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Two Tivos To Paradise 02.14.14: Gotham, The Flash, Arrow, The Walking Dead, More
Posted by Al Norton on 02.14.2014

Hello friends; what's good? Happy Valentine's Day to everyone, and also a thank you for taking a break from your binge watching of season two of House of Cards to stop by and catch up on the TV news.

We've had a TREMENDOUS 7 – 10 days over at the TTTP Facebook page, with a spike in "Likes" as well as in the overall reach of the page. That's what we like to see and as a way to keep that momentum, we've got another giveaway – season one of FX's The Americans on Blu-ray; all 13 episodes plus a ton of extras including commentary, deleted scenes, and the all-important gag reel. Go to Al Norton's Two Tivos To Paradise on Facebook, click "Like" if you have not already, and then post "I'm a TTTP spy" on our wall. Standard rules apply – one entry per person, must have a US or Canadian mailing address – and we'll choose a winner at random on Tuesday morning, so good luck!

Here's a look at HBO's new comedy Silicon Valley, from Mike Judge…

Fox's take on Cosmos looks AMAZING…

Though his news is not for rent, don't put him down for arrogant.

I Got One Hand Steady On The Wheel And One Hand's Tremblin' Over My Heart
Today is Valentine's Day so I thought I'd use the occasion to do a quick list of my favorite current TV couples (as in active series, NOT all time)…In no particular order, here is my top ten…

*Ben Wyatt and Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation

*Bert and Virginia Chance, Raising Hope

*Juliette Barnes and Avery Barkley, Nashville

*Frankie and Mike Heck, The Middle

*Adam and Kristina Braverman, Parenthood

*Lena Adams and Stef Foster, The Fosters

*Ava and Boyd Crowder, Justified

*Kurt Hummel and Blaine Anderson, Glee

*Meredith Grey and Derek Sheppard, Grey's Anatomy

*Richard Castle and Kate Beckett, Castle

And since it's Valentine's Day, here are some classic TV first kisses…

Racing On The Thunder And Rising With The Heat, It's Gonna Take A Superman To Sweep Me Off My Feet
Big news this week involving two superhero series likely to be airing in primetime next fall…

Fox's Gotham, a drama/action series that looks at the origins of Batman as well as the famous villains he goes on to battle, has found its lead, with Ben McKenzie (Southland, The OC) landing the role of Detective James Gordon. Making the show even more appealing to me was the news that TTTP fave Donal Logue had been cast as Detective Harvey Bullock – a character apparently well known to comic book fans – who is Gordon's partner. Also on board are Robin Lord Taylor (The Walking Dead, The Good Wife) as Oswald Cobblepot - i.e. The Penguin, Sean Pertwee (Elementary, Camelot) as Alfred Pennyworth, Erin Richards (Merlin, Breaking In) as Gordon's fiancé, and Zabryna Guevara (Burn Notice, 3Lbs) as Gordon's boss in the Homicide Division of the Gotham City Police Department. Written and executive produced by Bruno Heller (The Mentalist, Rome), the show hasn't technically been given a full series pick up yet but it's considered a lock for the network's fall lineup.

The CW's pilot for The Flash keeps getting more and more interesting, with the single best/most geek out piece of casting being John Wesley Shipp, who played the lead role in the 1990's version of The Flash on CBS, signing on in a mystery role, one that would likely become recurring if (who are we kidding, WHEN) the show gets picked up. Grant Gustin plays Barry Allen, a character introduced on Arrow earlier this season, with Jesse L Martin, Tom Cavanagh, Danielle Panabaker, and Candice Patton on board as well.

The John Wesley Shipp casting set the internet a buzz this week and is further proof that The CW knows what it's doing with these shows, having a great feel for what will excited its target audience and earn them invaluable free publicity.

Both of these shows are clearly going for the comic book audience in a big way, mixing mainstream characters that everyone knows with those that only the card carrying fans will recognize, and that's a strong recipe for success. Both shows are also likely to have the frame of procedurals, with cases to solve each week played up against the canvas of the long term developing stories, and we all know how much the American TV audience loves it some procedurals.

