FOX Orders Empire: LA Straight to Series

The Ratings Junkie Thursday, March 31, 2016
CBS has NCIS, NBC has Chicago, and now it looks like FOX has Empire as a franchise. In a sudden move, FOX has announced that they have ordered straight-to-series an Empire spin-off, titled Empire: LA. As the title implies, the show will be similar to the mothership in style, but will follow a different family, The Tigers, in Los Angeles.

Brownie Tiger is said to be the matriarch and Precious Tiger the patriarch in a family that is trying to stay at the top of the music industry on the West Coast. Precious, who is dying of AIDS, must pick which of his children will take over the company, which divides the family. Brownie is pushing for R&B daughter Andrea, while Precious likes his rap prodigy son, who goes by the name "Desparate Deer".

In an interview with TVLime, Dana Walden stated "We are very excited to bring to you a new chapter of Empire, and we think it will really captivate viewers across the country and around the world". She continued, "We think Empire and Empire: LA will be around for years to come". She also hinted at other possible Empire spin-offs being in the works.

What do you think of this fake news? Let us know in the comments below!

The Future of the Night: ABC Friday

The Ratings Junkie Thursday, March 31, 2016
Welcome to a segment I call "The Future of the Night". The format is I take a look at a night on the network's schedule, see what could use improvement, and come up with scenarios which could potentially solve it. First, I present a short argument as to why it could work, then play Devil's Advocate with my reasoning, and then present the bottom line. Enjoy, and fee free to leave your opinions by leaving a comment!
As ABC watches many other nights start to crumble, Friday is a relatively bright spot on their schedule on the surface. The Last Man Standing/Dr Ken comedy block at 8pm is doing better than the block on Tuesday. Shark Tank is still a solid reality player even if it isn't what it once was (almost nothing is). And 20/20 is 20/20. However, contract negotiations may lag the Tim Allen-led Last Man Standing despite good-for-Friday ratings and a syndication deal, and Dr Ken's fate may be complementary to that of Last Man Standing's. Worst case scenario and we no longer have an 8pm comedy block and nothing clear to replace it. So, here are some options ABC has for Friday.

Option 1: Stay Steady
Why It Will Work: There's really nothing wrong with Friday. Even if 20th Century Fox has to lower the licensing fee for Last Man Standing even more, a renewal would mean more solid ratings on a Friday. And realistically what could replace it? Moving a weekday comedy to the night would only
leave a major hole in their schedule.

Why It Won't: Well, you can't stay steady if you don't have all your shows renewed, right?

Bottom Line: As long as Tim Allen cooperates, Fridays should be a no brainer for ABC next season.

Option 2: Dr Ken Squeaks Out a Renewal and Launches a New Comedy
Why It Will Work: In a world where ABC can't bring back Last Man Standing but also expects Dr Ken to be profitable without it (which is iffy), ABC can move Dr Ken to 8pm an have it launch a multi-cam at 8:30. It won't be the same as this year, but it'll be the next best thing.

Why It Won't: There's a reason ABC only has a couple multi-cam pilots this season. They'll develop them, but they don't seem heavily invested in the genre. It looks like the block could be all-or-nothing unless a pilot like The Fluffy Shop tests absolutely though the roof.

Bottom Line: If this option happens, ABC might see itself with a fractional comedy hour on Fridays. Last Man Standing is severely undervalued, and I don't think a multi-cam block should continue without it.

Option 3: All Reality
Why It Will Work: If there's no comedy block, there's really no drama that would be able to move to Friday. Example: SHIELD would be fractional for sure, and it would make no sense to air a Marvel show on a day where Marvel wants you to go out and see its latest movie in theaters. Air something like Beyond the Tank or What Would You Do? here, or time share them. If you bench one or two scripted shows, you won't need Beyond the Tank every time something flops.

Why It Won't: This option would more or less be ABC giving in on Fridays. Really, all reality? That would leave a network like NBC or FOX to majorly capitalize on less scripted competition, and may not be a lineup that looks particularly pleasing to advertisers.

Bottom Line: When all else fails, go to Plan C. This is it. This could be what a future without Tim Allen looks like for ABC.

What do you think? Are there any other somewhat-plausible options that I didn't cover? Let me know in the comments below!

FOX Renew/Cancel Watch: Rosewood Back to Renewal Territory

The Ratings Junkie Thursday, March 31, 2016
FOX Renew/Cancel Watch: Rosewood Back to Renewal Territory
Canceled Certatin to be Canceled Likely to be Canceled Watching Likely to be Renewed Certain to be Renewed Renewed
Minority Report Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life Bordertown Grandfathered Rosewood Family Guy The Simpsons

The Grinder Sleepy Hollow

The X-Files Lucifer Bob’s Burgers

Second Chance

New Girl Empire

Scream Queens



Brooklyn 9-9

The Last Man On Earth

Why Is Rosewood Now "Likely to be Renewed"?
Pre-Empire tune-in has struck Rosewood again, and managed to rise up to a 1.4 A18-49 demo ratings this week, and a 1.5 W18-34 rating (we can thank Empire's young women skew for that one). It had a 1.2 A18-49 demo rating in the 8pm half-hour, and a 1.6 in the second half-hour. Despite the Empire pre-tune, even by itself Rosewood isn't performing *that* badly. It doesn't get the best of DVR numbers, so I make the assumption that streaming, VOD, OTT, C3/7 boosts, etc numbers aren't the
greatest. But can FOX really pass on a show that can do mid 1s with pre-tune and at least manage a 1.0 on its own? Even though live ratings aren't as much a factor for FOX as they used to be, it's still doing better than much of their shows. 

