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

Saturday, May 31, 2014

PILOT REVIEW: Undateable

UNDATEABLE

















Starring: Chris D'Elia, Brent Morin, Bianca Kajlich, Ron Funches, David Fynn, Rick Glassman, Briga Heelan

Created by Adam Sztykiel
Written by Adam Sztykiel, Directed by Scott Ellis

Undateable is a new multi-camera sitcom centered on a bunch of "undateable" guys in Detroit. Confident man-child Danny (Chris D'Elia) has seen all his friends get married and he is in search of some new friends. He finds a gang of misfits at Black Eyes Bar including owner Justin (Brent Morin), newly gay Brett (David Fynn), nerdy Burski (Rick Glassman), and odd Shelly (Ron Funches). Rounding out the main cast is Danny's sister Leslie (Bianca Kajlich).

THE GOOD: There are some funny things here: the gang at the bar have pretty good dynamics with each other and play a good group of loveable losers. I was mixed on Chris D'Elia but he had some very funny moments with comedic timing, such as yelling after his departing roommate. Finally, I want to see more of Ron Funches! He was in the pilot for Enlisted and made me laugh, and then he was very funny here. I don't know what it is about him but I just think his delivery is always funny, even if he's a bit of a one-trick pony.

THE BAD: There were some jokes that felt quite flat. As I said, I liked D'Elia in some parts but he was definitely overacting in other parts, especially with how insults were "bouncing" off him - the worst recurring joke of the episode. The weakest member of the cast in the pilot was Rick Glassman, whose character just seems like too much of a caricature. I don't know if the odd couple relationship between D'Elia and Brent Morin as roommates is going to work. I think this show is better off focusing on the ensemble than just those two.

BOTTOM LINE: I'm really surprised NBC didn't find a place for this during the regular season because it's a safe, comfortable sitcom that goes down easily. It's hard for multi-camera sitcoms to find their rhythm early and this was hit and miss, as to be expected. But the potential is there as long as they tone down stupid recurring jokes and focus on the relationships between the ensemble.

Friday, May 30, 2014

PILOT REVIEW: Crossbones

CROSSBONES













Starring: John Malkovich, Richard Coyle, Claire Foy, Yasmine All Massri, David Hoflin, Chris Perfetti, Tracy Ifeachor

Created by Neil Cross, James V. Hart, and Amanda Welles
Written by Neil Cross, James V. Hart, & Amanda Welles, Directed by David Slade

Crossbones is a new pirate drama from NBC, and it is a fictionalized account of the famous Blackbeard (John Malkovich). Also in the story is Tom Lowe (Richard Coyle), a British spy posing as a doctor who is captured by Blackbeard. Rounding out the main cast is Kate (Claire Foy), a former Lady now called a traitor, pirate Nenna (Tracy Ifeachor), and Lowe's friend Fletch (Chris Perfetti).

THE GOOD: I don't have much to say here. I guess I like the idea of a pirate-themed drama and John Malkovich was interesting casting. I wish they had given him more to do.

THE BAD: I was bored to tears by this pilot. It was all so generic and boring while Malkovich's talent is wasted. From the first fight scene, which was unnecessarily long and violent, to the reveal of Malkovich, nothing went right. The show teased a second of Malkovich early on and that made me hopeful but when it finally got to a scene with Blackbeard, it was underwhelming. The show seemed to be going for some shocking moments but it came across pretty cheap. None of the other actors made much of an impression on me. I always know it's a bad thing when I have to go look up a synopsis because I was too bored to figure out which character is played by which actor.

BOTTOM LINE: I can see why Crossbones has been lingering around NBC since it was first announced in 2012. It is very worthy of a summer burnoff because there is nothing to see here. This is one of those shows I will never give another look too and I'm fine with that.

THE RUNDOWN: Friday, May 30, Saturday, May 31, & Sunday, June 1

Check back this weekend for reviews of NBC's new shows Undateable and Crossbones as well as the Weekend Rewind from CBS 2006-07!

FRIDAY
Friday night has a series premiere on NBC with the long-delayed pirate drama Crossbones starring John Malkovich. The show has been in the works for years and is finally airing in NBC's "genre" slot. It's a cheap co-production like Dracula so expectations aren't high and ratings probably won't be either.

ABC
8:00 Shark Tank
9:00 Primetime: What Would You Do?
10:00 20/20

CBS
8:00 Undercover Boss (REPEAT)
9:00 Hawaii Five-0 #83 "O Kela Me Keia Manama" (REPEAT)

10:00 Blue Bloods #73 "Growing Boys" (REPEAT)
 

NBC 
8:00 Dateline NBC
10:00 Crossbones #1 "The Devil's Dominion" (SERIES PREMIERE)

FOX
8:00 Masterchef (REPEAT)
9:00 I Wanna Marry "Harry" (REPEAT)


SATURDAY
Saturday night has a rare attempt at original series with ABC's return of last year's Saturday show Bet on Your Baby and the new Sing Your Face Off. Expectations are low for these shows so if they can make any ripple, that's a good thing.

ABC
8:00 Bet on Your Baby (Season Premiere)
9:00 Sing Your Face Off (SERIES PREMIERE)

CBS
8:00 Mike & Molly #76 "Shoeless Molly Flynn" (REPEAT)
8:30 Mike & Molly #77 "They Shoot Asses, Don't They?" (REPEAT)
9:00 The Mentalist #128 "The Golden Hammer" (REPEAT)
10:00 48 Hours

NBC
8:00 Mariah Carey: At Home in Concert with Matt Lauer (SPECIAL)
9:00 Dateline: Saturday Night Mystery
10:00 The Night Shift #1 "Pilot" (REPEAT)

FOX
8:00 MLB Baseball: Tampa Bay at Boston

SUNDAY
Sunday has a special new episode of The Bachelorette as well as burnoffs of Believe and Crisis on NBC and the long-gone Enlisted, reappearing on FOX at 7pm.

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

10:00 Marvek's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #22 "Beginning of the End" (REPEAT)

CBS
7:00 60 Minutes
8:00 Elementary #35 "Internal Audit" (REPEAT)
9:00 The Good Wife #103 "Parallel Construction, Bitches" (REPEAT)

10:00 The Mentalist #130 "Grey Water" (REPEAT)

NBC
7:00 America's Got Talent (REPEAT)
9:00 Believe #11 "Revelation"
10:00 Crisis #10 "Found"

FOX
7:00 Enlisted #10 "Prank War"
7:30 American Dad! #164 "Introducing the Naughty Stewardess" (REPEAT)
8:00 The Simpsons #543 "The Man Who Grew Too Much" (REPEAT)
8:30 Family Guy #217 "Into Harmony's Way" (REPEAT)
9:00 Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Thursday, May 29, 2014

RATINGS RECAP: 5/28/14

ABC
8:00 The Middle (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
8:30 The Goldbergs (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
9:00 Modern Family (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4
9:30 The Goldbergs (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
10:00 Motive
Viewers: 4.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9

CBS
8:00 Hawaii Five-0 (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.6 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8
9:00 Criminal Minds (Repeat)
Viewers: 7.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
10:00 CSI (Repeat)
Viewers: 6.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1

NBC
8:00 Last Comic Standing (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
10:00 Inside the Mind of Edward Snowden
Viewers: 6.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3

FOX 
8:00 So You Think You Can Dance
Viewers: 5.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6 

RATINGS RECAP: 5/27/14

ABC
8:00 Extreme Weight Loss
Viewers: 4.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
10:00 Celebrity Wife Swap
Viewers: 3.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2

CBS
8:00 NCIS (Repeat)
Viewers: 9.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
9:00 NCIS: Los Angeles (Repeat)
Viewers: 7.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
10:00 Person of Interest (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.2 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8

NBC
8:00 America's Got Talent
Viewers: 12.0 million, 18-49 demo: 3.0
10:00 The Night Shift
Viewers: 7.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6

FOX 
8:00 Riot
Viewers: 1.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
9:00 I Wanna Marry "Harry"
Viewers: 1.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4 

On Tuesday night, NBC had the first real success story of the summer as America's Got Talent came back strong with a dominant 3.0 demo. It's demo was only three tenths below the finale of The Voice last week and this show continues to be summer's top draw. It helped new medical drama The Night Shift get off to a decent start even though retention was bad. Considering how things have been going for new shows so far this summer, this was a solid performance. On ABC, the season premiere of Extreme Weight Loss only made a ripple in the ratings but it didn't bomb either. It did help Celebrity Wife Swap rise 1.1 million viewers and three tenths in the demo to a season high so that's encouraging. FOX was embarrassingly low with its new bombs Riot and I Wanna Marry "Harry" as both were below 1.5 million viewers and a 0.7 demo. Even in the summer, this is unacceptable. FOX has to make a change here soon, at least in the 9pm hour. Even New Girl repeats would do better than this.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

THE RUNDOWN: Wednesday, May 28 & Thursday, May 29

Check below this post for a review of the new NBC drama The Night Shift!

