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vrijdag 4 mei 2012

'Vampire Diaries,' 'Supernatural' and '90210' Renewed by the CW

'Vampire Diaries,' 'Supernatural' and '90210' Renewed by the CW

The CW has given early pickups to its series "The Vampire Diaries," "Supernatural" and "90210," the network said Thursday.

The renewals aren't particularly surprising; "The Vampire Diaries" is the network's top-rated show, while "Supernatural" has a loyal fan base and "90210" has been a reliable hit for the network.

"The Vampire Diaries," based on the series of books by L.J. Smith, is returning for a fourth season, while "90210" -- a revamp of the classic'90s series "Beverly Hills, 90210" -- is coming back for a fifth season. "Supernatural," meanwhile, will begin its eighth season for the network in the 2012-2013 season.

Discovery Buying Revision3, Company Behind 'Tekzilla' and 'Epic Meal Time'

Discovery Buying Revision3, Company Behind 'Tekzilla' and 'Epic Meal Time'

Discovery Communications, parent of the Discovery Channel, is buying digital video provider Revision3, the company behind such online successes as "Tekzilla" and "Epic Meal Time."

The purchase helps Discovery's strategy of being "the number one nonfiction media company on all screens," it said in a release. The San Francisco-based Revision3 boasts more than 23 million monthly unique viewers across 27 digital channels. One of the 10 largest networks on YouTube, it also has more than 40 partners including iTunes, Google, AOL and Yahoo.

Terms were not disclosed. The parties expect the deal to close on or before June 1.

"With Revision3’s industry-leading management team and roster of great talent, we look forward to cultivating more original content and fresh personalities that resonate with passionate communities online and across all platforms, while enhancing our innovative marketing solutions for advertising partners," said JB Perrette, chief digital officer of Discovery Communications.

In another statement, Revision3 CEO Jim Louderback said he "couldn’t imagine a more appropriate company to team up with to develop the future of original web-based video.”

'Community' Bosses Leaving for 20th Century Fox TV Deal

'Community' Bosses Leaving for 20th Century Fox TV Deal

"Community" co-show runners Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan are leaving the NBC show for a two-year deal developing and supervising new projects for 20th Century Fox TV.

The pair are expected to join one of 20th TV's new pilots this season, once networks make decisions on which will be ordered to series. 20th TV chairman Dana Walden told The Hollywood Reporter, which first reported the move, that the studio has "had our eye on them for a long time."

The move leaves open who might join "Community" co-show runner Dan Harmon if the series returns for a third season. It was pulled form NBC's schedule midseason amid poor ratings, but has returned to slightly improved ones.

The show's mediocre-at-best ratings weigh against its renewal, but its popularity with critics and dedicated following online may boost its chances.

Harmon has always been the highest-profile of the "Community" showrunners, partly because of his willingness to speak out in the media, on Twitter, and on his blog -- and, lately, because of a public spat with Chevy Chase, one of the show's ensemble cast.

Michael Bay Pirate Series Picked Up By Starz

Michael Bay Pirate Series Picked Up By Starz

Michael Bay is setting sail on a new adventure with Starz.

The cable network has given a straight-to-series greenlight for Bay's small-screen pirate epic "Black Sails" with an eight-episode season order.

The series, which will likely premiere in 2014, will take place 20 years before Robert Louis Stevenson's classic novel "Treasure Island," following the adventures of pirate Captain Flint and his crew, including a young Long John Silver.

"Threatened with extinction on all sides, they fight for the survival of New Providence Island, the most notorious criminal haven of its day -- a debauched paradise teeming with pirates, prostitutes, thieves and fortune seekers, a place defined by both its enlightened ideals and its stunning brutality," Starz said of the series.

Production is scheduled to begin at Cape Town Studios in Cape Town, South Africa later this year.

"Transformers" and "Pearl Harbor" director Bay will executive-produce with his Platinum Dunes partners Brad Fuller and Andrew Form. "Jericho" creator Jon Steinberg and "Touch" producer Robert Levine created the series; Steinberg and Levine will also executive-produce, with Steinberg serving as showrunner.

Mick Jagger to Host and Perform on 'SNL' Finale

Mick Jagger to Host and Perform on 'SNL' Finale

Mick Jagger will be doing a lot of moving May 19.

Ample-lipped Rolling Stones frontman Jagger is pulling double duty for "Saturday Night Live"'s season finale on the 19th, serving as both host and musical guest for the send-off.

Jagger's most recent album, with the rock supergroup SuperHeavy, was released in Sept.

This will mark Jagger's first time hosting Lorne Michaels' late-night program, though he has served as musical guest twice before. During his previous appearances, however, Jagger has not limited himself to the musical spots. His Dec. 2001 stint on the show yielded a classic skit that featured the rocker and former "SNL" cast member Jimmy Fallon aping each other from opposite sides of a dressing-room mirror.

