As I mentioned in my review of "The Office" season finale and all its guest stars, there are published reports out there suggesting that the show's producers have settled on a frontrunner to succeed Steve Carell/Michael Scott as the new branch manager. Though you can argue about whether or not that news is a spoiler, I thought it would be easier to separate out all discussion from the actual finale review and confine it to this separate post. That person's name, and my thoughts, coming up just as soon as I'm another "Porky's" baby...
"Parks and Recreation" just concluded a remarkable season of TV comedy: 16 episodes (6 produced last spring, the other 10 after a long break while Amy Poehler had her baby), and not a bad one in the bunch. And the streak goes back at least 5 episodes into season 2 - I might be inclined to draw the line at "Park Safety," if only because I didn't like Andy Samberg's character - but more likely 11 episodes back, with "The Set Up" as the last episode that didn't work overall. So they've been cooking with gas for a very long time now.
I've already posted my review of the season-ending double feature, and I did an extended e-mail interview with the show's co-creator, Mike Schur, about some of the thinking behind season 3's stories, the limits he and Greg Daniels try to place on both the town of Pawnee and characters like Ron Effing Swanson, and a lot more.
A quick review of last night's "Cougar Town" coming up just as soon as I channel Vincent D'Onofrio from "Full Metal Jacket"...
As has been the case for much of this week, upfronts mania is getting in the way of longer reviews, but I have a few thoughts on last night's "Modern Family" coming up just as soon as I mock you with a hurtful rhythmic taunt...
I'm ironically spending so much of my day reporting on the new CBS schedule - which will move "The Good Wife" to Sundays at 9 - that I have very little time to actually write about the season finale of the show itself, but I have a few thoughts coming up just as soon as I press all the buttons on the elevator...
A year ago, CBS shook up both upfront week and its own conservative reputation with by far the most aggressive scheduling overhaul of any of the networks - moving "Survivor," "The Big Bang Theory" and both "CSI" spin-offs to new nights - even as the network's scheduling boss tried to sell it as "aggressive stability." Because those big moves worked out, the new CBS schedule won't be quite as radical - Kahl used the phrase "dynamic stability" this time - but still moves a few notable pieces around the week.
Welcome to the first of what will hopefully be two different Upfront Week editions of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, in which Dan and I talk about the many, many, many, many scheduling moves and new show clips we've seen over the last couple of days. The run-down:
"Cougar Town" co-creator Bill Lawrence blames himself, in a way, for the show being pushed to mid-season on ABC's new schedule, where it will air Tuesdays at 9 in between installments of "Dancing with the Stars," while "Happy Endings" takes up resident in the post-"Modern Family" timeslot Wednesdays at 9:30.
Lawrence has a development deal with Warner Bros., which means next season will likely be his last as a hands-on boss at "Cougar Town." And one of the things he wanted to accomplish before he handed the keys to Kevin Biegel was to try to establish the show as something that could stand on its own at the start of a half-hour. He'd been asking ABC president Paul Lee about it for a while; he just didn't necessarily expect it to happen this quickly, or with "Cougar Town" not airing at all in the season's early months.
I spoke with Lawrence this afternoon about the move, which he's known about for a few days, about what he learned from the seasons when "Scrubs" aired at mid-season, and about how he and the cast and crew intend to continue the guerilla marketing they did during this season's mini-hiatus. As often happens with Bill, he talks a lot and I get in a word on occasion.
I wish I had more time to write about last night's "The Chicago Code," which was the strongest episode the show has done in quite some time, and possibly the strongest of the season. This is the sort of thing Shawn Ryan shows do so well: have all the various balls that are being juggled come crashing down right on top of each other, as our heroes race to catch what they can and clean up what they can't.
If the show were coming back next year, we could look at this as a possible turning point. Instead, it's an improvement that's unfortunately too late to matter.
I'll have a longer write-up of next week's finale, but I need to get back to upfront-related madness. What did everybody else think?