Category Archives: FOX

Fall Schedule Shakeup at FOX: ‘New Amsterdam’ Shelved, ‘Lyrics’ returns, ‘Bones’ moves

Via Variety, word has broken that FOX is shuffling its fall schedule to, well, I don’t really know why they’re doing it. On the one hand, their new schedule certainly seems like it will be more competitive. However, at the same time, I don’t believe that the switch from new programming to reality programming is going to do much good for the network’s pedigree.

Variety: Fox Shuffles Fall Schedule (Aug. 2nd)

The Details:

New Amsterdam, FOX’s crime procedural about a 400+ year old man who will only be able to age when he finds his true love, has been shelved until midseason. It will likely debut in the Fridays at 9pm timeslot that it would have been moving to in January anyways thanks to American Idol.

Why is it moving? My guess is a combination of retooling (The show isn’t shutting down production, but certainly they’ll be slowing down a bit) and perhaps it just isn’t coming together very well. It should be interesting to see whether more news breaks about this in the coming days.

Bones, meanwhile, is moving to find itself a new timeslot away from a rather tough Wednesday 9pm lineup (Private Practice, Criminal Minds, Bionic Woman). The FOX forensic crime procedural will be moving to New Amsterdam’s timeslot of 8pm on Tuesdays (Starting on September 25th) before itself likely moving to Fridays at 8 in January.

Why is it moving? Well, it’s more because of what else is moving, but more importantly it gives the show its own timeslot in its chosen genre (The only competition being NCIS, which skews older). So, considering they want it to survive on Fridays in the Spring, they need to give it a boost.

The other news deals with two reality shows.

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Filed under 2007 Fall Preview, Bones, Don't Forget the Lyrics, FOX, New Amsterdam, Television

2007-2008 Fall Premiere Dates – FOX, NBC, CBS, ABC and The CW

This fall, all of your favourite shows will be returning, and some new blood will join the pack. Which nights should you be scheduling off? Here’s the full calendar list of premiere dates for the Big 5 Networks.

NOTE: New shows are shown in blue.

September 6th

8:00pm

Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader [FOX]

September 11th

8:00pm

The Biggest Loser [NBC]

September 12th

9:00pm

Kitchen Nightmares [FOX]

September 14th

9:00pm

Nashville [FOX]

September 17th

8:00pm

Prison Break [FOX]

9:00pm

K-Ville [FOX]

September 18th

8:00pm

Beauty & The Geek [Two Hours] [The CW]

Bones [FOX]

September 19th

8:00pm

Kid Nation [CBS]

America’s Next Top Model [The CW]

Back To You [FOX]

8:30pm

‘Til Death [FOX]

9:00pm

Gossip Girl [The CW]

September 20th

8:00pm

Survivor: China [CBS]

September 23rd

8:00pm

The Simpsons [FOX]

8:30pm

King of the Hill [FOX]

9:00pm

Cold Case [CBS]

Family Guy [FOX]

10:00pm

Shark [CBS]

September 24th

8:00pm

How I Met Your Mother [CBS]

Chuck [NBC]

Dancing with the Stars [ABC]

8:30pm

Big Bang Theory [CBS]

9:00pm

Heroes [NBC]

Two and a Half Men [CBS]

9:30pm

Rules of Engagement [CBS]

The Bachelor [ABC]

10:00pm

CSI: Miami [CBS]

Journeyman [NBC]

September 25th

8:00pm

New Amsterdam [FOX]

NCIS [CBS]

Dancing with the Stars (Results) [ABC]

9:00pm

House [FOX]

The Unit [CBS]

Reaper [The CW]

9:30pm

The Singing Bee [NBC]

Boston Legal [ABC] [Special 90 Minute Premiere]

10:00pm

Cane [CBS]

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit [NBC]

September 26th

8:00pm

Deal or No Deal [NBC]

9:00pm

The Bionic Woman [NBC]

Criminal Minds [CBS]

Private Practice [ABC]

10:00pm

Life [NBC]

CSI: New York [CBS]

Dirty Sexy Money [ABC]

