News, scoops, reviews and more from TV land.
"House of Cards," the series that sent Netflix soaring into the brave new world of binging and original production, has set a return date for the series: February 14.
And yes, in case you are wondering, the entire 13-episode season will be available immediately. "Cards" -- followed by "Arrested Development" -- truly established what was then a curious template for viewing, and which was voraciously debated at the time. Wouldn't an immediate, all-at-once download, for example, eviscerate that all-important "buzz" that viewers feed off during a series' run?
As it turned out, didn't much matter: "Cards" was considered a success, or at least that's the claim of Netflix — which never releases download figures, much to the chagrin of traditional networks which say Netflix is playing by a different set of rules that it doesn't care to divulge.
Nevertheless, there's little doubt this is exactly what many subscribers want — instant gratification, and all at once, or over a 13-hour stretch. Netflix even went ahead and ordered an entire second season of "Orange is the New Black" even before the first episode appeared. That would now seem to have been a good bet: "Orange" got critical love and presumably subscriber love, too.
Meanwhile, a few new details about the second season, as follows:
In the second season, Francis (Kevin Spacey) and Claire (Robin Wright) Underwood continue their ruthless rise to power as threats mount on all fronts. Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara, “American Horror Story”), an up-and-coming reporter and Francis’s former paramour, is inching closer to the truth about his crimes. President Garrett Walker’s (Michel Gill, “The Good Wife”) billionaire confidante Raymond Tusk (Gerald McRaney, “Southland”) demands that Francis reciprocate political favors or face retribution. And Claire must confront the increasing glare of the spotlight as it eats away at her and Francis’ once private existence. The Underwoods must overcome these dangers — past and present — to avoid losing everything, regardless of collateral damage they leave in their wake.
Meanwhile...a tease, and Newsday app readers, please go to Newsday.com/tvzone:
"The Blacklist," which ended the first half of its freshman season last night with a bang (bang and bang), just got a second season pickup. The only hidden surprise in this announcement is: What took so long?
Per NBC...The Blacklist” is the No. 1 drama on the Big 4 networks in the 18-49 demo, averaging a 4.9 rating/13 share in most current viewing. It is the No. 2 scripted...Read more »
Not to cause any trouble - because of course I'd never do that - but who else was intrigued by Robin Roberts' off-handed comment to Sam Champion on this morning's "GMA" that his impending departure "sets an example for all of us?"
Meaningless, probably, and Robin Roberts certainly isn't going anywhere. She is the franchise though Champion's exit will and has...Read more »
NBCUniversal Monday handed the keys to one of its shiniest new cars -- the Weather Channel -- over to Sam Champion, who becomes voice, face and hair of that network starting early next year. He leaves "Good Morning America" -- and ABC, his home of the past 25 years Wednesday, which seems awfully fast for someone who's been a "beloved" member of this particular family since 2006.
So who might be next?
Lara Spencer? Josh Elliott? Or . . . Robin. Ah, yes, even Robin Roberts: She's beloved by "Good Morning America" viewers, although they'd better get ready to do their loving on some other network if ABC doesn't offer enough of that green stuff that binds TV families, especially morning ones, together.
ABC nonetheless said Champion's departure was amicable. In other words, not at all like the Ann Curry "Today" debacle. But that pesky "now who?" question was still unavoidable. TV Newser, the closely read TV journalism website, said Roberts was "close" to a new "GMA" deal, but offered no such assurances about Elliott or Spencer -- the chatty irrepressible youngsters of this "GMA" family. Could NBC be in their future as well?
Champion -- a superlative TV happy talker who can make even an impending nor'easter seem like a cheerful turn of events -- will be replaced by "GMA" weekend meteorologist Ginger Zee. A profile in the Chicago Tribune once noted that "she's Ginger because her father, who moved here from the Netherlands and didn't speak English, loved 'Gilligan's Island.' Though she's more of a Mary Ann."
Her three-hour tour is about to begin. The weather forecast calls for rough seas.
Jim Lovell, a sound technician who was traveling on the Manhattan-bound train that derailed in the Bronx yesterday morning, killing four, was remembered on this morning's "Today" show. Here's the tribute again, if you missed; Lovell, 58, father of four, was heading to Rockefeller Center to work on the Christmas tree lighting show.
AMC last week announced a pair of drama newcomers, including this intriguing period one -- "Turn," based on Alexander Rose's "Washington's Spies." Series arrives next spring, and stars UK actor Jamie Bell. Here's AMC's IMDB description:
Set in the summer of 1778, show tells the story of New York farmer Abe Woodhull, who bands together with a group of childhood friends to form the Culper Ring, an unlikely group of spies who turn the tide in America's fight for independence.
And as promised ... a preview:
Welcome back to my new, revised, updated, expanded and – frankly – rethought list of television's most influential shows.
How “expanded?” I've added about forty new shows, dropped a few too. .
How “revised?” I've changed the order fairly dramatically (but fear not - “Seinfeld” remains in the top five.)
How “rethought?” In this sense: I've reconsidered what it means to be...Read more »
Yes, yes, I know: Thanksgiving is Thursday — and Happy Thanksgiving to all — and most thoughts right now are probably not on what you are going to watch on TV Wednesday night. But just in case: There is one series on the Esquire Network — formerly the Style Network — with a nice Long Island hook. This newcomer, "Alternate Routes" -- which premiered Nov. 20 — returns Wednesday night at...Read more »
"Dancing with the Stars" crowned a season 17 winner Tuesday night, and in truth, the winner is a "he" as much a "she." "He" is one of the best professional dancers in the world and a multiple winner on this show "He" is also the biggest star on "DWTS" -- easily, ironically, a larger presence than just about any other "star" season...Read more »
Alec Baldwin, who was suspended Nov. 15 by MSNBC for allegedly using anti-gay slurs on a paparazzo, has agreed to a "mutual parting" with the network.
"We are jointly confirming that 'Up Late' will not continue on MSNBC," according to a brief statement from Baldwin's spokesman. MSNBC separately called the split "a mutual parting and we wish Alec all the best."
The...Read more »