CBS has unveiled an extended first look at "Supergirl," starring Melissa Benoist as the high-flying DC Comics heroine.
The one-hour drama, which was picked up by CBS last week, centers on Superman's similarly super-powered cousin, Kara Zor-El, who also escaped Krypton before it was destroyed. "Glee" and "Whiplash" actress Benoist plays a 24-year-old Kara who works as an assistant to a media mogul but who is ready to stop hiding her powers and become a hero.
The trailer, released Wednesday, opens with an emotional goodbye on Krypton as Kara's mother, Alura Zor-El (Laura Benanti), tells her young daughter, "On Earth, you will do extraordinary things."
The idea of the old fogey network really should be put away forever.
Leslie Moonves, CBS chief executive
CBS unveiled its fall prime time schedule Wednesday morning at its annual press breakfast, dubbed "Lox With Les."
As it does most years, the event included lots of gloating from CBS, which as Chief Executive Leslie Moonves noted in his opening remarks, will finish the 2014-15 season as broadcast's most-watched network for the 12th time in 13 years and has more returning freshman series than any other network.
"We are at the end of a terrific season for CBS," said Moonves, who once again sought to explode what he called the myth that the network is a destination for gray-haired viewers
For years, Fox has taken pride in attracting the youngest median audience of the four major broadcast networks, with a lineup full of youthful comedies like "New Girl," "Family Guy," "Bob's Burgers" and "Glee."
But at its upfront presentation Monday at the Beacon Theater, Fox flaunted John Stamos and Rob Lowe, the respective leads of its two new fall comedies, "Grandfathered" and "The Grinder." Nothing unusual about that, right?
Well, both men happen to be 51 years old, which puts them just outside the 18-to-49 demographic that advertisers and media buyers -- the very men and women in the audience at the Beacon on Monday afternoon -- pay a premium to reach. The under-50 crowd has also been Fox's target audience since the days of "Beverly Hills, 90210."
In his opening remarks at ABC's upfront presentation at Avery Fisher Hall, Disney-ABC Television Group President Ben Sherwood noted that "we really should give credit to the person paying for this shindig."
He paused for a beat, then continued: "Shonda Rhimes, where are you?"
Though there was plenty of big-name talent on hand at the event, Rhimes, the executive producer behind ABC's Thursday night female-centered dramas "Grey's Anatomy," "Scandal" and "How to Get Away With Murder," was the unofficial star of the network's programming showcase.
Exhibit A: As ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee prepared to walk through the network's fall lineup, a scheduling grid covered in notes reading "hold for Shonda" appeared on a giant screen behind him.
The week of the television network upfronts always brings equal measure excitement and heartbreak as new shows are picked up and other shows are canceled. But it's rare for the star of a series to be as upfront and honest so soon after the news broke as comedian Cristela Alonzo, whose self-titled ABC comedy, "Cristela," was one of the week's casualties.
In a touching post written on her personal website, Alonzo shared stories of her mother's childhood in poverty in Mexico and talked about how her mother's dream in life was to have running water and electricity. By comparison, Alonzo achieved her own dream of having her own TV show. She wrote the post about the show's cancellation one year to the day after she got the phone call that her series had been picked up.
Ahead of its upfront presentation Tuesday afternoon in New York, ABC unveiled a fall prime-time schedule that, in contrast to the tumult of recent years, will remain remarkably steady. The network will premiere just five new series this fall, and is leaving most returning shows in their existing time slots.
"We've obviously kept much of our schedule intact," said ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee in a call with reporters Tuesday morning, noting the network's "balance of stability and real ambition" for the fall.
While the network still trails its rivals NBC and CBS in overall viewers, this season it can boast being the only broadcaster to see an increase in viewers younger than 50.
"CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," the landmark procedural that anchored CBS' prime-time lineup and sparked several spinoffs, will have its last case next year as it moves into its 16th and final season.
The network is planning for the finale of the series during the 2015-16 season. The drama revolves around a group of Las Vegas-based criminalists and investigators who examine physical evidence to solve murders.
Although the drama has been often criticized for its violence and images, it has been a reliable hit for the network since its premiere in October 2000, and is one of the most popular shows internationally.
At its upfront presentation Monday at Radio City Music Hall, NBC showcased the most exciting talent from its upcoming 2015-16 season, including Neil Patrick Harris, Dolly Parton and ... Bob Greenblatt?
In a performance that ought to earn him some sort of medal for extraordinary act of valor by a network executive, the NBC Entertainment chairman accompanied Parton on the piano as she sang her power ballad, "I Will Always Love You." The perky country star, who is partnering with NBC on a series of family-friendly TV movies, drove the assembled crowd of advertisers and media buyers to a standing ovation.
Amazon Studios announced its latest batch of greenlighted pilots on Monday, and instead of the usual mix of comedy, drama and children's programming, the online service is focusing exclusively on the kids this time.
The studio is greenlighting four animated kids' pilots and two live-action kids' pilots.