September 27th

8:00pm

My Name is Earl [NBC]

Smallville [The CW]

Ugly Betty [ABC]

9:00pm

The Office [NBC]

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation [CBS]

Grey’s Anatomy [ABC]

10:00pm

ER [NBC]

Without a Trace [CBS]

Big Shots [ABC]

September 28th

8:00pm

Ghost Whisperer [CBS]

Deal of No Deal [NBC]

9:00pm

Moonlight [CBS]

10:00pm

Las Vegas [NBC]

Numb3rs [CBS]

September 30th

7:00pm

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (2 hours) [ABC]

9:00pm

Desperate Housewives [ABC]

9:30pm

American Dad [FOX]

10:00pm

Brothers & Sisters [ABC]

October 1st

8:00pm

Everybody Hates Chris [The CW]

8:30pm

Aliens in America [The CW]

9:00pm

Girlfriends [The CW]

9:30pm

The Game [The CW]

October 2nd

8:00pm

Cavemen [ABC]

8:30pm

Carpoolers [ABC]

October 3rd

8:00pm

Pushing Daisies [ABC]

October 4th

8:30pm

30 Rock [NBC]

9:00pm

Supernatural [The CW]

October 5th

9:00pm

Friday Night Lights [NBC]

October 12th

8:00pm

20/20 [ABC]

9:00pm

Women’s Murder Club [ABC]

10:00pm

Men in Trees [ABC]

October 15th

9:30pm

Samantha Who? [ABC]

October 18th

10:00pm

Viva Laughlin (Preview) [CBS]

October 21st

8:00pm

Viva Laughlin [CBS]

October 25th

9:30pm

Scrubs [NBC]

November 27th

10:00pm

Cashmere Mafia [ABC]

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Filed under 'Til Death, 2007 Fall Preview, 30 Rock, Brothers & Sisters, Cavemen, Chuck, CSI: Miami, Dancing with the Stars, Desperate Housewives, FOX, Friday Night Lights, Gossip Girl, Grey's Anatomy, Heroes, House, How I Met Your Mother, My Name is Earl, NBC, New Amsterdam, Prison Break, Private Practice, Pushing Daisies, Reaper, Scrubs, Shark, Supernatural, Television, The Bionic Woman, The CW, The Office, Ugly Betty

Why the 2007 Fall Pilots are Leaking, and Why the Networks Should Embrace It

Over the weekend, online pirates were pleased to see that the flood was beginning: torrent sites across the internet began posting leaked screener copies of the 2007 pilots from FOX’s much-discussed Terminator spinoff Sarah Connor Chronicles (Pictured) to ABC’s buzz-worthy drama Pushing Daisies. I can only speculate, but I imagine that some people at the networks might be upset to see this. However, part of me really hopes that there is a certain number of employees who realize that these pilots leaking onto the internet is not the end of the world. In fact, it might be the best thing that happened to these shows. And the networks should have been putting them online themselves.

These pilots are leaking because the DVD Screeners sent to critics weren’t going to just sit there after being watched, and technology has reached a point where uploading shows is apparently quite easy (I’ve never done it myself). It is telling that the pilots uploaded thus far are the ones that are getting the most buzz in internet circles: fanboys are concerned over Sarah Connor Chronicles, critics are abuzz about Bryan Fuller’s (Wonderfalls) Pushing Daisies and NBC’s Chuck (From O.C. Creator Josh Schwartz), and Kevin Smith (Clerks) directed The CW’s Reaper (The first pilot to leak).

On the one hand, uptight network executives are probably concerned that their premiere ratings might go down as people watch the show ahead of time, or that bad buzz will take down the series before it can even get started. To those executives I make the following case: premiere ratings don’t matter, and the audience watching these shows online will not penetrate the casual mass of fans who make Two and a Half Men a comedy sensation. What you want to be doing is creating a fan base, something that this actually helps far more than it hurts.

