Post Mortem – Single Parents

While it is holding off on announcing its fall lineup due to the corona virus pandemic, ABC did go ahead and cancel a couple of shows, including Single Parents.  Having just wrapped up its second season, the show centered around a found family of single parents, whose children mostly were in the same class at school.

While Taran Killam, Leighton Meester, and Brad Garrett were the names coming in to the show, Kimrie Lewis and child actors Mia and Ella Allan, who also teamed up on the dearly departed Jane The Virgin, showed their chops.  While not a great show, it was always entertaining and it’ll be missed come this fall.

FOX Upfronts

For the third straight year, FOX has delivered a fall schedule that will leave them off of my television screen, with not a single show that interests me.  With a number of shows either pushed to midseason or still waiting to see what how the future unfolds post-pandemic, FOX is moving forward with two new, already in-the-can series and two shows from lesser-seen services.

Monday has one of each of the new types of shows, with John Slattery’s new drama neXt following L.A.’s Finest, which originally premiered on Spectrum Originals last spring and stars Jessica Alba and Gabrielle Union.  Tuesday follows the same script, with Cosmos: Possible Worlds, snatched up from Nat Geo, kicking off the night and Filthy Rich, a soap starring Kim Cattrall, closing it.  Ratings star The Masked Singer holds down its Wednesday slot, followed by MasterChef Junior.

Thursdays get turned over to the NFL, assuming the season starts on time, while Fridays belongs to WWE’s Friday Night SmackDown, which resumed taping last month (thanks, Florida).  Sunday’s animated block returns untouched.

At midseason, Fox will bring back 9-1-1 for its fourth season and spinoff 9-1-1: Lone Star for season two, along with new installments of Duncanville and Hell’s Kitchen.  New shows debuting later this year include the Mayim Bialik comedy Call Me Kat, and the animated The Great North and Housebroken.  Scripted shows still waiting on a decision include Last Man Standing, Prodigal Son, The Resident, and Outmatched.

The CW (Not-So-Quite) Upfronts

Yesterday, the CW became the first network to release their plans for the 2020-2021 season, announcing that they would return with a full slate of new programming in January due to shutdowns from the corona virus.  The late start will not impact the number of episodes, with series still producing seasons of 13 to 22 episodes, depending on the show.  That will stretch the season in to July or August, leading to a very short summer break before the 2021 fall season starts in October.  The final episodes from some shows’ current seasons, which could not finish filming because of the pandemic, will be included in their next seasons.

Monday stays the same, with All American followed by Black Lightning.  Tuesday kicks off with The Flash, followed by the latest installment of the Arrowverse, Superman & LoisRiverdale and Nancy Drew continue to hold down the fort on Wednesdays.

While Supernatural may finally be over, Jared Padalecki returns to Thursdays in Walker, a re-imaging of Walker, Texas Ranger.  The night wraps up with Legacies.  Friday goes all reality, with Penn & Teller: Fool Us followed by back-to-back episodes of Whose Line Is It Anyway?  The Sunday night offerings are Batwoman and the new version of Charmed.

The network is planning a smaller version of its traditional Arrowverse crossover to air either late 1st quarter or early in the 2nd quarter of 2021.

To accommodate Melissa Benoist’s pregnancy, Supergirl gets bumped to mid-season.  Joining it are Dynasty, Roswell, New Mexico, In the Dark, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, alongside two new series: Kung Fu and The Republic of SarahSupernatural, which still had two episodes to film in its final season before the shutdown, will air its final seven episodes in the fall, alongside some usual summer and/or streaming fare.

All of this, of course, assumes that the production shutdown due to the corona virus lets up and crews can get back to work.

Turn On The Marquee

Tomorrow, the Marquee Sports Network, the new home of the Cubs, goes live as the team kicks off their slate of games in the 2020 Cactus League.  Unfortunately, for the majority of homes in the Chicagoland area, the network will not be available.

Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies will continue on as the main announcing team for Cubs games.  They will occasionally be joined by one of the roving band of analysts that have been announced to date: Lou Piniella, Rick Sutcliffe, Mark Grace, Carlos Peña, Mark DeRosa, Ryan Dempster, Doug Glanville, Dan Plesac, and Jason Hammel.  Cole Wright, formerly of NFL Network, will be the studio host for pre- and post-game coverage and Taylor McGregor will be the sideline reporter, a role she previously held with the Rockies.

