Two Tivos To Paradise 5.02.14: 24, Craig Ferguson, Game of Thrones, More!
Posted by Al Norton on 05.02.2014
News and thought on the return of 24, Craig Ferguson leaving The Late Late Show, Game of Thrones hitting a new ratings high, and more!
Hello friends; what's good? Not sure if I mentioned but I gave up coffee for Lent and I haven't gone back yet. I do miss it so and that's sort of why I haven't partaken in a cup just yet as I am not sure I can be just a social drinker (if you will). The smell is still intoxicating to me and my guess is I will cave at some point soon but for now I am staying strong and drinking water like it's my job.
Here's the first full length look at HBO's The Leftovers, which just had its premiere date pushed back two weeks to June 29th…
Mystery Girls premieres on ABC Family next month…
As does Young and Hungry…
LA proved too much for the news.
But If This Ever Changing World In Which We're Living Makes You Give In And Cry
Four years after its eighth and final season signed off, 24 returns on Monday night with 24: Live Another Day, a twelve "event" series, one that finds Kiefer Sutherland's Jack Bauer back on the job, joined by a host of familiar faces, some friendlier than others.
I must admit to not being a huge 24 fan. I watched the first two seasons regularly but after that I simply lost interest, the novelty of the format and the incredible level of intensity being outweighed by the whole, "how does this keep happening to the same guy?!??!?" destroying my suspension of disbelief, the same reason I loved Die Hard and hated Die Hard 2 (although, to be fair, I liked Die Hard 3 because it seemed smaller in scale). My own personal feelings aside, I am aware how passionate – and forgiving of credibility being stretched across the Grand Canyon – the show's fans are and for them I am truly happy about the show returning. I am 100% sure this will be a huge ratings win for Fox and think it's likely we see Jack and company resurface every couple of years. Hell, if the ratings are that big the movie talk might get resuscitated.
The real question is not will Live Another Day be any good but rather how many minutes in before we get our first "damn it!"
The First Thing I Remember I Was Lying In My Bed, I Couldn't Have Been No More Than One Or Two
Craig Ferguson announced at the taping of Monday's of The Late Late Show that he was leaving the program at the end of the year. Said Ferguson, "CBS and I are not getting divorced, we are ‘consciously uncoupling,' but we will still spend holidays together and share custody of the fake horse and robot skeleton, both of whom we love very much."
He later told Variety that he wanted to leave the show this summer and that plan was in the process of being laid out when David Letterman announced he was retiring, which led to Ferguson agreeing to stay through the end of the year. He went on to say that he knows people will think he is leaving because Stephen Colbert got The Late Show and while that isn't true, "No matter what I say or what I do, they're gonna say that. Well they can say what they like. It's America. I understand."
I am hardly one to gloat, especially over something I am so sad to be right about, but I wrote on this page a few weeks back that I thought Craig leaving of his own free will was a real possibility. I mean, what more does he have to accomplish? He's won a Peabody and even folks who don't like him acknowledge he is the one host who doesn't abide by the traditional late night talk model, so it's not like he has anything left to prove. Then factor in that he will be hosting a syndicated daily game show this fall – those gigs are pure gold as they do 30 weeks a year of new episodes, taping five a day, so the host only works six weeks a year – and I thought now would be a good time for him to leave the grind behind.
I'll write a full appreciation when he actually signs off but for now I can say without hesitation that he does the best monologues I've ever seen on TV.
The big question now is, of course, who replaces him. Chelsea Handler is said to be VERY close to signing a deal to do a new show for Netflix (likely a comedy series, not a talk show), so she's likely not available to fuel the rumor mill. I'd love Aisha Tyler to get the job, and her already working for CBS has to be a huge factor working in her favor. Neil Patrick Harris was my top choice to replace Letterman but I am not sure the 12:35 am time slot is enough of a selling point to get him to essentially give up his acting career.
Don't Let It Go Away, This Feeling Has Got To Stay, Don't Let It Go Away, This Feeling Has Got To Stay
This week's news included info on several new series/projects important enough to be highlighted…
*Starz has given a direct-to-series two season (twenty episode) order to the live action comedy Blunt Talk from Seth MacFarlane and Jonathan Ames (Bored To Death), with Patrick Stewart set to star as a British journalist trying to find success in the world of US cable news. Look for it in 2015.
* The cast for the Amazon comedy pilot Really (written and directed by Jay Chandrasekhar, who also stars) keeps getting better, with Sarah Chalke, Selma Blair, Lindsay Sloane, Luka Jones, and Travis Shuldt now on board. The story follows a close knit group of 30-somethings in Chicago and how the dynamic of their friendships change after one of the friends catches a married friend having an affair with someone else in the group.
