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Two Tivos To Paradise 5.09.13: Gotham, Constantine, Game of Thrones, Louie, More
Posted by Al Norton on 05.09.2014

Hello friends; what's good? I made my first trip to Fenway Park of the season on Tuesday night and can't begin to tell you how good it felt; there is no physical structure on earth other that has the same immediate and long lasting relaxation and general mood enhancement capabilities, and there's peanuts!!! The fact that I got to spend four hours at the game on a beautiful night, and that it ended in a 12th inning, walk off win for the Red Sox just made things all the better.

We've been getting back in the interview swing, with one-on-one's with Al Madrigal (About A Boy, The Daily Show) and Ari Graynor (Bad Teacher) running this past week, and a conversation with Adam Goldberg (Fargo) set to run this Tuesday. If you had clicked "Like" on the Al Norton's Two Tivos To Paradise Facebook page you wouldn't miss any of our content!!!

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mothers out there; not that there's ever a bad reason to honor your Mom (as well as all those who play/played a Mother-like role in your life) but if you're thankful for their help, let ‘em know!

Here's the long awaited trailer for Girl Meets World, which premieres on Disney on June 27th…

Outlander premieres on Starz this summer…

I've been holding out so long, I've been sleeping all alone, Lord I miss news.

How Can I Help If I Think You're Funny When You're Mad?
Monday starts the biggest week of the TV year, with the big five networks revealing their 2014-2015 lineups via the Upfront Presentations plus the majority of current primetime series airing their season – and in some cases, series – finales. NBC & Fox go Monday, ABC on Tuesday, TNT/TBS & CBS on Wednesday, and The CW & USA/Syfy/Oxygen/Bravo finish things off on Thursday

Fox got things started last Monday by giving Batman origin series Gotham a first season order. The show, from Bruno Heller, creator of Rome and The Mentalist follows Jim Gordon as a rookie cop on the Gotham police force, a recently orphaned Bruce Wayne, and a host of criminals on their way to becoming super villains. The cast includes Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Sean Pertwee.

Fox wasn't done with that, picking up two additional drama series and extending the order of a new comedy series as well…

*Empire is from Academy Award nominee Lee Daniels and Emmy winner Danny Strong and follows a family run hip hop record label. Oscar winner Terrance Howard and Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson star. Strong (The Butler, Game Change, Recount) wrote the script with Daniels (The Butler, Precious), who also directed.

*Red Band Society focuses on a group of young people who form a strong bond when health issues cause them to live in a NYC hospital. Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, Dave Annabelle, and Griffin Gluck star. Margaret Nagle (Boardwalk Empire, Side Order of Life) wrote the pilot, directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (American Horror Story, Glee).

*Fox had originally ordered 6 episode of Mulaney, a comedy created by and starring former SNL writer John Mulaney that originated as a pilot for NBC last year, but they're high enough on the project where they upped that order to 16 episodes. Mulaney plays a writer for a game show trying to find his way in the world, both personally and professionally. The cast includes Martin Short, Nasim Pedrad (SNL), Zack Pearlman (The Inbetweeners), and Elliot Gould.

Fox also cancelled Dads, Surviving Jack, and Enlisted. Considering the latter two were not just among the best new comedies on TV but the best comedies on TV, period, this news ruined my Wednesday.

NBC was also quite active this week, ordering four new series (three dramas and one comedy)…

*Marry Me; comedy from the creator of Happy Endings, starring Casey Wilson (Happy Endings) and Ken Marino who find engagement to be much more work than they ever imagined.

*State of Affairs; drama starring and executive produced by Emmy winner Katherine Heigl, her first series since Grey's Anatomy. Heigl plays a top CIA analyst who prepared the President's daily briefing on international affairs. The great Alfre Woodard plays the President.

*Allegiance; drama adapted from popular Israeli series rising young CIA agent who learns his parents were covert Russian spies who have recently been reactivated in a plan to bring down the US government. George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau) wrote and directed the pilot.

*Odyssey; drama described as being similar to Traffic but focused on international politics (as opposed to drugs). Written by Adam Arbus and Nora Kay Foster, who worked together on The Following and Heroes, and directed by Peter Horton, the cast includes Anna Friel, Peter Facinelli, Jake Robinson, Treat Williams, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje.

*A to Z; romantic comedy executive produced by Rashida Jones that follows a couple from the first time they meet through the breakup. The two leads are Cristin Miliot (How I Met Your Mother) and Ben Feldman (Mad Men, The Mindy Project, Drop Dead Diva), which makes this my favorite new show that I haven't seen a second of.

*Constantine; action/drama adaptation of comic book, executive produced by superhero veteran David Goyer. Daniel Cerone (The Mentalist, Dexter, Dirty Sexy Money) is the showrunner. The lead character is a bit of a con man who works as a supernatural private investigator of sorts and finds himself a (very) reluctant hero.

