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Friday, September 30, 2011

PILOT REVIEW: How to Be a Gentleman

HOW TO BE A GENTLEMAN










Starring: David Hornsby, Kevin Dillon, Dave Foley, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Rhys Darby, Nancy Lenehan
Created by David Hornsby
Written by David Hornsby, Directed by Pamela Fryman

How to Be a Gentleman is a new CBS sitcom that seems to be a throwback to past sitcoms... but not the good old sitcoms, no this is a throwback to the generic crap the networks churned out year after year in the late 1990s. Gentleman is about snooty etiquette columnist Andrew Carlson (David Hornsby) whose magazine is going for a hipper vibe. He enlists the help of a former high school classmate Bert (Kevin Dillon) who used to beat him up and is the opposite of him in every way. Yes, it's another Odd Couple spin on the sitcom. Rounding out the cast is Andrew's boss Jerry (Dave Foley), sister Janet (Mary Lynn Rajskub), brother-in-law Mike (Rhys Darby), and mother Diane (Nancy Lenehan).

THE GOOD: Um, this might be the shortest "The Good" section I've written yet. Let me think... well, it's nice to have Dave Foley back on TV since I liked him in Newsradio. The supporting cast could be decent with better writing. That's about it.

THE BAD: More-so than Free Agents, this is the clinker of the fall season (I might have spoken too soon when Man Up premieres, but for now this is it). There is pretty much nothing to like about this cookie cutter sitcom. Every joke was tired and stale (example: "ok but only one shot" - cut to Andrew being drunk). Is the show trying to be Frasier with its snootiness? I'm not sure but if it is, it's a pale imitation. Both Hornsby and Dillon are caricatures and not very believable in their roles. The writing is terrible and the opening was exceedingly lame. There's a reason this show had such little buzz coming into the season, it feels like a failed sitcom from the late 1990s/early 2000s and that's not a good thing because those weren't good to begin with and now the style feels dated.

BOTTOM LINE: If you haven't watched it yet, don't. It will be gone before you know it and you wouldn't have wasted your time like I did. I'm not saying it's the worst sitcom ever, but aren't we beyond the point of greenlighting garbage like this during pilot season? Was this really the second best new sitcom CBS had in pilot season to air this fall (2 Broke Girls being the first choice)? Looks like it's back to the drawing board for Thursday at 8:30pm.

RATINGS RECAP: 9/29/11

ABC
8:00 Charlie's Angels
Viewers: 7.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.5
9:00 Grey's Anatomy
Viewers: 10.2 million, 18-49 demo: 3.6
10:00 Private Practice
Viewers: 7.8 million, 18-49 demo: 2.8

CBS 
8:00 The Big Bang Theory
Viewers: 14.7 million, 18-49 demo: 4.9
8:30 How to Be a Gentleman
Viewers: 9.0 million, 18-49 demo: 2.7
9:00 Person of Interest
Viewers: 12.5 million, 18-49 demo: 2.7
10:00 The Mentalist
Viewers: 12.9 million, 18-49 demo: 2.6

NBC
8:00 Community
Viewers: 4.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.8
8:30 Parks and Recreation
Viewers: 4.3 million, 18-49 demo: 2.1
9:00 The Office
Viewers: 6.7 million, 18-49 demo: 3.5
9:30 Whitney
Viewers: 5.4 million, 18-49 demo: 2.5
10:00 Prime Suspect
Viewers: 5.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.5

FOX
8:00 The X-Factor
Viewers: 12.2 million, 18-49 demo: 3.9

The former top night of TV is turning into concerning issues on all networks. CBS started very strong though where The Big Bang Theory was up four tenths in viewers and even in the demo from last week's season premiere. This is a great performance, particularly for an 8pm show. But the news was not good at 8:30pm where the series premiere of How to Be a Gentleman lost a huge chunk of the lead-in. By CBS standards, this is almost dead on arrival and if it slips a lot next week, we might see the Saturday-bound Rules of Engagement getting a Thursday reprieve. At 9pm, Person of Interest was down eight tenths in viewers and four tenths in the demo from its series premiere. The lead-in wasn't half as strong but a 2.7 demo is troubling for one of CBS's prime slots. At 10pm, The Mentalist was down seven tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo from last week's season premiere.

ABC had some troubling news at 8pm where Charlie's Angels plummeted 1.7 million viewers and a big six tenths in the demo from its premiere episode last week. While the total viewer drop is acceptable, the demo drop is huge. It looks like ABC might be back to the drawing board for this timeslot soon. At 9pm, Grey's Anatomy was down just two tenths in viewers but half a demo point. This show continues to lose steam but a 3.6 demo is still ok. Will the former demo powerhouse drop below a 3 this time? At 10pm, the season premiere of Private Practice was not too far below last year's season premiere despite the Grey's lead-in being far lower so that is a positive. Maybe it's not as lead-in dependent as it seems.

NBC's comedies continued to struggle to be on the map. At 8pm, Community was up a tenth in viewers and the demo and Parks and Recreation was up two tenths in viewers and even in the demo. While they are two of only a few shows to rise this week, they are so low overall it barely matters. At 9pm, The Office was down nine tenths in viewers and four tenths in the demo. It's still the best demo performer on the night easily but not nearly as powerful as it once was. At 9:30pm, week two of Whitney was down a rough 1.4 million viewers and eight tenths in the demo from last week. This is one of the biggest week-to-week drops of any new show which doesn't bode well. At 10pm, Prime Suspect was down a decent four tenths in viewers but three tenths in the demo from its series premiere to a very low 1.5 demo. NBC's drama situation across the network is a mess. The second Thursday of FOX's The X-Factor was down just three tenths in viewers from last week but four tenths in the demo. It's already below a 4 in the demo but the total viewer count seems to be stable.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

THE RUNDOWN: Friday, September 30 & Saturday, October 1

Check back later for a review of How to Be a Gentleman! And check back on Saturday for the first Freshman Scorecard of the new season!

FRIDAY

ABC
8:00 Modern Family #51 "Phil on Wire" (REPEAT)
8:30 Suburgatory #1 "Pilot" (REPEAT)
9:00 Pan Am #1 "Pilot" (REPEAT)
10:00 20/20
ABC is still waiting to air new programming on Friday. 20/20 got clobbered by Dateline last Friday which could be a regular thing since it was headed in that direction last season.
Prediction: Family - 3.2 million, 0.9/Suburgatory - 3.9 million, 1.0/Pan Am - 3.9 million, 0.8/2020 - 4.0 million, 1.1

CBS
8:00 A Gifted Man #2 "In Case of All Hell Breaking Loose"
9:00 CSI: NY #164 "Keep it Real"
10:00 Blue Bloods #24 "Friendly Fire"
CBS has its drama lineup on Friday night. A Gifted Man debuted to an old-skewing 1.4 demo last week and that could drop a bit this week which isn't good news for the show. CSI: NY and Blue Bloods might be down slightly from last week.
Prediction: Gifted - 8.6 million, 1.2/CSI NY - 10.1 million, 1.7/Bloods - 11.1 million, 1.8

NBC
8:00 Up All Night #3 "Working Late and Working It" (REPEAT)
8:30 Whitney #2 "First Date" (REPEAT)
9:00 Dateline NBC
NBC is just airing repeats at 8pm but Dateline was nearly as strong as any of its shows last week. It may not be quite as high this week but should be solid.
Prediction: Night - 2.8 million, 0.8/Whitney - 3.0 million, 0.9/Dateline - 6.5 million, 1.8

