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TV Newsround: Good News For Chuck And Visitors – Bad News For Heroes and Flashers

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As the flurry of renewals and cancellations stepped up a gear yesterday, there was good news for fans of V, the decent remake of the 1980s classic about alien invaders, and sci-fi spy comedy-drama Chuck.

V, starring Elizabeth Mitchell – previously best-known for playing Juliet in Lost – and Firefly‘s Morena Baccarin, has been renewed for a second season by US network ABC.

Meanwhile NBC has committed to a fourth season of the acclaimed, but ratings-starved, Chuck.

Bad news, however, for fans of FlashForward, which has reportedly been canceled and will not be back after season one ends – guess we should have seen that one coming…

However, we were always promised that season one would be self-contained and that any future seasons would deal with new flash forwards, so at least we should get a resolution of sorts to the story.

I’m very sad, but not surprised, also to report the demise of Heroes, a show whose five-seasons will, in the future, surely serve as a case study of how NOT to run a TV show.

During its first season, it was the hottest new property on network TV but it was systematically destroyed through a lack of any apparent show-running ability, poor creative decisions, dire plotting and convoluted story arcs that often went nowhere or made no sense. In the end, it seems, they couldn’t save the cheerleader.

It’s been a busy time over the past days and weeks for those who get to decide the future of your favourite TV shows, so here’s a quick rundown of what’s happening with the rest of your favourites on the five big networks: ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS and The CW.

Renewed: Castle, Cougar Town, Modern Family, The Middle, The Big Bang Theory, The Good Wife, How I Met Your Mother, Two And A Half Men, Family Guy, American Dad, The Cleveland Show, Bones, Fringe, Glee, Human Target, Lie To Me, The Simpsons, 30 Rock, Community, Friday Night Lights, Law & Order: SVU, The Office, Parenthood, Parks & Recreation, 90210, Gossip Girl, Smallville, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, NCIS: Los Angeles.

Canceled: Better Off Ted, Hank, Romantically Challenged, Scrubs, Ugly Betty, 24, Dollhouse, Past Life, ‘Til Death, Law & Order, Mercy, Trauma.

The following are those shows that have yet to have their futures decided. Those in green are generally considered dead certs or good bets for renewal, those in red long shots and those in black are thought to be 50/50:

The Bachelor, Brothers & Sisters, The Deep End, Desperate Housewives, The Forgotten, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Accidentally on Purpose, Cold Case, Criminal Minds, CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, Gary Unmarried, Ghost Whisperer, Medium, The Mentalist, NCIS, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Numb3rs, Rules of Engagement, Brothers, House, Life Unexpected, Melrose Place, One Tree Hill.

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TV Newsround: The Show Will Go On… The Fate Of 58 Shows!

It’s that time of year when the US TV networks decide (or rather, share with the world) which shows live and which shows die.

The upfronts take place next week in New York, when the fate of your favourite show will be officially revealed.

However news about the future (or lack thereof) of many of the bigger shows has already leaked, plus a few already had previous multi-season agreements in place.

So here is a round-up of which shows will definitely be back (some of these, in particular the shows that air during the summer, were already known and mentioned in previous Choob posts), plus the ones that are still sweating it out.


The sixth and final season of Lost will begin early in 2010.

Brothers And Sisters will be back in September for its fourth season.

New comedy-drama Castle, starring former Firefly star Nathan Fillion as a mystery writer who teams up with an NYPD cop to help him research his new novel, has been renewed for a second season. The first season ended in the US last week.

Grey’s Anatomy gets a sixth season, while its spin-off Private Practice is renewed for a third.

Desperate Housewives has been given a sixth season.

Season four of Ugly Betty begins on September 24.

ABC Family comedy-drama Greek has an order for a 20-episode third season.


CBS has yet to make a decision on a fifth season of sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine, starring former Seinfeld star Julia Louis-Dreyfus (right), but ABC has agreed a back-up deal which will see the network pick up the show if CBS decides to pass on it. It’s the second time in two years that ABC has tried to take over the show.

This is less certain than most of the other shows listed here but rumours are circulating that, somewhat surprisingly, David Mamet‘s special forces military drama The Unit is being given a fifth season.

Again, not a dead cert, but police drama Cold Case is said to have a good chance of a seventh season.

It was revealed back in March that sitcoms Two And A Half Men and The Big Bang Theory have been guaranteed three and two more seasons respectively.


Day eight of 24 will begin early next year. Is said to be set in New York and feature the return of CTU.

Sci-fi detective drama Fringe has been renewed for a full second season.

Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse, starring Eliza Dushku, will be back for a second season of 12 episodes.

The Simpsons has been renewed for two more seasons. The 44-episode order will take the show through to the end of its 22nd season (and 493 episodes), making it the longest-running series in primetime US TV history.

