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TV/Business Notes
Cable Operators Continue To Lead Industry In Profitability: Report
By David Lieberman, Deadline.com - Sep. 15, 2014

Next time a cable operator complains about rising programming costs, studio execs should pull out the chart on page 6 of the report about media profitability out this morning from accounting and advisory firm EY (formerly known as Ernst & Young).

Cable operators collectively will end this year with cash flow (EBITDA) margins of 41.3%, up from 40.7% last year — not including Comcast, which is categorized as a conglomerate. It’s the best performance cable has generated in the last five years (the period covered in the report). To be fair, cable operators spend a lot on capital improvements that this financial measure overlooks. Still, the strong performance — driven in part by growing sales of broadband services — is way ahead of most in the pack of 10 media and entertainment sectors that EY tracked, which together should average 28%.

Even 28% is still pretty darn good: Assuming no dramatic changes, it would mean that investments in M&E outperformed leading markets including the London Stock Exchange’s FTSE 100, the S&P 500, the French CAC 40, and Japan’s Nikkei. EY says that industry’s profits improved as companies “gain scale in content production and distribution, divest underperforming businesses and continue to benefit from the proliferation of digital platforms.”

After cable operators, the most profitable sectors in media are: cable networks (37.0%, down from 37.2% in 2013), interactive media (35.8% from 34.8%), electronic games (28.8% from 27.3%), Big Media conglomerates (26.3% from 25.6%), satellite TV (25.0% from 25.7%), publishing and information services (20.9% from 19.7%), TV broadcast (19.4% from 18.4%), film and TV production (12.1% from 11.4%) and music (11.1% from 10.8%).

http://deadline.com/2014/09/cable-co...report-833747/


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post #96812 of 96830 Old Yesterday, 10:26 AM
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TV Notes
‘Dating Naked’ Renewed for Season 2 by VH1
By Tim Kenneally, TheWrap.com - Sep. 15, 2014

VH1 doesn't plan to strip “Dating Naked” from its schedule anytime soon.

The channel has renewed the reality series, which features brave souls seeking love while baring it all in every sense of the phrase, for a second season.

The first season of the series has averaged 1 million total viewers weekly, with a .6 rating in the 18-49 demographic most sought by advertisers. Online, “Dating Naked” has racked up 500,000 weekly streams, with a season high of more than 750,000 streams the week of its sixth episode.

“‘Dating Naked’ has been a ratings success for us and a viewer favorite,” VH1's executive vice president of original programming & production, Susan Levison, said in a statement. “VH1 has always been about shaping the cultural conversation and we're so glad to have created another pop culture lightning rod. The show is funny, engaging, and it actually works – we've helped six couples find love this season. You're welcome, America.”

On Sept. 18, VH1 will air “Dating Naked: The Wedding,” which will feature the wedding of “Dating Naked” couple Ashley and Alika as they tie the knot in an all-nude — guests included — ceremony.

The second season of “Dating Naked” will premiere in summer 2015.

http://www.thewrap.com/dating-naked-...ason-2-by-vh1/


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The 2014/15 Season
The new TV season reveals small gems among mediocre fare
By Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Sep. 14, 2014

Viewers have seen worse.

Yes, that’s damning with faint praise but better to set expectations accordingly, right?

The fall 2014 TV season on the broadcast networks — now with NFL games on CBS Thursday night — probably won’t repeat the excitement of a decade ago when both ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost” debuted in 2004 and offered innovation and a sense of excitement and discovery as writers pushed against accepted storytelling formats.

But there are enough small gems this fall, hidden among more mediocre fare, and a refreshing dose of diversity in casting that there’s reason for hope that it won’t be a disastrous fall TV season.

Here’s what’s new:

SUNDAY

“Madam Secretary” (8 p.m., CBS):
Tea Leoni stars as an abruptly appointed U.S. secretary of state on this drama that’s closer in tone to the short-lived Geena Davis-starring “Commander In Chief” than it is to the heralded “The West Wing.” The pilot focuses mostly on efforts to free some “stupid kids” being held prisoner in Syria while it sketches out the secretary’s relationship with the president of the United States, who previously hired her when they both worked for the CIA. The secretary’s home life is dullsville and takes time away from establishing her work colleagues, an area that should offer more fertile story ground. A highly predictable, pilot-ending reveal sets up a potential conspiracy that will likely send viewers’ eyes rolling. Still, anything’s better than another CBS crime show, and “Madam Secretary,” with recalibrations, could develop into something decent. (Sept. 21)

“Mulaney” (9:30 p.m., Fox): It has been 25 years since the debut of the hit “Seinfeld.” So it’s not surprising that someone would try to re-do that show, and it’s also not surprising that they’d fail. “Mulaney,’” starring comic and former “Saturday Night Live” writer John Mulaney, is like an unfunny “Seinfeld.” In an episode made available for preview, he opens the show doing stand-up in front of his apartment set, and it’s just downhill from there as his platonic best female friend (Nasim Pedrad) gets a job with his boss (Martin Short), making Mulaney jealous when he’s not hanging out in his apartment with oddball buddy Motif (Seaton Smith), a Kramer stand-in. So far there is no George Costanza character. (Oct. 5)

MONDAY

“Gotham” (8 p.m., Fox):
Media consumers living under a rock since 1988 might find something new in this “Batman” prequel, but for the rest of us who have lived through two “Batman” movie series, this early story of the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents and the investigation by Gotham homicide detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie, “Southland”) is pretty much a rehash. Viewers do get to meet younger versions of the Penguin, the Riddler and Catwoman but to what end? Dark, brooding and violent, “Gotham” executes its creation of a gloomy world well, but it’s one we’ve seen so many times before (and recently) that there’s not much reason for it to exist. (Sept. 22)

“Jane the Virgin” (9 p.m., The CW): This cute one-hour comedy, reminiscent of ABC’s “Ugly Betty,” is based on a Venezuelan telenovela and gleefully uses that soapy style of storytelling to pack multiple twists into its busy, entertaining pilot. Jane Villanueva (Gina Rodriguez, “The Bold and the Beautiful”) hasn’t yet had sex with her police detective boyfriend (Brett Dier, “Ravenswood”) but finds herself accidentally artificially inseminated with the only sample from her unhappily married boss, Rafael (Justin Baldoni, “Everwood”), a cancer survivor. It’s an absurd premise that the show embraces with gusto. (Oct. 13)

“Scorpion” (9 p.m., CBS): Lighthearted drama about a group of tech geniuses who helps the Feds with tough cases. This dream team includes a guy with a photographic memory, a psychology expert, a mechanical prodigy and a statistics guru. The pilot involves a waitress (Katharine McPhee, “Smash”) in a speeding car and her ridiculous attempt to plug an Ethernet cable into a laptop after the cord is dropped from the wheel well of a jetliner flying just a few feet over a runway. (Sept. 22)

“State of Affairs” (10 p.m. NBC): Here’s the problem with getting a bad personal reputation as an actor: It colors what people think of you in future roles. Given her none-too-kind assessments of the writing on her previous TV series, “Grey’s Anatomy,” among other public airings of dirty laundry, Katherine Heigl gained a reputation as a big-mouthed prima dona. And that makes it tough to take her seriously as a CIA adviser to the U.S. president (Alfre Woodard) in “State of Affairs.” Her character is also in therapy after the death of her boyfriend in Afghanistan that turns out to be less straightforward than first presented. So plan for a long, drawn-out mystery. Also, the melding of rom-com silliness with the CIA setting (she sings while making coffee, yuks it up with co-workers over a terrorist who inadvertently blows himself up) does not help to create a serious, credible universe. (Nov. 17)

