Before their pilot episodes will even air this Fall, two lead cast members from two of FOX’s new series are leaving their respective shows. Saffron Burrows, who played Ike on the Bones back-door pilot for the new series The Finder is exiting as producers are re-imagining the character. In related news, Damon Wayans, Jr.’s role on the Zooey Deschanel comedy, New Girl will also have to be recast as Wayans’ other show, ABC’s Happy Endings, was renewed for a second season.
Via Press Release:
FLINTSTONES! MEET “THE FLINTSTONES” ON FOX
Modern Stone-Age Family Returns to Television in
New Animated Series from Seth MacFarlane,
20th Century Fox Television and Warner Bros. Television
Yabba dabba doo! FOX has picked up THE FLINTSTONES, a 21st century version of the classic animated comedy from executive producer Seth MacFarlane. In a cross-studio collaboration, THE FLINTSTONES will be produced jointly by 20th Century Fox Television and Warner Bros. Television. Warner Bros. is home to THE FLINTSTONES via its ownership of the Hanna-Barbera collection of animated titles. Dan Palladino (“Gilmore Girls”) and Kara Vallow (Family Guy) will also serve as executive producers. THE FLINTSTONES will begin production in fall 2011 and will be set in stone on the FOX schedule in 2013.
“The very first cartoon character I drew at age two was Fred Flintstone,” said MacFarlane. “So it’s appropriate that events have come full circle, allowing me to produce the newest incarnation of this great franchise. Plus, I think America is finally ready for an animated sitcom about a fat, stupid guy with a wife who’s too good for him.”
“The Flintstones are among the funniest and most beloved characters in television history, and we can’t wait to introduce them to a whole new generation on FOX,” said Kevin Reilly, President of Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. “FOX has long been home to iconic families like the Simpsons and the Griffins, so I have no doubt that the Flintstones and the Rubbles are going to fit right in on our air.”
The (pre)historic return of THE FLINTSTONES will feature MacFarlane’s modern-day take on the lives of the Flintstones and the Rubbles, two hard-working middle-class families living with contemporary conveniences in the dinosaur-era town of Bedrock. The series centers on hard-headed patriarch FRED FLINTSTONE and best friend and sidekick BARNEY RUBBLE. Fred’s Stone-Age clan includes wife WILMA, daughter PEBBLES and pet dinosaur DINO, while Barney’s brood consists of wife BETTY and son BAMM-BAMM.
MacFarlane’s lineup of animated series continues to dominate Sunday nights. Everyone’s favorite families from Quahog, Langley Falls and Stoolbend will be back for more laughs as Family Guy, American Dad and The Cleveland Show were recently renewed for a 10th, seventh and fourth seasons, respectively.
THE FLINTSTONES will be co-produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Warner Bros. Television. MacFarlane and Palladino serve as executive producers of the series and co-writers on the pilot. Vallow will serve as executive producer on the series. Voice actors for the series will be announced. THE FLINTSTONES and all related characters and elements are trademarks of © Hanna-Barbera.
Here it is, folks, direct from the FOX Upfront Advertising Event, FOX’s 2011 – 2012 Primetime Programming Schedule (scroll down for complete schedule). Please note, if you don’t see your favorite show from this season, recent cancellations have been covered here, however as we reported, the status of Breaking In is reported to be still up in the air.
If you have any questions about other shows, post them below.
Some programming notes:
- Some solid scripted shows, however the new comedies seem weak, despite the star power behind them.
- The elephant in the room that is Terra Nova: The Big Gamble. Depending on how well or poorly this does could change the direction of the entire schedule. Read why we believe TN is such a big gamble, here and here. Believe us, we’re rooting for it, we’re just nervous about it and we think FOX is too. We’re still trying to figure out if they plan to run this for an entire 22 episode run because it’s nowhere on the mid-season schedule. So it’s either going for 13 episodes (which we believe would be the smarter move) or it will have an abbreviated 19 episode season non-stop through December.
- New J.J. Abrams, series Alcatraz to premiere mid-season. Perhaps the smartest move of the schedule to avoid hiatuses and loss of interest by audiences of what no doubt will be a Lost-type serial.
