News Briefs: The CW is Reviving Whose Line is it Anyway?



A REAL IMPROV-MENT FOR THE CW?

... Whose Line is it Anyway? is coming back! But on The CW! The improv show aired for several years on ABC with Drew Carey as host, but it will return with Aisha Tyler behind the desk. Ryan Stiles, Wayne Brady, and Colin Mochrie return as performers. The original was fantastic, but will it be as good this time around, and will The CW's audience like it? Look for the revival this summer. [CW via press release]


BUSINESS-TYPE DEALINGS

... Drop Dead Diva has undropped dead, rising from the grave of cancellation to earn a fifth season. The show had been canceled by Lifetime in January, but the network and studio that produces Drop Dead Diva agreed to new terms, which include a smaller budget. A big blow for divas everywhere, to be sure. [THR]

... TNT has ordered six episodes of the docu-drama (read: "reality show") Life Flight. Cameras and probably cameramen will follow real-life air ambulances in Texas as helicopters (technically the people inside the helicopters) save peoples' lives. Look for it in early 2014. [TNT via press release]

... NBC has set a date for Ready for Love, the latest terrible reality dating show to pollute our civilization. From producer Eva Longoria, a bunch of women will drool over a handful of guys. Anyway, Tuesday March 26 from 9pm to 11pm would be a good time to not watch NBC. After that, the series will move to its regular time of Sunday at 8pm starting on March 31. [NBC via press release] 


CASTING NEWS

... Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies) has joined Showtime's new drama pilot The Vatican, a thriller combining religion, politics, and some of the coolest robes you'll ever see. Kyle Chandler stars as the Cardinal of New York, and Friel will play his faithless, hard-partying sister. [Showtime via press release]

... Parminda Nagra, who I last saw being really old but looking really young in Fox's brain-busting Alcatraz, has been cast in ABC's drama pilot Reckless. This show sounds pretty complicated, but it goes something like this: A guy tries to get his wife out of an international jail by bypassing laws. Nagra will play the guy's coworker. Honestly, I've read the pilot's logline 58 times and I still don't get it. [THR]

... DJ Qualls (Supernatural, Legit) will guest-star on TNT's Perception. Now you know. [TNT via press release]


SAD NEWS

... Bonnie Franklin, who played Ann Romano on the '70s and '80s series One Day at a Time, passed away at the age of 69 from pancreatic cancer on Friday. [New York Times]


NBC, STILL STINKING UP THE JOINT NEWS

... After the Oscars' In Memorium segment left Andy Griffith out of its montage of famous people who died over the last year, Cleveland NBC affiliate WKYC decided to take matter into its own hands. Instead of airing Thursday's NBC 9pm to 11pm lineup of The Office, 1600 Penn, and Law & Order: SVU, WKYC aired a Matlock movie from 1992. Only 1600 Penn was an original episode, and the others were repeats. The station plans to air another Matlock movie next week in the same time period. [THR]


Comments (67)
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If I was running NBC, I would just pull the plug on WKYC. I like Matlock, but if an affiliate station wants to go awol, then let them.
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Awesome news about Whose Line Is It Anyway, although it was never as good even with Carey as with the original as it was in the UK, it was still a great show. Hope it works, and glad to see some of the old cast returning.
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Agreed. I like Drew in general but he couldn't hold a candle to Clive as the host.
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Yeah. Drew of course can be pretty funny himself, but Clive's dry sense of humour (not always laughing) and the fact that he didn't get involved directly in the games made me like him more.
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I could have watched an entire half hour of nothing but his hilarious, bickering banter with (the amazing) Greg Proops.
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bad move by THE CW
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I love that show!
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I'll sum this up in ONE word... LAZY!
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At least we have clips from the American WLiiA with Drew online
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ParmindER Nagra. I mean, Parminda, really?)
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I really, really wish the guys from Whose Line a great comeback-success!
Hopefully the recurring cast members will be back with the old team as well...that would make the whole package perfect!

Overall a VERY clever move from The CW, as this might actually draw in a target audience that otherwise would never watch any shows on the network...well done!
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Aisha Tyler? eh. Oh well, I don't think it will should matter anyway. After all, Clive Andersen didn't stop people from watching the British version.
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When I was scrolling down to Anna Friel's photo, I thought to myself, "Why is the New Girl biting into a flower? It seems like she's trying too hard to be quirky and, er, adorkable."

