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CBS: New schedule, football...and news

Scott Bakula joins the new CBS "NCIS" spinoff

(Credit: AP)

This morning, CBS completed the annual process known as the upfronts, as the last of the four major broadcast networks to unveil a new fall lineup. The key developments here are indeed key, for CBS will have a. Football and b. A surprisingly high number of new dramas...

And let's add a c. "The Big Bang Theory" will air on Mondays starting Sept. 11 through October, then move back to Thursdays...

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ABC new series: Trailers

Jimmy Kimmel predicted a little while ago at the "ABC Upfront" that all of the network's new shows "will be canceled." But, of course, he was kidding.

Some of these will certainly survive, maybe even prevail, but which ones?

Meanwhile, there are a handful of midseason series just in case. And check out "Galavant" at the end of this string -- plus, a "first look" at "How to Get Away with Murder," which appears to be a keeper.

The fall newbies.

ABC's fall lineup = Shonda Rhimes

From left, actors Tony Goldwyn and Kerry Washington

(Credit: AP / Chris Pizzello)

Shonda Rhimes, who had the good sense to create not one ("Grey's Anatomy") but two ("Scandal") hits for ABC, has been handed the keys to the kingdom. She will have three shows on Thursdays -- the third, "How to Get Away with Murder." That may be unprecedented at ABC -- which was once, long ago, controlled by Aaron Spelling. Here's the fall lineup... Descriptions follow:



8 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars”

10 p.m. “Castle”


8 p.m. “Selfie”

8:30 p.m. “Manhattan Love Story”

9 p.m. “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

10 p.m. “Forever”



8 p.m. “The Middle”

8:30 p.m. “The Goldbergs”

9 p.m. “Modern Family”

9:30 p.m. “Black-ish”

10 p.m. “Nashville”



8 p.m. “Grey’s Anatomy”

9 p.m. “Scandal”

10 p.m. “How to Get Away with Murder”


8 p.m. “Last Man Standing”

8:30 p.m. “Cristela”

9 p.m. “Shark Tank”

10 p.m. “20/20”



8 p.m. “Saturday Night Football”


7 p.m. “America’s Funniest Home Videos”

8 p.m. “Once Upon a Time”

9 p.m. “Resurrection”

10 p.m. “Revenge”


“FOREVER” Doctor Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd), New York City’s star medical examiner, has a secret. He doesn’t just study the dead to solve criminal cases, he does it to solve the mystery that has eluded him for 200 years — the answer to his own inexplicable immortality. This long life has given Henry remarkable observation skills which impresses his new partner, Detective Jo Martinez (Alana De La Garza). Each week, a new case and their budding friendship will reveal layers of Henry’s long and colorful past. Only his best friend and confidant, Abe (Judd Hirsch) knows Henry’s secret. “Forever” also stars Barbara Eve Harris as Lt. Marcia Roark, Donnie Keshawarz as Detective Hanson and Joel David Moore as Lucas.

“HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER” The brilliant, charismatic and seductive Professor Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) gets entangled with four law students from her class, “How to Get Away with Murder.” Little do they know that they will have to apply what they learned to real life, in this legal thriller from Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers, executive producers of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal.” “How to Get Away with Murder” also stars Billy Brown as Nate, Alfred Enoch as Wes, Jack Falahee as Conner, Katie Findlay as Rebecca, Aja Naomi King as Michaela, Matt McGorry as Asher, Karla Souza as Laurel, Charlie Weber as Frank and Liza Weil as Bonnie.

“BLACK-ISH” Andre ‘Dre’ Johnson (Anthony Anderson) has a great job, a beautiful wife, Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross), four kids, and a colonial home in the ‘burbs. But has success brought too much assimilation for this black family? With a little help from his dad (Laurence Fishburne), Dre sets out to establish a sense of cultural identity for his family that honors their past while embracing the future. “Black-ish” also stars Tracee Ellis Ross as Rainbow, Yara Shahidi as Zoey, Marcus Scribner as Andre Jr., Miles Brown as Jack and Marsai Martin as Diane.

