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Two Tivos To Paradise 3.21.14: Psych, Enlisted, Louie, Transformers, More
Posted by Al Norton on 03.21.2014

Hello friends; what's good? Happy spring!!! As its only Friday morning I can't imagine any of your brackets are truly busted yet but I do wonder how many of you will still be alive in the $1 Billion Bracket Challenge come Monday. It's too early to ruin your dreams of financial independence, though, so I will simply wish you good luck!

Speaking of March Madness, every day on the Al Norton's Two Tivos To Paradise Facebook page we are giving you a different category and asking you for your four all-time # 1 seeds. Examples include the four # 1 pilots of all time, or the four # 1 al- time TV cooks. Next week I'll be asking about the four # 1 all-time private detectives. I bring this up to encourage you to visit the page, click "Like", and then stay up-to-date on all the breaking TV news plus have fun exchanging views with your fellow TV lovers.

Here's a look at the upcoming season of Veep

And a teaser for the beginning of the end of Mad Men

Finally, our first real look at FX's Fargo

In Between The Lines There's A Lot Of Obscurity, I'm Not Inclined To Resign To Maturity
Psych airs its series finale this Wednesday on USA, bringing to a close an eight season, 121 episode run that never came close to getting the credit it was due.

I have been a fan of Psych since the pilot, immediately sucked in to the great chemistry between James Roday and Dule Hill and enamored that the show rewarded my pop culture knowledge. The basic plot, that Roday's Shawn Spencer could pass himself off as a psychic thanks to his keen powers of observation – honed in his youth by his cop Dad – as a way to make easy money was amusing enough but in any other actor's hands, the show would have died a quick death. I am in no way exaggerating by calling Roday one of the most gifted comedic actors TV has seen in the last decade, and in episodes like the one where he admitted to Juliet that he was not actually psychic (and the ones that followed where he was heartbroken at her rejection), proved he has a skill set that should make him in high demand going forward. How he has not received a single Golden Globe or Emmy nomination over the show's run is truly beyond me, but I am thrilled to say he did win a Norty Award (and gave us an acceptance speech, too!)!

My favorite episode of Psych is The Amazing Psych-Man & Tap Man, Issue #2, a wonderful homage to comic books and superheroes, with the amazing two hour musical episode and Black and Tan: A Crime of Fashion second and third on the list. Even mediocre episodes of the show were still worth watching for Hill's slow (or not so slow) burn, and Timothy Omundson's ability to make Carlton Lassiter so rigid and yet so lovable.

Oh, and Psych always had the best outtakes in the business…

One of my other favorite things about Psych was that it got that its fans were also fans of TV and pop culture in general, and, much in the same way Community does so well, its many references/homages didn't come across as trying to be clever/impressive but rather were simply a show and its writers being themselves and knowing their viewers were cut from the same cloth.

The best tribute I can offer to the show's legacy is that I will forever relish the opportunity to work, "I've heard it both ways" into a conversation. Farewell Santa Barbara, PD; pineapples for everyone!

You Want A Love That Will Last Forever, One That Will Never Fade Away
This week we learned of a brand new series of interest, found out an interesting project got picked up, plus got more details on a pilot that's the very definition of notable…

*Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin will star in the Netflix comedy Grace and Frankie, which was just given a 13 episode first season order. Co-created by Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman, the story follows two women who are longtime rivals/frenemies whose husbands announce they are in love with each other and getting married, which finds Grace and Frankie in the rare situation of leaning on the other. Fonda has won two Oscars (seven nominations), seven Golden Globes (14 nominations), and an Emmy (three nominations), while Tomlin is an Oscar away from an EGOT, with five Emmys to her name. Kauffman's co-creator on G and F is Howard Morris, whose writing and producing resume includes Home Improvement, According to Jim, The Starter Wife, and Dream On, which Kauffman also co-created, making this new show a reunion of sorts.