Jewel to Play June Carter Cash in Lifetime Biopic

Jewel to Play June Carter Cash in Lifetime Biopic

Jewel will play country-music legend June Carter Cash in a Lifetime biopic about the former wife and musical partner of Johnny Cash, the network said Thursday.

The TV film, which bears the working title "The June Carter Cash Story," is based on her son John Carter Cash's book "Anchored in Love: An Intimate Portrait of June Carter Cash." Following the singer's life from her early beginnings to her stormy marriage to "Ring of Fire" singer Johnny Cash, the biopic will begin filming in early summer in Atlanta, for a premiere later this year.

Allison Anders ("Gas, Food Lodging") will direct.

Cash, who died in 2003 at age 73, was also portrayed by Reese Witherspoon in the 2005 film "Walk the Line."

AMC Picks Up Two More Scripted Pilots

AMC Picks Up Two More Scripted Pilots

AMC is further bolstering its scripted slate by greenlighting two new pilots.

The first, "Low Winter Sun," is "a contemporary story of murder, deception, revenge and corruption" that begins with the murder of a Detroit cop by his fellow detective, with the culprit becoming enmeshed in the Detroit underworld as a result. Based on a 2006 British miniseries, the pilot is written by Chris Mundy ("Criminal Minds," "Cold Case"), who will also serve as executive producer and showrunner for the series.

The second pilot, currently untitled, is a legal thriller "with major political, personal and ethical stakes." From Richard LaGravanese (pictured) of "The Fisher King," who serves as writer and executive producer, and Tony Goldwyn ("Justified," "Damages"), who'll direct and executive-produce, the pilot follows a district attorney who uncovers new evidence in a sensational murder case that prompts a reinvestigation. The project is "an exploration of personal morality and how people struggle with the shades of grey found in the absence of a simple, ordered moral universe," according to AMC.

Joel Stillerman, AMC's executive vice president of original programming, production and digital content, said the new projects "represent an opportunity to continue what our existing scripted series have established so well -- a commitment to great writing, and shows that tackle complex characters in a genuine and authentic way."

Rob Lowe Tapped to Star in Casey Anthony Lifetime Movie

Rob Lowe Tapped to Star in Casey Anthony Lifetime Movie

Rob Lowe and Lifetime are developing quite the relationship.

Former "West Wing" star Lowe, who played the title role in Lifetime's "Drew Peterson: Untouchable," will also star in its upcoming film about the trial of Casey Anthony.

Lowe will play Jeff Ashton, the Florida prosecutor for Anthony's murder trial last year and author of "Imperfect Justice: Prosecuting Casey Anthony," upon which the movie will be based.

The film will be presented from Ashton's perspective and "take viewers behind-the-scenes of both the investigation into Caylee’s tragic death and the ensuing trial, shedding new light on the many questions of what happened to the two-year-old girl, how Ashton and his fellow prosecutors built their case and why a woman so shrouded in suspicion was proclaimed innocent."

Anthony, who had been accused of killing her daughter Caylee, sparked a national obsession and, later, outrage among many -- including HLN talking head Nancy Grace -- when she was found not guilty.

"Drew Peterson: Untouchable," which aired in January, averaged 5.8 million total viewers.

'Packed to the Rafters' actor Hugh Sheridan to host 'I Will Survive'

'Packed to the Rafters' actor Hugh Sheridan to host 'I Will Survive'

Packed to the Rafters actor Hugh Sheridan has been named as the host of Channel Ten's reality star search I Will Survive.

The singer, dancer and Logie-winning actor - who plays Ben Rafter on the Seven Network programme - is joining Ten in what is thought to be a long-term talent deal.

"I'm really happy to be given this opportunity and can't wait to get started. I'm really happy to be given this opportunity and can't wait to get started.This show is about finding Australian talent, our next big star," Sheridan said in a statement on Thursday (May 3).

"I'm really looking forward to getting to know our contestants and sharing with them what I have learnt on my own journey. It's gonna be a tough road crossing Australia and staging impressive challenges that will see our 12 contenders battle it out to be 'the one.'"

I Will Survive begins filming later this month and is a talent competition aimed at finding a 'triple threat' entertainer who will be trained alongside the Broadway cast of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

The winner's prize package includes winnings of AU $250,000, representation with a US talent agent, a month's accomodation in New York City and the opportunity to perform a Broadway showcase.

Sheridan has hinted that the door will be left open for his Packed to the Rafters character on Twitter, writing: "[It]s] not over my friends, I'll be in series 5 and 6, Ben goes nowhere, despite where I go."

Ten's chief programming officer David Mott also confirmed to AAP that the network is happy for Sheridan to continue working on the drama.

