Thursday Cable Ratings 2/21/19: Desus & Mero Starts Low on Showtime, Flack Doesn't Crack Top 150

Below are the Top 25 programs on cable on Thursday, 2/21/19. Items of note include the series premiere of Desus & Mero on Showtime, the series premiere of Flock on Pop, and Broad City on Comedy Central.
(Note: Click the names of the shows written in purple or blue to be taken to their pages in the TV Ratings Guide Cable Database.)
18-49 Viewers
Viewers (mil.)
NBA: Rockets v. LakersTNT0.942.24
NBA: Celtics v. BucksTNT0.751.91
Dr. Pimple PopperTLC0.673.17
Inside the NBATNT0.450.97
60 Days InTNT0.380.96
HannityFox News0.383.53
NBA Tip-OffTNT0.350.96
House Hunters InternationalHGTV0.341.68
Beat Bobby FlayFood0.340.97
Ex On the BeachMTV0.340.62
The First 48A&E0.331.10
Top ChefBravo0.320.91
Swamp PeopleHistory0.311.61
House HuntersHGTV0.31.53
Marriage Boot CampWE0.30.67
The First 48A&E0.291.00
The Rachel Maddow ShowMSNBC0.283.31
Tucker Carlson TonightFox News0.283.12
Deadpool 2HBO0.260.58
Flip or Flop NashvilleHGTV0.261.20
Dead of WinterInvest. Disc.0.241.23
Game of ClonesMTV0.240.47
The Ingraham AngleFox News0.232.73
Truck Night In AmericaHistory0.230.87
CNN TonightCNN0.231.10

Highlights Below the Chart:

Broad CityComedy Central0.130.25
The Other TwoComedy Central0.080.15
Desus & MeroShowtime0.080.15
FlackPopN/A (0.04)N/A

Young Sheldon Scores Two-Season Renewal

In a piece of news that surprises nobody, Young Sheldon has been renewed. In some slightly more surprising news, that renewal is for two more seasons. While the show is one of the top shows on CBS, it is also losing its huge lead-in next season, as its parent series The Big Bang Theory will be saying goodbye this May. Nobody knows how the series will rate next season as it presumable leads off Thursday night, but CBS is seemingly pretty confident that it will remain strong next year. the series stars Iain Armitage in the title role, with Jim Parsons reprising his Big Bang Theory role via a voiceover. Zoe Perry (the daughter of Big Bang guest star Laurie Metcalf), Lance Barber, and Annie Potts also star. The series joins fellow Chuck Lorre series Mom as the only CBS show renewed for the 2019-20 season and the third scripted series overall renewed through that point, along with The Simpsons.

What do you think of this news? Are you excited for two more years of Young Sheldon? Let us know in the comments below?

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 10 Episode 15 Review

Smokescreen part one was an example of NCIS: Los Angeles at its best.  The opening scene saw a break from the norm, there were fast paced-action scenes and quiet character moments.  Guest characters were introduced without narrative disruption and empathy was built with the bomb victims.  Investigations were well underway when the episode ended with Sam and Callen trapped in the theatre where the exits were rigged to explode.

Part two had the trickier task. The seeds had already been sown and the intense excitement of setting up the case has passed. Then there was the major problem of the three week break between the airing of parts one and two. CBS scheduling between January and March is always frustrating and always will be, when a twenty four episode procedural has the season finales around the first/second week of May and about half the episodes have already aired by Christmas. 

Regardless, part two was a valiant attempt to equal the expectations set by part one. Featuring different writers (Matt Klafter & Kyle Harimoto) and director (Sherwin Shilati) there was of course a different feel as their job was now to guide the viewer through the terrorist fear and chaos created by part one writer Andrew Bartels, and to reach a conclusion. The heart of the episode remained the same, focusing on the human element. Two children are trapped in a bomb blast set off by an opportunist thief.  Callen finds them and uses his training to keep them talking, calling them by name and freeing them. Concern for their wellbeing remains a constant, as Sam asks after them, Callen states how special they were, holding it together in such a situation and at the end, they say they’ve visited the boys in hospital.  Likewise Sam remains attentive to the first aid needs of the other bomb victims, namely the man injured in part one.  In an unusual close up, Sam cuts either side of the collar bone and inserts a tool to pull the broken bone back in to place, allowing Dan to breathe freely again. Even visiting NCIS Special Agent Fatema Namazi says to Nell that she’s arranged to have lunch with the widow of murdered Oscar Azim.

