Among those series is Heche’s new show, “Save Me.” Heche, you’ll recall, was found in August 2000 — the day after her breakup with Ellen DeGeneres — wandering door to door in Fresno, Calif., talking about having been told to go meet a spaceship with the hit of ecstasy that was the price of boarding. That ultimately led to an interview with Barbara Walters, in which Heche explained that she had another personality named Celestia, who was from another planet and was the reincarnation of God, and that Celestia helped her cope with having been molested by her father.
Meanwhile, NBC also has greenlit the comedy “Go On,” starring “Friends” alum Matthew Perry as a charismatic sportscaster who, trying to move on from loss, finds help from members of his group-therapy sessions. “Go On,” from “Friends” writer Scott Silveri, presumably is destined for NBC’s Thursday lineup — former home of the iconic Must See TV, but better known these days as the home of Self-Referential TV.
Also said to be staffing up is Ryan Murphy’s NBC comedy, “The New Normal,” about a gay couple starting a family with a surrogate. Also making NBC’s early pickup list: the new J.J. Abrams drama “The Revolution,” about people trying to reunite with family in the empty cities of a post-apocalyptic America — where no technology is available because all forms of energy have ceased to exist.
NBC sometimes, but not always, uses the Olympic Games to launch its fall lineup early. Remember when it premiered the “Friends” spinoff “Joey” and the cop drama “Hawaii” right after the 2004 Summer Games? Four years later, NBC decided to wait instead for the official Premiere Week in mid-September to launch its new programs.
This year, the pendulum seems to have swung back the other way.
‘Client List’ grows
Lifetime has picked up a second season of “The Client List” in which Jennifer “Love to Her Friends” Hewitt plays a Texas mother who, after her husband leaves her, takes a masseuse job at a day spa — only to discover it’s not a day spa, but a “day spa.”
“ ‘The Client List’ represents everything we want to be — fresh, exciting and original with attitude,” Lifetime President and GM Nancy Dubuc said of the TV movie/backdoor pilot that became a 10-episode order in its first season. Lifetime has ordered 15 episodes for its second season.
Elementary, my dear Benedict
Benedict Cumberbatch might want to knock off knocking “Downton Abbey,” after learning about his ratings for his second season of “Sherlock.”
Sunday’s second-season premiere of “Sherlock” averaged 3.2 million viewers. Although that’s more than double the average PBS prime-time rating, “Sherlock’s” second-season kickoff was no match for the 5.4 million who watched the recent second-season finale of “Downton Abbey.”
In a recent New York Times interview, Bandersnatch Cummerbund — who plays the Conan Doyle character — said that when “Masterpiece” exec producer Rebecca Eaton showed him “Downton’s” Golden Globe award back in January, he responded: “Begone, woman. Bring it back when it says ‘Sherlock Holmes’ or Steven Moffat, or myself — someone else who’s more deserving than the second [season] of ‘Downton Abbey.’ ”
To read previous columns by Lisa de Moraes, go to washingtonpost.com/ tvblog.