TV Tonight 4th of May 2012

TV Tonight 4th of May 2012

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

    24/7 S16E04: "Mayweather/Cotto (4)"
    60 Minute Makeover S09E28: "Series 9, Episode 28"
    8 out of 10 cats S13E02: "Series 13, Episode 2"
    A League of Their Own (UK) S05E03: "Series 5, Episode 3"
    Accel World S01E05: "TBA"
    Aida (PL) S01E09: "Season 1, Episode 9"
    Alan Carr: Chatty Man S08E02
    Ancient Aliens S04E10: "Aliens and Dinosaurs"
    Anderson S01E150
    Art in the Twenty-First Century S06E04: "TBA"
    Bellator Fighting Championships S06E08: "Bellator 67"
    Better Homes and Gardens S14E14: "Series 14, Episode 14"
    Big Brother Sverige S08E66: "Del 66"
    Blue Bloods S02E21: "Collateral Damage"
    Cash In The Attic S18E63: "Series 18, Show 63"
    Come Dine With Me S18E86: "Series 18, Come Dine With Me"
    Coronation Street S53E90: "Fri May 4, 2012 [Episode 2]"
    Coronation Street S53E89: "Fri May 4, 2012 [Episode 1]"
    CSI: NY S08E17: "Unwrapped"
    Dateline NBC S21E44: "FR2133"
    Days of our Lives S47E125: "Ep. #11835"
    Deal Or No Deal (UK) S07E228: "Episode 1908"
    Degrassi S11E43: "Hollaback Girl (2)"
    Dickinson's Real Deal S08E103: "Series 8, Episode 103"
    Dirty Great Machines S01E01: "Titans of Tunneling"
    Doctors S14E23: "Blackeyes"
    EastEnders S28E73: "May 4, 2012"
    Emmerdale S41E107: "May 4, 2012"
    Escape To The Country S12E50: "Devon"
    Eureka 7 (JP) S02E04: "Episode 4"
    Fairly Legal S02E08: "Ripple of Hope"
    Fringe S04E21: "Brave New World (1)"
    General Hospital (US) S50E25: "#12553"
    Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden S22E175: "Season 22, Episode 175"
    Great British Menu S07E20: "The Olympic Feast - 20"
    Grimm S01E20: "Happily Ever Aftermath"
    Have I Got News for You S43E04
    Heir Hunters (UK) S06E15: "Series 6, Episode 15"
    Hollyoaks S18E90: "May 4, 2012"
    Home and Away (AU) S25E75: "Episode 5510"
    Homes Under the Hammer S15E11: "Series 15, Show 11"
    Horrible Histories S04E08: "Series 4, Episode 8"
    House Hunters S48E89
    House Hunters International S25E92
    In Plain Sight S05E08: "All's Well That Ends"
    Jennie Garth: Little Bit Country S01E03: "Puppy Love"
    Jeopardy! S28E165: "Show #6370"
    Jessie (2011) S01E18: "Beauty & the Beasts"
    King (2011) S02E10: "Alicia Pratta"
    Ladykracher S07E06: "Kuckuck"
    Ladykracher S07E05: "Obdachlosenzeitung"
    Las Vegas Jailhouse S05E08: "Season 5, Episode 8"
    Las Vegas Jailhouse S05E07: "Season 5, Episode 7"
    Late Night with Jimmy Fallon S02E263
    Late Show with David Letterman S19E67
    Later... with Jools Holland S40E03
    Lip Service S02E03: "Series 2, Episode 3"
    Live with Regis and Kelly S29E178
    Magic City S01E05: "Suicide Blonde"
    Medaka Box S01E05: "TBA"
    Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries S01E11: "Blood & Circuses"
    Neighbours S28E85: "Episode 6395"
    Nikita S02E21: "Dead Drop"
    Not Going Out S05E04: "Running"
    Nytt På Nytt S26E17: "Høydepunkter Sesong 26"
    Phineas and Ferb S03E36: "The Mom Attractor"
    Phineas and Ferb S03E37: "Cranium Maximus"
    Piers Morgan's Life Stories S07E04: "Jason Donovan"
    Pointless S06E43: "Series 6, Episode 43"
    Poms in Paradise S02E06: "Series 2, Episode 6"
    Primetime S23E15: "What Would You Do? (15)"
    QI S09E18: "Idleness"
    Real Time With Bill Maher S10E15: "Season 10, Episode 15"
    Romanii au Talent S02E12: "Semifinala #5"
    Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids S02E08
    Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids S02E07
    Senkveld S21E13: "Season 21, Episode 13"
    Shark Tank S03E13: "Season 3, Episode 13"
    Stand Up for the Week S04E02: "Series 4, Episode 2"
    Supernatural S07E21: "Reading is Fundamental"
    The Block S05E18: "The Block Unlocked"
    The Bold and the Beautiful S26E31: "Ep. #6315"
    The Chase (2009) S05E64: "Series 5, Episode 64"
    The Dead Files S02E04: "Fear at the Family Tree - Santaquin, UT"
    The Dr. Phil Show S10E152: "Mom under Suspicion"
    The Ellen DeGeneres Show S09E153
    The Finder S01E12: "Voodoo Undo"
    The Graham Norton Show S11E04: "Jessie J, Simon Amstell"
    The Jeremy Kyle Show S07E163
    The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson S08E73
    The Only Way Is Essex S05E06: "Series 5, Episode 6"
    The Project S04E106: "Season 4, Episode 106"
    The Revolution (2012) S01E70: "Season 1, Episode 70"
    The Ricky Gervais Show S03E03: "Armed Forces"
    The Talk S02E160: "Season 2, Episode 160"
    The Tonight Show with Jay Leno S19E294
    The Ultimate Fighter S15E09: "Season 15, Episode 9"
    The View S15E153
    The Young and the Restless S40E30: "Ep. #9899"
    Thuis S17E180: "Season 17, Episode 180"
    True Justice S01E06: "Street Wars: Part 2"
    Undercover Boss S03E12: "Fastsigns International"
    Very Important People S01E02: "Episode 2"
    Who Do You Think You Are? (US) S03E10: "Rashida Jones"
    Would I Lie To You? S06E04
    WWE Friday Night SmackDown! S12E84: "Season 12, Episode 84"
    Интерны S07E04: "Безденежье"

