- - Tuesday, May 15, 2012

ABC will introduce new shows about a fading country music star, a trapped submarine, alien neighbors and a creepy New York apartment building this fall.

The third-place network ordered 10 new series for next season, six of them dramas. In keeping with the year-round scheduling model now in vogue, only four new shows will start in September.

With “Desperate Housewives” ending its run and the now-cancelled “GCB” failing to draw a Sunday night audience, ABC will move the soapy drama “Revenge” to Sundays in the fall.

Andre Braugher will star as the captain of a doomed submarine in the new “Last Resort.” Connie Britton is the country legend in “Nashville.” “666 Park Avenue” is the devilish apartment address, and September’s only new comedy is “The Neighbors.”

‘Downton Abbey’s‘ Stevens joining ‘Heiress’ on Broadway

Dan Stevens, who currently is shooting the third season of “Downtown Abbey,” will be staying posh: He’s joining the cast of Broadway’s “The Heiress.”

Producers said late Sunday that Mr. Stevens, who plays the aristocratic Matthew Crawley on the hit PBS show, will make his Broadway debut opposite Jessica Chastain and David Strathairn.

“The Heiress” will open this October at a theater to be announced. The play is based on the Henry James novel “Washington Square” and became an Academy Award-winning film.

It will be directed by playwright and director Moises Kaufman.

Mr. Stevens’ stage credits include the role of Septimus Hodge in David Leveaux’s West End production of Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia” and the Doctor in Mr. Stoppard and Andre Previn’s “Every Good Boy Deserves Favour” at the National Theatre.

‘Swamp People’ cast member dies while on his boat

A cast member of the reality TV show “Swamp People” died Monday, a Louisiana sheriff said.

Assumption Parish Sheriff Mike Waguespack said Mitchell Guist was pronounced dead at a hospital. He had fallen while on his boat on the Intracoastal Waterway, near Pierre Part.

The History Channel, which produces the reality show with Original Media, said Mr. Guist would have turned 49 on Friday.

“We are extremely saddened to report that our friend and beloved member of the ‘Swamp People’ family, Mitchell Guist, has passed away. … Mitchell passed on the swamp, doing what he loved. We appreciate your respect for the Guist family’s privacy and hope you join us in sending our thoughts and prayers to his brother, Glenn, and the rest of the Guist family,” the network said in a statement.

Initial reports from deputies in neighboring St. Martin Parish are that Mr. Guist was traveling on the waterway around 9 a.m. when he fell, Sheriff Waguespack said. The boat returned to a nearby landing in St. Martin and Mr. Guist was taken to a hospital. The cause of his fall is unclear, and there is no word yet on the official cause of death.

WAFB-TV reports 911 tapes were released later Monday, revealing the lengths people in the Belle River community used to try and revive Mr. Guist. Witnesses called the emergency response number and asked for ambulances or a helicopter.

“Swamp People,” on the History Channel, features residents of Louisiana’s Atchafalaya swamp country during alligator hunting season.

‘The Bold and the Beautiful’ goes on location in Italy

With sunglasses and spike heels, makeup artists and wardrobe experts, the CBS soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful” has landed in Italy.

The cast and production team are in Puglia - the heel of Italy’s famous boot - for a week of filming in hopes of boosting their show at home and nurturing their Italian fans.

“The Bold and the Beautiful” is seen by 35 million people in more than 100 countries, according to its press office, and Italy is its No. 1 market worldwide. Known there simply as “Beautiful,” the show has 4 million viewers in Italy compared to 3.6 million in the United States, the Associated Press reports.

The program’s male lead, Ronn Moss, who plays Ridge, is also widely recognized from Italy’s version of “Dancing With the Stars.”

According to Bradley Bell, the show’s executive producer, the fictional reason why the soap finds itself in Italy is because Ridge’s wife Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) was looking for a place where her daughter Hope (Kim Matula) could escape because she was being hounded by the press in Beverly Hills.

The real reason for the trip is the fans.

“Italy has been good to us, we want to give exposure to Italy and do business with a country so close so our hearts,” Mr. Bell said.

The pace is manic: “The Bold and the Beautiful” shoots 250 episodes a year and is trying to do 10 episodes in five days during its time in Italy.

The soap’s most important scene is the wedding between Hope and Liam (Scott Clifton). It is being shot in the stunning seaside village of Polignano a Mare, which is perched on rocky cliffs that plunge down to the crystal-clear Adriatic Sea.

Hundreds of locals gathered to catch a glimpse of their favorite stars and get an autograph or a photo, and the actors were happy to oblige.

“Italy is always very receptive to us. They are always very welcoming, very passionate about the show, so it makes it much more fun,” Mr. Moss said.

The soap opera is also using the song “Volare” in a nod to Italian singer-songwriter Domenico Modugno, whose statue stands at the center of the piazza where the wedding procession was being shot. According to producers, the song represents how Hope is flying high with happiness at her wedding.

Locals also appreciated that “The Bold and the Beautiful” was giving a miniboost to a region of Italy that is struggling economically. The show has brought in 16 crew members from the U.S., plus six actors, two publicists and the executive producer. They also have hired a 42-person film crew from a local company, and are using local drivers and hotels.

Compiled from Web and wire reports

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