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 (February/March)
02/07 - Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - Sabrina Down Under
02/07 - So Little Time - Volume 1 - School's Cool - Boy Crazy
02/07 - So Little Time - Volume 2 - About a Family - Hangin' Out
02/07 - 227 - The Complete First Season (Mill Creek)
02/07 - Vice Principals - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
02/14 - Beavis and Butt-Head - The Complete Collection
02/14 - Grace and Frankie - Season Two
02/28 - Fuller House - The Complete First Season
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 - Unbrekable Kimmy Schmidt - Season Two
03/21 - Master of None - Season One
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Wednesday, March 29
The Goldbergs - "A Night to Remember" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
It’s prom night, and all three Goldberg kids have big plans, which go awry. Barry plans big romantic gestures for Lainey while Erica and Geoff try to go to prom together, but it doesn’t go as planned. Meanwhile, Adam is thrilled when a nerdy but cute junior asks him out, but he is horrified when Beverly gets involved.
Imaginary Mary - "Pilot" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
A fiercely independent career woman, Alice has her life turned upside-down when she meets Ben, a divorced father with three children, and soon falls head-over-heals for him. This triggers more upheaval when the imaginary friend she created as a child, Mary, suddenly reappears as she is nervous to meet Ben’s kids for the first time.
Modern Family - "Five Minutes" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
So much can happen to the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan in five minutes! Mitch and Cam have five minutes to catch a new flight while fighting the effects of sleeping pills they took prematurely. Then at Rainer’s birthday dinner, Haley and Rainer are forced to reevaluate their entire relationship in the five minutes before the birthday cake arrives. Meanwhile, Phil and Claire pay a surprise visit to Alex and are given a five-minute surprise introduction to her new boyfriend. Finally, with only five minutes to catch a movie, Manny has to find the perfect parking space and endure Jay and Gloria’s backseat argument.
black-ish - "Richard Youngsta" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Dre is excited about doing a campaign with a popular rap star but becomes conflicted when Bow and Ruby provide feedback suggesting it plays on stereotypes. Meanwhile, Bow is determined to get the family to stop eating so much take-out food, but realizes the family may be too accustomed to eating whatever they want.
Nobodies - "Mr. First Lady" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
After years toiling away writing on a kids cartoon, “The Fartlemans”, Groundlings Alums Larry, Rachel and Hugh finally get their big break: A chance to pitch their film script “Mr. First Lady” at Paramount.
Lopez - "Leaving Las Vegas" (TV Land, 10:30PM ET/PT)
George quits his Las Vegas residency, causing big problems. Manolo gets out of jail and introduces his roommate, Hector, to everyone.
Schitt's Creek - "Friends & Family" (Pop, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Johnny and Moira look for a location for the family portrait; David hosts a soft launch for the new store.
Wednesday, March 29
- Andrew Rannells (Girls/The New Normal) - Watch Andrew on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
- Emma Roberts (Scream Queens/Unfabulous) - Emma is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Ken appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He will also be on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
- Lisa Kudrow (Friends/The Comeback) - Lisa visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Paul F. Tompkins (DAG) - Paul is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- Milana Vayntrub (Other Space) - Milana appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Terry stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
- Andy Daly (Review/Eastbound & Down) - Andy appears on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
- Christian Slater (Breaking In) - Christian guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Brooklyn Decker (Grace and Frankie/Friends with Better Lives) - Brooklyn is a guest on Harry, so check your local listings.
- NeNe Leakes (The New Normal) - NeNe guest co-hosts a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
- Jenna Elfman (Imaginary Mary/1600 Penn/Accidentally on Purpose/Courting Alex/Dharma & Greg) - Jenna will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
- Craig Ferguson (The Drew Carey Show) - Craig is a guest on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
- George Lopez (Lopez/George Lopez) - George discusses the second season of Lopez on the AOL Build Show at 5:30pm.