“Gloom, Despair And Agony On Me!” The 2015-16 TV Schedule is Announced, The Best Show on Broadcast TV Just Got the Axe, Sci-Fi Returns to SYFY and Did You Ever Stop to Think-Maybe Your Superhero is Just Not That Into You?

By Cadillac Jack | July 1, 2015

Well kids, it’s summer vacation and in between double-teaming some of the summer’s biggest movies with your popGeezer (it occurs to me that sentence may have come out wrong), it’s time once again to reach into the TV Grab Bag to see what bites back.

HANNIBAL GETS SERVED, BUT THE AUDIENCE GETS THE CHECK. I had planned to use this space to beg and plead with you all once again to watch Hannibal, the absolute best series now, or perhaps ever on a broadcast network, only to open my email yesterday to discover that they show has been cancelled three episodes into the third season (which began June 4th). The third season will continue to run it’s course. It is summer after all, what else are they going to do with the time slot-Celebrity Gardening? But there will be no fourth season. At least not on NBC.

Now, as much as I’d love to blame NBC for this travesty…I can’t. The Peacock has been extremely generous in giving wunderkind producer Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls) and Hannibal roughly two and a half more seasons than any other net would have given any other show, but despite that faith, coupled with a rabid fanbase, the Fannibals, if you will, the show just could never plug into that broad, generic TV audience that feeds the Broadcast Beast. On HBO or FX, Hannibal would run for years and years.

Maybe it will. In a statement released yesterday, The De Laurentiis Company, which produces Hannibal, said that they are “exploring other options for future seasons,” adding “others have expressed interest in partnering with us.”

God, I would love to see this show wind up on a cable net that would appreciate it and allow it to grow even beyond the loose boundaries imposed by NBC. It is so beautifully shot, so wonderfully staged and phenomenally written with performances from Hugh Dancy (Will), Laurence Fishburne (Jack), Caroline Dhavernas (Alanna), Gillian Anderson (Bedelia) and the incomparable Mads Mikkelson as Hannibal, that are so deep and insightful and just plain terrifying, that it feels like I’m actually in the room, sharing the danger of it all with them. Atmospheric and operatic; tragic and sublime, there is a moment coming in TV history this summer, folks. Hannibal is ending, and we shall not see its like again. [THIS JUST IN] In an interview this past weekend, Fuller said that the most likely winner in the Hannibal sweepstakes would be Amazon, since they have an already exclusive deal to run the three seasons of the show already produced. Netflix has apparently also expressed interest, but the Amazon deal is apparently going to keep that from being a possibility. No deals are in place yet (and may never be), but I’m definitely keeping my Amazon Prime account paid up.

YOU KNOW NOTHING, JON SNOW (SPOILERS!). OK, by now we all know that on the Game of Thrones season finale, Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) was branded a traitor by his Night’s Watch brothers and stabbed repeatedly. And everyone is screaming at the top of his lungs that he can’t be dead. That he’s “my favorite character,” that he’s the only noble guy in the whole damn show, that he’s probably the son of a Targaryen and Ned Stark’s sister and the Ahor Azai of prophecy (and thus the reason for the whole damn show) or that we would forgive Melisandre for Shirren in a heartbeat if she’d just bring Jon back, but do you know I think is the best and most powerful argument for the fact that Game of Thrones is not finished with our tousle-headed Lord Commander? The fact that with Sam in Oldtown learning to be a Maester and with Jon (choke) gone, we no longer have anything that even vaguely resembles a POV character at the Wall. This is an important distinction to make because it’s been no real secret that while the rest of Westeros has fiddle-farted around trying to decide who would be King (or Queen-hi Dany), the real danger is the White Walkers invading the Seven Kingdoms from north of the Wall. Without a Point of View character like Jon Snow, who we care about and are invested in, how are we going to get that part of the story?

And lest you think the travails of the Night’s Watch may have ended, what do you think the Wildlings (who outnumber the Watch at least three to one) are gonna do once they realize the Crows killed the one guy who cared enough about them to try and save them? Yeah, I really want to see Tormen and Ser Allister hash that one out over tea and crumpets, don’t you?

Jon Snow lives. And even if he doesn’t, he should.