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Filed under 2007 Fall Preview, ABC, Andy Barker P.I., Chuck, FOX, NBC, Pushing Daisies, Reaper, Sarah Connor Chronicles, Television, The CW

The Highlights and Lowlights of the 2007 Emmy Nominations

The nominations for the 56th annual Primetime Emmy awards have been released, and the result is a whole lot of frustration. While there are certainly some attributes in these categories that certainly warrant some sort of positive feelings, the overall impact is limited with some rather vile mistakes made by the voters. Yes, I said mistakes. Let’s take a look at the Best and the Worst of the nominations.

Best Category

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

This one is simple, really. While there were some other categories that had either too many familiar faces or the wrong mix of people, Supporting Actor in a Comedy gets it just right. Jon Cryer is the token nominee for the popular vote, but then you’ve got four awesome comedic talents: last year’s winner Jeremy Piven along with new (And fantastic) fresh faces in Rainn Wilson, Kevin Dillon and Neil Patrick Harris. I really can’t argue with any of these selections. I would have liked to see Justin Kirk in there, but it’s still a great category.

Runner-Up: Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Worst Category

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Three Grey’s Anatomy actresses, two Sopranos actresses, and perennial Emmy favourite Rachel Griffiths. It is clear that the men are where the new talent is making an impact, because these nominees couldn’t be much more predictable. The lack of new talent (Elizabeth Mitchell for Lost, Hayden Panettiere for Heroes) is the biggest problem, and I really hope that this can change in the future.

Runner-Up: Outstanding Drama Series

Most Surprising Nominee

Michael Emerson (Lost) – Supporting Actor in a Drama

I had written off Michael Emerson, one of my early picks, after Elizabeth Mitchell failed to crack the Top 10. However, it appears that Emerson was able to make it in, and with 6 nominees in his category worked his way into the fold. This was likely supported by Terry O’Quinn’s tape, which featured Emerson heavily. It is most deserved, and the most pleasant surprise of the morning.

Runner-Up: Boston Legal – Outstanding Drama Series

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Filed under ABC, Award Shows, Battlestar Galactica, Dexter, Emmy Awards, Entourage, FOX, Friday Night Lights, Gilmore Girls, Grey's Anatomy, How I Met Your Mother, Lost, Scrubs, Television, The CW, The Office, The Sopranos

The 2007 Emmy Awards Nominations: Lost Snubbed, Sopranos Praised

After months of coverage and more than a little bit of analysis, it is has finally come down to this: this morning, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences have officially announced their nominations for what their voters believed to be the best in television over the past year. Are they right on the money, or are they off the mark once again?

The Big Stories

– Lost and Friday Night Lights snubbed, although Lost dominates in Supporting Actor with Terry O’Quinn and Michael Emerson! Woo!

– The Sopranos leads with 15 nominations.

– Battlestar Galactica and Lost each garnered writing and directing nods on the Drama side, while 30 Rock and The Office dominated the categories in terms of Comedy series.

– There’s a lot of snubs all over the place, I’ll go into more detail tomorrow, but Michael C. Hall is the worst one. Yes, worse than Lost.

– Rainn Wilson and Jenna Fischer break through as supporting contenders for The Office, which garnered a whole lot of nominations once you factor in writing and directing.

And the Nominees Are…

Oustanding Drama Series

The Sopranos

Heroes

Boston Legal

Grey’s Anatomy

House

Oustanding Comedy Series

The Office

Entourage

Two and a Half Men

30 Rock

Ugly Betty

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Filed under 24, ABC, Award Shows, Battlestar Galactica, Brothers & Sisters, Desperate Housewives, Dexter, Emmy Awards, Entourage, FOX, Friday Night Lights, Gilmore Girls, Grey's Anatomy, Heroes, House, How I Met Your Mother, Lost, Monk, My Name is Earl, NBC, Reality TV, Scrubs, Television, The Amazing Race, The Office, Ugly Betty, Weeds

Karaoke Wars: FOX’s ‘Don’t Forget the Lyrics’ Raises the Stakes, Lowers the Standards

After last night’s very successful launch of The Singing Bee (Including some stunning 18-49 numbers) on NBC, there is a lot riding on this premiere of ‘Don’t Forget the Lyrics’ on FOX. Unlike NBC’s show, which is certainly a more traditional game show setup, FOX’s show is a combination of Deal or No Deal, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and basically every single other recent reality show. With a Million Dollar Cash Prize dangling over their heads, and with producers picking the absolute worst possible singers to “showcase”, it’s everything that’s wrong with reality television in one little package. Looks like someone forgot the lyrics to a reality show that’s the least bit original.

