Tag Archives: Elementary

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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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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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 (61%, 19 Votes)
  • NCIS (52%, 16 Votes)
  • Supernatural (48%, 15 Votes)
  • Arrow (48%, 15 Votes)
  • Castle (48%, 15 Votes)
  • The Big Bang Theory (45%, 14 Votes)
  • Elementary (42%, 13 Votes)
  • Grimm (42%, 13 Votes)
  • Once Upon a Time (42%, 13 Votes)
  • Bones (39%, 12 Votes)
  • NCIS: Los Angeles (32%, 10 Votes)
  • Criminal Minds (32%, 10 Votes)
  • How I Met Your Mother (29%, 9 Votes)
  • Person of Interest (26%, 8 Votes)
  • Dracula (26%, 8 Votes)
  • Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (26%, 8 Votes)
  • Almost Human (26%, 8 Votes)
  • The Mentalist (23%, 7 Votes)
  • Sleepy Hollow (23%, 7 Votes)
  • The Vampire Diaries (19%, 6 Votes)
  • Hawaii Five-O (19%, 6 Votes)
  • New Girl (19%, 6 Votes)
  • The Tomorrow People (19%, 6 Votes)
  • Grey's Anatomy (19%, 6 Votes)
  • Blue Bloods (16%, 5 Votes)
  • Revolution (16%, 5 Votes)
  • Revenge (16%, 5 Votes)
  • The Good Wife (13%, 4 Votes)
  • Modern Family (13%, 4 Votes)
  • Scandal (13%, 4 Votes)
  • CSI (13%, 4 Votes)
  • Law & Order: SVU (10%, 3 Votes)
  • Ironside (10%, 3 Votes)
  • Two and a Half Men (10%, 3 Votes)
  • Enlisted (10%, 3 Votes)
  • Raising Hope (10%, 3 Votes)
  • The Michael J. Fox Show (10%, 3 Votes)
  • The Crazy Ones (10%, 3 Votes)
  • Glee (10%, 3 Votes)
  • Nashville (10%, 3 Votes)
  • Hart of Dixie (10%, 3 Votes)
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (10%, 3 Votes)
  • The Mindy Project (10%, 3 Votes)
  • The Originals (10%, 3 Votes)
  • Beauty and the Beast (10%, 3 Votes)
  • 2 Broke Girls (6%, 2 Votes)
  • Reign (6%, 2 Votes)
  • Dads (6%, 2 Votes)
  • Hostages (6%, 2 Votes)
  • Parks and Recreation (6%, 2 Votes)
  • Parenthood (3%, 1 Votes)
  • The Goldbergs (3%, 1 Votes)
  • Last Man Standing (3%, 1 Votes)
  • Blacklist (3%, 1 Votes)
  • Mom (3%, 1 Votes)
  • Chicago Fire (3%, 1 Votes)
  • Super Fun Night (3%, 1 Votes)
  • Back in the Game (3%, 1 Votes)
  • The Neighbors (3%, 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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Eight TV Fandoms I Embraced in 2012

2012 was a great year for me in regard to uncovering awesome TV shows. It may even top 2011, when I got pulled into Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Bones, Warehouse 13, Eureka, and Veronica Mars, not to mention enjoyed great new fall shows like Once Upon a Time, Grimm, Suburgatory, and Person of Interest.

My top eight new shows for 2012 are also a mix of brand new and new-to-me shows. Like with the list above, this year wasn’t always my first exposure to the shows in question, but 2012 was the year they hooked me. I’m listing the shows in roughly chronological order of getting sucked in.

The Finder

This short-lived Fox drama (so many awesome shows can say the same thing) caught my attention as a companion show to Bones – not quite a proper spinoff as none of the main characters from Bones joined the new show. But with a planted pilot, same showrunner, and guest appearances by Bones cast, the tie was definitely there. Geoff Stults (as Walter) and Michael Clarke Duncan (as Leo) hit it out of the park on day one, but the ratings didn’t match the show’s awesomeness. Fox also aired the episodes out of order, threw in a month-long hiatus in March, and moved the show to the Friday death slot – starting Easter weekend!

From the beginning, the show felt like it should have been airing on USA Network – it had the same breezy, pop-culture-riddled sensibilities as Psych, and would have been a perfect fit for their “Characters Welcome” brand. But in the end, the cancellation of the show was moot, as Michael Clarke Duncan, who as Leo was the heart of the show, passed away over the summer.

