The networks have done some purging since the fall 2014 premieres (see: ABC’s Manhattan Love Story and NBC’s A to Z) to make room for these new midseason shows.

So what looks good, bad, and plain ugly? Here are my predictions.

What Will Survive

A.D. – NBC – Sunday April 5
According to the plot description, this series picks up where The Bible mini-series left off.
Reason: Bible shows always seem to do well on NBC. And it already has a platform, with The Bible (the show, not the actual book).

Agent Carter – ABC – Tuesday Jan. 6
Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) gets her own spin-off. Think Alias meets Mad Men.
Reason: Audiences are ready to embrace a new female TV hero, and that hero may be Ms. Carter.

Battle Creek – CBS – Monday March 1
Hey, Dummy. It’s a buddy cop comedy starring Dean Winters (Dennis Duffy of 30 Rock) and Josh Duhamel.
Reason: If it’s one thing CBS viewers love, it’s a cop show. Bonus points for recognizing Mayhem from the Allstate ads.

Better Call Saul – AMC – Sunday Feb. 8
Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) gets his own spin-off after Breaking Bad.
Reason: Breaking Bad was a cultural phenomenon. Even before the show was announced, fans wanted Saul to get his own series.

CSI: Cyber – CBS – Wednesday March 4
Yet another show in the CSI franchise.
Reason: Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Look at NCIS: New Orleans which premiered last fall and ranks as the most-watched new series.

Fresh Off the Boat – ABC – Wednesday Feb. 4
Just as ABC’s The Goldbergs tackles the ‘80s, FOTB hopes to tackle the ‘90s. It follows a Taiwanese family moving to America during the decade that gave us the Macarena.
Reason: ABC seems to do well with representing modern families—and not just the Emmy Award-winning series. This looks to continue the diversity trend started by Black-ish.

Man Seeking Woman – FX – Wednesday Jan. 14
A surreal look at dating, starring Seth Rogen’s buddy Jay Baruchel.
Reason: This show looks to fill the quirky void left by Wilfred. Plus, it has a movie star.

The Odd Couple – CBS – Thursday Feb. 19
A remake of a classic, this one includes Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon.
Reason: After Mr. Sunshine and Go On, Perry’s due for a hit. This could be it.

Schitt’s Creek – POP – Wednesday Feb. 11
Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara star in TVGN’s first scripted comedy about a video store magnate and his family as they move to the crap town they bought in the ‘90s.
Reason: Looks a little like Arrested Development, so don’t expect huge ratings, but definitely a cult following.

Younger – TV Land – Tuesday March 31
A 40-something (Sutton Foster) poses as a 26-year-old in order to get a job.
Reason: It’s every woman’s dream: being older and looking younger. And it’s written by every woman’s favorite TV writer: Darren Star.

What’s on the Bubble

American Crime – ABC – Thursday March 5
It’s jury duty. With Felicity Huffman and Timothy Hutton.
Reason: Despite the interesting premise, apparently the case deals with racial motives. With racism a real hot-button issue, will audiences want to watch a fake case? Plus, since it’s on ABC, it will probably lack any real grit.

Babylon – SundanceTV – Thursday Jan. 8
Brit Marling is tasked with bringing Scotland Yard into the age of Twitter. Basically, it’s a British cop comedy from Danny Boyle.
Reason: Did I mention it’s a British cop comedy from Danny Boyle?

Empire – FOX – Wednesday Jan. 7
Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Hinson round out the cast of this modern drama loosely based on King Lear. It’s about a music honcho who’s trying to figure out who to leave his empire to.
Reason: It looks great. Sounds great. But FOX is not having a good year. While it’s getting decent reviews, could it be a one-hit wonder?

The Last Man On Earth – FOX – Monday March 1
Will Forte is the last man on earth, looking for another human being. It’s a comedy.
Reason: The success of this show will largely depend on how much audiences love Forte.

Secrets & Lies – ABC – Monday March 1
Ryan Phillippe gets caught up in the murder of a child in his neighborhood.
Reason: Murder is big on ABC (see: HTGAWM), but solving a child’s murder sounds a lot like the ill-fated Gracepoint, the remake of a highly acclaimed BBC show.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Netflix – Friday March 6
A woman (Ellie Kemper) escapes from a cult and heads to New York City.
Reason: NBC passed on this comedy, created by Tina Fey.

