Monday, August 25, 2014

2014 Emmy Predictions

The Emmys are, more so than any other awards show, notoriously difficult to predict. There are always out-of-left-field nominees and winners (see: Jeff Daniels' win last year for The Newsroom), so these predictions are more for fun than anything else.

Miniseries and Television Movie

Writing, Movie/Miniseries: Larry Kramer, The Normal Heart
Directing, Movie/Miniseries: Adam Bernstein, Fargo
Supporting Actress, Movie/Miniseries: Allison Tolman, Fargo
Supporting Actor, Movie/Miniseries: Matt Bomer, The Normal Heart
Lead Actress, Movie/Miniseries: Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful
Lead Actor, Movie/Miniseries: Billy Bob Thornton, Fargo
Television Movie: The Normal Heart
Miniseries: Fargo

These categories will likely flip-flop between The Normal Heart and Fargo throughout. Lead Actor is a horse race between Thornton and Mark Ruffalo, and so is Supporting Actress between Folman and Julia Roberts. I wouldn't be surprised if, in any category above, the other of Fargo or The Normal Heart wins (or if Jessica Lange manages to eke out a win for being the only thing about American Horror Story: Coven that was good in every episode).

Comedy

Writing: Louis C.K., Louie ("So Did the Fat Lady")
Directing: Jodie Foster, Orange is the New Black ("Lesbian Request Denied")
Supporting Actress: Allison Janney, Mom
Supporting Actor: Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Lead Actress: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Lead Actor: Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Comedy Series: Orange is the New Black

I sincerely hope this is the year Modern Family's reign ends, and it seems it will be likely with Orange is the New Black becoming a cultural phenomenon; the only thing working against it is the fact that it's competing as a comedy rather than as a drama. Allison Janney already won an Emmy last week at the Creative Arts ceremony for her guest spot on Masters of Sex, but I don't think that will stop her from taking home another (this time in a comedy category) for her scene-stealing role on CBS's underrated rising sophomore Mom. I've also predicted a win for another new comedy series with Andre Braugher in Fox's Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the most consistently funny thing about the sometimes-uneven show; but Veep's Tony Hale could just as easily take home a second Emmy for his brilliant work on the HBO show. All in all, though, this could shake out to be a big year for the comedy categories, with a lot of strong new contenders to take away the aging Modern Family's thunder.

Drama

Writing: Moira Walley-Beckett, Breaking Bad ("Ozymandias")
Directing: Cary Joji Fukunaga, True Detective ("Who Goes There")
Supporting Actress: Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Supporting Actor: Josh Charles, The Good Wife
Lead Actress: Robin Wright, House of Cards
Lead Actor: Matthew McConaughey, True Detective
Drama Series: Breaking Bad 

I think Breaking Bad will take away one final Emmy for Drama Series, but this was a strong year all around for other dramas, so I don't see it sweeping again. Of course, that could always happen considering this will be the last chance the Academy gets to honor the show... so seeing Aaron Paul and/or Bryan Cranston walk away with yet another (final) win under the belts wouldn't shock me. I predicted Josh Charles' win using the same logic: he played a beloved character on The Good Wife and was dispatched of in a shocking manner that everyone in the country, even those who don't watch the show, were talking about the next day; he's also been nominated once before for this role but didn't win, so this could be the chance to reward his work. But Aaron Paul is a critical and audience favorite for his Breaking Bad character, so a third win for his role as Jesse Pinkman is just as likely. The only sure thing in these categories seems to be a win for True Detective in Best Directing for a gem of an episode containing an eight-minute, tension-filled long take.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Pilot Review: Finding Carter

Finding Carter (Tuesdays at 10:00 on MTV)

Finding Carter is a bit of a strange fit at MTV, home to quirky teen comedies (Faking It, Awkward., etc) and Teen Wolf, not to mention the plethora of ridiculous reality shows that have little-to-nothing to do with the channel's musical roots. It's the kind of show that would better fit into the melodramatic teen angst on ABC Family, if it weren't for the adult edge and slightly more mature tone it's got going. As it stands, Finding Carter lives up to its own name in its pilot: much like the crisis of not fitting on its own network, the new young adult drama struggles to find a consistent tone and balance of too many characters.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Brief Reviews: Power, Murder in the First, Dominion

