Category: Yvonne Villarreal

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."

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

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

-- Yvonne Villarreal
twitter.com/villarrealy

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)

Continue reading »

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

Dan Harmon with the cast of "Community"
Human beings: Imagine the Greendale Community College universe without its overlord Dan Harmon running the mothership ... because it's a real possibility.

The good news about the return of "Community" got sullied pretty quickly. For those already up in arms about "Community's" move from Thursdays to Fridays, you might be keeping those arms up. There's been speculation that its creator, Harmon, would step down as showrunner for the NBC comedy. And NBC President Robert Greenblatt did little to deny that was a real possibility.

"Those conversations are happening as we speak," Greenblatt said during a conference call Sunday with reporters.  "I guess what I would say is ... I expect Dan's voice to be part of the show somehow. I'm just not sure exactly if that means him running it day to day or consulting on it."

Could Harmon's war of words with show co-star Chevy Chase be the reason? Much has been made of the spar between the veteran actor and Harmon, which resulted after some hostile voice messages were leaked. Greenblatt tip-toed around the issue in his denial.

"I don't think so," he said. "I know that was blown up into something. I don't really think we have determined him running the show or not based on one of the actors. I think it's a larger issue that has to do with a lot of things."

Harmon, for his part, said Thursday on Twitter that should he step down, it would not be because of Chase -- who he described in more colorful terms.

"That'd be like punching a wall because water's wet. Now CELEBRATE!" he added. Harmon wasn't immediately available for comment Sunday.

It won't be the show's only reshuffling. Harmon's co-showrunners, Garrett Donovan and Neil Goldman, are leaving the show to develop and supervise new projects for 20th Century Fox TV.

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NBC adds two more comedies: "1600 Penn," "Animal Practice"

 

--Yvonne Villarreal

twitter.com/villarrealy

Photo: Dan Harmon, left, with Chevy Chase and the cast of "Community." Credit: Getty Images

ABC cancels 'GCB,' adds more series to lineup

ABC cancels 'GCB'
All the prayers in the world can't help "GCB" right now. ABC has canceled the freshman series, along with "The River" and "Missing."

It seemed destined to take over the void that was to be left when "Desperate Housewives" ended its run. But the coyly titled soap was a middle-of-the road performer, averaging less than 6 million viewers and a 1.93 in the 18-49 demo in its Sunday slot -- and must now pack its bags. Though the network hasn't officially said it has axed the series, tweets from its stars suggest it has.

"To all u #GCB fans & Amanda lovers, thx 4 the <3," said Leslie Bibb, who plays Amanda. "Appreciate it & just wait, we'll get 2 go on a new fun ride somewhere else! #lifeisperfect"

Costar Kristin Chenoweth apparently got wind of the cancellation pre-concert: "Onstage. Sound check. Bad timing abc. San Fran will get a great show tho!"

Other newbies didn't fare so well, either: "The River" and the midseason drama "Missing" are out. Reports are out that "Pan Am" has also been scrapped, but a source close to production said the network hadn't yet canceled it.

But ABC is quickly filling its newly emptied slots, announcing a heap of pickups Friday. The latest to join the bunch: "The Neighbors," which boasts Dan Fogelman ("Crazy Stupid Love") as an executive producer, is a comedy about a family who moves into an upscale New Jersey community only to discover all their neighbors are aliens; "How To Live With Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life" is a comedy starring Sarah Chalke ("Scrubs") as a divorcee who moves back in with her parents. “Malibu Country,” written by and starring the country music star Reba McEntire, centers on a woman who moves her children away from her cheating husband in Nashville and seeks to revive her singing career in Malibu.

On the drama front, the network is also picking up Shawn Ryan's "Last Resort," which takes place in the near future and follows the crew of a U.S. submarine that refuses to fire their nukes when ordered and ends up taking shelter on an island and declaring themselves an independent nation. "666 Park Ave." also got a series order. Based on a novel by Gabriella Pierce and from "Fringe" co-executive producer David Wilcox, it centers on a couple who agree to manage a historic New York City apartment complex with supernatural oddities owned by another couple, played by "Lost" alum Terry O’Quinn and "Desperate Housewives" alum Vanessa Williams.

