Two Tivos To Paradise 10.11.13: The Simpsons, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Blacklist, Masters of Sex
Posted by Al Norton on 10.11.2013
News and thoughts on The Simpsons record breaking renewal, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Blacklist getting full season orders, the first cancellations of the season, and more!
Hello friends. The TV season is in full swing, my day job is going well, and the Red Sox are in the ALCS; what else do you want/need out of life? Oh yeah, how about a long weekend to rest up, clear out the DVR, and try the new takeout Chinese place we just got a menu from? Done and done!
There are no words for this video…Other than, "perfection"…
Cold opens are my Achilles heel these days so let's just keep things moving.
She's just a girl who says that I am the one, but the news is not my son.
It's Like A Diamond Thing, It's a Precious Thing, And We Never Want To Lose It
Fox renewed The Simpsons for a 26th season last Friday, meaning it will continue to be the longest running scripted series in TV history through the 2014-2015 season (at least).
Let that sink it for a bit. TWENTY SIX SEASONS. Four different Presidents have been in office while the show has been on the air. I wish there was a way to find out how many network shows didn't last for a full season while gang from Springfield chugged its way to 25, which just began.
Full disclosure – I am not know nor have I ever been a diehard Simpsons fan. I like the show but I just never really got into it. I am relatively sure if I made a point to do so I would be fully hooked but it's really been a timing thing more than anything else. I do recognize A Streetcar Named Marge to be a work of art, and I don't really go a week without making either a Disco Stu or a Table Five reference. That's how incredible the show's pop culture impact has been; I don't really watch the show and I still use it to make jokes, because I know how it's a touchstone for so many.
Fans tell me the quality has ebbed and flowed over the years – I mean, 25 seasons (so far), how could it not?!?! – but most will also say that a mediocre episode/season of the show is still better than no less than 75% of what's on TV. The show has 27 Emmys to its name and Homer Simpson has to rank on EVERYONE's list of the Best/Greatest TV Characters of All Time.
What's most lasting about the show, however, is its financial power; The Simpsons is the single most profitable show in the history of television. Period. Its merchandising is like no other, with apparel, collectibles, and DVD sales the likes of which the industry has never seen. There's been a movie, a ride at a theme park, multiple books, CD's, and more. And its power does not seem to be waning; the first two weeks of the season the show has finished second only to NBC's NFL coverage (aka the # 1 show on all of TV) in the demos on Sunday night.
An even more historic payday is on the horizon; while The Simpsons has aired in syndication for 20+ years, it's always been sold at the local level, and now producers are talking about a cable home as well, the way TBS airs The Big Bang Theory. The likely price for such a deal will end up around $1 million per episode, and coming into this season the show had 500+ episodes on its resume, so you do the math…
I have not watched enough of the show to call it the greatest comedy of all time but it's undeniably among the most popular and most influential the medium has even known. Long live The Simpsons.
I'm Just An Average Man With An Average Life, I Work From 9 -5, Hey, Hell I Pay The Price
On the heels of ABC cancelling Lucky 7 after two historically low rated episodes, CBS made it two new shows in three weeks when it cancelled We Are Men after two outings this week. Lucky 7 is currently being replaced by Scandal reruns while CBS' plan is to move 2 Broke Girls from 9pm to 8:30pm and then putting Mike and Molly's new season will at 9pm as of the first week of November.
The leash of a new show on a broadcast network has never been shorter; a series getting pulled after two episodes was nearly unthinkable when Fox yanked Lone Star several years back and now it's pretty much a guaranteed thing to happen at least one or twice each and every fall. I get that there is a LOT of money at stake, but if you can know after just two episodes that a show isn't working/won't work then you probably should have been able to tell before that, too.
With Lucky 7, the show was the lowest rated scripted series fall premiere ever, and followed that up in week two by putting up the lowest demos of a scripted show airing Sun – Thu on a broadcast network, so it pretty much had to go. CBS was in a similar "have to do something" situation as We Are Men's small lead-in was hurting 2 Broke Girls, which is supposed to be the lynchpin of their Monday lineup.
The only two shows particularly close to the bubble right now are Hostages and Betrayal. Hostages should be ok as long as it doesn't keep dropping; it's likely to last as its self-contained story wraps up at the end of the 15 episode run as well as because The Blacklist is dominating the hour so CBS may not want to sacrifice another new show right now. Betrayal may last because ABC has nothing else to put in its place for now, already down one drama with Lucky getting axed. Dads is not likely to get pulled but also won't get renewed, either.
