Tag Archives: ABC

The Muppets meet the faces of ABC primetime ahead of their series launch

It’s time to play the music, it’s time to light the lights…

The Muppets are coming to ABC this fall and the Alphabet Network’s celebrating by pairing them up familiar faces from the primetime stable including Kerry Washington (Scandal), Nathan Fillion (Castle), and Patricia Heaton (The Middle). All three 30-second spots are entertaining and worth a watch if you’re anticipating the arrival of Kermit and friends. The one with Washington hangs above; the other two are embedded after the break.

The Muppets premieres September 22 on ABC. Watch an extended preview here. READ MORE The Muppets meet the faces of ABC primetime ahead of their series launch

ABC releases extended look at this fall’s ‘The Muppets’

Excited for The Muppets to make their triumphant return to television? Today ABC released an extended sneak peek at this fall’s upcoming comedy starring your favorite furry puppets Kermit, Gonzo, Miss Piggy and the rest. It’s highly atypical for a network to leak a “first look presentation” to the public–it’s what the creators of a show put together to convince a network to pick up their project to series. Due to popular demand, and after screening it to audiences at San Diego Comic Con, ABC decided to let Bill Prady and Bob Kushell’s Muppets pitch loose to boost anticipation and awareness surrounding the sitcom.

The nearly 11-minute clip is essentially an extension of the original Muppets trailer ABC outed during the Upfronts. In it, Kermit rounds up the troops in a production office to announce that ABC wants to put on a primetime Muppets show; yes, it’s very meta. The pitch utilizes the mockumentary style camerawork found in many successful sitcoms today, including Modern Family; Gonzo calls it “so gimmicky” and yet I can’t hold back laughter. The crux of the drama involves Kermit trying to get Miss Piggy out of the movie biz (where she’s dating That 70s Show star Topher Grace) and onto the set of the new ABC series. She’s dismissive at first likely due to the fact that Kermit has moved on, too, and fell for another pig named Denise. Elsewhere, Fozzie the Bear is dating a human girl and her parents are concerned.

Whether or not any of this actually makes it into the pilot to air this fall, it’s a must-see for Muppets fans and all those who are eagerly looking forward to “a more adult Muppets show” in primetime.

Comic Con: Emma embraces her dark side in ‘Once Upon a Time’ to become The Dark Swan (video inside)

This post contains spoilers for Once Upon a Time season 4.

Meet The Dark Swan. That’s what Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, executive producers of ABC’s fairytale drama Once Upon a Time, are calling Emma Swan, now that she’s carrying the darkness that once lived inside Rumpelstiltskin (formally known as The Dark One). The image you see above is being used as the official key art for the upcoming fifth season of OUAT and was featured outside the convention center in San Diego during the week of Comic Con. It’s certainly a bold image to use as it stylistically transforms Jennifer Morrison’s character into something sinister. It might be hard to see, but along the side it reads, “Evil isn’t born. It’s made.”

“Emma went through a lot in her life,” Morrison said at the OUAT panel. “She had a tough childhood. She’s had to overcome a lot of things. She’s tried to be the bigger person. Now that she’s tethered to the darkness, she’s free of that…She’s going to face the darkness in herself and figure out how to overcome it.”

In the first of three clips embedded after the break, you will witness Emma’s storied journey from bail bondswoman to Storybrooke non-believer to The Savior and her eventual decent into darkness. Emma lost her love from the “real world” when Neil met his maker last season, and more recently she found out that her parents–Snow White and Prince Charming–lied to her about her Savior origins. When all of this came to head in the season four finale, The Apprentice accidentally released the darkness living inside Rumpelstiltskin unto Storybrooke. Emma sacrificed herself and allowed the darkness to consume her to save the town from death and destruction.

In the second clip, you’ll get a first look at Morrison playing The Dark Swan: slicked back, bleached blonde hair, deep red lipstick, and shiny sparkles make up her appearance. And oh yes, she’s evil alright: locked inside a cage (did the darkness transport her to the Enchanted Forest?), Evil Emma rips the heart out of a jailor and crushes it to smithereens without flinching. Want a closer look at Morrison in character? Click over to EW for two stills.

