Category Archives: New Shows and Cancellations

2015-2016 In Review: Cancellations, Renewals, and Surprises

Last May I did a round-up of the year in broadcast TV, and I think I’m going to make that an annual tradition. One change from last year – I now have less than 600 episodes on my to-watch list, compared to last year’s 900+!

ABC

So the innovative British guy is out, and ABC has a new president, one who’s besties with Shonda Rhimes (I don’t watch any of her shows, so you can guess how I feel about that). New gal cleaned house, canceling several of my favorite shows in the process, including Agent Carter (pictured above), Castle (which was sort of for the best, since it would have had to continue without Beckett), and Galavant (which at least ended well). ABC used to be my most-watched network, and now it is my least, with only 2 shows I watch returning next year: Agents of SHIELD and Once Upon a Time (which, like last year, sits mostly unwatched until I catch up during breaks). None of ABC’s nine new shows sounded especially appealing, though after watching the trailers I may try out Designated Survivor and the more boring-sounding of the three time-travel shows launching this year, Time After Time. I was thinking of giving Hayley Atwell’s Conviction a chance, but the promo made me think it’s not really my cup of tea.

0 new shows watched, 3 of my shows canceled, 2 of my shows returning

CBS

The Eye Network still has plenty of veteran shows I will keep watching until the end, even as they become more annoying to watch as the only broadcast network who doesn’t put their shows on Hulu. I have the no-commercials option on Hulu Plus, so watching CBS shows with all commercials live or on demand feels like a waste of time. I’d sign up for CBS All Access in a heartbeat if it got rid of commercials, but unfortunately, it doesn’t. I tried out the excellent Life in Pieces (renewed) and the doomed-to-fail Angel from Hell (canceled) this year. Person of Interest is also ending this summer. In addition to Life in Pieces, next year I’ll watch returning comedies The Big Bang Theory and just-renewed The Odd Couple. For dramas, I’m still watching NCIS (how I will miss DiNozzo!), NCIS: Los Angeles, Elementary, and Scorpion. Out of their new shows, the only drama I plan to try out is Michael Weatherly’s Bull (the premise is meh, but the 4-minute trailer looks awesome), but I will probably at least sample all of their new comedies.

2 new shows watched, 2 of my shows canceled (1 new), 7 of my shows returning

FOX

Fox actually had a cool screening opportunity in my area for 3 of their new shows – Grandfathered, The Grinder, and Scream Queens. Of the 3, I only liked Grandfathered, but only Scream Queens was renewed. I also really liked Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life, which was canceled. Sleepy Hollow was a surprise renewal – the show will never be as good as its first season, and I still have a few episodes waiting to be watched, but I’ll keep watching as long as Tom Mison plays Ichabod Crane. I also will watch the final season of Bones, and of course awesome comedies New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I haven’t watched any more of The Last Man on Earth, but I may try out the show again if I’m running out of comedies over the summer. Fox’s new fall shows aren’t particularly compelling, but at midseason I may try out The Mick and APB since promos look interesting. Midseason time-travel comedy, Making History (starring Adam Pally and Leighton Meester), is the one new Fox show that earned an immediate spot on my to-watch list (which means, of course, that Fox will cancel it).

2 new shows watched (2 others tried), 2 of my shows canceled (both new), 4 of my shows returning

NBC

I noted last year that NBC had only one returning show I would be watching – Grimm. I tried out two of their new shows this year, Blindspot and Superstore, both of which I enjoyed immensely and both of which were renewed, along with Grimm. So now I will have 3 NBC shows to watch next fall, plus I will definitely check out their 3 new shows, Timeless (time travel and Matt Lanter), The Good Place (Kristen Bell), and This is Us (Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia). All have pretty decent spots on the fall schedule, so I’m hopeful they’ll stick around for at least a season, and I’ve enjoyed a lot of the showrunners’ previous shows, so I’m hopeful the quality will be good. Plus, NBC has a number of midseason shows I want to check out, especially the DC comics-set workplace comedy Powerless, starring Vanessa Hudgens, Danny Pudi, and Alan Tudyk. Excited that NBC seems to be turning things around.

2 new shows watched, 0 of my shows canceled, 3 of my shows returning

The CW

For the second year in a row, the CW renewed all their shows (spring show Containment, now canceled, had yet to premiere, and summer show Beauty and the Beast had already been announced as final season). I tried out and liked new shows Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Legends of Tomorrow. I’ll still be watching Arrow, The Flash, Jane the Virgin, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and iZombie (and Supernatural if we ever catch up – on season 6 now). I’ll probably try out their 3 new shows, and while I like the premise for No Tomorrow more, I liked the trailer more for Frequency. Though if Riverdale premieres in the spring, there’s not much hope for it (since the CW seems to cancel one spring show every year – Containment in 2016, The Messengers in 2015, Star-Crossed in 2014, Cult in 2013, etc.).

2 new shows watched, 0 of my shows canceled, 8 (9 if counting Supernatural) of my shows returning

2016-2017 Predictions

As much as I hate losing shows, it’s time for some long-running favorites to come to an end. Castle ended this year; Bones is entering its final season. NCIS: Los Angeles has lost viewers away from its parent show, and is now moving to Sundays. I wouldn’t be surprised if it or Elementary gets canceled next year, but if CBS’s new shows bomb, they’ll likely stick around. On the speculative side, The Vampire Diaries is showing its age, and if more actors are bailing, it should end. I also don’t see Once Upon a Time lasting much longer, though I do like how they’ve been exploring different realms every half season to keep things interesting. Supernatural will live as long as Jared and Jensen want to keep doing it, and the same with the cast of The Big Bang Theory.

I don’t think the CW will renew all their fall shows again this year. There’s just not space, and I’m pretty sure one of the newbies will go. And I’m guessing at least one returning show will be moved to summer.

New fall shows that I think will be renewed: Bull (everyone who liked Michael Weatherly on NCIS will keep watching his new show airing right after NCIS), Designated Survivor, This is Us, Speechless, The Great Indoors, and Timeless.

