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dinsdag 27 maart 2012

As Netflix Talks End, Terra Nova Looks Officially Over

As Netflix Talks End, Terra Nova Looks Officially Over

The dinos of Terra Nova are now even more extinct. Despite an 11th hour attempt by Netflix to keep the show alive, a deal could not be reached and the show's producers are ready to throw in the towel.

Netflix was interested in the show, and talks had been ongoing with 20th Century Fox TV to keep Terra Nova alive. But sticking points began to emerge — and not just production costs. As a result, at least two insiders have confirmed to TV Guide Magazine that it's all over for Terra Nova.

According to one source, international broadcasters may not have been keen on the idea of Netflix serving as the sole U.S. "broadcaster" of Terra Nova. Netflix, still new to the original programming game, doesn't carry the same marketing heft or cache that a TV network does, and international outlets perhaps weren't sure they wanted to commit to another season without an actual broadcast or cable channel attached. While a studio source pointed to Futurama as an example of a show that was resurrected down the road, such a move is unlikely for Terra Nova.

Even after Fox finally decided to cancel Terra Nova, the prehistoric time-traveling drama's cast and crew were holding out for a dino-sized miracle. "[Fox] will regret the decision," lamented one person with ties to the show. "We felt with some changes, the show could live up to potential and be something unique."

Netflix began an investigation into saving the Steven Spielberg series from extinction, but it appeared to be a long shot from the beginning. Such a deal would represent another pricy programming play for Netflix, which is spending $100 million for two seasons of the Kevin Spacey original drama House of Cards, and will fork over millions more to resurrect Fox's long-canceled Arrested Development. Netflix is also said to be interested in rescuing ABC's The River, but that show hasn't even been officially canceled yet.

Terra Nova costs at least $4 million an episode, which is why a cable home was unlikely. "We'll certainly try," one producer said early on of shopping the show. Terra Nova's cast remains under contract, but as days dragged on after the Fox cancellation, they began to look at other work. Most notably, star Jason O'Mara signed on in second position to star opposite Dennis Quaid, Michael Chiklis and Carrie-Anne Moss in CBS' untitled 1960s-set Ralph Lamb pilot. Terra Nova series regular Allison Miller was also cast as a "guest star" in the NBC comedy pilot Go On.

Stephen Lang, who plays Commander Nathaniel Taylor, called the cancellation "myopic" and compared Terra Nova to the initially troubled Hubble Space Telescope: "Even in its flawed first season, each episode was full of marvelous moments and beautiful images," he said in a statement.

While Terra Nova didn't live up to the hype or its major marketing campaign, the show averaged a decent 2.5 rating among adults 18-49 and 7.5 million viewers. "It was an exciting bet to take, and I think it's proven that it was worthwhile," Fox Entertainment president Kevin Reilly said in January. "We made money on it, the studio made money on it, the audience loved it, the show looked fantastic."

Sources inside Terra Nova say they believe Reilly grew wary of the drama's early production problems and lost interest as the show struggled to find a creative footing. Terra Nova tried to be all things to all viewers — sci-fi show, dinosaur thriller, family drama, police procedural and teen soap. "The show was hunting for itself creatively through the season," Reilly said.

But just as Fox was about to abandon Terra Nova, it roared back with a splashy season finale in December: The portal between the future and the past was blown up, creating a whole new scenario for season two. "That allowed us to hit the reset button and go any way we wanted to go," says one insider. "What is it like in this place when it's totally cut off from the future? It changes things in a dramatic way."

As the show's producers pitched several different scenarios for next year, a contingent inside Fox fought for the renewal and a decision kept being pushed back. Fans also began bombarding Reilly with toy dinosaur figurines (which he later donated to a kids' charity). The longer Fox waited — execs originally planned to give producers their decision in January — the more it looked like a cancellation was imminent.

By the start of March, producers say it was probably already too late to get Terra Nova on the fall schedule. "Kevin took it to the last moment, and beyond a couple weeks when we could have even hit fall," says one insider. "Once we couldn't hit fall, he wasn't sure he wanted to bring us back much later. The indecision became the decision."

'Once Upon a Time' star Jamie Dornan joins BBC thriller 'The Fall'

'Once Upon a Time' star Jamie Dornan joins BBC thriller 'The Fall'

Jamie Dornan has joined the cast of BBC Two thriller The Fall.

Gillian Anderson will star as DSI Gibson, a detective in pursuit of a deadly serial killer.

Once Upon a Time's Dornan will play her quarry Paul Sector, who stalks his victims in and around Belfast.

The Fall has been written by Allan Cubitt (The Runaway, Murphy's Law) and will be produced by Artists Studio.

Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, said: "The Fall is a unique, forensic and characterful take on a classic genre that continues BBC Two's commitment to original British drama in 2012.

"Cubitt's rich and complex psychological thriller combined with another compelling performance from Gillian Anderson will keep viewers on the edge of their seats."

Cubitt himself added: "I applaud wholeheartedly Artists Studio's attempt, with the support of the BBC, to put the writer back at the heart - and head - of British TV drama."

Former Hollyoaks actor Gerard McCarthy will also appear in the five-part thriller.

The Fall is currently filming on-location in Belfast.

Ashton Kutcher Moves Closer to New Two and a Half Men Deal

Ashton Kutcher Moves Closer to New Two and a Half Men Deal

Talks have begun in earnest to bring Ashton Kutcher back to hit comedy Two and a Half Men for at least another year. Insiders confirm that CBS is busy negotiating with Kutcher's camp, and that a deal will likely be hammered out relatively soon.

CBS is taking lead in the talks, even though Warner Bros. TV produces the show. That's because, at this point in the show's life — Two and a Half Men enters its 10th season next year — the network's license fee covers the cost of the show. That cost, of course, could go up with a pay raise for Kutcher, so it's in CBS' best interest to handle the negotiation.

Kutcher is already believed to be the highest-paid star in TV comedy, at around $700,000 an episode. No one would be surprised if that number reached the seven figures: The actor wisely signed only a one-year deal last spring to come on board and replace fired star Charlie Sheen, who had been making $1.25 million an episode before his exit.

Now Kutcher stands to reap what will likely be an enormous payday (not to mention a piece of the show's backend), thanks to Two and a Half Men's ongoing success. With Kutcher on board, Two and a Half Men remains a strong player for CBS and a profit machine for both Warner Bros. TV and creator Chuck Lorre.

Lorre and Kutcher have been coy about the actor's return, but have offered plenty of hints that such a move was likely. "I absolutely adore the time that I'm having. I'm having a great time on the show," Kutcher said earlier this month at the PaleyFest panel for Two and a Half Men. The show wasn't included in CBS' recent mass pickup of 18 shows for next season, but only because Kutcher's deal wasn't done. At the PaleyFest, Lorre expressed optimism that a renewal was coming: "It's unusual when they cancel a show that's in the Top 10. I think there's hope."

4 Non-Essential TV Networks: Watch Out, Oprah and Mark Burnett

4 Non-Essential TV Networks: Watch Out, Oprah and Mark Burnett

If Oprah Winfrey's Network disappeared, would anyone miss it?

Last week the research firm SNL Kagan raised the possibility of OWN's demise, predicting that it could soon be doomed if its ratings don't improve. It projected that OWN could lose $142.9 million this year.

Winfrey's painful struggle with OWN raises an equally painful question: Have we finally reached the point of too many networks?

We live in the age of screen creep, in which news, trivia, and ads – mostly ads – pop up in places they never would have just a decade ago. We're confronted with TV on elevators, in taxicabs, even in public bathrooms.

There are plenty of niche networks -- about military history, golf, fishing -- that may not strike the average viewer as essential. But at least they're valuable to their small audiences. When we think of networks that could easily disappear, we think of four that few people would miss.

Two of them – No. 4 and No. 1 -- were horrible ideas from the start. The other two -- including, we regret to say, OWN -- could be great with some changes. As it stands, they try so hard to please everyone that they please almost no one.

4. McTV

The fast-food giant announced in October that its restaurants would start posting screens that will air programing from overstretched reality vet Mark Burnett, BBC America and others. It will include include local news and entertainment stories, spotlights on upcoming music, shows and movies. Can we just eat our fatty food in peace?

The real purpose of McTV, of course, is to take yet another opportunity to brand and advertise McDonald's. But really: Is it necessary to keep selling us your product when we're already sitting in your plastic booth, choking it down? That would be like a Ford that automatically runs a Ford ad every few minutes.

3. VH1

When did the home of such witty shows as "Pop Up Video," "Best Week Ever" and "Behind the Music" start looking like an even tackier Bravo? When VH1 decided to de-emphasize music and cutting-edge pop culture, and instead follow seventh-tier celebrities from their pole-dancing classes to that stupid handbag store they're starting.

Yes, there are several hours of videos on "Jump Start" each morning. But then VH1's schedule collapses into a messy collage of reality shows starring relatives of famous people. There are also some movies.

Look, we get the strategy here: VH1 is looking for its own "Jersey Shore." But the network that once seemed like MTV's cool, laid-back older cousin now seems like a trashy, needy cousin trying desperately to seem with it. Long ago, VH1 occasionally gave off an overly reverent, Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame vibe. It shook it, only to go way too far in the other direction. Now instead of idolizing legitimate talents, it endlessly documents the stagey dramas of people with zero accomplishments.

