AGT Renewed, Christopher Walken Cast in Peter Pan (NBC Updates)

Peter Pan - 2014

It’s NBC day at the Television Critics Association tour taking place right now in Pasadena, CA, and here are a few big announcements to come out of the sessions this morning, regarding the network’s live and reality programming.

America’s Got Talent renewed for another season, Celebrity Apprentice on Hold

The Simon Cowell produced, America’s Got Talent (in addition to Last Comic Standing, and American Ninja Warrior) has been renewed for another season, according to an NBC press release:

NBC has given renewals to a 10th season of “America’s Got Talent,” a ninth season of “Last Comic Standing” and a fourth season of “American Ninja Warrior,” which airs in partnership with Esquire Network.

So far this summer, NBC is consistently generating the highest regular-program ratings among the Big 4 networks, and has won every week this summer among those nets in adults 18-49 excluding the two weeks when ABC carried NBA Finals basketball.

“The renewal of these three series is evidence that we continue to hit our stride in delivering quality entertainment to a broad viewership,” said Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Late Night Programming, NBC Entertainment. “All of the hard-working talented people on these shows — both behind and in front of the camera — should feel very proud of their achievements.”

However, the latest season of Celebrity Apprentice has been filmed, but has no air date. Clay Aiken was runner-up to Arsenio Hall in the 2012 edition of the show. The last season to air was in the winter of 2013. From Zap2it.com:

“In terms of scheduling the current season, we have a wealth of new material, both scripted and unscripted,” Telegdy said Sunday (July 13) at the TV critics’ summer press tour. “As yet, we haven’t figured out a perfect place for the ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ to go.”

Telegdy’s boss, NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt, says he’s not worried about the longer-than-usual layoff for the show — the last season concluded in March 2013.

“Every few years, some of these reality franchises [rest],” Greenblatt says. “We took a hiatus on ‘The Biggest Loser’ and brought that back and was happy to see it come back to life again.”

Celebrity Apprentice has been off the air for MORE than a year. I wonder if the season that’s currently in the can will be shelved completely? Or burned off on the weekends or next summer?

NBC Casts Christopher Walken as Captain Hook in Peter Pan Live, Almost Signed Kristen Bell to Play Peter

On the heels of the last December’s highly successful, and Emmy nominated Sound of Music Live, starring Carrie Underwood, the network is planning a live broadcast of the Broadway musical adaption of the beloved children’s classic, Peter Pan.

With the air date, December 4, fast approaching, NBC has finally made its first cast announcement–and it’s perfect! Christopher Walken will play the villainous Captain Hook. This is awesome news. Not only is Walken fantastic at playing the baddies, he’s also a song and dance man. From the NBC press release:

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — July 13, 2014 — Oscar-winning actor Christopher Walken, one of the most revered talents of his generation and a veteran of film, television and stage, will portray the iconic Captain Hook in NBC’s Dec. 4 telecast of “Peter Pan Live!”

“We are absolutely delighted that Christopher Walken will be putting his unique stamp on Captain Hook for our holiday musical event ‘Peter Pan Live!,’” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “He’s not only one of the most versatile actors in our business, but his love of musicals and uncanny abilities as a dancer make him perfect for stepping into this classic James M. Barrie character. Get ready to be charmed, amused, frightened and dazzled by Captain Hook in an entirely original way.”

“We’re so happy to reunite with Chris, who starred in our film version of ‘Hairspray,’” said “Peter Pan Live!” executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. “The exhilarating thing about doing these live musicals is giving the stage to a thrilling performer like Chris, and seeing his once-in-a-lifetime performance unfold at the same moment the audience is watching at home.”

Added Walken: “I started my career in musicals and it’s wonderful after all this time, at this point in my career, to be in this classic musical I watched as a child and to work with Neil Meron and Craig Zadan again after ‘Hairspray.’ It’s a chance to put on my tap shoes again.”

Counter to previous reports, NBC plans to cast a woman in the role of Peter Pan. They almost signed Kristen Bell, but the actress couldn’t work her schedule around commitments to Showtime’s House of Lies. Via TV Line:

“She is somebody I talked to about doing it, and she was interested, but she’s doing [Showtime]‘s House of Lies,” NBC president Robert Greenblatt told reporters Sunday at the Television Critics Assoc. summer press tour in Beverly Hills. “We’ve had several women who wanted to do it but they’re either busy or their schedules don’t work… I need that person from August 5 to December 5, so that locks out the Kristen Bells of the world.”

“It’s been tricky finding the right person in the schedule that we needed, but we’re close,” he added. “And it’s going to be a female.”

About mj santilli 33328 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!