Alcatraz,from J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot Prods. and Warner Bros. TV. The crime drama revolving around Alcatraz and the team investigating the mysterious reappearance of its 1960s inhabitants in the present stars Lost‘s Jorge Garcia. The drama gained early buzz and a fan in Fox’s Peter Rice, according to sources, though some questioned whether the net had room for another mystery drama with Abrams’ Fringe already on the schedule.
The Finder, a Bones spinoff from sister studio 20th TV. The drama, which centers on a military-trained “finder” (Geoff Stults) who helps locate lost items or persons in the Florida Keys, recently rolled out to solid ratings as a back-door pilot. The project won high marks internally, particularly by those who wanted to find a way to continue the recently renewed Bones franchise once the long-running — and thus pricey — original ends.
The New Girl, a Zooey Deschanel comedy from 20th, will appear on Fox’s fall schedule. The single-camera series, which is believed to be a Kevin Reilly favorite, centers on a quirky female teacher who becomes roommates with three guys: a man-child, a player and a cynic.
I Hate My Teenage Daughter, a Jaime Pressly/Katie Finneran comedy from Warner Bros., is a go. The multicamera laugher centers on two women who have daughters like the girls who once picked on them in high school.
Deadline is reporting that the Ethan Hawke spy-thriller vehicle Exit Strategyis still in play for mid-season and may being held off for retooling.
Described as a high octane procedural, Exit Strategy centers on a team of 5 experts associated with the CIA who are deployed when a CIA operation goes bad to extract the ones involved before it’s too late. Hawke will play the team leader, the architect of exit strategy who also empathizes with the people they extract and would rather die than let them get hurt. Each episode will tackle a different crisis in a different country. Exit Strategy is envisioned as a potential successor to Fox’s signature drama 24. Like 24, the action in Exit Strategy will also unfold in real-time. And like 24’s Kiefer Sutherland, Hawke would segue from the feature world to take on the lead in Exit Strategy, his first series. Kurtzman, Orci and KOPP’s Heather Kadin are executive producing the project, with Guggenheim co-executive producing.
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.
To our absolute and utter amazement, FOX announced on March 24th that they would not only be renewing the fan-favorite Sci Fi series, Fringe but that they had also ordered a complete 22 episode season. All we can say is, “Holy crap!”
Via Press Release From FOX:
FOX RENEWS “FRINGE” FOR FOURTH SEASON – IN BOTH UNIVERSES
FOX has renewed critically acclaimed thrilling drama FRINGE for a fourth season, it was announced today by Kevin Reilly, President, Entertainment for Fox Broadcasting Company.
“FRINGE has truly hit a creative stride and has distinguished itself as one of television’s most original programs. The series’ ingenious producers, amazingly talented cast and crew, as well as some of the most passionate and loyal fans on the planet, made this fourth-season pickup possible,” said Reilly. “When we moved the show to Fridays, we asked the fans to follow and they did. We’re thrilled to bring it back for another full season and keep it part of the FOX family.”
FRINGE co-creator and executive producer J.J. Abrams said, “We could not be happier that the fans of FRINGE (and our most excellent partners at FOX) have allowed us to continue telling stories from the fringe for another season!”
“This early pickup comes at a perfect time as we start production on the Season Three finale,” added FRINGE showrunners and executive producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman. “We join the cast and crew in thanking our loyal fans and FOX for allowing us to have this much fun telling stories we love.”
Since moving to Fridays (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) in January, FRINGE is averaging a 2.2/7 among Adults 18-49 and has established itself as Friday’s No. 1 series in the core adult demographic.
The compelling third season continues tonight, Friday, March 25 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), on FOX. In the “Bloodline” episode, the intensity of life “over there” accelerates as a pregnant OLIVIA (Anna Torv) is kidnapped and finds herself in mortal danger. As the Fringe Division races against time to find her, agent LINCOLN LEE (guest star Seth Gabel) receives some heartbreaking news as WALTER (John Noble) stops at nothing to preserve the new branch of the Bishop family tree.
Created by J.J. Abrams & Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci, FRINGE is produced by Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Jeff Pinkner, J.H. Wyman and Joe Chappelle serve as executive producers, while Kurtzman and Orci are consulting producers. Additionally, Pinkner and Wyman serve as the series’ showrunners. Become a fan of the series on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/fringe and follow the series on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/fringeonfox (@fringeonfox).
