NBC: Munsters Reboot, ‘Mockingbird Lane’ Gets Late October Premiere Date

Via Press Release:




UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – October 11, 2012 – As Halloween nears, NBC turns Friday, October 26 into Fright Night when it premieres the pilot of the much-anticipated “Mockingbird Lane” (8-9 p.m. ET) — based on executive producer Bryan Fuller’s (“Pushing Daisies,” “Heroes”) script and directed by executive producer Bryan Singer (“X-Men” film series, “House”). The special program leads into a haunting “La Llorona” Halloween episode of “Grimm” (9-10 p.m. ET), which will also enjoy special airings on NBCUniversal’s Telemundo and mun2.
“Mockingbird Lane” is a new reimagined version of the classic 1960s comedy “The Munsters,” now as a visually spectacular one-hour drama with a darker edge and tone. The cast includes Jerry O’Connell (“The Defenders”) as Herman Munster, Portia de Rossi (“Arrested Development”) as his wife Lily, Eddie Izzard (“United States of Tara,” “The Riches”) as Grandpa, Mason Cook (‘Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D”) as Eddie and Charity Wakefield (“The Raven”) as Marilyn.

“This exciting new take on a memorable series will definitely blow out conventional wisdom and create its own legacy,” said Jennifer Salke, President, NBC Entertainment. “Teaming this new show with a terrifying episode of ‘Grimm’ makes the perfect pre-Halloween fright-fest.”

In the original 1964-66 series “The Munsters,” the odd but lovable family lived on 1313 Mockingbird Lane.

In “Mockingbird Lane,” sweet little Eddie Munster (Cook) is a normal kid about to enter the horrors of puberty. Truth is, he’s about to discover that for him becoming a teenager means growing hair in truly unexpected places — as in all over his body — every time the moon is full! Eddie’s got it pretty good though. His loving, supportive, run-of-the-mill family includes his mom Lily (de Rossi), the daughter of Dracula; his dad Herman (O’Connell), who brings new meaning to “Frankenstein”; and Grandpa (Izzard), who would give Dracula a run for his money if he weren’t actually Dracula! Of course then there’s creepy cousin Marilyn (Wakefield), who’s really the odd one because she’s so completely normal.

Buying a house these days is a nightmare, so Herman and Lily are shocked that no one scooped up the rambling Victorian mansion at 1313 Mockingbird Lane that was the site of a series of grisly hobo murders. Settling into their new place, they’re quickly onto the mission at hand: to gently ease Eddie into the reality of his werewolf adolescence. But it’s not always so easy to accept that your child is a little “different” from the rest of the kids. Meanwhile, Herman, who works as a funeral director, is suffering from a heart condition. Since he’s made up mostly of spare parts, he knew his makeshift heart would eventually give out. No worries though, because Grandpa, who is pretty good at procuring body parts, is on the case. All Herman cares about is finding a new heart with the same capacity to love Lily as much as he has for so many decades.

“Mockingbird Lane” is from Living Dead Guy Productions, Bad Hat Harry Productions and Universal Television.  Executive producers include Fuller, Singer and Sara Colleton (“Dexter”).  Singer also directed the pilot.

NBC’s acclaimed drama series “Grimm” will join with Telemundo, mun2 and Universal Studios Hollywood’s “Halloween Horror Nights” in an unprecedented NBCUniversal cross-divisional event when its Halloween episode “La Llorona” is broadcast on October 26/27. The episode, featuring Kate del Castillo (Telemundo’s “La Reina del Sur”), is inspired by the haunting Latin American legend of the same name and will be broadcast in Spanish on Telemundo from 12-1 a.m. (ET) and English on mun2 at 1-2 a.m. (ET). These airings will follow the episode’s debut on NBC at 9-10 p.m. (ET) on October 26.

The legend of La Llorona (“The Weeping Woman”) is an enduring tale from Latin American folklore that tells of a distraught mother who drowned her children and then herself. The ghost of the mother emerges from water and is forced to return to haunt and terrorize the living. In addition to the telecasts of the “Grimm” episode, Universal Studios Hollywood is currently featuring La Llorona: Cazadora de Niños (Weeping Woman: The Child Hunter) maze, as part of its popular Halloween Horror Nights event.

In the episode of “Grimm,” detectives Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) and Hank Griffin (Russell Hornsby) take on the other worldly predator, believed to be “La Llorona,” which has abducted some of Portland’s children on Halloween. Kate del Castillo — star of Telemundo’s hit miniseries “La Reina del Sur” and the upcoming films “K11” and “No Good Deeds” — guest-stars as Valentina Espinosa, a mysterious detective from New Mexico on an obsessive mission to uncover the truth behind the bizarre disappearances and joins forces with Burkhardt and Griffin to intervene before it’s too late.

“Grimm” is a drama series inspired by the classic Grimm Brother’s Fairy Tales. After Portland homicide detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli, “Turn the Beat Around”) discovers he’s descended from an elite line of criminal profilers known as ‘Grimms,’ he increasingly finds his responsibilities as a detective at odds with his new responsibilities as a Grimm. The series also stars Russell Hornsby (“Lincoln Heights”) as Hank, Bitsie Tulloch (“The Artist”) as Juliette, Silas Weir Mitchell (“My Name Is Earl”) as Monroe, Sasha Roiz (“Caprica”) as Captain Renard, Reggie Lee (“The Dark Knight Rises”) as Sgt. Wu and Bree Turner (“The Ugly Truth”) as Rosalee.

“Grimm” is a Universal Television and Hazy Mills production. The series was created by Stephen Carpenter and David Greenwalt & Jim Kouf. Sean Hayes, Todd Milliner (“Hot in Cleveland”) and Norberto Barba (“Law & Order: Criminal Intent”) also serve as executive producers along with Greenwalt and Kouf. Marc Buckland (NBC’s “My Name Is Earl”) directed the pilot.

For embeddable clips and full episodes from NBC shows, please visit NBC.com’s official show site: http://www.nbc.com/shows/ .

Please follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/NBCGrimm and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/NBCGrimm .


NBC: ‘Community,’ ‘Whitney’ Season Premiere Dates Delayed, No New Dates Announced

In news that’s bound to make the Community fanboy crybabies completely lose their sh*t, NBC has confirmed with THR that the fan-favorite along with sophomore comedy, Whitney will not be premiering this Friday, October 19th, as originally scheduled, and no new premiere date has been announced.  Instead, reruns of Grimm will be airing in the 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. timeslot for the foreseeable future.

So, there you go, Community fanboys, you got your wish and Community will not be on Friday nights, after all.

But before everyone has a heart attack, this is really a strategic move more than anything else.  NBC’s enjoying their best start in over a decade and while at the same time they don’t want to rock the boat with their new series, they want to hedge their bets in case the wheels fall off of any of their new shows (Guys with Kids and Animal Practice, we’re looking at you) so they’ve got these two shows on the back burner just in case.  It’s really a no-brainer when you think about it.  Community is in burn-off mode with its final 13 episodes, anyway, and Whitney was just filler because NBC didn’t know how good their fall 2012 was going to be and renewed it despite only average ratings.

From a statement issued by NBC:

“Given the success we’ve had for the past four weeks — including winning the first week of the season in adults 18-49 — we’ve decided to continue to concentrate our promotional strength on our new NBC shows that are scheduled Monday through Wednesday and have therefore decided to hold Community and Whitney from their previously announced premieres of Oct. 19.  Without having to launch these comedies on Friday at this time, we can keep our promotion focused on earlier in the week; plus, we will have both comedies in our back pocket if we need to make any schedule changes on those nights. When we have a better idea of viewing patterns in the next few weeks, we will announce new season premieres of Whitney and Community.”

