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The Dunphys are about to get some annoying new neighbors. Andrea Anders has been cast in a recurring role on season 6 of ABC's “Modern Family,” playing wife to “Treme”‘s Steve Zahn and part of a horrible family who move in next door to the Dunphy family, played by Julie Bowen, Ty Burell, Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter and Nolan Gould. Also read: Emmys Winners 2014: The Complete List Anders is a mainstay at ABC, where she also had starring roles on “Better Off Ted” and “Mr. Sunshine.” She is repped by Gersh and Jr Talent Group. “Modern Family,” which just won its fifth Emmy. »
- Linda Ge
Related Fall TV 2014: Your Handy Calendar to 99+ Season and Series Premieres
Modern Family returns Wednesday, Sept. 24 at 9/8c.
Ready for more of today’s newsy nuggets? Well…
Modern Family has cast Andrea Anders for a recurring role in season 6, EW has learned exclusively.
Anders, who previously co-starred on ABC comedies Better Off Ted and Mr. Sunshine, will play Kim, the wife of the horrible family that moves in next door to the Dunphy clan. As previously announced, Treme’s Steve Zahn will play the husband, Ronnie.
Both will first appear in one of the early episodes of the upcoming sixth season.
Modern Family returns on Sept. 24 at 9 p.m. Et on ABC. »
- Natalie Abrams
Well, this is not necessarily the final match-up we were expecting when the Uncanceled Showdown brackets were set up, but the competition has come down to two shows: "Almost Human," which held off a late charge from "Freaks and Geeks" to win the One-Season Wonder field, versus "Jericho," which crushed all comers, including the once-mighty "Firefly" and its browncoat fans. That is, of course, part of the fun of a thought experiment like this. "Firefly" seemed an obvious finalist, but it turns out that the same fans who convinced CBS to uncancel "Jericho" in the first place were able to stomp everyone in their path. "Almost Human," meanwhile, was one of a large group of shows we were considering for the lower seeds on that side of the bracket (look for "Rubicon," "Better Off Ted," "Karen Sisco" and more in Uncanceled Showdown 2: The Uncancelling, sometime in 2015!); it could just as easily have been, »
- Alan Sepinwall
ABC has proven itself capable of delivering creatively strong comedies over the years, though almost all of them don’t last long (see: the late, lamented Trophy Wife, underrated gem Suburgatory, gone-too-soon Happy Endings, very funny Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23, subversive Better Off Ted and, looking back further, cult classic Pushing Daisies). It’s too early to tell whether Selfie, starring Karen Gillan of Doctor Who fame, will join that lineup of strongly written, low-rated comedies, but the pilot episode shows some promise, despite a few missteps.
Centering on Eliza Dooley (Gillan), a self-obsessed sales rep in her early twenties, Selfie takes aim at the general public’s crippling addiction to social media. Eliza is “Insta-famous,” having amassed 263,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Out of those ‘friends,’ though, she can only claim to know a select few. Everything about Eliza is built for public consumption, »
- Isaac Feldberg
Where's everyone getting guns? This is Canada!
If your last name is "Butt", then there's really only two things you can be: a cigarette filter manufacturer or a comedian. Brent Butt took the latter route. Stand-up comedy took him into television with two Canadian series, Corner Gas (2004-09) and Hiccups (2010-11), and a feature film, No Clue (2013), that is basically a 90-minute pilot for a detective sit-com. It's a busy field especially and the light Canadian touch is certainly popular in American television at the moment. Shows like Better off Ted, Pushing Daisies, and Psych take the same gentle approach to laughs out of goofy awkwardness and verbal inanity as No Clue. However, this Butt vehicle is a step above those shows by looking sleeker and pushing the jokes without winking at the audience.
- Jason Ratigan
The news of de Rossi’s casting was broken by her wife, talk show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres. “So annoying when people brag on twitter & that's why I'm not tweeting that Portia just signed on to do a top secret arc on 'Scandal,’” wrote DeGeneres. “Oops.”
So annoying when people brag on twitter & that's why I'm not tweeting that Portia just signed on to do a top secret arc on "Scandal". Oops.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) July 23, 2014
We are so excited to have Portia de Rossi joining us this coming season!
