NEW YORK -- NBC is not going to turn into one big musical.
The troubled network relaunched its hit “The Voice” this year after the Super Bowl. That helped bring in big numbers for the show’s early episodes and made it a nice lead-in for the network’s heavily hyped midseason musical drama “Smash” — which, though by no means a ratings powerhouse, pulls in solid numbers.
So it makes sense that music from both shows was rampant at NBC’s upfront presentation to advertisers held at Radio City Music Hall on Monday.
“Smash” stars Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty performed the ballad “Let Me Be Your Star,” before being joined onstage by “The Voice” judge s— Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera — in their signature red revolving chairs (which will get more air time when the series returns in the fall).
Advertisers were even shown a clip, introduced onscreen by “30 Rock’s” Tina Fey and late night host Jimmy Fallon — imagining what the upcoming season might look like if it went through the “Smash” machine: with a montage showcasing actors from “Parks and Recreation,” “The Office,” “Law & Order: SVU” and even “Grimm,” belting out mid-scene.
Then there was a performance by “The Voice” winner Jermaine Paul. And yet another performance by Katherine McPhee.
But there’s no need to break out the headphones.
“I’m not hijacking the network and turning it into a musical,” Greenblatt assured.
This may be cause for a round of (non-laced) cupcakes: Ryan Murphy says Jessica Lange will be returning for the second season of "American Horror Story."
We're guessing all those trophy wins -- Golden Globe and SAG awards -- Lange nabbed for her roll as meddling neighbor Constance helped seal the deal for both parties? The "Glee" and "American Horror Story" creator appeared Monday night on Andy Cohen's Bravo late-night gabfest "Watch What Happens Live." And the rest had us clutching our pearls.
"You are recasting American Horror Story for next season. Will Jessica Lange make an appearance?" Cohen asked.
Maybe the alcohol made Murphy more revealing -- both in his answer and his attire (hardly a button was buttoned on his shirt). In response to Cohen, Murphy answered: "Yes."
Murphy has been vocal about his unusual plans for the show: with the setting, the haunting, and cast of characters changing each season. (Should familiar faces -- like Lange -- return, they'd play different roles.)
But don't get too excited. A spokesperson for 20th Century Fox, which produces the show, said no deal has been made yet.
Lange, thus far, has been coy about returning to the horror series.
“Homeland” won the Golden Globe award for best television series — drama. It beat out “Game of Thrones,” “Boss,” “American Horror Story” and “Boardwalk Empire” for the award.
The series finished its first season on Showtime in December. Based on an Israeli drama, “Homeland” features Claire Danes as a CIA agent convinced that an American Marine (played by Damian Lewis) returning after years as a POW in Iraq is a terrorist. It was produced by Showtime Presents, Teakwood Lane Productions, Cherry Pie Productions, Keshet and Fox 21. This is the series’ first Golden Globe nomination and win.
The Golden Globes are being held at the Beverly Hilton and are being televised on NBC. We'll carry all the breaking TV news and reaction here on Show Tracker.
As the 2011 TV season tips into 2012, cable shows such as “Homeland” and “American Horror Story” have aired their explosive climaxes, while network newbies that survived the fall are just about halfway through their premiere seasons. Here’s a look at six series that showed early promise and how they’re living up to expectations.
“New Girl” | Fox
The premise: Jess (Zooey Deschanel), an attractive but socially awkward woman in her mid-20s, moves in with three single guys after she splits with a philandering tool of a boyfriend.
The vibe: Hipster comedy that avoids coming off as hipper-than-thou.
References: “That Girl,” “Three’s Company,” “Friends,” “(500) Days of Summer”
Sample line: “Pink wine makes me slutty.” — Jess, having a night out with the guys to lift her spirits
Casting call-out: Cece (Hannah Simone), Jess’ best friend, exudes Grrrrl Power in the man cave Jess now calls home.
Performance/prospects: Averaging 8.2 million viewers per episode, “New Girl” will be back for a second season. The big question is will “New Girl” start feeling old?
“Up All Night” | NBC
The premise: Yuppie power couple Chris (Will Arnett) and Reagan Brinkley (Christina Applegate) trade Jell-O shots and last calls for baby formula and middle-of-the-night feedings when newborn Amy comes along.
The vibe: Modern love and marriage. And baby makes comic relief.
Referencing: “Mad About You,” “Mr. Mom,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show”
Sample line: “He just doesn’t understand. I just had a baby. I mean underneath this, I have a girdle and two pairs of Spanx on.” — Reagan to Ava, after accepting her well-meaning friend’s gift of a red thong
Casting call-out: Maya Rudolph in Oprah mode as Reagan’s friend/boss Ava, who seems to spend as much time at the Brinkleys’ house as she does at the television studio.
