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woensdag 14 maart 2012

'Sherlock' series three to shoot in early 2013

'Sherlock' series three to shoot in early 2013

Sherlock exec Beryl Vertue has confirmed shooting dates for the next series.

The detective drama will resume filming in "early 2013", the producer told the BBC's in-house magazine Ariel.

However, Vertue added that it is too early to confirm a transmission date for the new episodes.

A third series of Sherlock - which stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman - was announced in January.

Series co-creator Steven Moffat announced that fans would not have "that long" to wait for the new run, though executive producer Sue Vertue later confirmed that the show would not return until 2013.

Cumberbatch is currently filming the sequel to 2009's Star Trek, while Freeman is shooting Peter Jackson's adaptation of The Hobbit.

The second series of Sherlock concluded on January 15, pulling in an overall audience of 9.78m for BBC One.

Jermaine Jones disqualified from 'American Idol'?

Jermaine Jones disqualified from 'American Idol'?

Jermaine Jones is to leave American Idol, it has been reported.

The 25-year-old singer, who was brought back to the competition for the first live show a couple of weeks ago, has reportedly been removed from the programme following background checks.

There are claims that producers discovered Jones was charged with two crimes in 2011, and that one of the incidents is alleged to have involved violence.

It is also alleged that Jones has outstanding warrants, and that there was doubt over claims that he was estranged from his father.

Jones was originally reported to have tweeted that he would no longer be on the show. However, the original message has since been removed.

He then retweeted a number of messages from Twitter users - most of which expressed support for him - which were also removed at around 11.30 ET (3.30 GMT).

Earlier on Tuesday, Jones also denied that he had told producers that his father had abandoned him, tweeting: "How can I be lieing nd I never said anything" (sic).

Five singer Sean Conlon 'rejected at The Voice UK audition'

Five singer Sean Conlon 'rejected at The Voice UK audition'

Former Five member Sean Conlon reportedly auditioned for BBC One's upcoming The Voice UK.

The singer - whose band scored three number one singles - did not make it through to the next stage of the competition however, after all four coaches chose not to turn around to approve his audition.

Coach Jessie J admitted that she was shocked to see Conlon after she eventually turned around, as she was a fan of Five in the 1990s.

"I was so excited about Sean from Five auditioning but I couldn't believe I didn't turn around for him," she told BANG Showbiz. "He was the first concert I ever went to.

"The way I react when I realise it's him will be the moment people realise I am still very much in a dream world and pinching myself that I'm here."

Conlon said that he was "gutted" to have failed his audition as he was looking to "close the door on Sean from Five".

Danny O'Donoghue added: "My heart goes out to every contestant, we've heard some really phenomenal singers. Hair raising. It takes a lot of confidence to come up on stage and audition, especially someone like Sean, but he's moved on from it and is still trying."

The Voice will launch on Saturday, March 24 on BBC One at 7pm. It will clash with ITV1's rival show Britain's Got Talent.

Reality Ratings Slip: Aging Bachelors, Idols and Dancers Lose Their Bite

Reality Ratings Slip: Aging Bachelors, Idols and Dancers Lose Their Bite

Are viewers tired of accepting reality shows' roses?

Monday night's worst-ever ratings for a "Bachelor" finale reflect a troubling trend for network execs: Viewers are no longer as loyal as they once were to aging reality tentpoles.

Also read: 'The Voice' Is Now Top-Rated Show of the Season; Can 'Idol' Regain Lead?

Before Monday's finale, "The Bachelor" averaged a 2.9 rating in the crucial 18-49 demographic – down 15 percent from last year's average at that point. And the ABC series has slid less than some other reality shows.

Even reality franchises that are still drawing big audiences seem to have fallen off the cultural grid, "American Idol" being the prime example. When was the last time Jon Stewart or Jay Leno made an "Idol" joke?

As the reality landscape has become increasingly niche-oriented, with cable competitors creating battles over fashion design, hair styling and rapping, the result has been that no single show seems to fire up the entire country the way "Idol," "Survivor" and other shows once did.

Gone are the days when catchphrases like "voted off the island" became late-night punchlines.

"Dancing With the Stars" inflamed extreme conservatives by chosing the transgendered Chaz Bono as a contestant last cycle, but the controversy didn't spark nearly as much outrage as when Bristol Palin made it into the final three in 2010.

CBS’s “The Amazing Race,” once a sure thing for best reality competition Emmy, is no longer a lock: Bravo’s “Top Chef” took the trophy away from the older franchise in 2010.

Networks still love reality competitions as a cheap, reliable source of ratings. Older competitions "American Idol" and "Survivor" draw strong ratings in the shrinking TV ratings landscape. But the decade-old "Bachelor" and 7-year-old "Dancing With the Stars" are not.

What's the cause of decline? Overfamiliarity with the formulas and twists leave less room for surprise. An ousted bachelor returning to "The Bachelorette" now feels inevitable.

Meanwhile, the most successful reality show of the last decade, "American Idol," has been punished for its success with a rash of imitators.

The No. 1-rated show for the last eight seasons is down 28 percent on Wednesday nights and 25 percent on Thursdays. It still scores an enviable 6.7 and 6.2, respectively, on those nights. It is the second highest rated show on the air -- outstanding for a decade-old series.

But a glutted market for singing competitions seems to have taken its toll. NBC's "The Voice," which debuted last year, is the top-rated show this season. Fox's "X Factor," which aired in the fall, earned roughly half the typical ratings for "Idol." And this summer ABC will debut "Duets," which will borrow inaugural "Idol" contestant Kelly Clarkson as its host.

Though it doesn't get "Idol" ratings, "Survivor" does seem to be immune from cancellation – it's still going strong after 12 years. CBS's reality competition helped spawn all the rest, but its ratings are also down.

The last go-round, "Survivor: South Pacific" averaged a 4.0 rating and was the 21st highest-ranked show overall, and the fourth-highest rated reality show.

"Survivor: One World," the current cycle, had a 3.2 and was the 43rd highest-rated show overall in its most recent ratings. It should be noted, however, that "Survivor" ratings climb with finales.

The fall cycle of "Dancing With the Stars," meanwhile, was down 22 percent for its first weekly airing – averaging a 3.6 – and 17 percent for its results show, which averaged a 3.3.  The show returns Monday, and no one in its cast looks as likely as Palin or Bono to capture the national interest. (I admit to rooting for Jaleel White. But is there anything controversial about the former Steve Urkel?)

NBC's "The Voice," which debuted last year, provides hope that a new twist on the old formula – with the right cast and right execution – can pay off. So it isn't that it's impossible to create a new reality giant.

But it's hard to say how much mileage remains on the older ones. "Idol" managed last year to rebuild itself, adding new judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez in place of Ellen DeGeneres, Kara DioGuardi and Simon Cowell. But the addition of "X Factor" to the Fox schedule -- complete with two former "Idol" judges -- reduced its anticipation factor.

"The Bachelor," meanwhile, has cannibalized itself with not only "The Bachelorette" but "Bachelor Pad," which brings back previous contestants on both shows.

'Hunger Games' TV Rights Gobbled Up by ABC Family

'Hunger Games' TV Rights Gobbled Up by ABC Family

"The Hunger Games" has landed a television home with a couple of weeks to go before its theatrical release.

Also read: "Hunger Games" Sneak Peek: Katniss Shows Off Her Archery Skills

ABC Family has acquired the rights to Lionsgate's seeming blockbuster-to-be, Broadcasting & Cable reports. The deal will give the cable outlet rights to air the movie 30 months after its theatrical release, which would place the first airing of the movie sometime in the latter half of 2014.

Though the movie -- based on Suzanne Collins' series of young-adult novels -- won't be hitting theaters until March 23, indications are that the highly anticipated film will be a sizable hit. A month prior to its release, "The Hunger Games" outpaced "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" in first-day advance ticket sales on, setting a new record in the site's 12-year history. ("Eclipse," released in 2010, has gone on to amass nearly $700 million worldwide.)

ABC Family declined to confirm the "Hunger Games" deal to TheWrap.

The cable outlet appears to be getting into the habit of acquiring blockbusters targeted at its young audience. "The Hunger Games" follows ABC Family's acquisition of the two-part "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."

A&E Developing Reality Competition Series with Michael Bay

A&E Developing Reality Competition Series with Michael Bay

A&E is developing what could be its first reality competition series, reports.

The docu-series network is teaming with Michael Bay to develop an as yet untitled competition show that will test the strength of a family unit. Andrew Form and Brad Fuller from Bay's Platinum Dunes' production company will executive-produce, alongside Nick Emmerson and Dan Perison.

