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vrijdag 3 februari 2012

Bruce Norris quits HBO's 'The Corrections' pilot?

Bruce Norris quits HBO's 'The Corrections' pilot?

Bruce Norris has reportedly left HBO's highly-anticipated pilot The Corrections.

The show, which is being produced by Scott Rudin and directed by Noah Baumbach, is an adaptation of Jonathan Franzen's award-winning novel of the same name.

Norris had allegedly been lined up to play the elder brother Gary in the pilot but chose to exit the project, the New York Post reports.

He allegedly told Rudin: "I don't like to do pilots."

Rudin is now said to be so angry with Norris that he has scrapped plans to bring the actor's play Clybourne Park to Broadway and will no longer help with two other projects he had been working on.

"[Norris] behaved like a total asshole," a source claimed. "He got every point he wanted in his contract, and then he just walked away. He acted in complete and total bad faith. Scott was furious."

Neither Rudin nor Norris have commented on the rumours.

Dianne Wiest, Chris Cooper and Ewan McGregor have all signed up for lead roles in the pilot for The Corrections, which is currently in development.

NBC's 'The Munsters' becomes 'Mockingbird Lane'

NBC's 'The Munsters' becomes 'Mockingbird Lane'

NBC has changed the title of its forthcoming reboot of The Munsters.

The project, from Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller, will now be known as Mockingbird Lane, according to TVLine.

The new title comes from the Munster family address at 1313 Mockingbird Lane.

X-Men's Bryan Singer is also on board as an executive producer on the project, which is currently in the casting stage.

The original Munsters starred Fred Gwynne, Al Lewis and Butch Patrick and ran on CBS from September 24, 1964 to May 12, 1966.

A sequel series The Munsters Today followed two decades later, airing from October 8, 1988 to May 25, 1991.

Butch Patrick - who played the original Eddie Munster - previously criticised Fuller's remake, insisting that the new series is "not going to do well".

"Honestly, it should be left alone," he said. "I think it shows they are desperate for content."

In September, it was announced that Fuller was also working on a television series based on the character of Hannibal Lecter, the cannibalistic serial killer famously played by Anthony Hopkins in 1991 film The Silence of the Lambs.

'The Voice's Dia Frampton: 'Every day is hilarious with Blake Shelton'

'The Voice's Dia Frampton: 'Every day is hilarious with Blake Shelton'

Dia Frampton has described touring with her former The Voice mentor Blake Shelton as "awesome".

The 'Broken Ones' singer - who was a finalist on the first season of The Voice - is currently on the road with Shelton on his 'Well Lit & Amplified Tour'.

Speaking to NBC New York, she said: "Blake is awesome and the tour has been great. The amazing thing about Blake is [that] he is who he is."

As for her dreams for the coming year, the singer said: "Hopefully touring overseas. That's a big dream of mine. Also, just touring in general. I'm ready to work for this album and get it out there! I don't care if I have to be on the road every single day this year!"

Frampton released her album Red last year.

Shelton discussed his invitation for Frampton to join him on tour in a recent video, saying: "She has actually earned this spot. It's not that I'm handing her this tour. She has developed a fan base out there and it makes sense, I think, for people to see us together on tour after seeing our music connection on The Voice. I think it's a natural fit to bring her out there on the road with me."

Frampton can be seen in her own NBC webseries Dia's Next Stage, a five-episode series that follows her life after The Voice. The first episode premiered today (February 2) on and The Huffington Post.

The Voice returns for its second season immediately following the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 5 before settling into its regular Monday night slots from February 6.

Damian Lewis nearly turned down 'Homeland'

Damian Lewis nearly turned down 'Homeland'

Damian Lewis has revealed that he nearly turned down the role of Nicholas Brody in Showtime's Golden Globe-winning series Homeland.

The Band of Brothers star confessed that his experiences working on NBC series Life had made him wary of signing up for another major American TV role.

"[Life] was at quite a lot of personal cost, from a family point of view - that sounds a bit melodramatic, we're all still together! - but it was long hours working with [my partner] Helen sitting in the house with the kids," said Lewis.

"I wasn't prepared for quite the workshop hours you work on some American TV shows. So I said to my agent 'Only if it's extraordinary, and if it's on cable TV, so it's a five-month commitment rather than a ten-month commitment'.

"Unbelievably fortunately, this thing came my way, and I very nearly said no to it, for all the reasons I've just explained."

Explaining what changed his mind, he added: "The pilot - which was all I read - had political ambition, it was psychologically detailed and specific, dark in places, and so ambitious. It was tapping into conditions that interest me - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and men returning from war, and bipolar disorder in Claire's character.

"While tackling these rather serious issues, it also managed to be a page-turner. And it also managed to be a political show at the same time, posing the question, 'In our pursuit of terrorists, have we gone about it in the right way?'

"It just seemed brilliantly representative of a slightly uncertain, paranoid world we live in now. It's a bold claim for one hour of TV, but I spoke to them, and they convinced me that these were all themes that they wanted to pursue. And they sustain it.

"They're brilliant, and I'm unbelievably lucky to be working with them. Thank God I said yes to it."

Homeland, which was a ratings and critical hit for Showtime last autumn, will air in the UK later this month on Channel 4.

