Rex Is Not Your Lawyer

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Rex Is Not Your Lawyer

Post by Nick Barlow on Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:10 pm

But he is David Tennant
Popular British actor David Tennant, best known for playing the title role in the BBC's long-running sci-fi series "Doctor Who," is set to make his American television debut as the title character in NBC's hour-long pilot "Rex Is Not Your Lawyer."

The comedic legal drama centers on a top Chicago litigator (Tennant) who begins suffering panic attacks and takes up coaching clients to represent themselves in court.

NBC green lighted the project in August, about two years after it was first developed, and had been trying to find a lead actor for several months until Tennant came along and nailed the part. Tennant, a theater and TV actor, rose to fame playing the mysterious alien time-traveler at the center of "Doctor Who" for the past five years. His performance as the Doctor has been often rated as the top in the franchise's 46-year history.

Tennant's casting is reminiscent of the tapping of another established British TV actor with virtually no American TV experience, Hugh Laurie, as the lead on Fox's medical drama "House."
Sounds interesting, and the sort of thing that could play to some of Tennant's strengths. Probably also guarantees a rather huge bidding war between Sky, Five and ITV for the UK broadcasting rights (I seriously doubt the BBC could justify paying what it will end up going for).

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Re: Rex Is Not Your Lawyer

Post by warped on Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:25 pm

Almost worrisome that it's network broadcast TV. Might've been more comfortable in cable TV, like Monk (the nearest kin I can think of).

Ah well. Wonder how he'll do with a Chicago accent? Smile
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Re: Rex Is Not Your Lawyer

Post by Zoltar on Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:30 pm

warped wrote:Almost worrisome that it's network broadcast TV. Might've been more comfortable in cable TV, like Monk (the nearest kin I can think of).
My thoughts exactly.

I'll be interested to see what kind of advertising they give it.

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Re: Rex Is Not Your Lawyer

Post by stanmore on Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:53 pm

Are bidding wars still huge?
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Re: Rex Is Not Your Lawyer

Post by warped on Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:53 am

Also, I'm not sure how they're doing 'pilots' these days. A one-hour show?.. I thought folks would either have the old-fashioned movie-length pilot of the 90s, or just have 6-13 shows ready to broadcast. Does a 'pilot' now mean not a show expected to be broadcast alone, but instead (reportedly sorta how 'Rose' was done) a particularly early 'something' to show just to the sponsors, to hopefully be able to green-light the rest of a first season?

(I'm a bit pre-caffeination. Does the above make any sense? Question )
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Re: Rex Is Not Your Lawyer

Post by warped on Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:14 pm

And... the news has changed. For our UK members - NBC has just given up trying to fill a daily hour of prime TV with late-night TV (Jay Leno). Which means there could suddenly be room (and great lucky timing!) for Rex on NBC... Little bits of some AP article wafting about today:

'By pulling the plug on its Jay-in-prime-time gambit, "I think NBC suddenly becomes a very interesting place to develop (scripted shows) again," Shawn Ryan said, "whereas six months ago it would have been the least desirable place in town for people in my position."...

"We understand that our scripted shows have to compete with reality shows and other things to get on the schedule, but now we have a shot. All people like myself really want is the chance to compete: Give me the chance to write a pilot, and if you like it, give me the chance to make it, and if you like that, give me a chance and put it on the air and see what the audience thinks."

In the short term, at least, NBC faces a mammoth challenge in filling the five-hour void Leno leaves behind after the network's Winter Olympics coverage concludes next month.'

[Note: The person interviewed is not connected to Rex; he's writing some other drama pilot...]
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Re: Rex Is Not Your Lawyer

Post by Patrick on Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:59 pm

warped wrote:And... the news has changed. For our UK members - NBC has just given up trying to fill a daily hour of prime TV with late-night TV (Jay Leno). Which means there could suddenly be room (and great lucky timing!) for Rex on NBC... Little bits of some AP article wafting about today:

'By pulling the plug on its Jay-in-prime-time gambit, "I think NBC suddenly becomes a very interesting place to develop (scripted shows) again," Shawn Ryan said, "whereas six months ago it would have been the least desirable place in town for people in my position."...

