Two time Golden Globe winner Tina Fey has competed several times against longtime friend and “Saturday Night Live” Weekend Update partner Amy Poehler — a two-time Globe nominee herself — for the Lead Comedy Actress award. In fact, they’re both nominated in the category again this year…and they’ll find out who won while they’re hosting The 70th Annual Golden Globes, airing live on NBC starting at 8pmET/5pm PT.
An awkward situation? Quite the contrary. Fey and Poehler have been friends for two decades and are tremendous improv partners. Besides, after Ricky Gervais’s three-year reign of terror, the Globes audience is likely to welcome a different take from these sharp, funny women.
But Fey and Poehler also know that hosting Sunday’s telecast will keep them on their toes. “It’s a tough crowd because it’s a lot of nervous people waiting to see if they win or lose, and as the night goes on, the losers outnumber the winners,” Poehler told The Hollywood Reporter. “But having been in a lot of those awards shows, the Golden Globes are more fun because you can drink.”
With that in mind, these ladies purportedly created a drinking game they also shared with THR: any time an actress cries during her a speech, drink. Whenever you see a someone actively not listening to someone onstage, drink. And, of course, take a drink whenever someone says the words, “I didn’t prepare anything!”
In the same way a post-Globes hangover is an annual tradition for some celebrities, IMDb embarks upon its own tradition of presenting live coverage of the event. Our editorial team will provide instantaneous updates of the winners, photos from the red carpet, and commentary on all of the fun. Starting at 5pm PT, keep the homepage open to see the list of winners from the moment they’re announced. (Or,you know the drill: if you don’t want to know…don’t look!)
Smartphone users can view the list of winners on our mobile site, Android, and iPhone, and check out the Road to the Oscars section for the photos from the red carpet.
In the meantime, check out our Road to the Oscars section to view photos of the nominees, trailers and clips from all of your favorite nominated films. You’ll also find photo galleries and lists from past awards seasons.
See you on Sunday!
Sunday’s telecast of The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards proved to be golden for ”Homeland” and “Modern Family,” winners for Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Comedy Series respectively. The night’s losers were the usual suspects — and by that we mean the viewers, many of whom no doubt struggled to stay awake on their couches.
You know it’s a boring Emmys telecast when the host, Jimmy Kimmel, has to call Tracy Morgan onstage to lay down and ask him to pretend he’s passed out, supposedly to bait viewers into tweeting about it. The point, you see, was to trick the millions of people who weren’t watching, but for some reason happen to be on Twitter, into tuning in. Did it work? Did we care? Those are hypothetical questions. Bottom line: the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards once again lived up to the bitter old observation that the awards show honoring the best television has to offer often ends up being some of the most boring television a person could watch.
While we can’t blame the telecast’s overall dullness completely on Kimmel, his hosting style certainly did not make the evening go by quickly or joyfully. Kimmel’s even-keeled, deadpan style flatlined on the Emmys stage from top to bottom. Even a filmed opening bit featuring television’s biggest comedy actresses punching him the face (they were knocking back a botched Botox-job, we were told) contained all the lightness and fun of a mugging.
On the other hand, with the exception of a surreal, self-congratulatory bit midway through the proceedings, Kimmel did not get in the way of the alleged festivities. Say what you will about his jokes ranging from merely lame to completely non-existent… at least the guy brought the train into the station on schedule. At the end of it all we still like Kimmel enough to keep watching his late night program, where his comedy style is right at home.
This is not to say that this year’s Emmys was completely devoid of electricity. “Homeland” delivered a shocking sweep in the drama categories, breaking “Mad Men‘s” streak to take home the Emmy for Best Drama in addition to stars Claire Danes and Damian Lewis nabbing individual achievements for Best Actress and Actor. Many prognosticators expected the top races to be between “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad,” but as it turns out, “Mad Men” didn’t just come up empty in the Best Drama race, it was completely shut out of all the major categories. “Breaking Bad’s” sole win last night was courtesy of Supporting Actor winner Aaron Paul, taking home his second Emmy statuette.