All hope isn’t lost. The VH1 Hip-Hop Honors could be a great example for the rest of the network: They're fun and celebratory without being exhaustingly reverent. They play music. And we recognize almost everyone on the screen.

2. OWN

We hope someday Oprah Winfrey's network will look back on its troubled first years and laugh. Winfrey is an incredibly talented communicator, with a gift for reaching across boundaries of all kinds. If only that came across on her network. As it stands, OWN is mostly a boring conflict-free zone. It doesn't help the network's case that it often scored lower ratings last year than Discovery Health, the network it replaced, while burning through money faster than expected.

What's wrong with OWN? Winfrey has admirably set out to avoid the kinds of stereotypes and cheap feuds that fuel so much reality TV. But it's gone too far by also eschewing legitimate drama.

As Winfrey's daytime talk show proved, there's a difference between ginned up controversy and honestly confronting serious issues. At her best, Winfrey is the nation's Confronter-in-Chief. She has a gift for addressing subjects, no matter how painful, in an ultimately uplifting way. But you seldom see that on OWN.

Her campaigns for self-improvement are most effective when they begin with honest self-confrontation that provokes positive change. They're at their worst when they fall into vague, feel-good mantras. Take the matter of healthy eating, one of Winfrey's favorite topics: You can't eat healthier while constantly affirming that the way you're doing things now is great, too. You need to start by confronting what's wrong and working from there.

OWN recently scored its best numbers since its January 2010 debut when Winfrey interviewed Whitney Houston's daughter, Bobbi Kristina. Why? Because the interview was vintage Oprah. She addressed the very raw tragedy of Houston's death by making a connection with her guest, and still asking the questions her viewers wanted answered. Within the first minutes, Bobbi Kristina confessed that she believed her mother's spirit visited her and even turned lights off on and on. It was painful and hard to watch, but harder not to watch. A lesser interviewer never would have drawn out such personal detail.

OWN needs similar confrontation – good confrontation – and fewer platitudes.

Until then it will be irrelevant.

1. Gas Station TV

Most cars in our thrilling modern age are equipped with radios, if not satellite radios. Some even have televisions. Is there really any need to barrage us with yet more programming in the five minutes it takes to fill up our tanks?

Gas Station TV, which boasts that it is the "largest national away-from-home television network delivering a one-to-one consumer viewing experience" -- lot of competition there – says it has 30 million monthly viewers, almost all of whom should instead be paying attention to the weird guy offering to wipe their windshields.

We're not sure we should even call GS TV a network, given that it takes programming from other networks, like HLN and Bloomberg. But it fills us with sadness to think we've already reached a "Blade Runner" reality where people can't bear more than a few seconds without the comfort of a warm ad.

We feel worst of all for New York taxicab drivers. Already forced to listen all day long to the same loop of McTV-like features playing in the back seats of their cabs, they're now forced to endure yet more screen creep when they gas up. We're guessing they don't watch a lot of TV at home.

Ratings: CBS Wins Night With NCAA; 'GCB' Climbs

Ratings: CBS Wins Night With NCAA; 'GCB' Climbs

CBS won Sunday night thanks to NCAA basketball, while ABC's new "GCB" imrpoved over last week, according to preliminary numbers.

Though the nature of live sports renders CBS' numbers approximate, the network took first place in the advertiser-cherished 18-49 demographic and total viewership, averaging a 2.3 rating/6 share in the demo and 10.2 million. From 7 to 7:30 p.m., NCAA basketball overrun combined with the beginning of "60 Minutes" to give CBS the night's highest-rated and most-watched time slot with a 3.5/12 in the demo and 12.9 million total viewers.

The continuation of "60 Minutes" at 7:30 posted a 2.2/7 in the demo and 11 million total viewers. The conclusion of "60 Minutes," combined with the beginning of "The Amazing Race" at 8, drew a 2.7/8 in the demo and 10.8 million total viewers. The continuation of "The Amazing Race" at 8:30 posted a 2.5/7 in the demo and 8.9 million total viewers. The conclusion of "The Amazing Race" and the beginning of "The Good Wife" at 9 received a 2.1/5 in the demo and 9.7 million total viewers. At 9:30, the continuation of "The Good Wife" posted a 1.7/4 in the demo and 9 million total viewers, while the conclusion of "The Good Wife" combined with the beginning of "CSI: Miami" at 10 drew a 1.9/5 in the demo and 10 million total viewers. The continuation of "CSI: Miami" at 10:30 received a 2.0/5 in the demo and 8.9 million total viewers.

ABC took second place in the demo and total viewers with an average 2.2/6 and 7.5 million. "America's Funniest Home Videos" at 7 drew a 1.2/4 in the demo and 6 million total viewers, while "Once Upon a Time" the following hour posted a 2.8/8 in the demo and 8.7 million total viewers. "Desperate Housewives" at 9 took a 2.6/7 in the demo, even with last week, with 8.7 million total viewers, while "GCB" at 10 closed the night for the network, climbing 10 percent from last week's series low with a 2.2/6 in the demo and 6.5 million total viewers.

Fox's repeat-heavy roster took third place in the demo and fourth in total viewers with an average 1.7/5 and 3.7 million total viewers. Following a "Simpsons" repeat at 7, "The Cleveland Show" at 7:30 posted a 1.5/5 in the demo and 3.1 million total viewers. A new "Bob's Burgers" at 8:30 took a 2.0/5 in the demo with 4 million total viewers. "American Dad" at 9:30 also drew a 2.0/5 in the demo, with 4.3 million total viewers.

Coming in fourth in the demo and third in total viewers with an average 1.4/4 and 6.4 million, NBC began the night with "Dateline" at 7, which received a 1.0/3 in the demo and 5.6 million total viewers. "Harry's Law" the following hour took a 20 percent hit in the demo, hitting a series low of 0.8/2 and 8 million total viewers. The network closed the night with "Celebrity Apprentice" at 10, which was even  in the demo compared to last week with a 1.8/5 and 6 million total viewers.

Fringe Reunites Polivia!

Fringe Reunites Polivia!

"She is your Olivia."

Boom. With those four words, the Fringe-verse(s) got just a little bit more awesome Friday night as The Observer informed Peter that he was, in fact, sharing the same space with the Liv he thought he'd lost. Turns out, our Bishop boy wasn't completely erased from his timeline because those he left behind love him too much. How about that? Fringe's soft gooey center is all about love, not some viscous shapeshifting residue developed by Massive Dynamic.

Seconds after the closing credits, a still-tearful Watercooler reached out to executive producer Joel Wyman — who directed and co-wrote the episode — to find out if this momentous hour was as close to his heart as it is likely to remain in those of devoted Fringephiles. "It's a story that was very important to me, and directing it allowed me to make sure that every shot and nuance was realized the way I imagined it as I was writing it with Graham Roland," Wyman told TV Guide Magazine exclusively. "It's an emotional episode [and] I knew it would be important to fans because it features so much Peter and Olivia...getting it just right was my biggest concern."

So if this is the real Peter and the real Olivia, we're guessing that something huge has to happen to get all of the other players back in place. Another reset? A universe-collapsing catastrophe? A fatality?

Fingers crossed it's something hugely romantic like the episode's closing shot instead of the alternative. Or, should we saw Walternative?

Justified, The Killing, Hunger Games (on TV?), Smash, and More Questions

Justified, The Killing, Hunger Games (on TV?), Smash, and More Questions

Question: I'm really surprised by the lack of comment (here and elsewhere) on this season of Justified. It had a lot to live up to after that near-perfect second season and (in my opinion) has been maintaining the standard extremely well. I haven't enjoyed TV-show dialogue this much since The West Wing went off the air. Add to that the insane wealth of character-actor talent that passes through (Neal McDonough is every bit as deserving of an Emmy as Margo Martindale was last year), and for me this has become the one show I can't wait to watch every week. Is it just being taken for granted? — Dan

I'm not noticing any less love for this terrific series from myself, TV Guide (Magazine and online), or other critics in general. I guess if the mailbag has been lacking — to which I assume you're referring, because I've been praising this season of Justified any chance I get, in Week in Review columns, previews and elsewhere — it may be because last year was the true breakthrough for the show, and this season, while still delightfully gripping and witty entertainment, may not seem as remarkable. Though really, it is. It's also been fighting for attention this year in a very cluttered time period with other cable headliners including TNT's Southland and USA's White Collar. (For the next few Tuesdays, though, it has an open playing field, so you have no excuse not to watch.)

I agree that while there's no topping what Margo Martindale did as Mags Bennett last year, Neal McDonough's psycho Quarles and Mykelti Williamson's more quietly menacing Limehouse are more than filling the void, especially in recent weeks as the stories have converged with suspenseful (but always cleverly laugh-out-loud) brio. Add the continued great work by Timothy Olyphant as the coolest marshal in all of Kentucky, plus Walton Goggins and Joelle Carter as the unrepentantly criminal Crowders, and all the other colorful characters, and you're talking a sort of greatness that doesn't always call attention to itself, but deserves to be in Emmy's top tier for sure. (May I also take this opportunity to recommend reading Elmore Leonard's Raylan, which is just different enough from the series to be its own surprising and compulsively enjoyable experience.) And finally, some advance praise for this Tuesday's episode (10/9c), a humdinger in which just about everyone, from Raylan to Boyd to a couple of Detroit thugs, are on the hunt for the increasingly out-of-control Quarles. Great stuff.

