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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 2989

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TV Notes
‘Fringe’s' John Noble Joins ‘Sleepy Hollow’
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Sep. 20, 20113

EXCLUSIVE: Fringe star John Noble is reuniting with Fox and the series’ co-creators Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci. Noble is set for a major recurring role on Fox’s new drama series Sleepy Hollow, co-created/executive produced by Kurtzman and Orci. He will appear later in the season as Henry Parrish, a kind and reclusive man who possesses supernatural powers that have the potential to help the series’ protagonist, Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison).

The news comes on the heels of a strong premiere for Sleepy Hollow, which posted Fox’s biggest opening for a fall drama series in 7 years with 10.1 million viewers and a 3.5 in 18-49. Noble, who was a fan favorite for his portrayal of eccentric scientist Walter Bishop on Fringe, will also be reprising his role on The Good Wife next season as Matthew Ashbaugh, Alicia’s (Julianna Magulies) very rich, eccentric client who was murdered. He is repped by Seven Summits Management and Coast to Coast.

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Originally Posted by rebkell View Post

Bummer, I liked the show and the characters and I thought the chemistry was getting there, besides the main stars, I liked Benny(Dichen Lachman) and Edgar(Ryan Hurst) too. I always seem to like the one and done shows on TNT.
Me too, other than 'Major Crimes' I thought it was the best show TNT had.
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Critic's Notes
Bad Guy as Hero: Happy Ending?
The ‘Dexter’ Finale: Expect Controversy
By Mike Hale, The New York Times - Sep. 20, 2013

As “Dexter” reaches its final episode on Showtime on Sunday night (9 p.m. ET/PT), the question is, will he go or will he go?

That is, will the serial killer Dexter Morgan head off to happy retirement in Argentina with his family, or end up in some kind of hell, whether above or below ground? Does the man we’ve watched plunging long knives into helpless victims for eight seasons require punishment, no matter how charming and sometimes heroic he’s been?

The proper fate of the seemingly irredeemable hero is a hot topic in prime time right now, with “Breaking Bad” playing out a similar scenario in its fifth and final season, which ends on Sept. 29. Of course, history tells us that these accountings can be ambiguous: Tony Soprano frozen in his booth at the diner, Vic Mackey consigned to a desk job but reaching for his gun.

Those finales (of “The Sopranos” and “The Shield”) suggested that dramatic values and the feelings of fans outweigh moral considerations when it comes to ending popular, long-running cable series, and that a good hero is hard to kill off, no matter how many people he’s killed himself.

The endgame has a different importance, though, in “Dexter,” a more stylized and fanciful show with an even more single-minded focus on its protagonist’s psyche. The question of Dexter’s fate was baked into the gothic premise: a psychopath trained by his adoptive father, a police officer, to be an honorable killer, dispatching only those who needed killing. And the show’s mix of film noir and fairy tale seemed to leave open the possibility of redemption, and even a happy ending.

The result is that, for at least two and perhaps three seasons, it has felt as if we’d been in a long process of preparation for Sunday night, with story lines whose primary purpose was to push Dexter ever closer to an edge that kept receding as the show’s ratings remained strong by premium-cable standards. (Seasons 7 and 8 have been the show’s highest-rated, averaging 2.1 million to 2.2 million viewers.)

It has been a frustrating ride for those of us who loved the show’s early seasons, when it achieved an unusually happy balance of interesting long arc (Dexter’s progress toward humanity and his intense relationship with his foster sister, the dedicated cop Deb) and snappy, short-term storytelling (his season-length battles with other serial killers and his dealings with his droll colleagues in the homicide squad of the Miami police).

In addition to gore, suspense and heartbreak — including the authentically shocking murder of Dexter’s wife at the end of Season 4 — “Dexter” was also marked by its easygoing, sunny vibe and its undercurrent of jabbing workplace humor. As the rest of the cable drama landscape grew increasingly grim and heavy-handed, it was a welcome respite, like picking up a fast and punchy Charles Willeford novel (“Miami Blues,” say) after slogging through a well-reviewed pretentious literary mystery.

Even as the story has lost some of its steam in recent seasons, it’s been worth staying around because of the cast, beginning with Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter, as Dexter and Deb, and including excellent supporting performances by David Zayas, C. S. Lee and Desmond Harrington, as cops who never quite figure out that their blood-spatter analyst is murdering people under their noses.

Ms. Carpenter, the fire to Mr. Hall’s ice in the show’s central relationship, has suffered the most from the need to keep the show going: last season, Deb Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
killed an innocent (a superior officer, no less) to protect her foster brother, and has since been an uneasy partner in his plots.
It’s a development that has strained credulity, even in the hothouse context of “Dexter,” and the waters were further muddied by her admission to a therapist that she was attracted to her brother. It probably would have been better if none of these things had happened, which is to say that it would have been better if the show had wrapped up by Season 5 or 6.

