Thursday, May 15, 2008

No Sign Of Intelligence At Fox

Arrested Development fans, rejoice. Fox has officially ordered a new series from Mitchell Hurwitz.
It is one of six new shows the No. 1 broadcaster in the United States unveiled today in New York at their annual upfront before advertisers.
There is no sign, however, of Intelligence on the network's new schedule. Creator Chris Haddock (above with Intelligence's Matt Frewer) had teamed with successful showrunner John Wells (ER, The West Wing) on a reversioning of his gritty CBC drug caper. Haddock said last week in a TV, Eh? podcast (find it here) that Hollywood was impressed with the actors and scripts. Not impressed enough, apparently, to find room for it on their 2008-09 schedule. (Maybe this means it could turn up where it belongs, on Fox's cable network FX, home of great, dark dramas such as Damages, Rescue Me and The Shield).
We'll also have to wait for the new Hurwitz show, which is a mid season pickup. Sit Down, Shut Up, an animated comedy, focuses on eight vain and egocentric high school teachers at a Northeastern fishing town who so don't care abut their students. Arrested holdovers Jason Bateman, Toronto-native Will Arnett and Henry Winkler will lend voice, as will SNL veterans Cheri Oteri and Wil Forte.
Bateman is also directing one of the two new shows premiering this fall: Do Not Disturb, set at a hip New York City hotel. Jerry O'Connell (Carpoolers) stars as the hotel manager. Robert Wagner (who plays "R.J.") owns the joint. Celebrity clients love the place, which leaves the door wide open for more of those Britney Spears-style guest shots.
Fringe, from cult show creator J.J. Abrams (Felicity, Alias), stars an eclectic cast (Blair Brown from Altered States, Boston Legal's Mark Valley, Dawson's Creek's Joshua Jackson) in a sci-fi tale about a doomed plane load of passengers who land at Boston's Logan airport. What the hell happened aboard flight 627?
Starting next January, when American Idol returns and things traditionally heat up at Fox, is a new series from the J.J. Abrams of the '90s, Joss Whedon (Firefly, Buffy The Vampire Slayer): Dollhouse stars easy on the eyes Eliza Dushku (Tru Calling) as a super agent who has her personality wiped out so she can be anybody the agency wants her to be, a pawn in somebody else's game. Where can I get me one of those machines?
Fox, naturally, also has a whopper of a reality series: Secret Millionaire will plant some actual rich person (Donald Trump without his lid? Joe Millionaire?) in with a bunch of needy folks in search of every day heroes. If one steps up they win at least $100 grand of the wealthy person's loot. It is the old '60s series The Millionaire (if anybody remembers that) done over as a reality series.
The other mid-season entry is The Cleveland Show, another animated newcomer headed for Sunday nights in 2009, from Family Guy's Seth MacFarlane. The spin off finds Cleveland Brown (get it?) broken-hearted after his girl dumps him for another guy. When her marriage goes sour, she runs back to Cleveland with her two odd kids. They move to Stoolbend, Va., meet up with some wacky neighbors, talking bears...you get the picture.
As reported earlier, Fox dumped last season's much-touted comedy Back To You, leaving Kelsey Grammar steamed and pleading with his old buddy Les Moonves at CBS to pick it up (not so far). A site has already been established to save this show, which is worth the effort if just to keep Fred Willard on the air. Saved from cancellation is Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Prison Break (returning August 25), 'Til Death and Don't Forget The Lyrics, which airs its season finale tonight. The Moment of Truth has also sleazed back on to the Fox schedule.
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