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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.

ABC

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

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.

Fox

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.

FX

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.

HBO

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.

NBC

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.

Showtime

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.

TNT

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.

AMC

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

SyFy

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

USA

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.

Lifetime

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

Starz

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

TBS

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.

Syndication

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:

Fox

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.

ABC

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

NBC

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: Dollhouse Reopens, Prison Break Locked Down, Fringe Benefits


VIEWERS in the UK will get their first glimpse of Buffy The Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon‘s new show Dollhouse on Tuesday (May 19) when the Sci Fi Channel starts to air the show.

It stars Eliza Dushku as Echo, one of many “actives”, or “dolls”, people who have had their own personality and memories erased so that they can be reprogrammed with new identities and skills to serve rich clients who hire them out from the mysterious, illegal Dollhouse.

It’s a very dark show at heart – although the dolls sometimes help people by being programmed as bodyguards or hostage negotiators, they are just as likely to be hired out to perform robberies or, most controversially, for sexual liaisons.

The 12-episode first season (a 13th episode was produced and will be included on the DVD release but no US broadcast is currently planned) ended last week in the US after a run on the Fox networkplagued by poor ratings, which raised fears that the show was sure to suffer the same fate as Whedon’s last Fox show, Firefly, which was axed after a single season.

However, against all odds, multiple TV news sources are reporting that the show has been given a 13-episode second season. So far all reports are unofficial, though Fox are expected to confirm the renewal on Monday at their upfronts presentation.

Apparently, though the low ratings are a worry (some say that Dollhouse will be the lowest-rated new show ever to get a second season), other factors, such as projected DVD sales and relatively high DVR numbers (people who record the show and watch it later) and online viewing figures, have helped tip the balance in favour of renewal.

Also said to be a big factor is the fact that the 13th episode was shot on a shoestring budget and is said to have helped convince the network that the show’s quality can be maintained on a lower budget, making it somewhat more cost-effective despite the low viewing figures.

Personally, I’m somewhat ambivalent about Dollhouse. It’s a decent show which, after a very shaky, slow start, kicked into high gear around episode six. However, the season-one finale was a major disappointment, for my money, after the build up. And a badly written and acted one at that.

Hopefully, it will get better in season two – but I’d much rather have seen its low-rated Fox stablemate Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles get a third season. A decision on that show is yet to be made but, sadly, a third season seems highly unlikely.

TALKING of Fox, the network’s one-time darling Prison Break has finally run out of steam. Except it hasn’t

The final two episodes of season four, the show’s last (which UK viewers will also see this coming Tuesday, May 19, on Sky One), aired on Friday. Except they didn’t.

You see, a further special two-hour episode – Prison Break: The Final Break – has already been produced.

Without giving too much away, Fridays final episode ended with a somewhat shocking “Four Years Later” epilogue. The Final Break, we are told, will reveal the events that happened during that four-year gap, while also closing a few of the other plot holes left gaping at the end of Friday’s finale.

Viewers in the US will have to wait for the DVD release in July to see this special post-finale finale – but the news is better for UK viewers, as Sky1 will be airing it a week on Wednesday (May 27).

IT has been confirmed that Fringe, the new sci-fi detective drama from J.J. Abrams which completed it’s first season on Fox last week in the US and is currently airing on Sky1 in the UK, will be back later in the year for a second season.

The show, somewhat reminiscent of The X-Files, is about a Boston-based FBI agent (Anna Torv) investigating “The Pattern”, a series of possibly connected crimes involving unorthodox “fringe science“. She’s aided by a mentally-unbalanced scientist Walter Bishop (John Noble), who may or may not have been involved in scientific research in the past that evolved into The Pattern, and his estranged son (Joshua Jackson).

It’s another show that started off a little slowly – initially held together mainly by a fantastic performance from Noble – but has gone from strength to strength as the series progressed and the underlying conspiracy began to emerge.

Unlike The X-Files, which had alien invasion at the heart of its mythology, it appears that a threat from an alternate reality may be at the centre of the Fringestory.

Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy guest stars in the season finale in a pivotal role.

 

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TV Newsround: CSI Galactica; Dollhouse Gathers Speed; Chenowith Full Of Glee; and more


FANS of Battlestar Galactica who are already mourning the fact that there are only two more episodes left can take some comfort from the latest development in the CSI universe – CSI: Galactica.

No, it’s not an attempt to transplant the CSI formula to the 12 Colonies of Kobol.

It’s a special episode of CSI, due to air on April 16, in which the forensics experts investigate a death at a science fiction convention.

Kate Vernon, who plays Ellen Tigh (right) on BSG, and Ronald D Moore, who created the new version of the sci-fi drama, will guest star on the episode and the producers promise plenty of other sci-fi references and in-jokes.

Talking of all things CSI, producers of CSI: New York have warned fans to brace themselves for the death of a prominent character in the season finale.

FOUR episodes in and the ongoing plot of Joss Whedon‘s new show, the flawed but intriguing Dollhouse, is slowly gathering speed as clues about the show’s mythology are gradually revealed.

For the uninitiated, it stars Eliza Dushku (right) as Echo, one of a group of “actives” or “dolls”, men and women who have had their personality erased so that they can be programmed with specific skills and memories, tailored to the needs of clients who hire them out for anything from sexual liaisons to bank robberies.

