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April 02 2008

Anthony Stewart Head's "Merlin" to air on NBC in US. The Chicago Tribune's TV writer, Maureen Ryan, details NBC's Fall line-up which includes ASH's new fantasy series, "Merlin".

It'll debut on Sunday evenings mid-season.

My first topic post! Please be gentle...

Nice job, thundercat. I guess I missed the memo that ASH was in this. I'll be looking forward to it. I guess this one makes up for the crime of actually taking that Knight Rider atrocity to series.
Huh. And yet, on his official site the only information is that it's a BBC1 production, scheduled to air in the fall.

Much as I'd love Tony back on my screen, I won't believe it until I see the previews on NBC. I'm still smarting from the "ABC will air a new sitcom starring Anthony Stewart Head as an aging gay rock icon!" fiasco. Sigh. At least I was able to download the unaired pilot...

P.S. Good job, thundercat! Nice to see another ASH fan.

ETA: TamaraC I posted about this a while back, when the news was first released to Tony's official site. And then it showed up on WhedonInfo.

[ edited by ShadowQuest on 2008-04-02 22:16 ]
It's a BBC series due in December(ish), but BBC Worldwide has sold it to NBC. It's shooting in place of Doctor Who (RIP).
It's produced and created by the same people behind Hex? I fear for the audience's sanity.
Will definitely give ASH's series a look (though I fear for its chances on American television; something tells me it will last a lot longer in Britain). And is Hex really that bad? This isn't the first time I've heard bad stuff about it.

I wonder if that bit about Scrubs moving to ABC is going to play out. If it does, I wonder if it will change the show any.

And what's this, gossi:

It's shooting in place of Doctor Who (RIP).

Talk like that will make me paranoid. Unless you're referring to the break they're taking during season five.

[ edited by deepgirl187 on 2008-04-02 23:15 ]
It's about time ASH returned to American screens! Well...I guess he'll be imported to American screens, but that's good enough for me.
Has anyone heard anything about the songs he was working on with Gus Isidore?
Hi thundercat, thanks -- Maureen Ryan is a good critic and a friend to genre TV.
I'd be setting my TiVo for this right now if it would let me. The prospect of seeing ASH on a weekly basis makes me happy. Thanks, thundercat!
A weekly series about Merlin? Intriguing...
Talk like that will make me paranoid. Unless you're referring to the break they're taking during season five.
Do not fear. DW has definitely been renewed for a fifth season.
So what's with RIP!!
Kind of amusing that the title of the column is "The Watcher"...
This show is going to crash and burn... No one turns on their TV and flips to NBC looking for magical happenings... :(
The show sounds interesting. I'm a bit surprised NBC picked it up though. I can't remember the last time an actual British show (as opposed to an American remake) aired on one of the networks. I'm tempted to say never, but it probably happened sometime in the distant past. (And I'm aware of Doctor Who, of course, but that's the SF channel, not one of the big 4 networks.)
Mad Axe Dr. Who has aired on PBS ever since it first debuted. And I mean the original as well as the new Doctors.


Keeping Up Appearances
Are You Being Served?
As Time Goes By
Sea Change

But, as I said - I'll believe it when there are actual previews on NBC. Which...won't be for a while, since it's not scheduled for the BBC1 until fall.
I concur with Mad Axe. We've seen adaptations, (Quiz Shows, like Millionaire and Weakest Link) and remakes (such as Three's Company and The Office), but (and correct me if I am wrong), I can't really think of any foreign produced shows that have aired on ABC, CBS, FOX, or NBC as their original production.

PBS obviously airs a lot of British programmes, but PBS doesn't count in this scenario. They are public television. This is one of the Big 4, commercial broadcast networks airing a foreign produced show as is.

I guess NBC really meant it when they said they were going to shake up how they do business.

[ edited by kevingann on 2008-04-03 05:30 ]
I'm aware of the British programming on PBS, but while it's technically a network it's not one of the big 4. It's programming habits are much different than NBC/CBS/ABC/Fox (and the CW and the former networks UPN/WB if you want to include them, though they're not that major). My point is, I can't remember the last time a British program was on one of those.
And is Hex really that bad?

Yes and then some. It makes Torchwood look good.
Hey! I like Torchwood. ;)
Do not fear. DW has definitely been renewed for a fifth season.

Well, yes and no. Strictly speaking, there won't be a series 5 because David Tennant is off playing the Dane with the RSC so 2009 will only have 3-4 "specials" (probably an hour long, like the Christmas episodes). AFAIK, the plan is still for it to return in 2010 for series 6 though (albeit possibly without Tennant and/or Russell Davies).

(BTW, this seems like a good time to say [new] series 4 starts on Saturday - Woot ! ;)

And 'Hex' was pretty badly written IMO but the production values were excellent. If it's the same producers I can deal, if it's also the same writers then that doesn't bode well IMO.
Yes and then some. It makes Torchwood look good.