*FX has picked up a 13 episode first season of The Comedians, starring Billy Crystal as a not-so-famous-anymore comedian paired with a young comedy hot shot (played by Josh Gad) for a late night sketch comedy show. The script, an adaptation of a Swedish series, was written by Crystal, Larry Charles (Curb, Seinfeld, Entourage, Mad About You), Matt Nix (Burn Notice, The Good Guys), and Ben Wexler (Arrested Development, Community), with Charles directing the pilot. Look for the show in early 2015.

*The FX pilot How and Why, about a super smart guy who understands how everything science works but has no clue about people, which leads to him losing his TV hosting gig and moving to a small town and a little local station - oh, and I did I mention there are supernatural elements as well?!?!? - was already high profile in that it's written and directed by Oscar winner Charlie Kaufman (Her, Being John Malkovich, Adaptation) and starring John Hawkes and Michael Cera, but the additions of two Oscar nominated actresses - Catherine Keener and Sally Hawkins - certainly takes it up a notch. While this is Kaufman's first foray into TV since he's experienced his successes on the big screen, his resume does include writing for Get a Life, The Dana Carvey Show, the sketch comedy show The Edge, and Ned and Stacey.

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 Lucas (The Firm) has landed the male lead in The Mysteries of Laura, playing a cop who works with his soon-to-be ex-wife, played by Debra Messing. The script is written by Jeff Rake (Boston Legal, The Tomorrow People, Bones, Franklin & Bash) and the pilot is being directed by McG.

We told you last week that Katie Holmes was in an untitled pilot from Richard LaGravenese that's a modern take on Dangerous Liaisons and now we now that Melissa George (Hunted) and TTTP fave Oded Fehr (Covert Affairs) are on board as well as Rufus Sewell, who was the first person cast…

Anthony LaPaglia (Without a Trace) will star in the drama pilot Red Zone (working title), playing a retired CIA agent working as a small town high school football coach who gets pulled back on the job after a terrorist event hits Washington DC and implicates folks in his current home town. Nikki Toscano (Revenge, Detroit 1-8-7) and Kerry Ehrin (Bates Motel, Parenthood, Friday Night Lights) are executive producing. Also in the cast are Kim Dickens (Treme, Sons of Anarchy, Friday Night Lights), Aimee Garcia (Dexter), and Stefanie Scott (A.N.T. Farm). James Foley, who was behind the camera on nine House of Cards episodes, is directing…The cast for How I Met Your Dad continues to grow; Golden Globe nominee Greta Gerwig is the main character, and yesterday Nick D'Agostino (Masters of Sex), Andrew Santino (Mixology), and Anders Holm (Workaholics, The Mindy Project) joined the pilot. Krysta Rodriguez (Smash) and Drew Tarver were already on board. As an FYI, HIMYD has nothing to do with the characters from HIMYM; it is related in title and the overall concept of the shows ONLY, although it does share co-creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, and the pilot will be directed by Pamela Fryman, who directed 75+% of all HIMYM episodes… Geoff Stults (Enlisted, The Finder) has been cast as one of the leads in Cuz-Bros, a CBS comedy pilot from David Caspe and Erik Sommers, who worked together on Happy Endings. Stults will play a successful LA sportscaster whose life goes a bit haywire when his personal/professional life mess of a cousin moves in with him...The cast of The Odd Couple keeps growing; Matthew Perry and Tom Lennon are the leads, with Wendell Pierce (Treme, Suits, The Wire) and Georgia King (The New Normal) as neighbors/friends…

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...Two and a Half Men won 9pm in the demos (!!!!), with Grey's Anatomy tying a series low but still topping American Idol (WOW, Idol finishing THIRD in its time slot!!!)...Scandal tied a season low but still crushed everyone at 10pm in the demos...OUAT in Wonderland tied a series low...The Crazy Ones was up a smidge in the demos (any gain is good for a bubble show)...Community matched last week, as did Parenthood...Parks and Recreation was down...

