Monday, December 31, 2012

Chris Colley's TV Blog*'s 10 Lumps of Scripted TV Coal I Received And Watched In 2012 (Euphemism For 10 Worst, Because Worst Is Too Strong)

I gave you my 11 favorite shows, now it's time for me to tell you about 10 shows I was extremely disappointed in during 2012.  A lot of these shows were canceled, or are going to be canceled.  One show will end up on this list, just because it aggravates me.  Being ranked number 1 on this list means I thought you were the worst of the worst.  Being ranked on this list doesn't mean I didn't watch every episode (or even that it was overtly terrible), it's just that I thought the shows could have been done a lot better.  However, some of these shows were overtly terrible, and yet I still couldn't avert my eyes.  Again, Happy New Year, and thanks for reading!

 1.  Last Resort (ABC)

Last Resort had a good Pilot.  The U.S. Government tried to sink a rogue sub.  Even though they missed, the sub still sank all on its own.  Even though this might not be the worst show on the list, it surely was the most disappointing.  That's why it deserves to be number 1 on this list.

2. The New Normal (NBC)

I tried the show, and just couldn't get into it, at all.  It was a sitcom that wasn't in the least bit funny, to me.  It's clearly appealing to some people, as it looks like it's a sure pick up for a second season.  I'll stick to my favorite Ryan Murphy show, American Horror Story: Asylum, which barely missed out on my favorite shows of 2012 list.  The dude clearly has some issues...lol.

3. Animal Practice (NBC)

I watched every unfunny minute of this TV show.  Slapstick played straight just comes across as dumb.  A tonal adjustment in this show could have paid big dividends, but they locked themselves in a dark room they could never escape from.  There were two enjoyable characters on the show (Dr. Yamamoto and Angela), but everything else was just completely forgettable.

4. House of Lies (Showtime)

I wrote about this show last season in the post, HOUSE OF LIES: When Sex Sells A Bad Product.  I heard it got better after I quit watching it, but that's kind of like saying you never felt better right after being diagnosed with cancer.  You still know it's probably going to have a bad outcome in some way, shape, or form.  I won't be re-visiting it in the second season, despite Don Cheadle being one of my favorite actors ever.

5. Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23 (ABC)

This show had a really nicely absurd first season, but it fully believed its own hype for season 2.  This show became exactly as terrible as I thought it would be based on the original trailer I saw for the show.  This show is dead as a doornail, and my main note to the network is to CUT OUT JAMES VAN DER BEEK.  As a very rarely used gimmick casting, he could have been really interesting.  Instead, he might have ruined the ability to watch him seriously in anything again ever.  The makers of this show are guilty as charged, with overuse of a gimmick actor.  The DWTS storyline was about the worst I have ever seen.  It would have worked if he had actually been on DWTS, but he wasn't, so it came across as way dumb and overused.  This show could have been something, based on the absurdity of season 1, but it didn't, because it believed its own hype.  Oops.

6. Ben and Kate (FOX)

If you are one of the few people on the planet that enjoy this show, I applaud you.  I thought the show was creepy in premise, and I had to stop after the episode where they had to go see the Principal.  It was so creepy, and the lead characters seem like their development stopped somewhere around 11 or 12 years old.  It just didn't work at all, for me, and, yep, it's going to pay for that by being canceled. 

7. The Newsroom (HBO)

If you remove all of the relationship b.s. from The Newsroom, it's easily one of the best shows on television.  If you take out all of the good stuff from The Newsroom, it's a flaming pile of terrible relationship bulls***.  The way the show plays, the relationship b.s. is there close to 50 percent of the time.  That stuff is truly unbearable to watch, and keeps this show far away from being a top tier show.

8. The Big C (Showtime)

At the end of season 2, a major character died, evidently in an attempt to tug at our heart strings.  At the beginning of season 3, that character was alive.  I thought, for a minute, that he was an apparition.  It turned out he wasn't, he was still alive.  I never tuned in for episode 2 of the third season.  It's a shame this show, which had a great first season, managed to become so bad, in such a short amount of time, that I stopped watching it.

9. Vegas (CBS)

I have several episodes of this turd like imitation of some show resembling some form of Las Vegas that never existed, or something piled up on my DVR.  As of today, I've decided to just delete them.  The show's getting canceled, anyway, so it shouldn't matter.  A word of advice is if you're trying to do a historical drama, pay pretty close attention to the details.  The massive amount of errors in this show was extremely offputting.  The story was never good enough to overcome the errors, for me, so it seems like it's just best to say goodbye to the show.  This is easily the most disappointing show of the year, because it could have been so much better than it ultimately was.  I almost feel bad that I ever defended the Pilot.

10. Homeland (Showtime)

For all of the negative stuff I said in my favorite shows list, that's why Homeland is here.  It deserves to be on the best and worst list.  The only other candidate that can be in a similar situation next season is The Newsroom.  This will be the last time I care enough to put Homeland on both lists.

Chris Colley's TV Blog*'s Ten Favorite Shows of 2012

Everyone loves doing best of lists at the end of the year.  In the case of this list, it's not a best of, it's just my 10 favorite shows of 2012.  It might include canceled shows, because, like the writers of Homeland, I'll just be making this up as I go along.  I hope you all have a prosperous and safe 2013!  Happy New Year, and thanks for reading!

1. Person of Interest (CBS)

There's been absolutely no drop off from season 1 to season 2, so I'm looking forward to this show taking the top spot for me for many years to come.

2. Parks and Recreation (NBC)

Doesn't it seem appropriate that the great folks over at Parks and Recreation would be proudly shouting, "WE'RE NUMBER 2!"?  After an all over the map season 4, season 5 has really gotten back on track, and reminds me very much of all the best we have come to expect from our favorite mockumentary about local government.  If not for Person of Interest, this show would easily be my number 1 show of the year.  So, Parks and Recreation cast and crew you should be proudly shouting, "WE'RE NUMBER 2!".

3. Veep (HBO)

It's been a long time since I've had so many comedies I've liked, but 2012 was a great year for them, minus the ones that ended up on the other year end list I'm creating.  Parks and Recreation has the best comedy ensemble cast on network TV, in my opinion, and Veep's cast goes toe for toe with it on the channels that you can cuss on.  I consider it to be an adult version of Parks and Recreation, and I can't wait for season 2.  It's sharp, funny, has great cast chemistry, and it's must see if you haven't seen it.

4. Psych (USA)

For a show that's been on as long as this one (and that I still haven't caught up on completely), it's still not getting old.  The Hangover parody, from last season, was hysterical, and I greatly look forward to the upcoming season.  No show handles gimmick casting better than this one...period.

5. Common Law (USA)

There always seems to be at least one show that we have to lament its cancellation on this list, and this year it is Common Law.  This was a genuinely funny buddy cop show, with good enough ratings to get renewed, yet it didn't.  Hopefully it's out there somewhere you can see, because you should see it.  I loved this show, and truly miss that it will not ever be back.  At least we got good closure on the incident that caused all the drama between Travis and Wes.  I'm so sad this one is gone.  It was way too soon.

6. The Mindy Project (FOX)

I could have sworn this show would be terrible, but I think it's fantastic.  Mindy Kaling is a great writer, and this "parody" of romantic comedies is really great.  I love how each week she basically says what we all wish we could say.  This is a silly, funny show, and if you liked her character at all on The Office, you will LOVE this.  Trust me. 

7. Burn Notice (USA)

Burn Notice took a pretty big fall last season, but it still definitely deserves to be on the list.  It's clear that it's heading into the sunset, but I'll still enjoy every single minute it's still on the air. 

8. Franklin & Bash (TNT)

If you asked people which show they like best, between Franklin & Bash and Suits (USA), most people would likely choose Suits.  The difference between the two shows, to me, is ego and spirit.  I love both Franklin & Bash and Suits, but each show's second season is what determined which one got put on the list.  Franklin & Bash is the kind of show that gets full of itself after a carefree first season that was outstanding.  The thing is, it didn't!  For that accomplishment, alone, Franklin & Bash deserves to remain on the list.  Suits fully believed its own hype, and that's why I can't put it on the list, despite it ultimately having an excellent second season, for the most part.

9. Grimm (NBC)

This is a really awesome police procedural with a twist.  The first 12 episodes were pretty much a relatively standard police procedural in a supernatural setting.  There were little bits and pieces of an advancing serialization, but it easily could have stood alone up to that point.  From episode 13 onward, the show has been piling more plot than you can imagine into every episode.  The show even had a fantastic Halloween episode, which is nearly impossible to do.  When it comes to hybrid serialization on network TV, this and Person of Interest is how it's done. 

10. Homeland (Showtime)

Quite possibly the most overrated show in TV history, I can't avoid putting it on the list.  It has a hacky storyline, with absurd plots, and terrible attention to detail.  However, it has extremely high production value featuring usually top notch acting, outside of Claire Danes' "Most Acting" performances, endless face mugging, and ugly cry facing.  No longer a show to be taken seriously (since midway through the first season), it's still a relatively entertaining ride, as long as you're willing to leave your head a few miles outside the door.

