Welcome to Benjamonster's TV - a place that covers broadcast networks with reviews, ratings, and other features!

Friday, May 31, 2013

THE RUNDOWN: Friday, May 31, Saturday, June 1, & Sunday, June 2

FRIDAY

ABC
8:00 Shark Tank (REPEAT)
9:00 Primetime: What Would You Do? (Season Premiere)

10:00 20/20

CBS
8:00 Undercover Boss (REPEAT)
9:00 Hawaii Five-0 #55 "Wahine'inoloa" (REPEAT)
10:00 Blue Bloods #28 "Black and Blue" (REPEAT)

NBC
8:00 Dateline NBC
10:00 Rock Center with Brian Williams

FOX
8:00 Bones #147 "The Method in the Madness" (REPEAT)
9:00 The Following #1 "Pilot" (REPEAT)


SATURDAY

ABC
8:00 Bet on Your Baby
9:00 Motive #2 "Crimes of Passion" (REPEAT)
10:00 Castle #88 "Swan Song" (REPEAT)

CBS
8:00 Elementary #3 "Child Predator" (REPEAT)
9:00 48 Hours (REPEAT)

10:00 48 Hours (REPEAT)

NBC
8:00 Stanley Cup Finals Game 1: Boston at Pittsburgh

FOX
8:00 MLB Baseball: Boston at NY Yankees

SUNDAY

ABC
7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos (REPEAT)
8:00 The Bachelorette (REPEAT)

10:00 Motive #3 "Pushover" (REPEAT)

CBS
7:00 60 Minutes
8:00 The American Baking Competition (REPEAT)
9:00 The Good Wife #81 "The Seven Day Rule" (REPEAT)
10:00 The Mentalist #102 "Red Sails in the Sunset" (REPEAT)

NBC
7:00 The Voice (REPEAT)
9:00 The Women's Concert for Change: Live from London (SPECIAL)


FOX
7:00 The Cleveland Show #73 "Wide World of Cleveland Show" (REPEAT)
7:30 American Dad! #136 "Can I Be Frank With You?" (REPEAT)

8:00 The Simpsons #523 "Black Eyed, Please" (REPEAT)
8:30 Bob's Burgers #14 "The Belchies" (REPEAT)
9:00 Family Guy #194 "Lois Comes Out of Her Shell" (REPEAT)

9:30 Family Guy #195 "Friends Without Benefits" (REPEAT)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

RENEWAL ALERT: Hannibal

Weeks after the Upfronts, NBC has finally made a decision on freshman drama Hannibal. The show debuted in April to decent numbers by NBC Thursday 10pm standards. However, it has quickly fallen apart so this renewal is somewhat of a surprise. That being said, it is a solid DVR gainer and it has gotten decent critical acclaim so it looks like NBC will give it another try with a 13 episode midseason order. I could see it on Fridays if they end up using the planned Crossbones elsewhere. I would actually try Crossbones at 8pm in midseason leading into Grimm and then Hannibal, but time will tell.

RATINGS RECAP: 5/29/13

ABC
8:00 The Middle (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
8:30 Family Tools
Viewers: 3.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
9:00 Modern Family (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4
9:30 How to Live with Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life)
Viewers: 4.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4
10:00 The Lookout
Viewers: 4.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1

CBS
8:00 The American Baking Competition
Viewers: 5.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
9:00 Criminal Minds (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.2 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9
10:00 CSI (Repeat)
Viewers: 7.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2 

NBC
8:00 Dateline NBC
Viewers: 6.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.5
9:00 Healing in the Heartland Benefit Concert
Viewers: 8.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.9
10:00 Chicago Fire (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8 

FOX
8:00 Masterchef
Viewers: 5.3 million, 18-49 demo: 2.1 

On Wednesday night, CBS aired The American Baking Competition premiere but it was another swing and miss for a new summer show as the show managed a measly 1.0 demo. Over on ABC, Family Tools and How to Live with Your Parents... were both down from their last airings when they followed new episodes. This is not surprising and both are cancelled anyway. NBC aired a benefit concert for Oklahoma tornado victims and it did fairly well. Finally on FOX, Masterchef was down two tenths in viewers and the demo.

RATINGS RECAP: 5/28/13

ABC
8:00 Extreme Weight Loss
Viewers: 4.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
10:00 Body of Proof
Viewers: 7.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2

CBS 
8:00 NCIS (Repeat)
Viewers: 8.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
9:00 NCIS: Los Angeles (Repeat)
Viewers: 8.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
10:00 Brooklyn DA
Viewers: 5.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0

NBC
8:00 The Voice Recap
Viewers: 6.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.7
9:00 The Voice
Viewers: 10.4 million, 18-49 demo: 3.2
10:00 The Office (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0

FOX
8:00 So You Think You Can Dance
Viewers: 5.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.9

Tuesday night had the season premiere of Extreme Weight Loss for ABC but it delivered low numbers. At 10pm, the series finale of Body of Proof was down 1.1 million viewers and two tenths in the demo. The show was cancelled after three seasons on ABC and will not be picked up by a cable network as originally rumored. On CBS, the series premiere of documentary series Brooklyn DA was soft as well. It seems to be getting harder and harder to premiere series in the summer. On NBC, The Voice was up two tenths in viewers and even in the demo from last week. It was actually tied with the Monday airing as well. Finally on FOX, So You Think You Can Dance was up three tenths in viewers and down a tenth in the demo.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

THE RUNDOWN: Wednesday, May 29 & Thursday, May 30

Wednesday night has the series premiere of The American Baking Competition on CBS. I think it'll do similar numbers to Dogs in the City, which aired in this slot last summer. NBC has a relief benefit concert organized by Blake Shelton for the Oklahoma tornado victims. Elsewhere, ABC has new episodes of the cancelled Family Tools and How to Live with Your Parents and FOX has week two of Masterchef.

Thursday night has new episodes of Motive and Rookie Blue on ABC and Does Someone Have to Go? and Hell's Kitchen on FOX. CBS has the delayed season finale of Mike & Molly as it was pulled last Monday because a tornado-related storyline. Finally, NBC has another two burnoff episodes of Save Me and a new Hannibal.

WEDNESDAY

ABC
8:00 The Middle #86 "The Smile" (REPEAT)
8:30 Family Tools #4 "Book Club Romance"

9:00 Modern Family #89 "Best Men" (REPEAT)
9:30 How to Live with Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life) #9 "How to Get Involved"
10:00 The Lookout (SPECIAL)

CBS
8:00 The American Baking Competition (SERIES PREMIERE)
9:00 Criminal Minds #178 "Carbon Copy" (REPEAT)
10:00 CSI #275 "Code Blue Plate Special" (REPEAT)

NBC
8:00 Dateline NBC
9:00 Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert (SPECIAL)
10:00 Chicago Fire #18 "Fireworks" (REPEAT)

FOX
8:00 MasterChef

THURSDAY

ABC
8:00 Wipeout
9:00 Motive #3 "Pushover"
10:00 Rookie Blue #42 "Different, Not Better"

CBS
8:00 The Big Bang Theory #125 "The Copper/Kripke Invasion" (REPEAT)
8:30 Mike & Molly #70 "Windy City" (Season Finale)
9:00 Person of Interest #31 "'Til Death" (REPEAT)
10:00 Elementary #13 "The Red Team" (REPEAT)

NBC
8:00 Save Me #3 "WWJD"
8:30 Save Me #4 "Heal Thee"
9:00 The Office #194 "Promos" (REPEAT)
9:30 Parks and Recreation #70 "Soda Tax" (REPEAT)
10:00 Hannibal #10 "Buffet Froid"

FOX
8:00 Hell's Kitchen
9:00 Does Someone Have to Go?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

RATINGS RECAP: 5/27/13

ABC 
8:00 The Bachelorette
Viewers: 6.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.9
10:00 20/20 Special Edition
Viewers: 5.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3

CBS
8:00 How I Met Your Mother (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.5 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9
8:30 Rules of Engagement (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.6 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9
9:00 2 Broke Girls (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
9:30 Mike & Molly (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
10:00 Hawaii Five-0 (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2

NBC
8:00 The Voice
Viewers: 11.0 million, 18-49 demo: 3.2
10:00 Revolution
Viewers: 6.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.9 

FOX
8:00 Raising Hope (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.8 million, 18-49 demo; 0.7
8:30 The Goodwin Games
Viewers: 1.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
9:00 New Girl (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
9:30 The Mindy Project (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6 

Memorial Day had a fair amount of new programming. On ABC, The Bachelorette had its lowest premiere ever. However, it's worth mentioning that it hasn't premiered on Memorial Day before so let's see how week two goes next week. Over on NBC, The Voice was up two tenths in viewers but down three tenths in the demo for a Monday low. However, Revolution was up seven tenths in viewers and even in the demo, showing better retention ahead of next week's season finale. Week two of The Goodwin Games on FOX was basically even with its low premiere last week.