A good night for NBC, with Grimm putting up its best demos since December (and its second week in a row of demo gains) and Hannibal up 13% in that measure...Enlisted was hurt by its Rake lead-in, dropping to a series low...Hawaii Five-0 once again won 9pm in total viewers but finished third in the demos...Shark Tank won the night in the demos...Blue Bloods was the most watched show of the evening...The Undercover Boss season finale won 8pm in totals and demos, up 30% from last season's sign off... Rake sealed its fate with a very poor showing in its new Friday night at 8pm timeslot, down 37% and demonstrating to Fox that whatever audience it had on Thursdays was due to its American Idol lead-in…Banshee not only hit a series high in total viewers, both in live viewership as well as for combined with the replay later that night, it also set highs in those same measures for any Cinemax original series…

A strong week two for Resurrection, winning the night in totals and demos (for broadcast networks, that is, with The Walking Dead winning overall)...Interesting 10pm results - Revenge won in the demos, second in total viewers, The Mentalist was the most watched but was last in the demos, and Crisis premiered with the # 2 demos but the smallest total audience....Believe was down almost 50% from its Monday (post-The Voice) premiere but was still the networks best non-NFL performance in that day/timeslot in 14 months...Bob's Burgers, Family Guy, and The Simpsons were all up a bit in the demos... Not looking good for The Mentalist; the drama, currently in its sixth season on CBS, was not among the network's early pickup's last week and then last night's numbers were down 19% in the demos, with the show finishing last at 10pm in that all-important measure. Unless some sort of ratings resurgence takes place, it's likely folks will be saying goodbye to Patrick Jane this spring…

Not a good start for the Sam Champion hosted Weather Channel morning show AMHQ, down 12% in total viewers and 14% in the target 25-54 demos in its first morning from what the network had been averaging in that time slot previously. It ranked 80th in the cable ratings during the 7am - 10am hours, behind even a Frasier rerun on Lifetime…The DWTS premiere was the most watched show of the night with 15 million viewers but it was down double digits in viewers and in the demos from the last two cycle openers...HIMYM had the night's top scripted demos...2 Broke Girls was down almost 20%...The Voice won the night in the demos...The Blacklist won 10pm in totals and demos...Castle was up double digits in totals and demos...The Following hit a new series low for the third week in a row...The Tomorrow People gave The CW it's best Monday at 9pm demos since the Gossip Girl series finale in December of 2012, doubling what Beauty and the Beast did there last week...Intelligence finished a distant third at 10pm in totals and demos, with its renewal chances at this point pretty much zilch...

Glee received a nice bounce for its 100th episode, up 20+% in totals and demos...NCIS hit a season low in the demos but still easily was the night most watched show...The Voice won the night in the demos...About a Boy was up in totals and demos and came very close to tying NCIS: LA for the 9pm demo win...Growing Up Fisher was up in the demos as well, topping Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Trophy Wife in the comedy match up at 9:30pm...Chicago Fire won 10pm in the demos...Mind Games was down in the demos, tying The Originals for the lowest demos on a broadcast network for the night...The Pretty Little Liars season finale was not only the # 1 show on all of cable TV for the night in the females 12-34 demo, it was also the most Tweeted episode of TV of 2014 and the fourth most in TV history…

A VERY strong premiere for The 100, doubling the demos The Tomorrow People put up in that spot and giving the network its best Wed at 9 numbers since September 2010. It built on its Arrow lead-in in totals and demos (and Arrow was up from last week)...Revolution (new series low), SVU, and Chicago PD (new series low) were all slightly down in the demos...American Idol dropped to a new series low...Survivor won the night in the demos...CSI won 10pm in totals and demos...

