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post #96901 of 96917 Old Yesterday, 03:43 AM
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
SATURDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Late night shows are preceded by late local news)

ABC:
7:30PM - College Football: Clemson at Florida State (LIVE)

CBS:
8PM - NCIS
(R - Dec. 10)
9PM - NCIS: Los Angeles
(R - Nov. 5)
10PM - 48 Hours
(R - May 10)

NBC:
8PM - American Ninja Warrior: USA vs. the World (3 hrs.)
(R - Sep. 15)
* * * *
11:29PM - Saturday Night Live (Andy Samberg; St. Vincent performs, 93 min.)
(R - May 17)

FOX:
7:30PM - College Football: Oklahoma at West Virginia (LIVE)
* * * *
11PM - Animation Domination High-Def (60 min.)
(R)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - The Roosevelts: An Intimate History - A Strong and Active Faith (1944-1962) (Miniseries finale, 120 min.)
10PM - The Roosevelts: An Intimate History - A Strong and Active Faith (1944-1962) (120 min.)
(R)

UNIVISION:
8PM - Sábado Gigante (Three Hours)

TELEMUNDO:
7PM - Yo Soy El Artista (120 min.)
(R - Sep. 14)
9PM - Fútbol Mexicano Primera División: Club León vs. CD Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz


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post #96902 of 96917 Old Yesterday, 03:48 AM
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TV Notes
'Homeland's' Howard Gordon Inks Rich New Deal at 20th TV
By Lacey Rose, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Sep. 19, 2014

Twentieth Century Fox Television is remaining in the Howard Gordon business.

The studio announced Friday that it has inked a new overall deal with one of its most prolific producers, whose Teakwood Lane banner has been responsible for recent entries Homeland, 24: Live Another Day and TNT’s Legends. News of the new pact comes less than 24 hours after cable cousin FX announced it was renewing another Gordon project, Middle Eastern drama Tyrant, for a second season.

“Howard has been at this studio nearly as long as Gary and I have, and as far as we’re concerned, he is forbidden from leaving, ever,” Fox TV Group chairman and CEO Dana Walden joked of a relationship that has lasted more than 20 years. “He is a spectacular showrunner, a brilliant writer, as creative a guy as we’ve ever met, and he’s adored by everyone who has the pleasure of working with him.”

She continued, praising both Gordon’s resume and his gift for dramatic storytelling: “From The X-Files to 24 to Legends and Tyrant, when you get a Howard Gordon script you know you’re in for a great read. He’s as good as it gets.”

Gordon, who drove out to Los Angeles with Homeland co-creator and best friend Alex Gansa after the pair graduated from Princeton in the mid-1980s, garnered attention early on for his work on The X Files. He gained additional credits on series including Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angels, before joining Fox’s 24, for which he wrote, executive produced and ran. The latter earned Gordon Golden Globes and an outstanding drama Emmy. More recently, Gordon became a familiar figure on the awards circuit care of Emmy winner Homeland, which Gansa is responsible for running.

Gordon, who is also a novelist with with the published works Gideon’s War and sequel Hard Target, is repped by WME and attorney Michael Gendler.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/liv...ks-rich-734299


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TV Notes
TNT Makes ‘One Giant Leap’ Into Miniseries With Neil Armstrong Project
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Sep. 19, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: For years last decade, miniseries were an essential part of TNT’s programming mix with such projects as Into The West, Salem’s Lot and The Company. As the genre lost popularity, TNT, like many other networks, pulled away from longform, cutting back on original movies and minis. Miniseries have enjoyed a comeback in the past couple of years, following the success of History’s Hatfields & McCoys. TNT is joining the trend with One Giant Leap, a four-hour event miniseries about the life of NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong who became the first man to walk on the moon.

The project, now in development, is based on Leon Wagener’s book. The mini will be written by Al Reinert, who co-penned the movie Apollo 13 as well as two episodes of Tom Hanks’ follow-up moon exploration HBO miniseries From The Earth To The Moon – including one about Armstrong (played by Scandal‘s Tony Goldwyn), Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins preparing for their Apollo 11 mission in 1969.

One Television is producing One Giant Leap, with the company’s John Morayniss and Michael Rosenberg serving as executive producers alongside Reinert and Kevin Cleary of Pooka Entertainment. Patti Vasquez of Pooka Entertainment and Josh Morris of Content House co-executive produce. Guy Oseary is a producer.

Most recently, TNT’s Frank Darabont L.A. noir drama Mob City, which was developed as a series, going through a pilot stage, ended up being a limited series after the network opted not to do a second season.

http://deadline.com/2014/09/one-gian...ng-tnt-837047/


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TV Notes
A Generation of Unintended Laughs
‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’ Turns 25
By Brooks Barnes, The New York Times - Sep. 18, 2014

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. — “A relic of a bygone time.” “The uncoolest show on TV.” “Inexplicably never-ending, like a Cher farewell tour.”

Critics and bloggers can beat it up all they want. If “America’s Funniest Home Videos” has proved anything over the decades, it is this: It will get the last laugh.

Twenty-five years after unveiling its first piano-playing chickens, vaudevillian babies and backyard trampoline bumblers — and nine years afterYouTube seemingly ate its lunch — “America’s Funniest Home Videos” is still going strong, and more. Last season, according to Nielsen, it ranked as the No. 1 show for family viewing. Summer reruns climbed 11 percent among young adults compared with last year.

Why does this war horse endure?

Start with the invention that was supposed to kill it. “I remember first hearing about this thing called YouTube,” said Vin Di Bona, who has produced “America’s Funniest Home Videos” since its start. “I looked to see what it was, and three of the first six videos were from our show.” Mr. Di Bona used salty language to express his initial anger.

He was also slightly terrified. People interested in cutely misbehaving cats and denture-losing grannies no longer needed to watch his weekly show. Now they could simply coast over to YouTube, day or night.

But the Internet ended up a surprising boon. “People got excited about video clips again,” Mr. Di Bona said.

To turn YouTube even more to its advantage, “America’s Funniest Home Videos” in January hired behind-the-scenes specialists. Maker Studios, a producer and distributor of web video, now manages the show’s YouTube channels, which are partly stocked with classic clips. “A.F.V.,” as the show’s title is often styled, now generates 20 million monthly views on YouTube, up from two million when Maker took over, Mr. Di Bona said. He sees a direct link between Maker’s work and the show’s rising TV ratings.

