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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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Another Reason Why The Big Bang Theory Is The Best Comedy Of Recent Years


At the risk of further exposing my underlying geekiness (I know what you’re thinking – I keep it so well hidden…), you might remember in this post I mentioned that The Big Bang Theory had given us the funniest TV moment of the year so far.

Well it looks like the writers are about to surpass themselves. As I previously reported, in the episode that airs on March 9, The Big Bang Theory’s uber-geeks Leonard and Sheldon will spot actress Summer Glau, who plays herself, sitting alone on a train during an extended cross-country rail trip.

Thanks to her TV roles in  Firefly and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (in which she plays a terminator sent back in time to protect the young John Connor), she’s the ultimate female sci-fi fantasy figure for our nerdy heroes. Awed by her genre credentials, they try to pluck up the courage to talk to her – and I’m betting the resulting encounter will make the episode one the show’s best.

And here’s an indication that my optimism is not misplaced, as told by executive producer Bill Prady to Entertainment Weekly’s Michael Ausiello.

He says: “They have 11 hours to get up the courage to talk to her. Of course, Sheldon does offer a word of caution: ‘If Terminators actually did exist, a perfect way they could lull victims into a false sense of security would be to pose as actors who have played Terminators.’ “

As I believe the kids say: ROFLMAO!

For the uninitiated, The Big Bang Theory stars former Roseanne star Jonny Galecki and Jim Parsons as two physics prodigies in their 20s who share a flat and hang out with two equally geeky pals, Howard (Simon Helberg) and Rajesh (Kunal Nayyar), who are also academics, and their new neighbour Penny (Kaley Cuoco), an attractive blonde waitress who wants to be an actress.

In many ways the show is a very traditional, almost old-fashioned sitcom, with a somewhat cliched premise. What elevates it beyond this is some top-drawer performances and the razor-sharp, inspired writing that really makes the most of the culture-clash between the four geeks and, well, everyone the meet.

The second season of the show is currently airing on CBS in the US and on Channel 4 and E4 in the UK and if you’re not watching it, you really ought to be.

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TV Newsround


Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes has denied the rumours that have been flying for a few weeks that stars Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight are leaving the show.

She said: “Things happen, and … I think rumors become fact very easily. And you know I don’t like to tell you what’s going to happen on the show — but that is a rumor.”

However, Nicollette Sheridan, who plays man-eater Edie Britt on Desperate Housewives, is leaving the show, according to Variety, though it is not known when she will depart.

Season five of Denis Leary firefighter drama Rescue Me will begin on Tuesday April 7th on FX in the US.

U2 have signed up for a week-long stint on The David Letterman Show, starting on March 2.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Firefly star Summer Glau will guest star, playing herself, in the episode of The Big Bang Theory that airs in the US on March 9. Nerdy uber-geeks Leonard and Sheldon (played by Jonny Galecki and Jim Parsons) will encounter Glau, one of their favourite actresses due to her sci-fi credentials, on a train trip but are too intimidated to approach her.

Revolutionary Road director Sam Mendes is said to be developing a big-screen version of British TV drama Lost In Austen.

The four-part mini-series, which aired on ITV1 last year, tells the story of a modern-day Jane Austen fan who finds herself transported back in time to the 18thcentury and into the plot of Pride and Prejudice, where she finds herself in the role of Elizabeth Bennet. Mendes will serve as executive producer but it’s unknown whether he would also direct the film.

The BBC have lined up a star-studded cast for a two-part mini-series based on classic 1951 John Wyndham sci-fi novel The Day Of The Triffids.

Dougray Scott, Joely Richardson, Brian Cox, Eddie Izzard, Jason Priestley and Vanessa Redgrave have all signed on for the drama. The script was written by ER and Law and Order writer Patrick Harbinson. It tells the story of a post-apocalyptic world terrorised by triffids, carnivorous plants that can move around that were created by scientists to provide an alternative fuel supply. It will be the second BBC TV adaptation of the novel – the first aired in 1981 and starred John Duttine.

Mark Valley, who plays FBI agent Olivia Dunham’s dead ex-boyfriend in Fringe, has been signed up to take the lead role in the pilot for Human Target. The drama is based on a DC comic about a master of disguise who is hires himself out to take the place of people whose lives are in danger.

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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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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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