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Kevin Costner’s National Parks crime drama passed over by ABC

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Kevin Costner’s National Parks crime drama passed over by ABC
July 1, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser

Kevin Costner can't win 'em all. It was announced earlier this year that ABC had given a pilot order to National Parks Investigation, a crime drama co-written and executive produced by Kevin Costner. "While the national parks are known for their sweeping, beautiful landscapes, there is also a darker, more sinister side to these parks that attract a vast array of criminal activity," read the official logline. "'National Parks' will follow the small group of elite NPS agents as they solve these crimes while protecting these national treasures." Unfortunately, it seems that the series won't be moving forward as ABC has officially passed on the pilot

Anthony Hemingway (American Crime Story) directed the National Parks Investigation pilot as well as executive producing alongside Aaron Helbing (Spartacus) and Jon Baird (The Explorers Guild), who also wrote the pilot with Kevin Costner. The cast of National Parks Investigation included Billy Campbell, Angel Parker, Guillermo Diaz, Tiffany Dupont, Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut, Blu Hunt, and Gerardo Celasco. In addition to Kevin Costner's project, ABC also passed on pilots for medical procedural Triage and political drama Dark Horse.

RELATED: Yellowstone: Season 4 tugs the reins on a summer premiere

Kevin Costner doesn't dabble in television all that often, and his biggest venture into the medium thus far has been Yellowstone, a Paramount Network series that follows "the Dutton family, led by John Dutton (Costner), who controls the largest contiguous ranch in the United States. The ranch is under constant attack by those it borders—land developers, an Indian reservation, and United States of America's first National Park. It is an intense study of a violent world far from media scrutiny, where land grabs earn developers billions, and politicians are bought and sold by the world's largest oil and lumber corporations. Where unsolved murders are not news, they are a consequence of living in the new frontier. It is the best and worst of the United States as seen through the eyes of a family that represents both." The fourth season of the series was delayed due to COVID-19 and it was revealed earlier today that it may not debut until November.

Source:
Variety

Jordana Brewster reflects on failed Mr. & Mrs. Smith pilot

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Jordana Brewster reflects on failed Mr. & Mrs. Smith pilot
June 30, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling

Following the box office success of Mr. & Mrs. Smith starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, ABC went into development on a TV series based on the concept two years after the film was released in 2005. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were a bit too big to head to network television at the time so The Fast and the Furious star, Jordana Brewster and Martin Henderson were tapped to take on the roles that Jolie and Pitt played in the film and they brought with them the same behind-the-scenes creative team of the movie, consisting of director Doug Liman and writer Simon Kinberg.  All signs pointed to this high-profile pilot going to series but, while the pilot was produced, ABC ultimately passed on it.

During a chat on “Collider Ladies Night“, while promoting Fast 9, Brewster reflected on the failure of the pilot going to series and what that meant to her at the time as a young actress:

“I don’t think it’s ever a matter of brushing it off and moving on to the next pilot. The only thing that helped me be more sane in the industry was going to school because then I had something that kept me super, super busy and super focused and it was like they complimented each other perfectly. But it not getting picked up crushed me because it was like, we had all the elements.”

The pilot was set to follow in the footsteps of the hit movie by picking up six months after the events of the film, with Jane and John Smith’s relationship being put to the test yet again. Writer Simon Kinberg described the television series as “Married… with Children with guns” and when the pilot was announced, there was a lot of hype surrounding it, mostly because the film was so successful and the creative minds behind the movie were attached, adding a bit of credibility to the project. Even though Brewster was disappointed that the pilot didn’t move forward, she admits that she was in a different phase of her career and needed a reality check when it came to delivering her best work:

“We had all the elements for success and yet ABC didn’t pick it up. And I think it was the tone that was wrong. I think also I was in a phase of my career where – I now go to class every week, I now have an acting coach that I will defer to for everything. I will work on something endlessly. I think back then, I was probably like 24, 25 so I was like, ‘I have this whole thing figured out.’ Actually I think that was an important road bump because it taught me, ‘Girl, you’ve gotta get to work. You don’t have it all figured out.’ And so it was a nice kick in the ass I think, ultimately.”

Mr. & Mrs. Smith, released in 2005, was directed by Doug Liman and written by Simon Kinberg. The film stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as a bored upper-middle-class married couple surprised to learn that they are assassins belonging to competing agencies and that they have been assigned to kill each other. The film earned a 60% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes but it was an even bigger hit with moviegoers, grossing $186.3 million domestically and $478.2 million worldwide. A lot of the reason for the film’s success was that it established Pitt and Jolie’s personal relationship as there was much speculation about whether or not the duo hooked up during filming while Pitt was still with Jennifer Aniston. Ultimately Pitt and Jolie did get together, adopted and had a few kids, divorced, and pretty much dashed any hopes for a sequel in the process.  

As for the ABC pilot, I was able to find it on YouTube when can be seen below. Having viewed some of it, I can see why ABC passed on it. Jordana Brewster and Martin Henderson are fine but it’s the combustible chemistry of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie that made the film work and that was lacking a bit here. Still interesting to look back on though.

Do YOU think the Mr. & Mrs. Smith pilot should’ve moved forward?

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Source:
Collider Ladies Night

The Wonder Years: Reboot earns series order at ABC (UPDATED WITH TRAILERS)

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The Wonder Years: Reboot earns series order at ABC (UPDATED WITH TRAILERS)
May 18, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling

ABC has given an official series order to the reboot of The Wonder Years. The series will join the drama series Queens and comedies Maggie and Abbott Elementary as new shows on the 2021-22 broadcast schedule at ABC.

The reboot of The Wonder Years is a coming of age story set in the late 1960s that takes a nostalgic look back at a black middle class-family in Montgomery, Alabama. Told through the point-of-view of imaginative 12-year-old Dean (Elisha "EJ" Williams), we see his recollections of how his family found their "wonder years" through Dean's wisdom as an adult as he reminiscences about his childhood during a very turbulent time in history. Along with Willimas, the series also stars Dule Hill, Saycon Sengbloh, Laura Kariuki, Julian Lerner, Amari O'Neil, and Milan Kay. Don Cheadle will also narrate the series as the adult version of Dean.

The original series ran for six seasons and a total of 115 episodes. The show, which takes place from 1968 to 1973, followed Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage), a teenager growing up in a suburban middle-class family. The series also starred Dan Lauria as his father Jack, Alley Mills as his mother Normas, Jason Harvey as his brother Wayne, Olivia d'Abo as his sister Karen, Josh Saviano as his best friend Paul Pfeiffer, and Danica McKellar as his girlfriend Winnie Cooper. Daniel Stern also classically narrated the series as an adult version of Kevin Arnold. 

The Wonder Years was a hit with audiences and critics alike. The series earned a spot in the Nielsen Top 30 during its first four seasons and, after airing only six episodes, the show won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding comedy series in 1988. Fred Savage also became the youngest person ever nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series at the age of 13. Savage is returning as an executive producer for the reboot and he directed the pilot episode as well. In addition to Savage, Saladin Patterson serves as an executive producer and writer while Lee Daniels and Marc Velez of Lee Daniel Entertainment are also a part of the series as executive producers.

As for the other drama series joining ABC, Queens follows four women in their 40s who reunite for a chance to recapture their fame and regain the swagger they had as the Nasty Bitches, their '90s group that made legends in the hip-hop world. The series stars Eve, Naturi Naughton, Nadine Velazquez, Taylor Sele, Pepi Sonuga, and Brandy.

On the comedy front, Abbott Elementary follows a group of dedicated, passionate teachers, and a slightly tone-deaf principal, that are brought together in a Philadelphia public school where, despite the odds stacked against them, they are determined to help their students succeed in life. Though these incredible public servants may be outnumbered and underfunded, they love what they do, even if they don't love the school district's less-than-stellar attitude toward educating children. The series stars Quinta Brunson, Tyler James Williams, Janelle James, Chris Perfetti, Lisa Ann Walter, and Sheryl Lee Ralph.

Lastly, there's the comedy Maggie, which is based on the short film of the same name by Tim Curcio. The series follows a young woman (Rebecca Rittenhouse) trying to cope with life as a psychic. Maggie regularly sees the fate of her friends, parents, clients, and random strangers on the street, but when she suddenly sees a glimpse of her own future, Maggie is forced to start living in her own present. Along with Rittenhouse, Maggie stars David Del Rio, Nichole Sakura, Angelique Cabral, Leonardo Nam, Ray Ford, Chloe Bridges, Kerri Kenney, and Chris Elliott.

Will YOU be watching the reboot of The Wonder Years? Do the other new ABC pick-ups sound like shows YOU would watch?

