<p>&quot;Gang Related&quot;</p>

"Gang Related"

Credit: FOX

Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Gang Related'

A strong cast elevates this fast moving B-movie for TV

[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.]

Show:"Gang Related" (FOX)
Airs:Midseason TBD
The Pitch: "It's 'Fast & Furious' meets 'The Departed.'" [I'd have gone with "Infernal Affairs," but it's not that literate.]
Quick Response: I feel like I have a very good sense of what "Gang Related" is and how well it's achieving its aspirations. With Chris Morgan, writer of all of the "Fast/Furious" films from "Tokyo Drift" on as creator, there's a welcome bluntness to "Gang Related." It's straight-up testosterone-laden, smashmouth exploitation TV and there's nothing like it on a major network these days. There are badass cops, badass Latino gangsters and, thanks to pilot director Allen Hughes, just a tremendous, digitally shot depiction of the underbelly of Downtown Los Angeles and East LA. Nobody's going for nuance, but I like the unapologetic B-movie sense of stripped-down fun that it has. An amazingly diverse cast is fronted by Ramon Rodriguez, capably escaping the shadow of his brief run as Bosley on ABC's "Charlie's Angels." You've also got strong supporting performances from the likes of RZA, Jay Hernandez, Sung Kang, Terry O'Quinn and at least one end-of-episode cameo from an actor who I hope will become a regular, because he adds nice continuity with another locally set cop show. Cliff Curtis, The Maori George Clooney, doesn't fit with the show's casting verisimilitude, but as the Godfather of Latino Gangsters, he's chowing down on scenery like the Kogi truck just rolled into his neighborhood. There's a lot of thematically high-minded talk about family and loyalty and the American Dream, but it's really more about abrupt reversals and moles and narcs and LA's unique immigrant stratification. I heard a couple colleagues say negative things about "Gang Related," but I think they were watching it thinking that it's aspiring to be an HBO or AMC-style drama with aspirations of being taken seriously. I didn't get that at all. What I got was a show that probably would be perfectly happy just to be a popcorn-y, somewhat glib version of "The Shield." OK. Make that "a lot glib." But this is a great cast and it really doesn't look like any other cast out there and at least 65 percent of the actors are playing characters with shading, not just stereotypes. And really, I can't speak highly enough about the cinematography, which has a "Collateral"-lite look to it. Even when "Gang Related" gets silly -- a "Gangnam Style" punchline desperately needs to be excised, since it'll already be 18+ months out of date by the time this show premieres -- this is a show I'd look at every week if it can maintain these production values. "Gang Related" may not have quality, but it has attitude and swagger.
Desire To Watch Again: Kinda strong. I reserve the right to decide by the second episode that "Gang Related" has shifted from guilty-pleasure urban crime fantasia to straight-up trash. I can imagine it going in that direction. But for now, it's on the right side of things. If you want "Southland," you'll be disappointed, but if you like the blustery machismo of "Fast & Furious" on the small screen? This could work out well.

 

Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'The 100' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Resurrection' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Surviving Jack' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'About a Boy' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Believe' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Us & Them' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'Star-Crossed'  
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Intelligence' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Crisis' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Rake'  
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Mom' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Lucky 7'  
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Dads' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Super Fun Night'  
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Welcome to the Family' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Millers' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'The Goldbergs' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Ironside'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'We Are Men' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Almost Human' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Back in the Game' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Sean Saves the World' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'Reign' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Crazy Ones' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Enlisted' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Betrayal' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Blacklist' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'The Tomorrow People' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Hostages' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Sleepy Hollow' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Trophy Wife' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Michael J. Fox Show' 
All of my 2012 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2011 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2010 Take Me To The Pilots Entries

 


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<p>Ron Swanson enjoys himself on Thursday's &quot;Parks and Recreation&quot;</p>

Ron Swanson enjoys himself on Thursday's "Parks and Recreation"

Credit: NBC

Thursday ratings analysis - Bigger 'Bang,' but smaller 'Parks' and 'Men'

Oh and 'Grey's Anatomy' is still a hit
[As promised, I'm going to start doing some additional ratings analysis a bit after the morning Fast National numbers come in each morning/afternoon. It's a way to get away from merely the regurgitation of data as quickly as possible at 8:30 a.m., though I'll still be doing that. It's possible that next week, I may push the analysis to the afternoon after Final figures become available. I'm trying to get a hang of a routine. I'll also be doing some Live+3 and Live+7 analysis this season as those numbers become available.]
 
