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 (February/March)

227 - The Complete First Season (Mill Creek) Fuller House - The Complete First Season The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Second Season What I Like About You - The Complete Second Season Newhart - The Final (Eighth) Season

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

Sunday, March 26

The Simpsons - "Dad Behavior" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Homer finds a new app that makes his life much easier and outsources his father-son bonding. Meanwhile, Grampa finds that he is about to be a father again.

Bob's Burgers - "Aquaticism" / "Ain't Miss Debatin'" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT)
When Tina learns that the aquarium is in danger of closing, the Belcher children devise a scheme to keep it running. Meanwhile, Bob realizes that he could learn a thing or two from Linda’s customer service skills. Then, when Tina is recruited by the debate team, she finds unexpected success and an even more unexpected relationship. Meanwhile, Louise and Gene convince their parents to help fund a stop-motion movie focusing on a surprising subject matter.

Making History - "Chadwick's Angels" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
In need of a victory, the trio heads back to the 1990s to give Dan another shot at his childhood dream: finishing the infamous “Bellybuster” ice cream sundae at a local parlor. As Deb bonds with the parlor’s owner, Chris is on a mission to save a life in honor of his late British friend. But all of their plans are derailed when Dan runs into the bully that tormented him.

Family Guy - "Peter's Lost Youth" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Peter gets jealous of Lois when she upstages him at a Red Sox fantasy baseball camp. Meanwhile, Stewie runs away from home when Meg is left to babysit him.

The Last Man on Earth - "Find This Thing We Need To" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Carol makes a big discovery, enlisting Tandy and Erica to help her track down some answers. Meanwhile, Todd has a major breakthrough with Melissa.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 27)

Sunday, March 26

  • Sanaa Lathan (Family Guy/The Cleveland Show/LateLine) - Catch Sanaa on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
Monday, March 27
  • Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) - Watch Chris on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Richard Dreyfuss (Your Family or Mine) - Richard appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie/Malibu Country) and Jane Fonda (Grace and Frankie) - Lily and Jane are guests on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. They also chat with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Craig Ferguson (The Drew Carey Show) - Craig visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He will also be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Rachel Dratch (Imaginary Mary) - Rachel is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Pete Holmes (Crashing) - Pete stops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jenna Elfman (Imaginary Mary/1600 Penn/Accidentally on Purpose/Courting Alex/Dharma & Greg) - Jenna appears on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Ron Funches (Powerless/Undateable) - Ron is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Kaitlin Olson (The Mick/It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) - Kaitlin drops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagement/Reno 911!) - Wendi appears on a repeat of Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Lisa Kudrow (Friends/The Comeback) - Lisa is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Mark Consuelos (Alpha House/Hope & Faith) - Mark guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Tahj Mowry, Derek Theler and Jean-Luc Bilodeau (Baby Daddy) - Tahj, Derek and Jean-Luc are guests on Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Tika Sumpter (The Game) - Tika appears on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Vanessa Bell Calloway (Rhythm & Blues) - Vanessa is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • June Diane Raphael (Grace and Frankie) - June talks about Grace and Frankie on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly/Samantha Who?) and Ben Falcone (Joey) - Melissa and Ben talk TV Land's Nobodies on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Brooklyn Decker (Grace and Frankie/Friends with Better Lives) - Brookyln stops by People Now at 8:30am.
  • Marcia Gay Harden (Trophy Wife) - Marcia opens up about her favorite part of being in the 50 Shades movies on People Now at 8:30am.
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  • Tracee Ellis Ross (black-ish/Girlfriends) - Tracee dishes about her Golden Globe win on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show at 2am on BET or on your local stations.