TV reminder: ‘Wilfred’ returns June 20 on FX (also: status update on ABC’s ‘Zero Hour’ & ‘666 Park Ave.’)

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on June 15th, 2013

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 Hour666‘s one-hour finale falls on July 13. So there you have it.

USA decides not to pick up ‘Happy Endings’, sitcom stumbles into grave

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on June 2nd, 2013

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.

2013 Upfronts: ABC orders 13 new series for next season

Posted in News,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on May 14th, 2013

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 OnceRevenge, 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 AvenueBody of ProofDon’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…)

ABC picks up ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’, first look photos & teaser clip inside

Posted in News,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on May 11th, 2013

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…)

ABC picks up ‘Once Upon A Time In Wonderland’

Posted in Image cache,News,Television by Scott Meisner on May 11th, 2013

Here’s the first production still from the Once Upon A Time spinoff now titled Once Upon A Time In Wonderland. English born actress Sophie Lowe stars as Alice, seen for the very first time in the image posted above. Here’s the latest synopsis provided by ABC:

In Victorian England, the young and beautiful Alice (Sophie Lowe) tells a tale of a strange new land that exists on the other side of a rabbit hole.  An invisible cat, a hookah smoking caterpillar and playing cards that talk are just some of the fantastic things she’s seen during this impossible adventure.  Surely this troubled girl must be insane and her doctors aim to cure her with a treatment that will make her forget everything.  Alice seems ready to put it all behind her, especially the painful memory of the genie she fell in love with and lost forever — the handsome and mysterious Cyrus (Peter Gadiot).  But deep down Alice knows this world is real and just in the nick of time, the sardonic Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha) and the irrepressible White Rabbit (John Lithgow) arrive to save her from a doomed fate. Together, the trio will take a tumble down the rabbit hole to this Wonderland where nothing is impossible.

This fresh adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s tale down the rabbit hole comes from Once co-creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz and will be executive produced by Steve Perlman and Zack Estrin. Wonderland is envisioned as a standalone, limited series that will air when the flagship series is on its winter hiatus. In a way, it will bridge the gap during the break. Next week ABC will be unveiling its entire slate of new series for next season and there the network will likely shed even more light on the exciting promise of a new realm to be explored.

‘Apartment 23′, ‘Zero Hour’, ‘666 Park Avenue’ & ”Do No Harm’ are coming back from the grave to wrap their seasons

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on May 2nd, 2013

As they say, good things come to those who wait. If you tuned into cancelled shows like Zero Hour and Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23 this season, you are getting the opportunity to get hooked once more.

Let’s start with the alphabet network. Starting May 17, Apt 23 fans can watch the remaining eight episodes from the sitcom’s second season via, Hulu, and iTunes. Conspiracy thriller Zero Hour is due to return Saturday, June 15 at 8PM; on that day the network will air two episodes back-to-back and then the remaining eight episodes will air Saturday nights until the end. Though ABC hasn’t confirmed a return date, fans will finally learn (well, fingers crossed) if Terry O’Quinn is indeed the devil on 666 Park Avenue this summer.

On NBC, Do No Harm–which only lasted two weeks when it premiered in midseason–will return to finish its freshman run starting Saturday, June 29 at 10PM.

[Via Deadline; TVLine 1, 2]

April Fools! 2013 Edition

Posted in Entertainment,Hilarity,Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on April 1st, 2013

Here we are again: April Fools Day. Only this time around it’s 2013 and no one is safe. We start, as is tradition, with Google’s masterful pranks. It’s all after the break…or is it. (Click here for more…)

‘Once Upon A Time’ spinoff set in Wonderland in the works [Update: series get a title & three stars]

