Blog Archives

TV News Wrap: Thursday May 26

  • Is Cheryl Cole (of the X Factor UK) really going to be dropped from the US version (which is yet to air), just because of her accent? Apparently that’s not the only reason, with disputes with fellow judge Paula Abdul being cited. TMZ has the full developing story. She will also apparently be replaced with Nicole Scherzinger.
  • There are rumours swirling regarding the addition of a new cast member to Modern Family; read this if you want to find out more (possible spoilers).
  • The mutual love and respect between Cougar Town and Community continues, despite them being on opposing networks (ABC and NBC respectively), with the character of Abed Nadir (played by Danny Pudi) turning up on the finale of Cougar Town, TVLine reveals. This follows various cross-referencing by each of the shows, as well as Dan Byrd and Busy Phillips appearing on the Community Season 2 finale. Abed of course mentions this infamous guest-role in an episode entitled “Critical Film Studies”, but noone- it had to be said- expected the cameo to actually come to fruition. But the most amusing thing is this:
“(Bill) Lawrence tells TVLine that neither series’ network (ABC and NBC) or studio (Disney and Sony) had any idea that the two shows were working in cahoots.”
See the clip HERE

TV News Wrap: Monday May 23

  • In Australian news, after the Brynne Edelsten controversy, now Manu Feildel is being accused of being sexist on Dancing With the Stars due to his comments in regard to his partner “bossing him around” in his kitchen. It doesn’t really warrant much talking about, as even though on the surface they might seem slightly sexist, there is obviously no malice attached to them, especially given Manu’s look of mystification after the comments were made. What made it wore, apparently, was the fact that the audience “booed”- which, But here are the comments anyway:

“The problem was that the staff around me, I usually tell them what to do. Suddenly a woman was telling me what to do in front of everyone.”

But one thing is for sure, Channel Seven will be delighted, bordering on ecstatic, that another headline or three has been generated.

  • Don’t you hate it when two of your TV shows that you have filmed pilots for get picked up by different networks and you’re forced to pull out from one of them? That’s what happened to Nancy Travis, maybe best known for her work as the mother in Three Men and a Baby, but has since gone on to star in a multitude of other projects in TV and film (most recently, a brief stint on Desperate Housewives). Travis has had to pull out of her recurring guest role in the CW’s upcoming show, Hart of Dixie (Rachel Bilson’s TV comeback) to keep her role in ABC’s Last Man Standing (Tim Allen’s TV comeback).
  • So, Ken Jeong hosted the 2011 Billboard Music Awards (“Chang” from Community, Mr Chow from The Hangover). It seemed slightly manic and occasionally funny, but he definitely deserves respect for his piano-playing abilities… less so for his singing, but either way, it marks another step in his meteoric rise. Take a look at the opening number:
  • And for lack of anything else exciting, here’s a promo for the Modern Family Season 2 finale entitled “The One That Got Away”, the 24th episode of the season. We’re likely to see various reviews and critiques of the entire season, given the universal praise it received for its first season. It’s almost agreed upon that the second season didn’t really match the wit and originality of the first, and while there were some very good episodes, some others relied too heavily on tired sitcom tropes. But here’s the promo for the finale and the synopsis;
“Jay wants nothing more than to have a quiet birthday out fishing on the lake, but the family take that as him wanting a big celebration, and in their frantic scramble to put everything together, Claire and Mitchell wind up trapped in the yard of their childhood home; Phil runs into his old college nemesis while at the mall with Gloria and Lily; Cameron gets himself into some hot water at the bakery, and the kids frantically do some creative editing on grandpa’s birthday video, all of which leaves Jay with a headache.”

TV News Wrap: Friday May 20

20110521-070657.jpg

The stars are lining up to farewell Oprah (from one network to another). Today, it’s been Jennifer Aniston and Hugh Jackman. Very emotional stuff… sort of. Oh, and THIS, which I was alerted to by Crikey.

As some would know, one of the games in Letters and Numbers involves drawing random letters from two stacks (vowels and consonants), with the contestant dictating which pile to draw from. On this occasion, maths guru Lily Serna pulled out letters spelling “PENISDUMP”, so to speak. I have to admit, I started watching Letters and Numbers when it first started, but it became a bit monotonous and repetitive after a while. Fair to say that the chance of this happening again has reinvigorated my interest in the show.
(Alerted to this by crikey.com.au)

UPDATE: I suppose I better just say that I have recently found out that it is fake, which is disappointing. But you can still marvel at how well it has been put together. It just goes to show that not everything you see on the Internet is real, which is surprising; I may have have to reconsider the authenticity of some other things, like the above picture…

Thanks to EW, British actor Chris Vance will play The Transporter in the upcoming TV series of the same name. He has previously appeared in Prison Break and more recently, Dexter. He told EW:

“Fast-paced. Action-packed. Car chases. Stunts. Fights, Beautiful girls. Villains. Heroes. Guns. It should be a lot of fun

Sounds pretty good to me, Vance certainly has a steely, uncompromising style and given it will be executively produced by Luc Besson (writer of the 3 Transporter flicks), expectations will be high.