In total, “Homeland” took home six Emmys on Sunday night, a number matched only by HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” which was the big winner at the Creative Arts Emmy awards ceremony that took place on September 15. “Homeland’s” best drama win also represents a first for Showtime in a top category.
Other satisfying victories include Maggie Smith‘s Supporting Actress win for her work on “Downton Abbey” and Jessica Lange‘s Supporting Actress in a miniseries recognition for her scene-stealing role on “American Horror Story.” It bears mentioning that “American Horror Story’s” entry as a miniseries, and “Downton Abbey’s” designation as a drama, allowed both of these women to waltz away with hardware. Had they been up against each other in the same category, somebody would have gone to bed slightly put out this evening. Here’s to awards show gamesmanship: sometimes, everybody wins!
In the Comedy genre, however, it was pretty much business as usual, aside from Louis C.K.‘s two wins. (C.K. took home an Outstanding Writing Emmy for his FX comedy “Louie”, and a second Writing Emmy in the Variety Special category.) “Modern Family” snagged its third Best Comedy Emmy as well as a second Supporting Actor and Actress statues for Eric Stonestreet and Julie Bowen. In the Best Comedy Actress race, Amy Poehler was once again passed over for her superior work on “Parks and Recreation” in favor of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, recognized for her performance on “Veep.” Meanwhile, Jon Cryer won a Best Comedy Actor statue, which will pair nicely with the Supporting Actor Emmy he has already won for all the time that he’s put in on “Two and Half Men.”
And the streaks went on: “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” won its gazillionth Emmy in the Outstanding Variety Series — OK, it was actually its 10th — and in spite of Showtime’s significant showing, HBO still won the total count competition. The premium cable network racked up 23 Emmys in total, helped along in no small part by “Game Change‘s” strong showing with five Emmy wins. The four it took home on Sunday include Emmys for Best Writing, Best Directing, Best Miniseries or Movie, and a Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie statue for Julianne Moore‘s portrayal of Sarah Palin.
Among the broadcast networks, CBS scored 16 Emmys, with PBS coming in second with 12 to ABC’s total of nine.
If you’re familiar with IMDb at all — and if you’re reading this blog post, you just might be — then you know that our site loves a good awards show. We also tolerate the bad ones. As for the ugly… well, rest assured, if there’s an Emmy, a Globe or an Oscar involved, we will be covering the heck out of the festivities.
So it shall be with the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards, airing live on ABC this Sunday and hosted by the usually unflappable Jimmy Kimmel. We have high hopes for Kimmel’s performance as host: he’ s a one-man Greek chorus, skilled in calmly voicing what the audience is collectively thinking and getting plenty of laughs in doing so. Kimmel has a relaxed, natural presence, but he also knows how to liven up a party. Which is exactly what the typical Emmys show calls for.
Before, during and after the awards telecast, IMDb will have full coverage of the event on our homepage, Facebook, and @IMDb on Twitter. Starting at 4pm PT, we’ll post tons of photos from the red carpet. When the show begins at 5pmPT, we’ll be taking over the homepage with live updates of the winners.
Before the parade of glamour kicks off, prepare for the festivities by perusing with our Road to the Emmys section, featuring the full list of major nominees, galleries of this year’s nominated actors and actresses, photos from last weekend’s Creative Arts Emmys, all the memorable moments from last year’s show, and more.
Please note: We’ll be posting all the winners on Facebook, so if you don’t want to find out who takes home the gold, you might want to hide us for the duration of the show. There…you have been warned. See you Sunday, everybody!
There’s no underestimating humankind’s reliance on electrical power. Consider the means by which we get to work each day, the ease with which we’re able to procure food and medicine. Consider the platform upon which you’re reading these words right now. We take all of these things for granted, and without power, all of it would be vastly more difficult to access, and these words would be delivered to you on paper. Handmade paper.
