Day: July 14, 2023

Week’s top-10 for July 17: Country’s best, plus FX surge

1) “CMA Fest,” 8-11 p.m. Wednesday, ABC. There’s an arena-rock vibe to this country concert. Guitars wail, crowds roar, the music is almost relentlessly high-octane. The result is fun and occasionally more. We hear great songwriting (Jordan Davis’ “Buy Dirt,” Cody Johnson’s “’Til You Can’t”) and splendid combos. When Vince Gill and Luke Combs (they’re shown here) do “One More Last Chance” or Hardy and Lainey Wilson do “Wait in the Truck,” we’re at the heart of country. Read more…

CW tries a makeover, just as the TV world wobbles

It’s sort of like doing landscaping during a tornado.
The little CW network was in the midst of a full makeover. Then the writers’ and actors’ strikes swirled in, forcing more changes.
The result is a revised schedule, strong on scripted shows from overseas and unscripted ones from the U.S. It ranges from the lusty “FBoy Island” (shown here) to the biblical “The Chosen.”
The CW survived for years on a unique financial model. Its expensive science-fiction shows – “The Flash,” “Arrow,” etc. — had weak ratings, but did well overseas, keeping its producers (who also were CW co-owners) happy.
Then the network was sold and the new owners began shedding most of that, replacing it with lower-cost alternatives. It still has “Riverdale” and “Nancy Drew” on Wednesdays this summer, with a few of the old CW dramas renewed for the new season. Read more…

Amid strikes, networks plan a makeshift fall

As Hollywood’s mega-strike begins, viewers are wondering about the fall TV season.
There will be one, of course; there always is. But it will have lots of non-fiction – reality shows, game shows and such – plus others. There will be sports (especially football), Fox’s Sunday cartoons (including the new “Krapopolis,” shown here), a few foreign imports, some Disney movies … and, of course, reruns.
All of that became more inevitable when the 160,000-member actors’ union joined the picket lines today (July 14). The 10,000-member writers’ union had been there since May 2.
Even if there’s a quick settlement – a possibility, at least, now that both unions are involved – it’s way too late to start a normal season. Here’s what the broadcast networks have announced so far: Read more…

Best-bets for July 16: a big night for mysteries and time-travel

1) “Ridley,” 8 p.m., PBS. In the first two stories (spread over four Sundays), we’ve started to know Ridley (played by Adrian Dunbar, shown here). He’s a retired cop whose wife and daughter were killed. He still consults on cases, but is also an occasional crooner who co-owns a bar. Now that becomes a key element: He falls for a singer, who asks him to find her brother. It’s an emotional tale (concluding next week), backed by great music. Read more…