Don’t hold your breath, Oncers. Though ABC is touting this as the official “Season 4 Trailer” it serves simply as a series recap and does not contain new footage. Bummer, I know. But here it is nevertheless, and it will get you amped for what’s to come in Storybrooke this fall.
Major takeaways from this year’s Once Upon a Time panel at Comic Con: Giancarlo Esposito, fresh off his three year stint on NBC’s now-cancelled Revolution, will return as Regina’s Mirror. Actor Michael Socha, who played the Knave in the short-lived spinoff Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, will make his way to Storybrooke. Colin O’Donoghue’s Hook will begin to sport modern attire in the new season. A musical episode is not in the cards (for now). And in terms of the hyped Frozen storyline, showrunners Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz presented a brief clip (not available online) of Anna and Elsa (played by Georgina Haig and Elizabeth Lail, respectively) leaving flowers at their parents’ grave. Frozen characters joining the show include the aforementioned queen and princess, Kristoff (Scott Michael Foster), Hans (Tyler Jacob Moore), and Grand Pabbie the Troll King (voiced by John Rhys-Davies).
The groundbreaking drama LOST premiered to a room full of eager fans at 2004’s San Diego Comic Con. Ten years later the Alphabet network that fostered it produced a short yet impactful two minute commemorative video featuring some of the series most memorable scenes bookended by words from showrunners Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof. The video embedded above ran on a loop at ABC’s booth during this year’s Comic Con. If you couldn’t make it out this year watch it now and relive the emotional bliss that was and forever will be LOST. Jack’s bearded rallying cry “We have to go back,” Charlie’s hand inscribed with the message “Not Penny’s Boat,” Jack and Locke’s heated faith argument, Jack’s “Kate, dammit, run!,” Ben tearfully pushing the donkey wheel with all his might to (boom) move the Island–it’s all there. Enjoy.
The Upfronts have come and gone and now it’s time for you to figure out which new shows you’ll be watching when the new TV season kicks off this fall. The networks have picked up their respective pilots to series and you can preview them with tantalizing trailers and juicy synopses. First up is the Peacock!
NBC picked up a whopping 16 new series. This fall three dramas, State of Affairs, The Mysteries of Laura, and Constantine will premiere. Three comedies will also launch in the fall and they are Marry Me, Bad Judge, and A to Z. The rest are being held on the bench to air sometime later in the year: A.D., Allegiance, Aquarius, Emerald City, Heroes Reborn, and Odyssey and comedies Mission Control, Mr. Robinson, One Big Happy, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Also being held for midseason are returning series Hannibal, the final season of Parks and Recreation, Celebrity Apprentice, and Hollywood Game Night.
The Voice returns to open Monday night where it will be paired with red-hot The Blacklist; on Nov. 17 The Blacklist will go on break and new drama State of Affairs will takeover the 10PM slot. The Blacklist will return on Feb. 1 landing the prime post Super Bowl slot. That special episode will be the first of a two-parter which will resolve when the James Spader drama falls into its brand new timeslot Thursdays at 9 starting Feb. 5. Moving onto Tuesdays, The Voice will air its second hour at 8 followed by new sitcom Marry Me; that, in turn, is followed by returning sitcom About a Boy and Dick Wolf drama Chicago Fire. Wednesdays opens with new Debra Messing procedural The Mysterious of Laura followed by Law & Order: SVU and spinoff Chicago P.D. Reality veteran The Biggest Loser relocates to Thursdays leading into new comedies Bad Judge and A to Z and the final season of Parenthood closes the night at 10 (later in the season drama Allegiance takes over Parenthood‘s slot). NBC expands its genre night on Fridays pairing Grimm with DC comic book based Constantine. Elsewhere, football dominates Sundays.
Jump after the break to view the full fall schedule, trailers for the new fall CBS series, and synopses. (Click here for more…)
ABC has 12 new series on tap for next season: two dramas–Forever and How to Get Away with Murder–will launch in the fall alongside four sitcoms Selfie, Manhattan Love Story, Black-ish, and Cristela. The rest will follow later in the year: dramas American Crime, Marvel’s Agent Carter, Secrets and Lies, and The Whispers and comedies Fresh Off the Boat and Galavant. Also being held for midseason are returning series The Bachelor and The Taste.
