Two Tivos To Paradise 05.16.14: The Flash, Gotham, Gracepoint, More
Posted by Al Norton on 05.16.2014
News and thoughts on the first looks at The Flash, Gotham, Gracepoint, Mulaney and more, a full preview of the upcoming fall primetime TV lineup and more!
Hello friends; what's good? The last seven days have been, as usual, the craziest of the year for the part of my life dedicated to television, with favorite shows getting cancelled and new series getting picked up at a fever pitch. The TTTP FB page set records this past weekend as it's clear folks realize where they should go to stay up-to-date on all the latest TV news (cheap plug, I know). Throw in Mother's Day, my Dad's birthday, and all the regular things that come with a day job and being the father of 5 year old twins and you'll understand why I've started drinking coffee again.
No trailers in the cold open this week as the column is chock full o' them so instead let's do a giveaway; season one of Community on DVD!!! Go to Al Norton's Two Tivos To Paradise on Facebook, click "Like" if you have not already, and then post "E Pluribus TTTP" on our wall and you'll be entered to win. Standard rules apply – one entry per person, must have US or Canadian mailing address – and we'll pick a winner on Monday, so good luck!
All I need's a little news in my life, all I need's a little news in the dark.
You And I, Two Of A Mind, This Love's One Of A Kind
The big five networks all presented their 2013-2014 lineups this week, with lots of new viewing options, some favorites moving to new nights and/or times, and some shows having their season finales become series finales. Here's a look at each network's plans for the new season…
8pm - DWTS
10pm - Castle
8pm - Selfie*
8:30pm - Manhattan Love Story*
9pm - Marvel's Agents of SHIELD
10pm - Forever*
8pm - The Middle
8:30pm - The Goldbergs
9pm - Modern Family
9:30pm - Black-ish*
10pm - Nashville
8pm - Grey's Anatomy
9pm - Scandal
10pm - How to Get Away with Murder*
8pm - Last Man Standing
8:30pm - Cristella*
The network will use the same strategy they did last year when they gave Grey's Anatomy & Scandal long winter breaks and ran new shows in those time slots, with Agent Carter set to run Tuesdays at 9pm (while SHIELD is on hiatus), Galavant on Sundays at 8pm (in OUAT's spot) and American Crime airing on Sundays at 9pm (in the Resurrection spot). Yes, there will be 13 week breaks for the established shows but the thinking is there would only be 4 -6 new episodes (at most) in that period so fans will appreciate the uninterrupted fall and spring runs.
On the Bench (with no set premiere date): Fresh off the Boat*, The Taste, Whispers*, Secrets & Lies*
Cancelled: Lucky 7, Mind Games, OUAT in Wonderland, Trophy Wife, Back in the Game, The Neighbors, Suburgatory, Mixology, Killer Women
Best Looking New Pilot: To be honest, based on what's in the fall lineup, the answer is none of the above, but when I look at their bench I am VERY interested in both American Crime and Galavant.
Quick Analysis: I can't think of a time in TV history where a network ran an entire night of primetime programming from one executive producer but this fall it will be Shonda Thursdays on ABC. Moving SHIELD to 9pm is smart, and Black-ish has just about the best lead-in any comedy could ask for, so my guess is this time next year the network will be looking at more renewals and less cancellations when it comes to their freshman programming.
8pm - The Big Bang Theory (2 Broke Girls takes this spot when Thursday Night Football is over)
8:30pm - Mom
9pm - Scorpion*
8pm - Thursday Night Football...then as of 10/30...
8pm - The Big Bang Theory
8:30pm – The Millers
9pm - Two and a Half Men
9:30pm - The McCarthys*
10pm - Elementary
8pm - The Amazing Race
9pm - Hawaii Five-0
10pm - Blue Bloods
8pm - Madam Secretary*
9pm - The Good Wife
10pm - CSI
On the Bench - CSI: Cyber* (which will take over Sundays at 10pm when CSI is done, so there should be all new episodes in that time slot for almost the entire season), Battle Creek*, The Odd Couple*, Mike & Molly, The Mentalist
Cancelled: Intelligence, Friends with Better Lives, Bad Teacher, Hostages, We Are Men
Best Looking New Pilot: Not a lot to choose from and overall the network with the weakest set of new shows, at least from the clips that I've seen. Madam Secretary certainly has the cast and writing/producing talent behind it to be high quality, so let's go with that.
Quick Analysis: This seems like a pretty well thought out plan, making moves to shore up weak points (moving NCIS: LA, their second best performing drama, to Mondays at 10pm) and making at least some change on every night so nothing seems stagnant. I like the idea that there will be new episodes of a CSI series all season – good way to get people to buy into a Sundays at 10pm timeslot – and they have what appears to be the best bench of all the networks, so if new shows fail they have familiar series they can get in right away.
