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maandag 27 augustus 2012

ESPN Journalistic Standards: The Emperor No Longer Wears Clothes

For quite some time, ESPN has been the know-all, tell-all leader in sports media. But times change and companies rise and fall. Because of missteps and competition, it looks like the king might have a rebellion on his hands.

Disney created a beast in ESPN. It grew to incredible heights very quickly and in the process nearly monopolized sports news and entertainment. Look at its accomplishments: it defined the highlights show with “SportsCenter,” created the ESPYs and found a niche for extreme sports with the “X-Games.” Its reach and business decisions helped it determine the fates of many sports and college conferences.

But ESPN isn't what it once was. It's become a bloated bastion of hyperbole. Instead of giving us the highlights and sound bites, the network is shoveling hours of mindless dreck into our TVs. Needless to say the journalistic standards have suffered.

The decline in news quality can be directly attributed to conspicuous conflicts of interest. ESPN covers sports leagues journalistically but also pays them billions of dollars in rights fees to broadcast their games. As ESPN has won the rights to more sports, it has started covering athletes as if they were promotional ideas. By playing things both ways it has become a shell of its former self.

Let’s look at the crimes ESPN has perpetrated against the American sport-loving public:

2005 – Hockey Coverage

After the strike of 2004-05 ESPN decided not to renew its agreement with the NHL. Sports rights change hands all the time, but since its decision ESPN, seems to have made a conscious effort to put hockey coverage on the back burner. The attitude seems to be, "If we don’t have the rights, the sport is not important." And ESPN executives have said as much. Vince Doria, ESPN's senior vice president and director of news, was quoted this year saying that hockey “doesn't translate to television, and it really doesn't transfer as much as a national discussion, which is something that typifies what we do.”

2009 – Ben Roethlisberger Rape Allegations

Like many athletes, the Pittsbugh Steelers quarterback appeared in ESPN's "This is SportsCenter" promos. ESPN soft-shoed coverage of the rape allegations against him, and there was a sense among critics that the network didn't want to offend him.

2010 – “The Decision”

Lebron James' made-for-TV fiasco damaged ESPN’s credibility as a news organization. Although it took James only 12 seconds to announce his decision that he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat, ESPN endlessly hyped and overpackaged the announcement. As David Zurawik of The Baltimore Sun wrote, “ESPN led the way in some of the most debased sports coverage I can remember seeing. The hype was shameless, the lack of perspective colossal.”

2010 – The Longhorn Network

ESPN created the Longhorn Network with the University of Texas, giving it $300 million over twenty years to exclusively show Texas sports, including football games.

TV Tonight 27th of August 2012

The daily list in alphabetical order, of all the new episodes airing.

    Adam Buxton's TV Bug S01E08: "Episode 8"
    Adventure Time with Finn and Jake S04E20: "You Made Me!"
    Alphas S02E06: "Alphaville"
    American Pickers S04E26: "Pickers in the Attic"
    Bachelor Pad S03E06: "Season 3, Episode 6"
    Beaver Falls S02E04: "Series 2, Episode 4"
    Beyond Scared Straight S03E02: "Jacksonville, FL (Boys)"
    Big Brother (AU) S09E13: "Season 9, Episode 13"
    Big Brother's Bit on the Side S05E13
    Bizarre Foods S07E16: "The Other Florida"
    Border Wars S04E08: "Tunnel Smoke-out"
    Breaking News med Filip & Fredrik S02E05: "27/8"
    Britain's Next Top Model S08E08: "Series 8, Episode 8"
    Burnistoun S03E03: "Series 3, Episode 3"
    Can Of Worms S02E02: "Season 2, Episode 2"
    Celebrity Big Brother S10E17: "Series 10 - Day 12 Highlights"
    Celebrity Masterchef S07E11: "Series 7, Episode 11"
    Celebrity Wedding Planner S02E02: "Series 2, Episode 2"
    Chelsea Lately S06E135
    Chitose Get You!! S01E09: "Episode 9"
    Citizen Khan S01E01: "Episode 1"
    Conan S02E129: "Dax Shepard, Wendy Williams, Silversun Pickups"
    Coronation Street S53E172: "Mon Aug 27, 2012 [Episode 2]"
    Coronation Street S53E171: "Mon Aug 27, 2012 [Episode 1]"
    Daybreak S02E250: "August 27, 2012"
    Days of our Lives S47E195: "Ep. #11905"
    Deal Or No Deal (UK) S08E13: "Episode 2006"
    Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives S15E04: "Surf 'N' Turf Jackpot"
    EastEnders S28E135: "August 27, 2012"
    Emmerdale S41E201: "August 27, 2012"
    Färjan S04E02: "Bartendern Håkan är tillbaka ombord"
    Frontline Police S01E03: "Episode 3"
    Gallery Girls S01E03: "Wild Child"
    General Hospital (US) S50E104: "#12632"
    Grimm S02E03: "Bad Moon Rising"
    Halv åtta hos mig S09E05: "Stockholm - Pontus"
    Hell's Kitchen (US) S10E18: "4 Chefs Compete"
    Hollyoaks S18E171: "August 27, 2012"
    Hollywood Heights S01E51: "Eddie's Inspired"
    Home and Away (AU) S25E156: "Episode 5591"
    Horizon S51E04: "How Big Is the Universe?"
    Hotel cæsar S29E37: "Season 29, Episode 37"
    Hotel Hell S01E04: "Keating Hotel"
    House Hunters S50E46
    House Hunters International S34E42
    Hunderby S01E01: "Episode 1"
    Hyouka S01E19: "A Person with Idea"
    Intervention S13E04: "Dennis"
    James May's Things You Need to Know S02E03: "about Evolution"
    Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita S01E09: "Season 1, Episode 9"
    Late Show with David Letterman S19E117
    Live with Kelly S29E247
    Lizard Lick Towing S02E25: "Season 2, Episode 25"
    Locked Up Abroad S06E19: "Busted in Bangkok"
    Lorraine's Fast, Fresh & Easy Food S01E03: "Simple Classics"
    Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta S01E11: "Reunion, Part 1"
    Major Crimes S01E03: "Medical Causes"
    Modern Marvels S17E11: "Mega Food Countdown"
    Neighbours S28E166: "Episode 6476"
    New Tricks S09E01: "A Death in the Family"
    Oda Nobuna no Yabou S01E08: "Golden Liberty City: Sakai"
    Only Connect S06E01: "Joinees v Draughtsmen"
    Opening Act S01E07: "Gotham Citi & Nicki Minaj"
    Our War S02E02: "Return To Death Valley"
    Pawn Star$ S05E16: "Say It Ain't So"
    Pawn Star$ S05E15: "Some Like It Not"
    Perception S01E07: "Nemesis"
    Push Girls S01E14: "Breaking Back In"
    Rastamouse S03E06: "Series 3, Episode 6"
    Regular Show S03E39: "Sugar Rush"
    Ridiculousness S02E10: "Tyler and Taco"
    Secret Dealers S03E26: "Series 3, Episode 26"
    Single Ladies S02E14: "Finally"
    Squidbillies S07E06: "From Russia With Stud"
    Stars Earn Stripes S01E04: "Rapid Detonation"
    Stolen Voices, Buried Secrets S03E10: "Out of the Ashes"
    The Annoying Orange S05E10: "The Lords of Fruitbush"
    The Bad Girls Club S09E07: "Stage Bite"
    The Bold and the Beautiful S26E111: "Ep. #6395"
    The Booth at the End S02E04: "Season 2, Episode 4"
    The Inbetweeners (US) S01E02: "Sunshine Mountain"
    The L.A. Complex S02E07: "Half Way"
    The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson S08E127: "Kristen Bell"
    The Project S04E204: "Season 4, Episode 204"
    The Real Housewives of New York City S05E13: "Pirate Booty Call"
    The Restoration Man S02E11: "Gothic Church, Pennines Revisit"
    The Secret Life of the American Teenager S05E11: "Half Over"
    The Shire S01E09: "Episode 9"
    The Tonight Show with Jay Leno S20E139
    The X Factor (AU) S04E04: "Season 4, Auditions 4"
    The Young and the Restless S40E110: "Ep. #9979"
    Thuis S18E01: "Season 18, Episode 1"
    Tia & Tamera S02E11: "Are You Pregnant?"
    Underbelly S05E03: "The Loaded Dog"
    University Challenge (1994) S19E05
    Wake Brothers S01E06: "House Rules"
    Warehouse 13 S04E06: "Fractures"
    Web Therapy S02E09: "The Insanity Offense"
    Wild Justice S02E20: "Shooting Spree"
    WWE Raw S20E35: "Episode 1005"

'X Factor' ratings grow to 8.4 million for episode two

The X Factor last night grew on its substandard premiere audience, pulling in a consolidated audience of around 8.9m viewers.

Rita Ora's stint on the panel in the show's second auditions show, airing between 7.45pm and 9pm, was seen by 8.4m (36.1%) and 475k (2.2%) on ITV1 +1.

Following the main programme, The Xtra Factor soared to 858k (4%) on ITV2, adding 133k (0.8%) on +1. But it was Film 4's Die Hard 4.0 screening that topped the multichannels with 889k (4.7%).

Simon Cowell's other Saturday night entertainment vehicle on ITV1, Red or Black?, also trickled upwards in the ratings - posting 3.42m (18.3%) at 7pm (+1: 106k/0.5%) and 3.7m (16.9%) at 9pm (+1: 177k/0.9%).