ALAS POOR DELPHINE, WE KNEW HER WELL. BUT WHAT WAS UP WITH THAT BUG? Well, if you saw the Orphan Black season finale (and if you didn’t, SPOILERS!), you know that the “sestras” found the original donor of both the Leda and Castor genomes and it turned out to be the same person. And that person turned out to be…Siobahn (Maria Doyle Kennedy)’s mother! Turns out mom ate her own twin in the womb (which they tell us happens more often than you’d think-Yech) and as such, has both a male and female strand of DNA, which the doctors Duncan used to build the original Leda and Castor programs from. And suddenly the Neolutionists showed by up, after laying low for a couple of seasons, to be the Big Bad after all, and Dyad (or at least Ferdinand-the always excellent James Frain) joined Team Clone to keep them from getting their hands on it.

We lost Paul (Dylan Bruce) this season and while the Castors (all played by Ari Millen) aren’t completely gone, they are certainly diminished at this point (did you SEE Helena take out Rudy? Priceless), but why did we have to lose Delphine (Evelyne Brochu)? Granted, she was getting more and more full-blown crazy pants every week, but she was a hell of a lot more interesting than the lovely Shay (Ksenia Solo), especially if Shay’s just a vanilla civilian and not some undercover spy for somebody somewhere. And then, of course, there’s pro-clone Rachel, who got a new eye, but is now being held prisoner by her foster mother, Susan Duncan and chumming around with her little “sestra” Charolette, a younger version of the Sarah/Cosima/ Allison/Rachel clone made from another batch by mysterious corporate dominatrix Miriam Bowles (Michelle Forbes). And what happened to Krystal, the new tenth clone (seriously, I thought there were only supposed to be nine)? And what the hell is up with that mouth worm thing Dr. Evil tried to force down Delphine’s throat? Talk about outta left field!

Just please…please tell me we get a scene next season where Krystal wakes up from wherever the hell she is to find five or six of her new “sestras” waiting to meet her. I can’t wait!

IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S ME. (Mild spoilers) Remember back in late April or early May when CBS announced they were greenlighting Greg Berlanti’s Supergirl series for the fall and debuted an extremely polished and well-made six minute trailer for the show? And do you remember how the internet fanboys freaked out to high heaven over the trailer saying that it looked like The Supervillain Wears Prada or some sort of ridiculous Kara Loves Jimmy rom-com, rather than a comic book show? Well, relax my children. Curl up in your favorite Super Friends blankie and ask Mom to deliver another tray of Cheetos and Root Beer down to the basement-ah, the Fortress of Solitude/Command Center (whatever)-and relax. The full HD pilot for the show leaked about a month ago and I’ve seen it and you have very little to worry about. Oh sure, there are lots of “girly” or rom-com-y frills added to the show, but 90% of them are in that trailer. The rest of the show is as straight up comic book/superhero action as Arrow or The Flash or Agents of SHIELD. In fact, it’s in those “comic book” moments that the show seems less sure of itself. Why did Superman dump his young cousin off on the Danvers and then never come around again (other than because WB won’t let Superman appear on TV anymore)? Why is he letting cousin Kara take on the entirety of the escaped Phantom Zone by herself without any more experienced help (see previous reason)? Supergirl has the same problem Smallville had; how do you have a Superman (or a Superman Family) show and not have Superman in it? An interesting question, and one surely worth talking about once the show premieres, but today, I want to talk about something else.

One of the main complaints I heard about the Supergirl trailer was how it wasn’t “comic book” enough for the fanboys. That the show couldn’t be a comedy or a rom com or whatever it was going to be and still be a super hero show. Really? Hasn’t Marvel proven almost the exact opposite of that to be the case? That a comic book movie can also be a buddy movie or a road movie or a 70’s spy movie or a heist movie? Is there any reason to believe that our comic book TV shows can’t be the same?

