Upfronts: NBC debuts new fall schedule dominated with dramas (Trailers & full descriptions inside)

Posted in Image cache,News,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on May 14th, 2015

For TV lovers, this is one of the most exciting times of the year. It’s mid-May and the Upfronts are currently taking place in New York City. In case you’re not aware, the Upfronts is an annual event where the major networks (namely NBC, FOX, ABC, CBS, and The CW) present their upcoming slates of fall and midseason programming to advertisers and the press. The Upfronts are held to get advertisers excited to spend their money on primetime commercials, and the press is there to spur buzz for the public at large. Every year the nets pump out some great content, so without further ado, let’s dive right in!

NBC is first out of the gate this Upfront season, presenting four new dramas, one fresh comedy, and a special variety series hosted by Neil Patrick Harris for the fall. The Blindspot, from executive producer Greg Berlanti (The Mysteries of LauraThe FlashArrow), stars Jaimie Alexander (Thor) in the Peacock’s most anticipated new drama. The mystery thriller about an amnesiac covered in tattooed clues has landed the plum post-The Voice spot on NBC’s fall schedule: Mondays at 10. Following The Voice on Tuesdays at 9 is new medical drama Heatbreaker starring Melissa George (The SlapGrey’s Anatomy, In Treatment). At 10 is Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris, a new variety show promising “stunts, skits, pranks, audience interaction, musical numbers, giveaways and unlimited surprises.” Chicago Fire will return for its fourth season in that timeslot when NPH’s show ends in November. Wednesday’s crime procedurals The Mysteries of LauraLaw & Order: SVU, and Chicago P.D. remain in tact. The Blacklist is sticking to Thursday nights at 9, sandwiched between event series Heroes Reborn and new drama The Player. This Las Vegas thriller hails from John Davis and John Fox, the executive producers behind the popular James Spader-led series, and it stars Wesley Snipes and Philip Winchester (Strike Back) in a fun twist on the action-crime genre. Friday is the sole night dedicated to NBC comedy with the returning Undatable at 8 (its third season will be completely comprised of live episodes) and new multi-cam sitcom People are Talking starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Saved by the Bell). At 9 it’s the return of dark fairly-tale genre fare Grimm and newsmagazine Dateline.

New series being held for midseason or later include dramas Shades of Blue (starring Jennifer Lopez), another Dick Wolf spinoff Chicago MedGame of Silence (starring Revolution‘s David Lyons and Once Upon a Time‘s Michael Raymond-James), and the Wizard of Oz-inspired Emerald City. Comedies coming soon include You, Me, and the End of the World with Rob Lowe (Parks & Rec), Superstore with America Ferrera (Ugly Betty) and Ben Feldman (A to Z), Hot & Bothered with Eva Longeria (Desperate Housewives), the revival of Coach starring Craig T. Nelson, and Crowded with Patrick Warburton (Rules of Engagement) and Carrie Preston (True Blood). Reality series First Dates and Little Big Shots hosted by Steve Harvey, as well as TV specials The Wiz Live!The Reaper, and Dolly Parton in Coat of Many Colors, are also coming soon.

Jump after the break to preview NBC’s new fall and midseason series with video clips and descriptions. (Click here for more…)

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

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on May 11th, 2015

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. (Click here for more…)

NBC schedules ‘Hannibal’ season 3 for June (2 new posters inside!)

Posted in Image cache,News,Television by Scott Meisner on March 6th, 2015

Calling all Fannibals, it’s nearly time to feast once again. Today the Peacock network penciled in the season 3 premiere date of Bryan Fuller’s bloody good drama Hannibal. Will Graham’s hunt for Hannibal Lector begins Thursday, June 4 at 10pm. So mark your calendars and sharpen your kitchen knives, but not before watching the season 3 trailer!

Fuller confirmed the news with a simple tweet stating “TUCK IN” and using the hashtag #HannibalReturnsJune4. He also mentions actress Gillian Anderson, now a series regular, because she’s featured in the new Hannibal poster plastered above. Anderson plays Hannibal’s shrink Bedelia du Maurier, and at the very end of last season she’s seen escaping the States on a plane sitting next to Dr. Lector. Take in the beautifully simple poster, and then, jump after the break to see a leather jacket-clad Mads Mikkelsen.

