Archive for the ‘News’ Category

April 18th, 2014

Broadcast TV Buzz: ‘Almost Human’ & ‘SHIELD’ Inch Closer To Renewal, ‘Crisis’ Facing Cancellation & More

With less than a month until the big five networks (ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox and NBC) descend on New York City for their Upfront Presentations, the key decisions on which shows will be coming back for the 2014-2015 season and which will be cancelled are in the process of being made. So which of this season’s current show’s will make the cut. TVWise presents the penultimate edition of this year’s Broadcast TV Buzz column, which lists, by network, the latest industry intel (buzz if you will) on which shows will be back next year and which shows are set to get the ax.

ABC

There has not been an awful lot of movement at ABC. The network has yet to renew a single series, but between strong ratings and support amongst ABC brass Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Castle, ResurrectionModern Family and Once Upon A Time are all considered locks for renewal. Of the network’s bubble shows, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. now looks set to swing a second season, largely thanks to the internal politics of Marvel within Disney. The Middle has been a fairly consistent player and is one ABC topper Paul Lee, who recently inked a new deal to stay on as President, is a big supporter of and as such is expected to return. The same is true of The Goldbergs, which has been an OK player on Tuesday nights. On the flip side of that, Trophy Wife wont be coming back. The series does enjoy support at ABC, but the ratings just aren’t good enough. Critical darling Nashville has had some soft ratings this season, but is still considered a shoo in for a pick up, as is Revenge, which is close to the numbers needed for syndication. On the comedy side, Last Man Standing is looking good for a renewal as one of the only comedies that has been able to draw a decent audience for ABC in the Friday night slot. Things are not as clear for Suburgatory. The comedy narrowly avoided cancellation last season and has struggled in the ratings, but sources suggest that it could swing another pick up. Friday night series The Neighbors is considered dead with no chance of coming back. The same is true of Mixology, a fact hinted at when some cast members started booking pilots. By all accounts Super Fun Night is also a goner, though there has been a suggestion of retooling the comedy for a second season. Meanwhile, Betrayal and Killer Women are both set to be officially cancelled, joining the likes of Back In The Game, Minds Games, Lucky 7, Once Upon A Time In Wonderland and The Assets.

CBS

CBS has already renewed most of their line up, leaving very few question marks before their upfont presentation. The network has already renewed CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Person of Interest, Hawaii Five-0, Blue Bloods, The Good Wife, Criminal Minds, Elementary, 2 Broke Girls, The Millers, Mike & Molly, Mom, Two And A Half Men and The Big Bang Theory; and has cancelled comedy We Are Men. Despite its cast and pedigree, Hostages failed to sustain a decent sized audience and won’t be returning next season. The same is true of Intelligence, which also failed to find much of an audience. The only other remaining drama not to have heard if it is coming back is The Mentalist. Warner Bros are pushing for a seventh season, especially given the retooling the series underwent this season. But from what I’m hearing, CBS wont be brining it back – there are a couple of pilots considered to be better companions to The Good Wife than Patrick Jane and co. On the comedy side, CBS is expected to renew one more series. Its not entirely clear which of the three remaining comedies will swing the renewal. Bad Teacher doesn’t premiere until next week and will need to do well to secure its place on the 2014-2015 schedule. Friends With Better Lives started well but sank to ratings levels akin to The Crazy Ones in its second week. So between all that, as well as the star power on the David E. Kelley series, I’d give The Crazy Ones the edge as the one likely to return next season.

The CW

Over at the youth-skewing CW, there has been some minimal movement. The network has already handed renewals to Arrow, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, Reign and The Originals. As the only network yet to cancel a single series there are a number of dramas on the bubble. Newest entry The 100 has been a big performer for the network and is considered a lock for a second season order. Despite sources calling it DOA mere weeks ago, there has been chatter of late that Beauty & The Beast could earn a renewal. I’m not convinced of that outcome, but if it happens you can thank strong international sales for CBS Studios International. Another show that was considered dead only weeks ago that now has a shot is Star-Crossed. Ratings have been soft but its a political situation and at least one CBS Television Studios produced series is expected to get a pick up, be that Beauty & The Beast or Star-Crossed. Talk has been of a 13 episode pick up for Star-Crossed, possibly paired with The 100 next season. As for the remaining series, The Tomorrow People, The Carrie Diaries and Hart Of Dixie are all considered dead. Their slots on the network’s schedule next season are likely to be taken by iZombie, The Flash and Supernatural: Bloodlines, all of which have strong buzz right now.