TUESDAY

“The Flash” (8 p.m., The CW):
A superhero spinoff of The CW’s “Arrow” featuring Barry “The Flash” Allen (a likable Grant Gustin, “Glee”), a Starling City forensic assistant who gains the power of super speed after getting hit by lightning. The series begins with a well-made, thoroughly entertaining pilot episode that features John Wesley Shipp, star of CBS’s 1990 “The Flash,” as Barry’s dad. (Oct. 7)

“Selfie” (8 p.m., ABC): “My Fair Lady” made for a terrific one-shot stage musical and movie, but can you imagine it as a weekly TV series? “Selfie” updates the “Pygmalion” story and sets it in the social media era as Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan) seeks help in rebranding her Facebook/Twitter-obsessed image, enlisting doubting co-worker Henry (John Cho), who chides her, “You are addicted to the unearned adulation from a group of perfect strangers you insist on referring to as your friends.” “Selfie” gets off to a good start with an entertaining pilot – Ms. Gillan is a hoot as the self-obsessed Eliza – but it’s difficult to imagine how the show can sustain itself as a weekly series. (Sept. 30)

“Manhattan Love Story” (8:30 p.m., ABC): Viewers yearning for more voice-over narration – wait, why do I hear crickets? – may take to this romantic comedy about jerky New York hipster Peter (Jake McDorman, “Greek”), who only thinks about sex, and nervous New York newcomer Dana (Analeigh Tipton), who is filled with self-doubt and cries easily. The pilot includes an awkward first date, followed by apologies galore. There’s really not much to love. (Sept. 30)

“Utopia” (8 p.m., Fox): A rare (these days) fall debut for an all-new reality series on a broadcast network, “Utopia” follows a group of 15 people chosen to colonize some private land in Southern California and live off it for a year. Not available for review at press time. (Already premiered)

“Marry Me” (9 p.m., NBC): It’s rare that a comedy can so consistently surprise its audience, but the pilot of “Marry Me” does just that as writer David Caspe reunites with his “Happy Endings” star (and real-life wife) Casey Wilson (“Hotwives of Orlando”) for this story of Annie and Jake (Ken Marino, “Party Down”), whose engagement gets off to a rocky start when Annie inadvertently insults all their friends and family during an epic tirade. Clever and crackling with comic energy, “Marry Me” has the makings of a stand-out comedy series. (Oct. 14).

“NCIS: New Orleans” (9 p.m., CBS): Scott Bakula stars in the second “NCIS” spinoff that already introduced many of its characters in an episode of “NCIS” earlier this year. Not available for review at press time. (Sept. 23)

“Forever” (10 p.m., ABC): Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd (“Horatio Hornblower”) stars as Dr. Henry Morgan, a super observant 200-year-old New York City coroner who dies over and over and then returns each time naked in some body of water. His friend Abe (Judd Hirsch) is the only one who knows Henry’s secret until a New York cop realizes Henry’s the sole survivor of a subway accident and considers him a suspect in the subway driver’s murder. Henry then inexplicably joins her to interview another suspect. It’s a seriously stupid plot turn, but Mr. Gruffudd makes for a charming romantic lead and the show comes off as a supernatural-tinged “Castle.” (Previews 10 p.m. Sept. 22; time period premiere Sept. 23)

WEDNESDAY

“The Mysteries of Laura” (8 p.m., NBC):
Imagine the tone of, say, “Father Dowling Mysteries” with a single, stereotypically harried, working mother as the lead and you’ve pretty much got the vibe that runs through NBC’s light police drama “The Mysteries of Laura.” The show stars Debra Messing, who will likely continue to be hate-watched in some quarters as she was on “Smash,” as Laura, a New York homicide detective who loves to mention shopping at Target when she’s not punishing her disobedient preschoolers who look like they are 7 or 8. The pilot’s murder plot is uninvolving, but Laura’s disastrous home life makes for occasional amusing, if entirely predictable, moments. (Sept. 24)

“Red Band Society” (9 p.m., Fox): Told from the point of view of a comatose kid, this light drama uses an early “Glee”-style tone to chronicle the lives of young patients who live in a hospital pediatric ward. The notion of a medical drama about sick and/or dying kids sounds depressing, but writer Margaret Nagle (“Warm Springs”) brings a light touch to this series that features Oscar winner Octavia Spencer as a sarcastic, no-nonsense nurse and Dave Annable (“Brothers and Sisters”) as a doctor. But this show — nickname it “Dying Poets’ Society”? “Band of Bedridden Brothers”? — belongs to its youngest, red band-wearing characters, including one who’s anorexic, one with an enlarged heart and another who’s losing his cancer-riddled leg in the morning but his friends throw him a party the night before. (Wednesday)

“Black-ish”: Anthony Anderson stars as Andre, an ad agency executive who fears his family is losing a connection to their African-American identity in this funny-ish sitcom. Tracee Ellis Ross (“Girlfriends”) steals the show as his biracial wife, who often provides something akin to a white point of view. On first glance, some viewers may compare “Black-ish” to “The Bernie Mac Show,” but “Bernie Mac” was funnier. It’s uncertain who “Black-ish” envisions as its target audience: Some viewers might be put off by Andre’s sense of victimization while others might tune in and be disappointed that Andre is the latest in a long line of Dumb Daddy buffoons. (Sept. 24)

“Stalker” (10 p.m., CBS): In the first five minutes, a masked stalker tracks a woman down, throws gasoline on her and sets her on fire. Later, the stalker goes after a second woman in an elevator. It’s another horrific CBS crime drama with women in jeopardy (for equal-opportunity purposes, a guy also gets stalked in the pilot). This one stars Dylan McDermott (“The Practice”) and Maggie Q (“Nikita”) as the investigators. (Oct. 1)

THURSDAY

“Gracepoint” (9 p.m., Fox):
Viewers who already watched BBC America’s “Broadchurch” have pretty much already seen Fox’s “Gracepoint,” an almost shot-for-shot remake of the British series, although Fox execs promise a different killer. The series stars Anna Gunn (“Breaking Bad”) as a cop investigating a child’s murder in a small town after she gets passed over for a promotion in favor of an outsider played by David Tennant. “He has a lot of experience,” says the police chief, and he’s not kidding: Mr. Tennant played the same character in “Broadchurch,” although this time he does it with an American accent. “Gracepoint” isn’t bad – after all, “Broadchurch” was a great crime drama – but since producers chose to do little to differentiate it from the British original, this remake also seems unnecessary. (Oct. 2)

“The McCarthys” (9:30 p.m. CBS): It’s hard to imagine this collection of stereotypes – Bostonians, gays, sports fans, parents – catching on, but the disappointing “The Millers” is still on the air, so who knows. A close-knit Boston family grieves at the thought of their son, Ronnie (Tyler Ritter, who looks just like his father, the late John Ritter of “Three’s Company” fame), moving to Providence, R.I. Ronnie’s dad (Jack McGee, “Rescue Me”) offers him a job as an assistant high school basketball coach, and his mother (Laurie Metcalf, “Roseanne”) throws a gay bar party in his honor. There are some laughs to be had, but more would be welcome. (Oct. 30)

“Bad Judge” (9 p.m., NBC): Kate Walsh (“Private Practice,” “Fargo”) stars as a superior court judge who’s a mess: Rebecca Wright sleeps around, fails her friends, fails her co-workers. To complement the crass, writer Chad Kultgen (“The Incredible Burt Wonderstone”) throws in the cloying when a smart-mouthed child whose parents the judge sent to jail starts asking her for favors and eventually moves in with her. The final indignity: “Bad Judge” invokes “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” when Rebecca and her friend play a rock show that includes the song “Love Is All Around.” Rebecca Wright, you are not Mary Richards. (Oct. 2)

