Monday, June 25, 2007

According to Jim Renewed by ABC for 2008; Unsolved Mysteries To Return; NBC Notes

Mediaweek is reporting that ABC has given an 18 episode order for the veteran sitcom According to Jim to return next season during mid-season, likely in January 2008. It will be more than likely its final season, so let's hope ABC will give it a proper ending. The show started way back in Fall 2001, making it actually one of the oldest sitcoms on the air today. It will be its seventh season and no word if Courtney Thorne-Smith, who plays Cheryl, will return as she has said she wouldn't do another season. So more to come, I'm sure!

Broadcasting & Cable is reporting today that the 1987-97 series Unsolved Mysteries might be revived! HBO Television Distribution--reaching outside its own pay channel's original-programming ranks for the first time--and Cosgrove/Meurer Prods. are bringing back Mysteries, the granddaddy of hybrid reality/scripted crime- reenactment series.
They plan to make the classic show attractive to network buyers, through major reconstructive surgery. HBO began knocking on doors last week, offering an all-cash deal for 175 refurbished episodes of the documentary-style series about unsolved crimes and paranormal occurrences.
Lifetime has a contract to air reruns of the show, but that is expiring in 2008. HBO is taking out the series without a host, believed to be a first, and will leave it up to the acquiring cable network to choose the late Robert Stack's replacement.
Work is under way to expand the number of unsolved evergreen stories from four to five per episode, each cut down to a maximum of seven minutes. Cosgrove/Meurer and HBO are choosing their material from 900 hours of footage shot for the original 255 episodes.
They also plan to add newly produced updates--the most popular segments of the original series--that will focus on the solving of crimes and shedding new light on cold cases, which make up 60% of the stories, according to Executive Producer John Cosgrove.
Other additions include a new set, logo, music and, most important, the computerized effects needed to bring the stories up to current standards.
New weekly original episodes are also a distinct possibility and could come as part of the initial deal or at some point later.

NBC has quietly removed the summer encores of low-rated drama Friday Night Lights from its schedule. The show was repeating Sundays at 9pm, but was quietly replaced last night by a repeat of Law & Order, which did much better than Lights. Lights will return for a second season on Fridays at 10pm this fall, and NBC says they plan on returning the repeats either in late August or early September.
Meanwhile canceled drama Kidnapped is being burned-off during the late nights on most NBC affiliates on Sunday nights. It started last night on NBC stations in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta etc. The #1 NBC station, WNBC in New York, is not airing it however. Check your local listings on Sunday nights for exact times (usually varies between 12-3am).
Finally, NBC is rushing to put new reality series The Singing Bee on the air ASAP because of Fox trying to put a similar show on air before they do. NBC was going to air Bee in late fall on Fridays at 8, but that will not happen now. The Singing Bee will premiere on Tuesday, July 10 at 9:30 PM ET following a 90-minute installment of America's Got Talent. Talent is hosted by former Dancing with the Stars alum Jerry Springer, so what does NBC do? They will bring another alum of Dancing with the Stars to host The Singing Bee. Last season's runner-up Joey Fatone will host!

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