News Briefs: NBC Is Done Making "Sophisticated" Comedies


... NBC held its TCA (Television Critics Association) session today, and the network has pretty much decided to give up on the whole good comedy thing. Once home to smash hits Seinfeld, Cheers, and Friends, and currently home to critically praised series Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, and Community, NBC will steer its comedy production away from "sophisticated" sitcoms in an effort to "broaden the audience." Translation: Expect a lot more shots to the balls and fewer things that are actually funny from NBC in the future. NBC boss Bob Greenblatt also said that comedies Whitney and Up All Night were "steps in the right direction" of where they want their comedy to be. Yep, here comes a new era of Must-Wince TV. It should be noted that Greenblatt also did not rule out extending Community's upcoming fourth season, but of course he's going to say that. [Time]


... Hey, vampires are still a thing, right? NBC, always with its thumb on the pulse of pop culture's corpse, has ordered a new undead drama Dracula to series with a 10-episode order. Former The Tudors star Jonathan Rhys Meyers will play the fanged one in 1890s London as he gets revenge on people who ruined his life and falls in love with some hot chicks. [Deadline Hollywood]

... The adult cast members of Modern Family are in the process of renegotiating their contracts, and to show they mean business, they've teamed up and sued producer 20th Century Fox Television. Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Sofia Vergara, and Ed O'Neill are all asking for much more money than they're being offered, which is already a lot of money. But Modern Family is a gigantor megahit that's making ABC and 20th Century Fox a lot of skrilla, so there should be enough to go around. The cast is also suing the Emmys for not having enough Emmys for them. [THR]

... Discovery has greenlit Bering Sea Gold: Under the Ice, a docudrama from the creators of Deadliest Catch. It will follow tough guys as they dig under the ice for gold instead of making their fortunes like real men: by selling Beanie Babies on eBay. [EW]

... MTV is bringing back House of Style, AGAIN. The fashion-centric program, originally hosted by Cindy Crawford, will return October 9. No host has been announced, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that he or she will be hot as balls. [EW]

... VH1 has given a series order to Bounce, a scripted series about professional dancers for a pro basketball team. Here's a description for you: "Pete Davenport (Dean Cain) is the former all-star who’s come back to coach his old team only to have to contend with the girls stealing the spotlight and distracting his players." And that's all you need to know about that. [Deadline Hollywood]

... HBO has ordered a pilot for Hello Ladies starring Ricky Gervais' buddy and The Office co-creator Stephen Merchant. The comedy will follow Merchant as he tries to find love in Los Angeles. [Deadline Hollywood]


... Do you love awesome casting for awesome shows? Then put on your seat belt and tighten your backpack straps and polish your shoes because you're going to love this! Person of Interest will bring in two Tim Surette favorites as guest stars next season: Ken Leung (Lost) and Margo Martindale (Emmy winner for Justified). No details on either role were revealed. Leung's appearance was first announced at Comic-Con. [TV Guide]

... Alcatraz and Sons of Anarchy vet Sarah Jones has joined the cast of CBS's good-looking drama Vegas. She'll play the daughter of a Chicago gangster who works in a casino. She will continue to capture criminals who've time-traveled from famous prisons in my heart, though. Long live Rebecca Madsen! [Deadline Hollywood]

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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