Friday, October 23, 2015

Around the Tubes: 10/23/15

I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on Freeform, Baskets, PBS Kids, Freakend, Spooksville, Super Into, Hozier, Live From Lincoln Center, I'm Dying Up Here, Atlanta, and Casual.

- As you’ve likely seen, ABC Family will change its name to Freeform this January 2016! The Freeform name captures the essence of the newly defined “Becomer” audience that we currently serve, and the way this audience generates and consumes media today. This new name will still bring you the same awesome shows you know and love! With such BIG news, this is where ABC Family breaks free!

- The dream of a clown is a tall order. Baskets, FX’s insanely original new comedy starring Zach Galifianakis, premieres this January on FX.

- This October and November, PBS KIDS will entertain viewers of all ages with fun, festive on air content including Halloween and holiday specials as well as a brand NEW series airing the day before Thanksgiving. To help you with your stories, we’ve included a round-up of upcoming shows including:
· Halloween Specials, October 25- 31 – Odd-tober” continues with the return of family Halloween favorites including “CURIOUS GEORGE: A Halloween Boo Fest.” Favorite fall episodes from series such as DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD, WILD KRATTS, PEG + CAT and DINOSAUR TRAIN will also air throughout the week. Full Halloween listings can be found here.
· WILD KRATTS Creature Christmas, November 25 – The day before Thanksgiving PBS will premiere the first Wild Kratts one-hour holiday special. It’s Christmas time and the Wild Kratts are taking a break from creature adventuring to celebrate. But when the Wild Kratts receive an alert that their favorite creatures are suddenly disappearing around the globe, their holiday party quickly turns into a rescue mission. Additional information and info available upon request.
· NATURE CAT Series Premiere, November 25 – Directly following WILD KRATTS Creature Christmas, PBS KIDS’ will debut its newest action-adventure series starring an ordinary housecat Fred (voiced by SNL’s Taran Killam) who becomes his alter-ego, “Nature Cat”, backyard nature explorer extraordinaire, when his family leaves for the day. More information can be found here.

- This Halloween, Nat Geo WILD’s Freakend awakens the spookiest, creepiest and strangest beasts of the animal underworld. Get your freak on starting Saturday, Oct. 31, at 12 p.m. ET with two full days of bloodthirsty bats, slithering snakes and mutant monsters in a spooktacular marathon of World’s Weirdest. From deadly sea anemones that inject venomous neurotoxin into their prey to vicious spiders that trap their victims with a maze of fatal webs, World’s Weirdest scares up critters so strange, they’re in a whole different class of weirdness. These hourlong episodes feature some of the oddest behaviors and tactics in the animal kingdom. You’ll be scared out of your seats when you see what some of these bizarre creatures can do. So tune in for your spooky fix because Nat Geo WILD’s Freakend is all treats and no tricks!

- Fans of Spooksville, look to start an uproar by sending physical keys and letters to the Netflix office in Beverly Hills in order to unlock the Spooksville spell and have Netflix renew for a second season. Fans and parents must send a key and letter to the Netflix office with a statement explaining why they believe there should be a second season of Spooksville. Keys and letters must be sent to Netflix: 335 N. Maple Drive, Suite 353, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Fans and parents can email their letters to as an alternative. The television series is currently streaming Season One on Netflix, but looking for a renewal of Season Two. Spooksville is based on the book series by acclaimed author Christopher Pike. Spooksville follows the new kid in town who discovers that he holds the key to a battle between good and evil that has been taking place for centuries in a bizarre small town that plays host to a wide array of supernatural and unexplained occurrences.

- Hosted by Kevin Pereira (Hack My Life), Super Into is a series that asks our favorite celebrities to take us inside their private passions --from Rob Corddry and astronomy, including a ride on a zero gravity plane, to Diablo Cody and roller coasters. This fun and raucous ride not only lets viewers see how each celeb geeks out on everything from sneakers to marijuana to motorcycles, but each episode is packed with short animations and stylized videos that will dive even deeper into the cool history, science and psychology behind each topic. Additional celeb guest stars include Michelle Rodriguez (motorcycles), Margaret Cho (marijuana), Kesha (animal conservation) and Nick Young (sneakers). Super Into premieres Monday, October 26th at 10:30 on truTV.