Look for the back 9 episodes to get picked up for Mom, The Crazy Ones, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine anytime now, and eventually for The Millers and Sean Saves the World as well. The Michael J Fox Show started the season with a full 22 episode order so that's already taken care of through the spring, and The Blacklist and Agents of SHIELD were picked up in the last week.
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 Seven Days…
THURSDAY Scandal hit series highs in totals and demos, winning 10pm in both measures and up 59% and 71% respectively from last season's opener...The Big Bang Theory won the night in total viewers and demos...The Millers won its time slot in totals and demos and was the second most watched show of the night...The Crazy Ones was down 26% from its debut but still won the time slot in total viewers...Grey's Anatomy was down 12% from last week but still won 9pm in the demos...Sean Saves the World opened ok (at best) while The Michael J Fox Show dropped only 14% from last week's premiere (not a bad week two loss)...The Vampire Diaries was down 19% in total viewers and 25% in the demos from last season's opener...The Originals put up 25% less demos than the debut of Beauty and the Beast in that same spot last year...Glee was down 20% to a series low...
FRIDAY Shark Tank was down a bit but still won the night in demos...Undercover Boss dropped less than MasterChef Junior and therefore won 8pm in the demos...Blue Bloods was the most watched show of the night...Hawaii 5-0 was up a bit in total viewers, winning the hour with ease in that measure and coming in as the second most watched show of the evening...Last Man Standing was the only show up in totals AND demos on the night, with lead-out The Neighbors matching last week's (poor) numbers...
Sunday afternoon's Broncos - Cowboys match-up was not only the highest rated NFL game of this season, it outperformed any regular season game from last season as well. Some of that was based on the high scoring, back-and-forth nature of the contest, and some of it was based on there being no real competition, but in terms of percentages of households watching TV in what are considered the 56 "major markets", it had the highest number of any telecast since February's Academy Awards. For the game's final 15 minutes (6:30 - 6:45), almost 25% of all TV's on in those major markets were watching the game. The average audience of 28.3 million viewers made it the single most watched television broadcast for the week…TLC's Long Island Medium may not be a Duck Dynasty-level juggernaut but it's become a VERY strong ratings performer; Sunday's mid-season premiere drew in 2.6 million viewers, making it the night's top non-sports show on cable during primetime, topping much more buzzed about shows like Keeping Up with the Kardashians and The Real Housewives of Miami as well as the series premiere of Lifetime's Witches of East End…For the second week in a row, The Simpsons won the night in non-NFL demos...Betrayal took a steep loss from last week's lousy-to-begin-with demos, down 27% and entering the not-long-for-this-world stage...Once Upon a Time was down 4%, with Revenge down 17%...American Dad matched last week while Bob's Burgers and Family Guy each dropped a smidge, the latter topping 9:00pm in non-NFL demos...Sunday Night Football won the night in total viewers and demos...
MONDAY The Blacklist was the night's top scripted total viewer and demo performer...Hostages was down 20% in the demos and is now teetering on the "getting pulled" fence with the lowest numbers of any non-CW show on the night...The Voice won the night in totals and demos...Hart of Dixie and Beauty & The Beast were both only down a smidge from their spring finales and up from what 90210 & Gossip Girl put up in that spot last fall...DWTS was up a bit in the demos and even in viewers after two weeks of drops...CBS comedy lineup was down a bit in both total viewers and demos...
TUESDAY Supernatural had its most watched premiere episode since 2010 and the one with the best demos since 2009...Agents of SHIELD was down 15% but still topped NCIS for the best demos at 8pm, which were also the best for any scripted show of the night...NCIS was down 23% in the demos but was still the most watched program of the night...Trophy Wife matched last week while The Goldbergs was down in the demos...The Fox Comedy lineup found Dads even, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and New Girl up, and The Mindy Project down...Chicago Fire was down 15% at 10pm but still easily won the hour in demos...Fox News is thrilled with their new primetime program The Kelly Files; the Megyn Kelly hosted show was up 38% from night one to night two, with an incredible 116% jump in the target 25-54 demos. Those demo numbers not only topped what Piers Morgan drew for CNN and what Rachel Maddow pulled in for MSNBC, they also beat the show's lead-in - usual ratings champion The O'Reilly Factor…
EVERYTHING that was on last week was down this week, with Super Fun Night's 20+% dips in demos AND total viewers leading the parade...Modern Family easily won the night in demos...Revolution once again finished fourth in the demos at 8pm...CSI won 10pm in totals and demos...Ironside finished third (last) at 10pm in totals and demos...Arrow was down from last year's premiere but even with the season one demo average...Survivor won 8pm in totals and demos... American Horror Story: Coven was the most watched opener in AHS' three seasons with 5.54 million viewers. Their numbers in the 18-34 demo was tops for all of TV in primetime, and it finished second only to Modern Family in the main 18-49 demo. When the three showings (the initial 10pm airing plus two encores) are combined, the total audience for the opening hour is 7.78 million.