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’24’ is Out of Africa and Out of Ideas

Yesterday, Michael Ausiello broke some news, or gossip more specifically, about 24‘s 7th season. You know, the one that was supposed to shake everything up and totally reinvigorate the series after a rather awful sixth season? Well, it turns out that FOX decided that producers went a little bit too far this time around: they wanted to go to Africa. And, well…

According to sources, the 11th-hour time-out was called after the network put the kibosh on a costly plan to shoot a number of episodes in Africa. Producers briefly toyed with the idea of finding a location in Los Angeles that could sub for the continent, but they ultimately decided to ditch the whole concept and start over from scratch.

That’s right folks: start over from scratch. Mary Lynn Raksjub (Chloe), who will be back this season, notes that this delay was unexpected and will certainly set things back a bit. However, more importantly, I think it highlights the real problem that 24 has right now.

They’re damned if they do, and they’re damned if they don’t.

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The Leak: Emmy Top 10s for Drama and Comedy Series Hit the Web

Well, thanks to Tom O’Neill over at TheEnvelope.com, the Top 10 Drama and Comedy Series according to the popular voters of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences have been revealed. These 10 shows will then screen an episode each in front of blue ribbon panels, and the Top 5 with the two processes combined will be nominated. If they didn’t make this list, they’re screwed.

Top 10 Drama Series

Boston Legal
Dexter
Friday Night Lights
Grey’s Anatomy
Heroes
House
Lost
Rome
The Sopranos
24

Biggest Surprise: I’m much happier about Friday Night Lights making it, but arguably Rome is the bigger surprise. The show had much less critical hype and aired such a short 2nd season that it was unexpected to get much attention. It appears that it got the period costume sex drama buzz as opposed to Showtime’s The Tudors.

Most Glaring Omission: Brothers & Sisters had good ratings, buzzworthy stars, but apparently voters didn’t feel the love. The aforementioned Tudors was also quite a shock considering how hard Showtime had pushed it, but Brothers & Sisters probably deserves one of those spots. And, even though it had no shot, Battlestar Galactica deserved better. Le sigh.

Network Breakdown: ABC leads with three series, while HBO, NBC and FOX all perform well with two a piece. Meanwhile, CBS is completely shut out while Showtime grabs the 10th spot.

Who Will Do Well: Lost and the Sopranos are riding the most buzz right now, and Grey’s and 24 both submitted strong episodes.

Who Won’t Do Well: Heroes, having submitted their pilot, will be EATEN ALIVE by these other shows. And Friday Night Lights, unfortunately, might have hit a roadblock against such tough competition. But it’s made it in, and that’s what matters.

Top 10 Comedy Series

Desperate Housewives
Entourage
Extras
My Name is Earl
The Office
Scrubs
Thirty Rock
Two and a Half Men
Ugly Betty
Weeds

Biggest Surprise: Eh, not much of one. We knew there were two spots up for grab, and it appears that voters liked British comedy (Extras) and American commercial success (Two and a Half Men) out of the remaining candidates.

