Two Tivos To Paradise 11.02.12: Community, Revolution, Homeland, Wilfred, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, More
Posted by Al Norton on 11.02.2012
News and thoughts on the return of Community, NBC's taking a huge gamble by shelving Revolution for four months, Homeland's ratings high, NBC passing on the Office spin-off and more!
Hello friends. I hope all of you and your loved ones made it through Sandy safe and sound. We got a lot of wind here in Boston but thankfully our house never lost power (i.e. TV!!!). The twins dressed as Tinker Bell and Green Lantern for Halloween, bringing in a TON of candy and thoroughly enjoying the holiday.
We're cleaning out the prize closet this week, with a multi-set giveaway that is our biggest prize package; if you go to Al Norton's Two Tivos To Paradise page on Facebook, click "Like" if you have not, and then post "I love the size of TTTP's package' on our wall then you'll be entered to win a prize pack of DVD's made up of Castle season three, Cougar Town season two, Desperate Housewives season 7, and Ghost Hunters season six – part two; that's four different DVD sets in one contest!!! Standard rules apply – one entry per person, you must have a US or Canadian mailing address, and you can only one once every six months. Good luck!
Another reason to become a part of the TTTP Facebook community is that we are in the process of putting together a big future column – The 100 Best Shows of the TTTP Era – and we will be using our FB page to solicit input from all of you on the list starting next week.
Here's the first look at The CW's upcoming Sex and the City prequel series The Carrie Diaries…
My interview with WWE superstar Dolph Ziggler ran on the site last Sunday – thanks to Dolph for Tweeting it out, btw – and you can find my exclusive chat with country music icon Reba McEntire on the Movies/TV page today, the same day her new ABC comedy Malibu Country premieres.
There's info about new series from NBC getting premiere dates below but one new show with no set day/time for air is the comedy Save Me…
Stranded at the drive-in, branded a fool, what will they say Monday at news?
When You Gonna Make Up Your Mind? When You Gonna Love You As Much As I Do?
NBC released their winter schedule this week, with some current hits taking a break, some new shows making their premiere, and some old favorites returning. Here's a quick rundown…
*Sunday 1/6 – The Biggest Loser (8pm) season premiere (part one, special night)
*Monday 1/7 – The Biggest Loser (8pm) season premiere (part two, regular day/time); Deception (10pm) series premiere
*Thursday 1/10 – 1600 Penn (9:30pm) series premiere
*Tuesday 2/5 – Smash (10pm) season two premiere
*Thursday 2/7 – Community (8pm) season premiere
*Sunday 3/3 – Celebrity Apprentice (9pm) season premiere
*Monday 3/25 – The Voice (8pm) season premiere; Revolution (10pm) mid-season premiere
*Sunday 3/31 – Ready for Love (8pm) series premiere
Ok, let's start with the good news, the BEST news of the week – Community FINALLY has a premiere date!! And while I don't have a ton of faith in NBC, this certainly gives them more than enough lead time to launch a great marketing campaign.
As far as the new shows go, Deception was previously titled Infamous (as you can tell from the clip above) and is best described as NBC's spin on Revenge. The pilot I saw for 1600 Penn had some funny moments, and the cast is strong, but the tone was all over the place and it really seemed like more of a first draft than a finished product. I am not one for dating shows but I will say that Ready for Love seems to be going for something a little deeper than The Bachelor, and I can certainly appreciate that.
The biggest story in this announcement was the HUGE gamble the network is taking by shelving Revolution – their top demo drama since ER – for four months; after November sweeps there won't be new episodes until the end of March. Recent TV history is littered with new shows that had quality buzz where the networks pulled them for extended periods of time and they never recovered; Jericho, Flash Forward, Life on Mars, and The Event come to mind quickly, and I am sure there are others. I get what NBC is thinking, keeping it so that Revolution always has The Voice running before it, especially with their singing competition series being among the best lead-in's on all of TV right now, but TV experts will be lining up to yell "I told you so" if/when ratings drop.
Still waiting for premiere dates are new dramas Do No Harm and Hannibal, the new comedy Save Me, and returning reality competition series Fashion Star. The network didn't reveal its plans for Wednesdays as nothing other than SVU got a back 9 pickup (yet), so that night is in flux.