This idea only begins to describe the premise of “Revolution,” another series weaving adventure out of a post-cataclysmic scenario. Here, the story begins with a worldwide blackout that, as it turns out, becomes permanent. And when we say “blackout,” we mean every single bit of electrical power is suddenly zapped away in a blink, and for years afterward, no source on the planet can produce even the smallest electrical spark. As one might imagine (or, maybe, have already seen) this makes for some incredibly compelling imagery. Planes fall from the sky. Cars line up for miles, dead on the road. Mothers fearfully hug their children. All of that happens in the first five minutes of “Revolution’s” premiere (airing 10pm ET/PT Monday, Sept. 17, on NBC) and those first few scenes are indeed jaw-dropping.
Problem is, without counting commercial breaks, there are still 38 minutes or so to go after that. Plenty of time to rack up a large number of storytelling issues, character concerns, and more than a few flawed decisions that the pilot’s creators ask us to accept a little too early in the relationship.
“Revolution” is one of those dramas that viewers, and genre fans in particular, are right to meet with a hefty measure of skepticism. It sounds like a lot of fun, and in this Year of The Hunger Games, a show that reverts our technology-addicted culture to a nouveau primitive agrarian society, one that mixes elements of the American Revolution with the wild West, holds quite an allure.
At its soul, “Revolution” is an old-fashioned adventure serial propelled by a quest. Post-blackout, the story jumps ahead 15 years, where we meet Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) and her younger brother Danny (Graham Rogers), children of Ben Matheson (Tim Guinee). Moments before the blackout, Ben managed to download some crucial data onto a thumb drive before heading home to experience Technogeddon with his wife Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell). Now Ben and his kids are digging out a living in a farm community in the Midwest along with an assortment of other people including, handily, a former tech-company executive named Aaron (Zak Orth). (It must be noted that while the rest of the community looks like they forage regularly at the remains of the Gap, Aaron has a disheveled appearance. We would give credit to the producers for making at least one character look like he went through a disaster if we didn’t know that Hollywood always makes tech company geeks look disheveled.)
When a branch of the militia headed by the brutal Captain Tom Neville (Giancarlo Esposito) comes to town looking for Ben, the town pays a heavy toll. Danny is captured by the militia, spurring Charlie to embark on a dangerous quest to find him and her long-lost uncle Miles (Billy Burke). Miles has a family reputation of being something of a bad-ass, which culminates in the premiere’s most exciting scene.
NBC desperately wants viewers to know that “Revolution” is being brought to them by executive producers J.J. Abrams (“Fringe,” “Lost,” as if anyone needs to be reminded) and Jon Favreau, who directed Iron Man and is one of the EPs on The Avengers.
Mentioning The Avengers leads us to an important point worth calling out: Yes, Abrams and Favreau are EPs, and Favreau directed the pilot. But as “Revolution” goes forward, the person most responsible for shaping its storytelling is Eric Kripke, better known as the creator of “Supernatural“.
“Supernatural” had a promising pilot, fell into a storytelling slump shortly after that, but found its footing with the development of intriguing mythology that paid off handsomely at the end of season one. Under Kripke’s guidance, “Supernatural” evolved into an incredibly addictive hour. The series had its best run, creatively speaking, during the five seasons that he served as its showrunner. Abrams and Favreau may be recognizable brands to a wider swath of the culture, but it’s Kripke’s attachment to “Revolution” that should buy the show a portion of patience with viewers.
That’s still a lot to ask. “Revolution’s” opener has its moments, truly. The visuals of modern cities fallen into ruin are as haunting as they are beautiful, and the scene in which Burke proves why Uncle Miles has such a dark reputation is fun to watch…if you can accept the elaborately-contrived action choreography.
But viewers may soon grow tired of overlooking Spiridakos’s lack of emotional range, not to mentioned the blunders Charlie and her merry gang commits that are obviously manufactured to inject energy into a sagging plot. And though Kripke and Favreau assured critics attending a press event for the series that the reason for the blackout passed muster with a physicist, it’s hard to say whether the weekly promise of watching Burke suddenly explode through the landscape with lethal grace will be enough to keep viewers coming back for a full season.
