Sorting through the DVR: Animal Practice, Emily Owens M.D. bite the dust; Last Resort & Nashville get a season pass

Why can’t you be on a GOOD show? (Jordana Spiro & Zach Gilford)

Today NBC officially cancelled Animal Practice, but I cut it out of my DVR schedule two weeks ago.  Not only was it painfully not funny, but it was making me start to dislike two actors whom I normally like very much: JoAnna Garcia Swisher and Justin Kirk.  They deserve better.  Over the years I’ve learned the difference between giving new shows a chance and watching them despite the fact that I hate them.  So, after one episode Made in Jersey got the boot (both on my personal DVR and the CBS schedule) because it was just atrocious.  I tried to stick with Mob Doctor (another show that I was watching mostly due to the likability of Jordana Spiro and Zach Gilford) but after three episodes of crappy mob stories combined with even crappier cases of the week, I just couldn’t anymore.  Other shows that were swings and misses for me: 666 Park Avenue (which I found SO boring and slow), Emily Owens M.D. (which makes me so sad because Mamie Gummer is so great whenever she guests on The Good Wife but this show is no good), Revolution (which may have suffered for not having ANY actors that I wanted to watch and definitely suffered under the weight of Tracy Spiridakos’ bad acting) and (though I’m still watching because I’m pretty convinced it’s going to be canceled sooner rather than later and I want to get all the man-candy in while I can) Chicago Fire is just a glorified rip off of Third Watch which wasn’t great to begin with. Continue reading

Summer Shows are Almost Here!

Summer is almost upon us and that means a new round of shows to watch and enjoy.  I love the fact that summer series are almost universally light and fun (well, dark, edgy shows about drug-dealing high school chemistry teachers notwithstanding) and am especially looking forward to all the dancing going on this year.  Here’s a look at the new and returning shows that I’m most looking forward to.

 

The CW 2012-13 Schedule

Ah, the CW.  It’s sort of the also-ran network, isn’t it?  Of course it is also home to my favorite show on TV (The Vampire Diaries) and the former home of my guiltiest pleasure (One Tree Hill).  The CW fits a niche and it usually does it pretty well.  It also ends up making loads of scheduling changes every year because the shows that it goes with tend to be a bit flash in the pan-y.  However, I think they’re making some positive moves for next season.

#1 Killing off Gossip Girl is a total blessing.  The show hasn’t really been good since the kids graduated from high school 2 years ago and lately, it feels like all of the actors are just barely going through the motions of pretending to be other characters.  Plus, Penn Badgley is clearly rebelling against the confines of being on network television by growing his hair into an unruly, ugly mop.

#2 The Wednesday block of Arrow and Supernatural could earn The CW some male eyeballs and that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.  I think the network’s bread and butter is definitely females between 18-34, but I think it’s good of them to branch out a bit.  I have sort of given up on Supernatural this season (the whole Leviathan thing was just confusing and annoying) but the Arrow trailer looks promising so I’ll give it a shot.

#3 Ummm, I don’t really have a third thing.  I’m glad the net kept Hart of Dixie because I think it’s adorable and harmless and might eventually settle into being this generation’s Gilmore Girls.  But really, as long as the CW doesn’t get rid of The Vampire Diaries before it’s time, the net and I are all good.

Check out all of the CW’s new shows here.

CBS 2012-13 Schedule

At the end of Vulture’s analysis of CBS’ 2012-13 schedule, there was a really interesting summary of all of the changes/lack of changes of each network’s schedule that basically comes down to the fact that the nets with the fewest changes (CBS, FOX) are the most stable and therefore most desirable for advertisers.  It’s a really interesting analysis so I’m just gonna go ahead and quote the full paragraph:

Veteran network programmers say one of the best predictors of how a net will do in the year ahead is to take a look at how stable its lineup is: Usually, more changes to scripted programming hours means more chaos, more failure, and lower ratings. According to the calculations of one network exec who goes by the Twitter handle of @maskedscheduler, NBC is taking a lot of chances next season: 40 percent of the hours in its scripted lineup consists of all-new shows, and when you count old shows in new time slots, the disruption rate leaps to a whopping 70 percent. ABC, with exactly half of its scripted hours in flux, is also making a high number of programming plays; Fox, with 40 percent new or changed, is much more stable. It should come as no surprise that CBS is the network maintaining the most stability: 22 percent of its scripted hours (three dramas, one comedy) are brand-new, while a mere 16 percent of its veteran shows are moving time slots, resulting in just 38 percent of the lineup in transition. For those of us who analyze TV schedules, the CBS and Fox lineups might seem a little bit sleepy. For those execs who live or die based on how well these adjustments perform in the ratings, another word is probably more appropriate: smart. [Vulture]

 

My general thoughts about CBS (besides boring, boring and a little more boring):

#1 All of their new shows actually look like things I will watch and enjoy.  Partners might grate after a while, but I’m definitely going to give it a shot.  And while Elementary is a blatant rip off of the BBC’s Sherlock (modernizing the Sherlock Holmes tales), I like the twist of a female Watson and I’ve always found Jonny Lee Miller extremely watchable.

