Christmas doesn't bring much joy to the people of New Orleans
Linden learns Holder's secret, and Richmond decides to fight dirty
More pretenders to the throne arise, but does anybody really want the job?
Promises season 4 finale will offer 'everything and the kitchen sink'
I watched tomorrow night's "Chuck" season finale yesterday, after news of the show's fifth season renewal came in. And without spoiling anything about what happens, the end credits rolled and I said to myself, "Thank God NBC renewed it, because I cannot wait to see what they do after this one."
Chris Fedak, the show's co-creator, was feeling a similar excitement for the possibilities of a fifth season as he worked on the finale, even though he believed the odds were, at best, 50-50 for renewal due to the show's recent ratings dip.
I spoke with Fedak a few minutes ago, for an interview I'm going to present in two parts over two days. After the jump is Chris' reaction to the renewal, the knowledge that next season will be the final one for "Chuck," and the challenges that have come the last two seasons as NBC has ordered more episodes partway through the year. Tomorrow night, after the finale, I'm going to post both my review of the episode and Fedak's explanation for some of the things that happen in it.
New boss Bob Greenblatt can't fix every hole in one upfront season
Announcing NBC's schedule for the 2011-12 TV season, new network entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt tried to establish himself as a realist.
He acknowledged that getting the network out of the enormous hole it's in wouldn't happen overnight, and that therefore, "If we could do one or two things successfully, I would be thrilled." He acknowledged that "Chuck" is back for a final 13-episode season because he wanted to establish a scripted presence on Fridays but couldn't devote a lot of resources to it. He presented contingency plans for if the NFL is still locked out in the fall (though he believes they'll at most miss a few weeks) and if Donald Trump decides to run for president (though he'd much rather have him stay on "Celebrity Apprentice").
Of course, Greenblatt's predecessor Jeff Gaspin also presented himself as a realist, and he no longer has that job nor is NBC any closer to fixing the mistakes made by Jeff Zucker, Ben Silverman, et al. Pragmatism is nice - and no doubt necessary in this gig - but some hits would help.
Fienberg has the complete NBC schedule, and after the jump, I have night-by-night analysis of the schedule, along with some highlights of the conference call that Greenblatt just completed with reporters.
Buckle up for a lot of talk of scheduling and pilot presentations
As I brace myself for the start of the network upfront presentations, I can't help but think of Bill Murray delivering the line, "Well, it's Groundhog Day... again" on Phil Connors' second journey through the endless marathon that is "Groundhog Day." A few minor details may change from upfront season to upfront season, but it feels like the major details repeat themselves over and over: everyone had the best development season ever, CBS execs will be asked how many crime procedurals are too many, ABC will have the exact same scheduling holes to fill, etc., etc., etc.
The 'Sandman' scribe pens a memorable tribute to the Doctor's longest-serving companion
An away game brings the team closer together in season five's best episode so far
(I originally posted this review back when "Friday Night Lights" was doing its exclusive DirecTV run. The comments from that period have been preserved. For the sake of people who are watching the episodes as they air on NBC, I will ask anyone commenting from this point forward to only discuss plot events up to the episode in question. Do not discuss, or even allude to, anything that has yet to air on NBC. Thank you.)
A review of tonight's "Friday Night Lights" coming up just as soon as I grill meat in my office...
Drama about jazz musicians in post-Katrina New Orleans continues its improbable run
In the first season of "Treme," David Simon only had to wait until the Tuesday after the series' premiere before knowing he and Eric Overmyer would get to produce a second season of the drama about post-Katrina New Orleans.
In the second season, Simon, Overmyer and company had to wait a few extra weeks for the good news, but the result is the same. As first reported by Dave Walker of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, HBO executives called Simon today to tell him they're ordering a third season of "Treme."
Spy dramedy defies the odds again
The rumors are true. "Chuck" will be back for a 13-episode 5th season, according to a reliable source connected to the show.
I don't have any details beyond that right now - like whether NBC is holding out the possibility for a back-nine order at mid-season or if they anticipate these 13 being it for the order - but I wrote at length about the renewal rumors yesterday. Now, I'm just pleased. So celebrate with Chuck and Morgan humming their favorite entrance music, and we can go into Monday's episode knowing it's not the series finale.
UPDATE: Several other reports have said that NBC has made it clear that this will be the final season. The NBC upfront press call is Sunday afternoon, so I'll have a lot more info then.