WEDNESDAY
Wednesday night has the season premiere of So You Think You Can Dance on FOX, but that show has been in decline recently. There is also the World Music Awards and a Brian Williams special on FOX and Motive on ABC. ABC is also bringing The Goldbergs to its new night with new episodes at 8:30pm and 9:30pm all summer.

ABC
8:00 The Middle #112 "Stormy Moon" (REPEAT)
8:30 The Goldbergs #5 "The Ring" (REPEAT)
9:00 Modern Family #104 "ClosetCon '13" (REPEAT)

9:30 The Goldbergs #13 "The Other Smother" (REPEAT)
10:00 Motive #15 "They Made Me a Criminal"

CBS
8:00 Hawaii Five-0 #82 "Pukana" (REPEAT)
9:00 Criminal Minds #196 "The Caller" (REPEAT)
10:00 CSI #302 "Under a Cloud" (REPEAT)

NBC
8:00 2014 World Music Awards (SPECIAL)
10:00 Brian Williams Reporting: Inside the Mind of Edward Snowden (SPECIAL)

FOX
8:00 So You Think You Can Dance (Season Premiere)

THURSDAY
Thursday night has a series premiere on NBC with their new multi-cam comedy Undateable. If NBC can't get anything going with comedies on Thursdays in the regular season, I highly doubt they'll be able to in the summer. NBC might see better results with week two of Last Comic Standing while it'll probably be ugly for week two of Gang Related on FOX.

ABC
8:00 The Bachelorette (REPEAT)
10:00 Black Box #6 "Forget Me"


CBS
8:00 The Big Bang Theory #145 "The Discovery Dissipation" (REPEAT)
8:30 Mom #16 "Nietzsche and a Beer Run" (REPEAT)
9:00 Two and a Half Men #234 "On Vodka, On Soda, On Blender, On Mixer!" (REPEAT)
9:30 The Millers #12 "Miller's Mind" (REPEAT)

10:00 Elementary #34 "Tremors" (REPEAT)

NBC
8:00 Hollywood Game Night
9:00 Undateable #1 "Pilot" (SERIES PREMIERE)
9:30 Undateable #2 "Pants Buddies"

10:00 Last Comic Standing

FOX
8:00 Hell's Kitchen
9:00 Gang Related #2 "Sangre Por Sangre"

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

PILOT REVIEW: The Night Shift

THE NIGHT SHIFT












Starring: Eoin Macken, Jill Flint, Ken Leung, Brendan Fehr, Daniella Alonso, Robert Bailey Jr., Jeananne Goossen, JR Lemon, and Freddy Rodriguez

Created by Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah
Written by Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah, Directed by Pierre Morel

The Night Shift is a new medical drama centered on the night shift staff at San Antonio Medical Center. The new chief of the night shift is Jordan Alexander (Jill Flint), and she is charged with getting the rowdy staff under control and with pressure from hospital administrator Michael Ragosa (Freddy Rodriguez). The most brilliant staff member is a rebellious doctor, TC Callahan (Eoin Macken), who recently returned from a stint in Afghanistan. He often sides with another doctor with military experience, Topher (Ken Leung). Rounding out the main cast is psychiatrist Dr. Landry Miller (Daniella Alonso) and two new residents, Krista and Paul (Jeananne Goossen and Robert Bailey Jr.).

THE GOOD: There are a lot of likable characters in this show and doctors who are easy to root for, even if they are stereotypes. Jill Flint and Eoin Macken are solid in the lead roles while there is lots of comic relief from the two residents, especially Robert Bailey Jr. as Paul. While hardly the first medical drama to do so, the show does a good job of capturing the craziness of one shift at a busy, understaffed and overworked hospital, just like St. Elsewhere did so brilliantly years ago. Now I'm not comparing this show to that classic, but it's not a bad idea to model their style and intensity to one of the classic medical dramas.

THE BAD: I'm sure one reason this show is not getting great reviews (thought I haven't read them) is that it's pretty generic. While that's not a horrible thing (and I'll go into that in a minute), it does allow itself to be open to some pretty obvious stereotypes. Freddy Rodriguez's character is one big stereotype: the bully administrator who is seemingly working against the staff, but who has a back story that makes him more sympathetic. It seems like every new workplace drama has that type of character and it was pretty obvious how things were going to go with that character. Other than that, the show also does have perhaps a few too many medical "miracles" as is so often the case.

BOTTOM LINE: The Night Shift is not bringing anything new to the medical genre, but that's not a bad thing if it's doing well and I think the early signs are promising. If they can keep the characters interesting, it can overcome some stereotypical situations (look at Chicago Fire). I'll definitely give it another look next week and I'm excited to see what happens when Scott Wolf comes on board for an extended arc.

RATINGS RECAP: 5/26/14

ABC 
8:00 The Bachelorette
Viewers: 6.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6
10:00 Castle (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.5 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9

CBS
8:00 2 Broke Girls (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
8:30 Friends with Better Lives
Viewers: 5.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4
9:00 Mike & Molly (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
9:30 Mom (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9
10:00 48 Hours
Viewers: 5.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9

NBC
8:00 American Ninja Warrior Clip Show
Viewers: 2.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8
9:00 American Ninja Warrior
Viewers: 4.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6

FOX
8:00 Masterchef
Viewers: 4.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.5
9:00 24: Live Another Day
Viewers: 5.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.5 

It was a very soft Memorial Day for the broadcast networks. FOX had the return of annual summer series Masterchef, but it fell to a series low. It could perk up in the weeks to come. It was no help for 24: Live Another Day which fell yet again. It was even in viewers but down two tenths in the demo. NBC saw decent numbers for the return of American Ninja Warrior. It's 1.6 demo tied The Bachelorette for tops of the night so that's not a horrible showing. On ABC, The Bachelorette was down a million viewers and three tenths in the demo from last week, when it followed the performance finale of Dancing with the Stars. It may be able to recover some next week when it's not a holiday. Finally on CBS, the final scheduled episode of the cancelled Friends with Better Lives was up two tenths in viewers but down two tenths in the demo for a series low.

RATINGS RECAP: 5/25/14

ABC 
7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8
8:00 America's Funniest Home Videos (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0
9:00 Castle (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
10:00 Motive (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.5 million, 18-49 demo: 0.5

CBS
7:00 60 Minutes
Viewers: 6.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
8:00 The Good Wife (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.3
9:00 The Good Wife (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.3
10:00 The Mentalist (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.8 million, 18-49 demo: 0.5

NBC
7:00 American Dream Builders
Viewers: 1.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4
9:00 Believe
Viewers: 2.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
10:00 Crisis
Viewers: 2.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7

FOX 
7:00 NASCAR Racing
Viewers: 7.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6

Monday, May 26, 2014

THE RUNDOWN: Monday, May 26 & Tuesday, May 27

Happy Memorial Day!

MONDAY
Monday night has season premieres of two solid summer unscripted shows: Masterchef on FOX and American Ninja Warrior on NBC. Elsewhere, ABC has The Bachelorette and FOX has 24: Live Another Day. CBS has the final scheduled airing for Friends with Better Lives, but there are still five unaired episodes in the can so we'll see if CBS decides to put them on at some point.

