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 (January/February)

I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized) The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two Hooperman - Season One 227 - The Complete First Season (Mill Creek) Fuller House - The Complete First 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 / Review
01/24 - Hooperman - Season Two / Review
01/31 - Ballers - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
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
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Monday, February 20

Kevin Can Wait - "Neighborhood Watch" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Donna’s cousin, Irene (Claire Coffee), comes to visit with her chatty husband, Stuart (Alexander Chaplin), Kevin concocts an elaborate plan to avoid spending time with them by forming a neighborhood watch group with his buddies, including his neighbor, Rootger (Bas Rutten).

Man with a Plan - "Kate's First Date" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Kate is asked out on her first date, Adam can’t curb his overprotective ways. Also, Don enlists Lowell’s help to buy the perfect anniversary gift for Marcy.

Superior Donuts - "Trust Me" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Arthur is reluctant to let Franco make the shop’s bank deposit, Franco accuses his boss of not trusting him. Also, James regrets confiding in Randy after she shares an embarrassing secret about him with other cops at the station.

2 Broke Girls - "And the Jessica Shmessica" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Bobby (Christopher Gorham) invites Caroline to a party to meet his family, she is eager to make a good impression but isn’t prepared for the torch that his mother and sisters still carry for Bobby’s ex-girlfriend. Also, Caroline’s nerves are even more frayed when the diner gang decides to tag along. Guest stars include Nora Dunn as Bobby’s mother, Teresa, and Kerri Kenney-Silver as his sister, Denise.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 20)

Monday, February 20

  • Jason Jones (The Detour) - Watch Jason on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Norm Macdonald (The Norm Show/A Minute with Stan Hooper) - Norm is a guest on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Keke Palmer (Scream Queens/True Jackson, VP) - Keke appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagement/Reno 911!) - Wendi visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Patricia Heaton (The Middle/Back to You/Everybody Loves Raymond) - Patricia chats on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • NeNe Leakes (The New Normal) - NeNe guest co-hosts The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Mike Farrell, Loretta Swit and Jamie Farr (M*A*S*H) - Mike, Loretta and Jamie are guests on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Anne-Marie Johnson (What's Happening Now!!) - Anne-Marie discusses diversity at the Oscars on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) - Adam joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Rosie Perez (Search Party) - Rosie is a guest on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York sometime between 7-10am.
  • Regina Hall (Grandfathered) - Regina appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Louie Anderson (Baskets/The Louie Show/Life with Louie) - Louie is a guest on Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.