News Briefs: NBC Is No Ass, Draws Fear Factor Line at Donkey Semen

LITTLE HORSE CHOWDER NEWS

... NBC's Fear Factor is known for pushing the limits of tastefulness, and it's latest stunt tastes like salty grains. The reality competition, in which contestants participate in scary stunts and gross-out tests of stamina, was scheduled to air an episode tonight in which contestants were shown drinking freshly squeezed donkey semen. Word of the stunt hit the web last week, followed by the sound of dry heaving, and NBC opted not to air the challenge. You have to feel for the contestants who actually drank the goo just to get on television, only to not end up on television. They're probably hee-hawing up a storm! [TMZ]


DEVELOPMENT NEWS

... Mindy Kaling, an actress, writer, and producer on NBC's The Office, has sold a pilot to Fox. The untitled comedy will star Kaling as a gynecologist. With a potential Office spin-off centered on Dwight Schrute in the works and Kaling working on her own show, does that mean The Office is going out of business? We think so. [Vulture]

... CBS has ordered a pilot for Boomtown from Louis C.K. If that sounds familiar, then you have a kick-ass memory, because Louis wrote that thing 13 years ago with Spike Feresten. CBS is trying to revive the multi-camera comedy, about a group of young people trying to realize their dreams while the economy is in the toilet, with a revamped skit to update it to today. This is almost unheard of in the industry. [Deadline Hollywood]

... USA Network has ordered the miniseries Political Animals from producer Greg Berlanti (Dirty Sexy Money, No Ordinary Family). The six-hour drama follows a former First Family and will air this summer. [LA Times]

... Oooh, this one I'm excited about. Fox has picked up a pilot from Moses Port and David Guarascio, the brains behind the incredibly underrated comedy Aliens in America. El Jefe continues their theme of culture clashes and follows a 30-year-old man who gets kicked out of his parents' house and must move in with their cleaning lady and her family. This just earned a spot on my list of things to be excited for in 2012, right alongside Vanilla Ice's acoustic comeback and hamburger-shaped hotdogs! [Deadline Hollywood]

... And here are six more pilots to judge based on very little info. Three of them are at ABC: How to Live with Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life, about a recently divorced single mom who moves in with her parents. Only Fools & Horses, an adaptation of a British comedy that sees two brothers and their grandfather all try to formulate schemes to become millionaires. And the last one, which is still untitled, is yet ANOTHER show about twentysomethings and relationships and blah blah blah. The other three are at CBS: Friend Me is about two guys who move to Los Angeles; one wants to go out on the town, the other is more content to keep up with friends back home via the internet. Partners follows two guys whose friendship is tested when one of them proposes to his girlfriend. And the last one is from Greg Berlanti, about a man who realizes his female best friend is "the one." Which of these sound good to you? [EW]

... Spike TV, no relation to Spike Feresten, has greenlighted three new reality series. Full Bounty will follow bounty hunters, Tattoo Nightmares is about people removing embarrassing tattoos (really?), and Rat Bastards centers on Louisiana folk who hunt down giant rats in the swamp. Spike is also reviving World's Wildest Police Videos. If any of these sound fun to you, then we have nothing in common. Sorry! [Deadline Hollywood]


BECAUSE YOU CAN'T GET ENOUGH AWARDS NEWS

... The SAG Awards were held this weekend, and that meant more trophies for Modern Family. The ABC comedy won the prize for Best Ensemble in a Comedy, while Boardwalk Empire took home Best Ensemble honors on the drama side. Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire), Jessica Lange (American Horror Story), Alec Baldwin (30 Rock), and Betty White (Hot In Cleveland) also won awards. I'm sure I don't have to point out that Breaking Bad was shut out. [SAG Awards]


CASTING NEWS

... Susan Sarandon is joining Showtime's The Big C for multiple episodes. She'll play a cancer survivor named Joy who uses her story to help motivate others. Cathy just wants to use her survival story as an excuse to make the most out of her life. Sheesh! [THR]

... Shirley MacLaine is joining the UK hit drama Downton Abbey. She'll play Lady Grantham's mother. [LA Times]

... Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, will voice himself in the The Simpsons' 500th episode. Assange is still under house arrest in England at a secret location, so he had to do his lines over the phone. [EW]

... Shiri Appleby (Life Unexpected) is about to get Franklin'd and Bash'd! Appleby will guest-star on the TNT series Franklin & Bash, where she will play a "smart and sassy" lawyer, as opposed to those conservative and stupid lawyers we're so used to seeing on television. [TV Line]


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

Comments (27)
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Damn it the title made me think Community was coming back soon, damn it!
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Steve Carell deserved that award. No offense to Alec Baldwin fan's but I just don't get the appeal.
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... and television continues to slowly crush the public under the weight of its own failures.