ABC
8:00 The Bachelorette
10:00 Castle #107 "Dreamworld" (REPEAT)

CBS
8:00 2 Broke Girls #57 "And the Pastry Porn" (REPEAT)
8:30 Friends with Better Lives #8 "Something New"
9:00 Mike & Molly #74 "Careful What You Dig For" (REPEAT)
9:30 Mom #14 "Leather Cribs and Medieval Rack" (REPEAT)
10:00 48 Hours (REPEAT)


NBC
8:00 Best of American Ninja Warrior (SPECIAL)
9:00 American Ninja Warrior (Season Premiere)
10:00 American Ninja Warrior

FOX
8:00 Masterchef (Season Premiere)
9:00 24: Live Another Day #5 "Day 9: 3:00PM-4:00PM"

TUESDAY
Tuesday night has another two unscripted season premieres: one of TV's top summer shows in NBC's America's Got Talent, as well as ABC's Extreme Weight Loss. NBC is also premiering new scripted medical drama The Night Shift. Thanks to a lead-in from Talent, it probably won't completely collapse but I don't think it'll draw too much interest either. FOX could be historically bad with its two unscripted bombs that have premiered to horrid numbers in the last two weeks.

ABC
8:00 Extreme Weight Loss (Season Premiere)
10:00 Celebrity Wife Swap

CBS
8:00 NCIS #244 "Devil's Triad" (REPEAT)
9:00 NCIS: Los Angeles #100 "Reznikov, N." (REPEAT)

10:00 Person of Interest #53 "Endgame" (REPEAT)

NBC
8:00 America's Got Talent (Season Premiere)
10:00 The Night Shift #1 "Pilot" (SERIES PREMIERE)

FOX
8:00 Riot
9:00 I Wanna Marry "Harry"

Sunday, May 25, 2014

RATINGS RECAP: 5/24/14

ABC
8:00 Celebrity Wife Swap (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
9:00 20/20 Saturday
Viewers: 3.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
10:00 Nightline Prime
Viewers: 2.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.5

CBS
8:00 Mike & Molly (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4
8:30 Mike & Molly (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.5
9:00 48 Hours (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
10:00 48 Hours (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.6 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8

NBC
8:00 NHL Hockey
Viewers: 2.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8

FOX
8:00 MLB Baseball
Viewers: 1.8 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4

RATINGS RECAP: 5/23/14

ABC 
8:00 Shark Tank (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
9:00 Primetime: What Would You Do?
Viewers: 5.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
10:00 20/20
Viewers: 6.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4

CBS
8:00 Undercover Boss (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
9:00 Hawaii Five-0 (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
10:00 Blue Bloods (Repeat)
Viewers: 7.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8

NBC
8:00 Dateline NBC
Viewers: 6.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
10:00 Hannibal
Viewers: 2.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8

FOX
8:00 24: Live Another Day (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.5 million, 18-49 demo: 0.3
9:00 Gang Related (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.2 million, 18-49 demo: 0.3

Friday, May 23, 2014

PILOT REVIEW: Gang Related

GANG RELATED














Starring: Ramon Rodriguez, Jay Hernandez, Rza, Sung Kang, Inbar Lavi, Shantel Vansanten, with Cliff Curtis, and Terry O'Quinn

Created by Chris Morgan
Written by Chris Morgan, Directed by Allen Hughes

Gang Related is a new FOX drama about members of an elite force on the LAPD trying to take down the most dangerous gangs in the city. The force is led by Sam Chapel (Terry O'Quinn), but at the center is Ryan Lopez (Ramon Rodriguez), who was raised by one of the gang families, the Acosta family with its head Javier Acosta (Cliff Curtis) and a banker, Dante (Jay Hernandez), who has gone clean. Rounding out the main cast are other agents Cassius Green (Rza), Tae Kim (Sung Kang), Vanessa Hicks (Inbar Levi), and Chapel's daughter and ADA Jessica Chapel (Shantel Vansanten).

THE GOOD: Well, I think this is an interesting topic for a TV show. While many crime dramas deal with gang episodes or arcs, there is very rarely an entire show devoted to dealing with gangs, and LA is a great setting for the show with its history of gang troubles. Ramon Rodriguez is pretty good and believable in the lead role as the conflicted detective. There seems to be good camaraderie between the team and Cliff Curtis seems potentially compelling as the head of the Acosta family.

THE BAD: I found myself getting bored often during the pilot. For a show about gangs, I expected there to be more violence and action than there was. It was sort of falling into the same problems that have plagued Chicago PD so far: a good setting and feel but not a compelling enough story to really make it work. I try to pay close attention to a pilot for reviewing purposes but I kept finding myself getting distracted during this one.

BOTTOM LINE: Gang Related was a hot pilot a year ago and when it was announced for a May 2014 premiere, it seemed like it was part of a major push for year-round programming with quality scripted shows. But here we are with a mundane show that bombed in the ratings following a rough season for FOX so it seems like it's back to the drawing board. For scripted shows to work in the summer, they need to be better than this.

RATINGS RECAP: 5/22/14

ABC
8:00 The Bachelorette (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6
9:30 Modern Family (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.8 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9
10:00 Black Box
Viewers: 3.8 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8

CBS
8:00 The Big Bang Theory (Repeat)
Viewers: 9.1 million, 18-49 demo: 2.2
8:30 The Millers (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4
9:00 Two and a Half Men (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
9:30 Bad Teacher
Viewers: 4.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
10:00 Elementary (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8 

NBC
8:00 Hollywood Game Night
Viewers: 3.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
9:00 Last Comic Standing
Viewers: 5.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.7

FOX
8:00 Hell's Kitchen
Viewers: 4.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6
9:00 Gang Related
Viewers: 2.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9 

The first night of the summer season was not bad for the victor of the regular season, NBC. After Hollywood Game Night, which was up two tenths in viewers and even in the demo, they brought back Last Comic Standing, which hadn't been since on NBC since Summer 2010. But the show returned pretty strongly as it was basically on par with what it was getting four years ago, when overall ratings were higher. Things did not go as well for FOX's premiere but first, Hell's Kitchen was down six tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo. The series premiere of new scripted drama Gang Related got absolutely no interest. Though it didn't premiere as bad as the last two Tuesday unscripted shows, it was utterly rejected by the Hell's Kitchen audience. So much for FOX's year-round programming idea. On ABC, Black Box didn't have a new lead-in and it fell half a million viewers and three tenths in the demo while Bad Teacher on CBS was down 1.2 million viewers and three tenths in the demo.

THE RUNDOWN: Friday, May 23, Saturday, May 24, & Sunday, May 25

FRIDAY

ABC
8:00 Shark Tank (REPEAT)
9:00 Primetime: What Would You Do?
10:00 20/20

CBS 
8:00 Undercover Boss (REPEAT)
9:00 Hawaii Five-0 #77 "Kupouli'la" (REPEAT)

10:00 Blue Bloods #72 "Lost and Found" (REPEAT)

NBC
8:00 Dateline NBC
10:00 Hannibal #26 "Mizumono" (Season Finale)

FOX
8:00 24: Live Another Day #4 "Day 9: 2:00PM-3:00PM" (REPEAT)
9:00 Gang Related #1 "Pilot" (REPEAT)

SATURDAY

ABC
8:00 Celebrity Wife Swap (REPEAT)
9:00 20/20 Saturday
10:00 Nightline Prime

CBS 
8:00 Mike & Molly #72 "The First and Last Ride Along" (REPEAT)
8:30 Bad Teacher #2 "Daddy Issues" (REPEAT)
9:00 48 Hours (REPEAT)
10:00 48 Hours (REPEAT)

NBC
8:00 Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 3: Chicago at LA Kings

FOX
8:00 MLB Baseball: Washington at Pittsburgh

SUNDAY

ABC
7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos (REPEAT)
8:00 America's Funniest Home Videos (REPEAT)
9:00 Castle #106 "Valkyrie" (REPEAT)

10:00 Motive #14 "Raw Deal" (REPEAT)

CBS 
7:00 60 Minutes
8:00 The Good Wife #101 "Goliath and David" (REPEAT)
9:00 The Good Wife #102 "We, the Juries" (REPEAT)
10:00 The Mentalist #127 "White Lines" (REPEAT)

NBC
7:00 American Dream Builders
8:00 American Dream Builders (Season Finale)
9:00 Believe #10 "Collapse"
10:00 Crisis #9 "You Do Not Know War"

FOX
7:00 NASCAR Racing: Sprint Cup 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

RATINGS RECAP: 5/21/14

ABC
8:00 The Middle
Viewers: 7.9 million, 18-49 demo: 2.1 
9:00 Modern Family
Viewers: 10.5 million, 18-49 demo: 3.7
9:30 Mixology
Viewers: 4.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
10:00 Motive
Viewers: 4.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9

