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maandag 1 oktober 2012

Rachel Nichols interview: Continuum, Alias, Conan and more

With film roles in Star Trek, Conan The Barbarian and G.I Joe: The Rise Of The Cobra, and TV appearances in the likes of Alias, Rachel Nichols has registered on our geek radar for some time now. Her lead role as cop-from-the-future Kiera Cameron in Syfy's newly acquired Continuum (the first season of which begins airing tonight in the UK) looks to be the part that will fully integrate Nichols into the geek canon.

We caught up with the star of Continuum to talk sci-fi, tough women, fight scenes, and why Canada is the future of television...

How would you describe Continuum to new viewers?

The quickest and easiest way to describe the show is that I’m a cop from the future fighting criminals from the future, in present day. The show opens up in the year 2077 and we are about to put the worst terrorists in the world, a group called Liberate, to death for crimes they committed against humanity. You soon find out that while they were in prison, with the help of whom we don’t know, they created a time travel device that creates a wormhole that sucks us all back in time. I, and all of the members of Liberate get sent back to present-day Vancouver, so we all land at the same time in this world that none of us have seen before. We’re then battling each other like we were 65-years in the future, except with entirely new equipment and a need to get home as soon as possible.

How did you approach the ‘fish-out-of-water’ element of Kiera’s character?

When I first read the script it was an incredible role, and there were elements that were familiar to me just from past work. The physicality, the fight scenes, and the handling of weapons were all very familiar, but this is the first time I’ve ever played a wife and a mother so that was something new that I wanted to tackle. That was the great thing about Kiera, she’s driven and strong and motivated and likes to be right, so those are characteristics that I possess as well as things different about her and aspects that I had never played. It was the best of all worlds.

The show deals with some brave ideas, were you nervous about touching on such controversial topics?

One of the great things about the sci-fi genre is that you can kind of get away with a bit more when talking politics, making social references or dealing with very hot button topics because it is sci-fi. Of course, in 2077 corporations rule the government and the government is no longer what it is today and we can equate that to seeing signs in certain arenas.

Yes, there are certain statements we make but it’s more along the lines of suggestion of what could happen way, far in the future and that’s the great thing about sci-fi. I wasn’t nervous about it because it’s a thinking person’s show and there are elements for everyone. We didn’t make any blanket statements we just said ‘Hey, what if this actually happened in the future?’ That allows us to ask the questions because we’re not saying anything will actually happen.

Where do you see the show going five seasons down the line?

I just recently watched all ten episodes and I’m very interested in seeing where the show will go because at the end, there are so many questions being asked. Not least of which is how many people came back? Are there other levels of living, and what exactly is the space-time continuum? Are there alternate universes? Are there people who have gone back before? There are so many questions and we don’t know if Kiera will ever get home. There’s change that she experiences through the first season, as well as everyone goodies and baddies alike.

Kiera comes back from the future and she knows who she is and what she does, she knows she’s fighting for the right side, but very quickly in 2012 she has to question her position, and her entire moral stance. Her belief system is turned upside down by realising that maybe black and white, good and bad aren’t that easy to discern. In a nutshell there are a lot of places this show can go so I’m not worried we’ll run out of material.

Do you have a favourite episode?

I have two actually. There’s one episode where we deal with relatives, with the Back to the Future question of whether altering something in the past will change the future. Then there’s another where the terrorist gang takes over my brain, unbeknownst to me, and I go on a crazy Terminator, insane Keira, trip. Every episode is extremely different and very exciting, but those two are my favourite because they have epic fight scenes.

While working on films like G.I. Joe and Conan, you did a lot of physical training, was the action on Continuum something that came naturally this time?

I started dealing with weapons on the first show I ever did, The Inside, but I didn’t really do any physical stuff until Alias. I loved it and thought it was so fun and so cool. A fight scene is like a dance, you learn the moves and then run then run them all together, and the more you do it the more fluid it becomes. It’s a really sexy rough-and-tumble dance and I’ve been really drawn to it. People ask me about fighting in real life and, honestly, it wouldn’t look as graceful as it does in film and TV. Every role that I’ve done before this had a physicality to it and that really lends itself to preparing for Kiera. We’ve got a great stunt crew on the show so that helps a great deal as well. If you’re going to do fight scenes and stunts you’re going to need a team that knows what they’re doing.

Is playing strong women something that’s important to you?

It’s been kind of a happy accident, as I don’t think I was necessarily drawn to it initially. I had a couple of jobs that lent themselves to that and now I’m very drawn to it. There’s something really rewarding about playing a girl who can survive on her own, and who can do the fights and shoot the guns, but also at the same time still be a woman. Kiera is very much still a woman desperate to get home to her family and her son but she has this other side to her that I loved playing. It really puts women in the bad-ass role, and those great role-models are important for young women. There are a lot of characters for young boys to look up to and I think girls deserve that too.

It’s sadly unusual for a female character to be married with a child back home, can we expect a possible romantic storyline for Keira in present day?

I can’t really give away too much but I can say that, yes I am married with a child at the beginning, but there are certain circumstances that become known in the future that may make it acceptable for me to potentially have a love interest. You only see a little glimmer of it in season one so for right now that’s all I can say. It’s something I do want people to think about, though, because it lends itself to more questions in the first few episodes.

It seems harder and harder to find a hit sci-fi series, what do you think it is about Continuum that’s made an impact?

I think the really cool thing about Continuum is that it’s not just sci-fi and it’s not just a cop drama, it’s really got elements of everything. For people who like the cop genre and the procedural and the solving of some sort of case every episode, they’ll get their fill, but the people who really like sci-fi do as well between the time travel and elements of the future that I bring back with me to the present day. And the people who just want a regular drama, it’s about relationships and family and love. There are all those elements there, because I’m in a place I’ve never seen before without my family and I’m forced to survive. Then I’m forced to trust people that I wouldn’t ordinarily trust, and there are so many elements to the show that it can’t really be pigeonholed into one area. I think if people give it a chance, they’ll be hooked.

Canadian TV has been getting more prominent across the world in the last few years, was Showcase more open to the show than U.S. networks may have been?

It’s interesting because when I decided to do the show it was only going to be in Canada, but then it snowballed and was reviewed so well, and I’m really happy that we did it in Canada as they wanted to shoot the show in Vancouver anyway. They didn’t want to pretend Vancouver was New York, and it’s a very futuristic-looking city perfect for the show. I don’t really know the whole story behind it but now that it’s becoming international it’s really exciting. With other shows like Lost Girl, maybe Canada is the future of TV.