FOX
8:00 Kitchen Nightmares
9:00 Fringe #67 "One Night in October"
FOX has a loyal but small audience on Friday night and that makes it seem unlikely that Kitchen Nightmares or Fringe will drop much from their season premieres last week.
Prediction: Nightmares - 3.6 million, 1.6/Fringe - 3.3 million, 1.4

SATURDAY

ABC
8:00 College Football

CBS
8:00 College Football

NBC
8:00 Harry's Law #14 "There Will Be Blood" (REPEAT)
9:00 Prime Suspect #2 "Carnivorous Sheep" (REPEAT)
10:00 Law & Order: SVU #274 "Personal Fouls" (REPEAT)

FOX
8:00 Terra Nova #1/2 "Genesis" (REPEAT) 

RATINGS RECAP: 9/28/11

ABC
8:00 The Middle
Viewers: 8.7 million, 18-49 demo: 2.7
8:30 Suburgatory
Viewers: 9.8 million, 18-49 demo: 3.3
9:00 Modern Family
Viewers: 13.5 million, 18-49 demo: 5.7
9:30 Happy Endings
Viewers: 7.3 million, 18-49 demo: 3.1
10:00 Revenge
Viewers: 8.5 million, 18-49 demo: 2.7

CBS
8:00 Survivor
Viewers: 10.7 million, 18-49 demo: 3.2
9:00 Criminal Minds
Viewers: 12.6 million, 18-49 demo: 3.6
10:00 CSI
Viewers: 11.8 million, 18-49 demo: 3.1

NBC
8:00 Up All Night
Viewers: 5.3 million, 18-49 demo: 2.1
8:30 Free Agents
Viewers: 3.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
9:00 Harry's Law
Viewers: 7.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
10:00 Law & Order: SVU
Viewers: 7.2 million, 18-49 demo: 2.1

FOX
8:00 The X-Factor
Viewers: 11.9 million, 18-49 demo: 4.1

ABC had a solid showing on Wednesday night with strong numbers for a series premiere. But first at 8pm, The Middle was down a million viewers and four tenths in the demo from last week's one hour premiere. This is not a horrible drop considering last week was a series high. This show has become a very solid lead-off for ABC. At 8:30pm, the series premiere of Suburgatory had a great showing as it built substantially on The Middle, particularly the demo. This has been a fall of great comedy premieres and this was no exception. ABC may have finally found the perfect show for its 8:30pm slot. At 9pm, Modern Family was down a million viewers and four tenths in the demo from last week's one hour premiere and series high. It was still at a dominant 5.7 demo. At 9:30pm though, the season premiere of Happy Endings wasn't as strong. While a 3.1 demo is good, the erosion out of Modern Family was huge. ABC keeps trying to make this show a hit but it's not working especially if this is the high end of its potential numbers in this slot, which it likely is. At 10pm, Revenge was down an understandable 1.5 million viewers and six tenths in the demo from its series premiere last week. It had a much lower lead-in and performed pretty well. If it can stay around these numbers, it will be ABC's first hit in this slot in years.

Over on CBS, the ever steady Survivor was up two tenths in viewers and even in the demo. Criminal Minds was down 1.5 million viewers and half a demo point. That's a somewhat steep drop but last week's performance was abnormally high. This is a pretty steady number for Minds. At 10pm, CSI was down nine tenths in viewers and just a tenth in the demo for a very good 10pm showing. It easily won the timeslot and handily beat Law & Order: SVU in what many thought would be a close race this season. It looks like CBS made the right move for Wednesday at 10pm, but what about CSI's old timeslot on Thursdays at 9pm?


NBC continued to be in trouble though the 8pm slot remained decent where Up All Night was down eight tenths in viewers and three tenths in the demo. By NBC standards and considering the 8pm slot, this isn't a bad performance. At 8:30pm, Free Agents was down eight tenths in viewers and three tenths in the demo to a dismal 1.0. If NBC lets this last another week, they are out of their mind. Expect a cancellation announcement soon because this show is sinking fast. At 9pm, Harry's Law was up a tenth in viewers and even in the demo. There is clearly an audience for this show, but a very old one. Some think it may move back to Mondays at 10pm when NBC inevitably cancels The Playboy Club. At 10pm, Law & Order: SVU is showing its age in a big way as it was down half a million viewers and three tenths in the demo, actually dropping in viewers from Harry's Law (though it far exceeded it in the demo).


FOX's second week of The X-Factor was down six tenths in viewers and three tenths in the demo, posting a good week-to-week hold. This show is nowhere near the hit that most thought it would be but FOX will certainly take a 4 demo on Wednesdays and Thursdays if these numbers can hold. It is a disappointment but only because the expectations were so high. If it was any show, these would be considered very good numbers.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

THE RUNDOWN: Thursday, September 29

Check below this post for a review of Suburgatory! 

ABC
8:00 Charlie's Angels #2 "Runway Angels"
9:00 Grey's Anatomy #151 "Take the Lead"
10:00 Private Practice #77 "God Laughs" (Season Premiere)
ABC is all new on Thursday starting with Week 2 of Charlie's Angels which got off to a ho-hum start and has terrible reviews. It wouldn't be surprising to see it drop into the 1s for the demo, which would be very low for ABC. Grey's Anatomy is diluted but shouldn't drop as much and the new season of Private Practice should premiere at ok but not great numbers.
Prediction: Charlie's - 7.5 million, 1.8/Grey's - 9.6 million, 3.8/Practice - 7.5 million, 3.0

CBS
8:00 The Big Bang Theory #90 "The Pulled Groin Extrapolation"
8:30 How to Be a Gentleman #1 "Pilot" (SERIES PREMIERE)
9:00 Person of Interest #2 "Ghosts"
10:00 The Mentalist #72 "Little Red Book"
CBS will be an interesting network to watch on Thursday night. The Big Bang Theory should be very solid again but the series premiere of How to Be a Gentleman may be underwhelming as the show has gotten very negative reviews. Even if it does manage to debut well, it likely won't hold up. Another show to watch is week two of Person of Interest. The show didn't have a great start in the demo and it could go down some this week which would be troubling for such a high profile timeslot. The Mentalist shouldn't drop much from last week.
Prediction: Big Bang - 13.4 million, 4.7/Gentleman - 10.5 million, 3.3/Interest - 12.1 million, 2.8/Mentalist - 13.4 million, 2.9

NBC
8:00 Community #51 "Geography of Global Conflict"
8:30 Parks and Recreation #48 "Ron & Tammys"
9:00 The Office #154 "The Incentive"
9:30 Whitney #2 "First Date"
10:00 Prime Suspect #2 "Carnivorous Sheep"
NBC has another week of its comedy lineup. The 8-9pm hour can't drop much from its terrible performance last week, can it? It could be up with only one Big Bang Theory and perhaps less sampling of Charlie's Angels and X-Factor. The Office might be down without the curiosity factor while Whitney will likely have a decent sized drop from its premiere. Prime Suspect got off to a rough start but it may not see a huge drop. If it does, NBC's problems will continue to pile up.
Prediction: Community - 3.9 million, 1.8/Parks - 4.3 million, 2.2/Office - 6.9 million, 3.5/Whitney - 5.7 million, 2.9/Suspect - 5.5 million, 1.7