CBS
8:00 Survivor
Viewers: 9.6 million, 18-49 demo: 2.6
10:00 Survivor Live Reunion Show
Viewers: 7.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.9

NBC
8:00 Revolution
Viewers: 4.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
9:00 Law & Order: SVU
Viewers: 6.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6
10:00 Chicago PD
Viewers: 6.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6

FOX 
8:00 American Idol
Viewers: 10.5 million, 18-49 demo: 2.6

On the final night of the season there were a lot of big players. On FOX, the season finale of American Idol was up 1.6 million viewers and half a demo point. It's a nice finale spike but still down nearly 30% year to year and I don't see it getting better next year. Over on CBS, Survivor's finale was down three tenths in viewers and even in the demo, which isn't bad considering the competition. It tied Idol in the demo. We'll see if CBS decides to keep the finale on Wednesday or go back to Sunday in the fall. The Live Reunion special won the hour at 10pm. On NBC, the series finale of the cancelled Revolution was up two tenths in viewers and down a tenth in the demo. Hard to believe this show premiered to a 4.1 demo less than two years ago. The season finale of Law & Order: SVU was up a million viewers and even in the demo while the season finale of Chicago PD was up two tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo.

ABC held its own for the first half of the night even with the big finales. At 8pm, a one hour finale of The Middle was up eight tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo for its best performance since February 5. At 9pm, Modern Family saw a huge spike for Mitch and Cam's wedding. It was up 1.4 million viewers and half a demo point for its best performance since November 13. Even with big finales on the night, it was easily the night's top performer. Mixology got no help from the big lead-in as the series finale of the cancelled show was dead even with last week. Most Modern Family viewers probably switched over to Idol or Survivor to see who won. At 10pm, the season premiere of summer series Motive did numbers close to what it was getting for most of last summer but it skewed old.

THE RUNDOWN: Thursday, May 22

The summer season is upon us and it's a pretty busy first night. NBC is bringing Last Comic Standing back for the first time since summer 2010 while FOX is premiering the new Gang Related. While I think Gang Related looks like it has promise, it doesn't seem like it'll register as FOX seems off the map with its summer premieres so far. There are also new episodes from Black Box, Bad Teacher, Hollywood Game Night, and Hell's Kitchen.

ABC
8:00 The Bachelorette (REPEAT)
9:30 Modern Family #103 "A Fair to Remember" (REPEAT)

10:00 Black Box #5 "Jerusalem"

CBS
8:00 The Big Bang Theory #144 "The Thanksgiving Decoupling" (REPEAT)
8:30 The Millers #13 "Driving Miss Crazy" (REPEAT)
9:00 Two and a Half Men #238 "Three Fingers of Creme de Menthe" (REPEAT)
9:30 Bad Teacher #5 "The 6th Grade Lock-In"

10:00 Elementary #30 "An Unnatural Arrangement" (REPEAT)

NBC
8:00 Hollywood Game Night
9:00 Last Comic Standing (Season Premiere)

FOX 
8:00 Hell's Kitchen
9:00 Gang Related #1 "Pilot" (SERIES PREMIERE)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

RATINGS RECAP: 5/20/14

ABC
8:00 Dancing with the Stars Recap
Viewers: 11.6 million, 18-49 demo: 1.7
9:00 Dancing with the Stars
Viewers: 15.1 million, 18-49 demo: 2.4

CBS
8:00 Judge Judy Primetime
Viewers: 5.6 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9
9:00 ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute to the Troops
Viewers: 4.5 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9 

NBC
8:00 The Voice Recap
Viewers: 7.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.9
9:00 The Voice
Viewers: 11.7 million, 18-49 demo: 3.3 

FOX 
8:00 American Idol
Viewers: 6.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.7
9:00 I Wanna Marry "Harry"
Viewers: 1.9 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7 

Tuesday night had the second showdown between Dancing with the Stars and The Voice and the results were the same as Monday: a total viewers win for Dancing and demo win for The Voice with both possibly hurting each other a little bit. Dancing with the Stars was up a bit from its finale last fall so that's a good thing since it was facing The Voice. It's been a rebound spring for Dancing. It was not as much of a good season for The Voice as it was down seven tenths in the demo from its fall finale. Overall, The Voice had a pretty down spring but it often got overlooked because the raw numbers were still quite good. CBS misfired with Judge Judy and ACM specials while FOX had embarrassing numbers. The performance finale night of American Idol was largely ignored as it lost to a recap of The Voice and tied a recap of Dancing in the same hour. Then, there was absolutely zero interest in I Wanna Marry "Harry." It's gonna be ugly for FOX next week when that show is paired with fellow mega-flop Riot.

RATINGS RECAP: 5/19/14

ABC
8:00 Dancing with the Stars
Viewers: 15.7 million, 18-49 demo: 2.6
9:30 The Bachelorette
Viewers: 7.2 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0

CBS
8:00 2 Broke Girls (Repeat)
Viewers: 4.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
8:30 Friends with Better Lives
Viewers: 5.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6
9:00 Mike & Molly
Viewers: 7.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.9
9:30 Mom (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4
10:00 Criminal Minds (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3 

NBC
8:00 The Voice
Viewers: 11.7 million, 18-49 demo: 3.2
10:00 The Maya Rudolph Show
Viewers: 6.8 million, 18-49 demo: 2.1 

FOX 
8:00 Bones
Viewers: 6.0 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6
9:00 24: Live Another Day
Viewers: 5.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.7 

Monday night was the first on a two night showdown between Dancing with the Stars and The Voice. First up on ABC, the performance finale of Dancing with the Stars was up 1.3 million viewers and three tenths in the demo to tie its season high. It was followed by the season premiere of annual summer series The Bachelorette. It produced solid numbers but it hit these same numbers for its premiere last year without a lead-in from Dancing. Still, it should continue to be a solid summer show for ABC. On CBS, Friends with Better Lives was up three tenths in viewers and even in the demo. It's really seeming like CBS maybe gave up on this show too soon as its holding up following a repeat. The season finale of Mike & Molly was up a tenth in viewers and down a tenth in the demo.

The Voice may have lost out on the total viewer count but it easily beat Dancing in the demo as it was up six tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo. NBC had the special The Maya Rudolph Show at 10pm and while it didn't have numbers like The Blacklist and a big drop at the half hour, it still did well enough to at least warrant another special if not an attempt at a series by NBC. On FOX, the season finale of Bones was down four tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo. Week three of 24: Live Another Day was down another eight tenths in viewers and three tenths in the demo. Looks like people didn't miss Jack Bauer as much as FOX and pundits thought as this show has been falling hard in the first couple weeks.

RATINGS RECAP: 5/18/14

ABC
7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos
Viewers: 6.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6
8:00 2014 Billboard Music Awards
Viewers: 10.7 million, 18-49 demo: 3.5

CBS 
7:00 60 Minutes
Viewers: 9.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
8:00 The Amazing Race
Viewers: 8.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.8
9:00 The Good Wife
Viewers: 9.1 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
10:00 The Mentalist
Viewers: 9.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.5 

NBC
7:00 Coldplay: Ghost Stories
Viewers: 1.6 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4
8:00 American Dream Builders
Viewers: 1.8 million, 18-49 demo: 0.5
9:00 The Women of SNL
Viewers: 2.5 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8 

FOX
7:00 Bob's Burgers
Viewers: 2.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9
7:30 American Dad!
Viewers: 2.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.2
8:00 The Simpsons
Viewers: 3.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6
8:30 Family Guy
Viewers: 3.9 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0
9:00 Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
Viewers: 3.2 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1

Sunday night had season finales on CBS and FOX. On CBS, 60 Minutes started things off up 1.4 million viewers and two tenths in the demo. At 8pm, the season finale of The Amazing Race was up eight tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo. I think the move to the lower pressure Friday slot next year will be good for this show. At 9pm, The Good Wife was up four tenths in viewers and even in the demo but it was The Mentalist that was more impressive as it was up 1.1 million viewers and three tenths in the demo. Of course The Mentalist is the one that won't be back until midseason. On ABC, the season finale of America's Funniest Home Videos was up seven tenths in viewers and even in the demo. The Billboard Music Awards were up significantly from last year to their best performance in years. This was an impressive showing for a second tier award show. 

