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18 items from 2016


Comedy’s Comeback: Networks Push Boundaries With Bold New Half-Hours

30 August 2016 10:00 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

To students of television comedy, “Community” star Joel McHale is making a big transition this year.

The leading man of the most unconventional, unrelentingly meta sitcom ever to air on broadcast is moving to CBS for a multi-camera show, “The Great Indoors,” which pokes fun at the pop culture punchline of the moment: those wacky millennials. McHale plays a maverick photojournalist who is brought in from the field to rescue a magazine overrun by young staffers.

Across the dial, from broadcast to cable to streaming heavyweights, the number of comedy series is rising as networks seek a counterweight to the explosive growth of original dramas during the past five years. The expansion has opened up the playing field for traditional three-camera sitcoms as well as more esoteric single-camera fare.

Art Streiber for Variety

To McHale, the significance, in creative terms, of the single-camera vs. multi-camera format has been wildly overstated at a time when the boundaries of »

- Cynthia Littleton

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Matt LeBlanc’s ‘Man With a Plan’ Adds Kevin Nealon

2 August 2016 11:24 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

CBS’ freshman comedy “Man With a Plan” has cast Kevin Nealon as a series regular alongside star Matt LeBlanc, Variety has learned.

Nealon will play Don, older brother to LeBlanc’s Adam, and his business partner in their contracting business. The show recently recast the role of Adam’s wife, Andi, tapping Liza Snyder to replace Jenna Fischer, who exited the show after it was picked up to series.

Nealon’s notable television credits include “Saturday Night Live” and “Weeds.” His feature credits include “Anger Management,” “The Wedding Singer,” “Happy Gilmore” and “Daddy Day Care.”

Man With a Plan” hails from CBS Television StudiosJackie Filgo, Jeff Filgo, Michael Rotenberg, Troy Zien and LeBlanc will serve as executive producers. The series premieres Monday, Oct.  24 at 8:30 p.m. on CBS.

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- Laura Prudom

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‘Man With a Plan’: Liza Snyder to Replace Jenna Fischer in Matt LeBlanc CBS Comedy

1 August 2016 12:05 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

The “Man with a Plan” has a new wife. Liza Snyder has replaced Jenna Fischer in CBS’ upcoming Matt LeBlanc multi-cam about a man who takes over his wife’s parenting duties after she returns to work.

Snyder will play Andi, the self-assured wife who rejoins America’s working stiffs after 13 years as a medical lab technician. Fischer originally booked the role, but “The Office” star exited the series shortly after it was picked up to series at CBS, just before the network’s upfront presentation on May 18.

Snyder was previously a regular on CBS’ “Yes, Dear” and had guest appearances on Fox’s “House” and “Raising Hope.”

In the fall comedy, LeBlanc plays Adam, a contractor whose gruffness doesn’t necessarily mesh well with the responsibilities he’s opted to shoulder. Adam and Andi have three children, a number that can occasionally overwhelm even the most committed and experienced parent, so »

- Oriana Schwindt

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Showrunners for New TV Season Remain Mostly White and Male

8 June 2016 10:05 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Despite the success of series like “Black-ish,” “Empire,” and “Fresh Off the Boat,” the broadcast networks’ push for diversity hit a stumbling block with the rollout of the new fall lineup. A Variety investigation into new scripted shows for the 2016-17 season reveals that 90% of showrunners are white, and almost 80% are male.

This is based on information provided by the five broadcast networks, which gave Variety the names of the showrunners of their new scripted programs (a total of 50 across 38 new series). Variety independently confirmed the race and gender of each, via multiple sources. All names and data used for this story is available below. (Showrunner designations were not yet available for four series — two at NBC and two at ABC — and information on those programs was not included in the statistical analysis of the new season.)