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Limitless: Previewing The Latest CBS Drama

Guest Post by Adrian Crawford

In 2011, Neil Burger’s pseudo-sci-fi suspense drama Limitless was released to a surprisingly favorable response. The film starred Bradley Cooper as Eddie Mora, a down-on-his luck writer who stumbles upon a drug that enables him to tap into the full potential of the human brain (specifically, of course, his own). Mora’s experience with the drug, which is called NZT, takes him to new heights both professionally and socially. However, its negative effects, both in the form of withdrawal and the envy it inspires in others, quickly threaten to outweigh the positives.

Really, the concept was a little bit cheesy, and the decision to place Cooper in the main role was bolder than it might seem in retrospect. In 2011, Cooper was not quite the serious actor we regard him as today, but rather still “the guy from The Hangover” trying to make his way in film beyond comedy. As it turned out, however, Cooper was fantastic. Also, a supporting cast headlined by Abbie Cornish and Robert De Niro helped to spin a cheesy subject into a genuinely compelling film. Rotten Tomatoes lists Limitless with a 70% favorability rating among critics, with 74% of viewers having rated it positively.

Fast-forward four years, and here we are looking not at a sequel for the cinema, but a CBS adaptation that will turn the Limitless concept into a television drama. The show will premiere on Sept. 22, and in the meantime here’s our preview of some of the most interesting factors at play.

Undoubtedly the factor most people will have their eyes on is the transition of Bradley Cooper to television. While the protagonist of the series will be a character named Brian Finch (played by Jake McDorman), Cooper will be reprising his role as Eddie Mora, making him the latest major film actor to dabble in television. According to Deadline, Cooper “intends to appear as much as his schedule permits,” indicating he’s truly interested in seeing this project through. Evidently, the show will pick up where the film left off, with Mora having used his improved mental capacity to chase political ambition, and Sinclair likely following in his footsteps.

The appearance of Cooper on a CBS drama comes on the heels of TV roles for cinematic superstars like Jeff Daniels (in The Newsroom), Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey (in True Detective’s first season), and Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, and Rachel McAdams (in True Detective’s second season). While it’s unknown yet just how often he’ll be on screen, it’s a certainty that he’ll command audience attentions whenever he’s around.

As to what sort of drama will actually unfold in the TV continuation of Limitless, a CBS synopsis reveals that the primary focus will be on Finch’s work with the FBI. Working closely with FBI officials while also becoming a sort of protege for Mora (who will indeed be a senator en route to a presidential run), Finch will apparently become an indispensable asset for the bureau, thanks entirely to his usage of the NZT drug and resulting boost in cognitive ability.

Until the premiere actually arrives, that’s about all we’ve got on the content and structure of the show. Although, there’s one other interesting development that’s already occurred, and it’s that Limitless has a game. It’s a sort of cognitive test built on a combination of reading speed and show trivia, meant to see just how “limitless” players are. It’s a simple concept for now, but it’s actually pretty unique if you think about it.

Typically, video games do not accompany cable dramas, but rather mainstream films. And yet, a lot of the movie-based video games that do exist out there are built around the exact type of concepts—namely, casino experiences and card games—that a character on NZT might seek to manipulate. On the Betfair site, where so many movie-based casino games have found a home over the years, users can enjoy experiences based on Marvel superheroes, literary icons like Sherlock Holmes, and others, all with the accompanying promotional bonuses and real money gaming integration. These games are ultimately standard casino entertainment, but they make use of popular characters in their own unique ways.

With so much popular fiction tied in with this particular style of gaming coupled with the fact that a cognitive Limitless game already exists, it makes one wonder if the new show could be a rare exception: a TV drama with real potential in gaming and elsewhere in entertainment. The Limitless test could easily branch out to include other quizzes and puzzles, as well as card games, arcade experiences and the like, all of which are already, to varying degrees, testing our brains.

Currently, that’s just speculation. More than likely, the Limitless game is merely a fun tool CBS is using to help promote the show. But the nature of the subject matter, should the show become popular, is very conducive to a style of entertainment that already has close ties to popular fiction.

Either way, I can’t wait to see the new Limitless. I’m beyond excited to see Bradley Cooper on TV, and I’ll be trying to max out my score on the Limitless test pretty much from now until the premiere!

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2014-2015 In Review: Cancellations, Renewals, and Surprises

2014-2015 has been a year of change. In October, I moved to a nearby town with another of my sisters, and both of us being TV fans, we synced our to-watch lists. So far, we watch upwards of 75% of the same shows, and we tried out many of the same new shows. The sheer volume of what we have left to watch is boggling. I have more than 900 episodes on my to-watch list. So it’s not surprising I haven’t devoted time to blogging about TV – I spend too much time watching it!

Fall 2014 brought a bumper crop of new shows to broadcast networks, many of which I tried and many of which were canceled.

 

ABC

New shows I tried that were canceled:

Forever – this show will be greatly missed. I’ve never seen such unanimous disappointment over the cancellation of a new show. At least things wrapped up fairly well in the last episode.

Selfie – Karen Gillan made this a guaranteed watch for me. The humor was probably a bit too niche to garner needed ratings, but I loved the My Fair Lady/Pygmalion parallels.

New shows I tried that were renewed:

Galavant – a fun, crazy musical medieval comedy. It was a big surprise to everyone that this was renewed, but I’m glad it was, especially since season one ended on a cliffhanger. It seems like ABC is going with a lot of shorter season shows to fill in gaps and provide more original content over the year.

Agent Carter – another “gap” show that was easily one of my favorites this year. Can’t wait for more of Peggy and Jarvis!

Other notes:

Agents of SHIELD followed up its amazing end of season one with an uneven season two, though the unevenness was between episodes that were amazing and some that were merely good. No matter – I’ll be watching it until the end because I love these characters. Castle is showing its age, but still tells a decent story each week. I fell behind on Once Upon a Time, so I still have half this season to watch.