Anyway, it's good to see PD's Anna Friel back on TV. I was concerned she wasn't getting enough good film and TV work.
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Brilliant idea to bring back Whose Line on the CW? It's low cost and can attract anyone (as opposed to the just teenage girls demo the network usually tries to get). It's about time the network brought back comedy. New network pres is really starting to clean up the place: no GG or 90210, the return of superhero drama, acknowledgement of a potential male audience (movement of Supernatural from Friday to Wednesday), and now the return of comedy. What's next? Acknowledgement of viewers over the age of 35?
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Hey, I'm well over 35 and I watch the CW. I think the LAST thing they need to add to their repertoire is comedy. If they have a definite brand, a distinct target demo, and they're owning that, then keep what's working. Not every network has to provide all things to all people.
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You're right stanking, if you pour a brilliant orange juice, why bother adding vodka to it? That'd be silly. Orange juice is fantastic on its own. Screw you, screwdriver drinkers. For shame. That's like saying adding comedy to drama is a good idea. Fools. FOR SHAME!
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So if nobody wants orange juice, you'll continue to buy it anyway?
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But they don't own that demo and it hasn't worked ever. The CW is drowning in red ink. As Tim Surette pointed out in the article on 90210's cancellation, they should just let ABC Family handle that demo and focus on different genres. And I would argue that while a youthful demo is more valuable, too much emphasis is (unrealistically) put on it. At times, they could stand to cater to people just slightly older and it's simply just good business sense not too invest too heavily in one thing. It's always a good idea to explore all avenues; you never know when a type of show that's having great success could suddenly just go out of style. And then what are you left with?
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How could I forget Greg!
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...and Chip!
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Aisha Tyler? WTF? Who is she anyway? Drew will be missed, but I will of course watch the new version even if it's not going to be as funny. At least there'll be Colin! I hope Jeff and Brad will be guests again.
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Tyler's the voice of Lana on Archer for one thing, and she host Talk Soup at one point, as if you couldn't look that up. She's also a member of the Sexy Liberal comedy tour.
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I loved Whose Line! And it wasn't Drew that made it hilarious, imo, so I'm okay with the change. As long as Aisha falls out of her chair laughing at the boys, I'll be cracking up, and I think it'll be great. Though, the drinking song with her may be weird!

I hope they don't change a thing. I hope the set up is exactly the same other than the host!
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I don't think Whose Line needs Drew Carrey, but I can't see Aisha Tyler helping much. The others, if they're still good...it still won't work. I think we pretty much had our fill the first time. But I'll be happy to try it out.
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I think it's all about having a female as one of the core members of the team.
This fact alone will change the whole dynamic of the show by quite a bit and will also offer far more possibilities for the comedians.
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I considered that, but two things. She's the host, so she'll only be involved in the last skit, and she's...kinda bland (I know she's great in Archer). Samantha Bee (?) from The Daily Show would probably be great in the main four, and even the other girl who just left The Daily Show to finish off 30 Rock might be good. Jessica Williams might be okay, but I haven't seen her do that much yet.
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abc should just put it back on their prime time schedule.
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Whose Line in the UK was great, but over here it got muddled by network interference. The CW is much clumsier a network so I suspect they'll screw it up worse and cancel it despite it costing virtually nothing to produce.
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But the CW also has MUCH lower standards (cf. the full season order for Beauty and the Beast). Compared to their other programs this might be a fabulous ratings bonanza.
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I bet Matlock movies will get better ratings.

Of all the shows that I watched and lost, I did not expect Drop Dead Diva to be the one un-cancelled. I can think of like five shows that I'd have preferred to have seen picked up again. I mean, I thought we stopped playing "Sike!!" like fifteen years ago or something.
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I agree that Andy Griffith was great and influential, but I never really knew him as a movie star. Now, if he was left out of the "In Memoriam" for the Emmys, I'd be mad.
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I think a more relevant comparison is some of the people who were included: people most would consider far less famous and/or influential.
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Griffith (off the top of my head, mind you) was in A Face in the Crowd, No Time for Sergeants, Rustler's Rhapsody, and Spy Hard. When Mary Tyler Moore dies, should she be excluded because more people know her for Mary Richards and Laura Petrie than they do for Change of Habit and Ordinary People?
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No, but I wouldn't raise a stink if she was.
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The return of Whose Line? Well, that was unexpected. Especially with it being on the CW. It will be strange seeing an American version of Whose Line without Drew Carey as the host, but I'm so glad to hear that they're going to have the old regulars back on.
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I have never watched 'Whose line is it anyway' but knowing TheCW it will probably be unsuccessful and die over the summer like many good ideas do in TheCW.
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Whose Line would be as good as the old one because the performers that we enjoyed so much are still the ones running the show.
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I really liked both the original UK version and the US version, so I'm game for Whose Line? making a return to tv, especially if Ryan, Colin, and Wayne are part of the improv group.
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Looking forward to the new Whose Line, though do hope they give us a wide variety of performers instead of sticking with the same ones week after week after week. And I mean no offense to Ryan and Colin cos they were responsible for some of the most awesome bits, it's just I would like to see some new people strutting their improvisation stuff.
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Well, this came out of nowhere! Can't wait to see the new Whose Line. The original cast is returning with the same format, I'm guessing, so it really doesn't matter who the host is. Remember, this is The CW: a show wouldn't be complete without them hiring at least one beautiful person.
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It's Parminder Nagra not Parminda
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I'm OK with Aisha Tyler's new gig on Whose Line is it Anyway, as long as it doesn't interfere with her work on Archer.
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One of the nice things about voice work is that it takes so little time. An actor will go in to do a voice in an animated movie and even if they have the most lines in the movie it will still only take a day so it shouldn't be a problem.
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I heard Jason Alexander (George from Seinfeld) had issues when he was doing Duckman. Something about the wear and tear it did to his voice interfering with his work on Seinfeld.