Listen, when I was a kid, there were maybe one or two sci-fi shows on TV every five years or so, and whenever one debuted, I watched it no matter how bad it was or how unbelievable, because it was a SCIENCE FICTION SHOW ON TV and I wanted to support it. And just as I watched the old George Reeves Superman show or the ’66 Batman carnival or Mr. Terrific with Wally Cox or The Greatest American Hero, I’ve made a concerted effort to watch all the superhero shows as well, since the Great Super Hero Resurgence began back in the 90’s with Lois and Clark and Heroes and dear old bloody Smallville, the show I love to hate to love. But then came The Cape and One Ordinary Family, super hero shows that were earnest, but just didn’t do it for me and suddenly, I realized that comic book shows had finally become just like sci-fi shows and cop shows and comedies and every other kind of show up and down the dial. Not every show is for everybody. Supergirl and Gotham and SHIELD (and poor old Constantine) are/were on major broadcast networks that live or die by the ratings. Not by the one and two million audience shares the CW trumpets, but the nine and ten and eleven million audience shares that network shows need to get by. HBO and Netflix don’t care as much how the audience fluctuates on Game of Thrones or Daredevil as long as subscriber numbers don’t fall, and on those premium channels, if you don’t like one show, chances are they have plenty of other shows and movies you do like, so one show is probably not going to cause someone to cancel their subscription. I don’t know if I’d call it a better model, but I’d certainly call it a stronger one, at least in terms of letting new programming grow and find an audience.

As I said, Supergirl is on CBS, perhaps the major network. As such, if it doesn’t pull an audience of around 8-10 million per week, it’s not going to stay on the air. In an effort to pull those numbers, Berlanti and company have broadened the scope of the show to include rom com or Devil Wears Prada-esque elements in an effort to have a little something for everybody. They may go too far. They may go too far for you. That’s OK. There are plenty of other comic books shows out there to watch.

I GUESS THE SPELLING DOESN’T MATTER, AFTER ALL. Once upon a time, we had a TV channel devoted to Science Fiction. It was even called The Sci-Fi Channel and even though Harlan Ellison and a number of other professionals complained that Sci-Fi was a belittling term for the genre and advocated (sometimes loudly) that they should change it, we all embraced our new TV friend and called it good. Well, it wasn’t all good. There were some pretty crappy shows in the early days of Sci-Fi, but it got better, so that finally, for every re-run of Lost in Space or Manimal, there was also Battlestar Galactica and Farscape.

Then they changed the name. Saying that Sci-Fi wasn’t available in every country or that it didn’t translate well into every language, Comcast, which owns NBC, which owns USA, which owns Sci-Fi, changed the name of the net to SYFY and started airing wrestling and reality shows. This was not good. Not at all.

Now, the winds of change blow once again. The net is still called SYFY, but slowly but surely, they are returning to their roots and are making science fiction shows again. Real science fiction, with space ships and time machines and serious moral questions of right and wrong and the gray area between the two. We can disagree about exactly where it began coming back, but with the disappointing Ascension and the excellent 12 Monkeys re-imaging and the adaptations of James S. A. Corey’s excellent Expanse series and Lev Grossman’s The Magicians and Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End on the way, it’s definitely a good time to be a science fiction fan again.

And that brings us to SYFY’s two newest series, Dark Matter and Killjoys. Both are fairly low budget, CGI’d to hell and back and filled with pretty, barely familiar or totally unfamiliar faces. Except for Aaron Ashmore. He’s in Killjoys. I’m constantly getting him and his twin brother Shawn confused, but ID tells me that Aaron is the one that was in Smallville and Warehouse 13, In Plain Sight, Lost Girl, Veronica Mars…well, you get the picture (by the way, it was Shawn who played Iceman in the X-Men movies). It is odd having TV journeyman actor Rob Stewart (Suits, Beauty & The Beast, Nikita) in a guest-starring/recurring role in both shows, however. Even though he’s obviously playing different characters, it seems to hint at a connection that isn’t there. Assuming the shows don’t run in tandem in Canada as they do here and have different production schedules, I’m sure it’s just one of those weird coincidences that keep guys like me up nights.

Speaking of the Great White North, both shows are produced in cooperation with Canada’s Space network and have production values equal to Lost Girl and the other shows the net imports from them. Both shows, while not Shakespeare (or even Joss Whedon), are reasonably well-written and make good use of the various tropes and stereotypes of their particular branch of the genre. Dark Matter seems to borrow heavily from the Firefly playbook in terms of characterization and plotting, while Killjoys seems to be looking to movies like The Expendables for its direction and style. Either way, it’s great to have the SYFY Channel back in space where it belongs and, at least until The Expanse and Childhood’s End come along, Dark Matter and Killjoys aren’t a bad way to get there at all.

