A palate cleanser after a long day of Sheen: The old Hanks. We love the old Hanks.
... via "Jimmy Kimmel Live."
A palate cleanser after a long day of Sheen: The old Hanks. We love the old Hanks.
... via "Jimmy Kimmel Live."
Here who's set to participate: Kirstie Alley, Hines Ward, Chris Jericho, Wendy Williams, Ralph Macchio, Romeo, Mike Catherwood, Sugar Ray Leonard, Kendra Wilkinson and Chelsea Kane.
I'm not going to make judgments on the reason each member of this eclectic group have decided to test their hoofing skills with the entire country watching, but the only name that makes me sad here is ex-boxing champ Leonard. I'll always remember him for his remarkable bouts with the likes of Thomas Hearns and Marvelous Marvin Hagler, not what he does on a primetime reality show.
With all its promotion of its Charlie Sheen interview this week, ABC has at least kept its eye on events with a smidge more global importance. ABC News’ “This Week” anchor Christiane Amanpour has an interview with Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi that will begin airing tonight on ABC platforms including “World News with Diane Sawyer,” “Nightline” “Good Morning America” and ABCnews.com.
Meanwhile, here's a recap of Sheen's morning media offensive.
Clips from his NBC and ABC interviews this ayem ...
"Tilda" won't be HBO's next comedy series.
In a two-sentence statement, pay cabler said: "HBO has decided not to move forward with 'Tilda.' Despite everyone's best efforts, ultimately this was not the right show for us at this time." The network declined to elaborate.
Half-hour pilot starred Diane Keaton as a prominent Hollywood blogger and Ellen Page as a young assistant trying to learn the showbiz ropes.
Pilot was written by Bill Condon and Cynthia Mort, who had worked with HBO on "Tell Me You Love Me."
Just after a week it ordered the Ryan Murphy-Brad Falchuk pilot “American Horror Story,” FX is ramping up with “Powers.”
Drama, based on the graphic novel by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming, centers on a pair of detectives who deal with cases involving people with superpower ability.
Pilot, from Sony Pictures Television and FX Prods., is written by Charles “Chick” Eglee and directed by Michael Dinner, who brought the project the cabler. Production is set to begin in the late spring.
On the heels of “Terriers” being canceled after its first season, “Lights Out” struggling to get ratings traction and “Rescue Me” starting its final episodes in the summer, FX is looking for a new drama to help fill out its schedule.
Network is expecting to give either “Powers,” “American Horror Story” or “Outlaw Country” — or maybe two of them — a pickup in the next few months in order to accommodate a fall debut.
Circle of Confusion is the shingle behind “Powers,“ with Dinner and Eglee set to exec produce.
That was the consensus of a handful of television pros when asked whether TV’s most-watched sitcom could return intact for the 2011-12 season following Sheen’s latest rants against exec producers Chuck Lorre and Lee Aronsohn and CBS chieftain Leslie Moonves.
That he won’t be back was also the opinion of Sheen himself if Lorre remains on board. On Friday afternoon from the Bahamas, where he is vacationing, Sheen told Fox Sports Radio hosts Pat O’Brien and Steve Hartman: “If they want to roll back to season nine, I gave them my word I would do that, but not with the turds that are currently in place. That’s impossible. Can you imagine going back into the sludge pit with those knuckleheads at this point? Can you imagine? It would go bad quickly.”
The question now remains whether Warner Bros. and CBS will decide if the show should go forward at all. With 177 episodes in the can, “Two and a Half Men” has been a cash cow for the studio, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in syndication, and it remains primetime’s most-watched sitcom.
In its eighth season, the show has averaged 14.5 million viewers per episode and a 4.6 rating/11 share in the 18-49 demo, second behind ABC’s “Modern Family” (4.9/13).
Following two days of public vitriol from Sheen, the rift between the actor and Lorre would seem irrevocable. Sheen followed up Thursday’s remarks in which he referred to Lorre as Chaim Levine (Lorre’s given name is Charles Levine) with words Friday calling Lorre, along with Aronsohn, “AA Nazis” and “blatant hypocrites.”
Said Sheen: “These guys, they do not practice what they preach. It’s so transparent, it’s so sad.”
Thursday’s comments rankled some Jewish leaders, who took them as possibly anti-Semitic.
“By invoking television producer Chuck Lorre’s Jewish name in the context of an angry tirade against him, Charlie Sheen left the impression that another reason for his dislike of Mr. Lorre is his Jewishness,” said Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham Foxman. “This fact has no relevance to Mr. Sheen’s complaint or disagreement, and his words are at best bizarre, and at worst, borderline anti-Semitism.”
There’s little reason to believe Lorre would step away from “Two and a Half Men.” Lorre has often stated he’s proud of staying with the show since its inception, though Lorre certainly isn’t lacking for things to do: He’s also a hands-on exec producer of “The Big Bang Theory” and “Mike & Molly” as well, both of which air on CBS.
If Sheen has a desire to come back to “Two and a Half Men” next season — the show was officially shut down for the remainder of this season Thursday by Warner Bros. and CBS — that might have been quashed when he took a swipe at Moonves, a network topper not known for kowtowing to actors.
CBS could bring the show back without Sheen, but that move comes with its own peril. While some series have successfully replaced its lead — think, ironically, Sheen taking over for Michael J. Fox on “Spin City” — other times the creative change marks the beginning of the end of a show’s run. NBC’s “The Office,” for example, will be pressing on in the 2011-12 season without star Steve Carell.