“MANHATTAN LOVE STORY” Have you ever wondered what your date was thinking? This romantic comedy exposes the differences between men and women through the unfiltered thoughts, and often contradictory actions, of a new couple who have just begun dating. “Manhattan Love Story” stars Analeigh Tipton as Dana, Jake McDorman as Peter, Nicolas Wright as David, Jade Catta-Preta as Amy, Chloe Wepper  as Chloe and Kurt Fuller as William

“SELFIE” “Instafamous” Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan) has 263,000 followers who hang on to her every post, tweet and selfie. But one lonely day, she has a revelation: being friended is not the same as having actual friends. She asks marketing guru Henry (John Cho) to ‘rebrand’ her self-obsessed reputation and teach her how to connect with people in the real world. Loosely based on “My Fair Lady,” “Selfie” explores the modern struggles of Eliza and Henry, as he tries to teach her how to live life offline -- whether she ‘likes’ it or not. “Selfie” also stars Tim Peper as Ethan, Da’Vine Joy Randolph as  Charmonique,  Allyn Rachel as Bryn and David Harewood as Sam

“CRISTELA” In her sixth year of law school, Cristela (Cristela Alonzo) is finally on the brink of landing her first big (unpaid) internship at a prestigious law firm. The only problem is that her pursuit of success is more ambitious than her traditional Mexican-American family thinks is appropriate. She’s stuck straddling the old culture she’s trying to modernize at home with her working-class family and the modern world she’s trying to embrace in her professional career. “Cristela” also stars Carlos Ponce as Felix, Terri Hoyos as Natalia, Andrew Leeds as Josh and Sam McMurray as Trent.

Fox's new series trailers: You pick the hit!

Benjamin McKenzie as Det. Jim Gordon and David

(Credit: YouTube / FOX)

Fox needs a hit, and not just one with the numbers "24" in the title. It also needs to think about an "Idol-less" future or one where a once-reliable tent poll is no more reliable or even a tent poll. It needs a hit.

But who or what? "Utopia," the unscripted series, will air twice a week -- one of outings on Friday at 10, which is a recognition on the part of Fox that there is nothing to gained...

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Canceled broadcast network series: The full list

Robin Williams was the star in a comedy

(Credit: Getty Images)

So, which series are officially over? The networks have now completed their fall lineups, and with those have come decisions about the "bubbles" -- series that had just enough pulse to merit some guesswork. But the guesswork is now over, too. this morning posted what appears to be a complete list and I've reposted here in full. Nothing here is exactly a surprise and many of these ends...

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'American Idol' to shrink next season

Alex Preston performs Ed Sheeran's "The A Team"

(Credit: Fox / Frank Micelotta)

"American Idol" -- limping to the finish line this season, or "limping" relative to immediate previous seasons -- will be cut back to 37 hours next year, and likely air on one night per week as a two-hour edition, Fox Entertainment chief Kevin Reilly told TV writers recently. 

 But Reilly did offer a big vote of confidence in the veteran series, which has essentially fallen off the "franchise" pedestal this season: It will, he said, be around "many years," though in a diminished capacity, much as "Survivor" no longer dominates.... 

"It's not going to come back and be the ratings champ it was, but it will come back for many years to come as a potent time period show," he said. "In the same way 'Survivor' hasn't been [dominant] that's the mode with 'Idol.'" He also dashed any suggestion that "Idol" remains in some sort of "turnaround" limbo. "That story's been told..." The show will be reformatted next season -- no details except the change to 37 hours from the 50-plus-hour editions that have historically aired.

Just to refresh memories, as if they might actually need refreshing, "Idol" helped Fox win season after season through the '00s, much as "Sunday Night Football" has been so critical to NBC's turnaround. "Idol" is now essentially just another series - a successful one certainly, but a financially stressed one, given the enormous host salaries, and other related production expenses. Reilly said nothing about the hosts next season -- though nothing should be read into that. Host announcements invariably arrive in late summer or even early fall. 