Fox

Fox has already decided on most of their current line up. The network has handed renewals to The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy, Bones, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, New Girl, The Mindy Project, Sleepy Hollow, The Following and Glee. While they have also cancelled Us & Them, Rake and Raising Hope. That only leaves Almost Human, Enlisted, Surviving Jack and Dads on the bubble. Things are heating up with Almost Human. The sci-fi series ratings were always decent and hinted at a likely renewal, but word is that Fox will now be renewing the WB produced series for a 13 episode second season. As far as comedy goes, Fox’s entire line up has suffered from soft ratings. Enlisted failed to find an audience in its Friday night slot and, despite strong support amongst execs there, will be cancelled. Also not returning for next season is Dads. The comedy from Seth MacFarlane was a favourite of Fox topper Kevin Reilly, but like Enlisted failed to find much of an audience. Meanwhile, sources say, Fox looks set to pick up a second season of Surviving Jack. The Chris Meloni fronted sitcom has, like the rest of Fox’s comedy line up, struggled a little in the ratings but enjoys strong support at Fox and perhaps more importantly has had a warm critical reception and is considered a shoo in come awards season.

NBC

Over at the peacock, a lot of the series are still in play with NBC having handed renewals to only 5 shows (The Blacklist, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Grimm and Parks & Recreation), and cancelling a further four (Sean Saves The World, Welcome To The Family, Ironside and The Michael J. Fox Show). New comedy series About A Boy and Growing Up Fisher have both been strong players for NBC, especially when looked at in comparison to the other new comedies from the network this season. Given that both are considered locks for renewal and will be back next season. Chatter over the past few weeks has been that Community will make it to a sixth season – is a movie next? Family drama Parenthood has been an ok player this season and with its strong support is also expected to return. Things are more complicated for Law & Order: SVU, with financial and contractual issues in play. That said, sources are optimistic that these issues can be resolved and as such the series should be retuning for a 16th season. With its move to Friday nights, Hannibal has struggled in the ratings, losing a good 50% of its lead in from Grimm. But between decent DVR gains and the relatively cheap licensing fee that NBC has with series producer Gaumont International Television, Hannibal looks set to swing a third season. The future is not nearly as bright for JJ Abrams. The veteran producer currently has two series on NBC, Revolution and Believe, and both have been struggling in the ratings. Revolution‘s audience has dropped significantly from season one (blame the lack of a The Voice lead in) and NBC is ready to cancel the series. WB will do what they can to keep it on air as it make the studio a lot of money internationally, but given “strong drama development” its more or less a goner. Believe on the other hand has struggled to re-launch NBC’s Sunday night line up. The ratings aren’t good enough and the series is also looking at cancellation. The same is true for fellow Sunday series Crisis. The Gillian Anderson starrer has also struggled on Sundays but pulls in marginally better ratings. Sources suggest it has a shot, but the truth is cancellation is more likely, regardless of how much NBC wants to stay in business with Gillian Anderson (that said, I’ve been hearing rumblings of a potential new development deal between Anderson and NBC which would see the X-Files alum TOPLINE a new prime-time drama). It’s hard to get a clear read on Dracula which, like Hannibal, cost NBC relatively little. It has a shot at renewal depending on what NBC execs decide to do with their Friday night block.

April 17th, 2014

A&E Orders Reality Series ‘D.O.A.’ From Law & Order Creator Dick Wolf

Dick Wolf is getting another reality series on basic cable.

A&E has handed an 8 episode series order to D.O.A., a reality series which is poised to re-examine controversial murder cases. This marks the second “true crime” series that Wolf has gotten on air in recent years, with the other, Cold Justice, set to return to TNT for the remainder of its second season this Summer.

D.O.A. follows a team of elite homicide detectives from around the country who will re-examine controversial murder cases in which unresolved questions still linger long after the verdict was determined. The elite team consist of Chicago PD homicide detective Michelle Wood, Miami-Dade Police Department detective Joe Schillaci and retired NYPD detective Kevin “Spider” Gannon.

