Bosses at U.S. network Fox have brought down the axe on several new shows, including Dads, Enlisted and Surviving Jack. The cull came on Wednesday (07May14) when it was confirmed none of the programmes will get a second season.
Seth MacFarlane's Dads had been much maligned by viewers and critics alike following its debut last September (13), while Surviving Jack, starring Christopher Meloni as a no-nonsense dad, also failed to prove a hit. Enlisted, about three soldier brothers posted at the same base, received critical acclaim when it aired in January (14) but failed to register impressive viewing figures.
Creator Kevin Biegel took to Twitter.com to break the news to fans, writing, "Well guys, we fought as hard as we could - all of us - but #Enlisted isn't going forward at Fox. Thank you from all of us for your support."
Fox already settled on its drama lineup for the 2013-2014 season, and now the network has ordered a crop of new comedy series. Four new half-hour sitcoms are joining New Girl, The Mindy Project, Raising Hope, and the already picked-up Dads.
The new shows include Seth MacFarlane's Dads, Britcom remake Us & Them, the Christopher Meloni-starring Surviving Jack, the Andy Samberg-starring Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and the military-themed Enlisted. Which one sounds like your new favorite? Here's a quick overview of the new shows. Share your initial thoughts in the comments.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Comedy nerds, you're gonna like this one for several reasons. First, it comes from the producers behind Parks and Recreation, Dan Goor and Michael Schur. Second, it stars the always hilarious Andy Samberg and the incredibly nice (but also super intimidating) Andre Braugher. Third, the premise is inherently funny: the two men play a smartass detective and uptight boss in a remote New York City precinct full of screw-ups. Hijinks will most definitely ensue.
Dads This live-action sitcom from Seth MacFarlane was ordered straight to series and stars Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi as two BFFs whose annoying dads move in with them.
Enlisted A Type-A military man (Geoff Stults) moves to the small Florida Army base where his dimwitted and under-achieving brothers serve alongside a troop of misfits. The show comes from s co-creator Kevin Biegel.
Surviving Jack Law & Order: SVU vet Christopher Meloni shows off his hilarious side (which you already know about if you've seen him in one of his many memorable comedic turns — Wet Hot American Summer, etc.) in this father-son comedy based on Justin Halpern's semi-autographical book I Suck at Girls.
Us & Them Yes, it's another British remake (insert groan here), this time of the popular short-lived comedy Gavin and Stacey. Just as in the original version, the comedy follows a new couple (played here by Gilmore Girl Alexis Bledel and Jason Ritter, who just romanced Bledel's onscreen mom, Lauren Graham, on Parenthood) and their outrageous BFFs.
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When Cougar Town was booted from ABC and moved to basic cable, we wept. When the sitcom bade farewell to showrunners Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel, we sobbed. And when we realized that it would be up against Robot Combat League, we bawled openly. But our fair underdog has proven itself resilient: Cougar Town has cranked out a gem of a fourth season, and is now officially slated to give us a fifth!
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TBS has announced that the Courteney Cox-com will officially be returning for a Season 5, set to air in 2014. The series, which focuses on the daily expositions of hedonism from divorced real estate agent Jules Cobb (Cox) and her friends and family members in her Florida residence, is presently gearing up to close its fourth season, which will broadcast its finale on Apr. 9.
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In Season 4, we've seen Jules adjust to her second marriage to bartender and neighbor Grayson (Josh Hopkins), and Jules' son Travis earn the affection of his longtime unrequited love Laurie (Busy Phillips). Season 5 can only expand the Cougar Town universe, introducing more storylines for the likes of stars Christa Miller, Ian Gomez, and scene-stealer Brian Van Holt.
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[Photo Credit: TBS]
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After being fabled in urban lore for years, the Season of the Showrunner Switcheroo has finally come to be. Ever since the network upfronts announced which series would be returning for the upcoming television season, the public has heard news of several shows dropping their existing showrunners and bringing in new ones. The latest in the trend is Last Man Standing, the Tim Allen sitcom that just concluded its first season on ABC. EW reports that original showrunner Kevin Abbott is leaving his post to take the lead on the new ABC program Malibu Country, starring Reba McEntire. Tim Doyle (who has served as EP on The Big Bang Theory and Rules of Engagement) will be assuming control of Last Man Standing.
The news might have been more jarring if the world wasn't quickly becoming desensitized to the idea of showrunner swapping. Recently, the HBO hit True Blood (which aired its Season 5 premiere on Sunday) announced that creator and showrunner Alan Ball would be stepping down, and the series executive producer Mark Hudis would be taking charge for the developing sixth season. You can read more about this here.
The Showtime dramedy Nurse Jackie nabbed former Dexter writer/showrunner Clyde Phillips to lead. Former series heads Liz Brixius and Linda Wallem dropped out of production in light of Nurse Jackie's relocation to New York. You can read more about this here.
Prior to this, it was announced that Cougar Town, which is moving from ABC to TBS, would be giving creative control to Ric Swartzlander. Original showrunners/creators Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel will remain attached as executive producers — they and the cast have expressed a positive attitude about the change-up. You can read more about this here.
Back in March, Paul Lieberstein, The Office's showrunner and onscreen sad sack (better known as Toby Flenderson), announced that he would be giving up his top dog position in order to head The Office's developing Dwight Schrute-centric spinoff, The Farm. No word yet on who will take Lieberstein's spot as showrunner. You can read more about this here.
The freshman comedy Whitney didn't quite earn its keep during its first year on NBC, but the network is bent on finding the magic it believes to be inherent in its star's television presence. Whitney has hired Friends vet Wil Calhoun to take over; previous showrunner Betsy Thomas will remain EP status. You can read more about this here.
