Friday, March 29, 2013

News bits: FX expands, CBS renews, Amazon gets original

A fair amount of stuff happened this week while I was busy doing other things. Here's a rundown:

-- FX is launching a new network this fall: FXX, aimed at youngish viewers, will be anchored by comedies "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and "The League." It will launch Sept. 2.

-- CBS renewed 18 primetime series, including freshman hit "Elementary" and my personal favorite "The Good Wife." The renewals encompass four comedies, nine dramas, three reality shows and two news magazines.
  Comedies: Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, 2 Broke Girls and Mike & Molly. (Suits are still discussing Two and a Half Men.)
  Dramas: NCIS, NCIS:LA, CSI, Elementary, Hawaii Five-O, Blue Bloods, The Good Wife, The Mentalist and Person of Interest. (No word on freshmen series Golden Boy or Vegas.)
  Reality: Amazing Race, Survivor and Undercover Boss.
  News magazines: 60 Minutes and 48 Hours.

-- Amazon is getting into the original production game. This week it announced pilots for "Zombieland," based on the 2009 movie, and "Betas," about four computer geeks trying to connect with the world. The pilots, along with six other comedies and six children's pilots, will be available to watch for free on Amazon Instant Video -- but only for weeding-out purposes. Viewers' reviews will help Amazon Studios determine which ones to make into full-season productions, which will air on Prime Instant Video, a pay service.

-- AMC set a premiere date for Season 3 of "The Killing." The show will return with a two-hour installment June 2.
 Stars Mireille Enos (Linden) and Joel Kinnaman (Holder) will return, to be joined by the fabulous Peter Sarsgaard, Elias Koteas and Amy Seimetz.
 The announcement, posted on the show's blog, made me laugh a little. The show pissed off a lot of people when it didn't wrap up the Rosie Larsen murder after the first season, as allegedly promised (too many people reading too much into the promotional phrase "Who killed Rosie Larsen?" and the Danish original, if you ask me; the case resolved in the second season). So the blog post throws in some sly assurances that the creators got the message. To wit: The season "will focus on a new case, which will be resolved over the course of ten episodes..." (italics mine); and from AMC's president: "We learned so much from the first two seasons..."

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