On FOX, all the animated shows had their season finales. Bob's Burgers was dead even with last week. The final FOX airing of American Dad! was also dead even with last week. After nearly a decade on FOX, the show will head to TBS in the fall. At 8pm, The Simpsons was down four tenths in viewers and even in the demo while Family Guy was down three tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo. Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey was down three tenths in viewers and even in the demo. That shows still has a couple weeks left. Finally on NBC, American Dream Builders was down four tenths in viewers and even in the demo.

SEASON IN REVIEW: 2013-14 Miscellaneous Awards

We have reached the final day of the 2013-14 season so I have my miscellaneous awards post as I have in years past - looking at the best and worst of the TV season that is ending!

Check back over the summer on this blog for ratings recaps, pilot reviews of new scripted shows (and there's a lot this year!), and a continuation of the Weekend Rewind from old CBS lineups (before I start with NBC in the fall).

Past Years: 2013   2012   2011

BEST RETURNING COMEDY - The Middle (ABC)
Since it premiered just one week after Modern Family on the same network and night, The Middle has always been considered the "second sitcom." And for a couple years, it deserved that status. While consistently good, it wasn't as witty or as sharp as the acclaimed Modern Family. But in the past two years, that has reversed. While Family is showing signs of age and inconsistency, The Middle is as good as ever, if not better. This season, the show felt fresh with storylines that involved oldest son Axl's college experience. The heart of the show remained the same. It's a show that you always feel good when you've watched it and it deserves more acclaim for five straight seasons of excellent quality. I'm going to give it that love here on the blog even if it doesn't get it elsewhere, but it was the most consistently strong sitcom all season.
The Runner-Up: Parks and Recreation (NBC)

BEST RETURNING DRAMA - Chicago Fire (NBC)
Last year, I gave the Best New Drama accolades to The Following over Chicago Fire and I have regretted it ever since. After an OK beginning, the show has been on the ascent ever since and the stories in season two were captivating from start to finish. The show does a nice job of creating engrossing storylines while never lingering on them too long. Like a fire, they quickly put out one story before a new one starts. And the crossovers with Chicago PD have worked out quite well. One of my biggest reservations going in was how were they going to make fires interesting every week? But here we are two years down and they're still doing it. And what a season finale!
The Runners-Up: Scandal (ABC), Blue Bloods (CBS)

THE "REVENGE" AWARD (BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT) - New Girl (FOX)
I am nicknaming this award for Revenge, the show that once had so much promise before things fell apart completely. It pains me to give out this year's award because just a year ago, I was singing its praises as the best thing to happen to sitcoms in a long time. But New Girl completely disintegrated in season three. The seemingly appropriate decision to get Nick and Jess together backfired when they couldn't come up with good storylines. They broke them up but it may be too little, too late. The return of Damon Wayans Jr. as Coach brought nothing to the table, and Schmidt has morphed into one of the more annoying caricatures on TV. There were occasional glimpses of the show it used to be but it seems like a shell of what it was. The audience may be gone forever but hopefully season four can get back to basics and return this show to its former glory. 

THE "WHAT HAPPENED" AWARD - Person of Interest (CBS)
I would put Person of Interest as a runner-up in the disappointment category, but it wasn't always that way this season. The fall was excellent leading up to the death of Taraji P. Henson's character in a shocking and daring twist. It was so excellent, I even put that episode as my #1 episode of any show in 2013. But then the aftermath was a show that couldn't really find its identity. As it got bogged down in the Samaritan storyline and emergence of Shaw, the show lost its original intent which was a mix of procedural and case of the week. Dramas like this are so much better off when they let themselves just be a case of the week show once in awhile. Person of Interest did this flawlessly in seasons one, two, and the beginning of three. But ever since the death of Detective Carter, I feel like the show has become unnecessarily grim and depressing while not having the humor or simplicity it used to have (and sometimes needs). 

THE "BEST SEASON FINALE" AWARD - Parks and Recreation (NBC)
Parks and Recreation had another great season, it's almost taken for granted at this point. But everything that has made the show so good was included in the season finale. From memorable characters like Perd Hapley, Jean Ralphio and Mona Lisa, Tammy, and a hologram of Lil' Sebastian! The show felt like a series finale in many ways as it looked like Leslie's time in Pawnee was coming to an end. But then in the waning seconds, the show pulled off a surprise time jump of three years and it showed Leslie in her new position but still in Pawnee. The show will pick up there to freshen it up for its final season. It was sentimental but surprising, a perfect season finale. Now if only it gets rid of Billy Eichner in season seven!
The Runners-Up: The Goldbergs (ABC), Chicago Fire (NBC)

THE RUNDOWN: Wednesday, May 21

It's the last day of the season and it's a busy one!

For the first time in over a decade, CBS is not airing the Survivor finale on Sunday night, but in its regular Wednesday slot. That allows it to go head to head with the American Idol finale and I think the results will be pretty close. I think Idol will still win, but Survivor will make it a fight. ABC has a one hour finale of The Middle and the conclusion of Mitch and Cam's wedding on Modern Family and they should put up a fight too. Family will probably still be the top demo even with the other finales. After the series finale of the cancelled Mixology, ABC is airing the season premiere of summer drama Motive but I don't think it'll get much attention. NBC, who will win the season in the demo regardless, could get lost on this last night with the series finale of cancelled Revolution and season finales of Law & Order: SVU and Chicago PD.

ABC
8:00 The Middle #119 "Orlando" Part 1
8:30 The Middle #120 "The Wonderful World of Hicks" Part 2 (Season Finale)
9:00 Modern Family #120 "The Wedding" Part 2 (Season Finale)
9:30 Mixology #13 "Closing Time" (SERIES FINALE)
10:00 Motive #14 "Raw Deal" (Season Premiere)

CBS 
8:00 Survivor (28th Edition Finale)
10:00 Survivor: Cagayan Live Reunion Show (SPECIAL)

NBC
8:00 Revolution #42 "Declaration of Independence" (SERIES FINALE)
9:00 Law & Order: SVU #343 "Spring Awakening" (Season Finale)
10:00 Chicago PD #15 "A Beautiful Friendship" (Season Finale)

FOX 
8:00 American Idol (Season Finale) 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

SEASON IN REVIEW: 2013-14 Dramas

Here is my season in review of the new dramas!

It was not nearly as good a year for dramas as it was for comedies. There were 20 new dramas, just like comedies, but very few quality ones. All four networks are high on their dramas for next year so hopefully next year will be a step up for the dramas.

Tomorrow, check back for my miscellaneous awards for returning shows and other highlights and lowlights of the season!

Past Years: 2013   2012   2011

BEST NEW DRAMA
The Blacklist (NBC) - By far the biggest new hit of the season, The Blacklist was also my favorite new one even though I liked it at some points better than other points. This was a show, much like Person of Interest, that was better when it was less complicated as it was early on. When each week was a different villain and the show was just exploring some overarching stories, it was better than when it got bogged down in some of the longer range storylines. Still, James Spader's performance alone was enough to vault this show to the top (more on that below). It was a thrilling ride a lot of the time.

The Runners-Up
Chicago PD (NBC) - Just like The Blacklist, I enjoyed this show but not maybe as much as I thought I might or as much potential as it sometimes showed. While the ensemble was good, I didn't find all the police cases that compelling. This show was actually at its best when it was crossing over with Chicago Fire or Law & Order: SVU. It has some strong moments so maybe it's still finding its feet. I hope it does.

Resurrection (ABC) - ABC's midseason drama was a fascinating topic: about dead family members suddenly returning. But it didn't always put it together (see a trend with this year's dramas? And these were the top 3!) Still this show had some good and eerie moments along with some promising performances. I just wish it had answered more questions and moved things along a little faster.

Worth Mentioning: Hostages (CBS), Black Box (ABC)

BEST LEAD ACTOR IN A NEW DRAMA
James Spader, The Blacklist (NBC) - I wasn't always thrilled with The Blacklist but if there's a single performance in a new show that towers above all the rest, comedy or drama, it's James Spader as Red Reddington in this show. Spader's signature scowl and sleaziness paid off big time in this role as he became a ruthless villain you couldn't help but root for a little bit. He treated every showdown with a major terrorist as a coffee date. Any time The Blacklist veered off course a little bit, Spader never wavered in his cocksure and convincing portrayal of Reddington. He rivaled Kerry Washington for the way he commanded the screen every time he was on.

