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 (April/May)

Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season Father Knows Best - Season Five The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season ALF - The Complete DVD Collection The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series

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
05/02 - Red, White and Blue Collar Sitcoms - Make TV Great Again
05/09 - ALF - The Complete DVD Collection
05/09 - Divorce - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
05/09 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season
05/16 - The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, May 23

Downward Dog - "Boundaries" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Nan installs an automatic dog door so she can take away Jason’s key but still keep him as Martin’s dog walker, Martin is convinced he can suddenly open doors with his mind, and the new-found power goes to his head.  Meanwhile at work, Nan’s boss is unable to understand the new ad campaign Nan sold to the corporate bosses, and he spirals into confusion.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "The Bank Job" / "Crime & Punishment" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
As Jake and Rosa continue their search for a bank-robbing operation with Lieutenant Hawkins (guest star Gina Gershon), they realize there’s more to her team than meets the eye. After discovering a dangerous secret, they call for back-up from Holt and Pimento (guest star Jason Mantzoukas). Meanwhile, Boyle objects to Gina’s new boyfriend (guest star Ryan Phillipe). Then, Jake and Rosa are framed for a crime they didn’t commit, it’s up to the Nine-Nine to find a way to bust them out.

Great News - "Carol Has a Bully" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Carol (Andrea Martin) has a midterm she must pass in order to keep her internship. Katie (Briga Heelan) needs to choose between helping her mom and focusing on her hacking story, which she can't seem to crack. Meanwhile, Greg's (Adam Campbell) wealthy estranged grandmother (guest star Christina Pickles) pays a visit to the office. Chuck (John Michael Higgins) finds her cold and cruel, but almost immediately falls in love with her.

Great News - "Carol's Eleven" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Katie (Briga Heelan) makes a huge discovery about the story she's been chasing and, with the help of Carol (Andrea Martin) and the rest of the staff, concocts a scheme to get the story out. Greg (Adam Campbell) struggles with balancing his conflicting loyalties to his family, co-workers and conscience.

Mann & Wife - "Mann, Shut Yo Mouth" (Bounce TV, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Struggling to solve a tough case, an exhausted Daniel falls asleep and wakes up in a 70's blaxploitation cop show.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 22)

Tuesday, May 23

  • Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Catch Terry on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Rob Huebel (Trasparent/Burning Love) - Rob appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Al Madrigal (About a Boy/Welcome to The Captain/Gary Unmarried), Andrew Santino (I'm Dying Up Here/Sin City Saints) and Erik Griffin (I'm Dying Up Here) - Al, Andrew and Erik are guests on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ari Graynor (I'm Dying Up Here/Bad Teacher) - Ari stops by Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Nick Kroll (The League/Cavemen) - Nick visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Ben Falcone (Nobodies/A to Z/Joey) - Ben drops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Abigail Breslin (Scream Queens) - Abigail appears on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory/Blossom) - Mayim talks about her new book Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular and The Big Bang Theory on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • William Shatner ($#*! My Dad Says) - William is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Kyle Chandler (What About Joan?) - Kyle teams up with Clinton Kelly to grill up a great entrée on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Nicole Byer ( Loosely Exactly Nicole) - Nicole is a guest on Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.
  • The Love Boat Cast - The cast of The Love Boat reunites on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Debra Messing (Will & Grace) - Debra chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Zoe Lister-Jones (Life in Pieces/Friends with Better Lives/Whitney) - Zoe talks about her new comedy Band Aid on the AOL Build Show 1pm.
  • Jamie Foxx (The Jamie Foxx Show) - Jamie talks about Beat Shazam on AOL Build Show 4pm.