“A to Z” (9:30 p.m., NBC): What did this nice show do to get an incompatible lead-in like “Bad Judge”? A meet-cute rom-com about workers in adjacent office buildings who fall for one another despite differing attitudes toward romance, “A to Z” gets off to a great start with a funny, sweet pilot episode. But this single-camera comedy feels like it wants to be a one-shot movie, not an ongoing series. Perhaps the series that follows Andrew (Ben Feldman, “Mad Men”) and Zelda (Cristin Milioti, “How I Met Your Mother”) will turn out to be great, but it’s just too soon to know after this set-up-filled pilot. (Oct. 2)

“How to Get Away With Murder” (10 p.m., ABC): Viola Davis (“The Help”) stars as law professor Annalise Keating, who enlists law students from a class she teaches to help prepare a criminal defense case before a trial. But that’s just one of the story engines in this ingeniously devised, thoroughly addictive soap. A flash-forward device shows Keating’s students four months in the future as they prepare to bury a body – its identity is revealed at the end of the pilot. In addition, each of the young guns gets a personal story as does Keating, whose marriage to her psychology professor husband (Jack Coleman, “Heroes”) may be in trouble. And there’s a missing girl from the college campus whose story intersects with other characters by the end of the pilot. Some of the show’s legal shenanigans may be bunk, but the plot twists in this series executive produced by “Scandal” creator Shonda Rhimes are entertaining enough to cover up any license taken. (Sept. 25)

FRIDAY

“Cristela” (8:30 p.m., ABC):
A sitcom with a Latino cast and jokes that seem leftover from ABC’s original TGIF era in the 1990s — with added ethnic humor! — the series stars Latin stand-up comic Cristela Alonzo as a law student living with her mother, sister and brother-in-law. Her mom thinks Cristela is being uppity trying to better herself through education. “We had fun games like getting water from the well and digging the well!” Cristela’s mother says. “That is your problem: You think life is to be enjoyed, that’s why you will never be happy!” (Oct. 10)

“Constantine” (10 p.m., NBC): Another adaptation of a comic book — DC’s “Hellblazer” — albeit one that lacks as much mainstream familiarity, this one’s about demon hunter John Constantine (Matt Ryan), who’s soul has been damned to hell and he’s effectively given up until demons target the daughter (Lucy Griffiths, “True Blood”) of an old friend. The pair team up to fight demons — but only for the pilot as Ms. Griffiths will be replaced in a subsequent episode. “Constantine” is kind of an ideal companion to “Grimm,” but significantly dumber. (Oct. 24)

http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/tv-ra...s/201409140004


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TV Review
“Red Band Society” an appealing drama
By Joanne Ostrow, Denver Post - Sep. 15, 2014

Terminal illness brings out the love, humor and camaraderie in a group of teens in “Red Band Society,” premiering Sept. 17 on Fox (locally 8 p.m. on KDVR), a series that is much more nuanced and thoughtful than it sounds.

“Red Band Society” has the potential to be a teen destination as a tear-jerking and humor-laced hospital dramedy. Anyone who felt misty-eyed at “The Fault in Our Stars” will recognize the angst in this story of ill youth confronting mortality (and sneaking beers and kisses) in a hospital, pushing the limits like teens anywhere.

Octavia Spencer (“The Help”) plays a tough-love nurse. Dave Annable (“Brothers & Sisters”) plays a knowing doctor. Griffin Gluck (“Back in the Game,” “Private Practice”) is Charlie, narrating the story from within a coma. New patient Jordi (Nolan Sotillo, “Prom”), comes to the hospital seeking treatment. The usual “Breakfast Club” personalities, including the “mean” cheerleader, the rebel and the know-it-all, are all aboard.

What could be a trite pitch for togetherness is probed for deeper meaning in an hour that has a big heart behind its hip stance. The narrative will play with time in a way that takes the story out of the confines of the hospital, exploring life before illness. Overall, there’s optimism here, if not about recoveries then about humanity in general.

The series was inspired by the personal story of Albert Espinosa, who lived in a Spanish hospital for 14 years. The executive producer, Margaret Nagle, said her experience in hospitals during the time her brother was in a coma. She acknowledges it’s a hospital dramedy, but she aims to make it something more. The pilot suggests, her prescription is working.

http://blogs.denverpost.com/ostrow/2...g-drama/19926/


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Q&A
Q&A: Queen Latifah Talks Adding Twists to Her Talkshow
By Shelli Weinstein, Variety.com - Sep. 15, 2014

The second season of “The Queen Latifah Show” premieres on Monday (check local listings) with not only a new look, but with twists in store for guests and viewers. Queen Latifah talked to Variety about her motivations for hosting a talkshow, what audiences can expect from the new season, being a hip-hop kid at heart and her HBO biopic on Bessie Smith.

What originally inspired you to do a talkshow?
Honestly, a lot of people had come to me about doing a talkshow since everyone found out that Oprah was going off the air. Everybody was kind of rushing to fill that vacuum and we saw a lot of people have come and gone and tried, and I think you have to take your time. No one else is Oprah, there is only one Oprah and there is no such thing as the next Oprah. Oprah is still busy being Oprah. So I don’t want to try to fill Oprah’s shoes.

But I did feel when Overbrook came to me, the idea of doing it with them and the idea of doing it with Sony, which is known for high-quality material, I felt was intriguing. I’m telling you, people threw money at me, but it was not interesting to me at all because I enjoy doing the things I like to do. So if I’m acting in a project, I’m doing that project because I enjoy doing it and think it challenges me in a way that I feel is fulfilling. Money does not do it for me. I think you do great things and money comes. That’s how it’s always been since I was a young kid.

The idea of doing it with these partners was a great thing to me. I felt this is my generation. We all kind of started from the bottom and made it to the top and built our careers, and we’ve been all around the world, we’re hip-hop kids at heart, and we wanted to bring that journey to the show and build a show around me.

It feels like home. I walked back into that studio a week and ago and it felt good, like “this is my house.” In a way of “I’m home, I’m comfortable.” This is where I’m going to come to work every day and work with my crew to present a great show.

What’s been the biggest challenge in keeping things fresh every day?
For us it’s trying to be original and reflect who I really am, and that’s the challenge. I’m a music lover and I have an extremely varied taste in music, in art and culture, and appreciation of everything I’ve seen in my journey on this planet. And it’s trying to bring those things to people’s attention. For me it’s about making sure that we offer information that people may want to use in their daily lives that could be helpful to people. Continuing to do that is always a challenge and it’s something that we desire to do so we’re always trying to make that happen and keep it fresh and as high quality as we can.

How did it feel finishing your first year?
It felt like I had pledged a sorority and it was that sort of hell week for nine months. It started off like that and it had its ups and downs and its challenges. It’s one of the toughest things I’ve done, but I already knew it would be tough. But where it might have been tough for other people, it wasn’t for me because I had done another talkshow years and years ago, so I know how tough the schedule is, but I also know how rewarding it is. I knew what it felt like to walk out of there after having done a great show or having changed someone’s life. I knew what the power of this show could be, so I never lost the light at the end of the tunnel, and I knew if we could just get a rhythm and get everything flowing on the set and book great guests and have great execution then I would be very comfortable being just me, just La. And that’s what’s happened. It’s worked its way toward being great, not just good, so I’m excited. I’m still as passionate as I was when it all came together.