Question: Having just returned from watching The Hunger Games at my local theater, I found myself wishing that the movie could have been at least twice as long in order to fit in more of the nuance and details of the book. It was still a fantastic film, but I wonder if it might not have made an even better cable series, much like the success of Game of Thrones. What format do you think makes for a better book adaptation? — Barb

What an excellent question. My answer, though, is the usual equivocation: Really depends on the book and who's doing the adapting. (An example: What HBO did in dragging out its version of Mildred Pierce beyond endurance in a letter-perfect translation made me pine for the pulpy Joan Crawford version instead.) Let me preface this discussion by saying I haven't seen the Hunger Games movie yet (too busy with midseason screening, coupled with an aversion to opening-weekend crowds), but I did recently devour all three books. And while it might be interesting to see a TV series built around a made-for-TV spectacle like these horrific Games, the books are so taut the whole experience felt to me like something better suited for the movies. With Game of Thrones (which I've watched the first four episodes of the second season, and they're incredible), the canvas and cast of characters are so sprawling only TV, and an uncompromising partner like HBO, could do them justice. (Even the approach Peter Jackson took in the majestic Lord of the Rings movies would be hard pressed to handle the scope of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series.) And while there's much brutality in Thrones' land of Westeros, it's still probably a more inviting place to return on a weekly basis than the dystopia of Panem described in The Hunger Games. When I get to the movie — hopefully later this week — if my mind changes on any of this, I'll post it in the Week in Review or possibly as an addendum to next week's Ask Matt. You've sure whetted my appetite.

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Question: Am I the only viewer who enjoyed the first season finale of The Killing? I watched it for the writing, acting and direction and find it odd that so many (mostly online TV critics, actually) whine so much about the lack of revelation. Did Veena Sud actually state at the start of the show "The killer will be revealed in the season finale" and then not follow through, or is there some sort of mass assumption that would be the case, and now a bunch of entitled guys with blogs have decided to focus every ounce of energy on their unexpected blue balls rather than the outstanding quality of the series? — Brian

Zing! Kudos. And yes, you're right — and I should have pointed it out after printing last week's Killing rant — that the show's creator/executive producer never promised the reveal at the end of the first season, and even the original Danish series took more than 13 episodes to name the killer. So the extreme overreaction to the series finale in some corners felt to many (including myself) like mass hysteria. By no means was the reaction to The Killing's finale universal contempt — though even the show's champions may have felt deflated, if not betrayed (whatever that means), by the utter lack of resolution to any aspect of the story within the first season.

Simone wrote in on the same topic, and makes this cogent observation (which many a blogger and commenter should keep in mind): "To me, the backlash doesn't make much sense. Though in all fairness, it's most likely because I'm a writer, and I would not respond well to being dictated to by viewers. My perception is that viewers seem as though they feel entitled to the storylines they want, then lash out when they don't receive them. The Killing isn't alone in that, I think. What happened to simply enjoying the ride, wherever it may lead?" Simone goes on to point out: "The Killing isn't without flaws, of course — I never really connected with the mayoral race storyline — but I found it very intriguing, compelling, and well acted; Michelle Forbes delivered one of the best performances on television. And, as I assumed we would, we'll learn the identity of the killer this season anyway. So why all the hoopla?"

Matt again: My final thoughts on this, or at least until I review the two-hour second-season opener this weekend: Critics and viewers had every right to complain about the way the finale turned out — I see their point, and agree with some of it — but the outrage and the continued derision, especially in the often inane echo chamber that Twitter can be, ignores much of what is good about the show: the character studies of Rosie's parents and the dogged detectives, the sustained depiction of the kind of grief no one ever recovers from (almost unheard of in a TV procedural), the moody atmosphere. It didn't always sustain the promise of those first few episodes, but The Killing is far from a lost cause.

Question: I'm glad to see that NBC has renewed Smash. I'm a huge fan of Broadway musicals and I absolutely agree with you that I'll take a flawed Smash instead of yet another cookie-cutter police procedural. I just wish this show wasn't so cookie-cutter itself in some aspects. It's not that I object to soapy storytelling — in fact, I've adored soaps since childhood when I secretly programmed my family's VCR to tape Knots Landing after my bedtime. But I'm finding some of the storytelling on Smash so clumsy, predictable and rushed. When Julia and Michael stupidly kissed on the sidewalk in front of her house, I said to the TV, "Pan up to the son watching from his window." And sure enough. (Also, color me completely unsympathetic to these cheaters who barely seem to give their families a second thought! Ugh.)

I like Katharine McPhee, but Karen's rather too perfect. Of course she gets spotted by a record agent at the bar mitzvah. They want us to believe she's so incredibly talented, and while I think she's good, give me Megan Hilty's Ivy any day. Her voice is a knockout. I also have to agree with Shelley (who wrote you last week) that the Iowa stuff is ridiculous. For example, Karen's jaw dropping at her $300 credit card bill. Do they not buy things in Iowa? Or do they simply barter with ears of corn? All that said, I'm delighted the show was renewed and hope that it can live up to its great potential. Tangentially, I've heard a new reality pilot is being filmed going behind the scenes of the Broadway Dreams Foundation, where young performers struggle to make it to the Great White Way. Sounds fantastic! That would definitely be must-see TV for me. — Keira

Knots Landing! You and I are TV soulmates. And if you like the Broadway Dreams idea (which I'm not sure has found a network partner yet), I hope you caught The Glee Project last summer, which I enjoyed much more than I expected. It's true that Smash's storytelling has given us ample reason to roll our eyes, but as I noted after last week's episode, I like to think of this first season as a workshop, and whoever becomes the new show-runner next season can (as show doctors do) learn from past mistakes to make Smash the show it should be: a juicy, gossipy backstage road-to-Broadway drama. Scrap what doesn't work (Ellis, for one) and find a way to balance the suds with the show biz, and Smash can prove itself worthy of this second chance. I'm glad it's getting one.

Question: Thanks for bringing up the Smash/"Smush" issue in your Week in Review columns. I don't have a problem with a sudser as long as it is done well. My biggest problem with Smash is just how weak the women are portrayed. Of the four main women, the most tolerable soap line is probably Ivy's, simply because she gets to share screen with Derek, who is deliciously blunt/sane/pragmatic. But even then, she's the star of the show sleeping with the director. Eileen, who should be the most powerful woman, has to be lifted up by annoying twentysomething minions, and Karen is constantly giving "Who? Me?" deer-in-the-headlight stares whenever her name is spoken. But the most blah storyline had to involve Julia and Michael's affair. Julia is also supposed to be a powerful woman, yet she was manipulated by the star of her show? Gimme a break. This plot line would have worked better if, one, Julia and Michael had any chemistry, and, two, if the writers had been bold and written Julia as the aggressor. To have Julia be the one pursuing the affair and Michael weighing his marital obligations to his wife against the potential financial obligations to his family might have been something kinda interesting. At least Bernadette Peters was entertaining. — Erin

All good points, though I think Eileen's financial struggles as she fights her way through a messy divorce has a ring of truth — minus the Manhattan face-baths and, of course, the bonding with the odious Ellis. I'm just hoping the firing of Michael puts that particular story to rest.

Question: I hated to see the character of Pamela leave Army Wives this season. Is Pamela coming back, and if not, did the actress not want to continue or did the writers just decide they needed one less army wife? If it was the writers, I think they made a huge mistake. — Kim

Question: Do you know why Laz Alonso was written out of Breakout Kings? I have not been able to find any word on the Internet. Was it story related or did the actor want to go on to do other things? — Mark

I put these two questions together to illustrate a point: that most often, when a main character is written off or killed, it is for creative and story reasons, which is what I'm told is the case in both of these situations. For a long-running show like Army Wives (which once tried to spin off the Pamela character into her own series), shaking up the ensemble — adding Kelli Williams this season as Brigid Brannagh departs — is a way to keep things fresh, even if some fans naturally object. With a relatively new series like Breakout Kings, killing off a major character to launch the second season of an action caper thriller is an attempt to change the dynamic, alert the audience that no one is safe, but also to call attention to itself. Which, judging from my mailbag, appears to have worked.

Question: I thought that this was the last season for Army Wives, but with the hurricane and the other base being closed, I am wondering if there is a chance it will continue. I love this show, and the stories of these wives are so contemporary. Please say that it has life again! — Carol

It certainly has life for now. Army Wives tends to be renewed on a year-by-year basis, and no decision has been made regarding a seventh season yet. It may take a while, because Lifetime has ordered an additional 10 episodes to Season 6, totaling 23, which is expected to be split into two (a common cable practice). This has fueled speculation that this could be the final curtain, but that's not a done deal yet.

Question: Is it safe to assume that Harry's Law is a goner with Kathy Bates doing a guest spot on a different network? I cannot recall anytime when someone has done something like that in the past? On a side note, Kathy Bates as a ghost of Charlie on Two and a Half Men: Can you say Jump the Shark? — Paul

If you know me at all, you know I never use the "shark" phrase — especially regarding something that hasn't aired yet. And I've heard far worse ideas for that show — like, say, Holland Taylor and Georgia Engel (as Alan and Lyndsey's moms) spending the night together. Regarding the Bates stunt casting: While Harry's and Men may air on different networks, both are produced by the Warner Bros. studio, so in a way it's all in the family. Actually, Harry's uncertain fate can only be helped by this kind of high-profile gig.