I don't have much to say about the first round of new summer programming: some of it is fun, some of it is downright terrible, and none of it is good enough for me to care very much about it.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Pilot Review: Halt and Catch Fire

Halt and Catch Fire (Sundays at 10:00 on AMC; Premieres June 1)

I'm hard pressed to think of something I'd rather watch a show about less than someone programming and reverse engineering a computer. And despite some stylish direction in the engineering sequence, Halt and Catch Fire can't make this concept interesting. It's a well-acted and directed show, but it's just hard to care about something so esoteric.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Top 10 Singles By Drag Race Contestants


Many former Drag Racers have tried their hand at music in an attempt to claim the legacy of RuPaul's Drag Race's namesake. When RuPaul exploded onto the scene in the 1990s, it was a kind of kismet that hasn't been seen since. Her single "Supermodel (You Better Work)" was an unexpected hit, both in clubs and on the Billboard Hot 100, where it climbed to #45 and went Gold. The success of RuPaul's first album, Supermodel of the World, was a surprise to just about everyone, including Rupaul herself: it spawned two other #1 Club/Dance Play singles, peaked on the Billboard 200, and led to the public's growing awareness of underground drag culture. From that album, RuPaul then appeared in films, television shows, and even her own VH1 talk show.

Cut to more than twenty years later, and RuPaul is once again at the height of pop culture relevance with Logo's popular competition reality series, RuPaul's Drag Race. Her renewed popularity has resulted in a new lifestyle book, three more albums (the most recent of which, released in February, marked Ru's highest-charting album ever), countless talk show appearances, a fragrance and makeup line, and even a RuPaul candy bar. But the whole point of the show is to expose upcoming queens with the same qualities Ru possesses to the world, all in hopes that they can achieve the kind of crossover success Ru has. So far, few have even come close. Season four's Willam was a television and film regular before he ever appeared on Drag Race, with guest spots on some of the country's biggest TV shows (CSI: NY, Cold Case, Boston Public, etc), and has since found viral success with the YouTube series Willam's Beatdown and several singles. Jinkx Monsoon, season five's winner, has appeared on one of TV's most-watched shows, Blue Bloods, and sold out an off-Broadway run of her original musical, The Vaudevillians. But none have really replicated the unmitigated mainstream success of RuPaul's career.

But in their effort to try, a large number of contestants typically start with releasing music. It only took one song to really put Ru on the map, so these queens usually put all their eggs in one basket and hope for a lightning-in-a-bottle effect. The results are a complete mixed bags, with some absolutely awful songs and some, much fewer, listenable ones. Some, dare I say, are even good. Let's take a look at the more successful Drag Race singles.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

2014 Fall Schedule: The CW

Monday

8:00 - The Originals (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Jane the Virgin (NEW)

I expected The CW to move Supernatural before it moved The Originals, but none of their shows (save for maybe Hart of Dixie, which has proven it is unworthy of any slot but on Fridays) would match well with Jane the Virgin... so why not choose the strongest of this year's freshman class? The Originals proved this year that it can go up against The Voice, though the Monday shows are usually higher rated than the Tuesday shows, so I'll be curious to see how it holds up in this move.

Tuesday

8:00 - The Flash (NEW)
9:00 - Supernatural

The 8:00 timeslot on The CW is typically reserved for either established hits or sure things, so it's no surprise that their strongest pilot takes the slot where The Originals built itself an audience this year. If that show could do as well as it did, I think The Flash will be more than fine, especially with Agents of SHIELD now airing at 9:00.

Wednesday

8:00 - Arrow
9:00 - The 100

I'm surprised The 100 is returning in the fall. Its first season will be airing into June, so it will be a short time between new episodes. I also assumed The CW would want to use Arrow's stronger fall ratings to launch a new show.

