After a Long Wait, More ‘Curb’

CurbIn the six years since “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO, 10 p.m.) has been on the air, any number of shows have followed, aiming for the same cringe factor.

And Larry David sat back and watched it all try to fill the vacuum of years of no “Curb.”

When David appeared at the TV Critics Association summer press tour to mostly bat back questions to the fawning reporters, I tried to ask him how he felt about all of these imitators. It probably wasn’t a good idea.

Q. Have you noticed other shows trying to do a similar thing?

A. Yes, I think I’m able to recognize when someone is doing a similar thing. Yes, I can spot that very quickly. “They’re trying to do something like we’re doing.” Yeah.

Q. Do you think they’re doing a good job? Are you flattered, or are you insulted?

A. Well, what do they say about imitation? You know. No, I’m not I’m not insulted, no. I’m not insulted.

Read More »

Posted in Summer Press Tour 2017, What's On TV | Comments closed

The New Fall TV Season 2017: Sundays

The New Fall Season

The New Fall Season

Let’s end the dispiriting night-by-night  look at broadcast TV’s new fall season with their Sunday fare — the stuff they put up against the best of the cable network fare. It would seem, however, that they’re not trying too hard to best them in quality judging with what they’ve come up with. Now we must invest all hope into the midseason.

NEW SHOWS

“Ghosted” (Fox, 8:30 p.m., starts tonight). Normally, a show co-starring Adam Scott and Craig Robinson would be worth Ghostedlooking into. But this one invest so much into the paranormal story — and special effects, as if we’re really supposed to be scared by anything — that it eats into whatever humor there was supposed to have.  “People of Earth” is so much better just by toning it down a little bit.

“Wisdom of the Crowd” (CBS, 8:30 p.m., tonight) is one of the more wrong-headed dramas of the season, with Jeremy Piven as a corporate head who goes all in for social media’s crowd sourcing of crime solving. That kicks in CBS’ usual fever for gadgetry over story, but it also generally means mob rule, something nobody has apparently thought of. That Jeremy Piven is star doesn’t make it much more likable. And if you think it sounds like Fox’s “APB,” you’re right, only not as entertaining.

“Ten Days in the Valley” (ABC, 10 p.m.) goes a little too far in the “write what you know” category as it involves a female TV writer who suddenly loses her daughter while she is out trying to write a TV show. Kyra Sedgwick stars in the thriller whose saving grace may be its limited run.

RETURNING SHOWS

“The Toy Box” (ABC, 7 p.m., returning tonight), “Bob’s Burgers” (Fox, 7:30 p.m., tonight), “Shark Tank” (ABC, 8 p.m.), “The Simpsons” (Fox, 8 p.m., tonight), “To Tell the Truth” (ABC, 8 p.m., Oct. 8), “Family Guy” (Fox, 9 p.m., tonight), “The Last Man on Earth” (Fox, 9:30 p.m., tonight), “NCIS: Los Angeles” (CBS, 9:30 p.m., tonight), “Madam Secretary” (CBS, 10 p.m., Oct. 8), “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (ABC, 7 p.m., Nov. 26).

Read More »

Posted in Fall TV Preview | Comments closed

Also on Sunday: Third Season for ‘Poldark’

poldark3“Poldark” begins its third season on “Masterpiece” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings) with the disappearance of Dwight after he elopes with Caroline.

Season 29 of “The Simpsons” (Fox, 8 p.m.) begins in the medical world, where Marge’s mother is turned into an Ice Walker.

It’s Indianapolis at Seattle (NBC, 8:20 p.m.) on Sunday Night Football. Earlier games include New Orleans vs. Miami (Fox, 9:30 a.m.) from London, Oakland at Denver (CBS, 4:25 p.m.).

“The Last Man on Earth” (Fox, 9 p.m.) and all the people he’s attracted all head down to Mexico to avoid nuclear fallout in the U.S.

Richard Branson sits in on the two hour, ninth season opener of “Shark Tank” (ABC, 8 p.m.).

The ninth season of “NCIS: Los Angeles” (CBS, 9:30 p.m.) begins with Hetty retiring.

Female-led comics is considered an invention on the second season premiere of “The Toy Box” (ABC, 7 p.m.).