NBC: ‘Revolution,’ ‘Go On’ And ‘The New Normal’ Receive Full-Season Orders

Check out or reviews for RevolutionGo On and The New Normal.

Via Press Release: 


UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – October 2, 2012 – On the heels of winning its first premiere week in the A18-49 demographic in nine years, NBC has picked up three of its new fall series – the adventure-drama “Revolution” and the comedies “Go On” and “The New Normal” — for full-season commitments for the 2012-13 season, it was announced today by Jennifer Salke, President, NBC Entertainment.

“We’re impressed with the imagination and creative direction of the entire team on ‘Revolution,’ not to mention the immediately strong response we got from the audience,” said Salke. “Ordering the full season of this show is a pleasure. Thanks to J.J. Abrams, Erik Kripke, Jon Favreau, and everyone at Bad Robot and Warner Bros. Television for their dedication to making a truly unique series. And I personally love to escape into a world where there is no power, the phone doesn’t ring, and the pace of life slows down — if only for one hour a week!”

She added: “We’re also very proud of our new comedy block of ‘Go On’ and ‘The New Normal.’ In partnering with Matthew Perry for ‘Go On,’ creator Scott Silveri has created a comedy with a highly original voice that deftly combines humor and emotion. And Ryan Murphy and Ali Adler have created a truly unique family in ‘The New Normal’ that is reflective of the changing dynamics of the world we live in. These shows are both welcome additions to our new lineup!”

“We’re very pleased with early results of the last three weeks of our fall season roll-out,” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “The strategy for this season was to draft off the promotional platform of the Olympics and then begin our season early and strong. I think we’ve accomplished both of those goals, yet we know it’s a long season and there’s much work ahead of us. We are so appreciative of all the great talent that is working so hard on these shows.”

“Revolution” is averaging a 3.6 rating, 9 share in adults 18-49 and 9.8 million viewers in “live plus same day” results through its first three telecasts. “Revolution” debuted on September 17 with the highest 18-49 rating (4.1) for a premiering drama on any network in three years (since ABC’s “V” on October 3, 2009, 5.2) and the highest for a premiering NBC drama in five years (since “Bionic Woman,” September 26, 2007, 5.7). And in the two weeks since then, “Revolution” took on premiering competition from ABC’s “Castle” and CBS’s “Hawaii Five-0” and led that competition in every key demographic both weeks. And the first two weeks of “Revolution” have set time-shifting records for NBC, growing by 1.36 ratings points in 18-49 in week one and then 1.74 in week two when going from Nielsen’s “live plus same day” ratings to its “live plus three day” data. Those are the two biggest increases ever for an NBC telecast. Among series on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, only ABC’s “Modern Family” has ever earned a bigger increases than “Revolution’s” week-two gain of 1.74.

“Go On” is averaging a 3.2 rating, 9 share in adults 18-49 and 8.6 million viewers overall in “live plus same day” averages for its first three regular-slot telecasts, ranking it currently as the #1 new comedy of the fall (a special preview of ABC’s “The Neighbors” also earned a 3.2). The 3.2 rating is a 33 percent increase on the 2.4 NBC averaged in the time period last season in 18-49. “Go On’s” September 11 regular-slot debut scored NBC’s top 18-49 rating for a comedy premiere (3.4) in the last two years.

“The New Normal” is averaging a 2.2 rating, 6 share in adults 18-49 and 6.0 million viewers overall through its first three regular-slot episodes, according to Nielsen Media Research. The most recent “New Normal” telecast retained 74 percent of its 18-49 lead-in from “Go On,” matching its best retention to date and up from 65 percent the prior week. And in “live plus three day” ratings that add time-shifted viewing for the first three days after live broadcast, last week’s “New Normal” increased its retention of “Go On” to 87 percent (with a 2.77 rating vs. a 3.19).

What would you do without it all? In this epic adventure from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions and “Supernatural’s” Eric Kripke, a family struggles to reunite in an American landscape where every single piece of technology — computers, planes, cars, phones, even lights — has mysteriously blacked out forever. A drama with sweeping scope and intimate focus, “Revolution” is also about family — both the family you’re born into and the family you choose. This is a swashbuckling journey of hope and rebirth seen through the eyes of one strong-willed young woman, Charlie Matheson (Tracy Spiridakos, “Being Human”), and her brother Danny (Graham Rogers, “Memphis Beat”). When Danny is kidnapped by militia leaders for a darker purpose, Charlie must reconnect with her estranged uncle, Miles (Billy Burke, “The Twilight Saga”), a former U.S. Marine living a reclusive life. Together, with a rogue band of survivors, they set out to rescue Danny, overthrow the militia, and ultimately re-establish the United States of America. All the while, they explore the enduring mystery of why the power failed, and if — or how — it will ever return.

The series also stars Zak Orth (“Romeo + Juliet), JD Pardo (“A Cinderella Story”), Giancarlo Esposito (“Breaking Bad”), David Lyons (“The Cape”), Maria Howell (“The Blind Side”), Daniealla Alonso (“Friday Night Lights”), Tim Guinee (“Iron Man”) and Elizabeth Mitchell (“Lost”). Kripke, Abrams and Bryan Burk (“Lost,” “Star Trek”) serve as executive producers, and Jon Favreau (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2”) serves as co-executive producer. “Revolution” is produced by Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Bad Robot Productions, Kripke Enterprises and Warner Bros. Television. The pilot was directed by Favreau.

For embeddable clips and full episodes from “Revolution,” please visit NBC.com’s official show site: www.nbc.com/revolution/.

Please like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Revolution and follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/NBCRevolution

Matthew Perry (“Friends,” “Mr. Sunshine”) stars as Ryan King, a recent widower and sports talk radio host ready to get back to work after the loss of his wife. Ryan’s alpha-male boss, Steven (John Cho, “Star Trek,” “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle”), has a different plan in store for Ryan, making him attend grief counseling before returning to the air.

A reluctant Ryan finds himself in a support group for “life change” where he meets an oddball cast of characters. Ryan’s total lack of interest in “the healing process” proves distracting, and he soon butts heads with the by-the-books group leader, Lauren, played by Tony Award-winner Laura Benanti (“The Playboy Club”). Back at work, Ryan is confronted with the fact that he hasn’t really processed his grief and realizes Lauren and the other members of the group might be key in helping him move on.

Also starring are Tony Award winner Julie White (“Transformers”), Tyler James Williams (“Everybody Hates Chris”), Suzy Nakamura (“Dodgeball”) and Brett Gelman (“30 Minutes or Less”).

In addition, Lauren Graham (NBC’s “Parenthood”) will guest-star in an upcoming episode of “Go On” as Ryan King’s (Perry) old college friend and his former radio talk show co-host. An airdate for Graham’s episode will be announced later. Multiple Emmy Award winner Bob Costas from NBC Sports and Chris Bosh from the NBA’s world champion Miami Heat also will appear as themselves in additional episodes.

“Go On” is a touching new comedy created by Emmy Award-winning writer/executive producer Scott Silveri (“Perfect Couples,” “Friends”). Todd Holland (“Malcolm in the Middle”), Karey Nixon (“Free Agents,” “Miss/Guided”) and Jon Pollack (“Up All Night,” “30 Rock”) also serve as executive producers. The pilot was directed by Holland. “Go On” is a production of Universal Television, Dark Toy Entertainment and Silver & Gold Productions.

