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October 21, 2014

Pickups and Renewals

'Wicked Summah' Headed to TruTV?

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 22nd 2010 9:15AM
TruTVGet ready for a 'Wicked Summah' on TruTV.

According to Broadcasting & Cable, 'Summah,' which is being described as an unofficial spinoff of MTV's runaway hit, 'Jersey Shore,' is in the "very early stages of development" at TruTV, according to a network spokesperson.

Filming will be set on Cape Cod, though no word on when the series will actually hit the airwaves.

Doron Ofir Casting, the company behind 'Shore,' is casting the show. (For a taste of who might wind up on the show, check out its casting website.)

And speaking of 'Jersey Shore,' MTV recently announced that the show, which will be filming in Miami and Jersey, will return for a second season on Jul. 29.

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More 'Ugly Americans' for Comedy Central

by Rich Keller, posted Apr 21st 2010 1:30PM
Comedy Central has ordered seven additional episodes of 'Ugly Americans'Good news for those of you hanging out after 'South Park' to watch 'Ugly Americans': Comedy Central has decided to pick up some more episodes of the animated, horror-comedy.

But before you go apoplectic with excitement, the network has ordered just seven additional installments. However, with the amount of time it takes for some animated shows to be produced, and the fact that this is cable, that's almost like a full-season order.

The show, which is a pseudo-workplace comedy about a social worker who helps humans, vampires and demons (among other unusual creatures) integrate into the normal world, has been fairly steady at about 2 million viewers. With 'South Park' garnering an average of million viewers (ages 18-49), 'Ugly Americans' is holding around half the audience. With the continued success of 'South Park' and new episodes of 'Futurama' on the horizon, 'Ugly Americans' looks to be in good animated company.

The new episodes will begin airing on Comedy Central in October.

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'True Blood' Minisodes to Begin May 2

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 21st 2010 11:30AM
True BloodCan't wait until the June premiere of 'True Blood' season 3? Well, HBO's got you covered.

Starting May 2, HBO will begin airing six weekly 'True Blood' minisodes (3-5 minute episodes), according to True-Blood.net. The minisodes, which will be written by creator Alan Ball, will air following the conclusion of the season 2 encore.

Will we see the identities of whoever kidnapped Bill? Will Sookie make an appearance? At this point it is unknown.

The only familiar character that will make an appearance so far is the teen vampire Jessica Hamby (played by Deborah Ann Woll). She was turned by Bill at the end of the season 1, and then had a teen romance during season 2 that didn't end well.

After that, she decided to embrace her vampire ways and was seen feeding on a truck driver during the last episode. Perhaps during the minisodes we'll be treated to one of her predatory slaughters.

This is exciting. Is it May yet?

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'Smallville' Creators Sign Deal With Sony TV

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 21st 2010 9:45AM
Smallville'Smallville' creators Al Gough and Miles Millar have signed a two-year deal with Sony Pictures TV for the development of new programming, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The two have not been involved with 'Smallville' since 2008.

The pair was also involved in a number of big-screen projects, including 'Shanghai Noon,' 'Spider-Man 2' and the tween flick 'Hannah Montana: The Movie.'

The article does not specify the type of programming they will create for Sony's TV division. If they're consistent in terms of the shows they've previously worked on, then it will likely be material aimed at the CW type of audience (or those who appreciate teen angst).

On the other hand, 'Smallville' improved in quality once the two of them departed. That time coincided with the show concentrating more on the geek factor than the teen angst (which is useful since the characters aren't of teens anymore). As a result, it's tough to say whether this deal is more a boon for Gough and Millar or Sony.

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'Parenthood,' 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' Get New Seasons

by TV Squad Editors, posted Apr 20th 2010 3:15PM
ParenthoodNever underestimate the power of family -- or that of a cranky man.

NBC has renewed 'Parenthood' for a second season following a surprising ratings performance on a crowded Tuesday night, opposite such heavyweights as CBS' 'The Good Wife.'

Meanwhile, HBO and star Larry David also announced today that 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' will be back for an eighth season.

