Tuned In Journal

PRESS TOUR: 'Glee Project' likely to be renewed

Tuesday, 02 August 2011 02:50 PM Written by

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – "The Glee Project" exeuctive producer Michael Davies said the show has not yet been renewed for a second season but work has begun on a follow-up season for next summer anyway.

"We're not officially picked up but having been through this several times before, just based on the ratings growth, we've seen more than 100 percent growth in most of the key demos since our premiere and these kids have an incredible interactive following," Davies said. "I feel incredibly confident that we're coming back and this is certainly in my plans for next year."

It makes sense for Oxygen, which will air reruns of the Fox "Glee" next year and packaging the two programs would be logical.

Read more about "The Glee Project" after the jump. ...

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cameron_gleeBEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – On Oxygen's "The Glee Project" (9 p.m. Sunday), my favorite summer reality show, teens and twentysomethings compete for a role on the Fox comedy-drama-musical "Glee."

It's an odd little show because the kids all seem to think it's a competition based on talent but executive producer Ryan Murphy makes it abundantly clear he's looking to create a character that doesn't already exist on "Glee." This makes me think plus-size Hannah, one of the more personable, likeable contestants, doesn't stand a chance with Ashley Fink around. Same goes for Alex with gay Kurt already part of the "Glee" cast.

For a while, I've thought dreadlocked Samuel and super-skinny, scarecrow-like Cameron might be top contenders to win the show just because their "types" are not currently represented on "Glee."

But in this week's episode, Cameron quit "The Glee Project" because he didn't like having to kiss a girl who wasn't his girlfriend, even though this -- and more, much more -- is required of actors all the time. When I saw Cameron Mitchell at an NBCUniversal party Monday night, I had to ask him what he was thinking.

Read his response, after the jump. ...

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PRESS TOUR: NBC gets 'Grimm'

Monday, 01 August 2011 06:20 PM Written by

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grimm_blogBEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Sometimes you can't believe the buzz -- good or bad.

After NBC's upfronts in May, the drama "Grimm" got savaged after people saw the clips. But I kinda liked it. Maybe it was that I went into it with low expectations, but it wasn't horrible. A few other critics I talked to felt the same way.

Mind you, it's not a great show. But it's a clever enough premise.

Here's NBC's description:

“Grimm” is a new drama series inspired by the classic Grimm’s Fairy Tales.   Portland homicide Detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli, "Turn The Beat Around") discovers he is descended from an elite line of criminal profilers known as “Grimms,” charged with keeping balance between humanity and the mythological creatures of the world.

As he tries to hide the dangers of his new found calling from his fiancé, Juliette Silverton, (Bitsie Tulloch, “quarterlife”), and his partner, Hank Griffin (Russell Hornsby, “Lincoln Heights”), he becomes ever more entrenched in the ancient rivalries and alliances of the Grimm world. 

With help from his confidant, Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell, “Prison Break”), a reformed Grimm creature himself, Nick must navigate through the forces of a larger-than-life mythology, facing off with Hexenbiests, Blutbads and all manner of ancient evils, including royal lines dating back to the original profilers themselves, The Grimm Brothers.  Reggie Lee (“Persons Unknown”) and Sasha Roiz (“Caprica”) also star.

Read more about this series after the jump. ...

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PRESS TOUR: NBC stays 'Up All Night'

Monday, 01 August 2011 05:19 PM Written by

up_all_nightFor more TV news and views coverage from the TCA press tour, visit the Tuned In Journal index page. 

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – New parents (Christina Applegate and Will Arnett) learn it's tough to have a baby in the house in the NBC comedy "Up All Night" (8 p.m. Wednesday this fall). It's one of several not-all-that-funny sitcoms on NBC this fall. It has its moments and the cast is terrific (Maya Rudolph is also in the show). And there is reason to hope that "Up All Night" may yet improve.

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PRESS TOUR: NBC seeks critics' mercy

Monday, 01 August 2011 10:00 AM Written by

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – There's no question that many TV critics have a positive impression of programming executive Bob Greenblatt. After all, as the top programmer at Showtime, he put "Dexter," "The Tudors," "Nuse Jackie" and "United States of Tara" on the air.

But now he's moved over to NBC, which has been mired in the ratings doldrums for quite some time. And frankly, his fall development is not inspiring. I wonder if he recognizes this when the note above showed up with a room drop for critics staying at The Beverly Hilton for the Television Critics Association summer press tour.

A live blog of coverage from Greenblatt's inaugural press conference begins at Noon EST. Read it after the jump. ...

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prohibBEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – PBS documentary filmmaker Ken Burns is a fan of HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" -- he hasn't missed an episode yet -- and he's hopeful interest in the HBO 1920s-era series will help gin up interest in his latest PBS program, "Prohibition," airing Oct. 2-4. ("Boardwalk Empire" returns for season two on Sept. 25.)

"I'm always amazed how many of the films we make seem to fit into the zeitgeist of the moment," Burns said. "We hope audiences who have been enjoying ["Boardwalk Empire"] might look to us and we hope audiences who might be enjoying our thing will go to them and that might represent the possibility of some symbiotic relationship."

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For Friday’s TV Q&A and other recent posts (including a new post on "Dance Moms"), go to the Tuned In Journal index page.

DanielandFriends_blogBEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Finally!

I’ve been waiting almost five years to be able to report the production start of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” the new animated television series from the company founded by the late Fred Rogers. I’ve been checking in on the new program’s progress every six months since we broke the news that the show was “in development” in December 2006.

How "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood" turns out remains to be seen, but the notion of centering a series on Daniel's 4-year-old son sounds right to me. As a kid growing up watching "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," Daniel was always my favorite character. And I got the sense Fred Rogers related to him, too.

When I interviewed Rogers in his office about the end of the "Neighborhood" in 2000, I remember Rogers putting a Daniel puppet on his hand and talking to me as Daniel. I talked right back to Daniel.

The fact that development of "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood" took this long might seem unusual, but PBS programs often take years.

“It didn’t take a whole lot longer than I thought it would,” said Kevin Morrison, chief operating officer of The Fred Rogers Company. “My experience of developing television concepts is that they do take a large slice out of your life. By the time you’ve arrived at what it is you want to do and put it into some pitchable format and gone to a network and got them interested to the point that they say, ‘Let’s do a pilot,’ and then spend a year doing a pilot and then take it back and they say whether they like it or not.”

Morrison said there’s a sense of excitement at the Fred Rogers Co. about having a new television project.

“We really think we’re producing something Fred would be proud of that furthers his legacy,” Morrison said, “which is one of the things we’ve devoted ourselves to.”

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PRESS TOUR: 'Moby Dick' swims to Encore

Saturday, 30 July 2011 05:00 PM Written by

For Friday’s TV Q&A and other recent posts (including a new post on "Dance Moms"), go to the Tuned In Journal index page

moby_dick_2010_39_6x4BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- A two-part miniseries based on Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick” airs Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. on Encore as part of a new initiative to add original programming to the channel, a sister-network to Starz.

“We will be more actively involved in developing programs specifically for Starz because we see that as a kind of cohesive brand where we see Encore as a little bi more expansive,” said Chris Albrecht, president and CEO of Starz. “We see Encore as a bit more expansive, serving a lot of different constituencies. The content level on Encore will not be at the same premium television level when it comes to violence and sexuality.”

“Moby Dick” airs on the anniversary of the birth of Melville (Aug. 1, 1819) and stars William Hurt as Ahab, Ethan Hawke as Starbuck and Gillian Anderson as Ahab’s wife, who’s seen only at the start of the movie before Ahab goes out to sea.

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