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Two Tivos To Paradise 04.11.14: Colbert, Game of Thrones, The Simpons, More
Posted by Al Norton on 04.11.2014

Hello friends; what's good? This was a long week which included roughly 5 hours of driving on Wednesday (to and from a family event in Harwich, MA) and an oh-so-lovely night at H & R Block as well, so I am more than ready for the weekend!

Here's the first look at NBC's Undateable, ordered last spring and finally premiering next month…

Speaking of shows NBC ordered last May but are just now getting on the air, here's a trailer for The Night Shift

She packed my news last night, pre-flight.

Woke Last Night To The Sound of Thunder, How Far Off I Sat And Wondered
CBS officially announced yesterday that Stephen Colbert would become host of The Late Show when David Letterman retires in 2015. Terms of the five year deal were not disclosed but with Letterman making his big announcement just last Thursday, the network clearly moved fast to get a new host in place. Colbert's contract with Comedy Central expires at the end of 2014.

This is certainly going to be interesting as it will find Colbert being himself on camera for a change, as opposed to the persona he portrays on The Colbert Report.

Late last week there were also reports that Chelsea Handler was in talks with CBS for a late night talk show, with the story indicating she is strongly being considered to replace Craig Ferguson on The Late Late Show. Ferguson's contact is up at the end of 2014 (at least according to the last published reports) and CBS could look to make the move before they bring in Colbert for The Late Show so as not to have too much turnover at once. The story says CBS initially reached out to her about a syndicated late night talk show but that Handler wasn't interested in that, so the conversation quickly switched gears. Ferguson hasn't made any hints about leaving but CBS may be looking to shake things up a bit and he's got a new syndicated daytime game show starting this fall, so he may be just fine bringing his talk show host run to a close.

And while I am a HUGE fan of Ferguson's work on The Late Late Show, his stuff simply wouldn't fly with the larger, more mainstream audience at 11:35pm, so bumping him up an hour is almost certainly a non-starter.

I had created this list of my picks for folks CBS should consider as host of The Late Show and even though it's moot now, I will give it to you anyway.

*Chelsea Handler

*Stephen Colbert

*Jon Stewart

*Aisha Tyler

*Joel McHale

*Chris Rock

*Neil Patrick Harris

The best part about this, other than being excited to see what Colbert will do with a MUCH bigger stage, is we don't have to deal with months and months of stories, rumors, and outright lies about who is and isn't up for the gig.

What this does mean is there will be an opening in Comedy Central's late night lineup that will need filling. The Daily Show is entrenched at 11pm, and @Midnight can't really move to a new timeslot, so that means there will be a new show at 11:30pm next year. I hope that's Hannibal Burress' phone I hear ringing.

Here Comes My Happiness Again, Right Back To Where It Should Have Been
Tony Dovolani is a professional ballroom dancer who has been with Dancing with the Stars since season two, winning the show in season 15 with Melissa Rycroft. He's currently partnered with NeNe Leakes. We recently caught up with him via email to discuss the show…

TTTP: Do you remember what you thought the first time someone told you about the concept of Dancing with the Stars?


TTTP: Was there any sort of buzz in the world of dancing?


TTTP: If someone had told you on opening night of season two that 8 years and 16 cycles later the show would still be going strong and that you'd still be a part of it, what would you have said?


TTTP: Who's your dream partner for the show?


TTTP: I know she's not your partner but I still have to ask; is what Amy Purdy is doing this season as remarkable and as moving for the folks who work on the show as it is for the audience at home?


TTTP: Tell me something about NeNe Leakes that you'd only know from spending a lot of time with her.


TTTP: The audience has an idea of what you do when the show is on but how about giving us a peak into your life when you're not Dancing with the Stars?


TTTP: I know you're quite the accomplished golfer; who else is usually with you on the leader board at celebrity tournaments?


TTTP: If you were in charge of DWTS for a day, what changes would you make?