Dancing with the Stars and Castle remained paired on Mondays. Two new sitcoms Selfie and Manhattan Love Story will open Tuesdays leading into one returning drama, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and a new one, Forever. Wednesdays pack four comedies starting with The Middle; The Goldbergs lands a great slot between that and Modern Family. The veteran, award-winning sitcom will serve as a launching pad for newbie Black-ish and then returning Nashville closes the night at 10. Thursdays are completely dominated by Shonda Rhimes: Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal will lead into her latest offering How to Get Away with Murder at 10 (new drama Secrets and Lies will take over Murder‘s timeslot later in the season. Elsewhere, Latina sitcom Cristela is paired with Last Man Standing on Fridays and Sunday’s lineup of Once Upon a Time, Resurrection, and Revenge is unchanged (new drama American Crime will replace Resurrection at 9 when that show’s second season comes to a close). Once Upon a Time‘s season will be aired in two distinct halves again and so will S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s; taking over their slots on the schedule during their extended hiatuses are musical fairytale Galavant and origin story Marvel‘s Agent Carter, respectively.
Jump after the break to view the full fall schedule, trailers for the new fall CBS series, and synopses. (Click here for more…)
Starting to see a trend here! Following in the steps of other musical television series Glee and Smash, ABC’s country drama Nashville is stepping outside the box that’s in your living room to perform songs from the show live on a three-city tour. The tour will make stops in Chicago (4/25), Washington, D.C. (5/4), and New York (5/6). Those actors participating are Charles Esten (Deacon Claybourne), Chris Carmack (Will Lexington), Clare Bowen (Scarlett O’Connor), Jonathan Jackson (Avery Barkley), Sam Palladio (Gunnar Scott), and Will Chase (Luke Wheeler). Chase will only be featured in NY performance. Tickets go on sale April 4 at Chi-town’s Joe’s Bar, D.C.’s Lincoln Theatre, and NYC’s Best Buy Theatre.
“We’re thrilled to have an opportunity to showcase our artists in a live setting where fans can enjoy the music from the show in a more intimate setting,” said Dawn Soler, Senior VP TV of Music at ABC Entertainment Group. “Each song is a crucial part of our storyline and each week our multitalented actors are able to breathe life into the story by performing these wonderful lyrical works.”
“We have an exceptionally talented cast of great actors, many who are also wonderful singers, musicians and songwriters,” said Steve Buchanan, Nashville executive producer and president of the Opry Entertainment Group. “It is exciting to be able to hit the road and be face to face with our show’s fans.”
It’s unfortunate that the show’s two big stars Connie Britton (Rayna James) and Hayden Panettiere (Juliet Barnes) are a no-show and that the tour is so short; and what’s puzzling is that the Nashville tour isn’t setting up shop in the very city that makes up the heart of the show. Regardless, if you’re a fan of series, its stars and the music (and if you live in one of the three lucky cities) then this tour is definitely something to get excited about. Scarlett and Gunnar are going to duet because they have to, am I right?!
We’ve hit the midseason mark and with it comes a handful of series premieres worth getting excited about, along with the return of some of your favorite shows. Full speed ahead, after the break! (Click here for more…)
Fall TV updates: ABC gives ‘The Goldbergs’ & ‘Trophy Wife’ full season orders, cancels ‘Back in the Game’
ABC has given comedies The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife full season orders; with the back-nine each Tuesday night sitcom will air 22 episodes this season. Averaging 7.5 million viewers and a 2.7 rating in adults 18-49 and 5.7 million viewers and a 1.9 rating, respectively, The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife will live on at least through May and creatively speaking they deserve it. Both shows are consistently funny and highly relatable family fare.
Super Fun Night isn’t going anywhere. Averaging 7.4 million viewers and a 2.8 rating, the Rebel Wilson sitcom received an additional script order for four more episodes.
One ABC sitcom that didn’t make the cut is Back in the Game. Though the show has admittedly been getting better creatively with each passing week, the ratings failed to make a mark (it’s averaging 7.3 million viewers and a 2.1 rating, landing right between Goldbergs and Wife) and the network is cutting it loose–but not before letting its 13 episodes run all the way through. Note that the cancellation news comes after the alphabet network ordered an additional two scripts for the Bad News Bears-esque comedy; that’s typically a show of confidence from a network but in this case it didn’t pan out.