'Skins' stars Joe Dempsie, Kaya Scodelario join new Channel 4 drama

Skins stars Joe Dempsie and Kaya Scodelario are among the actors to star in new Channel 4 drama Southcliffe.

The pair will be joined by Rory Kinnear (Black Mirror), Sean Harris (Prometheus), Shirley Henderson (Anna Karenina), Eddie Marsan (Tyrannosaur), Anatol Yusef (Boardwalk Empire) and Nichola Burley (Wuthering Heights).

The four-part series - directed by Martha Marcy May Marlene's Sean Durkin and written by Red Riding scribe Tony Grisoni - tells the story of a fictional English town devastated by a spate of shootings, exploring the tragedy through the eyes of a journalist and those close to the victims.

"Southcliffe is a fictional market town inhabited by fictional characters, but with similarities to many actual people and places in Britain today," said Grisoni. "Invisible people, anonymous places. The inexplicable chain of events at the dark heart of this four-part drama shatters time and space for Southcliffe's inhabitants.

"Violence and sudden bereavement confronts them with emotions they are unequipped to understand. Rather than analyse or moralise about our characters' actions, we share in them. Southcliffe is an anthem to ordinary people's ability to reinvent themselves in the face of ultimate darkness."

Channel 4's Head of Drama Piers Wenger added: "Tony Grisoni's unique ability to convey the darkness and subtleties of human behaviour is in full evidence in these four brilliant scripts and I'm delighted that Warp Films and Tony have found a world class director like Sean Durkin to bring them to life."

Southcliffe is a Warp Films production in association with Borderline Films for Channel 4. The series will start shooting next month and will air on Channel 4 in 2013.

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' returns

Nostalgia alert... look who's back! '80s kids telly favourite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has undergone a 2012 makeover and returns to our screens edgier, funnier and with a stellar all-star cast to boot.

The new CG-animated action comedy follows the trials and tribulations of pizza-loving mutant brothers Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo.

With playground gossip of yesteryear often centred around 'who is your favourite?' and with American Pie actor Jason Biggs and Lord of the Rings star Sean Aston voicing two of the iconic characters (Leonardo and Raphael), the water cooler chitter chatter is set to encapsulate a whole new generation of fans... as well as indulging those first-time round enthusiasts.

Original 'Raphael' Rob Paulsen returns to the franchise, this time as Donatello, and cheeky chappy Greg Cipes completes the foursome as the loveable Michelangelo.

Mutant rat, and teacher of everything Ninjutsu, Master Splinter (voiced by Hoon Lee) is back, having undergone a revamp. The Nickelodeon team has given the loveable Sensei a makeover befitting of his no-nonsense character. The previous 'Yoda-esque' appearance has been beefed up to reveal a more statuesque father figure, more than capable of taking on nemesis Shredder (Kevin Michael Richardson) who also returns to the series.

Slightly younger and sassier than in previous incarnations, April O'Neill (Mae Whitman) completes the cast lineup as confidante and friend to the brothers green.

Set in present day New York, the series kicks off with the four brothers first emerging from their sewer home to discover 'what lies above'. Battling evil The Kraang and embarking on a journey of self-discovery, this new improved animation series is guaranteed to delight both old and new audiences - brace yourself 'dudes', Turtle Power is back!

Watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mondays from October 1 at 5pm on Nickelodeon - #nickturtlesuk

The End of an Era for NBC's Thursday Comedies: Goodbye to the Golden Age of Weird

It looks like the end of an era for NBC's Thursday comedies -- simultaneously the smartest and dumbest shows on television.

That's a compliment. For years, "30 Rock," "The Office," "Community" and "Parks and Recreation" have brought to primetime Thursday the kind of smart-stupid absurdist comedy that David Letterman and Conan O'Brien developed in late night.

You never knew if the next joke would be about geopolitics or goofy animals. Sometimes the political joke was deliberately dumb and the animal joke head-scratchingly smart.

Never in primetime have the two dueling forces of wit and stupidity met so beautifully.

But this is the last season for "The Office" and "30 Rock," and "Community" has already been shuffled to Fridays because of chronically poor ratings. With its new crop of shows, NBC seems to be backing away from its critically adored mix of smart and stupid and going after ratings.

It is keeping the animals. But not the jokes about North Korea.

"I think we're going to transition with our comedy programs and try to broaden the audience," entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt told reporters over the summer. "Those Thursday comedies, which the critics love and we love, tend to be a bit more narrow than we want going forward."

The network's new hopes include "Animal Practice," about a wacky veterinary hospital, and "Guys With Kids," about just that. None of the new sitcoms air on Thursday.

The season only officially started Monday, so it's too soon to identify trends. But so far the new sitcoms are earning better ratings than the Thursday shows -- in part because viewers want to see if the new shows are worth watching.

The Matthew Perry group therapy comedy "Go On" premiered to a strong 3.2 rating in the key 18-49 demograpic, and 8.6 million total viewers -- the best premiere so far for an NBC comedy. "The Office," which last season was NBC's top-rated scripted show, seems unlikely to repeat that feat this season: It premiered last week to a so-so 2.1 rating and 4.3 million, which was better than the network's other Thursday shows performed. (Update: "Animal Practice" and "Guys With Kids" had weak premieres in their official timeslots Wednesday after faring better in special previews.)

Thursdays have always been special for NBC: They were the home of "The Cosby Show," "Cheers," "Seinfeld," "Friends" and a slew of other smart, beloved shows. But only "Seinfeld" delved into the kind of absurdist humor that became a calling card of NBC Thursday nights in the middle of the last decade.

Even as the network languished in fourth place, it received critical praise for "The Office," which debuted in 2005, and "30 Rock," which arrived the next year. "30 Rock" quickly began racking up Emmy nominations and wins, bringing glory to a network badly in need of bragging rights.

The success of those shows emboldened the network to risk similarly strange, off-kilter and often-brilliant shows like "Community" and "Parks and Recreation." If "Parks" is renewed for another season after this one, it will be the last of the NBC Thursday shows that successfully mixes of insightful social commentary and flat-out silliness.

NBC's new shows take on serious issues -- "Go On" is about a man grieving the loss of his wife, and "New Normal" tries to challenge prejudice against gays. But none of the shows seem likely to become playgrounds of the mind, or to wreak havoc with the space-time continuum, as "Community" did in one episode.