The true crime series is set to enter production this Spring for a 2014 premiere. D.O.A. is being produced for A&E by Wolf Reality and Left/Right. The executive producers are Dick Wolf, Tom Thayer, Ken Druckerman, Banks Tarver, Laura Fleury and Brad Holcman.

“A&E has long been an innovator in crime and justice programming,” said David McKillop, Executive Vice President and General Manager of A&E Network. “We are looking to expand on our industry leading position by partnering with the master of the genre, Dick Wolf, on such a fascinating and unique new series.”

April 17th, 2014

TV Trailer: BBC One’s ‘Happy Valley’

BBC One has released the first trailer for their upcoming kidnapping drama Happy Valley. The six part series, which is being toplined by Last Tango In Halifax and The Paradise alum Sarah Lancashire, is set to premiere On Tuesday April 29th at 9pm.

Created by Sally Wainwright, Happy Valley follows Catherine Crowther (Sarah Lancashrie), a no-nonsense police sergeant who heads up a team of dedicated police officers in a rural valley in Yorkshire. When a staged kidnapping quickly spirals out of control and turns into a much more brutal and vicious series of crimes, Catherine finds herself involved in something significantly bigger than her rank, but unknowingly close to home. The series is produced by Red Production Company and stars Sarah Lancashire (The Paradise), Joe Armstrong (Robin Hood), Steve Pemberton (Whitechapel), Siobhan Finneran (Downton Abbey), George Costigan (Calendar Girls), James Norton (Death Comes to Pemberley), Adam Long (Waterloo Road), Karl Davies (Game of Thrones), Ramon Tikaram (EastEnders) and Charlie Murphy (The Village).

BBC One’s Trailer For Happy Valley Follows Below:

April 17th, 2014

UKTV’s Dave Channel Renews ‘Ross Noble Freewheeling’ For Second Season

Ross Noble is staying put at Dave.

UKTV’s Dave, which is the UK’s number one non-PSB channel, has ordered a six episode second season of the Ross Noble fronted Ross Noble Freewheeling. The second season order comes after the first season averaged 339k viewers, with a series high of 491k viewers. The format is also set to be remade for the US market for the Turner owned comedy network TBS.

Ross Noble Freewheeling featured Noble going where his fans on twitter directed, meaning that almost anything could happen. In season one that included gate-crashing Eddie Izzard’s stand up gig, hosting a ceramic dog show, MC a wedding, edit the Swindon Advertiser for the day and initiate a custard fight with Bob Mortimer. For season two, Ross will be joined by some of the best names in British comedy. The series is produced for Dave by North One Television & Stunt Baby Productions and executive produced by John Quinn and James Woodroffe.

Freewheeling is the most exciting and fun way to make a show, it’s great that Dave are into making telly this way”, said Ross Noble. “I would love to tell you what to expect for the second series but until the tweets start coming in I have no idea.

Steve North, General Manager of Dave, commented: “We are delighted to have Ross back on the channel for the second series. The madcap experiences and utter spontaneity of the first series proved that a show can be driven by social media and Ross really was at the hands of the Great British public.”

While UKTV’s Commissioning Editor Iain Coyle added: “I am thrilled we’re doing a second series of Freewheeling, Ross is simply a genius at improvisation and, with the help of a crack team at North One, he’s created a unique and hilarious format. It’s a brave commission by UKTV because, like last series, we’ve literally no idea where the show is going to take us; it’s all in the hands of Twitter and Ross Noble’s brain.”

April 16th, 2014

FX’s ‘The Americans’ Renewed For Third Season

FX has renewed their Cold War spy drama series The Americans for a third season of 13 episodes, TVWise has learned.

Created by Joe Weisberg, The Americans follows the complex marriage of two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington DC shortly after Ronald Reagan is elected President. The drama series is produced by Dreamworks Television in association with Fox Television Studios and FX Productions and stars Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Noah Emmerich, Annet Mahendru, Susan Misner and Alison Wright.

The renewal, which comes after FX CEO John Landgraf stated at the network’s upfront last week that he expected to renewed the series for a third season in “the coming weeks”, follows what has been a critically acclaimed but ratings challenged season. Season-to-date the second season of The Americans has been averaging 3.08 million Total Viewers and 1.47 million Adults 18-49 down 9% and 14% from the season one averages.

