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Two Tivos To Paradise 03.07.14: TV's 25 Most Talented People Under 40
Posted by Al Norton on 03.07.2014





Hello friends; what's good? I had some very good things happen this week along with a big-time lousy thing, so while I was not in the best frame of mind on Thursday, I 100% came out ahead in the big picture. Staying focused on that, not allowing myself to get too down, is both important and also incredibly difficult, and I am not in any way kidding when I say that TV helps me down that. My guaranteed good mood shows - @Midnight, Archer, Comic Book Men – can be better than any prescribed anti-depressant known to man and have been responsible for more than a few dramatic mood changes that have helped me get through the day.

Here's the first look at Starz new drama series Power





Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge is Syfy's latest entry into the reality competition series world…





Tomorrow we can drive around this town, let the news chase us around.

If You Are What You Say You Are, A Superstar, Then Have No Fear, The Camera Is Here
I am always working on lists for the occasion of slow news weeks like this one, so now I present the TTTP picks for the 25 Most Talented People On TV Under 40. Of course this is a subjective list and while some are on for the diversity of their skills, everyone is an in-front-of-camera talent (I was not looking at folks who are only writers/producers/directors). Everyone below has demonstrated remarkable abilities for conveying emotional complexity and making their characters compelling at a level high above the norm. Some can sing and dance, some can take a pratfall, some can literally and/or figuratively fight their way out of unsurmountable odds, some can bring a tear to my eyes, and some can make me smile like all get out, with just about everyone on the list being able to check off multiple off those boxes.

I look at it like this is the list of the folks under the age of 40 that I would most want to sign to exclusive development deals if I were starting my own network/TV production company.

This list is presented alphabetically, with a few videos of their work mixed in to break up the text (FYI, these videos are the best of what I could find on YouTube, not necessarily these actors' actual best work)…

THE 25 MOST TALENTED PEOPLE ON TV UNDER 40

Jensen Ackles (Supernatural)





Stephen Amell (Arrow)





Kristen Bell (House of Lies)





Darren Criss (Glee)

Jimmy Fallon (The Tonight Show)





Max Greenfield (New Girl)





Jonathan Jackson (Nashville)

Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation)

Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project)





Meghan Markle (Suits)

Maia Mitchell (The Fosters, Teen Beach Movie)

Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)





Jordan Peele (Key & Peele)

Naya Rivera (Glee)





James Roday (Psych)





Katee Sackhoff (Longmire)

Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)

Amy Schumar (Inside Amy Schumar)





Eden Sher (The Middle)





Abigail Spencer (Rectify, Suits)

Alison Sweeney (The Biggest Loser, Days of Our Lives)

Kerry Washington (Scandal)





Jesse Williams (Grey's Anatomy)





James Wolk (The Crazy Ones, Mad Men)





Parker Young (Enlisted, Suburgatory)

And there you have it. While I know your list would be different than mine, I'd like my chances of building a network's worth of quality programming around this group. Now that I'd have my say, use the comments section below to tell me who you think I left off.

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…

NBC
Harrold Perrineau, Lucy Griffiths (True Blood, Robin Hood), and Charles Halford (True Detective) have all joined lead Matt Ryan in the cast of Constantine, an adaptation of the popular comic book series Hellblazer.

CBS
Dylan McDermott, who starred in CBS' Hostages earlier this season, has signed for the lead in the network's untitled pilot from Kevin Williamson (The Following, The Vampire Diaries, Dawson's Creek) about two LAPD detectives working in the Threat Assessment Unit investigating stalkers…Tom Papa and Alyson Hannigan starring in the comedy pilot More Time With Family, with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon producing and TV legend James Burrows directing, was more than enough to get me interested but now the great Joe Pantoliano (aka Joey Pants) has signed on to play Papa's papa, and I am THERE!... Emmy winner Patricia Arquette (Medium) will star in upcoming planted pilot for a CSI spinoff; Arquette will play the head of the Cyber Crime division of the FBI and her character (and likely the team around her) will be introduced via a spring episode of CSI

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
Grey's Anatomy and Scandal returned to increased demo numbers (both from their last new episodes in December and their season averages), with the latter enjoying the second best demos in series history, easily winning 10pm in that measure...The Big Bang Theory won the night in totals and demos, down 11% in the latter...The Two and a Half Men/Crazy Ones timeslot shift helped both, with the former up 23% in the demos and the latter up double digits as well...Rake dropped to season/series lows in totals and demos...Parenthood hit a season low in the demos...Hollywood Game Night was up 72% from the demos that got Sean Saves the World and The MJF Show cancelled...American Idol was up in viewers but down a smidge in demos from last Thursday...