* HBO has yet to confirm the return of The Comeback but multiple outlets are reporting that production on a six episode season - which could be extended - is beginning in NYC shortly. The show picks up 10 years after the original one season cult favorite, with Lisa Kudrow's Valerie starring in a sitcom and being the focus of a reality show.
*HBO is bringing back Project Greenlight, with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon returning as executive producers for the reality series which tracks a director making their first movie. A digital competition series will precede the HBO premiere, with directors vying for their big break, and then the winner will be followed throughout the entire film making process. The original series ran in 2001 and 2003 on HBO and then a third season (without Affleck and Damon on board) ran on Bravo in 2005.
*TVGN (TV Guide Network) has announced an eight episode season for Rock This Boat: NKOTB, a reality show where superfans of New Kids on the Block take a week long cruise with the band. There will also be a half hour casting special where it's determined which fans have the right stuff to get an invite. TVGN is looking at this show as a potential franchise, with a new band with hugely devoted fans each season…
*A&E has given a direct to series 10 episode first season order to The Returned, an adaptation of the critically acclaimed French series Les Revenants, with Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Raelle Tucker (True Blood) on board to executive produce (Cuse will also write the pilot). The story follows a small town that is rocked to its core when multiple long thought dead citizens show up at their former homes. Yes, this is VERY similar to Resurrection, and to further confuse things, Resurrection is an adaptation of a novel titled The Returned. Sundance aired season one of Revenants/The Returned with subtitles last year.
*Rod Lurie has signed on to write and direct an event (i.e. mini) series for Fox that's an adaptation of Long Mile Home, a non-fiction book about the Boston Marathon bombings of 2013 from Pulitzer Prize winners Scott Hellman and Jenna Russell. Lurie, who wrote and directed The Contender and also created the short lived series Commander in Chief and Line of Fire, is joined as an executive producer by Basil Iwanyk (The Town, The Expendables, We Are Marshall).
*Kristin Chenoweth will play Maleficent in the Disney Channel original movie Descendants, which follows the kids of famous Disney villains who are offered a second chance by the son of Belle and the Beast, who is about to become King. The musical will be directed by Kenny Ortega (the High School Musical movies), with a script from Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott (who together worked on The Starter Wife, Runaway Bride, Desperate Housewives). While this is only a movie for now, the buzz is that it's being eyed as a new franchise (with sequels and/or a series) for the network.
Les It's Time To Play The Music, It's Time To Light The Lights The Muppets video of the week…
b>But You Were Up To Your Old Tricks In Chapters Four Five And Six
Ratings Notes From The Last Seven Days…
THURSDAY Bad Teacher had a strong opening night, up 51% in total viewers and 62% in the demos from what The Crazy Ones season finale did last week (although that was without new episodes as a lead-in). It was also up 24% from The Crazy Ones season long demo average...The Big Bang Theory hit a season low but still easily won the night in total viewers and the demos...The Millers matched its last new episode, with Two and a Half Men up slightly...Black Box opened well, ABC's top 10pm drama premiere since Nashville in October 2012...Elementary won 10pm in totals and demos...Hell's Kitchen and Surviving Jack matched last week while American Idol was down slightly...The Vampire Diaries was up 6% in total viewers…
FRIDAY Grimm and Hannibal were both up, the latter for the second week in a row, making a third season pickup look more and more likely...Shark Tank matched last week, winning the night in demos...Blue Bloods was the most watched show of the night...Last Man Standing was up a smidge in the demos in its finale...Kitchen Nightmares recovered a bit from last week's big drops, up a modest amount in the demos over both hours...Whose Line is it Anyway? was up in totals and demos, with lead out Hart of Dixie had a slight total viewer increase...
Last night's Game of Thrones set a new series high in viewers with 6.9 million (that number growing to 8.4 million with the replays factored in)...The series premiere of Last Week Now with John Oliver pulled in 1.1 million viewers. Deadline.com uses The Daily Show's average audience of 1.5 million last week on a network that's in three times as many homes as HBO to show how good those debut numbers are (the audience grew to 1.4 million total viewers with the replays added in)… .A strong night for Once Upon a Time, up 15% in total viewers and 24% in the demos...Resurrection dropped in the demos - it was not the top rated drama of the night for the first time in its run (that was OUAT)...Revenge was down slightly in totals and demos...The Amazing Race was up double digits in totals and demos...The Good Wife matched its last new episode...The Mentalist was down a smidge...Crisis and Believe were each up a bit in totals and demos (thanks to the NBA post-season lead in)...The Simpsons hit a series demo low for a regularly scheduled episode...Bob's Burgers and American Dad! were up single digits while Family Guy and Cosmos matched last week...
