Sunday, May 17, 2009

News Round-up: Upfronts, GL, Larry Lamb

Upfronts 2009: Fox Stocks 52-Week Schedule
New Fox Entertainment chairman Peter Rice and entertainment prexy Kevin Reilly are set to announce a new 52-week schedule on Monday that is consistent with the network's current lineup -- but with one or two surprises. According to Fox scheduling chief Preston Beckman, the net's goal is to come into the fall with several returning shows and a sense of stability -- "but the feeling of aggressiveness with the schedule."

ABC Wants Viewers to Feel Right at Home
During its upfront presentation to advertisers Tuesday, the network will unveil a massive new on-air promotional campaign built around the concept of the ABC House. “Your favorite shows live here,” the network will tell viewers with the spots, which will feature a comedic tone and a wide assortment of ABC talent appearing in character.

“We want people to think of ABC as a place,” said Mike Benson, the network’s co-executive VP of marketing with Marla Provencio. “We want people to feel ABC is more of a home, a place where you and your family can gather.”

NBC renews CHUCK
The network picked up 13 episodes of the series from Warner Bros., which, in an across-the-board trend this year, made some budget concessions to secure the show a third season. Fans pushed NBC very hard for a pickup, launching a "Save Chuck" campaign that included buying sandwiches at series sponsor Subway.

Angels & Demons tops box office with $48 million weekend
Former soap star Victor Alfieri plays Lieutenant Valenti in the film.

Larry Lamb faces EASTENDERS axe
EASTENDERS villain Larry Lamb (Archie) is being axed – as stars fear that bosses want a clearout to save cash. It comes after Kara Tointon and Ricky Groves were told in March their characters – on-off couple Dawn Swann and Garry Hobbs – were being written out. Producers claim they have run out of storylines for Archie.

Lana M. Nieves writes: "Once Guiding Light is gone, other daytime dramas will follow. And, when they're all gone...when soap opera is truly a thing of the past, we will have lost not only a piece of our social history, but a valuable resource."

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