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CBS Orders ‘Dovekeepers’ Miniseries from Roma Downey, Mark Burnett
The story chronicles the struggles of four women during the siege of Masada, when 900 Jews held off Roman soldiers for months after being forced out of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. CBS is targeting a 2015 premiere.
” ‘The Dovekeepers’ is a compelling, beautifully written novel that combines history and fiction into a timeless story of survival and heroism,” said CBS Entertainment prexy Nina Tassler. “Mark and Roma possess an amazing passion for telling biblical stories and for producing entertaining television on an event scale.”
“Dovekeepers” order is the first from CBS and CBS TV Studios’ newly created limited series and event programming arm, overseen by Stacey Mandelberg. There’s no word yet on a writer for the TV adaptation; Hoffman will serve as a consultant on the mini.
- AJ Marechal
‘Bonnie & Clyde’ Miniseries Draws 9.8 Million Viewers Across Three Networks
The opening part of four-hour miniseries Bonnie & Clyde last night delivered 9.8 million total viewers and 4.2 million Adults 25-54 viewers in simulcast on Lifetime, A&E and History. That was a respectable showing though it fell short of the meteoric highs of History’s first two miniseries, Hatfields & McCoys, which opened with 13.9 million viewers, and The Bible, which premiered with 13.1 million viewers. Both aired only on History, for which Bonnie & Clyde was originally developed. History led the A+E simulcast viewership pack last night with 3.7 million viewers, followed by Lifetime (3.1 million) and A&E (3 million). Q&A: Producers Craig Zadan & Neil Meron On “Historic” ‘Sound Of Music’ Special And ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ Mini, ‘Smash’, Miley Cyrus Marking A+E Networks’ first-ever simulcast across Lifetime, A&E and History, Bonnie & Clyde will conclude tonight at 9 Pm, immediately following an encore of part one. »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
Viacom CEO Sees A “Strong Chance” An Online Pay TV Service Will Launch in 2014: Ubs Confab
That would be huge if Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman’s prediction is accurate — although he declined to elaborate in his presentation today at the Ubs Global Media and Commmunications Conference. Viacom reportedly has talked with Sony about teaming up to offer an online service that would include the same kind of channels that now are only available to cable and satellite TV subscribers. Many programmers fear that a national online service could undermine their ability to sell their channels in bundles that require people to pay for services that they don’t watch. Intel met stiff resistance from cable networks when it proposed to introduce what’s known as an over-the-top service, and now wants to sell its technology. Meanwhile, Dauman told the Ubs attendees that Paramount is in “a lot of good discussions with a number of players” preparing to order studio-produced TV shows, but “I will let them make announcements. »
- DAVID LIEBERMAN, Financial Editor
‘Bonnie and Clyde’ Nabs 9.8 Million Viewers Across 3 Cable Nets
Miniseries “Bonnie and Clyde” averaged 9.8 million viewers in its Sunday debut as a simulcast on A&E, History and Lifetime.
A+E said the first half of the four-hour mini, which concludes tonight, brought in 4.2 million viewers in the adults 25-54 demographic.
According to A+E, History had the largest aud with 3.7 million viewers. Lifetime brought in 3.1 million while A&E was right behind at 3 million. Those are solid, if not spectacular, numbers for the cablers.
A+E emphasized that “Bonnie and Clyde” marked the largest opening for a cable mini behind History’s “The Bible” and “Hatfields & McCoys.” However, those minis were not simulcast across multiple nets.
- Cynthia Littleton
Fran Drescher joins Broadway's 'Cinderella' as wicked stepmother
So much for Flushing, Queens! Fran Drescher is taking up residence in a decidedly more royal atmosphere come February.
Beloved Nanny star Drescher will join the cast of Broadway’s magical musical Cinderella as Ella’s wicked stepmother Madame, making her Broadway debut on February 4 for a ten-week run through April 13, 2014. Drescher succeeds Harriet Harris, who originated the role when the show opened in March 2013 at the Broadway Theatre.
The currently running production of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella features a slightly modernized take on the classic princess story, with a new book by Douglas Carter Beane and a pitch-perfect performance »
- Marc Snetiker
ITV Promotes Jane Yusim to Vice Prez of Development
ITV Studios America has upped Jane Yusim to veep of development, the company announced today.
In her new role, Yusim will continue to oversee ITV America’s development slate and report to Bruce Robertson, senior veep of creative strategy. She is based in ITV’s Los Angeles office.
Yusim has been with ITV since 2011, when she joined as exec director of development. Prior to her tenure at ITV, Yusim was executive director of development at Zoo Prods.