For embeddable clips and full episodes from “Go On,” please visit NBC.com’s official show site: http://www.nbc.com/go-on/ 

Please like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NBCGoOn and follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/NBCGo_On 

These days, families come in all forms – single dads, double moms, sperm donors, egg donors, one-night-stand donors… It’s 2012 and anything goes. Bryan (Andrew Rannells, “Girls,” “The Book of Mormon”) and David (Justin Bartha, “The Hangover”) are a Los Angeles couple and they have it all. Well, almost. With successful careers and a committed, loving partnership, there is one thing that this couple is missing: a baby. And just when they think the stars will never align, enter Goldie (Georgia King, “One Day”), an extraordinary young woman with a checkered past. A midwestern waitress and single mother looking to escape her dead-end life and small-minded grandmother (Emmy and Tony Award winner Ellen Barkin), Goldie decides to change everything and move to L.A. with her precocious eight year-old daughter. Desperate and broke – but also fertile – Goldie quickly becomes the guys’ surrogate and quite possibly the girl of their dreams. Surrogate mother, surrogate family.

Ryan Murphy serves as creator/executive producer and director along with creator/executive producer Ali Adler (“Glee,” “Chuck”) and executive producer Dante Di Loreto (“Glee,” “American Horror Story”). “The New Normal” is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Ryan Murphy Productions.

For embeddable clips from “The New Normal,” please visit NBC.com’s official show site: http://www.nbc.com/the-new-normal/.

Please like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NBCTheNewNormal and follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/NBCTheNewNormal

REVIEW: ‘Guys With Kids’ (NBC – Wednesday, 8:30 p.m.)

EDITORIAL NOTE: To understand how we do our reviews, please refer to our review of Revolution, here.

From Emmy winner and executive producer Jimmy Fallon comes a new comedy about three thirty-something dads trying to hold on to their youth, while holding onto their new babies’ hands.  Easy, right?  Thankfully, Chris (Jesse Bradford, “The West Wing”), Nick (Zach Cregger, “Friends with Benefits”) and Gary (Anthony Anderson, “Law & Order”) have each other to help navigate their survival as new dads, while still trying desperately to remain dudes. Balancing work or staying at home, painfully married or happily divorced, they know that taking care of the little ones while maintaining a social life is a daily challenge. Whether it’s hosing the little squirt down in the kitchen sink or hitting the bar strapped with a baby björn, these guys are on a roller-coaster adventure – parenting like you (and they) have never seen before.  Also starring are Jamie Lynn Sigler (“The Sopranos”) and Tempestt Bledsoe (“The Cosby Show”).  Someone once said it is much easier to become a father than to be one. These three guys are about to find out just how true that is. “Guys with Kids” is produced by Universal Television and Holiday Road.  Fallon (“Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”) serves as executive producer/creator along with executive producer/creator/writer Charlie Grandy (NBC’s “The Office”) and executive producer/creator Amy Ozols (“Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”) as well as executive producers Rick Wiener and Kenny Schwartz (“Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place,” “American Dad”).   Emmy-nominated director Scott Ellis (“Modern Family,” “30 Rock”) is the director. – NBC

Score:     5 out of 100

Initial Impressions (May 20, 2012):  As far as standard, multi-camera sitcoms go, this really doesn’t look bad.  We actually found ourselves laughing four or five times during the trailer which is far more than we did during any episode of Whitney or $#*! My Dad Says.  That, in and of itself gives it some hope despite the fact that we also face-palmed it several times because of the typical sitcom crap that we hate.

Shawn:  Here’s the thing:  I don’t know what I’m more annoyed at; the fact that this show is as absolutely horrible as it is or the fact that NBC played the game of putting all of the gags that were actually funny in the pilot into the trailer.  The worst part is that when actually viewed in context they aren’t even that funny.

So, here’s apparently what happened with this show; Jimmy Fallon had this great idea about a bunch of guys sitting at a bar watching a basketball game with their backs to the camera.  There’s a last second buzzer-beater and all three guys jump up in excitement and then turn around and they’ve all got what I’ve referred to as the “baby backpack that goes up front” complete with babies.  Besides the fact that we’ve seen that beer commercial before, I gotta ask: did the network scheduling heads at NBC even bother to read the script for this pilot?  Seriously, what we’re suspecting is that Jimmy Fallon walked into the meeting, pitched this idea and the execs said, “Y’know… we do have a hole to fill in the schedule and you are Jimmy Fallon.  Go out there and film us a pilot, son!”

In principle, if you were hanging out with your friends on a Friday night and one of your friends happened to be a television writer and threw this at you after a couple of drinks you might think that it sounds kind of funny. Hell, it sounds like the setup to a good joke. However, if you work for a network and you read the script for this pilot and then not only greenlighted it but actually ordered multiple episodes to be included in your fall prime-time schedule, you should immediately replaced… by that monkey on Animal Practice who would no doubt do a better job just by accident (and also isn’t getting enough screen-time on Animal Practice, but I digress.).

This would have gotten them more laughs…

This show is so painfully unfunny that I don’t know where to begin.  When they can’t milk the crap out of every sitcom cliché and perceived parenting cliché in the book, they fill in the gaps with Anthony Anderson having one his typically type-cast manic episodes where he has a complete meltdown (because, after all, that’s all he can do, right?) to try to force some laughs into a scene that we all know is going nowhere.  What’s funny is that the studio audience isn’t even fooled.  While we have no doubt that the laughter from the audience for both $#*! My Dad Says and Whitney was induced at gunpoint, we don’t even think they have a flashing applause sign for the studio audience in this case because they don’t seem to know when they’re supposed to laugh.  I sat there only half-assedly paying attention to this mess and on multiple occasions said to myself, “Whoops… that was a joke… the audience missed it.  It wasn’t funny, but in theory, it was a joke.”  It even appears that the writers aren’t sure whether or not the audience will get the jokes because after each one of these fizzles came the obligatory Anthony Anderson freakout.

What it really comes down to is that the writers of Guys with Kids are incapable of relating and relating to their subject matter and characters so they’re just winging it.  It’s quite obvious that no one associated with this production actually has children or knows anyone with children and everything they’ve learned about parenting has come from bad television.  The characters make this even worse because they are either completely unlikable or at best, meh (yes, I just used “meh” as an adjective.), so either way you just don’t care about them at all,  i.e., they are unrelatable.

Here’s what it seems like is honestly going on; imagine this scenario if you will:  a computer and peripheral manufacturer has a whole team of executive level sales people that they use to pitch their products to various businesses and government agencies.  Bill is the go-to-guy for PC’s and their top salesman in that division.  Tom is the hotshot for the copier and printer division.  Tom comes down with a cold and cannot make his big presentation to “X” Insurance Company so Bill is asked to take the lead on the big sales pitch.  Bill says, “Well, you know I don’t know much about printers and copiers, but crap,  I can sell ice to an Eskimo.”  Bill’s company agrees, he does his presentation to “X,” “X” places a huge order.

This is what’s going on with Guys with Kids but no one seems to realize that selling a product and producing a product are not the same thing and if you don’t know what the hell you’re writing about or how to even write relatable characters, your product will fail to connect with audiences.  It’s as if all of the writers of this show spent a whole lot of time writing service manuals for top-loading washing machines and passed the qualifications prerequisites for being hired for the show because they had “professional writing experience.”

