"Burn Notice"
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6 items from 2007

Showtime's 'Dexter' to Eye net

5 December 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »


UPDATED 9:43 p.m. PT Dec. 5, 2007

Related story: CBS repurpose plan irks PTC

As the writers strike enters its second month with no end in sight, repurposing cable series on broadcast networks is becoming a reality.

CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves said Tuesday that CBS plans to repurpose some Showtime series, including the breakout hit "Dexter".

Additionally, NBC is said to have expressed interest in running USA's hip new action drama "Burn Notice".

" 'Dexter' is probably the first one to go on -- with some edits," Moon?ves told reporters at the annual UBS Global Media & Communications Conference in New York. "It fits with our crime shows".

The edgy, offbeat "Dexter", which has become a critical and ratings success for Showtime, stars Michael C. Hall as a Miami police forensics expert who moonlights as a vigilante serial killer.

CBS, of course, is the leader in the forensic crime drama genre with the "CSI" franchise.

Moonves didn't specify when "Dexter" would launch on CBS beyond saying it should come "in the near future."

Now in its second season on Showtime, "Dexter" has broken ratings records for the premium cable network. Its Nov. 18 episode ranked as the most-watched in Showtime history.

In addition to "Dexter", CBS also is considering Showtime's racy period drama "The Tudors", which originally was developed for CBS, and the critically praised dark comedy "Weeds", about a marijuana-peddling soccer mom. However, both would need heavy editing to make it to broadcast primetime.

CBS chief research officer David Poltrack said after Moonves' presentation at the conference that it was hard to forecast how well Showtime's programming would do on the broadcast network, particularly because of what would have to be edited. »

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Dobkin runs with Warners, helms 'Flash'

2 November 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

After helming comedy "Fred Claus" for Warner Bros., director David Dobkin has decided to make the studio his home, signing a three-year, first-look deal with the company.

Separately, Dobkin also has come aboard to direct "The Flash", the big-screen adaptation of the DC Comics hero. Craig Wright, creator of ABC's "Dirty Sexy Money, has been tapped to write "Flash", which is being produced by Mosaic Media's Charles Roven and Alex Gartner.

Under his deal, Dobkin will direct and produce not just comedies -- the genre in which the helmer found success -- but also hopes to tackle a wide range of projects.

"We're looking to bring comedies to Warner, and I'm also looking to make large-scale scale tentpole movies as well," Dobkin said. He added that the creative freedom Warners gave him while making "Claus" made it natural for him to set up shop there.

Dobkin's first move under the deal is to step up to produce the already in-development comedy "Boss Go Home", written by "Burn Notice" creator Matt Nix. »

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3 join Jolie for 'Changeling'

16 October 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Jeffrey Donovan, Colm Feore and John Malkovich have joined Angelina Jolie in Changeling, a true life drama that Clint Eastwood is directing for Universal and Imagine.

The story follows a woman (Jolie) whose son goes missing in 1920s Los Angeles. The police return the wrong child and the woman is thrown into an insane asylum for disagreeing with the LAPD. When it seems that her real son has been murdered by a child serial killer and the child returned admits to fraud, she takes her case to the city council and takes down the mayor, the police chief and several corrupt officers, concurrently sparking changes in the insanity legislation.

Donovan will play a police captain, Feore the chief of police and Malkovich a reverend.

Also joining the cast are Jason Butler Harner (John Adams), who portrays a mechanic accused of murdering the woman's son, as well as Amy Ryan and Michael Kelly.

Donovan is the star of USA Networks' Burn Notice, the Matt Nix-created show that became a hit this summer. »

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First-run 'Intent' big for USA

8 October 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

"Law & Order: Criminal Intent" came out strong in its first-run premiere on USA Network.

"CI," which made the move to USA this year after airing on NBC for six seasons, averaged 3.8 million total viewers at 10 p.m. Thursday, according to Nielsen Media Research.

USA also has off-net rights to the procedural drama, and Thursday night's fresh installment was a big improvement over the performance of "CI" reruns on the network. Last year, when USA was airing "CI" reruns on Thursdays, the show averaged 1.8 million viewers. This year, reruns have been averaging 2.4 million on weekends.

It's also off only slightly compared with the premiere of "Burn Notice", USA's hit freshman drama series that had been airing at 10 p.m. Thursdays. "Burn" debuted in June with 3.98 million total viewers.

Among the key adult demos, Thursday night's episode of "CI" averaged 1.7 million viewers in 18-49, an improvement of 98% compared with the same time period a year ago and up 70% compared with the same slot last week. »

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Cable's power growing as b'cast numbers wane

23 August 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

It's been a summer to remember for basic cable.

Ad-supported cable networks collectively are outperforming the six broadcast networks this summer in the adults 18-49 demographic by more than 2-to-1, the largest margin ever, according to Turner Research data released Wednesday.

Ad-supported cable nets -- a group that includes most basic cable outlets with a few exceptions like Disney Channel -- collectively are averaging a 52.4 share in the demo this summer, compared with broadcast's 24.2 share.

Several cable programs have set record highs this summer -- most recently exemplified by the Disney Channel original movie "High School Musical 2", which averaged 17.2 million total viewers in its premiere Friday to become the most-watched basic cable telecast ever -- while broadcast shows are slipping.

"This has been a record-setting and perhaps precedent-setting summer in many ways for the television business ... and a landmark summer for ad-supported cable in many ways," TBS Inc. chief research officer Jack Wakshlag said.

Cable has seen multiple new series become hits this summer -- including TNT's "Saving Grace", USA Network's "Burn Notice" and Lifetime's "Army Wives" -- while broadcast hasn't had any new series break out on the order of CBS' "Survivor", Fox's "American Idol" or ABC's "Dancing With the Stars". Even with the modest success of new game shows "The Singing Bee" at NBC, "Don't Forget the Lyrics" at Fox and "Power of 10" at CBS, no broadcast network has shown growth this summer, with drama series leading the declines.

"The days where people said 'pack it up' in the summer ... and TV didn't have to focus on the summer because no one was watching TV, those days are gone," Wakshlag said. "There is more TV viewing in the summer today than five years ago on an annual basis. There is no reason to shy away from or not program aggressively in the summer."

For instance, the top three ad-supported cable series of the summer (TNT's "The Closer", 7.9 million; "Saving Grace", 5.6 million; and USA's "Monk", 5.1 million) are outperforming the top three series five years ago ("Monk", 4.5 million; USA's "The Dead Zone", 4.3 million; and MTV's "The Real World: Chicago", 3.5 million) by a significant margin. »

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Cablers pick up more 'Burn,' 'Grace'

9 August 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Two hot new cable series, USA Network's "Burn Notice" and TNT's "Saving Grace", have been picked up for a second season.

"Burn", starring Jeffrey Donovan, has been given a 13-episode order, while "Grace", toplined by Holly Hunter, has been picked up for 15 episodes.

Both shows hail from Fox TV Studios.

Following a solid premiere with 4 million total viewers (2.2 million in adults 25-52), "Burn" has showed growth, delivering its largest audience to date -- 4.4 million viewers (2.3 million in 25-54) -- last Thursday.

The series, which stars Donovan as a spy who suddenly finds himself blacklisted, is executive produced by creator Matt Nix and Mikkel Bondesen.

In its debut, "Grace" drew 6.4 million total viewers, making it the most-watched basic cable series premiere of the year. The drama, which stars Hunter as an Oklahoma City police detective who gets helps from an unconventional angel (Leon Rippy), held on to 86% of its lead-in, hit TNT series "The Closer".

To date, "Grace" has averaged 5.5 million viewers. »

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6 items from 2007

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