All The Young Dudes, Carry The News
Industry News, Notes, and Hot Rumors…In the most obvious case of cause and effect in recent memory, within 24 hours of rumors that E! was considering cancelling Keeping Up with the Kardashians due to declining ratings, Kris and Bruce Jenner confirmed that they had been separated for the last year or so following 20+ years of marriage. Jenner's interview with US Weekly will hit newsstands on Friday…Anthony Anderson will executive produced and star in the ABC comedy Black-ish, about a Father and husband struggling with his and his kid's cultural identities in an ever changing world. The pilot is written by Kenya Barris (The Game, Are We There Yet?) and loosely based on his life. Laurence Fishburne is also an executive producer and, while not confirmed, there is talk he would play Anderson's Father in a recurring role…Fox has ordered an 8 episode first season of Slide Show, a new reality competition show executive produced by Steve Carell. An adaptation of a Anything Goes, a reality show that's been a hit in France, Australia, Portugal, and Denmark, Slide Show pits teams of celebrities and comedians against each other in battles of brain and brawn, with all the contestants taking place on a set that is tilted on a 22.5 degree angle (based on what I've read it's part Hollywood Game Night, part Who's Line is it Anyway?, and part crazy Japanese game show)… Eureka creator Andrew Cosby is developing Strange Fiction for NBC, a drama about a young literary editor whose life turns upside down when he encounters an enigmatic (and possibly crazy) paranormal investigator…NBC has acquired the US rights to Welcome to Sweden, a comedy executive produced by Amy Poehler and her brother Greg that was the Swedish network TV4's first English speaking scripted series. Greg Poehler created the semi-autobiographical show about an NYC accountant who falls in love with a girl from Sweden and uproots his whole life to be with her. Poehler plays the male lead and the cast includes Lena Olin, Patrick Duffy, and Illeana Douglass, as well as cameos from Amy Poehler, Will Ferrell, Aubrey Plaza, and Gene Simmons…House of Lies is lining up a series stack of guest stars for the upcoming third season; three time Grammy winner T.I. and Daniel Stern are the latest to sign up for multi-episode runs, joining previously announced guest stars Mekhi Phifer and Eliza Coupe (Happy Endings). Griffin Dunne, Jenny Slate, and Bess Armstrong will also guest on the show, reprising their recurring roles from seasons one and two…Three time Emmy winner Brad Garrett has signed a deal with ABC to develop his upcoming autobiography When the Balls Drop as a comedy series for the network. The book is about Garrett's life as a divorced, middle-aged Dad trying to balance his home life with his career and the comedy would be similarly focused, with Garrett and Chuck Tatham (How I Met Your Mother) writing the pilot, which Garrett would star in and executive produce as well. He'll next be seen on TV guesting on CBS' The Crazy Ones later this fall…Travel has picked up new seasons of Bizarre Foods America (season 6), Mysteries at the Museums (season 6), Hotel Impossible (season 4), and Dangerous Ground (season 2), all of which should premiere in the first quarter of 2014. Earlier the channel ordered third seasons of both Trip Flip and Toy Hunter…Bradley Cooper is executive producing a TV version of Limitless, the 2011 hit movie he starred in. No network is attached to the project yet...National Geographic has ordered a first season of Act of Valor, the network's first scripted series. The story, written by Eric Jendresen (Band of Brothers, Killing Lincoln), follows a team of para-rescuemen, whose job it is to recover and treat the medical needs of people in both combat and humanitarian situations. Look for it in mid-to-late 2014...
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 am not sure what impresses me most about Showtime's new Masters of Sex, the casting or their handling of the subject matter, but it's a win-win because the show has been fantastic in its opening two hours.
Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan were already TTTP faves for their previous work, the latter for her work on The Class and Party Down and the former for his work as Tony Blair as well as his fantastic visits to The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, so while I was thrilled they would be working together I was in no way prepared for just how good they would be in these roles. Caplan in particular is much more known for comedy and with Masters has likely found a career marking role.
Obviously the subject matter, while interesting (for all the right AND wrong reasons), might not have lent itself to series TV that well in the hands of lesser writers, but this batch finds real drama and tension in the story and makes you feel the importance of what Masters and Johnson are trying to do while at the same time demonstrating the real odds they were up against.