Recall my post about how FOX hasn't renewed more than 4 dramas in recent seasons. They've already renewed 4 dramas, though Bones and Scream Queens are both short seasons. With Lucifer pretty much a lock for renewal, if Rosewood is renewed that would be 6 dramas, 4 of which would be full seasons. So it wouldn't be that much a stretch for FOX to renew so much considering they're losing American Idol. I don't think FOX will have all that much to look forward to with Rosewood's numbers next season, but they could be in for worse. 

Do you think Rosewood will be renewed? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comments below!

NCIS Los Angeles S07E20

After last week’s intense and immensely enjoyable The Seventh Child, any episode was going to struggle, but Seoul Man manages to hold its own with a light-hearted case, a standalone episode that showcases the team when Hetty assigns them to protection detail.  A South Korean Fleet Commander is in town and NCIS has been asked to assist in protecting him, an order which has Callen questioning why (he's not done that for a while), and Deeks asking if he can have a cuff mic to go with his swish undercover suit.  But all is not as it seems and soon the team realise there is a mole in the South Korean team, a point which prompts Callen to again challenge Hetty; has she assigned them the case to flush out the mole? 

Hetty insists the team are there as bodyguards only.  The case progresses with Sam infiltrating the inner circle of guards while Callen remains as observer.  Kensi & Deeks are also on the ground.  His paranoia allows him to be suspicious of all the Korean team; one does not making eye contact, another is sending messages by smart phone.  Kensi and Deeks are also on high alert, following guards to payphones and the hotel shop. Only James Kang, the one on the payphone is worthy of following up after Nell and Eric confirm he called a burn phone.

Sam accompanies the Koreans to a karaoke bar where the Commander amusingly starts rapping, with Granger assuming the role usually occupied by Callen; he keeps watch at the karaoke bar -  complete with an umbrella in his cocktail for camouflage - tackles the North Korean mole and is embroiled in the gun fight / car chase at the end. 
 Granger’s paranoia shines through when he questions Hetty about the presence of NCIS Special Agent Gates at the firing range.  NCIS Special Agent Gates (based out of Singapore) is played by the real life Director of NCIS, Andrew Traver, in an excellent nod to the agency.  Whilst a nice touch, the scene was only relevant in displaying Granger’s paranoia and allowing Hetty to ask if Granger is OK in dealing with a Korean case, knowing his background and connections to the region.

Another loss leader of a character is the South Korean Intelligence officer that Kensi and Deeks tackle.  Deeks likens him to 007 with his tracking device and video camera pen but his only purpose is to alert the team that there is a double agent in the South Korean ranks, and hidden communications in QR codes on Facebook photos.  It is James Kang who gives the team the slip at the Karaoke bar and Kensi and Deeks interrogate Dawn Amaro, the nurse Kang interacted with in the ladies rest room.  From here on there are twists and turns as the case evolves in to a thriller with a healthy dose of action and romance thrown in for good measure.   Kang enters a Federal building to defect, he is a North Korean double agent who fell in love with Dawn when she worked in South Korea, opening his eyes and his heart to love and compassion. 
More spy tools come to the fore as the couple communicated daily with poetry coded with every fourth word, Kang had a chip hidden in a Nickel with stolen information (also seen in the recent cold war film Bridge of Spies) and also a 3D laser gun, undetectable but lethal as it fires and kills his would be assassin.  Deeks later takes on their idea of poetry writing with a limerick for Kensi.  In the final boatshed scene he feigns stomach cramps to get Kensi on her own and gives her the ‘poem’ and a gift, he framed her father’s medal.  The hug between them takes place away from the rest of the team and again shows the right balance of romance versus action, and also restraint in front of the team.

Callen is noticeable by his absence particularly during the second half of the episode (in real life, Chris O’Donnell participated in the AT&T Pro-Am Celebrity Golf Tournament), explained by him staying with the protection detail.  There is a great set piece in NCIS Agent Prieto’s back-up/chase car where Prieto unintentionally tests Callen’s people skills.  Sam tries to maintain a modicum of restraint whereas Callen’s facial expressions reveal his blatant amusement at Prieto’s seriousness.  The crux comes when Fleet Commander is escorted to his car without incident and Callen sarcastically comments that he thought it was a little touch and go.  
Sam tells Callen to behave, their banter causing Prieto to ask how long they’ve been married - a now well overused line.  The most amusing scene comes when the team congregate in Sam and Callen’s hotel room the following morning.  Only one of their beds looks slept in and both Kensi and Deeks wonder if the pair had snuggled up together, a throwback to Preito’s marriage comment and their ever burgeoning bromance.  Callen looks amused and remains silent, leaving Sam to defend himself - he makes his bed every morning.

The joy of ‘Seoul Man’ comes from the team's interactions and the solid continuity nods to previous episodes. Deeks tidying and vacuuming Kensi's desk in a solid throwback to last week's episode and the earlier episode ‘Defectors’; Kensi is inherently messy.  Sam talks with Callen about his family still being in the safe house and both topics come around again during the closing scenes.  Deeks accepts that Kensi is just messy, and Granger advises Sam the assessed threat to his family is deemed to be over.  Additionally, the North Korean spies killed by the team mean there are only two names on the list from the earlier ‘Cancel Christmas’ episode.  The references to previous episodes and cases do not detract at all from the plot of Seoul Man and instead enhance the narrative as well as setting up future episodes.  In a few weeks is Granger, O which will see him revisit Kim, the Korean spy from Cancel Christmas, and the threat to Sam and his family returns for the season seven finale.  The show may be a procedural with a number of standalone episodes, but audiences like to see an arc, a connection to previous episodes and generally continuity between the show’s different writers.
Please leave a comment about your thoughts on the episode.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine S3E20 Review


The interesting love story of Rosa and Adrian continues this week, and it gets even more intense.

