Hannibal has truly taken on a new dimension this year, expanding its stories and building off of last year’s setup beautifully. It’s not taking a lot of time to integrate new viewers to the series if they didn’t catch up on the first season, but kudos to it for knowing its purpose in a way that just presses forward regardless. You’re either on this train, or you’re not (and you should want to be).
The writing and the staging in “Sakizuki” were beautiful (and occasionally horrible), and Hannibal continues to find new ways to approach and keep fresh its central conflict between Will and Hannibal. For what is the show about if not therapy and friendship? Oh, gruesome murder. Right. Hit the jump for why “I am the unreliable narrator of my own story.”
Fox is off to an early start in the renewal game. Here’s a quick look at the comedies that will be returning for another year:
- Freshman comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, starring Andy Samberg, Joe Lo Truglio, Stephanie Beatriz, Chelsea Peretti, Melissa Fumero, Terry Crews and Andre Braugher, will return for a second season.
- The Mindy Project, starring Mindy Kaling, Chris Messina, Ed Weeks, Ike Barinholtz, Zoe Jarman, and Beth Grant, has been renewed for a third season.
- New Girl, starring Zooey Deschanel, Max Greenfield, Jake Johnson, Lamorne Morris, and Hannah Simone, will return for a fourth season.
- As part of its two-year pickup, Glee will enjoy its final season run next year, with Lea Michele and Jane Lynch starring.
Hit the jump for some drama renewal news.
Following John Oliver’s extended stint as guest host of The Daily Show while Jon Stewart was busy with his directorial debut, HBO scooped the comedian up with an offer he couldn’t refuse: his own half-hour comedy news series. Oliver made a tearful goodbye on the Comedy Central series last December, but now HBO has released a first trailer for his impending HBO series Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Since it’s a topical weekly news program, there’s no footage from the actual show itself, but Oliver does a nice job of explaining the series’ central conceit by reiterating that if a major, breaking event happens any day of the week at any time, they will cover it on Sunday.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver premieres on HBO Sunday, April 27th at 11pm ET.
Thursday evening’s TV ratings are in. Here’s a brief look at the highlights:
- NBC’s Parks and Recreation scored a rise of 9% with a 1.2 rating in the 18-49 demo and garnered 2.89 million viewers. That’s about on par with its recent episodes.
- The CBS juggernaut The Big Bang Theory was up 4% from last week’s episode with a 5.2 rating and 17.91 million viewers, easily eclipsing everything else on TV Thursday.
- Closing out NBC’s night was Parenthood with a 1.2 rating and 3.8 million viewers, which is a rise of 9% from last week’s series low.
Hit the jump for the rest of the ratings for Thursday, March 6th, including Community, The Vampire Diaries, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Grey’s Anatomy, and more.
Filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón just won the Oscar for Best Director, but you don’t have to wait long to see the talented director’s next project. In the midst of the very lengthy post-production process on Gravity, Cuarón made his first foray into television by writing and directing the pilot for NBC’s new drama series Believe. The network has now released the first two minutes of the show online ahead of its Monday premiere, and it’s fittingly one of the director’s signature long, unbroken shots. The story centers on a wrongfully-imprisoned death row inmate who is broken out of jail in order to protect a young girl with powerful abilities. Cuarón also serves as an executive producer on the show alongside J.J. Abrams, and this is definitely a promising opening for the show.
Hit the jump to watch the first two minutes of the series. The show stars Johnny Sequoyah, Delroy Lindo, and Kyle MacLachlan. Believe premieres on NBC Monday, March 10th at 10pm ET.
Jack Bauer returns to say “Dammit Chloe!” another 46 times in a couple of months in Fox’s highly anticipated event series 24: Live Another Day, and some new images from the show have landed online. The 12-episode limited series finds Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer thwarting terror abroad in London four years after the events of the show’s series finale. These new images show the return of Jack, a newly punk Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub), Audrey (Kim Raver), and even now-President James Heller (William Devane), and we also get a look at some new characters, including Benjamin Bratt as the head of the CIA operation that’s tracking Jack in London, Tate Donovan as the White House Chief of Staff, and Chuck star Yvonne Strahovski as Kate Morgan, a “brilliant but impulsive” CIA field operative working in London.
Hit the jump to check out the images, and click here if you missed the first teaser trailer. 24: Live Another Day premieres on Fox on May 12th.
Already renewed for a fourth season, the USA drama series Suits returns to finish up its season with all-new episodes, picking up in the wake of the emotional and shattering murder trial that affected everyone at the firm. Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) and Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres) must address the firm’s future, while Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman) threatens to expose the truth about Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), and Donna (Sarah Rafferty) is left to keep all of their secrets.
During this exclusive interview with Collider, actress Sarah Rafferty talked about how thrilled she is with the way Donna has developed, being the emotional glue for all of the characters, being grateful to play the light and the dark moments, that she doesn’t think Donna’s colossally high self-esteem can be shaken, that she’ll be taking it upon herself to try to protect everyone, in the remaining episodes, what Donna’s family might be like, why Donna gets Harvey, how surprised she was to learn about Donna and Harvey’s history, and that she’d love to see Donna get more involved in a case. Check out what she had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
FX has renewed the fantastic animated comedy series Archer for a sixth season—and a seventh. The network has given a two-season renewal to the show, per THR, ensuring a rich syndication deal and leaving open the possibility for even more seasons past the seventh. The series is a consistent ratings hit in the all-important 18-49 demo, ranking as the second-highest rated basic cable comedy series on TV. By picking up two more 13-episode seasons of Archer, the show’s number of total episodes will put it past the threshold needed to qualify for syndication, meaning previous episodes of the series will now be able to air on cable and broadcast syndication.