'American Horror Story' Kate Mara for David Fincher's 'House of Cards'

'American Horror Story' Kate Mara for David Fincher's 'House of Cards'

Kate Mara has joined the cast of David Fincher's House of Cards.

The original Netflix series will star Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood, a ruthless politician who targets the new president when he is passed over for secretary of state.

American Horror Story star Mara has now joined the project as Washington newspaper reporter Zoe Barnes.

Desperate for a scoop, Barnes will make a deal with Underwood to boost her career, but is unprepared for the consequences.

Mara - the sister of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo star Rooney Mara - recently played Hayden McClaine on FX's American Horror Story and has also appeared on 24 and Entourage.

Other stars to have signed up for the new House of Cards include Robin Wright and Revolutionary Road actress Kristen Connolly, who will play the bold executive assistant of another congressman.

House of Cards first emerged as a novel written by Michael Dobbs, a former chief of staff at the UK's Conservative Party headquarters.

A four-part BBC adaptation, starring Ian Richardson as lead character Francis Urquhart, aired from November 18 to December 9 in 1990.

The new House of Cards will premiere exclusively on Netflix in late 2012.

Noel Fielding 'Luxury Comedy' handed second series by E4

Noel Fielding 'Luxury Comedy' handed second series by E4

Noel Fielding has been given a second run of his surreal E4 series Luxury Comedy.

The Mighty Boosh comic's first solo TV project only premiered last week, but Channel 4 has already announced plans for a second six-episode run in 2013.

Characters in the show include an anteater butler; Tony Reason, a manta ray music producer who lives in a fish tank; a chocolate finger games teacher; and Sgt Raymond Boombox, a food-loving New York Cop with a knife wound that talks to him.

Fielding worked with director Nigel Coan (Bunny and the Bull) on the wacky mixture of live action and animation.

"Delighted to get a second series of Luxury Comedy - we'll definitely make the second one more like a Wednesday morning," said Fielding.

"Channel Four have been so supportive and given us creative freedom to experiment with ideas and techniques. And I think we can push things further and make something even more out there next time."

Channel 4's commissioning comedy editor Nerys Evans said: "If series one brought us a talking knife wound and a man with ice-cream for eyes, we can't wait to see where else Noel's comedy mind will take us next."

Simon Cowell offering Beyoncé $100m for 'X Factor' judging gig?

Simon Cowell offering Beyoncé $100m for 'X Factor' judging gig?

Simon Cowell has reportedly offered Beyoncé $100 million to become a judge on the second season of The X Factor USA.

Cowell apparently reached out to the 'Countdown' singer as he wants to add a big name celebrity to the panel in order to increase the Fox singing competition's ratings, reports Media Takeout.

"He wants a big name female star on the panel. Mariah [Carey] is good, but she's not that hot today," a source told the website, explaining that Cowell is keen to sign the star to a five-year, $500 million contract.

"He wants Beyoncé because that would immediately give him the bounce needed to beat American Idol."

Beyoncé's reps have not responded to the reports, though a separate insider claimed that she will make a "major career announcement" in the coming months.

The X Factor USA has undergone a major shake-up in the past week, with host Steve Jones and judges Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul all departing the show.

Gordon Ramsay's 'Kitchen Nightmares' renewed for fifth season by Fox

Gordon Ramsay's 'Kitchen Nightmares' renewed for fifth season by Fox

Kitchen Nightmares has been renewed for a fifth season.

Fox announced on Thursday (February 2) that the Gordon Ramsay reality series will return with 16 new episodes.

"It's great to be back for a fifth season… Who knew there were that many nightmares to be had?!" Ramsay said of the announcement.

Kitchen Nightmares follows Ramsay as he journeys to help failing restaurants become thriving businesses.

In October, Ramsay's amateur competition MasterChef was renewed for a third season by Fox.

The reality star previously signed on to star in a new Fox unscripted series titled Hotel Hell. The show will see Ramsay and other hospitality experts travel to struggling hotels around the US and offer their guidance.

'The Only Way Is Essex' continues with 810,000 viewers on ITV2

'The Only Way Is Essex' continues with 810,000 viewers on ITV2

The Only Way Is Essex grabbed nearly 810k with the second episode of the new series, according to overnight data.

The ITV2 reality show averaged 809k (4.2%) from 10pm, slightly down from its premiere when it attracted more than a million viewers.

The Only Way Is Essex drew a further 142k (1.4%) on timeshift.

On the terrestrials, a two-hour instalment of Midsomer Murders took 5.88m (24%) for ITV1 from 8pm (+1: 370k/1.7%).

Opposite the crime drama, BBC One's DIY SOS: The Big Build and MasterChef had 4.43m (18.4%) and 4.53m (18.2%) respectively.

Elsewhere, BBC Two aired Natural World (1.89m/7.8%) and The Crusades (1.51m/6.1%).

9pm's One Born Every Minute performed well for Channel 4 with 3.21m (12.9%) and an impressive 503k (2.8%) on timeshift. How to Cook Like Heston was shown earlier, appealing to 1.4m (5.9%) from 8pm (+1: 143k/0.6%), with The Fabulous Baker Brothers taking 1.37m (5.6%) from 8.30pm (+1: 134k/0.5%).