- After 24 seasons, America’s Most Wanted is no longer a regular series. It will now be shown as four specials throughout the year.
- The Cleveland Show has swapped places with American Dad, going to the less desirable 7:30 – 8:30 PM spot on Sunday and putting AD back into its longstanding 9:30 – 10:00 PM for the first half of the season. New series Allen Gregory will be in the 8:30 – 9:30 PM slot, a slot that was filled by The Cleveland Show for the first half of the season and Bob’s Burgers for the second half. This gives credence to our suggestion that we made when the announcement for AD‘s renewal was made in which the press release claimed that an order had been placed for 22 episodes, however it contradicted itself by stating that the show was renewed through 2013. We suggested that one of the only ways this would make sense would be if AD was going to get half-season treatment, although we did find that scenario the most unlikely. This could change, however depending on the success/failure of AG and ND.
- We’re not expecting a whole lot from AG and ND and we don’t think FOX is either. We explain why here. We expect these shows to both be canceled pretty quickly as the two had seven and six episodes orders, respectively. We hear that FOX has at least two more animated shows in the hopper waiting to go, though, just in case.
- Finally, keep in mind that an NFL lockout is looming. This could send ripples through the entire FOX schedule.
So without further adieu:
FOX FALL 2011 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE
(All Times ET/PT)
8:00-9:00 PM Terra Nova (NEW!)
9:00-10:00 PM House
8:00-9:00 PM Glee
9:00-9:30 PM The New Girl (NEW!)
9:30-10:00 PM Raising Hope
8:00-9:00 PM The X-Factor (Results Show) (NEW!)
9:00-10:00 PM Bones
8:00-8:30 PM COPS
8:30-9:00 PM COPS
9:00-10:00 PM (Encores) / America’s Most Wanted (Specials)
FOX MIDSEASON 2012 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE
(All Times ET/PT)
8:00-9:00 PM Glee
9:00-9:30 PM The New Girl (NEW!)
9:30-10:00 PM Raising Hope
8:00-9:30 PM American Idol
9:30-10:00 PM I Hate My Teenage Daughter (NEW!)
8:00-9:00 PM American Idol (Results Show)
9:00-10:00 PM The Finder (NEW!) / Bones (Spring)
8:00-9:00 PM Kitchen Nightmares
9:00-10:00 PM Fringe
8:00-8:30 PM COPS
8:30-9:00 PM COPS
9:00-10:00 PM (Encores) / America’s Most Wanted (Specials)
Today, NBC announced their new Fall Schedule, a day ahead of the Monday upfront advertising event. In case you’re wondering why you’re not seeing some of your favorite shows, it’s because they’ve been canceled as we noted in this post, here. After the dust settles, we’ll be sure to comment on all of these new and returning shows.
Folks, don’t forget that the major network up-front advertising events begin TOMORROW, Monday, May 16th and go on through Thursday. This is the week 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.
Vis Press Release:
WITH A COMMITMENT TO INNOVATION, STRATEGIC POSITIONING AND SEASON-LONG STRENGTH, NBC REVEALS ITS 2011-12 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE
Fall and Mid-Season Lineups Feature New Dramas “Smash,” “Prime Suspect,” “The Playboy Club,” “Awake,” “Grimm” and “The Firm”
New Comedies Are “Up All Night,” “Whitney,” “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea,” “Free Agents,” “Best Friends Forever” and “Bent.”
NEW YORK CITY — May 15, 2011 — NBC has introduced its 2011-12 primetime schedule, showcasing six new dramas and six new comedies from a roster of renowned hit-makers that includes Steven Spielberg, Lorne Michaels, Brian Grazer, Tom Werner, John Grisham and Peter Berg, among many others.
The season’s new dramas are “Smash,” “Prime Suspect,” “The Playboy Club,” “Awake,” “Grimm” and “The Firm”; and the new comedies are “Up All Night,” “Whitney,” “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea,” “Free Agents,” “Best Friends Forever” and “Bent.”