Lastly, it must be said that “Revolution” gives us the same feeling that ”Terra Nova“, “The Event“,”FlashForward“,”Invasion“, and “Surface” left us with after seeing the first hour. All of those shows displayed promise, but none of lived long enough to adequately pay off the small bands of devoted viewers that saw them through to their early ends. At this point we can’t say for certain whether “Revolution” will join those ranks, but unless it improves significantly — and quickly — it’s tough to think of a reason to keep the lights on here.
New beginnings within veteran series are a precarious proposal — especially when the series in question seems to be loved and loathed with equal passion.
This is where Fox’s ”Glee” finds itself as season four begins. Certainly the dramedy has stumbled through its creative peaks and valleys, and over its first three seasons, it endured its share of overexposure, multiple backlashes, saturated media coverage of every casting rumor, and a sophomore storytelling slump that sacrificed good writing for stunts and endless quips that hammered us over the head with “how Sue sees it.” As the latest season kicks off in its new timeslot (9pm Thursdays on Fox), “Glee” will almost certainly continue to be a ratings success and sell lots of singles on iTunes, thanks to ardent fans who will watch it come rain or come slushie.
The good news for the rest of us is that the fourth season opener pays off all of that anticipation and hype quite beautifully. It might even be good enough to win back those who abandoned it.
Confession: That love/loathe dichotomy? This viewer has been in both camps. Lately, save for a couple of noticeably outstanding episodes during season three, I’ve mostly reacted to the show with indifference.
So it’s great to see “Glee” return — and in some sense, reset — with a renewed sense of the joy that made people fall for it in the first season.
In past seasons, “Glee” sagged under the difficulty with keeping the development of multiple characters fresh and interesting — and that was when everyone was still within Lima, Ohio’s city limits. Now, the social order in McKinley High includes a number of new faces, while some old friends whose fates we’re still not sure of by the end of the season premiere about remain missing in action. One character, Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer) is simply stuck, which is painful to witness.
Layered over this is the show within a show, with Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) starting a new life at a New York Academy of the Dramatic Arts. As the star of New Directions, Rachel was the focus of countless emotional odysseys that could be touching…but to be honest, she often made our teeth ache, too.
But Rachel the art school freshman is significantly humbled. Where Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) nurtured his students, NYADA’s faculty breaks them down to see which survivors can be re-molded into stars. And the once-perky Ms. Berry is now at the mercy of an undermining, ego-deflating authority figure in Kate Hudson‘s dance teacher Cassandra July.
Meanwhile, as the premiere’s title suggests, New Directions is on the hunt for a new star, and a couple of new additions to the school, Jake (Jacob Artist) and Marley (Melissa Benoist), are eager to fill in that role. Their fellow students — even supposedly accepting glee-clubbers — don’t make it easy for them.
This swirl of self-doubt and anxiety manifests itself into – what else? — a song, backed by visuals edited to bridge the glee club space at McKinley and NYADA’s thunderdome of a performance hall. That scene alone creates such a soul-stirring moment that even those who may have at some point wished “Glee” were off the air will be very happy that it remains.
There are a lot of familiar elements in the fourth season premiere, and it’s obvious that a few of the new actors are there to complete some mysterious recipe of cultural archetypes (some would even say stereotypes), the precise formulation of which only series creators Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan and Brad Falchuk and know. And true to form, “Glee’s” premiere is frosted with a bit of after-schools special schmaltz in the form of a lesson that touts acceptance and demonstrates the price one pays for fitting in versus standing out. Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) gets her moment of ridiculousness, and yes, somebody gets a slushie in the face.
But “Glee’s” premiere also delivers swells of warmth, even tears, in the bargain…which is why we fell in love with this show in the first place. Whether the fourth season can keep us hooked on this feeling remains to be seen; for the moment, it’s just good to be back in school. And that’s something this viewer hasn’t said in a while.
Before the first season of “American Horror Story” caused a stir by scoring 17 Primetime Emmy® Award nominations, accomplished by throwing its hat in the ring as a miniseries, FX teased its rabid fan base by releasing only the barest of details about the show’s sophomore run. Now viewers can call this fresh horror by its official name: Season two — er, the next installment – is titled “American Horror Story: Asylum.”
