or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › HDTV › HDTV Programming › Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 3024

post #90691 of 93656
TV Notes
Patrick Swayze film 'Ghost' set for TV adaptation
By Cindy Clark, USA Today - Nov. 13, 2013

Who can forget that steamy pottery scene?

The 1990 Oscar-winning film Ghost, which starred Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg, is being adapted for TV.

Writers from the TV series Fringe have the task of adapting the film for the small screen, announced Paramount Television.

No casting details have been released, nor it is clear what plot line the TV adaptation will follow. In the film, Moore stars as a widow who is able to communicate with her murdered husband (Swayze) through a medium (Goldberg).

Ghost, which won Oscars for original screenplay and supporting actress for Goldberg, already has been adapted into a Broadway musical that has been running internationally since 2011.

Swayze died in 2009 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

post #90692 of 93656
TV Notes
'Body Of Proof' Not Returning, Dana Delany Confirms
By HuffingtonPost.com Staff - Nov. 13, 2013

"Body of Proof" will not be returning from the dead. Series star Dana Delany took to Twitter to share the news.

Sorry to disappoint some, but #bodyofproof will not be resurrected. May she rest in peace. Time for new adventures!

Deadline reported ABC was looking at bringing the medical examiner drama back for midseason after "Lucky 7" crashed and burned in the timeslot previously held by "Body of Proof."

During a recent visit to HuffPost Live, Delany was asked about the cancellation of her 3-year-old drama and pointed out the difference in ratings between "Body of Proof" and "Lucky 7."

"I feel like we had three strong seasons," Delany said. "I would just like to mention that the show that replaced us got half the amount of viewers that we did. I think we did OK. I think they could've kept us a little bit longer and I think they're going to probably regret it."

post #90693 of 93656
TV Review
‘Ground Floor,’ shoulda reached higher
New TBS workplace comedy, while capablly done, plays it safe
By Tom Conroy, Media Life Magazine - Nov. 13, 2013

Traditionally, in workplace sitcoms, the attractive male and female leads are, understandably, attracted to each other, and the question is “Will they or won’t they?” This issue can go unresolved for seasons.

But times change. Nowadays, some lead couples are “hooking up” before the first commercial break in the pilot. Then the question becomes “Will they or won’t they again?”

That’s the situation in the premiere episode of TBS’s “Ground Floor,” an otherwise very traditional workplace comedy that focuses on the relationship between an up-and-coming young finance executive, Brody (Skylar Astin), and Jenny (Briga Heelan), a woman who works in the company’s maintenance department.

Once the question is settled, the series becomes a slick, professionally made comedy with skilled actors making the most of one-note characters. Though the writers could have mined the relationship between a 1 percenter and a 99 percenter for satire or social commentary, they’re content with locating the show in Sitcomland. Viewers who are still happy in that familiar territory will enjoy themselves.

Premiering with two episodes this Thursday, Nov. 14, at 10 p.m., the series kicks off with Brody and his work buddy, Threepeat (Rene Gube), sneaking off to an office party, where Brody starts flirting with a pretty stranger, Jenny.

Brody and Threepeat get a message from their boss, Mr. Mansfield (John C. McGinley), which they decide to ignore. In a move that will be repeated throughout the four episodes made available for review, Mansfield pops up behind them.

Nonetheless, the show cuts to a shot of Brody and Jenny in bed the next morning. After joking that she’s texted a picture of him to her mom, Jenny skips out.

The next day Brody discovers that Jenny has a unspecified desk job on the building’s ground floor, sharing space with Tori (Alexis Knapp), a club-hopping slacker; Derrick (James Earl), a good-hearted maintenance guy; and Harvard (Rory Scovel), a socially awkward IT guy who has a serious crush on Jenny. “We’re just in that magical part of a relationship before she knows she’s in one,” he says.

In a reversal of the usual roles, Brody is more interested in a relationship than Jenny is, even though Mansfield, who oscillates between being a boss from hell and a concerned mentor, warns him that a ground-floor girl is looking for a meal ticket.

Jenny, meanwhile, tells Brody that she thinks that “upstairs guys” are kind of sad. In fact, the show portrays the life of the high-paid suits as stressful and dog-eat-dog, with ridiculously long hours, while the ground floorers generally spend their days napping, taking “dance breaks” or holding swivel-chair races. They punch out at 5.

The show keeps us from drawing any political inferences from this portrayal of the working class as happier than the rich by staying in Sitcomland. Every character delivers glib speechlets that contain their own setup and punch line, and their personalities remain paper thin.

John McGinley provides another version of his menacing senior doctor from “Scrubs,” which was created by this show’s co-creator, Bill Lawrence. As this series progresses, Mansfield’s ability to think a step ahead of his minions becomes preternatural. Although this joke clashes with the rest of the show, McGinley’s charisma keeps us diverted.

The actors playing Brody and Jenny are easy on the eyes, but their chemistry is minimal. This may be because the writers keep giving him character traits that are usually used on sitcoms to suggest that a guy is a closeted gay man.

Brody tells Jenny that he knows every part in “Wicked,” that his favorite memory is singing Elton John songs with his father at a piano bar and that his morning routine includes “six minutes of hair zhuzhing.”

Viewers may start to wonder whether the show is replacing “Will they or won’t they?” with “Is he or isn’t he?” But this vein of comedy is probably more indicative of sitcom writers’ tendency to grasp any possible punch line, regardless of logic or internal consistency.

Although that style of writing is gradually fading away, Lawrence is good at it. Viewers will be satisfied with “Ground Floor” as long as they don’t expect anything groundbreaking.

post #90694 of 93656
TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
THURSDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)

8PM - Once Upon A Time in Wonderland
9PM - Grey's Anatomy
10PM - Scandal
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Sarah Silverman; illusionist David Blaine; Charlie Wilson performs; unnecessary censorship)
12:37AM - Nightline

8PM - The Big Bang Theory
8:31PM - The Millers
9:01PM - The Crazy Ones
9:31PM - Two and a Half Men
10:01PM - Elementary
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Claire Danes; Will Forte; Metric performs)
12:37AM - Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Donald Sutherland; Casey Wilson)

8PM - Parks and Recreation
8:30PM - Parks and Recreation
9:01PM - Sean Saves the World
9:30PM - The Michael J. Fox Show
10PM - Parenthood
* * * *
11:34AM - The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (Craig Ferguson; Jaimie Alexander; JRand and Flo Rida perform)
12:36AM - Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (Damian Lewis; Steve Coogan; Sheryl Crow and Wanz perform with The Roots)
1:36AM - Last Call With Carson Daly (Erin Foley; "Dear Mr. Watterson''; Two Door Cinema Club performs)

8PM - The X-Factor (LIVE)
9PM - Glee

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - The 'This Old House' Hour
9PM - JFK: American Experience (Part 1 of 2)
(R - Nov. 11)

8PM - Porque El Amor Manda
9PM - La Tempestad
10PM - Mentir Para Vivir

8PM - The Vampire Diaries
9PM - Reign

8PM - Marido en Alquiler
9PM - La Reina del Sur
10PM - Santa Diabla

11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Geoffrey Rush)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian)
12:01AM - @Midnight (Paul Scheer; Tom Lennon; Doug Benson)

11:05PM - Conan (Melissa McCarthy; Billy Gardell; Chris Elliott)
12:05AM - The Pete Holmes Show (Moshe Kasher)

11PM - Chelsea Lately (Kerry Washington; comic Ben Gleib; comic Cameron Esposito; comic Julian McCullough)

Check Local Listings - Arsenio (Taye Diggs; Terrence Howard; Morris Chestnut; Harold Perrineau)
post #90695 of 93656
TV Notes
Mark Wahlberg, Donnie Wahlberg to appear on A&E reality series 'Wahlburgers'
By David Hinckley, New York Daily News - Nov. 12, 2013

A&E will be serving up more Wahlbergs starting in January.

"Wahlburgers," a reality show whose stars include Donnie and Mark Wahlberg, debuts Jan. 22.

