What a long, dry summer of TV it’s been!
Fact is, if you’re not a Breaking Bad / Dexter fan this summer’s network and cable offerings were a bit of a TV wasteland. A million people gave up on True Blood (I didn’t get past the season opener); the TV movie-esque Under The Dome was the season’s top show and too many networks saved their best offerings for the Fall which means my DVR is literally going to explode in the coming weeks!
So I’ve spent the summer catching up on a couple of key shows. First up was Scandal which was EVERY bit as good as everyone says it is. I’m literally salivating at the prospect of Season 3. If you haven’t seen the show yet, stop what you’re doing RIGHT NOW and start watching. That’s an order!
And then there’s Orphan Black, a critically acclaimed curio that aired on BBC America in the Spring and yet doesn’t seem to have really permeated the pop culture-sphere quite yet. Honestly I can’t tell you how many TV savvy people I’ve mentioned the show to who haven’t heard of the series. And that’s a shame as the show is definitely worth a look.More >
The summer TV drought is coming to an end and the Fall TV season is just around the corner… which means it’s time for some Snap Judgments!
This time last year I predicted Nashville, Elementary, Chicago Fire and Arrow would stick around for another season, while The Last Resort, Vegas, Partners and Emily Owens, MD would all flop. . Right on every count!
Of course I also thought 666 Park Avenue, Go On and The Mob Doctor would do great… yikes!
Oh well – here are my thoughts on the season to come. Take a read and share your thoughts in the comments section below…
Hmm, did the makers of America’s Next Top Model start reading Remote Patrolled recently?
Ha ha – of course not – but if they’d taken a read of my last Top Model posting way back in 2010 they’d have seen me calling for a Boys vs Girls season as a way to freshen up the franchise. And guess what – now they’ve just done just that. And Top Model is hot again.
Sure the show’s best ratings days are probably still behind it, but the premiere of Top Model 2.0 recently pulled in a very decent 1.55 million viewers and a 0.6 18-49 share, the show’s highest rating premiere and the CW’s biggest Friday in 2 years. Fierce.
Okay so the Guys vs Girls idea is long overdue and isn’t exactly rocker science but kudos to Top Model for finally shaking things up. The veteran Tyra Banks show, now in its 20th cycle, suddenly feels fresh again. Adding some testosterone to the mix has worked wonders.
I’ve been working on a top-secret potential network project these last few weeks – one I hopefully should be able to reveal soon. And as part of my work I’ve been collaborating with a seasoned producer who is a fascinating source of stories and insight (I love working with talented people who’ve really earned their experience in the industry. Makes a refreshing change from the numerous BS artists out there!)
Anyway, we had a discussion the other day about the current state of TV and the ‘flatness’ of networks shows like Under The Dome and Siberia, which have the look and feel of TV movies. Meanwhile cable series like American Horror Story and The Walking Dead feel far more filmic than their bigger budget counterparts. Yet network shows invariably try to be ‘bigger and better’ – and almost always fall short!
My new colleague said something that definitely resonated with me. TV needs to stop trying to compete with the movies – because that’s not their competition. Their REAL competition is other TV shows.
It’s hardly a summer smash and boy, is it derivative. But I have to be honest – I’m rather enjoying NBC’s latest Survivor style reality show, Get Out Alive.
Okay the full title is Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls. And we all know this show would never exist if former Discovery star Grylls wasn’t on board. After falling out with his previous network over a contractual dispute (and trust me I know all about those!) Grylls was snapped up by NBC. Smart move in my book. Grylls is charming, likeable and of course a total tough guy. I love that Get Out Alive’s opener ended with Bear skydiving out of a plane. We’re definitely not talking Ryan Seacrest metrosexuality here…
Format wise there’s nothing special about Get Out Alive. It’s a total Survivor copycat, just like last year’s Expedition Impossible and this summer’s 72 Hours on TNT. Ten couples compete to ‘survive’ in the wilds of New Zealand and each week the ‘weakest’ couple is sent home by Grylls (with perhaps the most cumbersome and wordy send off in recent reality history!)
Yep, it’s utterly derivate. But Get Out Alive is glossy, well produced and entertaining – and this summer that’ll do More >
It airs on Sunday nights at 9pm. Features a female ensemble cast and a season long mystery. Characters include a goofball with a heart of gold, a world-weary mother figure and a vampy, bitchy gold-digger. And the tone veers from physical comedy to dark tragedy, often with a kinky edge. Yep, Devious Maids features more than its fair share of Desperate Housewives DNA.