Take Me Now Baby, Here I Am, Pull Me Close, Try To Understand
NBC announced on Monday that after production on Up All Night's 11th episode finishes next week they will shut down the show in order to shift its filming format from single camera to multi-camera, a move that will involve quite a bit of construction on their current soundstage. Currently in its second season, the network had originally given the show a 13 episode order but along with this change came an additional 3 episode pick up. Episode 11 will air in December and then the new batch of episodes will premiere at some point in the spring.
This is easily one of the stranger moves I've seen a network make with a show and it's the first time I can remember a show ever changing filming styles in the middle of its run. Apparently Lorne Michaels, who is one of the executive producers of the show, was the major force behind the move, believing the switch would energize the cast and the show, especially with the live studio audience they will be in front of from now on. The press release specifically mentioned how Christina Applegate and Maya Rudolph would shine in that format.
At this point Up All Night could not be further away from the wonderful pilot I watched in the summer of 2011; that show was a very funny and honest look at a couple in their 30's going adjusting their lives to being first-time parents, one becoming a stay-at-home Dad and the other figuring out how to balance work with Motherhood. At some point after the show was picked up and before the series premiere it was decided that the focus should be more on the Mom's (Christina Applegate) workplace, taking formerly supporting role of Ava (Maya Rudolph) and putting her essentially as a third lead, and it was all downhill from there; what had been a grounded, funny, realistic premise now became roughly 50% over-the-top showbiz satire. It was like they took an SNL sketch and dropped it in the middle of an otherwise real world series, and in the battle for the soul of Up All Night, the loud and overbearing Ava won.
The SNL reference should not be a surprise since series creator Emily Spivey spent 10 years writing for the show and Michaels is the legendary series creator, but those sensibilities simply don't mix with what the show really should have been, a unique comedy about real people dealing with real life. The scene in the pilot where the two parents argue about who was up more in the night with their baby was brilliant because it was instantly recognizable in millions and millions of households. That show was unique, that was the show I wanted to season pass. Will Arnett's skills have been waster, relegated to reacting to things instead of being a protagonist, and the opportunity to present a TV rarity – an actual stay-at-home Dad – was lost so that we could get yet another portrayal of an egocentric, self-obsessed TV personality with no connection to the real world.
I have no idea if this change will help Up All Night but clearly NBC wants the show to succeed or it wouldn't be spending this money. Hey, just wondering what you think Community could do with half of what's been budgeted here to instead use as a marketing campaign?
Well I Wake In The Morning, Fold My Hands And Pray For Rain, I Got A Head Full Of Ideas That Are Drivin' Me Insane
Rainn Wilson used his Twitter account on Monday to tell the world that NBC had decided not to move forward on The Farm, a spinoff of The Office that focused on his character Dwight running the family farm. The pilot for the series was filmed to be used as an episode of The Office this season and it's not clear if they will still run it.
There is no doubt that this news comes off of The Office setting and then tying a new series low in the demos, meaning the viewing audience is clearly growing less and less interested in all things paper in Scranton, PA.
I'll be honest, I was kind of looking forward to The Farm, in particular because of the cast they had lined up, including Matt Jones (Breaking Bad's Badger), Majandra Delfino (Men of a Certain Age, State of Georgia, Roswell), Thomas Middleditch (Collegehumor.com), and the great Tom Bower. Oh yes, and Mike Schur was due to reprise his role as Mose, too. I am not saying it would have been good but I was ready to give it a shot. If NBC doesn't air the episode on The Office this season then you know it will be available on the DVD set.
The Office has been truly terrible this season, with pointless and out of character storylines mixed with genuinely unfunny situations, and my guess is NBC realizes that being associated with it is no longer the huge selling point it once was.
