Daily Marauder



HBO Sports on Aug. 12 will premiere the fifth season of its award-winning “Hard Knocks” franchise, which goes behind the scenes each year at an NFL team’s training camp. This year’s subject, the Cincinnati Bengals, has agreed to give HBO and NFL Films unlimited access to practice fields, training rooms and coaches’ and players’ meeting rooms. Multichannel News (5/14)

Bengal HBO

Comedy Central has given a green light to an animated series titled “Ugly Americans” about humans and creatures from the horror and fantasy genres living in New York. The series is expected to debut in the first quarter of 2010 and is part of a development slate that includes projects from actor Jamie Foxx, actor/comedian Andy Dick and actor/rapper Ice Cube. Broadcasting & Cable (5/14)

As Jay Leno nears his final The Tonight Show episode on NBC May 29, he announced Conan O’Brien, who takes over as host starting June 1, will be his last guest. This will mark O’Brien’s 17th appearance on The Tonight Show. Other guests during Leno’s final week include: Mel Gibson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wanda Sykes, and Billy Crystal, who was Leno’s first guest in 1992. (Cynopsis 5/15)

The creators of “The Simpsons” aim to turn Fox’s top revenue-generating property into a “timeless classic” to rival Disney’s Mickey Mouse in terms of raking in money from merchandising. They have to move fast: Ratings for the nearly 20-year-old series are sliding. (Iwantmedia 5/15, http://www.usatoday.com/money/media/2009-05-14-merchandise-fox-simpsons_N.htm 4/15)

Simpson stuff

FOX handed an order to Warner Bros. TV for its reincarnation drama, Past Life. The plot is about a team of detectives who use regression therapy and reincarnation to solve crimes. This drama joins previously announced FOX pick-ups including Human Target, Sons of Tucson, Cleveland and Glee. (Cynopsis 5/15)

ABC may keep the comedy Scrubs around for a ninth season, reports THR, as star Zach Braff signed a deal to appear in six episodes to transition the show to its new format which is still being hashed out. (Cynopsis 5/15)

ABC, as part of a renewal condition, asked producers at ABC Studios, the production company behind the Christina Applegate sitcom, Samantha Who? to change the series for its third season from single- to multi-camera. (Cynopsis 5/15)

In anticipation of the season four premiere of Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood, Oxygen launched new online fan content at Oxygen.com this week. Fans of Tori and Dean can find new online content added daily prior to the on-air debut of the series May 26 at 10p. (Cynopsis 5/15)

U.S. broadcast networks will introduce their 2009-10 prime-time schedules in the coming week and get down to negotiating billions of dollars worth of deals with advertisers. ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox are expected to collect up to 15% less than the $9.2 billion they won a year ago. (Iwantmedia 5/15, http://www.reuters.com/article/industryNews/idUSTRE54E4QU20090515 4/15)

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