Thursday, December 15, 2016

Pilot Review: Star


Star (Wednesdays at 9:00 on Fox, Beginning January 4)

ABC has Shonda Rhimes. NBC has Dick Wolf. CBS has Chuck Lorre. The CW has Greg Berlanti. Now Fox has Lee Daniels, the latest talent to be tapped for branding on the network following the monster success of Empire. Unfortunately for Fox, the Daniels brand is already starting to sour; Star isn't nearly as successful in this subsequent attempt to capture the passion, energy, and lightning that made Empire must see TV in its first season.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

2016-2017 Midseason Schedule: CBS

UPDATED DECEMBER 15

Monday

8:00 - Kevin Can Wait
8:30 - Man with a Plan
9:00 - 2 Broke Girls
9:00 - Superior Donuts (NEW - Beginning February 6)
9:30 - The Odd Couple
9:30 - 2 Broke Girls (New Timeslot - Beginning February 6)
10:00 - Scorpion

For the time being, the Monday night lineup remains in tact. Both Kevin Can Wait and Man with a Plan received full-season orders, but The Odd Couple, for its third season, did not. With only 13 episodes, it will have aired its entire episode order by the end of January; new comedy Superior Donuts, a late addition made after CBS gave its upfront presentation last May due to a retooling and recasting, will move into the lineup at 9:00 on February 6, following a special premiere after The Big Bang Theory on February 2, with 2 Broke Girls shifting back a half-hour to 9:30. A description of Superior Donuts can be found at the end of this post.

Tuesday

8:00 - NCIS
9:00 - Bull
10:00 - NCIS: New Orleans

With Bull's full-season order, the Tuesday night lineup will also remain the same.

Wednesday

8:00 - Undercover Boss (New Timeslot - Beginning December 21)
8:00 - Hunted (NEW - Beginning January 25)
8:00 - Survivor (Beginning March 8)
9:00 - Criminal Minds
10:00 - Code Black
10:00 - Doubt (NEW - Beginning February 15)

Old faithful Undercover Boss returns for a short season at the holidays with a two-hour premiere on December 21, before seguing into the new reality competition Hunted, which is basically the most epic game of manhunt ever. It will premiere after the AFC Championship game on Sunday, January 22 before moving to Wednesdays later that week. Survivor reclaims its timeslot a few weeks later than usual with a double-episode premiere on March 8. Code Black, which has only a 16-episode order for its second year, will vacate the schedule early to make way for the new Katherine Heigl legal drama, Doubt. Criminal Minds stays put amidst the chaos.

Thursday

8:00 - The Big Bang Theory
8:30 - The Great Indoors
9:00 - Mom
9:30 - Life in Pieces
10:00 - Pure Genius
10:00 - Training Day (NEW - Beginning February 2)

New drama Pure Genius is the only fall CBS series which did not receive an order for any additional episodes, so it will wrap its 13-episode run early, making way for Training Day, the latest film-to-TV adaptation, this one based on the Oscar-winning Denzel Washington film.

Friday

8:00 - MacGyver
8:00 - The Amazing Race (Beginning April 21)
9:00 - Hawaii Five-0
10:00 - Blue Bloods

While MacGyver has had a large drop-off from its great premiere, it has definitely reinvigorated CBS's Friday nights. Hawaii Five-0 is up over last year thanks to the compatibility and extra eyes on the newbie, and Blue Bloods is all the stronger for it as well. But CBS returns to its same schedule from last year for the season's final weeks when The Amazing Race debuts with a two-hour episode on April 21. It will air most of its season in the summer, which is where it may always end up airing in future seasons if it does well this time around.

Sunday

8:00 - NCIS: Los Angeles
9:00 - Madam Secretary
10:00 - Elementary

Once February rolls around, CBS will no longer have to worry about football pre-emptions on Sunday nights, so we'll finally get to see just how this lineup is really doing. Elementary especially has a lot of ground to cover if it hopes to survive to next season.

