FOX followed NBC at the 2013 Upfronts on Monday, unveiling 11 new series coming to the network next season: six comedies, four 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: Monday night is genre night for FOX; in the fall Bones is paired with Sleepy Hollow from Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, and in late fall J.J. Abrams and J.H. Wyman’s Almost Human will lead into new episodes of Sleepy Hollow and then The Following when midseason rolls around… Joining New Girl and The Mindy Project on Tuesday nights is multi-cam comedy from Seth MacFarlane Dads and single-cam sitcom starring Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher Brooklyn Nine-Nine; the network opens a second comedy block in late fall with Raising Hope and Enlisted with Geoff Stults on Friday nights… Bones is also relocating from to Friday starting in late fall where it will lead into the aforementioned second comedy block… When Glee goes off the air in midseason, Greg Kinnear drama Rake will take over the Thursday at 9PM slot; Glee will return in late spring and finish its fifth cycle in June.
Elsewhere: For next season FOX is focused on introducing new programming all year round by staggering premieres in fall, late fall, midseason, and in the summer. The network is looking to “reinvent the miniseries” with “limited event series.” Two major event series were announced at their upfronts presentation: Wayward Pines (10 episodes) from M. Night Shyamalan (starring Matt Dillon) and the return of 24 (subtitled Live Another Day, 12 episodes) with Kiefer Sutherland back the iconic role of Jack Bauer. These shows are slated to debut in 2014… Following the Super Bowl on February 2, the network will air a new episode of New Girl and pair it with a new half-hour comedy still TBD… Also coming in 2014 is Seth MacFarlane’s reboot of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on board to host the 13-episode journey through our universe… The Cleveland Show‘s fate is still up in the air… Gang Related, Surviving Jack, Us & Them, and the animated Murder Police are being held for midseason.
Programs not returning next season: Ben and Kate, The Mob Doctor, Fringe, and Touch. (Click here for more…)
What a year it has been for fans of groundbreaking television returning to their former glory. Seven years after it aired its final episode due to low ratings and forced cancellation, Arrested Development is returning with 15 new installments in under two weeks time. 24 bowed out after eight seasons on air, and rumors of a feature film had been swirling since it ended. Following Arrested‘s lead, the creative heads behind the suspenseful drama ultimately decided to opt out of a movie and instead bring the series back in episodic form. Are you getting this? 24 is coming back for more!
FOX is labeling the return of 24 as an “event series,” meaning it will come in a smaller, yet still impactful package. 24: Live Another Day will retain the 24 DNA by telling a season-long story that takes place over the course of one day in Jack Bauer’s life, however this time around the trek will be truncated into 12 episodes instead of the usual 24. FOX chairmen Kevin Reilly spilled the following: “It will go chronologically over the day, but it will skip hours. It will be dictated by the plot…The spine of the original 24 episodes was about 12 hours. Those were when the big events occurred, and then there were little events and connective tissue in between. So [we're] taking the best 12 [of the 24].” He added, “A lot of who’s who in Hollywood wanted to participate in this,” so fans can expect some surprise special guests to pop up over the course of the season in addition to fan favorites (Chloe must return!). No plot details have surfaced yet, but the official PR states the new season will find Jack “several years following the events of the final season.”
Wondering why the movie never came to fruition? Reilly confessed that the producers realized that “24 compressed into two hours is not 24.” It’s that simple.
Will this limited event series mark the real end of 24? Reilly wouldn’t say, but he did acknowledge the series’ “franchise-ability;” he won’t promise a new season of 24 every year, but depending on how the upcoming 12 new episodes perform in the ratings he is leaving a door open for a potential sequel of sorts.
24: Live Another Day is slated to premiere May 2014 and serve as a summer series for FOX. It is a production of 20th Century Fox Television in association with Teakwood Lane Productions. Howard Gordon, Brian Grazer, and Kiefer Sutherland will executive produce, along with an additional team to be announced.
