Fox Renews ‘Family Guy’ & ‘American Dad’, Postpones Decision On ‘Cleveland Show’

By | Thursday May 10, 2012 @ 11:49am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

American Dad RenewedFamily Guy RenewedEXCLUSIVE: Along with all the action on the live-action side at Fox this week, with the network picking up new series, renewing and canceling existing … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Once Upon A Time’, ‘Desperate Housewives’ & ‘Pan Am’ Hit Lows

Nellie Andreeva

With a monster football overrun, Fox’s animated comedies posted double-digit increases last night, while ABC’s dramas posted series lows. Rookie Once Upon A Time (3.1/7) was down 9% from last week, veteran Desperate Housewives (2.6/6) was down 13% from its … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Once Upon A Time’, ‘Allen Gregory’ Hit Series Lows, ‘Hallmark Hall Of Fame’ Barely Registers On New Net

Nellie Andreeva

As Americans were wrapping up the four-day Thanksgiving weekend last night, some stayed away from their TVs, leading to depressed ratings for the broadcast networks. (We’ve yet to get numbers for The Walking Dead fall finale on AMC.) ABC may be having second thoughts about picking up the Hallmark Hall Of Fame original movie franchise after it was dropped by CBS at the end of last season. In the franchise’s first ABC outing, the telefilm Mitch Albom’s Have A Little Faith posted an underwhelming 1.1/2 in 18-49, down a whopping 48% from November Christmas, which aired on CBS on the same night last year. In 18-49, Have A Little Faith was by far the lowest-rated program of the night despite having the night’s highest-rated entertainment program as a lead-in: freshman drama Once Upon A Time, which slipped 11% from its last original two weeks ago to a series low but still robust 3.4/8. At 7 PM, America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.8/4) was up 6%.

Following an NFL overrun, Fox’s The Cleveland Show (1.9/5) was up 6% from its 7:30 PM time slot premiere last Sunday. The Simpsons (2.6/6) was down a tenth, while rookie Allen Gregory (1.5/3) accelerated its ratings descent, down 15% to a new series low. How long before Fox swaps Allen Gregory and Cleveland? At 9 PM, Family Guy (2.8/6) was down 13%, and American Dad (2.2/5) was down 8%. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Once Upon A Time’ Still Strong, ‘Desperate Housewives’ Rises

Nellie Andreeva

ABC’s Once Upon A Time continued its impressive freshman run last night, posting a 3.8/9 in adults 18-49. That was up a tenth from the fairytale drama’s fast national the previous week (flat with the national) and the highest demo mark for any non-sports program last night. Even more impressive, Once Upon A Time accomplished that with the lowest-rated Sunday broadcast program as its lead-in, America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.7/4, up 13% from its most recent episode three weeks ago). Desperate Housewives (3.0/7) ended a run of originals on a high note, up 7% from last week, as the dramedy heads into a three-week hiatus. Rookie Pan Am (1.8/4), which is expected to find out its fate this week, posted yet another 1.8 fast national demo rating (it was adjusted down a tenth last Sunday).

NBC once again dominated Sunday’s primetime with Sunday Night Football‘s Patriots-Jets came, which drew a 14.5 overnight rating/23 share, up 2% from last week and from last year’s Week 10 game between the Patriots and Steelers. In another repeat from last Sunday, Fox’s comedies had an NFL overrun as a lead-in, making week-to-week comparisons fair: The Simpsons (3.5/8) was down 5%. Allen Gregory (2.0/5) shed another tenth as the newbie is yet to bottom out. Family Guy, which featured a controversial 9/11 storyline, was up a tenth from the show’s fast national last Sunday (flat with the national). American Dad was down a tenth. Read More »

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‘Family Guy’ On 9/11 Attack: “Let It Happen”

By | Sunday November 13, 2011 @ 10:30pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

No topic is taboo for Fox’s Family Guy, and Seth MacFarlane & Co. proved it again tonight by taking on the worst terrorist attack ever on American soil, the events of September 11, 2001. In the episode, Brian and Stewie … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: NFL Football Tops The Night, ‘Once Upon A Time’ & ‘Simpsons’ Tied