RATINGS RECAP: 5/26/13

ABC 
7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.8 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
8:00 Wipeout (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.8 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8
9:00 Motive (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.5 million, 18-49 demo: 0.5
10:00 Rookie Blue (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.5

CBS
7:00 60 Minutes (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
8:00 NCIS: Los Angeles (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.5
9:00 The Good Wife (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4
10:00 The Mentalist
Viewers: 4.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6

NBC
7:00 The Voice (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.5
9:00 Smash
Viewers: 2.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.5


FOX
7:00 NASCAR Racing
Viewers: 7.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.9

Monday, May 27, 2013

THE RUNDOWN: Monday, May 27 & Tuesday, May 28

Happy Memorial Day!

Monday night has the season premiere of annual summer series The Bachelorette as well as a 20/20 special on the coming Royal Baby on ABC. NBC has The Voice and Revolution because neither one is done with its season yet. It'll be interesting to see how they do. On one hand, the competition is lighter but on the other hand, summer ratings are lower. FOX also has week two of its burnoff of The Goodwin Games.

On Tuesday night, ABC has the season premiere of another summer series, Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition as well as the series finale of Body of Proof, which was cancelled after three seasons. There were rumors that it might move to TNT or another cable network but that will not be happening. Elsewhere, CBS has the series premiere of a six part summer documentary series, Brooklyn DA, NBC has the results of The Voice, and FOX has So You Think You Can Dance.

MONDAY

ABC
8:00 The Bachelorette (Season Premiere)
10:00 20/20 Special Edition with Barbara Walters

CBS
8:00 How I Met Your Mother #166 "Splitsville" (REPEAT)
8:30 Rules of Engagement #89 "Taking Names" (REPEAT)
9:00 2 Broke Girls #42 "And Not-So Sweet Charity" (REPEAT)
9:30 Mike & Molly #41 "Mike Likes Lasagna" (REPEAT)

10;00 Hawaii Five-0 #44 "Ha'alele" (REPEAT)

NBC
8:00 The Voice
10:00 Revolution #19 "Children of Men"

FOX
8:00 Raising Hope #51 "Candy Wars" (REPEAT)
8:30 The Goodwin Games #2 "Welcome Home, Goodwins"
9:00 New Girl #31 "Menzies" (REPEAT)
9:30 The Mindy Project #11 "Bunk Bed" (REPEAT)

TUESDAY

ABC
8:00 Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition (Season Premiere)
10:00 Body of Proof #42 "Daddy Issues" (SERIES FINALE)

CBS
8:00 NCIS #226 "Detour" (REPEAT)
9:00 NCIS: Los Angeles #76 "Dead Body Politic" (REPEAT)

10:00 Brooklyn DA (SERIES PREMIERE)

NBC
8:00 The Voice (REPEAT)
9:00 The Voice
10:00 The Office #200/201 "Finale" (REPEAT)

FOX
8:00 So You Think You Can Dance

Sunday, May 26, 2013

RATINGS RECAP: 5/25/13

ABC 
8:00 Bet on Your Baby
Viewers: 2.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.5
9:00 Ultimate BBQ Cookout
Viewers: 2.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
10:00 Body of Proof (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4

CBS
8:00 The Mentalist (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4
9:00 48 Hours
Viewers: 4.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
10:00 48 Hours
Viewers: 5.2 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9

NBC
8:00 NHL Hockey Playoffs
Viewers: 2.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1

FOX
8:00 MLB Baseball
Viewers: 2.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.5 

RATINGS RECAP: 5/24/13

ABC 
8:00 Shark Tank (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
9:00 Shark Tank (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6
10:00 20/20
Viewers: 5.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1

CBS 
8:00 Undercover Boss (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8
9:00 Blue Bloods (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.8 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
10:00 Blue Bloods (Repeat)
Viewers: 6.2 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7

NBC
8:00 Dateline NBC
Viewers: 5.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
10:00 Rock Center with Brian Williams
Viewers: 4.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9

FOX
8:00 Bones (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8
9:00 Brain Games
Viewers: 2.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

THE RUNDOWN: Saturday, May 25 & Sunday, May 26

The only programming of note on Memorial Day Weekend is the two hour series finale of Smash on NBC Sunday night. After two years, the much talked-about and divisive Smash was cancelled but NBC will give it one last night before the curtain falls, airing its final two episodes as a two hour episode.

SATURDAY

ABC
8:00 Bet on Your Baby
9:00 Ultimate BBQ Cookout Countdown (SPECIAL)
10:00 Body of Proof #32 "Lost Souls" (REPEAT)

CBS
8:00 The Mentalist #100 "Cherry Picked" (REPEAT)
9:00 48 Hours (REPEAT)

10:00 48 Hours (REPEAT)

NBC
8:00 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Detroit at Chicago Game 5

FOX
8:00 MLB Baseball: Atlanta at NY Mets

SUNDAY

ABC 
7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos (REPEAT)
8:00 Wipeout (REPEAT)
9:00 Motive #1 "Creeping Tom" (REPEAT)

10:00 Rookie Blue #40 "Surprises" (REPEAT)

CBS
7:00 60 Minutes (REPEAT)
8:00 NCIS: Los Angeles #54 "Lone Wolf" (REPEAT)

9:00 The Good Wife #79 "Boom De Ya Da" (REPEAT)
10:00 The Mentalist #101 "If It Bleeds, It Leads" (REPEAT)

NBC
7:00 The Voice (REPEAT)
9:00 Smash #31/32 "The Nominations/The Tonys" (SERIES FINALE)

FOX
7:00 NASCAR Racing: Sprint Cup

RATINGS RECAP: 5/23/13

ABC
8:00 Wipeout
Viewers: 4.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
9:00 Motive
Viewers: 6.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
10:00 Rookie Blue
Viewers: 6.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2

CBS 
8:00 The Big Bang Theory (Repeat)
Viewers: 9.1 million, 18-49 demo: 2.2
8:30 Two and a Half Men (Repeat)
Viewers: 7.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.8
9:00 Person of Interest (Repeat)
Viewers: 6.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
10:00 Elementary (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9

NBC
8:00 Save Me
Viewers: 3.2 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
8:30 Save Me
Viewers: 2.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
9:00 The Office (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
9:30 Parks and Recreation (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.8 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
10:00 Hannibal
Viewers: 2.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0 

FOX
8:00 Hell's Kitchen
Viewers: 5.6 million, 18-49 demo: 2.2
9:00 Does Someone Have to Go?
Viewers: 3.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3

On the first night of summer, numbers were predictably low. FOX had a decent showing from Hell's Kitchen in its new timeslot but the series premiere of reality show Does Someone Have to Go? flopped at 9pm. ABC was all new with Wipeout up slightly from last week. The timeslot premiere for Motive after a low sampling on Monday actually outperformed the fourth season premiere of Rookie Blue which is surprising. On NBC, the series premiere of burnoff summer series Save Me was predictably low. The only good news was that it basically held steady for its second episode at 8:30pm. At 10pm, Hannibal was down a tenth in the demo from last week. I don't think NBC is going to renew this show.

Friday, May 24, 2013

PILOT REVIEW: Save Me

SAVE ME












Starring: Anne Heche, Michael Landes, Alexandra Breckenridge, Madison Davenport, Heather Burns

Created by John Scott Shepherd
Written by John Scott Shepherd, Directed by Scott Winant

Save Me is a new sitcom about alcoholic Beth Harper (Anne Heche) who nearly chokes on a sandwich during a drunken night. When she lives, she suddenly seems to have a direct connection to God and sets about changing her life for the better. That means reconnecting with her estranged husband Tom (Michael Landes) and rebellious teen daughter Emily (Madison Davenport). Also in the main cast is her husband's mistress Carly (Alexandra Breckenridge) and an estranged friend Jenna (Heather Burns).

THE GOOD: I was surprised by how much I actually enjoyed Save Me. It won't become appointment viewing for me but it was better than I thought it would be. Anne Heche is interesting and enjoyable in the lead role and manages to carry a bizarre concept pretty well. The supporting cast is solid and there were some funny moments in the pilot including the relationship between Heche and her on screen daughter Madison Davenport. The concept, while strange, is something different for a network sitcom so that counts for something.

