After 11 seasons, Modern Family wrapped up its run in April, having won 22 Primetime Emmy Awards and 6 Writers Guild of America Awards. Conceived by creators Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan while sharing stories of their own “modern families,” the show was presented in the mockumentary style that was all the rage in the late 2000s/early 2010s.
The ensemble cast, headed by television veteran Ed O’Neill, powered the show, with breakout performances by Sofia Vergara and Ty Burrell. I’m sure we will be seeing this cast in numerous other projects for years to come.
Say what you will about Arrow, but it certainly did not fail this network. Premiering on The CW on October 10, 2012, the show ran for 8 seasons and spawned what would become known as the Arrowverse, which includes fellow DC-based programs The Flash, Supergirl, Legends Of Tomorrow, and Batwoman. As of today, the Arrowverse has been responsible for 25 seasons of programming on The CW.
The abbreviated 8th, and final, season was a precursor to the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover, which not only brought together the heroes from all of the Arrowverse series, but changed the footing underneath them moving forward. Whatever the actors move on to next, they will always be able to say that, after years of floundering, they gave an identity to The CW.
After 10 seasons and 240 episodes, CBS announced that Hawaii Five-0 would wrap up its run in April. The last remaining original stars, Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan, both had expiring contracts at the end of the season and O’Loughlin, who suffered a serious back injury during the early seasons of the show, has been dealing with the after-effects ever since and felt he could not continue with the action scenes required of him.
While never a favorite, the show has been a nice popcorn show to wrap up the week for the past 7 years. It took on a bit of a special place in my heart following my trip to Hawaii last February, as I started to recognize locations around Waikiki Beach.
The Good Place closed up shop in January after 4 years of delivering twists and turns, reboots, and surprises aplenty. Quite possible the most philosophical sitcom of all time, the show tackled ethics and philosophy while trying to determine what makes someone a good person and thus deserving of eternal life in the “good place”.
Looking back, it’s hard to imagine how this could have gone wrong. With an impressive pedigree from creator Mike Schur and stars Ted Danson and Kristen Bell, the show introduced me to amazing performances from William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, Manny Jacinto, and the amazing D’Arcy Carden. I’m on board for whatever any of these fine actors do next.
Earlier this month, NBC presented their upfront presentation in the guise of a 30 Rock reunion episode. Jack McBrayer’s Kenneth, who had been put in charge of NBC in the series finale, continues in that role in the special, putting together the fall lineup for the real NBC that will air… sometime. The week will get off to a familiar start with The Voice returning for another round on Mondays, followed by another season of Manifest. Tuesday stays static, leading off with more of The Voice, followed by This Is Us and New Amsterdam.
Wednesday also stays the same, with Dick Wolf’s 3 Chicago series running back to back to back. Thursday starts with a small comedy block, with Superstore followed by Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Law & Order: SVU moves up an hour for its 22nd season, followed by a new spin-off series, Law & Order: Organized Crime, bringing Christopher Meloni back to the L&O fold. The Blacklist returns on Friday, followed by 2 hours of Dateline NBC. Sunday remains filled with the NFL.
New shows on tap for midseason include The Keenan Show, a family comedy starring Kenan Thompson, Mr. Mayor, a comedy starring Ted Danson as a wealthy businessman who runs for mayor of Los Angeles for all the wrong reasons, and Young Rock, inspired by and starring Dwayne Johnson.
Less than 12 hours before the first pitch of the 2020 season for the Cubs, the Marquee Network showed up on Comcast systems in the Chicago area, signaling a carriage deal had finally been reached. Crane Kenney, president of business operations for the Cubs, confirmed a multiyear deal in multiple media interviews yesterday, but details were not disclosed and Comcast has yet to release a statement. It’s still unclear how much Comcast will charge subscribers for the addition of Marquee to their service.
In related news, Sinclair Broadcasting, the partner of the Cubs in the Marquee Network, is using their local television stations to push a conspiracy theory this weekend that suggests Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top expert on infectious diseases in the US, was responsible for the creation of the corona virus. Between the Ricketts family’s relationship with Donald Trump and their dealings with Sinclair, it is getting harder and harder to support the organization.
With the delayed start to the 2020 season only a week away, the Cubs new Marquee network is still without a carriage agreement with Comcast, the dominant cable operator in the Chicago metropolitan area. While the expectation remains that a deal will be in place by Opening Day, nothing is guaranteed in these types of negotiations. As has been pointed out many times before, the Dodgers, who created their own network in 2014, still have not gotten full clearance in the Los Angeles market after 7 years and 2 World Series appearances.
After debuting as a midseason replacement last April, Bless This Mess, starring Lake Bell and Dax Shepard, lasted a little over a year on ABC. Despite the corona virus pandemic shutting down pilot season, the network decided to move forward without the comedy without announcing what will replace it on the fall schedule.
The tale of a couple adjusting to farm life in Nebraska after leaving Manhattan never really caught on, and, between the abbreviated first season and the pandemic shortened second season, managed just over a full season’s worth of episodes in its two seasons on the air. What’s next for the series’ stars and strong supporting cast? We’ll have to wait for the world to get back to normal to find out.
Silicon Valley, the latest comedy from Mike Judge, wrapped up its 6 season run in December. Premiering on HBO in 2014, the show centered on a startup that, for every step forward they took, ended up taking two steps back. The last season saw them finally master their algorithm and the path to making it profitable, but found out that releasing it would destroy the concept of privacy and the online world as we know it.
Most of the crew, save the ostracized T.J. Miller, who was booted off in season 4, should continue to find good work that will entertain us for years to come. Zach Woods has already appeared on HBO’s Avenue 5 and Kumail Nanjiani has found himself cast in The Eternals, part of the next wave of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
With virtually all TV and pilot production shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, broadcast networks find themselves in a position of either picking up new shows without seeing a pilot or renewing most of their existing lineup. Despite that, CBS decided to move forward without God Friended Me, cancelling the show just as it was wrapping up its second season.
While the show slipped a bit in the second season, falling victim to the supposed need to keep the two leads apart romantically, it was still entertaining enough. I certainly look forward to whatever Brandon Micheal Hall and Violett Beane do next. And, within the next two years, there will be another show in this genre, the skeptical non-believer does good while following the moves of a mysterious, unknown force, on the air, as there has been for the last 30 years or so.