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Tag: TCA Press Tour (92-104 of 119)

'Mad Men' returning for season 5, says AMC

Mad Men is coming back… eventually. AMC president Joel Stillerman said today during the winter press tour that “Mad Men is definitely coming back for season 5, but don’t ask me when, because we’re not sure yet.” The show’s future is still vague because the network is still negotiating with both series creator Matthew Weiner and Lionsgate.

Read more:
‘Mad Men’ on EW

'Jersey Shore' ratings go nuclear: Most-watched MTV series telecast ever!

Wow: The ratings for the third season premiere of Jersey Shore are freakin’ huge.

The series returned Thursday night to 8.4 million viewers.

That makes it MTV’s most-watched series telecast of all time. (For EW’s recap of last night’s shenanigans, click here.) In MTV’s 12-34 demo, Shore was up 63 percent from season 2’s opener. Even more impressive: Shore had a 4.2 adult demo rating — that’s higher any show on the big broadcast networks last night except chart-toppers The Big Bang Theory and Grey’s Anatomy (which Shore tied).

Read more:
‘Jersey Shore’ recap: Attack of the Squirrel Monkeys

What 15 minutes of 'Game of Thrones' looks like

Disclaimer: There’s no video at the bottom of this post. But critics at press tour just watched a private screening of 15 minutes from HBO’s Game of Thrones and I can at least give you some impressions.

Overall, it was good news: Thrones feels very similar to the book. Boosted by temp music from Gladiator, Lord of the Rings and The Dark Knight, the series had a sprawling, expensive, epic quality, with most of the cast seeming more-or-less like George R.R. Martin’s characters. My confidence that this project can become a hit keeps growing — especially after the stellar performance of AMC’s The Walking Dead, which proved  very male-skewing, genre concepts can deliver big breakout numbers on cable if they’re executed with enough passion and talent.

The rest of this post won’t make a huge amount of sense to non-Thrones readers, but here’s what the preview showed: READ FULL STORY

Can Playboy TV lure female viewers with a swinger reality show? (video)

As part of a brand makeover, Playboy TV made its TCA press tour debut Thursday, unveiling two reality shows that seek to draw men and women. One is Brooklyn Kinda Love, a docusoap about four couples living in New York from the producers of Taxicab Confessions. The second is Swing, a docusoap about partner-swapping couples. Making its online debut, here’s the (slightly NSFW) Swing trailer: READ FULL STORY

UFOs invade TCA: Documentary producer promises Area 51 revelations

encountersImage Credit: Everett CollectionA producer for National Geographic’s upcoming documentary Area 51 Declassified says he’s managed to obtain unprecedented access to declassified military documents from the government’s super-secret military base.

The program will include first-ever on-camera interviews from former Area 51 employees, exclusive video footage from inside the facility (which, you’ll recall, doesn’t even officially exist), as well as previously unseen documents and photos.

“Some of the things that went on there were hidden and are quite remarkable,” says Peter Yost at the TCA press tour.  “It’s completely factual. The government declassified to us thousands of documents and footage. It’s solid, it’s real, it’s verifiable. We do have some surprises.” READ FULL STORY

Daniel Tosh at TCA: 'I'm not sexist or racist, I just like the jokes'

This is a tough argument to make, but if anybody can pull it off, it’s Tosh.0 host Daniel Tosh: “I’m not a misogynistic and racist person,” the very un-PC Comedy Central personality tells critics at TCA. “But I do find those jokes funny, so I say them.”

In other words: He’s not racist, he just plays one on TV. And he doesn’t even really do that, does he? READ FULL STORY

Jessica Walter: If HBO had 'Arrested Development,' it would still be on

Is Jessica Walter the next Betty White?

TV Land sure hopes so, giving critics a look at Retired at 35, the network’s follow up to its surprise smash Hot in Cleveland.

At the Television Critics Association’s semi-annual press tour, Walter and George Segal joined youngsters Josh McDermitt and Johnathan McCain as the cast of the network’s latest AARP-friendly comedy.

Reporters couldn’t resist asking Walter an Arrested Development question, asking her to compare the experience of working on Fox’s show to TV Land’s latest. And she says… READ FULL STORY

'Hot in Cleveland,' 'All My Children' crossover coming

Wendie-Malick-and-Susan-LucciImage Credit: Craig T. Mathew/TV Land; Yolanda Perez/ABCSusan Lucci and Wendie Malick are about to swap jobs.

ABC and TV Land are teaming to have characters from All My Children and Hot in Cleveland cross over. The move continues a storyline that started during the first season of Cleveland.

