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Two Tivos To Paradise 11.15.13: Doctor Who, The Daily Show, The Walking Dead, More
Posted by Al Norton on 11.15.2013

Hello friends. What's good? I'll tell you what's good right now; my day job, where my labor is producing fruits unlike I've never experienced before. Of course, it helps that I work in real estate in one of the few places in the country where that industry is still booming.

The holiday season is pretty much upon us and as such, we've got a great holiday themed giveaway; Dreamworks' Holiday Collection is a great DVD gift set with FOUR holiday favorites - Shrek The Halls, Merry Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda Holiday and Dragons Holiday: Gift of the Night Fury, plus a host of fun extras, too.

All you have to do to enter to win is go to the Al Norton's Two Tivos To Paradise Facebook page, click "like" if you haven't already, and then post "I want TTTP in my stocking" on our wall. As long as you follow our standard rules (one entry per person, must have a US or Canadian mailing address), you'll be in the running to win, with the lucky person chosen at random on Monday afternoon.

TNT's upcoming high profile mini-series Mob City gets a full length trailer…

A teaser trailer for HBO's new Looking

Just hold on, we're going news.

A Hot Summer Night Fell Like A Net, I've Got To Find My Baby Yet
The countdown to next Saturday's 50th anniversary Doctor Who special kicked off in earnest last Saturday with the premiere of not one but TWO trailers…

A short one…

And a longer one…

At this point anyone with even the slightest interest knows the 75 minute special – The Day of the Doctor - premieres worldwide on Saturday the 23rd at 2:50pm EST (on BBC America here in the states, although it's also playing as a special attraction in many movie theaters across the country), that is really the culmination of a week's worth of viewing options from BBC America…

9am 12 hour The Doctors Revisited marathon

9pm premiere of Doctor Who: The Day of the Tardis, a new special in which cast and crew from the shows' 50 year history reminisce.

10pm premiere of The Science of Doctor Who with Brian Cox, where Professor Cox (not the actor) looks at the real life science behind much of what the Doctor does.

10am 13 hour marathon – the 9th Doctor

2am 21 hour marathon – the 10th Doctor

9am 14 hour marathon – the 11th Doctor (part one)

9am 11 hour marathon – the 11th Doctor (part two)

8pm US premiere of Doctor Who Explained, basically a primer for those who have never watched (and a recap for those who have)

9pm US premiere of An Adventure in Space and Time, a scripted movie that looks at the show's beginnings to its current status as worldwide favorite…

1am 8 hour marathon – the 11th Doctor (part three)

2:00pm Pre-game for the special

2:50pm The Day of the Doctor

I am not know nor have I ever been a big Doctor Who guy but how can you not love a show that earns such passion and loyalty from its fan base and who rewards that loyalty with a 9 day period of programming like this?!?!

Took My Baby To A Saturday Bang, Boy Is That Girl With You, Yes We're One And The Same
Starz is making changes to its various Encore channels in order to target more specific demos; Encore Drama is becoming Encore Black (a channel going after African American viewers using reruns of shows like 227, Amen, Diff'rent Strokes, What's Happening, the original comedy series Martin Lawrence's 1st Amendment Standup, and the first month of movies will include a spotlight on the work of Samuel L Jackson) and Encore Love switches to Encore Classic (Murphy Brown, Magnum PI, and Night Court will be among the reruns along with a nightly movie slot at 9pm featuring titles like Kramer vs. Kramer, American Graffiti, Independence Day, Stand By Me, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Good Will Hunting, Tootsie, Basic Instinct and The Notebook).

Current channel Encore Suspense will get a new nightly block of horror programming - The Graveyard Shift - every night from 9pm to 5am, with the first month to include titles like Night of the Living Dead, The Fly, Silent Night, The Amityville Horror, The Dead Zone and Resident Evil: Retribution.

The changes go into effect December 2nd, with the new Encore lineup being Encore, Encore Action, Encore Classic, Encore Westerns, Encore Suspense, Encore Black, Encore Family and Encore Espanol.

I Might Be Too Strung Out On Confidence, Overdosed On Confidence
A few "too big for the notes section of the column but not ready for their own item" bits of news from the week…

*HBO has signed The Daily Show's John Oliver to create and host a new weekly comedy series; airing on Sunday nights and premiering in 2014, the show will be a satirical week-in-review look at politics, pop culture, and everything else that captured the world's attention.

