High off his record-breaking seven Emmy nominations, Louis C.K. has more to be excited about. On Saturday FX renewed his comedy series Louie for a fourth season. The cable network also renewed Russell Brand’s new talk show BrandX and said it will undergo creative changes as the show continues through the fall. Wilfred and veteran Justified were not renewed, but FX entertainment president John Landgraf remains positive about their respective futures. On Wilfred, he expects the bizarre comedy to remain on the air for “many years.” On Justified, he sees the Timothy Olyphant-led show run for at least six seasons (season three concluded in April).
Charlie Sheen’s comeback vehicle Anger Management has performed well enough in the ratings for FX to grant it a (whopping) 90-episode order. Though Landgraf has yet to greenlight the order, he expects to do so in the near future. “We won’t make a decision on the 90 episodes until all 10 have aired but the series up until now has given us every indication [that it will return],” he said. In episode 10, Charlie’s father Martin Sheen will join the cast as a series regular. “What the entry of Martin Sheen’s character will do is it will give an extra dimension to the show and make it a multi-generational family show,” Landgraf explained. “The show will still deal with his relationship with his patients and the women in his life, but will also [expand to focus on his family].”
Currently Anger Management, Louie, and BrandX air Thursday nights at 9:30PM, 10:30PM, and 11PM, respectively, on FX.
Less than four months after renewing South Park for two more seasons, Comedy Central is assuring fans of the crude comedy that Kyle, Stan, Cartman, and Kenny will stay put at least until the year 2016. That’s right: today the network renewed South Park for three more seasons! This means that original episodes will continue to be pumped out for years to come and the show will hit a major milestone, 20 seasons on air. Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless said, “The collective genius of Matt and Trey knows no bounds. Week after week and season after season they continue to surprise and delight South Park fans.” The creative minds behind the cultural phenomenon had this to say following the exciting announcement. “Comedy Central has been our home for 15 years and we love working there. South Park is a blast and we can’t wait to make more.” And we can’t wait to see more.
South Park‘s 15th season comes to a conclusion tonight at 10PM on Comedy Central.
This month the Disney Channel renewed is highly rated children’s animated series Phineas and Ferb for a fourth season. The pickup guarantees new episodes of the musically-inclined adventure series through the year 2014. I’m a sucker for kid’s programming that likes to acknowledge an older audience, so this is really great news. Though series creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh recently pushed out a made-for-TV Phineas and Ferb movie titled Across the 2nd Dimension, the ingenious duo are ready for an entirely new level of popularity. In August they signed a multi-year, multimillion-dollar deal with Disney Television Animation to develop a feature film based on the show. They are currently writing the script. Rumor has it that the movie will be a mix of live action and the animation viewers are used to. More on this as details surface. In addition to the movie attachment, the Disney deal also has Povenmire and Swampy imagining a new animated show for the Disney Channel, likely a spin-off series based in the Phineas and Ferb universe. According to a NYT article, it will follow the adventures of Isabella and the Fireside Girls. No word on when such a series will make it to air. Expect the movie to hit theatres summer 2013. Celebrate the news with some “Gitchee Gitchee Goo” as perfomed by Phineas and the Ferb-Tones featuring Candace after the break!
On Halloween afternoon, FX renewed Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s disturbingly brilliant new series American Horror Story for a second season. FX president John Landgraf celebrated the occasion with high praise. “It’s one thing to have the ambition and guts to reinvent a genre in a way that makes it captivatingly fresh for a broad audience — it’s something else entirely to have the craft to back that ambition up,” he said. “Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk have hit the trifecta with Nip/Tuck, Glee and now American Horror Story, which will be scaring FX’s viewers to death for many years to come.” The show has been performing extremely well in the ratings for the cable network. It is averaging 4.2 million viewers per episode, with an impressive 2.9 million in the coveted adult 18-34 demo. In fact, according to FX, AHS is“tracking to become the highest-rated first season of any series ever on FX, certain to surpass Murphy’s award-winning hit drama Nip/Tuck in adults 18-49 and adults 18-34.” There has been much speculation about how Murphy and Falchuk plan to continue the series beyond the current season. Will the Harmons (Dylan McDermott, Connie Britton, and Taissa Farmiga) make it to season 2, or will each season feature a new family moving into the haunted house? According to stars McDermott and Britton, no one knows yet. “It’s open-ended – we’re not quite sure about the next episode never mind next year,” McDermott told TVLine. “We’re just sort of like flying by the seat of our pants.” Britton added, “I don’t know that Brad and Ryan know, which I think is really fun.” A 13-episode second season will begin filming next year.
