Spencer Grammer (Ironside) has been cast in Saint Francis, Chris Moynihan’s multi-camera comedy pilot for ABC, from ABC Studios and Tagline. It centers on Francis Quinlan (Michael Imperioli), a no-nonsense, blue-collar Long Island cop and family man who butts heads … Read More »
NBC’s high-concept new drama Believe is from J.J. Abrams and Gravity’s Best Director Oscar winner Alfonso Cuarón (who co-wrote the pilot and directed it) gets a special preview Monday, March 10 at 10 PM following The Voice before launching in its regular Sunday 9 PM slot March 16. Here’s the … Read More »
Chuck alum Ryan McPartlin will co-star opposite Ashley Judd in NBC’s drama pilot Salvation. In the project, written by Elizabeth Heldens and directed by Jeffrey Reiner, mega-church Pastor Daniel Strickland suddenly dies, and his loyal wife, Jennifer Strickland (Judd), must rally to keep their family together and save the church. McPartlin, repped by Gersh and Evolution, will play Congressman Todd Bishop, an ambitious man whose political life keeps him from home, making him a bit of an absent husband and father. His romantic comedy feature The Right Kind Of Wrong opens next week.
Related: 2014 NBC Pilots
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FX is sticking with Archer for at least another two seasons. Seeing the animated spy series through to 2016 and syndication possibilities, the cable channel today said it has ordered 13 episodes for each of Archer’s’ sixth and seventh seasons. The double pickup comes with a lot of confidence from FX. “Archer is one of the best comedies on television and has played a significant role in the growth of the FX comedy brand,” Eric Schrier, one of the presidents of original programming for FX Networks and FX Productions, said today in a statement. ”We’re grateful to Adam Reed, Matt Thompson and their team at Floyd County, and also our incredible voice cast, and are looking forward to supporting their work for at least two more seasons.” (Archer voice actor H. Jon Benjamin snagged an Outstanding Voice-Over Performance Emmy nom in 2010).
Related: ‘Archer’ Producers On Show Overhaul, CD Release
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The seventh and final season of AMC’s Mad Men premieres April 13, and AMC has dropped a teaser today to whet the appetite. Remember, the seventh-season order has been upped from 13 to 14 episodes — seven to air in spring (“The Beginning”) and the final seven (“The End … Read More »
Original Grey’s Anatomy cast member Isaiah Washington will be making a return to the veteran ABC medical drama seven years after his controversial exit. Washington will appear in a May episode that will mark … Read More »
Bravo Media made a number of promotions today including Lara Spotts to SVP Development, and LA-based Jenn Levy and Kathleen French to SVP Production. Additionally, David O’Connell, SVP Production Operations, and David Brewer, VP Program Strategy & Acquisitions, have expanded their oversight of Oxygen Media while continuing to supervise Bravo. Based in New York, Spotts will lead Bravo’s scripted and non-scripted developments on both the East and West Coast for pilots, casting reels and original concepts. She reports to Frances Berwick, President of Bravo and Oxygen Media. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Four days after returning to the negotiating table, the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers are near an agreement on a new three-year contract, I’ve learned. “We’re not there yet and there are still a few more I’s to dot and T’s to cross, but we’re very close,” one insider told me today. With many of the bulky points already coming together in the first two weeks of talks, the two sides spent some of their two-week temporary recess fine-tuning the agreement, sources on both sides say, before sitting down again at AMPTP’s Sherman Oaks HQ. An official announcement could come as early as the beginning of next week. If you take out the downtime, this year’s talks pretty much follow the timeline of the placid 2011 negotiations, which started on March 3 that year and were all done by March 20.
Related: WGA Contract Talks Brittle In Opening Days Over “Ridiculous” AMPTP Proposals
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Out East Entertainment has acquired global TV rights to Dutch format Fish Tales and closed a talent holding deal with its host, European chef Bart Van Olphen. The company plans to mount US and UK versions of the show with Van Olphen. Fish Tales tackles the issue of ocean overfishing and spotlights fisheries worldwide that are practicing responsible fishing. It tells the stories of the men, women, villages and oceans who are behind the fish we eat. “We are very excited to be partnering with Bart to bring his unique insights, talent and culinary skills to a more global television audience,” said Steven Marrs, OEE’s President & Managing Partner. Read More »
TBS has picked up a 10-episode second season of multi-camera comedy Ground Floor, created by Bill Lawrence and Greg Malins and starring Skylar Astin and Briga Heelan. The renewal extends TBS’ streak of renewing its freshman series, which includes sitcoms Men at Work and Sullivan & Son and reality comedy King of the Nerds. Ground Floor started off lower than the other two scripted comedies, drawing 1.6 million viewers for its premiere vs. 2.7 million for for Men at Work and 2.5 million for Sullivan & Son. But Ground Floor launched against much stronger competition during the November sweep; it has been pretty consistent, and TBS brass believe in its upside potential. Ground Floor finished its first season with an average of 1.8 million viewers in Live + 7 delivery, including 1.1 million adults 18-49 and 575,000 adults 18-34. The renewal keeps Lawrence and Malins with two projects each at TBS. Lawrence has series Cougar Town, while Malins has pilot Your Family or Mine. Read More »
Veteran TV producer Betsy Schechter has launched Storyville Entertainment, a full-service New York-based production company that will create content for TV, film, branded and multimedia outlets. Schechter, whose credits include producing A&E’s Paranormal State and the syndie dating show Shipmates, will serve as president of the new shingle, which already is in production on a music-based documentary series for MTV International and in development on nonscripted and scripted projects for A&E, TNT, H2, MTV International, Animal Planet and National Geographic. It also is collaborating on a scripted series with Paranormal Activity producer Jason Blum. Caroline Christopher, formerly director of development for National Geographic Television and among those who helped launch Peacock Productions, has been hired as VP Development and Production. She will oversee Storyville’s development team, creating nonfiction series, specials and branded content. “Storyville serves as a hub for creativity regardless of the genre and platform, everything from non-fiction to scripted to digital to reality,” said Schechter. “What matters most and what will define our projects is that at the core are solid characters and great storytelling with a distinct point of view.”