*We told you last week about Marvel's deal with Netflix for four 13 episode seasons of superhero programming followed by a mini-series bringing the characters from the shows together and now word is coming in about who will be in charge of those shows; multiple outlets are reporting that Drew Goddard (Lost, Buffy, Angel, Alias) is thisclose to signing on as a writer/executive producer of the Daredevil series and Deadline.com tells us that Melissa Rosenberg, who wrote the screenplays for the Twilight films, is set to come on board the Jessica Jones series as a writer/executive producer. Rosenberg, who's TV resume includes Red Widow, Dexter, Birds of Prey, and The OC, was involved in the development of a Jessica Jones series with ABC several years ago.

*Cinemax has won a bidding war for Outcast, a new series from Robert Kirkman, the creator of The Walking Dead; the show, based on a forthcoming comic book by Kirkman, is about a man who has been dealt with being possessed since he was a boy and who, in his search for a cure and to help others like him, discovers a plan to end life on earth as we know it. The comic premieres in 2014, and the show would likely debut late in that year or early in 2015. Kirkman is an executive producer on The Walking Dead, currently the # 1 series on all of TV in the 18-49 demos and is also working on a companion series to TWD as well as an adaptation of his book Thief of Thieves, both with AMC. Outcast would be his first pilot script.

*USA has officially greenlighted Dig, a six episode mini-series from Tim Kring (Heroes, Touch) and Gideon Raff (Homeland) about an FBI agent working in Jerusalem who, in the course of the investigation of a murdered archaeologist, stumbles upon a vast 2000 year old conspiracy for world domination. Raff created Prisoners of War, the award winning Israel series Homeland is based on and is an executive producer/co-creator of the Showtime series as well, and he has political/action drama Tyrant in development with FX. Look for Dig in late 2014.

*The CW is developing a new version of Tales From the Darkside, a horror/supernatural anthology series from the 80's, with their eyes on a first season running this summer. Award winning writer Joe Hill (also known as the son of Stephen King) is writing the pilot, with Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci, who have worked together on Sleepy Hollow, Hawaii 5-0, Fringe, and Alias, on board as executive producers. The three previously worked together on Locke & Key, a failed Fox pilot with a cult following that was an adaptation of Hill's graphic novel of the same name…

* Fox has given a 13 episode order to Bordertown, a new animated comedy from Seth MacFarlane and Family Guy producer Mark Hentemann. The show takes place in a small desert Texas town and focuses on the friendship between two men, Bud, an old school husband and Dad who works as a border patrol guard, and Ernesto, a Mexican immigrant who lives next door with his wife and kids. The show will premiere in the 2014-2015 season and will likely take the Sundays at 9:30pm slot being vacated by American Dad's move to TBS.

*Tim Robbins and Jack Black will co-star in the HBO pilot The Brink, a dark political comedy directed by Jay Roach (Meet The Parents, Game Change, Austin Powers) about a worldwide crisis and the impact it has on the worlds of three different people. Robbins plays the Secretary of State and Black is a Foreign Service office caught in the middle of everything. The third lead - a Navy fighter pilot - has yet to be cast.

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…

Vampire Diaries was up a whopping 33% and actually tied The X Factor in the demos at 8pm, although that boosted lead-in did nothing for Reign, which merely matched last week...The X Factor was down 40% from its last regular Thursday episode, and lead-out Glee tied a series low...Once Upon a Time in Wonderland dropped to a new series low, finishing a distant 5th at 8pm...A special Thursday airing of The Voice led to big boosts for the rest of NBC's lineup- Sean Saves the World was up 55% to a new season/series high, The MJF Show was up 18% , and Parenthood was up 25%...The Big Bang Theory won the night in totals and demos...Scandal easily won 10pm (as usual)...The Millers and The Crazy Ones were up while Two and a Half Men hit a series low...ESPN's Oregon – Stanford matchup gave the network its best Thursday night college football numbers of the season…

Undercover Boss continued its yo-yo ratings, this week up 29% to win 8pm...Shark Tank was up a smidge and, as usual, won the night in demos, with Blue Bloods being the most watched show of the night...Dracula is free falling, down 23% from week two and now down 44% from its premiere; this was the first week it didn't win 10pm in the demos...The Neighbors enjoyed a slight uptick to its best demos since the season premiere...The season finale of Masterchef "Junior Edition" was up in totals and demos, the latter its best performance since the season premiere...