- Grammy nominee Hozier opens up about his meteoric rise to superstardom, as well as his musical influences in the new Smithsonian Channel special, Hozier: The Church Tapes, premiering Friday, November 6 at 10:00. The one-hour program also features Hozier performing an intimate set in front of less than a hundred people at the Other Voices Festival in the legendary St. James Church situated in the spectacular seaside town of Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland.

- Ghost, goblins and ghouls will swarm the streets across America for Halloween weekend, and PBS has a programming treat to kick off the weekend’s festivities. The PBS Arts Fall Festival features Live from Lincoln Center – “Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton” on Friday, October 30, at 9:00-11:00 (check local listings).

- Academy Award® winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter, Frozen River, Louie), Sebastian Stan (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Martian) and Clark Duke (Hot Tub Time Machine, The Office) have joined the ensemble cast of the new one-hour Showtime dark comedy pilot I'm Dying Up Here. They join previously announced cast members Ari Graynor (For A Good Time Call), Andrew Santino (Mixology), RJ Cyler (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl), Erik Griffin (Workaholics) and Stephen Guarino (Happy Endings). If the pilot is picked-up to series, Leo and Duke would appear as series regulars, Stan would guest star. Leo will play the role of “Goldie,” a brassy comedy club owner who rules over her business with an iron fist and nurtures her comedians with tough love. Stan will play “Clay,” a funny, charming comedian on the rise, who declares irrelevancy as his biggest fear. He is idolized by his ex and fellow comedian Cassie (Graynor). Duke will play “Larry,” a ballsy young comedian from Boston who moves to L.A. with the hopes of making it big.

- FX has ordered the first season of Atlanta, a half-hour series created by and starring Donald Glover, it was announced today by Nick Grad and Eric Schrier, the Presidents of Original Programming for FX Networks and FX Productions. “Atlanta draws on Donald’s considerable talents as a musician, actor and writer to give us something unique,” Grad said. “The story is made all the more powerful by the great cast and the contributions of Donald’s fellow Executive Producer Paul Simms and director Hiro Murai. We can’t wait to for the debut of Atlanta next year.”

- Following its successful series debut on October 7th, the Hulu Original Casual has already been picked up for a second season with a 13-episode order, the network announced today. Lionsgate Television’s critically-acclaimed comedy series will return with creator and executive producer Zander Lehmann and executive producers Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air), Helen Estabrook and Liz Tigelaar.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

57 Channels and Only This Is On: 10/18/15

Once Upon a Time: Why is Snow White so quick to believe Sir Lancelot, this is clearly a different dude (wait, was that the same guy poising as an usher at the beginning of the season who told Emma not to pull the sword from the stone)? But anyway. I am beginning to think King Arthur is not who he says he is, maybe he is Merlin in disguises and the real King Arthur is in the tree. But what is bugging me is that all the new characters that come to Storybrooke never change their clothes anymore. Can't they get the Camelotians a change of clothes?
You can download Once Upon a Time on iTunes.

Homeland: My favorite part of the early season was when the leaker was talking about how the German spies were probably searching her apartment right now and she did not mind as long as they did not let her cat out, cut to the German spy deadpanning, "Did you see a cat?" Awesome. I also found it interesting that the one guy accused Carrie of being a Trojan Horse for Saul in the evil foundation. That would totally be something they would do (and kind of did in season three when he sold her out to the Senate). But their interaction during their first interaction was too raw and there was no one around for it to be for show (but then again Carrie looked stunned when Saul sold her out to the Senate and no one was around then either). Another great scene was when the German Bureau Chief called out Saul for doing anything for Carrie whenever she messed up but quickly sold her out after one mistake. It is about time someone did that. But the big question is who want Carrie dead? Is the CIA too obvious?

The Walking Dead: Last week I called the plan from the season finale of Fear the Walking Dead the dumbest idea in the history of dumb ideas, but the main show came close. Would it have not been wiser to just set the whole lot on fire instead of Pied Pipering them to... where exactly were they leading all the zombies? Of course, as I have said many times before, if these characters were smart it would be a very boring show.
You can download The Walking Dead on iTunes.

Quantico: Wait, the gay dude (who is probably not even gay) is in cahoots with Jacob from Lost? Huh, that makes little to no sense and just a shock for shock sake. If your secret agent knows where the suspect is, who not send in the SWAT team? Which probably means Jacob is in on the whole conspiracy. And why is she still on the run anyway, doesn't the fingerprint thing just exonerate her?
You can download Quantico on iTunes.