A guy really likes Candy on “The Deuce” (HBO, 9 p.m.) and she is intrigued.

“Then and Now with Lisa Ling” (National Geographic, 9 p.m.) begins a new season by sneaking into North Korea.

Read More »

Posted in What's On TV | Comments closed

On Saturday: ‘SNL’ Reaches 43rd Season

snl-gosling-premiere-picThe 43rd season of “Saturday Night Live” (NBC, 11:30 p.m.) premieres, with Ryan Gosling hosting and Jay-Z as musical guest.

“Versailles” (Ovation, 10 p.m.) begins its second season. The cast takes on a slightly different look as well. With the departures last season of Bobby Moynihan, Vanessa Bayer and Sasheer Zamata, three new cast members will join: Heidi Gardner, Chris Redd and Luke Null.

The 30th season premiere of “48 Hours” (CBS, 9 p.m.) looks at the fallout of the O.J. Simpson trail and his prospects now that he’s being paroled.

“Dr. Jeff: Rocky Mountain Vet” (Animal Planet, 9 p.m.) begins its fourth season trying to help a black Lab who has swallowed a topic metal.

Bryan Cranston and James Franco star in the comedy “Why Him?” (HBO, 8 p.m.), making its premium cable premiere.

Another father and daughter’s boyfriend film, “All Nighter” (Starz, 8 p.m.), with Emile Hirsch and J.K. Simmons, makes its premiers.

Prime time college football has Clemson at Virginia Tech (ABC, 8 p.m.) and Oklahoma State at Texas Tech (Fox, 8 p.m.).

Joe and Gordon discuss Comet’s future on a new “Halt and Catch Fire” (AMC, 9 p.m.).

Read More »

Posted in What's On TV | Comments closed

The New Fall Season 2017: Fridays

The New Fall Season

The New Fall Season

We’re nearing the end of a week of looking at the new fall season on broadcast TV night by night with an evening that just has one new show. And what a lousy one it is. Luckily, it’s also the night of the week when Netflix tends to issue its new programming. 

NEW SHOW

“Marvel’s Inhumans” (ABC, 8 p.m., tonight) is the only new network title, and this one also has the distinction of being one of the worst Marvel adaptations, despite the fact that ABC is owned by Disney, which also owns the comic book line. Stranded Inhumansmembers of a royal family try to reunite and go home except that a conflict develops between Black Bolt and Maximus (about who has the more ominous name?). The characters include a giant dog and a woman who can’t control her hair. Serinda Swan, Iwan Rheon (from “Game of Thrones”) and Anson Mount star in a production that has already bombed at IMAX screens.

RETURNING SHOWS

“Hell’s Kitchen” (Fox, 8 p.m., returns tonight), “MacGyver” (CBS, 8 p.m., tonight), “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (The CW, 8 p.m., Oct. 13), “Once Upon a Time” (ABC, 8 p.m., Oct. 6), “Blindspot” (NBC, 8 p.m., Oct. 27), “The Exorcist” (Fox, 9 p.m., tonight), “Hawaii Five-0” (CBS, 9 p.m., tonight), “Dateline” (NBC, 9 p.m., tonight), “Jane the Virgin” (The CW, 9 p.m., Oct. 13), “Blue Bloods” (CBS, 10 p.m.).

OF INTEREST ELSEWHERE

“Tin Star” (Amazon, starts today) has Tim Roth as a small town police chief up against organized crime in a new series that also features Christina Hendricks of “Mad Men.”

“Big Mouth” (Netflix, today) is an animated series about middle schoolers, employing the voices of Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Fred Armisen, John Mulaney, Jordan Peele and Nick Kroll, who helped devise it.

“Mindhunter” (Netflix, Oct. 13), a new crime drama is set in an elite FBI unit, tracking down serial killers, starring Jonathan Groff, and Anna Torv.

“Stranger Things” (Netflix, Oct. 27). The award-winning retro feeling thriller returns for a second season.

“Alias Grace” (Netflix, Nov. 3) a Canadian import about a housemaid and immigrant from Ireland imprisoned for the murder of her employer and his housekeeper. Based on the 1996 book by Margaret Atwood (“The Handmaid’s tale”). With Sarah Gadon, Anna Paquin and Zachary Levi.