FX also shared an official plot outline for the next spooky chapter: Set in 1964, this tale takes place in, you guessed it, an East Coast mental health facility. In a recent executive session, FX president John Landgraf told reporters that the sanitarium also happens to be run by the Catholic Church, and formerly existed as a tuberculosis ward. If these walls could talk… actually, how much do you want to bet that they will?
Murphy explained in a press release statement that the title’s word choice has a specific meaning. Asylum, he explained, “signifies a place of haven for the unloved and the unwanted. This year’s theme is about sanity and tackling real life horrors.”
“American Horror Story: Asylum” is currently in production, and premieres in October.
There, in a few words, is the reason fans adore this ABC primetime soap about a seemingly angelic socialite hiding a personal mission of vengeance. “Revenge” became one of 2011-2012′s biggest surprises, a guilty pleasure that chucked the guilt quickly into its freshman run. It has since inspired fashion trends, gifted viewers with pithy quotes to rehash in day-after discussions, and breathed new life into the flagging primetime soap genre.
And while Emily Thorne is “Revenge’s” central character Mann’s Nolan Ross, the flamboyantly dressed tech gazillionaire who can’t help but involve himself in Emily’s increasingly tangled web, became its true scene-stealer. Nolan gets each episode’s best lines, more often than not. He also was saddled with television’s most unfortunate haircut.
Nolan’s hair took a backseat to “Revenge’s” season finale cliffhanger, in which a principal character appeared to have died in a plane crash, and Emily discovered her long lost mother is still alive. We’ll have to wait until September 30 for those shockers to pay off — although the first order of business, in typical “Revenge-y” fashion, will be to drop viewers into a terrible situation that happens quite a ways into the future before backing up to the events following the crash.
In the meantime Mann was happy to chat about the upcoming season with reporters fortunate enough to visit the “Revenge” set recently. Granted, he could only dish out a few tasty details because creator Mike Kelley is very serious about keeping his show’s biggest secrets under wraps. But Mann assures us, “dynamics have shifted. Plots are coming fast and furious, and it’s going to be utterly twisted and darker and deeper than even last year, if that’s even possible. The more twisted the better!”
Oh, and that awful winged bang-a-thon on Nolan’s head? Over and out. We can report that Nolan has visited a barber who updated his look significantly since we last saw him.
(Please note that Mann’s quotes came from a group interview in which multiple reporters from various outlets participated. Some of his answers have been edited for length.)
On why the show has resonated so well with audiences: “We’ve thought about that a lot over the course of last season. It was a combination of things, I think, the first being that there was a space that was open for this kind of show that was kind of missing. It’s got a retro feel to it…Tongues are planted in cheek, but not firmly. We take it very seriously as we do it, but there’s a lot of fun in the process.”
On the inclusion of terms like “revenge-y” and “revengenda” in his dialogue: “With the advent of social media now, the relationship between the show and the actors and/or creators, writers, whatever, has become much more symbiotic. So now we can take stuff directly out of the things and comments that people have said. We have a great time addressing that, because this is all about our fanbase. And so it’s fun to give them something back – sometimes to throw their expectations, but sometimes to give them exactly what they want.”
On Nolan’s colorful wardrobe and how season two’s developments will impact his closet: “I have now come to live for showing up to work and seeing what’s hanging in my trailer each day. One thing that’s going to be fun this season is that we got really deep and dark at the end of last season, and it’s a return to cocktail parties and pinched smiles. You know, that’s really fun for all of us, all of these very social situations where you know what’s happening behind the scenes and you know what those tight-lipped smiles mean.”
On the fan speculation as to whether Emily and Nolan are brother and sister: “Mike Kelley, our creator, refuses to give us an inch on any of that. I would be happy with however it went. To me, I think Emily holds a candle for Emily, potentially, romantically. That’s how I see it. That’s not what anybody else says to me.”
“But when you see the set-up for what the season is going to turn into, I think our proximities, Emily and I, are getting closer and closer.”
On the status of Emily and Nolan’s tempestuous “revenge” partnership: “Where we ended last year was a really emotionally genuine spot. We were very much together. We are definitely in it to win it at this point. I would do anything for her, including compromise my own safety and, to a degree, my own morals. But we’re just having so much fun. I just can’t stop it!”
