May 16, 2011

TV TimeZ

May 16, 2011
WHAT SHOULD I WATCH TONIGHT?

MTV: Disaster Date at 630p
FOX:  House, The Chicago CodeBravo: The Real Housewives of New Jersey at 9p
CBS: How I Met Your Mother at 8p; Mad Love at 830p; Mike & Molly at 930p; Hawaii Five-O at 10p
CW: 90210 at 8p; Gossip Girl at 9p
NBC: Chuck at 8p, The Event, L&O: LA
ABC: 
Dancing with the Stars, Castle at 10:01p



Introducing its 2011-2012 primetime schedule in advance of its Upfront showcase later this morning in New York, NBC is adding six new dramas and six new comedies.  Chairman NBC Entertainment, Bob Greenblatt refers to next season's new lineup as, "the rebuilding of the NBC primetime schedule." NBC's new dramas include:
  • Prime Suspect - American version of hit British series helmed by Helen Mirren. The new version stars Mario Bello as Detective Jane Timoney who finds working as a homicide detective in New York City tough along with working in a male-dominated police department.  Aidan Quinn, Brian O'Byrne, Tim Griffin, Kirk Acevedo, Joe Nieves, Damon Gupton and Peter Gerety also star.  Universal Media Studios, ITV and Film 44 are producing.
  • The Playboy Club - From Brian Grazer, the drama is a period piece set in the early 1960s Chicago when the first Playboy Club opens.  Eddie Cibrian, Amber Heard and Lauran Benanti lead the ensemble cast.  20th Century Fox Television and Imagine Television are producing.
  • Smash - Musical drama based on an idea from Steven Spielberg centers on a group who are creating a Broadway musical about the life of Marilyn Monroe.  Christian Borle and Debra Messing headline the cast that also includes veteran actress Anjelica Huston.  Universal Media Studios is producing in association with DreamWorks.
  • Grimm - Series inspired by the classic Grimm's Fairy Tales and surrounds homicide detective Nick Burkhardt (David Guintoli) who begins seeing things he can't explain.  When his Aunt Marie (guest star Kate Burton) visits, she tells him they are descendants of an elite group of hunters known as "Grimms" who fight to keep humans safe from the supernatural creatures loose in the world.  Universal Media Studios and Hazy Mills Productions are producing.
  • Awake - A detective (Jason Issacs) finds himself leading a dueling double life that defies reality after he survives a car accident involving his family.   Steve Harris, Wilmer Valderrama, Cherry Jones and BD Wong also star.  From 20th Century Fox Television.
  • The Firm - Based on the hit feature film and novel by John Grisham, this drama continues the story of lawyer Mitchell McDeere and his family ten years following the events depicted in the film and novel.  Entertainment One is producing in association with Sony Pictures Television and Paramount Pictures. 
NBC's upcoming comedies consist of:
  • Whitney - Multi-camera comedy about modern love highlighting the relationship of Whitney (Whitney Cummings) and Alex (Chris D'Elia), a happily unmarried couple.  From Universal media Studios and Scott Stuber Productions.
  • Up All Night - From Emily Spivey and Lorne Michaels, this comedy offers a contemporary take on parenthood about successful PR executive, Reagan (Christina Applegate) and her stay-at-home husband, Chris (Will Arnett) as they juggle a career, marriage and a new baby. Maya Rudolph also stars as Ava, Reagan's outrageous boss and best friend.  Universal Media Studios and Broadway Video are producing.
  • Free Agents - Single-camera comedy, based on a UK format, about two eccentric co-workers who fall in love.  Hank Azaria and Kathryn Hahn star in the lead roles.  From Universal Media Studios in association with Dark Toy and Big Talk Productions.
  • Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea - Multi-camera comedy about a group of 20-something women living and working together led by one out-spoken young woman played by Laura Prepon.  The comedy is based on Chelsea Handler's life and her book.  Warner Bros. Television is producing in association with Werner Entertainment and Borderline Amazing Productions.
  • Best Friends Forever - A single-camera comedy about a woman and her live-in boyfriend who take in her upset and pushy best girlfriend after a divorce. Jessica St. Clair stars along with Lennon Parham and Adam Pally. From Universal Media Studios and American Work.
  • Bent - Amanda Peet stars in this romantic comedy as a recently divorced type-A mom who is attracted to the surfer-dude contractor, Pete (David Walton) she hires to re-do her kitchen. Jeffrey Tambor co-stars; Universal Media Studios produces. 

From its development slate, NBC did not pick up the multi-camera comedy, Family Practice from Universal Media Studios that starred Andrew West, Jean Smart and Audrey Esparza; the revamped Wonder Woman from David E. Kelley starring Adrianne Palicki in the title role; the ensemble drama A Mann's World starring Don Johnson as a celebrity hairstylist and co-starring Ellen Barkin; 17TH Precinct, the ensemble police drama starring Jamie Bamber, Tricia Helfer and James Callis; Reconstruction, the Civil War-era drama starring Martin Henderson; Metro(formerly S.I.L.A.), the drama combining crime, law enforcement and politics helmed by Jimmy Smits; Brave New World, a workplace comedy produced by Sony Pictures Television; Lovelines, a comedy from 20TH Television; Help Wanted, another workplace comedy from Warner Bros. TV; I Hate That I Love You, a comedy produced by 20TH Television; and the comedy, My Life as an Experiment from Sony Pictures Television, with Jack Black as one of the executive producers and starring Donald Sutherland.