Has any interview gone in a completely different direction than you planned?
That would be Cloris Leachman. And guess what, I’d have Cloris Leachman back tomorrow. I just remember it was so funny, because I was still green and everyone was freaking out, like “What the hell is Cloris gonna do?” but I just laughed my ass off. It was actually a day off for me! It was just, “Listen, camera’s – go wide! Mics – stay on! Let her do whatever the hell she wants to do!” Because it’s Cloris Leachman, we’ll get a question in here and there but just let her go! So for me, as a performer, that was no problem but it was probably hell for the producers.

What new elements do you have coming up in season 2?
Well, there’s going to be a lot of spontaneity, I can tell you that! Some of the things we have for this year are really taking things one step further. We were able to do a lot of great things last year and make a lot of cool things happen for people. There are so many people out there doing extraordinary things every day. We were just hoping to take their lives one step further, and that’s one of the things that helps us walk out of the building feeling good about ourselves.

Also, this cool thing we have called the “Queen Screen” where we’re popping up all across America, showing up live, people won’t expect us, and we’re going to play some fun games to see if they can win some prizes. The cool thing about just kind of popping up on people is that you never know what’s going to come out of their mouth, so I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of fun we can have.

And one of the things we’re going to do is take you out on a high note. Having this hour a day is a privilege, for so many people it’s a break from their day, a chance to step out of whatever is going on in their everyday lives, have a little fun and be inspired in some way. At the end of the day, we want to send you out the door feeling good. So we want to end our show on a high note, with whatever that may be. It may be a performance, something funny, a game, anyway it’s going to be something that makes you feel “Man, that felt good, that was a good hour.”

“Bessie” is coming up on HBO, what can you share about that?
“Bessie” is done, we shot “Bessie” this summer, which tells the life of Bessie Smith, who was a great blues singer, one of the greatest of her time. The first to play in front of an integrated audience, the highest paid entertainer of her time. She took down so many barriers and really brought blues to a national and international level, initially in the 1930s. She was an incredible woman and I wanted to tell her story. This is a project that’s been 22 years in the making and we finally found the right script and the right team and HBO, and I’m excited for people to see it.

http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/quee...ow-1201304808/


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TV Sports
Time Warner Cable to televise final six Dodgers games on local TV
By Meg James, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - Sep. 15, 2014

Time Warner Cable has agreed to broadcast the final week of the Los Angeles Dodgers' regular season baseball on local broadcast station KDOC.

The move -- in a show of goodwill to Los Angeles area baseball fans -- enables millions of viewers throughout the region to watch the final six games of the regular season. The Dodgers are locked in a tight race to clinch the National League West Division title.

For much of the season, millions of Dodgers fans have been unable to see much of the action because Time Warner Cable is the only major pay-TV distributor in the region that offers sports channel Sports Net LA, which carries the Dodgers games.

On Monday, Time Warner Cable said it has secured an agreement to broadcast the final week of Dodger games, beginning on Sept. 22, on the independent broadcast station KDOC. Legendary broadcaster Vin Scully will call the games.

KDOC is carried by cable and satellite operators, including DirecTV, Dish Network, Charter Communications, Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-Verse.

Fans who do not have a pay-TV subscription can receive the station over the air with an antenna.

The final six games, including a series against rival San Francisco Giants, could determine whether the Dodgers make the post-season playoffs and have a chance to win the World Series. The games also will be simulcast on the cable channel owned by the Dodgers, SportsNet LA.

“Time Warner Cable is part of this community and we’re Dodger fans too,” said Dinni Jain, Time Warner Cable’s chief operating officer. “Angelenos love their Dodgers, and we’re happy to give them a way to watch their beloved team during this pennant chase.”

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/


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Critic's Notes
Frights That Tickle the Funny Bone
Tim and Eric Debut ‘Bedtime Stories’
By Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times - Sep. 14, 2014

Tim and Eric, those early adapters of the short satirical video, are still around, and in the Thursday-into-Friday Adult Swim block, they serve up a pretty amusing new series, a “Twilight Zone” with a deadpan sense of humor.

The show, “Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories” (at 12:15 a.m. Eastern time on Friday), features Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, along with assorted guests, in bite-size stories that might have been written by the love child of Rod Serling and Steven Wright. That a doctor (played by Bob Odenkirk) might have a practice that consists entirely of amputating people’s toes is only the beginning of a tale from this bizarre universe. How he disposes of those toes is another matter entirely.

Mr. Heidecker and Mr. Wareheim have long been Adult Swim regulars (“Tim and Eric Awesome Show: Great Job!”). The new series is slicker, and perhaps sicker, than most of their work, which should only increase its ability to attract guest stars. Certainly M. Emmet Walsh, as the investigator who pursues that psycho doctor, looks to be having a great time.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/14/ar...ref=television


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Nielsen Notes
'Utopia' Bucks Reality Trend With Big DVR Ratings Growth
By Michael O'Connell, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Sep. 15, 2014

Reality is not a genre that typically sees significant improvement from DVR views. As much as networks have (justifiably) been focusing ratings attention on time-shifting, it's largely an arena for scripted dramas and comedies.

But Utopia's initial DVR boosts show a stronger-than-typical delayed audience for Fox's big unscripted play for the fall — after largely stumbling out of the gate in live-plus-same day showings. The second episode of Utopia rose a full 56 percent in the key demo — the biggest lift of any broadcast show last week (Mon. - Wed.) outside of CBS' Extant.

The average 1.4 rating among adults 18-49, after the DVR lift, put it as No. 3 for that Tuesday — and not the last-place position it was in same-day showings. It's good news for the freshman series, which opened on the eve of the official 2014 fall TV season. Friday's episode averaged just a 0.7 rating in the demo in same-day showings.

Newly-minted Fox Broadcasting chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman say that they're banking on the show to grow.

"We're definitely going to exhibit patience," Walden told The Hollywood Reporter last week. "What exactly that means, it's hard to tell. I'd say that as long as we're feeling creatively satisfied with the show, we're going to do everything in our power to give it an opportunity to thrive and grow."
Utopia adopts its regular twice-weekly schedule this week, airing on Tuesday and Friday.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/liv...end-big-732838


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TV Review
‘The Meredith Vieira Show,’ same old
Former 'Today' anchor's talk show entirely lacks orginality
By Tom Conroy, Media Life Magazine - Sep. 15, 2014

Jane Pauley, Katie Couric and Meredith Vieira all left their jobs as anchors on “Today” trailing enormous amounts of goodwill. They decided to draw on that goodwill by starring in a daytime talk show.

Judging by the brief experience of Pauley and Couric on the job — and the long experience of stars like Oprah Winfrey, Ellen De Generes and Jerry Springer — one needs more than a fan base to make it in daytime talk. Oprah brought inspiration and self-improvement; Ellen brought humor; and Jerry brought trashy chaos.

Judging by the first three episodes of “The Meredith Vieira Show,” which premiered in syndication last Monday, Vieira is making the same mistake as Pauley and Couric: She’s imitating earlier daytime successes without offering anything new except herself.

The result is a dully familiar if inoffensive hour, with some awkward moments. Vieira will burn through her goodwill quickly if she doesn’t start providing something original and unique.

Each episode starts with a segment called “The List,” in which Vieira addresses three topics. In her first episode, the first was topic “Why This Show?” Her answer was “Because I missed you!”

She went on to say that the show is “sort of a combination of everything I’ve been doing for past almost 40 years in this business: a lot of storytelling, talk and opinion, and games. And if I do this right, I hope to make a little difference in everyone’s life and have fun doing it.”

That vague description fit what followed.

She introduced her husband and her daughter, saying that her sons were unavailable. After a supposedly surprise taped segment in which her family members talked about her — her daughter said she cries at everything —her sons showed up, and Vieira cried.