— Scandal Writers (@ScandalWriters) July 23, 2014
De Rossi's breakout TV role was in Ally McBeal, »
About two-thirds of the way through the pilot episode of Working the Engels, Ceil Engel, the family’s matriarch, gestures toward her hardworking daughter, Jenna, and tosses off the line, “Where does she get that bossiness from?” It’s an ordinary enough punch line, and Tony winner Andrea Martin delivers it with a wry turn, but it’s hard to know where the joke is supposed to land. It seems designed to reflect back on herself, but Ceil’s more of a busybody than a boss. Everywhere else in the show, Jenna’s competence is played as a sort of »
- Jackson McHenry
The TV network upfronts have begun and NBC has released its fall schedule. Katherine Heigl‘s political drama State of Affairs will get that powerful time slot after The Voice while The Biggest Loser bumps what has long been a home to comedy on Thursday nights.
NBC also ordered three new comedies including the gay parenting comedy One Big Happy, which stars Elisha Cuthbert as a lesbian who has a child with her best friend (Nick Zano) when he meets the woman of his dreams. It also ordered Mission Control where Krysten Ritter plays an engineer dealing with sexism in 1960s space race. Mission Control also reunites Jonathan Slavin with his Better Off Ted co-star Malcolm Barrett.
The network also put together a last-minute renewal for Parenthood (They first needed to convince the expensive cast to agree to appear in fewer episodes). Furthermore, NBC announced that this will be »
- Lyle Masaki
Just keeping busy before its big schedule announcement on Sunday, NBC picked up a trio of comedies on Friday afternoon, including two from executive producer Will Ferrell. The "Anchorman" star and "Anchorman" director Adam McKay's Gary Sanchez Productions is behind "Bad Judge" and "Mission Control," which will be joined by "One Big Happy" on NBC's slate for next season. Sadly, Ferrell has nothing to do with "One Big Happy," but with Ellen DeGeneres executive producing, it doesn't lack for behind-the-scenes starpower. Let's look at the three new NBC comedies and let's try not to resent that they were ordered while "Community" was cancelled... In addition to DeGeneres, "One Big Happy" is executive produced by creator Liz Feldman and pilot director Scott Ellis. The comedy focuses on best friends Lizzy (Elisha Cuthbert) and Luke (Nick Zano). She's a Type-a lesbian! He's a laid-back straight guy! They've decided that they want to have a family together, »
- Daniel Fienberg
We're many years into the Cult of the Showrunner on TV and nobody would argue, I don't think, that in the vast majority of cases, TV is a writer-producer's medium. And nobody would argue, I suspect, with the notion that on Fox's "The Mindy Project," the driving creative force is Mindy Kaling, who is the creator and star and leads an extraordinary strong writing stuff of comedy veterans. With that focus, I've often felt that one of the industry's least understood figures is the directing-producer. Sometimes, like with a Pamela Fryman on "How I Met Your Mother," that person may end up directing ever episode of a series, so their name is easy to notice and retain. Other times, the directing producer may be a frequent director on a series, but they aren't behind the camera on every episode, which makes their involvement a bit nebulous in the mind of some viewers. »
- Daniel Fienberg
Comedy writers Kat Likkel and John Hoberg are staying at ABC Studios with a third consecutive two-year overall deal. Since joining the studio in 2010, the married writing team have written and supervised multiple pilot scripts and executive produced last year’s ABC/ABC Studios comedy pilot Bad Management. They also served as co-executive producers on the first season of the studio’s ABC comedy series The Neighbors. Likkel and Hoberg’s previous series credits include ABC’s Better With You and Better Off Ted and NBC’s My Name Is Earl. They are repped by UTA, Helena Heyman & Dianne Fraser at Industry and Karl Austen. »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
ABC Studios and ABC have inked a third consecutive deal with director-producer Michael Fresco for him to direct and executive produce a pilot next year. Fresco just completed ABC/ABC Studios’ Jeff Lowell pilot and previously has helmed the pilots for Fox’s Raising Hope and ABC’s Better Off Ted and Suburgatory. He is repped by Paul Alan Smith at Esa. »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
Update: It’s Better Off Ted reunion on NBC‘s comedy pilot Mission Control. Ted standouts Malcolm Barrett and Jonathan Slavin have been cast as another duo of scientists in the Universal TV-produced comedy from executive producers Adam McKay and Will Ferrell in the tone of Anchorman. David Hornsby wrote and exec produces the pilot, a workplace ensemble set in 1962 that examines what happens when a strong woman butts heads with a macho astronaut in the race to land on the moon. Barrett, repped by Gersh and Management 360, will play Arthur, an engineer on the woman’s crew. He most recently was seen in the 2014 Sundance movie Dear White People. Slavin, co-managed by Coronel Group and Berwick & Kovacik, plays the weirdo genius on the crew. Paige Turco has been set as a recurring opposite Scott Bakula in CBS’ NCIS planted spinoff, Executive produced by NCIS showrunner Gary Glasberg and star Mark Harmon, »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
NBC’s “Office’s” Oscar Nuñez is sticking around NBCUniversal. Nuñez will star on NBC’s cable sister USA Network’s new comedy series, “Benched,” in a series regular role. He will play a public defender and colleague to Eliza Coupe’s Nina on the single-camera comedy series. Aside from Coupe (“Happy Endings”), Nuñez joins “Better Off Ted’s” Jay Harrington. Also read: USA Network Picks Up Courtroom Comedy ‘Benched’ From ABC Signature and The Mark Gordon Company In addition to nine seasons on “The Office,” the Emmy-winner’s television credits include FX’s “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, »
- Jethro Nededog
I’m now forced to choose between my blissfully happy avoidance of 24 and my enjoyment of Stephen Fry, as Deadline reports that Fry has signed up to play the UK Prime Minister in the upcoming 24 series.
