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Two Tivos To Paradise 04.18.14: Community, Orange is the New Black, More
Posted by Al Norton on 04.18.2014

Hello friends; what's good? I know I seem to always talk about the weather in these cold opens but this week we went from almost 80 on Monday to having to clear snow and ice off our cars on Wednesday morning, so in this case it should be allowed. On a less meteorological note, between Passover and Easter the majority of you are/will be celebrating a religious holiday over the next few days so I am taking a moment to wish those of you observing a good holiday surrounded by friends and family.

A full length trailer for 24: Live Another Day

And a brand new look at season two of Netflix' Orange in the New Black

And finally, our first peak at the new season of Last Comic Standing

How am I going to be the optimist about news?

I've Been Awake For A While Now, You've Got Me Feeling Like A Child Now
With the networks set to reveal their 2014-2015 lineups in just about a month, now seemed like a good time to review where their current shows stand in terms of chances for new seasons…

Renewed: The network has not announced any renewals at this time.

Sure Thing: Once Upon a Time, Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, Modern Family, Shark Tank, DWTS, Castle, The Middle, Revenge, Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, Nashville, The Bachelor, Resurrection

No Chance: Mixology, Lucky 7, OUAT in Wonderland, Mind Games, Killer Women, Back in the Game, Super Fun Night, Betrayal

Bubble: Suburgatory, Trophy Wife, The Goldbergs, Last Man Standing, The Neighbors

Analysis: Interesting that all the bubble shows are comedies. I would be shocked if more than two of those five got picked up. Suburgatory is not a huge performer but it is steady/reliable, The Goldbergs has its passionate fans, and Trophy Wife has a GREAT cast and feels like something that, is paired with, say, Modern Family, could be a genuine hit. Worth noting is that ABC had a TERRIBLE year in terms of new shows, which does give Trophy Wife and The Goldbergs a slight edge as the network would have a better spin to put on things by renewing them.

Renewed: 2 Broke Girls, The Big Bang Theory, The Millers, Mike & Molly, Two and a Half Men, The Amazing Race, Survivor, Undercover Boss, NCIS, NCIS: LA, Person of Interest, The Good Wife, Elementary, CSI, Hawaii Five-0, Criminal Minds, Blue Bloods

Sure Thing:

No Chance: Hostages, We are Men

Bubble: The Mentalist, Friends with Better Lives, Intelligence, The Crazy Ones

Too Soon To Tell: Friends With Better Lives, Bad Teacher, Reckless, Unforgiven

Analysis: Most reports have the network deciding between Intelligence and The Mentalist, with the former having a slight edge because they may retool it a bit and hope it has a chance to grow its audience, whereas the thinking about the latter is, who is going to start watching this many seasons in? The Crazy Ones will come down to how much CBS likes its comedy pilots; with the NFL running the first few Thursdays of the fall season, I could see a 13 episode order for The Crazy Ones. Friends with Better Lives is the definition of "too soon to tell", with the ratings the next few weeks being the deciding factor, although my gut says it's a one-and-done.

Renewed: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Mindy Project, New Girl, The Simpsons, Bob's Burgers, Family Guy, The Following, Sleepy Hollow, Bones, Glee, MasterChef, MasterChef Junior, Kitchen Nightmares

Sure Thing: American Idol

No Chance: The X Factor, Rake, Raising Hope

Bubble: Surviving Jack, Enlisted, Almost Human

Too Soon To Tell: Gang Related

Analysis: If you're a fan of any of the bubble shows, something to keep in mind is that the network has 2+ hours a week available in its lineup that it didn't last year because The X Factor is no more. Reports have Almost Human on the positive side of the bubble, with the tone of the show being tweaked a bit. My best guess is Surviving Jack returns and Enlisted does not and sadly, it's more likely that neither would than both would.