“The Crown” (Netflix, Dec. 8). A second season for the lavish streaming series about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

 

Posted in Fall TV Preview | Comments closed

Also on Friday: Examining Mass Shootings

active-shooter-3It happens so often now that it often doesn’t even make the first page. Mass shootings occur at a numbing pace and nothing is done to slow gun violence. On average, a mass shooting occurs every single day in the U.S. The new documentary series “Active Shooter: America Under Fire” (Showtime, 9 p.m.) takes a pause to consider the damage, from the points of view of victims, family members emergency medical workers and first responders. First up is the 2012 movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo.

“Blue Bloods” (CBS, 10 p.m.) begins its eighth season, but already Danny is contemplating retirement.

On the second season start of “The Exorcist” (Fox, 9 p.m.), Father Tomas continues his training, even as he aids a troubled woman in Montana.

Even as a new “A Star is Born” is in the works with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, here’s a rare night of the previous three: The original “A Star is Born” (TCM, 8 p.m.) with Fredric March and Janet Gaynor, from 1937; the lavish 1954 “A Star is Born” (TCM, 10 p.m.) with Judy Garland and James Mason; and the 1976 version of “A Star is Born” (TCM, 1:15 a.m.) with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. A similar plot was found in the 1932 “What Price Hollywood?” (TCM, 3:45 a.m.) with Constance Bennett and Lowell Sherman.

The 17th season of “Hell’s Kitchen” (Fox, 8 p.m.) begins. By now, the 16 new chefs might know what to expect.

Hard to believe but Rob Schneider’s aggressively unfunny “Real Rob” (Netflix, streaming) is back for a second season.

Reboots are doing better than their original series, with the eighth season of “Hawaii Five-0” (CBS 9 p.m.) beginning with a slightly retooled cast, and the second for “MacGyver” (CBS, 8 p.m.) on which the hero uses a soccer ball and a cell phone to track a Navy Seal.

Read More »

Posted in What's On TV | Comments closed

The New Fall Season 2017: Thursdays

The New Fall Season

The New Fall Season

We’ve been looking at the new TV season day by day all week and the weirdness and creative bankruptcy of the new fall TV season is apparent today, when broadcast networks can only come up with three new shows — and all three are pretty much reheated shows from the past. One literally is so, the other is so much an homage, it might as well be the original show. 

NEW SHOWS

will-grace-revival-promo-pic“Will & Grace” (NBC, 9 p.m., starts today). I almost hesitate to call this a new show, because in every sense it is just a continuation of a series that ended its run 11 years ago and picks up with its four characters back in the same place, bickering, bitchy and not making much of a connection with the outside world. Because the reunion had its start with a Hillary Clinton promo last year, the first episode back is so exclusively about Trump, it has both of the titular characters in the Oval Office. All four are still very good, in roles they haven’t been able to equal since (except maybe Megan Mullally as “Tammy No. 2”). Old fans will take to it like a high school reunion. The rest of us can pass right by.

“The Orville” (Fox, 9 p.m., started Sept. 10, time period premiere today). Because Seth MacFarlane has done good business for Fox with his cartoons, they indulge his love for “Star Trek” by essentially letting him do his own version, with new adventures every week, quirky aliens in the crew and less humor than you would think. Also: clunky plot moves and stiff, retro scene breaks. I’m not a fan.

“S.W.A.T.” (CBS, 10 p.m., Nov. 2). Shemar Moore stars in a remake of the 70s cop show which, like a lot of recent such remakes, take the title jazz up the theme song, and go their own direction. This one could almost be mistaken for a military show, for all the military equipment its squad shows, but I guess that’s what’s happening on the ground as well. Like its remakes of “Hawaii Five-0” and “MacGyver,” its easy to skip.

RETURNING SHOWS

“Superstore” (NBC, 8 p.m., returning today), “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC, 8 p.m., today), “Supernatural” (The CW, 8 p.m., Oct. 12), “Scandal” (ABC, 9 p.m., Oct. 5), “Arrow” (The CW, 9 p.m., Oct. 12), “Mom” (CBS, 9 p.m., Nov. 2), “Great News” (NBC, 9:30 p.m., today), “Life in Pieces” (CBS, 9:30 p.m., Nov. 2), “Chicago Fire” (NBC, 10 p.m., today), “How to Get Away with Murder” (ABC, 10 pm., today),

Read More »

Posted in Fall TV Preview | Comments closed

Also Thursday: Great Add to ‘Great News’

Great News - Season 2Tina Fey puts a little more juice in her “Great News” (NBC, 9:30 p.m.) by joining the cast as a tough new executive and just like that the series moves from cute to genuinely funny as it takes on the changing tone of cable news to include panels of people that include “Obama deniers.”

