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Wednesday, January 16, 2013
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Television Critics Association Winter 2013 Tour Developments: CBS/THE CW

By Carson Blackwelder
Television Contributor

The Television Critics Association’s 2013 winter tour is just about ready to wrap up. Besides PBS, which has one more day, all networks have delivered their pitches and created waves. Rachel and Carson are wrapping up their coverage of each network’s presentation.

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The 2013 Television Critics Association kicked off Jan. 1. This is the first of two yearly tours that the TCA hosts, bringing network executives, showrunners and actors face-to-face with entertainment journalists. Essentially, this is the time to flaunt what you’ve got. Big news can come out of these events, so here are the details on the happenings so far:

CBS

1. Network wants Angus T. Jones to return for season 11 of “Two and a Half Men”

Even after Angus T. Jonesviral outburst against — and his subsequent apology to — his show Two and a Half Men, President of CBS Entertainment Nina Tassler says CBS “would like him to be a part of” season 11.

The deal hasn’t been sealed for season 11, but Tassler hinted that the deal between CBS and Warner Bros. is likely happening. “We told Warner Brothers we’d like to have an 11th season and they’re equally interested,” she said.

It was speculated that Jones wanted out of the show after the conclusion of season 10, but Tassler has a different opinion. “We’d like him to be part of it next year; I think he would like to come back too; Chuck would like him to come back; Warner Bros would like him to come back. He’s made his public apology and we’ve moved on.”

2. Under the Dome receives premiere date

CBS announced a premiere date for its adaptation of Stephen King’s bestselling novel Under the Dome.

The drama, which Tassler says she hoped would be a “big summer event,” will begin airing on Monday, June 24 at 10 p.m. EST. The series centers on a small town suddenly sealed off from the rest of civilization by a massive transparent dome. The citizens trapped within the dome must deal with unbearable conditions while investigating the origin and reality of the dome.

Tassler adds, “The script was developed at Showtime, the option lapsed … I read it over [a] weekend and I loved it, I love these big idea shows. What we heard was this extraordinary vision for 13 episodes and beyond, we have a unique opportunity here to do a big summer event and to do a script to series. [During the] summer, you have to make some noise, and we really wanted to this summer. We’ve got a lot of fresh, great content.”

The first trailer for Under the Dome will debut during the Super Bowl next month on CBS.

3. Big Brother shakeups

Season 15 of CBS’s reality show Big Brother is undergoing some big changes.

Not only is the Julie Chen-hosted reality show airing two weeks before its normal premiere date, but its weekly schedule is changing as well.

Big Brother will debut July 2 and maintain its three broadcasts per week, though slightly different from past seasons: Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST, Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST (this will shift to 8 p.m. EST beginning July 17) and Sundays at 8 p.m. EST.

Given that Big Brother’s mantra is “expect the unexpected,” who knows what fans should expect from this move. Two weeks early — does that mean a longer season with more houseguests? Only time will tell.

The CW

1. Wonder Woman drama gaining ground

The CW is looking to expand its hold on the DC superhero drama genre — this time with a leading lady.

Network president Mark Pedowitz spoke in-depth about the network’s development of a series centered around Wonder Woman. Amazon would focus on a young Diana — a.k.a. Wonder Woman. The network already struck gold with DC heroes Superman (Smallville) and currently the Green Arrow (Arrow), so why not a heroine?

Whereas the Wonder Woman comic books are set during World War II, and the original TV series starring Lynda Carter moved from WWII to the then-present era of the late 1970s, Pedowitz says the new series would likely take place in the modern day. “It is going to be set in the present, I believe,” Pedowitz says.

One burning question surrounding the show is whether or not Diana will be portrayed by a breakout actress or established face. “Television creates stars,” Pedowitz teases. “It can go either way.”

When asked if Amazon and Arrow could coexist in the same world, Pedowitz left that up to the creative forces of the show. “I think they all could exist in the same world,” Pedowitz says. “But whether they do or they don’t is depending on what the showrunner wants to do.”

If all goes well, Pedowitz adds audiences could see Amazon as early as fall. “If we get the right script and the right casting, we’ll go right forward to pilot,” Pedowitz says.

2. The Vampire Diaries spinoff is in the works 

The Vampire Diaries is poised for renewal, but it won’t be the only “fang-tastic” series on The CW.

“The genesis of that came from a conversation with Warner Bros. and Peter Roth at the time. I’m a big believer if you have something that’s working and you can incubate [it], it’s a good way to get pilots on the air,” Pedowitz says. “Kevin Williamson said ‘Let Julie [Plec] take a run at it, it’s her vision.’ … We’re basically going to go and focus on the Original family.”

The new spinoff, entitled The Originals,will focus on Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and his original family in scenic — and spooky — New Orleans.

During the April 25 episode of The Vampire Diaries, viewers will find out that Klaus was one of the founding fathers of New Orleans. “The [lead] character will be Klaus,” Pedowitz explains. “Hopefully some of his siblings will come along. Klaus is just a great character and the Original family has such great dysfunctional family dynamics, we felt that was a great way to take the show.”

3. Supernatural’s future seems bright

The CW has yet to renew any of its series for another season, and while most shows are no-brainers for renewal, established drama Supernatural isn’t a done deal — though things seem solid.

The drama starring Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki is currently in its eighth season, and has been performing well alongside Arrow in its move to Wednesday night.

“No determination’s been made,” Pedowitz says. “We are pleased with how Wednesday night completely has worked out with Arrow being a bona fide hit and Supernatural actually gaining viewers back again. I think creatively the show’s in a great place, and there’s always a good shot that [a renewal] could happen.”

In regards to how quickly fans can expect a renewal announcement, Pedowitz says, “I would like to see our schedule come back on next week which we start on Monday and over the next couple of weeks we’ll make a determination what will come back next fall. The studio has locked [Ackles and Padalecki] in.”

So the stars are locked in and ratings have improved? Let’s preliminarily put a checkmark in the box beside Supernatural.

Stay tuned for more breaking TV news, and let us know what you think in the comments!

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