Also of note, CBS announced it will be airing the Canadian co-production Ransom, "a crime drama about a world-renowned crisis and hostage negotiator whose team is brought in to resolve the most difficult kidnap and ransom cases" starring Luke Roberts and Sarah Greene, on Saturday nights at 8:00. It's an odd move when the show could have simply been saved for summer, but I suppose it's low-risk (and low-cost) enough to try something like this. Ransom premieres on January 1 before moving to Saturdays on the 7th.

Still unscheduled is the return of Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.

Superior Donuts follows the relationship between the gruff owner (Judd Hirsch) of a small donut shop, his enterprising young employee (Jermaine Fowler), and their loyal patrons, in a quickly gentrifying Chicago neighborhood. Based on the play by Tracy Letts, the comedy also stars David Koechner, Maz Jobrani, Anna Baryshnikov, Darien Sillis-Evans, Rell Battle, and Katey Segal.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Midseason Schedule 2016-2017: ABC

UPDATED JANUARY 10

Monday

8:00 - The Bachelor (Beginning January 2)
10:00 - Big Fan (NEW - Beginning January 9)
10:00 - Quantico (New Timeslot - Beginning January 23)

 Quantico, which is averaging almost exactly the same ratings as Conviction (0.78 vs 0.75, respectively), will swap timeslots with the new drama in late January. I doubt this lateral move is to benefit the ABC sophomore, but perhaps a small attempt at restrengthening Sundays. It's preceded by back-to-back episodes of the new Andy Richter-hosted game show Big Fan for two weeks. After The Great Christmas Light Fight airs on Mondays in December, The Bachelor returns to its usual timeslot before Dancing with the Stars premieres its 24th cycle in the spring (exact scheduling is still TBA).

Tuesday

8:00 - The Middle
8:30 - American Housewife
9:00 - Fresh Off the Boat
9:30 - The Real O'Neals
9:30 - Imaginary Mary (NEW - Beginning April 4)
10:00 - Marvel's Agents of SHIELD

For the foreseeable future, the Tuesday lineup remains unchanged. American Housewife received a full season order for its freshman run, and The Real O'Neals received an additional 3 episodes for its second season. It ends in March to make way for Imaginary Mary, which had its episode order reduced from 13 to 9 episodes back in September, following a sneak preview on Wednesday, March 29.


Wednesday

8:00 - The Goldbergs
8:30 - Speechless
9:00 - Modern Familiy
9:30 - black-ish
10:00 - Match Game (New Timeslot - Beginning January 4)
10:00 - Designated Survivor (Beginning March 8)

Match Game, which had a successful revival this past summer, will air in Designated Survivor's timeslot while the freshman drama is on winter hiatus. The comedies return the first week in January.

Thursday

8:00 - Grey's Anatomy
9:00 - Scandal
10:00 - How to Get Away with Murder
10:00 - The Catch (Beginning March 9)

After The Great American Baking Show airs over the holiday season (beginning December 1), the full TGIT lineup returns on January 26 with Scandal's sixth season premiere. How to Get Away with Murder will finish its third season in February, making way for the second season of The Catch in March, sticking with the all-Shondaland theme from last spring.

Friday

8:00 - Last Man Standing
8:00 - The Toy Box (NEW - Beginning April 7)
8:30 - Dr. Ken
9:00 - Shark Tank
10:00 - 20/20

The Friday night lineup will remain unchanged through March. The Toy Box, a new reality competition series hosted by Eric Stonestreet which will search for the next great toy idea, premieres in April.


Sunday

8:00 - To Tell the Truth (New Timeslot - Beginning January 1)
8:00 - Once Upon a Time (Beginning March 5)
9:00 - Time After Time (NEW - Beginning March 5)
10:00 - Conviction (New Timeslot - Beginning January 1)
10:00 - American Crime (New Timeslot - Beginning March 12)

While Once Upon a Time is on hiatus and after Secrets & Lies wraps its second season, another successful game show revival, To Tell the Truth, returns to the ABC schedule in two-hour blocks through the winter. Conviction gets a brutal burn-off treatment for its final few episodes, airing against the Golden Globes and championship football games.Once returns after the Oscars, leading into the new time travel drama Time After Time, which will have a two-hour premiere on March 5, and then the third season of American Crime.

