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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: Seinfeld Returns; Skeet Returns; Red Dwarf Returns; The Wire Arrives; Jensen Departs; And More…


THE four main stars of Seinfeld will be reunited on screen in a scripted show for the first time since the sitcom ended (11 years ago) in the upcoming seventh season of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander and Michael Richards will appear in a multi-episode story arc of the HBO show, which was, of course, created by and stars Seinfeld’s co-creator Larry David (and on whom the Seinfeld character George Costanza was based).

The first three actors have all previously appeared individually as themselves on Curb Your Enthusiasm but it will be Richards’ first time on the show, and his first TV role since the row over his use of racial slurs while confronting a heckler during a stand-up comedy gig in 2006.

Curb Your Enthusiasm‘s seventh season is currently filming and will air later in the year.

WHILE Jericho fans take some comfort in the recent announcement of the story continuing in comic-book form, and while they await news on the proposed movie follow-up moving forward, there’s good news for fans of the show’s star, Skeet Ulrich.

He’s headed back to TV drama, after landing the lead role in the CBS pilot Back.

He’ll play a man who suddenly turns up at his home, eight years after being reported missing in the aftermath of the September 11 attack on New York.

Mark Pellington will direct from a script written by CSI: Miami’s Dean Widenmann.

DETAILS of the plot for the three-part Red Dwarf reunion (below), due to be broadcast on UK cable channel Dave at Easter, are up on the channel’s website now. Click here to see them.

OUTSTANDING police drama The Wire is finally heading for terrestrial TV in the UK. BBC2 have announced they will air all 60 episodes, spread over five seasons, on a nightly schedule, starting in the Spring.

The acclaimed HBO-produced drama – created and mostly written by David Simon, a former newspaper crime reporter in Baltimore – investigates the drug trade and corruption that is rife in the city, as seen through the eyes of various groups, including the police, the dealers and their underlings, politicians, trade union leaders and, in the final season, the newspaper industry.

ACTRESS Rebecca Romijn, best known as the shape-shifting mutant Mystique (right) in the X-Men movies, has grabbed the lead role in ABC’s Eastwick pilot. You might say she got the role out of the blue… Ahem. Sorry. 

Romijn, who also recently appeared in Ulgly Betty, will play Roxie in the drama, based on the John Updike novel The Witches Of Eastwick and the 1987 movie of the same name

TALKING of Ugly Betty, Scottish actress Ashley Jensen will bow out of the show at the end of the current season. She’s joined the cast of CBS comedy pilot Accidentally On Purpose, which stars Jenna Elfman as a movie critic who discovers she is pregnant after a fling with a younger man.

ACCORDING to Entertainment Weekly, long-running CBS  procedural dramas Without A Trace and Cold Case are facing the axe.

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Pilot Watch – Some Shot Down, Others Take Off


If you’ve been following my reports of pilots currently in development at the networks, here’s a quick update.

First off, CBS has ditched Confessions of a Contractor. The Shield creator Shawn Ryan was involved in this drama written by Richard Murphy, based on his novel of the same name, which was said to provide a provocative look at life in LA through the eyes of a successful contractor who is torn between two of his female clients, who have a mystery in their shared pasts.

The pilot pick-up was cast-contingent and CBS decided to back out after a lead actor could not be found.

ABC, meanwhile, has decided not to proceed with Funny in Farsi, a comedy based on the novel Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by Firoozeh Dumas, which chronicles the author’s childhood as an Iranian immigrant in 1970s Newport Beach, California. The pilot order was director and showrunner-contingent and neither were found.

Planet Lucy – a comedy based on the book Slummy Mummy by Fiona Neill about a disaster-prone woman trying to balance being a stay-at-home mother with rebuilding the life she had before she had kids – is also a no-go at ABC. It had also been cast-contingent.

On the plus side of the pilot order column, CBS has picked up Ace In The Hole, a comedy pilot created by and starring former radio show host Adam Carolla as a husband and father who works as a driving instructor.

Meanwhile a few existing pilots have added to their cast lists.

Former Dharma and Greg star Jenna Elfman (right) has landed the lead role in Accidentally On Purpose, the CBS comedy based on the autobiographical novel by Mary F. Pols about a movie critic who has a fling with a younger man and becomes pregnant.

ABC’s drama I, Claudia has been renamed See Cate Run and Smith actress Amy Smart has landed the title role as a a young prosecuting attorney who is a future contender for US President. In the present-day, though, she is more concerned about her love life than her career.