FRIDAY
Shark Tank won the night in the demos, up from last Friday night when it faced the Winter Olympics, and had its second largest total audience numbers ever...Blue Bloods was the most watched show of the night but it did finish behind 20/20 in the demos at 10pm...Hannibal finished third at 10pm, with a somewhat smaller than expected demo drop in its new day/timeslot; it was actually up 70% in viewers and 28% in the demos from the season one finale...Enlisted was down a bit with a Bones rerun as a lead-in but Raising Hope matched its previous outing...Undercover Boss won 8pm in total viewers and demos...

SUNDAY
43 million people watched The Oscars last night, a 6% gain from last year and the best total viewers number since 2004. The demos were down ever so slightly from last year...Jimmy Kimmel Live: After The Oscars was up 20+% in both total viewers and demos, the best performance in both in the nine years they've been doing a special post-Academy Awards Sunday night show… A rare demo win for CNN this past Sunday with Reliable Sources topping Fox News' MediaBuzz, the first time that has happened since Brian Stelter took over hosting duties on the former. MediaBuzz, hosted by former Reliable Sources front man Howard Kurtz, has been routinely doubling its CNN counterpart in the demos.

MONDAY
The season two premiere of Bates Motel was up ever so lightly in total viewers from the series premiere last year, matching that opening hour in the demos. Not fairing as well was lead-out Those Who Kill, which held on to less than 50% of the total viewers and less than 40% of the demos that Bates handed off...The Voice won the night in totals and demos...HIMYM had the best scripted demos on the night...Almost Human finished its first season run dropping to a series demo low...Castle dropped to a series demo low...The Blacklist won 10pm in totals and demos and was the most watched scripted series on the night...2 Broke Girls, Mom, and Mike & Molly all enjoyed slight demo and total viewer increases...Star-Crossed was up a smidge in the demos...

TUESDAY
Not looking good for Mind Games, down 40% from last week's poor premiere numbers...Marvel's Agents of SHIELD returned to season lows in total viewers and demos...NCIS hit a season low in the demos while still being the most watched show of the night...NCIS: LA dropped to a series demo low, with lead-out Person of Interest tying last week's all-time demo low...About a Boy was up double digits in the demos...Growing Up Fisher matched last week...Chicago Fire was up and won 10pm in the demos...Glee was down in total viewers and demos...New Girl enjoyed a small demo increase...Brooklyn Nine-Nine was even...The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife were both down double digits in total viewers...

WEDNESDAY
A good night for ABC, with The Middle, Suburgatory, Modern Family (which won the night in the demos), and Nashville all up, and Mixology down just a shade from last week (although those numbers were lousy)...SVU was down 20+% in totals and demos, as was Chicago PD...CSI was down 15% in the demos but still won 10pm in that measure as well as in total viewers...Arrow and The Tomorrow People both dropped to series demo lows...Survivor still chugs along, winning 8pm in total viewers and demos...

