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The Daily Beast: "Showtime's New Mastermind, David Nevins"

Former producer David Nevins stunned many Hollywood insiders when he announced that he was stepping down from his role at Imagine Television and taking the top job at Showtime, recently vacated by Robert Greenblatt. Now five months into his term at Showtime, I sit down with Nevins over lunch in a new feature at The Daily Beast, entitled "Showtime's New Mastermind, David Nevins," in which he tells me about his “girly taste in television,” and why it’s “fun to be naughty” as a programmer. We also discuss what's coming up for the network, what's in development (Damian Lewis/Claire Danes psychological drama Homeland, House of Lies , starring Don Cheadle), the challenges and opportunities facing Showtime, which is on a growth trend, and, um, selling Time Life books over the phone.

Channel Surfing: Incredible Hulk to Smash ABC, Wentworth Miller Spies Spartacus, HBO Eyes Tea Leoni, Weeds' Shane, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Hulk smash... TV? The Hollywood Reporter 's James Hibberd and Brys Kit are reporting that ABC and Marvel are developing a television series based on comic "The Incredible Hulk," which was previously a 1978-82 television series that starred Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. Hulk is one of two projects, along with Cloak and Dagger (which is said to be in development at ABC Family), that Marvel Studios has in development, though the company is also said to be looking at other properties to develop as series, including Heroes for Hire, The Eternals, Agents of Atlas, Alter Ego, Moon Knight, The Hood, Ka-Zar, Daughters of the Dragon, and The Punisher , the latter of which is said to also be high on Marvel's radar, possibly as a cable series. [Editor: The story, however, fails to discern between several properties, which it has erroneously merged into single entities.] ( Hollywood Reporter 's The Live Feed ) Entertainme

Channel Surfing: Gwyneth Paltrow Tackles Glee, V lands Jay Karnes, NBC Lands Legends, Showtime Renews Weeds, The Big C, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. E! Online's Kristin Dos Santos is reporting that Gwyneth Paltrow is in talks to join the cast of FOX's Glee in a two-episode story arc in which she would play a potential love interest for Matthew Morrison's Will Schuester. "According to rock-solid Glee sources, Gwyneth would play a substitute teacher in two episodes airing in November," writes Dos Santos. "Mr. Schuester gets sick, so Gwyneth's character steps in and takes over the glee club. The kids love her, and Will starts to fall for her... complicating his relationship with Emma (Jayma Mays)... I'm told Glee creator/executive producer/creative badass Ryan Murphy wrote this role expressly for Gwyneth, as the two are friends. If it all comes together, Ryan will be directing her first episode, which begins shooting in two weeks." Should the deal close, Paltrow would appear in two episodes slated to air in November. ( E! Online's Watc

Over the Edge: Brief Thoughts on Showtime's Weeds and The Big C

It's only fitting in a way that Showtime would schedule Season Six of Weeds with the new dark comedy The Big C , both of which kick off tonight on the pay cabler. In their own way, both series deal with the efforts of two women to survive in any way possible when faced with the insurmountable obstacle of death. On Weeds , Mary-Louise Parker's Nancy Botwin has spent the last five seasons attempting to keep her family together, getting deeper and deeper into treacherous waters after the untimely death of her husband, willing to literally get in bed with dangerous people in order to survive. While the drama isn't as (soapily) high on The Big C , which airs a half an hour later, it's just as powerful as Laura Linney's Cathy receives a terminal cancer diagnosis and attempts to create a new way of living when faced with death itself, embarking on a journey in which she discovers her crazy again. For an uptight and controlling woman like Cathy, her last chance at livin

TCA Diary: Showtime's Matt Blank Teases Upcoming Programming

Showtime's Matt Blank kicked off the festivities on Day Two of the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour by offering a look at what's coming up for their slate of original programming over the next six months or so. "Showtime continues to thrive in every part of our business," said Blank. "We received more 2010 Emmy nominations for our original series than any other premium cable network." Here are some highlights from the very brief session, during which Blank acknowledged the behind-the-scenes changes going on at the pay cabler, where Robert Greenblatt has stepped down and will be succeeded by David Nevins. Weeds comes back in August. Guest stars this season will include Richard Dreyfus, Alanis Morrissette, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Linda Hamilton, and Peter Stomare. The Big C , which launches on August 16th as well, will feature Idris Elba, Cynthia Nixon, and Liam Neeson, whose participation was announced earlier this week. Dexter 's lates

Meet the Newmans: Showtime Releases Weeds Season Six Trailer

"The Newmans will succeed where the Botwins failed. They will find jobs, have hobbies. They will have a normal life." Showtime has released a new trailer for Season Six of Weeds , which returns to the lineup on August 16th. On the run after Shane took a croquet mallet to Pilar's head at the end of last season, the Botwins hit the road in an effort to evade both the long arm of the law and the less than merciful killing hand of the Mexican drug cartel run by Nancy's husband. It's a trip that takes them through the heartland of America as they blow through a number of cities, trailing identities in their wake. But as much as it represents an effort to escape death, it's also a new chance at life for Nancy and the gang. Hence the above quote from Mary-Louise Parker's Nancy, looking at this messed-up road trip as a chance at a clean slate. Sort of, anyway. You can watch the entire three-minute trailer for Season Six below. "You can take the girl out