- AJ Marechal
Killer Women Sexclusive: Tricia Helfer and Marc Blucas Strip Off Each Other's Guns (and More)
The freshman drama stars Battlestar Galactica vet Helfer as Molly Parker, a Texas Ranger who is aided by her sixth sense for why women kill. In addition to Necessary Roughness/Buffy alum Blucas (playing DEA agent Dan Winston), the cast includes Michael Trucco (BSG) and Marta Milans (as Molly’s bro and his wife »
- Matt Webb Mitovich
CBS Jumps Back Into Miniseries Biz With ‘The Dovekeepers’ From Mark Burnett And Roma Downey
Mark Burnett and Roma Downey — the new It Couple of TV Miniseries/Event Series — have landed CBS‘ first announced project from its new limited series and event programming unit. And yes, it’s an historical series with religious overtones. The Dovekeepers is a four-hour miniseries based in Alice Hoffman’s historical novel about the Siege of Masada, and it will air on CBS in 2015. The mini will focus on “four extraordinary women whose lives intersect in a fight for survival at the siege of Masada,” the network said. Masada is the mountaintop fortress near the Dead Sea where the Romans found the last pocket of resistance after they conquered Jerusalem in 70 Ce. CBS, in its announcement, noted The Dovekeepers hails from the team behind the Emmy-nominated 10-hour miniseries The Bible, which scored big ratings for History in March, ranking as the top cable entertainment telecast of the year to date »
- LISA DE MORAES, TV Columnist
Adult Swim’s ‘The Eric Andre Show’ Renewed For Third Season
Days before its sophomore-season finale, the weekly send-up of low-budget public access programs has been greenlighted for a third run. The Eric Andre Show, which airs Thursday nights as part of Turner’s Adult Swim programming block, stars comic Eric Andre and his sidekick Hannibal Buress. It’s produced by Abso Lutely Prods. and executive produced by Andre, Andrew Barchilon, Kitao Sakurai and Dave Kneebone. »
- THE DEADLINE TEAM
Debra Messing and Eric McCormack discuss 'Will & Grace' legacy, karaoke, and 'Breaking Bad'
The duo kept fans laughing for eight years on Will & Grace, and now –since it has been 15 years since Will & Grace premiered — Messing and McCormack stopped by EW to reminisce, not to mention continue to crack us up.
The two’s fan-favorite chemistry was on display when they took EW’s Pop Culture Personality Test together, teasing each other while Messing shared her Meryl Streep love and McCormack discussed just how many karaoke CDs he own (Hint: It’s a lot.)
The laughing continued when the duo talked about »
- Erin Strecker
Showtime To Air Rolling Stones Docu ‘Return To Hyde Park’ On December 20
The Rolling Stones: Sweet Summer Sun – Return To Hyde Park chronicles the band’s return to the spot where it played its iconic free concert in July 1969. The concert, held in the summer of 2013, features the Stones’ greatest hits and an appearance by former guitarist Mick Taylor. The docu, which will air at 9 Pm on December 20, includes never-before-seen backstage footage. Paul Dugdale directed and it was executive produced by Joyce Smyth, Julie Jakobek, and Geoff Kempin and Terry Shand for Eagle Rock Entertainment. »
- THE DEADLINE TEAM
Ratings Rat Race: ‘Once Upon A Time’ & ‘Family Guy’ Rise, ‘Home Videos’ Hits High
ABC’s Once Upon A Time finally wrapped the Neverland-set storyline that was not received well by viewers, leading to ratings erosion and a string of series lows. The downward trend was reversed last night when action returned to the show’s original Storybrook setting. Once logged 2.2 in 18-49, up 16% from last week’s series low. Let’s hear it for America’s Funniest Home Videos. The series, which just marked its 24th anniversary, logged a season high in 18-49 last night with a 1.5. Despite airing at 7 Pm, the low-cost clip show matched the performance of high-end ABC dramas Revenge (1.5 even with its last original 3 weeks ago) and Betrayal (0.8, down 11% from 2 weeks ago to tie a series low). Following a football overrun, The Simpsons (3.0) matched the 18-49 result for its most recent original. Bob’s Burgers (2.1) perked up 31% from last week when its lead-in, The Simpsons, was a repeat. Ditto »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
Fox Comedies Spike, ‘Once Upon a Time’ Rebounds on Sunday
Fox’s animated comedy lineup had its best showing in a while, and ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” bounced back from its recent series low, but NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was the easy ratings winner last night.
Preliminary estimates for live events are subject to revision, but the New Orleans Saints’ 31-13 victory over the Carolina Panthers on “Sunday Night Football” averaged a 6.0 rating/15 share in adults 18-49 and 16.6 million viewers overall on NBC’s stations from 8:30 to 11 p.m., with these numbers expected to rise by about 10% in the nationals. This is a below-average result for “Snf,” which didn’t have to face AMC’s “The Walking Dead” for the first time in a while, but it should come in above last week’s New York Giants-Washington Redskins game.
In local markets, the game did a 58.1/73 in New Orleans and a 34.5/48 in Charlotte.