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 great night for Community, down 24% in total viewers and hitting a new series low in the demos...Parks and Recreation was down 16%...Parenthood was down from last week's six month high...The Big Bang Theory won the night in total viewers and demos...The Millers was up 20% and was second on the night in both totals and demos...The Crazy Ones helped its renewal chances with a slight demo increase...Scandal hit a season low but still handily won 10pm in total viewers and demos...American Idol finished a somewhat distant third in the demos at 9pm...Solid week two for Surviving Jack, down only slightly from last Thursday's premiere...

Shark Tank was down a bit but still easily won the night in the demos, as it has every week it's aired a new episode this season...A Kitchen Nightmares rerun was up 75+% in the demos from last week's episode of Rake....Raising Hope was up slightly in totals and demos for its series finale...Unforgettable returned to win 8pm in total viewers and match its last episode in the demos...Blue Bloods won the night in total viewers and 10pm in the demos as well...Hart of Dixie was down 19% in total viewers but even in the demos...

For the second week in a row TBS/TNT/truTV set records for the two most watched college basketball games in cable TV history; the final four match ups of Kentucky - Wisconsin (16.7 million) and UConn - Florida (14 million) now rank as # 1 and 2 on the all-time list. There were also 3.8 million live streams, an increase of 76% from last year, and the Tweets (1.8 million individual tweets seen by over 200 million people) were up 36%.

Game of Thrones hit a series high with 6.6 million last night, up 42% from the season three premiere last year and up 23% from that season's finale. The hour was the second most watched episode of an HBO original series in the last seven years...That lead-in helped Silicon Valley pull in 2 million viewers; as a point of reference, 1.4 million watched the series premiere of Veep in 2012. Veep, now airing at 10:30 instead of 10, was down 20% from its season two bow…Shameless and House of Lies enjoyed their highest rated season finales ever, with Shameless putting up season high total viewer numbers as well…The Academy of Country Music Awards was done from last year's 10 year high but still won the night in total viewers and demos...Family Guy was up double digits to be the night's top demo performer among the regularly scheduled series...Once Upon a Time enjoyed slight gains in totals and demos...Resurrection was down double digits in totals and demos and is now down 40% from its premiere demo numbers...Dream Builders was down again, as were Believe and Crisis...

UConn winning the NCAA's easily won the night in totals and demos, although down 14% and 20% respectively from last year...The Voice was the top demo performer among regularly scheduled programming, with DWTS grabbing the most viewers...Castle was a rerun but the most watched rerun in series history...Bones was up 14% in total viewers and a bit in the demos as well...The Following enjoyed a slight viewer increase...Dream Builders' special Monday night airing was a HUGE improvement over its regular Sunday numbers but a HUGE drop from what The Blacklist usually does...

Despite lots of buzz and VERY positive fan reaction, Marvel's Agents of Shield was down double digits in totals and demos last night...The Voice won the night in the demos...NCIS was up to once again win the night in total viewers...The Mindy Project was up 20% in total viewers...Glee was up a smidge in the demos...About A Boy and Growing Up Fisher were each down a bit in the demos, although each handily beat their comedy timeslot competition in all measures...Bubble shows The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife were each down, the latter with a double digit drop...As usual, NCIS: LA destroyed its 9pm competition...

Strong night for SVU, up 28% in total viewers and 18% in the demos...Survivor won the night in the demos...Criminal Minds won the night in total viewers and 9pm in the demos...CSI won 10pm in totals and demos...Chicago Fire was up 12% in total viewers...Mixology hit a new demo low...