11. Arrow (The CW)

And just because it's my blog, dammit, I'm adding a bonus pick.  Arrow is an extremely fun show, and is one you should be watching if you like Person of Interest, Revenge, the Nolan Batmans, cats, rats, fleas, and anything else.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

FLASHBACK POST (December 21, 2011): HOMELAND Episode 1: This Is What Happens When You F With The Man

I'm going to start off with a tangent about season 2, but then I'll get to the flashback post.  So, bear with me.  Tonight, I finally watched the season 2 finale of Homeland, and...yawn.  I think the show is really good if you just look at it as an insane hyperdrama (see definition here).  However, as any kind of show that deserves to be taken seriously, in any way, shape, or form, I just can't do it.  Suspension of disbelief isn't something that's really hard to get past (Person of Interest is my favorite show, and is pretty inherently unbelievable, but isn't a problem like this show).  The good news is I stopped trusting the writers after season 1.  I feel like they're making it up as they go along, and I'm not going to reward such a flawed show by mimicking the ridiculous amount of praise I think the show has received. 

Part of what was "appealing" about season 1, to me, was that it was grounded in a somewhat believable universe, while being a completely implausible show.  With the beginning of season 2, believability was completely thrown out the window, and the show plays closer to a comedic farce than it does a serious drama.  When you look at my definition of hyperdrama, you will easily understand how much Homeland fits into that category.  As I've said elsewhere, this show has a lot more in common with HawthoRNe and Scandal (which actually might be heavily borrowing on the storytelling techniques of Homeland).  To me, the show is basically a top notch soap opera with good shooting, good sound, and mostly good to great actors, set against an "exciting" backdrop.  Its production value is what makes everyone think the show is better than it is.  A lot of the dialog is stilted, performances are occasionally very awkward (see most of the Brody/Carrie scenes in the season 2 finale), the plots are absurd, and there are numerous plot holes.  In the largest broad strokes, the show does a good job, but everywhere else, it's almost an unmitigated disaster story wise, especially when it comes to small details.  If suspension of disbelief becomes a huge problem (which it clearly is), it needs to be fixed (think of season 3 as an opportunity!).  I watch James Bond movies and enjoy them immensely, so Homeland has no excuse to not do better.  High production value, excellent acting, a "fast" plot pacing, and a good cliffhanger are not enough to overcome my issues with the show.  

With that said, I'll still be watching season 3.  After all, I watched every episode of the last season of HawthoRNe, because one thing that show did right, besides casting the very attractive Jada Pinkett Smith, was that it had cliffhangers that made it impossible to not watch the following week's episode.  All I'm trying to say is if season 2 wins any EMMYs for writing, series, or acting, it means that the Academy is definitely NOT watching the show.  I could see Michael Cuesta getting a nomination for directing the season 2 finale, and some technical awards nominations (and possibly wins), but it should definitely NOT win for any of the major categories.

****SKIP THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU DO NOT WANT SEASON 2 FINALE SPOILERS****

I do, however, have to say I was much more satisfied with season 2's finale than I was with season 1's finale, which almost made me quit the show.  Of course, it wouldn't have taken much to make me more satisfied with season 2's finale more than season 1's.  They needed to blow everything up after what I felt was the disaster of most of season 2, and they did! (pun intended).  My biggest problem with the show is the downstream cliches.  We got the ending that was sort of what should have happened at the end of season 1, at the end of season 2.

****NO MORE SPOILERS FOR SEASON 2 BELOW HERE****

And here's the flashback piece.  I hope it's enjoyable.  Thanks for reading this, that, and the other thing.

 HOMELAND Episode 1: This Is What Happens When You F With The Man

Do you remember that great scene with the Corvette outside the house in The Big Lebowski?  Well, if you do, and even if you don't, that scene is my inspiration for what I'm going to do in this post about Homeland.  I had originally planned to do scene by scene dissections of the series, but after Sunday's season 1 finale, I was so disappointed that I just don't have the willpower to do them.  The good news for you (or not) is that this riled me up so bad that I'm going to go through and point out every suspicious activity, character motivation, and plot hole I can think of as it relates to what happened at the end of the season.

With that said, I think it's pretty obvious that I'm going to be giving away massive spoilers here.  If you have a problem with that, go somewhere else, some place where people love what they did with the finale.  You won't find love here for how the season ended.  To me, it was one giant cop out, and if these 12 posts go well, you will clearly see why.  Hopefully there will be a lot of humor, and a lot of knowledge dropped.  One thing's for sure, spoilers will be dropped.  Just like what I said about Falling Skies, you were warned.

Here's how this is going to work.  For each episode I'm going to compile a list of what I feel are the most significant parts of the series, so far.  I haven't decided what all that will be, but it will probably be a lot.  This will be numbered, and relatively short (in Chris Colley terms).  Each episode will have a post written in similar fashion.  It will probably take a couple of weeks to do, but I should have the first two episodes up fairly quickly, since I can just go through my two episode dissections for the information.  I hope you will enjoy them, even though I am writing these more out of rage than love.  Spoilers?  Don't like them?  Leave now...

Episode 1-The Goods

1.  CHARACTER:  CIA Case Officer Carrie Mathison disobeys a direct order from David Estes, her boss, while in Iraq.  Carrie, throughout the season, will do whatever it takes to get what she wants.  She's a loose cannon, and has no respect for authority.

2.  PLOT:  An imprisoned terrorist whispers something in Carrie's ear after she promises to protect his family if he gives up information.  What he whispered was that an American POW had been turned.  The cat and mouse game "begins" when we first find out that Sgt. Nicholas Brody, a missing POW, gets rescued.  We later find out that Tom Walker, who had appeared to be killed by Brody, is also out there and is a turned terrorist.  The informant didn't lie, an American POW was turned, it was just two of them.

3.  CHARACTER:  In Carrie's home office, we see a large timeline of events, on her wall.  These documents are classified.  She is reckless with classified and sensitive information over and over in this season.  We also see that she has been out all night, as she does rudimentary hygiene techniques.  She is probably a low grade substance abuser, and is definitely into one night stands, as she will almost have one at the end of this episode, and has one with the terrorist Brody in the back of a car.

4.  PLOT:  Sgt. Nicholas Brody was found and rescued by a Delta Force mission.  He had been MIA and presumed dead since 2003.  He is treated as a hero, but that darn Brody is a terrorist, even though he doesn't really think he is.

5.  CHARACTER:  Carrie is always late, and ain't worth the wait.  However, she knows everything she's supposed to, because that's how she rolls.

6.  CHARACTER/PLOT:  Carrie meets with Saul Berenson, who is her babysitter in the CIA, because of her causing an international incident in Iraq, when she bribed a guard to talk to a terrorist that was not being held by the USA.  Saul is also her mentor, and she will routinely confide in him.  Throughout the season, lots of clues were sent out to the audience that Saul might be some kind of double agent.  None of this was paid off.  Saul will also alternate between thinking Carrie is crazy, being angry with her, being disgusted by her, wanting to put her in prison, and he ultimately mostly believes what she says.  He hates her methods, but she does get the job done, in his opinion.  He does sell her out pretty bad in the season finale, when she calls to tell him that Brody is going to blow up the bunker.  Saul thinks she is crazy, tells her he'll take care of it, and then asks that she is contained.  Saul is a troubled man, who spends way too much time on the job.  It is his flaw.  Carrie is also his flaw.  As for the plot aspect, Carrie tells Saul that an American POW has been turned.  He finds this pretty unbelievable, but she is right.  In fact, two POWs have been turned, Brody and Corporal Tom Walker.  Carrie has no interest in telling her boss, Estes, about this, (Saul certainly doesn't have any interest in this either) and this is my first major problem with the series.  She wouldn't have to tell Estes that she suspects Brody, but she should have told him what she was told about an American POW being turned.  He could then draw his own conclusions (and ignore them, as he ignores nearly every important piece of information he is given).  Still, he's a smart man.

7.  PLOT:  Carrie asks Saul to authorize surveillance on the terrorist Brody.  We know this is a good idea, because Brody is a terrorist, but Saul says that will never happen, that Estes would never approve it.  So, Carrie gets angry and decides to fund an illegal surveillance operation, that breaks approximately 12 Federal Laws, herself.  Again, she does not take no for answer.  She does what she does.

8.  PLOT:  Brody, the terrorist, is going to be the government's poster boy for the War On Terror.  Ha ha ha, get it?  They thought he would help get out the word that the terrorists are still out there.  He would have, if he hadn't been such a chicken loving his daughter and stuff.  After all, his plan was to do his thang, with something he wore on his chest, with the VP and a whole bunch of important Defense Department people.  Yeah, it didn't happen.  So, for now, Brody will be the "positive" face for the War On Terror, as opposed to the terror they are warring on, which is what he really is.

9.  PLOT:  Captain Mike Faber (the terrorist Brody's best friend) is sleeping (this is a euphemism for boinking) with Brody's wife, Jessica, when Brody calls to tell her he is alive.  Awkward.  Love triangle ensues, and things do not go well.