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Filed under 24, 30 Rock, ABC, Award Shows, Brothers & Sisters, Desperate Housewives, Dexter, Emmy Awards, FOX, Friday Night Lights, Grey's Anatomy, Heroes, House, How I Met Your Mother, Lost, My Name is Earl, NBC, Scrubs, Television, The Office, The Sopranos, Ugly Betty, Weeds

For Your Consideration: Lead Actors – Hugh Laurie and Jason Lee

[In Week Three of Cultural Learnings’ 59th Annual Emmy Awards Nominations Preview, we’re looking at possible contenders for the Lead Actor awards in both drama and comedy. Today, we present our fifth set of candidates. For complete listings for the Supporting candidates from the past two weeks, check out our For Your Consideration index]

Lead Actor in a Drama

Hugh Laurie (Gregory House)

House

Alone amongst procedural dramas, there is no question that there is a single star of FOX’s House; Hugh Laurie’s portrayal of the prickly doctor has perhaps been one of the most universally loved in recent years. There is something about his demeanor that is so incredibly engaging, and there is little question that it elevates this drama from being a mid-level success to one of the highest rated dramas on television. And yet, there is something more to House than just his jokes; he is a damaged man, struggling to come to terms with his own lot in life. While the character can occasionally be written into a bit of a hole (And parts of the season find him mired in annoying legal drama), Laurie always manages to pull something out of his ass that is sheer genius. What makes his performance Emmy worthy is that in those moments that the show reveals itself as the shallow procedural it is at its core, Hugh Laurie’s House always shines through as a beacon of hope and high class television. It may just be my affinity for British accents, but I must consider Hugh Laurie as a serious Emmy contender.

What Laurie brings to the table, every time, is a sense of complete and total apathy for his co-workers, his patients, and pretty well everything around him. It’s a difficult role to play while remaining likable, but Laurie always does it. Whether he’s tearing apart Chase, Cameron and Foreman, or sparring with Wilson, or torturing Cuddy, it always seems like House is having a hell of a lot of fun with himself. For an entire episode he exists only in that mode, but then he ends up stepping in by episode’s end, meets the patient, interacts with them, and all of a sudden he cares. It’s like a light switch very suddenly turns on, and Laurie makes that transition every time without seeming too obvious about it. I keep waiting to see whether House will at some point cross a line between cantankerous doctor and insufferable jerk, but Laurie always walks that line extremely carefully. And, in his show-making efforts, Hugh Laurie turns in an Emmy worthy performance.

Episode Selection: “One Day, One Room” (Aired January 30th, 2007)

Smartly, the episode Laurie is submitting is the one where all of that is challenged, and where someone sees him for the tortured soul he really is as opposed to the façade he places in front of people. Unfortunately, it’s not the episode I would have picked. One Day, One Room isn’t his selection, but I like it more than “Half-wit”. When a rape victim enters into the clinic and spends time with House, who of course is his usual clinic self, and decides that she will only speak to him. She realizes that he is kind of like her, in a way…or maybe she’s just crazy. Either way, the entire episode lets Hugh Laurie enter into deep philosophical discussions, and under the guise of “drama” I believe that it is his strongest performance of the season. Of course, he submitted a different episode (One where he treats Dave Matthews’ musical savant) that is also good, but I like this one better. So tough, Hugh Laurie.

YouTube“One Day, One Room”

EDIT: Okay, so Half-Wit is good too. It has Boomtown Rats’ “I Don’t Like Mondays”, a song I adore.

YouTube – “Half-Wit”

Lead Actor in a Comedy

Jason Lee (Earl)

My Name is Earl

I don’t watch My Name is Earl on a regular basis for a variety of reasons. While the show’s first season started strongly, I lost interest when it felt like nothing was really changing with the series. It was a charming show, and one that I enjoyed watching, but it just stopped surprising me at a certain point. What bits of this past season that I’ve seen haven’t been any more surprising, don’t get me wrong, but what I think has become clear is that consistency is the name of the game. And, central to that consistency, Jason Lee’s performance as Earl Hickey remains the central piece of the show’s puzzle. A show entirely about Joy, or Randy, or Darnell, or Catalina…none of it would work. Without Earl, the show would lack its everyman, a man who despite his past has a heart and has a purpose in life. I always believe Jason Lee in this role, and I empathize with him even as those around him might grate on my nerves. While the show might not have been able to keep my attention, I can’t help but believe that Jason Lee’s strong and consistent performance makes him worthy of Emmy consideration.

