Two Tivos To Paradise 10.04.13: The Simpsons, Breaking Bad, Arrow, New Girl, and more!
Posted by Al Norton on 10.04.2013
News and thoughts on a death on The Simpsons, the Breaking Bad finale plus new projects for Vince Gilligan and Bryan Cranston, Kevin James' return to TV, and more!
Hello friends. This is my first column since turning 42 but I'm here to say it doesn't feel any different. What does feel different than this time last year is that my Red Sox are in the post-season instead of packing up for a long winter, and it feels GREAT! Go Sox!!!
Let's do a big giveaway, shall we? How big? How about seasons one AND two of the Norty Award winning comedy New Girl!!!! Go to our FB page (Al Norton's Two Tivos To Paradise), click "Like" if you have not, and then post "Schmidt reads TTTP" on our wall and you're entered to win. Standard rules apply – must have a US or Canadian mailing address.
We've got a shorter than usual cold open since what follows is perhaps our largest TTTP ever. Let's go!
‘Cause we danced all night to the best news ever.
I'm Not Expecting To Grow Flowers In The Desert, But I Can Live And Breathe And See The Sun In Wintertime
Here's a look at the big stories since our last regular column, with videos from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon mixed in (and what a role they have been on!!!)…
*Producers of The Simpsons have said they plan on killing off one of the characters in either this season or the next, although it's not clear if the person would pass away from natural causes or more nefarious means. Producer Al Jean told THR.com, "We are doing this story for the same reason we do all others -- we think it has a good emotional through line." There was no hint as to who the character would be other than confirmation that it was one voiced by an Emmy winner.
*Fox won a bidding war for Gotham, a new drama series focusing on young Gotham City police detective James Gordon and his work battling evil in a pre-Batman world. Bruno Heller, who created The Mentalist and HBO's Rome, is writing and executive producing the project, which got a series commitment from Fox as part of the deal (meaning it will get a series order with a to-be-determined number of episodes).
*CBS has given a series order to Battle Creek, a new cop series from Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan. The show, originally developed back in 2002, focuses on a mismatched pair of detectives who are both committed to cleaning up the streets of Battle Creek, Michigan, but who differ wildly on their methods. David Shore, who created House, is also on board the project as a writer. THR.com says CBS has already gives the show a 13 episode commitment without a pilot, a testament to just how hot Gilligan is coming off of Breaking Bad. Look for Battle Creek to premiere on CBS this time next year.
*NBC is developing Constantine, a series based on the DC Comics character John Constantine, a caustic witted con man who somehow ends up working as supernatural detective and protector of the world from evil. Keanu Reeves played the character on the big screen in 2005 and the story says rumors are he (the character, not Keanu) will be featured in the upcoming Justice League movie. Daniel Cerone (The Mentalist, Dexter, Motive, Dirty Sexy Money) is writing and executive producing along with David S Goyer, whose writing credits include Man of Steel, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises, and he's currently writing the Batman vs. Superman movie.
*CBS is adapting the Anne Rice Sons of Seraphim novels into a new series; Angel Time will follow a high priced, soulless assassin who is looking for redemption. The project takes place in New Orleans and is being written by Josh Harto and Liz Garcia, who teamed up to create TNT's Memphis Beat, and the pilot will be directed by Joe Carnahan (The A Team, The Grey, Smokin' Aces). Rice is on board as an executive producer.
*Prior to James Gandolfini's death earlier this year he was a part of a high profile project at HBO; Criminal Justice, an adaptation of a BBC series, is a seven hour mini-series about a low rent lawyer who gets in over his head on a murder trial. Oscar winner Steve Zaillian is directing the first hour and the project was written by Richard Price, whose resume includes The Wire, Clockers, Sea of Love, Freedomland, Ransom, and The Color of Money. Gandolfini was executive producing and was also set to play the lead and now comes word that Oscar winner Robert De Niro has signed to take over the role, his first substantial TV role ever.
*Producers, ABC, and 20th Century Fox TV are in preliminary talks about launching a Modern Family spinoff, likely focused on Gil Thorpe (played by Rob Riggle), the recurring character who is Phil's real estate nemesis.