J.J. Abrams... He can cut back on the drinking.
Now, before you go and start referring to the two commentaries we did on both the viral video campaign by FOX regarding the move to Friday night and the piece that we did in response to the criticism we received, and how these two pieces are evidence of our lack of insight or credibility, we would like to state for the record that we stand by everything that we claimed in both of those pieces. Those two pieces are accurate analyses of FOX’s history over the last 20 years and what a move to Friday normally means with this network. There’s not a whole lot of room for debate as the track record is not in dispute and J.J. Abrams agreed with us.
Do not trust FOX and their claims of unmitigated support for Fringe or any other show they move to Friday until they can be proven to be trustworthy. The first step in doing that would be for them to order the remaining episodes for this season and order an entire fourth season and promise to air all of the episodes. At this point, that would be the only way we would ever trust them and that’s not going to happen…
So, there it is. FOX accepted the challenge and achieved 2 out of the three conditions and the third condition, which was probably unrealistic to begin with, may have happened without FOX officially saying it. The thing is, no one expected FOX to renew Fringe for a fourth season, but the fact that they not only renewed it, but they renewed it in March AND ordered a complete season can only lead us to believe that FOX is indeed in it for the long haul and yes, we admit it, committed to Fringe‘s success. Like we said, it’s going to be a long road to recovery for us with FOX but this surprise scheduling move along with their decision to renew American Dad for a seventh season (and also order a complete season of 22 episodes for that show in March as well) is very promising indeed.
Terra Nova: Allegedly to debut in Fall 2011
That being said, as much as we hate to look a gift horse in the mouth, the question that will inevitably be asked is: why? Is FOX that concerned about the state of its pilots for Fall 2011 that they would rather play it safe by keeping Fringe around? Do they have no faith in Steven Spielberg’s Terra Nova NOT being delayed yet again? Or, is it perhaps, FOX execs have decided to take a new approach and change some of the old practices that have earned them the reputation of being a show-killer? Or is it just the fact that maybe they just really like Fringe and see that it can be successful on Friday night? Or, since they now have a Fall version of the American Idol juggernaut, Simon Cowell’s The X-Factor, are they going to do what we suggested in our first piece and that was to let the big money-makers support the quality scripted programming? We don’t know and we don’t really care. We’re just glad to get another season out of one of our favorite shows.
Part Four of the Seven Six Part Series (This has been edited because I realized that there’s nothing on Saturdays but College Football, COPS and America’s Most Wanted. Do you really need a review of those?)
ABC: My Generation (September 23, 2010 – NEW SERIES!)
What a difference ten years can make. In 2000, a documentary crew follows a disparate group of high schoolers from Greenbelt High School in Austin, TX as they prepare for graduation, then revisits these former classmates ten years later as they return home to rediscover that just because they’re not where they planned doesn’t mean they’re not right where they need to be.
These students couldn’t wait to graduate and head out into the real world. But the world they were entering got very real very fast. As these classmates return home to revisit their old hopes for their future, they’ll discover that, even if you don’t get exactly what you thought you wanted out of life, it’s not too late to get what you need. – ABC
Shawn: OK, ABC, that’s enough already with the pseudo-documentaries. It’s becoming as overused as 3-D is for feature films and like 3-D it’s just a cheap gimmick to try to convince people that your crap show really isn’t a crap show. Do you think audiences aren’t going to notice that this show is no different from any other show about 20-somethings from different walks of life who all have something in common that brings them together? This entire premise alone is going to piss off your target demographic for that hour (namely me) because it points out how old I am at 35 compared to these knuckleheads. Don’t need that, sorry. Despite the fact that the show makes me feel old, let’s be honest, it just looks dopey.
CBS: $#’! My Dad Says – (September 23, 2010 – NEW SERIES!)