FOX
8:00 The X-Factor
The ratings for Wednesday's edition will give us a better indication of how The X-Factor will do in its second Thursday. I expect the drop won't be horrible but the overall numbers will be very disappointing.
Prediction: X Factor - 11.5 million, 4.0 

PILOT REVIEW: Suburgatory

SUBURGATORY











Starring: Jeremy Sisto, Jane Levy, Carly Chaikin, Allie Grant, with Alan Tudyk, and Cheryl Hines
Created by Emily Kapnek
Written by Emily Kapnek, Directed by Michael Fresco

Suburgatory is a new sitcom on ABC that is the perfect bridge between two single camera comedy hits. Set in the suburbs outside New York City, the show has a Mean Girls feel as it is about teen Tessa Altman (Jane Levy) and her father George (Jeremy Sisto) who move to the suburbs when her Dad freaks out about finding condoms in her drawer. She sees that the suburbs are a superficial world that she doesn't think she'll ever fit into. Also in the cast is suburb teen queen Dalia (Carly Chaikin) and her equally superficial mother (Cheryl Hines). There's also a potential friend for Tessa in Lisa (Allie Grant) and her Dad's old friend Noah (Alan Tudyk).

THE GOOD: There's a lot to like about this quirky comedy that already has a clear voice and style after one episode. The look of the show is very distinct, from the walk through the suburbs to the several sight gags, it's very well produced for a sitcom. The cast is also top notch. Jane Levy is a standout as the protagonist - she seems natural without playing too much to the type of character she is. Jeremy Sisto is also strong as her father and the two have a good on-screen chemistry. Cheryl Hines is a hoot as "plastic" mom Dallas. While her character is fake in many ways, her acting does not seem fake and that's hard to do in a role that's such a caricature. There were many funny sight gags (the girl walking into a pool while texting, passive aggressive books at breakfast) and lines (Dalia introducing the lone African American kid as the "diversity student.") It was a great pilot that sets up the show well.

THE BAD: I can't think of much I didn't like about this. I've always said that it's tricky for sitcoms to find their rhythm in the first episode but this show already has. The only thing the show needs to watch out for is being a one trick pony and I have a feeling it will be able to avoid that. It seems like the characters are well drawn and there's a lot of places this show to go. So you can see, I don't really have anything bad to say.

BOTTOM LINE: This could be the show that ABC has been looking for to fit in-between The Middle and Modern Family. Its tone and style makes the perfect bridge and it's a much better fit than last year's Better With You. With strong acting and a strong plot, this could be the best in a season of comedies with a lot of potential (Up All Night, 2 Broke Girls, New Girl). I can't wait to come back for more.

RATINGS RECAP: 9/27/11

ABC
8:00 Dancing with the Stars Recap
Viewers: 9.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.9
9:00 Dancing with the Stars Results
Viewers: 14.4 million, 18-49 demo: 2.9
10:00 Body of Proof
Viewers: 9.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.8

CBS
8:00 NCIS
Viewers: 19.5 million, 18-49 demo: 4.2
9:00 NCIS: Los Angeles
Viewers: 16.3 million, 18-49 demo: 3.6
10:00 Unforgettable
Viewers: 12.4 million, 18-49 demo: 2.5

NBC
8:00 The Biggest Loser
Viewers: 5.9 million, 18-49 demo: 2.3
10:00 Parenthood
Viewers: 5.5 million, 18-49 demo: 2.2

FOX
8:00 Glee
Viewers: 8.6 million, 18-49 demo: 3.7
9:00 New Girl
Viewers: 9.3 million, 18-49 demo: 4.5
9:30 Raising Hope
Viewers: 6.1 million, 18-49 demo: 2.9

On the second Tuesday of the season, CBS's crime dramas had another great night. NCIS was off just half a million viewers and a tenth in the demo from its big debut last week while spinoff NCIS: Los Angeles was down just four tenths in viewers and even in the demo. After two weeks, it looks like NCIS will spend another year as the runaway most-watched drama on TV. Week two of new series Unforgettable dipped an understandable 1.7 million viewers and four tenths in the demo. If it can stay at these levels, it will be a better closer to the night than The Good Wife was but we'll see how things go next week.

Over on FOX, the bad news continued for Glee which fell another four tenths in viewers and three tenths in the demo. Keep in mind that last year, this show was getting high 4s and sometimes 5s at this point in the season and now the demo is down to a 3.6. How much further will it fall in the spring? At 9pm, New Girl built heavily on its lead-in for a second week in a row leading FOX to give a very early full season pickup. Girl was down a million viewers and three tenths in the demo, which is very acceptable and it delivered a dominant 4.5 demo. Even if it drops a bit more, this has the potential to be a bonafide hit for FOX. At 9:30pm, Raising Hope was down six tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo. The new lead-in seems to be helping its demo performance so far this year.

Over on ABC, a Dancing with the Stars recap did alright for what was basically a repeat at 8pm. The results edition was down four tenths in viewers and even in the demo, which is not bad considering the performance show dropped bigger in Week 2. At 10pm, Body of Proof was down two tenths in viewers but a steeper four tenths in the demo. It appears that this show is skewing very old, which isn't that common for an ABC show. It dropped to third in the demo for the hour which is troubling. 

Over on NBC, things were not good from 8-10pm where The Biggest Loser was down three tenths in viewers and even in the demo. While the hold was good, the season premiere numbers were so low and that just continued this week. If NBC didn't have many other problems, they would have been wise to cut this show down to an hour. At 10pm, Parenthood was up two tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo as it was the first show to rise in numbers this week. The total viewer count remains low but the demo remains decent as it finished second in its time period in that category despite being a distant third in viewers. Looks like more of the same from Parenthood this season.

FULL SEASON ALERT: New Girl

Well that didn't take long.

Before the ax swings on any new show, FOX has already ordered a full season for its breakout comedy hit New Girl. The Zooey Deschanel comedy has been a big surprise in its two airings so far as it has built on its lead-in Glee by a large margin. It debuted with a powerful 4.8 demo last week and only slipped to a 4.5 demo this week, which is a great hold for the second episode. FOX is notorious for giving full season orders early but this is earlier than usual. Last year, they gave Raising Hope a very early full season only to see the ratings slip badly (though the show was renewed). New Girl has had mostly good reception from viewers and seems to be a self starter with Glee slipping this year. I watched the first episode, check out the review here. I haven't gotten to the second episode yet.

New Girl is the biggest success story for FOX so far this fall which has included underwhelming debuts for The X-Factor and Terra Nova as well as a major dip for Glee, a cornerstone show on the network. With plans at some point to air four half hour comedies on Tuesday nights, they have to be planning on New Girl as the tentpole show. It already seems to be helping Raising Hope's demo in its second season.