However, the increased momentum ended at 9.45pm, when The Jonathan Ross Show logged 2.52m (12.6%) and a further 208k (1.5%) on timeshift - as guests Suranne Jones, Ray Winstone and Jenson Button did not attract as many viewers as last week's lineup.

Meanwhile, BBC One had a fairly mediocre night in comparison, with Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (3.65m/18.9%) at 6.20pm, The National Lottery: Secret Fortune (3.56m/16%) at 8.30pm, Casualty (4.12m/19%) from 9.20pm, and Match of the Day (3.89m/27.5%) at 10.30pm.

BBC Two aired Dad's Army (2.29m/11.3%) and the BBC Proms (955k/4.4%), while Channel 4's 30 Greatest Comedy Shows pulled in 1.11m (5.5%), and Celebrity Big Brother took 1.32m (6.1%) for Channel 5 (+1: 128k/0.7%).

Overall, ITV1 posted a convincing primetime victory of 22.6% (+1: 1.3%) over BBC One's 19.2%. BBC Two claimed third place with 5.8%, ahead of Channel 5's 4.5% (+1: 0.3%), and Channel 4's 3.7% (+1: 0.5%).

Development Update: The 27th of August

BIG CITY (ABC, New!) - Josh Siegal and Dylan Morgan ("30 Rock") have booked a new single-camera comedy at the Alphabet about "a suburban family trapped in the big city." Sony Pictures Television-based FanFare is behind the half-hour, which has a penalty attached, with the company's Jamie Tarses also serving as an executive producer. Siegal and Morgan recently signed a two-year overall deal with the studio. (

THE FARM (NBC) - Matt Jones ("Breaking Bad") has boarded the potential spin-off of "The Office," which follows Rainn Wilson's Dwight living at the Schrute family beet farm/bed and breakfast. He'll play Dwight's mysterious cousin Zeke, joining the previously cast Majandra Delfino and Thomas Middleditch. Wilson and Paul Lieberstein are behind the Universal Television-based project, which will air as a backdoor pilot later this season. (

GUIDE TO DIVORCE (Showtime, New!) - Marti Noxon ("Glee") is finalizing a deal for a semi-autobiographical comedy at the pay channel about "the relief, the emotional minefield, the freedom, the familial complications and the sexual exploration that all come with divorce after a long-term relationship, told from the perspective of four women in their 40's." She'll write and executive produce the half-hour via her Luckypants banner alongside Vicki Iovine, Dawn Olmstead and Meryl Poster. No studio was indicated. (

THE SECRET LIVES OF WIVES (Lifetime) - Salli Richardson-Whitfield ("Eureka") is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, which will explore the unvarnished truth behind the marriages of four different women, breaking down the creative ways each close friend nurtures, maintains and endures what many see as an impossible convention of modern life. She'll play Reed, "the sultry host of a call-in radio show that caters to women's fantasies. But her radio persona is at sad odds with her personal life, as her marriage of 17 years is on the rocks." Lin Pictures and Warner Horizon Television are behind the hour, which is inspired by the book by Iris Krasnow. Jill Gordon penned the script. (

UNTITLED J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI PROJECT (ABC, New!) - "Babylon 5" creator J. Michael Straczynski is developing "a pandemic thriller project" at the Alphabet "described as a blend of procedural and serialized elements." Georgeville Television and Overbrook Entertainment are behind the hour, which is being eyed for a potential straight-to-series order. James Lassiter and Jada Pinkett Smith then will executive produce alongside Straczynski. (

UNTITLED MO MANDEL PROJECT (FOX, New!) - Actor/writer Mo Mandel ("Free Agents") has scored a script order for a semi-autobiographical comedy at the network billed as "a sibling rivalry show in the vein of 'Step Brothers.'" The single-camera project comes from the Sony Pictures Television-based Happy Madison with Doug Robinson executive producing alongside Mandel, who may play one of said characters. (

WRECKING BALL (The CW) - Richard Hatem's 2008 drama, about "a JFK Jr.-type brash young man from a well known political family who teams with an idealistic twenty-something girl volunteer from his failed Congressional campaign to solve underdog cases of the week through their own legal firm," has been given a fresh script order by the netlet. Said hour was originally greenlit to pilot in March of 2008 but the order was ultimately rescinded when a deal couldn't be struck with producer Fox Television Studios. CBS Television Studios has since been tapped to co-produce the project with Ross Fineman executive produce producing alongside Hatem. (

20S VS 30S (ABC, New!) - Cassie Pappas ("Awkward") has snagged a script order from the Alphabet for a single-camera comedy about two sisters, their group of friends and the decade between them. ABC Studios is behind the half-hour, where Pappas had a blind script deal. 3 Arts Entertainment's Tom Lassally and Jonathan Berr also serve as executive producers. (

BETTY & CORETTA (A.K.A. PARALLEL LIVES) (Lifetime) - Angela Bassett, Mary J. Blige and Ruby Dee are set to star in the telefilm, which "tells the dual stories of Coretta Scott King (Bassett) and Dr. Betty Shabazz (Blige) as they carry on as single mothers following the assassinations of their husbands, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X." Dee then "will appear onscreen as a historical witness to narrate the duo's story as someone familiar with the events of both their lives." Yves Simoneau is directing the project from a script by Shem Bitterman and Ron Hutchinson. Larry Sanitsky, Blige, Jaja Johnson and Polly Anthony are the executive producers. Production begins next month. (

CRAZY GENE (ABC, New!) - Andrea Abbate ("Accidentally on Purpose") has snagged a put pilot commitment from the Alphabet for an autobiographical comedy about "a woman who, with her brother behind bars, tries to raise his kids as well as her adopted African American teenage son." The single-camera project is set up at the 20th Century Fox Television-based 21 Laps/Adelstein Productions with Marty Adelstein, Shawn Levy and Becky Clements also serving as executive producers. (

CYRANO (NBC, New!) - Michael Oates Palmer ("Rubicon") has landed a script commitment - with a penalty attached - from the Peacock for a modern take on Edmond Rostand's classic tale about "a less-than-attractive but genius campaign strategist who returns to save the floundering gubernatorial campaign of the handsome but inarticulate Mayor whose career he helped launch. With the candidate being the photogenic, charismatic mouthpiece for the strategist's ideas and rhetoric, the sky's the limit - until both men fall for the same woman, a journalist covering the campaign." Universal Television-based Prospect Park is behind the hour with Palmer (who is also slated to serve as a co-executive producer on NBC's "Crossbones"), Jeff Kwatinetz and Josh Barry executive producing. (

THE FARM (NBC) - Thomas Middleditch ("The Campaign") is the latest to board the Peacock's "The Office" spin-off, which follows Dwight (Rainn Wilson) living at the Schrute family beet farm/bed and breakfast. He'll play Jeb Schrute, his easygoing brother, "who hasn't done well in any previous career paths he's taken - worm breeder and Bigfoot hunter among them - but has found some success with a pot farm and has made an exercise video about things you can do with a knife and a canoe." Majandra Delfino also stars in the Universal Television-based project, from co-creators Wilson and Paul Lieberstein. (

HANNIBAL (NBC) - Hettienne Park has scored a role on the upcoming drama, a contemporary take on the Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) characters from Thomas Harris's novels. She'll play Beverly Katz, "a bright-eyed yet weary crime scene investigator who specializes in working with fibers." Caroline Dhavernas, Lara Jean Chorostecki, Aaron Abrams and Laurence Fishburne also star in the Gaumont International Television-based hour, from writer Bryan Fuller and director David Slade. (

LET THE CHURCH SAY AMEN (BET, New!) - Actress Regina King is set to direct and produce a new telefilm at the cable channel about "the wayward daughter of a charismatic Houston pastor whose family falls apart over the years while he's busy building up his church." She'll work from a script by Crystal Garrett, who adapted ReShonda Tate Billingsley's book of the same name. Production is set to begin next month in Atlanta with Flavor Unit's Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere, Shelby Stone and Roger Bobb executive producing alongside King and her sister, Reina King, via their Royal Ties banner. (

MAKE IT WORK (FOX, New!) - Adam Stein ("I Just Want My Pants Back") has booked a single-camera comedy at the network about "a man who, after proposing to his girlfriend, finds out he has a 7-year-old daughter with his previous girlfriend." Universal Cable Productions-based Hypnotic is behind the half-hour, with Doug Liman and David Bartis also among the executive producers. (

PATIENTS REQUIRED (FOX, New!) - Chris Cox has sold a new single-camera comedy to the network about "an irreverent young pediatrician who joins the practice run by his mother, with whom he has a strained relationship." Sony Pictures Television-based Original Film is behind the half-hour, with the company's Neal Moritz presumably among the executive producers. (

- Vijal Patel ("The Middle") has scored a script commitment from the network for a new comedy about "a young married couple perpetually tormented by the husband's opinionated family of engineers who think they have a solution for every problem in life." The single-camera project is set up at ABC Studios, where he recently signed an overall deal. (

UNTITLED JUSTIN SPITZER PROJECT (NBC, New!) - Justin Spitzer ("The Office") has sold a new comedy to the Peacock about "a group of friends whose lives change on the way to a destination wedding." The presumably single-camera project is set up at the Universal Television-based TBD Productions with the company's Peter Traugott and Rachel Kaplan also among the executive producers. No other details were given. (

Snooki Has a Boy: 6-Pound, 5-Ounce Lorenzo Dominic

Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, the self-proclaimed “Guidette” from MTV’s “Jersey Shore,” is a mom.

