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Two Tivos To Paradise 3.14.14: The Big Bang Theory, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, 24, SNL, More
Posted by Al Norton on 03.14.2014

Hello friends; what's good? I know I frequently talk about the weather in our cold open but being in New England it can be a popular topic of conversation. Take this week for example, where it was almost 60 on Thursday and then we had low 20's and a morning on Snow on Thursday. Tomorrow is supposed to be 50, and then back to mid-20's on Monday. You know, the weather is such a strange, powerful, and mysterious thing they could probably focus an entire network around it!

A trio of big time trailers this week, with the return of Jack Bauer kicking things off…

Here's the latest preview of Game of Thrones

And Orphan Black is back next month…


‘Cause all of me loves all of news.

Well You're Dirty And Sweet, Clad In Black, Don't Look Back, and I Love You
CBS gave The Big Bang Theory its second consecutive three season pickup, meaning new episodes of the comedy will continue to be on the air through at least the spring of 2017. The network is said to be close on deals for their other Chuck Lorre produced shows, with pick up's of Mom and Mike & Molly plus a 13 episode final run for Two and Half Men expected to be announced shortly.

The Big Bang Theory is the single most popular show on TV. There's really no other way to say it; yes, The Walking Dead does beat it in the demos but Big Bang's demos are still excellent and when you factor in that it's the most watched series on all of TV, there's really nothing that comes close. Its reruns on TBS have beaten shows on network TV, for God's sake! With that knowledge in hand, it's expected that the show's three leads, whose contracts are all up this spring, will get new deals at roughly $1 million per episode. Factor in three more 22 episode seasons and that means the Parsons, Galecki, and Cuoco families will be set for life (and then some) comes the spring of 2017, and that doesn't take into account anything they've earned previously or the small piece of the show's lucrative syndications deals they will get.

My lack of love for Big Bang is pretty well documented on these pages. It started because a) the show took over the timeslot for the cancelled-too-soon The Class and b) the pilot was SO obvious with its jokes – jocks give nerds wedgies!!! – that I couldn't imagine why I'd ever want to tune in again. As the popularity grew I checked back a few times – and continue to do so every season – and think the cast is much stronger now than it was at the start, and they seem to actually be showing a little emotional development in the group as well, but to me it's still a B- show that can occasionally rise above but is usually the same thing over and over again.

In this case I am fully aware that my opinion is the minority and that's fine with me as I don't begrudge anyone a show that they love. If I were a Big Bang Theory fan I would be walking on cloud nine this week, knowing I'd have at least 66 more half hours with the gang.

CBS wasn't done with renewals, picking up up new seasons of 2 Broke Girls, Mike & Molly, Mom, Two and a Half Men, The Millers, NCIS, NCIS: LA, Person of Interest, CSI, Hawaii Five-0, Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds, The Good Wife, Elementary, Undercover Boss, and The Amazing Race, 60 Minutes, and 48 Hours for their 2014-2015 lineup. That means the only question marks from the network's current schedule are The Crazy Ones, The Mentalist, Intelligence, and the premiering later this month Friends with Better Lives.

Foot On The Petal, Never Ever False Metal, Engine Running Hotter Than A Boiling Kettle
It's been a busy seven days for Fox, renewing New Girl, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Following, and The Mindy Project for the 2014-2015 season while cancelling <>Raising Hope after four seasons. The four early pick-ups mean those shows join Sleepy Hollow, Bones, and Glee in the network's lineup for next season.

This leaves lots of questions from you about the show's they didn't renew the truth is they are all still up in the air; traditionally renewals don't come until April but the network has said they are doing away with that format to go with a rolling development structure. Their bubble shows are Almost Human, Dads, Enlisted, Rake, and the yet-to-premiere Surviving Jack. With no X-Factor this fall that opens up three hours of prime time programming a week, so I think Almost Human has a decent chance, with the comedies really no better than 50-50 (I think at least one comes back but I couldn't tell you which one at this point). The network is also heavily developing "limited/event series" (as in, mini-series) and my guess is there will be one in the fall and then another in the spring.

The Hot And The Cold Are Both So Intense, Put Them Together, It Just Makes Sense
Two of the more successful basic cable channels when it comes to original programming announced some of their summer plans this week…

TNT (series premieres marked with an "*")

Sunday 6/22 –
The Last Ship* 9pm, Falling Skies 10pm

Wednesday 8/20 - Legends*

Still to come - premiere dates for new seasons of Major Crimes, Rizzoli & Isles, Perception, and Franklin & Bash as well as the series premiere of Murder in the First.

