The Television Critics Association press tour is currently underway, and NBC has announced renewals for its summer reality shows.
America's Got Talent will return next summer for season 10, Last Comic Standing for season 9 and American Ninja Warrior for season 4.
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"The renewal of these three series is evidence that we continue to hit our stride in delivering quality entertainment to a broad viewership," said Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Late Night Programming, NBC Entertainment. "All of the hard-working talented people on these shows -- both behind and in front of the camera -- should feel very proud of their achivements."
The current season of America's Got Talent has Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howie Mandel on the judging panel, the second year in a row with this particular lineup. It is unknown at this time if everyone will be returning next summer, though considering the strong chemistry among all four celebrities, it wouldn't be surprising if they all returned. The Simon Cowell-produced competition series is averaging 12.4 million viewers in season 9.
Last Comic Standing returned to the airwaves this summer after its last outing in 2010, with Wanda Sykes as executive producer. Considering this show has changed the judging panel quite a bit over the years, it wouldn't be out of the ordinary to see a new lineup, though the current trio of Roseanne Barr, Russell Peters and Keenen Ivory Wayans are doing a great job in their first season, which is averaging 5.1 million viewers.
These renewals aren't the only news that came out of NBC's TCA press tour regarding the network's reality and alternative programming:
The Celebrity Apprentice Still on Hiatus?
The network still hasn't announced when The Celebrity Apprentice
will be back, even though it was officially renewed
back in March. Zap2It reports
that they have filmed a new season; it's now just a matter of when
it airs. Telegdy said, "In terms of scheduling the current season, we have a wealth of new material, both scripted and unscripted. As yet, we haven't figured out a perfect place for the Celebrity Apprentice
NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt elaborated further: "Every few years, some of these reality franchises [rest]. We took a hiatus on The Biggest Loser and brought that back and was happy to see it come back to life again." It sounds like they're hoping the same will happen with the Apprentice.
Christopher Walken Cast as Hook in Peter Pan
Following the success of the live production of The Sound of Music last fall (with 18.6 million viewers), which starred Carrie Underwood, NBC is looking to do the same with another live production in December. Peter Pan Live! will air on December 4. And while we don't know yet who will play the titular character (all we know is that Pan will be played by a female actress), we do know who's stepping into Hook's shoes.
Greenblatt announced at TCA
that Captain Hook will be played by none other than Christopher Walken. To some, this may seem like an unexpected choice, but he did get his start in Broadway musicals, after all. Walken said in a statement, "I started my career in musicals and it's wonderful after all this time, at this point in my career, to be in this classic musical I watched as a child and to work with Neil Meros and Craig Zadan again after Hairspray
. It's a chance to put on my tap shoes again."
"He might really be a song and dance man at heart," said Greenblatt at TCA. "He's fearless as a comedic actor and always comes to play. I guarantee you he's going to bring his own spin to Captain Hook. He might be the first tap-dancing Captain Hook."
Greenblatt did talk further about the role of Peter Pan, saying that Kristen Bell was one of the top choices, but she wasn't available. "We've actually had several women who wanted to do it, but they're either busy or their schedules don't work. It's not like we can film this at any time. I need that person from August 5 to December 5 and so that knocks out the Kristen Bells of the world -- who is someone that I talked to about doing it and she was interested, but she's doing House of Lies. ... It's tricky finding the right person, but we're actually close."
More Maya Rudolph?
Back in May, NBC aired The Maya Rudolph Show
, a variety special starring the Saturday Night Live
alum. Telegdy admits that the show
was an "imperfect first episode." However, he has revealed that the network is "very much in discussions with Maya ... about what the show would look like" if it was brought back sometime in mid-season.
He went on to say, "It is a show we were really proud of. On balance, we really enjoyed the experience."
(Image courtesy of NBC)