If CBS decides to go this route, it might save the network money. CBS would undoubtedly ask Warner Bros. for a lower license fee because Sheen was the show’s topline star and could argue the value of the show has been decreased.
Even though Sheen stated he has little or no desire to return with Lorre at the helm, the actor is contracted through next season and if Warner Bros. fires him, a huge legal battle would likely erupt over his contract that pays him $1.2 million an episode through the show’s ninth season.
CBS, meanwhile, will be faced with a big hole on its powerhouse Monday comedy block if “Men” ends. When the show went into hiatus about a month ago, the Eye was quick to point out the laffer does well in sitcoms — better than most shows do in originals.
However, viewers may turn away in the next few weeks and months knowing there aren’t more originals in the can. As for fall, CBS might consider moving “The Big Bang Theory” back to Monday night after shifting it to Thursday in September, or it could move Lorre’s “Mike & Molly” to 9 o’clock and employ a new comedy in the 9:30 slot.
Advertisers will be appreciative if a firm decision either way is made by the May upfronts, but CBS and Warner Bros. will certainly have to decipher all the legal ramifications before announcing whether the show was coming back and if Sheen is to be included.
Also to be considered are the syndie deals Warner Bros. has made with station groups around the country. If CBS cancels the show, Warner Bros. will lose syndication revenue that it would have booked by delivering new episodes to stations.
Jon Weisman and Sam Thielman contributed to this report.
Compared to his Thursday performance, Sheen was only a bit less incendiary on the syndicated show "Loose Cannons," with questions led by Pat O'Brien, who in the interest of disclosure described himself as a recovering alcholic and as a "dear friend" of Sheen.
Among Sheen's statements:
On getting sober: "It's what they told me to do. They rolled into my house, they said, change your life. And I did, in an hour. I guess they might be sort of missing the old guy that was showing up and hitting his marks and delivering gold. ... If you want meet me at one of my workouts at 5 a.m., you're gonna find out that smoking cocaine does not fit into that snapshot."
Accusing Lorre of hypocrisy: "These guys were a couple of AA Nazis and really just blatant hypocrites in that whole regard, Chuck and Lee. These guys, they do not practice what they preach. It's so transparent, it's so sad. I watch him just wailing on people who have been loyal to him for two decades, then he gets into the men's group on Friday and talks about 'surrender' and 'acceptance is the key.' "
On why he's speaking out now: "It's been a toxic environment for eight years. I've felt like an unwelcome relative being given cold coffee at 9 o'clock every night. I just got tired of it. I just got tired of people not knowing the truth."
On his desire to work on a ninth season of "Two and a Half Men": "If they want to roll back to season nine, I gave them my word I would do that, but not with the turds that are currently in place. That's impossible. Can you imagine going back into the sludgepit with those knuckleheads at this point? Can you imagine? It would go bad quickly."
On Les Moonves: "I've really got nothing to say, because he rolled into my house and he made a man-to-man request and I honored it. And I asked for a couple of things and he's not honoring that, so we're pretty much done. I don't know — whatever, unless he's got a really good excuse for a guy that like lives in the middle of truth."
On what he would say to the "Men" crew whose jobs are in jeopardy: "I say be patient, get focused. We are at war, and there are ways to deal with these clowns and take all their money. ... Defeat is not an option. They picked a fight with the wrong guy. ... They're in absolute breach."
On options if he doesn't go back to "Men": "(I'll) do something beyond the dribble that's this pukefest that everybody worships."
Sheen indicated he wasn't going silent anytime soon: "Let's do some follow-up stuff next week," he told O'Brien. "There could be some interesting things to talk about."
Lorre has not commented on Sheen's latest outbursts.
"Women" has a cast-contingent greenlight to go straight to series, with the casting more than a matter of simply filling a few roles. Producers are currently seeking a town where they will conduct a weeklong social experiment of what life without any females at all would be like, with all of the women who work and live there volunteering to make themselves scarce.
More details at Variety.com.
Disney has expanded the duties of Disney Junior Worldwide senior programming veep Nancy Kanter by naming her general manager as well.
With her dual role, Kanter will focus on the ongoing launch of the Disney Junior brand, targeted at children ages 2-7, which includes the upcoming move into a 24-hour channel in the U.S. (replacing SoapNet) and worldwide. Kanter will also continue to aim for delivering quality creative content on the programming side.
More details at Variety.com.
TBS’ college-set comedy has been canceled after its first season.
Skein about a group of friends in 1980s Wisconsin was created by Walt Becker and Michael LeSieur. Show, which debuted Nov. 16 and starred Kelly Blatz, Matt Bush and Andrew Seeley, ran for 10 episodes.
“Glory Daze” was one of the few original laffers the cabler had on its sked. Most of the programming lineup consists of offnet shows, including “The Office,” “My Name Is Earl,” “American Dad” and “Family Guy.”
Originals include a pair from Tyler Perry — “Meet the Browns” and “House of Payne” — as well as “Are We There Yet?”
That was the message at Wednesday’s Hollywood Radio and Television Society’s panel at the BevHilton, where network chiefs reiterated the difficulties of retaining auds and finding new viewers in an ever-increasingly crowded cable landscape.
