Showtime and the creative team behind Homeland have done a spectacular job rebooting the series. In seasons past, Damian Lewis’ Nicholas Brody played a major role opposite Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes). Intertwining plots would shift between Carrie’s work at the CIA and Brody’s involvement with terrorists. Brody’s emotional demise at the end of last season also meant the phasing out of his family since they, ultimately, served to support his character. Now the show focuses solely on Carrie and the relationships she has formed over the past three seasons with Saul (Mandy Patinkin), Quinn (Rupert Friend), and Fara (Nazanin Boniadi). That small anti-terrorism group is expanding this year with more input from Senator Lockhart (Tracy Letts) and newcomer Laila Robins (she plays US ambassador Martha Boyd). Homeland has managed to let go of its typically trotting plotlines (read: Dana Brody) and refocus squarely on Carrie. The show is as intense as ever, and every episode thus far has kept me on the very edge of my seat. #SaveSaul
The premium cable network is celebrating Homeland‘s recent creative successes by renewing it for a 12-episode fifth season. Additionally, Showtime has granted a second season to freshman The Affair. The subtle drama about an intermarital affair swiftly proved to be an addictive character piece with unique storytelling and scenic direction. Though I’m not sure what another season would explore, I have faith in creators Sarah Treem and Hagai Levi to continue this uniquely captivating love affair.
“In its fourth season, Homeland has brilliantly reinvented itself. It continues to capture the attention of a devoted fan base, and has provided an enviable platform for the successful launch of The Affair,” said Showtime head David Nevins. “With thought-provoking, relevant and addictive storylines, both series have been embraced, dissected and much debated week after week. We’re excited to see more from these complex shows in 2015.”
Elsewhere, TBS has proven to be a fine home for Seth MacFarlane animated series American Dad since it left Fox for the cable network; it’s been renewed for a 22-episode 12th season. Also of note, CBS cancelled Will Arnett/Margo Martindale sitcom The Millers.
Now that the big four networks have open the flood gates to the new fall season, it’s prime time for cable to release its heavy hitters. Jump after the break to learn when Showtime’s Homeland, FX’s American Horror Story, and AMC’s The Walking Dead return to the schedule. READ MORE TV reminder: 4 premieres to look out for in October→
The upcoming tenth season of animated comedy American Dad will be its last on FOX. But don’t fret, AD fans; the Seth MacFarlane-produced series is not being cancelled. It is relocating to cable’s TBS. Fifteen episodes have been ordered for AD‘s eleventh season which will premiere on TBS in late 2014. Sister network Adult Swim will air encores of each episode after initial airings on TBS.
“American Dad! is a great fit for TBS, a favorite of comedy fans who like smart, irreverent humor with ample doses of biting wit and skewering satire,” said TBS head Michael Wright. We look forward to welcoming Seth MacFarlane and the rest of his team as they bring this iconic show to TBS.”
“American Dad! is a brilliantly inventive series, and TBS’s desire to platform new episodes demonstrates the enduring power of great and compelling content,” added 20th Century Fox TV chairmen Gary Newman and Dana Walden. “Seth, Mike and Matt have created an incredibly rich world of unique characters, and we couldn’t be happier that they will be able to continue to tell their trademark brand of subversive, hilarious stories to their millions of fans.”
This is an interesting move on FOX’s part. Though the network did not disclose its rationale behind the relocation, one can ponder that it’s making room for a fresh new series in its Sunday night “Animation Domination” block. With The Cleveland Show MIA this fall and American Dad moving after this season, the network will have at least a couple vacancies to fill next year. Time will tell which new shows will join up-and-comer Bob’s Burgers and veterans Family Guy and The Simpsons on Sunday nights.
The Smiths, Rodger the alien, and Klaus the German-tongued goldfish return to Fox this fall for their final run on the net.