$#*! MY DAD SAYS (pronounced “Bleep My Dad Says”), based on the popular Twitter feed by Justin Halpern, stars Emmy Award winner William Shatner as Ed Goodson, a forthright and opinionated dad who relishes expressing his unsolicited and often wildly politically incorrect observations to anyone within earshot. Nobody is safe from Ed’s rants, including his sons, Henry, a struggling writer-turned-unpaid blogger; and Vince, the meek half of a husband/wife real estate duo with domineering Bonnie. When Henry finds he can no longer afford to pay rent, Ed reveals a soft spot and invites Henry to move in with him. Henry agrees, knowing that the verbal assault will not abate and now there will be no escape. Describing their father/son relationship is tricky, but Ed will easily come up with a few choice words. – CBS
This is by far the most unfortunate post I have to write. You see, I’ve been a big fan of Justin Halpern’s Twitter Page “Shit My Dad Says” for well over a year now and of course, I’m a huge fan of all things The Shat is involved with but I’m sorry to say that this is going to suck. Not only is it EVERYTHING that I absolutely hate about sitcoms with the recycled and clichéd jokes, characters and plots it’s 180 degrees backwards of the whole premise of “Shit My Dad Says!” Just watch the trailer below to see what I’m talking about but first read this from Amazon in which Halpern explains the premise of the book bearing the same title:
‘At 28 years old, I found myself living at home, with my 73-year-old father. As a child, my father never minced words, and when I screwed up, he had a way of cutting right through the bullshit and pointing out exactly why I was being an idiot. When I moved back in I was still, for the most part, an idiot. But this time, I was smart enough to write down all the things he said to me.’
Now please explain to me how a wise-cracking jerk of a father, who’s apparently pretty senile and his sensitive and always correct progeny bear any resemblance to the description you just read FROM THE GUY WHO INVENTED THE THING?!
AND WHY THE HELL IS HALF THE CAST OF MADtv IN THIS???
NBC: Community – (September 23, 2010)
Shawn: I have to admit, I’m a convert to Community. When it debuted in 2009, I had high hopes for it because it looked clever and starred E’s Joel McHale (The Soup) and he’s always clever and funny. It took me three episodes to be very disappointed. Then, around Christmas-time (I think), I was in the garage working on a project and NBC was running a back-to-back marathon of the sitcom and I completely changed my mind. Community improved dramatically and is very funny. I definitely recommend Community.
When she was a deeply troubled teenager, Nikita (Maggie Q, “Live Free or Die Hard,” “Mission Impossible 3”) was rescued from death row by a secret U.S. agency known only as Division, who faked her execution and told her she was being given a second chance to start a new life and serve her country. What they didn’t tell her was that she was being trained as a spy and assassin. Throughout her grueling training at Division, Nikita never lost her humanity, even falling in love with a civilian. When her fiancé was murdered, Nikita realized she had been betrayed and her dreams shattered by the only people she thought she could trust, so she did what no one else before her had been able to do: she escaped. Now, after three years in hiding, Nikita is seeking retribution and making it clear to her former bosses that she will stop at nothing to expose and destroy their covert operation. – The CW
Shawn: I’ve already done a full review of Nikita, see it here. Good but not great.
Shawn: Fringe is one of my favorite shows on TV currently. If you haven’t watched it before it’s like The X-Files on steroids with a J.J. Abrams spin. The stories are great, the characters are well-developed and it’s grown into a wonderful and fascinating story arc. For those of you who are new to the series, don’t bother starting in, now. You’re going to have to go to Netflix and add the first two seasons to your queue, or you’ll be completely lost, but it’s certainly worth saving the new episodes on the divver recordification device for when you’re done watching the old episodes.
“Outsourced” is NBC’s new workplace comedy series centered around a catalog-based company, Mid America Novelties, that sells American novelty goods including whoopee cushions, foam fingers and wallets made of bacon, and whose call center has suddenly been outsourced to India.
After recently completing Mid America Novelties’ manager training program, Todd Dempsy (Ben Rappaport, off-Broadway’s “The Gingerbread House”) learns that the call center is being outsourced to India, and he is asked to move there to be the manager. Having never ventured out of the country, he is unprepared for the culture shock. Overwhelmed, Todd discovers that his new staff needs a crash course in all things American if they are to understand the U.S. product line and ramp up sales from halfway around the world.
The sales team Todd inherits includes Gupta (Parvesh Cheena, “Help Me Help You”), a socially awkward employee; Manmeet (Sacha Dhawan, BBC’s “Five Days II”), a young romantic who is enamored with America; Asha (Rebecca Hazlewood, BBC’s “Doctors”), a smart, striking woman who finds herself intrigued by Todd; Rajiv (Rizwan Manji, “Privileged”) the assistant manager who wants Todd’s job; and Madhuri (Anisha Nagarajan, Broadway’s “Bombay Dreams”), a wallflower who suffers from extreme shyness.
