[07/21/09 - 05:27 PM]
Cable Networks Lock in Fall Premiere Dates for Tca
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- With the cable networks gearing up for the TCA Summer Press Tour next week, premiere dates and other programming plans are starting to get locked in for the fall season.

Here's a breakdown of the latest developments:

-- BBC America: October marks the stateside premiere of "Occupation," a mini-series which "traces the personal journeys of three friends from the same British Army regiment" (James Nesbitt, Stephen Graham and Warren Brown) in Iraq circa March 2003. Nick Murphy helmed the three-part project from a script by Peter Bowker. Also due this fall (exact date to be announced) is Iain Morris and Damon Beesley's comedy "The InBetweeners" which "offers a painfully funny take on the squirming humiliations of teenage life."

-- Comcast Entertainment Group: G4 will roll out "2 Months, $2 Million" on Sunday, August 16 at 9:00/8:00c. The series features "four friends, 20-something whiz-kids turned professional poker players, who set up shop in Las Vegas where they share a mansion, and challenge themselves to collectively earn $2 million in only two months playing online poker using their own money." Meanwhile, E! Entertainment Television will bow the tentatively titled "The Lamas Family" this fall (exact date to be announced). The series features Shayne Lamas, her siblings A.J. and Dakota; Shayne and A.J.'s father Lorenzo Lamas; and Lorenzo's ex-wife and mom to all three siblings Michele Smith.

-- Discovery Communications: TLC will launch "Masters of Reception," a new reality series about the Frungillo family as they run their wedding empire in New Jersey, on Tuesday, August 18. Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos are executive producing the project, the pilot of which aired last month. Over on Animal Planet, the network sibling will bow newcomer "Superfetch" on Saturday, October 3. The series, formerly known as "Fetch Me a Beer," stars pet trainer and YouTube sensation Zak George, who "can teach anyone how to teach any pet how to perform any trick." That same night, Science Channel will roll out its new game show "Head Games." Greg Proops hosts the Whoopi Goldberg-produced series, in which "contestants bet the bank that they know the answers to some of science's craziest riddles." And finally, Investigation Discovery will debut the newsmagazine "On the Case with Paula Zahn" on Sunday, October 18.

-- HBO: "Curb Your Enthusiasm" will end its nearly two-year hiatus on Sunday, September 20 with its seventh season launch at 9:00/8:00c. Leading out of the Larry David-led half-hour at 9:30/8:30c will be the premiere of newcomer "Bored to Death." Jason Schwartzman stars as "a Brooklyn writer with a drinking problem who pretends to be a private detective, lists his services on Craigslist, and starts taking actual cases." Jonathan Ames created the comedy, which co-stars Ted Danson and Zach Galifianakis. Also on tap in November is the Edward Norton-produced documentary "By the People: The Election of Barack Obama" as well as the stand-up special "Robin Williams: Weapons of Self-Destruction" in December.

-- History: Matt Damon is behind "The People Speak," a two-hour special at the cable channel in which actors recreate the experiences of ordinary Americans who helped change the course of history. Josh Brolin, Marisa Tomei, Viggo Mortensen, David Strathairn, Don Cheadle, Jasmine Guy, John Legend, Q'orianka Kilcher, Michael Ealy, Kerry Washington, Danny Glover and Damon himself are among the featured performers with Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder, Allison Moorer and John Legend offering up musical performances. Damon is executive producing alongside Chris Moore and Howard Zinn. No specific premiere date was given other than it's due this fall.

-- Rainbow Media Holdings: Sundance Channel will launch "Man Shops Globe" on Wednesday, October 7. The eight-part series tracks Keith Johnson, "the buyer-at-large for the innovative specialty retailer Anthropologie, as he travels to new countries in search of fantastic and unusual decorative objects, furniture, and textiles, as well as artists and craftspeople." Sibling WE tv then will bow "Adoption Diaries" on Saturday, September 12. The docusoap follows Jennifer Bliss her team at the Independent Adoption Center as they help prospective parents through the open adoption process.

-- TV One: November marks the return of "Unsung" with four new installments. The series "celebrates the lives and careers of successful artists or groups who, despite great talent, over the years have been under-recognized or under-appreciated." Also on tap is "Washington Watch with Roland Martin," a new weekly public affairs series featuring the CNN mainstay, on Saturday, September 26; and "Life After" (exact date to be announced), a behind-the-scenes look at "how certain celebrities and well-known people have dealt with major turning points in their lives."

-- Viacom: Ventriloquist/comedian Jeff Dunham returns to Comedy Central with a new variety series on Thursday, October 22.* The untitled half-hour comes on the heels of his record breaking special "Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special" from last year, which drew 6.6 million viewers. Over on BET, the cable channel will launch "The Mo'Nique Show," a new nightly talk/variety show hosted by the actress/comedienne, on Monday, October 5. Meanwhile, Grammy Award winner Monica will topline her own self-titled reality series on the network starting Tuesday, October 27.

* denotes the date was revised on Monday, July 27

  [july 2009]  

· 2M2MM (G4)

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