Neil Gaiman Pens a Second “Doctor Who” and Christopher Guest’s First TV Series

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Plus more renewals, cancellations and series orders, a sodomy trial on Da Vinci’s Demons along with the finales for Once Upon a Time and Revenge.

News

In the lead-up to the upfronts, NBC gave an expected sixth season order to Parks and Recreation. It also cancelled troubled comedies Whitney (which got rid of its most interesting aspect when Maulik Pancholy‘s character was written out) and 1600 Penn as well as comedies Up All Night (which was expected, considering the show’s many troubles) and Guys with Kids.

Parks and RecreationLeslie Knope wins another one.

Fox took care of an expected cancellation notice, axing Touch. However, with Kiefer Sutherland free, Fox is now talking about reviving 24 as a limited series. I’m all for the return to comedy mini-series on Broadcast TV.

Meanwhile, fans of Nikita can breathe a sigh of relief as the series’ fourth season was announced. It sounds like it won’t be a full season. That may confirm earlier rumors of the spy drama getting a short wrap-up season, it might also be part of an increased focus on shorter cable-like runs.

Nikita, "Invisible Hand"

The CW also announced its new shows which includes Greg Berlanti‘s reboot of Tomorrow People and the historical soap about Mary Queen of Scots, Reign. That also means the second attempt at turning The Selection into a series has been rejected. That might be because the source material sounds pretty insufferable.

Vulture wraps up it’s analysis of the big four broadcast networks before the upfronts with a look at CBS. After years of hearing its claims of being the most-watched network get an asterisk by media critics (who would note that doesn’t include the younger demographics), the network is number one in the advertiser-friendly group of adults under 50. That’s thanks to seeing shows like The Big Bang Theory and Person of Interest managing to grow their audience. (BBT has overtaken Modern Family as TV’s top comedy.) However, the network had one major failing in that it didn’t find new hit comedies to replace older hits like How I Met Your Mother.

PartnersPartners, CBS’ big “could’ve, should’ve, would’ve” of the season.

E! reports that Randy Jackson is quitting American Idol. Jackson was the last of the original Idol judges, making this the end of an era for the former juggernaut.

Fresh off the second-season success of Scandal, Shonda Rhimes says that she’d like to create a show about “a woman carrying a gun and kicking people’s butts.” While I think Rhimes’ version of Alias sounds fun, has anyone at Disney thought about handing her a stack of select Marvel comics? Rhimes just might be able to figure out how to bring Jessica Jones to the small screen.

As the season’s top new show, Elementary is already making plans for its second season, which will be filmed in London, the first time it will film outside of New York.

Elementary, "Dead Man's Switch"“I look forward to filming somewhere warmer with clearer skies… wait, where?”

So far, Heather Morris has not signed up to return to Glee. There’s always the chance she’ll return as a guest-star but for now she’s not a part of the show anymore.

ABC has passed on the pilot Murder in Manhattan, which starred Annie Potts as a woman who solved mysteries with her daughter but it hopes to sell the series to another network. ABC hopes it can repeat the way it sold Devious Maids to Lifetime last year.

With the cast signed for two more seasons, CBS has renewed Criminal Minds for a ninth season.

Friday’s Listings

Anderson Live (syndicated) Check local listings
Some days there’s a great guest list, others it becomes clear this show is heading to its final episode (and not in a building-to-the-grand-finale way). Today’s show seems to make the most of that, making Anderson Live‘s warm-up comedian Dena Blizzard guest-host, which sounds like a great way to give a closing thank you to a talented staffer who hasn’t been on-camera. Today’s show also features Anderson taking questions from the audience. Actually, next week’s announced episodes are all repeats so this might be the final episode.

The Rachael Ray Show (syndicated) Check local listings
Out chef Art Smith is demonstrating his “Unfried Chicken” recipe (which should be a major contrast to Rachael‘s mac & cheese-variation-of-the-week). If that weren’t faboo enough, there’s also a visit from Vanessa Williams.

Days of Our Lives (NBC) Check local listings
Now that Rafe knows that Nick got some issues with homophobia, he’s on the rampage to talk to Gabi about it. I hear Sonny shows up today, though I’m not sure what happens to him.

Nikita (CW) 8:00 PM ET
Considering how traumatic the last few weeks have been, Michael‘s starting to reconsider that engagement to Nikita. (As a side note, I love it that, for once, the guy is reconsidering this life of danger.) There are more pressing matters, like the fact that Amanda is still out there, but since next week is the season finale, I’m expecting she’ll still be a threat at the hour’s end.

Da Vinci's Demons, "The Tower"

Da Vinci’s Demons (Starz) 9:00 PM ET
Since before Da Vinci’s Demons debuted we’ve been wondering how it would handle Leonardo Da Vinci‘s sexuality. We should be getting a decent answer when Leonardo faces a trial on sodomy charges.

Merlin (Syfy) 10:00 PM ET
Morgana and Merlin debate the mysteries of various strangers who are all tied to the same secret.

Merlin, "Kindness of Strangers"Someone thank Merlin for giving Arthur nightshirts made from such thin fabric.

Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO) 10:00 PM ET
Bill has a pretty gay guest list as he talks with Zachary Quinto and food columnist Mark Bittman. Then, the roundtable includes Glenn Greenwald, Charles Cooke and Joy Reid. I think that’s the least-insufferable panel I’ve seen in the Real Time

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