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Tag: 2011 Upfronts (1-10 of 62)

Laid off TV stars: Who is out of job next season

Charlie Sheen isn’t the only high-profile actor who’s out of job next season.

Networks chased after a slew of stars during pilot season, then left a bunch out in the cold once they decided which series were making their schedule. Among the survivors are Tim Allen (Last Man Standing), James Van Der Beek (Apartment 23), Christina Applegate (Up All Night) and Sarah Michelle Gellar (Ringer). But for every name that made the cut, there’s at least two that are back to pounding the pavement for work.

One of the biggest names left in the cold is Ethan Hawke, whose Fox action pilot Exit Strategy was passed over. There’s still a chance it could get retooled or salvaged, but chances seem slim.

Another big get, Angela Bassett, was expected to make ABC primetime in her police drama Identity, but the network picked up 13 other projects instead. READ FULL STORY

Top time-period battles next fall (and who will win)

Right after the fall schedule was announced last May, I posted a rundown of the most intriguing time-period battles and who I thought would win. Been a lot of buzz and fresh intel about these shows since, but I’m keeping my predictions the same — plus adding a several new entries. So here they are, below, and be sure to check the Inside TV blog every morning for the ratings to see how your favorite shows performed (of course, in today’s DVR era, time periods are less important than they were five years ago, but don’t be fooled: The slots still matter — just ask any show that faced off against American Idol, or one that had the pleasure of airing after it):

Who: CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 vs. NBC’s Playboy Club vs. ABC’s Castle
: Mondays at 10 p.m.
Verdict: Castle pulled off a surprise victory in this slot by the end of last season against the first year of Five-0, gradually conquering a time period that it always lost to CBS when CSI: Miami was there (Castle was especially aided by Charlie Sheen’s freak out and Two and a Half Men going into repeats — thus weakening CBS’ 9 p.m. hour’s lead into Hawaii). So this is the rematch, with Hawaii bulking up with a ton of guest stars and adding Terry O’Quinn to the cast. Expectations are modest for Playboy Club. Hawaii will go big tonight when Men returns tonight, but in the coming weeks Castle will probably end up slightly on top. And now on Friday nights, it’s Chuck vs… READ FULL STORY

Best and worst new shows, decisions, and scheduling moves of the 2011 upfronts


Upfronts are finally over, but the walk-up to the fall 2011–12 lineup has only just begun. Before we start splitting hairs over the really important stuff (why is Jesus starring on a J.J. Abrams show? Can somebody ixnay the silk pantsuits on Charlie’s Angels already?), we have some knee-jerk reactions to what we saw and heard this week in New York.

Most impressive big-event trailer: Fox’s new X Factor trailer. Okay, we get it now — the show is really big with lots of drama — and did you realize contestants fly off to, like, Simon Cowell’s palatial European estate to get berated by him in a whole other country? The Kool-Aid has been successfully ingested.

Strongest déjà vu: Fox pitching Terra Nova. Hey, wasn’t this your big new drama last year, too?

Most deserved cancellation: Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior. No offense to Forest Whitaker — his arc on The Shield still sends shivers down our spines — but if there was one procedural that wasn’t screaming for a spin-off, it was the Joe Mantegna starrer. READ FULL STORY

Sarah Michelle Gellar talks new show 'Ringer,' returning to TV, and her 'Buffy' fans

 We all remember: Buffy saved the world… a lot. But in her new CW show, The Ringer, Sarah Michelle Gellar’s characters are mostly trying to save themselves. That’s right, characters. Identical twins to be exact. In the series, Gellar plays a woman, who, after witnessing a murder, goes on the run and hides out by assuming the life of her wealthy identical twin sister — only to learn that her sister’s seemingly idyllic life is just as complicated and dangerous as the one she’s trying to leave behind, according to the logline released by the network.

For Gellar, who has largely been absent from the television landscape since Buffy the Vampire Slayer went off the air in 2003, playing two characters was just about the only thing she hadn’t done in her seven seasons on the UPN/WB show. “With Buffy, I got to do so much,” the actress told EW this morning at the CW Upfront presentation. “So what do you do next? What do you do that an audience hasn’t seen you do? But bringing to life two characters and making them different, but at the same time interesting, and [showing] the similarities is definitely a challenge I’ve never done.” READ FULL STORY

'One Tree Hill' will end next year

It wasn’t entirely unexpected, but CW topper Dawn Ostroff told advertisers today in New York that One Tree Hill will return to the network’s midseason lineup next year for its final 13 episodes. It will be the drama’s ninth (!!!) season.

