Yesterday we reported that Cheryl Cole had been replaced by the Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger as a judge on FOX’s upcoming singing competition show, The X Factor. Everything in the piece itself was accurate however our headline, “The X Factor: Cheryl Cole OUT! Simon Cowell Says ‘Too British Sounding.’ Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger IN!,” was not. Simon Cowell had nothing to do with Cole’s departure and did not suggest that her accent was too thick for American audiences and in fact it’s been reported that he fought desperately to save her.
The Hollywood Reporteris citing sources who claim that the decision was a decision by the network itself and the accent issue was theirs alone. Prior reports implied that it was show producers that had the issue with her accent and were responsible for the decision to replace her. Since Simon Cowell is the main producer of this show, we assumed that these were his sentiments and that this was his decision. This obviously was a mistake.
We have also issued the retraction made the correction on the original piece.
We reported two weeks ago that Paula Abdul had signed on as a judge alongside her former American Idol co-judge, Simon Cowell on his highly anticipated singing competition show, The X Factor, along with Cheryl Cole and L.A. Reid. TMZ is reporting that Cheryl Cole, who was a judge on the U.K. version of the show, has been replaced by the Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger citing concerns over American audiences having difficulty understanding her because of her thick British accent and a lack of chemistry with Abdul. Producers now want Cole to return to the U.K. version of the show but sources say that she is so angry about how the situation was handled that she may sever ties with the franchise entirely. We doubt it. We wouldn’t even know who she was if not for this so she needs all of the exposure she can get.
We look at this two ways: first how bad could her accent possibly be? If American audiences can sit through Ewan MacGregor’s Scottish brogue in Trainspotting:
… then we can certainly handle this:
Now of course, the best part of the clip above is that if you listen closely, she pauses in the middle of that to squeak out a little fart. G’head… go back and play it again, we’ll wait.
See, we told you.
Now aside from the obvious issues of farting on the air and how that probably isn’t something that will be embraced by American audiences (except us), the ultimate irony here is that Simon Cowell is concerned that American audiences aren’t going to be able to understand My-Fair-Lady/the-rain-in-Spain-falls-mainly-on-the-plain up there but he doesn’t have any concerns about two or three nights per week of this in primetime:
Steve Jones: Limey Stud
Obviously, though, if the other issue was chemistry with Abdul, it was simply a no-brainer that Cole would be the expendable judge. Scherzinger was originally cast to co-host the show with Steve Jones but now with the move, he’ll be doing it alone. Don’t feel bad folks, we don’t know who he is either however, apparently he’s quite popular in the U.K. and in order to get this gig he had to initially promise not to nail his fellow co-stars and no, we aren’t kidding. Just for that alone he gets our endorsement. But seriously, how hard can it be? Seacrest has been doing it for a decade and he hosts a daily radio show and that dopey show on E!
EDITOR’S NOTE – RETRACTION: Our headline, “The X Factor: Cheryl Cole OUT! Simon Cowell Says ‘Too British Sounding.’ Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger IN!,” was not correct. Cowell had nothing to do with Cole’s departure and did not suggest that her accent was too thick for American audiences and in fact it’s been reported that he fought desperately to save her.
The Hollywood Reporter is citing sources who claim that the decision was a decision by the network itself and the accent issue was theirs alone. Prior reports implied that it was show producers that had the issue with her accent and were responsible for the decision to replace her. Cowell is the main producer of this show, we assumed that these were his sentiments and that this was his decision. This obviously was a mistake.
As we reported here, FOX canceled the remainder of its scripted programming from the 2010 – 2011 season that wasn’t already canceled or renewed as of May 11th, including the Cristian Slater comedy, Breaking In. Well, apparently FOX is reconsidering that decision. According to Nellie Andreeva over at Deadline:
Fox is in discussions with Breaking In producer Sony Pictures TV about possible ways to bring the show back next season, though no decision is expected to be made until after the upfronts next week.
As we noted, out of all the shows to be canceled after the House pick-up, we were most surprised that BI was cancelled because it has been pretty successful for FOX with its American Idol lead-in. If FOX does change their mind, it would please us to no end because as great as both Human Target and The Chicago Code were (Lie To Me was a pretty mediocre and vanilla procedural), BI is not only a great show, but its numbers actually should qualify for it for renewal. To us, that’s equity.