Returning NBC drama series include: the spy drama Chuck was renewed for a fifth and final season containing 13 episodes; Parenthood will return for a third season; Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; and a sophomore season of the midseason series Harry's Law starring Kathy Bates.  Comedies coming back include CommunityParks and RecreationThe Office30 Rock, in addition to the network's news magazine show, Dateline NBC.  Alternative series continuing on the schedule include The VoiceThe Sing-OffThe Celebrity Apprentice and The Biggest Loser, all with two-hour episodes.

Not returning next season on NBC are OutsourcedThe Event and Law & Order: Los Angles.
NBC Fall 2011-2012 Primetime Schedule
Monday: The Sing-Off, The Playboy Club
Tuesday: The Biggest Loser, Parenthood
Wednesday: Up All NightFree Agents, Harry's Law, Law & Order: SVU
Thursday: Community, Parks and Recreation, The Office, WhitneyPrime Suspect
Friday: Chuck, Grimm, Dateline NBC
Saturday: Encore programming
Sunday: Football Night in America, NBC Sunday Night Football
NBC Midseason 2012 Highlights
Sunday: Dateline NBC, The Celebrity Apprentice, The Firm
Monday: The Voice, Smash
Change is at hand on ABC's schedule for next fall as the network said on Friday it cancelled six current series: Brothers & Sisters which just ended its fifth season; the alien drama V following its second season; in addition to the frosh dramas Detroit 1-8-7 and No Ordinary Familyas well as the midseason comedy Mr. Sunshine starring Matthew Perry and the midseason medical drama Off the Map from Shonda Rhimes. 

On the new series front, ABC picked up a dozen series for next season including seven dramas and five comedies. ABC's official fall schedule will be revealed at its Upfront presentation in New York on Tuesday.
  • Charlie's Angels - Revamped version of the 1970s hit ABC series stars Minka Kelly, Rachael Taylor and Annie Ilonzeh as the three female detectives working for mysterious "Charlie."
  • Pan Am - Period primetime soap set in the mid-1960s about a group of stewardesses and pilots juggling love and spying.  Christina Ricci stars; produced by Sony Pictures Television.
  • Good Christian Belles (formerly Good Christian Bitches) - Centers on a recent divorcee who moves back to her wealthy Dallas neighborhood with her two kids.  Leslie Bibb stars in the lead along with co-stars Kristin Chenoweth and Annie Potts.  ABC Studios is producing.
  • Apartment 23 - Single-camera comedy originally developed for FOX about a nice Midwestern girl (Dreama Walker) who moves in with a party girl roommate (Krysten Ritter) in New York City.  James Van Der Beek also co-stars; 20th TV produces.
  • Last Man Standing - Family comedy starring Tim Allen as a guy fighting for his manhood while surrounded by women.
  • Scandal (formerly titled Damage Control) - A Shonda Rhimes drama about a crisis PR consultant starring Kerry Washington.  ABC Studios is producing.
  • Once Upon a Time - Fantasy drama is about a woman attracted to a town where fairy tales might be real by a boy saying he is her son.  Ginnifer Goodwin co-stars as Snow White; ABC Studios produces.
  • Revenge - Contemporary re-telling of the Count of Monte Cristo story about a young woman (Emily VanCamp) who moves to the Hamptons. From ABC Studios.
  • The River - Drama centered on a crew in search of a missing adventurer in the Amazon. Eloise Mumford stars; ABC Studios produces.
  • Work It - Multi-camera comedy about two out-of-work car salesmen who dress as women to land jobs as pharmaceutical reps.
  • Suburgatory - Single-camera comedy about New Yorker (Jane Levy) who moves to the suburbs. Cheryl Hines, Jeremy Sisto and Alan Tudyk co-star; Warner Bros. TV produces.
  • Man Up - Another single-camera buddy comedy about three guys trying to survive as modern men through their perspective and through the women in their lives. From ABC Studios.

Also from ABC, a second season renewal was granted to Secret Millionaire. The network additionally switched debut dates for several summer series: Wipeout is back as of June 21 at 8p with a special original episode though premieres June 23 at 8p; the premiere of new competition series 101 Ways to Leave a Game Show moves to June 21 at 9p.  Two days later on June 23, Expedition Impossible bows at 9p along with a second season of scripted cop series Rookie Blue at 10p. On August 2 at 9p, ABC rolls out the new competition show Take the Money and Run.

On Friday, CBS and Warner Bros. Television said actor/producer Ashton Kutcher is joining the sitcom Two and a Half Men replacing Charlie Sheen for the show's ninth season.  Returning cast members on Two and a Half Men include Jon Cryer, Angus T. Jones, Holland Taylor, Marin Hinkle and Conchata Ferrell.  Production on the ninth season begins this summer for the new fall season on CBS.

Also on Friday, CBS approved two pilots before its Upfront presentation this Wednesday in New York:
  • Two Broke Girls - A multi-camera comedy helmed by Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs as two 22-year olds trying to make ends meet while living in Brooklyn.  Warner Bros. TV produces.
  • Person of Interest - A drama from J.J. Abrams starring Jim Caviezel as an ex-CIA agent, thought dead, who works with a mysterious New York billionaire to fight crime. Taraji P. Henson co-stars; Warner Bros. TV also produces.

Over the weekend, CBS further announced it is eliminating three frosh series including $#*! My Days Says starring William Shatner and produced by Warner Bros. TV; the drama The Defenders headlined by Jim Belushi and Jerry O'Connell and produced by CBS Productions; and the comedy from CBS Television Studios and Sony, Mad Love with the finale airing tonight.

Katie Couric's final day as anchor on CBS Evening News is this Thursday.  Scott Pelley takes over as anchor starting June 6.