I’m still waiting for the DVD set to become available, but at least The Finder introduced me to the amazingness of actor Geoff Stults, who I’m currently enjoying as a reoccurring cast member on Ben and Kate. Sadly, that show also airs on Fox, and I’ve learned not to get attached to anything airing on that network now.

True Blood

Buffy and Being Human showed me that shows about vampires are cool. So to feed my bloodlust, I decided to try out this buzzy HBO show, not really expecting to like it – keeping things PG-13 is more my style, and I’m not a fan of the deep south. But checking out episode one led swiftly to two, and three, as each twisty cliffhanger glamoured me into watching more. Short season meant catching up in time for season 5, and while this show is fairly low on my list of vampire TV shows, it’s addicting enough that I’ll keep coming back.

Happy Endings

There’s a dearth of good comedy over summers, so I decided to give this recommended show a try in late August, and quickly grew to love the quirky group.

The Vampire Diaries

After catching up on True Blood, I decided to try out the last major vampire show currently airing that I hadn’t seen. Plus, I was looking at writing a book with a high school setting and vampires trying to control their urges, and I wanted to make sure it was different enough from this show. The pilot bored me, but I heard later that the rest of the show was a vast improvement, so I dove in during September, and caught up on all three seasons within 3 weeks, just in time for the season 4 premiere.

Like True Blood, the fast-paced storylines made the show insanely addictive, but in this case, the characters and relationships became an even bigger draw. Damon’s struggle with what sort of person to become, Elena’s compassion without weakness, Stefan’s dual nature, Caroline’s ditziness turned to strength, Alaric’s unlikely allies becoming the family he always wanted, and more.

Elementary

No, it’s not Sherlock, but it doesn’t have to be – I love both shows, and Jonny Lee Miller makes an amazing Holmes. Making Watson female, setting the show in NYC, and coming up with new stories instead of revamping the classics all help differentiate this show. And with us getting only 4 1/2 hours of Sherlock every 18 months or so, there’s plenty of room for a fun, quirky drama like this. I enjoy the recovering addict twist, and Joan Watson’s slower progression to teaming up with her client.

Arrow

Aside from Alphas, TV has been sorely missing a good superhero show, and in the wake of The Avengers’ popularity, the Batman trilogy’s gritty conclusion, and America’s obsession with bow-toting heroes, Arrow is exactly what was wanted. While there are still a few rough edges on this new drama (dialogue could use some help), great ratings will give it time to truly soar.

Doctor Who

I always knew I would eventually watch this show. I purchased digital editions of series 1 and 3 back in 2010, and watched a few episodes here and there, but didn’t get hooked. I watched a couple more earlier this year, and in November started liking the show more and more. In December, I started marathoning through Doctor Who in earnest, as most shows were going on hiatus and I had more time. I rewatched season 1 with my sister (and liked it a whole lot more the second time) around Christmas, and caught up with the whole show (excluding classic Who) a few days after the New Year.

Torchwood

I bought the first two series of Torchwood in 2010 also, and despite some misgivings about the show’s adult content, I liked the character of Jack Harkness from Doctor Who enough to give the show a try (and keep all the crossovers in their proper places). As a result of watching the two together, it’s hard to separate Torchwood as a distinct show in my mind. It’s the only show on this list I’m not current with, as I still have 6 episodes left of the Miracle Day mini-series. It’s definitely a more serious show (during various episodes I found myself longing for the more lighthearted Who), morality is a bit grayer, and quite often there isn’t a happy ending. But it definitely grows on you, and there are quite a few exceptional episodes.

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News: Grimm Returns in Early March, Do No Harm Premieres Late January, Necessary Roughness Renewed, SHIELD “Very Joss Whedon”

Grimm is scheduled to finally return March 8th, giving the show an almost-four-month hiatus (after such a nasty cliffhanger, that’s pretty mean). The reason for the late return? Rock Center is moving to Fridays, to make room for NBC’s midseason drama Do No Harm, which will give Elementary and Scandal some competition Thursdays at 10pm. Do No Harm premieres January 31st, and focuses on a brilliant neurosurgeon with a sociopathic alter ego that he’s kept in check for years using a powerful sedative. Now his alter ego has developed a resistance to the experimental serum, and is bent on revenge against the person who kept him caged for so long.