In related news, FOX has also moved BI‘s season finale from its Wednesday night AI lead-out position on the schedule, to Tuesday night at 9:30, following Raising Hope. The naysayers will say that BI wasn’t doomed before the move, it certainly will be by losing its powerhouse, lead-in. We disagree for two reasons. The first being that BI is much more appropriately scheduled after a another comedy than it is post-Idol. The fact is that audiences are more likely to just leave a channel on after a thirty minute show that begins at the top of the hour and watch the lead-out if for no other reason than it’s easier to do and chances are the other networks are running one-hour shows opposite them. Changing channels at the bottom of the hour would more than likely cause the viewer to go into a show that’s already 30 minutes into it on another network.
More importantly, regardless of how BI performs during its season finale, the show is canceled at this point anyway so you can’t get any worse than canceled and taking that a step further any negotiations that FOX is engaged that may possibly change that status will not hinge on one episode and it’s kind of silly to think that it will.
For what it’s worth, though, this may all just be a bunch of smoke and mirrors so don’t get too excited if it turns out that the unconfirmed reports regarding the aforementioned negotiations are nothing more than wishful thinking. Still, though, this does give us hope and it would seem to make more sense that it was true than not.
Folks, don’t forget that the major network up-front media events are next week beginning on Monday, May 16th. This is the day that we will find out the fates of all this season’s shows that haven’t already been decided and we’ll also find out what new shows will be on the schedules for the 2011 – 2012 season. You can find out the schedules for all of the events, here.
The New York Daily News has reported that Universal Media Studios the has come to terms with FOX Broadcasting over the price for the show and cast salaries. Well, to be more accurate NYD reported that NBCUniversal had come to terms with FOX Broadcasting, which is completely inaccurate. Look, Mainstream Lazy-Press, stop calling it NBCUniversal because it sounds cool. It’s NOT NBCUniversal. It used to be NBCUniversal Television Studios and NBCUniversal Television Group is the parent company but that’s not who makes the decisions for UMS. This is the equivalent of calling 20th Century Fox Television Studios, FOX Entertainment Group.
Rant over… moving along.
With the deal finally getting sealed for House, we’re not surprised about the cancellations. We predicted that House wasn’t going to be picked up because of all the deadlines that had gone by, the fact that Universal Media Studios (fka NBCUniversal Television Studio) and FOX could not come to terms on licensing fees and actors salaries and the fact that UMS really wanted this money and would have been glad to take it from NBC who is not only desperate for a scripted drama hit, but it also just had $200 million more dumped into its budget for programming by Comcast. So based on this and the fact that FOX has a lot of question marks this Fall for scripted-drama, we speculated that the loss of House would set off a tidal wave of changes in FOX’s programming decisions, including the ones we mentioned in the beginning of this piece.
So, yes, we failed, but consider the fact that all of those predictions were predicated on House going to NBC. Regardless of the outcome, there’s certainly no denying the fact that the fate of House on FOX was the key factor in their recent programming decisions so the importance of House for FOX cannot be overstated. It’s no coincidence that the day the announcement is made about House that FOX also announces that they are canceling five scripted shows (not surprisingly, Traffic Light was also canceled) and picking up a whole bunch of new pilots (story, here).
That being said, we were very surprised about the cancellation of Breaking In for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a great show, and it has a strong cast (with the Christian Slater as the lead), put up decent numbers, had great exposure as the lead-out for American Idol and had a lot of potential. We don’t understand their logic of not giving it a chance to run a complete season next Fall. The show couldn’t have been particularly expensive to produce and it certainly wasn’t losing money. Was the problem really that it wasn’t retaining enough of AI‘s audience as the lead-out? How much were they expecting, really? It’s not entirely the same audience.
Folks, don’t forget that the major network up-front media events are on Monday, May 16th. This is the day that we will find out the fates of all this season’s shows that haven’t already been decided and we’ll also find out what new shows will be on the schedules for the 2011 – 2012 season. You can find out the schedules for all of the events, here.
If you’re anything like us, you freely admit that the only reason you turned into American Idol for as long as you did was because of Simon Cowell and it wasn’t just for how brutal he was to the first round contestants. Despite Cowell’s dry and sometimes cruel wit, he was generally the only one on that panel who could relay any particular insight to the audience regarding the music industry itself and at the end of the day you had more faith in his opinion than anyone else on the judge’s panel. This is not take anything away from the other judges and guest judges that have graced AI over the years, but Cowell truly brought a sense of balance to the Force and if you’ve watched recently, even if you are still a fan, you can’t help but to admit that it’s become kind of a disjointed mess since his departure. Honestly, does anyone take Steven Tyler seriously at all?