NBC's Golden Age of Weird may be ending. It only lasted as long as it did because the network gave its writers, producers and actors room to be ridiculous. The writers and stars -- from "30 Rock" mastermind Tina Fey to "Parks and Recreation" star Amy Poehler, Fey's former "Weekend Update" cohost -- were often plucked from "Saturday Night Live," the late-night cornerstone of NBC's comic empire.

Others skipped "SNL" and came directly to primetime from the improv stages that are often a pipeline to late night.

Audrey Plaza arrived at "Parks" from Poehler's Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York. Her co-star, UCB alum Aziz Ansari, quickly landed the MTV show "Human Giant" before going on to "Parks." Ellie Kemper and Zach Woods went almost straight from UCB to "The Office," which also featured UCB vet Ed Helms. And the UCBer Donald Glover became a writer on "30 Rock" before he joined the cast of "Community."

It's a little amazing: Performer after performer landing on a major broadcast network, in primetime, after honing their craft by making up new routines, night after night, in a 150-seat basement theater under a grocery store, near a New York housing project. (A Los Angeles theater draws major talents as well.) Comedy nerds pay $5 to watch legends and future stars alike make magic with only a stage, slamming doors and a few chairs.

UCB teaches its students to use "the top of your intelligence" -- in other words, to play each scene as realistically as possible, and to always go for the smart joke over the dumb, easy one. Its shows are more likely to feature debates about historian Doris Kearns Goodwin -- Kemper discussed her at length in one improvised scene a few years back -- than the usual comedy-club dilemmas about dating.

UCB thrills in the smart-dumb comedy Letterman and O'Brien practiced on NBC, before both eventually left. Fey made it a trademark of "30 Rock." An extended recent plot point focused on escalating hostilities with North Korea, and others have involved a corporate takeover modeled on Comcast's acquisition of NBC Universal.

But those complex subjects shared the screen with a string of absurdities, from Jack Donaghy meeting his past and future selves to Tracy Jordan dressing as a white woman to see whether white women or black men have it harder.

Besides helping spawn much of the talent on "30 Rock," UCB also helped shape Adam Pally and Casey Wilson, two stars of ABC's "Happy Endings." (Wilson had her first big break on "SNL.") Meanwhile, "Happy Endings" vets David Guarascio and Moses Port were brought in to run "Community" after the firing of Dan Harmon, who deserves the credit or blame, depending on who you ask, for much of the show's unpredictability. Brothers Joe and Anthony Russo executive produce both "Happy Endings" and "Community."

"Community" has been the strangest of NBC's strange Thursday shows. One episode featured reality splitting into several different realities, depending on which of its characters answered a door. It would have been a weird "Doctor Who" episode. But it aired on NBC at 8 p.m.

It may be a long time before any network shows anything so odd at that hour again.

It's often said that all sitcoms are focused around work or family, and NBC's new lineup continues a shift from work shows ("The Office," "30 Rock," "Parks") to family shows (including "Up All Night," and "New Normal"). Family shows also include those about replacement families made up of friends, and the best example is "Friends." Other friends-as-family shows might arguably include "Go On" and "Guys With Kids."

The move to family shows -- especially about non-traditional families -- is no surprise given the success of "Modern Family," one of TV's highest-rated sitcoms and currently its most praised. On Sunday it picked up its third consecutive Emmy for Outstanding Comedy series, showing once again that it has replaced "30 Rock" as Emmy voters favorite sitcom.

Family shows can lend themselves to absurdity, but lend themselves more easily to sap. "Modern Family," the first primetime show to feature a lovable gay couple adopting, is an obvious exception. "The New Normal," which features a gay couple adopting from a surrogate mother, tries to build on that by adding complications, including a bigoted grandmother of the surrogate. Ellen Barkin plays the bigot.

But "New Normal" seems unlikely to play ping-pong with race, gender and politics the way "30 Rock" and "Parks" delightedly do. It seems fixated on addressing and sometimes embracing the sterotype that gay men are fussy and fashion-forward, a stereotype "The Office" undercut years ago with the low-key Oscar Martinez character.

"New Normal" co-creator Ryan Murphy has said Barkin character is "100 percent" a member of One Million Moms, a fringe conservative group that objects to the gays on the show. It previously became worked up over the openly gay Ellen DeGeneres shilling for J.C. Penney.

But taking on groups so cartoonishly extreme doesn't lend itself to the kind of nuance that fuels great comedies.

 "30 Rock" thrills in exploring the tight crevices where there is simply no comfortable position, like the debate over whether racism or sexism is worse. 

Murphy's other occasionally political show, "Glee," makes broad points along the lines of, Acceptance is good, and bigotry is bad. It's a message that should absolutely air in primetime.

But it's not very funny.

'Sons of Anarchy' Actor Attacked Others During Rampage, Had Violent Past

"Sons of Anarchy" actor Johnny Lewis, who's believed to have killed his 81-year-old landlady Wednesday before dying himself, attacked two other people during the violent spree, and had a history of violent incidents in the months leading up to the alleged murder Wednesday morning, TheWrap has learned.

During a press conference at the home where Lewis and his alleged victim Catherine Davis lived in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los  Angeles, LAPD commander Andrew Smith told reporters that Lewis also injured his neighbor and a man who the neighbor had hired to paint his house.

According to Smith, the neighbor exited his house when he heard a commotion outside to discover that Lewis had jumped the house painter. Lewis appeared to have scaled the wall of the home with a stick or 2-by-4, Smith said.

The neighbor suffered facial injuries during the incident. It was not immediately known if the painter was injured.

As reported earlier, the Los Angeles County coroner's office determined that Davis died of blunt head trauma and strangulation. The cause of death for Lewis, who died after falling off of a roof, has been deferred.

Davis said that he does not believe that the police have any other suspects in the case. They are, however, re-interviewing witnesses.

In addition to Wednesday's fatal rampage, court papers obtained by TheWrap show that Lewis had engaged in multiple violent incidents earlier this year. In January, Lewis was charged with two counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon following an incident during which he entered a residence and struck two men in the head with a bottle.

The papers also show that, in February, Lewis was charged with two counts of misdemeanor battery, as well as a count of obstructing or resisting a police officer. Convicted of the battery accounts in February, he was sentenced to 36 months of probation and 12 days in county jail.

'Good Cop': BBC confirms airdate for delayed final episode

The BBC has confirmed an airdate for the final episode of Good Cop.