Thursday

8:00 - The Vampire Diaries
9:00 - Reign

No changes, which I think is smart. The CW must have finally realized that The Vampire Diaries just can't launch a new show very successfully. Reign has done best in the past few seasons, so best to leave it where it is.

Friday

8:00 - Whose Line Is It Anyway?
8:30 - Whose Line Is It Anyway? - Repeats
9:00 - America's Next Top Model

I don't understand why Whose Line... repeats at 8:30 rather than just being an hour long, but that's nothing new.

Midseason

Reserved for midseason are new dramas iZombie and The Messengers, as well as returning dramas Hart of Dixie and Beauty and the Beast. I expect the latter two will return together on Fridays, with one of the new shows likely replacing The 100.

This is probably the most conservative schedule of the entire week. Three nights (Wednesday-Friday) are left completely intact from last season, when there were some major time shifts and three new shows premiering. But coming off their strongest season in many years (quite a feat considering the erosion most of the other networks are seeing), The CW played it safe this year. I'm just glad they're at the point where that's even a possibility for them.

Click through for full descriptions of The CW's new series.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

2014 Fall Schedule: CBS


Monday

8:00 - The Big Bang Theory (New Timeslot) / 2 Broke Girls
8:30 - Mom (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Scorpion (NEW)
10:00 - NCIS: LA (New Timeslot)

CBS's Monday lineup started to fade this season, thanks largely to two huge 10:00pm failures. Moving The Big Bang Theory for a few weeks while football occupies the Thursday schedule will give a nice boost to sophomore Mom. New drama Scorpion will have to self-start at 9:00, and I'm very interested in seeing how NCIS: LA does without its parent series as a lead-in for the first time when it enters its sixth season this fall. At the very least, it will do better than both Hostages and Intelligence did this past year.

Tuesday

8:00 - NCIS
9:00 - NCIS: New Orleans (NEW)
10:00 - Person of Interest

Unsurprising that CBS would want to give the new NCIS spin-off the mothership as its lead-in.

Wednesday

8:00 - Survivor
9:00 - Criminal Minds
10:00 - Stalker (NEW)

For most of this season, I suspected that CBS would move CSI to Sundays to make room for a new Wednesday drama at 10:00. CSI has been doing fine, but not great; it's no longer the guaranteed timeslot victor each week, and it's been around long enough that it should have an audience that will follow it around the schedule. So CBS gives the new Kevin Williamson procedural the complementary Criminal Minds lead-in. It should do just fine up against the steady-but-not-huge Chicago P.D.

Thursday

8:00 - Thursday Night Football (Sept 11 - Oct 23)

Beginning October 30:

8:00 - The Big Bang Theory
8:30 - The Millers
9:00 - Two and a Half Men
9:30 - The McCarthys (NEW)
10:00 - Elementary

The only thing on this evening I don't agree with is leaving The Millers behind The Big Bang Theory when the Thursday lineup resumes for November sweeps. Putting The McCarthys at 8:30 would have given it a bigger sampling, even though I expect Two and a Half Men to rise in this, its final season. But then The Millers could have been at 9:30, even just to see how it performs without the huge lead-in from Big Bang.

Friday

8:00 - The Amazing Race (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Hawaii Five-0
10:00 - Blue Bloods

I'm kind of shocked that CBS moved The Amazing Race, yet I'm not really. Its ratings are down sharply this year, and moving it to Friday will at least eliminate the frequent late starts for the series and perhaps gain it back some of the audience it lost to family-friendly programming like Once Upon a Time.

Sunday

7:00 - 60 Minutes
8:00 - Madam Secretary (NEW)
9:00 - The Good Wife
10:00 - CSI (New Timeslot)

Putting Madam Secretary at 8:00, though, is just plain silly to me. With all the football delays and overruns in the fall, new viewers will be turned off. I think it's better at 8:00 than at 10:00, since the series seems to be a natural pair with The Good Wife, but I don't see viewers being patient enough to wait around for a show that could start anywhere from 5 to 60 minutes late, as they did this past year.