The show, which was announced back in January, has been filming all year at Wahlburgers, the family's burger restaurant in Hingham, Mass.

Paul Wahlberg, older brother of the more famous Donnie and Mark, is executive chef at the restaurant and will probably be the most prominent family member in the show.

Donnie is busy with "Blue Bloods" and other work, while Mark does a lot of film and TV production.

Donnie is also producing another reality show, "Don't Rock the Boat," whose first episode on the TV Guide Network will feature his old boy band, New Kids on the Block, taking a week-long cruise with their fans.

"Wahlburgers" will focus on family drama and behind-the-scenes restaurant workings.

post #90696 of 93656
TV/Technology Notes
Netflix service gets a TV makeover
By Scott Martin, USA Today - Nov. 13, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO — Netflix today launched a makeover of the streaming video service, a move that comes after a succession of new entertainment titles.

The Los Gatos, Calif.-based company has redesigned its interface for better discovery of its catalog on TVs. The new look will display three large slide-show images, a teaser synopsis and one personalized detail chosen by Netflix.

"We want discovery to be richer," says Chris Jaffe, vice president of product innovation at Netflix "I knew one of my personal frustrations was I felt like today's Netflix experience didn't give me enough reasons for why I should watch this vs. that."

Netflix's old look gave viewers less detail and was dated. The streaming service's titles appeared much like rectangular images of VHS boxes, with descriptions, information on the number of episodes and ratings. The new version has taken two large Netflix-selected still images from scenes and added them to the studio art.

Netflix says the redesign to its user interface is the biggest update to its TV experience in the company's history. The company has been quietly testing it out on several hundred thousand U.S. customers, and changes have resulted in greater member engagement, according to Netflix.

Netflix has also launched predictive and visual search. That allows for members to type in just a few characters, as done with Google searches, to get at titles. Results will be served with images from titles, as well.

"Improving the search is certainly going to help people connect with more content that they enjoy. But there is still more improvement they can make if they want to compete against the growing number of apps that people are going to find on their new game consoles, Rokus, Apple TVs and mobile devices," says Gartner analyst Brian Blau.

While it's been a few years since Netflix has remodeled its look, the Internet streaming service has been steadily marching out new deals for content. Last week, Netflix announced a deal with Disney's Marvel to bring original programs to the service in 2015. Netflix also announced last week that it would launch its original documentary The Short Game to its service in December as part of a larger push of first-run material from Netflix.

The service has won viewers with originals such as Emmy-winning House of Cards and Orange is the New Black in a bid to become an original programming powerhouse.

The Netflix service redesign will affect game consoles, smart TVs with apps, set-top boxes and Blu-ray players. The makeover isn't intended for mobile devices. Netflix has done back-end work that will enable new features to appear simultaneously across platforms. Also, members will be able to find and launch titles more quickly.

The new service will be available worldwide in two weeks.

post #90697 of 93656
Nielsen Cable Overnights (18-49)
Big ratings for big games on ESPN
Michigan State-Kentucky draws 4 million total viewers
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Nov. 13, 2013

Two of the most highly anticipated games of the early college basketball season drew big ratings for ESPN Tuesday night.

The Michigan State-Kentucky and Duke-Kansas men’s contests finished among the top four shows on cable for the day, according to Nielsen overnights.

The No. 2 Spartans surprised the No. 1 Wildcats with a 78-74 victory that drew 4 million viewers from 7:30 to 10:02 p.m.

It was the night’s No. 2 show on cable behind FX’s “Sons of Anarchy,” which averaged 4.381 million viewers.

It seemed the lower-ranked teams were on fire Tuesday.

Right after the Spartans’ victory, No. 5 Kansas knocked off No. 4 Duke 94-83 in a contest that drew 2.977 million viewers from 10:19 p.m. to 12:40 a.m.

The games both did well among adults 18-49 too. The Kentucky win averaged a 1.4 rating while the Kansas victory posted a 1.3.

Still, neither was anywhere close to “Sons,” which drew a 2.3 in the demo at 10 p.m. and finished first in 18-49s among all broadcast and cable competition in the hour.

“The O’Reilly Factor” was the No. 1 cable news show of the night and No. 5 overall with 2.888 million viewers.

The night’s top cable programs:

1. FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” (10 p.m.) 2.3; 2. ESPN’s “College Basketball: Michigan State/Kentucky” (7:30 p.m.) 1.4; Tie-3. ESPN’s “College Basketball: Kansas/Duke” (10:19 p.m.) and ESPN’s “College Basketball Scoreboard” (10:02 p.m.) 1.3.

Total Viewers: 1. FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” (10 p.m.) 4.38 million; 2. ESPN’s “College Basketball: Michigan State/Kentucky” (7:30 p.m.) 4.00 million; 3. ESPN’s “College Basketball Scoreboard” (10:02 p.m.) 3.25 million.

post #90698 of 93656
TV Review
Fox's 'Almost Human' poses a grave, humorless future
By Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Nov. 14, 2013

Part "RoboCop," part "Blade Runner," Fox's "Almost Human" is as patched together and Frankenstein-like as its lead human character, John Kennex (Karl Urban, "Star Trek"). It is mostly humorless, grave sci-fi, but in the pilot the best moments are the most human.

Dark and dystopian, "Almost Human" (previews 8 p.m. Sunday; time slot premiere at 8 p.m. Monday, WPGH) is set 30 years in the future when crime levels have surged in America and all human police officers are paired with robot partners. Monday's pilot begins with Kennex caught in a firefight where a robotic officer urges him to leave a wounded human colleague behind.

"He will bleed to death before you get him out of here," the robot says. "Others have a better statistical chance."

Being the action hero that he is, Kennex dismisses the synthetic officer's cold, calculating logic and attempts to help his buddy, but a blast severs Kennex's leg below the knee and puts him in a coma for 17 months.

Flash forward to when he's up and about -- with the help of a bionic leg -- and Kennex struggles to remember who ambushed him. He visits an underground "recollectionist," a doctor who puts him in a machine that attempts to bring buried memories to the surface. In addition to blurry images of the altercation, Kennex also remembers his ex-girlfriend, who disappeared by the time he came out of his coma.

Kennex, suffering from PTSD, is not eager to return to work, but his boss, Sandra Maldonado (Lili Taylor, "Six Feet Under"), insists he come back. His first mission with an advanced, battle-ready robot partner, an MX-43, does not end well for the robot, leading Kennex to be paired with Dorian (Michael Ealy, "Sleeper Cell"), a discontinued android with more human, less computer-like responses to situations.

The DRN line of robots had "some difficulties with emotional issues," explains technician Rudy Lom (Mackenzie Crook, "Pirates of the Caribbean"), who sees the line as more human than its MX-43 replacements.

Kennex is wary of Dorian, whom he refers to as a synthetic.

"I'm not a fan of that term," Dorian huffs.

But in true prime-time network TV style, by the end of the pilot the pair has reached a better level of understanding. Yes, it's a little predictable and pat, but the Kennex-Dorian relationship is also the best part of "Almost Human." It's the most human heart of the story. In-fighting in the police squad -- Detective Richard Paul (Michael Irby) doesn't welcome Kennex or Dorian into the fold, saying, "It's perfect: Two cops from the scrap heap. This is going to be more pathetic than I thought!" -- and the possibility of a mole inside the police force who's leaking information to the faceless crime mob, the Syndicate, has a stale, ho-hum, seen-it-before vibe.

It's completely unclear what actress Minka Kelly ("Friday Night Lights") is doing here as a fellow cop. Perhaps she'll be a future love interest for Kennex, but in the pilot she's a personality-free supporting player.

The show's futuristic production design, though familiar, looks expensive by TV standards and it's questionable how much future episodes will resemble the pilot. (Studios always spend more on the pilot, because it's partially a sales tool, than they do on subsequent episodes.)

"Almost Human" is almost OK but nothing more than that, at least in its first episode, which is all Fox made available at deadline.

