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Two Tivos To Paradise 2.28.13: Heroes, J-Lo, True Detective, More
Posted by Al Norton on 02.28.2014

Hello friends; what's good? The stomach bug that's been going around hit our house like a Mack truck, and even better (worse?), it went through one by one, sparing only my daughter from its wrath. The good news was that it was fast moving – 24 hours and all over but the aching – so while on Monday night I thought there would be no way you'd be reading this today, here we are.

The spike in likes/interaction on the Al Norton's Two Tivos To Paradise Facebook page continues; 2014 has started well for our little community and we'd love to have you take part if you're not already, so if you're on FB, stop on by!

Here's a full length look at the new HBO comedy Silicon Valley

The news was long but I ran it, Janet.

Truth Or Consequences, Say It Aloud, Use That Evidence, Race It Around
NBC has ordered Heroes Reborn, a 13 episode event series (the new way of saying mini-series) from Tim Kring, who created the original Heroes series, which will air in 2015. This new project will feature new characters and a standalone story that will be introduced via a digital series that runs first but the press release said it's possible that some characters from the original series will make appearances.

While it obviously never recaptured the magic after, I think people forget what a pop culture phenomenon Heroes was in season one, both in terms of ratings as well as buzz; at the time it was THE most talked about show on TV, with people coming to work on Tuesday morning ready for in-depth conversations about the previous night's hour. There were no superhero shows on TV at that point, and while much of the cast was fresh faced to the audience, there was no question about their talents.

The obvious joke to make here is that in order to guarantee high quality the network told Kring to write two full seasons but are only going to use the first 13 episodes, but cheap shots aside, I think this is a very smart idea for NBC as it has the best of both worlds in that superheroes continue to be red hot, with everyone loving the whole "regular Joe/Jane discovers they have superpowers story", and it's got a build-in audience because of Heroes popularity (the show waned in the ratings here in the US but remained HUGE internationally). The internet is the perfect venue for shorts that will introduce the characters and story that will populate this run; stereotyping a bit for sure but the superhero crowd and the watch-online-series crowd have a lot of crossover.

Best of all for NBC, there will be a ton of free publicity for this new show; if ABC announced last weekend that they were doing a mini-series about people who found out they had superhuman abilities called Hidden Strengths, there may have been a ripple or two, but NBC's announcement with the Heroes brand attached dominated the entertainment industry portion of the interweb for a couple of days, all of which will happen again (in smaller form) when the cast is announced, and especially when the news breaks about which of the originals will return.

I Just Freeze Every Time You See Through Me, Help Me Baby, Tell Me What Can I Do
NBC has given a 13 episode straight to series order (i.e. no pilot) to Shades of Blue, a drama series starring and executive produced by Jennifer Lopez. The show, which would be for the 2015-2016 season, is about a single Mom cop who works undercover on an FBI anti-corruption task force. Ryan Seacrest is also an executive producer. The series is written by Adi Hasek, who wrote the screenplay for Three Days to Kill.

This is a pretty high profile get for NBC – like her or not, J-Lo is a MAJOR star – and it's not like she hasn't proven herself to be able to handle quality material before…

FYI, if you haven't seen Out of Sight you're missing what is truly one of the most entertaining films of the last 20 years…Anyway, Lopez is a BIG name and this project will get a TON of publicity, the kind networks love – both free and also unbuyable. See the theme NBC has going right now; both with Heroes Reborn and this show, they are creating high profile projects that will generate their own hype. Don't know if it will work but its smart business; in TV, the hard part isn't creating a good show, it's getting people to watch, and with these two series, the latter is much less of a hurdle. It's more than a year away but I am roughly 100% sure this show will get the prime Mondays at 10pm (aka the post-The Voice slot) come September of 2015.

