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NBC yanks 'Sean Saves the World'


Sean may have saved the world, but he couldn’t save his own show. NBC has halted production on the freshman comedy Sean Saves the World, even though it still had an order in for five more episodes.

NBC requested a total of 18 episodes — 13 of which have already aired — of the comedy that stars Sean Hayes as a divorced gay dad. Two of the remaining five have already been shot. It’s unclear whether they will ever air.

At the Television Critics Tour earlier this month in Pasadena, CA., Sean Saves the World along with the other low-rated comedy The Michael J. Fox Show were notably absent from the network’s prime-time lineup hype reel. Most recently, the two comedies only earned a mere .7 rating in 18-49 during a special showing on Jan. 23.

No word yet, however, on the fate on MJF’s comedy.

An SNL Sports Spectacular was already scheduled to preempt NBC’s Thursday lineup this week.

Margaret Cho cast in Tina Fey-produced comedy

The cast for Tina Fey’s multi-cam Fox comedy continues to take shape.

The latest new recruit to the show, about a women’s college that starts to admit men? Margaret Cho, who has secured a role as an administrator at the college named Laura Thibault. The Drop Dead Diva actress will join the series, which does not yet have an official title, as a series regular. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the casting.

The series, which comes from Fey and 30 Rock writer Matt Hubbard, currently has a cast that includes former Third Watch actress Bonnie Dennison, who plays an uptight sophomore who opposes the admission of men, and Jack Cutmore Scott, who plays one of the new students.

The comedy, which starts production in March, currently has a series commitment from Fox.

Nat Faxon, Judy Greer comedy among new series picked up by FX

FX’s comedy slate expansion continues, this time with an announcement from the network that it has ordered two new comedies to series, both set to debut this summer.

The first, titled Married, stars Oscar-winning screenwriter and frequent Jim Rash collaborator Nat Faxon and Judy Greer as a married couple named Russ and Lina. Described as a half-hour comedy “about being miserably in love,” the show also features Go On alum Brett Gelman and Jenny Slate, who created the web series Marcel the Shell With Shoes On. Andrew Gurland (The Virginity Hit, Mail Order Wife), who wrote and directed the pilot script, will serve as exec producer/showrunner.

The other new comedy comes from Stephen Falk and stars The Wolf of Wall Street‘s Aya Cash and Chris Geere (The Spa). Titled You’re the Worst, it is billed as a comedy love story “about what happens when two toxic, self-destructive people (Cash and Geere) fall in love despite themselves and attempt the impossible — a relationship.”

Both series are set to debut in July.

The announcement comes in the midst of a busy comedy development season for FX, which has recently announced pilots from people like Denis Leary, Louis C.K., and an animated project from Seth Rogen.

Judge Judy creates new syndicated show

Judge Judy Sheindlin’s holiday brainstorm turned into a new court show that’s already been sold in 75% of the country. While vacationing in Ireland and observing the country’s three-judge panels, Sheindlin came up with Hot Bench — a new daily show from CBS TV Prods. that’ll pretty much to the same thing but on TV with judge Patricia DiMango and attorneys Tanya Acker and Larry Bakman.

“When my husband Jerry and I were in Ireland recently, we visited the courts and watched a three judge bench, which I found both fascinating and compelling,” Sheindlin said in a statement. “I immediately thought what a terrific and unique idea for a television program that brings the court genre to the next level. We have assembled three individuals with extremely varied backgrounds to serve as the judges. They are smart and talented, with terrific instincts and great chemistry, and are sure to create a ‘hot bench.’”

Hot Bench will launch in the fall on station groups like Tribune Broadcasting Company, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Cox Media Group, among. It’ll air mostly in afternoon time periods.

Netflix announces fourth quarter growth

Netflix exceeded expectations in their fourth quarter, a new letter to shareholders announced today.

The company added 2.3 million subscribers in the U.S. and more than 4 million overall, bringing the total to 44 million worldwide and they expect to have 48 million users by the end of 2014 Q1.

“Last April we introduced a concurrent stream $11.99 option to begin our evaluation of plan tiering,” the letter to shareholders explained. “Since late last year, we have also been testing 1 stream and 3 stream variants, as well as SD/HD variations, at various price points. Eventually, we hope to be able to offer new members a selection of three simple options to fit everyone’s taste. If we do make pricing changes for new members, existing members would get generous grandfathering of their existing plans and prices.”

When it comes to original programming, Netflix made it clear that they plan to continue down that path. “In 2014, we anticipate building on our tremendous momentum with new seasons of House of Cards (Feb. 14th), Derek, Hemlock Grove, Orange is the New Black, Lilyhammer, and a fully exclusive, final season of The Killing; as well as additional episodes of Turbo F.A.S.T., and premiere launches of our first original animated series for adults, BoJack Horseman, and an epic series based on the adventures of Marco Polo from The Weinstein Co., and additional new kids series from DreamWorks Animation.”

Elsewhere in the letter, Netflix touched on net nutrality in light of Verizon’s successful court challenge. “In principle, a domestic ISP now can legally impede the video streams that members request from Netflix, degrading the experience we jointly provide,” but Netlfix notes that widespread public support for net neutrality means individual ISPs seem unlikely to pursue action — mainly, they’re aware people like streaming video.

ABC orders drama from 'American Hustle' director David O. Russell

David O. Russell is on a streak in the film world, and now he’s going to try his hand at television.

