Fall 2013 TV Guide: Monday Night

Fall 2013 TV Guide: Monday Night

TV Schedule Fall 2013 Monday Night

New Monday Night TV Shows:

  • We Are Men
  • Mom
  • Hostages
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • The Blacklist

Despite generally playing it safe, mostly because they can, CBS is making the biggest moves on Monday night this year with the debut of three new series. Two of which, We Are Men & Mom, will join their powerhouse Monday night comedy block. (I can’t stand shows with laugh tracks and I’ve never fallen in love with any of Chuck Lorre’s other series, but Mom stars Anna Farris so I might have to give it a shot.)

After two hours of laughter, CBS switches gears with Hostages, which will anchor the night at 10pm. The title might not include the acronym CSI, but the series is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and stars some big names like Toni Collette and Dylan McDermott.

FOX and NBC have kept more seasoned and consistent performers around in an effort to create strong lead-ins for their newbies. FOX is taking a gamble on a re-telling of the classic Sleepy Hollow story while NBC has opted for a less fantastical drama with The Blacklist staring James Spader.

New Show Most Likely to Fail:

  • Hostages

From what I’ve seen, this series reminds me a lot of the other high-concept TV shows that aimed big and fell short. Also, I just don’t see how this plot can be stretched out over more than one season – the creative team has even had clarify that this show is not meant to be a miniseries. But of course I also feel that way about Under the Dome and that series is pulling in decent numbers and just received a second season pick-up, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Bidding Adieu – The Final Season:

  • How I Met Your Mother

It’s only taken 9 seasons, but Ted finally gets to the point of the story in this final order of episodes.

Reality Competitions:

  • Dancing With the Stars
  • The Voice

Same Old, Same Old:

  • ABC: Dancing With the Stars & Castle
  • The CW: Hart of Dixie & Beauty & The Beast

Monday nights are risk-averse for ABC and The CW. However, both Hart of Dixie and Beauty & The Beast are new to the night, although given how often The CW show’s are time-shifted these moves will probably have little to no affect on their live ratings.

 # of Shows Staring Joss Whedon Alumni:

  • 3

Next week I’ll be talking about Tuesday night’s new Fall TV line-up so keep an eye out for that post.

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Sorry I Don’t Watch…

Sorry I Don’t Watch…

Given how much TV I watch, and how often I talk about it, it’s not uncommon for people to ask me if I watch this or that. But I’m not a recluse, I have a job, and I do like to socialize (from time to time), so… no I don’t watch everything on TV.Too Much TV

However, if its a show the other person really loves, the simple answer of “No, I don’t watch that…” is usually met with some variation of “WHAT, but it’s so good”.

So here’s a list of excuses I’ve created for not watching a TV show. They may range in usefulness, but none of them are that I either a.) don’t watch TV or b.) don’t own a TV, because let’s be real — no one likes that person.

10 Reasons I’m Not Going To Watch That

  1. My DVR is full.
  2. It’s in my Netflix queue.
  3. It’s got a laugh track – I don’t want to be told when to laugh.
  4. It’s not available on Netflix streaming or OnDemand.
  5. I just started watching it (no I didn’t), please don’t spoil it for me.
  6. I don’t want to get attached to something that’s certain to be cancelled.
  7. I read the book series it’s based off of, so I don’t need to watch the TV show too.
  8. My friend/family member changed their password to Netflix or HBO Go and now I can’t mooch off of them anymore.
  9. Yeah, I would but that show has like 8 seasons, right? There is no way I can catch-up now. I’ll just wait for the series to end.
  10. I already watch # of hours of TV each week. (If you really watch a lot of TV and are honest about it, then people tend to back-off, or at the very least change the subject because now they are wondering how that’s even possible.)

Without putting down another person’s taste in television, how do you talk your way out of not watching a TV series? Share your excuses in the comments section below.

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Vacation Episodes From Your Favorite TV Shows

Vacation Episodes From Your Favorite TV Shows

It’s summertime, which means vacation – the beach, road trips, camping and all sorts of other travel shenanigans. Not all of us can be jet-setters though, so if you’re planning a staycation or just need something to do when its raining or when you are so sunburned that going outside is out of the question, here’s a handful of vacation episodes from your favorite TV shows to enjoy.

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The Convenience of Your Couch & TV

The Convenience of Your Couch & TV

Back in 2011 I read an article on the A.V. Club by Sam Adams called “The convenience trap: What the changes at Netflix reveal about an insidious trend”. Obviously it was about Netflix, but what Adams was really getting at, beyond discussing the announcement that Netflix was going to be focusing more solely on streaming video, was that the act of prioritizing convenient entertainment would mean forgoing a lot of other great entertainment simply because one would have to work for it or wait to get it.

