Which series seem to be outperforming expectations, and which ones deserve a spot on the Cancellation Countdown? If either Hank or Emily is gearing up for an article on this, just tell me when and I'll wait with bated breath. Thanks.
I don't think we have any cancellation obits/deathwatches planned, but I expect there's grim news ahead for more of these fall shows as midseason approaches. I'd be more interested in hearing from you guys what you think SHOULD go or what you're already bummed about. I guess the critics were all hoping "Dads" would get a fast ax, but more episodes were ordered. I felt like "Welcome to the Family" was a good early candidate for cancellation, and I was right.
This has nothing to do with TV, but since you are chatting, and since I am seeing Christmas decorations in shopping center parking lots already...are you still in touch with any of the folks you interviewed for Tinsel?
Oh, that's a sweet question. I am in contact here and there, but I made a promise to my 'Tinsel' folks that I was no longer their official biographer, that they need longer worry that I'm taking notes on them.
Speaking of Christmas, it is indeed at our throats again -- I have a stack of Hallmark (and Hallmark-esque) screeners taunting me. Do I dare watch them?
Wondered if you have caught his MSNBC Friday Night show yet? I DVR'd it two weeks ago. I hate his politics, but I must say I liked the show. It was different for a cable show, more like Charlie Rose, without the host calling those he opposes Hitler, somewhat refreshing.
I've been so swamped in Kennedy-related stuff that I still have not had time to see if Baldwin's TV show is as good as his podcast. I'll get to it. Who has he had on so far?
Have you had a chance to check out Sleepy Hollow yet? Curious your thoughts, it's SUPER silly, but I find it enjoyable.
I tried to give that show a chance because I love James Caan, but after two weeks I found it so unrealistic (The high school boy kissing a the kid bullying him, what teenager would do that?) that I stopped watching.
You and everyone else. It's cancelled.
Why does CBS air The Amazing Race between 60 Minutes and The Good Wife? Is there much viewer overlap there, or do they figure everyone needs a late dinner break after football?
I'm such an avid CBS Sunday-nighter that I haven't stopped to apply logic to the schedule. I watch "60 Minutes" and "Amazing Race" and "The Good Wife" and so much laundry gets folded that I just don't question it. Then I retire with the head-bludgeoning quality material: "Boardwalk Empire," "Homeland" (though usually I've seen those episodes already) and "The Walking Dead." This is a big Sunday for me because the rest of the world has finally caught up to the advance episodes I saw of "Masters of Sex."
Anywho, I dunno. CBS seems to know what works and in what order. "Good Wife" has struggled on Sunday nights, though.
Hi, Hank; thanks so much for doing the chats. We all miss Pookie, of course, but I also miss the weekly TV chat - always good stuff to discuss. Would you and Emily be able to work out a schedule to chat more often?
Every other Thursday at noon, for now.
I'm sure there's a storyline in there somewhere, but frankly I watch for the amazing array of male pulchritude (your SAT word for the day). Is it coming back?
"Mistresses" has been renewed, though I don't remember ever seeing a return-date. I guess spring/summer would be a safe bet? And bonus vocab points to you!
Do you know how much it costs advertisers to show one viewer an hour of network TV? I mean, the cost of an ad per viewer times ads per hour.
I had to take college algebra three times before I passed. I also am but a mere TV critic, whose job entails watching gobs of television and then having something meaningful (and often sharply critical) to say about it. Your question confuses and frightens me. I'm sorry.
I am still mourning the death of Breaking Bad but am starting to think about getting into a relationship with a new show (I am monogamous when it comes to TV dramas; I just can't handle more than one at a time). What do you think about Treme? Particularly given that you are a former NOLA resident, as I am?
The new and final mini-season of "Treme" arrived in my mailbox the other day and I cannot wait to watch it. (It begins Sunday, Dec. 1 -- look for my review then.)
This is what I call the "epilogue seasonette." HBO has kindly allowed David Simon and his talented writers and cast to bring the show in for a proper finish. I think it's been very good and, yes, it's helped know even more what it means to miss New Orleans. (I went to college there in the late '80s.)
Oh and let me make my Treme joke one more time! If this is an "epilogue seasonette," then I really wish they'd bring on a character named Eppy Logue Seasonette.
I'm confused. Is this a limited run first season? I keep reading all of these interviews and articles saying that they are almost finished filming the season and that John Noble will be back for 3 of the 4 remaining episodes. What gives? I love the show. It's absolutely crazy and shouldn't work, but I love it.
