News Briefs: A Lot of People Watched Downton Abbey

THE BRITISH ARE STAYING NEWS

... The Season 3 premiere of Downton Abbey on PBS kicked some ass (or as the British say, "foot-nobbled me arse!") last night, convincing 7.9 million viewers to figure out which channel is PBS in their cable packages. The audience almost doubled that of Season 2's first episode, and quadrupled the average PBS primetime audience. This is what we call The Netflix Effect. All this despite the episodes having already aired in the U.K. and presumably pirated by Anglophiles ever since. [PBS via press release]


BUSINESS TIME

... The same good fortune did not fall upon Happy Endings and Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, which made their Sunday debuts last night and quickly hit series lows, with 2.6 million viewers and a 1.0 rating for the gang in Chicago and 2.2 million and a 0.9 for the -ITCH. Did anyone know those two shows were on last night? Does ABC care? No it does not, and both of them will be canceled, which sucks because they're not bad. [TV Guide]

... Ahhhh, summer camp. Where young boys and girls forge friendships, get murdered by a knife-wielding maniac, and catch their first sexually transmitted disease. It's also the setting for a new NBC series called... Camp. The network has announced a 13-episode order for the one-hour drama and will appropriately target summer for its run. Not much is known about the series other than it will be set at a summer camp and follow both the parents and children. Camp was created by Deception's Liz Heldens and Peter Elkoff, so they'll have at least one show at NBC in a few weeks. [NBC via press release]

... USA Network has renewed Necessary Roughness for a third season after much deliberation. The episode count is a little lower, though, with only a 10-episode order. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Remember when the soaps All My Children and One Life to Live were yanked from television, supposedly to live on in an online format? Well it's finally happening. Business guys Prospect Park have finally signed all the deals they need to sign to air the sudsers on The Online Network. Can't wait to hear all the dial-up modems chime as thousands of housewives across the country dust off their Dells to catch some stories. [EW]

... E! has given Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte a reality show. What Would Ryan Lochte Do? will follow the man-fish as he does just about everything but swim. [The Wrap]


CASTING NEWS

... How I Met Your Mother will honor Canada with a future episode (February 4) detailing more about Robin Sparkles and featuring tons of Canadian celebrities. Among the guests will be Alan Thicke, Paul Shaffer, Jason Priestly, Alex Trebek, Luc Robitaille, Geddy Lee, and K.D. Lang. Non-Canadian James van der Beek will also return as Robin's ex-boyfriend. [TV Line]

... Hot off proving his burning love for Sister Mary Eunice in American Horror Story, actor James Cromwell will join the cast of NBC's upcoming schizo drama Do No Harm. In the new series, which stars Steven Pasquale as a surgeon with a split personality, Cromwell will play a mentor to the two dudes who share a body. [TV Line]


POOP NEWS

... Al Roker shit his pants at The White House. [TMZ]


SAD NEWS

... TV personality Huell Howser has passed away at the age of 67. Howser was known as the enthusiastic host of the long-running California's Gold travel program, which saw him tour all the landmarks of California, from Yosemite to Coachella. You the man, Huell. We'll miss you. At least we still have James Adomian's spot-on impression of Howser to keep the legend going. [KCET]



Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Foot what? I don't think anyone in Britain has EVER said that lol Anyway, Downton Abbey is a major snoozefest. Give me American Horror Story, TWD, Fringe, Homeland anything from America over Downton bloody Abbey!
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I abandoned "Happy Endings" about 2 episodes into Season 2. Oh dear god, I thought it was awful. "Don't Trust the B----" is quickly becoming next on my list of STOP watching TV shows, for many of the same reasons that I stopped watching "Happy Endings".
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People like this guy give the human race a bad name!
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You may think so. I've now totally abandoned "Don't Trust the B" as well. Television shows that have characters with no redeeming value speak volumes about the people that continue to watch them.
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Just to note, it's "k.d. lang" not "K.D. Lang." She styles it in lowercase intentionally
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If It's true that The Bitch and Happy Endings is about to be cancelled, it's sad. I think Happy Endings have had there best season ever this season, and The Bitch is just awesome.
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I wish TBS would pick up Happy Endings as well and make a Cougar Town and Happy Endings night.
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I hereby dub this season of Downton Abbey as Downton Saddly.. just because.