Now if you’re still being honest, even if you hate to admit it, Paula Abdul certainly had her place on that panel and even when she left it was like we lost a part of the family. Between her obnoxious over-the-top praising, soft-peddling, sometimes inebriated commentary and the banter between her and Cowell, it made for good television. So when we heard a couple of months ago from the T-Shirt himself that he would love to get Paula back on his new talent show, The X-Factor, and that he was actively courting her, we were excited about the prospect of two-thirds of the old team getting back together albeit skeptical at the possibility because, let’s be honest, how often do these situations pan out? But then again… this is Simon “King Midas” Cowell we’re talking about, as well.
So without further adieu it gives us great pleasure to announce that Paula Abdul has indeed signed on as a judge on TXF along with Cowell, Cheryl Cole, and Antonio “L.A.” Reid. This is not only going to be great fun for fans but this is very good for FOX broadcasting as it will increase the advertising value of this show even more than we already had expected.
Why should we care about that? It’s simple: the more money TXF makes, the more money FOX has to justify keeping lower rated, critically acclaimed scripted programming and it also acts as great lead-ins for the scripted shows as well, putting more eyes on them. You like your shows like Lie To Me, Human Target, Breaking In and The Chicago Code? Then, even if you don’t have any interest in reality show talent competitions you need to be rooting for TXF to make as much money as possible.
JOINS CHERYL COLE, ANTONIO “L.A.” REID AND SIMON COWELL
ON “The X Factor” JUDGES PANEL
Auditions Continue in Dallas on Thursday, May 26
Singers and Vocal Groups Age 12 and Over Eligible to Audition
For Chance to Win a $5 Million Syco/Sony Music Recording Contract
America’s sweetheart, world-renowned choreographer and pop icon Paula Abdul will join Cheryl Cole, Antonio “L.A.” Reid and Simon Cowell as a judge on The X Factor, the highly anticipated singing competition series debuting this fall on FOX. Abdul, who sat alongside Cowell for eight seasons as a judge on American Idol, has worldwide album sales exceeding 50 million records, two No. 1 albums, six No. 1 singles, a Grammy Award, seven MTV Awards, two Emmy Awards, two People’s Choice Awards and two Kids’ Choice Awards. Abdul will join Cole, Cowell, and Reid as they travel to The X Factor audition cities searching for the next global superstar or breakout music group.
“This show would never have been the same without Paula and I can’t believe I am saying this – I have missed her a lot, and I am thrilled she’s on the show,” said Simon Cowell.
“I am excited beyond words to be a part of The X Factor. I couldn’t be happier to bring my love for cultivating talent and performance to such a wildly anticipated show,” said Paula Abdul. “I’m looking forward to being back with the FOX/FremantleMedia family and know that it will be an extraordinary journey — we’re going to have a blast. I’m also delighted and grateful to be sitting next to Simon again…but you might want to check back with me in a week or two!”
“Paula is not only the lovely, nurturing person that America fell in love with, but she’s also one of the fiercest competitors I’ve ever seen — which makes her a perfect fit to judge The X Factor,” said Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. “Paula and Simon have undeniable chemistry, and together with L.A. Reid and Cheryl Cole, I think we’ve put together an incredibly entertaining judges’ panel.”
“I’m thrilled to be working with Paula again,” says executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz. “A consummate entertainer in her own right, she has an extraordinary talent and generosity for nurturing performers — and her chemistry with Simon Cowell is like no other. I especially look forward to seeing her signature sensibilities in action during our mentoring rounds!”
Auditions continue in Dallas, TX, on Thursday, May 26.
The X Factor is searching for undiscovered talent 12 years old or over – both solo artists and vocal groups – who are willing to brave the panel for a chance to win a $5 million recording contract with Syco/Sony Music. Interested solo artists and vocal groups should sign up now for audition information at www.fox.com/theXfactor or call toll-free 855-345-5678.
