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October 4, 2015

John Wells

Rosie O'Donnell Takes Over Oprah's Studio, 'Mad Men' Return Pushed to 2012 and More

by Chris Harnick, posted Mar 29th 2011 11:30AM
Rosie O'Donnell, Oprah WinfreyRosie O'Donnell is taking over Oprah Winfrey's stomping grounds. O'Donnell will tape her new OWN daytime talk show on Winfrey's sound stage when the daytime queen ends her reign on May 25.

Yes, O'Donnell is heading to Chicago. "There is an enormous personal respect and value to that little bit of real estate to Oprah," Sheri Salata, president of Harpo Studios, told the Chicago Sun-Times. "I think it's safe to say they have an excellent relationship."

O'Donnell made the announcement to Harpo staffers via video.

The new series will be less celebrity-driven than O'Donnell's previous daytime gig. Instead, the series will tackle real issues that affect everyday people.

In other TV news ...

'Mad Men' won't be on TV until early 2012. Contract negotiations between AMC and creator Matt Weiner have broken down, forcing the delay in premiere. [Deadline]

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick will take on 'Vietnam' in a new documentary. 'Vietnam' will be between 10 and 12 hours and broadcast in 2016. [Deadline]

David O'Russell will guest star on 'Gossip Girl.' What will 'The 'Fighter' director be doing? Nobody knows ... yet. [Vulture]

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Showtime Picks Up a New William H. Macy Drama

by Rich Keller, posted Apr 9th 2010 1:03PM
William H Macy stars as an alcoholic, blue-collar father in the Showtime drama 'Shameless.'William H. Macy is one of those unique actors who can adapt to any role he's given. Whether it be as Chief of Emergency Medicine on 'ER' or a salesman with cerebral palsy in the TV movie 'Door to Door'. Now, Macy will take on the role of father in a new Showtime drama series.

The subscriber movie channel (known more these days for its original programming) has picked up the series 'Shameless' from 'ER' and 'The West Wing' producer John Wells. A remake of an award-winning British drama, 'Shameless' will star Macy as an alcoholic, blue-collar father of a large Chicago family. The twist...after his wife leaves him, he ends up handing the parenting of the clan over to his eldest daughter, who will be played by actress Emmy Rosum.

For Wells, the production of 'Shameless' will be a reunion of sorts. Not only will he be reunited with Macy, whom he worked with when the actor played Dr. David Morgenstern on 'ER,' but he'll also work with former 'The West Wing' colleague Allison Janey, who will have a recurring role as Macy's wife.

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Movie Stars Invade TV: A Look at Pilot Season 2010

by Chris Harnick, posted Mar 24th 2010 2:00PM
Sissy SpacekTelevision fans, look out: Oscar-winning actors are taking over! And not just for a special cameo or a three-episode guest star stint, either. Movie stars are coming to TV in a big way ... as series regulars.

Why? Well, for a few reasons. Portraying a character on a weekly basis can present a new challenge to these veteran silver screen stars, but let's not forget that young Hollywood actors in tween-targeted films are dominating the box office. These Oscar-winning actors aren't giving up films, but their star power and names alone are big enough to attract an audience to a TV show.

Many Oscar-winners and nominees have left their mark on both screens -- just look at Sally Field. She's won an Oscar for 'Norma Rae' and Emmys for 'Sybil,' 'ER' and 'Brothers & Sisters.'

Maybe the Oscars of these latest stars got lonely on the mantle and the next logical thought would be: Why not add an Emmy sister?

Check out the list of actors who are coming to TV -- including Sissy Spacek and Dustin Hoffman -- after the jump.

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CBS Snags Sissy Spacek for New Medical Drama

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 23rd 2010 1:55PM
SpacekWell, it looks like people are going to start paying a lot more attention to this new John Wells' show.