Check out our fall TV scorecard to find out which shows will be returning and which won't

Should the series get picked up, it will also mark Bay's first unscripted show. The director is best-known for Transformers, Armageddon and Pearl Harbor.

Dissecting Alcatraz's Mysteries: Why Were the '63s Being Brainwashed?

Dissecting Alcatraz's Mysteries: Why Were the '63s Being Brainwashed?

Since this week's episode of Alcatraz was supposed to air before the two-hour special, "Clarence Montgomery" was light on new reveals. We did, however, learn that Warden James (Jonny Coyne) charged Dr. Beauregard (Leon Rippy) with using Lucille's mind-tampering techniques in reverse, causing an actually innocent prisoner to commit murder using the same techniques he was falsely convicted of.

Dissecting Alcatraz's Mysteries: Is the Warden a '63? Or is he pulling the strings?

Since we already learned about the colloidal silver in the prisoners' blood last week, it came as no surprise when Doc (Jorge Garcia) and Rebecca (Sarah Jones) deduced that there were experiments going on at Alcatraz. Thus, a shortened Dissection this week. Check out two of our big questions, along with a few fan theories worth mentioning:

Why was Dr. Beauregard brainwashing prisoners?
Were the powers that be hoping to create super killers just to have them return to present day to be unleashed upon San Francisco? That would be a good distraction for whatever their real plans are. Crazy theory or plausible?

Are the '63s returning at the same time?
Have the 300+ prisoners and guards all already returned to present day or are the powers that be only sending a few back at a time? Tommy Madsen (David Hoflin) killed Rebecca's partner before she even joined the task force, and the Ames brothers (Graham Shiels and Travis Aaron Wade) mentioned seeing Officer Donovan (Frank Whaley) a month prior on the Alcatraz tour. If they had all already returned, why has the public figured it out yet?

Fan theory #1: "Just a guess, but I think the Warden has been around since the Civil War. Somehow he came across the colloidal silver and has used it to preserve his life for over 150 years. I think he brought the silver to the island during the Civil War and has kept it hidden in the dungeon. There is some way to test the blood and that is why Madsen was continually being drained." —kecward78

Fan Theory #2: "I think it all comes back to Tommy. The decanted blood came from him, which is why he was always in the infirmary. It's probable that Rebecca's blood has similar healing properties. Tommy could've killed her partner to bring about the chain of events that would lead her to working with Hauser, to help catch the'63s. That could've been his 'off mission' moment." —bobby-j

What burning questions do you have about Alcatraz? And will you be tuning in to find out the answers? In case you missed our previous Dissections:
Week 1: Who are the '63s?
Week 2: How many '63s are working with Hauser?
Week 3: Who is Lucy, really?
Week 4: Why is Tommy Madsen so important?
Week 5: Hauser and Lucy's past revealed
Week 6: Will the '63s ever age?
Week 7: Is the Warden a '63? Or is he pulling the strings?

Alcatraz airs Mondays at 9/8c on Fox.

Elle Macpherson on Why Fashion Star Isn't Project Runway

Elle Macpherson on Why Fashion Star Isn't Project Runway

Viewers are probably expecting Fashion Star to be NBC's version of Project Runway. And it's understandable: the show follows a group of aspiring designers all vying for their big break. They'll work under the watchful eye of a panel of influential judges/mentors, and ultimately, one winner will be awarded a career-changing grand prize.

The series, which premieres Tuesday (9:30/8:30c), is going to be a "big surprise for a lot of people," says model, host and executive producer Elle Macpherson, who also has her own line of lingerie. "People are going to go in with a preconceived idea, and say this is a program about how to make a dress. And actually, it's a program about how to sell a dress."

What differentiates Fashion Star from its designer-competition predecessor is the fact that contestants have the opportunity to have their designs bid on by buyers (Macy's, H&M and Saks Fifth Avenue will all be represented) during each episode. Then, viewers are able to buy the products featured during the show in stores the next day, and online that same night.

The focus on the business aspect of the fashion industry (as opposed to strictly the fashion aspect) is actually the point of the show. The mentors and buyers work with contestants in an attempt to turn them into a mass commercial success, and the winner will land a total of $6 million in orders for collections in the three retailers. "I wanted to create a show that was about business, branding, buying and selling clothing," Macpherson says. "It's a different piece of the business — a different perspective on the fashion industry." To do so, Macpherson assembled a panel of judges who know a thing or two about launching successful lines: Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie and John Varvatos.

We got a sneak-peek at the series, and with the help of Macpherson, we were able to break down what else makes Fashion Star unique. As is the case with many new shows, some of it works, and some of it doesn't. Our analysis below:

1. It's a big production that takes place in a flashy auditorium, with the host, mentors, buyers and contestants all "performing" in front of a live audience.
What works: For starters, it's a refreshing change of pace to have an audience. There's also something to be said for the high-energy songs that accompany each runway show and keep things upbeat.
What doesn't: McPherson explained that her role as host was completely unscripted — no cue cards, no teleprompter — and unfortunately, she doesn't seem as comfortable playing host as we would have hoped — at least not in the first two episodes. But she promises things start to get more natural as the season progresses. "Working with such a bold, glossy and big production was completely new to me," she says. "There were so many different components: three stages, the buyers, mentors, contestants, the runway shows, musical acts —  it was just completely new. I can see that in my performance... It gets better! The show gets better and better. We all relax into it. It's a new format. None of us knew exactly how it was going to turn out."

2. Once viewers see something they love waltz down the runway, they will literally be able to purchase it in stores the next day, or online immediately following the program.
What works: It's a brilliant concept and a win-win for everyone: the retailers, the designers, the network, and the fans. "It's about exclusivity from a hot designer," Macpherson says. "There are millions of clothes that you can get that everybody else has, but it's so cool to be able to have something that's quite exclusive and only out today."
What doesn't: We won't be able to say for sure until the clothes actually become available, but at this point, there don't seem to be any drawbacks to the concept.

3. The show puts a greater focus on the clothes, the critiques, and the mentoring experience, and less on the behind-the-scenes interaction between the contestants.
What works: For the most part, the designers are an eclectic bunch with a wide variety of experience in the fashion industry. They range from a 55-year-old breast cancer survivor who has been designing clothes for over 25 years, to an outspoken immigrant from El Salvador who's known for overtly sexy party dresses.
What doesn't: With a greater focus on the business, there's less screen time for the interpersonal relationships of the designers. And that means... no drama! We know, we know. It's all about the clothes and the business. But aren't catfights and name-calling part of the guilty pleasure reality TV experience? "We're not interested in all the backstabbing that goes on behind the scenes," says Macpherson. "This is focused on the excitement of peoples' lives changing overnight because Macy's buys $200,000 worth of their clothes. That's phenomenal for a young designer."

4. There are no outlandish challenges, and the clothes are strictly designed with "wearability" in mind.
What works: The clothes are intended to have mass appeal and are marketed toward the everyday man or woman. Macpherson points out that, "we're looking at jeans and T-shirts and leather jackets and beach cover ups. We're not looking for couture gowns."
What doesn't: Because the designs are so focused toward the mainstream, they lack a bit of the bizarre, over-the-top creativity we loved on Project Runway. Sometimes it's fun to see designers forced to create a garment using old car parts or grocery store items, you know?

Fashion Star premieres Tuesday, March 13 at 9:30/8:30 on NBC.

Mad Men's Cast and Creator Pitch The New Season

Mad Men's Cast and Creator Pitch The New Season

It's been so long since Mad Men was on the air that it feels as though the show actually shot in the 1960s. We don't care to dwell on the contract negotiations that delayed it. What's important is that Don, Roger, Peggy, Pete, Joan, Betty, Lane, Sally and the rest of that impeccably groomed, highly dysfunctional crowd are back. With Season 5 premiering in a two-hour episode on March 25, TV Guide Magazine sat down with the cast — and creator Matthew Weiner — in Los Angeles to try to pry some secrets out of them and chat about why the wait was worth it.

Was it hard being off for so long?
Jon Hamm (Don Draper): Yes. It was forever. By the time we premiere, we will have been off for 525 days. That's an eternity in television time.
John Slattery (Roger Sterling): That first day on set, there was a feeling of "How the hell do you do this? Is this how you drink a vodka?" My voice sounded like it was coming out of my ear.