#2 Their attempt at creating a Thursday comedy block feels a little weak.  I know that they’ve had trouble using The Big Bang Theory as a launching pad for new series, but 2 and a Half Men just feels so old and used up.  It feels the opposite of fresh.  I know it has a big audience though and that the hope is to bring more eyeballs to Person of Interest (which I didn’t watch because of Thursday conflicts and the fact that it’s not available On Demand – what’s up with that?) but part of CBS’ curse is that is seen as an extremely old, un-hip network and this move doesn’t feel edgy or rebellious or young at all.  It definitely detracts from the network’s image in my opinion.

#3 I think it’s possible that CBS will actually have a successful Friday night.  I watch both CSI: NY and Blue Bloods (well, I DVR them) and while I’m not sure how good a match the more lighthearted looking Made in Jersey will be, the night as a whole seems to have potential to take off.  Maybe that will encourage other nets to get back into programming Fridays with scripted fare.

ABC 2012-13 Schedule

ABC seems to have a lot of work to do ratings-wise but I’m much less interested in their ratings than their programming so lets take a look at that.  Overall, the schedule isn’t really reinventing the wheel, but they have a few new shows that seem intriguing and the Tuesday night comedy block is either going to do gangbusters or fall like a giant rock.

#1 Moving Revenge to Sundays at 9pm in the old Desperate Housewives slot seems like a total no brainer.  I love it even more paired with the new show 666 Park Avenue which looks like the perfect soapy-horror combo (plus, evil, married Vanessa Williams and Terry O’Quinn?  Yes please).

#2 I am both excited and worried by the Tuesday night pairing of Happy Endings and Apartment 23 (let’s just cut the crap about the title, okay?).  I’m excited because both shows have a weird twisted sense of humor and while Happy Endings has built great buzz, Apt 23 is still looking for it and could maybe get some of the run-off.  However, despite the Dancing with the Stars result show lead-in, pairing these two niche shows leaves them pretty vulnerable in my opinion.  There isn’t a whole lot of support there.  But I’ll be watching anyway.

#3 Can I give some props to ABC for bringing back Connie Britton and Scott Speedman?  Because Nashville looks like a soapy fun show and Last Resort has potential to be an intriguing action drama so I have high hopes that both will stick around for a while.

Fox 2012-13 Schedule

Fox made more scheduling changes than anything else.  Of course, they do only have 2 hours of primetime to schedule so there’s not a lot of room for new shows, but the new shows they have don’t look completely awful.  In fact, a couple of their mid-season shows look kind of good (The Following and The Goodwin Games especially).  They do have a few big changes, but I pretty much agree with them.

#1 The Tuesday night comedy block was something they seemed to be leaning towards this year and have committed to 100% for the fall.  I’m totally on board with this decision.  Especially because new shows Ben and Kate and The Mindy Project actually look both funny and like they will fit well with Raising Hope and New Girl as lead-ins.

#2 Moving Touch to Fridays.  First of all, I think it was actually kind of stupid to give Touch a second season seeing as that show is lame.  However, I think that putting it on Fridays and pairing it with Fringe just makes sense.  And let’s all thank whatever God spoke to Kevin Reilly and convinced him to give Fringe 13 more episodes of awesome.

#3 Outside of the fact that I think that X-Factor is totally noisy and not at all good, it makes total sense to pair it’s result show (and American Idol’s come mid season) with Glee.  I don’t know why no one had done that before.  Glee is kind of on its way out (at least it is if it’s being smart) so it could definitely use the boost of the music competition audience (because even though X-Factor didn’t do as good as was expected, it still held it’s own ratings-wise).

There’s really not too much to say though.  I’m a little disappointed that The Following and The Goodwin Games are being held til midseason but that seems like something a lot of networks are doing now.  And regardless, the Fox Tuesday comedy block is totally going to become a thing – like NBC’s Must-See Thursdays or ABC’s TGIF block from the early 90′s.  I wonder what catchy name they’re going to give it.

