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Two Tivos To Paradise 7.25.14: Simpsons, Family Guy, Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, More
Posted by Al Norton on 07.25.2014

Hello friends; what's good? This Monday is the anniversary of the birth of Two Tivos To Paradise; the first ever edition of TTTP went live on 411mania.com on July 28, 2006, and my life has literally never been the same. I've met a lot of great people, working with a ton high quality folks in the world of PR, and gotten the chance to interact with thousands of fellow TV lovers (especially since we launched the TTTP Facebook community). There are lots of thank you's I owe, but especially to Leonard Hayhurst, who gave me my "big break", Ashish for giving me this great forum, and to you, my readers, for coming back each week. Of course the biggest thank you goes to Mrs. Tivo as without her support and encouragement, I wouldn't be here.

Here's the first full trailer for Disney XD's new Star Wars Rebels

Our first look at the upcoming final season of Boardwalk Empire

Fish don't fry in the kitchen, news don't burn on the grill.

Polarize Me, Sensitize Me, Criticize Me, Civilize Me
Lots of news this week related to Fox's animated lineup, much of it Simpsons-related…

*FXX will launch the longest marathon in TV history when it airs all 25 seasons of The Simpsons - 552 episodes - in chronological order (plus The Simpsons Movie after episode 400) on August 21st at 10am, with the marathon running through September 1st at 12am. Starting September second the network will run daily reruns of the series, including an eight episode mini-marathon every Sunday at 4pm that will be based around different themes (i.e. Best of Moe, Bart at School, Krusty the Clown)…

I am not sure how I missed this when it was originally announced but The Simpsons will do a crossover episode with Futurama during the upcoming season, with Billy West, John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal, Maurice LaMarche, Phil LaMarr, Lauren Tom and Tress MacNeille all reprising their roles.

Obviously the biggest Simpsons-related crossover this fall will be the one hour season premiere of Family Guy, and there is word that a third Fox animated show will be involved in the event as well.

*The Simpsons will do live shows at the Hollywood Bowl on September 12th, 13th, and 14th; hosted by Hank Azaria and accompanied by an orchestra, cast members Nancy Cartwright and Yeardley Smith will be joined by guest stars from the show's 25 year run including Jon Lovitz, Weird Al "Weird Al" Yankovic, and Beverly D'Angelo. Series creator Matt Groenig will tell behind-the-scenes stories and there will be a video presentation including favorite moments and never-before-seen footage. Adding to the event, the Hollywood Bowl will be made over to resemble Springfield.

*Four time Emmy winner Hank Azaria will voice the lead character in the new Seth MacFarlane animated series Bordertown, joined by Judah Friedlander and TTTP fave Missi Pyle.

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

*TNT has renewed The Last Ship, Major Crimes, and Falling Skies, and they've announced that next summer's 5th season of Falling Skies will be the show's last.

*Sir Anthony Hopkins and Evan Rachel Wood will star in the HBO pilot Westworld, an adaptation of the 1973 science fiction movie that will count J.J. Abrams, Jonathan Nolan, and Jerry Weintraub among its executive producers. Like the movie, the show will be set at an amusement park where Hopkins' character uses cutting edge science to create an all-encompassing experience for guests, and in shades of The Truman Show, Wood plays a young woman who doesn't realize her life in the park is not reality. Deadline.com reports that James Marsden (The X-Men movies, 30 Rock) is in talks to join the cast as well. Nolan, who created Person of Interest and wrote The Dark Knight & The Dark Knight Rises, is directing and co-writing the pilot, which HBO describes as "a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin."

*Andy Samberg and Kit Harrington (Game of Thrones) will play professional tennis rivals in 7 Days in Hell, a sports mockumentary (a spoof on 30 for 30 and the like) for HBO. The cast includes Lena Dunham, Fred Armisen, Michael Sheen, Mary Steenburgen, Howie Mandel, June Squib, and Karen Gillan. Murray Miller (Girls, King of the Hill) is writing the script, based on an idea he and Samberg came up with.

*Winners at last weekend's TCA Awards included Breaking Bad (Program of the Year), Louie & Orange is the Black (tie, Best Comedy), The Good Wife (Best Drama), True Detective (Best Mini-Series), Matthew McConaughey (Best Individual Performance, Drama), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Best Individual Performance, Comedy), Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey (Best News & Information Series), and RuPaul's Drag Race (Best Reality Series),

*During this week's TCA presentations Fox, CBS, Showtime, and FX all talked about how they were significantly more focused on Live+3 Day ratings versus Live and/or Live+Same Day, with FX going so far to announce they were no longer going to release the latter two sets of numbers, believing that Live+ 3 Day is THE accurate way to get a handle on how many people are watching a series.