Fall TV updates: FOX gives ‘Dads’ full season order, ABC likes ‘Back in the Game’ & ‘Super Fun Night’
Despite critics panning the series as its September premiere approached, FOX has granted Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild’s Dads a full season order; the back-nine increases the season’s episode total to 22. You can certainly argue that the “bad press” for Dads helped increase its popularity leading to its FSO. The raunchy sitcom starring Seth Green, Giovanni Ribisi, and Martin Mull averages a 2.2/7 rating among adults 18-49, a respectable number in these DVR-heavy times. FOX head Kevin Reilly explained the reason behind the season one order:
“FOX has been looking to break into the multi-camera format for some time,” he said. “With Dads, we have an asset that we can grow, and we’re looking forward to seeing where the fantastic cast and the creative minds of Seth, Alec, Mike and Wellesley take us the rest of the season.”
Shifting to ABC and single-cam comedies, comedies Back in the Game with James Caan and Super Fun Night with Rebel Wilson have each received two additional script orders–a good sign for fans of these shows. Previously the alphabet network showed confidence in its other half-hour sitcoms The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife by ordering three more scripts apiece for them. Is the network bold enough to grant FSOs to four of these guys? Time–and ratings–will tell.
Fall TV updates: ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’, ‘The Crazy Ones’, ‘The Millers’ & ‘Mom’ get full season orders, ‘Ironside’ & ‘Welcome to the Family’ cancelled
What does the FOX say? It says Brooklyn Nine-Nine is getting a full season order bringing its season 1 tally to 22 episodes. Though the Andy Samberg/Andre Braugher sitcom has been landing so-so-to-low ratings since debuting to 6 million viewers and a 2.5 demo rating, the network sees its potential to grow into a bonafide hit by not only granting it a full season but also giving it the plum post Super Bowl slot. When Super Bowl XLVIII ends on Sunday, February 2 it will lead into a “special one-hour comedy event” with new episodes of New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Ratings are guaranteed to spike and with any luck these FOX comedies will retain a chunk of its new viewers when things go back to normal after the Super Bowl.
B99 has had a string of fine half-hours since opening in September. Samberg’s wacky Jake Peralta and Braugher’s deadpan Captain Holt is a match made in comedy heaven, as is the supporting cast anchored by MVP Joe Lo Truglio.
Expect a season 2 renewal next; Fox entertainment head Kevin Reilly is a fan: “It’s exciting to see that both critics and fans love Brooklyn Nine-Nine as much as we do,” he said. “With Andy and Andre out in front of this incredible ensemble, it feels like this show is going to be around for a long time.”
CBS also made some major announcements this week. A trio of new comedies–The Crazy Ones, The Millers, and Mom–have all been picked up for full 22 episode seasons. The three shows, in that order, ranks as the top three freshman comedies on TV. David E. Kelley’s The Crazy Ones with Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar averages 13.71 million total viewers and a 3.6/10 in the adults 18-49 demo; Greg Garcia’s The Millers with Will Arnett and Margo Martindale averages 12.41 million viewers and a 3.2/09 rating; and Chuck Lorre’s Mom with Anna Faris and Allison Janney averages 7.98 million viewers and a 2.6/06 rating.
“We’re proud of CBS’s leadership position in comedy and excited to build on it with the back nine pick-ups of these three new comedies,” said Nina Tassler, CBS Entertainment President. “These series are creatively distinct, continue to improve each week and are led by strong showrunners, writing and production staffs, and feature amazingly talented casts.”
Unlike FOX and CBS this week, NBC was forced to clean off its axe and kill not one but two shows. Drama Ironside with Blair Underwood and comedy Welcome to the Family have been cancelled. Ironside will air its fourth and final episode this Wednesday and Welcome to the Family has been pulled from the schedule effective immediately. In their most recent airings, Ironside and Family produced meager 1.1 and 0.9 demo ratings in 18-49, respectively.
To fill in Ironside‘s Wednesdays at 10PM void NBC will air original episodes of Dateline and various specials until Dick Wolf’s Chicago Fire spinoff Chicago P.D. premieres January 8. Filling in Welcome to the Family‘s Thursdays at 8PM void are episodes of The Voice, SNL, Parks & Rec, Sunday Night Football, the live telecast of The Sound of Music, and The Sing Off. Dan Harmon’s Community returns to NBC’s schedule Thursday, January 2 with two new back-to-back episodes. Click after the break to view the full breakdown of the network’s Wednesday & Thursday plans.