10.  CHARACTER:  Jessica goes home to tell the Brody kids (daughter and son) the news.  One is a bit younger than the other.  The older one, Dana, is a problem child, and is smoking a bong when Jessica arrives home.  The son, Chris, tells his mom that he tried to get Dana to stop, but we all know he is really more interested in video games and ka-ra-te than anything else.  Oh yeah, Jessica hasn't told the kids about "Uncle Mike" being in a relationship with her.  Dana's smarter than that, and knows what's up.  Chris, well he seems kind of dumb and into video games a little too much.  Jessica has about as good a poker face as Madeleine Stowe on Revenge.

11.  PLOT:  On the flight home from Germany, Brody learns his life is about to be turned into a media circus.

12.  PLOT:  While everyone is out to meet Brody, Carrie's team ($1000 a day is bare bones), sets up the illegal surveillance package inside Brody's house.  We also learn that Carrie isn't good at dealing with the people she has taking enormous risks to help her out.  Carrie hates the people above her, and hates the people below her.  The good news is she loves her some her.

13.  SUSPICIOUS:  Major General Trujillo is on the phone with Estes, and calls him by his first name, denoting familiarity.  Estes uses the words "like a hero", not "hero".  You could make the case that he knows Brody is a terrorist, but doesn't really care, since the VP is all about some Brody.  The VP is very lucky he didn't end up all over Brody, if you get what I'm sayin'...ha ha ha.

14.  CHARACTER:  As Jessica prepares to re-introduce herself to Brody, we find her "acting" in a mirror.  She has no idea how to talk to her own husband, so she has to practice.  Acting is a pretty big theme with her early on in Brody's return.  Dana is really the mama in the household, as she has to get everyone in line.  She's a mama with a drug problem, but she's still the "mama", because Jessica's always busy getting busy with "Uncle Mike".

15.  SUSPICIOUS:  The family gets to see Brody for a minute, in an awkward interaction.  Then the terrorist hating, Brody loving VP (wait, what?) shows up to tell the terrorist Brody what an honor it is to meet him (since I guess he had always wanted to meet a hero terrorist).  Brody has a hard time making eye contact with him, because he thinks the VP is the devil for killing a young boy (among many other kids with a drone strike) that Brody had bonded with in Abu Nazir's (the big terrorist) compound.  The VP, among others, is Brody's ultimate target in the season finale.  He came strapped, but he couldn't pull the trigger, he couldn't pull the trigger.

16.  ISSUES:  Brody has some PTSD stuff going on.  Bright lights bug him, and they comfort him.  What is the deal, man?  Make up your mind.  I guess they tortured him with bright lights, but then he was converted by the bright sunlight to Islam.  We see this PTSD motif as Brody is walking to a podium at his welcome ceremony.

17.  CHARACTER:  Brody seems pretty comfortable in these type of situations, and appears to know how to work a crowd.  We also get to see that both "Uncle Mike" and Jessica are unhappy with Brody's return, and show a lot of shame.  By the end of the season, the love triangle is a real let down.  We were forced to watch it stew over and over for around 6 episodes, and then it just disappears into thin air, because Brody gave a beat down to "Uncle Mike", and Jessica wants to have a real life with the terrorist Brody, who doesn't have much planned in life, but dying, and soon.  If only he had pulled the trigger...if...

18.  ISSUES:  We find out that Carrie is taking some kind of mysterious blue pill that is hidden in her aspirin bottle.  There's no mystery anymore, it's Clozapine, an anti-psychotic drug used as a last resort for schizophrenic and bipolar patients, due to its tremendously bad side effects.  Claire Danes has said she is playing it bipolar, because she probably didn't want to play it schizophrenic.  At any rate, we now know that Carrie has mental illness, and she's lying about it to the CIA.  This will play an important part, as everyone thinks she is crazy, when she tries to tell them Brody is a terrorist.  She's what I will call the insane truth teller.

19.  SUSPICIOUS:  Captain Mike Faber is in Military Intelligence.  Brody seems surprised that Faber stayed in the military.  When telling Brody he is in Military Intelligence, he says "me of all people".  That intimates that he wasn't down with Military Intelligence, when Brody knew him, but has somehow become a part of it.  This was never mentioned again, although Faber is considered Brody's commanding officer.  Faber tells Brody the meeting is for business, as the CIA wants to do a follow up de-brief with him.

20.  PLOT:  While Carrie watches Brody's return home on TV, while waiting for the surveillance to be put online, she calls Saul and tells him to get her into Brody's de-brief.  They argue about it, and Saul asks if she will behave herself.  While this is going on, there is audible feedback on Carrie's end from the surveillance system going online.  Saul makes Carrie promise to behave herself in the de-brief.  We all know this won't happen, and I'm pretty sure Saul knows it won't happen either.  It's probably his half-hearted way of telling her to shake things up.  Saul apparently does notice the feedback, and knows that Carrie is up to something.  He will shortly discover her surveillance.

21.  WEIRD:  Carrie becomes engrossed in mundane surveillance.  Eventually the Brodys want to have sex, and Carrie decides to watch.  This is highly inappropriate, and you will learn, by the end of the season, that Carrie somehow has managed to fall in love with the terrorist Brody (in the immortal words of Mos Def, "Wowwwww").  I guess she likes the way he basically rapes his wife or something.  Brody is not adjusted, and cannot show intimacy with his wife.  Prior to this scene, while Brody was in the shower, we saw Jessica practicing what she would do.  That's the second time we've seen that.

22.  SUSPICIOUS:  Jessica wants Brody to have some wine.  Brody is having a hard time accepting it.  Devout Muslims don't drink alcohol, so we can get the idea that Brody is now a Muslim.  He is, he is!

23.  BORING:  Love triangle is obviously part of the problem here.

24.  SUSPICIOUS:  During Carrie's surveillance the phone rings twice.  Both times Jessica answers.  Both times the caller hangs up.  They milk this, but I'm fresh out of cows.  It was Brody's sniper partner, Tom Walker's (other terrorist), wife.  She claimed to be uncomfortable talking to Jessica, because Jessica made her feel bad about moving on from Walker, and marrying someone else.  Vot ah heepocreet she ees, ay?

25.  PLOT:  Carrie oversleeps and is late for the de-brief.  She re-iterates how important it is to make sure they're there for first contact.  Virgil (surveillance guy) assures her that they will be there.  We see Carrie take another blue pill, and head off to work.

26.  SUSPICIOUS:  Carrie does not play nice with Brody in the de-brief.  When Brody mentions a particular name (Zayyadi sp?), both Carrie and Estes seem surprised.  Carrie proceeds to show him a picture of Abu Nazir, asking if that is the man, and Brody says it is not.  She asks if Brody has met Nazir.  He tells her no, because he is a liar.  He has met Nazir, and is involved in an active terror plot with him.  We also find out that a prisoner of war loses value after 72 hours, and Carrie wants to know why Brody retained value.  We will soon find out that Brody retained value because he turned, and "killed" the unkillable Tom Walker (who he killed again at the end of season 1).  All this appears to have happened pretty early in Brody's captivity.

27.  PLOT HOLE:  Why did Brody and Walker turn so quickly?  They could have spent the whole season letting us know what built them into the terrorists they became, to give us the payoff we received in the finale.  Brody thinks he killed Walker very early in his captivity, but it hasn't even been hinted at why he was willing to do this, and especially so early in his captivity.  Instead, we are led to believe that Brody's whole reason for becoming a terrorist is because of the bonding he had with Nazir's son, and the subsequent U.S. cover up of the attack that killed him.  There would be a whole lot more to it than this, kids.  It also wouldn't even begin to scratch the surface of why Tom Walker did what he did.

28.  CHARACTER:  Brody is a pathological, and convincing, liar.  I won't ruin all of his moments, as we will see them soon enough in this post.  At any rate, you almost can't believe a single word he says, and probably should look at every important thing he says as if it is a lie.  When Dana talks him down from blowing up the bunker, his preference was to not answer at all, as opposed to lying.  When he doesn't want to tell a lie, he typically will evade the question, or change the subject.

29.  CHARACTER:  Jessica and Dana have another fight about Dana's attendance at a barbecue.  Jessica tells her that they need to make it work between them, because things are different now.  Again, Jessica is acting, as opposed to living.

30.  CHARACTER:  Brody lies, and tells Jessica that he is still at Langley, when he is in a limousine.  This is his second overt lie.  He is going to a meeting with Walker's wife, even though the tension built in the scene is that he's going to meet a potential terrorism contact.

31.  CHARACTER BACKSTORY:  In a Saul and Estes walk and talk, we learn that Estes has a real problem with Carrie's temperament, and steamroller approach to doing her job.  He says that he knows she can do the job, but he hates her methods (she is on probation after nearly being kicked out of the CIA).  Saul feels the same way, but enables her.  Estes is the non-enabling version of Saul.  We also learn that Saul has a blind spot for Carrie, and we learn that Estes used to have one for her, as well, one that resulted in his divorce.  We are also told that this will end badly for both Carrie and Saul.  So far, it's ended badly for Carrie (even though she unknowingly prevented Brody's attack), but it hasn't ended badly for Saul.  I guess his dark days are still coming.