Source:
Deadline

Rebel, American Housewife, & more canceled at ABC

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Rebel, American Housewife, & more canceled at ABC
May 18, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling

It's the end of the line for ABC's remaining shows that were heavily on the bubble for next season. The network has decided to cancel Rebel, American Housewife, Mixed-ish, For Life, and Call Your Mother. Despite being on the bubble, the decision to cancel some of these shows is a bit surprising for various reasons, and at least of them is being shopped to other networks and platforms for a last-minute save.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the cancellations is Rebel, the Erin Brokovich-inspired drama was that was led by Katey Sagal and hailed from the network's most important producer, Krista Vernoff. The drama was Vernoff's first script to get a series pickup after 13 attempts but Vernoff also controls their Thursday primetime lineup with Grey's Anatomy and Station 19 continuing to pull in solid numbers. Some thought this would be enough to get Rebel a second season, despite the show's lackluster linear ratings and poor digital ratings performance. ABC is said to have struggled with the decision to cancel the show, which is only five episodes in of its eight-episode order, but it seems they believe the show wouldn't be able to recover from its soft ratings performance. Sagal took to her Instagram page to denounce ABC a bit for their decision and made a point to say that shows need time to grow before getting the ax. Vernoff also threw a little shade ABC's way in her own Twitter post that has since been deleted. The post linked to a "Deadline" story about the cancellation that speculated that the series’ pedigree would help put the legal drama towards a sophomore season. Vernoff responded to the story by saying "You’d think, wouldn’t you? You give them three shows during a pandemic, they give you five episodes. Cool cool. Cool." You can check out Sagal's Instagram post below.

 

 
 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

 
 

A post shared by Katey Sagal (@kateysagal)

In addition to Sagal, Rebel also starred John Corbett, Lex Scott Davis, Tamala Jones, James Lesure, Kevin Zegers, Sam Palladio, Ariela Barer, and Andy Garcia. The show is expected to run the remainder of its original episodes that will get the show through June 3, 2021.

American Housewife also seemed like a safe bet to return on paper since the show, during its five-season run, has been a solid utility player for the network as it has been moved to various nights and timeslots with very few ratings erosion. The comedy did see a behind-the-scenes shakeup after co-star Carly Huges left the series, citing allegations of a toxic workplace and discrimination. Co-star Ali Wong also booked a lead role on an Amazon series which also made American Housewife's fate more apparent. American Housewife chronicled the daily life of Katie Otto (Katy Mixon), a wife and mother who tries to maintain her sense of self and family while dealing with the wealthy, pretentious, arrogant housewives and their privileged children in her new hometown of Westport, Connecticut. The series also stars Diedrich Bader, Meg Donnelly, Daniel DiMaggio, Julia Butters, and Ali Wong.

Even though Black-ish earned a renewal for an eighth and final season, its spinoff Mixed-ish, wasn't so lucky. Despite being well-liked at the network and scoring with critics, the show was among ABC's least-watched originals which is what sealed its fate. Creator Kenya Barris is still in league with ABC with the final season of Black-ish, its Freeform spinoff Grown-ish, and Old-ish, which is still in development at the network. Mixed-ish was a prequel spinoff of Black-ish that chronicles Rainbow Johnson's (Tracee Ellis Ross) childhood years as she recounts her experience growing up in a mixed-race family in the 1980s. The series also stars Arica Himmel, Tika Sumpter, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Gary Cole, Christina Anthony, and Ethan William Childress.

For Life, which last season saw its season two renewal come down the wire, wasn't so lucky heading into season three. The legal drama, produced by Sony Pictures TV, is shopping the series to other buyers including Hulu, where the series has performed pretty well. For Life, despite its topical subject matter, is ABC's lowest-rated scripted series of the current season in Live+Same Day. Delayed viewing has been solid and reportedly the digital viewing of the show on Hulu has brought new African American audiences to the streaming platform. There is a shot that Hulu is the savior here but only time will tell. For Life is inspired by the life of Isaac Wright Jr. who was wrongfully convicted as a drug kingpin but got his conviction overturned while in prison because he became a licensed lawyer to gain the knowledge necessary to get out of prison. In the series, Nicholas Pinnock plays Aaron Wallace, a man who becomes a lawyer litigating cases for other inmates while fighting to overturn his own life sentence for a crime he didn't commit. The series also stars Joy Bryant, Ty Harris, and Indira Varma.

Lastly, it's one and done for the multi-camera comedy Call Your Mother. The network has canceled the show after only one season and its star Kyra Sedgwick threw a little shade ABC's way for how the network scheduled the series via a post on her Twitter page that can be viewed below:

Before it goes out there in the world I want my fans to be the first to know that next Wednesday will be the last episode of “Call Your Mother”. You guys have been so wonderful to tune in every week, or every other week or every two weeks! The rollout was nuts! ????‍???? pic.twitter.com/vKr4FBrf07

— kyra sedgwick (@kyrasedgwick) May 14, 2021

Sedgwick is referencing the fact that the show began to air sporadically in March after airing weekly up until that point. Shuffling the show around a lot likely cost the show some viewers. Call Your Mother was picked up to series after bypassing the pilot stage after production stalled during the pandemic. The show launched in January to 3.4 million same-day viewers but has since ranked as one of ABC's least-watched original series. The scheduling did get a bit crazy after its launch. At the start, the series aired weekly from January 13-March 3, then became more sporadic, airing every few weeks without much warning. The show returned May 12, after not airing since April 21. The now series finale will air on May 19, 2021.

Call Your Mother centered on an empty-nester mom named Jean Raines (Sedgwick), who wonders how she ended up alone while her children live their best lives thousands of miles away. She then decides her place is with her family so she reinserts herself into their lives. Her kids soon realize they might actually need her more than they thought. The series also starred Rachel Sennott, Joey Bragg, Patrick Brammall, Emma Caymares, & Austin Crute.

Are YOU sad to see some of these shows go?
 

Source:
Hollywood Reporter

The Conners, The Goldbergs, & more renewed at ABC

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The Conners, The Goldbergs, & more renewed at ABC
May 16, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling

A handful of ABC shows just received some good news! It has been announced that The Conners, Home Economics, The Rookie, The Goldbergs, & A Million Little Things have all been renewed at the network. It will be season 4 for The Conners, season 2 for Home Economics, season 4 for The Rookie, season 9 for The Goldbergs, & season 4 for A Million Little Things.

The Conners returning is no surprise. It's the highest-rated comedy on their lineup and the cast just inked new deals to return. The Goldbergs was also a no-brainer because it's also one of ABC's top-rated comedies as well. Some thought that the passing on George Segal, who played Albert 'Pops' Solomon, might put a renewal in question but that wasn't the case. I wouldn't be surprised if some kind of tribute episode aired for him next season. As for freshman Home Economics, while live ratings are soft, the reviews for the Topher Grace-led comedy have been very good from critics & it's doing well in delayed viewing. The series is also very well-liked at the network and that went a long way to get it a second season. 

As for the dramas that were renewed, The Nathan Fillion-led cop drama The Rookie was also a lock to return as it's one of ABC's most-watched dramas. The series has given their Sunday night lineup a boost and Fillion is well-liked at the network because of his past success with Castle. In the case of A Million Things, it has proven that fans will follow the series as it shifts frequently on the schedule & it's a strong DVR and streaming performer, a metric that all the networks are now paying very close attention to.

Are YOU excited that these shows are returning?

 

Source:
Hollywood Reporter

Black-ish renewed for an eighth and final season

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Black-ish renewed for an eighth and final season
May 15, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling

All good things must come to an end! Black-ish has been renewed for an eighth season but sadly it will be its last. Series creator Kenya Barris announced the news yesterday on his Instagram page in a post that can be viewed below!

 

 
 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

 
 

A post shared by Kenya Barris (@kenyabarris)

News of this being the final season of Black-ish has been floating around for a while now. Its current season 7 ratings are a bit soft but since the show is critically acclaimed and has a loyal fanbase, ABC wanted to give the comedy series one last hurrah to wrap things up properly. Black-ish is a top 10 comedy and an awards season favorite, having also garnered multiple Emmy nominations as well as a prestigious Peabody. What’s more, the single-camera comedy about an upper-class Black family has also become a valuable franchise for Disney with a third possible spinoff, Old-ish, in development and written by Barris. Grown-ish, originally developed for ABC, has become a signature hit for Disney’s younger-skewing cable network Freeform. Prequel spinoff Mixed-ish, about a young version of Tracee Ellis Ross’ Rainbow, learned its fate yesterday that it was canceled after two seasons.

Black-ish has remained relevant because it doesn't back away from addressing real issues through a comedic lens. It's honestly one of the best network comedies on TV and it will be sad to see it go. Black-ish stars Anthony Anderson as Andre “Dre” Johnson, Tracee Ellis Ross as Rainbow Johnson, Yara Shahidi as Zoey Johnson, Marcus Scribner as Andre Johnson Jr., Miles Brown as Jack Johnson, Marsai Martin as Diane Johnson, Laurence Fishburne as Pops, Jenifer Lewis as Ruby, Peter Mackenzie as Mr. Stevens, Deon Cole as Charlie Telphy and Jeff Meacham as Josh.