FX president-g.m. John Landgraf said his net was “highly dependent on offnet series” acquired from broadcasters. BET’s original programming topper Loretha Jones reitereated that if it wasn’t for former broadcast sitcom “The Game,” which drew a whopping 7.7 million viewers in January, her net wouldn’t have landed the kind of positive press it has found so far this year.
“We had no inkling it would do that kind of number,” Jones explained.
For Jeff Wachtel, head of original programming for USA Network, “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” was originally an NBC vehicle, but the Dick Wolf skein moved to the cabler when the Peacock removed it from its schedule. Now shooting its 10th and final season that launches May 1, skein is bringing back original stars Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe.
Wachtel said instead of just letting the show end without much fanfare, the USA Network decided it wanted a “victory lap” for the show that “brings intelligent closure for us.”
The discussion of canceling series that may have critical appeal but are ratings challenged was addressed to Landgraf when discussing the end of “Terriers.” He said it would cost FX approximately $200 million to keep a drama series on the air for seven seasons, and that it was prudent to cancel “Terriers” after the first season, rather than it continue as a financial drain on the net.
Using ratings data he learned on “Damages,” Landgraf said if had a choice today, he wouldn’t go forward with the Glenn Close starrer that was given a two-season reprieve on DirecTV after running three seasons on FX. Because the show was so serialized and many people watched on DVR, the network wasn’t able to monetize the skein as well as it would’ve liked.
“For many people, it was better to watch that show on DVR than watch it live,” he explained. “You’d be crazy to make that show now.”
In a chat about the recent move of high-profile sporting events to cable, Showtime topper David Nevins (pictured) — whose net is set to air a docuseries on the San Francisco Giants — said, “It’s not a God-given right” for viewers to be able to watch sports for free and called the transition a “very natural and obvious evolution.”
Nevins said his goal at Showtime is to make sure viewers are given their money’s worth every month, as auds write a check to the pay cabler every time their cable or satellite bill arrives in the mail.
As for what he believes viewers want to see, Nevins — who was a seller at Imagine Television but is now a buyer at Showtime — said, “Our shows will be defined by my tastes. I’m at a place suited to my tastes.”
She replaces Nicole Bernard, who is now senior VP of audience strategy for the Fox Group and reports to entertainment president Kevin Reilly.
Casey’s responsibilities will cut across all Fox broadcast and cable entities, and she will continue to report to general counsel Rita Tuzon. Previously, Casey (pictured) oversaw standards and practices and commercial clearances for cable only.
“Consolidating management of cable and broadcast standards and practices makes perfect sense, and Elizabeth is clearly the perfect executive for the role,” said Tuzon. “The same sound business judgment and detailed thinking that she has brought to her legal career will serve her well as she takes on the additional responsibility of supervising broadcast standards and the entire FNG commercial clearance portfolio. Elizabeth understands both the legal and practical aspects of the position.”
Audience strategy, which Bernard will now supervise, is a new department at the Fox Group that will identify programming, content and services that are compelling and relevant to increasingly broad audiences.
“In the media and entertainment business, we are ultimately in service of our audience and we must ensure that we reflect and connect with all segments of the increasingly diverse American audience in our practices and our product,” said Reilly. “Nicole is a driven, strategy-minded executive who has demonstrated real leadership at Fox, and I know she will make a big impact in this important new role.”
“Viewers connect with La La because despite the fairy-tale wedding and NBA-star husband, she is a real, down-to-earth, hardworking woman who stays true to herself,” VH1 original programming and production EVP Jeff Olde said. “The best thing about the new series is that while pursuing and realizing her dreams, La La gets to take us back to her home in New York, where her story began.”
Cris Abrego is exec producing "Full Court Life" for 51 Minds with Vazquez and Anthony (through their shingle Krossover Entertainment) and The Collective's Steven Grossman.
Host of ESPN’s morning gabfest “The Herd,” Cowherd has a pilot at CBS, written by Bill Martin and Mike Schiff, that’s inspired by the goings-on in his life — both on and off the air.
The idea came about after Cowherd — co-host with Michelle Beadle on afternoon series “SportsNation” — struck up a friendship with “Two and a Half Men” exec producer Eric Tannenbaum, who took the idea to Eye execs. CBS has gone the sports personality route before, with mixed results.
On the megahit “Everybody Loves Raymond,” Ray Romano’s character was a sportswriter. The 2004 skein “Listen Up” starred Jason Alexander and was based on Washington Post sportswriter Tony Kornheiser.
Cowherd says he’s enjoying the TV pilot process but won’t be consumed by the project, which has yet to be cast.
“A man needs to know his limitations,” he explains. “The mistakes people sometimes make is that they think they’re more than they are. I’m not a Hollywood insider. I do radio and am pretty effective at it. I would be kidding myself if I said I had any great acumen in producing. It’s not my field of strength. I know where I’m limited.”
While well-versed in all things Kobe, LeBron and A-Rod, Cowherd says he’d love to opportunity to chat about issues that go beyond the field of play. A discussion of events in the Middle East or a political discussion clearly interests him.
But he’s also a realist and understands that listeners tune in to his ESPN radio show to hear and chat sports.
“The only downside in doing sports radio that there are times when the Egypt situation is more fascinating than the games,” he says. “I always thought if someone offered me a general talkshow, I’d be interested.”
According to sources, the Eye has been in early discussions about televising a new tour that is the brainchild of poker pro Annie Duke, former World Series of Poker commissioner Jeffrey Pollack and Federated Sports and Gaming.