And lastly there’s ABC. Though the alphabet network didn’t make any major pickups or cancellations this week, they did show support for struggling in the ratings but widely buzzed about sitcoms The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife. Both freshman comedies have received an order for three additional scripts each, a sign of confidence from the network. These shows deserve a full season order, and hopefully this move brings them one step closer to that goal. In their most recent outings, The Goldbergs attracted 5.1 million total viewers and a 1.6 demo rating and Trophy Wife landed 4.1 million viewers and a 1.3 demo rating. Like FOX did with Brooklyn Nine-Nine, let’s pray ABC can see past the low ratings and embrace the relatable creativity these shows have been producing. (Click here for more…)
Fall TV updates: ‘Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ picked up for full season, ‘We Are Men’ cancelled
After axing one Tuesday drama in Lucky 7, ABC has commissioned a full season order for their hugely successful superhero drama Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. In typical fashion, the alphabet network is tacking on “the back nine” increasing S.H.I.E.L.D.’s season one episode count from 13 to 22. Joss Whedon’s latest foray into television premiered to a whopping 12.1 million total viewers and a 4.7 rating in the 18-49 demo making the S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot TV’s highest-rated drama debut in almost four years. Though the show slipped in the ratings in week 2, numbers still remain solid and it sees significant DVR gains; in short, Whedon has finally concocted a TV show that will likely remain on the air for years to come (Buffy & Angel join good company).
Over at CBS We Are Men, the comedy starring Jerry O’Connell, Tony Shalhoub, Christopher Nicholas Smith, and Kal Penn, has been cancelled after only two episodes aired. It premiered poorly to 6.4 million total viewers and a 2.0 18-49 demo rating; things went from bad to worse in week 2 when those numbers dropped majorly to 5.4 million and a 1.8, respectively. These ratings simply don’t live up to the Eye’s sitcom standards and so We Are Men is gone for good. Starting next week, Monday’s 2 Broke Girls moves from 9PM to take over Men‘s 8:30PM slot; repeats of The Big Bang Theory will air at 9PM for three weeks and then Mike & Molly comes off the bench to take over the vacant time slot.
FOX is showing support for its new sitcoms by ordering more scripts for a couple of them. As previously reported, the network ordered an undisclosed amount of additional scripts for Brooklyn Nine-Nine and now the same is being done for Seth MacFarlane’s Dads. FOX ordered 6 more scripts for the Seth Green/Giovanni Ribisi comedy, even as its most recent episode amounted to a paltry 1.3 demo rating and 3.1 million total viewers. Though to be fair, FOX’s Tuesday night comedy lineup isn’t performing so well ratings-wise in general. We’ll see where this goes.
In sum, ABC’s Lucky 7 and CBS’ We Are Men are the first two cancellations of the 2013-14 TV season; NBC’s The Blacklist and ABC‘s Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. are the first to get full season orders, and FOX’s Sleepy Hollow is the first to be renewed for a second season. The fate of FOX’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Dads hang in the balance leaning towards getting the back nine since additional scripts have been ordered for each.
We are more than a few weeks into the new fall season of television and this is the time when networks typically announce “back nine” pickups and cancellations. This year, however, marks a unique occasion. Instead of increasing Sleepy Hollow‘s 13-episode count by nine for a “full season pickup,” FOX is limiting its run to 13 installments and renewing it for a second season already. The supernatural drama scored big the ratings when its pilot aired days before official premiere week; 10.1 million tuned in and it landed a solid 3.5 rating in the adults 18-49 demo. And if you include DVR gains following the three days after the pilot aired, 13.6 million viewers ended up watching the series premiere and the 18-49 rating jumped to a 5.0. These impressive numbers make Sleepy Hollow FOX’s most successful fall drama premiere since the debut of 24 in November 2001. “The show has proven to be a risk well worth taking – it’s a conceptual blast unlike anything else on television and it all holds together with inventive writing and a fantastic cast,” said FOX head Kevin Reilly in a statement. “I can’t wait for fans to experience what else is in store for this fall and even more of this wild ride into Season Two.” Sleepy Hollow airs Mondays at 9PM on FOX.
This week FOX also renewed The Simpsons for a remarkable 26th season. “For more than a quarter of a century, The Simpsons has captured the hearts and minds of fans in a way that transcends ages, languages and cultures,” said Reilly. “This groundbreaking series is not only the longest-running scripted show in television history, it’s one of the greatest sitcoms of our time, and I’m looking forward to yet another landmark season.” The Simpsons airs Sundays at 8PM on FOX.
