Here and Now Season Two Will Feature ’110% More Dragons and Bill Maher’

Here and Now, the new ratings-challenged HBO series from Six Feet Under's Alan Ball, will be returning for a second season, but it will look significantly different. The family drama will see multiple changes in season two, with Bill Maher, host of HBO's political comedy Real Time, joining the cast for the second season. Another new addition to the series will be dragons, borrowed from fellow HBO series Game of Thrones. Both of these additions are attempts at boosting sagging ratings, by incorporating elements from two of HBO's biggest series. Stars Holly Hunter and Tim Robbins are both set to return, though Hunter reportedly is dismayed with the new additions due to a "no dragons" clause in her contract.

What do you think of this fake news? Are you excited for a season of Here and Now that's full of dragons and Bill Maher? Drop your thoughts in the comments below!

Paul from Sprint Given Pilot Order as NBC Rebrands Advertising Strategy

NBC’s CEO Robert Greenblatt recently told the prese that he was aware people do not like to watch commercials and that they needed to be more watchable (http://deadline.com/2017/11/nbcs-bob-greenblatt-people-are-running-away-from-advertising-in-droves-1202215615/). Since then, NBC has gone further and decided to imcorporate commercials directly into shows.

One example of such is the pilot order of a yet-to-be-named comedy starring Paul from Sprint. It is set to follow the real-life events of Paul as he transitioms from a spokesperson for Verizon to Sprint, while trying to cover up the fact that he is personally a Cricket Wireless user. It is likely that should the pilot be passed on, he will be written into Superstore.

Additionally, a spin-off of the DirecTV commercial featuring a guy walking into a glass door is close to a pilot order. No details yet on what the premise of the pilot is.

Finally, in perhaps the most lucrative of deals, Amazon is teaming up with This Is Us to heavily integrate their voice assistant Alexa into the hit family drama. Every character will ask Alexa something once per episode, and then remark how they can’t believe how cheap and fast it is to buy with Amazon Prime.

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














And happy April Fools Day! Hopefully we didn’t scare you too much.

Bob’s Burgers Season 9 Episode 14 Review

This season of Bob's Burgers has been strong, just like always, but the past few episodes have been weaker than their usual fare. This week's episode features Tine bonding with a goose, and Gretchen searching for a date to her sister's wedding, which should both make for some interesting moments and, as always, some hilarious ones as well.

Tina is hoping that the school will choose her theme for the school dance, which she wants to go to with Jimmy Junior. The school picks her theme, which has Tina feeling excited. She asks Louise and Gene to cover for her at the restaurant while she works on the dance committee. In return, she'll have to clean the restaurant bathroom every day for the next week. She agrees reluctantly. Making things even worse, Jimmy Junior keeps ignoring her. Gretchen asks Teddy to go to her sister's wedding with her, but he's busy and declines. Linda offers to be a matchmaker for her. Jimmy Junior tells Tina that he isn't going to the dance, and she storms off.

Tina keeps on walking until she stumbles into a goose in the park, and she ends up venting to it. The goose, named Bruce, starts following her. A man in the park informs her that Bruce has gotten attached to her. She decides to ditch the dance committee and talk to Bruce the next day as well. Gretchen goes on a date with someone from online, and Linda has to keep intervening to keep her form embarrassing herself. Tina reveals to the family that she quit dance committee. In the succeeding days, Tina continues to spend time with Bruce and Gretchen continues to mess up dates. Louise and Gene end up having to clean the bathroom because of Tina's adventures with Bruce. They confront her that night, and Tina starts flipping out. The family discovers that Tina has become obsessed with Bruce and they decide to get her to the dance to try and sway her away from Bruce.

Louise and Gene beg Jimmy Junior to fix things with Tina. He reveals that he won't go to the dance because he injured his butt, and he's too hurt to dance. Linda logs onto Gretchen's online dating account, posing as Gretchen asking a guy to go the wedding with her. Bob warns her that it's an awful idea, but she goes through with it. Gene and Louise trap Bruce to keep him away from Tina. When Tina searches for him, he's nowhere to be found. Gretchen confronts Linda about the message she sent, and she tells her that they aren't friends anymore. Louise and Gene tell Tina to go to the dance, but Bruce escapes and follows them. Jimmy Junior admits to Tina that he hurt his butt, but Tina doesn't care. All she cares about is Bruce, who bursts through the door. He ends up flying and getting stuck when his friendship bracelet is caught in a screw.