Nellie Andreeva

The veteran and the rookie led the entertainment pack last night as Fox’s The Simpsons, the longest-running primetime scripted series on air, tied newcomer Once Upon A Time as the highest-rated non-sports program with a 3.7/9 in adults 18-49. For ABC’s Once Upon A Time, this is a modest 5% dip from last week; The Simpsons too was down slightly from last week’s Treehouse of Horror (8%). But The Simpsons had a 10 times bigger lead-in from the NFL game overrun vs. a Once Upon A Time repeat (1.1/3) for the ABC fairytale series, which also hit a series high in adults 18-34. Once Upon A Time‘s lead-out, veteran dramedy Desperate Housewives (2.8/6), was down 10% from last week, while freshman drama Pan Am continues to be stuck at a 1.8/4. The order was reversed at Fox, where the rookie was following the veteran. In its second week behind The Simpsons, new animated comedy Allen Gregory (2.1/5) was down 13% from its soft premiere to rank as the lowest-rated Fox series last night. Family Guy (3.0/7) was down 6%, followed by American Dad (2.5/6), down 7% from its last original seven weeks ago. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Pan Am’, Everything Else Down On Sunday

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: After a promising start, ABC’s 1960s drama Pan Am (2.5/8 in adults 18-49) fell 19% in Week 2. It closed a night of across-the-board declines for ABC. America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.5/4) set the tone with its season premiere … Read More »

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Extended ‘X Factor’ Preview After ‘NFL On Fox’

By | Thursday September 8, 2011 @ 3:51pm PDT

Fox is debuting an extended preview of Simon Cowell’s The X Factor following the NFL On Fox late doubleheader matchups and during an expanded Family Guy this Sunday. Then the singing contest debuts with a two-night premiere on September 21st.

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Report: Prime Time Cartoons Show Kids “Shocking Levels” Of Sex and Drugs

The Parents Television Council fired another volley today at one of its favorite targets: adult-themed cartoons that also attract kids. The activist group called for “sweeping reform” of the TV content rating system as a study it released points to what it says are “shocking levels” of sex and drug references in primetime on animation channels that are popular with kids between 12 and 17. “Adult content isn’t just creeping into the cartoons that kids today are watching the most; it has overtaken much of that animated programming,” PTC president Tim Winter says. “Our data demonstrates that today’s norm is profanity-laden storylines involving everything from rape and cocaine to STDs and crystal meth.” PTC is especially upset with programming on Turner’s Cartoon Network and Adult Swim: The report, titled Cartoons Are No Laughing Matter, gave each an “F” grade for their handling of adult-themed animation. Disney Channel and Nick At Nite each received an “A”. Read More »

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EMMYS: 2011 Comedy Series Overview

Competition for Emmy nominations among this year’s Outstanding Comedy Series contestants is no laughing matter. The showdown between two 20th Century TV hits is more intense than ever, with Modern Family showrunners Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd trying to score their second consecutive Emmy win, while Glee executive producer Ryan Murphy is hoping to edge them out. That is, if one or more of a duo of up-and-comers — Community or Parks and Recreation — don’t act as spoilers. Then again, past Emmy stalwarts 30 Rock or The Office could resurface. Or Showtime’s bold, female-skewing dramedies Nurse Jackie or newbie The Big C might seize the spotlight. And don’t rule out the possibility of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory finally scoring a nod in its fourth season, or How I Met Your Mother receiving recognition in its sixth. And then there are the underdogs. As The Middle’s co-showrunner Eileen Heisler (with DeAnn Heline) says about ABC’s Wednesday night lineup, “We’re really grateful to Modern Family for bringing attention to family shows. We’ve benefi tted from their success, but I think it takes a little longer for people to realize the next door neighbor in The Middle is edgy and wry.”

If Modern Family does repeat, no ABC sitcom has managed that feat since Taxi more than 30 years ago. Of course, NBC’s won three years running. And Frasier took home a record five in succession between 1994 and 1998. So it can be done. But that doesn’t mean Modern Family’s Christopher Lloyd thinks it’s a shoo-in. “Among certain segments of the blogosphere who first anointed the show that everybody is supposed to be watching, there’s another rush to declare that it stinks now. And then there will be others who’ll want to say ‘I told you so’ when it wins again.”