Midseason

Yet another CSI spin-off, this one subtitled Cyber, will assume CSI's timeslot at 10:00 on Sundays. They also have new drama Battle Creek and returning drama The Mentalist to slot in. On the comedy side, veteran Mike & Molly and newbie The Odd Couple will premiere. Undercover Boss was also held back, and I assume it will air in its usual spot (Fridays at 8:00) in between cycles of The Amazing Race.

There were a lot of moves here. I can see CSI moving around the schedule as needed, if one of the freshman shows fails, so that The Mentalist can rejoin the Sunday lineup. But I'm not convinced some of these will work, particularly Madam Secretary at 8:00 on Sunday and Scorpion at 9:00 on Monday. But we'll see.

Click below for full descriptions of CBS's new series.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

2014 Fall Schedule: ABC

Monday

8:00 - Dancing with the Stars
10:00 - Castle

This is never going to change. I'm convinced the world will end first.

Tuesday

8:00 - Selfie (NEW)
8:30 - Manhattan Love Story (NEW)
9:00 - Marvel's Agents of SHIELD (New Timeslot)
10:00 - Forever (NEW)

Dear ABC: This didn't work for you last season, so why are you doing it again? You need an established show to put on Tuesdays at 10:00. Also, Selfie and Manhattan Love Story seem tonally disparate, so why are they paired? The only good thing about this move is that ABC's comedies won't be facing Fox's and NBC's comedies anymore... but they will be facing The Voice.

Wednesday

8:00 - The Middle
8:30 - The Goldbergs (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Modern Family
9:30 - Black-ish (NEW)
10:00 - Nashville

Well, at least The Goldbergs is finally in the slot it should have been in for the past year. Black-ish must be pretty strong to be getting the Modern Family lead-out rather than Selfie (which looks more appropriate for the tone of the comedy block), but I guess they could be going for an hour of non-traditional family sitcoms. And I just wish Nashville would be moved, just to see how it would do on a different night, perhaps with a drama lead-in. I don't see most of Black-ish's audience sticking around for a country music show.

Thursday

8:00 - Grey's Anatomy (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Scandal (New Timeslot)
10:00 - How to Get Away with Murder (NEW)

This was the most obvious move ABC needed to make. They have struggled for years with this 8:00 timeslot, so Grey's should strengthen it. Plus, moving Scandal up then provides a new drama with a big lead-in and it counter-programs CBS's new Thursday Night Football games. It'll be interesting to see how both Scandal and The Blacklist do when they go head-to-head in February.

Friday

8:00 - Last Man Standing
8:30 - Cristela (NEW)
9:00 - Shark Tank
10:00 - 20/20

ABC's only new multi-camera comedy gets paired with its only existing multi-camera comedy. Sounds good to me. Plus, Cristela has history with Last Man Standing: it had no budget to shoot the pilot, so they used the Last Man Standing set and crew to film on a shoestring. Shark Tank probably could have boosted a timeslot on another night, but I suppose ABC is content with how well it does on Fridays and doesn't want to jinx things by playing with it.

Sunday

8:00 - Once Upon a Time
9:00 - Resurrection
10:00 - Revenge

I'm surprised Resurrection is returning in the fall. The writers have stated that they do not want to do a traditional full season, so I just assumed ABC would hold it until midseason again. But it did have a nice momentum going this spring, so I guess airing it in the fall rather than holding it for spring 2015 will ensure the buzz doesn't completely die out.