All The Young Dudes, Carry The News
Industry News, Notes, and Hot Rumors… David Brenner, who made more than 150 appearances on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, including 75 as a guest host, has died at age 78. The standup comedian also appeared on just about every other talk show that was on TV in the 70's and 80's and had his own syndicated late night talk show for one season in 1986… NBC has renewed Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, and Grimm for the 2014-2015 season. Those three shows join The Blacklist, The Voice, Parks and Recreation, Celebrity Apprentice, and The Biggest Loser as part of the network's lineup for next season…FX has given season four of Louie a May 5th premiere date; the fourteen episode season will run over seven weeks, with two episodes airing every Monday (10 & 10:30pm). FYI - the FX order was for 13 episodes but Louis C.K. made a 14th one any way... Showtime has moved up the season two premiere of Masters of Sex, pairing it with Ray Donovan for a Sunday July 13th launch of both dramas' sophomore seasons…The Hub Network will premiere a new animated Transformers series next year, one that takes place 10 years after the story told in Transformers Prime and finds Bumblebee leading a new team of Autobots. The voice cast includes Will Friedle, Darren Criss, Constance Zimmer, and Ted McGinley, 2015 also happens to be the 30th anniversary of the original Transformers series and The Hub plans on celebrating with a number of specials/retrospectives…While Grant Gustin's Barry Allen won't return to Arrow this season, two characters from The CW's upcoming pilot for The Flash will make appearances in episode 19; Danielle Panabaker's Caitlin Snow and Carlos Valdez' Cisco Ramon will guest during the hour, giving viewers more of a look at the people who will be surrounding Allen when The Flash premieres this fall (not technically picked up yet but who are we kidding?!?!)… Nazanin Boniadi, who played CIA analyst Fara Sherazi on a recurring basis last season on Homeland, will be a full time cast member when the show returns for season four this fall…Odette Annabel (House, Breaking In) and Desmond Harrington (Dexter, Gossip Girl), have joined JoAnna Garcia Swisher in ABC's Astronaut Wives Club, which premieres on ABC this summer… TVGN has ordered a 14 episode first season of Unusually Thicke, a "reality sitcom" following Alan Thicke, his much younger wife, and his teenage son. Plenty of Thicke's celebrity friends will make appearances, including David Hasselhoff, Bob Saget, John Stamos, Magic Johnson, Wayne Gretzky, Bill Maher, Tom Green, and Thicke's pop star son Robin. The show premieres April 16th… Travel Channel continues to try to find new series to re-purpose Adam Richman; the latest attempt is Man Finds Food, where Richman crosses the country finding hidden food treasures. MFF premieres on July 2nd… Showtime has ordered a pilot for Billions, a drama about a US Attorney working in New York and the very, very rich people he goes up against/socializes with, co-written by Andrew Ross Sorkin, co-host of CNBC's Squawk Box, NY Times writer, and the author of the bestseller Too Big To Fail, which was turned in to an HBO original movie… Syfy has ordered Ascension, a six hour mini-series written and executive produced by Phillip Levens (Smallville). Billed as a combination of Battlestar Galactica and Downton Abbey, it's the story of a secret space shuttle that left earth in the 1960's on a 1000 year journey to explore new worlds; it's now 50 years into the trip and a murder aboard the ship makes people start to question their mission…The Voice has made a format change for the current season, adding Battles: Round Two (teammates go head-to-head on songs they pick together) and bringing on Coldplay's Chris Martin to advise all the remaining contestants during the new round, which begins on Monday, March 31st…Caterina Scorsone will reprise her Private Practice role of Amelia Shepherd on Grey's Anatomy in May and stay on for (at least) the rest of the season. Scorsone has guested on Grey's before but this will be her longest stint in Seattle…Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad, The Michael J Fox Show) will join the cast of Masters of Sex for the Showtime drama's upcoming second season, as will former Nickelodeon star Keke Palmer…Sony PlayStation is getting into the original programming game, picking up a 10 episode season of Powers, an adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name about cops who are in charge of policing people with super powers. The show has been in development for a while, most recently with FX. Brian Michael Bendis, who co-wrote the graphic novel, will share showrunning duties with Charlie Houston, who wrote the pilot.