THE RUNDOWN: Wednesday, September 28

ABC
8:00 The Middle #51 "Hecking Order"
8:30 Suburgatory #1 "Pilot" (SERIES PREMIERE)
9:00 Modern Family #51 "Phil on Wire"
9:30 Happy Endings #14 "Blax, Snake, Home" (Season Premiere)
10:00 Revenge #2 "Trust"
ABC's Wednesday night airs in full tonight with the series premiere of Suburgatory and the season premiere of Happy Endings. Expect both to get a good sampling as Suburgatory seems to be a good fit between The Middle and Modern Family, which should both be strong again. Happy Endings might be able to hit series highs but will its numbers be able to stay strong in this slot? Finally, Revenge got off to a good start last week and received good buzz so while a drop is fairly certain, a huge drop seems unlikely.
Prediction: Middle - 9.1 million, 3.0/Suburgatory - 9.5 million, 3.0/Family - 13.7 million, 5.7/Endings - 9.0 million, 3.8/Revenge - 8.9 million, 3.0

CBS
8:00 Survivor
9:00 Criminal Minds #140 "Proof"
10:00 CSI #253 "Tell Tale Hearts"
CBS is all new with its lineup. Survivor might be able to pop up a bit with less sampling for The X-Factor while Criminal Minds and CSI could be down slightly, but not much, from last week's season premieres.
Prediction: Survivor - 10.8 million, 3.3/Criminal - 13.2 million, 3.9/CSI - 12.1 million, 2.9

NBC
8:00 Up All Night #3 "Working Late and Working It"
8:30 Free Agents #3 "Dr. Hu"
9:00 Harry's Law #14 "There Will Be Blood"
10:00 Law & Order: SVU #274 "Personal Fouls"
NBC is all new with another troublesome lineup. Up All Night held up ok last week but it could drop some more for Week 3 while Free Agents might be in its final week as it has plummeted quickly. Harry's Law debuted to a terrible demo last week and that's unlikely to change but Law & Order: SVU shouldn't be affected too much.
Prediction: Night - 5.3 million, 2.1/Agents - 3.3 million, 1.2/Harry's - 6.8 million, 1.2/SVU - 7.7 million, 2.5

FOX
8:00 The X-Factor
FOX did not get the premiere it hoped for from The X-Factor, in fact it was nowhere close. However, it didn't drop much on Thursday so it might be able to keep most, but not all, of its Week 1 audience.
Prediction: X Factor - 11.9 million, 4.2 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

RATINGS RECAP: 9/26/11

ABC
8:00 Dancing with the Stars
Viewers: 16.2 million, 18-49 demo: 3.3
10:00 Castle
Viewers: 11.7 million, 18-49 demo: 3.1

CBS
8:00 How I Met Your Mother
Viewers: 10.5 million, 18-49 demo: 4.5
8:30 2 Broke Girls
Viewers: 11.8 million, 18-49 demo: 4.6
9:00 Two and a Half Men
Viewers: 20.5 million, 18-49 demo: 7.4
9:30 Mike & Molly
Viewers: 13.9 million, 18-49 demo: 4.8
10:00 Hawaii Five-0
Viewers: 11.3 million, 18-49 demo: 3.3

NBC
8:00 The Sing Off
Viewers: 4.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.7
10:00 The Playboy Club
Viewers: 4.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3

FOX
8:00 Terra Nova
Viewers: 9.2 million, 18-49 demo: 3.1

FOX kicked off the second week of the season with the highly anticipated Terra Nova. The expensive, CGI-filled drama with executive producer Steven Spielberg arrived with solid but not spectacular numbers. It couldn't reach 10 million viewers and was on the low end of the demo on networks not named NBC. This has to be considered a disappointing debut for a show that FOX hoped would be a huge hit, making it the second FOX show in a week to earn that description. If it stayed here, FOX would take it but the likely drops in weeks to come may make the finances not worth it.

Elsewhere, CBS's lineup continues to dominate with huge demo numbers. At 8pm, How I Met Your Mother was down just half a million viewers and two tenths in the demo, staying well above the kind of numbers it was getting last season. At 8:30pm, 2 Broke Girls aired in its regular timeslot for the first time. It was down big from its 9:30pm premiere as to be expected but still built on Mother and got a dominant 4.6 in the demo. At 9pm, week two of post-Charlie Sheen Two and a Half Men was down big from the premiere. But the premiere was mammoth. Being "down big" still gave it 20.5 million viewers and a 7.4 demo which is huge. At 9:30pm, the season premiere of Mike & Molly lost a lot of Men's audience but still easily hit a series high. At 10pm, Hawaii Five-0 was down nine tenths in viewers and just a tenth in the demo, posting a good week-to-week hold and showing that it has its own audience aside from the comedies.

ABC may be looking at a real down season for Dancing with the Stars as the show dropped 2.8 million viewers and seven tenths in the demo from its already down premiere last week. Last year, Dancing's performance episodes never went below a 4.0 in the demo and this is already down to a 3.3 after two weeks. That is a pretty substantial drop. Castle followed and was down 1.6 million viewers but just a tenth in the demo, which is better retention from the Dancing lead-in. It still managed to eke out a total viewer win for the hour but was second to Hawaii Five-0 in the demo.

NBC fell even further from its terrible premiere numbers a week ago signaling that NBC's second week won't be any better than its first. The Sing Off slipped eight tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo to a very low 1.7 demo. Every other show on the other three networks is getting at least a 3 in the demo while NBC is in the low to mid 1s. New series The Playboy Club fell a million viewers and three tenths in the demo to a very low 1.3. Looks like this show won't be with us long. In fact, it may only have one more airing left if it drops further.

PILOT REVIEW: Terra Nova

TERRA NOVA











Starring: Jason O'Mara, Shelley Conn, Christine Adams, Allison Miller, Landon Liboiron, Naomi Scott, Mido Hamada, Alana Monsour, and Stephen Lang
Created by Kelly Marcel and Craig Silverstein
Written by Craig Silverstein, Kelly Marcel, Brannon Braga, and David Fury, Directed by Alex Graves

Terra Nova is a big budget extravaganza from FOX that has been years in the making and delayed many times. The CGI is pretty cool and unlike any other drama on network TV but the story is also quite intriguing making for a promising show. It centers on the world in 2149 that is on the verge of destruction and the quest to go fix the mistakes made by traveling 85 million years to the past. Terra Nova is led by Nathaniel Taylor (Stephen Lang) and the main protagonists are the Shannon family - Dad Jim (Jason O'Mara) escaped from prison to join his family, Mom Elisabeth (Shelley Conn) is a brilliant surgeon recruited for Terra Nova. Their kids are rebellious son Josh (Landon Liboiron) and daughters Maddy and Zoe (Naomi Scott and Alana Monsour). Rounding out the main cast is adventurous teen Skye (Allison Miller) and Mira (Christine Adams), the leader of a rival group in Terra Nova - the Sixers.

THE GOOD: There's a lot to like about Terra Nova. The world they created is breathtaking and the CGI effects are great for a TV show. The show has the production value and feel of a movie but if that was it, it wouldn't be enough. The story is actually really intriguing and they planted enough mysteries in the pilot to make me want to come back for more. I'm particularly interested in the Sixers plot - who sent them? What do they want? Why did they break away? The mysteries set up at the end involving the area by the waterfall made me very interested in the story. Stephen Lang is a standout as the leader of Terra Nova and I can't wait to see where his story goes. Also, the dinosaurs are really cool!

THE BAD: The show took awhile to get going but I understand they needed to set up the trip to Terra Nova. The bigger problem is that the acting isn't always on par with the setting, the effects, and the story. I particularly thought that Landon Liboiron was weak as the son. I just didn't believe him in his scenes. The show also has so much going for it - effect, mystery, intrigue. It doesn't need to be a sappy family drama. I realize it's about a family but still, it doesn't need to be melodramatic. But these are nitpicky things. The show is off to a good start.