How is Season 5 different?
Weiner: It's about trying to make sense of the world as things change. We're deeper into the 1960s and everything's shifting. With Lucky Strike out [as a client], Roger has had to adapt. The letter Don sent condemning the cigarette industry sacrificed a lot, and we're seeing the impact. But I'm not spoiling anything by saying we did not get a new set. I would keep an eye on the hierarchy of the business.
Hamm: Season 5 is about deepening what we started and trying to figure out if there's more to life. The first and second seasons were about introducing the characters. The third season, the agency blew up and the team had to start over. Last season was dealing with the fallout from that. The fifth season is about putting the pieces back together.
Slattery: There are some surprises coming this season that are so out of control, I wish we had cameras in people's houses and could watch them go, "No way!" as they watch the show.

People loved the scene in last season's finale with Peggy and Joan gossiping about Don's shocking proposal to Megan (Jessica Paré). Are Peggy and Joan the new Laverne and Shirley?
Elisabeth Moss (Peggy Olson): We would make the greatest roommates ever! But no. They're never going to be friends. They're just too different.
Christina Hendricks (Joan Holloway): That scene was very personal for Lizzy and me to do. We all watched the finale together in New York and both got teary-eyed because these characters have been on such a long journey together.

And what about Megan? Is Don really going to marry her? Or has he already?
Weiner: We will see... I think everyone only likes the beginnings of things. [But] maybe Don's going to have a shot at happiness.

Betty was not a happy camper last season, and she and Henry fought bitterly in the finale. What's next?
Weiner: You should look for somebody who is going to try to come to terms with the fact that she's in a bad marriage. But Betty may always think that what is out there is better than what she has.
January Jones (Betty Draper): I don't know if Betty knows what happiness means. She is not in touch with who she is. Selfishly, I hope Betty stays miserable, angry and complex. It's more fun to play. Until it starts to rub off on you as a person.

How so?
Jones: People liked Betty when she was repressed. And it was fun to see her snap, like when she had sex with that stranger in a bar. But now she's unlikable, and I'm confused by the
reaction. I read on the Internet that I'm an icy blonde in real life. I'm not icy.

Do all of you get treated like your characters?
Hamm: What I get is, people come up and say that Don Draper was based on their grandfather or someone they knew, and they absolutely believe these stories 100 percent.
Hendricks: Or someone will say, "I actually worked in advertising in the '60s and we did not smoke like that." And I'm like, "But these people do." It's a TV show!
Moss: For me, the most fun thing is when people we admire come out as fans.

For instance?
Hamm: The president of the United States.
Vincent Kartheiser (Pete Campbell): I'll beat that — Gary Oldman. He did a five-minute monologue about the show for me.
Jared Harris (Lane Pryce): Daniel Day-Lewis.
Kartheiser: D.D.L. watches? No way!
Moss: Part of the reason we're all so grateful the show is back is that none of us expected it to become what it's become.
Slattery: After the pilot, it was like, "Hey, nice meeting you guys. Good luck with whatever." It was a year and a half before we started shooting and longer until it caught on.
Hendricks: I was working at a flower shop. Actors would come in and say, "Is everything all right?" I'd say, "Yeah, I'm working on this show that might get picked up, but, you know, can I get you some roses?" I didn't really know if I had a job or not.

Is Joan's husband, Greg, going to die in Vietnam?
Weiner: You will hear the word Vietnam. That's all I can tell you.

Jon Hamm vs. Kim Kardashian: Whose Side Are You On?

Jon Hamm vs. Kim Kardashian: Whose Side Are You On?

Kim Kardashian is mad at Mad Men's Jon Hamm.

In a recent interview with Elle UK, Hamm slammed reality TV stars and the state of pop culture. "Whether it's Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian or whoever, stupidity is certainly celebrated," he said. "Being a f---ing idiot is a valuable commodity in this culture because you're rewarded significantly."

Kardashian took to Twitter to defend herself on Monday. "Calling someone who runs their own businesses, is a part of a successful TV show, produces, writes, designs, and creates, 'stupid,' is in my opinion careless," Kardashian wrote.

Although the reality star was offended by the comments, she says she respects the actor.

"I respect Jon and I am a firm believer that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and that not everyone takes the same path in life," she wrote. "We're all working hard and we all have to respect one another."

Hamm isn't the first actor to blast the Kardashians in a British magazine no less. In December, Daniel Craig told British GQ that the family behaves like idiots. "You see that and you think, 'What, you mean all I have to do is behave like a f------ idiot on television and then you'll pay me millions?'" he said.

Whose side are you on?

Pretty Little Liars Ups Its "A" Game

Pretty Little Liars Ups Its "A" Game

OK, we need to talk about "A."

In less than one week, Pretty Little Liars will finally identify Rosewood's resident cyberstalker, and as of last night's scary, scandalous and sooo juicy episode, the list of suspects is longer than Hanna's criminal record. Is it a girl? A guy? A couple? After all, Kid Creepy at the Doll Store of Our Perpetual Nightmares did say it was a pair who came snooping around. So in honor of the upcoming season-finale reveal, we have compiled a rundown of possible perpetrators. Note that some of our suspicions are inspired by twists in the book series, but we're not gonna spoil them outright, in case y'all are still reading them. Also, note the last letter in the first five names. Coincidence?

Mona: She has been getting a lot of screen time lately...and have we ever seen her actually get a text?

Jenna: Knew she could see! Bet she's hiding something other than her restored vision.

Melissa: Let's face it, Spencer's sister is crazycakes.

Ezra: This all started at the same time he showed up to teach at Rosewood High.

Maya: Like Mr. Fitz, she showed up around the same time the texts began. And she is so clearly lying about being a teenager.

Ali's Twin: "Vivian Darkbloom" could be more than just our dead frenemy's alter ego.

Toby's chin dimple: That thing has powers.

Mike: Why else is he needed?  

Noel Kahn: Someone that hot has got to be damaged. (P.S. Noel, call us!)

Sean: Whatever happened to Hanna's virginal ex-boyfriend?

Breaking In's Megan Mullally: "I'll Say Yes to Almost Anything"

Breaking In's Megan Mullally: "I'll Say Yes to Almost Anything"

Actress, singer, talk-show host and... model? Megan Mullally is about to make her runway debut on Tuesday's episode of Breaking In (9:30/8:30, Fox). So how did they talk her into it?

"Fortunately, I had not read the script very carefully, so I read it and I thought: underwear, fashion show, runway, I walk down it, whatever," Mullally told reporters last week on the set of the office comedy. "I just didn't think about the fact that I really had to do that. I'm glad I didn't."

Breaking In boss on adding "comic force" Megan Mullally and the show's rollercoaster ride to renewal

Mullally's foray into high fashion comes when Contra Security is hired by a lingerie company to protect a diamond-encrusted bra — much to the disapproval of new boss Veronica (Mullally). "I walked in and it was this giant, really fancy runway and probably about 250 background people. They were all young, attractive and dressed up really nice. I was like, 'Oh, sh--,'" she said. "I had no idea what I was going to do, so I just kind of winged it. It was fun."

So far, Mullally's improvisational skills have served her well on Breaking In. After eight seasons and two Emmy wins on Will & Grace, Mullally has recently made memorable guest-star turns on Parks and Recreation — as manipulative library employee (and Ron Swanson's ex-wife) Tammy No. 2 — and as Penny's loose cannon of a mother on Happy Endings. "I guess I just was playing it by ear and just going with the flow. This came along at a good time," she said. "I've been guesting on all these shows and I've been thinking, 'I guess it would be nice to have my own show that I get to go to work every day.'"

Mullally had never seen an episode of Breaking In when she received the offer, but she thought the show had potential after catching up on the first season. "I thought that it was something I could have fun with. I'll say yes to almost anything," she said. "It's always a big crapshoot though. You never know."

Once she signed on for the role, producers were more than happy to tailor the role of Contra's new boss to Mullally's style. "Even in that first episode, Veronica has shades of still being a corporate person, but it ultimately fell away because Megan is so fun and so kooky," showrunner Adam F. Goldberg said. "The more we saw what Megan was doing, the more we realized that was just not where the comedy was coming from."

Added Mullally: "It was nice to have some really great collaboration and freedom to play around a little bit."

Mullally's comedic skills have not only served her character, but have also helped raise the rest of the cast's game, according to Goldberg. "I'm certainly very grateful to get the opportunity to work with someone like Megan," Christian Slater said of his new comic foil. "She's quite hilarious and full of great ideas, and I like the chemistry."

While the cast has been very welcoming of Mullally off screen, it won't be so easy for Veronica to gel with the rest of the Contra team as the new woman in charge. "I don't think anybody has completely accepted me and they may never," Mullally said. "But we've made a little progress."