American Horror Story airs Wednesday nights at 10PM on FX.
Having been back on the air for only two weeks, AMC has gone ahead and renewed The Walking Dead for a third season. This news really shouldn’t come as a surprise. The season 2 opener drew 7.3 million total viewers and 4.8 million viewers in the coveted 18-49 demographic, a record for basic cable. Heading into the second episode those numbers dropped only a bit to 6.7 million and 4.5 million for total viewers and adults 18-49, respectively. AMC president Charlie Collier had this to say about the renewal. “Today we are pleased to announce that the ‘dead’ shall live as we proudly renew The Walking Deadfor a third season. We are thankful for everyone’s contribution in front of and behind the camera as we continue to make The Walking Dead a unique television experience. And, we are so proud as it continues to set viewership records around the world.”
The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9PM on AMC.
Fantastic news, comedy junkies! FOX has resurrected the Christian Slater workplace comedy Breaking In. After cancelling the show after its brief midseason run in May, FOX didn’t pull the cord out completely. They extended the cast options so that Slater and company would remain attached to the program just in case they figured out a way to bring back it back the following year. What was once a contender for the network’s two-hour midseason comedy block is now a sure thing. In a statement released today FOX prez Kevin Reilly said, “Breaking In is a creatively vibrant and wildly adventurous comedy. We are looking forward to bringing it back for a second season and continuing our relationship with this incredibly talented cast and these fantastic creators – Adam Goldberg and Seth Gordon. We can’t wait to see where they take these characters next year.” Bringing back Breaking In is part of an overall deal between the network, co-creator Adam F. Goldberg, and studio Sony Pictures TV. FOX is now committed to a comedy pitch from Goldberg that’s described as “an autobiographical show about growing up in the 1980s with a highly screwed up but loving family.”
Also confirmed is the return of star Odette Annable. Contra Security’s top lock picker and safe cracker will be working double duty in Breaking In and as House‘s newest diagnostician; her contract allows for it.
Breaking In begins its new 13-episode run midseason 2012.
With the healing power of laughter, anything can happen. Childrens Hospital, the web series-turned-TV show from Rob Corddry, Jonathan Stern, and David Wain, has been renewed for a fourth season. The new season will be comprised of 14 episodes; production begins later this year and it’ll premiere in 2012.
Corddry said this in a press release: “I’m very pleased and honored by this announcement. I’m also very surprised, given that I write this show when I’m very, very drunk. Season 4 promises to be a cry for help.” Stern added, “And people wonder why our economy is a mess.”
The brilliant ensemble cast is expected to return. That includes Corddry, Malin Akerman, Lake Bell, Erinn Hayes, Rob Huebel, Ken Marino, Megan Mullally and Henry Winkler.
Childrens Hospital airs Thursday nights at midnight on Adult Swim.
For those of you who were worried that Trey Parker and Matt Stone were ready to call it quits at the end of the latest South Park episode “You’re Getting Old,” please allow me to quell your fears. Comedy Central has confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that South Park will return for at least two more seasons. This means that the creators will continue to spit out new episodes through 2013, so South Park isn’t going anywhere just yet. In a recent interview with Jon Stewart of The Daily Show, the duo reassured fans, “We love South Park, that’s still our thing.” But now that they’ve acknowledged their exhaustion with the show and they will have had a long summer break, let’s hope that the second half of season 15 kicks off in grand South Park fashion. Another set of seven episodes begins October 5 at 10PM on Comedy Central.
