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Last updateMon, 24 Aug 2020 12pm

You’re probably watching few, if any, network shows (ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox and NBC) via live broadcast anymore. Hell, you’re probably not even watching on an actual television set—do you even own a TV, comrade?

Or, as you’ll see on some of the lists below, you’re just not watching them, period. Broadcast networks have taken a particularly brutal beating from cable/satellite and streaming services this season, what with unfair practices like easy viewing options, non-garbage programming and limited pandering to the lowest common denominator of mouthbreathing ’Merica (E! excluded). Broadcast TV has become AM radio: It’s there, but who’s paying attention? Besides your uncle who believes that the moon landing never happened, that Obama is a ninja assassin who snuffed out a Supreme Court justice, and that the NSA is spying on him though his Keurig?

Through intense ratings number-crunching, social-media trend monitoring and proprietary government data gathered through household appliances (just kidding … or am I?), I’ve deduced which TV series will live on for at least another season, which have a 50/50 chance, and which you should say goodbye to (if you haven’t already—I know you’re out there, Wicked City fans … both of you).

As Good as Dead

Blood and Oil, Galavant, The Muppets, Nashville, Wicked City (ABC). Angel From Hell, Code Black, CSI: Cyber, The Good Wife, Mike and Molly, Person of Interest (CBS). Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, iZombie (The CW). American Idol, Bordertown, Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life, Golan the Insatiable, The Grinder, Minority Report, Second Chance, Sleepy Hollow (Fox). Heroes Reborn, The Mysteries of Laura, The Player, Telenovela, Truth Be Told, Undateable (NBC).

While there are some quality series in here that deserve a second chance (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Bordertown, Person of Interest—but, ironically, not Second Chance), at least we’ll finally be rid of the scourge of American Idol. Ryan Seacrest-free TV … the dream is realized [single tear].

Circling the Drain

American Crime, Castle, Marvel’s Agent Carter (ABC). Hawaii Five-O (CBS). Jane the Virgin, Reign (The CW). Bones, Grandfathered, The Last Man on Earth (Fox). You, Me and the Apocalypse (NBC). Contrary to popular belief, and TNT reruns, Bones and Castle are not the same show, but they are expensive veterans that have likely reached the end of their respective lines—sorry, mom. And, even though star Hayley Atwell isn’t a 98-pound 22-year-old, could ABC cable cousin Freeform please step in and save Agent Carter?

Relax—They’ll Live Forever

The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Blackish, Dancing With the Stars, Dr. Ken, Fresh Off the Boat, The Goldbergs, Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder, Last Man Standing, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Middle, Modern Family, Once Upon a Time, Quantico, Scandal (ABC). 2 Broke Girls, The Amazing Race, The Big Bang Theory, Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds, Elementary, Life in Pieces, Limitless, Madam Secretary, Mom, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Scorpion, Supergirl, Survivor (CBS). The 100, Arrow, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, The Originals, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries (The CW). Bob’s Burgers, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Empire, Family Guy, Gotham, Hell’s Kitchen, Lucifer, New Girl, Rosewood, Scream Queens, The Simpsons, So You Think You Can Dance, The X-Files (Fox). The Blacklist, Blindspot, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, Chicago PD, Grimm, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Shades of Blue, Superstore, The Voice (NBC). Few surprises here, though it is nice to see much-improved players like Superstore, Shades of Blue and Life in Pieces getting reprieves.

But do you know anyone—I mean, anyone—who’s ever admitted to watching Scorpion? It’s like the moon landing all over again …

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Is it too early for a Fall Television Death Watch/Report Card? Not for The Only TV Column That Matters™!

After crunching the ratings numbers (and several plates of nachos), I’ve semi-scientifically determined where most of the shows currently sit—the new ones, the old ones, the ones you didn’t even realize were still on, etc.

The following doesn’t account for yet-to-return series like Community, Raising Hope, Grimm and whatever The CW hasn’t tossed back, or upcoming debuts like Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Almost Human, Dracula and NBC’s visionary remake of Baretta. (Just kidding … or am I?)

Already Renewed

Fox has already signed on for a sixth and probably/hopefully final season of Glee next year, as well as a fifth for Bob’s Burgers, but the network surprised everyone last week with an early renewal for the new Sleepy Hollow, a solid Monday-night performer despite a wacko premise and the occasional decapitation. The Simpsons is set for Season 26 in 2014, and Family Guy will likely outlive you. (American Dad! will be moving to TBS full-time after this season on Fox.)