Are YOU sad to see Black-ish go?
 

Source:
Instagram

Grey’s Anatomy & Station 19 continue to save lives with new renewals at ABC

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Grey’s Anatomy & Station 19 continue to save lives with new renewals at ABC
May 11, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling

There's just no stopping Grey's Anatomy and by extension its spinoff, Station 19. It has been announced that ABC has renewed the long-running medical drama for season 18 while Station 19 earned a season 5 renewal.

Grey's Anatomy is television's longest-running medical drama and it should be noted that the season 18 renewal was not designated as its final season. That will be determined at a later date. The renewal really came down to new deals. Krista Vernoff, the woman who integrated the Grey's Anatomy-Station 19 universe & orchestrated the return of old cast favorites this season, closed a big overall deal with ABC in March & that began a complex effort to bring the show back for another season. Original cast stars like Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, & James Pickens Jr., whose current contracts were up this season, also needed new deals. Pompeo closed a new one-year deal first after very lengthy negotiations. Wilson & Pickens Jr. reportedly came down to the wire but they eventually signed new contracts.

Grey's Anatomy ranks as the No. 1 entertainment series among Adults 18-49 & as ABC's No. 1 show in both total viewers (8.3 million) and the 18-49 demo (2.0/12). Some may wonder why the show is still on but, despite going into its 18th season, the show continues to perform well for ABC and it also still does killer business on Netflix where it frequently ranks in the top half of the most-streamed series. Honestly, the only thing that will end Grey's Anatomy is if Ellen Pompeo, who plays Meredith Grey, decides to hang up her scrubs for good.

Station 19, thanks in large part to its frequent crossovers with Grey's Anatomy, ranks as the No. 1 program in the Thursday 8:00 PM hour this season among total viewers (7.2 million) & as the highest-rated entertainment series in the hour among the 18-49 demo (1.3/8). Reports say Station 19's renewal was tied to Grey's Anatomy returning but the network has been very happy with Its performance. Some fans have called some of the crossovers forced in order to make sure that Station 19 stays afloat but the crossovers typically perform very well in the ratings and the show has been able to find its own footing with the stories not tied to Grey's Anatomy. Station 19 focuses on the lives of the men and women at Seattle Fire Station 19. The show stars Jaina Lee Ortiz, Jason George, Grey Damon, Barrett Doss, Alberto Frezza, Jay Hayden, Okieriete Onaodowan, Danielle Savre, Boris Kodjoe, Stefania Spampinato, and Miguel Sandoval.

Are YOU happy to see Grey's Anatomy and Station 19 return?
 

Source:
Hollywood Reporter

Big Sky lands season two renewal at ABC

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Big Sky lands season two renewal at ABC
May 5, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling

There will be more crimes to be solved on Big Sky! It has just been announced that ABC has handed the series a season two renewal. This is now the second show on ABC to be renewed in 24 hours after The Good Doctor was picked up for a fifth season.

Big Sky will also have a new showrunner for season two. Series executive producer Elwood Reid, whose past credits include The Chi, The Bridge, Hawaii Five-O, and Barkskins, will be taking over running the show from series creator and executive producer David E. Kelley. Season 1 is still currently airing, with the finale set for May 18, 2021. David E. Kelley will still be on as an executive producer & will still be involved in the creative side of things behind the scenes. Kelley has several other series in the works at various outlets, including The Lincoln Lawyer at Netflix, Nine Perfect Strangers at Hulu, and Love and Death at HBO Max, so he's a very busy man.

According to ABC, Big Sky is the fall’s number one new series in total viewers and among adults 18-49 and has averaged a 3.15 rating this season among adults 18-49 after 35 days of delayed viewing across linear and digital platforms and 12.18 million total viewers. In Nielsen’s seven-day ratings, Big Sky ranks third among all first-year series in viewers, behind only CBS’ The Equalizer and NBC’s Law & Order: Organized CrimeIt's also arguably one of the best series to hit regular network TV in a while. It might air on ABC, but it has some cable & streaming sensibilities that truly make it one to watch.

Big Sky is based on "The Highway" series of books by C.J. Box and stars Katheryn Winnick and Kylie Bunbury. Bunbury stars as Cassie Dewell, a private investigator who runs the Dewell & Hoyt agency, while Winnick plays Jenny Hoyt, an ex-cop turned private investigator who, despite being separated from her husband, played by Ryan Phillippe, still does freelance work for the agency. The pair have joined forces to search for two sisters who have been kidnapped by a truck driver on a remote highway in Montana. The series also stars Brian Geraghty as Ronald Pergman, Dedee Pfeiffer as Denise Brisbane, Natalie Alyn Lind as Danielle Sullivan, Jesse James Keitel as Jerrie, and John Carroll Lynch as Rick Legarski.

No word on the number of episodes for season two but the current season will be ending its run at 16 so I expected a similar pickup for next season. Are YOU happy to see Big Sky return?
 

Source:
Hollywood Reporter

The Good Doctor Season 5: Freddie Highmore medical drama earns renewal

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The Good Doctor Season 5: Freddie Highmore medical drama earns renewal
May 4, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling

The Good Doctor will get to continue practicing medicine at ABC. It has been announced that the network has renewed the Freddie Highmore-led drama for a fifth season.

The series is the first of ABC's scripted shows to score a renewal for the 2021-22 season. Upfronts are coming up soon and this is when networks announce their schedules for the upcoming season and reveal which shows are being renewed or canceled. ABC typically doesn't reveal a lot of its renewals or cancellations until the upfront presentation but The Good Doctor is clearly doing well enough to warrant an early reveal of its fate.

The Good Doctor continues to be a reliable performer for ABC. The series averages 8.4 million viewers per episode, including a week of delayed viewing, trailing only Grey's Anatomy (8.41 million viewers) among ABC's primetime series this season. Its 1.3 demo rating in the coveted demographic of adults 18-49 is tied for fourth on the network. The show also ads its Monday time period in both ratings measures.  The network said that it delivers a 2.98 rating this season after 35 days of delayed viewing on linear and digital platforms, up 397% over its live+same day average among adults 18-49. The Disney-owned broadcast added that it attracts 12.1 million total viewers after 35 days of multiplatform viewing.

The Good Doctor is based on a 2013 South Korean series of the same name and follows Shaun Murphy (Highmore), a young autistic surgeon with savant syndrome from the mid-size city of Casper, Wyoming, where he had a troubled past. He relocates to San Jose, California, to work at the prestigious San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital. In addition to Highmore, the show also stars Richard Schiff, Antonia Thomas, Hill Harper, Christina Chang, Fiona Gubelmann, Will Yun Lee, and Paige Spara.

Are YOU excited that The Good Doctor will be back for a fifth season?

Source:
Deadline

The Conners: ABC comedy series near season 4 renewal as cast close new deals

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The Conners: ABC comedy series near season 4 renewal as cast close new deals
April 30, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling

ABC's The Conners is VERY close to a season 4 renewal at the network. The main cast is in the midst of inking new deals and it should be a matter of time before the news is made official.

This is the time of year that networks begin to decide which show will be renewed and which shows will be canceled. According to "Deadline", The Conners is showing all the signs that it will be safe and will be back for a fourth season. The show's four main cast members – John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, and Lecy Goranson – have all signed new contracts for a potential fourth season. The renewal for season four would be for 20 episodes and since The Conners is technically a spinoff of the Roseanne revival, the cast has to resign contracts after every season. This is the only reason that ABC hasn't officially announced the renewal as they are merely waiting for the ink to completely dry. Also at play is a license-fee deal between Tom Werner's Werner Entertainment and ABC. Werner Entertainment handles all the cast negotiations and all signs point to the license-fee deal closing between the two entities. In fact, a formal renewal seems so certain that the show has already been hiring new writers for season four.

The Conners is ABC's most-watched comedy and it has gone through quite a bit getting to this point. The show was born from the 2018 revival of Roseanne, which, despite extremely strong numbers for the network, was canceled after star Roseanne Barr made racist remarks on social media. Once all the dust settled, ABC was still eager to continue on with the working-class sitcom without Roseanne and they greenlit The Conners. The spinoff of sorts focuses on the same family from the parent series following the death of Barr's matriarch. While the numbers weren't as huge as the Roseanne revival ratings, The Conners ranked number one in total viewers and in the 18-49 for ABC during its first season.

For its third season, The Conners has continued to mix comedy with real-life issues. The series took on the COVID-19 pandemic at the start of the season and they had an episode that addressed the 2020 Presidential election. Most recently, the show introduced a storyline that focused on Becky (Lecy Goranson), a recovering alcoholic, suffering a relapse. The Conners has managed to balance comedy with series issues and its fanbase seems to appreciate the show for its willingness to do so.