The investigations are fast paced, following the twists and turns set up in part one.  To assist, there are several places where the team stop and talk about the case, refreshing themselves and the viewer about what has happened so far and talking through possible scenarios.  This invariably allows them to realise the next step and follow leads.  Kensi and Deeks seem to have a slightly lesser role in part two but are key in discovering clues in this fashion, both in the mission and later in the boatshed.  It is Deeks in both instances who displays his detective skills and realises the play. There is fluid camera movement, gradually zooming in on characters across consecutive scenes. One such example is when Callen and Sam discover the passports and talk with Fatema and Nell in Ops.  This culminates in a beautifully framed shot of Kensi and Deeks pacing and thinking aloud as the camera moves closer to them.

There is also a much grittier feel about the final gunfight scene, reminiscent of Frank Military’s handling of the opening to part 1 of the season nine finale and the season ten premier with Callen skirting round to slash the bad guys throat.  This is through use of handheld cameras , slow motion and accentuated sound of the guns firing, switching between Sam and Callen and then Kensi and Deeks. Surprisingly there are not too many edits, the director favouring fast camera movements instead.  Again there is a single panning shot between all four field agents at end of gunfight. Juxtaposed is the next scene where Fatema takes a quiet moment away from stress and pressure of the op, talking to Nell about handling such situations. Such changes to directorial style allows NCISLA to remain fresh and exciting, although there are still clichés, such as Sam appearing from the flames after the airport explosion.  There is comfort in the familiar and expected (and sometimes raised eyebrows and the shaking of heads).  In keeping with part one, Sam is still diffusing bombs at the last minute, Kensi is still taking out the bad guys in typical physical style and in a slight change, Callen is seen crashing down on the bad guy at the airport and stabbing him with a knife.

Twists and turns should be expected in episodes titled ‘Smokescreen’. Effectively nothing is as it seems, including the terrorist group the Mashriq Army. Repeatedly in parts one and two, Fatema states their actions do not fit the group’s pattern and she is right. It is a very elaborate distraction to force a South African arms dealer, arriving in LA for extradition, to be held whilst flights are grounded, thus masking and enabling his escape. FBI Agent Ross also turns out to be a rogue agent - how else did the baddies know in part one the FBI were transporting Jellal and on which route? His role is explained but not his motivations (which was presumably money), and it almost seems glossed over.  There is so much packed in to this episode it would have been difficult to explore Ross any further.

Unlike part one, there is little time to focus on character development and humour, although there are moments. Callen fails in his pop culture reference to Aquaman as expected. It is amusing how throughout all ten seasons the writers always skirt around Callen and comic book references, never once allowing a direct reference to, or for Chris O’Donnell to utter any lines about Batman and Robin.  There is an out of character Callen moment when Sam comments he does not know tools.  Sure he is not as good as Sam, but Callen takes apart toasters and other electrical appliances when he can’t sleep (although that doesn’t mean he can actually puts them back together in working order!). Suspect Wassim is interrogated in his hospital bed and literally begs Deeks to stop talking, prompting the episode’s best line from Kensi:  

“It’s amazing to me how in every culture on this planet, people have the same reaction to you.”