Four-tournament event will take place in August, September, December and January, followed by a championship round. All tournaments will be played at the Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
CBS declined to comment.
ESPN has long made its mark with the hugely popular World Series of Poker, televising the event each summer and fall. Last year’s winner, Jonathan Duhamel, took home a first-place prize of $8.9 million over a field of 7,319 players. Cabler is currently airing the World Series of Poker Europe.
Since 2007, NBC has aired “Poker After Dark” six days a week at 2 a.m. Peacock also telecasts the Heads-Up Championship from Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in the spring.
The World Poker Tour airs on Fox Sports Net. Seasons nine through 11 air at 8 and 11 p.m. Sundays.
The "Kids in the Hall" and "News Radio" vet joins writer-actor-executive producer David Hornsby and actress Nancy Lenehan in the laffer, with Ted Schachter exec producing and Pam Fryman directing.
CBS has also cast Eva Amurri ("Californication") in "The Doctor" with Christine Lahti, Jenn Proske in "Home Game" and Judy Marte, Tom Reed and Star Sands in "Rookies."
Barrett will play the supporting role of Magnus in "Kids," which tells the story of a 32-year-old man who falls in love with an older divorcee with two children and her ex's family omnipresent. Peter Traugott and Stacy Traub are exec producing the pilot, written by Hunter Covington.
Riva will play Rosie in "Lost and Found," about a woman whose 18-year-old son whom she had given up for adoption reenters her life. Marisa Coughlan wrote the pilot, with Jeff and Jackie Filgo exec producing.
ABC had previously cast Alan Tudyk in "Suburgatory," a satirical horror-comedy set in the suburbs.
Thanks to Sam Miller of the Orange County Register for the link: http://catsthatlooklikeronswanson.tumblr.com/
Regis Philbin is the guest on this upcoming episode of "Take Two with Phineas and Ferb" — the short talkshow spinoff of the Disney duo's smash animated series — and after answering a few questions and rapping ("Squirrels in my Pants," anyone?), it didn't take long for him to move to the host's chair.
-- "Stargate Universe" begins its final season of 10 episodes March 7.
-- "Destination Truth" has a special live episode March 17, then begins airing on Tuesdays starting March 22.
-- "Marcel's Quantum Kitchen," a so-called "high-tech cooking series for the modern age," has its series premiere Match 22 after "Destination Truth."
-- "Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files" has its season-two premiere March 23.
-- "Sanctuary" launches its 10-episode third season April 15.
-- Four original movies also have dates scheduled: "Battle of Los Angeles" with Nia Peeples on March 12 (not to be confused with feature film "Battle: Los Angeles," which opens the same weekend), "Scream of the Banshee" with Lauren Holly on March 26, "Ferocious Planet" with Joe Flanigan on April 9 and "Roadkill" with Stephen Rea on April 23.
Update: Syfy also announced it has acquired 31 episodes of former Fox series "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" and will premiere them April 7.
Kring himself is looking for a return to broadcast after the 2010 series finale of "Heroes," which he exec produced for NBC.
Sutherland and Kring are exec producing "Touch" with Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope. Drama tells the story of a father who discovers his autistic, mute son can predict events before they happen.
By SAM THIELMAN
CNN's Ben Wedeman has won a dangerous race: the net's senior international correspondent is the first American TV journo to file from Libya. That country is enduring the convulsions of a popular revolt against head of state Moammar Gadhafi, whose reign has entered its fifth decade.
"This part of Eastern Libya is clearly under control of the rebel forces that are opposed to Col. Gadhafi," Wedeman told the net's Wolf Blitzer by phone Monday evening. "Clearly, the situation is very unstable. What we saw, is there are a lot of people, mostly Egyptians, that are leaving Libya. At the moment we are told by officials at the Egyptian border that 15,000 Egyptians left Libya returning to Egypt."
Journos have had trouble entering Libya even as they've covered the collapse of governments around that country; the rulers of Egypt and Tunisia have fallen under pressure from demonstrators. Bahrain is currently undergoing similar protests, though that government's reaction has been notably violent.
Gadhafi, however, has responded with greater violence than any of his neighbors, sending in airstrikes against revolutionaries and setting fire to munitions dumps in order to stymie violent response. The decision has taken its toll on military morale: Two Libyan air force colonels defected on Monday, taking their F1 Mirage fighter planes with them.
News of the defections arrived only after the pilots landed their planes in Malta, but with Wedeman in the country, other reporters may not be far behind.
Ashley Judd is close to signing a deal that would cast her as the lead in ABC’s “Missing.”
Drama, from writer Greg Poirier and ABC Studios, has a 10-episode order and will start shooting this summer in Europe as it preps for a fall or midseason launch. Gina Matthews and Grant Scharbo are exec producing with director Steve Schill.
“Missing” centers on a suburban mother who, after her son disappears in Italy while studying abroad, rushes to Europe to track him down. It soon becomes clear she is no ordinary soccer mom, but a former CIA agent who will stop at nothing to bring her son home alive.
This is Judd’s first series since she co-starred in NBC’s “Sisters” from 1991-94. Her next bigscreen role will be in Warner Bros.’ "Dolphin Tale,” due in September.
Most of Poirier’s work has been for films as well. He wrote the 2007 pic “National Treasure: Book of Secrets.”
Judd is repped by WME.