S3E20 "Paranoia"

At the start of the episode, Terry is in charge while Holt is gone, and Rosa and Adrian reveal that they got engaged, which is pretty funny. Rosa asks Jake to get Terry to approve of the wedding, and Adrian asks him to be his best man, and his pretending to be surprised is funny. It is hilarious when Rosa asks Charles to be her maid of honor, along with Amy and Gina. The three maids of honor won't compromise, so they decide to have three parties. Terry tries to keep his mind open, until Adrian says that someone is trying to kill him.

Jake tries to get things straightened out with Terry and Adrian, and there is a hilarious moment when Hitchcock and Scully want to talk to Jake outside because the others did. Gina's party is first for Rosa, and it involves playing paintball with 13 year olds, which is really funny and fun for them. The second party is Amy's, and everyone gets really drunk as they hilariously try to guess trivia questions about Rosa. Jake discovers that Adrian isn't so crazy, as the waiter has a gun and a picture of Adrian.

The bachelor party questions the waiter, and it is hilarious. They make Adrian look dead, and there are some hilarious moments, such as how Charles quickly texts back a top ten list of place to buy tounge. Meanwhile, Charles's party involves demolishing a building, so it wins, which is hilarious. The bachelor party follows the person the waiter was working for, and it turns out he is an FBI agent.

Adrian decides that he has to run away, but Jake encourages him to see Rosa one last time. The next day, Jake talks to Rosa, and they find Adrian while walking. Adrian says goodbye to Rosa, which is a really emotional moment. When Holt finally returns, he puts together a group to find out who this FBI agent is.

There were a lot of funny moments in this episode, and the last act was great in a serious way. This was a great episode.

What did you think of "Paranoia"? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

The Future of the Night: ABC Thursday

The Ratings Junkie Wednesday, March 30, 2016
The Future of the Night: ABC Thursday
Welcome to a segment I call "The Future of the Night". The format is I take a look at a night on the network's schedule, see what could use improvement, and come up with scenarios which could potentially solve it. First, I present a short argument as to why it could work, then play Devil's Advocate with my reasoning, and then present the bottom line. Enjoy, and fee free to leave your opinions by leaving a comment!
Just last year, ABC Thursday was Must-See TV. It went by many names: Shondaland, TGIT, Shonda Thursday, etc. Now, Grey's Anatomy remains on top of ABC's ratings, now their #1 drama, but Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder have fallen mightily. Scandal is no longer the show that seemingly there's someone walkabout about it at all times, and many associate a decline in quality with the ratings decline. At 10pm, the highly serialized nature of How to Get Away with Murder may have lost many old fans. In addition, spring replacement The Catch premiered to very low ratings, and is definitely not a force that can bring TGIT back up to where it once was. Thursday is far from being ABC's worst day, but it's also far away from its heyday not too long ago (in raw and relative ratings).

Option 1: Stay Steady
Why It Will Work: With Sunday and Tuesday being a mess, as well as holes on Monday and even Wednesday, does ABC really have the time to mess with Thursday? A network can only move so much in a season. Grey's Anatomy and Scandal are both expected to be above-average performers
next season, and Murder is still ABC's #1 10m show, so why not keep the block together?

Why It Won't: With declines like this, by next season How to Get Away with Murder risks going fractional. How do you promote the block as "Thank God It's Thursday" with ratings like that? Additionally, The Catch indicates that Scandal can't launch a show. And keeping the schedule stable would mean no launching a new show out of Grey's Anatomy, their #1 drama.

Bottom Line: This season, ABC played it safe by keeping almost every returning show in its old time slot. If ABC wants TGIT back, they should probably get experimenting. If they're OK with what they have now (and expect to get next season) and want to work on other nights instead, that's equally plausible, if not more plausible.

Option 2: New Drama at 10pm
Why It Will Work: Despite ratings declines, Scandal is still relatively high up there in terms of ABC scripted show rankings. Instead of having it leads into what is bound to be the weakest link of the night, move Murder to a problem slot and give a new drama a chance at Thursdays. Plus, there's barely any competition in the time slot. For promotional purposes they would probably choose Shondaland's Still Star-Crossed.

Why It Won't: Murder is bound to see declines next season just by its nature, but moving it from Thursday will do even more damage, and there's no way of telling if this new drama is going to be DOA or not.

Bottom Line: Trying a new drama at 10p after Scandal would be optimal to moving Scandal to 10pm and trying something at 9 just for the purpose of stability. If ABC thinks that it could better utilize Murder in a trouble time slot, then they should go for it. I don't see it as being utmost priority though.

Option 3: New Drama at 9pm
Why It Will Work: Opening up a spot after Grey's Anatomy will provide a new drama with its best chance at success.

Why It Won't: As mentioned earlier, a network can only do so much in one season. TGIT isn't what it once was, but that doesn't necessarily mean they go and move 2 of 3 shows.

Bottom Line: Grey's Anatomy is aging, so is it time that ABC use its lead-in on something other than Scandal? If they do go ahead and not only move Murder to another night but also shift Scandal back to 10pm, I wouldn't expect many other moves to be made on the schedule. I just don't think it's worth it.

What do you think? Are there any other somewhat-plausible options that I didn't cover? Let me know in the comments below!

Fresh Off the Boat S2E18 Review

Fresh Off the Boat S2E18 Review

Yahoo News
Lice is spreading around this week.

S2E18 "Week in Review"

At the start of the episode, Jessica and Louis are doing their week in review, where they plan out their upcoming week. Eddie and his friends are preparing for a students versus teachers basketball game, and he makes a bet with his math teacher. Louis and Jessica have a few minutes to themselves, and there is a hilarious joke about the wristband Louis is wearing, but this gets interrupted when Eddie is sent home for having lice.

Emory, and Evan after he gets home and reveals he has lice, are sent outside. This reaction is hilarious, because it is over the top. Eddie discovers that the bet is still on, even though he has lice, and the entire class will get double homework. Jessica gets lice, even though she doesn't think she actually has it at first, which is sort of funny.

