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Adam Richman talks 'Food Fighters': 'It's a culinary Mortal Kombat'

Ever wondered how well your favorite home cook would stack up against a Food Network star? That’s the question at the center of NBC’s new series Food Fighters.

Hosted by Man v. Food‘s Adam Richman (who recently made news when he went on an anger-fueled Instagram rant)Food Fighters pits home cooks against professional chefs in a battle to win over a dinner party full of taste testers—think Throwdown with Bobby Flaybut with bigger prizes than just being able to say, “My dish was more popular than Bobby Flay’s!” The winning home cooks do get bragging rights, but they also win cash prizes that increase as the competition goes on.

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'Saturday Night Live': Noel Wells and John Milhiser are also out

And two more bite the dust: A source confirms to EW that Saturday Night Live has elected not to renew the contracts of Noël Wells and John Milhiser, both of whom joined the sketch show last fall as featured players. Deadline first reported the news.

Word of Wells and Milhiser’s oustings comes one day after another former featured player, Brooks Wheelan, announced his own exit from the show in an irreverent tweet (“Fired from New York, it’s Saturday Night!”).

Milhiser’s booting shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who kept up with SNL last season; the New Jersey-born comedian got a minimal amount of screen time throughout the year, performing just a handful of impressions (including Jon Cryer and Matthew McConaughey) and a single recurring character (if “student in three Shallon sketches” even counts). The departure of Wells, the only new female cast member to join the show last fall, is slightly more surprising (Sasheer Zamata didn’t join the show until January). Since SNL will presumably lose Nasim Pedrad to the Fox sitcom Mulaney in September, it seemed as though Wells, who specializes in impressions (Zooey Deschanel, Kristen Stewart, Lena Dunham), may have been kept around to help fill Pedrad’s old spot. READ FULL STORY

Katherine Heigl: 'I don't see myself as difficult'

It was the question everybody wanted to ask—and it got so awkward when someone finally did.

NBC’s State of Affairs panel during the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills got a bit tense when the topic turned to Katherine Heigl, her mother Nancy (an executive producer on the upcoming series), and rumors about the pair’s reputation on set.

It started when a TCA reporter reminded Heigl about some of the controversial remarks she had to say about Hollywood, particularly focused on her conduct on set, whether her career was out of her control, and whether she felt there is “a portion of this controversy that is about Hollywood not knowing what to do with a woman who speaks her mind.” The reporter also asked whether Heigl felt her career was now back under her grip.

After a visibly speechless Heigl let out an elongated “Umm…,” producer Ed Bernero tried to answer the question for Heigl, but the reporter pressed on: “Seriously, I want to hear from Katherine.” READ FULL STORY

NBC says 'Hannibal' season 3 is great, wonders why you're not watching

NBC is excited about the third season of Hannibal. They just wish you were, too.

At the network’s Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills on Sunday, NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt addressed the dilemma the network faces about its critically acclaimed horror darling and the ratings challenge it faces in its Friday night timeslot.

Hannibal is…one of the best shows we have creatively, and it’s one of the best-reviewed shows this network has had since I’ve been here. We still struggle to find an audience for it,” Greenblatt told critics. “It’s great, we’re keeping it going, we keep trying to build the audience, but if this were on a cable network, the small audience wouldn’t matter and it would be deemed more successful than it is on our network.” READ FULL STORY

NBC explains why it canceled 'Community'

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It was the ratings, of course. But NBC’s top entertainment executives went on record to give a little more insight into their decision-making process on canceling Community and The Michael J. Fox Show last season.

NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt told reporters at his Television Critics Association press tour session in Beverly Hills on Sunday that the Community fandom’s “six seasons and a movie” mantra had nothing to do with the network.

“That sixth season thing was created by them — I’m surprised they didn’t say ’10 seasons and a movie,’” the executive said. “And [the mantra started] before my time [at NBC]. It didn’t just make sense for us to have another season of it at that level of audience.” READ FULL STORY

NBC renews three summer shows including 'America's Got Talent,' 'Last Comic Standing'

NBC has announced a handful of renewals for three of its summer programs.

The network will give a tenth season to America’s Got Talent, a ninth season to Last Comic Standing, and a fourth season of American Ninja Warrior. NBC chief Robert Greenblatt announced the renewal news during the executive session at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills on Sunday.

The current ninth season of AGT—which features Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B, and Howie Mandel on the judging panel—currently ranks as the summer’s number one reality series on the major non-cable networks, averaging a 3.1 rating and 12.4 million viewers overall. The stand-up comedian reality series Last Comic Standing is pulling in a 1.7 rating and 5.1 million viewers, and extreme stunt competition American Ninja Warrior (a partnership with Esquire Network) finished first in its time slot among the Big Four networks for its last six original episodes. READ FULL STORY

'Working the Engels' needs to get to know the Engels first

About two-thirds of the way through the pilot episode of Working the Engels, Ceil Engel, the family’s matriarch, gestures toward her hardworking daughter, Jenna, and tosses off the line, “Where does she get that bossiness from?” It’s an ordinary enough punch line, and Tony winner Andrea Martin delivers it with a wry turn, but it’s hard to know where the joke is supposed to land. It seems designed to reflect back on herself, but Ceil’s more of a busybody than a boss. Everywhere else in the show, Jenna’s competence is played as a sort of out-of-nowhere genetic quirk as her brother and sister are struggling in the game of life. Working the Engels wants its characters quirky and unique, but the pilot tended to forget their personalities for sake of low-hanging, easy jokes (maybe easy laughs, but those don’t always come).