Performance/prospects: With what might be described as “tweener” ratings (averaging 5.75 million viewers per episode), the series was picked up for a full season in October. Whether this baby makes it to Season 2 … stay tuned.
“Homeland” | Showtime
The premise: Having gone missing for eight years in Iraq, Marine Sgt. Nicholas Brody (Damien Lewis) is rescued and returned to the U.S., where CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) suspects he has been “turned” by the enemy and tracks his every move. An overwhelming sense of paranoia and claustrophobia ensues.
The vibe: “Big Brother” meets “Nurse Jackie,” only Nurse Jackie is a pill-popping CIA agent with bipolar disorder.
References: “24,” life in these United States since 9/11
Sample line: “He’s lying!” — Agent Carrie, after Sgt. Brody aces a polygraph test in which he was asked if he had ever cheated on his wife. And she would know.
Casting call-out: Brody’s best friend and fellow Marine, Mike Faber (Diego Klattenhoff), who stood in as the man of the house while his buddy was in captivity — in more ways than one.
Performance/prospects: With its growing audience and critical acclaim, get ready for another season of white-knuckled viewing in 2012.
“Once Upon a Time” | ABC
The premise: Fairy tale characters, including Snow White (Ginnifer Godwin) and the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla), are cast out of their idyll to the fictitious small town of Storybrooke, Maine, where they lose their memories and their supernatural mojo.
The vibe: Complicated storytelling and nostalgia for simpler times.
References: “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color,” “Twin Peaks”
Sample line: “Where are we going?” “Somewhere horrible, absolutely horrible.” — an exchange between Snow White and the Evil Queen, just before the denizens of the world of make-believe are transported to contemporary America
Casting call-out: Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison), long-lost biological daughter of Prince Charming and Snow White, who leaves home and moves to Storybrooke at the urging of a mysterious, precocious boy named Henry Mills (Jared Gilmore).
Performance/prospects: With viewers numbering in the 10 million range, it looks like lightning should strike twice for “Once” and fans can expect a second season.
“American Horror Story” | FX
The premise: Cheating husband Ben Harmon (Dylan McDermott) uproots his wife, Vivien (Connie Britton), and daughter, Violet (Taissa Farmiga), from Boston to live in L.A., where they move into a haunted house that they bought for a song. Suspended disbelief (especially on the great real estate deal part) ensues.
The vibe: Tennessee Williams throws a shower for “Rosemary’s Baby.”
Sample line: "Is everybody crazy?” — Ben to Vivien, after a drop-in from a poisonous cupcake-bearing neighbor (see below)
Casting call-out: Neighbor Constance, played to the hilt by Jessica Lange channeling Blanche DuBois.
Performance/prospects: Nearly 3 million viewers per week have bought in to the ghosts and goblins that populate the series, and its fans are rabid. FX is hoping it scares up more of them come fall.
“2 Broke Girls” | CBS
The premise: Working girl Max (Kat Dennings) and newly destitute heiress Caroline (Beth Behrs) forge a friendship and dream of starting a cupcake business while working in a Brooklyn diner. Oh, and they share a tiny apartment with Caroline’s horse, Chestnut.
The vibe: “Two and a Half Broke Girls.” Bawdy and naughty.
References: “Alice,” “The Simple Life”
Sample line: “I forgot you’re Equestrian Barbie. You came with a horse.” — Max to Caroline, after Chestnut pokes his head through the back door of Max’s apartment
Casting call-out: ”Saturday Night Live” original cast member Garrett Morris dispenses free advice as the diner’s cashier, Earl.
Performance/prospects: A huge hit for CBS in terms of viewers and the ages 18-to-49 target demographic. The girls will be back for another season of sass while they scrimp and save for that cupcake start-up.
If you watched Wednesday's first-season finale of "American Horror Story," which the network said brought in 3.22 million viewers, you're probably wondering what's in store for Season 2 — especially considering how things ended for the Harmon family and their supporting characters.
Well, stop thinking of the possibilities. It'll all start fresh.
"Next year on the show — every season of the show — will be a different haunting," series creator and executive producer Ryan Murphy said, speaking to press Thursday about the finale. It will also bring a different home (or building) to haunt. A new set of characters, too. And, just as the debut demonstrated, each subsequent season will have a beginning, middle and end.
But if you've grown particularly attached to Constance's Southern charm or Dylan McDermott's bare body parts, there is a small glimmer of hope.