When: 8 p.m. Sunday and Monday, Fox.

post #90699 of 93656
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Critic's Notes
10 Great (and Not-So-Great) Game Shows You Probably Forgot About

I don't know why GSN doesn't show more of these. It seems like they've turned into the Family Feud network lately.
Edited by TheRatPatrol - 11/14/13 at 5:07am
post #90700 of 93656
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Notes
'Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell’ Cancelled by FXX
By AJ Marechal, Variety.com - Nov. 13, 2013

After a recent move from FX to newbie cabler FXX, “Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell” has been cancelled, FXX has confirmed. Its final episode will air Sunday.

Latenight series, which ran for two seasons, debuted on FX in August 2012 before transitioning to FXX this fall. Each seg of the nightly yakker features comedian W. Kamau Bell discussing news and pop culture, along with interviewing celeb guests.

“Totally Biased” is the second latenight talkshow that FX Networks has pulled the plug on since summer. FX canned “Brand X with Russell Brand” in June.

FXX did not have comment on the cancellation of “Totally Biased.”


I watched the weekly edition but the daily wore me out with wasted time. Bell would encourage applause at announcement of guest, Introduction of guest and again at end of show.Tell some jokes dammit!
post #90701 of 93656
Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Nov. 14, 2013

CNN, 9:00 p.m. ET

Next year, CNN will present a new 10-part documentary series called The Sixties, executive produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman (whose joint credits in this regard include the miniseries John Adams and The Pacific for HBO), and Mark Herzog. But as a sneak preview of sorts, CNN and The Sixties are previewing one entry in the series tonight, keyed to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Full disclosure: I’ve been interviewed on camera for one of the series’ subsequent installments. But since I’m watching every JFK special televised this month, I’ll be watching this one with great interest anyway.

Sundance, 9:00 p.m. ET
Part 3.
Okay. Now this series really gets creepy. Camille (Yara Pilartz) decides to adopt a new persona – the old “visiting cousin” trick – in order to explain her prolonged appearance in town. It also gives her an excuse to hone in on her old, and now older, boyfriend, to see if she can rekindle his interest. For this genre, it’s a new twist, and a fascinating one.

CBS, 9:01 p.m. ET

This sitcom, though the most popular new comedy of the fall season, has yet to find its sea legs – and that will remain true, at least until something in the program itself is as funny as the closing-credits outtakes. Perhaps tonight, the show will turn that corner: the guest star is Brad Garrett, and it certainly should help, allowing Robin Williams to play opposite someone of Garrett’s stature – comic and otherwise.

TCM, 9:15 p.m. ET

This 1945 movie has a truly oddball premise: the great showman Flo Ziegfeld (played by William Powell) looks down from heaven, thinking about the good old days, when he imagines what it would be like to mount one more amazing theatrical review. And we see what he’s thinking, as one star after another steps up to show off: Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Fanny Brice, Gene Kelly, Esther Williams, Lena Horne, and so on. And watch for Lucille Ball, six years before I Love Lucy, all glammed up as the whip-wielding “trainer” of a bevy of catty dancers.

NBC, 10:00 p.m. ET

The political campaign heats up even more tonight, as Kristina (Monica Potter), flush from success at a recent town meeting, gets smeared by her suddenly defensive opponent, and decides whether to fight fire with fire. Or, at least, mud with mud.

post #90702 of 93656
WEDNESDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog
post #90703 of 93656
Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
A night of gains for broadcast networks
Shows on ABC, CBS Fox and NBC see notable growth
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Nov. 14, 2013

These days most overnight ratings stories are a recitation of what show dropped what percentage from last week.

But last night a number of programs bucked that common trend.

Shows on ABC, CBS, Fox, the CW and NBC saw notable growth compared to their most recent episodes.

New ABC comedy “Super Fun Night” saw the biggest jump, up 21 percent from its most recent episode two weeks ago a 2.1 adults 18-49 rating at 9:30 p.m., according to Nielsen.

ABC’s regular schedule was preempted last week by the Country Music Association Awards.

Of course, “Fun” still dropped nearly half of lead-in “Modern Family’s” 3.8 rating, but the growth could be enough to convince ABC to give the show a full-season order.

“Family” (down 3 percent from its most recent episode) was ABC’s only show to see declines. “The Middle” (up 5 percent to a 2.3), “Back in the Game” (up 6 percent to a 1.8) and “Nashville” (up 7 percent to a 1.5) all rose.

The other networks undoubtedly benefited from not competing against ABC’s CMAs, which knocked several programs to season lows last week.

CBS’s “Criminal Minds” saw the second-biggest bump on the night, growing 17 percent from last week to a 2.7. Lead-out “CSI” was up 6 percent to a 1.9.

Fox’s “The X Factor” was also up significantly, 13 percent, from last week’s series low, drawing a 1.7 from 8 to 10 p.m. Still, that was well below the 2.4 the Wednesday edition of the show has averaged this season.

NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” hit a four-week high with a 1.6, up 7 percent over last week.

And the CW’s “Arrow” tied a series high among adults 18-34 with a 1.1 and set a new series best among men 18-34 with a 1.4 at 8 p.m.

CBS was first for the night among 18-49s with a 2.4 average overnight rating and a 7 share. ABC was second at 2.2/6, Fox third at 1.7/5, NBC fourth at 1.4/4, Univision fifth at 1.3/4, CW sixth at 0.9/2 and Telemundo seventh at 0.6/2.

As a reminder, all ratings are based on live-plus-same-day DVR playback, which includes shows replayed before 3 a.m. the night before. Seven-day DVR data won’t be available for several weeks. Forty-eight percent of Nielsen households have DVRs.

At 8 p.m. CBS led with a 2.4 for “Survivor,” followed by ABC with a 2.1 for “Middle” (2.3) and “Game” (1.8). Fox was third with a 1.7 for “The X Factor,” Univision fourth with a 1.5 for “Porque el Amor Manda,” NBC fifth with a 1.4 for “Revolution,” CW sixth with a 1.1 for “Arrow” and Telemundo seventh with a 0.5 for “Marido en Alquiler.”

ABC took the lead at 9 p.m. with a 2.9 for “Family” (easily highest-rated show of the night with a 3.8) and “Super” (2.1), while CBS slipped to second with a 2.7 for “Minds.” Fox was third with a 1.7 for more “Factor,” NBC fourth with a 1.6 for “SVU,” Univision fifth with a 1.4 for “La Tempestad,” Telemundo sixth with a 0.8 for “La Reina de Sur” and CW seventh with a 0.6 for “The Tomorrow People.”

CBS regained the lead at 10 p.m. with a 1.9 for “CSI,” with ABC second with a 1.5 for “Nashville.” NBC was third with a 1.1 for “Dateline,” Univision fourth with a 1.0 for “Mentir para Vivir” and Telemundo fifth with a 0.5 for “Santa Diabla.”

CBS also finished first for the night among households with a 6.6 average overnight rating and an 11 share. ABC was second at 4.6/7, NBC and Fox tied for third at 3.6/6, Univision was fifth at 1.8/3, CW sixth at 1.5/2 and Telemundo seventh at 0.8/1.


* * * *

TV Notes
‘Parks and Rec,’ on borrowed time
The veteran NBC comedy is struggling on Thursday
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Nov. 14, 2013

NBC’s schedule is a study in contrasts right now. For as strong as the network looks on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, where it’s finished first in primetime nearly every week this season, it’s equally weak on Wednesday and Thursday, where new and old shows alike are struggling.

One of them, the excellent comedy “Parks and Recreation,” airs a special one-hour episode tonight at 8 p.m., returning after taking the week off for a special episode of “The Voice.”

“Parks” will be in its current timeslot only another month and a half.

NBC shuffled its midseason schedule after axing new comedy “Welcome to the Family” last month. “Parks” will move to 8:30 p.m. in January, airing behind “Community,” which returns for season five.

“Parks” was already in trouble before NBC decided to make changes. The show has averaged a 1.2 adults 18-49 rating this season, its sixth, tied for 73rd on broadcast and down from a 1.6 last season.