Louis wants to stay at Honey and Marvin's after Jessica gets lice, and he gets in an argument with her, because they are supposed to be a team. Eddie shows up near the end of the game, and there is a funny joke about how he likes to make an entrance. He scores a basket. Louis helps out Jessica after a conversation with Honey.

There were some funny moments, but this was one of the weakest episodes of the season. It was an alright episode.

What did you think of "Week in Review"? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

NBC - How to rebuild a fading TV network

At the bottom of this page is a link to a very interesting article from Campaign U.S. (Credit to Reese for the find) which includes an interview with one of NBC's network presidents about the revival of the peacock network and its plans for next fall's schedule. A few things can be taken from this article:

- NBC is very unhappy with Undateable's performance (which reinforces my "likely to be canceled" prediction)
- Little Big Shots is being heavily considered for the fall
- NBC will air a new drama Monday at 10/9c
- Superstore will likely appear on the fall schedule
- There is an extremely high chance that Chicago Justice will be picked up (oddly referred to as "Chicago Law" in the article)
- NBC is looking to air a lot of comedies next season
- The Carmichael Show and Crowded are being closely watched; neither is a lock for renewal nor cancellation
- The network will utilize America's Got Talent and the 2016 Summer Olympics for a huge marketing push of this fall's new shows

iZombie S2E16 Review

iZombie S2E16 Review

Spoilers Guide
Even though I am on vacation in nice and warm Arizona, Liv Moore is still back in Seattle working hard. And this week, her work might include something a lot different than just police work.

S2E16 "Pour Some Sugar, Zombie"

At the start of the episode, Rita comes into Liv's apartment, looking for brains in her freezer. Unfortunately for her, however, she is kidnapped. Peyton moves back in, and the scene gets pretty funny when they talk about them being the friends from Friends. Peyton gets a call from a woman who was dating someone who works for Mr. Boss and has information, but she gets killed. They figure out who the killer is quickly, but Peyton insists that Liv eats the woman's brain to find out the information she knew.

Peyton and Liv go to a strip club in hopes of triggering a vision, and this is hilarious. What's especially hilarious is Liv's attitude on this brain. Major's secrets are sadly starting to get in the way of his bromance with Ravi when he sees Major hiding things in a safe. Liv has a vision, and then talks to a friend of the dead stripper's, who leads them to a regular customer, the weatherman from season one. Ravi is getting closer to discovering the truth about Major, and the way he is acting is really helping Ravi. Clive and Liv investigate at the strip club, and become suspicious of one woman. Liv discovers that there was a witness to the murder through a vision, but he is no help.

Clive arrests the ex, and then he and Liv interview the woman he was sleeping with. However, she won't stop crying and gives them no information, which is pretty funny. Blaine is having major memory issues, which is a really interesting twist. Clive and Liv get information from the weatherman and discover who the murderers are. Also, Liv helps Peyton figure out which house she saw in her vision. Ravi gets into Major's safe, and it is a really intense scene. He goes through all of the things in there, and is shocked.

Clive and Liv are having difficulties discovering who had the car, it is harder than it seems like it should be. They eventually discover that the crying girl drove the car, and the one who testified against her was the actual killer. Liv goes to Drake's mom, who is sure that Drake is dead because he always calls multiple times a day. Liv then discovers that Drake was an undercover cop, and she is shocked. The final scene of the episode is really intense. Major comes home, Ravi confronts him, it appears that Major is turning back into a zombie, and Ravi injects him. Only three episodes left this season!

This was a great episode. The case of the week was fairly interesting, Liv's new personality was great, and the Ravi scenes were really intense.

What did you think of "Pour Some Sugar, Zombie"? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

The Future of the Night: ABC Wednesday

The Ratings Junkie Tuesday, March 29, 2016
The Future of the Night: ABC Wednesday
Welcome to a segment I call "The Future of the Night". The format is I take a look at a night on the network's schedule, see what could use improvement, and come up with scenarios which could potentially solve it. First, I present a short argument as to why it could work, then play Devil's Advocate with my reasoning, and then present the bottom line. Enjoy, and fee free to leave your opinions by leaving a comment!
There is just so much that ABC could potentially do to Tuesday that I had to extend it to another edition, in counterpart to coverage of ABC Wednesday. If you recall, Option 1 presented for ABC Tuesday was to move a comedy from Wednesday to Tuesday to help out Fresh Off The Boat. Which one, if any, should move? Check out the options. This time, in no particular order.

Option 1: Move The Middle to Tuesday, The Goldbergs to 8pm
Why It Will Work: The Middle is about to enter its 8th season, and ABC needs to prepare for a future without it. Fresh Off The Boat could highly benefit from its compatibility.

Why It Won't: Though it airs in a tougher time slot, The Middle still has been the lowest-rated Wednesday comedy as of late. Apply declines for both the league average and for moving to Tuesday,
and will it really help out Fresh Off The Boat? It would also require an overhaul that sees The Goldbergs moving to Wednesday at 8pm to launch an unknown player, which could flop.

Bottom Line: ABC may need to go outside of the box and try a Wednesday comedy on Tuesday. But is The Middle actually it? I tend to think not, especially considering off all comedies to move, moving The Middle would cause the most disruption to the schedule.

Option 2: Move The Goldbergs to Tuesday, New Comedy After The Middle
Why It Will Work: The Goldbergs is a stronger show now than in its 1st season and is perhaps the most compatible of them all with Fresh Off The Boat. It will also be less moves for veteran shows if The Goldbergs moves instead of The Middle.

Why It Won't: The Goldbergs could very well be a time slot hit (I don't count the Wednesday at 8 highly-promoted special as an indicator) and could crumble on Tuesdays. That doesn't help FOTB, leaves a hole on the Wednesday schedule, and makes it less desirable to cable channels interested in picking it up for syndication.