Togetherness – HBO – Sunday Jan. 11
Two couples live under the same roof and try not to kill each other. This is not a sitcom.
Reason: Mumblecore creators the Duplass Brothers created this series, but will the independent-movie schtick stick with HBO audiences? Maybe.

What Will Be Canceled

12 Monkeys – SyFy – Sunday Jan. 16
TV remake of the ‘90s sci-fi film that starred Brad Pitt.
Reason: Even if it’s really good, most people are only interested in SyFy when it comes to sharknados.

Allegiance – NBC – Thursday Feb. 5
An American war hero doesn’t know that his family is Russian double agents.
Reason: If people want to get their fill of Russian espionage, they’ll tune into FX’s The Americans.

Backstrom – FOX – Thursday Jan. 22
Dwight Schrute is finally getting his own show based on a Swedish novel about a detective who hates everyone.
Reason: It looks like a rip-off of House.

Galavant – ABC – Sunday Jan. 4
A medieval musical in the same vein as Spamalot.
Reason: While the trailer was charming, all of the good moments seem to be in the preview. Plus, the theme song has a lot of people like me on suicide watch.

Odyssey – NBC – Sunday April 5
It’s NBC’s version of Homeland starring Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies) and Peter Facinelli (Twilight).
Reason: Knowing NBC, it’s probably more like the second-season version of Homeland.

One Big Happy – NBC – Tuesday March 17
She’s a lesbian (Elisha Cuthbert). He’s gay (Nick Zano). They decide to have a baby together. Then, he gets a girlfriend.
Reason: This sounds like it’s 2015’s The New Normal.

The Slap – NBC – Thursday Feb. 12
One small incident (bet you can’t guess what it is) sets off a chain of events within a family.
Reason: Parenthood, this is not. This remake may have worked in Australia, but not even Peter Sarsgaard will save this. Plus, the film Carnage is proof that one-event plots don’t always work with American audiences.

Weird Loners – FOX – Tuesday March 31
Four people become friends in New York.
Reason: This premise is staler than that cup of Central Perk coffee Gunther left out from the ‘90s.

For those of you who perhaps missed our inaugural podcast where we all presented our favorite TV shows of 2014… First of all, don’t worry – there’s plenty of time to catch up with the fun by subscribing via iTunes or manually through our RSS feed. Second, here’s a handy cheat sheet of our picks. Feel free to add your own in the comments section.

From all of us at ADTV and the Water Cooler podcast to you, here’s wishing you a very happy and safe New Year’s Eve and a fantastic 2015 ahead!

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 11.49.53 PM

* Craig’s list beyond True Detective is alphabetical.

CNN, The once-proud news channel stooped to appalling new lows in 2014 – remember the entire month dedicated to breathless “reporting” on the missing Malaysian Airliner? – and they were rewarded for their fear-pandering with some ratings they’re so proud of, they sent out this weird, gloating press release (reprinted below from TV by the Numbers) lording their victory over competitor MSNBC. In between jabs about how the CNN show New Day beat MSNBC competition Morning Joe, how MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow dropped to her lowest ratings ever (I guess there was never a Bridgegate 2 to keep Maddow afloat), and how CNN’s audience is its youngest ever, the release glides over the more salient fact that both networks are still getting killed by Fox News… though it helpfully points out that even Fox’s numbers are at their lowest levels since 2001. In other words, “It sucks for everyone, but at least we’re not last!”