One more thing. Here’s a super fun fact: NBC additionally scheduled new summer drama Aquarius starring David Duchovny for Thursday, May 28 from 9-11pm. The following week it will fall into its regular Thursdays-at-9 timeslot preceding Hannibal. Do you get what I’m hinting at here? Duchovny’s new show serves as an appetizer (ahem, apéritif) to one starring Gillian Anderson; it’s an X-Files reunion…of sorts! (Click here for more…)

NBC renews five dramas for next season

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on February 9th, 2015

You can file this under no surprises here: the Peacock network has gifted five of its well-performing dramas another season each. James Spader vehicle The Blacklist, Dick Wolf’s Law & Order: Special Victims UnitChicago Fire, and Chicago P.D., and Friday night genre staple Grimm will all be back next TV season. Other NBC dramas such as State of Affairs with Katherine Heigl, The Mysteries of Laura with Debra Messing, and other Friday genre fare Constantine remain in contention for next season.

“The creative vision of the executive producers who’ve guided these outstanding dramas has been nothing short of incredible,” said NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke in a statement. “We’re highly appreciative of the passion they bring to their shows at every step of the creative process and we’re thrilled to reward that dedication with these renewals.”

TV reminder: 4 premieres to look out for in February

Posted in Images,News,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on February 1st, 2015

February is all about quality over quantity in terms of appealing premieres to look out for. The new month packs two specials, one highly anticipated series premiere, and the return of the show that popularized the art of binge-watching. It’s all after the break. (Click here for more…)

Super Bowl XLIX: the emotionally-charged commercials and buzzy trailers inside!

Posted in Entertainment,Movies,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on February 1st, 2015

Despite a last-second reception that will go down in history as one of the best, the Seattle Seahawks lost to the New England Patriots in an exciting, nail-biting Super Bowl that ended with a final score of 28-24. Now that the game’s over, instead of analyzing Russell Wilson’s downright barbaric decision to throw the ball instead of run it into the end zone for an easy touchdown, let’s take a look at some of the most memorable commercials that aired between the gameplay. A whole bunch of them, including the buzziest movie and TV trailers, are posted after the break.

Update (2/2): NBC and the advertisers who shelled out $4.5 million for a 30-second spot have reason to celebrate today just as much as the Pats did last night. The final tally is in and a record 114.4 million people tuned into the big game. So many eyeballs; somebody do the math. This makes Super Bowl XLIX the most watched telecast in U.S. history. Bam. (Click here for more…)

‘Hannibal’ season 3 trailer is quite the Apéritif

Posted in Television,Video by Scott Meisner on January 24th, 2015

Will Graham lives! As for the rest of Hannibal’s victims involved in last season finale’s bloodbath, we still don’t know for sure. Here’s a sublime trailer for the upcoming third season of Bryan Fuller’s dark masterpiece of a series that is Hannibal. In it, Graham (the magnificent Hugh Dancy) is plotting his revenge on the good doctor Lector (the equally magnificent Mads Mikkelsen) whose has seemingly escaped to Florence, Italy with new series regular Gillian Anderson. Also featured is Tao Okamoto (The Wolverine); she’s a new character and from the looks of it she’s ready and willing to help Graham capture his nemesis. At the end of the trailer, oddly enough, Will speaks to Hannibal, “I forgive you.” Is he playing mind games again, or is this the continuation of a never-ending twisted relationship?

The hunt begins this summer when Hannibal returns to NBC.

*If you’re paying close attention, as you should be, you’ll recognized the word “Apéritif.” It was the title of the series’ pilot episode and it translates to “a small drink of alcoholic liquor taken to stimulate the appetite before a meal.” In case you haven’t picked up on it by now, each season Fuller chooses episode names based on international fine cuisine. Season 1 was French, season 2 was Japanese, and season 3 is all about Italian foodstuffs. The premiere is titled, “Antipasto.”

