TV News Wrap Up: ‘The Simpsons’ Syndication, ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ Season 2 & More

Published 2 years ago by

This Week in TV:

FOX is planning to shop The Simpsons for cable syndication; Showtime’s Penny Dreadful has cast Josh Hartnett and Eva Green as its leads; CW has renewed Whose Line is it Anyway? for season 2; Philip Seymour Hoffman has been cast in a Showtime comedy pilot titled Trending Down; and Danny Trejo (Machete) has landed a series regular role on the George Lopez sitcom Saint George.

After 24 years on the air, The Simpsons is finally aiming for cable syndication.

Fox Threatening to Cancel The Simpsons TV News Wrap Up: The Simpsons Syndication, Whose Line Is It Anyway? Season 2 & More

The Simpsons is already the longest-running animated series of all time, but it hasn’t drawn in nearly the same viewership numbers as it did in its heyday when it first was sold in broadcast syndication in 1993. To keep the show alive, FOX is now planning to shop The Simpsons for cable syndication, which would air simultaneously with its broadcast syndication and new episodes on FOX.

Cable networks said to be interested are TBS, FX and Adult Swim, while the sale is projected to go for up to $1 billion for the more than 530 total episodes. The show could be a perfect fit for FX, which is still trying to find programming for its soon-to-be-launched sister network FXX.

It’s hard to imagine The Simpsons not finding a buyer for cable syndication, so we could be seeing many more (old and new) episodes featuring our favorite yellow family in the near future.

Source: Deadline & Team Coco


Showtime’s upcoming psychological thriller/horror series Penny Dreadful has cast Josh Hartnett and Eva Green as its leads.

Eva Green and Josh Hartnett TV News Wrap Up: The Simpsons Syndication, Whose Line Is It Anyway? Season 2 & More

Initially, we heard the series would revolve around an elite team of monster hunters as they try to track down some of literature’s most iconic horror characters in 19th century London, but Hartnett’s character description fits neither a horror nor a hunter role. Hartnett will instead play “a charming American who finds himself trapped in the darkest corners of Victorian London,” while Green is set to play Vanessa Ives, who is simply described as “a seductive beauty full of secrets and danger.”

Since the show has already been ordered for an eight-episode first season, it’s entirely possible that Hartnett’s character could evolve and become a famous monster hunter down the line, while Green certainly could turn out to be one of the monsters – maybe even a seductive vampire.

There’s certainly a lot to be uncovered about Penny Dreadful, but with its leads in place, Juan Antonio Bayona (The Impossible) set to direct the first two episodes and Sam Mendes (Skyfall) signed on as a producer, it looks like Showtime has things moving in a positive direction.

Penny Dreadful will begin shooting in London this fall and will premiere on Showtime sometime in 2014.

Source: Showtime


CW’s latest incarnation of the improvisational comedy show Whose Line is it Anyway? has been renewed for season 2.

Whose Line is it Anyway sea TV News Wrap Up: The Simpsons Syndication, Whose Line Is It Anyway? Season 2 & More

After the first American adaptation aired for nearly 10 seasons on ABC (1998-2006), many were unsure of how much appeal the show would still have on a new network – especially when a preview clip released in June revealed that much of the cast and the structure would be the same. But apparently CW was correct in its assumption that audiences were still hungry for improvisationl comedy, as the show premiered to 2.9 million viewers last month, making it the network’s most watched show in its time slot (Tuesday @8pm) in nearly five years.

Those results made the renewal decision quite easy for the network. Said CW President Mark Pedowitz:

“It’s clear that viewers are as excited to have ‘Whose Line’ back on the air as we are. We have wanted to bring comedy back to The CW for a long time, and Aisha (Tyler), Wayne (Brady), Colin (Mochrie) and Ryan (Stiles) have brought funny to the network in a big way. We’re very excited to have them back for another season.”

The premiere date for Whose Line is it Anyway? season 2 hasn’t been set yet, but it will consist of 24 all-new half-hour episodes.