*In renewal/cancellation news, Sleepy Hollow became the first fall renewal (Fox set a 13 episode second season for next fall), Fox ordered a 22 episode 5th season of Bob's Burgers, CBS picked up a 13 episode third season of Unforgettable, HBO renewed Boardwalk Empire for a 5th season, USA confirmed a 16 episode fifth season of Covert Affairs, and ABC officially declared there will be second summers for Mistresses and Motive, while those shows cancelled included Army Wives (Lifetime, seven seasons), King & Maxwell (TNT, one season), and Camp (NBC, one season).
*CBS, Mark Harmon, and NCIS showrunner Gary Glasberg are working on NCIS: New Orleans, a spinoff that would get a planted pilot (the term for when new characters are introduced via an episode of an existing show) this spring. Described as a "character driven drama", the show would take place in the NCIS New Orleans office, which has jurisdiction over Florida, Texas, Mississippi, and of course, Louisiana.
*Director Lee Daniels and writer Danny Strong, who recently teamed up for the big screen box office smash The Butler, are working together on a hip hop drama that Fox landed after a four network bidding war. Strong is writing, Daniels is directing, and both are joined by Brian Grazer as executive producers, with a story that focuses on a family that runs a powerful hip hop empire. Strong may forever be Buffy's Jonathan (from The Trio) to me but he's a big time writer now, having scripted the HBO adaptations of Recount and Game Change, both of which he got Emmy nominations for, winning the Emmy for the latter. Daniels work on Precious earned him two Oscar nominations, including one for Best Director.
*Kevin James just signed development deal with Lionsgate includes a new comedy series that will pitched to networks on the 10/90 format that has become so popular with big names as of late, including Charlie Sheen's Anger Management as well as upcoming series starring George Lopez and a Kelsey Grammer - Martin Lawrence pairing. This project is in its infancy; not only is there no pilot script, there isn't even a concept yet. This would be James' first TV project since his nine season run as the star of The King of Queens on CBS.
There's A Feeling In The Air, Just Like A Friday Afternoon, Yeah You Can Go There If You Want, Though It Fades Too Soon
The 2013-2014 Fall TV season has begun! Over the next few weeks we'll use this space to tell you about new shows and returning favorites…
SUNDAY America's Funniest Home Videos
Not sure what would ever cause this show to go off the air; it's cheap to make and people getting hit in the groin is universally funny.
MONDAY Hart of Dixie (The CW), 8pm
Here I am with egg on my face as two years ago I called the Hart of Dixie pilot the worst of the year and now we're starting season three. I still think it's terrible but I didn't properly gauge the audience's love of Rachel Billson.
Beauty and the Beast (The CW), 9pm
And now that I am done with the egg I can have some crow; last fall I called Beauty and the Beast one of – if not THE – worst new shows of the year, and here we are starting season two. Even worse for me, TTTP fave Paul Johansson will be doing a major arc this season so I may even have to tune back in.
The Biggest Loser (NBC), 8pm
This year is different in that the show has their first celebrity contestant, with American Idol Ruben Studdard trying to shed some pounds in front of a national audience.
Supernatual (The CW), 9pm
A fantastic example of a solid show with a large and devoted following that has never really broken through to the mainstream.
Arrow (The CW), 8pm
A very good freshman year under their belts, the biggest challenge facing Arrow is can they keep it going, and can they potentially add to their audience at the same time.
Tomorrow People* (The CW), 9pm
You got your teen angst in my regular people with superpowers/government conspiracy show! Hey, you got your regular people with superpowers/government conspiracy show in my teen angst! Two great tastes that taste great together, and then throw in TTTP fave Mark Pellegrino. This is actually pretty solid and looks like it could be a lot of fun.
THURSDAY Once Upon a Time in Wonderland* (ABC), 8pm
I haven't seen the pilot and I do wonder how many shows like this people can watch – especially with Once Upon a Time's ratings falling last spring – but the trailer looks great to me, so I am all in for now.
Hey Hey Mama, Said The Way You Move, Gonna Make You Sweat, Gonna Make You Groove
Animal trainer Brandon McMillian comes from a family that makes it's living in the world of animal entertainment. He's currently the host of Lucky Dog, which is part of CBS' new Saturday daytime Dream Time line-up. We caught up with him via email to chat…
TTTP: Growing up did you ever think about rebelling and not working with animals?
