Unexpected, joyous news: despite dangerously low ratings following a midseason berth, NBC has greenlit a second season of Bryan Fuller’s imaginative serial killer psychological thriller Hannibal. “We’re so proud of Bryan’s vision for a show that is richly textured, psychologically complex, and very compelling,” said NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke. “There are many great stories still to be told.” A 13-episode second season is expected to find a spot on the Peacock’s schedule during the latter half of the 2013-14 season. Hannibal, which stills airs new episodes Thursdays at 10, is currently averaging 4.7 million viewers and a 2.0/6 share in the adults 18-49 demo.
Though Mads Mikkelsen plays the title character in Dr. Hannibal Lecter (and with an incredibly delicate balance of madness and concern, I might add), it’s Hugh Dancy as expert criminal profiler Will Graham who steals the spotlight in Hannibal. Over the course of the season he’s been submitting himself to psychological torture by embracing pure empathy and stepping into the shoes of the most insane of killers. It’s Mikkelsen’s Hannibal who is attempting to mold him into a real killer, ever so meticulously. It’s this journey into darkness and the unknown, with its mythology-driven and not so usual procedural tendencies, that has been coming back every week for more. Hannibal, though on a much darker side of the spectrum to Fuller’s previous work Pushing Daisies, serves as a perfect sequel to that. Absolutely ecstatic more is on the way.
No surprise here: two days after airing the season 3 premiere of Game of Thrones, HBO renewed the fantasy series based on George R.R. Martin’s books for a fourth season. As previously reported, the season 3 premiere ranked as the series’ highest rated episode to date attracting 4.4 million viewers.
Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights at 9PM on HBO.
The day after FX aired the fourth episodes of The Americans the cable network renewed the Cold War drama for a second season that will consist, again, of 13 installments. Stars Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell make convincing Russian spies and executive producers Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields have already successfully managed to get viewers to root for the KGB. Kudos.
“The Americans has quickly established itself as a key part FX’s acclaimed drama line-up,” said FX head John Landgraf. “Executive Producers Joe Weisberg, Joel Fields and Graham Yost and their collaborators are telling riveting and deeply emotional stories and the performances of Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Noah Emmerich and the entire cast are simply outstanding. The show is truly worthy of its widespread critical acclaim and we are confident that its quality will continue to yield a robust and passionate audience.”
The Americans airs Wednesday nights at 10PM on FX.
High off its recent Golden Globe wins for Best Comedy and Best Actress (Lena Dunham), HBO’s Girls has been renewed for a third season. The premium cable network ordered 12 episodes for the next season–that’s an additional two half-hours more than the first two seasons received. Star/creator/executive producer/director/writer Lena Dunham let the news out early on Thursday when she told Alec Baldwin on his podcast that “We’re starting season three at the end of March. I’m so excited.”
Girls airs Sunday nights at 9PM on HBO.
Adam, Blake, Ders, and the rest of the raunchy, laugh-out-loud cast of Workaholics returns for the second half of the series’ third season this Wednesday, January 16 at 10PM on Comedy Central. The first of ten new installments is called “Booger Nights” and in it the guys are determined to be the funniest bunch at the office roast. Preview the episode in a clip inserted after the break; watch as the guys try their hardest to convince Alice that they’re funny enough to play in the roast. And no, they haven’t lost their spark.
In related news, Comedy Central renewed Workaholics for two more seasons each consisting of 13 episodes. ”When I realized Workaholics is not a reality show, it made me appreciate the guys’ talent that much more,” said the network’s head of original programming and production Kent Alterman. ”It only seems right that we would renew for two seasons.”
You know you want to say it… LET’S GET WEIRD!
First, the good news: The Walking Dead is coming back for a fourth cycle next year, obviously, since it has been maintaining record high ratings all season long. And now, the hauntingly disconcerting news: Showrunner Glen Mazzara will not be involved in the making of season four and beyond. When the second half of season three wraps he’s stepping down as showrunner due to creative differences. Typically Dead is renewed for a new season shortly after its record-breaking ratings are posted following a season premiere, but this year the news came later and the decision to let Mazzara go was most likely the major holdup here. A series of released statements from Mazzara, the cable network that airs the show AMC, Dead creator Robert Kirkman, and executive producer Gale Anne Hurd make it sound as if the parting of ways was amicable, but industry sources say Mazzara was not enjoying his time at the helm of the show as of late. The statements can be read in full after the break.