The Hollywood Reporter says that Sissy Spacek has joined the pilot for the new CBS medical drama about a team of doctors who travel around the country helping people in trouble. THR says that the character was originally supposed to be a man but they've changed it to a woman for Spacek. Another change: she will use telekinesis to levitate people and trucks. This will help will rescuing people in auto accidents.

The other day we told you about another cast decision on this show, the addition of Skeet Ulrich to the cast. This is turning into an interesting project. With this cast and the fact that John Wells is behind it, I'm guessing this is one pilot that has a very good chance of making it to the fall schedule.

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Sissy Spacek to Star in CBS Medical Drama

by Mike Scalise, posted Mar 22nd 2010 4:30PM
Sissy Spacek is moving from sabotaging polygamists to saving the world.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Oscar-winning actress will follow up her role as the duplicitous lobbyist Marilyn Densham on HBO's 'Big Love' by playing the lead in a medical drama pilot for CBS, produced by John Wells ('ER'; 'Southland').

The pilot centers around a crew of mobile medical professionals who travel the globe in search of those in need of treatment. Spacek will play the group leader -- a role originally written for a male lead -- who has a tireless, demanding work ethic despite undergoing cancer treatments.

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TV Casting: EXCLUSIVE -- Tess Harper Returning to 'Breaking Bad'

by Andrew Scott, posted Mar 19th 2010 12:45PM
Tess HarperEXCLUSIVE: Veteran film and television actress Tess Harper ('Tender Mercies'; 'No Country for Old Men') will reprise her role as Jesse's (Aaron Paul) mom on AMC's Emmy-winning series 'Breaking Bad.' Star Bryan Cranston broke the news in his exclusive interview with AOL TV, saying, "She and Michael Bofshever, who plays [Jesse's] dad, are both back again and we're glad to have them, because they do a really solid job." According to Cranston, Harper's appearance will be a minor one, because the "storyline didn't put it in that way to explore more of Jesse's background, but that's neither here nor there." 'Breaking Bad' season 3 premieres Sun., Mar. 21 at 10PM. [AOL TV]

More casting news after the jump.

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Skeet Ulrich Back for Another CBS Pilot

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 19th 2010 11:30AM
Skeet UlrichBefore everyone gets too excited, no, this isn't 'Return To Jericho,' so please hold your nuts (wait, that didn't come out right ...). But Skeet Ulrich has signed on to the pilot for a new CBS medical drama produced by John Wells.

Yeah, I know, yet another medical drama. It seems we have a lot every pilot season (and every fall season). CBS' 'Three Rivers' died rather quickly and 'Miami Medical' hasn't even premiered yet (it starts in April) and now we're hearing about this one. Maybe CBS likes to have replacement medical dramas on the shelf in case one happens to fail in the ratings.

I think every network has to have at least one medical show on their schedule every season. TV law. At least this one sounds a little bit different than one based at one particular hospital. It's about a team of medical pros who go around the country in a mobile unit and help people.

How about a show where a team of doctors treat patients over the Internet? Sure, a TV show about people looking at a computer screen for an hour sounds boring, but you can have them sit in different chairs each week.

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TV Casting: Lindsey Vonn to Go for Gold on 'Law & Order'

by Andrew Scott, posted Mar 1st 2010 12:08PM
Lindsey VonnOlympic champion Lindsey Vonn is eyeing another Gold medal-winning performance -- this time, on NBC's 'Law & Order.' Bob Costas broke the exciting news to her during an interview segment on Saturday, in which he revealed that she will play a jury foreman in a future episode. 'Law & Order' is said to be Vonn's favorite show. [TV Guide]

More casting news after the jump.