'Made In Chelsea' Amber Atherton reveals new cast, teases series three

'Made In Chelsea' Amber Atherton reveals new cast, teases series three

Made In Chelsea star Amber Atherton has teased that the show's third series will feature "lots of new love and new characters".

Atherton said that fans will be impressed with the E4 programme's new cast members, which include entrepreneur Richard Dinan.

"We can expect lots of new love drama, lots of new characters, Mark-Francis [Vandelli] and I being our generally frivolous selves," Virgin Media quotes her as saying.

"One of the new characters is a man called Richard with blond hair, who is going to be a bit of a heartbreaker from what I've heard. I don't know if anyone could ever steal Spencer [Matthews]'s crown but I'm sure he will pose an interesting threat."

Atherton also revealed that there will be tension between herself and Alice Davidson, cousin of Caggie Dunlop.

"[She] is actually interning with me at the moment so you'll be seeing some office drama there," she said. "There will be much more drama in the next series."

Atherton claimed in November that Emma Watson's brother Alex will appear in the next run of Made In Chelsea.

Original cast member Francis Boulle has been suspended from the show for repeated lateness.

'Scott & Bailey' returns with 6.8 million on ITV1

'Scott & Bailey' returns with 6.8 million on ITV1

The second series premiere of Scott & Bailey returned with more than 6.8 million viewers on ITV1, according to overnight data.

The crime drama took a decent 6.82m (25.1%) in the 9pm hour to help the channel secure primetime victory, though it was down from last year's strong premiere. A further 325k (1.9%) saw it on timeshift last night.

Empire aired in the same timeslot on BBC One but only managed 2.68m (10.7%). Earlier on ITV1, The Dales managed 3.95m (15.9%) from 8pm.

Channel 4's Embarrassing Bodies had 2.55m (10.2%) with a further 512k (3%) on +1. It was followed by My Phone Sex Secrets, which took 1.47m (9%) from 10pm (+1: 311k/3.8%).

BBC Two showed University Challenge (2.56m/10.3%) and Home Cooking Made Easy (1.54m/6.2%) before The Tube drew 1.95m (7.8%).

On Channel 5, Ultimate Police Interceptors grabbed 1.04m (4.2%), followed by an airing of Revolver (921k/4.8%).

Overall, ITV1 dominated primetime with 24.8% ahead of BBC One's 16.7%. Channel 4 had 6.7% (+1: 1%), beating BBC Two's 6.4% and Channel 5's 3.8%.

On E4, the latest instalment of Skins averaged 346k (2.1%) from 10pm (+1: 99k/1.2%).

Ashton Kutcher, Chuck Lorre: Two and a Half Men future not guaranteed

Ashton Kutcher, Chuck Lorre: Two and a Half Men future not guaranteed

Two and a Half Men executive Chuck Lorre and star Ashton Kutcher have revealed that the show has yet to be renewed for another season.

Speaking at their PaleyFest panel, the duo claimed that the CBS sitcom is likely, but not guaranteed, to return.

Asked about whether he would be back for a tenth season, Kutcher said: "Here's the thing, I don't think that the show's been picked up for another year. I'm absolutely adoring the time that I'm having, but I haven't heard from the powers that be yet, so I don't know."

Lorre added: "It's unusual when they cancel a show that's in the top ten. I think there's hope... I think reinventing the show going forward, everybody has to sign back up."

However, he noted that the decision to renew Two and a Half Men was "above [his] pay grade".

Kutcher later confirmed his intention to continue playing Walden Schmidt if the show is brought back.

"We are like some kooky sons of bitches," he declared. "For me, it's really the magic of getting to know someone you're working with. And right now, I want to work with these guys."

Former Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen last month called for the series to be axed, saying: "I'm tired of pretending like the show doesn't suck... When you take away the anchor from your show, which they stupidly did, you go adrift."

He later apologised for his "disrespectful" comments about Kutcher in the same interview.

'Braveheart' TV series in development

'Braveheart' TV series in development

A television series based on the life of William Wallace is currently in development.

Mel Gibson famously starred as Scottish knight Wallace in the Oscar-winning 1995 film Braveheart.

The TV biopic will focus on Wallace's years spent trying to unify Scotland and will also explore his feud with King Edward the Longshank and rival Robert the Bruce.

Mick Davis (The Eleventh Hour) will write and executive produce the TV project, from STV Productions, Digital Rights Group, Nine/8 Entertainment and Creative Media.

"This was a turbulent time in Scotland's history, in which William Wallace had a starring and pivotal role," said STV director of content Alan Clements.

"We plan to delve deep into his character and explore his passions, bringing parts of history to life in a spectacular and raw depiction. With all eyes on Scotland in the current political climate, this also seems to be a very appropriate time to tell this story in more depth."

The series - which has been compared to both Starz drama Spartacus and HBO's Game of Thrones - will be shopped to broadcasters next month.

The film adaptation of Braveheart was criticised for its historical inaccuracy, but won five Oscars at the 68th Academy Awards, including the trophy for 'Best Picture' and 'Best Director' for Gibson.

'Apprentice': Pro wrestler, show jumper among Lord Sugar's candidates

'Apprentice': Pro wrestler, show jumper among Lord Sugar's candidates

The full cast of Lord Alan Sugar's eighth series of The Apprentice has been revealed and the 16 candidates include a pro wrestler, a show jumper and a former ice skater.

Sugar is offering the hopefuls the chance to win a £250,000 investment and business partnership if they can impress him with their entrepreneurial acumen and a brilliant business idea.

"This is not about a job anymore and I'm not looking for a friend. If I wanted a friend I'd get a dog," said Sugar.

"I'm looking for a partner, the Marks to my Spencer, the Lennon to my McCartney."

The latest candidates come from fields as varied as architecture, beauty, bridal, refrigerators and greengrocery.

They include Bulgarian-born risk analyst Bilyana Apostolova, 29-year-old architect Gabrielle Omar and former 18-30 rep Jade Nash, who has a passion for drag racing.

Irish mother-of-one Jane McEvoy, beauty salon owner and show jumper Jenna Whittingham and football fanatic Katie Wright, who bills herself as the "blonder assassin", are also aiming to impress the millionaire tycoon.

Completing the female lineup are bridal shop owner and ex-ice skater Laura Higg, who aspires to be the new Michelle Mone, and restaurateur Maria O'Connor.

Leading the male lineup are market trader Adam Corbally, Manchester's Azhar Siddique, who has two pet sharks, and 29-year-old Duane Bryan, who claims that he is inspired by the drinks brand Jaegermeister.

Other candidates include pro wrestler and self-proclaimed "reflection of perfection" Ricky Martin, 25-year-old tech entrepreneur Nick Holzherr and London-based kitchen and bedroom retailer Michael Copp.

Completing the eighth series lineup are ex-semi pro footballer Stephen Brady - who lives in Vienna, Austria - and Tom Gearing, a 23-year-old West Ham fan and fine wine company director.

Tasks this year include a printing branding and sales challenge, creating and selling a new fitness class craze and designing a new brand of British sparkling wine.

The Apprentice returns on Wednesday, March 21 at 9pm on BBC One. Dara O'Briain will return with another series of You're Fired, which will air after the main shows on BBC Two.

Barack Obama to introduce Cartoon Network anti-bullying documentary

Barack Obama to introduce Cartoon Network anti-bullying documentary

Barack Obama is to give a televised introduction to Cartoon Network's documentary Stop Bullying: Speak Up.

President Obama will open Sunday's premiere of the film with a call to end bullying nationwide by encouraging children to have a more open mind to their fellow students.

BMX bike rider Matt Wilhelm, basketball star Lisa Leslie and NASCAR stars Jeff Burton, Joey Logano and Trevor Bayne also appear in the documentary.

Obama's involvement is just his latest attempt to help end childhood bullying in the US. The politician held a teen bullying summit in Washington DC last year and also recently met with Lady GaGa following the suicide of a 14-year-old fan.

Stop Bullying: Speak Up airs Sunday, March 18 at 5.30/4.30c on Cartoon Network. It was also uploaded onto the film's official website, Facebook, iTunes and YouTube.

'Dancing on Ice' "tough" on Webb romance, says Matthew Wolfenden

'Dancing on Ice' "tough" on Webb romance, says Matthew Wolfenden

Dancing on Ice contestant Matthew Wolfenden has admitted that the show has been hard on his relationship with Emmerdale co-star Charley Webb.

The soap acting duo, who had a son called Buster together in 2010, said that they hardly seem to see each other with his busy schedule and her filming commitments.

When asked if their wedding plans had been put on hold, Wolfenden told Heat magazine: "Oh God, yeah. I've not done anything else apart from this. Literally, when I've not been training up North I've been down here.