Question: I was hoping you can get some info on what happened to Celebrity Jeopardy! I love it but they haven't had one since the tournament in May 2010. Will they ever return? — Jen

The word from Jeopardy! is that the Celebrity edition isn't considered an annual tournament, but this year, there will be a "Jeopardy! Power Players" showcase, featuring influential political and media figures, so maybe that will satisfy your craving for famous (or possibly infamous) contestants.

Question: Is it just me, or could GCB use some help from, say, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason? Despite the presence of the great Annie Potts, along with Kristin Chenoweth and other fine cast members, I just don't feel the show's writing is nearly as sharp as it should be. But perhaps, as a former devoted Viewers for Quality Television member, I still just ask too much. Thoughts? — Strachan

Viewers for Quality Television! Linda Bloodworth-Thomason! You guys are really taking me back to the glory days this week. There is a sense that GCB is at heart a collision of Desperate Housewives with a Designing Women sensibility, and while the cast is game, the gamy writing is often so crude and vulgar that you do wish for a more distinctive, classy voice like Linda's. It wouldn't hurt if they developed a stronger sense of story while they're at it.

Question: I don't get it. NBC's Bent seems like the type of show a network should be proud of. It's smart, funny, charming and grown-up. It has a likable and talented cast. Reviews of it have been pretty positive. So why is NBC burning it off instead of giving it a proper chance to shine? It seems like it had such potential to be a hit if it had been properly promoted and given a decent time slot instead of hidden away like it was something to be ashamed of. I can't understand how they could have watched the pilot, commissioned more episodes and then decided it wasn't worth a real shot, especially if the remaining episodes are as funny and charming as the first two? — Niamh

Talk about your self-fulfilling prophecies. NBC schedules Bent's six-episode run over three weeks of back-to-back episodes — sandwiched between the unwatchable Are You There, Chelsea? and the little-watched Rock Center — as if they couldn't wait to get rid of it. (I likened it to sitcom speed-dating.) And it collapses, to hardly anyone's surprise. This is the sort of low-key rom-com charmer that needed to be nurtured, a pretty tall order on a network like NBC, which struggles to launch any show nowadays. (Smash has the great fortune to be yoked to The Voice.) Networks with more powerful comedy lineups would probably have needed patience for something as quiet as Bent to catch on, but it certainly deserved better than this.

Glee Exclusive First Look: White Collar's Matt Bomer Debuts as Blaine's Brother!

Glee Exclusive First Look: White Collar's Matt Bomer Debuts as Blaine's Brother!

Move over Sam and Dean, there’s a new genetically-blessed brother act invading primetime — for one week, anyway.

On April 10, Glee welcomes White Collar hunkmuffin Matt Bomer as the cheekily-monikered Cooper Anderson, the older brother of Darren Criss’ Blaine, and TVLine has an exclusive first look at the siblings in mid-reunion.

As we first reported, the Brothers Anderson are set to perform a mash-up of classics from ’80s supergroup Duran Duran in the episode, which is appropriately titled “Big Brother.”

Sneak a peek at the photo below and then hit the comments with an answer to this question: Based on this pic alone, are Cooper/Blaine > Sam/Dean?

'Being Human': Craig Roberts 'wants series five return'

'Being Human': Craig Roberts 'wants series five return'

Craig Roberts has admitted that he is keen to return to Being Human.

A fifth series of BBC Three's paranormal drama was announced last night (Sunday, March 25).

Roberts, who plays vampire Adam, told Entertainment Weekly: "If they want Adam back, I'm sure I can go even crazier again. I would love it.

"The great thing is that he hasn't been killed or anything. At least you know he's not staked through the heart, so he can come back."

However, Roberts added that he had been satisfied with Adam's final scenes in series four's 'Hold the Front Page'.

"If he does [return], that's great," said the actor. "If he doesn't, he had a pretty good send off."

The Submarine star recently joked that playing Adam is "just an excuse... to f**k around".

"Not that I don't like the script, which is awesome, but it's cool that you get freedom [with the lines]," he said last month.

It was recently confirmed that Lenora Crichlow will not reprise her role as Annie in Being Human's fifth series, though Damien Molony (Hal) and Michael Socha (Tom) will both return.

The series will return to BBC Three in 2013.

'Doctor Who' exec Steven Moffat: 'New spinoff series unlikely'

'Doctor Who' exec Steven Moffat: 'New spinoff series unlikely'

Doctor Who's Steven Moffat has claimed that another spinoff from the sci-fi drama is unlikely.

The showrunner announced at last weekend's Doctor Who convention in Cardiff that any such programme is not likely to materialise in the near future.

"I'm not against it. Spinoff shows happen because you think 'That is so good, you should spin it off' - but personally I'm relatively busy," he explained.

"[But] you never know," added the show's executive producer Caroline Skinner.

Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood aired on the BBC from 2006 to 2011, with the fourth run Miracle Day being co-produced by US cable network Starz.

However, star John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness) recently suggested that the show is "in limbo".

Second spinoff The Sarah Jane Adventures ran for five series between 2007 and 2011, but ended following the death of lead actress Elisabeth Sladen.

'Inspector George Gently' returning to BBC One with four new films

'Inspector George Gently' returning to BBC One with four new films

Inspector George Gently is to return to BBC One for four new feature-length episodes.

Martin Shaw will reprise his role as the passionate detective, with Lee Ingleby also returning as his sidekick John Bacchus.

The four films will be set in 1968 - the first has been written by Peter Flannery and will feature guest performances from Roger Lloyd Pack (Only Fools and Horses) and Geraldine Somerville (Harry Potter).

'Gently With Class' will follow Gently and Bacchus as they investigate the death of a young girl found in the passenger seat of an aristocrat's upturned car.

Second film 'Gently Northern Soul' will focus on the racially-motivated murder of a young black girl. Written by David Kane (Sea Of Souls), the instalment will star Lenora Crichlow (Being Human), Eamonn Walker (Oz) and Maggie O'Neill (EastEnders).

Simon Block's third episode will focus on the kidnap of a middle class couple's adopted child, while the final film, again written by Flannery, sees a suspended Gently pursued by old enemies from his London Met days.

"Gently and Bacchus return to Durham and Northumberland, my home turf, with plenty more murders and cases to solve," said Flannery. "It's 1968 with huge changes in society at that time, and hopefully our series continues to give a real portrait of the age."

The four new Inspector George Gently films are currently shooting on location in Durham and the North East and will be shown on BBC One later this year.

The CW Shelves Competition Series "The Frame"

The CW Shelves Competition Series "The Frame"

The CW has tabled its plans for "The Frame," a competition series in which teams of two attempt to live in a stripped down version of their home living space all while isolated from the outside world - except for plasma screens that allow interaction with their opponents.

The netlet announced the project at its upfront presentation back in May with CW President Mark Pedowitz affirming an eight-week, 16-episode commitment a few months later.

But with "The Frame" absent from The CW's midseason and summer plans, a spokesperson has subsequently confirmed the series - which never entered production - has been shuttered. Nick Emmerson and Jen O'Connell were the executive producers for Shed Media and Armoza International Media.

Jimmy Kimmel Hosting Emmys for First Time

Jimmy Kimmel Hosting Emmys for First Time

Jimmy Kimmel will host his first Emmy Awards this year, with Don Mischer executive producing for a record twelfth time, ABC announced Monday.

Kimmel's affinity for awards shows is well-established: His post-Oscars shows are flooded with A-listers. But the Emmys will bring his jaded wit to one of the biggest awards shows on television. He has previously hosted the American Music Awards and the ESPY Awards. He will also host the White House Correspondents Dinner in April.

Mischer's vast production credits include the 84th Annual Academy Awards, Super Bowl Halftime shows by Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Prince, and Bruce Springsteen, and the opening ceremonies of Winter and Summer Olympic Games.

Kimmel's selection follows a three-year selection of the network airing the ceremony choosing one of its personalities to host: Jane Lynch hosted for Fox last year, Jimmy Fallon hosted for NBC in 2010, and Neil Patrick Harris hosted for CBS in 2009. The previous year, hosting duties were split between the hosts of several reality shows.

The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards telecast will air Sept. 23.

Australia's own Jersey Shore

Australia's own Jersey Shore

A new Australian TV reality show based on the American Jersey Shore is already facing a backlash from locals, before filming has even begun.

Residents and officials of The Shire in southern Sydney are worried the show will make a mockery of the area.

So why are locals outraged by the latest reality TV show offering?

Because the show, they believe, will depict them as a tribe of dumb, white wannabes, with no concerns apart from fake tans, sex and fights.

We know this because the project is based on the US reality show Jersey Shore, and its UK spin-off Geordie Shore.

Now the residents of the Shire and its Mayor are joining forces to fight what they call an obscene distortion of the truth.

“This is smut, this is not good TV,” Sutherland Shire Mayor Carol Provan said.

“I thought, this seems very strange, and we didn’t pick up on it until we saw that leaked video, and that’s when we all started to get very nervous about this.”

Mayor Provan saw a brief promotional video of tryout participants in the new Channel Ten show The Shire. The clip shopped the show to advertisers as a ‘dramality’ and a ‘behind-the-curtain look into the heart of Australia’.