The 24-year-old TV star and her fiancé, Jionni LaValle, welcomed a son, 6-pound, 5-ounce Lorenzo Dominic LaValle, into the world at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, N.J. at around 3 a.m. Sunday morning.

Snooki tweeted to her fans Sunday morning: "I am SO IN LOVE with my son Lorenzo Dominic ! I had my little man last night, healthy at 6lbs! HE'S MY WORLD!"

A rep for Polizzi told MTV, "The world just got another Guido!!! Lorenzo Dominic LaValle has entered the world weighing 6lbs, 5oz. Nicole, Jionni & Enzo are doing great!"

MTV issued its own statement: “We couldn't be happier for Nicole and Jionni on the healthy delivery of their baby boy! We look forward to Lorenzo's first trip to the Jersey Shore and can't wait to see his first animal print onesie."

zondag 26 augustus 2012

'Doctor Who Confidential': BBC cuts to blame for axe, says Zai Bennett

BBC Three controller Zai Bennett has spoken about his decision to axe Doctor Who Confidental at this year's Edinburgh International Television Festival.

Bennett blamed the behind-the-scenes show's cancellation on BBC cuts, suggesting that it had come to the end of its natural run.

"Doctor Who Confidential had run for six series," he argued. "It was a show about a show. There wasn't much more to say about how they make Doctor Who."

He added: "We are pulling back from pre-watershed TV because of BBC cuts - I've got to make every pound count."

Bennett explained that his focus as head of BBC Three is on "unique programmes".

"I don't want to make loads of extension shows, a la ITV2," he said.

Since assuming the role of controller, Bennett has axed a number of BBC Three series, including The Fades, White Van Man, Ideal and Mongrels.

Chris Moyles targeted by thieves while on holiday

Police have confirmed that they are investigating a robbery at the house of Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles.

Thieves are said to have stolen two cars worth over £100,000 from the driveway of the property in Highgate, north London while Moyles was on holiday.

According to Sky News, the burglars raided the £2 million property on Thursday (August 23) and stole an Audi RS and a Mercedes ML63 AMG, both of which have since been recovered.

"We are investigating a burglary that took place on Thursday at an address in Highgate," said a spokesman from Scotland Yard.

"Two vehicles that were stolen as a result of the burglary have been recovered and inquiries are continuing. There have been no arrests at this time."

Moyles is due to present his last breakfast show for the station next month, before former late night presenter Nick Grimshaw takes over the slot. The 38-year-old will then begin a run as Herod in Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's production of Jesus Christ Superstar, starring alongside Mel C and comedian Tim Minchin.

Steven Moffat: 'Doctor Who fans have a right to complain'

Steven Moffat has said that Doctor Who fans have a right to complain about the show.

Speaking at the Edinburgh International TV Festival, the show's head writer discussed aficionados' frustrations with the Doctor Who canon and confessed that being a fan of the franchise sometimes makes it hard for him think of the broader audience needs.

"The first thing you have to do is shut out [your own] fan voice," he explained. "You have to [ignore] your own whiny little voice saying 'But in 1977...' - which it does all the time, believe me!

"You absolutely have to address the mainstream audience," he continued, "the kids and the people who watch it in families."

Moffat admitted that he wants the show to retain its status as a "mainstream hit" and so tries to "aim the show at absolutely everybody".

"We had 15 years of being an obscure thing that people thought we were strange for watching," he said, "so [the fans are] all very happy with me doing that.

"In a way, the forums and these obsessive fan conversations... I shouldn't listen to them - that's eavesdropping," he added.

"[Fans] should be allowed to sit and complain about Doctor Who - what is the point in loving something if you can't complain about it incessantly?"

The new series of Doctor Who returns to BBC One and BBC America on Saturday, September 1.

Fox Seeks Injunction Against Dish in Auto Hop Battle

Fox is ramping up its battle against Dish Network in its legal battle over Dish's ad-skipping Auto Hop feature.

Fox Broadcasting Company filed for a preliminary injunction against Dish offering Auto Hop to its subscribers in U.S. District Court in Central California on Wednesday, saying that the feature is likely to cause substantial financial harm to Fox, and that Fox is likely to prevail in its claims against Dish.

Legal papers filed by Fox accuse Dish of issuing a software update for Auto Hop that "made cosmetic changes" to the service's settings "in an attempt to camouflage the copyright infringement that Dish commits every night with its service."

"The need for a preliminary injunction could not be greater," Fox's court filing reads, adding that Auto Hop cuts "the legs out from under the advertiser-supported broadcast television business model."

Fox, which filed suit against Dish in May, claims that the Auto Hop feature infringes on the network's copyright. NBC, CBS and ABC also filed suit at the same time.

Dish has countered that Auto Hop is simply a more sophisticated version of the fast-forward feature found on VCRs.

Nicole Scherzinger: 'I loved Mel B on The X Factor'

Nicole Scherzinger has said that she loved Mel B's judging style on The X Factor UK.

The Spice Girl did not hold back in her criticism of acts on last week's episode of the reality show, prompting host Dermot O'Leary to ask: "Where is her heart?"

Speaking to Scott Mills on BBC Radio 1 today (August 24), Scherzinger said of Scary Spice's performance on the programme: "She was ruthless, I loved it! She gave Simon Cowell a run for his money."

The former X Factor USA judge went on to discuss the differences between the American and British versions of the show, explaining: "I think it's more fun over here; there's a lot more characters, the talent is really raw and homegrown.

"It's beautiful, the talent over here. I'm really impressed. I'm blown away."

Asked how she was getting on with the other judges, she enthused: "I love all the other judges, I do. I get along really well with them.

"I'd never met Tulisa [Contostavlos] but she's such a cool chick."

Jennifer Lopez, Gavin Polone Pilots Get ABC Family Greenlight

ABC Family has greenlit pilots executive produced by Jennifer Lopez and "Curb Your Enthusiam" producer Gavin Polone.

Lopez's "The Fosters" -- a working title -- is an hourlong drama about a multi-ethnic family of foster and biological kids being raised by two moms. Bradley Bredeweg and Peter Paige will serve as writers and executive producers. Simon Fields and Greg Gugliotta will also executive produce the series, which is produced by Nuyorican Productions, Inc., and Prodco, Inc.

The Polone-produced "Socio" is about a 16-year-old who may be a sociopath. He reconnects with two female friends and becomes the prime suspect when a fellow student is murdered. Adam Milch (""Greek") wrote the pilot and will serve as co-executive producer. The series is produced by Prodco.

Jack Whitehall's 'Bad Education' gets second series

Jack Whitehall's Bad Education has been given a second series by the BBC after airing just two episodes.

The news was announced by BBC Three controller Zai Bennett at the Edinburgh TV Festival on Thursday (August 23).

The sitcom, about a hopelessly incompetent school teacher played by Whitehall, managed to get BBC Three's highest ratings for a first episode of a comedy ever.

Its second episode was similarly successful.

Mathew Horne plays the school's desperate-to-be-cool headmaster, with Sarah Solemani (Him and Her) as the teacher that Whitehall's character lusts after.

Bennett also confirmed that the Russell Kane-hosted Live at the Electric will get two more series.

David Walliams for BBC One secondary school sitcom

David Walliams is to star in a sitcom set in an urban secondary school, it has been confirmed.

The show, provisionally titled Autumn Leaves, was announced by BBC One controller Danny Cohen when he spoke at the Edinburgh TV Festival earlier today (August 24).

The Little Britain star has co-written the programme with the Dawson Brothers, who have previously worked on That Mitchell and Webb Look, The Jonathan Ross Show and Lee Mack's All Star Cast.

Walliams said: "I am delighted to be back at the BBC, writing and acting in a new sitcom.

"The Dawson Brothers are brilliant. I met them when they wrote sketches for The One Ronnie and I have loved collaborating with them.

"The read-through of the first episode attracted a stellar cast, and I hope the series will too."

Consisting of six half-hour episodes and airing on BBC One, Autumn Leaves is described as a cross between Grange Hill and The Remains of the Day.

Jerry Nelson, The Count on 'Sesame Street,' Dies

Jerry Nelson, a master of voices and puppetering who voiced Muppets including Count von Count during more than 40 years with "Sesame Street," has died. He was 78.

Also a musician and actor, he took part in dozens of Muppet projects, from the 1971 TV movie "Tales From Muppetland: The Frog Prince," to 1979's "The Muppet Movie," to the 1980s series "Fraggle Rock," to last year's "The Muppets."

Nelson joined "Sesame Street," which debuted in 1969, early in the show's run. He soon took on  major characters including The Count, Mr. Snuffleupagus, and Sherlock Hemlock.

"The cast and crew of 'Sesame Street' and the staff of Sesame Workshop deeply mourn the loss of cast member and creator of dozens of Muppet characters, Jerry Nelson," said a message on Sesame Street's website.

"A member of the 'Sesame Street' family for more than 40 years, he will forever be in our hearts and remembered for the artistry in his puppetry, his music, and the laughter he brought to children worldwide through his portrayal of Count von Count, Herry Monster, Fat Blue, Sherlock Hemlock, the Amazing Mumford and many other beloved characters. We will miss his extraordinary spirit and the joy he brought to our Street."

Nelson also had small, decidedly un-Muppety roles in films including "Robocop 2" and "The Nail Gun Massacre."

BBC One boss on 'The Voice' UK coaches: 'We want them all back'

BBC One controller Danny Cohen has hinted that The Voice UK will likely keep the same coaches for its second series.

Cohen insisted at the Edinburgh International Television Festival that he was "really happy" with the current line-up of Jessie J, Tom Jones, and Danny O'Donoghue.

