PBS unveiled a big news item for Anglophiles today, announcing the premiere date for the eagerly anticipated fourth season of its period hit "Downton Abbey." E! Online reports that the drama series will return Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014.
The series will have an eight-week run, wrapping up the season Feb. 23.
A number of changes are in store for the show, the report notes: "Not returning to the series are Dan Stevens, whose character Matthew Crawley was killed off in the season three finale, Jessica Brown Findlay, who played the beloved Lady Sybil, and Siobhan Finneran aka villainous maid O'Brien."
Commenting on the loss of Stevens, executive producer Gareth Neame said: "This is a lesson in something that seems like a really big loss in the moment [that] will actually turn into a great opportunity [for Lady Mary], which it will also be for the show, to take a turn in a whole different direction."
The report adds: "The series will also introduce its first recurring black character, a jazz singer played by Gary Carr. Tom Cullen will also join the cast in season four as a potential love interest for Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery)."more »
Awkward Situation: A Reporter Congratulates Matthew Perry, Whose Show 'Go On' Was Just Canceled (Here's the Video)
Upfronts week can be a tough time for some in Hollywood, given that many shows are canceled or passed over for pickup, something that happened to former "Friends" star Matthew Perry, whose freshman comedy "Go On" was canceled by NBC, according to The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed.
But sports reporter Dan Moriarty, who interviewed Perry at an L.A. Kings playoff game, apparently didn't know the situation, bringing up the subject by noting, "So ... big news today and congratulations is in order."
Perry handled the situation graciously, replying, "Oh, thank you. You're talking about my show getting canceled. It was sort of a sad day because of the people, and I'm going to miss them. But this show was really getting in the way of some Kings games, so I'm OK."
Moriarty barely recovered, noting, "So it's a double-edged-sword congratulations."
Here's the clip:more »
Even while dropping in the ratings, NBC's "The Voice" had enough to lift the network to a nightly ratings win in the key 18-49 demo Monday night, based on Nielsen overnights.
Meanwhile, CBS's "How I Met Your Mother" came back strong after recording a season low a week ago.
TVbytheNumbers.com reports that NBC's two-hour "The Voice" delivered a 3.6 average rating in viewers 18-49, losing a half-point from a week ago but still making it the top show of the night. Close behind was "How I Met Your Mother" with a 3.4, a surge of eight-tenths from last week's season low.
NBC won prime time overall with a 3.1 average in the 18-49 demo, leading CBS (2.5 average), ABC (2.0) and Fox (1.7). ABC came out on top in total viewers with 12.4 million, ahead of NBC (9.3 million), CBS (8.1 million) and Fox (4.0 million).
ABC's two-hour "Dancing with the Stars" mustered only a 2.0 in 18-49, matching last week's series low. "Castle" ticked up two-tenths to a 2.2.
NBC's "Revolution" slipped one-tenth from a week ago to a 1.9 average in adults 18-49.
CBS's "2 Broke Girls" rose two-tenths of a point to a 2.9 in the 18-49 demo, while "Mike & Molly" ticked up one-tenth to a 2.4 and "Hawaii Five-0" slipped one-tenth to a 1.8.
On Fox, a two-hour installment of "Hell's Kitchen" was down two-tenths in 18-49 to a 1.7 average.more »
Fox is working with Tom Fontana of "Homicide: Life on the Street" on a limited-run drama about Billy the Kid, The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed reports.
The series would tell the origin story of the outlaw, set in the 1860s slums of New York and the violent American West in the 1870s, the story says. The themes of the project will focus on two issues near and dear to Americans today: guns and celebrity.