The third and final clip released from the Con introduces a brand new character from Disney/Pixar lore and it’s Merida from Brave. Amy Manson (Being Human) plays the red-haired princess of DunBroch who happens to be a master archer. How she’s connected to the rest of the Once gang has not been disclosed.

The search for Merlin the Sorcerer and a way to save Emma from the darkness (herself!) begins this September when Once Upon a Time returns to ABC.

[Via EW] READ MORE Comic Con: Emma embraces her dark side in ‘Once Upon a Time’ to become The Dark Swan (video inside)

‘Secrets and Lies’ season 2 scoop: Cornell has a new case

When Secrets and Lies returns for its second season next year, it will do so without Ryan Phillippe’s protagonist Ben Crawford. In fact, the entire cast from the ABC investigative thriller will not be returning for season 2, except for one. From the get-go, showrunner Barbie Kligman defined Secrets & Lies to be an anthology series in a similar vein to American Horror Story: each season will take place in a new location, with a new set of characters and a new crime to be solved by Detective Andrea Cornell. Juliette Lewis, who embodies the cold-as-ice investigator, reprises her role to bridge the gap between seasons.

Looking for intel on season 2? Deadline reports that Detective Cornell will be focusing on Eric Warner–played by Michael Ealy–and the investigation into his wife’s murder. “Smart, well-educated and hard working, Warner is at the top of his game — he’s the heir apparent to his family’s private equity firm in Charlotte, NC, newly married to “the one” and walking on air. Eric is attending a party to honor dad passing over the reins when suddenly tragedy strikes — his wife Kate is murdered, and life, as he knows it, is over.”

Ealy is fresh off his villainous turn in Fox’s final season of The Following; he played serial killer Theo. Or, you might remember him as compassionate synthetic Dorian from Fox’s short-lived Almost Human.

Secrets and Lies returns in midseason to ABC.

PS- If you watched the first season, you may have missed out on a juicy bonus scene that exclusively debuted online following the finale. It’s called “14 Months Later” and it stars Crawford’s best friend Dave and daughter Natalie celebrating her 18th birthday. Cornell, of course, makes a sizzling appearance.

[Via Deadline]

‘American Crime’ creator & composer discuss the series’ powerful score

If you watched ABC’s midseason entry American Crime, then you know just how vital a role music played in its critical success. In addition to setting the tone at the top of nearly every episode with its signature, speedy strings, the composition also helped define the flawed characters and their relationships.

As originally shared by Deadline, here is an American Crime featurette with commentary by series creator John Ridley and his talented composer Mark Isham. You’ve got to love how Ridley describes his show: “American Crime is really about the cascade effect that crime has on people. It’s not a procedural, it’s not an investigation, it’s really an examination of human nature.” He gets teary-eyed in the clip when he likens Isham’s composition to an “emotional freight train.”

American Crime will return for a second season with a new cast of characters, a new story, and hopefully a starkly different yet equally impactful score.

Update: Ridley Scott gives TVLine clues about American Crime season 2. “[In Season 1] we dealt with race and faith; in Season 2 we want to deal a lot more with class. We want to deal with gender issues, sexual orientation and sexual identity.” He went on, “It’s going to be a whole different set of circumstances. We’re hoping that we can not only make it provocative, but humanize people as well. If there’s one thing that American Crime did very well, it took issues that are generally just a headline and put faces on them. I’m hoping we can do that in the second season.” The setting is moving from Northern California to the midwest, and as far as the cast is concerned, he “would love to get as many of [season 1’s stars] back for the second season as I can.” So far, Timothy Hutton and Felicity Huffman are confirmed to return.

Update 2 (6/16): Regina King has been confirmed as a season 2 regular. “Regina is phenomenal in all regards, and is going to be at the center of a story that deals with physicality, sexuality, and societal boundaries with the same urgency as our first season dealt with race and faith,”  said Ridley. “We’ve been blessed with the opportunity to speak on subjects as no other show does, and a cast which can do so with such a high degree of emotional honesty.”