'American Idol' Reclaims Top Ratings Spot From 'The Voice'

'American Idol' Reclaims Top Ratings Spot From 'The Voice'

TV's new top-rated show appears to be... its old top-rated show.

After being ousted earlier this season by NBC's "The Voice," Fox's "American Idol" looks to have reclaimed its position as the top-rated non-sports show -- a position it held for eight years. (Including sports, NBC's "Sunday Night Football" leads both shows this season.)

"Idol" reclaimed the ratings honor with Wednesday's show, according to preliminary numbers, Fox said.

As of Wednesday, "Idol" averages a 6.2 rating for the season in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic, compared to a 6.1 for "The Voice," according to the preliminary figures.

It's good timing for Fox. "Idol" yields the highest ad price on television, and networks will present their upcoming slates to advertisers at this month's upfront presentations in New York. If not for "Idol" reclaiming its crown, NBC, the fourth-place network, would have been able to make the big boast that it now claimed the top-rated show on TV.

NBC will still get to set a higher price for "The Voice" ads than it did this season, given the show's higher ratings. But it won't get to claim top ratings honors, unless it overtakes "Idol" again.

The apparent "Idol" success is more a matter of "Voice" ratings slipping from early highs than "Idol" surging. "Idol" has been relatively stable throughout the year, while "The Voice" has lost a big early lead.

As first reported by TheWrap, "The Voice" surpassed "Idol" as TV's top-rated show earlier this year thanks in large part to a season two premiere after the Super Bowl that yielded a huge audience. But as the "Voice" has slipped on Monday nights -- and as Tuesday shows have lowered its average -- "Idol" has reclaimed its ratings throne. "The Voice" mostly dominated Mondays since its debut, but new competition from the return of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" weakened its hold.

Ratings: 'Apt. 23' Up; 'Rockers' Down; Fox Wins Night With 'American Idol'

Ratings: 'Apt. 23' Up; 'Rockers' Down; Fox Wins Night With 'American Idol'

A steady "American Idol" pushed Fox to an overall win Wednesday night, while ABC's "Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23" jumped in the ratings and NBC's "Betty White's Off Their Rockers" stumbled, according to preliminary numbers.

Fox took first place in ratings and total viewers, airing "Idol" throughout its entire primetime. From 8 to 10 p.m., "Idol" had a 4.6 rating/13 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic, and 16.3 million total viewers.

CBS took second place in ratings and total viewers with an average 2.6/7 and 10.1 million. "Survivor" at 8 was down slightly from last week, earning a 2.5/8 in the demo -- a series low excluding specials -- and 9.2 million total viewers. "Criminal Minds" at 9 returned from a three-week break to pull even with its last original, posting a 3.0/8 in the demo and 11.4 million total viewers. "CSI" also returned after three weeks, dipping slightly to tie a series low in the demo with a 2.3/6 and 9.7 million.

ABC came in third in ratings and total viewers with an average 2.4/7 and 7 million. "The Middle" at 8 slipped somewhat from its last original three weeks ago to hit a season low of 2.0/7 and 6.6 million total viewers. "Suburgatory" at 8:30 was even with its last original two weeks ago, tying a series low of 2.0/6 in the demo with 5.8 million total viewers. "Modern Family" at 9 saw a very modest dip from two weeks ago, hitting a season low of 4.0/11 and 10 million total viewers. (Which is pretty fantastic for a low.) With an original lead-in this week, "Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 3" enjoyed a 20 percent bump over last week, taking a 2.4/6 and 5.9 million total viewers. "Revenge" at 10 ran even with last week to tie a series low of 2.1/6, with 7 million total viewers.