Showrunners not only determine the creative direction of their programs; they also oversee the hiring, »

- Maureen Ryan

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Watch ‘Star Trek’ Revival’s First Teaser and More CBS Trailers

18 May 2016 2:37 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

CBS has released the trailers for the new shows debuting during the network’s 2016-17 season, including the upcoming revival of “Star Trek.” The first look teaser for the sci-fi series had no footage, but promised “new crews, new villains, new heroes, new worlds.”

Though the logo simply says “Star Trek,” Variety has learned that the series will have a more specific title to be unveiled at a later date. Later installments in the “Star Trek” television franchise had titles that differentiated them from the original series — “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “Star Trek: Voyager,” and “Star Trek: Enterprise.”

CBS also unveiled promos for the remakes of “MacGyver” and “Training Day,” and new comedies starring Kevin James and Matt LeBlanc, among others.

Check out the videos for the new series below.

Star Trek

Fall Dramas:

MacGyver,” a reimagining of the classic series, is an action-adventure »

- Laura Prudom

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Man with a Plan: Jenna Fischer Exits Matt LeBlanc's CBS Comedy Series

14 May 2016 8:00 PM, PDT | TVSeriesFinale.com | See recent TVSeriesFinale news »

Per Deadline, Jenna Fischer has left Matt LeBlanc's Man with a Plan TV show at CBS. The sitcom was formerly known as I'm Not Your Friend. In the series, LeBlanc plays a contractor whose wife returns to the workforce. Once he must spend more times with his kids, CBS says, "[he] discovers the truth every parent eventually realizes: his little angels are maniacs."

That ’70s Show‘s Jeff and Jackie Filgo wrote Man with a Plan on spec, while developing two other shows. When Matt LeBlanc boarded the pilot so did the highly acclaimed James Burrows, who directed the pilot. The Office alumna had been cast as the female lead, opposite LeBlanc. Her role will be recast.

Read More… »

- TVSeriesFinale.com

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CBS Orders MacGyver, Training Day, Michael Weatherly's Bull, Plus Sitcoms Starring Matt LeBlanc and Joel McHale

13 May 2016 10:30 AM, PDT | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

CBS is enlisting MacGyver to help fortify its 2016-2017 schedule.

The much-hyped reboot was one of four dramas the Eye network ordered to series on Friday, joining Jerry Bruckheimer’s Training Day remake, the Michael Weatherly-fronted Bull, and Jason Katims’ medical entry Pure Genius (fka Bunker Hill).

On the comedy side, CBS has Ok’d Joel McHale’s workplace sitcom The Great Indoors and Matt LeBlanc’s family satire Man With a Plan (fka I’m Not Your Friend). Speaking of the latter, The Office‘s Jenna Fischer — who was set to play LeBlanc’s wife — has exited the project for creative reasons. »

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CBS Greenlights Matt LeBlanc and Joel McHale Comedies, ‘MacGyver’ and ‘Training Day’ Reboots, More Series

13 May 2016 10:30 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

CBS has greenlit a slew of series for the 2016-2017 season.

In the comedy department, the network has ordered projects starring Matt LeBlanc and Joel McHale. As for dramas, CBS will be rebooting “Training Day,” “MacGyver,” plus has picked up a medical drama from Jason Katims and a new show starring “NCIS” star Michael Weatherly.

Training Day” is based on the 2001 movie that starred Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke. The series revival stars Bill Paxton and newcomer Justin Cornwell. A crime thriller that begins 15 years after the events of the feature film left, the show is about an idealistic young police officer (Cornwell) who is appointed to an elite squad of the Lapd where he is partnered with a seasoned, morally ambiguous detective (Paxton). Drew Van Acker, Katrina Law, Lex Scott Davis and Julie Benz star alongside Paxton and Cornwell.

The drama will be exec produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, Antoine Fuqua, »

- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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Jenna Fischer to Play Matt LeBlanc's Wife in CBS Family Comedy Pilot

7 March 2016 11:15 AM, PST | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

It’s a marriage made in sitcom heaven: The Office‘s Jenna Fischer is set to play Matt LeBlanc‘s wife in the Friends alum’s now-untitled CBS family comedy pilot, TVLine has learned.