Bottom Line: The Goldbergs may be an integral part in the future of Wednesdays without The Middle or Modern Family. It might be a solid idea for it to stay put for now.

Option 3: Switch Modern Family and Fresh Off The Boat, New Comedy After Modern Family
Why It Will Work: Modern Family is perhaps the least compatible of all the ABC Wednesday comedies + FOTB. FOTB is very compatible with a Goldbergs lead-in (80s/90s family comedies, respectively) and just as much with Blackish (assimilation family comedy). It would be able to grow with a Goldbergs lead-in, yet Goldbergs wouldn't have to change time slots to provide it. Modern Family and a new comedy can lead off a revamped Tuesday night.

Why It Won't: Will ABC really be willing to move their #1 show? It's a risk that may not be worth
taking when it could crumble. It'll make it too expensive to even continue to a ninth season, and no favors would have been given to the show it was supposed to launch.

Bottom Line: Switching Modern Family and Fresh Off The Boat will actually be less schedule overhaul than moving The Middle, while Blackish gets to stay steady at 9:30pm to lead into what is most likely to be a new show at 10pm. The Wednesday average will drop, but the median probably won't, and Tuesday will most likely have a much stronger hour. Finally, ABC would have found 3 of 4 shows needed in a future on Wednesday without its two oldies-but-goodies.

Option 4: Move Blackish to Tuesday, New Comedy After Modern Family
Why It Will Work: Blackish and Fresh Off The Boat, being family assimilation comedies, would fit well together. It would allow for a slightly stronger comedy hour on Tuesday, while allowing Modern Family to launch another show before it's too late.

Why It Won't: Blackish will be the first ABC Studios sitcom to make it to syndication in like forever. The last thing ABC wants is its prized possession to stumble along to syndication and not get as good a deal as it could have. Plus, the new post-Modern Family comedy is not a surefire success and could be a poor lead-in to a potential new show at 10pm. At the end of the year you're left with two aging sitcoms, one or two holes, and The Goldbergs.

Bottom Line: This is the option I have advocated the most throughout the season. After all, ABC repeated Blackish on Tuesday for the entirety of last summer and it did decently.

Option 5: Stay Steady
Why It Will Work: Wednesday is one of ABC's best nights right now, if not the best night. Let's keep The Middle, The Goldbergs, Modern Family, and Blackish together for another season, and while we're at it let's also renew Nashville. For the comedy block, why fix what isn't broken, and for Nashville, if given a 5th season then schedule stability could make its ratings at least predictable.

Why It Won't: Nashville is already fractional, and if they renew it then why would they keep it on what's otherwise most definitely their best day? Also, Tuesday will continue to struggling without some outside help.

Bottom Line: I'm a little hesitant about breaking up Wednesday at all, especially the comedy block. ABC has bigger problems, and it's not clear whether or not ABC should move anything to help solve them.

Which option do you think is the best? Are there any other somewhat-plausible options that I didn't cover? Let me know in the comments below!

NBC Developing A Blacklist Spin-Off

The Ratings Junkie Tuesday, March 29, 2016
NBC Developing A Blacklist Spin-Off
NBC recently announced that they are planning a Blacklist spin-off, per Deadline, starring Famke Janssen of X Men fame. The May 12th episode of The Blacklist (otherwise known as the season
finale) will serve as the backdoor pilot. Unfortunately there's not much word as to what this spinoff will actually be about.

What do you think of this news? Let us know in the comments below!

Jane the Virgin S2E16 Review

Jane the Virgin S2E16 Review

The Curse continues this week, as Pablo is still in Miami.

S2E16 "Chapter Thirty-Eight"

The episode starts from when Alba and the original Mateo moved into her current house. The narrator relates her story to the Bible, which is hilarious, and refers to the incident that occurred last week as "the flood". They are now staying at the Marbella, and Jane discovers that the house is in poor shape, and Jane will not be able to get married there in six weeks. She tells Rogelio that he can only invite 15 people, and his reaction is hilarious. Jane, while hilariously trying to get Mateo to fall asleep, runs into Petra, who is extremely tired, I wonder why. Jane and Michael are unable to find a house they like in their price range, except one that is thirty-nine minutes away. Also, there is some hilarious snarky wallpaper.

Jane talks to Rafael about the house, but he doesn't like Mateo being that far away. Rafael offers to pay the difference for a nice place in Miami, but Jane doesn't want to do that. She brings it up with Michael anyway, and he says absolutely not. They also talk about how many people Rogelio wants to invite to the wedding, which is pretty funny, and Xo is hilariously loving room service at the Marbella. Alba tells Pablo that she wants to wait for marriage to have sex, and so he proposes.

Jane takes Petra to the new moms group, and it is hilarious. However, things get more serious at the group, when they become concerned that Petra is suffering from post-partum depression. This is a great storyline to put Petra on, because she is the kind of person who doesn't like others to know her emotions or to help her. Rogelio tries to introduce Jane to a bunch of his friends, and it is hilarious. She then says that she and Michael will pay for the wedding.

Because Rafael has said that Jane can move to the far away house, she and Michael prepare buy it, but she decides not to when Mateo takes his first steps. Back at the Marbella, Jane and Xo talk about the wedding. Xo suggests that Jane have a small wedding ceremony, but big party after. They accidentally end up on the wrong floor, and they see Pablo with another woman.

Jane and Xo talk to Alba, and encourage her to start dating. The wrath of Alba comes down on Pablo and it is hilarious. Petra goes to talk to her mother to find out if she suffered from post-partum depression. Her mother tells her that the best thing she can do is give her babies away. Jane talks to Rogelio, and he goes to Xo to talk about wedding ideas. Michael and Rafael are working together to investigate Rafael's brother. Jane gets an offer for a supposedly great house, but they discover that it is highly competitive, so they need to write a letter about why they would be the perfect tenants.