32.  PLOT:  During the conversation with Saul, Estes wants to know if Carrie's up to something.  Saul tells him that he's not aware of anything.  Yes, Carrie's up to something, doing illegal surveillance on Brody.  Estes is a wise man, who never follows through on his wisdom if we are to believe what happened in season 1.

33.  PLOT:  Brody meets with Helen Walker, Tom Walker's wife, in the meeting Carrie wanted to be at, hoping it was Brody's contact.  She asks what happened to Walker, and Brody, after trying to deflect her away from an answer, tells her that he was beaten to death.  She asks if he was there when Walker was killed.  Brody tells her no, even though we will later find out that Brody "killed" Walker.  This is again, a lie.  Brody is on a roll, three lies in three scenes is a big deal.

34.  PLOT:  Virgil confronts Carrie about the blue pill (Clozapine), and wants to know if he's risking everything for a crazy person.  She is theoretically insane, but she's also a truth teller, as she was right about Brody all along, even after second guessing herself, eventually.  Realizing that Virgil might want out, Carrie basically blackmails him saying that he can't stop now, because he's in it up to his neck.  She's telling him that if she goes down, he goes down too.  So, Virgil continues surveillance with her.

35.  PLOT:  Carrie returns home to find Saul sitting in front of her surveillance.  After some harsh words, and sarcasm, we find out that Carrie just doesn't want us to get hit again, that she can't let that happen.  Saul asks her if she has anything suggesting Brody is what she thinks he is.  She tells him she doesn't, and Saul tells her to make sure she brings her lawyer down in the morning, because she's going to need one.  Saul also tells her he understands why she did it, but that he doesn't think a Grand Jury will.  At this point, Carrie tries to seduce Saul in hopes of getting him to back off to let her continue.  Saul says, "What the f*** are you doing?", with a shocked look on his face, Carrie backs away, ashamed, and Saul leaves.  The implication is that Saul is one big softie toward Carrie.  If he really wanted her to back off, he would have taken her in right then and there.  Instead, he manages to give her one more night full of time.  Good thing for her, she will find something that convinces him to let her continue.

36.  CHARACTER:  The scene above demonstrates more of Carrie's use them up and spit them out mentality.  The only person who can be "trusted" with what she says no longer can stomach the idea of being around her.  She lied to him about what she was doing, and then she tried to bribe him to keep it quiet.  Losing Saul as a confidant would put Carrie completely on an island inside the CIA.  The good news for her is that Saul really likes her, and may be keeping her close to learn what she knows.

37.  PLOT:  Carrie does not take what's going to happen well.  We see her take another Clozapine pill, the first time we have seen her take two in one day (against recommendation?  I don't feel like doing any research).  She goes to a bowl on her dresser, and takes out a "wedding" ring and puts it on.  We saw her deposit this ring into the bowl in her character introduction.  She then tries on a bunch of different party clothes, and leaves.  If she's going to jail tomorrow, she's gonna have fun tonight.  This behavior is likely not out of the ordinary for her, like it's some kind of compulsion, I'm willing to guess.  She likes drankin' and she likes casual sex, even though her life is filled with paranoia about terrorism.  She won't even take slight risks in regards to whether someone could be a terrorist, but she takes life threatening risks with her own body.

38.  BORING:  The barbecue love triangle with Brody, Jessica, and "Uncle Mike" pops up.  That dumb Chris basically tells his father that "Uncle Mike" has been around a lot.  Brody isn't stupid, and sort of puts two and two together.  This is probably the third or fourth time he has been a little suspicious that Mike is having a relationship with his wife, and is the second time dumb Chris has said something that makes Brody suspicious (when Brody first arrives home, noticing the paint job changed, Chris happily reveals that "Uncle Mike's" brother painted it for them).  I know he's just a kid, but he really should be smarter than this.

39.  CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT:  Carrie goes to a jazz bar, and we see what she does at night.  She's flirting with some random guy, and sees Brody on a TV screen, in a news recap of the welcome ceremony.

40.  SUBTLE PLOT DROP:  The guy Carrie is talking to says that someone out there is probably looking at Brody thinking he would have political prospects.  Yes, this is true.  Elizabeth Gaines, a power broker, who was assassinated by Tom Walker in the finale does see gold in Brody.  The VP also sees this gold, and helps convince Brody to run for Representative (another Representative is disgraced in a sex scandal, and they want Brody to replace him) later in the series.  The people in Brody's district can't get a break, I'd hate to be represented by either of those guys.  Is this what they will put as his identifier, on TV programs if he is elected?:

Sgt. Nicholas Brody (D-Terrorist, Virginia)

41.  PLOT:  After being asked if she wants to get a table by her suitor, Carrie starts watching the jazz band play.  She notices the fingers of all the players.  Then, she magically looks back at the TV, and notices that Brody is rhythmically moving his fingers, in what she thinks might be a code.  Later, after Carrie and Brody's sex and alcohol fueled weekend (wait, what?), Brody tells her that he was moving his fingers counting his prayer beads.  Is this true?  It's plausible, but Brody is a pathological liar, so I wouldn't believe anything he says, or at least not take it at face value.  This finger code is the evidence she wants to present to Saul that Brody is up to something.

42.  CHARACTER:  Remember what I said about Carrie's reckless behavior.  She drinks and drives over to Saul's house.  This will not be the only time she does this in season 1.

43.  PLOT:  Carrie goes and wakes Saul up, in the middle of the night.  Saul is very unhappy to see her, and is basically just indulging her, to get her to go away.  After finally convincing Saul that there may be something here, she asks him if she's still going to jail.  He tells her "not just yet".  She still hasn't gone to jail at the end of the first season (well, not for more than a few hours).  Good ol' Carrie never really gets legally punished (even though everyone in the series beats her down, mentally, causing her to want to go for Electroconvulsive Therapy at the end of the season finale) for her many illegal and bad actions.  The tapes were sent to a Crypto team, and they couldn't find anything in the hand movements.  There is no code, it's most likely that Brody was doing prayer bead behavior.

44.  PLOT:  At the end of the episode, we find Brody out on a hard jog in the morning.  We get to see his lies revealed, and find out that he was the one beating Walker, with Abu Nazir encouraging him to hit Walker harder.  After the beating is over, Brody collapses into Nazir's arms, crying.  We then see Brody stop jogging, and he turns and faces the Capitol Building.  This is his target, in more ways than one.  Brody is a terrorist, even though, all season, they will try to make you second guess what is really obvious, even from the first episode.

SCORECARD:

Brody lies:  3
Jessica acting:  3
Carrie takes Clozapine:  3
Carrie disobeys direct orders:  3
Carrie engaging in reckless behaviors:  at least 3
Open plot holes:  1
Potentially suspicious behaviors by characters that can be taken at more than face value:  4

I'll end this piece with a screwed up version of a famous quote from the TV series, House.  Thanks for reading.

EVERY BRODY LIES

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Chris Colley's TV Blog*'s Early Pointless Scripted TV Renewal/Cancellation Predictions For The Fall 2012 TV Season (Big 4 Networks Only)

Well, I've been wanting to unveil this for awhile, but I've been sitting on it, for various reasons.  While I was waiting to do so, some shows got canceled, that really weren't any major surprise.  I have been receiving ratings numbers, this season, of a few flavors, and am doing my own predictions based on a slightly different model than the current way it's typically done.  That's part of why I've been waiting so long to unveil this, as I wanted as much data as possible before making predictions.

It's been an odd TV season, where shows that shouldn't still be on the air, based on previous history, stayed on much longer than usual.  Whether that's due to a lack of programming to back those shows up, or whether different ratings factors are in play won't be able to be fully debated until the 2012-2013 TV season wraps up.  My feeling is that with DVR saturation growing, we could be looking at a new era for renewals/cancellations.  I have no true data to back this up, but people are watching a lot of TV in the first 2 days after the original Live+Same Day airing (what we all have made predictions based on in the past).  A show like Revolution (NBC) is routinely picking up 1/3 of its first 3 day 18-49 viewers in days 2 and 3.  These ratings are called L+3, and I'm using them as a factor in my "decisions" for this blog post.  The networks do not receive these often, but that's okay, because I think they're fairly easy to predict based on L+7 ratings.  I'm not saying there's huge stock that should be placed in these ratings, but I think they could play somewhere around a minimum of a 10 percent factor in a network's decision to renew a bubble show.  If you have a sizable bump in the L+3 ratings, yet are what I consider to be a bubble show in the L+SD ratings, I think there's a very good shot you will be renewed.  If there's not much bump, I'm putting you on the cancel side.