Anybody know the answer to this? Anybody named Emily Yahr know the answer to this? Anybody NOT named Emily Yahr know the answer to this? We have to be a helping-community today...
I am a huge Modern Family fan, but I have always been annoyed that The Middle has never received more critical acclaim or Emmy nominations. Do you attribute this to MF taking up so much oxygen on Wednesday? Or do Hollywood and critics not find a show about a normal Midwest middle class family interesting? Would it help if Sue or Brick started selling meth out of a van?
Well, I dunno. I've always been kind of blah on it, so there's your critical-acclaim issue. But it's a stalwart performer and has hung in there and has lots of fans. These days, can't that be enough?
I wouldn't spend too much time envying "Modern Family's" attention. That's also growing old. I'm starting to hear from a lot of viewers who've grown bored with it, while at the same time admiring its quality.
Can anybody tell me why they're parting Ty Burrel's hair on the other side this season? Is it some kind of marker (besides the kids' ages) that will tell us what season we're in years and years from now in reruns. Sort of like Mike Brady's perm?
I think I recall that it was originally given a 15 ep order and when it was picked up, they decided to do a pick up for a second season instead of stretching out the first to 22.
I'll take that as word.
What am I missing by not watching? I kind of like Brooklyn 99, when I can find it, and Sleepy Hollow is fun, but looks like it's going to be in conflict with another show I watch. I am so glad that miserable Back in the Game is gone. I like actors who look like regular people, but Caan just looked as nasty as the show.
Have you tried Trophy Wife?
Been meaning to watch but have not yet. The reviews I saw were mixed. Is it still around, and what do you think of it?
It gets 13 episodes this year, and then another 13 next fall.
Dueling experts! So it's either 15 or 13, and now or later. In any case, by today's standards, a hit.
From what I've heard and read though I'm not a big fan of Sleepy Hollow (I only watched the premiere episode) Fox is indeed bringing it back. Hope that helps.
The new Esquire Network. It's got travel, cooking, craft beers, and Parks and Rec, which I didn't catch on NBC and am now recording on my DVR so can binge watch it for free. As a mid-40's female, I guess I'm not the viewer they had in mind, but I'm digging it.
Well, at the very last minute, they plopped Esquire down in the channel-space formerly occupied by the Style Network (no relation to the Style section) instead of the male-centric G4 slot, so maybe they did know what they had, demographically? I confess I've not had time to fully explore their original docu-series/cooking/travel offerings -- a whole bunch more just showed up with November premiere dates, so I hope to weigh in at some point.
How do you reconcile when bad TV shows happen to good actors? (I'm looking at you Will Arnett & Margot Martindale) I so want to support these fine artists, but I just can't watch the monstrosity of a sitcom they both currently occupy. Do I just let it slide and hope that their respective bodies of work mean that they'll eventually end up on something of quality in the future and we won't ever have to speak of this embarassment ever again?
During the summer press tour parties and panel Q&As we just sort of slightly shake our heads at them in the most mild, subtle cue of showing our disgust and pity. Sort of like in Texas when you start a sentence with "Bless her heart ..." and then follow up with fangs.
I've seen it and love it; ok that may be because I'm totally biased in being a Jonathan Rhys Myers fan. Your thoughts? Love it, hate it?
I saw the first episode and was not impressed. Is it getting better? Why do you like it?
I like the whole cast. I like the writing. But I will say I'm grading on a curve here because this has been the most mediocre fall season I've yet reviewed. (Since I got the job in 2009. Ah, 2009: When "Glee" was a fresh idea, when "Modern Family" began, when "Good Wife" began ...)
How did this happen. Okay, I think we all expected dreck from a FOX/Seth Green collaboration, but how couild a CBS/Allison Janney/Anna Farris vehicle go sooooo wrong. Oh, Chuck Lorre. Never mind.
Things on Netflix.... Friday Night Lights, West Wing, Arrested Development, 30 for 30 (when it was good). It is amazing to me how bad sitcoms/dramas are on TV today.
New for me is This Week, the Charlie Rose weekly wrap up show on PBS. Good mix of stuff, politics, art, pop culture.
How does he do all these shows???
Oh, and they've got Sex and the City on their super late-night schedule. Not sure how that appeals to men, but it works for me when my insomnia kicks in.
I think Esquire magazine has always had a secret army of female readers, too.
when does the spin off/prequel with gotta call saul start?
Next year? No firm date after that initial announcement. Fans still worried.