Channel 5's Benidorm ER had 1.08m (4.5%) from 8pm, with an airing of Exit Wounds averaging 893k (4.1%) from 9pm. Cowboy Builders earlier grabbed 532k (2.4%).

Overall, ITV1 won primetime with 21.3% (+1: 1.1%) against BBC One's 19.7%. Channel 4 finished third with 8.8% (+1: 1.1%), ahead of BBC Two's 6.8% and Channel 5's 3.7%.

Super Bowl: Madonna Promises 'No Wardrobe Malfunctions'

Super Bowl: Madonna Promises 'No Wardrobe Malfunctions'

When the New England Patriots meet the New York Giants in Sunday's Super Bowl, it will be first time the Pats will play in a domed stadium this year.

To prepare his team and simulate the sound of thousands of rabid, screaming hostile fans, New England coach Bill Belichek has had ear-splittingly loud music piped in while his team practices.

Among the artists Belichek bludgeoned his players' eardrums with: Super Bowl halftime performer Madonna.

No mentiion of Belichek's music choices was made at the Material Girl's Super Bowl news conference on Thursday, but she did say:

>> That performing at the Super Bowl haltime show was "a Midwesterner girl’s dream" and said that she wanted to dedicate her performance to her father.  “I’m sure of all the things I’ve ever done in my life, this will be the thing he’s most excited about,” she laughed.

>> That there would be no Janet Jackson-style slips. “Great attention to detail has been paid to my wardrobe. There will be no wardrobe malfunctions. Promise.”

>> That she would not reveal details about the performance itself, including the set list. She did say that she would sing “three old songs and one new one” — her new single, “Give Me All Your Luvin.

>> That she wouldn't be tipping off any possible halftime guest performances. “I really don’t want to blow the surprises. I want people to be knocked out of their seats from beginning to end, and so I just want to keep that surprise and keep anticipation going.  Sorry.”

Asked by a little girl reporting for Scholastic about the craziest thing she’d seen in Indianapolis, Madonna got big laughs when she replied, “Me!”

Daniel Lissing joins 'The Shield' creator's ABC pilot 'Last Resort'

Daniel Lissing joins 'The Shield' creator's ABC pilot 'Last Resort'

Daniel Lissing has won a role in ABC drama pilot Last Resort.

The pilot - from The Shield creator Shawn Ryan and Dead Like Me's Karl Gajdusek - will focus on the crew of a US nuclear submarine, who become fugitives when they refuse to fire the craft's missiles.

Australian star Lissing is the first actor cast on the project and will play James King, a lethal Navy SEAL with no ties back in the US, according to Deadline.

He is best known for his role on Australian comedy-drama Crownies and has also filmed roles in forthcoming movies The Cure and John Doe.

Green Lantern and Casino Royale director Martin Campbell has signed up to direct the Last Resort pilot.

In addition to his work on FX's The Shield, Shawn Ryan served as showrunner on Lie to Me and created short-lived Fox drama The Chicago Code.

Other drama pilots currently in the works at ABC include the period-set Gilded Lillys from Shonda Rhimes, Devious Maids from Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry and conspiracy thriller Zero Hour from Prison Break's Paul Scheuring.

PILOT CASTINGS: Jamie Bamber In ‘Chelsea General’, Two Join Sarah Silverman Comedy

PILOT CASTINGS: Jamie Bamber In ‘Chelsea General’, Two Join Sarah Silverman Comedy

Former Battlestar Galactica star Jamie Bamber has landed a lead role in David E. Kelley’s TNT medical drama pilot Chelsea General. Based on CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s upcoming novel Monday Mornings, the project follows the lives of five surgeons as they push the limits of their abilities and confront their personal and professional failings. Bamber will play one of them, Dr. Tyler Wilson, supernova vascular neurosurgeon who has a fling with a fellow neurosurgeon (Jennifer Finnigan). Kelley and Gupta, who is a practicing neurosurgeon, are executive producing the pilot; Kelley’s frequent collaborator Bill D’Elia is set to direct.

Tig Notaro and Lost alum Ken Leung round out the cast of Sarah Silverman’s NBC comedy pilot. Inspired by Silverman’s real-life experiences, the project stars the comedian as successful singer/songwriter Susan Farrow who realizes her stifling ten year relationship has been a bust and returns  to her old apartment in a an upscale Manhattan apartment building. Notaro will play one of Susan’s new friends, Beth Ann, a tenant in the building who has a 4 year-old daughter. Leung will play the recurring role of Gene, a shut-in who spends most of his time of his time on his couch, wrapped in a blanket and watching TV. Like the other 2 co-leads opposite Silverman, Harris Wittels and June Diane Raphael, Notaro is a comedian-writer. Like Wittles, she also worked with Silverman on her Comedy Central series. (Notaro was a recurring, Wittles a writer). And like with Wittles, the role was written for her and she will play a version of herself. (In the script, the character’s name was originally Tig). Silverman wrote the pilot with Dan Sterling and Jon Schroeder, who also worked on her Comedy Central series. Ken Kwapis is set to direct.