Todd also discovers other transplants working in his office building, including an American expatriate, Charlie Davies (Diedrich Bader, “The Drew Carey Show”), who runs the All-American Hunter call center, and Tonya (Pippa Black, “Neighbours”), a beautiful Australian who runs the call center for Koala Air. – NBC
Shawn: I don’t know what appeals to me more, the politically incorrect tone of this series or the fact that it looks absolutely hilarious. I also like the premise that they telemarket novelties like rubber vomit and whoopee cushions. Looking forward to this, I hope the show can live up to the hype in the trailer.
Welcome to the TV-Tastic First Annual Fall TV Preview. This is the first of what we hope to be many television season previews. In January we’ll be doing a Mid-Season Replacement Preview and in Summer 2011, we’ll be doing a preview of the cable offerings and random shows that FOX just throws out there June through August to fill up airtime that no one seems to care about (see: The Good Guys). This is a seven part series and today we are covering Monday night television.
We will not be including a preview of every single show that’s in the Fall lineup. We’re only previewing the stuff we care about and of course the new offerings on network and cable. Our rating scale for this will be based on whether we think you should waste your time with it or not and we’ll tell you why. No numbers on this just, simple recommendations like “you have to see this” or “pass on this” or “I think I just puked in my mouth a little bit.” Vic’s been very busy so I’m going solo on this for right now but he will be adding his two-cents later and I’ll update the blog and the subscribers accordingly.
So, without further ado, let the games begin, and by the way, this is one of the best Fall Lineups in years and it mostly is because of NBC (which is a phrase I never thought I would utter).
Shawn: I love House, it’s a “can’t-miss.” You know it and I know it. How many shows can they change the night and timeslot every two weeks and it’s still be successful? There is one reason and one reason only to watch House, and that’s House, himself. I hate medical dramas as they’re all the same tripe. House could be a show set on submarine or in a cannery (or a nunnery) and it would still be great.
NBC: Chuck – September 20, 2010
Shawn: I unfortunately missed all of season 2 and 3 because of scheduling issues but I love this show and I’m glad it got a fourth season. It’s just a fun show that’s got something for everyone. Humor, action, romance and of course, Adam Baldwin. I dare say, what more do you need? I’ll be catching up with Seasons 2 & 3 and saving season 4 for later.
FOX: Lone Star– September 20, 2010 (NEW SERIES!)
Shawn: I’ve already seen the pilot and it is definitely worth watching. See my full review with trailer here. Upon further review my biggest concern for it is it is in the same time-slot as this:
NBC: The Event – September 20, 2010 (NEW SERIES!)
The Event is an emotional, high-octane conspiracy thriller that follows Sean Walker (Jason Ritter, “The Class”), an everyman who investigates the mysterious disappearance of his would-be fiancée Leila (Sarah Roemer, “Disturbia”), and unwittingly begins to expose the biggest cover-up in U.S. history.
Sean’s quest will send ripples through the lives of an eclectic band of strangers, including newly elected U.S. President Elias Martinez (Golden Globe nominee Blair Underwood, “In Treatment”); Sophia Maguire (Emmy Award nominee Laura Innes, “ER”), who is the leader of a mysterious group of detainees; and Leila’s shadowy father (Scott Patterson, “Gilmore Girls”). Their futures are on a collision course in a global conspiracy that could ultimately change the fate of mankind. – NBC
Shawn: This is by far the most anticipated show of the new year and for good reason. It’s a spy/action/political thriller à la 24 shown from multiple perspectives with a Lost-type/FlashForward-type mystery to it. The cast is amazing and the effects look killer. This is one of those moral imperative shows. You must watch this. I’d comment more on it but the trailer confused the crap out of me and I still haven’t processed all of it.
CBS: Mike & Molly – September 20, 2010 (NEW SERIES!)
A couple finds love at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting in this multicamera comedy from Chuck Lorre, the force behind Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory.