Frond calls animal control about Bruce despite's Tina's demands not do. Linda tells Gretchen that she's sorry she tried to change her, and offers to go to the wedding with her. Gretchen agrees and the reconcile. Jimmy Junior climbs the bleachers to save Bruce, and he's able to save him, only after getting attacked a bit. Tina and Bruce go their separate ways, and Bruce even finds a new friend, one that's actually a goose.

Wrap-Up:

This was an incredibly sweet and heartwarming episode that was also very, very funny. This show is so great at blending sweet and goofy together, and this episode is one of the best examples of that. Tina's heartbreak due to her rejection by Jimmy Junior had me feeling so bad for her, and her weird friendship/obsession with Bruce was delightfully quirky and incredibly sweet. Well, until Tina started talking about her duck/human hybrid babies, then it became hilarious. The Tina storyline was very well-written, and it had a strong beginning, middle and end. Nothing in it felt out of place and the conclusion felt natural. It was well developed and the emotional conclusion (which, as always in this show, was broken up by humor) felt earned. The storyline with Gretchen and Linda also felt very well-developed for a B-plot, and wasn't half-baked like some of this season's B-plots have been. It provided the episode with some of its funniest moments, and helped make this episode truly the best of the season, and one of the best episodes I've seen of any show in recent months.

Score: 10/10
Grade: A+

Rondi Reed Returns to Sitcoms in FX Comedy Rude Barb

Written Baking a Pie by Bridger Cunningham

Rondi Reed became Mike and Molly's sour scene stealer as cantankerous monster-in-law Peggy Biggs.  Now, she gets to resurrect her salty comic relief as FX has ordered straight to pilot Rude Barb, a sendup of the Rubarb Lady video meme.  It may sound like a trite gimmic, a la ABC's 2007 Caveman disaster playing off the Geico Commercial.  Give it a chance, as this horrid gig and meme depicting the decay of western society holds an entertaining premise.

Unemployed Texas resident Barb Spitz (Reed) gets caught picking through her neighbor Hilda Green's (Martha Plimpton) overgrown rhubarb garden.  After a tasteless exchange with Hilda and her weak husband Thornton (Thomas Lennon), Barb spits the insults out, even telling Thornton "Mind ya business ya fucking lezzie!" as both look on confused.  After witnessing this exchange, The Green's rambunctious children, Madison, Cavanaugh and Braxton all decide she is the perfect harbinger for pranks.  After catching the youngsters TP'ing her house, Barb whips out a garden house out her living room window and sprays the Green children and their friends.

Parents in the neighborhood decide to bring the authorities in until Thornton points out no one ever disciplines the kid, and they actually responded to someone calling them out.  Lacking childcare during Spring Break, Hilda and Thornton approach Barb with an offer -- watch their kids with pay, or they would go to the police regarding hosing down the kids.  To which Barb crassly spits out "Go fuck yourself and the bisexual horse you rode in on!"  Hilda unveils knowledge of being behind in utilities and foreclosure threats.  In exchange for pay, turning on her utilities and being "neighborly" with a rhubarb helping, Barb will babysit, despite declaring "Don't expect me to fall in love with your spawn of Satan, and tell those little shits this ain't a party and to keep their fellow trolls off my property!"

After a week of mayhem including flying shoes, getting smacked with a wooden spoon and making the kids spruce up her home, bootcamp style, both parties are at their wits end.  However, the Greens are delighted their children are picking up after themselves, running the vacuum cleaner and taking their attitudes down a few pegs.  As they fear when they go back to the gingerbread house, the witch will shove them in the oven.  Word spreads of Barb's effective tactics, with several parents on the block requesting her services.  Seeing a golden opportunity, Barb decides her home shall now house a daycare center.

Tune in for the crass antics starting June 31, 2018.