In a departure from other singing competition series, the first time contestants audition for The X Factor judges, they will do so in front of an audience of thousands – raising the stakes and increasing the pressure to impress not only the judges, but also a potential legion of fans. This will be the ultimate test to prove they have the vocal ability, charisma and stage presence that it takes to win an unprecedented $5 million recording contract with Syco/Sony Music.
As previously announced, Pepsi will serve as an official sponsor of The X Factor. The comprehensive sponsorship includes an extensive, multi-platform off-air marketing partnership; weekly in-show integrations and placements; and an immersive content experience online.
The X Factor is produced by Syco Television and FremantleMedia North America. Simon Cowell, Rob Wade and Siobhan Greene are executive producers for Syco Television. Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Richard Holloway and Andrew Llinares serve as executive producers for FremantleMedia North America.
About Paula Abdul
Paula Abdul is one of the most-recognized pop singers and choreographers in film, television, video, stage and live tours. Her celebrated work in choreography includes Emmy-winning contributions to “The Tracey Ullman Show” and Emmy-nominated choreography for the Academy Awards, as well as Abdul’s own performance on “The American Music Awards.” Other triumphs include her award-winning work with Janet Jackson, which garnered two MTV Video Awards; and working with such music legends as Aretha Franklin, George Michael, Luther Vandross, INXS, Heart and Prince. Abdul’s favorite memory is dancing alongside her idol, Gene Kelly, in a celebrated and acclaimed commercial campaign. Abdul’s choreography contributions in feature films include the Academy Award-winning “American Beauty,” working with Cuba Gooding Jr. on his Academy Award-winning performance in “Jerry Maguire” and transforming Val Kilmer into Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s “The Doors.” Abdul’s music career encompasses worldwide album sales exceeding 50 million records, two No. 1 albums, six No. 1 singles, a Grammy Award, seven MTV Awards, two Emmy Awards, two People’s Choice Awards and two Kids’ Choice Awards. She has also been honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and inducted into Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Hall of Fame. Abdul served as a judge alongside Simon Cowell for eight seasons on the hit series American Idol. An acclaimed jewelry designer, Abdul introduced her Paula Abdul Jewelry Collection on QVC to record-breaking sales. The collection consists of charms, pendants, earrings and bracelets in a mix of textures and metals, adorned with meaningful phrases. Abdul, who got her first break as a Los Angeles Laker Girl, continues to honor her roots by running dance and cheerleading camps, competitions and scholarship programs throughout the country.
About “The X Factor”
Since its debut in 2004, “The X Factor” has remained the U.K.’s #1 program for the last seven years, peaking with an audience of 21 million with 65% audience share for its 2010 finale. The format swiftly broke similar records around the world, where local versions have consistently rated #1 in 15 territories, with a worldwide audience now well over 100 million. In Denmark, it has ranked #1 for the last four years, peaking with an 80% share of the audience. In Colombia, it has consistently ranked #1 with a 75% share of the audience. Additionally, “The X Factor” consistently delivers a 50% to 65% share of the viewing audiences in Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, France and Italy – with the highest percentage of these shares in A15-34. In some markets, “The X Factor” has increased the channel average demographic by up to 250%. The series has received numerous honors worldwide, including three BAFTA awards, numerous NTA awards and the coveted Rose d’Or. In the U.K., an unprecedented 1.5 million iTunes downloads were made from “The X Factor” contestant performances in 2010. Globally, more than 100 million records have been sold by artists launched through the series, including over 90 #1 singles and albums and 150 Top Ten records.
About Sony Music Entertainment
Sony Music Entertainment is a global recorded music company with a current roster that includes a broad array of both local artists and international superstars. The company boasts a vast catalog that comprises some of the most important recordings in history. It is home to premier record labels representing music from every genre, including American Recordings, Arista Nashville, Arista Records, Battery Records, Beach Street Records, BNA Records, Columbia Nashville, Columbia Records, Day 1, Epic Records, Essential Records, Flicker Records, J Records, Jive Records, LaFace Records, Legacy Recordings, MASTERWORKS, Polo Grounds, RCA Records, RCA Nashville, RCA Red Seal, RCA Victor, Reunion Records, Roc Nation, Sony Classical, Sony Music Latin, Star Time International, Verity Gospel Music Group, and Volcano Entertainment. Sony Music Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America.