Shawn: Did Kevin James get taller, fatter and less articulate? As a rule, I’m skeptical of sitcoms to begin with because for the most part they are unoriginal and they all recycle the same stupid jokes decade after decade. Even the more original and funny comedies like The Office eventually wind up being copied (see: Parks & Recreation) and eventually run out of steam… waitaminute… The Office was a copy as well. Anyway, the point being is that Mike & Molly is the reason that I hate sitcoms. This is just embarrassing. Seriously who does this simple-minded crap appeal to? What I find humorous is that they brag how this show is from the producers of Two and a Half Men. Hey… newsflash: despite how many people watch it, Two and a Half Men is complete crap as well. I would definitely pass on this.
CBS: Hawaii Five-O – September 20, 2010 (NEW SERIES!)
When Steve McGarrett’s father is murdered, he decided to return home to Oahu in order to catch the killer. The governor offers him the opportunity to run a new task force where he is able to call the shots. Detective Steve McGarrett brings together his own team, beginning with Chin Ho Kelly; an ex-Honolulu Police Detective and former protégé of McGarrett’s father. Kelly has been assigned to a federal security patrol after being suspected of corruption. Detective Danny “Danno” Williams is a New Jersey cop who recently moved to the island and is raising his 8-year-old daughter. Kono Kalakaua is Kelly’s cousin and a rookie officer, fresh from the academy. McGarrett’s team is giving full backing from the governor and plays only by their own rules. – CBS
Shawn: Way to go CBS for making this show sound like every other dry, formulaic cop show. Thank God for trailers, eh? I have to say, I was just going to recommend the pilot and only the pilot simply for the sake of novelty (and the great cast). Watch it, know it’s probably going to be crap-tastic and forget about it. Then I saw the trailer below. This isn’t Hawaii Five-O, this is friggin’ Alias in Hawaii with cops and it looks great! Back to that great cast, you’ve got Alex O’Loughlin (The Shield) as McGarrett, Scott Caan (Boiler Room and the Ocean’s Eleven films) as “Danno,” Daniel Dae Kim (Lost, 24) and the smoking hot Grace Park (Battlestar Galactica) as Kono Kalakaua. This one of the best casts of any show this season and I’m really glad to see Kim in a more prominent lead-role where he actually speaks his native language for a change… which of course is Eastern Pennsylvania English. Heck, he didn’t even have to move for this show considering his last gig was on Lost for six seasons which is was of course, also filmed in Hawaii. And, by the way, I am well aware that for a cop show the amount of action looks ridiculous. That’s part of the reason why it appeals to me so much. I mean, crap, if you’re going to go camp, go all the way… and we’d better see Wo Fat, too or I’m writing a letter. This is another definite must-watch show.
NBC: Chase – September 20, 2010 (NEW SERIES!)
From Emmy Award-winning executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer (“CSI” franchise, “The Amazing Race,” “Pirates of the Caribbean”) and executive producer Jennifer Johnson (“Cold Case,” “Reunion,” “Lost”), “Chase” is a lightning-fast drama that drops viewers smack into the middle of a game of cat-and-mouse as a team of U.S. Marshals hunts down America’s most dangerous fugitives.
Kelli Giddish (“Past Life”) stars as U.S. Marshal Annie Frost, a cowboy boot-wearing deputy whose sharp mind and unique Texas upbringing help her track down violent criminals on the run. Starring as the members of Frost’s elite team are Cole Hauser (“K-Ville”) as Jimmy Godfrey, an East Texas kid who never grew up and is a true American cowboy; Amaury Nolasco (“Prison Break”) who plays Marco Martinez, a good intelligence guy who loves to talk; and Rose Rollins (“The L Word”), who portrays Daisy Ogbaa, a weapons/tactical specialist and a woman of few words. Rounding out the cast is Jesse Metcalfe (“Desperate Housewives”), who stars as Luke Watson, the fresh-faced newcomer whose Washington, D.C. upbringing did little to prepare him for the Lone Star State. – NBC
Shawn: Although, seemingly formulaic and reeking suspiciously of U.S. Marshals (I was waiting for Tommy Lee Jones to pop out and start barking orders about finding Richard Kimball in the trailer), the high-energy and the strong cast of Chase makes it certainly worthy of consideration. I’m not jumping out of my pants about it yet but it is a Jerry Bruckheimer production and that definitely makes it worth watching for at least the first three or four episodes. “Cautiously optimistic” is the best way to describe my enthusiasm for Chase.