Good news for Necessary Roughness fans – USA renewed the show for a third season.

Disappointed at the lack of Whedonverse vets joining S.H.I.E.L.D? (Aside from Clark Gregg, of course, but he’s a recent addition to the ‘Verse.) ABC president Paul Lee does have some encouraging words: “It’s very Joss Whedon,” Lee told TVLine. “We’re optimistic, because Joss is a genius and we love the idea and we love what we’ve seen,” Lee added. “But it’s early days, and it’s a long way to go between now and a successful series. But we are very excited about it.”

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News: More Elementary, Less Vegas, and a Big Bang Theory Flash Mob!

CBS has ordered two more episodes of the fun British-detective-in-NYC drama Elementary (one of which is for the recently-given prime post-Super-Bowl slot), while reducing fellow new series Vegas by one episode (bringing their totals to 24 and 21, respectively).

NBC has given an additional 4-episode order to Guys With Kids, bringing the show to 17 episodes.

Also, check out this fun flash mob on the set of The Big Bang Theory!

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Fall TV Verdicts – 2012

Just about all of broadcast TV’s new fall shows have aired at least two episodes now, so I think it’s time for a look at which ones soared, which ones got off to a rough start, and which ones nosedived. I’m dividing this list up into several groups so you can get an idea of what my preferences and interest levels were going in.

Shows I Haven’t Seen and Never Plan To:

Out of the 20 new shows that have debuted so far, the list of those I haven’t seen is pretty small: 7. I hate country music, so Nashville was out. The rest (Made In Jersey, The Mob Doctor, Partners, Emily Owens MD, Chicago Fire, and Vegas) I wasn’t interested in for one reason or another. One is already canceled, two more aren’t far behind, and none of the seven shows has been a breakout hit. I feel pretty happy with my choice not to watch them, and expect maybe 1-2 to reach a second season (not holding my breath, though).

Shows I Never Planned to Watch but Did See the Pilot:

For two shows, I checked out the pilots knowing I’d never commit to watching the show. It was easy to tell from the previews that 666 Park Avenue wasn’t my type of show, but I had a chance to watch the pilot early as a TV blogger, so I tried it out. It seemed well done, but I didn’t enjoy it. The New Normal I watched out of a morbid curiosity to see how awful it would be, and aside from one or two heartfelt moments, it was utterly terrible. I didn’t laugh once.

Comedies I Thought Would Be Awful but Didn’t Mind:

Another show I got a chance to watch early was The Neighbors, which wasn’t as terrible as the previews made it out to be. I’ve seen the first two episodes, and might watch more if I’m caught up on most of my other shows and in the mood for a comedy. Guys With Kids I didn’t intend to see, by my siblings said it was pretty good, so I watched a few episodes. Both shows are more family-oriented comedies, which usually bore me, and I don’t really laugh during them, but I like having extra comedy shows to watch on dreary days.

Comedies I Like but Wouldn’t Cry Over Their Cancellation:

Every new comedy not in the above lists fits in this section. Many of them are great, but I haven’t gotten attached to any comedies so far this season. That’s probably a good thing, as Animal Practice has already been canceled. Go On is probably the best of the lot, and I expect it will return for a second season, but The Mindy Project (my pilot review here) and Ben and Kate (pilot review here) are far from out of danger despite their full-season orders. These shows are heartwarming and humorous, but they’re not laugh out loud funny. Plus, none of the characters grip me in that “I would hate to see them go” way. It could come with time, and I’ll keep watching these shows until they get terrible or get canceled.

Dramas That Didn’t Wow Me In Their First Two Episodes:

Revolution was hyped to be awesome, Beauty and the Beast was critiqued to be terrible. I was disappointed by Revolution’s pilot, but enough was done right that I gave the show another episode. When Miles was still the only character I enjoyed watching, and the rest of the show failed to interest me, I decided to stop watching. It’s too bad, because from the premise it seemed like exactly the type of show I would enjoy.