Returning shows include “Parenthood,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Harry’s Law,” “Chuck” (for its fifth and final season of 13 episodes), “Community,” “Parks and Recreation,” “The Office,” “30 Rock” and “DatelineNBC.” Among next season’s returning alternative series are “The Voice,” “The Sing-Off,” “The Celebrity Apprentice” and “The Biggest Loser,” each in two-hour formats.
The new lineup combines schedule stability with strategic changes that position the network for future growth. Key facets of the schedule include a new hour of comedy with the Wednesday debuts of “Up All Night” (8-8:30 p.m. ET) and “Free Agents” (8:30-9 p.m. ET) and an update to NBC’s critically acclaimed Thursday lineup with the premieres this fall of the new comedy “Whitney” (9:30-10 p.m. ET) and the first-year drama “Prime Suspect” (10-11 p.m. ET). In addition, NBC has made a strong commitment to original scripted programming on Friday nights with the pairing of “Chuck” (8-9 p.m. ET) in its climactic season with the new drama “Grimm” (9-10 p.m. ET).
The #1 new series of the current season, “The Voice,” returns at mid-season on Monday nights (8-10 p.m. ET) and will serve as the lead-in to the new musical drama “Smash” (10-11 p.m. ET). In the fall on Mondays from 8-10 p.m. ET will be another growing NBC reality success, “The Sing-Off,” now in a weekly format following its strong December showings of the past two years.
Additional details unveiled in today’s announcement include a run of uninterrupted originals for “30 Rock” starting at mid-season and a post-football Sunday lineup of “Dateline NBC” (7-8 p.m. ET), “The Celebrity Apprentice” (8-10 p.m. ET) and the new drama “The Firm” (10-11 p.m. ET). Additional new series ready for mid-season include the drama “Awake” and the comedies “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea,” “Best Friends Forever” and “Bent.”
The announcements were made by Bob Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment.
“Next season begins the rebuilding of the NBC primetime schedule, and our goal is to reinvigorate our audience with a line-up of appointment television that includes our best returning shows and a variety of innovative and attention-getting new series. We’ll be placing a great deal of emphasis on how we launch each one of our programs and on maximizing the network’s strengths throughout the fall and well into mid-season,” said Greenblatt. “Considering it’s only been three months since new management took over, I’m very pleased with what has resulted from a very strong pilot season. And with a powerful new asset like ‘The Voice’ already in hand, we go into the 2011-12 season with cautious but incredible optimism.”
NBC FALL 2011-12 SCHEDULE
*New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET)
8-10 p.m. – “The Sing-Off”
10-11 p.m. – “THE PLAYBOY CLUB”
8-10 p.m. – “The Biggest Loser”
10-11 p.m. – “Parenthood”
8-8:30 p.m. – “UP ALL NIGHT”
8:30-9 p.m. – “FREE AGENTS”
9-10 p.m. — “Harry’s Law”
10-11 p.m. — “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”
8-8:30 p.m. – “Community”
8:30-9 p.m. — “Parks and Recreation”
9-9:30 p.m. – “The Office”
9:30-10 p.m. – “WHITNEY”
10-11 p.m. – “PRIME SUSPECT”
8-9 p.m. – “Chuck”
9-10 p.m. – “GRIMM”
10-11 p.m. – “Dateline NBC”
7- 8:15 p.m. — “Football Night in America”
8:15-11:30 p.m. — “NBC Sunday Night Football”
NBC 2012 MID-SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
*New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET)
7-8 p.m. – “Dateline NBC”
8-10 p.m. – “The Celebrity Apprentice”
10-11 p.m. – “THE FIRM”
8-10 p.m. – “The Voice”
10-11 p.m. – “SMASH”
2011-12 NEW SERIES DESCRIPTIONS
‘PRIME SUSPECT’ — Based on the critically acclaimed British television series of the same name, “Prime Suspect” has been redeveloped for American audiences by writer Alexandra Cunningham (“Desperate Housewives,” “NYPD Blue”), director Peter Berg (NBC’s “Friday Night Lights”) — and stars Maria Bello (“A History of Violence”) as tough-as-nails Detective Jane Timoney. Timoney finds that being a homicide detective in New York City is tough enough and having to contend with a male-dominated police department to get respect makes it that much tougher. She’s an outsider who has just transferred to a new precinct dominated by an impenetrable clique of a boys’ club. Timoney has her own vices too — with a questionable past — and she tends to be forceful, rude and reckless. But she’s also a brilliant cop who keeps her eye on one thing: the prime suspect. Also starring are Aidan Quinn (“Unknown”), Brian O’Byrne (“Flash Forward”), Tim Griffin (“Star Trek”), Kirk Acevedo (“Fringe”), Joe Nieves (“How I Met Your Mother”), Damon Gupton (“The Last Airbender”) and Peter Gerety (“Blue Bloods”). “Prime Suspect” is produced by Universal Media Studios, ITV and Film 44. Cunningham is the executive producer/writer along with executive producer/director Berg and executive producers Sarah Aubrey, Julie Meldal-Johnson, Paul Buccieri and Lynda LaPlante.