SPRING HAS SPRUNG, FALL HAS FELL. It’s hard to believe we’re almost halfway through the summer already and that the new TV season is right around the corner. Just this week E! Online released the definitive schedule for the major broadcast nets and because I can copy and paste with the best of them, we have it for you right here. As of this writing, every broadcast net except NBC has announced their premiere dates, so I have added those dates where possible. Enjoy. Oh, and all the new shows are in bold.

MONDAY

7/8:00 p.m.

Dancing With the Stars (ABC) (two hours) Season premiere Sept. 14.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS) (moves to Thurs after football). Season premiere Sept. 21.
Supergirl (CBS). (when BBT moves back to Thursday) Series premiere Oct. 26.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (CWSeries premiere Oct. 19.
Gotham (FoxSeason premiere Sept. 21.
The Voice (NBC) (two hours)

7/8:30 p.m.

Life in Pieces (CBS) Series premiere Sept. 21.

8/9 p.m.

Scorpion (CBS) Season premiere Sept. 21.
Jane the Virgin (CW) Season premiere Oct. 19.
Minority Report (Fox) Series premiere Sept. 21.

9/10 p.m.


Castle (ABC) Season premiere Sept. 21.
NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS) Season premiere Sept. 21.
Blindspot (NBC)

TUESDAY

7/8 p.m.

The Muppets (ABC) Series premiere Sept. 22.
NCIS (CBS) Season premiere Sept. 22.
The Flash (CW) Season premiere Oct. 6.
Grandfathered (Fox) Series premiere Sept. 29.
The Voice (NBC)

7/8:30 p.m.

Fresh Off the Boat (ABCSeason premiere Sept. 22.
The Grinder (FoxSeries premiere Sept. 29.

8/9 p.m.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC) Season premiere Sept. 29.
NCIS: New Orleans (CBS) Season premiere Sept. 22.
iZombie (CW) Season premiere Oct. 6.
Scream Queens (Fox) Series premiere September 22.
Heartbreaker (NBC)

9/10 p.m.

Beyond the Tank (ABC) Series premiere September 29.
Limitless (CBS) Series premiere Sept. 22.
Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris (NBC)
Chicago Fire (NBC)
Chicago Med (NBC)
Wicked City (ABC) Series premiere Oct. 27.

WEDNESDAY

7/8 p.m.

The Middle (ABC) Season premiere Sept. 23.
Survivor (CBS) Season premiere Sept. 23.
Arrow (CW) Season premiere Oct. 7.
Rosewood (Fox) Series premiere Sept. 23.
The Mysteries of Laura (NBC)

7/8:30 p.m.

The Goldbergs (ABC) Season premiere Sept. 23.

8/9 p.m.

Modern Family (ABC) Season premiere Sept. 23.
Criminal Minds (CBS) Season premiere Sept. 30.
Supernatural (CW) Season premiere Oct. 7.
Empire (Fox) Season premiere Sept. 23.
Law & Order: SVU (NBC)

8/9:30 p.m.

Black-ish (ABC) Season premiere Sept. 23.

9/10 p.m.

Nashville (ABC) Season premiere Sept. 23.
Code Black (CBS) Series premiere Sept. 30.
Chicago P.D. (NBC)

THURSDAY

7/8 p.m.

Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) Season premiere Sept. 24.
Thursday Night Football (CBS) Season premiere Sept. 17. The Vampire Diaries (CW) Season premiere Oct. 8.
Bones (Fox) Season premiere Oct. 1.
Heroes Reborn (NBC)

7/8:30p.m.

Life in Pieces (CBS) Series premiere Nov. 5.

8/9 p.m.

Mom (CBS) Season premiere Nov. 5
Scandal (ABC) Season premiere Sept. 24.
The Originals (CW) Season premiere Oct. 8.
Sleepy Hollow (Fox) Season premiere Oct. 1.
The Blacklist (NBC)

8/9:30 p.m.
Angel From Hell (CBS) Series premiere Nov. 5.