THE BAD: Even though I applaud it for its unique premise, I have a little bit of a hard time getting past it. It's just such an odd concept and I think it might start to wear thin quickly. There were also some pretty cliche moments such as a honking truck covering up a swear word, which has been done countless times in sitcoms. The ending of the pilot also was a little crazy, the whole show has a Desperate Housewives feel which might be appealing to some, but that's not appealing to me.

BOTTOM LINE: NBC ordered this show early last year and it seemed to be one of their early priorities but then it wasn't on the fall schedule and never made it to midseason which shows that they soured on the premise. I can imagine that's because the unique premise doesn't hold up over multiple episodes (though I did watch the second episode that aired last night too and was surprised by it as well). Despite me being somewhat surprised by the show, I don't think it would have been a hit for NBC and probably would have just added to their list of cancelled freshmen sitcoms.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

RATINGS RECAP: 5/22/13

ABC
8:00 The Middle
Viewers: 7.7 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0
8:30 Modern Family (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6
9:00 Modern Family
Viewers: 10.0 million, 18-49 demo: 3.7
9:30 How to Live with Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life)
Viewers: 6.3 million, 18-49 demo: 2.1
10:00 Nashville
Viewers: 6.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.9

CBS
8:00 Two and a Half Men (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
8:30 Mike & Molly (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
9:00 Criminal Minds
Viewers: 11.0 million, 18-49 demo: 2.8 

NBC
8:00 Dateline NBC
Viewers: 6.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4
9:00 Law & Order: SVU
Viewers: 6.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.7
10:00 Chicago Fire
Viewers: 6.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.7

FOX
8:00 Masterchef
Viewers: 5.3 million, 18-49 demo: 2.1
9:00 Masterchef
Viewers: 5.5 million, 18-49 demo: 2.3 

Wednesday night was the final night of the TV season and featured several finales. On ABC, the season finale of The Middle was up nine tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo. The season finale of Modern Family was dead even with last week as it did not spike for the finale. At 9:30pm, the cancelled How to Live with Your Parents was up two tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo. Its still surprising that ABC chose the new and incompatible Super Fun Night over this show for the fall. At 10pm, the season finale of Nashville was up four tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo for its best performance since January 23. It went out on a high note as it beat Chicago Fire to end the season.

On CBS, a two hour finale for Criminal Minds was up four tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo as it did better in the 10pm hour. On NBC, the season finale of Law & Order: SVU was up two tenths in viewers and the demo while the season finale of Chicago Fire was down eight tenths in viewers and three tenths in the demo. It appears that Fire was hurt by Minds extending into the 10pm hour for the second half of its two hour episode. On FOX, the season premiere of annual summer series Masterchef got off to a good start despite facing numerous finales.

THE RUNDOWN: Thursday, May 23 & Friday, May 24

The summer season is here... the most boring time of the TV year. I will not be doing predictions but I will still give rundowns, just usually a couple days at a time.

Thursday night has the season premiere of Rookie Blue and timeslot premiere of Motive. Rookie Blue is always a decent performer but Motive flopped in a sneak preview Monday. Elsewhere, FOX has the series premiere of reality show Does Someone Have to Go? paired with a new night for Hell's Kitchen. And NBC has the series premiere of Anne Heche Save Me, which got an early pickup order over a year ago but is just premiering now for a summer burnoff. This show never fit into NBC's plans though and that's why we're not seeing it until now. Check back later tonight or tomorrow for a review of Save Me!

THURSDAY

ABC 
8:00 Wipeout
9:00 Motive #2 "Crimes of Passion"
10:00 Rookie Blue #40 "Surprises" (Season Premiere)

CBS
8:00 The Big Bang Theory #122 "The Santa Simulation" (REPEAT)
8:30 Two and a Half Men #210 "I Scream When I Pee" (REPEAT)

9:00 Person of Interest #30 "Critical" (REPEAT)
10:00 Elementary #12 "M." (REPEAT)

NBC
8:00 Save Me #1 "The Book of Beth" (SERIES PREMIERE)
8:30 Save Me #2 "Take it Back"
9:00 The Office #191 "Couples Discount" (REPEAT)
9:30 Parks and Recreation #69 "Mrs. Knope Goes to Washington" (REPEAT)
10:00 Hannibal #9 "Trou Normand"

FOX
8:00 Hell's Kitchen
9:00 Does Someone Have to Go? (SERIES PREMIERE)

FRIDAY

ABC
8:00 Shark Tank (REPEAT)
9:00 Shark Tank (REPEAT)

10:00 20/20

CBS
8:00 Undercover Boss (REPEAT)
9:00 Blue Bloods #46 "Domestic Disturbance" (REPEAT)

10:00 Blue Bloods #47 "Old Wounds" (REPEAT)

NBC
8:00 Dateline NBC
10:00 Rock Center with Brian Williams

FOX
8:00 Bones #146 "The Tiger in the Tale" (REPEAT)
9:00 Brain Games (SPECIAL)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

RATINGS RECAP: 5/21/13

ABC
8:00 The Bachelor's Funniest Moments
Viewers: 4.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
9:00 Dancing with the Stars
Viewers: 15.2 million, 18-49 demo: 2.7

CBS
8:00 NCIS: Los Angeles (Repeat)
Viewers: 7.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
9:00 NCIS (Repeat)
Viewers: 7.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
10:00 NCIS (Repeat)
Viewers: 7.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4

NBC
8:00 NBC News Special: Devastation in Oklahoma
Viewers: 8.2 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0
9:00 The Voice
Viewers: 10.2 million, 18-49 demo: 3.2
10:00 Grimm
Viewers: 5.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.7 

FOX 
8:00 So You Think You Can Dance
Viewers: 4.7 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0

Tuesday night had the season finale of Dancing with the Stars. Though it was up 3.3 million viewers and nine tenths in the demo, it was down three tenths in the demo from its finale last fall and had its lowest finale show ever. It's good that ABC is reducing this to one night in the fall but the better move would have been giving it a cycle off. On NBC, The Voice was down three tenths in viewers and the demo but it still beat Dancing while the season finale of Grimm was down four tenths in viewers and even in the demo. It will return to Fridays in the fall. On FOX, So You Think You Can Dance was down four tenths in viewers but up a tenth in the demo from last week's one hour episode.

SEASON IN REVIEW: 2012-13 Miscellaneous Awards

On this final day of the season, I am handing out some miscellaneous awards to shows from the season as I did last year and in 2011!

Just a side note, this summer will be quiet on the blog as every summer is but I will continue to post the rundown, ratings recaps, and pilot reviews of unscripted shows. They just won't be as detailed as they are during the season and I won't have the random other features.

BEST RETURNING COMEDY - New Girl (FOX)
The new comedies were very disappointing this year but returning comedies had a nice season. From the always reliable Modern Family and The Middle to the (somewhat) rebounding The Office to the stellar Parks and Recreation. But my favorite returning comedy was season two of New Girl. The hip comedy followed up a strong first season with an even better second season. The cast gels together so nicely and it is one of TV's best ensembles right now. The decision to hook up Jess and Nick (Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson) was a risky one but it has paid off as it has given the storyline a place to go. I hope they go more the way of Ross and Rachel and have them apart then together then apart then together. That works better than the Jim and Pam route so comedies can stay fresh. New Girl had many brilliant episodes this year. It is a show for 20-somethings as evidenced by its incredibly young skew. It is a great product of the current era and I'm excited to see what lies ahead.
The Runners-Up: Parks and Recreation (NBC), The Middle (ABC)

BEST RETURNING DRAMA - Scandal (ABC) - Hands down, the most exciting hour on TV every week was ABC Thursday at 10pm. Scandal followed up a short but promising first season with a lights-out, wild ride of a second season. If you're a fan of the show and you think back to the sheer number of things that happened this season, it's ridiculous. The show had more plot twists and surprises this season than most dramas do in 4-5 years. The show very wisely promoted Bellamy Young and Joshua Malina to series regulars and had some excellent guest appearances from actors such as Scott Foley and Joe Morton. But the center of this show is Kerry Washington who is beyond brilliant as the headstrong yet self-destructive Olivia Pope. This show revolves around Washington and she heightens every scene she's in whether its a romantic scene with Fitz, the President (Tony Goldwyn) or going to battle with her team of gladiators. Scandal was incredibly fast-paced and hard to figure out. It took things to places you thought were not possible (the president murders a Supreme Court Justice? What?!). It was riveting TV and I can't believe I have to wait all summer to see what happens next.
The Runner-Up: Person of Interest (CBS)