What surprises me is that NBC had tentatively green-lit that donkey-semen-drinking bit, they likely were given the preliminary plans for the stunt and approved it during the planning stages before Fear Factor wasted money producing the segment. So it's not their moral fortitude which kept them from going forward, it was merely public outcry - doesn't speak well to their character as programming executives... AHAHAHA! "NBC" "Programming executives", that's rich.
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That is one of the most disgusting things I have ever heard in my life. Good God what is wrong with the people that make Fear Factor?
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Simpsons 500th episode! That's what I am talking about!
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I could not be happier that NBC showed a little decency and pulled the donkey semen episode. I mean really, how repulsive is that? However, unlike you, I don't feel bad for the people who drank it. They decided to gulp a hot glass of donkey babies for a chance at a little money and it won't be televised, they should send NBC a fruit basket and a thank you note.
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Only Fools and Horses too? Can't they just air the British version and save themselves the trouble of making it?
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"And the last one is from Greg Berlanti, about a man who realizes his female best friend is "the one." Which of these sound good to you? [EW]" I'm sorry, isn't this at least one season of every comedy show on the air? How I Met Your Mother had Robin and Ted and Robin and Barney, Friends had Ross and Rachel (Monica and Chandler didn't have the will they or won't they situation) Even the cancelled Mad Love had the bearded guy and Judy Greer. How on earth do they think that this show could last more than two seasons? (I was going to say more than one, but with some of the dreck on television, I will up that) Then, this: Spike TV, no relation to Spike Feresten, has greenlighted three new reality series. Full Bounty will follow bounty hunters, Tattoo Nightmares is about people removing embarrassing tattoos (really?), and Rat Bastards centers on Louisiana folk who hunt down giant rats in the swamp. Spike is also reviving World's Wildest Police Videos. If any of these sound fun to you, then we have nothing in common. Sorry! [Deadline Hollywood]



Embarrassing tattoo removal? Really? That was also on How I Met Your Mother, and it wasn't really funny then, either. To follow the words of Willow Rosenberg... Bored Now.



Oh, and this:

CBS is trying to revive the multi-camera comedy, about a group of young people trying to realize their dreams while the economy is in the toilet, with a revamped skit to update it to today. This is almost unheard of in the industry. [Deadline Hollywood]



I don't think this is unheard of, all Hollywood is is unoriginal thought. Movies based on Books, Remade Movies, or tv shows. Heck, even tv shows are re-made TV shows. Even Cupid got revamped for 10 years later, Coupling came across the Atlantic, and I would think of more, but by and large they are ridiculously unsuccessful. Of course, Louis CK is the man, so maybe (fingers crossed) it will work.
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I noticed that Alec Baldwin won this award for the sixth time in a row! So he has won one for every season of 30 Rock, while for example Steve Carell has not won a single one. I bet his fellow nominees are thrilled to have him leave 30 Rock.

Winning six times in a row does make these award shows feel pointless. Not that Alec hasn't done a great job, but is he really that good? I feel that the other nominees should deserve some recognition for their work too. I'm not talking about giving awards to others out of pity, but can it really be said that Alec is so much above the rest that he gets to win every year? The recognition process is completely subjective, so there is no way to determine that someone is objectively better than the other. This means that if an actors has managed to become nominated out of hundreds of fellow actors, in my eyes the five nominees are pretty much equally deserving the award. So why not share the wealth a little bit more evenly? Who would complain about that? I mean, didn't Steve deserve even one award? If he had gotten one statuette, it wouldn't have taken away any of Alec's greatness.
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If you are stupid and fame-hungry enough to drink you-know-what, I think you got what came to you when in the end it was all for nothing :D



I'm going to LOVE Shirley McLaine on Downton Abbey. I suggest throwdown between her and Maggie!
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It is sad to hear about the office even though the show has been lacking this year. There is no denying that it was a great show.
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I'll watch Mindy Kaling's show, but not the Schrute-off
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I do love Mindy Kaling. Kelly is the only one who still makes me laugh on the office and she's had some of the best lines in the show's entire run.
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The Scrute-off. Nicely put. And no one will probably watch that. It will be terrible. TERRIBLE.
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Aw I love Shiri Appleby. I don't watch that show but I'm glad she's still on tv!
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i;ll watch anything created by the aliens in america people, that was such a good show that never got a chance
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For those who don't know, its probably also worth pointing out that "Only Fools and Horses", also known as the show voted #1 British comedy of all time, first aired in 1981... That must be the longest British show to American show conversion ever
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Actually, it ended in 1991 -- except for Christmas Specials that ran until 2003. I'm not sure if this will be the rare British scripted show that survives in Smerican remake, but it will need an actor as strong as David Jason for the role -- and Jason was knighted for his performance in this (and A TOUCH OF FROST). Wake me when they announce the cast.

