Serial killers, vampires and Taylor Swift , oh my!
What do those three things have in common? They all dominated conversation and headlines during the 2012 summer press tour, where networks try to one-up each other with exciting announcements and casting news.
We already shared big news from ABC, Fox, NBC and PBS; next up, CBS, CW, HBO, Showtime and FX. The networks dished on the future of hit series like Game of Thrones, Dexter and How I Met Your Mother—and the CW announced it was bringing Ms. Swift and Dr. Horrible to the masses!
Apologies to How I Met Your Mother fans excited to meet the mother, 'cause it looks like it won't be anytime soon. CBS prez Nina Tassler hinted that the comedy will be picked up for a ninth season, saying, "They had an incredible year last year and we have a great relationship with Craig [Thomas] and Carter [Bays]. They have a strategic wrap-up to the show. They know we want the show to come back next year. We're not there yet in terms of [renewing HIMYM]. We're in early conversations and we're pretty optimistic."
Casting news dominated CBS' press day, with Alcatraz's Sarah Jones joining the network's new drama Vegas as a regular and Kris Polaha and 90210's Megalyn Echikunwoke being added to Made in Jersey.
Taylor Swift is coming to the CW, y'all! Well, sorta. The network is broadcasting Clear Channel's iHeartRadio Mustic Festival, which features the singer, in October. Wait, it gets better! The CW also will air Joss Whedon's 2008 web musical Dr. Horrible, starring Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion. We're not worthy, Mark Pedowitz!
Regarding the future of Supernatural, Pedowitz assured, "I am a big Supernatural fan, so I hope it stays on as long as I'm still here." Translation: It's not going anywhere anytime soon. Bonus: Misha Collins will be doing "a minimum of eight" episodes.
As for the series wrap-up of Gossip Girl, Pedowitz said, "I believe shows that have a loyal core audience deserve a proper send-off for both the network and the fans…[It's] what we did for One Tree Hill, so we'll do it again here for Gossip Girl." He also shot down the notion of continuing the show beyond the sixth season with a new cast.
HBO is hoping to stay in business with Game of Thrones for a long, long time, with Richard Plepler saying, "As long as [George R.R. Martin] keeps writing, we'll keep producing, and he seems excited with that prospect." As for True Blood? Michael Lombardo said there's no need for fans to cry blood-tears. "As long as it continues to be performing with the consumer, but more importantly exciting the storytellers, I think we're there."
Aaron Sorkin took a moment during the panel for his workplace drama The Newsroom to clarify reports regarding his writing staff. "The writing staff was not fired. But seeing that in print is scaring the hell out of the writing staff." He also clarified that writer Corinne Kingsbury was misidentified as an ex-girlfriend of his. He also addressed the backlash the show has received since its debut, saying, "Anytime someone is talking about a television show this much is good for television."
When a critic hinted that Dexter's sixth season was its worst, Jennifer Carpenter defended her show, saying, "If we hadn't shot anything yet for this season yet, that question might have hurt my feelings. But because I know what we're doing this year, I'm really excited about showing you what we've done." As for the show's future, Michael C. Hall said, "The plan is to do this season and a final eighth season...I would never say never. But the sense is we are moving toward a definitive end."
The breakout hit of the season was Showtime's Homeland, a drama they hope to keep on the air for many years to come, according to boss David Nevins. "[Renewal order is] a wide blue sky. I'm excited for season two, but I believe we are still in the upswing with Homeland."
The Weeds cast was on hand to celebrate the series' final season. "I just cried when I read it," Mary-Louise Parker said of the series finale script. "It was beautiful. [It] isn't necessarily a happily-ever-after thing, but there is hope. There is benediction."
During the executive session, FX boss John Landgraf announced that Louie would be returning for a fourth season and revealed that American Horror Story's season two setting of a Boston sanitarium would be run by the Catholic church. Oh, and AHS returns in October. Let the countdown begin!
Charlie Sheen took a moment during the Anger Management panel to reflect on his headline-making behavior last year, saying, "My life's different now that I'm not insane anymore. I'm accountable most of the time." Martin Sheen, Charlie's father, is set to join the show as a regular for its back-90 episodes…should FX pick it up (they totally will).
Russell Brand kept the critics laughing non-stop during his panel for Brand X, thanks to his take on Sarah Palin's popularity: "I think that the reason Sarah Palin has been so long-tolerated is because of that latent inquisition surrounding the vagina. People want to f--k her, don't they?"