On April 8, A&E renewed Bates Motel for a second season. Same order as before–10 new episodes will premiere in 2014.
A&E president Bob DeBitetto: “Bates Motel has garnered critical acclaim and a loyal audience in its first few weeks. With superb writing and exceptional acting, led by the critically acclaimed performances of Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore, we’re incredibly excited to see where Carlton and Kerry take Norma and Norman Bates next.”
On April 26, NBC renewed five dramas including freshmen Revolution and Chicago Fire, Law & Order: SVU (for a fifteenth season), Parenthood (for a fifth season), and Grimm (for a third season).
NBC entertainment president Jennifer Salke: “On the verge of our 2013 fall scheduling decisions, we’re pleased to renew five drama series that will be important to our new season line-up. We’re proud and very appreciative of all of the actors, producers, writers and directors who work so hard to deliver such high-quality work week in and week out. These complex shows represent a broad range of genres and tones, and all of them stand out for us in a television landscape now filled with one-hour series. We’re especially pleased to be renewing Revolution and Chicago Fire — two first-season successes — and there will be more returning series announcements made in the next couple of weeks.”
For more renewal news, jump after the break. (Click here for more…)
Do you watch The Mindy Project? If so, it is pretty much guaranteed that you will thoroughly enjoy the sitcom’s web series centered on the show’s breakout star Ike Barinholtz. It’s called The Morgan Project. Need I say more? Watch all three installments after the break, and keep tabs on the show’s official site for more.
The Mindy Project airs Tuesday nights at 9:30PM on FOX. (Click here for more…)
Good news for fans of FOX programming this week. The “edgy” network renewed four of its shows on Monday including its current Tuesday night comedy lineup Raising Hope, New Girl, and The Mindy Project for a fourth, third, and second season, respectively; also coming back for a second season is the Monday night serial killer thriller from Kevin Williamson starring Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy The Following. When The Following returns next year it will play out over the course of 15 episodes (same as season 1), and uninterrupted if FOX brass decide to save it for midseason again.
Though ratings are relatively low for all three FOX comedies, it was expected that Greg Garcia’s Raising Hope and Liz Meriwether’s New Girl would be back for more; it’s Mindy Kaling’s The Mindy Project whose renewal surprises the most as its ratings were on the bubble of renewal and cancellation averaging 4 million total viewers and a 2.1 rating in the 18-49 demo. While FOX was quick to axe Ben And Kate earlier this season, the network is giving Mindy some more time to grow creatively. As for The Following, this show is rapidly evolving into must-see television as its dark plot twists and solid acting and bold storytelling captivate a sizable audience; the drama is averaging 11.7 million total viewers and a 4.0 rating. (And if you’re wondering, Raising Hope averages 4.5 million viewers and a 2.0 rating this season and New Girl is seeing 6.4 million viewers and a 3.5 rating.)
FOX entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly on the renewals: “From the very beginning, we felt Kevin Williamson and Marcos Siega had created a high-quality, edge-of-your-seat drama that could break from the pack, and it is exciting to see the audience responding. Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy have given us two of the most compelling characters on television and the entire cast is incredible. I’m delighted to have this thrill ride continue on Fox for another season.” On the coming-back comedies he said, “these shows are creatively vibrant, they have established a loyal and passionate audience and they will continue to define and grow the Fox comedy brand next season and beyond.”
After spending so many years as Jack Bauer on 24, Kiefer Sutherland has landed a softer, more philosophical role in FOX’s Touch from Heroes creator Tim Kring. Season 1 played like a symphony about human interconnectedness as each installment told a myriad of interesting stories from all around our tiny world. And at the end of each one, as much as the ball of red yarn twisted and stretched it found equilibrium and all wrongs were made right. Sutherland’s Martin Bohm has a gifted son named Jake (played incredibly by the silent narrator David Mazouz) and he can see the fractures in the universe and he uses his father as a source of might to restore balance to it. Though the first season introduced some serialized material when an unseen power wanted to tap into Jake’s gift for unknown purposes, what the show did best was offer exciting, visually stirring, emotional stories with a beginning, middle, and end each week.