NBC took fourth place in ratings and total viewers with an average 1.4/4 and 5.2 million. "Betty White's Off Their Rockers" at 8 slid 24 percent to a 1.3/4 in the demo and had 5 million total viewers. A second episode at 8:30 posted a 1.4/4 and 4.9 million total viewers. "Rock Center With Brian Williams" at 9 jumped grew 11 percent from last week with a 1.0/3 and had 4.2 million total viewers, while "Law & Order: SVU" at 10 increased modestly for a 1.8/5 and 6.5 million total viewers.

Benedict Cumberbatch: 'I'm flattered by racy Sherlock fan fiction'

Benedict Cumberbatch: 'I'm flattered by racy Sherlock fan fiction'

Benedict Cumberbatch has said that he finds explicit Sherlock fan fiction to be "flattering".

The actor, who plays the titular role in the BBC drama, revealed that he was alerted to the "racy" stories by his co-star Martin Freeman, who discovered them while in New Zealand shooting The Hobbit.

"I am startlingly aware of it. I don't go seeking it, but Martin Freeman, who was an absolute luddite on the first series, suddenly came back from New Zealand... and he had this beautiful Mac with him and said, 'Hey, look at this Tumblr'. And I said, 'What? Tumblr? What?'" Cumberbatch recalled in an interview with MTV News.

"He knows more about it than I do and he was showing me some of them. Some of it is really racy, un-viewable even on MTV.

"It's cool. I suppose my bodily proportions are quite flattering. I'm ripped, doing something I wouldn't normally do with my body, or having done to it, involving Watson. So that's as far as I'll hit about that one, but it's all there on the web if you want to find it."

Cumberbatch went on to say that he was surprised to see such a high quality of writing amongst the fan-penned pieces, adding: "I was amazed at the level of artistry; people have spent hours doing it. And there's some really weird cross breeding stuff that goes on.

"The news got out that I was playing Smaug in Hobbit and suddenly there were lots of dragons with purple scarves flying around so it's crazy, it's crazy."

'Three Musketeers' drama, 'The Lady Vanishes' for BBC One

'Three Musketeers' drama, 'The Lady Vanishes' for BBC One

The BBC has commissioned a new version of Alexandre Dumas's The Three Musketeers.

An adaptation of the 1938 Alfred Hitchcock film The Lady Vanishes will also make up part of 20 hours of drama from BBC Productions.

The Musketeers - intended as a returning series - has been written by Adrian Hodges (Primeval, My Week with Marilyn) and will run for ten 60-minute episodes in 2014.

The Lady Vanishes - a single 90-minute drama - has been adapted by Fiona Seres (The Silence) and is expected to air on BBC One this Christmas.

Soldier Soldier creator Lucy Gannon has also been commissioned to write six-part drama Frankie for transmission in 2013. The BBC One series will follows a district nurse - described as "a heroine for the modern age" - who fights for her patients.

"These new BBC One commissions from drama present a richly ambitious slate that will thrill, move and delight audiences," said BBC One controller Danny Cohen.

BBC Three will also air a new supernatural drama set in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. In The Flesh has been written by newcomer Dominic Mitchell and will run for three 90-minute instalments.

"This raft of new drama reflects the range and ambition of in-house," said Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning,

"A unique mix of classic and contemporary pieces have produced surprising and original scripts, from both new and established writers - all of which represents a thriving creative team."

'Play School' presenters 'stoned on biggest joint you've ever seen'

'Play School' presenters 'stoned on biggest joint you've ever seen'

Play School presenters were "stoned out of their minds" on air, it has been claimed.

The iconic BBC children's television series ran from 1964 until 1988.

Johnny Ball, an ex-presenter of the show, said: "There was Rick Jones, Lionel Morton and myself. They got stoned on the biggest joint you've ever seen - in the studio. We were in silhouette as the three shepherds with our crooks. Lionel purposely held his crook so the crook didn't show.

"They were absolutely stoned out of their minds."

The 73-year-old, the father of Zoe Ball, added that he did not use drugs himself, saying: "I couldn't work with it. I really couldn't."

The Sun reports that drug use was also tolerated elsewhere in the BBC, with presenter Joan Bakewell saying of visiting pop acts: "Of course they smoked and they didn't smoke ordinary cigarettes."

Sir David Attenborough, formerly a controller of BBC2, spoke about appealing to guests: "Look, please, don't smoke that stuff openly so we can all smell it. Just be sensible."

BBC alumni also commented on sex at the BBC, with Katy Manning, who played Jo Grant on Doctor Who from 1971 until 1973, saying: "People were bonking all over the BBC. Everybody was doing it on the premises."

Janet Fielding - who played the Doctor's sidekick between 1981 and 1984 - added: "Nobody cared whether you had sex in your dressing room."

The BBC confessions will be screened in Tales of Television Centre on BBC Four on May 17.

'Britain's Got Talent' Ronan Parke dropped by Syco, Sony

'Britain's Got Talent' Ronan Parke dropped by Syco, Sony

Britain's Got Talent star Ronan Parke has reportedly been dropped by Simon Cowell's record label after less than a year.

