Monday, January 25, 2016

Pilot Review: Lucifer

Lucifer (Mondays at 9:00 on Fox; Premieres January 25)

It's a good thing Lucifer has the rebooted X Files miniseries as its lead-in, because this show is going to need all the help it can get to overcome its mediocrity. It's lazy and obvious at every turn, beginning with Cage the Elephant's "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" and a close-up of a vanity license plate reading FALLIN1. Lucifer's first introduction to the audience is through his bribery of a police officer (because he's a bad ass, you see), and everything from there on out is just as expected and unoriginal as you could possibly imagine.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Pilot Review: Second Chance

Second Chance (Wednesdays at 9:00 on Fox; Premieres January 13)

With a generic title like Second Chance (formerly The Frankenstein Code and Lookinglass, both of which are much better options), you know you're likely not going to get something groundbreaking. Consider the dialogue which kicks the show off (in voiceover, obviously, because every single series needs a voiceover nowadays): "What would you do with a second chance? Before you answer, let me give you some advice: second chances can be a real monster." Not exactly the most interesting way to start a pilot, and things don't get much better from there.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Pilot Review: Shades of Blue

Shades of Blue (Thursdays at 10:00 on NBC)

NBC is betting the horse on Jennifer Lopez. She's a good one to bet on, considering her ability to open terrible movies to big bucks at the box office (The Boy Next Door, most recently). But is Shades of Blue the best vehicle for the Latina superstar? Not necessarily, no.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Pilot Review: Bordertown

Bordertown (Sundays at 9:30 on Fox)

It's been five years since Fox successfully introduced a new animated comedy to its lineup, when Bob's Burgers joined the Animation Domination family. Since then, Fox has let go of two long-running animated shows (both by Bordertown executive producer Seth MacFarlane: The Cleveland Show and American Dad!) and introduced three failed newcomers (Allen Gregory, Napoleon Dynamite, and Golan the Insatiable). Bordertown is the best attempt at capturing the magic of stalwarts The Simpsons and Family Guy, but it's not as good or as clever as either of those shows.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Pilot Review: Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life

This poster tells you everything you need to know about the new Fox series' brand of humor.
Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life (Sundays at 8:30 on Fox; Premieres January 3)

Have you missed the bro humor of Entourage since it went off the air? Hankering for a watered-down, network TV version of The Hangover, complete with one of the trilogy's stars? Been wishing for another ridiculously tongue-tangling long titled sitcom after Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23 ended a few years back? Well, Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life is here to fill those voids for you without providing much of anything else.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Midseason Schedule: NBC

UPDATED JANUARY 22 with additional Sunday, Wednesday & Thursday scheduling

NBC has yet to firm up many of its midseason plans, including what will air on Sunday nights when the NFL season ends. But plans are in place for January, at least, with more to come soon.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Midseason Schedule: CBS


With all of its freshmen series now picked up for full seasons (short ones or otherwise), CBS had few changes to make to its midseason schedule. As usual, they're more about filling gaps than making moves.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Midseason Schedule: The CW

Mark Pedowitz continues to make big moves as the CW head, choosing to bench low-rated Reign and moving veteran The Vampire Diaries and companion/spin-off The Originals to a whole new night. Click through to find out when.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Midseason Schedule: ABC

ABC has had both a good fall (Quantico improving on Revenge's timeslot numbers; The Muppets debuting big; Shark Tank continuing to win Fridays, despite increased competition) and a bad fall (Wicked City being the only show on any network pulled prematurely from the schedule; The Muppets falling hard after a big premiere; Blood & Oil disappointing and having its order cut short). With the announcement of their midseason schedule, they're hoping for more of the former and less of the latter.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Midseason Schedule: Fox

Fox is making some major midseason changes, thanks in part to the total failure of freshman Minority Report and once-great-but-greatly-fallen Sleepy Hollow. They'll debut two new comedies and three new dramas, including the limited-run revival of The X-Files, while sidelining The Last Man on Earth and Bones.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Pilot Review: Wicked City

Wicked City (Tuesdays at 10:00 on ABC)

