ABC Cancels 'Brothers & Sisters,' 'V,' 'Off the Map,' 'No Ordinary Family' & More, Renews 'Happy Endings,' 'Body of Proof'
The network has reportedly canceled most of its lowest-rated series, including veterans 'Brothers & Sisters' and 'V' as well as newbies 'Off the Map,' 'No Ordinary Family,' 'Detroit 187,' 'Better With You' and 'Mr. Sunshine.'
Though it was speculated recently that 'Brothers & Sisters' could get an abridged season pickup, it turns out that star Rachel Griffiths' jokes about being unemployed are true after all. The fifth season -- now series -- finale aired last Sunday night.
Meanwhile, the second season (and now series) finale of 'V' aired back in March.
As if that's not enough, he's also turning a personal passion project into a 12-part TV special called 'Majumder Manor' (the network and air date will be announced shortly). He recently bought his old school in his hometown of Burlington, Newfoundland, and is in the process of converting it into a high-end bed and breakfast to help rejuvenate his hometown and attract tourists. He'll be doing some fundraising on his tour to support local businesses in Burlington.
We caught up with the hard-working comedian during a recent stop in Toronto. His charming fiancé, actress Shelby Fenner ('Vantage Point') was with him, and the two hinted that they may or may not get married during the 'Majumder Manor' finale. What teases!
The network announced today that it plans to air five full days of coverage leading up to the highly anticipated event. That includes, according to The Hollywood Reporter, "specials, interviews with royals, a round-table discussion with experts and a show focusing on 'extreme' collectors of royal memorabilia."
Of course, TLC will also broadcast the wedding live.
In other TV news ...
• The girls of 'Make It or Break It' will handspring their way back onto TV screens beginning March 28. ABC Family announced today that the gymnastics show's midseason premiere will immediately follow 'The Secret Life of the American Teenager' on the same day. [ABC Family]
• USA has ordered two new shows to series. Both 'A Legal Mind' and 'Necessary Roughness' received 11-episode orders, and each will air a 90-minute pilot. [Deadline]
• The schedule for PaleyFest 2011 was officially revealed today, and it's making us seriously consider buying a plane ticket to Los Angeles for the second week of March. It features panels with Jimmy Fallon, 'Parks and Recreation' and 'Raising Hope,' and the casts of 'Freaks & Geeks' and 'Undeclared' will officially reunite on March 12. [Paley Center]
['Detroit 1-8-7' - 'Pilot']
Regardless of the fact that 'Detroit 1-8-7' is filmed in Detroit, it's hard to imagine the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitor's Bureau being all too happy about the show's content. In the first episode of ABC's freshman cop drama, it took literally one second for the show, via narrator, to refer to the troubled city as the "birthplace of Motown and once the heart of the automobile industry. Now it has one of the highest murder rates in the country." Not exactly the kind of message you want on any postcards.
But if it's any consolation, there's a good chance any PR concerns may be a non-issue. If the show doesn't vastly improve from the ho-hum pilot, its days may be numbered.
Fair or not, some stars are a major draw, while others just a turn-off. Here's a short take on the casting conundrums that exist as the season commences ...
The Caan Connection
Until the 'Hawaii Five-0' cast included Scott Caan as Danno Williams, I wasn't too interested. However, Caan makes a difference. He's an interesting actor who exudes a fun, cocky and cool energy.
He was great in the 'Ocean's 11' movies and stole scenes on 'Entourage.' In fact, he's a chip of the old block, James Caan. I always liked his dad, and I like the son, too. For Scott, I'll be watching 'Hawaii Five-0.'
After all, you have a limited amount of time on this planet and you shouldn't spend any of it watching bad TV, if you can possibly help it.
Now, keep in mind that the shows listed below may just have terrible first episodes. Theoretically, it's possible for them to progress, after they premiere, from bad to decent or even good. Stranger things have happened. But don't count on it.
Of course the school of TV-watching is year-round, but fall is truly the time when the networks pull out all the stops (hopefully) and show us what they've got.
So sharpen your pencils, TV fans, because class is now in session: AOL TV Editor Kelly Woo and our newest addition, Lead Critic Mo Ryan, joined me to break down all the new fall network shows. Good ("it's sexy, it's fun") or bad ("I've fallen asleep three times trying to watch this pilot"), we were brutally honest because we want this to be your go-to guide for what to watch, what to skip and those shows that fall somewhere in between.
What new fall shows are you most excited for? Sound off in the comments.
Does this fall's slate of new network shows have that same potential? Probably not.
Not that there isn't quality among the fall pilots. It's just that none of them have the breakout potential that last year's freshman class had. And there are a few reasons why that might be the case:
In our continuing effort to get you ready for the upcoming fall season, we're previewing pilots that were sent to critics earlier this summer.
Keep in mind that in each case, our opinions are based on a pilot that could be completely recast and reworked between now and the fall. Some of those changes have already been announced.
Show: 'Detroit 1-8-7'
Timeslot: Tuesdays, 10PM ET (Premieres September 21)
The lowdown: It's the story of tough homicide detectives on the super-tough Detroit streets. Among the detectives is Louis Finch (Michael Imperioli), the best on the force, even though he has a tendency to get too emotionally involved in his cases; Sergeant Jesse Longford (James McDaniel), who's as experienced as they come but is facing retirement; and Ariana Sanchez (Natalie Martinez), a young detective from a checkered upbringing who's making her mark in the department. It's a large ensemble cast in a show where -- despite the cliched notion of it -- the city of Detroit is a character all by itself.
"While the documentary conceit was compelling, in the ongoing series we felt that we were going to be a little hemmed in and hampered by that in the long run; [losing the documentary style] freed us up as storytellers to do what we want to do," explained executive producer David Zabel. While 15 percent of the pilot had to be reshot, the producers seemed comfortable with the switch during their TCA presentation Sunday morning.
But storytelling wasn't the only reason why the documentary vibe had to go; there was a decidedly more tragic motivation at work too. We have details on that and the rest of the '187' panel after the jump.
Plus, in other TV news today:
• Syfy is bringing first-person shooter video game series 'Red Faction' to the small screen with a two-hour original movie/backdoor pilot called 'Red Faction: Origins,' reports Deadline. The cable net is teaming up with video game maker THQ for the action-adventure project, which is set to premiere next March. No casting announcements have been made for the flick, which was penned by 'Warehouse 13' scribe Andrew Kreisberg.
Head after the jump for the latest 'Criminal Minds' spinoff casting news, to learn which TV vet is joining Betty White in 'Hot in Cleveland,' and more.
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