9/10 p.m.
How to Get Away With Murder (ABC) Season premiere Sept. 24.
Elementary (CBS) Season premiere Nov. 5.
The Player (NBC)

FRIDAY

7/8 p.m.
Last Man Standing (
ABC) Season premiere Sept. 25.
The Amazing Race (CBS) Season premiere Sept. 25.
Reign (CW) Season premiere Oct. 9.
MasterChef Junior (Fox) Season premiere Nov. 6.
Undateable
(NBC)

7/8:30 p.m.
Dr. Ken (
ABC) Series premiere Oct. 2.
People Are Talking (NBC)

8/9 p.m.
Shark Tank
(ABC) Season premiere Sept. 25.
Hawaii Five-0 (CBS) Season premiere Sept. 25.
America’s Next Top Model
(CW) Returns Oct. 9.
World’s Funniest (Fox) Season premiere Nov. 6.
Grimm
(NBC)

9/10 p.m.
20/20 (ABC) Season premiere Sept. 11.
Blue Bloods
(CBS) Season premiere Sept. 25.
Dateline
(NBC)

SUNDAY

6/7 p.m.

America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC) Season premiere Oct. 11.
60 Minutes (CBS) Season premiere Sept. 27.

7/8 p.m.
Once Upon a Time
(ABC) Season premiere Sept. 27.
Madam Secretary
(CBS) Season premiere Oct 4.
Sunday Night Football
(NBC)
The Simpsons
(Fox) Season premiere Sept. 27.

7/8:30 p.m.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
(Fox) Season premiere Sept. 27.

8/9 p.m.
Blood & Oil (ABC) Series premiere Sept. 27.
The Good Wife (CBS) Season premiere Oct 4.
Family Guy
(Fox) Season premiere Sept. 27.

8/9:30 p.m.
The Last Man on Earth
(Fox) Season premiere Sept. 27.

9/10 p.m.

Quantico (ABC). Series premiere Sept 27 before moving to Tuesdays at 8/9.
Of Kings and Prophets (ABC)
CSI: Cyber (CBS) Season premiere Oct 4.

WELL, AT LEAST HE’S GOT SOMETHING TO DO NOW THAT HANNIBAL’S OVER. American Gods, based on the terrific book by Neil Gaiman and produced by Michael Green and Hannibal’s Bryan Fuller , which long bounced around trying to find its way over at HBO, has now landed at STARZ, where it has been green-lighted for production to series.

I am thrilled, ‎scared, delighted, nervous and a ball of glorious anticipation,” said Gaiman in a statement. “The team that is going to bring the world of ‘American Gods’ to the screen has been assembled like the master criminals in a caper movie: I’m relieved and confident that my baby is in good hands. Now we finally move to the exciting business that fans have been doing for the last dozen years: casting our Shadow, our Wednesday, our Laura.

No word yet on when STARZ expects the show to premiere, but I can’t wait.

IT’S ALIVE! Here are some oddly-timed show renewals you might not have heard about:

Mr. Robot (USA): Starring Christian Slater and Rami Malek and created and run by Sam Esmail, Mr. Robot was renewed for season two, just prior to its series debut, based solely on early response to the pilot, which was released a month early on Youtube.

Daredevil (Netflix): Starring Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio, Marvel’s Daredevil has been renewed for a second season with Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez serving as showrunners as season one boss Steven DeKnight exits,

Arrested Development (Netflix): Producer Brian Grazer has announced that the iconic comedy about the wholly dysfunctional Bluth family will return for binge-watching for another seventeen episodes.

Orange is the New Black (Netflix): The ground-breaking Netflix series will return for season four in 2016.

Celebrity Deathmatch lives again. The MTV series originally ran from 1998-2002 and was revived on MTV2 from 2006-2007. The new version will again live on MTV2.

Aquarius (NBC) The Peacock just announced that the period Charles Manson crime drama, starring David Duchovny will be back for season two.

Veep (HBO) The premium net has renewed the Julia Louis-Dreyfus vehicle for a fifth presidential season.

Silicon Valley (HBO) Not to be outdone, the “Valley Boys” will also return for season three.

The Simpsons (FOX) The Rupert Murdock network has renewed the seminal animated series for not one, but two more seasons, bringing the total (so far) up to twenty-eight.

Orphan Black (BBCA) The Canadian import has been renewed for a fourth season. Send in the clones!!

Penny Dreadful (SHO) John Logan’s tour de force of Victorian sense and supernatural sensibilities has been given the go-ahead for a third season.

Beauty & the Beast (CW) For reasons which defy understanding, the CW has renewed the show for a fourth season.

Power (Starz) The premium net has renewed its benchmark show for a second ten episode second season.