The Warren Brown drama was originally set to conclude on September 20, but the last instalment - which features scenes of a violent attack on a female police officer - was pulled from the schedules following the deaths of two Greater Manchester policewomen in a gun and grenade attack.

The fourth and final episode has now been confirmed for Saturday, October 13 at 10.30pm.

Good Cop follows John Paul 'Sav' Rocksavage, a police constable who seeks revenge on a gang of criminals who murder his partner (Tom Hopper) in a brutal ambush.

Stephen Graham, Aisling Loftus, Mark Womack and Kerrie Hayes also star in the series, which was written by Five Daughters scribe Stephen Butchard.

Development Update: The 1st of October

UNTITLED LAGRAVENESE & GOLDWYN PROJECT (AMC) - Paul Schneider ("The Newsroom") has joined the cast of the drama pilot, about Adam Powell (yet to be cast), a District Attorney who uncovers new evidence that prompts the reinvestigation of a sensational murder case. He's set as Clark Rylance, "a senior attorney at the Innocence Project with a secret crush on Christine (Malin Ireland), who's initially skeptical about taking on the controversial case." Tony Goldwyn is directing the hour from a script by Richard LaGravenese for AMC Studios. Joe Anderson also stars. (

UNTITLED MICHALKA SISTERS PROJECT (FOX, New!) - Aly and A.J. Michalka are set to star in a potential comedy at the network in which they play versions of themselves, "finally out of the house and into their first apartment, only to have their exciting new lives interrupted when their mother unexpectedly moves in with them." Matt Dearborn and Adam F. Goldberg ("Breaking In") are penning the single-camera project with the Michalkas receiving co-producer credits. Sony Pictures Television-based Happy Madison is producing with Dearborn, Goldberg and Doug Robinson serving as executive producers. (

ALL THE SINGLE LADIES (CBS, New!) - "The Big C" creator Darlene Hunt has sold a new single-camera comedy to the Eye about a successful, thirty-something woman who turns down her boyfriend's proposal of marriage "choosing to think of her single life as a destination, not a journey." Sony Pictures Television is behind the half-hour, which has a penalty attached and is based on Atlantic Monthly's November 2011 cover story by Kate Bolick about "the diminishing relevancy of marriage in a society where an ever-growing number of women choose to remain single." Josh Berman is also attached as an executive producer with Bolick receiving a co-producer credit. (

THE HIGH LIFE (NBC, New!) - Brother-and-sister writing duo Will and Robin Reiser has snagged a put pilot order from the Peacock for a single-camera comedy about "the trials and tribulations of a misguided young woman, who's newly sober and trying to navigate motherhood, work and marriage - all of which makes her want to drink." Said effort is set up at 20th Century Fox Television with J.J. Philbin, Jake Kasdan and Thruline Entertainment's Willie Mercer executive producing alongside the Reisers with Melvin Mar producing. (

THE KEYS (FOX, New!) - "Las Vegas" creator Gary Scott Thompson has booked a new drama at the network about "two cops who don't play by the rules" in the Florida Keys. Said hour comes from 20th Century Fox Television-based Chernin Entertainment with Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope executive producing alongside Thompson. (

LOW WINTER SUN (AMC) - Sprague Grayden and David Costabile are the latest to board the drama pilot, about Frank Agnew (Mark Strong), a Detroit detective who murders a crooked cop, activating forces that will forever alter his life and pull him into the heart of the city's underworld. She'll play the fierce and ruthless Elena Callis, "Damon's (James Ransone) wife who wants to extend the family's crime networks"; while he's set as David Westwood, "an upright investigator from Internal Affairs who shows up and causes quite a stir among the officers." Athena Karkanis, Lennie James and Ruben Santiago Hudson also star in the AMC Studios-based hour, from writer Chris Mundy and director Ernest Dickerson. (

UNTITLED KAY CANNON PROJECT (FOX, New!) - Kay Cannon ("New Girl") has scored a put pilot commitment from the network for a new single-camera comedy "set in the offices of an NFL-Sunday-type show and has a strong female lead at the center." The ever-busy 20th Century Fox Television-based Chernin Entertainment is behind the hour, with Cannon executive producing alongside Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope. (

UNTITLED MICHELLE MORGAN PROJECT (FOX, New!) - Actress/writer Michelle Morgan ("Imogene") has sold a new comedy to the network about "a couple whose friends and family don't think they are right for each other." 20th Century Fox Television-based Chernin Entertainment is behind the half-hour, which the company's Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope will executive produce alongside Morgan and Kaplan Perrone Entertainment's Aaron Kaplan and Sean Perrone. (

BROTHERS-IN-LAW (TV Land) - Kelen Coleman ("The Newsroom") has booked the remaining principal role on the comedy pilot, about "a regular Joe (Josh Cooke) who is repeatedly forced to spend time with the eccentric fiancé (Jay Mohr) of his wife's twin sister (Ellen Woglom), even though the guys share nothing in common." She'll play Cheska, the aforementioned wife of Josh Cooke's character Neil. The multi-camera project comes from Stuber Productions and co-creators Bill Martin and Mike Schiff. (

HAVE GUN - WILL TRAVEL (CBS, New!) - "The Unit" creator David Mamet is returning to the Eye with a revival of the network's 1957-1963 series about "a top-notch gunfighter who preferred to settle problems without violence but stood his ground when provoked." Mamet will write, direct and executive produce the potential hour for CBS Television Studios with agent-turned-producer Elliott Webb also serving as an executive producer. Richard Boone starred in the original, from creators Sam Rolfe and Herb Meadow. (

PARK & LEX (ABC, New!) - Maria Maggenti ("Monte Carlo") has booked a new drama at the Alphabet about "a mother and daughter who team up as amateur sleuths" in New York City. ABC Studios is behind the hour with DarkFire Television's Ryan Reynolds, Allan Loeb, Jonathon Komack Martin and Steven Pearl executive producing alongside Maggenti. (

SHELTER (FOX, New!) - John Hlavin ("The Shield") has sold a new drama to the network about "an ATF Agent whose real working-class Chicago life collides with his flashy Los Angeles cover when his wife is exposed to his criminal world, trapping them both undercover." Said hour is set up at ABC Studios with Mark Pellington and 3 Arts Entertainment's Tom Lassally executive producing alongside Hlavin. (

