Thursday, January 16, 2014
TCA Winter 2014 Press Tour: CBS and The CW; Episodic Review: Community - "Cooperative Polygraphy" Airing Tonight on NBC
CBS and The CW were up at the TCA Winter 2014 Press Tour yesterday and we have the full scoop! First up, CBS made some scheduling announcements. Eleven former teams return for another sprint around the globe on a special All-Star themed edition of The Amazing Race, featuring 11 returning fan favorite teams in pursuit of the $1 million prize, premiering Sunday, Feb. 23 at 8:00 PM, ET/PT. The 28th edition of Survivor, the longest-running reality competition series, hosted by Jeff Probst, will have a special two-hour premiere on Wednesday, Feb. 26 from 8:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT, marking the first two-hour launch since "Heroes vs. Villains" on Feb. 11, 2010. And next, CBS announced some summer scheduling news for its two scripted summer event series - Under the Dome and Extant, both produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television. Under the Dome returns for its sophomore season on Monday, June 30 at 10:00 PM, ET/PT. The premiere episode will be written by Stephen King, whose bestselling novel the series is based on. Extant, starring Academy Award winner Halle Berry, premieres Wednesday, July 2 at 9:00 PM, ET/PT. Extant is a mystery thriller about a female astronaut trying to reconnect with her family when she returns after a year in outer space. Her experiences lead to events that ultimately will change the course of human history.
In addition, CBS has renewed its entire daytime schedule for the 2014-2015 season. Set to return next season are Let's Make a Deal, The Price is Right, daytime television's most-watched program; The Young & The Restless, which received a multi-year pickup through the 2017 season; The Bold and the Beautiful and talk show The Talk. Moving on to The CW, two reality series - Barber Battle, an all-new, half-hour reality competition series hosted by actor and comedian Cedric the Entertainer, and Penn & Teller: Fool Us, a one-hour competition series celebrating magic and featuring the legendary duo Penn & Teller - will premiere later this year on The CW. 10 episodes for the Cedric series and 9 episodes of the Penn & Teller series have been ordered. The CW Network has acquired Labyrinth, the four-hour event miniseries with a multi-national and award-winning cast, including John Hurt, Sebastian Stan, Jessica Brown-Findlay & Tom Felton. Premiere night and time will be announced at a later date. Filmed on-location in the medieval town of Carcassonne in southwest France and Cape Town, South Africa, the historical miniseries jumps back and forth between modern and medieval France as it follows the lives of two women who are separated by centuries, but united in their search for the Holy Grail. And finally back to CBS, comedy legends Carl Reiner, Tim Conway, Steve Lawrence and Garry Marshall are set to guest star on an upcoming episode of Two and a Half Men, to be broadcast Thursday, Jan. 30 at 9:30 PM, ET/PT. In the episode, multi-millionaire Marty Pepper (Reiner) proposes to Evelyn (Holland Taylor). In advance of their upcoming nuptials, Walden (Ashton Kutcher) and Alan (Jon Cryer) throw Marty a bachelor party. Marshall, Conway and Lawrence play Marty’s friends who help him celebrate his last days of bachelorhood.
Up today at the TCA Winter 2014 press tour will be cable network Showtime. Stay tuned for any updates, if anything is of note for us. And Friday we will have ABC and ABC Family up at the TCA Winter 2014 press tour. Stay tuned for updates!
On the next...Community (NBC, Thur 8:00pm):
NBC's ensemble comedy lead by Joel McHale airs Thursdays at 8:00pm and we have just watched the next episode that airs tonight (Jan. 16). In the episode airing tonight, "Cooperative Polygraphy," after Pierce Hawthorne's (guest star Chevy Chase) unexpected passing, a team of investigators headed by the no-nonsense Mr. Stone (guest star Walton Goggins), arrives at Greendale to submit the study group to lie detector tests before they can be considered for distributions under the will. Tensions mount as Mr. Stone digs in with the questions and the group members learn a little more about one another than they wished.
When Community returned with the episode "Repilot," it returned minus one character, that character being Pierce Hawthorn (who was played by Chevy Chase). Of course, fans were surprised in this episode when Pierce actually made a surprise appearance, but he wasn't in his usual form. In fact, he had died. In "Cooperative Polygraphy," the Greendale gang returns to school after attending Pierce's funeral, but upon their return, they are greeted by a team of investigators who are there to present them with their inheritance from Pierce. After all, he was a very wealthy man, and had a lot to offer. Unfortunately, part of Pierce's will mandates that it must be proven that none of the study group members murdered Pierce, leading to a painfully probing polygraph that reveals a lot of secrets that they would rather leave covered. In the end, everybody gets something that they really don't want... but one lucky member of the study group receives something so big that may change the dynamics of the series as it progresses.