Man With a Plan Season 3 Episode 3 Review

This time on Man With a Plan, Adam tells Teddy to be tougher while Bev tries to get help convincing Joe to get a nurse to help him after surgery.

Bev is trying to convince Joe to get a nurse for after he gets surgery, but he won't agree to it. This causes her to ask Don for help. Don doesn't know how to go about asking him. Emme gets pushed off the swing by Julian, a kid from school. Adam tells Teddy to push Julian off the swing, which makes Adam way too happy.

Adam talks to Emme to convince her to keep quiet about what he told Teddy to do to Julian, but Teddy already told Andi everything, not realizing that what he did was wrong. Don tries to force Joe to talk to a nurse, but he runs out. Adam tells Andi that everyone agrees with him about Teddy, but she still thinks it'll blow up in his face. The next day, Andi tells Adam that Teddy pushed kids around at school, and his stupid advice already looks stupid. And we aren't even halfway into the episode yet, this might be a new first!

The principal gives Teddy detention all week, which leads to a conversation at home about when it is and isn't okay to react violently to problems. Adam tells him to do what he needs to do to protect his family, and he compares the situation to the mob. Teddy also reveals that, thanks to his actions earlier in the day, he has a new girlfriend. That night, Don tells Adam that he can't get Joe to agree to the nurse, and Adam agrees to talk to him. Joe tries to outsmart Adam and escape, but Adam doesn't let him run away. He brings in Andi to talk to Joe and, thanks to her buttering him up, he agrees to getting a nurse.

Wrap-Up:

This was one of the weaker episodes of Man With a Plan recently, and certainly the weakest episode of the season. I wasn't very interested in the main plot with Teddy, even though the plot with Joe was pretty good. The Teddy plot was so incredibly by-the-book and unoriginal that it was just boring, even though there were a few funny moments in it. The Joe sub-plot was better, partly because of guest star Ron Funches, who was hilarious on the show. I would definitely rank this episode as one of the weaker ones that the show has ever produced. However, the brief amount that we saw from Don and Marcy was hilarious and I really wish they would play larger parts in the plots of episodes. I feel like they're sometimes just onscreen to make a few jokes and don't really effect the plot all that much.

Score: 7/10
Grade: C

FOX Renew/Cancel: Brooklyn Nine-Nine Is Likely to be Renewed


Certain Cancelation/Ending
Likely Cancelation
Leans Cancelation
Leans Renewal
Likely Renewal
Certain Renewal 
Renewed
New Girl (Ending)
The X-Files
Gotham
The Last Man On Earth
Lucifer
Bob’s Burgers
The Simpsons
The Exorcist
Ghosted
The Mick
LA to Vegas
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
The Resident
The Orville





Family Guy
The Gifted





Lethal Weapon
9-1-1





Empire






Star



Prediction Changes
-Brooklyn Nine-Nine up to a Likely Renewal
-LA to Vegas down to Leans Renewal
-The Mick up to Leans Cancelation
-Ghosted down to Likely Cancelation

Why Is Brooklyn Nine-Nine A Likely Renewal?
Brooklyn Nine-Nine really did not take its recent Tuesday days kindly, but that could have to do with the incompatible matching. While it doesn’t seem like it’ll meet advertiser’s expectations for the season, an exception will likely be made for a show that is retaining from The Simpsons in the spring. I wouldn’t be surprised with the 6th season being 18-22 episodes, but held for midseason. Best to let something else enjoy the football halo in the fall. With many shows having their casts under 6-season contracts, it shouldn’t be tough to renew it. Additionally, this could spell bad news for previous time slot occupant, Ghosted, which has been pushed down one column.

On The Mick and LA to Vegas
Neither LA to Vegas nor The Mick are doing all that great, and FOX may think they can do better with shows like The Orville or The Gifted there next season. I can’t imagine either of them being too expensive though should they decide to give them another shot. Right now, I’m giving the edge to LA to Vegas since it is closer to meeting advertisers’ expectations than The Mick, though it is still not too close to them. Plus, The Mick received a huge marketing push and hasn’t capitalized all that much.

