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TV News Roundup: ‘Top Chef’ Renewed for Season 14, Spike Orders ‘Pendergast’ Series

Bravo has renewed “Top Chef” for Season 14, and Spike TV is joining forces with Paramount Television and Universal Cable Prods. for a new scripted series in Monday’s TV news roundup…

Renewals

Bravo has renewed its competitive cooking show “Top Chef” for a 14th season.

The show, currently airing Season 13 on Thursday nights, is the #1 food program on cable in the 25-54 demo. The show is looking for up-and-coming chefs to compete in the next season, currently hosting casting calls in Los Angeles, Portland, Las Vegas, Denver, Houston, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia and New York.

Elsewhere, popular Lucha Libre wrestling series “Lucha Underground” has been renewed by El Rey, with Season 3 set to bow in 2017.

The renewal from Robert Rodriguez’s network comes less than a week after the premiere of “Lucha Underground’s” second season, which bowed on Jan. 27.

“‘Lucha Underground’ has caught fire by developing a loyal and passionate fan base,” said Rodriguez. “I am proud that its home is El Rey Network, and we’re excited to announce a season three return for even more no-holds-barred action.”

Series Pickups

Spike has teamed up with Paramount Television and Universal Cable Productions for scripted series “Pendergast,” to be executive produced by “The Walking Dead” EP Gale Anne Hurd. John McLaughlin (“Black Swan”) serves as writer and executive producer.

Based on the bestselling novels “Relic” and “Cabinet of Curiosities” by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, the series follows an eccentric special agent for the FBI named Aloysius Pendergast working to solve a present day crime that has connections with his past.

Spike debuted “Tut,” its first scripted event series in eight years, last July. The network also recently ordered “Red Mars,” based on the “Mars Trilogy” of books by Kim Stanley Robinson, to series.

Awards

The Peabody Awards appointed two new members to the Board of Jurors on Monday.

Simon Kilmurry, executive director of the International Documnetary Association; and Monica Pearson, a TV news journalist, were selected today by the Peabody Awards Director, Jeffrey Jones.

The Board of Jurors is made up of media industry professionals, scholars, critics and journalists who are appointed to ensure that the list of winning programs will reflect the interests of a broad cross-section of audiences, rather than just media insiders.

Media Deals

Univision and Televisa are partnering together with the National Hispanic Media Coalition to design programs to increase diversity in entertainment and public policy.

The two networks are sponsoring the NHMC’s Television Writers Graduate Program, which serves as a continuation of NHMC’s original TV writers program and includes eight writers program graduates working on original scripts over a period of four weeks.

The media companies are also sponsoring NHMC’s Policy Fellowship Program for law students to learn about media and telecommunications policy issues from a civil rights and public interest perspective.

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