"Charley's been down here watching then she drives up for work. We've been passing like two ships in the night. It's been really tough, it's harder than I ever thought it would be."

Wolfenden did, however, say that being on Dancing on Ice has had its positives. "I feel fitter than I've felt for ages," he said. "Even though we're only spending two or three hours on the ice each morning."

He also joked that the show's stylists try to make him look his best, saying: "They always put me in sleeveless tops so you can always see my arms and you don't see the rest of it - I don't look like Chico there, let's put it that way!"

Wolfenden's co-star Jennifer Ellison also recently said that she feels like she never sees her husband because of her Dancing on Ice training.

'Fashion Star' - Meet designers Ross Bennett, Sarah Parrott

'Fashion Star' - Meet designers Ross Bennett, Sarah Parrott

Ross Bennett is from Austin, TX, and describes himself as a southern gentleman who counts 1940s and 1950s old Hollywood glamour and Saville Row/British tailoring among his inspirations. The 27-year-old owns a dress shop which sells cocktail, formal and wedding dress, along with everyday work clothing. His mantra is "classic is not outdated or old, it's something that can be worn generation to generation".

Sarah Parrott says fashion was always a pipe dream for her until she decided to take a leap of faith at the age of 30 and try her hand at the industry. The 31-year-old, who says she used to pretend to conduct photoshoots in her bedroom as a child, entered her first collection at Charleston Fashion Week and ended up winning the People's Choice Award.

'BBC Breakfast's Susanna Reid: 'Stop criticising my breasts'

'BBC Breakfast's Susanna Reid: 'Stop criticising my breasts'

BBC Breakfast presenter Susanna Reid has slammed viewers for criticising her breasts.

The 41-year-old television personality, who was accused of showing too much cleavage during a 2010 interview with Hugh Grant, said that she doesn't understand why people make such a fuss of the female form.

Reid told Radio Times: "People seem to be shocked that women have breasts. There'll be complaints about the fact that there is literally a shadow showing.

"After breastfeeding three children I'm amazed that people think I still have a cleavage worth complaining about. People are always going to talk about what women wear on TV. It's a fact of life."

Reid admitted that she doesn't make an effort with her appearance when she's not working. She said: "The rest of the time it's jeans and T-shirts. I don't dress up and don't wear make-up. When I collect the kids from school on Friday afternoon, people think a different woman has come to pick them up. They simply don't recognise me."

Reid recently took over Sian Williams's position as a main weekday presenter on BBC Breakfast.

'Dancing with the Stars' Karina: 'Gavin DeGraw has swagger, charisma'

'Dancing with the Stars' Karina: 'Gavin DeGraw has swagger, charisma'

Dancing with the Stars professional Karina Smirnoff has described Gavin DeGraw as a "great partner".

Writing in a blog for People, Smirnoff revealed that DeGraw has been "working really hard".

"He's got swagger and charisma, which always helps in the ballroom," she said. "I've had a blast rehearsing with him so far. He's funny and he's self-deprecating in many ways."

Smirnoff added that she thinks the cast for the new season of Dancing with the Stars is "great and very diverse".

"I think this season is going to be very competitive," she said. "I think people will be very pleasantly surprised when the show airs."

Dancing with the Stars will premiere on Monday, March 19 at 8/7c on ABC.

TV Tonight 14th of March 2012

TV Tonight 14th of March 2012

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

    10 O'Clock Live S02E06: "Series 2, Episode 6"
    112 - på liv och död S05E27: "Del 27 av 36"
    Amazing Eats S01E11: "Sizzlin' Steaks"
    America's Next Top Model S18E03: "Cat Deeley"
    American Idol S11E19: "12 Finalists Compete"
    American Weed S01E04: "Buds on the Ballot"
    Antiques Road Trip S04E23: "Series 4, Episode 23"
    Are You There, Chelsea? S01E10: "The Foodie"
    Beauty and the Beast: The Ugly Face of Prejudice S02E02
    Big Brother Sverige S08E22: "Del 22"
    Car Warriors S02E04: "Trans Am"
    Chelsea Lately S06E51
    Chelsea Lately S06E43
    Chihayafuru S01E23: "Episode 23"
    Cleverdicks S01E13: "Episode 13"
    Come Dine With Me S18E51: "Series 18, Series 43"
    Comic Relief Does Glee Club! S02E02: "Series 2, Episode 2"
    Criminal Minds S07E17: "I Love You, Tommy Brown"
    CSI: Crime Scene Investigation S12E17: "Trends with Benefits"
    Dance Academy S02E03: "Faux Pas De Deux"
    Dark Minds S01E08: "Dance With the Devil"
    Days of our Lives S47E88: "Ep. #11798"
    Deal Or No Deal (UK) S07E184: "Episode 1864"
    Dickinson's Real Deal S08E72: "Series 8, Episode 72"
    Doctors S13E219: "Cut Off - Part Two"
    Doomsday Bunkers S01E02: "TBA"
    Dragons' Den (CA) S06E19: "Season 6, Episode 19"
    Dumbest Stuff on Wheels S02E09
    Éden Hotel S02E07: "Season 2, Episode 7"
    Efterlyst S44E10: "14/3-12"
    Emmerdale S41E62: "March 14, 2012"
    Face Off S02E10: "The Ultimate Spotlight Challenge"
    Film 2012 with Claudia Winkleman S01E10: "Episode 10"
    Food Inspectors S01E03: "Takeaway Terrors"
    Four In A Bed S04E03: "Series 4, Episode 3"
    General Hospital (US) S49E242: "#12516"
    Ghost Hunters International S03E10: "Sacrificed Mayan Spirits: Belize"
    Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden S22E138: "Season 22, Episode 137"
    Greatest Tank Battles S02E10: "The October War: Battle for the Sinai"
    Halv åtta hos mig S08E31: "Stockholm - Albin"
    Happily Divorced S02E02: "Peter Comes Out Again"
    Happy Endings S02E18: "Party of Six"
    Hollyoaks S18E53: "March 14, 2012"
    Home and Away (AU) S25E38: "Episode 5473"
    Hot In Cleveland S03E14: "Hot & Heavy"
    Hotel cæsar S28E168: "Season 28, Episode 168"
    House Hunters S48E52
    House Hunters International S25E55
    Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis S01E01: "Almost Perfect"
    Iron Man: Armored Adventures S02E16: "Extremis"
    Jeopardy! S28E128: "Show #6333"
    Jimmy Kimmel Live S09E219
    Johnny Test S05E41: "Johnny vs the Tickler"
    Kevin Bridges: What's The Story? S01E06: "Inspiration"
    King (2011) S02E03: "Jamila Karan"
    Late Show with David Letterman S19E41: "Martin Short, the Ting Tings"
    LEGO NinjaGo: Masters of Spinjitzu S02E09: "The Royal Blacksmiths"
    Let's Dance (DE) S05E01: "Folge 1"
    Lilyhammer S01E08: "Trolls"
    Live with Regis and Kelly S29E142
    Masterchef (UK) S16E15: "Series 16, Episode 15"
    Million Dollar Listing: NY S01E02: "Parlez-Vous, Francais?"
    Modern Family S03E18: "Send Out the Clowns"
    Monster Man S01E01: "Siamese Twins / 2 Headed Shark"
    NAV S01E02: "Season 1, Episode 2"
    Neighbours S28E48: "Episode 6358"
    Not My Mama's Meals S01E10: "Restaurant Reunion"
    Nothing Personal S02E02: "Married To A Rockstar"
    One Born Every Minute S03E11: "Series 3, Episode 11"
    One Tree Hill S09E10: "Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will"
    Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy S02E10: "American Invasion"
    Outland S01E06: "Pride"
    Papa no Iukoto o Kikinasai! S01E10: "Episode 10"
    Pointless S06E23: "Series 6, Episode 23"
    Psych S06E12: "Shawn and the Real Girl"
    Recorder to Randoseru S01E11: "Episode 11"
    Republic of Doyle S03E10: "One Angry Jake"
    Restaurant: Impossible S03E04: "Valley View"
    Roger And Val Have Just Got In S02E06: "The Gift"
    Selling Houses Australia S05E07: "DIY Disaster"
    Sons of Guns S03E03: "Kamikaze Cannon"
    South Park S16E01: "Reverse Cowgirl"
    Suburgatory S01E17: "Independence Day"
    Survivor S24E05: "A Bunch of Idiots"
    Sveriges mästerkock S02E13: "Fem deltagare kvar"
    The Almighty Johnsons S02E03: "TBA"
    The Biggest Loser (AU) S07E31: "Season 7, Episode 31"
    The Bold and the Beautiful S25E250: "Ep. #6280"
    The Chase (2009) S05E32: "Series 5, Episode 32"
    The Colbert Report S08E38: "Mark McKinnon"
    The Daily Show S17E74: "Rachel Weisz"
    The Ellen DeGeneres Show S09E121: "Jonah Hill, Chris Rene"
    The Jeremy Kyle Show S07E128
    The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson S08E48: "Regis Philbin"
    The Middle S03E19: "The Paper Route"
    The Real World/Road Rules Challenge S22E11: "Aftershow"
    The Real World/Road Rules Challenge S22E10: "On the Wings of Love"
    The Revolution (2012) S01E43: "Season 1, Episode 43"
    The Rosie Show S01E83: "Suzanne Somers"
    The Soup S09E11: "March 14"
    The Tonight Show with Jay Leno S19E257
    The View S15E126: "Miss Piggy, Kermit the Frog, Rita Rudner"
    The Young and the Restless S39E249: "Ep. #9864"
    Thuis S17E143: "Season 17, Episode 143"
    Top Guns S01E05: "Pirates and Patriots"
    Tunnelbanan S01E08: "Del 8"
    UEFA Champions League S09E23: "Extra Time - Knock Out Matches"
    UEFA Champions League S09E22: "Chelsea v Napoli"
    Ugly Americans S03E01: "Journey to the Center of Twayne"
    Voltron Force S01E20: "Dradin, Baby, Dradin"
    Watch What Happens: Live S06E47: "Jeff Lewis and Kristen Johnston"
    Waterloo Road S07E24: "Series 7, Episode 24"
    Whitney S01E20: "G-Word"
    Woodley S01E04: "Big Top Magnifique"

