[07/24/03 - 12:00 AM]
TCA Summer Press Tour: Nbc, Day 1
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- The Television Critics Association is set to conclude its summer press tour this week in which the various broadcast and cable networks talk about their upcoming plans to the nation's top critics and entertainment reporters. The final week of the tour rounds out the rest of the broadcast networks as NBC held its first of two sessions on Thursday for the press.

Here's a breakdown of the highlights of NBC's presentation:

-- As expected, NBC officially announced its plans for "Joey," a spin-off of "Friends," starring two-time Emmy award nominee Matt LeBlanc. The series, which is guaranteed the fall 2004 time slot of Thursdays at 8:00/7:00c, will be executive produced by Kevin Bright, Scott Silveri and Shana Goldberg-Meehan, all of whom are "Friends" veterans, and distributed by Warner Bros. Television. As part of his deal to headline the series LeBlanc has secured starring roles in two yet-to-be-determined feature films for Warner Bros. Pictures. Look for additional details about the series shortly.

-- Fans of "American Dreams" can look forward to another year of high-profile musical guest stars. Already on tap for season two are Kelly Clarkson ("American Idol"), Monica and multi-Grammy winner Alicia Keys as well as sisters Hilary Duff ("Lizzie McGuire") and Haylie Duff ("The Lizzie McGuire Movie"). Clarkson is set as the era's pop princess Brenda Lee and will sing her hit, "Sweet Nothings," in the season premiere. Monica will portray Mary Wells and will sing the former Motown star's hit single, "My Guy." Keys will embody Fontella Bass and will perform her hit "Rescue Me" while Hilary and Haylie Duff will appear as the Shangri-Las and will sing one of the group�s 1960's hits.

-- Former "Fastlane" star Tiffani Thiessen is set to appear in a three episode arc this season on "Good Morning, Miami." She'll play a TV executive who causes trouble among the staff when she arrives at the Miami station.

-- Nia Long ("Big Momma's House") has signed on as a series regular this season on the Monday drama "Third Watch." She'll continue in her role as Sasha Monroe, a young police officer introduced late last season. The network announced it will also begin to broadcast the series in widescreen for its fifth season.

-- The network also outlined its post-Aaron Sorkin strategy for "The West Wing's" upcoming fifth season. In addition to executive producer John Wells (who will write the season�s first two episodes), the producing/writing staff is set to include Eli Attie, Debora Cahn, Carol Flint ("The Court"), Mark Goffman, Alexa Junge ("Friends"), Peter Noah ("War Stories"), Lawrence O�Donnell ("Mister Sterling"), Paul Redford, Josh Singer and John Sacret Young. On the casting front, Steven Eckholdt ("My Big Fat Greek Life") has come on board in a recurring role as President Jed Bartlet's (Martin Sheen) son-in-law, married to his older daughter, Elizabeth (Annabeth Gish).

-- Lastly, the Peacock revealed a new concept called "1MMs," a series of one-minute "mini-movies" set to air throughout its programming. The project is an original idea presented by John Wells Productions and Emmy Award-winning director Paris Barclay ("NYPD Blue"). The original movies will unfold as two 30-second spots, the first of which features a cliffhanger that leads into the next. The current concepts include (via press release):

"Death Do Us Part" (written and directed by Ivan Sergei) - In the first 30 seconds of the "movie," a frantic man (Eddie Cibrian, NBC�s "Third Watch") runs down the street with blood on his shirt and a gun tucked in his waistband, but when he reaches his house, he draws the gun on his surprised wife (Amber Valletta).

"A Special Word Game" (written and directed by Paris Barclay) - During the game the celebrity host offers a word to the three contestants - but when one competitive player gets it right, it leads to a battle of the networked stars. Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon ("NYPD Blue"), Bill Bellamy ("How to Be a Player"), Danny Masterson ("That �70s Show") and Paula Marshall ("Hidden Hills") star.

"Severance Pay" (written by Shawn Ryan, "The Shield," and directed by Philip Atwell) - In a black comedy, an arrogant tycoon (James Remar) berates his assistant (Cathy Ryan) until he is robbed of a briefcase full of money - and a betrayal puts teeth in the concept of "comeuppance."

"The Pussycat Dolls" (written by Steven Antin & Joe Voci; directed by Antin) - Carmen Electra ("Baywatch") dons her rhinestone-studded costume as one of the famed "Pussycat Dolls" performers who seeks to exchange her shiny suit�s stones for a bag of diamonds that could prove to be any girl�s best friend.

