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May 2014 TV Events We're Looking Forward To - Finales, Premieres & More

May 2014 TV Events We're Looking Forward To - Finales, Premieres & More

Which 15 May TV events are we most anticipating this month?

One of the questions we frequently get asked on Firewall & Iceberg is "Do Sweeps Periods Still Matter?" and the answer we always give is, "Kinda." They're not the almighty forces they once were, but they still matter.

Case-in-point? May Sweeps 2014! How many of your favorite shows have already ended for the season? "Community"! "Parks and Recreation"! "Scandal"! "Parenthood"! They're all done. 

However, May still marks the end of the Official Nielsen 2013-2014 Season and it marks the start of the summer programming season, so between May 1 and May 31, there's a lot of programming we're looking forward to, whether it's a TV milestone like Baba Wawa's retirement, a big plot point on a favorite show like Christina's departure from "Grey's Anatomy," an movie event like HBO's "Normal Heart" or NBC's "Rosemary's Baby" or a new series premiere like "Penny Dreadful" on cable or "Gang Related" on FOX.

Here are 15 things we're looking forward to watching on TV in May and our feeble rationales. You're probably looking forward to 15 totally different things. There's too much TV.

What are you looking forward to?

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"The Real Housewives of New York City"

"The Real Housewives of New York City"

Credit: Bravo

'Real Housewives of New York' recap: Who's worse - Sonja or Ramona?

Are you surprised Heather is being sued?

Has anyone ever been institutionalized on any of "The Real Housewives" shows? If not, I think the ideal candidate for that prestigious honor might be Sonja, who puts the batcrap in crazy. While she's always been, shall we say, a colorful character, this week she seems to be living in such a delusional state I'm thinking someone should keep an eye on her, lest she starts thinking the concept of gravity is just negative thinking, and if she burns the right candle and calls to her spirit animal she can fly off the top floor of her townhouse.

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<p>Allison Tolman as Molly in &quot;Fargo.&quot;</p>

Allison Tolman as Molly in "Fargo."

Credit: FX

Review: 'Fargo' - 'A Muddy Road'

Molly meets Gus, Lorne takes over a job, and Lester meets Mr. Wrench and Mr. Numbers

A review of tonight's "Fargo" coming up just as soon as I buy a zombie kit...

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Fox cancels 'Almost Human'

Fox cancels "Almost Human"
The sci-fi drama from J.J. Abrams starring Michael Ealy and Karl Urban won't get a 2nd season.

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<p>&quot;Almost Human&quot;</p>

"Almost Human"

Credit: FOX

FOX cancels 'Almost Human' after one season

Karl Urban, Michael Ealy and Minka Kelly starred

It will be 13-episodes-and-out for the FOX robot procedural "Almost Human."

News of the "Almost Human" cancellation first broke on Tuesday (April 29) evening on Deadline.com and HitFix can now confirm that the J.J. Abrams-produced drama will not be back next season, a victim either of lackluster ratings or of FOX's already-aggressive plans for next season.

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<p>Maria Hill comes out swinging in this week&#39;s &#39;Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.&#39;</p>

Maria Hill comes out swinging in this week's 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'

Credit: ABC/Marvel Studios

Trust emerges as the theme of the season in the new episode of 'Agents Of SHIELD'

And honestly, Ward's got to die now, right?

While I think it's sometimes reductive to argue that anything that runs 23 hours over the course of a year is "about" any one thing, it seems like tonight's episode of "Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D." helped focus the overall theme of this season's arc. It seems fitting considering this a show about a top-secret military organiation that has suddenly lost face, because it seems like more than anything, this is a show about trust.

As soon as I saw "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," it was obvious that there were going to be major changes in the Marvel universe, and I wondered how they're going to retain the title of this series next year. Several people wrote me to say that there will be a magical re-set button and everything will be back to normal by the time the start of next year rolls around. I would argue that the start of tonight's episode makes it pretty clear that is not the case. Short of putting out a press release that says, "The start of next year is not just going to re-set everything to zero. We promise," I'm not sure what else the producers could do at this point to make it clear that they are shaking things up permanently.

