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Two Tivos To Paradise 1.17.14: Game of Thrones, Batman, 24, Community, More
Posted by Al Norton on 01.17.2014





Hello friends; what's good? This is our first regular news column of 2014, so it will be a tad overstuffed as we catch up on the last month (we had a week off and two year-in-review pieces since our last post). I tried to break it up with videos but I apologize in advance for the text density. Note to self, Text Density is a GREAT band name, almost as good as Clem Eats Cats or Xander's Good Eye (yes, many of my band names are Buffy-centric).

Since it's our first regular column of the year, let's do our first giveaway of the year; we've got the final season of Burn Notice on DVD; all 13 episodes plus a ton of extras including commentary, deleted scenes, bloopers, and a featurette about the making of the finale. Go to Al Norton's Two Tivos To Paradise page on Facebook, click "Like" if you have not already, and then post "Sam Axe Loves TTTP" on our wall, and you'll be entered to win. Standard rules – must have US or Canadian mailing address, one entry per person – apply. We'll pick a winner on Monday night, so good luck!!!

A funny promo for Jimmy Fallon's upcoming ascension to The Tonight Show





In celebration of the news that Warner Brothers Home Entertainment will finally be releasing the late 60's live-action Batman series on DVD later this year, here's a great set of scaling the building clips…





Once upon a time there was light in my life, now there's only news in the dark.


I Hear Your Name In Certain Circles And It Always Makes Me Smile
It's been a month since our last full news column, so let's dive in to the big stories we've missed, broken down by network…

ABC
*ABC has given a production commitment to a new comedy starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo as a couple enjoying retirement, seeing their kids and grandkids a couple of times a year, who suddenly end up raising those grandkids. It's a single-camera series that will vie for a spot in the 2015-2016 season (there's no writer attached to the project yet, so it's still in its infancy, i.e. nowhere near ready for a pilot to be done this spring). Chase and D'Angelo famously paired up before as the Griswolds in the Vacation movies.

*Brittany Snow has signed as the female lead in the ABC comedy pilot An American Education, a US version of the BBC Three series Bad Education. Jack Whitehall, who created and starred in the original, stars in this one as well, playing a thinks-outside-of-the-box teacher in a San Diego Public School, with Snow as a fellow faculty member (and romantic interest) and Rosie Perez as the Vice-Principal.

*ABC pulled The Assets after just two of the limited series 8 episodes had aired. The ratings for episode one were a record demo low for an in-season premiere and last night's second hour dropped even lower. Shark Tank reruns will air in the Thursdays at 10pm spot for the next three weeks. With Killer Women opening to poor numbers the first two weeks (lower than what Lucky 7, cancelled after two weeks, put up in that same timeslot), this is not looking like a good mid-season for ABC.

*ABC has officially ordered a pilot for American Crime, a new drama from John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) that follows a racially charged murder case from investigation to trial and the impact it has on the community - California's Central Valley. Ridley, nominated for an Oscar yesterday (to go with his Golden Globe nomination), has TV credits that include Third Watch, Martin, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Barbershop, and The Wanda Sykes Show. He also wrote the highly underrated movie U Turn, which was based on his book Stray Dogs.

CBS
*CBS has given a pilot order to Taxi-22, a comedy that had become a focus of James Gandolfini's work as an executive producer in early 2013. An adaptation of a French comedy, the show focuses on a politically incorrect, tells it like it is NYC cabbie. Tad Quill, who created the TTTP fave Bent and has writing/producing stints on Scrubs, Spin City, Dirty Sexy Money, and Samantha Who on his resume, is writing the script and executive producing, with the creative team behind the original series on board as producers as well.

*CBS has renewed their entire daytime lineup for the 2014-2015 season, which includes The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, Price is Right, Let's Make a Deal, and The Talk.

NBC
*NBC has released some of its post-Olympic plans for new shows, including the much loved on this page About a Boy and Growing Up Fisher...

