News Briefs: Breaking Bad's Vince Gilligan Has a New-ish Series in Development at CBS

By Kaitlin Thomas

Sep 26, 2013


Breaking Bad may not be over until Walt says it's over—or at least until this Sunday—but series creator Vince Gilligan has lined up his next TV gig. CBS has ordered Battle Creek, a drama about two detectives with differing views and attitudes in Battle Creek, Michigan, to series for the 2014-2015 TV season. Along for the ride are House creator David Shore, who will serve as showrunner, and Breaking Bad alum Mark Johnson, who'll executive-produce alongside Gilligan. Interestingly enough, the project was originally developed at the network in 2002, when Gilligan was fresh off his stint on The X-Files, but apparently it was shelved because CBS knew he needed to go make Breaking Bad and ruin everyone's lives first. [Variety]


... Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the most talked-about new series of the fall, premiered last night to 12.1 million viewers, coming in with a 4.7 rating in the 18-49 demo. That's ABC's largest premiere in three years, and Joss Whedon's largest premiere in the history of the universe. Which is why ABC will be airing an encore of the pilot tomorrow night—Thursday, September 26—at 8pm. (In case you're wondering, NCIS pulled in 20.02 million viewers and had its third largest season-opening audience ever. What kind of voodoo magic are those kids practicing that they get that many viewers?). [Variety and ABC via press release]

... Netflix has said there's basically a 100 percent chance of us getting more Arrested Development. They just don't know what form it will take. [Reuters]

... The CW is developing Red, a sci-fi Western drama from The Mentalist creator Bruno Heller and Mentalist executive producer Tom Szentgyorgyi. The project is about the first human settlement on Mars and centers on the relationships between the town’s female sheriff, a doctor, and a criminal. Uh, that's fine and all, but Firefly was the best sci-fi Western of all time. [Deadline]

... Good news, friends, Adult Swim has launched live-streaming functionality "across all platforms," as the tech folks like to say, including online and via their iPhone and Android apps. This means you can now watch Childrens Hospital whenever and wherever you want, provided you actually have cable, or know someone who has cable and will let you log in with their TV-provider account information. [Adult Swim via press release]

... Guillermo del Toro is teaming up with The Simpsons for this year's annual Halloween episode couch gag. “Treehouse of Horror XXIV," which is scheduled to air October 6, will feature monsters and classic characters from horror films throughout history. Then, in the first part of the episode, Homer will wreak havoc on Springfield in a rhyming take on a popular children’s tale. A segment titled “Dead and Shoulders” will see Bart beheaded during a kite accident (kite safety, guys, look into it), after which his head is attached to Lisa’s body and they must learn to live as one person. And finally, in “Freaks no Geeks,” Mr. Burns has a traveling circus and that's as far as I got in reading the press release because circuses mean clowns and clowns are terrifyingly evil creatures. [Fox via press release]

... TLC has announced two new projects, Breaking the Faith and Escaping the Prophet, both about leaving the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Breaking the Faith premieres November 24 and follows eight young men and women who are trying to build a life outside the church. Escaping the Prophet premieres in December and follows ex-FLDS member Flora Jessop as she makes it her mission to take down one of the most dangerous polygamist cults in America. That seems like an awful lot of work, but good luck, lady. [TLC via press release]

... Beginning October 2, The X Factor will introduce a new ultimate showdown called the Four Chair Challenge, in which the top 40 contestants will perform and the judges will have to pick the top four acts to take with them to the live shows. The acts will then get to sit in a chair on the stage, but can be unseated at any time if someone better comes along. I've never watched the show and have no idea what this means, or why this matters, or how it's different from what The X Factor did previously. But it sounds a lot like a bizarre version of musical chairs. [Fox via press release]

... Sony is partnering with Space Expedition Corporation to send a celebrity to space. Unfortunately, it appears this is some sort of reality series and not, in fact, a one-way ticket. [Deadline]

... Robert Zemeckis has partnered with Clifton Campbell (The Glades) for Billy Ray, a new series all about Billy Ray Cyrus! Just kidding. Wouldn't that be the worst? Man. Anyway, Billy Ray, which has a put pilot commitment from Fox, is about a family whose world is turned upside-down when their child who was kidnapped as a baby returns home to them at the age of 16 after being raised by a wackadoodle. I bet Billy Ray Cyrus wishes he could push Miley off on someone else right about now. [Deadline]


... HBO has finally given the go-ahead to Criminal Justice, a miniseries that James Gandolfini had been set to star in prior to his death. Robert De Niro will take over Gandolfini's role. Criminal Justice is about a New York attorney who's just a bit too ambitious in taking on a case involving a Pakistani accused of murder. [EW]

... The legendary Vanessa Redgrave has joined ABC's The Black Box, a new drama about a world-renowned neuroscientist played by Kelly Reilly who appears to have her crap together on the surface, but is struggling with a mental illness. Redgrave will play her psychiatrist. [TV Line]