Necessary Roughness shouldn't have even gone to series, let alone multiple seasons.

I hope this isn't ABC's way of burning the episodes off of those shows and cancelling them.. I wouldn't want Apt 23 to go away, but it wouldn't be a big deal if it did.. Happy Endings on the other hand, I would be peeeeeissed! forget Modern Family because who cares what critics have to say, and even though this season hasn't been up to par as the first two, Happy Endings is easily the funniest show ABC has.
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I think this season of Happy Endings is waaaaay better than its first season. The second season, and the current one, are really what drew me into the show (not saying the first season was terrible, but it's just become so much better).
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Err.... Foot-nobbled? Seriously?
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Am I the only one getting serious Creepy Duchovny withdrawals here?

Although I like Happy Endings, I simply love Don't trust the B. Would be sad for it to disappear. James van der Beek caricaturing himself is super funny and the other two leads are really funny as well! The problem with Happy Endings for me is that I don't understand half of the stuff they say :D Other than that, it's great.
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Oh man, you just missed him! He was creepily ogling Anna Faris in the previous News Briefs.
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ABC - Why not just finish off your last three or four 666 Park Avenue episodes and be done? I doubt you and/or Disney would go out of business. In the meantime, you can figure what to replace it with instead of playing these idiot games.

Surprised about Necessary Roughness - I stopped watching that after a handful of episodes. In the meantime, the Scrooge's at USA couldn't be bothered to let Hulu or Comcast On Demand in HD air the holiday season finale to Royal Pains, so I missed it.

That soap return online sounds like it's going to be a big failure. I do hope it succeeds, but I don't see it happening. If it's not Netflix, Hulu, or cable, where are they going to get the viewers or how are they going to promote it? Through ABC? Is it just for these soaps or will other programming go on? It's all kind of odd.
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Can't we just have Salute Your Shorts reruns instead of this latest NBC monstrosity?
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Happy endings is such an awesome show!!!! If it gets cancelled in US i wont get it here in Australia!!!
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And neither will Americans.
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I didn't know Happy Endings and Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 would air Sunday until I saw an ad during the new episode of Revenge. I watch all three shows but I don't know that the average Revenge viewer was the target audience. I was lucky to see the pop up when I did.
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Sad news about Huell Howser. His passing hits especially close to home for me, my grandfather passed away in October at 99, he couldn't get enough of California Gold with Huell Howser so the show resonated for me, and the show really was the man, Huell Howser came to this state and immediately fell in love with it, writing and eventually hosting and creating his amazing show that spoke so nicely and without airs or fancification at the world around us. Howser seemed like a really plain-spoken and passionate guy, his unexpected retirement last November was worrisome and now we know why. Taken too soon.

Great job ABC, you took 2 struggling shows and tanked them, excellent work, way to think it through, first prize, first prize, first prize. Dicks.

Seriously NBC, you think kids want to watch TV shows about summer camp during the summer? OR EVER???

Holy crap, USA went crazy and renewed Necessary Roughness despite low ratings and critical response after they went on a hacking spree not long ago. How did this survive the ax? Just so cheap to produce that it didn't matter, or what?

I suck, didn't know Paul Shaffer was Canadian, that explains how his last name is prounounced the way it is. I'd prefer more Paul Shaffer on SNL though.
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I miss Huell already...
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Can't wait for the Feb 4th HIMYM episode.

P.S. I think you meant "How I Met Your Mother will honour Canada", and not "honor Canada". Right my neighbour, not neighbor, to the South?
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He's not your neighbor, pal! :p
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