It's Time To Play The Music, It's Time To Light The Lights The Muppet Show video of the week…
But You Were Up To Your Old Tricks In Chapters Four Five And Six
All you need to know about the Nielsen's for the past 7 days…
THURSDAY Person of Interest topped Grey's Anatomy and won the 9pm demo battle for the first time this season…The Big Bang Theory won the night in totals and demos…Last Resort dropped to season/series lows in totals and demos…Elementary won 10pm in totals and demos, with second place Scandal up in both measures. Rock Center finished a distant third but was still up 40+% in the demos…The Office matched last week's series low…Game 2 of the World Series was up in total viewers but down in the demos…Michelle Obama as a guest gave Jimmy Kimmel Live its best ratings since 2007…
The airing of the Mockingbird Lane pilot finished second at 8pm in the demos and the much stronger than usual lead-in helped Grimm win the night in the demos, up 27%...Shark Tank won 8pm in the demos as it has all season…Kitchen Nightmares' season premiere was down 44% from last year…CSI:NY was up 17% and won 9pm in total viewers, with Blue Bloods up 18% and winning 10pm…The season premiere of Discovery's Gold Rush drew an impressive 4.45 million viewers…
The Notre Dame – Oklahoma game on ABC Saturday night was the most watched college football game of the season on any network with an average viewership of 8.6 million people.
While Sunday Night Football was the top individual program in totals and demos, Fox won the night in those measures thanks to a big NFL overrun and its coverage of game 4 of the World Series…As it has all season, Once Upon a Time won the night in the demos for non-sports programming…The Mentalist was the most watched non-sports show of the night, with just over 10 million tuning in for the series' 100th episode…Sunday night was good to cable dramas, with Homeland up 19% to hit a new series high in total viewers for the second time in season two; the show's 2.07 million viewers and Dexter's 2.28 million gave Showtime it's first ever two million viewer doubleheader...AMC's The Walking Dead was up 10% in total viewers and 6% in the demos, with the latter number representing the largest 18-49 non-sports audience for all of the week of TV, AGAIN…As you might have guessed, The Weather Channel had the strongest reach of any cable network on Sunday night, with more than 39 million people tuning in at some point during prime time…
So many preemptions for Sandy coverage that a full Monday ratings report is tough to provide
Typical Tuesday, with The Voice dominating in the demos and NCIS topping all comers in total viewers…All the 9pm comedies were down – with the extra hour of The Voice being the reason why – with New Girl -15%, The Mindy Project -21%, Happy Endings -22%, and Don't Trust the B- in Apt 23 – 29%...Raising Hope and Ben and Kate matched last week's numbers…
WEDNESDAY Supernatural was the only show up for the night, with gains in total viewers (+13%) and demos (+29%)…Arrow matched last week's total viewers but dropped to a season/series low in the demos…Criminal Minds was the most watched show of the night while Modern Family easily won the night in demos…CSI won 10pm in totals and demos…Nashville hit a season/series low in the demos…30 Rock hit a season high in total viewers…Chicago Fire finished last in totals and demos at 10pm…It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown won 8pm in the demos, topping even The X Factor…
All The Young Dudes, Carry The News
Industry News, Notes, and Hot Rumors…FX picked up a 13 episode third season of Wilfred…ABC Family and WWE Studios are teaming up for Christmas Bounty, an original movie that will air as part of the network's 2013 25 Days of Christmas programming. The story is about a female elementary school teacher who has to go back into the family business of bounty hunting. That role has not been cast but it's been confirmed that The Miz has landed one of the male leads…AMC has picked up a 10 episode third season of Hell on Wheels…Ben Stiller is executive producing complicated for Fox, a comedy starring and co-created by Bonnie Hunt…NBC will air the Howie Mandel hosted & executive produced game show Take it All every night the week starting December 10th, with a two hour block finishing its run on the 17th. The new show is similar to Deal or No Deal, with elements of Let's Make a Deal as well…Oscar winner Mira Sorvino, who starred in Trooper when it was a pilot that CBS didn't pick up last spring, will once again play the lead as TNT now has the show about a single Mom working as