Monday, July 10, 2006

NBC Improv Comedy Series This Fall; TCA Tour Cable: Day 1

NBC stations are set to air an improv comedy series called Sports Action Team following the network's Sunday night telecasts of NFL games starting in the fall, the Hollywood Reporter reports. Improv actors and comedians will play a hapless team of sports reporters. Every week, they will interact with real-world professional and amateur athletes, managers, fans and celebrities. The series stars Kevin Fleming, Steven Fleming, Niki Lindgren, Antoine McKay, Katie Nahnsen and Al Samuels. Chicago-based production company Towers Productions Inc., which developed the show in association with NBC owned WMAQ in Chicago, said on Friday it will produce 17 half-hour episodes. The show will air via NBC's West Coast and Rocky Mountain feeds as well as on other NBC-owned outlets and affiliates. It will all have online features including outtakes, bonus materials, blogs and video blogs -- set to be available at http://www.sportsactionteam.com and on NBC station Web sites.

Today was the first day of the TCA Summer tour for cable. We have four more days to go before broadcast takes over for the next two weeks. ABC Family and HDnet both so far have announced information. ABC Family is counting on a slate of new series to bring back the family drama, including the heavily promoted Kyle XY (8 p.m. Monday), about the anatomically incorrect teenage boy who is given a home by a social worker and her family and soon displays extraordinary abilities.
Fallen, a new high quality TV-movie makes its debut July 23 at 8 p.m. Based on the teen thriller books of veteran comic book writer Tom Sniegoski (Batman, Hellboy), Fallen involves a teenager who discovers he is a fallen angel and becomes involved in a war between angels both good and evil. Fallen airs as a two-hour movie but ABC Family is already confident it can build a franchise. It has committed to another four hours next summer and, to bridge the gap between segments, it will create an alternative reality game online. The game will be heavily promoted at the end of the two-hour film, including clues for how to play it.
Three Moons Over Milford, debuting 8 p.m., Aug. 6, stars Elizabeth McGovern, Nora Dunn and Rob Boltin in the tale of how the town's residents respond when faced with a cosmic crisis: An explosion has split the moon into three pieces, perhaps portending the world's demise. They decide to live like there's no tomorrow, quitting their jobs and indulging their whims (or vices).
Other original shows airing on ABC Family are the racehorse saga Wildfire, starting production on its third season, and Falcon Beach (9 p.m. Monday), a soap opera about locals vs. rich kids in a New England summer resort town.
Coming in early 2007 is the channel's boldest bet, Lincoln Heights, about a black lawman who returns to his crime-filled neighborhood. He's determined to make a difference but his family is put under stress by the move. Russell Hornsby and Nicki Micheaux star in the drama from executive producers Kevin Hooks and Kathleen McGhee Anderson. Black family dramas are rare on TV. ABC Family says the show fits with the channel's goal of putting on "high-quality shows about today's families, not yesterday's." Series with Hispanic characters are in development. Its "13 Nights of Halloween" and "25 Days of Christmas," packaged holiday programming, are an ongoing part of the schedule and will continue this year, too. They also have reruns of Everwood coming this fall, to join 7th Heaven and Gilmore Girls, which do very well for the network.
As for HDnet, they officially announced that they have brought in Dan Rather from CBS! Rather just left CBS three weeks ago and now he will be coming to HDnet for his own show. A formal announcement of the show, to be called Dan Rather Reports, was planned for Tuesday at the TCA tour in Pasadena, California. The press release is not out yet. Rather's program will debut in October but HDnet declined to give further details before a presentation expected to be attended by Rather and billionaire media investor Mark Cuban, who owns HDNet and professional basketball's Dallas Mavericks.
We will have more on today's news from the tour tomorrow, along with updates from tomorrow's portion. This is a fun week! Fun three weeks, I should say!

TV Land and Nick@Nite go on Thursday--I got a lot of questions on when they go.

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