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 (March/April)

The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Second Season What I Like About You - The Complete Second Season Newhart - The Final (Eighth) Season Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season Father Knows Best - Season Five

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 - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - Season Two
03/21 - Master of None - Season One
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
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, April 23

The Simpsons - "The Cad and the Hat" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Bart betrays Lisa, he has to deal with his guilt – literally. Meanwhile, Springfield is in awe when Homer is revealed to be a chess savant.

Bob's Burgers - "Zero Lap Thirty" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT)
When Linda wins a contest to spend a dream weekend at the home where her favorite television show is filmed, things don’t go quite as planned. Back at home, Teddy’s back problems leave him stuck on the floor.

Bob's Burgers - "The Laser-inth" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Gene accompanies Bob on the last-ever rock-and-roll laser show at the planetarium, but the night takes an unexpected turn. Meanwhile, Linda takes the girls out for dinner and Louise has a surprise revelation.

Making History - "The Godfriender" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Dan, Deb and Chris find themselves stuck in 1920s Chicago, with Al Capone (guest star Tim Robinson) holding their time travel bag hostage. Chris opts for a play-it-safe plan, using history to take out Capone, while Dan and Deb befriend him instead. As they teach him how to be a better mobster – and husband – they quickly realize that proving their loyalty may not be as easy as they thought.

Family Guy - "Hot Shots" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
In order to “save” Stewie from autism, Peter and Lois decide not to vaccinate him and then proceed to convince the rest of Quahog to follow suit. Stewie runs away to save himself from diseases until Sean Penn (guest-voicing as himself) swoops in to save the day and brings vaccines to the whole town.

The Last Man on Earth - "Name 20 Picnics...Now!" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
The gang throws a huge celebration canvassing every major holiday, but Tandy and Todd’s bro-mance hits a rough patch that threatens to end the fun.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 24)

Monday, April 24

  • Kathryn Hahn (Happyish/Transparent/Free Agents) - Watch Kathryn on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. She also talks about the new series I Love Dick on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Allison appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She also chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show/My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Jim visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Andrea Martin (Great News/Difficult People/Working the Engels) - Andrea stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Briga Heelan (Great News/Ground Floor) - Briga is a guest on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Matt Walsh (Veep), Mary Holland (Blunt Talk) and Timothy Simons (Veep) - Matt, Mary and Timothy are guests on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) - Kumail drops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • John Leguizamo (The Brothers Garcia) - John guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) - Cobie talks about making her Broadway debut in Present Laughter on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Katie Gill (Baby Daddy) - Katie is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Lisa Kudrow (Friends/The Comeback) - Lisa joins Clinton Kelly in the kitchen to make a delicious dessert with an ingredient she’s never had before—Rhubarb on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/In the House/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso will be on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Kate Walsh (Bad Judge/The Drew Carey Show) - Kate talks about 13 Reasons Why on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
  • Ron Howard (Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) - Ron is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.