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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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Networks Fly Into A Pilot Frenzy


There’s been a lot of pilot-ordering activity at the networks over the last few days (while The Choob was in his sickbed with the flu – how inconsiderate of them), on top of the shows I have already told you about HERE and HERE.

Here is a quick rundown, then, of what’s been greenlit by who.

ABC

V: A remake/reimagining of the cheesy but iconic and fondly-remembered 1983 mini-series about mice-eating alien lizards who invade Earth. The original version memorably began with giant spaceships appearing in the skies above Earth’s major cities – a visual image later homaged/ripped off by the makers of blockbuster movie Independence Day.

The TV remake will dispense with the Nazi allegory of the 1980s show and also with original creator Kenneth Johnson, who has been trying to get his own sequel/remake off the ground for years. The new version will be written by The 4400 co-creator Scott Peters and focus on a female Homeland Security agent. Like in the original, the alien “Visitors” will initially appear friendly and benevolent, only for their horrifying true motives to gradually emerge.

The 1983 original spawned a sequel mini-series and a weekly TV show that ran for only one season.

Limelight: Drama in part inspired by hip hop producer Pharrell Williams‘ experience at a performing arts school. Executive produced by Charlies Angels director McG, it will follow the students and teachers at a similar kind of school in New York. Sounds a bit like Fame for the post-millennium. It’s worth noting that the series was originally given a full series commitment just days before the start of the 2007 writers’ strike started. It was later put into redevelopment.

Untitled Jerry Bruckheimer Crime drama: Known internally as The Unknown, the show is about amateur crime fighters. Executive produced by action-movie and CSI franchise producer Bruckheimer, the pilot will by directed by CSI producer/director Danny Cannon.

Empire State: Drama about two families at odds with each other. One clan is made up of blue-collar ironworkers, the other, wealthy real-estate tycoons. At the show’s heart is a Romeo and Juliet-style love story.

I, Claudia: Drama about young prosecuting attorney Claudia McIntire who, viewers learn, will one day be a contender for US President. In the present-day, though, she is more concerned about her love life than her career.

Inside the Box: Drama, written by news producer Richard E Robbins, about a female news producer and her colleagues at a Washington DC network news bureau. Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes is executive producer.

Let It Go: Former Gilmore Girls star Lauren Graham stars as a talkshow host who finds it hard to follow her own advice to “let things go” when her own boyfriend dumps her.

The New Twenty: Comedy from Scrubs’ Tad Quill about two pals in their 40s who are at different stages in life – one with a newborn, the other with a kid going to college.

Threesome: To-be-retitled comedy about a guy in his 30s caught between his single-mother girlfriend and his slacker best pal.

Untitled “Brothers And Detectives” Remake: Drama about a Savannah cop who discovers when his dad dies he has an 11-year-old brother with a genius IQ. They team up to solve crimes. Written by Dexter writer Daniel Cerone and based on an Argentinian show called Brothers and Detectives.

CBS

Back: A missing-person drama about a man who disappeared in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, who suddenly shows up eight years later. The story follows his attempts to reconnect with his family adjust to a world that has dramatically changed. It’s written by Bones and CSI: Miami alumni Dean Widenmann.

Washington Field: Crime drama about a team of elite agents operating out of the FBI’s Washington field office

Untitled: A drama from The Unit‘s Frank Military, about a team of federal prosecutors working in Manhattan’s US Attorney’s office. 

NBC

Parenthood: Twenty years after the Steve Martin movie was released, it’s being adapted for TV as an hour-long comedy-drama that will retain the tone of the film, but update it to reflect the challenges facing parents in the new millennium and it will also feature new characters. The talent behind the show includes Friday Night Lights writer/executive producer Jason Katims and Executive Producers Ron Howard (who directed the original movie) and Brian Grazer. An earlier attempt to turn parenthood into a TV show, starring St Elsewhere’s Ed Begley Jr, lasted just 12 episodes in 1990. It did, however, feature a young Leonardo DiCaprio, David Arquette and Thora Birch, and gave a pre-Buffy Joss Whedon one of his first writing gigs.

Day One: Post-apocalyptic drama from Heroes, Alias and Lost writer Jesse Alexander, set in the wake of global catastrophe that destroys the world’s infrastructure. The show focuses on a small group of survivors. Substitute American for global and it all sounds suspiciously similar to much-missed Jericho to me…

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