Simon | April 03, 07:21 CET

Excuse me?? Torchwood is the best thing to happen to TV since BSG.

*much indignant muttering and inappropriate name calling*
Bollocks, I just read the entire article and this stood out
Joining the cast of "Life" is Donal Logue ("Grounded for Life") as Captain Brian Tidwell, Crews' (Damian Lewis) and Reese's (Sarah Shahi) new boss. Tidwell is a seen-it-all New York cop whose weaknesses include the track and the ladies. He isn't going to fit in Los Angeles, and he could care less.
(my emphasis)

So does that mean Robin Weigert has left the show ? Bugger, I like her (and her character). I'm a fan of Donal Logue too so that takes some of the edge off but still ...
Interesting situation since I can recieve BBC1 in Holland, but the USA gets the premiere? Good news for us downloaders, bad news for the BBC then...
The BBC will almost certainly broadcast it first Krusher, where are you reading otherwise ? Possibly not that far in advance though - 'Torchwood' is only about 10 days ahead on the BBC for instance.

Frankly, i'd be a bit pissed off if they didn't - it's our money after all, why should someone else benefit first ?
Hmm, guess I got confused by the mid season term. Then again, American tv scheduling is just confusing to me *g* Oh well, one way or the other, I'll be watching Merlin, I happen to like the story.
I think "mid-season" usually means something around January-March of the following year, so Jan-Mar 2009 in this case (with the BBC broadcasting in autumn 2008).

But yeah, the whole "fall line-up" and "seasons" idea was new to me too, before I started taking an interest in US TV (mainly so i'd know not to get too attached to a particular show if it had already been cancelled - 'Firefly' taught me that lesson the hard way).

[ edited by Saje on 2008-04-03 14:22 ]
I watched Hex when it aired on BBC America a year or two ago. It started out good, but quickly got really strange, and not in a good way. The only real redeeming quality was Jemima Rooper, who was absolutely fantastic.

"Mid-season" refers to the fact that it will begin airing in January/February. The US TV season runs from September to May. Most shows will debut in September/October. "Mid-season" means the debut will be later, most likely January or February, as I mentioned earlier.

And, as far as the subject at hand, ASH on TV here, YAY!
Hee. I'm with Simon on Hex and Torchwood. Which leads to my not unsurprising reaction to this news:

A Merlin series by the makers of Hex? I wish many things for ASH, but not this. Then again, if it makes him happy and earns him enough money to maintain his lovely estate in the UK, I'm happy for him. ASH remains one of my all-time favorite actors in the Buffyverse. In the latter years of BtVS, Giles's frequent absence felt like a big old gaping hole of blackness. Maybe he can work his same magic with Merlin?
Where are people getting the makers of Hex thing from?
Shine, Ltd. is listed in the press release as the producer of Merlin. They were also the ones who produced Hex.

In addition, IMDB lists Julian Jones as the writer of the first episode of Merlin. He also wrote the pilot for Hex, as well as the last two episodes of the first series. The good news is that was when Hex was still good.
Or at least less bad ;).

(writers are funny that way anyway, from the sublime to the ridiculous some of 'em)
I thought Hex started out rather well, but once Ella came in, it just got...weird. Julian Jones' episodes were all pre-Ella.

I still think Jemima Rooper was the best part of that show and would love to see her in more. It doesn't seem as though much of her other stuff has been shown here in the US.
A new Tony Head series picked up for US broadcast? On NBC, even? Seriously? Outstanding! He's definitely someone I can see myself watching a series for.
Sorry, Shey but Torchwood is terrible. Again.

It started out terrible got better, stayed quite good and then got terrible again. I've got the last couple of episodes to watch - but it's taken such a turn toward the crap again, I feel like I can't be bothered.
Loving Torchwood this year. All of it.
Maureen Ryan is a good critic and a friend to genre TV.

She sure is, doghouse, and thanks for the greetings.

Kind of amusing that the title of the column is "The Watcher"...

kishi, Mo Ryan is a huge genre fan, and you are more right than you think about the origin of her blog's name!

I suppose I shouldn't have included "Fall line-up" and "mid-season" in my original post since NBC certainly seems to be embracing the 52 week schedule, as evidenced by this huge press release. As mentioned in earlier comments, we don't know exactly when this'll air on NBC, but it sure seems they've made a strong commitment to the series. Did anyone else notice that the "Digital features will include Merlin's diary and Spells for Everyday Life." Cute!
I also like Torchwood!

I'll be glad to see ASH back on tv. Hopefully the show is good.

[ edited by piggiesfly yay on 2008-04-04 01:34 ]
Loving Torchwood this year. All of it.

I'm particularly enjoying watching them rip-off old Buffy and Angel stories nearly every week [/sarcasm]

Now Tony's site is saying NBC will air it Sunday nights this winter, from 8-9PM. (I'd assume "check your local listings" is in order)

I still say I'll believe it when I see the previews.
(albeit possibly without Tennant


and/or Russell Davies).

Woo hoo!

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