Are YOU a fan of The Conners?

Source:
Deadline

The Oscars: Academy Awards telecast hits all-time low in the ratings

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The Oscars: Academy Awards telecast hits all-time low in the ratings
April 27, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling

I think we all saw this coming given the fact that award shows have been seeing steady declines in recent years but it still has to come as a blow to ABC and The Academy that Sunday night's 93rd Academy Awards crashed to an all-time viewership low.

The ceremony was watched by 9.85 million viewers and it hit a pretty dismal 1.9 in the coveted 19-49 demo. The is an all-time low for The Oscars by a huge margin and it marks the first time the telecast has fallen below 10 million viewers. This year's airing of the ceremony saw a 58% drop in terms of audience from what was the previous low set by the 2020 Oscars on February 9 last year. In terms of the 18-49 demo, the ceremony came crashing down by 64.2% compared to the previous year.

This year The Oscars were also available online on Hulu+Live, ABC.com, YouTubeTV, the ABC app, and a handful of other options. I'm sure some viewers caught the show via these various platforms and ABC will likely look at that data soon to see if it gives the telecast a significant boost. ABC and The Academy had to be aware that the ratings would take a hit. Between the pandemic, shuttered movie theaters during 2020, declining ratings for award shows in general, and Oscar nominees that lacked a lot of big-name recognition for casual moviegoers, the telecast had A LOT working against it. I asked many of my friends if they saw the films nominated for Best Picture and, despite them being available for home viewing long before the ceremony, the movies just weren't on their radar. This is has been a problem for The Oscars during a normal year when smaller films earn Oscar praise but don't have a tone of eyeballs on them so it's no surprise that the pandemic-influenced 2020 release slate would mostly be ignored by casual movie watchers as well.

What will ABC and The Academy do now? I will say they did the best they could considering what was working against them but there needs to be a serious discussion about the value of shows like this moving forward. Perhaps they should go streaming rather than being aired on network TV because the audience for them is becoming more niche as the years go on. A lot of people don't want to see a bunch of celebrities heaping praise on each other, especially after a year when many people have lost so much. I'm not saying The Oscars should go away. The best of the best should be acknowledged for putting in great work but how they're delivered to the masses definitely needs to be reconsidered. Declines like this will continue to happen if ABC and The Academy don't make drastic changes to the format and telecast moving forward.

Did YOU watch The Oscars on Sunday? Are YOU surprised viewership hit an all-time low?

Source:
Deadline

Disney Plus: Spider-Man finally swinging to the streamer via Sony deal

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Disney Plus: Spider-Man movies finally swing to streamer via Sony deal
April 21, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser

If you're a Disney+ subscriber, you can stream just about every film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but there are several very notable exceptions, such as Tom Holland's Spider-Man films. That's all set to change as Disney has inked a major multi-year deal with Sony Pictures that will allow Sony's Spider-Man films such as Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home to stream on Disney+ for the first time, in addition to other major Sony franchises such as Jumanji and Hotel Transylvania.

This deal will give Disney U.S. streaming and TV rights to Sony Pictures' new theatrical releases across Disney's various platforms, including Disney+ and Hulu, as well as ABC, Disney Channels, Freeform, FX, and National Geographic. It will cover all of Sony's movies release from 2022-2026 and begin following each film's Pay 1 TV window. "This landmark multi-year, platform agnostic agreement guarantees the team at Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution a tremendous amount of flexibility and breadth of programming possibilities to leverage Sony’s rich slate of award-winning action and family films across our direct-to-consumer services and linear channels," said Chuck Saftler, head of Business Operations for ABC, Freeform, FX Networks, and Acquisitions in DMED’s Networks division. "This is a win for fans, who will benefit from the ability to access the very best content from two of Hollywood’s most prolific studios across a multitude of viewing platforms and experiences." The official announcement said that the deal will give "Disney enormous programming potential across its platforms and makes them key destinations for a robust collection of Spider-Man films," and also mentioned that Hulu will receive a "significant number" of library titles beginning as early as June.

More to come…

Source:
Disney

The Wonder Years: Don Cheadle to narrate ABC’s reboot series

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The Wonder Years: Don Cheadle to narrate ABC’s reboot series
March 26, 2021 by: Steve Seigh

ABC's The Wonder Years has set Don Cheadle as the adult Dean Williams and narrator of the upcoming reboot series.

Leading The Wonder Years reboot as the young Dean Williams is Elisha 'EJ' Williams, who was cast earlier this month. Dean is described as an inquisitive and hopeful 12-year-old who's coming of age in a turbulent time and trying to figure out his place both within his family and in the larger world. Dean is a little insecure, a tad awkward, and a bit self-conscious, but he is determined to make his mark on the world around him. The new series focuses on a Black middle-class family in Montgomery, Alabama, during the heightened times of the late 1960’s — the same era as the original series.

The coming-of-age comedy hails from Dave executive producer Saladin K. Patterson, Empire co-creator Lee Daniels, the star of the original series, Fred Savage, and 20th Century Fox TV. Savage, who played the lead role in the original Wonder Years, is set to direct the pilot episode.

Other stars include Dulé Hill and Saycon Sengbloh as Dean's parents, with Laura Kariuki playing Kim Williams, Dean’s teenage sister.

Patterson will executive produce alongside Daniels, Savage, and Marc Velez, via Lee Daniels Entertainment. Neal Marlens, the co-creator of the original series, will serve as a consultant.

RELATED: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Season 4 welcomes John Waters in a guest role

The original Wonder Years aired from 1988 to 1993 on ABC for six seasons and over 100 episodes. It revolved around the Arnold family, with Savage starring as the youngest child Kevin. As a part of the show's unique way of presenting its story, Daniel Stern provided the voice of Kevin as an adult, with the show serving as a look back on his childhood growing up in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The show tackled many of the issues that plague the mind of a young man looking to survive adolescence, such as first love, difficult lessons learned, and how to remain hopeful in times that are harsh and unpredictable. Throughout its time on the air, The Wonder Years had been awarded a Peabody Award, multiple Humanitas Prizes, four Emmy Awards, and a Golden Globe for its comedic excellence and desire to deliver a timely series with a lot of heart.

You can currently catch Don Cheadle reprising his role as James "Rhodey" Rhodes in Marvel Studios' The Falcon and the Winter Soldier series on Disney+. He's also set to play the villain Al-G Rhythm in Space Jam: A New Legacy.

Source:
Deadline

The Wonder Years: Reboot casts Elisha ‘EJ’ Williams in the lead role

Movie News

The Wonder Years reboot lands Elisha ‘EJ’ Williams as series lead
March 15, 2021 by: Steve Seigh

ABC's The Wonder Years has cast Elisha 'EJ' Williams as the lead character of the upcoming series reboot.

The new series will focus on a Black middle-class family in Montgomery, Alabama during the heightened times of the late 1960’s — the same era as the original series. Williams will play Dean, an inquisitive and hopeful 12-year-old who's coming of age in a turbulent time and trying to figure out his place both within his family and in the larger world. Dean is a little insecure, a tad awkward, and a bit self-conscious, but he is determined to make his mark on the world around him.

Williams joins Saycon Sengbloh (In the Dark), who will play Dean's mother, Lillian, in the show.

The new version of ABC's coming-of-age comedy hails from Dave executive producer Saladin K. Patterson, Empire co-creator Lee Daniels, the star of the original series, Fred Savage, and 20th Century Fox TV. Savage, who played the lead role in the original Wonder Years, is set to direct the pilot episode.

Savage recently revealed the exciting casting news to Williams via Zoom, and if you're in the mood for something feel-good, I recommend watching the video posted below:

In terms of production, Patterson will executive produce alongside Daniels, Savage, and Marc Velez, via Lee Daniels Entertainment. Neal Marlens, the co-creator of the original series, will serve as a consultant.

The original Wonder Years aired from 1988 to 1993 on ABC for six seasons and over 100 episodes. It revolved around the Arnold family, with Savage starring as the youngest child Kevin. As a part of the show's unique way of presenting its story, Daniel Stern provided the voice of Kevin as an adult, with the show serving as a look back on his childhood growing up in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The show tackled many of the issues that plague the mind of a young man looking to survive adolescence, such as first love, difficult lessons learned, and how to remain hopeful in times that are harsh and unpredictable. Throughout its time on the air, The Wonder Years had been awarded a Peabody Award, multiple Humanitas Prizes, four Emmy Awards, and a Golden Globe for its comedic excellence and desire to deliver a timely series with a lot of heart.

Source:
The Hollywood Reporter

50 Cent Says “The 50th Law” Series Will Be Biggest Show On Netflix, DaBaby Wants Role

50 Cent is widely known for his gripping Television shows, and now he’s set to take over Netflix with his The 50th Law Series to be written and produced by acclaimed Kenya Barris.