Then a bunch of performers from current Broadway musicals sang songs with rewritten lyrics about Vieira. Although the hooha was typical of current talk-show premieres, it would have been more appropriate in a series finale. Why is the show paying tribute to its host before she’s done anything?

Except for one member, the house band is female, but the show loses feminism points because the one man is the bandleader.

Meredith introduced a middle-aged man as Jon Harris, her best friend of 20 years, adding, “I know you’re going to love him as much as I do.” Presumably meant to be the on-set sidekick, Harris did almost nothing in the first three episodes.

The celebrity interviews are standard. In the first episode, Vieira encouraged Jennifer Lopez to say that she has trouble finding dates and that she sometimes has “unsexy mom moments.”

Lopez then played a game called “Car-aoke,” in which Vieira and the “Today” co-hostess Hoda Kotb took turns singing songs in a car; only they could hear the music, through headphones. Lopez, sitting at the wheel, had to guess the songs’ titles. Hilarity didn’t quite ensue.

The gears shifted when Vieira introduced a segment about a group of disabled young dancers, one of whom spoke inspiring words about overcoming obstacles and redefining beauty. Vieira announced that the troupe’s dream was to perform at Lincoln Center, then surprised them with the announcement that the show had arranged the booking for them.

After another game segment, in which an audience member participated, with much help from Vieira, everyone in the audience was given a high-end blender.

The episode ended with a very brief tribute to the late Joan Rivers.

The second episode was more serious.

The actor Seth Rogen and his wife, Lauren, spoke about their campaign to raise funds for research into Alzheimer’s disease, which killed her mother. Vieira said that her own brother died this summer from Alzheimer’s at age 65.

Harris announced that the show had a surprise for Vieira: A line of women representing various corporations entered holding enormous checks to be donated to Alzheimer’s research. Each woman made a brief presentation that included a description of the company — e.g., “the leader in long-term-care insurance” — reducing the emotional impact of the moment.

The former Spice Girl Mel B., a.k.a. Scary Spice, discussed her current projects and then sat through a pointless segment called “What Scares Scary Spice?” All of the comedy segments are introduced by the band members with deliberately cheesy theme songs, a bit that was funny when Paul Shaffer first did it on “Late Night” 30 years ago.

Wednesday’s episode featured the Olympic swimmer Amy Van Dyken-Rouen, who was left paralyzed from the waist down in an ATV accident this summer and who talked about her impressive progress in rehab. The impact of that was lessened by yet another surprise: The star of a home-improvement show came on to announce that while Van Dyken-Rouen was in the hospital, he had installed accessible features in her kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.

The thinking behind various segments is hard to follow. On Tuesday, Vieira talked about a young boy who advertised his free piano concert with a hand-lettered sign that drew attention when someone posted it online. So the show invited a completely different boy with his own internet following to sing a song.

In the third show, two audience members dressed as bananas had to answer rapid-fire questions or be dropped into vats of whipped cream. Oddly, when they got a question correct, they were lowered toward their vat. Even more oddly, the segment plugged a national baked-goods company because the company had donated the banana costumes.

But even if the segments were well executed, they would still be the same sort of drollery that is featured on most celebrity-oriented daytime talk shows. The plug-filled interviews, social-media-driven human-interest features, backstage pranks and constant giveaways and surprises are also tediously familiar.

Vieira’s chief asset, the hint of mischief and sarcasm she brought to “Today” and even “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” is absent on her own show.

If Vieira and her producers can’t make “The Meredith Vieira Show” a little different, no one is going to have any fun, and soon they won’t have any show.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/the...show-same-old/


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Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Sep. 15, 2014

...

THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART
PBS, 11:00 p.m. ET

Tonight’s show features two of the people making some of the smartest, most entertaining and most illuminating television of their generation: guest Ken Burns, whose The Roosevelts: An Intimate History continues tonight on PBS, and host Jon Stewart.
...

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/
tvworthwatching now lists The Daily Show where I expect it: on Comedy Central. The Comedy Central web site likewise lists Ken Burns as the guest for tonight's The Daily Show.

My very humble setup:
Man Cave:Vizio E500i-A1 "Smart TV" (50-in 1080p 120Hz LED/LCD, has Netflix app.), Blu-ray players (Sony BDP-S3100, old LG BD390), Roku (the original model: N1000), PC (Windows 7), Comcast Internet (25Mbps/5Mbps).
Bedroom:LG 32LV3400-UA TV (32-in 768p 60Hz LED/LCD), HD DVR (Motorola RNG200N), Xfinity Comcast cable (Digital Starter Package), DVD/VHS player.
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tvworthwatching now lists The Daily Show where I expect it: on Comedy Central. The Comedy Central web site likewise lists Ken Burns as the guest for tonight's The Daily Show.
HA. Fixed.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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TV Sports
Time Warner Cable to televise final six Dodgers games on local TV
By Meg James, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - Sep. 15, 2014

The final six games, including a series against rival San Francisco Giants, could determine whether the Dodgers make the post-season playoffs and have a chance to win the World Series.
That would be an EPIC collapse.

Dodgers have a 7.5 game lead over the brewers so for the dodgers to miss the playoffs even if the brewers went 10-2 all the dodgers have to do is go 4-9.

Think we can say the dodgers are in....they dont have the highest $$ payroll for nuthin.

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TV Notes
Jimmy Kimmel, Carson Daly Sell Comedy to ABC
By Lacey Rose, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Sep. 15, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Jimmy Kimmel’s humor could be expanding to ABC’s primetime lineup.

The network’s beloved late night host has sold a pilot script via ABC Studios, which made a major script commitment plus penalties. Kimmel will write the pilot himself, something he has never done before, as well as produce alongside his longtime friend Carson Daly. Joining the pair as an executive producer on the project is a more experienced scripted hand, Dan Fogelman, whose résumé includes creating ABC comedy The Neighbors.

The untitled half-hour entry is about a once massively popular VJ who loses it all and is forced to move back in with his parents and take a job as host of a local radio "morning zoo." If that scenario sounds familiar, it should — the concept is loosely based on Daly’s career before his recent resurgence as host of NBC breakout reality competition The Voice and a regular role on the same network’s Today show.
Kimmel and Daly have a lengthy shared history, dating back to the mid-1990s, when the former convinced the latter to drop out of college and become his intern at popular L.A. radio station KROQ. The two men, who both went on to become late night hosts (Kimmel at ABC; Daly at NBC), have remained close in the two decades since.

The comedy sale comes as Kimmel’s clout at the Disney-owned network continues to grow. His nightly show, along with its many viral videos, has successfully secured a loyal audience that's expanded in recent years despite a deluge of competition across the dial. He was tapped to host the Emmys (on ABC in 2012) as well as the White House Correspondents' Dinner (that same year), and is a regular and refreshing presence at the network’s upfront presentation in May.

Although plenty of late night hosts have served as producers on primetime series — David Letterman's production company was behind Everybody Loves Raymond on CBS; Conan O'Brien produced Rebel Wilson's Super Fun Night at ABC; and Jimmy Fallon was an EP on NBC's Guys With Kids — rarely does someone in Kimmel's position have the time or know-how to write, too.

Kimmel and Daly are both repped by Dixon Talent and Jackoway Tyerman; Fogelman is repped by WME, Management 360 and attorney Bruce Gellman.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/liv...ly-sell-732852


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Nielsen Notes (Cable)
FX’s ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Final Season Premiere Soars In Live+3 Ratings
By Dominic Patten, Deadline.com - Sep. 15, 2014

With its final season now on the road, Sons Of Anarchy is getting some serious traction. First of all, the September 9 seventh and final season debut marked a series ratings high for the Kurt Sutter-created biker drama in those Live+Same Day numbers that FX no longer reports. The nearly two-hour premiere had 6.2 million viewers at 10 PM with 4.1 million among adults 18-49.