Midseason

Agent Carter will serve as a fill-in between Agents of SHIELD's fall and spring airings (so it will probably be 10 episodes or less). Galavant, the half-hour musical comedy, will air Sundays at 8:00 (with an unknown half-hour partner) while Once Upon a Time is on winter hiatus. American Crime will assume Resurrection's timeslot (Sunday 9:00) in the spring, and Secrets & Lies is currently scheduled to air in March in the Thursday 10:00 slot for its ten episodes. Also coming midseason are drama  The Whispers and comedy Fresh Off the Boat. The Taste was also renewed for a third season to air at midseason, as well as a December return for The Great Christmas Light Fight. ABC previously picked up The Club from David O. Russell & Susannah Grant, but recent word is that they were reconsidering its order since Russell departed the project... and it wasn't announced as part of their new dramas. So we'll see what happens with that one. Also supposedly set for midseason was this summer's The Astronaut Wives Club, which may be pushed even further to next summer, as no mention is made of it in ABC's press release.

A lot of what Paul Lee did here is expected, which is precisely why I don't think it will be terribly effective. The Thursday line-up should help the network out (and here's to hoping How to Get Away with Murder is a hit, because ABC needs it), but Tuesdays still seem DOA to me. I would have put Castle in the 10:00 slot on Tuesdays and debuted something new on Monday, if only for the fall as a trial. I will, however, commend ABC for their commitment to diversity. This season has a comedy about a Latina family, a black family, and an Asian family, plus a drama about racial tension in America.

Read after the jump for full descriptions of ABC's new series.

Monday, May 12, 2014

2014 Fall Schedule: Fox

Monday

8:00 - Gotham (NEW)
9:00 - Sleepy Hollow

Just like NBC has genre nights on Friday, Fox is attempting one on Monday. Gotham should have a nice audience simply because of its premise, though I'd think it would be smarter to put it on a slower night (perhaps Tuesday or Wednesday at 8:00), and I have hope that Sleepy Hollow will maintain its big fall numbers from 2013.

Tuesday

8:00 - Utopia (NEW)
9:00 - New Girl
9:30 - The Mindy Project

I didn't expect Utopia to be ready so soon (the casting call explains that filming of the show could take up to a year, so I assumed they'd wait until the whole thing is shot), but here it is. I don't expect it to light up the airwaves, and it won't help the mightily-fallen New Girl.

Wednesday

8:00 - Hell's Kitchen (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Red Band Society (NEW)

When was the last time Fox had scripted programming on Wednesdays in the regular season? Apparently Red Band Society is one of the strongest pilots of the season, and it's unlike anything else on the night, so it may be able to succeed. Hell's Kitchen, I think, will do about the same no matter what night it's on... but why not put it on Fridays with Masterchef Junior and put Utopia on back-to-back nights, like every other reality competition series Fox airs?

Thursday

8:00 - Bones (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Gracepoint (NEW)

Bones is the ultimate utility player for Fox. It'll do decent-to-good numbers no matter where they stick it. Gracepoint is also a cop show, and it should be provided a stable, solid lead-in. But if ABC moves Scandal to 9:00, then it's in trouble.

Friday

8:00 - Masterchef Junior
9:00 - Utopia (NEW)

I'm not sure why Utopia is taking up two hours of the schedule when Fox has tons of scripted programming to air, especially since it's untested, but okay. Masterchef Junior was a surprise hit last fall, so it's unsurprising that it assumes its old slot. But I thought Fox might try something different here (like Glee or Hieroglyph).

Sunday

7:30 - Bob's Burgers
8:00 - The Simpsons
8:30 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Family Guy
9:30 - Mulaney (NEW)

Fox must not remember how poorly Sons of Tucson did when it was placed in the middle of the animation block a few seasons ago. I guess Bordertown isn't ready to air yet? Anyway, I think programming a show at 7:30 on Sundays in the fall is silly because of guaranteed football overruns, and Bob's Burgers is getting the short end of the stick on that one. But this entire lineup, including both new live-action shows, skews toward a male audience... most of whom will be watching football. So I don't really understand moving a critically liked but little seen sophomore show to a night when it won't have much of a chance.

Midseason

No solid plans were put in place, but Fox will have The Last Man on Earth and Weird Loners on the comedy side; Hieroglyph, Backstrom, Empire, and the terminally-delayed Wayward Pines on the drama side; plus the new animated series from Seth MacFarlane, Bordertown. Returning series at midseason are The Following, Glee (which is strangely absent, though Kevin O'Reilly said today that he will talk to Ryan Murphy about a reduced episode order), and American Idol.