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…

Matt Ryan, who was a regular on Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, is set to star in the title role of NBC's Constantine pilot. Based on the Hellblazer graphic novels that inspired the big screen movie Constantine (which starred Keanu Reeves), the story follows an enigmatic conman/private detective who finds himself protecting the world from evil. The pilot is written by Daniel Cerone (Dexter, The Mentalist), with superhero veteran David Goyer (The Dark Knight, Blade, Man of Steel) on board as an executive producer. Neil Marshall (Game of Thrones, Black Sails) will direct…Krysten Ritter (Don't Trust the B- In Apt 23) and Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville) have signed on as the female lead in the NBC comedy pilot Mission Control, set in the 1960's and focusing on the obstacles the first women in the astronaut program encounters. The show is from Will Ferrell's Gary Sanchez Productions, with Ferrell and Anchorman director Adam McKay serving as executive producers. Ritter joins Malcolm Barrett and Jonathan Slavin in the cast, the latter two reuniting from their fantastic pairing as scientist best friends on Better Off Ted (while they both play scientists in this project, too, they are not reprising their Ted roles...DAMNIT!!!)… The comedy pilot A to Z is pretty much at the top of my interest list; written by Ben Queen (Drive, Cars 2), with Rashida Jones and Will McCormack executive producing, the show follows a relationship from the couple's first meeting through the break up, with Ben Feldman (Mad Men, The Mindy Project) as Andrew and Cristin Milioti (How I Met Your Mother) as Zelda…Skeet Ulrich (Law & Order: LA, Jericho) has landed the lead in NBC's Fields of Babylon, about a small town where folks start to come back from the dead (the project was originally developed for CBS almost a decade ago)… Leslie Bibb has signed to star in the comedy pilot Love is Relative, written by Bruno & Borat co-writer Dan Mazer. Bibb plays a wife and mother who comes to see her life in a new way after her just-divorced brother moves in with her family. Bibb was most recently seen in the About a Boy pilot and her TV resume includes The Following, Burning Love, GCB, and Crossing Jordan…The comedy pilot Old Soul keeps sounding better and better; co-created and executive produced by Amy Poehler, it stars Natasha Lyonne as a woman trying to get her life together while working as an aide to a group of senior citizens, with comedy legend Fred Willard just signing on and joining EGOT winner Rita Moreno as a married couple who are among Lyonne's clients, as is the great Ellen Burstyn.

Ioan Gruffudd (Glee, Ringer) has signed on for the lead in Forever, playing a top flight NYC medical examiner who has taken his line of work in order to investigate his secret - he is immortal. Emmy winner Judd Hirsch co-stars…Milo Ventimiglia (Mob City, Heroes) and Barry Sloane (Revenge) have signed on to the not-particularly-original sounding or titled pilot The Visitors, about a group of people trying to ward off a secret alien plan to take over the world. The pilot is using Ray Bradbury's short story Zero Hour as its inspiration, with a script from Soo Hugh (Under the Dome, The River)… Morena Baccarin, nominated for an Emmy for her work on Homeland, was one of the more in-demand actresses during this pilot season and ABC is the victor, signing her to star in Warriors, set at a Washington, DC VA hospital. Courtney B Vance is also in the cast. Party of Five creator Christopher Keyser is writing and executive producing…Jamie Lee Curtis is one of the leads in a new untitled drama from David Marshall Grant (Brothers and Sisters) that follows quadruplets (three brothers and a sister) who grew up on a popular reality show that impacts their adult life. The show is an adaptation of an Israeli hit series. This would be Curtis' first series regular role since the late 80's cult classic Anything But Love…Two time Oscar nominee Viola Davis (The Help, Doubt) has signed on for the lead in How to Get Away with Murder, a drama pilot from Shonda Rhimes (Grey's Anatomy, Scandal). Davis plays a law profession who, along with her students, gets mixed up in a huge murder plot.

Tim Daly has been cast as Tea Leoni's husband on the pilot Madame Secretary, about a female Secretary of State who doesn't do a great job of listening to her boss while juggling her personal and professional life. The script is written by Barbara Hall (Homeland), with Oscar winner Morgan Freeman on board as an executive producer…The remake of The Odd Couple that Matthew Perry is co-writing and starring in (playing the Oscar role) has gone from being in development to getting an official pilot order…Michelle Trachtenberg (Gossip Girl, Buffy) will co-star with Maggie Lawson (Psych, Back in the Game) in the comedy pilot Save the Date. Lawson plays a woman who drunkenly books a non-refundable wedding venue and then has a ticking clock to find Mr. Right, with Trachtenberg as her straight laced sister and roommate. Julie White (Alpha House, Go On, the Transformer movies) plays their Mom.

