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What's cancelled, What's returning


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#41
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NBC Enters Online 'Tomorrow' Land


Thursday, February 02, 2006
02:25 PM PT

You can watch "Lost"-related extra content on your cell phone, buy episodes of TV shows for your iPod and find original programming at various places on the web.

So it was probably only a matter of time before a TV network developed an online-only series. That time, it turns out, is now.

NBC announced Thursday (Feb. 2) that it's developing an online-only music competition called "StarTomorrow," which will debut on NBC.com in the summer. Viewers will watch the performances of maybe 100 bands from across the country, voting each week on which ones to put through to the final round.

In addition to the performances, the show will offer video packages that include interviews, rehearsal footage and background information on each group. The winner of the 16-week series will get a recording contract with Casablanca Records, headed by music-biz veteran Tommy Mottola -- who's also an executive producer of the series.

"This is the first time NBC will be distributing a network-quality program exclusively online," says Jeff Gaspin, who oversees digital content for NBC. "We want to give consumers a new viewing experience, and digital content enables us to give more scheduling and programming latitude to them, truly allowing viewers to create their own show."

The team behind "The Biggest Loser" -- Dave Broome, JD Roth, Todd Nelson and John Foy -- will executive produce "StarTomorrow" with Mottola and Jeb Brien.

It's unclear how an online-only series will make money. Product-placement deals are likely, and a show like "StarTomorrow" would seem like a natural fit with Apple's iTunes service, which already offers several over-the-air NBC series for download.

#42
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PILOT TALK:
Per Variety, Frank Darabont, writer-director of The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption, will helm the NBC drama Seeing Red, about an eccentric cop with the ability to talk to dead crime victims. Similarly, Elf director Jon Favreau will step behind the cameras for ABC's In Case of Emergency.... NBC has picked up two more comedy pilots: Alpha Mom (businesswoman juggles job and family) and one starring comedian Kevin Brennan.... The West Wing's Mary McCormack has landed the lead in USA Network's In Plain Sight.

THIS 'N' THAT: Showtime has renewed The L Word, now in its third season, for another round to begin production this summer.... ABC.com and the iTunes Music Store are now offering free Grey's Anatomy podcast downloads, in which cast members and producers tease upcoming episodes.... Linda Dano, who called curious George her son on Desperate Housewives, has another motherly gig lined up. Check out today's Soaps News for the details.

#43
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FAMILIAR FACES FILL FALL PILOTS:
Now the fun really begins — the casting of all the announced fall pilots. Over at CBS, Ray Liotta, Virginia Madsen and Amy Smart have been recruited to star in Smith, a drama told from the POV of career criminals. ABC, meanwhile, has rounded up Scott Wolf (Bailey!), Lourdes Benedicto and Jessica Collins for its untitled drama about strangers held hostage for 52 hours during a botched bank robbery. ABC also has cast Laura Harris and Jaime Ray Newman in Hollis & Rae, about a cop and prosecuting attorney who are best friends, and is courting Taye Diggs to star in Daybreak, in which a L.A. cop is framed for murder.

#44
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FALL 2007: CASTING ABOUT:
The latest pilot-casting news finds ER's John Leguizamo top-lining CBS' Edison, as an undercover cop; Ally McBeal's Jane Krakowski in Sex, Power, Love & Politics, CBS' comedy about Capitol Hill staffers; 2 Fast 2 Furious' Cole Hauser landing a lead in Fox's legal drama, Damages; Fred Willard as a toy-company owner in the CBS laffer Play Nice; Matthew Lillard in Fox's treasure-hunting thriller 13 Graves; and Ocean's Eleven's Scott Caan playing best bud to Danny Comden in an untitled ABC comedy.

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'Modern Men,' 'Richest' Get March Tryouts at WB

Tuesday, February 07, 2006 10:41 AM PT


The WB has found homes for two more of its midseason shows, which will each get a little time before the public before the network closes up shop later in the year.

The sitcom "Modern Men" and unscripted show "Survival of the Richest" will both air on Friday nights starting in March. "Modern Men," which stars Jane Seymour ("Wedding Crashers," "Dr. Quinn") as a life coach to three hapless guys, will debut at 9:30 p.m. ET Friday, March 17. "Survival of the Richest," a competitive take on the notion of seeing how the other half lives, will debut March 31, filling the 8 p.m. hour for six weeks.