*About A Boy & Growing Up Fisher will air on Tuesdays at 9 & 9:30pm, with The Voice as a lead-in, as of February 25th. Both will also get preview showings after that night's Winter Olympic coverage has ended (Boy on 2/21, Fisher on 2/23, both at 10:3pm).








*Believe, from J.J. Abrams and Alfonso Cuaron, will air Sundays at 9pm starting March 16th, with a sneak preview of the pilot airing March 10th at 10pm in The Blacklist's regular spot (i.e. with The Voice as a lead-in).

*Crisis, a new hostage/conspiracy drama from Rand Ravich (Life), premieres Sunday March 16th at 10pm, the same night the new reality series from Nate Berkus - American Dream Builders (home decorators and house builders compete) - debuts at 8pm…





*NBC has officially picked up a pilot for Constantine, an adaptation of the same comic book that was the source material for the 2005 big screen movie starring Keanu Reeves as the title character. The story follows a fast talking con-man who somehow finds himself in the role of supernatural private eye and protector of the universe against other worldly evil. Daniel Cerone (The Mentalist, Dexter, Dirty Sexy Money) and David S Goyer (Man of Steel, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight Rises) are co-writing and co-executive producing.


*NBC has ordered a pilot for Coercion, an adaptation of the Israeli series The Gordon Cell, which will focus on a former war hero turned CIA analyst whose parents and sister are part of a sleeper cell of Russian spies who have just been activated. George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau, The Bourne Ultimatum) is writing and directing. This is the second time NBC has had this project in development; a pilot that Peter Berg wrote did not get picked up last spring.

*The network ordered two comedy pilots from familiar faces; Casey Wilson (Happy Endings) will co-write & co-executive produce Mason Twins, about fraternal female twins who break a 15 year run of not talking to each other when one's life falls apart and she moves back to her hometown, and Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation) is co-executive producing A to Z, which looks behind the scenes at an on-line dating company.

*And then ordered pilots for three more comedies...

-Ellen More or Less is from JJ Philbin (New Girl, SNL) and Jason Katims (Parenthood, Friday Night Lights), about a woman who loses 100 pounds and has to figure out how her new shape impacts her life, both personally and professionally.

-Mission Control counts Will Ferrell and Adam McKay as executive producers and is a workplace period piece, set at NASA in 1962 when a woman joins the group of astronauts looking to be first on the moon.

-Love is Relative is written by Borat and Bruno co-writer Dan Mazer, about the way a married couples life changes when a newly divorced sibling moves in with them.

FOX
*Up until this point it was thought Fox's upcoming series Gotham would focus on a young police detective James Gordon and some of Batman's future super villains on their way to becoming legendary baddies, but Fox President Kevin Reilly made clear the scope will be broader and include you know who...

"This is all of the classic Batman characters, with a young Bruce Wayne, the Penguin, the Riddler [and] how they came to be…. What events led up to [someone] becoming Catwoman…. all with Gotham teetering on the edge."

He went into more detail, saying "We will arc a young Bruce Wayne from a child", roughly 12 years old, to the point in the eventual series finale when the character "puts on the cape".

*Yvonne Strahovski (Dexter, Chuck) and Benjamin Bratt (Private Practice, Law & Order) has joined signed on to 24: Live Another Day, the mini-series event that will have a two hour premiere on Fox on Monday, May 5th. She joins Judy Davis, Giles Matthey (True Blood), and Gbenga Akinnagbe (The Wire) as new-to-the-franchise cast members, with those returning including Keifer Sutherland (of course), Kim Raver, William Devane and Mary Lynn Rajskub.

*Fox has signed The Lonely Island team, including recent Golden Globe winner Andy Samberg, to a development deal to create new content that would be available via digital platforms, with the idea that one (or more) of them would either be turned into a series and/or that the group of shorts would become a special/series. Lonely Island is of course known for creating SNL Digital Shorts, several of which became pop culture phenomenon.