"We thought they made a very big impact for a first series and we want them all to come back," said the channel head.

"We haven't signed any contracts yet, so I can't say anything official. But we said at the end of the first series that we wanted all of our coaches to come back."

Cohen also defended the show's ratings performance - calling The Voice UK a "big hit" - but admitted that the singing contest had experienced "a few problems" during live performances.

He added that a second series would definitely incorporate format changes, including "probably less live shows"

Jessie J recently confirmed that she will return to The Voice UK via her Twitter account.

Amazon Adds 'Parks and Rec,' 'Parenthood,' 'Friday Night Lights' in Streaming Deal

Amazon Prime is making hundreds of episodes of shows including "Parks and Recreation," "Friday Night Lights," "Parenthood" and "The Starter Wife" available for streaming in a new deal with NBCUniversal.

None of the titles are streamed exclusively through Amazon.

The titles add to the 22,000 videos available for streaming through Prime Instant Video. Amazon streams more than 120,000 videos in all.

X Factor is here for a long time, says ITV boss Peter Fincham

The X Factor will remain on ITV1 "for a long time" and there are no concerns about falling ratings, according to channel boss Peter Fincham.

Speaking at the Edinburgh Festival, Fincham compared the Simon Cowell talent show to Olympic long-distance runner Mo Farah, insisting that the missing viewers from last week's series nine launch were not worrying.

"It's not the 100m, it's the 10,000m. It's got years," said Fincham. "Think Mo Farah not Usain Bolt.

"It's an illusion to think that a show like The X Factor will go on a slide. People said that about Strictly after numbers fell for a couple of years and then it came back."

Last week's X Factor launch was the show's lowest since 2006.

When probed about the ratings drop, he added: "Oh gosh, X Factor is here for a long time.

"Last Saturday's X Factor was more than twice the size of the next biggest show on television.

"The figures were down, but it was the hottest weekend of the year and I think it's not unreasonable to say in the immediate aftermath of the Olympics viewing figures have gone down. People gorged themselves on TV in the Olympics.

"How long has The X Factor got implies that it does have a finite life. I don't agree with that proposition."

However, Fincham did express concern that the big entertainment shows "that dominated the last decade" such as I'm A Celebrity, The X Factor and Strictly were making it hard to create new series.

"It's difficult to grow similar brands on the same scale," he said.

FTC Sues Dish Network Over Telemarketing

Dish Network has another lawsuit on its hands: The Federal Trade Commission is suing the satellite cable provider, accusing it of illegally calling millions of customers who asked telemarketers from the company and its affiliates to stop calling them.

The FTC says the calls violated provisions of its Telemarketing Sales Rule, which dictates that even if a consumer is not on the National Do Not Call Registry, a telemarketer may not call him or her again if the consumer specifically asks to be placed on the company's own do-not-call list.

The FTC is seeking unspecific civil penalties.

"We have vigorously enforced the Do Not Call rules and will continue to do so to protect consumers' right to be left alone in the privacy of their own homes," said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. "It is particularly disappointing when a well-established, nationally known company --which ought to know better -- appears to have flagrantly and illegally made millions of invasive calls to Americans who specifically told DISH Network to leave them alone."

Dish responded in a statement: "DISH respectfully disputes the merits of the complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission. We manage our marketing practices to best-in-class standards. In fact, our policies have been certified by an independent third party industry expert after an extensive audit. Notably, the FTC was recently denied the ability to assert these same claims by a federal court in another contested matter, and we will defend ourselves vigorously against them."

According to the FTC, Dish violated the telemarketing rule while calling consumers nationwide trying to sell its satellite television programming. Dish makes the calls through its employees and authorized dealers. The FTC contends that DISH has made millions of outbound telephone calls since about Sept. 1, 2007 to consumers who had already told the company they did not want to receive any more calls.

The U.S. Justice Department, working on behalf of the FTC, is currently litigating another case against DISH in which it accuses the company of calling consumers on the National Do Not Call Registry, or causing its dealers to make such calls. That case led to the new one.

Dish is also in litigation with ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC over its commercial-skipping Auto Hop feature, which they see as a threat to ad-supported television. It is also being sued by Voom HD, an indirect subsidiary of AMC Networks. Voom is seeking $2.5 billion over a contract it says Dish improperly terminated.

Morgan Spurlock Joins CNN

Morgan Spurlock will host and produce the new CNN series  "Inside Man," which will air in April 2013 alongside CNN’s new series with Anthony Bourdain.

The "Supersize Me" director will look at gun lovers, marijuana growers, migrant farm workers, and end-of-life caregivers and other little-seen people. It arrives as CNN tries to emerge from a serious ratings lull.

The show will be produced by Warrior Poets, Spurlock’s New York-based production company with producing partner Jeremy Chilnick.

"Morgan Spurlock’s name has become synonymous with creative and thought-provoking documentary story-telling," said Mark Whitaker, CNN Worldwide executive vice president and managing editor. "Like Anthony Bourdain’s new CNN series, 'Inside Man' will carry the distinctive stamp of its host while taking viewers on colorful and informative journeys into fascinating corners of American society.”

Spurlock came to prominence with 2004's Oscar-nominated "Super Size Me." He moved into television with the FX series "30 Days." He also executive produced the documentary series "A Day in the Life" on Hulu and the Yahoo spinoff of his feature-length documentary "Mansome."

TV Tonight 26th of August 2012

The daily list in alphabetical order, of all the new episodes airing.

    60 Minutes (US) S45E10: "Season 45, Episode 10"
    A Touch of Cloth S01E01: "Episode 1"
    All You Can Meat S01E04: "Poultry"
    All-American Handyman S03E02: "Crying Babies and Playground Battles"
    Aqua Teen Hunger Force S09E10: "Totem Pole"
    Arcana Famiglia S01E09: "The Wheel of Fortune"
    Army Wives S06E22: "Domestic Maneuvers"
    Bar Rescue S02E06: "Broke Black Sheep"
    Big Ang S01E08: "Big Ink"
    Big Ang S01E09: "Big Pride"
    Big Brother (AU) S09E12: "Season 9, Episode 12"
    Big Brother (US) S14E20: "Episode 20 - HoH Comp #8 & Nominations #8"
    Big Brother After Dark S07E46: "Season 7, Episode 46"
    Big Brother's Bit on the Side S05E12
    Black Dynamite S01E07
    Breaking Bad S05E07: "Say My Name (FKA Everybody Wins)"
    Bridezillas S09E12: "Remy & Blanca"
    Britain's Hidden Heritage S02E02: "Mount Stewart"
    Call of the Wildman S02E14: "Pig Wallow Predator"
    Cardfight!! Vanguard S02E21: "Handsome Fight! Mitsusada vs. Gouki"
    Celebrity Big Brother S10E16: "Series 10 - Day 11 Highlights"
    Combat Pawn S01E07: "LeMat Revolver"
    Come Dine With Me S19E48: "Series 19, Come Dine With Me"
    Copper S01E02: "Husbands and Fathers"
    Cupcake Wars S06E15: "A Perfect"
    Deal Or No Deal (UK) S08E12: "Episode 2005"
    Drop Dead Diva S04E12: "Picks and Pakes"
    Empire Girls: Julissa & Adrienne S01E10: "Love at Last?"
    Episodes S02E09: "Season 2, Episode 9"
    Exploring China: A Culinary Adventure S01E04: "Episode 4"
    Flip Men S02E06: "Polygamist House"
    Good Luck Charlie S03E13: "T. Wrecks"
    Hell on Wheels S02E03: "Slaughterhouse"
    Hoarding: Buried Alive S04E08: "A Humongous Secret"
    Howzat! Kerry Packer's War S01E02: "Part 2"
    I Survived S06E34: "Cynthia, Russ & Carol/Ron & Christine"
    Ice Road Truckers S06E13: "Cold-Blooded"
    Inspector George Gently S05E01: "Gently Northern Soul"
    Iron Chef America S09E43: "Symon vs. Izard"
    Jerseylicious S04E22: "Reunion Show, Part 2"
    Kath & Kim (AU) S04E10: "The Souvenir Editions (2)"
    Keeping Up with the Kardashians S07E15: "Kardashian Therapy Part One"
    Kidou Senshi Gundam Age S01E45: "Episode 45"
    Kokoro Connect S01E08: "And Then There Were None"
    Kuroko no Basuke S01E21: "Let`s Get Started"
    Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon S02E08: "Episode 8"
    Leverage S05E06: "The D.B. Cooper Job"
    Married to Jonas S01E02: "Prom Night With the In-Laws"
    Mega Dens S03E06: "Buddha Head and Purple Heart"
    Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse S01E09: "Episode 9"
    My First Place S22E21: "Waterfront Woes"
    Off the Hook: Extreme Catches S01E05: "Skishing Hell Week"
    On The Case With Paula Zahn S06E12: "Taken"
    One Car Too Far S01E02: "Volcano"
    One Piece (JP) S06E45: "Episode 45"
    Oprah's Next Chapter S01E31: "Olympic gold-medalist Gabrielle Douglas"
    Oprah's Next Chapter S01E32: "Kelsey Grammer"
    Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle S02E24: "Episode 21"
    Rinne no Lagrange S02E08: "Episode 8"
    Saint Seiya Omega S01E21
    Shark Wranglers S01E09: "Redemption"
    Sinbad S01E08: "Episode 8"
    Small Town Security S01E07: "Romancing the Joan"
    Storage Hunters S02E12: "TBA"
    Sunday Best (2007) S05E10: "Classics Remixed"
    Sunday Night Football S07E02: "Preseason: Carolina at N.Y. Jets"
    Survivorman S04E02: "Mexican Desert Island Pt. 2"
    Taboo S09E10: "Changing Gender"
    Tari Tari S01E09: "Going White and Going Red"
    The Chase (2009) S05E81: "Celebrity Special - 2"
    The Great Escape S01E09: "Escape from the Tower"
    The Great Food Truck Race S03E02: "Attitude at High Altitude"
    The Last Weekend S01E02: "Episode 2"
    The Newsroom (2012) S01E10: "The Greater Fool"
    The Project S04E203: "Season 4, Episode 203"
    The Real Housewives of New Jersey S04E17: "Hot Tub of Sour Grapes"
    Toriko S02E20: "Episode 20"
    Toughest Place To Be A .... S03E02: "A Ferryman"
    True Blood S05E12: "Save Yourself"
    Uchuu Kyoudai S01E22: "Working on the Dream"
    Unique Eats S05E08: "Polynesian Paradise"
    Weeds S08E09: "Saplings"
    Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (UK) S30E07: "Schools Out"

Benedict Cumberbatch's BBC Two drama 'Parade's End' premieres strongly

BBC Two's lavish new period drama Parade's End made an impressive start on Friday night, early overnight data suggests.