Though FOX’s critically-adored cop comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine isn’t faring so well in the ratings (it debuted to 6 million total viewers and a 2.5 demo rating before falling to 1.4 million viewers and a 1.4 in its most recent episode), TVLine reports that the network has ordered an undisclosed amount of additional scripts. A full-season pickup might be around the corner.
Elsewhere, NBC decided to go the traditional route with its breakout new drama The Blacklist by giving the James Spader vehicle a full season pickup increasing its season one episode count to 22. Across its first two episodes the series averages 12 million total viewers with a 3.6 demo rating in adults 18-49. It’s the fall’s most-watched new drama in terms of total viewers. “The many layers of Red Reddington and his mysterious reasons for getting into bed with the FBI seem to be fascinating to fans of this show,” said NBC exec Jennifer Salke said in a statement. “With great talent like James Spader and Megan Boone on board, as well our stellar executive producers and the whole cast and crew, we believe this outstanding series will continue to make NBC a big destination on Monday nights.” The Blacklist airs Mondays at 10PM on NBC.
I hope you didn’t invest too much into ABC’s lotto drama Lucky 7 because that show just became the first to get axed this fall. After airing only two episodes the alphabet net has cancelled Lucky 7 and pulled it from the schedule effective immediately (repeats of Scandal will fill the Tuesday at 10PM void for now). The show debuted to 4.4 million viewers and a 1.3 demo rating and dropped significantly in week two which stuck a 0.7 rating; oh, the irony. Who will join the not-so Lucky 7 in the cancellation bucket next? My money’s on another ABC drama Betrayal. Keep it here to find out.
Much like NBC, the Alphabet network is premiering most of its shows during the official premiere week of September 23. A few shows enter the ring before that week: Reality series Dancing with the Stars kicks off Monday, September 16 and on Friday the 20th Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing returns along with The Neighbors and Shark Tank. Enter premiere week: Tuesday the 24th introduces four brand new shows–sitcoms The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife sandwiched between buzzy drama Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Lucky 7; Wednesday the 25th is home to The Middle, new Bad News Bears inspired sitcom Back in the Game with James Caan and Maggie Lawson, the one-hour season premiere of Modern Family, and Nashville. ABC’s sudsy Sunday night lineup premieres the following week on September 29 with Once Upon A Time, Revenge, and new marital drama Betrayal. Three shows won’t make their mark until October: the new Rebel Wilson half-hour Super Fun Night (Wednesday, October 2), Shonda Rhimes’ red-hot Scandal (Thursday, October 3), and the spinoff Once Upon A Time In Wonderland (Thursday, October 10).
Click here to preview the new shows. Browse the gallery below for key art.
Jump after the break to view the full fall schedule.(Click here for more…)
A princess, a pirate, a wizard, a queen, a knight, and a savior join forces in search of Neverland. That’s what this season 3 teaser masked as a season 2 recapper hypes as near the fall return of ABC’s Once Upon A Time.
The Once team did a good job at not revealing much, but they did say Neverland will play a big part in season 3. And who will we meet there? Well, Peter Pan of course. “Peter Pan has a complicated motivation,” said series co-showrunner Adam Horowitz. “It’s a little different than you’ve seen before.” Added showrunner Eddy Kitsis, “He might be frightening. To some people.” Also on the horizon is the formal introduction of Tinker Bell who has “a surprising connection” to somebody we already know and Ariel aka The Little Mermaid.
After the break you can watch two clips that were screened first at Comic Con. The first teases The Little Mermaids arrival, and the second is an extended look at a funny bit made for the season 2 DVD called “Good Morning Storybrooke” featuring some of the cast.
Elsewhere, it was announced that another Lost alum will be joining the Once family. Naveen Andrews (who played castaway Sayid Jarrah) will embody the villainous Jafar in the Once spinoff Once Upon A Time In Wonderland. Andrews will appear in the first episode as the season’s “very, very, very evil villain” and Kitsis promises his portrayal of the Aladdin character will be “very frightening.” (Click here for more…)
Once fans, perk up! Originally envisioned as a standalone, limited series to bridge the gap during Once Upon A Time‘s winter hiatus, spinoff Once Upon A Time In Wonderland is spinning into a more traditional series for the alphabet network. At the Upfronts, ABC announced that Wonderland will air concurrently in the fall alongside the flagship series; OUAT remains at Sundays at 8 and Wonderland slides into the Thursday at 8 timeslot. And now, EW reports that the original episode order of 13 is being expanded; a final count is still unknown but it will fall between 14 and 21 in total. Traditionally, a show will get a 13 episode order and if it fares well in the ratings it will get “picked up” for a “back nine” or 9 additional episodes usually rounding a full season out at 22 installments. ABC is so confident in this spinoff, however, that it is allowing creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis to craft a story with exactly the right amount of episodes required to tell it.