A surprise visit from the Under Secretary of the Navy Felice Waterstone, prompts another recap of the case before addressing the threat of splitting the team. Apart from a few earlier episodes, the threat has been diluted with the absence of Special Prosecutor Rogers and the lack of any other mentions. It comes as no great shock that Ochoa recommends they are not broken up (cue season eleven?).  It is surprising that Waterstone knows Hetty practically raised Callen from childhood and Ochoa didn’t react. Previously this has seemed like privileged information, unknown by anyone except Hetty and Callen (and then Sam).  Ochoa’s role with the team is now in doubt as it seems he needs to get home to tend to his addict daughter, which could once more leave the team leaderless.  Yet again the human element comes in to play, giving Ochoa more of a back story which may or may not be relevant later. The closing scene continues with the empathetic focus of parts one and two, with the team attending a candlelight vigil outside the theatre, commemorating the victims. A poignant and heartbreaking scene, evoking memories of such tributes after real-life terrorist bombings of public targets across the world.   

Thursday TV Ratings 2/21/19: SVU Rises and Beats SWAT for 450th Episode, HTGAWM Hits New Series Low

Final numbers to come.
18-49 Ratings
Viewers (mil)
8 PMThe Big Bang Theory2.3/1113.30CBS

Grey's Anatomy1.7/86.86ABC

The Titan Games1.1/54.28NBC


Charmed (R)0.2/10.54The CW
8:30 PMYoung Sheldon1.8/811.29CBS
9 PMMom1.3/68.55CBS

A Million Little Things1.1/55.27ABC

Brooklyn Nine-Nine0.8/32.42NBC

The Orville0.7/43.04Fox

Legacies0.2/10.71The CW
9:30 PMFam0.9/45.68CBS

Will & Grace0.7/42.68NBC
10 PMLaw & Order: SVU0.9/43.98NBC


How To Get Away With Murder0.5/32.58ABC

Off Topic -- Week 23 (2018-19 Season)

Welcome to another new week of Off Topic! This Sunday is the Oscars! Who do you think will succeed The Shape of Water as the new Best Picture? Let us know in the comments, and for now, enjoy this Oscar gif:
Let's go Off Topic!