TABOO (ABC, New!) - Sara Goodman ("Gossip Girl") has sold a potential drama to the network about "a stay-at home-mom who goes back to work as an undercover psychological profiler for the FBI, but the job isn't nearly as dangerous as the sexual obsession she falls into with the man she's investigating." Goodman will pen the hour, which is based on idea Anthony E. Zuiker. They'll both then executive produce via the latter's ABC Studios-based Dare to Pass banner alongside JoAnn Alfano and Margaret Riley of Brillstein Entertainment Partners. (

UNTITLED DAN GOOR/MICHAEL SCHUR PROJECT (FOX, New!) - Michael Schur and Dan Goor's proposed comedy, about "a diverse group of detectives in a precinct at the very edge of New York City," has found a home at the network with a pilot production commitment. The single-camera project is set up at Universal Television with the duo writing and executive producing alongside 3 Arts Entertainment's David Miner. Schur, the co-creator of "Parks & Recreation," has also inked a two-year overall deal with the studio. (

THE FRANCHISE (Showtime) - The pay channel is trimming the show's second season by one week, with the finale now set for this Wednesday, August 22 at 10:00/9:00c. To date its sophomore run, featuring the Miami Marlins, has averaged a very modest 77,000 viewers and a 0.0 rating among adults 18-49. Last summer's inaugural season, showcasing the San Francisco Giants, averaged 106,000 viewers and a 0.0 adults 18-49 rating. (

PAGING DR. FREED (USA) - Kyle Howard and Joel David Moore have booked the lead roles on the long-in-the-works single-camera comedy pilot, about David (Howard) and Jonathan (Moore) Freed, two gynecologist brothers who inherit their father's thriving medical practice after he suffers a heart attack during an attempt at "playing" doctor with his young secretary. Their casting lifts said contingency on the half-hour, which comes from Fox 21, Universal Cable Productions and Watson Pond Productions. Marc Buckland is attached to direct from a script by Michael Feldman with Katy McCaffrey and Brad Johnson also serving as executive producers. (

RED WIDOW (ABC) - Goran Visnjic ("ER") has joined the cast of the midseason drama, about a woman, Marta Walraven (Radha Mitchell), who must take over her late husband's illegal drug business to protect her three young children. He'll take over for Thomas Kretschmann as mob boss Christian Schiller in the project, from writer Melissa Rosenberg. Clifton Collins Jr., Erin Moriarty, Jaime Ray Newman, Jakob Salvati, Lee Tergesen, Luke Goss, Rade Serbedzija, Sterling Beaumon, Suleka Mathew and Wil Traval also star in the ABC Studios-based project. (

UNTITLED DIGGY SIMMONS PROJECT (BET, New!) - 17-year-old rapper/blogger Daniel "Diggy" Simmons III, son of Joseph "Reverend Run" Simmons, is set to star in a new original movie at the cable channel about Blake, a blogger with a "close group of loyal friends who hold him down on his rise to the top." Also cast in the project, a backdoor pilot for a potential series, are Allen Maldonado as Blake's best friend Manny; Teyana Taylor as Manny's twin sister/Blake's ex-girlfriend Tae; Chris Brew as tech geek/fellow pal Dot; Bria Murphy as Manny's girlfriend Nia; and Stephanie Charles as Dot's ex-girlfriend Sheri. Salim Akil ("Sparkle") will direct from a script by Kenya Baris with Mara Brock Akil, Chris Lighty, Laurie Dobbins and James Dubose also among the executive producers. Simmons and Kevin Liles will also serve as co-executive producers. Production is set to begin later this year. (

UNTITLED JONATHAN SHAPIRO PROJECT (FX, New!) - Jonathan Shapiro ("The Firm") has booked a potential drama at the cable channel about a former police detective who now works as a fixer. Ryan Seacrest Productions and The Weinstein Co. are behind the hour, which Shapiro will executive produce presumably alongside Seacrest, Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein, Nina Wass and Adam Sher. No other details were given. (

THE B-SIDE (NBC, New!) - Sheri Elwood ("Call Me Fitz") has booked a single-camera comedy at the Peacock about "a thirty-something woman in a divorce-triggered life meltdown who reunites with her best friends from high school." Warner Bros. Television-based Jerry Bruckheimer Television is behind the half-hour, with Bruckheimer and Jonathan Littman executive producing alongside Elwood and KristieAnne Reed serving as a co-executive producer. (

THE FARM (NBC) - Majandra Delfino ("State of Georgia") has joined the cast of the proposed Rainn Wilson-led spin-off of "The Office," which follows Schrute clan at their beet farm/bed & breakfast. She'll play Fannie Schrute, "Dwight's younger sister who once fled the Schrute farm life for Boston but is back, divorced and with a child." Wilson and Paul Lieberstein are behind the half-hour, which is set up at Universal Television. (

FINN & SAWYER (ABC, New!) - Jason Richman and David Zabel ("Detroit 1-8-7") are developing a contemporary take on Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" at the network described as "an adventure-themed reinvention that revolves around the two famed literary characters who re-meet as young men in their 20s and form an investigative firm in a bustling and steampunk New Orleans." ABC Studios-based Temple Hill Entertainment is behind the hour which the duo will executive produce alongside the company's Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey. (

GOTHICA (ABC, New!) - Feature writer Matt Lopez ("Race to Witch Mountain") has booked a potential drama at the network about "a woman searching for her own identity in modern-day San Francisco who delves into a world of supernatural mystery and horror, guided by an enigmatic playboy named Dorian Gray." ABC Studios-based The Mark Gordon Co. is behind the hour which Lopez will executive produce alongside Gordon and Nicholas Pepper. (

THE OUTSIDERS (ABC, New!) - "Perception" co-creator Kenneth Biller has sold a new drama to the Alphabet "inspired by a true story and revolves around a woman who moves with her family from Atlanta to New York to start a new life and ends up becoming the de-facto mother to nine underprivileged kids." Said hour is set up at ABC Studios with Biller writing and executive producing. (

- Tad Quill's David Walton-led single-camera comedy has found a home at CBS with a put pilot commitment. Said half-hour, from the Sony Pictures Television-based Happy Madison, centers on "a bachelor firefighter (Walton) who has to make the ultimate sacrifice of taking care of someone other than himself when a 9-year-old girl enters his life." Doug Robinson will executive produce alongside Quill with Walton receiving a producing credit. (

