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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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TV Newsround: Renewals And Cancellations – Life On Mars Runs Out Of Air(time) But Heroes Breathes A Sigh Of Relief… And More

BAD news for fans of the American version of the BBC hit Life On Mars. US network ABC have announced that they are cancelling the show and it won’t be back for a second season. Which is a shame because against all odds, it was actually a pretty good translation.

The good news is that the producers have been given enough notice to give the show a proper finale that wraps up the story – and the network has confirmed that new episodes will continue to air as scheduled, rather than being shelved indefinitely (the show airs in the US on Wednesday nights after Lostbut has been unable to hang on to enough of that show’s large lead-in audience to satisfy the moneymen).

It means that viewers will soon find out why and how the US Sam Tyler (played by Irishman Jason O’Mara) was transported back to 1973 New York, rather than leave them in limbo wondering what was going on.

As the Choob has previously reported, the US producers had already made it clear that the ultimate explanation for Sam’s temporal displacement would be different from the ending of the BBC show. All will be revealed when the final episode airs on May 1.

In related news, Gretchen Mol, who plays WPC Annie Norris (above, far right) in the US Life On Mars, is said to be in talks to join the cast of the Witches Of Eastwick TV show pilot.

BETTER news for Heroes fans. As expected, despite sliding ratings, NBC has officially confirmed that the show will return for a fourth season later this year. However, there are rumours that talks are now underway to set a definite end date for the show to wrap up.

BUDGET cuts that had threatened to prevent The Sarah Silverman Program returning to Comedy Central for a third season have been resolved.

Silverman, right, and the show’s other producers had been reluctant to accept a lower budget on the grounds it would affect the quality of the show.

However, a new, 10-episode season has now been ordered after sister network Logo, which targets lesbian and gay viewers, stepped in to plug the financial gap.

THE BBC has ordered a third season of period drama Lark Rise To Candleford. It will be filmed this summer and is due to be broadcast early next year.

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A Little Overtime At The Office And Some Extra Heroes

In an interesting development from NBC, TV seasons are getting longer. Well, for a select few shows.

In an age were it’s rare for US shows to have more than 22 episodes per season, the network has announced that the currently-airing fifth season of The Office will run to 29 episodes this season – or possibly 30 depending on how you read the press release, which states the order as 29 half-hours, with a one-hour season finale on May 14.

Whether the finale counts as two of the 29 half hours or adds one half-hour, is unclear. In any case, more of The Office can only be a good thing, although the Choob does note that this season has been a bit sluggish and slightly underwhelming compared to previous seasons. Hopefully it will pick up when it returns with a one-hour special after The Superbowl tonight.

Meanwhile, Heroes, despite the ratings slump, will air 26 episodes in all this season and network chiefs have publicly stated that the show is safe for at least next season also.

And My Name Is Earl fans can look forward to 26 episodes this season.



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Is There Life On Mars For Veronica?

Looks like Jericho might have started a trend.

Days after the announcement that a big-screen version of cancelled TV show Jericho is in development, it has been announced that a Veronica Mars movie is also in the works.

The TV show ran for three seasons between 2007 and 07.

Described as a cross between Buffy and Bogart, it starred Kristen Bell – most recently seen as troubled Elle in Heroes – as the titular Veronica Mars, a high school (later college) student who moonlights as a private detective.

The ratings were poor throughout the show’s short life but those who did watch it were exceptionally loyal and it also won widespread critical acclaim.

Now Digital Spy reports that the show’s creator Rob Thomas is working on a movie sequel.

And he hinted that action-movie producer Joel Silver, who was an executive producer on the TV show, was interested in financing it.

Thomas said: “My writing the movie is half the battle. Someone else has to pay for it.

Joel Silver does have a certain pile of money.

“He called on me saying ‘Can we do this now?’

“Kristen wants to do it. Joel wants to do it and I want to do it. For me, that’s the next project.”

As for the plot, Thomas said it was “70 per cent broken in my head”.

He added: “I’m feeling like I’m on the right track now – but I don’t want to give that away yet.

“I know we did that F.B.I. ‘what if’ thing, but we would not go to that place.

I think it would open just days before the Hearst College Graduation.

So Veronica would be sort of at the end of her college career.”

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TV Newsround

Fox’s new animated comedy Sit Down, Shut Up – produced by Arrested Development creator Mitchell Hurwitz  and with voices provided by that show’s Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Henry Winkler, along with Pushing DaisiesKristin Chenoweth – with debut on Sunday, April 19, according to Variety.
The Futon Critic further reveals that the show focuses on the dysfunctional faculty and staff at a high school in a small Florida fishing town as they strive to do anything but teach. It’s based on a popular live-action Australian series and, we are told, “lampoons modern society while exposing the dreams, flaws and struggling humanity of our first and most formative authority figures: teachers.” Um… okay, glad we cleared that up.

The Variety article also notes that an official announcement of the eagerly-awaited Arrested Development movie is “imminent”.

Damages star Glenn Close gets the 2,378th star on Hollywood’s Walk Of Fame.

Former Sopranos star James Gandolfini is returning to Broadway for the first time in 14 years. He’s signed up for a role alongside Marcia Gay Harden and Jeff Daniels in God Of Carnage, acomedy about two married couples who meet after their kids get into a playground brawl. The play enjoyed an acclaimed run in London last year, with Ralph Fiennes starring. The Broadway production opens on March 22, with previews starting on February 28.

Tom Cruise will be a guest on Jonathan Ross’s first BBC1 chatshow since serving his three-month suspension for leaving obscene messages on Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs‘ answerphone during a broadcast on BBC Radio 2. Friday Night With Jonathan Ross returns on January 23.

Just a few days after picking up The Line, a police drama produced by action movie maestro Jerry Bruckheimer and starring Dylan McDermott and Time Heals, a medical drama produced by and starring Jada Pinkett Smith, TNT has given a 10-episode order to Men of a Certain Age, starring and produced by Everybody Loves Raymond’s Ray Romano. The show, about three college friends in their 40s dealing with their midlife issues, co-stars Scott Bakula and Andre Braugher. It’s due to air in  January 2010.

It’s been reported that one of writer/producer’s Bryan Fuller‘s first acts after returning to work on Heroes was to write a role especially for Swoosie Kurtz, star of his cancelled show Pushing Daisies. Kurtz will play Millie, an old society friend of Angela Petrelli (Cristine Rose) in an episode due to air in April.

BBC1 drama Mistresses will make it’s US debut on BBC America on Friday February 20, the Futon Critic reports. A second season is due to air early this year in the UK.

 Melissa George, who plays intern Sadie Harris on Grey’s Anatomy, is leaving the show after just eight episodes, according to E! Online.

Eliza Dushku talks to SciFi Wire about Dollhouse.

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No More Heroes Anymore..?

E! Online is reporting that one of the main stars of Heroes wants out of his or her contract when the third season ends, partly due to a lack of screen time.

The identity of the disgruntled actor was not revealed but he or she has, according to the report, a regular who has been in the show since season one and is one of the more recognisable names in the cast.

Apparently NBC is not inclined to let the actor out his or her contract. However it is already common knowledge that a high-profile death is planned by the end of the current season and the report suggests this could kill off the character in question for good – but it adds that there is also an easy way to bring the actor back for season four if required.

Putting all the clues together, the Choob reckons that the most likely candidate is Ali Larter’s underused Tracy Strauss. We already know that she had one identical sister (Nikki/Jessica Saunders) – so who knows how many other siblings (or dare I suggest, clones) exist? Time will tell.

Who do you think the disgruntled hero is? Leave a comment and share your theories.


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