BEST SEASON FINALE - The Office (NBC) - Well this is sort of cheating because it was a series finale but The Office is well deserving of this honor after its sweet ending that struck the exact right tone. It was satisfying for longtime fans as many, including me, hoped it would after some real up and down seasons. The first half of the episode dragged a little bit but everything turned for the better when Steve Carell showed up to reprise his iconic Michael Scott role even if it was just for two lines. The show then soared to the end and its final scene in the office had some poignant reflections on life at a midsize paper company and all the show has meant to the characters, and viewers, over nine seasons.
The Runners-Up: Scandal (ABC), The Following (FOX)

THE "BIGGEST DOWNFALL" AWARD - Revenge (ABC) - At the end of last season, I was more excited about Revenge than Scandal. What a difference a season makes. Revenge returned this fall to lots of fanfare but it was quickly apparent that the show was not going to be able to recapture the magic of season one. The show got bogged down in an overly complicated storyline with unnecessary characters. The problem is that the plot for this show was always too thin to be a long-running series. The first glimpses were when they didn't kill Daniel off at midseason last year and now it has become glaringly obvious. I finally gave up on this show in March which is shocking because I was its number one fan. But it has been a long decline because even the second half of season one wasn't as good as the first half. It just couldn't sustain itself and I shudder to think what season three will look like.

THE "STILL NOT GOOD ENOUGH" AWARD - Smash (NBC) - OK so Smash was better in Season 2. They got rid of some of the worst characters (Ellis, Dev, Frank, and especially Leo) and they added an interesting storyline with a second musical. They also had their best episode since the pilot centered on the night Bombshell opened. That's the good news. The bad news is it just didn't do enough to become a great show meaning in two seasons, despite a retooling, it just couldn't live up to its promise and pedigree which was very disappointing. The show brought on Jeremy Jordan as Jimmy. Though he was a gifted performer, his character was exceedingly annoying and the show still clung to cliches and tepid writing. This show just frustrates me because it couldn't have been so good and it wasn't. Yet I have continued to watch it. Why? I don't know. But it only has two episodes left so I'm going to stick it out.

THE "BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT" AWARD - Vegas (CBS) - Vegas was the drama I was most excited about heading into the season. It had a great cast and I love period dramas - this was mobsters vs. the old west in 1960s Las Vegas. It sounds completely up my alley. Yet I gave up on it after about ten episodes because it just wasn't interesting. It was a mundane case-of-the-week show and didn't seem to have a clear direction. It also didn't seem to know what to do with the talents of Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis. Period dramas can be great but after this and two failures last season (The Playboy Club, Pan Am), I think networks will be more gun shy.

THE "LAST LAUGH" AWARD - The Neighbors (ABC) - This is not a comment on the quality of The Neighbors. I only watched the series premiere and hated it and never came back. But you have to admit, when ABC's schedule came out last May, you thought The Neighbors was sure to be an early cancellation. Instead it's coming back for a second season and gets the last laugh against the many critics and eye-rollers connected to the show. No it wasn't a breakout hit but it beat fellow bubble show How to Live with Your Parents for a spot on the fall schedule. That's an impressive feat for a show that many thought might not make it past the 2012 calendar year.

THE RUNDOWN: Wednesday, May 22

Here we are! The final day of the season!

ABC has season finales of The Middle, Modern Family, and Nashville and I think all three could be up from last week. CBS has a two hour season finale of Criminal Minds which should also perk up. NBC has the finales of Law & Order: SVU and Chicago Fire. It's possible that Minds airing in both hours could hurt Chicago Fire. FOX has the season premiere of summer series MasterChef but I think that could get lost in the shuffle.

ABC
8:00 The Middle #96 "The Graduation" (Season Finale)
8:30 Modern Family #80 "Mistery Date" (REPEAT)
9:00 Modern Family #96 "Goodnight Gracie" (Season Finale)
9:30 How to Live with Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life) #8 "How to Live with Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life"
10:00 Nashville #21 "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive" (Season Finale)
Prediction: Middle - 7.4 million, 2.0/Family - 11.2 million, 4.0/Parents - 6.4 million, 2.2/Nashville - 5.7 million, 1.8

CBS
8:00 Two and a Half Men #209 "Something My Gynecologist Said" (REPEAT)
8:30 Mike & Molly #53 "Yard Sale" (REPEAT)
9:00 Criminal Minds #185/186 "Brothers Hotchner/The Replicator" (Season Finale)
Prediction: Minds - 12.2 million, 2.9

NBC 
8:00 Dateline NBC
9:00 Law & Order: SVU #319 "Her Negotiation" (Season Finale)
10:00 Chicago Fire #24 "A Hell of a Ride" (Season Finale)
Prediction: Dateline - 5.2 million, 1.2/SVU - 6.6 million, 1.5/Chicago - 6.8 million, 1.9

FOX
8:00 MasterChef (Season Premiere)
Prediction: Masterchef - 5.2 million, 1.7 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

RATINGS RECAP: 5/20/13

ABC
8:00 Dancing with the Stars
Viewers: 15.0 million, 18-49 demo: 2.6
10:00 Motive
Viewers: 6.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3

CBS
8:00 2 Broke Girls (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2 
8:30 Rules of Engagement
Viewers: 6.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.8
9:00 The Big Bang Theory (Repeat)
Viewers: 7.5 million, 18-49 demo: 2.1
9:30 Mike & Molly (Repeat)
Viewers: 7.9 million, 18-49 demo: 2.1
10:00 Hawaii Five-0
Viewers: 9.0 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0 

NBC
8:00 The Voice
Viewers: 10.8 million, 18-49 demo: 3.5
10:00 Revolution
Viewers: 5.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.9

FOX
8:00 Raising Hope (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
8:30 The Goodwin Games
Viewers: 1.6 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
9:00 New Girl (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
9:30 The Mindy Project (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6

On Monday night, ABC had the final performance night of Dancing with the Stars which jumped a strong 1.7 million viewers and six tenths in the demo for its best performance since the season premiere. Despite the strong lead-in, a sneak preview the new summer drama from Canada, Motive, tanked. This is a disappointing sign for a show ABC has promoted a lot because it couldn't even do well in a winning situation. Another new show hit the air on Monday as FOX began its burn off run of The Goodwin Games, which never made it on the schedule during the season. It was predictably very low surrounded by repeats of their already low-rated comedies. I still don't know why they didn't at least give it a chance in a tough season for them.

CBS aired the series finale of Rules of Engagement which ended after seven seasons and 100 episodes. It was down four tenths in viewers and three tenths in the demo from its last airing when it followed a new episode. So goodbye to one of CBS's most reliable utility players, it had a good run. CBS also planned to air the season finale of Mike & Molly but it had a tornado theme so CBS pulled it in light of the tragedy in Oklahoma. It was replaced by a repeat and there is no word on when the episode will air. At 10pm, the season finale of Hawaii Five-0 was up 1.1 million viewers and two tenths in the demo. The show is Friday bound for next season. On NBC, The Voice was down half a million viewers and three tenths in the demo for a Monday low while Revolution was up a tenth in viewers and even in the demo.

RATINGS RECAP: 5/19/13

ABC 
7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos
Viewers: 6.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.7
8:00 2013 Billboard Music Awards
Viewers: 9.5 million, 18-49 demo: 3.5

CBS
7:00 60 Minutes
Viewers: 10.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
8:00 60 Minutes
Viewers: 8.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
9:00 ACM Presents: Tim McGraw's Superstar Summer Night
Viewers: 6.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2

NBC
7:00 The Voice (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
9:00 Celebrity Apprentice
Viewers: 5.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.5

FOX
7:00 The Cleveland Show
Viewers: 2.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
7:30 The Cleveland Show
Viewers: 2.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
8:00 The Simpsons
Viewers: 4.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.9
8:30 The Simpsons
Viewers: 4.5 million, 18-49 demo: 2.1
9:00 Family Guy
Viewers: 5.3 million, 18-49 demo: 2.6
9:30 Family Guy
Viewers: 5.2 million, 18-49 demo: 2.5

Sunday had some finales and a surprising performance from the Billboard Music Awards which surged nearly a full demo point from last year perhaps thanks to some buzzy performers. Over on NBC, the season finale of Celebrity Apprentice was up 1.1 million viewers and two tenths in the demo from last week but it was an all-time low for finales for this show. It's not on NBC's schedule for next year yet, will it return? It might depend on how NBC's new stuff fares. FOX had finales of its comedies. The cancelled The Cleveland Show ended unceremoniously after four seasons and 88 episodes while The Simpsons and Family Guy were both up week-to-week.

