By ED BARK
The exceedingly colorful Strokers Dallas bike club/bar-restaurant will get a second dose of exposure in a new Tru TV series being produced by AMS Pictures of Dallas.
Rick Fairless owns and operates the Harry Hines Blvd. emporium, but the working title of the show is Ma's Roadhouse. That's because his ma, Sharon, is a heavy-duty hoot.
Fairless and company also starred in Texas Hardtails, a 2005 series on Speed Channel.
AMS has been busy on the TV front of late. The company recently launched Girl Meets Gown on WE TV and also produced a Showtime comedy special starring Paul Mooney and originating from The Lodge gentlemen's club in Dallas. The Strokers Dallas series is set to air sometime next season
***Conan O'Brien, whose settlement with NBC allows him to resume doing TV on May 1st, will waste no time in getting part of his story out. He'll be interviewed by 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft on the Sunday, May 2nd edition of the program. He still can't disparage NBC, though. Damn.
***TNT has ordered another 10 episodes of the cop drama Southland, which it rescued after NBC canceled it last season. The new episodes will begin airing in January.
***Comedian/actor Ricky Gervais will be the back-to-back host of The Golden Globes, which return to NBC on Sunday, Jan. 16th with another grand exhibition of movie and TV celebrities getting semi-sloshed while expectantly waiting for their names to be called.
"I can't believe they invited me back after (the) awful things I said," Gervais said in a publicity release. "Let's see how far I can go this time."
NBC's executive vice president of alternative programming, Paul Telegdy, praised Gervais as a "true force of nature with a wicked sense of humor who always keeps everyone on their toes waiting for the unexpected."
By ED BARK
Comedy Central has reloaded its heavy artillery, drawing battle lines for November's onslaught of Conan O'Brien.
The network on Tuesday extended the contracts of both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, whose respective shows are popular with advertiser-coveted younger viewers and slated to go against O'Brien from 10 to 11 p.m (central) when he joins TBS in November.
Stewart, host of The Daily Show since Jan. 11, 1999, will remain in place through June 2013 under his new deal with Comedy Central. Colbert, who launched The Colbert Report on Oct. 17, 2005, is inked through the end of 2012.
O'Brien, currently on a multi-city comedy tour that will bring him to SMU's sold-out McFarlin Auditorium on May 13th, made a surprise deal with TBS on April 12th. He'll be hosting a Monday-Thursday late nighter that will bump incumbent George Lopez's show to 11 p.m. in November. Lopez repeatedly has said he's on board with the move, but a healthy skepticism prevails.
Although they're most popular among elusive 18-to-34-year-olds, O'Brien, Stewart and Colbert all are well beyond the outer limits of that age range. O'Brien just turned 47, Stewart also is 47 and Colbert will be 46 next month.
***HBO has renewed its acclaimed series Treme for a second season. The New Orleans-set drama, from the creator of The Wire, premiered on April 11th.
By ED BARK
ABC has a slew of summertime programming ready to roll, including three new drama series, a pair of freshman reality hours and the returns of The Bachelorette, Wipeout, True Beauty, Shaq Vs and (urp) Dating in the Dark.
The network's news division also will kick in four series, including Mind Games and Head Cases. Here they are in order of appearance:
The Bachelorette (May 24) -- Frisky San Franciscan Ali Fedotowsky fell for Dallas flyboy Jake Pavelka on the latest installment of The Bachelor. But she opted to "choose a job she loved over the man she loved," as ABC puts it. So now she's back, this time in the driver's seat, after reversing her priorities.
True Beauty (May 31) -- The alleged search for inner beauty returns, with producers Tyra Banks and Ashton Kutcher at the throttle. Added this year is shock jock Howard Stern's wife, Beth Ostrosky Stern, a former model who will "share her opinions on beauty." That should be riveting.
Wipeout (June 1) -- More fall-down-go-boom fun, with ABC promising "brand new, bigger, better and wilder obstacles" and, of course, plenty of mud.
The Gates (June 20) -- A new soap opera-ish drama centers on the Monahans, who relocate from Chicago to a seemingly blissful private mountain community. Patriarch Nick Monahan is the new police chief, and anticipates nothing more taxing than traffic tickets. But oh no. Because "there's something very different about this place, almost . . . haunting." A no-name cast is headed by Frank Grillo.
Scoundrels (June 20) -- Virginia Madsen (Sideways) and David James Elliott (JAG) star in a comedy/drama about a family of penny ante criminals that tries to go straight after daddy is incarcerated. Based on the New Zealand series Outrageous Fortune.
Rookie Blue (June 24) -- Five young cops fresh out of the academy are plunged into "a world where even the smallest mistake can have life or death consequences and serious emotional fall-out." Not to say the heartbreak of psoriasis. The stars are people you've never heard of. That is, unless you've heard of Missy Peregrym, who plays the daughter of a former cop who wasn't very good at being either a cop or a pop.
Boston Med (June 24) -- Another up-close, real-life look at dedicated caregivers from the producers who brought you the award-winning Hopkins. From ABC News.
Downfall (June 29) -- Contestants play for big money from "atop a tall building in the middle of a metropolitan landscape." Those who don't answer trivia questions quickly and correctly "could just as easily see their hopes and dreams slip through their fingers and off the side building -- literally," says ABC. Did the network mean to say "side of the building?" And who the hell greenlights these things anyway?
Mind Games (July 20) -- Another ABC News venture takes viewers "into the darkest corners of the human mind and how it can be twisted -- real cases where 'reality' gives way to fantasy."
Bachelor Pad (Aug. 9) -- Presenting an all-star reunion of 20 of the "most unforgettable" contestants/suitors from previous editions of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. They'll all live in the same house and compete in challenges, with each two-hour edition ending in evictions. Winner gets a chunk of money and a chance to find "the one" while mingling with all the other fellow posers. Don't we already have that show? Isn't it called Big Brother?
Dating in the Dark (Aug. 9) -- ABC actually has ordered a second season of this. But so far the network hasn't yet bit on another edition of Conveyor Belt of Love. Emphasis on "yet."
Shaq Vs (Aug. 10) -- In the twilight of a storied NBA career, Shaquille O'Neal returns for a second season of battling other stars on their home turfs. This time it won't be just sports. ABC says the show also will immerse Shaq in a spelling bee and a "dance crew" battle.
Head Cases (Aug. 19) -- ABC News strikes again with a "groundbreaking series into how science and technology are enabling us to look inside our heads and affect the processes of the brain."
Primetime: Crime (Aug. 24) -- The network spends just one sentence on this one. Here it is: "The series takes viewers inside investigations of breaking crime stories, and those that have been stumping authorities for years."
By ED BARK
None are blockbusters, but all are cost-efficient hours that have made inroads in troubled NBC time periods.
So the Peacock is renewing three reality hours linked to stars who came to prominence in other hit series.
The Marriage Ref is co-executive produced by Jerry Seinfeld, who needs no further introduction. It was plugged into Thursday nights at 9 (central) after NBC jettisoned The Jay Leno Show.
Who Do You Think You Are?, a genealogy show from former Friends star Lisa Kudrow's production company, is slotted on Fridays at 7 p.m., where it's made some inroads against CBS' long-entrenched Ghost Whisperer.
Minute to Win It, a big money game show hosted by Guy Fieri of Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, recently premiered on Sunday nights as a lead-in to Celebrity Apprentice. Ratings have been acceptable, so it's getting a reprieve, too.
NBC previously renewed its entire Thursday night comedy lineup of The Office, 30 Rock, Community and Parks & Recreation.