The end of the year should be a time of reflection; a time to look back at what we did wrong and how we can do better going forward. Not at CNN! It’s the time for a victory lap. Congratulations, CNN. You really are number two.


via press release:


Network Posts Best Competitive Primetime Performance since 2008 and Best Competitive Total Day since 2011

New Day Beats Morning Joe; CNN at 9pm Grows by Double Digits while Maddow Posts Lowest Performance on Record

CNN ranks #2 at 7p for the first time since 2009 with Erin Burnett Outfront

CNN’s Original Series Dominate Respective Timeslots

CNN ends 2014 firmly ahead of MSNBC for the year while posting its best competitive position in Primetime since 2008.  This year is the first time since 2011 that CNN ranks #2 in Total Day among both total viewers and the demo 25-54.  CNN has outperformed MSNBC in primetime and total day for five straight months, the longest winning streak over MSNBC in six years.  CNN’s signature news programming including New DayOutfront with Erin BurnettAC 360, D.C.-based and Sunday morning programming all easily topped MNSBC this year in the key demo 25-54 rating.  For the year, CNN dayside beat MSNBC during that day part by an impressive +73% in total viewers and +83% in the demo 25-54 rating.   CNN Original Series programming delivered a winning ratings performance as well, dominating their respective time slots this year.

CNN tops MSNBC across all day parts in 2014:

  • Total Day(6a-6a):  CNN tops MSNBC for the first time since 2011 among both total viewers and the demo 25-54 rating:

CNN 402k vs. MSNBC’s 350k total viewers / CNN 127k vs. MSNBC’s 110k demo 25-54.

  • M-Su Primetime and M-F Primetime(8-11pm):  CNN tops MSNBC in the demo 25-54 for the first time since 2008:

M-Su primetime CNN 187k vs. MSNBC’s 174k and M-F primetime CNN 194k vs. MSNBC’s 175k.

  • Dayside(9a-4p) CNN tops MSNBC by +73% in both total viewers (462k vs. MSNBC’s 267k) and by +83% demo 25-54 rating (121k vs. MSNBC’s 66k).

CNN has youngest audience on record in 2014:

In M-Su Primetime, CNN posted its youngest median age (58 years) on record, tying with the 2008 presidential election.  Meanwhile MSNBC (61 years) and Fox News (68 years; tying with 2013) are at their oldest levels on record in primetime.

Vs. A year ago, MSNBC has declined the most:

  • Total Day demo:  CNN -4%, Fox News down -4%, MSNBC -17%
  • M-Su Primetime demo:  CNN is flat, Fox News +2%, MSNBC -17%
  • M-F Primetime demo:  CNN is -1%, Fox News is up +3%, MSNBC -16%
  • Dayside demo:  CNN -13%, Fox News down -9%, MSNBC -32%

Fox News

  • In Total Day, Fox News is pacing at its lowest yearly P25-54 delivery since 2001, and lowest yearly P2+ delivery since 2008.
  • In both M-Su Prime and M-F Prime, Fox News is tracking at its 2ndlowest yearly P25-54 delivery since 2001 (after 2013), and 2nd lowest yearly P2+ delivery since 2007 (after 2013).


  • In Total Day, MSNBC is pacing at its lowest yearly P25-54 delivery since 2005, and lowest yearly P2+ delivery since 2007.
  • In both M-Su Prime and M-F Prime, MSNBC is tracking at its lowest yearly P25-54 delivery since 2006, and lowest yearly P2+ delivery since 2007.

CNN program highlights include:

  • New Day and HLN beat MSNBC’s Morning Joe in the demo in 2014 (104k vs. 100k), with Joe falling to 4th.  This is CNN’s best finish in the 6-9am time period since 2008 and HLN’s best since 2011.  CNN’s New Day is also the only cable morning news program to grow this year in total viewers, increasing +8%, while Fox and Friends is down -7% and Morning Joe declined -15%.  New Day has outperformed MSNBC for six straight months in the demo 25-54 this year, its longest winning streak since the program’s debut in June 2013.
  • All of CNN’s dayside programming (9a-4p) easily topped MSNBC this year in both total viewers (462k vs. 267k) and by almost double in the demo 25-54 rating (121k vs. 66k).
  • The Lead with Jake Tapperended the year ranked #2, topping MSNBC in both total viewers (491k vs. 359k) and in the demo (125k vs. 71k).
  • From 5-7p, The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer also ranked #2 in adults 25-54 (155k vs. 117k).
  • Erin Burnett Outfront topped MSNBC’s Hardball for the year in the demo (163k vs. 159k).  Outfront outpaced Hardball for eight of the past 12 months, and has had a consecutive winning streak for the past six months.  This year represents the first time since 2009 that CNN programming at 7pm ranked #2 in the key demo 25-54. EBOF is the only cable news network to grow in its time period, increasing +3% in the demo vs. a year ago, while Fox News is down -5% and MSNBC is off -12%.
  • AC 360 (8pm) has a strong lead over MSNBC’s All in with Chris Hayes, ahead by +24% this year.  In 2014, AC 360ranked #2 for the second consecutive year in the key demo (190k vs. MNSBC’s 153k).
  • CNN programming at 9pm posted the largest and only double digit-increase in the demo this year, up +14%, Fox News +6% and The Rachel Maddow Show is down -19% vs. a year ago.  Maddow, which debuted in late 2008, is registering its lowest yearly 25-54 and total viewer levels on record.
  • CNN programming at 10pm (mostly CNN Tonight) also ranked #2 this year, topping MSNBC (182k vs. 160k) in the demo 25-54.
  • Smerconish ranked #2 in total viewers and the demo at 9am on Saturdays.
  • Fareed Zakaria GPS ranked #2 in both total viewers and the key demo at 10am and 1pm.  GPSgrew by +13% in total viewers at 10am vs. a year ago.
  • Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter ranked #2 in total viewers and among 25-54 at 11am.  RSincreased +4% in total viewers this year.

CNN Original Series Highlights:

In 2014, CNN Original Series brought:

  • A new audience, reaching over nine million new P2+ viewers in 2Q-14 alone.
  • A younger audience, driving down CNN’s median age among all prime programming to 58 years, tied with the 2008 Presidential election year for its youngest on record.
  • A more upscale audience, and more time-shifted viewing.
    • Overall, CNN Original Series were up double-digit percentages from Live to Live+7/Most Current viewing among both P25-54 (+52%; 291k vs. 191k) and P2+ (+37%; 728k vs. 531k).

Source: The Nielsen Company, 12/30/13-12/22/14.  Data based on blend of most current Live+7 data streams.

  • Somebody’s Gotta Do It with Mike Rowe Season 1 (10/8-12/22/14): Over its eight 9p premieres, averaged 296k P25-54 and 686k P2+.  Ranked #2 in P25-54 across cable news in its time period, more than doubling MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show (+116%; 137k).
  • Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown Season 4 (9/28-11/16/14): Over its eight Sunday 9p premieres, averaged 362k P25-54 and 715k P2+.  Ranked #1 in P25-54 across cable news in its time period, outperforming the combined delivery of MSNBC (128k) and FXNC (122k).  Every premiere episode of Parts Unknown in Season 4 also ranked #1 in P25-54 across cable news in its time period.
  • This is Life with Lisa Ling Season 1 (9/28-11/16/14): Over its eight Sunday 10p premieres, averaged 273k P25-54 and 607k P2+.  Ranked #1 across cable news in its time period among both demos, beating MSNBC (171k) by +60% and more than doubling FXNC (+118%; 125k) in P25-54.
  • The Hunt with John Walsh Season 1 (7/13-8/31/14): Over its eight Sunday 9p premieres, averaged 297k P25-54 and 871k P2+.  Was the #1 program on CNN among both demos.  Ranked #1 across cable news in its time period in both demos, outperforming the combined delivery of FXNC (158k) and MSNBC (131k) among P25-54.  Every premiere episode of The Hunt also ranked #1 across cable news in its time period among P25-54.
  • The Sixties(5/29-8/14/14): Over its 10 Thursday 9p premieres, averaged 298k P25-54 and 1,085k P2+.  Ranked #2 across cable news in its time period among both demos, beating MSNBC by +91% in P25-54 (156k) and +39% in P2+ (783k)
  • Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown Season 3 (4/13-6/8/14): Over its eight Sunday 9p premieres, averaged 402k P25-54 and 797k P2+.  Was the #1 program across all of cable news among P25-54, ranking comfortably above the #2 program – FXNC’s The O’Reilly Factor (M-F 8p, 358k).  Ranked #1 among cable news in its time period in both demos, outperforming the combined delivery of MSNBC (171k) and FXNC (113k) among P25-54.
  • Morgan Spurlock: Inside Man Season 2 (4/13-6/8/14): Over its eight Sunday 10p premieres, averaged 228k P25-54 and 429k P2+.  Ranked #2 in P25-54 across cable news in its time period, only -1k behind HLN (229k), outperforming MSNBC (206k) by +11% and FXNC (120k) by +90%.
  • Chicagoland (3/6-4/24/14): Over its eight Thursday 10p premieres, averaged 241k P25-54 and 586k P2+.  Ranked #2 in P25-54 across cable news in its time period, ahead of MSNBC (170k) by +42%.
  • Death Row Stories Season 1 (3/9-9/7/14): Over its eight Sunday premieres, averaged 217k P25-54 and 625k P2+.  Ranked #1 in P25-54 across cable news in its time period, beating MSNBC (157k) by +38% and FXNC (142k) by +53%.