 

CBS

New shows I tried that were canceled:

Battle Creek – I probably wouldn’t have tried this if my sister hadn’t been watching, and I ended up dropping it after a few episodes. It was too similar to other crime shows and the team didn’t gel. Five years ago, I probably would have kept watching.

New shows I tried that were renewed:

Scorpion – we watched the first few episodes and loved this, but with the busyness of all the returning and new shows and moving, we fell behind on watching and because CBS hates Hulu, we weren’t able to catch up easily and let it go. We’ll be watching the rest of season one this summer.

The Odd Couple – Matthew Perry was the main draw for watching this, but I preferred his characters on Friends and Go On. The humor is too forced for me to really enjoy it, but I’ll probably keep watching, especially since I have only a handful of returning comedies to watch next fall.

Other notes:

The Hulu-lessness of CBS made on-demand the best option for catching up, but wait too long and the episodes were gone from there too. So I have quite a few episodes of NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles (which has had a rash of terrible episodes lately – get new writers!), and Elementary to watch. I watched Person of Interest by myself, and I’m enjoying the more serialized nature it has taken. I hope that the 13-episode renewal doesn’t signal a final season. The Big Bang Theory has been its usually excellent self, which may be why The Odd Couple failed to shine when paired with it.

 

FOX

New shows I tried that were canceled:

Backstrom – this one I watched because of Hart Hanson and Rainn Wilson. I’ll watch the final 4 episodes, but I think the main character was too unlikable for this show to catch on. We almost stopped watching several times. But Needlemeyer is awesome.

New shows I tried that were renewed:

The Last Man on Earth – I tried this one because of the weird premise, and the main actor is pretty funny. But a couple episodes in, it was getting pretty skeezy. I might try an episode or two more to see if it improves.

Other notes:

Fox has burned me way too many times with shows, so I’m always wary to try their new ones. Empire was buzzy, and I might have tried it out because of Taraji since I liked her on Person of Interest, but the premise didn’t appeal to me. Gotham looked too dark, and while I have enjoyed the recent Batman movies, I’m not invested enough in the characters to be overly interested in their origin stories. Gracepoint (the American remake of Broadchurch, which I love) didn’t get great ratings so I expected its outcome. I thought of watching, but I couldn’t get past David Tennant’s American accent. It was just too weird. The Mindy Project’s cancellation was a shock, less so Hulu’s pickup of the show. We fell behind on Sleepy Hollow and only watched one episode this season of New Girl, but plan to catch up on both this summer.

 

NBC

New shows I tried that were canceled:

A to Z – cute premise, loved that it had the Mother from How I Met Your Mother, but Abbi seemed to always want to watch something else, so we fell behind but will watch the rest of the show later.

Marry Me – a watered-down Happy Endings that was still decent. Liked the main couple (which was a surprise since I only knew the guy as the sleazy PI Vinnie Van Lowe from Veronica Mars) but the supporting characters weren’t as great. Still, was sad to see it go. (Can we get Happy Endings back instead? Please?)

New shows I tried that were renewed:

None.

Other notes:

NBC has gone from being one of my most-watched networks to least-watched. I only have Grimm to watch as a returning show next year, and that’s only if I catch up on it during the summer (wasn’t a fan of what they did to Nick at the end of last season, so have only watched one episode so far this past year). We did start watching Parks and Recreation recently (which ended this season), and after a rocky first season, it has grown to be one of my favorite comedies as we start season 4. Where are your shows like this, NBC?

 

The CW

New shows I tried that were canceled:

None.

New shows I tried that were renewed:

The Flash – a great reminder of how FUN superhero stories can be. As an Arrow spinoff I was guaranteed to watch this, and I liked the characters in the planted pilot.

Jane the Virgin – this sounded like the stupidest show ever, until I watched the promo and loved it! Based on the over-the-top soap-opera style of telenovelas, this show knows its plotlines are ridiculous and embraces that fact fully. It balances that with grounded characters with whom you can both laugh and cry.

iZombie – I usually dislike anything zombie-related, but definitely wanted to try this new show by Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas. It’s more zombie-lite, with characters affected able to pass as human as long as they have a steady supply of brains. Said brains give the zombies who eat them personality traits of the person who used to own them as well as vision-like bits of memory that pop up when triggered. The result is a darkly hilarious show with a case-of-the week format, voiceovers by the main character, and a strong overarching mystery (much like Veronica Mars).

Other notes:

The CW is the network I watch the most, which is surprising since I didn’t start watching it until Nikita’s debut, what, six years ago? I’ve seen at least one episode of every scripted show airing on the CW this year, with the exception of the DOA The Messengers (with the entire fall lineup renewed and iZombie getting the plum post-Flash spot, the terrible ratings the premiere got only sealed the deal). While Hart of Dixie failed to impress (me, Abbi watched every episode), The 100 was too gruesome, and Reign was mostly dropped because of time, all the other shows keep me watching regularly. I’m caught up on all of those except for Supernatural, which sits on season five.

 

What canceled and renewed new shows did you check out last year?

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The CW 2014-2015 Schedule Predictions

I’ve been browsing through pilot options for next fall lately, especially as some exciting cast announcements have been made. A bunch of TV ratings geeks often come up with possible schedules for the coming year, so I thought I’d try my hand at one of my own!

Since the CW has only 10 hours of primetime TV to schedule and 6 pilots in contention, I’m starting with them! I’m basing this off the TVLine pilot list and renewal predictions from TV By the Numbers.

Out of the CW’s 6 pilots, The Flash, Supernatural: Bloodlines, and iZombie seem like the strongest options. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the other 3 is picked up for midseason, but two of them (Identity and Jane the Virgin) sound soapy and convoluted, and the third (The Messengers) sounds like a Heroes clone (including the Apocalypse adds a bit of a Sleepy Hollow vibe, but I doubt it could improve on the awesomeness that is Sleepy Hollow).