…Rule #1 For Success With JDate: Actually be Jewish

Here’s an example, completely unrelated to the premise of the show, of how dumb this show is and how ill-informed the writers are: the big joke in the episode that turns into the big reveal is that the ex-wife (a character whose name I don’t care enough about to look up) of one of the trio (the white guy with the dark hair) is making up the fact (or so we think) that she has a date with someone so white-guy-with-dark-hair can’t go out on his date.  When pressed for specifics, it appears by her hesitation that she is lying because she claims that her date is a professional athlete… named Kareem Abdul-Jabbar… who she met on J-Date.  Then, at the end of the episode – surprise, surprise! – it turns out that she was telling the truth because who makes a cameo appearance at the end of the pilot?  Why, none other than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, himself… a Muslim… who she met on a Jewish dating site.  Seriously, besides the fact that the majority of the audience probably doesn’t even know who Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is, how dumb are these writers to have the characters have met on J-Date?

Guys With Kids really has no redeeming value except for the fact that as bad as it is, at least the trailer made it look convincing for two minutes and twenty-five seconds which is two minutes and twenty five-seconds more of comedy than $#*! My Dad Says or Whitney gave us in 44 episodes so far (but at least $#*! My Dad Says can never hurt anyone again with its awfulness). That’s about 10% of an episode so it should get a 10 out of 100 but I’m cutting that in half for intentionally tricking us with the out-of-context scenes that actually made us think that this might be good.

Pure, unbridled, puke-in-your-mouth Suckitude© from Guys with Kids and I’d like to congratulate them for being the worst show I have seen so far this year.  Let’s see if Partners on CBS is up to the challenge of taking the title away.

UPDATE: Partners wins!

Watch the pilot of Guys with Kids, right now, ahead of the September 26th premiere, here. Please note, this is the only chance other than Video OnDemand services through cable providers you will be able to see the pilot.  NBC will be airing the second episode on premiere night, not the pilot.

Chance of Renewal:  0%

There’s no way that this gets picked up for a second season.  I predict cancellation before Thanksgiving.

VIC’S REVIEW: ‘Grimm’ – Season One (NBC – Friday, 9:00 p.m.)

“Grimm” is a drama series inspired by the classic Grimm Brothers’ Fairy Tales. After Portland Homicide Detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli, “Turn the Beat Around”) discovers he’s descended from an elite line of criminal profilers known as “Grimms,” he increasingly finds his responsibilities as a detective at odds with his new responsibilities as a “Grimm.”

His attempts to shield his fiancée, Juliette Silverton (Bitsie Tulloch, “The Artist”), and his partner, Hank Griffin (Russell Hornsby, “Lincoln Heights”), from the hazards of his new life have reached a crisis, leaving Juliette in a mysterious coma and Hank on the verge of a mental breakdown.

With help from his confidants, Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) and Rosalee (Bree Turner, “The Ugly Truth”) – both reformed Grimm creatures, Nick must help those closest to him while still facing off against all manner of ancient evils, including royal lines dating back to the original profilers themselves, the Grimm Brothers. As Nick develops his ability to harness his inner Grimm, he begins to question what he once knew, never more so than when he is reunited with his mother (guest star Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, “Scarface”), also a Grimm, whom he thought dead for the past 20 years. Reggie Lee (“The Dark Knight Rises”) and Sasha Roiz (“Caprica”) also star as Sgt. Wu and Captain Renard, respectively. – NBC

8o out of 100

I just finished Grimm season one and have just moved on to season two as I write this quick review. Grimm plain and simple has a lot of potential. It is, what I like to call, a “diamond in the rough” type of show. It is earnest, slick and full of wit and suspense. I have to give credit to writers David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf (Rush HourNational Treasure) for giving me enough at each show’s end to want to come back and immerse myself in the engaging mythology of  Grimm‘s universe. It revels in weirdness and it serves up no small feat each week in trying to keep us interested in the otherworldly adventures of Nick Burkhardt. Nick is a Grimm, one of those fortunate humans that descended from the  Brothers Grimm, and you know all those fairy tales his ancestors wrote… yeah, well it turns out they weren’t fairy tales after all, and our hero has inherited the family gift of being able to see what normal folks cannot; all sorts of funky, ugly and nasty creatures that to the rest of us look like normal people… and they’re all inhabiting his universe, specifically, Portland, Oregon.

I’m reminded of Smalllville and The X-Files where with its “monster-of-the-week” formula. Much like every mutant in Smallville was a kryptonite-enhanced super being, in Grimm‘s case, every beastie comes forward from being either very dangerous and committing murder or living on the edge of society. These monsters that Nick sees are not some Disney animated, little bunnies feeding on sunflowers. These monsters are killers. They are rogues and dealers in bad medicine, creatures hell-bent on slavery, ancient forms of battle and getting high on mythological herbs and drugs.

The show sports a great and likeable cast. In the pilot Kate Burton (Big Trouble in Little China) plays Nick’s Aunt who tracks him down and gives him a trailer full of Grimm monster hunting paraphernalia. She is really fun to watch and as she finds out her time has come her portrayal takes an abrupt turn and she capably emotes. The smooth and slick Russell Hornsby (Meet the ParentsStuck) plays Nick’s partner on the force, Hank. They have a very likable and solid chemistry. Hornsby is by the book but also likes to watch Nick closely just to see what makes him tick. They play well off each other. Hank, unfortunately is the friend that is left in the dark at the end of every episode, which is an aspect of the series I really do like, as it’s part of its charm. We like watching Hank be totally clueless as to what Nick really is. Now, my favorite is Morgan, played by Silas Wier Mitchell (My Name is Earl).  He is hands down the best thing about the make up of this show.

Monroe is a werewolf or rather a “blutbad.” He quickly becomes (not so easily, though) Nick’s go-to guy to help him with other creatures he sees and must bring to justice like hexenbeasts, fuchbaus’s, damonfeuers (dragons) and my favorite,  “The Reapers.” Mitchell is spot-on as Monroe. He is the reluctant assistant to Nick most of the time. He has to help Nick at odd times of the day and usually it leaves Monroe, in some way or another, rather put-out. Mitchell seems to be having a blast in the role. He’s tongue in cheek, funny, bufoonish and when needs to be he goes all out Blutbad and kicks some ass.

There is a mythology to the series that is spellbinding and very suspenseful involving royal houses, reapers and creatures lurking and posing as public officials like Sasha Roiz (Caprica) as Captain Renard who is stalwart in the role as a duplicitous creature of lore. I find that the show is easy to digest. It is harmless creature feature fun. The pace is good, the camerawork is flawless. Cort Fey shoots naturally and very gothically as well and it helps the show maintain its authenticity. Richard Marvin’s score is chilling and quite suspenseful. The opening strings in the intro are creepy as hell.

The show just continued to gain momentum and get better and better with each episode. I found the action to be well staged and exciting. Nick vs. the Reapers being a standout. Monroe is always fun to watch and I must give some love to Reggie Lee who steals EVERY scene he’s in as Sgt. Wu. He even gets caught up in a case or two eventually succumbing to a witch’s spell. Bitsie Tulloch as Juliette is a stunning beauty who towards the end of the season gets in over her head during a personal vendetta against Nick. She is very regal and caring. She acts with her eyes. She also, more importantly, is observant and very curious. The cliffhanger of season one has Juliette in a sleeping beauty type of slumber.

My only gripe, you ask? The CGI needs to step up a bit. It’s clunky more often than not. The transformation scenes are quick and brief but we still can see how hokey looking the beasts can be. Other times, like the Reaper battle, we get good solid CGI. I’m nit-picking thought. Check out Grimm Season One as soon as you can or pick up the DVD or Blu-ray. I think you’ll enjoy this foray into an entertaining and mythical universe. I know I do.