Brandon McMillian: Of course I did. I think every kid who was raised around their parents business rebelled. Eventually I fell in love with it. Now I can't see myself ever doing anything else.
TTTP: Can you name drop a few of your celebrity clients?
Brandon McMillian: Without getting into specifics I can tell you I've trained many of the big rappers dogs and a few academy award winning actors. They'd see me on set training a dog for their video or movie and afterwards they'd come up to me and ask me to come to their house to train their dog. I will say I have worked on The Hangover, Into The Wild, Evan Almighty, 24, CSI, and recently appeared on Shark Week's Great White Serial Killer.
TTTP: What's the strangest animal you've ever been asked to train?
Brandon McMillian: When I was a teenager I was asked to bring in Madagascar hissing cockroaches for a Nine Inch Nails video. These things are about as big as your palm and make a hissing sound loud enough to be heard across the house.
TTTP: How did Lucky Dog come to be?
Brandon McMillian: Dave Morgan and the Litton Entertainment team had the vision to focus on America's love for dogs, and the incredible need that exists in our shelters. Having the opportunity to showcase these dogs on television for young people and their families to see is a great education and public service. Lucky Dog is going to make a difference for these dogs and their new families.
TTTP: How has the switch to being in front of the camera been for you?
Brandan McMillian: I've hosted animal shows before so it's been a very familiar process. Honestly I forget the camera is even there. I'm doing my everyday job while being filmed so it's not like I'm acting. Makes the whole experience very easy.
TTTP: I know the show is aimed at younger viewers but what might we adults get out of watching?
Brandon McMillian: Even though the show might be aimed at teens it's suitable for all ages. It's an educational show for all dog problems. People have written to me from all over the US saying they've tried my techniques on their own dog to solve a bad habit and it works. It's like having a dog training manual in your living room every Saturday morning.
Don't miss Lucky Dog, Saturdays on CBS (check your local affiliate for specific time)
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
Ratings Notes From The Last Fourteen Days…
9/26 The Big Bang Theory returned in a big way, with 18.3 million watching the 8pm episode and then a series high of 20.44 million watching the 8:30 outing...That lead-in allowed The Crazy Ones to open strong, with 15.6 million viewers and demos that were up 67% from what Person of Interest did there last spring...The Michael J Fox Show opened to 70% more viewers than who watched The Office season premiere last year and matched its demos. NBC should be happy with the numbers but the truth is The Crazy Ones doubled it in viewers and just about doubled it in demos, too...Glee was down 30% from last fall...Parenthood was down 16% in the demos from last year's debut but matched the Hannibal premiere in that spot last spring...Grey's Anatomy was down from last fall but up from last spring, and its second hour won the 10pm demos...Elementary was up in totals and demos from last spring's finale...Parks and Recreation was down in totals and demos from last fall...Two and a Half Men was down 17% from last fall when it had The Big Bang Theory as lead-in...
The season premiere of Shark Tank won the night in totals and demos, hitting a series high in the former...Last Man Standing was down 17% in total viewers and 25% in the demos from last fall's debut...The Neighbors were down 37% from its series premiere last year, although that episode had Modern Family as a lead-in. It was also down 20% from its season finale last spring and dropped considerably from what Malibu Country was putting up in that spot last year...20/20 enjoyed the Shark Tank lead-in to the tune of a 27% demo increase...Dateline was down 21%...
9/27 Shark Tank won the night in demos, up from last week...MasterChef Junior won 8pm in the demos, just topping Undercover Boss, which was down 31% from last fall's debut...Hawaii 5-0 was down 17% from its premiere last fall in the Mondays at 10pm slot but was actually up 18% in total viewers to win 9pm in that measure...Blue Bloods won the night in total viewers and was up in that measure as well as in the demos from last season's premiere and finale...The Neighbors was down 17% from last week's series low while Last Man Standing dropped 20%...Dateline was up 11%...