Miraculously, the long-running series was given the greenlight for another year — a pretty remarkable feat, since the drama has set some sort of record for having been a bubble show every season for the past eight years.

The CW will attempt to lure Chad Michael Murray (Lucas) and Hilarie Burton (Peyton), both of whom left in 2009, back for the show’s final episodes.

The CW unveils its fall schedule

Watch CBS fall trailers: 'Person of Interest,' more

Unlike some of its rivals, CBS only has a handful of new shows (the network’s entertainment president uses the term “luxury problem” every year), but there’s a couple ones here that got a very positive reaction at their presentation to advertisers today. Check out these previews of J.J. Abrams’ latest, Person of Interest, as well as new comedy 2 Broke Girls. Plus there’s the very CBSsy dramas Unforgotten and A Gifted Man, plus the comedy bromance How to be a Gentleman.


Ashton Kutcher takes CBS stage: 'I won the lotto'


Welcome to CBS, Ashton Kutcher: The “actor, producer and social media mogul” was officially introduced by CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler today at the network’s upfront presentation in New York. Kutcher — wearing a very casual beige jacket and slacks — said it was “awesome to be there” and “for some reason they are letting us talk.” (See the first photos of the cast here.)

Kutcher, as well as Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones (both of whom showed up in conservative, dark suits) came out on stage while snapping to the comedy’s theme song. But when Kutcher didn’t get the “men men men” lyrics just right, he quipped, “I’m still learning my lines.”  READ FULL STORY

TBS and TNT unveil new shows: 'Closer' spin-off and Eric McCormack drama in the mix

The Closer will officially get a spinoff — Major Crimes, starring Mary McDonnell as Brenda Johnson’s nemesis, Capt. Raydor — as TNT’s breakthrough hit comes to an end with its seventh season next summer, Turner networks announced at its (problem-plagued) upfront presentation to advertisers Wednesday morning in New York. The cable group also unveiled sneak peeks at some of its upcoming new shows: TBS’ The Wedding Band, a promising comedy about just that starring Brian Austin Green, Lost‘s Harold Perrineau (he gets to be funny!) and The Office‘s always-hilarious Melora Hardin; TNT’s big-budget, Steven Spielberg-produced Falling Skies, a drama about a world that must rebuild post-alien-invasion, starring Noah Wyle; wisecracking-lawyer dramedy Franklin & Bash, starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar and and Breckin Meyer; and the possibly awesome, possibly baffling Perception, a drama about a hallucinating neuroscientist who solves crimes, played by a scruffy Eric McCormack. READ FULL STORY

J.J. Abrams talks 'Alcatraz': How a secret document led to Fox pickup, will keep writers from getting 'Lost'

Can J.J. Abrams do it again?

Like some sort of pilot godfather who makes networks a show they can’t refuse, the prolific producer-director has two new shows hitting primetime next season. One, Fox’s Alcatraz, is drawing inevitable comparisons to Lost. There’s another island, another mystery, with Lost scribe Elizabeth Sarnoff running the show and Jorge Garcia on board in a starring role. But you only need to watch Fox’s trailer (below) to know Alcatraz is very much its own series. “The premise from the very beginning is something I knew I would watch,” Abrams tells EW. “And that’s certainly not an arbitrator of what anyone else would watch, but I knew it was a good place to start.”

The show’s details have been kept under wraps until recently: Alcatraz follows a San Francisco police detective (Sarah Jones) who teams with an expert on the prison (Garcia) after a murder suspect turns out to be a Alcatraz prisoner who disappeared from the island about 50 years ago. It seems the killer wasn’t the only prisoner to vanish — or the only one to return. And now they must stop the Alcatraz escapees as they re-enter modern society without having aged — and try to solve the mystery of how this is happening, and why.