Contestants did have dreams - some wanted to be porn stars, while another hoped to one day own a nightclub.

“This is a beautiful place to live, and the residents of the Shire have already started emailing me and their MPs, and saying please stop this,” Mayor Provan said.

The production company Shine Australia were granted filming rights after promising the Shire would showcase a family-friendly, wholesome, growing community as the ideal place to live.

“This Shine has actually come to the Shire and really given us a false impression of what they’re going to do, and if they’re coming through with a story like this, about porn stars and false boobs, it’s crazy - were a family Shire,” Mayor Provan said.

Some locals said they knew people in the program, and described it as being like Jersey Shore.

“A girl from our school is in it, and she's just being really extreme about it,” said one local man.

For years the Shire enjoyed its reputation as the place where Aussies lived, or wanted to. Then the 2005 Cronulla Riots happened, and its image was severely tarnished.

Jersey shore hit pay TV screens in America four years later in 2009. It features the inane non goings-on in the lives of Jersey locals, including now household names like Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentini and Nicole ‘Snooki’.

Ironically the Shire was the setting for Australia's first-ever reality TV show - Sylvania Waters. But that was positively tame compared to what's in store for the ‘Jersey Shire’.

Network Ten plan to shoot The Shire from the end of the month. The producers of this Australian version made a similar show in England named The Only Way is Essex – another Jersey Shore rip-off.

Around Cronulla they’re worried that this new foray into the facile may drag television to a new low and take the Shire with it.

“It’s outrageous. I can’t believe Channel Ten would do this. I mean they’re a well-known channel, all of you are great people, why would you put something out there like that,” Mayor Provan said.

Sutherland Shire Council is seeking legal advice and vowing to stop filming before it’s due to start next week.

German Pirate Party Scores Second State Victory

German Pirate Party Scores Second State Victory

Anti-copyright group wins four seats in German state election in Saarland.

Proving its victory in Berlin state elections last year wasn't a fluke, Germany's Pirate Party entered its second state parliament this weekend, winning four seats in the tiny state of Saarland.

The Pirates, whose party platform includes a pledge to reform or abolish online copyright laws, won 7.4 percent of the vote, making them the fourth-largest party in the state, ahead of the Greens.

Copyright discussions played little role in the Pirate's successful campaign, however. The party instead focused on issues of social and political reform.

The victory follows last year's state election in Berlin, where Pirates won 15 parliamentary seats, taking nearly 9 percent of the vote.

Saarland's election results will silence any pundits who wrote of the Pirates as a short-term phenomenon. Now most are predicting they will secure seats in the two other states set to go to the polls this year: the northern region of Schleswig-Holstein and North-Rhein Westphalia, Germany's largest state by population. The regional battles are prepartion for Germany's national elections, which will be held next year.

Since their Berlin victory, the Pirate Party has consistently polled over five percent nationwide -- the minimum required to enter parliament in Germany's proportional representation voting system.

Glee: Look Who's Playing Puck's Dad!

Glee: Look Who's Playing Puck's Dad!

Thomas Calabro GleeSorry, Mr. T. You can stop grooming your mohawk now, because the role of Puck’s father on Glee has finally been cast, and you didn’t get it. Who did?

TVLine is happy to exclusively report that Melrose Place vet Thomas Calabro will play the estranged father of Mark Salling‘s underachiever in this season’s 18th episode, which is slated to air in April.

Puck’s mom, as played by Gina Hecht, was introduced in the Season 1 episode “Mash-Up.”

Family reunions have been a major theme of Glee‘s third season, during which we’ve met the parents of Rachel, Mike, Sam and Emma. And when the show returns from its seven-week hiatus on April 10, Matt Bomer will debut as Blaine’s older brother, Cooper Anderson.

National Geographic Channel Picks up Four New Series

National Geographic Channel Picks up Four New Series

With a new executive team led by CEO David Lyle and president Howard T. Owens, the network rolls out competition and docuseries including "Are You Tougher Than A Boy Scout?" and "American Chainsaw."

The new executive team at National Geographic Channel is shaking up the network known for overtly well-meaning television with an upfront slate featuring competition reality and docuseries starring quirky characters engaged and in odd and/or dangerous jobs.

The network announced four new series for the 2012-13 season. Brain Games is a series version of the networks popular 2011 special. Docuseries are: American Chainsaw, about chainsaw sculptor Jesse “The Machine” Green; Bid & Destroy, set at New England’s Danley Demolition Company; and Jersey Combat, about the owner of a New Jersey military artifacts warehouse.

“It’s a bit more sudden than an evolution, but certainly less bloody than a revolution,” NatGeo CEO David Lyle.

They join previously announced series Wicked Tuna, which follows bluefin tuna fishermen in Gloucester, Mass.; and Are You Tougher Than A Boy Scout?, which has contestants pitting their brawn and ingenuity against the country’s top scouts in challenges culled from the 100-year-old Boy Scout handbook.

The network’s new slate hales from A-lost reality shops including Thom Beers’ Original Productions (Boy Scout), Craig Piligian's Pilgrim Studio (Tuna) sand Leftfield Pictures (Bid & Destroy), which produce History’s top-rated Pawn Stars.

“David and I come out of the production community,” said National Geographic Channels president Howard T. Owens, the former Reveille managing director who joined NatGeo last November. “This is an opportunity for us to capitalize on those relationships. We want to be in business with the best.”

But they stressed that their mission is to broaden NatGeo’s storytelling, not sacrifice the august National Geographic Society’s rigorous adherence to fact-based entertainment.

“It’s a bigger, bolder bet on programming,” said Michael Cascio, executive vp, programming at NatGeo.

“Sure, we use contemporary storytelling to go into the characters’ lives,” added Lyle, who also did a stint at FreemantleMedia. “But it’s not a u-turn. It’s actually adding to what’s already there.”

For instance, the sculptors featured in American Chainsaw use only dead trees, stressing recycling. The Tuna fisherman use sustainable fishing methods and the show's multi-platform initiative will include material about blue fin conservation efforts. And Tougher Than A Boy Scout will showcase the Boy Scouts tenets of self-sufficiency and preparedness. But Lyle joked that Beers was spurred to do the series out of a boyhood inferiority complex stoked by never achieving Eagle Scout, the highest Boy Scout rank.

And with Alaska State Troopers, Border Wars, Doomsday Preppers, Hard Time, Locked Up Abroad, Rocket City Rednecks and Taboo all returning next season, the network has already made inroads with noisy unscripted programming that has helped NatGeo reduce its viewer median age to 45.

The network also is teaming with high-profile creatives on multiple specials including: Killing Lincoln from Ridley and Tony Scott and based on the best-selling book about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln; and DEEPSEA CHALLENGE, which follows National Geographic Explorer-in-Resident James Cameron to the deepest spot on earth, the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean. Cameron successfully completed his 6.8 mile descent Sunday evening, returning to the surface a few minutes before 6 p.m. ET. His 24-foot long submersible was fitted with multiple cameras. In addition to the NatGeo special Cameron plans to make multiple feature films, including a 3-D film for Imax theaters. His is the first mission to the Trench in 52 years.

And NatGeo will give its core audience a nostalgic look at their formative years with The 80s: The Decade That Made Us. The special looks at the people (Madonna, Bruce Springsteen), decisions (Ronald Reagan’s entreaty to “tear down that wall”) and inventions (Rubik’s Cube, ghetto blasters, mobile phones) that changed the culture. And next year, the network will mark the Society’s 125th anniversary with a special look back at breakthrough National Geographic expeditions that defined an era while also examining the future of sea and air exploration.

Spinoff network Nat Geo WILD – launched two years ago – also is taking a page from the contemporary playbook while building on existing franchises. WILD will launch four news series including a competition reality project with popular Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan. Leader of the Pack will have Millan working with so-called “unadoptable” dogs and families vying to adopt them.

The series aims to raise awareness about canine abandonment. Animal Intervention has wildlife expert Donald Schultz and actress and animal advocate Alison Eastwood (whose step-mother Dina Eastwood will be featured in an E! reality show) finding healthy living environments for neglected animals. Alpha Dogs goes behind-the-scenes at Indiana’s Vohne Liche Kennels, the elite K-9 military training facility that trained Cairo, the dog that accompanied Seal Team 6 on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Ultimate Animal Countdown highlights animals’ incredible feats - including the speed of a cheetah, which can run the 100-meter dash in 3.76 seconds - in a count down format.

“The audience is far more flexible in where we can take our brand,” said WILD senior vp Geoff Daniels, adding that the television screen, “is not a box, it’s a portal.”

Returning WILD series include: The Incredible Dr. Pol, the network’s highest-rated series in 2011; Man v. Monsters; and Wild Case Files.

Upcoming specials include: Kingdom of the Oceans, about the skills of marine animals, and new iterations of popular specials Unlikely Animal Friends and Big Cat Week, which has been the network’s highest rated week each of the three year’s its been on.