The one thing Marquee doesn’t have is a carriage agreement with Comcast, the dominant cable operator in the Chicago metropolitan area.  Comcast has 1.5 million home subscribers in the area, more than all the other metro area operators combined.  The Cubs hope to avoid the fate of the Dodgers, who created their own network in 2014 and still have not gotten full clearance in the Los Angeles market, after 7 years and 2 World Series appearances.  Tomorrow was a soft deadline to get a deal done.  If nothing happened by March 26, when the Cubs open the season in Milwaukee against the Brewers.

Midseason Review – Fridays

old-tv-set1Our final look back at the new fall season gives us Friday’s amazing slate of shows.

7:00

The Blacklist – The seventh season for the show will deal with the repercussions from the end of season 6, which I haven’t completed as of yet.

I’m about ready to move on, whenever they are.

Hawaii Five-0 – The tenth season promises that someone, whoever took the mysterious bullet that ended last season, will be leaving the show.

The loss of Jorge Garcia has taken away a bit from the levity of the show, but I do enjoy seeing locations from my vacation to Hawaii last year.

9:00

Blue Bloods – Returning guests highlight the tenth season.

Sad to say, but this one has also kind of run it’s course.

In the spring, we can look forward to:

Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt For The Bone Collector – Based on the Jeffery Deaver of the same name, the show looks to create more a lasting impression than the Denzel Washington/Angelina Jolie film did.

Midseason Review – Thursdays

We are on the back half of our look back at the offerings for the new fall season. old-tv-set1Thursday night is traditionally the busiest night of the week for my television viewing habits, but not this year. Here’s what was on the slate for this season.

7:00

Grey’s Anatomy – The medical drama enters its 16th season, picking up moments after the end of last season.  Apparently, the show will be crossing over with spinoff Station 19 every week in the spring, which sounds dreadful.

I’m certainly hopeful that the reports of a weekly crossover with Station 19 are overblown somewhat.

8:00

The Good Place – Eleanor and friends try to prove that humanity is capable of earning their way into the Good Place in their final season.

The show is wrapping up its run and television will be a less interesting medium without it.

9:00

How To Get Away With Murder – The law students and their favorite professor try to get away with one final murder in their final season.

This one I’m ready to say goodbye to.  This much mayhem cannot keep happening to the same group of law students without people noticing.

Now, for new entries that will be hitting the screen this winter:

Brooklyn Nine-Nine – The Nine-Nine continues to impress now that it is on firm ground at NBC.

Katy Keane – The latest entry in the Riverdale-verse, I may end up giving it a shot thanks to star Lucy Hale.

Midseason Review – Wednesdays

old-tv-set1We have reached the half way point of our look back at my thoughts on the offerings for the new fall season.  Here’s what Wednesdays had on tap for the fall.

7:00

Riverdale – The show will address the death of star Luke Perry last spring, and his former 90210 co-star Shannen Doherty will make an appearance to pay tribute to Perry.  Of, course, this is assuming I ever catch up on the last season and a half of the show.

I haven’t caught up, and I don’t know if I ever will.

8:00

Modern Family – Season 11 will be its last, which seems about right.

Yeah, this seems to have run it’s course.

SEAL Team – David Boreanaz returns for a third season of the military procedural.

This is another one of those shows that I will watch as long as it’s on, but I won’t necessarily miss when it goes.

Nancy Drew – Building on the success of Riverdale, the CW takes another beloved property from the early-to-mid 20th century and ramps up the sex appeal for a 21st century audience.

I watched the first episode and never made it back for the second.  Not saying it was bad, but it didn’t necessarily pull me in.

8:30

Single Parents – After a surprisingly entertaining first season, the group of single parents returns for another go around.

Still surprisingly decent.  I think the fact that the kids seem to be talented actors helps a bunch.

9:00

Stumptown – Cobie Smulders returns to the small screen in this adaptation of the graphic novels of the same name from Oni Press.

An enjoyable way to spend an hour.