EW has confirmed that ABC has ordered an untitled soapy drama project from the American Hustle director and Erin Brockovich writer Susannah Grant straight to series. The show, described as “an upstairs/downstairs soap centered on a private country club,” will be co-produced by CBS Studios and ABC Studios.

Russell’s American Hustle is currently up for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture — an award his films Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter were also nominated for in their respective years.

NBC renews 'Days of our Lives' through 2016

Sami Brady may be leaving but Days of our Lives will stick around for a few more years. NBC announced that it picked up an additional two years of the daytime sudser, just in time for its 50th year anniversary in November of 2015.

The new deal will keep Days on NBC through September of 2016. The news was announced a day after Alison Sweeney revealed that she’s leaving her gig as Sami — a role she’s held for 21 years.

“Days of our Lives’ continues to be a fan favorite for the daytime audience and we are thrilled to keep it going through its 50th season,” said NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke in a statement. “Days has shown year-to-year increases in key female demographics and remains both relevant and fresh creatively due to the hard work of the producers, writers, cast and crew who have worked tirelessly to make Days the ratings success it is today.”

Days is currently posting its best season in women 18-49 viewers in three years and biggest season in total viewers in four years.

NBC kills 'Murder, She Wrote' reboot

It was a good idea while it lasted — not!

It appears that NBC’s plan to reboot the long-running CBS drama Murder, She Wrote with Octavia Spencer (The Help) has been tabled indefinitely. Deadline reports that Peacock execs would rather find a different way to spin the tale about the amateur sleuth (assuming it goes the distance at all). More importantly, someone inside probably realized that it’s not so easy to revisit popular franchises. NBC did an impressive job of bringing back Prime Suspect with Maria Bello but the drama didn’t last a season.

When first announced as a pilot by NBC, the project was described as a “light, contemporary procedural in the vein of Bones or Fargo, it follows a hospital administrator and amateur sleuth (Spencer) who self-publishes her first mystery novel … [and her] avid fascination with true crime leads her to become an active participant in the investigations.”

Talk of the reboot eventually prompted original series star Angela Lansbury to speak out against the idea — or at least the use of the classic moniker. “I think it’s a mistake to call it Murder, She Wrote, because Murder, She Wrote will always be about a Cabot Cove and this wonderful little group of people who told those lovely stories and enjoyed a piece of that place, and also enjoyed Jessica Fletcher, who is a rare and very individual kind of person.”

The original drama aired from 1984 to 1996 on CBS and earned Lansbury 12 consecutive Emmy nominations.

Amazon denies plans to launch live-TV streaming service -- UPDATED

UPDATE: Amazon has denied reports that it is in the very early stages of developing a service that would enable paid subscribers to stream live TV channels that are currently offered through cable and satellite providers.

“We continue to build selection for Prime Instant Video and create original shows at Amazon Studios, but we are not planning to license television channels or offer a pay-TV service,” a spokesperson for Amazon said in a statement to EW.

Earlier, a report by the Wall Street Journal claimed that Amazon had already met with three major entertainment companies about licensing the television channels they offer.

Even though Amazon is apparently out of this particular quest, others — like Sony and Google Inc. — continue to publicly explore the opportunity to bring live TV to the streaming audience. But, WSJ pointed out, all face an uphill battle as carrier fees are a major moneymaker for big media companies who license their channels.

'Those Who Kill': Watch the trailer for A&E's scary new serial killer thriller -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

A&E already has one of the most twisted mother/son relationship dramas in their Psycho reboot Bates Motel. Now, the network is about to debut their most disturbing and scariest series to date, the serial killer thriller Those Who Kill, starring Chloe Sevigny (American Horror Story: Asylum) and James D’Arcy (Cloud Atlas). The show, which premieres on March 3 at 10pm and is executive produced by The X-Files’ Glen Morgan, follows detective Catherine Jensen (Sevigny) and forensic psychologist Thomas Schaeffer (D’Arcy) hunting murderers in Pittsburgh. EW has the exclusive new trailer. Don’t watch alone.

A 'Sherlock' movie? 'We don't rule anything out'

Might Sherlock fans one day get to see Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman sleuthing it up on the big screen? Given the episodes of the Conan Doyle update are already feature-length and Sherlock now boasts two genuine film stars, that seemed like a reasonable question to ask cocreator Steven Moffat when EW visited the show last year for this week’s cover story. “We don’t rule anything out,” Moffat replied.


'General Hospital' casts 'Knots Landing' star -- EXCLUSIVE

A Ewing is coming to Port Charles!

Donna Mills — best known for playing villainess Abby Ewing on Knot’s Landing — is joining the cast of General Hospital. EW has learned that Mills was the only choice to play a new (see: big) character — particularly because the writers are major fans of her old primetime soap.

Sadly, insiders won’t spill details about her character. She is expected to start appearing on the sudser in late February.

The addition of Mills caps off a big year for casting on GH, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last April. Executive Producer Frank Valentini lured back former stars like Genie Francis, Rick Springfield and even Richard Simmons to help celebrate the milestone.

Mills’ other, more recent credits include GCB and Nip/Tuck.

'American Horror Story': Ryan Murphy on the latest 'Coven' and teases for season 4 -- EXCLUSIVE


On the latest American Horror Story: Coven, we learned what makes Madame LaLaurie tick, and it wasn’t pretty. Meanwhile, Spalding introduced her to the magical powers of antihistamines, and Fiona got all ax-happy on the witch hunters. EW talked to co-creator Ryan Murphy about the latest Coven as well as the easter eggs for season 4 he’s begun hiding in these episodes.


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