"We understand that our scripted shows have to compete with reality shows and other things to get on the schedule, but now we have a shot. All people like myself really want is the chance to compete: Give me the chance to write a pilot, and if you like it, give me the chance to make it, and if you like that, give me a chance and put it on the air and see what the audience thinks."

In the short term, at least, NBC faces a mammoth challenge in filling the five-hour void Leno leaves behind after the network's Winter Olympics coverage concludes next month.'

[Note: The person interviewed is not connected to Rex; he's writing some other drama pilot...]

What this whole debacle has demonstrated is that Jeff Zucker, who engineered this whole drama when he promised Conan O'Brien several years ago (in a contract!) he'd get The Tonight Show at his next contract renewal, knows nothing about network programming. I remember his first knocks started coming when he did nothing to replace Sienfeld and Friends with shows of similar quality, and that dates back to the mid-90s.

Effective the start of the Olympics next month, Jay Leno's prime time show is cancelled. When the Olympics are over, that means NBC has a five night a week hole of programming to fill. Stunning. I've never seen network programming this mis-managed.

By late February, NBC will showing re-runs and failed pilots in the 10 PM to 11 PM time slot for the remainder of the '09/'10 season while they try to ramp up production on replacement shows. Even with a best case scenario, the soonest "Rex Is Not Your Lawyer" might reach screens is sometime in August.

And they continue to fail to realize how cable/satellite networks have eroded their audience share. Think about the shows over the years that have occupied that 10 PM timeslot on NBC: Quincy, MD; The Rockford Files; Remington Steel; St. Elsewhere; Hill Street Blues; Falcon Crest; L.A. Law; Miami Vice... Why did NBC decide to kill this hour slot in programming in the first place? Wait- I know the answer: five nights a week of Jay Leno is cheaper than five nights of original dramas by several magnitudes of order. Creativity be damned, we'll do a prime time talk show! Rolling Eyes

If Zucker's head doesn't get mounted on a pike over this, NBC may never recover from the confusion it has, itself, induced in its own ratings.

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Re: Rex Is Not Your Lawyer

Post by The Co=Ordinator on Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:03 am

Sounds like NBC have a vacanacy for Jay Hunt! Laughing

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Re: Rex Is Not Your Lawyer

Post by Nick Barlow on Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:11 am

NBC is in real trouble, from what I've heard - most of their new series for 09/10 bombed and now they're desperate to fill space. Of course, this is good news in some ways as it means Chuck has now been given a full third series, and I guess RINYL will - along with any other pilots they ordered - suddenly have a much increased chance of getting on the air, and having several episodes to get it right because there's nothing else they can stick on air in its place if they wanted to pull it.

And on another Who alumni, I wonder if a certain Mr Davies is letting NBC know that he has a reputation for delivering filmable episodes of series from scratch very quickly? Could be a great opportunity for him.

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Re: Rex Is Not Your Lawyer

Post by Zoltar on Wed Jan 13, 2010 5:49 am

Patrick wrote:Stunning. I've never seen network programming this mis-managed.
Yep, quite the train-wreck. Hard to believe this is the same place that once boasted "Must-see Thursday"...

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Re: Rex Is Not Your Lawyer

Post by Patrick on Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:29 am

My writer's critique group finished up early last night, and I managed to get home in time to watch Leno's monologue. Best joke: "NBC hasn't exactly handled this situation with tact. After they told me this show was cancelled, they said if I gained 10 pounds I could have a spot on The Biggest Loser." Conan, whose brand of comedy is generally not my cup of tea, was no kinder to NBC. He had Howie Mandell come on stage and do a version of "Deal Or No Deal" with Conan's future career plans. Inside the briefcase he chose: "All expense paid trip to Las Vegas to see Jay Leno's new show."

Nick Barlow wrote:And on another Who alumni, I wonder if a certain Mr Davies is letting NBC know that he has a reputation for delivering filmable episodes of series from scratch very quickly? Could be a great opportunity for him.

I think this would be an excellent time for Mr. Davies to have his agent begin contacting some network programmers and arranging pitch meetings. I just wouldn't recommend he schedule any of those meeting with Zucker. Something tells me he won't be around long enough to make any committments on the 2010-2011 television season.