I’ve got great news for fans of Dr. Lloyd Lowery and all his hilarious eccentricities: after a solid debut A&E has granted Breakout Kings a second season! Laz Alonso, Domenick Lombardozzi, and their gang of ‘Breakout Kings’ (Malcolm Goodwin, Jimmi Simpson, Serinda Swan, and let’s not forget analyst Brooke Nevin) are set to return in all-new episodes sometime next year. The show from the producers of Prison Break premiered with the highest demo numbers for an A&E drama series (1.5 million adults 18-49 and 1.6 million adults 25-54) and averaged about 2.2 million viewers throughout the season.
Well at least there’s one network that’s confident in their primetime lineup. The execs at FOX have greenlit the following shows to return for the fall 2011-12 season: House will return for it’s eighth and likely last season; Bones will be entering its seventh season; and Seth MacFarlane’s cartoons Family Guy and The Cleveland Show will continue to shine on Animation Domination Sunday, each entering their tenth and fourth seasons, respectively. These programs will join the previously renewed Fringe and American Dad on the network next season. FOX president of entertainment Kevin Reilly had a few words to say about the return of all these shows.
“Over the past seven seasons, House has redefined the medical drama and has given us one of television’s most compelling and iconic characters. From the producers to the incredible writers to the unbelievably talented cast and crew, the Houseteam is fearless in its creativity and I can’t wait to see what they have in store next year.”
“Bones is creatively fresh, it’s a rock-solid player every time it airs and this season it has helped us win on Thursday nights for the first time in our history. Hart Hanson and the fantastic cast and crew, as well as the millions of loyal Bones fans, make this show really special, and I’m excited to have it on our air for another stellar season.”
“For nine seasons, our viewers have been cracked up, delighted, surprised and, at times, gloriously disturbed by the mind of Seth MacFarlane – and they keep coming back for more. The Griffins and the Browns have become cornerstones of our Sunday nights, and we can’t wait to find out what new adventures Seth, Mike and Rich cook up for them next season.”
Well that was quick. Just two after its series premiere, HBO has gone ahead and renewed fantasy series Game of Thrones for a second season. The next season will bow next year (a specific timeline has not been worked out yet), and it will be based on George R.R. Martin’s next book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, A Clash of Kings.
Michael Lombardo, president of HBO: “We are delighted by the way David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have brought George R.R. Martin’s amazing book series to the screen, and thrilled by the support of the media and our viewers. This is the continuation of an exciting creative partnership.”
No matter how the show did in the ratings it was destined to return for at least second season. Adapting Martin’s vast world of Westeros is a huge undertaking, there’s no way it all would have been squandered after just one hack at it. It did, however, fare decently in the ratings. 2.2 million viewers tuned into the 9PM premiere; for comparison’s sake this is down 54% from the Boardwalk Empire premiere which drew 4.8 million viewers in September. HBO was smart to air the premiere in three time-slots and across their various channels Sunday night. They picked up an additional 1.2 million and 800,000 viewers for the second and third telecasts, respectively. All together, a solid 4.2 million people watched the Game of Thrones premiere that night, and we’ll have to wait and see how these numbers hold up come next Sunday. Whatever the case, fans of the book series can rejoice in knowing that so much more is in the works.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9PM on HBO.
Can’t get enough of Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, and Karl Pilkington? Well good because HBO recently greenlit a The Ricky Gervais Show for a third season. The animated program is based on a podcast with the same name and it brings to life the seemingly random yet fascinating conversations between Gervais and his comedic pals. Though the show is no ratings boon for the premium cable network it fits right in with HBO’s lineup and demographic. The season 2 finale airs this Friday, April 15 at 9PM.