'Parenthood' follows three generations of the Braverman clan, each family on a different course. 'Curb' follows the (mis?)adventures of Larry David as himself.

Check out Inside TV for more details.

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Lucasfilm Making Another 'Star Wars' Animated Series

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 19th 2010 1:00PM
Robot Chicken Star WarsIt's not what you think. It's much worse. Apparently, a Lucasfilm representative at C2E2 confirmed that the company will be making another 'Star Wars' animated series that will serve as a sequel to 'Return of the Jedi' and feature all the original characters from the first trilogy. It will be in the same computer animated format as the current 'Clone Wars' series on Cartoon Network.

Perhaps this will be the comedy series with the 'Robot Chicken' creators that he was referring to in the past. Or perhaps it's a variation of that live-action 'Star Wars' television show that is forthcoming. Or perhaps it's just Lucas messing with the heads of any fans of the franchise even further than he already has.

Anybody who reads the original novels that serve as a sequel to the original trilogy is in for a nasty shock. Lucas has a tendency to ignore concepts that he himself didn't originate that actually enhance his franchise. It's likely that any new series will render those novels as moot as 'Galactica 1980.'

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Three Key Factors in the Success of 'Undercover Boss'

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 16th 2010 5:02PM
undercover_boss_cbs_logoSince landing the cushy debut time slot after the Super Bowl to launch its run, CBS's 'Undercover Boss' has been an unqualified success for the network. In fact, in nearly every Sunday since its premiere -- with or without the lead in of a sporting event -- 'Undercover Boss' has showed well in the ratings.

The season finale on April 11 was the number one program in the 18-49 rating, the one that TV execs covet the most. Therefore, you can understand why 'Undercover Boss' easily earned a second season renewal. It won't be a mid-season drop in, either. You watch, it's going to be on the CBS upfront schedule for the fall.

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Discovery Orders More 'Cash Cab'

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 16th 2010 10:02AM

Cash CabFor those of you seeking to vacation in New York City, in the event that you hail a cab while in town you may get a chance to win a couple of thousand dollars and have Ben Bailey at your driver. 'Cash Cab' has been renewed for a sixth season.

Admittedly I'm a bit biased about this news as I was once a contestant on the show before coming to TV Squad. In the event that you do get on the show next season, please leave Ben Bailey a nice tip when the ride is done as I forgot to.

Hopefully the producers will give a little variety to the show, such as when they did 'Cash Cab at Night.' One recommendation would be to use other cities as locations for the show rather than New York City, and I say this as someone who loves New York. Other cities have clubs and restaurants that would love to sponsor the concept.

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George Lopez Should Be "Loco" For Coco

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 15th 2010 10:00AM
George LopezTBS has offered Conan O'Brien a deal that's so sweet, you could pour it over pancakes.

No one, however, is closer to achieving a full-on joygasm than 'Lopez Tonight' host George Lopez. He should. He's going to have an awesome lead-in audience, worldwide attention, and a better chance of beating the late night bigwigs than he could ever hope for if he was on his own.

So why should he not go "muy loco" or any other ethnically charged verb for sharing a late night block with "Coco"?

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Onion Sports Network on Comedy Central

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 14th 2010 4:00PM
Comedy CentralComedy Central and The Onion are teaming up to produce a new comedy series about sports. Well, not so much series ... more like a parody of ESPN. The show will be called the 'Onion Sports Network' and Comedy Central has ordered ten episodes. This should not be confused with the Onion News Network.

I can't recall anybody doing a half-hour comedy news program focusing on sports. 'The Daily Show' pretty much has cornered the parody news and politics market (although the same could be argued about the 'Weekend Update' segment on 'Saturday Night Live'). The concept has potential. There are many sports fans that love comedy and vice-versa. There is also already a built-in audience from using The Onion's brand.

Other attempts have been made at genre news parody with the only stand-out being 'The Colbert Report' parodying opinion-style news. 'Chocolate News' didn't last long and don't get me started on 'The Half Hour News Hour.' Hopefully this show will have a longer run.