About Syco/Simon Cowell
Syco, with offices in London and Los Angeles, is a global music, television and film production joint venture between Simon Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment. Syco Television owns and produces the BAFTA Award-winning “The X Factor,” which has topped the charts around the world. Syco Television is also the owner of the “Got Talent” television format. Versions of both “The X Factor” and “Got Talent” are co-produced by Syco, and are shown in more than 70 countries and have won multiple awards including national television awards and BAFTAs. The X Factor launches in America on FOX in Fall 2011 with Cowell as a judge. Syco is also the record label home for such diverse international recording stars as Leona Lewis and Il Divo. Cowell has worked with artists selling more than 200 million albums and delivering more than 180 No. 1 records. Britain’s Got Talent in 2009 launched the global singing career of Susan Boyle. Her debut Syco album sold over 8 million units in six weeks, making it the world’s biggest-selling album of 2009 and the fastest-selling album in history and a total of 20 million records to date. In 2009, Cowell was named No. 1 in Hollywood Reporter’s Top 50 Most Powerful in Reality TV and Entertainment Weekly’s Top Entertainer of the Year. In 2010 Simon Cowell was awarded Variety International’s Humanitarian Award for his extensive charitable work, The Rose d’Or Golden Jubilee Award and BAFTA’s Special Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the entertainment industry and development of new talent. He also appeared on Time Magazine’s list of Most Influential People in the World and was awarded the International Emmy Founders Award.
About FremantleMedia North America
FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) is the U.S. production division of global media giant FremantleMedia. Based in Burbank, California, FMNA produces entertaining and innovative programs for network, cable, syndicated and online platforms, including the Emmy-nominated musical/reality phenomenon American Idol (FOX), “America’s Got Talent” (NBC), “What Chilli Wants” (VH1), “Hole In The Wall” (Cartoon Network), “Jump City: Seattle” (G4), “Let’s Make A Deal” (CBS), “Family Feud” (syn), “The Price Is Right” (CBS) and the much-anticipated The X Factor in Fall 2011.
You didn't have to be this guy to figure out that FOX would renew Bones.
FOX Broadcasting and 20th Century Fox Television have come to terms on a new license fee agreement and the hit series Bones has been renewed for a seventh season. We predicted this would happen as merely a defensive move if nothing else because if the uncertain fate of House. Universal Media Studios and FOX did not reach an agreement despite a deadline of April 15th and two extensions beyond that deadline.
To make matters more precarious for FOX and the future of House on the network, NBCUniversal head, Steve Burke, has announced that parent company Comcast will be investing an additional $200 million into the struggling NBC. This, of course, just reaffirms our suspicions that it is quite possible that UMS may just opt instead to sell the hit medical show to NBC. The issue at play here is money. UMS wants the same they had with FOX in season five and have FOX share in the cast salaries. FOX’s position is that though the show is still strong it’s not as strong as it was in season five when the initial deal was made. So considering that the deadlines have passed and UMS wants more money than FOX is willing to give, who better to turn to than fellow NBCUniversal subsidiary, NBC who will apparently be rolling in cash. Steve
NBCUniversal Head, Steve Burke
Burke had this to say about the cash infusion at NBC:
The real key to turning around NBC is not necessarily increased investment. The real key is making better shows.
So apparently Mr. Burke certainly gets it and that’s good sign for NBC’s future. Even though he is stating the obvious, it simply amazes us how his predecessors couldn’t grasp that very simple concept. So now it’s our turn to ask the obvious: what better way is there to make better shows than by purchasing already established hits in their prime? We can’t think of many. As we’ve noted, the addition of House to the Peacock network would be a game changer for them or at the very least a life-preserver.
Via Press Release:
FOX UNCOVERS ANOTHER SEASON OF “Bones”
Fan-Favorite Series Renewed for Seventh Season
All-New Episode Airs Thursday, May 5, on FOX
FOX has renewed the hit series Bones for a seventh season, it was announced today by Kevin Reilly, President of Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company.
“Bones is creatively fresh, it’s a rock-solid player every time it airs and this season it has helped us win on Thursday nights for the first time in our history,” said Reilly. “Hart Hanson and the fantastic cast and crew, as well as the millions of loyal Bones fans, make this show really special, and I’m excited to have it on our air for another stellar season.”
In the all-new “The Signs in the Silence” episode, airing Thursday, May 5 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), a 15-year-old Jane Doe, who is hearing impaired and unable to communicate, is found on the streets covered in blood and wielding a knife, leading the team to believe she is responsible for a recent murder. Meanwhile, Angela keeps Hodgins in the dark regarding the details of her pregnancy.