The rapper who co-wrote the book as an autobiographical account inspired by another book by Robert Greene – The 48 Laws of Power. The 50th Law speaks to his humble beginnings and accounts of him hustling before making it big in the rap industry, and as we can imagine from the snippets of 50 Cent’s life, it will be action-packed and something to look forward to.

The Netflix series was announced by 50 Cent on his Instagram and says he’s teaming up with Barris and Hale Rothstein, who are both known for the hit series Black-ish, Grown-ish and #BlackAF. According to 50, Barris and Rothstein will write a pilot script and will also be executive producers with 50 via his G-Unit Films and Television. Production House Lionsgate TV is making the show through 50 Cent’s Starz Deal.

Fifty is optimistic that the show will be a hit on Netflix. “Netflix now you know this is a problem. Kenya Barris is no joke and me and you ain’t cool, you ain’t gonna make it. Let’s work! BOOM. This one is going to be #1 on Ntflix, BOOM. The 50th Law I GOT THE BEST WRITERS, @Kenyabarris know we are not playing no games.”

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Meanwhile, it seems that DaBaby wants to be part of the series. On Fifty’s announcement post, he commented, “still studying,” which led to hundreds of fans calling for him to be part of the series.

The latest announcement by 50 comes amidst his ongoing busy schedule as the series Power Book II: Ghost was recently renewed for a second season and is presently filming while Power Book III: Raising Kanan is being filmed as well as Power Book IV: Force is also being filmed, all being pegged for release in 2021.

He also has two shows he’s working on, Starz that includes Black Mafia Family and A Moment In Time: Massacre, that centers around his legendary beef with The Game. And if that sounds like a lot, he’s also co-producing a comedy series on ABC family – Family Affairs which features Mary J Blige in the lead role. Over on CBS All Access he has Twenty-Four Seven starring rapper T.I while another series he co-produced For Life is being aired on ABC currently.

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Kevin Costner’s National Parks crime drama receives ABC pilot order

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Kevin Costner’s National Parks crime drama receives ABC pilot order
February 1, 2021 by: Kevin Fraser

Back in the before times, ABC got the ball rolling on a one-hour drama series set in the world of America's National Parks that was to be written and executive produced by Kevin Costner, but then…well, everything went to shit. It seems that ABC has given the project a second chance as they've now given a pilot order to National Parks.

"While the national parks are known for their sweeping, beautiful landscapes, there is also a darker, more sinister side to these parks that attract a vast array of criminal activity," reads the official logline. "'National Parks' will follow the small group of elite NPS agents as they solve these crimes while protecting these national treasures." Anthony Hemingway (American Crime Story) is now attached to direct the pilot and will also executive produce National Parks alongside Aaron Helbing and Jon Baird, who also wrote the series with Kevin Costner. Helbing, best known for Spartacus, Black Sails, The Flash, and Knightfall, will also serve as showrunner on National Parks. In a statement, Kevin Costner said, "Our partners at ABC, 20th Television and A+E Studios have given me a great environment to step out of my comfort zone and deliver something special."

RELATED: The Wonder Years reboot gets pilot order at ABC

Kevin Costner doesn't dabble in television all that often, and his biggest venture into the medium thus far has been Yellowstone, a Paramount Network series that follows "the Dutton family, led by John Dutton (Costner), who controls the largest contiguous ranch in the United States. The ranch is under constant attack by those it borders—land developers, an Indian reservation, and United States of America's first National Park. It is an intense study of a violent world far from media scrutiny, where land grabs earn developers billions, and politicians are bought and sold by the world's largest oil and lumber corporations. Where unsolved murders are not news, they are a consequence of living in the new frontier. It is the best and worst of the United States as seen through the eyes of a family that represents both." The third season of the series wrapped up last summer and has already been renewed for a fourth.

Source:
Variety

New Topher Grace comedy Home Economics ordered at ABC

Movie News

New Topher Grace comedy Home Economics ordered at ABC
December 9, 2020 by: Gaius Bolling

Topher Grace is heading back to TV! The actor, who portrayed Eric Forman for eight seasons on That '70s Show, will headline a new ABC comedy called Home Economics. The network has given the show a series order that is expected to debut in the spring of 2021.

Home Economics is a single-camera comedy that is inspired by the life of writer and executive producer Michael Colton. The series will take a look at the heartwarming yet super-uncomfortable and sometimes frustrating relationship among three adult siblings. One represents the 1 percent, the other represents the middle-class while sibling number three is barely holding on. The show also stars Caitlin McGee, Jimmy Tatro, Karla Souza, Shiloh Bearman, Jordyn Starr Curet, Chloe Jo Roundtree, and JeCobi Swain.

This will mark the network's first comedy pilot handed a series order during a very unprecedented year for network TV due to the pandemic. ABC did have other comedy orders (Call Your Mother and Rebel) but they went straight to series without the benefit of the network seeing a pilot because the usual pilot season was pushed back due to the productions having to go dark when COVID-19 hit. ABC has two other outstanding comedy pilots that are waiting for news of when they'll likely debut and they include Work Wife, a single-camera comedy inspired by the real-life partnerships of longtime friends and Live with Kelly & Ryan co-stars Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest, and Kids Matter Now, a multi-camera comedy about a diva boss.

Will YOU be watching Home Economics?

Source:
Deadline

Big Sky earns full-season order at ABC

Movie News

Big Sky earns full-season order at ABC
December 8, 2020 by: Gaius Bolling

Network TV doesn't have a lot of winners lately when it comes to scripted programming but ABC has really scored with David E. Kelley's Big Sky. The show has received solid reviews & the ending of its pilot episode had EVERYONE talking that tuned in. Thanks to its early ratings success, ABC has picked up a full season of Big Sky with six additional episodes ordered. This will bring its count to 16 episodes by the end of its current season.

The crime thriller was the network's first new scripted series of the season to launch & it has performed solidly since its debut on November 17. After 7 days of viewing across live & digital platforms, the show scored 10.8 million viewers & a 2.5 rating in adults 18-49. This makes it the highest-rated ABC debut since The Rookie in October of 2018. The second episode also held 100% of its premiere rating among the same demo & increased its numbers in total viewers as well.

Big Sky is based on C.J. Box's book & follows private detective Cassie Dewell and ex-cop Jenny Hoyt who join forces to search for two sisters who have been kidnapped by a truck driver on a remote highway in Montana. So they discover that these are not the only girls who have disappeared in the area & they must race against the clock to stop the killer before another woman is taken. The series stars Kylie Bunbury, Katheryn Winnick, Ryan Philippe, John Carroll Lynch, Brian Geraghty, Dedee Pfeiffer, Natalie Alyn Lind, Jade Pettyjohn, Jesse James Keitel, & Valerie Mahaffey.

 

Definitely one of the best network shows to air in awhile and I'm completely hooked. Have YOU been watching Big Sky?

Source:
The Hollywood Reporter

Tim Allen’s Home Improvement character to return on Last Man Standing

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Tim Allen’s Home Improvement character to return on Last Man Standing
December 4, 2020 by: Kevin Fraser

Here's a crossover you probably didn't see coming: Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor will be back for the first time in over twenty years as the Home Improvement character is slated to appear in the final season of Last Man Standing. That's right, you're about to get two Tim Allen's for the price of one. Insert your own random grunts here.

The Last Man Standing episode will find the Baxter family seeing double when "Vanessa hires a home improvement repairman who bears an uncannily resemblance to Mike, who is struggling with an idea for his Outdoor Man 10th Anniversary vlog." You can check out a brief promo for the final season below.

Home Improvement aired for eight seasons on ABC from 1991 to 1998, and although it was never a #1 show, it was still one of the biggest sitcoms of the decade and made a star out of Tim Allen. Last Man Standing began airing on ABC in 2011 before it was cancelled after six seasons, but Fox came to the rescue and renewed the series for a ninth and final season earlier this year. In the era of TV revivals and reboots, Tim Allen has previously stated that he'd love to bring Home Improvement back. "I like the idea of doing it as a one-off, like a one-hour movie [versus a full-fledged revival series]," Allen told CinemaBlend earlier this year. "I like the idea of finding out where the boys are now, and where… Tool Time would be in today's world. I just think it's a marvelous idea, and all the actors think it's a great idea."

The final season of Last Man Standing will debut on Sunday, January 3, 2021 at 8:30, before shifting to Thursdays at 9:30 on January 7, 2021.

Source:
Entertainment Weekly

Big Sky: David E. Kelley drama is ABC’s biggest series debut in two years

Movie News

Big Sky: David E. Kelley drama is ABC’s biggest series debut in two years
December 3, 2020 by: Gaius Bolling

During a time when network TV is looking for any kind of hit, ABC has truly scored with the David E. Kelley drama, Big Sky. Bolstered by strong reviews, a growing social media presence, and an ending of its first episode that had EVERYONE talking, Big Sky has proven to be a significant win for the network. 

