- - Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The prehistoric drama “Terra Nova” is history on Fox. The network said late Monday that it is dropping the pricey sci-fi series after a single season.

The ambitious series, filmed in Australia with expensive special effects, got a lukewarm reception from viewers last fall despite high anticipation from sci-fi fans. It averaged less than 8 million viewers weekly.

The series followed a family on its journey back to prehistoric Earth on a mission to save the human race. It starred Jason O’Mara and Stephen Lang, with behind-the-scenes principals including Steven Spielberg.

“Terra Nova” was announced in May 2010, but production problems led to repeated delays in its debut.

Mr. O’Mara declared the show’s fate to his Twitter followers Monday night, tweeting, “Bad news, guys. Terra Nova has been canceled by Fox.”

‘Desperate Housewives’ creator testifies at trial

The creator of “Desperate Housewives” said he felt awkward and cautious around Nicollette Sheridan after a dispute in which the actress claims he struck her head.

Marc Cherry told jurors in Ms. Sheridan’s wrongful termination civil trial that he watched his words around her and kept tabs on a human resources investigation of the incident through a key confidante.

Mr. Cherry claimed he merely tapped the actress for artistic direction during their discussion in September 2008, but the actress said she was hit hard and the blow left her stunned and humiliated.

After Mr. Cherry was cleared by ABC-TV executives, he informed series stars Eva Longoria and Felicity Huffman that Ms. Sheridan’s role would be cut. He told jurors that decision had been made in May 2008, months before his spat with the actress.

On Tuesday, Ms. Sheridan’s attorney, Neil Meyer, testified that he has not been able to get her an acting job “for several years” in the wake of her firing from “Desperate Housewives,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

‘Modern Family,’ ‘30 Rock’ up for Comedy Awards

The Oscars may be over, but the funny industry is gearing up to celebrate its best and brightest this spring for the second year in a row.

“Modern Family,” “Bridesmaids,” “30 Rock,” “Crazy, Stupid, Love” and stand-up comedian Louis C.K. lead the nominations for the second annual Comedy Awards, which were announced Tuesday.

The awards show, which honors and celebrates the best in the world of comedy, will be taped April 28 in New York and premiere on Comedy Central on May 6. Last year, it also aired on several sibling networks of the Viacom channel.

“Modern Family,” honored as the best comedy series last year, is once again nominated in that category (and four others) along with “30 Rock,” which also earned five nominations, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (four), “Parks and Recreation” (three) and “Happy Endings.”

Comedy film nominees include “Bridesmaids” and “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” which also nabbed five nominations each, “Midnight in Paris” and “Horrible Bosses,” both of which have four nominations, as well as the Academy Award-winning “The Artist,” which received three nominations.

Among the performers nominated for best film actor are Jason Bateman (“Horrible Bosses”), Steve Carell (“Crazy, Stupid, Love”), Jean Dujardin (“The Artist”), Zach Galifianakis (“The Hangover Part II”) and Owen Wilson (“Midnight in Paris”). Jennifer Aniston (“Horrible Bosses”), Cameron Diaz (“Bad Teacher”), Emma Stone (“Crazy, Stupid, Love”) and Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig (both for “Bridesmaids”) are nominated in the best film actress category.

The nominees for the best TV actress honors are Zooey Deschanel (“New Girl”), Tina Fey (“30 Rock”), Amy Poehler (“Parks and Recreation”), Miss Wiig (“Saturday Night Live”) and Sofia Vergara (“Modern Family”). In the TV actor category, Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock”), Ty Burrell (“Modern Family”), Louis C.K. (“Louie”), Steve Carell (“The Office”) and Larry David (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”) are nominated.

Nominees were selected by the Comedy Awards board of directors, which includes such big names as Carol Burnett, James Burrows, Stephen Colbert, Brad Grey, Conan O’Brien, Joan Rivers, Jay Roach, Chris Rock, Ray Romano and Jon Stewart. Winners will be chosen by the Comedy Awards Voting Body, comprised of professionals from the comedy industry.

Fans can vote online for their pick for breakout performer of the year. The nominees in that category are Miss Deschanel, Josh Gad, Donald Glover, Miss McCarthy and Jason Sudeikis.

The Comedy Awards will also bring back the Johnny Carson Award and the Comedy Icon Award, whose recipients will be announced later. Last year’s recipients were David Letterman and Eddie Murphy, respectively.

FX renews ‘Justified,’ for 13-episode fourth season

FX has renewed critical darling “Justified” for a fourth season. The network announced Tuesday that it has picked up the Timothy Olyphant drama for 13 episodes.

” ‘Justified’ is one of television’s best series and this season has reinforced that excellence,” FX executive vice president of original programming Nick Grad said in a statement announcing the news. “Graham Yost and his writing team continue to deliver compelling material and richly drawn characters brought to life by the brilliance of Timothy Olyphant and our terrific ensemble cast.”

Compiled from Web and wire service reports.

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