New Series

Punk’d returning to MTV

Punk’d is returning to MTV and different celebrity hosts are said to be taking control of the series, replacing Ashton Kutcher. Taylor Swift has been confirmed as the first victim with Justin Bieber hosting in the debut episode.

Reynolds and Bullock team up for animated series

Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock have reportedly begun work on a new animated television project. The pair, who featured together in the 2009 film The Proposal, are said to be working on a series called And Then There Was Gordon that follows an ordinary child who lives alongside their extraordinarily talented siblings.

Hurricane shuts down TV production

Production on several New York-based TV shows have been shut down due to Hurricane Irene currently lashing the East Coast of the US. 

Gervais turned down lead Office role

Ricky Gervais says he was offered the lead role in the US version of The Office before Steve Carell but said turned it down as he felt there was no point in him playing that role. “They said ‘Do you want to play the main role?’ but what’s the point of that?” Gervais said. “We made The Office, that was a document of what it was like to be in an English office and it was made by English people for English people, and this should be made by Americans for Americans.”

MTV renews Geordie Shore

MTV has renewed the UK Jersey Shore spinoff Geordie Shore for a second season. The series will return in early 2012 for its new run.

Journos seek legal advice

The Aussie journalists who faked a live cross this week are now considering legal action after Channel Nine sacked them for their actions. The pair claimed they were on location on the Sunshine Coast when in fact they were just outside the Channel Nine base in Brisbane. 

Keaton working on TV projects

Diane Keaton has been lined up for several TV project by HBO in the US after the actress singed a development deal with the network. HBO is also developing projects around Kevin Bacon and Julianne Moore.

Graham joins sitcom pilot

Actress Heather Graham has joined a new pilot for Fox called Little in Common. The sitcom centres on a couple who move to a new town but fail to bond with their new neighbours.

The Rock developing wrestling drama

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is said to be developing a new wrestling drama for NBC alongside Jerry Bruckheimer. The series will be set in the 1980s and will focus on the rising popularity of wrestling through that decade.

Glee actor joins The Middle

Glee actor Chord Overstreet has joined the cast of The Middle for a guest appearance. Overstreet, who played Sam, will take the on the role of a new teacher on the sitcom.

No host for MTV VMAs

MTV has decided to have no host for the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards this weekend. 

Aussie media boycotting cup

Australian news media is looking to go ahead with their boycott of the Rugby World Cup due to the International Rugby Board’s restrictions on the use of official match footage. News Ltd and Fairfax Australia are rejecting the IRB’s accreditation terms and will not be sending accredited journalists to New Zealand.

Lady Gaga scores Simpsons cameo

Lady Gaga has confirmed she will have a cameo on The Simpsons early next year. The singer said her character heads to Springfield to help boost Lisa’s confidence.

Jekyll and Hyde series in the works

A new TV adaptation of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is in the works at the ABC network. The series will be written by Up In The Air co-writer Sheldon Turner.

Dawsons’s Creek actress joins Hawaii Five-0

Former Dawson’s Creek regular Meredith Monroe has signed up for a guest role on Hawaii Five-0. Monroe featured on Dawson’s Creek as Andie from 1998 to 2001.

New time-travel comedy in development

A new time-travel comedy is in development at ABC that centres on a man who believes he is living the perfect life in 2016 before he is transported back to 2011. Adam Sandler’s production company Happy Madison will produce the series alongside Sony Pictures.

Doctor Who renewed

Doctor Who has been renewed for a seventh season with Matt Smith returning as the Doctor. A BBC exec confirmed the news via Twitter, saying: “Doctor Who is returning. Fourteen new episodes have been commissioned with Matt Smith as The Doctor.”

Sheen ineligible for Emmys

Charlie Sheen will be ineligible for any awards at this year’s Emmys after failing to submit his name for consideration. The four-time nominee was given several opportunities to submit and even an extension but failed to do so on time.

Kevin Smith developing reality series

Clerks director Kevin Smith is developing a reality series for the AMC network in the US. A casting call has been sent out for “real people who live and breathe the comic book lifestyle”.

Donovan departing 90210

Trevor Donovan has announced his departure from 90210, confirming he will only return for five episodes in the show’s fourth season.

New J.J. Abrams pilot picked up

J.J. Abrams new drama pilot Alcatraz has been picked up by Fox in the US. The series, which follows a group of prisoners who escape from the island prison, features Lost actor Jorge Garcia and New Zealander Sam Neill. 

