Thursday, January 19, 2012

News Roundup: Early 2012 Development & Fun

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

This is the final part of our first news round-up of the year, so it covers nearly three weeks of entertainment fun facts. The original post was so large that we broke it up to be more digestible for you guys. Next week we plan to return to our normal, one-news-post-per-week schedule.

Shows in Development: 

There's a new animated/live action comedy hybrid in development called Honey Badger U... yes, based on the viral video of Honey Badger.

Like those period television shows that are on? ABC has ordered a pilot for another one - Gilded Lillys, set in 1895, about the opening of the first luxury hotel in NYC.

Hulu has announced its first slate of original programming, including A Day in the Life (which will launch its second season in March), Up to Speed (which will be a documentary series debuting this summer), and Battleground (a mockumentary to debut on February 14th).

Back when the CW was the WB (and UPN, for that matter), they had bought a crime drama called Cult, but it never got made when the CW swallowed other projects. Now, it's back on the table, though it'll be altered to fit the "teen content" of the network.

Also for the CW, they're getting close to finalizing a deal for a pilot called Arrow, to be based on Green Arrow, a la DC Comics fame. Oh, and a prequel to Sex and the City, called The Carrie Diaries.

CBS is betting on an adaptation of Sherlock Holmes to work out for them.... it'll be called Elementary and take place in modern-day NYC.

OWN has three new shows coming up: Lovetown, USA (two expert matchmakers will spend 30 days in Kingsland, GA to help eight dingle find true love), Lives on Fire (about four female firefighters in California), and Are you Normal, America? (a game show where people admit what they do and a jury of polled folks will determine if that's normal).

Dance Moms is getting a spin-off... Dance Moms: Miami.

TNT's first reality competition series will be called The Great Escape. Ten episodes will air this coming summer. They also ordered a drama series called L. A. Noir, based on John Buntin's book, L. A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City

Marcia Gay Harden will play the matriarch of "a normal middle-class family that wrestles with the challenges of everyday life while raising a daughter who has magical qualities" on Isabel, a comedy pilot for NBC.

A&E is developing a miniseries of Bonnie and Clyde. They're also working on a Psycho prequel series called Bates Motel.

AMC, on the other hand, is looking to develop a Goodfellas series

Tom Hanks has a futuristic animated series in the works, and Electric City's twenty episodes will air on Yahoo this spring.

SyFy has a two-hour pilot coming called Rewind, an action thriller set to begin production this April.

IFC has two new scripted comedies coming in June - Comedy Bang! Bang! (a sketch variety show) and Bunk (a game show parody).

FOX has a pilot going called Ben Fox is My Manny, a single-camera comedy, about a single mother whose brother moves in to help her raise her child. Living Loaded is yet another of FOX's pilots for next season.

Remember that musical chairs game show that the CW was talking about? It's called Oh Sit!, and ten episodes will debut later this season.

Starz has plans to make Marco Polo a series.

J-Lo and Marc Anthony created !Q'Viva! The Chosen, a Latin-American reality talent competition set to debut on Univision in October.

Bravo is adding quite a few new programs to their lineup in 2012, including Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis (starting March 14), Shahs of Sunset, Love Broker, Million Dollar Listing New York, Don't Be Tardy for the Wedding, and Kathy, a primetime talk show with Kathy Griffin. [NBC Universal - Bravo Press Release]

Big fan of Martin Lawrence? CBS sure is. They're developing two different shows in which the comedian may star. One has him being a foster parent and the other has him keeping his kids grounded in spite of wealthy in-laws. More info will be coming soon!

Other Fun Stuff:
NBC is incorporating Instagram to integrate "compelling user-generated content into its local news delivery on air and online." You can send in photos of breaking news, special events, severe weather, etc. [NBC Universal Press Release]

After last month's barrage of the Duggars and their memorial for their stillborn baby Jubilee, they're back in the news for backing Rick Santorum for the GOP. 12 of the children are part of the campaign! Michelle recorded some robocalls for the candidate as well.

The annual Nielsen "Television Audience" survey reported that, for the first time in nearly two decades, TV ownersehip actually declined, dropping from 115.9 million homes with a TV to 114.7 million. At the same time, 56% of the nation now have three or more televisions in the home. Oh, and the average viewing time per household is up to nearly 60 hours each week.

MetroPCS became the first cell phone company to announce a Samsung Smartphone that will be able to tune into live (local) television broadcasts. They will receive special Mobile DTV signals by 72 stations in 32 cities.

FOX's New Girl was the most DVR'd new series last fall.

The Simpsons is trying to break the Guinness World Record for "longest continuous television viewing" with a fan marathon... that will last from February 8th through the 19th at Hollywood & Highland in Los Angeles.

Time Warner is distancing itself from Netflix, Redbox, et al. New DVD releases now have to wait 56 days before they're available through those outlets... it used to be 28 days. Time Warner's HBO folks won't be selling DVDs to Netflix at all.

AT&T U-Verse and Verizon FiOS customers can now access Showtime programming through their free iPad app.

The first ever Golden Collar Awards will be given out this year in five categories, to honor the past year's Best Dog Performances. Best Dog in each: Theatrical Film, Foreign Film, Direct-to-DVD Film, Reality Television Series, and Scripted Television Series. Awards will be presented at the dog-friendly Hotel Palomar in LA on February 13th.

Wondering what else Ryan Seacrest is up to these days? He's working on re-branding a new network, to be called AXS (pronounced "Access"), which will launch this summer.

If you're a White Collar fan (or even if you're not!), there's a new six-week game you can play, coinciding with the mid-season episodes. There are weekly challenges, and when you complete all six, you can enter a sweepstakes to win an iPad2.
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