The scheduling moves mean three-fourths of the network's current Friday schedule -- "What I Like About You," "Living with Fran" and "Twins" -- will be off the air for much of the spring. The WB's most successful Friday show, "Reba," will remain in its 9 p.m. slot.

Both shows will have what amounts to a six- or seven-week window to make their case for inclusion in plans for The CW, the new network that will combine the programming of The WB and UPN in the fall.

"Modern Men" is A-list producer Jerry Bruckheimer's ("CSI," "Without a Trace") first foray into sitcoms. The show stars Josh Braaten ("Married to the Kellys"), Max Greenfield ("Veronica Mars") and Eric Lively ("The L Word") as three guys who realize their current ways of dealing with women aren't working. They then hire a life coach (Seymour) to help them out.

The show also stars George Wendt ("Cheers") as Braaten's dad and Marla Sokoloff as his sister.

"Survival of the Richest" comes from RDF Media ("Wife Swap") and producers of "Average Joe" and "My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance." It pairs seven heirs to obscene wealth (their families are worth a collective $3 billion, according to the network) with seven working-class kids each saddled with thousands of dollars in debt. They then have to pair off and compete in a series of challenges designed to make them see through their teammates' eyes, with the winners walking away with a cash prize.

#45
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WB JILTS MEL, JENNIE AND FRAN:
WB is benching Twins as of March 17 to make room for the new comedy Modern Men, and on March 31 they'll displace What I Like About You and Living with Fran in favor of the new reality show Survival of the Fittest. On a more important and entirely unrelated note, have you seen the Vanity Fair cover? Scarlett's skin is like porcelain, I tell you. (I can say this because so much of it is on display.)

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FALL 2007: CASTING ABOUT: Joey has lost his gal pal: Per the Hollywood Reporter, Andrea Anders has left the shelved Friends spin-off to join Jason Ritter on CBS' The Class. Also, Jay Harrington (aka Desperate Housewives' Dr. Ron) has been cast on CBS' Capitol Hill comedy Sex, Power, Love & Politics, and Wendy Raquel Robinson has been tapped to star in UPN's (CW's?) Girlfriends spin-off, tentatively titled The Game.

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Pilots: 'Joey' Star Heads to 'Class' with CBS


Wednesday, February 08, 2006 01:57 PM PT



One of the stars of NBC's "Joey" has signed on to a pilot at CBS, casting further doubt on the future of the "Friends" spinoff.

Elsewhere, Wendy Raquel Robinson ("The Steve Harvey Show") has been cast in a potential "Girlfriends" spinoff that's hoping to set up shop at new network The CW next season.

Andrea Anders, who plays Joey's (Matt LeBlanc) smitten neighbor Alex on "Joey," has joined the cast of "The Class," according to The Hollywood Reporter. The show, about a reunion of former third-grade classmates engineered by one of them, has already earned a 13-episode order from CBS for the fall.

Jon Bernthal ("How I Met Your Mother"), who'll play Anders' former high-school sweetheart, and Heather Goldenhersh ("Kinsey") have also joined the cast. Jason Ritter ("Joan of Arcadia"), as the guy who throws the party that brings his ex-schoolmates together, Lucy Punch and Jesse Tyler Ferguson had previously signed on.

For Anders, "The Class" is in "second position" to "Joey," meaning that should NBC renew it, CBS would have to recast her role. "Joey's" prospects, however, look dim at the moment. The show hasn't aired since December and NBC currently has no plans for it on the midseason schedule.

At UPN/The CW, meanwhile, Robinson has taken a role in a possible offshoot from "Girlfriends" called "The Game," which will center on women involved in the lives of pro athletes. The characters will be introduced in a "Girlfriends" episode later in the season.

Robinson currently appears in the big-screen romance "Something New." Her credits also include "Miss Congeniality" and "Cedric the Entertainer Presents."

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'Unit' Falls in Line with 'NCIS'

Wednesday, February 08, 2006 02:34 PM PT



CBS is hoping some of the success of its naval-cops drama "NCIS" will rub off on another show set in the military -- "The Unit."

The network says "The Unit," a drama about special-forces soldiers and their families from David Mamet ("Glengarry Glen Ross") and Shawn Ryan ("The Shield"), will premiere at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, March 7. Although it will face a formidable competitor in FOX's "House" in that time period, the new show will also get as its lead-in "NCIS," which has a compatible theme and an audience of better than 15 million viewers per week.