BOTTOM LINE: Terra Nova is not like anything else on network TV. I would love to see it work for that reason but the ratings weren't great for the first night. It will need to really kick it up or else the cost won't be worth the ratings. But they set up a good story to go with the flashiness. This show deserves some time to get going.

RATINGS RECAP: 9/25/11

ABC
7:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Viewers: 5.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
8:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Viewers: 8.8 million, 18-49 demo: 2.3
9:00 Desperate Housewives
Viewers: 9.9 million, 18-49 demo: 3.2
10:00 Pan Am
Viewers: 11.1 million, 18-49 demo: 3.1

CBS
7:00 60 Minutes
Viewers: 12.3 million, 18-49 demo: 2.3
8:00 The Amazing Race
Viewers: 10.2 million, 18-49 demo: 3.0
9:00 The Good Wife
Viewers: 10.7 million, 18-49 demo: 2.2
10:00 CSI: Miami
Viewers: 9.9 million, 18-49 demo: 2.3

NBC
7:00 Football Night in America
Viewers: 5.8 million, 18-49 demo: 2.3
8:00 NFL Pregame
Viewers: 12.0 million, 18-49 demo: 4.6
8:30 Sunday Night Football
Viewers: 20.4 million, 18-49 demo: 8.3

FOX
7:00 NFL Overrun
Viewers: 24.0 million, 18-49 demo: 9.4
7:30 The OT
Viewers: 12.2 million, 18-49 demo: 5.3
8:00 The Simpsons
Viewers: 8.1 million, 18-49 demo: 3.9
8:30 The Cleveland Show
Viewers: 6.1 million, 18-49 demo: 3.1
9:00 Family Guy
Viewers: 7.7 million, 18-49 demo: 4.1
9:30 American Dad!
Viewers: 5.8 million, 18-49 demo: 3.0

On the final night of premiere week, ABC was the only network to premiere a brand new show and it got good results from it. Pan Am, the 1960s Jet Age drama, managed to build from its Desperate Housewives lead-in in total viewers and nearly matched it in the demo. It was a great showing but week 2 is always the big indicator for shows. Still, ABC has to be encouraged by this result. Why didn't they launch a new drama behind Housewives when it was more potent instead of letting Brothers & Sisters stay there for years. Meanwhile, Housewives was still a player in the demo but far below its premiere last year of 13.1 million viewers and a 4.3 demo. It's a good thing that this is the final season for this show because it is losing steam fast. Earlier in the night, the soon-to-relocate two hours of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was weak in the first hour but climbed nicely in the second. 

Over on CBS, 60 Minutes got the night off to a solid start with football affecting CBS in some markets. The season premiere of The Amazing Race followed and was way down from last year's football-fueled start. It was still solid but does appear to be skewing older. The transplanted The Good Wife followed and did basically the same numbers it did on Tuesday. The plus side is that it appears most viewers followed it over. The downside is that it didn't seem to pick up any new viewers. Finally, CSI: Miami was down pretty substantially from last year's 11.8 million viewers and 3.2 demo. Will it be the first CSI to go? An NFL game between the Steelers and Colts was dominant as usual for NBC but did not pull the ratings that the last two games did.

Over on FOX, with football and The OT as a lead-in, all of their toons got at least a 3 in the demo for their season premieres. The Simpsons got off to a good start for its 23rd (!) season. The Cleveland Show continued to bleed a lot of the lead-in but still got a 3.1 demo. It will move to 7:30pm when Allen Gregory launches at the end of October. As usual, the demo standout was Family Guy with a strong 4.1 (though last year its season premiere got a 4.5 without a football-fueled kickoff to the night). Finally, American Dad! was once again the weakest link but still got a 3 demo. Why does it keep going back to the 9:30pm slot? 

Monday, September 26, 2011

THE RUNDOWN: Tuesday, September 27

I will try to get the review for Terra Nova up soon! It's hard to fit in a two hour pilot to my schedule along with shows that I'm checking out for a second week!

ABC
8:00 Dancing with the Stars Recap (SPECIAL)
9:00 Dancing with the Stars
10:00 Body of Proof #11 "Hunting Party"
ABC is airing a Dancing with the Stars encore special this week and next week before launching Last Man Standing and then Man Up! It will likely be down from last week's special numbers. It also wouldn't be surprising to see the results dip even though last week was a diluted 2.9 demo. Body of Proof may benefit from people who sampled Unforgettable and don't go back and might even be up a hair.
Prediction: Recap - 9.8 million, 2.0/Results - 13.9 million, 2.8/Proof - 9.6 million, 2.3

CBS
8:00 NCIS #188 "Restless"
9:00 NCIS: Los Angeles #50 "Cyber Threat"
10:00 Unforgettable #2 "Heroes"
CBS had a great showing last week with its trio of dramas and there's little reason to believe the NCIS shows will drop much if it all. However, new drama Unforgettable got a great sampling last week but could be down some from the premiere. Still it will probably stay above The Good Wife levels... for now.
Prediction: NCIS - 20.6 million, 4.4/Los Angeles - 17.0 million, 3.7/Unforgettable - 13.2 million, 2.7

NBC
8:00 The Biggest Loser
10:00 Parenthood #38 "Step Right Up"
NBC's combo could stand to benefit slightly from less sampling occurring on another networks. Therefore, it wouldn't be surprising to see each show rise a bit but still be very low.
Prediction: Loser - 6.5 million, 2.4/Parenthood - 5.6 million, 2.2

FOX
8:00 Glee #46 "I Am Unicorn"
9:00 New Girl #2 "Kryptonite"
9:30 Raising Hope #24 "Sabrina Has Money"
FOX had a really great premiere last week from New Girl so the question is how many will be back? Since the premiere was very high, a steeper drop might be coming but it shouldn't be horrible since reaction has been good. Earlier in the night, Glee had a weaker premiere but shouldn't drop too much. Raising Hope will probably follow accordingly to New Girl in terms of percentage drop.
Prediction: Glee - 8.8 million, 3.9/Girl - 9.1 million, 4.2/Hope - 5.8 million, 2.8 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

THE RUNDOWN: Monday, September 26

We are into the second week of the season! Check below for reviews of Person of Interest, Prime Suspect, A Gifted Man, and Pan Am (I finally caught up!) then check back soon for a review of Terra Nova (though it may take me a day or two to get to it)

ABC
8:00 Dancing with the Stars
10:00 Castle #60 "Heroes & Villains"
ABC saw a dip for Dancing with the Stars vs recent premiere but was any of that due to Two and a Half Men? We'll find out soon but I don't think it was. My guess is that it goes down ever so slightly this week. Castle should be on par with last week and will probably win both the demo and viewer count this week.
Prediction: Dancing - 18.5 million, 3.9/Castle - 12.9 million, 3.1