SEASON IN REVIEW: 2012-13 Dramas

Yesterday, I did some final awards for the new comedies of the year. Today I will look at dramas. While not as strong as last year's class which featured several new dramas I loved, this year's dramas were better than this year's comedies. And more successful as five will return (Nashville on ABC, Elementary on CBS, Chicago Fire and Revolution on NBC, and The Following on FOX). Also check out my drama awards from last year and 2011.

BEST NEW DRAMA
The Following (FOX) - While it sometimes stretched believability, The Following was easily the most thrilling show on TV this season. It seemed like they accomplished things that take other shows half a season in one episode. With a first rate cast led by Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy, the midseason serial killer thriller kept the twists and turns coming while being extremely creepy. No characters ever seemed safe and they killed off characters that seemed like they would be in it for the long haul. It was a perfect way to spend cold wintry Monday nights because it was so exciting. It was the only new show that I consistently couldn't wait to see what happens next. I must admit I'm nervous about the future of the show because I worry they will go to way of Revenge and extend a finite story too long, but that's for another year.

The Runners-Up
Chicago Fire (NBC) - Chicago Fire was a very close second to The Following in this list but the two shows couldn't be more different. Chicago Fire was not one of the highly anticipated shows and it seemed to be pretty low on NBC's priorities but it surprised in quality and ratings. This might be a strong statement but I think it's an excellent new ensemble workplace drama in the tradition of Hill Street Blues and St. Elsewhere. It's not groundbreaking but the characters and performances are strong. Each storyline was solidly constructed. All those qualities make for a winning formula. It narrowly lost out to The Following because it wasn't appointment TV for me, but I think it has more long-term potential.

Nashville (ABC) - Nashville has been good all season and that's why its third on my list. Yet I still feel like it's not quite as strong as it could be. With such a strong cast and an interesting premise, I just feel like it wavers between being a good show and being a mundane soap. But there were a lot of really strong parts including some performances that are listed below. Also worth mentioning is the show had a real nice production value. I just hope it finds its footing more consistently in season two or it might be on my personal chopping block.

Worth Mentioning: Made in Jersey (CBS), Golden Boy (CBS)

BEST LEAD ACTOR IN A NEW DRAMA
James Purefoy, The Following (FOX) - This was another toss-up between the two lead men of The Following but I went with James Purefoy's serial killer Joe Carroll over Kevin Bacon's good guy Ryan Hardy. And the reason is because of the second half of The Following's season. At first, Purefoy was not seen much yet mysterious. Then he broke out of jail and got to lead his followers even as things unraveled for him. Purefoy had a brilliant way of making a mundane line like "Parmesan?" on pasta he was serving sound incredibly creepy and delusional. The last few episodes were really all about Purefoy as his character started to lose the game with Bacon's character. And (SPOILER ALERT), as much as I loved James Purefoy on this show, I hope Joe Carroll is actually dead as the season finale seemed to imply. That would be a gutsy move by The Following to kill off a character like that and it could move the show forward next season.

The Runners-Up
Kevin Bacon, The Following (FOX) - James Purefoy's nemesis was Kevin Bacon's tortured hero Ryan Hardy. Bacon was the reason many tuned into The Following and he did not disappoint. While some people were upset with how inept the FBI often seemed in The Following, Bacon was often clever and always willing to put anything on the line to get Carroll. His tragic back story also made him a more layered character. Purefoy was such a standout but Bacon was the consistent force that moved the story along.

Taylor Kinney, Chicago Fire (NBC) - Chicago Fire has an excellent stable of actors in its ensemble but one of the best is Taylor Kinney as bad boy but well meaning Kelly Severide. Before Chicago Fire began, Kinney was best known as Lady Gaga's boyfriend. Now he is known for playing a character you root for even as he shows bad judgment at times. His stories are usually the most interesting on the show and he has emerged as the true lead and deservedly so.

Worth Mentioning: Dennis Quaid, Vegas (CBS), Hugh Dancy, Hannibal (NBC)

BEST LEAD ACTRESS IN A NEW DRAMA
Hayden Panettiere, Nashville (ABC) - The part that excited me most about Nashville before it premiered was Connie Britton. However, my favorite actress in the show ended up being her younger nemesis, Hayden Panettiere as Juliette Barnes, a trashy version of Taylor Swift. Despite playing a very unsympathetic character, Panettiere managed to make the audience empathize with her. That's a tall order but she was able to do it. She also was perfectly suited to play the trashy country singer and she was great on her songs too. Of all the characters on Nashville, I felt like her story has been more layered and interesting. So maybe the writing for her is better too but it could easily not work without a strong performance from Panettiere.

The Runners-Up 
Janet Montgomery, Made in Jersey (CBS) - Made in Jersey is probably not even remembered by most people because it was gone after just two episodes on Friday night in the fall. But I still maintain the show was better than it got credit for and specifically Janet Montgomery was strong in the lead role. As a Jersey girl in a big city firm, Montgomery was great as a wide-eyed yet determined new lawyer. It's too bad this show didn't get more traction and I hope Montgomery finds another project soon.

Connie Britton, Nashville (ABC) - I love Connie Britton because of Friday Night Lights and she has done a nice job in Nashville. The problem is I don't think her character has been well-written. There were several episodes where I felt like she literally had nothing to do. That's no fault of Britton who is a pro in everything she does and even echoed a little bit of Mrs. Coach at times in this show. But if they can't figure out how to write for such a great actress, then I must hope Nashville ends sooner rather than later so Britton can get a better project.

Worth Mentioning: Monica Raymund, Chicago Fire (NBC), Lauren German, Chicago Fire (NBC)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A NEW DRAMA
Charles Esten, Nashville (ABC) - One of the more interesting characters in the frustrating Nashville is Charles Esten as guitarist Deacon Claybourne. Esten has really stolen scenes that don't involve Hayden Panettiere this season and he has been a good friend and foil to Panettiere. His portrayal of Deacon provides a stable presence among some more dramatic characters and he seems like a genuinely good guy compared to others.

The Runners-Up
Chi McBride, Golden Boy (CBS) - Golden Boy was an under-appreciated midseason replacement on CBS as it had an interesting premise and a good cast. The best part of the cast though was easily Chi McBride as veteran detective Don Owen. He played a role often scene in cop dramas - the wise veteran dealing with an ambitious newbie. But the stakes seemed higher here since that newbie becomes commissioner of police in seven years as the show's premise tells us. McBride was perfect in the role because he had the right mix of disdain and helpfulness.

Eamonn Walker, Chicago Fire (NBC) - As Fire Chief Wallace Boden, Eamonn Walker was the leader of the firehouse but a supporting character in the cast. Still, he seemed like the undisputed leader because of his gruff but caring presence and steely determination in the midst of a fire or a crisis within the station. Walker also has an interesting back story that has only been touched on a little bit. I hope his part continues to expand in season two.

Worth Mentioning: Mads Mikkelsen, Hannibal (NBC), Shawn Ashmore, The Following (FOX)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A NEW DRAMA
Natalie Zea, The Following (FOX) - As the tortured ex-wife of Joe Carroll, Dr. Claire Matthews, Natalie Zea had very little to do in the first half of the season except sit in a room paralyzed by fear and without her son. Then she was kidnapped by Joe and came to live with him and his cult and her character became much more interesting. She managed to become a major reason for Joe's slow descent into meltdown mode and she showed a lot more guts and determination than it seemed like she originally would. Her frustration with Joe sometimes sounded like a bitter old couple if it wasn't so bizarre. And she was one of the characters who lived (for now) so it will be interesting to see what happens next season.

The Runners-Up
Carrie-Anne Moss, Vegas (CBS) - Vegas was a major disappointment this year as I had very high hopes for a unique period drama. But it ended up being a by-the-book procedural. This category was weak as only Natalie Zea was deserving but Carrie-Anne Moss was not bad as a female DA in the boys world of 1960s Las Vegas law enforcement. When I stopped watching the show midway through the season, it seemed like they were developing her character a little bit more which is good because Moss is a good actress. Of course it won't matter now with Vegas cancelled.