But here we are in Season 8, and the good news is that the pace has picked up recently, as you’d expect. The Icelandic actor Darri Ingolfsson, stepping into the shoes of past guest stars like John Lithgow and Jimmy Smits, has made the Dexter doppelgänger Oliver Saxon a chilling, worthy adversary. Viewers who are up-to-date (spoiler ahead) Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
will know that Dexter’s decision to walk away from a kill — readying himself mentally for that idyllic new life in Argentina —
has had potentially tragic results.

I’ll admit here that I’ve seen the finale and know the answers to my initial questions. I won’t give anything away, except that I expect that it will be controversial — prepare for a Twitter storm around 9:45 p.m. on Sunday — and that while I didn’t buy everything in the episode, I bought the ending. You may or may not think that Dexter’s final resting place is the one he deserves. But it works.

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Technology/Business Notes
BlackBerry to slash 4,500 jobs
By Jon Swartz, USA Today - Sep. 20, 20113

SAN FRANCISCO – BlackBerry says it is slashing 4,500 positions in a last-ditch move to recharge the troubled company.

The Canadian company said it would eliminate that many jobs in a bid to cut expenses, a move that comes two days after The Wall Street Journal reported an expected 40% workforce reduction at the device maker.

BlackBerry has failed to invigorate its business despite unveiling a new smartphone line and software in January. The tailspin has prompted company officials to explore strategic options, including a sale.

Troubled BlackBerry said the layoffs will help slash operating expenses by about 50% by the end of the first quarter of 2015.

"It could make them seem a more attractive investment -- to buy or invest or go private. I think all of those are on the table at this point," says IDC analyst Ramon Llamas.

Further clouding its future, BlackBerry reported Friday it expects a net operating loss of $950 million to $995 million in its fiscal second quarter.

"We are implementing the difficult, but necessary operational changes announced today to address our position in a maturing and more competitive industry, and to drive the company toward profitability," BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said in a statement on the preliminary financial results.

BlackBerry shares tumbled 17% to close Friday at $8.73 a share after trading was temporarily halted.

The smartphone maker also disclosed disappointing sales of its devices. "Selling 3.7 million (smartphones) is not a lot. There's more demand for their older devices," says Llamas.

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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)

8PM - College Football: Kansas State at Texas (LIVE)

8PM - Mike & Molly
(R - Nov. 26)
8:30PM - Mike & Molly
(R - Dec. 3)
9PM - NCIS: Los Angeles
(R - Nov. 20)
10PM - 48 Hours

8PM - American Ninja Warrior
(R - Sep. 16)
9PM - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
(R - Oct. 24)
10PM - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
(R - May 22)
* * * *
11:29PM - Saturday Night Live (Ben Affleck hosts; Kanye West performs; 93 min.)
(R - May 18)

7PM - College Football: Arizona State at Stanford (LIVE)
* * * *
11PM - Animation Domination High-Def (60 min.)

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Austin City Limits: Gary Clark, Jr.; Alabama Shakes (R - Feb. 16)

8PM - Sábado Gigante (3 hrs.)

7PM - Movie: Skyline (2010)
9PM - Fútbol Mexicano Primera División: Club León vs. Chivas de Guadalajara (LIVE)
post #89646 of 93675
Originally Posted by rebkell View Post

Bummer, I liked the show and the characters and I thought the chemistry was getting there, besides the main stars, I liked Benny(Dichen Lachman) and Edgar(Ryan Hurst) too. I always seem to like the one and done shows on TNT.

Same here. I'm done with TNT shows. I'm tired of investing my time into shows only to have them cancelled so soon.
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Originally Posted by joblo View Post

”La Jetee” is one of my favorites, too.

Especially haunting because, iirc, it’s almost entirely b/w still photos with narration, except for one little bit.

(And it’s far superior to “12 Monkeys”, imo.)

Haunting is a great way to describe La Jetee. And I agree that it is FAR superior to 12 Monkeys.
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Originally Posted by BoilerJim View Post

As a U-verse customer, that's another one we won't get to see. Thanks, AT&T. mad.gif

You get what you pay for.
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Maybe they will bring back Southland... One can only hope
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Originally Posted by tomhunter8 View Post

Haunting is a great way to describe La Jetee. And I agree that it is FAR superior to 12 Monkeys.

I gotta read Hot off the Press sooner. By the time I saw these recommendations, the program already aired. Oh well, I put it on my TiVo wishlist, hopefully TCM will air it again soon.
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Originally Posted by Ray Lucca View Post

Maybe they will bring back Southland... One can only hope

King and Maxwell was okay, but I'm not crying over its demise. Now Southland, I'm still crying about that going away. I just can't believe it didn't get more audience as it was both high quality and unique.
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Originally Posted by joblo View Post

Actually, all the CBS early game markets got Bucs-Saints on FOX at 4, so it had pretty good distribution. I watched it on the Baltimore affiliate.