As a result of the move, "The Amazing Race" will be pushed back to 10 p.m. ET starting March 7, following a two-hour premiere at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28. "Love Monkey," which has struggled to attract an audience in the 10 p.m. slot, will give up its berth.

"The Unit" stars Dennis Haysbert ("24") as the leader of a special-forces team that handles complex missions around the world and Scott Foley ("Felicity") as its newest member. The show will also explore the effect the unit's work has on its members' families, with Audrey Marie Anderson ("Once and Again") playing Foley's wife, who's resistant to the strictures his work places on her, and Regina Taylor ("The Education of Max Bickford") as Haysbert's wife.

Also in the cast are Robert Patrick ("Walk the Line," "The X-Files"), Max Martini ("Harsh Realm"), Michael Irby ("Flightplan"), Demore Barnes and Abby Brammell.

#46
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LOVE LOST:
Emily and Jake, meet Tom. Variety reports that CBS has shelved Tom Cavanagh's Love Monkey after just three airings as part of a Tuesday-lineup shuffle. Taking over the 10 pm/ET slot is The Amazing Race (which premieres Feb. 28), clearing the way at 9 pm for The Unit, the new drama costarring President Palm--, er, Dennis Haysbert.

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FALL 2007: CASTING ABOUT: Law & Order alum Angie Harmon has been tapped to star in the ABC pilot Secrets of a Small Town, a murder mystery penned by Desperate Housewives producer Charles Pratt Jr.... The Daily Show's Rob Corddry has the title role in Fox's Becoming Glenn, in which a fortysomething guy reflects on his life as a 32-year-old slacker living at home.... ABC has greenlit Southern Comfort (Bill Gates nerd-turned-billionaire moves back to his small hometown) and Mr. Nice Guy (the life of a shlimazel), while NBC has ordered The Singles Table (five strangers meet and bond at a mutual pal's wedding) and a comedy about two brothers — one a Fed, one a con — who are neighbors.

#47
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WB Reschedules 'Bedford' Debut, 'Everwood' Return


Thursday, February 09, 2006
05:05 PM PT

The WB has fiddled a bit with its March schedule, delaying the premiere date for the new drama "The Bedford Diaries" and the return of "Everwood."

"The Bedford Diaries," which follows students in a human-sexuality class at a New York college, will now debut Wednesday, March 29, a week after its originally scheduled debut. The change will allow the network to run the eight episodes it's ordered through most of May sweeps.

A "Gilmore Girls" episode will run in the 9 p.m. Wednesday spot on March 22.

"Everwood," meanwhile, will return to The WB on Monday, March 27, rather than March 20. The show has been off the air since December -- in large part because it doesn't historically repeat well -- and is moving from its Thursday home to its former Monday spot.

On the 20th, the network will air back-to-back episodes of "Related," with the second constituting the show's season finale. "Everwood" will return with two episodes the following week before settling into the post-"7th Heaven" slot on April 3.

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'Hostel' Star Hernandez, Larter Land Pilots

Friday, February 10, 2006 10:31 AM PT



Jay Hernandez, fresh off being hacked to bits in "Hostel," will have a slightly less horrific experience in his next acting gig.

Hernandez has signed on to the ABC pilot "Six Degrees," joining a sizable list of actors picking up work in the latest round of casting. That list also includes Ali Larter and Hayden Panettiere in NBC's "Heroes," "Star Trek: Enterprise" vet John Billingsley in an ABC drama and three leads -- Matt Bomer, Aaron Stanford and Logan Marshall-Green -- in the Alphabet's "Traveler."

"Six Degrees," from executive producer J.J. Abrams ("Lost") and writers Raven Metzner and Stu Zicherman ("Elektra"), will focus on six New Yorkers who don't know each other but whose lives are nonetheless intertwined. Hernandez, whose credits also include "Friday Night Lights" and the upcoming Oliver Stone 9/11 movie "World Trade Center," will play one of the six, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Also at ABC, Bomer ("Tru Calling"), Marshall-Green ("The O.C.") and Stanford ("X2") will play the three friends at the center of "Traveler," two of whom must dodge the authorities after the third frames them as terrorists. The project is a bounce-back for Bomer, who was cast as the lead in The WB's "Cult" before it was scrapped by that network's successor, The CW.

Billingsley, who played Dr. Phlox on "Enterprise," is joining an untitled drama at ABC from Hank ("Without a Trace") and K.J. Steinberg, about nine people who were taken hostage in a bank robbery and how it affects their lives. Owain Yeoman ("Kitchen Confidential") has also been added to the cast, which already includes Chi McBride and Scott Wolf.

