Category: Upfronts

Upfronts 2012: Britney Spears and Demi Lovato officially join 'X Factor'

Britney spears x factorIt's true, "The X Factor" fans. Britney and Demi are jumping on board.

Fox announced at its upfront presentation that Britney Spears and Demi Lovato are officially joining Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid on the judge's panel of the singing reality series.

The singers joined Cowell and Reid on stage in New York, and both said they were thrilled to join the series. “I'm ready to find the true star,” Spears said, while Lovato said she was "stoked."

Cowell tweeted a photo of himself with the judges, after the jump.

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Upfronts 2012: Watch previews of 4 NBC midseason series

'1600 Penn'

In addition to its fall lineup, NBC released trailers from its mid-season shows on Monday as well. Among the projects waiting in the wings are the White House comedy "1600 Penn" (giving us a chance to see Bill Pullman back in a presidential role for the first time since "Independence Day" in 1996), the Dane Cook talk-radio comedy "Next Caller," the Jekyll-and-Hyde doctor drama "Do No Harm" and the Anne Heche housewife-as-prophet comedy "Save Me."

"Book of Mormon" star Josh Gad appears in and is one of the executive producers of "1600 Penn," which puts a typical wacky American family in the White House. Like NBC's previous White House hit, "The West Wing," this series boasts some insider knowledge — former presidential speechwriter Jon Lovett is also a producer.

Jenna Elfman plays the first lady in the series, which also stars Marth MacIsaac, Andre Holland and Amara Miller.

Dane Cook's series, "Next Caller," is the first series to be set in the world of satellite radio (as opposed to traditional broadcast radio), but the sexual dynamics are as old as the hills. Cook plays the nasty host of "Booty Calls," and his new partner is the perky NPR-trained feminist Stella (Collette Wolfe), who won't let Cook's character get away with business as usual.

Jeffrey Tambor and Jay Osmanski also star in this series created by former "Weeds" producer Stephen Falk.

In "Do No Harm," Steven Pasquale stars as a brilliant neurosurgeon who has a bit of a brain defect himself — he's got an evil alter-ego. And that evil alter-ego is starting to reassert itself after years of dormancy.

Former "Desperate Housewives" writer David Schulner created the drama series, which also stars Alana De La Garza, Mousa Kraish, Michael Esper, Ruta Gedmintas and Phylicia Rashad.

Anne Heche plays a Midwestern housewife who survives choking on a sandwich and believes that she now has a direct line to God in "Save Me," the comedy series from novelist John Scott Shepherd. Michael Landes plays her skeptical husband and Alexandra Breckinridge plays the "other woman" in their marriage.


Upfronts 2012: NBC aims to look beyond music

Upfronts 2012: Watch previews of NBC's 'Go On', 'Animal Practice'

Upfronts 2012: Watch previews of NBC's 'New Normal,' 'Guys With Kids'

— Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: The cast of "1600 Penn." Credit: NBC.

Upfronts 2012: Watch previews of NBC's 'New Normal,' 'Guys With Kids'

Dads are the focus of two new comedies on NBC this fall, announced at the 2012 upfronts: "The New Normal" and "Guys With Kids" NBC is doubling down on the dads in the fall. In addition to the renewed "Up All Night," with stay-at-home dad Will Arnett, there are new comedies "The New Normal" and "Guys With Kids."

"Glee" and "American Horror Story" creator Ryan Murphy is behind "The New Normal," one of NBC's most anticipated new comedies.  The director-screenwriter co-created the series with "Glee" co-executive producer Ali Adler.

The series stars Justin Bartha and Andrew Rannells as a gay couple looking to start a family; Georgia Kind plays the surrogate mother they recruit to help them.

Ellen Barkin also stars. The series is scheduled to air Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m.

Charlie Grandy, former writer for "The Office," "Saturday Night Live" and "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" is behind "Guys With Kids." A traditional multi-camera sitcom starring Anthony Anderson, Jesse Bradford and Zach Cregger, it looks at three thirtysomething guys who have babies but aren't quite adults themselves.

Sara Rue, Tempestt Bledsoe and Jamie-Lynn Sigler play the (presumably) more mature women.

Jimmy Fallon is an executive producer on this series, which is to air Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m.