To put a # on it 19% of the country got the game.
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FRIDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog
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Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Sep. 21, 2013

HBO, 8:00 p.m. ET

In 2012, HBO mounted its own HBO Films presentation The Girl, in which Alfred Hitchcock was played by Toby Jones, and Tippi Hedren, Hitch’s star in The Birds, was played by Sienna Miller. Imelda Staunton played Alma, the director’s wife. Tonight, HBO presents this rival film, a similarly themed 2012 drama starring Anthony Hopkins as Hitch, Helen Mirren as his wife, Alma, and Scarlett Johansson as Psycho star Janet Leigh. Also appearing here: Jessica Biel as actress Vera Miles and James D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins. This movie has better over all performances, but neither biography goes off without a Hitch.

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

Less than a decade after the cinema went from silence to sound, director Frank Capra presented this perfect little gem of a romantic comedy that was as heavy on the dialogue as it was on the laughs. Clark Cable and Claudette Colbert star, with Gable playing a reporter and Colbert a runaway heiress. This 1934 classic was the first film to sweep the major Oscars, winning awards not only for Best Picture, but for actor, actress and direction as well.

FXX, 9:00 p.m. ET

These awards were handed out in a pre-Emmy Awards ceremony last Sunday – but you can watch this delayed broadcast anyway, courtesy of the new network FXX. And it’s worth finding, in this case, if only to see Bob Newhart, at age 84, winning and holding his first Emmy ever, getting a standing ovation, and misting up.

Starz!, 9:00 p.m. ET

In this new episode, both Margaret and Mary get married – and there’s also that little issue about a royal pardon to consider…

NBC, 11:29 p.m. ET

Next week, Saturday Night Live returns with its season premiere, and with quite a changeover among its repertory cast. Tonight, NBC repeats last season’s SNL finale, which turned out to be the swan song for several long-time late-night players – including the talented Bill Hader, who, as the outrageous Stefon, gets a regal sendoff during “Weekend Update.”


* * * *

Emmy/Critic's Notes
Quick Thoughts About Sunday's Upcoming Emmy's

A few things to ponder about Sunday’s 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (CBS, 9 p.m. ET)

Neil Patrick Harris is hosting for the first time in a few years, but he’s already demonstrated his hosting chops elsewhere, quite impressively, in other venues. He’s up for an Emmy this year for his work hosting the most recent Tony Awards, which he opened by singing and starring in one of the biggest opening production numbers ever staged on any awards show, period.

He should win – and if he does, it’ll make for a very enjoyable Emmy moment at Sunday’s live show.

* * * *

Not a single one of the actors or actresses on AMC’s Mad Men has ever walked away with an Emmy statuette – not ever, and not including last Sunday’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards. If that changes at Sunday’s Emmys, in either of the supporting or leading categories, it’ll be big news.

* * * *

Bryan Cranston has won for AMC’s Breaking Bad before – three times consecutively between 2008-2010. But the past two years, the Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Emmy went, respectively, to Kyle Chandler of NBC’s Friday Night Lights and Damian Lewis of Showtime’s Homeland.

This, however, should be Cranston’s year. And if he wins, and if series creator Vince Gilligan does, with only one week left until their show’s finale, what a celebration it will be. Breaking Bad has yet to win as Outstanding Drama Series, and this could well be the year.

In Supporting Actor for a Drama Series, what a field: The nominees include both Aaron Paul (Jesse) and Jonathan Banks (Mike) from Breaking Bad, as well as Mandy Patinkin (Saul) from Homeland. Wow.

* * * *

Some of the categories are easier to call than others. For Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series, Claire Danes of Homeland should get it easily. But the winner for Outstanding Comedy Series? ABC’s Modern Family could well win it yet again – but boy, does FX’s Louie deserve some credit. Even the Emmy.

* * * *

For the Creative Arts Emmys, handed out last Sunday, one of the winners was Bob Newhart, winning in the Guest Actor in a comedy series for his role as former TV science-show icon Prof. Proton on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory. It was his first personal Emmy statuette win, despite having been nominated seven times, going back through more than a half-century of TV history.

Astoundingly, the talented comedian and TV icon had never won an Emmy for either The Bob Newhart Show nor Newhart. But his awards shelf wasn’t quite as empty as all the press reports made it sound.

Though he was nominated, but did not win, as one of the writers of 1961’s single-season The Bob Newhart Show, his NBC show did win an Emmy that year – as Outstanding Programming Achievement in the Field of Comedy. So even if the statue went to the executive producer, Newhart scored a big pyrrhic victory that year. Fifty-one years ago.

* * * *

Other winners already announced include Carrie Preston, for her Guest Actress work on CBS’s The Good Wife, and Melissa Leo, for her bold guest work on FX’s Louie. Good for both of them.

* * * *

Sunday’s Emmys will be televised opposite, in part, AMC’s penultimate episode of Breaking Bad. For the first time since the home Betamax videocassette recorder was sold to consumers (including me) in 1977, I’ll be taping the Emmys rather than watching it live.