All The Young Dudes, Carry The News
Industry News, Notes, and Hot Rumors…FX picked up 13 episode sixth AND seventh seasons of Archer…Isaiah Washington will return to his role as Dr. Preston Burke on Grey's Anatomy for an episode this May, his first appearance on the show since he was fired seven years ago for referring to then co-star T.R. Knight with a derogatory term and then following it up with some ill-advised quotes to the press defending himself/downplaying the incident. Washington's return is timed up with Sandra Oh's departure from the show; their characters were engaged and Washington's last on-screen appearance was in the season three finale where Burke left Oh's Christina Yang at the alter…David Simon (The Wire, Homicide: Life on the Street, Treme) will write and executive produce a six hour HBO mini-series about Martin Luther King, Jr. The project is an adaptation of Pulitzer Prize winner Taylor Branch's bestselling trilogy America: The King Years, and has Oprah Winfrey as an executive producer as well…David Mazouz, who co-starred with Kiefer Sutherland in Touch, has signed on to play a young Bruce Wayne in Fox's upcoming Gotham. The high profile series, about the pre-Batman Gotham City, has a cast that includes Ben McKenzie, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Donal Logue. The show, from Rome and The Mentalist creator Bruno Heller, has not officially been picked up but is a LOCK for the network's fall lineup…The new cast of Dancing with the Stars (season 14) has been announced; Billy Dee Williams, Drew Carey, Danica McKeller, Diana Nyad, Sean Avery, NeNe Leakes, Cody Simpson, James Maslow, Charlie White, Meryl Davis, Amy Purdy, and Candace Cameron Bure... Fox has moved struggling Rake to Fridays at 8pm as of next week, with the new season of Kitchen Nightmares premiering on Thursday, March 13th at 8pm in front of American Idol, which will now air at 9pm. This is not only bad news for Rake (not a big deal to me) but also to Enlisted and Raising Hope (VERY big deals to me) since they will now have a MUCH weaker lead-in for the second half of their seasons (Kitchen Nightmares, originally scheduled for Fridays at 8pm, would have provided a much larger audience to start the 9pm hour with)…30 Rock alum and Official Friend of TTTP Keith Powell has signed on for a recurring role on NBC's About a Boy…VH-1 has cancelled Single Ladies after three seasons, with the series finale set for March 24th…TV Land is staging a My Name is Earl reunion with Jennifer Falls; Ethan Suplee has just signed on as a series regular, joining his former Earl cast mate Jaime Pressly, who plays the lead role, a woman who moves herself and her teenage daughter back to her family's home after her career falls apart. Jessica Walter (Arrested Development, Archer) plays Pressly's Mom… We told you a couple of weeks back that Neve Campbell was starring with TTTP fave Elisabeth Rohm in the TNT pilot Guilt By Association, an adaptation of a novel by famed prosecutor Marcia Clarke about the friendship between a DA, a prosecuting attorney, and a cop, and now comes word that Campbell has dropped out of the project and has been replaced by Julia Stiles. Dee Johnston (Southland, ER, Rizzoli & Isles, Nashville, The Good Wife, Boss) is writing as well as serving as the showrunner…Mila Kunis will guest on real life boyfriend (fiancé?) Ashton Kutcher's CBS comedy Two and a Half Men this spring… USA has ordered a 10 episode first season of an untitled drama from Sean Jablonski (Suits) about a man whose life changes when he finds the cell phone of the male escort his wife has been seeing. Matt Passmore (The Glades) and Stephanie Szostak (Iron Man 3, The Devil Wears Prada) play the leads…Season two of MasterChef:Junior hasn't even started production yet but that didn't stop Fox from today picking up an 8 episode third season of the reality competition series featuring pint size chef wannabe's…TLC has ordered a 12 episode first season of a reality show focused on Leah Remini and her eccentric family. The show comes from the producers of Duck Dynasty, Hollywood Treasure, and Porter Ridge (to name but a few)… Ty Pennington (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition) has been named host of TNT's new On the Menu. Each week three home chefs will design a new dish for a national chain restaurant, with the winning dish available in those restaurants the very next day. Emeril Lagasse will serve as a coach/mentor to the chefs each week. Mark Burnett is executive producing…Food Network is launching ANOTHER reality competition series next month; America's Best Cook is hosted by Ted Allen and finds coaches Cat Cora, Alex Guarnaschelli, Tyler Florence and Michael Symon mentoring teams of home chefs, with the final winner taking home $50,000 (so it's The Voice with cooking, or a somewhat different version of The Taste). Guest judges on season one include Anne Burrell, Bobby Flay, Ron Ben-Israel, Marcel Vigneron and Geoffrey Zakarian. America's Best Cook premieres on Sunday April 13th…

Turns Out Not Where But Who You're With That Really Matters
The best thing I've watched this week…
I love Jebidiah Atkinson. I love him with a passion that I have not had for a Weekend Update character in a LONG time. He's everything I want in one of those segments – funny (duh), strong personality, set style/format so you can almost laugh ahead of the jokes (or at least do some pre-laughing), and with an ability to ad-lib when the moment calls for it…





At some point I may grow tired of him but for now, Jebidiah Atkinson is one of my favorite faces to see on my TV.