I say this is disconcerting news because it has happened before. Series developer Frank Darabont exited the show on less “amicable” terms early in season 2, also due to creative differences with the network. The Walking Dead started off strong in its abbreviated debut season, the action slowed down when the farm was introduced in season two, and when Darabont handed the reins to Mazzara things kicked into high gear and never looked back. The current season is arguably the best one yet, and fans have Mazzara’s touch to thank for that. How will the show forge on without him come season four? It managed to reach new heights when Darabont left so it’s still fair to believe that the show will continue to see success with a new showrunner at the helm (the search is on); Kirkman and Hurd–executive producers who have their hands firmly planted in the show’s creative department aren’t going anywhere. But still (and I’m going to use this word one more time) it’s extremely disconcerting, for the team behind the show and viewers alike, to see The Walking Dead be handed off from one showrunner to the next. A show with this magnitude of ratings (and recently creative) success doesn’t deserve to be shaken up so much on such a regular basis. In the end this may really hurt the show in terms of its overall direction and sense of cohesion.
Mazzara’s vision of The Walking Dead continues when it returns with new episodes Sunday, February 10. (Click here for more…)
Holy Chalupa Batman, Batman! On the very day of the Shiva Bowl, FX has renewed The League for a fifth season of play. Pete, Kevin, Rodney (people call him Ruxin), Andre, Taco, and Jenny will return for 13 more episodes next fall featuring all the wacky antics that spawn from their fantasy football league competition. And the good news doesn’t stop there; a statement released by the network says that FX envisions the show sticking on their schedule beyond season five.
FX EVP of Original Programming Nick Grad: “The League is flat-out one of the funniest shows on television. Co-creators Jeff and Jackie Schaffer have such a perfect take on the material and the show has an amazingly talented ensemble cast of stars. Another season was an easy decision and we hope to have it on our schedule for many more years to come.” (!)
Series co-creator Jackie Schaffer also commented on the pickup: “It’s a dream job — we get to make a show we love with a brilliant cast on a fearless network. If the Mayans and Dirty Randy are right and the world ends tomorrow, at least we can say we made it to Season 5.”
Some stats: The current season averages 1.63 million total viewers and 1.45 million in the adults 18-49 demo. On a multi-run total basis, the season is delivering 2.43 million total viewers and 2.09 million adults 18-49 per week.
FX airs The League‘s season four finale tonight which is comprised of two back-to-back episodes, “A Krampus Carol” and “The Curse of Shiva.” Guest stars include Andre’s fiancé Trixie (Jayma Mays), Pete’s not-girlfriend Gina Gibiatti (Brooklyn Decker), Ruxin’s dad (Jeff Goldblum), and Bob Odenkirk (Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad) joins the roster as an adversary for Rodney. The one hour event starts at 10:30PM.
This week FX renewed American Horror Story. With strong ratings and intense creativity brimming, it’s no shocker. The anthology series’ third season remains under wraps plot-wise, of course, but it has been revealed that Jessica Lange (Constance Langdon in Murder House, Sister Jude in Asylum) will star again. With season two encompassing so many intense fears, it’s hard to imagine what Ryan Murphy and co. have in store for us next.
FX president John Landgraf: “With American Horror Story: Asylum, Ryan and Brad have raised the bar in every way from Murder House, the first American Horror Story miniseries. And their original idea—the notion of doing an anthological series of miniseries with a repertory cast—has proven groundbreaking, wildly successful and will prove to be trendsetting. We can’t wait to see what deviously brilliant ideas they come up with for their third miniseries.”
FX begins production on the third season of AHS this summer and it’s set to premiere in Fall 2013.
Currently, AHS: Asylum airs Wednesday nights at 10PM on FX.