‘THE PLAYBOY CLUB’ — From Academy Award-winning executive producer Brian Grazer, “The Playboy Club” is a provocative new drama about a time and place that challenged the social mores, where a visionary entrepreneur created an empire and an icon changed American culture. It’s the early ‘60s, and the legendary Playboy Club in Chicago is the door to all of your fantasies — and the key is the most sought-after status symbol of its kind. Inside the seductive world of the bunny, the epitome of beauty and service, the clientele rubs shoulders with the decade’s biggest mobsters, politicos and entertainers. Nick Dalton (Eddie Cibrian, “CSI: Miami”) is one of the city’s top attorneys and the ultimate playboy, rubbing elbows with everyone in the city’s power structure. With mysterious ties to the mob, Nick comes to the aid of Maureen (Amber Heard, “Zombieland”), the stunning and innocent new bunny who accidentally kills the leader of the Bianchi crime family. Dating Nick is Carol-Lynne (Laura Benanti, “Take the Lead”), a bombshell and established star at the club who knows her days as a bunny are numbered and finds herself continually at odds with Billy (David Krumholtz, ”Numb3rs”), the club’s general manager. Adding to the charm of the Playboy club is Janie (Jenna Dewan Tatum, “American Virgin”), the carefree life of the party who is dating Max (Wes Ramsey, “CSI: Miami”), an overly protective bartender. Also starring are Naturi Naughton (“Fame”) and Leah Renee (“True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet”). In addition to Grazer (“A Beautiful Mind,” “American Gangster”), the executive producers on “The Playboy Club” include Chad Hodge (“Tru Calling”), Francie Calfo (“Scoundrels”), Jason Burns (“The House Bunny”) and Dick Rosenzweig (“Kendra”). Hodge also wrote the pilot, which was directed by Alan Taylor (“Mad Men,” “The Sopranos”). The series is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Imagine Television.
‘SMASH’ — “Smash” is a musical drama that celebrates the beauty and heartbreak of the Broadway theater as it follows a cross-section of dreamers and schemers who all have one common desire — to be a “Smash.” The series centers on a desire to create a Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe — written by the successful songwriting duo of Tom (Tony Award nominee Christian Borle, “Legally Blonde: The Musical”) and Julia (Emmy Award winner Debra Messing, “Will & Grace”). Julia recently began the process of adopting a child with her husband of many years, but her focus is torn when she has the opportunity to write another Broadway hit. A rivalry soon forms for the lead role between a youthful, inexperienced Midwestern beauty (Katharine McPhee, “American Idol”) — who is trying to find fame in the big city against all odds — and stage veteran (Megan Hilty, “9 to 5: The Musical”), who’s determined to leave the chorus line and finally get her big break. A tenacious producer Eileen (Oscar winner, Anjelica Huston, “Prizzi’s Honor”) discovers the “Marilyn” project and jumps on board with a brilliant director (Jack Davenport, “Pirates of the Caribbean” films) — whose talent is matched by his cunning and egocentric amorality. The series stemmed from an idea of executive producer and multiple Emmy and Oscar winner Steven Spielberg (“ER,” “Schindler’s List”). The pilot was written by acclaimed playwright/screenwriter Theresa Rebeck (“Mauritius,” “NYPD Blue”). Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Oscar-winning “Chicago,” “Hairspray”) and Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey (“United States Of Tara,” “The Borgias”) will also serve as executive producers. Original songs are written by Tony and Grammy Award winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (“Hairspray,” “Catch Me If You Can”), who also serve as executive producers. “Smash” is a production of Universal Media Studios in association with DreamWorks. The pilot was directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer (“Spring Awakening,” “American Idiot”).