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on March 23rd, 2013

It’s true: a Once Upon A Time spinoff is in the works! Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, creators of the ABC fantasy series based on classic fairy tale characters, are imagining a new realm to explore in a completely new series separate from their current show. They are working closely with Once consulting producer Jane Espenson and writer Zack Estrin (Zero HourThe RiverNo Ordinary FamilyPrison Break) to make Wonderland the main setting for the spinoff series. The original plan was to make the Mad Hatter (played by Sebastian Stan in Once) the protagonist of the new series. But there’s a reason why the charming actor hasn’t been featured in the current season of Once a whole lot–he’s a very busy actor and for this reason he unfortunately likely won’t be able to headline the proposed spinoff. The latest rumor to come out of the mill says that the Once spinoff in Wonderland will star Alice, a classic fairytale character we still haven’t met in Once just yet. According to Deadline the new series will surround Alice with other new characters including “Amahl, described as exotic, soulful and optimistic; and The Knave, a sardonic adventurer, a man of action, a loner and a heart-breaker.” The site also reports that the spinoff will take place in a post-curse world but will indeed feature flashbacks so viewers may once again be acquainted with (spoiler alert) the not-so-dearly departed Cora who once ruled Wonderland as the Queen of Hearts.

Interestingly, the Once spinoff set in Wonderland starring Alice is being envisioned as a 13-episode anthology series a la American Horror Story, meaning it will have a solid beginning, middle, and end to simply serve as a bridge between the fall and winter episodes of the main series Once Upon A Time. Most of this is simply speculation at the moment, as we won’t know more until Kitsis, Horowitz and their creative team present their spinoff ideas to ABC later this year after Once wraps its second season. Still, intriguing news for fans of the show!

Update (3/29): In the past week the Once spinoff really started to make some headway. Though shooting is not set to begin until May after the flagship series wraps its second season, a title has been bestowed unto the offshoot and its three main characters have been casted. Aussie actress Sophie Lowe has been cast as the protagonist Alice in Once: Wonderland. Her character is described as one “who has a generous heart but carries the scars of a long hard life.” Surrounding Lowe are British actors Peter Gadiot and Michael Socha who are set to play Cyrus (“Alice’s love interest with a background shrouded in mystery”) and The Knave of Hearts (“a sardonic adventurer, a man of action, a loner and a heart-breaker”). A fourth lead named Amahl (“an exotic, soulful and optimistic character”) has yet to be cast. With a name and a cast forming, Once: Wonderland is slowly but surely spinning into reality.

[Via Deadline 1, 2, 3]

ABC cancels ‘Zero Hour’ after 3 airings

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on March 2nd, 2013

And just like that, Zero Hour‘s time is up. The search for the Hank’s wife and the unravelling of the mystery involving the disciples’ secret clocks have come to a screeching halt as ABC decided to cancel the conspiracy thriller on Friday. Cancellation came because the show from Prison Break‘s Paul Scheuring couldn’t manage to find a sizable audience. In its February 14 series premiere, Zero Hour drew 6.3 million total viewers and a 1.3 in the 18-49 demo–ABC’s lowest rated in-season premiere of a scripted program in history. Things went from bad to worse as its third and most recent airing only attracted 5 million total viewers and a low 1.0 demo rating, prompting ABC to release the axe. But is it the show’s fault, really? An entertaining and intriguing thriller, Zero Hour‘s poor performance can certainly be chalked up to its placement on the schedule–you can say the series didn’t stand a chance as a midseason entry tossed in the challenging Thursdays at 8 timeslot. Previous ABC dramas like FlashFowardMissing, and most recently Last Resort suffered similar fate there.

So what happens to the 10 remaining unaired episodes of Zero Hour? Will viewers ever receive answers to the widespread mysteries the show has laid out thus far? At the TCAs Scheuring assured audiences that every season of the show would wrap up a major thread in the end and “reset” with the introduction of a new overarching mystery. ABC hasn’t confirmed anything, but there are whispers that like with 666 Park Avenue the Alphabet network may allow the series to run its single season course sometime this summer. One can hope.