Additionally, John L. Adams ("The Dead Zone") has joined Angie Harmon in ABC's drama "Secrets of a Small Town." He'll play a cameraman who accompanies Harmon's TV reporter to her hometown, where a high-school girl has been murdered.

At NBC, meanwhile, Larter and Panettiere lead five additions to the pilot "Heroes," about a group of people who discover they have superpowers. Santiago Cabrera ("Empire"), Tawny Cypress ("Jonny Zero") and Masi Oka ("Luis," "Scrubs") have also joined the show; former "Alias" regular Greg Grunberg was previously cast.

Larter is best known for "Varsity Blues" and "Final Destination 2"; "Heroes" would be her first regular TV work. Panettiere's credits include "Remember the Titans," "Ally McBeal" and the Lifetime movie "Lies My Mother Told Me."

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CBS Breaks Up with 'Love Monkey'

Friday, February 10, 2006 11:00 AM PT



We're not sure if CBS gave "Love Monkey" the It's-not-you-it's-me speech, but we do know that just a few days before Valentine's Day, the network has broken things off with the show.
After just three episodes, none of which brought very strong ratings, "Love Monkey" has been pulled from the schedule. CBS is officially saying the dramedy is "on hiatus," but the network currently has no plans for its return.

Although it drew largely positive reviews, the show, based on a book of the same name by Kyle Smith, struggled to find an audience against the likes of "Law & Order: SVU" and "Boston Legal" on Tuesday nights. It debuted to about 8.6 million viewers on Jan. 17 but fell off in each of its subsequent two airings, dropping to a low of 6.2 million this week.

"Love Monkey" starred Tom Cavanagh ("Ed") as a record-company executive trying to figure out just what it was he wanted in a relationship. Aiding him on his quest were friends played by Jason Priestley, Judy Greer -- the obligatory great girl right under his nose -- Larenz Tate and Chris Wiehl.

CBS will air repeats of "NCIS" and "CSI" in the 10 p.m. Tuesday slot for the next two weeks. "The Amazing Race" returns the following week with a two-hour debut and will air at 10 p.m. for the remainder of the season.

#48
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FALL 2006: CASTING ABOUT:
Film toughie Chazz Palminteri has been cast in the ABC drama pilot Drift, in which he will play the boss of an insomniac NYPD detective.... Lena Headey (Imagine Me & You) will play a single-girl superhero in Joan of Arcadia creator Barbara Hall's Ultra, for CBS.... Balthazar Getty is the latest actor to be added to ABC's family sudser Brothers & Sisters.... Aldis Hodge, Coby Bell, Cynthia Addai-Robinson and Hosea Sanchez have been cast in CW's Girlfriends spin-off. (Not a one of those names rings a bell for me, either. I just get giddy reporting on the UPN-WB mutation.)

FOUR PLAY: Logo, MTV Networks' gay- and lesbian-themed channel, has four original series in the works, including Slink, an animated tale about five lesbian pussycats who inherit a Malibu mansion, and The Rules: A Lesbian Survival Guide, which I imagine details clubs that Rosie O'Donnell does not frequent.

#49
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UNAN1MOUS DECISION:
On March 22, Fox will debut Unan1mous, a reality competition in which nine bunker-confined contestants — a minister, atheist, ladies' man and feminist included — must elect one of them to receive a $1.5 million cash prize. The catch: The longer they take to decide, the smaller the payday becomes, potentially dipping thousands of dollars per hour. The catch for Fox: The series conceivably could end after one episode. Kinda like Emily's Reasons Why Not.

#50
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OFFICE EXTENDS HOURS:
NBC's The Office, which was originally slated to air its season finale on March 30 — as boss man Steve Carell breaks away to film Evan Almighty — instead will extend its sophomore run to May 11, using a combo of repeats and one additional new episode. Elsewhere on the Peacock: Joey returns March 7 at 8 pm/ET, and Scrubs moves up a half-hour to Tuesdays-at-8:30 effective March 28, the same day Teachers, a new comedy, debuts at 9:30.

CBS SHIFTS COMS: CBS has announced a March 7 premiere of The Unit and a March 13 debut of Julia Louis-Dreyfus' The New Adventures of Old Christine, giving the Seinfeld alum the Mondays-at-9:30 slot behind Two and a Half Men. (Get. Out!) As a result, Jenna Elfman's Courting Alex and its time-slot predecessor, Out of Practice, will move to occupy Wednesday's 8 o'clock hour, replacing Yes, Dear and Still Standing, which, apparently, were still on the air.

