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Two Tivos To Paradise 07.18.14: Better Call Saul, The Big Bang Theory, Doctor Who, More
Posted by Al Norton on 07.18.2014

Hello friends; what's good? Anecdote about my personal life. Rumination over the state of the Red Sox. Social media reminder (Al Norton's Two Tivos To Paradise on FB, @2Tivos2paradise on Twitter). Positive outlook on life summation.

Here's a look at the upcoming season of Doctor Who

And staying with the sci-fi theme, here's the first look at Syfy's 12 Monkeys

And since we haven't had a three trailer cold open in a while, here's the newest ad for Gotham

Guess it's true I'm not good at a one news stand.

Color Me Your Color, Baby, Color Me Your Car
"The series is set six years before Saul Goodman meets Walter White. When we meet him, the man who will become Saul Goodman is known as Jimmy McGill, a small-time lawyer searching for his destiny, and, more immediately, hustling to make ends meet. Working alongside, and, often, against Jimmy, is ‘fixer' Mike Ehrmantraut, a beloved character introduced in Breaking Bad. The series will track Jimmy's transformation into Saul Goodman, the man who puts ‘criminal' in ‘Criminal lawyer."

The above paragraph came from AMC's official press release for Better Call Saul, the upcoming Breaking Bad spinoff/prequel series, and with that, fans already high levels of anticipation got even higher.

I can't remember expectations being higher for a spinoff project in my lifetime, and based on everything I've read, this is the even rarer situation where the show has a strong shot of actually living up to those expectations. I mean, the guy who created Breaking Bad is on board, as is the writer who created the character of Saul, plus the cast is top notch (TTTP fave Michael McKean is also on board as Saul's brother), and they've got so much to work with in terms of story material (pretty much any/every type of lawsuit/trial is up for grabs) that even I, mastering of not getting my hopes too high, am already excited.

Well The Bride Looked Like A Picture, In The Gown That Her Momma Wore
Project Runaway season two alum and highly successful designed Heidi Elnora returns to TV this week with TLC's Bride by Design. We caught up with her this week to discuss the new show…

TTTP: It's been eight years since Project Runway and you've been highly successful as a designer (not to mention getting married and having two kids); why was now the right time for a TV series?

Heidi Elnora: The timing has worked out beautifully. When this project started 3 1/2 years ago I wasn't ready. I still thought it would be fun to have a reality show. I am in a different place in my life now. Being a mother of 2 young boys and running a successful design house takes discipline and focus. I am more organized and more on my game then I have ever been. I see Bride by Design as an opportunity to educate brides as well as teach young designers the ins and outs of the fashion industry.

TTTP: Are you at all surprised by the continued popularity of wedding dress shows on TV?

Heidi Elnora: I am not at all surprised by the continued popularity of wedding dress shows. We all grow up watching Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty. The story is always the same. Princess needs rescuing. Prince rescues princess. They get married and life happily ever after. The princess gets to wear the most amazing gown and have the most magical day. It is what we have all dreamt of since we were little.

TTTP: Do you think there would be an audience for a show about a guy buying suits, perhaps even wedding tuxedos?

Heidi Elnora: I think that would be a hard sale. My husband usually isn't too excited to run to his closet to try on things that are hot and uncomfortable.

TTTP: What advice would you give a friend who was about to compete on Project Runway?

Heidi Elnora: Be yourself and enjoy the ride.

TTTP: What makes Bride By Design different than what we've seen before and, for folks who might not think of themselves as the target audience for a show like this, what might surprise them about it?

Heidi Elnora: Bride by Design is like Project Runway and Say Yes to the Dress had a baby. There is currently nothing like it on television. What girl doesn't love fashion and weddings? It is the perfect combination of a behind the scenes look at designing, creating, and wearing a beautifully crafted wedding gown.

If You Want Something To Play With Go Out And Find Yourself A Toy
Here's the big stories from the week…

*Yahoo is in preliminary talks to pick up a second season of Enlisted, cancelled by Fox this spring.

