The Live Revolution Lives
NBC’s obsession with live programming was confirmed today, with the announcement that their upcoming Broadway spectacular, “The Wiz,” will feature original production cast member Stephanie Mills. (But for those crossing their fingers that Beyonce might slip on the ruby slippers, bad news: NBC says they’re seeking out “new talent” for Dorothy.)
Also interesting is the fact that rare NBC comedy survivor “Undateable” will be going live for all of its episodes next season, following on last week’s experiment with an hour-long live broadcast. While last week’s episode devolved into a rather stunt-driven enterprise, it’s still an interesting move that might verge on ground-breaking. Creator Bill Lawrence has been vocal on Twitter about wanting the show to be “crazy/fun,” and that’s at least worth checking in on from time to time.
Neil Patrick Harris’ New Show Sounds Fun
We’ve talked a lot recently about how late night television has become increasingly gamified. Well, “Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris” promises to lean into that in a way that might honestly work pretty well. Promising “stunts, skits, pranks, audience interaction, musical numbers, giveaways and unlimited surprises,” it sounds like a bonafide variety show of the type we haven’t seen in a while.
“Heroes Reborn” Is Definitely A Thing That Is Happening
This morning, NBC screened a full trailer for the series reboot that you didn’t realize was a thing you needed to see. (Perhaps because you didn’t need to see it?) According to Eric Goldman at IGN, the footage teased (spoilers ahead) a pretty grim take on what was already a pretty dark series, with plenty of superhero action that might not 100 percent remind you of the X-Men. Here are the things that matter: Zachary Levi’s got a gun, the Horn-Rimmed Glasses Guy is getting his glasses back and hopefully we’re looking at a narrative that won’t require any familiarity with the later seasons of the original show.
Current Contender for Weirdest Fall Show (Based on Its Description)
Congrats to “You, Me and the End of the World”! Its official NBC synopsis:
In this bold adrenaline-fueled new one-hour comedy drama, the news that a comet is on an unavoidable collision course with Earth sets in motion the most hilariously unexpected chain of events imaginable. Set against the backdrop of apocalyptic chaos and starring Rob Lowe (“Parks and Recreation”), Jenna Fischer (“The Office”), Megan Mullally (“Will & Grace”) and Mathew Baynton (“Yonderland”), the story follows an eclectic group of seemingly unconnected characters around the world as their lives start to intersect in the most unexpected ways. When we say eclectic, we mean a rebellious priest, an unhinged white supremacist, a mild-mannered bank manager, a germ-phobic cyber-terrorist and an American five-star general. Some of these misfits are destined to make it to a bunker deep beneath the English suburbs of Slough and, as a result, will become the hugely unlikely (and totally unsuitable) future of mankind. Wouldn’t that be a disaster?
Hard to argue against that cast, but wow.
Hey, THREE Shows About Latina Women! THREE!
America Ferrera also stars in the workplace comedy “Superstore”! And “Shades of Blue,” starring Jennifer Lopez as a dirty cop forced to turn informant on other dirty cops, could be interesting. But we’re most excited, honestly, for “Hot and Bothered,” the Eva Longoria-starring telenovela parody that Variety’s Elizabeth Wagmeister said got a “big response” from the crowd.
New Trailers, Ranked
NBC has only released four trailers for its new fall shows (others are likely soon to be released), but how successful are they in communicating premise and theme? It varies. So, in ascending order of confusion…
“People Are Talking”
This is extraordinarily straightforward. There are people in this trailer — like Mark-Paul Gosselaar. They’re talking. (About porn, mostly, but there are also other topics of conversation.) “People Are Talking.” Does just what it says on the tin.
The most confusing bit about this show is its title. After all, this bad-ass lady doctor isn’t breaking hearts. She’s fixing hearts! But otherwise, it seems like a pretty straightforward medical drama… Well, at least in terms of genre. In terms of message…
Okay, this feels like it should be the most confusing of the batch: A woman with no memories — but plenty of tattoos — teams up with the FBI to use her tattoos to solve crimes. It’s like “Memento,” except with crime-solving and the pretty lady from the “Thor” movies! Oddly, though, the trailer makes a fair amount of sense. I really just want to know what the “blindspot” is — that part of your upper back that no human being can reach to scratch?
I’m so, so confused. There’s a secret organization led by Wesley Snipes, and they “gamble on crime”? This white guy’s job is to ride motorcycles and shoot guns to stop crime; crimes that Wesley Snipes is betting on happening? Or not happening? And of course there’s a dead wife to be avenged here, but who specifically killed her and how will the guy avenge it? With more killing?
Congrats, “The Player.” You are The Most Confusing NBC Trailer of The Year. So far, at least. “Heroes Reborn” has yet to come out.
Next up on the upfronts circuit: Fox lays out its plans for fall. We will be sure to report on important news, like whether or not Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny make an appearance.