On whether Nolan will get a love interest: “Absolutely.”
On whether Nolan’s love interest will be non-psychotic: “I don’t know.”
On what part the recession will play in season two’s plot: “Oh, we’re feeling the recession everywhere. By the end of last season, Grayson Global was dealing with some issues. It would be very interesting to play with the idea of, what happens to very rich people when they aren’t rich anymore? And what would they do to get that money back?”
“So I think this season is really about free will versus destiny and fate, whatever that means. That’s a very broad concept. But I think that’s the general feeling we’re going to play with.”
“..And we have some great playmates this year. I can scratch off my bucket list having met Jennifer Jason Leigh, and it was amazing to see her. It just goes to show how the scope of the show, at this point, is that we are able to pull in actors who want to have a good time.”
On whether we’ll uncover more of Nolan’s backstory: “Oh, you’re going to find out much more about that. I think we will start to live maybe a little bit more in the world of Nolcorp this year. “
On what the future holds for the development of other characters and their stories:“What’s really interesting this season is that now that we’ve established our characters, everybody sort of splits off. We’re going to interact, but everybody’s got their own storyline… And it’s sort of interesting watching the death of innocence on this show, and with the characters.”
“…I think there’s going to be some real love, and some genuinely touching emotional situations. Emily (Van Camp) and Nick Wechsler had me crying while watching the monitor yesterday. And that was just the first day (of shooting). So we’re good.”
On Madeleine Stowe‘s status with the show: “What’s so odd is, they have not told us anything about Madeleine. We haven’t seen her. She hasn’t been around. We speculate, maybe… that was it. But look, the beauty of this show is that anybody that we were to lose on the show can always come back in flashbacks.”
“…She’s keeping it very close to the vest, as Mike is right now. We’re waiting to find out who’s got scoop first.”
On its first day of presentations at the Television Critics Association’s Summer Press Tour, ABC released its schedule of fall premiere dates, most of which are set during the post-Emmys week that traditionally starts the season.
Among the premieres of note, “Once Upon a Time,” “Revenge” and new drama “666 Park Avenue” debut on Sunday, September 30. “Grey’s Anatomy” returns a few days prior, on September 27 at at 9pm. New drama “Last Resort” leads in to “Grey’s” at 8pm.
“The Middle” receives a special one-hour premiere Sept. 26, followed by the season premiere of “Modern Family” at 9pm and the series premiere of “The Neighbors” at 9:30pm. “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars” kicks off premiere week on September 24, leading into “Castle” at 10pm. ABC will reveals the “DWTS: All-Stars” cast of returning fan favorites on Friday morning.
However, a few shows are premiering on the later side of fall schedule, including early critical darling “Nashville,” which bows at 10pm October 10. Fans of “Suburgatory,” “Happy Endings” and “Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23” have an even longer wait: “Suburgatory” won’t re-join the schedule until October 17, while “Happy” and “Apartment 23″ won’t be back until October 23.
The full schedule, taken from ABC’s press release, is listed below.
Friday, September 14
8:00-9:00 p.m. “Shark Tank”
9:00-10:00 p.m. “What Would You Do?”