You can watch new episodes of Grimm, here.  New episodes begin on September 28th.

ADVANCE REVIEW: ‘Animal Practice’ (NBC – Wednesday, 8:00 p.m.)

EDITORIAL NOTE: To understand how we do our reviews, please refer to our review of Revolution, here.

Meet Dr. George Coleman (Justin Kirk, “Weeds”), a top-dog New York veterinarian. With an unorthodox style of operating, George’s success comes from his undeniable gift with animals of all kinds. That is, all but the human kind. Dorothy Crane (Joanna Garcia Swisher) once held the key to George’s heart, but today she also holds the key to the family business as she takes over Crane Animal Hospital.  Not only is she George’s new boss, but her romantic history with him and her lack of experience with animals is seriously cramping his style.  Dorothy is whip-smart and ambitious, and she’s going to make George pay for the past.  Needless to say, he’s determined not to make any changes in his (animal) kingdom — which includes poker games with a resident capuchin monkey.  Also starring are Tyler Labine (“Reaper,” “Sons of Tucson”) as Dr. Doug Jackson, a vet who’s great with animals but hapless in matters of the heart, Bobby Lee (“Harold & Kumar”) as Dr. Yamamoto, and newcomer Betsy Sodaro as Angela.  “Animal Practice” is a production of Universal Television and American Work Inc.  The executive producers are Scot Armstrong (“The Hangover Part II,” “Old School”) and Ravi Nandan (“Best Friends Forever”) of American Work Inc. (“Best Friends Forever”) along with Emmy Award winners Joe & Anthony Russo (“Community,” “Arrested Development”).  “Animal Practice” was written by Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka (“The Sitter”), who also serve as executive producers.  Gail Lerner (“Happy Endings”) also is an executive producer.  Directed by the Emmy-winning Russo brothers, “Animal Practice” is a comedy where the animals are running the asylum. – NBC

Score:     65 out of 100

Initial Impressions (May 20, 2012):  OK… we really hate to admit this, but this show looks insanely funny.  It’s certainly a new take on the standard comedy.  It’s ridiculously irreverant and sarcastic and it seems quite brilliant.  Without even looking at the show description, it was pretty obvious that there was involvement from the folks at Community because it definitely has that kind of vibe to it. Honestly, the funniest moment in any television trailer ever is in this clip at the end with the turtle races.  Not going to spoil it, but you’ll know why when you see it.

Shawn: *Sigh* And here we have the first review we have to do where the episode did not live up to the expectations of the trailer.  As you can tell, we really were expecting a lot out of Animal Practice, but unfortunately, it’s not nearly as good as it looks. Don’t get me wrong, it’s  not horrible, and in fact it’s actually pretty good but there is certainly nothing to make it stand out from any other comedy.  That’s a huge problem on two fronts.

Yes, it works… always.

First, we hate comedies to begin with around here so a comedy has to really blow our socks off in order to get high praise from us.  Second, this show has the best, can’t-lose gimmick of all time on it that should make it incredible: animals… and specifically a well-trained monkey that acts like a human.  It’s the Doctor Dolittle effect.  Those films suck, but the animals are so flippin’ hilarious that you are fooled into thinking they’re good.  Mind you, those are talking animals, but you don’t need a monkey to talk to be hilarious.  Just dress it up in a clown suit or in a beret and have it be an alcoholic… or make it an on-staff veterinary doctor… like in Animal Practice.

The problem is that the monkey isn’t making enough appearances… yes, you read that right, I’m complaining about the lack of the gimmick monkey.  I don’t have much of a choice because, overall, the show isn’t that great.  Sure, it’s got some really good gags, but George (Justin Kirk) doesn’t have nearly the funny Scrubstype likability and sarcasm I was hoping for and that’s not a good sign for your lead… even in a dopey comedy.  Making matters worse, there is ZERO chemistry between George and Dorothy (Joanna Garcia Swisher) and they were supposed to be an item and it’s obvious that the writers are going to rehash that romance.

Dr. Rizzo: We need mooooar…

The truth is that Animal Practice is more straight-up sitcom than it is wacky spoof and that’s not how it was billed.  A lot of the characters are very cookie-cutter, however, the few that aren’t kind of save the show such as Dr. Yamamoto (Bobby Lee) and Dr. Doug Jackson (Tyler Labine) who are both pretty brilliant.  So does Dr. Rizzo (the monkey), when he actually makes an appearance.

So, while I still recommend the show, the pilot wasn’t nearly as good as it really should have been and I’m a bit disappointed.  Let’s hope it picks up in subsequent episodes.

As a bit of an aside, I had to change the settings in the comments section about five minutes into posting this trailer on YouTube to make it so that all comments had to go through me before they were posted and I had to disable the voting.  Why?  Welllllllllll, because butt-hurt Community fans, redirected from a Reddit Community fan page, were flooding the comments section with negative comments and ratings because they think Animal Practice is why Community got moved to Friday nights with only a 13 episode order.  Chances are those same crybabies who don’t get that the decision on Community was made the moment Comedy Central picked it up for syndication in 2013 to get it to 100 episodes will probably flood this review, as well.  So, crybaby Community fans, we love your show, too, but seriously… get the holy f*ck over yourselves.  It’s an NBC sitcom, not Downton Abbey… and we’ll be filtering your comments, here, as well.

Watch the pilot of Animal Practice, right now, ahead of the September 26th premiere, here.  Please note, this is the only chance other than Video OnDemand services through cable providers you will be able to see the pilot.  NBC will be airing the second episode on premiere night, not the pilot.

Chance of Renewal:  50%

…and that’s generous.  On any other network, we would probably say not likely because it’s difficult for us to see audiences getting very excited out-of-the-gate for this, however, this is the network that renewed Whitney, so it’s a toss-up, and yes, you are correct we use the Whitney benchmark a lot when it comes to NBC.

REVIEW: The Redeye Rogue Report: ‘The New Normal’ Serves Up The Same Old Normal Comedy

These days, families come in all forms – single dads, double moms, sperm donors, egg donors, one-night-stand donors… It’s 2012 and anything goes. Bryan (Andrew Rannells, “Girls,” “The Book of Mormon”) and David (Justin Bartha, “The Hangover”) are a Beverly Hills couple and they have it all. Well, almost. With successful careers and a committed and loving partnership, the one thing missing is a baby. And just when they think the stars will never align, enter Goldie (Georgia King, “One Day”), an extraordinary young woman with a checkered past. A Midwestern waitress and single mother looking to escape her dead-end life and small-minded grandmother (Ellen Barkin, “Ocean’s Thirteen”), Goldie decides to change everything and move to L.A. with her precocious 8-year-old daughter.  Desperate and broke – but also fertile – Goldie quickly becomes the guys’ surrogate and quite possibly the girl of their dreams.  Surrogate mother, surrogate family. “The New Normal” is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Ryan Murphy Productions.  Murphy serves as creator/executive producer and director along with executive producer/creator/writer Ali Adler (“Glee,” “Chuck”) and executive producer Dante Di Loreto (“Glee,” “American Horror Story”). -NBC

Rating:     50 out of 100

Redeye Rogue

There are people who are ready to support The New Normal or destroy it, based solely upon its subject matter.  Some reviewers have taken offense to the overtness of the show, calling foul on preachiness and lessons.

