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It’s been 12 years since CBS bought Vince Gilligan’s script for an odd-couple cop drama. Now, with the help of “House” creator David Shore and others, “Battle Creek” will finally make its way to TV this winter as part of the Eye’s midseason lineup.
While this is a lesson on hope for all struggling screenwriters with scripts in turnaround, it’s also one on partnership. Both men — creators in their own right of immensely popular dramas with distinct tones of voice — are exec producing the Sony TV and CBS TV series along with Melissa Bernstein, Erin Gunn, Mark Johnson and pilot director Bryan Singer, but Gilligan is ceding day-to-day showrunning activities to Shore so he can concentrate on AMC’s “Better Call Saul.” At “Battle Creek’s” TCA press panel, the two talked about how that partnership has played out.
“Twelve years ago, I wanted to make this »
- Whitney Friedlander
Vince Gilligan originally write the script for his upcoming CBS drama "Battle Creek" a dozen years ago. So when asked at press tour about the selection of the Michigan town as the setting, Gilligan admitted that he couldn't remember what he did last week, let alone a script he wrote that long ago. In this case, "Battle Creek" co-star Josh Duhamel stepped in to refresh Gilligan's memory, explaining that the "Breaking Bad" creator had been fascinated with the name of the city (which he has never visited) just from seeing it on Kellogg's cereal boxes since childhood. CBS had "Battle Creek" — which stars Dean Winters as a cynical Battle Creek cop and Duhamel as the perfect FBI agent who sets up a field office across the hall from the detective squad — in development a dozen years ago, didn't make it at the time because the right actors couldn't be found. »
- Alan Sepinwall
Making his second appearance during the Television Critics Association summer press tour, Vince Gilligan returned to the stage Thursday afternoon for a show he probably never thought would see the light of day. Battle Creek, the Breaking Bad creator's 12-year-old pilot script, landed a series order at CBS last year with House's David Shore on board to take the reins. And while Gilligan was effusive about the revived project, he was adamant about playing a small role moving forward. "I'm sorry I'm not a bigger part of this show as I'd like to be as my duties on
- Michael O'Connell
Though the cast of “The Big Bang Theory” is still negotiating their contracts for the new season, “We’re feeling very confident that these deals will be able to be worked out,” chairman of CBS Entertainment Nina Tassler told reporters Thursday at the annual Television Critics Assn. press tour. “I just love being able to answer the questions year after year.”
Tassler also addressed plans for the upcoming latenight transition, with Stephen Colbert set to inherit David Letterman’s 11:30 p.m. slot. “We’re having preliminary conversations with Stephen, very early conversations about format,” said Tassler. “We know he’s retiring his character on Comedy Central. He does want to have an interview format. As to dates, we’re in the middle of those conversations right now.”
As for the 12:30 p.m. slot, Tassler said they’re still evaluating formats and hinted that the show may not be »
- Debra Birnbaum
Good thing news broke on Wednesday that the cast of "The Big Bang Theory" is still negotiating with CBS and Wbtv, because without that, there wouldn't have been much excitement to be expected from Thursday (July 17) morning's Television Critics Association press tour panel with CBS Entertainment Chairman Nina Tassler. So we've got that to look forward to. We can also probably expect some queries about Thursday Night Football, the early performance of Halle Berry's "Extant" and maybe CBS' difficulties launching midseason shows (but probably not). Click through for the full live-blog... 9:02 a.m. CBS starts promptly. 9:02 a.m. CBS is America's most watched network for the 11th time in 12 years. 9:03 a.m. "I admit it, I'm still really pissed about 'The Good Wife,'" Tassler says, trumpeting CBS' Emmy nominations, most for any broadcast network. 9:03 a.m. Tassler is a fan of new platforms, »
- Daniel Fienberg
Until about 10 minutes ago, there has been so much conflicting information, if not outright misinformation, about what exactly "Better Call Saul" will be: A straight "Breaking Bad" prequel? A time-bending journey that includes adventures during the reign of Heisenberg? A comedy? A drama with occasional laughs? Huell's story? AMC's press release about the full cast and basic premise and setting fill in some of the details — including that it begins six years before Saul (then known as Jimmy McGill) meets Walter White — and now co-creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould will hopefully bring more of the show (not due to premiere until early 2015) into sharper clarity, without actually giving too much of the fun away. I'll be live-blogging all of Gilligan's charming Virginian self-deprecation, all of Gould's jokes, and whatever nuggets we actually get about the new show. (Note: all times will be Pacific.) 5:10 p.m.: Gould and »
- Alan Sepinwall
They came, they schmoozed, they screened. More than 1,500 television buyers from around the world have made the studio rounds in Los Angeles the past few days, checking out the 50-plus new series that landed orders from major networks last week.
