Your guide to 2015 fall programming–CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX & CW premiere dates inside

Posted in Images,News,Television by Scott Meisner on September 20th, 2015

Summer went by in a flash, didn’t it? For most, that’s a bummer; the wonderfully warm weather, fun at camp, trips to the beach. But for those of you who consider yourselves an avid TV watcher, the fall couldn’t come fast enough. Sure, summer was brimming with fantastic shows this year (I’m looking at you, Mr. Robot). Even still, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of being reacquainted with your favorites characters you spend time with the most, from September through May. And now, we’ve made it! The leaves are just starting to fall from trees, and that can mean only one thing: it’s pick up your remote and fire up the DVR. The fall TV season begins now!

Jump after the break to browse fall programming guides for all the major networks including CBS, NBC, FOX, and The CW. Get familiar with new shows, too, with my personal recommendations and links to preview them all. Have a happy premiere week! (Click here for more…)

Comic Con: The Fannibals celebrate ‘Hannibal’ as Bryan Fuller continues the search for a new home (Red Dragon preview inside)

Posted in Images,News,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on July 13th, 2015


You already know my thoughts on Hannibal, so it was pretty much a sure thing that I found myself inside Ballroom 20 when Bryan Fuller, Marta De Laurentiis, Hugh Dancy, and Richard Armitage came on to celebrate the outgoing NBC drama at Comic Con.

The Fannibals came out in strong numbers with an incredible amount of love and passion at the Hannibal, um, pannibal. Prior to kick-off, fans were handing out “Fannibals Forever” posters to hold up in support of the recently axed show. Fans booed in unison when the moderator mentioned the cancellation, but Fuller was quick to thank NBC for allow him and his creative team to carry out Hannibal for as long as they did. “Hey, NBC let us do some crazy shit for three years, they deserve our applause,” Fuller said and as if a spell was put upon them the crowd’s boos turned into celebratory cheers.

Fuller shared the unfortunate news that both Netflix and Amazon passed on saving the series. Netflix because the show already has a streaming deal with Amazon (to air its back catalog of episodes) and Amazon because it demanded Fuller pump out scripts with immediacy and due to his busy schedule it made such a thing impossible (Fuller is working on Starz’ adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Americans Gods). Even still, Fuller tells fans the story is not over yet; “we are still looking” for a new home for Hannibal he reassured the crowd. And if a fourth season simply isn’t in the cards, he hinted at “the possibility of a feature.” Stars Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen are committed to continuing the series in any form, so transitioning Hannibal back to the big screen is an option on the table.

The panel itself was such a joy and the fans are to thank for that. Fuller embraced the Fannibals with open arms, and they reciprocated by offering the panel ornate flower crowns (symbolizing the series’ passionate fanbase) and one audience member even gifted Fuller with a scarf to match his favorite suit! It was an all-around love affair and as an avid Hannibal Fannibal myself I will say it was so much fun to be apart of.

Opening and closing the panel was an extended sneak peek at the upcoming Red Dragon story arc starring Armitage as Francis Dolarhyde aka The Tooth Fairy aka The Red Dragon. The five-minute clip, embedded after the break for your viewing pleasure, reveals his full-body tattoo and goes on to preview Zachary Quinto’s guest spot in Bedelia’s storyline. Fuller explained: Francis Dolarhyde is a Hannibal that Will wants to save and Francis Dolarhyde is a Will that Hannibal wants to corrupt. Ah! Also, Fuller says the Dolarhyde rape scenes from the Thomas Harris novel will not be adapted for television; he finds such scenes to be “cheapening.”

Other tidbits: A three-year time jump is about to take place. Will goes on a domestic retreat and even elopes, but happy times, obviously, won’t last long. Music from Siouxsie and The Banshees will be featured in the season 3 finale, and Fuller promises James Bond-level epicness from that score. A couple quotables: Fuller “loves emotional plotting as opposed to plot-plotting” and “the music is psychological, not melodic.”

Days after the panel, NBC relocated Hannibal to Saturdays at 10. Look in the gallery below for fun stills from the panel!

