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Lifetime picks up two procedurals

Lifetime announced today that is has ordered Against the Wall and Exit 19, two procedurals that’ll star Miguel Ferrer, Treat Williams and Kathy Baker. Against the Wall follows a Chicago police detective Abby Kowalski (Rachael Carpani) who causes a rift when she joins the department’s Internal Affairs division. Williams and Baker star as Abby’s parents. READ FULL STORY

'The Kennedys' finally finds a home

The controversial Kennedy miniseries staring Greg Kinnear and Katie Holmes has officially found a buyer: ReelzChannel will air The Kennedys starting April 3, the New Mexico-based network announced today. The eight-part miniseries marks ReelzChannel’s first original scripted programming, although the project famously was produced for The History Channel, until that basic cable network canceled it last month. The trailer is below: READ FULL STORY

Aaron Sorkin's cable news network drama earns HBO pilot order

Image Credit: Jonathan Fickies/Bloomberg/Getty Images

HBO has taken a major step forward in launching a series by Aaron Sorkin that chronicles the backstage drama at a cable news network.

The pay cabler has officially given a pilot order to Sorkin’s project, which could mark the much-anticipated return of The Social Network scribe to the small screen. To prepare, Sorkin spent time on Keith Olbermann’s set while penning the behind-the-scenes script (think Sports Night meets Countdown), something he did while juggling The Social Network and working on an early draft of the upcoming film Moneyball (starring Brad Pitt). READ FULL STORY

Holy $#*!, a trend: Another show in the works with an expletive (kind of) in the title

Cover your ears, grandma: There’s another comedy coming down the pipeline that hints to an expletive in the title. ABC just announced it has ordered a comedy pilot titled My Frickin’ Family, a single-camera project from Brillstein Entertainment that was penned by Erica Rivinoja (South Park). The logline: Two young parents’  lives change after they have a baby and the four grandparents with very different cultural backgrounds descend upon their lives to fight for the soul of their grandchild. (Or should we say, the little f–ker?)

A naughty word in the title certainly hasn’t hurt CBS’ $#*! My Dad Says, which has averaged 10.6 million and a 3.1 rating/9 share in adults 18-49. Before American Idol began, the William Shatner comedy was typically winning its timeslot. The Eye has yet to order another season, but it seems likely that The Shat will be back.

But back to ABC: The net also picked up a comedy pilot called Bad Mom, a single-camera project from Sharon Horgan and Aaron Kaplan about a woman who goes from having the best mom in the world to being the best mom in the world.

Fall 2011 development: Will remakes of Charlie’s Angels and Wonder Woman become great hits?

Think 'Taken' the TV show: ABC schedules summer series about a kid gone missing

No, Liam Neeson is not doing a small-screen version of Taken for ABC. But the Alphabet is developing a series that’s similar to the 2008 film about a former spy who’s daughter is kidnapped overseas. In Missing, which was written by Greg Poirier and executive produced by Gina Matthews and Grant Scharbo through ABC Studios, a young man disappears while in Italy for a summer internship so his mom travels to Europe to track him down. It soon becomes clear, however, that she’s no ordinary woman. That’s because she used to work for the CIA!

The drama is expected to air this summer.

(What’s that, you say? Don’t care about June and July programming and would prefer, instead, to review what ABC and the other networks may have in store for fall? Well, then check out our handy development list here.)

Matthew Weiner on his expired 'Mad Men' contract: 'I am not looking for a new job' -- EXCLUSIVE

mad_men_320.jpg Image Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC Fans already know that AMC has promised them a fifth season of Mad Men, but will its brilliant creator Matthew Weiner come back, as well? The Emmy-winning scribe told EW exclusively that his new deal has yet to be finalized but he’s “not looking for a new job.”  The show’s future is vague because AMC is still negotiating with both Weiner and Lionsgate, which produces the hit drama starring Jon Hamm.

“I think all of AMC’s decisions about their scheduling and so forth have nothing to do with me, and I don’t have a deal yet,” Weiner told EW, while walking the red carpet for the Producers Guild of America Awards Saturday. READ FULL STORY

'Wonder Woman' project finds a home at NBC

Wonder-WomanImage Credit: DC ComicsThe ol’ girl may fly this fall after all: NBC has picked up the Wonder Woman pilot from David E. Kelley. Ironically, NBC was the final network to pass on bringing back the superhero over a week ago, but that was before the new regime was officially in place in light of the impending Comcast takeover. Robert Greenblatt is now spearheading primetime as chairman. (On Thursday, head of programming Angela Bromstad announced she was leaving).

The pilot’s cost may not be a concern to Greenblatt, the wunderkind who revitalized Showtime with critical faves like Dexter and Weeds. READ FULL STORY

Keith Olbermann leaving MSNBC, replaced by Lawrence O'Donnell

keith-olbermannImage Credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty ImagesMSNBC announced tonight that anchor Keith Olbermann is leaving the network. “MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract,” the network says in a statement. “The last broadcast of Countdown with Keith Olbermann will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC’s success and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”

The network also announced that, starting Monday, Jan. 24, The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell will take over Olbermann’s 8 p.m. ET timeslot. (O’Donnell has filled in for Olbermann in the past.) The Ed Show, hosted by Ed Schultz, will in turn move to O’Donnell’s 10 p.m. ET timeslot.