NBC 2012-2013 Schedule

NBC was the first up to present their 2012-13 schedule to advertisers and so far, they’re making the most changes.  They have 3 new dramas and 4 new comedies, they’ve moved Whitney and Community to Fridays, and they are bringing The Voice back in the fall.  Personally, I think there are a lot of bad moves on this schedule.

#1 They have created a Wednesday comedy block with no established lead-in.  I mean, they must have a lot of faith in Animal Practice and Guys with Kids to just leave them hanging in the wind like that. On top of not having a lead-in, they are paired with the slowly but surely declining Law & Order: SVU.  This seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

#2 The Whitney/Community move to Friday is about as ridiculous a decision as they come.  While I think that having Grimm follow Community isn’t a bad move (they seem to both have heavily male audiences) pairing it with Whitney is just weird.  The shows couldn’t be more different.  This will be Whitney’s third scheduling move in a year and it hasn’t done very well anywhere.  On top of that, it seems that NBC has decided to pair it’s most critically lauded show (Community) with it’s most reviled (Whitney).  It’s just a really weird move.

#3 I like The Voice as much as the next gal and I get that NBC thinks it needs to have a big reality competition on during the fall to combat both Fox’s X-Factor and ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, but enough is enough.  The way to combat those shows is by doing something different and The Voice is just more of the same.  I am TIRED of singing competitions.  There are too many of them and they’re exhausting.  I think that by adding The Voice to the fall lineup, NBC is diluting the brand and will probably see a big number drop in the spring.

Overall, there’s not a whole lot bringing me back to NBC next year.  I will love them forever for renewing Parenthood and Parks and Recreation and I will definitely check out all of the new shows (I’m most intrigued by Revolution and Animal Practice), but right now, NBC is low on my list of Must-See-TV.

Justified Returns January 17th! (I love this news)

I just wrote a whole post about the dearth of shows that I look forward to in these winter months only to be given the gift of Justified’s season 3 premiere date!  This show gets under my skin in totally unique ways – probably due to Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins being awesome in more ways than I can count.  The teaser trailer that was released last week is intriguing if only because it shows Raylon and Boyd on the same side of the gun.  I like their antagonistic relationship so I’m not sure I’ll like it if they’re really working together, but knowing these two characters, that attitude won’t last long.

NBC’s Mid-season Schedule: My Thoughts

Yesterday, NBC announced some pretty major shifts in its mid-season schedule and I, like every other TV fan in the universe, have some opinions.  Here’s a look at the current NBC line-up:

And here is the mid-season schedule with some notes:

There are an awful lot of changes going on, some of which I approve and some I wholeheartedly do not.

Approve: Bringing back 30 Rock.  Even though I don’t really “get” it, it’s a pretty buzz-worthy show and using it to start off Thursday nights is a good move.

Disapprove: Benching Community.  Community is hysterical, hip and utterly watchable.  I understand that it doesn’t get the ratings that NBC wants to see, but I think it’s totally lame for the network to bench it without giving a return date.  It has me worried for my favorite study group.

Approve: Moving Up All Night to Thursdays at 9:30pm.  First of all, I think the 9:30pm time slot is far more appropriate for this comedy than its current 8pm berth.  Secondly, it has been one of the stronger freshman comedies this year so it makes sense for NBC to want it as a part of its strongest line-up.

Disapprove: Moving Whitney to Wednesdays at 8pm.  Look, I’ll admit that Whitney has its moments that make me giggle, but half-way through the season, the show is still leaving me pretty cold.  I guess I just feel like the characters don’t actually seem to like each other very much so why the hell are they spending so much time together?  On top of my own personal opinion, the general audience seems to be offended by the very fact that it was given a full-season pick up.  NBC would have been better off leaving Whitney off the schedule and moving Community to Wednesdays.

Approve: Pairing Smash and The Voice on Monday nights.  Hopefully Smash will live up to expectations and rock our socks off, but even without that, if The Voice lives up to its first season promise, Smash should be able to hold onto enough of that audience to survive.

Disapprove: Getting rid of Prime Suspect for new drama The Firm.  It was announced today that production on Prime Suspect has been halted and in its place, NBC is putting this remake of the Tom Cruise movie.  I haven’t seen anything of The Firm, so I really can’t judge, but I do like Prime Suspect so I’m disappointed to see it going away.

Basically, the NBC schedule is a sinking ship regardless.  As of right now, they don’t really have any tent-pole shows and they seem scared of the shows they have that do attract critical attention (ie Community).  I do give them credit for making some big shifts in order to try something new, I just wish that they did that with the integrity of their audience, rather than the numbers, in mind.