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Two Tivos To Paradise 4.25.14: The Voice, NFL, Game of Thrones, Fargo, More
Posted by Al Norton on 04.25.2014

Hello friends; what's good? I am still recovering from Kristen Bell's picture in the new Allure (their annual "nude" issue. I posted the pictures from that issue on the TTTP Facebook page, so if you haven't seen them yet, that's as good a reason as any to go to FB, find Al Norton's Two Tivos To Paradise, and click "Like"; trust me you won't be disappointed, either with the pictures or the page.

TNT has released a full trailer for season four of Falling Skies

A teaser for the upcoming 7th – and final – season of True Blood

And this just in, our first look at NBC's Crossbones

Cause I'm coming at you like a news horse.

They Didn't Let Just Anybody In That Club, Took Every Ounce Of Heart And Sweat And Blood
The NFL released their 2014 schedule this week; below you can find a list of the primetime games that are currently scheduled for broadcast (some may be "flexed" out from week six on, with NBC allowed to swap a couple of games over the course of the season)…

Special Opening Night Game: Packers – Seahawks (NBC)
Sunday Night Football (NBC): Colts - Broncos
Monday Night Football (ESPN): Giants - Lions & Chargers - Cardinals

Thursday Night Football (CBS): Steelers - Ravens
Sunday Night Football (NBC): Bears – 49'ers
Monday Night Football (ESPN): Eagles - Colts

Thursday Night Football (CBS): Buccaneers - Falcons
Sunday Night Football (NBC): Steelers - Panthers
Monday Night Football (ESPN): Bears - Jets

Thursday Night Football (CBS): Giants - Redskins
Sunday Night Football (NBC): Saints - Cowboys
Monday Night Football (ESPN): Patriots - Chiefs

Thursday Night Football (CBS): Vikings - Packers
Sunday Night Football (NBC): Bengals - Patriots
Monday Night Football (ESPN): Seahawks - Redskins

Thursday Night Football (CBS): Colts - Texans
Sunday Night Football (NBC): Giants – Eagles
Monday Night Football (ESPN): 49'ers - Rams

Thursday Night Football (CBS): Jets - Patriots
Sunday Night Football (NBC): 49'ers - Broncos
Monday Night Football (ESPN): Texans - Steelers

Thursday Night Football (CBS): Chargers - Broncos
Sunday Night Football (NBC): Packers - Saints
Monday Night Football (ESPN): Redskins - Cowboys

Thursday Night Football (CBS): Saints - Panthers
Sunday Night Football (NBC): Ravens - Steelers
Monday Night Football (ESPN): Colts - Giants

Thursday Night Football (NFLN): Browns - Bengals
Sunday Night Football (NBC): Bears - Packers
Monday Night Football (ESPN): Panthers - Eagles

Thursday Night Football (NFLN): Bills - Dolphins
Sunday Night Football (NBC): Patriots - Colts
Monday Night Football (ESPN): Steelers - Titans

Thursday Night Football (NFLN): Chiefs - Raiders
Sunday Night Football (NBC): Cowboys - Giants
Monday Night Football (ESPN): Ravens - Saints

Thanksgiving Day: Bears – Lions (NFLN), Eagles – Cowboys (Fox), Seahawks – 49'ers (NBC)
Sunday Night Football (NBC): Broncos - Chiefs
Monday Night Football (ESPN): Dolphins - Jets

Thursday Night Football (NFLN): Cowboys - Bears
Sunday Night Football (NBC): Patriots - Chargers
Monday Night Football (ESPN): Falcons - Packers

Thursday Night Football (NFLN): Cardinals - Rams
Sunday Night Football (NBC): Cowboys - Eagles
Monday Night Football (ESPN): Saints - Bears

Thursday Night Football (NFLN): Titans – Jaguars
Saturday Night Football Special (CBS/NFLN): Chargers – 49'ers & Redskins - Eagles
Sunday Night Football (NBC): Seahawks - Cardinals
Monday Night Football (ESPN): Broncos - Bengals

Sunday Night Football (NBC): TBD

Are you ready for some football?!?!? Obviously it's way too early to know which teams are going to meet/surpass expectations and which teams are going to underperform but I will say the Thanksgiving Day tripleheader looks as good on paper as I ever can remember.