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TV Casting: 'Twilight' Star Headed to CBS

by Andrew Scott, posted Feb 19th 2010 12:30PM
Rachelle Lefevre'Twilight''s Rachelle Lefevre will sink her teeth into a role on John Wells' new medical drama for CBS. Lefevre will play Katy, who joins a team of medical professionals that travels the country to help those in "desperate need of assistance." Lefevre joins the previously cast Amy Smart (more on that here.) [Ausiello Files]

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Amy Smart Scrubs in for CBS Medical Drama

by Michael D. Ayers, posted Feb 16th 2010 11:00AM
CBS is getting smart -- Amy Smart, that is.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Smart will star in CBS' untitled medical drama from executive producer John Wells ('ER'; 'Southland'). In it, she will play a "tough nurse" who speaks her mind and is romantically involved with another character.

The show follows a group of medics who travel the country to help less-fortunate people in need of medical care.

While Smart's career has mostly been relegated to film -- she's had a long history with both frat comedies ('Road Trip,' 'Varsity Blues') and romantic comedies ('Just Friends,' 'Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!') -- she's had a few roles on the small screen, including a season of 'Felicity' and a four-episode arc on 'Scrubs' as "Tasty Coma Wife."

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CBS Orders John Wells Medical Drama Pilot, Yet Another Police Procedural

by Leonard Jacobs, posted Feb 2nd 2010 10:30AM
Not to suggest that CBS already has a drama-heavy primetime schedule, what with three 'CSI' franchises, two 'NCIS' franchises, 'Cold Case,' 'Criminal Minds' and so on, but the Eye is greenlighting two more drama pilots.

Per the Hollywood Reporter, CBS has ordered one pilot for a police procedural called 'Reagan's Law,' which traces the lives of several generations of New York City police officers.

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TNT picks up Southland (probably)

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 24th 2009 2:00PM
When NBC canceled Southland before the second season even had a chance to debut, online fans went into "Save Southland" mode. They went on Twitter, wrote letters to NBC and Warner Brothers, and tried to get the network to reconsider their decision, Jericho-style. Well, NBC is still not going to air the show, but Nikki Finke is reporting that TNT is going to pick up the show and start airing the first season as early as next week.

But she says that the deal isn't set yet because TNT and NBC can't come to terms on money (of course). In fact, an insider tells Finke that the "behavior from NBC has been unbelievable and amazingly f***ed up - even for them - which is saying something."

Of course, there's no word yet on whether TNT will simply buy the first season's worth of episodes and whatever they filmed for the second season or if TNT will actually produce more new episodes.

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Southland may yet find new life on cable

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 19th 2009 2:29PM
SouthlandJust when I'd added Southland to my list of shows to spotlight in upcoming editions of "Gone Too Soon," now there are glimmers of hope for its future. After NBC unceremoniously dumped it before it premiered this season, in favor of more Dateline, fans and television pundits were stunned.

Executive producer John Wells has reportedly been in contact with the cast to tell them he has at least two cable networks interested in picking up Southland. The good news comes in two ways. One, the series gets to come back. And two, a cable network is a lot less likely to tamper with the storytelling style Southland was developing in its first season. NBC already had them de-emphasizing the larger cast and the serialized nature of their storytelling in the episodes they were filming for the new season.

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Two Networks Interested in 'Southland'

by Scott Harris, posted Oct 19th 2009 2:00PM
Southland'Southland' fans getting ready to give the show the 'Jericho' treatment can hold off buying those nuts for now, because it looks like the series may not be dead just yet.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, 'Southland' executive producer John Wells has informed the show's cast and crew that he is in discussions with two networks about moving the series to a new home. While Wells did not divulge which networks are in contention, speculation is centering on TNT as the frontrunner.

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Willam H. Macy is getting Shameless for Showtime

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 15th 2009 8:08PM
William H. MacySince January 2004, the UK's Shameless has been bringing to life the story of a drunken working-class father and his nine children. Snippets of this long-running hit; going into its seventh season; have aired in the US on BBC America and Sundance. And for five years, it's been in development hell.

The show has been tied to NBC, with Woody Harrelson in consideration for the lead role of Frank Gallagher, and more recently at HBO. Now, finally, original creator Paul Abbott and John Wells Prod. have signed a deal to bring Shameless to Showtime with William H. Macy in the lead.

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