That’s how much I can’t wait for Breaking Bad.

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Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Notes
'King & Maxwell' Canceled After One Season on TNT
By Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Sep. 20, 2013

TNT will not move forward with King & Maxwell.

The Turner-owned cable network has opted to cancel the Jon Tenney and Rebecca Romijn starrer after one season, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The drama, which opened in June as part of TNT's summer lineup, premiered to a respectable 3.5 million total viewers -- a decent haul but down considerably from its lead-in, Major Crimes. The series did not rank high in the cable network's big roster of summer launches that also included Falling Skies. During the course of its 10-episode season, the series averaged 3.1 million total viewers.
Too Bad for Jon Tenney I feel he could hold down a major lead position in any drama , my problemo with Max & King was Rebecca Romijin , she really doesn't have the acting chops to be the character she portrayed & her being the muscle of the pair just was not believable in any way .
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TV/Emmy Notes
Emmys Highlight a Changing TV Industry
By Brian Stelter, The New York Times - Sep. 21, 2013

LOS ANGELES — The Emmy Awards have witnessed many new players on the red carpet over the years, but there has never been a gate-crasher quite like Netflix.

Its “House of Cards” is nominated for outstanding drama, the first time that a program distributed on the Internet has competed at the Emmys right alongside programs distributed through rabbit ears and satellite dishes. And the prospect that a streaming video service like Netflix could end up a winner at the Emmys ceremony on Sunday night has cast a spotlight on just how profoundly the television landscape has changed.

Still, most television critics and other self-professed Emmys experts suspect that it’s the cable channel AMC, not Netflix, that will have the most to celebrate at the awards show. “Breaking Bad,” which has been nominated for best drama four times before but has never won, is the clear favorite this year. In an e-mail, Debra Birnbaum, the editor in chief of TV Guide Magazine, borrowed a phrase from the series’ meth lord Walter White: “ ‘Breaking Bad’ is the danger this Emmy season.”

And that’s with just the first half of the show’s final season in contention for an Emmy this year. AMC broke the season into two parts, and only the first half was televised before the May cutoff date for Emmy eligibility. But the second half started to be shown in August, just as Emmy voters were receiving their ballots in the mail. What’s more, the reviews have been uniformly glowing, and the ratings have been building as the Sept. 29 finale approaches. Last Sunday’s episode, which generated more than 16,000 Twitter messages a minute at one point, was the most-watched episode yet, with at least 6.4 million viewers.

So it stands to reason that the Emmy results might reflect all the excitement. (Ballots were due on Aug. 30.) This week the Web site Gold Derby, which tracks Hollywood’s horse races, called “Breaking Bad” the “overwhelming front-runner.”

As it turns out, the series will be competing with the Emmys (televised by CBS) on Sunday night. The three-hour backslapping ceremony will begin at 8 p.m. Eastern, while the 75-minute penultimate episode of “Breaking Bad” will begin at 9 p.m. Since the drama prize is handed out last, “Breaking Bad” viewers can change channels afterward to see if the show won. (And if it doesn’t, well, the second half of the final season will be eligible again in 2014.)

For AMC, an Emmy for “Breaking Bad” would be a welcome acknowledgment of how it, like Netflix, has changed television. Until 2008, the only winners of the top drama Emmy, the most coveted of all, were broadcast networks and HBO. Then “Mad Men” came along and AMC became the first ad-supported cable channel to win the top drama award. “Mad Men” kept winning, for four seasons in a row, until Showtime’s “Homeland” snapped its streak last year.

This time around, both are nominated again, along with “Breaking Bad,” “House of Cards,” PBS’s “Downton Abbey,” and HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”

Netflix won’t say how many people have watched “House of Cards.” HBO’s “Thrones” might be the most popular of the six; HBO said the season finale in June attracted nearly 14 million viewers once on-demand viewership was calculated. About 12 million people saw the season finale of “Downton Abbey”; more than seven million saw “Homeland”; and nearly five million saw “Mad Men.”

For the second year in a row, no dramas from the big four broadcast networks were nominated. But the broadcasters were somewhat better represented in the best comedy category, where ABC’s “Modern Family” is vying for its fourth straight win. It is up against NBC’s “30 Rock,” which ended in May and is eligible for the final time; CBS’s “Big Bang Theory”; HBO’s “Girls” and “Veep”; and FX’s “Louie.”

The one Netflix comedy series that some thought would be nominated, “Arrested Development,” was not. But one of the stars of “Arrested,” Jason Bateman, is up for best lead actor in a comedy. Back on the drama side, Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are both up for lead actor and actress for “House of Cards.”

Bruce Rosenblum, the chairman of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, said that Netflix’s nominations illustrated the evolving nature of TV.