Don’t Worry

Underwhelmed by 21 S.H.I.E.L.D. Street, er, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Count on ABC to give it a full season to fix itself, with or without the clingy Avengers cameos. ABC standards Modern Family, The Middle and Grey’s Anatomy are also locks; somehow, so is Tim Allen’s cockroach of a sitcom, Last Man Standing.

CBS vets 2 Broke Girls, Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds, CSI, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles and (blech) The Big Bang Theory aren’t going anywhere, nor are newer series Elementary and Person of Interest. Newcomer The Millers could be a keeper, but only because of the millions who still tune in to watch the played-out nerd show right before it.

Fox’s creaky Bones will be moving to Friday nights, but it’s still safe; critic/fan favorite New Girl will also be around for a while, and once it shakes the lead-in stench of Dads, newbie—and contender for Best New Comedy—Brooklyn Nine-Nine is going to be just fine.

Since the mouthbreathers who watch The Voice apparently can’t work the remote, The Blacklist has become a slosh-over hit for NBC—good news, because the rest of the net’s freshman dramas and comedies are being met with a wall of indifference usually reserved for new Activia flavors. Dick Wolf joints Chicago Fire and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit are still going strong, as is Parks and Recreation … well, strong-ish.

Maybe Worry

ABC’s kinda-funny The Goldbergs and CBS’ definitely-lousy The Crazy Ones premiered big a couple of weeks ago, but then audiences found fresher shows to watch—like Benson reruns on antenna. Speaking of the classics, Two and a Half Men is about done roaming the Earth and, thanks to the one-two suck-punch lead-in of Welcome to the Family and Sean Saves the World, The Michael J. Fox Show is on shaky … nope, not gonna go there.

Dig a Grave

It’s a weak launch season for ABC: New series Back in the Game, Betrayal, Lucky 7 and Trophy Wife probably won’t see 2014, or even Thanksgiving, and it’s looking only slightly better for second-year shows Nashville and The Neighbors. (As I was typing this, Lucky 7 was canceled, so there.)

Monday CBS newbies Mom, Hostages and We Are Men are biting it hard—in particular, Men was the lowest-rated CBS comedy debut ever, and this is the network that once built a TV show around a talking baby from commercial. Hawaii Five-0, displaced from Mondays to Fridays, is just begging for an “aloha” joke here.

Sadly, two of NBC’s best dramas, Parenthood and Revolution, are going to need some of the net’s other shows to fail even more violently in order to survive. In the plus column on that front, no other Peacock pilot in history has debuted to fewer eyeballs than Ironside, which bested (worsted?) even 2011’s The Playboy Club on the Meh Scale.

Oh, Dads—how have you lasted this long? Way more surprising, the once-hot (OK, just warm) Mindy Project is bleeding Fox viewers faster than The X Factor: Walmart Parking-Lot Auditions Round.


DVD ROUNDUP FOR OCT. 15!

Cannibal Diner

While out camping in the woods (when will damned kids learn to not go camping in the woods?), a group of girls are kidnapped by human-flesh aficionados for a feast at their Cannibal Diner, which at least has great Yelp reviews. (MVD)

Defiance: Season 1

In the year 2046, 30 years after aliens arrived and totally eff’dup Earth, humans and extraterrestrials struggle to coexist, Deadwood-style, in terraformed St. Louis. Starring Julie Benz, Jaime Murray, Mia Kirshner and a survivor of Liz and Dick. (Universal)

Embrace of the Vampire

A remake (!) of the infamously-awful 1995 Alyssa Milano horror-cheese flick (which is also being re-released on the same day): A timid college student (Sharon Hinnendael) may be a vampire, or may soon be hugged by a vampire, or … it still doesn’t make any damned sense, really. (Starz/Anchor Bay)

The Heat

A by-the-book FBI agent (Sandra Bullock) and a maverick Boston cop (Melissa McCarthy) reluctantly team up to take down a drug lord; filthy language and filthier behavior ensue. It’s the family hit of the year! (Fox)

Pacific Rim

Gigantic monsters are rising from the center of the Earth, and only men (like Sons of Anarchy’s Charlie Hunnam) piloting gigantic-er robots can stop them—until the monsters get even more gigantic-er-er. It goes on like that. (Warner Bros.)

More New DVD Releases (Oct. 15)

Anger Management: Vol. 2, Blood Moon Rising: Lucy’s Revenge, Crossland, Hart of Dixie: Season 2, Hate Crime, I Hate Tom Petty, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, Maniac, Murder University, Stalker, Star Wars: The Clone, Wars: Season 5, Vikings: Season 1.

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