“We really want to tell the story without having to worry about how to stretch it for five years,” says Kitsis. “The upfront order will be it for the season.” Adds Horowitz, “This is not meant to be a 22-episode season. Whatever it ends up being, we’ll have told a complete story, with a beginning, middle and end.”
So Wonderland remains a standalone tale, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t come back for more. “If the audience responds and people love these characters, the plan would be to bring it back next year and tell a whole new story,” Horowitz says.
The creative duo describe the difference between the flagship series and its spinoff. Once from the beginning was imagined as a long, intricate tale with multiple story arcs that necessitate more than one season to properly pull off. Wonderland, on the other hand, is inherently designed to open and close a major arc inside a single season, much like FX’s American Horror Story does.
On Wonderland Horowitz remarks, “The DNA of this show is different and consciously so. The idea is you can just come on in and enjoy the ride.” Adds Kitsis, “If you’ve seen Once, you’ll be rewarded; if you haven’t, you won’t miss a beat.”
OUAT returns and OUAT In Wonderland premieres this fall on ABC. Watch the Upfronts trailer for Wonderland here.
TV reminder: ‘Wilfred’ returns June 20 on FX (also: status update on ABC’s ‘Zero Hour’ & ‘666 Park Ave.’)
Everyone’s favorite talking dog Wilfred (Jason Gann) returns for more adventures with his easily persuaded neighbor Ryan (Elijah Wood) on Thursday, June 20 at 10PM on FX. FYI, the 13-episode third season will air two episodes a week. Previously on Wilfred, Ryan made an intriguing discovery that he had actually drawn a family picture–Wilfred included–when he was just a boy. What does that mean? Who-slash-what is Wilfred? Will we finally find out this season?! If you’re not watching Wilfred, you’re missing out on what has to be the most hilarious, dark and deep existential dramedy on television. It makes you laugh, it makes you think, and most of all, it keeps you guessing at its true intent.
On a totally unrelated note… it’s summer time and most fall/midseason shows have come to their conclusions. A couple that were cancelled are getting their time in the sun to finish out their respective runs. ABC’s conspiracy thriller Zero Hour returns tonight at 8PM with two new back-to-back episodes. It will continue to air Saturdays at 8 until its two-hour series finale which lands on August 3. Supernatural series 666 Park Avenue has four episodes left in its run, and it will begin its final rollout next Saturday, June 22 at 9PM leading out of a new installment of Zero Hour. 666‘s one-hour finale falls on July 13. So there you have it.
This sucks. This is so sucky. Every now and then there’s a network series that is so incredibly raw and genuine and infectious that catches the attention of a small percentage of TV viewers and for that reason it gets the sharp axe. For some, life goes on; ABC’s Cougar Town and NBC’s Southland both found life after death in the cable arena on TBS and TNT, respectively. Even FOX’s Breaking In managed to come back from the dead and return to FOX, but that didn’t last long. And most recently there is Arrested Development, an irreverent show that got cancelled before its time telling stories up and seven years later it was resurrected on Netflix.
One causality to low ratings this season was the critically acclaimed Happy Endings, an ABC sitcom with an all-star cast and impeccable writing. Like Arrested before it, Endings comes out up with too many jokes to count and leaves it up to the viewer to sift through it all laughing all the while. It’s fast-paced, younger-skewing nature is probably what led to its demise; ABC president Paul Lee admitted it was “on brand” for the network but unfortunately wasn’t “broad” enough to warrant a fourth season. And so backing studio Sony TV began shopping it around to cable nets to find a new home for it. USA showed interest in possibly picking it up for another season, but Deadline reports those talks have shut down and the cable network ultimately decided to pass on it and invest in its own programs. Sony TV continues to shop it, but now it’s really starting to look like Happy Endings has come to the end of the road.