Recent episodes of The Mick have been small successes all things considered, though. If in upcoming weeks we see LA to Vegas stuck at 0.6s and Mick up to 0.8s, I may have to change my mind. In general though, FOX comedy is tough to predict as many are of similar strength and ratings.

What do you think of my predictions? Let me know in the comments below, and be sure to leave your own!

Atlanta ’Robbin’ Season’ Season 2 Episode 5 Review ’Barbershop’


***Spoilers Ahead***

Barbershop

Brian Tyree Henry (center). Photo: FX

Unlike most sitcoms on television, Atlanta can serve a full-length episode without featuring the protagonist of the series. Although I favor installments that incorporate the entire ensemble, the comedy does not rely on any one character as a crutch. Each cast member possesses the ability to hold their own if necessary. In light of this, 'Barbershop' takes the rest of the characters out of the equation and centers on Alfred's absurd road trip with his barber. At first glance, this story may not sound like anything special. However, the writers add their signature touch and the result is a throughly enjoyable outing. 

'Barbershop' begins with Paperboi impatiently waiting to get a haircut. Initially, I expected this scene to last a short amount of time and for the episode to progress to the main event. But, the writers decided to drag it out to last the full twenty-two minutes. While that may sound like a negative response, drawing out the story was the reason that 'Barbershop' worked so well. In addition, the character of Bibby helped the outing reach a level of perfection. Similar to Chris from season 1's The Club, Bibby has a sleazy attitude and takes part in many questionable activities. His vibrant and lively behavior magnificently plays off the furiously despondent Alfred. Furthermore, Bibby's nonchalant reaction to the people he injures and steals from magnifies the amusing nature of his character.

Having said that, 'Barbershop doesn't just revolve around Bibby the barber. Paperboi definitely has many moments to shine in the half-hour installment. Alfred's distressed and extremely annoyed mood paralleled how the viewer felt as Bibby continued to stall his haircut. Since none of the cast members are as bouncy and energetic as his barber, this installement gave Al an opportunity to have a great comedic foil. The witty banter between the contrasting personalities helped propel the episode to another level of ingenuity. Outside of the entertaining duo, the side characters also provided their fair share of laughs. Bibby's son Lamar had some priceless interactions with Paperboi and his younger son also had a couple great lines. On top of that, the road trip setup gave Atlanta many unique locations to cover. 'Barbershop was not secluded in a single area and that gave the episode room to use these different places to their full potential.

The final scene of the episode acts as a flawless payoff after a lot of frustration. Alfred finding a new barber was a satisfying conclusion to an amazingly reckless outing. But, in a weird way, I almost felt sorry for Bibby. Despite his crimes, his actions never had any malicious intent. After the drab and gloomy 'Helen', 'Barbershop' acted as a delightful counterpart. Jam-packed with jokes and laughs, 'Barbershop' is a thrilling outing with incredible replay value. In all, this would be a great episode to recommend to first-time viewers.

Stray Thoughts
  • "I'm like Lonzo Ball."
  • It has been two episodes since we've seen Darius. The next episode will change that. 
  • Lamar had the audacity to ask Paperboi to put him on. Bibby had the audacity to ask Paperboi for money. Like father, like son. 
  • I felt sorry for Bibby. It seemed like he has a hard life. 
  • The invisible car!
  • I'm shocked Bibby and Alfred didn't end up in jail. 

Grade: A


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Friday TV Ratings, 3/30/18: ’Hawaii Five-0’ & ’Blue Bloods’ Rise, ’MacGyver’ Slips (UPDATED)


Here are the final broadcast ratings for Friday, March 30, 2018. 

