LIVE FROM THE TELEVISION CRITICS ASSOCIATION (TCA) SUMMER PRESS TOUR IN LOS ANGELES
Today in TV History
General Hospital taped its 7,000th episode in 1990. The veteran daytime serial, which is heading into season No. 50, is now the third longest-running drama in television in American history after Guiding Light and As the World Turns.
In Today’s Issue
TCA SUMMER PRESS TOUR
-NBC Panels: Revolution, The New Normal, Go On
RECENT PRESS TOUR NEWS
-Metered Market Wednesday Ratings
-Fox Announces The Short-Com Comedy Hour
-Lifetime Orders Cinnamon Girl Pilot
-More Awkward on MTV
-On the Air Tonight
Note: The daily Trivia Challenge will return on Monday, August 6.
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TCA SUMMER PRESS TOUR
Yesterday we offered our odds for survival (1-1, the best, to 10-1, the worst) for upcoming NBC series Guys With Kids, Chicago Fire and Animal Practice. Today we conclude NBC’s portion with Revolution, The New Normal and Go On.
REVOLUTION (NBC) – Monday 10 p.m.
A group of characters struggle to survive and reunite with their loved ones in a world where all forms of energy have mysteriously disappeared. From J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk.
-Lead-In: The Voice
-The Competition: Castle (ABC), Hawaii Five-O (CBS)
-Who Was at the Panel:
Billy Burke, Giancarlo Esposito, Tracy Spiridakos; co-executive producer Jon Favreau; and executive producer Eric Kripke.
Eric Kripke on the theme of Revolution:
“I think it’s a really compelling what would happen if we all lived without electricity and in this very incredibly technologically overextended little world of ours and how would we survive, how we would find food, how would we find water, and how can we save the world and get the lights back on. But and that’s a part of it. But for me it’s just a really epic, fun saga. It’s this journey about this family that is struggling to reunite. So it’s intensely character driven, very complicated and fascinating characters who are all just struggling to come together against incredible adversity.”
Out of The Voice and opposite two dramas of a crime solving nature, Revolution could benefit from the lead-in support and uniqueness of the concept. There is nothing like it currently on the air. From a creative standpoint, it deserves to succeed. But since science fiction could be considered more of a niche category, Revolution may not be the mass appeal hit NBC is hoping for. And with former time period occupant Smash in search of a home in midseason, it could be facing an uphill battle. Consider the odds right in the middle.
-Odds of Survival for Revolution (Based on 1-1 to 10-1 odds):
THE NEW NORMAL (NBC) – Wednesday 9:30 p.m.
The blended family of a gay couple (Andrew Rannells and Justin Barba) and the surrogate (Georgia King) who is trying to help them start a family is the focus of this sitcom from Glee co-creators Ryan Murphy and Allison Adler.
-Lead-In: Go On
-The Competition: Don’t Trust The B____ in Apartment 23 (ABC), Criminal Minds (CBS), The Mindy Project (Fox), Emily Owens, M.D.
-Who Was at the Panel:
Justin Bartha, Georgia King, NeNe Leekes, Andrew Rannells, Bebe Wood; and executive producers Ali Adler, Dante Di Loreto and Ryan Murphy.
Ryan Murphy on the character development:
“I think all the characters are lovable, and I think that everybody has people in their family who are representative, hopefully, in all of these characters. I certainly think the most controversial character will probably be Ellen Barkin’s character. But, you know, I remember Thanksgivings when I was growing up when my grandmother would actually say these jaw dropping things very similar to that, and then we would call her out on it, so it felt very familiar to me, and I think it feel hopefully familiar to other people, because I think there’s what do you guys think? That’s how I felt about it.”
And Ryan Murphy on juggling three series: Glee, American Horror Story and The New Normal:
“We all work on weekends, and the three shows, the writing is housed in the same building at Paramount. So it’s easy to just sort of go back and forth between the rooms, and sometimes it’s tiring, and I work on the weekends, like I said. But I really I love it. I believe in the three shows, and I love the three shows, and they’re so very different that going from room to room, the energy is different and that kind of is a re-invigorating experience.”
Lead-in Go On, another new sitcom (in a sea of too many freshman NBC comedies) is not proven. And, yes, Criminal Minds on CBS is a formidable competitor. But competing sitcoms Don’t Trust The B_____ in Apartment 23 on ABC and The Mindy Project on Fox are a question mark (with Don’t Trust The B____ in Apartment 23 returning after a lackluster first half season). NBC is hungry for a new hit comedy. And there is no way the network will let The New Normal just slip away, particularly given where it comes from, Ryan Murphy. Of the quartet of new NBC sitcoms, The New Normal has the best chance to succeed.
