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)











[08/23/14 - 08:52 AM]
Friday's Broadcast Ratings: NFL Preseason Pushes CBS in Front
Coverage of the Raiders at Packers leads the night in all categories for the Eye.

[08/23/14 - 08:40 AM]
"Dateline NBC" Ties for the #2 Show of the Night on the Big 4 Networks and the #1 Non-Sports Show in Adults 18-49
NBC spins the numbers for Friday, August 22.

[08/22/14 - 02:58 PM]
"The Simpsons" Soars on FXX - Day 1 of 12-Day Marathon Delivers Record-Breaking Numbers for Nascent Channel
FXX spins the numbers for Thursday, August 21.

[08/22/14 - 01:53 PM]
2015 NASCAR Schedule to Be Announced Tuesday at 5 P.M. ET on Special Edition of "NASCAR America" on NBCSN
Host Rick Allen will be joined by NBC Sports Group NASCAR analysts Jeff Burton, Kyle Petty and Frank Stoddard to present the schedule and discuss the selected dates, tracks, and overall 2015 NASCAR calendar.

[08/22/14 - 12:38 PM]
Oscar-Winner Stephen Gaghan to Direct "White City" Pilot for AMC
The project is an adventure story set in the somewhat surreal ex-pat world of near-present Afghanistan, one of the most discussed and least understood places on earth.

[08/22/14 - 11:43 AM]
"Red Band Society" Fans Banded Together to Help FOX Raise $100,000 for Charity Partners and Unlock the Debut Episode
The "Pilot" episode is available now until Tuesday, August 26 at 5:00 PM ET on multiple platforms.

[08/22/14 - 11:30 AM]
A Special "Lost"-Themed Episode of "Phineas and Ferb" to Premiere Monday, September 29 on Disney XD
The episode, titled "Lost in Danville," also guest stars Jane Kaczmarek and Rob Morrow.

[08/22/14 - 11:26 AM]
"Iyanla: Fix My Life Special Report: Healing in Ferguson" to Air Tuesday, August 26 at 9 PM ET/PT on OWN
The special episode of the award-winning series follows ordained minister and spiritual life coach Iyanla Vanzant on an emotional trip to Ferguson, Missouri.

[08/22/14 - 08:59 AM]
Talent Announced for 2014 PaleyFest Fall TV Previews September 6 - 15 at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills
The annual celebration features multiple screenings at the Center's L.A. and N.Y. locations, with L.A. hosting interactive panel conversations at each event.

[08/22/14 - 08:45 AM]
"Welcome to Sweden" Equals Its Top 18-49 Rating Since July 24
NBC spins the numbers for Thursday, August 21.

[08/22/14 - 08:39 AM]
Discovery Channel Explores the World of Automotive Auctions in All New Series "Highway to Sell"
Across America, neglected classic cars are waiting to be restored and make their way back onto the street.

[08/22/14 - 08:36 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: CBS Rides "Big Brother" to Top Spots
The Eye is the night's most-watched network among total viewers and adults 18-49.

[08/22/14 - 08:19 AM]
ABC's "Rookie Blue" Season Closer Is Up 22% to Tie a Season High and Tops Its Year-Ago Finale
ABC spins the numbers for Thursday, August 21.

[08/22/14 - 07:32 AM]
BBC America and BBC One Announce New Drama Series "The Living and the Dead"
"We are as excited about this show as anything since 'Life on Mars' and 'Ashes to Ashes' - we want it to be moving, tender, sensual... and very, very scary," said Ashley Pharoah and Matthew Graham.

[08/22/14 - 07:15 AM]
Teams Compete to Drive Away with the Grand Prize on New Food Network Series "Food Truck Face Off"
Jesse Palmer hosts the 13-episode series, premiering Thursday, October 2 at 8:00/7:00c.