*Production on the new season of The Big Bang Theory is supposed to start on July 30th but none of the 5 original cast members are under contract, and with reports that the sides are very far apart and not currently talking much, it's highly likely that things don't start on time. Currently the big three (Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, and Kaley Cuoco) make around $350k an episode, with most industry observers thinking that will jump to seven figures per episode as part of the new deal plus a larger percentage of the show's syndication and DVD money.

There were protracted negotiations in 2010 but in that deal the cast was under contract and simply trying to get raises, i.e. not anywhere near the position of power that they are in now.

Deadline.com says that as long as negotiations don't go much past Labor Day, the show should have no problem completing the hour long season premiere set to air on September 22nd.

*In the best casting news of 2014 (so far), NBC has announced Christopher Walken will play Captain Hook in their live production of Peter Pan this fall.

*Constantine doesn't premiere on NBC until the fall but there already big changes, with the show's female lead Lucy Griffiths (True Blood) being written out after the pilot. The character she played - Liv - seemed to be pretty important to the story but she will be replaced by multiple different characters from the Hellblazer comic book that the show is an adaptation with, starting with Zed, who will be played by Angelica Celaya, a star on Telemundo (with a US resume that includes guest spots on Burn Notice and Dallas). I've seen (and enjoyed) the pilot and the original female lead was a HUGE part of the show and the journey it was laying out so it will be interesting to see how much expository dialogue they give us in the first few minutes of episode two to change course.

*NBC has picked up summer 2015 seasons of America's Got Talent, American Ninja Warrior, and Last Comic Standing.

*We've known for some time that Bill Cosby had signed to star in a new comedy for NBC and now we know the show will be created by Mike Sikowitz (The Class, Grounded For Life, Friends) and Mike O'Malley, with O'Malley likely to co-star as well. The general concept is that Cosby would play the head of a family dealing with his kids, their spouses, and their kids (as in Cosby's grandkids). O'Malley would play the husband of one of Cosby's daughters. O'Malley, who writes for Shameless along with his acting gigs, is said to be writing this new show, with Sikowitz, who is the creator and showrunner of CBS' upcoming The McCarthys, supervising.

*Three time Golden Globe nominee Thomas Jane (Hung) will star in Syfy's The Expanse, an adaptation of the bestselling book series by James S.A. Corey that combines science fiction, murder mysteries, and political conspiracy theories. The 10 episode first season will debut in 2015.

*We told you earlier in the year that MTV was working on an adaptation of Shannara, a popular series of fantasy novels by Terry Brooks, and now comes word that they have ordered a 10 episode first season. Jon Favreau, who was set to direct the pilot, has scheduling conflicts and will stay on as an executive producer, with Jonathan Liebesman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) directing the opening hour. Al Grough and Miles Millar, who did Smallville together, will write and executive produce, with Brooks also on board as an executive producer.

*Atmosphere Entertainment and Mandalay Sports Media have teamed up to adapt The Kid, Ben Bradlee Jr's critically acclaimed (and exhaustively detailed) biography of war hero and Boston Red Sox legend Ted Williams. Mike Tollin (30 for 30, The Franchise, One Tree Hill, Arli$$), Mark Canton (300, The Voice), and Peter Guber (Batman, Batman Returns, Tango and Cash, Rain Man) are executive producing.

*Rob Lowe will executive produce and star in the Lifetime original movie Beautiful and Twisted, based on the life and shocking murder of hotel millionaire Ben Novack, Jr. Candace Bergan co-stars as Bernice Novack, Ben's Mom, with Paz Vega as his former stripper wife who is the prime suspect in the murder.

