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Upfront TV: “Breaking Bad” Finale | More “Storage,” “Shipping” | ESPN NFL Draft Coverage

Published on April 13, 2012
  • AMC’s “Breaking Bad” returns in July (no specific date yet), for its fifth and final season. The series follows everyman Walter White, a milquetoast high school chemistry teacher who lives in New Mexico with his wife and teenage son who has cerebral palsy. White is diagnosed with Stage III cancer and with a new sense of fearlessness based on his medical prognosis, and a desire to gain financial security for his family, chooses to enter a dangerous world of drugs and crime and ascends to power in this world. The series stars Bryan Cranston who won three consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor for his portrayal of Walter White and Aaron Paul, who won the 2010 Emmy winner for Outstanding Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Jesse Pinkman. Season 4 ended with Walter killing off Gus, his drug-cartel employer Gustavo “Gus” Fring, played elegantly and chillingly by Giancarlo Esposito in a gruesome bombing.

  • TNT’s buddy legal drama “Franklin & Bash” will return for a second season, debuting June 5, airing Tuesdays at 10 P.M. ET/PT, following “Rizzoli & Isles.” The whacky-but-irreverent-lawyers-in-a-button-down-firm formula drew 3.9 million viewers during its first season, ranking among basic cable’s most popular new series of the summer. The show also averaged an outstanding 1.8 million adults 18-49 and adults 25-54.

  • FOX has ordered an 11th and 12th season of the Gordon Ramsay culinary competition series “Hell’s Kitchen,” which puts aspiring restaurateurs are through an intense culinary academy and emotional abuse to prove they possess the right combination of ingredients to win a life-changing grand prize. “Kitchen” Season 10 debuts on Tuesday, May 29, 8 P.M. ET/PT. Beginning Monday, June 4, “Hell’s Kitchen” expands to twice per week with all-new episodes Mondays and Tuesdays at 9 P.M. ET/PT. 
  • A&E has ordered additional seasons of “Storage Wars,” “Storage Wars: Texas” and “Shipping Wars,” says The Hollywood Reporter. What is their appeal? "America is at a crossroads where people are finding new ways to make money and earn a living,” A&E Network/BIO Channel executive vp programming David McKillop said in a statement announcing the news. "We’re holding a mirror up to this trend in our programming and it’s proven to be incredibly relatable to our viewers yet remain highly entertaining.” Storage Wars airs at Tuesdays, 10 P.M., and the network claims it is cable's No. 3 series in the adults 25-54 demographic, topping MTV's “Jersey Shore.” “Storage Wars” also ranks as A&E's No. 1 series of all time.
  • CBS has announced the new reality series “Dogs In The City,” starring New York City dog guru Justin Silver, a “master at resolving issues between canines and their owners.” The series will premiere Wednesday, May 30 at 8:00-9:00 P.M. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network. In Manhattan (where disposable income apparently still flows freely), Silver will meet with clients who present a range of relationship problems, lifestyle changes or domestic issues – from a couple looking to move in together, but she’s terrified of his golden retriever, to a recently divorced couple whose dog is having a rough time adjusting to joint custody. 

  • ESPN has announced its commentator lineup for the 2012 NFL Draft Presented by Bud Light, its 33rd consecutive year of televising the event. The three-day telecast will air April 26-28 on ESPN and be available via WatchESPN with the first two nights in primetime. Chris Berman (covering his 32nd NFL Draft) will host ESPN’s primetime coverage Thursday, April 26 and Friday, April 27, at Radio City Music Hall in New York. He will be joined by analyst Mel Kiper, Jr. (working his 29th Draft) and Monday Night Football analyst and Super Bowl-winning head coach Jon Gruden on ESPN’s main set. Senior NFL Insider Chris Mortensen and NFL Insider Adam Schefter will report from an additional set at Radio City, while NFL32 host Suzy Kolber will conduct interviews on-site with draft prospects. Former Indianapolis Colts President and Vice Chairman Bill Polian, a six-time NFL Executive of the Year, will be part of ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage for the first time during the opening round, alongside NFL Live host Trey Wingo. ESPN’s NFL Draft telecast on Day 3 (Rounds 4-7) will feature Wingo hosting from Radio City with Trent Dilfer, Kiper, McShay, Mortensen, Polian and Schefter.  Kolber will co-host from Bristol with analysts Tedy Bruschi, Herm Edwards and Ron Jaworski. ESPN’s comprehensive NFL Draft coverage will include “SportsCenter Special: On the Clock” shows, leading up to the NFL Draft telecasts all three days. Wingo will host the Thursday and Friday specials at 5 p.m. from Bristol with McShay and many of ESPN’s top studio analysts, including Cris Carter, Dilfer, Tom Jackson, Ron Jaworski, Keyshawn Johnson, Polian and Steve Young. Sunday’s coverage includes a two-hour “SportsCenter Special: Draft Wrap” Up at 5 p.m. on ESPN2 with Wendi Nix, Bruschi, Edwards, Kiper and McShay. The program will re-air at 10 p.m. on ESPN2 and on Monday at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.