Midseason Review – Fridays

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


The Blacklist – The show returns for an eighth season, which will need to pick up where the seventh was forced to leave off.

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

In the spring, we can look forward to:

Blue Bloods – The 11th season keeps on keeping on, without addressing any of the problems with police that came to the forefront over the past year.

Midseason Review – Thursdays

old-tv-set1We are on the back half of our look back at the offerings for the new fall season. Thursday 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.


Connecting – The first pandemic-based comedy arrives on NBC.

I’m not entirely sure this ever aired.


Grey’s Anatomy – The medical drama enters its 17th season, picking up where the abbreviated 16th season left off.

Well, they’ve turned in 100% on COVID, which I guess makes sense for a medical drama.


Star Trek: Discovery – The first season of the CBS All Access show moves to CBS proper.

I tried watching the first episode and, having just gone through 7 seasons of DS9, I didn’t have it in me to start up another Star Trek series.

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

Mr. Mayor – Ted Danson returns in this latest vehicle from Tina Fey.

The Chase – Sara Haines hosts this rebooted game show, featuring three of Jeopardy’s biggest winners.

Clarice – Yet another sequel to The Silence Of The Lambs that may be interesting.

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.


The Conners – The third season moves to the space vacated by Modern Family.

You know, it’s not particularly good, but it isn’t particularly bad either.  If it weren’t for the nostalgia factor, I doubt I’d give this a second look.


Black-ish – A seventh season for the now-tiring show.

Moving to Tuesdays for the winter, this still seems to have a little life left in it, but I fear the end is near.  There’s only so many times you can do Dre goes overboard on a topic before eventually coming around plots.

And now the new entries:

SEAL Team – The third season kicked off late last year and continues on this spring.

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.


Weakest Link – The British import returns to NBC, this time with Jane Lynch on board as host.

I’ve watched one episode when there was nothing else on.  It has the same issues as the original, where playing the game means the best players don’t win.

Swamp Thing – The CW gets in on the repurposing game by bringing this former DC Universe series over to broadcast.

Yeah, that’s 0 for 3 now for me actually watching repurposed programming filling the COVID void.


Big Sky – David E. Kelley returns with his latest, based on the novel The Highway by C. J. Box, starring Kylie Bunbury and Katheryn Winnick as private detectives looking for kidnapped sisters.

Hey, a show I actually watched.  A few unexpected twists and turns along the way, though I’m kind of glad that it’s meant to be a limited series rather than an ongoing.

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

The Flash – The seventh season kicks off in late February.

Superman & Lois – Spun off from Supergirl, the latest entry in the Superman mythos takes flight in February.

Mixed-ish – After a decent enough first season, the show kicks off its second go around tonight.


Midseason Review – Mondays

old-tv-set1As we continue our look back at the new fall season, the Monday offerings that I found myself interested in looks a little slight.  Let’s see how things turned out.


L.A.’s Finest – With a dearth of programming, FOX turns to a repurposed show originally produced for the cable provider Spectrum.  Starring Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba, this Bad Boys offshoot may be worth giving a shot, especially since nothing else will be on.

Well, I meant to give this a shot, but I missed recording the first one and then never went back.  Looks like it is on Netflix, so I assume I’ll get to it someday.


One Day At A Time – The fourth season of the online series will air on CBS.  If I get really bored, I may decide to try it.

Yeah, I didn’t try this either.


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.

Well, Sunday fell a little barren in the fall, leaving me with nothing to watch, but some things have started to show up as we approached the mid-season.

Shameless – The final season.  Maybe I will catch up soon.

Your Honor – A judge uses his knowledge of the law to keep his son safe after he accidently kills the son of a crime boss.

Batwoman – A new woman is wearing the cowl after Ruby Rose cut bait.

2020: The Year In Television

Last year was a bit disjointed when it comes to television shows.  The corona virus shut down most productions along with the rest of the world back in March, leaving the 2019-2020 season to end abruptly and causing the 2020-2021 season to roll out late, if at all.  On the other hand, it also caused me to be home full time since March, giving me plenty of time to catch up on streaming shows I may have missed or that were newly released.  Since we cover the network and cable shows that I watch elsewhere, let’s take a look at the 23 seasons of shows I streamed on various platforms this year.

Away Season 1 (Netflix)
Hillary Swank plays an astronaut who leaves her family behind on Earth to captain the first manned mission to Mars.

Blindspot Seasons 4 & 5 (Hulu)
I had fallen a bit behind on this NBC show that wrapped up last summer so I combined what episodes I still had on the DVR with Hulu to burn through the final two seasons.