The Runners-Up
Jason Beghe, Chicago PD (NBC) - Jason Beghe was first memorable on Chicago PD as dirty cop Hank Voight. When he became the leader of the intelligence unit on Chicago PD, he brought that same gruff attitude and it's hard to tell sometimes if he's fiercely loyal to his city or an actual dirty cop. He plays the tough guy very well, I think a lot of that has to do with his voice.

Dylan McDermott, Hostages (CBS) - Hostages is probably long forgotten for most and I didn't even finish watching the full season, but Dylan McDermott was pretty solid as FBI Agent Duncan Carlisle. Like both Spader and Beghe, McDermott's character was an interesting mix of good guy and bad guy. Though he was decent in this, I'm more excited for his new show coming in the fall, Stalker.

Worth Mentioning: Greg Kinnear, Rake (FOX), Omar Epps, Resurrection (ABC)

BEST LEAD ACTRESS IN A NEW DRAMA
Toni Collette, Hostages (CBS) - As I said above, Hostages was not my favorite new show or one I particularly cared about. In fact, this is a very weak category this year. But Toni Collette still did give a nice performance as the conflicted surgeon Dr. Ellen Sanders. Torn between committing a crime by letting the president die and saving her family who were taken hostage, Collette played the conflict well. She was also a good foil for Dylan McDermott as there was an odd but interesting dynamic between the two of them.

The Runners-Up
Megan Boone, The Blacklist (NBC) - Megan Boone's performance (and everyone else's) was dwarfed by James Spader on The Blacklist, but she was still a very solid performer as Elizabeth Keen, the only agent Red Reddington would cooperate with. Keen went through a very emotional journey during the season and I think Boone improved as the series went on to be more assertive and yet also emotional (at the beginning, she was basically at one level all the time). Being around Spader is probably making her a better actress!

Kelly Reilly, Black Box (ABC) - Black Box is a little bit of an underrated late entry to the TV season despite being originally planned as a cheap summer series. Kelly Reilly gives an interesting performance as Catherine Black, a brilliant neurologist who also has manic depression. Reilly is pretty convincing as someone suffering from the disease.

Worth Mentioning: Nicole Beharie, Sleepy Hollow (FOX), Jodie Whitaker, The Assets (ABC)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A NEW DRAMA
Jon Seda, Chicago PD (NBC) - Like Jason Beghe, Jon Seda's character was first seen on Chicago Fire so he was a familiar face when Chicago PD started. As Detective Antonio Dawson, he is refreshing on PD because he seems the least shady of the group. Sure, he's a tough guy but he seems the most well-meaning of the team and Jon Seda is a very likable presence on screen. In a stronger drama year, he might not be at the top but he's the most deserving of this group in the supporting actor category.

The Runners-Up
Kurtwood Smith, Resurrection (ABC) - I've only ever seen Kurtwood Smith in That 70s Show, so it was quite a change to get used to him as the skeptical yet well-meaning Henry Langston. Smith gave a good performance as he had a gruff exterior but soft heart and he struggled to accept the idea that his dead son had returned. I wish the writers would give him more to do, though.

Jesse Lee Soffer, Chicago PD (ABC) - Yet another Chicago Fire veteran, I feel like we haven't gotten to see enough of Jesse Lee Soffer on PD yet but he's on this list because, of course, it wasn't a strong year for dramas and because I feel like he has a lot of potential. If anything, he deserves to be on this list thanks to his run on Fire.

Worth Mentioning: Elias Koteas, Chicago PD (NBC), Orlando Jones, Sleepy Hollow (FOX)


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A NEW DRAMA
Sophia Bush, Chicago PD (NBC) - Yet another Chicago PD actor makes the list but again, it's a little bit by default. Sophia Bush is strong as Erin Lindsay - a tough cop with a past that's only beginning to be explored including a connection with Jason Beghe's Hank Voight. Bush has had some good interactions with criminals, the other cops, and the characters from Chicago Fire. Her character is a microcosm of the whole show: promising and solid, but I'm left wanting something a little bit more.

The Runners-Up
Frances Fisher, Resurrection (ABC) - As Lucille Langston, Frances Fisher plays on the wife of Kurtwood Smith's character and it's a very similar feeling I have. She was good but I wish she had more to do. Considering the glacial pace that Resurrection moved and the number of unnecessary characters, Fisher did the most with what she was given. Maybe in season two they'll speed things up a bit and flesh out the stronger characters more.

Vanessa Redgrave, Black Box (ABC) - It was a bit of a coup for a low budget show like Black Box to get a star like Vanessa Redgrave on the show. But as the therapist to the title character, Redgrave brings an expertise and elegance to the role, even though it's awfully tiny. I wonder if this show will bring her out of the office more in episodes to come.

WORST NEW DRAMA
Betrayal (ABC) - Unlike the categories above, there were TONS of candidates for this category but the single worst new drama of the season has to be ABC's short-lived Sunday show Betrayal. Trying so desperately to be Revenge, the show suffered from being exceedingly boring. There didn't feel like there were any stakes to what was happening. To make matters worse, there was absolutely no chemistry between the two leads and that was the whole point of this show. Just trying to be soapy and edgy is not enough for a very poorly crafted show.

The Runners-Up
Killer Women (ABC) - I so badly wanted this show to be cheesy fun and a good time with its Texas setting and larger than life promos. But then the show aired and it was a whole bunch of nothing. It wasn't lame in a good way, it was just lame. They had an interesting premise here and did absolutely nothing with it.

Believe (NBC) - I am not a sci-fi person by any means so it takes a lot for me to stick with a sci-fi show but usually it can at least hook me in a little bit during the pilot. Believe did not do that for me. It bored me to tears during its pilot and felt like one of those shows that was impossible to get through. I never gave it another look because I didn't feel like it had anything going for it.

Worth Mentioning: Mind Games (ABC), Lucky 7 (ABC)

THE RUNDOWN: Tuesday, May 20

I should have mentioned this yesterday but starting this week, I will not be making predictions for the summer. They will return in the fall. I will still detail the listings and recap the ratings but no predictions for the summer!

There is absolutely NO scripted programming on the big four networks on Tuesday night, but lots of big events. ABC and NBC are going head to head with the finales of Dancing with the Stars and The Voice. It seems likely that Dancing could win total viewers with The Voice dominating in the demo but it's also possible they'll hurt each other. FOX is countering with night one of the two night finale of American Idol and the series premiere of the maligned I Wanna Marry "Harry" featuring girls vying for the affections of who they think is Prince Harry. It could get some curious viewers but I bet most FOX viewers will switch over to Dancing or The Voice when Idol ends at 9pm. CBS is airing its first ever Judge Judy primetime special. Sort of surprising it took this long for one of daytime's top shows to air in primetime. They are also airing a country music salute to the troops.

ABC
8:00 Dancing with the Stars: The Road to the Finals (SPECIAL)
9:00 Dancing with the Stars (18th Edition Finale)

CBS
8:00 Judge Judy Primetime (SPECIAL)
9:00 ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute to the Troops (SPECIAL)

NBC
8:00 The Voice Recap (SPECIAL)
9:00 The Voice (6th Edition Finale)

FOX 
8:00 American Idol
9:00 I Wanna Marry "Harry" (SERIES PREMIERE) 

Monday, May 19, 2014

SEASON IN REVIEW: 2013-14 Comedies

Here is my season in review look at the new comedies!

2013-14 saw TONS of new network comedies, mostly family oriented. There was a grand total of 20 new comedies and while they had trouble in the ratings, I felt like there were many quality ones. After a down year in 2012-13, this season gave us a lot of comedies with potential, some of which are coming back and some which are not.

Past Years: 2013   2012   2011

BEST NEW COMEDY
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX) - In a year full of family comedies, the best new comedy was a sharply written and hilariously funny workplace sitcom. Set in a Brooklyn police precinct, the show was from Parks and Recreation people and it's easy to see the connection. Each of the characters are so well developed from Andy Samberg on down. The show is clever but silly and the police station setting is an area that hasn't been mined much for comedy since Barney Miller. I'm glad it's getting the acclaim it deserves with its surprise win at the Golden Globes. Few sitcoms are able to clearly define its characters and humor in its first season (remember Parks was a disaster) so the fact that this one hit the ground running makes me excited for what's to come.