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, the five-part series kicked off with 3.13m (14.1%) on BBC Two in the 9pm hour, topping the slot for half an hour between 9pm and 9.30pm.

The Terrestrial Channel of the Year's killer 8pm hour combination of Mastermind (2.16m/10.3%) and Gardeners' World (2.44m/11.3%) boosted Parade End's chances.

Over on BBC One, In with the Flynns dipped to 2.71m (12.8%) in its new 9pm slot, but the audience rose to 4.02m (18.8%) half an hour later for a repeat of Mrs Brown's Boys.

Celebrity Big Brother finished third in the hour for Channel 5 with 1.86m (9%) for Cheryl Fergison's shock eviction, slightly down on Thursday's 2m. Emma Willis's Bit on the Side followed with 846k (8.5%) from 10.30pm.

8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, featuring the likes of Jon Richardson playing Channel 4's famous word game, amused 1.39m (6.5%) at 9pm and 371k (2.1%) on +1 as the broadcaster's Funny Fortnight season reached its penultimate day.

Overall, BBC One topped primetime with 19.8%, above ITV1's 17.6% (+1: 0.6%). BBC Two comfortably earned third place with 9.3%, ahead of Channel 5's 5.4% (+1: 0.2%) and Channel 4's 4.1% (+1: 0.9%).

Digital channel Yesterday pulled in an unusually high 465k (2.2%) for its new series Great British Ghosts, which was broadcast in the competitive 9pm slot.

Joanna Lumley: 'Ab Fab could go on forever'

Joanna Lumley has said that Absolutely Fabulous could 'go on and on'.

Lumley, who recently starred in the Absolutely Fabulous Olympics special, told The Mirror that she and co-star Jennifer Saunders could continue playing Patsy and Eddy "forever".

"We've already flashed to a time when Patsy's drooling and propped up in a wheelchair with a drip attached to a vodka bottle," she explained.

"Her and Eddy were about 102... No matter how badly Jennifer and I decay, we could carry on playing the characters forever [and] June Whitfield [Eddy's mother] seems to be getting younger all the time."

The 66-year-old actress also confessed that she shares some traits with her flamboyant, chain-smoking character.

"I only have maybe five a day," she said. "But playing Patsy has put me in a cage that makes me look like I smoke like an old wizard.

"I drink a fraction of what she does but I'm a bit like her. I don't have her vicious language but I adore her."

Lumley revealed that she has also managed to accumulate wardrobes full of clothes and accessories while playing Patsy over the past two decades, some of which she plans to auction off later this year.

"I'd often buy Patsy's clothes from the BBC at half price because I loved them so much," she said.

"They're iconic pieces that Patsy wears on the front of the DVD box set - I know which outfit was worn in which episode - so I'm hoping someone might like them."

When asked whether Absolutely Fabulous is likely to make a more permanent return to screens, Lumley said that it is very much dependent on her co-star's schedule.

"[Saunders has] got so much on her plate at the moment. She's super-busy with the Spice Girls musical Viva Forever! But she works fast so hopefully next year she'll start looking at Ab Fab.

"I've sent her one or two emails to remind her. I'm hoping that a light lash of the whip will keep her motivated."

Development Update: The 26th of August

CLEOPATRA (NBC, New!) - Screenwriter Michael Seitzman ("North Country") has booked a period drama at the Peacock about the famous Egyptian queen, billed as "an epic romance set in a world of sorcery, gods and monsters that centers on Cleopatra, Mark Antony and Julius Caesar." ABC Studios-Di Bonaventura Pictures is behind the project, which has a put pilot commitment, with Seitzman executive producing alongside the company's Lorenzo Di Bonaventura and Dan McDermott. Seitzman has been behind three pilots in recent years, including ABC's "Americana" this past development cycle. (

ISLAND PRACTICE (CBS) - Amy Holden Jones has been tapped to pen the small screen take on Pam Belluck's book of the same name - subtitled "Cobblestone Rash, Underground Tom, and Other Adventures of a Nantucket Doctor" - which has found a home at CBS. 20th Century Fox Television-based Imagine Television optioned the book last month as a potential TV series about "an eccentric maverick who practices medicine on an island off the coast of Seattle using tactics that are frequently as controversial as they are heroic." Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo and 3 Arts Entertainment's Oly Obst will executive produce alongside Jones with Dr. Timothy Lepore - the subject of Belluck's tome - serving as a consultant. (

REAL LIFE: THE MUSICAL/SUPER SAVER SHOWDOWN (OWN) - The cable channel has pulled both series from its Friday lineup. The latter opened to an invisible 71,000 viewers for its debut last week while the former posted an equally modest 68,000 viewers for its August 3 return. "Real Life" originally bowed on Saturday, June 9 at 10:00/9:00c and likewise got the hook after one airing.

VICTORIOUS (Nickelodeon) - Dan Schneider took to Twitter to confirm the Victoria Justice-led series will end after 60 episodes. "Okay, first things first... There is a whole NEW season of Victorious coming your way," he added on his blog. "We just finished shooting 15 new episodes, and they're amazing. If you love Victorious, I feel sure you will love the NEW episodes coming! By now, a lot of you have heard that Victorious will not be returning for a 4th season. That is true. This was the network's decision - not mine." (@DanWarp)

ANGIE'S BODY (Showtime, New!)
- Rob Fresco ("Touch") has sold a new drama to the pay channel about "a shrewd, sexy and, when necessary, lethal woman who runs a family-based crime syndicate." Jodie Foster is on board to direct and executive produce the hour alongside Fresco and Russ Krasnoff for Sony Pictures Television. (

THE BLACKLIST (NBC, New!) - Feature writer Jon Bokenkamp ("Taking Lives") has booked a script commitment from the Peacock for a potential drama about "an international, Kaiser Soze-like criminal who mysteriously surrenders himself to the Feds and offers to help hunt down the very men he's spent his entire life protecting." Sony Pictures Television is behind the hour with John Eisendrath and Davis Entertainment's John Davis and John Fox also serving as executive producers. (

BURNS & COOLEY (ABC, New!) - Meredith Philpott ("Awkward") has scored a script order from the Alphabet for a new drama about "the top two neurosurgeons at a New York hospital who find themselves competing on every level - both personally and professionally - as they handle some of the toughest medical cases in the world involving the brain," not to mention being ridiculously attracted to one another. ABC Studios and Gross Entertainment's Matt Gross are likewise behind the hour. (

DUMB F--- (ABC, New!) - Screenwriter Hank Nelken ("Mama's Boy") has landed a script order at the Alphabet for a comedy about "an average guy and his brilliant wife who, due to financial hardship, are forced to live with her family of highly intelligent but emotionally stunted geniuses." Said half-hour, which has a penalty attached, comes from FishBowl Worldwide Media. The company's Vin Di Bona, Bruce Gersh, Susan Levison and Shaleen Desai then will executive produce alongside Nelken. (

EV AND OCHO (VH1) - The cable channel has pulled the plug on the upcoming reality series, a behind-the-scenes look at Chad Johnson and Evelyn Lozada's wedding, after the former was charged with domestic battery for allegedly hitting the latter over the weekend. "Due to the unfortunate events over the weekend and the seriousness of the allegations, VH1 is pulling the series 'Ev and Ocho' from its schedule and has no current plans of airing it," the network said in a statement released for multiple outlets. Said half-hour had been set to launch on Monday, September 3 at 9:30/8:30c.

GUINEA PIGS (CBS, New!) - Emmy-winner Dahvi Waller ("Mad Men") has scored a put pilot commitment from the Eye for a new drama about a "group of trailblazing doctors who run clinical trials at a hospital in Philadelphia. The twist: The trials are risky, and the guinea pigs are human." 20th Century Fox Television-based Chernin Entertainment is behind the project with the company's Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope also serving as executive producers. (

HENCH (NBC, New!) - Alexandra Cunningham ("Prime Suspect") is back in business with the Peacock, this time for a new drama about "a regular guy who, in order to support his family, gets jobs temping for super villains." Fellow "Suspect" alums Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey are also on board to executive produce the hour via their Universal Television-based Film 44 banner. (

RAT BASTARDS (Spike TV) - The cable channel has bumped the newcomer, about a pack of industrious guys who hunt an invasive species of giant swamp rats that are ravaging America's Southern wetlands, out of primetime. The half-hour series launched on Tuesday, July 31 at 10:30/9:30c to 720,000 viewers, falling to 596,000 in its second week. The show's four remaining episodes will air back-to-back on Tuesday, August 14 and 21 at 11:00/10:00c and 11:30/10:30c.