The 13-year-old landed a joint deal with Syco and Sony Music last July after finishing second on the fifth series of Cowell's ITV show.

However, a spokesperson for Parke has told Metro that the singer decided to go in a "different direction" last month and has now parted ways with the labels.

Parke released just one album during his time with Syco and Sony, a self-titled record that peaked at 22 on the UK charts upon its release in October.

The sole single from his LP, a cover of Vanessa Carlton's 'A Thousand Miles', failed to chart.

Parke was signed before last year's Britain's Got Talent winner Jai McDowall landed his own deal last August. The Scottish singer was also dropped by Cowell in March.

'Outnumbered' Claire Skinner to star in ITV's 'Homefront'

'Outnumbered' Claire Skinner to star in ITV's 'Homefront'

Outnumbered's Claire Skinner and Misfits actress Antonia Thomas are to star in new ITV drama Homefront.

Clare Higgins (The Syndicate) and Nicola Stephenson (Strike Back) will also appear in the series, previously known as SWAGS.

Homefront will follow the lives of four wives and girlfriends of soldiers serving in war-torn Afghanistan.

Higgins will play Paula, a veteran army wife who is proud of her soldier son but does not see eye to eye with his young wife Tasha (Thomas).

Stephenson will star as Louise, wife of soldier Joe - played by Luther's Warren Brown. A former Army nurse, Louise did not return to the front following the birth of her two daughters.

Skinner is the show's fourth lead as Claire, an aspiring Officer's wife who is romantically involved with Major Peter Bartham (Greg Wise).

"Homefront is a unique and contemporary show highlighting the women and families left behind while their loved ones risk life and limb on the front line," said producer Kim Crowther.

"Our fantastic ensemble cast, alongside lead director Terry McDonough, will deliver big emotional stories told through four compelling women."

The six-part drama - created by Sue Teddern (Birds of a Feather) - will film on location in Manchester and Cheshire.

'The Apprentice' takes 6.1m, beats British Soap Awards

'The Apprentice' takes 6.1m, beats British Soap Awards

Last night's instalment of The Apprentice attracted more than 6.1m, according to overnight data.

The episode was watched by 6.13m (25.2%) from 9pm. Although it was down from last week's figures, it did comfortably beat ITV1's coverage of the British Soap Awards. You're Fired! managed 2.23m (11%) on BBC Two afterwards.

Earlier on BBC One, Traffic Cops took 4.05m (19.1%) in the 8pm hour.

Elsewhere, BBC Two began primetime with live snooker coverage (1.28m/6.9%) before showing Antiques Uncovered (1.11m/5.2%) and This World (1.02m/4.2%).

Channel 4's Four Rooms garnered 1.11m (5.2%) from 8pm (+1: 114k/0.5%) with The Tallest Tower: Building the Shard getting 1.66m (6.8%) afterwards (+1: 291k/1.6%). Season two of The Killing US started with 707k (3.9%) from 10pm (+1: 110k/1.2%).

NCIS continued with 1.66m (6.8%) on Channel 5 in the 9pm hour. It was preceded by Cowboy Traders (900k/4.3%).

Overall, BBC One won primetime with 21.4%, ahead of ITV1's 19.7% (+1: 0.7%). BBC Two grabbed 6.2%, beating Channel 4's 4.9% (+1: 0.9%) and Channel 5's 4.8% (+1: 0.2%).

On the multichannels, the Justified episode 'When the Guns Come Out' managed 134k (0.6%) on 5USA, while Bones grabbed 355k (1.5%) on Sky Living.

Spy animated comedy Archer amused 84k (0.4%) on 5*, and Peter Andre: My Life was seen by 390k (1.6%) on ITV2 (+1: 249k/1.4%).

'Voice' Jaz Ellington and manager Andrew Stone 'unpopular backstage'

'Voice' Jaz Ellington and manager Andrew Stone 'unpopular backstage'

Voice UK singer Jaz Ellington has been accused of acting like a "diva" backstage on the BBC show and has been criticised for working with reality TV star Andrew Stone.

Ellington is managed by former Pineapple Dance Studios character and Celebrity Big Brother contestant Stone, and is apparently already acting like "a big star" behind the scenes.

An insider has told The Sun that teacher Ellington needs to display more "hard work" and that he is not popular with the show's crew.

Andrew Stone was famous for his repeated attempts to launch a musical career, but his various bands and solo efforts failed to achieve any real chart or mainstream success.

On Stone's website, he explains that he is now hoping to offer help to wannabe popstars, commenting: "As a teacher and mentor to many, I felt it as time to go one stage further and start to reach out to give other artists the benefit of my experience and knowledge plus the opportunity to share on a greater stage.

"Having now created a profile for myself, the acts I take on board I can advise and bring up to the highest level through my own experience. Each act is handpicked by me to ensure the highest professional quality for your booking."

He has posted "vote for Jaz" messages on his site and also on his official Twitter account.