Fans will notice some changes in season 2. First, the story picks up right where we left off. Fate has brought Martin and Jake to Lucy (Maria Bello) and together they will search for her gifted daughter Amelia. Kring promises a faster-paced, jolting journey for our characters, and answers. The Amelia Sequence and its ramifications on the nature of things is the more compelling serialized part of the series, after all. “[Lucy] only felt that her daughter was alive — like a mother’s intuition. So [Martin and Jake] absolutely reaffirm it,” says Kring. “The second season is very much about the search for Amelia and the fact that Maria Bello and Kiefer Sutherland’s characters are now joined together – two people who are searching for answers together.”
Maria Bello has been promoted to a series regular in season 2, but social worker and Martin’s partner-in-crime Clea Hopkins (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) will not be returning. Lucas Haas, a 24 alum (he played Andrew Paige in season 4), joins the cast as Calvin Norburg, a genius Aster Corps employee with special knowledge who will cross paths with our title characters.
If you missed out on the first season of Touch, don’t fret. Due to its typically procedural nature I’m sure the season 2 premiere will make it easy for first time viewers to jump right in. Kring has created a captiviating world here so don’t miss out. Touch premieres tonight (2/8) at 8PM on FOX with back-to-back episodes “Event Horizon” and “Closer.” Starting next week and for the remainder of the 13-episode season, it will air in its regular slot Friday at 9. Check out the official season 2 poster after the break. (Click here for more…)
FOX orders futuristic drama from J.H. Wyman & J.J. Abrams [Update: Another Abrams pilot a-go at NBC]
With Fringe in his rearview mirror, showrunner and sometimes writer and director J.H. Wyman has a new drama at FOX to work on. Today FOX ordered to pilot an hourlong drama from Wyman and J.J. Abrams, the same auspices that brought us Walter Bishop and the rest of the Fringe family. The untitled project is being produced by Abrams’ production company Bad Robot in collaboration with Warner Bros. TV. It’s being described as “an action-packed buddy cop show set in a near future when all LAPD officers are partnered with highly evolved humanlike androids.” Yeah, count me in. Wyman is writing the script and serving as executive producer, a title he shares with Abrams, Bryan Burk, and Kathy Lingg. After the script is locked in and casting choices are made, the pilot will be made and if all goes well we’ll have another Abrams/Wyman futuristic drama on the air in the fall.
Update: Mere moments after wrapping this post news broke that another pilot headlined by J.J. Abrams was ordered by NBC. (After landing the Star Wars directing gig and two pilots at two of the major broadcast networks, somebody is having the best week ever.) This project also falls under the Bad Robot/Warner Bros. TV banners and Abrams is working closely with Alfonso Cuarón (director of Harry Potter and the Prison of Azkaban). It’s working title is Believe and the script is currently being penned by Cuarón and Mark Friedman (Home of the Brave, The Forgotten). Believe is about “the unlikely relationship between a young girl in possession of a great gift/powers — which will come into their own in seven years — and a man sprung from prison who has been tasked with protecting her from the evil elements that hunt her power.” Abrams, Cuarón, Friedman, and Bryan Burk are executive producing. Cuarón is on tap to direct.
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.
Fringe is but a memory today as its spectacular series finale aired last Friday. The show and its unforgettable characters will always live on in our hearts and reruns…and in September’s Notebook. From publisher Insight Editions and authors Tara Bennett and Paul Terry (the duo that penned the Lost Encyclopedia) comes an official TV tie-in book that’s filled with all kinds of Fringe lore. The 192-page hardback notebook briefly showed up on screen in episode 510 “The Boy Must Live” and it can be yours to keep come March.