-Odds of Survival for The New Normal:
GO ON (NBC) – Tuesday 9 p.m.
Former Friends star Matthew Perry plays a charming but sarcastic sportscaster (is there any other kind?) who reluctantly joins a support group at the advice of his boss after his wife passes away.
-Lead-In: The Voice
-The Competition: Happy Endings (ABC), NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), New Girl (Fox), Emily Owens, M.D. (CW)
-Who Was at the Panel:
Matthew Perry, Tyler James Williams, Julie White, John Cho, Laura Benanti, Suzy Nakamura, Brett Gelman; and executive producers Todd Holland, Karey Nixon, Scott Silveri and Jon Pollack.
Matthew Perry on his new character:
“I gravitate towards sort of broken characters who try to be better people, and that setup is just much better here, first of all. That guy was sort of in a bad mood and no one really knew why. And this guy has had some very dramatic things happen to him, and he’s in denial when you meet him. So it’s a sort of built-in excuse to be really funny, much like this answer was.”
It’s really fun for me because we’re going to be able to invite famous athletes to be on the show. And Terrell Owens is in the first episode. And whenever I come across a famous athlete, I’m shameless. I’ll just ask them to be on the show. And to my face they’ve all said yes so far.”
The positive news from the get-go is the support from The Voice. Lead-in still matters and Go On is only one of two new NBC shows (The Revolution is the other) that have this advantage. But ABC and Fox are already airing comedies in the time period, NCIS: Los Angeles on CBS is the show to beat, and the depressing nature of Go On is reminiscent of a former NBC series that was never necessarily a hit: Dear John (which featured Judd Hirsch as a man who joins a support group after his wife dumps him). Viewers want to laugh and escape when they watch sitcoms and there is nothing uniquely funny about Go On, at least in the pilot. Unfortunately, Matthew Perry may not have many new friends.
-Odds of Survival for Go On:
RECENT PRESS TOUR NEWS
-Handicapping the New NBC Series – Revolution: http://tinyurl.com/cd8affo
-Handicapping the New NBC Series – The New Normal: http://tinyurl.com/dx5uo8h
-Handicapping the New NBC Series – Go On: http://tinyurl.com/dyglmm2
-Chad Everett Dead at 75: http://tinyurl.com/dy9oo5l
-Cast of Modern Family Sues of Contract: http://tinyurl.com/d3wcrse
-Suburgatory and The Neighbors to Switch Time Periods: http://tinyurl.com/chm924v
-Handicapping the New Fox Series – The Mob Doctor: http://www.tvmediainsights.com/2012/07/the-mob-doctor/
-Handicapping the New Fox Series – Ben and Kate: http://tinyurl.com/buvd9ap-Handicapping the New
-Handicapping the New Fox Series – The Mindy Project: http://tinyurl.com/cquspeq
-Mariah Carey Names New American Idol Judge: http://tinyurl.com/cs5rjgm
-Downton Abbey Update: http://tinyurl.com/c6bpkl2
-PBS Kicks-Off Summer Press Tour: http://tinyurl.com/bm3c98w
-TCA Summer Press Tour: http://tinyurl.com/7uqppgx
Metered Market Wednesday Ratings
AGT Leads NBC to Victory
Metered Market Results
NBC 4.2/ 7
Fox 3.9/ 7
CBS 3.7/ 6
ABC 2.8/ 5
CW 0.7/ 1
-Percent Change from Year-Ago Evening – Tuesday 7/26/11
NBC and CW: no change each, ABC: – 3, CBS: – 7, Fox: -17
America’s Got Talent (NBC)
-Down by Not Out:
Big Brother (CBS), So You Think You Can Dance (Fox)
-Losers (excluding repeats):
Nothing…46 percent of the schedule were repeats.
America’s Got Talent lifted NBC to overnight victory on this final Wednesday in July, beating second-place Fox by three-tenths of a household rating point. Third overall was the home of Big Brother, CBS, followed by ABC and back-to-back encore telecasts of Supernatural on The CW, which averaged a 0.7 rating/1 share from 8-10 p.m. Hopefully, upcoming CW drama Arrow, which is worthy of a look, will spark some interest leading into Supernatural on Wednesday next season.