The season finale of Lifetime's Devious Maids hit a series high of 3 million viewers as well as setting new highs in every key demo. As an FYI, not only is that total viewer number a whopping 50% increase from the series premiere earlier this summer, it's also more people than who watched Dexter or Ray Donovan…The series finale of Dexter was not only an all-time ratings high for the show, it was the most watched original series telecast in Showtime history…Ray Donovan finished up with the most watched first season in the network's history, topping previous record holder Homeland's season one average by 33%, and last night's finale was the most watched season one finale ever for Showtime as well…The Emmys were watched by just under 18 million viewers, its largest audience in eight years, and the demos were up 26% from last year. Most notable was the 50% increase in the 18-34 demo…
The series finale of Breaking Bad hit a series high in total viewers (10.3 million) and the demos, the latter tops for all of non-NFL TV for the night…The Simpsons won the night in non-NFL demos...Once Upon a Time was down from last fall but up from the spring...Revenge was up a whopping 47% from last spring's finale...Betrayal was down 32% from the numbers that the quickly cancelled 666 Park Avenue put up in its premiere last September...Family Guy put up the second best non-NFL demos of the night, albeit down 21% from last fall...The CBS primetime lineup was down roughly 20% from last fall's openers...
9/23 The Voice won the night in totals and demos, up from both last September and March's debuts...The Blacklist opened strong, crushing everyone in totals and demos at 10pm (it was up a little in viewers and down a little in demos from last fall's premiere of Revolution in that same spot)...DWTS was down 16% in total viewers and 26% in demos...Castle was up in totals and demos from last season's premiere and finale but was a VERY distant second in both measure to The Blacklist...HIMYM matched last season's premiere and was up from last spring's finale...2 Broke Girls was down 13% in total viewers and 25% in the demos from last fall's opener...Mom had decent opening numbers, down a lot from Mike & Molly last fall but up from that same show's finale in the spring...Hostages opened soft, matching Hawaii 5-0's numbers in that spot from last fall...Sleepy Hollow was only down 9% in the demos from last week, impressive week two numbers considering the dramatically increased competition...
9/30 The Blacklist had a very strong second week, down only 5% from week one and easily winning 10pm in totals and demos (and having the best scripted numbers in that measure for the night)...The Voice won the night in total viewers and demos...We Are Men opened poorly, coming up short of the demos that Partners debuted with last year (FYI - Partners cancelled within a month)...DWTS in week three is now down 33% in the demos from its premiere...Bones was up in totals and demos...Sleepy Hollow dropped just a smidge in the demos, finishing third overall on the night in that category and second among scripted shows...Hostages was down 17% in week two...
9/24 South Park's 17th season got off to a VERY strong start, their highest rated episode in four year. Compared to the season 16 premiere, this year's was up 56% in total viewers, 70% in the main 18-49 demo, and 76% in Comedy Central target 18-34 demo...That strong a lead-in helped Key & Peele jump 37% in the main demo and 49% in the target demo from last week... Marvel's Agents of SHIELD put up the best demos for a series premiere on all of TV since November of 2009...On the other end of the spectrum, Lucky 7 had the lowest demos for an ABC fall drama premiere EVER...The Voice was very strong, up from its first Tuesday last fall despite having SHIELD and the season premiere of NCIS as competition…Chicago Fire topped Person of Interest in demos at 10pm, the former hitting series highs in both totals and demos. PoI was surprisingly down 21% from last fall's Thursday premiere...All of the Fox comedies were down 20+% from last week (as expected with all the new competition). Of note, were it not for Lucky 7 then Dads would have put up the lowest demos of the night...The Goldbergs had a decent/solid opening, Trophy Wife less so but not disastrous...
10/1 Marvel's Agents of SHIELD was down 31% in total viewers and 34% in the demos, finishing third in the hour to NCIS and The Voice...NCIS won the night in total viewers with 19.3 million while The Voice took the night's demo crown...The Goldbergs was down 29% and Trophy Wife was down 39%...Lucky 7 is not long for this world, down 38% from last week's record low for an ABC fall scripted series debut...Chicago Fire continues to be a very strong performer, up from last week's numbers to win 10pm in the demos with ease again...Person of Interest matched last week's 12.2 million total viewers but was down 13% in the demos...NCIS: LA chugs along as TV's most unheralded hit, winning 9pm in total viewers (second on the night only to NCIS) and easily topping all non-singing contests in the demos for the hour...The Mindy Project matched last week while the rest of Fox's comedy lineup was down...
