- The Washington Times - Monday, May 18, 2009

PBS tops Emmy bids

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) has unveiled the nominees for the 36th annual Daytime Emmy Entertainment Awards, and PBS is the most recognized network, with 56 nominations, MediaWeek.com reports.

Other multiple nominated networks are ABC, with 50; followed by syndicated programming (49); CBS (30); NBC (20); Nickelodeon (13); and Disney Channel and Food Network, tied with 10 each.

ABC’s “All My Children” leads the pack of individual show nominations with a whopping 19. Next is PBS’ veteran “Sesame Street” with 15, NBC’s “Days of Our Lives” (13), the syndicated “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” (12), ABC’s “One Life to Live” (11) and CBS’ “The Young and the Restless” (10).

Freshman syndicated shows that were recognized include “Family Court With Judge Penny” for outstanding legal courtroom program, “The Doctors” in the category of outstanding talk show — informative, and Howie Mandel as host of the daytime version of “Deal or No Deal.”

Notably missing was ABC’s “The View” for outstanding talk show — entertainment, despite a hosting nod for the five women. Also, considering that “Judge Hatchett” ended production last year but is competing in the category of legal court show program is just plain odd.

The 36th annual Daytime Emmy Awards, hosted by “Ugly Betty” star Vanessa Williams, will be telecast live from the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles on Aug. 30.

History plans originals

Cable’s History Channel is greenlighting six new series and several specials in what the network is calling its most substantial original programming investment ever, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Among the network’s new series is the 12-part “America: The Story of Us,” a look at key moments in the forging of the United States. The series is produced by Nutopia, the new production company of former Discovery Channel President Jane Root.

Another new show, “Pawning History,” is a 13-episode documentary-style soap opera set in a family-owned Las Vegas pawn shop.

Also ordered: “Madhouse” (working title), a documentary-style soap set at a North Carolina racetrack.

The projects join upcoming highlights for the network such as Mark Burnett’s new series “Expedition Africa,” THR says.

The network’s other greenlighted series are “WWII in HD,” which restores thousands of hours of archival footage into high definition; “MysteryQuest,” in which modern science tackles ancient myths; and the prophecy investigation show “Nostradamus Effect.”

Many happy returns

Fox and its corporate sibling 20th Century Fox TV have finally finalized a two-year deal to bring “Bones” back for fall, Variety reports.

In what has become a common tale this upfront season, the deal to renew “Bones” was held up as both sides haggled a new license fee for the show.

“Bones” is entering its fifth season this fall — the year in which dramatic license fee increases are usually triggered as studios look to recoup their early costs, Variety notes.

Other returning shows, per Variety:

• Fox has reportedly renewed the Joss Whedon freshman drama “Dollhouse” for the 2009-10 season. The show also secured a 13-episode order and is likely to stay in its Friday night berth. The 20th Century Fox TV fantasy drama — which stars starring Eliza Dushku — has delivered modest but consistent ratings on a low-trafficked night, thanks to Mr. Whedon’s (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Serenity”) built-in fan base.

• NBC has renewed “Last Call With Carson Daly” for a ninth season. The late-night talk show airs at 1:35 a.m., following “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.” Prior to “Last Call,” Mr. Daly was a host and video jockey on MTV’s popular weekday series “Total Request Live.”

• Also: ABC has handed second-season renewals to “Castle” and “Better Off Ted,” Entertainment Weekly reported on its Web site.

Ratings win for ‘Story’

A documentary that shows Farrah Fawcett’s battle against cancer in wrenching detail drew an estimated 8.9 million viewers, NBC tells Associated Press.

“Farrah’s Story” details the former “Charlie’s Angels” star’s treatment and hopes for recovery, following her through chemotherapy and other grueling treatment. Miss Fawcett, 62, was diagnosed in 2006 with anal cancer that has spread to her liver.

The film was NBC’s most-watched program in its Friday-night time slot in more than a year, excluding the Olympics, according to preliminary ratings released Saturday, AP said.

However, it was edged out by CBS’ airing of the season finale of the crime drama “Numb3rs,” which drew an estimated 9.6 million viewers.

Miss Fawcett’s video diary was initially intended for private viewing by family and friends but was shared with a wider audience after the actress realized her story could inspire others, said her close friend Alana Stewart, a producer on the film.

The actress maintains good humor during the film as she faces pain, setbacks and, as the treatments grow harsher, the loss of her trademark lush blond locks.

“I do not want to die of this disease. So I say to God, ‘It is seriously time for a miracle,’” Miss Fawcett says.

Her longtime companion, actor Ryan O’Neal, said in an interview last week that the actress is in a “very rocky place.”

Mr. O’Neal is shown in the documentary as a steady presence as the actress goes through highs and lows, although the two ended their long romantic relationship in the late 1990s.

‘Tree Hill’ loses 2

If you’re a “Leyton” fan, pay close attention to this week’s “One Tree Hill” (9 tonight WDCW-Channel 50), season finale, because it may very well be the last you will ever see of your favorite brand-newlyweds.

Following weeks of contract negotiations and publicly made hints that a shake-up was afoot, Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton will not be returning for season seven, the CW told TVGuide.com.

To help fill what must have been an anticipated void, “Tree Hill” recently promoted Austin Nichols (aka Julian) to series regular status for this fall. Also, two new characters will be introduced during season seven, says Entertainment Weekly’s Michael Ausiello.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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