Television Critics Association Press Tour 2011: More News Highlights

08/08/2011 02:48 pm ET | Updated Oct 08, 2011

As the Television Critics Association Press tour wraps up, more details about the fall's lineup of new shows have emerged. From spy dramas, to 60s stewardess tales, to haunted house mystery series, the 2011-2012 season looks to be an exciting one. Read on for our wrap up of what's been announced (and read our first installment of TCA news here).


"Super 8" director J.J. Abrams, whose married spy drama "Undercovers" flopped last season, returns with "Person of Interest" this fall, a show about a billionaire and his mystery machine. Starring Michael Emerson as Finch, who has created a computer program that can predict future crimes, and Jim Caviezel as the ex-CIA agent who helps him stop those crimes, "Person of Interest" looks to be a classic Abrams series.

"I've always been fascinated by the idea of a surveillance state," executive producer Jonathan Nolan said. "Just how much information is swirling out there? And what happens when you harness all that information?"

Williamsburg gets the small screen treatment in "Two Broke Girls," a new comedy from Michael Patrick King, the creator of "Sex and the City." Despite King's history, he claims that the new show won't just be a family friendly version of the HBO hit. Starring Kat Denning and Beth Behrs as the girls of the title, the show centers on the two girls as they try to make their way in the city, struggling for cash all the while.

“That show and this show is completely different DNA,” King said. “The girls from ‘Sex and the City’ had relationship check lists; these girls barely have checks.”

CBS president Nina Tassler also took some time to chat about Charlie Sheen's meltdown and where "Two and a Half Men" is today.

Of Sheen, Tassler said, "We’re worlds apart from where we were six months ago. Everybody made the decisions relative to the situation at hand. I’m just happy to be where we are today."

Calling Sheen's replacement Ashton Kutcher "extraordinarily professional, talented, funny, gifted actor, who comes with a tremendous amount of commitment and enthusiasm," Tassler emphasized that the network was moving forward "to create this exciting, new character and deliver a great show."

[Via Collider]

Also announced at TCA: Marg Helgenberger will be leaving "CSI," while "Cheers" actor Ted Danson will join the show.


"Glee" creator Ryan Murphy will get back to making shows 12 year olds really shouldn't watch with "American Horror Story," a series about the Harmon family and their move into a haunted house. Starring Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott and Taissa Farmiga, the show will be just as much about the emotional and psychological issues the family is working through as it is about the spooky mansion they now occupy.

Read more about the show here.

Additionally, FX announced that "Wilfred" has been renewed for a second season, "Louie" for a third, and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," for an eighth and ninth.


Steve Carrell is out of "The Office," but he'll be back to TV in the producer's seat for Showtime's documentary comedy series "Laughing Stock," in which big name comedians will sit down for one on one interviews with host David Steinberg. Stars like Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Larry David, Ellen DeGeneres, Judd Apatow, Tina Fey, Jane Lynch and Sarah Silverman will appear on the show.

“We have gathered a monumental assortment of comedic legends, and their contemporary protégées,” said Carell. “It’s enlightening, fascinating, but more importantly, it’s funny.”

“What makes our show unique is you will see the comedian’s connections to each other and to those who have influenced them in the past,” said Steinberg. “It’s like getting a look at a comedy tree of the last five decades.”

Showtime has also picked up "Homeland," a drama that explores 9/11 and the psychological aftereffects that have lingered in the decade following. Starring Claire Danes as a CIA agent, the show revolves around a recently freed American soldier who is promoted as an American hero -- though Danes' character suspects that he is working against national interests.

"It's about how 9/11 has affected us psychologically," executive producer Alex Gansa said.

Fans of the reality show "Gigolos," which follows several male escorts on their escapades in Las Vegas, will be glad to know the show has been picked up for a second season. The network is also considering expanding "The Franchise," a miniseries about the San Francisco Giants into a full-fledged series.


While plenty of people are clamoring for the popular show "24" to get its chance at the big screen, it's still uncertain whether the movie will happen. Though star Kiefer Sutherland has said that the movie is still going to happening, as recently as February, producer Howard Gordon proclaimed the film "on hold."

"I've heard nothing. I've seen nothing," said 24 star Mary Lynn Rajskub.

[Via Moviefone]

British sensation "The X-Factor" will debut this fall, with the ever-scowling Simon Cowell at the helm. Though Cheryl Cole, a judge on the U.K. version of the show, was unceremoniously ousted from the show, Cowell hopes that pop star Mariah Carey will be a part of the show.

