“The Friday TV Report” 48 for 3/22/19, updated 4/12/19, from Sally Ember, Ed.D., and her mom


“The Friday TV Report” 48 for 3/22/19, updated 4/12/19, from Sally Ember, Ed.D., and her mom

Mom and I, August, 2018

I (Sally) update this ever-changing post of TV viewing news plus our ongoing mini-reviews and premiere/return dates, renewal/cancellation status, and other tidbits for SOME of the hundreds of specials, series and live performances aired on non-premium cable TV, PBSAmazon Prime and Netflix, with a few shows from other networks, premium cable (HBO, Showtime, Epix, etc.), and Canadian, Australian and UK TV (CBC, Acorn, BBC, SKY), that become available later on DVDs via our local library. Begun in fall, 2015) and updated often between “full” posts (check on Fridays), there is always something new here for TV watchers.

Next full post = April 26, 2019
****************************************************************************


New opinion poll (and to see if anyone reads these posts…):
Who has the worst on-screen chemistry of TV series or TV films, in your opinion, from the most recent two  years (2017-2019)? Historically, even those who despise each other IRL can pull off screen romance, when they’re good actors (Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing; Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion in Castle, e.g.), and some of those whose sexual orientations don’t match their casting (Doris Day and Rock Hudson, famously) can act well enough to convince us of their “love.” But some just FAIL, don’t they?

My votes for worst on-screen chemistry currently go to:
1) Martin Sheen and Sam Waterson in Grace & Frankie (Netflix); and, close second,
2) Angela Basset
t and Peter Krause, on 9-1-1 (Fox);
finally, coming in third, but not trailing by much, are 
3)
Every couple in Hallmark‘s original movies (Hallmark, Netflix).

Yours? Please list your choices in COMMENTS (scroll down or go to http://www.sallyember.com, for this post). Thanks!


Great news for broadcast and live arts lovers, especially those with very little extra cash: PBS now has “a free, 24-hour broadcast and streaming channel dedicated to dance, film, literature, music, theater and other art forms”! All Arts went live 1/28/19. It “will feature an eclectic mix of new, original shows produced by WLIW21, as well as acquired programs from around the world and archival programs mined from WNET’s 50-year history of arts broadcasting…. The streaming service will be found on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, as well as Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. Shows that will air on All Arts include Broadway Sandwich, which follows Broadway stars on their breaks, bringing viewers behind the scenes of major shows. The first episode features Hamilton and Kinky BootsBox Burners centers on artists who are redefining their fields; House Seats features stage productions such as Antigone in Ferguson; In Motion highlights dance performance; and The Set List offers live music from reggae to show tunes….Jörn Weisbrodt, All Arts’ Artistic Director, added: ‘With All Arts, many obstacles to enjoying culture vanish: we have no tickets, dress codes, opening times, dark days, transport, parking issues, sold-out houses, or boundaries as to what we present. It is a radical luxury to have an entire space devoted to arts, culture, and creativity, accessible 24 hours a day.'” Already available on the web      (https://allarts.wliw.org/programs/pbs-arts/ ) which means we can use our ChromeCast) as well as via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Fabulous!


Whenever a show is canceled, I erase the review and its listing from this page (because, otherwise, this compilation gets too long). Likewise, whenever I/we dislike a show, I list it at the end of this post for only its active year, then I erase it.

I am having problems deciding what to put in the NEWS section, because there are far too many upcoming, pilot, put pilot, commissioned, planned and soon-to-be-scheduled series and specials for me to describe or list them all. I tried to have a system (only list those we might watch, e.g.), but gave up on being consistent. I may come along occasionally and move some of the “news” listings to “scheduled” (when that happens), or “lost” (meaning, it’s been more than 6 months and I haven’t seen anything scheduled), or remove them all together, but I can’t claim any kind of reliable criteria for that movement or inclusion, yet. Be surprised.

I LOVE when actors come out on the “right” side of issues directly related to their films or TV series, so here you go with some comments from Roswell’s stars and creators, past and upcoming, about the connections between the show’s themes (how shall we treat “aliens”?) and today’s immigration issues in the USA and globally:   https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/80333900/posts/2023349121

I also smile grimly when those on the wrong side of the law or ethics or both get caught and CANNED. Good-bye and good riddance to these actors/musicians/producers and/or their shows/clips/films (so far, 4/12/19) to: Kevin Spacey, Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy, Tucker Carlson, R. Kelly,  Bill O’Reilly, Laura IngrahamLouis C.K., Bill Cosby, Johnny Luzzino, Michael Jackson, and quite a few studio bosses.

I am maintaining a summary section (“Yays,” “Nays,” and “Maybe/Still Considering”) for the current year’s shows (until canceled; see above) and for any series that are continuing or still available to view. I add to reviews of many previously reviewed shows with new info and opinions often, so check weekly if you’re interested in those updates. Want to compare our opinions to those of the “Critics”? Check out shows we con’t watch for their ratings, so far (UPDATED 4/12/19)? Here you go:
https://www.indiewire.com/2018/10/fall-tv-premiere-week-ratings-manifest-last-man-standing-1202008915/  The Indiewire folks  have several headlines for this compilation, including: “Big drops for old favorites,” “NFL ratings have stabilized,” “Audiences may be tiring of reboots and remakes,” “Last Man Standing and Manifest are this fall’s breakouts, so far.” Catchy, but not exactly gospel…

While we can understand the urge to be timely, the heavy-handedness and pervasiveness of stories that feature “us” vs. “them,” whether “they” are mutants, aliens, Earthlings from the future with special powers, immigrants to the USA (Middle-Easterners or former USSR folks, usually with questionable immigration status or criminal tendencies), sex traffickers and greedy/criminal politicians, we do NOT want our “entertainment” to be filled with “news of the day” so much that we can never relax or feel entertained.

We vote. We watch Rachel Maddow/Joy Reid. I listen to NPR and Mom watches many other news shows (Chris Hayes, Lawrence O’Donnell, others on MSNBC). That’ is plenty of “reality” for us.

We are not eager to continue watching shows whose plots and characters are disturbing in the same ways “real life” is. We start, then we stop watching. Therefore, some series we had originally put on the “Yay” side are now in “Maybe/Still Considering,” or all the way to “Nay” at this time.

We think the first one or two airings of any SEASON’s shows on TV are similar to serving dishes at a pot luck table that look4/5pular,” due to being mostly empty early on: many pot luck goers may take more of those first-up casseroles or even clean out the pie pans near the start of the line (watch one or 2 Episodes of a series or spend an viewing entire evening on one station), but no one knows whether or not the choosers actually LIKED what they selected! The food could end up mostly uneaten, tossed or traded away. Likewise, the “high ratings” for these first weeks could dramatically diminish once people have sampled enough to know what they like and don’t like, see what else is on, plan their viewing schedules. The REAL test occurs week 3: what do viewers return to watch? So, stay tuned, ratings-wise. It’s after week 2 that some shows are “summarily” canceled, even when they have the rest of the SEASON in the “can.’

Our “up front,” additional, constantly updated “news” section, below, with rumors and truths about interesting projects/actors/shows, changes weekly (newer stories on top; older stories get updated, moved to the “to be watched” list or dumped, as needed). I add the premiere dates as soon as I know them.


If you want to keep up with Netflix and other streaming and DVD sites’ offerings, this weekly update from https://movierewind.com/everything-netflix/ is unmatched. [BTW: I get no kickback, but I do subscribe and suggest you do the same (it’s free!).]

Here’s what the Movie Rewind team provides, weekly:
“2018-2019 Netflix Instant Streaming and DVD release dates as they become available …
Red Subheadings tell you if the titles are DVD or Instant Streaming, U.S. or Canada.
Green Subheadings are for Amazon Prime Instant Streaming titles.
You’ll find some TV series Hulu, Acorn TV, Networks, and other platforms information in Pink. I can only include selected Canadian Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu titles – TV series and hot new movies.”

Also, Collider.com offers great genre lists of Netflix‘s library (“Best TV Shows on Netflix” is one of them), and its own reviews, news, and opinions of many TV series,  characters, writers, directors.

This is the 48th post, for 3/22/19, Updated 4/12/19
(each post is UPDATED frequently).

Next full post, 4/26/19.


Regarding late-night shows
(which are often repeated in the early morning hours):

—we both watch James Corden‘s “Carpool Karaoke” and “Broadway at the Crosswalk” when they’re on the regular channel (we don’t get iTunes shows), but not the rest of his show;
—we watch the first or both of the first parts of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and sometimes one or more of his guest spots;
—my mom watches The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, but I only watch a few bits, usually on YouTube, later (“Lip Sync Battles,” e.g.);
—Mom watches Seth Myers‘ show’s first parts, but I do not;
—I sometimes watch the first parts of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (we miss you, Jon Stewart!), but Mom does not;
—Mom watches all of Saturday Night Live, but I don’t like it (never did);
—Mom also watches Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell and a lot of other MSNBC news shows, I watch Rachel, also;
—I catch some of John Oliver’s Episodes on YouTube a few times a year; Mom does not.


Our constantly updated summary (newly put into the form of sections for “Yays” and “Nays” and “Still Considering”), with CANCELED or RENEWAL notices, for the current TV year (UPDATED 3/8/19).

Compare to these opinions: 50 Best TV Shows of 2018


image from Pixabay

Yay
9-1-1 (SEASON 2 is getting better; EXTENDED for SEASON 2; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
*After Life (Oddly compelling; RENEWED for SEASOn 2)
A Place to Call Home
(EXCELLENT series from Australia; SEASON 6 is final)
Anne with an ‘E’ (RENEWED for SEASON 3)
Big Little Lies (RENEWED for SEASON 2 and won several Golden Globes!; waiting for DVD)
Blue Bloods (Good for SEASON 9; RENEWED for SEASON 10)
Bull (Good for SEASON 3)
*Cable Girls (Las Chicas Del Cable) (Good, but darker for SEASON 3)
*Call the Midwife (EXCELLENT show; RENEWED for SEASONS 8, 9, 10)
Carter (mostly fun; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
Case Histories (very well done; 2 SEASONS)
C.B. Strike (very well-written and -acted; RENEWED for SEASON 4)
Chicago Med (Okay for SEASON 4; RENEWED for SEASON 5)
Chicago PD (Okay for SEASON 6; RENEWED for SEASON 7)
Chicago Fire (Okay for SEASON 7; RENEWED for SEASON 8)
Designated Survivor (Netflix will air SEASON 3 in 2019!)
Documentary Now! (now in its 4th SEASON)
Elementary (5/23/19 premiere for FINAL SEASON 7)
Endeavor (RENEWED through SEASON 7)
F.B.I.  (good enough; RENEWED for SEASON 2 and getting a spin-off)
For the People (good enough for SEASON 2, but may be CANCELED!)
Frankie Drake Mysteries (great! RENEWED for SEASONS 2 & 3)
*Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (RENEWED for SEASON 4)
*Genius (Einstein, 2017; Picasso, 2018; Aretha Franklin, 2019)
God Friended Me (sweet; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
Gone (we like this)
*Good Girls (good enough for SEASON 2; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
Grace & Frankie (RENEWED for SEASON 6; we sort of like it)
*Grey’s Anatomy (RENEWED for SEASONS 16 & 17)
In Contempt (Interesting, but characters aren’t great; SEASON 2 uncertain)
Instinct (Very fun; 6/16/19 for SEASON 2)
Janet King (We like this)
Madam Secretary (Great for SEASON 5)
Manifest (intriguing; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
Marvel’s Jessica Jones (Darkly funny; RENEWED for final SEASON 3)
Midsomer Murders (Netflix has 18 SEASONS; DVDs for the rest; we like this a lot)
*Miss Fischer’s Murder Mysteries (Another great, feminist, Australian series; 3 SEASONS and 3 films [planned])
New Amsterdam (we like this; RENEWED for SEASONS 2 & 3)
NCIS (Okay for SEASON 16; RENEWED for SEASON 17)
NCIS New Orleans (Okay for SEASON 5)
*Ozark (FUN to see “my” lake! Okay for SEASON 2; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
Private Eyes (trite, but somewhat cute; split SEASON 3, resumed February, 2019)
Proven Innocent (surprisingly good, but CANCELED)
Republic of Doyle (6 SEASONS; we increasingly like this)
Shetland (great show; dialect is hard for USA’ers; RENEWED for SEASON 5)
*Speechless (RENEWED for SEASON 3)
*Splitting Up Together (I like this, mostly; EXTENDED for SEASON 2)
Station 19 (Trite, but watchable; EXTENDED for SEASON 2; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
The Blacklist (RENEWED for SEASON 7)
The Bletchley Circle (RENEWED and relocating to San Francisco; summer, 2018!)
The Bodyguard (sadly compelling; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
*The Bold Type (RENEWED for SEASON 3)
The Enemy Within (good, so far)
The Good Doctor (Good for SEASON 2; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
The Good Fight  (Excellent for SEASONS 1 & 2; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
The Great American Baking Show (had to get rid of the abusive co-host; ON for SEASON 4)
The Great British Baking Show (THE BEST)
The Heart Guy (AKA Doctor, Doctor) (RENEWED; waiting for DVD)
The Kominsky Method (very fun; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (great for SEASON 2; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
The Resident (Got better; Good for SEASON 2; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
The Rookie (We like this a lot; EXTENDED for SEASON 1; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
*The Split  (great acting; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
*Unforgotten (Extremely well-written, acted and intriguing; RENEWED for 4th)
Whiskey Cavalier (very fun, but may be CANCELED!)
*You (weirdly fascinating; RENEWED and moved to NETFLIX for SEASON 2)
*Younger (I like this; RENEWED for SEASON 6; SEASON 7 will be moved to PARAMOUNT)
*Young Sheldon (I like it, increasingly; Okay for SEASON 2; RENEWED for SEASONS 3 & 4)

Check our opinions against the networks’ decisions with updated lists of Canceled and Renewed/Canceled shows (UPDATED 3/8/19):
 http://TVShowsCancelled.com/

Nay
*Absentia (TOO DARK; RENEWED for SEASONS 2 & 3)
A Million Little Things (disappointing; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
*A Very English Scandal (AWFUL)
*Black Lightning (TOO VIOLENT and DARK; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
*Burden of Truth (very uneven; RENEWED for SEASONS 2 & 3)
Charmed (we stopped watching;  RENEWED for SEASON 2)
Chesapeake Shores (WRETCHEDLY STUPID for SEASON 3; RENEWED for SEASON 4)
*Deadly Class (Not for me)
How to Get Away with Murder (awful for SEASON 5; RENEWED for SEASON 6)
I am the Night (vile story; good acting)
Killing Eve (TOO DARK; we stopped watching; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
Liar (TOO DARK; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
**Magnum P.I (BORING; EXTENDED for SEASON 1)
McMafia (TOO VIOLENT and NO GOOD GUYS, but RENEWED for SEASON 2)
*Miracle Workers (disappointingly trite)
*Pose (Not a keeper, for me, but kind of well-done; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
^Project Blue Book (barely kept my interest; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
*Pure (purely awful, but RENEWED for SEASOn 2)
Rosehaven (UNLIKABLE CHARACTERS AND PLOT, but RENEWED for SEASON 2)
*Roswell, New Mexico (not so happy with this version; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
SEAL Team (even David Boreanaz couldn’t make us keep watching all this violence and Middle Eastern warfare; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
Single Parents (unwatchable, but others like it; EXTENDED for SEASON 1)
Shoot the Messenger (WEIRD, BORING, not worth it, but RENEWED for SEASON 2)
Star Trek: Discovery (didn’t like it and won’t pay; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
*The Alienist  (too dark for me, but well-done; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
The Cafe (SO BORING)
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (The CAS) (we hated it; RENEWED through SEASON 4)
The Code (not enough legal scenes, and too violent)
The Conners (very bad, even without Barr, RENEWED for SEASON 2)
The Cool Kids (unwatchable, but others like it; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
The Doctor Blake Mysteries (EXCELLENT series, but star got blackballed for bad behavior and is OUT for the final film; changing name to The Blake Mysteries and featuring his new wife, instead)
The Fix (AWFUL and CANCELED)
The Kids are Alright [sic]( SUCKED. Waste of time and actors; likely RENEWED for SEASON 2)
*The Magicians (RENEWED for SEASON 5, but I quit watching in SEASON 3)
The Miniaturist (We quit mid-Episode 1)
*The Passage (too much horror genre’ Likely CANCELED)
*The Romanoffs (Not worth my time)
This Is Us (OFF OUR LIST: egregiously awful scripts; in SEASON 3; RENEWED for SEASON 4, anyway)
Yellowstone (Didn’t like it; RENEWED for SEASON 2)

Maybe/Still Considering
(Not Great/BORING/Upsetting)


(image from Pixabay)
*A.P. Bio (somewhat funny; worse for SEASON 2; CANCELED)
*Black-ish (not so good; RENEWED for SEASON 6)
Fosse/Verdon (disappointed after Episode 1)
*Greenhouse Academy (Trite, but watchable; RENEWED for SEASON 4)
*grown-ish (I am not the target demographic for this, for sure!; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
*Humans (not liking SEASON 3; couldn’t even finish watching it together
The Code (not enough legal scenes, and too violent)
Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger (confusing; not great for SEASON 2)
*Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (returning summer, 2019, & RENEWED for final SEASON 7)
Supergirl (Okay for SEASON 4; RENEWED for SEASON 5)
The Good Place (off our list for SEASON 3; RENEWED for SEASON 4)
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan (not great; RENEWED for SEASONS 2 & 3)
*When Calls the Heart (treacle, but RENEWED for SEASON 7)
*Will and Grace (still awful for SEASON 10; RENEWED for SEASON 11)


Check out how our preferences compare here, at “The Biggest Hits And Misses Of Fall TV 2018” by Zimbio’s  Areeba Abid. We don’t watch the same shows, entirely, and definitely do not agree on most:    http://www.zimbio.com/The+Biggest+Hits+And+Misses+Of+Fall+TV+2018?fbclid=IwAR2UAt1JhBpQUY-Sb0EwvefCGBx-m2nlPb8rKEyA1ap9ZHr3iVRj64kRY44

TRUTH, RUMORS and PROBABILITIES:
(Thanks to and most quotes, below, from: Women & Hollywood, http://TVShowsCancelled.com/ and Deadline and http://www.indiewire.com).