Donna Murphy, Made in Jersey (CBS) - Again, this category was not all that strong but Donna Murphy was solid as Janet Montgomery's mother on Made in Jersey. A true Jersey mother, she was very loving and sometimes intrusive. The show already had a lighthearted feel and Murphy helped make it feel even more like a dramedy with her performance.

Worth Mentioning: Daisy Betts, Last Resort (ABC), Phylicia Rashad, Do No Harm (NBC)

WORST NEW DRAMA
Red Widow (ABC) - There were no embarrassingly bad dramas this year but Red Widow was the worst because it simply didn't make sense or seem to have much of a plot at all. I will admit that was my opinion after watching the first episode and I did not come back for more but the pilot gave me absolutely no reason to. It was a complete mess of a series that was unfocused and boring.
 
The Runners-Up
The Mob Doctor (FOX) - Another mob-themed drama comes in second on this list. The worst part about this show was actually its title, which sounds incredibly lame. However, the show itself was not much better as the performances were forgettable and the show featured an instant show killer for me, Michael Rapaport. Mob dramas can work on TV but they need to be better than Red Widow and The Mob Doctor.

666 Park Avenue (ABC) - 666 Park Avenue had a great cast and promised lots of spooks but the spooks were nowhere to be found and the cast was under-utilized. In an era where cable and movies continue to push the horror genre to new levels, a broadcast network show needs to live up to the thrills or at least have a good story. Park had neither and it was easy to see why the mundane thriller did not last long.

Worth Mentioning: Do No Harm (NBC), Deception (NBC)

THE RUNDOWN: Tuesday, May 21

Check below this post for reviews of The Goodwin Games and Motive! Tuesday night has the finale of Dancing with the Stars which should spike up. NBC is also new with The Voice and the season finale of Grimm. With less competition, they might be up too.

ABC 
8:00 The Bachelor's Funniest Moments (SPECIAL)
9:00 Dancing with the Stars Results (16th Edition Finale)
Prediction: Dancing - 13.8 million, 2.4

CBS
8:00 NCIS: Los Angeles #83 "Drive" (REPEAT)
9:00 NCIS #221 "Shabbat Shalom" Part 1 (REPEAT)
10:00 NCIS #222 "Shiva" Part 2 (REPEAT)

NBC
8:00 The Voice (REPEAT)
9:00 The Voice
10:00 Grimm #44 "Goodnight, Sweet Grimm"
Prediction: Voice - 12.1 million, 3.7/Grimm - 5.8 million, 1.8

FOX
8:00 So You Think You Can Dance
Prediction: Dance - 5.2 million, 1.9  

Monday, May 20, 2013

PILOT REVIEW: Motive

MOTIVE










Starring: Kristin Lehman, Louis Ferreira, Brendan Penny, Roger Cross, and Lauren Holly

Created by Daniel Cerone
Written by Daniel Cerone, Directed by Bronwen Hughes

Motive is a new Canadian drama airing on ABC this summer. The twist to this otherwise by the book procedural is that the killer and victim are revealed at the very beginning of the episode. Then the rest of the episode is centered on finding the killer and figuring out the, you guessed it, motive. The lead characters are homicide detectives Angela Flynn and Oscar Vega (Kristin Lehman and Louis Ferreira). Also in the cast is a rookie detective (Brendan Penny), staff sergeant (Roger Cross), and chief medical examiner (Lauren Holly).

THE GOOD: I guess it's an interesting twist on the procedural format - finding out the killer and victim within the first couple seconds could make for a real psychological drama, I stress could. It's not a bad way to keep the procedural fresh. The performances are serviceable enough with Kristin Lehman as the strongest performer and the most flushed out character. The case of the week was interesting at the end because it explored some psychological issues.

THE BAD: The problem was this show didn't use the interesting premise to anything out of the ordinary. It was a strictly average procedural and the story left a lot out there. For example, the murderer in the pilot was a bullied kid. The show could have really explored that and gotten in the killer's head. Instead, it was something they showed briefly at the beginning and then discussed at the end with barely a passing mention in-between. The show could use its format to do something different but it doesn't. Aside from Lehman, there is not much to say about the other actors because they did next to nothing in the pilot. That's another problem even if character development isn't the number one priority.

BOTTOM LINE: What can you really expect from a Canadian series filling a timeslot in the summer to avoid more repeats? Maybe a little more since Rookie Blue has connected with viewers. Still, there was nothing here that makes me want to watch another episode. I can watch better stories on other procedurals like the Law & Order series. It had a hook to make it different, but that wasn't carried out so that means there's nothing unique. Good performances can sometimes overcome this but that isn't the case here either.

PILOT REVIEW: The Goodwin Games

THE GOODWIN GAMES












Starring: Becki Newton, Scott Foley, TJ Miller, Melissa Tang, Kat Foster

Created by Carter Bays, Craig Thomas, & Chris Harris
Written by Carter Bays, Craig Thomas, & Chris Harris, Directed by Peyton Reed

The Goodwin Games is a summer burnoff sitcom from FOX that was originally slated as a midseason replacement. When eccentric millionaire Benjamin Goodwin (guest star Beau Bridges) dies, his last will makes his children duke it out for the inheritance in "The Goodwin Games" and become closer in the process. Estranged from their father and each other, the children return home to play the games. Oldest child Henry (Scott Foley) is a successful doctor, middle child Chloe (Becki Newton) has never quite lived up to her potential, and youngest Jimmy (TJ Miller) is just getting out of jail. Rounding out the main cast is Henry's ex and now a minister Lucinda (Kat Foster), and the estate executor April (Melissa Tang), who is running the games and a former friend then foe of Chloe's.

THE GOOD: I actually think this is a really interesting premise for a show. It's something completely different for a sitcom so it feels fresh in that way. Both Scott Foley and Becki Newton are solid in their roles and play their "types" well. In a recurring role, Beau Bridges was a standout as their eccentric father and the show had some funny moments between the tape and the children. While I don't always like flashbacks, they work for this show and the child actors were good. Finally, I think the handmade trivial pursuit game is a really cool idea for families!

THE BAD: The biggest question is why did TJ Miller replace Jake Lacy as the younger brother? I went back and watched the trailer from last May with Lacy and he was FAR better. Lacy was charming and silly much like he was in the failed 2010-11 ABC sitcom Better With You. TJ Miller has absolutely horrible delivery and nothing he says is believable. I really don't understand what FOX was thinking with this move but it's ok because this show never made it on the air during the season and Lacy had a nice arc in the final season of The Office. This re-casting made absolutely no sense to me.

BOTTOM LINE: I'm not sure why FOX didn't give The Goodwin Games a chance when its Tuesday comedy lineup was cratering. I'm not saying it would have been a success because that would have been a tall order for a mediocre show on a tough night, but it deserved a chance. It was a good and unique premise that could have been executed better and I'll say it one more time, why did TJ Miller replace Jake Lacy?

SEASON IN REVIEW: 2012-13 Comedies

As I did last year and in 2011, I will be doing a Season in Review on Comedies today, Dramas tomorrow, and miscellaneous awards on Wednesday to cap off the 2012-13 season. Because this blog focuses on new shows, that will be the focus of today and tomorrow.

The 2012-13 season was not a good one for comedies. Only two modestly rated newbies were renewed (The Neighbors, The Mindy Project) and none were all that impressive but I had to find some superlatives so here we go.

BEST NEW COMEDY
Go On (NBC) - Matthew Perry made another return to sitcoms with Go On, which followed a grief support group. I thought it had the chance to be terribly unfunny or a niche comedy like Community. Instead, it surprised me as it was quite funny and had a whole lot of heart. The camaraderie between the group members and the real touching moments in the midst of humor were the best parts of this series. It had a wacky ensemble filled with very solid performances but it tugged at emotional heartstrings once in a while when it was at its best. I will not really miss Go On all that much but it was my favorite new comedy to watch this year.

The Runners-Up
Ben and Kate (FOX) - Ben and Kate certainly had its moments. It uniquely looked at the relationship between a brother and sister rather than lovers and that dynamic really helped the show feel fresh at times. The problem was that it was very inconsistent. At varying times it was downright silly, raunchy, or sweet. Some shows can manage to juggle those three effectively but it felt a little like whiplash on this show. Still, it might have found its way if it had more time.
 
Guys with Kids (NBC) - There was a lot of hating on Guys with Kids because it was an old-fashioned multi-camera sitcom. Some of it was well deserved because there were tired jokes and cliches. But there was also a real sense of familiarity with this show and that helped it to be an enjoyable watching experience. In a season like this one, that was enough to get it in third place on my list.

