The long-awaited series premiere of "Girl Meets World" did big numbers for Disney Channel on Friday (June 27) night, but it still couldn't keep up with its lead-in, the original movie "Zapped."
[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]
Greetings and Salutations.
It's time for another year of Take Me To The Pilots entries, a format that I started way back in The Blogspot Days and I've been doing it regularly for HitFix since 2010. [I honestly don't know why I didn't do Take Me To The Pilots in 2009.]
I've been using the same intro post since 2010 and that post featured a header image from FOX's "Lone Star," which famously lasted only two episodes despite being one of my favorite pilots of that fall. It exposes one of the main challenges of the pilot viewing process and the Take Me To The Pilots process, which is that at this stage in the game, it's less about what these things actually ARE and more about the potential of what they MIGHT BE. And that potential may never be realized, for good or for ill.
Fast National ratings for Thursday, June 26, 2014.
The 16th installment of "Big Brother" had a second straight strong premiere night for CBS, delivering Thursday's best numbers among young viewers and combining with a "Big Bang Theory" repeat to help CBS win overall as well.
Thursday's overall race was at least somewhat close because ABC got a good audience -- a series hight, in fact -- for the return of "NY Med," which made a solid overall block with "Rookie Blue," even if demo numbers for both shows are week.
Among other Thursday notables, "Last Comic Standing" is slipping for NBC after a promising start, while FOX's "Hell's Kitchen" and "Gang Related," plus NBC's "Undateable" all slipped a hair among young viewers.
On to the numbers...
Set to premiere in its six-episode totality on August 1, the network installment of "The Killing" picks up in the immediate aftermath of the Season 3 finale, which was deemed inconclusive enough that fans clamored for additional closure.
The major new cast member this season is, as you can see from the picture above, Oscar nominee Joan Allen, who plays the headmaster of an all-boys military academy.
And what is the context for Allen's involvement? Well, Netflix has offered a full basic plot summary.
Per Netflix: "As Detective Linden (Mireille Enos) and Detective Holder (Joel Kinnaman) struggle to manage the fallout from their rash actions at the end of last season, they are assigned a new case -- a picture perfect family is murdered, survived only by the son, Kyle Stansbury (Tyler Ross), who was shot in the head during the massacre. Joan Allen guest stars this season as Colonel Margaret Rayne, the headmaster of the all-boys military academy where Kyle attends. The new season also stars Gregg Henry, Sterling Beaumon and Levi Meaden."
Netflix wants you to know that the first three seasons of "The Killing" are currently available to stream in advance of the Season 4 premiere.
Check out the picture above.
Fast National ratings for Wednesday, June 25, 2014.
The 16th installment of "Big Brother," the show's first in HD, delivered strong numbers in its Wednesday premiere, leading CBS to narrow primetime wins both overall and among young viewers.
The "Big Brother" return certainly contributed to a big dip for FOX's "So You Think You Can Dance."
Speaking of premieres taking bites out of originals, ABC's "Motive" ceded a big chunk of viewers to NBC's decent premiere for "Taxi Brooklyn," which got a reasonable sampling despite an "America's Got Talent" encore as a lead-in.
On to the numbers...
The CW announced its Fall 2014 premiere dates, once again kicking things off in early October and giving the new drama "The Flash" as big an introductory boost as possible.
Happy Wednesday, Boys & Girls.
On Tuesday's video show, we reviewed "Tyrant" and "Taxi Brooklyn" and we also discussed the second season of "Orphan Black."
So none of that is in this podcast.
Fortunately, there's still lots to discuss. We didn't go two-and-a-half hours like last week, but we filled an hour with reviews of "Reckless" and "The Leftovers," plus a couple pieces of Listener Mail and, of course, our weekly celebration of "Friday Night Lights" Season 2.
Due to timing and whatnot, I had to record my side of the podcast in the echo chamber of the HitFix offices, so I sound extra-hollow. Apologies, as always.
"Reckless" (00:00:55 - 00:12:00)
"The Leftovers" (00:12:00 - 00:31:10)
Listener Mail - Trans Characters on TV (00:31:30 - 38:30)
Listener Mail - Desert Island Showrunners (00:38:35 - 00:44:30)
"Friday Night Lights" Season 2 - (00:44:40 - 01:01:20)
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed or subscribe on IHeartRadio.]
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
Fast National ratings for Tuesday, June 24, 2014.
A 200th episode special for "America's Got Talent" delivered diminished numbers to NBC and contributed to another dip for "The Night Shift," though NBC still cruised to victory on Tuesday night.
Only CBS' procedural repeats came close to NBC overall and nothing could approach the network among young viewers, though ABC's "Celebrity Wife Swap" topped "The Night Shift" in the key demo.
On to the numbers...
In reviews, podcasts and tweets, it has become common in recent years for me to lament the influx of British and Australian actors masquerading as Americans, all perpetrating the same flat, generic accents as if Americans all come from the same state, which is no state at all, but rather some nether-region dialect coaches call Mid-Atlantic or something.
I take semi-feigned umbrage at this infiltration and I am, indeed, a bit irked that a good 75 percent of the Brits and Aussies are trapped by exhaustively studied, but ultimately affectless accent work that leads them to give robotic performances they'd never tolerate from themselves in their native tongues.
Yes, I get my hackles up, but I know it isn't actually important.
The rise in work for Aussie and British actors is largely linked to the expanding TV universe, and even if this most recent upfronts season saw an encouraging uptick in TV shows with African-American leading characters, I think we can all look at the TV landscape and agree that in the multi-billion year history of our Earth, this is probably the greatest time in history to be a Caucasian man looking for TV work.
That's why when I see people earnestly complain -- Not many people... Trolls, mostly -- that they can't watch "Orange Is The New Black" because it's anti-male and the men are all one-dimensional, I get caught in a giggle loop that can last for minutes at a time.
The thing about white male representation on TV is that if you accidentally find one show in which the white guys are douches, you probably don't want to complain about it, because there are the other 100 shows out there. Whiteness on TV is represented in all of its myriad shadings. Sometimes white guys are heroes. Sometimes white guys are villains. There are gay white guys and straight white guys and white guys in every imaginable profession.
Other than fact-based based projects about actual, verifiable white people, it is never incumbent upon a film or TV show to "cast white," because if you don't cast a white guy in one project, you can safely guarantee that the next project with a potentially Caucasian lead will be right around the corner and Hollywood is far more committed to the quest for square-jawed white guys than geologists are to finding petroleum or astronomers are to finding intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.
Now, though, I want you to look across the TV landscape for depictions of Middle Eastern men. You'll find them. They're not totally invisible. They're largely terrorists or characters who get confused with terrorists and try to be heroic in order to disprove stereotypes. Not all, but mostly. There are a handful of Middle Eastern cast regulars on procedurals and whatnot. They're out there. A few. It's not a particularly diverse set of representations, but they exist.
Now, though, look across the TV landscape for shows in which the unquestioned lead, the top-of-the-call-sheet role, is written specifically for a male (or female, for that matter) of Middle Eastern heritage.