Photo: CBS
Finals Update: 'Blindspot' (0.6, +0.1) adjusted up. 'Dynasty' (0.2, -0.1) adjusted down

Time
Show
18-49 Rating
Total Viewers   
(In Millions)
Demo
Change
8:00pm
MacGyver (CBS)
0.8
6.43
-0.1

MasterChef Junior (FOX)
0.8
3.06
0.0

Blindspot (NBC)
0.6
2.93
   0.0

Once Upon a Time (ABC)
0.5
2.03
+0.1

Dynasty (CW)
0.2
0.69
+0.1





9:00pm
Hawaii Five-0 (CBS)
1.0
7.80
+0.1

9-1-1 (R) (FOX)
0.5
2.04


Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (ABC)
0.5
1.88
0.0

Taken (NBC)
0.3
2.15
-0.1

Penn & Teller: Fool Us (R) (CW)
0.2
0.77






10:00pm
Blue Bloods (CBS)
0.9
8.43
+0.1

Dateline NBC (NBC)
0.6
3.33
0.0

20/20 (ABC)
0.4
2.22
-0.1
(R) = repeat

After being off for nearly a month, CBS's 'MacGyver' (0.8) returned down a tenth from its previous episode. But, that trend did not continue throughout the night. 'Hawaii Five-0' (1.0) and 'Blue Bloods' (0.9) were each up a notch. The former was the highest-rated program of the night.

On ABC, 'Once Upon a Time' (0.5) rose a tenth. Unfortunately, that upward momentum came to a halt. 'Agents of SHIELD' (0.5) held steady while '20/20' (0.4) inched down.

NBC had rotten outings of 'Blindspot' (0.5) and 'Taken' (0.3). Both easily hit new lows. The silver lining was that 'Dateline' (0.6) was even at 10.

Fox's 'MasterChef Junior' (0.8) was steady at 8. It led into a solid repeat of '9-1-1' (0.5).

After hitting some painfully low numbers, 'Dynasty' (0.3) rose two tenths. But, due to preemptions, it'll likely be back down after finals. The CW capped off the night with a repeat of 'Penn & Teller: Fool Us' (0.2). 

2017-18 Week 27 Sitcom Scorecard -- Roseanne Hits The Gas and Takes 1st as Ratings Chickens Jump in the Road

Written Possessing Crass Honesty by Bridger Cunningham.

Only two words can sum up what Roseanne's return did to the ratings this week -- HOLY FUCKENHEIMER!  Not "What the Fuckenheimer," as readers are used to paraphrasing when another series strikes a new now.  But "Holy...."

[We'll stop the cursing as we technically classify as PG-13 in this article as we have only said (F)ound (U)nder (C)arnal (K)nowledge 1.5 times, as the word was mashed up with something more creative.  Moving on...]

The Sitcom Scorecard treated Thursday, March 22, 2018 as an afterthought as the author chose to indulge in a Fireball on the Rocks in Vegas the same day the ratings came aboot.  That evening, Superstore (1.1) gained a tenth, and AP Bio (0.8) lost one.  All in a Vegas gamble of sorts.  The week began with another inverse of ratings on Sunday, March 25.  Bob's Burgers (0.9) did [dreadfully] by only gaining a tenth, while The Simpsons (0.9) beautifully regained one.  Brooklyn 99 (0.9) failed to gain ground and has one foot on a banana peel and the other in the morgue.  As Family Guy (0.9) maintained 90% of its prior week's helping, and Last Man On Earth (0.7) only manned Hell in a steady timeslot.  Confused?  Play the entire paragraph in contrast, and readers will figure out what actually went down.

CBS managed to underpass the 1.0 limbo bar on Monday, March 26 as Kevin Can Wait (0.9) struck a match on a series low, while Man With a Plan (0.9), Superior Donuts (0.8) and Living Biblically (0.7) all held steady.  Cheers and praise, to living  [DOWN] to disastrous disgrace.  And as for Tuesday, March, 27?  Let's allow FOX to stay within this paragraph, as LA>Vegas (0.6) ticked down a tenth to series low flatulence, while The Mick (0.7) held their hot air and bested their lead-in.  Will FOX pass gas and call it a smelly experiment in Tuesday comedies?

Image result for splitting up togetherAs for ABC on the referenced evening?  Roseanne (5.2, 5.2) carved up the other four networks within the hour into four slices of bitcheroni and had 1.5 ratings points to serve with their combined ratings  as garlic bread/appetizers to the other evenings, easily overserving Sunday, Wednesday and Friday ratings averages.  Following Roseanne's triumphant return, Black-ish (2.6) captured half of its demonstrative lead-in's windfall, not only striking its seasonal high (and best rating since November 19, 2014), but also spiked 1.5 points in the ratings.  Newfound jewel Splitting Up Together (2.1) triple-axled The Mayor's last original helping to purdy numbers, but also earned a 4th Place stalwart in this week's charts.