TV reminder: 8 premieres to look out for in June

We’ve officially entered the month that welcomes back summer. Typically, a TV draught takes place after the big finales in May and avid viewers are forced to twiddle their thumbs until the new season kicks into high gear in September. That has all changed. We’re living in the Golden Age of TV, after all, and the sheer amount of creative content isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The summer months are packed with great programs you simply cannot miss; the broadcast and premium cable networks, as well as streaming giant Netflix, have a number of exciting new series debuting this very month. To see what June has to offer, jump after the break. READ MORE TV reminder: 8 premieres to look out for in June

Upfronts: ABC sticks with what it knows works, adds ‘The Muppets’ & conspiracy thrillers for good measure

Update (6/2): Due to casting changes, Deadline reports that biblical saga Of Prophets and Kings is being yanked from ABC’s fall schedule and will debut at a later time. Conspiracy thriller Quantico moves into the Sunday 10pm timeslot following Once Upon a Time and fellow freshman Blood & Oil (formally known as Oil). The network has not disclosed what will take over the now-vacant Tuesdays-at-10 slot. This post has been amended to reflect the changes.

Number three is ABC–the third network to present at the Upfronts this week, that is. One look at the Alphabet network’s fall schedule and you’ll notice not much has changed from its 2014-15 grid. In fact, Monday (with Dancing with the Stars and Castle), Wednesday (with comedy lineup The Middle, The GoldbergsModern Family, and black-ish, plus country music drama Nashville), and Thursdays dedicated to prolific showrunner Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s AnatomyScandal, and How to Get Away with Murder), all remain exactly the same. The changes? Sitcom Fresh off the Boat has been bumped to 8:30 to make room for new Tuesday at 8 anchor The Muppets. That’s right–Jim Henson’s famous puppets are coming back to primetime in a half-hour documentary-style show, promising a more adult version of the Muppets that’ll “explore the [their] personal lives and relationships.” Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. sits tight at 9, leading into new conspiracy thriller Quantico. On Friday, Last Man Standing is joined by new multi-cam family sitcom Dr. Ken starring Community‘s Ken Jeong and Trophy Wife scene stealer Albert Tsai; newsmagazine 20/20 follows at 10. With Revenge complete and Resurrection cancelled, ABC’s Sundays nights will now consist of Once Upon a Time leading into new soap Oil Blood & Oil (starring Don Johnson as a ruthless oil tycoon) and biblical saga Of Kings and Prophets and conspiracy thriller Quantico.

New series being held for midseason or later include dramas The Catch (which looks to be yet another instant-classic Shondaland show starring The Killing‘s Mireille Enos; it will join Shonda’s “TGIT” lineup once Murder‘s limited run ends), another intriguing conspiracy thriller The Family (starring Bourne Identity franchise actress Joan Allen; it will replace Of Kings and Prophets on Sunday nights when the biblical drama finishes its limited run), and LA-set Wicked City, a serial killer investigative drama starring Gossip Girl‘s Ed Westwick and Parenthood‘s Erika Christensen (this one’ll air between the fall and spring runs of Quantico on Tuesdays). There are two comedies on tap for midseason: Raising Hope‘s Martha Plimpton is back in a new messy family single-cam sitcom, The Real O’Neals, and Mike Epps stars in Uncle Buck, a single-cam half-hour inspired by John Hughes’ 1989 film that starred John Candy. The former will eventually take over the Tuesdays-at-8:30 timeslot when The Muppets‘ limited run ends and Fresh off the Boat returns to its 8pm anchor; the latter has not been scheduled yet. Elsewhere, returning series Galavant will again bridge the gap between Once Upon a Time‘s fall and spring runs, and Marvel’s Agent Carter will do the same when S.H.I.E.L.D. goes on winter break. (The action is moving from New York City to Los Angeles in Agent Carter season 2.) It’s been confirmed that Juliette Lewis will be the sole actor returning to Secrets & Lies in its sophomore season; she’ll reprise Detective Andrea Cornell when the series steps in to fill the void left by Nashville when the country music soap takes its hiatus. John Ridley’s American Crime will return at some point, taking a page out of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story–it’s officially been labeled an anthology series and season 2 will feature “a completely different scenario and a completely different crime, placed in a different part of America.” Also like AHSAC will bring back some cast members from season 1 playing different characters.

