Yesterday brought good news for a pair of USA Network shows. NBC announced that Monk and Psych would make the jump from basic cable to prime-time broadcast television in March, as the network repurposes shows from NBC-owned USA.
Unfortunately, yesterday also brought news for two USA shows that falls way on the other side of the "good/bad" spectrum. It all began with a post on the USA message boards by a user named "SPeters," who claimed to be Scott Peters, creator and executive producer of The 4400. In his post he made the sullen announcement that The 4400 has been canceled, and thanked all the show's fans and crew.
"I just spoke to [star] Joel [Gretsch] and we had a great talk about what we all accomplished and how much we'll miss our family that is ...Read more
USA Network loves its TV psychics.
The network has picked up its oldest series, the drama The Dead Zone, and its latest entry, the comedy-drama Psych, for another season each.
The Dead Zone will return for a 13-episode sixth season in summer 2007, with star Anthony Michael Hall reprising his role as Johnny Smith, a man who awakens from a six-year coma with psychic powers.
The network aims to reinvent the series following the November death of cocreator/executive producer Michael Piller.
"We're looking at the sixth season as the first season," said Jeff Wachtel, executive vice president of original programming at USA.
He credited Dead Zone's rating resurgence since it was paired with The 4400 last year for the network's decision to continue the show's run. USA has also acquired the cable rerun rights.
Psych, meanwhile, has ...Read more
USA Network is creating its own social-networking headquarters with Show Us Your Character.com, an online community where viewers not only can chat about the network's quirky TV personalities like Monk, but also rival them with their own chance to be coined America's most unique character.
The site, set to launch Monday, is designed as the central component of the network's Characters Welcome branding campaign intended to grab online revenue and drive viewership.
The six-week Show Us Your Character contest kicks off the second phase of the cross-platform crusade shifting focus from such network characters as those from Monk and The Dead Zone to the people who watch them.
Accompanying the contest will be more than 30 on-air spots showcasing unusual characters from across the country and a grassroots program in five major US cities featuring entertainment and mobile kiosks ...Read more
It's the final stretch of the development season. Soon dreams will be made for a handful of writers whose projects get on the air, and hopes dashed for hundreds of others.
In three months' time, scores of bound scripts and dozens of pilot tapes will head to their final resting places, the desk drawers of their creators and, occasionally, the shelves of development executives who loved them. But more than ever this season, there is a second chance for many of these shows.
This past week alone, two pilots of network development's past made a triumphant return: Fox brought back its 2001 one-hour pilot More, Patience, now redeveloped as a half-hour show--which was how writer Jed Seidel had originally envisioned it--and CBS reordered last year's drama pilot 3 Lbs.
Another blast-from-the-past pilot this year--Fox's multicamera ...Read more
Michael Piller, Star Trek veteran and cocreator/executive producer of USA Network's hit series The Dead Zone, died early Tuesday at his Los Angeles home after a long battle with cancer. He was 57.
Before cocreating The Dead Zone with his son Shawn, Piller was head writer on Star Trek: The Next Generation, leading the show to a best drama Emmy nomination in 1994, the first for a syndicated series. He went on to cocreate the following two Star Trek installments, Deep Space Nine and Voyager. Both series ran for seven seasons.
In 1998, Piller wrote and coproduced Star Trek: Insurrection, the ninth installment in Paramount Pictures' successful Star Trek feature franchise.
Piller began his career in broadcasting, working for TV stations in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Chicago.