FOX pulls ‘Ben And Kate’ and ABC yanks ‘Apt. 23′ from their schedules, effectively canceling them

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on January 24th, 2013

Breathe, breathe. It’s tough news, I know. This week FOX and ABC pulled low-rated comedies Ben And Kate and Don’t Trust the B—- In Apartment 23 from their respective schedules. Ben And Kate, a freshman single-cam sitcom, managed to find its comedic groove early on but it never gained a foothold in the ratings. A dynamic cast led by the-one-and-only Nat Faxon delivered an absurd mixture of funny and heart week in and week out. In fact, FOX championed its creativity in October when the network expanded its original 13 episode order to 19. “Ben And Kate [has] everything we want to stand for in comedy: smart writing, hugely appealing casts and comedy that feels contemporary and real–which is why we’re confident [it] will continue to build on what is already an appointment comedy night for young, influential audiences on Tuesdays,” said FOX entertainment president Kevin Reilly. Though its numbers hovered in poor territory, FOX gave it time to find an audience and unfortunately it never quite found one broad enough to stay on the air. B&K averaged a 1.5 rating in the all-important 18-49 adult demographic, and that’s with 7-day DVR playback included; in so many words, not good enough. In a statement FOX says they plan to air the remaining six episodes at some point in the future. [Update: FOX has stopped production on the show so only 15 episodes will be produced meaning there are 2 unaired episodes that may or may not screen in the future.] And even though the net isn’t confirming cancellation, a sudden yank from the sked like this pretty much seals the deal.

The same goes for ABC’s wild comedy Apt. 23. But in this case you could really see the axe coming. Though the show certainly managed to grow creatively from its shortened first season, the viewers at large didn’t seem to notice and didn’t latch on. The way in which ABC aired the show was an ominous sign for fans. Many episodes that were originally produced for season one bled into season 2 and made storylines jump all around the place; this would introduce confusion for newcomers. After ABC pulled 666 Park Avenue from its Sunday lineup, the net decided to run Apt. 23 and Happy Endings twice a week, in the Sunday 10PM hour and on their regular Tuesday night. This experiment only lasted so long; Apt. 23 has been abandoned (its most recent ep drew a low 1.1 demo rating) and (thankfully) Happy Endings will continue its run on Tuesdays. No word on whether or not the remaining eight unaired episodes of Apt. 23 will see the light of day. For now, it’s goodbye peachy June, goodbye creepy Eli, goodbye obsessive Robin, goodbye hopeless Mark, goodbye infectious Luther, goodbye James Van Der Beek, and so long Chole. We’ll miss your bitchy ways.

TCA 13: Creator Paul Scheuring aims to explore the human condition in his conspiracy thriller ‘Zero Hour’

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on January 10th, 2013

After watching the bizarre and slightly corny trailer for ABC’s upcoming conspiracy thriller Zero Hour, I must admit it made it sort of hard for me to recommend this midseason drama. The only elements pushing me to give it a try was that Prison Break creator Paul Scheuring is behind it and that revered actor Anthony Edwards (ER) stars. Today’s TCA panel pimping Zero Hour led by Scheuring and with some comments from Edwards has injected some much-needed confidence into me–it’s very high concept, it’s serialized to the core, and this show might just be an addicting thrill ride that educates and poses some lofty, intriguing questions about religion and history.

Briefly, Zero Hour stars Edwards as Hank Galliston, a publisher of a skeptics magazine, who has spent his career following clues, debunking myths and cracking conspiracies. But when his wife, Laila (Jacinda Barrett), is abducted from her antique clock shop by an international terrorist, Hank gets pulled into one of the most compelling mysteries in human history, stretching around the world and back centuries.