... Rumer Willis has joined E!'s pilot Songbyrd as the sister of Bethany Joy Lenz's character, Lauren, who employs a small group of people who help her with her songwriting process. [TV Line]

... Bryan Cranston, much like Vince Gilligan, is keeping busy. He'll be reprising his role as Ted's former boss on How I Met Your Mother for one episode in the final season. Okay, so maybe he's not keeping busy so much as he's showing up for a few hours of work on a series he was barely part of to begin with. But still, more Cranston is always a good thing. Unless you're Todd or Todd's uncle. [E! Online]


... Nina Dobrev, the star of The CW's The Vampire Diaries, is apparently dating Derek Hough, who just won an Emmy for Dancing With the Stars. Discuss. [E! Online]

  • Comments (53)
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  • shocker713 Sep 26, 2013

    Much to Fox's dismay, the SHIELD/NCIS 1-2 punch means that nobody watched Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and less than nobody watched Dads.

  • No1Slayerette Sep 27, 2013

    I regret not putting Dads into my Dead Pool now :(

  • shocker713 Sep 26, 2013

    Battle Creek? Sounds a bit flaky to me.

  • Raniatlw Sep 26, 2013

    Ian vs. Derek... Yeah, Ian 150%. Both are hot, but come on... it's Ian all the way.

  • geoffmaze Sep 26, 2013

    I'll give Vince's show a shot. He did well with the X-Files and has knocked it out of the park with Breaking Bad.

  • Writerpatrick Sep 26, 2013

    SHEILD was #3 for overall viewers but tied at #1 for the key demo. While the boys were watching SHIELD, the girls were watching The Voice. And their parents were watching NCIS.

    From the numbers, it looks as if NCIS may have taken a small hit but generally it appears there's enough audience for both NCIS and SHIELD. However, SHIELD will almost certainly drop in numbers next week as almost all new shows do.

    It's also interesting that there were about 40 torrent postings on TPB for the SHIELD pilot, with one of them reaching about 40,000 seeds. I don't know what it's overall downloads were, but with seeding that high I would guess there were more than a million downloads. (For the record I watched it on TV, at a later time.)

  • FringeFanatic Sep 26, 2013

    Yep, it was one of the fastest downloads for a gig file I've ever seen. I don't have the greatest connection bandwidth, but that baby downloaded in under 10 minutes.

  • CharmedOneP391 Sep 26, 2013

    Yes!! I downloadeded it on my 4g Google nexus and it took less than ten minutes. Global impact

  • FringeFanatic Sep 26, 2013

    Digital piracy isn't a victimless crime, you know...


  • FringeFanatic Sep 26, 2013


    Oh, but yeah, for the record I totally watched it on TV, too.

  • Llostris Sep 26, 2013

    This comment has been removed.

  • sleepy-sonic Sep 26, 2013

    Good debut for S.H.I.E.L.D. and I'm hoping ratings will remain steady.

  • EsmeBuffay Sep 26, 2013

    I don't really have anything insightful to add to the comments so I'll just say Derek Hough's face is weird looking and leave it at that.

  • No1Slayerette Sep 26, 2013

    Gilligan's new project is going to get a hell of a lot of hype, but there's too little to go on from that description at this stage. I just hope that people remember as more news develops that thus far it says he created the show and will executive produce, but will not run the show, so please don't everyone go expecting another Breaking Bad!

    There really, really, really, really needs to be a forum on where we can talk about television ratings, or even just the development of the Dead Pool as it progresses. I guess I'll just have to say that while as a Whedon fan I'm glad that Agents of SHIELD did well and that it also ensured The Goldbergs has good ratings, but that Lucky 7 dipped badly, which is all great news for my Dead Pool. What's not is that I didn't pick Dads (as my one that I didn't pick because everyone else picked it and I thought it could stand a chance). Apparently not against Agents of SHIELD.

    The CW's Red looks cool, for some reason the description reminds me of that fairly recent episode of Doctor Who, 'A Town Called Mercy'.

  • SRJohansen Oct 01, 2013

    I agree about Gilligan's next show. I hope it won't be a phoning it in type thing like Chris Nolan did on Man of Steel: "The Man Who Gave Us The Dark Knight!!!"....executive produced.

  • AndreaMcCooey Sep 26, 2013

    SHIELD was class. I actually might even watch it again tomorrow on Channel 4. (UK)
    If I'm not out drinking that is.
    20 million people watched NCIS? Really? Good God...

  • Taccado Sep 26, 2013

    Variety says this about the ratings for SHIELD: "The 4.6 rating makes “SHIELD” the top drama premiere on any network since ABC’s “V” in November 2009 — and the best for any 8 p.m. drama since “Lost” in 2004."

    V? Seriously? V was actually the top drama premiere in its time?

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