9/25 Revolution may have improved over NBC's Wed @ 8pm numbers from last year but it finished fourth in total viewers & demos in the timeslot...Despite all the added competition The X Factor was up 15% and it won 8pm in the demos...The Middle was down 17% from last season's opener...Back in the Game was up 25% in total viewers and 16% in the demos from The Neighbors opening last fall...Modern Family was down 20+% from last fall but still easily won the night in the demos and also won the evening in total viewers...Law & Order: SVU was up 30% from last fall and enjoyed their most watched episode since Nov of 2011...Nashville was down 25% from its series premiere but up from the season finale in the spring...Survivor was up 15% in the demos from last week's premiere...
10/2 Modern Family won the night in demos and that lead-in helped Super Fun Night put up the second best demos for a new comedy this fall, behind only The Crazy Ones. It was ABC's best comedy premier numbers in 4 years...Ironside finished third in the demos at 10pm, down 16% from what Chicago Fire opened to in that spot last year and losing 30% of its SVU lead-in demo audience...Revolution is fading fast, down 21% in total viewers and 17% in the demos from last week's lackluster opening and once again finishing fourth at 8:00 in both measures...The Middle was down 12% and Back in the Game dropped 18%...Survivor and CSI were the two shows with demo increases this week, the former going up for the second week in a row and the latter winning 10pm in totals and demos...
All The Young Dudes, Carry The News
Industry News, Notes, and Hot Rumors… Looks like Bryan Cranston's first post-Breaking Bad TV gig will be reprising his role as Ted's former boss Hammond Druthers on an episode of the final season of How I Met Your Mother…Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos had this to say when asked about the possibility of Netflix doing more Arrested Development; "There's no question. It's a matter of when and what form it takes. We kicked around the idea of doing another season, or doing a movie."…Patton Oswalt will guest on Brooklyn Nine-Nine later this season…Food Network's Restaurant Express is hosted by Robert Irvine and finds 9 chefs getting on a cross country bus together, stopping in different cities for challenges that test their culinary skills and their business sense. The final stop is Las Vegas, where the winner will be named executive chef at a brand new restaurant at the M Resort Spa Casino (sounds like a mix between Chef Wanted and The Great Food Truck Race). Restaurant Express premieres Sunday, November 3rd…The network is planning a two hour retrospective for early next year to give the show a proper sendoff…Guy's Grocery Games premieres on Food Network on October 20th, a new competition show where four skilled chefs do battle through three challenges where their resources are the same ones regular folks have at their disposal - stuff on the shelves at the grocery store. The winner gets a shopping spree of sorts where they can win up to $20K. Guest judges include Melissa d'Arabian, Richard Blais, Beau MacMillan, Jet Tila, Marcela Valladolid, and, the reason I am most interested in this show, Norty Award winner Troy Johnson (creator and host of the short lived but much loved Crave), who will appear on half of the first season's 12 episodes…TTTP faves Sally Pressman (Army Wives) and Jack Coleman (The Office, Burn Notice, Heroes) have signed for multiple episodes of Scandal… Bethany Joy Lenz (One Tree Hill) has landed the lead role in Songbyrd, a new drama pilot for E! written by Krista Vernoff (Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Wonderfalls, Charmed). The pilot is executive produced by Craig Zadan & Neil Maron, who last teamed up on Smash… Bravo is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the premiere of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy with a reunion special; Queer Eye Reunion: 10 Years Later will air in October, bringing back the five fellas for a chat hosted by Andy Cohen (of course!) that will feature clips from the show's five season run as well…TNT has ordered a 10 episode first season of Murder in the First, a drama following one murder case for the entire season. TEN time Emmy winner Steven Bochco is executive producing, with Taye Diggs and Kathleen Robertson as the detectives investigating the crime. Tom Felton (aka Draco Malfoy) and TTTP fave Steven Weber are also in the cast. Look for it next summer…Fox has ordered a pilot for The Last Man on Earth, a comedy written and produced by Will Forte (SNL, 30 Rock) about two complete strangers who are left with the task of making sure the human race continues. Forte is best known for his front-of-camera work but his resume includes writing stints on The Late Show with David Letterman, That 70's Show, and 3rd Rock from the Sun…CNBC will air reruns of the first four seasons of Shark Tank starting this January…Alicia Witt and Edi Gathegi have joined Michael Rappaport as new cast members for season five of Justified…Season three of Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook Off premieres in January on Food Network, with a cast featuring Florence Henderson, Penn Jillette, Vanilla Ice, Chris Kattan, Tiffany, Herschel Walker, Judy Gold, and Jake Pavellka…
Turns Out Not Where But Who You're With That Really Matters
AKA The Best Thing I've Watched In The Last Seven Days…
I know we throw words around like "genius" and "brilliant" too frequently these days but I truly believe there are very few people alive who both understand and can articulate the human condition better than Louis C.K., and there is virtually no one who is as honest about it. Much in the same way Jerry Seinfeld came along and put into words the annoyances of everyday life that we never want to admit out loud for fear of seeming shallow and petty, C.K. shines a spotlight on our innermost emotions and insecurities, and it's a truly beautiful thing.
