Month: October 2015

UPDATE: Why the f**k “Quantico” is at 10pm on Sundays? Here are some theories

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UPDATE: Now we have two weeks of ratings DATA, it’s time to say it LOUD and CLEAR. Quantico is on the verge of success and ABC has to do something to make sure it happens. And there’s only one way to do that now: moving the show into a more fitting timeslot. First, here’s a reminder.

  • First airing of Quantico‘s pilot had 7,1 million viewers and a 1.9 (18/49) at 10pm. It was a rare 0.5 improvement from its lead-in, Blood and oil series premiere (6,4 millions, 1.4).
  • ABC re-aired the pilot the following Tuesday, again at 10 after Agents of SHIELD. It gained 4,2 millions, 1.0. Which is quite good for a repeat.
  • On L+3, the pilot added a strong 4 million viewers, the biggest percentage gain among all programs -new and returning- during premiere week: 56%!
  • Quantico‘s episode 2 had 6,9 million viewers, matching the previous 1.9 number. No loss on a second week almost never happens (especially with a weaker lead-in: Blood and Oil scores a 1.2). It’s a very good sign for the show and ABC shouldn’t wait long to order a back-nine.

So now, what ABC should do? In fact, it’s a matter of save the newbie or save Sunday nights! If Quantico stays on Sundays at 10, it will probably go down sooner or later, especially if Blood and oil keeps on falling. If they switch them, Quantico will have to face a higher competition (including ratings juggernaut The Walking Dead). If ABC moves it to another night, then Sunday night is DEAD! Once Upon A Time is dying slowly (but will certainly have its 6th and maybe last season) and Blood and oil will be cancelled. Can ABC afford to wait midseason for launching new shows like The Family and Kings and Prophets or returning Secrets & Lies and American Crime?

Here are the solutions:

  • Switching Quantico & Blood and oil‘s timeslots
  • Switching Quantico & Nashville‘s timeslots (wednesday at 10). It will have to face Code Black & Chicago PD.
  • Putting Quantico on Tuesday at 10, moving Wicked City to midseason. But it will have to face Limitless & Chicago Fire.
  • Keeping it on Sunday at 10 and giving it a better lead-in ASAP.

What’s your opinion?

 

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First published september 11th

 

During the upfronts last may, the scheduling of Quantico came as a surprise. What seemed to be ABC’s biggest asset for fall, apart from The Muppets on the comedy side, was meant to be wasted in the uneventful -and even death slot- Tuesday at 10, right after Agents of SHIELD, replacing very modest Forever. But a few weeks later, ABC decided to move Quantico to Sundays at 10 (mostly because the spot was vacant when they decided to rework Kings And Prophets heavily – and pairing Kings with Blood and Oil made no sense). It looked like a better option but certainly not the best one they could have come up with. So, what happened? Does ABC really have faith in Quantico to throw it to the wolves this way? I scratched my head all summer long and here are the theories that might explain this weird and dangerous choice.

 

Theory #1 – Agents of DEATH

The most logical choice was to put the show right after The Muppets and Fresh Off The Boat, on Tuesdays at 9, and move Agents of SHIELD at 10. But Marvel was certainly not OK with it. The show needs at least 4 seasons for syndication purposes and moving it later in the evening was sending it to a quicker death. ABC would not have been allowed to do that. Marvel business remains a priority for Disney (as the order for a second season as a second chance for Agent Carter proves it too).

Theory #2 – Quantico’s Anatomy

Quantico looks like a Shonda Rhimes show but IS NOT a Shondaland-produced show. If it were they probably would have treated it better. Maybe they would have waited midseason to launch it after Scandal inside #TGIT when How To Get Away With Murder sophomore season had come to an end but they already had Shondaland’s The Catch to do that. And let’s not forget Grey’s Anatomy started on Sundays at 10. Quantico shares some DNA with it. So… Yeah but Desperate Housewives was the lead-in at the time and it was at its peak. It’s a very different story now…

Theory #3 – Blood and whaaat?!

Now, Quantico‘s lead-in is another newcomer: Blood and oil. And it’s the weakest drama entry of the season for ABC, in my opinion. So what was their thinking? It’s pretty obvious in fact: after the huge success of Empire, they were the only network to have a soap ready for fall. They took the opportunity to be the first to pull the trigger. They are hoping for an audience’s sudden craving for the genre. I think they are mistaken. Empire didn’t work because it’s a soap. It worked because it’s Empire. And Blood and oil doesn’t share a lot with Empire. First: it’s not funny. Second, it doesn’t have a Cookie. Neither OMG moments, at least in the pilot. It’s not good enough. And as much as I know, they didn’t reshoot the pilot, just a few scenes because they changed some part of the cast. So the first impression will basically seal its fate. The show is doomed and could damage Quantico… Giving up on Quantico just to give a better chance to Blood and oil makes no sense. It’s plain stupid. How to get away with a hit!