Ellington, who is one of the bookmakers' favourites to win the show, is coached on the programme by and has been tipped for a big career in the US and UK by his mentor.

The Voice UK continues this Saturday and Sunday on BBC One.

Britain's Got Talent 'best TV show of past decade'

Britain's Got Talent 'best TV show of past decade'

Britain's Got Talent has been named the UK's favourite TV programme of the past decade in a new survey, while the royal wedding balcony kiss has been voted the most uplifting TV moment.

British adults picked Simon Cowell's Britain's Got Talent as their favourite TV show of the last ten years, ahead of the BBC's Doctor Who. Susan Boyle's audition on the programme also ranked as the seventh most uplifting TV moment.

William and Kate's kiss in front of millions of cheering supporters in April 2011 pipped Johnny Wilkinson's winning drop goal at the 2003 Rugby Word Cup as the most uplifting broadcast moment of the past decade.

In third place was the 2002 episode of Only Fools and Horses when Delboy and Rodney brought an illegal immigrant home, followed by Jordan and Peter Andre's romantic encounter on ITV's I'm a Celebrity in 2004, and Alfie coming back for Kat on EastEnders in 2005.

Other popular uplifting moments included Liverpool's momentous comeback against AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final, along with Tim and Dawn's kiss on The Office in 2003 and Rose defeating the Daleks on Doctor Who in 2005.

The poll of around 2,000 UK adults about their views on British television from 2002 to 2012 was commissioned by Freeview to mark its decade as the UK's digital terrestrial television platform.

Also in the survey, Emmerdale topped the soaps lists ahead of Coronation Street and EastEnders.

The full Top 20 Uplifting TV Moments runs as follows:

01. Royal Wedding: Will and Kate's balcony kiss (2011)
02. Rugby World Cup: Jonny Wilkinson's winning drop-goal (2003)
03. Only Fools and Horses: Delboy and Rodney bring an illegal immigrant home (2002)
04. I'm a Celebrity: Jordan and Peter get together (2004)
05. EastEnders: Alfie comes back for Kat (2005)
06. Champions League Final: Liverpool's comeback (2005)
07. Britain's Got Talent: Susan Boyle's audition (2009)
08. Planet Earth: Emperor Penguins end of winter scene (2006)
09. The Office: Tim and Dawn's kiss in the final episode(2003)
10. The Ashes: Freddie Flintoff consoles Brett Lee (2005)
11. Doctor Who: Rose defeats the daleks (2005)
12. Vicar of Dibley: Puddle scene (2006)
13. Gavin and Stacey: Smithy crashes Nessa's wedding (2010)
14. Sport Relief: David Walliams swims the River Thames (2012)
15. Top Gear: James and Richard convert a Reliant Robin into a space shuttle (2007)
16. Olympics: Kelly Holmes wins gold in the 800m (2008)
17. The Apprentice: Good guy Tom wins after being in the losing team (2011)
18. Downton Abbey: When Lady Mary and Matthew get together (2011)
19. Formula One: Lewis Hamilton winning the World Championship (2008)
20. Comic Relief: Robert Webb on Let's Dance (2009)

Freeview also gauged people's views on British television, with a fifth of respondents saying that it has never been better.

A third of adults said that British TV is the best in the world, while almost three in ten said that they prefer to watch TV live, rather than via on-demand or timeshift services.

Alongside the research, Freeview has today launched a new online game, called The Generosity Game, celebrating its ten years as a company.

Hosted by impressionist Jon Culshaw and available at, the game guides players through ten years of uplifting, free television via a helium balloon challenge.

"Everyone loves getting the flags out and having a do for a good old royal wedding. We love a memorable sporting triumph or wondrous wildlife spectacle," said Culshaw.

"So it's no surprise that they're all over the list of the nation's most uplifting TV moments. Here's to another ten years of uplifting telly."

Louis Walsh 'X Factor' return confirmed: Judge returns for ninth year

Louis Walsh 'X Factor' return confirmed: Judge returns for ninth year

Louis Walsh is the second judge confirmed for the 2012 series of The X Factor.

Walsh will make his ninth appearance on the judging panel whe the show returns to ITV1 at the end of the summer. He joins Take That's Gary Barlow, who announced that he was returning last month.

The Irish music mogul, who has managed acts such as Boyzone, Westlife and X Factor finalists Jedward, is the only judge to appear on every series of The X Factor.

"It's my ninth year on the show and I'm delighted to take my seat once more on the judging panel," said Walsh.

X Factor boss Simon Cowell said: "The show wouldn't be the same without Louis. I'm really happy he is coming back."

Co-star Barlow commented on Twitter: "I hear there's a lovely lad from Ireland joining me on X Factor. Congrats Louis! One of these years you'll be head judge."

Walsh was famously ditched from X Factor in 2007, when he was replaced by choreographer Brian Friedman. However, Cowell quickly reinstated Walsh after only a couple of days of auditions, confessing that he had made a "big mistake" dumping his co-star and friend.