Renewed: Parks and Recreation, The Blacklist, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Grimm, Hollywood Game Night

Sure Thing: The Voice, The Biggest Loser, About A Boy, Law & Order: SVU

No Chance: Welcome to the Family, Sean Saves the World, Ironside, The Michael J Fox Show, American Dream Builders

Bubble: Community, Growing Up Fisher, Parenthood, Revolution, Crisis, Believe, Hannibal, Dracula

Too Soon To Tell: Undateable, The Night Shift

Analysis: That's a LOT of bubble shows! I do think Parenthood comes back, even if just for a 13 episode final season. Growing Up Fisher has a pretty good shot, too, as its ratings have been solid (topping its Fox and ABC comedy competition literally every week). I also think Hannibal is a solid bet. Believe is more likely than Crisis if only for the names attached, and Dracula is essentially over, which leaves us with Community. Ahh, Greendale, you have cheated death so many times that folks just assume you will find a way, and sure, a 13 episode final season is not out of the realm of possibility (especially since there will be football on Thursday nights to open the season so NBC may not want to sacrifice a new show), but there have been multiple new series demo lows in this current run, which is never a good sign.

I did list SVU as a "Sure Thing" because I am confident they will work out a new deal, if for no other reason than the one that makes me confident about Parenthood; NBC would be stupid to pass up the chance to market a final run of "Come say goodbye to the Bravermans/the detectives of the Special Victims Unit."

The CW
Renewed: Arrow, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Reign

Sure Thing: Whose Line is it Anyway?

No Chance: Nikita

Bubble: Hart of Dixie, The 100, Star-Crossed, The Tomorrow People, Beauty and the Beast, The Carrie Diaries

Analysis: I could see no more than two of those bubble shows coming back, with The 100 the strongest contender, followed by Hart of Dixie. The network has some high profile pilots this spring (The Flash, iZombie, Identity, Jane the Virgin) so they will need room on their schedule.

There Was Milk And Toast And Honey, And A Bowl Of Oranges, Too
A CBS spokesperson released a statement on Tuesday saying, "There are no discussions with Chelsea Handler regarding the network's 12:30 late-night broadcast. Her meeting with CBS yesterday was a general meeting with our syndication group." This came in response to another huge wave of media buzz after Handler Instagrammed a photo of herself reading a packet of paper with the CBS logo and captioned it "Business Meeting." Handler then appeared on Ellen on Thursday and said, "I would never go to CBS; my mouth? What would they do with me there?..I would never be on a regular network. I would never do that to my fans, myself, or the network."

Ok, this isn't so much a news item as a general query but what is up with all the Chelsea Handler hate? I suggested last week that she would be on the short list for CBS – or any network – if they had a late night talk show opening and the comments/emails were crazy, and they were nothing compared to vitriol I saw spewed about her on other 411Mania.com news item she was the subject of. I mean, is it so crazy that a network looking for a talk show host would be interested in bringing in someone for an interview that's already proven they can do the job with success and who has enough of a following to get their books on the NY Times bestseller list and sell out comedy shows across the country?!?!?

Look, if you don't think she's funny, that's fine – to be honest, she doesn't do a ton for me on the comedy side, either – but from the ridiculous amount of anger and venom some people have – ok, not some people, some MEN have - about her, you'd have think she ditched you all at the prom to go to third base with Kenny Thompson. I simply don't understand the wasted energy and emotion in wishing ill will towards someone simply because you don't happen to see their appeal. Clearly a LOT of people do or she wouldn't have the audience she has who watch her every night, buy her books, and spend money on tickets to see her perform live.

I am a big enough boy to understand that just because I don't think someone is funny doesn't mean they are not funny, it just means they aren't funny to me. It doesn't make me angry and it doesn't make me offer up absurdly strong negative comments about their physical appearance or describe them with words that you likely wouldn't say out loud in any sort of mixed company, and that's where I get lost…Here's a good rule of thumb to go by; if you can't make your point using words that you would when talking to your parents, it might not be a point worth making.