As a Netflix DVD-only subscriber, the article really rang true to me. If I’m going to watch a movie, I want it to be a movie that I want to see, not just one that I can see at that moment. But despite my flimsy ‘fight the power’ attitude, I’m certainly guilty of choosing easy entertainment in many other scenarios. After all, television is probably the biggest convenience trap of them all.

Between the hundreds of channels available, OnDemand services, Hulu.com, Amazon streaming, iTunes, Netflix, and even YouTube there is always something to watch. Endless entertainment is available on just about every screen in your house, at the touch of a button.

It’s a wonder I even go outside. But you know, every now and then it’s really great to get off the couch to see some live entertainment. As good as an episode may be, or however much fun you’ve had live tweeting, there is something uniquely awesome about seeing a live performance and being surrounded by a crowd of people who share the same level of enthusiasm as you do.

Shaping Sound Was My Reminder To See More Live Entertainment

A couple of weeks ago, after work, I hopped on a train to NYC to see the Shaping Sound Dance Co perform its last show of their 13-city North American Tour. Now I don’t dance, (believe me when I say I can’t), but I really really love So You Think You Can Dance, which in a roundabout way is how I even knew what Shaping Sound was.Shaping Sound NYC Show

Nick Lazzarini, the season one winner of SYTYCD along with Travis Wall, the season 2 runner-up and Emmy-nominated choreographer, teamed up with two of their other dance friends (Teddy Forance and Kyle Robinson*) to create the Shaping Sound Dance Company. And I know this because their efforts were chronicled on the reality show All the Right Moves, which aired on Oxygen last summer. (Most everything I know, I learned from watching TV.)

In the final episode they were approached by Gil Stroming, founder of Break The Floor Productions who showed a real interest in producing their tour. Obviously he was serious because tour dates were announced this spring.

Long story short, on Monday June 17th I found myself in a packed theater in New York City sitting two rows behind SYTYCD alum Billy Bell, and one row ahead of Jesse Tyler Ferguson, a self-proclaimed dance fan, occasional SYTYCD guest judge, and one of the stars of ABC’s hit sitcom Modern Family.

Yeah, I was totally nerding out, but honestly the dancing and the show itself was the real highlight of my night. At one point I even had goosebumps, that’s how incredibly captivating the performance was. Not only was the dancing mind-blowing, especially for an uncoordinated person such as myself, but the lights and the music – everything just came together.

I left the theater that night in awe, feeling like I witnessed something that only existed in that time and space. And I know that might sound cliche or over-dramatic, but the sentiment holds true when you apply it to other live events like concerts or even sports. My feelings were only further confirmed when I watched a YouTube video of one of the dance numbers a few days later. It was exactly what I’d seen that Monday night, but it also wasn’t. When I was sitting in the theater I could feel the excitement radiating from my fellow audience members and even see the facial expressions of the dancers, both of which were sorely lacking from the YouTube video.

So turn off the TV (that’s what DVRs are for), step outside of your comfort zone, and go see something live. Anything at all. Catch a baseball game, a concert, or even a local theater production. And if you’re really set on sticking with TV, well then find a convention that appeals to you, or mark the dates on your calendar for next year’s PaleyFest or ATX Television Festival. TV is great, but there is a lot of other great entertainment out there too. You just can’t always find it from the comfort of your couch.

*Fun Fact: Kyle Robinson was the Abraham Lincoln bachelorette party stripper on Parks & Recreation (“Two Parties” 5×10).

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Awkward. Creator to Walk Away at the End of Season 3

Awkward. Creator to Walk Away at the End of Season 3

Awkward Season 3 Poster

I’ve been a fan of MTV’s Awkward. since the get-go, which is why I was a bit shocked and sad to see the onslaught of headlines today announcing Lauren Iungerich’s departure from the series.

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ESPN Presents Nine for IX Film Series About Female Athletes

ESPN Presents Nine for IX Film Series About Female Athletes

I love sports, and I love television, so it’s rather convenient how they typically go hand-in-hand. But I’m also a big fan of women’s sports, and well, those remain a much more scarce commodity on TV.

I’m not just talking about tennis or ice skating (I know the WNBA and the women’s NCAA Final Four get some air time, but I’m not really a basketball fan), I’m talking team sports like softball, soccer, and all the other random ones you only get to watch during the Olympics, late at night.

Anytime I find a game or tournament or competition or even just a female athlete getting some major media attention I’m pretty pumped. Which is why I’m really excited to see ESPN’s 30 for 30 Film Series branching out this summer with an all new set of films called Nine for IX, in honor of Title IX and the incredible female athletes that have benefited from the landmark education amendment.