With Live+3 numbers, the season opener has shifted into a whole new gear: the time-shifted results show 9.25 million total viewers watching the first broadcast of the premiere with 6.1 million in the demo, an almost 50% leap in both total viewers and the demo from Live+SD. It’s also up 11% from the 8.32 million total viewers and by about the same from the 5.45 million in the demo that SOA’s Season 6 debut got in Live+3 results last September.

The latest numbers solidify the SOA Season 7 debut as the most-watched show ever in FX’s history. Over all its plays, the SOA S7 opener had 10.62 million viewers and 6.92 million in 18-49s. Taking DVR figures into account, the sixth season of SOA averaged 7.48 million viewers with 5.11 million among adults 18-49. Currently, that’s the most-watched season of a FX original series in terms of total viewers and the key demo in the cabler’s two decade history. However, the Live+3 results for the Season 7 debut are showing jumps of 33% and 28% in overall viewers and amongthe 18-49s, respectively.

Now let’s see what those Live + 7 numbers and future episodes say next.

http://deadline.com/2014/09/sons-of-...s-3-fx-834586/

* * * *

Nielsen Notes (Cable)
‘Bill Maher: Live From DC’ HBO’s Most Watched Comedy Special In 5 Years
By The Deadline.com Team - Sep. 15, 2014

Bill Maher: Live From DC became HBO’s most watched comedy special in nearly five years, when 1.1 million people watched at 10 PM and a second played cumed it out at 1.6 million Friday night.

That makes it HBO’s most-watched comedy special premiere since Robin Williams: Weapons of Self Destruction logged 1.9 million viewers on December 6, 2009.

Maher kicked off the night with the return of his HBO series, Real Time with Bill Maher; live from Washington. That 9 PM telecast, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Jerry Seinfeld, former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former Utah Gov. Jon Hunstman, and NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell, attracted 1.1 million viewers and a cume of 1.8 mil across two plays — up 22% from the show’s most recent telecast on August 1, 2014.

http://deadline.com/2014/09/bill-mah...lliams-834789/


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TV Review
'Happy Valley' On Netflix Supplies Suspense, Intelligence And A Fascinating Female Cop
By Maureen Ryan, HuffingtonPost.com

The first excellent thing about "Happy Valley" is how efficient it is.

Within a few minutes of meeting police officer Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire), we get the basic outlines of her life. In the course of talking down a jittery drunk who's turned suicidal at a local playground, Cawood explains that her life isn't so great either; she's single, raising her grandkid, lives with her ex-junkie sister and so on. She reels all this off without bitterness or regret; Catherine's not an oversharer, she's just trying to give the guy some perspective. As played by the phenomenal Lancashire, Catherine is brisk, no-nonsense and immediately winning.

With deft strokes, creator Sally Wainwright quickly adds to her portrait of Catherine: She's a pretty good boss, her home life is complicated but not without its rewards, and the big and small frustrations of her job don't stop her from being good at it. Like the cops on "The Wire," decisions made above Catherine's head baffle her; they're usually opaque, short-sighted or far too influenced by political considerations.

But she keeps going, because it's just in her nature (she's a welcome addition to the TV sub-category dubbed British Women Getting It Done). Catherine and "Happy Valley," a U.K. import that recently arrived on Netflix, both possess sturdy engines, and the six-part drama pulls you ever more deeply into her life and the seedy underside of her community. Before you know it, Sarah's past collides with awful events transpiring around the corner from her modest home, and by the fourth episode of the show, I was on the edge of my seat.

Suspense is a beautiful thing, but when it's married to terrific character development and finely etched moral dilemmas, it makes this kind of police story even more powerful. Catherine's fascinating in her own right, but so are the bigger questions asked by this concise, condensed tale.

Like so many excellent crime-oriented dramas of late -- "Top of the Lake," "Rectify," "The Bletchley Circle," "Banshee," "Fargo," "Broadchurch," "True Detective," "The Bridge" and "The Fall" -- "Happy Valley" is very rooted in a very particular time and place. Catherine's valley is a half-lush, half-urban tangle of suburbs and exurbs in the north of England; a typical shot includes tower blocks and rolling hills. It's not unusual to see farming equipment and Wellingtons, but drugs are everywhere too. The "happiness" of the valley is often illegally obtained.

Crime dramas about basically noble teams catching the bad guys by the end of the hour will never go out of style; the reassuringly solid thunk-thunk of a "Law & Order" and the glossy lab equipment of "CSI" and its clones help us deal with the subconscious panic modern life inspires. But we know that kind of tidy narrative is a con, and more existentially nervous crime dramas have proliferated of late, which is only appropriate, given the nervous-making times we live in.

These days, you can find a lot of solid TV shows and well-written novels about frustrated cops and sleuths who hail from all over the globe. Salon's Laura Miller notes that the best characters in the latest wave of crime novels are different from the noir-ish solo acts you often find in tough-guy fiction. "The battlefields they depict," Miller writes, "are not the sleazy nightclubs, back alleys, diners and shabby offices of the archetypal P.I. novel, but a far more intimate and treacherous terrain: family, marriage, friendship."

These books and many of the best crime-oriented TV shows are about how communities respond to evil, and they're about the witnesses -- many of them women -- who can't abide the weakness and hypocrisy of those inadequate responses. Like the terrific "Happy Valley," these stories are psychologically intense and morally complex, and their cumulative power comes from both plot twists and emotional twists of the knife, if you will.

Equally obsessed with geography and hierarchies, most of these shows, from "The Bletchley Circle" to "The Bridge," use the cloak of suspense to ask challenging questions: How much evil has sunk into the roots of this place? How much complicity do those in power have when it comes to the exploitation and casual ruin of people lower on the food chain? And how can those who struggle with anger, pain and a desire for revenge rid their communities of the worst kinds of injustice? Just how far can they go before they make things worse?

These TV shows are the cousins of the smart page-turners by Kate Atkinson, Tana French, Denise Mina and Laura Lippman because they also use the trappings of law, "order" and society's rules to examine the shaggiest and messiest aspects of human nature with rigor, perspective and compassion. I could easily see Catherine taking a job with French's Dublin Murder Squad, the subject of one of the most fascinating book franchises around. As I've noted before, on TV, these kinds of stories play around with genre conventions, but in pursuit of subversive ideas and strangely optimistic ideas about community and empathy. As Miller says of two of the books she mentions, "the corrective to wickedness in both novels is not a bruised, melancholy individualism, but connection, loyalty, trust."

In "Happy Valley," as is the case with "Top of the Lake" and "Rectify," the past is always present: It'd be a crime to give too much of the story away, but suffice to say that Catherine has a very difficult personal history that becomes enmeshed in a present-day kidnapping. It wouldn't be going to far to say that Catherine is literally living with the consequences of a terrible act, and "Happy Valley" treats that situation with the complexity it deserves without ever stumbling into self-importance or cliche.

It's also worth noting that "Happy Valley" shows the consequences of violence against women (and men) without ever stylizing or fetishizing these acts, as too many crime dramas do. (What could be worse than insipidly cynical drama "The Following" in that regard? The new Kevin Williamson drama "Stalker," which I will not write about because RAGE SPIRALS).

