or


[07/11/03 - 12:00 AM]
TCA Summer Press Tour: Cable, Day 4
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- The Television Critics Association began its summer press tour this week in which the various broadcast and cable networks talk about their upcoming plans to the nation's top critics and entertainment reporters. The first week of the annual three week tour is devoted to cable as Thursday saw Turner (TNT and TBS), ESPN, Lifetime and HBO all holding sessions for the press.

Here's a breakdown of the highlights of each network's presentation:

ESPN -- The sports channel hyped its first original drama series "Playmakers," set in the world of professional football. Tony Denison stars ("The DA," "Crime Story") as head coach Mike George; Omar Gooding ("Baby Boy," "Hangin' With Mr. Cooper") as Demetrius Harris, a cocky and talented young running back; Russell Hornsby ("Gideon's Crossing," "Haunted") as Leon Taylor, a fiercely competitive aging veteran; Jason Matthew Smith ("Hollywood Homicide," "13 Going On 30") as Eric Olczyk, an unassuming, blue collar rising star linebacker and Taylor's trusted friend; Marcello Thedford ("Crimson Tide," "ER") as Kelvin 'Buffalo' James, the barrel-chested offensive tackle who worships D.H.; and Chris Wiehl ("CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "Hollywood Homicide") as Derek McConnell, an all-pro QB suffering his first sub-par season.

John Eisendrath ("Alias," "Felicity," "Beverly Hills: 90210") and Orly Adelson ("The Junction Boys," "The Truth About Jane") are executive producing the series with Michael Angeli ("Now & Again," "Twilight Zone") serving as co-executive producer. Scott Brazil ("The Shield," "C.S.I.: Miami") will direct the first episode which airs Tuesday, August 26 at 9:00/8:00c. Replays will air each week right after at 10:00/9:00c.

HBO -- The pay channel had George Clooney on hand (via satellite) to hype his upcoming project "K Street" for the network. The series, which is also executive produced by Steven Soderbergh, is a semi-improvised project about the world of political consultants in which fictional characters interact with real-life Washington insiders. Test footage featured Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Hillary Clinton (D-New York). Each of the series' ten episodes will be shot and edited literally one week before they air in order to follow current events. In addition to Clooney and Soderbergh, Mark Sennet and Henry Bean will also serve as producers with Mary Matalin and James Carville consulting on the series, which premieres Sunday, September 14.

In other series news HBO plans to roll out its new drama "Carnivale" this fall (September 14, time TBA) while David Milch's "Deadwood" and Steven Bochco's "Marriage" will arrive at midseason. As for its returning lineup, HBO topper Chris Albrecht indicated the network has yet to nail down a start date for the fifth season of "The Sopranos" with the earliest possible being March 2004. "Six Feet Under" will also return at some point next year for a fourth season. Albrecht told reporters he hopes the series will stick around for at least one more season saying "My guess is there will be five, knowing where the story is going to go." Nevertheless he was quick to indicate HBO has only locked up the series through the upcoming season. Lastly, viewers can expect a new season of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" this fall (premiere date TBA).

The network also mentioned it is close to landing a syndication deal for "Sex and the City" however no specifics were mentioned. HBO did however confirm it will trim at least eight minutes from each episode, with one character's storyline likely being axed in addition to any profanity or nudity cuts.

HBO Films will also have a busy year with the long-awaited mini-series "Angels In America," starring Al Pacino and Meryl Streep, due in December. The cabler plans to air the project as three weekly, two-hour telefilms however subsequent encores might be split into six, one-hour installments. Also due in the coming months is the biopic "And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself" starring Antonio Banderas (September 7, time TBA) and the documentary "Born Rich" (premiere date TBA).

LIFETIME -- To be added shortly.

TBS/TNT -- The Turner-owned channels both expressed plans to get back into the original series game with TBS focusing on lighter, comedy fare while TNT will look at hard-edged dramas. Each network will likely outline their new plans at Turner's upfront presentation next year with TBS expected to go through a major facelift with a focus on younger demographics than its sister channel. Turner Entertainment Group president Mark Lazarus said he hopes to have one to four "light variety or reality" series to anchor TBS' original lineup. TNT meanwhile will try and fix a rough track record that includes "Witchblade," "Bull" and "Breaking News," the last of which didn't even make it to air on the channel. Both channels share a combined programming budget of $350 million.





  [july 2003]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
  


· ALIAS (ABC)
· AND STARRING PANCHO VILLA AS HIMSELF (HBO)
· ANGELS IN AMERICA (HBO)
· BEVERLY HILLS, 90210 (FOX)
· BREAKING NEWS (BRAVO)
· BULL (TNT)
· CARNIVALE (HBO)
· CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION (CBS)
· CSI: MIAMI (CBS)
· CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (HBO)
· DA, THE (ABC)
· DEADWOOD (HBO)
· ER (NBC)
· FELICITY (WB)
· GIDEON'S CROSSING (ABC)
· HAUNTED (UPN)
· JUNCTION BOYS, THE (ESPN)
· K STREET (HBO)
· MARRIAGE (HBO)
· NOW & AGAIN (CBS)
· PLAYMAKERS (ESPN)
· SEX AND THE CITY (HBO)
· SHIELD, THE (FX)
· SIX FEET UNDER (HBO)
· SOPRANOS, THE (HBO)
· TRUTH ABOUT JANE, THE (LIFETIME)
· TWILIGHT ZONE, THE (UPN)
· WITCHBLADE (TNT)





[05/24/16 - 12:57 PM]
Esquire Network Kicks Off Summer with Four-Day "Ninjathon" Over Memorial Day Weekend Begining Friday, May 27 at 7:00AM ET/PT
Fans can relive back-to-back episodes of almost all of seasons five, six and seven of "American Ninja Warrior" as well as all of season one of Esquire Network's record-breaking new show "Team Ninja Warrior."