All The Young Dudes, Carry The News
Industry News, Notes, and Hot Rumors…HBO has given Game of Thrones a TWO season renewal, officially ordering seasons five and six after Sunday's season four premiere hit series highs in viewership…FX Prods. has signed a HUGE new deal with the creators of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia that includes orders for a 11th AND 12th season of the comedy, which will make it the second longest running comedy in TV history (behind only My Three Sons). The three year deal, said to be for upwards of $50 million, also includes a direct-to-series order of a new comedy from the trio of Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton that will star Tracy Morgan and run with Sunny when the show returns in January of 2015. Three pilot orders are also included in the package…Michael C Hall (Dexter, Six Feet Under) fanned the flames of the rumors that he is the top choice to play the title role in Netflix upcoming Daredevil series when he told Vulture.com on Sunday, "I would definitely consider it … but I can't tell you any inside information because I think they're nothing but rumors." The show, the first in Netflix five series deal with Marvel, is set to begin production in Hell's Kitchen this summer for a 2015 premiere…Fans of The Simpsons ought to clear their August schedules now; when FXX starts to air reruns of the long running animated comedy this summer they will kick things off with a 12 day, 522 episode marathon, an event that Chief FX Networks executive John Landgraf says will be "the longest continuous marathon in the history of television."…Syfy has picked up a 12 episode first season on 12 Monkeys, based on the Oscar nominated movie of the same name. Set to premiere in January of 2015, the show is written and co-executive produced by Terry Matalas & Travis Fickett, who worked together on Nikita and Terra Nova, and the cast includes Aaron Stanford (Nikita), Amanda Schull (Suits, Pretty Little Liars), Noah Bean (Nikita, Damages), and Kirk Acevedo (The Walking Dead, The Event, Fringe). Natalie Chaidez (In Plains Sight, V, Terminator The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Heroes) is the showrunner…Fox's new improv comedy competition series Riot, premiering May 13th, will feature a slew of celebrity guest stars, including Steve Carell, Cheryl Hines, Jason Alexander, D.L. Hughley, Tom Green, Chris Kattan, Mayim Bialik, David Arquette, Oscar Nunez, Andy Dick, Orlando Jones, Nicole Sullivan, Michael Ian Black, Will Sasso, Andy Buckley, and Rob Delaney. The show finds a group of regular cast members competing in improv challenges while performing on a stage that sits at a 22 degree angle…TBS has announced plans to do a week's worth of Conan episodes from San Diego's Comic-Con in 2015…Syfy has ordered a 13 episode first season of Z Nation, which takes place three years after a zombie virus has destroyed most of the population and finds a team of heroes assigned with bringing the only known survivor of the virus (as in the only person to get the virus and not turn in to a zombie) from New York to California, where the last working blood lab in the US is waiting to create an antidote. Karl Schaefer (Eureka, The Dead Zone, Strange Luck, Erie Indiana) is the showrunner… Welcome to Sweden premiered on TV4 two weeks ago (it debuts on NBC in July) and already has a 10 episode second season order. The comedy, created by and starring Greg Poehler - and executive produced by his sister Amy - is about a NYC guy who follows the new love of his life to her home country of Sweden. The cast includes Lena Olin, Illeana Douglas, and Patrick Duffy (all playing the various parents of the new couple), and season one includes cameos from Amy Poehler, Will Ferrell, Aubrey Plaza and Gene Simmons…Bradley Whitford will guest on the May 7th episode of Law & Order: SVU, an hour that also includes turns from Samantha Mathis, Jeffrey Tambor, and Emma Bell as well as cameos from Ann Curry and Geraldo Rivera (playing themselves)… Chris Colfer will guest on Hot in Cleveland later this season, his first on-screen non-Glee TV role (he provided a voice on The Cleveland Show in 2011)…

Turns Out Not Where But Who You're With That Really Matters
The best thing I've watched this week…While I frequently refer to Parenthood as the best drama on network TV and one of the best on all of TV, lately I am wondering if I am selling it short.

It doesn't have weekly murders or sex crimes, there's no sword play, no behind the scenes machinations of politics at the highest levels, no drug dealers, no federal marshals with itchy trigger fingers, no gunrunning motorcycle gangs, there's not copious amounts of graphic sex. In short no glitz, glam, or shiny objects, just folks dealing with real life issues - raising kids, finding and maintaining successful relationships, what we want out of life, when is it time to grow up, health scares that rock you to your core - and it does so in ways that make me cry with sadness, with joy, with familiarity, and with recognition of things I know I will deal with later in life.

Based on the overall quality of the show and the incredible run it's been on as of late, Parenthood might be the best show on TV, period.