For this list, I'll first start out with what I consider the bubbles to be for each network, for all of the different brands of programming (rightly or wrongly), and then list what I think would happen, if the decision were made today.  I could have made these same predictions weeks ago, and been ahead of the curve, but I wanted to see more data.  I had originally predicted the cancellations of Partners (CBS), Last Resort (ABC), and 666 Park Avenue (ABC), so even though they were canceled before I made this list, I will give myself credit for predicting their demises accurately.  There could be a lot of places where I get this wrong, based on my not quite secret sauce criteria for renewal/cancellation, but it's the best I think I can do right now.  I think I will only have one wild card, where I won't make a prediction, and that will be described below (I don't really have enough data to back up my predictions for Happy Endings and Whitney, but I'm comfortable enough to make predictions on them).

Chris Colley's TV Blog* Estimated Bubbles (this is a ratings threshold NOT an average):

ABC:

Drama (Monday-Thursday)-2.0 in the 18-49 Demo
Drama (Sunday)-1.8 in the 18-49 Demo
Comedy (Monday-Thursday)-1.6 in the 18-49 Demo
Comedy (Friday)-1.4 in the 18-49 Demo

CBS:

Drama (Monday-Thursday)-2.2 in the 18-49 Demo
Comedy (Monday-Thursday)-2.2 in the 18-49 Demo
Drama (Friday-Sunday)-1.6 in the 18-49 Demo

FOX:

Drama (Monday-Thursday)-2.0 in the 18-49 Demo
Comedy (Monday-Thursday)-1.6 in the 18-49 Demo
Drama (Friday)-1.4 in the 18-49 Demo

NBC:

Drama (Monday-Thursday)-1.8 in the 18-49 Demo
Comedy (Monday-Thursday)-1.6 in the 18-49 Demo
Drama (Friday)-1.4 in the 18-49 Demo

Correct guesses in blue
Incorrect guesses in red
Guess that couldn't be made in green

What I Predict Would Happen If A Decision Were Made Today (animation not factored in):

Sunday (Renew It):

Once Upon a Time (ABC)
Revenge (ABC)
The Good Wife (CBS)
The Mentalist (CBS) 

Sunday (Cancel It):

666 Park Avenue (ABC)
Red Widow (ABC)

Monday (Renew It):

Castle (ABC)
How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
2 Broke Girls (CBS)
Mike & Molly (CBS)
Hawaii Five-O (CBS)
Bones (FOX)
Revolution (NBC)
The Following (FOX)

Monday (Cancel It):

Partners (CBS)
The Mob Doctor (FOX)
Deception (NBC)
Rules of Engagement (CBS)***FATE CHANGED MAY 6, 2013, DUE TO MULTIPLE ACTORS HAVING PILOTS, LEADING ME TO BELIEVE IT'S DONE***

Tuesday (Renew It):

NCIS (CBS)
NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS)
Raising Hope (FOX)
New Girl (FOX)
The Mindy Project (FOX) 
Parenthood (NBC)
Body of Proof (ABC)

Tuesday (Cancel It):

Happy Endings (ABC)
Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23 (ABC)
Private Practice (ABC, final season)
Vegas (CBS)
Ben and Kate (FOX)
Go On (NBC)***FATE CHANGED FEBRUARY 20, 2013***
The New Normal (NBC)***FATE CHANGED FEBRUARY 20, 2013***
Smash (NBC)
Golden Boy (CBS)

Wednesday (Renew It):

The Middle (ABC)
The Neighbors (ABC)
Modern Family (ABC)
Suburgatory (ABC)
Nashville (ABC)
Criminal Minds (CBS)
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS)
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC)
Chicago Fire (NBC)
How to Live with Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life (ABC)

Wednesday (Cancel It):

Animal Practice (NBC)
Whitney (NBC)
Guys with Kids (NBC)***FATE CHANGED FEBRUARY 21, 2013***
Family Tools (ABC)

Thursday (Renew It):

Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
Scandal (ABC)
The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Two and a Half Men (CBS)
Person of Interest (CBS)
Elementary (CBS)
Glee (FOX)
Parks and Recreation (NBC)
Community (NBC)
Hannibal (NBC)

Thursday (Cancel It):

Last Resort (ABC)
30 Rock (NBC, final season announced last season)
The Office (NBC, final season announced prior to season start)
Do No Harm (NBC)
Zero Hour (ABC)
1600 Penn (NBC) 
Up All Night (NBC)

Friday (Renew It):

Last Man Standing (ABC)
Malibu Country (ABC)
Blue Bloods (CBS)
Grimm (NBC)

Friday (Cancel It):

CSI: NY (CBS)
Made in Jersey (CBS)
Fringe (FOX, final season announced last season)
Touch (FOX)

We'll find out in the coming months whether this was a good prediction chart, or just another batch of b.s. out in the internet wasteland.  I don't think I have many divergences from conventional wisdom, so far, but there are probably a few.  We'll do the real one of these next Spring, toward the middle of the TV season.  Commence cheering or weeping and gnashing of teeth now.  Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

RENEW/CANCEL NEWS: The Mob Doctor (FOX)

The Mob Doctor gets taken for a ride shortly after 10pm ET on January 7, 2013.  I'm sure you can read between the lines to understand what that means.  Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

RENEW/CANCEL NEWS: Necessary Roughness (USA)

As reported elsewhere, Necessary Roughness has been renewed for a 10 episode third season.  WhatEVER!  Thanks for reading.

Friday, November 16, 2012

ABC Announces Some Cancellations On Friday, November 16, 2012

ABC has sunk the Colorado, and sent the devil back to hell.  As announced elsewhere, both Last Resort and 666 Park Avenue have been canceled.  Each series will air all 13 episodes that were originally ordered.  Thanks for reading.

RENEW/CANCEL NEWS: Partners (CBS)

Partners (CBS) has been canceled, and removed from the schedule effective immediately.  Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

RENEW/CANCEL NEWS: Burn Notice (USA)

As reported elsewhere, Burn Notice has been renewed for a 7th season.  Thanks for reading.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

TV Premiere Ratings Notes For Friday, November 2, 2012: Last Man Standing (ABC), Malibu Country (ABC)

The first Friday numbers are in for ABC's comedies, and it looks like they are viable on Friday nights.  My hope for the TV season was that Fridays would become a new real night for scripted television, not a wasteland where shows go to die.  CBS laid a big fat turd with Made in Jersey, but both ABC and NBC are doing just fine on Friday nights.  Maybe if FOX would have had the guts to air Touch on Fridays, we would have gotten a real idea of just how viable Friday night scripted programming can be in the future.  I always applaud the adding of scripted TV real estate, and this does give me some hope that Fridays will return to being a regularly exploited TV night.  CBS better act like it's a real night, if they have any intention of keeping Vegas around.  

If you'd like to see the full Friday night ratings report, you can see it at TV by the Numbers here.

Last Man Standing (ABC, Fridays at 8pm ET)

7.84 million Overall Viewers
1.9/7 in the 18-49 Demo

You can pretty much cue a season 3, here, because I don't see any reason why it won't be able to maintain ratings above a 1.4 in the 18-49 demo, which is what I would predict the Friday bubble is for ABC.  Maybe TGIF is going to return on ABC.  They need two more comedies to make that happen.  The Neighbors would probably be a great addition to Fridays, if ABC wanted to go there.

Malibu Country (ABC, Fridays at 8:30pm ET)

8.90 million Overall Viewers
2.2/7 in the 18-49 Demo

During some of my On Demand viewing this week, I got to see a terrible ad about the new Friday night for comedy featuring Tim Allen and Reba McEntire.  It basically amounted to a pissing contest about who was better or more popular or something, and Allen won the pissing contest by announcing that he was Buzz Lightyear.  Well, I guess Reba had the last laugh, huh Tim?  Oh SNAP (when I say oh SNAP, it's said like House said it on the TV series House, M.D.).  Of course, these ratings may not stay here, but it's got a long way to fall to a cancellation.  Thanks for reading.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

RENEW/CANCEL NEWS: Fairly Legal (USA)

Fairly Legal has been canceled.  To be quite honest, I would have been really angry if this show had been renewed, since Common Law was canceled.  Since both shows got canceled, I guess I'm not angry.  Fairly Legal's second season did not at all live up to the promise of the first season, so I'm not particularly sorry to see it go.  Too much re-tooling spoils the broth, and not enough gives you the runs.  This gave us both problems.  Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

RENEW/CANCEL NEWS: Common Law (USA)

As reported in several places, Common Law has finally been officially canceled by USA.  The signs all pointed to that being the case, but they took forever to announce it.  I'm not sure what went into the decision to cancel the show, but this is the biggest cancellation mistake I've seen on cable TV in a very long time.  My guess is that it had something to do with USA not producing the show.  I guess we'll never know for sure why a show with such great potential, and good enough ratings to come back, didn't make the cut.  Thanks for reading.

Friday, October 19, 2012

ABC Announces A Cancellation Friday, October 19, 2012

Private Practice has been effectively canceled.  ABC declined to pick up the back 9 on its original 13 episode order.  Once the 13 episodes finish airing, buh-bye.  You can see my sentiments about the show's chances this season in any post where I discussed its ratings.  Thanks for reading.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

NBC Announces Its First Cancellation of the 2012-2013 TV Season

As reported by many, Animal Practice has been canceled.  It is being replaced by Whitney, which will probably be canceled, as well.  We should have a similar announcement tomorrow about Up All Night, and Community replacing it.  Thanks for reading.