‘GRIMM’ — “Grimm” is a new drama series inspired by the classic Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Remember the fairy tales your parents used to tell you before bedtime? Those weren’t stories — they were warnings. Nick Burkhardt (David Guintoli “Turn The Beat Around”) thought he prepared himself for the realities of working as a homicide detective until he started seeing things he couldn’t quite explain. When his ailing Aunt Marie (guest star Kate Burton, “Grey’s Anatomy”) arrives, Nick’s life turns upside down when she reveals they are descendants of an elite group of hunters, also known as “Grimms,” who fight to keep the balance of humanity safe from the supernatural creatures of the world. As Nick digs deeper into her past, he realizes that he will have to shoulder the responsibility of his ancestors — and contend with a larger-than-life mythology of the Brothers Grimm that is now all too real. Russell Hornsby (“Lincoln Heights”), Bitsie Tulloch (“Quarterlife”), Silas Weir Mitchell (“Prison Break”), Reggie Lee (“Persons Unknown”) and Sasha Roiz (“Caprica”) also star. “Grimm” is a production of Universal Media Studios and Hazy Mills Productions. Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner (“Hot In Cleveland”) serve as executive producers, Jim Kouf (“National Treasure,” “Angel”) and David Greenwalt (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel”) are the creators/executive producers and Marc Buckland (“My Name Is Earl”) is the director.
‘AWAKE’ — “Awake” is an intriguing drama about a detective (Jason Issacs, “Harry Potter,” “Brotherhood”) who finds he is leading an arduous double life that defies reality. When Detective Michael Britten (Issacs) regains consciousness following his family’s car accident, he is told that his wife Hannah (Laura Allen, “Terriers”) perished but that his teen son, Rex (Dylan Minnette, “Saving Grace”), has survived. As he tries to put the pieces of his life back together, he awakens again in a parallel reality in which his wife is very much alive — but his son Rex died in the accident. In order to keep both of his loved ones alive at one time, he begins living two dueling realities in parallel worlds, which churns up confusion — in one moment, Michael and his wife debate about having another child to replace their son, while in the other reality, he is attracted to his son’s tennis coach, Tara (Michaela McManus, “The Vampire Diaries”), to fill the void from the loss of his wife. Trying to regain some normalcy, Michael returns to police work and solves crimes in both worlds with the help of two different partners — Detective Isaiah “Bird” Freeman (Steve Harris, “The Practice”) and Detective Efrem Vega (Wilmer Valderrama, “That ’70s Show”). Also starring are Emmy Award winner Cherry Jones (“24”) and BD Wong (NBC’s “Law & Order:Special Victims Unit”) as therapists in each respective world. The series is produced by 20th Century Fox Television. Kyle Killen (“Lone Star”) and Howard Gordon (“24”) are executive producers. David Slade (“Twilight: Eclipse,” “30 Days of Night”) also serves as executive producer and directed the pilot written by Killen.