Lie To Me and Human Target cancelled

Lie To Me and Human Target have been cancelled by their US network this week. The Tim Roth-starring Lie To Me ran for three seasons while Human Target ran for just two.

Pressly’s comedy pilot picked up

Jamie Pressly’s new comedy pilot was also picked up by Fox. Pressly and Katie Finneran feature as a pair of mothers who discover their daughters are similar to the bullies they encountered when they were at school.

Mos Def joins Dexter cast

Hip hop artist Mos Def is joining the cast of  Dexter for a multi-episode arc on the show’s sixth season. He will play an ex-con who claims to have found religion yet seems to continually find himself surrounded by violence.

Twitter ban at Logie Awards in Australia

Attendees at this year’s Logie Awards in Australia will have to do without Twitter thanks to a ban on the social networking website following its misuse last year. Several tweeters posted inappropriate comments during the ceremony last year, leading to organisers of the TV awards banning its use this year.

No record deal for Pia Toscano

Eliminated American Idol finalist Pia Toscano has shot down rumours that she has signed a recording deal following her exit from the show. The 22-year-old  says she hasn’t met with anyone yet regarding any contracts.

Grammer launches reality TV production company

Kelsey Grammer has launched a reality TV production company that will produce an upcoming reality series about three single girls in New York. The former Frasier actor is currently shopping the series around the networks.

$1m for ad spot during Oprah finale

US advertisers are being asked for as much as US$1 million for 30-second ad spots during the upcoming finale of Oprah Winfrey’s daytime talk show. The sum is nearly as much as the $1.22m advertisers shelled out for spots during the Everybody Loves Raymond finale in 2005.

A new Chinese TV series featuring three episodes centring on New Zealand wine could to do wonders for the tourism industry in this country.

The episodes, which focus on Marlborough wineries, will reach a potential audience of 600 million.

Filming took place last week in the Marlborough region for the 10-episode series that looks at New World wines in China, Australia and New Zealand.

Marlborough wineries Jackson Estate, Wairau River and Marisco are sponsoring the production with hopes the exposure will boost tourism in the region.

Stephen Richards, of production company Gibson Group who is working on the three NZ episodes, said the goal will be to promote kiwi wines in the Chinese market.

“We believe this will have a huge impact on the Marlborough industry,” he said.

Source: Herald

Top Gear cleared over Mexican comments

Top Gear has been cleared of breaching any programme rules following the controversial comments on a recent episode regarding Mexicans. British media regulator Ofcom has considered the comments made by the show’s hosts that suggested Mexicans to be “lazy, feckless, flatulent and overweight” to be part of the programme’s “irreverent style and sometimes outspoken humour.”

Family Guy comic set for release

A comic book series based on Family Guy is set to be released midway through this year in the US. Titan Comics has announced the development of the long-running animated series into a monthly comic that will “follow the Griffin family on a string of brand new outrageous storylines.”

Lloyd joins comedy pilot

Christopher Lloyd has joined a new comedy pilot for NBC centring on a doctor who joins his family’s medical practice. Lloyd will play the grandfather of the lead character in the pilot, which is penned by Parks and Recreation writer Dan Goor.

Simmons to guest on Castle

KISS frontman Gene Simmons has signed on for a guest role on Castle where he will play himself. Simmons will aid Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Beckett (Stana Katic) in the episode’s investigation.

Galifianakis to develop new comedy

Zach Galifianakis has signed a contract with HBO to produce a comedy series featuring his friend and collaborator Brody Stevens. The Hangover actor will appear in the mockumentary series that follows Stevens in his daily life.

Sheen suffers lawsuit setback

Charlie Sheen has suffered an early setback in his legal bid against his former employers at Warner Bros. The actor’s lawyer tried to prevent the case from going to private arbitration but the court has denied the injunction request, meaning the case will indeed be heard privately.

Midsomer Murders creator to step down 

The creator of Midsomer Murders will step down at the end of the new series after being suspended for racist comments. Brian True-May apologised for any “unintended offence” caused by his comments that addressed the lack of ethnic diversity on the series.

360 degree show in the UK

UK Childrens’ series Blue Peter is attempting to produce an episode of the show with a 360 degree view for those watching. Viewers will be able to select what they want to see by controlling their viewpoint via an online application.