Catherine Tate has Chris Harnick, of TV Squad‘s vote to be the new The Office boss. For the record, she has mine too.

EW has a nice wrap-up of all the new shows that will grace TV screens in the US fall season, as well a discussion on some cancelled shows.

TV Guide, along with many others, haven’t been too fond of Modern Family of late. Though, they have to remember, that like The Office, a “bad” episode of Modern Family is still about as good, if not marginally better than most other comedies on TV.

Let’s hope Modern Family rallies for next week’s season finale, because these last two episodes felt like they were written by Nolan Gould’s dimbulb Luke Dunphy.

The ninth season of One Tree Hill will be its last, EW reports.

Renewal and Cancellation Wrap: May 11

Well, the axe has certainly been a-swinging down at FoxLand.

After a fairly hefty block of renewals over the past week (Family Guy, The Cleveland Show, House), there have been four fresh cancellations. One of which was a mercy killing, three others were not unexpected and the other coming as somewhat of a surprise.

The shows, in order of predictability are Human Target, Traffic Light, Breaking In, Lie to Me and The Chicago Code.

Human Target was struggling in the ratings and was never a hit critically.

Traffic Light was an interesting case in the way that people could instantly see right through it. It was yet another relationship comedy about x number of couples. That was pretty much it. However, it did try to eschew the typical hammy sitcom tropes by filming it in the style of The Office, or more specifically, Modern Family (in the way that there seems to be a documentary being filmed, however, it is never remotely acknowledged). It was never panned, yet no-one ever raved about it.

There was a similar situation with Breaking In, in that it wasn’t terrible, yet simply didn’t do enough to capture anyone’s attention. Christian Slater can also chalk up another ‘miss’ on his… chalkboard. It also seemed a bit too “high-concept” for a comedy- it was about a crack team of professionals “Breaking In” to places to test their security. Even though it was a somewhat bizarre concept, at least it was original. But no-one could really see it going for six seasons.

Another “high-concept” idea was probably the death of Lie to Me as well, which was also axed. It lasted for three seasons and didn’t seem to form any permanent connection with viewers. Essentially, it was the poor-man’s House, and Cal Lightman came off as cold, without the accompanying endearing wit and flaws of Gregory House.

The Chicago Code had a lot of potential, if nothing else for the fact that it was created by Shawn Ryan (creator of The Shield), and there will be a small amount of outrage, yet it will probably blow over. Next!

FAQs Answered #2 12/04: Modern Family new eps, S#*! My Dad Says Cancelled?

“farmer wants a wife 2012”

There will be another series of The Farmer Wants a Wife, as evidenced by Nine’s casting call for season 7 here. As to whether it airs in the later half of 2011 or not, there is a strong chance.

“craig annis safm”

Craig Annis is a Melbourne comedian who has recently joined the SAFM breakfast team (on the Austereo Network). This represents a real success for Craig, who has been producing comedy podcasts with his friend Stefan. Have a listen to them here. They weren’t quite as funny as Hamish and Andy, but for a first effort they were really promising, and they at least demonstrated a willingness to work hard for a laugh (eg. there are some written pieces). Their TV show, Slightly Live also aired on the Melbourne community TV station, Channel 31. Here are the highlights off their site. Check them out! [Especially the “Hughesy Ruined my Life” sketch… Craig’s impression is absolutely spot on. He actually sounds more like Dave Hughes than Dave Hughes himself these days.] They also broadcasted on the Barry digital radio station (Austereo Network), which obviously led to Craig being picked up by SAFM. He know joins Rabbit and Hayley on their show… Hayley, Craig & Rabbit, on air 6-9am weekdays.

“why is modern family off air”

There is no need to panic when it comes to not seeing new episodes of your favourite show. Popular shows such Modern Family, The Office, 30 Rock, Community and Parks and Recreation have been on a long hiatus, with the exception of some new episodes being sporadically shown. It is just the yearly spring sweeps, a technique used to prolong seasons of different shows, until they finish up (only to reboot in September again- well, at least the lucky ones do). It has been a long wait for a new episode, with the new episode of Community, The Office and Community airing on the 24th of March 2011. Fans of Modern Family have had to wait since the 23rd of March 2011. However, new episodes are coming, and viewers will not have to wait long at all, with the next new ModFam ep coming on the 13th of April, and the NBC comedy line-up returns with new eps the day after on the 14th of April. Thankfully, they will all continue a fairly uninterrupted run until the end of their respective seasons. However, the bad news is that there are not many episodes left in the tank (around 4-7 eps of each left).

New eps of Modern Family would be expected to air in Australia soon after they do in the US.