In other pilot news, Ernie Hudson has booked a recurring role on NBC’s futuristic drama Beautiful People, set in the near future in a society where humans co-exist with mechanical androids that look like people but are treated like second-class citizens. Hudson, repped by  the Marshak/Zachary Co., will play the owner of a law firm.

J.J. Abrams to Cause a 'Revolution' at NBC

J.J. Abrams to Cause a 'Revolution' at NBC

Where J.J. Abrams is concerned, the "Revolution" will definitely be televised.

"Lost" creator Abrams, along with his fellow "Alacatraz" producer Bryan Burk and "Supernatural" creator Eric Kripke have been given the green-light from NBC for their pilot "Revolution." Described as a "high octane action drama," the pilot follows "a group of characters struggling to survive and reunite with loved ones in a world where all forms of energy have mysteriously ceased to exist."

Abrams and Burk will executive-produce the Warner Bros. Television project, with Kripke writing and executive-producing.

Earlier this week, Abrams and Burk landed the pilot "Shelter" with the CW. That project is set in a ""historic New England summer resort where the new and returning staff attend to the practical, emotional and often comical needs of the guests while navigating friendships, rivalries and romances of their own."

Michael Sheen Replaces Paul Bettany in Showtime's 'Masters of Sex'

Michael Sheen Replaces Paul Bettany in Showtime's 'Masters of Sex'

Michael Sheen is stepping into Paul Bettany's sex-researcher shoes.

The "Twilight Saga" and "Frost/Nixon" actor has been cast in the title role of Showtime's upcoming pilot "Masters of Sex." Sheen is replacing "A Beautiful Mind" star Bettany, who withdrew from the project in January for undisclosed reasons.

Sheen will play William Masters, who together with Virginia Johnson pioneered the field of sex research in the 1960s. The actor will also serve as a producer on the project.

Lizzy Caplan ("Mean Girls," "Cloverfield") will play Johnson, Showtime also said Thursday.

Production on the Sony Pictures Television pilot will begin in New York in March. Michelle Ashford, Judith Verno, Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly are executive-producing.

The project is based on the Thomas Maier book "Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love." Ashford, Timberman and Beverly penned the script.

Feds Seize 16 Sites That Stream Live Sports

Feds Seize 16 Sites That Stream Live Sports

Federal officials took down 16 websites today that they say illegally stream live sports and pay-per-view events — three days before the U.S.’ biggest live-TV event the Super Bowl.

The government said he sites offered links to pirated telecasts of NFL, NBA and NHL games and wrestling events.

A Michigan man has been charged for running a majority of the sites.

The news came soon after New England Patriots quarterback said in an interview that he watched last year’s Super Bowl via a pirated web feed. “Last year I was rehabbing my foot in Costa Rica, watching the game on an illegal Super Bowl website,” he said. “And now I’m actually playing in the game. So, it’s pretty cool.”

Brady and his Patriots face the New York Giants on Sunday in the NFL’s title game, which last year set an all-time TV record when it drew 111 million total viewers. NBC, which has the game this year, already has taken a step to stomp out piracy by announcing it will stream the Super Bowl live.

Hulu Picks Up Mocumentary Comedy Series From Liz Tuccillo And Paul Bartholomew

Hulu Picks Up Mocumentary Comedy Series From Liz Tuccillo And Paul Bartholomew

Hulu has picked up Paul the Male Matchmaker, a 10-episode original comedy series created by actor-writers Liz Tuccillo (Sex and the City) and Paul Bartholomew (Mad Men). The mocumentary comedy, from Warner Bros. TV Group’s digital unit Studio 2.0 and Generate, stars Bartholomew as a hopeless male matchmaker who has little to no affection for women, yet is determined to help them find a soul mate. It premieres on February 13 with Janeane Garofalo, Lisa Edelstein, Tony Hale and Sam Trammell among the guest stars.

ABC Announces February Sweeps Programming, Including the Series Premiere of "The River"

ABC Announces February Sweeps Programming, Including the Series Premiere of "The River"

The ABC Television Network announces highlights of its upcoming February sweeps programming, including the two-hour series premiere of the highly anticipated thriller "The River," as well as the return of the fan favorite comedy "Cougar Town."

Development Update........

Development Update........

666 PARK AVENUE (ABC) - Alex Graves ("Terra Nova") is set to helm the drama pilot, about "a historic apartment building in New York City and centers on a young couple who become its managers who unwittingly begin to experience supernatural occurrences, which complicate and endanger the lives of everyone in the residence." He'll work from a script by David Wilcox, which is based on Gabriella Pierce's book of the same name. Alloy Entertainment's Gina Girolamo and Leslie Morgenstein are also executive producing for Warner Bros. Television. (

AMERICANA (ABC) - Phillip Noyce ("Revenge") is on board to direct and executive produce the drama pilot, "a soap set around a legendary fashion designer and his family and business." He'll work from a script by Michael Seitzman, who's likewise executive producing alongside Mark Gordon and Nicholas Pepper for ABC Studios. (

ANIMAL KINGDOM (NBC) - Anthony and Joe Russo ("Community") have signed on to helm and executive produce the comedy pilot, about a veterinarian who loves animals but usually hates their owners. Brian Gatewood and Alex Tanaka penned the Universal Television-based half-hour, which is also executive produced by American Work's Ravi Nandan and Scot Armstrong. (

BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (NBC) - David Conrad ("Ghost Whisperer") and Tovah Feldshuh ("Law & Order") have both landed roles on the pilot, an imaginative and thematically rich ensemble "what if" drama set 10 minutes in the future where families of mechanical human beings exist to service the human population -- that is until some of the mechanicals begin to "awaken." He'll play Jerry, the head of Universal Kinematics and husband of Andrea Parker's Roberta, "a Steve Jobs-type of entrepreneurial genius, expert at both high-level design and higher-level marketing of sophisticated Mechanical servants." Feldshuh then is set as Lynch, a police department captain who is determined to keep Mechanicals a cowed, servile underclass. Cody Christian, Frances Conroy, James Murray, Jud Tylor, Madisen Beaty, Megalyn Echikunwoke and Patrick Heusinger also star in the ABC Studios/Universal Television-based hour, from writer Michael McDonald and director Stephen Hopkins. (

BEN FOX IS MY MANNY (FOX) - Maggie Jones ("We Bought a Zoo") has joined the cast while Jake Kasdan ("New Girl") is set to direct the comedy pilot, about "an uptight single mother whose aimless brother moves in to help raise her daughter." She'll play said daughter, Maddie, in the half-hour, which Dana Fox penned and is executive producing for the 20th Century Fox Television-based Chernin Entertainment. (

CHELSEA GENERAL (TNT) - Jennifer Finnigan ("Better with You") is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about the lives of five surgeons as they push the limits of their abilities and confront their personal and professional failings. She'll play one of them, Tina Ridgeway, a neurosurgeon who has a fling with a fellow neurosurgeon. Bill D'Elia is directing the hour from a script by David E. Kelley, which is turn is based on Sanjay Gupta's book "Monday Mornings." (

DO NO HARM (NBC) - Michael Mayer ("Smash") is set to direct the drama pilot, about "a brilliant neurosurgeon who wrestles with his dangerous alter-ego that threatens to wreak havoc on his personal and professional life." He'll work from a script by David Schulner, who's executive producing alongside Peter Traugott and Rachel Kaplan for Universal Television. (

HOUSE OF CARDS (Netflix) - Kate Mara ("American Horror Story") and Kristen Connolly ("The Cabin in the Woods") have both been cast in the Kevin Spacey-led drama, a satirical tale of power, corruption and lies based on the book and acclaimed BBC mini-series of the same name. The former will play Zoe Barnes, "a reporter for a top Washington newspaper who, desperate for a break, makes a deal with Underwood for a scoop that could cost her soul," while the latter will recur as "the headstrong executive assistant of another Congressman." Robin Wright also stars in the project, from David Fincher and fellow executive producer Spacey. (

LAST RESORT (ABC) - Daniel Lissing (David Gould's upcoming "The Cure") is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about "the crew of the U.S.S. Nevada, a nuclear submarine, who, after disobeying a suspicious order, become fugitives and take over a NATO Listening Station, ultimately declaring themselves an independent nuclear nation." He'll play SEAL Officer James King ("Longtime Navy SEAL. A lethal killer. Ex-wife, ex-children, ex-life. No ties back home.") in the Sony Pictures Television-based hour, which comes from director Martin Campbell and co-creators Karl Gajdusek and Shawn Ryan. (

MALIBU COUNTRY (ABC) - The Reba McEntire-led comedy, about a woman who divorces her broke, cheating rock star husband and moves her family from Nashville to the only asset she has left - a little house in Malibu, has been ordered to pilot by the Alphabet. ABC Studios is behind the multi-camera project with McEntire, Mindy Schultheis, Michael Hanel, Narvel Blackstock, Dave Stewart, Pam Williams and creator Kevin Abbott. (

PRAIRIE DOGS (ABC, New!) - Jackie and Jeff Filgo have scored a pilot commitment for a new comedy about "an uncool cubicle worker at one of the coolest companies in the world, who becomes the victim of identity theft. When he discovers the thief has created a much more fulfilling, kick ass life with his identity than he ever has, he engages the charismatic conman to help him change his life." Said half-hour is set up at ABC Studios with the duo executive producing. (

UNTITLED KEVIN WILLIAMSON PROJECT (FOX) - Kevin Bacon has snagged the lead role on the drama pilot, "an edge-of-the-seat thriller about a diabolical serial killer who uses technology to create a cult of serial killers, and a retired FBI profiler who finds himself in the middle of it." He'll play said agent, Ryan Hardy, who's tired and textured by life... and lots of booze. It's understood that Bacon's deal is for 15 episodes per season rather than the standard 22. Marcos Siega is directing the hour for Williamson's Warner Bros. Television-based Outerbanks Entertainment. (

The 'Steven Spielberg Exception' to TV's Indecency Rules?

The 'Steven Spielberg Exception' to TV's Indecency Rules?

How does the FCC define indecent material on television? If you’re Fox, you’d likely answer that the FCC doesn’t really know – or has several different definitions depending on who’s asking.