UNTITLED ERIC CHARMELO/NICOLE SNYDER PROJECT (NBC, New!) - "Ringer" creators Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder have booked a new drama at the Peacock billed as "a sexy Southern Gothic thriller set in New Orleans - rich with tradition, superstition... and murder." Said hour is set up at the Universal Television-based TBD Productions with the company's Peter Traugott and Rachel Kaplan executive producing alongside the duo. Charmelo and Snyder currently serve as co-executive producers of NBC's midseason drama "Do No Harm." (

UNTITLED LAGRAVENESE & GOLDWYN PROJECT (AMC) - Marin Ireland ("Homeland") is the first to be cast on the drama pilot, about a District Attorney who uncovers new evidence that prompts the reinvestigation of a sensational murder case. She'll play Christina Rosa, "an attractive, aggressive and impulsive woman of Italian-German descent who works with the Innocence Project." Tony Goldwyn is helming the AMC Studios-based hour from a script by Richard LaGravenese. David Manson also serves as an executive producer with Andrew Sugarman as a co-executive producer. (

UNTITLED PAUL DAVIES PROJECT (NBC, New!) - Paul Davies has sold a potential drama to the Peacock about "a high-powered Beverly Hills law firm where the attorneys will have to negotiate their relationships with one another as they litigate their cases." Universal Television is behind the project with Stephen Levinson of Leverage Management and Mark Wahlberg of Closest to the Hole Productions also among the executive producers. (

GETTING ON (HBO, New!) - "Big Love" creators Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer are back in business with the pay channel, this time for a comedy based on the BBC Four series of the same name about "put-upon nurses, anxious doctors and administrators as they struggle with the darkly comic, brutally honest and quietly compassionate realities of caring for the elderly in an overwhelmed healthcare system." BBC Worldwide Productions is behind the half-hour, which has a pilot order. BBC Worldwide Productions is producing alongside Olsen and Scheffer's Anima Sola Productions banner. Jane Tranter, Julie Gardner and Geoff Atkinson also serve as executive producers with Lisa Bellomo producing. (

HANNIBAL (NBC) - Lara Jean Chorostecki ("Copper") has joined the cast of the drama, a contemporary take on the Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) characters from Thomas Harris's novels. She'll play sleazy tabloid reporter Freddie Lounds, a role originated on the big screen by Stephen Lang in 1986's "Manhunter" and Philip Seymour Hoffman in 2002's "Red Dragon." Caroline Dhavernas also stars as Dr. Alana Bloom with Laurence Fishburne as Jack Crawford. Bryan Fuller is behind the Gaumont International Television-based hour, the pilot for which is being directed by David Slade. (

- Lennie James ("Hung") is the latest to score a role on the drama pilot, a contemporary story of murder, deception, revenge and corruption in a world where the line between cops and criminals is blurred. He'll play Joe, "who is described as part cop, part perp," in the AMC Studios-based hour, which also stars Athena Karkanis, James Ransone, Mark Strong and Ruben Santiago Hudson. Chris Mundy penned the script while Ernest Dickerson is in talks to direct. (

UNTITLED LAGRAVENESE & GOLDWYN PROJECT (AMC) - Joe Anderson ("The River") has signed onto the drama pilot, about Adam Powell, a District Attorney who uncovers new evidence that prompts the reinvestigation of a sensational murder case. He'll play Terry Kaminski, "a man of Polish descent convicted of a crime." Marin Ireland stars in the fellow AMC Studios-based hour, which Tony Goldwyn is helming off a script by Richard LaGravenese. (

COUPLE TIME (FOX, New!) - Allyn Rachel and Patrick Carlyle are set to star and write a potential comedy at the network based on their web series of the same name, about "a young long-term couple living in Los Angeles who have long passed the bickering and insecurity of early coupledom and are now tackling becoming adults together." The single-camera project is set up at Ellen DeGeneres's Warner Bros. Television-based A Very Good Production with DeGeneres herself serving as an executive producer and Rachel and Carlyle as supervising producers. (

EX MEN (CBS) - Emmy-winner Tony Shalhoub ("Monk") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about "a charming young man (Chris Smith) who, after being left at the altar by his fiancée, moves into a short-term housing complex and makes unlikely friends with a group of divorced men." He'll play Frank Bober, "a college drop-out who built, ran and is now semi-retired from a clothing manufacturing company." Kal Penn also stars in the CBS Television Studios-based half-hour, from writer/director Rob Greenberg. (

GENE SIMMONS FAMILY JEWELS (A&E) - The cable channel has pulled the plug on its reality staple after seven seasons. "For seven great seasons, Gene, Shannon, Nick and Sophie have been part of the A&E family, and we could not be more proud of the unparalleled run of Gene Simmons Family Jewels," the network said in a statement. "On behalf of everyone at A&E, we'd like to thank the production team at Thinkfactory Media, Gene and his amazing family for their partnership, collaboration and for opening up their lives, warts-and-all, to us throughout the years." The show's most recent 15-episode cycle averaged 1.075 million viewers and a 0.4 rating among adults 18-49. (

GREAT LAKE WARRIORS (History) - The newcomer has quietly been shuffled to the 11:00/10:00c hour on Thursday nights by the cable channel. The show delivered a series low 868,000 viewers and a 0.3 adults 18-49 rating on August 9 at 10:00/9:00c, less than half of its debut audience of 2.089 million viewers and a 0.7 adults 18-49 rating on July 19 behind the season finale of "Mountain Men" (3.591 million viewers, 1.2 adults 18-49 rating).

SPY (ABC, New!) - Simeon Goulden is in negotiations to import his U.K. comedy, about a "hapless single father who, trying to impress his horribly precocious nine-year-old son, quits his job as a junior sales assistant in a computer shop but then gets accidentally recruited into the British intelligence agency MI5." ABC Studios and Hat Trick Productions are behind the project, which is on track for a put pilot commitment. Goulden and Jimmy Mulville are the executive producers. (

UNTITLED SARAH WATSON PROJECT (FOX, New!) - Sarah Watson ("Parenthood") has sold a new dramedy to the network about a single thirtysomething attorney working at a Chicago law firm. Said hour, which has a penalty attached, comes from Universal Television with the studio-based Jason Katims executive producing alongside Watson. Michelle Lee, Katims's head of development, will also receive a producing credit. (

UNTITLED SERA GAMBLE PROJECT (ABC, New!) - Sera Gamble ("Supernatural") has nabbed a script order from the Alphabet for a new drama about Dr. Steven Saylor, a "world-renowned neurosurgeon who becomes a medical anomaly himself after suffering a traumatic brain injury [and is] forced to re-specialize as an internist at the hospital where he was once king." Warner Bros. Television-based Berlanti Productions is behind the hour, which has a penalty attached. Gamble and Greg Berlanti will then executive produce with Melissa Kellner Berman serving as a co-executive producer. (

- Geoff Pierson ("Dexter") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about the family dynamic between a husband (Josh Cooke) and the eccentric fiancé (Jay Mohr) of his wife's twin sister (Ellen Woglom). He'll play Tom, Cheska (yet to be cast) and Maddie's (Woglom) father, who's "overtly antagonistic towards Cheska's husband Neil (Cooke) but instantly hits it off with Maddie's new boyfriend Van (Mohr) and thinks he is twice the man Neil is." The multi-camera project comes from Stuber Productions and co-creators Bill Martin and Mike Schiff. (

THE REAL HUSBANDS OF HOLLYWOOD (A.K.A. HOUSE HUSBANDS) (BET) - Robin Thicke, J.B. Smoove, Boris Kodjoe, Duane Martin and Faizon Love have all been tapped for roles on the upcoming comedy, a "semi-scripted reality TV spoof of every fill-in-the-blank Wives franchise." Kevin Hart, Nelly, Bobby Brown, Anthony Anderson and Nick Cannon star in the 10-episode series, from showrunner Ralph Farquhar and fellow executive producers Hart, Chris Spencer, Tim Gibbons, Dave Becky, Stan Lathan and Jesse Collins (

UNTITLED DANNY STRONG PROJECT (CBS, New!) - Emmy-nominated writer Danny Strong ("Game Change") and Oscar-nominated director David O. Russell ("The Fighter") are set to team for a new drama at the network inspired by the father-and-daughter defense attorneys Murray and Stacey Richman. Said hour, from the CBS Television Studios-based Tribeca Productions, will feature "a fictionalized version of the Richmans' Bronx firm, where clients as notorious on the street as they are on Page Six." Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Diane Nabatoff will executive produce alongside the duo. (

UNTITLED KARI LIZER PROJECT (CBS, New!) - "The New Adventures of Old Christine" creator Kari Lizer is back in business with the Eye for a new multi-camera comedy about "a guy who finally meets the woman of his dreams but she happens to be his cousin's fiancée." Warner Bros. Television is behind the half-hour, which has a put pilot commitment, with Lizer executive producing via her studio-based Kari's Logo Here banner. (

UNTITLED ZACH FOX PROJECT (Disney XD, New!) - Zach Fox ("Just Kidding") is set to star in a potential comedy at the cable channel about "a fictionalized, younger version of himself, a high-school sophomore who anchors his own show on the school's student-run TV station." David Nickoll ("The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson") is behind the It's a Laugh Productions-based pilot, which "combines semi-improvised and gonzo-style man-on-the-street segments in the same outrageous style that Fox uses in his videos." Casting is underway for an October production start. (

'X 'Arrested Development' Could Get Extra Episodes for Season 4

Good news, "Arrested Development" fans; you could be getting some bonus Bluth.