Created by Adam Reed and Matth Thompson, the series took a huge gamble in its current fifth season by basically blowing up the central premise of the show and starting over from scratch. The result—subtitled Archer: Vice—is a hilariously ridiculous new conceit buoyed by the sharp writing and excellent voice cast, which is led by Bob’s Burgers voice actor H. Jon Benjamin as the titular character. The season five finale will air on FX April 21st, and one imagines season six will return January of next year.
Season one of HBO’s brilliant anthology drama series True Detective comes to a close this weekend with Sunday’s episode, but there’s little doubt that the show will return for a second season. The ratings have been stellar, buzz has been aplenty, and the anthology conceit of the show allows for an entirely new cast to take over the True Detective world in a second season. One of the key aspects of the show that’s made it so engaging thus far has been that every single episode was written by creator Nic Pizzolato and directed by Cary Fukunaga. It was a massive undertaking for one filmmaker to helm all eight episodes, but it provided a cohesiveness to the story that’s rarely found in episodic television.
Unfortunately, it sounds like season two won’t follow this exact same format, as directing every episode proved incredibly exhausting for Fukunaga and is time-prohibitive if HBO wants a new season every year. Hit the jump for more on what Pizzolato had to say about season two.
TV ratings for Wednesday, March 5th, are in. Here’s a brief rundown:
- The CW’s Arrow was down 22% to a series low 0.7 rating in the 18-49 demo and scored 2.19 million viewers. The Tomorrow People also hit a series low, dropping 20% to a 0.4 rating and 1.33 million viewers. Read Dave’s recap of Arrow here.
- Over on ABC, The Middle was up 12% to a 1.9 rating and 7.15 million viewers, Suburgatory rose 21% to a 1.7 rating and 5.57 million viewers, Modern Family ticked up 6% to a 3.3 rating and 9.01 million viewers, Mixology dipped 6% to a 1.6 rating and 4.48 million viewers, and Nashvile rose 8% to a 1.4 rating and 4.85 million viewers.
- NBC’s Revolution matched last week’s series low 1.3 rating and scored 4.77 million viewers, Law & Order: SVU dropped 20% to a 2.0 rating and 6.03 million viewers, and Chicago P.D. dropped 15% to a series low-tying 1.5 rating and 6.07 million viewers.
- CBS’ Criminal Minds garnered a 2.6 rating and 11.37 million viewers for a rise of 18%, while CSI was down 15% to a 1.7 rating and 9.19 million viewers.
There’s about to be a pretty excruciating lull in Sunday television programming when True Detective concludes this weekend, but after the month-long wait is up, we’ll have new episodes of Game of Thrones, Veep, and Mad Men to pore over. AMC is gearing up its campaign for the latter, which kicks off the first half of its final season on April 13th. The first teaser trailer for season seven part one—or “The Beginning” as it’s titled—has landed online, and it’s unsurprisingly enigmatic. We see Jon Hamm’s Don Draper getting off of a plane, and given where Draper ended up at the end of last season, there’s absolutely no telling where we’ll find the character when the show returns. I’m still a bit irked that AMC is dividing the final season into two halves of seven episodes each, but I’m nevertheless looking forward to seeing how creator Matthew Weiner decides to close out the story of Don Draper.
Hit the jump to watch the teaser trailer. Mad Men returns for the first half of season seven on AMC Sunday, April 13th followed by the second half in spring 2015. [Update: We've also added the psychedelic poster for the new season after the jump.]
Whoa. So was that a regularly scheduled episode of Arrow last night, or the first half of a made-for-TV movie? The production quality was through the roof! My one mild complaint about the show in recent weeks was that it has become ever-so-slightly predictable and by-the-numbers, even if those numbers are spectacular. My prayers were answered in this week’s episode, “The Promise”, which not only changed up the story structure in a big way, but did it with explosive panache. Hit the jump for my recap and review.
When watching Andy Daly‘s (Eastbound & Down) new dark Comedy Central series Review, with Forrest MacNeil, based on the Australian mockumentary series Review, with Myles Barlow, viewers must be struck by how this isn’t an actual reality show. Daly’s out of touch, nerdy Forrest is the presenter of a show where he is a “life reviewer,” because “life: it’s literally all we have. But the question is, is it any good?” Forrest’s kind of critical review is for the experience of life itself. The fake show’s viewers send in videos, emails and texts asking Forrest to review things like addiction, going to a high school prom, being a racist, hunting, and more. Nothing is too big or too trivial for Forrest, but it soon begins to take its toll. Hit the jump for more.
There are several levels of distillation that have brought us to Sirens, a new comedy on USA produced by Denis Leary (Rescue Me) and Bob Fisher (Wedding Crashers). It is based loosely on a U.K. series of the same name, that ran for a single season in 2011, that itself was based off of the book Blood, Sweat & Tea, which was a compilation of posts from the blog “Random Acts of Reality.” In some cases, the continual processing of something can lead to it being polished and refined. In other cases, it causes it to loose its natural content and value. To see exactly where Sirens falls, hit the jump.
The Americans slowed down a little bit this week to take stock of the Big Event that occurred in the premiere. In that spirit of reflection, I started thinking about what is making the show so much stronger this year. The Americans took some time to get off the ground, though that criticism has also been lobbied at shows that, of course, turned into some of TV’s best (like Mad Men andThe Wire, both of which began as slow-burns). This second season of The Americans is proving that the setup and the time it took for it to find its footing last year is now paying off through a narrative cohesion the show lacked, to a certain degree, in its first season. Hit the jump for why “I’m gonna get a gun!”