NOTE: I can’t possibly include all the upcoming projects, pilots and series, casting changes, renewals/cancellations, staffing switches, and network politics. I TRY to focus on planned/upcoming series and TV specials (and their casts) that we might watch as premieres on basic cable TV, on Netflix or Amazon Prime, or that we will wait to watch after the premium or other streaming service channels’ series come out on DVD, because I/we might find them interesting. Additionally, I include some of the shows I choose to complain about and declare we will not watch.

If you want to check out the newest original series on Netflix, go visit
Every New Netflix Original Series Premiering in 2019 (as of 4/12/19)
https://www.indiewire.com/gallery/new-netflix-shows-2019-premiere-dates/

Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Acorn and other streaming and DVD listings are updated constantly here: https://movierewind.com/everything-netflix/

Latest summary of everything RENEWED or CANCELED or in question, as of 4/12/19:  https://www.spoilertv.com/2013/09/the-complete-spoilertv-20142015-tv.html

AND, hot off the presses, the rest of the 2019 constantly updated premiere dates, by month (all subject to change): https://www.thewrap.com/midseason-winter-tv-premiere-dates-2019-schedule/

—ONE NIGHT ONLY! 5/22/19 will air a LIVE special on ABC, a tribute to two of Norman Lear‘s most iconic shows, All in the Family and The Jeffersons, “forty-eight years after Archie Bunker first sat in his armchair and yelled at ‘Meathead’ [Rob Reiner‘s role] to get his feet off the coffee table…,Hosted by legendary producer, Norman Lear, and Jimmy Kimmel, the tribute will star Woody Harrelson as the curmudgeonly Bunker and Marisa Tomei as his wife, Edith—originally played by Carol O’Connor and Jean Stapleton. Jamie Foxx will take on Sherman Hensley’s role as George Jefferson, alongside Wanda Sykes as Louise ‘Weezy’ Jefferson [Isabel Sanford‘s role]. The show also stars Ellie Kemper as Gloria Stivic [Sally Struthers‘ role] and Will Ferrell as Tom Willis [Franklin Cover‘s role]. It will be directed by Cheers’ co-creator, James Burrows.” Other stars are joining as well. Sounds interesting. We saw all the original Episodes, so we’ll watch.

Between Two Worlds, for the Seven Network in Australia (has great shows that we usually like, and have to wait for on DVD or Netflix/Amazon to watch, though), will star Hermione Norris (Luther) as “Cate Walford, whose relationship with vicious, business tycoon husband, Phillip, is on the ropes and sees a tempestuous home life trapped in a tangled web of lies and manipulation. Through a shocking twist of fate, this dark and murky world collides with the seemingly disparate and disconnected, warm and loving world of a widow and her footy star son and musical daughter. Destructive secrets are soon unearthed proving nothing is quite as it first might appear. The cast also includes Hacksaw Ridge’s Phillip QuastA Place to Call Home’s Sara Wiseman and Wentworth’s Aaron Jeffery…[with] Tom Dalzell, Melanie Jarnson and Megan HajjarBetween Two Worlds is created and written by Bevan Lee (A Place to Call Home), directed by Kriv Stenders, Lynn Hegarty, Caroline Bell-Booth, Beck Cole and Michael Hurst.” We’ll look for it in 2020.

Veronica Mars revival!  We don’t get Hulu so I don’t usually list their series, here, but VERONICA MARS!!!  Such a fan, here (only I, not Mom). Episodes drop 7/26/19, so I’ll look for DVDs in the library next year, I suppose. Starring: Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring, Enrico Colantoni, Percy Daggs III, Francis Capra, Ryan Hansen, Max Greenfield, Ken Marino, Daran Norris, David Starzyk, Adam Rose and Ryan Devlin.  “In the revival, spring breakers are getting murdered in Neptune, thereby decimating the seaside town’s lifeblood tourist industry. After Mars Investigations is hired by the parents of one of the victims to find their son’s killer, Veronica (Bell) is drawn into an epic mystery that pits the enclave’s wealthy elites, who would rather put an end to the month-long bacchanalia, against a working class that relies on the cash influx that comes with being the West Coast’s answer to Daytona Beach. [Patton]Oswaltwill play the recurring character of Penn Epner. Penn is on the wrong side of 40 for ‘best pizza delivery guy in Neptune’ to be his claim to fame, but the dude won’t shut up about it. He barely shuts up at all. Pizza delivery is his job, but his passion is ‘true crime.’ He is a frequent poster on unsolved murder websites. Penn is affable and a bit hapless, and he’s going to milk his 15 minutes for all they’re worth.” Other new cast members will be Kirby Howell-Baptiste and Dawnn Lewis. Will only appeal to die-hard fans, I think, since this plot sounds insipid. 

Jingle Jangle is “Netflixs first live-action original musical,” written and directed by David E. Talbert, and starring Forest Whitaker. Keegan-Michael Key (Key and Peele), Phylicia Rashad (CreedThis Is Us), Anika Noni Rose (Caroline, or Change), and Madalen Mill. This film “depicts a cobblestone world that comes to life in the event holiday musical tale of an embattled toymaker (Whitaker), his precocious granddaughter (Mills), and a magical invention, that if they can get it to work in time for the holidays, could change their lives forever.” We like musicals, but not so big on Christmas-y things. May watch. Releases in 2020.

—Studiocanal (https://www.studiocanaltvseries.com/available-now) is a production/distribution company that has many TV series, but they do not all end up airing on the same location. Some (Nora Roberts‘ films-from-books, and Take Two) are/were on network USA channels. Some (Crossing Lines, A Child in Time) air(ed) on BBC. Some show(ed) up on Netflix (The Five) or Britbox (Trust Me). So, I don’t know where we’ll find these next two, but I’ll look:
——Shadowplay is “a 16-episode series, told in two chapters. The initial eight-episode shoot will begin April 29 [2019] in Prague, and an additional eight episodes are planned for filming in 2020….[It is] gritty dramatic thriller series..starring Taylor Kitsch (Waco, True Detective) and Michael C. Hall (Dexter, Safe),..” from The Bridge co-creator, Måns MårlindNina Hoss (Phoenix, A Most Wanted Man), Sebastian Koch (The Lives of Others, Homeland), Tuppence Middleton (Sense8, War and Peace), Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus) and Mala Emde (Brecht, Charité) also star. This is “a character-driven thriller set in Berlin. It centers on the story of Max McLaughlin (Kitsch), an American cop who arrives in the city in the summer of 1946 to help create a police force in the chaotic aftermath of the war. Max’s goal is to take down ‘Engelmacher’ Gladow (Koch), the Capone of post-war Berlin. At the same time, Max undertakes a secret crusade to find his missing brother, Moritz (Marshall-Green), who is killing ex-Nazis in hiding. However, Max is completely unaware that he is being used as a pawn in what is the very beginning of the Cold War. Kitsch will play Max, Hall is Tom Franklin, Hoss portrays Elsie, Koch will play Engelmacher, Middleton portrays Claire, Marshall-Green is Moritz and Emde is Karin.”
——Years and Years starring Emma Thompson (see below)

Cannes Confidential comes from the writer, Chris Murray, that brings us Midsomer Murders, which we love. It “is a romantic procedural series that blends comedy, mystery and crime detection with a heart-warming love story….[and] the first English-language procedural drama to be produced and set on the Cote d’Azur since the classic 1970s action-adventure comedy, The Persuaders, starring Roger Moore and Tony Curtis. Channelling the same feel-good humour, the action centres on the relationship between an idealistic and ambitious female cop and a Canadian ex-conman and master of counterfeit, who’s on the run from both the police and the mob. The pair are forced into an unlikely—and surprisingly successful—crime-fighting partnership, which sees them solve a murder case in each close-ended episode. However, the drama’s long arc focuses on the main character’s quest to find the criminals who framed her father, a local-hero police officer who was jailed for a murder he didn’t commit.” No stars, channel, or time frame attached, yet, but we’ll keep our eyes open. Probably getting this on DVD in 2020-21.

Emily in Paris will come to Paramount TV starring Lily Collins (Rules Don’t Apply, Mirror Mirror) from Darren Star (YoungerSex & the City).  I guess Star likes putting his female stars in Paris, since he put Carrie there. This “centers on Emily (Collins), a driven, twenty-something, American woman from the Midwest, who moves to Paris for an unexpected job opportunity, tasked with bringing an American point of view to a venerable French marketing firm. Cultures clash as she adjusts to the challenges of life in a foreign city, while juggling her career, new friendships and love life.” Sounds trite and missable. For 2020.

—Friends-In-Law for NBC is a comedy coming from writer, Brian Gallivan, and producer, Tom Werner. and starring Michael Urie (Ugly Betty), Zach Creager (Wrecked), Vella Lovell (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), and Gil Ozeri (Big Mouth)“Written by GallivanFriends-In-Law centers on Brian (Urie) and Jake (Cregger), polar opposites who must quickly figure out how to coexist when their respective best friends, Margaret (Lovell) and Randy (Ozeri), decide to get married. Urie’s Brian fears that his best friend Margaret’s (Lovell) potential marriage to Randy (Ozeri) will leave him left out. He forms an unlikely partnership with Randy’s best friend, Jake (Cregger), to disrupt their union. Cregger’s Jake is handsome and a little too arrogant. Jake has been best friends with Randy since kindergarten, and he rejects the unwanted additions of Margaret and Brian in his life. Lovell’s Margaret is a sweet, sarcastic, middle school librarian who is looking forward to a lifelong relationship with Randy despite the objections of her best friend, Brian, and Randy’s best friend, Jake. Ozeri’s Randy, lovable and optimistic, is Jake’s best friend since kindergarten. He is ready to live the rest of his life with Margaret, even if Jake does not support his choice.” Sounds stupid. Doubt if we’ll watch. Probably 2019-20.

Almost Paradise for WGN is a new series starring Christian Kane (The Librarians, Leverage, Angel) that “centers on Alex Walker (Kane), a former US DEA agent who was forced into early retirement. Once the DEA’s most resourceful undercover operative, the combination of his partner’s betrayal and a life-threatening battle with hypertension has sent him as far from the madness as he can go… a small tropical island in the Philippine Archipelago. He now runs the gift shop in the island’s luxury resort hotel, gets hi”s  disability payments at the US Naval base, and generally manages his transition from Jason Bourne to Jimmy Buffett. But the island’s luxury resort has attracted rich, powerful, and sometimes criminal elite from around the world, often on a collision course with Alex. Despite his best efforts to begin a tranquil new life, he’s pulled back into a world of dangerous people and deadly situations, either through his friends in the local police or running into people from his old life. And the problem is, he likes it….Dean Devlin and Gary Rosen executive produce and serve as co-showrunners. ” Has potential. We’ll try it. We like Kane.

Why Visit America for FX is to be exec produced by Noah Hawley and written by Matthew Baker (and based upon his own short story), is a series scheduled to air in 2020, perhaps. “Feeling the country has lost its way, the population of a tiny Texas town decides to recede. When the outside world fails to take notice, they use their new freedoms to redefine their lives and relationships.” If it’s not too silly, we may watch.

Is There Still Sex in the City? is becoming a book-to-TV series (same title for both) for Paramount TV as a follow-up, with over-50 aged characters, to Candace Bushnell‘s first round of book/TV series, Sex and the City.
The second book/series will explore [for upper-class, mostly white women, again?]  “what sex, dating, and friendship looks like after 50. It delves into marriage, divorce, children, bereavement, and the pressures on women to remain youthful and still have it all. New York City provides the backdrop for these escapades, set between a country enclave known as The Village and the Upper East Side of Manhattan. ‘It didn’t used to be this way. At one time, 50-something meant the beginning of retirement—working less, spending more time on your hobbies, with your friends, who, like you, were sliding into a more leisurely lifestyle,’ said Bushnell. ‘In short, retirement age folks weren’t meant to do much of anything but get older and a bit heavier. They weren’t expected to exercise, start new business ventures, move to a different state, have casual sex with strangers, and start all over again. But this is exactly what the lives of a lot of 50- and 60-something women look like today, and I’m thrilled to be reflecting the rich complexity of their reality on the page and now on the screen.'”
Candace-Is-There-Still-Sex-in-the-City
 I might watch, but it sounds insipid.  Probably 2020.

Wild Seed is coming to Amazon Prime as a TV series based upon the work of one of sci-fi’s greatest authors: Octavia E. Butler. The concepts in her Patternist series’ first volume will be produced for TV by Viola Davis‘and Julius Tennon‘s production company and a stellar creative team. “Co-written by award-winning sci-fi novelist, Nnedi Okorafor, and Rafiki filmmaker, Wanuri Kahiu, who is set to direct, Wild Seed is a love (and hate) story of two African immortals who travel the ages from pre-Colonial West Africa to the far, far future. Doro, a killer who uses his power to breed people like livestock, encounters Anyanwu, a healer who forces him to reassess his millennia of cruel behavior: for centuries, their personal battles change the course of our world as they struggle against the backdrop of time—master vs slave, man vs woman, killer vs healer….Wild Seed was the first tome chronologically and third to be published in the five-book Patternmaster series from  Science Fiction Hall of Famer, Butler, who died in 2006 at the age of 58…’We love Octavia Butler and her work and have for decades. But Wild Seed is our favorite. It’s expansive, disturbing, and unique,’ said Kahiu and Okafor. ‘Wild Seed stays with you. It’s a love/hate story of African immortals that connects people on the African continent to the Diaspora. It merges the mystical and the scientific seamlessly. You’re going to see shape-shifting, body jumping, telepaths, people born with the ability to defy the laws of physics, all in the context of our past, present and future world.'” Excited to see this. Probably in 2020. FMI: https://deadline.com/2019/03/wild-seed-drama-series-based-on-sci-fi-book-in-works-at-amazon-from-viola-davis-julius-tennons-juvee-productions-1202583070/

Village Gazette is coming to NBC starring Amber Ruffin and Tommy Dewey (Casual), produced by comp wnies helmed by SNL’s Seth Meyers and Lorne Michaels, among others.  This probably means M om might like it (but doesn’t watch most sit coms), but I will not. “Written by Ruffin and Shelly GossmanVillage Gazette centers on Amber (Ruffin), the editor of the Benson Village Gazette. She loves fluff pieces that demonstrate the idyllic nature of life in her hometown. When the newspaper owners hire Randall Westinghouse (Dewey), an arrogant big-city reporter who’s looking to uncover a juicy story in Benson, he threatens to unravel the happy denial Amber has been living in.” Richie Keen, who mostly directs shows we don’t like, such as It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, AP Bio and The Goldbergs, will direct. Probably for 2019-20, if it gets picked up. Sounds silly.

Miss Scarlet and the Duke is a period mystery drama coming from the A+E Networks and will star Kate Phillips (The Crown) “as the first-ever female detective in 19th century London…. Created by Grantchester and The Mallorca Files writer, Rachael New, who also showruns, the six-episode series stars Phillips as Eliza Scarlet. When Eliza’s father dies, he leaves her penniless in a time where marriage is her only option for financial security. But the headstrong Eliza is determined to find another way. Luckily, she has an ace up her bonnet—her father’s business—a private detective agency. Eliza knows all the tricks of the trade but as a genteel 19th century lady she’s never been allowed to put them into practice. To operate in this man’s world, she needs a partner. Step forward Detective Inspector William Wellington of Scotland Yard, who is also known as ‘The Duke’; drinker, gambler and womaniser. Eliza and The Duke strike up a mismatched, fiery relationship that will crackle and smoulder with sexual tension as they team up to solve crime in the murkiest depths of 1880’s London.” This sounds like the back-dated plot and characters of about a dozen other shows, but, okay. We’ll try it, if we can get it. it’s been greenlit for 2019-20.

Our House is the latest book-to-series, from the novel by Louise Candlish and adapted by Simon Ashdown (Eastenders) is coming to the UK, first. It “tells the story of Fi Lawson, who arrives home one day to find a family of strangers moving into her house and her husband, Bram, has disappeared. As the nightmare takes grip, both Bram and Fi try to make sense of the events that led to a devastating crime and how they each are going to survive the chilling truth.” If this is more suspense and mystery than horror, we might watch, if we can find it. Otherwise, nope. Probably 2019-20.

—Any Patricia Highsmith readers out here? Or, have you seen The Talented Mr. Ripley film (or others: “Highsmith’s novels have been turned into movies several times, with Matt Damon, Alain Delon, Dennis Hopper, Barry Pepper and John Malkovich all portraying Ripley over the years”)? You’re in luck!  “[Steve] Zaillian will use the five novels written by Highsmith— The Talented Mr. Ripley, Ripley Under Ground, Ripley’s Game, The Boy Who Followed Ripley and Ripley Underwater—as a road map to show Ripley’s progression from con artist to serial killer.” Not sure where or when this will air. stay tuned.

The Kenan Show (fka Saving Kenan) for NBC will star Kenan Thompson, Putnam Patel (Kevin from Work) and Andy Garcia (many films, but first time in a series on TV),. “Written by Jackie Clarke and directed by Chris RockThe Kenan Show centers on a newly widowed dad (Thompson) determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law, Percy (Garcia), a retired police officer, become more involved in their lives….Patel will play Erica, Kenan’s loyal friend and co-worker.” We don’t watch these types of shows, but many will. Probably 2019-20, if it gets picked up.

Cherish the Day anthology series is coming from Ana DuVernay to OWN. Each season “chronicles the stirring romance of one couple, with each episode spanning a single day. The season-long narrative will unfold to reveal significant moments in a relationship that compel us to hold true to the ones we love, from the extraordinary to the everyday. Tanya Hamilton (Queen Sugar, Night Catches Us) will serve as executive producer/showrunner and will direct the series premiere.”We may try this. Probably 2019-20.