Fringe: September’s Notebook — The Bishop Paradox charts all five seasons of the show and is described as “an essential, and fully sanctioned, part of Fringe‘s mythology.” Words are disseminated from the perspective of our favorite Observer known as September and then Donald and the book includes “lush in-world storytelling and thousands of never-before-seen images that provide new insight into the series.” In other words, this is a true must-have for fans of the series because it actually expands on what we’ve seen happen over the course of the show. If you still have lingering questions after watching the finale, perhaps this book will shed light on your ongoing theories.
Moreover, the book is “overflowing with September’s handwritten observations, covert photographs, personal sketches and musings, as well as extensive FBI case files and hyper-detailed Massive Dynamic intel. Fans will even be able to interact with September’s movable notes, salvaged elements, and highly classified tangible elements.”
September’s Notebook, which also includes a forward by Fringe showrunners J.H. Wyman and Jeff Pinkner, is up for preorder today and goes on sale in March for $50 at Insight Editions. Explore pages from the book at that link, too. Also, the book’s official site features some really great Fringe wallpapers for desktops and smartphones. [Update: Amazon's got it for $31.50.]
The perfect gift for the cult Fringe fan.
In three days the final episode of Fringe will come and go. What better way to anticipate and celebrate the final installment of the FOX cult sci-fi series than with a brand new promotional poster and one last epic trailer. Similar in design to the one that came before it, this poster features an Observer with a bad nose bleed but that’s the least of his worries. With Walter and Donald’s plan set in motion, it’s only a matter of time before the baldies go down. Last week anomaly Michael gave himself up to the Observers to ensure the safety of Olivia, Peter, and Walter, so now we’re stuck asking ourselves how will the plan proceed without its most important piece? After the break you’ll discover the final Fringe trailer that sheds some light on what we can expect this Friday. The most intriguing bit? Cortexiphan is back and Olivia is going to harness it to travel back to the other side! The incomparable John Noble narrates.
Exec producer J.J. Abrams describes “An Enemy of Fate,” episode number 100, written and directed by showrunner Joel Wyman, as “highly unexpected, incredibly emotional and a fitting conclusion to the series.” He added, “I mean, the script is unbelievable. [The episode is] beautifully done by Joel and the writers. “If it’s not satisfying, I don’t know what satisfying is.”
John Noble, who plays fan favorite Walter Bishop (and who better not bite the dust), also shared his admiration for the last hurrah. “I can honestly say that it was everything I had hoped it could possibly be,” he told TVLine. “It tied up our character lines, it tied up the great story arc… I was extremely elated. It’s certainly going [out] with a bang. I hope history will judge it as one of the great finales of all time. I really believe they will.” On his character’s fate he continued, “If you had asked me in Season 1 where I thought Walter should finish up, it would have been exactly where he does. That’s the remarkable thing — it’s the perfect arc for Walter.”
Fringe airs two back-to-back episodes (“Liberty” and then “An Enemy of Fate”) this Friday, January 18 starting at 8PM. (Click here for more…)
The Following is arguably the most anticipated new drama this television season. In so many words, it’s an edgy, fast-paced thriller from Kevin Williamson (The Vampire Diaries) that stars Kevin Bacon as an FBI agent attempting to stop a Edgar Allen Poe-obsessed jailed serial killer played by James Purefoy from recruiting a cult of followers who are committing violent acts on behalf of Purefoy’s intellectual but deadly character. Phew! At the TCAs Williamson talked up his new show for FOX, maintaining its integrity even when bombarded with questions fueled by the recent acts of violence in real life including the theatre shooting in Aurora, Colorado and the mass killing at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.