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TV reminder: 10 premieres to look out for in January

Posted in Images,News,Television by Scott Meisner on January 5th, 2015

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. (Click here for more…)

Leslie Jones joins the cast of ‘SNL’

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on October 23rd, 2014

Here we go. Some great news for longtime fans of Saturday Night Live who might have lost faith in the late night variety show’s funny bone. SNL writer and featured guest Leslie Jones has officially joined the cast as a featured player four episodes into season 40. Audiences were first introduced to Jones’ off-kilter comedy last season when she invaded Weekend Update as an “Image Expert” and talked about black beauty; the controversial discussion projected her unique and brash delivery. SNL head honcho Lorne Michaels must have noticed the effect she had on viewers; she as brought back to the desk again this month to talk about relationships, once again proving her comedy chops. And now, she’s getting upgraded from writer/guest to full on featured player. Welcome to the cast, Leslie Jones!

She will make her official debut this coming Saturday, Oct. 25 with host Jim Carrey and musical guest Iggy Azalea. Let’s hope she’s the spark SNL has been craving ever since Wiig/Hader/Armisen/Samberg era ended.

PSA: Fall TV schedules inside

Posted in Images,News,Television by Scott Meisner on September 16th, 2014

We’ve made it to the most exciting time of year! Well, it is for me at least. New TV series premiere and favorite ones return in late September, so it’s time to take a look at each of the network’s fall schedules and decide which shows you’ll be tuning into this season. This season I’ve decided to consolidate it all in one post, so without further adieu, jump after the break to view the fall schedules for the Big Four networks (namely, FOX, ABC, NBC, CBS) plus The CW. (Click here for more…)

Gillian Anderson locked in as series regular for ‘Hannibal’ season 3

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on September 12th, 2014

Cast additions and statuses typically don’t make waves here at [e-i-a]. But this is one that cannot fly under the radar. Gillian Anderson, who plays Hannibal Lector’s shrink Bedelia du Maurier, has been upgraded from guest star to SERIES REGULAR for the upcoming third season of NBC’s serial killer thriller Hannibal. This is the most delectable kind of news for Fannibals because Anderson brings a remarkable sense of elegance and subtle jest to an already stellar cast led by Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen.

At the very, very end of season 2, a bonus post-credits scene revealed Anderson’s Bedelia flying away with the murderous Dr. Lector. Is she in cahoots with the mad man, or is something even sinister happening here? Whatever the case may be, viewers can rest assured that Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller has free reign to tell her story and explore her intentions at length now that Gillian is properly on board for the season.

It’s been spilled that Hannibal and Bedelia are off to Europe and that the season 3 premiere episode will essentially act like “a pilot for a new series starring Mads Mikkelsen and Gillian Anderson.” Does that amazing, or does that sound amazing.

TVLine broke the news and Fuller shared the following statement: “The cast and crew of Hannibal are positively giddy to be welcoming Gillian to Season 3 as a series regular. A striking presence on stage and screen, she brings wit, grace and intelligence to every role she embodies. Screenwriting is so much easier when you’re inspired by a great actor and Gillian has filled the Hannibal writers room with wonderful inspiration. I can’t wait for audiences to see her make a bigger meal out of the Cannibal than ever before.”

The X-Files actress has been enjoying quite the career resurgence as of late. Disregarding her failed NBC series Crisis, Anderson has been wowing audiences during her guest stint on Hannibal and she also currently stars in the fantastic BBC Two/Netflix crime drama The Fall. If you haven’t had the pleasure of getting sucked into that Irish/British series I highly recommend you watch binge it today.

Hannibal returns in midseason to NBC.

‘SNL’ adds comedian Michael Che to co-anchor Weekend Update [Update: New featured player added]

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on September 12th, 2014

The Weekend Update desk at Saturday Night Live is undergoing changes, again. For SNL‘s upcoming 40th season, Colin Jost will serve as co-anchor with former SNL writer and Daily Show correspondent Michael Che. This marks the first time two men will co-anchor the desk, and Che is the first African American to do so. Outgoing co-anchor Cecily Strong, who worked on the desk with Seth Meyers and then Jost, will remain as a full-time cast member.