Source: The Nielsen Company, Live+7 (thru 12/14/14) blended with Live+3 (12/15/14-12/22/14) data.

CNN Films 2014

  • CNN posted gains with CNN Films this year.
  • CNN Films had solid DVR playback, with the most recent offering of Dinosaur 13 seeing the largest growth versus Live viewing in both P25-54 (+52%) and P2+ (+29%) this year.
    • From Live to Live+7 viewing, Dinosaur 13 (+52%), Whitey (+22%), Ivory Tower (+15%) and Documented(+8%) saw the biggest increase across cable news in their respective time period among P25-54.
  • Of the 15 CNN Films premieres to-date (3/10/13-12/11/14) Dinosaur 13was the 3rd-highest rated in P25-54 (after Blackfish (10/24/13) and Sole Survivor (1/9/14) and the 2nd-highest rated in P2+ (after Blackfish).
  • 41 on 41ranked #1 in P25-54 (176k) across cable news in its time period, outperforming MSNBC (144k) by +22% and FXNC (93k) by +89%.
  • Lady Valorranked #2 in P25-54 (161k) across cable news in its time period, beating MSNBC (114k) by +41%.

Source: The Nielsen Company, 3/10/13-12/11/14.  Live+7 data.

In 2014, CNN posted an average monthly reach of 77 million, the most of any cable news network.  Fox News followed with 67 million and MSNBC trailed with 64 million.


Data is a blend of Nielsen Live+SD and the more inclusive Live+3 and final Live+7 data when available. Data is run from 12/30/13-12/26/14 and not does not include the last two days of the year, 12/27 & 12/28.

CNN did not have carriage on DISH for most of the month of Novembers (about 14% of distribution)

It’s adorable seeing The Today Show, that gormless bastion of softball morning filler, standing behind journalistic integrity (two words that in no way apply to the show) when one of their guests isn’t cool talking about a subject she shouldn’t have to talk about in the first place.

Following her performance on NBC’s Saturday Night Live over the weekend, Amy Adams turned up for The Today Show to promote her new film Big Eyes. Everyone knows the drill here: Celebrity A wants to promote Project B and Morning Show C is happy to toss PR-friendly questions that make everyone look good and everybody wins. But this time, Today wanted to drum up more sensationalism over the Sony hack – this month’s Ebola panic. Since Adams was remotely implicated in the affair as a named dropped in a corporate email about women getting paid less than men in Hollywood, Today wanted to drag her through the mud and she clearly didn’t want to play ball.

Realizing they had a guest who wasn’t interested in doing anything she hadn’t signed up for, Today cancelled the interview. Adams hasn’t commented, but the show released a snippy statement: “As a news program, the Today Show doesn’t allow guests to dictate restrictions on interviews. In this case, after hours of discussion we felt uncomfortable with the demands being made and we determined the best course of action for all parties involved was to cancel the interview.”

Different outlets spin the story depending on their own agendas: Deadline sided with Adams, asserting that Adams was willing to do the interview and going so far as to point out that Bradley Cooper who was implicated in the same email wasn’t asked during his American Sniper promotion, while the New York Daily News chose the juicier tack that Adams “freaked out.”

Methinks The Today Show doth protest too much.



This morning’s Golden Globe television nominations rather shockingly and dramatically flipped the script over last year’s nominations. Today’s field looks significantly different largely due a sizeable number of omissions, a few category shifts, and the Globe’s ability to consistently recognize new blood.