"Some of them will come back," Murphy said. "I'm in talks with several of them. There will be familiar faces ... but they will be playing completely different characters and creatures and monsters." While Murphy wouldn't reveal who might be returning, he said more details on the cast and storyline are likely to come in February.
He went on to add the idea of an "anthology" show was the scheme from the beginning: "It's an interesting way to tell a horror show," he said.
As for the true crime aspect of the show, it's not going anywhere, Murphy assured.
"I'm really interested in serial killing stories or true crime stories or prison stories, so that's the thing," he said. One creature you're not likely to see, though, is quite popular these days.
"I wouldn't do a season about vampires," Murphy said. "But everything else is fair game. What we're planning now is very different from the California house approach."
How things came to a close for that California house and its inhabitants in the finale has drawn polarizing reactions. And Murphy, who waxed briefly on what he views as the recent fascination with finales, isn't too worried that he's alienated viewers by doing away with characters they've journeyed with for a season.
"I didn't think about that," he said. "I love those characters, and I sort of mourned them. I will miss them. But I think as you see in the second season, some of them will be returning. Aspects of the show, mysteries and love stories will all be there in the second season, albeit with new actors and characters."
But, hey, for sanity's sake: Why didn't Vivian (Connie Britton), after all her talk about wanting Ben (Dylan McDermott) to leave the house and make a life with the baby, not save/warn him before his hanging? Was it simply a matter of not being able to appear in time?
"I don't know," Murphy said. "There are no rules in the ghost world. I think she was probably in the bathroom curling her hair."
What does Cory Monteith make of reports that he's been battling Ryan Murphy behind the scenes of Fox's "Glee"?
"This is gossip," Monteith said Monday night to reporters at a Fox party. "I think people try to make a big deal of things. I think people make something out of nothing."
According to the N.Y. Post, since the show went back in production last month, Monteith and Murphy, the show's creator, have been clashing over the casts' work schedule and royalties from their tours and albums. The good-natured Monteith, who plays nice guy (and heartthrob quarterback) Finn on the popular Fox show, would seem an unlikely ringleader for the cast.
At Monday's party, Monteith downplayed any kerfuffle, instead maintaining that working for Murphy is "awesome. It's always been awesome.... I feel fortunate."
Cast mate Chris Colfer, who also attended the bash, later insisted to ShowTracker that there's no trouble on set.
"It's not true. You know, when Season 1 came about, we were very fortunate the way the press took us in. Season 2 rolled around and it's the exact opposite. There's not a riff between anyone."
Ah, so much drama for this "Glee" club that hopes that the new season starts out on the right note. But will it end that way?
Ryan Murphy has a reputation of giving mixed signals about just who will be returning to his series (see: “Glee”). So when Murphy, who appeared Saturday to promote his new FX series “American Horror Story” at the Television Critics Assn. media tour, was asked whether it was still the plan to rotate the characters of his new show after 13 episodes (which was part of the early report about the series), he chose his words a little more carefully.
“It’s not necessarily true that this cast is doing it for one year,” he said. “We’re keeping it open.”
One thing that is necessarily true: The producers do know what the the last episode of the psychological thriller will be about. “It’s very unexpected and exciting for me,” he said.
“American Horror Story,” from Murphy and Brad Falchuk, who in addition to having created "Glee" were the masterminds behind "Nip/Tuck," centers on a married couple, played by Connie Britton (“Friday Night Lights”) and Dylan McDermott (“The Practice”). The spouses, in an effort to cope with infideility and a miscarriage, move their family cross-country to rebuild their relationship. But they find their new home brings with it other problems, eerie ones: like Constance, a disturbing nosey neighbor played by Jessica Lange, who waltzes in the home without warning, a maid who takes on different incarnations, and a frightening creature in the basement.
They’re the kind of occurrences that might cause a family to vacate immediately, but they don’t. And the horror genre trope of why they stay will get an answered in the first couple of episodes.
“That was the most important thing that we worked on,” Murphy said. “We will explain why they are still there.”
It may seem like "Glee" has been Ryan Murphy's real life "American Horror Story," with the recent will-they-won't-they return question that plagued cast members of the hit Fox series, but on Tuesday, "American Horror Story" was actually just the name of Murphy's newest TV venture.
FX gave TV critics a first look at its new series "American Horror Story," from Murphy and fellow "Glee" czar Brad Falchuck.
The series centers on a husband and wife, played by Dylan McDermott ("The Practice") and Connie Britton ("Friday Night Lights") who move across the country in an attempt to rebuild their family after an affair and miscarriage tests its limits. But as the title suggests, a bit of horror--which comes via their new home--disrupts their efforts.