#51
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February 15, 2006
The fun (and confusion) never stops as the networks continue scrambling their schedules, with a new wave of mid-season changes kicking in the instant the Olympics and February sweeps conclude.

As a helpful guide to get you through the exhausting month of March, here's a night-by-night rundown of what to expect (until the next changes are announced):

March 1: After a 90-minute American Idol, Fox airs a preview of quasi-improvised slacker sitcom Free Ride (it will regularly air on Sundays starting March 12, replacing American Dad for a while). Invasion is preempted for the annual Oscar-themed Barbara Walters Special, which for the first time is not airing on Oscar night.

March 2: Skating with Celebrities airs its finale, following an Idol results show.

March 3: Las Vegas moves to Fridays, as a lead-in to the new Dick Wolf drama Conviction (which actually looks more like a David E. Kelley show, and I don't mean that as a compliment).

March 4: Dateline bounces from Friday to Saturday.

March 5: Oscar night. Nothing else matters.

March 6: While Fox airs a two-hour 24, ABC replaces The Bachelor with the return of Supernanny and the new medical reality show The Miracle Workers.

March 7: ABC's best new comedy in ages, Sons & Daughters, premieres with back-to-back episodes opposite Scrubs (gee, thanks). NBC rearranged its deck chairs, reviving Joey with back-to-back episodes (one a repeat) at 8 pm/ET. CBS premieres the action drama The Unit, sandwiched between NCIS and The Amazing Race.

March 8: Bones moves to 8 pm/ET, opposite the two-hour premiere of America's Next Top Model's new season. Project Runway airs its finale, leading into the premiere of Bravo's Top Chef at 11 pm/ET (which moves into Runway's time period the following week). FX premieres the provocative race-switching reality-documentary series Black. White.

March 9: American Idol settles on its top 12, while Beauty and the Geek 2 wraps its entertaining second season.

March 10: A night of Sci Fi Friday finales, with Battlestar Galactica's season cliff-hanger expanded to 90 minutes.

March 12: The long-awaited return of The Sopranos on HBO, paired with the polygamy drama Big Love.

March 13: Julia Louis-Dreyfus' buzzed-about new comedy, The New Adventures of Old Christine, premieres at 9:30 pm/ET, replacing Courting Alex, which replaced Out of Practice. (Practice and Alex will move to Wednesdays starting March 22.)

March 14: American Idol begins its classic countdown with the top 12 contestants performing and one being eliminated each week. Meanwhile, USA Network kicks off a new season of Nashville Star.

March 15: Fox previews another annoying coming-of-age comedy, The Loop, after Idol. Loop moves to Thursdays after That '70s Show the following night.

March 16: Supernatural takes root after Smallville on Thursdays, taking on CSI, The O.C. and the two-hour premiere of the new ABC reality show American Inventor.

March 17: Sci Fi brings the latest incarnation of Doctor Who to America at 9 pm/ET. WB premieres a new sitcom, Modern Men, at 9:30 pm/ET, following Reba.

March 19: A Prison Break marathon of Episodes 8-13, plus a behind-the-scenes recap special, airs on FX starting at 12 pm/ET.

March 20: Two long-awaited returns from hiatusville: WB's Everwood, with a two-hour episode (after which it will air following 7th Heaven); and Prison Break, with new episodes leading into 24, making for a night of nonstop suspense.

March 21: The Shield finale, with 10 more episodes to be filmed later, possibly not to air until next January. Still no word about whether this will be the final season. Bravo premieres a new season of Blow Out and introduces us to The Real Housewives of Orange County in a new reality series.

March 22: Busy night. Out of Practice and Courting Alex form a new comedy hour at 8 pm/ET. (Yes, Dear and Still Standing will have already wrapped their seasons.) Law & Order moves to 9 pm/ET, leading into NBC's new serialized thriller Heist. On ABC, Invasion goes on hiatus, making way for yet another crime procedural, The Evidence. And Fox premieres a bizarre new reality show, Unan1mous, following Idol results at 9:30 pm/ET. This one sounds like a particularly odious twist on the Big Brother concept.

March 23: ABC presents a limited-run reality offshoot, Extreme Makeover: After the Storm, leading into American Inventor.