The latest in a long line of serialized cop shows is more jarring than most that have come before it, but not for the reason you'd expect. ABC's Wicked City isn't gorier or grittier or gloomier than its predecessors. It's not more graphic or more gruesome. Wicked City is jarring because it's relatively tame in comparison to the shows it tries to emulate, like True Detective, Bosch, The Killing, and The Bridge, sometimes to its own detriment.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Pilot Review: Supergirl

Supergirl (Mondays at 8:00 on CBS; Premieres October 26)

It can be hard to separate the show Supergirl is from the show Supergirl represents, but luckily both are more positive than negative. It's heavy with cultural significance, and not just because it represents a new kind of show for its network, the traditionally old-skewing CBS. No, Supergirl is arriving at a moment when our popular culture is inundated with superheroes, from the small screen to the big screen and everywhere in between. The catch? The heroes are almost exclusively male, despite a growing trend of female viewers and consumers. So Supergirl has a lot on her shoulders, being the only live-action female superhero to currently carry her own brand. More than just a move toward the future for CBS, Supergirl is a step forward for all heroic adaptations with a clear message: Girls can kick ass too, and quality doesn't have to suffer for it.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Pilot Review: Truth Be Told

Truth Be Told (Fridays at 8:30 on NBC)

Truth Be Told would have been a really edgy comedy in the 1980s, when TV's most successful sitcoms were The Cosby Show, Who's the Boss, Family Ties, and The Facts of Life. But in a television landscape that has recently tackled issues of race, gender, sexuality, and the political intersection of all these cocnepts to great success (black-ish, Fresh Off the Boat, Modern Family, Jane the Virgin), Truth Be Told feels forced and dated.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

State of the Union: Fall 2015

The networks have started making moves three weeks into the new season. This list will be updated continuously as new shows receive script orders, episode orders, or cancellation notices. * Updated December 11 (NBC)

Unless otherwise noted, full season orders are for an additional 9 episodes, bringing the season total to 22 episodes. Additionally, script orders do not always guarantee an order for more episodes. They are a way for networks to gauge the direction a show will take beyond the episodes originally ordered into production.


Full Season Ordered: Dr. Ken, The Muppets, Quantico

Canceled: Blood & Oil, Wicked City

*The back order for The Muppets is for 3 episodes, bringing its season total to 16 episodes.

Also of note, ABC ordered an additional 9 episodes of comedy Fresh Off the Boat, bringing its second season total to 22 episodes.


Full Season Ordered: Code Black*, Life in Pieces, Limitless, Supergirl

* Code Black received a backorder of 5 episodes, bringing its season total to 18 episodes. Supergirl received a backorder of 7 episodes, bringing its season total to 20 episodes.

The CW

Full Season Ordered: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend*

* Crazy Ex-Girlfriend received a backorder of 5 episodes, bringing its season total to 18 episodes. Additionally, sophomore iZombie received an order for 6 more episodes, bringing its season total to 19 episodes.


Full Season Ordered: Grandfathered, The Grinder, Rosewood

Canceled: Minority Report

Midseason drama Second Chance (formerly Lookinglass & The Frankenstein Code) has had its episode order reduced from 13 to 11 episodes.


Full Season Ordered: Blindspot, Chicago Med*

Canceled: Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris, The Player, Truth Be Told

*Chicago Med received a backorder of 5 episodes, bringing its season total to 18 episodes.

Also of note, NBC cut the episode orders for two midseason comedies: Telenovela and Superstore will each be 10 episodes now rather than 13. Back in August, they also canceled the planned midseason reboot of Coach after shooting just a pilot. Additionally, sophomore drama The Mysteries of Laura received an order for 3 more episodes, bringing its season total to 16.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Pilot Review: Code Black

I always think that it must be so hard to be original on broadcast television whenever I watch a show like Code Black. It must be nearly impossible to come up with a new idea, a new way of saying something familiar, or a new way of presenting old tropes and stories, especially when there's clearly an audience for these tried-and-true procedural shows. And it seems even more difficult considering how middling and undistinguished most of these shows turn out to be.