‘THE FIRM’ — Based on the blockbuster feature film and best-selling novel by world-renowned author John Grisham (“The Pelican Brief,” “The Client”), “The Firm” continues the story of attorney Mitchell McDeere and his family 10 years after the events of the film and novel. As a young associate, McDeere brought down the prestigious Memphis law firm of Bendini, Lambert & Locke, which operated as a front for the Chicago mob — and his life was never the same. After a difficult decade, which included a stay in the Federal Witness Protection program, Mitch and his family now emerge from isolation to reclaim their lives and their future — only to find that past dangers are still lurking and new threats are everywhere. “The Firm” is produced by Entertainment One in association with Sony Pictures Television and Paramount Pictures. The executive producers are Grisham, Lukas Reiter (“Law & Order,” “Boston Legal”), John Morayniss (“Haven,” “Hung”), Michael Rosenberg (“Hung,” “Skins”) and Noreen Halpern (“Rookie Blue,” “Hung”).
‘WHITNEY’ — A hilarious look at modern love, “Whitney” is a new multi-camera comedy series about Whitney (Whitney Cummings, “Chelsea Lately”) and Alex (Chris D’Elia, “Glory Daze”), a happily unmarried couple. Together for five years, the duo is in no rush to get hitched. However, after attending yet another one of their friends’ weddings, Whitney realizes that she and Alex are dangerously close to relationship boredom. Determined not to let that happen, Whitney consults her close circle of opinionated girlfriends — including Lily (Zoe Lister-Jones, “The Other Guys”) and Roxanne (Rhea Seehorn, “The Starter Wife”) — and then snaps into action. A few awkward sexy costumes and one botched seductive evening later, the couple ends up in the emergency room. Even so, Whitney and Alex realize that while their relationship might not be perfect on paper, they really do love each other — and that works for them. Also starring are Maulik Pancholy (NBC’s “30 Rock”) as Lily’s perfect boyfriend, and Dan O’Brien (“How I Met Your Mother”) as an eternal bachelor. “Whitney” is produced by Universal Media Studios and Scott Stuber Productions. Stuber (“The Break Up”), Quan Phung, Betsy Thomas (“My Boys”) and Barry Katz (“Last Comic Standing”) are executive producers. Cummings also serves as executive producer/writer. Andy Ackerman (“Seinfeld,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine”) is an executive producer and directed the pilot.
‘UP ALL NIGHT’ — From Emily Spivey (NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”) and legendary Emmy Award-winning producer Lorne Michaels, comes “Up All Night,” a modern take on Parenthood that shows the challenges of balancing a career, marriage and a new baby. Christina Applegate (“Samantha Who?”) stars as Reagan, a successful public relations executive, and Will Arnett (“Arrested Development”) plays Chris, Reagan’s supportive, stay-at-home husband. The two have just become parents – a surprise that has set their lives on a new path as responsible adults — for the most part. Maya Rudolph (“Saturday Night Live,” “Bridesmaids”) stars as Ava, Reagan’s outlandish boss and best friend, whose whirlwind social escapades serve as constant reminders of Reagan’s former carefree life. James Pumphrey (“High Road”) portrays Brian, Reagan’s socially awkward hipster assistant. “Up All Night” is a production of Universal Media Studios and Broadway Video. Spivey is the creator and serves as executive producer along with Michaels and Jon Pollack (NBC’s “30 Rock”).
‘FREE AGENTS’ – “Free Agents” is a crooked workplace/romantic new comedy from creator John Enbom (“Party Down”) and Emmy Award-winning director Todd Holland (“Malcolm in the Middle”) based on the cult U.K. series of the same name that explores the trials and tribulations of two public relations executives on the rebound. Alex (Hank Azaria, “The Simpsons,” “Huff”) is newly divorced and can barely keep himself together while his co-worker Helen (Kathryn Hahn, “Hung”) thinks she has it together but is obsessed with her deceased fiancé and actually is falling apart. Then a drunken Alex and Helen end up in bed together, and in the resulting sober confusion, Helen decides that they should only be friends. Meanwhile Alex’s co-workers, Dan (Mo Mandel, “Love Bites,” “Modern Family”) and Gregg (Al Madrigal, “Wizards of Waverly Place,” “Gary, Unmarried”), and Stephen (Anthony Head, “Merlin,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) fail in their attempts to help him get back out on the dating scene. When Alex finally agrees to a date, Helen gets a little jealous, and he gets cold feet, so they end up back where they started — in a casual, intimate and beautifully awkward relationship. Also starring is Joe Lo Truglio (“Backwash,” “Mad Love”) and Natasha Leggero (“Ugly Americans,” “’Til Death”). “Free Agents” is a production of Universal Media Studios in association with Dark Toy and Big Talk Productions. Enbom is executive producer/creator along with executive producer/director Holland. Karey Burke (“Miss/Guided”) executive-produces, along with Big Talk Productions’ Kenton Allen (“Free Agents,” BBC Network) and Nira Park, as well as Chris Niel.