Also getting some good news is "Don't Trust the B— in Apartment 23," which got a second season renewal, "Private Practice" and "Body of Proof."

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ABC renews "Grey's Anatomy," "Revenge," "Once ..." and more

 

-- Yvonne Villarreal

twitter.com/villarrealy

Photo: Kristin Chenoweth in a scene from "GCB." Credit: ABC

ABC renews 'Scandal,' picks up five new series

ABC renews Scandal

No damage control needed here: ABC is bringing back "Scandal" for a second season.

From "Grey's Anatomy" overlord Shonda Rhimes, the D.C.-set drama about a political fixer premiered with a solid 7.3 million viewers and has performed well for the network since then with the help of its "Grey's" lead-in. 

“Am super proud to say that @ScandalABC has been picked for a 2nd season!!!” Rhimes tweeted of the series, which is based on crisis manager extraordinaire Judy Smith. “Am doing a little dance of joy." The network previously announced the renewal of "Grey's Anatomy." No word yet on whether Rhimes' other show, "Private Practice," will return.

The network is also getting into the musical business, announcing a series order for "Nashville." The soap is set in the Nashville music scene and features Connie Britton ("American Horror Story," "Friday Night Lights") as a country star at her peak and another singer, played by Hayden Panettiere, on the rise.

Additionally, it announced pickups for dramas: "Red Widow," previously "Penoza," which is based on a Dutch series and revolves around the widow of an assassinated criminal, played by Radha Mitchell ("Finding Neverland"), who finds herself taking on the same profession in order to protect her family; "Zero Hour" centers on Hank Foley, played by "ER" alum Anthony Edwards, who becomes involved in a conspiracy when his wife is kidnapped; "Mistresses," based on the BBC One series of the same name, focuses on four women and their scandalous love lives.

On the comedy front, the network has picked up: "Family Tools" (previously "Red Van Man"), which is based on a British series, revolves around a man who is forced to put his dreams on hold in order to take over the family handyman business from his father.

On the reality front, the network earlier Friday announced returns for "America's Funniest Home Videos," "Wife Swap" and "Celebrity Wife Swap."

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ABC renews 'Happy Endings'

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ABC renews "Grey's Anatomy," "Revenge," "Once ..." and more

 

-- Yvonne Villarreal

twitter.com/villarrealy

Photo: Kerry Washington as crisis manager Olivia Pope. Credit: ABC

CW renews 'Gossip Girl,' 'Hart of Dixie,' 'Nikita'

CW renews Gossip Girl for final season
The CW has renewed "Gossip Girl,"  "Nikita"  and "Hart of Dixie."

It looks like the "Gossip Girl" may be getting an "xoxo" salutation, with executive producer Josh Schwartz hinting that the sixth season would be the final one for the sudser. "Saying it now -- final season of Gossip Girl is going to deliver for all of you who have watched for 5 yrs. Nothing like final seasons," he posted. The network would not confirm the series will be coming to an end.

Friday night resident "Nikita" will return for a third season. Freshman drama "Hart of Dixie," which features Rachel Bilson as a doctor who relocates from New York City to a small town in Alabama, will be back for a second season.

Things aren't as joyful for Sarah Michelle Gellar's "Ringer," which has been canceled. Joining it in the unwanted bin is the witch drama "Secret Circle."

Earlier Friday, the network announced series orders for five new shows, including the "Sex and the City" prequel "Carrie Diaries" and a revamped "Beauty and the Beast."

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First look: AnnaSophia Robb channels SJP in 'The Carrie Diaries'

--Yvonne Villarreal

twitter.com/villarrealy

Photo: Ed Westwick, left, and Leighton Meester in a scene from "Gossip Girl." Credit: The CW

ABC renews 'Happy Endings'

ABC renews Happy Endings

ABC has renewed "Happy Endings" for a third season.

This season, the comedy experienced a bit of a windfall, nabbing the post-"Modern Family" slot on Wednesdays and getting an additional six-episode order in the fall.

The ensemble comedy centers on a a group of six friends -- played by Casey Wilson, Damon Wayans Jr., Eliza Coupe, Zach Knighton, Elisha Cuthbert and Adam Pally -- who must adjust after two of them break up. It made its debut to more than 7 million viewers back in 2011 -- but things dipped from there. It ended its second season with 3.7 million viewers.