Supernatural, Arrow, Reign, The Vampire Diaries, and The Originals have all been renewed, and it is likely Hart of Dixie will be as well, as a 4th season is needed for syndication. There may be one more renewal for under-performing The Tomorrow People, low-rated Star-Crossed (I know it’s a long shot, but I adore this show!), or yet-to-premiere The 100.

Last fall, after a special premiere after The Vampire Diaries on Thursday, The Originals moved to its own time slot as an anchor for Tuesday night. New shows tend to do better following established shows for their first year or so, but The Originals has done well at 8PM. One of the reasons I believe this occurred is due to 4 of the main characters being already well-established on The Vampire Diaries. A lot of spin-offs in TV today are set in the same world as the original show and are introduced in an episode or two, but it’s rare for so many main and reoccurring cast members to move to a new show.

As far as  I can tell, The Flash and Supernatural: Bloodlines won’t have that advantage, so I believe they will do best airing after their respective original shows. The Originals has already shown it can anchor a night, so I would move it to the troublesome Mondays, to avoid having to launch a new show on that night. I think Reign would be well-suited to follow The Originals – the frequent historical flashbacks in the vampire show would make it the best match to the network’s only historical drama.

For the plum post-Vampire Diaries spot on Thursdays, I’d put iZombie. Both contemporary shows with supernatural creatures masquerading as humans, I hope Rob Thomas’s input will be able to keep up with Damon’s snark, and there’s the David Anders connection. I can also see iZombie as a special 13-episode season (like Sleepy Hollow), followed by a midseason new or sophomore show taking its place.

Just-needs-one-more-season Hart of Dixie can eek out its final run on Fridays, paired with the mercy-renewal/unscripted TV/midseason downgrade/so-so pilot of the network’s choosing.

 

To recap, how I think the CW should schedule 2014-2015:

Monday: The Originals/Reign

Tuesday: Supernatural/Supernatural: Bloodlines

Wednesday: Arrow/The Flash

Thursday: The Vampire Diaries/iZombie

Friday: Hart of Dixie/???

 

This schedule would also be gentle with the network’s 4 top-rated shows: 2 would stay in their original spots, one would move an hour earlier, and one would air at the same time a day earlier.

How would you schedule the CW? Which shows do you want to see renewed and which pilots would you want to be picked up?

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Fox Renews New Girl, Mindy Project, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Following – TVLine

I actually yelled “Yes!” amid a group of friends when I saw this news! So glad to hear that The Mindy Project has been renewed! New Girl was a given and Brooklyn Nine-Nine a strong contender for renewal, so I wasn’t surprised they were included. I was a bit disappointed at the renewal of The Following, as the show doesn’t interested me at all, and I’ve seen some less-than-stellar reviews of it. Almost Human is a far more deserving drama.

It remains to be seen whether bubble show Almost Human and awesome but struggling Enlisted will be granted renewals as well. Fox has three extra hours to fill next year with the cancellation of The X Factor, but has already ordered 3 dramas and 2 comedies to series from their list of prospective pilots.

Fox Renews New Girl, Mindy Project, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Following – TVLine.

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Star-Crossed – Pilot

I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for sci-fi shows (and movies and books) about people who look human but really aren’t, and all the twists and turns that can bring to the story. So it was pretty much a given that I’d been at least checking out this show. But even with that anticipation, I was pleasantly surprised by how good the pilot episode of Star-Crossed was.

We open on the day the aliens invade. Only from their point of view, they’re Atrian refugees who crash-landed on Earth after their planet was destroyed. Adorably cute little alien boy Roman runs away from the fighting caused by this misunderstanding, and hides out in a nearby shed, where he discovered by adorably cute little human girl Emery (played by Ben & Kate’s Maggie Elizabeth Jones). She brings him a blanket and cold spaghetti, and he in turn tries to protect her when police dogs sniff out his location the following day, and is shot (and she believes killed) for his efforts.

Fast forward 10 years, and Emery is about to go back to school after 4 years battling an autoimmune disease, though not without stopping for a quick chat with her still-ill hospital buddy, Julia. I like how this background puts Emery out of sync with the “normal” teenagers she meets at high school. I wish we’d gotten a better look at her relationship with her friend Lukas, who at this point is little more than token platonic African-American school tour guide. He was helping with the hospital club table – is that how Emery knows him?

Emery’s first day back is also the first day for seven Atrian teenagers to start attending a human high school as the initial attempt at integration. Of course, Roman and Emery eventually reunite, and there are sparks, but the sci-fi elements are just as intriguing and perhaps even more so. The armed guards and curfews of the Sector (the government internment facility where the Atrians are forced to live) contrast strongly with the exotic bazaar-like vibe inside.

I expected Roman to be more open-minded toward humans than the rest of his species, but instead his father and sister have that role. In Roman’s experience, only one human has been kind to him – Emery – and his reactions to others are filled with hilarious sarcasm, which was easily one of my favorite parts of the episode.

There is still a lot of mystery surrounding the Atrians. I enjoyed the reveal that Roman’s two hearts was what saved him from dying as a child (are we sure they aren’t refugees from Gallifrey?). And the cost of what Roman did for Julia puts an interesting twist on sharing technology. I’m also curious to see what effect the ending scuffle in the Sector will have on the rest of the series.

The CW will be airing a repeat of the pilot today at 9/8c. Be sure to check it out if you missed the initial airing, or watch it online on the CW’s official site!

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Fall TV 2013 – Part Two

Before I get started blogging about the latest news in TV, I figured I should probably wrap up my thoughts about fall TV, since there was so much I didn’t touch on in the earlier post.

To start, Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s 3rd episode was amazing, and it’s now one of my favorite new TV comedies (about even with The Crazy Ones, despite that show’s significant Mork/Buffy pull). My favorite, however, is the regulated-to-the-Friday-death-slot-before-it-even-had-a-chance Enlisted. Geoff Stults, Chris Lowell, and Parker Young have incredible chemistry as three very different brothers, and I especially love that Parker Young’s character Randy is similar to his character Ryan from Suburgatory, as I’ve missed him on that show!