According to Entertainment Weekly’s Michael Ausiello, the show will kick into high gear on April 3 when, through a series of flashbacks, we learn who Echo was and why and how she ended up being lured into the Dollhouse. So it may be worth sticking with the show for a few more weeks, even if you’re not too sure about its long-term appeal.

OVER in Smallville, Ausiello reports that two major characters will die in the final episode of the current season. One of them is said to be a “veteran” of the show, the other a more recent addition. And, unlike previous Smallville deaths, these ones are said to be permanent. He also reports that The Legion will return in the May finale and that the final two episodes of the season will focus on a search for Chloe and Doomsday.

LOVABLE Pushing Daisies star Kristin Chenowith (right) and former Alias father figure Victor Garber have signed up for recurring roles in the Fox network’s musical comedy-drama Glee. Garber will play the father of the show’s leading man Matthew Morrisonbut Chenowith’s role is shrouded in secrecy.

The show is already generating great word of mouth amongst those who have seen an extended trailer and the pilot, so much so that the network plans to air the pilot episode on May 19, following American Idol’s current season finale. The series proper won’t begin until the Autumn.

Morrison plays a high school teacher who sets out to turn around the fortunes of his school’s glee club, which is filled with misfits and outcasts, molding them into a top-notch choir that can compete in a national competition. The show will feature musical numbers each week, ranging from classics to current pop hits.

ACTOR Jackie Earle Haley, who can currectly be seen on the big screen playing Watchmen’s Rorschach, has landed a supporting role in the pilot episode of a TV show based on another DC comic book, Human Target.

The human target of the title is master of disguise Christopher Chance, who hires himself out to act as a decoy for people whose lives are being threatened. Haley will play Chance’s researcher, who gathers the information his boss needs.

Also joining the cast is Chi McBride, who played moody detective Emerson Cod in Pushing Daisies). Mark Valley, who played FBI agent Olivia Dunham’s dead ex-boyfriend in Fringe, will play the title character.

FORMER ER star Julianna Margulies (right), who returns to County General this week for one last appearance as nurse Carol Hathaway, is set to take the lead role in the CBS drama pilot The Good Wife. She’ll play a politician’s wife who decides to resume her former career as a lawyer. Her last major role was also as a lawyer, in Canterbury’s Law, which was axed after just six episodes.

IN casting news that makes the Choob feel oh-so old, former Brat Pack actor Andrew McCarthy (The Breakfast Club, St Elmo’s Fire) has joined the cast of the Gossip Girl spin-off – as the main character’s dad.

The pilot for the spin-off, which will air as a flashback episode of the original show, is set in the 1980s and explores the wild teenage years of Lily Rhodes. McCarthy plays her dad, who is a music company executive.

THE creator of Sex And The City Darren Star has signed a two-year contract with HBO. He will produce his first new show in 10 years under the deal and oversee comedy and drama projects by other writers. He is currently developing the HBO pilot Diary Of A Manhattan Call Girl.

COMEDY cop show Reno 911! returns for its sixth season on April 1 on Comedy Central.

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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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Save The Ratings, Save The Show…


They’ve not been cancelled (yet!) but low ratings mean that a few high-profile shows are increasingly looking like they may be living on borrowed time.

Heroes: The disappointing, poorly-received second season (which was truncated due to the writers’ strike) seems to have alienated a lot of the viewers that helped make the show such a hit in season one. An average of 13.3million viewers watched season 1. Season 2 managed an average of 11.3 but season 3 is down to 8.6million.

A recent behind-the-scenes reshuffle has seen writer/producer Bryan Fuller brought back in to help get the show back on track. Fuller was involved in season 1 of Heroes but left to create Pushing Daisies, which was recently cancelled (see the post below). The third season of Heroes will certainly be completed but whether there will be a season 4 remains to be seen.

Prison Break: The show was a big hit when it began but ratings have been steadily declining ever since, with the current season 4 attracting only around 6million viewers, compared to season 1’s 12million-plus.

Latest news is that the cast have been asked to make themselves available for an extra two episodes on top of the original season 4 order of 22 – leading some to speculate that a two-hour special will bring the series to a conclusion sometime in 2009.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: An uneven but generally surprisingly decent attempt to transfer the Terminator universe to TV. The series picks up the plot from the end of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, ignoring Terminator 3 completely, to tell the story of Sarah and John Connor’s continuing attempts to prevent the rise of the machines.

Despite exceptionally low ratings for the currently-airing season 2, US network Fox surprised many people by increasing the initial order of 13 episodes to a full season of 22. However, after the mid-season break, the show will move from Monday nights to Fridays – which is traditionally a ratings graveyard for US TV.

As such, most analysts reckon a third season looks highly unlikely.

Dollhouse: Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Firefly creator Joss Whedon‘s latest TV show hasn’t even started airing yet and it looks like it’s in trouble.

First of all, the pilot episode had to be reshot after Fox network chiefs decided they didn’t like Whedon’s original version. Then, they announced it will air on Friday nights, partnered with the struggling Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, suggesting that the show is being buried.

Whedon has been busy mounting a damage-limitation exercise in the Press and on the internet, though, and he does have a sizable devoted audience – but that wasn’t enough to save the late, lamented, and similarly shabbily-treated by the network, Firefly.

The show, incidentally, is about a group of “dolls”, operatives who have had their memories and personalities erased, so that they can be hired out by their bosses and specially programmed with skills and knowledge for special missions. Eliza Dushku, Buffy’s rogue vampire slayer Faith, takes the lead role as Echo, one of the dolls who starts to regain memories of her former life.

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