After three seasons on ABC, Cougar Town made the unorthodox move of switching to cable for season four on TBS. I enjoy spending time with these characters, so I was happy they found a way to stay on the air. I have wondered how the experiment worked out for TBS. The verdict is in: TBS renewed Cougar Town for a fifth season with 13 episodes, expected to premiere in 2014. Per TVBTN, this season averaged 2.8 million viewers (1.3 rating for the 18-49 demo) in Live + 7 ratings (which includes DVR views within 7 days after air). That’s meager, but clearly sustainable for TBS. Also, I imagine ABC Studios was motivated to find the right price point to get to 89 total episodes for a nice syndication package.
Forget business for a second. We get to spend more time in Cougar Town, and that is a good thing. Now back to business: Hit the jump for the press release with all the details.
TBS established itself as cable-channel-as-lifeboat when it offered Conan O’Brien safe harbor in their lineup after what I’ll call “The Jay Leno Incident.” Its latest revived series is ABC’s discarded /Courteney-Cox‘s-Cleavage-helmed Cougar Town, much to the toast of Big Carl (and Big Joe) lovin’ fans everywhere. The biggest question though surely is whether or not the show is similar to its old format, and that I can answer without hesitation: 100% yes. Though the network has changed, there’s no sense of transition, just relief to see the familiar faces of the cul-de-sac.
The other question of course is whether ABC was right to cancel it in the first place. After three seasons, does the show still have life? How long can we go on watching six alcoholics sit around and change the use of common phrases (“I’m going to use ‘junk in the trunk’ to mean emotional baggage.” “Approved!”) and play Penny Can? The answer lies behind the jump, with my full preview of the upcoming season.
The actor hasn’t had a series regular role since his turn on That 70′s Show ended back in 2006, but now Danny Masterson is poised to lead his own comedy series. Deadline reports the actor will lead a new TBS pilot for a comedy series called Men at Work created by fellow actor Breckin Meyer. Described as an ensemble multi-camera comedy, the series would follow Milo (Masterson), a nice guy recently dumped by his girlfriend who enlists the help of his friends to reactivate his manhood. Doesn’t exactly sound like the most original concept, but Meyer has had some fun with Masterson on a couple episodes of Robot Chicken, so maybe they can put something really funny together.
Here’s two more new series in development that will be vying for a slot on next year’s TV schedule. First up, THR has word on a new western series that just sold to Fox. The untitled project is said to explore the origins of Wyatt Earp, focusing on the well-known events in his life like the infamous gunfight at the OK Corral and details about his brothers bringing order to a lawless frontier. The Shield writer John Hlavin is behind the script while Fringe producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci will executive produce. With these names attached, it’s makes it much more likely that this will be a big project at next year’s upfronts presentation. Of course, with AMC’s track record, this new project will likely have to work hard to top the forthcoming western series Hell on Wheels.
Details on a new TBS sitcom with comedian Steve Byrne after the jump.
TNT apparently knows drama and TBS loves stuff that’s very funny, and now the two networks have just unveiled their development slate as they continue to illustrate those claims by way of their original programming. First up, with series renewals, TNT seems to be the only network out of the two announcing returning series with Rizzoli & Isles, The Closer, Men of a Certain Age, Leverage, HarthoRNe, Memphis Beat and Southland all returning for another season. Frankly, the only show that’s caught my interest out of these series is Men of a Certain Age, and I’m glad to have it around for another season.
As for new series that have been ordered, TBS has greenlit a one-hour comedy called The Wedding Band starring Brian Austin Green (Beverly Hills, 90210, Desperate Housewives), Harold Perrineau (Lost, Oz), Peter Cambor (NCIS: Los Angeles, Notes from the Underbelly), Derek Miller (Secret Girlfriend) and Melora Hardin (The Office). Smallville producer Mike Tollin serves as executive producer while South Park writers Josh Lobis and Darin moiselle scripted the series about the misadventures of four friends who spend their spare time performing in a band. Meanwhile, TNT has ordered Perception, a series starring Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) as a neuroscientist who works to solve complex criminal cases and a spin-off from The Closer called Major Crimes, starring Mary McDonnell as Brenda Johnson’s nemesis, Capt. Raydor.
The two networks also revealed a whole slate of series currently being developed, so if these two networks consistently have shows you love, you can find details what news stuff they have in store after the jump.
It’s been a long nine-month wait since Conan O’Brien exited The Tonight Show and the premiere of his new TBS late night talks show Conan, but the flame-haired comedian didn’t disappoint. He was funny, affable, self-deprecating, clever, personably, and basically the Conan O’Brien we’ve all come to know and love.
But what happened in those nine months when Conan was off the air? No, he didn’t go off on some delightful cross-country live-tour. Hit the jump for the real story of what happened “Last Season…on Conan.” [Update: TBS has sent us a press release regarding the ratings for last night's premiere. You can read it after the jump.]
Though the Conan O’Brien’s rough exit from NBC resulted in all the established characters and comedy bits from his tenure at the network being left behind as the network’s intellectual property, it sounds like the late night host fully intends to do exactly the opposite on Conan. The NY Post reports that an upcoming Rolling Stone interview has O’Brien confidently saying, “”If there’s something we did for a long time that we’ve established as ours, we’ll figure out a way to do it. I won’t be denied my Masturbating Bear!”