“This is just the beginning,” he said. “If you look at the quantity of product being developed at Netflix and Amazon and Hulu and Xbox, it’s certainly reasonable to expect that this evolution will accelerate. Having said that, the quality of content on broadcast and cable is certainly at an all-time high as well.”

Netflix’s presence at the Emmys is the result of rules that were amended about six years ago to allow some (but not all) Internet shows. Netflix is technically already a winner: it picked up two awards for casting and cinematography last weekend at the Creative Arts portion of the Emmys. But to put that in context, HBO picked up 20, including eight for its TV movie “Behind the Candelabra.” The recorded Creative Arts ceremony will be shown by FXX on Saturday.

The prime-time ceremony on CBS will take stock of what many observers have called a golden age of TV. There remains a wide gulf, however, between the audience for the Academy Awards, which drew about 40 million viewers this year, and the Emmys, which attracted about 13 million in 2012. The Academy Awards have some advantages: namely, movie stars and 10 brand-new films in competition each year. The Emmys, on the other hand, often celebrate returning shows with relatively small audiences.

But Mr. Rosenblum voiced confidence that the ratings for the Emmys would defy trend lines and grow over time. “The industry is accelerating from a quality standpoint and from a buzz and pop culture standpoint,” he said, “and that at some point will be reflected in our ratings.”

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TV Notes
'Parks and Recreation' facing changes and crossroads
Cast departures and a prominent place on NBC's Thursday lineup make the sixth season of the-little-show-that-could a challenging time.
By Yvonne Villareal, Los Angeles Times' 'Show Tracker' Blog - Sep. 20, 2013

On a scorching August day in Studio City, Metro buses screech down Ventura Boulevard stamped with NBC advertisements boasting its revamped Thursday block: "NBC's New Family of Comedies." Inside Stage 21 on the CBS Radford Studios, the "Parks and Recreation" cast — the well-tested denizens of said night — appear unfazed by the burden that brings.

Jim O'Heir, who plays clumsy Jerry, has his nose in the pages of People magazine, getting up to speed on reality tabloid star Kate Gosselin's whereabouts. When not scrolling through his phone, Aziz Ansari — a.k.a. the narcissistic and delusional Tom Haverford — can be heard blathering about his newfound obsession with "Scandal." And every so often Amy Poehler, queen bee, sends waves through the set with her cackle, like when Aubrey Plaza, who plays consistently bored April Ludgate, predicts that "unibrows and leather satchels" will be the new trend on the red carpet this season.

The luxury of newfound security? Or the familiarity with tuning out the noise?

The sweet and singular workplace comedy about low-level government employees is proof that little shows are not to be underestimated. The comedy adored by critics and second-screen junkies has been on the bubble season after season; time slot changes and shortened seasons added to its battle wounds. But for a network with few smash hits and more than a few duds, "Parks and Recreation" represents the breed of admired shows that manage to trudge on, giving pleasure and profit amid ratings topsy-turviness (along with cohorts such as "Parenthood" and "Community").

The show's new promotion prompts Poehler to dish up some spontaneous headline options for her baby: "Last show standing"? "And then there was one"? "Parks and determination"?

As the TV world assembles to pay homage to its big players on Emmy Sunday (once again, Poehler is a nominee) and the platoon of new fall shows step up to await their fates, the little show that could is heading into its sixth season. Premiering with a one-hour episode Sept. 26, it finds itself at a challenging juncture: actors are leaving for other pastures, its producers are busy with new gigs, and there's that matter of being the last of a dying breed on a network shifting its comedic brand of comedy.

"A lot is changing," says co-creator and executive producer Michael Schur. "It's a weird bizarro world. It feels like the end of some kind of special era. It's sad, but it's not necessarily a bad thing."

After a precarious start, the show once thought of as little more than a knockoff of "The Office" managed to form its own identity with its style of humor — a mix of silly funny (e.g. those tastefully tasteless murals) and charmingly sweet; a fitting recruit to stand alongside the network's other faster-paced, niche comedies, "The Office" and "30 Rock," and — for a while — "Community."

But that era is slowly making way for comedies with broad appeal in the network's bid to draw a larger audience on Thursday nights, some fraction of the glory it had for decades when it ruled the night with sitcoms such as "The Cosby Show," "Cheers," "Seinfeld" and "Friends." "Parks and Recreation," whose time slot will change to 8 p.m. ET/PT, will lead into three new family-heavy programs: "Welcome to the Family," dealing with teenage pregnancy and culture clashing; "Sean Saves the World," starring NBC Thursday alum Sean Hayes of "Will & Grace" as a single father juggling a teenage daughter and work; and "The Michael J. Fox Show," in which the beloved star appears as a version of himself, juggling his ailment, family life and work.

"We always get stuck in semantics," says Jennifer Salke, NBC's president of entertainment. "We said we want 'broad,' and what we meant was we want the reach of something like 'Modern Family' in concert with other things we have on our schedule." Salke tried to dispel the notion that the new lineup — being branded as a "New Family of Comedy" — means the shows are strictly about families, strictly for families. 'It's a family of comedy stars."