Elsewhere on Sunday, »
- Rick Kissell
Best of 2013 (Behind the Scenes): How 'Sleepy Hollow' dreamed up Ichabod's talk with the OnStar lady
Sleepy Hollow hooked scads of viewers with its balls-to-the-wall crazy pilot episode, which established in quick succession that a) American Revolutionary War hero Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) was Rip Van Winkle’d into a 200+ year slumber, then b) awoken to fight the evil Headless Horseman, who c) happens to be one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Also, his wife’s a witch. Also also, he’s destined to team up with Sleepy Hollow cop Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie), who herself is still haunted by a demon she spotted when she was just a girl. Oh, and then there’s Zombie John Cho… »
- Hillary Busis
Gabrielle Union Is Drowning In A Sea Of Her Thoughts In Sizzling New 'Being Mary Jane' Trailer + Clip
Bet's new hour-long drama series follow up to the network’s original hit summer movie Being Mary Jane will make its debut on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 from 10-11 pm Et/Pt. Over 4 million viewers tuned into the movie premiere of Being Mary Jane in July of this year. The movie served as a back-door pilot into the series, consisting of eight one-hour episodes that will air on Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. on Bet. The network’s first one-hour scripted drama focuses on the life of successful cable news anchor, Mary Jane Paul (played by Gabrielle Union). She seems to have it all; intelligence, drive, a beautiful home, a fancy sports car, and a lavish closet of designer shoes. Yet something is missing from her American Dream – a family of her own. Throughout the series, audiences get to know Mary Jane more intimately as they watch her life progress. As viewers experience her journey, »
- Natasha Greeves
Marvel Taps 'Cabin in the Woods' Filmmaker Drew Goddard to Write, Direct Its 'Daredevil' Netflix Series
Marvel has announced that writer/director Drew Goddard (of "Cloverfield" and "Cabin in the Woods") will serve as executive producer and showrunner for its Netflix series "Daredevil," and will write and direct the first episode, setting the look and feel of the show. Daredevil, who was played by Ben Affleck in a 2003 film adaptation, is a superhero whose accidental exposure to a radioactive substance leaves him blind but with heightened paranormal senses the make him the perfect crime-fighting machine. Set to be released on Netflix in 2015, the comic book adaptation will feature 13 episodes. The news comes as Marvel and Netflix continue to send waves of excitement rippling through the fan scene in light of their recently announced partnership to bring four of Marvel's characters to the streaming service in a quartet of original dramas. "Twilight" screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg is reportedly attached to pen Netflix's adaptation of purple-haired female superhero "Jessica. »
- Ramzi De Coster
Homeland 3.11 “Big Man in Tehran” Review: “Get Me Out of Here”
Homeland truly has been firing on all cylinders these past few episodes. The intensity that the series once possessed, the authenticity of the central characters of Brody, Saul, and Carrie, and the overall unexpectedness of the series that made it so much fun before are all back in full swing, and with Brody’s final words [&hellip
Homeland 3.11 “Big Man in Tehran” Review: “Get Me Out of Here” »
- Chris King
Video Game Awards: 'Grand Theft Auto V' and 'BioShock Infinite' win big at Vgx
Spike hosted the annual Video Game Awards this weekend. Now rebranded as Vgx, the show celebrating interactive achievement was co-hosted by Community star Joel McHale and games journalist Geoff Keighley. Reactions to the show itself were let’s say a bit mixed, but the awards themselves represented a solid cross-section of the year in videogames, with awards spread out equally between mega-billion-dollar franchises and smaller titles.
Grand Theft Auto V took game of the year, but The Last of Us won awards for its studio and for its lead performers. Indie hit Gone Home won two awards, and Call of Duty didn’t win anything. »
- Darren Franich
TV ratings: 'Amazing Race' finale down, 'Family Guy' up Sunday
Fast National ratings for Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013
Fox's animation lineup got a boost Sunday from an NFL lead-in as "Bob's Burgers," "Family Guy" and "American Dad" were all up from their most recent outings and "The Simpsons" was even.
The finale of "The Amazing Race" on CBS, however took a hit in adults 18-49, falling half a point compared to last fall's final episode. (The network's primetime was delayed in a number of markets, so its numbers will change some in the final overnights.) NBC led per usual with "Sunday Night Football," and "Once Upon a Time" was up some for ABC.
Sunday hour by hour:
Fox: NFL runover/"The Ot" (15.1 million viewers, 9.0/14 households)CBS: "60 Minutes" (11.4 million, 7.2/11)NBC: "Football Night in America" (7.2 million, 4.3/7)ABC: "America's Funniest Home Videos" (7 million, 4.0/6)
18-49 leader: NFL runover/"The Ot" (5.1)
NBC: "Sunday Night Football" - Panthers/Saints (15.7 million, 9.3/14)CBS: "The Amazing Race" finale (9.45 million, »
Spoiler Alert!: Once Casting Quarrel, Scandal Bait and Switch, Bold Community, Castle Predictions
Is Once Upon a Time‘s Rapunzel uproar much ado about nothing? Which Arrow character is about to pick up pick on some suspicious energy between Oliver and Felicity? And is Olivia’s mother on Scandal really all that big and bad?
Those are but a few of the provocative questions Matt Mitovich and I tackle in this week’s Spoiler Alert!, a jam-packed episode that also finds us post-morteming NBC’s hugely successful (and deeply flawed) Sound of Music Live!, and issuing entirely-plausible predictions about a sixth season (!!!) of Community and a wedding day disaster for Rick and Kate on Castle. »
- Michael Ausiello
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