Theory #4 – Fear The Walking Dead… and Homeland

If ABC had decided to put Quantico on Sundays at 9, then the show would have had to fight against The Walking Dead, a ratings juggernaut, most of the year, plus Homeland, with which it shares a terrorist context. Since Blood and oil is more of a feminine show and Quantico can attract men a little bit more (even if there is the traditional Sunday Night Football on NBC), it was the safest choice. And let’s not forget Game of Thrones will be back on HBO in the same timeslot in 2016. Plus, those shows are strong on social medias, Quantico has everything to be too. On Sundays at 10, there is a place for it. Quantico could do on Sundays what How To Get Away With murder did on Thursdays, with a more compatible and stronger lead-in, though.

Prediction

Here is what’s gonna happen in my opinion. Blood and oil will start okay. Quantico will do slightly better at 10. After a few weeks, ABC will switch both shows. Quantico will grow, earn its “back nine” order whereas Blood and oil will die slowly. Come midseason, they will replace it with The Family the week following the Oscars ceremony, that will do much better. Quantico will be renewed for season 2 and became the hit it was always supposed to be.

 

READ QUANTICO PILOT PREVIEW

Outcast (Cinemax) pilot preview: when Robert Kirkman trades zombies for demons

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Written and produced by Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead, Fear The Walking Dead). Co-produced by David Alpert (Powers, The Walking Dead), Sue Naegle, Sharon Tal Yguado (The Listener) & Chris Black (Sliders, Mad Men, Ugly Betty). Directed by Adam Wingard (You’re Next). For Cinemax, Fox International Channels & Circle of Confusion. 71 pages.

Description: A small town is plagued with a growing number of demonic possessions. Kyle Barnes, the town outcast, who was shunned after claiming to battle these forces as a child, may now be the only one who can stop them. With the help of the Reverend Anderson, a preacher with personal demons of his own, Kyle embarks on a journey to find answers and regain the normal life he lost. But what Kyle discovers could change his fate – and the fate of the world – forever.

With Patrick Fugit (Full Circle, Gone Girl, We Bought a Zoo), Philip Glenister (Ashes to Ashes, Mad Dogs), Wrenn Schmidt (Boardwalk Empire, Person of Interest, The Americans), David Denman (The Office, Parenthood, Drop Dead Diva), Catherine Dent (The Shield, The Mentalist), Lee Tergesen (Oz, Desperate Housewives, Weird Science), Melinda McGraw (NCIS, Mad Men), Grace Zabriskie (Big Love, Ray Donovan, Twin Peaks), Gabriel Bateman (Stalker), Julia Crockett

STARS JUNE 3

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I’m not especially fond of Robert Kirkman’s work so far to be perfectly honest, but I have to admit that with The Walking Dead, he created a phenomenon from scratch against all odds and that’s impressive. No network or cable executives wanted to bet on a zombie show at the time (and they regret it deeply now…). The zombie genre was nowhere to be found on TV. And he made it, quite beautifully, whatever your opinion is about the show and its recent spin-off. With Outcast for Cinemax, once again based on the comic he co-created himself, he’s trying to give birth to the exorcism drama genre, that doesn’t really exist yet (apart from specific storylines on every fantastic show ever). He’s up to the challenge, but Outcast‘s pilot script is not that strong. That’s probably why AMC surprisingly passed on the project (Preacher is a way better option) and Cinemax jumped on the occasion and wrote a bigger check in a desperate move. They are still looking for what their identity is. Action-oriented dramas like Strike Back and Banshee didn’t prove much. Outcast is entirely something else. And action there is not a lot in there!

Outcast is a character-driven story, and that is what the best pilots (and series?) need to be, so we can care. Sadly, it’s hard to care about Kyle Barnes, at least for now, or even simply root for him. He’s exasperating. He whines a lot. He’s so sad, you know. Life has been hard to him. Robert Kirkman spends too much time insisting on it. It makes the pilot even darker and gloomier than it should be. Don’t look for any fun dialogue or a beacon of hope. Gosh, why so serious? Heavy stuff. Not surprising though: every character from The Walking Dead are such downers (except Carol maybe but I stopped watching).

Anyway, the writer sets up a great deal of conflicts, mostly through flashbacks: with his mother who used to beat him as a child; with his wife and daughter but what happened between them remains a mystery; and with his sister, who’s still trying top help him. She’s a courageous girl, and a character we can relate to. Then there’s the whole town who thinks he’s the demon. And well, maybe he is. One thing’s for sure: he’s possessed since he’s a little boy -some graphic and disgusting scenes help us understand the horrible feeling- and he’s not the only one anymore over there. Something’s spreading and we are supposed to be afraid. We’re not. Yet.