Hosting Whose Line isn't as strenuous as being in the core group, but still.
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NBC has been running promos for Ready For Love for the last two weeks already; that means ANOTHER MONTH of the SAME ADS before it even shows up. They started them on Valentine's Day, which raises the question, why didn't they debut the show then? That would have made more sense.
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Lana Kane hosting my favorite show. WIN.
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Forgetting Andy Griffith was a shocking lapse in judgment/competence for the Oscars.
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aghh CW why?

I tried to watch Aisha Tyler's standup and I didn't find it funny....
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It might not matter. Often what makes someone great at improv makes them poor at standup.

Standup comedians prepare rigorously. They exercise almost complete creative control of their own sets and they are always the star of their own show. In many ways it is self-driven. Their humor is generally based on jokes or personal anecdotes.

In contrast, improv humor comes from quick and funny responses to your fellow players. It's inherently cooperative and responsive. They best improvisers know when to give up control and when to let a teammate be the star. They can't prepare, can't reuse material, and their humor is more often story or character based.

BTW: I'm told the old Who's Line was filmed over the course of a couple hours. The editors then came in and cut out the parts that were too boring or too dirty for TV. It drives purists crazy, but it makes for a very reliably funny TV show.
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I agree with you that from the little standup I've seen of hers, she doesn't seem particularly funny. But I've seen her in interviews and whatnot, and I think Aisha Tyler's 'naturally funny'. I don't know her personally or anything, but I figure she's quick and clever enough to be funny when in conversation or with a bit of an open forum. She just doesn't have the 'setup-punchline' format down pat, which is mostly what stand-up's about.
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I've read this a billion times and I'm still laughing:

"A guy tries to get his wife out of an international jail by bypassing laws. Nagra will play the guy's coworker"
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being able to look at Parminda Nagra on alcatraz was one of it's few redeeming qualities. Being able to look at her somewhere else is probably a good thing too.
I didn't remember that perception got renewed but cool to both that and dj qualls making an appearance.
CW stuff is on hulu right? I'll be watching the new 'whose line' if it is.
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I finally have a reason to watch the CW.
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Great news! Stiles and Mochrie are the kings of improv!
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Ooooh I'm excited for Whose Line, loved it before. So glad Wayne Brady will be there, he was my favorite, Aisha Tyler though...? Hmm, seems a strange fit but we'll see. Something to watch in the summer.
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YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY FOR WHOSE LINE.

One of my favorite shows ever. I love this news so much, I don't even care that it'll be the CW doing it. I can only hope for a lack of Kathy Greenwood -- she had like 2 funny moments in 50 appearances. As for the others -- especially Colin and Ryan -- hopefully their age haven't slowed down their minds.
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If Kathy is the one I'm thinking of then I found it most amusing or interesting that she never ever EVER did a Hoe Down... not once. Whenever she was one, she would either win it or there would not be one. I am not sure why this was the case but there you go. Now I'm off to youtube that Naroshi whose line song for the umpthteen time.
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Yup, you're right. If Kathy was on the show and they decided to do a hoedown, they'd always declare her the "winner" so she can sit out. Based on other games she played, I figure she wasn't clever enough to come up with a song that quickly.

And Brad's Niroshi rock ballad is adorable.
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Whose Line was originally in Britain and much funnier...given the CW's pov on show styles, I expect lots of vampire/supernatural/teen angst themed improvs.
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I always wondered about Comedies on the CW now we know
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I remember when Charles Esten (Deacon from Nashville) used to be on Whose Line is it Anyway? What a great show, too bad it will fail miserably.
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Yeah, back when he went by Chip Esten.

I remember Stephen Colbert had one appearance (spread out into 2 episodes) back before he became huge. Unfortunately, he didn't do much with that limited time.
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OMG! OMG! Whose Line? Back?!?!?! Don't toy with me! I'm just thrilled beyond words, especially with the news that Colin, Ryan, and Wayne will be coming back. I hope Chip Esten, Brad Sherwood, and Greg Proops will show up, too. I don't know about Aisha Tyler (it won't be the same without Drew) but as long as its the same format and the same types of jokes I'm IN!!
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I think I was in the minority, but I never quite liked Greg Proops all that much. Considering how smart and clever he supposedly is, I thought his improv on Whose Line was quite average. He was mostly attitude and sass, and I think he only had one or two particularly funny moments for me. I liked Jeff Davis quite a bit more and wished he was on the show more often.
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Yeah, I'd have to admit I'd pick Brad and Chip over Greg. Greg had his funny moments which is why I'd see him back - he did well with certain skits. I wasn't really a fan of Jeff Davis. I didn't find most of his jokes funny. I liked Denny Seigel too, and even Kathy Greenwood wasn't too bad (I think a lot of fans still dislike Kathy because she was hired after Denny was fired). I'd like to see some of the old favorites with a new talent in there here and there.
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.. Whose Line is it Anyway? is coming back! OMG SO THRILLED...
But on The CW! and now I'M FURTHERMORE THRILLED!!

It'll either be an epic failure or an epic success.
Either way, the audience wins lol
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