a New Jersey state trooper in development…Rebecca Romijn has joined Jon Tenney as the title characters in King and Maxwell, about two former secret service agents working as private investigators. Ryan Hurst also appears in the pilot in a role that would likely become recurring if the show got picked up…Seth Green will reunite with his former Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast mate Alyson Hannigan when he guests on How I Met Your Mother…ABC is developing City Hall, a drama set in the Mayor of San Francisco's office written by Gideon Yago (Newsroom) that they are describing as "St Elmo's Fire meets The West Wing"…TTTP fave Sarah Shahi will appear in (at least) six episodes of Chicago Fire. USA has yet to make a decision on Fairly Legal but both networks are under the Universal umbrella and Legal is a summer series so there would be no conflict if the network moved forward on a renewal…FX is working on a comedy set at a military academy. Written by Steve Agee (The Sarah Silverman Project) and Rob Schrab (Childrens Hospital), the project is being produced by Jack Black's Electric Dynamite…Bradley Whitford has landed the male lead in the ABC comedy Trophy Wife, with Malin Akerman starring as a former party girl who finds herself in a relationship with an older man with three kids and two ex-wives…Shonda Rimes (Grey's Anatomy, Scandal) is working on MILA 2.0 for ABC, a sci-fi drama about a woman who discovers she is a "Mobile Intel Life-like Android" – "MILA" – who was created by the government but kidnapped from the project by a scientist who realized she was developing human-like emotions. A novel of the same name comes out this fall…Dan Harmon's first post-Community project will be the Adult Swim series Rick and Morty, about a genius inventor and his less-than genius grandson, which was just given a 10 episode first season order…Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy were both renewed in syndication through the 2015-2016 season…A new show about a homicide detective who teams up with a forensic profiler to hunt serial killers is not in any way up my alley but A&E's Those Who Kill pilot has three things going for it – 1) it's set in Boston (although if it's not actually filmed here that plus disappears immediately), 2) it's written by Glenn Morgan (who has The X-Files, Millennium, Wiseguy, and The Commish on his resume), and 3) most importantly, Chloe Sevigny will play one of the two leads (the Boston homicide detective)…NBC is making Betty White's birthday celebration an annual thing, airing The 2nd Annual Betty White 90th Birthday Special this January…Big week for Grant Gustin; not only will he return to Glee in the role of New Directions rival Sebastian this season but he also signed for a multi-episode run on 90210…Warren Kole will follow up his starring role on USA's Common Law with a big recurring part on Fox's upcoming serial killer drama The Following…Anderson Cooper's daytime talk show has been cancelled after two seasons. New episodes will continue to run through the spring…16 time NY Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks has drama projects in development at three different networks; TNT has A Bend in the Road (widower sheriff in a resort town who begins a relationship with his son's 2nd grade teacher – Sleepless in Seattle meets Longmire meets Royal Pains), ABC Family has The Falls (a modern day retelling of Romeo and JulietDeliverance Creek (woman trying to raise her kids and survive in post-Civil War America)…Felicia Day will return to her role of Charlie Bradbury on Supernatural later this season…Jayma Mays (Glee) will do multiple episodes of The League…Gossip Girl will conclude its six season run with a two hour event on December 17th, starting with a look back at the show including interviews with current and former cast members and then followed by the final episode. The CW will also debut an extended trailer for The Carrie Diaries during the show…
Turns Out Not Where But Who You're With That Really Matters
(The Best of What's Around aka The Best Thing I've Watched In The Last 7 Days…)
I've long since been convinced that Tom Hanks is one of the best sure-things when it comes to being a talk show guest, that even his lesser appearances are entertaining, let alone when he's got a story to tell like he did on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last week (the clip is about five minutes long but the story I am referring to kicks in around the 2 minute mark)…
There is no question Hanks is on the VERY short list for first guest on opening night of TTTP, The Series.