And now the new entry coming later this spring:

Criminal Minds – The CBS stalwart returns for it’s abbreviated final season.

Midseason Review – Tuesdays

old-tv-set1Continuing our look back at my thoughts on the new fall season, with the offerings that I found myself interested in for Tuesdays.

7:00

The Conners – After a season of nostalgia and a season of curiosity, can the show finally stand on its own two feet? Time will tell.

To be honest, I don’t know how I feel about this show.  I mean, it’s comfortable, like an old robe, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s any good or well worth my time.

The Flash – The gang returns for their sixth season, with Heroes alum Sendhil Ramamurthy onboard as the big bad.

Now that the Flash has survived the Crisis that had been foretold since the earliest days of the series, we’ll see how things change.

7:30

Bless This Mess – After a short run in the spring, Dax Shepard and Lake Bell return for season two, hoping to keep the momentum up for a full season.

I can pretty much take or leave this one, so I guess the decision on whether or not I continue to watch falls on ABC.

8:00

Mixed-ish – Another spinoff of Black-ish, this time focusing on Bow’s adolescence growing up with a white father and a black mother.

Well, I’ve stuck with this longer than I did Grown-ish, but that’s not particularly saying anything.  I think there’s a pretty good show in there somewhere, but I’m not sure anyone, including me, knows how to get it out.

Arrow – The show returns for a short, 10 episode final season, without Emily Bett Rickards.

The Crisis on Infinite Earths is over and, while the multi-verse is safe, Oliver Queen is dead.  If I’m counting right, the show will be wrapping up its run tonight.

This Is Us – The emotionally manipulative hit is back for a fourth season, assuming I ever go back and finish the previous two.

I still haven’t watched since midway through season two.  At what point do I admit that I don’t watch the show and free up some space on the DVR?

8:30

Black-ish – While it is putting spinoffs on the air, I don’t know if moving back to the half hour timeslot is a good sign for a sitcom heading into season 6.

Some weeks, the show still seems like it’s firing on all cylinders.  Others, it seems so tired that you can see all the seams.

Now, let’s see what interesting tidbits are coming this spring:

DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow –  Coming in at the tail end of the Crisis, there will be some additional turnover this year as Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford will be leaving the show this season.

 

Midseason Review – Sundays

With the advent of winter premieres, the start of the premium cable network shows, and with February sweeps around the corner, it’s time to revisit my thoughts from the beginning of the season and look ahead at what’s to come for Sunday nights.

7:00

Batwoman – The Arrowverse expands once again, with this entry coming out of last year’s crossover event.  Ruby Rose puts on the cowl to protect the streets of Gotham.

Outside of the Crisis On Infinite Earths crossover episode, I haven’t actually gotten around to watching this yet, though the episodes are piling up on the DVR.

7:30

God Friended Me – The latest “do-gooder has a direct line from God” returns for a second season after being surprisingly entertaining.

I’m still enjoying this, but I am a little concerned that they’ve already leaned hard into the “keep the obvious couple apart for dubious reasons” trope.

8:00

Supergirl – The fifth season sees the return of Jeremy Jordan and the exit of Mehcad Brooks.

We’ll see how the outcome of the Crisis crossover impacts the show moving forward, as it looks to have a completely new status quo.

9:00

Silicon Valley – The Pied Piper gang returns for their final season.

The show got an honorable wrap up, with the crew finally succeeding, but forced to kill their own creation for the good of the world.

Shameless – Season 10, the first without Emmy Rossum, may be a bit of a stretch.  But, I guess if I’ve watched this long, why stop now?

I am slowly working through the season, which is turning out to be a bit of a slog without Emmy Rossum.  It’s been renewed for an eleventh, and final, season, so I may as well keep going with the finish line in sight.

New entries hitting the screen this winter include:

Doctor Who – Jodie Whitaker returns for her second go-around as the Doctor.

Homeland – The Showtime drama returns for its final season.

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist – Jane Levy returns as a coder who starts to hear people’s inner musical dialogue.

The Outsider – Based on a Stephen King book, the new HBO drama stars Jason Bateman.

Avenue 5 – A sci-fi comedy from the creators of Veep.