The Americans continues be one of the best shows on television,” said Eric Schrier, President of Original Programming for FX Networks and FX Productions.  “Executive Producers Joe Weisberg, Joel Fields and Graham Yost have done a wonderful job delivering two seasons, and the performances from Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys and Noah Emmerich are stellar.  Fans will be blown away by the rest of this season, and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next year.”

Executive Producer Joel Fields commented: “We are so delighted and grateful to continue telling the stories of these characters. John Landgraf, Eric Schrier, Nick Grad, and the entire team at FX have been remarkable supporters and creative partners for the show – and we are blessed to have Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Noah Emmerich, and an awesome ensemble who bring it all so brilliantly to life.”

While series creator and executive producer Joe Weisberg added: “We’re also truly excited to continue our collaboration with our lead studio, FTVS, led by David Madden. And we’re so grateful to our incredible production team led by Dan Sackheim and Mary Rae Thewlis, our producing partners Graham Yost, and Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey at Amblin TV.  Seriously, if the Soviet Union had this level of support from its allies, the Cold War might have turned out differently.”

April 16th, 2014

Pivot Boards Sky Atlantic’s ‘Fortitude’ As Co-Producer

Sky Vision – the international distribution arm of satacaster BSkyB – has lined up a new US co-producer for Sky Atlantic’s upcoming 12 episode drama Fortitude.

Participant Media’s Pivot network has come on board the drama and will now co-produce the series alongside Tiger Aspect Productions’ Fifty Fathoms Label. Pivot replaces former US co-producer Starz, who backed out of the project late last year. The 12 episode series, described by Sky as their most ambitious project to date, is set to air on Pivot in 2015.

Created by Simon Donald, Fortitude tells the story of a mysterious death in a close-knit community in the Arctic Circle. The town of Fortitude was thought to be one of the safest in the world, but the murder threatens the future of the town itself. The local Sheriff Dan Anderssen pairs up with DCI Morton to investigate the violent crime, but neither trusts the other, complicating the investigation.

The series, part of Sky’s pledge to invest £600 million per year in original commissions by 2014, features an impressive cast which includes Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games), Michael Gambon (Harry Potter), Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who), Sofie Gråbøl (The Killing), Richard Dormer (Game of Thrones), Jessica Raine (Call The Midwife), Luke Treadaway (Clash of the Titans), Nicholas Pinnock (Top Boy) and Johnny Harris (This is England). The executive producers are Patrick Spence, Frith Tiplady and Andrew Woodhead (Spooks).

“We are pleased to join forces with Sky Vision and Fifty Fathoms in bringing this enormously thrilling series to US audiences”, said Evan Shapiro, President of Pivot. “A thriller with an eco-twist, Fortitude is storytelling at is finest with some of the industry’s best writers, producers and talent at the helm making it the perfect first dramatic series for Pivot.”

While Jane Millichip, Managing Director of Sky Vision, added: “Pivot’s commitment to Fortitude, both in marketing and scheduling terms is impressive, and we are thrilled to welcome them on board. This series from Fifty Fathoms exudes quality and scale, and – importantly for the international market – it is produced in volume, a rare commodity in British drama. This further underlines our commitment to bringing great Sky content to a wider global audience.”

April 16th, 2014

Matt Barbet Returns To Channel 5

Matt Barbet is returning to Channel 5.

The Northern & Shell owned broadcaster has lured back Barbert to front their evening news programme 5 News Tonight. He joins from ITV News where he has been for the past two years, with his return coming at a time when Channel 5 is refreshing and rebranding the 6:30pm news programme. C5 said that on the show “Matt will interview top news guests on the stories which matter to the Channel 5 audience.”

“I’m really happy to be returning to Channel 5 at what is a very exciting time for the network”, said Matt Barbet. “The news has always been an innovative and well-regarded jewel in its crown, and I’m looking forward to working with a few familiar faces once again, as well as many new ones.”

Michelle Chappell, Channel 5′s Commissioning Editor for Factual, News and Current Affairs, commented: “We were delighted when Matt agreed to come back to Channel 5. Matt embodies a lot of what Channel 5 is about – he’s honest, hard-working and straight-talking.”

