News and Quick Comments

“Evil” and “SEAL” jump to streaming network

There is still room for evil in our media landscape.
Or, specifically, for “Evil” – the series that disappeared 16 months ago. Its long-delayed second season will skip CBS and jump directly to the Paramount Plus streaming service.
No date has been set for the move, but another show will wait until this fall. That’s when “SEAL Team” (shown here) has a special on CBS, then jumps to the streamer. Read more…

It’s boom-or-bust time for fall line-ups

This used to be a grand TV tradition, a time when careers might soar or crumble.
It’s the week of “upfronts,” when networks announce their fall schedules to advertisers. It will be NBC and Fox on Monday (May 17), ABC on Tuesday and CBS on Wednesday; some shows will make the cut, others (including “All Rise,” shown here) won’t.
And if this doesn’t seem as big as it used to? Well, nothing does, really. Read more…

ABC adds diversity for fall and beyond

For ABC, the new TV season will have a diverse look.
Of the four new shows the network has announced, three have predominantly Black casts. That includes a “Wonder Years” reboot (shown here) that now has Don Cheadle voicing the grown-up narrator, recalling a 1960s childhood in Montgomery, Ala.
That news comes shortly after ABC canceled two Black-themed shows (“For Life” and “Mixed-ish”) and three others (“Rebel,” “American Housewife” and “Call Your Mother”). The network’s other shows have been renewed, including some – “The Rookie,” “Home Economics,” “Big Sky,” “American Idol,” “A Million Little Things” – that might have been close calls.
ABC will present its line-up to advertisers at 4 p.m. ET Tuesday, but sent news over the weekend about four new series. They are: Read more…

CW goes seven-nights-a-week this fall

The CW, TV’s mini-network, will match the big guys in one area:
Beginning in October, it will add Saturdays, giving it primetime shows, seven nights a week.
At two hours a night, that’s 14 primetime hours a week. Fox has 15; ABC, CBS and NBC each have 22.
That will start Oct. 2, with the first half of the “iHeartRadio Music Festival” (shown here with Justin Timberlake in a previous year), an annual event that concludes the next night. After that, nothing has been set; next week, the networks start to unveil their fall line-ups. Read more…

“Friends” finally sets its reunion

“Friends” fans will finally get their reunion – a year later than first planned.
HBO Max says it will have the special on May 27. It will be unscripted, with all six stars (shown here), plus assorted guests, including Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Cindy Crawford, Tom Selleck, Reese Witherspoon and James Corden; Ben Winston, who produces Corden’s late-night show, will produce and direct. Read more…

Kennedy Center Honors grab Tony timeslot

This year’s Tony Award telecast will be last year’s Kennedy Center Honors … sort of.
And that could satisfy people who want high-class celebrations of the performing arts.
CBS has set the Kennedy Center show for 8-10 p.m. June 6. Gloria Estefan will host and the honorees will range from violinist Midori, 49, to actor Dick Van Dyke, 95; others are country’s Garth Brooks (shown here), 59; folk’s Joan Baez, 80; and actress-dancer Debbie Allen, 71. Read more…

“Kat’ comedy called back for next season

“Call Me Kat” – Mayim Bialik’s amiable, throwback sort of comedy – will be back next season.
The Fox network made the belated announcement today (May 10), just a week before it unveils its schedule for next fall. It even managed to somehow proclaim “Kat” (shown here with Bialik and Cheyenne Jackson) as “television’s #1 new comedy.” Read more…

Here’s the second-half schedule for Classic Film Festival

The Classic Film Festival is at its mid-point now, with lots more top films on Turner Classic Movies.
That starts Saturday morning (May 8), with some cartoons for grown-ups. It continues through Sunday night, with “Goodbye Girl” (shown here), “Fame” and more.
Or you could go to the TCM hub of HBO Max, where lots more classics are waiting. A separate story offers an overview of the festival; meanwhile, here’s the schedule, trimmed down to the final two days: Read more…

Spin-offs swarm through the crime-show universe

Network televiison, it seems, will soon be plugged up with franchise spin-offs.
NBC has just ordered “Law & Order: For the Defense.” That comes after the debut of “Law & Order: Organized Crime” (shown here) on NBC … and after CBS ordered spin-offs of “FBI,” “CSI” and “NCIS.”
The play-it-safe approach reflects a new reality, when networks simply can’t get their shows sampled. CBS has tried some non-franchise dramas, with “Tommy” and “Clarice” stumbling in the ratings and “All Rise” remaining on the fence. So spin-offs – most of them not yet cast – are set for next season: Read more…

CW sets surge of scripted summer shows

In the vast void of summer TV, is there a place for new, scripted shows?
We’ll find out this year, when the CW network makes a huge push. This summer, it will start the seasons of eight scripted shows (including “Dead Pixels,” shown here) … return two others after long rests … and continue five spring shows that overlap deep into the summer.
That follows the 2020 slump, when the COVID lockdown crippled networks’ summer schedules.
For this year, networks are planning a return to normal. But that means reality shows – “America’s Got Talent,” “Bachelorette,” “Big Brother,” etc. – plus a pile of ABC games. Broadcast networks are avoiding new, scripted shows in the summer … except for PBS on Sundays and CW almost every day. Read more…