And did Wednesday, March 28 generate the same lightning for the same network?  Not a crass chance in hell, as The Goldbergs (1.4) dropped two-tenths, Alex, Inc. (1.1) made an underwhelming debut, and Modern Family (1.4) dropped three-tenths.  Time for a Wednesday revamp, and Speechless showrunners thank its replacement for not only matching the creative tone of Manhattan Love Story, but its lackluster numbers.  Into TVRG poster Smoo's fireplace Alex seems to be destined to take a seat.

As for Thursday, March 29, 2018?  The biggest laugh was NBC giving CBS Mondays a run for their money sliding under the 1.0 limbo bar with series lows as Superstore (0.8) dropped three tenths, A Bio (0.6) dropped two tenths to a new now, Will and Grace (0.9) dropping to its first fractional delivery, and Champions (0.5) hemorrhaging three tenths to a new low.  CBS experienced mild erosion after March Madness as The Big Bang Theory (2.5) dropped a tenth to tie its low, as Young Sheldon (2.0) followed the same trajectory.  Mom (1.4) shed a tenth, and Life in Pieces (1.0) dropped two tenths to tie its series low.


So what does Roseanne's triumphant return mean to the state of sitcoms in 2018?  Not only did it spell good tidings for the downtrodden ABC, but it also delivered a simple message to the networks: Give people something to laugh at, and the ratings will show up.  Readers can only guess how the third outing will rate, but the second outing looked promising as it built an audience from the premiere episode.  That means ABC's Tuesday block is due for higher reads than it has been used to since the network relaunched comedies on this evening in 2013.  Blackish, which delivered disastrous lows this season, enjoyed its highest rating since November 19, 2014.  Splitting Up Together enjoyed ABC's strongest sitcom debut since Speechless in 2016, edging it out by a tenth.  As well as the network's strongest debut in its cursed 9:30 timeslot on this evening.

Roseanne is not the key to solving ABC's ratings woes, but it is a nice start.  Already renewed for Season 11 with 13 episodes, the surrounding sitcoms should benefit from a rich portion of the schedule.  It appears ABC is also jumping on NBC's trend and timesharing its comedy block with mostly positive results.  SUT blazed past The Mayor, and hopefully wrangles a 1.8 in outing two next week.  The same fortunes could not locate Alex, Inc, which delivered a ho-hum debut in Speechless' old timeslot.  The question remains how long it will take before the network follows CBS' trend and launches Roseanne Lite, otherwise known as the common repeat to bolster undesirable timeslots.

The reason Roseanne succeeded was not only a mild political leaning and ample promos, but the laughs are still there.  Viewers are invested in the Conners and perhaps enjoy a nostalgic flas to days of TV glory.  Does this mean we could be subjected to more laugh tracks?  One would hope new shows avoid this tired trend, but rather take cues from the writing on the series such as rich character development and simple settings.  And the proof is in the ratings as the series mowed down The Big Bang Theory, whose respectable ratings for 2018 are aging in its 11th season.

A LITTLE HISTORY ON ROSEANNE

Curious as to how the series performed during its 1988-97 heyday?  Check out its historic ratings here in TVRG's Ratings History section

STATUS CHANGES

Roseanne -- Already dubbed a hit, no one questioned IF the series would be renewed but WHEN.  That news came Friday Morning (See Announcement Here) as the series will return for the 2018-19 season.

Brooklyn 99 -- This show was dubbed all but gone this fall.  But guess what?  Sunday ratings indicate the series isn't gone, as it matched its lead-in and follow up.  It has been upgraded from 20% (Likely Cancellation) to 45% (On the Bubble, Leans Cancel).

Champions -- Another embarrassing delivery early into its run indicates the series is not only tenuous, but lead-in dependent.  Marking a 0.5 downgraded the series from 20% to 5% (Certain Cancellation) as it now rests at the bottom of the ratings Abyss after a disastrous drop.