“The entire show is about the man or the woman beneath the identity,” Scheuring explained. “If you wear a Christian cross, are you automatically good? If you wear a Nazi armband, are you automatically bad? And that I think ultimately makes for more complex and interesting drama. All those different characters wear these different surface adornments, like Naziism, Christianity. But what’s the human beneath it?… I want to have a more sophisticated three-dimensional view of the characters as opposed to ‘Nazi! Bad!’ I mean, who cares?” After posing a hypothetical question ‘is the Christian God is real’ he stated, “Scientifically, that’s the question we are starting to ask as the season goes along.” (Along the same lines of he was stated earlier, he made a rather controversial statement when he said “The idea that all Nazis are bad is something we are exploring, 100 percent.”)

Scheuring shared, “There were two mandates: deliver something gigantic and make a spectacle.” Later he went on to admit, “There’s a fair amount of crazy in here.” Though critics are making comparions to the movies that star Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon, Scheuring was adamant, “We’re not the Da Vinci Code.” (Click here for more…)

TCA 13: Melissa Rosenberg teases a satisfying run for ‘Red Widow’ with lots of potential for more

Posted in Uncategorized by Scott Meisner on January 10th, 2013

In my humble opinion, unlike Zero Hour‘s trailer the one for Red Widow bodes well for the upcoming ABC drama from Melissa Rosenberg (Dexter, the Twilight saga) and starring Radha Mitchell. The show revolves around Mitchell’s character Marta Walraven, a stay-at-home mom who gets tangled up in a bloody and dangerous tale involving her husband’s death and organized crime. Specifically, she must assume the role of her organized crime husband Franklin after he is assassinated in a drug-related incident.

At the TCAs Rosenberg made it a point that if you tune in you will get answers to some of the series’ big questions that are introduced inside the string of the first season’s eight episodes. “Having learned from The Killing, we are answering the questions of who killed Franklin and where is the coke.” (If you didn’t know, there was a huge backlash when AMC’s The Killing failed to reveal the season’s murderer in the finale.) “The question of how Marta is going to get herself out of this is a series-long question. And each effort will lead to the continuing story line,” Rosenberg expanded.

Red Widow is based on the 2010 Dutch series Penoza. After a successful run, Penoza (which was originally deemed an eight episode mini-series) received an order for more episodes but its writers had killed off many the characters and so they had a harder time reinstating the show. Rosenberg is more than aware of this and said, “By the end of the season, we’ll have a satisfying answer to the season, but I’m not giving anybody up. I’m not killing everyone, and I’m not letting anyone off the hook. Some people die, but not all of them. For me, it’s all about building characters and relationships you can cling to for five or seven years.”

Rosenberg envisions Mitchell’s Marta to eventually transform into a dark, deeply flawed antiheroine. She said the character is inspired by such flawed characters as Breaking Bad‘s Walter White and Dexter‘s Dexter Morgan. “She could go as bad as Walter White,” she said. “We don’t go that far in the [first season], but there is definitely room to evolve.” Mitchell compared her character to Luc Besson’s creation in La Femme Nikita by describing Marta as “a character under duress. I always thought the character was iconic, and a kind of character I wanted to explore if I had one more character in my career.”

Red Widow premieres Sunday, March 3 at 9PM.

[Via Deadline; THR]

TCA 13: ABC’s Paul Lee comments on a so-so fall, expresses excitement for Joss Whedon’s Marvel series ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on January 10th, 2013

Following NBC and FOX, ABC entertainment president Paul Lee took the stage at the TCA winter press tour to grade his network’s fall season and discuss the future. “We have a lot to shout about, and we also have a lot to do,” is how he kicked off the conversation.” He also said, “We were disappointed there weren’t any big breakout hits on broadcast, including ABC.” I guess he opted to ignore NBC’s Revolution when he went with that self-deprecating jab. He expressed concerns with cancelled dramas like Last Resort and 666 Park Avenue and the faltering Dancing with the Stars, but he also praised low-rated comedies Happy Endings and Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 and shared his excitement for Joss Whedon’s Marvel series S.H.I.E.L.D. For the full scoop see the bullet-point breakdown after the break. (Click here for more…)

New ‘Revenge’ promo is rated SE: Sexy for Everyone [Update: new cast photos]