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<p>An image from SFX&#39;s TomorrowWorld festival</p>

An image from SFX's TomorrowWorld festival

Credit: SFX

Simon Cowell is launching that DJ talent show you wanted

Will it be the EDM version of 'American Idol?'

You know what's missing from the DJ and producer world? What the EDM and dance scene could really use? An "American Idol"-style talent show.

Or at least that's a gap that Simon Cowell and SFX is hoping to fill with their new series, "Ultimate DJ." In a press release,  the "The X Factor" creator's production company Syco announced a partnership with electronic music promoter and events giant SFX and T-Mobile for an "innovative electronic music competition to showcase fresh new DJ/producer talent and creative production skills."

“We have been developing this concept for a while but our partnership with SFX has been a real game-changer for this format. It made complete sense for us to collaborate with SFX with their access to the best up-and-coming DJs and their great marketing platform to build new DJ talent," Cowell said in a statement.

"Up-and-comers" will be submitting dance mixes to the series; the T-Mobile angle will help enable users, er, fans to vote on their favorite tunes and launching contestants in the limelight to compete at live events -- SFX's specialty.

How a competition like this works in a reality series setting remains to be seen: DJs don't necessarily step to a deck like a singer would a microphone, nor do judges have the same criteria as a singing show. But the global reach of EDM and electronic music culture is apparently now up for a vote, and coming to a digital device near you.

"Ultimate DJ" will be launched online initially. No television networks have picked it up yet, which may indicate that TV doesn't know how this all shakes out, either

SFX is behind popular electronic dance music events like TomorrowWorld, Electric Zoo, Rock in Rio, Mayday, Decibel and Q-Dance. So at the very least, they know how to put on a show, even when the competitors may fall flat.

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"Winter Sleep"
"Winter Sleep"
Credit: Zeynofilm

Cannes Check 2014: Nuri Bilge Ceylan's 'Winter Sleep'

Continuing our preview of the Cannes Competition with the bookies' favorite

Welcome back to Cannes Check, In Contention's annual preview of the films in Competition at next month's Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on May 14. Taking on different selections every day, we'll be examining what they're about, who's involved and what their chances are of snagging an award from Jane Campion's jury. Next up: the film that is currently the bookies' favorite for festival gold: Nuri Bilge Ceylan's "Winter Sleep." 

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Naya Rivera hasn’t been fired from 'Glee,' but she was written out of the season finale

Naya Rivera hasn’t been fired from “Glee,” but she was written out of the season finale
Rivera’s future won’t be decided until June, reports E!, but she was originally supposed to be in the season finale. “(Naya) isn't fired and her not being in the finale has nothing to do with Lea,” a “Glee” source tells E!. "I don't know where these stories are coming from, but they are not true."


It’s official: Gwen Stefani joins “The Voice”
The No Doubt singer confirmed she’ll be a coach, tweeting: “it’s true." She'll fill in for Christina Aguilera next season.


Letterman pays tribute to Craig Ferguson: “His show was unlike any other late night show"
"I’m telling you, to be unique in the world of television – virtually impossible,” Dave said in a brief tribute on tonight’s “Late Show.” PLUS: Bill Maher tweets: "I think CBS and the media treated Craig Ferguson pretty shabbily."


Craig Ferguson created a late-night talk show for people who hated late-night talk shows
“Basically,” says Eric Deggans, "Ferguson busted up the rigid formula of late night TV wherever he could, producing a show that could split sides one moment and leave you wondering if you stumbled on a celebrity-studded acid trip in the next.” PLUS: Ferguson approached his show as an irreverent genius, from the horse to the robot: guide to Ferguson’s weirdest traditions, and Secretariat exemplified Ferguson’s brilliance.


“The Simpsons” boss: Our “Yellow Wedding” death will be bigger than “Game of Thrones”
“The character that dies is portrayed by an actor who won an Emmy for playing that character,” says exec producer Al Jean. "People who reported on it then reported we were killing an ‘iconic’ character; I’d like to say it’s a great character, but I never used the word ‘iconic.’ It’s a terrific character and it (happens in) our premiere this coming year.”


Twitter boss responds to NBC exec’s accusation that the “emperor has no clothes”
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo insists his service has a huge impact on television.


“The Goldbergs” expects to be renewed for Season 2
Though its creator insisted that nothing’s official.