For returning comedies, How I Met Your Mother’s final season has been a mixed bag of amazing episodes and boring fillers. The rhyming episode was just painful. Community is returning to its old self, but Troy will be very missed (Pierce, not so much). New seasons of The Big Bang Theory, New Girl, The Mindy Project, and The Neighbors have been consistently good, with only a handful of blah episodes for the entire bunch.

Sleepy Hollow’s entire first season was great, and I’m looking forward to the next. I’m enjoying Almost Human and Intelligence with their sci-fi crime bents, but prefer Almost Human (and while both shows aren’t doing well in the ratings, it has a better chance of survival). Once Upon a Time in Wonderland started slow but got better, and I’ll finish the show when the final episodes air, but I won’t mourn the loss. Michael Socha’s great performance may push me to finally watch the end of the UK’s Being Human.

CW’s The Originals has been a great twisty guilty pleasure show, and I’ve actually kept up with it more than The Vampire Diaries. I’m behind on The Tomorrow People (it has potential but feels unpolished), and I only saw a few episodes of Reign, though now that it has been renewed I’m more likely to watch another episode or two before I make a decision on whether to keep watching. Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD has finally found its groove.

Returning dramas have been good if unremarkable – save for the following bits: Once Upon a Time’s Neverland stint was sluggish, but the mid-season finale was blow-your-socks-off amazing. NCIS bid a proper farewell to Ziva, and new team member Ellie isn’t half bad. Person of Interest went for the tears and it still feels like there’s a hole in the team. Arrow remains one of my favorites.

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Fall TV 2013 – Part One

Fall TV season has begun, and I have returned to blogging about it! Right now we’re halfway through premiere week (with Fox getting a jump on other broadcast channels by premiering most of its shows a week early), so I thought it would be a great time to see how the fall season is shaping up so far. Besides, Wednesdays are my “light” TV night, so I have a bit of time to catch up and share!

Solid Start

One of the most-talked about new shows is Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, and the pilot did not disappoint! To be honest, I love all of Whedon’s TV shows, so the only thing I was a bit nervous about going in was the cast, since most of them are newbies. Still not sold on Chloe Bennet, who plays Skye, and Brett Dalton has a difficult job getting people to relate to his stoic character, Ward (though the Granny bit helped – wish they’d had time to show more of that scene). I think the show unveiling of characters will make the show better, I just hope people won’t get impatient and tune out. For me, as soon as the truth serum shot happened, I knew this was my show.

Disappointing Beginning

Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s promo bumped it to my “will watch” list and made it one of my top 3 anticipated comedies of the season, which made the fact that the first two episodes weren’t funny at all that much more disappointing. I could forgive the pilot, since the promo gave away all of the episode, but the second episode was even less funny. I may give the show one more episode to win me over, since it has so much potential, but otherwise, farewell.

Creepy Commencement

Sleepy Hollow was on my to-try list, but recommendations from friends and a high premiere rating made me make checking out the pilot a high priority. So glad I did! After catching up on Grimm, I was in the mood for another spooky/cop show, and I love stories about the American Revolution. Tom Mison is pitch-perfect as the fish-out-of-water Crane, and I’m quickly warming up to the rest of the cast.

As well as marathoning through Grimm, I recently caught up Bones, Castle, The Neighbors, and Suburgatory to prepare for their next seasons. Unfortunately, that meant that I was spoiled about many events in season finales, but at least I don’t have to wait as long for resolution to the cliffhangers.

For shows that have already returned, here’s a few quick thoughts: How I Met Your Mother is poised to deliver an amazing final season, with a likeable and perfect-for-Ted mother. Can’t imagine what NCIS will be like without Ziva, and hated that half of her farewell didn’t even include her. Liking what Bones is doing with the new season, not sure about Castle. New Girl and The Mindy Project feel a touch off, waiting to see what the continued fall out is from major events. NCIS: Los Angeles seems to be back to normal, excluding Deeks, and Person of Interest looks like it will be a ton of fun this year.

What are your thoughts on this season of TV so far?

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What I Will Be Watching in Fall 2013 – ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, The CW

The schedules are out, the promos are released – now it’s time for me to figure out what I want to watch, what I have time to watch, what I won’t miss, and which new shows I’ll give a chance to wow me. As always, shows that aren’t live-action and scripted are ignored by this site.

New shows are in bold.

 

SUNDAY

Watching: Once Upon a Time

Not watching: Revenge, Betrayal, The Good Wife, The Mentalist

Only one new show is debuting on Sundays, Betrayal, and while the promo was good, the subject matter is meh in my mind.

 

MONDAY

Watching: Castle, How I Met Your Mother, Bones, Almost Human, Beauty and the Beast

Checking out: We Are Men, Intelligence , Sleepy Hollow

Not watching: 2 Broke Girls, Mom, Hostages, Blacklist, Hart of Dixie

Almost Human’s promo was so excellent, it got bumped right to the watching list. Of course, if it stinks, it’ll get bumped right back down. While Hostages and Blacklist had good promos, they’re just not something I’m interested in watching. Mom looks awful. Sleepy Hollow looks far better than I expected, so I’ll probably watch the pilot out of curiosity’s sake, but I doubt I’ll keep watching due to time constraints. Other than HIMYM, the returning shows that are on Mondays are the ones I fell most behind on (thinking about it now, why Castle and Bones got the short end of the stick was because we usually had a friend over on Tuesdays to watch previous seasons of HIMYM, so I didn’t have time to catch up).