I just watched the second episode of Beauty and the Beast, and really noticed the terrible, terrible dialogue people were complaining about in the pilot (my review of it here). I so want to love this show, but the writers are making it very hard. I’m still not sure if I’ll watch a third episode. I want it to pull a Vampire Diaries and start getting really good after a few episodes, but I don’t know if there is enough backstory for the mythology of the show to grow. Also, in the second episode, several procedural issues bugged me (Don’t uniforms clear buildings? Are detectives allowed to be present during the autopsy of someone they killed?), and Cat had a sister appear out of nowhere. The first episode got good ratings for the CW, but the second quickly dropped, so it might not get time to improve. Might be better to replace it with the midseason Cult, to bring over Matt Davis (Alaric) fans from The Vampire Diaries. (I know I had no plans to watch the show, but after marathoning through The Vampire Diaries, Matt Davis has become one of my favorite actors, so I definitely plan to give Cult a few episodes to impress me.)

As I was writing this, I kept thinking, I wonder what Revolution and Beauty and the Beast would have been like with Joss Whedon in charge? Can’t wait for S.H.I.E.L.D.!

Dramas I Love:

The three drama shows I was most looking forward to turned out to be the ones I loved most this season. My favorite pilot episode, Last Resort (my review here), hasn’t quite lived up to its potential in subsequent episodes, but it still keeps me glued to the screen almost every minute. Its low ratings don’t signal much hope for renewal, but ABC shows regularly do poorly in that timeslot. ABC did order 2 more scripts for the show, so it’s unlikely to get pulled from the schedule immediately (I was starting to worry about that), but that may be just to give the show some sort of resolution. All the same, I’ve tried to temper my attachment to the show and just enjoy it while it lasts.

Elementary (my review of the pilot here) has been just as awesome as I hoped. I’ve been completely won over to the idea of a female Watson, and it’s been nice watching their friendship slowly grow over the past few episodes. Both annoy each other like crazy, yet their respect and admiration for each other is beginning to build. The cases seem to have an extra twist compared to most crime drama shows, which fits well with the need to bring in a consultant. I’m really sorry for the people who have a hard time understanding Jonny Lee Miller’s brisk British accent, but I feel the speed helps convey Sherlock’s fast mental process. Oh, and the opening credits are amazing:

Last but not least, Arrow has been amazing so far. While the pilot (my review here) had a good deal of the plot revealed in preview clips and therefore wasn’t quite as engaging, the second episode (my review here) had everything I was looking for: great action sequences, insightful character moments, and hints at series-long mythology-building. The second episode got the exact same excellent rating as the first (double that of typical CW “steady performers”), so I’m looking forward to this show being around for a while.

Conclusion:

Three great dramas. Three good comedies. That’s my haul from broadcast TV’s new fall shows, and I managed to find a show I liked on every single network. I think 3, maybe 4, will stick around for a second season.

Which new shows will you keep watching?

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Arrow – Pilot

This isn’t going to be a full review – just some initial impressions and comments on one of the most anticipated premieres of the fall season – Arrow!

For starters, if the numbers hold, this is going to be the CW’s most watched airing of any show, on any night, in nearly three years, best rated telecast of any CW show in 2 years, and most watched premiere since The Vampire Diaries in 2009. It even gave Supernatural a ratings boost for its second episode (ratings tend to go down after a series/season premiere, with Arrow as a lead-in, Supernatural actually went up two tenths!). Update: the numbers did hold – 1.3 18-49 rating, 4.14 million viewers.

My expectations were high for this show. I enjoyed the pilot, but I wasn’t blown away. It’s partly because so much of the plot had been revealed in promos and sneak peeks. I’d seen most of the kidnapping scene (though I thought it was pretty neat that they’d hidden the fact that his friend Tommy, played by Colin Donnell, had been taken with him), and heard rumors about who was behind it. Similarly, Oliver Queen’s skills as Arrow and the plan to take down a corrupt businessman had been fully revealed by previews for the show.

I wasn’t expecting Tommy to be dating Oliver’s ex-girlfriend, Laurel (Katie Cassidy) – but I felt like I should have seen that coming. I wasn’t expecting Oliver’s father to sacrifice himself for his son in such a violent way. I wasn’t expecting Tommy to figure out things so quickly.

I liked the dynamic between Oliver and his new “bodyguard,” John Diggle (David Ramsey). One of my favorite scenes of the pilot was Oliver jumping out of the moving car and Dig being flummoxed at where he went. Oliver’s sister Thea (Willa Holland) being into drugs seemed a little cliché, but I think the show can do interesting things with it, especially with Oliver having to keep up his playboy persona – he can’t set a good example for little sis even though he wants to. I wish Quentin Lance (Laurel’s father and a police detective) got a little more screen time – Paul Blackthorne seems to fit the role very well.