Why “The Big Bang Theory” is banned in China, but “Game of Thrones” is OK
That’s partly because “Game of Thrones” has official clearance allowing it to broadcast on China’s CCTV. “Big Bang,” meanwhile,” was hugely popular on streaming websites. One theory is that “Big Bang” was removed to bolster the official Chinese state broadcasters, who see video-sharing sites as a threat.


What has “Mad Men” done to Peggy Olson?
Since the season premiere, Peggy has become a "kind of mirror, alternative Don,” says James Poniewozik. "Where have you hidden our Peggy, 'Mad Men’? And how did you replace her with this hostile, unpleasant basket case, lashing out at everyone in sight and pining over a long-lost married man?” PLUS: Matthew Weiner dictates his writing these days, notice this week’s ticking clocks?, will we see more Ginsberg?, Jay R. Ferguson talks Rizzo’s relationship with Peggy, the interior design of SC&P, and what has “Mad Men” done to Megan?


Go inside Zooey Deschanel’s “New Girl” wardrobe room
Costume designer Debra McGuire is responsible for Jess’ preppy look.


“Doctor Who’s” Matt Smith & Karen Gillan reunite, on a plane
They got to fly over the weekend with “Harry Potter’s” Tom Felton.


“Supernatural” debuts its “Bloodlines” spinoff
Here’s what to expect from tonight’s backdoor pilot.


Matt Bomer sought Matthew McConaughey’s advice in shedding 35 pounds for “The Normal Heart”
Bomer says, "I stopped weighing myself after losing 35 pounds. I thought the number wasn’t the important thing to focus on. This wasn’t ‘Biggest Loser.’”


Which network shows have been renewed or canceled?
And which ones are awaiting word on their fate?


What surprised Shirley MacLaine the most about her “Glee” experience?
"That they can do so much in so little time,” she says of her guest stint, which begins tonight. "Really, it’s a shock. And for me, too! I am surprised at that. Someone like me, who was trained my whole life with a sense of understanding that creativity takes time.”


Each Oprah’s Starbucks Chai Tea comes with a special Oprah coffee cup sleeve
And each sleeve has a special Oprah quote on it.


Steve Buscemi: My “Park Bench” talk show wasn’t inspired by Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars"
But, Buscemi adds, "when Jerry’s show came on, it just gave me that much more encouragement. Like, yes, this can be done. Because I love the way that he did it. His show is just so entertaining and free-wheeling and easygoing.”


“The DuckTales” theme gets slow-jammed
Watch a smooth R&B jam of the cartoon series.


Amy Purdy: "I have a rib out of place and my muscles are in spasm”
The “Dancing” star says of her recovery: "I am being very proactive in healing up so I can continue this journey."


“Sopranos” alum Drew De Matteo to star in web series “The Muthaship Starring Drea de Matteo”
She and her friends will star in a digital series for Endemol Beyond.


Lucy Liu had to keep asking to direct “Elementary”
She’ll finally get her chance in Season 3.


What did a linguist learn analyzing 50 TV opening credits from the 2000s?
University of Sydney linguist Monika Bednarek found that most opening credits don’t really open the show.


Betty White answers questions on Reddit
Who should play her in a Betty White biopic? "I would love it if it were Meryl Streep or Julie Andrews but they would probably cast someone like Chris Rock,” she says.


Bob Odenkirk on “Fargo” vs. “Breaking Bad”
“I put the moustache on and I got the Super Cuts haircut, those weren’t in the script, but other than that, I did it the way it was written to me,” he joked of his FX role. “Breaking Bad was getting a script and not attempting to manipulate the words at all.” PLUS: Colin Hanks on that first scene.


Count down the 25 best cop shows of all time
From “Starsky & Hutch” to “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”


Arsenio Hall and Ray Romano do each other’s old acts
Watch them trade material from last night’s show.


Jason Priestley to guest on a Canadian sitcom
He’ll play a weatherman named Storm Chambers on “Package Deal."


“Chicago Fire” crosses over with “Chicago PD”
The two-part show-swap kicks off tonight.


Bear Grylls defends putting 13 men on an island with no females
Grylls says “it would be weird to have women” on his new British show, “The Island,” but he’s willing to do a female version.


