Vergara and Silverman are reportedly near a deal to executive produce an American adaption of the popular Spanish series 'Aquí No Hay Quien Viva.' Deadline Hollywood reports the project had many networks interested in it, but ABC won out due to the show's compatibility with 'Modern Family' and Vergara's involvement.
The project, which Deadline calls 'I Hate This Place,' is set in an apartment building and follows a multi-generational family. The original series focused on a strict father and his somewhat lazy son who work together to manage the quirky tenants of the family's apartment building.
'Pedro and Maria' will be the cable network's first telenovela, and its first truly interactive scripted series that will allow viewers to vote via Facebook and Twitter on the storyline. Ferrera is developing the bilingual Romeo and Juliet-esque series alongside Tony winner Quiara Alegria Hudes ('In the Heights').
- Laurence Fishburne's character of Dr. Langston on CSI will assume a more take-charge position this year, he'll also be given a "wardrobe makeover" so he seems, as Tassler put it "more comfortable in his own clothes."
- Jorja Fox will be back for the first five episodes. And one of the main characters will get promoted. I won't spoil it for you, but you can probably figure out who it might be.
- A new Let's Make A Deal with Wayne Brady as host, will be taking the place of Guiding Light. Tassler wouldn't go so far as saying this is a trend towards the return of daytime network game shows, but she did say she wanted to get a new LMAD on the air for a while.
- No plans to bring back Flashpoint right now, though they can. More Canadian cross-production deals on the way, including The Bridge.
- On NBC's late-night / Leno strategies: "Whatever numbers they get, they'll declare victory anyway, so it doesn't matter."
- On the departure of Ben Silverman of NBC: "I'm really just a D-girl, so I wouldn't comment."
Ben Silverman has made some significant contributions to the Peacock Network, most notably with the smash cult hit The Office, a show that wouldn't have even had a second season if people like Silverman weren't willing to give it a chance to grow.
Overall, however, NBC is in the dumper. And this is from a network that used to dominate free TV in almost every single category, from comedies to dramas to the newly mutated drama-comedies or dramadies. These days, "comas" is a more appropriate term.
John Scott Lewinski did a bang-up job of covering the Con for us; now I'm off to L.A. for the press tour. This summer, the tour will take place at the lovely Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa in Pasadena, where cable, PBS, and the broadcast networks will parade their new and returning shows in front of critics and writers for almost two weeks. There will also be set visits and a few other fun things going on.
As I've done in the past, I'll try my best to give you the entire picture: dispatches from the panels, one-on-one interviews, executive tap-dancing, and more. I'll also be tweeting away on TV Squad's Twitter feed, so be sure to look there for the most up-to-the-minute news.
Cable executive Jeff Gaspin will take over as chairman of NBC Universal Television Entertainment "effective immediately," according to the Wall Street Journal. Gaspin will also control NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, in addition to his previous jobs.
Silverman's former colleague, Marc Graboff, will continue to serve as co-chairman, but will now report to Gaspin.
A lot of people are going to rejoice over this news because they think that NBC hasn't been the same since he took over the entertainment department at the network. While he did bring The Office and The Biggest Loser to NBC, a lot of viewers have been confused by other moves at the network. Another show that Silverman had a hand in, The Jay Leno Show, will debut in September. We'll have to see how that goes.
While they haven't yet made an announcement about other on-the-bubble shows, including Medium, Law & Order, and of course, Chuck, NBC's Ben Silverman has confirmed that Life has indeed been canceled. Life is just the latest victim of the Writers' Strike curse: ABC's Pushing Daisies, Eli Stone, and Dirty Sexy Money are among some of the other series that had their freshman seasons interrupted by the strike that began in November of 07, and won't live to see a third season.
Other second season shows, including the aforementioned Chuck, along with ABC's Samantha Who? and FOX's Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles are currently on the bubble. The CW's Gossip Girl is one of the few shows that premiered during the 07-08 season that is definitely going to make it to the 09-10 one.
The strike spooked the networks and advertisers, and we're obviously feeling the effects now, over a year after it ended. What it boils down to is a lot of great shows are suffering-- and Ben Silverman is a dick.
The species known as the network executive (networkitus executivus) is unique in the world of nature. Seemingly human in stature and characterization, the network executive is unusual in the sense that its brain is seated firmly in its tushie region. As this area of the executive's body gets the least amount of blood during an average day this leads to some very strange programming decisions. Thus, the reason that viewers were entertained by Cop Rock, Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire? and that sitcom that starred Emeril.
This lack of blood also causes memory loss. At least, that's what I believe it does because it's the only way I could think of that NBC would hire Ben Silverman to co-chair the entertainment division. Or, rather, hire another man named Silverman to help program their primetime schedule. For, if their memories were working properly, they would have realized that another man with the last name of Silverman came to the NBC 30 years ago and proceeded to muck everything up as well.
I was looking at my last two Festivus wish lists in an attempt to determine if any of my requests came true. Turns out, many of them did come to fruition -- something that I'm damn proud of. Sadly, a new sitcom for Dustin "Screech" Diamond did not materialize. Oh well, maybe that will occur sometime next season when, after coming out of a trance, the NBC executives realize they made a terrible mistake putting Jay Leno on at 10:00 pm and need something to fill the empty space.
Now, without further ado, let me put down the aluminum rod for a bit and talk about my Festivus wish list for the upcoming year.
This is a great opportunity to get a little Scrooge-y and vent about what I want to see corrected/improved/altered in TV in 2009. Is it wrong that I hope the bigwigs at the networks and cable companies are surfing the net and take my grievances to heart? Is it wrong that I still believe they care about what viewers think? Yeah, probably, but here's my wish list anyway:
They were going to give him a half hour every night at 8pm.
That's one of the many revelations in this interview (link goes directly to audio) that Ryan Seacrest did with NBC chief Ben Silverman on his radio show yesterday. Silverman also offered Leno the chance to go either on cable or on syndication, but Leno said he wanted the 10pm slot. They also offered Leno 12 new cars, a free subscription to Martha Stewart Living, a brand new platinum bidet, and one year of meats from the Meat of the Month Club.
The network just canceled the Christian Slater spy drama My Own Worst Enemy, and Lipstick Jungle looks like it might be done too. Both shows starred big names and the network were hoping they'd stick around for a while. Meanwhile, Heroes has seen a huge drop in ratings, producers are being fired, and the show is being overhauled for its (hopeful) fourth season. But Silverman isn't being blamed for these miscues. Exec Katharine Pope was in charge of those shows (and Bionic Woman) so she is the one being blamed, according to The New York Post.
It's one of the many subjects covered in this long Fortune profile of the controversial TV exec. Fey doesn't say who all of the characters are or how they are based on Silverman, except in one case. She explains that evil TV executive Devin Banks (played by Will Arnett) is the one that's based on Silverman the most.
This has got to be the best backhanded compliment since Mike Myers said that Dr. Evil was based on Lorne Michaels.
That said, the news today that NBC has given Knight Rider a full season order leaves me cold. That's an order for nine more episodes, and it strikes me as throwing good money after bad. Knight Rider has been struggling in the ratings and generally dissed by the critics. It hasn't earned a pick up to be perfectly frank.
So why would NBC give this remake of the 1980's action drama a vote of confidence? Well, it could be that it's considered one of NBC programming chief Ben Silverman's pet projects.
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