Not only is the Nine for IX Film Series about women and sports, but all of the movies created were directed by women too. In addition, the series was executive produced by Robin Roberts, of Good Morning America, and Jane Rosenthal, a film producer with an impressive IMDB list of her own. That’s pretty badass in my opinion.

 

Women in Sports Step Into the Spotlight With Special 30 for 30 Film Series

The new Nine for IX Film Series will kick off on July 2nd, on ESPN. Throughout the rest of the summer a new film will air every Tuesday night at 8pm. Here’s the schedule:

  • July 2: “Venus Vs.” – I’m sure you already know that Venus Williams is an incredible tennis player, but do you know that she challenged Wimbledon’s status quo of paying female winners less than the male winners? Check out this film for the whole story.

  • July 9: “Pat XO” – This film dives into the life and career of Pat Summitt, the winningest coach in the history of NCAA basketball. The story is primarily told by her son Tyler, which provides the audience with an unusually intimate depiction of this notorious basketball coach from the University of Tennessee. Assistant coaches, players, and other high-profile athletes help to fill in the gaps.

  • July 16: “Let Them Wear Towels” – Here’s a ongoing debate that continues to spark passionate responses from both sides: Female Reports and Male Locker Rooms. This film lends a voice to the women who have been trying to break into this male dominated industry, and actual physical space.ESPNW Nine for IX Poster

  • July 23: “No Limits” – I’ve never heard of Audrey Mestre, and I certainly don’t know much about Free Diving but this film sounds fascinating and unfortunately tragic. Mestre died in 2002 when she attempted a world-record free-dive of 561 feet. However, her contributions to the sport go far beyond her last dive.

  • July 30: “Swoopes” – I had a Sheryl Swoopes jersey for the inaugural season of the WNBA, but being a 12-year who was simply excited to see a professional sports league of any kind for women, I really didn’t know much about the players beyond who was ‘the best’. This film promises to provide a more detailed story of the woman who broke records and paved the way for so many other athletes on and off the court.

  • Aug. 6: “The Diplomat” – The Cold War, ice skating, socialism, and secret police, sounds like one hell of a thriller. And it may be, but according to the film description it’s mostly about Katarina Witt, one of East Germany’s most popular and prolific athletes.

  • Aug. 13: “Runner”  – For some athletes, their career is remembered for, or defined by, one moment; but unfortunately for Mary Decker her Olympic moment was nothing like she dreamed. One small collision with another runner during the 3,000 meters ended her hopes of earning a medal, and despite an otherwise successful career that fall would eclipse almost everything else she ever accomplished.

  • Aug. 20: The “The ’99ers” – Goal! Now this is a sport’s moment I remember – the US’s victory in the Women’s World Cup over China in a penalty-kick shootout. If you want to relive the excitement of that summer, then this film is for you. Footage for the film even includes behind-the-scenes videos shot by the players during the tournament.

  • Aug. 27: “Branded” – Image over accomplishments, this is the ongoing battle that female athletes face from the media. Hell, we even saw it on display last summer during the Olympics when gold medalists like Gabby Douglas and members of the US women’s swim team came under scrutiny for their appearances. This film explores the double standard by giving the floor to the women who have played on this uneven playing field their entire lives.

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Boy Meets World Cast Reunited At The ATX Festival

Boy Meets World Cast Reunited At The ATX Festival

This year’s annual ATX Television Festival just wrapped up, but for anyone who didn’t have a chance to attend now is the time to hit YouTube and search for all of those awesome panels that we missed.Boy Meets World cast reunion

One of which was a Boy Meets World reunion panel attended by Michael Jacobs (Creator), Ben Savage (Cory), Rider Strong (Shawn), Maitland Ward (Rachel), Matthew Lawrence (Jack), Lily Nicksay (Morgan #1), Trina McGee, (Angela), and Betsy Randle (Amy Matthews).

Between constant re-runs of Boy Meets World in the mornings and all the recent hype about the Girl Meets World pilot, I can’t exactly say the show has been missing from my life, but the panel is a nice way to enjoy what the series was from the point of view of the very people who lived it and created it.

Also, Rider Strong finally answers the the burning question: Whatever happened to Shawn’s sister Stacy who was only mentioned once in the 4th episode of the very first season?

(In case the video is taken down or for some reason you don’t feel like watching it – there was supposed to be a 2nd best friend for Cory and Shawn but when that character never materialized Shawn just picked up all ‘other friend’ storylines.)

