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Channel Surfing: Chuck Renewed, ABC Keeps V But Not FlashForward, NBC's Law & Order Conundrum, Lost, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing.

Good news for Chuck fans: Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Chuck has been renewed for a fourth season of thirteen episodes, though NBC declined to comment on the report. While I had hoped for a full-season order, any Chuck is better than no Chuck, right? (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

Good news as well for fans of the Visitors: ABC has reportedly given a thirteen-episode renewal to freshman sci-fi drama V. "V was likely a no-brainer, as ABC wants to bring back at least one frosh drama, and the alien thriller is showing signs of life," writes Variety's Michael Schneider. "Its fellow frosh sci-fi drama, FlashForward, is not." (Variety)

Yep, it's not looking good for FlashForward, which Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello is reporting has already been cancelled, along with Better Off Ted, Scrubs, and Romantically Challenged. (Entertainment Weekly's Ausiello Files)

After a day of back-and-forth about the fate of Law & Order, NBC is reportedly in talks to renew the legal procedural for a record-breaking 21st season. "The network has long intended to bring back the Dick Wolf-produced drama for one final season, allowing the show to top Gunsmoke as the longest-running drama in TV history," writes The Hollywood Reporter's James Hibberd. "But NBC's testy relationship with Wolf came to head Thursday when the producer rejected the network's offer to continue the show at a reduced license fee. Wolf's office told producers and some cast members that the drama had been canceled, triggering online reports that the show was finished." Apparently, those reports were premature, though it's possible that the eleventh hour talks could result in no deal, at which time Wolf could shop the series to cablers. TNT, meanwhile, denied reports that they are in talks with Wolf. (Hollywood Reporter)

The New York Times' Lorne Manley has a brand-new Q&A with Lost showrunner/executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse just ahead of the series finale of Lost, airing Sunday, May 23rd. "If there’s one word that we keep coming back to, it’s redemption," said Lindelof. "It is that idea of everybody has something to be redeemed for and the idea that that redemption doesn’t necessarily come from anywhere else other than internally. But in order to redeem yourself, you can only do it through a community. So the redemption theme started to kind of connect into 'live together, die alone,' which is that these people were all lone wolves who were complete strangers on an aircraft, even the ones who were flying together like Sun and Jin. Then let’s bring them together and through their experiences together allow themselves to be redeemed. When the show is firing on all pistons, that’s the kind of storytelling that we’re doing. I think we’ve always said that the characters of Lost are deeply flawed, but when you look at their flashback stories, they’re all victims. Kate was a victim before she killed her stepfather. Sawyer’s parents killed themselves as he was hiding under the bed. Jack’s dad was a drunk who berated him as a child. Sayid was manipulated by the American government into torturing somebody else. John Locke had his kidney stolen. This idea of saying this bad thing happened to me and I’m a victim and it created some bad behavior and now I’m going to take responsibility for that and allow myself to be redeemed by community with other people, that seems to be the theme that we keep coming back to." (The New York Times)

ABC has picked up six new series for the 2010-11 season: comedies Mr. Sunshine, Happy Endings, and Better Together and dramas My Generation (formerly known as Generation Y), The Whole Truth, and Detroit 187. Variety's Michael Schneider is also reporting that Wright vs. Wrong could still be in contention. (Variety)

Deadline's Nellie Andreeva is reporting that NBC drama pilot Rockford Files is now dead, despite it being a major frontrunner just a few weeks ago. [Editor: I can't say that I'm surprised as I wasn't all that chuffed with the script or the casting of Dermot Mulroney.] (Deadline)

CBS has ordered a pilot for Chuck Lorre's comedy Mike & Molly and is said to be high on Bleep My Dad Says, Team Spitz, Livin' On a Prayer, Hawaii Five-O, Defenders, Chaos, and the untitled John Wells/Hannah Shakespeare medical drama. Deadline's Nellie Andreeva is also reporting that CBS is in talks to renew Ghost Whisperer and Old Christine but that, if talks go South, ABC would step in to pick them up should CBS pass. (Deadline)

Over at NBC, it's looking certain that Kindreds, Garza, and The Cape will all receive series orders before Sunday afternoon rolls around. Sadly, Rex Is Not Your Lawyer is said to be dead at NBC. (Hollywood Reporter's The Live Feed, Deadline)

Sony Pictures Television has signed a new two-year overall deal with Damages creators Todd A. Kessler, Daniel Zelman, and Glenn Kessler. There is still no word on the fate of Damages, which wrapped its third season last month. "We originally planned out five or six seasons between Patty (Close) and Ellen (Rose Byrne), about the relationship between mentor and protege," Kessler told Variety. (Variety)

Deadline's Nellie Andreeva is reporting that producers of 20th Century Fox Television-produced drama pilot Breakout Kings, which FOX passed on after it renewed Lie to Me and Human Target, are shopping the project and have been talking to USA, A&E, and Spike. (Deadline)

Entertainment Weekly's Lynette Rice is reporting that TNT has picked up legal dramedy Franklin and Bash, which was originally developed at sister cabler TBS. Series, from creators Kevin Falls and Bill Chais, stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer. (Entertainment Weekly's Hollywood Insider)

TBS, meanwhile, has ordered eight episodes of hour-long period comedy Glory Daze, which stars Kelly Blatz, Callard Harris, Matt Bush, Drew Seeley, Hartley Sawyer, Julianna Guill, and Tim Meadows. Series revolves around a group of college friends in 1980s Wisconsin. Glory Daze was created by Walt Becker and Michael LeSieur; it will likely premiere later this year. (Deadline, Variety)

Universal Media Studios has signed a two-year production deal with Todd Holland and Karey Burke's new shingle, which remains as yet unnamed. "Together we really make one perfect creative person," Holland told Variety. "She has all the skills I don't have: all the network experience, the general awareness of the writer community and the memory of so much TV development. I'm always thinking like a director -- 'What are we doing right now?'" (Variety)

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said…
Would the production company be able to shop Rex Is Not Your Lawyer around at this point, since it was under a 'first look' deal?

Why would NBC prefer to pick up something requiring much work over that series? Especially since they had such a difficult time casting the role of Rex to begin with, and supposedly all tested well?
Unknown said…
I hate the late cancel or pick up trend, leaves too many viewers hanging. Not sure about ABC keeping V but not FF; both are struggling but I guess V may be easier for exporting overseas, better chance of DVD sales. Just wish the FF folks got word it was over a while back, so they could give it a real ending. Oh well.
cory said…
Every year there are pilots that have heavy buzz, people assume they're a lock for a pickup, the network invests a lot of money...and then the pilot goes cold.

Good news about Chuck, but like I commented in the other post, the fact that NBC will not commit to a full season after Chuck has proved to be a reliable player annoys the heck out of me.

I'm most definitely excited that ABC did exactly what I wanted them to. V is an underrated series and I've been loving it. It's probably my favorite show on ABC other than Lost, and with that show ending shortly it will be good to have "V".

I hope that ABC launches it in the fall and not midseason, although the first 13 episodes should be written as it's own arc in case ABC doesn't order more episodes. And I know ABC has already given "V" two big promotional pushes but I hope they'll give it one more and manage to bring people back so that this show can get its four planned seasons.

Looking forward to next week when we'll be able to see trailers for the networks' new shows, but weirdly there's nothing close to being picked up that I'm crossing my fingers for. The most I can say is that I hope The CW picks up its pilot "Betwixt" and that it manages to be on a level equal to "Vampire Diaries".

FOX, please pick up Better Off Ted.

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