Our House Season 1, Episode 6 - Our Travel Expo

                                                     Our House Season 1, Episode 6
                                                                 Our Travel Expo 
Velma: Teri, the tickets are here!
Teri: Wow, that was quick!
Velma: I know! It really was. I wanna see the tickets! Gotta make sure they’re both here.
Teri: Open the envelope!
Velma: Five tickets? That’s strange. I know I only ordered the two.
Betty: Tickets? What for?
Teri: My god, she’s like a bloodhound. Just sniffing out every opportunity she has to spend money.
Velma: Me and Teri got tickets to go to the Henrico Travel Expo. We got three extras if you want to come.
Betty: Sign me and Karl up for two of ‘em!
Velma: Are you sure he wants to go?
Betty: Of course he does! He does everything else I tell him to do!
Velma: That is true.
Betty: So, who else are you taking? Danielle could use some fun.
Velma: It’s a travel expo, not a Caribbean cruise. Danielle doesn’t even travel, except for her yearly trips to Connecticut to see her sister. She won’t be interested.
Teri: You should ask Cindy. She loves to travel. Plus, she can get away from Jerry for the day!
Betty: Be nice Teri, he’s your brother-in-law!
Teri: Yeah, and he’s also insane. Your point is?
Betty: We’re family, let’s all just love each other.
Teri: I guess. But I really do think Cindy would enjoy coming.
Velma: I’ll ask her. Worst she can do is say no.
One week later…
Teri: Velma, what’s going on? Why isn’t Cindy ready yet? The Expo starts in twenty minutes!
Velma: Here’s the thing… she never really answered me.
Teri: Well that’s a problem.
Velma: Yeah. But I’m sure if I told her we had to go, she’d hurry.
Teri: Mom is in the car, salivating at the mere chance of getting a chance to buy something she doesn’t need but absolutely HAS to have or it’ll ruin her life.
Velma: I’m glad she's excited. But how’d she get in my car?
Teri: Teleportation? I don’t know, she's the craziest woman I’ve ever known. And I know someone crazy enough to have married FRANK!
Velma: Remember, love not hate.
Teri: I just like to kid. I’m gonna go get Cindy.
Teri shouts into the dining room, where Cindy is drinking coffee and eating her breakfast.
Teri: CINDY! Hurry up! We’re going to the travel expo!
Cindy: That’s today? Well, good thing I showered last night, I knew that would come in handy! Let me quick change. Jerry, you can have the rest of my danish.
Jerry: Why would I want that?
Cindy: It’s a cheese danish. Your favorite!
Jerry: Pass it here.
Fifteen minutes later…
Cindy: So Teri, how do I look?
Teri: Like Bette Davis…
Cindy: Aww, thanks Teri.
Teri: …in What Ever Happened To Baby Jane!
Cindy: That’s incredibly mean.
Teri: That’s me!
Velma: Thanks to Cindy, we’re now 15 minutes late. But still, it could have been a it worse. At least the Richmond International Airport seminar doesn’t start until 2:30. So we’ll have time to walk through the expo and stop at some booths!
Betty: What exactly is at the booths, Velma?
Velma: Pamphlets full of information about vacation spots, timeshares, railroads, airlines, and everything related to travel.
Betty: Ooh, can I get all of the pamphlets?
Velma:  Sure. I guess.
Karl: You don’t need all of those pamphlets, you’ll never read them. Just get the ones for places you’re genuinely interested in.
Betty: Now why the hell would I do that?
Karl: Because you haven’t set foot on a train in years.
Betty: That’s not true! Hersheypark!
Karl: Oh that’s right, besides the kiddie train at Hersheypark that made you nauseous, you haven’t.
Betty: But maybe I want some nice reading material!
Karl: All right, as long as you can carry it, fine by me.
Teri: Are you two done? I want to play some music.
Velma: We’re ten minutes away. Not long enough for an album, but just long enough for me to vent about my mother-in-law!
Teri: Fire away.
Velma: So, I was over at her house with Mitchell…
Teri: And why would you do that?
Velma: I didn’t even start the story and I’ve already been interrupted. New record right here! Anyways, we’re at her house and she starts gossiping to me about Mitchell’s sister.
Cindy: I think I’d prefer the music.
Betty: I have to agree.
Velma: Fine. Give me the CD, Teri.
Teri: Here we go, get ready to hear some Second Hand News!
Betty: We were already hearing that!
Teri: You aren’t wrong.
Ten minutes later…
Velma: We’re here!
Betty: Come on Karl! I need those pamphlets!
Karl: Here we go…
Velma: Don’t open the door! Let me park first!
Velma parks the car, and the entire family dashes into the Expo Hall.
Velma: Betty, take your ticket and go. I know you’re extremely excited. To get papers.
Betty: I am, thanks!