You And Me, We Used To Be Together, Everyday Together, Always
Gwen Stefani will join The Voice this fall for season seven, occupying the chair Christina Aguilera usually sits in while she is taking time off due to her pregnancy. This means season seven will feature two new coaches as Pharrell Williams will be on board as well, taking over CeeLo Green's spot. Aguilera is expected to return to the show for season 8 (not sure what that means for Shakira, who has sat in that chair in the even seasons that last two years).

It's news anytime the # 1 show on TV (ok, fine, the # 1 show on broadcast TV) changes one of its four main faces (five if you count Carson Daly, but who does?), let alone two of them, but that will be the case this fall. So far there have been no ratings blips in the winter/spring seasons, which feature Shakira and Usher (taking over Aguilera and Green's chairs), and if anything the additions of Stefani and Williams may actually lead to a ratings increase in that Williams is HUGE right now (his tears with Oprah last week led to a whole new waves of fans) and Stefani has a sizeable and passionate fan base.

What's interesting is that once American Idol started replacing judges from the original panel of three, ratings started dropping, and while The Voice just hit an all-time demo low on Tuesday, their drops are in line with the overall erosion of the live primetime audience for broadcast network TV (SO many more options via cable than there were 5 years ago, let alone 10 – 15 years, plus there's DVR's). I have not heard any complaining from the fans about the coaches panel changes the way I somewhat expected, which tells me that NBC is doing a good job with who they choose as replacements and that viewers are watching the format as much as they are the personalities.

I Like Mine With Lettuce And Tomato, Hines 57, And French Fried Potatoes
Food Network announced a LOT of new shows/projects today, with some of the noteworthy programming including...

*Cutthroat Kitchen: Celebrity Sabotage (16 person, five week tournament with famous folks competing for $50K to their charity - October)

*Boss Under Fire (employees nominate a bad restaurant boss for a total makeover, including doing everyone's jobs for a day - July)

*Game of Cones (ice cream innovators compete - July)

*American Diner Revival (Restaurant Impossible for diners - September)

*Diner Death Match (cooks from diners/food trucks/pubs compete - September)

*Rapid Fire Restaurant (helping folks open their first restaurants - October)

Ultimate Chopped Champions Tournament (previous winners, including celebrities and professionals as well as amateurs, compete in a tournament - August)

*The Big Tip (Rachael Ray travels the country finding waiters/waitresses deserving of a life changing tip - August)

How big are food-related shows on TV right now? Top Chef, Top Chef Masters, Chopped, Chopped Canada, World's Worst Cooks, America's Best Cooks, Beat Bobby Flay, Restaurant Impossible, MasterChef, MasterChef Junior, Kitchen Nightmares, Rachael vs Guy: Celebrity Cook Off, Food Network Star, Cake Boss, Cake Boss: Next Great Baker, Food Court Wars, Bakery Boss, Cutthroat Kitchen, Food Network Challenge, Great Food Truck Race, Iron Chef: America, Next Iron Chef, Rachael vs Guy: Kids Cook Off, The Taste…all are season passed at my house for my and/or Mrs. Tivo's viewing pleasure!

I do wish Food Network would hire an editor/producer or two away from Fox's MasterChef; while Food gets the food side of things right, they really need help in the "getting to know the contestants" segments, which are really quite dry and stiff, as opposed to what Fox does with MasterChef, which is to get the audience emotionally invested in those doing culinary battle. Food's America's Best Cook is the latest example; the set is sort of interesting but the only reason I am rooting for anyone on the show is who their coach is, and my guess is that with a little more time spent getting to know them, the stronger the interest would be.

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…

Good news for bubble shows Community and Parenthood; the former was up 10% and the latter 18% in last night's season finales...On the other end of the spectrum, The Crazy Ones did not in any way help its cause by hitting a new season/series demo low with its season (and perhaps series) finale...Scandal hit a season finale high in total viewers and demos last night, with the latter number the second best in the show's history (and easily winning the night). Overall season three of the ABC political drama was up 39% in viewers and 43% in the demos...