Monday, October 15, 2012

TV Premiere Ratings Note For Sunday, October 14, 2012: The Walking Dead

You can read the full PR post at TV by the Numbers, here.

The Walking Dead (AMC, Sundays at 9pm ET)

10.9 million Overall Viewers
5.7 in the 18-49 Demo

We'll have to wait until the official ratings come out late today or tomorrow, but they are saying it's likely the third season premiere had a 5.7 or 5.8 in the 18-49 demo.  It had more viewers in the 18-49 demo (7.3 million) than many renewed network shows have in overall viewers.  No scripted TV shows get ratings this high.  WOW!  Cue season 4.  Thanks for reading.

Friday, October 12, 2012

TV Ratings Notes For Thursday, October 11, 2012: Last Resort, Up All Night, Beauty and the Beast

You can read the full ratings report at TV by the Numbers, here.

Last Resort (ABC, Thursdays at 8pm ET)

6.89 million Overall Viewers
1.6/4 in the 18-49 Demo

I have good news, and I have bad news.  The bad news is that this show is going to get canceled.  The good news is that it's very likely to air all 13 episodes of its initial run.  The reason that will be the case is that I'm assuming ABC needs to air them all to be eligible in the Miniseries category for the EMMYs.  They did that last season, for Missing, and Last Resort is a better show than Missing.

Up All Night (NBC, Thursdays at 8:30pm ET)

2.88 million Overall Viewers
1.1/3 in the 18-49 Demo

I have good news, and I have bad news.  The bad news is that this show is going to get canceled.  The good news is that this show is going to get canceled.  I predict this show will not be on the schedule (at the very least not in this slot) within two weeks.

Beauty and the Beast (CW, Thursdays at 9pm ET)

2.78 million Overall Viewers
1.2/3 in the 18-49 Demo

On Wednesday, Warner Bros. successfully launched a new series.  On Thursday, CBS Television Studios successfully launched its own new series.  Maybe this CBS/Warner Bros. married network should only be teaming up for distribution.  I believe that's called Married Filing Separately.  Things are looking up for a network that I only write about on slow news days.  Thanks for reading.

USA Network TV Show Renewal News Friday, October 12, 2012

Suits has been renewed for a third season.  I'm in total shock...that this was not announced sooner.  Thanks for reading.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

TV Ratings Notes For Wednesday, October 11, 2012: Animal Practice, Guys with Kids, The Neighbors, Nashville, Chicago Fire, Arrow

You can find the full ratings report at TV by the Numbers, here.

Animal Practice (NBC, Wednesdays at 8pm ET)

3.8 million Overall Viewers
1.1/3 in the 18-49 Demo

Yep, this show is dunzo.  It's been on the list you don't want to be on for a week, and I expect a cancellation announcement any day now.  I'm pretty sure Whitney will be moving into this spot.

Guys with Kids (NBC, Wednesdays at 8:30pm ET)

4.19 million Overall Viewers
1.4/4 in the 18-49 Demo

The show fell off the bubble, this week, and it looks like it's done.  I'll give it another week, before putting it on the list, but this show is seemingly on the way out.  That's probably what will give Animal Practice another week on the schedule, while NBC waits to see the ratings for this show, next week.

The Neighbors (ABC, Wednesdays at 8:30pm ET)

6.39 million Overall Viewers
2.0/5 in the 18-49 Demo

Make no mistake about it, this show is steamrolling toward renewal.

Nashville (ABC, Wednesdays at 10pm ET)

8.93 million Overall Viewers
2.8/8 in the 18-49 Demo

Don't trust these numbers.  It had a spectacular lead in, from the most popular scripted TV show in the 18-49 demo, Modern Family.  It lost a lot of the lead in, and next week it won't have the benefit of the Modern Family lead in.  Expect the ratings to go down a lot.  This looks like an expensive show, so it needs to stay at a 2.0 or above to have any real renewal chance.  This is a developing story, that may take about three weeks to solve.

Chicago Fire (NBC, Wednesdays at 10pm ET)

6.61 million Overall Viewers
1.9/5 in the 18-49 Demo

This show is DOA.  I watched it earlier today, and while it wasn't the worst show I've seen this season, it is not very good.  I'll give it one more episode, to see where it heads, but that will likely be the last chance I give it to wow me.  I'm expecting a significant drop next week, and would be surprised if it hits a 1.7, and am expecting a 1.6 at the highest.

Arrow (CW, Wednesdays at 8pm ET)

4.14 million Overall Viewers
1.3/4 in the 18-49 Demo

The good people at Warner Bros. must be turning back flips over how well this show performed, last night.  It looks like a hit, and it might be around for quite awhile.  I'm getting close to actually deciding to check the show out.  Thanks for reading.

Early TV Premiere Ratings Notes For Wednesday, October 10, 2012: Nashville, Chicago Fire, Arrow

This is a first, as I will actually be reporting on a show on the CW.  It's noteworthy.  As I said in my previous post, I'm staying away from doing ratings reports until the final numbers are in for the day, except for premieres.  I'll do a full post of noteworthy stuff later today or tonight.  This is just preliminary, so things could change a bit from what you see here.  You can see the full preliminary report at TV by the Numbers, here.

Nashville (ABC, Wednesdays at 10pm ET)

8.978 million Overall Viewers
2.8/8 in the 18-49 Demo

These numbers are likely inflated by the Modern Family lead in, so next week's numbers are where this show really begins.  It's not off to a terrible start, but I think the numbers will drop significantly, next week.  Most people I've seen talk about it think it's just okay, and that's not the kind of thing that people stick around to watch these days.

Chicago Fire (NBC, Wednesdays at 10pm ET)

6.438 million Viewers
1.9/5 in the 18-49 Demo

I am under the firm belief that a procedural of any kind cannot debut under a 2.0 and be successful.  This is below a 2.0, so I am calling it DOA.  There was another show that started out with almost these exact same numbers.  It was called Awake, and it wasn't a soap drama (that's what Chicago Fire looks like from the promos).  Its ratings were a disaster by the end of its short run.

Arrow (CW, Wednesdays at 8pm ET)

4.017 million Overall Viewers
1.3/4 in the 18-49 Demo

These are definitely pretty impressive numbers for a CW premiere, these days.  This is probably the first and last time I'll write about a show on there, but Arrow is off to a good start, and the buzz around it is that it is a decent guilty pleasure.  If you're into that sort of thing, maybe you should check it out.  Thanks for reading.

TV Ratings Notes For Tuesday, October 9, 2012: Ben and Kate, Go On, The Mindy Project, The New Normal, Vegas

I meant to do these notes last night, but forgot.  Good thing I'm not getting paid to do this, right?  Because there have been so many large adjustments to the early ratings, except when stuff first premieres, I will only be doing my ratings notes after the final ratings have come in late in the afternoon.  I've never seen more than .1 adjustments in the ratings, prior to this season, but there have been across the board adjustments as high as .5 over the past few weeks.  That's unacceptable for accuracy of reporting, so I won't report until the final numbers are in, unless it's about the premiere of a show.  If you'd like to see the full report at TV by the Numbers, you can find it here.

Ben and Kate (FOX, Tuesdays at 8:30pm ET)

3.23 million Overall Viewers
1.5/4 in the 18-49 Demo

This show is doing badly enough that I am confident it is time to put the show on the list you don't want to be on.  The show's just too quirky, and not funny enough, to pull in a real audience.  The fact that it's lost a significant amount of lead in from the really off the wall, Raising Hope, shows that it's very likely a lost cause.  I checked out after episode 2, because I just wasn't feeling this show at all.

Go On (NBC, Tuesdays at 9pm ET)

6.65 million Overall Viewers
2.6/7 in the 18-49 Demo

It rebounded back from its subpar previous week's ratings performance, proving that The Voice actually does have an impact on its numbers.

The Mindy Project (FOX, Tuesdays at 9:30pm ET)

3.55 million Overall Viewers
1.9/5 in the 18-49 Demo

The show's ratings are steady as she goes, and this show is headed on its way to a renewal.

The New Normal (NBC, Tuesdays at 9:30pm ET)

4.86 million Overall Viewers
2.0/5 in the 18-49 Demo

This is a heavy duty rebound from last week, so it's right back in renewal territory.

Vegas (CBS, Tuesdays at 10pm ET)

11.78 million Overall Viewers
2.0/5 in the 18-49 Demo

These ratings aren't really getting it done, but, if it stays right here, it has a better chance of renewal than cancellation.  Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Fall 2012-2013 Serialized New TV Show Scorecard (Big 4 Networks Only)

Last season I wrote how I thought it was a big mistake for networks to continue down the path of full serialization.  I gave them the key to the lock of the mass audience heart, they looked at it, thought it didn't fit, and have continued down a path of serialized TV destruction.  As I said, the way of the future, on network TV, is hybrid serialization (full definition here), and if your fully serialized show doesn't do that, your prospects are only on the decent side IF your show is good.  Even that is no guarantee of success.  By looking at the post I wrote about the 2012-2013 Pilots, which can be found here, we can begin to understand exactly what's going on with the fully serialized shows that are currently airing.  I'll add to the list as the prospects become more clear for the various serialized shows that will be arriving throughout the TV season.  Tonight is ABC's Revolution, with the premiere of their flagship make or break serialized show, Nashville (Wednesdays at 10pm ET).  Thanks for reading.