While 5 News Editor Cristina Nicolotti Squires added: “I’m very excited about returning Matt to the 5 News family. He is a broadcaster with that rare combination of warmth and authority that is such a hallmark of 5 News. His appointment means we can do more with both of our news shows and I’m sure the viewers will be glad to see him back too”.

April 16th, 2014

Watch Sets UK Premiere Date For ‘Saving Hope’ Season 2

The second season of Canadian drama series Saving Hope will receive its UK premiere on UKTV’s Watch channel on Wednesday June 4th at 9pm, it has been announced.

The 18 episode second season of Saving Hope sees Charlie (Michael Shanks) now out of his coma and ready to return to work at Hope Zion hospital, the only problem is that, as a result of the coma, he is still seeing spirits. The drama series, which was recently renewed for a third season, is produced by Entertainment One and stars Erica Durance (Smallville), Michael Shanks (Stargate SG-1), Daniel Gillies, (The Vampire Diaries), Huse Madhavji (Combat Hospital), Julia Taylor-Ross (Rookie Blue), and Kristopher Turner (The Listener).

TVWise’s UK Premiere Dates page has been updated with this new information.

April 16th, 2014

BBC One’s ‘Shetland’ Renewed For Third Season

BBC One’s drama series Shetland, which is produced by ITV Studios through BBC Scotland, has been renewed for a third season, TVWise has learned.

The series, which is based on the novel series by Ann Cleeves and stars Douglas Henshall, recently returned for an extended second season of six episodes, with the first four episodes receiving a 29.5% audience share in Scotland. The show’s third season, which will again consist of six episodes, was commissioned by BBC One Controller Charlotte Moore and the BBC’s Controller of Drama Commissioning Ben Stephenson. The executive producers are Elaine Collins and Christopher Aird.

“I’m delighted that Shetland has been recommissioned and proud to have made a distinctive Scottish show that is enjoyed all over the UK”, said Executive Producer Elaine Collins. “It’s also been a pleasure to work with outstanding actors like Douglas Henshall, Alison O’Donnell and Steven Robertson, who have made Jimmy Perez and his close-knit team a regular fixture in the homes of millions of viewers.”

While Christopher Aird, the BBC’s Head of Drama Production Scotland, added: “Shetland is a really distinctive crime series that has proved hugely popular with audiences both here in Scotland and across the rest of the UK. I am thrilled it has been commissioned for a third outing and rest assured we have some really exciting plans for viewers from DI Perez and his team.”

April 16th, 2014

Amazon UK Inks WB Deal For Exclusive Rights To ‘Beware The Batman’

Batman is heading to Amazon UK.

Amazon Prime Instant Video UK has sealed a deal with Warner Bros. International Television Distribution to acquire the exclusive UK broadcast rights to animated series Beware The Batman. The complete first season of the series is now available to stream for Amazon UK Prime members.

Beware The Batman follows Bruce Wayne as he joins forces with sword-mistress Katana, ex-secret agent butler Alfred Pennyworth and the hard-nosed Lieutenant James Gordon to take on the might of Gotham City’s criminal underworld. The animated series, produced by Warner Bros. Animation for Cartoon Network in the United States, features the voice of Anthony Ruivivar and is executive produced by Sam Register.

Amazon’s deal with Warner Bros. marks the streaming service’s first such exclusive deal in the UK for content targeted specifically at the young adult audience. It is also the latest in a long line of content deals that Amazon UK has inked as they continue to ramp up their competition with Netflix. It follows the recent deals for the exclusive rights to Crossing Lines, Vikings and, more recently, the Starz pirate drama Black Sails.

“This milestone deal signals an exciting time in the growth of our exclusive content offering” said Tim Leslie, Vice President of Amazon Instant Video EU. “We’re passionate about investing in the very best shows for our customers of all ages, and this is a great new series for a range of generations to immerse themselves in.”

While Jeffrey R. Schlesinger, President of Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution, added: “Bruce Wayne is a character with so many stories to tell, and we’re excited to have brought this cutting-edge animated series to a service like Amazon Prime Instant Video. Allowing the Caped Crusaders fans to enjoy all episodes on-demand means new audiences can experience the action-packed world of Beware the Batman whenever they want, however they want.”