"Parks and Recreation's" newfound time slot also presents other duties: It will serve as the challenger to CBS heavyweight "The Big Bang Theory." It's a joust that seems to elicit one of April's signature eye rolls from nearly the whole cast in terms of the inevitable outcome. "The Big Bang Theory" is broad all right — it averaged nearly 19 million total viewers last season, about six times that of Poehler's crew.

"A lot of people like to drink Budweiser," says Nick Offerman, who plays bacon-loving Ron Swanson and has a metaphor for the competition. "I prefer Guinness myself. I don't go into any bars and say, 'Let me try some Budweiser and let's see if they have improved it any. Beers are precious. I'm going to choose the ones that are thick and full-bodied."

The quirky comedy, from Greg Daniels and Schur, was originally conceived as a spinoff of "The Office." But with Poehler onboard, the pair saw an opportunity to carve a new path, inspired by the local politics of "The Wire" and the theme of optimism rising out of the 2008 presidential election to touch on public life and public service. What resulted was a show centered on small-town government, with Poehler's overly enthusiastic Leslie as the misguided parks and recreation official in Pawnee, Ind.

Nothing would be boring in this small town. Where some comedies might tread lightly in embracing change, "Parks and Recreation" cuddles with it, unafraid of life-transforming events. Characters pairing up as couples. New characters coming in. And Poehler's Leslie isn't doomed to a lifetime of inertia. The fourth season saw Leslie become a member of the city council (a step up!) and, last season, she got married.

It's been a practice born out of necessity. "Because we have always been a bubble show, our philosophy has always been to go for it — it's the TV equivalent of live every day like it's your last," says Schur, citing cable groundbreaker "The Shield" as inspiration. "We've never saved anything for later because we never knew if there would be a later."

Critics seemed to be charmed by it all. James Poniewozick of Time magazine ranked it the No. 1 TV series of 2012. "In an election year, there is ample reason to feel depressed about politics and the people involved in it. So it was doubly welcome to have this full-hearted, brilliant civil-servant sitcom expand its purview from the Pawnee, Ind., parks department to the city council and Washington itself."

Already contending with the temporary absence of Chris Pratt, who stars as lovably oafish Andy Dwyer, who took on a role in a Marvel film, the show will endure more permanent truancies. Rashida Jones, who plays Leslie's BFF Ann Perkins, and Rob Lowe, who joined the series in the second season as excessively optimistic Chris Traeger, will depart in the middle of the season.

"Storytelling-wise it was sort of a perfect storm of a lot of things coming to a head," says Lowe, who was originally tapped to do eight episodes. His deal was up, and Jones was looking to focus on other projects. "This show did something really special for me. I mean, the amount of people who come up to me on the street and say 'Pooping my pants' or point to me and say 'Ann Perkins' is insane."

Their departure, centered on their decision to conceive a baby, is a slow-burn story line this season — the episode The Times sat in on saw Leslie struggling with the news by making abandonment jabs aimed at Ann. "Ann and Leslie are handling it all as well as Rashida and Amy are handling it," Jones says. "Leslie is in denial, she's angry. She's in the stages of grief. I like that the writers are letting the audience and the actors go through this together."

Its crossroads don't stop there. The show is no longer a spring chicken. This season it will celebrate its 100th episode. It's a sensitive time when a series typically shows its age. The numbers have demonstrated that little by little, season after season. The series, a favorite among young viewers attracted to the meta comedy style, drew just a 1.2 rating among the 18-34 demographic last season, according to Nielsen.

It's maturing pains make it all the more trying that Schur and fellow "Parks" executive producer Dan Goor have a new comedy out this fall — "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" on another network (Fox).

Focus hasn't slipped, the producers assure. Goor is more heavily involved with the day-to-day running of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine." Schur splits his time between the two. It helps that both shows are just a golf cart ride away from each other on the Radford lot.

"They've set up such a crazy factory here that if Mike is spending a lot of time away, I haven't noticed," says Ansari.

Plus Poehler is always there. Rather than chase after a movie career post-"Saturday Night Live," she sought sturdier ground in TV much in the way Tina Fey found an afterlife in "30 Rock." The 42-year-old comedian's passion and focus on the show are palpable. Midway through scenes and after, Poehler, who serves as a producer, firmly suggests which jokes should be cut or what cadence to take on a particular line.

Poehler received her fourth Emmy nomination in the lead actress in a comedy series category for "Parks and Recreation," with no win under her belt. This year she's up against Lena Dunham ("Girls"), Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("Veep"), Tina Fey ("30 Rock"), Edie Falco ("Nurse Jackie") and Laura Dern ("Enlightened").

She'll write that speech before she'll comment on how her "little weird child" is now the last one standing on Thursday nights. She instead bears in mind the journey of getting here.

