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Upfront TV: Another Live “Rock” | More “Bones” | “GCB” Replaces “Housewives” | ESPN Masters Plans

Published on March 30, 2012
  • NBC’s “30 Rock” will attempt its second live episode on Thursday, April 26 at 8:30 P.M. ET, from the iconic Studio 8H in Rockefeller Center in New York. When their Kabletown bosses announce they will no longer pay for TGS to be a live show, Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) and Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) realize their lives will actually be easier if they shoot canned episodes fast and cheap. Kenneth the Page (Jack McBrayer) objects, urging that nothing can replace the communal experience of live television. The series’ first live episode was on October 14, 2010. Beth McCarthy-Miller, who directed that episode, will return to direct the new live episode. Once again, two versions of the same story will be telecast – one live for East Coast viewers and a second for the West Coast. The first show will be telecast at 8:30-9 p.m. (ET) and the cast will perform the same episode for a new broadcast at 11:30 P.M.-12 A.M. (ET) for the West. Central time zone viewers will be able to see the first live show at its regular time (7:30-8 P.M. ET).

  • FOX has renewed the hit series “Bones“for its upcoming eighth season. Bones returns with seven-in-a-row, all-new episodes on a new night and at a new time beginning Monday, April 2 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT). In the first of these episodes, “The Prisoner in the Pipe,” the remains of an escaped convict are found in a residential sewer, but an examination of the sewer pipes indicates that the murder occurred within prison walls. When Brennan (Emily Deschanel) insists on solving the crime – despite Booth’s (David Boreanaz) pleas for her not to overexert herself – the expectant couple experience a very untraditional arrival of their baby daughter.

  • More proof that ABC’s midseason dramedy “GCB” (short for “good Christian bitches") was intended as a successor to “Desperate Housewives.” As Deadline Hollywood reports, ABC will test drive “GCB” in the “Housewives” Sunday 9 P.M. slot on April 8th, with back-to-back episodes ending at 11 P.M. TVByTheNumbers in its Renew/Cancel index speculates that the show will be renewed for the fall season.

  • For the first time in television history, claims Fox, a U.S. series has immediately established a global audience. Within one week of its highly-rated American debut, the Kiefer Sutherland vehicle “Touch” was one of the highest-rated individual channel telecasts of the season worldwide. Last week on Sky 1 in the United Kingdom, “Touch” ranked No. 1 in its time period among all basic cable and satellite channels. On FOX Italia (Italy), the premiere ranked as the channel’s second highest-rated premiere ever. On FOX in Spain, “Touch” ranked No. 1 in its time period among Adults 18-49 in the Pay TV universe, and on FOX Latin American Channels, “Touch” outperformed the channels’ primetime average by double- and triple-digit percentage increases in Argentina, Colombia and Mexico. Other successful launches included ProSieben in Germany, TV3 in Norway and Channel 1 in Russia. Finally, airing day-and-date with FOX in the U.S., the series’ second episode on Global-TV in Canada outperformed the January 25 “Special Sneak Preview” telecasts of the pilot by +27%.

  • In its fifth year of live coverage of the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, ESPN promises expansive coverage across platforms in the U.S. and around the world beginning Thursday, April 5, and across television, radio, online and mobile devices. ESPN will air 4.5 hours of live Tournament play daily from the first two rounds, the traditional Par 3 Contest the day preceding the Tournament and 14 total hours of action on the ESPN 3D Network. ESPN and ESPN HD will air 4.5 hours of live first and second round action on Thursday, April 5, and Friday, April 6, from 3-7:30 P.M. ET with an edited encore presentation in prime time each night from 8-11 P.M. ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s Spanish-language U.S. sports network, also will televise the first and second rounds live from 3-7:30 p.m. and the ESPN 3D Network will air three hours of live play from the first two rounds each day starting at 4:30 p.m. as well as live play from the Saturday and Sunday rounds and the Par 3 Contest.