10:00-11:00 p.m. “20/20”
Monday, September 24
8:00-10:00 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars”
10:00-11:00 p.m. “Castle”
Tuesday, September 25
8:00-10:00 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars the Results Show”
10:00-11:00 p.m. “Private Practice”
Wednesday, September 26
8:00-9:00 p.m. “The Middle” (special one-hour premiere)
9:00-9:30 p.m. “Modern Family”
9:30-10:00 p.m. “The Neighbors” (series premiere)
Thursday, September 27
8:00-9:00 p.m. “Last Resort”
9:00-10:00 p.m. “Grey’s Anatomy”
10:00-11:00 p.m. “Scandal”
Sunday, September 30
8:00-9:00 p.m. “Once Upon a Time”
9:00-10:00 p.m. “Revenge”
10:00-11:00 p.m. “666 Park Avenue”
Wednesday, October 3
8:30-9:00 p.m. “The Neighbors” (regular time period premiere)
Sunday, October 7
7:00-8:00 p.m. “America’s Funniest Home Videos”
Wednesday, October 10
10:00-11:00 p.m. “Nashville”
Wednesday, October 17
9:30-10:00 p.m. “Suburgatory”
Tuesday, October 23
9:00-9:30 p.m. “Happy Endings”
9:30-10:00 p.m. “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23”
Friday, November 2
8:00-8:30 p.m. “Last Man Standing”
8:30-9:00 p.m. “Malibu Country”
9:00-10:00 p.m. “Shark Tank” (new time period premiere)
One of the first victories that NBC’s Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt touted to TV reporters during his Tuesday morning executive session was that his network finished the 2011-2012 season in third place in the 18-49 demographic — the first time it hasn’t finished fourth since the 2003-2004 season.
In the TV business, it’s always better to move up as opposed to down, even if that movement is somewhat incremental. Ratings-wise, NBC did have something to brag about in “The Voice,” which bested “American Idol” in the demo at one point during its most recent cycle. “The Voice” was also NBC’s only non-sports show in the Nielsen ratings Top 20 for the season. (The next closest show on the chart: “Smash,” coming in at #50.)
“We had a great spring and I couldn’t be happier about what happened,” Greenblatt told critics attending the Television Critics Association’s Summer Press Tour, adding, “I’m optimistic about the fall.”
To be thematically appropriate, he should have said he was “broadly optimistic”. Greenblatt’s vision for the 2012-2013 season includes a lot of ideas for “broadening” the content on the network, which means introducing more easily-digestible comedies, fewer challenging dramas. That does not bode well for fan-favorites such as “Community,” which NBC moved the comedy to Fridays and picked up for only 13 episodes.
When pressed about “Community’s” future Greenblatt could only tell critics that he hopes it finds a following in the coming season.
“I would categorically not rule out that it’s not the last season of ‘Community’,” Greenblatt told reporters, but went on to explain that as much as he and critics love the show, and he would love to see another season (#sixseasonsandamovie?), “those Thursday comedies, which the critics love and we love, tend to be more narrow than we’d ultimately like as we go forward.” (#probablynot)
That’s true. It’s also true that whatever good will viewers still have for NBC right now it owes to those narrow shows with enthusiastic core audiences, series such as “Community,” “30 Rock” and “Parks and Recreation,” and on the drama side, “Parenthood.” But the high devotion fans have for each of those series is not matched by their audiences’ overall numbers, which have long been much smaller than the competition. Nor does it come close to the much larger number of viewers out there that firmly believe that NBC hasn’t done anything right since “Friends” was on the air. That makes the road ahead for NBC, and Greenblatt, very rocky: he has to find a way to let his network’s remaining audience down easy as he puts a lot of their favorite shows to sleep, while populating the schedule with new series enticing enough to return those who have long abandoned the network to the fold.
And in the short run, that means promoting content that targets the widest swath of viewers — shows like “Animal Practice” and “Go On” and “The New Normal,” and the utterly banal but highly approachable “Guys with Kids.”
In other words, move over Abed Nadir. Make room for Crystal the monkey.
Mariah Carey has officially joined “Idol” as its latest judge, according to Kevin Reilly, Fox’s president of entertainment. Reilly made the announcement on Monday morning to members of the media covering the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour, taking place in Beverly Hills.
Reilly teed up to the big reveal by putting Carey on speaker phone prior to the executive question and answer session with reporters. After a long pause and a bit of technical difficulty, Carey’s first words to us as an “Idol” judge were…
“I can’t wait to get started in a couple of months.”
Reilly also made it official that Jennifer Lopez really and truly is not returning to the show.
Reilly told reporters that another judge will be added soon, but gave no other clues as to who that will be beyond teasing that they’re courting some of the best-known names in the recording industry. (Maybe this guy? Or this one? Or her? Please not this guy, although it would be hilarious.) He did add that Randy Jackson, whose future with “Idol” remains uncertain, was instrumental in bringing Mariah into the fold.