*Mysteries of Laura; drama starring Emmy winner Debra Messing (14 combined Emmy & Golden Globe nominations in the last 14 years) as Laura, who's better at her job as a homicide detective than the is as a Mother of young twins. Jeff Rake (Bones, Boston Legal, The Practice) wrote the pilot, with McG directing.

The network also picked up a 16th season of Law & Order: SVU.

CBS didn't confirm it as of press time but multiple outlets are reporting that CBS has order a (at least 13 episode) first season of How I Met Your Dad. The show shares a common theme and storytelling structure with How I Met Your Mother (along with the show coming from the same writers/creators) but is not a traditional spinoff/sequel, with no returning characters. Meg Ryan has signed on to narrate the show the way Bob Saget did HIMYM, and Golden Globe nominee Greta Gerwig plays the lead. The cast also includes Ander Holm (Workaholics, The Mindy Project) and TTTP fave Nicolas D'Agosto (Masters of Sex, Heroes).

The CW was quite active as well, cancelling The Tomorrow People, The Carrie Diaries, and Star Crossed and ordering (at least) 13 episode seasons of the following new series…

*The Flash; the superhero series was introduced via Arrow earlier this year, with the cast including Grant Gustin, Jesse L Martin, Danielle Panabaker, Candice Patton, Tom Cavanaugh, and John Wesley Shipp (!!!).

*iZombie; adaptation of comic book, with Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero executive producing. A med student takes a job at the morgue so she can feed her zombie habit by eating brains (which keeps her from turning full zombie) but she finds she absorbs the memories of the brains she eats. Rose McIver, David Anders, Robert Buckley, and Malcom Goodwin star.

*Jane the Virgin; dramedy about a series of events that lead to a hardworking, religious young woman being accidentally artificially inseminated. Jennie Snyder Urman, who created Emily Owens MD, is the executive producer.

*The Messengers; sci-fi drama where a group of random strangers die after an object falls from the sky only to wake up and find they have been tasked with saving the world from the Apocalypse.

TBS & TNT got in on the new series act…

*Public Morals (TNT), written, directed by, and starring Ed Burns as a 1967 NYC cop. The cast includes Michael Rapaport, Katrina Bowden, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, and Matt McGory.

*Proof (TNT), executive produced by Kyra Sedgwick and starring Jennifer Beals as a surgeon whose belief in all things scientific is tested when she begins to investigate reportings of reincarnation, out of body experiences, and ghosts. Matthew Modine, Callum Blue, and Edi Gathegi co-star.

*Angie Tribeca (TBS), a police procedural spoof from Steve and Nancy Carell that stars Rashida Jones, Jere Burns, and Deon Cole. The pilot, written by the Carells and directed by Steve, also includes guest appearances by Gary Cole, Lisa Kudrow, and Alfred Molina. Look for it in 2015.

*Buzzy's (TBS), from the creators of Will & Grace, a comedy set at a Charlestown, MA barber shop and all the schemers and dreamers who hang out there.

*Your Family or Mine (TBS), from Greg Malins (Friends), a comedy about the issues created when two very different families are blended via marriage. The cast includes Oscar winner Richard Dreyfus and Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe nominee JoBeth Williams.

The season finale schedule for the next seven days is as follows…

TONIGHT: Hawaii Five-0, Blue Bloods

SUNDAY: Once Upon a Time (TWO hours), Revenge

MONDAY: Bones, Star-Crossed, The Blacklist, Castle

TUESDAY: Glee, The Originals, Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, NCIS, The Goldbergs, NCIS: LA, Trophy Wife, Person of Interest, Chicago Fire

WEDNESDAY: Arrow, Revolution, Suburgatory, Criminal Minds, Nashville

THURSDAY: The Big Bang Theory, The Millers, Grey's Anatomy, The Vampire Diaries, Elementary, Reign, Surviving Jack

Next week's column will have a full rundown of the big five's 2014-2015 lineups plus trailers for all of the new series as well as a lament of those shows who went before their time.

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…

Grey's Anatomy hit a 9 week high and won 9pm in the demos...The Big Bang Theory won the night in total viewers and demos...The Millers and Two and a Half Men were down double digits, with week two of Bad Teacher down 29% from its premiere...The iHeartRadio Music Awards gave NBC it's best Thursday that wasn't The Sound of Music or the Winter Olympics of the 2013-2014 season...American Idol hit a new all-time demo low, finishing FOURTH at 9pm...Surviving Jack was even (a good sign with Idol dropping the last two weeks, showing its audience is its own and steady)...Black Box was down 20+% in total viewers and double digits in the demos...Elementary was even with last week...