In fact, one of the shows “Parks” tied with is timeslot competitor “The Vampire Diaries,” a rare instance of a CW show actually matching something on the Big Four. That is not a good sign for “Parks’” future.

Last year “Parks” earned renewal mainly because NBC did not have many returning sitcoms and the network needed some stability on Thursday.

But after posting historically low numbers on the night this fall, NBC may be tempted to start from scratch on Thursdays next year, perhaps moving to drama or reality after so many years of struggle with comedies.

“Parks” will at least get to finish out this season, which is building toward some big changes mid-year. Longtime cast members Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones are leaving, downsizing a supporting cast that has become quite big by comedy standards.

post #90704 of 93656
TV Notes
Fall Status Report
Solid New Dramas, Soft Comedies, Where Do Networks Stand, Does Tracking Matter, Will NBC Keep Must See TV
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Nov. 14, 2013

Seven weeks into the 2013-14 season, the dust has started to settle, the strongest new shows have been renewed, the biggest duds have been cancelled, and the borderline performers have been getting a mix of both. Some anticipated time slot wars materialized, like the Tuesday 8 PM hour where incumbent NCIS and newcomers Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Originals all have been competitive, and some didn’t, like the hyped Blacklist-Hostages showdown, which turned to be a lopsided match. Which leads us to one of the lessons of this fall, that pre-launch tracking is not that reliable.

Until the very start of the fall season, CBS’ Hostages was tracking on par with NBC’s The Blacklist. But when ratings for premiere night were in, Blacklist more than doubled Hostages‘ demo tally. While boosted by DVR viewing, Hostages never became the breakout hit it was tipped to be.

What has mattered in a big way this fall are lead-ins, even with DVR penetration at 48%. NBC’s Blacklist and hot sophomore drama Chicago Fire have been helped tremendously by The Voice. CBS’ new Thursday comedies The Millers and The Crazy Ones owe their well being (and back orders) to The Big Bang Theory. When Big Bang switched to a repeat, the newbies’ fortunes plunged. (list of all new fall shows with their status below)

On the surface, a whopping nine new comedy series have been given back orders on the Big 4 networks (all but ABC’s Super Fun Night and NBC’s Sean Saves The World have received full-season pickups), along with NBC’s The Michael J. Fox Show, which had a 22-episode order, vs. three new dramas, including the Season 2 pickup for Fox’s Sleepy Hollow. But the three dramas – Blacklist, Sleepy Hollow and Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. — are the freshmen that have shown breakout potential this fall while comedies had another off year. That is not terribly alarming to network brass as some comedy hits have taken time to grow, such as Cheers, Seinfeld and more recently The Office, The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother. Problem is that we haven’t seen much of that in the past couple of years. Instead, there have been a ton of comedies that started promisingly (like 2 Broke Girls and Suburgatory) and then lost their way or started off soft and never went to another level before the cancellation ae fell on them after 1, 2 or 3 seasons, like ABC’s Happy Endings and Don’t Trust The B—- In Apt 23, NBC’s Whitney and Fox’s Ben & Kate.

There has been an increase in the comedy volume put out by the networks in the past couple of years. That, combined with the lack of half-hour breakouts, has led to many but weakened comedy blocks. We have the most two-hour comedy blocks on the Big 4 — five — in a decade. But none of them has done particularly well. At least, CBS’ Thursday and Monday, ABC’s Wednesday and Fox’s Tuesday lineups each has one-two strong performers to keep them afloat, including CBS’ The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother, ABC’s Modern Family and New Girl (Just don’t look at New Girl’s series 1.7 18-49 rating last night.) The Fox comedies, pretty soft in Live+Same Day, often get solid DVR bumps. But there is no way to sugarcoat the performance of NBC’s Thursday comedy block post-The Office. The numbers have been so dismal that some observers suggest NBC would have to do something drastic, partially or completely overhauling the once-Must See TV lineup like Jeff Zucker’s controversial scheduling of The Apprentice at 9 PM on the night.


Overall, it has been a decent fall for the broadcast networks. In most current, season to date ratings through last week, which include available Live+3 and Live+7 data, the networks are roughly on par with last fall. Fox (7.6 million viewers 2.5 in adults 18-49) is up 6% in total viewers and flat in 18-49 through last week. But the network quickly is erasing the big gains posted by this year’s strong baseball post-season despite solid ratings for newcomers Sleepy Hollow and MasterChef Junior. The top culprits: The X Factor, which is continuing its ratings tailspin, and Glee, which has barely registered this fall save for the Cory Monteith episodes, with the comedy block not that far behind.


NBC (9.6 million, 3.1) is up 10% in total viewers, down 3% in 18-49 and repeating as No.1 in the demo for the fall. With strong performances from newbie The Blacklist and sophomore Chicago Fire, plus The Voice and Sunday Night Football, if it weren’t for Thursday night dragging NBC’s averages down, the network would’ve been up year-to-year in 18-49. CBS (12 million, 2.8), is up 3% in total viewers and flat in 18-49. None of CBS’ new shows have popped and the network’s Monday night is still a problem, even after Mike & Molly rejoined the lineup. Still, CBS boasts the biggest comedy and drama on broadcast TV with Big Bang and NCIS. ABC (8.7 million, down 4%; 2.5, down 4%) is not in very good shape. Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. is doing well when DVR is factored in but it has not been as consistent as Blacklist or Sleepy Hollow, still dropping every week and getting surpassed by Sleepy Hollow in Live+SD for the first time this week. Scandal has been solid, but most of the network’s other returning series are down and freshmen have underwhelmed.


The CW, which just gave all three of its freshman drama series full-season orders, is running up 8% year to year in total viewers (1.9 million) and up 9% in 18-49 (0.8) on the strength of its genre series, including strong new addition The Originals. Proving once again how limited traditional TV ratings are, especially among younger viewers, 40% of The CW’s total overall audience for its season premieres this fall came from digital viewing, with digital viewing of full episodes up 50% vs. last year.

Here is a list of all new fall series that have premiered with their status:

Fox’s Sleepy Hollow (renewed for second season)

Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine (full-season/Back 9 pickup)

Fox’s Dads (full-season pickup)

NBC’s The Blacklist (full-season pickup)

ABC’s Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (full-season pickup)

ABC’s The Goldbergs (full-season pickup)

ABC’s Trophy Wife (full-season pickup)

CBS’ The Crazy Ones (full-season pickup)

CBS’ The Millers (full-season pickup)

CBS’ Mom (full-season pickup)

CW’s The Originals (full-season pickup)

CW’s The Tomorrow People (full-season pickup)

CW’s Reign (full-season pickup)

NBC’s Sean Saves The World (five-episode pickup)

ABC’s Super Fun Night (four-episode pickup)

CBS’ We Are Men (cancelled)

ABC’s Lucky 7 (cancelled)

ABC’s Back In The Game (cancelled)

NBC’s Ironside (cancelled)

NBC’s Welcome To The Family (cancelled)

CBS’ Hostages (to finish 15-episode first-season order, future TBD, unlikely)

ABC’s Betrayal (to finish limited first-season order, future TBD, unlikely)

Fox’s MasterChef Jr. (renewal pending)

Edited by dad1153 - 11/14/13 at 11:16am
post #90705 of 93656
Critic's Notes
JFK Helped Define Budding Relationship Between Politics and TV
By Brian Lowry, Variety.com - Nov. 14, 2013

Despite the numbing volume of coverage devoted to the Kennedy assassination this month, the programming has touched only tangentially on what might be the 35th president’s most enduring legacy: defining the budding relationship between politics and the nascent medium of television.

In presidential terms, much of John Kennedy’s contribution was indecisive, or at best unfinished. Yes, he stared down the Soviets, but it fell to Lyndon Johnson to enact the Great Society programs, and debate lingers over whether the young president would have escalated the war in Vietnam had he survived.

As one historian says in “JFK,” a four-hour PBS documentary, “We will never know whether he would have been a great president. … We didn’t have that chance.”

What Kennedy set in motion regarding television, however, has since snowballed. Even the differences between the age in which he served and the modern landscape are illuminating.