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…
The above was easily the funniest thing about the SNL season premiere…The Breaking Bad finale was excellent and while I am not calling it the best series finale of all time, I will say this run of eight episodes is as good as any show has gone out on that I've ever seen. I remember telling you readers I had seen the pilot and that it was so much more than Malcom's Dad in his underwear, but I'd be lying if I said I knew it would end up being on the all-time best dramas list…If you had asked me what Ray Donovan was about after the first hour or two the answer would have been so much different than it is now, which is that sure, the show is about a guy whose job it is to fix things for the rich and famous and who does so by any means necessary, but it's really about the things that bind a family together while also dealing with the long lasting scars of sexual abuse in a way - and from a point of view - no show in TV history has done before…The pure joy of the blind audition rounds of The Voice, of watching people take the first step towards their dreams coming true, is unmatched in the world of reality television…When you've won four consecutive Best Comedy Emmys the bar is set pretty high but the Modern Family season premiere was a great example of why they keep winning, mixing laughter generated by strong character development with genuine heartfelt emotion; we like Modern Family because it makes us laugh, we love it because we can feel how much they love each other. While the double episode season premiere had many highlights, including the proposal, Gloria answering a non-existent phone, Christopher Walk-In Closet, and Phil's ability to set a romantic mood, there was no light higher than the reappearance of Barkley the Dog Butler!.. That final scene from How I Met Your Mother's season premiere ranked up there with Ted's apartment door confession of love from last season as an emotional benchmark for the show; I very much want to see the rest of this final season but if they never aired another episode I would feel like I had invested my time over the years well…Overall I gave the Emmys a B-; very good opening, they got to the awards pretty quick, and I liked both NPH's middle of the show number as well as the big choreography piece. And it didn't hurt that the winners weren't all the usual suspects (except Modern Family and JL-D) and there were some particularly noteworthy/memorable speeches. On the other hand, the individual tributes, while incredibly heartfelt, kept the mood overly somber and should have featured actual clips of those being honored. The Elton John Liberace "tribute" was nothing more than an ad for EJ's new album (was there even a picture of Liberace shown?). And why were they SOOOO quick with the hook music? This might be the only award someone wins so why not give them a little time in the spotlight? I am on record as saying people are overly critical of award shows but to me a B- is an accurate assessment of the entertainment they provided over the 3+ hours…The season premiere of Glee was the definition of bittersweet, with the overall joyful tone and mostly good job done covering Beatles' songs undercut by knowing what has happened/is coming soon, in particular with Rachel singing Yesterday ("why he had to go, I don't know, he wouldn't say") and Burt's speech about how you never know how much time you are going to get with the ones you love. Speaking of Burt, it's remarkable how Mike O'Malley has become such a fantastic character actor; with his work on Glee, his amazing - and amazingly different - stint on Justified, and his new sitcom that premiere next week on NBC, it's pretty likely he'll be named to our 2013 TTTP TV Entertainers of the Year list… The Suits summer finale reinforced what I've said for at least a year; Gabriel Macht's work as Harvey Specter is not at the Cranston/Hamm/Danes level but he's just one notch below, in fantastic company with Olyphant, Margulies, Moss, Maslany, and Lincoln. On another Suits note, Abigail Spencer is making a strong case for being included in our 2013 TTTP TV Entertainers of the Year list; her work on Sundance's Rectify earned her a Norty Award nomination and it's not just anyone who can hold their own with Harvey Specter/Gabriel Macht (the very good news is it looks like we'll be seeing a lot more of Scottie when Suits returns this fall)… The first hour of