For the 25th season, which starts Oct. 5 on ABC, Maker and “America’s Funniest Home Videos” will deepen their partnership. Maker clients — YouTube personalities with a combined two million subscribers — will begin re-enacting classic “A.F.V.” clips for distribution on the show’s online channels. Two other web series, including one by the YouTube star Shay Carl, will promote the “America’s Funniest Home Videos” brand.

YouTube stars will also appear regularly on the television show, a first.

“If it wasn’t for ‘A.F.V.,’ I may have never posted that first video of me dancing in a unitard,” said Shay Butler, a.k.a. Shay Carl, 34, adding that he was 9 when he first started watching the series.

Maker was acquired in March by the Walt Disney Company, which also owns ABC. “What we’re doing with this show represents a huge example of our strategy going forward, especially as a fully owned part of Disney,” said Chris M. Williams, Maker’s chief audience officer.

Vin Di Bona, the producer of "America's Funniest Home Videos."CreditRobert Yager for The New York Times
In some ways, “America’s Funniest Home Videos” is the same show now as it was back when Mr. Butler started watching as a child. A comedic host, currently Tom Bergeron, introduces viewer-submitted video clips that range from five to 30 seconds in length. More than 100 exclusive clips make it into each show.

It’s overtly cheesy. There are thematic montages — pity the submission that makes it to the “Nincompoop Corner” — and some videos are started and then abruptly stopped as part of a quiz; audience members are asked to guess what indignity the subject will suffer. “Head, Gut or Groin” is a popular topic. At the end of each episode, the audience votes on their favorite clips. The winner receives $10,000.

The Smithsonian Institution now owns the camcorder used to immortalize the first winning clip, which depicted a woman stuck inside her dishwasher. (Fun fact: The series was initially cleared for broadcast by Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chairman and chief executive, when he was merely ABC’s chief.)

While sticking to the formula, Mr. Di Bona and his producers, several of whom have been with the show since the beginning, work hard to keep the series feeling current. The flashy set, housed in a chilly soundstage here in Manhattan Beach south of Los Angeles, now includes a cocktail bar. Granted, it is more akin to what one would find in a Marriott lobby than a Hollywood nightclub, but know your audience: Nebraska submits more videos per capita than any state, Mr. Di Bona said.

If this is the uncoolest show on TV, nobody bothered to tell the studio audience at a recent taping. The snazzily attired crowd seemed genuinely thrilled to be there, as Mr. Bergeron, who joined the show in 2001 and has said this season will be his last, cracked jokes between takes. “Smiles! Happy! Enthusiastic!” the audience coordinator shouted. In truth, nobody — including a cynical reporter — needed a lot of encouraging.

“America’s Funniest Home Videos” endures in part because it is one of the few shows on the main broadcast networks that families can comfortably watch together; according to Nielsen, the series was the No. 1 “family co-viewing” show on any broadcast network last season. This is firmly PG-rated stuff, after all. So it’s no dice for the viewer who submitted footage of a masturbating walrus. That clip will never be seen, at least not on Mr. Di Bona’s watch.

When the series first appeared in 1989, about 32 million people tuned in. Last season — in a sharply different media environment — the show averaged about 6.3 million viewers. (By way of comparison, “Scandal” attracts roughly 12 million.) But Mr. Di Bona said his show will keep on keeping on as long as harebrained videographers remain in the world.

“God knows why people never learn,” he said. “But God bless them.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/18/bu...ref=television


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TV Review/Notes
'Madam Secretary' shows room for improvement
By Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's 'Tuned In' Column - Sep. 19, 2014

CBS attempts to use the critical success of “The Good Wife” to bolster its new drama “Madam Secretary” (8:30 p.m. Sunday, KDKA-TV) by scheduling the pair in tandem. And it makes sense on paper. “The Good Wife” is by far the most sophisticated drama on a broadcast network and “Madam Secretary,” about newly appointed U.S. Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord (Tea Leoni), has a similar sheen of savvy intelligence.

But scratch beneath the surface of the first three episodes and “Madam Secretary” looks more like a time-tested CBS series with patented heart-tugging moments that feel contrived and made for TV. It’s likable enough but doesn’t reach that wished-for next level.

The series begins with a pretty shaky, unbelievable setup. Former CIA analyst Elizabeth (Tea Leoni) is just minding her own business, teaching classes at the University of Virginia where her husband (Tim Daly) is also a professor, when police cars zoom up the driveway of her bucolic farmhouse.

Next she’s in her kitchen getting recruited to be U.S. Secretary of State by President Conrad Dalton (Keith Carradine, “Dexter”), a former CIA boss who previously hired her when she worked for the agency. POTUS thinks she’d be perfect for the job because she’s expressly not political. (The previous secretary of state died in a plane crash that may not have been an accident, a plot point the pilot suggests will be an ongoing conspiracy undercurrent on “Madam Secretary.”)

Two months later, Elizabeth, or “Bess” as the president calls her, is preparing to host a State Department dinner for a polygamous African leader when word comes through diplomatic channels that two college kids are being held in a prison in Libya. “Operation Stupid Kids” is born and Elizabeth has her first clash — and surely not her last — with the president’s controlling chief of staff, Russell Jackson (Zeljko Ivanek), on how best to proceed.

Eventually Elizabeth does an end-run around Russell (“This is me not being a politician,” she tells POTUS), that has later repercussions.

At the State Department, Elizabeth is surrounded by a phalanx of co-workers, including Nadine Tolliver (Bebe Neuwirth) and Daisy Grant (2006 Carnegie Mellon University musical theater grad Patina Miller of Broadway’s “Pippin” revival).

These characters generally get short shrift in the pilot but they start to provide fertile ground for stories in the next few episodes. The workplace offers more potential than Elizabeth’s home life with her husband and children.

Two children appear in the pilot and a third “secret child” gets introduced in episode two. Already you can see the writers strain to stretch to find stories for Elizabeth’s husband. And the domestic plots sometimes get shoehorned into the A-story in the most unbelievable way: In episode two while in the midst of a Benghazi-like embassy attack, Elizabeth goes for a stroll through a park with her husband.

While the setup of how Elizabeth gets her new job is unconvincing, once situated in it she quickly becomes a pragmatic, do-gooder hero, and Ms. Leoni is completely engaging in how she presents her character, especially when she rejects Jackson’s insistence that she hire a stylist until it suits her need to game the news cycle. Ms. Leoni is also prone to a squinty gaze that can be read as steely determination, and that’s effective, too.

But “Madam Secretary” lacks the courage to be set in a recognizable real world. The political affiliation of characters is not revealed, and Elizabeth is constantly reminding every character that she’s not political. You can imagine a network executive saying, “Viewers don’t like politicians. Make sure she doesn’t seem like a politician!”