‘ARE YOU THERE VODKA? IT’S ME, CHELSEA’ — Inspired by the best-selling book from comedienne/talk show host Chelsea Handler (“Chelsea Lately”), the new comedy “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea,” follows the exploits of twentysomething bartender Chelsea (Laura Prepon, “That ’70s Show”) a strong-willed force of nature who is determined to live life to the fullest and make no apologies. Her friends are along for the ride but they all know it is Chelsea’s way or the highway. Mark (Jo Koy, “Chelsea Lately”) is a charming bartender whose wit makes him the perfect foil for Chelsea while Shoniqua (Angel Laketa Moore, “ER”) is a smart and sassy fellow waitress who looks out for Chelsea’s best interests. Close friend and fellow bartender Todd (Mark Povinelli, “Water for Elephants”) has a wry sense of humor that keeps her in check. Also starring are Natalie Morales (NBC’s “Parks and Recreation”) as Ivory, Chelsea’s feisty best friend; Lauren Lapkus (“The Middle”) as Dee Dee, Chelsea’s sheltered, shy roommate, and Lenny Clarke (“Rescue Me”) as Chelsea’s dad, Melvin. Handler has a recurring role as Chelsea’s sister Sloan, a happily married new mom who has little in common with her carefree sister. “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea” is a production of Warner Bros. Television in association with Werner Entertainment and Borderline Amazing Productions. Dottie Dartland Zicklin (“Dharma & Greg”) and Julie Larson (“The Drew Carey Show”) are creators and executive producers. Handler serves as executive producer along with Tom Werner (“That ’70s Show”), Mike Clements (“The Life & Times of Tim”) and Tom Brunelle (“Chelsea Lately”).
‘BEST FRIENDS FOREVER’ — “Best Friends Forever” is a single-camera comedy that takes a look at what happens when best friends promise to support each other — no matter what the cost or circumstances. When Jessica’s (Jessica St. Clair, “In the Motherhood”) husband files for divorce, she immediately seeks comfort and flies across the country to move back in with her best friend, Lennon (Lennon Parham, “Accidentally on Purpose”). Unfortunately, Lennon’s boyfriend, Joe (Adam Pally, “Happy Endings”), has just moved into the apartment and has turned Jessica’s old room into his perfect home office. As Lennon and Jessica fall into their old routines — beloved traditions, Steel Magnolia marathons and epic girl-talk sessions — Joe begins to feel as if he’s the odd man out. While Lennon struggles to find balance between her previous life with Jessica and her new life with Joe, Jessica’s reentry to single life is complicated by the unresolved feelings that an old friend, Rav (Stephen Schneider, “The Funniest Movie Ever…Just Kidding”), has for her and the fact that pleated khakis aren’t the most flattering single girl look. “Best Friends Forever” is produced by Universal Media Studios and American Work. St. Clair, Parham, Scot Armstrong (“Old School,” “The Hangover Part II”) and Ravi Nandan (“Off Duty”) are the executive producers. Fred Savage (“Party Down”) directed the pilot.
