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October 6, 2015

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Today in TV Deals: Lee Daniels to Adapt 'Valley of the Dolls,' Kevin Williamson Takes on Serial Killers

by Jean Bentley, posted Sep 26th 2011 5:45PM
Lee Daniels, Kevin WilliamsonAlthough the fall TV premiere season is still in full swing, networks have already begun thinking about their programming slates for next year.

NBC has invested in Lee Daniels' take on the classic '60s novel 'Valley of the Dolls,' Deadline reports, in what will be the 'Precious' helmer's small-screen debut. He'll write and direct the period drama, based on Jaqueline Susann's novel about the showbiz lives of three friends. The book's already been turned into a cult-classic movie (1967), a mini-series (1981) and a late-night soap (1994).

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TCA Report: 'The Secret Circle' Explores Magic, Family and Love Triangles

by Laura Prudom, posted Aug 5th 2011 9:00AM
'The Secret Circle'Executive producer Kevin Williamson and the CW might be two for two with the launch of 'The Secret Circle,' a bewitching new drama that will air Thursdays alongside 'The Vampire Diaries' this fall.

Though both series are based on novels by LJ Smith, the world of the 'Secret Circle' witches will not intersect with the established magic in 'The Vampire Diaries' -- Williamson was fast to dispel any notion of a crossover between his supernatural dramas. "We need to start at ground zero and create our own story and create our own mythology and build from there, so that we can tell just as great a story as 'The Vampire Diaries'," he pointed out.

The series focuses on Cassie Blake (Britt Robertson), a seemingly normal teenager whose world is turned upside down by the mysterious death of her mother and her subsequent relocation to Chance Harbor, Washington -- a town where everyone seems to know her name, whether she likes it or not. Magic, murder and secrets spanning generations soon come to light.

Check out highlights from the panel after the jump.

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'The Secret Circle' Trailer: Witches & the Unmistakable Kevin Williamson Touch

by Jean Bentley, posted May 25th 2011 5:00PM
The Secret CircleThe hand of Kevin Williamson is all over 'The Secret Circle,' the new teen drama scheduled to debut on The CW after 'The Vampire Diaries' this fall.

That's a good thing -- the man responsible for 'Dawson's Creek' is quite possibly the greatest working teen soap producer these days. So the fact that the extended six-minute trailer for 'Secret Circle' is so recognizably Williamson-esque -- that is to say, smartly scripted, well-paced with a touch or two of the paranormal -- should only draw viewers to the show. The fact that it's based on the books by 'The Vampire Diaries' author L.J. Smith shouldn't hurt either.

'The Secret Circle' stars Britt Robertson as an orphan who moves to her mother's hometown and discovers she's a witch, and promises to be one of the fall's most addicting new shows. Watch the promo after the jump.

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Nigel Lythgoe Announces 'CMT's Next Superstar,' 'Top Chef' Heads to the Bahamas and More

by Jean Bentley, posted Feb 9th 2011 4:00PM
Nigel LythgoeNigel Lythgoe is apparently not content to dominate the televised singing competition space with 'American Idol' and the televised dancing competition space with 'So You Think You Can Dance.'

Since the man seemingly won't sleep until he controls every successful TV talent show out there, he's launching a new country music comeptition series on CMT.

'CMT's Next Superstar' will debut its 10-episode first season in April, Entertainment Weekly reports.

"This isn't just a singing competition. The contestants will also be judged on their songwriting, radio interviews and music videos," Lythgoe said in a statement. "We're looking for more than just a singer. We want the complete creative, talented package -- performer, personality and writer. We want the next country superstar."

In other TV news ...

The CW picked up another pilot, based on 'Vampire Diaries' author L.J. Smith's 'Secret Circle' series. That's not the only TVD connection; co-creator Kevin Williamson just joined the project as an executive producer. No vampires in this one, though. Just witches. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Kerry Washington has booked the lead role in 'Grey's Anatomy' creator Shonda Rhimes' new pilot. Washington will play Olivia Price, a high-powered crisis-management consultant in 'In Crisis.' [Deadline]

The 'Top Chef All Stars' finale will take place in the noted culinary capital of ... the Bahamas? Maybe the crew just wanted to get out of the snowy disaster that has been New York City for the past few months. The four-part finale will begin airing next month. "The setting gets the contestants excited because it takes them out of their element and gives them great ingredients," judge Gail Simmons said. [TV Guide]

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'Top Chef Just Desserts' Back for Season 2, USA Announces 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent' Premiere Date and More

by Jean Bentley, posted Feb 3rd 2011 7:00PM
Top Chef Just DessertsIn the mood for something sweet?

Bravo has ordered a second season of 'Top Chef Just Desserts,' the network announced today. There's no word on when the show will actually shoot (or air), nor is there word on whether everyone from season 1 will be back to host/judge/mentor.

Budding pastry chefs, take note: Bravo will hold open casting calls across the country from Feb. 27 until March 14.

In other TV news ...

Kevin Williamson's new CW pilot, a 'Vampire Diaries' companion series, has been put on hold. Instead, the writer will now serve as an executive producer on the network's 'Secret Circle' pilot, about a teenage girl who discovers she is a witch. The project is also based on an L.J. Smith book. [Deadline]

A stunt woman was injured on the set of 'Justified' yesterday. She reportedly suffered from a "simple accident" (no gun misfires or anything) and is in serious but not critical condition. [Entertainment Weekly]

USA announced spring premiere dates for two of its original series. 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent' will return for its tenth and final season on May 1, along with season 4 of 'In Plain Sight.' [Deadline, TV Line]

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Details on Kevin Williamson's 'Vampire Diaries' Companion Series, Sam Neill Cast in 'Alcatraz' and More

by Jean Bentley, posted Dec 10th 2010 6:30PM
Kevin WilliamsonWe might have to wait another month and a half for a new episode of 'The Vampire Diaries,' but here's a treat to help tide us over until then: 'TVD' creator Kevin Williamson gave Entertainment Weekly new details about the recently announced companion series he's writing.