Nothing terribly exciting: The Blacklist, Scandal, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. My inner 24-junkie and latent 20-year-old boy are equally highly satisfied.
What? People don't like it? I forgot to mention it is another new show that I watch, in my post asking about new shows to watch. I like it! I've not tried Trophy Wife; the title makes it sound stupid, but not in a fun way.
Trophy Wife = Cougar Town when it comes to bad names.
The Middle is nowhere near the level of good writing and comedy that is MF. Outside of the Sue character, it's bleh. And the mom - she is as grating as she was on Raymond, and unlikeable.
Have you previewed the new comedy on TVLand called "Kistie's New Show" with her, Rhea Perlman and Michael Richards? All of them are proven talents, but the trailers I've seen on TVLand have underwhelmed me.
I think it would be hilarious if it was called "Kirstie's New Show" but the screener I have on my desk would indicate that it's just called "Kirstie." Even though I have it in my hot little hands and could watch it anytime, I predict I'll be watching it at the very last minute on deadline. Ya know?
I've been a subscriber to Esquire for years and years - female. I even was accosted on a commuter train by a man for reading a "men's magazine".
Since the Redskins game is being shown tonight on Channel 4, will Channel 4 run the normal Thursday lineup at some point, maybe in the middle of the night? If not, why not? Isn't that what was done in the past? Not everyone likes to watch TV through their computer, with all of the buffering and pauses. Thanks!
Anyone know the answer to this?
Has Pawn Stars run out of juice? I have not watched the show in maybe 6 months, I thought it got boring, and didn't evolve beyond, lets make a deal.
Interesting you should say that because I feel like a great many of the present reality shows (circa 2009 thru now) are really at the end of their life cycles. There's no more gold in Alaska. There's nothing left to pawn. The storage units have all been raided. The Amish are exhausted. The toddlers no longer sparkle.
Do you get the same feeling? I feel like we need a new crop or, better yet, a new genre?
This is the 20th birthday of the Food Network. What's everyone's favorite show? Who's your favorite host/hostess? I'm tired of the ubiquitous Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri and Rachael Ray is getting there too.
With the 50th anniversary of the assassination coming, are there any planned shows/documentaries that will be examining it? I remember 10 years ago that Peter Jennings did a 2 hour special "Beyond Conspiracy" that convinced me 100% that Oswald acted alone.
Is there? Is there? OMGosh, I've watched like 20 hours of it and barely scratched the surface of what's out there. Hang onto your pink pillbox hats.
My review runs tomorrow, and I'll follow up online with a short blog item about what to watch and what to skip.
(I don't have the patience to type all the periods.) I thought this show would be a home run and am disappointed to find it to be only a double down the line. It doesn't seem to be jelling. Is it holding up ratings-wise? If not, is anyone making any moves to shore it up?
ABC is still very enthusiastic, but I think everyone (even fanboys) shares your feeling.
I failed in my attempt to get a stylebook ruling on all those periods.
Does it get any better than The Good Wife? I don't think so.
First time I have ever agreed on any of the shows commented on in this chat. New experience. Mom and Trophy Wife have to stay. Really tried to like Crazy Ones, but I can take it or leave it. Michael J Fox show is really good. I keep missing it though due to life conflicts. I hope my lack of consistent viewing will not cause cancelation. :)
If I were a TV critic (and btw please let me know if you are taking on any interns or spec reviewers), I would binge on the Hallmark stuff starting about a week before Thanksgiving, expecting that I would have all my reviews done before the holiday and not spoil my own family celebration.
Some years I do that and put them all in one piece. It's like a mass murder.
Like you Hank, I'm back into The Good Wife. Caught the ep where Alicia and Cary split from the firm, it was riveting. Last week's episode was good too. For me its partially as its on at 9 instead of 10, always liked it, couldn't always stay up for it (I'm a DVRless household).
Well, of course it has. Football throws off the schedule by 13 minutes -- no, 46 minutes -- no, 31 minutes. Last Sunday it was 59 minutes, postponing both "The Good Wife" and then "The Mentalist" by a full hour. CBS chose to swap in a rerun of "The Mentalist" at the last minute, then -- during a series of nail-biting episodes -- ran a preview of the "following" show when we hadn't seen the new one yet! Aaggh!