The show also suffers from too often making Elizabeth the smartest person in the room. The president is useless and rarely offers an idea in a crisis, Jackson is snake-like, and Elizabeth’s staff members constantly make faces that suggest they don’t trust their boss’s judgment, so it’s left to Elizabeth to save the day. In a TV era rife with antiheroes, even outright heroes need at least a few blemishes if they are to be taken seriously.

Created by Barbara Hall, the writer behind “Judging Amy” and “Joan of Arcadia,” “Madam Secretary” lacks the gravitas of “The West Wing,” but Ms. Leoni presents a character who’s easy to cheer for, which makes it hard to hate “Madam Secretary” even if you can’t respect it.

Pittsburgh rising

Last Friday Nielsen released its ranking of U.S. TV markets, and Pittsburgh moved up from the No. 23 TV market to No. 22 nationally for 2015.

This move up doesn’t come as too much of a surprise. Pittsburgh has been rising since the area ranked No. 24 in 2011, which followed a period of decline (No. 19 in 1998).

The cities around Pittsburgh in Nielsen’s list — No. 21 St. Louis and No. 23 Portland, Ore. — have been jostling around in the same vicinity for the past decade, sometimes rising above Pittsburgh, sometimes falling below.

For 2015, Nielsen estimates there are 1,173,320 homes in the Pittsburgh TV market, which is actually a decline from the estimated 1,181,540 in 2014.

So why did Pittsburgh rise? Because Portland declined more, from 1,185,160 to 1,154,070.

Perhaps the slow adaptation of new technologies among Pittsburghers, including cord-cutting in favor of online streaming of TV shows, is helping to bolster the city’s Nielsen rank.

Channel surfing

PBS’s latest Ken Burns opus, “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History,” drew an average audience of more than 9 million viewers nationally Sunday with a 5.8 rating. On WQED, the program was a little below the national average (a 5.0 rating). Nationally “Roosevelts” earned the best ratings for a Burns doc since “The War” in 2007. … “Hallmark Hall of Fame” movies migrate from ABC to Hallmark Channel beginning with “One Christmas Eve” (8 p.m. Nov. 30). … Nickelodeon renewed “Instant Mom” for a third season prior to its Oct. 2 second-season premiere on Nick at Nite. … VH1 renewed “Dating Naked” for a second season. … IFC renewed “Maron” for a third season to air in spring 2015. … TNT will bring back “Murder in the First” for a second season. … Chris Pratt (“Parks and Recreation,” “Guardians of the Galaxy”) will host the 40th season premiere of “Saturday Night Live” on Sept. 27 with musical guest Ariana Grande; Sarah Silverman hosts Oct. 4 with Maroon 5; former “SNL” star Bill Hader returns to host Oct. 11 with Hozier. … USA Network’s “White Collar” returns for its final episodes at 9 p.m. Nov. 6 followed by the return of “Covert Affairs” at 10 the same night. … Pittsburgh native Michael Grandinetti will perform twice tonight on The CW’s “Masters of Illusion” at 8. One performance will involve him levitating 10 feet while on camera from all sides. ... Comcast offers a free preview of 22 additional channels (and associated on demand content) Monday through Sept. 28 for digital economy and digital starter customers, including AMC, FX, Smithsonian, TNT and Syfy. ... FX renewed “Tyrant” for a 13-episode second season.

http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/tv-ra...s/201409170173


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TV Notes
'Fashion Police' plans 2015 return with Melissa Rivers' blessing
By Greg Braxton, Los Angeles Times - Sep. 19, 2014

"Fashion Police" will continue without Joan Rivers.

In the wake of the recent death of Rivers, E! Entertainment has announced that "Fashion Police," the series that starred the comedian and others commenting on the fashion of celebrities, will return next year.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Joan Rivers and, for the last two weeks, have turned our attention to honoring her memory on all our platforms," the network said in a statement. "We have also thought long and hard about what Joan would have wanted as it pertains to the future of 'Fashion Police.'

"We decided, with Melissa Rivers' blessing, that Joan would have wanted the franchise to continue. Fashion Police will return in 2015, commencing with Golden Globe coverage on Monday, Jan. 12. No further details will be announced at this time."

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...919-story.html


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post #96907 of 96917 Old Yesterday, 04:14 AM
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WARNING: spoilers for last season's "The Good Wife," "The Blacklist," "Scandal," "Homeland," "The Walking Dead" and "Person of Interest" in this story. Skip ahead if you're not up-to-date or want some cliffhanger spoiled.

TV Notes
Oh, the drama! Highlights of 6 returning shows
By Bill Keveney, Lorena Blas, Jayme Deerwester and Gary Levin, USA Today - Sep. 19, 2014

USA TODAY recaps and looks ahead at six popular dramas returning this fall.

The Good Wife (CBS, Sept. 21, 9:30 ET/PT)

Where we left off:
Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) asked Florrick/Agos to let her join their spinoff firm. And Alicia (Julianna Margulies) was approached about a run for state's attorney.

What's next: Those cliffhangers will be addressed, and Cary's (Matt Czuchry) life will get complicated. The sixth season picks up seconds later, "so there's no slowing down," says co-creator Michelle King. "We are just barreling forward." Steven Pasquale, David Hyde Pierce, Taye Diggs, Connie Nielsen, Carrie Preston and Michael J. Fox appear. — Lorena Blas

The Blacklist (NBC, Sept. 22, Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT)

Where we left off:
The FBI task force is in bloody tatters after the murder of Meera Malik and the near-fatal attack on Harold Cooper. FBI agent Liz Keen (Megan Boone) and criminal mastermind Red Reddington (James Spader), who's working with the FBI, are determined to find the culprit, Berlin (Peter Stormare). "Reddington himself is at a vulnerable point, not only with the task force but with his own business" in the world of crime," Spader says.

What's next: A few months later, Red & Co. are trying to fix the disarray. "Is he going to take to the mattresses?" Spader asks. "It was one thing for Reddington to say there's a war coming and then all of a sudden for the war to arrive at your doorstep." Mary-Louise Parker appears as a woman from Red's past. — Bill Keveney

Scandal (ABC, Sept. 25, Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT

Where we left off:
Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) was re-elected president as he and first lady Mellie were mourning the murder of their son. Olivia (Kerry Washington) left Olivia Pope & Associates (and the crisis management firm's future in jeopardy), and boarded a plane with Jake (Scott Foley). "We blew everything up," says creator Shonda Rhimes. "Olivia is gone and there are no more gladiators, and Mellie is in a very different place and Fitz is very broken."