March 28: NBC adjusts its comedy schedule again, with Joey episodes leading into one "encore" Scrubs episode, one original Scrubs episode and the premiere of the new sitcom Teachers.

March 29: WB premieres the new sex-ed drama The Bedford Diaries.

March 31: WB replaces an hour of so-called comedy with the new reality series Survival of the Richest at 8 pm/ET.

Don't even try to memorize this. Chances are excellent that some of this will change before it ever happens, and who knows how long some of these shows will even last before they're yanked for something else?

But don't say you haven't been warned. Forget lions and lambs. March is coming in and going out a complete mess.

#52
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'Party's' Over at UPN


Friday, February 17, 2006 11:51 AM PT



Well, at least Kristin Cavallari will always have "Laguna Beach." But her network-TV coming out "Party" looks to be over a scant two weeks after it began.

UPN has pulled the plug on unscripted show "Get This Party Started" after just two airings, following a barely-there ratings performance on Tuesday (Feb. 14). It will be gone for at least the rest of February, and its chances of returning are probably slim.

The show, hosted by Cavallari and Ethan Erickson, aimed to mine the same feel-good vein of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" by having professional party planners throw a bash for deserving people in honor of a significant event in their lives. Viewers, however, declined to RSVP.

In its Feb. 7 premiere, "Get This Party Started" drew only about 1.7 million viewers. This week, airing opposite the Winter Olympics and FOX's "House," the show could scare up only a little over a million viewers. Its adults 18-49 rating was an equally puny 0.4.

UPN will air the Martin Lawrence movie "Black Knight" in place of "Party" on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Reruns of last fall's "America's Next Top Model" finale, "Girlfriends" and "Half & Half" will fill the night the following week.

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Ventimiglia, Bean Called to Pilot Duty


Friday, February 17, 2006 01:00 PM PT



Milo Ventimigila's midseason show has yet to premiere on The WB, but he's already looking to next season.
The one-time "Gilmore Girls" star is among another large crop of actors taking pilot duty, along with "The Lord of the Rings'" Sean Bean, Jaime King, Julie Hagerty, Eric Mabius and Bruce McGill.

Ventimiglia has joined the cast of NBC's "Heroes," according to The Hollywood Reporter. The pilot, about people discovering they have superpowers, also features Greg Grunberg ("Alias") and Ali Larter ("Varsity Blues").

The casting of Ventimiglia probably doesn't bode well for "The Bedford Diaries," the WB series he stars in that's scheduled for a March 29 premiere. The show hasn't been mentioned much as a contender to move to The CW next fall when The WB and UPN combine their assets.
Bean, meanwhile, will star in "Faceless," a FOX drama about a federal prosecutor who goes undercover to infiltrate a crime organization. It will be the first American TV series for the British actor, whose credits also include "National Treasure" and "North Country."

Also at FOX, King ("Kitchen Confidential") and Charles Malik Whitfield ("The Guardian") have joined Zachary Levi in "The Worst Week of My Life," a Britcom adaptation about a young couple on the verge of marriage. King will play Levi's bride-to-be and Whitfield his best friend.

Hagerty ("Airplane!," "Just Friends") is also at FOX, signing up to play the title character's (Rob Corddry) mom in the comedy "Becoming Glen."

Mabius ("The O.C.," "Eyes") heads a list of several people signing onto ABC projects. He's set to star opposite America Ferrera in "Ugly Betty," playing the scion of a magazine publisher who gets an editor's job despite his lack of experience. Ana Ortiz ("Over There") has also joined the show.

Other ABC castings include McGill ("Cinderella Man," "Animal House") in the crime drama "Enemies"; Jennifer Westfeldt ("Kissing Jessica Stein") in the comedy "Notes from the Underbelly"; Charlie Finn ("Life on a Stick") and Darlene Hunt ("I Heart Huckabees") in "Help Me Help You"; Michael Trucco ("Pensacola") in "Him and Us"; and Dorian Missick ("Freedomland") in the J.J. Abrams-produced "Six Degrees."

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FALL 2006: CASTING ABOUT:
In other pilot casting news — and these days, there always is some — Gina Gershon (you say Showgirls; I say Bound) is set to star in NBC's Lipstick Jungle; Rachel Boston (American Dreams) has been cast in a CBS series about a young couple that moves to the woman's hometown; Kristin Lehman (Judging Amy) will star opposite Cole Hauser in the Fox legal drama Damages; and Moon Bloodgood (Eight Below) has joined ABC's Our Thirties.