Fontana will write the project, while Barry Levinson of "Rain Man" is slated to produce.more »
The ABC Network, launching its upfront presentation in New York today, rolled out first-look trailers for a number of its upcoming fall series. Here they are:
Back in the Game
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland
Super Fun Night
Trophy Wifemore »
Fox broke out trailers for its new fall shows, including "Gang Related," "Surviving Jack," "Sleepy Hollow" and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine." Here they are:
Us & Themmore »
A lot of TV viewers still don't know about the "other" awards given out by the organization that hands out the Primetime Emmys, but the 6th Annual Television Academy Honors were held a few days ago in Beverly Hills, and TVWeek Open Mic blogger Hillary Atkin was on hand to provide a full account.
The event honored a wide range of social issue-focused programming, bringing out TV mainstays from D.L. Hughley to Aaron Sorkin. Please click here to read Atkin's report on the festivities.more »
ABC Orders 13 New Series for 2013-2014 Season, Eight of Which Will Debut This Fall. 'Dancing with the Stars' Cut to One Night a Week. Here's ABC's Fall Schedule
"ABC introduced a new fall schedule on Tuesday that, like those unveiled by the network’s competitors, was heavily dependent on new series -- 13 in all, in ABC’s case," writes Bill Carter in The New York Times.
Carter adds, "The network will open the fall season with eight of these series on its prime-time schedule, five of which are comedies as ABC tries again to make Tuesday a second comedy night."
Here's ABC's fall schedule. New shows are in ITALICS.
8:00 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars”
10:00 p.m. “Castle”
8:00 p.m. “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”
9:00 p.m. “The Goldbergs”
9:30 p.m. “Trophy Wife”
10:00 p.m. “Lucky 7”
8:00 p.m. “The Middle”
8:30 p.m. “Back in the Game”
9:00 p.m. “Modern Family”
9:30 p.m. “Super Fun Night”
10:00 p.m. “Nashville”
8:00 p.m. “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland”
9:00 p.m. “Grey’s Anatomy”
10:00 p.m. “Scandal”
8:00 p.m. “Last Man Standing”
8:30 p.m. “The Neighbors”
9:00 p.m. “Shark Tank”
10:00 p.m. “20/20”
8:00 p.m. “Saturday Night College Football”
7:00 p.m. “America’s Funniest Home Videos”
8:00 p.m. “Once Upon a Time”
9:00 p.m. “Revenge”
10:00 p.m. “Betrayal”
The Times' Carter adds, "ABC will introduce a whole new night of series on Tuesday, after jettisoning the ''Dancing with the Stars' results show (results of the dance competition will now be included in the program’s Monday show). The new Tuesday schedule will be led off with by the network’s highest-profile drama, 'Super Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,' a comic book-based adventure from Joss Whedon ('Buffy the Vampire Slayer')."
The article also notes: "ABC will save [five] of its new shows for later in the season, including a new reality show called 'The Quest,' which takes real people on a 'Lord of the Rings' sort of adventure.
"ABC said it would run its serialized shows in 12-episode arcs, which will take breaks filled with other original shows.
"One of its holdover comedies, 'Suburgatory,' will be held off until midseason."more »
ESPN may be close to stealing a sports event that has been a fixture on CBS for 45 years. The New York Post reports that the cable channel is positioning to snag the U.S. Open tennis tournament, which has been airing on CBS since 1968.
ESPN is prepared to pay $60 million for the rights, or about 50% more than the tournament currently fetches, to begin airing the championship in 2015, the story says.
CBS, the Tennis Channel and ESPN now each air parts of the U.S. Open, with the rights fees split among the networks. Under the new deal, ESPN would gain rights to the total event.
The agreement would also switch the men's finals back to Sunday evening from their current Monday slot so they wouldn't conflict with ESPN's Monday Night Football, the story adds.more »
Today Is the 15th Anniversary of the Death of the Most Famous Person in American Popular Culture. Here Is the Movie or Miniseries About Him Someone in Hollywood Should Have the Guts to Make
No, it's not Elvis. He actually left the building 36 years ago come August. To find out who it is and to read this insightful essay by TVWeek Open Mic blogger Chuck Ross, please click here.more »