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CBS cancels 'CSI: NY,' 'Vegas' and 'Golden Boy'

As expected, CBS decided to make this year the last for CSI: New York, the third spinoff of the CSI mothership that stars Gary Sinise. The drama only averaged a 1.9 rating/6 share in adults 18-49 this season, and 11.27 million viewers.

CBS also shot down a second year of Vegas, the period drama starring Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis about the mob-infested Sin City, and Golden Boy, a drama about the youngest police commissioner who …. eh, who cares? READ FULL STORY

Fox orders 'Masterchef' spinoff, more 'Hell's Kitchen'

Gordon Ramsay’s fiefdom is about to get even bigger. Fox ordered 13 episode of Junior Masterchef, a new cooking competition series for youths between the ages of eight and 13.

The spinoff is part of a new multi-year deal between Fox and Ramsay that includes an order for a 13th season of Hell’s Kitchen and a fifth and sixth year of Masterchef. With Junior Masterchef on the roster, Ramsay now has five shows on Fox, including Hotel Hell and Kitchen Nightmares.

“Gordon brings an incredible level of energy and passion to each of his series that our viewers absolutely love, so we are thrilled that he will continue building his brand here on FOX,” said Fox’s head of reality Mike Darnell. “He’s a global superstar, and the success and longevity of his unprecedented five series on our network proves that America just can’t get enough of Gordon.”

“We have such great teams and partners on these shows, and I’m really excited we’re able to offer this new opportunity to young budding chefs across the country with Junior Masterchef,” added Ramsay in a statement.  “Having my own children who love to cook, I know firsthand the skill and passion these kids can have at such a young age, and what they can do with it. It’s just extraordinary to watch them in action.”

Junior Masterchef is based on a successful U.K. format. Ramsay will be joined on the show by restaurateur and winemaker Joe Bastianich (Del Posto, Eataly) and chef Graham Elliot (Graham Elliot, Graham Elliot Bistro) on the judging panel.

'Pretty Little Liars' spin-off 'Ravenswood' casts Brett Dier, Elizabeth Whitson as series regulars

It looks like Pretty Little Liars‘ Caleb is going to get some company when he relocates to Ravenswood next year.

ABC Family has announced that the Pretty Little Liars spin-off series Ravenswood has cast two of its series regulars, in addition to PLL favorite Tyler Blackburn. L.A. Complex‘s Brett Dier joins the new series along with model Elizabeth Whitson. The duo will play twins Abel and Olivia, whom we will first meet during the Pretty Little Liars Halloween episode, which will air just before the Ravenswood pilot. Perhaps they’re part of the reason Caleb leaves Rosewood behind? READ FULL STORY

'Million Second Quiz': An NBC exec explains the net's Orwellian reality experiment


When word broke last week that NBC had ordered a new reality game show featuring 24/7 competition, a possible $10 million dollar cash prize, and — oh yeah — live broadcasts for 12 consecutive days from “a gigantic hourglass shaped structure in the heart of Manhattan,” where the game’s champions will also live for the duration of the contest, the news was greeted with a collective “Huh?” The Million Second Quiz, frankly, sounded more like a ludicrous, Truman Show-inspired reality show parody than an actual event that will air on network TV this fall.

But according to Paul Telegdy, NBC’s president of alternative and late night programming, the show is actually “mind-blowingly simple when you really lay it out.” And perhaps more importantly, Telegdy swears that The Million Second Quiz will feel more current than the vast majority of today’s popular reality shows — nearly all of which were created before online video and social media had come into wide use. (The exception to that rule? The Voice, “which, lucky enough, is on NBC.”)


CW orders 'Vampire Diaries' spinoff, renews two dramas


Though last night’s preview was less than impressive, The Vampire Diaries spinoff dubbed The Originals was ordered to series by the CW.

The network today also picked up a second season of Beauty and the Beast and a third year of Hart of Dixie.

On Thursday, the Diaries’ spinoff averaged 2.2 million viewers and a 0.9 among adults 18-49 — down 31 percent from The Vampire Diaries‘ average this season. But the CW gives equal attention to a show’s impact in social media and online streaming, which is why CW topper Mark Pedowitz released this statement: “As soon as we saw last night’s episode of The Vampire Diaries, we knew we wanted more of The Originals. Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson have done a fantastic job with The Vampire Diaries, which is as fast-paced and well-written as ever, and Julie has created an equally compelling world for The Originals.”

The CW says Beauty and Hart get big boosts from live-plus-7 day viewership. Hart averages a 53% increase among adults 18-34 and a 61% gain among women 18-34, while Beauty enjoys a 43% jump in adults 18-34 and a 45% bump in women 18-34.

The CW already picked up Arrow, The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural for next season. No word yet on the futures of Nikita and The Carrie Diaries, however.

Death Watch: Final TV survival predictions



NBC orders 'genre-redefining' 'Million Second Quiz' reality show

The Voice is hitting notes, Ready for Love is out, and NBC has ordered its next reality show: The Million Second Quiz.

The Quiz is a 12-day, 24/7 live competition “where contestants test the limits of their knowledge, endurance and will to win as they battle each other in intense bouts of trivia,” according to a press release. The show will air in primetime from an hourglass-shaped structure in which contestants will also live.

NBC is calling it “the first fully convergent television experience,” both because local station affiliates will be able to interact live throughout the day and because viewers at home will be able to play the game — and so maybe earn a spot on the show.


Did 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' get a new title?

shotJoss Whedon fans found something intriguing buried in ABC’s website for advertisers: A page touting its heavily buzzed pilot S.H.I.E.L.D. revealing a new title and a more detailed description (below).

The title: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. A network representative tells EW that this title is not yet official. Keep in mind that titles often change during the development process (remember how Fox’s The Mindy Project was originally called It’s Messy?). At the very least, however, this title made it through enough layers of network approval to get previewed to Madison Avenue, and we hear this is what Marvel and the producers are currently calling the project as well.

Personally, I prefer S.H.I.E.L.D. It’s one of the simplest and strongest pilot titles in contention for fall. Sure it has six periods — us TV bloggers haven’t been so burdened since CBS unleashed $#*! My Dad Says. But as a title, S.H.I.E.L.D. has a clean M*A*S*H-like impact.

The issue could be the title’s similarity to FX’s former cop series The Shield. Perhaps all those periods aren’t enough to distinguish S.H.I.E.L.D. from The Shield, either from a legal or marketing perspective.

If this is the new title, I hope ABC considers ditching the Marvel shout-out. Last year, The Avengers was officially called Marvel’s The Avengers (most media outlets simply opted to call it The Avengers). In that case, too, there was the possibility for confusion with another TV show — the 1961 series The Avengers. But if ABC goes with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., there’s no need for the intrusive studio branding of “Marvel,” too. You don’t see Sony’s Justified and Warner Bros.’ Big Bang Theory on the schedule. The play is the thing.

If greenlit to series — and we’re pretty confident M.A.O.S. will be greenlit — the official title will be unveiled in May when ABC presents its fall schedule to advertisers. Frankly, ABC can call this project The Joss Whedon Superhero Action Variety Hour and we’ll still watch.

Here’s the new description. This is also not “official” but…


'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.”


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


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