For starters, it’s easy to forget how quickly TV went from novelty to living room fixture. When the 1950s began, only 9% of U.S. homes had a TV set, according to the Television Bureau of Advertising. By the time Kennedy was sworn in, that percentage had increased nearly tenfold.

Handsome and telegenic, Kennedy was perceived as having won the first-ever televised presidential debates by those who watched them, but not by people who listened on radio. In “JFK,” presidential biographer Robert Dallek notes that Richard Nixon’s uncomfortable appearance was said to resemble a “sinister chipmunk.”

Yet Kennedy’s mastery of TV and intuitive grasp of imagery went well beyond that, planting the seeds for the showbiz values that have come to permeate politics in the 50 years since his death.

As several of the current spate of specials note, Kennedy held the first televised news conferences, during which he playfully jousted with the press — and disarmed more pointed questions by delivering witty one-liners.

The president also embraced using his family — model-pretty wife Jackie and those adorable young children — as photogenic props. The first family graced magazine covers, and was shown engaging with Edward R. Murrow on “Person to Person” in what today would be the domain of a latenight chatshow.

From there, it’s not much of a leap to a press that devotes a depressing amount of time to Hillary Clinton’s shifting hairstyles or Michelle Obama’s biceps.

The most obvious point of departure between today and yesterday was a press corps that seemed to have a gentlemen’s agreement (and it was mostly men, after all) with the president and among themselves, and looked the other way regarding his brazen womanizing. Today, every aspect of a candidate’s personal life is deemed fair game.

Yet if Kennedy’s dalliances couldn’t have escaped the age of cable news and Drudge, his personal qualities and style still would have been extremely attractive. This was a president, after all, who died when Johnny Carson was little more than a year into his tenure on “The Tonight Show,” and long before chatting with comedians and exhibiting one’s lighter side was every bit as much a part of a candidate’s necessary skill-set as mastering policy.

The irony is, it was JFK’s appointee to head the Federal Communications Commission, Newton Minow, who pronounced TV “a vast wasteland,” when his boss knew how to till that field better than all but a few politicians who have followed.

Nor should one forget the Kennedy mythmaking included a movie depicting his war heroism, “PT 109,” released while he was in office. It’s hard to imagine the hysteria such a de facto campaign video would produce now, given the eruption triggered by NBC and CNN’s since-scuttled projects devoted to a still-undeclared Hillary Clinton.

This isn’t to suggest Kennedy was the first or last politician with a facility for spinning the press, but rather that his tenure coincided with the growing influence of TV — a visual medium of unique and extraordinary power in shaping public perceptions.

Tellingly, TV still can’t get enough of JFK. Yet while the medium clearly helped get him elected, he more than returned the favor by putting the young medium on the road to becoming the dominant force in our political culture.

post #90706 of 93656
Business Notes (Analysis)
Disney-Dish Talks Hang-Up Is the Hopper
By Alex Ben Block, The Hollywood Reporter - Nov. 14, 2013

Is Dish Network finally near a retransmission consent deal with Disney and its ABC television network?

The big obstacle, it is now apparent, is the battle over Dish’s high-tech DVR called the Hopper, and in particular its AutoHop feature.

The system lets customers skip commercials completely, compared to other DVRs, which let viewers speed through commercials while leaving them onscreen. And Disney is among a number of broadcasters involved in lawsuits seeking to block the Hopper -- they say it can destroy their business model by eliminating their biggest source of revenue.

Meanwhile, the channels -- local TV stations, networks like ESPN, ABC Family and the Disney Channel -- still appear in the 14 million homes served by the satellite service thanks to a series of temporary extensions.

Dish Network chairman Charlie Ergen was blunt on the subject when he spoke to analysts. While he said he is "cautiously optimistic" for a deal in the near future, “we’re not going to negotiate on giving up a customer experience we think is important.”

He said, in a world where everyone has a DVR, the Dish device has become a rallying point for those worried about viewers skipping commercials. “I think the Hopper,” said Ergen, “and this is just my opinion, has nothing to do with our negotiation. Our timing wasn’t particularly great on that. It was more of an emotional thing than a reality thing.”

Ergen lumped the controversial technology in with all DVR recorders, adding that what Dish is really trying to do is “get broadcasters to think about if we're going to skip commercials, let’s recognize the fact.”

Ergen said the real question should be, “Is there a better way for us to monetize that that is fair to the customer, but actually monetizes that in a way for you, the broadcasters, who need a dual income stream. We are a big believer in the dual income stream because otherwise broadcasters would have to raise their rates more, but (at the same time) you have to understand the world has changed.”

The Hopper, said Ergen, doesn’t just eliminate commercials but also has a feature “that can target commercials to customers in a better way and give the customer a better experience. I think, and this is my personal opinion, long-term, [the Hopper] will give broadcasters more revenue.”

Disney and other broadcasters don’t agree, but the courts have not rushed to their aid. On Sept. 18, a 9th circuit court judge in New York City denied ABC's request to stop Dish from marketing the Hopper.

ABC argued that the Hopper caused “irreparable harm” by hurting ad sales and disrupting its exclusive right to control its programming, and that the device violates its copyright and programming agreement with Dish.

As for coming to terms on a deal, Ergen told analysis that “there is not a particular timeline,” adding: “It really has to be done right long-term." The issues of how much Dish will pay Disney and related distribution matters now appear to have been settled.

“There’s always economic issues,” said Ergen, “but because the Disney contracts tend to be relatively long-term in nature, I think both sides are trying to look at where the technology is going and what the world might look like in several years.”

That was in line with comments made by Disney CEO Robert Iger last week on a call with analysts: “The negotiation is more about issues related to technology than related to the more standard issues of basically sub-fees and distribution.”

Iger told analysts Disney was also willing to play the waiting game: “There are still issues to be resolved and they could take some time, but as long as we're making progress, we're perfectly patient to see this thing through and avoid a blackout of our channels.”

Ergen also indicated that if they can’t make a deal, then they won’t.

“It’s great negotiating because it’s forcing us to think about what the future looks like and obviously it has to be a fair deal for Disney,” said Ergen, “and it has to be a fair deal for our customers.”

A spokesperson for Disney said Iger’s recent comments speak to their position, and offered no further comment. Representatives of Dish did not return calls.

post #90707 of 93656
New FCC chairman seeks to stoke competition
By Mike Snider, USA Today - Nov. 14, 2013

The new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Tom Wheeler oversees his first meeting at the agency today.

But he's no stranger. A past president of both the National Cable Television Association and Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association, Wheeler is a familiar face at the agency.

After being sworn in, Wheeler asked for a review of all proposals before the FCC and expects that in two months. Recently, he talked with USA TODAY about the outlook he brings to the FCC. "I'm a network guy and I'm a history guy," said Wheeler, who has written two books on the Civil War including Mr. Lincoln's T-Mails: The Untold Story of How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War (HarperCollins, 2006).

He plans to consider the review and "the lesson of history," he says, "and come up with some kind of structure that I can use to consider the issues that are going to come before us."

Q: Talk about your point of view coming into the FCC.
I decided there were three prisms, if you will. The first prism, if you look through, is that of economic growth, investment and innovation because the key to networks is driving that kind of economic activity. The key to that is competition. We've got some great people here at the FCC, but the forces of competition are more agile and more nimble to affect extension of services, quality of service and throughput pricing than we can ever be by regulation. So competition, competition, competition. That is the key to economic growth.

The second prism is what I call the network compact. There has always existed a relationship between networks and their users and a set of values. New networks come in and they may change the specifics of how things work, but they don't change the value. So how do we make sure that amidst this new network revolution we are maintaining the network values that we have had for the last 100 years?

Then thirdly is the issue that a network by itself is an empty vessel. So one of the things that we want to make sure we are doing is that we are enabling the use of the networks. What does that mean? That means things like high-speed connectivity to schools so that they can have a 21st century education. That means the ability of Americans with disabilities not only to have access to the network but to be able to use the benefits of the network to address their challenges.