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…

How did Saturday Night Live not do a How I Met Your Mother sketch?!!? They could have gone with alternate endings, all "worse" than the one that aired (in each one something horrific happens to the characters - everyone dies, Lily kidnapped into white slavery, Marshall become heroin addict) or they could have had a meeting of HIMYM fans rallying to protest and then have a rep from TV come and reveal future endings to TV shows that would make them even more angry. HIMYM was pretty much THE pop culture story of the week and they blew it. That aside, Anna Kendrick was great and overall the episode was highly entertaining, one of the best of the season…I wept unashamedly watching the Opening Day festivities and ring ceremony before the Red Sox home opener last Friday afternoon, which included remembrances of the two Boston firefighters who recently lost their lives in the line of duty as well as a tribute to victims of last year's marathon bombing. A celebration, a catharsis, and a ballgame - what more can you ask from an afternoon?!?!... A wonderful, charming, and totally fitting series finale for Raising Hope, with Danny's Song being a lovely call back to the pilot…I wanted to take a minute to give last Thursday's GI Joe-themed episode of Community the credit it deserves, easily one of the most creative half hours of TV of the 2013-2014 season. The various ways the writing staff - obviously led by series creator Dan Harmon - find to tell stories, fully understanding their viewers love of television and pop culture and embracing it without making fun of it, are remarkable in their imagination as well as in their execution. When all is said and done the show will be remembered as one of the best mixes of originality and appreciation of the shows that came before it that the media has ever seen… I am a big David Letterman fan, esp. his work on Late Night, but I am already bored with all the tributes to him following his retirement announcement several days ago, not because he isn't deserving of all the lavish praise he is receiving but rather because he's still going to be on the air for at least another 9 months and we're going to have to hear it all again when his actual sign off approaches. Yes, he is and was truly one of a kind but let's just enjoy his final run before we start waxing nostalgic, shall we? There will be PLENTY of time, ink space, magazine covers, and hours of TV coverage to handle all of that come 2015…I love About a Boy. It makes me happy like few other shows on TV. David Walton is FANTASTIC and they are giving Minnie Driver more and more to work with. One of my favorite/one of the best comedies on TV right now. That is all…Law & Order: SVU has always pushed certain limits but this week's episode may have fully crossed over into torture porn. TV certainly doesn't need to be happy and uplifting to be entertaining but at some point putting your characters through hell has to have a point. On the other hand, the good news was that - SPOILER ALERT - Donal Logue was back and he will stay with the show the rest of the season…

TV Pick Of The Week
I know a lot of folks weren't as high on the most recent season of Mad Men but I enjoyed it greatly, with the slow build to Don hitting rock bottom – his breakdown during the Hershey pitch is one of the best scenes the show has ever done as well as being some of Jon Hamm's best work, followed by the great moment at the end of the finale where he finally begins to show his kids who he really is (figuratively more than literally). That scene using Both Sides Now as its background music certainly didn't hurt. Anyway, we are heading in to the 7thth and final season of the show (with this final run broken up into two 7 episode runs, much like AMC did with Breaking Bad)…

Don't miss the Mad Men season premiere, Sunday at 10pm on AMC.

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

*America's Best Cook (Sunday, 9pm, Food) is a bit like The Voice meets MasterChef, with a geographical twist thrown in for good measure…

*Years of Living Dangerously (Sunday, 10pm) is a new Showtime documentary series about climate change, with a lot of big name folks lining up to discuss issues related to it great and small…

*Warehouse 13 (Monday, 9pm, Syfy) is back for its 5th and final season…

*PBS's great documentary series Independent Lens airs The Trials of Muhammad Ali this Monday at 10pm…

*The Writer's Room, likely to get a Norty nomination for its first season later this year, is back for season two this Monday at 10pm with a look into the creative process that shapes Scandal.

*Pioneers of Television, MUST WATCH for fans of the medium, returns for a new season this Tuesday at 8pm on PBS…

*Awkward, which is easily the best scripted series MTV has ever done, begins season four this Tuesday at 10pm…

*Fargo is FX's newest original series, with an amazing cast and a very cool look…

*The current season of Scandal comes to a close this Thursday at 10pm.

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, Bitten, The Blacklist, Boardwalk Empire, 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, 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, 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 in 7 days with all the latest 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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