RelatedPilot Season ’16: Scoop on This Fall’s (Possible) New Shows, Who’s In Them

Penned by Jeff and Jackie Filgo (That ’70s Show), the multi-camera project stars LeBlanc as Adam, a contractor who learns that raising his kids is more challenging than expected when his wife Andi (Fischer) goes back to work as a medical lab technician. The potential series was originally titled I’m Not Your Friend. »

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Jenna Fischer Cast in CBS Comedy Pilot as Matt LeBlanc’s Wife

7 March 2016 11:15 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Jenna Fischer has been cast in Matt LeBlanc’s CBS comedy pilot, Variety has learned. “The Office” alum will play the “Friends” star’s on-screen wife.

Fischer’s character is Andi, the wife of Adam (LeBlanc), who decides she wants to go back to her job as a medical lab technician, so Adam agrees to take over the parenting chores while she’s at work. The untitled multicam comedy revolves around LeBlanc’s character, a contractor who learns that raising his kids is more challenging than expected when his wife goes back to work.

A popular sitcom star, Fischer courted many comedy offers this pilot season before closing on LeBlanc’s pilot. Her decision likely came as the hot project is a frontrunner for a full series order, as it landed a hefty series commitment, meaning LeBlanc will receive a large penalty if it doesn’t go to series.

Matt Cook »

- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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Matt Cook Joins CBS’ LeBlanc Filgos Project

4 March 2016 6:02 PM, PST | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

Matt Cook (Clipped, The Comeback) and Grace Kaufman (Bubble Guppies, Clarence) have joined the cast of CBS comedy pilot the Untitled LeBlanc Filgos Project, written by Jeff and Jackie Filgo. The project stars Matt LeBlanc as a contractor who learns that raising his kids is more challenging than expected when his wife goes back to work. Cook will play Lowell, a sweet, offbeat intellectual dad at Adam’s (LeBlanc) school who is drawn to his “alpha male” vibe. Kaufman will… »

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Matt LeBlanc sitcom I’m Not Your Friend gets pilot order and series commitment

11 February 2016 2:30 AM, PST | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Following hot on the heels of the announcement that Matt LeBlanc has joined the BBC’s revamped Top Gear as a present, the former Friends star has now landed himself another project at CBS.

Entertainment Weekly is reporting that the network has given a pilot order and series commitment to I’m Not Your Friend, which will see LeBlanc as a contractor who discovers that raising kids is more challenging than he thought after his wife goes back to work.

The multi-cam sitcom has been created by Jeff and Jackie Filgo (That ’70s Show), who will executive produce alongside LeBlanc and Michael Rotenberg (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia).

»

- Gary Collinson

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I'm Not Your Friend: Matt LeBlanc to Star in CBS Pilot Directed by Burrows

9 February 2016 2:52 PM, PST | TVSeriesFinale.com | See recent TVSeriesFinale news »

But will you be there for me? Matt LeBlanc is set to star in the CBS comedy TV show pilot, I'm Not Your Friend, directed by James Burrows. All the Friends cast reunion stories of the last month or so have come out of NBC's tribute to the acclaimed sitcom director, in which the casts of many beloved shows reunite to pay tribute to this star from the other side of the camera.

That '70s Show's Jeff and Jackie Filgo reportedly wrote I'm Not Your Friend on spec, while developing two other comedies. When Matt LeBlanc got involved, so did Burrows. In this new pilot, LeBlanc's character learns the day-to-day of parenting when his wife returns to the workforce.

Read More… »

- TVSeriesFinale.com

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TV News: Survivor, Frequency, Friend, Wife

9 February 2016 3:33 AM, PST | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Designated Survivor

Adan Canto ("The Following," "X-Men: Days Of Future Past") will co-star opposite Kiefer Sutherland in ABC's straight-to-series conspiracy thriller "Designated Survivor". Maggie Q, Kal Penn, Natascha McElhone and Italia Ricci also star while Paul McGuigan is helming the pilot from a script by David Guggenheim.