David Cross, who plays Tobias Funke on the series, says that the currently filming Season 4 -- which will air on Netflix -- could receive extra episodes due to the abundance of material.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Cross revealed that "AD" could run 13 episodes for the upcoming season, rather than the 10 that were originally intended.

"I think it's going to be 13 episodes, not 10," Cross told the magazine. "There's too much story. Some characters will have two-parters. Everybody sort of participates, sometimes in a bigger way and sometimes in a tiny little thread that goes through everybody else's stories."

Cult favorite "Arrested Development," which ran for three seasons on Fox from 2003 to 2006, was picked up by Netflix for a revival late last year. Production on the new season began earlier this month, with series star Jason Bateman tweeting a photo from the set with the caption, "First day. Away we go..."

An "Arrested Development" movie is planned after the fourth season. The new season will premiere on Netflix next year, with all episodes being made available simultaneously. Series creator Mitch Hurwitz has said that he would be open to a fifth and sixth season of the series after the movie is completed.

A Netflix spokeswoman told TheWrap that the company will run at least 10 episodes of "Arrested Development" in the spring.

In addition to possibly receiving more episodes, the series is picking up additional characters. "Mad Men" star John Slattery will appear on multiple episodes of the new season, through the nature of his character is being kept under wraps.

'X Factor' Judges' Houses locations, guests revealed?

The Judges' Houses locations for The X Factor series nine have reportedly been revealed.

According to the Daily Star Sunday, Nicole Scherzinger will be making her way to Dubai with the Boys, and will be assisted by R&B star Ne-Yo when picking her live show finalists.

Gary Barlow will head to London with the Over-28s and will be joined again by Robbie Williams, while Tulisa Contostavlos is allegedly taking the Girls to the Caribbean island of St Lucia, with Tinie Tempah rumoured to be helping her make her final selection.

Finally, Louis Walsh will be making his decisions about the Groups in Las Vegas, with former X Factor judge Sharon Osbourne.

A source for the show told the newspaper: "Producers really wanted to up the ante this year with the destinations. Tulisa is thrilled to be going to the Caribbean, while Louis still can't believe he's off to Vegas. In eight previous years the furthest he has ever been is Barcelona.

"Gary was originally planning to be in Mallorca, but that's been changed to London so he can be close to his wife Dawn after the death of their baby Poppy."

The paper also reports that contestants will be able to perform their own material during the series's live shows, after original songs proved to be popular with the crowds during the audition stages.

Steven Moffat defends 'Doctor Who' budget: 'I have no complaints'

Doctor Who exec Steven Moffat has dismissed claims that the series suffers from budget issues.

Speaking at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Moffat admitted that he would never turn down "more money" but insisted that the sci-fi drama's current budget is ample.

"The schedule and the pressure of trying to do Doctor Who on any budget - including Avatar's - is horrific," he said. "I am never, ever going to say I've got enough [money] - that's like asking, 'Would you like to be more happy?'"

However, he clarified: "Doctor Who is incredibly well looked after by the BBC - they are incredibly aware of its crown jewel status, that it's not merely a show that's successful now.

"I truly believe it could be a show that outlives everybody in this room. It could carry on that long, so it doesn't just make money now - it'll make money forever."

Moffat concluded by maintaining that he has "no complaints" about the amount of money allocated to Doctor Who.

"Of course I'd like more money, [just as I'd like] to be happier, thinner and more handsome!" he quipped.

Doctor Who returns to BBC One and BBC America on Saturday, September 1.

Harvey Weinstein Extortion Suspect Indicted in West Virginia

A man accused of trying to extort film magnate Harvey Weinstein has been indicted on charges that he threatened to kill the relative of a coal company owner unless he received $13 million.

Vivek Shah, 25, of West Hollywood, threatened to kill at least one member of Christopher Cline's family if Cline didn't wire the money to an offshore account, authorities said.

Shah was arrested on Aug. 10, 2012, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in West Virginia. The criminal complaint said Shah sought handgun training only days before he was arrested.

Shah was widely reported to be the same Vivek Shah as an actor who has appeared in small roles in "Bones," "Outsourced," and "The Dark Knight." An attorney for Shah could not immediately be located Thursday.

An affidavit in the case said Shah tried to shake down four other people besides Cline. One of the alleged victims, identified in the complaint only as "a Connecticut resident and co-founder of a movie studio," was Weinstein.

The affidavit said Shah used prepaid debit cards and fake names to carry out the scheme, and tried to hide his identity by parking near a Starbucks and using its wifi from his car.

Shah is charged with two counts of interference with commerce by threats and two counts of transmitting threatening communications in interstate commerce. If convicted, he could be sentenced to forty years in prison.

Fox Broadcasting Licenses Under Attack Over Phone-Hacking Scandal

Could Fox Broadcasting Company be damaged by the phone-hacking scandal that has plagued its parent company News Corp.?

Watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a petition with the FCC on Wednesday, asking that the agency deny renewal of the broadcast licenses of three Fox stations, in light of the scandal that erupted in England last year.

CREW claims that the licenses for two Fox stations in Washington, D.C. and one in Baltimore, Md., should not be renewed because U.S. law says that broadcast frequencies should only be used by those of good "character" who serve "the public interest" and speak with "candor" -- qualities that don't exactly jibe with the hacking scandal.

“It is well established that News Corp. has been involved in one of the biggest media scandals of all time. Its reporters hacked voicemails and bribed public officials while top executives -- including Rupert Murdoch -- either approved the conduct or turned a blind eye,” Melanie Sloan, CREW's executive editor, said of the petition. “To say those responsible are not of good character is a colossal understatement – ‘despicable’ and ‘loathsome’ are more apt.”

The stations' current licenses are due to expire in October. Under federal law, broadcast licenses must be renewed every eight years, and the stations filed for renewal in June.

Its unclear how effective CREW's efforts will be. For one thing, the group previously lobbied FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to revoke 27 of News Corp.'s broadcast licenses, to no avail. For another, if broadcast licenses truly were limited to those of good character who work in the public interest, the airwaves would probably offer a pretty empty landscape.

News Corp.'s phone-hacking scandal erupted last year, leading to several high-profile dismissals, government hearings, a multitude of lawsuits, criminal charges and the shuttering of the tabloid "News of the World" after 168 years of publication. In another development, the Church of England sold its shares of the company earlier this month in protest of the scanda

vrijdag 17 augustus 2012

Tony Shalhoub Joins CBS's Rob Greenberg Comedy Pilot

Tony Shalhoub is coming back to the small screen.

The former "Monk" star has landed a role in CBS's upcoming comedy pilot from "How I Met Your Mother" producer Rob Greenberg, which is currently untitled after bearing the moniker "Ex-Men."

The pilot centers on a group of single guys who live in a short-term rental complex. Shalhoub, who played obsessive-compulsive detective Adrian Monk on USA's "Monk" from 2002 to 2009, will play Frank, a four-time divorcee and self-regarded ladies' man who lives at the complex.

As previously reported, former "House" star Kal Penn has also signed on for the pilot as Gil, a guy who moves into the complex as he waits for his wife to forgive him for an affair he had three years earlier.

The pilot, which Greenberg is writing and directing, was greenlit for the 2013-14 season earlier this year.

'TOWIE' Maria Fowler: 'I was banned from Celebrity Big Brother'

Former The Only Way Is Essex star Maria Fowler has admitted that she campaigned to join the newly-launched series of Celebrity Big Brother.

The reality TV personality revealed on Twitter that she was prevented from entering the house after producers enforced a ban on TOWIE stars.

Writing about last night's (August 15) launch show, Fowler declared: "[I] would to have gone in but they said No towie this year. Booo xx (sic)."

The glamour model also defended "stunning" housemate Danica Thrall, revealing that she had been a judge at a beauty contestant won by the Sex, Lies and Rinsing Guys star.

Fowler recalled: "When [Danica] won miss derby i was judging,she hadnt actually won on points.But I kicked off as she was by far prettiest.So she won.

"Shame she lowered herself to a 'rinsing' programme bit each to their own. She's a stunning girl."

Fowler's claim of a TOWIE ban may explain why current cast member Lauren Goodger was absent from the Celebrity Big Brother lineup despite numerous reports of her joining the show.

Former The Only Way Is Essex stars Amy Childs and Kirk Norcross were recruited for Channel 5's first two series of Celebrity Big Brother.

'Mad Men' Star John Slattery Joins 'Arrested Development' Season 4

John Slattery is taking time out from Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce to hang out with the Bluths.

"Mad Men" star Slattery, who plays senior partner Roger Sterling on the AMC drama, will appear in multiple episodes of the Netflix-revived "Arrested Development," an individual close to the production told TheWrap.

Details on Slattery's character, or how many episodes he will  appear in, were not available.

Series producer and narrator Ron Howard told MTV News on Wednesday that series creator Mitch Hurwitz would be introducing new characters to the resurrected show.

"Mitch isn't trying to recreate something," Howard said. "It's been away for a while, and part of the fun that Mitch has been mining and exploiting is, what's new to discover about these people? What's delightfully unchanged? He and the writing staff and the actors have a fantastic sense of that."