CBS
8:00 How I Met Your Mother #139 "Ducky Tie"
8:30 2 Broke Girls #2 "And the Breakup Scene"
9:00 Two and a Half Men #179 "People Who Love Peepholes"
9:30 Mike & Molly #25 "Gone Fishin'" (Season Premiere)
10:00 Hawaii Five-0 #26 "Ua Lawe Wale"
CBS hit the jackpot last week with the Two and a Half Men season premiere but the drop this week will likely be steep. Still even a huge drop could put it in the 16-18 million viewer range and a 6-7 demo, which is still great numbers. Earlier in the night, How I Met Your Mother will likely be down from its big season premiere while 2 Broke Girls will be down big from its 9:30pm series premiere though it could still get over a 4 in the demo which would be huge. The season premiere of Mike & Molly follows the Men premiere and with the big lead-in and the newest Emmy winner, it could see a series high. Hawaii will likely be about even in viewers but down in the demo from last week.
Prediction: Mother - 9.9 million, 4.1/Girls - 12.1 million, 4.5/Men - 17.7 million, 6.8/Mike&Molly - 13.0 million, 5.2/Hawaii - 11.8 million, 3.0

NBC
8:00 The Sing Off
10:00 The Playboy Club #2 "The Scarlett Bunny"
NBC had a terrible premiere week from start to finish and now it has to face inevitable drops from some of its new shows. That starts with The Playboy Club which will likely drop from its very weak premiere. How long will it last? Earlier in the night, The Sing Off might actually rise a bit with CBS likely be down and some people having already sampled Dancing with the Stars though FOX's competition is tougher.
Prediction: Sing Off - 5.8 million, 2.1, Playboy - 4.4 million, 1.3

FOX
8:00 Terra Nova #1/2 "Genesis" (SERIES PREMIERE)
FOX decided to wait until the second week of the season to launch its heavily hyped sci-fi spectacular Terra Nova. Expect a good sampling this week but it will be interesting to see if this can be a mass appeal show like FOX hopes it can.
Prediction: Terra Nova - 10.5 million, 3.2

PILOT REVIEW: Pan Am

PAN AM










Starring: Christina Ricci, Margot Robbie, Michael Mosley, Karine Vanasse, with Mike Vogel, and Kelli Garner
Created by Jack Orman
Written by Jack Orman, Directed by Thomas Schlamme

Pan Am is a glossy new period drama set during the Jet Age in the 1960s. Of the two new 1960s dramas on network TV this fall, it was the more anticipated show compared to The Playboy Club and with good reason but there are still some issues it needs to work through. The show centers on four stewardesses (Christina Ricci, Margot Robbie, Karine Vanasse, and Kelli Garner) who get to travel all around the world. Also in the cast are two pilots (Michael Mosley and Mike Vogel).

THE GOOD: As expected, Pan Am is beautifully produced. It captures the glamor and class of what it was like to fly back in the 60s. The entire look of the show paints a beautiful picture of a bygone era. The orchestration and songs used further enhance the mood of the show. The best part of this show is going to be all the places they can go - from the different cities explored to the Pan Am building in New York City, this show is exactly what people knew it would be - frothy and glossy. Among the cast, Christina Ricci was easily the standout even though she was underused in the pilot. Margot Robbie had a fairly big part in the pilot and was solid as well. I love things set in the 1960s so I have high hopes that this show can keep up the high quality production seen in the pilot.

THE BAD: The danger of shows that are all about the look is that there is sometimes a shoddy plot and that was the case in the first episode. The episode felt like it dragged at times and it used too many flashbacks that didn't really tell us anything we didn't know. Flashbacks are good if they serve a purpose but I felt like these flashbacks could have been accomplished with dialogue. Also the ridiculous spy plot seems too contrived and might hurt this show in the long run. It seems like the creators felt like they needed something more so they threw in a spy twist. But that's not necessary, there's plenty of other stories to tell.

BOTTOM LINE: I had really high hopes for Pan Am and I still do but it wasn't all there in the pilot. Like so many freshman shows this year, I liked it but I didn't love it. I feel like there are a lot of B+ shows this year with no real As and no real Fs (well maybe Free Agents of the ones that have come out so far). But back to Pan Am - the elements are there for it to be good. It just needs to make sure its stories match the quality of production and it will be worth watching.

PILOT REVIEW: A Gifted Man

A GIFTED MAN










Starring: Patrick Wilson, Jennifer Ehle, Margo Martindale, Pablo Schreiber
Created by Susannah Grant
Written by Susannah Grant, Directed by Jonathan Demme

A Gifted Man is a new drama on CBS that's a mix between the medical genre and the supernatural genre. It has a bit of a gimmick to it but its actually one of the more well-crafted new dramas. It centers on rich and talented neurosurgeon Michael Holt (Patrick Wilson) who is visited by his dead ex-wife (Jennifer Ehle). Rounding out the cast is Holt's secretary (Margo Martindale) and a shaman (Pablo Schreiber) who tries to help Holt understand his visions.

THE GOOD: This is one of the stronger character dramas of the fall season so far. The acting is good and Patrick Wilson is a standout as Michael Holt. His balancing act between brilliant yet arrogant surgeon to the scared and confused man having visions is well acted. The stories in the pilot were good too - from the family in the clinic who Holt helps to the story about the tennis star. The obvious distinction between the two for Holt was well done as well. Another standout is recent Emmy winner Margo Martindale as Holt's harried secretary.

THE BAD: It's weird because the strengths of the pilot were set up by the story of a visiting dead ex-wife but that part was precisely the part that I didn't like. I don't know if it's the weirdness of the ghost story or the less than inspired performance from Jennifer Ehle, who's a weak link in an otherwise strong pilot. She just seemed somewhat bored in the role and didn't seem like a person who I would still want in my life after a "spiritual cleansing" (another weird part to the pilot). Although I really liked the pilot and Patrick Wilson, the fact that this is a major part of the plot has me worried for the long term strength of the series.

BOTTOM LINE: A Gifted Man is stronger than your average CBS drama from an acting and writing standpoint. In a season of good but not great shows and performances, Patrick Wilson is one of the best judging from the pilots. Yet I'm not sure if I'll stick with the show because I just don't really like the somewhat absurd plot. Let's get writing and acting like this in a better story!

PILOT REVIEW: Prime Suspect

PRIME SUSPECT














Starring: Maria Bello, Brian F. O'Byrne, Kirk Acevedo, Peter Gerety, Tim Griffin, Damon Gupton, Kenny Johnson, Joe Nieves, and Aidan Quinn
Based on the British series "Prime Suspect", Developed by Alexandra Cunningham
Written by Alexandra Cunningham, Directed by Peter Berg

Prime Suspect is a new remake on NBC of an iconic 1980s British series of the same name starring Helen Mirren. It has a similar plot: female homicide detective Jane Timoney (Maria Bello) finds herself an outcast in the boys club of the department. Many critics have said this is an outdated plot and to some degree, they're right but there's still things to like in this show. Rounding out the main cast includes her boss (Aidan Quinn), father (Peter Gerety), and boyfriend (Kenny Johnson) as well as many co-workers.

THE GOOD: Maria Bello has a lot of strong points in the pilot. She is a take-charge woman and that shows from the very first scene in the taxi. I was skeptical going in about the look of the show - it looked somewhat cheap and stark in promos but I didn't feel that way after I watched it. The aerial shots of New York City were particularly good. The show did have some good character development and a strong and intense chase/fight scene where Bello got knocked around pretty good. The fellow detectives started a bit as caricatures but got better after the heart attack scene. Peter Garety was strong in his one scene as Jane's father. It's a cop show through and through but has the potential to be a good one.