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Re: Rex Is Not Your Lawyer

Post by The Browncoat Cat on Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:49 am

Patrick wrote:By late February, NBC will showing re-runs and failed pilots in the 10 PM to 11 PM time slot for the remainder of the '09/'10 season while they try to ramp up production on replacement shows.
Memo to NBC. Buy the rights to Firefly from FOX and show it at 10pm on a mid-week night, in the correct order. That will fill 13 weeks of scheduling for you. It doesn't matter that it is nearly five years old, that is a positive advantage, as most of the audience will have forgotten about it. If handled right, you could be on to a winner.
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Re: Rex Is Not Your Lawyer

Post by Patrick on Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:06 am

Unofficially, the buzz is that Jay Leno will be brought back to host The Tonight Show, and Conan is out. No dates for when this may happen, so the current status of Leno's show continuing up to the start of the Olympics before cancellation stands.

I suspect it may happen sooner than mid-February, though. Conan is justifiably upset at how NBC has handled this whole thing, and may just walk sooner. How likely is that that Conan ends up landing a late night talk show on Fox? Probably very likely.

As to what this portends for the 10 PM to 11 PM weekday timeslot, I don't think even NBC has an idea yet. RTD, get your agent in there pitching new series ideas now.

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Re: Rex Is Not Your Lawyer

Post by Horizon Chaser on Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:12 am

As far as RINYL is concerned, NBC has announced that it is not going on the Fill schedule. Law & Order, Dateline, and some other re-runs are going to air in the "Death by Leno" time-slot.

Did anyone see Jimmy Kimmel attack Leno on Leno's show? It was great television. To paraphrase one commentator - Leno learns that others in his profession don't have much respect for him.

Meanwhile, there is hope that RINYL may be picked up for the Fall. Maybe RTD should pitch an episode or two. He certainly knows how to write for Tennant. Otherwise, I think RINYL may fail simply for having the involvement of one of the O'Connell brothers in it (Jerry?). Whenever one of them is in a series, that series doesn't seem to last.

I still say that RINYL belongs on USA network and not on NBC.
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Re: Rex Is Not Your Lawyer

Post by Patrick on Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:40 am

Horizon Chaser wrote:Did anyone see Jimmy Kimmel attack Leno on Leno's show? It was great television. To paraphrase one commentator - Leno learns that others in his profession don't have much respect for him.

You know, they don't exactly do that show live. If Leno felt in any way humiliated by that 10 at 10 segment, he could certainly have ordered it to be edited out. The fact that he didn't shows, I think, he's got pretty broad shoulders and is more than capable of laughing at himself.

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Re: Rex Is Not Your Lawyer

Post by Zoltar on Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:42 pm

Patrick wrote:
Horizon Chaser wrote:Did anyone see Jimmy Kimmel attack Leno on Leno's show? It was great television. To paraphrase one commentator - Leno learns that others in his profession don't have much respect for him.

You know, they don't exactly do that show live. If Leno felt in any way humiliated by that 10 at 10 segment, he could certainly have ordered it to be edited out. The fact that he didn't shows, I think, he's got pretty broad shoulders and is more than capable of laughing at himself.
Yeah, but he had to know Kimmel would complain if it had been cut or edited in any way. He took his lumps from Kimmel because he knows this is good for ratings either way.

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Re: Rex Is Not Your Lawyer

Post by Nick Barlow on Tue May 18, 2010 10:03 am

Unfortunately, it looks like the correct title should be Rex Is Not Commissioned. NBC have announced their fall lineup and RINYL's not in it: http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news/2010/05/16/nbc-unveils-2010-2011-primetime-schedule/20100516nbc01/

One Who alumnus gets a primetime show, though - complete with American accent, Gugu Mbatha-Raw is starring in Undercovers. Trailers for it, and all the other new shows here: http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news/2010/05/16/video-gallery-nbcs-new-2010-11-shows/8679/ From what I've seen, The Cape could be cheesy fun or it could be terrible, and The Event might be interesting if it doesn't follow the trend of so many other US shows of disappearing up its own fundament rather than giving any answers.

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