Killing Kennedy was watched by 3.354 million viewers last night, a new all-time viewership high for National Geographic Channel... Sunday Night Football dominated, up 20% in the demos to win the night in that measure as well as in total viewers...Bad night other than that, with ABC's lineup down across the board (Once Upon a Time tied a season low, Betrayal down 20% to a season/series low) and Fox's animation block down anywhere from 16% (American Dad) to 21% (The Simpsons)...The football overrun makes CBS hard to fully calculate right now but the early reports have Amazing Race and The Good Wife down a tiny bit while The Mentalist seems to have matched last week...

DWTS hit an all-time demo low...The Voice was up and, as usual, won the night in totals and demos...The Blacklist enjoyed its best demos in four weeks, winning 10pm in that measure with ease and also winning the hour in total viewers (it was the top scripted performer of the night in both)...Mike & Molly was down 15% to a series demo low, and lead-out Mom dropped to a season/series low as well...Bones was up in total viewers while matching last week's demos, while Sleepy Hollow was even with last week...

The Originals hit a season/series high in the demos, up 17% from last week, with lead-out Supernatural up in totals and demos...SHIELD was down 8% in total viewers and 12% in the demos, the sixth week in a row the demo numbers were lower than the week before...The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife both enjoyed modest gains in totals and demos...NCIS was the most watched show of the night with just over 19 million viewers and it and NCIS: LA matched last week's demos...Person of Interest was up in totals and demos...Chicago Fire was up in the demos, winning 10pm in that measure...Fox's entire comedy lineup set or tied new demo lows...

Arrow hit a season high in the demos while Criminal Minds rose 20% in total viewers to a season high 11.6 million...The X Factor was up from last week's series low...Revolution was even again, which is good news, except it's now multiple weeks in a row of tying a series demo low...Everything on ABC was up except Modern Family, which still won the night in the demos with ease...CSI won 10pm in totals and demos...

All The Young Dudes, Carry The News
Industry News, Notes, and Hot Rumors… Season four of Downton Abbey doesn't premiere in the US until this January but ITV (the British network that airs the award winning period drama) has picked up a 5th season, likely to hit the states in January of 2015…Comedy Central has cancelled The Jeselnik Offensive after two seasons…The CW has picked up the back 9 episodes on all three of their new original drama series; The Originals, The Tomorrow People, and Reign will all now have full 22 episode first seasons…HBO is developing Mr. Director, a Curb-Your-Enthusiasm style look at the life of Salim Akil, a very successful director/showrunner in the TV industry (he's finishing his 7th season as director/co-showrunner on The Game, which he executive produces along with his wife). The idea is to make it a documentary-style comedy with Akil writing, directing, and playing a version of himself, giving the viewer a look at Hollywood that's not the one typically presented (i.e. one that isn't all white)… MTV has decided to retool The Real World for the show's upcoming 29th cycle; Real World: Ex-Plosion premieres next season and will feature seven young men and women along with an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend of each of them. Adding to the tension will be that the first group of seven have no idea the second group (the exes) will be joining them in the house until move-in day. Producers of the show are very open about doing this for ratings, saying the numbers had fallen the last few years so they are trying to shake things up a bit…FXX cancelled Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, with last night's edition being the final episode...Less than 24 hours after it hit a season/series high in the demos (up 28% from the previous week thanks to having The Voice as a lead-in), Sean Saves the World got an order for an additional five episodes from NBC, bringing the first season order to 18…NBC Universal will team up with Sir Richard Branson to televise the first commercial flight into space; Branson and his adult children will take the voyage next year and channels involved with the coverage include NBC, MSNBC, Weather Channel, and Syfy, with the two biggest pieces being a primetime special on NBC the night before and a three hour Today Show special the next morning when the Bransons take flight…Kristen Schaal (The Daily Show, 30 Rock) is teaming with her husband Rich Blomquist (The Daily Show) to write American Monster, a pilot in development at ABC. Schaal would also play the lead, a small town misfit who becomes a national celebrity when she is charged with the latest "murder of the century." Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who together directed the big screen version of 21 Jump Street, will executive produce…NBC is bringing back Last Comic Standing for an 8th cycle that is set to run in the summer of 2014. The show premiered in the summer 2003 and has been cancelled three different times, the last time being in 2010. No host has been announced but this edition of the show will count Wanda Sykes among its executive producers…Brooke Shields has signed for a three episode stint on The Michael J Fox Show, playing a single Mom who hits it off well with Ian (Mike's 19 year old son) despite their age and life experience differences…Lifetime has ordered a 13 episode first season of Under The Gunn, a new reality competition show where three Project Runaway alumni will each mentor a team of aspiring designers, with weekly runway challenges leading to eliminations before one designer (and their mentor) are declared the winner. As the time implies, Tim Gunn will be the host of the show, which premieres January 16th, although it will not interfere with his Project Runway gig…Emmy winner Camryn Manheim (The Practice) and TTTP fave Saul Rubinek (Warehouse 13) will do multiple episodes of Person of Interest this season as a married couple who must work with the team in order to save their own lives (and the lives of others)… CBS is moving up the series premiere of Intelligence (action/drama starring Josh Holloway, Marg Helgenberger, and Megan Osry); originally scheduled to debut in the Mondays at 10pm slot on February 24th (the day after NBC's coverage of the Winter Olympics ends), the show will now get a preview of the pilot airing on Tuesday January 7th, with a new episode of NCIS as a lead-in, and then take over Mondays at 10pm on the 13th. Hostages concludes its 15 episode run with a two hour finale on Monday the 6th… A&E has given a January 22nd premiere date to Wahlburgers, a new reality series about the burger restaurant owned by the Wahlberg family, including Donnie and Mark, both of whom will appear on the show…Travel has ordered a 13 episode first season of Eat Secrets, where Adam Richman explores hidden/secret places for great food across the country..