What's next: Harrison doesn't survive his encounter with Rowan, but Rhimes is keeping mum on details of a "reset" Scandal. "When we come back, it's a couple of months later and the world is very different than when we left it," she says. "Did Abby keep up (OPA) or did she not?" Rhimes says "Mellie is devastated and Fitz is realizing that he is essentially the devil, so anything can be true." — Bill Keveney

Homeland (Showtime, Oct. 5, Sundays at 9 ET/PT)

Where we left off:
Brody was executed by Iranian forces after killing their leader, devastating Carrie; Saul leaves the CIA for the private sector; a very pregnant Carrie is heading to Istanbul as a field agent, but wants her child (fathered by Brody) left at home.

What's next: With a (mostly) clean slate, the action shifts to the Middle East six months later, where Carrie is a field agent, "anesthetizing herself against her grief and the loss of Brody," says executive producer Alex Gansa. "She's left her child behind because he's a reminder of that." And look for the emergence of Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) "as a very strong and powerful influence in Carrie's life," he says. — Gary Levin

The Walking Dead (AMC, Oct. 12, Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT)

Where we left off:
Survivors' group leader Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) went full warrior, biting an assailant's jugular to protect his son, Carl (Chandler Riggs). Members of his group, separated for much of the season, are reunited at supposed safe haven Terminus, where they finished the season as prisoners locked in a rail car. Rick is defiant. "It's probably the most formidable Rick we've ever seen," Lincoln says.

What's next: The premiere picks up right after the end of last season's finale, and the survivors will leave Terminus with the goal of reaching Washington, D.C., where recent arrival Eugene wants to present what he says is a solution to the zombie scourge. The Terminus prisoners "are in a terrible place," Lincoln says. "You will find out instantly who (their captors) are and the stakes." — Bill Keveney

Person of Interest (CBS, Sept. 23, Tuesdays at 10 ET/PT)

Where we left off:
Samaritan, the government's more sinister Machine 2.0, went online and the members of Team Finch went offline, assuming new identities.

What's next: "Fusco is the only one left on the grid," says Kevin Chapman of his NYPD detective, who will have to feed intel to Finch (Michael Emerson) and company. Adding to Fusco's woes: He still doesn't know about the Machine and with a new partner who cramps his style, he's got more work now that Reese and Shaw (Jim Caviezel and Sarah Shahi) are no longer taking care of the irrelevant numbers. — Jayme Deerwester

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/t...rest/15772063/


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TV Reviews
'Scorpion,’ 'NCIS’ spinoff, 'Forever’
By David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle - Sep. 18, 2014

Three moderately entertaining dramas with a faint aroma of familiarity arrive next week on broadcast television because broadcast is the only place they would stand a chance of surviving.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course: Increasingly, that’s what we’ve come to expect from broadcast, but just because a show may be a retread doesn’t mean it has to be bad.

The most ambitious of the arrivals is “Forever,” previewing Monday on ABC before moving the next night to its regular time slot. The premise is ridiculous and made more so by the obvious attempt to disguise the fact that ABC, afflicted with a bad case of “Elementary” envy, is out to make its own Sherlock Holmes knockoff in the story of a physician who cannot die. More accurately, Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd, “Hornblower”), has died over and over again over two centuries, only to pop back to life, starkers, in whatever nearby body of water might be handy.

Morgan has died so many times he’s made a study of death, enabling him to be a superb medical examiner in New York in the present day.

We meet him just before he dies while chatting up a pretty cellist on a subway train. Once he comes back to life and finds some clothes, he returns to his job and teams up with an initially skeptical cop, the conveniently widowed Jo Martinez (Alana de la Garza, “Law & Order”), to solve murders, using finely honed powers of Holmesian observation.

See what creator Matt Miller (“Chuck”) has done here? Instead of Holmes working with a doctor as in the original Conan Doyle stories and CBS’ “Elementary,” we have the Holmes character as the doctor working with a detective.

Monday’s premiere has to work hard to get you to suspend disbelief, but the actual crimes, in both the Monday and Tuesday episodes, are well plotted. Gruffudd’s Morgan isn’t quite as much of a social misfit as Jonny Lee Miller’s Holmes on CBS, but he’s a good actor and pairs well with both de la Garza and Judd Hirsch, who has gone from playing a taxi driver in “Taxi” to playing one in “Sharknado 2 — The Second One” to playing one here.

Fare enough.


Forever
Special premiere 10 p.m. Monday. Episode 2, 9 p.m. Tuesday. 10 p.m. on Fox.


* * * *

Nerds rule in 'Scorpion’


CBS’ “Scorpion,” premiering Monday, is a template show: Gifted nerds with individual areas of expertise solve crimes. The head nerd is Walter O’Brien (Elyse Gabel, “World War Z”), based on the real Walter O’Brien, who has an IQ of 197. TV’s Walter was caught hacking into NASA’s computers when he was just a kid. All grown up now, he has good reason to resent the government but agrees to help Homeland Security restore air traffic control systems’ computers in 89 minutes before the first of several circling passenger planes goes down.

There’s a lot of nerd-speak in “Scorpion,” much of which may not make a lot of sense to casual viewers, but you’ll get the general idea. It’s kind of like watching an opera without looking at supertitles.

The show isn’t terribly believable, first when O’Brien’s nerds and the Homeland Security thugs take over a diner, then when O’Brien pauses trying to keep all those planes from crashing in order to offer parenting advice to single-mom/waitress Paige Dineen (Katharine McPhee, “Smash”), and finally when Paige doffs her apron and joins Walter in an over-the-top stunt to keep the planes flying in the finale.

The cast is fine, except for McPhee. Her role would be challenging for even a very good actress, but McPhee isn’t very good. Her performance is wooden and insipid. She was dead weight in “Smash” and continues to be dead weight here.

TV critics love nothing better than to wail to the heavens about formulaic television shows, but quite often, the familiarity of the formula is what attracts viewers. It’s a tricky thing spinning off from a formula show, though: Dick Wolf made it work well with “Law & Order: SVU,” but not so much with “L&O: Trial by Jury.”

“NCIS,” one of the most reliable dramas in the CBS stable, offers a new spinoff Tuesday, expanding the action to New Orleans, with Scott Bakula (“Quantum Leap”) starring as Dwayne “King” Pride, the NCIS agent in charge in the Crescent City.


Scorpion
9 p.m. Monday on CBS.