Once again, the classic Community that fans all loved in the first three seasons (and to be fair, I didn't think the fourth was a complete disaster, even though it did pale in comparison) is back in this episode. The episode uses a simple formula that keeps the entire cast in one room for the entire episode to develop an entire plot, which works remarkably well for this series. However, the developments of this episode so far are precisely what concern me about the series going forward. One of the great things about this series has been the study group (the study group that has been there since the first episode) and their interactions with one another. In this episode, we have a new development about Troy that seems like it will change the series significantly as it moves ahead (it should be no surprise that Donald Glover is leaving the show, but here we begin to find out how and why). So, while I enjoyed this episode, I am still a bit concerned about where the series is going to go from here. Hopefully, with Dan Harmon back in charge of the series, it'll be able to overcome these rough waters, and so far it has been able to do just that. B+
New on DVD/Blu-ray (March/April)
03/03 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Now... In Living Color! (Blu-ray)
03/07 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Second Season
03/07 - Mama's Family - Mama's Favorites
03/07 - That '70s Show - The Complete Series - Flashback Edition (Blu-ray)
03/07 - What I Like About You - The Complete Second Season
03/07 - You Me Her - Season One
03/14 - Newhart - The Final (Eighth) Season
03/14 - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - Season Two
03/21 - Master of None - Season One
04/04 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season
04/11 - Father Knows Best - Season Five
04/11 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Third Season
04/11 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/11 - Veep - The Complete Fifth Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Sunday, April 30
Bob's Burgers - "Like Gene for Chocolate" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Gene learns that the formula for his favorite chocolate has changed, he works with the head of the company in an attempt to remedy the situation. Meanwhile, Bob gets wrapped up in one of Teddy’s less-than-perfect plans.
Bob's Burgers - "Thelma & Louise Except Thelma Is Linda" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT)
After Louise gets in trouble at school, Linda is forced to meet with Mr. Frond (guest voice David Herman) and potentially could lose her hard-earned position as the Wagstaff bake sale leader. When she finds out that her daughter was actually trying to help another student, Linda is torn between following school policy or her own moral code.
The Simpsons - "Looking for Mr. Goodbart" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Bart gets in trouble on Grandparents Day at school and is forced to hang out with Skinner’s mother as punishment. After spending time with various grandmas in the neighborhood, he learns the benefits of hanging out with the elderly, but eventually recognizes the dangers of taking advantage of them. Meanwhile, Peekimon Get has taken over the town of Springfield.
Making History - "Night Cream" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
With the ever-present threat of losing tenure looming over him, Chris reaches out to John Hancock and Samuel Adams to help spice things up in the classroom in 2017. Meanwhile, Deb's dream of re-opening Chadwick's ice cream parlor is finally coming to fruition, but Dan has a few marketing ideas of his own.
Family Guy - "The Peter Principal" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Peter becomes the temporary principal at the high school, and Meg uses his new power to get even with her bullies. Meanwhile, Brian and Stewie open a bed & breakfast that quickly turns into a brothel.
The Last Man on Earth - "The Big Day" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Tandy and Gail face off in a major disagreement, on which the whole group must weigh in, and Carol is forced to choose a side. Meanwhile, Melissa, Todd and Erica each have major milestone moments.
Sunday, April 30
- NeNe Leakes (The New Normal) - Catch NeNe on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
- Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) - Watch Chris on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He will also be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- America Ferrera (Superstore) - America drops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
- Ike Barinholtz (The Mindy Project) - Ike appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
- Joel McHale (The Great Indoors/Community) - Joel is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Jake Johnson (New Girl) - Jake visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Hank Azaria (Brockmire/The Simpsons/Free Agents) - Hank stops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
- Al Madrigal (About a Boy/Welcome to the Captain/Gary Unmarried) - Al appears on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
- Kevin Nealon (Man with a Plan/Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
- Ashton Kutcher (The Ranch/Two and a Half Men/That '70s Show) - Ashton appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
- Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Allison teams up with Mario Batali to make a cheesy, decadent Gnocchi Al Telefono and dishes about her new Broadway show on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
- Charlie Hunnam (Undeclared) - Charlie will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. He will also be on the AOL Build Show at 11:15am.
- Nick Robinson (Melissa & Joey) - Nick talks about his new film Everything, Everything on the AOL Build Show at 1pm.
- Jodie Sweetin (Hollywood Darlings/Fuller House/Full House) - Jodie is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.