On Monday Showtime renewed Homeland for a third season. Coming off a critically acclaimed first season and sweeping at the Emmys, the counterterrorism drama from Howard Gordon, Alex Gansa, and Gideon Raff continues to bring the intensity, suspense, and surprise. The renewal comes a day after the shocking plot twist that occurred in season two’s fourth episode “New Car Smell;” this episode ranks as the highest rated hour of Homeland garnering 1.75 million viewers.
Showtime president David Nevins on the 12-episode renewal: “The Emmy wins for Homeland have certainly set the stage for a great second season. The writers, cast and crew of Homeland continue to create a remarkably entertaining and suspenseful roller coaster ride, growing audiences week after week. We can’t wait for our viewers to experience what unfolds through the rest of season two. Our partners at Fox 21 have been tremendous, and we are thrilled to begin the planning for Homeland’s third season.”
Homeland airs Sunday nights at 10PM on Showtime.
It was expected and now it’s official. FX has granted Charlie Sheen’s comeback vehicle Anger Management–the highest-rated new comedy series on cable this year–not only second season but 90 additional episodes. “We set a very high ratings bar that included some additional hurdles for Anger Management to earn its back-90 order and the series met and exceed those metrics,” said FX executive Chuck Saftler. “[Creator] Bruce Helford has created a sitcom that works extremely well in our pre-10PM programming lineup,” he continued. “Charlie Sheen and the entire cast did an amazing job in the first ten episodes, which were produced in a very tight window. I have no doubt that the producers and cast will be able to pull off the Herculean task of producing 90 episodes over the next two years.”
Production on season 2 is already underway, and Charlie’s father Martin Sheen (who was introduced as Charlie’s estranged father in this season’s penultimate episode) will return as a series regular. Though it plays like a typical sitcom, a likable cast headed by a recovered Sheen makes Anger Management a show worth tuning into during the dog days of summer.
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.
Jeff Daniels’ epic monologue was worth it; after two episodes had aired HBO renewed Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom for a second season. The June 24 series premiere attracted a healthy 2.1 million total viewers. The drama follows network anchor Will McAvoy (Daniels) and his newsroom staff led by executive producer MacKenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer) as they attempt to revamp the way news is reported to viewers whilst weaving their way through personal entanglements. The premiere was solid and typical Sorkin: dialogue-heavy, which can be dizzying but at the same time quite invigorating. Have you seen his previous TV effort The West Wing and his award-winning recent screenplay in The Social Network? The Newsroom is intellectual and highly entertaining; if anything it’s an uplifting look into the chaotic world of reporting. If you missed the premiere you’re only two episodes behind; catch up because this isn’t one to miss.
In related HBO renewal news, True Blood is coming back for a sixth season (but without series creator Alan Ball because he’s moving onto a new show for Cinemax called Banshee) and Eastbound & Down will swing once more in season four (the network ordered eight more episodes).
The Newsroom airs Sunday nights at 10PM on HBO; True Blood precedes it at 9PM.
After lengthy negotiations, the network (FOX) and the studio (Warner Bros. TV) have come to a decision that will make TV sci-fi junkies around the world explode in excitement: the low-rated but fan-acclaimed Fringe has been granted another season. FOX will air a shortened 13-episode fifth season, and it will mark the series’ last.
FOX president Kevin Reilly–a vocally staunch supporter of Fringe–released this brief statement: “Fringe is a remarkably creative series that has set the bar as one of television’s most imaginative dramas. Bringing it back for a final 13 allows us to provide the climactic conclusion that its passionate and loyal fans deserve. The amazing work the producers, writers and the incredibly talented cast and crew have delivered the last four seasons has literally been out of this world. Although the end is bittersweet, it’s going to be a very exciting final chapter.”
Co-creator and executive producer J.J. Abrams shared his thoughts on the renewal, too: “We are thrilled and beyond grateful that Fox – and our fans – have made the impossible possible: Fringe will continue into a fifth season that will allow the series to conclude in a wild and thrilling way. All of us at Bad Robot are forever indebted to our viewers and the amazingly supportive Fox network for allowing the adventures of Fringe Division to not only continue, but to resolve in a way that perfectly fits the show.”