 

TUESDAY

Watching: Marvel’s Agents of Shield, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Person of Interest, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, New Girl, The Mindy Project

Checking out: The Originals

Not watching: The Goldbergs, The Trophy Wife, Lucky 7, Dads, Chicago Fire, Supernatural

The only reason Supernatural is on the not watching list is because I haven’t caught up yet, and since I’m still on season one, I doubt I’ll catch up this summer. I was going to watch Dads because of Seth Green, but the promo was so awful I don’t even plan to watch the pilot (besides, it’s in a horrible time slot so I doubt it will last). I’m behind on The Vampire Diaries, so my “checking out” of The Originals may only consist of watching the planted pilot (not a huge fan of the original siblings or Haley). Agents of Shield went on my to-watch list as soon as it was announced, but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the promo for Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Unless the first few episodes strike a very different tone, it’ll probably stay on my watch list.

 

WEDNESDAY

Watching: Arrow

Checking out: The Tomorrow People

Not watching: The Middle, Back in the Game, Modern Family, Super Fun Night, Nashville, Criminal Minds, CSI, Revolution, Law & Order: SVU, Ironside

Wednesdays are once again my least-watched weekday. Aside from the Amell cousins’ projects, I’m passing on the entire night. Back in the Game and Super Fun Night look awful. Ironside looks excellent, but I watch so many other excellent crime dramas that new ones need a fun sci-fi twist (like Almost Human) or to cast one of my favorite actors.

 

THURSDAY

Watching: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, The Big Bang Theory, The Crazy Ones, Elementary, The Vampire Diaries

Checking out: Reign

Not watching: Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, The Millers, Two and a Half Men, Glee, Parks and Recreation, Welcome to the Family, Sean Saves the World, The Michael J. Fox Show, Parenthood

It used to be that I mainly watched NBC comedies; now I’m just waiting for Community to come back. CBS’s The Crazy Ones pairs Mork and Buffy, which pushed it onto my short list, and the behind-the-scenes promo was as hilarious as most regular trailers. Wonderland’s preview is amazing, and Reign has an interesting premise and enough actors I know for me to give it a try.

 

FRIDAY

Watching: The Neighbors, Bones (once it moves), Enlisted, Grimm

Checking out: Dracula

Not watching: Last Man Standing, Hawaii Five-O, Blue Bloods, Raising Hope, The Carrie Diaries

Enlisted was one of my most anticipated series contenders thanks to a great cast, and the promo shows that it’ll be funny as well. I probably won’t watch Dracula, but I do want to see where they’re going with the story, so I should preview the pilot.

 

That gives me 22 shows that I plan to watch (8 comedies and 14 dramas for 18 hours total) and 7 that I want to check out (1 comedy and 6 dramas for 6.5 hours total).

What shows are you watching next fall? Vote below and spread the word!

What broadcast shows do you plan to watch during fall 2013?

  • Marvel's Agents of SHIELD (6%, 19 Votes)
  • NCIS (5%, 16 Votes)
  • Supernatural (4%, 15 Votes)
  • Arrow (4%, 15 Votes)
  • Castle (4%, 15 Votes)
  • The Big Bang Theory (4%, 14 Votes)
  • Elementary (4%, 13 Votes)
  • Grimm (4%, 13 Votes)
  • Once Upon a Time (4%, 13 Votes)
  • Bones (4%, 12 Votes)
  • NCIS: Los Angeles (3%, 10 Votes)
  • Criminal Minds (3%, 10 Votes)
  • How I Met Your Mother (3%, 9 Votes)
  • Person of Interest (2%, 8 Votes)
  • Dracula (2%, 8 Votes)
  • Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (2%, 8 Votes)
  • Almost Human (2%, 8 Votes)
  • The Mentalist (2%, 7 Votes)
  • Sleepy Hollow (2%, 7 Votes)
  • The Vampire Diaries (2%, 6 Votes)
  • Hawaii Five-O (2%, 6 Votes)
  • New Girl (2%, 6 Votes)
  • The Tomorrow People (2%, 6 Votes)
  • Grey's Anatomy (2%, 6 Votes)
  • Blue Bloods (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Revolution (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Revenge (1%, 5 Votes)
  • The Good Wife (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Modern Family (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Scandal (1%, 4 Votes)
  • CSI (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Law & Order: SVU (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Ironside (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Two and a Half Men (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Enlisted (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Raising Hope (1%, 3 Votes)
  • The Michael J. Fox Show (1%, 3 Votes)
  • The Crazy Ones (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Glee (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Nashville (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Hart of Dixie (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (1%, 3 Votes)
  • The Mindy Project (1%, 3 Votes)
  • The Originals (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Beauty and the Beast (1%, 3 Votes)
  • 2 Broke Girls (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Reign (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Dads (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Hostages (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Parks and Recreation (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Parenthood (0%, 1 Votes)
  • The Goldbergs (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Last Man Standing (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Blacklist (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Mom (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Chicago Fire (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Super Fun Night (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Back in the Game (0%, 1 Votes)
  • The Neighbors (0%, 1 Votes)
  • We Are Men (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Betrayal (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Sean Saves the World (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Welcome to the Family (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Trophy Wife (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Lucky 7 (0%, 0 Votes)
  • The Millers (0%, 0 Votes)
  • The Middle (0%, 0 Votes)
  • The Carrie Diaries (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 31

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Which Renewed Shows Will I Have Time to Watch Fall 2013?

Networks have cleaned house, and their cancellations means more time for me to watch other shows. But as I don’t have time to watch my current shows, and there are a bunch of new shows debuting next season, which ones will have priority?

I’m holding off on most decisions for new shows until we get a bumper crop of promos during this week’s upfronts. And since I did a decent job at choosing shows this past year, I’m not going to gain many extra hours. I didn’t lose any shows from CBS and the CW, and only one from Fox (Ben & Kate). NBC freed up some sitcom time by canceling 4 new comedies I enjoyed and ending The Office; they also got rid of Smash, but since I’ve only made time for an episode or two this season, it doesn’t really help. ABC got rid of two comedies I liked and a drama I abandoned early on. So in reality, with shows canceled early and ones I fell behind on, I’m only gaining about 2 hours of TV time to put toward new shows, and one of those is already devoted to Agents of SHIELD.