*Wentworth Miller (Prison Break) has been cast as Leonard Snart (aka Captain Cold) on The CW's The Flash, making his first appearance on episode four.

*Jim Gaffigan's sitcom went through TWO development cycles with CBS, with the network passing on both versions, but now reports tells us that TV Land is in serious talks to pick up a first season. The family comedy is based on the comedian's life and comes with a decent sized built-in audience thanks to his incredible success as a live performer as well as a bestselling writer (his first book spent 17 weeks on the New York Times' bestsellers list).

*Hard as it may seem to believe, NFL Network's first live pre-season game broadcast is less than three weeks away; San Francisco - Oakland airs on August 7th at 7:30pm, one of the record fourteen games the network will air live (not to mention that they will air highlights of all 65 pre-season games during the month of August).

In other TV sports news, the season doesn't start until October but NBC Sports announced its NHL coverage, with 103 regular season telecasts (14 on NBC, 89 on NBCSN). NBCSN will air games on most Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays (their first broadcasts will be on Wednesday 10/8, kicking off Wednesday Night Rivalry with Flyers/Bruins followed by Sharks/Kings), with a Sunday night game added in starting in January.

*Oscar and Golden Globe nominated filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is getting into TV, directing and co-writing One Percent. Set in the world of organic farming, the show is expected to star Ed Helms (The Office, The Hangover trilogy) and Oscar winner Hilary Swank as a couple struggling to keep their business and marriage together, with Oscar, Golden Globe, and Emmy nominee Ed Harris as the head of the family. MRC is producing the show, expected to be shopped to networks before the end of August, with a track record of getting two season orders for their projects (House of Cards, Seth MacFarlane & Jonathan Ames' Starz comedy).

*FX picked up a 10 episode second season of Fargo and a 7 episode fifth season of Louie. More info about the second season of Fargo; the show will take place in 1979, with the focus on a younger version of Lou Solverson, the character played by Keith Carradine in season one. The story he referenced during season one about the first time he sat on the porch with a shotgun to protect his family will be the plot.

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…

Rush opened with 50% lower demos than Graceland put up in its debut last year (and the latter was up against the NBA finals)...Satisfaction matched its lead-in in total viewers (1.7 million) and actually improved slightly on its demos...Married had a solid opening for FX, up from the demos the much hyped premiere of Saint George got last year...You're The Worst lost roughly 20% of its lead in...To be fair, all four shows will likely show large increases once the Live+3 Day numbers are in, which is what the network will really pay attention to... The network with the best demo average on the night? Not ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, or The CW but rather Univision!...Big Brother won the night in the demos...Hell's Kitchen was up 13% from last week, with lead-out Gang Related jumping 29%...Hollywood Game Night was up 22%...Welcome to Sweden and Working the Engles were each down double digits...Last Comic Standing was down 10% from last week's weak numbers...Rookie Blue and NY Med matched last week, the latter winning 10pm in total viewers as it has all season...As usual, a Big Bang Theory rerun was the most watched show of the night...

Not a great start for Lifetime's The Lottery on Sunday night, with the 1.1 million viewers a drop from the 1.9 million who tuned in for the series premiere of The Witches of East End last October and from the 2 million who watched Devious Maids debut last summer…Big Brother was down a smidge but still won the night in the demos with ease...Unforgettable and Reckless were each up a bit...Wipeout's one week uptick was erased by a 29% demo drop...Rising Star was down 23% to a new series demo low...

MasterChef won the night in the demos, up double digits to a season high...Hotel Hell opened down 20% in totals and demos from last season...American Ninja Warrior hit a season high in total viewers and tied a season high in the demos...The Men Tell All special gave The Bachelorette its best numbers since the season premiere...Under the Dome was down 21% in the demos, winning 10pm but finishing only fifth on the night in that measure, although it was the most watched show of the evening...

AGT may have been down a bit with its first new episodes in weeks but it still easily won the night in totals and demos...Food Fighters opened soft, coming in 23% less than Hollywood Game Night's opening last year...Extreme Weight Loss was down 10%...Celebrity Wife Swap dropped 27% to tie a series low...

A special Wednesday edition of AGT won the night in total viewers and tied Big Brother (up in totals and demos) for the demo crown...Taxi Brooklyn enjoyed the lead-in to jump 19% in viewers and 38% in demos, hitting season/series highs in both...Extant was down 20% in total viewers and 27% in the demos (its demo audience is down more than 1/3 from the series premiere)...Motive hit a new series low...SYTYCD was up a smidge...

