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Critic's Notebook: CBS at TCA

Dean Winters, Josh Duhamel

When at first you do succeed: do it again. Imitation, not innovation, was the prevailing takeaway when CBS presented its fall prospects (and one notable midseason contender) at the TCA press tour on Thursday.

Not that the network's entertainment chairman Nina Tassler had any apologies for doubling down on what works — not when a franchise like NCIS (launching its second spinoff in September) can achieve what she called the "creative holy grail" with its global dominance, or when syndication and/or streaming deals with outlets like Hulu, Amazon and WGN add to the bottom line for shows including the acclaimed The Good Wife and Elementary and the sci-fi hits of the last two summers. "These [new] platforms aren't replacing each other. They're complementing one another and enhancing the value of the content as it moves from window to window."

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Battle Creek Team on the Show's Breaking Bad Problem

Dean Winters and Josh Duhamel, Vince Gilligan

CBS is selling its new midseason drama Battle Creek as being the next project from Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan. And while it's not completely untrue, it certainly may give the wrong impression.

Gilligan wrote the script for Battle Creek — which tells the story of Detective Russ Agnew (Dean Winters) and his contentious relationship with FBI AgentMilton Chamberlin (Josh Duhamel) when the duo is forced to work together on a case — and pitched it to CBS 12 years ago. In fact, he admitted during a panel at the Television Critics' Association fall previews that it's been so long since he wrote it that he doesn't even remember how he settled on Battle Creek as the setting and title for the show.

Get more news from CBS' TCA day

Now, however, CBS has dusted off Gilligan's script ... read more

Josh Duhamel Joins Vince Gilligan's Battle Creek

Josh Duhamel

Josh Duhamel has signed on to Battle Creek, the CBS drama from Breaking Bad creatorVince Gilligan and House's David Shore, TVGuide.com has confirmed.

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SVU's Dean Winters Joins CBS's Battle Creek

Dean Winters

Bad news for Bensidy! It looks like Law & Order: SVU'Dean Winters is moving on.

Winters has been cast in a lead role for the anticipated Vince Gilligan-David Shore CBS drama Battle Creek, Deadline.com reports. The project, which was given a straight-to-series 13-episode order, is about the partnership of a detective (Winters) and an FBI agent with very different world views. Winters' character, Detective Russ Agnew, is described as a smart, tough, impatient, and pragmatic guy who gets results but with whom no one wants to partner.

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House Alum Kal Penn Joins Vince Gilligan Drama Battle Creek

Kal Penn

Kal Penn is reuniting with his former House boss David Shore for the new CBS drama Battle Creek, Deadline.com reports.

Battle Creek, which was... read more

The Truth Behind This Year's Whirlwind Network TV Development Season

Tina Fey

This fall's network development frenzy has led to a slew of bigger-than-usual deals with some of the hottest names in TV. But that doesn't mean all of these projects will actually get made.

The price tag for hot pitches has escalated thanks to the emergence of new competitors with hefty wallets, such as Netflix, plus cable networks (including WGN America, Discovery Channel and E!) spending heavily to get into the scripted business.

"It's amazing how... read more

CBS Orders Detective Drama from Breaking Bad and House Creators

Vince Gilligan, David Shore

CBS has given a series order to a detective drama from Breaking Badcreator Vince Gilligan and House creator David ShoreDeadline reports. Battle Creek will debut with 13 episodes in the 2014-2015 TV season.

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The Complete Pilot Report: The CW Has a Vampire Diaries Spin-Off and Tomorrow People

Joseph Morgan, Aimee Teegarden

The fall TV season is taking shape. Networks have ordered dozens of new pilots starring familiar faces like Lost's Josh Holloway, Andy Samberg, The Office's Ellie Kemper and Malin Akerman (Watchmen), and from proven producers like J.J. Abrams, Arrow's Greg Berlanti, David Shore (House) and Joss Whedon.

To keep track of who's doing what, read our complete list of all the series projects in contention — there are nearly 100! — and check back for updates on their status. Here are The CW's pilots: (Click here for ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC.) read more

The Complete Pilot Report: Fox Has Andy Samberg, Greg Kinnear and J.J. Abrams

Greg Kinnear, Andy Samberg

The fall TV season is taking shape. Networks have ordered dozens of new pilots starring familiar faces like Lost's Josh Holloway, Andy Samberg, The Office's Ellie Kemper and Malin Akerman (Watchmen), and from proven producers like J.J. Abrams, Arrow's Greg Berlanti, David Shore (House) and Joss Whedon.

To keep track of who's doing what, read our complete list of all the series projects in contention — there are nearly 100! — and check back for updates on their status. Here are the Fox pilots: (Click here for ABC, CBS, CW and NBC.) read more

The Complete Pilot Report: NBC Has Hatfields, About a Boy and Sean Hayes

Charlize Theron, David Walton

The fall TV season is taking shape. Networks have ordered dozens of new pilots starring familiar faces like Lost's Josh Holloway, Andy Samberg, The Office's Ellie Kemper and Malin Akerman (Watchmen), and from proven producers like J.J. Abrams, Arrow's Greg Berlanti, David Shore (House) and Joss Whedon.

To keep track of who's doing what, read our complete list of all the series projects in contention — there are nearly 100! — and check back for updates on their status. Here are the NBC pilots: (Click here for ABC, CBS, CW and Fox.) read more

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