Worth Mentioning: 1600 Penn (NBC), How to Live with Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life) (ABC)

BEST LEAD ACTOR IN A NEW COMEDY
Matthew Perry, Go On (NBC) - I really want Matthew Perry to find success in his post-Friends life. He was very solid on the troubled drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and his 2011 ABC sitcom Mr. Sunshine was ill-conceived. But this one really had promise and Perry was very likable and endearing in the lead role. With his character having just lost his wife, the role sometimes required a dramatic performance from Perry and he delivered as he made Ryan King supremely confident on the outside yet supremely vulnerable on the inside.

The Runners-Up 
Anthony Anderson, Guys with Kids (NBC) - Anderson was definitely the best part of Guys with Kids and he deserves to be on a successful sitcom somewhere. His man-child Gary was not the same type of man-child we see on other shows. He was responsible yet silly as he played an exasperated father of four boys. The over the top reactions worked for this show and he delivered them well.

Josh Gad, 1600 Penn (NBC) - I did not like Josh Gad in the pilot of 1600 Penn at all but he grew on me as I watched a few more episodes. His weirdness that was too over-the-top in the pilot ended up being pretty suited for the show and more nuanced as the episodes went on. He became a character to root for and that's always a sign of a good performance.

Worth Mentioning: Nat Faxon, Ben and Kate (FOX), Zach Cregger, Guys with Kids (NBC)

BEST LEAD ACTRESS IN A NEW COMEDY
Dakota Johnson, Ben and Kate (FOX) - The "Kate" of Ben and Kate was my favorite part of this short-lived show. Dakota Johnson basically played a straight woman to the more colorful characters around her and that can sometimes be the toughest part to play. But she did it well, she was funny yet grounded and that made the show feel a little more real. She also started to get the nervous energy down right before the show was cancelled.

The Runners-Up
Laura Benanti, Go On (NBC) - Laura Benanti's Lauren was the leader of the counseling group but her own life was not all that put together. What made Benanti's performance strong was her back-and-forth with Matthew Perry as the two were sometimes adversaries and sometimes buddies. It was a strong dynamic in the show that I'm sure they were only beginning to explore when it was cancelled after one season. In some ways she was a straight woman but Lauren kept Perry's Ryan King accountable and vice-versa.

Sarah Chalke, How to Live with Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life) (ABC) - She's really only on here because I didn't have any other lead actresses I wanted to give the honor too. But she was the best part of a ho-hum series. Like some of the other actors listed here, Sarah Chalke needs to find something good. It wasn't Mad Love and it wasn't this, but she can shine with the right material.

Worth Mentioning: Reba McEntire, Malibu Country (ABC), Mindy Kaling, The Mindy Project (FOX)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A NEW COMEDY
Bill Pullman, 1600 Penn (NBC) - The supporting categories are pretty weak this year. In another year, Pullman would struggle to be anywhere near the top. But in such a weak year, his President Gilchrist takes the cake. Pullman was best when he was being a father to his kids and not the President of the US as that comedy sometimes fell flat. But his frustrations with his four kids, especially Josh Gad's Skip, made him a good foil.

The Runners-Up 
Brett Gehlmen, Go On (NBC) - Brett Gehlmen's bizarre Mr. K was my least favorite part of the Go On pilot but over time, he became one of my favorite characters. In the pilot, I just didn't get it and there were times in other episodes, I didn't either. But there were also times were he actually made me laugh. I think Gehlmen played it well, I just think the character could have been written a little better.

Echo Kellum, Ben and Kate (FOX) - As Ben's best friend Tommy, Echo Kellum was one of the many zany black friends to appear on a sitcom this year but he played his with reality even if and Nat Faxon's Ben occasionally drifted into crazy situations. He was a good partner-in-crime.

Worth Mentioning: Brad Garrett, How to Live with Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life) (ABC), Edie Gathegi, Family Tools (ABC)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A NEW COMEDY
Julie White, Go On (NBC) - Again, this is another weak category because Julie White's Anne wouldn't have really be in the running in a better year. That being said, she did a nice job with her character and I liked her older, wiser role in connection to Matthew Perry's character. Like most of the other characters on the show, she also had to show some emotion and dramatic work and did a nice job with it.

The Runners-Up 
Erinn Hayes, Guys with Kids (NBC) - Of the three supporting women in Guys with Kids, Erinn Hayes as Sheila was my favorite even though she was playing a stereotypical role as the exceedingly snobby yet well-meaning ex-wife of Chris. She was at her best when she was sparring with Zach Cregger's Nick. Again, not a brilliant performance but a good one.

Lucy Punch, Ben and Kate (FOX) - I don't typically like British characters but Lucy Punch ended up being pretty funny as the vulgar and strange BJ. She was sometimes annoying but sometimes very funny especially when she was going on a strange riff about any random topic.

Worth Mentioning: Tempestt Bledsoe, Guys with Kids (NBC), Elizabeth Perkins, How to Live with Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life) (ABC)

WORST NEW COMEDY
Animal Practice (NBC) - This was one of the tougher categories because there's just so much competition! But the worst of the worst was the short-lived Animal Practice. It was uniquely set at an animal hospital but it was not funny at all. When a monkey is the best part of your show (and gets the most buzz), that's a problem. Yet that happened here with Crystal the Monkey. The human characters were so dull particularly Justin Kirk in the lead role and the show was painfully unfunny. No wonder it barely made it to November.

The Runners-Up
Partners (CBS) - I get frustrated with multi-cam sitcoms like this because they seem so set in the past with a complete lack of wit and humor. Partners was a tired concept with over-the-top, unrealistic performances. Why can't there be more well-written multi-camera sitcoms out there? Too many of these make the entire genre seem dated.

The Neighbors (ABC) - I have heard that this show has gotten better and it surprised most by not only lasting the year but getting a second season. I admit I only watched the pilot but I hated that. It wasn't funny, it was corny. I only put it third because of what I heard but I can't imagine it getting better to the point where I would want to watch it.

Worth Mentioning: The New Normal (NBC), Family Tools (ABC)

THE RUNDOWN: Monday, May 20

The final three days of the season begins Monday night but some summer series are creeping in. Just a quick note for the blog - I will review scripted series for the summer but not unscripted as I have been doing during the regular season lately.

ABC has the final performance night of Dancing with the Stars followed by a sneak preview of Motive, a new police procedural from Canada like Rookie Blue, another ABC summer offering. The show aired in Canada earlier this year and will air on Thursdays for ABC. I think it will get a decent sampling after Dancing. CBS has the series finale of the cancelled Rules of Engagement. It will end its long run after seven seasons and 100 episodes. CBS also has the season finales of Friday-bound Hawaii Five-0 and still-to-be-scheduled Mike & Molly. I think they will do decently especially since they follow a Big Bang repeat. NBC has its usual lineup which will win the night. FOX has shifted its comedies to Monday and will start airing a burnoff of planned midseason show The Goodwin Games. I don't think this lineup will do much at all.

ABC
8:00 Dancing with the Stars
10:00 Motive #1 "Creeping Tom" (SERIES PREMIERE)
Prediction: Dancing - 14.2 million, 2.2/Motive - 8.9 million, 1.8

CBS
8:00 2 Broke Girls #41 "And the Broken Hip" (REPEAT)
8:30 Rules of Engagement #100 "100th" (SERIES FINALE)
9:00 The Big Bang Theory #116 "The Holographic Excitation" (REPEAT)
9:30 Mike & Molly #70 "Windy City" (Season Finale)
10:00 Hawaii Five-0 #71 "Aloha, Malama Pono" (Season Finale)
Prediction: Rules - 6.4 million, 2.0/Mike&Molly - 9.0 million, 2.6/Hawaii - 8.4 million, 2.0

NBC
8:00 The Voice
10:00 Revolution #18 "Clue"
Prediction: Voice - 12.1 million, 4.0/Revolution - 6.0 million, 2.0

FOX
8:00 Raising Hope #45 "Not Indecent, But Not Quite Decent Enough Proposal" (REPEAT)
8:30 The Goodwin Games #1 "Pilot" (SERIES PREMIERE)
9:00 New Girl #32 "Parents" (REPEAT)
9:30 The Mindy Project #5 "Danny Castellano is My Gynecologist" (REPEAT)
Prediction: Goodwin - 2.4 million, 1.1      