Channel Surfing: Mark Pellegrino Bites into Being Human, Weeds Snares Richard Dreyfuss, Marg Helgenberger Staying on CSI, and More

Welcome to your (slightly delayed) Thursday morning television briefing. A few headlines to get through on Emmy nomination day... Score another genre hit for Mark Pellegrino. The former Lost and Supernatural co-star is heading to Syfy's US adaptation of supernatural drama Being Human , where he will play Bishop, described as the "charismatic and menacing mentor" to Sam Witwer's vampire Aidan. Pellegrino's casting nearly rounds out the cast for the American adaptation, though there's still one role outstanding (that would be Josh, the werewolf, though there have been rumblings about several actors auditioning for the role). Elsewhere, Patrick J. Adams ( Friends With Benefits ) has been cast as the lead in USA legal drama A Legal Mind , where he will play Mike Ross, described as "a brilliant but unmotivated college student who gets recruited by a top Manhattan corporate law firm despite not being a lawyer" and who must "use his book and street

Grifters and Drifters: Showtime Unveils New Weeds Season Six Poster

"Let's blow this joint." The Botwins are hitting the road. Season Six of Weeds begins next month and Showtime has issued a striking poster image for the sixth season, one that depicts Nancy, Silas, and Shane Botwin (along with Justin Kirk's Andy and Kevin Nealon's Doug) as yesteryear hoods, a la Atlantic City. (Nice touch with Shane holding onto that plot-twist-driven croquet mallet.) A larger version of the poster can be found after the jump, along with the teaser trailer for Season Six of Weeds , just in case you missed it a few weeks back . Season Six of Weeds kicks off on August 16th at 10 pm ET/PT on Showtime.

Channel Surfing: More on Party Down Cancellation, NBC Dumps Persons Unknown on Sats, Weeds, Big Love, and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. Following yesterday's brutal cancellation of Party Down , Hitfix's Alan Sepinwall talks to Party Down executive producer Rob Thomas about the cancellation of the Starz comedy. "No one on our side is particularly shocked by the news," Thomas told Sepinwall about the cancellation. "Frankly, the waiting has been excruciating, and there's a certain amount of relief in knowing and being able to move on." Thomas indicated that the series was heading towards a third season renewal before newly installed entertainment czar Chris Albrecht was brought in. "There's little to no doubt that we were going to get one until Chris came in," said Thomas. "But I do think if we had done better numbers, Chris would've kept us. I don't think Chris wanted to come in and clean house. I just don't think he had quite the emotional attachment that people who had been at Starz through the birth o

Channel Surfing: Leigh and Morissette Return to Weeds, Jamie Foxx Preps TV Pilot, Sarah Drew Talks Grey's, Doctor Who, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alanis Morissette will return to Weeds for the Showtime dark comedy's sixth season, set to launch August 16th. Leigh will reprise her role as Nancy's sister Jill in one episode, with Morissette due to appear in two episodes as Andy's girlfriend Audra Kitson, who also happened to be Nancy's doctor. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) Deadline's Nellie Andreeva is reporting that Jamie Foxx has shot a trailer for a potential television project entitled Tommy's Little Girl , which features Paul Sorvino, Selma Blair, James Russo, and Tony Sirico. Project would revolve around the relationship between a mobster (Sorvino) and his daughter (Blair) and will be pitched to cable networks. ( Deadline ) Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello has an interview with newly promoted Grey's Anatomy series regular S

Channel Surfing: Showtime Renews Secret Diary, Details on HBO's Blogger Drama Tilda, Parks and Recreation, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. The Hollywood Reporter 's James Hibberd is reporting that Showtime has renewed Billie Piper-led dark comedy Secret Diary of a Call Girl for a fourth season, which would be the series' last. The series, which airs on ITV2 in the UK, is expected to return in early 2011 and the final season would likely focus on the relationship between Piper's Belle/Hannah and her best friend Ben (Iddo Goldberg). ( Hollywood Reporter 's The Live Feed ) UPDATE: According to Showtime's press release, "Season Four, which will be comprised of eight, half-hour episodes, will follow Belle (Piper), an internationally successful author, torn between her career and her feelings for her best friend Ben (Iddo Goldberg). Additionally, Season Four will feature a storyline where the high-end London call girl visits New York City." The Wrap's Hunter Walker has details on HBO's latest pilot, Tilda , the Diane Keaton-led comedy

Trailer Park: Showtime Releases Season Six Trailer for Weeds

The plot deepens. Showtime has released a new trailer for Weeds , which returns in August with its sixth season. Featuring the song "Terrible Things" by April Smith & The Great Picture Show, the promo shows Mary Louise Parker's Nancy Botwin digging a hole and throwing in a whole lot of items into a pit. Those items would include a passport, a pistol, a cell phone (which happens to ring and displays a call from Esteban), a croquet mallet (recalling how Shane bludgeoned Pilar to death with one at the end of last season), a Jesus bobblehead, and a gasoline container, each items that connect back to one of the previous seasons. The trailer can be viewed in full below. Season Six of Weeds is scheduled to premiere August 16th on Showtime.

