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 November 23 (CW)

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. The back order for Quantico is for 7 episodes, bringing its season total to 20. Blood & Oil will halt production after 10 episodes of its 13 episode order, effectively canceling the series. It will continue to air, for the time being, in its current timeslot.

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

No Decision: Supergirl

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

*Minority Report will halt production after 10 episodes of its 13 episode order, effectively canceling the series. It will continue to air, for the time being, in its current timeslot.

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


Full Season Ordered: Blindspot

Canceled: The Player, Truth Be Told*

No Decision: Chicago Med

*The Player will halt production after 9 episodes of its 13 episode order, and Truth Be Told will halt production after 10 episodes of its 13 episode order, effectively canceling both series. They will continue to air, for the time being, in their current timeslots.

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.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Pilot Reviews: Grandfathered & The Grinder

It's two-for-one night on Fox Tuesdays with 1980s heartthrobs!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Pilot Reviews: Blood & Oil and Quantico

ABC's new Sunday night lineup is about as melodramatic as you would expect, considering the timeslots its two new shows, Blood & Oil and Quantico, have inherited: times formerly occupied by such shows as Desperate Housewives, Revenge, and Brothers & Sisters. There's no worries for fans of ABC's past soap successes on the night, as both shows, for better or worse, follow in the soapy, excessive footsteps of their predecessors.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Pilot Review: The Player

The Player (Thursdays at 10:00 on NBC)

When a drama doesn't pretend to be anything more than it's supposed to be, I can appreciate it. If it doesn't take itself too seriously or have delusions of grandeur, I can at least have a little bit fun along with the creators. Sometimes shows are unabashedly silly and over-the-top (think Revenge or early episodes of Glee), and that can translate to an enjoyable, if unimpressive or stimulating, hour of viewing. The Player looks like it will fit quite nicely into this television niche.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Pilot Reviews: Limitless & Rosewood

I've decided to put my reviews of these two new shows, CBS's Limitless and Fox's Rosewood, in one article for a few reasons. They actually share more in common than meets the eye: both are procedurals; both feature an ingenious lead who solves crimes (one through the use of a mind-enhancing drug, the other just through charm and knowledge); and both are a huge bore.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Pilot Review: Scream Queens

Scream Queens (Tuesdays at 9:00 on Fox)

If you're a fan of Ryan Murphy's previous forays into quirky, off-kilter television (Popular, Nip/Tuck, Glee, American Horror Story), then you know what to expect from Scream Queens. The new Fox horror-comedy shares quite a bit of DNA with all of Murphy's prior shows, especially his two most recent creations, all mashed up into one bloated, offensive, messy piece of television.

Pilot Review: The Muppets

The Muppets (Tuesdays at 8:00 on ABC)

I have to admit that I've never truly understood the Muppet craze. I grew up with them, like seemingly everyone else aged 2-70; I had a Kermit bedside lamp and a stuffed Fozzie. But I have never held them in such reverential esteem as many millions of others have and do. So I was not surprised to find myself merely bearing with this latest incarnation of the Henson puppets and their adventures. Diehards may find more to love in this more grown-up version of their favorite felt friends, but only casual fans and those young enough to be tuning into their antics for the first time will likely have to find comedic fulfillment elsewhere.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Pilot Review: Life in Pieces

Life in Pieces (Mondays at 8:30 on CBS)

It's so rare with sitcoms that the concept and comedy feel fresh. When it happens, the feeling is electric; think of the first seasons of Modern Family and Glee for a couple of recent examples. The comedy landscape is so well-trod that all it takes is a slight format change, a strong cast, and a little truth to the jokes to make it work. Life in Pieces is the first show in some time to get it all right and elicit that elusive response.