People Say I'm Crazy Doing What I'm Doing. Well, They Give Me All Kinds Of Warnings To Save Me From Ruin
What's flashed before my eyes the last seven days…Sadly, Private Practice has joined The Office in the ranks of shows I used to enjoy but now I am only watching because it's the last season and I want to see how it ends. Obviously at one point The Office was perhaps the best comedy on TV and Private Practice was never anything close to that level but it was a solidly entertaining show with a very strong cast and yet in one off season it's become nearly unwatchable. The downfall in Scranton was much more gradual but at this point its funny moments are few and far between. If the goal of this writing staff is to make Andy one of the more unlikeable and least interesting characters on TV then they should get their award acceptance speeches ready…Raising Hope may not get the buzz of other Fox comedies like New Girl and The Mindy Project but it's as consistent as really any sitcom on TV right now. How funny that a show centered around couples that genuinely love each other would be such a rarity…Ben's proposal to Leslie on last Thursday's Park and Recreation was one of the more genuinely romantic moments of the TV season, no doubt…Ben and Kate is by no means a perfect, or even great comedy – BJ the waitress really should be limited in her screen time – but the show has a genuine warmth, the family bond comes across, and Ben's quirkiness seems real and not forced/created in a writer's room, all of which add up to a fun way to spend 22 minutes. The fact that there's room for improvement makes its chances for survival stronger, especially if they actually improve…Another week, another charming edition of Comic Book Men, which at this point is far and away my favorite reality series. The prank of having someone dress up like the New Jersey Devil was a riot…When Revenge began it was about one woman's vendetta against a family she felt was responsible for the death of her father (at the time she thought figuratively in that they framed him for a crime and put him in jail, where he subsequently was murdered, although later she found out they actually were the ones who had him killed, so it became much more literal) but now in season two the villain has become the much more generic "initiative" (I thought Buffy took care of them) and they've added in a new romantic back story for Emily as well, neither of which are anywhere near as compelling on any level. Sure, she's trying to reconnect with Mom whom she previously thought was dead, which has some emotional pull, but faux Amanda is WAY too big a character these days, one I have no attachment/investment in. The last two weeks have been somewhat better but this is a case where smaller (scale and focus) is better…Not sure there are adjectives strong enough to fully do justice to the work of Damian Lewis and Claire Danes on this past Sunday's Homeland, with their 15 minute interrogation scene rivaling anything on dramatic TV in 2012…Jax's shift from being a reactive person to a proactive person has been interesting to watch on Sons of Anarchy this season and given Charlie Hunnam the best material of his career to work with, which he has hit out of the park. Seeing him come to grips with the idea that to defeat the enemy you have to become like the enemy has been one of the pleasures of the fall season…Easily the best episode of The Mindy Project to date, showcasing how smart the show is while it also showcases the lead character's insecurities. It's really a perfect fit with New Girl, which was also quite strong this week. Aside from being really quite funny there was also the great line where Nick's girlfriend slapped him and said, "hey, I'm not an idea of a person, I'm an actual person." Those types of moments make his development and maturity that much more believable, meaning you can see how he will turn out to be a guy worthy of Jess…I loved the clever skewering of chick flicks on Don't Trust the B- in Apt 23 this week – Katherine Heigl would TOTALLY make a movie called Trick of Baby – and it was great for the show to produce such a quality episode with James Van Der Beek playing a smaller role than usual in the story. Don't get me wrong, I love The Beek, but keeping the balance allows for other characters to be the focus of the story…
TV Pick Of The Week
It's a big week for food competition series, with the two best on TV back for new seasons…
First up is Next Iron Chef: Redemption, which premieres Sunday at 9pm with a 90 minute opening episode where all the competitors are people who have lost on a food competition series previously, many of them on Next Iron Chef. This group has the potential to be the top collection of culinary arts talented ever amassed for one series…
Then Top Chef: Seattle debuts Wednesday at 10pm, with Hugh Acheson, Emril Lagasse, and Wolfgang Puck joining Tom and Padma this time around…
Don't miss the season premiere of Next Iron Chef: Redemption, Sunday at 9pm on Food Network and then the season premiere of Top Chef Seattle Wednesday at 10pm on Bravo.
Hope You Need My Love, Babe, Just Like I Need You
Other noteworthy viewing options from the next seven days…
*Around the Horn (ESPN, 5pm) is celebrating 10 years on the air this week and today's episode will feature a ton of regular panelists taking part, including JA Adande, Kevin Blackstone, Tim Cowlishaw, Israel Gutierrez, Bomani Jones, Jackie MacMullan, Woody Paige, Bill Plaschke, Bob Ryan and Michael Smith.
*ESPN begins its coverage of the 2012-2013 NBA season tonight with a Heat-Knicks, Lakers-Clippers doubleheader, with the new team of Magic Johnson, Bill Simmons, Jalen Rose, and Michael Wilbon hosting the Kia NBA Countdown pregame coverage at 7pm.