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…

History's new Pawn Stars' spinoff game show Pawnography opened to a very strong 2.28 million viewers, below Pawn Stars average but the best any new show on the network has done in 2014. The original order was 10 episodes but look for the network to at least double (or even triple) that if week two holds up…Big Brother won the night in the demos, up 25% from last week's holiday eve episode...A Big Bang Theory rerun drew 7.9 million viewers, making it the most watched show of the night...Welcome to Sweden and Working the Engels opened ok, the former better than the latter...Hell's Kitchen was up in totals and demos...Black Box and Rookie Blue were each up slightly in the demos, with NY Med up double digits (NY Med was also the most watched show at 10pm as it has been for all three of its outings)...

20/20 and Dateline tied for the demo win, the former up 50% from last week and the latter up 20% from its last new outing...What Would You Do? was also up 50%, as was Crossbones...A Blue Bloods rerun was the most watched show of the night...

Big Brother was up 11% to once again win the night in the demos, with a 60 Minutes rerun getting the most total viewers...Unforgettable enjoyed the one hour earlier timeslot to the tune of a 29% demo increase, with Reckless matching last week in its later slot (and losing to an SVU rerun)...Rising Star was up 17% to its best numbers since the premiere...Wipeout was up 17% to a season high... Solid returns for Ray Donovan and Masters of Sex on Sunday night; both were down from their season one premieres (the former by 9% and the latter by 17%) but both of those episodes has established series as lead-in's (Dexter and Homeland, respectively)… The Strain had a strong premiere on Sunday night, with 2.99 million watching the 1 hour and 40 minute opening episode live. That's 42% more than the audience for the Tyrant opener and 12% more than who tuned into Fargo's debut. Considering that FX series usually have huge DVR numbers, this is a great start... The numbers for the World Cup final are in, with the 17.1 million who watched making it the most watched final in ABC/ESPN history and third most watched soccer match ever in the United States. Overall viewership for the World Cup was up 39% from 2010 and 96% from 2006... CNN rarely gets ratings good news these days so the numbers put up by the premiere of The Hunt with John Walsh are cause for celebration; the performance in the target news 25-54 demos were the channel's best ever for a series premiere and it topped it's competition on Fox News and MSNBC in total viewers by huge amounts. Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, nomination for an Emmy last week, got its third season off to a good start, up 34% from season two's debut…

The finale of 24: Live Another Day jumped 21% in the demos...American Ninja Warrior hit a season high in total viewers while matching last week's demos...Under the Dome was up in the demos and won the night in that as well as in total viewers...

The MLB All-Star Game won the night in totals and demos (up a bit from last year)...The Night Shift season finale was down a bit in totals and demos, as was Extreme Weigh Loss...Celebrity Wife Swap matched last week...

SYTYCD dropped to a new all-time demo low...Big Brother won the night in the demos, as it has every Wednesday this season...Extant was down 18% but still won the night in total viewers...Motive was down 20% in total viewers...Taxi Brooklyn was up slightly in viewers but hit a series demo low...

