5TH UPDATE – THURSDAY: Old Christine is not throwing in the towel. While I hear a deal at ABC still appears very, very difficult to make, people behind the show are still at it, determined to do everything they can to keep the comedy alive.
4TH UPDATE – WED 6:30 PM: More encouraging signs for a possible Ghost Whisperer afterlife on ABC. I hear all writer-producers on the show have deals in place for next season with ABC Studios, which is the leading producer on the series. (CBS Studios co-produces). I hear the writers have been asked not to take other jobs. Talks with the network continue.
3RD UPDATE – WED 8:30 AM: I hear people close to ‘Ghost Whisperer’ feel optimistic about the show’s chances to continue on ABC.
2ND UPDATE – TUES 3 PM: I hear talks with ABC for The Ghost Whisperer have started. Ghost Whisperer would be attractive to ABC at the right price. Better still, it is co-owned by ABC whose studio developed it before selling it to CBS, which owns half of the show. The drama has an appealing young female star, Jennifer Love Hewitt, a plus for the female-skewing ABC, and it has been sold in syndication, which would help ABC’s bottom line. Additionally, I hear there is a showrunner plan in place for next season, so Ghost is ready to go into production.
UPDATE TUES 11 AM: I now hear a deal for Old Christine at ABC is unlikely as the two sides have not been able to work out financials. While there is a glimmer of hope, “I don’t think a deal is in the cards,” a source told me.
TUES 10 AM: Will ‘Old Christine’ Or ‘Ghost Whisperer’ Go To ABC? For the past two years, ABC has made a play for CBS’ The New Adventures of Old Christine only to see CBS renew the comedy at the last minute. This time around, the sitcom starring Julia Louis Dreyfus is finally available. ABC has been quietly talking to producer Warner Bros TV which was also negotiating with CBS. Things were a little different at CBS this year because, I heard, Old Christine’s license fee deal with the network had expired. CBS had the right of last refusal, so it could’ve matched any offer from another network. It ultimately opted to cancel the show, leaving the ball in ABC’s court. I hear the network is interested in picking up Old Christine for the right price but negotiations with WBTV have been slow. Five seasons in, the show is relatively expensive. Still, WBTV has an incentive because Old Christine has been sold in syndication. And I hear ABC had been looking to pair Old Christine with The Middle, another family comedy headlined by a female sitcom star. (The network announced this morning a new relationship comedy behind The Middle — Better Together for Wednesdays at 8:30 PM.)