A review of last night's "The Office" coming up just as soon as I really embrace the whole Bond villain aesthetic...
A very strange thing happened yesterday: as word began to leak that CBS and Warner Bros. had approached Hugh Grant about replacing Charlie Sheen on "Two and a Half Men," a bunch of my fellow TV critics took to Twitter, e-mail, instant messaging and possibly even some ancient social media device called a telephone to expression some variation on the phrase, "Huh. I might actually have to watch that show now."
You could have counted me among those, as it was both such a surprising choice (who expects to see Hugh Grant on an American sitcom?) and yet a perfect one, since Grant plays cads so well (see "About a Boy") but is only occasionally asked to do so.
Alas, things didn't work out with Grant. Tonight, the news broke that the actual man who would be Sheen is Ashton Kutcher, and this time the reaction from many of my bretheren was more along the lines of "Ugh. Now I never need to watch again."
And on that level, I agree with them. Ashton Kutcher is not going to turn me into a regular "Two and a Half Men" viewer all of a sudden going into the ninth season.
But that's missing the point. Though I'm not particularly excited to see Kutcher gaming attractive but dumb women and laughing wryly at Jon Cryer (or some other minor variation on the Charlie Harper character), I actually think he's a great fit for the show - in at least one way, significantly better than Grant.
We're getting "Parks and Recreation" double-features for the last two weeks of the season, and I have a combined review of "The Fight" and "Road Trip" coming up just as soon as I have a CGI puppy co-host...
A review of the "Community" season two finale coming up just as soon as I call dibs on the Han Solo role...
You may remember that I wasn't a fan of ABC's "Happy Endings" when it debuted last month, dismissing it as not only the last, but least, of this season's trend of sitcoms about young friends and/or relatives at different relationship stages.
Then a funny thing happened: I kept watching the show, at first just as something to have on in the background while doing other things, but then because I realized I was starting to actually, somehow, enjoy it. I have a few thoughts on why coming up just as soon as I pay you in poems...
A quick review of last night's "Cougar Town" coming up just as soon as I put a question mark at the end of a sentence???
The days leading up to the network upfront schedule presentations are the TV reporter equivalent of the baseball trading deadline. Rumors, rumors everywhere, everyone racing to lock down a piece of information before the dozens of people chasing the same story, unsure whether the tidbit they've been given is real, misdirection, or an attempt to negotiate something in public. (Yesterday's stories about CBS wanting Hugh Grant to replace Charlie Sheen on "Two and a Half Men" definitely seemed like negotiating through the press.) When FOX made its decisions Monday night on which pilots to pick up and which to pass on, I saw a few frustrated "Why do we bother?"-style tweets from reporters noting that the buzz only days earlier was completely backwards for several of these shows.
All of which is to say that while I'm excited and borderline-shocked by all the reports from last night that NBC's close to ordering at least 13 more episodes of "Chuck" for a fifth season, I'm believing nothing until I hear it from either an NBC official, Chris Fedak or Josh Schwartz. If Deadline/TVLine, Variety and Entertainment Weekly are all reporting that this is where NBC's leaning, I'm assuming they're right, but stranger things have happened at upfront time.
I got the news from Shawn Ryan about FOX canceling "The Chicago Code" pretty late in the evening East Coast time, so I didn't have much time to process the larger massacre that was going on at the network last night, in which every bubble show FOX had left - not only "The Chicago Code," but "Human Target," "Lie to Me," "Breaking In" and "Traffic Light" - were all told their services wouldn't be required for next season.
On one level, the Tuesday night bubble bloodbath was surprising. FOX doesn't announce its fall schedule until Monday, and while some cancellations and pick-ups will leak in the days leading up to a network's upfront presentation, you don't usually hear about all of them (including a few other new series pick-ups) this far in advance. And while it's not uncommon to see a network pop most of its bubble shows, to get rid of all of them? Very strange.
A review of last night's "The Good Wife" coming up just as soon as I ask if it's okay for me to visit the kids...
It's been a very busy night for FOX, which, according to various published reports, has already ordered several new shows for its fall schedule, including the JJ Abrams-produced "Alcatraz," the "Bones" spin-off "The Finder" and the Zooey Deschanel sitcom "The New Girl," while also deciding that "Human Target" and "Breaking In" won't be back on next year's schedule. Given all the action, and given that "The Chicago Code" was on the renewal bubble right along with "Human Target" and several other series, I thought I'd check in with that show's creator, Shawn Ryan, to see what he was hearing.
Ryan told me he had just heard from FOX entertainment president Kevin Reilly, who told him the show was also canceled. (As in it won't be on next year's schedule; the final episodes will air.)