<p>If HBO&nbsp;hadn't renewed &quot;Boardwalk Empire&quot;&nbsp;again, Al Capone (Stephen Graham)&nbsp;might have gotten very cross.</p>

If HBO hadn't renewed "Boardwalk Empire" again, Al Capone (Stephen Graham) might have gotten very cross.

Credit: HBO

HBO renews 'Boardwalk Empire' for season 5

1920s mob drama has turned out to be a solid performer for the pay cable giant

HBO has renewed "Boardwalk Empire" for a fifth season.

“Thanks to Terry Winter, Martin Scorsese, Tim Van Patten, Howard Korder and their stellar team, 'Boardwalk Empire' remains in a class by itself,” HBO president Michael Lombardo said in a statement.  “I look forward to another electrifying season of this impeccably crafted series.”

Though "Boardwalk" has never turned into the Emmy juggernaut HBO might have hoped for, it's a solid ratings performer, it still picks up stray awards (like Bobby Cannavale's trophy on Sunday) and is off to a very intriguing start to its fourth season with the introduction of Jeffrey Wright as Harlem fixer Dr. Valentin Narcisse.

I'm a fan of the show and am glad it will be sticking around a while.

(Also, for those of you who will be in New York City next weekend, I'll be moderating a PaleyFest panel with Winter, Korder, Michael Kenneth Williams, Wright and Gretchen Mol.)

Read Full Post
<p>Lizzy Caplan and Michael Sheen in &quot;Masters of Sex.&quot;</p>

Lizzy Caplan and Michael Sheen in "Masters of Sex."

Credit: Showtime

Review: Michael Sheen & Lizzy Caplan in Showtime's 'Masters of Sex'

A smart, sincere look at the lives of sex researchers Masters and Johnson

Bill Masters is a sex researcher who admittedly doesn't know very much about sex. In one of the very first scenes of Showtime's excellent scripted drama "Masters of Sex" (Sunday at 10), which chronicles the pioneering real-life work of Masters and Virginia Johnson, Masters is puzzled to learn of the very idea of women faking an orgasm, and tries to press a prostitute named Betty for an explanation as to why she would practice such deception.

Read Full Post
<p>Thomas M. Wright as Steven Linder in &quot;The Bridge.&quot;</p>

Thomas M. Wright as Steven Linder in "The Bridge."

Credit: FX

Review: 'The Bridge' - 'All About Eva'

With the Tate story wrapped, the series gets back to its strengths

A quick review of tonight's "The Bridge" coming up just as soon as I empty the ocean with a shot glass...

Read Full Post
<p>David Tennant and Olivia Colman in &quot;Broadchurch.&quot;</p>

David Tennant and Olivia Colman in "Broadchurch."

Credit: BBC America

Season finale review: 'Broadchurch'

Alec and Ellie get their man in the devastating conclusion

"Broadchurch" came to the end of its first season tonight. For the most part, I said what I had to say about this terrific show in my initial review, but I have a few specific thoughts on the mystery's conclusion coming up just as soon as I score a little cocaine for you...

Read Full Post
<p>Michael J. Fox and Robin Williams will square off tonight at 9 with their new sitcoms.</p>

Michael J. Fox and Robin Williams will square off tonight at 9 with their new sitcoms.

Credit: NBC/CBS

Review: NBC's 'The Michael J. Fox Show' & CBS' 'The Crazy Ones'

Do these former sitcom icons still have what it takes to carry a show in 2013?

Robin Williams and Michael J. Fox became TV stars about four years apart, Williams with "Mork & Mindy" and Fox with "Family Ties." They made their first big movies about five years apart, Williams with "Popeye," Fox with "Back to the Future." The movie business took much longer to figure out how to harness Williams' unique gifts, but he's worked steadily and topped call sheets for decades. Marty McFly was instantly a perfect film role for Fox, but his run as a successful leading man only ran a few years, up through "Doc Hollywood," before he starred in some flops, went back to TV, then semi-retired due to complications from Parkinson's.

Their careers are not identical, and yet it feels somehow appropriate for these two to be returning full-time to television tomorrow on the same night, at the same time, with a pair of shows — Williams' "The Crazy Ones" (9 p.m., CBS) and Fox's "The Michael J. Fox Show" (9 & 9:30 p.m., NBC) — that seem built with the same guidelines: Step 1. Build star vehicle that lets beloved actor do the thing people love watching them do. Step 2. ________ Step 3. Profit!

Read Full Post
<p>Lizzy Caplan in &quot;Masters of Sex.&quot;</p>

Lizzy Caplan in "Masters of Sex."