ABC Family
Tuesday 6/10 – Chasing Life* 8pm, Pretty Little Liars 9pm

Monday 6/16 – Switched at Birth 8pm, The Fosters 9pm

Wednesday 6/25 – Young and Hungry* 8:00pm, Mystery Girls* 8:30pm

Chasing Life is a drama about a young woman who learns she has a terminal illness. Young and Hungry is a comedy executive produced by Ashley Tisdale, focused on a rich young tech guy who hires an up-and-coming food blogger to be his personal chef. The highest profile of the three new shows is Mystery Girls, which reunites former Beverly Hills, 90210 co-stars Tori Spelling and Jennie Garth as two former co-stars of a teen mystery show who team up to solve real life cases.

Not to be outdone, CBS got in the act as well…

Wednesday 6/25 - Big Brother (following by the premiere of the Thursday and Sunday editions of the show)

Sunday 6/29 - Unforgettable 9pm, Reckless* 10pm

Monday 6/30 - Under the Dome 10pm

Wednesday 7/9 - Extant*


Extant is the single most high profile new show of the summer, with Steven Spielberg executive producing and Oscar winner Halle Berry starring.

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…

Josh Gomez (Chuck) has joined the cast of the comedyEllen More or Less, about a woman adjusting to life after a 100 pound weight loss…Ryan McPartlin (Chuck) will star opposite Ashley Judd in Salvation (about a widow who takes over her husband's mega-church empire)...

Katie Holmes may on your TV screens this fall, signing to star in the untitled ABC pilot from Richard LaGravenese that is a modern spin on Dangerous Liaisons, taking place in NYC. Rufus Sewell is also in the cast. LaGravenese wrote HBO's Behind the Candelabra as well as the big screen movies Beautiful Creatures, The Fisher King, The Ref, P.S. I Love You, and The Bridges of Madison County…We told you about the rumor earlier in the week and now it's official; Emmy & Golden Globe winner Felicity Huffman will star opposite Timothy Hutton in American Crime, written and executive produced by John Ridley, who won an Oscar last Sunday for writing 12 Years a Slave…Anna Camp (The Mindy Project, True Blood) will star opposite Justin Hartley (Smallville, Revenge) in the Damaged Goods, a comedy from Awkward creator Lauren Iungerich. The story follows a couple who works together and begin having problems when she gets the promotion he thought was his…

James Roday has his first post-Psych TV gig lined up, starring in the comedy Good Session as half of a couple who head into therapy to discuss having a baby only to find they have many issues to work through. The pilot is written by John Hamburg (Zoolander, Along Came Polly, Meet the Parents) and Matt Miller (Chuck, Las Vegas, Human Target), with Hamburg directing…Bebe Neuwirth has joined Tea Leoni and Tim Daly in the cast of Madam Secretary...

The Supernatural spinoff The CW is working on has a new title - Supernatural: Blood Lines - and will air as a planted pilot on April 29th. Written by Andrew Dabb, who has 20+ episodes of Supernatural on his resume, and directed by Robert Singer (Supernatural, Monk, Smallville), the story follows a group of organized crime-like monsters and the new hunter trying to kill them/run them out of town, and the cast includes Nathaniel Buzolic (The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars), Sean Farris (Pretty Little Liars), Stephen Martines (Burn Notice, The Closer), and Melissa Roxburgh (Arrow, Diary of a Wimpy Kid)…

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 Big Bang Theory won the night in totals and demos...Interestingly, everything on CBS enjoyed small demo gains except The Crazy Ones, which dropped to a new season/series low...Grey's Anatomy and Scandal each dropped double digits in the demos, although Scandal still easily won 10pm in that measure...Reign was up 30% in total viewers and 40% in the demos (although the show still finished a distant last on the night in both)...Community matched last week...Parks and Recreation & Parenthood had slight demo increases...

Shark Tank easily won the night in demos, with Blue Bloods once again reigning as the most watched show on the night...Enlisted was up a smidge in the demos (every little bit helps!!!)...Hannibal had a rough night, down 20+% in totals AND demos from last week's just ok premiere numbers...Undercover Boss won 8pm in totals and demos...Hawaii Five-0 won 9pm in total viewers but finished third (last) in the demos on the hour...Grimm was up a bit in totals and demos...

Strong night for ABC, with Once Upon a Time returning up 21% in the demos, and Revenge enjoying its new 10pm time slot to the tune of a whopping 46% demo increase. Even better for the network, the series premiere of Resurrection won the night in totals and demos...Total numbers for Cosmos will be in later...The Amazing Race was up 38% in viewers and 20% in the demos without The Oscars as competition...The Mentalist grew in both viewers and demos...The Good Wife was down almost 30% from its last new episode...