8pm - Gotham*
9pm - Sleepy Hollow
8pm - Utopia*
9pm - New Girl
9:30pm - The Mindy Project
8pm - Hell's Kitchen
9pm - Red Band Society*
8pm - Bones
9pm - Gracepoint*
8pm - MasterChef Junior
9pm - Utopia
7:30pm - Bob's Burgers
8:00pm - The Simpsons
8:30pm - Brooklyn Nine-Nine
9pm - Family Guy
9:30pm - Mulaney*
On the Bench - Glee, Wayward Pines*, Backstrom*, Empire*, Hieroglyph*, Last Man on Earth*, Bordertown*, Weird Loners*
Cancelled: Enlisted, Almost Human, Dads, Surviving Jack, The X Factor
Best Looking New Pilot: Gracepoint look pretty awesome, the kind of drama that usually runs of cable. The cast, the look, the feel; I am hard pressed to imagine someone watching that and not wanting to tune in come September.
Quick Analysis: The most interesting move is Brooklyn Nine-Nine to Sunday nights; at first glance it seems odd but the truth is there is not any sort of fundamental difference between the comedic sensibilities of The Simpsons and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The real winner here is Mulaney as Family Guy is the network's top demo performer and literally the best lead-in they have to offer.
8pm - The Voice
10pm The Blacklist (State of Affairs* premieres in this spot on 11/17)
7pm - Football Night in America
8:20pm - Sunday Night Football
On the Bench - Parks and Recreation, Allegiance*, Odyssey*, Mission Control*, Mr. Robinson*, One Big Happy*, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt*, Celebrity Apprentice
Cancelled – Community, Crisis, Believe, The Michael J Fox Show, Ironside, Sean Saves the World, Growing Up Fisher, Dracula, Revolution
Best Looking New Pilot: Based on the trailers above I have to go with A to Z, but I am biased because I LOVE the two leads. Constantine looks great, Marry Me could be very funny although that sort of "bad things keep happening" tone is very tough to keep up for any length of time, and Bad Judge may be the top "great performance, terrible show" of the fall. The Mysteries of Laura's success will hinge on if the audience will buy Debra Messing as a homicide detective; based on the trailer, I am not sold as of yet.
Quick Analysis - The Blacklist will be off the air from mid-November (last episode airing 11/10) through the end of January, returning to take over the Thursdays at 9pm slot as of February 5th (after Bad Judge and A to Z have finished their first season runs), which historically has not worked well for shows. What's different in this case is that The Blacklist will get a HUGE return, the sought after post-SuperBowl time slot, so pretty much everyone with a TV set will get a reminder that the show is returning.
8pm - The Originals
9pm - Jane the Virgin*
8pm - The Flash*
9pm - Supernatural
8pm - Arrow
9pm - The 100
8pm - The Vampire Diaries
9pm - Reign
8pm - Whose Line is it Anyway?
9pm - America's Next Top Model
On the Bench: iZombie*, The Messengers*, Beauty and the Beast, Hart of Dixie
Cancelled: Star-Crossed, The Carrie Diaries, The Tomorrow People
Best Looking Pilot: Duh…The Flash has a shot at being the highest rated CW premiere ever, and I felt that way before I saw the awesome trailer.
Quick Analysis: I think putting Jane the Virgin on Mondays at 9pm may be the single best strategic move made a network this week; it's a dramedy going up against two reality competition shows, a supernatural series, and another new procedural where a team solves a weekly puzzle, so if they can properly market (i.e. on places other than their own network), they may be able to draw people in.
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…
ESPN's coverage of last night's first round of the NFL Draft hit an all-time high, up 44% from last year and most watched and best rated opening day of the NFL draft since they began broadcasting it in 1980... Just about everything was down, as has been the case all week but with the NFL Draft making it even more so...The Big Bang Theory won the night in totals and demos, down double digits in both to season lows...Grey's Anatomy was down double digits in totals and demos to tie a series low in the latter and yet also winning 9pm in that measure...Black Box was down 21% in total viewers and 15% in the demos...American Idol and Surviving Jack were the only two show up on the night, both enjoying small demo increases...The Vampire Diaries tied a series low...Two and a Half Men and The Millers were down a bit in total viewers, with Bad Teacher and Elementary down a bit in the demos...
FRIDAY Shark Tank won the night in the demos, as it has done every Friday it aired a new episode this season...Blue Bloods won the night in total viewers, as it has every night it aired a new episode this season, up in totals and demos from last season's finale...Hawaii Five-0 was up in totals and demos...Whose Line is it Anyway? was up 28% in total viewers and double digits in the demos...Hart of Dixie was up 29% in total viewers....Grimm matched last week...Hannibal was down a smidge...