Chad for TBS is a “Middle Eastern family comedy”starring Saba Homayoon (Mistresses) and Paul Chahidi  (This Country), with Nasim Pedrad (who created and wrote this), Jake Ryan, Alexa Loo (Rogue) and Ella Mika (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow). Rhys Thomas (Saturday Night Live, Documentary Now) will direct and executive produce. The series “follows a 14-year-old Persian boy (Pedrad) during high school as he desperately tries to fit in, cope with his mother’s dating life and reconcile his cultural identity. Homayoon portrays Naz, Chad’s mother, an attractive, overwhelmed but loving mother of two who is just now venturing out into the dating world after her divorce—a situation that her son is finding difficult to accept. She steps up to soothe and reassure Chad after he has an unsettling encounter with an older girl from his school. Chahidi plays Hamid, a gentle, offbeat character. He is a distant relative of Naz and is living with her family to help raise the kids. Hamid is trying his best to adapt to his adopted American culture. Loo is Su Chin, Chad and Peter’s best friend, a frail and fragile girl who gets around school in a motorized scooter and suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome. Su Chin is a quiet, dry and knowing girl who can tell when Chad is lying—which is often. Mika is Chad’s younger sister, who is ’11 going on 21.’ Confident, hip and popular—in contrast to her somewhat offbeat brother—Niki may bicker with Chad, but there’s a hidden core of affection between these argumentative siblings.” Doubt if we’ll watch. Probably for 2019-20.

Untitled 10-Episode series coming to Netflix from Mindy Kaling is a “semi-autobiographical comedy-of-age comedy….about the complicated life of a modern-day, first generation, Indian American teenage girl, inspired by Kaling’s own childhood.” Doubt if we’ll watch. Probably for 2019-20.

—Another great YA series is coming to SyFy, and I’ve read the books in this one: The Wayward Children novella series by Seanan McGuireJoe Tracz will adapt the first book, which sets up the concept (and that I thought was the best of the bunch, so far, 4/12/19), Every Heart a Doorway, and serve as showrunner. “Imagine if all the stories about entering a doorway into another world…were true. And then imagine the teenager who enters that door and lives the perfect magical experience of their dreams being thrust back into our reality. How strange that teenager will seem to their family. How lonely and lost they would be. Enter Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children, a boarding12school that serves as a home for those waiting and hoping for their doors to open once more. In Book One, there’s a murderer loose in the school. New student, Nancy, is a prime suspect, since she hails from the halls of the dead. Can she figure out who the real killer is? The series consists of four novellas….” The other three are not as good, IMO, but TV serialization could improve them: Beneath the Sugar Sky, In An Absent Dream, Down Among the Sticks and Bones. Look for premiere dates.  in 2020, I think

—Yay for Lucy Liu! She’s producing a scripted anthology, Unsung Heroes, that “is about the untold stories of incredible women who overcame adversity to become pioneers of their time. It will profile women who were highly accomplished in their fields, but did not receive the acknowledgment for their achievements and how their stories have impacted history. The first hero to be profiled is the Asian American female silent screen star of film and theatre, Anna May Wong.” No idea where or when it will air, but stay tuned (4/12/19). We’ll watch!

Patsy & Loretta is an upcoming film for Lifetime coming from Callie Khouri (Nashville), “about country music stars, Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn. Megan Hilty (Smash) will play the former and Jessie Mueller (Broadway’s Beautiful and Waitress) the latter.” Janine Turner (Northern ExposureFriday Night Lights) “will play Hilda Hensley, Patsy’s mother, and also her seamstress/costume designer and confidante.” To be written by Angelina Burnett (Halt and Catch Fire), it “will revisit how the singers first met. ‘Cline already was one of the biggest stars in country music and Lynn was starting out with little to her name but a $17 guitar,’… Instead of seeing the newcomer as competition, Cline took Lynn under her wing to help her make it in Nashville. They soon became close friends, touring together, bonding over their husband troubles, and commiserating on being females in the male-dominated music business….Cline and Lynn’s respective daughters, Julie Fudge and Patsy Lynn Russell, are set to co-produce” .Kyle Schmid (Six) and Joe Tippet (Rise) are also starring.  “Schmid will play Charlie Dick, Patsy’’s second husband. Tippett will portray Doolittle ‘Mooney’ Lynn, Loretta’s husband and father of their four children.” We’ll watch. Coming later in 2019.

—Did you read Kurt Vonnegut‘s Cat’s Cradle? if so, you’ll love this new series based on it coming to FX in 2021-22, probably: “Cat’s Cradle is Vonnegut’s 1963 satirical novel about a reporter who, while setting out to write a book about Hiroshima, ends up the dictator of a small Caribbean island.” Writer, Noah Hawley (Fargo, Legion), will adapt the novel to the series format. I’ve been a lifelong fan of Vonnegut and he spoke at my college graduation (in 1976!). I’ll watch.

—Any fans of Orphan Black wish it would return? There may be a new series based upon it coming to AMC, “not a reboot or spinoff, but will be a new story set in the Orphan Black universe.” I hope that means we’ll see Tatiana Maslany as some of her great clones!

Cobra for Sky is a 6-Episode miniseries that is very timely. It will star Robert Carlyle (Trainspotting and Once Upon A Time) and Victoria Hamilton (The Crown) “in a British political drama…about what happens in the corridors of power during a time of national emergency….Carlyle stars as British Prime Minister Robert Sutherland, while Hamilton plays his Chief of Staff Anna Marshall. Game of Thrones’ Richard Dormer plays as Fraser Walker, the Head of the Civil Contingencies Secretariat, Killing Eve’s David Haig stars as Home Secretary Archie Glover-Morgan, Better Things’ Marsha Thomason stars as Francine Bridge MP and Broadchurch’s Lucy Cohu plays the Prime Minister’s wife, Rachel Sutherland….[It] deals with an unfolding national emergency that threatens to engulf the country as the COBRA committee—a team comprised of Britain’s leading experts, crisis contingency planners and most senior politicians—fights to ensure the protection of the British people. The Prime Minister and his Chief of Staff must contend with impossible political decisions whilst also wrestling with ferociously pressured personal lives. Not only do they bear the weight of public expectation and their family’s needs; they must also be mindful of their political opponents, who will use any sign of weakness as an opportunity to strike.”  Written by Ben Richards (The Tunnel Sabotage and Strike: The Cuckoo’s Calling), it started production in fall, 2018, so we may see it around the USA somewhere in fall, 2019 or later. We’ll watch.

The Unicorn‘s premises (which are so thin that the PR repeats them rather than have more) and methods for production (single vs. multi-camera) raised questions for me, which I brought to my well-rounded son. The hilarious conversation that ensured should have been on video. Let me just say that this show, like so many others, is not for me and my mom. However, some will probably watch it. Starring Walter Goggins (JustifiedVice Principals), Michaela Watkins (Casual), and Rob Corddry (Children’s Hospital), this is written by Bill Martin and Mike Schiff and directed by John Hamburg. It is “inspired by a true story, The Unicorn centers on a recent widower (Goggins) who is eager to move on from the most difficult year of his life, only to realize he’s utterly unprepared to raise his two daughters on his own and equally unprepared for the dating world—where, to his shock, he’s suddenly a hot commodity. Goggins’ character, a devoted father to two adolescent girls, is a big-hearted open-book of a guy, but without his wife, he’s finding himself at sea. When his friends persuade him to start dating again, he discovers to his shock that he’s kind of a hot commodity—if only he knew what the heck he was doing….Corddry will play Forrest, one of Wade’s good friends and married to the very opinionated, blunt and controlling Delia (Watkins), Forrest is a tightly wound and cerebral guy determined to look like a cool guy. He encourages Wade to start dating again to help his friend find happiness, but also might be living a little vicariously through Wade’s foray into the world of online dating. Watkins’ Delia takes the helm when Wade starts looking to date again, though sometimes that means activating her husband Forrest to do the dirty work. Appalled at the entropy that has set in at the house since Wade’s wife died, she thinks it’s important to come up with a concrete plan of action.” Also featuring Omar Benson Miller (Ballers) and Maya Lynne Robinson (The Conners): “Miller and Robinson play married couple Ben and Michelle, parents to four children. Ben is another of Wade’s well-meaning friends, who is convinced Wade is ‘going to crush it out there’ in the dating world. He is pumped to think that his friend is finally taking the big step. Robinson’s Michelle is the anti-Delia (Watkins), a super laid-back mother to four kids who kind of have to fend for themselves. Keenly aware that women are already throwing themselves at Wade, Michelle is openly impatient with him when he waffles about trying dating for real.” For CBS in 2019-20.

To Whom It May Concern for CBS centers on Evan (Michael Angarano, Will & Grace, This Is Us) “who, with the help of his group of friends, sets out to accomplish a list of challenges he wrote for himself years ago in an effort to turn around his banal life.” Also starring Briga Heelan (Great News) and Adhir Kalyan (Rules of Engagement).Written by Mike Metz and produced by Gail Berman. “Angarano’s Evan is a modern George Bailey-type and Pittsburgh diehard who has never left the city limits. The amiable Evan once had sky high hopes for his future, but now finds himself working Quality Control at a ketchup factory and flying aimlessly through his golden late twenties. He seeks that something and/or someone to give him a much necessitated kick in the ass, and that beacon of hope is about to arrive. Heelan plays Kate, the entrepreneurial co-owner of the city’s coolest pierogi shop. A free spirit and product of divorce, Kate wittingly questions almost everything and doesn’t want to be tied down by the shackles of conventional domestic norms. She and Evan (Angarano) have been best friends since college and he introduced her to the love of her life….Kalyan’s Tanner, the high school best friend, loves Kate (Heelan) and the corner pierogi shop they run together but hopes that someday she’ll relent to his white picket fence aspirations. When not creating pierogi fillings like White Chocolate Chicken Parm, he spends the rest of his day watching random male-grooming and lifestyle YouTube videos in his never-ending pursuit of becoming ‘the bon vivant of the Pittsburgh pierogi scene.'” Does this city have uncool pierogi shops? A lot of Polish people? What? Sounds really silly. Oh, well .Probably for 2019-20.

The Capture is another spy drama coming from Ben Chanan to BBC One (and later, who knows?), starring Famke Janssen (X Men) , Callum Turner (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald), Holliday Grainger (Strike) and Ron Perlman (Hellboy). “London-set spy thriller, The Capture, will begin with the unjust arrest of an innocent man and escalate into a multi-layered conspiracy of manipulated evidence. …The Capture shines a light on surveillance culture and asks what happens in a world where we can no longer trust the evidence in front of us…. Other cast include Laura Haddock (Guardians of the Galaxy), Ben Miles (The Crown), Lia Williams (The Crown), Sophia Brown (Clique), Paul Ritter (Quantum of Solace), Adelayo Adedayo (Origin), Ralph Ineson (Game Of Thrones), Cavan Clerkin (The Last Kingdom), Barry Ward (Save Me), Ginny Holder (Death in Paradise) and Nigel Lindsay (Four Lions).” Probably for 2020. We’ll watch., if we can find it somewhere.

Big Gay Jamboree is a “period musical,” but not a musical about menstrual periods. Now that we have that clarified: “The musical follows a young, raunchy woman who is transported into a 1940s musical and must find her way back home to present day. The project is said to be a mix between Oklahoma! and Book of Mormon.” It is to be produced by Margot Robbie, directed by Alethea Jones, written by Maria Mindelle and Jonathan Parks-Ramage.I know this is a film but the concept is so funny!

Resident Alien is coming to Syfy starring Rogue One and Firefly’s Alan Tudyk, with Sara Tomko (Once Upon A Time), Corey Reynolds (The Closer), Alice Wetterlund (People of Earth) and Levi Fiehler (Mars), based on the comics series by Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse. It is “a dark, twisted and comedic fish-out-of-water story. Adapted for television by Chris Sheridan (Family Guy), it follows a crash-landed alien named Harry (Tudyk) who, after taking on the identity of a small-town Colorado doctor, slowly begins to wrestle with the moral dilemma of his secret mission on Earth— ultimately asking the question, ‘Are human beings worth saving?’ David Dobkin (The Judge) executive produced and directed the pilot.”

Adam & Eve is a new comedy for Fox based on the French-Canadian format, with Jon Beckerman (Ed) writing, that will star Ryan Hansen (Veronica Mars) and Odette Annable (Supergirl, Pure Genius), whom we like a lot, but we’re not into sit coms so much. Directed by Claire Scanlon (Black-ish, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Fresh Off the Boat and The Good Place), it “follows one couple, Adam (Hansen) and Eve (Annable) at three stages of their relationship—young and passionate, middle-aged with kids, and navigating retirement. It’s a comedy about the big questions: ‘What makes a marriage last? Do people ever really change? And, after 40 years together, why can’t we pick a place for dinner without it turning into a whole, you know, thing?'” Could be great, horrible, or in between. We’ll try it. Probably for 2019-20.

Damian Lewis: Spy Wars is coming! Real-life spy missions will be explained and reenacted for the History channel, hosted by Damian Lewis (Billions, Homeland, Life) for 2019-20.  Many will like this! “Using reconstructions, the show will see Lewis act as the guide with each episode telling a different spy story from the Cold War through to the ‘war on terror’ and the renewed espionage hostilities of present day. It is shot on location in Moscow, Israel and London. It will feature experts and former spies including ex-Mossad, ex-CIA, ex-KGB and ex-MI6.” Patrick Vien of the production company said: “‘Damian Lewis: Spy Wars takes an unparalleled, wide-ranging approach to unravelling the fascinating world of global espionage, with an incredibly ambitious production that aligns perfectly with our strategy to deliver premium content for a global audience,’”  My mom will probably watch.

Traces is the latest BBC crime drama. woman-centered and -run. This one is to be written by actress-writer, Amelia Bullmore (Scott & Bailey, Happy Valley, Deep State, The Crown, Shameless), inspired by “an idea from crime writer, Val McDermid, Traces focuses on three women working together at the Scottish Institute of Forensic Science (SIFA). Lab assistant Emma Hedges, Professor Sarah Gordon, and Professor Kathy Torrance use their forensic knowledge to solve a cold murder case. As Deadline summarizes, ‘When 23-year-old Emma Hedges returns to Scotland to take up a new position as a lab assistant at SIFA, she signs up to an online course that teaches the principles of forensic science. But she soon discovers that the fictitious case study has a strikingly similar and shocking link to her past.’ The source continues, ‘As Emma’s sleuthing takes her into darker corners and unlocks more and more secrets, it becomes clear that she should trust no one. It will be Sarah and Kathy’s exacting minds that reward Emma’s faith in the science that has fueled her imagination and ultimately bring a killer to justice.'” We’ll watch, when we can find it! Probably in 2020-21.

From Riches (fka Broke, Riches to Rags) comes from Jennie Snyder Urman (Jane the Virgin) and Alex Herschlag (Will & Grace) starring Pauley Perrette (NCIS), Izzy Diaz(Telenovela), and Natasha Leggero (Another Period) for CBS. It “centers on two siblings who are forced to reconnect when an outrageously wealthy trust fund baby (played by Jaime Camil, Jane the Virgin) is cut off by his father, and he and his wife [Leggero] move into her estranged sister’s [Perrette] Reseda condo.” Alex Herschlag will write it, and it will be directed by Victor Gonzalez.”Perrette’s Jackie is a tough, sharp-witted, loving but struggling single mom with a 9-year-old son. The manager of a bar, Jackie is feisty, not easily cowed, sometimes hot-headed, the kind of woman who knows her way around a tool box and an acetylene torch. She’s not thrilled when her snobby rich sister and husband suddenly show up on her doorstep, but she comes to remember how much she loves her sister-in-law and learns to appreciate them both in her life….Leggero’s Elizabeth is Jackie’s refined and slightly snobby older sister who married the wonderful and wealthy Miguel and moved to Mexico City. However, she and her husband have burned through Miguel’s trust fund and now, without money or prospects, the two have landed on Jackie’s doorstep, in need of a place to live. Despite the slightly elitist mentality, Elizabeth is a loving woman who hasn’t entirely forgotten her humble roots….Diaz will play Luis, a fastidious, impeccably dressed man with an impressive memory, and the ability to do just about anything well. He is Miguel’s (Camil) assistant, driver and friend who will be forever loyal to Miguel.” Probably 2020. Yet another contrived “in-laws with adult children/relatives in the same housing unit” faux comedy. Doubt if we’ll watch, but we do love Pauley

Firefly Lane is coming to Netflix as a 10-Episode series from the same-named novel by Kristin Hannah (which I read but do not remember well; two of her other novels are also being made into films: The Nightingale and The Great Alone). The series “follows Kate and Tully, who meet as young girls and become inseparable best friends throughout 30 years of ups and downs, successes and failures, depression and disappointments. When an unthinkable betrayal breaks them apart the two women go their separate ways, and it’s unclear whether they’ll ever be able to reconcile.” Maggie Friedman (Witches of East End, No Tomorrow) will serve as writer and showrunner with co-executive producers, Stephanie Germain and Hannah. Depending on casting and directing, we may watch. Probably in 2020.