Gotham: Wait, did I just see a grown man punch a teenage girl on national television? That is messed up.
You can download Gotham on iTunes.

The Voice: I really do not like the Battle Round, they just seem to drag on since they went from four Battles per hour to three after the first season. I figured I would just watch the episode On Demand later and watched other programming live (I still watched the second hour Monday live thanks to the lack of anything else on at the time). Except when I went to watch On Demand, I just went, nope, cannot watch this crap anymore after the boring hour I already sat through. So I just watched the YouTube versions, so overextended training clips and stop watching when the coaches start talking in hyperbole about how great the performances are just to sit on their hands when Carson tells them the losing singer is available for a Steal. Plus the two bald jokes I already heard got old real quick.

Even condensing those two hours into less than twenty minutes on YouTube (seriously, there were 180 minutes of the show airing this week and only something less than a half an hour are devoted to people actually performing) this week was quite dreadful. The only thing more shocking then Blake picking Zach (I agree with Blake more than any other coach, but I disagreed with each of his decisions) was that Battle was not montaged. Seriously, just how bad were those montaged Battles that they were possibly worse than that Battle. I have a hard time believing it was worse than Madi vs. Sydney, two of my five favorite Blind Auditions this season. Then you had Ivonne vs. Siahna Im which definitely would have been montaged had Gwen and Blake inexplicably pushed their Steal buttons. That was not even the most head scratching Steal Gwen tried this week as giving Regina Love a second chance was mostly unnecessary, not that any of the other loser were really worthy of one either. Can we please just montage the rest of the Battle Round and go straight to the Knockout Round next week please?

Blindspot: I tune into this show mostly to see Lady Sif beating dudes up but maybe one of the few things more entertaining than that is seeing two dudes in HAZMAT suits trying to beat each other up. My favorite part was hen FBI guy reached for his gun and realized, oh wait, I am wearing a HAZMAT suit. But the more serial aspects of the show got really confusing. Seriously, carbon dating teeth can tell you where someone was born? What? If true, does it make the most sense that Lady Sif's teeth were replaced? And while I am predicting things, Chrissy Seaver's boyfriend has to be evil, right? The boring significant other on conspiracy shows are always evil.
You can download Blindspot on iTunes..

Castle: I saw it coming a mile away because I thought early on that the blind priest was going to be involved, but still, the sight of a "blind" priest runnung away was still hilarious.
You can download Castle.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: My favorite part of the episode was when the went subtitles for the Cockneys. But I had to wonder when Fitz showed up right after that scene why they do not subtitle him too but he is unintelligible at times. I was very disappointed that Simmons did not even bring back a parasite or anything and thought we were going to go through a season of watching her get back to normal like Fitz last season, but thankfully the end credits scene she had a Jack from Lost moment saying we have to go back. It would have been a total waste of a cliffhanger if we never say that planet, or any of it inhabitants again. But why exactly does she want to go back? Is the English guy from the opening of last episode still there? Did she befriend an anthropomorphic duck?
You can download Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on iTunes.

Survivor: Second Chances: How disappointing that Abi Maria did not flip alliances for the forth straight episode. I was actually begining to think this may actually be the episode that the tide turned against Abi Maria, but shockingly her name did not come of across anyone's lips (well aside from when Abi Maria reminded Woooooooooooooo not to write her name; classic Abi Maria). Almost as surprising was that everyone played the short game and booted Jeff because Wooooooooooo is better at challenges. I get booting Jeff because he is slippery, but how do you even know you would have another swap before your next challenge? Probst could swap tribes every two weeks until the merge. But before that, that was a boring Reward Challenge. If you are going to only have one person per tribe participate, at least let the other tribes pick who does it. It would have been much more entertaining had it been Abi Maria vs. Cierra, vs. Kimmi bumbling their way threw a challenge instead of three alpha males.
You can download Survivor: Second Chance on iTunes.

Nashville: I like how the alt-rock dude just called out everybody's dirty laundry. Though I was surprised when he met Layla he did not say, oh yeah, you are the reality star with the gay husband, right? Hopefully he sticks around long enough to cover Juliet's latest album in its entirety in the vein of Joy Division.
You can download Nashville on iTunes.

The Blacklist: Again, the show seriously needs a "previously on" package. I remember Pee Wee Herman was on the last season, but I barely remember who he was on the show.
The Blacklist on iTunes.