Again, this isn't really about Chelsea Handler, who certainly doesn't need me to defend her, it's me once again lamenting the sad state of pop culture analysis that exists on the internet, where everything is either the best thing ever or it sucks, where there's no room for the idea that something's just not for you but rather it must be that the material/performance is without any artistic merit whatsoever and that the people who created it must also be not only talentless but unattractive as well. It's like the whole internet has become Francis (as in, "Lighten up, Francis) and it's hurting our overall ability to communicate with each other.

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…

Community hit a new series demo low for the second week in a row...Parks and Recreation & Parenthood tied season demo lows...The Big Bang Theory hit a season low but still dominated the night in totals and demos...Shark Tank's special Thursday airing was down from its usual Friday numbers but gave ABC its best performer in that timeslot in six months (demos) and all season (total viewers)...Grey's Anatomy won 9pm in the demos...Scandal crushed all competition in totals and demos at 10pm...The Crazy Ones had a slight viewer increase (every little bit helps its chances off the bubble)...Hell's Kitchen was down 22%...American Idol and Surviving Jack matched last week...

Kitchen Nightmares had a strong return, with its two hours up 33% and 22% respectively from last season's opener...Shark Tank won the night in demos despite being down from last week...Not a strong showing for The Neighbors; this year's season finale was down 46% from last spring's finale and down 33% from last fall's premiere...Unforgettable was up 11% from its premiere...Blue Bloods was the most watched show of the night and finished second overall in the demos as well...Whose Line is it Anyway? matched last week, with lead-out Hart of Dixie enjoying small total viewer and demo gains...

6.3 million watched Game of Thrones, a whopping 48% jump from last season's episode two audience...Silicon Valley and Veep each dipped slightly from last week (which, to be fair, GoT did as well)...Mad Men had its least watched season premiere since season two, with a total viewer drop of 30% from last season's opening hour…Resurrection continues to win Sunday nights in the demos among drama series (as opposed to award shows and such) but also keeps dropping, hitting a series low...Family Guy won the night in the demos...Cosmos dropped to a new low...Crisis was up a smidge at 10pm while Believe matched last week...The Masters slight overrun makes CBS' number a bit harder to read so far but everything seems to be even with last week...

2 Broke Girls moved to its new 8pm time slot and essentially put up the same numbers as it did with HIMYM as a lead-in (a good sign for the show)...Friends with Better Lives was down in a big way with the HIMYM finale as a lead-in...Mike & Molly was up slightly, with lead out Mom down double digits in its season finale...The Voice won the night in the demos, albeit with a season Monday low...DWTS was the most watched show of the night as well as being up a hair in the demos...

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD was up 5% in the demos to tie a five week high...Celebrity Wife Swap open a huge 58% down from last season's premiere...The Voice won the night in the demos, matching last week...NCIS was the most watched show of the night but was down double digits in the demos...About A Boy was up slightly from last week and was the night's top rated comedy (and pretty much a LOCK for renewal)...Growing Up Fisher was up as well, helping its renewal cause...Glee matched last week (the show is now on its best ratings run in some time)...New Girl and The Mindy Project each dropped a smidge...Supernatural was down 20%...NCIS: LA won 9pm in totals and demos...Chicago Fire won 10pm in the demos...

Survivor won the night in totals and demos while hitting a series low in the former...American Idol was down slightly from last week and has now finished second to Survivor for six weeks in a row after never having had that happen before coming into 2014...Arrow was down 13% to tie a series low while The 100 was up 20% from its last new episode and is now a pretty solid lock for renewal...Mixology was surrounded by reruns and tied last week's season/series low...

