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'Office' scribe, Will Ferrell behind new pilots for NBC

NBC has turned to The Office funnyman Greg Daniels to help pen a new single camera comedy for fall 2013 — one of three new laughers the net put into development today.

The Peacock gave a thumbs-up to an untitled project from Daniels that looks at the “trials and tribulations of dating in your twenties as explored through a group of friends. The pilot focuses on bright eyed and vulnerable Matthew being pushed by his three best friends to get back on the dating horse.” Other exec producers on the project are Robert Padnick, Tracy Katsky and Howard Klein.

NBC also ordered a comedy pilot from Gary Sanchez, Will Farrell’s production company, called Assistance. Written by Leslye Headland, the project is a single-camera comedy centered on an “idealistic working girl assistant who is pulled between her colleague — aka work husband — and her real life fiance while trying to manage a demanding (translation: crazy) boss.” Exec producers are Ferrell, Adam McKay, Chris Henchy and Owen Burke.

Finally, the network also gave a thumbs up to Donor Party, a new single-camera comedy from Alex Schemmer and Geyer Kosinski. Here’s the network’s description: “In ‘New Normal fashion, this ensemble comedy is focused on an irresponsible man forced to grow up when he discovers he has children resulting from his days as a sperm donor.  A new family unit develops when a single mom contacts him and he begins to have a relationship with her and the son he never knew he had.’

CBS developing comedy for Jim Gaffigan

CBS has ordered a comedy pilot that will star Jim Gaffigan as married pop in New York.

The laugher from Peter Tolan (Rescue Me) and Gaffigan would feature the comedian as a happily hitched father of five, “just as he is in real life,” CBS says. It will be a single-camera comedy.

Sony is the studio on the project. Other executive producers are Michael Wimer and Alex Murray.

Gaffigan’s most recent comedy album,“Mr. Universe,” has been nominated for a Grammy Award. His new book “Dad is Fat” comes out in May.

Top 10 TV blunders of 2012

For every great moment on Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead in 2012, there was a colossal misstep occurring someplace else in TV that truly ate us alive. Here are 10 boo-boos that got our blood pumping, listed in no particular order.

Giving Kalinda a husband. It’s with heavy hearts that we criticize The Good Wife — one of, by far, the best dramas on network TV. But even the good guys stumble once in a while: The creators made a dilly of a blunder when they decided to ask the (admittedly, very talented) Marc Warren to play Kalinda’s angry ball-and-chain. There was absolutely nothing redeeming about his character … except his occasional absence. Thank God he’ll be history in the new year. We think.

Watch 'Walking Dead' writer Robert Kirkman's cameo on 'Robot Chicken' -- EXCLUSIVE

Given the Robot Chicken team’s fondness for all things gory and/or comic-related, it was probably just a matter of time before Walking Dead comic writer (and Walking Dead TV show exec producer) Robert Kirkman made an appearance on the Adult Swim animated show.

As it turns out, that time is coming Sunday at midnight when the zombie overlord will make his acting debut on the sketch show, which Stoopid Monkey Productions head honchos Seth Green and Matthew Senreich create at their Stoopid Buddy Stoodios studio.

That’s the good news. The even better news? You can see said appearance below and read Kirkman’s thoughts about the experience. READ FULL STORY

'Walking Dead' executive producer Robert Kirkman talks about tonight's action-packed episode 'Walk With Me'

Tonight’s episode of The Walking Dead had pretty much everything a fan of AMC’s zombie show — and the original comic book series — could want. The long-awaited return of Michael Rooker’s maimed maniac Merle? Check. The long-awaited introduction of David Morrissey’s power-crazed villain The Governor? Check. The long-awaited appearance of decapitated zombie heads bobbing around in tanks of water? Hell, this show might as well have been called “Decapitated Zombie Heads Bobbing Around In Tanks Of Water.”

READ FULL STORY

Fall 2012: Most popular shows so far

The 2012-13 TV season is already a month old and, as expected, returning favorites have remained just that — favorites. Naturally, this year’s best comedy winner at the Emmys remains in the Top 5 (way to go, Cam!), while Shonda Rhimes’ trusty medical drama is still fighting the good fight for ABC.

But how are all those new shows faring opposite the veterans through the first four weeks? Here’s the top (and low) rated dramas through Oct. 21 and what they are averaging in the uber-important adults 18-49 demographic. (New shows are in red and cancelled ones are crossed out). Remember, each ratings point equals 1.3 million viewers.

1. Sunday Night Football (NBC) 7.7 rating/19 share
2. Modern Family (ABC) 5.8/15
3. The Big Bang Theory (CBS) 5.7/18
4. Sunday Night Pre-Kick (NBC) 5.6/15
5. The Voice (NBC) 5.1/13
6. Grey’s Anatomy (NBC) 5.0/13
7.  NCIS (CBS) 4.5/13
7. The Family Guy (FOX) 4.5/11
9. The Voice Tuesday (NBC) 4.5/13
10. The OT (Fox) 4.4/13
11. Revolution (NBC) 4.3/11
11. Football Night in America (NBC) 4.3/12
13. Two and a Half Men (CBS) 4.1/12
13. Once Upon a Time (ABC) 4.1/10
15. 2 Broke Girls (CBS) 4.0/10
15. Glee (FOX) 4.0/11
15. The Simpsons (FOX) 4.0/10
18. The X Factor Wednesday (FOX) 3.9/11
19. How I Met Your Mother (CBS) 3.8/11
20. NCIS:Los Angeles (CBS) 3.7/10
20. New Girl (FOX) 3.7/10
22. X Factor Thursday 3.3/10
22. Person of Interest (CBS) 3.6/10
24. Criminal Minds (CBS) 3.5/9
24. Elementary (CBS) 3.5/10 READ FULL STORY

CBS picks up full seasons of 'Vegas' and 'Elementary'

As expected, CBS has picked up the back nine episodes of its two new dramas Vegas and Elementary.