In 2002, Times pop music critic Robert Hilburn reviewed "American Idol" about a month into the show's run. Here is what he had to say:
The biggest misconception about "American Idol" is that industry pros would actually spend 90 seconds listening to these mostly drab performers -- as the judges do on the hit TV show that mixes the Cinderella aspects of "Star Search" with the humiliation of "Survivor."
Knowing how impatient label talent scouts are, my guess is that few of the six singers still in the competition would get more than 30 seconds at the microphone before being shown the door -- assuming they would even get in the door.
In 2002, Times reporter Susan King interviewed "American Idol" personnel, including producer and then-judge Simon Cowell about the show, its critics and its singular brand of criticism.
BMG Records executive Simon Cowell became the guy everyone loved to hate last year as the acerbic judge on the successful British TV series "Pop Idol." And now the Englishman will be offering up critical barbs on the U.S. version of the unscripted series "American Idol: The Search for a Superstar," premiering Tuesday on Fox.
Cowell says he's just trying to give the contestants, ages 16-24, "constructive" criticism.
"I am not there to stop someone from chasing their dream," he says. "If they believe they are great, good luck to them. But if they come to our audition and they want to be told the truth, they will be told."
NBC Entertainment President Bob Greenblatt made a special note of mentioning the "diversity" of the network's upcoming lineup during its upfront presentation in New York on Monday.
Evidence of several clips from new shows indicates that after several years of struggling with increasing diversity and casting minorities in leading or principal roles, NBC is making a concerted effort this season to boost people of color in comedies and dramas.
Featured in that effort are several prominent celebrities, including Jennifer Lopez, Wesley Snipes and Eva Longoria.
"American Idol" was the No. 1 show on TV for a record-breaking eight consecutive seasons. The Tuesday performance shows during the 2006 season hit an eye-popping series-record average of 31.1 million total viewers, according to Nielsen. What happened?
A combination of factors conspired to seal "Idol's" fate, including faster-than-expected ratings burnout, competitive pressures, advertiser defections and changing audience tastes.
Paula Abdul, left, and Simon Cowell were two of "American Idol's" original judges. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Even before judge Simon Cowell -- the acerbic star of the original incarnation -- left at the end of Season 9, the fire was cooling. The 2014 season failed to draw even 12 million total viewers overall.
Part of the problem was competition. NBC premiered "The Voice," a rival singing-competition show, in April 2011 and it quickly became a hit. Fox contributed to the problem itself by scheduling Cowell's own "Idol" rival, "The X Factor," starting in fall 2011. The glut of such shows split the fan base and resulted in audience fatigue.
As viewers drifted away, advertisers began to lose interest too. In 2009, "Idol" was the No. 1 ad buy on TV, with 30-second commercials fetching more than $600,000. There were also lucrative partnerships with big sponsors such as Ford and Coca-Cola. But Coke announced in December that it was pulling out of the show after years of having its branded cups featured prominently on the judges' table.
Changing audience tastes:
The first decade of the new millennium was a golden age for reality TV, as "Idol," "Survivor" and other shows dominated the headlines. But in the last few years, viewers have begun devoting far more attention to dramas such as "The Walking Dead," making the weekly hand-wringing over who might get voted off a reality show seem passe. Viewers increasingly prefer the ability to tune into shows when they want, on demand, rather than being beholden to a network schedule.
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny will be back as Dana Scully and Fox Mulder in a new version of "The X-Files." (20th Century Fox / 20th Century Fox)
News that the next season of "American Idol" will be its last eclipsed Fox's other TV announcements. So, let's press pause for a moment and catch you up on the network's other big news and its plans for the upcoming season.
Fox will return its comedy lineup of "Bob's Burgers," "The Simpsons," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," "Family Guy" and "The Last Man on Earth." And "The X-Files" is coming back! The six-episode reboot is to debut Jan. 24.
Fox's programming will feature the second season of "Gotham" at 8 p.m. "Minority Report," the futuristic thriller based on the 2002 feature film directed by Steven Spielberg, follows at 9. Spielberg is an executive producer on the series.
The network will add two comedies. "Grandfathered" stars "Full House" alum John Stamos as a bachelor who learns he has a son and a grandson. Rob Lowe and Fred Savage return to prime time with "The Grinder." Lowe is a TV lawyer who joins his brother's law firm after his series is canceled. "Scream Queens," an anthology series from "American Horror Story" and "Glee" executive Ryan Murphy, will air at 9 p.m. Fox says it will "meld, comedy, mystery and drama." The cast includes Jamie Lee Curtis and Lea Michele.
It's a horror-comedy that Ryan describes as 'Heathers' meets 'Friday the 13th.'
Dana Walden, Fox Television Group exec
Fox is holding back its veteran comedy “New Girl” until January. When it returns, it will be paired with a new ensemble comedy, “The Guide to Surviving Life” starring Jack Cutmore-Scott.