the Grey's Anatomy season premiere was just ok but the second was a big step up, further establishing that Jesse Williams is one of the rising stars of television…We Are Men may just be my new Gary Unmarried; a comedy that is not particularly good or memorable but is funny and pleasant enough to justify its existence, especially with a cast this strong. I know I may be damning with faint praise but that's my take - it's ok, not award winning but not awful either…Really enjoying Back in the Game; it's made me laugh out loud each of the first two episodes, and then the end of last night put its heart right out on its sleeve (and regular readers know I LOVE that kind of thing when it's done right, which it was). If I were in charge of ABC I'd put Trophy Wife on after The Middle and move Back in the Game to follow Modern Family and have two hours of high quality comedies about families of all kinds…I almost quit watching Revolution after the season premiere – they turned the lights on in the season finale and then essentially said "psych" in this season's opener – and, while I am still watching for now, it's tentative at best…
TV Pick Of The Week
Kathy Bates. Jessica Lange. Angela Bassett. Patti LuPone. Francis Conroy. Gabourey Sidibe. Sarah Paulson. Emma Roberts…This is not just the cast of American Horror Story: Coven, it's one of the best casts ever put together for a season of television.
Don't miss the season premiere of American Horror Story: Coven, Thursday at 10pm on FX.
Hope You Need My Love, Babe, Just Like I Need You
*Gina Gershon seems PERFECTLY cast as the lead in the Lifetime original movie House of Versace, premiering Saturday at 8pm…
*I am a huge Muhammad Ali fan and I'll watch just about anything with Christopher Plumber, so HBO's Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight (Saturday, 8pm) is a match made in heaven…
*The Sundance reality series Dream School premieres Monday at 10pm…
*TTTP fave Dean Winters (SVU, 30 Rock) guests on Tuesday's Brooklyn Nine-Nine (8:30pm, Fox).
*It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Glenn Howerton begins a multi-episode run on The Mindy Project this Tuesday at 9:30pm on Fox.
*Full Circle is award winning writer/director Neil LaBute's TV debut and it's got one of the best casts in recent memory. Those of you with DirecTV are in for a treat…
*Glee says goodbye to Cory Monteith/Finn Hudson with what promises to be a very emotional hour this Thursday at 9pm.
Two Tivos To Paradise 3 Days to Open with Bobby Flay, 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, After the Catch, American Idol, Antiques Roadshow, Archer, Arrow, Around the World in 80 Plates, Auction Hunters, Baby Daddy, Back in the Game, Boardwalk Empire, Being Human, Bones, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Burn Notice, Burger Land, Cake Boss, Cake Boss: Next Great Baker, Chicago Fire, Chopped, Comic Book Men, Community, Cougar Town, Counting Cars, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Dancing with the Stars, The Deadliest Catch, Destination Truth, Fact or Faked, Falling Skies, Family Guy, Feed the Beast, Flipping Out, Food Network Challenge, Food Network Star, The Fosters, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters International, Ghost Lab, Glee, Graceland, Great Food Truck Race, Grey's Anatomy, Haunted Collector. Haunted Highways, Haunted Treasure, Hawaii 5-0, Hollywood Treasure, Hostages, House of Lies, How I Met Your Mother, Inside Comedy with David Steinberg, Inside Amy Schumer, Iron Chef America, The Jeselnik Offensive, Justified, Key & Peele, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Law And Order: Special Victims Unit, The League, 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, Project Runway, Psych, Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook Off, Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook Off, Raising Hope, Ray Donovan, Real Time With Bill Maher, Rectify, Restaurant Impossible, Revenge, Revolution, Royal Pains, Rules Of Engagement, Saturday Night Live, Shark Wranglers, So You Think You Can Dance?, Sons of Anarchy, The Soup, Suits, Suburgatory, Supernatural, Top Chef, Top Chef Just Desserts, Top Chef: Masters, Tosh.0, Trophy Wife, The Vampire Diaries, The Voice, The Walking Dead, Warehouse 13, 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 in seven days with all the latest in TV news.
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.