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Ugly Betty Will Return, Lipstick Jungle Really Dead, And Lots More!

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March 5th, 2009

Our friend James Hibberd at THR.com is out with a blizzard of interviews with the network chiefs. They really are great interviews with lots more than I have here and you should check them out if you're interested in more.

Buried within are some show status nuggets (translation mine):

From Q&A: Stephen McPherson, President, ABC Entertainment Group

THR: What are your plans for "Ugly Betty"? Will it return in the fall, and will it stay on Thursdays?

McPherson: "Ugly Betty" will return.

Ugly Betty will return.

From Q&A: Angela Bromstad, President, primetime entertainment, NBC and Universal Media Studios

THR: "Lipstick Jungle." We keep hearing it's not dead, but two of its stars booked pilots. What's the latest on that?

Bromstad: We were giving our cable companies opportunities to look at it and the financials, and it doesn't look like that it will be continuing.

Since I can no longer deny it and have any credibility whatsoever, I will have to admit what anyone with a brain has known for months, the show is dead.

THR: What about "Chuck"?

Bromstad: It's too early to tell. It's a really fun show and well done.

It really is too early to tell.

THR: And "Life"?

Bromstad: "Life" is a show I developed when I was here before I left. Damian (Lewis) is a great star. We wish the ratings were better. That's really all we can say.

It's dead.

From Q&A: Kevin Reilly, President Fox Entertainment

THR: Can "Terminator" or "Dollhouse" financially make sense as broadcast shows next season if their ratings don't improve?

Reilly: Advertisers have liked the shows. Both shows are doing well on a c7 basis. It's too early to rule them out.

We're close to ruling them out.

From Q&A: Nina Tassler, President CBS Entertainment

THR: Can we expect "Gary Unmarried" or "Worst Week" to return?

Tassler: "Gary" has done really well this season. It's going to be in there with the discussion of all the shows for next season, but we're in the middle of shooting pilots. "Worst Week" certainly has a tougher road ahead.

Gary Unmarried's not dead yet. Worst Week is dead.

THR: Is "The Unit" doing a strong enough number to continue next year?

Tassler: We call it the pre-football/post-football analysis of the show. Creatively, it's so well-written. We're going to wait and see.

Game over for The Unit.

From Q&A: Dawn Ostroff, President CW Entertainment

THR: So what are you thinking about in terms of programming for Sunday?

Ostroff: We still have plenty of time to schedule the network, so it would be premature to say, but I can tell you the movies are doing pretty well for us.

The movies have done a hell of a lot better than the repeats of Jericho, the junk our non-paying "partner" programmed this year, or the dreck we programmed last year.

THR: "Everybody Hates Chris" and "The Game" are not doing very well. Is this the end of half-hour comedies on the CW?

Ostroff: We're going to look at it, but until the pilots are done it's too early to say.

We'd love to get rid of them, but we are so desperate, with so many hours to fill, that we may not be able to.

THR: "Privileged" pulled a pretty modest number. You've seen its whole season at this point. Does it have any hope?

Ostroff: We've been very pleased because when you look at our numbers, we look at buzz factor and so many indicators that (suggest) there's a lot of bubbling going on. "Gossip Girl" was not unlike that the first year. There were all these ways people were taking about the show that weren't in the numbers. "Privileged" is similar. It's getting a huge amount of streams online, it's our third most-streamed show. We believe in the show creatively, we've seen some good ideas for a sophomore year, and that's what we'll weigh against our new pilots.

It had horrible ratings, that's why I bring up all that other meaningless stuff, but since it's one of my pet shows I'd love to keep it.  Again, with all the hours we have to fill, we just might have to stoop to bringing this back, but I doubt it.

 
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