* * * *

'NCIS’ in Nola


Pride’s team includes Christopher LaSalle (Lucas Black, “Friday Night Lights”), Merri Brody (Zoe McLellan, “JAG”) and medical examiner Dr. Loretta Wade (CCH Pounder, “Warehouse 13”), all of whom more or less mirror crime solvers in the other “NCIS” shows. Tuesday’s pilot efficiently introduces us to the central characters as they go about solving the murder of a young Navy seaman who was mentored by Pride away from being a gangster and into the Navy.

The show makes good use of its New Orleans setting and the script hits all the right, albeit familiar, notes.

Bakula and “NCIS” star Mark Harmon, who is also one of the spinoff’s executive producers, share similar qualities of sturdy reliability, but the former is anything but a carbon copy of Harmon. Bakula’s Pride is a looser character, more in step with the jazz-inflected New Orleans setting.

The show seems to have a decent chance of survival, but there’s a chance that viewers will react the way they did to some of the “Law & Order” spinoffs: Been there, seen that.


NCIS: New Orleans
9 p.m. Tuesday on CBS.


http://www.sfgate.com/tv/article/TV-...ff-5765325.php


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TV Sports/Critic's Notes
Breaking Silence, but Offering Little
By Richard Sandomir, The New York Times - Sep. 20, 2014

Maybe Commissioner Roger Goodell should have extended his public silence about the domestic violence crisis that has been roiling the N.F.L.

His 44-minute news conference on Friday was a mix of mea culpas, evasions and non-answers. His demeanor was wooden, his new information thin.

He did not seem ready for all the questions even as he felt he had something to say to journalists who were clamoring for him to speak up.

It is tempting to compare Goodell’s performance to that of N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver when he outlined his strong punishment of Donald Sterling, the former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Silver was passionate and angry at a specific target: Sterling’s racism, which struck at the core of the league. Goodell made himself a target with his apologies for mishandling the Ray Rice case.

But he could not summon the sort of angst and fire Silver displayed when he talked about being “personally distraught” over Sterling’s statements.

More important was the inadequacy of some of Goodell’s answers. He did not respond directly to a question about why there was no electronic evidence of a request to the Atlantic City authorities for the second video that showed Rice punching his future wife, Janay Palmer, in a casino elevator. Goodell suggested that the reason he should not resign as commissioner was that he had acknowledged his mistake and was moving forward.

He danced inelegantly around a question about what Rice had said to him in their meeting that was inconsistent with Rice’s account of assaulting Palmer, then his fiancée. Then, as a coda that should have substituted for any comments, he said he did not want to prejudge Rice’s appeal of his indefinite suspension. But if he did not want to prejudge any issues, why did he unambiguously say “yes” when asked if he still believed no one in his office had the second, more incendiary video from inside the elevator? That matter is part of the investigation by Robert S. Mueller III, a former director of the F.B.I., into the league’s actions in the Rice case.

Goodell seemed to feel that flaying himself verbally was a way to avoid questions. Asked how many difficult conversations he had with N.F.L. sponsors, he expressed disappointment in himself, but never gave a direct answer. He avoided a follow-up question about whether the league had come close to losing a sponsor, and told the reporter to speak to the sponsors.

Goodell can be credited for his new domestic violence initiatives and for conceding that when he talked to Rice and his wife, he should have used the law enforcement protocol of speaking with them separately. But a devoted viewer of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” could have advised him of that.

Goodell, who stood before a blue backdrop festooned with 10 N.F.L. shields, came armed with inaccurate legal information about Greg Hardy, the Carolina Panthers defensive end who was convicted in July of assaulting and threatening his girlfriend. “He was convicted and then what happens when he appeals that, it is wiped out until he goes to a jury trial,” Goodell said, adding: “There was a conviction. It gets removed until the jury trial.”

Not true. Daniel C. Richman, a professor at Columbia Law School, said, “Convictions are taken as authoritative legal facts until and unless they are overturned.”

A county court judge found Hardy guilty and sentenced him to 18 months’ probation. The sentence is stayed pending his appeal, which will be heard by a jury.

And in lauding Mueller, Goodell twice called him the “longest-serving” F.B.I. director. Mueller served for a dozen years, but somebody named J. Edgar Hoover held the position for 48.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/20/sp...formation.html


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The 2014/15 Season
For NBC, another winning season
Boosted by the NFL, the network will jump to a comfortable lead
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Sep. 19, 2014

NBC easily finished No. 1 among adults 18-49 last season, its first regular-season win in a decade.

The Winter Olympics provided some cushion, but the network still would have won even without the Games.

“Sunday Night Football” gives NBC such a big lead in the fall, it’s difficult for any other network to catch up.

This year NBC will once again be powered by the NFL, airing the Super Bowl in February. Though CBS may be neck and neck with NBC until then, the big game will give the network the edge.

Given the big Super Bowl and NFL ratings, NBC will finish in first 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 season, which begins next Monday, Sept. 22

Last season’s average
NBC averaged a 2.7 adults 18-49 rating during the 2013-’14 season, up 13 percent over the previous season and 0.2 ahead of second-place Fox.

Top returning shows:

“Sunday Night Football” (Sundays at 8:15 p.m.)

“SNF” averaged a 7.8 18-49 rating last season and will undoubtedly finish as the No. 1 show in primetime once again this season.

“The Voice” (Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m.)
NBC’s singing reality show remains one of broadcast’s top programs, though ratings have declined over the past year and buyers are concerned they will erode further this fall.

“The Blacklist” (Mondays at 10 p.m. until November; Thursdays at 9 p.m. starting in 2015)
Last season’s No. 1 new show will remain in the cushy timeslot behind “The Voice” until November. Buyers think it will do very well when it moves to Thursday in 2015.

Most troubled returning show: “About a Boy” (Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m.)
NBC cleaned house last spring, canceling a number of shows and declaring this the final season for others (“Parenthood” and “Parks and Recreation”). So it has a lot fewer troubled shows than the other networks. That said, “Boy” is moving from 9 to 9:30 p.m., away from the potent “Voice” lead-in, and its new lead-in, “Marry Me,” could struggle based on its odd concept.

Top new show: “Constantine” (Fridays at 10 p.m.)
NBC has one of the weaker crops of new shows, but at least this comic book adaptation has a built-in audience of fanboys.

New show most likely to be canceled: “Bad Judge” (Thursdays at 9 p.m.)
The comedy, which doesn’t look very funny, lost its show runner a few weeks ago, never a good sign.

Most improved timeslot
“The Biggest Loser” isn’t as strong as it once was, but it still did better on Thursday at 8 than most of the shows NBC aired there last season.

