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Channel Surfing: "Robin Hood" Slain by BBC, Hulu Plans September Launch in UK, Neil Patrick Harris to Host Emmys, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Hollywood seems more or less shut down already for the Fourth of July weekend, so just a few headlines this morning.

The Beeb has confirmed that it will not be bringing back drama series Robin Hood for a fourth season. The series, which starred Jonas Armstrong in the title role, saw its viewership decline to roughly four million viewers during its third (and now final) season (compared to the 8.6 million who tuned in for the series premiere in 2006). For his part, Armstrong had made it clear that the third season would be his last, stating, "It's been a great thrill, a great ride, but you can't play one part forever." (BBC News)

Hulu has announced plans to launch a UK-based online video service in September and has indicated that it is close to reaching content deals with local broadcasters after offering them equity stakes in the service as well as a share of advertising revenues. Rumors are swirling that Hulu has already approached ITV about a possible stake but that has yet to be confirmed. Service would feature more that 3000 hours of US programming as well as local-grown fare but, due to rights issues, some programs--such as The Simpsons and Heroes--would be unavailable as those rights are tied up elsewhere. (Variety)

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that CBS and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has reached a deal with How I Met Your Mother's Neil Patrick Harris to host the 61st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in September, citing multiple sources. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

The Chicago Tribune's Maureen Ryan takes a look at the metamorphosis on Tuesday of cabler Sci Fi to Syfy and talks to Syfy president Dave Howe about the change, the channel's brand, and its future. "When people understand the rationale, they do get it," Howe told Ryan. "You can’t have a brand called 'Sport' or 'Drama' or 'News.' It’s just not a brand name." "The issue that we’ve always had with Sci Fi is that it only communicates three things: Space, aliens and the future," Howe said later. "That’s the default perception, and that’s a barrier to entry for people who we know like [reality fare such as] Ghost Hunters and Destination Truth..." (The Chicago Tribune's The Watcher)

Access Hollywood is reporting that Rumer Willis will guest star next season on the CW's 90210, where she will play Gia, a student at West Beverly who works on the school paper, the Blaze News, and is described as "a punky cute lesbian who isn’t afraid to speak her mind." Willis will appear in at least one episode of the series next season. (Access Hollywood)

Stay tuned.


Sianne said…
Neil Patrick Harris will be the perfect host for the Emmy Awards. I can't wait!

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