Monday, May 18, 2009

News Round-up: BETTY, DH, Upfronts, Baldwin

UGLY BETTY's life is in the balance
At some point during the second season of UGLY BETTY creator-executive producer Silvio Horta felt the show's operatic shenanigans had gotten out of control. A little too telenovela, if you will.

"There was one episode where Betty was talking to a ghost in a fridge, there was this dwarf, and Betty and Daniel were trying to break someone out of rehab," he says. "And I just thought, 'Oh, my God, what are we doing?' It felt like we were letting the fun take over and maybe kind of losing the soul of it," said Horta of an epiphany that occurred during last season's writers strike. The show needed to get "a little more real" and "a little more relatable" fast, he remembered thinking.

DH wins Sunday ratings but down from last year
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES drew a 4.7/12 demo rating/share from 9-11 p.m., making it the top program of the night. Despite the strong ratings, that is down 24% from last year’s season finale.

DESPERATE spinoff moving closer to reality?
The DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES spinoff starring Lily Tomlin and Kathryn Joosten may be the hottest show that ABC won't announce at its upfront presentation this week. In the spinoff, which is not yet titled, Tomlin and Joosten are expected to reprise their roles as Roberta and Karen McCluskey. But they won't be living on Wisteria Lane. They will play modern-day Snoop Sisters who investigate lightweight crimes in a place that has the same unreal suburban feel of the Cherry series.

Goldsberry has baby boy
Renee Elise Goldsberry (ex-Evangeline, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) and husband Alexis Johnson recently welcomed their first child — a baby boy they named Benjamin. A spokesperson for the new parents says, "Both mom and baby are doing great. Their family is overjoyed, and they are praising God for this perfect miracle. Renee thanks all of you for your support and constant encouragement. In lieu of cards or gifts, she asks for your continued prayers and well wishes. They truly work wonders because Benjamin is a dream come true!"

Fox unveils Fall Schedule
FRINGE will move to Thursdays and compete with GREY's and CSI.

10 new shows make cut for ABC
After adding five scripted series during the strike-impacted 2008-09 season, ABC is back in a reboot mode, ordering 10 new series -- six dramas and four comedies -- and keeping several more pilots for midseason consideration. Former DAYS actress Ashley Benson will appear on one of the new shows, EASTWICK.

CW picks up VAMPIRE DIARIES, while PRIVILEGED likely not to return
VAMPIRE DIARIES is the first CW series to land a pickup for fall. Based on the Alloy young adult novels about a young woman courted by two vampire brothers, one good and one evil. The brothers are at war over her soul as well as the souls of her friends, family members, and town. Former AS THE WORLD TURNS actor and FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS guest star Zach Roerig will play the jock Matt in the series. He'll be joined by LOST alum Ian Somerhalder, former B&B actress Kayla Ewell, DEGRASSI's Nina Dobrev and Steven R. McQueen.

Alec Baldwin's mail-order bride joke has Filipino senator fuming
Alec Baldwin's joke on LETTERMAN about getting a Filipino mail-order bride provoked a sharp response in the Philippines, with one senator saying Monday that the former star of THE DOCTORS faces violence if he ever visits. Philippine Sen. Ramon Revilla said Monday that Baldwin's comment was "insensitive and uncalled for" and an insult to millions of Filipinos.

The latest weekly episode is out today with a poll at the end to vote on where the story should go next.

Pepsi is showing retro ads for Hulu shows from the '70s and '80s
The 15-second ads promote "Pepsi Throwback," a new nostalgia-themed beverage.

GL's Long Good-Bye
The 5/19 issue of Soap Opera Digest featured GL alumni who shared their favorite memories from the show and their reactions to the cancellation news. Additional portions of some of those interviews are now online.

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