OK, I might be a bit behind on the reporting of the TCA Press Tour Updates. So let’s get right into the happenings at the FOX and NBC presentations.
First, there was FOX.
- “Glee” has added two new faces for the new season. Sean Geyer will play Brody Weston, a handsome underclassman showing interest in Rachel (Lea Michele), and Jacob Artist will join the cast as Jake Puckerman, Puck’s (Mark Salling) younger half-brother, who wants to join the glee club, but his bad boy attitude might derail his audition.
- Additionally, TVLine’s Michael Ausiello reports that Vanessa Lengies will return to “Glee”, reprising her role as eccentric pupil Sugar, on a recurring basis next season.
- Gordon Ramsey will keep cooking. FOX has ordered a fourth cycle of “MasterChef”. The “culinary competition series”, as FOX deliciously labels it, is up 8% among Adults 18-49 this year, and 9% in Total Viewers this summer.
- Mariah Carey is now officially “sworn in” as a new judge on “American Idol”. Meanwhile, producer Nigel Lythgoe mentioned at Press Tour that he wouldn’t mind the judges to be changing every year, the Hollywooed Reporter reports. FOX entertainment president Kevin Reilly seems to be liking the idea, too, as he said so during his Q&A session. As for the departures of Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, Riley said that it was a mutual decision.
- Although Riley says the first three scripts of “Glee” are seamlessly combining the small town Ohio and the New York City scenes, there will, at least for the foreseeable future, no spinoff of either location. “Our idea is to compact”, Riley said.
- Riley hopes to get some credit from the genre fans for giving “Fringe” a swan song season. He said that while genre shows are a tough sell, FOX will still try to make them, since they fit with their “expect the unexpected brand”.
- And something for the transition, so to speak: Mindy Kaling, star of the upcoming FOX comedy series “The Mindy Project” will be returning to “The Office” next season as a guest star.
Which brings us to NBC:
- NBC has ordered 10 episodes of “Dracula”, a new version of the Bram Stoker classic starring Jonathan Rhy Meyers (“The Tudors”) in the title role. Per the press release, “the 10-episode series introduces Dracula as he arrives in London, posing as an American entrepreneur who maintains that he wants to bring modern science to Victorian society. In reality, he hopes to wreak revenge on the people who ruined his life centuries earlier. There’s only one circumstance that can potentially thwart his plan: Dracula falls hopelessly in love with a woman who seems to be a reincarnation of his dead wife.”
- NBC chairman Bob Greeenblatt said that there could be more “Community” down the line, and that the upcoming fourth would not have to necessarily be the last, insisting that the show hasn’t gone to Friday night to die. On letting showrunner Dan Harmon go, Greenblatt added, “I think the fans of “Community” are going to get the same show that they have loved from the beginning. Every so often, it’s time to make a change with the showrunner. You sort of evaluate the creative and how the show is run and how the writing staff works (…) sometimes you want to freshen the show. We just decided it was time to do that on “Community”. No disrespect to anyone.”
- Greenblatt also mentioned “Smash”, saying that the show has already started production on season 2. Entertainment president Jennifer Salke went on to add, ““[Showrunner Josh Safran's] vision for the season (…) was so specific, you were on the edge of your seat. It just felt like there’s a real plan in place and things are coming together in a way that feels more consistent.”