The Runners-Up
The Goldbergs (ABC) - I had such high hopes for The Goldbergs coming into the season but the first couple weeks were a little disappointing as it was very shrill and still finding its footing. But then about halfway through the season, it got it together and quickly became one of my favorite sitcoms. The 80s family comedy finally decided to embrace the sentimentality a little bit more and that allowed it to even out its tone. It is one of the warmest and funniest sitcoms on the air right now and it's finally heading to Wednesdays, where it belongs.

Mom (CBS) - I had a tough time deciding the #3 spot but I'm going with Mom which was uneven but trying some different things. Centered on two recovering alcoholics, the show was not afraid to get serious but not in a corny way. At the same time, thanks to Allison Janney mostly, it was often uproarious. I don't know if I plan to keep watching this show because it was never appointment viewing for me, but it has a lot going for it.

Worth Mentioning: Surviving Jack (FOX), About a Boy (NBC)

BEST LEAD ACTOR IN A NEW COMEDY
Andy Samberg, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX) - Andy Samberg was never my favorite actor on Saturday Night Live so I was only mildly excited about the prospect of him as the star of a sitcom. However, he has exceeded all expectations as Detective Jake Peralta. Sometimes the "man child" character can be annoying but Samberg makes the silly Peralta very endearing. Samberg delivers an interesting type of comedy because sometimes he can be very dry and sarcastic but other times he is full blown into physical comedy. He does both of them so well and that has helped the show not be too niche or too broad.

The Runners-Up
Robin Williams, The Crazy Ones (CBS) - Robin Williams' highly anticipated return to TV did not work out as well as CBS hoped as The Crazy Ones was cancelled after a single season. But the show did a nice job of containing Williams and making him enjoyable. Too often Robin Williams can be too much for me but it was familiar and fun in this show. If anything, I think the show might have benefited by loosening the strings on Williams just a little bit more.

Christopher Meloni, Surviving Jack (FOX) - Surviving Jack was a real underrated gem of the season and Christopher Meloni proved he can definitely do comedy after years on Law & Order: SVU. As the gruff 90s dad Jack Dunlevy, Meloni was definitely playing a caricature, but he was playing it well. His complete lack of sentimentality and militaristic ways of teaching lessons led to some very funny moments.

Worth Mentioning: David Walton, About a Boy (NBC), Sean Giambrone, The Goldbergs (ABC)

BEST LEAD ACTRESS IN A NEW COMEDY
Wendi McLendon-Covey, The Goldbergs (ABC) - As smothering 80s matriarch Beverly Goldberg, Wendi McLendon-Covey is the best part of a pretty strong ensemble. Overbearing mothers are commonplace in TV sitcoms but Beverly Goldberg goes above and beyond that with absolutely no restraint. McLendon-Covey has great comedic timing and is a perfect foil not just for onscreen husband Jeff Garlin but the three kids as well. My favorite moments from The Goldbergs, starting with her locket gift to son Barry in the pilot, have all involved her. She's like a younger, 80s version of Marie Barone and it's wonderful.

The Runners-Up
Ari Graynor, Bad Teacher (CBS) - Bad Teacher will quickly be forgotten as a late entry and low rated show. But, Ari Graynor's performance shouldn't be forgotten and she should get some other TV role soon. She elevated mediocre material with great comedic timing as her sickly flirtatious approach to teaching made me laugh. I never saw the movie so I can't compare her with Cameron Diaz, but I was pretty impressed.

Anna Faris, Mom (CBS) - Anna Faris came to TV as a stressed out former alcoholic Christy Plunkett, who spent the season trying to make amends with her mother and her children. Faris was at her best when she was reacting to the various eccentrics surrounding her, most often her mother. She was also pretty good at self-deprecating humor.

Worth Mentioning: Malin Akerman, Trophy Wife (ABC), Maggie Lawson, Back in the Game (ABC)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A NEW COMEDY
Albert Tsai, Trophy Wife (ABC) - Trophy Wife was up and down in its first and only season as it never quite lived up to the potential it showed in the pilot. However, Albert Tsai's eight year old Bert was as much of a scene stealer as there ever was. In a year filled with children on screen to varying degrees of success, Bert was the only truly hilarious one. Whether he was cursing or speaking well beyond his years or hiring friends to do his chores, he made the most of every scene he was in. One of my favorite episodes was when Bert had coffee and experienced a high and then crash during his soccer game. You don't find children who have such a range and comedic timing easily so somebody needs to snatch this kid up for another show!

The Runners-Up
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX) - Andre Braugher is pretty much only known for dramatic work so it was surprising to see him cast in a new sitcom. But as Captain Holt on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, he is one of the best straight men on TV (ironic, because his character is gay). In a show filled with wacky characters, Braugher is so extremely serious and it works so well, especially as a foil to Andy Samberg's character. The dynamics between those two is at the heart of this great show.

Jeff Garlin, The Goldbergs (ABC) - Jeff Garlin has taken the same trajectory as his show for me. As Dad Murray Goldberg, I found Garlin to be pretty irritating and loud in the early episodes. But then the writers gave him some depth and a softer side and it paid off nicely. Now he still has his outrageous moments but they're complemented by genuinely touching moments.

Worth Mentioning: Benjamin Stockham, About a Boy (NBC), James Wolk, The Crazy Ones (CBS)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A NEW COMEDY
Melissa Fumero, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX) - As Detective Amy Santiago, Melissa Fumero is a perfect foil to Andy Samberg's character in a much different way than Andre Braugher's Ray Holt is. These two are buddies but also sparring partners. With their endless competitions to be the better detective and their flirty yet insulting relationship, they are one of those great male-female workplace duos like Pam and Jim from The Office or Mary and Murray from The Mary Tyler Moore Show. It looks like the show is moving towards the Pam and Jim route with the hint of a relationship but I hope they take their time to get there because they are the best when they're at playful war with each other. Melissa Fumero is beautiful, smart, and witty. It's easy to see why Jake Peralta has a hard time not having a crush on her.

The Runners-Up
Allison Janney, Mom (CBS) - I have yet to see Allison Janney be bad in anything she has done. From the great CJ on the great The West Wing to a hilarious turn on an otherwise bad show in 2011's Mr. Sunshine, Janney makes the most of her material and Mom is no exception. Her trashy yet caring portrayal of Bonnie Plunkett has been one of the season's more layered performances because she can be dry and funny but also tackle serious topics. I didn't put her first because I felt like the writers never quite gave her enough, but I liked everything she did with what she was given.

Margo Martindale, The Millers (CBS) - The Millers is not a very good show. I have given it multiple chances and always find myself tuning out even if it has a good episode here or there. But a bright spot in an otherwise mundane show has been Margo Martindale as Carol Miller. Despite being a bit of a Doris Roberts knockoff, Martindale has such a funny and dry delivery that she elevates both the actors around her and the material. Martindale has done some acclaimed shows and she'd be better off in something better.

Worth Mentioning: Hayley Orrantina, The Goldbergs (ABC), Michaela Watkins, Trophy Wife (ABC)

WORST NEW COMEDY
We Are Men (CBS) - It's hard to even remember this dud since it was mercifully cancelled after two episodes but this was one of those shows that makes me cringe to think of the shows CBS passed on to pick up this crap. Everything was tired and unfunny and the show tried too hard in every area. Plus it had Jerry O'Connell so that's strike three. I don't know what CBS was thinking with this one but it seemed like they instantly regretted it. Tony Shalhoub can do better than this.

The Runners-Up
Dads (FOX) - The most panned show of the year definitely deserved its panning. Dads set multi-cam sitcoms back 20 years with its weak punchlines and borderline racism. I don't know why networks seem to think "broad" means dumb because there have been plenty of smartly written multi-camera sitcoms over the years. Dads was just plain dumb and silly.


Mixology (ABC) - There's only one type of sitcom I hate as much as the "broad multi-camera approach" and that's the sitcoms that's trying way too hard to be edgy or cool. Mixology was most certainly that thanks to its setting in a trendy bar and unusual approach to the season as it all took place on one night in an exclusive bar. ABC tried to be hip and new with this show but the quality has to match the gimmick or logline, and it didn't.