Credit: Showtime

'Masters of Sex' star Lizzy Caplan on nudity, the 1950s and typecasting

Why the 'Party Down' alum wanted to play sex researcher Virginia Johnson
Lizzy Caplan has carved out a successful, if very specific, niche for herself in Hollywood as a portrayer of very modern, very sarcastic women. She only occasionally gets to play the lead in things (“Party Down,” “Save the Date”) but more often than not she’s the heroine’s dark, clever best friend (“Mean Girls”).
With Showtime’s terrific new “Masters of Sex” (it debuts September 29 at 10 p.m.), Caplan will be eliminating a lot of preconceptions about her. As pioneering sex researcher Virginia Johnson, Caplan fits seamlessly into the late ‘50s period setting, and works wonderfully opposite Michael Sheen as Johnson’s colleague (and, at times, much more) Bill Masters. She’s still playing an assertive, independent woman — the real Virginia Johnson was very much ahead of her time — but it’s not the kind of role Caplan’s been able to play before, and she does it very, very well.
I'll have a "Masters" review tomorrow, and at press tour, I talked with Caplan about typecasting, coming to grips with the show’s abundant nudity and, yes (briefly) about the ever-possible idea of a “Party Down” movie.
Read Full Post
<p>Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher in &quot;Brooklyn Nine-Nine.&quot;</p>

Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher in "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."

Credit: FOX

Evening TV Round-Up: 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' & 'New Girl'

Peralta and Holt chase a tagger, and Winston tries to kill a cat

It's evening round-up time, with brief thoughts on tonight's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and "New Girl" coming up just as soon as I'm tried as an adult Highlander...

Read Full Post
<p>Brett Dalton in &quot;Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.&quot;</p>

Brett Dalton in "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

Credit: ABC

Series premiere talkback: 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'

What did everybody think of Joss Whedon's new ABC drama?

I published my review of ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." this morning. Now it's your turn. For those of you who tuned in tonight, what did you think? If you haven't memorized all the different Marvel movies, could you follow this? If you're a devout fan of Marvel comics and/or movies, how do you feel the world of SHIELD was adapted for TV? Did Clark Gregg work as the lead? Did you like the younger actors, or did you find yourself wishing J. August Richards was taking one of their places? Did the superhero police procedural format work for you, or did it feel too similar to non-super shows like "NCIS" or "Bones" (some of which already have pretty high-tech gadgets)?  Did the whole thing feel like a Joss Whedon show, or like Whedon (and Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen) as guns for hire for a larger entity? And will you watch again?

I'll keep watching, but the plan right now is for someone else at HitFix — most likely Drew McWeeny, who has written extensively about all of Marvel's film projects at various phases of development at his Motion Captured blog — to do weekly coverage. If I have specific thoughts on specific episodes, I'm more than free to write them here; this is just a matter of time management.

Read Full Post
<p>Demi&aacute;n Bichir and Diane Kruger in &quot;The Bridge.&quot;</p>

Demián Bichir and Diane Kruger in "The Bridge."

Credit: FX

FX renews 'The Bridge' for season 2

Diane Kruger/Demian Bichir border cop drama has had uneven first season

FX has ordered a second season of "The Bridge," the cop drama set on the El Paso/Juarez border starring Diane Kruger and Demián Bichir.

Even by FX's patient standards, this is a pretty late renewal, with only two of the first season's 13 episodes still to air. I've been reviewing the show all summer, and while I like a lot of the performances and the way the show has dealt with the world on the border, season 1 went off the rails the last few weeks with the denouement of its evil serial killer mastermind story arc.

That said, there is excellent raw material here, and the serial killer stuff was largely adapted from the original "Bron," and simply didn't translate here. I've seen tomorrow night's episode, which gets back to a lot of what the show was dealing with in its early episodes, and it's much stronger than any other recent installment. It fits with what producers Meredith Stiehm and Elwood Reid have said is the direction they want the show to go in, and if that's the case, I'm back on board.

Read Full Post
<p>Isiah Whitlock Jr. in &quot;Lucky 7,&quot;&nbsp;Malin Akerman in &quot;Trophy Wife&quot;&nbsp;and Jeff Garlin in &quot;The Goldbergs.&quot;</p>

Isiah Whitlock Jr. in "Lucky 7," Malin Akerman in "Trophy Wife" and Jeff Garlin in "The Goldbergs."

Credit: ABC

Fall TV Reviews: 'The Goldbergs,' 'Trophy Wife' & 'Lucky 7'

How do the non-'SHIELD' parts of ABC's all-new Tuesday lineup stack up?

As I noted yesterday, the combination of A)a really weak freshman class of fall shows, and B)my very slow recovery to full health means I'm not going to be doing long reviews of all the new shows (and in certain cases will be skipping them altogether).

Tuesday has four new shows debuting, all of them on ABC. (When you have as many holes as ABC has, you sometimes have to do insane things like schedule a night featuring only first-year shows.) "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." got the full review treatment, and I'll have some brief thoughts on "The Goldbergs," "Trophy Wife" and "Lucky 7" coming right up...

Read Full Post