Posted in Images,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on January 2nd, 2013

Revenge is a beautiful thing. Don’t believe me? Watch this brand new promo that debuted New Year’s Eve between ABC’s live coverage from Times Square. Whether you’re into the ladies or the guys this 30-second spot will satisfy. In one corner you’ve got Victoria’s former lackey Ashley Davenport, the Queen of Hamptons’ daughter Charlotte Grayson, and the radiant, fearless revenger Emily Thorne. And in the other corner? The Porter brothers Jack and Declan duke it out, Emily’s right-hand man Nolan Ross, and her former fiancé Daniel Grayson go shirtless. From the thumping music to the colorful imagery, this wild commercial will try to get you excited for the second half of the addicting soap’s second season. It will succeed. They sure know how to make ‘em.

Revenge returns this Sunday, January 6 at 9PM on ABC.

Update (1/4): ABC has released a bunch of new images featuring this good-looking cast of Revenge. The most notable image, however, has to be the final group shot which features Jack sitting up against a bloody chest containing who-knows-what. Take a gander in the gallery below.

ABC will NOT air remaining episodes of ‘666 Park Avenue’ this winter

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on December 21st, 2012

ABC is teasing its viewers and I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all. When the alphabet network cancelled their two new high profile fall dramas 666 Park Avenue and Last Resort in November, they assured fans that their respective 13 episode arcs would be played out. Additionally, the show’s creators came out and said that they’d have time to tweak the endings so that viewers can get proper closure before they bite the dust. After receiving news of cancellation, 666 exec producers David Wilcox and Matt Miller claimed their show “is building to a powerful and surprising series finale, where all your questions will be answered. We hope fans of the show continue watching all the way to the end of Jane and Henry’s incredible journey to the dark side.” Unfortunately we won’t be getting that ending this winter as previously planned. ABC has decided to pull the remaining three episodes of 666 from its schedule. The net plans on airing them in the summer, but it is quite possible that they may never see the light of day. It’s unfortunate for the people who invested their time in the seductively suspenseful thriller, but this is the kind of thing that can happen when ratings are so dreary. Thankfully, however, ABC is still on track to deliver the final episodes of Shawn Ryan’s Last Resort which promises a “no-holds barred kick-ass ending.”

The Sunday night at 10PM slot will be filled with new episodes of ABC comedies Happy Endings and Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23. Viewers will receive a double dose of these show as the network will also air first-run episodes in their regular Tuesday night time periods.

2013 Midseason TV preview & schedule: ABC

Posted in News,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on December 16th, 2012

As the holiday season approaches, many of your favorite shows go on hiatus so you can spend time with your loved ones. Most will return to the airwaves in early January and with them comes some new programming–some of which are worth checking out. In this year’s midseason TV preview posts, I will recommend which new shows are worth watching as well as offer schedules provided by the networks themselves. Midseason is on the horizon; out your calendars and let’s do this thing!

This midseason ABC is adding eight series to its schedule, six of which include two new dramas, comedies, and reality shows. The network’s two freshmen drama series both look intriguing. First there’s Zero Hour, a conspiracy thriller executive produced and written by Paul T. Scheuring (Prison Break) starring Anthony Edwards, Scott Michael Foster, Michael Nyqvist, Jacinda Barrett, Addison Timlin, and Carmen Ejogo. The plot involves a treasure map, deciphering symbols, saving humanity. Though the Declaration of Indepenence isn’t at stake here, Zero Hour sure sounds like its borrowing a bit from National Treasure. Whether or not this is a good thing… The trailer, posted after the break, comes off as more corny than cool but for all you conspiracy theorists out there this is one worth checking out. Zero Hour premieres Thursday, February 14 at 8PM.