The sixth season of “Chicago Fire” (NBC, 10 p.m.) opens with the squad still stuck inside the warehouse fire.

On the two hour, 14th season opener of “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC, 8 p.m.), Owen’s sister gets help from Meredith and her team.

Adam Brody and Martin Freeman return for the second season of the gritty drama “StartUp” (Crackle, streaming).

Viola Davis’ Annalise is off the hook on the murder of Wes but there are plenty of other questions to answer on the fourth season start for “How to Get Away with Murder” (ABC, 10 p.m.). And in a flash-forward, there’s another crime committed.

The team rush to finish rebuilding the store in time for the grand re-opening on third season start of “Superstore” (NBC, 8 p.m.).

Read More »

Posted in General | Comments closed

The 2017 Fall Season: Wednesdays

The New Fall Season

The New Fall Season

You’d think Hump Day would be a good time to place some interesting new shows on broadcast TV. You would be wrong. There are just two new shows planned for the evening this season, and one won’t start for a couple of weeks. There is raft of shows on cable, by contrast, as we continue to count down the new season night by night. 

NEW SHOWS

SealTeam“Seal Team” (CBS, 9 p.m., starts tonight). Another of the new dreary military dramas marching across broadcast networks stars familiar face David Boreanaz (“Bones”) as the head of a SEAL team fighting a new, noisy caper each week. Adjust your sound accordingly. That Jessica Pare of “Mad Men” would be the team leader (rather than heading, say, a fashion house) would be amusing except that it’s nice to have her in any series at all.

“Dynasty” (The CW, 9 p.m., Oct. 11), a reboot of the 1980s soap might be one of the fall seasons highlights, if only bequest it was developed by the sly team of Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, who previously put together “The O.C.” Just not caring may be the key to enjoying the posh drama that leads to all manner of hair-pulling. Elizabeth gillies, Nathalie Kelley and Grant Show star.

RETURNING SHOWS

“The Blacklist” (NBC, 8 p.m., returning tonight), “Empire” (Fox, 8 p.m., tonight), “Survivor” (CBS, 8 p.m., tonight), “Riverdale” (The CW, 8 p.m., Oct. 11), “The Goldbergs” (ABC, 8 p.m., tonight), “Speechless” (ABC, 8:30 p.m., tonight), “Law & Order: SVU” (NBC, 9 p.m., tonight), “American Housewife” (ABC, 9:30 p.m., tonight), “Criminal Minds” (CBS, 10 p.m., tonight), “Designated Survivor” (ABC, 10 p.m., tonight), “Chicago P.D.” (NBC, 10 p.m., tonight).

Read More »

Posted in Fall TV Preview | Comments closed

Also Wednesday: ‘Liar,’ 12 Shows Return

Joanne-Froggatt-2Joanne Froggatt gets to doc her maids clothes from “Downtown Abbey” as she steps into a sleek thriller “Liar” (Sundance, 10 p.m.), a mini-series about a school teacher who spends a night with a charming surgeon (Ioan Guffrudd) only to awaken with accusations of rape. Harry and Jack Williams, who were behind “The Missing” produced this one, which has more interest than anything the broadcast networks could come up for on Wednesdays.

The 35th (!) season of “Survivor” (CBS, 8 p.m.) begins, set in Fiji, with 18 players identified either as Heroes, Lealers or Hustlers, or those who have courage, who help others or who have tenacity. The first episode is titled “I’m Not Crazy, I’m Confident,” which means somebody is crazy. Participants range from 23 to 46 years old.

It’s one of a dozen returning network shows tonight. Among them are “Empire” (Fox, 8 p.m.), on which Lucious is still stricken with amnesia and Demi Moore is his nurse.

Read More »

Posted in What's On TV | Comments closed