*Kevin Reilly announced that the rest of season 5 of Glee would take place in New York. While it was clear some characters would be moving from Ohio to the new location - including Jane Lynch's Sue Sylvester and Matthew Morrison's Will Schuster - it's unclear how the underclassman characters, like Ryder, Marley, Jake, and Unique, would be a part of the show (or rather IF they would be a part of the show). He also said he has had good conversations with showrunner Ryan Murphy about ideas for the show's sixth (and final) season.





EVERYONE ELSE

*HBO has given season four of Game of Thrones an April 6th premiere date while announcing the upcoming 5th season of Boardwalk Empire would be the drama's last…





*AMC has given the first half of Mad Men's final season an April 13th premiere date while also announcing that Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul will debut in November. They also picked up a 5th season of The Talking Dead.

*Zach Galifianakis has signed to co-write and star in an untitled FX comedy pilot, with Louis C.K. as the project's co-writer.

*Oscar & Golden Globe nominee John Hawkes and Michael Cera have signed to star in How and Why, an FX comedy pilot written and directed by Charlie Kaufman. Hawkes, whose TV credits include Eastbound & Down, Deadwood, Lost, and 24, plays a super book smart guy who knows nothing about the world of personal interaction and Cera his friend who tries to offer balance to his life.

*We told you in November about WGN America's plans for a mini-series based on the 10 Commandments, with the idea to line up a big name director for each of the 10 segments - which would be modern takes on the individual commandments - and now they've announced the first five directors signed to the project; Gus Van Sant, Lee Daniels, Jim Sheridan, Wes Craven, and Michael Cera are on board. The project is executive produced by Bruce Cohen (Silver Linings Playbook, American Beauty) and Bob Weinstein.

* Showtime has ordered 10 episode first seasons of The Affair and Happyish. The Affair is written by Sarah Treem (House of Cards), based on an idea she and fellow In Treatment executive producer Hagai Levi came up with, and shows an extra marital affair from the two distinctly different point of views of the participants, played by Dominic West and Ruth Wilson. Maura Tierney and Joshua Jackson are also in the cast.

Happyish is a dark comedy starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman as a guy in his early 40's trying to figure out where he fits into the modern world, with TTTP fave Kathryn Hahn as his wife and Rhys Ifans as his boss.

Speaking of Showtime, here's a look at their upcoming horror/drama series Penny Dreadful




*Sundance has picked up a six episode second season of The Writer's Room, with the episodes featuring Sons of Anarchy, Pretty Little Liars, The Good Wife, Scandal, House of Cards, and one focused on show's that are adaptations of comic books/graphic novels (The Walking Dead and Arrow, for example). Jim Rash will return as the host.

*The new El Ray Network announced a March 11th premiere date for From Dusk Till Dawn, with Robert Rodriquez, who directed the movie, behind the camera for the first, second, and fourth episodes…





*Robert Redford and Oscar & Emmy winning documentarian Alex Gibney are teaming up for Death Row Stories, an 8 episode series for CNN, with each hour looking at a different capital murder case. Susan Sarandon will narrate.

*Comedy Central has picked up a 10 episode first season of Moonbeam City, an animated spoof of sex-filled, gritty 1980's crime dramas, with Rob Lowe, Elizabeth Banks, Will Forte, and Kate Mara voicing the lead characters. The show was created by Scott Gairdner (Conan), with Lowe and Will Gluck among its producers.

*There are now details in on Andy and Lana Wachowski's upcoming 10 episode Netflix series Sense8; the story follows 8 people across the world who have the same violent dream/vision. Each episode follows one of the characters' lives while one person tries to bring the entire group together and another tries to kill them. The show is being shot on location in UK, Seoul, Mumbai, Nairobi, Berlin, Mexico City, San Francisco and Chicago, and J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5, Thor, World War Z) will be the showrunner. Filming begins in June.

*OWN knows a good thing when it sees it and as such is saying in the Tyler Perry business; they've ordered a first season of Single Moms Club, an adaptation of his upcoming movie of the same name. The story finds a diverse group of single Moms who come together after an incident at their kid's school and from a de facto support group for each other. The movie premieres on the big screen in March and the TV show, which Perry will write and direct as well, will debut this fall (none of the cast of the movie is expected to reprise their roles).