Glamorous is coming to The CW from a very busy woman, Eva Longoria (Black-ish, Jane the Virgin, The Mick, LA to Vegas and Telenovela)! She’s now also directing a new pilot, starring: Chester Lockhart (Todrick), Brady Dalton Richards, Jade Payton (Daybreak, iZombie), Ben J. Pierce (Fuller House), Pierson Fodé (The Bold and the Beautiful) and Brooke Shields (Lipstick Jungle and Suddenly Seeking Susan). Jordon Nardino is writing this, which “centers on a gender-nonconforming, recent high school graduate [Marco, Pierce] who lands the gig of a lifetime interning at a cosmetics company whose products he panned on YouTube. Ex-model, Shields, will play Madolyn, a former supermodel who is no stranger to the covers of Vogue or the runways of Milan and is the founder and CEO of one of the industry’s most respected and sophisticated cosmetics companies. A canny businesswoman and entrepreneur, Madolyn is at the top of the game and will stop at nothing to stay there, including making a strategic hire to be her eyes and ears within the company….Marco is an ambitious and creative gender-nonconforming teenager who uses makeup and fashion to let his queer self bloom. Fresh off his high school graduation, Marco’s life changes when an unplanned rant on YouTube bashing a cosmetics company for their shoddy products lands him a dream internship at the side of its founder and CEO, Madolyn (Shields). On his own for the first time, this is Marco’s chance to live, love and grow to understand what it really means to be queer. Fodé will play Chad, an ambitious alpha male who works at the cosmetics company his mother founded, styling himself as her heir apparent. While openly gay, Chad is buttoned down and unsophisticated, with a personality and wardrobe that would be more at home on Wall Street than the beauty industry. Payton will portray Venetia, an ambitious young clotheshorse who serves as Madolyn’s trusted personal assistant. Venetia is cool, smart and savvy—and deeply connected with Chicago’s queer community and nightlife, with her finger on the pulse of who and what is happening in the underground scene….Lockhart will play Dizmal, a non-binary drag performer and nightlife fixture who opens Marco’s eyes to everything the city has to offer a young queer person. Richards is Ben, an insecure and endearing young assistant who develops a workplace crush on Marco.” Doubt if we’ll watch. Probably for 2019-20.

—Want to go back to Oz? So do many! Don’t know where or when it will start airing, but a TV series set in the Land of Oz from the novels by L. Frank Baum is coming soon! No director or cast, yet, either, but Ed Ricourt (Wayward Pines, Jessica Jones, Raising Dion, The Twilight Zone) will write and produce. “The series will examine stories and characters in Oz that haven’t been previously explored. When the return of a long-exiled Witch brings fear, division and war to Oz, the only hope is a servant girl who may become the most powerful and dangerous woman in the land.” Producers will be Dmitri M. Johnson & Stephan Bugaj. Sounds intriguing. HOWEVER, the last time anyone tried to serialize these books, it flopped. Horribly. We’ll look for it in 2020 ad may try it.

Medical Police is a Children’s Hospital spinoff for Netflix, starring Erinn Hayes and Rob Huebel, joined by Lake Bell, Rob Corddry, Ken Marino, Sarayu Blue and Malin Akerman, written by Rob Corddry, Krister Johnson, Jonathan Stern and David Wain, directed by Wain and Bill Benz It is “an action-packed thriller, mystery and love story. It centers on two American physicians (Hayes and Huebel) stationed at a pediatric hospital in São Paulo, Brazil, who discover a civilization-threatening virus. The duo are recruited as government agents in a race against time and around the world to find a cure and uncover a dark conspiracy….Blue will play Sloane McIntyre, a CIA agent who is determined to discover the origins of the virus and embarks on a risky mission to Berlin.” We may try it. Probably in 2020.

—Originally censored, and now coming to a screen in your living room (after first airing in 2020 on Sky Atlantic, then where?), Anais Nin‘s erotic short stories, Little Birds, are being made into a series. Probably seem tame, now.. Juno Temple (Dirty John) will star, Sophia Al-Maria (The Girl Who Fell to Earth) will write, Stacie Passon (Billions and House of Cards) will direct. “Set in Tangier in 1955, in the famous international zone, one of the last outposts of colonial decadence, it follows troubled American debutante, Lucy Savage, played by Temple, as she faces a culture shock. ‘Thrilled to escape her controlling parents, Savage arrives full of anticipation for her marriage to her English fiancée, Lord Hugo Cavendish-Smythe, little knowing that Hugo has already lost his heart to someone else. As Lucy fights to carve out her independence and identity, her life becomes intertwined with Cherifa Lamour, played by Submarine star, Yumna Marwan, a Moroccan dominatrix who services the diplomats and foreigners of this colourful, bohemian world, and Egyptian Aristocrat, Adham Abaza, played by 24: Legacy star, Raphael Acloque, and they all become entangled with some very dangerous characters,” We may try it, if we can find it.

Intergalactic is a 10–part, sci-fi series to air on Sky One in 2020, and we’ll watch in 2021, if we can get it, It is “set in the 23rd Century and written by Prisoners’ Wives and Secret Diary of a Call Girl writer, Julie Gearey. It follows a crew of fierce female convicts who break free and go on the run. The series follows Ash, a young flight cadet falsely imprisoned before becoming embroiled in an audacious prison break-out with a disparate gang of dynamic women, who fall in love and betray each other. Directed by Kieron Hawkes (Power), and executive produced by Will GouldIona Vrolyk, Julie Gearey, Frith Tiplady, Matthew Read, Richard Foster and Tony MoulsdaleGearey said: “With a fierce, funny ensemble at its heart, Intergalactic’s got everything I love about science fiction – action, adventure, monster—but with its feet firmly on the ground. It’s been a joy to write and I’m excited to have such a creative team to bring it to life.”

—The Collins sisters are getting their own biopic, 6-part miniseries, with the still-living Dame Joan‘s blessing: Jackie and Joan Collins‘ story will be written by playwright, Penelope Skinner (The Village BikeFresh Meat), and Nina Gold (The CrownGame of Thrones) will cast it. In case you’re too young or not aware, here are their summaries: “The series will look at story of the sisters from a teenage bedroom in post-war London to the glitz and glamour of 1980’s Beverly Hills. Dame Joan Collins starred in a series of Hollywood movies in the 1950s, including The Girl In The Red Velvet Swing and Rally Round The Flag, Boys! However, it was her role as Alexis Carrington in Dynasty that really defined her career, which has also includes a recent performance in American Horror Story. Meanwhile, her sister, Jackie Collins OBE, wrote novels, including The World Is Full Of Married Men and Hollywood Wives. She has written 32 best-selling books that have sold over 500M copies, including The Stud and The Bitch, that were adapted into films starring her sister. She died in 2015 from breast cancer.” No broadcaster, date, or other info, yet. Maybe look for it in 2020. We’ll probably watch.

—Feel as if you’re living in 1984 or a Brave New World? Well, the USA Channel is going to make that even more clear, by bringing Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World to series in 2019-20 or 2020-21. “As citizens of New London, Bernard Marx and Lenina Crowne have only ever known a rigid social order, a perfect pharmaceutical called Soma, and a culture of instant gratification and ubiquitous sex. Curious to explore life beyond the strictures of their society, the two New Worlders embark on a vacation to the Savage Lands, where they become embroiled in a harrowing and violent rebellion. Bernard and Lenina are rescued by John the Savage, who escapes with them back to New London. John’s arrival in the New World soon threatens to disrupt its utopian harmony, leaving Bernard and Lenina to grapple with the repercussions. The three become entwined in a fraught relationship that awakens them to the dangers of their own conditioning.” David Wiener (Homecoming) will write and produce, along with Grant Morrison (Batman) and Brian Taylor (Crank), andOwen Harris (Black Mirror: San Junipero) will direct. We’ll try it. Look for it in 2020.

—Fans of fantasy writer, Robert Jordan, out here? The Wheel of Time multiple-volumes series is being turned into a TV series for Amazon! My son read them all. Uta Briesewitz (Westworld, The Deuce, This Is Us, Jessica Jones, Orange Is The New Black, Jane the Virgin, Fear the Walking Dead, Stranger Things) will direct the first two Episodes, and Rafe Judkin (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) will write. The books are “set in a sprawling, epic world where magic exists, but only women can use it. The story follows Moiraine, a member of the shadowy and influential all-female organization called the ‘Aes Sedai’ as she embarks on a dangerous, world-spanning journey with five young men and women. Moiraine believes one of them might be the reincarnation of an incredibly powerful individual, whom prophecies say will either save humanity or destroy it. The series draws on numerous elements of European and Asian culture and philosophy, most notably the cyclical nature of time found in Buddhism and Hinduism.”  I’ll try it. Mom probably won’t. No casting  info, date, or number of Episodes, yet. Maybe releasing later in 2019 or in 2020.

Like Magic for NBC will star French Stewart, Mike Lane, Freddie Stroma (UnReal), Hayley Magnus (Childhood’s End), and Jee Young Han (Station 19), be directed by Julie Ann Robinson, and created/written by the team of Bridget Kyle and Vicky Lu (Superstore), with Matt Hubbard (Forever). The series “follows Holly (Han), an optimistic young woman pursuing her dreams in the mysterious world of the Magic Palace. Holly is a little nerdy and awkward, but she’s also so genuine and friendly that she can be charming….Stewart will play Val Evans, a mentalist/illusionist who’s been the biggest act at the Magic Palace for the past few years. Lane will portray Anthony, Holly’s best friend from middle school who’s also a magician….Stroma will play Jake, the overworked entertainment director of the Magic Palace. Magnus is Penny, who forges a bond with Holly as the only two female performers.” This is so vague, I can’t tell if we’ll like it. If it’s a sit com, not.  If it’s a drama, maybe. Probably for 2019-20.

Runestaff is the TV series for BBC from four fantasy novels by Michael Moorcock: The Jewel in the Skull, The Mad God’s Amulet, Sword of the Dawn, The Runestaff. “The books tell the story of a resistance force trying to bring down tyrannical rule and follow Hawkmoon, whose journey takes him from ghost-cities in the Syrian desert to pirate colonies in the American bayou; from caravans of mutant creatures in Carpathian mountains to the heart of the Dark Empire itself—the glittering city of Londra where the river runs blood red.” The Runestaff  TV series is being written by Steve Thompson (Sherlock and Doctor Who), and executive produced by Richard Stokes (Broadchurch and Torchwood) and John Yorke (Life on Mars). Doubt if we’ll watch. Look for it somewhere in 2020, probably.

The Emperor of Malibu, for CBS, is to be written by Kwan and David Sangalli, is also riding the Crazy, Rich Asians ship to series. “When [Auggie, Max Willems], the son of a Chinese billionaire…announces his engagement to an American woman, his outrageous family descends upon the couple to win their son back and test drive the American dream.” It will star Deborah S. Craig (The Blacklist) as the mother, “Shiatzy, a terrifying force of nature. Auggie’s mom is sophisticated, a little eccentric and strong-willed. Outraged that Auggie chose his fiancée without her, she does her best to keep Kate (also known as ‘that one’) [Taylor Louderman (Mean Girls)] at a distance”; and, Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken) as the father, Gerry, who “is shocked when he learns that his son, Auggie, plans to marry a California woman he has been dating for two years without telling his parents. Gerry brings the whole family to Los Angeles to see if they can persuade Auggie to re-think his engagement….Willems’ Auggie is an environmental lawyer with a degree from Stanford. Recently engaged to his college girlfriend, Kate, he’s terrified of how his parents will react when they learn of the engagement….[Louderman’s Kate is a]  charming, easygoing classic California blonde, Kate’s an intellectual property lawyer who urges her fiancé, Auggie, to tell his parents about their engagement—confident that they’ll eventually get over the cultural differences and embrace the relationship. But that was before she actually met his parents.” Not for us. Probably in 2019-20.

—Why do people keep writing/producing the same stories? J. J. Abrams and Chris Kelly should know better! However, here we go, again. “They Both Die at the End is set in the near-future where everyone receives a bureaucratic phone call notifying them at the start of their last day on Earth. It follows a seemingly disparate group of people as they live their scary, funny, weird, hopeful, romantic, and unexpected final hours, all connected through the two teenage boys at the heart of the novel.” Written by Adam Silvera (History Is All You Left Me and More Happy Than Not), HBO will create the series with the help of to-be-named writers and cast members. I doubt if we’ll look for it on DVD or streaming in 2020-21, but J. J. Abrams‘s taste is usually good…t

The Power is a “global thriller” novel by Naomi Alderman—“which was on President Barack Obama’s list of his favorite books from 2017″—that is becoming a 10-part TV series for Amazon from producers, Jane Featherstone (Broadchurch) and Reed Morano (The Handmaid’s Tale). The characterslive in a world where all teenage girls develop the power to electrocute people at will. It’s hereditary, it’s inbuilt, and it can’t be taken away from them. Over the first season and beyond, the series will follow its cast of characters from London to Arizona, Nigeria to Moldova, as the Power evolves from a tingle in teenagers’ collarbones to a complete reversal of the power balance of the world.” Sounds iffy, for us, but many will love this. Probably releases in 2020.

—An untitled comedy is coming to ABC written by Jessica Gao (Rick & Morty, Robot Chicken and Silicon Valley) that may squeak into 2019-20 season’s schedule. It’s “about Janet Zhao, a first-generation, Chinese-American woman, who struggles to set healthy boundaries with her crazy, exhausting family. When her wealthy grandmother dies and names Janet the sole inheritor, she suddenly finds herself the unwilling new matriarch of the family she’s spent her life trying to keep at arm’s length.” Sounds very trite, with its only “newness” being that the family is Chinese-American. Doubt if we’ll watch. We don’t like most sit coms, anyway.

Unorthodox for Netflix “tells the story of a young ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman who flees her arranged marriage and religious community to start a new life abroad.” Anna Winger (Deutschland 83/86/89) is creating this 4-part miniseries “in collaboration with Alexa Karolinski, a documentarian who has made films about growing up Jewish in Germany,… which  “is loosely based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Deborah Feldman. The series follows a young woman brought up in an ultra-Orthodox community in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg district who strikes out for Berlin, leaving behind an arranged marriage and tight-knit faith community in part to pursue her goal of becoming a classical musician. The four-hour series features dialogue in both English and Yiddish.” Since this harkens to our heritage, we may watch. Probably releases in 2020.

—Do we really need Hallmark-like “holiday” (Christian only) series on Netflix? I doubt it, but some believe this will fly. Putting Dennis Quaid in the lead won’t hurt, but…is he this bored or desperate? Merry Happy Whatever will be written by Tucker Cawley (A Million Little Things, Everybody Loves Raymond) , who will also be the showrunner and executive producer. “Dennis Quaid plays Don Quinn, a strong-willed patriarch who must balance the demands of his complicated family with the stress of the Christmas season when his youngest daughter comes home for the holidays with a new boyfriend. The project is envisioned as a potential anthology series. The first season takes place over the week or so around Christmas, with future seasons possibly exploring other holidays.” So far, only 8 Episodes are planned. Pam Fryman (Carol’s Second Act) will direct. We can hope…

——The Lost Night will be Milo Kunis‘ first TV series production credit, if it goes to air, and comes from the ri-be-published novel by Anorea Bartz (Stuff Hipsters Hate). Not sure where or when it will air (the book doesn’t even come out until later in 2019!), but it “centers on Edie, who, despite having New York’s social world in her thrall and being the shining star of a group of recent graduates living in a Brooklyn loft and treating New York like their playground, is found dead near a suicide note at the end of a long, drunken night. Grief, shock, and resentment scatter the group and bring the era to an abrupt end. A decade later, Edie’s friend, Lindsay, has come a long way from the drug-addled world of Calhoun Lofts—she has devoted best friends, a cozy apartment, and a thriving career as a magazine’s head fact-checker. When a chance reunion leads Lindsay to discover an unsettling video from that hazy night, she starts to wonder if Edie was actually murdered—and, worse, if she herself was involved. As she rifles through those months in 2009—combing through case files, old technology, and her fractured memories—Lindsay is forced to confront the demons of her own violent history to bring the truth to light.” Sounds thin and not important, so doubt if we’ll watch. Casting, directing, writing all could make or break this. Maybe in 2020?

Sanctuary is being made into a series, from the novel by V. V. James (Gilded Cage fantasy trilogy). not sure where or when it will air (the book doesn’t even come out until 8/2019!), but it “is about four women with a dark secret, and the death that unravels their lies. The death of the town’s star quarterback marks the beginning of a gripping investigation, one that unfolds in the public eye because the accused is the daughter of a local witch. The story evolves into something truly unsettling: an incisive, thought-provoking spotlight on blame culture and the dangers of weaponized mob mentality, a terrifying reflection of our current times.” Sounds awful, topic-wise, but could be interesting. We’ll see where it lands. Maybe in 2020?

Comedy Central is getting more into scripted series, also:
—— How to be a Couple, “an interracial couple comedy from former Broad City writer, Naomi Ekperigin, who also stars, and Andy Beckerman….Co-created and executive produced by Ekperigin and Beckerman, based on their real lives, How To Be A Couple follows an interracial couple in a wild polyamorous affair with their careers”;
——The Chameleon,
 “created by and starring The Comedy Jam‘s Matteo Lane….Co-created and written by Lane and Jared Lapidus, it’s about about an extraordinarily talented, yet chronically broke entertainer, played by Lane, who unwittingly stumbles into a world of covert operations and international espionage, where he’s finally offered his big break … as the government’s most fabulous spy”; and
——an untitled comedy “from Samantha Irby based on her successful book of essays, Meaty, along with Inside Amy Schumer head writer, Jessi Klein, and former Broad City co-creator/star, Abbi Jacobson….follows 20-something Sam (Irby) as she tries to laugh her way through failed relationships, identity crisis, her sexuality and a recent Crohn’s disease diagnosis, among other challenges.”
We may watch one (the Lane vehicle, likely) or more. Probably in 2020.

—I guess with the successes of Young Sheldon and other characters’ origin stories as TV series and films (mostly of superheroes, though…), we are going to see more and more backstories. Black-ish and ABC are joining that club: “The current fifth season …will include a Rainbow-centric episode…[with] flashbacks to a teen version of Tracee Ellis Ross‘ character of Rainbow….[T]he episode could become a backdoor pilot for a potential prequel series.set in the 1980s-90s, which will revolve around Rainbow’s growing up.” Could be interesting, since her character has one white and one African-American parent.

The Ones We Choose is another book-to-TV piece; this one produced by Courtney Kemp (Power and The Good Wife) and coming from novelist, Julie Clark. It “explores the realities and consequences of the science of modern fertility and a mother and son’s attempt to discover who they truly are….[with] a strong, smart female lead who shows the extent of a mother’s courage and love…” This may start on Starz, which we do not get, but if it shows up elsewhere, we may watch; probably airing in 2020-21.