Sutherland plays a lower level U.S. Cabinet member who is suddenly appointed President after a catastrophic attack during the State of the Union kills everyone above him in the Presidential line of succession. Canto will play his aggressive deputy Chief of Staff who advises Sutherland after the attack. [Source: Deadline]

Frequency

Riley Smith ("True Detective," "Nashville") has scored the male lead role in The CW's "Frequency," the TV series reboot of Toby Emmerich's 2000 sci-fi thriller which starred Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel. Smith will take on the Quaid role in the series.

The new take follows Raimy, a female police detective in 2016 who »

- Garth Franklin

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Matt LeBlanc to Headline CBS Comedy Pilot I'm Not Your Friend

8 February 2016 7:49 PM, PST | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

Matt LeBlanc has a message: I’m Not Your Friend.

Or at least the Friends alum will headline a CBS comedy pilot by that name, TVLine has confirmed.

RelatedPilot Season ’16: Scoop on This Fall’s (Possible) New Shows, Who’s In Them

Penned by Jeff and Jackie Filgo (That ’70s Show), the multi-camera project stars LeBlanc as a contractor who learns that raising his kids is more challenging than expected when his wife goes back to work.

As for what the deal means for LeBlanc’s Episodes: Just last month, Showtime programming chief Gary Levine allowed that it »

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Matt LeBlanc to Star in Comedy Pilot for CBS

8 February 2016 7:34 PM, PST | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

“Friends” alum Matt LeBlanc is returning to network TV with a pilot that CBS has picked up. The network ordered the pilot for the multi-camera family comedy “I’m Not Your Friend” with a series commitment. The show is from writers and “That ’70s Show” alums Jeff and Jackie Filgo, who will executive produce along with LeBlanc and Michael Rotenberg. Also Read: 'Friends' Cast Reunites, Bonds With 'Big Bang Theory' Stars (Photo) The CBS production is being billed as a family comedy in which a contractor must raise his children when his wife returns to work. LeBlanc, who currently stars in Showtime’s “Episodes, »

- Joshua Rich

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Matt LeBlanc to Star In CBS Comedy Pilot with Series Commitment

8 February 2016 7:16 PM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Matt LeBlanc might join former “Friend” Matthew Perry on CBS. Variety has learned that the network has given a pilot order to multi-camera comedy “I’m Not Your Friend,” offering LeBlanc a series commitment for the project — meaning the sought-after actor will be paid a hefty penalty if the project doesn’t go to series.

LeBlanc will star as a contractor who learns that raising his kids is more challenging than expected when his wife goes back to work.

The pilot hails from CBS Television Studios. LeBlanc will serve as executive producer along with Michael Rotenberg and husband and wife writing team Jeff & Jackie Filgo, who penned the script.

LeBlanc’s former “Friends” co-star Matthew Perry currently stars on CBS’ “The Odd Couple” remake.

LeBlanc is already highly in demand this season — it was recently announced that the actor will join the new iteration of “Top Gear” as host alongside presenter Chris Evans. »

- Laura Prudom

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Matt LeBlanc To Star In Jeff & Jackie Filgo CBS Comedy Pilot, James Burrows To Direct

8 February 2016 7:05 PM, PST | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

Exclusive Updated: This is a monster comedy package that has come together very fast and is looking to become one of the top prospects of Pilot Season 2016. Veteran comedy writers Jeff and Jackie Filgo (That ’70s Show) have been developing two comedy scripts at CBS through CBS TV Studios this season, but they also wrote a third on spec. It was that one that got everyone at CBS TV Studios and sister network buzzing. The script quickly got the attention of Friends alum Matt… »

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18 items from 2016


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