But seriously, all drama/comedy carries with it an undercurrent of ‘lesson.’  Stories are in many ways, lessons, that teach us about life and how we face it.  Perhaps the lessons are just too “in your face” for some reviewers.

The New Normal, however, seems blind to the fact that the mechanism doing the preaching is an awful stereotype of  itself.

The Sassy Black chick indeed…

The show is not without merit.  Its heart is absolutely in the right place. Conservatives should rally around a show that is so blatantly pro-life.  Bebe Wood is astonishing, and I found myself chuckling at many of the gags revolving around her.

The thing about shows like this, is that they try so hard to be everything to everyone, while at the same time, changing hearts and minds.  Yet, astonishingly, it is exhibit “A” in its own argument.

If it could tone back the stereotypes, not paint in such broad strokes, we might have something  here.

‘Til then, I’m still holding on to my VHS collection of Bosom Buddies episodes.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I think it’s magnificent that you have a Bosom Buddies collection.

For a different take, go here.

ADVANCE REVIEW: ‘Go On’ (NBC – Tuesday, 9:00 p.m.)

EDITORIAL NOTE: To understand how we do our reviews, please refer to our review of Revolution, here.

Misery loves company. Unless you’re sportscaster Ryan King (Matthew Perry, “Friends,” “Mr. Sunshine”) who thinks misery should just be left alone. After taking some time off, Ryan – who recently lost his wife in a car accident – is now ready to get back to work. And while he seems like his same old charming, cocky self, his boss won’t set him back on the air until he seeks counseling. So, Ryan reluctantly joins a support group with one goal in mind: get in, get out and get back on the radio as quickly as possible. Played by the fast-talking, sarcastic, and charismatic Perry, Ryan gives grief a real run for its money. Within one day of group therapy, he hijacks the meeting and suddenly the downtrodden are cajoled into playing a game of “who’s got the best sob story?” And in no time all of them are battling it out, trying to one-up each other’s despair. Now, this is fun! Ryan’s total lack of interest in healing might be just what this group needs – and maybe, exactly what he needs to move on with his life. Also starring are Tony winner Laura Benanti (“The Playboy Club”), Julie White (“Transformers”), Suzy Nakamura (“Dodgeball”), Khary Payton (“General Hospital”) and Allison Miller (“Terra Nova”).  From the Emmy-winning writer and executive producer Scott Silveri (“Perfect Couples,” “Friends”) comes a new series that proves grief can be good.  Todd Holland (“Malcolm in the Middle”) and Karey Burke (“Free Agents,” “Miss/Guided”) also serve as executive producers.  The pilot was directed by Holland. “Go On” is a production of Universal Television, Dark Toy Entertainment and Silver & Gold Productions. – NBC

Score:     93 out of 100

Initial Impressions (May 20, 2012):  Art imitates life apparently, because, as we suggested the last time we had to review a Matthew Perry vehicle (Mr. Sunshine), his projects are simply an acting-out of his own issues with depression and other related mental illnesses (and addiction).  Go On appears to be his therapy and unlike Mr. Sunshine, it actually looks quite promising despite that even in its trailer there are some cringe-worthy moments for anyone who actually has ever had any involvement in actual therapy.  It looks like this is what you call your “dramedy” and Perry actually looks quite comfortable in this new role which is something he wasn’t with Mr. Sunshine.

Shawn: Like I said with The Mindy Project, these are getting easier and easier to call and once again, Go On is another new show that has completely exceeded our expectations.

Go On is way better than advertised and I take back everything I said before about Matthew Perry being milquetoast.  He’s brilliant in this and he just seems to be reveling in this role which he has clearly personalized.

As absurd as the premise is for anyone who has actually gone through group therapy, the show is just so damned funny that you can’t help to completely ignore the absurdity.  It actually reminds me a lot of Community in that each character is so different, diverse and funny for completely different reasons.  I laughed during this pilot more than I have laughed during any show since the first season of Modern Family.  I actually had to pause and rewind several times because I was laughing so hard that I missed the next gag.

Recently, I commented on a piece featured at one of my favorite sites, The Duffel Blog, which, if you don’t know is basically The Onion for members of the U.S. Armed Forces. The piece, entitled Army Struggles To Respond To Epidemic Of Suicides During Suicide Prevention Briefs got criticism from a reader (who claimed to be an active member) that the subject of suicide in the military was “nothing to joke about” and “disrespectful.”  My position was that the best humor lies in the satire of uncomfortable subjects and that’s the position I take with this show.  Having personal experience with the subject-matter of Go On (group therapy, that is… not Mrs. ‘Tastic being killed in a texting and driving accident.) I readily recognizes some of the situations that Go On presents in its completely exaggerated way and I certainly can appreciate the tongue-in-cheek approach to group therapy.

On the other side of the coin, Go On is careful not to minimize trauma and the loss of a loved one, whether that pain is King’s (Perry) or the rest of the characters of the cast who are all brilliantly funny and sympathetic in their own right.   This approach allows for introspection that is normally to be found in your typical comedy.

Go On is well-paced with incredibly likable and relatable characters and themes.  It’s hilarious and heart-warming at the same time without insulting the intelligence of the audience or alienating them.  Bravo to NBC on this one.

RedEye: Being a mentally challenged Cylon I always cringe when I see portrayals of mental illness on sit-coms, so it was with great trepidation that I approached Matthew Perry’s new series Go On. While I was never a fan of the respectable Friends, I did like Perry’s performance on that show. With Go On, Perry has found a show that truly fits his talents. The writing here is good… VERY good, and the comedy is extremely well-played – underplayed, in fact.

Chance of Renewal:  90%

If NBC can avoid f*cking this up, we simply cannot fathom how this isn’t a hit for the Peacock.

Watch the pilot of Go On, right now, ahead of the September 11th premiere, here.

ADVANCE REVIEW: ‘The New Normal’ (NBC – Tuesday, 9:30 p.m.)

EDITORIAL NOTE: To understand how we do our reviews, please refer to our review of Revolution, here.

These days, families come in all forms – single dads, double moms, sperm donors, egg donors, one-night-stand donors… It’s 2012 and anything goes. Bryan (Andrew Rannells, “Girls,” “The Book of Mormon”) and David (Justin Bartha, “The Hangover”) are a Beverly Hills couple and they have it all. Well, almost. With successful careers and a committed and loving partnership, the one thing missing is a baby. And just when they think the stars will never align, enter Goldie (Georgia King, “One Day”), an extraordinary young woman with a checkered past. A Midwestern waitress and single mother looking to escape her dead-end life and small-minded grandmother (Ellen Barkin, “Ocean’s Thirteen”), Goldie decides to change everything and move to L.A. with her precocious 8-year-old daughter.  Desperate and broke – but also fertile – Goldie quickly becomes the guys’ surrogate and quite possibly the girl of their dreams.  Surrogate mother, surrogate family. “The New Normal” is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Ryan Murphy Productions.  Murphy serves as creator/executive producer and director along with executive producer/creator/writer Ali Adler (“Glee,” “Chuck”) and executive producer Dante Di Loreto (“Glee,” “American Horror Story”) – NBC

Score:     33 out of 100

Initial Impressions (May 20, 2012):  Remember how we said all but a couple shows look great?  Well this is the first one that looks horrible.  Ryan Murphy is simply not content with having a show without a a political agenda that serves to mock and insult middle-America.  The problem we have with this obvious and vulgar attempt of one-upping the brilliant Modern Family is that even in the trailer it’s done with such a sense of mean-spiritedness and political preachiness that it puts David E. Kelley’s crap to shame. Don’t believe us, simply watch the trailer.  Three times they made a point to focus on the Ohio license plates on the car (perhaps this is a not so subtle attempt by the producers to make Ohio voters feel guilty and remind them they are in a battleground state this November?) and then they made the point to portray the main character’s grandmother’s as a small-minded white bigot and homophobe… because, of course, all white people from the Midwest over 30 are bigoted homophobes.  And the  loudmouth, stereotypical black woman (who admits that she’s a thief, thereby promoting yet another stereotype) bawling out the grandmother and making a reference to Calista Gingrich (a name for when 95% of the audiences hear it they will collectively say, “who?”) was a nice touch, as well.