"I remember that anxiety of being at the bottom of show mountain," she recalls, sitting near the craft service table. "When we just had two or three episodes down, I was going crazy. I could hear the knives sharpening and everyone ready to give a very quick opinion of a show — recaps and Twitter have made it terrifying to be out there. But that's part of the demented reason we're all in this business. We like to sweat."

Maybe some recreation is finally in order.

post #89658 of 93675
Originally Posted by BIGA$$TV View Post

I gotta read Hot off the Press sooner. By the time I saw these recommendations, the program already aired. Oh well, I put it on my TiVo wishlist, hopefully TCM will air it again soon.

From what I can tell it is available on Hulu Plus, but not Netflix streaming or Amazon Prime. I hope you get to see it because it is well worth it. smile.gif
post #89659 of 93675
Originally Posted by tomhunter8 View Post

From what I can tell it is available on Hulu Plus, but not Netflix streaming or Amazon Prime. I hope you get to see it because it is well worth it. smile.gif
You can get it via Netflix on disc. It's available on a double feature disc with "Sans Soleil".
post #89660 of 93675
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Review
“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (ABC)
By Joanne Ostrow, Denver Post

Still cant wait to see a N.Y.T. article on this S.H.I.E.L.D. show. biggrin.gif
post #89661 of 93675
Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post

Still cant wait to see a N.Y.T. article on this S.H.I.E.L.D. show. biggrin.gif
...on A.B.C. wink.gif
post #89662 of 93675
Just seeing the promo for "Hostages" you can see it won't make it long. I would bet it doesn't finish the initial run.
post #89663 of 93675
Originally Posted by rebkell View Post

Bummer, I liked the show and the characters and I thought the chemistry was getting there, besides the main stars, I liked Benny(Dichen Lachman) and Edgar(Ryan Hurst) too. I always seem to like the one and done shows on TNT.

Crap mad.gif I liked King and Maxwell as well.
post #89664 of 93675
TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
SUNDAY Network Primetime Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET)

7PM - America's Funniest Home Videos
(R - May 5)
8PM - Once Upon A Time
(R - May 12)
9PM - Revenge (120 min.)
(R - May 12)

7PM - NFL Football: Regional Coverage (continued from 4:25PM, LIVE)
8PM - The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards (LIVE)

7PM - Football Night in America (80 min., LIVE)
8:20PM - NFL Football: Chicago Bears at Pittsburgh Steelers (LIVE)

7PM - American Dad
(R - May 5)
7:30PM - The Simpsons
(R - May 12)
8PM - The Simpsons
(R - May 19)
8:30PM - Bob's Burgers
(R - May 5)
9PM - Family Guy
(R - May 19)
9:30PM - Dads
(R - Sep. 17)

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Last Tango in Halifax
9PM - Masterpiece Mystery! Foyle's War, Series VII: The Cage (90 min.)
10:30PM - The Bletchley Circle
(R - Sep. 13, 2012)

7PM - Aquí y Ahora
8PM - Mira Quién Baila (125 min.)
10:05PM - Sal y Pimienta

6:30PM - Movie: A Bug's Life (1998)
8:30PM - Movie - Battle: Los Angeles (2011)
post #89665 of 93675
Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Sep. 22, 2013

CBS, 8:00 p.m. ET

Neil Patrick Harris is the host this year, which bodes well – he’s the first entertainer since Bob Hope and Johnny Carson who could, if he so chose, spend his year just putting on tuxes and hosting various TV awards shows. There’s also a tribute to two of television’s most memorable events, both from the 1963-64 season: coverage of the assassination and funeral of John F. Kennedy, and the first appearance by The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show.

AMC, 9:00 p.m. ET

I don’t like the word penultimate – not when “next-to-last” takes less time to say. Nor do I like that this is the penultimate episode of Breaking Bad, because it means my biggest current TV thrill is about to end. But anyone who cares about quality TV and isn’t watching these episodes as AMC and Vince Gilligan are unveiling them is really, really missing the boat. Enjoy!

HBO, 9:00 p.m. ET

The body count has risen already this season on Boardwalk Empire – and so has the bawdy count, in both the bedroom and on stage in Chalky’s new nightclub (Margo Bingham begins a recurring role tonight as an Onyx jazz singer named Daughter). The politics are heating up, too, and so is the gang activity, all of which makes this a fast-starting season for this HBO series.

Showtime, 9:00 p.m. ET
One way or another, this is the end of the line for Dexter (Michael C. Hall) – and though I’m curious to see how this show ends and its characters meet their respective fates, I’m no longer emotionally invested in Dexter the way I was back when the Trinity Killer was around. What’s been happening this season seems so disconnected, so abrupt, so inconsistent and sometimes so puzzlingly random, it’s hard to buy either the logic or the conflict. But because I stayed with Dexter the whole way, I’ll be here to the bitter end – even if, creatively, it ends up as a little bitter.