Like A Coin In Your Mint, I'm Dented And I'm Spent With High Treason
Pilot season is here and as such warrants its own section…

EGOT winner Rita Moreno has signed to co-star in the NBC comedy pilot Old Soul, which is co-created and executive produced by Amy Poehler; Natasha Lyonne stars as woman trying to leave her wild past behind her as she gets her life together and launches a business helping the elderly. Moreno plays Rita, an over-the-top former Broadway actress who is one of Lyonne's clients…Rob Riggle, much sought after this pilot season, will co-star with Rob Lowe in the NBC comedy The Pro. The pair play former tennis doubles champions who end up working at the same country club, with Riggle's character replacing Lowe's as head pro… Nick Zano (Happy Endings, Cougar Town) has been cast as the mail lead in the Ellen DeGeneres produced comedy One Big Happy, about a guy who agrees to father a child with his lesbian best friend just before meeting the woman of his dreams...

TTTP fave Courtney B Vance has signed on for one of the leads in the pilot Warriors, set at a top Washington DC VA hospital (interesting side note - Vance and the show's writer were in the same graduating class at Harvard but did not know each other)...Laurence Fishburne has signed on for a recurring role as Anthony Anderson's Dad in the comedy pilot previously titled Black-ish...

Golden Globe nominee Greta Gerwig (Francis Ha - which she also wrote, Arthur, Greenberg) has landed the lead in How I Met Your Dad, the HIMYM "spinoff" that CBS is developing for next season. Her character Sally finds herself a year into a marriage that was clearly a mistake and, with the help of a tight knit group of friends, she tries to find the best way out of it. The show is a spinoff in concept and shared location only; the new show will feature no regular characters from HIMYM, but it's possible there could be some sort of brief crossover in the HIMYM series finale and/or the HIMYD pilot…Maggie Lawson (Psych, Back in the Game) will star in the comedy pilot Save the Date, playing a woman just getting out of a relationship who, in a drunken stupor, books a non-refundable wedding venue for a date in the not-so-distant future and then has to scramble to find her soul mate in time. The script is written by Jackie and Jeff Filgo (That 70's Show)…

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…

The numbers are in and the finale episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno was watched by 14.6 million viewers, the fourth most in his history with the show (dating back to 1992) and more than who watched his first farewell in May of 2009… NBC's coverage of the first night of Winter Olympic competition came in just under 20 million viewers, winning the night in that measure as well as in the demos...The Big Bang Theory was the top non-Olympics show of the night in totals and demos, with it and the other three CBS comedies each being down slightly in the demos...Elementary was actually up in the demos (a hair) despite the Olympics...The Vampire Diaries slipped to tie a series demo low...American Idol and Rake each had small demo drops...

The opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics averaged 317 million viewers; ratings were down from 2010 but up in a big way from 2006...The final edition of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon set a new ratings high for the series, more than triple the show's average for the season. The 6.6 million watched who tuned in were the largest audience the franchise has enjoyed since 7.5 million watched David Letterman sign off in March of 1993…

NBC's primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics averaged 25.1 million viewers, down from 2010 (when the time difference was much less) but up (in the demos as well as total viewers) from 2006…

The Walking Dead tied a series high in the 18-49 demos with its mid-season premiere, topping all of TV, including NBC's coverage of the Winter Olympics, in that measure. The total viewer count was 15.8 million, just shy of the series high of 16.1 million set with last October's season premiere. For the season the show, which is #1 in the demos for all of non-sports TV, is up 29% from season three… NBC's coverage of the Winter Olympics drew in 25.4 million viewers in primetime, with demos that dominated among the broadcast networks The total viewer and demo numbers are very close to 2010, which is great news for the network considering that big time difference this time around...CBS was very pleased with the just under 14 million who tuned in to their Grammy Salute to the Beatles special, with 11.6 million sticking around to watch The Millers rerun that aired after...

NBC's Winter Olympics coverage dominated the night in every measure, although down double digits in totals and demos from 2010...Hart of Dixie & Beauty and the Beast each dropped 25% in the demos, both tying a series low...The Following was down 19% in total viewers...Almost Human was down 21% in the demos...Intelligence dropped 13% in the demos...The Bachelor was down only 11%, a solid number considering where it was starting and the Olympic competition...