Nancy Carr, senior VP of corporate communications for Hallmark Channels, died Friday following complications from a perforated colon. She was 50.
Carr, who had suffered from brain tumors for the past several years, had been hospitalized at St. Johns Medical Center in Santa Monica since Monday night.
Carr, a graduate of USC, was well-known and well-liked among TV journos. Before joining Hallmark in 2005, Carr was at CBS for more than 15 years and ultimately served as VP of communications from 1999-2004. She helped launch dozens of Eye series, including "CSI," Without a Trace," "Everybody Loves Raymond" and the "CBS at 75" campaign.
At Fox in 1992-93, Carr was a senior manager of publicity at Fox where she oversaw such skeins as "Beverly Hills 90210" and "Roc Live."
"Hallmark Channels is saddened by the passing of our friend and colleague Nancy Carr," said president-CEO Bill Abbott. "Nancy succumbed today in a Los Angeles area hospital after battling a long illness. We are grateful to Nancy for guiding the company's corporate media strategy for more than five years.
"On the personal side, those of us who cared deeply for and about Nancy will never forget her dedication to life's smallest creatures, as she worked tirelessly for animal rights and animal rescue. The company sends deep and sincere condolences to Nancy's family."
"It's a very sad day," the CBS Communications Group said in a statement. "Our thoughts are with her husband, Ronnie and her family. We'll remember Nancy as the architect behind some of CBS' biggest miniseries and live events campaigns, as well as, an exceptionally dedicated colleague and most importantly, a kind and caring person."
Said Pam Slay, senior VP of network program publicity at Hallmark Channels: "She never complained a single day. She also never stopped rescuing animals from kill shelters. When I saw her at dinner last Friday, she showed me pictures of all the kittens she was finding homes for. She earned her angel wings long before she passed."
There will be no public service. The family asks that donations be sent to the animal rescue website www.FixNation.org.
Survivors include her husband, Ronnie Bradford, and two stepchildren.
Several casting announcements have come on the Friday before the long weekend, led by Tim Allen's fairly long-anticipated deal to star in ABC's once-titled, now-untitled comedy from Jack Burditt. (Stuart Levine has details on that one.)
-- Kat Dennings for CBS comedy "Two Broke Girls"
-- Leelee Sobieski for CBS drama "Rookies"
-- Diane Farr, Ken Howard and Patrick Breen for Fox drama "Council of Dads"
-- Michael Beach (pictured) for ABC drama "Partners"
-- Rob Corddry and Paula Marshall for Fox comedy "Little in Common"
-- BJ Bales and Lindsey Craft for Fox comedy "Tagged"
Disney XD announced a second season of "Pair of Kings" has begun production, after a freshman campaign that made it the channel's No. 1 series in main kids demos. Season premiere will come later this year.
Mitchel Musso and Doc Show star in the series, which was tops in 2010 for Disney XD among kids 6-14, 6-11 and 9-14. It's also No. 2 for Disney XD in total viewers (averaging 684,000) behind "Phineas and Ferb."
The series premiered in September and was Disney XD's No. 1 series in 2010 across all key kid and boy demos — including Kids 6-14 and Boys 6-14 — and ranked No. 2 in Total Viewers (684,000) behind "Phineas and Ferb," at least doubling the year-earlier time period in core demos*.
Dan Cross and Dave Hoge created the series and exec produce with Matt Wickline.
Written by Knight and exec produced by Doug Robinson, multicam pilot is a workplace ensemble centered around the young people who work at a high-powered venture capital firm.
Project is from Sony, CBS Television Studios and Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison shingle. Knight's previous series include “Krod Mandoon and the “Flaming Sword of Fire” and “Big Wolf on Campus.”
Last year Harris directed an episode of his skein “How I Met Your Mother.”
ABC isn't letting a little thing like the fastest cancelation of 2010-11 scare them off from casting the stars of "Lone Star" in pilots.
Inside of 48 hours after Adrianne Palicki graduated from the Fox drama to "Wonder Woman," ABC has plucked the two other members of the "Lone Star" love triangle, casting James Wolk in "Georgetown" and Eloise Mumford in "The River."
"Georgetown" is a soapy drama about aspiring power brokers in the nation's capital, while "The River" explores a mystery of a TV crew lost in the Amazon.
With Thursday's revelation that she had suffered a "complex migraine," CBS 2 Los Angeles news reporter Serene Branson has hit the interview circuit with a bang to describe the events of this week.
Thursday, an interview on her own news station aired, and she has also taped a piece for Friday's nationwide editions of "The Talk." Then this morning, she appeared on CBS' "The Early Show." Below, a clip from the latter:
A roundup of recent network pilot castings:
Per the L.A. Times story, it looks like KCBS2 reporter Serene Branson, who began speaking jibberish Sunday night on a live newscast following the Grammy Awards, is going to be OK.
With permission from her doctor at UCLA to talk about her condition, it seems as if Branson suffered a "complex migraine," which can have many of the same symptoms of a stroke. It is believed her symptoms were only temporary.
She was immediately taken home after the 11 p.m. telecast.
"The Judds" has a six-episode order to go behind the scenes on the pair's first tour together in 10 years, including sessions with their longtime life coach. The Judds exec produce with Gay Rosenthal, Bruce Toms and Kerry Hansen.
Meanwhile, "Addicted to Food,” which follows the rehab of eight patients at an eating disorder treatment center, begins its eight-episode run at 10 p.m. March 29. Troy Searer and John Foy exec produce.
