This Week in TV:
NBC cancels Revolution; ABC renews Jimmy Kimmel Live through January 2017; Starz renews Da Vinci’s Demons for season 3; ABC renews The Goldbergs for season 2, but cancels Suburgatory and Super Fun Night; Billy Eichner (Parks and Recreation) lands a comedy pilot at the USA Network; and CW Seed announces six new shows to premiere this summer, including LA Rangers and mini-episodes of Whose Line Is It Anyway?
After debuting as one of NBC’s new big hit shows just two years ago, post-apocalyptic drama Revolution was canceled by the network this week.
With a hefty production budget, an expansive cast and J.J. Abrams behind the scenes as executive producer, Revolution was supposed to be one of NBC’s flagship dramas. Early season 1 ratings certainly indicated the series was headed in that direction, but viewership dropped off significantly in season 2 after the show moved to its current Wednesday 8pm timeslot. The final nail in the coffin may have actually come this week, when NBC picked up two new series from Revolution production house Warner Bros. TV, including the highly-anticipated Constantine, which could have been viewed as a replacement.
Revolution will finish its 22-episode season 2 in the next two weeks, starting with “Memorial Day” on Wednesday @8pm on NBC.
While CBS and NBC spent time searching for new late night hosts this past year, ABC decided not to shake things up, signing Jimmy Kimmel to a two-year contract extension earlier this week.
The deal ensures that Kimmel and his hit show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, will remain at the network through January 2017. Although Kimmel trailed Jay Leno in the ratings in the key 18-49 demo last year, he did bring in more viewers than David Letterman and saw a 28 percent increase in viewership in his first full season in the 11:35 timeslot. Of course, with new Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon bursting out of the gates to an impressive ratings start, we’ll have to see how Kimmel Live fares as it faces new competition in the coming year.
Watch Jimmy Kimmel Live weeknights @11:35pm on ABC.
Another show receiving some good news this week was historical fantasy drama Da Vinci’s Demons, which was renewed for a 10-episode season 3 by Starz.
Along with the renewal, Starz announced that series creator, writer and producer David S. Goyer, will be handing the showrunning duties to Emmy-nominated writer John Shiban (The X-Files, Breaking Bad) for season 3. Goyer will stay on in a limited role as executive producer, while Shiban will also serve as one of the series’ exec producers.
Said Goyer of the series and of new hire:
“I’m very proud of this modern take on the endlessly fascinating Leonardo da Vinci – everyone from the writers, directors, cast and all the crew have been invaluable and will continue to be for what we have ahead. I’ve been a fan of John’s work for some time and I’m excited to add his voice to the mix.”
Tune in to Starz as Da Vinci’s Demons season 2 continues Saturday, May 17th with “The Enemies of Man.” Season 3 will premiere in 2015.
Over at ABC this week, The Goldbergs joined the group of lucky programs in being renewed for season 2, while Suburgatory and Super Fun Night were not as fortunate and were axed after seasons 3 and 1, respectively.
After a strong premiere showing, The Goldbergs remained as one of the network’s top-performing comedies throughout its freshman season, making the renewal decision a rather easy one for ABC. Now that the series has a following, it may even move to a better timeslot – from Tuesday @9pm to Wednesday @8:30pm – according to Deadline.
Meanwhile, Suburgatory saw ratings fizzle after a fairly well-received first two seasons, and Rebel Wilson’s Super Fun Night failed to find a big enough audience in its first season. Both shows now join Trophy Wife, The Neighbors and Mixology in ABC’s comedy discard pile this year.
Tune in to ABC for the season 1 finale of The Goldbergs on Tuesday, May 13 @9pm and the series finale of Suburgatory on Wednesday, May 14 @8:30pm.
Emmy-nominated Billy on the Street host and Parks and Recreation season 6 guest star Billy Eichner landed a comedy pilot at USA this week called Difficult People, which he will co-star in with longtime collaborator Julie Klausner (Mulaney).
In the show – which is being executive produced by Parks and Rec star Amy Poehler - co-creators Eichner and Klausner will star as frustrated New York comedians who hate everyone, except for each other. Klausner, who has served as a writer for Eichner’s comedy game show on Fuse TV, will pen the pilot episode, which will be directed by Andrew Fleming (Arrested Development).
As big fans of Eichner’s Billy on the Street and his always-angry, yet sophisticated Craig character, Poehler and the other Parks and Rec producers are currently considering promoting him to series regular for season 7. However, since the series will be coming to a close soon, Eichner shouldn’t have any conflicting commitments to worry about if Difficult People gets the green light at USA.
We’ll let you know if the USA Network moves forward with Difficult People after its pilot presentation.
Earlier this week, CW Seed, the digital studio of The CW, unveiled its summer slate of original programming, which will include short webisodes of Whose Line Is It Anyway? and a new comedy called LA Rangers.
Along with Whose Line and LA Rangers, CW Seed also announced original series The Kelly Cutrone Project, The Real Backpackers, Veronica Mars spinoff Play it Again, Dick and an untitled comedy from Alloy Entertainment. Below are the official descriptions for CW Seed’s upcoming shows.
Stars Wilson Bethel (‘Hart of Dixie’) and his partner, director Dugan O’Neal, as two naïve, borderline delusional, wannabe filmmakers working as park rangers in LA’s Griffith Park. Each episode follows them as they are pulled from their regular, boring lives, into the epic movie-versions of their dreams. From western to sci-fi, anime to action, the cinematic possibilities are as endless, limited by the scope of their own creativity…and the constraints of public servitude. Park hours: sun-up to sundown. ‘L.A. Rangers’ was written and produced by Bethel and O’Neal.
Whose Line Is It Minis:
Special mini-episodes of the hit improv comedy on the CW Network. Starring Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie and Ryan Stiles, and hosted by Aisha Tyler, ‘Whose Line Is It Minis’ packs 30 minutes of funny into two-minute webisodes, including exclusive bloopers and outtakes.
Play it Again, Dick:
Stars Ryan Hansen as himself, as he begs, cajoles, and pleads with his former ‘Veronica Mars’ castmates and friends to help him get his character, Dick Casablancas, his own spin-off show. ‘Play it again, Dick’ is co-written and executive produced by Rob Thomas, the creator and executive producer of ‘Veronica Mars,’ and will include guest appearances by some of Hansen’s fellow ‘Veronica Mars’ stars.
The Kelly Cutrone Project:
A fast-paced, one-of-its-kind digital talk show about everything from fashion, to pop culture, to things your mother never wanted to tell you, hosted by public relations maven, New York Times-bestselling author and ‘America’s Next Top Model’ judge Kelly Cutrone. ‘The Kelly Cutrone Project’ is hosted and executive produced by Kelly Cutrone, with executive producers Liz Gateley and Tony DiSanto, in association with DiGa Productions.
The Real Backpackers:
Corresponding with the ‘Backpackers’ series premiere on-air, CW Seed’s ‘The Real Backpackers’ will be led by guide Annie Unnold, who will travel to the same locations as her fictional ‘Backpackers’ counterparts, going behind the scenes and beyond the set to find the best real-life places to eat, drink and party – first in Europe and then in Canada.
Things get complicated for two best friends and roommates when one of them starts dating the other’s recently single mom. The series is written by Richard Keith & Erin Cardillo. Executive Producers are Alloy Entertainment’s Leslie Morgenstein, and Tripp Reed.
Look for all six shows to premiere on The CW’s digital platform, CW Seed, this summer.