Tulisa Contostavlos is expected to be announced as the third X Factor judge soon, but a replacement for Kelly Rowland, who confirmed her departure this week, remains up in the air.

Dannii Minogue is Digital Spy readers' pick to fill the vacant fourth judge slot.

X Factor filmed auditions begin on May 23, so all four judges must be confirmed before that date.

Peter Fincham, ITV's director of television, said: "Louis is, quite simply, an X Factor institution. It's great to have him back for this year's run."

Richard Holloway, managing director at Thames, added: "Louis's wealth of experience in the music industry, coupled with the fact he has been on every series of The X Factor, makes him a fantastic judge and mentor."

Harry Redknapp heading to Euro 2012 with BBC team

Harry Redknapp heading to Euro 2012 with BBC team

Harry Redknapp will go to Euro 2012 despite missing out on the England job, as he has agreed to join the BBC's coverage team of the tournament.

Tottenham Hotspur boss Redknapp was considered the favourite to lead the England football team, but the FA announced this week that Roy Hodgson has been handed the job.

At the BBC's press launch today for its Euro 2012 team, lead presenter Gary Lineker tweeted: "BREAKING NEWS! Harry Redknapp has after all got the big job at the Euros! He will be part of the BBC team."

The BBC will share the UK coverage rights to Euro 2012 with ITV, with both broadcasters committing to running live coverage of all 31 games from the tournament this summer on TV, online and mobile.

ITV will kick off England's campaign with the group stage clash against France on June 11. The BBC will show the middle group game against Sweden on June 15, and ITV will close the pool stage campaign with the match against the Ukraine on June 19.

Should England make it out of the group, the BBC will broadcast the team's first knockout match.

The final, on July 1, will be shown simultaneously on BBC One and ITV1.

Sacha Baron Cohen's Dictator banned from BBC shows?

Sacha Baron Cohen's Dictator banned from BBC shows?

The Dictator's General Aladeen has reportedly been banned from appearing on BBC television and radio shows.

The Graham Norton Show, The One Show, Newsnight and The Andrew Marr Show were all apparently in talks about interviewing Sacha Baron Cohen in the guise of his latest screen creation, but have all pulled out.

Shows on Radio 4 and Radio 1 have followed suit, with a source close to Cohen telling The Sun: "Everyone came back and said they were declining to have him in character on air.

"Sacha suspects it's a case of a sense of humour bypass."

The Borat actor commented on the matter in the character of General Aladeen, saying: "While I am a huge admirer of state-sponsored censorship, the BBC banning me from their meagre channels is an outrage.

"Why are they victimising little old me?"

A BBC spokesman responded on the issue: "Our chatshows thrive on the spontaneous banter between guests and the presenter, something you don't get when people come on as characters. We'd love to have Sacha on as himself."

The Dictator opens on May 11, 2012 in the US and on May 16 in the UK.

'Sherlock' series three details revealed by Mark Gatiss

'Sherlock' series three details revealed by Mark Gatiss

Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss has revealed the first details about a third series.

Gatiss - who also plays Mycroft in the BBC drama - appeared to confirm that the first episode of the new run will be an adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 'The Adventure of the Empty House'.

The Sherlock series two finale - which saw Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) apparently plummet to his death - was a loose adaptation of Conan Doyle's 'The Final Problem', with 'The Empty House' being the next story chronologically in the canon.

"There's certain things about 'The Adventure of the Empty House' which feel set in stone because that's how Sherlock comes back, but at the same time we feel free to invent and to introduce new stuff to it," Gatiss told PA.

"I always found it a little unlikely that Dr Watson's only reaction was to faint for instance - as supposed to possibly a stream of terrible swear words."

The writer and actor added that the "overall feel" of Sherlock's third series will dictate which Conan Doyle tales will make up the second and third episodes.

"Steven [Moffat] and I have our all-time favourites, but it's really a question of what will fit into the structure," he explained.

The third series of Sherlock is expected to begin filming in early 2013.

Lauren Socha not returning to 'Misfits' for fourth series

Lauren Socha not returning to 'Misfits' for fourth series

Lauren Socha will not appear in the fourth series of Misfits.

A Channel 4 spokesperson confirmed to Digital Spy that the 21-year-old actress will not reprise her role as Kelly in the E4 drama.

"A mutual decision was reached between Clerkenwell and Lauren earlier this year that she would not be returning for the fourth series," it was announced in a statement.

"Misfits has been in production for a number of weeks now and Lauren is not part of the lineup."

It was also confirmed that Socha's departure is not related to her recent conviction for racially-aggravated assault.

The spokesperson added: "No. Clerkenwell Films and Lauren Socha agreed some time ago that along with other cast members, including Iwan Rheon and Antonia Thomas, she would not be returning for the fourth series of Misfits, which is currently in production. Channel 4 supports both parties' decisions."

Misfits will return to E4 in late 2012.