Turns Out Not Where But Who You're With That Really Matters
AKA The Best Thing I've Watched In The Last Seven Days…
While I fully understand that it's not for everyone, Showtime's new reality series Time of Death is a stunning achievement in the documentation of the human condition, perhaps the single most real show in the history of the reality genre.

Someone asked me how I - how anyone - could possibly watch a show about people dying and my response was that there are really only two experiences in life that every single person is guaranteed to have in common with every single other person, and neither are things we'll ever be able to talk about going through, so the idea that some people would be interested in actually seeing how others deal with one of them (the one that is most mysterious, final, and scary) is, to me, perfectly normal and understandable.

That it's presented so matter of factly, without emotional manipulation or cleaning up for public consumption, only adds to its power. It's heart breakingly sad, thought provoking, anger inducing, and in many ways life affirming, and it makes me feel more than any TV viewing experience I've ever had.

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…

It's too bad Thursday's Glee hit a series low in the demos as it was a highly entertaining episode, with a fantastic debut by Adam Lambert plus many of the things the show is famous for (an embarrassingly literal translation of a song - the McKinley half of Roar, a version of a recent pop song that I find significantly more compelling than the original - Wide Awake – seen above, and some great pop culture references - Sam's obsession with True Jackson VP was perfect). Oh, and it had a lot of Santana (Santana makes everything better)...And just like that, HIMYM reminds me of why I love the show and put up with debacles like the previous few episodes. We got fantastic challenges, the comedic gold of heckling the refs at a Globetrotters game (seriously, if you've ever seen the Globetrotters play you know why that's both a riot and spot on), and we got to see how The Mother interacted/impacted the lives of the gang in ways we never could have imagined. A great and funny half hour…Really enjoyed the Food Network's 20th Anniversary special, a great and highly entertaining look at where they started and how they got to the heights they've reached. Very much worth the time to find a replay…Really loved Dana Gould's new Showtime standup special; sometimes the mix of intelligence and comedy can come off as smug but one of Gould's talents is to not make you hate him even though he's the smartest person in the room. One of my all-time favorite comedians who deserves a MUCH bigger audience…It's amazing to me that Shark Tank is in its 5th season and folks keep making the same mistake over and over again. I get that sometimes an idea/concept/product is worth more than it's currently earning, and I fully understand that simply by appearing on the show, their stock figuratively goes through the roof, but the value some of these folks are putting on their companies is frequently outrageous and it keeps them from getting deals that might begin to make those valuations possible…I am in no way rooting for Ed and Julia to hook up but I am pretty sure that David Denman's Parenthood run will end up with him being in very high demand for the upcoming pilot season. I know a lot of viewers seem to be taking issue with Julia's actions/flirtation but I think that's the point; the show is demonstrating that its characters are truly human, going down the same dangerous path and potentially making the same bad decisions that real people make every day. TV characters that always do the right thing are boring and not relatable, so if you're frustrated with her thought process (i.e. ignoring that she was recently the one who was all work), then I'd say that's the exact reaction they are going for, although something tells me there are also quite a few viewers who don't condone cheating (emotional or physical) but who might understand why someone who feels ignored and alone might respond to the attention of a person who knows just how they feel …The difference between a comedy being pretty