All The Young Dudes, Carry The News
Industry News, Notes, and Hot Rumors…In perfect casting no matter what character she is going to play, Lucy Lawless has signed on for what's expected to be a recurring role on the new season of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.…The numbers for The Strain's premiere continue to come in, and continue to make FX VERY happy; with the live audience and replays combined, the total audience for the opening episode now tops 8 million viewers, with the Live+3 Day demos the best for any cable series premiere in 2014. When the Live+7 Day numbers are in, the network expects The Strain to be its most watched drama series premiere ever…Emmy winner Jaime Pressley (My Name is Earl, Jennifer Falls) has signed on for a recurring role on season two of Mom…Steven Pasquale (Rescue Me, Do No Harm) has signed on for (at least) two episodes of the new season of The Good Wife…The CW has ordered a new 24 episode season of Whose Line Is It Anyway? that will run in 2015... TTTP fave Regina King (Southland) has a very busy 2014 -2015 TV season already lined up; she's signed on as a regular for ABC's American Crime, the new drama series from Oscar winner John Ridley that stars Timothy Hutton and Felicity Huffman, she's reprising her role The Big Bang Theory as Director of HR at the university the gang works at, and she'll direct an episode of Scandal as well…TTTP fave Elisabeth Rohm (Beauty & the Beast, The Client List, Heroes, Law & Order, Angel) has joined Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q as a series regular on Kevin Williamson's new CBS procedural Stalker…Four Time Emmy winner (a combined 16 Emmy & Golden Globe nominee) Rhea Perlman has signed on for a recurring role on the upcoming season of The Mindy Project as Danny's Mom. Any Cheers fans watching the Fox comedy will remember that Dan Hedaya played Danny's formerly deadbeat Dad last season, meaning his parents are Carla and Nick Tortelli!!!!... Ken Jeong (Community, The Hangover trilogy) has signed to star in the MTV pilot Ken Jeong Made Me Do It; Jeong will play a fictionalized version of himself, taking a 22 year old who rear ends him (the accident is caused because the guy is distraught over his girlfriend cheating on him) under his wing and show him the keys to success in life, including how to be a man. This new project will not get in the way of the new season of Community…PBS has announced the new season of Downton Abbey will premiere on January 4th…Killjoys, the new Syfy series from the producers of Orphan Black and written by Michelle Lovretta (creator of Lost Girl), has signed its first cast members; Aaron Ashmore (Warehouse 13), Luke Macfarlane (Brothers & Sisters), and Hannah John-Kamen (The Hour) are all on board the action drama, about a group of interplanetary bounty hunters. The 10 episode first season will likely air in the first half of 2015…Brian Hallisay (Mistresses, The Client List, Ringer) has signed on to the new season of Revenge as a local cop who becomes friends with Jack and who may have eyes for Emily.

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…
Regardless of what you think of them individually, this week's premieres of Satisfaction, Married, and You're the Worst are cause for celebration because the characters and their dilemmas/issues are much more reflective of real life than the majority of what's on TV right now; I am not saying EVERYONE is walking around unhappy with where their lives have ended up but that sort of general feeling is one we have all felt at one time or another and while the situations may be given twists to hold the viewer's interest, the characters' quest for meaning and fulfillment in their lives - and the performances of the cast - are ones most of us can relate to.

I liked Satisfaction way more than I thought I would, with the opening 45 minutes being really fantastic in its exploration of what people do when they realize their lives are in a rut. The lead character taking on a new job seemed a little too much like a TV show for my taste but the performances of the two leads are strong enough where I will keep watching.

Married was my favorite of the three shows in that it made me laugh out loud the most, but You're the Worst was the one that snuck up on me, with the romantic pairing genuinely working its way into my heart in just 22 minutes.

As I mentioned above, TV is a better place when it's exploring issues and concepts we can all relate to, and these shows are diving in in ways network shows almost never seem to have the guts.