In a special event scheduling the 8-episode miniseries When We Rise will air in two-hour blocks on subsequent nights beginning Monday, February 27 and wrapping up on Thursday, March 2. Still unscheduled are new drama Still Star-Crossed, which is expected to undergo a title change and debut either in summer or next season; and new sitcom Downward Dog, which is similarly expected to premiere over the summer. The network's remake of Dirty Dancing, starring Abigail Breslin and Debra Messing, will air on the last night of the broadcast season, Wednesday, May 24.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Midseason Schedule 2016-2017: NBC

UPDATED DECEMBER 8

Monday

8:00 - The New Celebrity Apprentice (Beginning January 2)
8:00 - The Voice (Beginning February 27)
10:00 - Timeless
10:00 - Taken (NEW - Beginning February 27)

While The Voice takes its typical winter break, The Celebrity Apprentice finally returns after taking a year off, and with a new host: Arnold Schwarzenegger. It will air in two-hour blocks through January and February. Timeless, which received an order for three additional episodes, will air the remainder of its first season at the same time. Taken, the new prequel series to the Liam Neeson film franchise, will assume the timeslot for the rest of the season.

Tuesday

8:00 - The Wall (NEW - Beginning January 3)
8:00 - The Voice (Beginning February 28)
9:00 - This Is Us
9:00 - Trial & Error (NEW - Beginning March 14)
9:00 - Great News (NEW - Beginning April 25)
10:00 - Chicago Fire

The new game show The Wall, hosted by @midnight's Chris Hardwick and produced by Lebron James, will bridge cycles of The Voice at 8:00. It will get two special airings before its official timeslot premiere: Monday, December 19 at 10:00 and Monday, January 2 at 10:00. When breakout hit This Is Us completes its first season of 18 episodes, the network will double-pump new comedies in the 9:00 hour. First up is Trial & Error, which will premiere on March 7 at 9:30 (following a 90-minute episode of The Voice) before airing back-to-back episodes for the next six weeks. Then the Tina Fey-produced Great News takes over in late April (not a great sign for the newbie) to air back-to-back episodes at the tail-end of the season.

Wednesday

8:00 - Blindspot
9:00 - Law & Order: SVU
10:00 - Chicago P.D.

The Wednesday night lineup remains unchanged.

Thursday

8:00 - Superstore
8:30 - The Good Place
8:30 - Powerless (NEW - Beginning February 2)
9:00 - Chicago Med
10:00 - The Blacklist
10:00 - The Blacklist: Redemption (NEW - Beginning February 23)

The fall lineup returns on January 5, upon the conclusion of NBC's contracted NFL games. The Good Place only has four episodes left to air, so the new DC comics workplace comedy Powerless pairs with Superstore beginning in February. Later in the month, the spin-of The Blacklist: Redemption takes over its parent series' timeslot for eight weeks; The Blacklist returns on April 20.

Friday

8:00 - Grimm (New Timeslot - Beginning January 6)
9:00 - Emerald City (NEW - Beginning January 6)
10:00 - Dateline NBC (New Timeslot - Beginning January 6)

Grimm airs its final, shortened season an hour earlier than last season so that it may serve as a lead-in for the limited series Emerald City. Dateline NBC shifts back to 10:00 and is reduced to only one hour, down from two in the fall.

Sunday

8:00 - Little Big Shots (Beginning March 5)
9:00 - Chicago Justice (NEW - Beginning March 5)
10:00 - Shades of Blue (New Timeslot - Beginning March 5)

NBC has the Golden Globes on January 8, and there's a lot of specialty programming on Sundays throughout January and February (NFL, Academy Awards, etc), so their new lineup will debut the first Sunday in March. Surprisingly, it's the same one announced at upfronts in May: the return of last year's surprise hit, Little Big Shots; the premiere of the newest Chicago branch, Chicago Justice; and the new home of the Jennifer Lopez drama, Shades of Blue.