As Batya Ungar-Sargon writes in the Daily Beast, part of the goal of "Happy Valley" is "decoupling the violence against women from the suspense that keeps us watching, without sacrificing the gripping absorption offered by the best crime dramas." You might almost say that "Happy Valley" consistently does for violence against women what "Masters of Sex" consistently does for depictions of female sexuality on premium cable: The women on these shows, just like the men, are subjects, not objects. (Note: It may be best to read the Daily Beast piece, which discusses plot points, after you've seen "Happy Valley.")

Lancashire had a long, varied career in the U.K., but this is my first extensive exposure to her (I hear good things about another project from Lancashire and Wainwright, PBS' "Last Tango in Halifax"). She is nothing less than a revelation and a continual wonder. The word that keeps coming to mind when I think of Lancashire's performance is "transparent"; there are no tricks or actorly mannerisms on display in "Happy Valley."

Catherine's not grand or imperious, but her blue eyes seem to stare right into people's souls, and they offer a window into hers as well. A deep well of almost unreasonable stubbornness is all that keeps her going some days, and the show doesn't shy away from depicting how hard it can be for her to get through the daily grind of being a mother, a grandmother, a sister, a breadwinner and a tenacious cop. One of "Happy Valley's" quiet themes is the idea that choosing to be a good person every day can be a monumental and completely unrecognized challenge (one that some fail, as evidenced by the "Happy Valley's" version of Walter White, who is merely a supporting character here). But this is not a dour show; like any self-respecting U.K. drama, it's shot through with mordant wit and unexpected acts of kindness. (A general note: The Northern accents on the show can occasionally be tough to decipher, but that wasn't a dealbreaker for me.)

The cast around Lancashire is uniformly terrific, but that's almost always the case with U.K. dramas; I am convinced terrific character actors do actually grow on trees over there (keep your eyes peeled for a "Downton Abbey" alum). But Lancashire and Catherine are the reasons to watch.

To call "Happy Valley" a miniature version of a season of "The Wire" isn't quite right, because that comparison implies smallness. Both shows rigorously explore a refusal to accept powerlessness in the face of indifferent amorality; both shows feel very much of a place and work hard to give almost every person in the narrative the dignity of nuance.

Catherine's "patch" in "Happy Valley" may be more limited than the big chunks of Baltimore covered by Bunk and McNulty, but morally and emotionally, this fantastic drama goes deep. As I said, it's nothing if not efficient: In only six episodes, "Happy Valley" accomplishes more than some dramas do in their whole runs.

"Happy Valley" is available on Netflix.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/0...f=maureen-ryan


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TV Reviews
Fox’s ‘New Girl,’ ‘The Mindy Project’
By Brian Lowry, Variety.com - Sep. 15, 2014

Relationships can be tough, especially on sitcoms. So it’s encouraging to find Fox’s “The Mindy Project” and “New Girl” each beginning their season in relatively fine form, with one adjusting to the complications of a new in-show romantic entanglement, and the other seeking to rebound from having indulged in its own. Although neither show has been an unqualified hit, they’ve done well enough to hang on, and scheduled together feel like a compatible little island of 30-ish neuroses, on a network with enough problems elsewhere that – barring a major swoon – it would probably be wise to just leave them alone.

“New Girl” stumbled a bit by succumbing to the risk of having the quirky Jess (Zooey Deschanel) hook up with one of her roommates, Nick (Jake Johnson), even if all the signs had been pointing in that direction. As shows such as “Cheers” and “Friends” learned, bringing characters together in this fashion invariably changes the dynamic, while closing some doors, narratively speaking.

Yet any awkwardness associated with the breakup is relatively modest in the season premiere, which finds the entire gang attending a wedding, making a pact in which all of them will try to go home with someone. Jess sets her eye on the best man (“Veep’s” Reid Scott), who has unfortunately already drawn the attention of another woman (guest Jessica Biel, nearly stealing the show), who proves formidable competition. Meanwhile, the walking id Schmidt (Max Greenfield) prods Nick toward a group sexual encounter that raises questions about just how close buddies can get before things start getting weird.

As for “Mindy,” Mindy Kaling’s eponymous character is fully embroiled in a workplace romance with fellow doctor Danny (Chris Messina), which is complicated by her inability to edit herself. In the premiere, that includes bragging to all of their co-workers about Danny’s prowess in bed (OK, at one particular activity), which embarrasses him and offers a window into their mismatched personalities.

Frankly, the series still remains a trifle weak in terms of the support staff, and the opener’s secondary plot feels even more disposable than usual, a description that also applies to a mildly amusing cameo by “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s” Rob McElhenney. Still, the interplay between Kaling and Messina is actually quite good – much better, in fact, than their squabbling when they were at each other’s throats earlier in the run.

With the two having become a couple, the trick will be not turning the show into a modern-day “That Girl,” where the exasperated Danny is constantly rolling his eyes over the misadventures into which Mindy has drawn him.

Fox is already gambling by scheduling live-action comedies (including a relocated “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) alongside animated fare on Sunday nights this fall, so it can ill afford to have these Tuesday holdovers experience a significant decline.

The good news is if you’ve enjoyed the shows in the past – and perhaps felt “New Girl” lost a bit of its fastball – the kickoff episodes suggest there might be more to like in the year ahead. The bad news is that both enter the fall campaign without much margin for error – either creatively speaking, or ratings-wise.

Fox's 'New Girl,' 'The Mindy Project'
(Fox, Tue. Sept. 16, 9 and 9:30 p.m.)


http://variety.com/2014/tv/reviews/t...ct-1201302789/


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TV Notes
'SNL' adds Pete Davidson to cast
By Carly Mallenbaum, USA Today - Sep. 15, 2014

Welcome to Saturday Night Live, Pete Davidson!

After dropping featured players Brooks Wheelan, John Milhiser and Noël Wells from the cast and adding Michael Che to the Weekend Update desk, the show has two new changes: Writer Mike O’Brien is no longer onscreen and comedian Pete Davidson has been picked up as the newest featured player.

The Brooklyn native has appeared on Guy Code, Wild ‘N’ Out, Failosophy and Adam Devine’s House Party. He also performed a solid set on Jimmy Kimmel this year, where he revealed he’s only 20 and dropped out of college. [CLICK LINK BELOW TO SEE CLIPS/TWEETS]

Maybe his “miscellaneous” look will help with SNL’s diversity issues. Hope he lasts!

The new SNL season premieres Sept. 27.

http://entertainthis.usatoday.com/20...pete-davidson/


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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
TUESDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)

ABC:
8PM - Dancing with the Stars: Results Show (LIVE)
9PM - Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
(R - May 13)
10PM - 20/20
(R)
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele; journalist David Muir; Fall Out Boy performs)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - Big Brother (Special Time)
9PM - NCIS: Los Angeles
(R - May 13)
10PM - Person of Interest
(R - May 13)
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Tina Fey; Moody McCarthy; Kevin Drew)
(R)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson (Terry Bradshaw; Joel Stein)

NBC:
8PM - America's Got Talent: Cutdown
(R - Sep. 10)
9PM - America's Got Talent: Finale Performance (120 min., LIVE)
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Julianna Margulies; Jerry Lewis; Public Enemy performs with The Roots)
12:36AM - Late Night with Seth Myers (Octavia Spencer, James Ellroy)
1:37AM - Last Call With Carson Daly (Nicholas Stoller, Cerebral Ballzy, Theo Von)
(R)

FOX:
8PM - Utopia
9PM - New Girl (Season Premiere)
9:30PM - The Mindy Project (Series Premiere)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - The Roosevelts: An Intimate History - The Fire of Life (1910-1919) (120 min.)
10PM - The Roosevelts: An Intimate History - The Fire of Life (1910-1919) (120 min.)
(R)

UNIVISION:
8PM - Mi Corazón Es Tuyo
9PM - Hasta El Fin del Mundo
10PM - La Malquerida

THE CW:
8PM - Arrow
(R - May 7)
9PM - Supernatural
(R - May 13)

TELEMUNDO:
8PM - Reina De Corazones
9PM - En Otra Piel
10PM - El Señor de los Cielos

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Bill Hader)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Musicians Unlocking the Truth)
12:01AM - At Midnight (Kevin Smith; Justin Long; Jen Kirkman)

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Kevin Nealon; Dr. Jennifer Berman; Nick Griffin)


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TV Review
'Gotham' (Fox)
By Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Bastard Machine' Blog - Sep. 15, 2014

It’s a little too easy and convenient — and ultimately unfair — to say that Fox’s buzz-heavy new series Gotham could face the same problems as last year’s buzz-heavy entry, ABC’s Agents of SHIELD. But they are being lumped together as examples of shows that are missing the core ingredient of what the audience really craves.