Jane and Michael disagree about what the tenants are most interested in, but eventually come up with something. Rogelio has a TV set built that is a replica of the Villanuevas' house. The tenants loved the letter. However, it turns out that the house is actually owned by Petra. She has a heart! This character development for Petra is really great. However, not everything is going great for Petra, who is packing up.

This is probably the best episode of Jane the Virgin ever. It had some really hilarious moments, and some tragic moments with Petra. Petra's character development is fantastic. This is a great episode.

What did you think of "Chapter Thirty-Eight"? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

The Future of the Night: ABC Tuesday

The Ratings Junkie Monday, March 28, 2016
Welcome to a segment I call "The Future of the Night". The format is I take a look at a night on the network's schedule, see what could use improvement, and come up with scenarios which could potentially solve it. First, I present a short argument as to why it could work, then play Devil's Advocate with my reasoning, and then present the bottom line. Enjoy, and fee free to leave your opinions by leaving a comment!
Tuesday is arguably ABC's worst night. It starts off with Fresh Off Th eBoat, a marginal player that is way below the ratings of its Wednesday siblings, yet is still the highest-rated show of the night. The Real O'Neals is barely struggling to not go fractional, Marvel's Agents of SHIELD has gone fractional, and nothing can EVER break a 1.0 demo rating at 10pm. ABC has a real problem on the night, and several ways to potentially fix it.

Option 1: Grow Fresh Off The Boat, Push SHIELD to 10pm
Why It Will Work: SHIELD and its low ratings are probably on their way out anyways, so why not just push it to 10pm and let it take the hit instead of a new show? Also, FOTB getting renewed probably means ABC has plans for it other than leading off the night with low 1s. Shifting it to 8:30 and moving a Wednesday comedy to 8pm could create a strong(er) Tuesday hour. Stay tuned for tomorrow's edition, where there will be a more complete analysis on the pros and cons of moving each comedy (if any).

Why It Won't: Disney owns both ABC and Marvel; will they really allow one of their shows to be shifted to the 10pm death slot? Also, a Wednesday comedy could crumble on Tuesday, leaving nothing for FOTB to gain and a lost Wednesday dynamic.

Bottom Line: This is probably the most plausible option for ABC, making necessary changes while also opening up a spot at 9pm for a new show. It's a safe choice, but not the safest.

Option 2: Stay Steady
Why It Will Work: Statistically, half of the network's shows have to be below average. Not every night has to include high-rated comedies or be called TGIT. Leave Tuesday alone for now (including Beyond the Tank at 10pm) and work out Sunday and Monday first.

Why It Won't: Really? Does ABC really want Fractional Tuesday? I don't think so, and advertisers don't as well. Something has to be done, whether that's a complete overhaul or just an improvement in one hour.

Bottom Line: ABC is known for stability, but this is one night where stability may not be the best option. The safest? Yes. But not the best.

Option 3: New Drama(s)
Why It Will Work: Once again, if you schedule a show that intrigue people and promote it right, viewers will at the very least sample it. We saw that with The Muppets. But just because Tuesday hasn't had success as of late doesn't mean they never will. Put one or two promising drama pilots on Tuesdays, and chances are at least one will stick.

Why It Won't: Marvel's Agents of SHIELD is not a good lead-in for a drama. The other options aren't the greatest either; a comedy isn't bound to help a drama all that much, and the last thing you want is to make a promising pilot self-start and crumble. Also, ABC tried this strategy with Sunday this season, and one of them was DOA.

Bottom Line: Whatever happens, ABC should try to do some shifting on Tuesday. Maybe two new dramas back-to-back isn't the best, but it will at least be a chance to get something working.

Option 4: Move a Veteran Drama
Why It Will Work: Of all the dramas ABC has tried on Tuesday in the past 4 seasons, only 1 has been renewed. Time to try a show with a solid following instead of throwing another newbie to the wolves.

Why It Won't: What veteran is strong enough to move to Tuesday, but not strong enough to be more needed somewhere else?

Bottom Line: The drama that comes to mind here is How to Get Away with Murder. It's strong enough as to that it'll improve the time slot, but not strong enough that Thursday is guaranteed to crumble without it. Still a big risk though.

What do you think? Are there any other somewhat-plausible options that I didn't cover? Let me know in the comments below!

The Future of the Night: ABC Monday

The Ratings Junkie Sunday, March 27, 2016
Welcome to a segment I call "The Future of the Night". The format is I take a look at a night on the network's schedule, see what could use improvement, and come up with scenarios which could potentially solve it. First, I present a short argument as to why it could work, then play Devil's Advocate with my reasoning, and then present the bottom line. Enjoy, and fee free to leave your opinions by leaving a comment!
Monday isn't in nearly as bad shape as Sunday, with Dancing with the Stars pulling above-average ratings for two hours of the night (and bridge series The Bachelor is one of ABC's highest rated shows). The 10pm hour has become a little troublesome as of late though, with Castle falling 34% already year-to-year and is barely above fractional. It went as low as a 0.8 when it aired Sunday at 10, away from its cushy lead-in. Even then, it doesn't fully capitalize on Dancing with the Stars, and is way past its heyday (in raw and relative ratings). With all the new dramas failing (Quantico isn't, but even that is barely keeping its head above water), Castle could squeak out a ninth season. Here are some options ABC has for Monday--specifically, Monday at 10--next season.

Option 1: New Drama
Why It Will Work: ABC did so well in the 2014-2015 TV season because they opened up time slots behind their #1 comedy (Modern Family) and their #1 drama (Scandal) and aired two very compatible and promising pilots after them. Since the 9:30 portion of Dancing with the Stars is always either the #1 or #2 highest-rated for the network, why not try to air a new show out of ABC's #1 fall reality series? I would vouch for a soapy drama.