ABC:

Last Resort (Thursdays at 8pm ET)-Canceled
666 Park Avenue (Sundays at 10pm ET)-Canceled
Nashville (Wednesdays at 10pm ET)-Renewed
Zero Hour (Thursdays at 8pm ET)-Canceled
Red Widow (Sundays at 10pm ET)-Canceled

CBS:

Vegas (Tuesdays at 10pm ET)-Canceled

NBC:

Revolution (Mondays at 10pm ET)-Renewed
Deception (Mondays at 10pm ET)-Canceled
Do No Harm (who knows?)-Canceled

FOX:

The Mob Doctor (Mondays at 9pm ET)-Cremated and buried in the desert
The Following (Mondays at 9pm ET)-Renewed

Fall 2012-2013 Canceled Scripted TV Shows List (Big 4 Networks Only)

Here's where I'll put all of the scripted TV shows that have been canceled, or effectively canceled, on big 4 network TV for the Fall 2012-2013 TV Season.  I hope it proves useful.  The first bloodletting was on Wednesday, October 10, 2012.  Thanks for reading.

Canceled Or Effectively Canceled Scripted TV Shows in Fall 2012-2013 TV Season:

1.  Made in Jersey (CBS)***CANCELED OCTOBER 10, 2012***
2.  Animal Practice (NBC)***CANCELED OCTOBER 18, 2012***
3.  Private Practice (ABC)***CANCELED OCTOBER 19, 2012***
4.  Partners (CBS)***CANCELED NOVEMBER 16, 2012***
5.  Last Resort (ABC)***CANCELED NOVEMBER 16, 2012***
6.  666 Park Avenue (ABC)***CANCELED NOVEMBER 16, 2012***
7.  The Mob Doctor (FOX)***CANCELED NOVEMBER 28, 2012***
8.  Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23 (ABC)***EFFECTIVELY CANCELED JANUARY 22, 2013*** 
9.  Ben and Kate (FOX)***EFFECTIVELY CANCELED JANUARY 23, 2013*** 
10. Do No Harm (NBC)***CANCELED FEBRUARY 8, 2013***
11. Zero Hour (ABC)***CANCELED MARCH 1, 2013***
12. Deception (NBC)***CANCELED MAY 8, 2013*** 
13. 1600 Penn (NBC)***CANCELED MAY 9, 2013***
14. Whitney (NBC)***CANCELED MAY 9, 2013*** 
15. Guys with Kids (NBC)***CANCELED MAY 9, 2013***
16. Up All Night (NBC)***CANCELED MAY 9, 2013*** 
17. Touch (FOX)***CANCELED MAY 9, 2013***
18. Smash (NBC)***EFFECTIVELY CANCELED AWHILE AGO*** 
19. Go On (NBC)***CANCELED MAY 10, 2013*** 
20. CSI: NY (CBS)***CANCELED MAY 10, 2013***
21. Vegas (CBS)***CANCELED MAY 10, 2013***
22. Rules of Engagement (CBS)***CANCELED MAY 10, 2013***
23. Golden Boy (CBS)***CANCELED MAY 10, 2013***

TV RENEW/CANCEL NEWS: Made in Jersey (CBS)

Coming as a surprise to no one who owns a TV, CBS has unceremoniously yanked Made in Jersey from the schedule, effective immediately.  Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

TV Ratings Notes For Monday, October 9, 2012: Partners, The Mob Doctor, Revolution, Hawaii Five-O

****UPDATE****

When the final ratings came out, there were big adjustments to Partners and Hawaii Five-O, as each were adjusted down .3 in the 18-49 demo.  Both were originally at 2.2 and were adjusted down to 1.9.  So, pretty much never mind about what I wrote for them, especially in regards to Partners.

Revolution was adjusted down .1, which is no big deal.

=======================

This week will be the last full week I do daily ratings updates, as all of the shows should have settled into their normal numbers by the end of the third episode.  After that, I'll only write updates as new shows are added, or when something particularly noteworthy happens with a show's ratings.  If you'd like the full report about last night's TV ratings you can see it at TV by the Numbers here.

Partners (CBS, Mondays at 8:30pm ET)

6.345 million Overall Viewers
2.2/6 in the 18-49 Demo

Historically, CBS has never ever renewed a sitcom that has these numbers.  However, the ratings are completely stable after three episodes, and I'm at least starting to have a little doubt that this show should be on the list you don't want to end up on.  If this show is still on Mondays after its fifth episode, I'm going to remove it from the list.  That doesn't mean that I don't think it won't still be canceled, it just means that I don't think it should be on the list of certain cancellations.  CBS's ratings are down a bit, on a lot of shows, this season, so maybe even they have finally begun lowering their expectations.  I doubt it, but...

The Mob Doctor (FOX, Mondays at 9pm ET)

3.457 million Overall Viewers
0.9/2 in the 18-49 Demo

Just so you're not surprised when it happens exactly the way I'm saying, I'm going to tell you what's going to happen to this show, if it's still on the air next Monday.  If it's still on the air next Monday, once the baseball playoffs begin airing on FOX, this show is going to be buried in the desert, never to be heard from again.

Revolution (NBC, Mondays at 10pm ET)

8.206 million Overall Viewers
3.1/8 in the 18-49 Demo

And that right there is your settled number, unless a dumb plot twist happens.  I'll be interested to see if there is any adjustment in the final ratings for this episode.  If not, lock that renewal up (as long as there is no dumb plot twist).

Hawaii Five-O (CBS, Mondays at 10pm ET)

9.006 million Overall Viewers
2.2/6 in the 18-49 Demo

Hey, sky is falling person at IMDb, the ratings for Hawaii Five-O went up significantly, this week.  Revolution's ratings fell a little, and Hawaii Five-O's went up.  Can you say audience crossover?  I can.  Audience crossover.  Thanks for reading.

Monday, October 8, 2012

TV Ratings Notes For Sunday, October 7, 2012: 666 Park Avenue, The Mentalist

I only have two interesting ratings notes for last night.  If you'd like to see the rest, you can view the full report at TV by the Numbers here.

666 Park Avenue (ABC, Sundays at 10pm ET)

5.08 million Overall Viewers
1.7/4 in the 18-49 Demo

The devil loses...again.  The question now becomes how long ABC is willing to keep the show on the air.

The Mentalist (CBS, Sundays at 10pm ET)

8.70 million Overall Viewers
1.6/4 in the 18-49 Demo

I'm not sure how meaningful these ratings are, given that the show did not start at its normal time.  However, I would not be surprised if this is a series low for The Mentalist.  Thanks for reading.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

TV Ratings Notes For Monday, October 1, 2012-Friday, October, 5, 2012

I'm so sorry I got so busy that I couldn't post any of these last week, but I'll catch you up on my thoughts now.

Monday, October 1, 2012:

Full report available at TV by the Numbers here

Partners (CBS, Mondays at 8:30pm ET)

5.76 million Overall Viewers
2.1/5 in the 18-49 Demo

Why is this still here?

The Mob Doctor (FOX, Mondays at 9pm ET)

3.46 million Overall Viewers
1.0/2 in the 18-49 Demo

Why is this still here?

Revolution (NBC, Mondays at 10pm ET)

8.32 million Overall Viewers
3.2/8 in the 18-49 Demo

How ya like me now, h8rs?

Hawaii Five-O (CBS, Mondays at 10pm ET)

7.95 million Overall Viewers
2.0/5 in the 18-49 Demo

Here's some more empirical data that Revolution is taking viewers from Hawaii Five-O, and that Revolution probably would have higher ratings if it weren't against Hawaii Five-O.  Disagree if you want, but it's happening.  This is especially true, because Castle's viewers are right around where they've always been.  Anyone who wants to use a "sky is falling" mentality regarding the show's ratings is way off base.  This show has a 100 percent chance of renewal.

Castle (ABC, Mondays at 10pm ET)

10.35 million Overall Viewers
1.9/5 in the 18-49 Demo

I think this is pretty much the definition of a show having no impact on Revolution's ratings.  This show's viewer apparently don't crossover at all.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012:

Full report available at TV by the Numbers here

Raising Hope (FOX, Tuesdays at 8pm ET)

3.90 million Overall Viewers
1.7/5 in the 18-49 Demo

This will be the only time I write about this show, this season, unless there's a ratings crash.  This is right where this show has always been, and it's been renewed every season.  It shouldn't have any problems getting renewed at these numbers.  It also shouldn't really drop, as it has a very built in and loyal audience.