Next up is Red Widow. It’s from creator Melissa Rosenberg (Dexter, the Twilight saga) and stars Radha Mitchell, a stay-at-home mom who gets tangled up in a bloody and dangerous tale involving her husband’s death, organized crime, and the criminal underworld. Though it might sound complicated, the trailer (posted after the break) is quite good and it looks like Mitchell will find herself on a distinct yet similar path to Emily Van Camp’s over on ABC’s soap RevengeRed Widow premieres Sunday, March 3 at 9PM.

A new comedy starring Sarah Chalke has a very long title: How to Live with Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life). It’s about a recently divorced single mom (Chalke) who moves back in with her parents (Elizabeth Perkins and Brad Garrett). It premieres Wednesday, April 3 at 9:30PM.

The other new comedy is Family Tools, a show based on the British sitcom White Van Man from Adrian Poynton. It stars the very funny Kyle Bornheimer, J.K. Simmons, and Leah Remini and it follows the mishaps of what happens when you mix family with business. It premieres Wednesday, May 1 at 8PM. Due to scheduling concerns, the show’s original 13 episode order was reduced to 10.

If you’re into reality shows, ABC has a cooking competition show The Taste and Celebrity Diving on tap. They premiere Tuesday, January 22 at 8PM and Tuesday, March 26 at 9PM, respectively.

My recommendation: Definitely check out Red Widow and give Zero Hour a try. In terms of new comedy, I’d take Family Tools over How To Live With Your Parents, but maybe that’s just because I’m a big supporter of Bornheimer (Perfect Couples) and J.K. Simmons.

Shows that are returning to ABC’s schedule include Body of Proof (premiering Tuesday, February 5 at 10PM) and Dancing with the Stars (Monday, March 18 at 8PM).

Jump after the break to view the full schedule. (Click here for more…)

FOX pushes ‘Touch’, schedules remaining ‘Mob Doctor’ episodes; ABC gives ‘Last Man Standing’ & ‘Malibu Country’ back orders; The CW cancels ‘Emily Owens’

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on November 30th, 2012

The Tim Kring drama just can’t catch a break! Originally scheduled to premiere this fall on October 26, FOX delayed the second season start to the Kiefer Sutherland vehicle Touch thrice now. It was first bumped to midseason with a vague “January 2013″ timeframe; then it was pushed to February 1; and now it’s confirmed to air a two-hour premiere on Friday, February 8 from 8PM-10PM. The following week it will relax into its regular 9PM timeslot. Good grief  Hopefully people will tune in; last year’s ratings were relatively soft and this show about connectedness is worth checking out.

Elsewhere on FOX, the poorly received and rated The Mob Doctor has its days numbered. Though the network is not calling it a cancellation, it has decided not to give the medical drama the back nine. But just like ABC is doing with Last Resort and 666 Park Avenue, it’s allowing the show air all 13 produced episodes being calling time of death. The final four episodes will air on the following dates: Saturday, December 29, Monday, December, Saturday, January 5, and Monday, January 7 all at 9PM. That’s right–some are airing on Saturday nights. Most would call that a loftier death bed than the Friday night graveyard.

Over at ABC, Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing and Reba’s Malibu Country are receiving back orders, specifically an additional 5 episodes each. Since the sophomore and freshman series (respectively) got a late start this year, an extra five instead of nine is enough to get them through the season. If you’re a fan of LMS, here’s something to look forward to: TVLine reports that a Home Improvement reunion is being staged when Richard Karn (aka Al Borland) joins Tim Allen in a future episode scheduled to air early next year.

And last, after picking up freshman dramas Arrow and Beauty And The Beast, The CW has axed Emily Owens M.D. This week’s episode attracted a paltry 1 million viewers, scoring a 0.3/1 in the adults 18-49 demo. Though the CBS sister network is not used to seeing typical ratings found on the bigger broadcast nets, Emily Owens scored as the lowest rated new series this fall for them and so the cord has been cut.