A strong premiere for Believe, the most watched scripted show on the night and winning 10pm in totals and demos (matching what The Blacklist did there last week)...The Bachelor finale was down 8% from last season although the After the Rose special was even...HIMYM was down double digits in totals and demos (but still tied Believe for the best scripted demos on the night)...Intelligence was up 20% in viewers...Bones was up from its last Friday run as well as from what Almost Human did last Monday at 8pm...The Following dropped to a new series low in the demos...The Voice won the night in totals and demos...

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD enjoyed modest gains in total viewers and demos...Mind Games was up a huge 50% in the demos (taking advantage of a Person of Interest rerun - let's see how those numbers hold up next week)...About A Boy was down double digits in the demos but still crushed timeslot competition The Goldbergs and New Girl in demos and total viewers...Growing Up Fisher was down a smidge but similarly topped Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Trophy Wife (up in totals and demos)...The Voice won the night in totals and demos...Chicago Fire won 10pm in totals and demos...Glee hit a new non-holiday demo low...

Modern Family won the night in the demos, finishing second to American Idol in total viewers...CSI won 10pm in totals and demos...Revolution is showing consistency, putting up the same demos for the fourth week in a row (although it's still finishing fourth in the hour)...Survivor won 8pm in the demos...The Middle was the only ABC series not to lose a small % from last week's demos...

All The Young Dudes, Carry The News
Industry News, Notes, and Hot Rumors…Louis C.K. will host Saturday Night Live on March 29th, his second time fronting the show. His first time hosting led to a 2013 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, one of the TWENTY FIVE nominations C.K. has amassed so far in his career (with four wins)…Josh Duhamel has signed to star opposite Dean Winters in CBS' upcoming Battle Creek, the new series from Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan. David Shore (House) is the showrunner, with Bryan Singer directing the pilot as well as executive producing, and a supporting cast that includes Kal Penn, Janet McTeer, Edward Fordham Jr. and Aubrey Dollar. The story follows a tough street cop (Winters) who gets paired with a more nice-guy FBI agent (Duhamel) as way to clean up what the log-line calls "the semi-mean streets of Battle Creek, MI." Gilligan actually wrote the pilot years before Breaking Bad premiered and the project was in such demand that CBS gave it a direct-to-series 13 episode order (bypassing the pilot stage of development)… Craig Ferguson is executive producing Science Channel's new series I F-ing Love Science, an adaptation of the very popular Facebook page of the same name that has over 10 million likes. The show will be a mix of live action demonstrations, animation, and re-enactments all focused on how science impacts the world we live in on a daily basis…Jennifer Beals (The L Word, Chicagoland) has landed the lead in the TNT pilot Proof, a medical drama with supernatural themes (the lead character is a surgeon recovering from the death of a child who begins to investigate the idea of ghosts/life after death/reincarnation. Kyra Sedgwick is executive producing and Rob Bragin, whose diverse resume includes episode of Miami Vice, Murphy Brown, Growing Pains, Army Wives, and Greek, is writing…John Corbett has signed to star with Denis Leary in the FX pilot Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, about a band that almost got huge in the early 90's but broke up because Leary's character had some serious impulse control/addiction issues. Now it's 2014 and Leary's is trying to get the band back together for one final shot at greatness. Leary is writing and executive producing…Michael Cerveris (Treme, Fringe) will do multiple episodes of The Good Wife... History has ordered Texas Rising, an eight hour mini-series from Leslie Graf, who executive produced the award winning & ratings record setting Hatfields & McCoys for the network. The story will follow the Texas Revolution against Mexico and the beginnings of the Texas Rangers, with a cast that includes Bill Paxton, Ray Liotta, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chad Michael Murray, Brendan Fraser, Michael Rapaport, Oliver Martinez, and Max Theiriot, and two time Oscar nominee Roland Joffe (The Killing Fields, The Mission) directing. Look for it in 2015…The cast of How I Met Your Mother has taped an episode of Inside the Actors Studio that will air on Thursday March 27th, four days before the series finale airs on CBS…Comedy Central renewed Key & Peele for a fourth season a few months back but today they told us the season will be for a whopping twenty episodes plus two best-of episodes. Additionally the network is developing an animated series based on the duo's popular Vandaveon & Mike characters…Olivia Wilde has landed the female lead opposite two time Emmy winner Bobby Cannavale in the untitled 1970's NYC music industry pilot Mick Jagger, Martin Scorsese, and Terrence Winter have created for HBO. Winter wrote the script with George Mastras (Breaking Bad), who would be the showrunner if HBO orders a first season. Filming is set to begin this summer, with Scorsese directing the pilot…WE tv has ordered a pilot for Sex Box, an adaptation of a British reality series where couples who are having relationship issues go into a soundproof box on the stage, have sex, and then sit down with the host and a panel of experts to address the problems they are having…The upcoming 25th season of America's Funniest Home Videos will be host Tom Bergeron's 15th and final one with the show…