Why It Won't: Why would said new show do any better than Castle is doing when ABC can't get any drama to work this season? Also, Castle has been behind Dancing with the Stars for all 8 of its seasons and could continue to do so next season. Maybe save a new drama for the post-Bachelor spot, but Castle deserves a spot on a schedule where there are already many drama holes.

Bottom Line: I think trying a new drama would be in ABC's best interest Monday at 10. You don't know it's going to fail unless you try, and we already know how Castle will do. Renew Castle for a short final season if contracts can be worked out, and bench it in anticipation of a flop.

Option 2: Castle
Why It Will Work: ABC is known for stability in their schedules, and Castle isn't doing all that bad compared to some of their other dramas. For a ninth season in a row, do a Dancing-Castle lineup and focus on the other nights instead.

Why It Won't: If ABC renewed Castle, puts it on the fall schedule AND airs it in that cushy time slot, they are asking for low ratings. The pairing is past its heyday, and it's time for ABC to move on.

Bottom Line: I actually wouldn't be all that surprised if ABC keeps Castle Monday at 10 next season, assuming they can work out contracts. Do I think it's the right choice? Hard to tell, but it's definitely the safest.

What do you think? Are there any other somewhat-plausible options that I didn't cover? Let me know in the comments below!

Jess's Take: A Lesson in Queer Theory, Feminism, and Fandom

Hey folks, this is another installment of Jess's Take. I'm Jessica, and this is a special article dealing with feminism and queer theory in television as well as the fandom. Before I get into specifics, here lies the definition of feminism.

Feminism (noun) - The advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

There are shows like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The Mindy Project, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt that have feminist overtones.

And there are shows like Supernatural and The 100.

Supernatural is an interesting case because the overwhelming majority of convention attendees are women. However, it's a show that has killed pretty much every female character known to mankind. I wouldn't exactly call that show a shining example of feminism, but rather a show that deals with family issues surrounding two brothers. Now here's how queer theory is applied. Ironically, it's also a show that has fans writing fanfiction about the supposed romantic involvements with male characters: Destiel, Wincest, etc. Charlie's death in season 10 was the most shocking of all female character deaths. For one thing, she was the female character that is well received with the fandom. She was also gay, which made it even more shocking since most major female characters were killed if they were somewhat romantically involved with either Winchester brother. Does Anna, Bela, Sarah, and Ruby 2.0 ring a bell? Also, Charlie was more like an equal.

The 100 is another example of showing how the death of a major female character sparks outrage. Lexa was killed minutes after sleeping with Clarke. The fan outrage was extremely massive. Lexa was one of the most powerful LGBT characters on television. The entire fandom has donated a ton of money to The Trevor Project. The week after Lexa's death, The 100 scored a series low in the demo. A 0.4 A18-49 rating to be exact. Also, the showrunner apologizes to fans in a long letter. Interestingly enough, the main character, Clarke, is bisexual.

These are two shows where there are major LGBT character deaths and what is basically seen is the underrepresentation of the LGBT community and women, although it is more so with Supernatural than The 100. However, the basic main premise of both shows deals with survival and how to deal with life. But I digress.

News flash: Lexa's death is not the first female LGBT character death on television. Neither is Charlie's. But they are unfortunate examples of a television landscape that may be largely patriarchal. Public discourse and fandom outrage is not likely to go away quietly. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Lexa's death will be cited as an example in an academic paper for an academic journal that deals with television.

The opinions expressed in this article may not be representative of the TV Ratings Guide and subsequent TV news sites as a whole.

NBC Renew/Cancel Watch: 'Heartbeat' Certain to be Canceled

Week 27

  • Show title (Average adults 18-49 rating to the nearest tenth / Most recent rating)
[F] - Indicates a Friday-night show, which will typically have lower ratings
[O] - Indicates an NBC-owned show, which will typically have a higher chance at renewal

  • Heroes Reborn (1.3 / 1.0) [O]
  • The Player (0.8 / 0.8)
  • Truth Be Told (0.6 / 0.4) [F][O]
  • You, Me and the Apocalypse (0.7 / 0.6)
  • Heartbeat (1.2 / 0.9)
  • The Mysteries of Laura (1.1 / 1.2)
  • Telenovela (1.0 / 0.9) [O]
  • Undateable (0.8 / 0.8) [F]
  • Crowded (1.4 / 1.0) [O]
  • The Carmichael Show (1.2 / 1.3)
  • Grimm (0.9 / 0.9) [F][O]
  • None

  • The Blacklist (1.5 / 1.3)
  • Blindspot (2.1 / 1.5)
  • Chicago Fire (1.8 / 1.6) [O]
  • Chicago Med (1.8 / 1.5) [O]
  • Chicago P.D. (1.6 / 1.4) [O]
  • Law & Order: SVU (1.7 / 1.5) [O]
  • Shades of Blue (1.2 / 1.0) [O]
  • Superstore (1.5 / 1.4) [O]

Heartbeat premiered to a modest 1.4 rating following The Voice on Tuesday, but dropped to a not-so-modest 0.9 on Wednesday. Because Heartbeat already went fractional in its second episode, I have decided to skip the "bubble" stage and immediately label it as "certain to be canceled." Does NBC now wish it gave The Mysteries of Laura a full-season order? Probably. Does The Mysteries of Laura now have a shot at renewal? Not so fast...but maybe. It isn't "certain to be canceled," just "likely"...

Also, you may have noticed that I moved The Carmichael Show up to "likely to be renewed." After two weeks of performing decently behind Little Big Shots, I thought this move was only fair. Even though it's not saying much, TCS is NBC's #2 comedy. With that AND critical acclaim, I think it's safe to say that TCS definitely has more than a 50% shot at renewal.


The Future of the Night: ABC Sunday

The Ratings Junkie Sunday, March 27, 2016
Welcome to a segment I call "The Future of the Night". The format is I take a look at a night on the network's schedule, see what could use improvement, and come up with scenarios which could potentially solve it. First, I present a short argument as to why it could work, then play Devil's Advocate with my reasoning, and then present the bottom line. Enjoy, and fee free to leave your opinions by leaving a comment!