Showrunners confirm ‘Last Resort’ & ‘666 Park Avenue’ will receive proper endings

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on November 24th, 2012

Last week ABC cancelled two of their high profile, creatively ambitious new shows Last Resort and 666 Park Avenue. Instead of axing them from the schedule, however, the network is going to allow both shows to play out their respective 13 episode arcs. Are you wondering if they will deliver answers and give at least some closure to fans who have been following since September? Ponder no more. TVLine has scooped that the sub drama and the supernatural thriller are tweaking their final episodes so that they serve as proper series finales.

“We have time to tweak,” says Last Resort creator Shawn Ryan. On the day of cancellation Ryan tweeted, “We’re going to give you no-holds barred kick-ass ending.” 666 executive producers David Wilcox and Matt Miller say that their show “is building to a powerful and surprising series finale, where all your questions will be answered. We hope fans of the show continue watching all the way to the end of Jane and Henry’s incredible journey to the dark side.”

After the November 4th installment of 666 saw DVR numbers jump a whopping 77 percent, ABC president Paul Lee called the ratings surge “amazing” but then went to say basically state too little, too late. “It’s wonderful to see the passion [these] shows have,” he said. “We just have to make sure we monetize it.”

Even though these shows have been cancelled, if you’ve been watching since the beginning there is no reason to stop now. Not only is the network going to air all 13 episodes of each, they will also produce answers to most (if not all) of the most juicy questions posed during the first half of their respective seasons. And who knows… if ratings climb, ABC is keeping the option open to bring them back next year if its schedule calls for it.

ABC grants full season order to ‘Nashville’, cancels ‘Last Resort’ & ‘666 Park Avenue'; NBC picks up ‘Chicago Fire'; CBS cancels ‘Partners'; and other order updates

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on November 16th, 2012

As we start to approach midseason, broadcast networks take a close look at the ratings and decide whether or not to keep the new shows they introduced earlier this fall. In addition to reporting the latest pickups and cancellations, I will take a grander look at the status of each network’s programs to give you an idea as to what is likely to stay and go before the new year rolls around.

ABC: On Monday, ABC picked up the Connie Britton-Hayden Panettiere country music drama Nashville. This serialized soap had a ton of buzz going into the pilot and word of mouth helped this show perform to respectable ratings; leading up to its back-nine order it was averaging 9.4 million viewers and a 3.2 in adults 18-49.

PREVIOUS: The Alphabet is still sitting on new dramas Last Resort and 666 Park Avenue as ratings continue to bottom-out for the submarine and supernatural thrillers. Ratings are not good for either shows. This week Last Resort drew a 1.3 in adults 18-49 (a series low) and 666 saw that same number in its most recent outing. While Last Resort continues to fluctuate, it appears as though 666 has found the bottom since this is the second consecutive week it scored a 1.3 in the coveted demo. Insiders bet that ABC will likely renew Last Resort and dump 666 when all is said and done, but with ratings so neck-and-neck, it’s a tough call at the moment.

UPDATE: As I was putting together this post, news broke that ABC has cancelled both Last Resort and 666 Park Avenue. That 1.3 demo ratings must’ve really spooked the execs at top and gave them no choice but to let the Colorado and Drake go. It’s sad, really. Both of these shows were refreshingly ambitious in their storytelling. Fans will likely be vocal about this somber news because over the course of the last few weeks both shows managed to get ahead creatively and their potential to grow into truly memorable series jumped significantly. The acting on Last Resort (a show from The Chicago Code creator  Shawn Ryan who just can’t catch a break) is superb led by Andre Braugher and Scott Speedman. In 666, the enigmatic Rachael Taylor only just ventured down the rabbit hole. I tip my hat to ABC for giving these serialized dramas wrapped in mystery and intrigue a shot in its schedule; it’s unfortunate that neither of them managed to retain an audience. They will sorely be missed.

Now here’s a sprinkle of good news on top of all this: ABC will allow both series to finish out their respective 13-episode runs; whether or not this gives the writers and producers enough time to properly wrap some things up remains to be seen. Also, ABC is not letting go of these show entirely just yet; the network has the option to revive them next season, but without a back-nine order now this is likely a formality and you shouldn’t hold your breath.