Boy Meets World — Meets Austin

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Real Bars & Restaurants On Fictional TV Shows

Real Bars & Restaurants On Fictional TV Shows

A couple months ago I shared a short list of fictional TV places that I wished existed, even in a purely touristy way. And although it’s fun to dream, here’s a few places that you can actually go to…just like your favorite characters in your favorite TV shows.

Bon Appetite and Bottom’s Up!

Inspired by recent trips to New York City and Boston, where food and drinks were among the main attractions, here’s some real bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and other eateries that appeared on various fictional TV series, that actually exist.

Magnolia Bakery – As seen on Sex and the City and Saturday Night Live’s “Lazy Sunday” digital short, this bakery is the place to go for delicious baked good. They make some awesome cupcakes, trust me I’m speaking from experience. I highly recommend the red velvet.

They currently have 5 locations in NYC, one in Chicago, and another in Los Angeles. – http://www.magnoliabakery.com/

Central Perk – We all know Friends took place in New York City, but you won’t find their beloved coffee shop anywhere in the United States. In fact, a super fan created a mini replica of the Central Perk coffee shop in Beijing.

Fellow Friends enthusiasts will appreciate his attention to detail which includes the cafe’s familiar doorway and window, the orange sofa, and a menu full of items only ever mentioned on the show. The business has been doing so well that a second ‘Central Perk’ recently opened in Shanghai.

MacLaren’s Pub – Want to hang out where Barney, Lily, Robin, Marshall and Ted hang out? You’d better look for a place called McGee’s Pub and Restaurant. That’s the name of the real life pub that inspired MacLaren’s Pub on How I Met Your Mother.

McGee’s Pub and Restaurant is located in NYC at 240 West 55 Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue. The New York TV & Movie Sites Tour, provided by On Locations Tour, also makes a stop at HIMYM’s favorite watering hole.  – http://www.mcgeespub.com/

The Brick Tavern – Being on the East Coast and never having never seen Northern Exposure, I can’t vouch for the kind of establishment the Brick Tavern is, (BTW it’s the Brick Saloon in real life), but apparently its legendary.Cheers Bar in Boston

The Brick Saloon is Washington’s oldest continuously operating bar, established in 1889. Fans of Northern Exposure can find the iconic tavern at 100 West Pennsylvania Avenue in Roslyn, WA. – http://www.bricksaloon.com/

Cheers bar – On the other side of the county is the equally iconic Cheers bar, “Where Everybody Knows Your Name”.

Based in Boston, there are actually two bars to choose from. There’s the original bar, located 84 Beacon Street and the replica bar nestled in the Faneuil Hall Marketplace, in the Quincy Market building.  – http://www.cheersboston.com/

The Warsaw Tavern – The real Cleveland-based bar, The Memphis Plaza Lounge actually served as the exterior of the fictional Warsaw Tavern, which was frequently seen on The Drew Carey Show.

Although the interior of The Memphis Plaza Lounge doesn’t resemble the one on TV, it’s still apparently a good place to grab a beer, shoot darts, and play pool after a long day at work. Anyone in Cleveland can find this bar at 5303 Memphis Road.

Monk’s CaféSeinfeld fans should know this diner well, at least the TV version. The real one, which is located in New York City is actually called Tom’s Restaurant.

Seeing as we’ve already got a NYC-based pub and a bakery on this list, perhaps Tom’s Restaurant would be a good choice for breakfast or lunch. It’s located at 2800 Broadway. – http://tomsrestaurant.net/

Poor Richard’s – You might not be able to find The Office’s Dunder Mifflin company in Scranton, PA, but you can find their favorite bar – Poor Richard’s Pub.

It’s real and is located inside South Side Bowl at 125 Beech Street.

Jimbo’s Place – Finally, a warm weather location to grab some food and drinks. Jimbo’s Place has popped up on a couple of TV shows, most notably Dexter, Burn Notice, and Miami Vice.

Holstens in Bloomfield NJIt was located in Virginia Key, FL; however, just a couple of months ago Jimbo’s Shrimp Shack (it’s official name) actually closed. I decided to include it on this list anyway since the website said that they were hoping to find a proper location for this iconic place. – http://www.jimbosplace.com/

Holsten’s – And last but not least, here’s an ice cream parlor you may recognize from The Sopranos. As someone from New Jersey I can promise you that The Sopranos is not an accurate reflection of life in the Garden State, at least not for everyone.

However, with that said, there are a lot of great places to find ice cream in NJ and Holsten’s is one of them. The ‘old fashioned’ ice cream parlor is located at 1063 Broad Street in Bloomfield. – http://www.holstens.com/

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