The prediction
Unless “Voice” goes into free fall, NBC should win the season. The Super Bowl boost will be huge, and while it would be nice to see better new show development, it will be a stellar season for the network.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/for...inning-season/


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TV Review
'Gotham' (Fox)
By Brian Lowry, Variety.com

The title and promotional campaign do “Gotham” no favors, fostering expectations about a stronger link to the “Batman” franchise than can possibly exist — at least, considering the setting, not for another 20 years or so. Taken strictly on its own terms, the Fox series is a handsome, gritty crime drama, with Ben McKenzie as the idealistic young cop and Donal Logue as his grizzled, ethically compromised partner. Yet if the show is supposed to work for its peripheral connection to the Dark Knight and his colorful menagerie of villains before they became such … well, that bat simply won’t fly.

It’s difficult to consider “Gotham” without drawing obvious comparisons to “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD,” which also operates with a hand (as well as a shield, hammer and some armor) tied behind its back. That’s because the references to “The Avengers” seem calibrated to evoke tingles in the most invested fanboys while extracting yawns from pretty much everyone else — as if there’s a premium to be extracted from superhero-adjacent real estate.

In a way, this latest once-removed dive into comics might be even more handcuffed, inasmuch as everything here takes place long before Batman as we know him came to be, beginning as it does with the young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) witnessing the murder of his parents, and straight-arrow cop Jim Gordon (McKenzie) pledging to catch the killer. That investigation leads him and partner Harvey Bullock (Logue) into the grimy world of Gotham corruption, starting with Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith), which might be the worst name ever for what’s supposed to be a ruthless crime boss.

Sewn into the fabric of “Gotham” are plenty of Batman stalwarts, including the future Penguin (an appropriately creepy Robin Lord Taylor), Riddler, a.k.a. Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) and Catwoman (Camren Bicondova) — at this stage, really still just a kitten. But with all due respect to DC, Warner Bros. showrunner Bruno Heller and director Danny Cannon, who have made a show that’s polished, dark (to the point where it’s certainly not for kids) and true to the character’s roots … so what?

Clearly, the hope is casual viewers will get lost in “Gotham’s” murky alleyways, since the contingent apt to ooh and aah at every winking nod toward the future is more geared to the direct-to-DVD animated movies Warner Bros. Animation pumps out than the broader appeal required of a primetime series.

Fox nevertheless has plenty riding on this concept, which has received a promotional blitz (pun intended) during the network’s football coverage and joins the fantasy-oriented “Sleepy Hollow” Monday nights. The project also represents a sizable gambit for DC and Warner Bros., which by setting the story at the very beginning of Batman’s origins avoids concerns about complicating plans to leverage the character to rival Marvel’s dominance in the feature realm.

The casting alone distinguishes this as a show worthy of attention, whatever the genre, including “The Wire” alum John Doman in the role of mob boss Carmine Falcone, a character featured in “Batman Begins,” who pops up late in the festivities. There’s also a potentially interesting exploration of morality in the face of corruption, concerning just how much Gordon will have to compromise his values to survive, and in the process do some good, in this seamy world.

“This is not a city, or a job, for nice guys,” Bullock tells him.

Nope, this looks more like a job for Batman. And since we can’t have him, the question is just how long “Gotham” can get by on smoke, mirrors and coy references without him — a riddle, frankly, that even the future E. Nygma couldn’t solve.

'Gotham'
Fox, Mon. Sept. 22, 8 p.m.


http://variety.com/2014/tv/reviews/t...am-1201305349/


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TV Notes
12 Amazing TV Spinoffs That Almost Happened
By Leigh Weingnus, HuffingtonPost.com - Sep. 19, 2014

All good things must come to an end, including our favorite TV shows. Unfortunately, many of us aren't quite ready to let go when our beloved series come to their startling halts, which is why creators are quick to go after spinoffs. We're the first to admit that there have been some incredibly successful ones -- "Frasier," "Saved By The Bell" and "Family Matters," to name a few -- but some of the greatest potential spinoffs didn't make the cut.

Here are 12 spinoffs that should have happened:

1. Jackée's "227" spinoff
Jackée Harry's "227" character Sandra Clark almost had a pretty glamorous life. A Season 4 episode served as a backdoor pilot for the would-be spinoff, in which Sandra runs off to New York to pursue a film career, but NBC ultimately decided to nix it and send Sandra back to Washington, D.C.

2. Phoebe's "Friends" spinoff
Although 2004's "Friends" spinoff "Joey" famously flopped after only two seasons, the "Friends" creators also had another story for Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow) in mind. Tentatively titled "Girlfriends," the thought was that she would appear with Aisha Tyler's character Charlie, with Ross (David Schwimmer) making appearances as well. Sadly, "Girlfriends" never got past the early stages of discussion.

3. Jackie Chiles' "Seinfeld" spinoff
Although he only appeared in a handful of "Seinfeld" episodes, Phil Morris' character Jackie Chiles was set to play a black lawyer in all-white firm. Unfortunately, the would-be series never made it past the early stages of development.

4. Dwight's "Office" spinoff
NBC initially seemed pretty enthusiastic about the Dwight Schrute spinoff "The Farm," which would focus solely on Dwight (Rainn Wilson) and his beet farm, but the network decided to pass just as the final season of "The Office" was getting underway.

5. How I Met Your Dad
Ah, would could have been! Perhaps the "How I Met Your Mother" creators were simply trying to ease the pain of the beloved CBS series coming at end, but just when people were starting to think "How I Met Your Dad" was going to be good -- Greta Gerwig and Megan Ryan had been cast! -- CBS dropped the spinoff and crushed everyone's dreams.

6. Rupert Giles' "Buffy" spinoff
Titled "Ripper," this "Buffy" spinoff was set to chronicle Anthony Head's character Rupert Giles' adventures in England. "Ripper" never happened, but "Buffy" creator Joss Whedon still hasn't let the idea die completely.

7. Karen's "Will & Grace" spinoff
More Karen (Megan Mullally)? Yes, please! It almost happened, but NBC apparently put a stop to it after the "Friends" spinoff "Joey" flopped.

8. Jess' "Gilmore Girls" spinoff
Although Rory Gilmore would have many a boyfriend after Jess Mariano, "Gilmore Girls" fans were all about him -- so The WB toyed with the idea of a spinoff, which would have been called "The Windward Circle," with a 2003 episode serving as the backdoor pilot. But at the end of the day, the network decided they didn't have the money to see it through.

9. Audrey's "Twin Peaks" spinoff
Although Audrey's (Sherilyn Fenn) "Twin Peaks" spinoff never ended up getting off the ground, it does have a pretty cool story associated with it. The creators thought it would be fun to have a movie all about Audrey, in she would move to California and cruise along Mulholland Drive. Well, that never happened, but it did eventually inspire a pretty famous movie.