I don’t know about you but the exorcism stories have always bored me to death. And when you’ve seen one such scene -especially if it’s from The Exorcist, the one and only masterpiece- then you’ve seen every one of them. They’re always the same. It’s the same as zombies “running” after humans to eat them. It gets old very fast. One pilot with three exorcism scenes is enough for me. What about some kind of mythology? It is implied that there is one underneath it all. But it’s not clear whether we should be confident about it being huge enough to grab our attention weekly, for more than one season. What about the bigger picture? If it’s just the “demon of the week”, kill me already!

Outcast could be noisier than previous Cinemax’s shows because of its pedigree and originality and that’s probably why they are so high on it. But as far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing in this pilot script that really makes want to be back for a second episode, let alone an entire season. It’s not just that it’s not for me. It’s that it’s not very good, actually. But we’ll see how the audience responds to it. A surprise is always possible…

 

EXCLUSIVE: AMC is about to give straight-to-series orders to “Goliath” & “Lodge 49”

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After narrowing the field of contenders to three projects last may, AMC is moving forward with 2 of them: Goliath & Lodge 49. They are getting the straight-to-series treatment, like they did recently with Humans, The Night Manager and Into the Badlands

Goliath, originally set up at HBO where it was ultimately passed on and redeveloped for AMC, is based on the book The Autobiography Of An Execution by David R. Dow, a death penalty lawyer. It is written by David Kajganich, who just wrote the movie A Bigger Splash, with Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene) attached to direct the pilot. It is produced by Plan B and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

Lodge 49 is a drama about a young knucklehead from Long Beach who joins a dusty old fraternal lodge. It’s written by Jim Gavin and produced by Paul Giamatti.

The Son, produced by Michael Connellyis the only project that is not expected to move forward, maybe because it looks too much like shows already existing. It was about the story of America’s birth as a superpower through the bloody rise and fall of one Texas oil empire. Instead, AMC may be ordering a drama called Biker. No more informations are available at the moment about this project.

EXCLUSIVE: NBC is NOT moving forward with Adam Levine’s musical miniseries “The 70s”

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UPDATE: According to Deadline, NBC ultimately pulled the plug on the project, over budget issues. Hayden Christensen & Kelsey Grammer were even ordered parts. The producers might shop it elsewhere.

A year ago, it was announced Maroon 5 leader and The Voice coach Adam Levine was set to produce a musical miniseries about “The 70s” for NBC. The network is now moving forward with it, shooting a first episode.

Produced via Adam Levine’s production company 222 productions with Boardwalk Entertainment Group and Sony Pictures Television and written by Timothy Scott Bogard (The I Inside, Touched), the limited event series is said to explore the decade through the eyes of music executives and artists, even icons, capturing the rebellion and revolution of the music industry. “It was the beginning of the end of independent labels and the driving force transitioning into the corporate takeover of the business,” said Boardwalk co-founder Gary Randall.

It will feature contemporary stars rerecording ’70s classics. Songwriters Evan “Kidd” Bogart and Emanuel “Eman” Kiriakou (Beyoncé, Rihanna, Demi Lovato) will collaborate on the music and RCA Records will serve as label partner. If the show is a success, subsequent seasons will likely explore other time periods. We don’t know yet if Adam Levine is gonna play in the series, but it’s very likely as his acting career started with roles on American Horror Story and movie Begin Again… Shooting for pilot episode is expected to start this october.

And yes, HBO will launch a very similar show next year, Vinyl, produced by a certain… Martin Scorsese! Call it a coincidence.

 

SEE EVERY PILOT ORDERED SO FAR BY NBC FOR NEXT SEASON

EXCLUSIVE: USA Network orders supernatural pilot “The Wilding” by “Heroes” creator

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UPDATE: It will be a two-hour pilot and USA could order it to series at any point of the pilot production (per Deadline).

While “Heroes Reborn” is about to launch on NBC, producer Tim Kring already works on his next project: a supernatural drama pilot he produces for USA Network called “The Wilding”.

Tim Kring already did mini-series Dig for USA Network and gets here what must be the last spot available in the cable channel’s aggressive 2016 pilot orders after handing out ones for Ryan Phillippe starrer Shooter, period drama Paradise Pictures, thriller Falling Water, post-apocalyptic Poor Richard’s Almanak and finally fantasy comic-book based Brooklyn Animal Control. Colony & Queen of the South are the next new shows USA Network will launch in 2016, after critically acclaimed Mr Robot has been renewed this summer for a second season.

The Wilding is a supernatural drama written by newcomer Silka Luisa, about a group of disparate families who realize they are enduring the same haunting in Durham, North Carolina. As parents turn against their children, one fractured family realizes they have the potential to save their neighbors. The mother, a psychiatrist, learns to help her daughter whose condition is indefinable by modern medicine… The project is produced by Universal Cable Productions & Imperative Entertainment.

SEE ALL USA NETWORK’S PILOTS ORDERED