The CW’s Flash pilot has cast two (potential) villains with Rick Cosnett (you might recognize him as The Vampire Diaries‘ Dr. Wes) as Eddie Thawne, a police detective whose name sounds a lot like a certain Flash archvillian‘s alter ego. Meanwhile, Denielle Panabaker will play Caitlin Snow a bioengineering expert who definitely shares a name with a another DC Comics villain.
USA has ordered Benched, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The comedy stars Happy Endings‘ Eliza Coupe as a former corporate attorney who becomes a public defender after suffering from a nervous breakdown. Better Off Ted hottie Jay Harrington plays her co-worker.
Paul James is making his way to Grey’s Anatomy. »
- Lyle Masaki
News and notes from up and down the channel guide:
- "The Crazy Ones" has booked a "Mork and Mindy" reunion. Pam Dawber will reunite with Robin Williams 32 years after the series finale of their sitcom when she guest-stars on "The Crazy Ones" later this season as a free-spirited author who goes on a date with Williams' Simon Roberts. Williams says the reunion is "a dream come true" and Dawber adds that "it'll be a great week" because she hears the "Crazy Ones" set is "a very happy one."
- USA has picked up a legal comedy, "Benched," starring Eliza Coupe ("Happy Endings") and Jay Harrington ("Better Off Ted"). The show will follow Nina (Coupe), a corporate attorney, who suffers a public breakdown and ends up working as a public defender. Phil (Harrington) is her scruffy, gambling colleague. "Benched" will be executive-produced by Michaela Watkins, Damon Jones, John Enbom, Mark Gordon and Andrea Shay. »
Happy Endings' Eliza Coupe and Better Off Ted's Jay Harrington are returning to television in a new comedy series called Benched. USA Network has ordered the single-camera project from ABC Signature, ABC Studios’ high-end division.
Here are the details:
Universal City – January 24, 2014 – USA Network has picked-up the ABC Signature and The Mark Gordon Company produced courtroom comedy Benched. The series stars Eliza Coupe (“Happy Endings”) and Jay Harrington (“Better Off Ted”) and marks the first series out of ABC Signature, the boutique division of ABC Studios. The pick-up was announced today by Chris McCumber, President, USA Network.
“Benched is one of those unique series »
The Happy Endings actress will star as Nina, a driven corporate lawyer who suffers a public nervous breakdown after losing out on a promotion, and find herself in unfamiliar waters when she starts working as a public defender. Harrington, who headlined another ABC cult comedy, Better Off Ted, plays Phil, Nina’s new co-worker who is described as “tall, dark and handsome, if not a little scruffy, public defender and avid gambler.”
The single-camera Benched pilot was written »
- Dan Snierson
USA has picked up the single-camera half-hour comedy Benched, starring Eliza Coupe and Jay Harrington, the network announced today. Coupe, who played the tightly wound Jane on Happy Endings, will play Nina, a corporate lawyer who has a breakdown and becomes a public defender; at her new gig, she meets Phil, a scruffy love interest played by Better Off Ted's Harrington. It's a rom-com! It's a sitcom! It's a lawyer show! It stars people who were on wonderful and unjustly canceled shows! Oh, Benched, please don't suck. »
- Margaret Lyons
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