(Click here for more…)

Comic Con: ‘Heroes Reborn’ aims to reinvigorate the old-school superhero series

Posted in News,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on July 13th, 2015

Following those two initial teasersHeroes creator Tim Kring unleashed an extended trailer at Comic Con for his upcoming NBC event series Heroes Reborn. And I’ve got to say, it looks pretty damn good to me. I consider the first season of Heroes, which aired way back in 2006, one of the most exciting and gripping debuts for a TV series (even with the somewhat anti-climactic conclusion with Sylar slithering away). The show wavered in its ability to remain creatively charged over the course of its next few seasons, and it eventually fizzled out and was cancelled after its fourth batch of episodes aired in 2010. Now, Kring is back with a truncated 13-episode count and a tight story promising a beginning, middle, and end to wholly satisfy viewers. Kring is pushing for Reborn to harken back to the series’ season 1 roots, featuring a new cast of characters discovering extraordinary abilities for the very first time and dealing with the ramifications. Tying Reborn to Heroes proper are returning characters such as Noah “HRG” Bennet (Jack Coleman), among others. They all get nods in this trailer.

At the Heroes Reborn panel at Comic Con, Kring confirmed that the event series takes place 5 years after the conclusion of season 4 when–spoiler alert–it was made public that “EVOs” or evolved humans have powers. “The world knows about these people, so it changes the story considerably,” said Kring. “When you discovered you had a power, it was mystical journey of discovery. Now, if you wake up with a power, you know it’s a very bad thing because you’ll be exploited.”

Longtime viewers will find out what happened to fan-favorite characters, even the ones who aren’t returning to reprise their roles, such as Hayden Panettiere (who played cheerleader Claire Bennet) and Milo Ventimiglia (Peter Petrelli). “The universe that we’re building around the show does all that,” Kring said. “We do unpack what happened in the previous years. By the time you watch the finale, you’ll have a big chunk of that answered for you.”

While you’re waiting for Heroes Reborn to premiere this fall on NBC, there’s a digital web series that servers a prequel for what’s coming up. It actually stars Henry Zebrowski as Quentin Frady, a character who also has a major role in the event series. To watch the multi-part Dark Matter series, download the free Heroes Reborn app.

Dark Matter tells a story that connects up with the show in a really unique way,” says Kring. “I don’t think anybody’s ever quite done a series that connects up to the show in the way this does.” Sounds to me like Heroes fans know what they’re going to do tonight.

[Via Deadline 1, 2; TVLine]

HRG & Hiro return in new ‘Heroes Reborn’ teaser

Posted in Image cache,Television,Video by Scott Meisner on June 26th, 2015

Where are the heroes? That’s the tagline used in the freshly minted teasers for NBC’s upcoming event series Heroes Reborn. Five years after the Peacock network axed Tim Kring’s sci-fi series about ordinary people discovering super-human abilities, it’s reigniting the spark again for a new 13-episode run. Prior to releasing the preview embedded above, NBC started airing a rather lackluster teaser featuring the aforementioned tagline scribbled throughout a city in rubble. It did little in the way of building any sort of tangible hype since it held too much back. This more pronounced preview, however, certainly does the trick. After borrowing imagery and Scala & Kolancy Brothers’ haunting track “Nothing Else Matters,” it finally gives fans a peek at some actual Reborn footage. There’s the return of HRG and Hiro, as well as a smattering of new characters with all kinds of awesome abilities, including mastery of auroras. And of course, fans of the series’ original run will no doubt beam in elation when Shankar’s iconic strings close the clip out. Hunting for plot details? Look no further as NBC provides this:

A year ago, a terrorist attack in Odessa, Texas, left the city decimated. Blamed for the tragic event, those with extraordinary abilities are in hiding or on the run from those with nefarious motives.

Two such vigilantes include Luke (Zachary Levi, “Chuck”) and Joanne (Judith Shekoni, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2”), who are seeking to avenge a tragic loss.

Noah Bennet, aka H.R.G. (Jack Coleman, “Heroes”), has gone off the grid but conspiracy theorist Quentin Frady (Henry Zebrowski, “A to Z”) finds him and opens his eyes to the truth behind the Odessa tragedy.

While in hiding, some are discovering their newfound skills. Awkward teen Tommy (Robbie Kay, “Once Upon a Time”) just wants to be normal and win the girl of his dreams, Emily (Gatlin Green, “Criminal Minds”), but normalcy is virtually impossible after learning of a new ability that terrifies him. Coming from a very sheltered upbringing, a bold and ethereal teenager, Malina (Danika Yarosh, “Shameless”), has been told she is destined for greatness. In Tokyo, a quiet and unique young woman, Miko (Kiki Sukezane, “Death Yankee 3”), is trying to track down her missing father while hiding an extraordinary secret that will make her a force to be reckoned with. Elsewhere, a different type of hero is emerging through former soldier Carlos (Ryan Guzman, “The Boy Next Door”).

Heroes Reborn premieres this fall on NBC. Confirmed returning characters include HRG (Jack Coleman), The Haitian (Jimmy Jean-Louis), Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy), Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg), and matriarch Angela Petrelli (Cristine Rose).

