<p>The cast of &quot;Black-ish&quot;</p>

The cast of "Black-ish"

Credit: ABC

A Note to ABC: Stop thinking audiences like ironic and reclaimed comedy titles

It's not too late to change 'Black-ish,' 'Fresh Off the Boat' and 'Selfie'

Dear Paul Lee,

Titles are tough.

I don't have a magic answer for what titles are good and what titles are bad. 

I have, however, gotten a handy rule of thumb in recent years: If the ABC Comedy Development Department thinks a title is good, it probably isn't.

What network, you'd be smart to ask, is actually good at making sure that its shows have good titles? I can't tell you. More shows on TV have awful titles than have good titles. It's just a thing.

But I know that ABC keeps screwing over perfectly good shows with perfectly dreadful titles and I don't think I'm going to get many protests on this one. 

ABC just can't help itself. 

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TV Ratings: 'Blacklist' finale dips, 'Castle' finale rises, '24' slides on Monday
Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'Blacklist' finale dips, 'Castle' finale rises, '24' slides on Monday

NBC wins in the demo, ABC wins overall as usual

Fast National ratings for Monday, May 12, 2014.

ABC's "Castle" rose in its latest season finale, nearly catching NBC's dipping "Blacklist" finale overall, but that variation made very little difference, as the two networks had their normal Monday split. ABC won Monday in total viewers, while NBC triumphed in the key demo.

Among other Monday notables, FOX's "24: Live Another Day" was down from last week's premiere, but still solid. And The CW's "Star-Crossed" got a big finale bump, but it's almost certainly boosted by sports preemptions of some sort. 

On to the numbers...

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<p>Anthony Anderson and Laurence Fishburne of &quot;Black-ish&quot;</p>

Anthony Anderson and Laurence Fishburne of "Black-ish"

Credit: ABC

ABC's 2014-15 Schedule: 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' slides back, 'Scandal' moves up, 'Black-ish' gets Wednesday 9:30 slot

Network sets up a Shonda Rhimes Thursday

ABC announced its 2014-2015 schedule on Tuesday (May 13) morning and a lot of things make a surprising amount of sense. 

For example: After noticing that "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." routinely got an audience bump when it wasn't airing opposite "NCIS," ABC has moved the drama to the 9 p.m. hour on Tuesdays for next season.

For a second example: After not putting either of its family-oriented comedies after "Modern Family" this season, the coveted Wednesday 9:30 slot will go to the Anthony Anderson family comedy "Black-ish."

And, finally, after over a decade of difficulties on Thursdays at 8 p.m., ABC has just moved "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal" up an hour, put the Viola Davis drama "How to Get Away With Murder" at 10 p.m. and made a Shonda Rhimes Thursday.

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<p>Bill Paxton of &quot;Marvel&#39;s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.&quot;</p>

Bill Paxton of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

Credit: ABC

Interview: 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' co-star Bill Paxton on the finale and feeling The Universe

What did the 'Big Love' veteran now about John Garrett and when did he know it?

I wasn't exactly surprised when "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." sprung the big reveal last month that Bill Paxton's John Garrett turned out to be evil.

I mean... He's Bill Paxton. It's not that Bill Paxton is constantly playing evil characters or anything, but if you bring in an actor with Paxton's pedigree -- Four Golden Globe nominations, an Emmy nod and the credibility that comes from "Aliens," "Near Dark," etc -- you're not bringing him in to play the boring straight-arrow authority figure. So it was almost a relief when Garrett turned sneering villain and then it was genuinely interesting when, in last week's episode, the frequently rushed "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." took the time to do a flashback-heavy episode explained both Garrett's Hydra-loving origins and the conditions that might also have turned Brett Dalton's Ward.

When last we saw Garrett, we had discovered his Deathlok-y past -- so many reveals for one character -- and he was being injected with the potentially miraculous GH-325. The serum led to him announcing he'd seen The Universe. 

But what the heck does that mean?

Presumably we're going to find out in this week's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." finale.

Last week, I got on the phone with Paxton and we discussed what it means for an actor to play "seeing The Universe" and the pleasures of getting to play a secret-keeping character and then go full-baddie. 

Wait. Sorry. As with nearly every actor who plays a nefarious character, Paxton doesn't think Garrett is a villain.

Will the season finale back him up? 

Click through for the Q&A and watch the finale on Tuesday night on ABC.

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<p>&quot;Gracepoint&quot;</p>

"Gracepoint"

Credit: FOX

First FOX 'Gracepoint' images don't show David Tennant's American accent

They do, however, feature Anna Gunn and Nick Nolte

A week ago at this time, I was on the set of FOX's "Gracepoint" on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Over two days, I talked to all of the show's stars, including David Tennant, Anna Gunn, Michael Peña and Kevin Rankin, who told me that he wouldn't want to play a British version of Herc in a British "Friday Night Lights." [No, a British "Friday Night Lights" doesn't exist, silly. We were just discussing the very interesting thing Tennant is doing in "Gracepoint," essentially reprising his "Broadchurch" role, only with a different name and a different accent. And yes, I've heard his American accent for the show. And no, he didn't use the accent in his interviews.]

At the time, "Gracepoint" was shooting its ninth episode and, to an actor, they all claimed that they didn't know who the killer was, but that it was allegedly different from the killer in "Broadchurch," a claim that FOX executives repeated this morning in announcing that the 10-episode "Gracepoint" will air on Thursdays at 9 p.m. this fall.