Murphy, Falchuck (both also the masterminds behind FX's "Nip/Tuck") and Britton were on hand to introduce the screening. When discussing the new series, Murphy compared it to his past projects, saying "Nip/Tuck" was about transformation, "Glee" was about underachievers and "American Horror Story" is a portrait of a marriage coping with infidelity.
You think you know all about "Glee," but you have no idea. And neither do the show's producers -- well, they do, but they like confusing us.
At the "Glee" panel held Sunday in Hall H at Comic-Con International, some things got murkier when co-creator and executive producer Brad Falchuk's attempted to clear things up. Remember all those reports in which Ryan Murphy was quoted as saying stars Chris Colfer, Lea Michele and Cory Monteith would be graduating this season and not returning for the show's fourth? And remember Chris Colfer commenting on it as well? Well, Falchuck is saying the exodus isn't so.
"Just because they're graduating, doesn't mean they are leaving the show," he said. "It is not our intention to let them go ... they are not done with the show."
Later, Falchuk said the executive producers had explored the option of a spin-off with with Kurt (Colfer) and Rachel (Michele) but are "leaning against doing it."
FX announced Monday that it had picked up Ryan Murphy's "American Horror Story" for a a 13-episode order. Perhaps Chris Colfer, Lea Michele and Cory Monteith could have an afterlife on the new drama?
Co-created by former “Nip/Tuck” executive producers and current “Glee” overlords Murphy and Brad Falchuk, the series begins production in Los Angeles this month and will premiere on FX in October.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Ryan and Brad back to their original home,” John Landgraf, the network’s president and general ganager, said in a statement. “They have shown an uncanny ability to bring original series to the air unlike any that have come before, and to reconcile ‘wildly entertaining’ with the ‘creatively ambitious.’ "
The series, about a family that moves across the country to deal with past issues, features a cast that includes Dylan McDermott (“The Practice”), Connie Britton (“Friday Night Lights”) and Jessica Lange. The show follows a husband and wife (McDermott and Britton) trying to rebuild their family after a few setbacks -- a miscarriage and an affair -- and a change of scenery. Only problem: Their new house is haunted.
“Brad and I are excited to be back at FX where we enjoyed such a terrific relationship working with John Landgraf and his team through 100 episodes of 'Nip/Tuck',” Murphy said in a statement. “Our cast is extraordinary and we can’t wait to get started on production.”
“Hello! I’ve been saying that for a year!”— that’s Ryan Murphy’s response to everyone going Internet crazy about his interview Monday on Ryan Seacrest's radio show in which the “Glee” creator said that some of the characters would be moving on from their New Direction days in keeping with the natural progression of their characters.
“A year ago, I said I think the best thing you can do on a show like this is not have eight-year seniors,” Murphy told ShowTracker. “Nobody wants to see a high school senior with a bald spot. We want to stay true to what ‘Glee’ is about, which is finding your voice and your place in the world; to stretch that out for eight seasons — though that might be lucrative for us — I don’t think would be fair to the fans. They expect growth in those characters.”
“It’s certainly sad in many ways, but it’s also exciting,” Murphy added. “Last year we brought in two new people, Chord Overstreet and Darren Criss, both of whom have gone on to do great things to the show. It was a test for me: Will audiences embrace new people? I think if the stories and the songs are good, they absolutely will."
Besides graduation, how does Murphy plan to have the characters make their exit? Perhaps Rachel Berry [Lea Michele] can audition for a spot on “American Idol” or “The Voice”?
“I think Rachel Berry should go on and get the lead in the new 'Funny Girl' show that’s being cast,” Murphy joked. “Let’s take her to Broadway! But, no, I'm not thinking about goodbyes. I’m thinking about hellos. We’re writing the first 10 scripts so we’re not there yet.”
A screamapalooza -- under the guise of the “Glee” panel -- took place as part of PaleyFest on Wednesday night at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. Better put in your earplugs. The shrieks are still reverberating.
It was a Gleek dream come true as the cast and crew of the hit Fox show -- sans Lea Michele, who was busy filming with Ashton Kutcher on the set of “New Year’s Eve” -- appeared before their kingdom of devotees to discuss the show.
In our unscientific study of “What Makes a Gleek Scream,” we discovered just about anything can cause a high-pitched cry. Among them:
-- Simply mentioning to them that they’re about to rewatch Tuesday’s episode, "Original Song." Shriek.
-- The epic kiss between Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Blaine (Darren Criss). SHRIEK. SHRIEK. SHRIEK. SHRIEK. SHRIEK. SHRIEK!
-- Learning that Vocal Adrenaline and Charice will be returning. Shrieeeek.