good to among the best on TV are usually the little things; the way Zach, Andrew, and Lauren were dancing in the background as Sydney listened to "her" song on last week's The Crazy Ones was as funny as any sitcom's A-Story this season. The David E Kelley comedy got off to an odd start with a pilot episode that featured McDonald's so heavily as to be distracting but since then it's really found its way, with an ensemble cast that has gelled perfectly and a tone that balances laugh out loud moments with genuine sweetness…I have been loving this first season of Trophy Wife and if you asked me my favorite thing about the show my answer would undoubtedly be newcomer Albert Tsai, who plays Bert, perhaps TV best scene stealer this fall…While I am not sure it qualifies as any sort of instant classic, last night's Modern Family had me laughing out loud throughout, with the obvious highlight being the pairing of Ed O'Neill and Jordan Peele (of Key & Peele), which started funny in the parking lot and then got better as they embraced every buddy cop movie cliché in the book. It was also a treat to see ALL the characters get the spotlight over the course of the half hour (is there an actor/actress on TV who does as much with as little/gets more laughs per line than Aubrey Anderson-Emmons in her role as Lily?!?!)... One of the (MANY) reasons I am such a big fan of @Midnight is, with the twins starting school this past September, I now drop them off every morning and if I didn't have Chris Hardwick and company to watch while I was getting dressed, I'd go to work every day with Fresh Beat Band songs in my head.

TV Pick Of The Week
I know you must be sick of all the endless ads for Fox's new Almost Human but don't let the oversaturation keep you from watching what is actually a pretty good new action/drama.

Don't miss the two part series premiere of Almost Human, Sunday at 8pm (special day/time) and Monday at 8pm (regular time slot) on Fox.

Hope You Need My Love, Babe, Just Like I Need You
Other noteworthy programming from the coming week…

*Raising Hope is back for a new season with TWO episodes tonight at 9 & 9:30pm on Fox…

*Science Channel's first original movie – The Challenge Disaster – premiers Saturday at 9pm (simulcast on sister network Discovery)…

*The full six episode first season of Sundance's excellent Rectify runs in marathon form on Sunday starting at 1pm…

*NBC's Sunday Night Football is likely to hit a season high this week with the Broncos – Chiefs game, a matchup of the top two teams in the AFC.

*Eastbound & Down's series finale airs Sunday at 10pm on HBO.

*Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley (Monday, 9pm, HBO) shines a spotlight on a true entertainment industry trailblazer…

*Considering how much I enjoyed his early specials, where he just walked around the street and blew people's minds with his tricks (as opposed to his big, spectacle/event oriented specials that came later), I have very high hopes for David Blaine: Real or Magic, which airs Tuesday at 9:30pm on ABC…

*Aziz Ansari guests on the season finale of The League, Wednesday at 10:30pm on FXX.

*Candace Bergen and Charles Grodin guest as Mike's parents on The Michael J Fox Show, Thursday at 9:30pm on NBC.

*The current season of Covert Affairs comes to a close, likely with a jaw dropping cliffhanger (or two), Thursday at 10pm on USA.

Two Tivos To Paradise
3 Days to Open with Bobby Flay, 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, @Midnight, 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, Burger Land, Cake Boss, Cake Boss: Next Great Baker, Chicago Fire, Chopped, Comic Book Men, Community, Cougar Town, Counting Cars, The Crazy Ones, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Dancing with the Stars, The Deadliest Catch, Deon Cole's Black Box, 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 Lab, Ghost Mine, 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 Michael J Fox Show, The Middle, Mike and Molly, The Mindy Project, Modern Family, Monster Man, Nashville, Necessary Roughness, New Girl, The New Normal, Next Iron Chef, The Originals, 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


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