There were two waves of reaction unleashed by Wednesday's news that Adrianne Palicki had won the lead role in NBC's "Wonder Woman" pilot. One was the excitement over the bigtime casting of an exciting young talent whose best work (on "Friday Night Lights") has gone unseen by the masses.
The other was, David E. Kelley is really doing "Wonder Woman?" David E. Kelley? Really?
Kelley's involvement with the project is months-old news, but it seemed to really crystalize following the Palicki announcement, with several writers reacting ... not in a good way. Alan Sepinwall of HitFix.com went there hard:
... whatever enthusiasm I have about the casting immediately goes out the window considering that this isn't just any "Wonder Woman" reboot, but a David E. Kelley reboot, when Kelley is absolutely the last writer in the business I would want to see anywhere near this character.
It's not just that Kelley's fondness for wackiness and jarring tonal shifts will surely undercut any attempt to treat the character even vaguely seriously. It's not just that the character and her world don't seem to provide much room for his biggest skill, which is writing flowery courtroom speeches. It's not just that he hasn't written a believably three-dimensional human character since the early days of "The Practice."
It's that Kelley can't write women, at all. He's the man whose "Ally McBeal" inspired an infamous Time magazine cover asking if feminism was dead - and even that show's early fans couldn't defend its depiction of women as neurotic messes by the time it wrapped. He's the man responsible for "girls club," a show about three sexy young female attorneys that actually made "Ally McBeal" seem like it had been written by Gloria Steinem. The women on his shows either start out as caricatures or descend into caricature rapidly, and are rarely granted the dignity that he gives even his goofiest male characters.
Kelley has something of a success right now in "Harry's Law" (though it's mainly a success by the terrible standards of NBC in the aftermath of the Jeff Zucker regime laid waste to the network), which does have a female lead in Kathy Bates. But the role was, as the title suggests, written for a man, and very little of it seems to have been tweaked to be about Bates' gender - where Wonder Woman, as ambassador for a nation of women, is a character who is about gender 24/7.
Simply put, a David E. Kelley-written Wonder Woman is going to be a complete embarrassment, even with somebody like Palicki in the title role ...
But Sepinwall wasn't the only one.
"It strikes me as strange that the network would want Kelley's take on this character," Mo Ryan of TV Squad wrote. "Why not hire one of the many TV writers in Hollywood who grew up reading graphic novels and watching various female heroines kick butt on the small screen? Why not recruit someone with a passion for this character and this genre, not a well-known producer who's had a lot of success with a series of legal shows?"
Said James Poniewozik of Time: "David E. Kelley creating a plausible woman lead? I could not conceive a worse match of writer and subject if I were writing an Onion headline."
Most blunt of all was Kate Aurthur of the Daily Beast on Twitter: "Anyone excited that Adrianne Palicki has been cast as Wonder Woman must hate Adrianne Palicki. Not on my worst enemy would I wish that role!"
To be sure, there were some who had jumped on the Anyone but Kelley Bandwagon before Wednesday's casting news. At the Daily Beast, Jace Lacob wrote about a December version of the pilot script, calling it "laughably bizarre." Undoubtedly, pages have been revised since then, but Lacob's article, now widely linked to, has done little to assuage concerns about Kelley.
It's at this point where I usually come in to preach patience, saying that we stand to gain absolutely nothing from judging the pilot before it's actually completed, because there will be plenty of time to react after it's screened. For example, I've made it a pet project to ask baseball fans not to condemn the upcoming "Moneyball" movie before they've at least seen it. But I have to admit, my first reaction as I thought about Kelley doing "Wonder Woman" was, only half-jokingly, whether someone caught in the lasso of truth would launch into a five-minute polemic about legal injustices.
At various times, I've greatly enjoyed Kelley's "Picket Fences," "Ally McBeal," "Chicago Hope" and "The Practice," so I don't come in with a predisposition to dislike the guy (who, of course, is more successful in his career than I'll ever be in mine). My mind is completely open to the possibility that the naysayers could be wrong. But I can certainly understand the concern of those who feel he's simply the wrong person for the job, and the impulse to try to tell the Peacock to be wary of indulging too many of his writerly eccentricities.
Given that its "Bionic Woman" remake didn't make it through a full year and that its "Rockford Files" reboot never made it out of pilot season, however, NBC is probably wary about "Wonder Woman" in its own way. In any case, the Palicki-Kelley yin-yang figures to be one of the most-watched stories of Pilot Season 2011.
Palicki will play the title role in the NBC pilot from David E. Kelley and Warner Bros. TV. Kelley, who is also currently shepherding the Peacock’s “Harry’s Law,” wrote the pilot, which will be directed by Jeffrey Reiner. Kelley and Bill D’Elia are exec producers.
Lynda Carter played the crime-fighting superhero in the ABC series that ran from 1976-79.
Palicki starred on “Friday Night Lights” for three seasons as a Texas high school student with ambitions of going to college. The actress returned to the just concluded series for the final two episodes.
She also was cast in Fox’s “Lone Star,” which was a critical hit but a ratings disappointment after debuting in September. The skein was canceled after two episodes. On the feature film side, she’ll co-star in the upcoming pic “Red Dawn.”
Palicki is repped by UTA, Anonymous Content and attorney David Fox.
