or


[09/14/04 - 12:00 AM]
Various Issues Holding Up New Seasons of FOX's 'Tru Calling,' USA's 'The 4,400'
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- Sometime during 2005 both FOX's "Tru Calling" and USA's "The 4,400" are expected to return for second seasons. The paths both series are facing to get there however are widely different.

"The 4,400's" first season averaged nearly 6 million viewers for USA, breaking all sorts of records for the cable channel and basic cable itself, making a second season a near guarantee. Producer Paramount Network Television and USA network owner NBC Universal however are haggling over several key issues in regards to the show's return. NBC Universal reportedly wants to include the right to repurpose the series on any of its networks (most likely NBC itself) for a nominal fee as part of a second season renewal.

Paramount, which is now under the watch of Viacom Co-COO Les Moonves (whose domain includes CBS and UPN), is scoffing at the idea as undoubtedly they don't want to give NBC the option of plugging "The 4,400" in its lineup against CBS should any of the Peacock's series falter.

NBC Universal nevertheless says said exposure would no doubt benefit "The 4,400's" numbers (a la the Peacock's repurposing of Bravo's "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy") and points to the show's original success being partly due to the sci-fi drama's cross-platform promotion across all of the company's properties (including ads on NBC). The newfound strategy is being applied across the board as virtually all of the license fees for its new cable properties now include the provision to repurpose on other channels under its corporate umbrella. Viacom in any case points to the fact that "The 4,400's" deal with USA was signed well before the Peacock's merger with the channel's owner and should be treated as such.

Making things even more complicated for Paramount is that producers didn't have an option for the cast beyond its original six-hours, forcing production costs to rise past $1.5 million per episode as all involved demanded raises to return.

In any case, should a deal not be worked out between Paramount and NBC Universal, USA has the option to shop the series elsewhere, including NBCU's own NBC Universal Television Studios. Producers are hoping some sort of deal will be hammered out in time for production on 13 new episodes of "The 4,400" to begin in February for a summer 2005 premiere on USA.

Meanwhile as for "Tru Calling," the decision by FOX yesterday to postpone the show's second season launch on November 4 has exposed some serious issues about the series' future. Originally given a 13-episode order for its second season, industry insiders say the network may halt production once work completes on its sixth episode. The reason however isn't a creative one (FOX reportedly likes the direction the show is taking for its new season), but rather like most TV-related decisions, an economic one.

With a hefty midseason roster that includes over a dozen series - such as dramas "Athens," "The Inside," "Point Pleasant," "Jonny Zero" and season four of "24"; comedies "American Dad," "Related by Family" and "The Sketch Show"; new reality projects "Hell's Kitchen" and "Nanny 911" not to mention fresh seasons of "American Idol" and "The Simple Life" - the network is undoubtedly looking to cut back on some of its commitments. And with "Tru" being at best a modest success for FOX, the odds are much higher for one of its new dramatic entries to succeed than to go to bat again with the middling "Tru."

No formal decision has been made about rolling back the show's 13-episode order nor has producer 20th Century Fox Television or Original Television commented on the possibility. The pair are also behind "Point Pleasant" on the network.





  [september 2004]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
   


· 24 (FOX)
· 4400, THE (USA)
· ATHENS (FOX)
· INSIDE, THE (FOX)
· JONNY ZERO (FOX)
· POINT PLEASANT (FOX)
· QUEER EYE (BRAVO)
· TRU CALLING (FOX)









[04/17/14 - 03:04 PM]
Season Two of "Paternity Court with Lauren Lake" Begins Production in Atlanta This Summer
Presiding judge Lauren Lake will once again take her place on the bench, helping families come together to sort out complicated relationships and find resolution in their lives.

[04/17/14 - 02:31 PM]
Wednesday's Cable Ratings & Broadcast Finals: "Survivor," "American Idol" Top Charts
Plus: numbers for FS1's "The Ultimate Fighter," Comedy Central's "Workaholics" and the NHL playoffs on CNBC and NBCSN.

[04/17/14 - 02:22 PM]
Exclusive World Premiere of Hour-Long Special "SuperSong" Starring Ricky Martin Launches on Crackle April 21
"SuperSong" takes viewers behind-the-scenes with global superstar Ricky Martin and music producer Salaam Remi as they record SuperSong contest winner Elijah King's winning track.

[04/17/14 - 01:48 PM]
"Arnie" Becomes Most-Watched Original Production in Golf Channel History
Golf Channel spins the numbers for Sunday, April 13 through Tuesday, April 15.

[04/17/14 - 01:30 PM]
TBS Hit Series "Sullivan & Son" to Welcome Back Guest Stars Kunal Nayyar, Ken Jeong and Billy Gardell
The series is set to launch its third season with back-to-back episodes Tuesday, June 24 at 10:00/9:00c.

[04/17/14 - 01:04 PM]
Amazon Fire TV's Voice Search Gets New Partners
Hulu Plus, Crackle, and SHOWTIME ANYTIME are joining VEVO in integrating their full catalogs into Fire TV's unified voice search.

[04/17/14 - 12:04 PM]
The CW Announces Summer 2014 Premiere Dates
Highlights include the return of "Beauty and the Beast" and the premieres of "Backpackers" and "Seed."

[04/17/14 - 12:00 PM]
IDW Entertainment, George Lopez, & David M. Stern Developing "Wormwood" as an Animated Series
David M. Stern has been tapped to write the pilot episode and serve as an executive producer on the series.

[04/17/14 - 11:56 AM]
David Letterman, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Tracy Morgan, Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro to Headline Spike TV's "One Night Only: An All-Star Comedy Tribute to Don Rickles"
The 90-minute special, produced in conjunction with Don Mischer Productions, airs on Spike TV on Wednesday, May 28 at 9:00/8:00c.

[04/17/14 - 11:24 AM]
A&E Network Greenlights New Nonfiction Series "D.O.A." (Working Title) from Executive Producer Dick Wolf
The series follows a top team of detectives who will re-examine controversial murder cases in which unresolved questions still linger long after the verdict was determined.

[04/17/14 - 11:18 AM]
"The Tonight Show" Retains 100% of the Prior Week's 18-49 Rating, Sees Growth in Total Viewers
NBC spins the late-night numbers for the week of April 7-13.

[04/17/14 - 10:30 AM]
Video: First Look Clips at New Seasons of "Maron" & "Comedy Bang! Bang!" - Premieres May 8 on IFC
Today IFC released first look clips from both show's premiere episodes.

[04/17/14 - 10:30 AM]
E!'s "Chelsea Lately" Welcomes Khloe Kardashian, TJ Miller, Loni Love and Mary McCormack as Celebrity Guest Hosts April 21-24
Scheduled guests include Bob Saget, Wiz Khalifa, Mekhi Phifer and Ian Somerhalder.

[04/17/14 - 10:28 AM]
Two-Hour "Lindsay" Finale to Air Sunday, April 20 at 9 P.M. ET/PT on OWN
The OWN docu-series "Lindsay" follows movie star and media sensation Lindsay Lohan on her journey through recovery following a very public period of crisis.

[04/17/14 - 10:01 AM]
Academy Announces Key Dates for the Oscars(R)
The Oscars will be held at the Dolby Theatre(R) at Hollywood & Highland Center(R) in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network.