SUNDAY Rosemary's Baby bombed for NBC, with its demo rating being even with what Believe and Crisis did last week...Once Upon a Time won the night in the demos...Revenge won 10pm in the demos...The Simpsons was down 20% from its Lego episode...Cosmos was down 15% in viewers and 25% in the demos...The Amazing RaceThe Good Wife matched last week, with the latter being the most watched show of the night...The Mentalist was up a smidge in the demos... It was good news, bad news for Penny Dreadful last night; the total viewer numbers were down in a big way from last spring's Ray Donovan premiere but the % of audience that were in the key 18-49 demo was the best since Dexter's opening in 2006. To put some perspective on it, Penny was up 5% in viewers from Homeland and Masters of Sex'sfirst hours...Game of Thrones was down from last week's series high...Veep hit a season high...Last Week Tonight matched last week...
MONDAY 24 was down 23% in the demos from week one to finish third in the hour...The Voice won the night in the demos...DWTS won the night in total viewers and was up 16% in the demos...Castle was up 25% in the demos...The Blacklist won 10pm in total viewers and demos and was the top scripted performer in both measures on the night...Mike & Molly was up 18%...The series finale of Star-Crossed was up 33%...
TUESDAY NCIS won the night in total viewers and was up double digits in the demos as well, as were NCIS: LA (winning 9pm in both measures) and Person of Interest...The series premiere of Riot finished last on the night in the demos...The Voice matched last week and once again won the night in the demos...About A Boy enjoyed a slight demo increase for its season finale...Marvel's Agents of SHIELD matched last week while The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife were each up slightly...Chicago Fire was even with last week...Glee was down and finished last at 8pm in the demos, the first time The CW's The Originals topped it all season... Just how bad a ratings night Fox had needs to be further explained; Glee not only hit a new series low in the demos, it beat the previous low by 38%. The only reason the show wasn't the worst demo performer on the night is because of its lead out; Riot was the lowest rated series premiere on one of the big four networks EVER.
A rare bit of good news for American Idol, up 13% in total viewers and 24% in the demos...The Middle was up 19% in the demos...Modern Family won the night in the demos...Criminal Minds was the most watched show of the night...Chicago PD was up double digits in totals and demos and won 10pm in both...The final Suburgatory was up 15%...Mixology matched last week...Arrow, The 100, Revolution, and SVU all matched last week...
All The Young Dudes, Carry The News
Industry News, Notes, and Hot Rumors…Larry Wilmore will be the host of The Minority Report, which will take The Colbert Report's spot at 11:30pm Mon - Thu on Comedy Central in January. Wilmore, who created and executive produced The Bernie Mac Show and also wrote for In Living Color, has been "Senior Black Correspondent" on The Daily Show since 2006…Casey Affleck will star in the six hour HBO mini-series Lewis and Clark, an adaptation of Stephen E. Ambrose's non-fiction book about the famed travelers. The executive producing team includes Tom Hanks, Ed Norton, and Brad Pitt. The script will be written by Norton, Michele Ashford (Masters of Sex), and John Curran (The Painted Veil)… Adult Swim announced a bunch of new series this week and the one I am far and away the most excited about is an untitled live action comedy where Jack McBrayer (30 Rock) plays a former child star from a Lassie-type show who is reunited with his former co-star, Triumph, The Insult Comic Dog. Robert Smigel is writing and executive producing…Disney may have cancelled Shake It Up but they are clearly staying in the Zendaya business; first there's the Disney Channel original movie Zapped this June and now they've picked up a first season of K.C. Undercover, an action/comedy about a high school student who tries to lead a normal life when she isn't training to go to work in the family business as an undercover spy. Even better for us grownups - Kadeem Hardison plays her Dad!... NBC today confirmed that their live musical production for November 2015 will be The Music Man. Last year's The Sound of Music Live! was a surprise ratings megahit, with Peter Pan Live! scheduled for this fall... Pitbull has signed to host and executive produce Pitbull's New Year's Revolution for Fox, a live two hour New Year's Eve music special that will be broadcast from Miami…Major League Soccer has signed contract extensions with ESPN, Fox Sports, and Univision that will pay them roughly $90 million a year from 2015 - 2022. The deal calls for 125+ matches a season, with each network airing a Match of the Week; Univision's will run on Friday night, with ESPN and FS1 running on Sundays at 5 & 7pm respectively…OWN has already started production on a reality series that follows Michael Sam as he works to become the first openly gay NFL player. Sam, an All-American defensive end and the SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year, was drafted in the 7th round last weekend by the St Louis Rams and the show will document his journey towards making the team…Tyra Banks is executive producing TransAmerica, a new reality series VH-1 has just ordered an eight episode first season of. The show follows a group of transgender women living in Chicago, including model/activist Carmen Carrera…FXX has cancelled Legit after two seasons while FX has cancelled Chozen after one season…
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…Robert Carlyle will never win awards for Once Upon a Time - a combination of the incredible riches we currently have in terms of performances as well as fantasy shows being taken less seriously by voters - but make no mistake, much like Bryan Cranston & Walter White and Jon Hamm & Don Draper, there is NO ONE else who could have played Mr. Gold and had the show work the way it does. He is truly the glue that holds the show together and was in his usual fine form in last night's two hour season finale; he can make me laugh out loud in one moment and worry about the bodily harm he may cause to others in the next and, most impressive of all, he makes his emotions very real despite the not-so-real setting of the series.