Bates Motel (A&E) The Psycho-prequel starring Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore has been renewed for two more seasons, bringing the total up to five.

Transparent (Amazon) The trail-blazing dramedy, starring Jeffrey Tambor has been renewed for season three. Rumor has it Caitlyn Jenner will guest-star (I’m not kidding).

I’LL BE BACK. Here are some shows you thought were over years ago…but weren’t.

Twin Peaks (SHO) The quirky murder mystery, which originally ran for two seasons on ABC will return in 2016, this time to the Showtime network. Original producer and film auteur David Lynch will be on board to make sure things stay sufficiently weird, along with co-creator Mark Frost. Actors Kyle MacLachlan, Sheryl Lee and Dana Ashbrook will return as well.

The Tick (FOX) No details available, but former series star Patrick Warburton, who starred in the short-lived superhero comedy based on the comic by Ben Edlund, which ran on FOX from 2001-2002, is still saying, as recently as the NBC Upfronts back in May that the cult series is coming back. Keep hope (and Big Blue Bugs) alive.

Prison Break (FOX) Again, no details yet, but E! News reports that FOX is following their recent revival of 24 and the just announced X-Files limited series with a limited series return to Prison Break. Stars Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell, who are currently co-starring on the CW’s Legends of Tomorrow, are expected to return.

Wet Hot American Summer (Netflix) OK, originally this was a movie, but it’s returning as a series to Netflix in a bizarre prequel that features the original cast in their original roles. I know Hollywood prides itself on being a Fountain of Youth, but this will be a bit of a trick. Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler and an all-star cast of the best young comedic talent in the business will debut in binge-worthy form on July 31.

Fame (Lifetime). Oh, what a feeling! Lifetime is set to reboot the iconic 80’s series Fame, which was itself based on a hit 1980 film of the same name. They already adapted the film into a hit musical on Broadway in the nineties, but an attempt to remake the original film in 2009 was a bust. Good luck on the show, kids.

Full House (Netflix) The Tanner clan is back! Surely you’ve heard the news by now that Danny and Joey and Uncle Jesse and the gang are all coming back for a sequel show called Fuller House, centered around now-grown daughter D.J. (Candace Cameron Bure) sharing a house with her little sister Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) and best friend Kimmie Gibbler (Andrea Barber). Rumor has it that John Stamos (Uncle Jesse) will produce and that the whole cast (which has stayed phenomenally close over the years) will be back, with the exception of the Olsen twins who once teamed up to play baby Michelle. I guess they’re just too busy being odd to be in a TV show again.

Coach (NBC) Now that Parenthood is over, no one knows what to do with Craig T. Nelson, so they’re rebooting Coach, the show that launched his TV career back in 1989. This time out, its Nelson’s son who’s the head coach of a fictitious college football team who calls his dad up from retirement to help out. Jerry Van Dyke is rolling in his grave over this one (I know Jerry’s not dead. But this news will kill him and then he’ll roll!)

Emerald City (NBC) After first taking a pass on it a year ago, The Peacock is now taking this series, about a 20 year old Dorothy Gale and her K9 police dog, Toto who are pulled into a fantasy realm of magic and danger after being caught up in a tornado. Sound familiar?

BATTER UP! New shows that have gotten the greenlight to series and are currently in production.

SYFY: The genre net has re-embraced its roots in a big way, giving the go-ahead, not only to the aforementioned adaptations of The Expanse and Childhood’s End, but also new series, limited series and movies based on:

  • The Hyperion books by Dan Simmons
  • The Magicians series by Lev Grossman
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and original series,
  • Krypton from David S. Goyer
  • Hunters from Gale Ann Hurd and
  • Incorporated from Ben Affleck and Matt Damon

Netflix: The streaming service has optioned new series, The Ranch, a multi-camera comedy, starring That 70’s Show alums Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson.

FX: The prestige arm of the FOX empire has given a go order for Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter to make his gritty Middle Ages series, The Bastard Executioner, about a hardened and cynical warrior who gets sucked back into battle just as he’s trying to lay down his sword and find some peace. Sutter will also appear in the show along with wife Katey Sagal (Gemma in SoA). Lee Jones (TV’s Home and Away) plays Wilkin Brattle, the title character.