Showtime, 10:00 p.m. ET
Last week’s episode provided an unexpected and revealing twist, as Ray (Liev Schreiber) faced up to a long-buried secret, that his brother was not the only Donovan sibling who was abused as a child by the same priest – the priest that paid for his sins with a circular mark on his forehead that had nothing to do with Ash Wednesday. And tonight, the Feds are circling – for Ray as well as his father, Mickey, who’s done some hot-tempered close-range shooting of his own.


* * * *

TV Review
Put NBC's 'Blacklist' On Your Wachlist

Very little about the premise of NBC’s Blacklist, which has a canny career criminal ominously advising a young female profiler, is original – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. Because it is…

The two key stock ingredients in this new NBC drama series, which premieres Monday night at 10 ET, come straight from Silence of the Lambs (most-wanted villain guides and manipulates and challenges spunky woman FBI agent) and Alias (beautiful young spy has looks and skills to kill, and a mysterious past, just like the loved ones around her). You hear the overall idea – each week, the bad guy works with his good-girl “protégé” to apprehend other global villains – and the first impulse is to yawn. Especially since NBC already has Hannibal, a sleepy prequel with a similar pedigree.


Except The Blacklist stars, as the central, inscrutable “bad guy,” James Spader, who plays the role of Raymond “Red” Reddington as part bully, part Mensa showoff, part Jedi master, and part Cheshire cat. It’s a lot to ask of an actor to take on a role so similar to that for which Anthony Hopkins won an Oscar, much less to make it his own, but Spader does both.

The Blacklist creator Joe Bokenkamp has handed Spader the first TV series in which the actor gets to join, and shape, from the start. The former movie star originally shifted to TV as part of a one-season reboot of ABC’s The Practice, which, with his boldly original character of attorney Alan Shore in tow, morphed into the equally unusual Boston Legal. After that, Spader appeared for one season on another series which, like The Practice, was maneuvering to keep going despite the absence of its central star: NBC’s The Office, which lost Steve Carell only to have Spader step in, temporarily, as gonzo boss Robert California.

For The Blacklist, though, Spader is starting with a new show, from scratch. And from the opening scene (shown at top), when his most-wanted-fugitive Red walks into the FBI headquarters and surrenders, he not only owns it. He makes us want to buy it, too.

That his co-star, Megan Boone, is such a relatively fresh face and unknown factor, is another plus (if you know her at all, it’s probably from playing the deputy district attorney on the short-lived Law & Order: LA, but that’s not very likely). In Monday’s premiere episode, they meet in a way that seems cruelly unfair. Even though he’s sequestered behind the most escape-proof set-up a maximum-security facility can rig up, when she enters the same space, it’s as though she’s literally walking into the lion’s den, and could be swallowed whole in one bite, with Spader’s confident, charismatic, sinister schemer licking his chops.

But Boone, as she proves even before the initial hour is up, has some solid acting chops of her own. It’s one reason The Blacklist works. Boone’s character of new FBI profiler Elizabeth Keen has secrets of her own – and it’s clear that she, like Red, is not to be underestimated or easily dismissed.

Also arguing against instant dismissal of this new series: In the first episode, a lot of money and effort is spent to make the action sequences riveting and impressively staged. That sort of money will vanish soon enough, but it’s a good grabber with which to start the show, and propels the narrative so that the real red meat, Red’s one-on-one verbal duels with Elizabeth, arrives right on time, and with the right amount of spice.

All that’s missing, for now, are soma fava beans and a nice chianti…

post #89666 of 93675
I dunno, Blacklist is still a run of the mill procedural at its base and we have way too many of those now. Regardless of the dialog or Spader, this show is just more of the same.
post #89667 of 93675
Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

I dunno, Blacklist is still a run of the mill procedural at its base and we have way too many of those now. Regardless of the dialog or Spader, this show is just more of the same.
That's why we have so many channels and choices to choose from, unlike the pre-cable days. smile.gif
post #89668 of 93675
Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post

Originally Posted by joblo View Post

Actually, all the CBS early game markets got Bucs-Saints on FOX at 4, so it had pretty good distribution. I watched it on the Baltimore affiliate.

To put a # on it 19% of the country got the game.

Which is 33% above average for a single header in a 7 game set.
post #89669 of 93675
Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

I dunno, Blacklist is still a run of the mill procedural at its base and we have way too many of those now. Regardless of the dialog or Spader, this show is just more of the same.
Yes it is, but when you have an actor like Spader often the procedural part is of minor importance, the character is the reason to watch. 'Elementary' is a procedural at heart as well, but Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Lui are the reason I watch, not so much the who did what how.
post #89670 of 93675
Anyone watch NFL BlueZone today (at least the first 17 minutes worth)? Yes, Gargamel has struck and everyone, including host Scott Hanson and even game referees, have been turned into smurfs!

Even logos have turned blue!

WTF is going on around here? eek.gif
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