Still unscheduled are new drama Midnight, Texas; new multicam sitcom Marlon; and new alternative series First Dates, Law & Order: True Crime, and Little Big Shots: Forever Young. Returning shows still awaiting scheduling include Hollywood Game Night and The Carmichael Show.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Midseason Schedule 2016-2017: The CW

Monday

8:00 - Supergirl
9:00 - Jane the Virgin

Mondays remain unchanged. Supergirl dropped quite a bit from its numbers on CBS, but it's doing much better than anything else The CW has aired in the slot for years.

Tuesday

8:00 - The Flash
9:00 - Legends of Tomorrow (New Timeslot - Beginning January 24)
9:00 - iZombie (Beginning April 4)

With the failure of freshman No Tomorrow to capitalize on its big lead-in from The Flash, and with Supernatural doing surprisingly great numbers on Thursday, Legends of Tomorrow shifts to the Tuesday line-up to finish out its second season. It is replaced by iZombie in April, moving into the same timeslot it occupied last year. It will receive a two-hour premiere on April 4.

Wednesday

8:00 - Arrow
9:00 - The 100 (New Timeslot - Beginning February 1)

Frequency finishes its first season, which, like No Tomorrow, didn't do very well, to make room for The 100. The sci-fi show aired its first two seasons in this slot before shifting to Thursdays last year; it returns home in February.

Thursday

8:00 - Supernatural (New Timeslot - Beginning January 26)
9:00 - Riverdale (NEW - Beginning January 26)

Proving itself to once again be the network's ultimate utility player, Supernatural moves up an hour on Thursdays to lead into the only new show on The CW's midseason schedule, the Archie comics update Riverdale.

Friday

8:00 - The Vampire Diaries
8:00 - The Originals (New Timeslot - Beginning March 17)
9:00 - Reign (New Timeslot - Beginning February 10)

The Vampire Diaries rides off into the sunset in March, and its spin-off assumes the time period thereafter. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend will wrap its abbreviated second season in early February before being replaced by the fourth season of Reign, which moves back an hour from where it aired last season.

Like last year, the network's line-up is relatively stable. The move for Legends of Tomorrow does confuse me a bit, as The Flash is the biggest lead-in The CW could provide for its sole new show, Riverdale, but it's being put on Thursdays instead. I suppose No Tomorrow proved that a big lead-in doesn't always mean anything, but I think it would have also been smart to try iZombie somewhere else on the schedule, to see if its capable of standing on its own. Expectations for Riverdale, however, will likely be lower after Supernatural than if it had aired after The Flash, so maybe it's a good thing.

Also, decisions about the futures of No Tomorrow and Frequency have not been made, beyond the network declining to order additional episodes for their respective first seasons; second season orders will depend on the midseason results for the rest of the network's line-up.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Midseason Schedule 2016-2017: Fox

UPDATED JANUARY 11

Monday

8:00 - 24: Legacy (NEW - Beginning February 6)
8:00 - Gotham (Beginning April 17)
9:00 - APB (NEW - Beginning February 6)
9:00 - Lucifer (Beginning April 24)

Gotham and Lucifer both have full-season orders, but they go on extended hiatus following their January 30th airings. 24: Legacy will get a special premiere after the Super Bowl on February 5, with the series continuing with a new episode the following night leading into the premiere of APB. Both new shows end their runs in April, when Gotham and Lucifer return; their seasons seem likely to extend into summer.

Tuesday

8:00 - New Girl (Beginning January 3)
8:00 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine (New Timeslot - Beginning April 11)
8:30 - The Mick (NEW - Beginning January 3)
9:00 - Bones (New Timeslot - Beginning January 3)
9:00 - Prison Break (NEW - Beginning April 4)

The Mick will premiere on New Year's Day following a football double header, with its timeslot premiere following on Tuesday. Also on New Year's Day, Brooklyn Nine-Nine will air a one-hour winter finale before going on hiatus, and it will return to replace New Girl in April. Bones joins the night for its final, 12-episode season before the reboot/extension of Prison Break makes its long-delayed premiere on April 4.