 But he did certainly offer hope that the end is nowhere near in sight...

Fox lineup: 'Gotham' gets Monday at 8, 'Brooklyn' to Sunday

Actress Octavia Spencer arrives for the 17th Annual

(Credit: Getty Images)

The Fox fall lineup is here and, of note, the Batman origin story series, "Gotham," will be on Mondays at 8 while "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" shifts to Sunday, essentially breaking up the Animation Domination lineup.

Also: Other key Fox newcomers, like "Wayward Pines" and "Last Man on Earth" will arrive midseason. (Nothing to read in that -- networks in fact sometimes hold off the most promising series until later.)

You will also see the word "Utopia" here twice -- yes, Fox is betting big on this latest from production company Endemol, which evokes (superficially) "Survivor" and is based on a pre-existing Dutch series: Two new episodes of this unscripted show will air in the same week, so Fox is clearly hoping this one breaks out.

Since the dawn of time, humans have always wondered: does a perfect world exist?  Now, we get the chance to build one. Will it be ultimate happiness or utter chaos? Fifteen pioneering Americans leave their everyday lives and move to an isolated, undeveloped location -- for an entire year -- where they are challenged to create their own civilization from scratch.

Well, you get the idea.

Meanwhile, "Mulaney" is the John Mulaney sitcom; "Gracepoint" is the "Broadchurch" remake; "Red Band Society" is the Octavia Spencer vehicle, a high school drama/comedy.

FOX FALL 2014 SCHEDULE (All Times ET/PT)  


8-9 PM           "Gotham" (new)   

9-10 PM         "Sleepy Hollow"


8-9 PM           "Utopia" (new)

9-9:30 PM      "New Girl"

9:30-10 PM     "The Mindy Project" 


8-9 PM           "Hell's Kitchen"

9-10 PM         "Red Band Society" (new)


8-9 PM           "Bones"

9-10 PM         "Gracepoint" (new)


8-9 PM            "MasterChef Junior"

9-10 PM          "Utopia" (new)


7-10:30 PM          Fox Sports Saturday: Fox College Football


7-7:30 PM                     NFL on Fox

7:30-8 PM                     The OT / "Bob's Burgers"

8-8:30 PM                     "The Simpsons"

8:30-9 PM                     "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

9-9:30 PM                     "Family Guy"

9:30-10 PM                   "Mulaney" (new)

"Backstrom" (new), "Bordertown" (new), "Empire" (new), "Hieroglyph" (new), "The last man on Earth" (new), "Wayward Pines" (new) and :"Weird Loners" (new) join the schedule in 2015, as do returning series "American Idol XIV," "The Following" and "Glee," among others.



NBC schedule and trailers

Actress Katherine Heigl attends the Reem Acra Fall

(Credit: Getty Images)

Happy Mother's Day.

Oh, right. Almost forgot. NBC announced some new shows today.

First, the schedule, then -- of much greater importance -- the trailers. Keep an eye on these three newcomers, "State of Affairs,"  "Marry Me," and "Bad Judge." NBC's placed them in the strongest possible positions on the fall schedule. 

Clips below. YOU be the judge. And a quick reminder, NBC does have a full slate of backups and midseason series. I'll get to those tomorrow. 


8-10 p.m. — “The Voice”

10-11 p.m. — “The Blacklist” / “State of Affairs” (NEW, beginning Nov. 17)


8-9 p.m. — “The Voice”

9-9:30 p.m. — “Marry Me” (NEW)

9:30-10 p.m. — “About a Boy”

10-11 p.m. — “Chicago Fire”


8-9 p.m. — “The Mysteries of Laura" (NEW)

9-10 p.m. — “Law & Order: SVU”

10-11 p.m. — “Chicago P.D.”