And so did showrunners J.H. Wyman and Jeff Pinkner: “This pickup means the world (both of them) to us, because we love sharing these stories with our enthusiastic fans. On behalf of the cast and crew, we applaud our fans and Fox for allowing us to imagine the impossibilities together for so long. Season Five is going to be a conclusive thrill ride for all of us.”
Though an additional 13 episodes is significantly shorter than a typical 23 episode order, this deserved extension gives the creative team a larger canvas to paint a proper ending for the show. Instead of getting abruptly cancelled, Fringe will now have a chance to ease fans toward the light at the end of the tunnel. With rather dismal ratings (and the fact that the show “is los[ing] a lot of money” for FOX according to Reilly), Fringe fanatics can’t really ask for anything more than this.
Recently it was reported that Wyman and Pinkner imagined two separate endings for the current season; one would serve as a series finale, and the other a cliffhanger to lead into a now official fifth season. With the latter course being taken, what can we expect in season five? Under a week ago Josh Jackson hinted, “The door to the fifth season is opened in Episode 19. If you watch that, you’ll have an understanding of where they want to take the series.” As you should already know, “Letters of Transit” teleported Fringe Division to the year 2036, a time when The Observers have taken over our world. Will the final season mostly take place in this not-so-distant future? Clues are planted in the clip embedded above… next season we shall “witness Fringe Division’s final stand; and Peter hints that “everything we’ve been through has just been preparation for what we face here, now.” Also, notice that the art for “FRINGE: THE FINAL SEASON” is all blocky and metallic, just like it was in the alternate “future” title sequence in Episode 19.
Watch said Fringe season 5 announcement trailer the network whipped up, get your speculation on, and don’t forget… rejoice!
No surprise here. Today HBO made it official that its highly rated and praised fantasy series Game of Thrones will return for a third season in 2013. Like the two seasons before it, the next one will also consist of ten episodes. What’s different, however, is that ten episodes isn’t enough time for the show to tell the entirety of A Storm of Swords, the third book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series. So the tale will be told over the course of two seasons–that is, if Thrones lives on to see a fourth season (and it most certainly will). Martin confirms on his blog that he will pen the script for season three episode seven already titled “Autumn Storms.”
HBO president Michael Lombardo commented on today’s not surprising but nevertheless great news. “Series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss raised our expectations for the second season – and then surpassed them. We are thrilled by all the viewer and media support we’ve received for the series, and can’t wait to see what Dan and David have in store for next season.”
Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights at 9PM on HBO.
Great news comes your way today from our friends at FOX. Tuesday night comedies Glee, New Girl, and Raising Hope have been renewed for a fourth, second, and third season, respectively.
Fox president Kevin Reilly: “Over the past season, New Girl has become the hottest new appointment series for young adults; Raising Hope has established itself as one of the smartest and most unique offbeat comedies on television; and Glee has continued its success as a genre-defying, global cultural phenomenon. All three of these comedies add a fresh and distinctive flavor to our Tuesday nights, and I’m really happy to bring them back to our air next season.”
Bringing back Glee is a no-brainer, New Girl started off hot continues to buzz, and Raising Hope has found its groove. These shows join the previously renewed Bones and will find a spot on FOX’s schedule next season. Still no news on whether or not the network plans to bring back the funny but ratings-downer Breaking In.
Celebrate the good news with Fat Schmidt & Rihanna after the break!! (Click here for more…)
Unlike CBS, NBC is taking their time when it comes to announcing their program renewals. On Thursday March 22 the peacock network granted the Broadway musical drama Smash a deserved second season. Though the scale seemed to tip the other way during its run thus far (with so-so ratings and high production value meaning it’s likely expensive to produce), NBC ultimately decided to keep the flashy drama on its radar at least for another year. Though the show’s ratings are not extraordinary (it averages 7.7 million total viewers and a 2.6 demo rating in adults 18-49), Smash does rank as the network’s highest rated drama this season in those aforementioned categories. Season 2 will consist of 15 episodes (that’s up from this season’s 13) and Smash‘s creator/showrunner/executive producer Theresa Rebeck will be returning in a lesser capacity. Deadline reports that she will keep her executive producer title and might write a few episodes, but she will no longer be involved in the oversight of everything else. It still hasn’t been determined who will step in to take over the reigns from Rebeck. Before the news of renewal, Rebeck shared with the press that Smash season 1 would “take Marilyn to an out-of-town tryout, her first really public presentation,” and that a potential (and now set in stone) season 2 would tackle the question “how does Marilyn fare in New York?”