Big Sky hit new delayed high marks for its series premiere after already posting a strong Live+3 ratings lifts. After seven days of viewing on linear and digital platforms, with most of the digital consumption coming from Hulu, the viewership for the Big Sky premiere grew to 10.8 million viewers, with its adults 18-49 rating rising to a 2.50. That makes Big Sky the network’s most-watched and highest-rated (in 18-49) series debut since The Rookie in October 2018.

To showcase the strength of the series' digital presence, in linear playback only, the series premiere scored 4.55 million viewers and its lift due to delayed viewing gives it the largest playback increase for any show on any network in total viewers in nearly eight months, since the March 30, 2020, telecast of ABC’s The Good Doctor. News for network TV was looking very dire during the pandemic, at least for scripted programming. While reality and competition shows are still holding up well, series like Fox's Filthy Rich and Next, premiered to low ratings, never recovered, and were ultimately canceled. They also didn't gain much traction in delayed viewing which has become a key factor in saving shows that may not perform on the level during live airings. Big Sky is clearly a show that is captivating viewers by bringing some cable TV sensibilities to network TV. In more bragging rights for the show, Big Sky stood as the strongest drama debut telecast in total viewers (8.7 million) and adults 18-49 (1.5) in L+7 linear ratings since Fox’s 9-1-1: Lone Star on January 19, 2020.

Big Sky is a procedural drama from David E. Kelley that is based on the 2013 novel "The Highway" by C. J. Box. The show follows private detectives Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury) and Cody Hoyt (Ryan Phillippe) who join forces with Cody's estranged wife, ex-cop Jenny Hoyt (Katheryn Winnick), to search for two sisters who have been kidnapped on a remote highway in Montana. When they discover that these are not the only girls who have disappeared in the area, they much race against the clock to stop a killer before another woman is taken.

If you haven't started watching Big Sky, do yourself a favor and get hooked. I had pretty much given up on network television for scripted programming but the series is solidly addicting with strong performances and top-notch writing. 

Source:
Deadline

Lady A – Freestyle Lyrics

[Intro]
Oh
We gonna do this thing?
Well, come on then!

[Verse 1]
River road, Chevy van, cherry classic coke can
Rolling on the floorboard; Fleetwood, Macklemore
Coming out the speakers, spilling on the t-shirts
Getting loud like I’m standing in the bleachers
Creek bank, tire swing, peeling off her blue jeans
Skinny deep sugar, fish a couple of new things

[Chorus]
Hey, there ain’t nothing wrong
Just making it up as we go along
Find a little rock ‘n’ roll hallelujah
Throw your hands up high if the spirit moves ya, babe
Singing hey, hey, hey
We can do it old school, ABC style
Maybe we can go a little wild and freestyle

[Verse 2]
A summer jam mixtape, vodka in your lemonade
(Alright, alright) like McConaughey
White vinyl, gypsy revival
Traveling through the middle of the belt of the bible
Hula girl grass skirt shaking on the dashboard
Where we’re going? We don’t need no passport

[Chorus]
Hey, there ain’t nothing wrong
Just making it up as we go along
Find a little rock ‘n’ roll hallelujah
Throw your hands up high if the spirit moves ya, babe
Singing hey, hey, hey
We can do it old school, ABC style
Maybe we can go a little wild and freestyle

[Bridge]
Oh, some of us like to watch and some like to dance
Though we all wake up with the same stamp on our hands
Counting stars and counting cars and just counting miles
Doing it freestyle, you style, me style
Ain’t got nowhere to be, child

[Chorus]
Hey, there ain’t nothing wrong
Just making it up as we go along
Find a little rock ‘n’ roll hallelujah
Throw your hands up high if the spirit moves ya, babe
Singing hey, hey, hey
We can do it old school, ABC style
Maybe we can go a little wild and freestyle

[Outro]
Oh, you can count it all, baby, one, two, three, child
Maybe we can go a little wild and freestyle

Last Man Standing: Tim Allen comedy to end after nine seasons

Movie News

Last Man Standing: Tim Allen comedy to end after nine seasons
October 15, 2020 by: Gaius Bolling

Tim Allen & the cast of Last Man Standing return to Fox in January but it has been announced that the upcoming ninth season will be its last. Cast & crew returned to start filming on the comedy series this week. Series star, Tim Allen, had this to say about the show ending its run:

"I've been one lucky dude to have been part of Last Man Standing. I so appreciate the incredible support from our fans over this near decade of work. As we approach the ninth season, I just admire and feel grateful for all the hard work our wonderful cast and crew have done. We had all considered to end the show after last season, but together with Fox, we decided to add a year so we could produce a full season to create the gentle and fun goodbye. I'm looking forward to a memorable and hilarious final season."

This will be the third season of Last Man Standing to air on Fox. The show originally ran on ABC for six seasons but was canceled citing increasing costs and the fact that it didn't own the series, produced by 20th Century Fox TV — which was then under the same corporate umbrella as Fox. The show, despite its cancellation, was the second-highest-rated comedy on ABC after Modern Family & that was even as it aired on Friday nights, a typically dead night for TV. The show continued a successful run on FOX a year after it was canceled by ABC.

In Last Man Standing Tim Allen stars as Mike Baxter. The show, which also stars Nancy Travis, Hector Elizondo, Christoph Sanders, Amanda Fuller, and Kaitlyn Dever, follows a married father of three that tries to maintain his manliness in a world increasingly dominated by the women in his family. 

Were YOU a fan of Last Man Standing? Sad to see it go?
 

Source:
Deadline

Stumptown canceled at ABC due to COVID-19 despite early season 2 renewal

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Stumptown canceled at ABC due to COVID-19 despite early season 2 renewal
September 17, 2020 by: Gaius Bolling

ABC's Stumptown survived ho-hum season one ratings and earned a season 2 renewal a few months ago but now the network has reversed that decision and it's all due to COVID-19.

Stumptown was part of the fall 2020 ABC schedule announced in June, slated to return to the Wednesday 10:00 PM slot it occupied last season. Despite that initial decision, a timing issue related to the production start delays because of the coronavirus pandemic made it impossible for the show to be ready for a fall launch when the network had scheduling needs for the 2020-21 season. It was due to this that the network ultimately decided to reverse its renewal decision and not move forward with season 2.

The studio behind the show, ABC Signature, plans to shop it and hopefully find a new home for the series. I'm not sure how much interest there will be in another network or streaming service nabbing the show, although having a star like Cobie Smulders in the lead could help its chances. The series, which films in Los Angeles, had not started production when the call not to go with Season 2 was made and the cast and the crew were notified right before the story went to press.

Based on a graphic novel series following veteran Dex Parios, Stumptown stars Cobie Smulders, Jake Johnson, Tantoo Cardinal, Cole Sibus, Adrian Martinez, with Camryn Manheim and Michael Ealy. The show followed a sharp-witted Marine veteran that becomes a private investigator in Portland, Oregon. Despite the live ratings not being incredibly stellar, the show did develop a fan following and was a powerhouse in digital and delayed viewing for the network.

Do YOU think ABC was right to cancel Stumptown despite its season 2 renewal? Should they have delayed the show until a later date?

Source:
Deadline

Black-ish spin-off, Old-ish, in the works with Laurence Fishburne at ABC

Movie News

Black-ish spin-off, Old-ish, in the works with Laurence Fishburne at ABC
September 9, 2020 by: Gaius Bolling

The Black-ish empire is going to continue to grow. Fresh off spin-offs that include Grown-ish and Mixed-ish, it has been announced that a third spin-off called Old-ish, is in development at ABC. Kenya Barris, who is under an overall deal with Netflix, will write the third spin-off that is set to see Laurence Fishburne and Jenifer Lewis reprise their roles as Earl "Pops" Johnson and Ruby Johnson, the parents of Anthony Anderson's Dre.

Fishburne has been an executive producer on Black-ish since it began back in 2014 and has also been a recurring character on the show, appearing in more than 60 of the series' 141 episodes so far. Lewis was a recurring player during the show's first season but was then bumped up to a series regular during season two. Fishburne will also be an executive producer on the spin-off while Lewis will receive a producing credit.

Old-ish will follow Ruby and Earl as they give love a second chance. When they move to a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood of L.A., they'll meet characters who represent the old and new faces of the community as they try to make it work as a married couple. Again. For anyone that has watched Black-ish, they are some of the funniest characters from that series and their chemistry leads to some truly golden moments of comedy. This can definitely be fun if it's done right.