Bones is a darkly amusing procedural centered on a highly skilled forensic anthropologist who can read clues left behind in victims’ Bones and an FBI agent. These unlikely partners take on homicide cases involving human remains that most forensic specialists can’t handle. The series stars Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz, TJ Thyne, Michaela Conlin, Tamara Taylor and John Francis Daley.
Bones is from Far Field Productions and Josephson Entertainment in association with 20th Century Fox Television. The series was created by Hart Hanson. Hanson, Stephen Nathan, Ian Toynton and Barry Josephson are executive producers. Become a fan of the series on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bones and follow the series on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bonesonfox (@bonesonfox).
GOOD MORNING, U.S.A.! IT’S GONNA BE A WONDERFUL DAY!
“American Dad” RENEWED FOR SEVENTH TERM
Emmy-nominated Animation Domination staple American Dad has been renewed for a seventh season, bringing the series through the 2012-2013 season, it was announced today by Kevin Reilly, President of Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company.
“This is fantastic news,” said Roger the Alien. “But you do realize I’m not real, right?”
American Dad follows the lives of ultra-conservative, staunch GOP supporter and CIA agent STAN SMITH (Seth MacFarlane) and his eccentric family that includes FRANCINE (Wendy Schaal), his ditzy-but-lovable wife; HAYLEY (Rachael MacFarlane), his 18-year-old left-wing hippie daughter; STEVE (Scott Grimes), his geeky, 14-year-old son; ROGER (Seth MacFarlane), the selfish and sarcastic cross-dressing space alien; and KLAUS (Dee Bradley Baker), an attention-starved goldfish. The fan-favorite series airs Sundays (7:30-8:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.
Expect lots of hijinks from the Smiths this spring! Roger attempts to make Steve a “cool kid” by letting him drive other kids around in a tractor, but the plan quickly backfires. Meanwhile, Francine gets a job at Stan’s office, but she cramps his style; and Roger starts dressing like a teenage girl and quickly seduces Steve’s best friend, SNOT (guest voice Curtis Armstrong). Upcoming guest voices for this season include Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Anjelica Huston, Elisabeth Shue, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Burt Reynolds and Grammy Award winner Cee-Lo Green.
American Dad is a 20th Century Fox Television production. Seth MacFarlane, Mike Barker and Matt Weitzman serve as co-creators and executive producers, while Kenny Schwartz, Rick Wiener and Nahnatchka Khan serve as executive producers. Become a fan of American Dad on Facebook at www.facebook.com/americandad and follow the series on Twitter at www.twitter.com/americandadfox.
We are officially not hating FOX today (ONE day, FOX… you get ONE DAY!) but we would like to point out that after we saw the pilot of Bob’s Burgers we knew that the renewal of American Dad was inevitable and noted it in our review. So tell your friends about how brilliant our insight is (again) and that they have to read this blog. That being said, with this announcement today, we find it highly unlikely that Bob’s Burgers will be renewed and we are thankful for that as it’s just awful.
There is a discrepancy here, though, that we would like to point out: American Dad is currently in its sixth season (2010 – 2011). The press release indicates that the American Dad renewal will bring the series through the 2012 – 2013 season. The numbers don’t work on that (it should be 2011 – 2012) unless FOX intends to split up season seven over the course of 2 years (there are reports that the order was for 22 episodes) premiering each half in January 2012 and January 2013. We don’t find this scenario likely but it’s not out of the realm of possibility either.
Consider this: FOX has ordered pilots for at least two new animated shows for 2011 – 2012 and they are continuing to look for more because they want to expand their “Animation Domination” schedule, according to our sources. There is no change in time-slot according to the press release which means that American Dad will still be airing at 7:30 p.m. The problem is that FOX stops airing programming at 10:00 p.m. so they are limited on time slots to keep plugging cartoons into. The only solution would be half-season programming, i.e., air “Cartoon-X” in the Fall of 2011 and American Dad for 11 episodes in Spring 2012, rinse and repeat for the following season. Although we find this scenario unlikely, it is possible and we don’t think it would necessarily be a bad thing.