Fall 2013 is going to be very, very busy.

Below is a rough categorization of which shows I will be keeping up with more stringently and which I will be letting slide. A lot of factors are going into this, so it’s not just which shows I like best. CBS and NBC are the only two networks I get on my main TV, so those are more likely to be watched live. Live TV brings promos for other shows on the network, so to avoid spoilers, I want to stay caught up with all shows on a network. I’m more likely to watch CBS shows live since they’re not on Hulu and I hate CBS’s player. Also, crime shows and comedies are less likely to include spoilers in promos and/or online post-airing. I also took into account what it was like to fall behind on many of these shows this season, and how that effected my viewing. A few of these shows I watch live with my sister when we can, and others are talked about in the office where I work, so I like to stay current with those.

Shows to watch immediately:

The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Arrow

Shows to watch within the week:

Once Upon a Time, Elementary, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Person of Interest, Community, The Vampire Diaries

Shows to watch when I can:

Castle, Suburgatory, The Mindy Project, New Girl

Shows to watch eventually:

Bones, Grimm, Nikita

Shows I may abandon:

The Neighbors, Beauty and the Beast

 

That equals (adding in previous tiers as I go): 2 hours of immediate viewing, 8 1/2 hours within a week, 11 hours when I can, 14 hours eventually, and 15 1/2 hours of renewed television available for me to watch on broadcast networks every week.

So far, I have 66 1/2 hours’ worth of these shows to catch up with from this season, not to mention 27 hours of canceled ones. Let’s say each has aired 10 original episodes since I started my job in January. Adding back in the 2 hours of canceled shows, and we have 175 hours of original broadcast TV airing. I’ve fallen behind by close to half. And cable is even worse – I only watch Doctor Who consistently. Yes, I will probably have time to catch up this summer amid cable shows, but next fall?

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Broadcast Freshmen Grading – How Did I Do With 2012-2013′s New Shows?

Aside from Hannibal, ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and the CW have made their decisions about which shows are returning next season. How did I do this year on picking which new shows to watch?

ABC

Canceled: 666 Park Avenue, The Family Tools, How to Live with Your Parents, Last Resort, Malibu Country, Red Widow, Zero Hour

Renewed: The Neighbors

I watched more of ABC’s pilots than I typically would for a network since their media site allowed me to preview several shows weeks or even months before they aired. I didn’t like  666 Park Avenue. I thought The Family Tools and How to Live with Your Parents were decent, but by the time they finally started airing I didn’t have time to watch. I loved the pilot of Last Resort, but subsequent episodes lacked the same polish, so I bailed after episode 3, always saying I’d get back to the show, but never actually doing so. The Neighbors was far better than I was expecting, and I watched through the mid-season break, and plan to catch up this summer.

Grade: A+

CBS

Canceled: Golden Boy, Made in Jersey, Partners, Vegas

Renewed: Elementary

I watched not a single full episode of any of the canceled shows, and I loved Elementary right from the start, and it remains one of my favorite new shows.

Grade: A+

Fox

Canceled: Ben & Kate, The Mob Doctor

Renewed: The Following, The Mindy Project

I watched the two new comedies on Fox with a nervous eye toward the ratings. While Ben & Kate was cute, The Mindy Project was far more funny. The drama premises interested me not at all.

Grade: C+

NBC

Canceled: 1600 Penn, Animal Practice, Deception, Do No Harm, Go On, Guys With Kids, The New Normal

Renewed: Chicago Fire, Revolution

I passed on all of NBC’s new dramas, though I did give Revolution two episodes to convince me it was must-see-TV (it failed to), but I was far more willing to try out comedies. The New Normal proved its awfulness in one episode, and I moderately enjoyed Animal Practice while it lasted. I enjoyed 1600 Penn, Go On, and Guys With Kids, but fell multiple episodes behind with each of them quite frequently.

Grade: D

The CW

Canceled: Cult, Emily Owens, MD

Renewed: Arrow, Beauty and the Beast, The Carrie Diaries

I was going to give Cult a chance because of Matt Davis, but the previews turned me off, and I never planned to watch Emily Owens. Arrow is tied with Elementary for my favorite new drama of the year, and I enjoyed Beauty and the Beast but fell behind because of my new job. Initially I didn’t like the idea of The Carrie Diaries at all, but cute promos and a Doctor Who alum has pushed the show into “maybe I’ll check it out someday” territory.

Grade: A

In all, I give myself a B+ for show selection this year – beating my score for last year.

How did you do on picking new shows to watch?

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ABC Picks Up Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., 5 Other Dramas, 5 Comedies

ABC has picked up S.H.I.E.L.D., and the cast photo reminded me so strongly of Torchwood, I couldn’t resist matching up the characters! Coulson is of course Jack, since he can’t die (apparently), and since I don’t know the other characters, I went by looks. And how odd is it that both casts are entirely brunette? Also, there are two Brits in the cast, and now that aliens are obviously part of this universe after Avengers, who’s to say they won’t be investigating everything from invasions to alien tech?

None of ABC’s new comedies is sticking out as must-watch, so I’ll wait for trailers before considering them. Super Fun Night does sound somewhat promising if they do it right, and Back in the Game sounds the most boring (Maggie Lawson better not be leaving Psych for a show as lame as this sounds, and Psych better not be ending). The summaries for Trophy Wife, Mixology, and The Goldbergs interest me not at all, and none have cast I really care about, so previews will have to blow me away.

For the other dramas, Mind Games tops my list, with a unique premise and casting Steve Zahn. Resurrection sounds interesting, but I need a better idea of where they’re going with the show, and of the cast, Omar Epps is the only one I know. Killer Women has an awesome cast, but a lone female Texas Ranger amid all the male ones sounds boring (and didn’t Prime Suspect already try something similar?). Lucky 7 and Betrayal have neither cool casts or cool premises, so they’re an easy pass.

Also, while not a regular series, ABC has picked up Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, a limited series that will bridge Once Upon a Time’s winter hiatus. I definitely plan to watch.