Turns Out Not Where But Who You're With That Really Matters
The best thing I've watched this week…
If Enlisted gets cancelled by Fox, as certainly appears way more likely than not, it will break my heart in a way TV has not with a comedy since The Class; in its short run Enlisted has established itself as one of the smartest, funniest, best acted, and most genuinely heartwarming on all of TV, a rightful heir to Scrubs in terms of working both as a satire and a sitcom grounded in genuine human emotion.

Last week's Vets was not only Enlisted's best episode, it was one of the best half hours of network comedy that we've seen this season, with some great word play (all that sausage fest talk coming out of Keith David's mouth was priceless), some character development, and some well-earned pathos.

Come on, Fox, show a little faith that a quality product in a good time slot (which means you need to give it a better lead-in!!!) WILL attract an audience!!!!

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 have enjoyed the first two weeks of Believe - they've opened up the story in interesting ways - but they are going to have to get away from the "Tate and Bo Almost Get Caught of the Week" to have any sort of legs…Monday's How I Met Your Mother was one of those "makes up for how mediocre most of this season has been" episodes, with a last 5 minutes that qualified as "worth watching the whole series for." I am once again in awe of how great a job they did casting the Mother, who works as Ted's soul mate on every level. And let's once again take a moment to appreciate the subtle genius of Billy Zabka. Perhaps CBS (or just a motivated HIMYM fan) will do a video that's just his scenes from this season. He has swept the leg of my heart and put my affection in a body bag… Three thoughts on this week's Once Upon a Time – 1) the flying monkeys were as freaky as anything I have seen on TV in a while!!! B) Robin and Regina have amazing chemistry; I knew he had a true heart when he managed to maintain eye contact with her throughout the episode despite ample distraction and 3) Rebecca Mader is crushing it as the Wicked Witch, chewing up the scenery like so much roughage and being both charismatic AND scary, which is not easy. A formidable foe for Regina et al, which may be a first for the show… If you didn't shed at least one tear during the Callie - Arizona scenes in the last 5 minutes of last Thursday's Grey's Anatomy than you have a colder heart than I, my friends. Also I am LOVING the show's 80's covers soundtrack as of late… I am not saying I don't miss Ann and Chris but if the trade off to them leaving the Parks and Recreation landscape is we get more Jerry/Larry, I am much more ok with it than I would have imagined. His anniversary date with Ben two weeks ago was one of the highlights of the season… It may be blasphemous to say but so far, Community has not skipped a beat in Troy's absence. I am not saying I don't miss the character or that the show doesn't miss his presence, just that so far it's still easily in the handful of best comedies on TV…Tuesday's 100th episode of Glee did a fantastic job capturing the warmth and feel-good vibe that the show excelled in over its first few seasons, with familiar faces returning to great effect. Hell, we even got a joke about Will Schuester's rapping, which made me laugh out loud. If you were a fan early on but stopped watching, this is a good hour to seek out!...Another week, another funny and charming episode of About a Boy, which is easily on the short list of my favorite comedies right now. Yes, they need to do a Fiona-centric episode where she is presented with a better balance of quirky and endearing, but this is a half hour I very much look forward to every week…If anyone is going to break The Walking Dead's lack-of-acting-nominations streak, it's Melissa McBride, with last Sunday's episode as her submission tape. An amazing hour of dramatic television…

TV Pick Of The Week
Much like About A Boy and Growing Up Fisher, I watched and greatly enjoyed Surviving Jack last summer and have waited a long time to find out if the episodes that followed would hold up to the charm and realistic portrayal of family life that made those opening 22 minutes so much fun.

Fox may have waited a LONG time to put it on the air but by running it after American Idol they are certainly putting it in front of as many eyes as they possibly can.

Don't miss the series premiere of Surviving Jack, Thursday at 9:30pm on Fox.

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

*Season two of Da Vinci's Demons premieres Saturday at 9pm on Starz…

*American Dream Building (Sunday, 8pm) is the latest reality show from NBC…

*The current season of Girls wraps up this Sunday at 10pm on HBO.

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.

A Happy Passover to all of you observing! 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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