The more likely of the scenarios, however, is that they either just made a mistake and meant 2011 – 2012 or they actually renewed it for two seasons. As much as we’d like the latter, we’re leaning towards the former for obvious reasons.
Of course, we’ll keep you updated as we find out more.
Actually, this news has been around for about a month but we’ve been kind of busy and it completely slipped under our radar until we saw a segment about it on Extra or the Insider or Entertainment Tonight or whatever crappy tabloid entertainment show that happened to be running in the background last night when we were eating our 39-cent Del Taco plain tacos.
So, apparently, 24 star, Kiefer Sutherland is starring on a Hulu exclusive, 10-part webisode series about a hitman who has a theological discussion with a priest (Golden Globe winner and Academy Award nominee, John Hurt) about why his victims deserved to die. We gotta say, this looks wicked cool.
“In all fairness, it looks fantastic,” Sutherland said of the web series, which he is exec producing with [Digital Broadcasting Group‘s CEO Chris] Young, Joseph Gomes and Maura Mandt. ”We shot it in the fifth-largest snow storm. It was pretty amazing.”
To us, as fantastic as it looks, what’s even more important is the standard that it has the potential to set. The discussion over bringing serious television and film content to the Internet exclusively for release has been around for a few years now but never quite with this degree of seriousness in cast and production values. Also, putting it on Hulu and not on a network site says a lot about how these new innovators want to use new-media outlets for traditional entertainment. This really is groundbreaking stuff, here.
Chris Young said this in a recent press-release:
“The Confession sets a precedent for what is possible in original webisodic content. Never before has something of this magnitude and motion picture quality come to the third screen. I’m thrilled to be working with such A-list talent and top-tier sponsors to finally capture and crystallize the seismic shift in how content of this caliber is released, distributed and enjoyed by an audience that will rival that of a hit television series.”
He’s got it, alright. This may change television forever.
No word on an exact date, but when we find out, we’ll let you know.
It’s that time of year again, folks. The time where we come together to say good-bye to an old year and we usher a in a new one. At TV-Tastic, it’s also the time of year where we review the Fall 2010 television lineup, tell you what was good, what sucked and everything in between and why as well as where all of these shows are going to be in the new year (if they haven’t gotten canceled already). Keep in mind that it’s only the stuff we watched for the most part so not every piece of schlock is in here. So let the games begin.
FOX – The Simpsons
We gave up on The Simpsons around 2000 because frankly, it had gotten to the point where they were abusing the social commentary satire that they were famous for and basically began preaching and not being funny. The biggest problem really was that strayed away from the old format of filling every obscure situation with a good joke. That being said, we’ve been dipping our toes back into the Simpsons water for the last couple of years and we have to say that this season is one of the funniest in a very long time. It is as brilliant and original in this its 22nd season as it was during its first ten. They’ve brought back everything that made The Simpsons great and we love it.
FOX – The Cleveland Show
We have to be honest: we don’t like The Cleveland Show. We think it’s incredibly poorly written, a poor rip-off of Family Guy and ridiculously exploits racial stereotypes with little-to-no comedic value. We’re still trying to figure out why Cleveland Brown was given his own show to begin with. The random Cleveland appearance on Family Guy was always funny but the character was never written to be a major presence even on that show so why would the producers think setting him or any secondary character up with their own series is a good idea? The only positive statement we can make about Cleveland this season is that it is slightly funnier than it was last season, but we seriously don’t know if you can call going from a 1 to a 3 on a scale of 10 an accomplishment. Anyway, apparently we’re the idiots because FOX has already renewed it for another season. Waitaminute… this is FOX we’re talking about, after all. Maybe we’re not the idiots after all.
FOX – Family Guy
We’ve been devoted fans of Family Guy since its pilot episode on Fox in 1999. Needless to say, we were heartbroken when it was canceled by the idiots at FOX in 2002, and subsequently rejoiced when it was resurrected again in 2005 (thank you, Cartoon Network). When it first came back after the hiatus, we were kind of disappointed as it just didn’t feel like the same show. The jokes weren’t as funny, weren’t as fast and more importantly, the musical numbers had all but disappeared and any true fan will tell you, the musical numbers were what made old-school Family Guy so damned good.