Yes, Masters of Sex does have copious amounts of nudity and sexual activity but its' never gratuitous and frankly makes sense considering the focus of the show, but each episode that's not what I've come away thinking about; I've focused on the amazing, eye opening work of the cast and wished I could watch the next hour right away.
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…
Wow, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots are so great they can make me enjoy a Miley Cyrus song!!!...I am hard pressed to remember a single worse product than Kookn' Kaps making it into the Shark Tank and I feel bad for all those entrepreneurs who tried out for the show and didn't get picked who had to sit at home and go, "them and not me? Really?!?!?" On the other hand, the Rapid Ramen Cooker negotiations were fantastic, with a lot of back and forth, some great examples of different possible deal, and in the end one of the Sharks making the decision based on the person as much as the product…I was pretty much ready to give up on Revolution several minutes into the season premiere - don't turn the lights on at the end of one season only to turn them off again two seconds later!!! - but I am still in for now, in large part because the show continues to excel in casting; Stephen Collins, Adam Beach, Matt Ross (Big Love), Richard T Jones (Hawaii 5-0, Nikita, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Nicole Ari Parker, Jessica Collins (Zero Dark Thirty, Rubicon), and Jason Douglas have all make great impressions of the course of the opening three hours. I do think the writers made a huge mistake - the lights finally coming back on should have been the SERIES finale, not a five minute tease at the end of season one. Now whenever it is they do turn them back on again, the power of the event (pun intended) will be lost since the audience will have already seen it and won't buy in so quickly again…TV already had a strong set of young actors coming into this season (Modern Family, Parenthood, Raising Hope, to name just a few) but this season has significantly added to it, with standout kids from Trophy Wife, Back in the Game (although we already knew how great Griffin Gluck was from Private Practice), Mom, and The Michael J Fox Show... Two episodes in and I am very much enjoying the current season of Once Upon a Time, more than anything the show has done since season one. Their take on Peter Pan is certainly an interesting one and there seems to be an actual feeling of danger/doom, which is not an easy thing to establish. Jennifer Morrison knocked it out of the park last night, too. Also, while I know I am hardly the 114th person to make such a reference, I do keep wondering when they are going to come across a polar bear, or a hatch, or some plane wreckage, as they stumble through the jungle…Disappointed in The Mindy Project so far this season; it's funny and entertaining but hasn't taken enough of a quality jump from season one to justify its existence for that much longer…New Girl is handing Nick and Jess' relationship perfectly, giving us laughs along with signs of maturity. Also, Ferguson might be my favorite new cast member on a returning show this fall…
TV Pick Of The Week
It's hard to imagine that the number one show on TV returning to the airwaves with a new season could somehow be overlooked but it almost feels like The Walking Dead is getting lost among the aftershocks of the Breaking Bad finale and the coverage of the new fall season on the broadcast networks. Which is not to say the quality or the massive and dominant demo numbers will suffer this Sunday night when season five premieres…
Don't miss the season premiere of The Walking Dead, Sunday at 9pm on AMC.
Hope You Need My Love, Babe, Just Like I Need You
*The MLB post-season is really heating up with the ALCS & NLCS in full swing this week; the Dodgers – Cardinals play tonight, tomorrow, Monday, and Tuesday (and Wednesday if needed) on TBS while the Red Sox – Tigers face off on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (and Thursday if needed) on Fox.
*The "battle rounds" begin on The Voice this Monday at 8pm on NBC.
*Top Gear: Top 41 (Monday, 9pm, BBC America) is a look at the best moments from the show's twenty season history.
*True Evel (Monday, 10pm, Discovery) is a documentary look at the life of daredevil Evel Knievel.
*Superheroes: A Never Ending Battle (Tuesday, 8pm, PBS) is a three hour look at the history of superheroes, from Superman's first appearance during the Great Depression through The Avengers being the biggest movie ever, and everything in between…
*Timothy Olyphant stops by The Mindy Project (9:30pm, Fox) this Tuesday,
*Schooled: The Price of College Sports is an Epix documentary premiering Wednesday at 8pm that looks at the way the NCAA treats college athletes.
*Toy Story of Terror! (Wednesday, 8pm, ABC) is a new half hour special featuring the characters from the classic animated big screen trilogy.
*Reign is a new historical fiction series from The CW, premiering Thursday at 9pm…
*White Collar begins season five this Thursday at 9pm, followed by the mid-season return of Covert Affairs at 10pm….
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 plus a HUGE "What I've Been Watching" section after enjoying a long weekend of TV viewing.
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.