Jump after the break to preview ABC’s new fall and midseason series with video clips and descriptions. READ MORE Upfronts: ABC sticks with what it knows works, adds ‘The Muppets’ & conspiracy thrillers for good measure

Big Four Networks decide fate of your favorite series in latest renewal/cancellation news (Updates inside)

Article originally published on 5/7/15. Continually updated after the break.

It is May, and the Upfronts are right around the corner. Before the networks make official their upcoming slate of fall shows, they must decide the fate of current series.

ABC made waves Thursday evening, announcing a whopping 16 renewals and 3 cancellations. Without further ado, the following series will be making their way back to the Alphabet network next season.

Shonda Rhimes’ “TGIT” lineup remains in tact, as Grey’s Anatomy (season 12), Scandal (s5), and How to Get Away with Murder (s2) will all return for more intense drama. Veteran Castle (s8) and ABC staples Once Upon A Time (s5) and Nashville (s4) are also coming back–no surprise there. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (s3) is here to stay as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to unfold on TV; also, the TV gods thankfully heard our collective cries to keep Marvel’s Agent Carter on the air which will return for a second season! The low-rated, critically acclaimed American Crime is also getting a sophomore run, as is the surprisingly fun murder mystery series Secrets and Lies.

Over on the comedy side, veteran Modern Family (s7) remains the network’s crown jewel, and other Wednesday night sitcoms The Middle (s7) and The Goldbergs (s3), and black-ish (s2) will follow suit with new seasons next fall. Freshman series Fresh off the Boat and musical Galavant have also been greenlit to return. Though it hasn’t been made official quite yet, Tim Allen sitcom Last Man Standing is expected to make a fifth season. Update (5/10)LMS will return.

Last, the net’s alternative programs that have been renewed include American’s Funniest Home Videos (s26), The Bachelor (s20), Dancing with the Stars (s21), Shark Tank (s7), Beyond the Tank (s2), and newsmagazine 20/20.

Those series not returning include dramas Resurrection and Forever and Friday night sitcom Cristela. While the latter two failed to find broad audiences, the former simply couldn’t manage to sustain its dragged out premise involving dead people coming back to life (good luck, The Returned!). Fans will surely hold onto Resurrection‘s quietly superb 8-episode first season, and thankfully, the season 2 finale happened to bring much closure to the story.

As I teased before, this is just the beginning, people. Hold onto your hats because the Upfronts are coming next week!

Jump after the break for other renewal/cancellation news from the big networks. READ MORE Big Four Networks decide fate of your favorite series in latest renewal/cancellation news (Updates inside)

Bidding ‘Revenge’ farewell as showrunner confirms fourth season is ABC drama’s last

Emily Thorne’s “Revengenda” is coming to an end. On Wednesday, showrunner and executive producer Sunil Nayar confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that the upcoming fourth season finale of ABC’s Revenge will effectively serve as the series finale.

“We can officially tell our fans that this will be the end of the story,” Nayar told EW. “We’ve been talking to the network and we all just wanted to make sure that we felt very confident. Now that everybody has seen the finale—which is fabulous—everybody understands that as much as we all adore the show, it has hit exactly the mark it needed to to end. This is the series finale of Revenge that will be airing in a couple weeks.”

Though technically speaking this is a series cancellation on the network’s part (Nayer has previously publicly stated that he had ideas to keep the show going for additional seasons), it surely doesn’t feel like one. In fact, this axing (or dare I say, red sharpie takedown) is very much in the same vein as what Fox did with Prison Break in 2009. Revenge has simply reached its conclusion, properly exhausting itself creatively over a solid amount of time. Though four seasons doesn’t sound very long (Lost, for example, bowed out after six seasons), Revenge set out to tell a tale that naturally could only sustain itself for a limited run.

–Spoilers start here–

From the start, it was protagonist Emily Thorne’s hell-bent mission to make the Grayson family pay for wrongfully accusing her father of being a terrorist. Today, three of the four Graysons are dead (most recently co-star Madeline Stowe–Victoria, Queen of the Hamptons–offed herself) and Emily’s father David Clarke (surprise!) is alive and his name has been cleared. Though the showrunner had plans to keep things chugging along, it’s simply hard to imagine Emily’s scheming to continue without Victoria, the proverbial thorn in her side. And on top of all this, Emily is no longer Emily; this season she formally came out as Amanda Clarke.