10. Norm and Cliff's "Cheers" spinoff
Frasier who? NBC wanted a Norm and Cliff spinoff, but the "Cheers" creators didn't think it was a good idea. "Yes. NBC wanted to spin-off Norm & Cliff," writer/producer Ken Levine wrote on his blog. "They must have approached us five times about writing it. We always passed. One 'AfterMASH' a career is enough."

11. "Veronica Mars" in the FBI
When "Veronica Mars" was canceled in 2007, fans were devastated. So creator Rob Thomas decided to go after a spinoff that would send her straight to the FBI four years later. Sadly, the only thing that ever came out of it was a clip that went straight to the Season 3 DVD. But hey, at least there's a movie now!

12. Clarissa's New York "Clarissa Explains It All" spinoff
Although CBS was interested in a spinoff of Nickelodeon's "Clarissa Explains It All," which would follow Clarissa's adventures as an intern for a newspaper in New York, the pilot -- titled "Clarissa Now" -- never got picked up.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/0...p_ref=tv&ir=TV


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Critic's Notes
Wrought in Their Creator’s Image
Viola Davis Plays Shonda Rhimes’s Latest Tough Heroine
By Alessandra Stanley, The New York Times - Sep. 19, 2014

When Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography, it should be called “How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman.”

On Thursday, Ms. Rhimes will introduce “How to Get Away With Murder,” yet another network series from her production company to showcase a powerful, intimidating black woman. This one is Annalise Keating, a fearsome criminal defense lawyer and law professor played by Viola Davis. And that clinches it: Ms. Rhimes, who wrought Olivia Pope on “Scandal” and Dr. Miranda Bailey on “Grey’s Anatomy,” has done more to reset the image of African-American women on television than anyone since Oprah Winfrey.

Ms. Rhimes didn’t just construct a series around one African-American woman. She has also introduced a set of heroines who flout ingrained television conventions and preconceived notions about the depiction of diversity.

Her women are authority figures with sharp minds and potent libidos who are respected, even haughty members of the ruling elite, not maids or nurses or office workers. Be it Kerry Washington on “Scandal” or Chandra Wilson on “Grey’s Anatomy,” they can and do get angry. One of the more volcanic meltdowns in soap opera history was Olivia’s “Earn me” rant on “Scandal.”

Ms. Rhimes has embraced the trite but persistent caricature of the Angry Black Woman, recast it in her own image and made it enviable. She has almost single-handedly trampled a taboo even Michelle Obama couldn’t break.

Her heroines are not at all like the bossy, sassy, salt-of-the-earth working-class women who have been scolding and uh-uh-ing on screen ever since Esther Rolle played Florida, the maid on “Maude.”

They certainly are not as benign and reassuring as Clair Huxtable, the serene, elegant wife, mother and dedicated lawyer on “The Cosby Show.” In 2008, commentators as different as the comedian Bill Cosby and the Republican strategist Karl Rove agreed that it was the shining, if fictional, example of the Huxtables that prepared America for a black president and first lady. (This was after a Fox News anchor applied the description “terrorist fist jab” to the couple’s friendly fist bump.)

Even now, six years into the Obama presidency, race remains a sensitive, incendiary issue not only in Ferguson, Mo., but also just about everywhere except ShondaLand, as her production company is called.

In that multicultural world, there are many African-Americans at the top of every profession. But even when her heroine is the only nonwhite person in the room, it is the last thing she or anyone around her notices or cares about.

And what is most admirable about Ms. Rhimes’s achievement is that in a business that is still run by note-giving, nit-picking, compromise-seeking network executives, her work is mercifully free of uplifting role models, parables and moral teachings.

On “Grey’s Anatomy,” Bailey is a brilliant surgeon who terrorizes interns. Olivia of “Scandal” is the mistress of a married president while also maintaining an on-again-off-again affair with a black-ops czar.

In “How to Get Away With Murder,” Annalise is even worse: She terrifies law students and cheats on her husband. (She also betrays her lover.)

Ms. Rhimes started small with Bailey, a secondary character, not a star; moved on to the charismatic best friend Dr. Naomi Bennett on “Private Practice,” now canceled; and then went big with Olivia. Now she is shooting the moon with Annalise.

And Ms. Rhimes is operating on her own plane, far removed from an industry that is hypersensitive to any hint of insensitivity. There are obviously many more black women on network television now, but most still are worthy sidekicks, be it the young and lovely police detective played by Nicole Beharie on “Sleepy Hollow” or the rollicking, sarcastic road-trip companion Sherri Shepherd played on “How I Met Your Mother.”

C. C. H. Pounder, who played an aboveboard detective on “The Shield,” has a less-imposing gig on a new CBS spinoff, “NCIS: New Orleans.” Now she plays a warmhearted, slightly kooky medical examiner. If Shonda Rhimeswere in charge of that show, Ms. Pounder would be the star, not Scott Bakula, and she would wear ivory and cream designer suits to crime scenes in the bayou, reign as queen of her krewe at the Mardi Gras ball and also advise the governor’s re-election campaign.

As Annalise, Ms. Davis, 49, is sexual and even sexy, in a slightly menacing way, but the actress doesn’t look at all like the typical star of a network drama. Ignoring the narrow beauty standards some African-American women are held to, Ms. Rhimes chose a performer who is older, darker-skinned and less classically beautiful than Ms. Washington, or for that matter Halle Berry, who played an astronaut on the summer mini-series “Extant.”

Ms. Davis is perhaps best known for her role in “The Help” as a stoic maid in the segregated South, a role for which she was nominated for a best actress Oscar. As it turned out, it was her “Help” co-star Octavia Spencer, playing the sassy back talker, who won an Oscar (for supporting actress).

Maybe it’s karma, or just coincidence with a sense of humor, but some of the more memorable actresses in that movie (its star Emma Stone, who played a young writer championing civil rights, is not one of them) are now all on network television, only this time, the help is on top.

Allison Janney, an imperious employer in the film, now plays an ex-addict and the matriarch of three generations of poor single mothers on a CBS comedy, “Mom.”

Ms. Spencer is one of the stars of a new Fox series, “Red Band Society,” albeit in a more predictable, pre-Rhimesian role: a bossy, sharp-tongued hospital nurse who is a softy at heart.

Ms. Davis’s character, on the other hand, is the lead, a tenured professor who also has her own law firm: She is as highhanded as John Houseman’s character in the 1970s movie “The Paper Chase,” and as craftily enigmatic as the lawyer Glenn Close played on “Damages.”