The jerk-off gesturing bear is just one of many bits that made Conan’s late night comedy great, and while NBC reserves the right to take O’Brien to court for violating their agreement, it doesn’t sound like he’s scared. In fact it sounds like he’s ready for a hilarious court battle over a bear pleasuring himself, “What I really wanna do is be sued over the bear and then appear in court with the Masturbating Bear. ‘Your Honor, this bear can’t help himself!’” I’d pay to see that case in court. We won’t have to wait too much longer to see what Conan has in store with his new late night talk show on TBS premiering on November 8th at 11/10c.
Ever since the epic Conan O’Brien vs. Jay Leno & NBC battle that captivated the media for so long, viewers have been waiting for Coco to make a triumphant return to the airwaves. Since The Tonight Show with Jay Leno has since seen its ratings slip below the numbers that resulted on Conan O’Brien’s demise, the new late night show at TBS, simply titled Conan, shouldn’t have any problem toppling Leno’s weaksauce talk show with the line-up of guests that the network has just announced for his first week on the air.
- Monday, November 8th – Seth Rogen (who won a viewer poll to decide the first guest on the show) and musical guest Jack White
- Tuesday, November 9th – Tom Hanks, Jack McBrayer (30 Rock) and musical guest Soundgarden
- Wednesday, November 10th – Jon Hamm, Charlyne Yi (Paper Heart), and musical guest Fisful of Mercy
- Thursday, November 11th – Michael Cera, Julie Bowen (Modern Family) and comedian Jon Dore
So make sure you tune in to TBS starting Monday, November 8th at 11/10c to watch Conan O’Brien return to late night.
Late night talk show host Conan O’Brien and comedian Andy Richter have been working together intermittently since 1993. Though it had always been assumed that wherever Conan landed after leaving NBC in a huff, Richter wouldn’t be far behind. Well today TBS announce (via press release) that the longtime duo will be together again for Conan, the new late night show premiering on November 8th at 11/10c on TBS. Always making with the funny Richter said, “I’m thrilled to be going back to work with Conan, and very excited to start a whole new venture on TBS. However, I am mostly looking forward to getting out of the house again.” Conan followed suit by saying, “This decision was made without my authority. I will get to the bottom of this.” I know I can’t wait for Conan’s return with Andy at his side. How about you?
If you’re already craving some time with Conan O’Brien and Andy Richter, check out a video of them interviewing each other after the jump along with the press release.
Sadly, one of the great host-bandleader unions of all time has come to an end. Max Weinberg will not be a part of Conan O’Brien’s new TBS late night show, Conan. Both Weinberg and O’Brien issued statements cordially wishing the other well and saying that Weinberg may drop by the show in the future.
Weinberg probably sealed his fate when swam into the bad blood between O’Brien and Jay Leno and tried to replace Kevin Eubanks on The Tonight Show this past April. Movieline also reported that Weinberg would “send interns to do gardening work at his house” and “involve staffers in his pay disputes with the network.” He was also notably absent during Conan’s Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour. Still, the guy was hilarious and his deadpan face was amazing. He’ll be missed. Hit the jump for the press release.
Conan O’Brien has announced the name of his new TBS late-night talk show. In typical Conan fashion, he has done it not through a simple press release or even one of his clever tweets. After the jump, watch a brief video where the magnificent red-headed bastard tells the world what his new show is called.
Conan O’Brien makes his highly-anticipated return to late night on Monday, November 8th at 11pm (EST).
Finally, Conan O’Brien will once again grace our television screens this November 8th. TBS has released a new promo with clear British influences, showing the top half of O’Brien’s oversized noggin in a Monty Python-esque stop motion skit. The ginger comedian’s return to television has been highly anticipated since the Tonight Show debacle earlier this year. Check out the clip and a recap of how O’Brien got here after the jump.
Conan O’Brien is passing time until the November 8 premiere of his new TBS show with the 30-city Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour, but you won’t have to wait until then to see his influence on the cable network. Andy Richter, live show opener Reggie Watts, and a bevy of Conan writers will tape a special tentatively titled Team Coco Presents Conan’s Writers Live in Chicago on June 17th, which TBS will air a week and a half later on June 27th. I believe that Conan’s legal obligations will preclude an appearance, but a night of comedy from the men who help make him funny is a delightful consolation process. For you Chicagoans, tickets for the Bank of America Theater event go on sale Friday May 28th at 10:00 AM.
Hit the jump for all the relevant information via press release.
The big news to come out of the Turner networks upfront presentation today is the announcement that Conan O’Brien’s new late night TBS show will premiere at 11:00 PM on November 8. O’Brien’s debut on TBS will end a nine-month hiatus from television, punctuated by a 30-city live tour, the creation of a Twitter account, and a somber appearance on 60 Minutes.
The upfront also gave TNT and TBS a chance to brag about their new series, like the 1980s-set comedy Glory Daze and the buddy lawyer series Franklin & Bash. Hit the jump for the full press release.
Slowly, the pale, red-headed onion that is the Conan O’Brien severance package is peeling away and next week the former Tonight Show host can finally give his side of the story. On Sunday, May 2nd, O’Brien will sit down with 60 Minutes in an interview with Steve Kroft. O’Brien’s deal with NBC had him prohibited from giving interviews until May 1st. While some may hope for Conan to rag on his former network, his deal with NBC also prevents him from disparaging the network on television (he’s allowed to do it in his stage show and he has). But it will be a good opportunity for him to give his side of the story, his feelings about Leno’s role, what his upcoming show on TBS (set to debut in November) will be like, and so forth (although I have no idea what questions Kroft will ask). Despite the restrictions, I’m confident that Conan will provide a humorous and thoughtful interview. [The Live Feed]