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

Zoe Saldana of "Rosemary's Baby"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: 'Once Upon a Time' finale rises, but viewers don't adopt 'Rosemary's Baby'

'Revenge' rises for its finale, while 'Cosmos' dips for FOX

Fast National ratings for Sunday, May 11, 2014.

"Rosemary's Baby" was no "Sound of Music Live" when it comes to NBC event ratings, as the first part of the horror remake drew impressively low ratings in its Sunday night debut.

Sunday stayed true to its usual form. "Once Upon a Time" and "Revenge" both rose in their series finales as ABC ruled primetime among young viewers, but it was CBS cruising to its usual overall win, paced by "The Good Wife."

Meanwhile, facing enhanced competition, FOX's "Cosmos" took a tumble, as did "The Simpsons" without last week's Lego hook.

On to the numbers.

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<p>Your &quot;American Idol&quot; judges</p>

Your "American Idol" judges

Credit: FOX

'American Idol' will have a trimmed Season 14, judges 'likely' to return

FOX execs discuss the new normal for 'Idol' expectations

If FOX is looking a bit lighter on its feet for the 2014-2015 season, that's probably because the network is dedicating a lot less programming time to singing competitions. 

The roughly 39 hours of "X Factor" programming that have glutted FOX's schedule the past three years with variable success are now entirely gone, making room for both more reality -- Two weekly hours of "Utopia" are on the fall schedule -- but also more scripted programming. 

And at midseason, while "American Idol" is slated to return for a 14th season, the colossus that towered atop the ratings heap for the better part of a decade will also be looking leaner in 2015.

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<p>FOX&#39;s &quot;Gotham&quot;</p>

FOX's "Gotham"

Credit: FOX

New 'Gotham' pictures tease future Batman, Catwoman, Penguin and more

FOX is airing the DC Comics prequel on Mondays at 8 p.m.

Normally upfronts bring the first video and images from new shows. That's not exactly the case with FOX's DC Comics prequel "Gotham," which has been anticipated enough that FOX and Warner Brothers TV have been teasing pictures  for several weeks and the first trailer for the drama aired last week with the premiere of "24: Live Another Day."

We've already seen glimpses of Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, David Mazouz, Jada Pinkett Smith and the rest of the stars of "Gotham," which will air on Mondays at 8 p.m. on FOX.

Here, however, are the first official gallery shots and stills for "Gotham," which has been ordered for 16 episode, rather than the normal 13, up-front with the potential for more.

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<p>Donal Logue of &quot;Gotham&quot;</p>

Donal Logue of "Gotham"

Credit: FOX/WBTV

FOX's 2014-15 Schedule: 'Gotham' to Monday, 'Brooklyn' to Sunday and double 'Utopia'

'Gracepoint' draws a tough Thursday slot as 'Bones' moves again

Coming off a bumpy season and facing its first fall without three hours of "X Factor" in several years, FOX announced its 2014-15 schedule on Monday (May 12) morning. 

Actually, FOX only announced its Fall 2014 schedule on Monday. For the first time in recent memory, FOX didn't even attempt to present a midseason slate to advertisers as part of its upfronts presentation. Certainly FOX has plenty on the bench for a busy midseason, but the network has held back on January plans, perhaps waiting on the fate of the ambitious reality series "Utopia."

While "X Factor" and its three hours are now, thankfully, gone, FOX scheduled two fall episodes with "Utopia," airing new episodes on Tuesday and Friday nights. In success, FOX execs have indicated that "Utopia" could continue forever -- Just like "Forever Eden"! -- which would impact FOX's spring slate. FOX also may want to hold off on deciding how much "American Idol" to air in the spring.

But spring is a long time in the future. Let's look at fall, which includes the usual time period change for "Bones," an ambitious slot for FOX's "Broadchurch" remake and an intriguing mixture of live-action and animation on Sundays, breaking up Animation Domination.

Check it out, night-by-night:

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<p>Brendon practices his Welsh on &quot;The Amazing Race: All-Stars&quot;</p>

Brendon practices his Welsh on "The Amazing Race: All-Stars"

Recap: 'The Amazing Race: All-Stars' - 'Hei Ho Heidi Ho'

Teams score goals, learn a Welsh verse and face shooting or booting

Lest you think I actually prefer to grumble about "The Amazing Race" and can't enjoy a simple, clear and well-constructed Leg?

I give you Sunday (May 11) night's installment, "Hei Ho Heidi Ho."

Was it perhaps just a bit too dependent on seemingly arbitrary and minor travel misadventures? Well, yes. Both first place and last place for the Leg were determined by very tiny errors of direction. And although there were skill-based elements to the Roadblock, the Detour and a Route Marker task, the advantages gained or time lost ended up being deceptively minor.

But the tasks were fun, regionally specific and they were all designed to showcase the personalities of the contestants and I found myself really liking a few teams for the first time in weeks. These are the things I like in an "Amazing Race" episode, so I have to make sure I underline them whenever they occur.

Also, for the first time in weeks on "The Amazing Race," the competing teams treated the Leg like they were in a race for a million dollars. Nobody helped anybody else. Nobody got into pointless snits about perceived slights that were actually just part of the game.

I enjoyed it.

More after the break...

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