So, the bottom line is that people from Ohio are small-minded bigots and homophobes and will do anything for money and that Calista Gingrich is one as well because of her haircut. Fantastic.  Oh, did we mention that all the agenda advancing aside, the show looks like an absolute disjointed mess filled with nothing but bad sitcom clichés.  So, yeah, it’s got that going for it, as well.

Shawn: The New Normal has been sparking more controversy than any comedy in recent history and it hasn’t even officially aired a single episode.  We would like to state how proud we were to be included in the controversy by NBC Universal personally declaring war against the ‘Tastic over their new flagship sitcom that they apparently think is going to make people forget about how great ABC’s Modern Family is.

“Oh… how’s that,” you say?  Well, here’s how the story goes:

Any time we do a preview or review of a television series, the first thing we do is to go to the YouTube channel of whatever network the show is on and immediately download their official trailers and upload them to our own YouTube Channel.  We do this for two reasons; first, the networks have a tendency to remove their trailers after a couple of months, especially if a show has been unceremoniously canceled quicker than expected, and what happens is that if we use the network’s YouTube embed code, it winds up leaving a big fat hole right in the middle of our piece. Second, and more importantly, we do this to foster debate, criticism and commentary that the networks tend to filter out on their own YouTube channels. The networks generally don’t care if we post their videos, usually because it’s one more outlet to advertise their show on and there are usually far more users going to NBC’s YouTube channel than TV-Tastic’s dopey channel. The New Normal‘s trailer was no exception but surprisingly to us, it quickly became one of our most popular trailers.

The problems came because of the comments and the debate.  While fans of Andrew Rannells and Ryan Murphy’s Glee gushed obnoxiously about how great this show looked and what a hit it would be, we begged to differ, expressing the same concerns about the show in the comments section that we did on the blog and furthermore expressing our opinion that we felt the show would fail because the bottom-line is that it’s an agenda-driven show and audiences are tired of being preached to, regardless of the content.  For this opinion, we were called every name in the book and accused of being bigoted and homophobic when nothing could be further from the truth.

But then a funny thing happened back in July…

NBC Universal: Big Fat Crybabies

All of the sudden, the tide was beginning to turn with the content of the comments with more and more users agreeing with us that the show did indeed appear to be a mean-spirited, agenda-driven hit-piece and that it would be hurt because of that with audiences.  And that’s when NBC dropped the hammer and personally filed a copyright infringement claim against us to have the trailer taken down, claiming that it was a complete episode.  Y’see, it wasn’t just the mounting negative comments that the trailer was garnering so close to premiere date that got NBC Universal all butt-hurt over it… it was the fact that we had over 25,000 hits on the same video compared to their meager 4,000, outpacing them by nearly six to one.

So, basically, NBC Universal, who apparently consider themselves paragons of diversity and champions of fostering an open exchange of ideas, has no problem suppressing our “Fair Use” rights through intimidation and abuse of power if they don’t like what people think about their new shows.  And if you’re skeptical as to if that was really their motivation, we have ten other trailers of theirs on our page for new 2012 – 2013 shows and they haven’t said a word about them.  For the record, we talked to the right people about this issue and we don’t consider this matter closed with NBC Universal and we’ll keep you updated on the progress.

So, that is our little contribution to The New Normal controversy but that doesn’t even come close to the controversy caused by NBC’s Salt Lake affiliate, KSL, who has decided to not air the show in their prime-time lineup this fall.  And of course, the knee-jerk reaction by the folks at GLAAD, some members of the cast and the media is that KSL, a station owned by Mormons, is homophobic and won’t air a show because they hate “teh gays.”

Lunatic and shrew, Ellen Barkin posted this on Twitter:

“Anyone in Utah interested in @NBCTheNewNormal please clog up @ksl5tv feed 4 their blatantly homophic decision 2 not air the show #KSLBigots”

…and then this:

“Shame on u ‪@kslcom‬ not airing ‪@NBCTheNewNormal‬ So L&O SVU (rape & child murder) is ok? But loving gay couple having a baby is inappropriate?”

Ahhhh… good old Ellen Barkin… lovely and charming as usual.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

“Same-sex families are a beloved part of American television thanks to shows like Modern FamilyGlee and Grey’s Anatomy,” GLAAD president Herndon Graddick said in a statement. “While audiences, critics and advertisers have all supported LGBT stories, KSL is demonstrating how deeply out of touch it is with the rest of the country…”


“Graddick suggested that a meeting between Simpson and local LGBT families might change the CEO’s opinion.

“We know that if he would, he would see that not only are our families normal, but by citing ‘crude and rude’ content and refusing to affirm LGBT families, KSL and Mr. Simpson are sending a dangerous message to Utah,” Graddick said. “They should make that right.”

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa…

What exactly did KSL claim as their reasons for not airing The New Normal?

“Jeff SimpsonCEO of KSL parent company Bonneville International, revealed Friday the station planned not to air New Normal, citing crude language and offensive characterizations. The same station decided not to air NBC drama The Playboy Club last fall.

“After viewing the pilot episode of The New Normal, we have made the decision to keep it off our fall schedule,” Simpson said. “For our brand, this program simply feels inappropriate on several dimensions, especially during family viewing time.””

Gee, that’s funny, because not only does KSL not mention ANYTHING about the inappropriateness of a gay couple having a child or their opposition to such a portrayal on television, they point to the EXACT SAME ISSUES THAT WE HAVE WITH THE SHOW and that was before we even saw one episode!  Kind of curious, though, how similar the backlash against KSL is to the backlash we received without once complaining about the gay couple.  Folks, this is the same affiliate that refused to air The Playboy Club last year based on similar criteria and we’ll go so far as to state that this show is far more offensive based on those criteria, gay couple who wants a baby notwithstanding.

Now, is it possible that their opposition to the show is over the gay couple?  Sure, but all you can go on is their stated reasons which are very credible because they mirror our observations and those of others far more respectable than we are.  Sorry, but no one is in any position to judge what’s in someone’s heart by any other standard than their words and actions and KSL’s words and actions don’t pass the litmus test for “homophobic.”

And that’s the thing, The New Normal is far more mean-spirited and offensive than we could have imagined.  The characterizations are vile and stereotypical and as we noted, the only purpose of this show seems to be to stand on a soap box and tell Middle-America how evil and rotten they are and how wonderful and progressive Hollywood is.  It’s sycophantic and self-aggrandizing on a scale like we’ve never seen and it puts David E. Kelley to shame.

Ironically, the only saving grace to this show is the gay couple, even though they’re terribly stereotyped, as well.  Andrew Rannells and Justin Bartha are actually very charming and funny as the couple who desperately wants a child.  Their performances are quite heart-warming and endearing.