A very strong night for NBC's coverage of the Winter Olympics, dominating in total and demos, up 16% and 20% respectively from 2010...The Dads season (series?) finale was down 30% in total viewers and 27% in the demos, with lead outs New Girl (-19%) and Brooklyn Nine Nine (-14%) also taking demo hits...Killer Women, which finished a distant last on the night among the big four, actually matched last week...

NBC's coverage of the Winter Olympic easily won the night in totals and demos, albeit down a big 37% from the first Wednesday last year…American Idol had a good night, down considerably less than they were the last time they went up against the Winter Olympics…

All The Young Dudes, Carry The News
Industry News, Notes, and Hot Rumors… The CW gave early 2014-2015 season renewals to Arrow, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and Reign…HBO has picked up a first season of Brink, a dark comedy about how teetering on the verge of a World War impacts three different people, with the leads played by Tim Robbins (as the Secretary of State), Jack Black (a hapless foreign service officer), and Pablo Schreiber (a hero fighter pilot). TTTP fave Esai Morales is in the cast as well (YAY!!!)… CBS CEO Les Moonves confirmed that The Big Bang Theory and Elementary will start the 2014-2015 season on a new/different nights rather than wait until November when the network is done with their eight Thursday Night Football games. Both shows are expected to shift back to Thursday once CBS's NFL schedule for the night has concluded…ABC has ordered a 10 episode first season of Astronaut Wives Club that will air this summer, joining Mistresses, Rookie Blue, and Motive in the networks off-season programming. The adaptation of the non-fiction book of the same name is set in 1969 and as the title suggests, follows the drama of the families of the men of NASA. Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz, who previously teamed for Gossip Girl, The OC, Cult, and Hart of Dixie, are executive producing, with Savage writing as well. Joanna Garcia Swisher (Once Upon a Time, Royal Pains, Reba) is the first to join the cast…AMC has ordered a 10 episode first season of a reality show that follows the inaugural season of the Los Angeles Kiss of the Arena Football League. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of the legendary rock group Kiss are owners of the team (hence the name) and will be featured in the series…Maggie Q's first post-Nikita TV project will be to star in the historical mini-series Red Flag, playing Ching Shih, a prostitute who went on to be one of China's most ruthless and powerful pirates. The project does not have a US network yet… ABC and Dick Clark Productions have reached contract extensions on the American Music Awards (through the 2022/2023 season) and Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin Eve With Ryan Seacrest (through New Year's Eve 2024). Seacrest's deal to host and executive produce the former was recently extended and currently goes through 2017… Former Smallville co-showrunners Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer have taken those same jobs with Syfy's Dominion, a new series based on the movie Legion, where a war between humans and fallen angels threatens to destroy the world. The cast includes Christopher Egan, Tom Wisdom, Roxanne McKee, Alan Dale, and Anthony Stewart Head… Lifetime has ordered a 10 episode first season of Un-Real, a scripted drama that looks at the behind the scenes goings on at a Bachelor-esque reality show. TTTP fave Shiri Appleby stars along with Megyn Price (Rules of Engagement). The show is written and executive produced by Marti Noxon (Mad Men, Buffy/Angel, Glee, Grey's Anatomy)… Judy Davis dropped out of 24: Live Another Day for personal reasons and now the role has been given to Michelle Fairley, whose TV credits include Game of Thrones and Suits and who also played Mrs. Granger in the Harry Potter films… MTV has ordered a 10 episode first season of Eye Candy, a new thriller starring Victoria Justice as a super smart techie who works with the NYPD cyber cops to find a serial killer who finds his victims via on-line dating and social networks… A&E has ordered an additional 18 episodes of Wahlburgers, which has been averaging a strong 3.5 million viewers in its freshman season... Fox has ordered a first season of Last Man on Earth, created by and starring Will Forte. The comedy follows Forte's character after a world catastrophe as he tries to find a suitable partner to help guarantee the preservation of the human race…

Turns Out Not Where But Who You're With That Really Matters
AKA The Best Thing I've Watched In The Last Seven Days…
Jimmy Fallon signed off of Late Night with two great final segments, first a conversation with sidekick/announcer Steve Higgins…

And then it just got better, with The Muppets joining Fallon in a cover of what is easily my all-time favorite song…

A great farewell to a show that launched Fallon to heretofore unimaginable heights, with more on that in a bit…

