Wednesday, January 29, 2014

More Cancellations

It's curtains for two more shows: ABC's Killer Women and NBC's Sean Saves the World.

Killer Women failed to improve upon the slot left vacant by Lucky 7, which was itself pulled from the schedule after only two episodes. Killer Women will continue to air through February 18, which will give it a grand total of six airings. That leaves two episodes of its already-shortened eight-episode season unaired. Mind Games will assume the Tuesday 10:00pm timeslot as of February 25 (it was previously announced to begin airing March 11).

Sean Saves the World has had a rough go of it the entire season. It got a surprising five-episode backorder, but after an experimental time shift (from 9:00 on Thursdays to 9:30), it fell to new lows and was subsequently canceled. NBC pulled the plug yesterday, shutting down production before all five of the show's newly ordered episodes could be shot. Sean has one episode completed but unaired.

EDIT: Add The Michael J. Fox Show to the list. NBC has pulled the freshman comedy, which struggled even more than its sister show, Sean Saves the World, from the schedule. The series was ordered last year with a blind 22-episode commitment, all of which have been filmed. NBC didn't announce when (or if) the last seven episodes will air. When the network's series return after the Olympics on February 27, the 9:00 hour on Thursdays will be filled by new episodes of Hollywood Game Night.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Premiere Review: Rake

Rake (Thursdays at 9:00 on Fox)

Rake is the second show this year to air an episode other than its pilot as its first episode (the other being ABC's Super Fun Night). Typically this indicates that the pilot wasn't particularly good, but that the show's promise was there and the network invested its faith in future episodes improving. Fox also gave Rake, which is based on an Australian series of the same name, the added bonus of premiering at midseason, so that extra time could be allowed for retooling and improvement, not to mention the huge promotional push made possible by the network's airing of the high profile NFC championship game this past weekend. But I can't imagine that gamble has paid off for Fox, because the creators behind Rake have still presented a House-but-with-lawyers antihero dramedy that tries to be zany and unpredictable but mostly is just the exact opposite.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Pilot Review: Enlisted

Enlisted (Fridays at 9:30 on Fox)

It's such a shame that Enlisted has been left to die in Fox's failed Friday night comedy block, because it's definitely their strongest comedy pilot (yes, even better than Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which grew a lot from its pilot into its current Golden Globe-winning self). Enlisted would have been a welcome companion to Andy Samberg's cop spoof, a much more even and humorous concoction than the dreadful Dads, but it instead gets the shaft, airing behind the fourth season of Raising Hope during the most competitive hour of the night, opposite ABC's unstoppable Shark Tank and two similarly male-oriented successes in NBC's Grimm and CBS's Hawaii Five-0. Chalk it up as another screw-up by Fox, because Enlisted truly deserves better.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Pilot Review: Chicago P.D.

Chicago P.D. (Wednesdays at 10:00 on NBC)

This is Dick Wolf at his most comfortable. Chicago PD is the kind of show that doesn't do or say anything new, but it looks good and has that familiarity that will keep you glued to your couch for hours on end, like those Law & Order: SVU marathons we all get stuck watching on our days off. Chicago PD is entirely melodramatic, but, like all Dick Wolf shows, there's a grittiness and a seediness that is appealing to casual, non-analytic viewers (and sometimes to exhausted over-analyzers like myself).

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Pilot Review: Intelligence

Intelligence (Mondays at 10:00 on CBS)

Intelligence is the most ironically-titled series of the year. It boasts itself as a show about "the future of technology," but there's nothing innovative happening with it. The latest CBS paint-by-numbers is like Chuck plus Person of Interest, without the humor of the former or the grittiness of the latter. It's a humdrum action-spy procedural that lacks logic as much as it lacks originality.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Pilot Review: Killer Women

Killer Women (Tuesdays at 10:00 on ABC)

Let's get this little bit out of the way: Killer Women is better than it has any right to be with a title like Killer Women. It makes the show sound like those ridiculous true crime docudramas about wives who kill their abusive husbands or prostitutes who murder johns. But it's a teeny bit deeper than that, taking a less serious tone and managing to have fun turning stereotypes upside down.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Midseason Schedules: Fox & The CW

Both of these schedules are pretty complicated and full of changes, so they're going behind a cut. Click below to see where your favorite Fox and CW shows ended up on the midseason schedule.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Pilot Review: Toned Up

Toned Up (Thursdays at 10:30 on Bravo; Premieres January 2)