“There’s a kind of intrigue about Alcatraz,” Abrams said. “I heard the name and I thought, ‘How could there never have been a show called Alcatraz?’ I liked the idea of a show looking backwards in order to prevent what’s going to happen looking forwards. The idea of the worst of the worst being sent to that place. What happens if they all disappeared one day, and what happens if they suddenly came back and had not aged a day? That notion was so kick ass.” READ FULL STORY

Power outage at TNT-TBS presentation

Oops, this isn’t the kind of message about stability that you want to send to advertisers: Power problems brought the TNT-TBS upfront presentation to a halt in New York today. The network dimmed the house lights in preparation to air some TBS clips but they never played in the Hammerstein Ballroom. The crowd sat in the dark for a minute or two before the house lights came up.

“You know, I love working for TBS,” quipped Conan O’Brien, who was on stage to introduce the clips.

Turner programming topper Steve Koonin then took the stage and kept the crowd in stitches by joking “we’re not changing our rates” while the cabler raced to restore the video. Ray Romano — star of TNT’s Men of a Certain Age — also did a little improv.

The video was restored after 25 minutes. TNT/TBS then released this statement: “A power surge caused a temporary disruption to video elements at the upfront this morning. Turner executives and show talent rose to the occasion and the show continued after a brief interruption.”

A few minutes later, the power went out again during a promo for Falling Skies starring Noah Wyle. When Mark Paul Gosselaar came up to introduce his new dramedy Franklin and Bash, he joked, “Here’s a clip….hopefully.”

Afterwards, Koonin told EW, “I’m actually very proud of today. We’re not the smartest, we’re not the best, we don’t get everything done right. But we care. We are passionate.” — With reporting from Sandra Gonzalez

Conan O'Brien heading to New York


Conan O’Brien is bringing his late-night act back to New York, where it first began. TBS announced today that O’Brien’s show will spend four nights at New York’s Beacon Theater, beginning Oct. 31, to celebrate his cable show’s one-year anniversary. In 2012, Conan will hit the road again, with a trip to Chicago.

Read more:
Zach Galifianakis drops in on Conan (literally)
Conan is suddenly beardless

CBS unveils 2011-12 fall schedule

Two and a Half Men is staying put and CSI is getting the boot.

CBS unveiled its fall scheduled keeping Big Bang Theory on Thursdays and shifts veteran CSI from its longtime Thursday night anchor slot.

The network announced several new drams. J.J. Abrams’ Person of Interest stars Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson as an ex-CIA agent and a billionaire who team to stop crimes. Interest gets to take over the coveted CSI spot on Thursdays. CBS also shifted The Good Wife to Sundays. “To move CSI out of that time period you need big guns and we do,” says CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler.

And then there’s two titles that take familiar CBS concepts and give them a fresh spin: Unforgettable is about a female detective (Poppy Montgomery) with a perfect memory (The Memorist?) getting a lead-in from NCIS: LA on Tuesdays, and A Gifted Man is about a surgeon (Patrick Wilson) who receives help from his dead wife (The Spouse Whisperer?). CBS will also add two comedies about male and female bonding, respectively: How to be a Gentleman and Two Broke Girls.

The network is also programming Saturday nights with original shows — putting solidly rated comedy Rules of Engagement at 8 p.m. in hopes of gaining some traction on an evening that most broadcasters have long since given up on. For midseason, the network has a new crime drama about rookie cops called The 2-2.

Asked about Ashton Kutcher replacing Charlie Sheen on Men, CBS chief Les Moonves declined to make a ratings prediction. “I’ve been chased from every restaurant in Los Angeles for the past two months avoiding questions,” Moonves says. “But I think we’ve come through it just fine.”

Since CBS has fewer holes to fill than most of its rivals, it tends to make more powerful moves when it shakes up its schedule. Last year the network opened a new comedy beachhead on Thursdays and put aging procedurals like the CSI spin-offs in tough time periods to make room for new shows.

Full schedule: READ FULL STORY

See ABC's new fall trailers here: 'Charlie's Angels,' 'The River,' more

ABC picked up 13 new shows for fall and midseason. Get a load of the trailers here (menu of clips on right-hand side):

Read more:
Jimmy Kimmel mocks ABC, Kutcher, ‘X Factor’
ABC’s ‘Charlie’s Angels’ in action — PHOTOS
Want to see Christina Ricci as a stewardess in ‘Pan Am’


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