or


[09/14/04 - 12:00 AM]
Various Issues Holding Up New Seasons of FOX's 'Tru Calling,' USA's 'The 4,400'
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- Sometime during 2005 both FOX's "Tru Calling" and USA's "The 4,400" are expected to return for second seasons. The paths both series are facing to get there however are widely different.

"The 4,400's" first season averaged nearly 6 million viewers for USA, breaking all sorts of records for the cable channel and basic cable itself, making a second season a near guarantee. Producer Paramount Network Television and USA network owner NBC Universal however are haggling over several key issues in regards to the show's return. NBC Universal reportedly wants to include the right to repurpose the series on any of its networks (most likely NBC itself) for a nominal fee as part of a second season renewal.

Paramount, which is now under the watch of Viacom Co-COO Les Moonves (whose domain includes CBS and UPN), is scoffing at the idea as undoubtedly they don't want to give NBC the option of plugging "The 4,400" in its lineup against CBS should any of the Peacock's series falter.

NBC Universal nevertheless says said exposure would no doubt benefit "The 4,400's" numbers (a la the Peacock's repurposing of Bravo's "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy") and points to the show's original success being partly due to the sci-fi drama's cross-platform promotion across all of the company's properties (including ads on NBC). The newfound strategy is being applied across the board as virtually all of the license fees for its new cable properties now include the provision to repurpose on other channels under its corporate umbrella. Viacom in any case points to the fact that "The 4,400's" deal with USA was signed well before the Peacock's merger with the channel's owner and should be treated as such.

Making things even more complicated for Paramount is that producers didn't have an option for the cast beyond its original six-hours, forcing production costs to rise past $1.5 million per episode as all involved demanded raises to return.

In any case, should a deal not be worked out between Paramount and NBC Universal, USA has the option to shop the series elsewhere, including NBCU's own NBC Universal Television Studios. Producers are hoping some sort of deal will be hammered out in time for production on 13 new episodes of "The 4,400" to begin in February for a summer 2005 premiere on USA.

Meanwhile as for "Tru Calling," the decision by FOX yesterday to postpone the show's second season launch on November 4 has exposed some serious issues about the series' future. Originally given a 13-episode order for its second season, industry insiders say the network may halt production once work completes on its sixth episode. The reason however isn't a creative one (FOX reportedly likes the direction the show is taking for its new season), but rather like most TV-related decisions, an economic one.

With a hefty midseason roster that includes over a dozen series - such as dramas "Athens," "The Inside," "Point Pleasant," "Jonny Zero" and season four of "24"; comedies "American Dad," "Related by Family" and "The Sketch Show"; new reality projects "Hell's Kitchen" and "Nanny 911" not to mention fresh seasons of "American Idol" and "The Simple Life" - the network is undoubtedly looking to cut back on some of its commitments. And with "Tru" being at best a modest success for FOX, the odds are much higher for one of its new dramatic entries to succeed than to go to bat again with the middling "Tru."

No formal decision has been made about rolling back the show's 13-episode order nor has producer 20th Century Fox Television or Original Television commented on the possibility. The pair are also behind "Point Pleasant" on the network.





  [september 2004]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
   


· 24 (FOX)
· 4400, THE (USA)
· ATHENS (FOX)
· INSIDE, THE (FOX)
· JONNY ZERO (FOX)
· POINT PLEASANT (FOX)
· QUEER EYE (BRAVO)
· TRU CALLING (FOX)





[09/17/14 - 08:30 AM]
Tuesday's Broadcast Ratings: NBC Holds Onto Top Spot with "America's Got Talent"
Plus: FOX's "New Girl" and "The Mindy Project" return down more than 30% from a year ago among adults 18-49.

[09/17/14 - 08:10 AM]
"Mass Extinction: Life at the Brink" Premieres Sunday, November 30 at 8PM ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel
Jeffrey Wright narrates the one-hour special, produced by Tangled Bank Studios, the film and television unit of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).

[09/16/14 - 03:07 PM]
Lifetime Announces Premiere Dates for "Project Runway All Stars" and "Project Runway: Threads"
Alyssa Milano hosts the former series, which returns Thursday, October 30 at 9:00/8:00c.

[09/16/14 - 03:06 PM]
"Monday Night Football" Helps ESPN Win the Night among All Networks
ESPN spins the numbers for Monday, September 15.

[09/16/14 - 02:31 PM]
GSN and Jerry Springer Taking "Baggage on the Road" in New Traveling Spinoff of Hit Dating Game Show "Baggage"
"It's hard to be shocked in my line of work, but I'm continually amazed at how revealing the contestants on the show have been," says Springer.

[09/16/14 - 02:00 PM]
Nomination Period for Fourth Annual "Fox Writer's Intensive" Begins Today
Nominations can be submitted by one of the FWI's partnering organizations or through submission by talent agents and management companies.

[09/16/14 - 01:20 PM]
Equestrian Coverage on NBCSN Highlighted by Central Park Grand Prix Live Thurs., Sept. 18 at 7 PM ET
The event features some of the world's top show jumpers including U.S. Champion Kent Farrington and Olympic gold medalists McLain Ward and Laura Kraut in a $200,000 FEI world ranking class.

[09/16/14 - 01:18 PM]
"Ray Donovan" Delivers Highest Rated Episode & Night Ever!
Showtime spins the numbers for Sunday, September 14.

[09/16/14 - 01:04 PM]
Season Three Finale of History's "Mountain Men" Hits 3.0 Million Total Viewers, Ranking as Cable's Top Show for the Night
History spins the numbers for Sunday, September 14.

[09/16/14 - 12:37 PM]
Mark Feuerstein Joins "Nurse Jackie"
He will play Barry Wolfe, a high-powered, cutthroat lawyer who will represent Jackie as she pieces her life back together following her arrest last season.

[09/16/14 - 12:07 PM]
"Ebola: Inside the Deadly Outbreak" to Simulcast On Discovery Channel and Discovery Fit & Health Thursday Sept. 18 at 10PM
The one-hour premiere special is a comprehensive look into the history, containment, and medical implications of this highly infectious disease.

[09/16/14 - 12:04 PM]
Adult Swim Ranks #1 Among Basic Cable Networks for Total Day Delivery of Adults 18-24 & 18-34 for the Second Week Of September
Turner spins the numbers for the week of September 8-14.

[09/16/14 - 10:45 AM]
Bears-49ers on NBC's "Sunday Night Football" Is NFL's Most-Watched West Coast Sunday Primetime Game Ever
NBC further spins the numbers for Sunday, September 14.

[09/16/14 - 10:31 AM]
Famed Wire Walker Nik Wallenda to Attempt His Most Challenging Tightrope Walk Yet Over the Chicago Skyline Untethered
"Skyscraper Live with Nik Wallenda" will air live around the world in over 220 countries beginning at 7 PM ET/4 PM PT, Sunday, November 2 on the Discovery Channel.

[09/16/14 - 10:18 AM]
Spike TV Travels the Infamous Silk Road to Develop New Drama, "Deep Web," From Tony Krantz and Gary Oldman's Flying Studio Pictures
The project is the incredible saga of an ambitious computer aficionado in Silicon Valley who, with the help of his friends, evolves into an internet underworld crime boss fueled by a web portal where one can buy anything - from a kidney to cocaine to a rocket-launcher.