The behind the scenes Shark Tank special that aired at 8 gave ABC its best Friday at 8pm demos of the season...Shark Tank was up 22% in the demos to easily win the night in that measure (as usual) and tie a season high...20/20 was up 17% to win 10pm in the demos...Blue Bloods was the most watched show of the night...Hart of Dixie's renewal chances took a hit with almost double digits losses in viewers and demos...Unforgettable won 8pm in totals and demos, up 22% in the latter...Kitchen Nightmares was down 16% in viewers and 10+% in the demos (I think the two hours in a row scheduling is not working as my guess is most folks look at the length - even though its two separate episodes - and go, I'll DVR it and watch in this weekend)...Grimm and Hannibal were both up a bit in totals and demos, with the former already renewed and the latter now firmly in the "safe bet" category for a third season...

Saturday was a big one for the NBA, with three game 7's leading to strong ratings; overall the day was up 28% from this Saturday last year and the Warriors - Clippers game was the most watched first round game since the Lakers - Nuggets game 7 in 2012. TNT's Inside the NBA that followed the triple header was up 69% from the post season average despite airing after well after midnight on Saturday night/Sunday morning...

Another week, another new series high for Game of Thrones; Sunday night's episode was watched by 7.2 million viewers, 8.6 million when the replays were added in. Veep hit a season high and Silicon Valley had its best numbers since the premiere. For the season, GoT is averaging 17.8 million viewers per episodes (Live + 7 Day + those who view on HBO GO)…The Simpsons was up 23% in total viewers and 19% in the demos...Family Guy won the night in the demos...Cosmos was up double digits in total viewers and demos...Resurrection was up for its season finale, the first time all season its demos were up from the previous week...The Good Wife and The Mentalist tied series lows (for the latter it's the second week in a row)...Believe and Crisis were even in the demos with last week...OUAT was down a smidge...Revenge matched last week...American Dad! was up slightly in the demos...

24 returned down only 10% from the series finale in 2010 (I say "only" because the overall live primetime audience is down roughly 25% since then), finishing third on the night in the demos. It was down double digits in total viewers and demos from the Sleepy Hollow premiere in that slot last September...The Voice won the night in the demos, matching last week...DWTS had a tough week, down 20% in total viewers and 30% in the demos...Castle was down 20% in the demos...The Blacklist won 10pm in totals and demos, even with last week...Rough night for CBS, with all their comedies down between 14 - 18% in both totals and demos...Star-Crossed and The Tomorrow People matched last week...

The Mindy Project closed the season on a high note, up in totals and demos and topping Growing Up Fisher in their head-to-head demo matchup for the first time this spring...New Girl was up slightly in both measures as well...Glee dropped to a new series low...About A Boy and Fisher each hit season/series lows, as did lead-in The Voice, which did win the night in the demos...Chicago Fire hit a seven week high to win 10pm in the demos...The Goldbergs & Trophy Wife each hit new season/series lows, down 24% and 30% respectively...Marvel's Agents of SHIELD was down double digits in totals and demos...NCIS: LA was up at 9pm, winning the hour in totals and demos (as usual)...NCIS was down 10% in total viewers but its 15.6 million still easily won the night...

Survivor won 8pm in totals and demos...CSI won 10pm in totals and demos...Criminal Minds was the most watched show of the night with 10.8 million viewers...Modern Family won the night in the demos, matching last week...And that's it for good news...The Middle and Suburgatory each dropped to new series lows, as did Revolution (the latter two not helping their renewal chances in any way, the former a lock to return)...SVU and Chicago PD were each down 20+% in the demos...American Idol dropped to a new all-time Wednesday low...Arrow tied its series demo low...Mixology was even with last week...