Wednesday

8:00 - Lethal Weapon (Beginning January 4)
8:00 - Shots Fired (NEW - Beginning March 22)
9:00 - Star (NEW - Beginning January 4)
9:00 - Empire (Beginning March 22)

Lethal Weapon was the only Fox freshman to receive a back order, and it will have to fly without the halo effect of airing before Empire beginning in January. Star will air its first episode on December 14, after the Empire fall finale, before assuming the 9:00 slot for the rest of its run. Both shows end their runs on March 15, with Empire returning the following week and Shots Fired premiering alongside it.

Thursday

8:00 - Hell's Kitchen (New Timeslot - Beginning January 5)
8:00 - Masterchef Junior (New Timeslot - Beginning February 9)
9:00 - My Kitchen Rules (NEW - Beginning January 12)
9:00 - Kicking & Screaming (NEW - Beginning March 9)

After a rocky go of it this fall, Fox will abandon scripted programming on Thursday nights. The new competition cooking series My Kitchen Rules will replace struggling drama Pitch, which airs its season finale on December 8, in January. Hell's Kitchen moves from Fridays to Thursdays to finish its season, followed by the season premiere of Masterchef Junior in early February. Once Kitchen finishes its run, it's replaced by yet another new reality series, Kicking & Screaming.

Friday

8:00 - Rosewood (New Timeslot - Beginning January 6)
9:00 - Sleepy Hollow (Beginning January 6)

After completely collapsing on Thursdays without Empire to prop it up, Rosewood gets banished to Fridays in a time swap with Hell's Kitchen. It will lead into the new season of Sleepy Hollow, which replaces The Exorcist following its season finale on December 16.

Sunday

7:30 - Bob's Burgers (Beginning March 5)
8:00 - The Simpsons
8:30 - Son of Zorn
8:30 - Making History (NEW - Beginning March 5)
9:00 - Family Guy
9:30 - Bob's Burgers (New Timeslot - Beginning January 8)
9:30 - The Last Man on Earth (Beginning March 5)

The Sunday night lineup will be slightly tweaked for a few weeks as Bob's Burgers moves behind Family Guys through February 19, which is also when Son of Zorn's season finale airs. New comedy Making History will assume the empty timeslot on March 5, with Bob's Burgers moving back to 7:30 and The Last Man on Earth returning to finish its third season the same night.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

State of the Union: Fall 2016

ABC

Full Season Ordered: American Housewife, Designated Survivor, Speechless

Canceled: Notorious*

No Further Episodes Ordered: Conviction*

*The episode order for Notorious was cut from 13 to 10 episodes, effectively canceling the series, though all episodes are scheduled to air. Conviction will not receive further episodes, effectively canceling it, but ABC plans to air all 13 that were produced.

CBS

Full Season Ordered: Bull, The Great Indoors, Kevin Can Wait, MacGyver, Man with a Plan*

No Further Episodes Ordered: Pure Genius*

*Both The Great Indoors and Man with a Plan received 6 additional episodes, for first-season runs of 19 episodes. Pure Genius will end its first season at 13 episodes, effectively canceling it.

The CW

No Further Episodes Ordered: Frequency, No Tomorrow


Fox

Full Season Ordered: Lethal Weapon

No Further Episodes Ordered: The Exorcist, Pitch

*Son of Zorn was designed to be 13 episodes only, due to the lengthy production process of its animated/live-action hybrid format.