TV Tonight 27th of March 2012

TV Tonight 27th of March 2012

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

    112 - på liv och död S05E32: "Del 32 av 36"
    16 & Pregnant S04E01: "Season 4, Episode 1"
    19 Kids and Counting S06E09: "TBA"
    60 Minute Makeover S09E02: "Series 9, Episode 2"
    90210 S04E20: "Blue Ivy"
    Ano Natsu de Matteru S01E12: "Waiting in the Summer"
    Another S01E12: "Stand by oneself"
    Balls Of Steel Australia S02E09: "Season 2, Episode 9"
    Battleground S01E07: "TBA"
    Best Ink S01E01: "Season 1, Episode 1"
    Big Brother Sverige S08E33: "Del 33"
    Big Fat Gypsy Weddings S02E07: "The Family"
    Bleach (JP) S16E24: "Changing History, Unchanging Heart"
    Body Of Proof S02E18: "Going Viral, Part 1"
    Bomb Patrol Afghanistan S02E01: "TBA"
    Bondi Vet S04E08: "Season 4, Episode 8"
    Breaking In S02E04: "Game of Jones"
    Chelsea Lately S06E58
    Cleverdicks S01E22: "Episode 22"
    Come Dine With Me S18E62: "Series 18, Episode 52"
    Conan S02E68: "Episode 68"
    Dance Academy S02E10: "A Good Life"
    Dance Moms S02E12: "Waiting for Joffrey"
    Dancing With the Stars (US) S14E03: "Season 14, Episode 3"
    Dancing With the Stars (US) S14E00: "The Story So Far"
    Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou S01E12: "Episode 12"
    Days of our Lives S47E97: "Ep. #11807"
    Deal Or No Deal (UK) S07E195: "Episode 1875"
    Den sista dokusåpan S01E04: "Season 1, Episode 4"
    Dickinson's Real Deal S08E81: "Series 8, Episode 81"
    Doctors S13E228: "Stuck"
    Doomsday Preppers S01E08: "It's Gonna Get Worse"
    EastEnders S28E51: "March 27, 2012"
    Éden Hotel S02E14: "Season 2, Episode 14"
    Emmerdale S41E73: "March 27, 2012"
    Facejacker S02E01: "Series 2, Episode 1"
    Fashion Star S01E03: "Here Comes Summer"
    Four In A Bed S03E12: "The Whittington and Cat"
    Frontline (US) S30E10: "Murdoch's Scandal"
    General Hospital (US) S49E251: "#12525"
    Go Girls S04E07: "TBA"
    Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden S22E147: "Season 22, Episode 147"
    Gokujo S01E11: "Episode 11"
    Good Game S08E07: "Season 8, Episode 7"
    Halv åtta hos mig S08E38: "Stockholm - Fredrik"
    Hardcore Pawn S05E15: "Last Man Standing"
    Hit the Road Jack S01E02: "Newcastle"
    Holby City S14E24: "Got No Strings"
    Hollyoaks S18E62: "March 27, 2012"
    Home and Away (AU) S25E47: "Episode 5482"
    Horizon S50E12: "Global Weirding"
    Hotel cæsar S28E175: "Season 28, Episode 175"
    House Hunters S48E61
    House Hunters International S25E64
    Jeopardy! S28E137: "Show #6342"
    Jimmy Kimmel Live S09E226
    Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best? S02E10: "TBA"
    Justified S03E11: "Measures"
    Last Call with Carson Daly S10E30
    Late Night with Jimmy Fallon S02E240
    Late Show with David Letterman S19E46
    Let's Stay Together S02E12: "The Choice Is Yours"
    Live with Regis and Kelly S29E151
    My Ride Rules S02E05: "Lowrider Meets Songwriter"
    Natsume Yūjin-Chō S04E13: "Long Way Home"
    NCIS S09E19: "The Good Son"
    NCIS: Los Angeles S03E19: "Vengeance"
    Neighbours S28E57: "Episode 6367"
    New Girl S01E18: "Fancyman (Part 2)"
    One Night S01E02: "Episode 2"
    Pointless S06E31: "Series 6, Episode 31"
    Property Virgins S11E12: "TBA"
    Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is S06E02: "Series 6, Episode 2"
    Raising Hope S02E19: "Hogging All The Glory"
    Revealed S02E04: "WWI Top Gun"
    Rijdende Rechter, De S19E07: "Season 19, Episode 7"
    Ringer S01E19: "Let's Kill Bridget"
    River City S10E29: "Episode 773"
    Rookie Builders S01E02: "Episode 2"
    Storage Wars: Texas S02E08: "For a Few Lockers More"
    Storage Wars: Texas S02E07: "High Tea Tighty"
    Supersize vs Superskinny S05E05: "Jo Palmer / Emma Hughes"
    Tabatha Takes Over S04E11: "Salon Deco: Atlanta, GA"
    The Biggest Loser S13E13: "Season 13, Episode 13"
    The Biggest Loser (AU) S07E44: "Season 7, Episode 44"
    The Bold and the Beautiful S26E03: "Ep. #6287"
    The Chase (2009) S05E41: "Series 5, Episode 41"
    The Colbert Report S08E41: "Charles Murray"
    The Daily Show S17E77: "Sam Worthington"
    The Dr. Phil Show S10E126: "From Wall Street Trader to Bank Robber"
    The Game S05E11: "Higher ground"
    The Hairy Bikers' Bakeation S01E03: "Germany"
    The Jeremy Kyle Show S07E137
    The Little Couple S05E03: "Can We Deck The Halls?"
    The Little Couple S05E04: "Man Cave/Woman Cave"
    The Revolution (2012) S01E52: "Season 1, Episode 52"
    The Rosie Show S01E92: "Storm Large, Mary Johnson, Nell Casey"
    The Sheriffs are Coming S01E06: "Episode 6"
    The Talk S02E132: "Season 2, Episode 132"
    The Tonight Show with Jay Leno S19E266
    The Young and the Restless S40E02: "Ep. #9871"
    Thuis S17E152: "Season 17, Episode 152"
    Top Gear (US) S02E15: "Rutledge's Show"
    Top Shot S04E07: "Season 4, Episode 7"
    Tosh.0 S04E09: "Season 4, Episode 9"
    Totally Bonkers Guinness World Records S01E03: "Episode 3"
    Unforgettable S01E19: "Allegiances"
    Watch What Happens: Live S06E51: "Jenna Jameson and Clay Aiken"

Tom Fontana's 'Borgia' Gets Second Season Order

Tom Fontana's 'Borgia' Gets Second Season Order

The dysfunctional papal period drama will start shooting in Prague and Italy and air in the U.S. and U.K. on Netflix.

Lagardere, EOS,  ZDF, ORF and Canal Plus will join forces again for the second season of Tom Fontana’s period drama Borgia. The next twelve episodes of the series will shoot in Prague and Italy through November.

The series, which stars John Doman of The Wire as bad Pope Rodrigo Borgia, has been a ratings hit for its European broadcasters and has sold to 50 territories worldwide. Netflix bowed the show online in the U.S. and U.K. and has signed on for the second season. Beta Film is handling international sales for Borgia at international TV confab MIP-TV in Cannes next week.

Borgia premiered to record ratings in France last Fall on Canal Plus and delivered solid numbers in Germany on ZDF, in Italy on Sky Italia, in Spain on Cosmopolitan TV and in Poland on Canal Plus Poland.

"The audience really dug into it, and we received many requests to continue the fascinating stories about this dysfunctional family," Atlantique’s Klaus Zimmerman and Olivier Bibas said, adding: "With the second season in the making, Borgia now takes on the status of a long-running series with a universal resonance. It is a great premiere for a European initiative that affirms our feeling that there is truly a market for audiovisual production in the future."

Season two will bring Borgia's action from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, kicking off in 1494 as the controversial family reunites after the death of Rodrigo Borgia’s oldest son Juan. Much of the new season will focus on the rise of Prince Cesare Borgia, played by actor Mark Ryder. Joining Ryder in front of the camera will be an international cast including Isolda Dychauk Andrea Sawatzki, Marta Gastini, Art Malik and Assumpta Serna.

"Borgia has been and continues to be a creative joy and a personal pleasure. I love the mix of talented Europeans (and Americans) we've assembled, both in front of and behind the camera," series creator Fontana said, adding: "Working with Lagardère, Canal + and Beta has been a unique and thrilling experience. And I know that our new season of stories will take us where we were last year and launch us Heavenward!"

Fontana has partnered with Beta again for upcoming 10-part event series Copper. Set in 1860s New York and starring Dylan Taylor, Kevin Ryan and Franka Potente, Copper makes its market premiere at MIP-TV next week.

Simon Cowell 'Shaken Up' After Woman Breaks Into London Home

Simon Cowell 'Shaken Up' After Woman Breaks Into London Home

Leanne Zaloumis, 29, has been charged with aggravated burglary for entering the "X Factor" mogul's residence, armed with a brick.

Police say a 29-year-old woman has been charged with breaking into the house of entertainment mogul Simon Cowell.

Leanne Zaloumis is due to appear in a London court Monday on a charge of aggravated burglary.

Police say the alleged break-in occurred at Cowell’s London home at around 10:30 p.m. (21:30 GMT, 5:30 p.m. EDT) Saturday.

Cowell’s spokesman, Max Clifford, said the X Factor svengali had been watching TV when he heard a crashing noise and found a woman clutching a brick who had smashed through a window.

He said Cowell’s security team detained the woman until police arrived.

Clifford said Cowell "was shaken up" and had described the scene as "just like something out of a horror movie."