Mayes, who has appeared in episodes of “Cold Case,” “Medium” and “Bones,” will play a sexy rookie pitcher whose love interest is a young woman (Laura Bell Bundy) attempting a career as a country singer but is currently a bartender.
Others already cast include Chris Butler and Ryan Doom. “Hound Dogs” centers on a fictional Nashville team whose players and general manager have plenty of personal issues to contend with off the field.
Fox is upping a trio of execs from its development ranks.
Suzanna Makkos and Marcus Wiley have been promoted to senior VP in comedy development. On the drama side, Terence Carter will moving up to senior VP as well.
Makkos and Wiley will continue oversight of Fox’s laffer slate, which includes both live action and animation. They, as well as Carter, will report directly to network president Kevin Reilly.
Matt Cherniss was Fox’s exec VP of programming and second in command behind Reilly before leaving recently to enter the film business. Cherniss arrived at Fox from FX and was a key player in the development of "Glee" and "Raising Hope."
With Cherniss gone, the new promotions officially eliminate the exec VP layer on the development side the net.
"Suzanna, Marcus and Terence have delivered for Fox and have delivered for me," said Reilly. "I trust their creative judgment 100%. I have a fantastic working relationship with each of them, and I know they have the drive and curiosity to feed our network with the most innovative scripted ideas for years to come."
Fox is also hiring four support staff members in development, as it tries to bolster its team in mining new series going forward.
Among the series that Makkos and Wiley have cultivated are "The Cleveland Show," "Raising Hope" and "Bob’s Burgers."
Carter came to Fox from NBC where he was VP of drama programming. At Fox he’s had a hand with newly launched drama "The Chicago Code" and "Lone Star," which was a critical hit but failed to generate ratings. He’s also been working closely on "Terra Nova," which is set to begin in May.
“Coming Home,” which recieved an order for 13 hourlong episodes, will premiere at 10 p.m. March 6, immediately following the season-five premiere of “Wives.”
All five branches of the U.S. military will be represented in the series, which is exec produced by Tom Forman (“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”) and Star Price (“The Amazing Race”). RelativityReal, the joint venture of Forman and Relativity’s Ryan Kavanaugh, is the shingle behind the show.
Matt Rogers (pictured), a former “American Idol” round-of-12 finalist, will host. It’s his second hosting gig in recent years, following CBS’ “There Goes the Neighborhood.”
“Wives,” Lifetime’s most-watched series, averaged 3.2 million viewers in its fourth season.
That didn't look so promising when Lohan tweeted the following Tuesday night: "I am NOT going to be doing David Letterman, I'm not sure how this happened, but I am sorry for the confusion..."
Sure enough, this morning, CBS released the following statement:
“Lindsay Lohan will not be delivering a Top 10 list on Thursday’s "Late Show with David Letterman," as had been previously announced. We made a mistake. Someone purporting to be a friend of Lindsay's reached out to the show yesterday, allegedly on her behalf, and booked her to appear. Clearly, this person was not authorized to make commitments on her behalf. We wish Lindsay well, and look forward to having her on the show in the future."
Seems that odds are strong we'll have something akin to a Top 10 reasons why Lindsay Lohan isn't delivering a Top 10 list on "Letterman" later this week.
Four days before she was brutally attacked, CBS chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan gave this interview to Charlie Rose in which she discussed how aware she was of the risks of reporting in Egypt but how compelled she was to return (link via L.A. Observed).
"It's very hard for me to be away from this story," she said at one point. "I feel in one sense like a failure, professionally. I feel like I failed, because I didn't deliver, and I take that responsibility very seriously. And you know, we're still working on the story, but fundamentally it's in my blood to be there and to be on the street and be listening to people and to do the best reporting that I can. At the same time, I'm also aware of the fact I put my family through a very difficult situation.
"You know, one of the most dangerous accusations you can have leveled at you is that you're a spy or an agent for a foreign government, and that's the kind of accusation against which you have no defense and which can very easily get you killed, and you'd better take it seriously."
HBO is boarding the S.S. Lady Gaga, presenting a solo concert broadcast May 7 that will be taped next week.
"Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour at Madison Square Garden" will feature L.G. accompanied by a 10-piece band and 10 backup dancers.
“Lady Gaga is the single most exciting music talent on the scene today,” HBO Entertainment prexy Sue Naegle said. “We’re especially thrilled that she’ll be creating unique new elements for the special that will make the show an even more memorable experience for our viewers.”
Lady Gaga on Sunday received three Grammys: female pop vocal performance, pop vocal album and short form musicvideo, giving her a career total of five. The HBO special is airing 16 days before the scheduled release of her next album, "Born This Way."
Lauriann Gibson, who has choreographed most of Lady Gaga's videos, will direct the special, with Lady Gaga, Troy Carter, Vincent Herbert and Jimmy Iovine producing.
NBC laffer “30 Rock” rolled to seven nominations for the first annual “Comedy Awards,” the new awards show that will be broadcast across several Viacom-owned networks including Comedy Central on April 10.
The sitcom received acting nominations for Tina Fey, Jane Krakowski, Alec Baldwin and Tracy Morgan in addition to writing, directing and series nods. Fey also received a film comedy actress nomination for “Date Night.”
Leading the film noms were “Cyrus,” “Kick-Ass” and “Easy A,” which were all tapped for comedy film, screenplay, director and actor or actress (Jonah Hill, Chloe Moretz, Emma Stone).