Aforementioned America’s Got Talent topped the evening with a 5.9 rating/10 share from 9-10 p.m., which built from 8 p.m. special The Clio’s: The World’s Best Commercials (#3: 3.6/ 7 at 8 p.m.) by 64 percent. Of positive note for the Clio’s special was growth of 20 percent from year-ago Wednesday 8 p.m. occupant Minute to Win It (3.0/ 5 on 7/27/11).
Capping off the evening for NBC was Jimmy Fallon’s Primetime Music Special at a second-place 3.3/ 6 at 10 p.m. Comparably, retention out of the 9:30 p.m. portion of America’s Got Talent (6.1/10) was disappointing at 54 percent.
Over at CBS, summer addiction Big Brother (4.0/ 7) inched past the first half of competing So You Think You Can Dance on Fox (3.9/ 7) by one-tenth of a rating point. Compared to the year-ago evening, Big Brother dipped by seven percent (versus a 4.3/ 7 on 7/27/11), while So You Think You Can Dance was down by 17 percent (versus a 4.7/ 8 in the first hour on 7/27/11). Overall, So You Think You Can Dance finished second with a 3.9/ 7 from 8-10 p.m.
Big Brother led into encore telecasts of Criminal Minds (#3: 3.1/ 5) and CSI (#1: 3.9/ 7) from 9-11 p.m., which finished at typical non-original levels.
ABC populated the evening with repeats of The Middle (#4: 2.8/ 5), Suburgatory (#4: 2.3/ 4) and two episodes of Modern Family (#4: avg. 2.7/ 4 from 9-10 p.m.), followed by summer news/reality hybrid Final Witness at a third-place 3.1/ 5 at 10 p.m.
Source: Nielsen Media Research
OTHER NETWORK NEWS
Fox Announces The Short-Com Comedy Hour
Fox will offer a contemporary spin on the multi-camera comedy in the Short-Com Comedy Hour, a weekly series of four short-form sitcoms (a.k.a. “short-coms) in a fast-paced 60-minute broadcast. Debuting in summer 2013, each short-com will feature both established and up-and-coming actors and comedians in one-act scenes. The Short-Com Comedy Hour will also serve as a platform for potential series pick-ups based on the reaction to the vignettes.
Source: Nielsen Media Research
Lifetime Orders Cinnamon Girl Pilot
Lifetime Television has ordered a drama pilot called Cinnamon Girl from Academy Award winning actress Renee Zellweger, Anthony Tambakis (Warrior) and Gavin O’Connor (Warrior, Pride and Glory). Created by Zellweger and Tambakis, Cinnamon Girl tells the tale of four girls coming of age in Los Angeles in the late 1960s/early 1970s. Zellweger’s vision stems from her personal journey from a small town in Texas to Hollywood stardom.
Lifetime’s growing scripted series slate includes Army Wives, Drop Dead Diva, The Client List and upcoming Devious Maids from Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry. Last week the cable net ordered scripted pilots The Secret Lives of Wives (working title) and Witches of East End.
More Awkward on MTV
MTV has renewed scripted comedy Awkward for a third season, with an order for 20 new episodes for 2013. Awkward, at present, is averaging 1.8 million viewers on Thursday, up six percent from one year earlier, with a first-place time period finish in women 13-24 and teens.
Thursday, July 26
8:00 p.m. Wipeout (two hours)
9:30 p.m. Final Witness
8:00 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (R)
8:30 p.m. Two and a Half Men (R)
9:00 p.m. Big Brother
10:00 p.m. 3 (series premiere)
8:00 p.m. The Office (R)
8:30 p.m. Parks and Recreation (R)
9:00 p.m. Saving Hope (season or series finale)
10:00 p.m. Rock Center With Brian Williams
8:00 p.m. Take Me Out (season or series finale)
9:00 p.m. New Girl (R)
9:30 p.m. New Girl (R)
8:00 p.m. The Vampire Diaries (R)
9:00 p.m. The L.A. Complex (R)
New Program Descriptions
Three single women, of different ages with different life experiences and backgrounds, who have never met before, come together for a common goal – to hopefully find “true love” in this new reality/relationship entry.
Of Note on Cable:
-Code 9 (Disney Channel, 8 p.m. ET): series premiere
-Kathy Griffin: Seaman 1st Class (Bravo, 10 p.m. ET)
As a reminder: The daily Trivia Challenge will return on Monday, August 6.
Marc Berman is the Editor in Chief for TV Media Insights, the online destination for television and media. Berman has appeared on camera for “Extra,” “Entertainment Tonight,” “Access Hollywood,” “The CBS Evening News,” CNN, and more; and was the author of 2014 desk calendar, “This Day in TV History.”
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