Upfronts 2012: The end is near for "30 Rock"

Fall TV: NBC to get four nights of comedy plus "The Voice"

Upfronts 2012: Watch previews of "Revolution" and "Chicago Fire"

-- Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Cast of "The New Normal." Credit: NBC

Upfronts 2012: Watch previews of NBC's 'Go On', 'Animal Practice'

Matthew Perry in "Go On"

"Friends" alum Matthew Perry is looking for another hit on NBC with "Go On," his latest series attempt after the early deaths of his previous series "Mr. Sunshine" and "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip."

This time, Perry is playing a sportscaster who joins a support group after suffering a grave personal loss and quickly becomes involved with all the colorful personalities there.

The series was created by writer Scott Silveri, who previously wrote for "Friends." TV comedy director Todd Holland ("Malcolm in the Middle") directed the pilot. It also stars Julie White, Laura Benanti, Suzy Nakamura, Allison Miller, Khary Payton and Tyler James Williams.

VIDEO: Watch 2012 TV previews

"Go On" airs Tuesday at 9 p.m.

Animals doing cute things seems to be the name of the game in "Animal Practice," another NBC comedy starring "Weeds'" Justin Kirk as a wacky doctor in an animal hospital.

Tyler Labine, formerly of "Reaper" and "Sons of Tucson," also stars along with Bobby Lee, Kym Whitley and Betsy Sodaro.

"Animal Practice" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m.


Fall TV: NBC to get four nights of comedy plus 'The Voice'

Fall TV: Fox unveils 2012-13 schedule; 'Glee' moves to Thursdays

'Smash's' Christian Borle: Expect show to be 'rebooted' in Season 2

-- Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Matthew Perry in "Go On." Credit: NBC

Upfronts 2012: NBC giving thanks for Patriots-Jets

Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets

With the NFL games consistently drawing big audiences, NBC is riding the pigskin for all it's worth.

The network will air 19 games this season, one more than in recent years. The extra contest will come on Thanksgiving, when the Jets and Patriots will square off in prime time. The Turkey Day game for the last six years has aired on the NFL Network.

At its upfront presentation in New York on Monday, the network promoted Sunday night match-ups such as the Lions and Packers and Steelers and Broncos and said that each of the 12 teams that made the playoffs last year will have at least one Sunday night appearance.

VIDEO: Watch 2012 TV previews

The NFL season kicks off on NBC with the Cowboys and Giants on Wednesday, Sept. 5. The unusual midweek slot comes as a result of the Democratic National Convention, whose linchpin speech from President Obama is set for Thursday, Sept. 6.

The network touted its Sunday night telecast and its "Football Night in America," with the games surpassing "American Idol" in overall viewers as well as in the 18-49 demographic this year for the first time.

"In six years, the NFL and NBC have carved out a whole new American tradition," said NBC Sports chief Mark Lazarus.


Fall TV: Fox unveils new lineup 

TV networks seek younger viewers

Fall TV: NBC's comedy-heavy lineup

-- Steven Zeitchik

Photo: Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets. Credit: NBC/Paul Drinkwater


Upfronts 2012: NBC aims to look beyond music

Katharine McPhee, left, and Megan Hilty perform at NBC's upfront.

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.

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Upfronts 2012: The end is near for '30 Rock'

Tina fey
NBC confirmed Monday that "30 Rock" would end its seven-season run this season with a final 13 episodes.

Speaking Monday at his network's upfront presentation, held once again at Radio City Music Hall, NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt called the multiple Emmy-winning show "synonymous with wit and originality" and said it would conclude with an hour-long series finale. He later told Show Tracker that he thought the series would be "charged up" as it went into its home stretch.

"30 Rock" returned this year in January, its debut delayed by creator and star Tina Fey's pregnancy.

VIDEO: Watch 2012 TV previews

It led off NBC's prime-time slot for the first time, airing at the top of the network's Thursday comedy block at 8 pm. It will reprise that slot next year.

NBC will follow "30 Rock" with "Up All Night" with mainstays "The Office" and "Parks and Recreation" rounding out its Thursday comedies.

Despite the exit of another "Office" cast member (Mindy Kaling, who leaves for a new sitcom on Fox) Greenblatt said the workplace show "still [has] creative juice," noting "explosive story twists" in the coming season.