—A lot of USA-released series (or Canadian CBC’s) come from the UK’s Channel 4. Here are its latest to look for in the next several years, here: https://deadline.com/2019/01/channel-4-2019-slate-1202545881/

Chad for TBS is a “Middle-Eastern family comedy” created by Nasim Pedrad, an Iranian-American actress. She also is writing, exec producing and co-showrunning, with Hayes Davenport. In an odd move, Pedrad also plays the lead, Chad, “a 14-year-old Persian boy…during high school as he desperately tries to fit in, cope with his mother’s dating life, and reconcile his cultural identity.” Why are they having an adult female play a young, male teenager? Is this Peter Pan for Iranians? Okay… But I never liked or believed the whole Peter Pan cross-casting thing, either. Jake Ryan (8th Grade) “will play Peter, Chad’s (Pedrad) best friend, a sweet nerd who has nothing to prove and is ‘unbothered that puberty is destroying him.’ Peter has no particular angst about attending his first day at high school. He is content with not being popular and is ready to have a great time, unlike the neurotic Chad.” Not for us, Will probably air in 2020.

The Barking Murders is another crime drama coming to the BBC. This one is to be written by the team of Jeff Pope and Neil McKay (The Moorside and Appropriate Adult) and stars Stephen Merchant (Hello Ladies), Sheridan Smith (The Huntsman: Winter’s War, and Cleaning Up) and Jaime Winstone (Donkey Punch). The series “tells the story of the notorious Essex crime spree. Merchant plays serial rapist and killer, Stephen Port, while Smith plays Sarah Sak, the mother of Anthony Walgate, his first victim. Winstone, daughter of Ray Winstone, plays Donna Taylor, sister of victim, Jack Taylor….Directed by David Blair (Reg), [it will] tell the story from the point of view of the families of Port’s victims, focusing on their fight to uncover the truth about what had happened to their lost sons and brothers in the face of a now widely criticized police investigation.” The 3-part series probably airs in the UK in 2020. Not sure where and when we can see it here. We may watch, but probably not. Too gruesome.

United We Fall is a comedy coming to ABC from Julius Sharpe (Making History), Julia Gunn and Seth Gordon. Jane Curtin, Will Sasso (Loudermilk), Christina Vidal (Training Day)and Jason Michael Snow (Black Monday) star. Sharpe is writing this “profoundly realistic, multicultural family sitcom that shows how, when two people with young children and overzealous extended families truly love each other, barely anything is possible….Vidal’s Jo, the youngest of ten siblings, is not a ‘traditional’ mom. Although she is a strong female role model for her kids, she’s cool, sarcastic, and does things her own way, often bringing her into conflict with other parents and her own extended family….Sasso’s Bill is a confident, analytical yet funny and emotional father and husband. Bill and his wife, Jo, both have college degrees, great careers, and a solid, loving marriage. However, since having their second kid, they can barely make it out the door. He tries to hold it together because he loves his family more than anything, and, deep down, he knows his wife is slightly too cool to be with him….Snow will play Gary, Bill’s (Sasso) super-cool, cosmopolitan, glamorous brother.” How is this not Black-ish? Another sit-com that we won’t watch. Probably for 2019-20.

—Missing Emily Deschanel? She’s coming back to TV, on TNT for SEASON 4 of Animal Kingdom (which we haven’t been watching, but now, we’re almost tempted)! She “will play the recurring role of Angela. Recently released from prison, Angela is Julia’s (Pope’s deceased twin sister) former best friend, a recovering junkie who arrives at the Cody house trying to snake her way back into the family’s good graces. She’s a survivor, scrappy, manipulative and an addict. Angela’s history as Julia’s drug buddy gives her power as she tries to seduce Pope (Shawn Hatosy), is hated by J (Finn Cole) and under suspicion by Smurf (Ellen Barkin). Animal Kingdom stars Barkin as the matriarch of the Cody crime family, along with Shawn Hatosy, Ben Robson, Jake Weary, Finn Cole, Molly Gordon and Carolina Guerra.” Too bad she’s appearing in this awful series.

—Any fans of Lifetime Channel‘s movies out here? Go read about and watch a trailer for the newest film series, based on the tragic families and their tragedies and dramas spread over several novels by the prolific (and possibly helped by ghost writers) paperback writer, V. C. Andrews, which will involve and star some very well-known talent in the 5 films planned: https://deadline.com/2019/02/lifetime-sets-full-cast-begins-production-on-four-new-movies-based-on-v-c-andrews-casteel-family-jason-priestley-to-star-direct-1202551299/

—Lovestruck (fka Let’s Spend the Night Together) is coming! We LOVE Kathleen Turner and are going to be glad to see her on TV, again! She and Andie McDowell are going to co-star, with Steve Kazee (Shameless, Once), Rachel Bilson (Hart of Dixie), Richard Roxburgh (Rake), Madeline Wise (Nobodies and Veep), Beth Riesgraf (LeverageComplications), Jeffery Self (You’re Killing Me), Linda Park (Bosch), and Usman Ally (A Series of Unfortunate Events), inspired by the French series, Quadras, that has spawned a new version in English for Fox for 2019-20, perhaps. It is to be written by Tom Kapinos (who wrote Californication, which I had a love/hate relationship with and Mom didn’t watch at all), to be directed by Sanaa Hamri. It is described as “a structurally inventive dramedy in which the entire first season takes place over the course of single night at a wedding. As we get to know the wedding party, we’ll learn surprising reveals about both their present and past. We’ll see that things aren’t always what they seem and explore the complicated bonds of love, friendship and family at different stages of life….MacDowell will play Lily, the bitter, fiery supermodel meets ‘80’s video vixen and and the ex-wife of British rock star, Nigel Valentine. Turner will portray Grace, the blunt, tactless, and the judgmental mother of Alex Fletcher…Kazee will play Alex Fletcher, a charming, caring and earnest music journalist who has a way with words and loves music….Bilson will play the bride, Daisy Valentine. A ‘bolt of pure sunshine,’ she’s sweet, thoughtful, assertive, has deep soulful eyes and works in music education. …Roxburgh will play Nigel Valentine, Lily’s (MacDowell) ex-husband, a legendary British rock-star who tries to save the world through music and has a weakness for supermodels. Wise plays the quirky and pessimistic Poppy, the exceedingly blunt daughter of Nigel and Lily. Ally will play Julian, a roguish doctor who doesn’t act like one….Reisgraf will play Isabelle, a rational, smart, affable beauty and mother trying to navigate a divorce and just wants the best for her son. Self portrays Kevin, an earnest, avuncular, gay accountant with a sense of humor and is a good friend. Park will play Kate. She’s a mellow and fun mom with an easygoing sensibility and loyal to her friends.” NOW, we’ll watch.

Pieces of Her is based on a novel by one author I do read, Karin Slaughter (Cop Town, Pretty Girls, The Good Daughter), but I couldn’t finish this one (too violent and sad). It is getting an 8-Episode series on Netflix. To be written by Charlotte Stoudt (Homeland, House of Cards), who will also be the showrunner, the plot is this: “when a Saturday afternoon trip to the mall with her mother suddenly explodes into violence, an adrift young woman’s conception of her mother is forever changed. As figures from her mother’s past start to resurface, she is forced to go on the run, and on that journey, she begins to piece together the truth of her mother’s previous identity and uncovers secrets of her childhood.” Sounds very Lifetime Channel, doesn’t it? We won’t watch. Probably in 2020.

Ararat, based on a novel by Christopher Golden (Hellbo)  , is coming to ABC. It focuses on “Ben Walker, [who] is a self-described “weird sh*t expert,” working for a secret arm of the Department of Defense to investigate newly discovered phenomena. The job leads Walker and his team into globe-trotting adventures, life-threatening situations and moments of true terror. Ararat is set in the aftermath of an earthquake which reveals a secret cave inside Mount Ararat, and a daring newly engaged couple are determined to be the first ones inside. What they discover will change everything—the cave is actually a buried ancient ship that many come to believe is Noah’s Ark. Their adventure quickly turns into a horrific nightmare when a massive blizzard traps them inside. As they pray to be rescued, something wicked is listening to their prayers—and it wants to answer.” Sounds very derivative and trite, but we may try it. Probably in 2020 some time.

—Any Party of Five fans out here? We weren’t, but many were, and it launched great careers for each of its stars. The original series’ creators are involved, again: Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman. It “revolved around the five Salinger siblings who become orphans after their parents are killed in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. It starred Scott Wolf, Matthew J. Fox, Neve Campbell and Lacey Chabert as the older Salinger siblings, ran for six seasons on Fox and spawned a short-lived 1999 spinoff, Time of Your Life, toplined by Party of Five co-star, Jennifer Love Hewitt.” The reboot is coming to Freeform for 2019-20 and is slightly different in its premise: “Co-written by Lippman, Keyser and newcomer, Michal Zebede (Castle, Devious Maids), the hour-long drama series will follow the five Acosta children (fka Buendia) as they navigate daily life struggles to survive as a family unit after their parents are suddenly deported to Mexico. The series stars Brandon Larracuente as Emilio, Emily Tosta as Lucia, Niko Guardado as Beto and Elle Paris Legaspi as Valentina.” I’ll try it. Mom won’t.

—Another untitled family comedy for ABC stars Alexis Fields (Moesha), Hailey Kilgore (The Village), Lilah Richcreek (Grace & Frankie), Kelly Jenrette (The Handmaid’s Tale), and Leslie Odom, Jr., (Hamilton), who will also executive produce, and includes leadership from Kerry Washington (Scandal) and writing from Saladin K. Patterson (The Last O.G., The Big Bang Theory). It is “inspired by the experiences of real-life couple, Pastor Touré Roberts and Pastor Sarah Jakes-Roberts. Touré, played by Odom, and Hope (Jenrette), who are joint pastors at a young, hip, diverse church in Los Angeles. Through their services, online streams and books, they are experts at uniting people across different races, genders, orientations and opinions. But when it comes to uniting the people in their blended family, they are way out of their comfort zone—-and as a result, the teachers often find themselves the pupils….Fields will play Nikkina….Richcreek plays Angela, Hope’s spirited and flirtatious assistant….Kilgore will play Lisa, Omari’s biological daughter.” We’re not the target audience here, but many will like this, especially if singing is involved (probably is). Look for it in 2019-20.

Nana for ABC will star Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy, Grand Hotel), with Lon Zimmet writing the scripts and Andy Ackerman (Happy Together, Living Biblically, The Conners) to produce and direct. The comedy “centers on an obsessive, overprotective dad, who after the death of his wife, is forced to invite his brash and bawdy mother-in-law—Nana (Sagal)—into his home to help raise the two granddaughters she barely knows.” Josh Cooke (Grace and Frankie) will play Alex, [who] is a fire chief in Indianapolis who clearly is in over his head with the girls but is reluctant to hire help and can’t imagine letting a stranger look after his children. Overly protective and a bit controlling, the last thing he wants is to welcome his late wife’s chaotic, disruptive and inappropriate mother into the home. After seeing Nana interacting with the girls, he’s forced to reconsider his stance; she might be exactly what the family needs in the face of their recent loss.” Bill Bellamy (Def Comedy Jam) will play “Burke, Alex’s enthusiastic co-worker. This firefighter isn’t the brightest bulb, but he’s a great pal and sounding board for Alex. He was so eager to rescue a cat in a tree and get a taste of some ‘real action’ that he accidentally crashed into another engine at the scene.” Doubt if we’ll watch. Sounds really trite. Probably for 2019-20.

To Whom It May Concern for CBS is written by Mike Metz and “centers on Evan, who sets out with his group of 20-something friends to accomplish a list of challenges he wrote for himself years ago in an effort to turn around his banal life.” Greenlit for 2019-20, but doubt if we’ll try it.

CBS has ordered three new pilots:
——Republic of Sarah, from writer, Jeffrey Paul King (Elementary), starring Sarah Drew (Grey’s Anatomy) in the lead role. Also starring: Daniel Ings (Instinct), Annie Funke (Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders)Kimberly Guerrero (Longmire), Kirsten Nelson (This is Us) and James Lesure (Men at Work). The PR says this has “a Northern Exposure feel. It centers on a small New Hampshire town that is thrust onto the world stage when the discovery of a valuable resource within its borders compels the residents to declare themselves an independent nation, thus setting the unlikely young mayor, Sarah Cooper (Drew,) and her cabinet of inexperienced locals on the path of running a brand-new country. Drew’s Sarah Cooper is described as the titular beating heart of The Republic of Sarah. She’s a quintessential New Englander: sharply intelligent, fiercely loyal, and always willing to lend a hand. She’s hesitant to step into the spotlight at first, but her quiet strength and innate leadership begin to flourish after external forces threaten her community and her way of life….Ings will play Danny. After enduring a difficult childhood at the hands of his mother, Danny returns to his hometown as the harbinger of its demise. A mining company lawyer tasked with negotiating the acquisition of Morrisville’s newly discovered mineral resource, Danny must confront the faces of his troubled past — including his sister, Sarah (Drew), and her best friend, Corinne (Funke)—Danny’s ‘one that got away.’ Funke’s Corinne is Sarah’s devoted, bubbly best friend. Like Sarah, Corinne is a teacher in the town and possesses warmth, wit and savvy. But Corinne also is the only person in town who truly understands the truth of Sarah’s relationship with her mother and the complicated past with Sarah’s brother, Danny….Guerrero will play Mary, a self-reliant badass whose steady support has made her the strong maternal figure in Sarah’s life that Sarah always wished her own mother would be. When Morrisville declares its independence, Mary becomes part of the group that governs the new nation, which forces her to ‘play with others’ in a way that’s both unfamiliar and uncomfortable for a lone wolf like her…. Nelson will play Francine, Morrisville’s sheriff. Unflappable and resolute, Francine lives her life according to old-school principles of honor and duty and isn’t afraid to speak her mind when she feels those principles are being ignored. She is an important member of Sarah’s new government, but that position becomes imperiled when her illicit romance with a married Morrisville citizen goes public. Lesure is Tim, an aloof banker who splits his time between Wall Street and a rustic getaway in New Hampshire. Tim always has been the smartest and most powerful guy in any Morrisville room, until the town chooses—against his advice—to put its faith in Sarah and her plan for independence. Tim quickly becomes a thorn in Sarah’s side as he fights to stop her and her new nation.” Could be good. I lived in NH for over 25 years! Carlos Leal and Jonathan Slavin co-star;
——Courthouse, from writer, Greg Spottiswood (Remedy), will star Wilson Bethel (Hart of Dixie, Daredevil), J. Alex Brinson (Travelers), Marg Helgenberger (CSI, Intelligence, Under the Dome), Simone Missick (Luke Cage), Lindsay Mendez (Carousel), Ruthie Ann Miles (The King & I), and Jessica Camacho (Taken). It “pulls back the curtain on the court system and follows the dedicated, chaotic, hopeful, and sometimes absurd lives of the judges, assistant district attorneys, and public defenders as they work with bailiffs, clerks, cops and jurors to bring justice to the people of Los Angeles….Bethel will play Mark, a roguish, highly successful Deputy District Attorney whose best friend and colleague, Lola (TBD), has been just been appointed a judge. Never great with boundaries, Mark struggles with the personal and professional changes in their relationship….Brinson will play Luke. Wholesome, generous and hardworking, Luke is a bailiff by day and law student by night, determined to move up in the world by becoming a lawyer….Helgenberger will play Judge Judith, who broke the glass ceiling by becoming one of the rare female judges in California. Originally a progressive voice from the bench, over time she has become an entrenched member of the judicial establishment. As Supervising Judge, Judith is a powerful and influential figure who oversees Lola’s transition to judge—and through that relationship, she will rediscover her passion for justice….Missick will play Lola. Over the course of her impressive career as a Deputy District Attorney, Lola was known to be independent, formidable and, occasionally, wildly impulsive. As a newly appointed judge, Lola suddenly has more power. So she doesn’t sit back on the bench; Lola leans in— immediately pushing boundaries and challenging expectations of what a judge should be…Mendez will play Sara, an ebullient, optimistic court reporter who has surprising hidden talents. A close friend to Emily, Sara hosts the Courthouse poker games and is a reliable source for gossip and courthouse intel. Miles will portray Sherri. As Lola’s Judicial Assistant, Sherri is The Gatekeeper; she controls the schedule, the witness lists, the flow of paperwork—everything. She can make defendants sit in the lockup and wait all day for the next appearance, or she can find a way to get them in and out before her morning coffee gets cold. Efficient, pragmatic and armed with wickedly dry sense of humor, Sherri isn’t thrilled she has to ‘train’ Lola (Simone Missick)—a rookie judge….[Camacho] will play Emily Lopez-Berarro, a tough and determined public defender who is undaunted in her efforts to prove her clients’ innocence”;
——Alive (fka Frankenstein), from writer, Jason Tracey, and Elementary creator, Rob Doherty, revives this old classic in a new way, as it “centers on a San Francisco homicide detective [Escher; Ryan Phillippe (Shooter)] who’s mysteriously brought back to life after being killed in the line of duty, but as he resumes his old life and he and his wife realize he isn’t the same person he used to be, they zero in on the strange man behind his resurrection—Dr. Victor Frankenstein….Phillippe’s Escher, a San Francisco police investigator, was presumed dead after an attack and destructive fire at his home. Six months later, he shockingly reappears and is reunited with his wife, Elizabeth. But something has changed. A shadow has fallen across his sunny disposition, and he’s haunted by visions of the case he was working on when he died. He and Elizabeth will seek answers about who shot and abducted him, and what was done to him.” Also starring: Katrina Law (The Oath) and Aaron Staton (Mad Men); and, Saidah Arrika Ekulona (Bull) as “Capt. Mills, who is in charge at a crime scene and everywhere she goes. Intelligent, decisive, tough but not without compassion or humor, Mills is Escher’s boss at the SFPD. Like his other friends and family, she’s stunned when he returns six months after he was presumed dead in an attack at his home…. Law’s Elizabeth Lavenza, a pathologist/medical examiner, is stunned when her husband returns from the dead, and though she’s thrilled to have him back, she knows there’s a secret behind his disappearance, his reappearance and his new personality—and she thinks she knows exactly who’s responsible. Staton’s Victor Frankenstein is a brilliant, slightly odd and driven—perhaps obsessed—scientist who is working on a secret, cutting-edge project. On the run from an ethics board in China, Victor is back in the U.S., where he works in a lab and is very involved in whatever it is that’s going on with Escher. He’s also Escher’s wife’s ex.” Uta Briesewitz (Westworld) will direct. We might watch the first two, but probably will skip the monster revival. Possibly in 2019-20 or later.

