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 (December/January)
12/06 - Family Guy - Season Fourteen
12/13 - American Dad! - Volume 11
12/13 - Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season
01/03 - Girls - The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)
01/10 - Broad City - Season 3
01/17 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized)
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume One
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two
01/24 - Hooperman - Season One
01/24 - Hooperman - Season Two
01/31 - Ballers - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Thursday, January 19
The Big Bang Theory - "The Romance Calibration" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Penny feels that Leonard is taking her for granted, she decides to go on a spa weekend with Amy. Also, Wolowitz and Koothrappali try to fix a squeaky floorboard in the baby’s room.
The Great Indoors - "Mason Blows Up" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Jack tries to reassert his dominance as a reporter after Mason scores an investigative coup that turns him into an overnight celebrity. Also, Clark’s low self-esteem causes him to give Emma relationship advice about other guys instead of asking her out himself
Mom - "Good Karma and the Big Weird" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Bonnie encourages Christy to pursue Marjorie’s charming nephew, Nick, despite the fact that he’s been declared off limits. Chris Pratt, husband of MOM star Anna Faris, guest stars as Nick, Marjorie’s nephew.
Life in Pieces - "Tailgate Spiral Souvenir Seating" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Colleen and Matt host the family tailgate party at the L.A. Rams game, they invite former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner to spice up their so far dismal event. Also, Tim’s in danger of missing the game when Sophia makes him take her to the restroom and they get sidetracked returning to their seats; Joan and Jen try to sneak into seats closer to the field; and Greg wins a chance to participate in a halftime contest involving a football toss.
The Good Place - "Mindy St. Claire" / "Michael's Gambit" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
With the help of Chidi (William Jackson Harper) and Tahani (Jameela Jamil), Michael (Ted Danson) faces his biggest challenge yet. Meanwhile, Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Jianyu (Manny Jacinto) and Janet (D'Arcy Carden) are faced with a monumental decision.
Eleanor (Kristen Bell) and her friends contemplate their fates in the Good Place.
Baskets - "Freaks" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Chip has to decide between a tarp and snacks.
Friday, January 20
- Anthony Anderson (black-ish/Guys with Kids/All About the Andersons) - Catch Anthony on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
- JoAnna Garcia Swisher (Reba/Better with You) - JoAnna visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
- John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun/Twenty Good Years) - John is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show/My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Jim stops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Cristela Alonzo (Cristela) - Cristela drops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Ken is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He also appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
- Nicole Byer (Loosely, Exactly Nicole) - Nicole appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
- Joe Jonas (Jonas L.A.) - Joe guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Bernadette Peters (Mozart in the Jungle/All's Fair) - Bernadette is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah is a guest on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
- Andrew Dice Clay (Bless This House/Hitz) - Andrew stops by Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
- Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory/Roseanne - Johnny discusses his role in the new film, Rings, and dishes on this season of The Big Bang Theory on the AOL Build Show at 1pm.