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…

I very much enjoyed the Grammy Salute to The Beatles special on Sunday night, especially since I watched with both my kids; I love introducing them to songs that I loved growing up, creating memories they can share with their kids down the line…How big of a fan ofEnlisted have I become? It's now in that rare category of show that I watch the night it airs (not live but still the same night); I usually try to go to bed early (or at least earlier) on Friday nights and the good mood it puts me in is the perfect frame of mind for quality hours of rest….I've never considered Dean Cain to be a fantastic actor but his ability to keep a straight face while hosting $10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Challenge tells me he has mad skills…Last Wednesday's episode of The Middle was but the latest piece of strong evidence that the show is the most underrated comedy on TV. Special props to Keegan-Michael Key (of Key & Peele) for his fantastic guest spot (with some high quality ad-libbing)… Last week's was not the funniest episode of The Crazy Ones so far but it might have been the one where the show's mix of comedy and sentimentality came together in the best way, with some laugh out loud moments mixed in with genuine emotion. Robin Williams was at the top of his game, showing the insecurity the fuels Simon's genius, and the always great Missi Pyle knocked in out of the park in her guest turn. Good stuff all around!... I am not sure I had strong feelings about Linda Cardellini one way or the other coming in to 2013 but looking at her work on Mad Men last season in contrast with the start of her recurring role as Jess' sister Abby on New Girl from last night, I am now a big fan… Is there any doubt that Lost Girl is the hottest (as in steamiest) show on basic cable?... Anyone with an interest in the history of comedy or television should catch Quality Balls: The David Steinberg Story in its re-airings on Showtime this month; the legendary comedian's career, from Second City to rising standup to superstar Tonight Show guest host to being one of the top comedy directors in TV (Curb, Seinfeld, Friends, Newhart, The Comeback, Mad About You, Designing Women, Evening Shade) is chronicled in highly entertaining form. Plus you'll learn about the only time a network cancelled the # 1 show in TV in the middle of a season. Oh, and you'll get to see Martin Short's Steinberg impression, one of the single best impressions of anyone I've ever seen. GREAT STUFF!...I need a dry erase board to keep track of all the strange bedfellows partnerships and backstabbing going on during this season of Justified, which has really come on strong the last few weeks. Every turn things get darker and darker, and I mean that as HIGH praise, and that also leads to some very funny moments, like the cell phone reception keeping Dewey from making a proper ransom call. Also - not that it was ever in doubt - Walton Goggins is THE MAN…

TV Pick Of The Week
The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon premieres on Monday at midnight, with Will Smith and U2 as the guests for the opener. Tue – Thu also air at Midnight (because of the Olympics), with guests lined up including Jerry Seinfeld, Kristen Wiig, & Lady Gaga (Tue), Bradley Cooper & Tim McGraw (Wed), and Michelle Obama, Will Ferrell, and Arcade Fire (Thu).

I was a big fan of Fallon's Late Night run, especially the comedy bits, and I am excited to see what he brings with him to 11:35pm as well as what new tricks he has up his sleeve.

Don't miss the premiere of The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, Monday at midnight on NBC.

Two Tivos To Paradise
@Midnight, After the Catch, American Idol, Antiques Roadshow, Archer, Arrow, Around the World in 80 Plates, Auction Hunters, Baby Daddy, Bakery Boss, Boardwalk Empire, Being Human, Bitten, The Blacklist, Bones, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Burger Land, Cake Boss, Cake Boss: Next Great Baker, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chopped, Comic Book Men, Community, Cougar Town, Counting Cars, The Crazy Ones, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Cutthroat Kitchen, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Dancing with the Stars, The Deadliest Catch, Destination Truth, Enlisted, Face Off, 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, Law And Order: Special Victims Unit, The League, Longmire, Lost Girl, Louie, Mad Men, Major Crimes, MasterChef, MasterChef: Junior, Masters of Sex, Men at Work, 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, Revenge, Revolution, Royal Pains, Saturday Night Live, Shark Wranglers, So You Think You Can Dance?, Sons of Anarchy, The Soup, Suits, Suburgatory, Supernatural, The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, Top Chef, Top Chef: Masters, Tosh.0, Trophy Wife, True Detective, 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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