News Briefs: Starz and Steven Soderbergh Team Up for a High-End Prostitute Drama
SITTING DOWN TO WATCH THE BACHELOR NOT INCLUDED NEWS
... Starz has ordered 13 episodes of The Girlfriend Experience, an anthology series based on the 2009 Steven Soderbergh film of the same name. You know, the one where porn star Sasha Grey wore clothes. The half-hour episodes would follow high-class escorts—a new one in a new city each week—who give their clients more than just sex, they give them the "girlfriend experience," which includes a more intimate bond than just paying for a bonin'. I actually liked the film (mostly), which was more about dependency and new-world relationships than it was leaving $50 on the dresser after a rump romp. We'll see if Starz's version retains that same level of intellectualism. [THR]
... More not-girlfriend news: Showtime ordered a pilot for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (redundant, right fellas?), a half-hour comedy with "musical elements" *gulp* from Aline Brosh McKenna and Rachel Bloom. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend follows a young woman who gives up a successful career and sick crib in Manhattan to find love in California. Sure, why not? [Showtime via press release]
... ABC's Rising Star debuted last night, and I accidentally watched way too much of it. Like three minutes! But not a ton of other people did. The singing show drew about 5 million viewers and a 1.5 rating in the 18-49 demo for its premiere episode, losing to America's Got Talent (8 million, 2.1). And if you were hoping that the crowds swelled for Enlisted's series finale and that Fox would rethink its decision to cancel it, nope. Less than a million watched, and it only earned a 0.3 rating among adults despite its biggest competition being Wipeout. [TV By the Numbers]
... TNT premiered Michael Bay's The Last Ship last night, so I know what your next question is: what were the ratings, Tim!?!?!? I'll tell you: 5.3 million viewers, which TNT touts as the biggest launch for a new cable series so far this year. I didn't really care for the pilot, but if you need minimal story and maximum shots of a Destroyer's bajillion-caliber guns swiveling around, then it's for you. [TNT via press release]
... Fox has confirmed what we already knew: Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, Harry Connick, Jr., and Ryan Seacrest will all return for the fourteenth season of American Idol. On other sites, this would be top-billed news. Here at TV.com, it's buried in News Briefs. Yeah, that's how punk rock we are. *stubs toe on desk and cries for four hours* Yep, totally hardcore. [Fox via press release]
... "We're going to need a bigger television." Shark Week is coming back, and it's going to be bigger than ever, obviously. This year's celebration of feared fish will feature 13 shark-centric specials and the return of the late-night talk show Shark After Dark. Among the programs this year: Sharkageddon, about a spike in shark attacks in Hawaii; Lair of the Mega Shark, following the quest for the legendary 20-foot Great White in New Zealand; and Megaladon: The New Evidence, which is probably another B.S. fake-umentary about a giant shark. Shark Week kicks off August 10 on Discovery. [Discovery via press release]
... For once soccer didn't flop. Ha ha ha get it because they're always falling down as though their ankles just exploded? Oh man. Anyway, ESPN's broadcast of the footie match between the United States and Portugal became the most watched soccer broadcast in the history of this country, with 18.2 million viewers tuning in to see a tie. That beat the previous best, the 17.9 million who watched the U.S. women in the Women's World Cup Final in 1999. [ESPN via press release]
... Grey's Anatomy has found a keeper in Caterina Scorsone. The med-soap drama has promoted Scorsone, who plays Derek's younger sis Amelia Shepherd, to series regular for the upcoming Season 11. [TV Guide]
... Carl Lumbly, known as Agent Marcus Dixon from Alias, has joined the cast of A&E's The Returned do-over. He'll play Pastor Leon Wright, a local minister who counsels a woman through some mind-melting times. [THR]
STORIES YOU MAY HAVE MISSED ON TV.COM
... Our Emmy dreams continue with our wishlist for Best Actor in a Drama. Hint: Bryan Cranston made a few lists.
... Lily took a stab at the True Blood premiere for the final season, and she totally liked it.
... MaryAnn watched the Season 4 premiere of Falling Skies, and it's still pretty weird.
... And I watched the series premiere of The Last Ship, which I found to be your basic Michael Bay glamorization of billion-dollar military vehicles and hooey science.
... And if you're looking at the week ahead, Cory has a preview of FX's new middle-Eastern drama Tyrant.
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