*HBO picked up a 35 episode thirteenth season of Real Time with Bill Maher.

It's Time To Play The Music, It's Time To Light The Lights
The Muppets 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
The Big Bang hit a new series high in total viewers with 20.08 million viewers, with its best demos in almost a year (winning the night in both)...Parks and Recreation was up 40%...Community, Sean Saves the World, and The MJF Show were all up slightly in the demos...Parenthood had its biggest audience since the season premiere...The Millers hit new season/series highs in totals and demos...The Crazy Ones was up 20% in the demos...The Taste matched last week's (ok) premiere numbers...The Assets was down 24% in total viewers and also was down a smidge from last week's record low demos...TNT's NBA doubleheader (Miami-New York & Oklahoma City – Denver) was up a whopping 71% in total viewers than the games on that night last year, with the first game up 117%)…

FRIDAY
Shark Tank won the night in demos, its best performance in that measure since last April...Last Man Standing was up 25% to tie a season high, with lead out The Neighbors up a bit, too...Hawaii 5-0 and Blue Bloods each hit season highs in total viewers while putting up their second best demos of the season...Grimm and Dracula were down in total viewers and demos...Enlisted opened with mediocre at best numbers, matching what Raising Hope was doing in the spot earlier in the season...

SATURDAY
The NFL post-season once again put up some impressive numbers on Saturday; the 49'ers - Saints was up from last year to give Fox it's second best divisional round numbers in 17 years. The Colts - Patriots game on NBC was watched by just under 28 million people, with demos that were higher than the other big 4 networks COMBINED. The ratings for that game were actually down from last year but that's because that was a double overtime thriller (Ravens - Broncos).

SUNDAY
The final numbers for the Golden Globe Awards are in, with the total view count up 6% to 20.9 million, a 10 year high, and the demos up 2% to a seven year high... The season three premiere of Girls was watched by 1.1 million viewers, an increase of 28% from season two and a new series high. True Detective, which debuted an hour earlier, pulled in 2.3 million, HBO's best series premiere in 3+ years…33.3 million watched the 49'ers - Panthers game on Fox, up 11% from last year. Over on CBS, 41.1 million tuned in for the Chargers - Colts game, a 9% jump from last year and the third most watched Sunday AFC Divisional Playoff game in 27 years…

MONDAY
Without The Voice as a lead-in, The Blacklist was down 17% to a new season/series demo low, although it still won 10pm in that measure with ease. It was also the night's most watched show...2 Broke Girls, Mom, and Mike & Molly all hit season highs in total viewers while enjoying demo gains as well...HIMYM was up 11% in the demos to WIN THE NIGHT in that measure...The Bachelor was down 17% to a new all-time regular episode low...Intelligence expected a drop from its post-NCIS premiere numbers but CBS can't be happy that it was only up a smidge from the Hostage finale demos numbers...Hart of Dixie hit a season high in total viewers (most since last April) and tied a season high in the demos...

TUESDAY
There was no real Golden Globes bump for Brooklyn Nine-Nine, up a bit in total viewers and down a bit in the demos...NCIS, NCIS: LA, and Person of Interest all easily won their timeslots in total viewers and demos...SHIELD and The Goldbergs had their second week of ever-so-slightly increased demos in a row while Trophy Wife matched last week…Killer Women was down double digits in totals and demos from last week's terrible opening numbers, dropping to an area that usually means getting cancelled within 24 hours or so (that is if ABC has anything else they can put in that slot)...

WEDNESDAY
American Idol won the night in totals and demos, albeit dropping to an all-time demo low for a season premiere (and that includes the summer series premiere when no one knew what the show was). It was down 17% in total viewers and 24% in the demos from last January...Chicago PD was down 36% in viewers and 25% in demos in week two, finishing second in both measures to CSI at 10pm, with Nashville coming in last for the hour...Arrow was down double digits in totals and demos...Modern Family had the best scripted demos on the night...Revolution & SVU were each down 15%...Suburgatory's premiere matched last spring's finale but was down 40% from last year's debut...