The two hour season finale of OUAT was a fun, fast paced episode that had great references to Back to the Future in both name and concept, and was topped off at the end by two kickers that set the stage for next season…Stop reading now if you haven't watched yet…Maid Marion's reappearance certainly brought a lot of the old Regina back, although it remains to be seen how much of her dark side has returned, and then the appearance of Elsa, a brilliant move by the show to capitalize on the pop culture phenomenon that is Frozen. Can't wait for next season!
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…Now that Adrianne Palicki's wonderfully charming run on About A Boy has established she can do comedy as well as she did drama on Friday Night Lights, her agent's phone should be ringing off the hook with offers from networks to build a series around her, right?... Clearly the About A Boy finale was written to serve as a de facto series finale if it didn't get renewed but thankfully it did so we'll get to see Will return to San Francisco this fall. The fact that I know sort of like a One Direction song is living proof of this show's greatness. Also, will 13 year old Benjamin Stockham become the youngest actor to ever receive a Norty Nomination? You only have to wait until next month to find out…In "This Week in Grey's Anatomy 80's Covers", Imperial Mammoth's version of Dance Hall Days was awesome, a wonderful soundtrack to the Christina - Owen scene, the best moment in the hour. Owen's "don't leave me...until you leave me" broke my heart…It's only May but I am having a hard time imagining a better written comedy in 2014 than Monday's So Did The Fat Lady episode of Louie…Forget anything else that happened in the hour, the little girl laughing and running away after she stranded her mother in the well with a dead body in the Bones cold open was far and away the creepiest thing on my TV screen this week…My only complaint about this week's Modern Family is that I have to wait a week for the second half of the episode…As much as I felt cheated by learning that Oliver and Felicity were pretending on the Arrow season finale, the action sequences were incredible, with choreography, cinematography, and editing that ranks with the best on television…Chicago Fire once again proved they can take the obvious (who didn't know where that wedding was going to take place?!?) and still make it emotionally powerful, thanks in no small part to Eamonn Walker demonstrating why he is a true TTTP fave…And the answer to the question, "what's your favorite season finale so far?" is Nashville. So good - and SOOO much better than the season one car accident cliff hanger; everything that happened was character AND story driven, with no gimmicks thrown in to keep the audience hanging on all summer. Great music, great acting, a great hour of television…Vintage Don Draper meeting with Phillip Morris on Sunday's Mad Men. I am VERY much enjoying this season but hating that we've only got a few weeks left before a YEAR LONG break…
TV Pick Of The Week
My love for Last Comic Standing isn't hard to figure out; it's on in the summer when there's less programming to choose from and I enjoy standup comedy. The best people have not always won but I've been exposed to a lot of very talented folks and laughed a lot, so what's not to love? The show returns after a four year break next week with a new set of judges and an invitation-only audition round.
Don't miss the season premiere of Last Comic Standing, Thursday at 9pm on NBC
Hope You Need My Love, Babe, Just Like I Need You
Other noteworthy programming from the coming week…
*A quick rundown of this week's season/series finals…
Tonight – Hart of Dixie, Kitchen Nightmares, Grimm, Shark Tank
Sunday – The Good Wife, The Amazing Race, The Mentalist, AFHV, Bob's Burgers, The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad!
Monday – Mike & Molly, Bones, RuPaul's Drag Race
Tuesday – The Voice, DWTS, Supernatural
Wednesday – The Middle, Modern Family, Mixology, Survivor, American Idol, Chicago PD, The Americans, Revolution
*For those of you interested in such things, a new season of The Bachelorette begins Monday at 9:30pm on ABC.
*The Maya Rudolph Show is a variety special that is also a pilot, featuring the incredibly talented Rudolph playing host to guests like Kristen Bell, Chris Parnell, Andy Samberg, Sean Hayes, and Craig Robinson…
*Judge Judy Primetime (Tuesday, 8pm, CBS) is a one hour special that mixes a couple of cases with a look at Judge Judy's journey from NY judge to the dominant force in syndicated television.
*The highly underrated Motive (ABC) returns for a second season this Wednesday at 10pm; if you're a fan of procedurals, you should be watching this show.
*The CW airs part one of their two part mini-series Labyrinth this Thursday at 8pm…
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, 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, Suits, Supernatural, 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 plus Matt Iseman stops by to talk about the new season of American Ninja Warrior.
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.