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 laughed more during Andrew Dice Clay's 15 minute interview with David Steinberg on last week's Inside Comedy than I have in all the times I've seen him do stand-up combined, and that's yet another testament to how good this show is; I am not a fan of his yet loved seeing him be himself and talk about his career with a level of humility I had not heard before. If you have Showtime and you are a fan of comedy, you MUST season pass this show!!!... Really strong work by Jonathan Silverman on last week's SVU, going against his typical role and showing heretofore unseen range as a dirty/provocative comic. No reason Silverman shouldn't be on my TV screen more regularly, maybe an arc on Suits as a lawyer going against Harvey, or I'd love to see him as a baddie on Justified… The best the reality competition genre will ever be are those moments when someone who didn't get picked the first time around on The Voice comes back and gets (at least) one of the coaches to turn their chair. Gets. Me. Every. Time…I'm running out of adjectives that can begin to do justice to the sublime work Ray Romano is turning in on Parenthood; combined with his two seasons of the gone-too-soon Men of a Certain Age and he has become an actor whose presence in a series guarantees I am a viewer…Last week's episode of The Blacklist reinforced my feelings about the series, which is that it's a good show with a great performance, as opposed to being a great show. James Spader was fantastic - shocking, I know - but the rest of the show is really B/B- quality, with too many open threads and not enough time spent getting to know the other characters (you can't be a great show with only one compelling character). I'd love to see an episode where the plot is that Reddington has the flu and we see what all the other characters do when he is not around. Don't get me wrong, it's a HIGHLY entertaining hour of TV but there is work to be done to get it to that upper echelon…A fantastic, days-of-old quality episode of Grey's Anatomy this past Thursday that mixed personal interactions with professional quandaries and threw in a cover of an 80's classic to boot; good stuff from Grey Sloan Memorial for sure!.. Add Grace Helbig to the list of incredibly funny people @Midnight has introduced to my world…If you didn't find something to laugh at in last week's The Crazy Ones then you couldn't have been watching the same hysterical half hour that I did. I LOVED the chemistry between Sydney and the waiter (hoping that was not the last time we saw him) and from the moment the Chicago theme was mentioned I knew we'd be getting a song from the musical. James Wolk, Amanda Setton, and Hamish Linklater may be the best/funniest supporting trio that any sitcom has to offer right now…The scenes with Abed and Professor Hickey on last week's Community were fantastic - sharp, funny, and at times painfully honest - and a great indication that, while Troy is very much missed, his departure may have opened the door for Abed to grow in ways he otherwise would not have…Whether or not Mind Games is actually a good show I will need a few more weeks to decide but I can say unequivocally that Kyle Killen (Lone Star, Awake) has once again proven he can make a pilot that sucks me in big time; I loved the opening hour and its mix of genuine human emotion and expository explanation of the concept. I especially enjoyed Steve Zahn's performance, which in the hands of a lesser actor might have been a serious of annoying ticks but instead was a complete picture of a man winning and losing battles with his demons… Two weeks in a row of VERY strong work by Lea Michelle and Naya Rivera on Glee; the two of them somehow find a way to make their characters over the top behavior seem slightly grounded/believable and that is no small feat. Sue's also been on a role as of late, and that's usually a recipe for an entertaining hour… I'm not sure if it's the presences of Abby adding some new dynamic tension or that they've finally given Winston something to do but the last few weeks of New Girl have been a return to glory, making me laugh out loud and reminding me why I love these characters so much… I thought the premiere of Beat Bobby Flay was an entertaining, fast paced half hour; I know some people think he's got a king sized ego but the dude clearly loves to cook and loves competition, and in this show he appears to be having a ton of fun, so what's not to like?... I am cutting Revolution loose, removing it from my Season Pass list. As much as I like the cast it's just feels like a different show from season and more importantly, it's just not very good anymore. Also playing a role in my ability to pull the trigger is knowing that the show is not likely to get renewed (seriously, how is Revolution possibly going to grow its audience in season three?)…

TV Pick Of The Week
I watched the Believe pilot last summer and usually a network waiting this long to premiere a series is a bad sign but in this case it's because the network has an entire night of programming – Sundays – available now that it didn't then with the NFL season being over. Also working well for the network and the series is that executive producer and director of the pilot Alfonso Cuaron won an Oscar last Sunday night for Gravity





Also, NBC is giving it a great showcase, airing the pilot Monday at 10pm – the prime post-The Voice slot that has helped turn The Blacklist into a huge hit – before it moves to its regular Sunday home.

In terms of quality, the hour itself is solid if not spectacular, and the potential it has is quite clear. Mrs. Tivo LOVED it.

Don't miss the series premiere of Believe, Monday at 10pm on NBC.

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

*Sunday night is a big one for ABC, with the returns of Once Upon a Time and Revenge sandwiched around the series premiere of Resurrection





*True Detective, aka the best show this season not named Breaking Bad, wraps up its season this Sunday at 9pm on HBO.

*The current season of The Bachelor wraps up Monday at 8pm, followed by a live one hour reunion special.

*Thursday's episode of Suits (9pm, USA) is one of the best in the show's 2+ season history, with what may be the best Louis – Harvey scene of all time.

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, Flipping Out, Food Court Wars, Food Network Challenge, Food Network Star, The Fosters, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Mine, Glee, Graceland, Great Food Truck Race, Grey's Anatomy, Growing Up Fisher, Haunted Collector, Haunted Highway, Haunted Treasure, Hawaii 5-0House 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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