That’s such a shame, since its ensemble cast including Casey Wilson, Elisha Cuthbert, Eliza Coupe, Adam Pally, Zachary Knighton, and (who I considered to be the funniest man on TV this season) Damon Wayans Jr. make a wonderful, natural comedic team that are always in sync week after week. I guess all we can do now is be thankful that the show even managed to make it to three seasons despite bubble ratings along the way, just like we did with Arrested. Now hopefully it won’t take a network nearly a decade to realize just how funny and hip Happy Endings really is and produce at least another season.
On Tuesday ABC took the stage at the 2013 Upfronts, unveiling 11 new series coming to the network next season: five comedies, seven dramas, and one reality show. Jump after the break to get more information about all of the new shows including synopses, cast and creator/executive producer listings, clips, and initial reactions.
Significant changes to the schedule include: Tuesday night at the network undergoes a complete overhaul; the highly anticipated drama Marvel’s Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. opens the night at 8PM leading into two new sitcoms The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife and another new drama Lucky 7… The Dancing with the Stars results show has been yanked from the sked on Tuesday to make room for S.H.I.E.L.D. and it will now be integrated in the two-hour Stars performance show on Mondays… On Wednesdays The Middle will serve as the lead-in for the new James Caan sitcom Back In The Game and Rebel Wilson’s Super Fun Night gets the plum post-Modern Family slot at 9:30PM; Nashville will continue to close the night… Originally the plan was to have Once spinoff Once Upon A Time In Wonderland air in the winter when the flagship series will be on hiatus, but the network ultimately decided to run both Once and its spinoff concurrently in the fall; Wonderland opens Wednesday night to lead into Shonda Rhimes’ dramas Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal to make for a “empowered female” night… The Neighbors relocates to Fridays at 8:30PM paired with Last Man Standing.
Elsewhere: ABC president Paul Lee shared his plan to divide some of the network’s high profile dramas in 12-episode halves; at least Once, Revenge, and Scandal will air 12 episodes uninterrupted in the fall, take a break, and then return with another 12 episodes that will last until May. Bridging the gap in-between will be limited series like reality show The Quest… Lee also spoke about his “hard decision” to cancel the acclaimed comedy Happy Endings: “I do think Happy Endings is absolutely on brand,” he said. “What we found was it was just too narrow. It was a very hard decision because, as you know, I love that show and I found it very hard to make that decision. On the same token, I think Super Fun Night and Mixology [coming midseason] are broader shows that will bring in a wider audience.” Happy Endings still has the opportunity to be saved by a cable network like USA… Returning sitcom Suburgatory and new comedy Mixology, along with new dramas Killer Women, Mind Games, and Resurrection are being held for midseason… Following in FOX’s footsteps, ABC is touting “limited series” with shorter, cable-like runs; midseason’s Resurrection will play out as a limited series with 13 episodes.
Programs not returning next season: 666 Park Avenue, Body of Proof, Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23, Family Tools, Happy Endings, How To Live With Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life), Last Resort, Malibu Country, Private Practice, Red Widow, and Zero Hour. (Click here for more…)
No surprise here: Disney owned ABC is going all in with Marvel by picking up to series Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., from Avengers director Joss Whedon. Read the shiny new series synopsis now:
Clark Gregg reprises his role of Agent Phil Coulson from Marvel’s feature films as he assembles a small, highly select group of Agents from the worldwide law-enforcement organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D. Together they investigate the new, the strange, and the unknown across the globe, protecting the ordinary from the extraordinary. Coulson’s team consists of Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), highly trained in combat and espionage, Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) expert pilot and martial artist, Agent Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker); brilliant engineer and Agent Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) genius bio-chemist. Joining them on their journey into mystery is new recruit and computer hacker Skye (Chloe Bennet). From Executive Producers Joss Whedon (“Marvel’s The Avengers,” ”Buffy the Vampire Slayer”); Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen, “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” pilot co-writers (“Dollhouse,” “Dr.Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”); Jeffrey Bell (“Angel,” “Alias”); and Jeph Loeb (“Smallville”) comes Marvel’s first TV series. “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is produced by ABC Studios and Marvel Television.
Check out the kick-ass cast photo above; in the middle of it all is Phil Coulson, a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who sporadically popped up throughout Marvel’s Phase One movies and supposedly died in The Avengers. Guess not; #CoulsonLives. For more proof, check out a seven second teaser after the break. And during tonight’s finale of Once Upon A Time at 8PM, ABC will air a lengthier spot promoting the new series. I’ll post it here after it airs. Also after the break, a first look at the show’s lens-flair-y logo.
Update: The full 30-second teaser trailer has landed. Watch it after the break. (Click here for more…)