‘BENT‘ — “Bent” is a new romantic comedy about two people who suddenly find themselves attracted to the qualities that typically repel them. On the surface, Alex (Amanda Peet, “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”) and Pete (David Walton, “Perfect Couples”) could not be more different. The recently divorced Alex is a resilient and tough lawyer who now is raising her eight-year-old daughter, Charlie (Joey King, “Ramona and Beezus”), as a single mom. Unwilling to let anything get in her way, she downsizes into a smaller house, and she hires Pete, a recovering gambling addict and unapologetic womanizer, as the contractor to re-do her kitchen. The remodeling job is Pete’s last chance to prove that he is no longer a screw-up — but he doesn’t know what’s about to hit him when he encounters the force of nature that is Alex — nor does she realize that she’s met her match in Pete, a man unafraid to call out her flaws. Jeffrey Tambor (“Arrested Development”) also stars as Pete’s father, Walt, an out-of-work actor, while Margo Harshman (“Sorority Row”) stars as Alex’s wild younger sister Screwsie. This romantic comedy from writer and executive producer Tad Quill (“Scrubs,” “Spin City”) and director Craig Zisk (“Nurse Jackie,” “Weeds”) will prove that these resilient characters are “bent, not broken.” The series is produced by Universal Media Studios.
We just got word that FOX has renewed both Family Guy and The Cleveland Show for a tenth and fourth season, respectively, entrenching them long-term into FOX’s Sunday Animation Domination block. FOX had already renewed both of these MacFarlane shows for a ninth and third season, respectively, along with American Dad, for a seventh season (as well as Bob’s Burgers) for Fall 2011. Recently, we speculated that FOX has ZERO faith in the success of their two new mid-season 2011 -2012 animated shows, Napoleon Dynamite and Allen Gregory and this move by the network only goes to reinforce that opinion. We don’t blame them because we don’t either.
Press release forthcoming.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Watch that full episode here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Next, we take a look at Mondays.
An outrageous “Family Guy”-style remake of Return of the Jedi, this Star Wars spoof finds Chris Skywalker and Princess Lois attempting to rescue Peter Solo from Jabba the Hutt, defeat the mighty Stewie Vader and blow up the second Death Star. This wacky animated parody features off-the-wall Star Trek: The Next Generation guests including Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Michael Dorn as Lieutenant Worf. – Netflix
4 out of 10
This is the third installment of the Family Guy spoofs of the original Star Wars films and it is the worst by far. In the opening scrolling text sequence in the beginning of It’s a Trap! the writers tell a tale about how they literally put no effort into the writing of this because they were so exhausted after having done Something, Something, Something, Darkside that they just didn’t care… this is not a joke, it is the absolute truth. It’s even admitted to by Seth McFarlane in the commentary, and it’s apparent from the first joke that they completely phoned it in.
It’s a Trap! is boring and unfunny for the most part and the jokes are generally predictable and nowhere near as good as Blue Harvest or Something, Something, Something Darkside (with Blue Harvest being the best of the three). There is one truly hilarious scene in the film but that’s it (and unlike some other reviewers, we’re not going to spoil it by telling you what that is. You deserve to get some enjoyment out of this mess). The rest is pretty much a waste of time from a comedy standpoint and what’s going to be disappointing is that this is that is going to be this season’s season finale because that’s what they’ve been doing with these direct-to-video movies for the last four years. It’s really a shame because, It’s a Trap! is going to tarnish what has been the best season of Family Guy since the relaunch. This episode seems more suited to second or third season post-relaunch Family Guy with the unfunny jokes and jokes that just got dragged on forever than it does for the 2010 -2011 season. If you need any further proof of how bad this is or how the writers mailed it in, they threw in a Conway Twitty scene… again… but this time they gave him a Darth Vader helmet (no, I’m not kidding).
The only reason it’s getting a four instead of one is because the special features, albeit limited, are pretty decent (the commentary is funnier than the film) and the animation is fantastic. This is the first of the Family Guy Star Wars spoofs to be produced in 16:9 and it is quite visually stunning and in fact it is the most visually stunning of the three spoofs. That being said, quality of animation is not why we watch Family Guy, though.
Unless you are a die-hard Family Guy fan and you must have this in your collection, we wouldn’t recommend this. The only reason we purchased it is because it came in the trilogy and we needed the Blue Harvest Blu-Ray and the trilogy was just $4.00 more than just the one film. Also, for the record, the Blu-ray not only comes with the Digital Copy but it also comes with the DVD copy as well so at least it’s a bargain.