It joins "Modern Family," "The Middle" and "Suburgatory" in the network's laugh factory renewal camp.

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-- Yvonne Villarreal

twitter.com/villarrealy

NBC renews 'Parks and Recreation,' 'Up All Night,' 'Whitney'

NBC renews Parks and Recreation and Up All Night
"Parks and Recreation," "Up All Night" and "Whitney" will return next season on NBC, the network confirmed. In addition, it has picked up the Dane Cook comedy "Next Caller Please."

The renewal will bring "Parks and Recreation, which aired its finale Thursday, into its fifth season with a 22-episode order, rather than a stunted order like those for "30 Rock" and "Community."

Meanwhile, freshman comedy "Up All Night," which was created by "Parks and Recreation" veteran Emily Spivey, had a solid opening when it rolled out last season following "America's Got Talent" on Wednesdays.  Starring Christina Applegate and Will Arnett, the comedy was moved midseason to Thursdays, with "The Office" serving as its lead-in. Its April season finale brought in 3.12 million viewers, with a 1.5 in the 18-49 demo--which seemed enough for NBC.

Probably the more shocking return will be "Whitney." The comedy, which comes from comedian Whitney Cummings, premiered to nearly 7 million viewers last fall, when it aired on Thursdays. But the show was bumped to Wednesdays and saw its ratings dip. It's finale, which aired in March, brought just over 4 million viewers. It ensures that Cummings' plate will be full: It was recently announced that she would be getting a talk show on the E! network, and she continues to serve as an executive producer on CBS' "Two Broke Girls."

The shows join previously announced renewals for "30 Rock," "Community," and "Fashion Star." In addition, the network announced Friday the pickup of "Next Caller." The series is set in a satellite-radio station and centers on an alpha male DJ (Cook) and his feminist co-host (Collette Wolfe).

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NBC adds two more comedies: "1600 Penn," "Animal Practice"

-- Yvonne Villarreal
twitter.com/villarrealy

Photo: Amy Poehler in "Parks and Recreation." Credit: NBC

Hart Hanson talks 'Bones,' 'The Finder,' the art of show running

David boreanaz emily deschanel bones hart hanson
Hart Hanson, the creator of both “The Finder” and “Bones” on Fox, talks about the pitfalls of running a network show. And one of those pitfalls -- cancellation -- happened earlier this week, with Fox canning "The Finder" after this interview was conducted. The final episode of "The Finder" airs Friday; the "Bones" season finale is next Monday.

Were you surprised by "The Finder’s" performance?

I was hopeful that the “Bones” audience would check it out, but as I said to the network: It’s always tough to explain the “Bones” audience to people.... Every character that we’ve introduced on “Bones” has been roundly hated from the get-go. It took a year for people to like Tamara Taylor (who plays Dr. Camille Saroyan). They didn’t like her. And when John Francis Daley came on, I told him, "Don’t look at Twitter or the message boards for a year because they are going to hate you. You’re coming in to a very tight community." And, so, I thought there was a very good chance that would happen to "The Finder."

And it did. I got a lot of messages saying, "Hey, quit trying to force "The Finder' down our throats." There was no way to explain to people that “The Finder” wasn’t replacing “Bones” -- that Emily [Deschanel] got pregnant and she took some time off to have a baby; “The Finder” wasn’t there to push “Bones” away.

As a show runner in this new age of TV, what do you look at as your measure of success?

I'll tell you, one of things that has been hugely gratifying for me, especially with “The Finder,” was the anecdotal response I've gotten. People talking to me [about “The Finder”] love it. And on “Bones,” the satisfaction was, literally, the fact that we were booked to be dead before the end of the first season and the network moved us around a ton on the schedule — really, a ton. We never had four episodes in a row without being moved or pre-empted — and yet 6 million people followed us wherever. I think it was in Season 3, the network realized it wasn't going to die and thought, “Well, we might as well be nice to it.” And here we are going into Season 8.

Continue reading »

ABC renews 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Revenge,' 'Once ..." and more

ABC renews seven series, including fairytale drama 'Once Upon a Time'
ABC has renewed seven of its series: "Grey's Anatomy," "Revenge," "Once Upon a Time," "Suburgatory," "The Middle," "Modern Family" and "Castle."