Lucci, Michael E. Knight and Darnell Williams will guest star on the TV Land breakout show, while Cleveland‘s Malick’s Victoria Chase will appear on Children as Gertie, a housekeeper who ends up moonlighting as a bartender at Confusion after Lucci’s Erica Kane fires her. READ FULL STORY

Fox Chairman on 'American Idol': 'Much that has been written is accurate'

As expected, Fox Entertainment Chairman Peter Rice told the nation’s TV reporters today that he had nothing new to report on the ongoing negotiations with potential American Idol judges, other than to say that “no one has signed a deal on either side of the camera who wasn’t on the show last year.” He did hint that “much of the information that has been written is accurate,” but he also added that some reports written have “been widely inaccurate.”

So far, Fox has not confirmed reports that former Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe would return or that Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler would replace Simon Cowell and Ellen DeGeneres when the show returns in the spring.

“The goal has to be to put on a great TV show,” Rice told reporters who gathered at Fox’s annual TV Critics Tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. “There is a journey finding these kids, and there is sort of alchemy (to achieve) on the judges’ panel. Does that mean we should replace them identically and cast the same person? I don’t think so but we have the obligation to put on the best TV show. Simon’s departure meant there was going to be a natural evolution.

“When we are working with the No. 1 TV show, the scrutiny is enormous,” Rice continued. “I truly wish we were going to (debut) a panel of judges and that could be a celebration for us, and we could engage with you on that, I’m sorry that is not going to happen.”

Rice did acknowledge that he began talking to DeGeneres in June about her wanting to leave, and that he tried to persuade her to stay.

'Day One' series downgraded to two-hour movie; airdate yet-to-be determined

Lost among all the news about Jay Leno’s cancellation at 10 p.m. and his return to 11:30 p.m. was this (disappointing) update from NBC: the suits have decided to air Day One – an apocalyptic drama from Heroes scribe Jesse Alexander – as a two-hour backdoor pilot (that’s industry code for: it’ll run as a TV movie and if viewers like it, it may be turned into a series).

NBC had originally planned to air the high-concept show as a 13-episode series after the Winter Olympics, but ended up downgrading the project to a four-hour miniseries back in October. Now Alexander’s handiwork has been cut back to a TV movie that has yet to get an airdate — a decision that was no doubt fueled by the disappointing ratings for the similarly themed ABC’s sci-fi series FlashForward and V. Despite lots of early fanfare, FlashForward‘s audience dropped from 12.5 million to 7.07 million in just three months, while V lost 35% of its audience (14.3 million to 9.3 million) over just four airings.

But other concerns about making it into a series may have been in play, like the show’s potentially high cost given the amount of computer-generated images it was expected to demand (in a rough trailer leaked last year, the drama features smoke columns that rise from the city). Alexander described his high-concept show this way on his website: “It is the story of ordinary people working together to save the world from an extraordinary threat. Though Day One’s prime time adventures are simple and compelling, its mythology is vast and designed to be experienced across multiple media platforms.”

Entertainment President Angela Bromstad tried to temper expectations at NBC’s press conference for the nation’s TV critics Jan. 10 by saying what she didn’t expect from Alexander’s show — that is, before it was turned into a two-hour movie. “We’ve always looked at Day One as a big event for us and not necessarily a show that would be an ongoing…you know, a returning show for a second season. It would depend on its success. I think just by the nature of the genre, [these genre shows] tend to get a little narrow.”

Fox suits on nabbing Conan O'Brien: 'We are not free to talk'

Despite intense speculation that Fox could steal Conan O’Brien away from NBC now that Jay Leno is bumping him at 11:30 p.m., the Fox executives didn’t have any breathless announcements to make today regarding their future late-night plans. “Our position has been consistent all along,” Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly told the nation’s TV critics in Pasadena, CA. “We do have the desire to do (late night) five nights a week. I love Conan personally and professionally but right now he has a decision to make about his future, so there are no conversations to be had. We talked to his people. We’ve had informal conversations. Beyond that, we are not free to talk about any other business proposition and we haven’t.”

Fox insiders have confirmed that the network’s affiliates are open to a late-night show at 11 p.m., especially if it involved the caliber of an O’Brien or even a Jay Leno. Reilly reminded the press that many stations already have contracts in place for syndicated programming. “That becomes a very sensitive business discussion in a market-to-market basis,” he said. “If you have a top piece of talent, it makes it a conversation to have.”

Meanwhile, insiders familiar with the negotiations said it may be 10 days or more before anyone knows whether O’Brien will agree to follow Leno’s half-hour show at midnight on NBC. NBC Chairman Jeff Gaspin told the press on Sunday that it’s not a done deal that The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien will air at 12:05 a.m. after the Olympics. “The talks are ongoing,” he said. “[But] I hope and expect, before the Olympics begin, we will have everything set. I can’t imagine we won’t.”