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The Pilot Frenzy Continues: 26 New Shows!


We have a lot of new pilots that have been greenlit to get through today, so without further ado…

(Lots more pilot news HERE.)

ABC

Cougar Town: Comedy co-written by Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence, starring Friends’ Courteney Cox as a fortysomething mum with a 17-year-old son who finds herself single and dating again.

Untitled Kelsey Grammer Project: Previously revealed to be in the works, Former Frasier star Grammer’s new sitcom has now been given the green light to go to pilot. The actor plays a Wall Street corporate tycoon who is forced to reconnect with his family after losing his job. Written by  Everybody Loves Raymond scripter Tucker Cawley.

Funny In Farsi: Comedy based on the novel Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by Firoozeh Dumas, which chronicles the author’s childhood as an Iranian immigrant in 1970s Newport Beach, California.

Canned: Sitcom about a group of friends who all get fired on the same day. Script is by Reaper and Desperate Housewives writer/producer Kevin Etten.

Planet Lucy: Comedy based on the book Slummy Mummy by Fiona Neill about a disaster-prone woman who quits her job to raise three kids, leaving her to balance being a stay-at-home mother with trying to rebuild the life she had before she was married with kids.

The Law: Comedy co-written by and starring Cedric The Entertainer, about reserve cops working for the LAPD who have regular jobs and lives during the week but put on a badge on weekends.

Untitled Parenting Comedy: Comedy starring comedian Anita Renfroe about being a mother who lived by the principle that family always comes first, no matter what.

Untitled Dave Hemingson Project: Drama about a group of hard-living LA entertainment lawyers.

No Heroics: A US remake of a comedy from the UK’s ITV network, about off-duty, third-rate superheroes who hang out together at a heroes-only bar to drown their sorrows and moan to each other about their lack of fame and glory.

 CBS

Good Girls: Sitcom produced by Ashton Kutcher‘s production company Katalyst, about two childhood friends who set about reinventing themselves after making some youthful mistakes.

The Good Wife: Drama about a politician’s wife who becomes a defence lawyer and starts to carve a career of her own after her husband is disgraced.

Confessions Of A Contractor: Drama written by Richard Murphy, based on his novel of the same name. It’s said to provide a provocative look at life in LA through the eyes of a successful contractor who is torn between two of his female clients who have a mystery in their shared pasts. The Shield And The Unit creator Shawn Ryan will executive produce.

I Witness: Drama about a professor who uses her psychophysiological skills to solve crimes.

The Eastmans: Medical drama about a complicated family of doctors.

Miami Trauma: Medical drama from the Jerry Bruckheimer stable, about a team of trauma surgeons trying to save critically injured patients in Miami. It’s written by Jeffrey Lieber, who wrote the original, non-sci-fi pilot script for the show that became Lost. Not to be confused with NBC’s pilot Trauma.

Three Rivers: Another medical drama, this time about organ transplants, from the point of view of doctors, donors and recipients. Former Jericho head writer Carol Barbee provides the script.

Waiting To Die: A buddy comedy about two easygoing guys.

Accidentally On Purpose: Comedy based on the autobiographical novel by Mary F. Pols about a movie critic who has a fling with a younger man – and becomes pregnant.

 

NBC

Untitled Family Comedy: Sitcom revolving around adult siblings, written by former Futurama writer and Samantha Who? consulting producer Justin Adler.

Community: Comedy set in a community college, written by Sarah Silverman Program co-creator Rob Schrab. Said to be similar in style to Stripes, the 1980s film starring Bill Murray as a taxi driver who joins the army for a joke.

100 Questions For Charlotte Payne: Ensemble comedy about a young woman’s experiences dating in New York.

State Of Romance: Comedy described as a present-day version of Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice, set in Chicago.

 

Fox

Cop House: Comedy about a half-way house for “troubled cops”.

 

FX

Lights Out: Drama about a former boxing champ struggling with the onset of dementia, who takes a job as a collections enforcer  to make ends meet and provide for his family. The Bucket List‘s Justin Zackham is the writer.

Fire In The Hole: Based on an Elmore Leonard short story about a federal marshal in Kentucky, his ex-wife and his father. It comes from Boomtown creator Graham Yost.

 

Epix (Cable channel due to launch in May)

Tough Trade: Drama about three generations of a famous but dysfunctional country music family. It’s created by Weeds writer Chris Offutt and the executive producer is Weeds creator Jenji Kohan.

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