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Chris Diamantopoulos is set to co-star opposite Stacey McGunnigle in NBC’s pilot Ellen More Or Less, written/exec produced by JJ Philbin, directed by Peyton Reed and exec produced by Jason Katims and Michelle Lee. The single-camera comedy, from … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Discovery has had a change of heart about its Naked And Afraid after-show, Discovery After Dark — but it’s not what you think. The cable network isn’t chickening out after announcing the after-show with surprisingly little fanfare last month – it’s changing the name and the host, to the much better Naked After Dark, and to Josh Wolf, respectively. Wolf, known to some for his panelist appearances on Chelsea Lately, is maybe best known to Discovery viewers as host of its wildly popular Shark Week after-show Shark After Dark. Read More »
E! is making a regal entry into scripted programming. The network has picked up one of its first two scripted pilots, The Royals starring Elizabeth Hurley, to series. The one-hour drama, about a fictional British Royal family set in modern London that is informed by the regal opulence of the British monarchy and framed by Shakespeare’s Hamlet, hails from Lionsgate and a trio of One Tree Hill alums. OTH creator Mark Schwahn wrote and directed Royals, which he is executive producing with Brian Robbins and Joe Davola. Getting reality focused E! into the scripted space had been a priority for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment topper Bonnie Hammer. Sibling cable channel Bravo had been put on a similar path and just greenlighted its first scripted series, Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce. E!’s second pilot, musical drama Songbyrd, remains in contention. “The Royals will offer a fictional look behind the very public gilded façade of the palace gates to imagine the private, lush, fun, sexy world of the most-watched celebrity family on the planet,” said E! EVP Original Programming and development Jeff Olde said. Added the network’s scripted executive Kevin Plunkett who spearheads E!’s scripted efforts, “This is a big idea and Mark, Brian, Joe and the Lionsgate team delivered.” Read More »
Paul Reiser has been set to recur on Andrew Gurland’s new FX series Married, which was picked up to series in January and will debut this summer. Created, directed and executive produced by Gurland, Married stars Nat Faxon and Judy Greer as Russ and Lina Bowman, who can barely remember what was like before kids, debt, and suburbia rained on their romance. But every once in a while they are reminded what drew them together in the first place: They’re best friends. Reiser will play the older love interest of co-star Jenny Slate’s character. Brad Gelman also co-stars. Reiser, who had a pair of films — Whiplash and Life After Beth — premiere at Sundance this year, most recently appeared in HBO’s Behind The Candelabra. He is repped by Gersh, New Wave Entertainment, and attorney Jeff Finkelstein.
Related: 2014 FX Pilots
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CBS News has named veteran Bill Whitaker a 60 Minutes correspondent, it was announced today by Jeff Fager, the executive producer of the newsmag and the chairman of CBS News. Whitaker, who has been based in Los Angeles, will move to the New York area and begin appearing in the fall on the CBS newsmagazine, which is America’s most-watched news program. The newsmag got nicked in its reputation when Lara Logan took a leave in the wake of the program’s since-discredited story on the Benghazi attacks. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Hawaii Five-0 showrunner Peter Lenkov has signed a new overall deal with CBS Television Studios, the studio behind the CBS crime drama. Under the two-year pact, he will continue as executive producer/showrunner on the Hawaii Five-0 reboot, which he developed and co-wrote with Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci and has run since the pilot. Now in its fourth season, Hawaii Five-0 is an important asset for CBS TV Studios as it has a rich off-network syndication deal and is a strong international seller. The new overall deal secures Lenkov’s leadership on the show for the next two seasons and also calls for him to develop new projects for network and cable. This past season, he re-teamed with Kurtzman and Orci to develop high-concept drama Salvation, which sold to CBS. Read More »