The first season of Family Guy spin-off Cleveland is yet to air (it was pushed back from Spring to the Autumn), but it has already been given a 13-episode second-season order.


Dennis Leary firefighter drama Rescue Me has been renewed for an 18-episode sixth season.

Biker gang drama Sons Of Anarchy, starring Hellboy’s Ron Perlman, has been given a second-season order.


A fourth season of bigamy drama Big Love (below) has been ordered.

Vampire drama True Blood will be back for a second season.

Entourage gets a sixth season.


Despite diminishing ratings, Heroes will be back for season four.

The American version of The Office gets a sixth season.

Tina Fey’s (right) comedy 30 Rock saw ratings grow slightly this year and, though still on the low side, it has been rewarded with a fourth season.

Season eleven of Law and Order: SVU has been ordered.

Friday Night Lights has been given two more 13-episode seasons (its fourth and fifth).

Parks and Recreation, the new sitcom from the makers of the US version of The Office, which stars Saturday Night Live‘s Amy Poehler, gets a second season.

Supernatural drama Medium has been given a sixth season.

New LA-set cop drama Southland began its seven-episode first season last month and has already been renewed for a 13-episode second.


Historical drama The Tudors will return for a 10-part fourth (and final) season, which will complete the saga of King Henry VIII.

Season 5 of Weeds, starring Mary-Louise Parker, right, begins on Monday, June 8.

Dexter, starring Six Feet Under’s Michael C Hall as a serial killer who works for the Miami police department. Season three recently ended its run and the network has been renewed for at least two further seasons, of 12 episodes each.

Black comedy-drama The United States Of Tara, has been given a second, 12-episode season. The show, created by Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody, stars Toni Collette as a wife and mother-of-two who suffers from dissociative identity disorder.

Californication, starring David Duchovny as a charming but troubled writer, has been renewed for a third season.


A second season (15 episodes) of crime drama Leverage has been given the go-ahead.

Superboy drama Smallville will be back in the Autumn for its ninth season.

Supernatural returns for season five.

One Tree Hill gets a seventh season.

Newcomer 90210 gets a second season (plus a pilot order for an updated version of original Beverley Hills 90210 spin-off, Melrose Place – more details here).

A third season of Gossip Girl has been ordered.

Comedy Central

The Sarah Silverman Program will be returning for a third season. With Sarah Silverman, right, obviously.


The superb Mad Men has been renewed for at least two more seasons.


Sci-fi/fantasy drama Sanctuary, starring Stargate SG1 ’s Amanda Tapping, will be back for a second season.


Miami-set tongue-in-cheek drama Burn Notice, below, about a spy inexplicably cast adrift by his bosses and left to fend for himself, has earned a 16-episode third-season order. It begins on June 4.

Comedy-drama Psych, about a fake psychic who helps the police, has been given a fourth season.

Monk, the comedy-drama about an obsessive-compulsive private detective, gets an eighth and final season.


With the third season of Army Wives not due to begin until June, the Lifetime channel has ordered a fourth season.


Ensemble drama Crash, based on the 2005 Best Picture Oscar-winning film of the same name, has been renewed for a 13-episode second season


A nine-episode third season of My Boys, a comedy about a female sports writer in Chicago and the men in her life, has been ordered.


Syndicated sword-and-sorcery fantasy drama Legend Of The Seeker, currently airing its first season, has been renewed for a second run. The show is based on the Sword Of Truth series of books by Terry Goodkind.

Prospects for the following shows could still go either way but they haven’t been officially cancelled yet:


A third season of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, starring Summer Glau, right, looks highly unlikely but if you believe in miracles, now’s the time to start praying for one.


Talks are reportedly underway for a ninth season of medical comedy Scrubs, though possibly without regular appearances from several of the original cast.


Negotiations for a possible fifth season of My Name Is Earl continue.

A fan campaign to win a third season for Chuck continues, amid rumours that a decision will be delayed until after the upfronts.

No word either yet on season 20 of the original Law and Order.

(This post seemed like a good, simple, quick idea when I started it – several hours ago! Hope someone finds it useful.)

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Top Of The Pops Thursday: Nena – 99 Red Balloons / 99 Luftballons

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Earlier this week, you may recall, I waxed lyrical about the allure of Wilma Deering in Buck Rogers In The 25th Century and the impression she made on the young Choob (and, indeed a generation of youthful males… and, no doubt, a few females).

However, the truth is that Wilma came along a little early in my life to make that kind of impression and it was only watching repeats a few years later that she really became indelibly stamped on my psyche. Wearing that white, skin-tight flightsuit…

However, there was someone who come along at just the right time to qualify as the Choob’s bona fide first celebrity crush. And she was German!