All The Young Dudes, Carry The News
Industry News, Notes, and Hot Rumors…The NFL is shopping some of their 13 game Thursday night package, currently airing on NFL Network, to other broadcast and cable outlets. With HUGE ratings and new players in the sports cable market (like FS1 and NBCSN), this could be another major cash windfall for a league already raking in big bucks for their TV rights...HBO has (FINALLY) confirmed that The Newsroom will return for a third - and FINAL - season…Season five of Worst Cooks in America premieres on Food on February 17th, with Chefs Anne Burrell and Bobby Flay returning as coaches…ESPN is launching 30 for 30: Soccer Stories this April, which will include two feature length documentaries plus six 30 minute short films, all designed/timed up for the build to the 2014 FIFA World Cup (which, as you might guess, is on ESPN). There will also be a series of short segments focused on Brazilian culture throughout the coverage…TV producer Mark Burnett and film maker Robert Rodriguez are teaming up for a new weekly series featuring Lucha Libre wrestling on the forthcoming El Ray Network. The one hour show will feature a new league as part of a partnership with Mexico's Lucha Libre AAA…Add Gwyneth Paltrow to the list of former stars/guest stars returning for Glee's 100th episode. Already confirmed returnees include Kristin Chenoweth, Dianna Agron, Heather Morris, Amber Riley, Harry Shum Jr. and Mark Salling. Even better, it's a two-parter, so we'll have two hours (airing on March 18th & 25th) to enjoy the reunions…Nat Geo is so happy with Wicked Tuna that not only will season three of the show premiere next month but they've ordered a spinoff; Wicked Tuna: North vs. South, which begins filming later this winter on the Outer Banks of North Carolina…Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, and Q-Tip are teaming up to executive produce a drama series based on the latter's experiences in the rap/hip hop community in the late 80's - early 90's. The project will be shopped to networks via DiCaprio's Appian Way production company shortly... Eva Longoria will make her directorial debut with an episode of Lifetime's Devious Maids, which she also executive produces. It's also possible she will appear in the show's second season, which kicks off on April 20th... Oscar & Golden Globe nominated filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, The Wrestler, Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain) has signed a deal with HBO to develop projects he would direct for the channel. This doesn't mean he is leaving the world of movies in any way; he also signed a development deal with New Regency for big screen projects…Drea de Matteo has been bumped from guest stat to full time regular status for Sons of Anarchy's upcoming 7th - and final - season…TBS has picked up an additional 13 weeks of The Pete Holmes Show. The talk show, which had a 7 week trial run at the end of 2013, will return to its midnight on Mon-Thu timeslot as of February 24th, with Conan as its lead-in (Conan O'Brien is an executive producer of The Pete Holmes Show)…Bill Paxton has signed on for a multi-episode run on Marvel's Agents of SHIELD…Netflix has given a 9 episode first season order to Marco Polo, an action adventure series that will premiere later this year. Originally developed for Starz, the show counts John Fusco (Hidalgo, Young Guns I & II), Dan Minahan (Game of Thrones, True Blood), and Harvey Weinstein as executive producers…Comedy Central is going all in on Natasha Leggero; Deadline.com tells us they have signed her for a stand-up special as well as to star in a new pilot she is also executive producing. Another Period is a scripted spoof of Real Housewives-type reality shows, set in 1902 and following two sisters in a very wealthy Newport family whose only focus in life is to party, look good, and be famous. Riki Lindhome co-stars, and Drunk History co-creator Jeremy Konner is directing.

Turns Out Not Where But Who You're With That Really Matters
AKA The Best Thing I've Watched In The Last Seven Days…
We are four episodes into the new season and I am ready to once again proclaim Community the best comedy on TV. The still funny but incredibly watered down and trying too hard season four is now but a distant memory, with the opening two hours of season five reminding us of all that is right with the world when Community, and old/new showrunner Dan Harmon, are on their games.