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Billy Campbell Joins AMC's 'The Killing'

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 14th 2010 9:30AM

AMCAMC is getting even more serious about original programming, particularly in the wake of the success of 'Breaking Bad' and 'Mad Men.' First the network greenlit a full season for the television adaptation of 'The Walking Dead,' and now they've cast Billy Campbell in the lead of their new series pilot about an investigation into the murder of a young girl titled 'The Killing.'

'The Killing' actually sounds far more interesting than that brief description, as the police end up investigating three interlocking stories that led to the murder. If 'The Killing' ends up becoming a series, it could be about season-long, very complex series of crime investigations, like a really long episode of 'CSI.'

All of this is speculation as the series is currently only slated for a pilot. The possibility of a series is up in the air and if it comes down to either this show or 'The Walking Dead,' I would go with the latter.

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Microsoft Courted Conan to Plug His Show Into XBox Live

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 14th 2010 9:03AM
Conan O'Brien in front of the Mario Bros. backdrop
Conan O'Brien's deal with TBS
may have thrown every TV pundit and pontificator for a loop, but here's one that will make your head spin clear around your neck. (WARNING: TV Squad and its parent companies will not be held responsible for any head and/or neck trauma that may occur while reading this article).

While everyone thought Conan would simply jump to Fox because it was the last remaining network without a strong late night slot, Coco and company were being courted by all sorts of networks and media outlets, including ... Microsoft???

That's right, the technology giant had been talking to Conan about a deal that would have brought his nightly talk show to their XBox Live service.

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Starz Eyes 'Insatiable'

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 13th 2010 3:00PM
InsatiableLeave it to a premium cable network like Starz to figure out a way to combine The Food Network with Cinemax. They will be producing a series based on former New York magazine writer Gael Greene's 2006 memoir of her time as a food critic.

Greene has most recently been seen on television as a judge for 'Top Chef Masters' on Bravo. She's been writing about food for over 40 years.

But don't let her career as a writer fool you into thinking of this as another cookbook. She slept with porn stars, famous chefs and the Studio 54 set (including a tryst with the King of Rock and Roll). In other words, it's perfect fodder for one of those cable adult dramas that creep into the softcore porn territory (and can use the analogy of eating as sex).

Starz itself is becoming a player in the game with the success of its 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand' series. It looks like the network seeks to continue the streak.

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'The Wire' to Air on DirecTV

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 13th 2010 10:32AM
The WireGood news for all you fans of 'The Wire.' You can direct your non-fan friends to the 101 Network on DirecTV starting on July 18th to have them view the high-definition, uncut and unedited episodes of the program. Of course, that means your friends will actually have to subscribe to DirecTV. Otherwise, you'll just have to get their hands on the DVDs.

Shows like 'The Wire' are best appreciated when they're unedited. Take 'The Sopranos' for example. It's difficult to watch that program in edited format on a basic cable channel. I recall a comedy sketch which parodied this concept in which the edited-for-television episodes of 'The Sopranos' were each three minutes long. While that's an exaggeration for comedic effect, it does emphasize a point. When a show with adult themes like 'The Wire' is edited for content, it loses something in the translation.

Fortunately, DirecTV subscribers have nothing to worry about. They get to enjoy it as it was intended to be.

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Mount Vesuvius to Explode in TV Miniseries

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 12th 2010 11:30AM
PompeiiBy my own reckoning, somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 various forms of media (books, television shows, movies) have been done about the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in ancient Pompeii, Italy. Whatever the count actually is, add one more to it because Ridley Scott will be producing a miniseries about the famous eruption for Sony Pictures Television and Germany's Tandem Communications.

The story is described by the people involved as a thriller love story set against the backdrop of a historical disaster. In other words, it's a thematic duplicate of the movie 'Titanic.' The miniseries will be based on the book 'Pompeii' by Robert Harris, which was originally intended to be developed into a film directed by Roman Polanski (who suddenly became unavailable due to his arrest).

When a major historical event has been covered in an episode of 'Doctor Who,' you know it's been overdone. Hopefully Ridley Scott and company can put a unique spin on the tale. Has anybody read the book? Do you think it could be made into a good miniseries?

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