All The Young Dudes, Carry The News
Industry News, Notes, and Hot Rumors…Even though season two won't premiere until next month, Netflix picked up a third season of Orange is the New Black this week…Comedy Central has picked up the rights to Archer reruns and will begin airing them in May of 2015. The deal gives them all the previous seasons plus any/all future episodes…Xbox Entertainment Studios has been developing on a Halo TV series for some time, with Steven Spielberg on board as an executive producer, and now reports have them bringing Showtime in on the project, with the series airing first on the pay cable network before being made available Xbox consoles. The deal reportedly would include future Xbox Entertainments Studios projects as well…HBO has finally made official what has been reported for months, that they are reviving The Comeback for a six episode new season this fall. The show's first - and only - season, which aired to critical acclaim and inspired a cult following, ran in 2005…May (and then November) will be tough months for Days of Our Lives fans; Alison Sweeney announced earlier this year that she would be leaving the show after two decades in Salem, taping her last episode this month, which would air at some point in November, and now comes word that James Scott, who has played EJ DiMera for the last eight years, taped his last episode yesterday, with his likely last air date being this fall…Lifetime has picked up an eight episode first season of Child Genius, a new reality series that follows some of the country's most gifted children (and their families) as they prepare for a national intelligence competition sponsored in part with American MENSA. The show will also feature the competitions themselves, with one kid eventually being named Child Genius 2014… Sara Ramirez, Chandra Wilson, James Pickens, and Justin Chambers have all signed new two year deals to stay on Grey's Anatomy, joining Patrick Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo, who signed new deals back in January. While ABC has not announced a renewal yet - they have yet to renew any of their current series - an 11th season next fall is a lock…HBO is developing a movie about blues legend Bessie Smith, with Queen Latifah signed on to play the lead as well as executive produce with Oscar winners Lili Fini Zanuck and Richard Zanuck. The project is an adaptation of the biography Bessie by Chris Albertson…TV Land has picked up a 24 episode sixth season of Hot in Cleveland; the show is now guaranteed to make at least 128 episodes, meaning it will go down as one of the longest running comedy series in cable TV history…Spike Lee is adapting his 1985 movie She's Gotta Have It - his first feature film - as a series for Showtime, with a modern take on the story of a young woman juggling three potential boyfriends. The half hour dramedy pilot will be written and directed by Lee…When New Girl returns in the fall for a fourth season it will be with Damon Wayans, Jr. as a full time cast member…Spike has ordered Tut, a six hour scripted mini-series about the life of King Tut, the first time his story has been depicted on TV (other than by Steve Martin on SNL, of course) and the first scripted mini-series the channel has developed in seven years (2007's Kill Point). Look for it in 2015…HBO has renewed their news magazine series Vice for two more 12 episode seasons; the show is currently airing season two and this order means season three will air in 2015 and season four in 2016…

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…
Regardless of what you think of his performance as President, there is really no debating how incredible President Obama is in these situations, as funny as any President in my lifetime…

Also funny but less well received by the audience was Joel McHale's stint at the podium…

Earlier in the evening the actual VP and the fictional VP got together for some fun…

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…

That may be the single best thing SNL has done this season…Most behind-the-scenes specials are ads for the shows themselves but Friday's Shark Tank: Swimming with Sharks was much more than that, giving viewers real insight into the process (some of the pitches/negotiations take as long as two hours, edited down to 10 - 12 minutes for TV) as well as to what the Sharks really think about each other. There were no punches pulled in the hour and that's why it was so entertaining…Looking at his last two months of TV performances - Archer, Suburgatory, and his wonderful guest spot on Glee - it further establishes Chris Parnell's talents are vast and varied…Fargo is so good it's making my early thoughts about the upcoming Norty Award nominations - which will be announced in the June 27th edition of TTTP - get thrown out and forcing me to make some VERY difficult decisions. These are very good problems - more quality programs and performances than there are slots - for a TV lover like me but it's not easy…Nikki Glaser's work on @midnight and Inside Amy Schumer makes me wish I had watched Nikki & Sara Live when it was on MTV last year; at this point she's at-or-near the top of the "Funniest People on TV Without Their Own Show" list and I wonder if she gets an interview from CBS for their new late night job opening…A pretty great Revenge last Sunday, one that made some of the weaker episodes - well, let's be honest, SEASONS - worth muddling through to get to this point. My best guess is the final cat will be out of the bag by the time next Sunday night's season finale is over, setting the stage for one last run next year…The return of Freddie Rumsen on Mad Men this season has given more evidence that Joel Murray should be getting a lot more dramatic work (his TV resume is filled with comedies). The Freddie - Don scenes on last night's episode were fantastic; I'd love a digital series about these two during the yearlong break between the first and second halves of Mad Men's final season…I really hope that the producers of Resurrection know they are getting renewed so they put in last night's "The 4400 meets Revolution" ending instead of one that actually gave us some answers. I can't believe it took 8 hours to get to that point; this may be the slowest moving show on primetime, and for a change, I don't mean slow as a compliment. Regardless of my disappointment with the hour, one thing that the show has made perfectly clear is that Kurtwood Smith is indeed one of TV finest character actors, one who can convey inner frustration and complex levels of emotion with the best of them…Still swooning over Tuesday's season finale of The Mindy Project. As I had hoped, the show really came on in season two, especially the second half, and it's now one of the most consistently entertaining comedies on TV...Louie is back and my life - and the world of television - is better for it...

TV Pick Of The Week
For those of you looking to get your freaky on on Mother's Day, TV is offering you two high profile options; first up is NBC's remake of Rosemary's Baby, part one airing on Sunday and part two on Thursday…

The one I am more looking forward to is Showtime's Penny Dreadful, featuring some of literature's best known monsters in mix that appears both scary and sexy…

Don't miss Rosemary's Baby, this Sunday and Thursday on NBC and don't miss the series premiere of Showtime's Penny Dreadful, Sunday at 10pm.

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

*Riot (Tuesday, 9pm) is Fox's new sketch comedy show with a twist, or should I say an angle…

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, including everything you need to know about next season's new shows!

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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