Starting with the omissions, major awards-bait series were completely ignored by the Globes after a storied history of nominations and wins. This list includes Showtime’s Masters of Sex, AMC’s Mad Men, FOX’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, ABC’s Modern Family, NBC’s Parks and Recreation, ABC’s Scandal, BBC’s Orphan Black among many, many others.

It’s a staggering list when you look at it really.

I’m not saying we were repeat-free. Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Girls all saw repeat success this year in addition to a scattering of repeat nominations. But you do have to admire the Globes for recognizing so much new talent / new series.

Personally, I am most thrilled with the large support for Showtime’s The Affair with three nominations including Dramatic Series as well as acting bids for Dominic West and Ruth Wilson. I’ve raved about the series in both this site and on our new TV Water Cooler podcast, and I’m excited about its potential Emmy chances down the road.

But also receiving well deserved bids were Viola Davis for her work in How to Get Away with Murder, Claire Danes for largely driving the successful reboot of Homeland, and Comedy Series/Actor bids for Amazon Prime’s Transparent – a first for the fledgling content provider.

Additionally, the Globes can be counted on to embrace at least one comedy ingénue each year. This year’s recipient of that honor was Gina Rodriguez and her series Jane the Virgin, which is *thisclose* to be a real buzzed-about event. No doubt this recognition will further that along.

This being an awards show, there’s always something to complain about. Only one nod for Veep? No Game of Thrones performances? And just when Tatiana Maslany starts making headway with her SAG nomination this week, the Globes pulls the rug out from under her by neglecting to cite her for her ongoing brilliant work. Similarly, I am sensing a downward trend in the reactions to this year’s American Horror Story outing, Freak Show, based on early awards possibilities. Sure, Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates made it in at the Globes, but the series was shut out at the SAG nominations and did not receive a Miniseries bid at the Globes this year (it also missed out on its Asylum outing as well).

My chief complaint here was in Kathy Bates’s recognition in her underwritten role as the bearded lady. Given her meaty role in Coven, Bates seemingly slept through Freak Show – no reflection of her talent but more ill will against her ill-conceived role. I would rather have seen Sarah Paulson in as the conjoined twins given the degree of difficulty alone. Perhaps the Globes are righting past wrongs with Bates.

Finally, in some category shenanigans, Orange is the New Black magically transformed itself from a Drama to a Comedy and saw three nominations as a result. True Detective, which has been recognized in almost every other voting body as a Drama Series, was relegated to the Miniseries category and received four nominations, including one for Supporting Actress Michelle Monaghan.

Which brings up a consistent complaint of mine: the Globes sees fit to break down television (and film) into Drama and Comedy categories, which I think is fine, but continues to lump supporting performances from television series (both Drama and Comedy) in with the TV-Movie and Miniseries performances. This is a bone-headed category that clearly makes no sense. Aside from the bizarre comparisons voters are forced to make (pitting one-shot performances with sustained, series long performances), they are omitting several great supporting performances that aren’t bubbling up to the surface. I’m thinking of the extensive Veep and Game of Thrones supporting casts as well as the broad perspective offered in The Normal Heart.

No wonder they all drink at the ceremony.

Similar to the women of “The Real Housewives,” the heroines of “Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce” are morally reprehensible. But thankfully, they’re fake. If only they were as entertaining as the real thing.

Bravo’s first scripted series holds promise on paper, with Lisa Edelstein as Abby McCarthy, the best-selling author of the Girlfriends’ Guide To. . . series of books, who’s made millions from telling other people how to manage families and careers. When her marriage falls apart, she hits a crossroads: out herself as a fraud or hold it together for the sake of the brand (based on the title, you can guess what happens).

Yet, the show feels too forced, too synthetic. Touching fake breasts in department stores! Making snarky comments like “Smooth move, Wiki Leaks!” This show is really trying to push cable television’s buttons, but it just comes off as stale and as empty as the calories all of these Angelenos are trying to avoid. None of the characters are likeable, even in an anti-hero way. Janeane Garofalo’s Lyla has sex with her ex-husband for fun and then calls the police on him so he can get picked up for a DUI. Phoebe (played by Beau Garrett), the midriff-bearing mother and best gal pal to Abby and Lyla, has sex with her ex-husband on a regular basis for money and gifts.