NBC

Full Season Ordered: This Is Us, Timeless*

*Timeless received an order for an additional 3 episodes, bringing its first season to 16 episodes. This Is Us's first season will have a total of 18 episodes. The first season of The Good Place was designed (per actor contracts) to be only 13 episodes.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Pilot Reviews: No Tomorrow & Frequency


Back in May, The CW had very few changes to make to its primetime schedule. Their roster of shows is steady in the ratings, with The Flash often out-rating the Big Four, and even their lesser-viewed shows were huge critical successes; Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, for example, became the network's second show in a row to pick up the Golden Globe for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and then won a pair of Emmys last month for its editing and choreography, the first for any show on The CW. With the acquisition of Supergirl from sister network CBS, The CW had very few holes to plug. But not ones to rest on their laurels, the net has debuted two new shows this fall: the apocalyptic romantic comedy No Tomorrow and time-travel cop drama Frequency, neither of which, unfortunately, come close to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Jane the Virgin, or the DC shows.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Pilot Review: Conviction

Conviction (Mondays at 10:00 on ABC)

As I was watching the premiere of Conviction last night, there was one nagging question I couldn't get out of my head. No, it wasn't the question of who committed the crime on screen, or if the convicted murderer was truly guilty. The question I couldn't stop thinking about was how a show with a cast full of such likable actors could be such a chore to sit through.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Pilot Review: Lethan Weapon & The Exorcist


Fox had two small-screen takes on big-screen hits debut this past week, continuing a trend on television we've seen for the past few years (following Limitless, Damien, Bates Motel, Fargo, Minority Report, and a slew of others). Lethal Weapon and The Exorcist each demonstrate the weaknesses and strengths that can be found in mining films for television gold.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Pilot Review: Pitch


Pitch (Thursdays at 9:00 on Fox)

As much as I dislike sports, particularly baseball, I realized halfway through watching the pilot of Fox's Pitch that many of my favorite movies revolve around sports... particularly baseball. I adore Field of Dreams, Fever Pitch, and Bull Durham, and I can quote every single solitary line in A League of Their Own. So acknowledging my affinity for baseball dramas, I actually liked Pitch more than I thought I would when Fox added it to the fall schedule.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Pilot Review: Bull


Bull (Tuesdays at 9:00 on CBS)

You have to love when a show announces its own quality right in the title. Bull is full of itself, in all senses of the phrase.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Pilot Review: Speechless


Speechless (Wednesdays at 8:30 on ABC; Premieres September 21)

Speechless is the type of show where you are immediately going to have an opinion about it before you know anything more than its logline: "A disabled teenager and his family move into a new neighborhood so he can attend a better school." You'll either think this is a show missing from the television landscape, portraying the struggles of disabled people and those supporting them. Or you'll think it's an eye-rolling downer made to appease the PC police. Either way, Speechless is here to prove you wrong.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Pilot Review: The Good Place


The Good Place (Thursdays at 8:30 on NBC)

NBC has really had a rough go of it in the comedy department of late. With the end of Parks & Recreation in the 2014-2015 season, they were left with only one returning sitcom last year, the low-rated Undateable. It was moved to Friday nights for live episodes, paired with the only new comedy NBC premiered in the fall, the swiftly canceled Truth Be Told. The winter months followed with the premieres of Superstore, a surprise success, and Telenovela, a surprising failure. Now NBC finds itself in much the same situation, with only Superstore returning to the fall schedule from last season and The Good Place being the only new comedy coming before midseason. It should help that the latter is a huge step up in quality from Truth Be Told, and its quirky, witty characters should match well with the ones on Superstore.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Pilot Review: Kevin Can Wait


Kevin Can Wait (Mondays at 8:30 on CBS)

For some reason, Kevin James is one of the most popular comics in America. His stand-up sells out venues across the country; his films, which consist almost entirely of goofy family fare like Paul Blart: Mall Cop, rake in piles of money, even when critics rip them apart; and his former CBS sitcom The King of Queens ran for 9 seasons and still airs daily in syndication on multiple networks. He's our favorite, safe comedian: an unassuming, overweight New Yorker who doesn't rely on vulgarity to create humor. He also has a tendency to produce some awfully stupid material, and Kevin Can Wait is the latest.