TV News Roundup – October 2009 – Week 2
Stephen King chills tube again
‘Haven’ for E1 on the smallscreen
Stephen King is taking another stab at the smallscreen, signing on to turn his novella “The Colorado Kid” into an hourlong series for indie studio E1 Entertainment. Titled “Haven,” the project centers on a spooky town in Maine where cursed folk live normal lives in exile. When those curses start returning, FBI agent Audrey Parker is brought in to keep those supernatural forces at bay — while trying to unravel the mysteries of Haven.
‘Primeval’ recommissioned for two series
Primeval has been recommissioned for two series under a new co-production deal between ITV and UKTV. The arrangement, which also involves BBC America and German broadcaster Pro7, is for a seven-episode fourth series and a six-episode fifth. ITV1 will premiere series four in early 2011, while Watch will have the first run of series five later that year. ITV1 will then broadcast series five.
Seth Green gets animated at Fox
Net also setting up dark comedy from Diane Ruggiero
Fox has ordered a presentation and a script for an animated project from Seth Green, Matthew Senreich and Tom Root. The project, which uses family life and a high school as backdrops for a wide cast of characters, “will have an aesthetic familiar to viewers of Fox’s popular animated comedies,” said Green, an original cast member on Fox’s flagship animated comedy, “Family Guy.”
Matt LeBlanc to play sitcom actor in Showtime satire
In “Episodes,” a hit UK comedy is turned into dumbed-down American sitcom starring LeBlanc, playing a version of himself. The plot best recalls NBC’s struggle to adapt the UK series “Coupling,” before the network successfully launched its own version of British favorite “The Office.” Showtime has ordered six half-hours of the single-camera comedy, which is a co-production between the network and BBC Two and will air sometime next year.
FlashForward’s Cho: Will he have to die for Sulu to live?
“Listen, all I know is that, … First of all, I don’t know when [a Star Trek sequel is] going, and if it’s going. I’m pretty sure it’s going, but I don’t know for sure, and I don’t know how long. I don’t know if my character will live on FlashForward. There’s a lot of question marks. The thing that I do know is that both sets of producers want the other project to happen. So you start from a place of good will. I’m pretty confident that we can work through whatever situation comes up. I think they feed one another.”
GLAAD: Gay TV characters at record high; CBS criticized
ABC (8 characters) continues to lead in scripting gay characters. Barrios said NBC (3) and Fox (4) have made significant strides — only two years ago Fox had no regular gay characters. The CW had two. CBS, however, had no gay characters out of 132 series regulars. “CBS alone is a network that continues to weed out gay and lesbian programming, they’re really out of step with network television.”
True Blood’s Stephen Moyer Slips A Hint About Season 3
“I love working with Anna–I don’t think we will be working together this season only because it’s very hard to make Bill and Sookie the couple just be Bill and Sookie the couple. Nobody wants to watch that forever–every single drama you’ve ever watched has that thing where now you’ve watched and now let’s put him over there and see how he works with her and how she works with him…so we’ll see!”
NBC closing in on ‘Midnighters’
Centers on people who use the 25th hour to stop crime
The network is closing a deal for “Midnighters,” a drama project based on Alloy Entertainment’s book series. “Midnighters,” from Warner Bros. TV and Alloy, revolves around a group of people born at the stroke of midnight who have access to the 25th hour of each day, which they use to stop crime.
HBO to co-produce Chris Lilley project
‘Angry Boys’ begins production in Australia Oct. 5
HBO is teaming with the Australian Broadcasting Corp. to co-produce “Angry Boys,” a 12-episode series from Australian comedian Chris Lilley, the creator of hit mockumentary series “Summer Heights High” and “We Can Be Heroes.” Exploring what it means to be a 21st century boy by putting males under the microscope, “Angry Boys” will be made in Lilley’s signature mock documentary style, with Lilley again expected to play a range of characters.
J.J. Abrams project officially at NBC
Spy drama from Warners, Bad Robot sparked bidding war
The network has closed a deal with Warner Bros. and Abrams’ Bad Robot for a spy drama Abrams co-wrote with Josh Reims. The show, which revolves around two spies working together who also are husband and wife, returns Abrams to the spy arena, which he mined with his ABC series “Alias.”
NBC’s ‘Day One’ reduced in scope
Network turns series into four-hour miniseries
The order for NBC’s midseason drama series “Day One” has been reduced to the two-hour pilot plus two episodes. The show, chronicling life on Earth after a global catastrophe, now will air as a four-hour miniseries following NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics. After examining the promo budget associated with launching a 13-episode midseason series, NBC executives opted to run the drama as a miniseries, with creator Jesse Alexander said to be on board with the decision.
Meet the new (but not improved) K9 from Doctor Who
The long-rumored Doctor Who spinoff series K9—The Series has finished production and is slated to debut in Australia and Europe early next year, according to Park Entertainment. This show, first reported several years ago, is the second attempt to build a children’s show around the robot dog, which was first introduced in 1977 and has appeared in various forms over Doctor Who’s various incarnations. For contractual reasons, the new show won’t feature any characters from Doctor Who. Just the dog himself, plus a new batch of kids.
David Goyer and Brannon Braga Exclusive Video Interview FLASHFORWARD
While some interviews are brief, my conversation with Goyer and Braga went for about 30 minutes. What that means is we talked about everything – from how “FlashForward” got off the ground to how the show gets made each week. Of course, we also talked about what was up with the Oceanic Airlines billboard in the pilot and how do they deal with the comparisons to “Lost”. And for fans of “24″, Braga talks about what’s coming up in the new season and Goyer talks about “Ghost Rider 2″ and “Magneto”.
‘Californication’ coming back for Season 4
Showtime series had third-season premiere last week
Showtime has given an early fourth-season pickup to “Californication.” The renewal comes on the heels of the dark comedy’s third-season premiere last week, which hit an all-time ratings high. It drew 821,000 viewers, up 57% from last season’s premiere.
Canal Plus, EOS greenlight ‘Borgias’
Mini exec produced by Albrecht, Thomopoulos
Canal Plus and German production company EOS have greenlighted production of the 12-hour mini “The Borgias.” Project, penned by Tom Fontana, will be a co-production with multiple European partners, but it will be shot in English to facilitate its sale to a U.S. network. Casting is underway and production is targeted to begin in Europe in the spring. Canal Plus is eyeing an airdate in the first quarter of 2011.
But Wait, There’s More…
- NBC orders ‘Madagascar,’ ‘Monsters vs. Aliens’ specials
- New ABC series, ‘Challenged’ and ‘FlashForward’ add actors
- Carol Leifer sets up at CBS, Showtime
- ‘The Station,’ ‘House Rules’ in play via extended options
- Comedy Central orders ‘Boys and Girls Guide to Getting Down’ pilot
- Kevin Zegers joins ‘Gossip Girl’
- CBS brainstorms ‘Criminal Minds’ spinoff
- ‘Drop Dead Diva’ producers secure two projects
- USA orders ‘Facing Kate’ pilot
- FX gives out two series orders; ‘Terriers,’ ‘Lights Out’
- James Franco joining ‘General Hospital’
- CBS renews ‘Flashpoint’
- Fox orders ‘The Intruders’
- Starz to air 3 movies based on children’s book series ‘Booky’
- Hallmark Channel to air ice skating specials
The Fine Print
This is by no means meant to be a comprehensive roundup of the entire weeks’ news. All stories are chosen by me for no other reason than that they got my attention and might capture yours. If something you think is more important chime in on the feedback; we’d love to hear comments and have a conversation about it.
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