Stories

Fox finally sets its fall schedule

Weeks after announcing its fall shows, the Fox network has finally said when they’ll air.
Its big plunge will be with “Monarch,” a series awash in country music. That will arrive early (Sept. 11), after a football doubleheader; nine days later, it will get its regular slot behind “The Resident” on Tuesdays – an easier night for new dramas, now that NBC’s “This Is Us” is gone.
Also aiming for a schedule break are Fox’s comedies. “Welcome to Flatch” and “Call Me Kat” (shown here). They’ll be 9 and 9:30 p.m. Thursdays … an open spot, now that CBS will only have comedies at 8 and 8:30. Read more…

Scripted shows join late-summer line-up

If you get tired of a summer of reruns and reality shows, don’t fret.
Two networks have beefed up their late-summer plans for new, scripted episodes. PBS will start “Grantchester” on July 10, with a second season of “Guilt” on Aug. 28; CW has an Australian comedy (“Bump) and two Italian dramas – “Leonardo”(shown here) and “Devils” – that include British or American stars. Read more…

Lifetime teaches us about blood, bodies and more

There are life lessons we can learn from the stars of upcoming Lifetime movies:
1) It’s surprisingly easy to squeeze a guy inside a dog crate. However, it’s difficult to hoist a suitcase over a wall, it there’s a body inside.
2) The effects of a gory day can be cleansed easily. “Shaving cream gets out fake blood,” Candice King (shown here) said, adding in jest: “And tequila at night.”
There are also some more-important things, involving diversity. We’ll get to them in a moment. Read more…

Let’s all rise for a show that keeps surviving

In the fragile TV world, a small glitch might doom a show.
Then there’s “All Rise” (shown here), belatedly starting its third season on June 7. It has managed to survive:
— The Covid shtudown, late in its first season. It even did a special episode, with characters having only Zoom-type conversations.
— Controversies surrounding its creator/producer. He was investigated twice, then fired. By then, another executive producer and five of the seven original writers had quit, complaining about his views on Black and female characters.
— And what’s usually the final blow: After the second season, CBS canceled it. “We thought we were over,” showrunner Dee Harris-Lawrence told the Television Critics Association. Read more…

Here’s a great stretch of documentary profiles

This is something TV does beautifully – long-form profiles of complicated people.
From Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Washington and Lincoln to Ken Burns’ Franklin and Hemingway, films have found the points where history and personality merge. Now comes a confluence:
— Monday (Memorial Day): Goodwin’s “Theodore Roosevelt” begins at 8 p.m. on History. That’s the same night that CNN debuts “Julia,” its Julia Child (shown here) film, at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.
— Tuesday: The second half of the Roosevelt film is at 8 p.m., preceded by a 5:30 rerun of the opener.
— Friday (June 3): Most PBS stations air “Joe Papp in Five Acts,” at 9 p.m. Also, on Saturday: CNN reruns “Julia” at 9 p.m. ET. Read more…

Summer TV? Here’s one more update

As June arrives, we accept the inevitable: The summer TV season is here.
The real season – the one with lots of scripted shows and few reruns – officially ended May 25.
The bad news is that two scripted shows – Fox’s “Fantasy Island” and CW’s “Coroner” – were set for summer, then delayed until fall. Fox’s “Lego Masters” was also delayed, except for one “Jurassic World” episode, which airs at 8:30 p.m. June 5
And the good news is everything else. There are a few new, scripted shows – including one, “All Rise” (shown here), that jumped from CBS to cable – and lots of returning ones. And there’s the usual reality cascade; CBS’ “Big Brother” and “The Challenge” have finally been scheduled, so we’ve added them to this updated list. Read more…

Morgan brings extra emotion to Memorial Day eve concert

Craig Morgan (shown here) woke at 4:30 one morning, with a song forming in his head.
That happens often; he keeps a notepad near his bed. But this was different, he recalled: “I don’t ever remember getting up and picking up the guitar.”
In less than an hour, he had finished “The Father, My Son and the Holy Ghost.” That’s the song he’ll do on the Capitol lawn for the “National Memorial Day Concert,” at 8 p.m. Sunday (Memorial Day eve) on PBS, with most stations repeating it at 9:30. Read more…

CBS schedule gets a major overhaul

At a time when other networks are timid, CBS is giving its schedule a full-scale renovation.
Gone are “Magnum P.I.” “Bull,” “Good Sam,” half the Thursday comedies and several reality shows. Arriving are three new dramas (including “Fire Country,” shown hre) and a dating show.
Others are changing nights, as the network shifts its philosophy. For instance: Read more…

Forget reruns: Here’s a round-up of new summer shows

In TV’s olden days, summer brought a slow slog through reruns. People had to settle for alternatives – friends and family, parks and playgrounds and such.
Not any more; summers have become fairly busy with new shows.
This is the season that spawned “Survivor,” “American Idol” and more; it’s still the time of “America’s Got Talent,” “The Bachelorette” and — returning after a two-year absence — “So You Think You Can Dance” (shown here). And now it also has a fairly good collection of new, scripted shows.
Here’s a sampling, with more announcements still coming. We’ll stick to the channels (broadcast or basic-cable) that most homes get. If you have premium channels (HBO, Showtime, Starz) and streamers (Netflix, Disney+, etc.), the list explodes. You might never reach the beach.
Read more…

Richie savors a life of music and history

Right now, Lionel Richie (shown here) seems to be in his happy place.
Then again, he sort of lives there; that’s what his adoptive daughter keeps telling people. “Nicole always says I’m the happiest guy in the world,” he said, without disputing it. And now he has extra reasons for joy, with:
— The finals for “American Idol,” which he judges alongside Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. At 8 p.m. Sunday (May 15) on ABC, the final five perform; a week later, the show has its 20th winner.
— The Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, at 9 p.m. Tuesday (May 17) on PBS. He’s the 13th annual winner, putting him alongside such people as Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Gloria Estefan, Garth Brooks and two of his old Motown colleagues, Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson. Read more…