That’s at least the impression the network gives in the case of Federal Communications Commission v. Fox Television Stations, Inc., which was recently argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The case primarily addresses the question of whether the FCC’s decisions as to what constitutes “indecency” on public broadcast television between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. are unconstitutionally arbitrary under the First Amendment. Fox alleges that whereas the FCC has permitted primetime television broadcasts of Steven Spielberg’s "Saving Private Ryan" and "Schindler’s List," complete with full nudity and swearing, the FCC has sanctioned other television broadcasts, such as an episode of "NYPD Blue," due to brief displays of nudity or swearing.

Our reading of the oral argument transcript, however, is that the Supreme Court seems more sympathetic to the position of the FCC. Focusing largely on the interests of children and the rights of parents, a number of Justices seemed to embrace the notion that within a sea of profane cable and Internet options, there should be “a safe haven” where parents know their kids won’t be “bombarded with curse words or nudity.”

The spectrum of public television broadcasting, which is owned and licensed by the government to TV networks such as Fox, provides that safe haven. As Chief Justice John Roberts (the only Justice with relatively young children) stated: “All we are asking for, what the government is asking for, is a few channels where you can say I’m not going to – they are not going to hear the S word, the F word. They are not going to see nudity.”

A number of practical arguments made against the FCC didn’t appear to gain much traction with the Court. For instance, the government pointed out that V-Chip technology has proved to be unreliable and deficient in ensuring that all “offensive” language gets blocked. And although there are cable networks devoted to children’s programming, private companies decide whether or not such programming will exist.

In addition, the argument that TV programming will be regulated by advertisers who don’t want to alienate viewers with offensive shows, seems to have it backward: It seems more likely that advertisers would embrace the opportunity to attract more viewers with titillating and “shocking” broadcasts.

So how does the FCC decide that "Schindler’s List" is acceptable to broadcast before 10 p.m., but "NYPD Blue" is not? The FCC’s decisions are basically “context-based” judgment calls.

Justice Elena Kagan seemed troubled that “it’s like nobody can use dirty words or nudity except for Steven Spielberg.” Justice Antonin Scalia, however, likened the federal government’s discretion in this area to the Supreme Court’s own requirement of “a certain modicum of dress for people that attend this Court and the people that attend other Federal courts….

[T]hese are public airwaves, the government is entitled to insist upon a certain modicum of decency.”

In other words, as was famously stated by the Supreme Court decades ago in addressing the question of what constitutes pornography, the Court seems OK with the notion of the federal government ‘knowing indecency when it sees it.’ It appears that major motion pictures by Steven Spielberg about World War II are not “indecent.”

In the end, Justice Samuel Alito may have best summarized the practical significance of this case – or lack thereof – when he commented that “broadcast TV is living on borrowed time. It is not going to be long before it goes the way of vinyl records and 8-track tapes.” Perhaps. If that observation is correct, then the First Amendment should not take a serious hit by a ruling in favor of the FCC’s ability to continue to regulate the public airways.

For now, though, networks still consider the public airways to be valuable property worthy of their investments and programming. That fact may be seen as further justifying the FCC’s entitlement to regulate what the government licenses out, albeit on an imperfect basis.

Whatever lifespan public television broadcasting may still have, the Supreme Court seems unlikely to deregulate it as Fox hopes in the name of the First Amendment. The Court should issue its ruling before its term ends in June of this year.