I think this schedule is pretty much a mess. Tuesdays are not going to get any stronger by adding a new reality show to lead in to a comedy hour; focusing on male-heavy programming on Sunday is pretty stupid; and debuting your highest profile new series against The Voice isn't the best choice. And with a cast like what Wayward Pines has (Terrence Howard, who will also be seen in Empire, Matt Dillon, Melissa Leo), I'm surprised it's being pushed back yet again.

Click through to read full descriptions of Fox's new series (and brace yourselves, because they're long-winded).

Sunday, May 11, 2014

2014 Fall Schedule: NBC

Monday

8:00 - The Voice
10:00 - The Blacklist / State of Affairs (NEW) - beginning Nov 17

I always figured State of Affairs, the new Katherine Heigl drama, would air Mondays after The Voice. The only surprise here is that The Blacklist will debut early and then vacate the schedule during November sweeps so that Affairs can premiere.

Tuesday

8:00 - The Voice
9:00 - Marry Me (NEW)
9:30 - About a Boy (New Timeslot)
10:00 - Chicago Fire

So Marry Me must be NBC's strongest comedy pilot to get the post-The Voice slot, particularly since I'm sure NBC is banking on the singing show having a boost this fall from two new judges (Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams). About a Boy should still benefit somewhat from airing so near its lead-in for this season, just shifted back a half hour.

Wednesday

8:00 - The Mysteries of Laura (NEW)
9:00 - Law & Order: SVU
10:00 - Chicago P.D.

Wednesdays are now a "procedural" night for NBC, which isn't a bad idea. Law & Order: SVU has benefited for years from "drop-in" viewers in syndication tuning in every once in a while to new episodes, adding to the loyal fanbase that watches weekly, to boost ratings. Procedurals are almost always easier to get ratings for (just ask CBS), so it's a good thing for NBC to try. I also like the idea that all three of these procedurals have strong females at the center (Debra Messing in Laura, Mariska Hargitay in SVU, and Sophia Bush in P.D.).

Thursday

8:00 - The Biggest Loser (New Timeslot)
9:00 - Bad Judge (NEW)
9:30 - A to Z (NEW)
10:00 - Parenthood

We knew it was coming: the end of NBC's Thursday comedy block. It was totally flailing in recent years, particularly this past one, so it's now been cut back to one hour in the fall and nothing in the spring. NBC announced The Blacklist's move to Thursdays at 9:00 as of February, eliminating the remaining comedy block... unless, of course, the block moves to 8:00 at midseason when veteran Parks & Recreation will return from hiatus for its final season. Also at midseason, Allegiance takes over for Parenthood, which is also entering its last season of 13 episodes.

Friday

8:00 - Dateline
9:00 - Grimm
10:00 - Constantine (NEW)

This was also a fairly obvious pairing to continue NBC's relatively successful genre-night programming. It seems likely that Hannibal will re-assume its timeslot sometime in the spring, unless Constantine is a hit, which is entirely possible given its comic-book origins.

Sunday

Sunday Night Football


Midseason

NBC has quite a bit of programming to fit in at midseason. They'll have a host of new comedies: Mission Control, Mr. Robinson, One Big Happy, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, plus the return of Parks & Recreation. Then they have a good number of dramas as well: A.D., Allegiance (which is currently planned for Thursdays at 10:00), Aquarius, Emerald City, and Odyssey, plus Hannibal and the return of The Celebrity Apprentice. It seems likely, then, that there will again e at least some scripted programming on Sunday nights and/or a full night of scripted programming on Fridays. Heroes Reborn, a reboot of the 2006 series that ended in 2010, is scheduled for summer of 2015 (and it's quite possible that other midseason orders end up there as well, much like Night Shift this year).

Read after the jump for full descriptions of all of NBC's new series.