In some comments on other sites, I’ve read some complaints that there isn’t much chemistry between Oliver and Laurel, but after seeing joint interviews with Stephen Amell and Katie Cassidy, I think that will be quickly remedied in future episodes.

Out of the drama pilots I’ve seen this fall, I rank Arrow third – not quite as good as Elementary, but far better than Revolution.

Did you watch Arrow? What do you think of it?

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Lisa Edelstein of ‘House’ to Guest on CBS’ ‘Elementary’ Drama – TVLine

Considering that House was a modern, medically-inclined version of Sherlock Holmes, I think it’s pretty cool that Lisa Edelstein will be guest starring on Elementary. She’ll appear in the seventh episode as the CEO of a PR consulting company that was the target of a bomb.

Also just announced: Callie Thorne (Necessary Roughness) will appear on episode six of Elementary as Captain Gregson’s former partner.

Lisa Edelstein of ‘House’ to Guest on CBS’ ‘Elementary’ Drama – TVLine.

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Elementary – Pilot

“You have two alarm clocks. No one with two alarm clocks loves their job. Two alarm clocks mean it’s a chore for you to get up in the morning.”

Elementary has an uphill battle to fight. TV snobs complain that it’s just another CBS procedural drama. Sherlock devotees whine that it’s a blatant and inferior rip-off of their beloved show. Clueless TV dabblers assume it’s set at a school for young children. But what is the show actually like?

It’s fast-paced, witty, and shows many flashes of brilliance. And the same could be said for its lead, Jonny Lee Miller. He owns the role of the role of the legendary detective, and plays it a bit more jaded than Cumberbatch’s, and a bit less than Downey’s. I was overjoyed when I found out Miller was keeping his British accent, though the breathless clip with which he delivers his lines had some viewers searching for closed captioning buttons on their remotes. I didn’t have any trouble understanding him, though.

I didn’t think Miller would have much trouble pulling off a great Holmes, but I was a bit more wary about Watson. I’m not familiar with Lucy Liu’s acting, and I worried that it might become just another will they/won’t they couple teaming up to solve crime (not that I don’t love many shows with that format, it just doesn’t seem very Sherlock Holmes). Since the producers have assured many times that they don’t intend the Holmes/Watson dynamic to turn romantic, I then focused on what Liu would bring to the table as Watson.

Liu’s Watson is far less awed by Holmes’ brilliance (perhaps partly due to a false deduction he made to spare her feelings) than a typical rendering of the character, has a painful past, and has some skill of her own at noticing clues. She plays the calm one to Holmes’ manic tendencies, but also shows a more playful side occasionally (as in the ending scene). Her enjoyment of both opera and baseball hints at a layered personality.

The initial crime to solve had a decent amount of twists, though it isn’t earth-shattering. Thankfully, the previews didn’t give much away. I was surprised by how willing Captain Gregson was to let Sherlock into the case, but him working with Holmes before in England made it more plausible.

One of my favorite parts was Holmes crashing Watson’s car into a suspect’s vehicle. Like Watson, I assumed he did it because it would help them get evidence to arrest the murderer. But no, he just did it because he was mad. Spoiled rich kid.

Elementary isn’t basing its cases on the classic Doyle stories, though I suspect Moriarty will show up soon enough. And after Watson deduced that Sherlock’s spiral downward was caused by a woman (yes, Holmes isn’t the only one with deducing skills), my first thought was that could be Irene Adler.

In all, while this pilot didn’t blow me away, I enjoyed every minute of it, and my high expectations were fully met. I love the character of Sherlock Holmes, and a movie every two years and three episodes every 18 months leaves plenty of room for another version of Holmes. Also, Holmes-inspired shows like Monk and House have now ended, leaving room for more anti-heroes with excellent deductive reasoning. I definitely plan to continue watching.

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New Fall 2012 Shows – Which Pilots Do You Plan to Watch?

(Uber-cool photo above from TheInsider.com)

Thanks to sneak peaks and early releases, the fall broadcast TV season is well underway, even if most shows don’t premiere until next week (or later). Into the bunch are thrown 21 new scripted shows – which of these do you intend to check out?