Channel Surfing: FX Renews "Archer," Team Darlton on "Lost" Partnership, Hiroyuki Sanada Speaks, Jim Belushi Suits Up for "Defenders," and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. "Danger zone!" FX has ordered a second season of its animated action-comedy Archer , from creators Adam Reed and Matthew Thompson. The cabler has commissioned 13 episodes for the series' second season, which is set to launch next year. The order is up from the seven installments that comprised Season One of Archer . [Editor: while Archer started off rocky and is somewhat hit-or-miss, I'm actually quite enjoying its off-kilter madcap action now that the season is set to wrap in a few weeks' time.] ( Variety ) The Los Angeles Times ' Maria Elena Fernandez talks to Lost showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse about their partnership on the show. And thanks to a video interview, you can get the words from Team Darlton themselves as they recount the events back in 2004 that lead to the duo forming one of Hollywood's strongest creative partnerships. ( Los Angeles Times ' Show Tracker ) SPOILER! M

The Daily Beast: "23 Shows That Changed Television"

Wondering why I didn't compile a best of the decade list on Televisionary? Head over to The Daily Beast, where you can find my latest feature, "23 Shows That Changed Television," which looks at the cultural impact (both good and ill) of 23 series that launched this decade. Those influential series include American Idol, Lost, Survivor, The Wire, Mad Men, Weeds, Big Love, Arrested Development, The Osbournes, True Blood, Laguna Beach, Family Guy and Battlestar Galactica . And if you're wondering why some of your favorites got left off, it's because each of the series had to have premiered after January 1st, 2000 in order to be included in the list. Which negated the inclusion of such influential series from the late 1990s, such as The Sopranos, Sex and the City, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The West Wing , and South Park , to name a few. Head over to the comments section to share your thoughts on the list and your picks for the most influential series of th

Sticky Wicket: Frenemies and Adversaries on the Season Finale of "Weeds"

What a weird, strange journey it's been this season on Weeds . Between pregnancies, marriages, assassinations, overdoses, teenage STDs, and thievery, Season Five of Showtime's dark comedy Weeds has been a sometimes bizarre and uneven mix of shifting timeframes, over the top characters, and increasingly complicated inter-personal relationships. (Hell, you almost need a flowchart to keep track of the vagaries of the Nancy/Esteban/Andy/Audra storyline this season.) Last night's season finale of Weeds ("All About My Mom"), written by series creator Jenji Kohan, looked not to shift the action elsewhere but to create a new status quo all the same that would switch up the characters, their motivations, and their state of mind. And it did so with one hell of a croquet mallet swing. Yes, I'm referring to that final scene in the season finale, a.k.a. the mallet swing heard round the world as the insidious Pilar (Kate del Castillo) threatened to have Nancy's &

Channel Surfing: Bryan Fuller Leaves "Heroes" Again, Cross, Jonze, and Arnett Team Up, "Doctor Who," Justin Kirk Talks "Weeds," and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller has left his position as consulting producer on NBC's Heroes , just a few months after he rejoined the writing staff of the NBC drama. The reason behind the departure: to focus on developing new series for the network (he has an overall deal with Universal Media Studios), rather than creative differences with Heroes creator Tim Kring. "I'm crafting two pilots right now and it's a lot of work," Fuller told Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello. "It was just too hard to [juggle] Heroes and my development; something had to give." Meanwhile, Fuller told Ain't It Cool News' Herc, ""Development was really starting to heat up, And it appears like I may be writing multiple pilots for NBC so that wasn't leaving a ton of room for Heroes , unfortunately. We crafted some really great arcs for the season that I'm excited to see come to fruiti

Channel Surfing: Mary-Louise Parker to Keep Puffing on "Weeds," "Scrubs" Back to School, Meg Ryan to Guest Star on "Curb Your Enthusiasm," and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. I'm back from vacation so there's loads of television-related headlines to catch up on. Buckle your seatbelts; it's going to be a bumpy ride! Weeds star Mary-Louise Parker has put those rumors that she's leaving the Showtime comedy series to bed, stating that she's sticking around for quite some time. "Sometimes when I think about the show ending I get sad. I just can't imagine what it's going to be like," Parker told E! Online's Watch with Kristin. "We for sure have one more year, so I don't have to be sad yet. I can smile a little bit longer. I would stay on, but at a certain point it would get a little bit tired. It'd be like, we don't need to see Nancy and Andy running around in their 60s. I think it will depend on how this season goes, as to whether or not it will have a little velocity for staying around a little longer." ( E! Online's Watch with Kristin ) Wh