U.S. Disc Rentals -3.4% In 2011: Rentrak

U.S. Disc Rentals -3.4% In 2011: Rentrak

Consumers spent $5.65B renting DVDs and Blu-ray discs in 2011, Rentrak says this morning citing data from its Home Video Essentials tracking service. That’s down 3.4% from 2010. But consumer defections from disc rentals appear to be accelerating. In the last three months of the year, rentals were -21.3% from the same period in 2010, as business at kiosks — including Redbox, which charges $1.20 a night — grew by 28%.

“People have many choices when it comes to renting videos, for both digital and physical media, so it’s interesting to see DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals are still the number one choice for consumers,” said David Paiko, Vice President of Home Entertainment at Rentrak. The company says that Summit’s Red was the most rented title on DVD and Blu-ray at bricks-and-mortar stores, but it didn’t provide sales data.

Where Are Big Media’s ‘Disruptors’ Today?

Where Are Big Media’s ‘Disruptors’ Today?

Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television annual Steed Symposium included past and present media heavy-hitters on a panel at Creative Artists Agency’s Ray Kurtzman Theater. The subject was ‘The New Disruptors’ about today’s showbiz gamechangers. The panel included past Big Media disruptors like Michael Fuchs, chairman/CEO of HBO (1984-1995) and former chairman of the Warner Music Group as well as Warren Lieberfarb, the former president of Warner Home Video; and today’s disruptors like Ross Levinsohn, EVP of Yahoo!’s Americas region, and Sara Pollack, YouTube’s senior marketing manager. Film producer and former United Artists chief Paula Wagner moderated.

First up with a comment was Fuchs, honored earlier in the day on the LMU campus for pioneering original content on HBO. (He joked that he’s an ‘old disruptor’.) Fuchs was sharply critical of traditional Hollywood companies. “The big old media companies don’t innovate. Fox buys My Space, it dies,” he said, to laughter. He praised Lieberfarb’s spearheading an entertainment industry standard for the DVD as one of the few times that an established media behemoth had disrupted the status quo.

Lieberfarb in turn took old media to task for its lack of innovation. “The real question is, in media companies today, where are the Sarnoffs and the Paleys?” he said.

Levinsohn answered that question by noting how, “in the traditional media, there aren’t disruptors anymore.” He said too many media leaders are “fearful, not fearless. Who’s taking those chances? Google, Apple. Silicon Valley is fearless when it comes to disrupting. Hollywood is fearless when it comes to creating beautiful programming… Those who figure out both will be successful.”

Pollack said YouTube viewers want both great Hollywood movies and “the next dog on a skateboard, because that’s the beauty of the site.”

Pollack, Levinsohn, Allen, and Weiler all agreed that new platforms provide a “golden age” for writers to experiment. Allen argued against the notion that consumers are being isolated by watching entertainment on a variety of devices instead of in a movie theater. “Home viewing can be more social. Witness the use of two screens,” he said, referring to people who are watching their TV while perhaps holding a Twitter conversation about it online.

Fuchs however, said he wasn’t so sure, criticizing today’s media climate as “technological intoxication” adding: “I don’t want my kids to have their face in technology all the time. I’m worried about that.”

Fox Exec Touts 'Powerful Finale' That Will Set Up 'Exciting, Consistent' Season 4

Fox Exec Touts 'Powerful Finale' That Will Set Up 'Exciting, Consistent' Season 4

Glee returns from its winter hibernation with the first of seven consecutive original episodes, culminating with the Season 3 finale on May 22.

And according to one of the show’s (arguably biased) top execs, the April 10 spring premiere will be worth the nearly two-month wait. “It’s exciting and is driving towards graduation and an exciting end to the season,” teased Dana Walden, co-chairman of 20th Century Fox Television, at this week’s Television Academy Foundation TV Summit.

Walden added that the final batch of episodes are “emotional” and “funny,” and set the stage for “a very powerful finale when viewers get to see what’s on the horizon for all of these characters that people love so deeply. We’re [building to] a very exciting launch into next season.”

On the topic of Season 4, Walden declined to discuss what Glee‘s post-graduation universe would look like — or which members of the current cast would be populating it. But she assured fans that, when the dust settles, the show will still feel like Glee.

“I see it as a continuation of Glee,” she said of next season. “I don’t define it in any one way or another. It feels like Glee to me. The ideas that Ryan [Murphy]‘s discussed with me feel consistent with this amazing series. It feels very consistent in a dynamic and entertaining way.”

ABC Family Acquires ‘The Hunger Games’

ABC Family Acquires ‘The Hunger Games’

ABC Family has swooped in to pick up the basic cable rights to Lionsgate’s blockbuster The Hunger Games, which just opened with $155 million at the North American box office this past weekend, the third highest-grossing opening weekend of all time. (The movie’s worldwide opening weekend gross was $214.3 million).

“This tremendous opening weekend reinforces what we have already learned — a powerful heroine, themes of romance and iconic characters will keenly resonate with our Millennial audience,” ABC Family president Michael Riley said. The deal between ABC Family and Lionsgate also includes the TV rights to the upcoming second movie in the Hunger Games franchise, Catching Fire, with The Hunger Games alone expected to fetch around $24 million.

It will begin airing on ABC Family in 2014. At ABC Family, The Hunger Games franchise joins another blockbuster movie franchise based on a popular book series, Harry Potter. The deal marks a rare No.1 movie to go to a basic cable network other than FX, which has acquired the films that were No. 1 at the box-office nine of the first 11 weeks of 2012, most recently 21 Jump Street and The Lorax. FX also owns the rights to the blockbuster Twilight franchise.

'Doctor Who' series seven trailer unveiled

'Doctor Who' series seven trailer unveiled

The BBC has released the first trailer for Doctor Who's seventh series.

The sci-fi drama's next run is expected to premiere in the autumn on BBC One.

The new clip - first screened for fans at the official Doctor Who convention on Saturday (March 24) - is mostly comprised of scenes from a forthcoming Wild West adventure, filmed on location in Spain.

The Doctor (Matt Smith) riding a horse, guest stars Mark Williams and Ben Browder, a Dalek and a new cyborg nemesis all feature in the trailer.

'Emmerdale' actor Danny Miller: 'I won't miss gay kisses'

'Emmerdale' actor Danny Miller: 'I won't miss gay kisses'

Danny Miller has admitted that he did not enjoy kissing male co-stars in Emmerdale.

Speaking to The Sun on Sunday, the Aaron Livesy actor admitted that he found intimate scenes awkward on the village soap.

"Romantic scenes are embarrassing, especially when you're only 17, but you just have to get on with it," he said.

"I didn't have to kiss anyone for the first six months but then it was Victoria Sugden [Isabel Hodgins] I kissed first. You just have to prepare yourself for it and forget people are watching.

"I won't miss kissing blokes. I haven't got a problem with it but I don't think I'll be reminiscing!"

The 21-year-old has had romantic scenes with Adam Thomas (Adam Barton), Marc Silcock (Jackson Walsh) and Ed Roberts (Lloyd Everitt).

Referring to real-life girlfriend and ex-Dales co-star Kirsty-Leigh Porter, Miller added: "Kirsty has never got jealous because I've been kissing lads for three years.

"Though that could all change now. But because she's an actress she's understanding."

Miller's final episode as Aaron Livesy airs on Thursday, April 5. He filmed his final scenes at the beginning of the month.

Simon Cowell 'wants to poach The Voice UK's Jessie J for The X Factor'

Simon Cowell 'wants to poach The Voice UK's Jessie J for The X Factor'

Simon Cowell is reportedly planning to steal Jessie J away from the BBC.

The 'Price Tag' singer is currently appearing as a coach on BBC One's The Voice UK, but Cowell has allegedly put forward a move to bring her to ITV for The X Factor.

"I love that girl. She's one of the best things to come out of British music in years. I want to snap her up," Cowell reportedly said.

Cowell will be willing to rise her wages from £200,000 at the BBC to £600,000 at ITV, according to The People.

"He thinks Jessie is a huge star," a source said. "He wants her and he will do anything to make sure she is his.

"He knows it could be a tough battle but it is one that he is determined to win. Simon is always looking to bring down the age of his judging panel and wants to make the show appeal to a younger audience. She is the perfect person to do that.

"He doesn't care what it takes. Simon wants her and he will do whatever it takes to get her. He rarely doesn't get what he wants."

A BBC insider has responded by saying that Jessie J will not be available to swap shows later this year.

"The BBC are so thrilled and happy with landing her. They absolutely love her," they said.

"She is a brilliant person to draw in a younger audience and the BBC won't take kindly to Simon trying to nick her. She was a brilliant coup for The Voice so Simon had better keep his hands off."

Simon Cowell had previously signed Alesha Dixon for Britain's Got Talent from BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing by raising her salary from £100,000 to £350,000.

"We pinched Alesha," he added. "In the grand scheme of things that's fun, that's not being ruthless. It's just evening the score. The BBC always said they are not there to compete, which is a complete load of rubbish.

"They are the most competitive people I've ever met. I don't dislike them for it but you've got to be honest. They throw everything at Strictly for one reason only - to beat The X Factor - and they are putting The Voice on to compete with Got Talent. It was only right I did something back to them."

Simon Cowell's London home was broken into by a female fan on Saturday night (March 24).

Julian Fellowes's 'Titanic' begins strongly with nearly 7 million

Julian Fellowes's 'Titanic' begins strongly with nearly 7 million

Mini-series Titanic opened on Sunday night to nearly 7 million viewers on ITV1, according to overnight data.