USA GETS PSYCH'D: USA Network has ordered 13 episodes of Psych, an hourlong dramedy starring James Roday as an amateur sleuth who feigns being psychic in order to help the police solve cases. Dule Hill (The West Wing) plays his best friend, Corbin Bernsen (L.A. Law) his police-officer pop. Psych is slated to premiere July 7 at 10 pm/ET, meaning Monk will move up an hour when its fifth season debuts this summer.

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ABC Going for 'Masters' Degree

Sci-fi anthology could debut in summer
February 23 2006

LOS ANGELES --
ABC, whose Emmy-winning hit "Lost" brought forth a host of other supernaturally tinged shows this season, is taking the next leap into the sci-fi stratosphere.

The network has ordered an anthology series called "Masters of Science Fiction" that will bring the work of some of the genre's titans -- including, possibly, Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov -- to the small screen. The show comes from IDT Entertainment, the company behind Showtime's "Masters of Horror."

ABC has ordered four episodes of the show thus far. Production is scheduled to begin in late spring; it could be on the air by summer or held for fall.

"We're very excited about this anthology," says Quinn Taylor, who oversees movies and miniseries for ABC. "We've been trying to put together this kind of series because it has great potential to become appointment television."

Oscar-nominated screenwriter Michael Tolkin ("The Player," "Deep Impact") has already agreed to write and direct one episode. Bradbury is in discussions to adapt his "Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed," and the producers are also negotiating for the rights to Asimov's story "The Last Question" and "The Discarded" by Harlan Ellison.

"Masters of Horror," which premiered last fall on Showtime, featured mini-movies by John Carpenter, Mick Garris, Joe Dante, Dario Argento and John Landis. A second season is due in the fall.

#55
Dade

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GARRETT EYES NEW TV MARRIAGE:
Did you hear the one about Brad Garrett and the sitcom about a married couple living adjacent to a jaded and argumentative duo? The Everybody Loves Raymond alum, who at one time was eyeing a Robert-centered spin-off of the hit CBS comedy, now is in talks to join Fox's 'Til Death, a laffer about newlyweds (the groom is played by American Pie's Eddie Kaye Thomas) who move in next door to a long-married couple, of which Garrett would play half.

IN OTHER FALL PILOT NEWS...: Per the Hollywood Reporter, Madeleine Stowe has scored the lead in the Fox drama Southern Comfort, playing a woman who takes over her mobster husband's biz when he gets sent to prison.... Jonathan Silverman has joined the ABC comedy In Case of Emergency.... Christine Taylor has been cast in the ABC comedy 52 Fights.... Adam Baldwin is joining Taye Diggs in ABC's Day Break.... Regina King is in talks to join Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon and Kelli Williams in ABC's legal comedy Women in Law.... Tia Mowry has replaced Cynthia Addai-Robinson in CW's Girlfriends spin-off, The Game.... and speaking of the new network, CW has given its first pilot order to Runaway, a drama from Sex and the City creator Darren Star.

#56
mikede

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by Matt Webb Mitovich

SHOWTIME FOR THE BLUTHS?: Hmm, maybe the fat lady should shut her mouth and take a seat. The New York Post hears brand-new buzz that Showtime has not only picked up Fox's canceled Arrested Development but has ordered a full 26 episodes

#57
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FALL 2006: CASTING ABOUT:
Jesse Bradford (Happy Endings) will star in the ABC drama Twenty Questions, about a State Department newbie who uncovers a major conspiracy.... Should Crumbs crumble, Eddie McClintock will join Bruno Campos in NBC's comedy about brothers on opposite sides of the law.... Colm Meaney and Sarah Jones will appear in ABC's David James Elliott-fronted Sixty Minute Man.... Gerald McRaney will star in CBS' postapocalyptic drama Jericho.... Eddie Kaye Thomas has newcomer Kat Foster for a wife in Fox's 'Til Death.... Justina Machado and Scott Holroyd will helm the NBC comedy Alpha Mom.... and Michael Cassidy and Amber Heard will copilot CW's Kevin Williamson-penned drama Palm Springs.

TNT EYES P.I.: In other pilot news, TNT is developing a reality series that will follow an actual private eye conducting investigations. So if that shadowy figure you spy in the bushes outside the No-Tell Motel has a camera crew tailing him, you are, like, so totally busted on national TV, Mr. Adulterer.