Please vote in the poll for all the shows for which you plan to see (or have already seen) the pilot episode. Then leave a comment and let me know which shows you’re most excited about!

Which broadcast show pilots do you plan to watch (or have already seen)?

View Results

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IMDb: Fall TV: Top Ten New Shows – a list by IMDb-Editors

IMDb presents a list of their picks for the top ten new shows – and I agree with just about the entire thing! Each show has a photo and a brief description, followed by thoughts from the site’s editors. I enjoy that they push past all of the hype and nitpicking to give an honest look at how well the pilot episodes work and where they see shows going from there, both good and bad.

#1 Last Resort

My favorite of the pilots I’ve seen so far (admittedly mostly comedy). Great suspense, great characters, awesome possibilities for future stories. I just hope it’s not handicapped by a competitive time slot. Full pilot review here.

#2 Arrow

Dark Knight, archery division. While I haven’t seen the pilot yet, IMDb puts Stephen Amell’s acting somewhere between Tom Welling’s Superman and Christian Bale’s Batman, which is good enough for me! An awesome superhero show for the fall is needed after enjoying superhero movies and Alphas all summer.

#3 The Mindy Project

This was a “see if the pilot’s any good” show for me, but since episode one had an unexpected quirky rom-com charm, I plan to stick around for several more episodes. Pairing this with New Girl is brilliant. Here’s my review of the first episode.

#4 Nashville

One of the few shows I disagree with on this list, mostly since I hate country music and don’t usually like shows that run solely on relational drama (give me murders, spies, bombs, crimes, aliens, cool powers, and other worlds for my drama fix). But if it’s your cup of tea, enjoy away!

#5 Elementary

The third in my trifecta of most-anticipated new dramas this fall (for the others, see #1 and 2 above). I have a feeling the pilot will be a bit spoiled by the promos, so I’m more looking forward to the second episode. And since Sherlock is already reimagining the traditional Holmes stories, I’m glad this show will focus on new stories. Update: my review of the pilot is here.

#6 Ben and Kate

A heartwarming little gem that I look forward to seeing more of. See my full review of the pilot here.

#7 Hunted

I don’t follow many cable shows unless they air on USA, Syfy, or TNT, so I had no idea this cool-looking spy drama from Cinemax even existed. If the pilot shows up online I may have to try it out.

#8 Go On

The pilot was great, the second episode a little less so, but I’m definitely giving this show a few more episodes to find its stride. I think the main thing is that the characters don’t feel like family yet, but that usually requires several episodes for most shows. I just hope the writers will be able to find the right balance between humor and pathos as most of the characters deal with pretty significant losses.

#9 Vegas

One of the other exceptions I’d take off this list – not that it isn’t well made, it’s just not a show I care to watch. I don’t watch many historical shows, unless they’re set in a time and place I love (looking at my list of tags, that’s pretty much medieval England, but there are others). Las Vegas doesn’t interest me at all. Neither does the 60s. I don’t really care about the conflict between a sheriff and a mob boss, and the main cast doesn’t feature any actors of whom I’m a huge fan. So even though I have no other broadcast shows to watch at 10pm on Tuesdays, I won’t be watching (at least this sounds better than Unforgettable, though).

#10 Revolution

This, along with Beauty and the Beast, was in my second tier of new dramas to try out, so my anticipation level wasn’t as high, but I was still hoping to be pleasantly surprised. I wasn’t. While the pilot had some great moments, very little about it pushes me to watch the next episode. Since it conflicts with Castle, I’ll probably save it to watch online, but I have a feeling this is one of those shows that’ll get put off until I’m so far behind I stop watching. I do plan to watch at least the second episode, to see if it gets better.

For pics, plot descriptions, and IMDb editors’ thoughts on these 10 shows, visit the link below.

IMDb: Fall TV: Top Ten New Shows – a list by IMDb-Editors.

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Elementary Promo Photo

I couldn’t resist sharing this awesome promo pic for CBS’s upcoming drama Elementary. Now that BBC’s Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch has wished the show well and showrunner Rob Doherty has taken will they/won’t they melodrama off the table, the future looks even brighter for this modern take on Holmes. Adding the fact that the only scripted broadcast competition the show will get in its Thursdays at 10 timeslot is the lukewarmly-received Scandal, and I think its nearly certain CBS has a hit on its hands.

Full promo photo slideshow here.

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