Showtime unveiled four new series at the Television Critics Assn.'s winter press tour Thursday -- but "Arrested Development" wasn't one of them.
Showtime president of entertainment Robert Greenblatt confirmed recent reports that Showtime was in negotiations with 20th Century Fox Television to pick up the Fox comedy but warned that no deal has been reached.
"I always thought it was a better fit for a cable network than a broadcast network," Greenblatt said of "Arrested." "It really does fit in with a lot of things that we're doing."
While Greenblatt declined to get into the specifics of the negotiations, he noted that one crucial deal point hinged on the involvement of Mitch Hurwitz, creator and executive producer of "Arrested." Hurwitz has not decided whether he wants to continue working on the show given, as Greenblatt put it, the "emotional roller coaster" the series has been during its three-year run.
Showtime's new original series include "Dexter," a crime drama starring Michael C. Hall ("Six Feet Under") as a serial killer, and "The Tudors," a historical drama with Jonathan Rhys Meyers ("Match Point") starring as King Henry VIII.
Also on the way is a six-episode adaptation of the radio program "This American Life" and sketch comedy series "Damon Wayans' The Underground."
All series but "Tudors," which will bow in 2007, will air this year.
Showtime also announced that it will bring back late-night series "Penn & Teller: Bullshit" for two more seasons. Anthology series "Masters of Horror" also will be back for another season. In addition, Showtime has at least six documentaries ready to roll out this year on subjects as varied as medical marijuana and the Oklahoma City bombing.
Whether "Arrested" joins Showtime's schedule will affect the return of other Showtime series waiting to deliver second seasons that Greenblatt hasn't committed to yet, including "Barbershop" and "Sleeper Cell."
Greenblatt showed clips of "Dexter," which will be shot on location in Miami, that made ample use of blood-drenched crime scenes. "With all due respect to our new partners at CBS, this is not your father's 'CSI,' " Greenblatt said, alluding to the restructuring at Viacom that left Showtime under the auspices of CBS Corp.
Executive producers of "Dexter" are Jon Goldwyn, Sara Colleton and John Manos Jr. The 12-episode, hourlong series should bow late this year.
"Tudors," an account of the lesser-known early years of King Henry VIII, will be executive produced by Michael Hirst, Ben Silverman, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner. Ten episodes will begin shooting in the spring in Ireland.
Greenblatt hailed the casting of Rhys Meyers, fresh off his win at the Golden Globes for the CBS miniseries "Elvis," as a coup for Showtime. "The fact that he has decided to commit to a series in the middle of his feature career taking off says a lot," Greenblatt said.
The other new series Showtime devoted panel sessions to at TCA include "Brotherhood" and "Sexual Healing." (Story courtesy of the Hollywood Reporter)
Olbermann couldn't even last a year on the network before blowing up. Seems a shame, in a way. If the bolded statement is true, that means Olbermann was fighting with his bosses from the moment he was hired, even before the show went on the air.