'The Bachelor' Chris Harrison: 'Don't know if Courtney, Ben will last'

'The Bachelor' Chris Harrison: 'Don't know if Courtney, Ben will last'

The Bachelor host Chris Harrison has admitted that he does not know whether Ben Flajnik's relationship with Courtney Robertson has a future.

Flajnik proposed to Robertson on last night's season finale, but the couple later admitted they broke up for a time after filming was completed.

Writing for Entertainment Weekly, Harrison has now explained that he is not sure whether their reunion will last.

"Now the question I'll get asked over and over is, 'Will they last?'" he said. "In truth, I don't know. I know that it's been a rocky road for these two, but what happens from here on out is up to them."

However, Harrison added: "Call me a silly optimist, but I hope they not only survive, I hope they find happiness together. Did both of them make mistakes throughout all of this? Of course they did. They both personally stumbled a bit and both hopefully took away major life lessons from this. So I'll say this: I wish them the best as they head off and try to make a life together, and I sincerely hope it does work for them."

Harrison also suggested that the moment when Robertson and Flajnik watched the proposal on After The Final Rose could have been a turning point.

"Watching the proposal and going public seemed to take the weight of the world off their shoulders," he said. "They both let down their guard, their body language completely changed, and both stopped being defensive and started loving each other again.

"Both were in tears by the end of it and for the first time that day I felt like they truly were together and didn't care what was going on around them. They seem to come together and take that stance of, 'It's us against the world', which is the mentality they'll need as they take this relationship public."

The Bachelor's Lindzi Cox has already offered her blessing to Flajnik, saying: "I wish him nothing but the best."

Sir David Frost: 'TV interviews are a power struggle'

Sir David Frost: 'TV interviews are a power struggle'

Sir David Frost has explained how he prefers to get the best out of a television interview.

The legendary broadcaster - who returns to the BBC in a new special about the art of the interview tonight (March 13) - revealed that a relaxed chat can often lead to "fruitful" results.

"Body language starts it," he told BBC Breakfast. "One does try to relax people. In general if you relax someone, and put a difficult question in a relaxed way, it's often more fruitful.

"When someone comes up with something revealing, you want them to carry on talking about it."

He added that the use of silence in interviews can be important, especially if it reveals something about the guest.

"Once I was interviewing [presidential candidate] Michael Dukakis. He took at one stage 29 seconds to answer a question, and it wasn't a very difficult question."

The presenter will front Frost on Interviews, featuring contributions from the likes of Stephen Fry and Alistair Campbell, tonight on BBC Four at 9pm.

Frost had previously said of the programme: "Over the last half-century the television interview has given us some of TV's most heart-stopping and memorable moments.

"On the surface it is a simple format – two people sitting across from one another having a conversation. But underneath it is often a power struggle – a battle for the psychological advantage."

Anneka Rice: 'Treasure Hunt should return to TV'

Anneka Rice: 'Treasure Hunt should return to TV'

Anneka Rice has revealed that she thinks Treasure Hunt should return to TV screens with a new presenter.

The 53-year-old starred in the popular game show on Channel 4 between 1982 and 1988. Suzi Perry fronted an updated version on BBC Two in 2002.

Talking about the show's success in the 1980s, Rice told ITV1's Daybreak: "At the time there was nothing on, TV was grown up, there was nothing spontaneous and mad.

"Channel 4 took a big risk, it was totally unscripted, I was an unknown. It was so extraordinarily fresh after years of straight TV. It was so earnest as well, really uncynical."

She added: "I don't know why they don't bring it back with someone else. Just make sure it's done in a very real way with none of the trappings."

Rice also spoke about her new BBC Radio 2 morning show, which she described as a "dream job".

"It's very lovely and unplanned. Six months ago I was just painting at home, and this has happened recently. I started the breakfast show on Radio 2, which is a dream job. I feel like I've come home to Radio 2."

Rice will also be making a return to TV after 17 years for a new BBC primetime lifestyle magazine programme and arts show.

"Titanic's Final Mystery" Premieres April 5 on Smithsonian Channel

"Titanic's Final Mystery" Premieres April 5 on Smithsonian Channel

The two-hour special "investigates a century of theories and uncovers astonishing new forensic evidence that proves the most likely theory for the case."

Two-Hour Special From Bedlam Productions, Team Behind Oscar-Winning Film The King's Speech, Uncovers Startling New Culprit

The sinking of the RMS Titanic remains one of the most enduring and mysterious tragedies of the 20th century. For decades, investigators and amateurs alike have floated theories for why it occurred and who was to blame for the extraordinary loss of life, but no one answer could fully explain what happened. Until now. To mark the 100th anniversary of the infamous disaster, Smithsonian Channel will premiere TITANIC'S FINAL MYSTERY on Thursday, April 5 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. The two-hour special investigates a century of theories and uncovers astonishing new forensic evidence that proves the most likely theory for the case.

The basic facts are legendary: On April 15, 1912, the largest, most impressive ship of its day struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic on its maiden voyage, leading to the deaths of over 1,500 passengers. The disaster spawned formal inquiries on both sides of the Atlantic. But in the end, two critical questions remained unanswered: Why did the ship hit the iceberg in the first place? And why did the ship closest to Titanic, the Californian, never come to its rescue?

In TITANIC'S FINAL MYSTERY, author and historian Tim Maltin re-opens the case. Maltin has spent 20 years researching the Titanic tragedy and has uncovered evidence of a rare natural phenomenon that will forever change our understanding of the disaster. Maltin has found proof that both the Titanic and the Californian were deceived by mirages, dooming the passengers to their fate.

TITANIC'S FINAL MYSTERY is directed by Nigel Levy, executive produced by Simon Breen for Bedlam Productions and Stuart Burrage of Airborne TV & Film. David Royle and Charles Poe are Executive Producers for Smithsonian Channel.

