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“Did you see last night’s ratings for ‘Ray Donovan?’”
It’s the morning after the show’s second-season finale, and Showtime president David Nevins sounds like a proud father, high-fiving a visitor to his Westwood office and firing off stats: The Liev Schreiber drama hit a series-high 2 million viewers. “It’s up 40% from last year,” he says, with a broad grin.
Nevins has good reason to be happy on this late-September day. “Ray Donovan” indeed blossomed into a ratings hit for his network in its sophomore season (even with behind-the-scenes drama forcing a change in showrunner for season three). “Masters of Sex” also wrapped its second season with heightened critical acclaim for the show and the performances of stars Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan.
With a week to go before the fourth-season relaunch of “Homeland,” the early reviews are mostly good as the drama reboots itself in an effort »
- Cynthia Littleton and Debra Birnbaum
Saturday was an excellent night and a strange night to be a member of the Television Critics Association. On the one hand, we held our annual TCA Awards ceremony, filled with terrific winners giving terrific speeches. On the other, the power in the hotel (and the surrounding neighborhood) randomly went out late in the post-show reception, and then news broke that the great James Garner — who had won our Career Achievement award four years earlier — had died. Before the blackout and the sad news, though, the night featured many highlights, including: * "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" co-star Terry Crews was our host, and after first doing the expected — juggling his pecs, he said, "I'm contractually obligated to do that" — he did the wildly unexpected by introducing Miss Piggy from the Muppets to duet on a song about the challenges of being a TV critic. (Sample line: "I'm the 'Veep' of heartbreak, »
- Alan Sepinwall
It was an emotional night for the “Breaking Bad” cast at the 30th annual TCA Awards, which took home their second annual prize for “Program of the Year” at the event, held Saturday night at the Beverly Hilton.
“It’s a little sad saying goodbye,” said series star Bryan Cranston. ‘This is the last time we’ll be up here, unless you create the category of newly departed show.”
Thanking HBO — which claimed four prizes, the most of any network — was the theme of the night. “Everyone’s thanking HBO, so thank you, HBO,” added Cranston. “Early on, you turned us down. That’s Ok, I’ll be working for you soon.” The adaptation of his hit Broadway play, “All the Way,” was just picked up by HBO Films.
The cable net also won for “True Detective,” which grabbed trophies for miniseries (the TCA doesn’t follow Emmy category rules »
- Debra Birnbaum
On Saturday, the 30th annual TCA Awards named Breaking Bad program of the year for the second year in a row. However, Bad did not face off against True Detective—its biggest rival in the upcoming Emmy race—which instead took home the award for outstanding miniseries. Matthew McConaughey was also honored for his work in True Detective.
Other winners included Saturday Night Live, »
- Samantha Highfill
This should take some of the sting out of that Emmy snub.
Related Emmys 2014: The Complete Nominations List
Breaking Bad, however, did not go home empty-handed; the TCA honored the show’s final eight-episode run with the Program of the Year prize (the second consecutive year it won the top award).
For the second year in a row, AMC’s “Breaking Bad” was named program of the year by the Television Critics Assn. at the 30th annual TCA Awards, held on Saturday at the Beverly Hilton.
Its main rival in the Emmy race for best drama, HBO’s “True Detective” took home the prize for outstanding miniseries (the TCA members don’t have to follow Emmy category rules), while Matthew McConaughey was honored for his acting work.
The night’s other winners included Fox and Nat Geo’s »
- Debra Birnbaum
"Breaking Bad," "True Detective," "The Good Wife," "Orange Is the New Black," "Veep" and "Louie" are among this year's Television Critics Association Awards winners, in a year when the TCA tried to share the wealth across an absurdly deep season in television. (The non-televised ceremony, to be hosted by Terry Crews from "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," starts two hours from the time this story is being published; if I can, I'll post some highlights and/or photos tomorrow morning.) For its brilliant concluding season, "Breaking Bad" was named the Program of the Year, repeating its win from a year ago. "The Good Wife" won for Outstanding Achievement in Drama, while "Veep" and "Louie" tied for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy. "Veep" was one of two double winners this year, as Julia Louis-Dreyfus won for Individual Achievement in Comedy. Meanwhile, "True Detective" won for both Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials and an »
- Alan Sepinwall
In the world of television, true geniuses are few and far between. Sopranos creator David Chase would probably be considered one of them for his family mob drama that blew away everything else on TV at the time. Larry David would be another for helping create the cultural icon Seinfeld, as well as Curb Your Enthusiasm. Then you could perhaps throw in a Ricky Gervais and a James Burrows as well. In film we have Martin Scorcese, Alfred Hitchcock, and David Lynch to name a few of that genre’s geniuses. But when it comes to wrestling, the man that gets called a genius the most often is really no genius at all.