“is s#*! my dad says being cancelled”

That bloody show with the annoying title is one of the more intriguing cases in the Renew/Cancel files… It’s anyone’s guess at this stage. I think it will be renewed, purely out of respect for William Shatner, however, it is definitely the weakest, comedy and ratings wise, out of the new CBS sitcoms (including Mike & Molly)

Here’s the wrap up and the low down of what everyone else thinks;

TVLine says it’s “A safe bet”

TV By the Numbers gives it a “Likely To Be Canceled” (basically a 2/5 chance), and has calculated that it has a Renew/Cancel Index of 0.96 (lower than Mike & Molly, The Mentalist, etc.)

SpoilerTV gives it a 2.47 on the Renew/Cancel Index (In the “Looking Safe” zone).

TVGuide says it’s “Looking Not So Good”

So that’s pretty much a 50:50 spread. However, two of them mention the word “safe” while only one mentions the word “canceled”…

Modern Family here for the Long Haul

Don’t expect to be saying goodbye to Modern Family anytime soon.

It has just hit a season and series-high 13.16 million for its Valentine’s Day episode in the US, smashing its previous record of 12.67 in its second season premiere.

This is its 13th episode of its second season (its 36th all up).

However, while Modern Family is going from strength-to-strength ratings-wise, critically, it has not been as successful as its first season, with the plot-lines of the various families becoming less intertwined than the first season.

Not that ABC (US) will care about that, of course, with Modern Family arguably propelling Cougar Town into its second season off the back of its great ratings.

This has also proved true for the recent debut of Mr. Sunshine starring Matthew Perry and Allison Janney, with its pilot netting a cool 10.524 million viewers (Cougar Town has been temporarily taken off air to accommodate it) despite luke warm to good reviews before it premiered.

There was no surprise when it was renewed for its third season on January 10th, 2011, and its hard to see it going anywhere anytime soon- something Channel Ten in Australia would be ecstatic about.

In Australia, Modern Family airs on Sunday nights, with the 11th episode, “Slow Down Your Neighbours” the latest to air.

Preview: Signs good for Ten’s Traffic Light

Coming to TEN later this year is FOX sitcom Traffic Light.

On the outset, the set-up seems awfully similar- two couples plus a charismatic womaniser seems awfully similar to every other romantic sitcom on TV at the moment. Have a look at these plot summaries from wikipedia and see if you can spot the difference.

Perfect Couples revolves around three unique couples at various stages in their relationships, yet who face similar problems.”

Better with You: “The series revolves around three different relationships that are tightly intertwined in one family”

Rules of Engagement: “Two couples and their single friend deal with the complications of dating, commitment and marriage. It looks at different relationships in various stages.”

Now let’s see if Traffic Light is any different…

“Mike, Adam and Ethan have been friends since college, and the trio has seen each other through highs and lows.

Wow, this seems interesting…

“Now in their 30s, these men find themselves at very different stages in their lives.

Oh, right…

“Mike is a married lawyer…

“Adam recently moved in with his girlfriend…

“Ethan is the perpetual bachelor.

Yup… sounds the same. However, the title lends it a kind of uniqueness, in the way that it’s like a metaphor for where they’re at in their lives… yeah?

The only problem is, this means we have to endure a very crappy title.

Originally titled Mixed Signals, critics have also criticised (who woulda thought?) its bland title. It is also the latest in a long line of comedies trying to re-emulate the success of ABC’s Modern Family, a show which, really, has reinvented The Office’s mockumentary style to make a more accessible, more sitcom-styled show. However, it has been said to be better than some other current sitcoms, with Eric Deggans from the St Petersburg Times saying

“NBC’sPerfect Couples and ABC’s Better With You are much, much worse.”

Paige Wiser from Chicago Sun Times goes further to say

“The first episode’s a little stiff as the guys mark their territory, but by the fourth the show feels sweatpants-comfortable. “Traffic Light” deals mainly with trivialities, so the stakes are low. It’s easy to watch.”

And there’s no shortage of familiar faces, with David Denman, best known from his role as Roy in The Office (Seasons 1-3, with a guest appearance in an upcoming episode of Season 7!); Nelson Franklin also stars, who also found mainstream fame on the Office as the short-lived character, IT guy, Nick. Interestingly, he also joins the ranks of actors who have played two different characters on the same show (he first appeared as “Graphic Design Guy” in Season 4’s Job Fair).

You would recognise Liza Lapira from NCIS, and Aya Cash is a relative newcomer on the scene.

Kris Marshall also stars, who starred in 2003’s Love Actually. He joins the ranks of Jane Leeves of Frasier fame among others as English actors playing English characters in American sitcoms.

In Australia, it will be a good fit for Channel Ten, with its style matching Modern Family. However, don’t expect any fast-tracking, unless it is a certified hit in the US.

WATCH/AVOID