“Michael is a strong writer, and he’s really funny,” SNL head honcho Lorne Michaels tells The New York Times. “It struggled to find an identity last season,” he admits. “Because what had come before had been pretty brilliant.”

Keeping Jost and replacing Strong with Che is a move Michaels was confident in making. “This is about a new era, what feels appropriate for now,” he says. “That’s why we did a lot of combinations and tests, and this is kind of where we came out.”

Strong started off a bit shaky but over time she acclimated to the desk. However, she ultimately expressed her desire to pop up in more sketches and this aligned perfectly with Michaels’ vision to add Che as new Weekend Update co-anchor.

And the changes don’t stop here. According to the NYT, Michaels will “probably be making one or two more additions to the cast this season.” So stayed tuned. Previously Michaels booted Brooks Wheelan, John Milhiser, and Nöel Wells; Nasim Pedrad departed the show to star in NBC sitcom Mulaney. Michael Patrick O’Brien has returned to the writer’s room.

SNL premieres September 27 with host Chris Pratt and musical guest Ariana Grande.

Update (9/15): Deadline reports SNL is adding one and only one new featured player to its cast roster for season 40. It’s 20-year-old New York comedian Pete Davidson who was handpicked by Lorne. Davidson performed standup this past April on Jimmy Kimmel Live; get aquainted with his style of humor in this clip.

[Via NYT]

‘Parks & Rec’ season 6 gag reel

Posted in Hilarity,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on August 24th, 2014

The upcoming seventh season of NBC’s Parks And Recreation will be the series’ last, so you need to get all your laughs in now before the curtain closes. Enter the season 6 gag reel brimming with so much funny you might need to take an intermission or two. My favorite part? That’s when Jim O’Heir (aka Jerry/Larry/Terry Gergich) actually pulls a Jerry in real life and totally messes up a take. What’s yours?

Parks & Rec returns in 2015.

TV reminder: 4 premieres to look out for in May

Posted in Images,News,Television by Scott Meisner on May 5th, 2014

As summer approaches many of your favorite shows will be airing their season finales this month. But don’t freak–May is home to a handful of exciting premieres headlined by the return of 24 and Louie. Jump after the break for details. (Click here for more…)

NBC makes official three more series renewals

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on March 29th, 2014

Here’s a quickie: On March 19, NBC renewed Chicago Fire, its spinoff Chicago PD, and supernatural genre series Grimm. Joining these three series next season are the previously renewed The BlacklistParks and RecreationThe Voice, and Celebrity Apprentice.

‘Parks and Rec’ clip: Watch Ben Wyatt’s extended freak out over getting an Iron Throne replica

Posted in Hilarity,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on March 9th, 2014

In a recent episode of Parks And Recreation titled “Anniversaries,” Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) gifted her geeky husband Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) with a full-scale replica of the Iron Throne as made famous by George R.R. Martin in his A Song of Ice and Fire books and HBO’s adaptation Game of Thrones. Ben’s reaction to receiving said gift, to say the least, was extraordinarily hilarious.

Well, Parks & Rec fans, I present this gift to you: NBC has posted the extended take of the aforementioned scene and you can watch it in full above. If you didn’t think that tag could be any more perfect, guess again.

TV reminder: 6 premieres to look out for in March

Posted in Images,News,Television by Scott Meisner on March 1st, 2014

January, February… March! Let’s take a look at six premieres airing this month. Jump after the break.
(Click here for more…)

NBC revives ‘Heroes’ with new arc & characters in ‘Heroes: Reborn’

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on February 23rd, 2014

Save the cheerleader, save the world. But it didn’t stop there…

Like FOX is doing with 24, NBC is bringing back one its most popular and lucrative series back to the air with Heroes: Reborn. And just like 24: Live Another DayHeroes: Reborn is being labeled as an “event series” that will produce 13 episodes for a shorter-than-normal broadcast season. Mostly everything is being kept under wraps for now; all we know is that the new season of Heroes will be shepherded by series creator and executive producer Tim Kring and it will tell a brand-new standalone story-arc with new characters. NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke shares that existing characters introduced during the show’s original four season run may show up in the revival; her statement in full:

“The enormous impact Heroes had on the television landscape when it first launched in 2006 was eye-opening. Shows with that kind of resonance don’t come around often and we thought it was time for another installment. We’re thrilled that visionary creator Tim Kring was as excited about jumping back into this show as we were and we look forward to all the new textures and layers Tim plans to add to his original concept. Until we get closer to air in 2015, the show will be appropriately shrouded in secrecy, but we won’t rule out the possibility of some of the show’s original cast members popping back in.”

