Going through Downton Abbey withdrawal? Unfortunately, Mister Bates, the Dowager Countess and O'Brien won't be back for a third season on PBS until next January, but ABC hopes you'll bide that time by tuning in this spring to Titanic, the next project from Downton creator Julian Fellowes.
Like Downton, Fellowes' take on the Titanic will focus on...
Has Springfield finally had enough of the Simpsons clan? On the long-running animated series' 500th episode (titled "At Long Last Leave," airing Sunday at 8/7c on Fox), Homer and family discover that they weren't invited to a secret town meeting. "The point is to kick them out of town for all the crap they've pulled over the last 500 episodes," says Simpsons executive producer Al Jean. "We explore their emotions as they find out that everyone hates them."
TV has always been a crap shoot, and the odds of landing a series on the air are long. But don't bet against writer and producer Greg Berlanti, who has managed to land a whopping five pilot orders this winter — including two at CBS and one each at Fox, The CW and USA.
Berlanti, whose previous credits include Brothers & Sisters and Everwood, leads the list of this year's hot pilot producers. "The real work of casting and putting together great production teams is still to come...
A Gifted Man, which moves to its new 9 p.m. time slot on Friday, February 17, could use a bit of divine intervention. CBS still sees potential in the medical drama, which stars Patrick Wilson as a doctor haunted by the ghost of his ex-wife, but the show remains firmly on the bubble. Executive producer Neal Baer is no stranger to medical drama, both on screen and in real life. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Baer used to practice medicine between seasons as a writer on ER. Later, he made the transition to Law & Order: SVU, which he ran for 11 seasons. Now, as the creator of A Gifted Man, Baer has made several tweaks to the show in recent months, putting the focus on the show's medical setting (where Wilson's character is assisted by critics' fave Margo Martindale) and bringing in both Rachelle Lefevre as a love interest and ER alum Eriq La Salle as an old colleague. Baer answered our showrunner survey in the hopes that Man will be gifted with more viewers.
TV Guide Magazine: Friday night is usually date night. Why should I stay home and watch A Gifted Man instead?
Neal Baer: We're a cheaper date than
Machines of Glory
Discovery Channel is heading to the construction site for its next testosterone-fueled series. The cable network just picked up Machines of Glory, a new competition show that pits three crews of machine operators against each other in a series of hardhat battles.
No executive producer has worked harder than Bill Lawrence to drum up an audience for a show on the bubble.
House, Charlyne Yi and Hugh Laurie
The decision to end House after eight seasons wasn't easy — and, it turns out, didn't necessarily have to come at all this year.
According to insiders, star Hugh Laurie and his fellow executive producers David Shore and Katie Jacobs were eager to bring the long-running Fox drama back for one more year, despite conventional wisdom that everyone was ready to move on. One exec believes that Laurie, one of the highest-paid actors on TV (he makes $700,000 an episode), was even prepared to take a pay cut in order to return.
Hulu is gearing up for battle. The online TV service launches its first original scripted series, Battleground, on Tuesday, February 14, and will continue to roll out new episodes every Tuesday over the next several weeks. The show, created by JD Walsh, takes a comedic faux documentary-style look at a group of campaign workers in the battleground state of Wisconsin. Jay Hayden stars as Chris "Tak" Davis, the manager of a distant third-place Senate candidate, while Ben Samuel, Teri Reeves and Alison Haislip also star. Hulu has produced 13 episodes of the 22-minute comedy, which also comes from executive producers Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer, The Amazing Spiderman) and Hagai Shaham. Walsh and Webb answered TV Guide Magazine's showrunner survey in the hopes of earning your viewership vote.
The cast of Austin & Ally
Move over, Macarena. Disney Channel is hoping to start a new dance craze timed to "Platypus Day," a holiday created by the cable network to celebrate Perry the Platypus, the teal-colored, duck-billed secret agent from Phineas and Ferb.
This year's Platypus Day, which takes place on Saturday, March 3, will feature the introduction of "The Platypus Walk," a surf-rock tune that comes with an accompanying dance choreographed by Rosero McCoy (Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam). The song will debut today on Radio Disney, and Disney Channel's website will include a tutorial to the dance.