Bernie Mac has signed a deal with FOX to star in a new sitcom.
Starting Under will be about a divorced, opinionated guy who not only finds himself living with his son but also working for him. The show has been giving a large episode order - seven episodes, which I guess is large nowadays - and the deal was finalized just before all this strike stuff happened.
Just because there's a writers strike doesn't mean the networks aren't buying new shows!
Just before the strike announcement, NBC made a deal for a new drama titled Kings, which is described as "a contemporary soap loosely based on the story of King David, the Biblical king of Israel." There's really something funny about that description.
Production of one of the more highly anticipated shows on the NBC schedule, Heroes: Origins, has been put on hold. Apparently, due to fears of a pending writers' strike. Or, maybe not.
According to The Hollywood Reporter the Heroes spin-off will not be receiving its six-episode run, which was to begin in April of 2008. While NBC hasn't officially said that the series is canceled producers have not been given a date when it would be put on the schedule. During the network upfronts held last May it was mentioned that Origins would be spelling its older sibling during a late-season hiatus.
Reilly's inaugural project is The Oaks by writer David Schulner, who has written for Everwood and Desperate Housewives. The high-concept drama will be helmed by Dexter director Michael Cuesta, with Cuesta, Schulner and Shield creator Shawn Ryan serving as the pilot's executive producers.
Rather than load all 200 plus members of the TCA on a plane to New Orleans, Fox decided to have a N.O.-themed party at Les Deux, a trendy restaurant in Hollywood in honor of its new series K-Ville, which has cast Anthony Anderson and Cole Hauser as cops in a post-Katrina Louisiana.
There was only man who could give me the full scoop on this series and what it will mean to New Orleans -- Times Picayune TV columnist Dave Walker
Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly answered inquiries from TCA members on Sunday about a big name exiting the network -- only the network was NBC and the departure was Reilly's own.
Reilly poked fun at the standard reasons found in press releases that are used to explain a person's leaving a top gig. "No one is ever really fired in Hollywood are they," he rhetorically asked, adding, "You can pick whatever trade euphemism you want [to explain my exit from NBC]. 'I segued.' 'I thought about it over the holidays.' I want to spend more time with my family, which I did for three days.'"
Then, Fox hired him to work with Peter Liguori, the network's entertainment chairman.
Fox Broadcasting Company gets its turn today to go in front of the TCA membership at the Beverly Hilton's International Ballroom.
You can bet Kevin Reilly, president, entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company, is going to be asked a few questions about his exit last spring from NBC.
Once those inquiries get out of the way, Reilly, and Peter Liguori, Fox's chairman, entertainment, will tout Fox's upcoming TV shows.
After the executive session, CBS continued immediately with its jam-packed day of press tour, introducing four new shows and taking a look at returning hits Shark and How I Met Your Mother.
First up, the all-star cast of Cane, a prime time soap that's been compared to The Sopranos and Dallas, starring Jimmy Smits, Hector Elizondo and Rita Moreno, takes the platform.
Smits, who also serves as co-executive producer, stars as Alex, a man who's married to his "sister" (Alex is adopted), prompting executive producer and perpetual funnyman Jonathan Prince to call creator/e.p. Cynthia Cidre -- "Woody."
Deal or No Deal is moving to Friday night at 8, providing a nice lead in for critically acclaimed Friday Night Lights and Las Vegas, which has Tom Selleck joining its cast.
Isaiah Washington is going to join The Bionic Woman. He'll be in five of the first eight shows.
Reilly is reuniting with former co-worker, Peter Liguori, who has been promoted to entertainment chairman at Fox. The two teamed up when they worked at FX and brought edgy shows such as The Shield and Nip/Tuck to that network. Fox evidently wants some of that mojo.
Reilly's first challenge is to get people to watch some of Fox's new shows, none of which he chose. I'm hoping he'll give a little love to Unhitched, the Farrelly brothers comedy that is by far the best thing Fox has going for it in the fall.
This is a smart pairing for Fox. Liguori and Reilly brought mega-hits to FX including The Shield and Nip/Tuck. And, judging from this spring's upfronts presentation from Fox, the network could use some edgier programming. There's no doubt that Reilly has an eye for quality programming (Friday Night Lights), but his downfall with NBC was his inability to bring the network out of fourth place.
According to this afternoon's report, NBC will announce the return of The Apprentice during a summer presentation to television critics on July 16th. NBC isn't confirming the report, but I imagine we'll hear something from Trump's camp soon.
The ironic thing about this video is that two of the main players in it, Wright and Kevin Reilly, who you see announcing The Office's renewal, are no longer with the network; if you recall, Wright's replacement, Jeff Zucker, just fired Reilly last week. By the way, Dot Comedy has a whole Carell channel set up to promote his upcoming movie, Evan Almighty. They also have vlogs from various comedians (including our own Paul Goebel). It's a good way to blow an entire day at work. The video is after the jump.
I'm trying to understand why NBC Universal president Jeff Zucker would hold on to Reilly for the crucial planning of the fall schedule after his lackluster performance with last fall's expensive-but-low-rated Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Kidnapped, etc. And this spring, NBC once again came in last in the ratings among the big four networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX).
After NBC's upfronts presentation earlier this month, advertisers didn't really leap at any of the offerings on the new fall lineup (because they're boring). That's an obvious reason to get rid of Reilly, but it also doesn't put a lot of confidence in the fall schedule.
It seems that the network has gotten a little bored of having the occasional 40 minute episode of their Thursday night lineup (My Name Is Earl, The Office, Scrubs, and 30 Rock). It's been going on for 10 years now (it started with Friends), but NBC President of Program Planning Vince Manze says that it's not novel anymore and "I don't think anyone here thinks, at this point, super-sizing often is good for the shows. We're going to do our best to not have to do it next year."
The network is, however, going forward with plans to air several hour-long eps of The Office this fall. If that's successful, maybe they'll try it with other shows?
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