HBO GETS COOK-ING: HBO has inked a long-term, multiproject deal with comedian Dane Cook — the first partnership of its kind for the cable outlet. Among the projects on the docket are a concert film, a scripted series and a special titled "I Hosted the Saturday Night Live Episode Featuring the Chronicles of Narnia Rap."

SHORT CUTS: Bonds on Bonds, a reality show chronicling Giants slugger Barry Bonds' pursuit of Hank Aaron's career home-run record, will debut April 4 on ESPN2.... The N will begin airing Summerland repeats on May 1 and start unspooling the entire Dawson's Creek library sometime this fall.... TiVo is considering handing out free DVRs in exchange for a slightly higher monthly fee, reports Jack Myers' MediaVillage.com.... The 43rd-annual publicists' awards handed out top kudos to the flacks for Walk the Line and TV's Lost in a Wednesday ceremony. (Ironically, I received no press release about this.)
............................................................

(Thank you Mikede, great job)

#58
Dade

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CBS RENEWS TED, FEDS AND GAL WHO SEES DEAD:
CBS announced on Monday that it has renewed 14 prime-time — shows to the tune of 13 hours of programming — including freshman series How I Met Your Mother, Criminal Minds and Ghost Whisperer. Also getting the nod for the 2006-2007 season are all three flavors of CSI, Without a Trace, Numbers, Cold Case, 60 Minutes, Two and a Half Men, NCIS and the reality contests Survivor and The Amazing Race. No Close to Home? Bastards!

FALL 2006: CASTING ABOUT: Per the Hollywood Reporter, Mena Suvari will play a girl sucked into a modern-day cult in CBS' Orpheus, while Blair Underwood has been tapped to star in another CBS drama, Company Town.... Mitch Rouse has landed the lead in the CBS comedy The Angriest Man in Suburbia.... Josh Meyers is That Guy in a Fox comedy.... Lori Loughlin has joined ABC's In Case of Emergency.... E-Ring's Kerr Smith is onboard for Fox's American Crime.... Rebecca Gayheart now is part of Fox's Vanished.... Patricia Wettig has been added to ABC's Brothers & Sisters family sudser.

#59
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NEWLY-WOOED:
Nick Lachey is in talks to star in She Said, He Said — not, as you may be thinking, a Newlyweds follow-up about his pending divorce from Jessica Simpson, but the new CW network's first comedy pilot. But yes, as you also may be thinking, it's a slow news day.

IN OTHER PILOT-CASTING NEWS...: Dennis Miller, Joe Mantegna and Lauren Tom have joined Bonnie Hunt's untitled ABC comedy about a divorcιe detective.... CBS has picked up You've Reached the Elliotts, Chris Elliott's semiautobiographical comedy about a man juggling a so-so showbiz career and his home life.... John Terry (Jack's dad on Lost) is the latest addition to ABC's Secrets of a Small Town.... Ashley Scott (who was so nasty to Jessica Alba in Into the Blue) has come aboard CBS' Jericho.... Richard Coyle (BBC's Coupling) will play Cryptic Man on CBS' superhero drama, Ultra.

BONDS STILL HAS JUICE: Bonds on Bonds, ESPN's reality show shadowing Giants slugger Barry Bonds — who is now smack-dab in the middle of an alleged steroids-use controversy — will go on as planned, debuting April 4. "ESPN remains squarely behind the series," a show producer tells the New York Post, adding, "While these allegations were never our focus, we will certainly address the issue in the series."

#60
Dade

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FALL 2006: CASTING ABOUT:
Kim Cattrall has been cast as the manager to Buffy alum Anthony Stewart Head's aging rock star in ABC's Elton John-produced comedy pilot, Him and Us.... Dylan McDermott has joined the ABC drama A House Divided.... Denise Richards is today's addition to ABC's Secrets of a Small Town.... Vanessa Ferlito (CSI: NY) has been cast on ABC's Drift, about a detective with insomnia.... Wendie Malick is mother of the bride in ABC's A Day in the Life, which chronicles a young couple's wedding day.... Annie Potts will play mom to Fox's Julie Reno, Bounty Hunter.... Lizzy Caplan (Related) has enrolled in CBS' The Class.

BUM DEAL FOR JOEY: NBC has picked up eight more installments of Deal or No Deal, which now will air Monday and Friday nights. Per Variety, the game show's additional airing relocates Most Outrageous Moments to Tuesdays at 9, effectively returning Joey to the shelf for at least the next few weeks, if not forever.




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