Transplant is a medical procedural coming from CTV in 2020. “Bash, a struggling Syrian refugee, saves multiple people when a truck plows into the busy street café, using his skills and warzone instincts from his former life as a doctor. It then follows Bash, a man with an elusive past as he joins a team of doctors, challenged to make a place for himself in a new hospital and country. The drama blends a modern immigrant tale with an ensemble medical procedural. …[C]reated and written by Joseph Kay (Frontier).” If we can find it, we may watch.

—Love Emily Mortimer (The Newsroom, Mary Poppins Returns)? We do, too! Looker “centers on an unraveling Brooklynite, unhappily childless and recently separated, who becomes fixated on a movie star and her perfect family living in the beautiful brownstone next door. The ‘wicked and dangerous novel’ [by Laura Sims] is described as ‘a brilliant debut that is a tightly coiled Hitchcockian thriller and part satire of those living their best lives in the post-gentrified, Instagram-ready city.’” Don’t know where it will air or when, but we’ll look for it in 2020.

Flesh and Blood for ITV is to be written by Sarah Williams (The Long Song). It “starts when their mother, nearing her 70th birthday, is swept off her feet by retired doctor, Mark. Years of secrets, lies, rivalries and betrayals then come to the surface and threaten to blow apart everything they’ve held dear. With their large family home overlooking the Kent coast, their inheritance and the happy memories of their childhood all suddenly threatened by the arrival of Mark, the siblings attempt to find out more about him.  But will their long-buried grudges and complicated personal lives allow them to pull together?…[T]he messy personal lives of the three siblings…is an original contemporary drama exploring family and romantic relationships in a way which is both darkly sharp and witty as well as deeply touching…. and all is not what it seems. This is no ordinary relationship drama, as someone in the family will be dead by the end of the story—but the question of who dies and who is the killer keeps us guessing right up to the last moment.” Could be good. Don’t know cast, location of viewing or when, but probably can find it in 2020.

Cipher is another sci-fi series coming to SyFy for 2019-20. This “father-son drama” comes from Allison Miller (Strange Angel), it has this premise: “secret military technology is unexpectedly implanted in the brain of a 13-year-old video game junkie…[T]he boy and his father unwittingly find themselves at the center of the next great war—over artificial intelligence.” Starring: Elias Kotreas (Chicago PD) as “Hal Berek, a Texas rancher with a strong opinion about how John and Asa should face the challenges ahead of them”; Gabriel Bae;man (American Gothic, Outcast) as the son; and, Kyla Drew-Simmons (Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn) as “16-year-old Annie, a mysterious figure Asa meets inside the video game. Although Annie seems to know a great deal about the game, she understands very little about the complexities of human relationships and the world outside the game.” Probably not for us, but many will like it, I’m sure.

(Future) Cult Classic is a “darkly comedic” sci-fi series coming to SyFy for 2019-20 from Shay Hatten (Ballerina). It “combines the genres of slasher films, high school drama and speculative satire. It is set 18 years in the future and centers on a group of teens whose community is rocked by a 1990s slasher-movie obsessed serial killer. Our heroes quickly realize they’re being targeted and decide to take matters into their own hands and track down the killer—before time runs out.” Will star Justin Bartha (The Hangover, The Good Fight), Geoffrey Owens (Billions), Emily Alyn Lind (Code Black), Jacob McCarthy (AP Bio)Cayden Boyd (Heathers), da’Vinchi/aka Abraham Juste (Grown-ish) and Zoe Renee (The Quad). “Bartha will play Jeff, Bree’s (Emily Alyn Lind) father, a formerly successful true-crime novelist whose career has dried up now that murder has been virtually eradicated. What’s good for society has been bad for him and his family—and leaves him in a desperate place, despite his outwardly spirited demeanor. Owens will portray Detective Moscovitz, an old-school cop who finds himself out of his element in a tech-based society. He may be a little rusty, but his instincts quickly return when the string of murders begins to rock the community….Lind will play Bree, a classic ’90s horror movie ‘Final Girl’ trapped in the wrong decade. Growing up in a future dominated by technology and terrible electronic music, her love of pop culture from decades past marks her as an outsider—a status she wears as a badge of honor. McCarthy will portray Andy, who has been Bree’s best friend for nearly a decade, and for nearly all of that time has wanted to be more. He has an enormous love of old horror movies, and, even more than Bree, tremendous disdain for the generation he grew up in. Boyd is Henry, formerly popular, his social standing took a hit when he started dating Bree and hanging out with her friends—but he could care less. As a hot prospect in the emerging field of virtual reality sports, Henry has a promising future ahead of him—if he makes it out alive. Da’Vinchi will play Peyton. If he was growing up in the 2010s, the world would be his oyster. A handsome guy and star football player, he should be at the top of the food chain—but with football going out of vogue, he’s not quite sure what his place is anymore. And he’s not happy about that. Renee will portray Mila, another key member of our ‘Scooby Gang,’ has always seemed a little disaffected from reality—the result of growing up in such an impersonal world. She always has a cheery optimism about her—a trait that starts to feel creepy when people in her town start dying.” DEFINITELY not for us.

Triangle is a sci-fi-themed show coming to ABC from Jon Harmon Feldman, Sonny Postiglione (Knightfall) and Jennifer Gwart, starring one of our favorites, Matt Passmore (SatisfactionThe Glades), along with Lorenzo Richelmy (Marco Polo), Amit Shah (The Courier), Sibonelle Mlambo (Siren), Diana Bermudez (The Death and Life of John F. Donovan), Sarah Catherine Hook, Pallavi Sharda (Pulse) and Mike Vogel (The Brave, Under the Dome). It is framed in this way. First, it poses the question: “what if the Bermuda Triangle was not a watery grave in the middle of the ocean but a land lost in time that has trapped travelers over the course of human history? When a family is shipwrecked in this strange land, they must band together with a group of like-minded inhabitants—from throughout history—to survive and somehow find a way home….Passmore will play Liam, a dark, rash and complicated member of the land’s ruling family….Richelmy will play Ham, one of the residents of the Triangle, a former pirate and a rogue who is skeptical of newcomers….Shah will play Dr. Owen Patel, another resident of the Triangle who has been here since 1988. Mlambo will portray Lieutenant Priscilla. Bermudez is Tama. Hook portrays Natalie….Sharda will play Alex, David’s (Vogel) girlfriend, who is trying to connect with his teen daughter Natalie (Sarah Catherine Hook)…., Vogel will play the central character, David Roman, whose life has always been a bit of a roller coaster. He’s an orphan who bounced between foster homes growing up. Now hoping to begin a new life with his daughter, Natalie, and fiancé, Alex, their tropical vacation is interrupted by a violent storm that  capsizes their boat and lands them in a strange land filled with danger, mystery, and no way home.” We can look for it in 2019-20 or later. We may watch.

Stumptown for ABC is written by Jason Richman (Detroit 1-8-7) and Ruben Fleischer and starring Adrian Martinez (No Activity), Michael Ealy (Secrets and Lies, Being Mary Jane, Being Human), Camryn Manheim (The Practice)and Mark Webber (Green Room), and Cobie Smulders (Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.Avengers, How I Met Your Mother). It “is inspired by the graphic novels published by Oni Press. It follows Dex Parios, a strong, assertive, and unapologetically sharp-witted Army veteran working as a P.I. in Portland, Oregon. With a complicated personal history and only herself to rely on, she solves other people’s messes with a blind eye toward her own….Ealy will play Miles Hoffman, a detective with the Portland Police Department who is looking for escaped convict Samuel Kane—who’s probably going to pay a visit to Grey McConnell (Webber) any day now. Webber’s Grey McConnell is Dex’s best friend and has an unrequited crush on her. He’s been renovating an old-fashioned brew pub into a modern-sleek mixology joint and has hired Dex’s brother as his sole employee… Smulders plays Dex, a whip-smart, hard-luck heroine you can’t help but get behind. Once a decorated Military Intelligence officer overseas, Dex is now back home in Portland, Oregon, unable to hold down a steady job, spinning her wheels, running up gambling debts, waiting for trouble to catch up with her—and so it does… Manheim will play Lieutenant Roberta Volk, Hoffman’s (Ealy) superior officer on the Portland Police Department, who has a no-nonsense, big-city vibe. Her path crosses with Dex when she supervises Hoffman’s investigation into a kidnapping case….Martinez will play Tookie. .” We can look for it in 2019-20 or later. Very formulaic, but we may watch.

War of the Worlds, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi classic, is to be re-imagined yet again (not to be confused with the BBC’s version, releasing later in 2019, starring Rafe Spall and Eleanor Tomlinson), this time as an 8-Episode TV series for Fox, for 2020, perhaps. Written and created by Howard Overman (Misfits) and based on H.G. Wells’ classic story, it will star Gabriel Byrne (Hereditary)  and Elizabeth McGovern (Downton Abbey), with Léa Drucker (Le Bureau Des Légendes), Natasha Little (Silent Witness), Daisy Edgar Jones (Cold Feet), Stéphane Caillard (Marseille), Adel Bencherif (The Prophet) and Guillaume Gouix (The Returned) and more to be added, soon. “Gilles Coulier (Cargo) will direct the first four episodes. Richard Clark (Versailles) will helm episodes five to eight….Set in contemporary Europe, the reimagining will follow the pockets of humanity left on earth following an apocalyptic extra-terrestrial strike.”

Utopia for Amazon is being written by Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) who will also be the creator/adaptor (it is based on a British series from 2013 that ran for 2 SEASONS), executive producer and showrunner. It will star John Cusack, Rainn Wilson (The Office)Sasha Lane (American Honey), Dan Byrd (Cougar Town),  Cory Michael Smith (Gotham), Ashleigh LaThrop, (The Kominsky Method), Desmin Borges (You’re the Worst), Farrah Mackenzie (Ascension), Javon “Wanna” Walton (a Steve Harvey find, a young boxing champ), and Christopher Denham (Billions). The show “follows a group of young adults who meet online that are mercilessly hunted by a shadowy deep state organization after they come into possession of a near-mythical cult underground graphic novel. Within the comic’s pages, they discover the conspiracy theories that may actually be real and are forced into the dangerous, unique and ironic position of saving the world….Cusack will play Dr. Kevin Christie. Charismatic and media-savvy, with a brilliant biotech mind and a philanthropic outlook. Christie altruistically wants to change the world through science….Wilson will play Michael Stearns. Once a promising virologist, Michael is now a forgotten scientist who’s lost his edge—under-appreciated and underfunded in his laboratory work. When a nationwide outbreak of a deadly flu arises, Michael offers his expertise, and soon finds he has landed smack in the middle of something much bigger…. Lane will play Jessica Hyde. Tough and feral after a life on the run from a mysterious and dangerous group, Jessica believes all the answers about her perplexing life story may be hidden in the graphic novel, Utopia….Byrd will play Ian. Ian went to an online college, works in a soul-robbing job and lives in a small apartment with his grandma in Canton, Ohio. Craving a more exciting life outside his online/virtual world, he embarks on a mission to uncover the secrets of the graphic novel, Utopia, which also is driven by his crush on fellow graphic novel fan, Becky. Smith will play Thomas Christie. Bright and ambitious, Thomas works under his biotech scientist father at Christie Laboratories. He becomes tasked with tracking down the only copy of the much sought after graphic novel for less than benevolent reasons….LaThrop will play Becky. Bright and big-hearted, she uses her kindness and empathy as a way to get closer to the graphic novel she desperately needs to save her life. Borges is Wilson Wilson, a brilliant, paranoid and eccentric conspiracy theorist who is obsessed with Utopia and convinced that it hides more dark secrets about the very future of our world. Mackenzie plays Alice, an adopted foster child who is bright and curious, with a steely resolve when challenged and thrown into the dangerous world of our Nerds….Walton plays Grant, who is streetwise beyond his years, independent, fearless, crafty and charming. Raised in the Kansas City projects by an alcoholic single mother, he’s now roaming the streets alone. Grant embarks on a dangerous mission to uncover the secrets from Utopia….. Denham is Arby, a shark-like menace who’s emotionally stunted and socially disconnected but whose cold facade starts crumbling as he learns some dangerous truths about his childhood.” We may try it. Probably in 2020.

—*Party Girls for Freeform is “a …coming-of-age dramedy inspired by the true story of Ericka Suzanne, daughter of the first female leader of the Black Panther Party, Elaine Brown. The project hails from writer, Dayna Lynne North (Insecure), Platform One Media, Laurence Fishburne and Helen Sugland’s Cinema Gypsy Productions (grown-ish, black-ish)….Set in Oakland in the 1970s, Party Girls follows Ericka’s attempt to survive her adolescence as her mother rises in the Party. The plot explores an unconventional mother-daughter relationship, balancing the stakes of the movement with the humor inherent in coming-of-age, and asking the question, ‘How do you rebel when your mom is leading a rebellion?'” Probably not for Mom, but Ill try it. Looking for it in 2019-20.

Work in Progress started out as a Sundance-selected film written by Abby McEnany and Tim Mason and is becoming a series soon. Lilly Wachowski (The Matrix trilogy, Sense8) will co-write, co-direct, and produce. The film stars writer, Abby McEnany, and is about “Abby, a middle-aged lesbian, as she questions her decisions, love life, and ‘whether or not to confront the woman responsible for ruining her life: SNL’s Julia Sweeney.’ Her journey includes entering into a relationship with a trans man and figuring out her next steps after her therapist drops dead in a middle of a session.” Doubt if we’ll watch, but many will. Probably airing somewhere in 2020.

Tommy (fka Nancy) is yet another police drama (WHY?) coming in 2019-20 to CBS from writer, Paul Attanasio (Homicide: Life on the Street and Bull), to be directed by Kate Dennis, in 2019-20. Starring Edie Falco (The Menendez Murders, A Land of Steady Habits, Nurse Jackie and The Sopranos) as Abigail ‘Tommy’ Thomas, and co-starring Michael Cheras (Patriot), Russell G. Jones  (The Americans), Adelaide Clemens (Rectify), Joseph Lyle Taylor (Sneaky Pete), David Fierro (The Knick), and Olivia Lucy Phillip  (Frozen). “With a New Yorker’s gift for being tough and sarcastic while remaining likable, Tommy—as she likes to be called— loves being a cop more than anything and is a former high-ranking NYPD officer who’s just been hired as the first female Chief of Police for the LAPD. In her new role, Tommy uses her unflinching honesty and hardball tactics to navigate the social, political and national security issues that converge with enforcing the law….Chernus will play Ken. Rumpled, insecure, smart, wry and a little self-deprecating, Ken is the speechwriter for L.A.’s incoming and first female Chief of Police. His job is to channel his boss’ inner life and get it all on paper, which is put to the test immediately when tasked to write her swearing-in speech without ever having met her…. Jones will play Looper. Phlegmatic but sharp as a tack, Looper is the Chief of Staff, whose job is to keep the trains running while the new Chief of Police performs the political aspects of the job. Part of Tommy’s inner team, Looper proves to be instinctual and insightful, a good cop with good instincts and the ability to keep his mouth shut….Clemens will play Blake. As the Press Secretary for the chief of police, she focuses less on substance than on how things look. Polished, confident whip-smart and hard-working, Blake worked as Press Secretary for the previous chief of police, whom she tolerated in exchange for ample appreciation of her efforts. By comparison, she’s uneasy with the new chief, who doesn’t know her—or, as far as she can tell, like her….Fierro’s Buddy is the brilliant, manipulative mayor of Los Angeles, who becomes a rival for power with the city’s first female police chief. Taylor will portray Dudik, Buddy’s deputy, Treat ‘The Dude’ Dudik, the somewhat dim, brutal, blindly loyal fixer who always returns to his master’s side for another kick….Phillip will portray Kate. She’s Tommy’s daughter, who seems to be everything her mother is not: soft where her mother is hard, quiet where she is commanding; deep down, however, she’s just as stubborn. A school psychologist who is married to an engineer and the mother of 8-year-old, Luna, Kate lives in L.A. and is estranged from her mother, whom she resents for putting her career before her child.” Sounds like a female-centric, funnier Blue Bloods. We may try it.

The Outsider comes from the pen of Stephen King, originally, and now is coming to HBO (and to us via DVD or other streaming service), starring Ben Mendelsohn (Royal Pains), Cynthia Erivo (Bad Times at the El Royale), Bill Camp (The Looming Tower), Mare Winningham (George Wallace), Paddy Considine (The Ferryman),Julianne Nicholson (Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders), Yul Vázquez (I Am the Night), Jeremy Bobb (The Knick), Marc Menchaca (Ozark), Hettienne Park (Hannibal) and Michael Esper (Trust). Written by co-creator/executive producer, Richard Price, “a seemingly straightforward investigation into the gruesome murder of a local boy leads a seasoned cop and an unorthodox investigator to question everything they believe to be real, as an insidious supernatural force edges its way into the case….Erivo will play Holly Gibney, Camp is Howie Gold, Winningham will portray Jeannie Anderson, Considine is Claude Bolton, Nicholson plays Mercy Maitland, Vázquez portrays Yunis Sablo, Bobb is Alec Pelley, Menchaca will play Jack Hoskins. Park and Esper will recur as Tomika Collins and Bill Samuels, respectively.” Jason bateman is also producing and will direct Episodes 1 & 2.  Maybe too much horror for us, but we’ll look for it in 2020-21.