Right now, ABC gets respectable 7pm ratings out of America's Funniest Home Videos, which probably costs pennies. Thing is, the way things are going it will be ABC Sunday's #1 show! And that's not a good thing for the rest of the line-up. Once Upon a Time is showing its age at marginal numbers, Quantico is hanging in there in the low 1s but never really became the breakout hit it had potential to be, and nothing will resonate at 9pm. Sunday doesn't have to be a Wednesday or Thursday for ABC, but the network should also think about making itself a little more competitive on the night. Once Upon a Time might not have much left in it, and we can't have a night where the highlight is America's Funniest Home Videos. Here are a couple options ABC has:

Option 1: How to Get Away with Murder
Why It Will Work: How to Get Away with Murder, despite ratings declines, still remains a solid player for ABC and could be able to bring ratings above a 1.0 to Sunday nights. Which sad as it is, would be an improvement over what's there now.

Why It Won't: Being a serialized drama that's losing buzz, can we really trust HTGAWM all that much away from TGIT? And that they'll find something to replace it on Thursday?

Bottom Line: This could be a solid option, as it'll provide a solid lead-in to Quantico, which will no longer have to stand 100% by itself, and will save a new show from having to be launched out of Once Upon a Time.

Option 2: Marvel's Agents of SHIELD
Why It Will Work: It will stop from ABC have to try a new show on Sundays, so why not try the struggling SHIELD here? During breaks, the time slot could be kept warm by a Marvel bridge series or even Marvel movies.

Why It Won't: If SHIELD is fractional now, why would it do better on Sunday? To add on to that, it's a male-skewing show airing on an hour already dominated by male-skewing shows.

Bottom Line: They probably won't see much time slot improvement here, though at the very least it won't be worse nor at the expense of a new show.

Option 3: New Drama
Why It Will Work: If ABC just schedules the right show here, people will find it. A political drama like ordered-to-series Designated Survivor or pilot Conviction could work, as fans of The Good Wife will be looking for something new to watch. Well, unless CBS moves Madam Secretary there. But we can't make assumptions.

Why It Won't: Ever hear of the "throw it against the wall and hope it sticks" theory? It's one that's been tried before and failed. If networks want a new show to work, they have to give it lead-in support, and Once Upon a Time isn't that.

Bottom Line: This is the conservative option, and it's what they've been doing for the past couple years. It hasn't worked. I think it's time to move on from this option.

Option 4: Comedy Hour
Why It Will Work: America's Funniest Home Videos is a cheap, retro comedy-variety show. That could pair nicely with 80s Goldbergs and 90s Fresh Off The Boat at 8pm, shifting Once Upon a Time to 9pm.

Why It Won't: Too many moves? Possibly. ABC is a network that needs to focus on dramas, so I'm
not sure how radical they'll get with comedy.

Bottom Line: Compatibility-wise this seems like a nice match. But if we move The Goldbergs and FOTB to Sunday, we're leaving holes somewhere else. It's a puzzle that can't be solved. Unless ABC does a schedule overhaul, I think they'll shy away from a comedy hour. For now, at least.

What do you think? Are there any other somewhat-plausible options that I didn't cover? Let me know in the comments below!

Film Review - 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

10 Cloverfield Lane is an intense drama that covers a multitude of genres, including drama, thriller, comedy, horror and science fiction.  The film opens with a young woman, Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) contemplating ending a relationship.  She then leaves her engagement ring and keys in the apartment and drives in solitude down long and winding country roads.  The music is loud and almost overbearing with little natural background noise and with no words spoken.  Her ringing cell phone and fiance’s voice are the first real sounds heard.  Michelle has run away after a minor argument (a sure indication of an abused childhood).  Shortly after, the sudden loud noise of a car crash shocks the audience out of their reverie of a broken relationship and Michelle wakes up, handcuffed and in a basement - a drip attached to her arm and a splint on her knee.
John Goodman plays the eerily menacing Howard who exudes an undercurrent of danger. He is first portrayed as a fruitcake conspiracy theorist and Michelle’s naturally suspicious nature means she disbelieves him.  She can only see him as dangerous and she uses that to her advantage during the first dinner with her, Howard and the other occupant, Emmett, and makes her first escape attempt.  A dramatic turn of events (which again make the audience jump) means she is proved wrong, forcing her to accept life in the bunker.  There is no conspiracy and validates the fact that Howard contracted Emmett to build the shelter and that Emmett ran there when the invasion commenced.
But normality does not last long and once again conspiracy theories loom large.  Vehicles are heard overhead and then the air filtration system breaks.  In true thriller style, Michelle has to crawl through the narrow air vents to reach the unit and restart it.  The claustrophobic tunnels leave the viewer waiting for the next shock moment which this time fails to arrive.  Instead Michelle discovers another clue is found that leads her and Emmett to suspect Howard again, and the pair formulate a plan to escape.  Suspicion and tension is created between characters, answers found and an equilibrium reached, until doubt surfaces again.  This pattern is repeated throughout with an intensity that continually builds, with confrontations and moments that make you jump, even though you suspect they are coming.
JJ Abrams has produced a rollercoaster of a ride, together with Dan Tratchenberg in his first outing as a feature film director.  The limited setting of the bunker and the cast of three work well to create an uneasy atmosphere and one of fairly constant suspicion, but also with a healthy dose of humour.  Mary Elizabeth Winstead shines as the young woman who does not know who or what to believe, and in the last ten-fifteen minutes articulates this (as does the audience at this point), with a very apt swear word.  The conclusion of the film yet again has a twist and a change of genre.  Whether this continues to engage the audience or not, the tight acting and directing will not disappoint.

What did you think of the film?