Q: So the review of regulations is part of this prism-setting process?
Prisms form the structure through which I would like to look at the issues that get presented. We are obviously evolving from a monopoly market to a competitive market. The threat isn't over yet and we want to make sure that we're both promoting competition where it doesn't exist and protect it where it does. There are forces that naturally, not with malice, that naturally try to limit competition and the agency has to stand up and make sure we are protecting and promoting competition.

Q: Any thoughts on whether the FCC should regulate Internet TV content as it does that on broadcast TV?
It's interesting. We used to know what we were talking about when we said, 'TV'. I'm old enough to remember it was a black and white box sitting in the living room and it got three channels. You used to have a set of rules that were based on the use of the public airwaves. It is a continually evolutionary process and I go back to the second prism. What are the basic values and let's take a look at how the values and the new networks intersect. I said during my Senate confirmation that I was obviously hugely mindful of the First Amendment and that I hoped it would be possible in this position to call forth the better angels in folks to say 'How do we make sure that the better values that have always been important to us continue to exist regardless of how video is delivered?'

Q: Do you think your confirmation is a signal of an improved relationship with Congress?
We work for Congress.

post #90708 of 93656
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Critic's Notes
10 Great (and Not-So-Great) Game Shows You Probably Forgot About
By Margaret Lyons, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - Nov. 13, 2013

Bumper Stumpers (USA Network, 1987–1990)
Contestants sounded out words and phrases written in idiosyncratic license-plate spelling. ("OAAS" is "oasis," for one insane example.) It's hard to imagine vanity plates as weird as the ones made into puzzles on Bumper Stumpers, but given the rise of text-speak, maybe the show was b-4 its time.

I used to watch Bumper Stumpers a lot when it used to air on USA a number of years ago. I guess I liked it because I was pretty good at it.
post #90709 of 93656
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Notes
NBC Orders Maya Rudolph Variety Pilot To Air As Primetime Special Post-Olympics
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Nov. 13, 2013

EXCLUSIVE: Saturday Night Live alumna Maya Rudolph is returning to NBC with a new variety series project produced by SNL honcho Lorne Michaels, this time in primetime. The network has ordered a pilot for a variety series headlined by Rudolph. I hear the plan is to air the pilot as a special after the Winter Olympics. Rudolph is executive producing with Michaels, Erin David and Dave Becky. The project has been in the works for several months.

When NBC comedy series Up All Night, in which Rudolph co-starred with Christina Applegate and Will Arnett, did not go forward with the planned multi-camera revamp in February, Rudolph, along with her co-stars, began fielding pilot offers. Rudolph didn’t entertain them, indicating to studios and networks that she was interested in doing a variety show instead. NBC was among several suitors who began pursuing the project, leading to the pilot order. This marks the latest collaboration between Rudolph and Michaels, who also produced Up All Night.

Rudolph, daughter of soul singer Minnie Riperton, was one of SNL‘s most popular cast members of the past decade. Her seven-year stint produced a string of memorable impersonations and original characters that often included music performances, including her recurring gigs as Beyoncé Knowles, Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand as well as Oprah, Donnatella Versace and Michelle Obama. Last year she made a triumphant return to SNL with a very well received stint as host.

Rudolph, repped by WME,3 Arts and attorney David J. Matlof, was recently seen in the features The Grown Ups 2 and The Way Way Back.


How does this woman continue to get these jobs? I don't find her funny at all. She, and her chararcter, ruined Up All Night. Could have been a funny show without her.
post #90710 of 93656
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Review
‘Ground Floor,’ shoulda reached higher
New TBS workplace comedy, while capablly done, plays it safe
By Tom Conroy, Media Life Magazine - Nov. 13, 2013

"Capablly" ??

You or them?
post #90711 of 93656
Wow, I think proper spelling and grammar are lost arts. I see errors darned near everywhere I look, TV crawlers, news stories, etc., etc. Sad.
post #90712 of 93656
TV Notes
Bill Lawrence, television's anonymous mogul
The 'Scrubs' producer oversees four current sitcoms, is wed to 'Cougar Town's' Christa Miller and may be worth $100 million. Yet he's all but unknown outside TV.
By Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times - Nov. 14, 2013

When he was in his early 20s, Bill Lawrence landed his first staff writing job on ABC's "Billy." In the first days of his new sitcom gig, he would get hungry and would secretly take food, mostly cereal.

"Finally the executive producer came around and he was like, 'Hey idiot, we pay for your lunches'," says Lawrence on a recent afternoon in his office on the Warner Brothers back lot in Burbank. "And I was like, 'Cool, I'll have a steak, you know, I'll have two steaks'."

More than 20 years later the 44-year-old writer and executive producer, who created "Scrubs" and co-created "Spin City" and "Cougar Town," is frying up even more steaks, so to speak. He is in the rare and fortunate position of being involved in four current and upcoming shows.

First, there's "Cougar Town," which migrated to TBS from ABC, where it initially aired in 2009. In addition, Lawrence is also executive producer on three other new shows: the Fox sitcom "Surviving Jack," the NBC sitcom "Undateable" and the TBS multi-camera sitcom "Ground Floor," which he also co-created with Greg Malins. "Ground Floor," a workplace sitcom that hinges on the relationship between a banker and a maintenance supervisor, premieres Thursday on TBS.

"I got very lucky, very young," says Lawrence, who has a habit of referring to himself as an "old man."

"I've been around for the death of comedy, the death of drama, and the death of comedy again," he says. "And then the death of everything with reality, and then the death of reality."

In his more than two decades working in TV, Lawrence has seen the networks go from being the main course to mere side dishes as the worlds of cable TV and now Internet TV continue to slice up entertainment into smaller servings. The changing dynamics don't seem to bother him though.

"I think they'll eventually compete with the networks comedically the same way TNT does with drama," he says. "And for me the exciting thing right now is that content is king more than ever. It's great creatively knowing that if you have something you're really passionate about, and you make it well, then there's a place for it."

Lawrence made his way in Hollywood by developing comedies with a distinct style, one marked by rapid-fire wordplay, sardonic jokes, glib commentary and quirky sight gags.

On "Scrubs," for example, Lawrence crafted jokes around the surreal daydreams of lead character Dr. John "J.D." Dorian, who was played by Zach Braff. Sudden visions of crazed sex between co-workers or covert kidney removals and slapstick song-and-dance numbers were woven in with the main narrative, providing an offbeat tableau.

Today, Lawrence acknowledges that "Scrubs" was an unlikely sleeper hit. It was a forerunner of the basic cable comedy in that it relied on a devoted niche audience to stay afloat rather than the massive viewer numbers of a juggernaut like "The Big Bang Theory."

"There are two ways to survive in television now," he says. "And one is really hard and I haven't cracked it, which is to grab hold of this giant zeitgeist hit like 'Modern Family,' where everyone in the world wants to see it and you just write your own ticket. The other way is to appeal to a very specific, very loyal group of people, and if you make that contract you can keep a show like 'Scrubs' alive for nine years."

Despite his widespread success, "Scrubs" remains his primary legacy. Unlike a Chuck Lorre or David E. Kelley, Lawrence isn't yet a household name.

"When you see 'created by' with Bill Lawrence's name on it, he's generally sharing it with others," says Robert J. Thompson, professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University. "Even 'Ground Floor' is with Greg Malins.... But I know he's got four things going now, which implies that the guy is probably worth $100 million, and the fact that nobody knows his name just might change."

For his part, Lawrence doesn't stress over being recognized on the street. Some of his crew members have been with him for decades, and his strict "no jerk" policy has created an environment that breeds tightknit relationships.

Even at home he is never far from work. He married "Scrubs" and "Cougar Town" star Christa Miller and the two have three children, which Lawrence says makes him three or four years older than he actually is and keeps his schedule busier than ever.

That Lawrence is spread thin is just fine with "Ground Floor" show runner Jeff Astrof.