Yes, it was Nena. Singer of that famous anti-balloon protest song (as Kenneth the page said in this week’s episode of 30 Rock).

She appeared out of nowhere in 1984. I think I saw her first on Top Of The Pops (99 Red Balloons – original German title 99 Luftballons – had reached No.1 in the UK charts).

She was also showcased in a memorable BBC Sight And Sound In Concert televised gig around the same time.

I know what you’re thinking – aren’t all televised gigs in sight and sound?

Well, yes, but back in 1984, TV broadcasts were still in mono but the Beeb had pioneered the (short-lived) innovation of broadcasting concerts on TV, synchronised with a Stereo FM radio broadcast (or “simulcast“) of the audio.

So, if your hi-fi (as they were called in those days) was in the same room as the TV, you could turn the volume down on the telly and crank up the radio and – voila – stereo TV, years before NICAM broadcasts started.

I can’t begin to tell you how besotted the 15-year-old Choob was with Nena – hairy armpits and all! – after seeing her in that televised concert, even though all the songs were in German.

I immediately resolved to go to see her on tour when she came to Glasgow. But alas, she never came (or if she did, I missed it). I never did see her live on stage. All I had was hazy memories of that BBC sight and sound concert.

Until YouTube came along, that is!

I can’t be 100 per cent sure but I am as certain as I can be that this is from that Sight and Sound broadcast – trust me, the leather trousers and black T-shirt combo are etched in my memory, even after quarter of a century…:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

And in the interests of completeness, here is the English version of the song, from Top Of The Pops:

Nena was destined to be a one-hit wonder in the UK and the US (and several other countries) but she is still releasing albums and touring in Germany and Europe – the above two pics without the legwarmers are from a gig in 2008 – she’s still got it!

Still not come to Glasgow though. Sigh…


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TV Newsround: When’s My Favourite Show Coming Back Update

Amy Poehler‘s new sitcom finally has a title and a start date. The Choob previously revealed details of the plot of the show, which has now been given the title Parks and Recreation.

It will debut on NBC at 8.30pm on April 9, sandwiched between two new episodes of The Office.

The addition of an extra episode of The Office on that night means that show’s 29-episode fifth season will still end on May 14 as planned but with a single half-hour episode rather than a one-hour finale. To fill in the gap, the season finale of 30 Rock will move back a week to May 14 from May 7.

Parks & Recreation follows the same “mockumentary” style of The Office (at an early stage, it was envisaged as an Office spin-off) and stars Poehler as Leslie Knope, a mid-level employee for a municipal parks and recreation department in Indiana who sees her job as the first step toward a grand career in politics. She makes it her mission to help a city resident (“Office” veteran Rashida Jones) turn a vacant lot into a park, despite resistance on pretty much all levels.

Reaper returns to the CW network for its second, 13-episode season at 8pm on Tuesday March 3, running until May 26. 90210, the updated version of Beverley Hills 90210, which currently airs at 8pm on Tuesdays, will move back to 9pm, with its season ending on May 19. Also on the network, Privileged, which is the current occupant of the Tuesday 9pm slot will complete its first season on February 24.

Dates have been set for the broadcast on the US Sci Fi Channel of the two direct-to-DVD Stargate movies released last year. Stargate: The Ark Of Truth will air on Friday March 27 at 9pm, followed by Stargate: Continuum on Friday, April 3, also at 9pm. The Ark Of Truth picks up the story from the finale of the original Stargate: SG-1 TV series. Continuum sees members of the SG-1 team returning to a world where their history has been dramatically altered.

New ABC sitcom In the Motherhood will debut on Thursday, March 26 at 8pm. It will be paired with Samantha Who? which, as the Choob previously reported, has been in limbo since it was was recently kicked out of it’s Monday night slot. In the motherhood, starring Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Cheryl Hines and former Will and Grace star Megan Mullally, is about three very different women’s experiences as mothers.

The Thursday changes mean that Ugly Betty gets kicked out but ABC said it will return after In The Motherhood and Samantha Who? complete their runs. Despite claims that they are still behind the show, what the move could spell trouble for the long-term future of Ugly Betty, although it is worth noting that the show was scheduled to go into repeats anyway during the time it will now be on hiatus. In any case, don’t expect to see the rest of the show’s season-three episodes until at least June.

Also on ABC, Scrubs will move to Wednesdays at 8pm, from March 18, where it will be paired with new comedy Better Off Ted, a satirical office comedy about a successful but morally conscious man who runs the research and development department at a morally questionable corporation. Stars include Joey’s Andrea Anders and Arrested Development’s Portia De Rossi.