All The Young Dudes, Carry The News
Industry News, Notes, and Hot Rumors…Hulu has signed a deal to be the exclusive streaming home of South Park, with all 244 episodes available for free through September 24th, at which point they will move to Hulu Plus…Colin Ferguson (Eureka, Haven) has been cast in a recurring role on the new season of The Vampire Diaries as the head of a community militia out to rid the town Mystic Falls of all evil, by any means necessary…Oscar & Golden Globe winner Ben Kinglsey has signed on to star in Spike's historical drama mini-series Tut, set to premiere in 2015. Kingsley's resume is impressive, with a combined 16 Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe nominations over his thirty year career…USA has ordered a pilot for Mr. Robot, a drama about a socially dysfunctional computer hacker who is torn between the high tech security firm he works for and the criminal element that is trying to recruit him. Sam Esmail (Comet) is writing the pilot, with Steve Golin (True Detective) and Chad Hamilton executive producing…Starz' Outlander, the highly anticipated adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's bestselling series of books that has Ron Moore (Battlestar Galactica) as showrunner, premieres on August 9th but it will be available to watch on-line as of August 2nd. The plan for the show is to run the first half of the 16 episode season on eight consecutive Saturdays and then air the second half in early 2015…AMC has given a direct-to-series six episode first season order to Badlands, a martial arts drama from Al Gough & Miles Millar (who previously teamed up for Smallville) that is a loose adaptation of Journey to the West, a 16th Century Chinese novel. The story finds a young boy and an experienced warrior who travel across the world together in search of enlightenment…MTV has picked up a 4th season of Catfish...The Knick doesn't premiere on Cinemax until next month but that didn't stop the pay cable network from picking up a 10 episode second season. Set at a NYC hospital in the early 1900's, the show stars Golden Globe winner & Oscar nominee Clive Owen and is executive produced by Steven Soderbergh, who directed all 10 first season episodes…Cote de Pablo may be gone from NCIS but she's sticking with CBS for her next TV gig, starring in the network's four hour mini-series adaptation of Alice Hoffman's historical novel The Dovekeepers. Executive produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, the mini-series will air in 2015…TTTP fave Robert Forrester (Breaking Bad, Last Man Standing, Jackie Brown) has joined the cast of Fox's Backstrom, the procedural drama with Rainn Wilson as the House of detectives... Elizabeth Rodriguez (Orange is the New Black) has signed on for multiple episodes of the new season of Grimm...John Boyd (24, Touch, The Carrie Diaries) will play Booth's FBI protégé on Bones this fall...NBC's upcoming Charles Manson mini-series Aquarius has added Michaela McManus (Awake, SVU, The Vampire Diaries, One Tree Hill), David Meunier (Justified, Revolution), and Gaius Charles (Grey's Anatomy, Friday Night Lights)... E! News is reporting that Lisa Rinna will join the cast of Bravo's The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills for the show's upcoming fifth season…The number of "Featured Players" who won't be returning to Saturday Night Live this fall is now up to three, with Noel Wells and John Milhiser joining Brooks Wheelan on the list of folks let go after one season…Cara Buono, nominated for an Emmy for playing Faye Miller on season four of Mad Men and with a resume including The Good Wife, Elementary, Brothers & Sisters, Castle, Dead Zone, ER, and more, has signed for multiple episodes of the upcoming season of Person of Interest…Spike is going full on in the historical mini-series category, with their latest project in development being The Crusaders; set during the Third Crusade, it follows two knights as they journey from Scotland to the Holy Land, each with their own agenda. Pierce Brosnan is executive producing along with David Franzoni, who wrote Gladiator, and Michael Finch, with the latter two writing the script…Bravo has picked up a fourth season of Million Dollar Listing while confirming they at work on a San Francisco version of the franchise…

Turns Out Not Where But Who You're With That Really Matters
The Best of What's Around aka The Best Thing I've Watched This Week…

This was a remarkable week for inspirational television, with the first video coming from Wednesday's ESPY Awards…

And then this, from Monday, was one of the more amazing feats of skill, strength, and sheer determination I have ever seen…

Television continues to have the ability to inspire passion in a way no other medium can.