This will make the third spin-off of Black-ish which already includes the ABC-turned-Freeform entry Grown-ish, starring Yara Shahidi, and Mixed-ish, a 1980s-set prequel built around the younger version of Tracee Ellis Ross' character, Rainbow. While Grown-ish was originally developed for ABC, the network at the time thought it skewed too young and it was eventually picked up to series at Disney's younger-skewing basic cable network, Freeform. Grown-ish has become a signature series for Freeform during a time when the younger-skewing network really needed a hit after losing Pretty Little Liars. The show returns for its fourth season in 2021. Mixed-ish, starring Arica Himmel, Tika Sumpter, and Mark-Paul Gosselaar, will return for its second season on ABC sometime in the 2020-21 season.

Despite Kenya Barris departing ABC for a very lucrative deal with Netflix, he is actively involved in all of the ish shows. While others serve as showrunners, Barris has a carve-out in his Netflix deal that allows him to remain deeply connected to the franchise. It really is the best of both worlds situation and if both entities are willing to make it work, I say more power to Barris for having a connection with ABC and Netflix.

Will YOU be watching Old-ish?

Source:
Hollywood Reporter

Politically-themed Black-ish episode to air on Hulu after two years in limbo

Movie News

Politically-themed Black-ish episode to air on Hulu after two years in limbo
August 11, 2020 by: Gaius Bolling

ABC's critically acclaimed and popular comedy series, Black-ish, has never been shy about tackling serious subject matter with a bit of a comedic slant. The show has often garnered praise for its honesty during a time when some network television programs might avoid certain issues as to not divide the audience that happens to tune in week after week. There has been one time that ABC decided to not air a politically-charged episode of the show and that was two years ago. Citing "creative differences" at the time of the announcement, news of the episode being pulled made some headlines, and now fans of the show will get to see exactly what the episode was all about because it will air for the first time via the show's streaming home, Hulu.

The episode, which was originally intended to air on February 22, 2018, featured Dre (Anthony Anderson), the Johnson family patriarch, telling his infant son, Devante, a bedtime story that reflected on the events of his first year on earth. The episode offered a mix of political allegory (an animated fairy tale about a character named The Shady King) and actuality (news footage of Donald Trump, the Charlottesville attacks, and the NFL kneeling protests). When ABC pulled the episode, meant to air during the show's fourth season, Black-ish creator Kenya Barris was not happy with the decision and it ultimately led to Barris departing ABC for a deal with Netflix. Barris had this to say about the episode finally being aired on Hulu:

“In November 2017, we made an episode of black-ish entitled ‘Please, Baby, Please.' We were one-year post-election and coming to the end of a year that left us, like many Americans, grappling with the state of our country and anxious about its future. Those feelings poured onto the page, becoming 22 minutes of television that I was, and still am, incredibly proud of. ‘Please, Baby, Please’ didn’t make it to air that season and, while much has been speculated about its contents, the episode has never been seen publicly… until now.  I’m excited to share that “Please, Baby, Please” is now available on Hulu. Following the re-airing of “Juneteenth” and “Hope,” I asked Walt Disney Television to revisit making the episode available. Recognizing the importance of this moment, they listened and agreed. I cannot wait for everyone to finally see the episode for themselves and, as was the case nearly three years ago, we hope it inspires some much-needed conversation — not only about what we were grappling with then or how it led to where we are now, but conversations about where we want our country to go moving forward and, most importantly, how we get there together."

ABC's decision to make the episode available now comes as the world is going through a bit of a cultural examination following the death of George Floyd in police custody. That incident made media outlets, studios, and networks to take notice that things can not move along as they once did in terms of addressing these divisive issues head-on. in the days and weeks immediately following Floyd's death, ABC re-aired two powerful episodes of the series that touched on themes including police brutality. The fact that the episode will now see the light of day is a positive sign that shows even though certain subject matter may make viewers uncomfortable, it's necessary to present them so that the viewers can judge the outcome on their own.

Do YOU think it was finally time to make this episode of Black-ish readily available?

Source:
Deadline

The Wonder Years is getting a Black family reboot at ABC

Movie News

The Wonder Years is getting a Black family reboot at ABC
July 8, 2020 by: Steve Seigh

ABC has announced that they're flipping the script on a beloved television series after giving a pilot production order to The Wonder Years, a new take on the network's 1980s family comedy-drama. The new version of ABC's coming-of-age comedy hails from DAVE executive producer Saladin K. Patterson, EMPIRE co-creator Lee Daniels, the star of the original series, Fred Savage, and 20th Century Fox TV.

Written by Patterson, the new series will focus on a Black middle-class family in Montgomery, Alabama during the heightened times of the late 1960’s — the same era as the original series. For now, ABC has granted the project a pilot commitment, with Savage looking to direct. Should the pilot script be approved, ABC plans to establish a small writers' room for a possible series order. In terms of production, Patterson will executive produce alongside Daniels, Savage, and Marc Velez, via Lee Daniels Entertainment. Neal Marlens, the co-creator of the original series, will serve as a consultant.

RELATED: The fire starts in an ultra-violent trailer for The Boys Season 2

The original Wonder Years aired from 1988 to 1993 on ABC for six seasons and over 100 episodes. It revolved around the Arnold family, with Savage starring as the youngest child Kevin. As a part of the show's unique way of presenting its story, Daniel Stern provided the voice of Kevin as an adult, with the show serving as a look back on his childhood growing up in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The show tackled many of the issues that plague the mind of a young man looking to survive adolescence, such as first loves, difficult lessons learned, and how to remain hopeful in times that are harsh and unpredictable. Throughout its time on the air, The Wonder Years had been awarded a Peabody Award, multiple Humanitas Prizes, four Emmy Awards, and a Golden Globe for its comedic excellence and desire to deliver a timely series with a lot of heart.

Source:
Deadline

Revenge sequel series not moving forward at ABC

Movie News

Revenge sequel series not moving forward at ABC
July 1, 2020 by: Gaius Bolling

ABC will not be getting back into the “revenging” business. It has been announced that the network has passed on a sequel series to their hit serialized drama, Revenge, which ran from 2011-2015.

When Revenge ended its initial run the network said there was interest in doing a spinoff series but nothing came of the prospect until last year when creator Mike Kelley and How to Get Away With Murder writer Joe Fazzio were reported to be working on a script for a sequel series about a brand new character. The story would be set in Malibu, California, and follow a young Latinx immigrant who’s seeking revenge on a “pharmaceutical dynasty that caused the murder of her biochemist mother, the destruction of her family, and a global epidemic.” It was also rumored that a character from the original show would be joining this new character on her quest for revenge and many people thought it would be Gabriel Mann, who played Nolan Ross and Emily Thorne’s ally on the show.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a concrete reason as to why the sequel series is not moving forward. ABC has opted to pass on the show and it’s unclear if the project will be shopped to another network or streaming service. There is some speculation that the plot and its close relation to current events could be why ABC got cold feet. Considering the drama would have revolved around a global epidemic, the network may have felt this particular story now hits too close to home with the world currently in the middle of a pandemic. And since the epidemic is integral to the storyline of this new Revenge series, it’s possible it was easier for ABC to scrap the series entirely rather than try to rework it and continue development.

The original Revenge series followed Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp), a young woman who moves to the Hamptons to avenge her father. Also starring in the series were Henry Czerny and Madeleine Stowe as Conrad and Victoria Grayson – the leaders of the family that Emily believed orchestrated her father’s downfall. The show was a breakout hit for ABC during its first season, becoming ABC's highest-rated series in Wednesday's 10:00 PM slot since Lost's 2006-2007 season. It was also the only new series in four years to replicate the 18-49 demo ratings success that Lost had in its time slot since leaving the air. While its live ratings faltered in subsequent seasons, the show was a huge delayed viewing earner and developed a worldwide fanbase across its 89 episodes.

Not gonna lie, used to be obsessed with this show but I'm well aware things went off the rails during season 2, picked back up during season 3, and then became a mixed bag during its fourth final season. The first season of Revenge is a well-oiled machine and probably one of the most entertaining first seasons on network TV over the last few years. A sequel series would've been fun but I'm happy leaving it where it was and just rediscovering the show through DVD (yes, I bought them).

Do YOU want to see a sequel series to Revenge?

Source:
TV Guide

Damon Lindelof on the original three-season plan for ending Lost

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Damon Lindelof on the original three-season plan for ending Lost
June 30, 2020 by: Kevin Fraser

Like millions of others, Lost hooked me from the very beginning. Throughout the six seasons of the show, fans around the globe discussed and analyzed the various mysteries, characters, and locations found on the Island, and while not everyone was pleased with how the series came to a close, Lost remains one of the biggest TV shows of our time.

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When Lost hit the scene, the state of television was in a very different place; there was no Mad Men, Breaking Bad, or any of the other shows which brought about the prestige era of television. A heavily-serialized show combined with sci-fi/supernatural elements was a big risk at the time, but when it became apparent just how popular Lost was becoming, the network didn't want to lose it. As most fans know, Lost showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse orchestrated an end-date for the series right in the middle of its run, but if Lindelof and Cuse had their way, the series would have come to a close much sooner. Damon Lindelof spoke with Collider recently about Lost, as well as the battles to end the series on their terms, which began nearly as soon as the series had debuted.