Bosch Season 1 (Amazon Prime)
Based on the book series by Michael Connelly, I watched the first of six seasons last fall.

Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina Part 3 (Netflix)
The latest installment of the darker interpretation of Archie Comics character is probably the only show I had watched pre-pandemic.

DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow Season 5 (Netflix)
I had only watched the first episode of the season pre-pandemic, which was the Crisis On Infinite Earths crossover, as it aired, so I combined what was on my DVR with Netflix to burn through the season quickly.

Dead To Me Seasons 1 & 2 (Netflix)
Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini get entwined in each other’s lives after killing each other’s husbands.

The Flash Season 6 (Netflix)
Like most of the DC shows, I hit pause after the Crisis crossover and before the season ended early, using my DVR and Netflix to catch up.

The Flight Attendant Season 1 (HBO Max)
Kaley Cuoco returns as a flight attendant with drinking issues who finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation.

Lost In Space Season 1 (Netflix)
The remake of the 60s classic came out a few years back, but I never got to it until my December vacation.

Never Have I Ever Season 1 (Netflix)
A comedy about a high school aged Indian girl fighting against her traditional family while wanting to be a “normal” teen.

Ozark Season 3 (Netflix)
The latest installment of the money laundering family in Missouri and their dealings with the Mexican drug cartels. Continue reading →

The End Of An Era

Later today, the final episode of Jeopardy! featuring Alex Trebek will air and an era will come to an end.  Trebek, who died in November after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, had taped episodes prior to his death that would have aired through Christmas Day, but produces inserted two weeks of his best episodes over the holidays to avoid pre-emptions.  His final week aired this week, culminating with today’s episode.  Trebek had hosted the syndicated program since its premiere in 1984.

A new, permanent host of the program has not been announced as of yet.  Former champion Ken Jennings, who won the show’s Greatest of All Time Tournament in early 2020, will fill-in for episodes that start airing next week, with other guest hosts expected to finish out the 37th season.

A New Voice

The Cubs and the Marquee Sports Network announced on Monday that Jon “Boog” Sciambi has been hired as the new play-by-play voice of the Cubs.  Sciambi has been the voice of ESPN Sunday Night Baseball for MLB on ESPN Radio and the play-by-play voice for Wednesday Night Baseball telecasts since 2014.  He takes the spot vacated by Len Kasper, who moved over to the White Sox radio booth last month.

“Having the opportunity to come to Wrigley Field and call games for the Chicago Cubs every day is surreal,” Sciambi said in a statement. “It really doesn’t get better than that. Chicago is one of the best cities and Wrigley is the best ballpark out there.”  Prior to joining ESPN, Sciambi had served as the lead television announcer for the Braves from 2007-2009 and as the radio voice of the Marlins from 1997-2004.

Sciambi teamed with current Cubs manager David Ross on ESPN telecasts, so he should have an immediate in to the organization.  He will continue working for ESPN in some capacity under this new deal.

In somewhat related news, missing from the list of contributors in the press release from Marquee was Mark Grace, the former Cub star who was suspended last season after making derogatory comments about his ex-wife during a broadcast.  Not a huge loss for the network or the Cubs, since, in my opinion, Grace makes for a poor broadcaster, but losing a high profile gig must sting for the former all-star.

Holy Cow!

In a shocking development, Len Kasper, who has been the television play-by-play voice of the Cubs for 16 years on numerous networks, has decided to leave that post to join the radio booth for the White Sox.  He will join the returning Darrin Jackson as the team moves back to ESPN 1000 for the 2021 season.  Kasper, who will turn 50 before Opening Day, has always been passionate about radio and has long desired the chance to call a World Series, something he would not get a chance to do on TV.

Chris Myers, the long time ESPN and FOX Sports announcer, seems to be the leading candidate to replace Kasper in the Cubs booth.  He was hired by Marquee last year to be the occasional fill-in for Kasper and a studio host, but the corona virus put the kibosh on those plans.  Left out in the cold is Andy Masur, the longtime WGN employee who stepped in to replace Ed Farmer last season after Farmer passed away last spring.

To say this was a surprise would be a bit of an understatement.  It’s been an off-season exodus for the Cubs, but, unlike Theo Epstein or Kyle Schwarber, this was one loss that I can honestly say nobody saw coming.  For the White Sox, it is a nice little coup to improve their radio product while stealing some thunder from their cross-town rivals.