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…A solidly entertaining Food Network Star this week, with an elimination that made sense. I still take issue with the rather large percentage of the last few episodes where one of the three judges didn't have a say in who got sent home. I get that they are all busy but on other "big time" reality competition shows, this happens maybe once a season, not 3 out of 4 weeks (and maybe even 4 of the last 5). As an example, how odd would it be if for 3 of the next 4 weeks of MasterChef, one of the three guys were gone?... At this point it's hard for TV to find new ways to make me squirm/cover my eyes but the series premiere of The Strain certainly rose to the challenge; Sweet Caroline will never be the same…It only took about 15 minutes - the scene with Ray and Hank Azaria's new character in the FBI office- for Ray Donovan to remind me why I love it so much…This has been a great summer of TV so far and on my list of reasons is the work of Graham Greene; the only thing his performances on Longmire and Defiance have in common is their excellence. He's one of the best character actors in the business and there's no reason he should ever go that long without being on my TV screen…I was entertained enough by the opening hours of Extant to tune in again next week but that's as far as I am willing to commit at this point. For every moment that genuinely caught me off guard, and there were several, there was a ridiculously obvious telegraphing of emotions that felt like watching a show in rehearsal. I did feel like things moved too fast as well; there were multiple scenes in the opening hour where I thought, "this should have been where this episode ended", which means the impact of said moments lessened every time…I was blown away at the talent and drive of the competitors on last night's premiere of Chopped's Teen Tournament; these are some serious kids who, with this level of focus, have bright futures in front of them…What I like about Buddy's Bakery Rescue is that it's way more about the Bakery Rescue than it is the Buddy; there's no ego trip here, no yelling, no "I need to be the center of attention at all times", just a guy who very much knows what he's doing and very much wants to use his expertise to help the people he works with to do better…I am so glad I stayed with Murder in the First, which has become a top level drama, one that puts its fantastic cast to great use. The courtroom stuff is the best TV has seen since The Practice, and that's high praise from me…A really strong finale for 24: Live Another Day, which included the best pop culture use of a sword since Pulp Fiction…Whether you look at it like an escapist guilty pleasure, a drama that pushes the envelope of primetime TV sexuality, or an (unintentional) farce about the modern state of relationships, if you're not watching Mistresses you're missing out on one of the more entertaining shows of the summer…One of the things I am enjoying the most about The Last Ship is that the focus is not on political conspiracies and world domination plots but rather on the toll that has been taken on the crew of the ship. That and, as I've mentioned before, Eric Dane is a legit bad ass who every other network on TV should be kicking themselves for not signing to front a series…

TV Pick Of The Week
I've enjoyed Restaurant Impossible from the beginning but last season stood out as Robert Irvine started diving as much into the fixing the interpersonal problems of the owners as he did the restaurants themselves, using his same straight talk/no nonsense approach to both to great success. As I referenced above with Buddy's Bakery Rescue, these shows are best when the focus isn't on the host but rather the participants, and while Irvine certainly enjoys his work, he knows if he doesn't actually help, there is no show.

Don't miss the season premiere of Restaurant Impossible, Wednesday at 10pm on Food.

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

*Logo will run the eight unaired episodes of Don't Trust the B- In Apt 23 on Saturdays at 10pm starting tomorrow, with a 16 episode marathon of the comedy airing as a lead-in to kick things off. The show was halfway through its second season when ABC pulled the plug and this is the first time those episodes will be broadcast.

*Gordon Ramsay's savior complex returns to the hospitality industry on Monday at 9pm with the season premiere of Hotel Hell (Fox).

*Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista from Marvel's The Guardians of the Galaxy all stop by Jimmy Kimmel Live on Monday night.

*Face Off - aka cable's best reality competition series – returns for a new season this Tuesday at 9pm.

*Who Do You Think You Are? is back for a new season this Wednesday at 9pm…

*The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail premieres Wednesday night (technically Thursday morning) at 12:30am…

*Wow, this is apparently a big week for returning cable reality series; first Face Off, then Who Do You Think You Are?, and finally a new cycle of Project Runway begins on Thursday at 9pm on Lifetime.

Two Tivos To Paradise
@Midnight, About A Boy, 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, Buddy's Bakery Rescue, Cake Boss, Chasing Life, 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, Fargo, 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, 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 Last Ship, 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, Married, MasterChef, MasterChef: Junior, Masters of Sex, The Middle, Mike and Molly, The Mindy Project, Modern Family, Monster Man, Murder in the First, Nashville, New Girl, Next Great Baker, Next Iron Chef, NY Med, The Originals, Outside the Lines, Parenthood, Parks & Recreation, Penny Dreadful, 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, True Detective, Undateable, Under the Gunn, The Vampire Diaries, The Voice, The Walking Dead, 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 news. Have a great week!

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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