“The Comedy Awards” are scheduled to be simulcast on Comedy Central, Spike, VH1, CMT, TV Land, Logo and Nick at Nite. Nominations were chosen by a committee that included James Burrows, Stephen Colbert, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Brad Grey, Seth MacFarlane, Adam McKay, Conan O’Brien, Don Rickles, Joan Rivers, Chris Rock, Ray Romano, Phil Rosenthal, Jon Stewart and Lily Tomlin.
“Modern Family” and “The Office” were next on the TV side behind “30 Rock” with four nominations apiece. That trio was joined in the comedy series race by “Eastbound & Down” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”
The remaining nominees for comedy film were “Get Him to the Greek” and “The Other Guys.”
A voting body of comedy writers, producers, performers and directors numbering close to 1,000 will vote on the winners, except in the category of “Best Viral Original,” for which videos can be submitted at the website for “The Comedy Awards.”
The full list of nominees follows ...
This Chuck Lorre vanity card from Monday kind of says it all, doesn't it ...
CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #329
I exercise regularly. I eat moderate amounts of healthy food. I make sure to get plenty of rest. I see my doctor once a year and my dentist twice a year. I floss every night. I've had chest x–rays, cardio stress tests, EKG's and colonoscopies. I see a psychologist and have a variety of hobbies to reduce stress. I don't drink. I don't smoke. I don't do drugs. I don't have crazy, reckless sex with strangers.
If Charlie Sheen outlives me, I'm gonna be really pissed.
Cabler has ordered 16 half-hour episodes of an untitled reality skein that will follow Barr and her boyfriend, Johnny Argent, as they run a macadamia and livestock farm on the big island of Hawaii. Skein is set to premiere later this year.
“They’ve said ‘Roseanne’s nuts’ for years, and now I’m going to make that a reality,” Barr said. “I’m all about nuts now — macadamia nuts.”
Series will be produced by 3 Ball Prods./Eyeworks USA. Barr, JD Roth, Todd A. Nelson, Brant Pinvidic, and Steven Greener are exec producers.
Greenlight for the Barr show comes a week after network topper Nancy Dubuc ordered two new detective dramas for the femme-skewing cabler: “Exit 19” and “Against the Wall,” which upped the net’s original scripted series to four.
Barr hasn’t appeared much on television in recent years. Her self-titled sitcom ran for nine seasons on ABC from 1988-97.
Said Dubuc: “Roseanne is funny and brutally honest, and our audience will relate to her decision to go on this adventure and create an entirely new life for herself.”
Stan Rosenfield, PR man to Charlie Sheen, among many others, is nothing if not unflappable.
He's so in the zen zone that he's participating in a Beverly Hills Bar Assn. panel sesh on Wednesday on a timely topic of "Celebrities in Crisis." He'll be gabbing along with two lawyers who have had their share of high-maintenance and high-billing clients, Mark Geragos and Blair Berk, and Danette Meyers, the L.A. county prosecutor in charge of Lindsay Lohan, which as we all know is a full-time beat.
It's a luncheon sesh at Lawry's Restaurant on La Cienega. A little prime rib, a little celebrity ribbing...
-- Cynthia Littleton
Though they later changed their tune — to another unverified theory — the people at Fox News didn't exactly give Serene Branson the benefit of the doubt when first reacting to news of her challenging Sunday.
Before (pic courtesy of StopBeck.com):
And after ...
The rewritten headline came on the post that retained a URL ending with "drunk-cbs-reporter-speaks-utter-gibberish".
Previously on On the Air: CBS on Serene Branson: 'Doing much better'
“Stay away from the crack, which I think is pretty good advice, unless you can manage it socially. If you can manage it socially, then go for it, but not a lot of people can. “
The “Two and a Half Men” star spoke to “The Dan Patrick Show” Monday morning in what was an entertaining but often incoherent interview. When Patrick asked Sheen if he was able to use crack socially, Sheen responded: “Yeah, but that kind of blew up in my face, like an exploding crack pipe.”
Sheen, who said he was feeling “great,” added he was looking forward to getting back to work on the “Two and a Half Men” set, but that no one else was.
“I’m ready. We’re in forced hiatus. I went back and nobody’s there. I’m here. I’m ready. They’re not,” Sheen said, who also predicted shooting would begin in “August 2014 or February 29th of non-leap year.”
He suggested that CBS and Warner Bros. start up production as soon as possible because “I heal really quickly, but I also unravel pretty quicly. Get me right now.”
Listen to the entire interview here.
According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, "The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards" drew 26.6 million viewers, the most since 2001. The broadcast, which recorded a 10.0 rating and 26 share among adults 18-49, also had its best numbers in key demos since 2004, CBS said.
The bump in overall viewers was approximately 680,000 or 3% from 2010.
Update: CBS now puts its updated number at 26.7 million, the highest in 11 years.
No one at CBS 2 News in Los Angeles is yet saying what happened to reporter Serene Branson at the Grammys late Sunday that caused her widely circulated and speculated-upon struggles (as seen above), but the station did say this morning in response to a phone inquiry that she is "doing much better."
Update, 10:10 a.m.: CBS 2 has now released the following statement: "Serene Branson was examined by paramedics on scene immediately after her broadcast. Her vital signs were normal. She was not hospitalized. As a precautionary measure, a colleague gave her a ride home and she says that she is feeling fine this morning."