The L.A. Screenings are a lower-profile affair than the upfront presentations mounted in Gotham last week, but in many ways they are equally important. International licensing, to linear and digital platforms, is crucial to funding production, particularly for high-end dramas. Unlike upfronts, which are geared to advertising sales, L.A. Screenings are organized around the studios that control the international distribution rights to shows.
“This is an important week,” said Armando Nunez, president and CEO of CBS Global Distribution Group. “It tees up a (sales) process that depends on the market. Every year there are more channels to put content on. We need to talk to them all and »
- Cynthia Littleton
ABC Studios is selling a diverse slate of new hours as well as a trio of unique comedies.
On the drama side, “Marvel’s Agent Carter” and “The Whispers” may hold the most global appeal, but others have potential as well.
“Agent Carter,” the second series from Marvel in the last two years, follows Peggy Carter in 1946 as she balances her administrative work with embarking on secret missions for the covert Ssr (Strategic Scientific Reserve). It should hold more appeal for women than last year’s “Agents of Shield.”
In “Whispers,” aliens have invaded Earth by using our most unlikely resource to achieve world domination — our children. As the kids unwittingly help these unseen enemies, the clock counts down in a race to save humanity.
- Variety Staff
For international TV buyers headed to the L.A. Screenings this week, the range of selections couldn’t be broader, including everything from ever-popular procedurals, event dramas, complex genre series and, to a lesser extent, comedies.
Now that the upfronts are over, the studios’ international divisions pick up the road show at the L.A. Screenings, which started on May 13 and run through May 23.
Just as in the U.S., procedurals remain the bread-and-butter of TV networks around the world. Last season, Sony Pictures Television’s “The Blacklist” was one of the top new dramas internationally, launching almost simultaneously with its U.S. premiere.
This season, buyers have several new procedurals to choose from, including two spinoffs of CBS’ strong franchises, “CSI: Cyber” and “NCIS: New Orleans.”
- Paige Albiniak
What’s the best new show coming to CBS? Well, we have high hopes for Vince Gilligan and David Shore’s Battle Creek, but as CBS Entertainment Chairman Nina Tassler explained during the network’s upfronts presentation, that doesn’t premiere until midseason. For fall, CBS knows what you want: More NCIS! Your guide to non-ncis offerings also appears below.
- Melissa Maerz
CBS has unveiled its schedule for the 2014-15 season, along with summaries and trailers for its fall offerings. Among the Eye’s upcoming shows: spinoffs for “NCIS” and “CSI”; a Kevin Williamson thriller starring Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott; Matthew Perry’s latest attempt to headline a comedy post-”Friends”; and a procedural from “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan and “House’s” David Shore.
Check out the summaries and first looks for fall below:
A mystery thriller starring Halle Berry as Molly Woods, a female astronaut trying to reconnect with her family after returning from a year in outer space. Her mystifying experiences in space lead to events that will ultimately change the course of human history.
A comedy about a loud, sports-crazed Boston family whose somewhat athletically challenged son, Ronny, is chosen by his father to be his assistant high school basketball coach, to »
- Laura Prudom
Following the 2014-15 schedule announcement, CBS released the full trailers for its fall slate of new dramas and comedies. Including midseason, the network will debut eight scripted series, six of them dramas: Kevin Williamson's Stalker, starring Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott; Madam Secretary with Tea Leoni; Nick Santora's Scorpion; Battle Creek, from Breaking Bad's Vince Gilligan and David Shore; and two spinoffs, NCIS: New Orleans and CSI: Cyber. Photos: Broadcast TV's New Shows for 2014-15 Season Two comedies will launch during the new season, Matthew Perry's The Odd Couple redo and The McCarthys. Check out the trailers for
- Philiana Ng
CBS said it would launch new editions of its long running ‘NCIS’ and ‘CSI’ franchises, air a final year of “Two and a Half Men” and follow a strategy of airing more original programming throughout the 2014-2015 TV season as it echoed the chorus of TV networks vowing to launch new content throughout the year, not just between May and September.
“We no longer have a midseason,” said Nina Tassler, chairman of CBS Entertainment, during a presentation of the new schedule to reporters Wednesday morning. Instead, she said, CBS intends to launch new series in fall, spring and summer.
Indeed, the network’s fall schedule – which includes four new dramas and a comedy – seems an attempt to mix the return of veteran shows with the need to launch new series to keep viewers surprised and interested.
“We roll out big shows all year long,” she said, noting the success CBS »
- Brian Steinberg
The CSI franchise — which includes the new spinoff CSI: Cyber — moves to Sundays after The Good Wife, and The Big Bang Theory will start off the season on Mondays to help launch fall, according to CBS’ new schedule released today.
