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zondag 26 augustus 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chris Moyles targeted by thieves while on holiday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fox Seeks Injunction Against Dish in Auto Hop Battle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jennifer Lopez, Gavin Polone Pilots Get ABC Family Greenlight

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

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

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

Jack Whitehall's 'Bad Education' gets second series

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

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

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

Its second episode was similarly successful.

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

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

David Walliams for BBC One secondary school sitcom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

None of the titles are streamed exclusively through Amazon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FTC Sues Dish Network Over Telemarketing

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

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

The FTC is seeking unspecific civil penalties.

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

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

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

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

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

Morgan Spurlock Joins CNN

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

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

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

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

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

TV Tonight 26th of August 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joanna Lumley: 'Ab Fab could go on forever'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Development Update: The 26th of August

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Harvey Weinstein Extortion Suspect Indicted in West Virginia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fox Broadcasting Licenses Under Attack Over Phone-Hacking Scandal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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