USA’s “Playing House” gets female friendships right
Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair’s characters, unlike most female friendship portrayals on TV, is actually balanced, and focused on the main characters. PLUS: It’s the “BFF” reunion the world needed, and it’s a lively and lovely show about friendship.

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<p>Zoe Saldana of &quot;Rosemary&#39;s Baby&quot;</p>

Zoe Saldana of "Rosemary's Baby"

Credit: NBC

Exclusive 'Rosemary's Baby' image finds Zoe Saldana in stylish repose

NBC miniseries starts on Sunday, May 11

We're only two weeks from the birth of NBC's new take on "Rosemary's Baby" and, courtesy of NBC, HitFix has an exclusive picture of Zoe Saldana, who will be stepping into a modern version Mia Farrow's pixie cut for the Ira Levin adaptation.

As you can see from the picture above -- a very nice NBC-provided image that is NOT an exclusive -- the new "Rosemary's Baby" has been moved from New York City to Paris and the picture is presumably meant to make us sympathize with Patrick J. Adams' character, because we also would make some very dark pacts to get a Parisian flat with that unobstructed view of the Eiffel Tower.

In addition to Adams and Saldana, "Rosemary's Baby" stars Jason Isaacs and Carole Bouquet.  The teleplay comes from Scott Abbott and James Wong, with "Europa, Europa" and "Treme" veteran Agnieszka Holland.

"Rosemary's Baby" will air its first two hours on Sunday, May 11 and the story will conclude on Thursday, May 15.

You'll note that in our exclusive gallery image (below), Saldana is wearing that same sleeveless red number. Credit to costume designer Pierre-Yves Gayraud and costume supervisor Catherine Boisgontier for the snazzy dress.

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"Playing House"

"Playing House"

Credit: USA

'Playing House' review: Two best friends, one baby, all good

Parham and St. Clair are never just mean girls

Television history is littered with buddy comedies, though it isn't often that the buddies in question are women. I'm sure someone somewhere is working on an article about how this is the year of the woman in television, pointing to "Broad City" and, well, this show -- "Playing House" (debuts Tues. April 29 at 10:00 p.m. ET on USA) as the start of a big trend in girl power overtaking TV or some such. Tthat's kind of a shame, really. "Playing House" isn't notable because it has two female leads, or because it's part of a trend, or will soon have a baby in the mix. "Playing House" is notable because it's smart and it's funny. Period.

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'Jeopardy!' spawns 'Sports Jeopardy!' with host Dan Patrick

“Jeopardy!” spawns “Sports Jeopardy!” with host Dan Patrick
Sony Pictures announced today that the NBC “Football Night in America” host will preside over “Sports Jeopardy!” beginning this fall on Sony-owned Crackle.


Rosie returning to “The Fosters”
Rosie O’Donnell, who appeared in five episodes last season, will reprise her role as a foster care worker on two episodes in August.


AOL announces original shows with James Franco, Zoe Saldana, Kevin Nealon, plus Mike Epps’ “That’s Racist”
Epps will explore the back stories of racial stereotypes and ethnic jokes, while Nealon will teach kids comedy lessons, Saldana will help celebs find "My Hero" and Franco will help aspiring actors “making a scene.”


“Malcolm in the Middle’s” Frankie Muniz: "I am buying the Los Angeles Clippers"
In a lengthy Facebook post, Muniz explains how he’s been a Clippers fan since 1994.


Letterman gives an update on his mom, who turns 93 in July
Dave joked to his audience that he and his mom, Dorothy Mengering, have been having trouble reaching each other.


“NCIS” will pay tribute to Ralph Waite in its season finale
The May 13 finale will send “The Walton’s” star’s “NCIS” character, Jackson Gibbs, to his final resting place.


“Masters of Sex” casts a star of “The Game”
Jay Ellis will play a doctor who goes head-to-head with Dr. William Masters.


“Modern Family’s” Nolan Gould passes his driver’s test
Gould turns 16 in October.


Animal Planet renews “Ice Cold Gold”
Season 3, says the cable channel, will "explore the most remote, untouched pockets of Greenland for gold and precious gems."


Olivia Munn and Joel Kinnaman have broken up
“The Newsroom” star and “The Killing” star dated for two years.

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