Velma: Here Karl, here Cindy. Go make sure she doesn't get lost. I’m gonna grab a cup of water quick, I’m parched.
Karl: That’s fine, look at this line. We’ll be here awhile. 
Cindy: Wow, this is like the Woodstock of Central Virginia travel.
Velma: I don’t think this is even the line. This is the passport sign-up line. Let’s go to check-in.
Betty: Where are the pamphlets?
Velma: Inside. The line to go in is moving fast, we’ll be in soon.
Betty: Good, I’m so excited.
Rude woman: Move it or be moved!
The rude woman charges past the family and pushed Cindy aside.
Cindy: Did you just see that?
Teri: See what?
Cindy: I was just assaulted!
Velma: You mean that little old lady that pushed you out of her way?
Cindy: Yes! That’s the perp!
Velma: She’s 80! This is the most exciting thing that’s happened to her in years. Just be cool.
Cindy: I’m going to track her down. ANd when I find her, I’m going to give her a piece of my mind. Then I’ll call the cops on her. She’s a predator and she has to be stopped.
Velma: Cindy…
Cindy: I’m doing this, Velma.
Teri: Go for it. Just don’t punch her, then she’ll call the cops on you.
Cindy: I am a good Christian woman. I would never punch someone.
Teri: Lydia…
Cindy: Lydia deserved it. She tried to steal from the church collection plate. Jesus would approve.
Teri: He wouldn’t. 
The family moves up to the front of the line and is admitted into the Expo.
Velma: I apologize for her. She doesn’t get out much.
Expo Employee: Isn’t she the lady that made a fool out of herself on the local news?
Velma: Unfortunately, yes she is.
Expo Employee: You guys can head right into the expo. Here’s your complimentary reusable grocery bag.
Velma: We get bags too? The excitement for my Aunt Betty might be too much handle.
Betty: What is this bag? It’s so beautiful!
Velma: It’s your complimentary gift for coming here today. Fill it with the pamphlets you get in there.
Betty: Today is already off to a great start.
Cindy: I’m glad it’s off to a great start for you, because I have been ASSAULTED today!
Velma: Cindy, you’re fine.
Cindy: No, I’m not, and that lady will pay for what she’s done.
Velma: I can already tell this was a mistake. Should have thrown those extra tickets in the fire.
Teri: Let’s go in there! I want to go talk to someone about that trip to Disney World we’re planning on taking.
Velma: I’ll join you. But we better get there before Betty robs the place of all the pamphlets.
Betty drags Karl into the main hall that the expo is being held in and starts looking around at every booth…
Betty: KARL!!! We can go on a Viking River Cruise on the Rhine!
Karl: We could also not do that.
Betty: Come on, it sounds fun!
Karl: We’ll keep it in mind. Look over there, a Colorado booth.
Betty: Oh my god, I’ve always wanted to ski while high.
Karl: That’s not gonna happen. How about we go check out that Arizona booth instead. Marijuana isn’t legal there.
Betty: Aww.
Karl: But their US senator is that lady you saw on the cover of Vogue last week. That’s fun!
Betty: I love her! She has the best boots!
Karl: That’s a good reason to vacation somewhere.
Betty: Oh my gosh, look!
Karl: At what?
Betty: The Universal Orlando stand has free drink koozies!
Karl: Do we really need that?
Betty: No. But it’s free! And it’s exciting!
Karl: Try not to get too excited, you don’t want to have a heart attack. I don’t think the paramedics could get in here with all of these people.
Betty: Oh! My! God! I Heart New York bumper stickers!
Karl: Why do you need that? You’ve never even been to New York!
Betty: But I want to! Look at this pamphlet! Utica looks so beautiful! And exotic!
Karl: I’m certain that it isn’t. Why is that pamphlet even here?
Betty: I want to go!
Karl: We go on two vacations every year Betty. One to the beach house in Maine, and one someplace else. Do you really want to waste that second vacation on Utica?
Betty: Yes!
Karl: Maybe that Rhine Viking Cruise isn’t so bad…
Meanwhile, Teri and Velma are at the Disney booth planning a vacation…
Teri: Hello, we’re looking for some answers to our questions about 
Worker: I’m Glenda and I can answer any questions you have about Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disney Cruises, or any of our international parks.
Velma: We’re planning a trip to Disney World. What hotels can we stay at for close access to Magic Kingdom?
Glenda: All of our Walt Disney World resorts are in close proximity to all of the parks, but if you’re willing to spend a bit of extra money on a top-tier hotel near Magic Kingdom, the Contemporary is the way to go.
Velma: We’re willing to spend whatever it takes to make a memorable trip. I’ve been there to eat, I think it would be nice to stay there.