Big night for Hannibal, up 29% in the demos and 30% in total viewers (numbers that will play a big role in the show getting a 3rd season)...Kitchen Nightmares was down 17% in hour one and 18% in hour two...20/20 won the night with its second best demos of the season, up 20% from last week...Despite being a rerun, Blue Bloods was still the most watched show of the night...Unforgettable was down slightly from last week...Whose Line is it Anyway? and Hart of Dixie were even with last week...

A very strong return for Orphan Black on Saturday, hitting a series high in the demos with numbers that were more than double its season one average. It was also the number one show on all of TV on Twitter and Tumblr for the day; the 43,000 Tweets and 1.2 million unique users who saw them represent a 185% increase from the season one finale...

A strong premiere for WGN America's Salem, with 1.5 million watching live and 2.3 million with replays counted in. These numbers are even better when you factor in that the channel is only available in 62.3% of the US and also does not have a West Coast feed, meaning the episode aired at 7pm in a large part of the country...Game of Thrones tied a series high with 6.6 million viewers, with another 1.6 million viewing tuning in via the replays. The total viewer number marks an increase of 5% from last week... Believe helped its slim renewal chances with gains in total viewers and demos, the latter its best numbers since the premiere...Despite having reruns as a lead-in, Cosmos was up slightly in totals and demos...Once Upon a Time hit a new series low in the demos...CBS' entire lineup was down a bit in the demos...ABC's Hallmark Hall of Fame movie was down in a big way from the numbers Resurrection and Revenge have been putting up in that spot...Crisis was down in total viewers and the demos...

The Blacklist returned strong, easily winning 10pm in totals and demos (and being the top scripted performer of the night in the latter)...The Voice won the night in the demos, down 15% from last week...DWTS was the night's most watched show, down 9% from last week...The first new Castle in a month matched its previous numbers...2 Broke Girls hit a new series low...A rerun of The Big Bang Theory was pretty much even with what new episodes of Mom were doing in that slot...Star-Crossed was up in total viewers while The Tomorrow People tied a season/series low...Bones and The Following enjoyed slight total viewer increases while matching last week's demos...Friends with Better Lives was down slightly in the demos, which does nothing to help its bubble status... Folks were clearly excited for the return of The Boondocks; the (final) season premiere - the first new episode since 2010 - was the top rated show among 18-34 year-olds on ALL OF TV Monday night, finishing in front of The Voice, The Blacklist, and TNT's coverage of the NBA playoffs (to name just a few). The half hour was also the best primetime performer in all measurable demos on Cartoon Network in five years and hit series highs in all measures as well…

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD added a few viewers but dropped to tie a season/series low in the demos...Celebrity Wife Swap was down in totals and demos from last week's low premiere numbers...The Voice hit a series demo low but still easily won the night in that measure as well as in total viewers...About a Boy enjoyed slight gains in totals and demos while Growing Up Fisher was even...Glee was up slightly in total viewers but tied a series demo low...The Originals dropped to a new demo low while Supernatural was up 37% in total viewers and double digits in the demos...The Mindy Project matched last week's numbers despite having a New Girl rerun as a lead-in...

Modern Family easily won the night in the demos, up from its last new episode, and it tied Survivor as the most watched show of the night...Survivor won 8pm in totals and demos...The Middle and Suburgatory were each down slightly...Arrow matched last week while The 100 was up a smidge in total viewers and demos...American Idol was up in totals and demos...Nashville's concert special was down 20% in total viewers and 33% in the demos from their last regular episode...

