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Jamie Lee Curtis to headline CBS drama pilot

Jamie Lee Curtis is the latest film star to migrate to a potential starring gig on CBS primetime.

Curtis has been cast in an untitled medical pilot from David Marshall Grant (Brothers & Sisters) that has her playing Caroline, the doctor-mom of quadruplets who grew up on a reality show. The drama script that’s in contention for fall 2014 is based on the Israeli format, Ran Quartet, and has been described as a soapy series.

The last time Curtis — who did an arc as Dr. Samantha Ryan on NCIS in 2012 — had a series regular role on TV was in Anything But Love in 1989. She’s also recurred as Jess’ mom on Fox’s New Girl.

Curtis also has a small role in the new Veronica Mars film.

'Dallas' season 3 premiere postmortem: EP Cynthia Cidre on what's next

Spoiler alert! If you haven’t watched Dallas‘ season 3 premiere, stop reading now. Executive producer Cynthia Cidre breaks down the big twists and teases the sex drama to come. READ FULL STORY

'Dallas': Josh Henderson and EP Cynthia Cidre preview a wild season 3

“I’m pretty much the go-to guy when it comes to sex stuff,” Josh Henderson says with a laugh. And suddenly, we’re happy Dallas is back!

When Season 3 kicks of Feb. 24 (9 p.m. ET on TNT), we quickly learn why Henderson’s John Ross is cheating on new wife Pamela (Julie Gonzalo) with Emma (Emma Bell), who you’ll recall also lives at Southfork. “He only knows how to do business one way, and that’s how JR taught him. It’s like history repeating itself,” Henderson says. “He basically justifies things: ‘I’m doin’ this for us.’ But what Pamela doesn’t know is what this is. He doesn’t want her to find out, obviously. But at the end of the day, stuff’s gonna come crashing down, and I think it’s gonna surprise the audience what ends up happening. It’s pretty dangerous.”

While Henderson jokes that the show is “gettin’ a little weird this season, in a good way,” executive producer Cynthia Cidre looks at it as turning things up to 11. “We decided, let’s just embrace the fun of it,” she says. “There’s definitely a lot more sex. We have a few fistfights, but no one’s landed in the pool yet.” (We also have one pregnancy and two shootings to look forward to.) READ FULL STORY

Veteran TV journalist Garrick Utley dies at 74

Veteran TV journalist Garrick Utley, whose far-ranging career included anchoring duties as well as reporting from more than 70 countries, has died of cancer at 74, NBC said Friday.

Utley began at NBC News in 1963, and for three decades handled a wide variety of assignments. Early on, he reported from Vietnam on the escalating conflict. In later years, he moderated Meet the Press. READ FULL STORY

'Young and the Restless' casts Seahawks fullback

A trip to Disneyland after a big win has apparently been usurped by a guest-starring role on a daytime sudser.

After Seattle Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson revealed on NFL Total Access that his guilty pleasure is watching The Young and the Restless, the CBS drama booked the Super Bowl champ for a guest spot.

Robinson will now make his acting debut on March 13. He was written into an episode that will have him appearing alongside Eric Braeden (Victor Newman).

“It was an amazing experience! I’ve been a fan for years, and it was great to meet the personalities on the show,” Robinson said in a statement. “I’ve always thought Y&R was the best show on daytime television because their storylines are always entertaining and intriguing. They welcomed me with open arms, and I felt like a part of the Y&R family.”


Elisha Cuthbert joins gay-themed pilot -- but what about '24'?

Elisha Cuthbert — last seen in the critically-acclaimed but so-so rated comedy Happy Endings — will try her luck in an NBC sitcom pilot that’s from Ellen DeGeneres. 

She’ll pay a lesbian named Lizzy in One Big Happy, a New Normal-like sitcom from Warner Bros. TV. Here’s the official logline: “Platonic friends since childhood, a lesbian (Cuthbert) and her straight male best friend (Luke, played by Nick Zano) have been living together and have been trying to have a baby via artificial insemination for some time now. They finally get pregnant — just as Luke meets and impulsively marries the love of his life.” READ FULL STORY

Olympic viewership remains steady; 'Idol' boys drop

Day 14 of the NBC’s Olympic coverage Wednesday remained steady in viewers (20.1 million) versus the 2010 Vancouver Games (20.3 mil), but 18-49 ratings dropped 9% for the night to 5.0, according to Nielsen. Still, those numbers were wildly better than what the competish averaged, with ABC flat-out waiving the white flag by airing mostly repeats.

Let’s start with NBC and where it stands as it prepares to wrap up its Olympic coverage. Overall, Sochi is down from Vancouver by 13% in 18-49 (5.9 vs. 6.8) and 10% in viewers (22.5 vs. 24.9 million), as well as down 6% from Torino in 18-49 (5.9 vs. 6.3).