Glenda: It’s one of our more popular deluxe resorts. The Grand Floridian and Polynesian are both popular choices as well, and they also have monorail access to Magic Kingdom. Those three are probably your best bets. 
Teri: On behalf of my insane mother, I must ask this question. I know that the Great Movie Ride closed. But are the celebrity handprints still there? Because my mom likes to go there and stick her hands in all of them. She especially likes to still her hands in Lauren Bacall’s and she makes sure to tell us that “her name really is Betty, we’re practically the same person.” Then she does her Lauren Bacall impression that sounds more like a drowning cat than Lauren Bacall. 
Glenda: Your mom sounds like a colorful person.
Teri: That’s not even the best part. She then runs over to Audrey Hepburn’s and puts on those long black gloves and the glasses like in Breakfast At Tiffany’s. She pretends she’s really Audrey Hepburn. We’ve been there six times and she’s never not done it.
Glenda: Fear not, your mom can still do crazy things at the handprints. They’re still there.
Teri: Okay good, because otherwise we’d have to skip Hollywood Studios. She would throw a hissy fit and embarrass all of us.
Glenda: Any more questions?
Velma: Not that I can think of.
Glenda Then if you’re all set, you can just head right on over to one of the travel agents over there and plan your trip.
Teri: sounds good!
Cindy is walking around to find the rude woman from earlier when she bumps into her.
Cindy: Hey lady!
Rude Woman: Who are you?
Cindy: One of your victims. You pushed me earlier!
Rude Woman: I’m sure it was just an accident. I wouldn’t do that on purpose.
Cindy: I distinctly remember you saying “Move it or be moved!”
Rude Woman: I just wanted to get through the crowd. You surely understand.
Cindy: I don’t, and you’re lying. I’m calling the cops.
Rude Woman: Come on! I tapped you!
Cindy: Fine, I won’t call the cops. I just hope you enjoy your trip to Bermuda, I’m sure that’s the only time you’ll get out of Shady Maples this year.
The rude woman punches Cindy in the face.
Rude Woman: For your information, I live at Bristle Pines!
Cindy: You hit me! Now I am calling the cops!
Two hours later, the family meets up to go to the seminar…
Velma: so Cindy, did you find that woman that “assaulted” you.
Cindy: Yep. Had her arrested.
Velma: For pushing you?
Cindy: No, I confronted her and this time she really did assault me.
Betty: Oh my god!
Cindy: Oh I’m fine mom, don’t worry.
Betty: No, not you, Cindy. Don’t be so vain. Karl, look at that suitcase! It has beautiful flowers on it!
Karl: We already bought new suitcases last year.
Betty: I know, but look how nice this one is! And it’s 50% off!
Karl: It’s still ninety dollars, Betty.
Betty: Please!
Karl: All right, I’ll get it. You guys head to the seminar, I’ll be there as soon as possible.
Betty: And could you please get me a coffee?
Karl: Yes, I’ll get you some coffee.
Ten minutes later, the seminar is beginning and Karl rushes in with the coffee for Betty, who immediately spills it on herself.
Betty: Damn it! You never said it would be hot!
Speaker: Ma’am, do you need a napkin?
Betty: Yes, thank you Melissa.
Karl: Well there went five dollars.
Velma: We need to be quiet now, don’t want to be distracting.
Cindy: Y’know, that little old lady really hit me hard. I’m a little impressed.
Velma: SHHH!!!
Forty-five minutes later, the seminar ends.
Melissa: Does anyone have any questions for any of us?
Betty: Yeah, I have a question for the TSA lady.
Melissa: You mean Pam?
Betty: Yes, Pam.
Pam: What is your question?
Betty: Okay, so I saw a pamphlet for Jamaica during the expo. Since that’s a territory of the United States, do I need a passport to go there when we travel at your airport?
Pam: Well, I have a first answers to that. First, our airport does not have service to Jamaica available until next year. Second, Jamaica is not a territory of the United States.
Betty: Wait, it’s not? But isn’t that where the president went and threw paper towels at people?
Pam: No, that would be Puerto Rico, not Jamaica.
Betty: Oh! I withdraw my question then.
The seminar ends ten minutes later.
Karl: Teri, I’m gonna quick play a few games to try and win some prizes your mom wants. You guys should sit down, I’ll be about ten minutes.
Ten minutes later…
Teri: Dad! What is that?
Karl: A cooler, a framed map of the state of Virginia, a “Virginia Is For Lovers” purse, and a Utica, New York baseball hat. All it cost me was forty-five dollars, signing up for a new credit card, and booking a vacation to Utica, New York.
Velma: I used to live there! Why in the hell would anyone ever want to go on vacation there? It’s the most boring place on Earth.

Karl: Ask your aunt.