MONDAY The Following went out strong, up in totals and demos...The Blacklist was down but was still the night's top scripted performer in total viewers and the demos...DWTS was the night's most watched show...The Voice won the night in the demos...Friends with Better Lives was up double digits in totals and demos to boost its renewal chances...Castle hit a five month high in viewers and was up slightly in the demos...
TUESDAY NCIS was the most watched show of the night and finished second in the demos, behind only The Voice...For the first time ever The Mindy Project topped New Girl in the demos...NCIS: LA won 9pm in totals and viewers, with Person of Interest doing the same at 10pm...Marvels Agents of SHIELD matched last week, with The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife each up a bit...The Originals was up in the demos as well as hitting a seven week high in total viewers...Supernatural hit a two month demo high...About A Boy was down a smidge but was still tops on the night for comedies...
WEDNESDAY CSI's planted pilot helped the show jump 10% in viewers and a bit in the demos, winning 10pm in the former...Chicago PD was up double digits in totals and demos, winning 10pm in the latter...Revolution helped its slim renewal chances with gains in viewers and demos...Survivor won 8pm in totals and demos...Modern Family dropped 20% to a season low but still won the night in the demos...American Idol hit a new all-time Wednesday night demo low, finishing FIFTH on the night in the demos...Arrow was up a smidge...Nashville was down 13% in viewers and 20% in demos, the latter a series low...Criminal Minds was the most watched show of the night...
All The Young Dudes, Carry The News
Industry News, Notes, and Hot Rumors…Fox has cancelled Almost Human after one season. There was talk of a re-tooled second season but reports say Fox is very high on their new drama series, which left no room on the 2014-2015 schedule for Human…Multiple entertainment and/or gossip sites are reporting that Naya Rivera has been fired from her role as Santana on Glee after numerous on-set outbursts and a blow up with producers. While Rivera's team is denying her firing and Fox has no comment, what all the stories have in common is they all say she will not appear in the upcoming season finale, with last minute script changes to remove her from scenes…It's been rumored for a while now but it was made official last night; Seth Meyers will host the 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards, held on Monday August 25th and televised on NBC. The Emmys rotate between the big 4 networks and NBC has a history of using the host of Late Night for the gig, with Jimmy Fallon hosting four years ago and Conan O'Brien their two previous turns in the rotation…As was expected after his multiple run in's with the law the last few months, including assault charges that could lead to up to four years in jail, Columbus Short's contract option was not picked up so he and his character - Harrison Wright - will not be back when Scandal returns this fall for season four…Fox is developing Nazareth, an event (i.e. mini) series focused on what are referred to as "the missing/lost years" of Jesus' life, from when he was 12 to 30. Oscar winner David Franzoni, who wrote Gladiator and Amistad, is writing and executive producing… Disney picked up a 4th season of Austin & Ally… Showtime is developing Snowfall, a drama from John Singleton set in 1984 Los Angeles as crack cocaine first hit the streets. The story will follow three main characters - a young man from Compton, a Mexican wrestler, and a CIA agent running money to the Contras. Singleton will executive produce and direct, with the pilot being written by Eric Amadio…The cast of Showtime's Masters of Sex was already one of the best on TV and for the upcoming second season they've added Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad), Keke Palmer, and now Emmy winner Sarah Silverman in recurring roles…No doubt influenced by the ratings success of NBC's live production of The Sound of Music last November, Fox today announced that they will present Grease Live! in 2015, a three hour live version of the classic Broadway show that led to the highest grossing musical in movie history…Disney is making a sequel to Teen Beach Movie, with original cast members Ross Lynch, Maia Mitchell, Grace Phipps, Garrett Clayton and John DeLuca signed on. The story picks up where the original left off, with Lela, Tanner, and Butchy entering the real world for the first time. The premiere of Teen Beach Movie was watched by 8.4 million viewers. The original writer, director, and choreographer are all back for the new movie as well… Busy week for Syfy, ordering a 10 episode first season of Killjoys (action/drama about a team of inter-planetary bounty hunters), confirming they have already green-lighted (greenlit?) Sharnkado 3, and announcing that Tricia Helfer will star in their six episode mini-series Ascension. Also put into development were Clone (series adaptation of Robert Kirkman's graphic novel) and Pax Romana (mini-series adaptation of Jonathan Hickman's comic book series about soldiers sent from the near-future back to Ancient Rome in the hopes of avoiding World War III)… Richard Belzer will reprise his role as John Munch on the Law & Order: SVU season finale…History has ordered a 10 episode first season of Pawnogaphy, a new game show were contestants compete in trivia battles against each other as well as the trio from Pawn Stars (Rick and Corey Harrison and Chumlee Russell), with the winners getting cash and items from Rick's personal collection of memorabilia. The show will be taped in Vegas and will premiere sometime this summer…We've known for a while that Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks would reprise their Breaking Bad roles on AMC's Better Call Saul and now the show has its first "new" cast member; TTTP fave Michael McKean has signed on as a full time regular. The show is set to premiere in November…
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 have become an unabashed Dancing with the Stars fan, not so much for the fact that the contestants are stars (and it's not their fault many of them barely qualify for that billing) but rather for the hard work they put in. Yes, I do enjoy the dancing quite a bit but I always come away impressed with how much energy and effort and commitment the celebrities give their time on the show, perhaps more than any group of contestants on any other reality show (you could say Survivor but the folks on DWTS also have to still lead their real lives, including their day jobs and their families and such). If you're not watching DWTS this season then you're not seeing Amy Purdy defy adjectives with her grace, determination, and flat out dance skills, giving one of the most incredible performances of any kind that I've ever seen.