The conversations about wanting the show to end began as early as the pilot. One of the notes that we were getting back from ABC was ‘When are you gonna resolve these mysteries? And once you resolve these mysteries, why will people keep watching the show?’ And Level One of that was, ‘Well we’re gonna be introducing new mysteries as we go. So hopefully for every one that we answer, we’ve set up a new compelling mystery. If we get that balance right, they’re not gonna stack up.’ I think that we can both agree that we did not get that balance right.

As the team began to map out the overall design for Lost, Damon Lindelof settled on a three-year plan. "Lost was like, ‘What’s in the hatch? What’s up with the monster? Who’s the original Sawyer? How did Locke get in the wheelchair? What is the nature of the island? Why does it appear to be moving? Who are the Others?’" Lindelof said. "There were all of these compelling mysteries and so we were saying, ‘We wanna have this stuff answered by the end of Season 1, this stuff answered by the end of Season 2, and then the show basically ends after about three years.'" Despite this plan, ABC wanted to keep the show going for as long as possible, arguing that "you don't end shows that people are watching."

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With the network refusing to entertain the notion of a predetermined ending, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse began to negotiate their own exit after three seasons, but after the third season debuted, it finally became clear to ABC just how much the writers were having to spin their wheels to keep the mysteries going indefinitely, so they agreed that Lost needed an end-date. "Then they finally came to the table and we had a real conversation," Lindelof said. "They were like, ‘We have agreed to let you end the show.’… I just said to [ABC President] Steve McPherson, ‘Thank you. This is what’s best for the show,’ and he said, ‘We were thinking 10 seasons.’ Mind you, we’re halfway through Season 3, so first off how do you even think we’re gonna get to 10? That’s really the same as saying we’re not gonna let you end the show, because how many drama series even get to 10 seasons?" After quite a lot of back-and-forth between Lindelof/Cuse and the network, they agreed to bring Lost to a close after six seasons, but it's not hard to imagine just how differently the series would have been had it been developed more recently.

Source:
Collider

Update: 2021 Oscars officially postponed to April 25 amidst other changes

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Update: 2021 Oscars officially postponed to April 25 amidst other changes
June 15, 2020 by: Gaius Bolling

Update:

After a series of meetings and much speculation, word has reached the masses that the 93rd Academy Awards, originally scheduled for February 28, 2021 will now take place on April 25th, the latest date in Oscar history for the annual Hollywood gala to air.

The change was announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences this morning, who also stated that the opening of the Academy’s new Museum of Motion Pictures will also be moved from December 14, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Furthermore, the Gala opening will commence on Saturday, April 17, just one week shy of Oscar Sunday.

As per the new date for the 93rd Academy Awards, films that have a qualifying release date between January 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021 are now eligible to compete in the next Academy Awards. Additionally, opportunities to submit materials a number of categories have also been extended due to recent changes made to the show.

According to sources within the AMPAS, the organization is working closely with LA Department of Public Health , and Dr. Atul Nakhasi among others, to move the show as far as possible in an effort to distance the event from the ongoing pandemic. According to one source who's close to the matter, “It doesn’t serve to just push a couple of weeks…a couple of weeks doesn’t help with the uncertainty.  A couple of months is more meaningful on everything from eligibility to actually planning the event and what that may look like. ” Naturally, ABC, the Academy’s broadcast partner, is on board in terms of taking steps to insure the maximum level of safety for guests of the high-profile gathering. “We find ourselves in uncharted territory this year and will continue to work with our partners at the Academy to ensure next year’s show is a safe and celebratory event that also captures the excitement of the opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures,” said Karey Burke, president, ABC Entertainment.

“For over a century, movies have played an important role in comforting, inspiring, and entertaining us during the darkest of times. They certainly have this year. Our hope, in extending the eligibility period and our Awards date, is to provide the flexibility filmmakers need to finish and release their films without being penalized for something beyond anyone’s control,” said Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “This coming Oscars and the opening of our new museum will mark an historic moment, gathering movie fans around the world to unite through cinema.”

When it comes to the Academy Museum, similar attempts at safety are also being taken before the site will allow its doors to swing wide for guests. “I speak for all of us at the Museum when I say that we have been eagerly awaiting the moment when we can share the Academy Museum with movie lovers everywhere.  With the unprecedented and devastating pandemic happening around the world and our commitment first and foremost to the health and safety of our visitors and staff, we have made the difficult decision to wait a few more months to open our doors.  Thankfully, with COVID-19 safety protocols in place, exhibitions continue to be installed.  We look forward to April 2021 when Los Angeles and the world will be able to join together as the Academy celebrates the Oscars and the opening of its long-dreamed-of Museum,” said Bill Kramer, director of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

Meanwhile, eligibility info and a show date for the 2022 Oscars will be announced at a later time.

For now, here is a key date breakdown for the 2020/2021 Oscar season:

Preliminary voting begins    Monday, February 1, 2021
Preliminary voting ends    Friday, February 5, 2021
Oscar Shortlists Announcement    Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Nominations voting begins    Friday, March 5, 2021
Nominations voting ends    Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Oscar Nominations Announcement    Monday, March 15, 2021
Oscar Nominees Luncheon    Thursday April 15, 2021
Finals voting begins    Thursday April 15, 2021
Museum Gala    Saturday, April 17, 2021
Finals voting ends    Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Oscars Oscar    Sunday, April 25, 2021
Museum Public Opening    Friday, April 30, 2021

Last but not least, the Academy’s Scientific and Technical Awards presentation, which was expected to take place on June 20,2020 in Beverly Hills, has also been postponed with a replacement date yet to be determined.

Original Article:

The board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is gearing up for an emergency meeting this morning and it's all about Hollywood's biggest night of 2021.

The 93rd Academy Awards is scheduled for February 28, 2021, but the COVID-19 pandemic has shuttered theaters nationwide since mid-March. This has resulted in several films delaying or shifting their release dates which have limited the number of films that could be eligible for Hollywood's highest honor. In news coming to us from "The Hollywood Reporter", the Academy's 54 governors are likely to delay the ceremony's date by as many as eight weeks and they will extend the eligibility window beyond December 31, 2020.

Despite this being a highly unusual move for the Academy, this is not the first time this has been considered by the board. To date, the Oscars have been delayed three times before. The first time occurred in 1938 during the Los Angeles flooding and that was followed by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968. The third and final time the Oscars saw a delay was after the attempted assassination of Pres. Ronald Reagan in 1981. When it comes to extending the eligibility for qualifying for the awards, this was extended beyond the traditional 12-month period once before, ahead of the 6th Oscars. That ceremony, in March 1934, was preceded by a 17-month eligibility window spanning August 1, 1932, through December 31, 1933.

The Academy has not made the decision when it comes to the format as well. The cards are on the table to host the ceremony as is with an audience or it could be done virtually to maintain safety protocols due to COVID-19. They believe there is still enough time to wait and see how the pandemic unfolds but they will have to put a hold on a new date on the calendar of their broadcasting partner, ABC if a major change like that is to take place.

Do  YOU think it's necessary to postpone the Oscars? Will there be enough films on the docket to qualify for major awards for the 2021 ceremony?

Source:
The Hollywood ReporterDeadline

Calling all Gladiators! Scandal is coming to Hulu

Movie News

Calling all Gladiators! Scandal is coming to Hulu
May 8, 2020 by: Gaius Bolling

Scandal is on the move! The long-running Shonda Rhimes series starring Kerry Washington currently streams on Netflix but it will be shifting to the Disney-owned Hulu, this month.

The former ABC drama will make its debut on the streamer May 20, 2020, when it will move from its current home on Netflix. Scandal ran for seven seasons on ABC and "revolved around Olivia Pope (Washington) as she and her team of so-called Gladiators "fixed" crises and political scandals in a fast-paced, morally questionable fashion". The series wasn't a huge hit out of the gate but when it was added to Netflix after season one, the show was discovered by many more viewers and it made the ratings on ABC soar, giving Rhimes another pop culture phenomenon hit after Grey's Anatomy. The series also starred Tony Goldwyn, Bellamy Young, Scott Foley, Darby Stanchfield, Guillermo Díaz, Katie Lowes, Jeff Perry, and Josh Malina.

The jump from Netflix to Hulu isn't all that surprising since Scandal was produced by Disney-owned ABC Studios and comes as the Mouse House continues to bring back all of its productions to its own platforms. The same is likely going to happen to Grey's Anatomy when its Netflix deal expires. Grey's is one of the most-streamed series on Netflix so that's bound to be a big loss after losing Friends to HBO Max and the eventual loss of The Office which will head to the Peacock streaming service when its Netflix deal ends.

Will YOU be following Scandal to Hulu?

Source:
Hollywood Reporter