HBO: In an effort to create another True Detective-esque franchise, HBO has announced the limited series, Big Little Lies, produced by David E. Kelley and starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. The darkly comic drama centering on three mothers of kindergartners whose apparently perfect lives unravel to the point of murder. Kelley is adapting the series from the 2014 novel by Liane Moriarty.

TNT: The Turner net has given the go ahead to an adaptation of Caleb Carr’s sprawling novel, The Alienist, which revolves around the search for a serial killer by then-police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt, a doctor and a reporter. The series will be spearheaded by True Detective’s Cary Fukunaga and screenwriters Eric Roth and Hossein Amini.

TBS has given a 10-episode order to ensemble comedy Wrecked, from writers Justin Shipley and Jordan Shipley and showrunner Moses Port. The series revolves around a group of strangers forced to adapt when they’re stranded on a remote island.

EPIX: The subscription service moves into original programming with Berlin Station, a ten episode espionage thriller and Graves, a comedy starring Nick Nolte as a former US president, who tries to fix the mistakes of his former administration.

THE CASTING COUCH (and other stories). TV tidbits that wouldn’t fit anywhere else.

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (ABC). Luke Mitchell (The Tomorrow People) who has played the Inhuman Lincoln during season two on a recurring basis has been upped to a series regular as the show moves forward with the Secret Warriors storyline that features a team of powered SHIELD agents led by Skye/Quake (Chloe Bennett) against the forces of evil.

Preacher (AMC). Dominic Cooper (Howard Stark on Marvel’s Agent Carter) has been cast in the titular role of Jesse Custer, the Preacher. Still no word on when the show will air.

Marvel’s Daredevil (Netflix). Jon Berenthal (Shane on The Walking Dead) has been cast for a season two arc as Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, a former police officer who’s family were killed by criminals and has vowed to “punish” (which is Marvel-speak for killing the $#!+ out of them) all evil-doers. Word from Comic-Con is that the character will stick around all season and that the season two subtitle is Daredevil Vs The Punisher. While it has renewed Daredevil, Netflix has yet to announce a premiere date for the second season.

Heroes Reborn (NBC) According to EW, Greg Grunberg will return to the Heroes universe as Matt Parkman, the telepathic cop he played in the original incarnation of the show. He’ll reunite with Jack Coleman (HRG/Noah Bennett), Masi Oka (Hiro Nakamura) and Jimmy Jean-Louis (the Haitian) as well as newcomer Zachary Levi (Chuck) when the show premieres as part of NBC’s new fall schedule. The new trailer didn’t suck, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.

Secrets and Lies (ABC). According to E! News, Michael Ealy (The Following, Almost Human) will replace Ryan Phillipe as the lead character/main suspect opposite returning star Juliette Lewis in the second season of the hit mystery. I like Michael Ealy a LOT, but he’s still not enough to make me watch this show.

American Crime (ABC). Regina King (The Leftovers, Southland) has been upped to a series regular for the second season of the gritty crime drama. She will join returning co-stars Timothy Hutton and Felicity Huffman.

The Daily Show (Comedy Central) CC has named August 6 as long-time host Jon Stewart’s last day on the program and September 28 as Trevor Noah’s first day as his replacement.

The Mindy Project (HULU). The Mindy Project, starring Mindy Kaling (The Office) which ran for three critically adored but audience-challenged seasons on FOX is moving lock stock and barrel to Hulu, taking all three previously aired seasons and at least one brand new season with them.

Damien (Lifetime) Damien, the series sequel to 1976 horror hit The Omen, is decamping from Lifetime to A&E, which has ordered another four episodes of the drama steered by The Walking Dead alum Glen Mazzara. I don’t care where it airs, as long as it’s as scary as the ’76 original and nothing like the craptastic snoozefest of the ’06 reboot.

Eye Candy (MTV). After only one season, the music net has canceled this Victoria Justice vehicle.

Sirens (USA). This Denis Leary-produced comedy, the first-ever half hour comedy on USA, has been canceled after two seasons.

And that does it once again, kids. Seventy-eight pages of stories and notes crammed into a size small enough to fit in the backpack of an angel, dancing on the head of a pin. And not once did you ever see my hands leave my arms. If NBC ever gets around to announcing premiere dates or anything worthwhile happens, you know we’ll pass it along, but until then, I’ll see you all again in a week as your popGeezer and I review Terminator: Genisys. Ciao!

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