Geniuses for Fox, coming from Lon Zimmet (LA to Vegas), creator/executive producer, “harkens back to one of Fox’s signature comedy series, Malcolm In the Middle. The…family comedy is about a blue-collar couple in South Jersey trying to get by and raise four kids, three of whom just happen to be certified geniuses.” Young Sheldon times 3? Why? It’s probably trite and not worthwhile, but we may try it once. Starring Jason Biggs, Tisha Campbell-Martin and Maggie Lawson. Probably for 2019-20.

Richard Lovely for Fox, coming from Billy Finnegan (Grace and Frankie), executive producer “has an About a Boy vibe to it….Richard Lovely, the disgruntled author of the best-selling children’s book series, Mr. Mouse,… doesn’t hate children, but rather, just everything about them. After a publicity fiasco involving an unexpectedly savvy 9-year-old kid, Mr. Mouse appears in Richard’s real life [animated, voiced by Jason Alexander] as he is forced into an unlikely father/son relationship that will change his life forever.” Magical realism at its worst? Wendi Malick (Hot in Cleveland,  Just Shoot Me) will star. I’m sad that she never gets to show her range. They keep giving her the same character only. “Malick will play Richard’s mother, Alana. Alana loves her son very much but perhaps will always love herself a little bit more. Okay, a lot more….[Nicole] Richie will play Kelli, Richard’s publicist, a high-functioning millennial who is Richard’s polar opposite in every way except one: they both like to keep their eyes on number one— themselves….[Asif] Ali will play Howard, Richard’s literary agent. He spends most of his time putting out fires that Richard has needlessly started.” To clinch this disaster, Alex Hardcastle (also from Grace and Frankie, The Good Cop, American Woman, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) will direct. Doubt if we’ll watch. Probably for 2019-20.

NBC is rebooting its own un-optioned 2018 pilot, Friends-In-Law. If at first you don’t succeed…? Brian Gallivan (The McCarthys) is still on this, which “centers on Brian and Jake, polar opposites who must quickly figure out how to coexist when their respective best friends decide to get married….The 2018 pilot starred Devere Rogers and James Davis as Brian and Jake, respectively, with Nicole Parker and John Gemberling as their alter-bound friends.” Don’t know, yet, if any of them is returning. Doubt if we’ll watch. Probably for 2019-20.

Old Baggage, by Lissa Evans, prequel to Crooked Heartis being made into a TV series. it is “a comic novel about the legacy of the Women’s Suffrage Movement and one woman’s determination to create a meaningful present in the wake of her own thrilling and revolutionary past. It follows the fiery, indefatigable and willful, Matilda Simkin, who has made a life of righteous defiance. Once a proudly militant suffragette, her colourful past is littered with acts of bravery and rebellion but, as Mattie enters middle age, the world has moved on. It is 1928 and the once allied movement that she fought with is now irrevocably splintered and factionalised. However, the fight is far from over and she is not about to bow out quietly. When a chance encounter on Hayward’s Heath sparks an exciting idea, she embarks headlong on an ambitious new venture that pits her against a new enemy: the rising tide of pre-World War Two British fascism. What begins with hope and fervour is jeopardised by the very past Mattie is trying to re-ignite and, as she clings with blind obstinacy to her own ideals, she unwittingly threatens the friendships that hold up her world.” Joanna Scanlan and Vicki Pepperdine (both in Getting On and producing this new series for George & George) will play Simpkin and The Flea, her lifetime companion. Sounds great!  We’ll watch! Probably for 2020. Not sure where it will air.

The CW is betting on spinoffs heavily for 2019-20. In addition to Batwoman, they are bringing:
——The Lost Boys is based on the 1987 Warner Brothers’ horror comedy movie and comes from from Rob Thomas’s Spondoodle (Veronica Mars reboot) and Executive Producer/Writer, Heather Mitchell, Starring: Rio Mangini (Everything Sucks), Del Zamora (Mayans MC), Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf ), Kiele Sanchez (Kingdom, The Glades), Medalion Rahimi (NCIS: Los Angeles, Still Star-Crossed), Sarah Hay (Flesh and Bone), Cheyenne Haynes (Camping), Haley Tju (Bella and the Bulldogs), and Dakota Shapiro (Valley of the Boom).  Its PR states: “Welcome to sunny seaside Santa Carla, home to a beautiful boardwalk, all the cotton candy you can eat…and a secret underworld of vampires. After the sudden death of their father, two brothers (Michael, Posey; and Sam, uncast) move to Santa Carla with their mother (Sanchez), who hopes to start anew in the town where she grew up. But the brothers find themselves drawn deeper and deeper into the seductive world of Santa Carla’s eternally beautiful and youthful undead….Hay will portray Mollie. Turned into a vampire by David, Mollie has become her maker’s rival for leadership of the vampire gang. She travels in a small pack with her eternally 8-year-old son, Laddie, and a guardian, Hiram, who’s there to make sure she doesn’t get into too much trouble. Haynes and Tju will portray the Frog Sisters, Liza and Cassie, respectively. Sharp, cool and lightly Goth, the Frog Sisters are teenage locals who work at Santa Carla’s comic-book store. Until Sam arrives, they think they’re the only ones aware of the darkness in this town….Mangini will play, Sam, Michael’s younger brother, whose high level of literacy is matched by an equally high level of snark. He seems to be the only one not enchanted by Santa Carla—a sentiment he shares with a pair of local girls, the Frog Sisters. Zamora portrays Frank Garcia, Lucy’s father, a cantankerous old hippie who owns a beloved local bed and breakfast. In spite of his laid-back appearance, he’s a strict disciplinarian who probably knows more about the dark side of town than he cares to tell.” Not for us; probably in 2019-20;
——Katy Keene comes from Riverdale; it “follows four Archie Comics characters…centered around the budding fashionista in New York City…This musical dramedy chronicles the origins and struggles of four aspiring artists trying to make it on Broadway, on the runway and in the recording studio.” Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars) will star as Katy; singer/songwriter, Josie McCoy, will be played by Ashleigh Murray. Also adding Zane Holtz (Hunter Killer, From Dusk Till Dawn) and Katherine LaNasa (Imposters, Satisfaction): “Holtz will star as Ko Kelly, a boxer with two goals in life: to fight a welterweight championship in Madison Square Garden and to marry his longtime girlfriend, Katy Keene. Born and raised in Queens, Ko is a humble, protective, salt-of-the-earth guy who makes ends meet as a personal trainer and a bouncer. LaNasa is set to portray Gloria Grandbilt, a legendary personal shopper at the luxury department store Lacy’s, which caters to the rich and famous. Always impeccably dressed and the queen of her domain, she demands a level of excellence from her ‘girls,’ young assistants that few can provide.” Maggie Kiley will direct. We may try this, if only to gawk. Probably also for 2019-20;
——Jane the Novella is coming from Jane the Virgin’s writer, Valentina Garza,  “envisioned as a soapy, telenovela-inspired anthology series in the tradition of Jane the Virgin, where each season is based on a different fictional novel ‘written by’ Jane Villanueva and narrated by the author herself.” Starring Jacqueline Grace Lopez, Hunter Parrish (Weeds), Ivonne Coll (Jane The Virgin), Remy Hii (Marco Polo), Benito Martinez (The Shield),  Holland Roden (Teen Wolf), and Marcia Cross (Desperate Housewives, Quantico). “The first installment takes place at a Napa Valley vineyard, where family secrets (and family members) don’t stay buried for long. It centers on Estela (Lopez), an up-and-coming art curator who has spent years playing it safe and coloring within the lines. But a shocking secret changes everything and forces her to live a double life. Being ‘in the tradition of Jane the Virgin,’ Jane the Novela mirrors the setup of the original series. It, too, follows a driven, imaginative twentysomething Latina woman (Lopez) who is torn between her boyfriend, Luen, and Felix, a handsome, rich guy. Felix co-owns a winery with his manipulative and glamorous mother, Renata (Cross), who will stop at nothing to secure her son’s legacy, even if it means standing in the way of his happiness….Hii’s Luen is Estela’s sweet, dependable, long-term boyfriend. When the life he’s planned for himself and Estela is threatened by Felix, Luen will stop at nothing to win back the woman he loves. Coll will play Camila, Estela’s adoptive mother. Camila would do anything to protect her daughter and the life they have built, even lie to her. On Jane the Virgin, Coll plays Jane’s grandmother and Xo’s mother, Alba….Martinez portrays Raul, the winery’s enigmatic riddler. Nobody knows Napa’s terroir like he does – he specializes in collecting dirt on everyone. Roden plays Sienna, Felix’s not-so-regular sister, who is determined to save the world, one endangered animal at a time; hopefully using her family’s moolah….Parrish’s Felix is Napa’s most eligible bachelor and heir apparent to his family’s winery.Although his future looks bright, Felix is tortured by the secrets of his past.” We never watched the original, so doubt if we’ll watch this. Probably also for 2019-20;
——an untitled series based on the popular Nancy Drew novels of my childhood (which starred Pamela Sue Martin, who had been in the film and will guest star in this) has been attempted and even made into pilots several times, recently. Let’s see if this one “takes.” It is coming from Josh Schwartz, Noga Landau and Stephanie Savage (Gossip Girl, Dynasty) and “centered on 18-year-old Nancy Drew…Set in the summer after her high school graduation….Nancy Drew thought she’d be leaving her hometown for college, but when a family tragedy holds her back another year, she finds herself embroiled in a ghostly murder investigation—and along the way, uncovers secrets that run deeper than she ever imagined.” Kennedy McMann will play Nancy. Leah Lewis (Charmed) also stars, as “George, a tough, tattooed girl from the wrong side of the tracks, who felt personally wronged by Nancy in high school. George now finds herself a suspect in the killing along with her former nemesis, forcing her to team up with Nancy to track the culprit and clear their names… and it just may be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” Tunji Kasim (Nearly Famous) will play “Ned ‘Nick’ Nickerson, Nancy’s secret flame. Nick is a former high school athlete with a mysterious past, who should be on full scholarship to a top university. Instead, he’s working as a car mechanic when he winds up a suspect in the murder along with Nancy —leading her to uncover a shocking motive from his past. But whether Nick’s a victim of circumstance or something far more sinister remains to be seen.” Also starring Maddison Jaizani (Versailles), Freddie Prinze, Jr. (24), Alvina August (Siren), and Alex Saxon (The Fix). “Jaizani will play Bess, a refined young woman whose wealthy background sets her apart from Nancy—but when they both become suspects in the same murder, Bess proves to be a spirited ally in the search for the real killer, all the while doing whatever it takes to keep her own dark secrets hidden….Saxon will portray Ace, a charming dishwasher with a philosophical bent; his provocative insights on the murder investigation will lead Nancy to conclude that there’s much more to this supposed burnout than meets the eye….Prinze will play Nancy’s dad, Carson Drew, a dynamic attorney who has become estranged from Nancy following the recent death of his beloved wife. But his attempts to reconnect with his daughter run aground when Nancy’s murder investigation reveals unsettling secrets from Carson’s own past…August will play Detective Karen Hunt, an ambitious police detective who had a close friendship with Nancy’s late mother. Karen has a protective attitude towards Nancy (McMann), who tends to get in hot water while pursuing her various investigations…..Martin will play Harriet Grosset, a small-town psychic who offers her talents to help Nancy investigate a murder—and ends up delivering an otherworldly clue that neither of them bargained for. The name of the character appears to be paying homage to Nancy Drew’s origins: author, Harriet Adam,s is credited with shaping up the literary character and early storylines….” Larry Teng (The Walking Dead, The Good Doctor, S.W.A.T., Criminal Minds, ElementaryLethal Weapon, Supergirl, Animal Kingdom, Medium) will direct. May try this, since I read EVERY one of these books in the 1960s. Probably also for 2019-20.

Uninsured for NBC is to be written by and exec produced along with Dan Levy (The Goldbergs, The Awesomes, Schooled). Starring Steven Weber (NCIS: New Orleans, many others), Fran Drescher (The Nanny), Adam Pally (Happy Endings, The Mindy Project, Making History), Abby Elliot (Happy Endings, Saturday Night Live, Odd Mom Out), Jessy Hodges (Barry, Graves, Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce), and Amer Padha-Chatel (Beecham House, Year of the Rabbit). “Uninsured centers around young parent,s Dave and Rebecca, who end up having to take care of Dave’s parents ]Weber and Drescher] who have mishandled their finances and need help to pay down a sizable debt. The project is expected to touch upon social issues as the title refers to the fact that the family has no insurance….Pally’s Dave is a natural hype man with a good heart. Elliott’s Rebecca is a supermom who longs for the kind of order she never can achieve in a chaotic household…. Hodges will play Joanna, Dave’s edgy younger sister. Chadha-Patel is Aram, Dave’s business partner who is fast talking and always trying to make a deal.” How is this a “comedy”? I guess the way all other dark topics can be made funny… But, this writer is NOT one of our faves. Doubt if we’ll watch. Probably for 2019-20.

—Another new production company, Picture Perfect Federation, led by Patrick Wachsberger of Lionsgate and Pascal Breton, is entering the novel-to-TV-series assembly line, starting with these projects:
—— Cristina Alger’s thriller, The Banker’s Wife, with: Vikings and Pose EP, Sherry Marsh; Gone Girl star, Rosamund Pike; Lesli Linka Glatter (Twin Peaks); and, showrunner, Meredith Stiehm (Homeland);
——crime thriller, Ibiza, with: Rampage writer, Ryan Engle;
——Peter Landesman’s adaptation of Canal’s Le Bureau des Légendes (The Bureau).
No other dates or details, yet. Some may appear somewhere in 2020.

—Need more vampires and romance in your life? f course you do! Try this! Two authors known for this weird mixed genre (vampire/romance), Kym Grosso (an indie, self-published author, like MOI!), whose Kade’s Dark Embrace is part of her The Immortals of New Orleans series, will be joined by Teresa Gabelman, whose The Protector series is coming into this combo, which will become “a scripted series that puts sexy paranormal millionaires and vampire warriors together.” The producers are saying it’s True Blood meets Sons of Anarchy. I hope it’s more of the former and almost none of the latter. “In Kade’s Dark Embrace, a female detective is forced to work with an alpha male vampire to solve the murder of a number of girls who are ritualistically murdered in Philadelphia. As they fight their attraction to one another, the investigation leads them into New Orleans and to Voodoo [WRONG TERM] killings. In Damon, which is the first book in the series, Damon DeMasters is considered a true vampire warrior who is a protector of all [human]kind—and, of course, vampires. But the opioid of choice on the streets is Crimson Rush (vampire blood). As tensions escalate in this ongoing street war, Damon and a social worker must protect the children of both humans and vampires who are now leaving freely in the world.” Mom won’t watch, but I’ll try it. Probably for 2020. Not sure where it will air, yet.

Mare of Easttown for HBO (for us, DVD or Netflix/Amazon) will bring film talents to the limited TV series: It will star Kate Winslet, be directed by Gavin O’Connor and written by Brad Inglesby, about “a small-town Pennsylvania detective who investigates a local murder at a time when her own life is crumbling around her.” We’ll look for it in 2020; may be aired on HBO sooner.

The Line Between is going to be developed from Tosca Lee’s thriller novel into a TV series. It is about “an ancient disease [that] re-emerges from the melting permafrost to cause madness in its victims. As the mysterious medical cases spiral toward pandemic and an opportunistic cyber attack plunges the nation into chaos, 22-year-old doomsday cult escapee, Wynter Roth, who spent her life preparing for the apocalypse, utilizes her survival skills to lead those with her to safety in a harrowing new reality.” Edward Burns, Aaron Lubin and others from their Radar Productions will executive produce; no writer, yet. Since this novel hasn’t been released, yet, and it’s part of a duology, I think both novels will be serialized (if the first is successful). Probably appearing in 2020 and after. Not sure where, yet. We might watch, but probably not. Doomsday scenarios aren’t our thing, especially realistic ones, like this is.

—Many greats are honored this spring (2019) on PBSAmerican Masters series. Still not enough female subjects, but great shows, nonetheless. Not always musicians or actors or anyone in Hollywood, either! Check local listings or watch online: http://www.pbs.org:
——Sammy Davis, Jr. (premiered 2/19/19)
——Charley Pride (premiered 2/22/10)
——Holly Near (premiered 3/1/19)— THIS WAS FANTASTIC!
——Joni Mitchell (premiered 3/2/19)
——Joseph Pulitzer (premieres 4/12/19)
——Gary Winogrand (premieres 4/19/19)
——Robert Shaw (premieres 5/17/19)

Filthy Rich for Fox is coming from Tate Taylor (writer, exec producer), and three exec producers: John Norris, Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo. It is a “southern gothic dramedy [that] revolves around two strong, sharp women who will go to any lengths to protect their loved ones and get their due. When the wealthy CEO of the world’s largest Christian network dies in a plane crash, his wife and adult children are stunned to discover he has grown, illegitimate kids who also are in his will. When the steel azalea matriarch of the family tries to pay them to go away, these newly legitimized heirs have very different ideas and insist on not only staying in town but becoming part of the family empire. Based on the New Zealand series.” Starring: Kim Cattrall, Aubrey Dollar, Corey Cott, Mark L. Young, Benjamin Levy Aguilar, Gerald McRaney, Steve Harris, Melia Kreiling. Cattrall plays the new widow, Margaret Monroe. “Dollar plays Margaret’s daughter, Rose Monroe, a sarcastic but kind-hearted clothing designer who yearns to be real and find her own voice apart from her family. Cott plays her brother, Eric Monroe. Married with two kids, he’s the Senior VP of Operations at the conservative Christian Sunshine Network, which was created by his powerhouse parents. Aguilar plays Antonio Rivera, a tattooed, up-and-coming boxer and single dad who finds himself wondering if a life with his new family in New Orleans might be the best thing for his toddler. Young plays Jason Conley, an attractive, loyal young man who runs a weed business at a ranch in Colorado….McRaney, who is a Southerner himself, hailing from Mississippi, will play Eugene Monroe. An extremely southern, charming, charismatic man, he is Margaret’s (Cattrall) husband, one half of the Christian powerhouse couple that runs the Sunshine Network….Harris will play Franklin Lee, the Monroe family lawyer and a suit at the Sunshine Network. Kreiling will portray Ginger Sweet, a beautiful and fierce woman with business savvy, who grew up dirt poor in Vegas.” Probably 2019-20. May be tolerable, may not.