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Filed under Award Shows, Emmy Awards, FOX, House, My Name is Earl, NBC, Television

For Your Consideration: Lead Actors – Kiefer Sutherland and Zach Braff

[In Week Three of Cultural Learnings’ 59th Annual Emmy Awards Nominations Preview, we’re looking at possible contenders for the Lead Actor awards in both drama and comedy. Today, we present our first set of candidates. For complete listings for the Supporting candidates from the past two weeks, check out our For Your Consideration index]

Lead Actor in a Drama

Kiefer Sutherland (Jack Bauer)

24

Jack Bauer ended season five of 24 abducted by Chinese authorities for his fourth season antics at the Chinese consulate. It was the kind of cliffhanger the show had never really attempted, not to this degree anyways, and the result was what seemed like an opportunity for Kiefer Sutherland to really play around this season. Released by Chinese authorities after some form of convoluted plea agreement we never got a chance to understand (and that didn’t matter two hours later), Jack returned a damaged man struggling to come to terms with the torture he endured. Over the first four hours, Jack Bauer was a damaged man; while instinct and adrenaline kicked in as they usually would, Jack was slow on the draw in pretty well every instance. Kiefer Sutherland portrayed this character with just the right amount of breakdown: Jack was still Jack, but it was now more of a costume than it was his true feelings. That performance was won that could have won Sutherland his second straight emmy, and it is still worthy of a nomination. However, unfortunately for Sutherland, the rest of the season let Jack down.

I’ve read some points about Jack recently, and one of them is that Jack didn’t have enough action this season, that he never really got to be Jack Bauer. I would actually argue that the problem with Jack this season was that he was exactly like Jack Bauer, and his torture-riddled body was magically perfect from hour five onwards. What could have been a dramatic arc for the character basically became an excuse to gain a strong opening set of episodes, and the result was that Jack didn’t have a purpose during the middle of the season. Combine this with the lack of action, and you had a character without character, never really allowed to have any emotional depth.

Despite this, Kiefer is here is because he is both likely to be nominated and probably deserves it. I hold the writers responsible for all of the problems Kiefer faced, and he always lived up to whatever they asked of him. Also, while it was too little too late, the end of season arc featuring Audrey gave Sutherland a chance to return to the more emotional arc that was stronger at the beginning of the season. The thing about Sutherland is that his performance is always strong: even when the series dipped in season 4, for example, Sutherland was never responsible. From an acting perspective, Kiefer delivered an even performance pretty well all the way through Season Six, which is worthy of Emmy consideration.

Episode Selection: “6:00am – 7:00am” (Aired January 14th, 2007)

However, his chances of winning will all come down to which episode of the show he submits, and he has chosen to submit the first hour of the show’s two-hour season opener. This submission will pretty well ensure that he gains a nomination for the series: it shows the pain he suffered while in China, it shows him resolving to give up his own life for his country, and at the end of the episode he goes all Vampire on one of Fayed’s men and escapes their clutches. That combines the type of emotional storyline I discussed above with the bad-ass Jack that Dave and others were looking for. I think that the episode’s potential for Jack’s character wasn’t lived up to, but Emmy voters don’t know that. And, as a result, this episode will be more than enough to put Kiefer Sutherland up for Emmy consideration.

YouTube“6:00am – 7:00am”

Lead Actor in a Comedy

Zach Braff (J.D.)

Scrubs

After the cinematic success found with Garden State, Zach Braff has become an award show mainstay for his role as John Dorian on NBC’s Scrubs…and I don’t really know why. Well, that’s not true: I can see how the combination of his popularity and his consistent performance have given him a higher profile than other superior comic actors. However, I figured out another reason while preparing for this series: there just aren’t that many male comedy leads out there right now. Braff, in comparison to what others there are, is actually a seasoned veteran with some strong comic turns and a sense of character able to switch between silly and serious quite easily. While J.D. no longer has the freshness he had during the first seasons, and the silly stuff can often go too far, Braff was as competent as ever this season…and in a shallow pool, that competence is more than enough to be considered for an Emmy award.

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Filed under 24, Emmy Awards, FOX, NBC, Scrubs, Television