But the greatest deal of outrage has come in response to the replacement of Dan Harmon as showrunner on his cult phenomenon, NBC's Community. Harmon was removed by the network from his position and granted an executive producer credit; outside writers David Guarascio and Moses Port were brought on to head the series. You can read more about this here, but try not to get too depressed.
[Image Credit: ABC]
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Why, why can't fans just have their cake and eat it, too? Or in this case, have their giant goblet of wine and drink it, too? It was announced that the ABC comedy Cougar Town would be moving to TBS with an order of two seasons. And now for the bad news: the series' creator Bill Lawrence might be stepping down from his position as showrunner. Co-creator Kevin Biegel is also reportedly leaving.
Vulture initially reported the information based on an interview with Cougar Town star and producer Courteney Cox, with THR reporting that Lawrence and Biegel will maintain attachment to the show as executive producers. Hollywood.com has reached out to TBS for comment.
Lawrence imbues Cougar Town with the same wily sense of humor, humanistic spirit, and insistence on not taking itself too seriously that brought so much charm to his previous television hit, Scrubs. As strong an ensemble as Cougar Town's starring cast is, the show won't be the same without Lawrence at the wheel.
This news follows the recent rumors that Dan Harmon might be exiting Community as showrunner for its upcoming fourth season. Cougar Town and Community have traded complimentary nods to one another over the course of their runs (most notably here and here). Unless Lawrence and Harmon are teaming up to create some kind of secret super series, fans should hope that they will both stay exactly where they are.
[Image Credit: ABC]
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The third series of the star's hit comedy premiered in the U.S. last month (14Feb12), and the actress pledged bottles of wine to 50 fans who promised to stay in to watch it, but viewers have been deserting the programme in their droves.
Cox and co-creator Kevin Biegel are now appealing for fans to spread the word about the new season, with both taking to their Twitter.com pages in a bid to bump ratings.
In a series of posts on Twitter, Biegel writes, "Well my friends, if Cougar Town ratings gonna go up it's gotta start now. Here what I'll obnoxiously ask of superfans during this last push. Send an email to everyone you know and don't know saying the show is on Tuesday, 8.30, ABC. It's not about cougars blah blah terrible title.
"Tell them you're trying to help keep something you like alive. Now I know it's annoying; hell, the writers and cast have been doing (it) too and it makes you feel pushy/weird... Put up a sign in your window/ your lawn/ your car/ fliers (sic) on lamp posts and buildings. If this seems crazy/desperate it is crazy/desperate...
"We need any/all help gettin (sic) word out. We love (the) show but are convinced people still don't know it's on. My neighbour didn't even know the show was back on. I think spammin (sic) people on Twitter helps to (a) degree, but it's time to go beyond here in any form possible. Of (if) we go down, we go down swinging."
Cox adds, "Hey guys, read KBiegel's last few posts for fan effort to help Cougar Town."
Thankfully, I'm not the only one who thinks Cougar Town is one of the worst names for a television show, ever. I'm also not the only one who refused to get on board when it hit the TV waves, because it sounded like a show about an exorbitant amount of sexed up 40-somethings trolling the town in inappropriately small -- and probably glitter-covered -- halter tops in hopes of scoring hot young men. The show, however is nothing like that and fans and creators alike have been calling for a name change since the show proved its worth.
This journey towards a potential name-change has been going on for a year, but to no avail. The show of course, mocks its own silly title, but never actually took the risk of legitimately renaming itself. Creator Bill Lawrence (he was also behind Scrubs and Spin City), however, seems to have had enough. He recently tweeted his plan to switch the name for the next season if co-creator, Kevin Biegel, is "cool w it." The creators seem to have the support of actors Busy Phillips and Christa Miller (as evidenced on Twitter), and of course a few fans.
It is, however, a very risky move. How would viewers recognize it? ABC would have to do some serious leg work promoting the show's new title to make sure viewers weren't confused or unaware of the change. Granted, fans of the show tend to be very dedicated, so it probably wouldn't turn out badly. Plus, if it works, there's the added benefit of gaining viewers who were alienated by the original title. I can tell you what, my parents are a hell of a lot more likely to schedule in something like "C-Town" or "Friends With Beverages" (which are some fan-suggested titles) than they are for something called Cougar Town. Apparently, some fans were upset by all this name change talk, but Lawrence has got the research to back that exact theory up. Ratings are down (2.0 share on average) and research shows that people aren't tuning in in large part thanks to...(drumroll) THE NAME. Lawrence also remarked on Twitter that cancellation is likely if ratings don't improve, so if you ask me, a name change at this point is probably a risk worth taking. When your ratings are that low, you've really got nothing to lose.
Source: TV Squad, Twitter
Prior to becoming a TV writer, Biegel wrote about movies for the website, Ain't It Cool News.
He was an assistant for director Peter Farrelly on "Me, Myself & Irene."
Biegel worked as a writer's assistant on "The Tracy Morgan Show."
"Scrubs was the best and most satisfying thing I’ve done because in the show, there is a dramatic backdrop and there is heavy stuff that happens." -- from www.film-addict.com, Jan. 25, 2014
"Cougar Town" began when Biegel's co-creator Bill Lawrence said in a moment of frustration that he could sell a show called "Cougar Town" starring Courteney Cox to a network in ten minutes, but couldn't get a more challenging show off the ground. Biegel took Lawrence up on the offer, co-creating the series with Cox in the lead role.