Ever since 1982, Vince McMahon has been at the helm of WWE. During his time on top, he’s drastically changed the wrestling landscape forever. There’s no doubt about it, he is the most successful promoter of all time. »
- Andrew Soucek
Christy Grosz is an Awardsline contributor. After building a career on comedic characters he calls “eccentric,” Will Arnett is back in primetime with CBS’ The Millers, playing TV journalist Nathan Miller, a recent divorcee who finds himself living with his mother. Arnett is more of a leading man than he has been in the past on such shows as Arrested Development and Up All Night, and he’s doing it in front of a live audience on the multi-camera sitcom directed by TV stalwart James Burrows (Taxi, Frasier). He’s also enjoying a thriving film career, voicing Batman in The Lego Movie and appearing in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles this year. Awardsline: Showrunner Greg Garcia asked you to be a part of The Millers when he heard that the future of NBC’s Up All Night was not looking good. What about the role of Nathan appealed to you? Will Arnett »
- THE DEADLINE TEAM
The Television Critics Association nominations have been announced with HBO's "True Detective" topping the run with four nominations. "The Good Wife," "Breaking Bad" and "Game of Thrones" tied for second with three nominations apiece.
All four shows, and Netflix's "Orange Is the New Black," are vying for the top prize of 'Program of the Year'. Other shows to do well include "The Americans," "Louie," "Fargo," "Veep," and "The Big Bang Theory". Here's the full list:
Program of the Year
Outstanding Achievement in Drama
Outstanding Achievement in Comedy
Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials
- Garth Franklin
Yet it’s the inclusion of HBO’s True Detective that’s the major headline-making presence here. Everybody expects the acclaimed, noir-soaked drama series to swamp awards season, and these nominations are the first indication the show could do just that. True Detective is nominated for outstanding actor (Matthew McConaughey), miniseries (though the show submitted in the drama category for the Emmys), outstanding new program, and the TCA Awards’ top category, »
- James Hibberd
CBS’ “Good Wife” (pictured), HBO’s “Thrones” and AMC’s “Breaking Bad” also are nommed in the drama series category, along with FX’s “The Americans” and Netflix’s “House of Cards.” “Thrones” won last year. “True Detective” landed a slot in the movies/miniseries category rather than in drama series, along with FX’s “American Horror Story: Coven,” BBC America’s “Broadchurch,” FX’s “Fargo” and SundanceTV’s “The Returned,” the subtitled French series.
The contenders for comedy series are CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory,” which won »
- Cynthia Littleton
AMC’s Breaking Bad will defend its Program of the Year trophy against HBO’s Game Of Thrones and True Detective, CBS’ The Good Wife, and Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black at this year’s TV Critics Association Awards. This year’s lineup of noms features several first-time nominees: Logo’s RuPaul’s Drag Race, Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black, FX’s Fargo, Fox Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Sleepy Hollow; and ABC Family’s The Fosters. The media organization comprised of TV critics, reporters, columnists, bloggers, etc. working in the U.S. and Canada today announced its nominations for the 30th Annual TCA Awards. The 2014 TCA Awards recognize outstanding television programming in the 2013-2014 season, honoring actors, producers and programs in a variety of categories, including news and information, youth, reality, drama and comedy achievements. The group is is one of few that announces who is in »
- ERIK PEDERSEN
A glut of great TV shows makes it hard to recognize every show worth of it, but the members of the Television Critics Association did our best in picking the nominees for this year's TCA Awards. So "Breaking Bad" got three nominations, and will have to tussle with "True Detective" in two of those categories (Bryan Cranston vs. Matthew McConaughey for Individual Achievement in Drama, and for Program of the Year), but "Mad Men" didn't get any nominations this time out.(*) Great new shows like "True Detective," "Orange Is the New Black" and "Fargo" got multiple bits of recognition, though there was at times category confusion. the movies/minis category, for instance, includes "True Detective," "Fargo" and "American Horror Story: Coven," all of which are telling season-long stories but will likely continue with new stories and characters next year, but also "Broadchurch" and "The Returned," which are producing sequel seasons »
- Alan Sepinwall
Right after one group of friends signs off, new friends will be introduced ... by a former writer-producer of "Friends," no less.