New HBO comedy Eastbound And Down begins at 10.30pm on Sunday, February 15. It stars Danny McBride as a disgraced, washed-up Major League Baseball pitcher forced to return to his home town and take a job as a PE teacher.

The debut of Cupid on ABC has been pushed back a week until Tuesday March 31. The episode order has also been cut to just seven. The show is a remake/revival of a 1999 show of the same nameabout a charismatic character who may or may not be the Roman god of love — Cupid — who believes he has been sent to earth to bring 100 couples together before he is allowed to return to Mount Olympus. With only seven episodes to do so, he’ll have to go some…

Surviving Suburbia, a traditional sitcom starring Bob Saget and Cynthia Stevenson, begins on Monday April 6 at 9:30pm on ABC. The show, about a cynical cynical father-of-two and his family, is said to be “in the family-centered tradition of Roseanne and Home Improvement”.

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More Office, 30 Rock To Come; Swingtown, Kath & Kim Axed

NBC have already renewed The Office and 30 Rock for the 2009/10 season, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

However, Kath & Kim has had its episode order cut from 22 to 17 and now looks highly unlikely to return to the network next season, joining other previously predicted casualties Knight Rider and the Lipstick Jungle on the chopping block.

Over at CBS, meanwhile, Entertainment Weekly reports that Swingtown will definitely not be returning for a second season.

The show, set at the height of the disco era in mid-70s America, starred Jack Davenport and Molly Parker as a married couple who move into an affluent community and discover their new neighbours have an open marriage and regularly host swingers parties.

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When’s My favourite Show Coming Back?

With a lot of shows on a break until the New Year, and mid-season replacement shows such as 24 and Lost about to return, here’s a handy list of when the main shows are due back on our screens. US airdates are included for North Americans (and bit-torrenters) and the UK dates are also included where known.

24: Day 7 finally begins, after the extra year’s delay caused by the writers’ strike, with a special four-hour, two-night event on Sunday, January 11 and Monday, January 12, before settling in to its normal Monday night slot. In the UK, Sky One starts airing it on January 12.
30 Rock: Season 3 continues in the US on January 8.
Battlestar Galactica: The final 10 episodes (aka season 4.5) begin on January 11 in the US and January 20 on Sky One.
The Big Bang Theory: Season 2 resumes on January 12 in the US.
Big Love: Season 3 begins on January 18 (on HBO in the US).
Bones: Season 4 resumes in the US on January 15 and on Sky One in the UK on February 19.
Brothers & Sisters: Season 3 resumes on January 4 (US) and starts on More4 in the UK on January 8.
Burn Notice: Season 2 continues on January 22 in the US.
Chuck: Season 2 returns to US screens on February 2.
Damages: Season 2 begins in the US on January 7.
Desperate Housewives: Back in the US on January 4
Dexter: Season 2 starts on ITV1 in the UK on January 8.
Dollhouse: Premieres on February 13.
ER: The final season continues in the US on January 8 and begins in the UK on More4 on the same night.
Flashpoint: First season returns on January 9.
Flight Of The Conchords: Second season starts on January 18 (US).

Fringe: Season 1 resumes on January 20 (US).
Heroes: Season 3 (Volume 4) continues on February 2 (US).
House: Season 5 returns on January 19 (US).
How I Met Your Mother: Season 4 continues in the US on January 12.
Life: First season continues on February 4 (US) and begins on FX in the UK on February 9.
Life On Mars (US remake): First season resumes on January 28.
Lost: Season 5 begins on January 21 in the US and on January 25th on Sky One in the UK.
Medium: Season 5 begins on February 2 (US). Season 4 starts on January 12 on Sci Fi (UK).
The Mentalist: First season continues on January 6 (US).
Monk: Season 7 continues on January 9 (US).
My Name Is Earl: Season 4 resumes on January 8 (US) and starts on E4 in the UK on the same night.
The New Adventures Of Old Christine: Season 4 continues on January 14 (US).
Nip/Tuck: Season 5 continues on January 6.
Numb3rs: Season 5 returns on January 9 (US) and starts on Channel 5 in the UK the same night.
The Office: Season 5 continues on January 15 (US).

Private Practice: Season 2 continues on January 8 (US).
Psych: Season 3 continues on January 9 (US).
Reaper: Season 2 begins on March 17 (US).
Samantha Who?: Season 2 resumes on January 12 (US).
Sanctuary: Season 1 is currently airing in the US and starts on February 3 on SciFi in the UK.
Scrubs: Season 8 starts on January 6 (US).
Smallville: Season 8 resumes on January 15 (US).
Supernatural: Season 4 resumes on January 15 in the US and is due to start in January on ITV2.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Season 2 continues on February 13 (US).

UPDATE: More return dates for your favourite shows HERE and HERE.

See HERE for a chronological list of US return dates.

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