Pilot Review: Penny Dreadful

Penny Dreadful (Sundays at 10:00 Showtime; Premieres May 11)

Consider this fair warning: Penny Dreadful is about to be the newest show your friends and acquaintances will flood your news feed with every Sunday night. With The Walking Dead on hiatus, Penny Dreadful is swooping in to claim the title of "horror show you must tweet/post about, right after you get done tweeting/posting about Game of Thrones." It's the same type of well-shot, overblown, gory, but only vaguely interesting show as The Walking Dead.

Friday, May 9, 2014

2013-2014 Season: Final Status of All Shows

Here is the complete list of shows which aired in the 2013-2014 season on a broadcast network and their current status: renewed, canceled, or awaiting announcement. The list will be updated as new information becomes available (updated May 11: all scripted shows accounted for)

ABC

Renewed: America's Funniest Home Videos, The Bachelor, Castle, Dancing with the Stars, The Goldbergs, Grey's Anatomy, Last Man Standing, Nashville, Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, The Middle, Modern Family, Once Upon a Time, Resurrection, Revenge, Scandal, Shark Tank

Canceled: The Assets, Back in the Game, Betrayal, Killer Women, Lucky 7, Mind Games, Mixology, The Neighbors, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Suburgatory, Super Fun Night, Trophy Wife

Awaiting Fate: The Taste

CBS

Renewed: 2 Broke Girls, 48 Hours, 60 Minutes, The Amazing Race, The Big Bang Theory, Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds, CSI, Elementary, The Good Wife, Hawaii Five-0, The Mentalist, Mike & Molly, The Millers, Mom, NCIS, NCIS: LA, Person of Interest, Survivor, Two and a Half Men, Undercover Boss

Canceled: The Crazy Ones, Friends with Better Lives, Hostages, How I Met Your Mother, Intelligence, We Are Men

The CW

Renewed: The 100, Arrow, Beauty and the Beast, Hart of Dixie, The Originals, Reign, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries

Canceled: The Carrie Diaries, Nikita, Star-Crossed, The Tomorrow People

Awaiting Fate: Whose Line Is It Anyway?

Fox

Renewed: American Idol, Bob's Burgers, Bones, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Family Guy, The Following, Glee, Hell's Kitchen, Junior MasterChef, The Mindy Project, New Girl, The Simpsons, Sleepy Hollow

Canceled: Almost Human, Dads, Enlisted, Raising Hope, Rake, Surviving Jack, The X Factor

Awaiting Fate: Kitchen Nightmares

Other: American Dad is moving to TBS this fall

NBC

Renewed: About a Boy, The Biggest Loser, The Blacklist, The Celebrity Apprentice, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Grimm, Hannibal, Law & Order: SVU, Parenthood, Parks & Recreation, The Voice

Canceled: Believe, Community, Crisis, Dracula, Growing Up Fisher, Ironside, The Michael J. Fox Show, Revolution, Sean Saves the World, Welcome to the Family

Awaiting Fate: American Dream Builders

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

2014-2015 Season: New Series Pick-Ups

Updated May 9. I'm going to forgo my usual fantasy schedules this year, but I'll still be tracking the fall schedules and the early series pick-ups, which got going today. See below for titles and loglines, and check back next week for the full schedules from upfronts, including full series descriptions.

NBC

Dramas

Allegiance (formerly Coercion) - A CIA analyst specializing in Russian affairs learns that his parents are spies recently re-enlisted by the Kremlin to plan an attack on America.

Constantine - Based on the DC Comic Hellblazer, follows a British con-man-turned-occult-detective as he defends the world against dark forces.

The Mysteries of Laura - A modern look at a working mom, the titular homicide detective who is better at handling criminals than her own kids.

Odyssey - Families are torn apart when a Special Ops soldier in North Africa, a corporate lawyer, and a political activist are drawn into an international military conspiracy.

State of Affairs - A CIA analyst with a complicated personal life counsels the POTUS on high-stakes global incidents.

Comedies

A to Z - A romantic comedy about a chance meeting that leads to a new relationship formed at an online dating company.

