Monday, January 19, 2015

TCA Winter 2015 Press Tour: NBC, Fox and FX, Includes Eva Longoria Comedy on NBC

NBC

It's a busy recap day today. NBC was up at the TCA Winter 2015 Press Tour on Friday, followed by Fox on Saturday and FX on Sunday...and we have the full scoop! Let's start with NBC. In her return to a starring role on primetime television, NBC is teaming with SAG Award winner and multi-nominee Eva Longoria on the half-hour comedy series Telenovela. NBC has ordered 13 episodes of the singlecam comedy that will star and be executive produced by Longoria. From Universal Television and Unbelievable Entertainment, Telenovela captures the hilarious behind-the-scenes craziness of a popular Spanish telenovela. Longoria will play the willful but popular diva Ana Maria, star of Latin America's most beloved telenovela who strives to stay on top in a world where the drama on-camera is nothing compared to the drama off-camera. Stay with us for info as it will launch in 2015-16. Next, NBC is bringing both the heartbreaking and uplifting stories during one of America's most tumultuous periods to television in adapting author and Pulitzer Prize finalist Betty DeRamus' acclaimed book Forbidden Fruit: Love Stories From the Underground Railroad as an epic eight-hour miniseries titled Freedom Run. It will focus on three specific epic journeys and love stories, each based on actual people. Iconic musician Stevie Wonder will serve as an executive producer.

Zachary Levi is making his long-awaited return to television in NBC's upcoming event miniseries Heroes Reborn to play a key yet undisclosed role. Jack Coleman, who played Noah Bennet in the original Heroes series, has previously been cast to reprise his role as "HRG" for Heroes Reborn. With the return of Heroes Reborn, NBC will launch a digital series prior to the premiere that will introduce the characters and new storylines. This leveraging of social media is a way for fans to re-engage with what was one for the true pioneers in multiplatform storytelling. Still no premiere date has been given. And finally for NBC, they have signed a development deal with Dolly Parton, one of the most honored female country musicians of all time and an American icon. In conjunction with production partner Sam Haskell of Magnolia Hill Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television, NBC will develop a slate of two-hour TV movies based on the songs, stories, and inspiring life of Dolly Parton. This extraordinarily prolific country music artist and movie star will produce these projects that are meant to appeal to an inclusive family audience.


Fox

On to Fox, well that was fast. After just two episodes, Empire is coming back. Fox has renewed hit drama series Empire for a second season. The second episode grew from its already big premiere rating. It is the only new broadcast drama this season to grow from week one to week two. Fox has also ordered a third season of the award-winning comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine. And if two renewals weren't enough, Fox has also renewed hit drama series Gotham for a second season. Get ready to scream. Joe Manganiello (True Blood), Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award nominee Lea Michele (Glee), Academy Award nominee Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) and Keke Palmer (Masters of Sex) have been cast as series regulars in Scream Queens, a new comedy-horror anthology series from Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Ian Brennan and Dante Di Loreto, the executive producers of Glee and American Horror Story. Additionally, Grammy Award nominee and actress Ariana Grande will guest-star in a recurring role. Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween) and Emma Roberts (American Horror Story: Freak Show) were previously announced in starring roles in the limited series. The first installment in the new anthology series revolves around a college campus which is rocked by a series of murders. Fifteen one-hour episodes have been ordered, which are scheduled to begin production in the spring, and premiere in Fall 2015 on Fox.

Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX) and Paramount Television announced that superstar singers, dancers and actresses Julianne Hough (Safe Haven, Rock of Ages, Dancing with the Stars) and Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical, Spring Breakers, Gigi on Broadway) have been cast in leading roles in Grease: Live (working title). With Hough as the angelic Sandy - Rydell High's most talked-about newcomer - and Hudgens as iconic bad girl Rizzo, this first-ever live television production of Grease will re-imagine the hit crossover musical for an entirely new generation. Airing LIVE Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016 from 7:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed on Fox, Grease: Live (wt) will be executive-produced by acclaimed film, television and theater producer Marc Platt. Grease: Live (wt) is based on the original musical Grease by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, and Paramount Pictures' 1978 feature adaptation. It will be a Paramount Television production.

FX

Moving on to cable network FX, they have set the premiere date of Thursday, April 9 for the series premiere of the new comedy series The Comedians starring Billy Crystal and Josh Gad and the fifth season of the Emmy(R) Award winning comedy series Louie starring Louie C.K. The Comedians will air at 10:00 PM ET/PT, followed by Louie at 10:30 PM ET/PT. Also, FX has acquired the television rights to Emmy Award winner Louis C.K.'s next standup comedy special, Louis C.K. Live From the Comedy Store. C.K. will make the special available to fans first on his website, LouisCK.net, in coming weeks after his record-breaking run of shows at Madison Square Garden. C.K. is the first comedian to sell out three shows for the same tour in Madison Square Garden history. Tickets for the fourth Madison Square Garden show on January 27 went on sale Saturday. The hour-long comedy special will subsequently air on FX this spring. C.K. will write and direct the special. And the third piece of FX news also has Louie C.K. involved. FX Networks has ordered the comedy pilot Better Things, created by and starring Pamela Adlon and directed by fellow Louie star Louis C.K. Better Things is the fifth comedy series pilot produced or ordered by FX Networks within the past year, including the comedy series pilots Atlanta, created by and starring Donald Glover, and Pariah, starring Bill Burr for Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton. These projects reinforce FX Networks' position as the leading comedy brand in television. Let's see which of these make it to series. Stay with us.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (December/January)

American Dad! - Volume 11 Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized) The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two Hooperman - Season One

12/06 - Family Guy - Season Fourteen
12/13 - American Dad! - Volume 11
12/13 - Newhart - The Complete Seventh 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
01/24 - Hooperman - Season Two
01/31 - Ballers - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Saturday, January 21

The Thundermans - "Better Off Wed" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The kids learn that Dr. Colosso ruined their parents' wedding years earlier, and want to recreate Hank & Barb's dream day as their anniversary gift. However, Dr. Colosso remains a threat, and they must keep their plans a secret.

Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn - "Keeping Up with the Quadashians" (Nickelodeon, 8:30PM ET/PT)
After binge watching their favorite reality TV show, the Quads decide their lives are every bit as "reality TV" worthy, and decide to make a show of their own. Guest Stars: Maddie Ziegler, Mackenzie Ziegler

School of Rock - "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" (Nickelodeon, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Tomika and Zack work on a love song together, leading to a moment that will change their friendship forever. Summer and Lawrence hang out together for the first time, and Freddy helps Mr. Finn with a problem.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 23)

Saturday, January 21

  • Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show/Cosby) - Phylicia will be featured on Oprah: Where Are They Now? at 10pm ET/PT on OWN.
Sunday, January 22
  • NeNe Leakes (The New Normal) - Catch NeNe on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
Monday, January 23
  • Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Watch Allison on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • William Shatner ($h*! My Dad Says) and Henry Winkler (Happy Days/Arrested Development/Out of Practice) - William and Henry are guests on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Kevin Nealon (Man with a Plan/Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Jade Catta-Preta (Manhattan Love Story) - Jade is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Wendi McClendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagement/Reno 911!) - Wendi stops by Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Cristela Alonzo (Cristela) - Cristela chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Tika Sumpter (The Game) - Tika appears on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Justina Machado (One Day at a Time) - Justina will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry and Rebecca Romjin talk about Love Locks on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. Jerry will also be on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT and on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
  • Retta (Parks and Recreation) - Retta talks about Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.