Thursday is traditionally the most valuable night for advertisers and therefore for TV networks, making it a ratings battleground. Of course, thanks to "The Big Bang Theory," the battle is a bit of a rout, especially when CBS can air two episodes of the Emmy-winning comedy. 
 
"The Big Bang Theory" is Thursday, September 26's obvious Fast Nationals ratings winner, but it also made "The Crazy Ones" into a clear winner, at least for one week. We know "The Michael J. Fox Show" isn't a winner, but it's too early to call it a loser. It's not too early, though, to start worrying about "Parks and Recreation," or at least its long-term future. 
 
Click through for my full analysis...
 
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<p>Thursday's &quot;The Big Bang Theory&quot;</p>

Thursday's "The Big Bang Theory"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory' premiere leads Thursday, while 'Crazy Ones' dominates 'Michael J. Fox'

'Parks and Rec' and 'Glee' return fairly weak
Fast National ratings for Thursday, September 26, 2013.
 
NBC's big swing with "The Michael J. Fox Show" failed to change the Thursday pecking order as "The Big Bang Theory" remained dominant and helped lift "The Crazy Ones" to a big debut and CBS to easy Thursday wins.
 
In a TV landscape in which most shows are returning below previous premiere levels, "Big Bang Theory" was up in most measures from last fall, albeit below several winter episodes from last season. 
 
That doesn't mean that "The Michael J. Fox Show" was a disaster for NBC, since it improved on a weak premiere for "Parks and Recreation" and showed no half-hour drop for the two-hour launch. And "Parenthood" came in above the numbers for most of what NBC aired its 10 p.m. Thursday death slot last year.
 
Meanwhile, ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" premiere was down from last year but sturdy, and FOX's "The X Factor" continued its slightly unexpected trending of week-to-week growth despite stiffer competition.
 
On to the numbers…
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<p>The new &quot;Amazing Race&quot; cast</p>

The new "Amazing Race" cast

Credit: CBS

Interview: Co-creator Elise Doganieri discusses The State of 'The Amazing Race'

Emmy winner talks Non-Elimination Legs, Double U-Turns, Vietnam and much more
Back in June, I trekked down to Palos Verdes, wherever that is, to take part in a junket for the new "Amazing Race" season, conducted just days before the teams headed off on their race around the world.
 
I'm still trying to figure out what to do with my conversations with the different teams -- at the very least, I have lots of dramatic irony-laden quotes to toss back at the teams when they're eliminated -- but I also got to chat with both executive producer Elise Doganieri and host Phil Keoghan. 
 
Both interviews were fun for me because I had a long time with both "Amazing Race" veterans and if you're a reader of my regular weekly recaps, you'll note that I was able to ask about an awful lot of the issues that are weekly bees in my bonnet through any given season.
 
This interview with Doganieri, for example, includes discussion about the planning of Non-Elimination Legs, the rise in alliance-building in recent seasons, the controversy over the show's trip to Vietnam last year and, my personal favorite bugaboo: The structure of Double U-Turns.
 
Doganieri also teases some of this season's locations and talks about the potential for another All-Stars season in the future.
 
Click through for the full conversation...
 
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<p>&quot;The X Factor&quot; judge Kelly Rowland</p>

"The X Factor" judge Kelly Rowland

Credit: Scott Kirkland/FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Season 3 - The Final 40 is revealed

Simon, Demi, Paulina and Kelly learn which teams they'll be mentoring

It's the last night of "X Factor" auditions. Huzzah! Soon we'll stop with our arbitrary leaps between Long Island, Los Angles, Denver, Charleston and... um... wherever else we've been.

Soon, we'll start The Four Chairs, whatever that is.

But first? The remaining auditions and the assignment of teams. Who will be this year's L.A. Reid and whine and pout and cry?

Click through for the full live-blog...

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<p>&quot;Revolution&quot;</p>

"Revolution"

Credit: NBC

Wednesday ratings analysis - 'Revolution' is steady, 'X Factor' surprises

Who knew "SVU" still had this much juice?
[As I said yesterday, I'm going to start doing some additional ratings analysis a bit after the morning Fast National numbers come in each morning/afternoon. It's a way to get away from merely the regurgitation of data as quickly as possible at 8:30 a.m., though I'll still be doing that. I'll also be doing some Live+3 and Live+7 analysis this season as those numbers become available.]
 