THE BAD: The criticism about this show feeling outdated is true. I'm not saying that there isn't sexism in the workplace, but we have shows with strong female law enforcers all over the place and have for awhile now. This would have had more bite and power if it had premiered 20 years ago. I liked a lot about Maria Bello in the pilot but she needs to make sure the toughness and edge to her doesn't transfer into being too much of a jerk or she will be hard to root for. Finally, Kenny Johnson as the husband was a weak link in his limited role and the scenes at the house weren't as strong as the rest of the show.

BOTTOM  LINE: As I said before, this has the potential to be a good cop show but it shouldn't try to present itself as shattering glass ceilings because other shows have already done that. Even if this show doesn't work, NBC should keep trying shows like this that have the potential for broad appeal because they need shows with broad appeal. This could be a winner or another short-lived cop show. I could see it go either way.

PILOT REVIEW: Person of Interest

PERSON OF INTEREST










Starring: Jim Caveizel, Taraji P. Henson, Kevin Chapman, and Michael Emerson
Created by Jonathan Nolan
Written by Jonathan Nolan, Directed by David Semel

Person of Interest is a new thriller on CBS that takes the place of the long-standing CSI as CBS's tentpole Thursday show. It has all the elements of being a great show but didn't have it all put together in the pilot. It takes place in a paranoid post-9/11 world in New York City where mysterious billionaire Mr. Finch (Michael Emerson) enlists the help of former CIA agent John Reese (Jim Caveizel) to stop crimes before they happen by finding out the name of someone who will be involved. Also in the cast is a cop (Taraji P. Henson) trying to find Reese and another cop (Kevin Chapman) who is blackmailed into helping Reese.

THE GOOD: There are a lot of elements here that can make this show a terrific series. The setting is a grim and dark version of New York City and the pilot does a great job of painting that picture. Michael Emerson is great as the strange and mysterious Mr. Finch while Jim Caveizel seems like he will be a strong protagonist. Some of his back story they explored a bit will be interesting to further explore in future episodes. A show like this required a lot of introduction in the pilot so I'm excited to see an episode where they don't have to do all the set up and can focus immediately on the crime. The idea that the person they are tracking could be the victim or the criminal is a very interesting twist to the crime drama genre. This show has a lot of potential.

THE BAD: As I said, this show is filled with potential but they couldn't put it all together in the pilot. Maybe part of it was due to the setting up they had to do, but the crime itself for the week felt really rushed. I felt like they had barely done anything and it was over. The idea that they get a person of interest to track is great but the technology that makes that happen forces us to suspend disbelief to a pretty far extent. That technology almost made it like a campy sci-fi show for awhile. I also felt like I didn't quite know what was going on in a lot of the episode. Maybe the second episode will feel more coherent.

BOTTOM LINE: This was one of those shows where I didn't particularly like the pilot but I liked what they were setting up. It needs some work but the plot, the acting, and the tone are all there. It just needs to come all together. My only concern with a show like this is that it might be hard to weave the procedural crime of the week with long running mysteries. Hopefully they can do it though.

RATINGS RECAP: 9/24/11

ABC 
8:00 College Football
Viewers: 6.5 million, 18-49 demo: 2.3

CBS
8:00 Person of Interest (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9
9:00 Unforgettable (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
10:00 48 Hours Mystery
Viewers: 4.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2

NBC
8:00 Harry's Law (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
9:00 Prime Suspect (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.8 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
10:00 Law & Order: SVU (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8

FOX 
8:00 Cops
Viewers: 3.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
8:30 Cops (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
9:00 American Dad! (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8
9:30 The Cleveland Show (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9

THE RUNDOWN: Sunday, September 25

I know I still have pilot reviews to do! I watched Person of Interest tonight and will have the review up tomorrow. Hopefully I can get to Prime Suspect, A Gifted Man, and tonight's Pan Am before Week 2 starts!

ABC
7:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition  (Season Premiere)
9:00 Desperate Housewives #158 "Secrets That I Never Want to Know" (Season Premiere)
10:00 Pan Am #1 "Pilot" (SERIES PREMIERE)
On the final night of premiere week, ABC starts things off with a two hour season premiere of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition featuring Michelle Obama. The series will air on Sunday nights for a few weeks before heading to Fridays to make room for Once Upon a Time. The final season of Desperate Housewives is next and is paired with splashy new period drama Pan Am. People seem very divided about how Pan Am will do but I think it will get a much better sampling than fellow 60s show The Playboy Club even if Housewives drops from its premiere last year, which is quite possible.
Prediction: Home Edition - 7.7 million, 2.3/Housewives - 11.5 million, 3.9/Pan Am - 10.1 million, 3.4

CBS
7:00 60 Minutes
8:00 The Amazing Race (19th Edition Premiere)
9:00 The Good Wife #47 "A New Day" (Season Premiere)
10:00 CSI: Miami #214 "Countermeasures" (Season Premiere)
CBS is all new and may have football overrun in some areas which will help 60 Minutes. The season premieres of The Amazing Race, The Good Wife, and CSI: Miami. The one to watch is The Good Wife which is being moved from its past Tuesday 10pm home. I don't think the ratings will drop too much here and they might even be better in the demo while The Amazing Race and CSI: Miami should be solid.
Prediction: 60 Mins - 12.4 million, 2.8/Race - 10.7 million, 3.3/Wife - 10.5 million, 2.7/Miami - 11.1 million, 2.4

NBC
7:00 Football Night in America
8:30 Sunday Night Football: Pittsburgh at Indianapolis
The Sunday Night game looked like a great one when the schedule came out but without Peyton Manning, it might be dominated by the Steelers. Still, every NFL game does well and these two teams have big fanbases so it should be just fine.

FOX
7:00 NFL Overrun/The OT
8:00 The Simpsons #487 "The Falcon and the D'ohman" (Season Premiere)
8:30 The Cleveland Show #44 "BFFs" (Season Premiere)
9:00 Family Guy #166 "Powerball Fever" (Season Premiere)
9:30 American Dad! #116 "Hot Water" (Season Premiere)
FOX is starting off with the end of an NFL game (which for most of the country will be the sure-to-be high-rated Packers-Bears game) and The OT. This powerful lead-in should help the season premieres of FOX's toons, especially The Simpsons. Like last year, expect wildly fluctuating numbers here.
Prediction: Simpsons - 8.8 million, 4.2/Cleveland - 7.5 million, 3.5/Family - 8.9 million, 4.5/Dad - 7.2 million, 3.8

Saturday, September 24, 2011

GOOD WEEK/BAD WEEK: Week 1

This is a new feature on the blog that will appear every Saturday. Just a brief rundown of who should be smiling and who might be in trouble after the week of TV. It will be brief but gives you something to read on a quiet Saturday. Yes, I am ripping this idea off of TIME Magazine but oh well. Enjoy!

GOOD WEEK: SITCOMS
It was a great week for a genre that was struggling badly just a few years ago. It started off on a bang on Monday night when Two and a Half Men posted numbers unheard of in recent years for scripted TV (28.7 million viewers, 10.7 demo) and lead-out 2 Broke Girls had the best numbers for a sitcom premiere since 2001 (19.4 million viewers, 7.1 demo). But it didn't stop there. How I Met Your Mother, The Middle, Modern Family, and The Big Bang Theory were up from last year's premieres. Also, new show New Girl built from lead-in Glee to a 4.8 demo, Raising Hope posted its best numbers in awhile, Up All Night managed better than expected numbers in its second week, The Office didn't collapse without Steve Carell, and even Whitney got a solid sampling. Aside from Free Agents, Community, and Parks and Recreation, sitcoms were what people wanted to see this week and did in huge numbers.