Unfortunately, though, those characters cannot save this show.  The problem is that they are supposed to be the main characters yet they are almost treated as background noise in favor of agenda-advancing on what is supposed to be a comedy.  It’s one thing to want to promote tolerance and acceptance, it’s another thing to do so by denigrating and alienating every one else in the process.

Oh, and did we mention, that other than Rannells and Bartha, the show is completely devoid of humor?

Chance of Renewal: 50%

Even though The New Normal is far worse than we expected, thanks to the very likable Andrew Rannells and Justin Bartha we are now leaning toward it probably lasting for the full season and perhaps a second season (instead of getting canceled after two episodes like we initially predicted before we saw the pilot).  This reminds us of Harry’s Law where audiences (like us)  really wanted to like the show but just got tired of being preached to so if it does in fact survive for a second season, that will be its last.  But then, again, this is NBC we’re talking about so it could be canceled after two episodes, so don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Watch the pilot of The New Normal, right now, ahead of the September 11th premiere, here.

For a different take on The New Normal, go here.

ADVANCE REVIEW: ‘Revolution’ (NBC – Monday, 10:00 p.m.)

EDITORIAL NOTE: OK, kids, this is how it works:  With all of the new shows of the season, we shared our first impressions of every new show of the season based on the show description and the trailer released by the network in our network previews.  With our fall reviews, however, we include both initial impressions and what we think after actually seeing said show.  The main reason why we do this is to A.) show how mystical our powers of perception are and B.) to show that we aren’t total pricks and can admit IF we’re wrong.

Also, where possible you’re going to see not only my review but either RedEye Rogue or Victor De Leon’s review, as well, so you can make up your own mind and not just go on the opinion of one idiot… we’ll give you two idiots to choose from… maybe more.

Our entire way of life depends on electricity. So what would happen if it just stopped working? Well, one day, like a switch turned off, the world is suddenly thrust back into the dark ages. Planes fall from the sky, hospitals shut down, and communication is impossible. And without any modern technology, who can tell us why?  Now, 15 years later, life is back to what it once was long before the industrial revolution: families living in quiet cul-de-sacs, and when the sun goes down lanterns and candles are lit. Life is slower and sweeter. Or is it?  On the fringes of small farming communities, danger lurks. And a young woman’s life is dramatically changed when a local militia arrives and kills her father, who mysteriously – and unbeknownst to her – had something to do with the blackout. This brutal encounter sets her and two unlikely companions off on a daring coming-of-age journey to find answers about the past in the hopes of reclaiming the future.  From director Jon Favreau (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2”) and the fertile imaginations of J.J. Abrams (“Lost,” “Person of Interest”) and Eric Kripke (“Supernatural”), comes a surprising “what if” action-adventure series, where an unlikely hero will lead the world out of the dark. Literally. The series stars Billy Burke (“The Twilight Saga”), Tracy Spiridakos (“Being Human”), Anna Lise Phillips (“Terra Nova”), Zak Orth (“Romeo + Juliet“), Graham Rogers (“Memphis Beat”), J.D. Pardo (“A Cinderella Story”),  Giancarlo Esposito (“Breaking Bad”), David Lyons (“The Cape”), Maria Howell (“The Blind Side”), Tim Guinee (“Iron Man”) and Andrea Roth (“Rescue Me”).  Kripke, Abrams, Favreau and Bryan Burk (“Lost,” “Star Trek”) serve as executive producers.  “Revolution” is produced by Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Bad Robot Productions, Kripke Enterprises and Warner Bros. Television.  The pilot was directed by Favreau. – NBC

Score:     90 out of 100

Initial Impressions (May 20, 2012):  Fact: we like everything with J.J. Abrams’ name attached to it so we’re ridiculously biased about this, however… c’mon, now! This looks awesome… despite the fact the fact that it looks a whole lot like Terra Nova.  Let’s be honest: this is post-apocalyptic/new-earth stuff going on here, so, even though the basic concept is novel, the overall premise is pretty recycled… but that’s OK.  As we’ve noted, all Science Fiction today is recycled, it’s how it’s packaged that counts.  This is feature film quality all the way around with Abrams, John Favreau and Bryan Burk attached to it and it is great to see Breaking Bad‘s Giancarlo Esposito (Gus Fring) getting a regular gig, again. We can only imagine how much this costs to produce and props to NBC for picking it up.

Shawn: Well, this wasn’t particularly hard to call, but it should be noted that Revolution has far exceeded the expectations noted in the preview.  It’s really one of the best pilots that NBC has had in years.  In comparison, for example, it’s far better than The Event‘s was (which by the way, back in the early days of The ‘Tastic we gave more credit to it then it deserved based on the pilot) and believe it or not, it’s pretty straight-forward and linear so it won’t be particularly confusing and difficult to keep up with as you would imagine a series like this would be.

The characters in this show, although many of them taking their cues from Lost, are compelling and well-written and all swimming in various shades of gray.  It says a lot that right off the bat, 10 minutes into the pilot episode, a dilemma is immediately presented for the audience where they are forced to actually take sides against a hero and in favor of the villain.  That’s hardcore and it’s engaging and few shows would take a risk like that during the meet and greet.  Revolution is very reminiscent of AMC’s The Walking Dead in that it’s  just as much of an examination of the human condition as it is a mystery/adventure and story of survival.

Despite the fact that it’s always hanging over our heads and is an integral part of the show, Revolution is very careful not to dwell on what caused the blackout, only going so far as to provide a brief glimpse at the initial event and having the characters refer to it in a manner as to remind the audience exactly how devastating it would be if we suddenly were thrust into the 1800’s.  Early on, Aaron mentions that he used to work for a company called “Google” and had $80 million in the bank and would trade it all for a roll of Charmin.  It’s quick little pot-shots like that and a few limited flashbacks to fill in some blanks surrounding the plot and the characters that serve to effectively tell the story without being intrusive.

There’s plenty of well-choreographed action in Revolution and they have done a fantastic job creating a believable post-apocalyptic universe through the use of gorgeous set and scenic design, natural landscapes and very well-done CGI.  The performances range from serviceable to outstanding and unlike its predecessors, this is one epic SciFi serial that may actually stand a chance of survival with audiences.  Are there some corny, cringe-worthy moments?  Sure, it’s on network TV… what do you want? Overall, though, it’s an outstanding package.

Redeye Rogue:  Revolution  has indeed far exceeded expectations with the pilot episode   –  the buttery first episode, of which runs 43 minutes but feel like 43 seconds, covers all you need to know about this upcoming NBC series being brought to us by J.J. Abrams and Jon Favreau. The brilliant gem stands out among the class of sitcoms and police procedurals.  While not as good as The Walking Dead, there is some real potential here.  Simply put, RedEye Rogue would love to get this series alone behind the middle school. Loved the Jedi lunchbox… interesting that it wasn’t Star Wars, but Return of the Jedi.  Was this foreshadowing something?

Chance of Renewal: 60%

We were very concerned about Revolution based on the trailers and the show description because network audiences have not traditionally embraced SciFi serials.  That being said, post-apocalyptic themed shows that focus more on the characters and story development and use the SciFi theme as more of a backdrop than a device to beat the audience over the head with have been finding a loyal following over the past few years (see: Falling Skies and The Walking Dead as examples of success and Terra Nova as an example of the failure, focusing far too much on SciFi with traditional audiences).  Although we are cautiously optimistic, this show is so incredibly well-done and compelling that even we think it can overcome its handicap of being a SciFi show on network television.  So now, we’re calling it at better than 50%.

Watch the pilot of Revolution, right now, ahead if the September 17th premiere, here.