Fox — aka American Idol and the Top 10 boys — finished second in the key demo with a 2.6 rating, down 4% from Tuesday’s Top 10 girls performance. That’s up, however, in viewers (9.9 million vs. 9.7 million).

CBS finished third in the demo with a 1.8 after airing a repeat of Hawaii Five-0, and originals of Criminal Minds (2.4) and CSI (2.0). ABC came in fourth with a mere .8, after airing repeats of The Middle, Suburgatory, Modern Family and Nashville. That was the season finale of Super Fun Night, but it only notched a .9 rating, down 31% from last week to a series low. It was kinda fun while it lasted, gals.

'Judge Judy' continues to rule in ratings

It’s still a standing-room only courtroom for the syndicated Judge Judy.

The long-running daytime strip featuring the gavel-swinging Judy Sheindlin just posted her highest-rated week in 11 years. According to Nielsen data for the week ending Feb. 9, Judge Judy averaged 11.91 million daily viewers — her best audience since the week ending Feb. 17 in 2003. She’s also up 13% in viewers versus last year (11.91 versus 10.53 million).

Judge Judy first premiered in 1996.

When she’s not presiding over her arbitration-based court show, Sheindlin is also helping to find new shows for CBS Prods. The studio is running with an idea she recently pitched called Hot Bench, which focuses on a three-judge courtroom. It’s already been sold in 75% of the country.

'Ray Donovan' casts star from 'The Wire'

Showtime’s drama Ray Donovan has picked up a popular actor from The Wire to recur in season 2.

Wendell Pierce, who played Det. Moreland on HBO drama, will guest star as Mr. Keith, which the net describes as a “down on his luck parole officer who gets a payoff from Ray (Liev Schreiber). Most recently, Pierce starred on NBC’s The Michael J. Fox Show, which is not expected to earn a second season pickup.

Production on the second season of Ray Donovan, which also stars Jon Voight, is currently underway in Los Angeles to prepare for a summer premiere. Other actors joining the series this season are Hank Azaria, Sherilyn Fenn and Vinessa Shaw.

Fallon day 2 beats combined ratings of Letterman, Kimmel

Jimmy Fallon has snagged The Tonight Show’s best overnight ratings on a Tuesday in seven years. Day 2 of Fallon’s debut week — which featured a pretty nifty rendition of R. Kelly’s “Ignition”– averaged a 5.3 rating in homes, according to Nielsen’s sweep of 56 local markets.

That’s Tonight’s biggest Tuesday since Feb. 13, 2007, when it also scored a 5.3.

The midnight start didn’t seem to hurt Fallon either; he topped the combined scores of Late Show with David Letterman (2.2) and Jimmy Kimmel Live (1.9) by 29% (5.3 vs. a combined 4.1). Here’s the most interesting stat, provided by NBC (of course): Fallon’s second outing retained 75% of the show’s premiere rating in overnights (5.3 vs. 7.1), up from a 70% retention rate for night two of Conan O’Brien when he headlined the show on June 1, 2009 (5.0 on June 2 vs. 7.1 on June 1, 2009). Yep, they will go there.

Because of NBC’s Olympics coverage, Fallon will air at midnight until Friday, when he’ll move to the traditional 11:35 p.m. start.

One of last night’s guests was Harry Styles (played by Kristen Wiig).

CBS developing another 'CSI' spinoff

Think CBS is done dreaming up CSI spinoffs? Think again.

The net is looking to extend the brand by airing a backdoor pilot that was inspired by Producer Mary Aiken, who previously worked as a cyber-psychologist. Set to bow as a CSI episode in the spring, the action will revolve around a special agent named Avery Ryan and will be set in Quantico, VA. Here’s the logline: “Technology, as we know it, has amplified human behavior to the point where faceless criminals are committing crimes at global proportions with a touch of a button.”


Showtime orders more 'Shameless' and 'House of Lies'


Look for another season of Shameless and House of Lies on Showtime. The pay network announced today that it has ordered 12 more episodes of Shameless, currently in its fourth year, and Lies, which is on its third.

Production for both Sunday night series will begin in Los Angeles later this year. Showtime already announced that it renewed Episodes that stars Matt LeBlanc for a fourth season.

Shameless, at 5.5 million viewers, is enjoying its highest-rated season yet. The William H. Macy starrer is up 8% versus last year. Lies, meanwhile, is averaging 3 million viewers per week across multiple platforms. It features Don Cheadle.

'Green Acres' actress Mary Grace Canfield dies

Mary Grace Canfield, a veteran character actress who played handywoman Ralph Monroe on the television show Green Acres, has died. She was 89.

Her daughter, Phoebe Alexiades, says Canfield died of lung cancer on Saturday at a hospice in the California coastal town of Santa Barbara. READ FULL STORY

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