All The Young Dudes, Carry The News
Industry News, Notes, and Hot Rumors… Amazon Prime customers are very happy today; thanks to a new deal with HBO, as of May 21st they will have access to the full series runs of The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, Flight of the Conchords, Enlightened, Rome, Deadwood, and Rome, along with mini-series Band of Brothers, Angels in America, The Pacific, Parade's End, and John Adams. Also part of it are early seasons of i>True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, and Treme along with original movies Game Change, Too Big To Fail and You Don't Know Jack, and stand up specials from Louis C.K., Lewis Black, Bill Maher, and Ellen Degeneres. Current shows like Girls, Veep, and The Newsroom will be available three years after their initial air dates. Game of Thrones is not part of this deal…BET is making 20 year old Palmer the youngest talk show host in TV history, ordering a four week trial run of a daily series covering pop culture (including celebrity interviews), relationships, sex, fashion, and social issues. Palmer first came into the spotlight for her starring role in 2006's Akeelah and the Bee and she starred in the popular Nickelodeon series True Jackson, VP. The show will premiere in July, the same month she begins a multi-episode run on season two of Masters of Sex…Word out of last weekend's WonderCon is that big screen Farscape movie is on the way to becoming a reality; series creator Rockne S. O'Bannon (Revolution, Defiance, Cult) confirmed that Justin Monjo, who wrote for the original show, is currently working on a script for the project. Farscape ran for four seasons plus a three hour mini-series in the late 90's/early 2000's and has a large cult following…Following the avalanche at Mount Everest last week that claimed the lives of 13 people, Discovery has cancelled their Everest Jump Live special that was set to air on May 11th. The network had hoped this would be a huge ratings event, similar to last year when Nik Wallenda walked across the Grand Canyon on a tightrope, but this was clearly the right decision…Syfy has ordered a seventh season of Face Off - one of the better and more original reality competition series around, by the way - that is set for a July premiere…A&E has ordered a first season of D.O.A., a new reality series from executive producer Dick Wolf where a team of seasoned homicide detectives investigate controversial cases where questions remain after the verdicts have been reached to see if justice was truly served…First Lade Michelle Obama will be busy next month, playing herself in cameos on ABC's Nashville and Disney's Jessie. Both appearances are a part of the White House's Joining Forces initiative, with the episodes dealing with the sacrifice - and at times, struggles - military families deal with…TTTP fave Tahmoh Penikett is going from one CW series to the next this year; he's recurring on Supernatural, has appeared on Star-Crossed, and will do an episode of Reign next month as well…The cast of History's upcoming Texas Rising mini-series just keeps getting better, with Robert Knepper and Jeremy Davies signing on to join Bill Paxton, Brendan Fraser, Ray Liotta, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Thomas Jane, Chad Micheal Murray, Michael Rapaport, Christopher McDonald, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Adam Hicks, Jake Busey, and Rhys Coiro. Two time Oscar nominee Roland Jaffee is directing, with Leslie Grad, who produced Hatfields & McCoys, executive producing…Nestor Carbonell (Bates Motel, Lost, Ringer) will guest on The Good Wife as a potential suitor for Alicia…HBO and BBC are teaming up for The Casual Vacancy, a three hour mini-series adaptation of J.K. Rowling's novel of the same name. Rowling will serve as an executive producer on the project, with the script being written by Sarah Phelps (East Enders, Great Expectations)…Meg Ryan will narrate the CBS pilot How I Met Your Dad, voicing the older version of the lead character played by Greta Gerwig in the same way Bob Saget did for Josh Radnor's Ted in How I Met Your Mother...Legendary TV has optioned Max Brooks' comic The Extinction Parade to develop as a series. The book follows the battle between vampires and zombies over what's left of the human race. Brooks, the son of Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft, also wrote World War Z and Zombie Survival Guide and was on the SNL writing staff from 2001 - 2003.

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…Two weeks in and I am totally hooked on Fargo (to be fair, I've actually seen the first three episodes), a darkly comedic gem of a show where the acting is all top notch and they manage to combine some really funny moments with genuine dramatic tension. Much like other FX series, scenes are given time to play out; there's no quick cuts here, just high quality actors delivering high quality dialogue that gives us insight in the characters as well as moves the story a long, all a seemingly leisurely pace. I say seemingly because what's great about Fargo is the way important events and/or bits of info come flying at you out of nowhere, causing you to reach for your remote to rewind a minute or two to see if you should have seen that coming.

Billy Bob Thornton is fantastic – his confidence and demeanor is 100% believable – and the rest of the cast, many of whom are faces you know, is excellent as well. Yes, this is a show filled with quirky characters but thanks to the performances (and the writing, of course), everyone seems quite real.