What new ABC shows will you try out?

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The CW Picks Up Tomorrow People, The 100, Star-Crossed, and Reign, Renews Nikita and The Carrie Diaries

The CW announced series orders for four pilots today, for a total of five new shows (including The Vampire Diaries’ spinoff The Originals) to debut in the 2013-2014 season. The Carrie Diaries was renewed, as well as Nikita, for a shortened season.

Which of these shows will I watch next season? If I have time and the trailers look good, I’ll probably try to check out the pilots for all four new shows. I still need to catch up on The Vampire Diaries to watch the planted pilot for The Originals, but I’m leaning toward not watching the spinoff. Nikita I will watch till the end, and I probably would have at least given a shot to The Carrie Diaries (especially since it includes Doctor Who’s Freema Agyeman) if I had more time when it started airing.

Tomorrow People has an impressive line-up of executive producers (from Chuck, Arrow, The Vampire Diaries, and Nikita) and features genre favorite Mark Pellegrino as well as Robbie Amell (Arrow’s Stephen Amell’s cousin – who will play a character named Stephen). People around the world gaining superpowers isn’t new (see Heroes, Alphas, and more), but can be excellent if done right.

Star-Crossed (formerly Oxygen) has a human girl falling in love with an alien boy after he and 8 other alien teens are integrated into a high school ten years after their people landed on Earth. I’m not familiar with many of the actors, so I’m counting on previews to tell me why this intriguing premise is must-see TV.

The 100 refers to a group of juvenile delinquents who are sent to a nuclear-war-ravaged Earth to see if it’s habitable again. The cast includes a few actors I know from their reoccurring guest spots on other shows. It’s based on an upcoming book series – which I think would be a dream come true: being able to write such a great novel that it’s made into a TV show before it even releases.

Reign focuses on 15-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots, and her closest friends, three of her ladies-in-waiting, amid the secrets of the French court. I usually don’t watch historical shows, but I may give this one a try as it stars Megan Follows (aka Anne Shirley) and Anna Popplewell (aka Queen Susan of Narnia).

Gone are the days of the CW being the teen girl channel. Nearly all of their scripted programming now has a supernatural/sci-fi/action hero bent (4 out of 5 new programs, 5 out of 7 renewed programs), and the remaining ones have distinctive settings (deep South, 80s New York, 16th century France). And out of their 12 scripted shows for next year, I am currently watching four, want to catch up with Supernatural, would have given The Carrie Diaries a try, and will probably watch all five new pilots. That leaves the lone show I care nothing about, Hart of Dixie (ironic since my last name is also Hart), of which I watched the pilot. I didn’t expect to like it, though, since medical shows I like are few and Southern accents bug me.

So next fall, the CW may go from my least-watched channel (the first show I watched was Nikita when it premiered) to the channel with the highest concentration of shows I watch. And with so many genre shows, perhaps it’s more deserving of the Syfy name than the Syfy channel itself!

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TNT Orders Legends and The Last Ship to Series, Fox Picks Up Eight Shows, Including Enlisted

TV news for next season is starting to heat up, and I’m back to blogging about it as I try to make sense of what’s going on, share the joy of new projects seeing the light of day, and rant about pilots not picked up.

TNT ordered 10 episodes of two new series I’ve been excited about for a while, thanks to one key role and a decent premise. Adam Baldwin’s The Last Ship features a previously-isolated crew racing to find a cure for a global pandemic. Sean Bean’s Legends has the CIA’s top chameleon operative suffering a break with reality amid his many covers.

I watched both trailers for the new shows (which the above loglines are based on), and both seem slightly different from their original premises. I’m not sure if it’s that, or the fact that my TV watching time has been drastically cut, but I’m less excited about these projects than I was initially. Both are going into my “wait and see the reviews/ratings” box for now, and I imagine they’ll stay there for a while. Now that Leverage is over, the only veteran show I’m watching on TNT is last year’s Perception, which was unique and well done enough to stay on my “to watch” list. (I should really make these into real lists and share them – perhaps after upfronts?)

Fox has ordered 4 dramas and 4 comedies (to add to the already-picked-up Dads, which got expanded from 6 to 13 episodes), quite a lot for a channel that doesn’t program anything from 10-11.

Out of the eight, I’m most excited about Enlisted, a military comedy starring Geoff Stults, Chris Lowell, and Parker Young (who play three brothers). Stults won me over completely in The Finder and I also enjoyed his reoccurring role on Ben & Kate, so I’d be at least previewing almost any new show he would be cast in. I’m sad to see that Young will be leaving Suburgatory, since I love his character on that show, but I’m glad he’ll have more of a starring role in this project. Lowell I know mainly as Piz from Veronica Mars, so I’ll have to get a new opinion of his acting now that he won’t be getting in the way of one of my favorite TV couples.

For the other comedies, Us & Them seems the one I’m most likely to watch, with Gilmore Girls’ Alexis Bledel returning to TV and a fun premise: a long-distance relationship with family and friends butting in. Brooklyn Nine-Nine puts a comedy spin on a cop show, and Surviving Jack stars Christopher Meloni. Dads may also warrant a preview, as Seth Green (Oz from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) plays one of the two guys whose fathers move in with them.

I’m disappointed Delirium didn’t get picked up to series. While the sci-fi premise was a bit hokey (a procedure to remove love?), it reminded me of Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee’s novel Forbidden. And I enjoy Emma Roberts’ acting.

I doubt I will watch any of Fox’s new dramas. I may check out Almost Human (an android/human buddy cop show) if the trailer leans more toward sci-fi than cop drama. Rake has Greg Kinnear, but I’m not piqued by a law drama take on House. The story of Sleepy Hollow never interested me, and Gang Related just seems like another cop show with a conflicted loyalties twist (and medical drama with a conflicted loyalties twist worked out so well for The Mob Doctor).

Do you plan to watch any of these new shows?

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