Also renewed at NBC? The Friday night sci-fier Grimm.
Today CBS became the first network out of the gate to reveal the fate of the bulk of its primetime programming. So let’s get right to it, shall we? The following shows have been renewed and will return in the 2012-13 TV season:
9 DRAMAS: Person of Interest, Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds, CSI, The Good Wife, Hawaii Five-0, The Mentalist, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles
4 COMEDIES: 2 Broke Girls, Mike & Molly, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother
3 REALITY SHOWS: Amazing Race, Survivor, Undercover Boss
2 NEWSMAGAZINES: 48 Hours Mystery, 60 Minutes
CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler on all these pickups: “This large-scale renewal is testimony to the strength, stability and success of a deep and diverse roster of top-rated programming. It positions us for continued success next season and certainly creates an environment that will give our new shows the best possible chance to succeed.”
The fates of CSI: NY, CSI: Miami, Unforgettable, and A Gifted Man are still up in the air. And as for the network’s once-staple comedy Two and a Half Men–CBS says “preliminary discussions” are being had. The issue here is that Ashton Kutcher’s deal has to be extended; once that happens (and it will) you can expect CBS to flaunt the long-running comedy’s renewal (and perhaps a multi-year pickup at that). Stay tuned.
Another win for #TeamCoco! Today TBS announced that Conan will remain at his relatively new late-night talk show through 2014. Here’s a quote from Michael Wright, executive vice president and head of programming for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies: “We are proud to be in business with Conan O’Brien for the long run. Night after night, Conan and his team have put together terrific shows that draw a young and fiercely loyal audience. As if that weren’t enough, they have also built a dynamic online presence that keeps fans engaged like no other show in late night.” Here’s a more entertaining one from Mr. O’Brien himself: “I am excited to continue my run with TBS because they have been fantastic partners. This means I’ll be taping episodes of Conan well into the Ron Paul presidency.”
Beard or no beard, Conan is here to stay.
This week Showtime renewed its entire Sunday night lineup that includes Shameless (renewed for a third season), Californication (sixth season), and the new dark comedy House of Lies (second season). “These three shows are clearly resonating with audiences as evidenced by their steady growth on Sunday nights,” said the premium cable network’s entertainment president David Nevins. “We are extremely pleased with the creative work being done by the casts, producers and writers – and I so appreciate that each of these series has such a clear and distinctive voice.”
I had a feeling House of Lies would resonate with viewers. The edgy comedy averages 3.98 million viewers each week. Screen actor Don Cheadle, the adorable and snarky Kristen Bell, and Parks and Rec‘s Ben Schwartz carry this comedy to bizarrely enjoyable heights. And lucky for you, it happens to be one of those shows you can jump right into; House of Lies airs Sunday nights at 10PM on Showtime.
There’s still four months before the second series of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ adaptation of Sherlock Holmes airs in the US, but the co-creators of the critically acclaimed show just couldn’t keep their traps shut. “Yes of course there’s going to be a third series — it was commissioned at the same time as the second. Gotcha!” tweeted Moffat. This news became widespread shortly after the second series finished airing its three-episode arc in the UK on BBC. The one question that now remains, of course, is if Sherlock stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Holmes) and Martin Freeman (Watson) will return to reprise their roles. Both are blowing up in the biz. Cumberbatch recently starred in War Horse and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and soon he’ll be in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit (alongside Freeman) and J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek sequel. But don’t be alarmed. A UK rep told Deadline and reassures fans, “I’m sure he [Cumberbatch] would love to do a third series. It’s very unlikely they would have Sherlock without Sherlock.”
Sherlock fans, rejoice! Series 2 premieres in the US on PBS on May 6.