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…

Stephen Colbert had a great visit to The Late Show this week, his first interview since signing on to take over as host when David Letterman retires next year...Another week, another excellent episode of Grey's Anatomy, which is having a pretty strong season overall. I particularly like when they do medical stories that stretch over multiple episodes so we get to know the patients (and their families) and not just their diagnosis. And I do loves me some 80's covers!!!... I have to give Chicago Fire some modicum of credit; while I find the show's writing to be quite heavy handed, they are very open about their emotional manipulation and it usually works. I could see it coming a mile away but it still hit me right in the heart when Hermann showed up to bowl with Peter at the end of last week's hour…A really heartwarming and wonderful hour of Parenthood last week (even if the folks who cut the commercials for NBC basically ruined a number of the plot points for us – more on that below), one that served as a reminder - not that we needed one - of how gratifying an honest and hard earned emotional payoff can be and how there's no show on TV that does that anywhere near as well. I truly hope this was not the final hour but if by some slim chance it was, it went out beautifully…Last Thursday's double episode season finale of The Crazy Ones was a riot start to finish, with fantastic work from Brad Garrett in particular. I am hoping CBS finds room in their schedule for the show to return in the fall since to me, it's the network's best comedy…I thought The Following was going to reboot a bit to keep things fresh going into the third season next January but now I am almost sure of it in that they aren't going to have enough live bodies to keep the current story going…Monday's Castle was easily one of their best of the season, a fantastically fun time warp that ended up being very heartfelt and (bitter) sweet…I wish NBC would hire new people to cut their promos; key moments of the last two episodes of The Blacklist have been given away in the ads and the commercial for last week's Parenthood season finale showed the beginning of a kiss that was a huge turning point for two characters and took away from what was still a great moment (but could/should have been even greater)… A really strong episode of Glee this week, perhaps their best since The Quarterback, with strong writing, genuine emotion, and a performance for the ages from Lea Michelle…The best thing about Tuesday's About a Boy was the return of Bebe Wood to my TV screen; the child actress was far and away the best thing about NBC's The New Normal last season and there should be writers out there crafting a series for her to star in right now. The rest of the episode was also good, strengthening the friendship between Will and Fiona and also demonstrating how much fun the full ensemble of recurring characters can be… Lifetime's True Tori can lay claim to being one of the realest reality series I've ever seen, almost to the point of uncomfortability; in a genre known for staging and manipulation through editing, this was truly raw stuff. I am not sure I will watch again – it wasn't really my thing – but I can appreciate the rarity that is honesty…Arrow continues to shock and, quite impressively, do so while staying within the confines of the tone of the show (as in they never seem to be shocks for shock's sake, they always move the story along in a way that makes sense)…I could watch Phil Dunphy get punched in the face by a kangaroo once an hour every day for a month and it would never not be funny…

TV Pick Of The Week
When John Oliver knocked it out of the park while filling in for Jon Stewart as front man for The Daily Show last summer, everyone knew it was a matter of time before someone came along and offered him his own show (and a lot of money), so it was no surprise when it was announced he had signed with HBO. Yes, Last Week Tonight will focus on the headlines of the world the same way The Daily Show does, but the once a week look back will mean a more in-depth look at stories and although there will be quite a bit of humor, Oliver will also be serious conducting interviews with newsmakers (more on the political side of the headlines than the world of pop culture).

Don't miss the series premiere of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Sunday at 11pm on HBO.

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

*The body count is sure to grow as The Following brings its second season to a close on Monday at 9pm…

*A new champion is crowned on the RuPaul's Drag Race season finale this Monday at 11pm on Logo.

*The CW looks to launch a new spinoff series via this Tuesday's episode of Supernatural (9pm), one that introduces us to monsters and monster hunters in Chicago…

*Chicago Fire (Tuesday, 10pm, NBC) and Chicago PD (Wednesday, 10pm, NBC) are doing a two part, two night, two series event this week that involves a bombing at a local hospital. Ahh, the memories of the weather events that plagued NBC's Saturday night comedies of my youth.

*The current season of IFC's Portlandia comes to a close this Thursday at 10pm.

*Series star Lucy Liu directs this week's episode of Elementary (Thursday, 10pm, CBS), one that finds Rhys Ifans reprising his role as Sherlock's brother Mycroft.

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, 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, Parenthood, Parks & Recreation, Project Runway, Project Runway All-Stars, Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook Off, Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook Off, 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, Suburgatory, Suits, Supernatural, Surviving Jack, The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, Top Chef, Top Chef: Masters, Tosh.0, Trophy Wife, True Detective, Under the Gunn, 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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