Olbermann’s departure comes in the midst of Comcast’s takeover of NBC Universal. Olbermann has hosted Countdown since 2003 and helped to rebuild the news channel. Here’s Olbermann’s sign-off from his final show Friday: READ FULL STORY

NBC develops musical series from Steven Spielberg

Steven-SpielbergImage Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesMove over, Glee: NBC announced today that it has ordered a musical drama pilot that’s based on an idea from Steven Spielberg. Dubbed Smash, the project – if picked up to series – will follow a cross section of characters who come together for the “exhilarating ride of putting on a Broadway musical,” NBC says. The pilot script was written and executive produced by playwright Theresa Rebeck, and exec producers include Spielberg, Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey, and Craig Zadan and Neil Meron of Hairspray fame. Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman will provide original songs for the series.

Talks are in progress to bring aboard Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening) to direct.

Additionally, NBC picked up a single-camera comedy pilot today from Jhoni Marchinko (Will & Grace). It’s called I Hate That I Love You and focuses on a straight couple that introduces two of its lesbian friends to one another – which results in instant attraction and a pregnancy. For more on 2011-12 development, click here!

ABC books new reality series from Jerry Bruckheimer

Sure, it may share the same title of the 1969 mockumentary, but don’t go looking for Woody Allen’s Virgil Starkwell anywhere: ABC is expected to announce that it will air a new competition show from Jerry Bruckheimer called Take the Money and Run. The show will bow on Thursday, April 14 and air for six weeks through May 19. It is expected to replace Wipeout, which will have completed its winter run.

The unscripted series, which was previously dubbed Catch Me, features teammates competing in an adrenaline-fueled adventure game. Bertram Van Munster, who executive produces The Amazing Race with Bruckheimer, will also serve as an EP on Run.

Read more:
ABC orders Bruckheimer’s ‘The Lost Girls’

Syfy to develop show about campus ghost stories

We already know that school can be scary, but this SyFy project is taking it to a whole new level: The cable network announced today that it is developing a one-hour reality series with Mark Burnett (Survivor) called School Spirits. The project, which is also from Seth Jarrett (Celebrity Ghost Stories), will focus on hauntings that have occurred on school campuses nationwide.

“Paranormal encounters at high schools and colleges often become legendary stories spanning and touching generations,” said Mark Stern, Syfy president of original programming in a statement. “We’re excited to partner with Mark and Seth as they bring compelling, firsthand stories to life.”

Showtime docuseries starring...the S.F. Giants? EXCLUSIVE

Michael-Tollin-GiantsImage Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images; Tatiana Beller/PR PhotosIs Showtime looking to steal a page from the HBO playbook and air its own Hard Knocks-type series? EW has learned that Showtime is in early talks with producer Mike Tollin to do a docuseries that focuses on the San Francisco Giants. Tollin’s an obvious choice to oversee the project, given his previous work on Bonds on Bonds, the 2006 docuseries for ESPN that followed the Giants outfielder through spring training and the baseball season. (Tollin’s got plenty of sports movies under his belt, too, like Varsity Blues, Coach Carter, Hardball, and the under-appreciated Summer Catch. And, let’s not forget his work on Smallville and One Tree Hill, too!).

HBO’s Hard Knocks debuted in 2001 as the first-ever sports reality series that goes behind-the-scenes with a pro football team. It launched with the Baltimore Ravens; the most recent addition focused on the New York Jets. The docuseries, on average, lured 4.6 million viewers for each episode.

'Big Bang Theory' scores a three-year pickup

big-bang-theory-castImage Credit: CBSExcellent news for fans of Sheldon, Leonard, Penny, Howard and Raj: CBS has renewed its top-rated The Big Bang Theory for an additional three years, extending its run through the 2013-14 season.

“It doesn’t take a theoretical physicist to see why this show is a BIG part of our comedy future,” said CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler. “From ratings to critical acclaim to pop culture buzz, it’s struck a chord on all levels. The creative genius of Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady and the on-camera talents of an amazing young ensemble have created a comedy that will entertain viewers for a long time. We’re proud to partner with Warner Bros. on another highly successful, long-running comedy.”

Theory, which premiered in September 2007, finished the 2009-10 season as the No. 1 scripted series in adults 18-49 and the No. 2 comedy among viewers. Currently in its fourth season, the sitcom made a successful transition to its new Thursday time period, and has emerged as the night’s top comedy in viewers and adults 18-49. It is averaging 13.8 million viewers (up 7 percent versus the year-ago time period) and a 4.7 rating/14 share in adults 18-49.

Read more:
‘Big Bang Theory’ Central
‘Big Bang Theory’ salary re-negotiations: Do they all deserve the same pay?


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