[07/29/11 - 11:11 PM]
Cable TCA Roundup: AMC, Animal Planet, BBC America, Discovery, Hallmark, HBO, History, Lifetime, MTV & Starz
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- A recap of additional announcements and developments from the cable portion of the TCA Summer Press Tour:

-- AMC understands "The Killing" outrage. "For everybody who was frustrated, we hear you," AMC's Senior Vice President of Original Programming Joel Stillerman told reporters. "And if we had to do anything differently, I think we would certainly have taken a different approach with respect to managing the expectations of what was going to happen within that season." Stillerman went on to promise "you will find out who killed Rosie Laren in season two definitely" and that he isn't ruling out a third season for the series. "We see that as an ongoing character drama, you know, where we would spin out more stories around the investigation of crimes."

-- No decision has been made yet regarding a fifth season of "Breaking Bad." "We're off to a great start, but no decision yet," Stillerman said. "We're only two episodes in."

-- Animal Planet will bring back "Killer Outbreaks" and "I'm Alive" in September. The cable channel will marathon the three remaining installments of each series on Monday, September 12 and Monday, September 19, respectively, beginning at 8:00/7:00c. Both series were pulled from Animal Planet's lineup back in May.

-- The series version of "Bad Dog!" will launch Saturday, September 10 at 10:00/9:00c on Animal Planet. The network aired the backdoor pilot back in August of last year. The hour-long series documents just how far pets can push their owners and still get unconditional love.

-- BBC America has moved up the premiere of its new drama "Bedlam" to Saturday, October 1 at 10:00/9:00c. Said move is designed to take advantage of the season finale of "Doctor Who" that same night at 9:00/8:00c. "Bedlam" will then move to its regular Saturday, 9:00/8:00c home on October 8.

-- Steven Moffat will pen "Doctor Who's" next Christmas special. Said installment will air during the holidays on BBC America. Moffat is also writing the aforementioned October 1 season finale of the series.

-- Discovery is relocating its Monday lineup to Friday nights. "Man vs. Wild" and "Surviving the Cut" will now air Fridays at 9:00/8:00c and 10:00/9:00c, respectively, beginning August 12.

-- Hallmark Movie Channel has commissioned a pair of sequels to "Goodnight for Justice." The Luke Perry-led/Jason Priestley-directed original was the highest-rated film in the channel's history.

-- Alan Ball will be back for a fifth season of "True Blood." "I just closed a deal to do another season," he said during the show's panel. "And I don't have any desire to leave, because I'm having more fun than I've ever had in my life."

-- HBO would make more episodes of "Game of Thrones" each season if they could. "There is no way they could physically do more than ten [episodes] without us making a decision to dilute the quality of the execution, to have [David Benioff and D. B. Weiss] be less hands-on, which is not, again, what we're about," HBO president Michael Lombardo said during the pay channel's executive session. "I hope it lasts for 20 years. You know, I can promise you we won't stop it before it's ready to stop."

-- While not mentioned on HBO's programming overview, "Luck" will premiere in January. "We're definitely going to premiere it in the beginning on January 2012, [where] 'Big Love' had aired for the last couple of years and we're very excited about it," Lombardo added.

-- Scripts are finally in for a pair of potential "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" films. Said Lombardo: "We had decided instead of continuing it as a series to develop it as possibly two or more what I'll call stand-alone films. So we just got final drafts in and we're taking a look at them now."

-- HBO won't be moving forward with seventh season of "Hard Knocks" this summer, citing the obvious difficulties with such a quick turnaround. The pay channel however will offer up a 90-minute anniversary special looking back at the six previous seasons on August 31.

-- History has postponed "Invention USA" until later this year. The series, in which tech/science experts Reichart Von Wolfshield and Garrett Lisi travel the country in search of the next great thing from amateur inventors, was set to launch Friday, August 16 at 10:00/9:00c.

-- Lifetime has pulled "The Bling Ring," which is now due later this year. The film, starring Austin Butler, Jennifer Grey and Yin Chang, was previously slated to premiere Monday, August 8.

-- Mila Kunis will guest star in an episode of MTV's upcoming animated comedy "Good Vibes." Kunis will play herself in said installment, in which she attends the prom with Tony Hale's character after he rescues her from a pack of paparazzi on the beach.

-- Lauren Iungerich's script "Dumb Girls" has been ordered to pilot by MTV. The project, from the "Awkward." creator, revolves around a group of twentysomethings who are smart about everything except love.

-- "Torchwood" may not return for a traditional fifth season. "'Torchwood' is not one of the shows we went into thinking about a yearly return," Albrecht said during Starz's executive session. "[Russell T Davies] has a lot of things on his plate. If 'Torchwood' is at the top of his list, that will effect the future of 'Torchwood.'"

  [july 2011]  


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