Elsewhere, The Neighbors miraculously received a pickup and the new Reba McEntire sitcom Malibu Country dropped significantly after opening to huge ratings a couple weeks back; ABC recently ordered three additional scripts.

NBC: Last Thursday, NBC gave a back-nine order to the Dick Wolfe drama Chicago Fire. Though the procedural didn’t have much buzz a the get-go, it managed to reach 8 million viewers on average and a decent 2.4 rating in the adults 18-49 demo leading up to its pickup. NBC’s other new drama Revolution was picked up over a month ago and continues to be a strong performer for the network.

Elsewhere on the Peacock, comedies Go On and The New Normal were also granted full season orders. Animal Practice has been cancelled, and multi-cam comedy Guys with Kids is still alive. Though it has been sitting on the fence ratings-wise (it attracted 3.8 million viewers and a 1.3 demo in its last two installments), this week NBC has shown a spark of faith by ordering an additional four scripts increasing the Jimmy Fallon-produced comedy episode count from 13 to 17. It’s not a back-nine order, but it’s certainly good news for fans of the show. Whether or not the network decides bring the season’s episode count up to the typical 22 remains to be seen.

CBS: Today, CBS cancelled the David Krumholtz-Michael Urie comedy Partners after six episodes. Though it averaged 6.5 million viewers and a 2.4/6 in adults 18-49, in its most recent outing it sunk to 5.6 million viewers and a 1.8. With ratings giants like The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men on its schedule, Partners is obviously a weak link for the network and did not perform up to its high standards. The show has been pulled from the schedule effective immediately and CBS comedy repeats will air in its Monday at 9:30PM slot starting next week. Though the sitcom was packed to the brim with gay jokes, I enjoyed engaging in the excellent rapport between stars Krumholz and Urie and I will sorely miss seeing the stunning Sophia Bush on a weekly basis. Also cancelled by CBS earlier this season was Made in Jersey.

CBS dramas fared better this season as the network picked up the Sherlock Homles-inspired Elementary and the Dennis Quaid-Michael Chiklis period drama Vegas. This week the network played around with these series’ episode orders: Elementary has gained an additional two episodes bringing its grand season 1 total to 24 and Vegas is losing one so its debut season will consist of 21 episodes.

FOX: Nothing new to report here. Comedies The Mindy Project and Ben And Kate were given “full season orders;” Mindy will run 24 episodes and Kate 19. The Mob Doctor continues to practice, for now.

The CW: Over at The CW, Arrow and Beauty and the Beast have been given the back-nine. Emily Owens, M.D. is still awaiting its fate.

ABC grants full season orders to ‘Scandal’ & ‘The Neighbors’

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on October 29th, 2012

Bet you weren’t expecting to hear this news before the TV season started. Today ABC handed out back-nine orders to Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal and (wait for it) Dan Fogelman’s The NeighborsScandal, starring Kerry Washington, is currently in its second season but the Alphabet network was hesitant and only gave it a 13-episode order to see how it would fare following its so-so rated first season. Averaging 8.1 million viewers and a 2.5 ratings share in the adults 18-49 demo, the political drama has proven itself to be a worthy contender on Thursday nights and will get to play with a full season consisting of 22 episodes this year.

Also given a full season is the alien-family sitcom The Neighbors. Before it premiered critics widely panned the pilot, and following the episode viewers flocked to Twitter to discuss how bad it really was. I guess the word of mouth actually helped it because it has been performing modestly in the ratings, good enough for ABC to let it finish its first season with 22 episodes aired. The bizarre Wednesday night comedy averages 6.8 million viewers and a 2.0 in 18-49 and on the schedule it shall remain for now.

We are still waiting on the fates of Last Resort and 666 Park Avenue; ABC recently upped their script orders. The network has more time to decide on Nashville since it got a late start.