The premiere episode is a cleverly constructed hoot: A group of Keating’s top first-year students compete fiendishly to win internships in her law office, then find themselves using her classroom lessons to fiendishly cover up a death. It’s a sexy murder mystery not unlike Donna Tartt’s first novel, “The Secret History,” not a nighttime soap. Ms. Rhimes is the show’s marquee muse, but the writer is a “Grey’s Anatomy” alumnus, Peter Nowalk. The pilot episode of “How to Get Away With Murder” is promisingly slick and suspenseful, without all the histrionic, staccato speechifying that Ms. Rhimes favors on “Scandal.”

“Scandal,” which is entering its fourth season, is more Aaron Spelling than Aaron Sorkin, though even “Dynasty” at its campiest didn’t have quite as many florid fights and ludicrous conspiracies. But Ms. Rhimes’s hit show has blown up the landscape a little the way “Mad Men” did when it began on AMC in 2007, including inspiring copycat fashion. The retro ’60s clothes of “Mad Men” spawned a line of clothing at Banana Republic, and now the Limited is introducing its “Scandal” collection. The ads describe it as “Fearless fashion for ladies who lead.”

The show that inspires imitators has also shamed holdouts.

Last season, when “Saturday Night Live” was under attack for not having a black woman in the cast, and Kenan Thompson, who has impersonated Maya Angelou, Whoopi Goldberg and Star Jones, refused to don another dress, it was Kerry Washington who came to the show’s rescue with an Olivia Pope-ish image makeover.

As a guest host, Ms. Washington was very funny in a number of skits designed by “S.N.L.” to mock and defuse the issue without stirring further offense. Soon after, the show hired Sasheer Zamata, its first black woman since Maya Rudolph left the show in 2007. The show suddenly seems to be on a diversity jag: On the season premiere this month, another black comedian, the newcomer Michael Che, will make his debut as an anchor of “Weekend Update.”

Ms. Rhimes is a romance writer who understands the need for more spice than sugar; her heroines are mysterious, complicated and extravagantly flawed, often deeply and interestingly. They struggle with everything except their own identities, so unconcerned about race that it is barely ever mentioned.

They have innate dignity, not the cautious facade of propriety that Wanda Sykes mocks in routines about her mother’s not allowing her children to dance in front of white people. Ms. Sykes played the wisecracking sidekick on “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and reined in her more outré material for a short-lived sitcom on Fox, “Wanda at Large.” In her stand-up act, she spoke knowingly about the minefield awaiting Mrs. Obama after the first inauguration.

“Who is the real Michelle Obama? When will we see the real Michelle Obama?” she intoned, parodying news commentators. “You know what they’re saying: When are we going to see this?” she said as she burst into an animated pantomime of every angry-black-woman gesture, frown and eye roll.

Nobody thinks Shonda Rhimes is holding back and nobody is asking to see the real Shonda Rhimes. She’s all over the place.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/21/ar...ref=television


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

ABC:
7:30PM - College Football: Clemson at Florida State (LIVE)
If only Winston wouldve said "I gotta have more cowbell !!"

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TV Notes
12 Amazing TV Spinoffs That Almost Happened
By Leigh Weingnus, HuffingtonPost.com - Sep. 19, 2014

All good things must come to an end, including our favorite TV shows. Unfortunately, many of us aren't quite ready to let go when our beloved series come to their startling halts, which is why creators are quick to go after spinoffs. We're the first to admit that there have been some incredibly successful ones -- "Frasier," "Saved By The Bell" and "Family Matters," to name a few -- but some of the greatest potential spinoffs didn't make the cut.

Here are 12 spinoffs that should have happened:


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/0...p_ref=tv&ir=TV
Every single one of those sound awful. The world is a better place without them. Even the Veronica Mars spinoff really misses the essence of the original show.
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Critic's Notes
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By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Sep. 20, 2014

THE COSBY SHOW MARATHON
TV Land, 2:00 p.m. ET

Want to feel old – or at least older? It was 30 years ago that Bill Cosby revived the sitcom, and handed NBC a Number One hit show that changed TV history, with the instantly successful premiere of The Cosby Show. That pilot show is televised tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET, to kick off Day 2 of this two-day, 16-hour marathon – but today, the marathon begins with “How Ugly Is He?,” when Cosby’s Cliff Huxtable meets the smarmy boyfriend of daughter Denise (Lisa Bonet). And the day-long marathon includes the classic “Happy Anniversary” episode, in which the family, as a special gift to the grandparents, lip-synchs to Ray Charles’ “Night Time Is the Right Time.” A truly classic TV moment.

THE ROOSEVELTS: AN INTIMATE HISTORY
PBS, 8:00 p.m. ET
Part 7.
When this final installment of The Roosevelts begins, in 1944, there still are two Roosevelts, Franklin and Eleanor, alive at the center of this fascinating narrative. By the time it ends, another world war has ended, the United Nations has been formed – and as for the Roosevelts, and then there were none. This latest Ken Burns documentary is a superb work of research and storytelling from start to finish – and tonight is the finish. To hear my review on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, which includes audio samples from several episodes, visit the Fresh Air website. Check local listings.

DOCTOR WHO
BBC America, 9:00 p.m. ET

Doctor Who is especially adept at introducing villains who have a primal sense of terror about them – truly creepy bad guys that seem crafted from the stuff of childhood nightmares. Tonight, here comes another one… a high-security alien prisoner known as the Teller.

BEYONCE JAY Z ON THE RUN
HBO, 9:00 p.m. ET

Filmed just a week or so ago in Paris, this Beyoncé and Jay Z concert film is a high-profile HBO event – and the sort of thing that is sure to ignite a social media firestorm. But there’s some powerful music here as well – from both artists, songs that, at times, have burrowed deep into the pop-culture mainstream.

NETWORK
TCM, 9:45 p.m. ET

In two years, it will be 40 years since Paddy Chayefsky wrote this brilliant satire about the social power, executive ruthlessness and corporate takeover of network television – all of which, in the intervening decades, has proven astoundingly prescient. Peter Finch stars as Howard Beale, the fired news anchor and self-professed prophet of the airwaves, with William Holden as a fellow network news veteran and Faye Dunaway as the young TV executive who has no problem using them both. Brilliant movie.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/


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Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post
If only Winston wouldve said "I gotta have more cowbell !!"
Don't worry, he's a knucklehead and will do/say something stupid in the future.

...as I patiently wait for the total to drop below 55.
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