TTTP fave Becki Newton (Goodwin Games, Ugly Betty, How I Met Your Mother) has joined Zachary Knighton (Happy Endings) and Nate Torrance (Mr. Sunshine, Studio 60) in the comedy pilot Weird Loners, about four relationship-phobes who end up sharing a Queen's townhouse. The pilot is written by King of Queens creator Michael J Weithorn…Taraji P. Henson's first post-Person of Interest TV gig will be reuniting with her Hustle and Flow co-star Terrence Howard in the pilot Empire. Written by Emmy winner Danny Strong and directed by Oscar nominee Lee Daniels, who teamed up for last year's Lee Daniels' The Butler, the show is about a family that runs a hip hop record company…Justin Long has signed to star in the comedy pilot Sober Companion, and the project is now a single camera comedy. The story follows a lawyer whose life is turned upside down by the eccentric court-appointed sober companion (Long) he is assigned.

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…

Not a good night for American Idol; last night's hour dropped to an all-time demo low and its smallest total viewer numbers since season one. While the Sochi Winter Olympics are certainly a good excuse, it's not the first time the show has gone up against the Winter Games, plus for the opening half hour it was beat in the demos by RERUN of The Big Bang Theory (although, to be fair, that says as much about the popularity of Big Bang as it does Idol's waning ratings power).

NBC's coverage of The Winter Olympics won the night in totals and demos…Shark Tank was the top non-Olympic performer of the night…

Solid premiere numbers for About a Boy on Saturday night, holding on to roughly 75% of its Sochi Olympics lead-in numbers; the 8.8 million total viewers and demo numbers make it the top comedy performance for the network in the 2014-2015 season…

Sunday was a good night for HBO freshman series, with True Detective and Looking each hitting series high in total viewers; 2.6 million tuned in to the former while 519K viewers took in Looking (that may seem like a not great number but it's up 54% from the series premiere in January). Girls matched last week's numbers…The 8.5 million who watched Downton Abbey were a new season finale high for the show...The Walking Dead posted the best demos on the night, easily topping NBC's coverage of the Sochi Winter Olympics for the third week in a row, more than doubling the closing ceremonies 18-48 audience...The closing ceremonies were the second least watch in Winter Olympics history, ahead of only the 1976 games in Innsbruck.

The numbers for the premiere of Late Night with Seth Myers are in and they are very good; the 3.47 million viewers were a gain of almost 20% from Jimmy Fallon's first Late Night, with a small demo gain as well…The Voice won the night in totals and demos, up in both from last year's winter premiere...The Blacklist was the night's most watched scripted show and easily won 10pm in totals and demos...Castle was up 12% in total viewers but tied last week's series low in the demos...CBS has a rough night, with demo drops for HIMYM (-5%), 2 Broke Girls (-17%), Mike & Molly (-22%), and Mom (-21%)...HIMYM was still the night's top scripted demo performer...Almost Human matched last week while The Following hit a new series demo low...

The Voice won the night in demos while NCIS was the total viewer winner...CBS dramas had tough demo night, with NCIS (-16%), NCIS: LA (-20%) and Person of Interest (-19%) all down...Chicago Fire won 10pm in the demos...Not a strong premiere for Mind Games, down in total viewers and up only slightly in the demos from Killer Women's opening numbers...Smart move by NBC to re-air the About A Boy and Growing Up Fisher pilots last night, with the former actually going up in the demos....Glee was up from its winter finale while New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine also enjoyed slight increases...

Not a good start for Mixology, which came in under what How to Live With Your Parents, Super Fun Night, and Happy Endings opened with in the post-Modern Family slot...Modern Family won the night in the demos...Survivor opened up from last winter...Chicago PD was up 29% to a new season/series high...Revolution matched its last new episode...SVU had a modest demo increase...American Idol was the most watched show of the night, finishing second in the demos…Arrow was down a smidge…