WHAT WOULD DYLAN DO? (BET, New!) - Kelly Rowland, Gabrielle Dennis, Melanie Liburd and Brandon Scott are set to star in a new comedy pilot at the cable channel about Dylan (Rowland), "a struggling L.A.-based relationship blogger who lives with her best friend Cherise (Dennis) and wealthy and divorced roommate Brooke (Liburd)." Scott then will play Ryan, Dylan's neighbor and Cherise's boyfriend. Julian Breece (BET's web series "Buppies") penned the half-hour and serves as a co-executive producer with Warren Hutcherson executive producing. (

TV Tonight 1st of October 2012

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

    2 Broke Girls S02E02: "And the Pearl Necklace"
    Adventure Time with Finn and Jake S04E23: "The Hard Easy"
    All on the Line S03E04: "Korto"
    Alphas S02E10: "Life After Death"
    American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior S04E05: "Uncharted Territory"
    Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations S08E13: "Burgundy"
    Antiques Road Trip S05E01: "Series 5, Episode 1"
    Asbjørn Brekke Show S01E04: "Season 1, Episode 4"
    Basketball Wives LA S02E04: "Season 2, Episode 4"
    Be Good Johnny Weir S02E06: "Season 2, Episode 6"
    Be Good Johnny Weir S02E05: "Season 2, Episode 5"
    Big Brother (AU) S09E43: "Live Nomination 7"
    Boer Zkt. Vrouw S08E05: "Season 8, Episode 5"
    Bomb Hunters S01E06: "Episode 6"
    Bones S08E03: "The Gunk in the Garage"
    Britain's Next Top Model S08E13: "Series 8 Finale"
    Can Of Worms S02E07: "Season 2, Episode 7"
    Canadian Pickers S03E06: "All in the Family"
    Castle (2009) S05E02: "Cloudy With a Chance of Murder"
    Chelsea Lately S06E155
    Chrissy & Mr. Jones S01E02: "Eggs & Beggin"
    Citizen Khan S01E06: "Episode 6"
    Clan S01E05: "Oog om oog"
    Classic Car Rescue S01E02: "Porsche 911"
    Come Dine With Me S20E17: "Series 20, Episode 16"
    Conan S02E148: "Adam Devine, the Shins"
    Coronation Street S53E194: "Mon Oct 1, 2012 [Episode 1]"
    Coronation Street S53E195: "Mon Oct 1, 2012 [Episode 2]"
    Cowboy Builders S07E04: "Cramlington"
    Dancing With the Stars (US) S15E03: "Season 15, Episode 3"
    Daybreak S03E21: "October 1, 2012"
    Days of our Lives S47E219: "Ep. #11929"
    Deal Or No Deal (UK) S08E43: "Episode 2036"
    Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives S15E07: "Flavortown Medley"
    Dispatches S26E19: "Cruises Undercover: The Truth Below Deck"
    Doctors S14E100: "White Coat"
    EastEnders S28E155: "October 1, 2012"
    Emmerdale S41E231: "October 1, 2012"
    Engrenages S04E10: "Season 4, Episode 10"
    Engrenages S04E09: "Season 4, Episode 9"
    Färjan S04E07: "TBA"
    Fast N' Loud S01E11: "Fast & Furious Fairmont"
    Fifth Gear S21E05: "Series 21, Episode 5"
    Food Unwrapped S01E04: "Episode 4"
    Gallery Girls S01E08: "Wrap Your Trouble in Dreams"
    Gary: Tank Commander S03E02: "Good Exercise"
    General Hospital (US) S50E128: "#12656"
    Girlfriend Confidential: LA S01E05: "Closure"
    Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden S23E21: "Season 23, Episode 21"
    Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Cookery Course S01E16: "More Brunches"
    Halv åtta hos mig S09E25: "Dalsland - Oskar"
    Hawaii Five-0 (2010) S03E02: "Kanalua (Doubt)"
    Helicopter Heroes S06E01: "Series 6, Episode 1"
    Hoarders S06E03: "Charles & Alvin"
    Hollyoaks S18E196: "October 1, 2012"
    Hollywood Heights S01E76: "Loren Confronts Chloe"
    Home and Away (AU) S25E181: "Episode 5616"
    Hotel cæsar S29E57: "Season 29, Episode 57"
    Hotel GB S01E01: "Episode 1"
    House Hunters S50E71
    House Hunters International S34E67
    How I Met Your Mother S08E02: "The Pre-Nup"
    How We Won the War S01E06: "Episode 6"
    Hunderby S01E06: "Episode 6"
    Intervention S13E07: "Amanda"
    Isabel S01E04: "Tragedia En La Corte"
    Jimmy Kimmel Live S09E311
    Kickin' It S02E15: "A Slip Down Memory Lane"
    Last Call with Carson Daly S10E67: "Nat Faxon, Karmin, the Heavy"
    Late Night with Jimmy Fallon S02E342
    Late Show with David Letterman S20E13
    Lekarze S01E05: "Season 1, Episode 5"
    Live with Kelly S30E16: "Liam Neeson, Rachel Bilson, Diana Krall"
    Major Crimes S01E08: "Dismissed with Prejudice"
    Masters of Money S01E03: "Marx"
    Mike & Molly S03E02: "Vince Takes a Bath"
    Monday Night Football S43E09: "Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys"
    Monroe S02E01: "Series 2, Episode 1"
    Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse S01E14: "Episode 14"
    Neighbours S28E191: "Episode 6501"
    Never Mind the Buzzcocks (UK) S26E02
    New Tricks S09E06: "Love Means Nothing in Tennis"
    Nigelissima S01E02: "Simplicity"
    Oh Oh Europa S01E26: "Season 1, Episode 26"
    Only Connect S06E06: "Wintonians v Quitters"
    Pair of Kings S03E11: "I'm Gonna Git You, Sponge Sucka'"
    Panorama S60E35: "Undercover: Debt on the Doorstep"
    Partners (2012) S01E02: "Chicken & Stuffing"
    Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs S01E05: "Episode 5"
    Pointless S07E24: "Series 7, Episode 24"
    Regular Show S04E02: "Exit 9B Part 2"
    Regular Show S04E01: "Exit 9B Part 1"
    Revolution (2012) S01E03: "No Quarter"
    Ridiculousness S02E15: "Scott "Big Cat" Pfaff"
    Ross Kemp: Extreme World S02E05: "New Orleans"
    Salatut elämät S15E21: "Ismon viisuista puuttuvat eurot"
    Switched at Birth S01E27: "The Declaration of Independence"
    The Bad Girls Club S09E11: "Hate-Lanta"
    The Bold and the Beautiful S26E134: "Ep. #6418"
    The Chase (2009) S05E105: "Series 5, Episode 100"
    The Chew S02E16: "Episode 254"
    The Colbert Report S08E120: "Ben Folds Five"
    The Daily Show S17E158: "Arnold Schwarzenegger"
    The Ellen DeGeneres Show S10E16
    The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange S01E13
    The Inbetweeners (US) S01E07: "Crystal Springs"
    The Jeremy Kyle Show S08E21: "October 1, 2012"
    The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson S08E151: "Ethan Hawke"
    The Mob Doctor S01E03: "Protect and Serve"
    The Project S04E234: "Season 4, Episode 234"
    The Real Housewives of New York City S05E18
    The Tonight Show with Jay Leno S20E158
    The View S16E20: "Amy Brenneman, Jami Gertz"
    The Voice (US) S03E08: "The Blind Auditions, Part 8"
    The X Factor (AU) S04E18: "Season 4, Live Finals 3"
    The Young and the Restless S40E133: "Ep. #10002"
    Thuis S18E26: "Season 18, Episode 26"
    TI & Tiny: The Family Hustle S02E06: "Who's the Boss"
    Underbelly S05E08: "Strike Force Tuno"
    University Challenge (1994) S19E10
    Wake Brothers S01E11: "Bob Is MIAcworth"
    Warehouse 13 S04E10: "We All Fall Down"
    Watch What Happens: Live S08E17: "TBA"
    Wereld draait door, De S08E21: "Season 8, Episode 21"
    Wolfblood S01E07: "Episode 7"
    WWE Raw S20E40: "Episode 1010"