There were winners and losers on Tuesday (September 24) night. "Lucky 7" is already on Deathwatch. "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." is already a hit (for at least one week). FOX's comedy block probably isn't in overall jeopardy, but it can't go on this low forever. And "NCIS" and "The Voice" remain the cocks of the ratings walk.
 
Fast Nationals for Wednesday, September 25 told a very different story. There are minor disappointments here and there, but mostly everybody came away from the Fast National numbers relatively happy. That's better for the industry, even if it isn't as sexy when it comes to analysis. 
 
Click through for my bulletpoints...
 
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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 203

Dan and Alan talk 'Crazy Ones,' 'Masters of Sex,' 'Michael J. Fox' show and more

The

Happy Thursday, Boys & Girls! As promised, there was too much TV this week for just one podcast, so it's a bonus Firewall & Iceberg.
 
With Alan out of the hospital, finally, we reviewed a slew of new shows, including "The Crazy Ones," "The Michael J. Fox Show" and "Masters of Sex," as well as the return of "Homeland."
 
Also, because we got a couple emails and podcast questions about it, we talked a bit about AMC's decision to split the 
 
Today's breakdown:
"The Crazy Ones" (00:01:20 - 00:14:15)
"The Michael J. Fox Show" (00:14:15 - 00:24:00)
Odds and ends including "Betrayal" and "Hello Ladies" (00:24:05 - 00:33:30)
"Homeland" (00:34:10 - 00:45:10)
"Masters of Sex" (00:45:15 - 00:53:00)
"We Are Men" (00:53:00 - 00:59:40)
Listener Mail: The splitting of "Mad Men" (01:00:10 - 01:08:10)

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.] 

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

 

 

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<p>Wednesday's &quot;Modern Family&quot; premiere</p>

Wednesday's "Modern Family" premiere

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'Modern Family,' 'Criminal Minds' premieres lead Wednesday

'X Factor' rises big, even against strong competition
Fast National ratings for Wednesday, September 25, 2013.
 
Although it was way down from last year's premiere, the hour-long launch for "Modern Family" was Wednesday's top show both overall and among young viewers, though the return of "Criminal Minds" still helped CBS win overall.
 
On a busy premiere Wednesday, FOX got encouraging numbers for "The X Factor," which actually rose week-to-week despite enhanced competition, pushing the network to second in the key demographic. NBC, meanwhile, was reminded of how strong "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" can be, especially when it goes into the 10 p.m. hour.
 
Wednesday's only major premiere was ABC's "Back in the Game," which retained reasonably well from its "The Middle" lead-in.
 
There were no outright disasters on Wednesday, which resulted in the fall's most competitive four-way night so far.
 
On to the numbers…
 
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<p>Wednesday's &quot;X Factor&quot;</p>

Wednesday's "X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Season 3 - Auditions #5

Simon, Demi and company are back for a third week of auditions

It's time for another two-hour installment of "The X Factor."

Once again, I recapped "Survivor" on East Coast Time, though that will change once "X Factor" goes live, unless of course people stop watching entirely. No. I don't mean "low-rated." This show is already that. I mean a collective and cohesive decision by the entire nation to watch ANYTHING other than "X Factor." Don't laugh. I could happen.

And now on to Wednesday's (September 25) auditions...

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<p>Colton of &quot;Survivor: Blood vs. Water&quot;</p>

Colton of "Survivor: Blood vs. Water"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' - 'Rule in Chaos'

Colton becomes Colton again and somebody heads home
Pre-credit sequence. Interesting interpretation in the recap, suggesting that the men got rid of Marissa out of "vengeance." This is probably true, but it's much more passionate than the noncommittal audience-blindside we got last week. She arrives at Redemption Island, where she's hugged by Candice and Rupert, who have no clue who she is. "People had the audacity to put a frowny face next to my name like they were upset about it," says Marissa, who describes herself as "pissed off" and places the full blame on Gervase. Rupert is just glad that Marissa isn't Laura. Rupert and Candice agree that they're also pissed off. 
 
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