Production on the new season of cult favorite "Arrested Development," which ran on Fox from 2003 to 2006, began last week, with series star Jason Bateman tweeting a photo from the set and writing, "First day. Away we go..."

Netflix gave a 10-episode order to "Arrested Development" and will make all of the new episodes available simultaneously next year.

AMC Gives Go-Ahead to Venice Beach, Taxidermy Reality Series

AMC is deepening its commitment to unscripted fare with a pair of new reality series revolving around Southern California's Venice Beach and the world of taxidermy, the network said Thursday.

The former, which currently bears the working title "Venice Beach Freakshow," is "a family drama" that focuses on former music producer Todd Ray's attempt to launch his own freakshow on the boardwalk of Los Angeles' famously eccentric Venice Beach. Ray will executive produce, along with Greg Johnston from Endemol USA. The eight-episode series is slated to premiere in the first quarter of 2013.

“Untitled Taxidermy Series," (also a working title), will pit taxidermists from both rogue and classic schools of the craft against each other to create a distinct piece of art "that is judged on overall presentation, creativity and technique," the network said in a statement. Executive-produced by Go Go Luckey Entertainment (which brought the world "Laguna Beach"), the series will also consist of eight half-hour episodes and will debut in the first quarter of 2013.

In addition to the two new offerings, AMC has also renewed its previously existing reality series "The Pitch," which premiered in April and will return for a second season in the second quarter of next year.

'Merlin' star Colin Morgan: 'Arthur will be forced to confront magic'

Merlin star Colin Morgan has described the upcoming fifth series as "the most ambitious yet".

Arthur (Bradley James) will be "forced to confront magic" in the new episodes, Morgan told SciFiNow.

"That could change everything, for Merlin and for everyone," said the Irish actor. "[We have the] most important scenes there has ever been in terms of Merlin's magic."

He continued: "It's definitely the most ambitious series yet. They've pushed our characters into manhood, and this is the Merlin I've been waiting for."

Morgan added that his wizard character was last seen "tipping over into a darker side" at the conclusion of the BBC drama's third run.

"I think that's a reference for me for the rest of this season," he explained. "I think he is so confident in himself now, and in who he is and what he is destined to do.

"He has a resilience and power that drives him for this season. He gives as good as he gets."

The fifth series of Merlin is currently shooting and will air on BBC One in late 2012.

'Inbetweeners' remake won't be watered down, insist producers

The producers of MTV's Inbetweeners remake have insisted that the show will not be watered down for US audiences.

Producer Aaron Kaplan told reporters at the TCA press tour that the new series will be both "offensive" and "sweet" like the original series.

"Like anything else, it's a challenge and that's one of the things that... MTV loved about the original as well," Kaplan said. "In spite of how offensive it could be, it was incredibly sweet.

"We made up a lot of original words that we can get past standards. And... the fact is when you take these four boys and put them in dating situations and situations that involve being irresponsible, you'll find that they can be just as offensive as any kid across the world."

Showrunner Brad Copeland added that the themes of The Inbetweeners are "universal" and not limited to UK teens, IGN reports.

"The idea of kids in high school struggling to have sex and drink... they're universal," he argued. "They've been around since [1982 film] Porky's at least. And I think it's always the same thing, whether it's that or American Pie or Breakfast Club.

"It's just people tapping into their own experiences, and what you're going to see is all of us tapping into our own experiences."

The first season of the US Inbetweeners is comprised of twelve instalments, with half of those being described as "skewed versions" of UK episodes.

"We have plots that we really enjoyed from the series that we wanted to put in, but usually we had to tweak it a little bit just because to fit... the American sensibility," Copeland explained.

"And I think the six episodes that we did on our own this season worked really, really well. It definitely gave us a launchpad to now transition into our own story and to take these universal themes and to take the characters from the original British version and make it our own, our own place, somewhat like The Office did."

The Inbetweeners debuts on MTV on Monday, August 20.

FCC Chief Signs Off on Verizon $3.6B Spectrum Deal

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski and the Justice Department have signed off on Verizon Wireless' plan to pay $3.6 billion for wireless spectrum controlled by Comcast and other major cable companies.

Genachowski will now urge the entire five-person commission to permit the transaction.

Verizon says it plans to use the spectrum to meet growing consumer demand for broadband data services. The growth of smartphones and other internet enabled devices have led to a spectrum crunch in recent years for technology companies.

Responding to concerns by Genachowski and the Justice Department, Verizon and the cable companies involved in the transaction -- Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks -- agreed to restrictions on how they can market each other’s video and broadband services in areas where they compete. Verizon also agreed to divest spectrum to one of its competitors, T-Mobile.

“I believe the Commission should now approve this transaction, and I will be circulating a draft order to my colleagues that would do so," Genachowski wrote.

He said the new agreements would "preserve Verizon's incentives to build out FiOS, increase wireless competition, and ensure that the proposed IP venture is pro-consumer and that its products cannot be used in anti-competitive ways."

The Justice Department also said the changes would provide "the right remedy for competition and consumers."

The public interest group Public Knowledge, however, said the companies should not be able to sell one another's products at all, because it contributes to a monopoly. The group is focused on intellectual property and freedom in the digital market.

"Policymakers can no longer pretend that the broadband market is competitive," said the group's president and CEO, Gigi B. Sohn. "Congress and the FCC should pursue new policies to stimulate competition in wireline internet access service--or resign themselves to regulating a broadband monopoly."

When Verizon announced plans for the spectrum acquisition last December, it said it and its cable industry partners had also agreed to sell each other’s products. Verizon also said the companies had formed a joint venture to develop wireless technology.

Consumer watchdog groups objected, saying the new partnerships would limit competition.

Natalie Cassidy: 'Celebrity Big Brother's Julie Goodyear is a diva'

Natalie Cassidy has given her verdict on the latest Celebrity Big Brother housemates.

The actress, who came eighth in the January edition of the Channel 5 show, said that she has heard rumours that Julie Goodyear is a "diva".

Natalie Cassidy is evicted from the Celebrity Big Brother House at the Elstree Studios, Borehamwood. Picture date: Friday January 20, 2012. See PA story SHOWBIZ Brother. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire

"I cannot believe the lineup! Seriously, I thought my house was good back in January, but last night blew me away!" she wrote on her Reveal blog.

"Firstly we had Julie Goodyear. What an amazing housemate. I have heard on the grapevine over the years that she might be a bit of a diva, so that should be interesting!

"My highlight of the evening was of course Martin Kemp going into the house! I sat and watched and nearly cried. He is an amazing man."

Speaking of Goodyear's secret task with Cheryl Fergison, she added: "They did brilliantly. The nerves and feelings you feel going in and being given a task like that to do, it's unbelievably nerve-wracking. It brought back some memories watching tonight."

Cassidy, who recently revealed that 50 Shades of Grey had improved her sex life, was famously given an earpiece by Big Brother and forced to carry out various tasks when she entered the house in January.

Wanda Sykes to Host Election Specials for Logo

Outspoken comedienne Wanda Sykes will throw her two cents into the upcoming presidential election.

Former "Chris Rock Show" star Sykes will host a pair of election specials for gay-centric cable outlet Logo, the network said Thursday. The specials, dubbed "NewNowNext Vote With Wanda Sykes," will "educate, activate and entertain viewers while shining a spotlight on the state of national politics through an LGBT lens," according to Logo.

Taped in front of a live audience in New York's Times Square, the episodes will employ a "rapid-fire, roundtable format with notable panelists from both sides of the political aisle."

“These specials will be thought provoking, exciting and the perfect forum to discuss important issues facing our community," Sykes said of the specials. "Plus, it is Logo so maybe I'll get to dress in drag!”

The first of the one-hour specials will air Sept. 10 at 10 p.m., four days prior to the Democratic National Convention. The second special will air on Nov. 5, the eve of the election, at a time to be announced.

Nicole Scherzinger: 'I'm still waiting for flowers from One Direction'

Nicole Scherzinger has claimed that the UK X Factor fans had shown her a "lot of love" at the auditions and has promised that she'll perform during the Live Shows in the autumn.

Speaking at the series nine launch, the former Pussycat Dolls star said that the attitude to the British series was "more laidback" when compared to her time working with Simon Cowell and the Fox network in America on The X Factor USA.

"The X Factor family over here are great. I had fun in America too, but it's a different show over here," she said.

"It's a well-oiled machine in the UK and last year was the first year in the US and that played into it for Simon, me and everyone involved.

"Here it is far more laidback and there's more characters involved."

Speaking about the differences between the acts, Scherzinger said: "Typically in the US we have big diva singers like Whitney [Houston] and Mariah [Carey]. Over here, there's more wit, storytelling and folk-y style music. There's more character and tone to the singers."

Scherzinger last appeared on the UK X Factor two years ago, when she helped put together One Direction with Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh at Boot Camp.

Joking about her lack of credit for her helping hand in their creation, she said: "Those little buggers! I haven't received flowers from them. I'm still waiting!

"It has been crazy to see how massive they are in the US. Just yesterday I was remembering how we put those guys together. It's an incredible feeling to feel like you were part of something like that at the very beginning."

Scherzinger was coy when asked about her relationship with F1 star Lewis Hamilton, but did reveal that her schedule with the show and Hamilton's racing commitments meant her move to the UK probably wouldn't help them see any more of each other.

"My job takes up most of the time and a lot of shows will air at the same time as [his] races. We'll try our best.," she said.

The X Factor UK starts on Saturday, August 18 at 8pm on ITV1.