There’s general agreement it would take a miracle for any freshman broadcast network comedy to crash this year’s top comedy series’ Emmy party, with the possible exception of Fox’s Raising Hope. Though there’s a sliver of daylight for a newbie cable show like The Big C, despite the fact it’s a dramedy. Cable continues to make inroads in the comedy series categories, evidenced by Showtime’s Nurse Jackie capturing eight Emmy nominations last year, including one for top comedy; with Showtime’s Weeds as well as HBO’s Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm landing series nods in recent years. This year, TV Land’s Hot in Cleveland has Emmy buzz. But only one cable comedy has ever won: HBO’s Sex and the City in 2001.

Here’s our assessment of the chances for this year’s comedy series in alphabetical order:

30 ROCK
Although the NBC hitcom’s three-year winning streak ended last year (done in by ABC’s freshman breakout, Modern Family), it remains an industry darling — with good reason. While not as consistent as its earlier seasons, its comedy quality never seems to wane. So, without ever actually going away, it could be primed for a comeback. But the show, which celebrated its 100th episode this season, may also be mistakenly placed in the “been there, done that” category, even with red-hot writer/producer/actress/author Tina Fey at the helm (the recent Tracy Morgan scandal notwithstanding). But if the Academy revisits NBC’s quirky workplace comedies, they just might opt for the newer Parks and Recreation or Community.

THE BIG BANG THEORY
As popular as this CBS smash is, it has yet to be Emmy nominated despite originality in its scripts and ensemble. Kudos to the producers for broadening the cast this season and stepping up the romance for Mayim Bialik’s and Melissa Rauch’s roles, especially after Jim Parsons was acknowledged as last year’s Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series winner for nerd-chic hilarity. If you’re going to vote for a Chuck Lorre show this year, this one’s decidedly less baggage-laden than Two and a Half Men, which lost its Sheen.

THE BIG C
With lead Laura Linney considered a shoo-in for an Emmy nod, a side effect is that her show’s chances of breaking into the Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy race likely increases as well. Question is, did they increase enough? Is the TV Academy ready to honor a dark comedy centering on a woman’s battle with cancer? Perhaps it’s time. If so, there could be two Showtime noms in this category for the first time, assuming Nurse Jackie repeats. Says showrunner Jenny Bicks, “It’s not going to be an easy fight for us.”

CHUCK
Forever floating on the renewal bubble (it will live on for a fifth and final short season of 13 episodes next season), Chuck has a well-earned reputation as The Little Show that Could. But, plucky as it is, the unlikely spy yarn remains a significant Emmy long-shot. Besides, NBC already has a couple of potential sleeper contenders at the ready in Parks and Recreation and Community.

COMMUNITY
What is arguably NBC’s most innovative comedy shoots high creatively but has yet to land commensurate ratings. Critics, however, have been quick to sing the show’s praises, perhaps loudly enough to help get it noticed by Emmy voters. Remember when Fox’s Arrested Development used critical praise to trump low viewership? Showrunner Dan Harmon likens Community’s comedy to “Krispy Kreme — we just have to get it into people’s mouths.” Or, in the case of Academy voters, into their DVD players.

COUGAR TOWN
In its second season, the wine-soaked “Friends for grownups” really came into its own as an ensemble comedy rather than just a Courteney Cox vehicle. And it’s even poking fun at the icky title that long ago ceased to have anything to do with the series premise. Nonetheless, it’s probably not ABC’s Wednesday night show with the most heat in this comedy category because of Modern Family.

EASTBOUND & DOWN
This back-to-fi rst-base comedy about a washed-up baseball player enjoys the prestige of HBO and the marquee value of Will Ferrell as a producer. But it’s perhaps too raunchy for older TV Academy voters. Given that producer-star Danny McBride says this forthcoming third season will be its last, Eastbound & Down likely will strike out Emmy-wise.

ENTOURAGE
After landing nominations in the top comedy category for three years running, HBO’s Hollywood insider send-up didn’t make the cut the last go-round. If shut out again, it’s because Academy voters have moved on from an aging series that returns for its shortened eighth and final season on July 24th. It didn’t help when news leaked out in May that HBO pulled it from broadcast syndication by Warner Bros Domestic TV.