Turns Out Not Where But Who You're With That Really Matters
The best thing I've watched this week…
I don't think you had to be any sort of Lena Dunham fan to enjoy this past week's SNL. As an example, someone familiar with Girls that didn't like it would, I would think, get a great kick out of this film trailer making fun of the show…

I do think being a Scandal fan makes this sketch funnier…

And then this one just struck me as funny, although I am sure some of you may think it too silly…

The highlight of the 90 minutes was this dead-on Matthew McConaughey impression from Tarak Killiam…

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 season finale of True Detective, especially since they went a totally different way with the tone of the resolution than I would have expected, and I greatly enjoy when TV catches me off guard. I am now and have always been more about the journey than the destination but by any measure, True Detective is one of the handful of best drama series on TV…Another strong Grey's Anatomy this week, punctuated by a soundtrack of moody 80's covers. My favorite was Sleeping at Last's version of Cyndi Lauper's All Through the Night, but the cool take on Man in the Mirror by J2 was also pretty memorable…While Mark Cuban may have been a tad strong with that bike light guy last night, the truth is that there have been people who have gone on Shark Tank with no interest in making a deal but rather using the show for the publicity that it brings. I'd still love to be able to go to the website to find out which deals actually happened and which fell apart (the Sharks get to do the due diligence, make sure the businesses are in the financial shape they claimed to be, and I am sure there are times where one of the sides just backs out)…Psych is going out on a big time high note, with these last two episodes being VERY funny as well as moving the plot along in believable ways as we head towards the final hour... Yes it was incredibly emotionally manipulative but the clips of Finn during this week's Glee made for some serious sniffling/eye dabbing. Also, is there any way Romy Rosemont doesn't get an Emmy nomination?!?!?... Eric Roberts CRUSHED it on Justified, which after a slow start is now operating at the same amazing levels of previous seasons. Also, if Alicia Witt's phone isn't ringing off the hook for pilot season than casting director's aren't watching the same show I am…Tuesday's Growing Up Fisher was a great example of the quality of the show as well as the issues that it has; essentially everything with Mel and Henry is funny and quite good, but Jenna Elfman's Joyce feels like a character from another show. It's not that she's bad, it's just that her scenes make GUF feel very divided in style, and that makes for an odd viewing experience…This week's About A Boy was my favorite episode so far, an excellent example of how the show can grow beyond the constraints of the movie for a long, full life. The stuff Andy and his wife was fantastic, and we got to see Fiona do something other than argue with Will. Also, I am sucker for Homeland references. Really great stuff all around.

TV Pick Of The Week
I watched the Crisis pilot last summer so I am not sure if the time that has past has made me like it more or less than I originally did; it's certainly got a lot going on, including the White House, rich kids, the first day on the job for a Secret Service agent, secret familial connections, treasonous/terrorist activities, and some decent twists and turns, and that's all in the first 60 minutes.


The main reason I decided to keep watching is that the was created by Rand Ravich, who also was behind NBC's Life a few years back (an AMAZING show with Damian Lewis, Sarah Shahi, and Adam Arkin, with supporting/recurring roles for Donal Logue, Brent Sexton, Christina Hendricks, Garret Dillahunt, Titus Welliver, William Atherton, and Brooke Langton); I loved Life enough where I'll watch any show he does from this point on.

Don't miss the series premiere of Crisis, Sunday at 10pm on NBC.

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

*Season two of Cinemax's not-so-guilty pleasure Banshee comes to a close tonight at 10pm.

*Tonight's Shark Tank features all kids fishing for investments. Can't wait to see Mr. Wonderful tell a 12 year old that they are dead to him.

*Summer Dreams (Saturday, 8pm, CBS) is a two hour look at the NBA's summer league, where rookies try to justify their draft positions and fringe players look to impress…

*Dancing with the Stars is back for a new season this Monday at 8pm.

*Glee celebrates 100 episodes with a bunch of old friends returning for the occasion and a soundtrack chosen by the fans…


*The 100 (Wednesday, 9pm) is The CW's latest attempt to blend teen angst and action/sci-fi into a series…


*Doll & Em (Wednesday, 10pm, HBO) is the latest comedy with folks playing fictionalized versions of themselves for laughs, and to be honest this looks pretty funny…


Two Tivos To Paradise
@Midnight, About A Boy, After the Catch, American Idol, Antiques Roadshow, Beat Bobby Flay, Archer, Arrow, 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 Five-0, 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, 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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