All The Young Dudes, Carry The News
Industry News, Notes, and Hot Rumors…Netflix upcoming Daredevil series will film on location in New York City to give the show's Hell's Kitchen setting authenticity. Production will begin in July, with the 15 episode season set to premiere in 2015, which will be followed by seasons focused on Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage, and then ultimately a full season where the four come together to form The Defenders…Syfy has cancelled Being Human, with the current fourth season (there are six episodes left) being the last. Apparently the network did give the writers/producers enough time so that the season finale will also be a true series finale…Ripper Street, cancelled last December by BBC, has been given a third season order by Amazon, with the announcement this week timed with the launch of the company's Prime Instant Video service in the UK. The season will be available to Amazon Prime subscribers and then air on BBC One a few months later. Season two of Ripper Street just began its BBC America run...The opening week of The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon averaged 8.49 million viewers, the most watched week of the late night talk show since May 1993 (the week of the Cheers series finale)… The new season of Dancing with the Stars doesn't start until next month but they've already had their first elimination; co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet has been fired after 7 cycles/seasons with the show. No word yet on a replacement…Changes coming to the Reality Series categories of the 2014 Emmy Awards; Outstanding Reality Program (Non-Competition) will now be TWO categories - Outstanding Structured Realty Program (think MythBusters, Antiques Roadshow, Restaurant Impossible) and Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program (Duck Dynasty, Cake Boss, Flipping Out)...Also, if the voting for Outstanding Drama and Comedy series is close enough in a given year, the category could grow from 6 to 7 (if the show finishing 7th in the voting is within 2% of 6th, they both make it). FYI - There are no planned changes to announce in regards to The Norty Awards…Five time Golden Globe winner and all around legend Ann-Margret has signed on for a recurring role on the upcoming season of Ray Donovan. Previously announced new cast members include Wendell Pierce, Hank Azaria, and Sherilyn Fenn…HBO has picked up a second season of Looking

Turns Out Not Where But Who You're With That Really Matters
The best thing I've watched this week…
I've said for a while now that Naya Rivera is the Glee alum I think will have the longest post-show career - she's funny, can portray a vast array of emotions, is hot as all get out, and can sing her ass off – and this week's episode was a great showcase for all of that and then some, with a quality duet with Lea Michelle…

And then she knocked it out of the park with this…

If I did a list of the most talented TV performers under 30 - GREAT idea for a future column - Rivera would be at the TOP of the list!!

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…

JT already on his way to making two years in a row as the TTTP TV Entertainer of the Year with his 30+ minute visit to The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon last Friday night...I haven't gone into a ton of detail about True Detective here because I know people watch cable series differently than they do broadcast series (i.e. save up and binge watch) but suffice it to say it is easily one of the handful of best shows on TV and certainly may be the best show of the last 12 months not titled Breaking Bad. I really can't think of a single flaw the show has.…I know product placement is annoying but it's here to stay and I hope that other shows can be as creative with it as Men at Work has with Subway this season; Apolo Anton Ohno's paranoia that folks from Subway were always watching him since he was a paid spokesperson and randomly yelling out "eat fresh" was actually pretty funny…That moment when you realize that you haven't found your way inside the mind of a chef, you've just seen this episode of Chopped before…A solid, low key debut for Late Night with Seth Myers last night; there's no doubt it will take him some time (weeks/months) to find his voice but the comedic sensibilities of the show were evident. There's no reinventing of the wheel here but I do think there may be the opportunity for genuine conversation between host and guest, something that the late night scene is sorely lacking right now…I LOVE the Blind Auditions rounds of The Voice. You've got folks pursuing dreams on a (literal and figurative) stage they'd never get to otherwise, and you've got a group of very talented and successful professionals who are happy to be there and wanting very much to help make those dreams come true. Good stuff, and the next time one of the Blind Audition episodes doesn't make me cry will be the first time…I am enjoying Harry Connick, Jr's work as a judge on American Idol very much but I also wonder if he would criticize a young male singer for doing a song with strong sexuality the same way as he has the women. The contestants sing songs they know, and most of pop radio is about sex (music has almost always been about love and/or sex, it's just the metaphors - or lack thereof - that have changed), and let's face it, most teenager are filled with raging hormones, so what's the issue? If a 17 year old guy sang Let's Get It On or, more currently, Jason Derulo's The Other Side, would he say anything about that?!?!...

TV Pick Of The Week
Even someone like me, who only saw one non-animated movie in the theater in 2013, recognizes that The Oscars is a TV event second only to the Super Bowl (a DISTANT second, but still) in terms of total audience and also in terms of attention to commercials. Throw in the always entertaining Ellen DeGeneres plus the red carpet pre-shows and you've got 6+ hours of snarky people watching fun from the comfort of your own couch.

Don't miss Oscar Sunday!!!

Two Tivos To Paradise
@Midnight, About A Boy, 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 Court Wars, Food Network Challenge, Food Network Star, The Fosters, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Lab, Ghost Mine, Glee, Graceland, Great Food Truck Race, Grey's Anatomy, Growing Up Fisher, 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 Seth Myers, 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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