Update (6/30): Two cool “motion posters” featuring HRG and new hero Malina (played by Danika Yarosh) hang after the break. (Click here for more…)

An ode to ‘Hannibal’ as TV’s boldest experiment gets the axe

Posted in News,Television by Scott Meisner on June 22nd, 2015

This one’s tough. As I sit here nearly on the verge of sad, frustrated tears, this is something that fans have been dreading for some time now. NBC has pulled the plug on one of television’s most daring series, Hannibal.

The procedural-turned-serialized niche drama about the famed cannibal straight out of Thomas Harris’ novels and influenced by Anthony Hopkins’ stirring take on the iconic character is one for the ages. Specifically, the Golden Age of TV we currently reside in. Though it never gained in mass-popularly due to its intrinsically violent nature, Hannibal quickly proved its worth beyond the traditional scales of storytelling. Creator Bryan Fuller imagined and exquisitely executed a masterpiece program compelling its viewers with fine acting, engaging and wickedly smart dialogue, an eclectic, trancing score, and most all, with a uniquely bold direction, cinematography, and color palette that consistently evoked out-of-this-world dreamlike states of being. And yet, Hannibal always felt grounded in reality due much in part to its all-star leads. Mads Mikkelsen, who we all thought in the beginning would simply step into Hopkins’ shadow to replicate Dr. Lecter, did oh-so-much more than that with the character; with his diabolical flair for high society, Mikkelsen made Hannibal his own and swiftly managed to twist the serial killer into a deceptively compassionate–and at times–likable pro/antagonist. His match? Hugh Dancy, who effortlessly played crazy and controlled the dreamscapes that endlessly torment Will Graham throughout the series. Watching these actors revel in the cat-and-mouse game they love to play is as entertaining as it is addicting. Fuller wove a beautiful tapestry (not unlike Hannibal’s corpse-infused designs), and Mikkelsen and Dancy danced in it marvelously with grace and undeniable conviction.

As hard as it is to see the show go, the writing has been on the wall for awhile. Hannibal was never able to climb out of its low ratings hole, and so NBC had no choice but to mark season 3 as the end. It’s sad to leave these characters behind and even more frustrating to do so before their stories reach their natural conclusions. That being said, it’s hard to hate on the network that had the guts to give birth to such a peculiar kind of series. On top of the obvious violence, gore, and other “viewer discretion is advised” material that makes Hannibal what it is, Fuller wasn’t afraid to drizzle his show in copious amounts of philosophical and metaphysical exchanges you normally wouldn’t find on broadcast television. In fact, the same can be said for pretty much everything else this bizarre show set out to do. Oft-featured directors David Slade, Michael Rymer, and this season’s Vincenzo Natali wield the camera in ways that make our window into the world of Hannibal a character unto itself. Incessant close-ups of liquids like water and blood–in addition to most bizarre angles and dizzying mental lapses–successfully aided in driving viewers into the emotionally fractured abyss that Hannibal called home. You can literally pause the show at any moment and like magic you’re presented with a wonderfully construed canvas of artwork, every frame a unique painting, breathtaking to behold. Hannibal was never afraid to commit the unexpected, to look and sound and feel and taste, well, different from everything else. Now take all of these things into consideration; the network bet big on Fuller’s cinematic adaptation of this classic tale and fans should consider themselves lucky to have made it this far into the journey.

A most delicious experience it was (and continues to be) for Fannibals worldwide. As season 3 resumes, be sure to consume and enjoy every ticking second that goes by. Now that it’s grown out of its procedural roots, Hannibal has fully embraced its true design: Will hunting down his friend, his enemy, his equal in the show’s most beautiful scenery yet: Florence, Italy. And when it’s all over, an everlasting fact will remain: Hannibal, for all of its elegant flourishes and suspenseful, high-class drama, is the best premium cable show that aired on a broadcast network.

Jump after the break to see Fuller and NBC’s reactionary quotes to today’s news. (Click here for more…)

TV reminder: 8 premieres to look out for in June

Posted in Image cache,News,Television by Scott Meisner on June 1st, 2015

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. (Click here for more…)

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

Update (6/5): Heartbreaker star Melissa George is pregnant with her second child, and for that reason the new medical drama is now being held for a midseason start. Taking its place in the Tuesdays-at-9 timeslot is another new hospital-set series, Dick Wolf’s Chicago Med. This post and NBC’s fall schedule have been updated below to reflect these changes.

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) another Dick Wolf spinoff Chicago Med. 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 hospital-set Heartbreaker with Melissa George, Shades of Blue (starring Jennifer Lopez), Game 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…)