Quick Hits


Close, Danson Headline FX Pilot

New York — Actor Ted Danson is joining ranks with Glenn Close and director Allen Coulter (The Sopranos, Sex and the City, Six Feet Under) on an upcoming drama pilot for FX.

The untitled pilot — written by Todd Kessler, Daniel Zelman and Glenn Kessler and produced by FX Productions and Sony Pictures Television — is the basis for a legal thriller series in which Close stars as high-stakes litigator Patty Hewes, while Danson portrays Arthur Frobisher, a corporate giant embattled in a class-action lawsuit brought by the attorney. Production begins next week in New York.

The pilot marks a reunion for the actors who starred in telepic Something About Amelia. It also brings Close back to FX, where she co-starred in season four of The Shield — her role as Capt. Monica Rawling scored Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for lead actress in a drama series.

Of 10 drama-series pilots ever produced for FX, six received full series orders of 13 episodes: The Shield, Nip/Tuck, Rescue Me, Over There, Dirt and The Riches. One show, Thief, received a limited-series order of six episodes.

Cablevision Taps Budill As Top Programmer

Bethpage, N.Y.Cablevision Systems has promoted Mac Budill (pictured) to executive vice president of programming.

In this role, Budill will continue to oversee all programming decisions involving Cablevision’s TV offerings, including the identification and acquisition of high-value linear and on-demand content for the operator’s various products.

Budill joined Cablevision in 1991 as program manager and was named senior vice president of programming seven years later.

Prior to joining Cablevision, Budill spent three years with Bain & Co. as a management consultant.

Ripa to Host 'TV Land’ Honors

New York — Actress and talk-show host Kelly Ripa (Live With Regis and Kelly) will host the fifth-annual TV Land Awards, which will air April 25 at 9 p.m. (EST).

The awards ceremony — the network’s annual 90-minute salute to classic television shows and stars — will be taped 10 days prior to the airing at The Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif.

In other TV Land news, second-season episodes of Sit Down Comedy with David Steinberg will debut on TVLand.com Mondays before airing on the linear network two days.

The six-week run of the series begins Feb. 19 on the Web site and Feb. 21 on the network with Jerry Seinfeld as its guest.

'Roberts’ Films Draw Eyes to Lifetime

New York — The first of a quartet of telepic adaptations of Nora Roberts best-sellers played big for Lifetime Television Jan. 29, attracting nearly 5 million viewers to the women’s-targeted service.

Nora Roberts’ Angeles Falls averaged a 4.1 household rating during its premiere, according to Nielsen Media Research data.

The movie, starring Heather Locklear, was also ad-supported cable’s highest-rated show among women 18 to 49 in the 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. time slot, according to Lifetime officials.

Lifetime is also scheduled to air Nora Roberts’ Montana Sky, Nora Roberts’ Blue Smoke and Nora Roberts’ Carolina Moon Feb. 5, 12 and 19, respectively.