The first two episodes were solid outings, funnier and better than most of what's on TV and at the same time providing a reset of sorts for the show (the opening hour was titled Repilot, if that gives you any indication), but the two episodes that followed – last week's serial killer movie send up and last night's brilliant look inward by Save Greendale Committee – were up there with the best the show has ever done, and that's saying something.

One of constant refrains about the first three seasons of the Community was that it both mocked and embraced the traditional sitcom in ways TV had never seen before and it's rather incredible to me that, with episodes like last night's, it still finds ways to surprise me. I can't wait to see what they have in store for me next Thursday!

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 twenty eight days…





I wish I could put into words the joy that @ Midnight brings me but suffice it to say that it is hands down my favorite show right now. How's this; I'd rather watch @Midnight than a show where Walton Goggins and Andre Braugher team up to take down city hall, than a show about Sofia Vergara and a trampoline, than a montage of all the fake TV shows featured on 30 Rock over the years, than a reality show that just follows Stephen Amell around (the man crush is strong with this one). You get the idea, right?...I thought Tina and Amy did a strong job on The Golden Globe Awards, with the two best lines being, "Gravity is nominated for best film. It's the story of how George Clooney would rather float away into space and die than spend one more minute with a woman his own age" and "And now, like a supermodel's vagina, let's all give a warm welcome to Leonardo DiCaprio." I thought the show moved at a brisk pace and the hosts made up for the production issues as well as the truly awful bit that Melissa McCarthy and Jimmy Fallon tried to do…Two strong weeks in a row for Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which hopefully is on the way to finding itself. I do find it interesting that many viewers who have no trouble making a decision on the quality of a show like this in less than half a season are also the same people who get mad when a network pulls the plug on a show they like in the same period of time, with the rational being the network didn't give the show a fair shake. Obviously one either likes the show or they don't but don't for a second think that the way many viewers make instant judgments on shows doesn't play a role in how fast networks are with their hooks. Some said last week's Coulson reveal was a letdown (warning, spoilers ahead) because it wasn't a big enough plot point but to me it was huge, at least on a character development level; the most committed to making the world a better place, happy to be alive guy on the show got memories back of when he was a broken man, when he begged to die. How he takes those memories, that information, and moves forward, reconciling it with the person he has always thought of himself as being, is a journey I am very much interesting in going on with him (and the incredibly talented Clark Gregg)…I am not sure I've ever seen a show change tone/style/focus mid-run as much as Disney's A.N.T. Farm; originally a show about a group of students in a gifted and talented program in a public high school (each had one very strong suit but also had their own social issues), at the start of season three the show moved to a high tech high school with all sorts of strange, not-reality based technology and adding spies (like kid James Bonds) into the mix as well. The show did reasonably well in the ratings the first two seasons so I am not sure why the change but I know it didn't work out very well as series star China Anne McClain Tweeted just after Christmas that the current season would be A.N.T. Farm's last…Last week's Parenthood was not the most uplifting episode in the world but it was still spot on, especially the performances and writing with the Julia & Joel story line; those scenes were uncomfortable to watch, and I mean that as high praise…Really enjoyed the Cougar Town season premiere; TV is awash with ensemble comedies with strong casts that work well together, and Cougar Town deserves to be in the upper percentile of that list. At this point the stories pretty familiar but I am laughing out loud anyway. Speaking of the show, in his post-Friends TV career Matthew Perry hasn't had much luck getting beyond one season (Studio 60, Mr. Sunshine, Go On) but after this week's Cougar Town it seems clear to me that spinning off his character Sam to his own show would be a path to success……Modern Family may not be as great as it once was - it's hard to match the joy the audience felt as we got to know all these characters - but I LOVE the scenes where everyone is together; the last 5 - 7 minutes of last week, when everyone was at Jay & Gloria's house, were magic. And bravo to Ariel Winter; her Alex is the character that usually gets the smallest amount of quality material on the show but this she hit a tape measure home run with her therapy scenes, which may not have been the funniest thing the show has done all season but it was certainly the most spot-on, with a genuinely emotional payoff. And I am a fan of anything that gets Tony award winner John Benjamin Hickey (The Big C, The Good Wife), who played her therapist, back on my TV screen... I don't know what the best new series of 2014 will be but I hope I don't see many shows worse than ABC's Killer Women. If I thought for a second the show was going for a tongue-in-cheek, so bad it's good style I would champion it as a work of genius but sadly I don't believe that to be the case. Such TERRIBLE dialogue, such ridiculous scenarios. Just awful, and with ratings to match... When I make a list of the sublime viewing pleasures of 2014, seeing Andre Braugher fake getting a text on this week's Brooklyn Nine-Nine will surely be on it…Putting aside how far New Girl has fallen in the last 12 months - from my pick as the best comedy of 2012 to not making the list in 2013 - last night's episode made me realize how much I would love a spinoff where Winston becomes a cop/private eye, especially if he involved Ferguson in solving all his cases…Just watched this week's episode of The Blacklist and at this point James Spader is now achieving Alan Shore from The Practice levels of greatness (the Boston Legal version of Alan Shore was always entertaining but nowhere near the force of emotional darkness/tortured soul nature that he was while working for Young, Frutt, & Berluti). The best male performance on a broadcast network drama series? Yes, sir!... Very happy to have Men at Work back, with Wednesday's season premiere reminding me why I enjoy the show so much; a strong cast getting laughs from material that feels as comfortable as well broken in pair of shoes. I know that's sort of a backhanded compliment but the point is the show does nothing groundbreaking, it just does what it does well. Not every show is going to be Curb or It's Always Sunny or Modern Family, and it clears the "make me laugh" bar than I am going to tune in every week…As I wrote last week, I really enjoyed the series premiere of Enlisted and can't wait to see what tonight's follow up does in terms of maintaining the level of quality…