BAD WEEK: NBC
The fourth place network showed some signs of progress last spring when they had their first breakout hit - The Voice - in years. But with The Voice not returning until February, NBC could not maintain the momentum and completely fell apart during premiere week. Not a single show drew over 7.6 million viewers and only The Office and Whitney were above a 2.5 in the demo. Of the new shows, only Whitney and Up All Night showed any potential. Free Agents is as dead as can be after two weeks and The Playboy Club and Prime Suspect disappointed big time in their numbers. Luckily NBC has football for the fall or else they would be a non-player in the ratings.

PILOT REVIEW: Whitney

WHITNEY










Starring: Whitney Cummings, Chris D'Elia, Rhea Seehorn, Zoe Lister-Jones, Maulik Pancholy, Dan O'Brien
Created by Whitney Cummings
Written by Whitney Cummings, Directed by Andy Ackerman

Whitney is a new comedy on NBC that feels like a 1990s sitcom with a live studio audience (as they proudly declare at the credits). It was promoted regularly throughout the summer which took a lot of the unknown out of the pilot episode. It is based on Whitney Cummings' life and comedy routine and features Cummings and Chris D'Elia as a committed couple that is not interested in marriage at this point. Rounding out the cast in true sitcom fashion is their wacky set of friends including Neal and Lily (Maulik Pancholy and Zoe Lister-Jones) who are still in the honeymoon phase, the cynical divorcee Roxanne (Rhea Seehorn), and the womanizing cop Mark (Dan O'Brien).

THE GOOD: Well, it's not a terrible thing to have an old fashioned sitcom back on Thursday nights on NBC. I just wish this one had better quality. It had a few little moments - particularly towards the end in the hospital scene between Whitney Cummings and Chris D'Elia. In fact, those two have a decent amount of chemistry between them. I also found the roleplay scene with the "paperwork" funny when I first saw it in May, but the incessant promotions dulled me to that scene. That's about all I can say in this category.

THE BAD: First of all, every single scene felt tired because I feel like I've been watching this episode all summer in promotions. The actors seem to be more amused with themselves than the audience is at times and the characters don't feel like real people. There were some real sitcom joke clinkers too - the cavemen joke from Dan O'Brien and the blackface joke from Chris D'Elia stand out as two of them. And what is going on with the hands? Whitney Cummings seems to have an odd way of talking with her hands and then I saw Rhea Seehorn doing the same thing. I don't see people actually talk like that which to me then, seems like overacting. Of course the whole show was overacting, delivering punchlines, and not being real people. Multicamera sitcoms with a live studio audience certainly have a place on TV today but they need to be high quality. This one isn't, not in the least.

BOTTOM LINE: I will never understand why NBC paired this show with The Office and sent Up All Night to the wolves on Wednesday night. This show sticks out like a sore thumb in NBC's Thursday lineup. As someone who really likes multicamera sitcoms, I get really frustrated when ones like this come out that recall the days of the late 1990s where a million stupid sitcoms were coming out. It's an old genre, but it doesn't need old ideas.

RATINGS RECAP: 9/23/11

ABC
 8:00 Modern Family (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
8:30 Modern Family (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1 
9:00 Revenge (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
10:00 20/20
Viewers: 3.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0

CBS
8:00 A Gifted Man
Viewers: 9.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4
9:00 CSI: NY 
Viewers: 10.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.8
10:00 Blue Bloods
Viewers: 12.1 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0

NBC
8:00 Up All Night (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8
8:30 Whitney (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9
9:00 Dateline NBC
Viewers: 7.2 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0

FOX
8:00 Kitchen Nightmares
Viewers: 3.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6
9:00 Fringe
Viewers: 3.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.5 

CBS was the network to watch on Friday nights where the demos were skewing old as expected but total viewer count was ok. The series premiere of A Gifted Man got a pretty good sampling of viewers but skewed very old. The demo was on par with the cancelled Medium season premiere a year ago but the total viewer count was significantly higher. At 9pm, the season premiere of CSI: NY was about even in viewers but down a bit in the demo from last year's season premiere. Finally, the season premiere of sophomore Blue Bloods performed quite well for a 10pm show as it tied NBC's Dateline for the best demo of the night. The total viewer count was the highest of any show and that's important on a Friday night.

FOX brought back its spring combo to Fridays. The season premiere of Kitchen Nightmares was very low in the total viewer count but won the demo for the hour despite having about 6 million less viewers than A Gifted Man. For a Friday show, Nightmares skews young. At 9pm, the season premiere of Fringe drew a low viewer count and an ok demo, it was up in the demo from the 1.2s and 1.3s it was getting towards the end of the spring. Finally, NBC and ABC coupled repeats with newsmagazines and NBC's Dateline crushed ABC's 20/20 which is becoming more and more frequent. The long-running 20/20 seems to be running out of steam though it will still spike up sometimes when a big story happens.

PILOT REVIEW: Charlie's Angels

CHARLIE'S ANGELS










Starring: Annie Ilonzeh, Minka Kelly, Rachael Taylor, and Ramon Rodriguez
Created by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts
Written by Alfred Gough and Miles Marner, Directed by Marcos Siega

Charlie's Angels is the flashy new remake of the hit 1970s series and popular 2000s movies. Like so many remakes, it aims to be bigger and better. I never watched the original show and have never seen the movies so I don't have anything to compare it to, but my guess is that the flashiness is stronger but the heart and quality may be lacking. That seems to be the case with such remakes. It centers on two "angels" who are former bad girls (Annie Ilonzeh and Rachael Taylor) who work for the unseen Charlie Townsend to catch criminals. When their third angel is murdered, they team up with her childhood friend (Minka Kelly) who becomes a new angel. Also in the cast is tech guy Bosley (Ramon Rodriguez).

THE GOOD: Well it's not the next Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Drama Series, but it is fun. We'll get to the story and the dialogue in the next section but there are things to like. The angels is beautiful to look at and fun to watch in fight scenes. I'm a huge Minka Kelly fan from Friday Night Lights and she's the strongest of the three angels here. The show is beautifully produced as its setting in Miami really adds to the overall look of the show. The action scenes were high quality in the pilot, though we'll see if that can be sustained as a series. It's a fun show and that's about the best you can hope for with a show like this.

THE BAD: Despite the fun of this show, it is hard to get past some terrible writing and mediocre acting. Lines like "I never thought my heart could hurt this much" don't really belong on any show. I think I probably would have enjoyed the pilot more if I had kept it on mute. Rachael Taylor wasn't working for me in the pilot, I don't know if she had the worst lines or was the worst actress of the three angels. The high techy-ness from Bosley also gets a little tired in the pilot. I don't know why every movie and TV show in this genre have to overdo the computer skills of the characters. And of course, the plot holes in a very fast moving pilot were glaring.

BOTTOM LINE: The thing is, this show is everything I expected it to be. If you're looking for cohesive plots with good writing and acting, this is not the show for you. If you're looking for mindless fun and some pyrotechnics then you might enjoy it. This is a show that needs to be accepted for what it is and honestly, that's ok with me. We need a few campy action shows on TV.