Shonda Rhimes gave an interview on NPR this morning about Grey's and Scandal, saying that she thought she knew the end to Grey's but then realized the characters weren't done telling their story, and that she feels like she needs to keep writing it until they're finished. Even though I don't watch the show, I really hope this doesn't mean it drags on for another 4-5 seasons; it's so painful when shows don't know they should have ended years ago (HIMYM, ahem). Scandal, on the other hand, she knows has a finite timespan, and (in true Shonda fashion - argh!) she said she knew the ending to that one and that it wouldn't change. (And of course did not say what that was!) I'd kill to be able to get into her head just once!
Do you know why the old "Carol Burnett Show" is not available in streaming, rerun, or DVD form? It's a real shame, considering how great it is. Why is Burnett holding out on finding new fans? It makes no sense to me.
I don't know, but we all have that one thing we pine for that simply refuses (by litigation or rights disputes or whatever) to materialize on DVD or streaming. (For me, that was "Bionic Woman," which took forever to come out on DVD, but eventually did.) (Stop laughing in the back, you. Lindsay Wagner deserved every ounce of that Emmy.)
Big fan of Season 1 of The Americans but I am really frustrated by shows that pull me in for a short run, then disappear for 9 months or more. Shades of the BBC, eh?
You just have to adjust your rhythm. One reason shows like this are good is because they have more time to make them. "The Americans" is back in February -- no firm date yet, but we do know that it's February.
Homeland, Boardwalk Empire, The Blacklist, Nashville, Scandal, and Elementary. In January I will start my PBS binging - Downton Abbey, Sherlock, and Call the Midwife. Yes, I'm a chick.
Couldn't disagree more with the previous poster - I find nothing grating about Frankie Heck, writing is fantastic, and over all I'd say I get more laughs out of The Middle. I like Mod Fam too, but sometimes I think it just tries too hard to be clever and gets irritating - too much of the dialogue is people trying to be sarcastic or out-snark each other and it gets old.
The History Channel ceased having a reason to exist about 5-7 years ago. It's kind of hard to believe a channel that could get by simply re-running old documentaries has turned into the House of Nothing that it is.
First off LOLOLOL @ Hank. Nice. 2nd..my absolute favorite show is The Pioneer Woman. Love her. I still watch my other favs Barefoot Contessa, Everyday Italian. But I miss Unwrapped, The Secret Life Of and I'm going to just bite the bullet and say it (must be that middle child thing) ALL things Paula Deen. Enjoy her sons shows but for me its just not the same. Just my .02.
Yes, I'm watching ALL OF IT. I'm even going back to the Greg Kinnear/Katie Holmes miniseries from a couple of years ago. I know it was slammed, but that was primo camp. Like the Reagans doc on Showtime.
When is the Hendrix film airing locally on PBS?
Did they not air it on Tuesday the 5th? (By locally, do you mean WETA and MPT?) It was supposed to air then. I watched it and intended to review it and then shots started ringing out at Dealey Plaza. Like, 1,240 shots.
I am watching a little bit of everything ... Betrayal/Revenge (both equally bad, but so campy it's easy viewing), the Good Wife of course (my fav by a mile at the moment) followed closely by Nashville. I still watch Scandal, but have grown to hate it as is what happens with me and all of Shonda's shows. and I watch Parenthood, The Mindy Project, New Girl, Parks and Rec, Brooklyn 99 or whatever it's called on Hulu, On Demand when I'm bored or have time on the sofa. I do plan on watching some Kennedy stuff because I'm endlessly fascinated by the Kennedy saga. and I just realize I watch way too much television. and I didn't even mention some of the reality fluff I partake in in secret.
I caught an episode of The Crazy Ones last week and it wasn't bad. Not great, but not bad, either. Kind of a "meh" on the TV-viewing scale. Okay, I admit to a Buffy-era crush on SMG, and Robin Williams wasn't *too* hyper-kinetic, and the supporting cast worked (esp. the guy from "Old Christine") Then I saw the credits and read "David E. Kelly". Now I'm not sure how to feel -- excepting all the unintentional humor in "Ally McBeal", this isn't a guy know for his comedy. Is the show getting a pass based solely on Kelly's pedigree and William's name-appeal? I can't imagine that this show skews young, which has to be a priority at CBS, so I'm at a loss for why this show even exists, let alone whether it will be here two or three seasons from now... Can you shed any light on what CBS might be thinking?
So I just watched "The Newsroom" on DVD (I am a cord-cutter) and it got me thinking. If you cut out the profanity the show would work on broadcast, but no network would let it go out that way because they'd be too worried about ratings, and the potential for premature cancellation would be huge. And I think that may be why the shows on broadcast aren't great -- maybe development execs all have to have one eye on the chopping block, and are wondering "if this tanks, can I slap something else on instead?" So everything is disposable. And if you are a writer with a reputation, why wouldn't you pitch your show to HBO? I hear execs saying, oh, if we could only have nudity and swearing as on cable, but I suspect the real advantage of cable is the built-in patience that comes from guaranteed revenue.