Another win for #TeamCoco! Today TBS announced that Conan will remain at his relatively new late-night talk show through 2014. Here’s a quote from Michael Wright, executive vice president and head of programming for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies: “We are proud to be in business with Conan O’Brien for the long run. Night after night, Conan and his team have put together terrific shows that draw a young and fiercely loyal audience. As if that weren’t enough, they have also built a dynamic online presence that keeps fans engaged like no other show in late night.” Here’s a more entertaining one from Mr. O’Brien himself: “I am excited to continue my run with TBS because they have been fantastic partners. This means I’ll be taping episodes of Conan well into the Ron Paul presidency.”
At long last Apple’s Time Capsule gets a refresh. The sleek device that serves as a wireless base station and a backup hard drive comes in two sizes: 2TB and 3TB. The 1TB model has been discontinued. But now you get more bang for your buck! While the local storage increases, prices remain the same: $299.99 for the 2TB model and $499.99 for the 3TB model. Besides the bump in storage, Apple claims that “new technologies in Time Capsule and refinements to Time Machine make backing up to Time Capsule using Snow Leopard up to 75 per cent faster than before.” Get yours at Apple’s online store today.
In related Apple news, the company has let loose its totally revamped version of Final Cut Pro. The video editing software is built on 64-bit architecture and boasts a completely redesigned UI which includes a Magnetic Timeline, Content Auto-Analysis, and and background rendering. Jump after the break for more details. Final Cut Pro X is available today exclusively from the Mac App Store (read: no disc) for $299.99. Motion 5 and Compressor 4 are also available for download in the Store for $49.99 a piece.
Update: Watch Conan slam the new FCP in the hilarious clip posted after the break! There’s been public outcry concerning lack of features and backwards compatibility; such omissions could lead one to madness.
Tear. After its 10-episode debut season, TBS has cancelled the ’80s college comedy Glory Daze. The culprit is ratings, of course. When the show premiered in November it attracted 1.8 million viewers (with a 1.0/3 rating in the 18-49 demo) and that number would dwindle down to a low 1.1 million when the season series finale aired. It’s a bummer because Glory Daze managed to capture by attention every week with its grounded in reality take on fraternity life. Plus the ’80s backdrop was just downright nostalgic. If you missed out on the first season when it aired, the DVD box set is must-have. This show’ll make you laugh and it always left me feeling great after every episode–it’s one of those feel-good programs, you know? Now we’ll never find out if Joel gets with Christie; ah well, ’tis the nature of television.
Coco enlisted holiday decorator Kenny Irwin, Jr. to turn the late-night studio into the craziest Christmas-themed set I’ve ever seen. You can say Irwin, Jr. imagined the most unique decorations made for television, ever since the history of storytelling began and humanity first came upon this world going back into the past and into the distant future at the same time. Irwin, Jr. is a bit off his rocker, but that doesn’t take away from his decorative scheming genius. Watch the interview between Conan and Irwin, Jr. above, then hop after the break to witness the unveiling. Warning: Mr. and Mrs. SanMagnatron Claus might look a bit disfigured due to a massive microwave explosion.
Conan O’Brien returns to the boob tube. Tonight. 11PM ET. TBS. Do it.
Tonight’s guests are Seth Rogen, Lea Michele, Jack White, and the guest we voted on (Team Coco is still tallying the results). The remainder of this week’s guests include Tom Hanks, Jack McBrayer, Jon Hamm, Charlyne Yi, Fistful of Mercy, Michael Cera, Julie Bowen, and Jon Dore. Conan airs Monday through Thursday.
Bonus! Look after the break to see the “Conan Pale Whale” by artist Yiying Lu. It really makes for a wonderful desktop background.
Update: Deadline reports that the Conan premiere attracted 4.2 million viewers last night, making this telecast the most watched late night talk show of all time on basic cable. He beat out fellow cable hosts Stewart and Colbert, as well as network TV competitors Letterman, Kimmel, and yes, Jay Leno. He drew in 3.3 million adults 18-49 and 2.5 million in 18-34. The projected median age of the viewers was 30–the youngest of all late night talk shows. READ MORE TV Reminder: ‘Conan’ premieres tonight on TBS [Update: the ratings are in…]→
Five days ahead of his TBS late night premiere, Conan O’Brien made his first televised appearence since his falling out with NBC on Lopez Tonight. Watch the funny ensue above. Welcome back to TV land, Conando.