“Who wasn’t affected by Sandy Hook? I’m still disturbed by Aurora,” Williamson shared. “I think we all worry about it. We sat in the writer’s room and we were all traumatized by it. There’s a moment where it becomes too real.” But he went on to assure the audience that The Following is, in fact, a work of fiction. It’s a story, he admits, that is influenced by previous works like The Silence of the Lambs and real-life terrors such as the Columbine incident. “I know what happens in the real world affects me,” he said. “It finds its way into what I do.” Later: “We don’t sit around and think of ways to kill people. I’m sitting around thinking of the drama…[After writing] some episodes, I’m like, ‘Wow a lot of people died this week.’ And then no one will die the next!” He noted that FOX has not asked him to fiddle with the amount of violence in the show; for now, it is what it is. (Click here for more…)
FOX’s entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly took the stage today at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour in Pasadena, California to discuss his network’s programming slate. The tides have turned against FOX this round; while The Voice and Revolution helped NBC jump to #1 in the coveted 18-49 demo this fall, FOX’s dead-out-of-the-gate Mob Doctor and its creatively sound but low rated Tuesday night comedy block (including Raising Hope, Ben and Kate, New Girl, and The Mindy Project) contributed to the net’s 24 percent decline in ratings (falling from #1 to #3) for the 18-49 crowd. Reilly came out and admitted the obvious after a critic messed up a question aimed at the network exec: “We all screw up — look at my fall,” he said and the audience erupted in laughter. “Here at FOX we are leaping into the new year, [and] no one is happier than us to turn the page.” And with that he focused the remainder of the session on specific shows like The X Factor, Glee, the upcoming thriller The Following and the violent themes surrounding it, and he shared the fate of the In Living Color reboot and when you can expect The Goodwin Games to air. Follow the bullet-points after the break. (Click here for more…)
There are only four episodes of Fringe left. What better way to ring ‘em in than with a shiny poster? The elegantly harrowing image puts the season’s big bad baldie Captain Widmark front and center; his eyes remain transfixed but divert the gaze of the viewer. His stoic nature is intact, but he’s beaten up with black-and-blue patches and red blood seeps from his nose and mouth. The fedora donning mind-wiper has a bleak future because we have to believe that Olivia and the Bishops will in fact save the world by ridding it of The Observers. The final battle is imminent.
Fringe airs one more episode this Friday, December 21 titled “Anomaly XB-6783746″ before going on its final hiatus as we gun for the new year. It returns January 11 and the week after that the final two episodes will air back-to-back culminating in the series finale “An Enemy of Fate.”
[Image via TVLine]
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 FOX is adding six series to its schedule, two of which include a new drama and a new comedy. The buzziest new midseason drama is The Following, a psychological thriller from Kevin Williamson (The Vampire Diaries, Scream) starring Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy. When a serial killer (Purefoy) escapes from death row, he embarks on a new killing spree and forms a cult of believers and a former FBI agent (Bacon) is tasked with putting a stop to the madness. Bacon’s character has a unique connection to Purefoy’s–he is the one who was responsible for locking him up before in 2003. Critics who have seen the pilot describe it as a terrifying thrill ride. Some say it’s the scariest pilot ever aired on network TV. We’ll see how it compares to the likes of cable offerings such as American Horror Story and The Walking Dead when The Following premieres Monday, January 21 at 9PM. Watch an extended trailer after the break.
The new FOX comedy waiting to enter the fold is The Goodwin Games from the executive producers of How I Met Your Mother Carter Bays, Craig Thomas, and Chris Harris starring Scott Foley, Becki Newton, Felisha Terrell, and Melissa Tang. The wacky single camera sitcom follows three estranged siblings forced to reconnect after their father’s death while competing against each other to inherit his vast fortune. Now because FOX’s Tuesday night comedy lineup is packed with shows that all received back orders this fall (namely Raising Hope, Ben And Kate, New Girl, The Mindy Project), the network has not decided when it will add The Goodwin Games into the mix. Since Ben And Kate has the smallest episode count this season at 19, FOX will likely replace it with The Goodwin Games after its finale airs. Speaking of episode count, FOX cut Games‘ original 13 episode order to 7, also due to there being little wiggle room in the schedule. With the HIMYM auspices behind it, I wouldn’t count it out just yet. When a premiere date is announced, you’ll know it.