It’s questionable what reality this show exist in. Since viewers don’t know what exactly is in the content of the self-help books (is it specifically made-up stories about her husband or is it just a general guide to marriage?), it’s peculiar that Abby doesn’t want to release information about her impending divorce to the public since—as every Bravo fan knows—controversy sells. The network itself is considering delaying the next “Real Housewives” installment until Teresa Giudice gets out of prison.

While “Sex and the City” was ultimately a show about friendship, this show is about as far away from that as possible. There’s nothing genuine about it, and there’s no one worth rooting for. Except for the person with the remote control and power to change the channel.

The past couple of weeks, networks have been taking their axes to shows with the same crazed stumble as the killer in “Too Many Cooks.” The latest victim: “Selfie.”

But for those who watched the ABC sitcom, they know that “Selfie” was actually shaping into a loverly little show. The chemistry between the two leads (John Cho, Karen Gillan) is some of the best banter of the fall season. Plus, despite the “I hate that phrase” title, the show makes some insightful commentary on society’s dependence on technology (one episode involved Eliza stalking a co-worker’s Yelp account in order to get to know her better).

So where do we go from here? Nowadays, a TV show never really dies (case in point: “Arrested Development,” “The Comeback,” the list goes on). What networks should be clamoring to pick up this show?

First, TBS. They’re known for taking shows with shitty titles (“Cougartown”) and giving them a second life. “Selfie” would fit nicely on that network and perhaps maybe elevate it beyond Howie Mandel joke shows and the comedically tone-deaf “Ground Floor.”

Yahoo TV could also pick it up, since it’s already become a safe haven for wayward TV shows like “Community.”

Then, I had a wild idea. What if NBC picked it up? NBC, the network once known for groundbreaking comedies, now known for a Thursday-night lineup that includes an hour of “The Biggest Loser”—in a timeslot once reserved for “Friends” and whatever 8:30 show would subsequently be canceled.

What if the Peacock took a chance? If it needs anything, it needs a hit comedy. “Parks & Rec” is on its way out. The current Thursday night lineup of “Bad Judge” and “A to Z” is already defunct, since both were canceled. It would be interesting to see if a big network could recognize quality and nurture a following by stealing it from another network, kind of like the Hunger Games for TV audiences. I’m surprised more networks don’t do this, since the stigma of being canceled is almost a rallying cry now.

Of course, this won’t happen. If I had to take an actual guess, I would assume TBS would pick up “Selfie.” Not NBC, which relies on “Don’t Miss the Last 5 Minutes” in order to get people to watch “The Blacklist.” In fact, maybe “Don’t Miss the Last 5 Minutes” would be a good title for all of the network’s shows.

So ABC’s “Manhattan Love Story” is the first show to be canceled this fall TV season. What will be next?

Here’s what could be the next to go, network by network:


“Selfie” – As someone who’s a huge fan of this modern-day remake of My Fair Lady, I’m sad to report this show has drawn mixed feelings among critics and viewers, with the title still being a big detractor. The MLS cancelation bodes in its favor, though, since it will now have a full hour on Tuesdays. Let’s only hope that it finds its audience.


Nothing – I can’t really see CBS canceling anything right now, since most of its shows are delivering solid, respectable numbers—like “Scorpion” and “Stalker.” The network knows what works, and it’s procedurals. At one point, it had the No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 new shows in viewers.


Nothing – “The Flash” and “Jane the Virgin” have received full season pick-ups, so it doesn’t look like anything will be axed.

cancelled 02


“Mulaney”/ “Gracepoint” /“Utopia” – This one’s a three-way race for a network that has really struggled this season. “Mulaney” may be one of the most reviled shows of the fall, despite its promising promos (I predicted it to be a hit). But the laugh track and the recycled jokes just made viewers long for TBS “Seinfeld” reruns.