'Fringe' boss on final season: 'It's about emotion and family'

Fringe showrunner Joel Wyman has hinted at a back-to-basics approach for the show's final season.

Wyman told TVLine that the Fox sci-fi drama's concluding 13-part run is "not a season for tricks and multiple universes, [or] new introductions of things".

"One thing I was adamant about was getting inside the emotion of the characters that everybody has grown to know over four years, and really pay that off in a big way," he explained.

"[This season] is about questions, about emotion, about family... I want to put the viewer down on ground level with our characters, so they can go through this final experience with them."

Wyman promised that the final episodes will be "profound" and that Fringe will also end on a hopeful note.

"That was really important, because I can't accept closure that doesn't have some form of hope. That's just who I am," he said.

The exec producer added that he is more concerned with providing an emotional resolution for the show's characters than in wrapping up plot points from previous seasons.

"Sure, there'll be some guy in Des Moines going, 'Hey, you never answered that thing in Episode 3...' But that's okay. I'll live with that," he insisted. "Because all the stuff that's really, truly important - the emotional things - will be addressed."

Fringe returns to Fox in the US tonight (September 28) at 9/8c. The show returns to Sky1 in the UK on October 24.

'Doctor Who' Karen Gillan: 'I cried filming last scene'

Karen Gillan has confessed that she cried while filming her final Doctor Who scenes.

The actress bows out of the BBC One show in tonight's (September 29) episode 'The Angels Take Manhattan', after playing Amy Pond for two years.

Gillan revealed that leaving co-stars Matt Smith and Arthur Darvill was the hardest part of quitting.

"Everything was already bubbling under the surface. So in my final scene it is not even acting, it is real because I knew I had to leave in real life and I had to leave Matt and Arthur," she told The Mirror.

"I was emotional for about two weeks filming the episode and I was crying at everything. Things that weren't even sad, anything would set me off.

"I just can't believe it's real. I have just always thought in my head I am in the show until the final episode airs, so I thought I had loads of time. It was hard to film at points because I was getting nostalgic.

"I kept thinking, 'This is the last time I will do this or that'. But I couldn't have asked for a better way to go, it is so good. All I wanted was for her to go out in flames of burning glory. I definitely think she does that."

Ratings: 'Elementary' Premieres Strong, 'Men' Hits Low as CBS Takes Night

CBS' new Sherlock Holmes revamp "Elementary" got off to a strong start to help push the network to an overall win Thursday night, while the season premiere of "Two and a Half Men" dropped to a series low following last year's Ashton Kutcher-fortified debut, according to preliminary numbers.

The night's other series premiere, "The Last Resort," was up slightly from last year's premiere of the quickly canceled "Charlie's Angels."

CBS took a commanding first place in both the advertiser-cherished 18-49 demographic and total viewers with a 3.4 rating/10 share in the demo and 13.8 million total viewers.

"The Big Bang Theory" series premiere at 8 p.m. took a marginal hit in the demo compared to last season's premiere, posting a 4.8/15 in the demo -- the night's best ratings performance -- and 15.3 million total viewers, making it the night's most-watched show.

The "Two and a Half Men" premiere at 8:30 didn't fare nearly so well. In a new Thursday-night slot and without the anticipation that last season's premiere generated with the debut of Kutcher replacing ousted star Charlie Sheen, the show expectedly took a hit, droppping 67 percent versus last year's premiere to a 3.5/10 in the demo -- its lowest-rated original telecast to date -- and drawing 12.4 million total viewers.

The season premiere of "Person of Interest" at 9 felt a minor drop from last season's premiere with a 2.9/8 and took 14.3 million total viewers, while the series premiere of "Elementary" the following hour bowed to a strong 3.1/9 -- an 11 percent boost from last year's season premiere of "The Mentalist" -- and attracted 13.3 million total viewers.

ABC took second in ratings and total viewers with a 2.9/8 and 9.2 million. The series premiere of the submarine drama "The Last Resort" posted a 2.2/7 in the demo and took 9 million total viewers.

The "Grey's Anatomy" season premiere the following hour was up slightly from last season's premiere with a 4.3/12 and attracted 11.5 million total viewers. The "Scandal" season premiere at 10 grew 10 percent from the series premiere of the show in the spring, pulling a 2.2/6 and collected 7 million total viewers.

Fox took a narrow third place in the demo and a less-narrow third in total viewers with a 2.8/8 and 7.6 million. "The X Factor" at 8 dipped only slightly on the premiere-packed night, taking a 3.2/10 and scoring 9.2 million total viewers. "Glee" the following hour dropped 14 percent from last week to a 2.5/7 and had 5.9 million total viewers.