Fall TV: Fox unveils new lineup 

Fall TV: NBC's comedy heavy lineup

TV Networks seek younger viewers

— Steven Zeitchik

Photo: Tina Fey as Liz Lemon in "30 Rock." Photo credit: Ali Goldstein / NBC

Upfronts 2012: Watch previews of 'Revolution' and 'Chicago Fire'

Upfronts 2012: 'Revolution' on NBCNBC presented its new shows on Monday at its upfront presentation, and perhaps the largest scaled project is "Revolution," written by "Supernatural's" Eric Kripke with Jon Favreau directing the pilot. But based on the trailer, this project has producer J.J. Abrams' fingerprints all over it.

Set in a world 15 years after all forms of power have ceased to work, survivors battle each other over all the things survivors in post-apocalyptic worlds usually battle each other over. Adding to the anxiety factor is the casting of "Breaking Bad" baddie Giancarlo Esposito (formerly known as "Gus" Fring) as the series villain.

But back to the Abrams influence. It's all right there in the trailer: the crashing airplane, the early '80s computer interface (remember the numbers in "Lost?") and the unexplained events occurring in the background (just why exactly did power go out? First season finale, perhaps?)

VIDEO: Watch 2012 TV previews

Billy Burke (from the "Twilight" series) gets to show off his prowess with a katana blade and Australian actresss Anna Lise Phillips looks very "Hunger Games" with her crossbow action. Archery enthusiasts should have a lot to cheer about with this one.

"Revolution" will air Mondays at 10 p.m.

"Law & Order" chief Dick Wolf is conjuring the spirit of Ron Howard's firefighter drama "Backdraft" with his new series, "Chicago Fire," which promises all the fires, feuds and fornicating of the best evening soaps.

The men and women of a Chicago firehouse are picking up the pieces following the death of one of their own and it seems two of the firehouse's members are now nearly at each other's throats. Meanwhile, there's the new guy in the house trying to figure things out. Of course, there are lots of shirtless firefighter guys (at least one of whom will no doubt make it on People magazine's most sexy list next year, just you wait).

Amazingly, even Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel seems to have a cameo in the show.

Charlie Barnett, Merle Dandridge, David Eigenberg, Lauren German, Teri Kinney, Jesse Spencer and Eamonn Walker star. The show will air Wednesdays at 10 p.m.


Fall TV: NBC says buh-bye to 'very old' 'Harry's Law' viewers

Fall TV: NBC's `Rock Center' news magazine survives low ratings

Fall TV: A 'Community' without its creator Dan Harmon? Just maybe

-- Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: The cast of "Revolution." Credit: NBC.

Fall TV: Fox looks to laughs to boost ratings

Mindy Kaling is coming to Fox
NEW YORK -- Coming off a television season that featured a few high-profile flops, such as the expensive dinosaur drama "Terra Nova" and the time-traveling crime show "Alcatraz," as well as somewhat disappointing ratings for its musical talent show "The X Factor," Fox is betting on more traditional programming for the new season.

Fox saw its prime-time audience drop 8% to 8.9 million viewers, according to Nielsen. While it is still No. 1 in the coveted 18-49 demographic, its ratings there were off by 9%.

The network on Monday unveiled a lineup to advertisers for the 2012-13 season that includes three new comedies and two new dramas as well as an overhaul of its Saturday night schedule. Also, the musical comedy "Glee" is being uprooted from its Tuesday home and moved to Thursdays. While "Glee" is still one of Fox's strongest shows, its ratings have sagged somewhat this season.

VIDEO: Watch 2012 TV previews

Getting a makeover is the musical talent show "The X Factor." While the show had solid ratings with an audience of more than 12 million viewers, given the hype about it from both Fox and its lead judge Simon Cowell, its numbers were viewed by the industry as a letdown. The network tossed out some of the judges, including Paula Abdul, and speculation is rampant that pop singer Britney Spears and teen star Demi Lovato will be joining Cowell and record executive L.A. Reid.

"We think the mix can be more entertaining and more exciting," said Peter Rice, the chairman of entertainment for the Fox Networks Group. "The X Factor" will face increased competition come September from "The Voice," which NBC is putting on in the fall for the first time. Rice said he thought the showdown would be good publicity for both shows. "We think it's going to be a big spotlight in the fall."

Also coming in for repairs will be "American Idol." While the godfather of singing shows is still formidable, its ratings took a tumble this year that caught the network off-guard. Last season, "American Idol" averaged over 24 million viewers per episode, while this season its audience has fallen to about 19 million.

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Britney Spears and Demi Lovato poised to join 'X Factor'

It looks like Britney Spears Demi Lovato are on their way to the judges panel on Fox's "The X Factor"
After weeks of speculation, it looks like Britney Spears and Demi Lovato are on their way to the judges panel on Fox's "The X Factor."