In Agents of SHIELD, that’s all the Marvel heroes from the popular movies — the series revolves around the actual agents, not the superheroes. In Gotham’s case, it’s being billed as a Batman series without Batman.

And while all of that is technically accurate, here’s the difference: Agents of SHIELD always felt like a series that was missing a center (those superheroes), and it took a lot of episodes for the series to even find its own way and establish its own characters as at least semi-interesting substitutes to what you got at the movies. Gotham, on the other hand, arrives as its own entity, a wholly realized universe, in a separate time and place, with enough intriguing characters and a stylized visual presence that is immediately intriguing.

It's billed as “an origin story” that allows viewers to see Batman as a child traumatized by the murder of his parents, and the emergence of beloved/reviled peripheral characters in the Batman universe such as Catwoman, the Penguin, the Riddler, the Joker, Poison Ivy and Two-Face.

Only a person inept at grasping the concept would watch Gotham and complain about it not being a true Batman series. Gotham’s success is not in distracting viewers from what’s not there — which is what Agents of SHIELD does with its better episodes — but in creating a nascent world where familiar figures of yore are introduced. The pilot makes that world compelling. The writing and the actors make that world unique, a series unto itself, not a Batman series that doesn’t have Batman in it.

Creator, writer and executive producer Bruno Heller (Rome) deserves the bulk of the credit for crafting the mythology of invention here and not bristling at but rather embracing a Batman-less world. When he met with television critics in July, Heller said that’s what fueled his interest. Letting the fictional Gotham City creep daily into chaos, the forces of good struggling to save a city circling the drain without a miracle to beckon — the storytelling from that perspective seemed exciting. “That’s the situation the show is all about — is how do you deal with crime of this level when there are no superheroes, when there’s just ordinary, mortal men and women trying to solve these issues,” Heller said. “It’s as much about the hope and the struggle that they’re engaged in as waiting for a savior. It’s about men and women, not about superheroes, and to me that’s the more interesting story.”

Minus a grown, justice-and-revenge-fueled Batman, Gotham centers on rookie detective James Gordon (Ben McKenzie of Southland), who is partnered with the more jaded veteran Det. Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), who has learned to survive in the ever-rotting Gotham City by being a little (fine, a lot) too close to organized crime.

This turns out to be a perfect pairing for the show (and for viewers). McKenzie gives off that rookie eagerness vibe while really nailing the fact that Gordon won’t let even a minor infraction go unpunished while Bullock’s line-crossing is rooted in a long history of trying to keep at least a glimmer of justice in play while the forces of evil grow unstoppable. Logue has that slimy-but-likable side to him in this role that jibes seamlessly with McKenzie’s wide-eyed Gordon.

The look of Gotham is also brilliantly realized — like a dirty pre-safe New York from the 1980s mixed with the dark hues of Blade Runner. It’s a mixture of realism and some kind of brutalized patina that really sets the show apart visually.

In addition to McKenzie and Logue, other immediate standouts include Jada Pinkett Smith as crime boss Fish Mooney, Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot, aka the future Penguin (who, in the pilot, is the most explored of the fledgling villains — others are introduced, but Heller says that was in service of the pilot and that he wants them all to roll out in surprising and more fully realized ways going forward). And even though we barely see him, Sean Pertwee establishes himself almost immediately as Alfred.

As for the young ones, David Mazouz is Bruce Wayne; Camren Bicondova is Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman; Cory Michael Smith is Edward Nygma, aka the Riddler; Clare Foley is Ivy Pepper; more will emerge.

And emerge is a key word for this series, because everything we know about the Batman mythology has yet to happen, so Heller can write it pretty much any way he wants. Following the green Gordon as he comes face to face with evil and simultaneously understanding what triggered main characters like Catwoman to become who they eventually become is inherently interesting, primarily because it’s different.

Although critics saw only the pilot, and that’s always a dubious way to judge a series, at least Gotham was original and entertaining and gave enough hope that it can stand out as more than just “an origin story” about Batman, sans Batman.

GOTHAM
Airtime: Mondays at 8 p.m. on Fox, beginning Sept. 22
The Bottom Line: The series is set in Gotham City when there wasn't yet a Batman or a Catwoman or any of the villains and characters the Batman universe is peopled with — it's how all of that came about and it works by itself.


http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/rev...-ML-DdHfAoCAAA


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The 2014/15 Season
For ABC, a season of improvements
Though it won't compete for first, it will be more competitive
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Sep. 15, 2014

ABC finished fourth among the Big Four in adults 18-49 last season, but it ended the year on a winning streak.

The network unexpectedly won the May sweeps, its first such victory in more than a decade.

And it did so largely on the strength of its regularly scheduled programming, with only a handful of sweeps stunts.

With a more promising crop of new shows this fall, ABC should see improvements in several troubled timeslots, including Tuesdays at 9 p.m., Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. and Thursdays at 8 p.m.

Given that greater stability, ABC should move into third place among the Big Four networks this season, a prediction based on Media Life’s analysis of the fall schedules and input from media buyers and planners.

Here’s how the network looks heading into the new seasons, which begins next Monday, Sept. 22.

Last season’s average
ABC averaged a 2.1 adults 18-49 rating during the 2013-’14 season, down 5 percent from the previous season.

Top returning shows:

“Modern Family” (Wednesdays at 9 p.m.)

The sitcom was once again ABC’s No. 1 show, though ratings were down sharply from season four.

“Scandal” (Thursdays at 9 p.m.)
One of the only broadcast shows to see ratings gains last season, “Scandal” moves from 10 to 9 p.m. and could see an accompanying ratings bump from airing earlier in the night.

“Grey’s Anatomy” (Thursdays at 8 p.m.)
Eleven seasons in, it still ranked as ABC’s No. 3 program overall and its No. 2 drama.

Most troubled returning show: “Nashville” (Wednesdays at 10 p.m.)
If the struggling third-year show’s ratings don’t stabilize, this will be its final season.

Top new show: “How to Get Away with Murder” (Thursdays at 10 p.m.)
Like “Scandal” and “Grey’s,” this drama is produced by Shonda Rhimes. It’s expected to be an immediate hit.

New show most likely to be canceled: “Selfie” (Tuesdays at 8 p.m.)
Media buyers consider “Selfie” one of this season’s worst new programs.

Most improved timeslot
ABC moved “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” from 8 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, an hour the network has struggled with for years. At the least, it could give the troubled 10 p.m. lead-out slot a boost.

The prediction
As the only Big Four network without an NFL package, ABC cannot compete for first. But the network will finish third among 18-49s this fall and have another strong spring, after football is finished.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/abc...-improvements/


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