"Bill will never say, 'Do it this way,' because he doesn't have enough time, and thankfully some of his other shows are really demanding," says Astrof with a wry smile. "That never makes me sad when one of his other shows has trouble."

The idea for "Ground Floor" has been kicking around in Lawrence's head for quite some time. His recently formed production company, Doozer, is producing the show in collaboration with Warner Bros. Television. (The company's name is a play on Lawrence's full name, William Van Duzer Lawrence IV. His great-great grandfather of the same name founded Sarah Lawrence College.)

The show takes place in a high-rise office building in San Francisco. When an unlikely love affair blossoms between a banker named Brody (Skylar Astin) and a maintenance supervisor named Jennifer (Briga Heelan), Brody's boss, Mansfield (John C. McGinley), does his best to dissuade his young protégé from falling in love.

It's an "Upstairs, Downstairs"-style romance that both Astrof and Lawrence find particularly compelling. The two met while working as writers on "Friends." Lawrence was in his 20s at the time and got fired during the first year.

"I was a kid, I misbehaved a bit," he says by way of explanation, putting his feet up on a coffee table and folding his arms behind his head.

He apparently didn't misbehave enough to alienate "Friends" co-creator David Crane, who introduced Lawrence to "Family Ties" creator Gary David Goldberg. Lawrence credits Goldberg with putting him through "show runners camp." Before Lawrence was 30, the pair had co-created "Spin City" for Michael J. Fox.

"He's the Norman Lear of his generation and he's great at this discipline," says McGinley, who played Dr. Perry Cox for nine years on "Scrubs" and is now on "Ground Floor." "He's fantastic at single-cam, which was 'Scrubs,' but he's a genius at multi-cam."

post #90713 of 93656
TV Notes
Comedy Central’s ‘@Midnight’ Gets 40-Week Pickup
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Nov. 14, 2013

EXCLUSIVE: Comedy Central‘s late-night block is officially expanding to 1.5 hours. I’ve learned that after a successful four-week trial run, which ends tonight, the network’s newest late-night entry — midnight show @midnight hosted by Chris Hardwick and produced by Funny or Die — is being given a big vote of confidence with a 40-week pickup. The renewal is not surprising given how strong the show has done in Comedy Central’s target young and male demos. In Men 18-34 (237,000 through 11/10), Men 18-24 (106,000) and persons 18-24 (142,000), @midnight is the third-highest-ranked late-night show in all of television — cable or broadcast — behind only Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.

In adults 18-34, it is No. 3 among all cable late-night programs (323,000), and it ranks fourth in adults 18-49 with 453,000. Among total viewers, @midnight averages 624,000 and handily tops fellow midnight cable newcomer, TBS’ The Pete Holmes Show, in every ratings category. Not surprisingly, given @midnight’s social media focus, it is the most popular late-night show (broadcast or cable) on Twitter by a mile. Hardwick is executive producing with Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant.

UPDATE: Chris Hardwick just confirmed the pickup news on @midnight, announcing that the show will return with new episodes on January 6. “This was an experiment we did for a month, you guys watch, you join in the #HashtagWars, and we are so, so, so, so grateful,” he told the studio audience.

post #90714 of 93656
TV Notes
‘Hell on Wheels’ Renewed for Season 4 by AMC
By Tim Kenneally, TheWrap.com - Nov. 14, 2013

“Hell on Wheels” is rolling into another season.

AMC has renewed the historical drama for a fourth season, the network said Thursday.

The fourth season, which will premiere next summer, will be expanded from its previous runs, airing 13 episodes as opposed to 10.

The show was moved from Sunday night to Saturday — which the network has traditionally devoted to classic western movies and television shows — for its third season, which enjoyed increased ratings for that season. In Live + 3 Day numbers, “Hell on Wheels” averaged 3.3 million total viewers for its third season.

“[Showrunner] John Wirth and his team on both sides of the camera delivered a remarkable third season and ‘Hell On Wheels’ fans responded,” AMC president Charlie Collier said while announcing the renewal. “We are so proud of this show and congratulate everyone who has contributed to its success. AMC has served passionate Western fans for three decades, so it is particularly gratifying to see these viewers capping off their Saturdays with an original Western on what has historically been a tough night of the week for television. Our commitment to the genre is unwavering and we look forward to continuing to super-serve this audience with an expanded fourth season of ‘Hell on Wheels.’”

post #90715 of 93656
TV Notes
‘Daily Show’s’ John Oliver to Host HBO Show
By Cynthia Littleton, Variety.com - Nov. 14, 2013

HBO has won the sweepstakes to land John Oliver for a show. The “Daily Show” correspondent’s move to topline his own series was only a matter of time after his well- received stint substituting for Jon Stewart this summer.

HBO said Thursday that Oliver will host a weekly topic comedy series to air on Sunday nights starting next year. The lanky, energetic Brit has been widely praised for his sharp take on American pop culture and for his ability to pull off absurdist stunts in interviews and field reporting assignments for “Daily Show.”

“We weren’t otherwise searching for another weekly talk show, but when we saw John Oliver handling host duties on ‘The Daily Show,’ we knew that his singular perspective and distinct voice belonged on HBO,” said HBO Original Programming prexy Michael Lombardo. “We are extremely excited that John has agreed to make HBO his home.”

Oliver’s move is a loss for Comedy Central, which presumably was hoping to capitalize on the momentum he gained at the “Daily Show” anchor desk from mid-June through the end of August, while Stewart took a hiatus to direct a film.

Oliver has also hosted a standup showcase for the cabler for the past four years, “John Oliver’s New York Stand Up Show.” And he has a recurring role on NBC’s “Community.”

“I’m incredibly excited to be joining HBO, especially as I presume this means I get free HBO now. I want to thank Comedy Central, and everyone at ‘The Daily Show’ for the best seven and a half years of my life,” Oliver said. “But most of all, I’d like to thank Jon Stewart. He taught me everything I know. In fact, if I fail in the future, it’s entirely his fault.”

There was no word yet from HBO on a producer or target premiere date for the series.

Oliver gained notice in the U.K. a decade ago with a series of performances at the Edinburgh Festival and other comedy fests. He and longtime collaborator Andy Zaltzman co-write the weekly satirical podcast “The Bugle.”

Oliver is represented by Avalon Management, WME and attorney Leigh Brecheen.

post #90716 of 93656
TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
FRIDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)

8PM - Last Man Standing
8:30PM - The Neighbors
9PM - Shark Tank
10:01PM - 20/20
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Dr. Phil McGraw; sports broadcaster Erin Andrews; Florida Georgia Line performs; what's in Guillermo's head)
(R - Nov. 6)
12:37AM - Nightline

8PM - Undercover Boss: Dutch Bros. Coffee
9PM - Hawaii Five-0
10PM - Blue Bloods
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Stupid human tricks; Connie Britton; Lady Antebellum performs)
12:37AM - Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Steven Yeun; Summer Glau)

8PM - Dateline NBC
9PM - Grimm
10PM - Dracula
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (Bill O'Reilly; chef Guy Fieri; Lee Brice performs)
12:36AM - Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (Tom Selleck; Jena Malone; Johnny Marr performs)
1:36AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Behind the Mask; Kitten performs; Duologue)
(R - Oct. 23)

8PM - Bones (Time Slot Premiere)
9PM - Raising Hope (Season Premiere, 60 min.)

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Washington Week with Gwen Ifill
8:30PM - Charlie Rose: The Week
9PM - Great Performances: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! (3 hrs.)

8PM - Porque el Amor Manda
9PM - La Tempestad (Series Finale)
10PM - Mentir Para Vivir

8PM - The Carrie Diaries
9PM - America's Next Top Model (Season Finale)

8PM - Marido en Alquiler
9PM - La Reina del Sur
10PM - Santa Diabla

10PM - Real Time with Bill Maher (LIVE; Journalist Radley Balko; Casey Affleck; tax-reform advocate Mattie Duppler; journalist Ezra Klein; author Reihan Salam)

11PM - Chelsea Lately (Elizabeth Berkley; comic Gary Valentine)
(R - Nov. 7)

Check Local Listings - Arsenio (Nia Long; Sanaa Lathan; Regina Hall; Melissa De Sousa)
post #90717 of 93656
TV Review
'Against the Tide'
Showtime documentary examines how racial barriers fell in college football, particularly for the University of Alabama
By David Hinckley, New York Daily News - Nov. 15, 2013

"Against the Tide,” a documentary that declares the 1970 visit by USC’s football team to the University of Alabama ripped down the barriers to integrated college football in the South, makes some points strongly and admits it doesn’t know the answer to others.

