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CW fall development: Witches, zombies, and law dogs

CW topper Dawn Ostroff may be shepherding her best development season yet, but the veteran programmer is not expected to stick around to see the 2011-12 launch: Ostroff, whose contract is up in June, reportedly informed both CBS Corp chief Leslie Moonves and Warner Bros., Chairman and CEO Barry Meyer that she will leave sometime this summer to return to New York, where her husband’s job is based.

Ostroff has run CW since 2006, when it became  joint venture between Warner Bros., and CBS. She’s been bi-coastal for the last five years. READ FULL STORY

CBS orders two more editions of 'Survivor'

Probst-SurvivorImage Credit: Monty Brinton/CBSCBS announced today that it has ordered 23rd and 24th editions of Survivor for the 2011-2012 season.  And the news only gets better: Jeff Probst has signed a new pact that will keep him on as host and executive producer for both installments.

“Survivor’ is a program franchise that continues to stand the test of time.  Each season delivers new faces, exotic places, the ultimate social experiment combined with game play, and one of the most engaged audiences anywhere on primetime television,” said Jennifer Bresnan, CBS Executive Vice President, Alternative Programming, in a statement. 

The current edition, Redemption Island, is averaging 11.7 million viewers, as well as a 3.4 rating/10 share in adults 18-49. It’s improved its year-ago time period average by 150% in viewers and 162% in adults 18-49.

Probst is a three-time Emmy winner for hosting the long running competition reality show.

Charlie Sheen to land his own show on HDNet?

sheen-cubanImage Credit: Michael Bezjian/; Jesse Grant/WireImage.comBillionaire Mark Cuban, who owns HDNet, says he has had talks with Charlie Sheen about bringing the actor’s “winning” act to his cable network. In an interview with ESPN, Cuban, who also owns the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, said, “I reached out and we’ve had some conversations, and we’re going to work on doing some things.”

It’s still unclear whether their collaboration might be a reality show or a talk show or something entirely different. “We’ll do something together, but it’s not certain it will be a show,” said Cuban. “It’ll come down to what he wants do and what his situation is. We’ll just figure it out from there, but it’s a unique opportunity, I’ll say that.” READ FULL STORY

Anthony Bourdain dishes on writing for 'Treme'

Anthony-BourdainAnthony Bourdain is famous for wearing multiple hats: chef, author, Travel Channel jet-setter, and Bravo judge. Now the renaissance man can add another hat to his rack, as a writer for HBO’s New Orleans drama, Treme, which premieres its second season April 24. We talked to Bourdain about how he got the job, why TV writing is easier than book writing, and why he gets giddy over Treme creator David Simon.


Sheen lawyer: Pay him for dumped episodes!

An attorney for Charlie Sheen has fired off a letter to Warner Bros. TV seeking payment for the eight episodes of Two and Half Men that were never produced for CBS, EW has confirmed.

As first reported by TMZ, Hollywood attorney Marty Singer is hoping to recoup the millions that Sheen was set to earn for the episodes that were ultimately dropped when the actor agreed to undergo rehabilitation. After a month away from the set, the studio announced production of Men would resume today – but it would only produce four rather than the originally agreed upon eight episodes that would have fulfilled its order to CBS.

Sheen then went on a radio tirade last week that resulted in both CBS and Warner Bros. announcing that it was pulling the plug on the highly rated sitcom for the rest of season. EW learned that creator Chuck Lorre – if not other members of the Men writing team – did not want to continue working with the actor, which in essence (a legal phrase) made it impossible to continue work on the comedy.

ABC to air Oscars through 2020

ABC will keep the Oscar gold for years to come. The network announced today that it has extended its deal with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to air the Academy Awards through 2020.

“This contract ensures that the Oscar show will be an ABC tradition for 45 consecutive years,” said Academy President Tom Sherak in a statement. “ABC is absolutely the very best place for the Academy Awards, a television event that is beloved and watched by millions of movie lovers all over the world.”

The network has already aired 46 Oscar telecasts. The 83rd Academy Awards, which will air live on Sunday, will be the 36th consecutive ceremony to air on ABC.

ABC’s current deal with the movie academy was set to expire in 2012.