Quite a mouthful, eh?  

"Modern Family," though experiencing a dip in viewers, will come back for Season 4, and "Grey's Anatomy" will enter its ninth. "Castle" has been a steady performer in its Monday slot; its renewal will take the crime dramedy into its fifth season, helping it reach the 100-episode benchmark. 

"The Middle" has held its own on the network in the Wednesday comedy block -- helping to pass the viewer baton as a lead-in for freshman series "Suburgatory." 

"Suburgatory" has some fellow rookies with which to revel in the renewal elation: The fairy-tale drama "Once Upon a Time" had an impressive debut last fall, with 13 million viewers and a 4.0 in the 18-49 demo, and it has continued to perform well for the network, helping the show to land a spot next season. The devilishly soapy "Revenge" also will get a sophomore season.

The renewals come on the heels of news that "Cougar Town" is moving from ABC to TBS.

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-- Yvonne Villarreal

twitter.com/villarrealy

Photo: Ginnifer Goodwin, left, and Lana Parrilla in "Once Upon a Time." Credit: ABC

NBC renews 'Community' for fourth season

NBC renews Community
#Sixseasonsandamovie -- oh, the power of suggestion. NBC has renewed "Community" for a fourth season, sources close to production confirmed Thursday.

The series will return with an abbreviated 13-episode order — but, hey, it's 13 more than some had predicted. (And we expect the actors' reaction to the news is similar to the one in the above photo.) The cult comedy has endured a rocky third season on the network, getting pulled from the schedule midseason that had fans rallying for its return, which it made in March. And then there was the whole voicemail kerfuffle between cast member Chevy Chase and executive producer Dan Harmon.

The series, a vortex of pop culture allusions and spoofs involving oddball students at an equally oddball community college, has found a fierce following among young viewers who are more likely to catch it later on DVR or online — in December, its production company Sony struck a digital syndication deal with Hulu, making its entire library of episodes available.

Its final three episodes of this season will air May 17.

The quirky laffer joins fellow Thursday comedy "30 Rock" in the renewal bin.

RELATED:

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NBC adds two more comedies: '1600 Penn,' 'Animal Practice'

— Yvonne Villarreal

twitter.com/villarrealy

Photo credit: NBC.

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

Fox has picked up three comedies and two dramas for the 2012-13 season, stealing Mindy Kaling from NBC and nabbing Kevin Bacon
Fox has picked up three comedies and two dramas for the 2012-13 season, stealing a familiar face from NBC and nabbing Kevin Bacon in the process. In addition, the network renewed its Kiefer Sutherland-led drama "Touch" and canned "Alcatraz" and "Bones" spinoff "The Finder."

The network may be losing a grumpy doc with "House" ending its run this season, but it's staying in the medical practice with "Mob Doctor." "My Boys" alum Jordana Spiro stars as a young female thoracic surgeon who becomes indebted to the South Chicago Mafia and is forced to moonlight as a "mob doctor" while also working full time at Chicago's most prominent hospital. 

Fox has also inched its way forward in the "Six Degrees" game, giving a series order to the "The Following." The series, from "The Vampire Diaries'" Kevin Williamson, features Kevin Bacon as a former FBI agent searching for a serial killer, played by James Purefoy, who has created a cult of killers. 

Meanwhile, not to be outdone by the heap of comedies picked up by NBC, Fox is adding some more funny to its programming.

"Ben & Kate" is based on the life of writer/executive producer Dana Fox's ("Couples Retreat," "The Wedding Date") brother, Ben, and centers on a single mother whose brother moves in to help raise her baby.

"Goodwin Games," from "How I Met Your Mother" scribes Carter Bays, Craig Thomas and Chris Harris, centers on siblings who inherit their late father's fortune. The cast includes Becki Newton ("Ugly Betty") and Scott Foley ("Grey's Anatomy," "Felicity").

And "The Office's" Mindy Kaling makes the move to the top-rated network in "It's Messy," in which she plays a young doctor trying to balance her personal and professional life. The project, which she is to write, executive produce and star in, will mark her departure from "The Office."

Then there are the faces of this season to contend with. 

Continue reading »
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