Conan doesn’t premiere on TBS for another week (we’re only one week away, woohoo!), but that won’t stop the former Late Night host from interacting with his fans. Tonight (11/1) Conan will be streaming live “Show Zero”, a short webisode that should give fans a taste of what to expect when his TBS debuts for real. Tonight’s show will feature Conan along with sidekick Andy Richter and The Show Zero House Band. Brought to you by–you guessed it–Coke Zero. It all goes down at 11PM in “TRIPLE-SIMULCAST action”; the stream can be accessed at TeamCoco (which has received a handsome relaunch design and new logo), YouTube, and Facebook. Happy streaming, and welcome back Coco!
Update: Wow, that lasted a whole 5 minutes. Conan wasn’t lying when he said this would be “the fastest talk show ever.” Conan introduced viewers to his offices, blasted through one monologue joke, and invited guests Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) and Steel Train (who only played the first chord off their new self-titled album) to make extremely brief cameos. The house band consisted only of Jerry Vivino on the flute. And Andy Richter was there to promote Diet Coke (not Coke Zero, strangely). Anyway, watch the mini-mayhem unfold after the break. READ MORE Conan O’Brien testing the Internet waters in pre-TBS premiere with ‘Show Zero’ [Update: watch it here!]→
Conan’s late night house band has gone through a couple names in recent years. The Max Weinberg 7 stuck for a whole 16 years during Conan’s tenure at Late Night with Conan O’Brien. The Tonight Show Band didn’t last nearly as long for reasons you should be aware of. And it then changed to The Legally Prohibited Band this year when Conan brought the band with him on The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour. Today the house band gets a brand new name that will hopefully stick for years to come: The Basic Cable Band. It’s got a nice ring to it, huh? As we already know, drummer Max Weinberg has left the band and guitarist Jimmy Vivino will take over as band leader. He will be joined by returning band members Scott Healy (keyboards), Mike Merritt (bass), Mark Pender (trumpet), Richie “LaBamba” Rosenberg (trombone), Jerry Vivino (saxophone, woodwinds, and vocals), and James Wormworth (drums).
Yesterday it was announced on the TeamCoCo blog that the fans will have the power to decide the TBS late night show’s very first guest. Potential guests include Tom from MySpace, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Jack Nicholson, Pope Bendict XVI, Vladimir Putin, REO Speedwagon, Hassanal Bolkiah (The Sultan of Brunei), Thomas Pynchon, Gerhard Ertl, Arlene Wagner, and the full cast of the live-action “Fat Albert” movie (not including Kenan Thompson). Click here and get your vote on! You are restricted to one vote per day, but you can vote as many times as you want and for how ever many people you want. Take heed of this disclaimer, though: “None of these people have actually been booked on our show. For one reason or another, we haven’t contacted any of these people – In fact, we’re kind of hoping that, if someone on this poll starts getting a lot of votes, these folks will actually feel a bit guilty and will agree to be our first guest!!”
You’ve heard it here first, folks! OK, maybe you haven’t… Anyway, longtime partner-in-crime Andy Richter will be joining his best bud Conan O’Brien when the new TBS late night show premieres in November. Richter rose to fame right alongside Conan since the premiere of Late Night with Conan O’Brien way back on September 13, 1993. After taking time off to star in a handful of movies and failed TV series (Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Andy Barker, P.I.) he came back home when Conan became the host of The Tonight Show. After the NBC/Leno fiasco resulted in Conan’s departure from NBC, Richter journeyed with Conan on the The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour and hosted the TBS special Team Coco Presents: The Conan Writers Live. In a statement Richter shared his excitement about the news prompting his return to Conan’s side as show writer and sidekick: “I’m thrilled to be going back to work with Conan, and very excited to start a whole new venture on TBS. However, I am mostly looking forward to getting out of the house again.” Conan’s response? “This decision was made without my authority. I will get to the bottom of this.”
Conan premieres November 8 at 11PM on TBS. Look after the break for Conan’s video response.