NBC drew fourth place in ratings and total viewers with a 1.7/5 and 4.7 million. The network's roster showed improvements over last week, though its numbers are inflated due to local NFL preemption in Cleveland and Baltimore. "SNL Election Special #2" at 8 posted a 1.7/6 and attracted 5.4 million total viewers, while "Up All Night" at 8:30 jumped 38 percent versus last week with a 1.8/5 and took 4.5

'Breaking Bad' Star Mark Margolis Joins 'American Horror Story'

Ring up another cast member for the second season of "American Horror Story."

"Breaking Bad" actor Mark Margolis has signed on for the second season of Ryan Murphy's uber-creepy FX drama "American Horror Story."

While Margolis' name might not ring a bell, his "Breaking Bad" character certainly will -- he played wheelchair-bound drug kingpin Tio, who put an end to Gus Fring with an explosive act of self-sacrifice at the end of Season 4.

In keeping with the castings for "American Horror Story"'s second season -- which has been dubbed "American Horror Story: Asylum" -- so far, character details are being kept tightly under wraps. However, Margolis will play a character named Sam Goodwin, an FX spokesman confirmed to TheWrap.

Margolis joins a cast that includes returning members such as Jessica Lange (who took home an Emmy last Sunday for her work in the first season) and Evan Peters, as well as new faces such as actor James Cromwell, Chloe Sevigny and Maroon 5 frontman/"The Voice" coach Adam Levine.

This season, which premieres Oct. 17, takes place in a mental institution on the East Coast. first reported news of Margolis' "American Horror Story" casting.

Tulisa Contostavlos 'does not miss Kelly Rowland' on 'X Factor'

Tulisa Contostavlos has fuelled the rumoured rift between herself and former X Factor judge Kelly Rowland, suggesting she does not miss working with her.

Speaking on Sara Cox's BBC Radio 1 show, the 'Young' singer said she was enjoying working with Rowland's replacement Nicole Scherzinger.

Tulisa Contostavlos signs copies of her autobiography 'Honest - My story so far' at WHSmith's, Bluewater shopping centre Kent, England - 26.09.12 Mandatory Credit:

"She's lovely. When she's on stage performing, the queen bee just comes out. But on a day-to-day basis she's quite relaxed and quite a reserved character," Contostavlos said.

When asked if she missed Rowland, Contostavlos paused before replying: "No comment." After Cox said she would "take that as a no", Contostavlos did not correct her.

Last week, Contostavlos confirmed an N-Dubz reunion for 2013.

Jimmy Savile documentary defended by ITV

ITV has defended its upcoming documentary about Sir Jimmy Savile.

Exposure: The Other Side Of Jimmy Savile will centre on claims by women dating back to the 1970s, including allegations that he abused young girls at BBC TV Centre. The channel has stated that the documentary was produced with a degree of sensitivity.

This documentary is the result of an in-depth investigation into long-standing allegations of serious and widespread sexual misconduct by Sir Jimmy Savile," an ITV spokesman said. "Because of the very serious nature of the claims made by several interviewees in relation to this, particular care and consideration was of course given to the decision to produce and broadcast this programme.

"The programme takes full account of the fact that Sir Jimmy is not here to defend himself against these claims."

Presenter by former detective Mark Williams-Thomas, the programme includes interviews with several women who claim that Savile sexually assaulted them at a young age.

ITV has said that one of the women said she was too scared to speak about the incident while Savile was still alive.

Esther Rantzen has also stated her belief that Savile had abused young girls, after seeing the documentary.

"We all blocked our ears. There was gossip, there were rumours," Rantzen told The Mail on Sunday. "We made him into the Jimmy Savile who was untouchable, who nobody could criticise.

"It's very distressing. We made him into the Jimmy Savile who was untouchable, who nobody could criticise. He was a sort of god-like figure. Everybody knew of the good that Jimmy did and what he did for children. And these children were powerless."

The BBC has also dismissed claims that there has been a cover-up of information regarding Savile, saying in a statement that it has "conducted extensive searches of its files to establish whether there is any record of misconduct or allegations of misconduct by Sir Jimmy Savile during his time at the BBC", adding that "no such evidence has been found".

"Whilst the BBC condemns any behaviour of the type alleged in the strongest terms, in the absence of evidence of any kind found at the BBC that corroborates the allegations that have been made, it is simply not possible for the corporation to take any further action," the statement continued.

The corporation has also explained once again why a Newsnight special about Savile and the accusations made against him did not get broadcast.

Newsnight editor Peter Rippon said: "It is absolutely untrue that the Newsnight investigation was dropped for anything other than editorial reasons.

"We have been very clear from the start that the piece was not broadcast because the story we were pursuing could not be substantiated. To say otherwise is false and very damaging to the BBC and individuals. The notion that internal pressure was applied appears to be a malicious rumour."

Exposure: The Other Side Of Jimmy Savile will air on Wednesday, October 3 on ITV.

'Ricki Lake Show' Makes Early Switch in Executive Producers

Less than three weeks after its debut, "The Ricki Lake Show" is making a big change.

Gail Steinberg, co-creator and executive producer of Lake's 1990s daytime talk show "Ricki Lake," has been named the new executive producer of the syndicated "Ricki Lake Show." Steinberg is replacing Lisa Kidros, who is transitioning to the post of programming & development producer at 20th Television, which produces "The Ricki Lake Show."

Steinberg has served as a consultant on "The Ricki Lake Show" since early 2011, and co-produced the pilot.

Stephen Brown, the EVP of programming and development at 20th Television, said that Steinberg is being brought on as EP to provide "a fresh perspective" and "and added relevancy" to the show.

"We are thrilled to promote Gail Steinberg to Executive Producer of ‘The Ricki Lake Show,'" Brown said. "Gail's experience collaborating with Ricki is unmatched. Gail will usher in a fresh perspective bringing in an added relevancy, fun and energy to each episode; while showcasing compelling viewpoints to the female focused topics that remain at the core of the new ‘Ricki Lake Show.’”

Brown added, "And we are delighted that Lisa Kridos will continue to play an integral role as part of the 20th TV family. We have been and continue to a be a big fan of hers.”

Despite being hurt by an ongoing dispute between Tribune stations and Cablevision that affects 40 percent of households in New York City, "The Ricki Lake Show" has performed well, growing 25 percent to a .5 in the key women 25-54 demographic among metered markets according to the most recent numbers, compared to "Katie," which has dropped 56 percent in the demo to a .7 since its premiere.