And “Gracepoint,” the American remake of “Broadchurch,” has flat-lined in viewership. In the series, a Northern California town is rocked by the murder of a child. It feels a little too like AMC’s “The Killing,” and despite a great cast, the pilot was nothing to write home about (except that Anna Gunn has a life beyond “Breaking Bad”).  In fact, the over-the-top melodrama of the pilot was distracting.

Finally, there’s “Utopia,” which has been placed on probation with its Friday night slot. Yet, it could stick around a little longer than it should since Fox put $50 million into the series, which could be a reason why it hasn’t been canceled yet.

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“A to Z” – Before it gets to Z, it looks like this rom-com could land on F for Fail. Its ratings have fallen, and bad reviews have also plagued the show, despite its effervescent leads. “Bad Judge” could also be canceled, but it has just slightly higher viewership than this show.


There are a slew of lead female characters this fall TV season. Kate Walsh’s Rebecca Wright on “Bad Judge.” Debra Messing’s Laura on “The Mysteries of Laura.” And Viola Davis’ Annalise Keating on “How to Get Away with Murder,” just to name a few.

And what do they all have in common? These female characters have their shit together in their careers, but their personal lives are a mess.

This is a common theme on most shows involving female protagonists (and who can complain, since personal issues make for entertaining television). But what’s interesting is that female protagonists on TV almost rarely experience the reverse: having their shit together in their personal lives, with professional lives that are a mess.

Think about it. It’s a classic TV plot device. But when are there female characters that have amazing personal lives with lackluster careers?

There are only a few that come to mind.

First, Fran Drescher on “The Nanny.” OK, so the show started with her being fired from her job and dumped by her boyfriend on the same day, but despite Nanny Fine struggling from episode to episode to manage the responsibility of childrearing, she was never one not to have a date or a friend to cry to. Even her relationship with her family—especially her mother and Grandma Yetta—was strong.

Another more modern example is “Two Broke Girls.” Caroline (Beth Behrs) and Max (Kat Denning) both reluctantly have jobs as waitresses at a diner in an effort to save money for their cupcake business, but the two have their personal lives in working order, meaning healthy sex lives (with hotties like Johnny and Candy Andy) and good company in each other.

Despite being a pretty cookie-cutter blonde on the show, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting’s Penny on “The Big Bang Theory” reverses this common TV stereotype, as a fine example of a woman that has a robust personal life, with friends that care about her, but a career that says otherwise (failed actress).

So why is it that women are rarely allowed to have burgeoning personal lives on television? One wonders whether there’s still a fear of sexism, that to depict a woman floundering at a job while being an excellent wife would be anti-feminist. But then of course, there’s CBS’ “Manhattan Love Story” and NBC’s “A to Z,” which both feature women who like purses and “girls’ girls,” which is just about as insulting as what’s supposed to be insulting on AMC’s “Mad Men.”

Maybe it’s just because personal issues are more entertaining. If Meredith Grey of “Grey’s Anatomy” only had career and hospital drama to deal with, the ABC series probably wouldn’t still be on the air. Sex sells, and while three female characters listed above are examples of flourishing personal lives, they are also on comedies, where it’s OK to be shitty at your job because it makes for hilarious television. If Olivia Pope was shitty at her job, all “Scandal” would be is a soap opera.

So why can’t characters have excellent personal and professional lives? Well, for one thing, there would be no conflict. Why else make a show if everything is going swimmingly for characters? There has to be some kind of conundrum that drives the story.

But the other hand, maybe TV is starting to realize that characters can have conflict while still “having it all.” CBS’ “Madam Secretary” is attempting to tackle this new plot device by portraying Tea Leoni’s Beth as a highly capable professional with a loving husband and two kids who’s just trying to make the United States a safer place. Maybe TV is headed into a new direction where women can be as good at their jobs as they are at their relationships and still make for compelling series television.


Chuck Todd debuted as the new host of Meet the Press this weekend with a big interview of President Barack Obama. And he blew it. 

The smug-prick look on Chuck’s stupid face when he says the words “You’ve not said the word Syria so far” like he knows he’s the only one who got the teacher’s question right in class illustrates everything that sucks about him and why he’s one of the worst things about NBC News… which puts him in the running for one of the worst things ever.

Please, Chuck. Make the world a smarter place by getting off TV.

via: Crooks and Liars

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