TV Tonight 3rd of February 2012

TV Tonight 3rd of February 2012

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

    20/20 S34E22: "Season 34, Episode 22"
    A Gifted Man S01E12: "In Case of Blind Spots"
    Air Crash Investigation S11E09: "Under Pressure"
    Alaska Wing Men S02E05: "Convict on Board"
    Amagami SS S02E05: "Episode 5"
    America's Most Wanted S25E10: "Season 25, Episode 10"
    Bering Sea Gold S01E02: "One Bad Deal"
    Black Rock Shooter S01E01: "Episode 1"
    Blade Anime S01E04: "That Was Then, This is Now"
    Blue Bloods S02E12: "The Job"
    Chris Moyles Quiz Night S05E09: "John Barrowman, JLS, Alesha Dixon"
    Coach Trip S09E05: "Series 9, Day 5"
    Come Dine With Me S18E18: "Series 18, Come Dine With Me"
    Come Dine With Me S18E17: "Series 18, Episode 15"
    Confessions: Animal Hoarding S03E11: "Pack of 38 Dogs"
    Coronation Street S53E25: "Fri Feb 3, 2012 [Episode 2]"
    Coronation Street S53E24: "Fri Feb 3, 2012 [Episode 1]"
    CSI: NY S08E12: "Brooklyn ‘Til I Die"
    Dateline NBC S21E21: "FR2120"
    Days of our Lives S47E61: "Ep. #11771"
    Deal Or No Deal (UK) S07E150: "Episode 1830"
    Dickinson's Real Deal S08E44: "Series 8, Episode 44"
    Doctors S13E191: "Another Year"
    Dr. G: Medical Examiner S06E35: "Clue Game"
    EastEnders S28E21: "February 3, 2012"
    Emmerdale S41E30: "February 3, 2012"
    Escape To The Country S12E24: "Warwickshire"
    Flikken Maastricht S06E01: "Een nieuw begin"
    Four Weddings (2010) S03E26: "…and a Wishing Lantern"
    Fringe S04E11: "Making Angels"
    General Hospital (US) S49E214: "#12488"
    Generator Rex S03E11: "Remote Control"
    Gold Rush: Alaska S02E13: "Man Down"
    Got to Dance S03E36: "Series 3, Episode 36"
    Great British Railway Journeys S03E25: "Ballymoney to Londonderry"
    Grimm S01E10: "Organ Grinder"
    Guilty Crown S01E15: "Confession:Sacrifice"
    High School DxD S01E05: "Episode 5"
    Hollyoaks S18E25: "February 3, 2012"
    Home and Away (AU) S25E10: "Episode 5445"
    House of Anubis S02E40: "House of Wires"
    House of Anubis S02E39: "House of Double-Cross"
    Hustle S08E04: "Series 8, Episode 4"
    Infested S02E06: "Under Siege"
    Inu x Boku SS S01E04: "Episode 4"
    Jeopardy! S28E100: "Show #6305"
    Kill Me Baby S01E05: "Episode 5"
    Kitchen Nightmares S04E12: "Park's Edge"
    Last Call with Carson Daly S10E08
    Last Exile (JP) S02E15: "Episode 15"
    Late Night with Jimmy Fallon S02E214
    Late Show with David Letterman S19E19
    Law & Order: UK S06E05: "Line Up"
    Live From the Artists Den S04E01: "Adele"
    Live with Regis and Kelly S29E114
    Mastermind (UK) S40E13: "Series 40, Show 13"
    Mastermind (UK) S40E12: "Series 40, Show 12"
    Neighbours S28E20: "Episode 6330"
    Nikita S02E13: "Clean Sweep"
    On Freddie Roach S01E03: "Season 1, Episode 3"
    Persona 4 The Animation S01E17: "Episode 17"
    Pointless S05E109: "Series 5, Episode 109"
    Popstokk S02E05: "Åge Sten Nilsen, Maria Mohn, Linni Meister og Svein Østviik"
    Portlandia S02E05: "Cops Redesign"
    Primetime S23E03: "What Would You Do? (3)"
    Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is S05E25: "Series 5, Episode 25"
    Real Time With Bill Maher S10E04: "Season 10, Episode 4"
    Room 101 S12E03: "Alice Cooper, Chris Tarrant, Chris Packham"
    Safari Vet School S01E05: "Episode 5"
    Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta S03E09: "Mamas Know Best"
    Senhime Zesshou Symphogear S01E05: "Episode 5"
    Shark Tank S03E03: "Season 3, Episode 3"
    Spartacus: Blood and Sand S02E02: "A Place in This World"
    Spartacus: Vengeance S01E02: "A Place in This World"
    Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) S04E17: "The Box"
    Stella (UK) S01E05: "Episode 5"
    Supernatural S07E13: "The Slice Girls"
    Sweet Home Alabama S03E04: "Sparks Fly"
    The 7pm Project S04E25: "Season 4, Episode 25"
    The Bold and the Beautiful S25E224: "Ep. #6253"
    The Chase (2009) S05E24: "Series 5, Episode 24"
    The Ellen DeGeneres Show S09E93
    The Graham Norton Show S10E14
    The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret S02E05
    The Jeremy Kyle Show S07E100: "February 3, 2012"
    The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson S08E20: "Rachel Bilson, Jonathan Ames"
    The Life and Times of Tim S03E08: "Action Packed Heist / Fall Foliage"
    The Million Pound Drop Live S08E07: "Series 8, Episode 7"
    The Real Hustle (UK) S11E02: "Celebrity Chancers: Episode 2"
    The Revolution (2012) S01E15: "Season 1, Episode 15"
    The Rosie Show S01E64: "Beth Behrs, Traci Lords"
    The Tonight Show with Jay Leno S19E234: "Debra Messing, Jean Dujardin, Bush"
    The View S15E98: "Woody Harrelson, Carmen Wong Ulrich, Ian Drew"
    The Young and the Restless S39E221: "Ep. #9836"
    Thuis S17E115: "Season 17, Episode 115"
    Tyler Perry's House of Payne S07E45: "House of Nightmares"
    Tyler Perry's House of Payne S07E46: "In Payne"
    Voetbal International S04E46: "Season 4, Episode 46"
    Wanted Down Under S06E25: "Series 6, Episode 25"
    Wereld draait door, De S07E106: "Season 7, Episode 106"
    Who Do You Think You Are? (US) S03E01: "Martin Sheen"
    World's Toughest Trucker S01E05: "Episode 5"
    WWE Friday Night SmackDown! S12E71: "Season 12, Episode 71"

Randy Jackson: Mariah Carey Would Be 'Amazing' on 'X Factor'

Randy Jackson: Mariah Carey Would Be 'Amazing' on 'X Factor'

Randy Jackson says Mariah Carey -- whose career he has managed since late last year -- would be an "amazing" addition to "The X Factor."

"She'd be amazing. I manage her, of course I'm gonna say that," the "American Idol" judge said in a conference call with reporters Thursday. "But she'd be amazing. I don't know if that's ever gonna happen or whatever, but I think there's quite a few people -- Simon [Cowell]'s one of the smartest people I know. I'm sure he's got some very interesting ideas up his sleeve."