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…This is clearly the summer of dual roles; I've written recently about how great Scott Michael Foster (Halt and Catch Fire, Chasing Life) and Graham Greene (Longmire, Defiance) have been in their different parts and then D.B. Woodside, so good on Suits this season, turns in a stellar performance on Halt and Catch Fire last week... Wow, that Last Comic Standing elimination round last Thursday was one of the best things I've ever seen on a reality competition show in terms of two contestants rising to the challenge and delivering multiple high quality performances. I think the right person won but I wouldn't have argued if it went the other way…Caught up on the last three episodes of Rectify this weekend, easily the best show that has not broken into the mainstream pop culture zeitgeist. Everything about this Sundance drama is authentic, which is just about the highest praise I can offer…I mentioned two weeks ago that Covert Affairs had made a big mistake in bringing Annie and Auggie together only to split them up so quickly and the two episodes since have made me more sure of this. What we've also learned over the last two weeks is that Auggie and his new love interest Hayley have a TON of legit chemistry while Annie and Nic Bishop have NONE. Annie did have it with Simon and she's got it in spades with Eyal, who I can't wait to see again later this season; that pairing would be the only relationship that the fans might buy into as a real threat to the Annie - Auggie end game…While I still think characters popping up we haven't seen before on Under the Dome is a bit odd - how big IS Chester's Mill?!?! - but I am all for anything that gets Dwight Yoakam on my TV screen, especially when he gets such a fun/meaty role like Lyle…Am I the only one who imagines a Beautiful Mind-esque wall in the Pretty Little Liars writer's room so they can keep track of all the plot threads and how they intersect?... I very much enjoyed the premiere of NBC's Food Fighters last night; the premise is simple (home cooks against pros), the prize money big, and the pace is fast. Adam Richman does a good job as host and I like NBC recognizing that with all the cooking competition shows out there, there are a ton of alums that the audience will recognize but who won't break the bank (last night's episode had folks I knew from Food Network Star and Bravo). A fun summer series…I've never been a huge Full House fan but with a little girl who didn't feel well in the middle of the night this week, the value of the reruns is now much more clear…If I wasn't already convinced that Halt and Catch Fire was one of the best drama series on TV - and frankly, I was - this Sunday's episode essentially guaranteed them a spot on my 2014 Year's Best List. The writing and acting is top notch, with the paced, layered storytelling leading to some wonderful revelations. The show also manages to be both unpredictable and fully authentic in terms of its characters actions, a very tough combination to pull off. "I'm going with you" really caught me off guard and brought genuine tears to my eyes. A truly great show…When I first saw John Pyper-Ferguson on Brothers & Sisters, I certainly didn't think of him as a tough guy/action series type, but in the years since his resume includes Alphas, Burn Notice, and now The Last Ship, and he's totally believable. Pyper-Ferguson is now one of my favorite TV character actors and I'd love to see him get a series lead…If ever MasterChef was going to surprise with a double elimination, this would have been the week for it as there were clearly two people who no longer belonged there. Alas, they eliminated one, likely saving the other in the hopes of a big/splashy blowup down the line they can hype the hell out of. And from the Beating A Dead Horse department, I still feel like there are people I don't know and overall this is the least emotionally invested I have been in the show, and of course I blame that on the lack of audition rounds!...Last night was easily the best Food Network Star episode of the year - and I promise I won't bring up that once again only two of the three judges were there - with one of the two team presentations going so badly that the judges panel was fabulously entertaining in their befuddlement. Alton Brown's facial expressions during Emma's team presentation are going to make him tough to beat as TV MVP this week. If you add in his gentle comment to Luca to try to combat his nerves, you end up with the best reality show judge performance since Harry Connick Jr during Idol's audition rounds in January. The other key developments were one of the remaining finalists stepping up their game in a way they hadn't yet all season and another having a (fatal?) flaw in their game exposed in a big way. Another way I know this was a great episode is I came away from it very hungry and wanting to book a trip to Vegas…

TV Pick Of The Week
This has already been a strong summer for new drama series, with Halt and Catch Fire, Murder in the First, and The Divide standing out in particular, and now WGN America's Manhattan joins the party, a well-acted, well written period piece that is well worth your time.

Don't miss the series premiere of Manhattan, Sunday at 9pm on WGN America.

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

*The Scooby Doo Wrestlemania Mystery makes its TV debut this Saturday at 6pm on Cartoon Network…

*NBC is going all in this summer, with yet another new series premiering on Monday, this one a celebrity reality series; Running Wild with Bear Grylis airs at 8pm…

*A high quality summer of new drama series continues with El Rey's Matador (Tuesday, 9pm)…

*Penn & Teller: Fool Us (Wednesday, 9pm, The CW) looks like a fun way to spend an hour…

*I know you've all got this marked in your calendars already but just in case you missed it, Sharknado 2: The Second One premieres Wednesday at 9pm…

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, The Divide, Face Off, Falling Skies, Family Guy, Fargo, Flipping Out, Food Court Wars, Food Network Challenge, Food Network Star, The Fosters, Frankenfood, 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 and 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, Satisfaction, 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, You're The Worst,

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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