Worth Mentioning: Super Fun Night (ABC), The Michael J. Fox Show (NBC)

THE RUNDOWN: Monday, May 19

Monday night has season finales of Bones and Mike & Molly and the first night of a two-night finale for both Dancing with the Stars and The Voice. It will be interesting to see if there's enough room for both of them to have a boost. ABC is premiering The Bachelorette and it usually does well on this night when it premieres after Dancing. NBC is airing the special The Maya Rudolph Show as it attempts to jump in the variety show format, but I don't think it'll generate much interest.

ABC 
8:00 Dancing with the Stars
9:30 The Bachelorette (Season Premiere)

CBS
8:00 2 Broke Girls #54 "And the Piece of Sheet" (REPEAT)
8:30 Friends with Better Lives #7 "Cyrano de Trainer-Zac"

9:00 Mike & Molly #92 "Eight is Enough" (Season Finale)
9:30 Mom #13 "Hot Soup and Shingles" (REPEAT)
10:00 Criminal Minds #190 "To Bear Witness" (REPEAT)

NBC
8:00 The Voice
10:00 The Maya Rudolph Show (SPECIAL)

FOX 
8:00 Bones #190 "The Recluse in the Recliner" (Season Finale)
9:00 24: Live Another Day #4 "Day 9: 2:00PM-3:00PM"

Sunday, May 18, 2014

RATINGS RECAP: 5/17/14

ABC 
8:00 Movie: Spiderman 2
Viewers: 2.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.6

CBS
8:00 2 Broke Girls (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.5
8:30 Friends with Better Lives (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.8 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4
9:00 48 Hours (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.5 million, 18-49 demo: 0.5
10:00 48 Hours
Viewers: 5.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8

NBC
8:00 Dateline Mystery
Viewers: 5.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9
10:00 Saturday Night Live (Repeat)
Viewers: 2.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0

FOX 
8:00 Kitchen Nightmares (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4
9:00 The Following (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.3

THE RUNDOWN: Sunday, May 18

Check back this week for my season in review features!

ABC
7:00 America's Funniest Home Videos (Season Finale)
8:00 2014 Billboard Music Awards (SPECIAL)

CBS
7:00 60 Minutes
8:00 The Amazing Race (24th Edition Finale)
9:00 The Good Wife #112 "A Weird Year" (Season Finale)
10:00 The Mentalist #138 "Blue Bird" (Season Finale)

NBC
7:00 Coldplay: Ghost Stories (SPECIAL)
8:00 American Dream Builders
9:00 The Women of SNL (SPECIAL - REPEAT)

FOX 
7:00 Bob's Burgers #67 "World Wharf II: The Wharfening" (Season Finale)
7:30 American Dad! #172 "The Longest Distance Relationship" (Season Finale)
8:00 The Simpsons #552 "The Yellow Badge of Cowardge" (Season Finale)
8:30 Family Guy #231 "Cheap Stewie" (Season Finale)
9:00 Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

RATINGS RECAP: 5/16/14

ABC 
8:00 Shark Tank
Viewers: 6.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.7
9:00 Barbara Walters: Her Story
Viewers: 9.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.6

CBS 
8:00 Hawaii Five-0 (Repeat)
Viewers: 5.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
9:00 Blue Bloods (Repeat)
Viewers: 6.1 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
10:00 Blue Bloods (Repeat)
Viewers: 7.0 million, 18-49 demo: 0.8

NBC
8:00 Dateline NBC
Viewers: 6.8 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
9:00 Grimm
Viewers: 5.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.3
10:00 Hannibal
Viewers: 2.3 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9

FOX 
8:00 24: Live Another Day (Repeat)
Viewers: 1.6 million, 18-49 demo: 0.4
9:00 Kitchen Nightmares
Viewers: 2.4 million, 18-49 demo: 0.9

On Friday night, ABC started with the season finale of Shark Tank at a special time. It was down seven tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo as it looks like it belongs at 9pm. ABC saluted the long and distinguished career of the retiring Barbara Walters with a two hour special. As expected, it did well in total viewers but skewed old. On NBC, Dateline NBC was up 2 million viewers and a tenth in the demo. The season finale of Grimm was up half a million viewers and even in the demo. Hannibal was up three tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo. Finally on FOX, Kitchen Nightmares was on par with its last airing two weeks ago.

Friday, May 16, 2014

RATINGS RECAP: 5/15/14

ABC
8:00 Grey's Anatomy (Repeat)
Viewers: 3.7 million, 18-49 demo: 0.7
9:00 Grey's Anatomy
Viewers: 8.9 million, 18-49 demo: 2.6
10:00 Black Box
Viewers: 4.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1

CBS
8:00 The Big Bang Theory
Viewers: 16.7 million, 18-49 demo: 4.9
8:30 The Millers
Viewers: 9.8 million, 18-49 demo: 2.3
9:00 Two and a Half Men (Repeat)
Viewers: 7.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.7
9:30 Bad Teacher
Viewers: 5.5 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4
10:00 Elementary
Viewers: 7.4 million, 18-49 demo: 1.4 

NBC
8:00 Hollywood Game Night
Viewers: 3.7 million, 18-49 demo: 1.1
9:00 Movie: Rosemary's Baby
Viewers: 3.3 million, 18-49 demo: 1.0

FOX 
8:00 Hell's Kitchen
Viewers: 4.9 million, 18-49 demo: 1.7
9:00 American Idol
Viewers: 8.7 million, 18-49 demo: 2.0 

On Thursday night, CBS had a huge rally for The Big Bang Theory after last week's low against the draft. It soared back up 2.3 million viewers and 1.1 demo points for its best season finale numbers yet. At 8:30pm, the season finale of The Millers was up eight tenths in viewers and four tenths in the demo. Bad Teacher was down two tenths in viewers and up a tenth in the demo. Elementary closed its season on a down note as it was down a tenth in viewers and the demo for a new series low despite very little competition. On ABC, the final Sandra Oh episode of Grey's Anatomy only saw a little bump as it was up nine tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo. It will move to 8pm in the fall so this could be its highest rating for awhile. At 10pm, Black Box was down three tenths in viewers and a tenth in the demo.

On FOX, Hell's Kitchen was up six tenths in viewers and two tenths in the demo. At 9pm, American Idol rallied nicely as it was up 1.5 million viewers and four tenths in the demo. This little rally perhaps bodes well for the finale next week and maybe it won't be a complete disaster. Finally on NBC, Hollywood Game Night was up half a million viewers and two tenths in the demo. Part two of Rosemary's Baby did even worse than Sunday as NBC's first miniseries in quite awhile was a failed experiment. But I think it's worth trying again, maybe one of higher quality or with a bigger name attached.

THE RUNDOWN: Friday, May 16 & Saturday, May 17

FRIDAY
Friday night has season finales of Shark Tank (at a special time) and Grimm. There is also a Barbara Walters special to honor her retirement after decades at ABC News. I think that could be a solid draw, at least in total viewers.

ABC 
8:00 Shark Tank (Season Finale)
9:00 Barbara Walters: Her Story (SPECIAL)

CBS
8:00 Hawaii Five-0 #78 "Ua Nalohia" (REPEAT)
9:00 Blue Bloods #70 "To Protect and Serve" (REPEAT)
10:00 Blue Bloods #71 "The Truth About Lying" (REPEAT)


NBC
8:00 Dateline NBC
9:00 Grimm #66 "Blond Ambition" (Season Finale)
10:00 Hannibal #25 "Tome-wan"

FOX 
8:00 24: Live Another Day #3 "1:00PM-2:00PM" (REPEAT)
9:00 Kitchen Nightmares


SATURDAY

ABC
8:00 MOVIE: Spiderman

CBS
8:00 2 Broke Girls #53 "And the Cronuts" (REPEAT)
8:30 Friends with Better Lives #3 "Game Sext Match" (REPEAT)
9:00 48 Hours (REPEAT)

10:00 48 Hours

NBC
8:00 Dateline NBC
10:00 Saturday Night Live (REPEAT)

FOX 
8:00 Kitchen Nightmares (REPEAT)
9:00 The Following #30 "Forgive" (REPEAT)