Bravo is in a weak place right now. They have failed to debut any new series with the staying power and instant likeability of the casts of their flagship series (The Real Housewives franchise, Flipping Out, The Millionaire Matchmaker, Tabatha Takes Over, Top Chef's host and judges) in years. The last time they came close was with 2012's Shahs of Sunset, which is currently enjoying series-low ratings as it stands on its own night rather than following a big hit (it debuted behind The Real Housewives of Atlanta, where it remained for its second season). But everything else Bravo has tried in the past year or two has either been successful but lead-in dependent (Vanderpump Rules, Thicker Than Water: The Tankards, Married to Medicine), a flat-out failure (Princesses: Long Island, Dukes of Melrose, LA Shrinks), or a ratings success without any real "break-out" stars (Below Deck, Newlyweds: The First Year, the latter of which will have a whole new cast for season two). So, seemingly, in an attempt to get some new breakout personalities, as well as to drive those winter blues away from the colder regions of the country, Bravo is debuting Toned Up, a silly, inconsequential new series about two cooky, beautiful girls who work and play on the sunny beaches of California.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Midseason Schedules: ABC & CBS

Both ABC and CBS have few changes coming up in the new year. Rather than overhauling their schedules, both networks opted to simply fill-in holes vacated by under-performing freshmen or departing veterans. Up first is CBS, which has kept much of its schedule the same.


Monday (through March 31)

8:00 - How I Met Your Mother
8:30 - 2 Broke Girls
9:00 - Mike & Molly
9:30 - Mom
10:00 - Intelligence (NEW - as of January 13)

How I Met Your Mother rides off into the sunset on March 31 after nine successful seasons, making room for the new (and similarly plotted) sitcom Friends with Better Lives, which premieres immediately following the Mother finale and then moves the following week. Also departing the Monday night line-up is freshman bomb Hostages, which airs its two-hour finale on January 6. The new Josh Holloway vehicle Intelligence assumes the 10:00 slot on January 13, following a special premiere on Tuesday, January 7 at 9:00 (after an all-new NCIS). Once Mother is no more, the Monday line-up will look like this:

Monday (as of April 14)

8:00 - 2 Broke Girls (New Timeslot)
8:30 - Friends with Better Lives (NEW)
9:00 - Mike & Molly
9:30 - Mom
10:00 - Intelligence

And that's it for CBS's midseason change-ups. Everything else will remain in its current timeslot. It remains to be seen where they will fit in yet-to-premiere new drama Reckless and sitcom Bad Teacher, a late order which may go to summer. I assume Reckless will debut on Fridays once Undercover Boss finishes its current 15 episode order in early March, unless Intelligence bombs on Mondays; in that case, I think it will move to Fridays with Reckless taking the late Monday slot.


ABC's schedule is largely remaining the same as well, save for some minor changes and some new additions to vacant slots. Mondays remain as they typically do at midseason: The Bachelor replaces Dancing with the Stars for two months, beginning January 6, before it returns sometime around March.

Tuesday (as of January 7)

8:00 - Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00 - The Goldbergs
9:30 - Trophy Wife
10:00 - Killer Women (NEW)

I think ABC should have overhauled both this and Wednesday's comedy hours, but they chose to leave things as they are. The new Sofia Vergara-produced and horribly titled procedural Killer Women takes over at 10:00 for eight weeks. It's replaced in March by Mind Games, another new procedural.

Wednesday (as of January 15)

8:00 - The Middle
8:30 - Suburgatory
9:00 - Modern Family
9:30 - Super Fun Night
10:00 - Nashville

Suburgatory returns to the schedule on January 15 in its old timeslot, replacing the canceled Back in the Game (which still has three episodes yet to air). Rebel Wilson's Super Fun Night then leaves the schedule at the end of February sweeps, to be replaced by newcomer Mixology on February 28.

Thursday (as of January 2)

8:00 - The Taste
10:00 - The Assets (NEW)

Thursdays get a total change for two months with last-season's moderate success The Taste taking two hours out of the schedule, followed by the eight-episode miniseries event The Assets, based on real-life CIA accounts of the Cold War.

Thursday (as of February 27)

8:00 - Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (returns March 6)
9:00 - Grey's Anatomy
10:00 - Scandal

ABC's one-two Shonda Rhimes punch returns on February 27, with the lackluster Once Upon a Time in Wonderland airing its remaining five episodes beginning the following week on March 6.

Fridays remain untouched, while Sundays hold some changes:

Sunday (as of March 9)

8:00 - Once Upon a Time
9:00 - Resurrection (NEW)
10:00 - Revenge (New Timeslot)

Revenge remains where it is, at 9:00, for three weeks in January, before going on hiatus until March 9. When it returns, it assumes the later hour, replacing Betrayal (which ends its thirteen-episode run on January 19). Assuming the 9:00 timeslot is Resurrection, which will face some stiff competition from AMC's The Walking Dead (ironically, Resurrection is also about the dead returning to life... just not as scarily) and a similar target demographic as CBS's The Good Wife.

Still unscheduled are new drama The Black Box, new competition series The Quest, and returning reality series Celebrity Wife Swap. One of these will almost certainly replace Wonderland sometime in April or May, with the others likely being held for a summer burnoff.