[05/24/16 - 12:51 PM]
History(R) Supports The Freedmen's Bureau Project Through Partnership with The Smithsonian's NMAAHC and FamilySearch International
The social initiative, "Reading for Roots," is a call to action to encourage viewers to volunteer to transcribe post-Civil War documents.

[05/24/16 - 12:24 PM]
"20/20: In an Instant" - Two-Hour Docudrama Series Returns for Second Season, Premieres June 18 on ABC
"In an Instant" does more than just re-tell heart-pounding first-person accounts of the world's most harrowing tales of survival; it brings them to life with breathtaking dramatizations of the moments before and after life was forever changed.

[05/24/16 - 12:23 PM]
Award-Winning "What Would You Do?" Returns This Summer - New Shows Begin Airing Friday, June 17, on ABC
Hidden-camera fan-favorite "What Would You Do?" returns for 13 weeks this summer with all-new scenarios capturing unsuspecting people's reactions to everyday situations.

[05/24/16 - 10:37 AM]
Elton John, Julia Roberts, Will Ferrell, Blake Shelton, Kobe Bryant and More Join NBC Charity Event "The Red Nose Day Special" May 26
The star-studded charity event, which helps raise awareness and money for kids in need here at home and around the world, will be hosted by Craig Ferguson and features comedy, music and more.

[05/24/16 - 10:31 AM]
"Big Jay Oakerson: Live at Webster Hall" Premieres with Limited Commercial Interruption on Friday, June 17 at Midnight ET/PT on Comedy Central(R)
Leading up to the on-air premiere, Comedy Central Stand-Up and cc.com/BigJay will feature preview clips from the special.

[05/24/16 - 10:16 AM]
Greg Yaitanes Tapped as Showrunner of Discovery's Unabomber Drama "Manifesto"
Lionsgate is teaming with Discovery Channel, Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti's Trigger Street for the limited series.

[05/24/16 - 10:10 AM]
New Episodes of CNBC's Hit Series "West Texas Investors Club" Debut Tuesday, June 7th at 10PM ET/PT
The 10 original hour-long episodes feature self-made multimillionaires - Rooster McConaughey and Butch Gilliam who have chosen to pass on their success by investing in promising entrepreneurs - but only on their turf and their terms.

[05/24/16 - 10:04 AM]
"Fargo's" Stunning Second Chapter Gets Marathon on FX
The Saturday, June 4 marathon features all 10 episodes in consecutive order and will run from 10 AM ET/PT to 8 PM ET/PT presented with limited commercial interruption.

[05/24/16 - 09:32 AM]
HGTV's "Flip or Flop" Returns For Season Five on June 9
The 15-episode series follows Tarek and Christina El Moussa as they buy dilapidated houses and turn them into beautiful family homes.

[05/24/16 - 09:30 AM]
LeVar Burton, Whoopi Goldberg, Jonathan Frakes and Ginger Zee Guest Star in Season Two of Disney Junior's Acclaimed Series "Miles from Tomorrowland" Launching Monday, June 20 on Disney Channel
The series charts the outer space missions of young adventurer Miles Callisto and his family as they work together to help connect the galaxy on behalf of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority.

[05/24/16 - 09:27 AM]
Ovation to Premiere "Hanksy Presents: Surplus Candy" Across Linear, Digital & Social Platforms on June 26
The documentary and digital series capture Hanksy, a well-known street artist, as he and over 50 other street artists transform an abandoned mansion in Los Angeles into a magnificent, and temporary, showcase of graffiti art.

[05/24/16 - 09:07 AM]
More Than 9.4 Million Watched Exaggerator Win Preakness Stakes on NBC - Up 6% from American Pharoah's 2015 Victory
NBC further spins the numbers for Saturday, May 21.

[05/24/16 - 09:02 AM]
BBC America Begins Production on Original Series "Dirk Gently's Holisitic Detective Agency," Starring Elijah Wood and Samuel Barnett
The series is a comedic thriller that follows the bizarre adventures of eccentric "holistic" detective Dirk Gently (Samuel Barnett) and his reluctant assistant Todd (Elijah Wood).

[05/24/16 - 09:00 AM]
Spike Toasts Mankind with the Party of the Decade at the 10th Annual "Guys Choice"
The A-list, ultimate guys night out, tapes Saturday, June 4 at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, CA and premieres Thursday, June 9.