After a couple of seasons of kind of boring us to death (with the exception of a few standout episodes) there was something else that we picked up that was really starting to bug us: Family Guy was becoming very mean-spirited with their jokes. Now, Family Guy has never shied away from controversy and we’ve never had a problem with the shock-value material, but some of this stuff was just downright awful, alienating and again, very mean-spirited. Old-school Family Guy, as controversial as it was, was NEVER mean and it didn’t have to be because the material stood on its own. It was becoming very clear to long-time fans and objective viewers that Family Guy was resorting to these tactics because the writing frankly wasn’t that good and they knew it.
Near the end of the 2007 – 2008 season, we had decided that as much as we didn’t want to do it, we were going to remove Family Guy from DVR schedule in the Fall of 2008 if we didn’t see marked improvement.
We can honestly say now that we’re certainly glad we gave Family Guy a chance because like The Simpsons, Family Guy began to go back to what made the show great and left the mean-spiritedness behind. The show has gotten progressively better over the past two seasons (with more musical numbers to boot) and this season is one of the funniest in history.
We normally just erase shows immediately after watching them off the DVR but Family Guy has become so good again that you literally have to watch an episode at least twice to catch the jokes you missed the first time around because you were laughing so hard and so long at one joke that the next one blew right by you. THAT is what Family Guy was all about. This season’s episode, Excellence in Broadcasting guest-starring (of all people) Rush Limbaugh may be the funniest episode in the history of the series… I’m not kidding. It’s definitely up there with the greats such as Wasted Talent, Petarded and PTV. We don’t care if you love Limbaugh or hate him, if you can’t appreciate how brilliant that episode is, you should not be watching Family Guy.
Here is one of the funniest scenes ever done on Family Guy from the episode Baby, You Knock Me Out, again, from this season and available in its entirety here.
HBO – Boardwalk Empire
We did a review the night after the series premiere of Boardwalk Empire where we proclaimed that it was the best show on television (the review can be read here.). After watching the entire first season there is absolutely nothing I would change about my analysis of this series, it is the best show on television… period. That being said, as ana aside, there is something that I have noticed on the series for some time now that viewers really should be aware of. The show isn’t completely historically accurate. In the aggregate, yes, the overall story is true, but many of the nitty-gritty details have been dramatized… A LOT. For example: there’s a whole storyline about Warren G. Harding’s mistress who had his baby. In reality, this story of the mistress and the baby was a rumor that was never historically confirmed yet Boardwalk Empire puts it into the storyline as if it were fact. We have no problem with creative license, but there should be full disclosure especially from a fictional show that revolves around actual historical figures. Just sayin’, is all.
Showtime – Dexter
Well, Dexter has officially gone 24 on us. Allow us to explain: After four seasons of improving storylines, 24 had its masterpiece season in season 4. The problem is that there was absolutely no way the producers could ever top that season so the next three seasons seemed disappointing by comparison. This is exactly what happened with Dexter in season 5. Season 4 of Dexter with John Lithgow as “The Trinity Killer” was one of the best seasons in television history and had one the best shock-finale of any series in recent memory and that hurt season 5. The anticipation was so built-up because of season 4 that this season, although very good, was a bit of a let-down and nowhere near as satisfying as season 4. We still love the series and we can’t wait until season 6 airs but the fans need to understand that season 4 was the defining season and its never going to get any better than that.
FOX – American Dad
American Dad has been the one consistent bright spot in the FOX ‘Animation Domination’ lineup on Sunday night. The show is absolutely hilarious and every now and then they throw in an episode that completely breaks from the sitcom fare and goes into the column of “epic event.” If you’ve seen the Christmas episode from season five Rapture’s Delight, you know what we’re talking about.
Unfortunately, it seems as if American Dad is always on the list of shows to be canceled each year and this season is no different. I blame the time-slot and usually I would just say “don’t worry, it will be picked up next year,” but this year we were a little concerned because of the mid-season replacement, Bob’s Burgers looked VERY funny based on the sneak-preview we saw on the Family Guy: It’s a Trap! Blu-Ray. That being said, FOX has had a history of trying to upset the apple cart in recent years on Sunday night and it hasn’t worked. Besides the fact that none of the shows they’ve tried to knock off American Dad with have been very good, I think audiences have gotten very comfortable with American Dad and though its audience numbers haven’t been as huge as Family Guy, they’ve been consistent.
Also, now that we’ve had a chance to see Bob’s Burgers, we think it’s safe to say that it won’t be around long. Read the full review of Bob’s Burgers, here.