And just like its ABC predecessor Devious Maids is now on its way to becoming a hit. After debuting with a middling 2 million viewers a month ago Maids has gained viewers almost every week and is developing into a sizeable, buzzy hit for Lifetime. Expect a second season renewal any moment now!
Now here’s the most important question… is Devious Maids actually good?
Speaking as a viewer who loved Desperate Housewives for most of its run – I checked out in the final season when the show was clearly creatively exhausted – I’m finding myself sort of enjoying Devious Maids. But I don’t love it… yet.
It’s the number one TV show of the summer. The first bona fide scripted hit on a broadcast network in over two decades. And potentially a TV game changer for years to come.
This year CBS’s Under The Dome has succeeded where countless other shows have failed. Launched in a blitz of publicity in late June the Stephen King series pulled in a mighty 13.53 million viewers to rank as the number one TV show of the week and CBS’s biggest summer launch since Big Brother way back in 2000!
And the great ratings have continued for CBS. Week 2 attracted 11.81 million viewers and week 3 a still strong 10.71 million. As long as Under The Dome stays above the 10 million mark – heck, it could slip down to 8 million – the show is pretty much guaranteed a second season next summer.
I’m always a fan of original drama series and Under The Dome is certainly not your usual cookie cutter CBS show. So where’s the rub? Well here’s the thing. In my opinion Under The Dome just isn’t very good.
It’s been quite a while since I’ve had a show I can wholeheartedly recommend here at Remote Patrolled…check out my thoughts soon on this summer’s offerings including Devious Maids and Under The Dome.
But there’s one series I can definitely give the thumbs up too – Scandal.
Yep, I know – it’s two seasons old already. What can I say – I was late to the party. After hearing everyone rave about Scandal over the last year I can now see what all the fuss is about. It really is THAT good!
In case you, like me, are a little in the dark on Scandal – here’s the basic gist. The show revolves around PR queen Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), a fast talking, supremely confident and extremely good at her job crisis handler who helps make people’s problems go away. Olivia is surrounded by a similarly effective team of memorable characters including Harrison, a super-smart lawyer who’s fiercely loyal to her; Abby, an investigator with a fabulously sarcastic streak; Quinn, the team newbie who’s been living under a secret identity; and best of the bunch, Huck, a damaged soldier who does Olivia’s dirty work and hates that he sometimes enjoys it.More >
Uh-oh, they’re letting me back onto our TV screens again…
Check me out on Chiller 13: Great American Slashers on Sunday 8th July at 8pm EST on the Chiller network.
As you may know my company Savannah Media has been working with Chiller for quite a while now, via our 2012 summer special, Can You Survive A Horror Movie.
Earlier in the year I appeared on another Chiller show – Chiller 13: Most Horrifying Hook Ups. And now I’m back, this time to talk slasher icons along with my Can You Survive hosts Anthony, Annie and Morgan as well as horror stars including Jamie Lee Curtis and Robert Englund (yep, Freddy himself!)
As someone who grew up on horror movies and is a huge fan of the genre I’ve certainly got plenty to say on this topic. I have to admit I’ve seen every single Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween and Friday 13th… yep even the REALLY bad ones!
So who is the number one Great American Slasher? Find out next Saturday – only on Chiller
He’s currently on our screens fighting hordes of zombies in World War Z – which is a terrific movie by the way – but 25 years ago Brad Pitt was just another young actor trying to make his mark in Hollywood. Yep, it’s Before They Were Big time again!
Years before Brangelina, Troy, 12 Monkeys, Benjamin Button and Seven – Brad’s resume consisted mainly of TV bit parts. He enjoyed a two-episode stint on the NBC soap Another World and the ABC sitcom Growing Pains. Later he would also appear on Freddy’s Nightmares, the show that pretty much killed off the Nightmare on Elm Street movies!
But it’s Brad’s appearance in Dallas that often gets the most attention from those early years. And here he is – playing an ‘idiot boyfriend’ called Randy who sleeps with Charlie Wade, the on screen daughter of Priscilla Presley’s character Jenna Wade. Ahh – the 80’s!