The Julian Fellowes drama managed 6.89m (26.6%) from 9pm with a further 476k (2.7%) on timeshift.

Titanic was preceded by Dancing on Ice, with 7.06m (30.1%) watching Matthew Wolfenden crowned the 2012 champion (+1: 325k/1.3%).

On BBC One, Countryfile took 4.77m (21.4%) from 7pm, before Antiques Roadshow and Upstairs Downstairs grabbed 5.62m (22%) and 4.45m (17.2%) respectively.

Elsewhere, BBC Two's Top Gear attracted 1.43m (5.6%) and In Orbit: How Satellites Rule Our World had 1.47m (5.7%).

Channel 4's Homeland continued to fare well with 2.05m (7.9%), with Avatar producing 2.61m (12.4%) earlier from 5.50pm. Both had impressive timeshift numbers, garnering 507k (2.8%) and 622k (2.5%) respectively.

Channel 5 showed Battle of Britain: The Lost Evidence from 8pm (924k/3.6%) and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines from 9pm (1.03m/4.8%).

Overall, ITV1 dominated primetime with 25% (+1: 1.3%) ahead of BBC One's 19%. Channel 4 finished third with 9.1% (+2: 2.6%) beating BBC Two's 6.1% and Channel 5's 4.3% (+1: 0.2%).

On the multichannels, Desperate Housewives averaged 584k on E4 (+1: 126k/1.3%) and Being Human concluded with 748k (2.9%) on BBC Three and BBC HD.

'Facejacker' Kayvan Novak: 'People don't recognise me'

'Facejacker' Kayvan Novak: 'People don't recognise me'

Facejacker star Kayvan Novak has revealed that he rarely gets recognised by people on the street.

The comedian appears in various guises in the Channel 4 prank series, and said that he is only noticed by "proper fans".

"I'm quite lucky really, I don't get recognised too much," he told The Sun. "Whenever people do recognise me it means they are a proper fan.

"And they're always really nice. I can just go 'Bah' (Facejacker art critic Brian Badonde phrase) and they'll start laughing.

"Or they'll be a Four Lions fan and I'll go 'rubber dingy rapids'. Either way I'm a pretty low-rent street entertainer!"

He added that he enjoyed upgrading his series from Fonejacker to Facejacker, saying: "It was nice to break cover. Plus the fact that people liked my work before knowing what I looked like was helpful."

Novak also appeared in Channel 4 show Sirens until it was cancelled after one series last year.

Facejacker returns to Channel 4 tomorrow (March 27) at 10pm.

'Got Talent' opera singer Jonathan Antoine: 'I am the way I am'

'Got Talent' opera singer Jonathan Antoine: 'I am the way I am'

Jonathan Antoine, the star of Britain's Got Talent's launch episode, has claimed that he has no plans to lose weight or change his image in his quest to have a singing career.

The opera singer, who was compared to Pavarotti by Simon Cowell, stunned viewers with his powerful vocals in Saturday's BGT premiere.

Antoine's duet with Charlotte Jaconelli has also had him branded "the new Susan Boyle", because of derogatory comments made by Cowell about his appearance when he first walked on the stage.

The teenager defended Cowell's initial response, commenting: "To be honest for me it was expected because I don't look like a standard performer. I just went out there in my normal clothes.

"I sort of expected there would be a little bit of a reaction. I was hoping our performance would show them differently."

Jaconelli added: "I think every time you see someone you judge. People try not to, but they do. Someone might look different and you instantly judge. Everyone judges - Simon Cowell is a normal human being and he is going to judge people."

Antoine said: "I'm just me. I wouldn't mind some nice new clothes if anyone is willing to give them to me.

"[I would like to lose weight], but it would be because I should lose weight to be healthy, it's not important to me from an image point of view. I am the way I am and I always will be - if other people don't like me then that's their choice, but I quite like me."

The singer said that it was an "absolute honour" for Cowell to liken his vocals to Pavarotti and that comparisons with Susan Boyle were "incredible".

"I just want to sing and have fun with singing. I also want to meet interesting people who enjoy music and other forms of art. I've just found there are so many interesting and really great people in that kind of field and those are the kind of people I want to be socialising with and be around. I think this is a good opportunity to do that," he said.

'Being Human' exec confirms six new episodes, Lenora Crichlow exit

'Being Human' exec confirms six new episodes, Lenora Crichlow exit

Being Human will return for six more episodes in 2013, it has been confirmed.

A fifth series of the paranormal drama was first announced last night (March 25), following the conclusion of the fourth run.

"Being Human lives on!" said series creator Toby Whithouse. "The response to series four has been terrific. We're thrilled that the audience have taken the new cast into their hearts with such enthusiasm and affection.

"We're delighted to have this opportunity to expand the world further and explore new characters and tell new stories. A heartfelt thank you to all the fans for their unstinting support, and to the BBC for letting us mess up the sandpit for a fifth year."

Details of the new episodes are still being kept under wraps, though both vampire Hal (Damien Molony) and werewolf Tom (Michael Socha) will return.

"In Being Human, Toby has created an extraordinary, funny, touching, supernatural world and I'm thrilled to be bringing it back for a fifth series," said BBC Three controller Zai Bennett.

It has also been confirmed that Lenora Crichlow will not reprise the role of ghost Annie, with a video confirming the character's exit being released on the show's official blog.

"Sometimes, you have to just respect that a story [and] a character has come to a natural end," said Whithouse. "Lenora completely understood that and completely agreed with it."

The actress agreed: "I don't know if there's much more for her to do, if I'm honest. [But] I really will miss playing Annie - she's such a fantastic character to play."

BBC sets date for first Breakfast from Salford

BBC sets date for first Breakfast from Salford

The BBC has announced that the first edition of BBC Breakfast from its new home in Salford Quays will air on April 10.

The programme, broadcast daily from 6am on BBC One and the News Channel, is among a series of major shows shifting to the new BBC North base at MediaCityUK.

Sian Williams and sports reporter Chris Hollins have opted against making the move North, but the corporation has persuaded much of the existing Breakfast team to relocate.

This includes Bill Turnbull, Susanna Reid, Louise Minchin and Charlie Stayt forming the main 'family of presenters'.

Business reporter Stephanie McGovern and sports presenters Sally Nugent and Mike Bushell will continue in their current roles in Salford, and Carol Kirkwood will present the weather reports from London and other UK locations.

BBC Breakfast, launched in October 2000 and now watched by around 12m viewers every week, will broadcast three hours of live news, sport and entertainment every day from Salford, starting on Tuesday, April 10 at 6am.

Discussing the move North, Turnbull said: "I'm excited to be moving to a new studio, with the very best in technology in an innovative, light-filled new building.

"I've visited MediaCity several times already and its open-plan design and space make it much easier for people to mingle and exchange ideas. I'm looking forward to being a part of that."

He continued: "People trust us and, just as importantly, trust the BBC. They let us into their homes at what is a sensitive time of day. We are part of their (the viewers') routine, and we are conscious of that all the time."

Turnbull said that his favourite Breakfast interview was US actor Will Smith, and he hopes more high-profile guests will make the trip to Salford to appear on the show.

"It has to be Will Smith. He gave us 15 minutes of his time, which is unheard of in Hollywood terms, and he was very warm, not only to us, but to everyone working on the set. He took time to say hello, which was appreciated by everyone there," he said.

"But it's not just about the stars. Sometimes the interviews that resonate most with viewers are the ones which focus on people with interesting personal stories, people who've achieved something against the odds or suffered a loss of some kind. It's these frank and honest stories that have something to teach all of us.

"I'm looking forward to welcoming guests to Salford - what they can achieve here and being able to do several outlets in one visit will make the trip of huge value to them."

Fellow Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin said that she is "honoured" to be part of the presenting team, and her family is "very excited" about moving to the North-West.

"I am absolutely delighted and honoured to become a full-time member of the Breakfast presenting team in the programme's new home, and am really looking forward to continuing to work with Bill, Charlie and Susanna.

"We have an immensely loyal audience who are a very important part of the Breakfast family and l hope they will continue to enjoy the programme from its new base."

She added: "As for my own family, my husband and both my daughters are very excited about moving to the North-West and to living somewhere new.

"I am also really looking forward to be presenting again on Radio 5 live. I spent many happy days there earlier in my career and it will be great to be working with friends and colleagues once again in MediaCityUK. I will also continue to present Real Rescues and Missing Live on BBC One."

BBC Breakfast editor Alison Ford said: "It's a tremendously exciting time for all of us working on Breakfast in our new home in Salford. I'm really proud of how successful Breakfast is and everyone on the team will be doing all they can to make sure that continues in the future.

"I'm thrilled that Bill, Susanna, Louise and Charlie will be on our sofa to bring our audience the big news stories of the morning, the talking points of the day and the occasional smile.

"Like all new things, making Breakfast in Salford is going to be a challenge, but it's one I know the whole team is really looking forward to."

Helen Boaden, the director of the BBC News Group and a candidate to take over from Mark Thompson as BBC director general, said that the relocation of BBC Breakfast "completes our current moves of news output to Salford".

She added: "The move means we now have 400 journalists based in Salford reporting locally, regionally and nationally, helping us find new emerging stars and better reflect our audiences right across the country.

"From local radio to national current affairs, this will be a lively creative hub for journalism bringing extra depth and richness to our reporting."