My recommendation: Do not miss The Following. If you’ve only got room for one new drama, this is it. And even if you don’t, make room. And whenever The Goodwin Games airs, I’d say give it a go. Though if it doesn’t perform well out of the gate, it probably won’t last long.
Shows that are returning to FOX’s schedule include Tim Kring’s Touch starring Kiefer Sutherland, David Mazouz, and Mario Bello (premiering Friday, February 8 at 8PM), American Idol is back with a new judges panel including Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, and Keith Urban (Wednesday, January 16 at 8PM), Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen, and Cops.
Jump after the break to view the full schedule.
Look in the gallery below for key art (aka TV promotional posters).
Fringe celebrated 100 episodes at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in Vancouver by gathering together the cast and crew of the cult sci-fi series. TVLine was on the scene and spoke with showrunner J.H. Wyman about what fans can expect from the final episode.
First thing’s first: Wyman has revealed the title of said episode and it is “An Enemy of Fate.”
Now what can that mean? Though Wyman doesn’t divulge much, he does promise that the final hour of the show–the series’ 100th episode–is going to be the most exhilarating installment yet. “It’s definitely the biggest season finale we’ve ever had,” Wyman teased. “It’s the most expensive…It’s massive, really big. I wanted to go out like, ‘Wow, how did they do that?’”
And like all the best Fringe episodes, the series ender will an emotionally thrilling one. “I wanted to make sure I handled [the action element] and the emotions with equal import,” he said.
Fringe returns from a three-week hiatus this week. Episode 8 of 13, “The Human Kind,” airs Friday night at 9PM on FOX. From this point forward the show will air uninterrupted culminating in the two-hour series finale on January 18, 2013. Check out some pictures from the 100 Episodes celebration in the gallery below.
Note: The image above is not a spoiler from the current season; it is merely a screen-cap from last year’s Comic Con gag.
[Images via BuddyTV]
FOX pushes ‘Touch’, schedules remaining ‘Mob Doctor’ episodes; ABC gives ‘Last Man Standing’ & ‘Malibu Country’ back orders; The CW cancels ‘Emily Owens’
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.
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
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.
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.
After staging a comeback from the depths of cancellation, Seth MacFarlane’s Family Guy has managed to survive and thrive into its tenth season which premiere earlier this fall and tomorrow night the FOX animated sitcom will air its 200th episode. MacFarlane is acknowledging the milestone with a special episode titled “Yug Ylimaf” in which Brian fiddles with Stewie’s time machine and accidentally causes time to run in reverse. The logline spills that “he and Stewie must figure out how to restore the forward progress of time before Stewie is unborn.” The episode will relive a bunch of classic moments in Family Guy in reverse, including the unforgettable ipecac barf gag. Following the landmark 200th episode, FOX will air a half-hour retrospective called “200 Episodes Later” that includes a behind-the-scenes look at the long-running series and interviews with MacFarlane, producers, and the voice cast.
Sneak a peek at the one-hour Family Guy event set to air this Sunday at 9PM on FOX in the video embedded above.
Fringe spoilers follow; if you haven’t watched the episode “An Origin Story” do not read ahead.
At the end of the episode “An Origin Story,” Fringe took Peter Bishop’s character in a bold new direction. After interrogating a captured Observer, Peter discovered and removed a chip from the back of the baldie’s noggin. “You are nothing but tech,” Peter lashed out to the Observer. “I would be ten times what you are if I had that tech in my head.” In a fit of rage following the recent death of his daughter Etta at the hands of the Observers, Peter lodged the tech into the back of his head and thus began his journey of revenge. He must’ve forgotten what Anil told him an episode prior: “A person who embarks on a path of revenge should first dig two graves.”
