Jul 252012
 
Jesse Spencer and Taylor Kinney in NBC's "Chicago Fire"

“.. and you will get your crew to go online, watch ‘Chicago Fire’ and press 5 stars…”

In unprecedented move NBC announced on Tuesday that pilots for most of their upcoming TV shows will be made available online for sampling purposes. The shows will be available through cable, satellite and telco on-demand service providers, NBC.com, several NBC owned local affiliate TV station websites, Hulu, Hulu Plus, iTunes, Amazon and Xbox. Samplers for the following show selection are expected:

“Go On” – Sampling starts Wednesday  August 9, show expected to premiere on  Tuesday  September 11 at 9:00/8:00c
“The New Normal” – Sampling starts Wednesday August 29 – Show expected to Premiere Tuesday September 11 at 9:30/8:30c (keep in mind it remains highly unlikely for any comedy shows  to premiere on 9/11 anniversary)
“RevolutiON” Sampling starts Tuesday  September 4, show premieres Monday  September 17 at 10:00/9:00c
“Guys With Kids”  Sampling starts Thursday September 13, show premieres Wednesday  September 26 at 8:30/7:30c
“Animal Practice” Sampling starts Monday August 13, show premieres Wednesday September 26 at 8:00/7:00c
 “Chicago Fire” Sampling starts Thursday September 27, show premieres Wednesday  October 10 at 10:00/9:00c

NBC is set to provide a full-episode and commercial-free network preview of the new comedies during London Olympics coverage – “Go On” pilot will air on August 8 and “Animal Practice” on August 12. NBC will also  air six-minute teaser for “RevolutiON” on Saturday, August 4 at approximately 10:54 p.m.

 Posted by at 00:29
Jun 282012
 

The following is the list of completely new TV series premieres on US networks still to come this summer. Scripted stuff only – reality shows, kids programmes and game shows excluded:

Tonight, June 28 FXAnger Management” Charlie Sheen returns to screens as anger management therapist. With: Charlie Sheen, Selma Blair. FX 9:00/8:00c
United Kingdom In UK the show was picked by Comedy Central Canada In Canada broadcast was secured by CTV Australia 9 Network /Go acquired rights for Australia Germany Vox will broadcast the series in Germany All international premiere dates to be announced

July 9, Monday TNTPerception”  Neuroscientist assists the FBI on some of their most complex cases. With: Eric McCormack, Rachael Leigh Cook, Arjay Smith, Kelly Rowan. TNT 10:00/9:00c

July 15, Sunday USA “Political Animals” Miniseries following former First Lady in active duty as Secretary of State and her family. High profile cast. With: Sigourney Weaver, Carla Gugino, Ciarán Hinds, James Wolk, Sebastian Stan, Ellen Burstyn, Brittany Ishibashi USA 10:00/9:00c

The cast of "Political Animals"

Political Animals. From left to right:
James Wolk as Douglas Hammond, Sebastian Stan as T. J. Hammond, Sigourney Weaver as Elaine Barrish, Carla Gugino as Susan Berg and Ciarán Hinds as Bud Hammond

July 19, Thursday TBS “Sullivan & Son” Sitcom about corporate lawyer who takes over a bar in Pittsburgh owned by his father. With: Steve Byrne, Dan Lauria, Jodi Long, Owen Benjamin, TBS 10:00/09:00c

Aug 13, Monday TNT “Major Crimes” Spin off of “The Closer” with half the cast. With: Mary McDonnell, G. W. Bailey, Tony Denison, Michael Paul Chan, Raymond Cruz TNT 9:00/8:00c

Aug 19, Sunday BBC AmericaCopper” Keeping the peace in the Five Points neighborhood in 1860s New York City. With: Tom Weston-Jones, Kyle Schmid, Anastasia Griffith, Franka Potente. BBC America 09:00/08:00c 
Canada In Canada, the series will premiere on August 26, 2012 on Showcase.

Aug 20, Monday MTVThe Inbetweeners” US remake of the cult British comedy series about four dysfunctional teens. With: Joey Pollari, Bubba Lewis, Mark L. Young, Zack Pearlman, Alex Frnka, Brett Gelman. MTV Monday 10:30/09:30c Starts August 20, 2012

 Posted by at 18:19
Jun 252012
 
HBO's "The Newsroom" poster

Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom” on Sundays on HBO

On Sunday, 24th of June HBO aired 74 minute pilot episode of Aaron Sorkin’s new drama “The Newsroom”. Similar to last decade “Sports Night” and recent “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” it’s a tv show about tv show, an area of almost speciality for Sorkin, which usually guarantees superbly developed stories and very entertaining viewing. Unfortunately it usually also guarantees that the show will go with a loud “woosh” high over the heads of standard polled US TV audience and their attention span, which in terms means shorter lifespan for TV series then we would like here in Europe (“Sports Night” managed just two season and “Studio 60” survived single season despite both being highly acclaimed, internationally syndicated, incredibly well written shows, if not the best in their broadcast years).

I am happy to confirm that “The Newsroom” is no exception to the rule and lives up to expectations. The pilot focusing solely on introduction of the new production team to an hour long news commentary program at the brink of one of the biggest news stories of 2010, is smart and witty, with bitter punchlines and excellent dialogue full of typical Sorkin machine gun fire banter between characters. Similar to early West Wing, the pilot script is right from the start openly obvious about its political stance and doesn’t wait more than 10 minutes to deliver preachy and condescending faux pass left hook right on the nose of  the star spangled flag waving, empty head saluting, middle American red state elephantism, which makes for entertaining viewing to anyone outside of U.S. but is guaranteed to create wave of negative press and slating reviews for the series on its own soil.

Where the pilot script defends itself with musketeerial flair and finesse, things are somewhat different when it comes to casting. It’s no secret that the casting in Sorkin series always ends up with unusual set of female leads and supports. Although Sorkin’s female leads almost never lack the talent, the way characters are usually presented to us, viewers, is quite a different story. Throughout most of his previous series we were treated to one of the two character types – either “looking too old for her age” dry, agressive, almost manly, raging “forever alone” or “easy on the eye, borderline psychotic complete basket case” female leads. And although in nearly all cases the female roles in most of Sorkin’s TV series were delivered brilliantly (who can forget C.J. from West Wing) very often though this pool of repetitive character types appears to be then slightly mis-casted, as if the part was written for someone else and given to another actress at the last minute. The talent is there, but it’s the character that doesn’t fit. As a result, quite often the script later force the characters rather unachievable tasks. Like Felicity Huffman vs Peter Krause in “Sports Night” for example. As Casey’s love interest Dana was out of her depth, out of her league and on top she looked at least a decade his senior. But the script made her behave as if her role was written for Amanda Peet vs Matthew Perry. , it was due to those constraints, that very often supporting female cast  of his series are much easier to warm up to than the leads. And “The Newsroom” is no exception. Continue reading »Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom” – Stands Out… «