NFL Football will debut on Thursdays this fall with a total of eight games. Afterwards, the Eye’s winning comedy lineup will return Oct. 30, which includes Tbbt at 8. The Amazing Race moves to Fridays.
Here is the schedule:
Mike & Molly, »
- Lynette Rice
All week long as the other networks have been frantically renewing and canceling established shows and picking up new shows, CBS has been the cool kid leaning up against the wall in a leather jacket smoking a cigarette. [Yes, I'm picturing Pre-Upfronts Week as a '50s problem drama.] Late Friday (May 9), CBS decided to get in on the action, announcing seven series pickups, five dramas and two comedies. [Actually, it's kinda only six series pickups, since Vince Gilligan's "Battle Creek" had been acquired as a 13-episode series commitment pre-pilot.] On the drama side, CBS is moving forward with the "Battle Creek," the planted spinoff "NCIS: New Orleans," "Stalker" (formerly "Untitled Kevin Williamson"), "Scorpion" and "Madam Secretary." On the comedy side, CBS has ordered "The McCarthys" and "The Odd Couple" to series. It's unclear which shows are headed for midseason and which are targeted for fall. And CBS isn't expected to announce any additional pickups or cancellations today. So let's get down to the details on CBS' new shows for the 2014-15 season, »
- Daniel Fienberg
The drama roster consists of “Battle Creek,” the David Shore-Vince Gilligan collaboration that landed a series order last September, as well as “Madame Secretary,” “NCIS: New Orleans,” “Scorpion” and “Stalker.”
“The McCarthys,” written by Brian Gallivan, revolves around a large sports-crazy Boston family. Mike Sikowitz is on board as showrunner and exec produces with Will Gluck for Sony Pictures TV. Project was developed last year at the Eye as a single-cam but retooled this time around as a multi-cam.
- Cynthia Littleton
With little room on its schedule after landing Thursday night football, CBS joined the series pickup fray Friday, ordering four new dramas and two comedies to series. The drama orders include NCIS spinoff New Orleans, Kevin Williamson drama Stalker, Tea Leoni political effort Madam Secretary and genius entry Scorpion. They join the previously announced Vince Gilligan/David Shore drama Battle Creek on the network's 2014-15 schedule. On the half-hour side, CBS has added family comedy The McCarthys and Matthew Perry reboot The Odd Couple. Left out of the pack is How I Met Your Mother spinoff, How I Met Your
- Lesley Goldberg
CBS has given series orders to the spinoff “NCIS: New Orleans,” as well as the Kevin Williamson drama “Stalker,” “Scorpion” and “Madam Secretary.” The drama orders follow the previously announced season order for “Battle Creek,” from “Breaking Bad” boss Vince Gilligan and “House” creator David Shore. On the comedy side, the network has given series orders to a reboot of “The Odd Couple,” from former “Friends” star Matthew Perry, and “The McCarthys.” Also read: 2014-2015 TV Season: TheWrap's Complete Network Guide “NCIS: New Orleans” moves the action to the southern office, which handles cases from Pensacola through Mississippi and Louisiana to the. »
- Tim Kenneally
A review of tonight's "The Americans" coming up just as soon as I take a briefcase with me on vacation... "What kind of man are you?" -Annelise The fever of rage and guilt that consumed Philip in last week's episode has largely broken by the time "Yousaf" begins. Whether it was Pastor Tim's words about forgiveness, the realization of what he could have done in that church, or simply time taking him further away from that dire Martial Eagle mission, Philip is back to being his usual self — still conflicted and regretful, but able to function, and a softer touch when it comes to both missions and his family. And yet "Yousaf" isn't just a hit of the reset button to how things were before the blood spilled on Martial Eagle. When it comes time to murder Yousaf's boss so that the more pliable asset can be put into power, »
- Alan Sepinwall
With Hollywood director Bryan Singer at the center of accusations of molesting a minor 15 years ago, his name will not be used to promote new ABC drama series Black Box. A small portion of the promos in circulation for the series, which premieres next Thursday, featured the X-Men director’s name. They have now been pulled, at least for the time being, according to sources. Former House executive producer Singer serves as an executive producer on the straight-to-series drama starring Kelly Reilly as a famous neuroscientist who is bipolar. Below is the official long trailer for the show, widely available online, in which Singer is indirectly referenced as Black Box being “from the executive producer(s) of House.” Related: ‘X-Men’s Bryan Singer To Skip This Weekend’s WonderCon In addition to Black Box, Singer also executive produces the upcoming CBS drama series Battle Creek, from Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
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