Of course, it would be hard to jam a lot of humor into a pilot that has so much to accomplish. First, Working the Engels has to introduce the problem that will bring the family together—the deceased father who’s passing along his business and his $200,000 debt—and then the family: the well-meaning mom, the over-driven good daughter, Sandy, the pill-popping daughter who says she’s found Jesus, and Jimmy, the kleptomaniac brother who’s kind of a sleaze. Ceil decides the only way to save the family from massive debt is to jump off the roof. After she’s up there, she changes her mind, but trips and falls anyway. READ FULL STORY

NBC picks up 'The Night Shift' for season 2

Let’s hope the docs have gotten some rest, because The Night Shift isn’t over yet. EW has confirmed that NBC’s mid-season medical drama has been picked up for a 14-episode second season. The Night Shift, which stars Eoin Macken and Jill Flint, follows a team of ER surgeons as they navigate the unpredictable workflow of saving lives at night.

The Night Shift‘s season-one finale is set to air Tuesday, July 15 at 10 p.m. on NBC.

Miley Cyrus 'Bangerz Tour' documentary coming to NBC in July

Get ready for two hours of Miley just being Miley: Next month, NBC will air Miley Cyrus: Bangerz Tour, a two-hour documentary special featuring behind-the-scenes and live performance footage from upcoming concerts in Spain and Portugal. READ FULL STORY

Bear Grylls takes celebrities into the wild in new NBC reality show

Survival specialist Bear Grylls is basically a living, breathing, accented guide to how to stay alive in the most extreme situations. And now, he’s going to share that knowledge with people you might recognize.

NBC has ordered six episodes of Running Wild with Bear Grylls, a new hour-long series in which Grylls will take celebrities into “remote and wild locations in the U.S. and around the world” for 48 hours. So far, the celebs lined up to have their own stand-alone episodes include Zac Efron, Ben Stiller, Channing Tatum, Deion Sanders, Tom Arnold, and The Today Show‘s Tamron Hall. READ FULL STORY

'Heroes Reborn' to bring back Mr. Bennet, aka HRG

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The man in the horn-rimmed glasses is returning to NBC.

Mr. Bennet, better known as HRG, is the first role cast for the network’s production of Heroes Reborn. Deadline reports that Jack Coleman has signed on the 13-episodes miniseries that will reconnect with the basic elements of the show’s first season about ordinary people with extraordinary abilities.

The saga behind the 2006 series will return in 2015 with creator Tim Kring adding new layers to his original superhero concept. The series will be preceded by a new digital series that will introduce audiences to the new characters and storylines that will take the Heroes phenomenon to new places. READ FULL STORY

Nasim Pedrad implies that she's leaving 'Saturday Night Live'

It seems we won’t be seeing Nasim Pedrad’s Kim Kardashian adjusting to married life.

At an ATX Television Festival panel over the weekend, Pedrad said she didn’t think she’d be returning to Saturday Night Live in the fall. This announcement isn’t exactly unexpected; Pedrad plays a lead role on the highly anticipated upcoming Fox comedy Mulaney, and she appeared to have reduced screen time on SNL‘s recently wrapped 39th season.

“I haven’t heard any official word so far, but I love this show so much,” the actress said of Mulaney, according to Buzzfeed. “I have an apartment in L.A. and, as far as I know, I’m in L.A. now.”

Pedrad just completed her fifth year on SNL. A rep for the show said no casting decisions have been made at this time.

Fall's five toughest time slot battles (and which shows will win)

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With 25 new shows flooding the broadcast schedule this fall — and networks making all sorts of crafty time slot changes for existing shows — the TV chessboard has once again been dramatically rearranged. Let’s run down some of the most intriguing new rivalries in the making and determine–

What? What did you say? “Time slots don’t matter”?! Okay; usually, now’s the time I’d explain why that assumption is wrong. Yet because DVR playback and streaming have become so prominent, even those who are paid to obsessively dissect broadcast network scheduling strategy are agreeing that time period almost doesn’t matter nowadays. Except, of course, those times when it does — like how The Voice is used to help fuel The Blacklist, or how The Big Bang Theory seems to crush rival comedies into only having five seasons and no movie. But even if the impact of shows on other shows has waned considerably, somebody has to win each of these slots. So let’s have some fun and look at some of this year’s most intriguing showdowns (the full fall schedule is below for reference): READ FULL STORY

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