Immediately following the series finale of CBS' "How I Met Your Mother" Monday (Mar. 31), the network will debut the sitcom "Friends With Better Lives." The premise of longtime acquaintances in amusing situations -- mainly revolving around their differing relationship levels -- may seem familiar, but it's served up by a fresh ensemble cast merging established TV faces and relative newcomers.
Will (played by "Dawson's Creek" alum James Van Der Beek) is struggling to adjust after his recent divorce; Jules (actress-model Brooklyn Decker) is newly engaged to visibly amorous Lowell (Rick Donald); Kate (Zoe Lister-Jones, "Whitney") is a career-driven serial dater; and the married Bobby (Kevin Connolly, "Entourage") and Andi (Majandra Delfino, "Roswell") observe their friends' allegedly better lives somewhat enviously.
Friends with Better Lives cannot escape Friends. It's in the title, obviously. The former is created by Dana Klein, a producer and writer on the latter, and both shows' pilots were directed by sitcom king James Burrows. And they both feature a group of six pals of equal gender count.
"There's a lot of similarities there, but I think the Friends talk is not fair to them or to us," Fwbl star Kevin Connolly tells TVGuide.com. "They're an international juggernaut. It's different. The Friends question is inevitable. [During] ...
Read More > »
- Joyce Eng
NewsRadio Season 1, Episode 1 “Pilot”
Written by Paul Simms
Directed by James Burrows
Aired 3/21/1995 on NBC
Airing as a mid-season replacement after the failure of The Martin Short Show and the Gene Wilder vehicle Something Wilder, it still boggles me to this day that NewsRadio wasn’t more popular in its time. Debuting between Wings and Frasier (two shows it would often be sandwiched between over the years), NewsRadio never achieved the same mainstream penetration as other seminal NBC comedies from the same era, teetering on the edge of cancellation and ending in tragedy, airing a creative but deflated fifth season in the shadow of Phil Hartman’s murder.
Revisiting NewsRadio‘s pilot, it still astounds me the show never took off. Mixing farce with hilarious ironies, the pilot opens with Wnyx’s new news director Dave Nelson (a post-Kidz in the Hall Dave Foley) arriving (approximately) 35 seconds early to »
- Randy Dankievitch
“Friends With Better Lives” is a promising title for a sitcom, cleverly designed to tap into the suspicions — from marrieds tethered by kids to singles looking for love — that whatever phase you’re in, you might be missing out on the real fun. What emerges, however, is a pretty banal CBS sitcom, one where everyone seems to wind up in the same house because, well, why on Earth would anybody chat over the phone? Naughty but not especially nice, the series should get a jump-start from the “How I Met Your Mother” finale, but after that should leave discriminating viewers looking for a better show.
Focusing on a group of thirtysomethings, the show’s central couple is Bobby (Kevin Connolly) and Andi (Majandra Delfino), whose weighed-down-by-baby marriage has reached the point where watching “Homeland” (a bit of CBS synergy, there) is as close as they get to sex.
Living with them, »
- Brian Lowry
Written by Paul Simms
Directed by James Burrows
Original air date: March. 21, 1995 on NBC
As far as sitcoms go, Newsradio is a diamond in the rough. Despite a not-so-unique workplace setting, the show successfully combines wit and physical comedy, without ever feeling dull or predictable. It has the kind of quick, self-sustaining energy that we love about sitcoms, and it all began with the pilot episode. Of course, every series begins with a pilot, but with Newsradio, the first episode never feels forced or stiff in the way many others have. Often times, sitcoms struggle with comedic timing in their first few outings. Featuring a veteran cast, boasting a strong background in comedy (Dave Foley, Kids in the Hall; Phil Hartman, Saturday Night Live; Andy Dick, The Ben Stiller Show), Newsradio hits its stride right from the get-go.
The episode opens with Dave (Dave Foley) arriving at Wnyx, »
- Griffin Bell
Exclusive: CBS‘ comedy pilot More Time With Family continues to add boldface names. Emmy-winning Sopranos alum Joe Pantoliano has joined the multi-camera project, toplined by Tom Papa and Alyson Hannigan, executive produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, written/exec produced by Cathy Yuspa and Josh Goldsmith and directed by James Burrows. Based on the stand-up of Papa and the experiences of Damon, the 20th TV-produced project centers on Tom (Papa), a husband and father making a career change to spend more time with his family. Apa-repped Pantoliano plays Stan Rizzo, Tom’s brash, opinionated, old-school father. Related: 2014 CBS Pilots »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
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