Ross Greenberg’s film argues well and indisputably that this one game, in which USC crushed ’Bama 42-21, proved that on a purely practical level, Southern schools needed black players to remain competitive against teams that included them.

That in turns raises one of the main questions the film never really answers: Did Alabama coach Paul “Bear” Bryant integrate because it was the right thing, or to win more games?

The evidence, frankly, suggests the latter.

Bryant comes off as a Southerner who didn’t join the vocal, hate-filled and sometimes murderous chorus of segregation, but also didn’t speak against it.

By the mid-’60s, Bryant was a god in Alabama. He never used that pulpit to lobby openly for permission to recruit black players, though the film says he wanted them as early as 1966.

That makes him a pragmatist, like most of us. It doesn’t make him a hero.

“Against the Tide” is strongest when it takes a longer view, noting the USC game marked how far Alabama had come in the very few years since blacks were jailed and murdered for demanding the right to buy a sandwich.

For that reason alone, it’s an important film.

But it never determines whether Bear Bryant, by scheduling that 1970 game, was making history or riding its wave at the first best sign the waters were safe.

Network/Time: Showtime, Friday at 10 p.m.
Rating: ★★★ (out of five)

post #90718 of 93656
TV Notes
NBC Orders 12-Episode Andrea Martin Comedy 'Working the Engels'
By Lacey Rose, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Nov. 14, 2013

NBC is set to team with Halfire-CORE for an Andrea Martin comedy vehicle.

As part of its series deal with former NBC executive Marc Graboff's join-venture, the network will co-produce 12 episodes of the Canadian comedy, Working the Engels, starring the SCTV veteran. The arrangement marks the first time a U.S. and Canadian broadcaster have collaborated to produce a half-hour network comedy that will make it to air.

The series, created and written by Katie and Jane Ford, centers on a family who must band together to keep their heads above water when their father and breadwinner passes away, leaving them a mountain of debt. The Engels must all go to work running Dad’s storefront law firm, with one minor problem — daughter Jenna is the only one who is qualified to practice law.

“We’re over the moon thrilled to work with NBC and Shaw Media on this series,” Halfire-CORE president Noreen Halpern said in a statement Thursday. “Katie and Jane Ford have created a laugh-out-loud show and we’re delighted to have a comedic legend in Andrea Martin, complemented by a trio of rising stars.”

Martin, who signed on to the project in August well before a U.S. network was attached, will play Ceil, the overly confident family matriarch. She will be joined by stars Kacey Rohl (Hannibal), Azura Skye (American Horror Story) and Benjamin Arthur (Less Than Kind).

Halfire-CORE, which launched earlier this year as a lower-budget scripted programming venture between Graboff's Core Media and Halpern's Halfire Entertainment, is producing in association with Canada's Shaw Media. Katie and Jane Ford will executive produce alongside Howard Busgang, Tom Nursall and Halpern, with a plan in place to begin shooting in Toronto this fall.

In June, Halfire-Core announced a three-for-one agreement with NBC, which enabled the company to develop three lower budget dramas for the network, one of which was expected to go to series. At that time, there were no writers or concepts identified. Graboff, who spent the bulk of his career at major broadcast networks, has made a strong push to find other viable financial models to produce TV shows in today's increasingly fractured landscape.

post #90719 of 93656
TV Notes
Cartoon Network Orders More Episodes Of Rookies ‘Uncle Grandpa’, ‘Steven Universe’
By The Deadline.com Team - Nov. 14, 2013

EXCLUSIVE: The kid-targeted net has picked up 13 additional episodes each of its new animated series. That brings the orders for Cartoon Network‘s Uncle Grandpa and Steven Universe, which were greenlighted in September 2012, to 26 episodes.

Creator Pete Browngardt’s Uncle Grandpa, about a magical elder who travels the world finding unusual solutions to everyday situations, has regularly led its time slot in targeted kids demos since its September 2 premiere.

Steven Universe, from Rebecca Sugar, Cartoon Network’s first solo female show creator, drew the network’s best premiere of 2013 on November 4. It centers on the ultimate “little brother” to a team of magical guardians of humanity.


* * * *

TV Notes
Nickelodeon’s ‘Paw Patrol’ Gets Second Season Pickup

EXCLUSIVE: Nickelodeon’s series about six heroic rescue puppies and their boy Ryder debuted in August and today earned a 26-episode Season 2 pickup.

Airing at noon weekdays, Paw Patrol is TV’s top-rated preschooler series in Live+Seven Day. The next season of the show — which focuses on citizenship, social skills and problem-solving — will introduce new characters, vehicles and gadgets.

The series from Spin Master Entertainment is rolling out on Nickelodeon’s international channels this month.

post #90720 of 93656
TV Review
'Alpha House' from Amazon finds the funny in politics
By Chuck Barney, San Jose Mercury News - Nov. 13, 2013

If you're already of the opinion that the U.S. Senate is a clown act on steroids, "Alpha House," a promising new comedy from Amazon Studios, will do nothing to change your mind.

The online-only series, created by "Doonesbury" mastermind Garry Trudeau, follows four largely clueless Republican Senators played by John Goodman, Mark Consuelos, Clark Johnson and Matt Malloy, who live together in a Washington D.C. rental.

Think: "House of Cards" crossed with "Animal House."

Goodman, as you might expect, hogs much of your attention. He plays a bored Southerner and former head coach at the University of North Carolina, who is coasting on past glory. The everyday responsibilities of politics don't interest him. He mostly just wants to sleep in the shower, booze it up and enjoy the many perks of his office.

Malloy is a pint-size, somewhat effeminate, lawmaker who feels the awkward need to bolster his stance against gay marriage because he's running for re-election against a macho-man candidate. But when he receives an award from the Council for Normal Marriage ("Just say no to sodomy") and humiliates himself in a wrestling match on "The Colbert Report," chances of another term look pretty bleak.

Meanwhile, Consuelos (aka Mr. Kelly Ripa) plays a slick, womanizing hotshot who has his eyes on the White House, and Johnson is mostly the straight man, though his character faces possible censure for past misdeeds.

Biting, profane and cynical, "Alpha House," like HBO's "Veep," doesn't cast its politicians in the best of light. They're mainly self absorbed and looking to take the easy way out. Judging from three episodes made available for review, the show isn't exactly laugh-out-loud funny, but it's smartly written and the cast jells from the start.

The endeavor is greatly enhanced by a short, but hilarious, cameo by Bill Murray in the pilot, and a hysterical guest stint by Colbert. Appearing in the supporting cast and helping to offset the testosterone overload are Cynthia Nixon and Wanda Sykes, who hopefully will have more to do in future episodes.

One potential obstacle for "Alpha House": In making Republicans the butt of most of its jokes, it plays to just one side of the room, which is somewhat unfortunate given that we already have cable news stations stuck in that mode.

There were times when I was watching when I couldn't help but experience an uncomfortable feeling that an agenda was in play. So, Mr. Trudeau, are Democrats not goofy and shallow, too?

In jumping into the original programming derby, Amazon is following a different playbook than Netflix. Instead of putting all 11 episodes of "Alpha House" out at once, it will post three episodes on Friday (Nov. 15), which will be available for free for anyone on Amazon.com. Future episodes will appear on a one-a-week basis and will require a subscription to Amazon Prime.

And there's more on the way. Next week, Amazon debuts its second show, "Betas," a sitcom set in Silicon Valley.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: HDTV Programming
AVS › AVS Forum › HDTV › HDTV Programming › Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information