Spears has been a rumored front-runner to join the series since news broke back in March that she was in negotiations for the gig. Lovato's name has been swirling around since earlier this month.

Fox executives wouldn't comment on the speculation in a conference call with reporters Monday morning (they also didn't exactly deny it), but the network is expected to make it official during its upfront presentation to advertisers Monday afternoon.

Many candidates were reportedly discussed as possible replacements for Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul, including Miley Cyrus, Fergie, Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey. Scherzinger and Abdul were victims of the major overhaul after the singing competition's first season.

If Spears does join Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid on the judges panel, it would pit her against fellow "Mickey Mouse Club" alum Christina Aguilera, who is a judge/mentor on "The Voice."


Fox renews "Touch," cancels "The Finder," "Alcatraz"

Fall TV: Fox unveils 2012-13 schedule; "Glee" moves to Thursdays

-- Yvonne Villarreal

Photo: Britney Spears in Beverly Hills in February. Credit: Getty Images

Fall TV: Fox unveils 2012-13 schedule; 'Glee' moves to Thursdays

Glee moves to Thursdays
Fox added three new comedies and two dramas to its slate for the 2012-13 season--including "The Office" alum Mindy Kaling's new laffer and the Kevin Bacon-led thriller "The Following"--and in the process moves "Glee" and "Touch" to new nights. So where will they land?

"The Mindy Project," which stars Kaling as an OBGYN, will help beef up the network's Tuesday comedy block along with new ensemble comedy "Ben and Kate."  The duo will join "New Girl" and "Raising Hope," which means "Glee" is moving to Thursday nights--creating a musical block, with "The X Factor" as its lead-in.

And the Kiefer Sutherland-helmed drama "Touch" makes the move from Thursdays to Fridays, serving as a lead-in to fellow sci-fi drama "Fringe." Will the series find the magic numbers in its new slot or will its ratings continue to decline? The show averaged 8.37 million its first season, with a 2.49 in the 18-49 demo. It'll find itself up against NBC comedies "Community" and "Whitney."

Meanwhile, new series "The Mob Doctor" inherits the medical drama space once occupied by "House" on Mondays. 

For those looking to lessen their degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon, you'll have to wait until midseason, when "The Following," from "The Vampire Diaries" executive producer Kevin Williamson makes its debut; Bacon stars as a former FBI detective on the hunt for a serial killer and his posse of followers. Also, making its debut midseason is the new comedy "The Goodwin Games," which centers on three siblings poised to inherit a large fortune--if they pass a series of unique challenges.

Here's a look at Fox's 2012-2013 primetime schedule.

(All Times ET/PT)

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Fall TV: NBC says buh-bye to 'very old' 'Harry's Law' viewers

Kathy Bates in "Harry's Law"
NBC has a message for "Harry's Law" fans: Well, we tried, but you folks are just too dang old for advertisers.

The network made it official Sunday and axed "Harry's Law," the drama starring Kathy Bates as a criminal lawyer entering the final act of her career. The executive producer is David E. Kelley, responsible for past hits such as "Ally McBeal" and "Boston Legal."

On paper, the cancellation looked a bit surprising, because "Harry's Law" is NBC's second most-watched drama behind "Smash." "Harry's Law" averaged 8.8 million total viewers this season, compared with 9 million for "Smash," according to Nielsen. And it drew more viewers than "Law & Order: SVU" (7.6 million), which just got renewed for next fall.

The problem? Those "Harry's Law" viewers are older than Madison Avenue wants. The show ranked very low among viewers ages 18 to 49, the demographic most advertisers care about. In fact, its young-adult numbers were beneath those for "Prime Suspect," a cop show that NBC canceled earlier this season, and roughly on par with those of "Off Their Rockers," the Betty White show about senior citizens pulling pranks on younger people. 

"It was a difficult decision," an NBC executive said Sunday, quoted by the site "Everyone here respects 'Harry's Law' a lot but we were finding it hard to grow the audience for it. Its audience skewed very old and it is hard to monetize that." 

What do you think of the "Harry's Law" axing?


'Harry's Law' to face tough fight for renewal

NBC to get four nights of comedy in fall lineup

CBS orders Sherlock Homes update "Elementary"

--Scott Collins

Photo: Kathy Bates in "Harry's Law," which was canceled by NBC. Credit: Jordin Althaus / NBC



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