Scoop: How NBC landed the behind the scenes special 'Inside the Royal Wedding'

The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton has already set off a media frenzy, with every outlet under the sun wanting a piece of the big day. NBC is planning on sending all of its Today Show anchors as well as Nightly News’ Brian Williams to cover the event, but the network will also air Inside the Royal Wedding, a one-hour special premiering April 27, following the wedding preparations from January through April. According to exec producer Nick Bullen, the show will focus on “the supporting cast around the wedding,” like the wedding procession cavalry and the Dean of Westminster Abbey. Bullen says production will be filming until the very last minute to assure the special will catch every last detail. “We’re going to try and deliver as near as possible to [April 27],” he admits. “Obviously, what’s happening with the wedding is that things are being revealed on a daily basis. We want to be as up-to-date as possible. There’s even talk of doing a live introduction from Westminster Abbey on the Wednesday night with Meredith linking live to the States, but that’s still very much in discussions.”  READ FULL STORY

Tim Allen returning to TV in ABC pilot

tim-allenImage Credit: FilmMagic Inc/FilmMagic.comABC just persuaded a major player from its glory days to come back and engage in a little home improvement. Tim Allen — whose long-running role as Tim Taylor on Home Improvement helped to propel ABC to No. 1 — will star in an unnamed multi-camera comedy pilot (the working title was The Last Days of Man).

Penned by the Emmy-winning Jack Burditt (The Mike O’Malley Show, Inside Schwartz), the comedy focuses on a guy’s guy who’s surrounded by women. The storyline is still being adjusted, but the original logline spoke of a character who is “fighting for his manhood in a world that is being increasingly dominated by women.”  READ FULL STORY

CBS fall development: The Robs (Riggle and Schneider) want to entertain you

CBS-developmentImage Credit: Bob Charlotte/PR Photos; Chris Hatcher/PR Photos; Amanda Meredith/PR Photos; Al Messerschmidt/Getty ImagesCBS may not have a project like Wonder Woman that’s eating up all the headlines, nor does it have a much-anticipated reboot in the works that has fans hoping for the best (and even anticipating the worst). But the No. 1 network (in viewers) doesn’t need to make a lot of noise with its fall 2011 development, especially when it continues to succeed with tried-and-true formats featuring law dogs and crime-fighting duos. READ FULL STORY

'Glee' men to produce 'American Horror Story' for FX

Ryan-Murphy_240.jpg Image Credit: Noel Vasquez/WireImage.comIs Ryan Murphy’s fiefdom about to get a little bigger? FX announced today that the mastermind behind Glee — along with his fellow creator/executive producer Brad Falchuk — are returning to FX with a new drama pilot called American Horror Story.

The collaboration between Murphy and Falchuk reunites the duo with FX, where they worked on Nip/Tuck for seven years.

American Horror Story is a project that Brad and I have been discussing for a while,” said Murphy in a statement. “(FX President) John Landgraf and I have maintained a wonderful relationship since Nip/Tuck ended its run and he gave me an open invitation to develop a new show for the network. FX is the perfect place for this series and we look forward to a great homecoming.” READ FULL STORY

NBC completes pilot orders, goes with big and loud projects (See: 'Wonder Woman,' 'Prime Suspect,' 'Smash' and 'Grimm')

NBC-developmentImage Credit: Albert L. Ortega/PR Photos (2); Warner Bros/DC ComicsNBC is pretty much done ordering pilots for the 2011-12 prime time season and, under the new leadership of Robert Greenblatt, the network seems to be doing exactly what it needs to dig itself out from behind CBS and Fox: It needs to go big and bold. (Right now, NBC ranks third among adults 18-49 with a 2.6 rating/7 share and fourth in viewers, with 7.8 million). READ FULL STORY

Nigel Lythgoe launches music show on CMT

Nigel-LythgoeImage Credit: FoxNigel Lythgoe is expanding his empire yet again. CMT announced today that Lythgoe, together with his son Simon, will launch a new music competition series designed to find CMT’s Next Superstar. It’ll premiere in April.

In each of the show’s 10 episodes, CMT will search to find America’s “next great country star.”  The competitors will live together in Nashville, and the show will go behind-the-scenes to follow “all ensuing drama that can take place when musical adversaries live and compete together.” READ FULL STORY

Donald Faison, Christine Taylor, and others sign on for new TV Land sitcom pilots

TV Land is hoping to emulate the success of Hot in Cleveland by stuffing its upcoming sitcom pilots with familiar faces. In Happily Divorced, based on Fran Drescher’s life, Drescher’s character starts dating again after she discovers her husband is gay. Rita Moreno (West Side Story) will play her mother, Tichina Arnold (Everybody Hates Chris) is cast as the best friend, and John Michael Higgins (Best in Show) and D.W. Moffett (Friday Night Lights) have signed on for other roles. READ FULL STORY


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