TV Studios, is about two smart young female detectives on Chicago’s North Side who are best friends, equally adept at discussing fashion, music, pop culture as they are solving homicides. At the CW, UTA-repped Dahl has directed episodes of The Vampire Diaries and Hellcats.
Veteran Saturday Night Live helmer Beth McCathy-Miller will direct Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen’s multicamera comedy pilot for ABC Work It, from Warner Bros. TV. It centers on two out-of-work car salesmen who realize that it is now a woman’s world and decide that in order to find work again and succeed they are going to have to dress as women to get jobs as pharmaceuticals reps. This is the second … Read More »
The pilot pickup season is just starting in earnest, but we already have an unusually large number of creators with multiple pilot orders. Peter Tolan, Whitney Cummings, Michael Patrick King and the duo of Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen have each received two pickups. Tolan wrote and is executive producing Fox’s comedy The Council of Dads and NBC’s Brave New World, Cummings wrote, executive produces and stars in an untitled comedy pilot for NBC about a young couple and co-wrote/executive produces the CBS comedy pilot Two Broke Girls with King. King also has NBC drama pilot A Mann’s World, on which he is the writer-executive producer. Reich and Cohen wrote and are executive producing two ABC comedy pilots, Work It and Smothered. Besides evoking an automatic reaction of “Come on, spread the wealth” from other writers who have projects in contention, the embarrassment of riches for the in-demand creators with multiple pilots comes with inevitable complications, putting pressure on the writer-producers in the pilot phase and facing them and the networks with some difficult choices come May. Read More »
UPDATE 1:40 PM: After just picking up a period soap, Pan Am, ABC has also greenlighted a period PI show. In its second drama pilot order today and fourth overall, the network has picked up Poe, a crime procedural following Edgar Allan Poe, the world’s very first detective, as he uses unconventional methods to investigate dark mysteries in 1840s Boston. Chris Hollier (Kyle XY) penned the project for Warner Bros. TV and Lin Pictures. He will be supervising producer, with Dan Lin executive producing. It has been a very intriguing pilot pickup day at ABC with two pretty bold drama choices — unconventional takes on familiar franchises: soap, detective show — and two more conventional multicamera comedy picks.
UPDATE 12:40PM As expected, it is a busy pickup day at ABC. The network just gave the green light to period drama pilot Pan Am, from Sony Pictures TV and ER alum Jack Orman. Orman penned the script and Thomas Schlamme is on board to direct the pilot, described as a sexy soap set against the Jet-Age about pilots and flight attendants working at the iconic Pan Am airline in the 1960s. Executive producing are Orman, Schlamme and producer Nancy Hult Ganis, a former Pan Am flight attendant and the driving force behind the project. Ganis’ husband, fellow producer Sid Ganis, will co-executive produce.
ABC also just picked up a second comedy pilot for … Read More »