In other news, Reilly said it was his intention to move ahead with the planned Our Little Genius quiz show despite an on-set snafu that prompted executive producer Mark Burnett to throw out the first two episodes. Network insiders say an” inadvertent” mistake was made in the way some of the child contestants were prepped for the competition. Burnett noticed what happened, immediately called Fox, and offered to pay for a reshoot himself, insiders say. A Fox spokeswoman stressed that at no time were the children given the answers.

“Our intention is to do the show,” says Reilly.

Photo Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

Jay Leno says new show will have more comedy, fresh faces, and celebrity car racing

When Jay Leno takes over the 10 p.m. hour of NBC’s weeknight primetime schedule this fall, viewers will get a whole new Jay: More comedy. Correspondents doing bits. Celebrity guests racing cars instead of just yakking. Yes, even the host himself will be a different man — one who’s at least 10 pounds thinner, thanks to running 4 miles a day to “get into shape” for his new gig.

On Wednesday at the annual Television Critics Association press tour, Leno unveiled some particulars of his foray into primetime to reporters. “It’ll be more intense,” he promised. “There’ll be a lot more comedy in the show.” Among the specifics: The set is bigger and the desk is gone (though it could return for his beloved “headlines” segment). “It won’t be a talk show,” he said. “But it won’t be a variety show with wigs and hats.” NBC News anchor Brian Williams — who’s shown impressive comedic chops on Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show – has committed to doing an occasional segment such as “stories that weren’t good enough to make the Nightly News.” D.L. Hughley will report on politics, while Rachael Harris (The Hangover) and Mikey Day will also tape occasional segments as correspondents. “I’m hoping we can make some stars here,” Leno said.

The celebrities who come on the show to promote their latest projects could find themselves with a lot more than talking to do. In one significant change from The Tonight Show, Leno’s crews have built a race track right next to the new studio so celebs can participate in an occasional “Green Car Challenge” — racing against each other in environmentally friendly vehicles. “Even Tom Cruise called and asked, ‘Can I get in early and practice?'” Leno joked. (Answer: No, no one gets to practice in advance.)

The extravagance of such additions shows the network’s commitment to the arrangement; NBC exec VP Rick Ludwin said the Leno experiment will last at least a year, and “we hope many years beyond that.” He wouldn’t set a specific ratings benchmark by which its success will be judged, but stressed that the net is thrilled to have Leno on its side instead of competing against Conan O’Brien’s Tonight Show for another network.

Leno, for his part, swears that while the new challenge has reinvigorated him, it isn’t stressing him out. That’s mainly because he’s not worrying much about rescuing struggling NBC, even if it has fueled his entire career. “The network is on its own,” he said, when asked if he felt pressure to “save” NBC. “There are things I like about it, there are things I don’t. But much like a marriage, you work it out. If we go down in flames, we’ll be laughing on the way down.” So what’s his secret to remaining so calm launching this show, as opposed to when he nervously took over The Tonight Show in 1992? Says Leno: “I’m rich now.”

A primer for NBC's 'My Own Worst Enemy'

A brief download of intel from the TCA press tour panel for NBC’s spy drama My Own Worst Enemy, which stars Christian Slater. (We’ll try to keep the this-file-will-self-destruct-in-five-seconds jokes to a minimum.)

• Shooting on the pilot just wrapped on Friday, which means it’s not ready yet. However, a few clips were shown. There were explosions.  There was high production value. There was an identity crisis. There was Christian Slater, busting a spy move on someone’s neck. Verdict: Intriguing.

• A decent portion of the questions lobbed at the MOWE team involved clarification of the show’s premise. Here’s what you need to know: Slater plays an efficiency expert/family man named Henry. Slater also plays a badass operative named Edward. Henry and Edward are the same man, but Henry doesn’t know about the Edward side of himself. (This is made possible by some high-tech science at the covert organization where Edwards works. His boss: Alfre Woodard.) Alas, there seems to be a glitch in the program and Henry is starting to realize that something weird is going on as his worlds collide. Let’s just say that the producers have concocted a nice twist on the idea that Henry was a peaceful schlub leading a normal life before Edward entered the picture.

• For those worried about committing to a heavily-serialized show with a payoff down the road, series creator Jason Smilovic — exec producer of 2006’s heavily-serialized Kidnapped — assured that specific objectives will be resolved within each episode, and that the audience won’t just be left waiting for the endgame.

• Slater said that he was initially nervous about making the transition from movies to TV, but quite likes it. (No more sitting around in his trailer for seven hours, waiting for the next shot.) It was also revealed that he plays Henry on certain days of production, and Edward on others. And that Edward is left-handed while Henry is right-handed. And that Henry is allergic to strawberries, while Edward is not. Okay, we think Smilovic is making that one up. Or wait — maybe they’re making the whole thing up as part of some top-secret government plan to kill us all by tomorrow morning. In that case, well played, guys, well played.


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