Ben and Kate (FOX, Tuesdays at 8:30pm ET)

3.32 million Overall Viewers
1.6/5 in the 18-49 Demo

Unlike Raising Hope, these numbers are the rock bottom of where this show can get renewed.  The most recent episode was just plain awful, and it's very likely that it turned viewers off.  I'm no longer watching the show after that episode, and I can't imagine I'll be the only one who feels the same way.

Go On (NBC, Tuesdays at 9pm ET)

5.82 million Overall Viewers
2.1/6 in the 18-49 Demo

I don't have any idea what's going on with the ratings for this show, but I don't like it.  I've seen a ton of people saying they thought this was the best episode of the series, while I thought it was the worst.  I'm also still reeling from the unexplained departure of the brilliant Bill Cobbs, who has not appeared in the last two episodes.  It's still a good show, but it's lost a lot of its initial charm, in my opinion.  That episode was a good example of it falling into niche tendencies, which is something this show was absolutely not doing in the early episodes.  The ratings are still 100 percent fine, and this show is going to get renewed.

New Girl (FOX, Tuesdays at 9pm ET)

4.99 million Overall Viewers
2.8/7 in the 18-49 Demo

This is likely the last time I'll write about New Girl, as its ratings were completely stable with the previous week's episodes.  It's a lock for renewal.

The Mindy Project (FOX, Tuesdays at 9:30pm ET)

3.68 million Overall Viewers
1.9/5 in the 18-49 Demo

I've seen a lot of h8rs of this show, but they're wrong.  You might not like the kind of comedy it is, and may be put off by Mindy Kaling, but this is not a bad show.  In fact, it's a very good show, and I think it's very well written.  If you dismiss this show, you're making a mistake.  Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it isn't of value.  In fact, I would rank it as the best new comedy of the 2012-2013 TV season, so far.  Before Go On's last somewhat weak episode, I would have ranked that above this, but now I'm quite comfortable putting this one ahead of that one.  If it stays above a 1.6, this is a lock for renewal.  Time will tell if it does.

The New Normal (NBC, Tuesdays at 9:30pm ET)

4.50 million Overall Viewers
1.7/5 in the 18-49 Demo

Uh-oh!

Vegas (CBS, Tuesdays at 10pm ET)

12.11 million Overall Viewers
2.0/6 in the 18-49 Demo

This show literally cannot afford even a tiny fall from these numbers.  We knew it would skew old, but this is too old to get a renewal Monday-Thursday, if it drops any lower.  If they move it to Fridays, maybe it would be able to stick around, but anything lower than this, and you can start the death watch.

Private Practice (ABC, Tuesdays at 10pm ET)

6.01 million Overall Viewers
1.6/4 in the 18-49 Demo

G'bye!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012:

Full report available at TV by the Numbers here

Animal Practice (NBC, Wednesdays at 8pm ET)

4.56 million Overall Viewers
1.3/4 in the 18-49 Demo

Done.

Guys with Kids (NBC, Wednesdays at 8:30pm ET)

4.76 million Overall Viewers
1.6/5 in the 18-49 Demo

I really hate when shows plant themselves squarely on the bubble.  Any lower, and it's in trouble, any higher and it's a renewal.  We'll see how it goes.

The Neighbors (ABC, Wednesdays at 8:30pm ET)

6.32 million Overall Viewers
1.9/5 in the 18-49 Demo

Even though it was a huge drop off from the premiere, make no mistake about it that this will get renewed at these numbers.

Thursday, October 4, 2012:

Full report available at TV by the Numbers here

Last Resort (ABC, Thursdays at 8pm ET)

8.00 million Overall Viewers
1.9/6 in the 18-49 Demo

If it keeps dropping, it will be sitting on the bottom of the ocean.

Elementary (CBS, Thursdays at 10pm ET)

11.13 million Overall Viewers
2.5/7 in the 18-49 Demo

This show is doing fine.  I don't expect it to drop further, and it still would probably get renewed even if it does.

Parks and Recreation (NBC, Thursdays at 9:30pm ET)

3.53 million Overall Viewers
1.9/5 in the 18-49 Demo

The ratings went up, and I thought the last two episodes were great, and even with the tone of season 3.  I hope it continues on this path the rest of the season.

Scandal (ABC, Thursdays at 10pm ET)

6.56 million Overall Viewers
2.0/6 in the 18-49 Demo

These ratings are probably good enough to get renewed, but this show is just a sickly soap opera now.

Friday, October 5, 2012:

Full report available at TV by the Numbers here

Grimm (NBC, Fridays at 9pm ET)

5.19 million Overall Viewers
1.6/5 in the 18-49 Demo

I expect NBC to announce this as the first renewal of the 2012-2013 TV season.  It's stable and a slam dunk renewal at these numbers.

Fringe (FOX, Fridays at 9pm ET)

3.03 million Overall Viewers
1.0/3 in the 18-49 Demo

Alcatraz died so this show could live.  :/

Made in Jersey (CBS, Fridays at 9pm ET)

6.77 million Overall Viewers
0.8/3 in the 18-49 Demo

Coming soon to a Saturday near you...

Thanks for reading.

Monday, October 1, 2012

TV Ratings Notes For Sunday, September 30, 2012: Once Upon a Time, Revenge, The Good Wife, 666 Park Avenue, The Mentalist

If you'd like to see all of the Sunday night numbers, you can see them here at TV by the Numbers.

Once Upon a Time (ABC, Sundays at 8pm ET)

11.01 million Overall Viewers
3.8/10 in the 18-49 Demo

That's a blazing start to season 2, but it's still not enough to get me interested in watching it again.

Revenge (ABC, Sundays at 9pm ET)

9.50 million Overall Viewers
3.2/7 in the 18-49 Demo

Revenge moves to a new slot, and does absolutely fantastic.  This was only down .1 from the series premiere last season, and Revenge never hit those numbers again.  This is a great sign for the show.

The Good Wife (CBS, Sundays at 9pm ET)

9.81 million Overall Viewers
1.8/4 in the 18-49 Demo

I don't think these are great numbers, by any stretch, but they're probably survivable.  If I remember correctly, CBS has had a tremendously difficult time trying to sell The Good Wife into syndication, so they'll probably just keep giving it episodes until someone buys it.  My guess is that Vegas could potentially fall into this slot, next season, if its ratings fall a bunch, but aren't bad enough to get it an outright cancellation.  That's probably the biggest wild card related to this show, right now.

666 Park Avenue (ABC, Sundays at 10pm ET)

6.97 million Overall Viewers
2.2/5 in the 18-49 Demo

Two shows this season have extremely unappealing names.  The first is The Mob Doctor (FOX, Mondays at 9pm not for long).  I don't think anyone thought it would be any good, because it just has an incredibly stupid name.  So, no one gave it a shot, even if it is good.  Having a show title with 666 in the name is just a terrible idea on a lot of levels.  I think they should have named it 999 Park Avenue, and then let the reveal happen like they did in the trailer.  This show is DOA, and I can't see it making it.  Its lead ins were too strong for this premiere to be this much of a disaster.  The name is the only reason this didn't do well, in my opinion.

The Mentalist (CBS, Sundays at 10pm ET)

10.83 million Overall Viewers
2.1/5 in the 18-49 Demo

The Mentalist was forced to Sundays, and outperformed its lead in, in the typically low rated CBS Sunday night lineup (by their standards).  Expect this to be high on the list of shows that are certain to get renewed.  Thanks for reading.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

TV Ratings Notes For Friday, September 28, 2012: Grimm, Made In Jersey, Fringe

Grimm (NBC, Fridays at 9pm ET)

5.312 million Overall Viewers
1.6/5 in the 18-49 Demo

Grimm's first original in about three weeks or so aired last night, and its ratings were higher than the last Monday original.  Cue season 3 folks.  I'm very happy to see stable numbers here.  This is a great show, and I hope it sticks around for a long time.

Made in Jersey (CBS, Fridays at 9pm ET)

7.744 million Overall Viewers
1.1/4 in the 18-49 Demo

This show is cremated, which is worse than being DOA.  I'm going to go ahead and put this show on the list you don't want to be on.  So much for CBS's revival of Friday nights.  It didn't happen.  Don't expect any new series here next season.  The experiment failed for them.  Pretty soon, we'll get to see how the experiment goes for Friday night programming for NBC and ABC.  I was so hoping that Fridays would be a new night of programming, but it might still end up being a wasteland where unique new shows go, and where old shows go to die.

Fringe (FOX, Fridays at 9pm ET)

3.176 million Overall Viewers
1.1/4 in the 18-49 Demo

The final season of Fringe got off to a bang...of a cap gun.  This is the season dedicated to the fans, so they should be happy that it's here.  However, the fans didn't show their excitement for the premiere by showing up and giving FOX some numbers to be proud of.  These numbers are really pathetic, as usual.  Can I just mention how much I really miss Alcatraz, a show that probably would have done pretty well on Friday nights?  Just wait until Touch starts airing on Friday nights, and then you'll really see how much I miss Alcatraz.  Thanks for reading.
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