"It's set on a college campus," he said. "There's a little bit of some paranormal investigation involved, but it's more about the characters. It's more about what Julie and I like to do, which is create a world of people. A young girl goes to college, and it turns out there's a lot more going on."

As for the reports that the still-developing show will be like 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' crossed with 'The X-Files'? False."That's exactly what the show is not," Williamson said. "That was the wrong characterization. I was like, 'What is 'Buffy' meets 'The X-Files'? They're completely at odds tonally. It's neither."

In other TV news ...

Sam Neill has nabbed the male lead in J.J. Abrams' 'Alcatraz.' The actor will star alongside Sarah Jones in the Fox pilot. [Deadline]

Tonsillitis is traveling around the 'Glee' set. It's so bad that production on a big musical number for the post-Super Bowl episode was canceled tonight. It'll instead be shot in January, and filming will resume on Monday. [EW]

Bravo is putting together its own gay housewives series that will compete with Logo's 'The A-List.' The new show is tentatively called 'From the Bottom to the Top,' and is being overseen by Andy Cohen. [NY Daily News]

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Kevin Williamson Developing Companion Series to 'The Vampire Diaries'

by Jean Bentley, posted Nov 30th 2010 10:35AM
Kevin WilliamsonDoes Kevin Williamson ever find time to sleep?

Judging from the 'Vampire Diaries' mastermind's frequent middle-of-the-night tweets, probably not, but his lack of zzzz's is our gain: According to Deadline Hollywood, Williamson is creating a companion series to his hit CW show.

It's not a spinoff or a sequel, just a supernatural-themed drama about a group of (probably gorgeous) people who investigate paranormal happenings. Deadline reports that an insider describes the show as "'The X-Files' meets 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer.'" Did you hear that? It was the sound of millions of smart sci-fi fans squealing with joy, followed by the sound of millions of 'Vampire Diaries' fans swooning at the casting possibilities.

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Comic-Con: 'V,' 'Fringe' and 'Vampire Diaries' Round-Up

by Laura Prudom, posted Jul 24th 2010 11:00PM
fringe_fox_castFull disclosure, spoilerhounds -- I don't watch 'V,' 'Fringe' or 'The Vampire Diaries' (two of them are on my DVR, I swear!) so you'll have to forgive my ignorance in the following bullet-point recap of all three panels; I have no idea of character dynamics (or even names, without the help of IMDB) but I'll attempt to make the round-up as coherent as possible, and you can correct my ignorance in the comments if you so desire.

Though, after the panels and meeting some of the pretty cast members at the Warner Bros. party last night, they've all moved up on my must-watch list!

Needless to say: SPOILER ALERT.

Let's jump in with 'V' ...

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Mia Kirshner Joins 'Vampire Diaries'

by Rebecca Paiement, posted Dec 22nd 2009 12:00PM
Here's one for the CW's Christmas stocking: Mia Kirshner has just signed up for a recurring role on 'The Vampire Diaries.'

The Ausiello Files
confirms that the 'L Word' siren will play Isobel, wife of Matt Davis' history teacher, Alaric. Her character will be charming -- but with some serious bite, of course.

Kirshner is known primarily for her portrayal of Jenny Schecter on the Showtime drama 'The L Word,' a job she held from 2005-2009. She's also put in three solid appearances on '24', and has had significant roles in 'Not Another Teen Movie' and 'The Black Dahlia.'

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CW wrap-up: Vampire Diaries, Melrose Place, Life Unexpected - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 4th 2009 8:28PM
Life UnexpectedThe CW's TCA panels today were full of beautiful people. It seemed like all the shows were about young pretty things in scandalous situations. Even the highly-anticipated Vampire Diaries didn't look much different, except some of the over-sexed high schoolers were vampires. But one show shined through the pretty clutter in the CW's new slate. Too bad we won't see it until early 2010.

That show is Life Unexpected, which CW programming head Dawn Ostroff described as "Juno meets Gilmore Girls." After seeing the pilot, I can agree with that description. It's sweet, warm, even a little bit hokey. In fact, it feels like a show that would have been on the old WB network. What the heck is it doing on the CW?

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Here's another sneak peek at The Vampire Diaries

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 17th 2009 9:10PM
Last month we showed you a clip from The CW's new horror-drama The Vampire Diaries. The network has released a longer preview that explains some of the back story and features more characters. Looks like Gossip Vampires (but that's not an insult).

[via SciFiWire]

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CW president on merger results: still too early to tell - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 19th 2007 3:16PM
CW logoThe CW decided to go for the funny in its TCA press tour executive session this morning. They played a video clip of an over-eager Adult Swim-style Chyron screen (instead of white on black, though, it was yellow on the ubiquitous CW green), apologizing for technical difficulties and making some interesting jokes. They even name checked Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle, who in an ironic twist, wasn't there to see it.

The message of all this? "We're The CW! Watch us! We're doing something different!" And that was also the theme of the presentation from the network's president of entertainment, Dawn Ostroff.

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