Heroes, an imaginative series about ordinary people who discover they have superhuman abilities, premiered to much fan-fare in 2006. Viewership was high and so was critical acclaim. Watching ordinary people like Peter Petrelli, Mohinder Suresh, Hiro Nakamura, Niki Sanders, and Claire Bennet discover their respective abilities and eventually all coming together to work towards a common goal of destroying the compelling villain Sylar was more than entertaining to watch. While many shows suffer from growing pains in their first seasons on air, Heroes managed to shine creatively from the get-go; in my opinion Heroes season 1 is one of the best premiere seasons of any show out there. Unfortunately, things went quickly downhill from there; though season 2 is manageable the plot and the characters get seriously bogged down in season 3 and if I’m being honest I’ve never even felt compelled to watch the fourth and (then) final season. Without getting into the nitty gritty details of it all the show simply lost itself creatively and the Heroes introduced in season 1 started to feel tired and without the same purpose they shared across the brilliant first 23 episodes. The original idea behind Heroes was to intro a new crop of characters to follow each season, but following Sylar’s quick getaway at the end of season 1 it was decided that our Heroes were here to stay. Though fans of the series may be divided on the return of the show, perhaps we can all have some faith that a new series reborn featuring all-new Heroes might finally inject some excitement and fresh storylines into a show that once carried incredible potential.

NBC aired a brief 21-second promo announcing Heroes Reborn during the Olympics on Saturday and you can watch it after the break. It teases a 2015 launch, and fans can also look forward to a digital web series that plans to introduce the new characters before the show premieres in earnest. (Click here for more…)

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J.J. Abrams & Alfonso Cuarón introduce NBC supernatural drama ‘Believe’

Posted in Television,Video by Scott Meisner on February 16th, 2014

Levitation, telekinesis, the ability to control nature, see the future… since she was born, Bo (Johnny Sequoyah) has had gifts she could neither fully understand nor control. But now that she is 10 years old, her powers have become stronger and the threat from malevolent forces that would use her abilities to control the world has grown more dangerous. With her life and future in jeopardy, Bo’s protector, Milton Winter (Delroy Lindo, The Chicago Code), turns to an unlikely source to keep her safe – Tate (Jake McLaughlin, Crash), a wrongfully imprisoned death row inmate who’s lost his will.

Tate and Bo begin an extraordinary journey, one in which trust must be earned. On the run and traveling from city to city, every place they stop and everyone they meet will be changed forever. But they’ll have to keep going to stay one step ahead of the sinister forces after Bo’s power… because it will take a miracle to keep them safe forever.

That’s how NBC sets up Believe, the latest series from J.J. Abrams–the creative mind behind LostFringe, and Person of Interest. Joining Abrams behind the scenes is Gravity director Alfonso Cuarón who serves as executive producer and director of the pilot episode.

Get acquainted with the cast and auspicious behind Believe in the clip embedded above. The exciting opening sequence brilliantly executed by Cuarón is on display and you’ll hear from him, Abrams, and some of the stars. “It, to me, was one of those great opening scenes that, when Alfonso described it, I had that sense of, ‘Wait a minute, I’m not changing the channel until I know exactly what’s going on,” gushes Abrams.

Believe premieres March 10. Watch a sneak-peek trailer after the break. (Click here for more…)

TV reminder: 9 premieres to look out for in February

Posted in Image cache,News,Television by Scott Meisner on February 9th, 2014

January has come and gone and as we fold into February it’s time to take a look at nine series/season premieres airing this month. Jump after the break for all the deets. (Click here for more…)