8-9 p.m. — “The Biggest Loser”

9-9:30 p.m. — “Bad Judge” (“The Blacklist” beginning Feb. 5)

9:30-10 p.m. — “A to Z” (NEW)

10-11 p.m. — “Parenthood”


8-9 p.m. — “Dateline NBC”

9-10 p.m. — “Grimm”

10-11 p.m. — “Constantine” (NEW)


8-11 p.m. — Encore programming


7-8:20 p.m. — “Football Night in America”

8:20-11:30 p.m. — “NBC Sunday Night Football”


Bad Judge

Marry Me Constantine The Mysteries of Laura State of Affairs

'The Crazy Ones' axed; 'The Mentalist' returns

Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar in a

(Credit: AP / CBS / Richard Cartwright)

Robin Williams' return to network TV was for but one season, as it turned out. "The Crazy Ones" is done. CBS announced a handful of cancellations earlier today, but this is The One -- the one that's a big deal because of the cast (Sarah Michelle Gellar included) and because talents quite as giant as Robin Williams don't come around all that often ... but this clearly didn't catch.

Meanwhile, "The Mentalist" will be back next season. CBS announced the renewal of virtually its entire schedule recently, but this was noticeably -- ominously -- not included, which clearly meant one thing: There was a tough negotiation underway. And now, resolved. 

Larry Wilmore to replace Stephen Colbert

Writer-comic Larry Wilmore of "The Daily Show" has

(Credit: AP / Frank Micelotta)

Larry Wilmore -- the "senior black correspondent" at "The Daily Show" -- will be correspondent no more: Comedy Central has handed him Stephen Colbert's host gig, in a new show titled "The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore."

The show launches in January, and per Comedy Central, will be "a comedic look at news, current events and pop culture from unique perspectives not typically on display in late night television."

And so the guessing game of Who will Replace Colbert ends, and in the most logical way imaginable -- Wilmore, a gifted insider, gets the big job, just as Colbert before him did, and both with -- to use Comedy Central's words -- "unique perspectives" on the news.

INTERACT: New fall TV series | Greatest TV characters

MORE: Best shows to binge-watch | TV Zone blog

Both are also -- besides performers -- writers, and Wilmore has an even more interesting part to his resume: he's an actor, who appeared memorably in "The Office" and elsewhere, and who is attached to Anthony Anderson's "Blacvk-ish" (he'll stay with the show for now.) He created "The Bernie Mac Show,"  and was a writer with "In Living Color." 

Wilmore is also -- just to point out the obvious -- black in one of the whiter parts of TV, late night. As host, he'll join an army of one out there, Arsenio. Wilmore's subject is frequently race, and the manifold absurd ways it is channeled through American life and culture; there's no overt anger in his comedy, but the subtext is occassionally angry (as if it could be otherwise), so that'll be interesting to see how that will be applied in a full 30-minute show. It's not that Wilmore willl have enough material -- he'll have an endless supply -- but whether a.) he'll fill every show with it; or b.) branch off into other places as well. I hopefully speak for all late night comedy/talk show fans by suggestiong that Plan B sounds more promising... 

By the way, Colbert's start date at "Late Night" has not yet been determined, but I think nothing should be read into the fact that Wilmore starts up in January when Stephen ends. David Letterman's last edition could be anytime after that point, although a sweeps period (February or May) would seem most likely and logical. 

Meanwhile, back to Wilmore: He's a shrewd, understated and ironic comedian, and ... thoughtful, as if comedians are supposed to be "thoughtful." (Of course they are, from Louis C.K. to Stewart.)

Check out some clips; the first a radio interview with Leonard Lopate ... then, one from possibly his first TV appearance ... and his congressional correspondent's dinner performance. Together, they might give you the slightest flavor of what to expect, and he'll almost certainly channel parts of his "TDC" persona as well.

This promises to be a terrirfic show.


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