News, scoops, reviews and more from TV land.
HBO's "Veep" has been handed a third season.
No surprise: It's excellent, and funny, and smart, and creative, and has Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Anna Chlumsky and Matt Walsh and Tony Hale and Armando Iannucci as creator and head writer...Well, it's returning. And should.
No additional details from HBO except to say it will be back next year; the current season is in progress. Check it out if you haven't already.
"Inside Amy Schumer," which bowed Monday night on Comedy Central, bowed very well indeed. So well, the network says it's a hit. Oh, did I mention Schumer's from Rockville Centre?
Amy is. From Rockville Centre. A very nice town, by the way.
Back to the hit. Per the press release:
"The premiere play of 'Inside Amy Schumer' (10:30-11:00 p.m.) drew 1.6 million total viewers and 1.2 million Adult 18-49 viewers (1.1 Adult 18-49 rating) and rated extremely well among young men with a 2.4 Men 18-34 rating and a 2.8 Men 18-24 rating."
[Per me: Extremely well among young men? Could the Schumer Humor include jokes about sex? I dunno...didn't see, but you can draw your own conclusions,]
And per Diane Werts, my esteemed colleague who reviewed this for Newsday on Monday:
"Even when she pushes me too far, I'm eager to hear what Schumer has to say about hot-button topics others avoid. Her shrewd, straightforward perspective and her semisweet, offhand attitude make her reflections fresh and relatable."
Steve Carell returning to "The Office" for one last big - messy - goodbye? (The hour finale is May 16.) Don't bet on it: Asked again in a recent conference call about the possible return of Michael Scott for just one last time, Greg Daniels - one of the show-runners who turned this into a classic - said, and I paraphrase: No.
"Steve...didn't want to overshadow the ending that the other characters deserved after all these years..."
And so that's that. No Carell.
Just another one of those Games that Producers Play - to mute anticipation and that when it does happen, the barn doors blow off? (A cliche Dwight would approve of, by the way.)
Sure, but doubtful: Daniels is one of the straightest shooters in the business, and I believe him on this. (And of course, also always reserve the right to completely forget what I just wrote if Carell does turn up.) Another reason is that a Scott/Carell return would change the entire tenor of the finale, making it the Michael Scott hour. He is arguably too big a personality, certainly the defining one over seven seasons, and bringing him back for a final romp - if only to sit on stage and chat about the good old days at Dunder (Daniels confirmed that the finale will indeed be a reunion - somewhat reminiscent of the British version "Office's" Christmas two-parter, in which the camera crews caught up with the gang three years later) - would conceivably swamp everyone else.
Still, let's all admit the obvioius: It's disappointing. Michael, one more time? The prospect is irresistable, but apparently not to be. (Oh yes, in case you're wondering, the finale - which could air 65-70 minutes, thanks to a petition by Officetally.com - has already been taped.)
As a happy reminder, FX's "The Americans" wraps its first season tonight with an episode titled "The Colonel," and - yes - for fans, this finale works. There'a a dramatic wrap to an arc that's been building since mid-season, and enough of a forward spin that should make the second season even more compelling. And without getting into any plot developments, there's also a nice...Read more »
"The Office" - ending May 16 and with it a big piece of NBC comedey history - will embrace a "Survivor"-like "reunion" finale, according to a report in the New York Times. No many other details but the report does indicate that there is one instance during the blow-out when it could conceivably be possible that Steve Carell's Michael Scott will also turn up from his married life in Denver.
And as fans read this, they have to ask: How could he not? After all, it would hardly be a reunion special without Michael so let's just go ahead and report it right now: Michael will be here,)
Now, what would a reunion special be like? I'm thinking it would be more along the lines of a "Real World" reunion because a "Survivor" reunion wouldn't specifically work in this context since an actual game didn't unfold within the framework of Dunder Mifflin but rather a long and inscrutible sociological experiment.
"Downton Abbey" -- quite possibly the most monochromatic hit on all of television -- is finally adding some diverstiy to the cast: A black actor will be added for the fourth season. Yes, a first.
He is Gary Carr, 26, and a fairly new face even to British audiences. He has a pair of supporting roles on "Bluestone 42" -- a "M*A*S*H*-like dramedy about British troops in Afghanistan - and "Death in Paradise," which is bit like "Monk," and has had some airplay in the U.S. on public TV. (It's about a detective who goes to a tropic island to solve crimes...) "Downton" has yet to announce the addition of Carr, but the British press has been reporting. Julian Fellowes, show creator, has said he's wanted to "expand" the diversity of the cast; per reports, Carr will play a jazz player named Jack Ross. No other details...yet.
I found this recent interview -- you can learn a bit more about him from this...He's speaking about "Paradise:"
Great news for fans (self included) of TNT's solid remake of the daddy of all prime-time soaps: "Dallas" just got a third season. TNT says the 15-episode season will begin sometime early next year:
"Dallas has built a passionately loyal following with its expertly woven story lines, clever twists and turns, and numerous outstanding performances by a cast that spans generations," said Michael Wright, president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). "Although we said goodbye to Larry Hagman and his iconic character J.R. Ewing this year, Dallas has many more stories left to tell, and the Ewing clan will continue to honor J.R.'s memory by keeping its audience surprised and delighted."
No surprise here, but "Dallas" did decline from the first season numbers -- which were very solid. Per TVbythenumbers, last season averaged 3.8 million viewers (over seven days.) Those are good, not stratospheric.
In probably one of the more dramatic demonstrations that this newfangled business of watching TV shows on the web is about to go through, we now bring you this news: Hulu will launch four new original series this year, including ones created by James Corden and Seth Meyers. (See clips on the jump.)
Add this bounty to the two new soaps — "All My Children" and "One Life to Life"...Read more »
Maria Shriver, who left NBC News in 2004 after she took a more visible role as "first lady" in her then-husband Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration as GOP governor of California, has officially come home: NBC announced a little while ago that she has rejoined the network as a "special anchor" focusing on women's issues.
In a statement, Shriver — who spent a decade at...Read more »
And so we come to "The Flood," the fifth episode of the sixth season of "Mad Men," and what was probably the most complicated, layered, interlaced episode of the entire run: Full of symbols, historic tangents, backstory, front-story, foreshadows, old shadows, new shadows, pop culture references and touchstones, character development, inter-family complexities, emotional riffs...Read more »