“Rosewood,” a new drama starring Morris Chesnut as a police pathologist, leads off, followed by a second season of Fox's biggest hit “Empire,” the top series on broadcast TV in the advertiser-coveted 18-to-49 age group."Empire" will have 18 episodes, up from 13 last season. Newman said it will be split into two runs.
Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson in "Empire." (Chuck Hodes / Fox)
“Bones” and “Sleepy Hollow” will be paired up.
Reality shows “Masterchef Junior” and “World's Funniest” will hold down the night.
NBC's new lineup announced Sunday morning includes some noteworthy bids on splashy new dramatic fare in the 10 p.m. hour, including "The Player," a Las Vegas thriller with Wesley Snipes, on Thursdays and "Blindspot," a crime drama from prolific producer Greg Berlanti, on Mondays. "Heartbreaker," a new medical drama, will get a berth after "The Voice" on Tuesdays.
But the network is running away from comedies, after vowing a few seasons ago to rebuild its glory days in the genre.
"The Mysteries of Laura" is the only freshman series from the 2014-15 season to make it back for a second season on NBC. The network also ordered two new dramas, "Game of Silence," a revenge tale centered on an Atlanta attorney (David Lyons) and his band of long-lost childhood friends who reemerge after 25 years, and "The Player," a thriller set in Las Vegas about a former military operative working as a security expert.
Fox has announced late additions to its upcoming lineup, ordering the dramas "Minority Report," a spinoff of the 2002 film starring Tom Cruise and directed by Steven Spielberg, and "Lucifer," based on characters from DC Entertainment's Vertigo imprint.
Word came late Friday that CBS has axed "Battle Creek" the low-rated crime drama from "Breaking Bad" mastermind Vince Gilligan, starring Josh Duhamel and Dean Winters as mismatched lawmen in the Michigan city.
NBC is getting out of the intelligence game, canceling "State of Affairs" after a single season. "State of Affairs" is the second espionage-themed series to get the ax from NBC, which bet big on the spy genre this season.
The quest to find laughs at NBC continues: The network has canceled the comedies "About a Boy," "Marry Me" and "One Big Happy."
"About a Boy" starred David Walton as an immature bachelor who strikes up an unlikely friendship with the nerdy boy next door, played by Benjamin Stockham. Minnie Driver costarred as the boy's hippie mom.
ABC is attempting a reboot of "The Muppets," the Jim Henson characters made famous through a 1970s variety show and later movies and ads. The network has also ordered "Dr. Ken," a family sitcom with Ken Jeong as a brilliant physician with a less-than-stellar bedside manner, and "The Real O'Neals" with Martha Plimpton.
ABC has canceled "Cristela," the sitcom starring Cristela Alonzo as a young Latina lawyer struggling to balance work and family in Dallas. Alonzo drew headlines for becoming the first Latina to create, produce and star in her own prime-time comedy for an English-language broadcast network.
Don Johnson as Det. Crockett on "Miami Vice" in 1999. (NBC)
The "Miami Vice" star is returning to TV in an untitled ABC drama about a family that moves to North Dakota to take advantage of the energy boom and promptly gets embroiled in a power struggle with a local tycoon.
Because it's #FlashbackFriday, here's another retro pic of Johnson:
Don Johnson, left, and Philip Michael Thomas in "Miami Vice" in 1997. (NBC)
"Of Kings and Prophets" explores the story of David and King Saul. (Bob D'Amico / ABC)
"Of Kings and Prophets" -- a retelling of the Old Testament story of David and King Saul -- joined five other dramas as ABC began officially ordering new series late Thursday for launch during the 2015-16 TV season.
Also on the list is another drama from Shonda Rhimes:
When news broke Wednesday that "The Mindy Project" had been canned by Fox and, in the same breath, was also seeking a move to Hulu for more seasons, fans of the modest-performing show didn't know what to do with themselves. Meanwhile, Mindy Kaling took to Instagram to coyly address the commotion.
NBC is signaling its hopes with the title of its new season comedy series pickup, "People Are Talking." The series, starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Meaghan Rath, Tone Bell and Bresha Webb, looks at "two diverse couples who are both neighbors and best friends."
BBC America has renewed "Orphan Black" for a fourth season. The science fiction thriller starring Tatiana Maslany as multiple clones is in the middle of its third season. The 10-episode fourth season will air sometime in 2016.
Fox has brought down the curtain after three seasons on "The Mindy Project," the romantic sitcom created by and starring Mindy Kaling. But despite the cancellation, don't count the series out just yet. Universal Television, which produces the series, has been in talks with Hulu to air the show, possibly for more than one season.
The adventures of mystery-solving, brain-eating zombie Olivia "Liv" Moore will continue for another year after the CW renewed "iZombie" for a second season. Based on the DC/Vertigo comic books, the freshman series was adapted for the screen by "Veronica Mars" creator Rob Thomas.
"Supergirl," one of CBS' most-anticipated pilots this spring, has been picked up by the network. The series will star Melissa Benoist as Kara Zor-El, the Kryptonian whose powers make her Supergirl on Earth, as well as Calista Flockhart as Kara's boss, a powerful media mogul.