TV Pick Of The Week
Sunday is a big one for Fox, with the 49'ers – Seahawks NFC Championship Game at 6:30pm, followed by the season two premiere of The Following (aka the top new show in the demos of last season. Your DVR's will say The Following starts at 10:30 but I'd advise adding at least an hour to your recording as NFL games, especially playoff games, tend to run long.





Don't miss the NFC Championship Game followed by the season two premiere of The Following, this Sunday on Fox.

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


*I am pretty sure the ratings wars tonight will be won by Cloud 9 (8pm) as it is a new Disney Channel original movie and all…





*Season 12 of the just-renewed-for-a-13th Real Time with Bill Maher begins tonight at 10pm.


*Lifetime's take on the young adult classic Flowers in the Attic premieres Saturday at 8pm…







*Hollywood Game Night kicks off season two with TWO new hours this Monday at 8pm.

*Sleepy Hollow wraps up season one with a two hour finale this Monday at 8pm on Fox.

*Broad City (Wednesday, 10:30pm) is Comedy Central's newest series…





*The legal dramedy Rake, starring Oscar nominee Greg Kinnear in his first scripted series lead, premieres Thursday at 9pm on Fox…





Two Tivos To Paradise
@Midnight, After the Catch, American Idol, Antiques Roadshow, Archer, Arrow, Around the World in 80 Plates, Auction Hunters, Baby Daddy, Back in the Game, Bakery Boss, 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, Destination Truth, Enlisted, 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 Highway, Haunted Treasure, Hawaii 5-0, Hostages, House of Lies, How I Met Your Mother, Inside Comedy with David Steinberg, Inside Amy Schumer, Iron Chef America, 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, Masters of Sex, Men at Work, The Michael J Fox Show, The Middle, Mike and Molly, The Mindy Project, Modern Family, Monster Man, Nashville, New Girl, Next Iron Chef, The Originals, Outside the Lines, Parks & Recreation, Project Runway, Project Runway All-Stars, 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, Restaurant Impossible, Revenge, Revolution, Royal Pains, Saturday Night Live, Shark Wranglers, So You Think You Can Dance?, Sons of Anarchy, The Soup, Suits, Suburgatory, Supernatural, Top Chef, 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 next week 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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