Development Update: the 14th of March

Development Update: the 14th of March

APPLEBAUM (CBS) - Jay Mohr ("Gary Unmarried") is returning to the Eye as part of the drama pilot, about Juliet Applebaum (Rachelle Lefevre), a former public defender who becomes a private investigator to keep from being bored to death as a stay-at-home mom. He'll play her P.I. partner, Al Hockey ("former-cop, embodies the phrase rugged good looks"), whose garage doubles as the agency's office in the CBS Television Studios-based hour, from director Chris Columbus and writer Ayelet Waldman. James Hiroyuki Liao, Marlowe Peyton and Rhys Coiro also star. (

- Felix Solis ("NYC 22") has scored a role on the drama pilot, about Martina Garretti (Janet Montgomery), a working-class woman who uses her street smarts to compete with her more polished colleagues at a Manhattan law firm. He'll play River "Riv" Brody, "a former LAPD detective turned firm investigator who loves New York like only a transplant could." Said role is in second position to his duties on the midseason drama. Kyle MacLachlan and Toni Trucks also star in the Sony Pictures Television-based hour, from writer Dana Calvo. (

BANSHEE (Cinemax) - New Zealand actor Antony Starr ("Outrageous Fortune") has snagged the lead role on the upcoming Alan Ball-produced drama, about Lucas Hood, "an ex-convict and master thief who assumes the identity of the sheriff of Banshee, PA, where he continues his criminal activities even as he's being hunted by the shadowy gangsters he had betrayed years earlier." Also signing on is Demetrius Grosse as Emmett Yawners, "a deputy at the police department who was a former football player at Penn State." Said pair join the previously cast Daniel Ross, Frankie Faison, Matt Servitto and Trieste Dunn. David Schickler and Jonathan Tropper penned the pilot, to be directed by Greg Yaitanes. (

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (The CW) - British actor Max Brown ("The Tudors") has booked a role on the drama pilot, about Catherine Chandler (Kristin Kreuk), a police detective who teams with Vincent Koslow (Jay Ryan), a genetically altered Afghanistan war veteran to solve crimes in New York City. He's on board as Evan Mills ("30s, nerdy-hot even in scrubs and hair-net"), a medical examiner who regularly works with Catherine. Austin Basis, Nicole Gale Anderson and Nina Lisandrello co-star in the CBS Television Studios-based hour, from director Gary Fleder and co-writers Jennifer Levin and Sherri Cooper. (

CHICAGO FIRE (NBC) - Merle Dandridge ("Sons of Anarchy") has joined the cast of the pilot, a drama about the heroic men and women of the Chicago Fire Department's Firehouse 55. She's on board as Kay Fitori ("all-business and humorless"), the Deputy District Commissioner. Charlie Barnett, David Eigenberg, Eamonn Walker, Jesse Spencer, Lauren German, Monica Raymund, Taylor Kinney and Teri Reeves co-star in the Universal Television-based hour, from co-creators Michael Brandt and Derek Haas. Jeffrey Nachmanoff is directing. (

COUNTER CULTURE (ABC) - Luis Guzman ("How to Make It in America") is the latest addition to the pilot, a multi-camera comedy about three aging sisters running their family diner together in West Texas. He'll play their cook, Alonzo Gonzales ("a hard working illegal immigrant"), in the half-hour, which comes from writer Stephnie Weir and director Ted Wass. ABC Studios and Sony Pictures Television are producing. (

COUNTY (NBC) - Michael Imperioli ("Detroit 1-8-7") is the latest to board the drama pilot, about a group of young doctors in a frenetic, underfunded and morally compromising Los Angeles county hospital. He'll play Dr. Mercer ("frazzled, smart, disheveled, a bit jaded"), Jack's (Jason Ritter) senior resident. Agam Darshi, Aimee Garcia, Jess Weixler, Michael B. Jordan and Norbert Leo Butz co-star in the Universal Television-based hour, from creator Jason Katims. (

DAKOTA (The CW) - Craig Horner ("Legend of the Seeker") has been tapped for the title role on the drama pilot, about Maya Beaumont (Amber Stevens), a documentarian who travels back in time to 1990 where she meets and falls in love with the rock star subject of her film only to return to present day where she must find her way back and prevent his untimely death. He'll play said subject, Joey Dakota, who's fated to commit suicide at age 25. Leah Renee also stars in the CBS Television Studios-based hour, from writer Bert V. Royal. (

DEVIOUS MAIDS (ABC) - Amir Talai, Grant Show and Mariana Klaveno have all landed roles on the drama pilot, about four maids (Ana Ortiz, Dania Ramirez, Roselyn Sanchez, Judy Reyes) with ambitions and dreams of their own while they work for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills. Show and Klaveno will play Spencer ("handsome and shallow") and Peri Davis ("gorgeous and self-centered"), bickering actors who employ one of them (Ramirez); while Talai is set as Jace, the efficient and unflappable assistant to Cuban-American recording star Xaviera (Angelique Cabral), who's recently hired Sanchez's character. Paul McGuigan is directing from a script by Marc Cherry for ABC Studios. Brett Cullen, Brianna Brown, Drew Van Acker, Edy Ganem, Rebecca Wisocky and Susan Lucci also star. (@AmirTalai,

DILFS (NBC) - "The Cosby Show" alum Tempestt Bledsoe has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a trio of thirtysomething guys who live in the same high-rise - Nick (Zach Cregger), Chris (Jesse Bradford) and Gary (Anthony Anderson) - dealing with parenthood despite the fact they haven't grown up themselves. She'll play Gary's wife, a zaftig, tattooed hair-stylist, and mother to their two kids Yoda and Clark. Jamie-Lynn Sigler also stars in the Universal Television, which Scott Ellis is directing off a teleplay by Charlie Grandy. (

DUSTY GOES TO AWESOMETOWN (ABC) - Ben Rappaport ("Outsourced") has booked the title role on the comedy pilot, about a group of twentysomethings in the suburbs of Seattle, a mecca for the folks who have happily put on the cruise control of life. He'll play Dusty, a newly divorced fellow who goes to live with his pals Andrew (Nick Kocher) and Oliver (James Earl III) after catching his wife cheating. Amanda Crew also stars 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour, from director Jesse Peretz and writer Adam Sztykiel. (

THE FAMILY TRAP (ABC) - Stockard Channing and Kurt Fuller are the latest to board the comedy pilot, about Annie (Mandy Moore) and Ben (yet to be cast), newlyweds who get the opportunity of a lifetime to run a hip, new restaurant in Annie's hometown but at the cost of bringing her closer to her needy and high maintenance family. They'll play said parents, Barbara and Steve, in the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour, which also stars Erinn Hayes and Majandra Delfino as Annie's sisters. Bob Fisher and Stacy Traub penned the script, to be directed by Shawn Levy. (

FIRST CUT (The CW) - Necar Zadegan ("The Event") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about Emily Barnes (Mamie Gummer), a medical student who discovers that working as an intern at a big hospital is a lot like being in high school. She's set as Gina Beckett ("cold, cocky and seemingly heartless"), a heart surgeon pioneer who inspired Emily to come to Denver Memorial Hospital. CBS Television Studios is behind the hour, which also stars Aja Naomi King, Justin Hartley, Kelly McCreary and Michael Rady. Bharat Nalluri is directing from a script by Jennie Snyder Urman. (

FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER (NBC) - Gary Anthony Williams ("Boston Legal") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about the Fishers, a quirky family in the Chicago suburbs that has dinner together every - you guessed it - Friday night. He'll play their neighbor, Mr. Marley, "a lonely weirdo with an odd fixation on Barbara (Allison Janney)." Said character was expected to be played by - and named - David Koechner, however the role ultimately went to Williams. Aya Cash, Gil Ozeri, Kevin Bigley and Tony Shalhoub also star in the Greg Daniels-penned half-hour, from Universal Television to be directed by Ken Kwapis. (

- Courtney B. Vance ("FlashForward") has landed a role on the drama pilot, about agents from the DEA, FBI and U.S. Customs department who are all forced to live together in an undercover assignment. He's on board as Sam Campbell, "a veteran FBI special agent who is the section chief at Quantico and the mentor for Mike Warren (Aaron Tveit), a freshly minted agent just out of the academy." Russell Lee Fine ("White Collar") is directing the Fox Television Studios-based hour from a script by Jeff Eastin. Brandon Jay McLaren, Daniel Sunjata, Manny Montana, Scottie Thompson and Vanessa Ferlito also star. (

- Newcomer Rebecca Delgado Smith has been cast in the comedy pilot, about Polly (Sarah Chalke), a recently divorced, single mom, who moves in with her eccentric parents (Elizabeth Perkins, Brad Garrett), a couple who's full of life but knows no boundaries. She'll play her assistant Jenn, who "Polly thinks of herself as Jenn's mentor - whereas Jenn sees Polly as a cautionary tale." Jon Dore and Rachel Eggleston also star. Julie Anne Robinson is directing the 20th Century Fox Television-based half-hour from a script by Claudia Lonow. (

THE LIFE (ABC) - Rade Serbedzija ("24") has scored a role on the drama pilot, about Marta Walraven (Radha Mitchell), the widow of an assassinated criminal who is suddenly forced to adopt her late husband's role in order to protect her family. He's on board as Andrei Lazarev ("charismatic, commands respect, a man of appetites, but aging well"), a respected old-school Russian mobster. The ABC Studios-based hour also stars Lee Tergesen and Luke Goss. Mark Pellington is directing from a script by Melissa Rosenberg. (