EPISODES
If the television industry’s insiders love anything more than laughing, it’s laughing at itself (see 30 Rock, Curb Your Enthusiasm). And there’s been buzz about how this Showtime Brits-out-of-water comedy reinvented Matt LeBlanc. But, even if he might, the series probably doesn’t have a high enough profile yet to garner an Emmy nod.

FAMILY GUY
In 2009, the Fox show that wouldn’t die became the first animated series in nearly half a century to win an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series. But it was shut out the very next year. So expect the next TV Academy recognition for Family Guy around 2060. One question mark is whether the toon’s unique in-your-face way of campaigning for Emmy helps or hurts to sway voters. Then again, this is the comedy series category.
Read More »

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EMMYS: ‘Family Guy’ Pleads For Emmy Love

By | Wednesday May 25, 2011 @ 11:14pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

For years, Family Guy producers had been asking for, sometimes even demanding, Academy votes in the show’s Emmy mailers. They’ve now switched to begging. Following Stewie’s turn as President Obama under the Vote For Change! slogan in the 2009 mailer … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ Season Finale Down From Last Year

Nellie Andreeva

After announcing on Monday that he won’t run for U.S. president, Donald Trump returned to NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice for the season finale last night. It drew a 2.9 rating in 18-49, up 16% from last week but down 15% … Read More »

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Fox Reups ‘Family Guy’ & ‘Cleveland Show’

By | Monday May 9, 2011 @ 2:09pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Fox has renewed flagship animated comedy series Family Guy for a tenth season and its spinoff The Cleveland Show for a fourth season. The two shows are part of Seth MacFarlane’s toon troika on Fox, along with American Dad, which … Read More »

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Fox Pulls Hurricane-Themed Episodes Of 3 Sunday Animated Comedies

By | Friday April 29, 2011 @ 2:34pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

The three Seth MacFarlane Fox animated comedies, Family Guy, American Dad and The Cleveland Show, had been planning a crossover event for this Sunday, with a hurricane storyline weaving through all three shows. In light of the recent storms in … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Everyone Was Down Sunday, ‘Undercover Boss’ The Most

Nellie Andreeva

Maybe it was it ESPN’s and TNT’s coverage of Game 1 of the NBA playoffs and MLB or it was too many original offerings on cable, including the premieres of HBO’s Game of Thrones and USA’s Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe, but the broadcast networks took a serious beating last night. How bad was it? The highest-rated network in adults 18-49, ABC, drew a 2.0/6 demo rating. That’s with an all-original lineup.

Series were down across the board. ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was low in its return from a two-month hiatus to make room for Secret Millionaire. The veteran reality series pulled in a 1.9/5, down 21% from its last fresh episode Feb. 20. Desperate Housewives (2.7/7) was down 7% from its last original two weeks ago to tie its series low. Brothers and Sisters (1.7/4) was down 6% from last week’s two-hour episode and is also tied as a series low.

Following 60 Minutes (1.3/5), which was down 41% from last week, when CBS’ primetime was boosted by Masters golf overrun, The Amazing Race (2.3/7) was down 21%. Undercover Boss (1.9/5) posted the steepest decline for any program last night, 39%, for a series low. CSI: Miami (2.2/5) held well under the circumstances, down only 4%. CBS (1.9/5, 9.5 million) finished No. 1 in total viewers for the night and tied for second place in 18-49 with Fox. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Amazing Race’ Starts Slow On Slow Presidents Weekend Sunday

Nellie Andreeva

Fox’s comedy block edged out competition on a quiet Sunday night, which was probably impacted by viewers’ Presidents Day weekend-related activities. It was a photo finish demo race, with Fox averaging a 2.4/7 in 18-49, ABC a 2.3/7 and CBS … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Football Gives NBC Nightly Win, Spurs Gains For Fox Comedies

Nellie Andreeva

Sunday Night Football sealed NBC’s 12th consecutive ratings victory on the night. The San Diego Chargers 36-14 blowout of the Indianapolis Colts drew a 13.0 overnight rating/19 … Read More »

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