Bad Judge - A woman must balance her hard-partying, sexually ambitious personal life with her job as a criminal judge.

Marry Me - A long-term couple ponder whether or not to commit to married life.

Mission Control - A strong woman butts heads with a macho astronaut during the 1962 space race.

One Big Happy - A lesbian is impregnated with her straight male friend's baby just as he meets and marries the love of his life.

FOX

Dramas

Empire - Contemporary musical/family drama set in the world of a hip-hop empire.

Gotham - An origins story of Gotham City's Commissioner Gordon and the villains that made the city famous.

Red Band Society - A comedic soap about teenage patients in a hospital's children's wing.

THE CW

The Flash - Arrow spin-off following scientist Barry Allen after a freak accident grants him the power of super speed.

iZombie - Based on the DC Comic, a zombie med student takes a job in the coroner's office to gain unlimited access to the brains she must consume to maintain her humanity.

Jane the Virgin - A hard-working, religious Latina girl is accidentally artificially inseminated.

The Messengers - A group of strangers die when a mysterious object crashes to Earth, but they reawaken to prevent an impending Apocalypse.

ABC

Dramas

Agent Carter - A spin-off of Marvel's Captain America films following Peggy Carter as a covert operative working for Howard Stark in the wake of losing Steve Rogers.

American Crime - A racially charged drama told from the point of view of the victims, the accused, and their families.

Forever - New York's top medical examiner solves criminal cases in an effort to help him discover why he is immortal.

How to Get Away with Murder - A legal thriller about four top law students fighting for the attention and mentoring of a brilliant professor and litigator.

Secrets & Lies -  After discovering a dead boy during his morning run, a man sees his life and small Southern town turned upside down in the wake of the murder investigation.

The Whispers - Aliens invade Earth and use children to achieve world domination.

Comedies

Black-ish Following a promotion to "Urban" VP, a black man worries that he and his family have become assimilated and lost touch with their roots.

Cristela - A Mexican-American woman struggles to be her own person as she graduates law school while still upholding her family's traditional culture.

Fresh Off the Boat - A 12-year old and his Americanized Asian family move from Orlando to Chinatown, D.C. and experience a culture shock in their pursuit of the American Dream.

Galavant - A musical fairytale comedy that begins after the "happy ever after" happens.

Manhattan Love Story - Exposes the unfiltered thoughts of men and women to highlight the disparities between what we think and we say in relationships.

Selfie - A teenage girl who has thousands of online followers and friends decides it's time to make friends in real life.

CBS

Dramas

CSI: Cyber - The FBI's Cyber Crimes Division investigates major crimes that originate online but play out in real life.

Madam Secretary - The female Secretary of State balances her personal and professional lives.

 NCIS: New Orleans - Spin-off set at the NCIS office in New Orleans, handling cases in the South and Midwest.

Scorpion - An eccentric genius and his international network of super-geniuses form the last line of defense against complex threats of the modern age

Stalker - A pair of detectives handle stalking incidents for the LAPD.

Comedies

The McCarthys - The gay son of a big Irish Catholic Boston family's biggest sin isn't who he loves, but his desire to spend less time with his family.

The Odd Couple - Reboot of the classic series about mismatched roommates, starring Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Pilot Review: Bad Teacher

Bad Teacher (Thursdays at 9:30 on CBS)

Am I the only one with fond feelings toward the 2011 Cameron Diaz film the new comedy Bad Teacher is based upon? I've seen it dozens of times, including in a movie theatre full of laughing people, but most of the reaction toward the small-screen adaptation is, "Why redo such a bad movie?" While I agree that it's not exactly a good choice for the play-it-safe network, CBS, I thought Bad Teacher could work well enough as a weekly series on, say, pay cable or even a more subversive channel like FX. Because everything that made the film funny to me has to be stripped away for broadcast television: the vulgarity, the profanity, and the cast's performances.. So what we're left with is a fairly standard woman-behaving-badly sitcom without nearly as much bite as its source material.