Source: The CW (via Coming Soon)


Philip Seymour Hoffman is set to star in a new Showtime comedy pilot titled Trending Down.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman in  TV News Wrap Up: The Simpsons Syndication, Whose Line Is It Anyway? Season 2 & More

Hoffman – who will also produce along side Kathryn Hahn (Parks and Recreation) – will play Thom Payne, who is described as “a man facing his own obsolescence after his advertising agency is taken over.” The network is describing the pilot itself as “a blistering attack on our youth-obsessed culture, and a darkly comic examination of what it means to matter. Or matter not.”

Considering the Oscar-winner is known almost exclusively for his film acting, Hoffman joining the cast of a new pilot is certainly a surprise. However, Hoffman working in comedy is slightly less so, as he’s turned in funny, scene-stealing performances in films such as The Big Lebowski and Almost Famous. With Hoffman’s talent, we’re pretty confident he can do almost anything. Apparently, Showtime feels the same way.

We’ll pass along more information about Trending Down as it comes in.

Source: EW


Machete Kills star Danny Trejo has been cast as a series regular on George Lopez’s new FX comedy Saint George.

Danny Trejo Machete TV News Wrap Up: The Simpsons Syndication, Whose Line Is It Anyway? Season 2 & More

Trejo will play George’s uncle on the family sitcom, which centers on George and his struggle to balance work and home life. Trejo’s character Tio is said to always be in competition with his nephew and repeatedly stops in to drink George’s beer. He is a part-time construction worker who always speaks the truth and holds a mirror up to George.

It sounds like Trejo will serve as a classic comedic foil to our main character, which is something we’ve seen him do before in films such as A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas. And his tough-guy persona – which he’s displayed in virtually everything he’s done – will probably work well against George’s insecure and conflicted man-of-the-house type.

Like Charlie Sheen’s FX series Anger Management, Saint George has earned the 10/90 deal from the network, meaning that if the show hits its desired numbers in its 10-episode first season, it will automatically be picked up for 90 more episodes. However, if it comes up short, it could be canceled after just one season.

We don’t have a premiere date for Saint George yet, but we’ll be interested to see if it’s a legitimate hit and if it gets 100 episodes.

Source: THR

Follow Daniel Johnson on Twitter @UODanJohnson
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  1. Very happy about Whose Line Is It Anyway, I’ve been watching all of the news ones in the past month and I’m really liking it. The show has retained much of its humor, mainly because Wayne, Colin, and Ryan are still as funny as they used to be. If I were to make some suggestions for season 2, I’d say get a better host than Aisha Tyler (she actually makes me miss Drew Carrey a lot), get some more variety to the games they do (I feel like we’ve been seeing the same ones every episode, and so far…no Greatest Hits!), find something better to do at the end of the show than just reading the credits in different ways (I miss the hoedowns), and keep the guest stars but don’t revolve the show and all of the games around them. Glad to see it coming back though! :D

    And I’m still surprised The Simpsons is going, but I think this is a good move for them.

    • I agree with your Whose Line critiques. Although I like the sideways scene, they always do something kung-fu oriented, and that’s starting to get old.

      I think I’d give Aisha more of a chance if she did some improv, like Drew used to do. Otherwise, anyone could be the host.

      As far as skits they haven’t done yet, I always liked the green screen one where Colin has to figure out what’s behind him. I’m glad they brought back Helping Hands though. Some of the funniest improv I’ve seen.

  2. I’ve liked Aisha in other stuff. I don’t know why she’s kind of dull here. I would think this would be right up her alley.

  3. Who’s Line’s audience. that’s all I have to say. It’s funny, but not fun…. oddly… they don’t take any audience members out (even though I wouldn’t want them too, the audience looks like they’re all teens…) demographic I suppose.

    The Simpsons cable Syndication? Let’s keep it on FOX where it belongs. Not too keen on it popping up everywhere JUST yet.. maybe after 2014, into 2015?

  4. Re: Simpsons: normally I don’t care for this type of cartoon (Family Guy, Beavis and Butthead, South Park, etc,) but I do occaisionally get a chuckle out of The Simpsons.

  5. Who exactly gets this billion?

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