So what’s on the water-logged horizon for our favorite Hamptonites? The series is coming full circle now that Emily has been framed for a murder she did not commit (carried out from the grave by Victoria, no less!). Other dangling threads: David Clarke is undergoing cancer treatment, and then, of course, there’s Jack. Will the two lovebirds finally connect romantically and make it last? This is something I’ve been waiting for ever since that incredibly emotional and memorable scene between Emily and Jack on the pier in season one, where Jack proclaimed his feelings for her: “I feel like this feeling comes along once or twice in a lifetime, if we’re very lucky…” That one. If you take the final episode’s title into consideration, your inner-shipper might start to falter.

–Spoilers end here–

The series finale is titled “Two Graves” (airing May 10), and if can harken back to the pilot for a minute, you’ll remember that it opened with this Confucius quote: “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” After everything that she’s accomplished, will Emily meet her maker in the end?

“There are epic emotional moments in the finale,” says Nayar. “There are really shocking things that happen in the finale. It’s a tricky thing because the fans are such passionate lovers of the show and we really want to give them what they want, but the hard part about a finale in a show like this is you want to give them some of what they want, some of what they don’t know they want yet and some of what they never expected, and it needs to be a perfect mix of all those things. I truly believe our finale is the perfect mix of all those three things. I think they’re going to be extremely satisfied.”

Fans should know that Nayer and his creative team put the season four closer together not being fully aware that it would eventually serve as the series ender. And so a cliffhanger remains, despite promised closure. Nayer elaborates: “There’s a tiny little cliffhanger in the series finale. We don’t want people to get weary of the stories we’re telling, so we felt like they deserve an ending to this novel that Mike Kelley started four years ago. I really feel like the last couple chapters are worthy of the first many.”

So we bid farewell to the conniving Graysons, the two-faced Emily Thorne, her soul mate Jack Porter, and let’s not forget the one and only Nolan Ross. Over the course of four seasons, Revenge took its loyal fanbase on a thrilling, emotionally charged ride. After an audacious start, the show rode creative highs (red sharpie take down episodes!) and lows (read: The Convoluted Initiative). In the end, though, there’s no denying all of that addicting dialogue and its soapy, twisty, sexy, flair for the dramatic.

‘Nashville’ cast readies for eight-city spring concert tour

The cast of ABC’s country music drama Nashville is going on tour, again! An eight-city spring concert tour kicks off at the Beacon (not Deacon) Theatre in New York City on Wednesday, April 29 and it wraps in Phoenix on Sunday, May 10. Clare Bowen (Scarlett O’Connor), Chris Carmack (Will Lexington), Charles Esten (Deacon Claybourne), Aubrey Peeples (Layla Grant) and Lennon & Maisy Stella (Maddie & Daphne Conrad) will be performing at all venues. If you’re attending in NYC or Chicago, consider yourself lucky; Sam Palladio (Gunnar Scott) will make a special appearance in the Big Apple, and Jonathan Jackson (Avery Barkley) will stop in the Windy City. Tickets are on sale now mostly at Ticketmaster; jump after the break to view the venue list and additional ticket information.

“It is so exciting and rewarding to see our amazing cast blossom as live artists and be able to have that intimate relationship with our ‘Nashville’ fans,” said ABC exec Dawn Soler. “Taking ‘Nashville’ on the road, along with our ‘On The Record’ series, offers our viewers a complete and authentic experience.”

READ MORE ‘Nashville’ cast readies for eight-city spring concert tour

TV reminder: 12 premieres to look out for in March

There are so many super awesome cool amazing premieres falling on the schedule this month! Jump after the break to preview 12 you shouldn’t miss. READ MORE TV reminder: 12 premieres to look out for in March

TV reminder: 10 premieres to look out for in January

New year, new TV. It’s time for the latest installment of what to watch this month! There are a total of 10 new and returning shows to look out for in January so let’s get right to it, after the break. READ MORE TV reminder: 10 premieres to look out for in January