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NBC has issues. If they are already pulling content off of Fear Factor then just cancel it now for crying out loud before it gets worse. It is eating up an hour of your schedule that is an hour that Prime Suspect could fill. Whose last two episodes were very good.



Mindy, run don't walk over to fox. As fast as you can get the hell away from NBC it is circling the drain and you are more than moderately talented and will perhaps create a decent show. NBC doesn't like decent shows, they like crap like Whitney, Are you there, Chelsea and The firm. RUN WOMAN! And for me Fox gets bonus points for keeping Breaking In. However I am not sure it cancels out I Hate My Teenage Daughter, and New Girl. So.. CBS?



I really hope you are kidding about El Jefe Tim. That sounds like an even lamer version of Rob.



The rest of the pilots, just the names alone are cringe worthy.



I am not sure CBS knows who Louis CK is, that seems a bit out there for me. Not because of Louis, but because CBS is more for the adult crowd and not in the good way.



And Susan Surandon is going to be on The Big C for multiple seasons. No offense to anyone but how long exactly does it take to become deceased from terminal cancer. Terminal still means terminal. I loved the first season of The Big C. The second kind of lost me.
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But FOX is headed in the same direction; they're just a little further from the cliff. They still shove their sci-fi to Fridays to make sure they split the fanbase, and push crap like American Idol, X Factor and So You Think You Can Dance to the highest priority.



Also, someone put Allen Gregory and Naopoleon Dynamite in front of them, and FOX let them live. I don't know where Mindy could go, but not there. Not there.
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Ahh, someone who should run things at NBC! Prime Suspect was good, and Fear Factor was boring years ago when it went down the first time. I don't understand a few things. 1) How does NBC keep the terrible shows on the air, they have to be getting some ratings. 2) How are these shows getting ratings? Is there no competition?



I watch NBC for Community (please come back), Parks and Rec and The Office. The Office is purely out of loyalty now, and with these stars making exits, I think this is the final season, to which I am happy. Go out (sort of) on top.
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Well firstly thank you but I could never run NBC. I have an IQ over 75 and am not distracted by shiny things. I have a theory that this is all some elaborate The Producers kind of scheme. Where somehow making bad TV makes them more money. Because that is the only logical explanation. They dumped Prime Suspect for The Firm. Funny thing though, The Firm has lower ratings then Prime Suspect and Prime Suspect got really good their last 4 episodes. And Fear Factor is just terrible. I am not sure the reasoning behind bringing it back save for it is easier to do product placement in order to get money.
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Indeed. Getting nobodies to torture themselves for a chance at fame and fortune is much cheaper and easier than hiring writers and actors to do something great. Hell, they barely want them to do anything at all anymore.



I'd smile when shows like Fear Factor fail, except that they're so easily replaced. It's like fumigating your house and having your lice-ridden in-laws visit the next week...and the week after that...
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I'm right there with you, Mate.



I don't think there has ever been a major American Network with as bad a weekly lineup as NBC has right now in the history of television. There's only one show I watch on NBC. ONE! Community's unparalleled awesomeness would have equaled out this ever growing disparity, but apparently NBC just isn't a fan of good TV.



"Terminal still means terminal" - Tell that to Heisenberg.
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Ugh please tell me I don't have to recall the intricisies of quantumy theory in order to fully appreciate The Big C. I am pretty sure Cathy's position and momentum is pretty sedentary in comparison.



However I do think Werner would appreciate how Community would tackle the Uncertainty Principle. They did do a great job with Chaos Theory. I think it would continue with the awesomeness that is Community.



We are talking about quantum physics or have I been reading way too much Hawking and Greene.
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First of all, yes, you have been reading too much Hawking and Greene. Secondly, you are much, much smarter than I am. Thirdly, I guess you're not a Breaking Bad fan? Fourthly (I can't believe I went as far as fourthly), please tell me you watch Fringe. Tim Surette is floating around some interesting ideas on theoretical science, and I would love to read your obviously educated opinion on the matter.
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Whoops. I am a Breaking Bad fan. But I have been expanding my Physics knowledge as of late in my readings. So the reference went over my head, but now makes perfect sense. I guess on TV the terminability is sheerly based on ratings rather than medical life expectancy.



I haven't watched Fringe in a while. If I skip too many episodes to lose my place or knowledge of the goings on in the plot especially one like Fringe. So it gets tossed in the Netflix cue and is coming up I think.
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