"Henry Tammer - Prodigy Bully" (written and directed by Hank Perlman) - A mockumentary boasts of finding the first child prodigy-cum-bully - 8-year-old Henry "The Hammer" Tammer, who oddly is a kick-ass and a smarty-pants. But the reaction yields a radical plan to tame Tammer for the common good of the schoolyard.

"Free Snacks" (written and directed by Corky Quakenbush) - Filmed in Claymation, an unsuspecting male patron (voice of Michael Richards, "Seinfeld") eats unshelled snacks in a bar but is nearly driven nuts by the suggestive compliments of an unseen woman (Jackee Harry, "227") who cannot be found. Tom Arnold voice is heard as the bartender.

Additional details about the "1MMs" including a rollout plan are expected to be announced at a later date.

Upcoming TCA schedule: Thursday-Friday (July 24-25) - NBC

  [july 2003]  


[10/08/15 - 11:05 AM]
"David Tutera's CELEBrations" Season Three Premieres Friday, October 30 at 10PM ET/PT on WE tv
Vanessa Williams, Vivica A. Fox, Kim Coles, Ian Ziering, Cynthia Bailey, Big Ang Raiola and Reza Farahan are among those featured in the new season.

[10/08/15 - 11:00 AM]
"Tyrant" Returning For Third Season on FX
The 10-episode third season will air in 2016.

[10/08/15 - 11:00 AM]
AMC Renews "Halt and Catch Fire" for Third Season
Co-creators and writers Christopher Cantwell and Christopher C. Rogers have been upped to showrunners for the 10-episode third season, which will return to AMC next summer.

[10/08/15 - 10:37 AM]
Jimmy Fallon Generates His Biggest Margin to Date vs. Colbert, Taking the Week of Sept. 28-Oct. 2 in 18-49 by a 41% Advantage
NBC spins the late-night numbers for the week of September 28-October 2.

[10/08/15 - 09:48 AM]
"The Operatives" Is Back Saving the World's Most Precious Wildlife and Eco-Systems in an All-New Season Premiering on Pivot on October 18 at 10 P.M.
With 10, all new, hour-long episodes, Pete Bethune and his hand-picked team of military elite travel to the furthest parts of the world to expose those suspected of endangering our wildlife and environment in an effort to bring them to justice.

[10/08/15 - 09:43 AM]
HBO NOW Arrives Today on the Roku Platform
Roku customers can purchase a subscription directly within the HBO NOW channel on their Roku device, which will also enable them to access the service at HBONOW.com and on other HBO NOW enabled devices.

[10/08/15 - 09:32 AM]
Syfy Launches All-New Virtual Reality Experience for Award-Winning "The Expanse" VR App
The app immerses viewers into the vast world of "The Expanse," giving them the opportunity to enter into locations from the show and experience them in virtual reality.

[10/08/15 - 09:32 AM]
Game 1 of 2015 WNBA Finals Sees Viewership Increase from 2014
ESPN spins the numbers for Sunday, October 4.

[10/08/15 - 09:14 AM]
Video: Extended Trailer for TNT's "The Librarians" Season 2, Premiering Sunday, Nov. 1
Check out the latest tease for the show's sophomore run.

[10/08/15 - 08:44 AM]
Wednesday's Broadcast Ratings: "Empire" Continues Its Reign for FOX
Plus: The CW sees year-to-year growth with the return of "Arrow" and "Supernatural."

[10/08/15 - 08:34 AM]
The Long Anticipated Third Season of David Cross' "Todd Margaret" Returns to IFC on Thursday, January 7, 2016
Jack McBrayer, Will Arnett, Blake Harrison, Sharon Horgan, Amber Tamblyn and Russ Tamblyn are among those featured in the new season.

[10/08/15 - 08:31 AM]
"Chicago P.D." Wins at 10 Among ABC, CBS and NBC in 18-49 and All Other Key Demos
NBC spins the numbers for Wednesday, October 7.

[10/08/15 - 08:28 AM]
"black-ish" Is the Night's Only Program to Post Week-to-Week Growth
ABC spins the numbers for Wednesday, October 7.

[10/08/15 - 08:22 AM]
HBO Latin America to Launch New Streaming Service for Latin America and the Caribbean
The company plans to start deploying the service in markets throughout the region, beginning with a launch in Colombia by the end of the year.

[10/08/15 - 08:01 AM]
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Rings in the Holidays with "The Most Wonderful Movies of Christmas," Featuring Originals and Beloved Christmas Classics Round-the-Clock Beginning October 31
Said lineup includes "Murder She Baked: A Plum Pudding Mystery," "The Christmas Note," "Magic Stocking" and "Debbie Macomber's Dashing Through The Snow."