Jackson's former fellow "Idol" judge, Paula Abdul, was cut from "X Factor" this week along with judge Nicole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones. Cowell, who rounded out the original "Idol" panel with Jackson and Abdul, has long expressed an interest in bringing Carey into "X Factor," the show for which he left "Idol."

Jackson said he wouldn't stand in the way of Carey joining "X Factor" if she were interested.

"She's her own person," he said. "She can of course do whatever she wants and she always will do that."

Cowell has said previously that Carey's pregnancy made it impossible for her to take part in "X Factor." A planned appearance last season had to be called off because of Hurricane Irene.

Jackson said he has texted with Abdul but not spoken with her about her "X Factor" exit.

"It's sad to hear all that's going on with that show," he said, adding that "Idol" succeeded in part because of the chemistry between him, Abdul, Cowell and host Ryan Seacrest.

"We had a chemistry that we lucked out with," he said. "When you do these shows with any kind of judging panel, what you're really looking for is that chemistry."

He said he and Seacrest found good chemistry again with new judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez. Asked about lower ratings for "Idol" in the current season -- Tyler and Lopez's second -- he noted the show's age.

"'Idol''s in its eleventh season, it's still the number one show on television, not by the huge margins it was before," he said.

He also said the addition of "X Factor," "The Voice" and "America's Got Talent" -- which occasionally features vocalists -- had crowded the market for singing shows.

Ratings: 'Idol' Drops But Fox Still Tops; NBC's 'Whitney' and 'Chelsea' Grow

Ratings: 'Idol' Drops But Fox Still Tops; NBC's 'Whitney' and 'Chelsea' Grow

NBC's sitcoms "Whitney" and "Are You There Chelsea" enjoyed double-digit boosts Wednesday night, while Fox's "American Idol" gave Howie Mandel's "Mobbed" a massive boost and gave the network to a win for the evening, according to preliminary numbers.

"Idol," on Fox at 8, was down slightly from last week with a 9 percent dip, but was predictably the night's top-rated show. It had a 5.9 rating/17 share in the adults 18-49 demographic and 18.1 million total viewers. Those numbers proved beneficial to "Mobbed" the following hour. It received a 123 percent boost from its last airing two weeks ago, earning a 2.9/7 in the demo to take the night's second-highest ratings slot. "Mobbed" had 7.9 million total viewers. Overall Fox had the highest performance in the demo for the night with an average 4.4/12, and was also the most-watched network of the night with an average 13 million total viewers.

CBS took second place in the ratings for the night, despite running mostly repeats. The network started the night with "Super Bowl's Greatest Commercials" at 8, which drew a 2.1/6 in the demo and 8.6 million total viewers. "Criminal Minds" and "CSI" reruns fleshed out the night for the network, which received an average 1.9/5 in the demo and 8 million total viewers.

NBC and ABC tied for third in the demo for the night, with ABC running repeats and NBC's "Whitney" and "Are You There Chelsea" each growing 21 percent over the previous week. Both "Whitney" at 8 and "Are You There Chelsea" posted a 1.7/5 in the demo, with "Whitney" drawing 4.4 million total viewers and "Chelsea" receiving 4 million total viewers. The network ran repeats for the rest of the night.

John Hawkes a No for 'Walking Dead' Governor

John Hawkes a No for 'Walking Dead' Governor

No, John Hawkes will not be playing The Governor on "The Walking Dead."

That's the word from the Oscar-nominated actor's publicist after another actor seeking the role told that producers wanted the "Martha Marcy May Marlene" star to play the zombie drama's main villain.

"John is NOT appearing on The Walking Dead," publicist Karen Samfilippo said in an email to TheWrap.

Tom Savini, who has appeared in "Machete" and "Zack and Miri Make a Porno," told Movieweb that he has been lobbying "Walking Dead" producer Greg Nicotero for the role of The Governor for more than a year. But he said producers wanted Hawkes.

"Last time I talked to him about it, when I was in Los Angeles, he said they were going after a name for that part. I said, 'Who?' He said John Hawkes," said Savini.

Also read: 'Walking Dead' Star: Shane and Rick's Relationship Will Become 'Very Explosive'

A representative for "Walking Dead" executive producer Robert Kirkman (who wrote the comics that inspired the series) did not immediately respond to TheWrap's requests for comment.

The word from Hawkes' publicist is sure to fire the hopes of Savini, who directed a 1990 remake of "Night of the Living Dead."

"Everytime I see the graphic novel, and I see a picture of The Governor, who looks just like me, I send Greg a picture," he said.

Season two of "The Walking Dead" resumes on AMC on Feb. 12. Six new episodes remain before the show's March 18 season finale.

Glee First Look Video: Watch Ricky Martin and New Directions Perform 'Sexy and I Know It'

Glee First Look Video: Watch Ricky Martin and New Directions Perform 'Sexy and I Know It'

What do you get when you cross Ricky Martin and LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It”? One of Glee‘s most energetic and entertaining covers to date — and the proof is in the embedded video player below.

In Tuesday’s all-new Glee, McKinley High’s new Spanish teacher — played by the Latin pop sensation and sometime actor — leads New Directions in a Spanglish-ized version of the recent No. 1 smash. And man, does it ever work (out).