All The Young Dudes, Carry The News
Industry News, Notes, and Hot Rumors…Syfy has given a direct-to-series 10 episode first season order to The Expanse, an adaptation of James S.A. Corey's book series. Set 200 years in the future, the show follows a hardboiled detective and a spaceship captain for hire as they race across the solar system in their quest to find a missing young girl. Syfy won a competitive bidding situation to land the series. Mark Fergus and Hawk Otsby, nominated for Oscars for co-writing Children of Men, and who also worked together writing Iron Man, are on board as executive producers…WGN America is developing Scalped, an adaptation of the critically acclaimed Vertigo comic of the same name, which has been described "crime noir set on an Native American reservation." Doug Jung (Banshee, Dark Blue, Big Love) is writing the pilot and executive producing…TV Land has picked up a 12 episode first season of the comedy Younger, starring Norty Award (and Tony Award) winner Sutton Foster as a 40 year old newly single Mom who tries to pass herself off as 26 in order to get a job. From Darren Young (Sex and the City, Melrose Place), the series will be filmed on location in NYC and co-stars Hilary Duff, Debi Mazar, and Miriam Shor (The Good Wife, Damages, GCB). Look for Younger this fall…Comcast is now the 100% sole owner of FEARnet and is shutting the channel down, at least as its own entity; the popular content from the network will end up on Chiller, with some perhaps going to Syfy. It's expected these changes will happen by the end of 2014…USA has picked up a 12 episode second season of Chrisley Knows Best. Last Tuesday's episode hit series highs, up 34% in the demos and 10% in total viewers from the previous week...The Fosters was named Outstanding Drama Series at last weekend's GLAAD - Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation - Media Awards, with i>Days of Our Lives names Outstanding Daytime Series. TV legend Norman Lear received the Pioneer Award, and Jennifer Lopez (who executive produces The Fosters) was honored with the Vanguard Award…Spike has picked up a 20 episode fifth season of Auction Hunters…NBC has given The Maya Rudolph Show a Monday, May 19th at 10pm air date; the hour of variety programming is both a special as well as a pilot, with Lorne Michaels executive producing. Guest for that night include Andy Samberg, Kristen Bell, Fred Armisen, Chris Parnell, Craig Robinson, Sean Hayes and Janelle Monae... Now that HBO has had time to factor in the various Live + numbers as well as viewings via their apps and On-Demand services, the first season of True Detective averaged 11.9 million viewers per episode, making it the most watched first season of an HBO series ever…

Turns Out Not Where But Who You're With That Really Matters
The best of what's around aka The Best Thing I Watched Over The Last Seven Days…I enjoyed the first season of Inside Amy Schumer quite a bit but I am still greatly impressed with quality of season two so far, with smart, funny, biting, and fresh sketches/segments (and yes, while "fresh" may be an overused word to describe a TV point of view, in this case it's 100% accurate as there is no one doing what she is doing right now)…

My favorite thing this week was the Aaron Sorkin parody The Food Room, which featured Josh Charles…

And this made laugh quite a bit, too…

But the most real life thing was definitely this one (everyone knows guys like this)…