PRAIRIE DOGS (ABC) - Nick Zano ("2 Broke Girls") has booked the final principal role on the comedy pilot, about Neil (Kal Penn), an uncool cubicle worker at one of the coolest companies in the world, who becomes the victim of identity theft and engages the charismatic conman to help him change his life. He'll play said criminal, Guy ("looks like he's constantly walking around in a fashion ad"), in the ABC Studios-based half-hour, from director Luke Greenfield and co-creators Jeff and Jackie Filgo. Cary Elwes, Charlotte Newhouse, Dan Fogler, Dayo Okeniyi and Kal Penn also star. (

SCRUPLES (ABC) - Chad Michael Murray and Gary Cole have booked the remaining principal roles on the drama pilot, about the staggeringly luxurious life of a Beverly Hills boutique in 1978 and the people who work in it. The former will play Spider Elliot, a "handsome and irresistibly winning" photographer who's partners/friends with the emporium's owner, Billy Winthrop Ikehorn (Claire Forlani), and its designer, Valentine O'Neill (Karine Vanasse). Cole then is set as Royce Franklin, the "smooth, powerful" lawyer of Billy's late husband who wants Ikehorn Enterprises for himself. Boris Kodjoe, Jessica McNamee and Noot Seear co-star in the Warner Bros. Television-based hour, from director Michael Sucsy and co-writers Bob Brush and Mel Harris. (

SHELTER (The CW) - British actress Elizabeth Henstridge ("Hollyoaks") is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about the staff and guests at a historic New England summer resort. She'll play Grace, "an overachiever and newly promoted hotel manager at the Shelter Bay, where the show is set." Liz Friedlander is directing the Mark Schwahn-penned hour for the Warner Bros. Television-Bad Robot Productions. (

- Angela Bassett and Julian McMahon are in final talks to join the cast of the drama pilot, about Jane Forsythe (Saxon Sharbino), the orphaned 14-year-old daughter of a CIA agent who is recruited to become an operative herself. They'll play her contrasting mentors: Alice Vargas ("wears military attire with a little too much makeup"), the Director of the CIA; and Kevin Lear ("his rugged look contrasts with his meticulous nature"), her late father's best friend. Brett Ratner is helming the 20th Century Fox Television-based hour, from creator Karyn Usher. (

UNTITLED MICHAEL BAY PROJECT (A&E, New!) - Feature helmer/producer Michael Bay is developing a new reality competition series at the cable channel which "promises to test the strength of the family unit like never before." Shed Media is co-producing the project alongside Bay's Platinum Dunes banner with Andrew Form, Brad Fuller, Nick Emmerson and Dan Peirson serving as executive producers alongside Bay. No other specifics were released. (

UNTITLED MINDY KALING PROJECT (FOX) - Chris Messina ("Damages") has boarded the comedy pilot, about Mira Kaviraya (Mindy Kaling), a young doctor trying to navigate both her personal and professional lives. He'll presumably play Clayton Brooks ("30, not too shabby-looking himself, but serious and disdainful"), one of her partners at Shulman Womens Health Associates, a character written for him by Kaling. Dana DeLorenzo, Ed Weeks and Zoe Jarman also star in the Universal Television-based half-hour, to be directed by Charles McDougall. (

UNTITLED TIM RACKLEY PROJECT (TNT, New!) - Shawn Ryan ("The Chicago Code") is developing a small screen take on Gregg Hurwitz's Tim Rackley novels, about a deputy U.S. marshal driven by honor, morality, and a thirst for justice. Said hour is set up at Sony Pictures Television where Ryan's overall deal is based. He'll executive produce alongside Hurwitz, who will presumably pen the script. Rackley first appeared in 2004's "The Kill Clause." (

WENDELL & VINNIE (Nickelodeon, New!) - Jerry Trainor ("iCarly") is set to topline a potential comedy for the network's Nick at Nite block about Vinnie, "an irresponsible goofball who becomes the guardian to his conservative genius 12-year old nephew." Jay Kogen ("The Troop") is behind the multi-camera project, which he'll executive produce alongside Aaron Kaplan. No other details were given. (

'Desperate Housewives' Trial: Judge to Rule on 11th-Hour Witness Alleging Cover-Up

'Desperate Housewives' Trial: Judge to Rule on 11th-Hour Witness Alleging Cover-Up

Closing arguments could begin Tuesday in the "Desperate Housewives" trial, but not before the court rules whether to allow testimony from an 11th-hour witness that Nicollette Sheridan's attorneys say could prove a cover-up by ABC.

L.A. Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Allen White late Monday ordered "Desperate Housewives" construction coordinator Michael Reinhart to appear in court at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. She'll rule at that time whether he will be allowed to testify in front of the jury.

Sheridan is seeking $6 million in damages from "Desperate Housewives" creator Marc Cherry and ABC for wrongful termination. She says she was fired from the show in February 2009 as retaliation for her complaint that Cherry had struck her in the head during taping on Sept. 24, 2008.

Sheridan's lead attorney Mark Baute said he had received an anonymous phone call (voicemail transcript below) from a man who said he worked on the set of "Desperate Housewives."

In the message, Baute said, the caller said he had mistakenly been sent an email that told of a computer purge of all messages relating to the death of Sheridan's character Edie Britt.

The caller would show there was "definitely a conspiracy to cover up correspondence," Baute said, and asked to call the mystery witness to the stand Tuesday.

After ABC lawyers told the court they had no previous knowledge of either the voicemail or the email it referenced, White ordered the court clerk to identify and find the caller.

In a statement issued outside the courtroom, lead defense attorney Adam Levin questioned the validity of discovery of the witness.

"Today's antics by the plaintiff, conjuring up mysterious emails, appears to be a last ditch effort save her case. At the 11th hour, we saw the plaintiff handing out transcripts and it all seemed very orchestrated.”

Here's a transcript of the voicemail left by the caller (later identified as Reinhart) to Sheridan's attorney Baute on Sunday afternoon:

Hi Mark. I’m an employee of "Desperate Housewives." I received an email soon after Nicollette filed suit; I think it was meant for a much narrower distribution, but it regarded having IT come in and wipe clean the hard drives of the producers in response to the correspondence that they’ve had e-mail wise about firing Nicollette. Um, I think I got it by mistake; I believe they were going to have the Disney IT person come in to do the sweeping of the hard drive ... that’s about all I know; you obviously can check this number and figure out who I am but I really don’t want to get involved. I’m a real low level employee there and I shouldn’t have got that e-mail, I’m on the general email list.

but there was definitely a conspiracy to cover up the correspondence on email wise in regards to Nicollette. See ya.

Sofia Vergara Hosting 'Saturday Night Live' on April 7

Sofia Vergara Hosting 'Saturday Night Live' on April 7

"Modern Family" star Sofia Vergara will test her live comedy skills on April 7, when she makes her debut as "Saturday Night Live" host.

The Emmy nominee confirmed her new gig Monday, tweeting to "Family" co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson, "I'm so glad it is officially announced:I can now freely express my excitement about @SofiaVergara hosting SNL on April7!"

Vergara was announced as the April 7 host during last week's Jonah Hill-hosted "SNL." British boy band One Direction will be the musical guest for the episode.

Vergara, who has been nominated for a pair of Emmys and a pair of Golden Globes for her role as Gloria on "Modern Family," also co-stars in the Bobby and Peter Farrelly-directed "Three Stooges" movie that hits theaters on April 13.

'Walking Dead' Star Jon Bernthal Plays a Cop on TV … and in Real Life

'Walking Dead' Star Jon Bernthal Plays a Cop on TV … and in Real Life

The "Walking Dead" star, who has played plenty of cops, told David Letterman on Monday's "Late Show" that he once busted a purse snatcher on his way home from work.

"Last Christmas, I was coming off the set, driving home with my dog Boss … and I heard a woman on the side of the road scream, 'Stop him! He stole my purse!'" Bernthal recalled to Letterman.

"I see a guy running down the street with this lady's purse, and it was Christmastime, and there was a guy dressed up like Santa Claus … he gets in front of (the mugger) and the guy with the purse barrels his shoulder right into Santa Claus and knocks him over … you do not do that to Santa Claus, man!"

Bernthal's tale goes on to include how he pulled his truck in front of the "perp" and flipped him over the vehicle, and how, in channeling one of his favorite TV shows -- "Cops" -- he risked getting himself in trouble for trying to make a citizen's arrest.

Bernthal, whose Deputy Shane bit the dust in Sunday's "Walking Dead" episode, will next star in TNT's cop drama "L.A. Noir," from original "Walking Dead" showrunner Frank Darabont.