So what can we expect from this transformed Peter? In an interview clip embedded above, Jackson shares that “once [Peter] has the tech in his head he’s kinda drunk on his own power all of a sudden” and that “Peter as we know him is very rapidly slipping away.”
And if you watched last night’s episode “Through the Looking Glass and What Peter Found There” we got a glimpse of Peter’s new abilities, though the tech doesn’t seem to be fully affecting his capacity to show emotion…yet. Just as Olivia starts to reach out to Peter, he pushes himself further away by injected the Observer tech into his head. Olivia’s portrayer Anna Torv discusses this topic in the clip.
Minor spoiler from “Through the Looking Glass…” follows. Jackson makes an interesting point in the clip at the end when he mentions that Peter and his father Walter are experiencing “parallel lives.” Jackson is undergoing a transformation thanks to the Observer tech, and Walter is similarly changing ever since Etta and Simon installed the missing parts of Walter’s brain in the pivotal “future episode” 419 last season. Walter made an emotional realization at the end of last night’s episode: “I’m not safe. It’s my mind. Ever since the pieces of my brain were reimplanted, it’s been changing me back into the man I was before. Bit by bit. I’m losing myself, Peter. I’m losing the man that you helped me become.” He’s afraid that he is transforming back into the “arrogant” man he used to be during the days he experimented with William Bell. It will be interesting to watch these parallel character transformations unfold as we enter the final stretch of episodes. Peter promises that he will not let Walter lose himself, but can he keep his word if he’s losing himself to the Observer tech?
Fringe airs Friday nights at 9PM on FOX.
FOX outed a press release today confirming the day its sci-fi saga Fringe will come to an end. The fifth and final season will conclude on Friday, January 18, 2013. On that day the network will air the final two episodes back-to-back, effectively scheduling a two-hour block from 8PM-10PM dedicated to wrapping up the story and saying goodbye to the Fringe team. This date celebrates another major milestone for the series–here it will reach its 100th episode. The PR is jam-packed with statements from co-creator J.J. Abrams, executive producer and showrunner J.H. Wyman, and FOX Chairman of Entertainment Kevin Reilly.
Abrams: “It has been an absolute honor to have been a part of the weird and wonderful world of FRINGE. I will always owe the cast and crew for pouring their hearts and souls into every dimension of this series. Creating the show with Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman was a joy, but watching it evolve over the years into such an imaginative, insane and heartbreaking ride is nothing less than a thrill. I am grateful to our blessed fans, and to Kevin Reilly and Peter Rice and everyone at the glorious Fox network for allowing FRINGE to reach its bittersweet conclusion.”
Wyman: “Above all else, from the bottom of my heart, I would like to personally thank everyone involved with FRINGE. From the most amazing fans, to our incredible cast, writers and crew, and our wonderful partners at FOX and Warner Bros. – we would not be here without you. It simply cannot be overstated how grateful I am for the ongoing and unconditional support we have received over the past five seasons. It has been both mind-blowing and humbling. I’ve always been a fan of science fiction, and to be able to tell this story about a family – a family that, through everything, fought together for survival – has been a highlight of my career. As we approach the final chapter, I can hardly believe it, and I’m just truly thankful for this unparalleled experience.”
Reilly: “FRINGE has truly imagined the impossibilities over its five seasons and will go down in the books as one of FOX’s most riveting and creatively brilliant series. It has been a blast to work with J.J., Joel and their masterful creative teams, as well as with Anna, Josh and John and the rest of the most talented cast and crew in the business.”
The PR, which can be read entirely at the source link, also does a great job at prepping tonight’s all-new episode:
In the aftermath of the devastating loss of Peter and Olivia’s daughter, Etta, the intensity escalates as the combat continues and Peter makes a pivotal and game-changing move in the all-new “An Origin Story” episode airing tonight [at 9PM] on FOX.
There are seven episodes left as we climb toward the climatic two-hour series finale event that takes place early next year. The beginning of the end is sight. RESIST!