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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

Better Call Saul Scoop: Meet Saul's Brother and More!

Bob Odenkirk

How do you solve a problem like Saul Goodman? According to Better Call Saul showrunner Peter Gould, the question should be, "What problem does being Saul Goodman solve?"
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AMC Renews Better Call Saul for Season 2 Ahead of Series Premiere

Bob Odenkirk, Peter Gould and Vince Gilligan

How's this for a vote of confidence? AMC announced Thursday that it has already ordered a 13-episode second season of Better Call Saul.

The Breaking Bad spin-off starring Bob Odenkirk's slimy lawyer Saul Goodman was slated to debut in November, but will now be pushed back... read more

Vince Gilligan Worries Better Call Saul Might Be a Mistake

Bob Odenkirk

This does not bode well for the Breaking Bad spin-off.

With Better Call Saul's production almost two weeks behind schedule, creator Vince Gilligan is already starting to express concern about the prequel series.

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CBS Orders Odd Couple, NCIS Spin-Off, Kevin Williamson Drama and More

Matthew Perry

CBS has given series orders to NCIS: New Orleans, the Kevin Williamson drama Stalker, CSI: Cyber, Madam Secretary and Scorpion, as well as comedies The Odd Couple and The McCarthys, TVGuide.com has learned. They join the previously ordered to series Battle Creek, from Breaking Bad's Vince Gilligan. The fate of... read more

Scandal's Jeff Perry: Cyrus Can't Let This Death Be in Vain

Jeff Perry, Dan Bucatinsky

[Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Thursday's episode of Scandal. Read at your own risk!]

Scandal lost one of its own on Thursday in one of the most shocking scenes of the season. After Jake (Scott Foley), as the new head of B613, killed the two women connected to White House mole Publius, James... read more

Ask Matt: The Walking Dead, Idol, Glee, True Detective, Breaking Bad Spinoff

Norman Reedus and Emily Kinney

Send questions and comments to askmatt@tvguidemagazine.com and follow me on Twitter!

Question: I am so disappointed in The Walking Dead. I cannot believe that they have indicated that there is an interest on the part of Daryl towards Beth. That is just ick. She is 17 and while I don't know what his age is supposed to be, I've always assumed his character is at least mid 30s. Let me repeat, ick! And it's not as if she is a mature 17-year-old, her character comes across as a complete child to me with just as much growing needed as Carl. In fact, Carl seems more mature to me at times. Why would the writers go there? All I can think is how perverted it is for Daryl to express an interest in a 17-year-old girl, and a character that I once loved is now bordering along the lines of a pedophile. My sister is so upset she thinks she might fast-forward over any story lines that involve Daryl. I know this is a TV show, but all I could think of was people's horrified reaction when Miley Cyrus twerked on Robin Thicke. Where is that horror now? On the upside, I've been reading your column for years and have always greatly enjoyed your thoughts and opinions even when they have differed from my own. Thanks for allowing me to vent. — KC

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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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