Sunday, May 19, 2013

RATINGS RECAP: 5/18/13

ABC 
8:00 Bet on Your Baby
Viewers: 2.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4
9:00 20/20
Viewers: 3.6 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7

CBS
8:00 Elementary (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.5 million, 18-49 demo: 0.3
9:00 Criminal Minds (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.2 million, 18-49 demo: 0.5
10:00 48 Hours
Viewers: 3.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8

NBC
8:00 Grimm (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.8 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4
9:00 Law & Order: SVU (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
10:00 Saturday Night Live (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7

FOX
8:00 Cops (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
8:30 Cops (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.8 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8
9:00 Cops (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.6 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9
9:30 Cops (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9

RATINGS RECAP: 5/17/13

ABC 
8:00 Shark Tank (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
9:00 Shark Tank
Viewers: 6.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.9
10:00 20/20
Viewers: 5.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.5

CBS
8:00 Undercover Boss
Viewers: 5.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
9:00 Undercover Boss (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
10:00 48 Hours
Viewers: 4.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0

NBC
8:00 Dateline NBC
Viewers: 5.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
10:00 Rock Center with Brian Williams
Viewers: 5.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3

FOX 
8:00 Kitchen Nightmares (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
9:00 Bones (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.5 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6

Friday, May 17, 2013

RATINGS RECAP: 5/16/13

ABC
8:00 Wipeout
Viewers: 3.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
9:00 Grey's Anatomy
Viewers: 9.0 million, 18-49 demo: 3.1
10:00 Scandal
Viewers: 9.1 million, 18-49 demo: 3.2

CBS
8:00 The Big Bang Theory
Viewers: 15.5 million, 18-49 demo: 4.8
8:30 The Big Bang Theory (Repeat)
Viewers: 11.8 million, 18-49 demo: 3.3
9:00 Elementary
Viewers: 9.0 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0 

NBC
8:00 The Office Retrospective
Viewers: 4.4 million, 18-49 demo: 2.1
9:00 The Office
Viewers: 5.7 million, 18-49 demo: 3.0
10:15 Hannibal
Viewers: 2.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1 

FOX 
8:00 American Idol
Viewers: 14.3 million, 18-49 demo: 3.6

The competition was fierce on Thursday night. NBC aired the final episode of The Office after nine seasons. It was up 1.1 million viewers and seven tenths in the demo for its best numbers in a year and a half. While it didn't spike a huge amount, there are a couple things to consider - there was a ton of competition and the show has been floundering in the high 1 demos in recent weeks. So this was still a solid sendoff for the groundbreaking and popular sitcom. A retrospective at 8pm did pretty well too but Hannibal at 10:15 was down a tenth in viewers and even in the demo. With no decision made yet on a renewal, this was not a good performance and might tip the scales against the show.

Over on FOX, the finale of American Idol aired. It was up 2.7 million viewers and seven tenths in the demo to its best numbers since early March. However, it was down nearly 50% from last year (and last year was down nearly 50% from the year before). This show is sinking faster than your average show and the year-to-year numbers are pretty horrific for the second half of the season. FOX will likely re-tool the show again and bring in more new judges but I'm not sure anything is going to change at this point. The show was so dominant for so long and it is wearing down. That's a natural thing to happen. The problem is if FOX keeps acting like things are going to suddenly go up again. They are making a mistake by devoting so many hours to this and The X Factor because it seems like they don't see the writing on the wall.

Over on ABC, Wipeout was obliterated by the competition and down six tenths in viewers and three tenths in the demo. At 9pm, the season finale of Grey's Anatomy was dead even with last week while Scandal was up two tenths in viewers and even in the demo. These shows may have spiked more with less competition but that's still a good showing for the finales. It's also worth noting that Scandal got a 2.1 for the season premiere so that's a lot of growth. Finally on CBS, The Big Bang Theory season finale was down eight tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo but still the top performer on a crowded night. A two hour finale for Elementary was down three tenths in viewers but up a tenth in the demo. It was last in its time period for the 9pm hour but I still think this is a decent performance with all the competition.

THE RUNDOWN: Friday, May 17, Saturday, May 18, & Sunday, May 19

Check back on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday next week for my season in review! Monday will look at comedies, Tuesday will look at dramas, while Wednesday will have miscellaneous awards.

This weekend has some season finales, some repeats, and some specials. There's too much uncertainty to really make good predictions.

FRIDAY

ABC 
8:00 Shark Tank
9:00 Shark Tank (Season Finale)
10:00 20/20

CBS
8:00 Undercover Boss (Season Finale)
9:00 Undercover Boss (REPEAT)
10:00 48 Hours

NBC
8:00 Dateline NBC
10:00 Rock Center with Brian Williams

FOX
8:00 Kitchen Nightmares (REPEAT)
9:00 Bones #150 "The But in the Joke" (REPEAT)


SATURDAY

ABC
8:00 Bet on Your Baby
9:00 20/20 Special Edition

CBS
8:00 Elementary #11 "Dirty Laundry" (REPEAT)
9:00 Criminal Minds #177 "Broken" (REPEAT)

10:00 48 Hours

NBC
8:00 Grimm #30 "The Other Side" (REPEAT)
9:00 Law & Order: SVU #308 "Monster's Legacy" (REPEAT)
10:00 Saturday Night Live (REPEAT)

FOX
8:00 Cops (REPEAT)
8:30 Cops (REPEAT)
9:00 Cops (REPEAT)

9:30 Cops (REPEAT)

SUNDAY

ABC
7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos (Season Finale)
8:00 Billboard Music Awards (SPECIAL)

CBS
7:00 60 Minutes
8:00 60 Minutes
9:00 ACM Presents: Tim McGraw's Superstar Summer Night (SPECIAL)

NBC
7:00 The Voice (REPEAT)
9:00 Celebrity Apprentice (Season Finale)


FOX
7:00 The Cleveland Show #87 "Crazy Train"
7:30 The Cleveland Show #88 "Wheel! Of! Family!"
8:00 The Simpsons #529 "The Saga of Carl Carlson"
8:30 The Simpsons #530 "Dangers on a Train" (Season Finale)
9:00 Family Guy #209 "Road to Vegas"
9:30 Family Guy #210 "No Country Club for Old Men" (Season Finale)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

RATINGS RECAP: 5/15/13

Check below this post for a Special Commentary on the end of The Office!

ABC
8:00 The Middle
Viewers: 6.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.9
8:30 Family Tools
Viewers: 4.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
9:00 Modern Family
Viewers: 10.0 million, 18-49 demo: 3.7
9:30 How to Live with Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life)
Viewers: 6.1 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0
10:00 Nashville
Viewers: 5.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.7

CBS
8:00 2 Broke Girls (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
8:30 2 Broke Girls (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
9:00 Criminal Minds
Viewers: 10.6 million, 18-49 demo: 2.6
10:00 CSI
Viewers: 9.5 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0

NBC
8:00 Dateline NBC
Viewers: 5.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
9:00 Law & Order: SVU
Viewers: 6.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.5
10:00 Chicago Fire
Viewers: 6.9 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0

FOX
8:00 American Idol
Viewers: 12.1 million, 18-49 demo: 3.0
9:00 So You Think You Can Dance
Viewers: 7.0 million, 18-49 demo: 2.3

Wednesday night had some finales but not as many as other nights as there is one more Wednesday of Sweeps. On ABC, The Middle started things out even in viewers and up a tenth in the demo while Family Tools was even with last week. It's easy to see why this show was cancelled. At 9pm, Modern Family was up a million viewers and four tenths in the demo as it rebounded from last week. The cancelled How to Live with Your Parents was up two tenths in viewers and even in the demo. I'm still surprised ABC cancelled this and I don't think Super Fun Night is going to do better. Family comedy is the way to go from top to bottom on this night. Finally at 10pm, Nashville was up two tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo.

On CBS, Criminal Minds was up half a million viewers and a tenths in the demo. At 10pm, the season finale of CSI was down three tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo. This show had a stronger fall than spring. For NBC, Law & Order: SVU was back down four tenths in viewers and the demo as it didn't have The Voice as a lead-in this week. At 10pm, Chicago Fire was very impressive though as it was even in viewers and up two tenths in the demo for its best numbers since February 27. This show is a real self-starter already and next year it gets The Voice as a lead-in. Finally on FOX, the final performance night of American Idol was up just a million viewers and a tenth in the demo. Looks like Idol is not going to spike nearly as much as it has in the past for the finale week. So You Think You Can Dance followed at 9pm and improved on its Tuesday numbers.