HOLY PARALLEL UNIVERSE, BATMAN! Executive producer J.H. Wyman has announced via Twitter that Fringe has been picked up for another season! In so many words he said:
“Fringe was picked up!!!! Thanks Fringedom!”
A FOX spokeswoman confirms that the show will return next fall in full force–that’s right, meaning a full, 22 episode fourth season will be underway. CELEBRATION TIME, commence.
Oh, and take that Friday nights; guess you’re not the night where all shows go to die after all.
Update: Jump after the break to find the official press release celebrating the Fringe-tastic news.
Fantastic news everybody: NBC has renewed Community, Parks and Rec, and The Office for a third, fourth, and eighth season, respectively! NBC’s other staple comedy 30 Rock was renewed for a sixth season late last year. It will surely be interesting to see how The Office performs without its star Michael Scott (Steve Carrell) and I’m equally looking forward to the return of the Greendale and Pawnee gangs. These shows have proved time and time again that they’ve found their stride. I am beyond elated that NBC has saved these shows from sitting on the cancellation fence and determined their value residing in the network’s Thursday night comedy lineup.
NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt: “Along with 30 Rock, they represent the best of what the NBC comedy brand stands for in terms of originality, wit, and sophistication. The Office continues to fire on all cylinders on the most competitive night of television; Parks & Recreation has come into its own this season as the rightful companion to The Office; and Community is one of the freshest comedies on any network and a solid foundation for Thursday night.”
Greenblatt has ordered 13 comedy pilots each vying for a spot in this talented lineup. Things are not looking up for Outsourced and midseason player Perfect Couples.
For those of you who follow the ratings game: The Office averages a 4.0 rating/10 share in adults 18-49 and 7.7 million viewers; Parks and Rec sees a 2.8/7 and 5.5 million viewers; Community gets a 2.1/6 and 4.7 million.
Good morning USA! I got a feelin’ that it’s gonna be a wonderful day. That it is for animator/creator Seth MacFarlane. The man known for dominating FOX’s “Animation Domination” lineup with his imaginative and relevant comedies must be feeling an enormous sense of relief after hearing today’s news that American Dad will be joining long-time staple Family Guy and newcomer The Cleveland Show for the 2011-13 TV seasons. No, that’s not a typo and I’ll explain why. The Smiths have been guaranteed a seventh season with a full 22-episode order. However, because FOX has ordered two new animated shows Allen Gregory and Napoleon Dynamite (yes, based on the movie) for next season, scheduling only an undisclosed portion of American Dad episodes will air in 2011-12, and the remaining eps will overflow into the 2012-13 season. And believe it or not, this is the way the show has aired since the 2005 Super Bowl. So no harm done here. Packaged with this news of renewal is a hint of what’s to come later this season; upcoming guest voices include Anjelica Huston, Elisabeth Shue, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Burt Reynolds, and Cee-Lo Green.
“This is fantastic news,” said Roger the Alien in a statement. “But you do realize I’m not real, right?”
Nickelodeon, my favorite network growing up, just decided to greenlight another season of one of my most treasured cartoons, SpongeBob SquarePants. When the 26-episode ninth season airs in 2012, it will breeze past the coveted 200 episode milestone. Says Brown Johnson, President, Animation, Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group: “SpongeBob‘s success in reaching over 200 episodes is a testament to creator Stephen Hillenburg’s vision, comedic sensibility and his dynamic, lovable characters. The series now joins the club of contemporary classic Nicktoons that have hit this benchmark, so we’re incredibly proud.” Hillenburg, who still serves as an executive producer, handed off day-to-day responsibility to director/writer Paul Tibbitt after the series found its long-lasting success. “We never imagined we would be on for that long but we’re going to keep going,” Tibbitt said. “The trick is to try to keep the episodes funny and simple and press from there.”
SpongeBob has ranked as the #1 animated TV series with children (ages 2-11) for a whopping ten consecutive years. Season 9, I’m ready!