If "The Newsroom" was on CBS, they'd have to solve a case every episode. "But we aren't crime solvers!" Will McAvoy would scream.
But arn'cha, Will? Arn'cha?
Is brilliant. The daughter should have an Emmy every season. You cannot watch one episode or you won't understand. It is the combined glory of all the shows that makes it work. It doesn't hurt that I have three kids and when I come up with a brilliant vacation idea, they all look at me as if I'm asking them to eat chopped liver in a hoarder's house and then the kids in The Middle do the exact same thing to their mother. Plus, it's really nice that they don't have a ton of money and have things that actually break in their homes and don't get repaired.
I think the whole genre is dying out. I too got bored with Pawn Starts and American Pickers, tried to start Duck Dynasty, since they are the hot new thing. Maybe because I'm a city dweller but It was as tired as those shows with the added annoyance of terrible acting.
Hey, Hank - Why can't Homeland get D.C. geography right? Where are their researchers? How can anyone with a google map write a scene with Carrie trying to get from Adams Morgan to Bethesda in 15 minutes?!?
They have really neglected that aspect. All this time I was thinking Carrie totally lived in, like, Shirlington.
no, not planning on watching it. JFK stuff to me are shows I stop on for a few minutes and then click on by, I know how it ends.
Come on, Hank. If I were a publicist, would I malign Bobby, Guy, & Rachael?
I'm 52.5 years old, and my family didn't have a TV in 1963; so I've always believed I'm the oldest America with NO recollection of the JFK assassination.
It happened before my time and since my parents lived through that period I watch alot of specials, documentaries and the like with them and they tell stories from back then. It's interesting.
I'm in the middle of watching the second season of Magic City. So far, its much better and less meandering than season 1. Did Starz cancel it do to lack of viewers and the assumption that, even if it became better acted and written, enough people would never watch? Or was it the expense of the show?
It was expensive. It was also bad. Enjoy what's left, if it works for you. I thought it was trying way too hard.
Any word on when/if The Following, Community, or Graceland are coming back?
Community is Jan. 2 -- that was the last I remember hearing for sure. NBC is still a moving target, schedule-wise.
The Following is coming back in 2014 -- I haven't seen a date. (Anybody know?)
Graceland has been renewed for a second season of 13 episodes. Next summer, I suppose.
Probably won't watch any of it. Kind of a re-run at this point...
I am not looking forward to anything in particular. What I really want is a cautious and sober investigation of the questions around the shooting, but "cautious and sober" are words that tend to induce narcolepsy in programmers. So I would settle for a couple hours of what-was-it-like-to-watch-on-TV, including some of those early bulletins, some of the reporters' discussions as they try to explain and learn, Ruby shooting Oswald, and funeral coverage. Show me Cronkite and Huntley and Brinkley, knowing only what they knew at the time. Is anyone doing that?
PBS's NOVA does a very methodical ballistics test that might interest you -- Cold Case JFK, scheduled for Nov. 13, I believe. (I have so much JFK to deal with right now; check the date to be sure.) Also pretty sober and complete is PBS's "American Experience: JFK" airing over two nights next week.
For efficiency's sake, I'll combine: only watching the "what if?" JFK stuff, not the umpteenth recounting of events or conspiracy stuff, 'cause "been there, done that", As for what else I'm watching, nothing from the new season has jumped out at me, except for "@Midnight" on Comedy Central. Nerd Internet humor in fuax gameshow format will get me every time.
"What If," for me, is the least interesting way to go with JFK. Too much like fantasy football or something. But to each his or her own JFK nostalgia/interest-level. I hereby absolve all of you, regardless of your age or firsthand memories, from watching any of it. This country needs to move on and get along. Kennedy would agree.
Can we still say RIP Marcia Wallace? Between Newhart and Simpsons, she was repsonsbile for many of my TV laughs.
If anyone had done their research she WOULD be living in Shirlington or Clarendon (somewhere in NOVA) - makes total sense for someone with her career (and work location). But, it doesn't seem at all hip. Homeland seems like an atlas compared with Bones or Criminal Minds, though.
It's always nice to end a chat with someone who is in violent agreement with me.
Thanks, everyone. I'll be back here Thursday, Nov. 21 at noon!