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…So the lesson is, if you ever get invited to a Game of Thrones wedding, DON'T GO!!!...I loved Sunday's Mad Men; there's not many shows that would get me to stay up until 11pm on a Sunday night but this is one and I was in no way disappointed. We got a good handle on where everyone was and what, if any, changes had occurred, and we saw progress on Don's continued journey to a level of self-awareness/feeling comfortable in his own skin. Also, Joan was AWESOME, as was Pete's tan and Roger's mammoth bed, and Peggy continues to be one of my favorite characters of the TTTP era. Great stuff…Remember last week when I said Parenthood might be the single best drama on TV? After last Thursday's outing, I am a little more sure of this being true. Other Parenthood thoughts; mot that Ray Romano's incredible work on hasn't made the storyline worthwhile on its own but another added bonus is more appearances of Tom Amandes' Dr. Pelikan, one of my favorite TV actors and one I don't see on my screen anywhere near enough. I loved him on Everwood and while he's had a number of good arcs on series since - Big Love, Scandal, Eli Stone, Don't Trust the B- in Apt 23 - I really wish a casting director would recognize his ability to be an opening credits guy. Also, there's plenty of time for things to change between now and when the ballots are due this summer but right now I'd say Monica Potter has a very good chance at becoming one of the few people ever to win back-to-back Norty Awards.…A pretty solid episode of Revenge this week - it was fun to see a sharpie in someone else's hands for a change - and it gave a pretty huge hint at what will happen in the closing moments of the upcoming season finale…I was very disappointed with the two hour season premiere of Kitchen Nightmares; first, they hyped how the show returned to Amy's Baking Company and I think 100% of the viewers expected Gordon Ramsay to actually go there, not some random "reporter", an advertising tactic that was misleading at best (and openly deceptive/lying at works). Second, the show in general simply pales in comparison to Restaurant Impossible, which has similar themes but is much more invested in not just what the changes to the place will be but how they will be made…Shark Tank has been on a great role the last few episodes - not that it's not entertaining every week - with LOTS of deals, lots of people who were out coming back in, lot of inter-Shark squabbling, and lots of moment that find me talking to my TV ("just say yes!!!", "I hate those damn residual offers!!!", "spend some money, Robert!!"). ABC was certainly happy with the results from the show's Thursday airing (best total viewer numbers in that slot in six months, best demos all season), and I know that with DVR's I can watch it whenever I want, but I like it on Friday nights and hope it stays there…There's no question to me that Gabriel Macht is the most underrated lead actor on TV right now, doing award quality work week in, week out, and with intelligence, humor, intensity, and let's be honest, sexiness, he's made Harvey Specter one of the most compelling characters on all of TV. The Suits season finale should be his Emmy submission tape, for sure. I am not sure I am fully on board with the plot twist at the end of the episode but I fully appreciate the show's writers & producers making sure it stays fresh/willingness to shake it up a bit…Monday's Disney-themed episode of Dancing with the Stars was not only the most entertaining outing of the show I've ever seen, it was far and away the twins favorite two hours of TV of the 2013-2014 season. To be totally honest, it ranked very high on their Dad's list for the season, too…Allison Janney has a decent chance of pulling off a rare Norty Award twofer this summer, getting nominated for her work on Masters of Sex AND Mom; fairly certain no one's ever been nominated for comedy and drama performances in the same season, a testament to her incredible talent. Speaking of Mom, while the pilot was just ok, over the course of season one it proved itself to be quite a bit more than that, hitting some pretty high notes and rising above the standard Chuck Lorre CBS formula…

TV Pick Of The Week
I am not a big MTV viewer but I have to admit they've produced several high quality comedies about high school students; The Hard Times of RJ Berger was a TTTP fave, and Awkward is really quite good, which is why I am interested to see Faking It

Don't miss the series premiere of Faking It, Tuesday at 10:30 on MTV.

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

*The NBA post-season begins this weekend, with four games each on Saturday and Sunday followed by two games on Monday and three games on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. ABC & ESPN have the majority of games over the weekend, with TNT and NBA Network covering the weeknights. The NHL post-season is also underway, with games every day on NBCSN as well as some coverage on NBC, CNBC, and the NHL Network.

*It wouldn't be Easter without It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown (Sunday, 8pm, ABC) airing.

*You may not watch much programming on Hallmark but Signed, Sealed, Delivered (Sunday, 8pm) is sort of a do-gooder procedural that features quite a few familiar faces…

*Season two of Lifetime's sleeper hit Devious Maids begins Sunday at 10pm…

*Stephen Colbert visits The Late Show (11:35pm, CBS) this Tuesday, his first interview since the announcement was made he'd be taking over hosting duties on the show when David Letterman retires next year.

*Parks and Recreation brings its current season to a close with a one hour finale this Thursday at 8pm.

*CBS' adaptation of Bad Teacher premieres Thursday at 9:30pm…

*ABC hadn't much luck with mid-season premieres before Resurrection became a big hit so they are hoping that momentum keeps up with Black Box, which begins its run this Thursday at 10pm…

Two Tivos To Paradise
@Midnight, About A Boy, After the Catch, American Idol, America's Best Cook, 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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