Vegas, the Dennis Quaid starrer that also features Michael Chiklis as a mobster, typically wins its Tuesday at 10 time period in viewers (14.9 million) and adults 18-49 (2.7/8). It has also improved the versus last year by 8% in viewers.

Elementary stars Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu and has averaged 14.3 million viewers and a 3.5/10 in adults 18-49 in its  Thursday at 10 slot.  It is up 17% in adults 18-49.

This is the second significant move that CBS has made on its new fall lineup. Last week, it cancelled the low-rated Made in Jersey. CBS still has yet to decide whether to pick up more episodes of its new comedy Partners.

For more:

Death Watch 2012: Which shows are most (and least likely) to survive READ FULL STORY

'Walking Dead' exec producer Robert Kirkman talks about tonight's show: 'People have to die!'

Tonight’s episode of AMC’s zombie show The Walking Dead found Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes settling in at his new prison home. And by “settling in” we mean ensuring the demise of many of the prisoners who, literally, popped up at the end of last week’s show. “In the Walking Dead, people have to die!” chuckles executive producer, and Walking Dead comic writer, Robert Kirkman, the callous bastard. He’s not wrong, though. And at least Scott Wilson’s seemingly doomed Hershel made it through to the end of the show, if not exactly “intact.”

Below, Kirkman talks more about the show, not killing Hershel, and why Rick really is the last person you want knocking at your front door. READ FULL STORY

'The Walking Dead': Exec producer Robert Kirkman talks about tonight's bloody season premiere

Twenty-eight seconds. That’s how long it took Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes to make the first zombie kill in tonight’s season 3 premiere of AMC’s undead epic The Walking Dead. And it only took one more second for IronE Singleton’s T-Dog to make another.

Written by showrunner Glen Mazzara, “Seed” saw Rick and crew mowing down a horde of slavering ghouls as they attempted to take over the prison that seems likely to be one of the main locations of this third run of shows.

Although around half a year of onscreen time has passed since we last saw our post-apocalyptic heroes, the episode was very much of a piece with the action-packed shows that concluded the previous season. “Going back and doing quieter stories with less zombies just didn’t seem like the right move,” explains Robert Kirkman, writer of the Walking Dead comic and an executive producer on the show. “So we decided to plow ahead and make things a little more high octane.”

Below, Kirkman talks more about the episode, whether Daryl and Carol really are “screwing around” — and lunching on owls. Woo-hoo! READ FULL STORY

Death watch 2012: Fall TV survival status report

UPDATED, 10/10: It seems like only yesterday that we were predicting the longevity of duds like Charlie’s Angels and Free Agents for the 2011-12 season. (Yes we know: We can barely remember those pilots, either). But the networks have already been taking (premature desperate nonsensical strange) action on some of their new shows so that’s our cue: Time to start pontificating on survival rates!

Let’s look at how most of the shows are doing in viewers and especially adults 18-49, the demographic of most concern to advertisers. (“Most,” because some newbies have yet to debut.) Though some series started before the season’s official start date of Sept. 24, we’re focusing on the in-season performances of the new comedies and dramas. Here you go, in no particular order: READ FULL STORY

'30 Rock' returns tonight: Sex! Ann Romney's Horse! And... Voltron?! A preview of the sitcom's last season

 

The election is about to take an outrageously absurd turn. No, we’re not talking about the ramifications of last night’s presidential debate — we’re talking about the final season of 30 Rock, premiering tonight on NBC, which will tackle the race for the White House in its own uniquely absurd way. Don’t like teases? Can’t handle spoilers? Hate geeky references to Voltron? Then good lord, man, stop reading! SPOILER WARNING!

READ FULL STORY

'Raising Hope' creator Greg Garcia talks season 3: Will Maw Maw find love?

Raising Hope‘s bizarre but touching second season finale almost felt like a series finale — everything tied up nicely, and it paraded a bunch of minor characters, past and present, through a Seinfeld-ian courtroom scene. Luckily for us fans, the Chance family’s weird adventures are far from over. Show creator Greg Garcia teased for us what we can expect in season 3, which begins tonight. Read on for scoop on Jimmy (Lucas Neff) and Sabrina’s (Shannon Woodward) relationship, whether Jimmy’s serial killer ex-wife Lucy (Bijou Phillips) is really dead, and whether Maw Maw (Cloris Leachman) will find love any time soon. READ FULL STORY

'The Amazing Race': Phil Keoghan teases extreme reactions, extreme abs in season 21 -- VIDEO

If you need more convincing to watch this season of The Amazing Race after learning that two of the competitors are Chippendales dancers, then I’m not the person to do it. Host Phil Keoghan may just be, though. TAR 21, kicking off this Sunday just a week after the show picked up its ninth Emmy for Outstanding Reality Series, will travel to yet more far-flung locations, including China, France’s Loire Valley, Bangladesh, and Indonesia. But it’s the competitors themselves who have Keoghan most excited for this round of racing. Below, he previews what viewers can expect. Hint: There will be shirtlessness — lest you forget — as well as Fabulous Beekman Boys and the show’s first-ever double amputee. (And that’s without mentioning the metalheads and monster truckers!) He teases, “We are picking people to be on the show who we know will react in an extreme manner sometimes.”

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