Shocker, right? Next September FOX will air the 23rd season of The Simpsons, the longest running comedy in TV history. During the next season the animated show will hit a major milestone–500 episodes aired. In fact, the series will reach episode 515 when it closes out its next season in May 2012. But its still got a ways to go if it wants to become the record holder for most episodes aired; it’ll have to surpass Gunsmoke‘s 635 episodes!
“Like many 22-year-olds, The Simpsons is extremely happy remaining at home, on Fox, and hopes it doesn’t have to go out into the real world for many years to come,” said executive producer Al Jean.
HBO’s current Sunday night lineup is safe. Boardwalk Empire was picked up for a second season a month ago, and today HBO ordered additional seasons of comedies Bored to Death (starring Jason Schwartzman, Zach Galifianakis, and Ted Danson) and Danny McBride’s Eastbound & Down. The former averaged 1 million viewers this past Sunday and the latter 1.44 million. This is great new for fans of funny things.
A mere two days after its smashing series premiere, HBO has renewed the Scorsese/Winter production Boardwalk Empire for a second season. The debut of the Prohibition-era drama averaged 4.8 million viewers, making it HBO’s most watched premiere since 2004′s Deadwood. Says Michael Lombardo, President of HBO Programming: “All the ingredients aligned for this one, from Mark Wahlberg and Steve Levinson’s initial pitch, to Martin Scorsese’s enormous contributions as director and executive producer, to the genius of Terry Winter and the expertise of Tim Van Patten, to a stellar cast led by Steve Buscemi. The response from the media and our viewers has been nothing short of amazing.”
Boardwalk Empire airs Sunday nights at 9PM on HBO.
For some time now there’s been much discussion surrounding the fate of ABC’s two freshman sci-fi series, FlashForward & V. Overall both have been performing rather poorly in the ratings. But when it came to decision time, ABC decided to cancel one and keep the other. As much as I have enjoyed following FlashForward, there were many hints to its eventual demise. Two of them are the following: The ratings (FFpremiered to 12.47 million viewers and plummeted to 4.77 million viewers for last week’s ep) and a change in leadership (co-creator/showrunner David S. Goyer left the show in early February). And here’s another one: ABC heavily promoted the new series the wrong way; in a number of ad spots the network was hailing it as “the next Lost.” Although the show contains a myriad of characters, a complex mythos, and flashbacks to boot, it is most definitely not another Lost. The direction and plot of the show are quite different from Lost. ABC obviously felt some pressure to promote the show in this way since Lost is nearly finished, but I have a feeling FF might have fared differently if it was marketed in a more appropriate way. In my opinion, I thought FlashForward started out great, then it started to lose its focus (right around when Goyer made his announcement), and now it finds itself back on track with a bunch of potential. But now none of that matters anymore since it won’t be coming back after the May 27 finale. I wonder if the producers will try to wrap things up for us..
And then there’s V, the mini-series reboot that could. ABC aired this series in a very strange manner due to a number of early production issues. They aired an initial “pod” of four episodes starting in November which garnered a huge following, then the show did not come back until the end of March. Thanks to this long hiatus, viewership dropped during the latter half of the season. As of late, however, the show has seen a surge in the ratings, especially in the coveted 18-49 demo, and in my opinion, it’s become more creative and engaging with the addition of some new characters and exciting and fast-moving plot twists. According to the latest sources, V has been issued a 13-epsiode second season set to start this fall.
So what do I think about all this? As a fan of both shows, I have to say I’m not so surprised that ABC decided to cancel FlashForward and keep V. Although the potential for FlashForward is just starting to come to fruition, the delivery feels a bit “too little too late”. V, on the other hand, always packed an explosive punch, from the initial pod of episodes to where to series sits now. All I have to say is this: At least ABC decided to keep one of these shows; a sudden cancellation of both would have been devastating.
FlashForward airs Thursday nights at 8PM on ABC; the two-hour finale airs May 27. V ends its first season run next Tuesday at 8PM on ABC.