Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Upfront 2014 Updates: Fox and NBC Order New Series; Louie Returns with a Bang on FX

Fox

With the broadcast upfronts just 5 days away, Fox and NBC have announced some new series pick-ups already. We'll go over with you what they have picked-up already but stay tuned on Monday for more details when they announce their fall 2014 schedules. For Fox, they have given a 16-episode commitment to the John Mulaney comedy Mulaney. The sitcom is a multi-camera ensemble comedy series about a rising stand-up comic trying to take his career to the next level and the friends and mentors who lift him up, hold him back and push him around. Martin Short co-stars. Fox also gave a series order to drama Red Band Society. From Steven Spielberg, a diverse group of teenagers become unlikely allies and friends in this unconventional and, at times, comic high school drama, set in the pediatric wing of a hospital. This is one of the most ambitious and unorthodox shows in anyone's development this year. It represents a completely inspired way into young soap, a comedic one-hour, a hospital show, and a (surrogate) family drama. Octavia Spencer and Dave Annable star. They have also given the Lee Daniels series Empire a series order. It's a unique family drama set in the world of a hip-hop empire that will feature both original and current music. Gabourey Sidibe, Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, Malik Yoba and Macy Gray star.

Fox had already given orders to the comedy Weird Loners starring Becki Newton and Zachary Knighton. It's a single-camera comedy about four relationship-phobic people who are unexpectedly thrust into one another's lives and form an unlikely bond in a townhouse in Queens, NY. They also have on tap a Will Forte comedy titled Last Man On Earth for mid-season. It's a single-camera comedy about two strangers who must overcome their differences and work together to ensure the survival of the human race. And finally they have a blinds series commitment for the Margaret Cho comedy Cabot College, which is a multi-camera comedy about a women's college that, for the first time in its history, begins accepting men. However, no word on if they have ordered it yet. Back to dramas, Fox has now ordered five drama series for next season, having previously given straight-to-series pick-ups to Gotham, Backstrom and Hieroglyph.

NBC

Onto NBC, as of now they have picked-up three new series. First up is the comedy Marry Me starring Casey Wilson, Ken Marino, JoBeth Williams and Tim Meadows. It's a single-camera comedy about a young couple who get engaged, something they quickly realize is harder than it looks. They have also ordered drama Allegiance starring Scott Cohen, Hope Davis, Margarita Levieva, Morgan Spector, Annie Ilonzeh, and Kenneth Choi. The drama is about a decorated Air Force officer in a high-security post whose former Russian spy parents are newly tasked with recruiting their son into espionage activity. Also, it's no surprise that the Katherine Heigl drama State of Affairs has been picked-up. Heigl portrays a key CIA attaché who counsels the president on high-stakes incidents around the world. She balances her intense political responsibilities with a complicated personal life. Alfre Woodard also stars. And finally, they have picked-up new drama Odyssey to series. It's a drama about three families who are torn apart when a stranded female soldier, a disillusioned corporate attorney and a disrespected political activist are pulled into the same shocking international military conspiracy. Anna Friel, Peter Facinelli, Treat Williams, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje star. NBC also has already ordered two comedies: Mr. Robinson, a single-camera comedy about an impulsive, good-hearted musician (Craig Robinson) who adjusts to his new life as a music teacher in a big-city middle school and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, a single-camera comedy from multiple Emmy Award winners Tina Fey and Robert Carlock and starring Ellie Kemper, the series will center on a woman (Kemper) who escapes from a doomsday cult and starts life over in New York City. Stay tuned for more updates on both NBC and Fox on Monday!


Louie

After a 19-month hiatus, the critically acclaimed comedy series Louie returned in fine fashion as the fourth season premiere episode (5/5/14, 10PM) was up 19% vs. the series' season three average (941,000 vs. 791,000) and +26% in Adults 18-49 (635,000 vs. 505,000). Episode 2 of Louie (10:30PM) was rock solid, growing its audience by +3% in Adults 18-49 (651,000 vs. 635,000) compared to the Season 4 premiere episode, and it retained 97% of the Total Viewers (910,000 vs. 941,000). Compared to its Season 3 average, Season 4 of Louie is +17% in Total Viewers (925,000 vs 791,000) and +27% in Adults 18-49 (643,000 vs. 505,000). Monday's Season 4 debut of Louie outperformed its half-hour lead-in audience (9:30P) Horrible Bosses by +16% (941,000 vs. 809,000 Total Viewers).


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November)

Dr. Ken - Season One Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season The Lucy Show - The Complete Series The Mindy Project - Season Four

10/04 - The Andy Griffith Show - The Christmas Special (Colorized)
10/04 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #1 (Colorized)
10/11 - Dr. Ken - Season One
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Sixth and Final Season
10/11 - Mike & Molly - The Complete Series
10/11 - Nurse Jackie - Seasons One and Two
10/11 - Weeds - Seasons One and Two
11/01 - Schitt's Creek - Seasons One and Two
11/08 - Family Matters - The Complete Ninth Season
11/08 - Your Family or Mine - Season One
11/15 - Community - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Lucy Show - The Complete Series
11/15 - The Mindy Project - Season Four
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, December 9

Last Man Standing - "Help Wanted" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Since losing her teaching job, Vanessa has been spending her time hovering over the family, and it’s driving everyone nuts. Over at Kristin and Ryan’s house, Ryan and Kyle are wrapped-up in a zombie face-off to determine who knows the most about zombies and how to survive an apocalypse. Unable to land a new gig, Vanessa becomes discouraged, but Mike does everything he can to get her back doing what she loves.

Dr. Ken - "Ken's Apology" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Ken wants to apologize to a patient for missing an important medical detail, Pat advises against it, and the situation gets out of hand. Meanwhile, D.K. shakes things up at Dave’s parent/teacher conference.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 5)

Friday, December 9

  • Olivia Munn (Perfect Couples) - Watch Olivia on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She will also be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tom Papa (Come to Papa) - Tom is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Kevin Nealon (Man with a Plan/Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin appears on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Bella Thorne (Shake It Up) - Bella is a guest on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar (The Crazy Ones) - Sarah whips up a delicious treat on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Richard Kind (Spin City/Mad About You) - Richard is a guest on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Jennifer Aniston (Friends) - Jennifer appears on Chelsea on Netflix.