"There are certain sections of the show that I'm hoping Mariah will get involved in," Cowell said. "She's been enthusiastic from day one. But then she selfishly got pregnant, which is why she didn't end up as a judge."

The winner of the program will be in a Pepsi Super Bowl spot in February and will also receive $5 million.

[Via Deadline]

Twee idol Zooey Deschanel will headline "New Girl," a fox comedy about a girl who moves into an apartment of three guy friends. Deschanel wrote the show's theme song and will apparently sing on the show from time to time.

"This was a perfect match of character and actress. We really didn’t do a lot of finessing with the character," show creator Liz Meriwether said of Deschanel. "It’s such a gift. She’s able to play the comedy and the scene underneath, which is rare. This character is so out there; we really were trying for a different type of female character."

[Via Starpulse]


She won't be slaying vampires, but Sarah Michelle Gellar's new role on "Ringer," as a woman who assumes the identity of her murdered identical twin, promises to be action-packed. At TCA, Gellar addressed the differences between filming "Ringer" and filming "Buffy" : For one thing, she won't be doing her own stunts.

"So far, it’s only been kind of running and chasing," Gellar said. "She’s not saving the world. She just trying to save herself. But I do get to hold a gun a lot, which is cool because Buffy never got a gun."

Gellar had only good things to say about her time on the vampire drama, which ended back in 2003.

"I’m proud of the show," Gellar said. "I’m proud of the work we did and I’m proud of its legacy, and so that’s nothing but good things. Sure, as an actor you want to play different things, but I was also really fortunate. I think a lot of times when you start a show at a young age, you get stuck. You get six years of high school. And I didn’t have that. Buffy grew. She was a student. She went to college, and then essentially she became a mother. She was a mother to all the slayers. So I didn’t feel that I was trapped because I got to do so much."

Gellar will also appear on the soap "All My Children," the show where she got her start many years ago.

[Via NOLA]

Rachel Bilson will also be taking a turn on the CW, in her first major TV role since her days as Summer on "The OC." Starring in "Hart of Dixie," a medical drama about a doctor sent south, Bilson will get a chance to show off her chops in a program that producer Leila Gerstein called "city-girl porn."

“I created a town that I want to move to, with parades; where people dangle their feet off the porches and sip mint juleps,” Gerstein said. “In my pitch, I said, 'It’s full of hot fisherman and there’s a great love story,' so it was created really out of an escapist need that I had.”

[Via Deadline]


"Charlie's Angels" is back, minus the feathered haircuts that Farrah Fawcett made a mainstay of its 70s counterpart. The revamped show will feature Minka Kelly, Annie Ilonzeh and Rachael Taylor as the three angels. But the latest incarnation featuring the butt-kicking angels will make a priority of focusing on the relationships between the three as well as their lives outside of work.

"We know a show like this has a big target on its back," creator Al Gough said. "We wanted to make this more grounded, make these women feel real, to give them a past. We wanted audiences to have something to come back to each week. The show is about redemption and second chances."

Snow White, Prince Charming and Rumplestiltskin are living among us: Not that they know it. New series "Once Upon A Time," starring Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, and Joshua Dallas, shows us what happens when fairy tale characters have to make their way in the real world -- after they've been enchanted to forget where they came from.

Producer Edward Kitsis says the show owes a lot to the fantasy hit "Lost."

“His name is not on the show, but he is in the DNA of it,” Kitsis said of "Lost" creator Damon Lindelof. "He’s really been like a godfather, helping us kind of realize our vision of the show. And he very much wants it to be our show, so he helps when he can and sometimes he gives us tough love.”

The pilot even includes several references to lost, including a door labeled "No. 108."

Though new show "Pan Am" features jaunty stewardesses and their 1960s dramas, it's not anything like "Mad Men," according to the show's creators.

For one thing, none of the characters will be smoking.

“It’s an enormous impressionable element. It’s the one revisionist cheat," producer Tommy Schlamme told Entertainment Weekly of the act.

And, producers say, despite the shared time period, viewers of "Pan Am" shouldn't expect to see just another version of the AMC drama.

"I think television is just execution," Schlamme said. "It's not the time period it takes place in. ... It really is just execution. So all I can say is (this show) really has nothing to do with Mad Men ... I think we're all fans of Mad Men. But literally one has almost nothing to do with the other."

[Via EW/Deadline]

ABC will also debut "Work It," a comedy about two men who begin cross-dressing to get jobs, "Revenge," a drama about a young woman getting back at wealthy Hamptons-ites, and "Man Up!" a show about three men in their 30s trying to figure things out.

The network also announced that popular suburban melodrama "Desperate Housewives" will end in 2012.