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…The one hour Parks and Recreation season finale was almost flawless, the best episode of their season and one of the best of any comedy this season. The one thing that kept me from calling it perfect was the end; time jumps are becoming cliché at this point and while I am sure they will have fun with it, it just felt like they didn't know what else to do. If you don't want to explore the stories of having Leslie being pregnant with triplets then don't write her as being pregnant with triplets. But that's the last 60 seconds or so and the first 59 minutes were truly phenomenal…I'm trying to think of a block of high quality reality programming than CNN's Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown and Morgan Spurlock's Inside Man, which run Sundays a 9 & 10pm, respectively...Can't think of any currently, not sure I can think of any ever... If you're not watching the new season of The Writers' Room than you've missed some great behind the scenes Scandal scoop, hearing what ridiculous comment an NBC exec made about the original pilot for The Walking Dead, and learning the true origin of Kryptonite from the Smallville creator. This is a fantastic show that has made some key changes/improvements from season one that have allowed the show to jump a level in quality/entertainment where you don't have to be a fan of the show being discussed to enjoy…Walked in the room when Mrs. Tivo was watching Friday's Hawaii Five-0 and despite not having seen any other part of the episode, that second to last scene crushed me. The show isn't groundbreaking in any way but it does get the little things, the emotional details, just right…I know it's been a few weeks already but it still feels weird getting into bed on Monday nights and not having a new episode of a new episode of How I Met Your Mother to watch still feels weird. If CBS does pick up How I Met Your Dad, they'd be smart to put it on Mondays at 8pm as folks like me would tune in to the new show out of habit…I must admit to being a little surprised at the reaction to John Oliver's new HBO show from some fans who seem to think it was too similar to The Daily Show and to them I ask, "what is it you were expecting?!?!" I mean, it was just the first episode so they were obviously going to go with what they know works and will likely branch out a bit as they get their footing but the guy got the job because he excelled in a certain format, so why would they not go with that format? What bothers me in general is when people use the term "rip off"; yes, on some occasions that is accurate but there's really very little that's 100% original in the entertainment industry anymore (in that it's been around for a long time), so what we have are people taking basic concepts/ideas and putting their own spin on them. I mean, if Last Week Tonight is a rip off of The Daily Show then every late night talk show (monologue, desk piece, interviews, musical performance) is a rip off of Steve Allen. I am not saying you had to like it or hate it, just that I am wondering what it was people were expecting other than what they got…The flying monkeys from Once Upon a Time are easily the best/scariest special effect on broadcast TV this year; they freak me out every time…I would have been much more ok with the end of How I Met Your Mother if Ted ended up with Maria Hill…After watching Tony Hale's latest bit of comedy goodness - his guest spot on Tuesday's About a Boy - I'm now more convinced than ever that there's nothing he can't do (except maybe get himself cast as a regular, non-irritating, person, of course)…I tried my hardest but I couldn't get through the first 15 minutes of Bad Teacher…
TV Pick Of The Week
When someone asks me what the best comedy on TV is I usually pause for a moment or two before coming out with a list of high quality comedies like Modern Family, Parks and Recreation, Community, and as of this winter, About a Boy, but the truth is there is but one answer to that question and that is Louie. It's been a while since we've seen a new episode so it's not as easy an off-the-top-of-my-head answer as it will be starting Monday, when it begins a run of seven weeks in a row of double episodes, the first four of which are pretty damn terrific.
Don't miss the season premiere of Louie, Monday at 10pm on FX.
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.