*NBC and its networks (Bravo, USA, CNBC, USA, MSNBC, and E!) will air a one hour fundraising special tonight at 8pm for victims of Hurricane Sandy, with money raised going to the American Red Cross for distribution. Hosted by Matt Lauer, the hour will feature musical performances from Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, Sting, Christina Aguilera, and Jimmy Fallon.
*It's a rematch of last year's BCS Championship when LSU hosts Alabama on Saturday at 8pm on ABC.
*Louis C.K. hosts Saturday Night Live (Saturday, 11:30pm, NBC) this week.
*Season five of The Real Housewives of Atlanta premieres on Sunday at 9pm on Bravo, followed the next night by the season three debut of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
*The Voice goes live for the first time this season Monday at 8pm for two hours, followed on Wednesday at 8pm by another two hours and than a FIFTH hour on Thursday at 8pm with the first audience voted eliminations of the season.
*The new Bravo reality series Start-Up's: Silicon Valley premieres Monday at 10pm…
*Chris Berman will interview President Obama and Governor Romney during halftime of ESPN's Monday Night Football.
*Oscar nominee Terrence Howard guests on Hawaii 5-0 this Monday at 10pm on CBS.
*It's obviously going to be wall-to-wall election coverage on Tuesday night, with no regular programming on the broadcast networks. One interesting note is that The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report will broadcast live episodes that night (as opposed to the usual format of taping the episodes earlier in the evening).
*LOLwork (Wednesday, 11pm) is another new Bravo reality series premiering this week…
*Burn Notice is back with a two hour mid-season premiere this Thursday at 9pm on USA.
Two Tivos To Paradise 3 Days to Open with Bobby Flay, 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, 30 Rock, After the Catch, American Idol, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, Antiques Roadshow, Archer, Arrow, Around the World in 80 Plate, Auction Hunters, Baby Daddy, Ben and Kate, The Big C, Boardwalk Empire, Being Human, Betty White's Off Their Rockers, Bones, Breaking Bad, Bunheads, Burn Notice, Cake Boss, Cake Boss: Next Great Baker, Chicago Fire, Chopped, Comic Book Men, Community, Cougar Town, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Deadliest Catch, Destination Truth, Don't Trust the B- in Apt 23, Fact or Faked, Falling Skies, Fairly Legal, Family Guy, Fast Food Mania, Flipping Out, Food Network Challenge, Food Network Star, The Franchise, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters Academy, Ghost Hunters International, Ghost Lab, Glee, Gossip Girl, Great Food Truck Race, Grey's Anatomy, Happy Endings, Haunted Highways, Haunted Treasure, Hawaii 5-0, Hollywood Treasure, House of Lies, How I Met Your Mother, Inside Comedy with David Steinberg, Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis, Iron Chef America, Justified, Key & Peele, Last Resort, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Law And Order: Special Victims Unit, Longmire, Lost Girl, Louie, Mad Men, Major Crimes, Men at Work, The Middle, Mike and Molly, The Mindy Project, Modern Family, Monster Man, Nashville, Necessary Roughness, New Girl, The New Normal, Next Iron Chef, The Office, Outside the Lines, Parks & Recreation, Private Practice, Project Accessory, Project Runway, PSYCH, Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook Off, Raising Hope, Real Time With Bill Maher, Restaurant Impossible, Revenge, Revolution, Royal Pains, Rules Of Engagement, Saturday Night Live, Shark Wranglers, Shear Genius, So You Think You Can Dance?, Sons of Anarchy, The Soup, Suits, Suburgatory, Supernatural, Texas Multi Mammas, Top Chef, Top Chef Just Desserts, Top Chef: Masters, Top Design, Tosh.0, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, The Voice, The Walking Dead, Warehouse 13, Wilfred, Worst Cooks In America,
People Love You When They Know You're Leaving Soon
Here ends another Two Tivos To Paradise.
We'll be back next week with a look at the last seven days in TV headlines! I hope everyone has a happy and safe Halloween!
Sources for this week's column include Daily Variety, Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, and Hollywood Reporter (plus the web sites for those publications) as well as Aintit.cool.com, TVline.com & Deadline.com.