Evil is coming to CBS in 2019-20, and I do not mean Les Moonves is back (too soon?). From the team of Robert King (writer, exec producer), Michelle King (writer, exec producer), Liz Glotzer (exec producer), it claims to be a “battle between science and religion focused on a skeptical clinical psychologist, Kristen Bouchard, who joins a priest-in-training, David Acosta, and a blue-collar contractor, Ben, to investigate supposed miracles, demonic possessions and other extraordinary occurrences to see if there’s a scientific explanation or if something truly supernatural is at work.” Starring: Aasif Mandvi (The Daily Show, Blue Bloods) as Ben, “a carpenter who was recruited for David’s team early on, Ben has a deep skepticism about all things supernatural. He is a genius at uncovering the organic reasons behind reported ‘hauntings,’ but there may be things outside his understanding that will rattle his belief system”; Katja Herbers (Westworld) as Bouchard, the psychologist; and, Michael Colter (The Good Wife/Fight, Luke Cage) as the junior priest “tasked by the Church to assess unexplained phenomena to see if there is a supernatural or scientific explanation.” Probably too horror-like for us, but we may try it. Hope it’s not on its pay channel, CBS All Access. If so, we wait for the DVD.

National Parker is coming to Freeform from Jenna Fischer (The Office and Splitting Up Together) and Alexandra Henrikson. Both will co-exec produce; Henrikson will write. It is about “social media–obsessed Parker Adams, [whose]’ world comes crashing down after a breakup…[S]he decides to put her New York City life behind her and become an adult with a real job—as a national park ranger at Alaska’s Hickberry National Park.” Probably not for us, but some will like it and I bet the scenery is great. Look for it in 2019-20.

Council of Dads has been “greenlit” by NBC for 2019-20. Inspired by Bruce Feiler’s memoir, The Council of Dads: My Daughters, My Illness and the Men Who Could Be Me, which is “the story of Scott Perry, who assembles a unique group of carefully chosen male friends to help his family adjust to a new normal after receiving a potentially terminal diagnosis….[It] chronicles the real-life experiences of bestselling author, Feiler (Walking the Bible), who, in 2008, was diagnosed with rare, life-threatening cancer. Fearing what the absence of a father figure would do to the lives of his young twin daughters, he looked at his male fiends and realized that there was no one person perfectly suited for the job. So he formed a ‘Council of Dads,’ which consisted of six of his closest friends who agreed to help him raise his daughters. Each had his area of expertise: homework dad, outdoors dad, etc., so the girls knew who to turn to for a specific issue when their mother’s help was not enough. Feiler’s story has a happy ending—he made a full recovery and the Council was never fully activated.” Starring Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead and Colony) as Perry’s wife, Robin, “an OB/GYN, the mother/stepmother to four children ranging in age from 7 to 21 – and she’s pregnant.” Michele Weaver (Love Is…) will play Luly Perry, a child whom Scott had before he met Robin. “A talented writer, she is focused on her future and waiting to hear if she’ll get an important internship at a prominent New York publication.” Blue Chapman will play J.J. Perry. “A sweet child, he is adored by his family and has a wonderful relationship with his parents.” J. August Richards (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) will play Dr. Oliver Post, “an esteemed oncologist and surgeon who is Scott’s doctor and part of the council.” Clive Standen “plays Anthony Lavelle. One of Scott’s oldest friends, Anthony is a chef and wears his heart on his sleeve.” Also starring: Michael O’Neill (Jack Ryan), Steven Silver (13 Reasons Why), Emjay Anthony (Chef) and Thalia Tran. “O’Neill will play Larry Malvern, a calming presence who is used to being in charge. Silver will portray Evan, a smart, caring young man with a great sense of humor who has been taking care of his sick mother. Anthony portrays Theo Perry, Scott’s son, who thinks the world is against him and that he can’t do anything.  Tran is Charlotte Perry, Robin and Scott’s daughter.” We’ll try it.

—Two new hour-long pilots are coming to NBC, probably for 2020:
——Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is a “musical dramedy” from Austin Winsberg (Jake in Progress) and Eric and Kim Tannenbaum, and WAS to be directed by Paul Feig (Freaks and Geeks, The Office9JKL), but got handed over to Richard Shepard (Ugly Betty) since Feig was overcommitted.  It claims to be “What Women Want meets La La Land…. [If she has an aneurysm, add Eli Stone]…[and] follows a whip-smart but socially awkward [woman] in her late 20s who is suddenly able to hear the innermost thoughts of people around her as songs and even big musical numbers that they perform just for her. With this new ability at her disposal, she is able to use her ‘gift’ to not only help herself understand people in her life, but also to help others around her.” Jane Levy (Suburgatory, What/If, Castle Rock, Don’t Breathe) is to be Zoey.  Skylar Astin (Pitch Perfect, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), John Clarence Stewart (Luke Cage), Carmen Cusack (Sorry for Your Loss), and Alex Newell (Glee) will co-star. “Stewart will portray Simon, a marketing exec at Zoey’s tech company….Astin will play, Max. Zoey’s co-worker and best friend, who is funny and has an indie vibe. Newell is Mo, Zoey’s neighbor, who is easygoing, open-minded and cool….Cusack will play Joan, a female tech pioneer who runs a tight ship at Zoey’s office.” Adding Mary Steenburgen as Zoey’s mother and Peter Gallagher (The O.C., Covert Affairs) as Zoey’s father (and they can sing WELL) make it even better! Sounds silly but fun. We’ll try it.
——Emergence is a “mystery drama” from creators/executive producers, Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters [Kevin (Probably) Saves the World, Agent Carter, Resurrection], and director, Paul McGuigan (Designated Survivor, Devious Maids, Lucky, Carnival Row). This one says it “is a character-driven genre thriller that centers on a sheriff who takes in a young child [Piper, played by Alexa Sky Swinton (Billions)] that she finds near the site of a mysterious accident who has no memory of what has happened. The investigation draws her into a conspiracy larger than she ever imagined, and the child’s identity is at the center of it all.” Starring Ashley Anfderheide, Clancy Brown (Billions), Robert Bailey, Jr. (The NIght Shift), Owain Yeoman (The Mentalist, Turn), Zabryna Guevara (New Amsterdam), and Allison Tolman (Fargo). “Tolman’s Jo is the police chief on Long Island’s Peconic Bay. Newly divorced from Alex, Jo lives with her 14-year-old daughter, Bree, and her ex-firefighter father, Ed….Yeoman plays Benny, an investigative reporter for Reuters….Guevara will play Abby, a pediatrician who is a longtime friend of Jo.” Seems less like something we’d like, but we may try it. Probably for 2019-20.

Reasonable Doubt will star Maxine Peake (The Bisexual) in “a crime drama that sees her playing a mother on a mission to get an 800-year-old law revoked….Based on a true story, Reasonable Doubt follows ‘Ann Ming’s battle to change the double jeopardy law in the UK after her daughter, Julie Hogg, was killed by Billy Dunlop in 1989…’ Ming wrote a book about the experience, For the Love of Julie. Susan Everett (Hinterland) penned the script. No further info about the cast, where or when it will air, but maybe in 2020.

The House of Sleep comes from “a 1997 novel about a narcoleptic woman, an insomniac man, and a doctor who is determined to eradicate sleep. Jane Eden (The Split, Fortitude) is penning the six-part series.” No info about cast, where or when it will air, but maybe in 2020.

Netflix will create and air Shadow and Bone, “an eight-episode series based on Leigh Bardugo‘s bestselling Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows Grishaverse fantasy novels,” to be adapted by Eric Heisserer (Bird Box)and Shawn Levy, executive producer (Stranger Things). This miniseries “brings together the stories and characters of both Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows, two overlapping series that take place in Bardugo’s Grishaverse. In a world cleaved in two by a massive barrier of perpetual darkness, where unnatural creatures feast on human flesh, a young soldier uncovers a power that might finally unite her country. But as she struggles to hone her power, dangerous forces plot against her. Thugs, thieves, assassins and saints are at war now, and it will take more than magic to survive.” Not our thing (too much horror stuff), but some will like this. Probably later in 2019.

—UK Amazon Prime Video users will get to watch Episodes of the hit medical drama (which we like), New Amsterdam starting 2/8/19. See my review, below.

NBC has 2 newlegal drama  pilots for 2019-20, and we’ll try both:
——Prism,  from Daniel and Ben Barna, Carol Mendelsohn and Julie Weitz, “inspired by Rashomon, the 1950 Japanese period psychological thriller directed by Akira Kurosawa.” Starring: Sara Rue (The Rookie, American Housewives) as “Alexis Boden. She’s ambitious and views the trial as her Serial opportunity”; Malin Akerman (Billions), who will play “Rachel Lewis, an Erin Brockovich force of nature…as empathetic as she is ruthless and a brilliantly passionate public defender”; Ramon Rodriguez (Iron Fist) “will play hard-hitting prosecutor, Eduardo Guaty”; and Mykelti Williamson (Chicago P.D.), who will play Judge Henley. Also starring: Chloe Wepper (Good Trouble); David Alpay (The Lottery); Joe Tippett (Rise); Alex Neustaedter (Colony); and, Brooke Smith (The Good Doctor); with Wepper as “Sophie Regen, a recent law school graduate who worships Rachel”; Alpay as “Jay Kershaw, a therapist who’s kind of messed up”; and, Smith as “Bec Jamison, the hard-living and tough mother of the accused….Tippett will play Lucius King, Rachel’s second chair. Neustaedter will portray Michael Jamison. Hard to tell if he’s a bit unstable or just masterfully playing everyone.”  It isdescribed as a provocative exploration of a murder trial in which every episode is told through the perspective of a different key person involved. Each new version of the facts ratchets up the mystery and the suspense, calling into question everything we have seen so far and asking, ‘Is the right person on trial?’ Driven by an ensemble of complicated characters, the show lets the audience ask if truth matters less than who can tell the most compelling story…a plot device that became known as the ‘Rashomon Effect’, which involves various characters providing contradictory interpretations of the same incident”; and
——Bluff City Law (working title), from Dean Georgaris (The Brave), David Janollari (Midnight, Texas) and Michael Aguilar (Kidding), is to be directed by the first Asian-American woman directing a broadcast drama pilot, Jessica Yu (American Crime, Billions, Parenthood, Castle and The Rookie). This “is a character-driven legal drama that follows the lawyers of an elite Memphis law firm that specializes in the most controversial landmark civil rights cases. Led by legendary lawyer, Elijah Strait, and his brilliant daughter, Sydney Keller, they take on the toughest David-and-Goliath cases while navigating their complicated relationship.” Starring Jimmy Smits (The West Wing, How to Get Away with Murder), Jayne Atkinson (House of Cards) ,Stony Blyden (Edge of Seventeen), Barry Sloane (Six), Michael Luwoye (Hamilton), MaameYaa Boafo, and Caitlin McGee (Grey’s Anatomy and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel). Smits will play Elijah and McGee will be “Sydney,…a hotshot lawyer from Memphis who gives up her corporate in-house job to work with her father on cases that she believes can actually make a differ…Atkinson will play Della Bedford, a warm-hearted but incredibly shrewd and wise lawyer in Elijah’s firm….Blyden will play Emerson, a tech-savvy assistant and paralegal at the law firm….Sloane will play Jake Reilly, a smart and confident lawyer who works for Elijah….Boafo will play Briana Logan, a private investigator who works for Elijah’s firm…. Luwoye plays Anthony Little, a fantastic lawyer who is also the warm-hearted father of three daughters.ence in the world.”

Sometimes I Lie, based on Alice Feeney‘s novel and to be adapted into a limited series by Robin Swicord (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), will star Sarah Michelle Gellar (TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ringer, The Crazy Ones) “as Amber Reynolds, a woman who wakes up in a hospital, unable to move, speak or open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they don’t know she can. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. The timeline alternates between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from 20 years ago.” Ellen DeGeneres is producing, but it doesn’t say where or when it will air. Maybe in 2020. I’ll keep you posted!

—I couldn’t get into the book at all, but maybe the TV series will be more palatable: The Yiddish Policemen’s Union (which received the Hugo, Sidewise, Nebula and Ignotus awards), by Michael Chabon—who also wrote Wonder Boys (1995), The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (2000)Telegraph Avenue (2012), and Moonglow: A Novel (2016), and received the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2001—is coming to TV. “What if Alaska is home of a big Jewish settlement and the fledgling state of Israel was destroyed?” is their description, as an “alternative history book….developed for television by Chabon and Ayelet Waldman” It is “a darkly comedic murder mystery and political thriller. …Jewish refugees from Hitler’s Europe found unlikely refuge on the Alaskan panhandle. In the present day of this world, as the community faces yet another exile, Homicide Detective Meyer Landsman must overcome the shambles of his broken life and marriage to solve a mysterious murder with profound political and religious ramifications.” We’ll try it. Probably out in 2020, but not sure what network or airing location.

Happy Accident is a pilot coming from Modern Family writers, Abraham Higginbotham and Jon Pollack, to be directed by Kat Coiro (Modern Family, among others). It is probably not for us, because it’s a half-hour comedy. It “centers around two Pittsburgh families—a father (Matt Walsh, Veep) with three adult daughters, and a hotel lounge singer (Vanessa Williams, Desperate Housewives, The Librarians and Ugly Betty) with her med student son—who are forced together after a decades-old secret is revealed.” Not sure if it will air on ABC or Fox (comes from both studios), but probably in 2019-20, if it gets picked up. Also joining the cast are Jessie Pinnick (Princess Cyd)Elliot Knight (Life Sentence), and Joanna Garcia Swisher [The Astronaut Wives Club, Kevin (Probably) Saves The World and Once Upon A Time]. “Pinnick will play Samantha “Sammy” Bennett, the baby of the family and a tomboy. Knight is Kenan, Sherri’s son, who has a need for control and order. Swisher will play Eleanor Bennett, a professor at Pitt who is also Bud’s (Walsh) oldest daughter.” We’ll try it, if just to hear Vanessa Williams singing again!

Simply Halston is a limited series that stars Ewan McGregor (always love him!) as American fashion designer, Halston (a.k.a. Roy Halston Frowick. “Written by Sharr White (The Affair) and directed by Dan Minahan (American Crime Story), the series will see McGregor… as he builds a worldwide fashion empire synonymous with luxury, sex and fame before seeing control of his company slip from his grasp after a hostile takeover….Halston started off as a milliner [hat maker] and rose to fame after designing the pillbox hat Jacqueline Kennedy wore to her husband’s presidential inauguration in 1961. He then segued to women’s wear with designs that were deemed minimalist but sophisticated, glamorous but comfortable. He had a slew of celebrity clients, including Anjelica Huston, Lauren Bacall, Margaux Hemingway, Elizabeth Taylor, Bianca Jagger and Liza Minnelli. He also designed uniforms for U.S Olympic team, Girl Scouts, NYPD and Braniff Airways. Halston’s company went through various owners and was eventually acquired by Revlon, with Halston gradually losing control. He died in 1990 at the age of 57 from AIDS-related complications.” Don’t know where or when this airs, yet. Probably in 2020.

Secret Society for NBC is “a female-focused comedy” from Emily Heller (Barry, People of Earth and Crowded) and Laverne McKinnon and Kay Cannon (Girlboss, Pitch Perfect, 30 Rock and New Girl) that “centers on Beth, a struggling reporter who is tired of feeling invisible in her small town and recruits other women to help take over a dying branch of an all-male secret society.” Sounds possibly silly, but may work. We might watch. Probably in 2020.

—A TV series is coming from a book series, again: the crime series, Darby Holland, by Jeff Johnson, to be adapted by producer, Mark R. Harris (Crash, Gods and Monsters), and writer, Kate Orsini (The Bold and the BeautifulThe Honor List), starting with Lucky Supreme (the first novel in the series, also). Sounds like something we might watch, or it may be too violent: “in the gritty urban wilds of Old Town, Portland, Oregon, the series follows the eponymous fixer, Darby Holland, who runs a venerable tattoo parlor and leads his talented crew of misfits into battle against hellish art dealers, criminal real estate developers and the creeping doom of gentrification.” Not sure where or when it will air. Probably in 2020.

—Podcast-into-series seems to be a successful and increasingly utilized production route (many “real-crime” stories, like Dirty John, and fictional ones, like Alex, Inc., and Homecoming), and here are a few more in development, and probably airing in 2020. :
——Gladiator for FX is based on “a podcast made by Wondery and The Boston Globe’s Spotlight investigative team [that] focused on the NFL player, Aaron Hernandez, who committed suicide after being convicted of murder;
——Welcome to Night Vale is also for FX. It is based on “the long-running podcast (and book series) created by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor in 2012″;
——Dr. Death is another Wondery podcast spawn. This is “about a neurosurgeon accused of malpractice”;
——The Bright Sessions is based on “a sci-fi podcast created by Lauren Shippen. Ms. Shippen and Gabrielle G. Stanton, an alumna of Grey’s Anatomy, are writing i”;
——Business Wars is now becoming “a series centered on corporate rivalries.” Janet Leahy (Mad Men) is writing the pilot.

Adapted is coming to Fox that says it’s “a real-life-inspired multi-cultural single-camera comedy.” From co-executive producers/writers, Mary Fitzgerald, Arthur Harris and Angela Nissel (who all worked on The Last O.G), “based on a real-life story, Adapted follows 14-year-old Alex, who, after refusing to move from Las Vegas to Philadelphia so that his neglectful mother can re-marry yet again, convinces his African-American neighbors to adopt him.” The story is that of Omar Dzlieri, “a 27-year old writer/director from Philadelphia who was born to a Russian-Jewish immigrant single mother. Dzlieri moved a lot in his early childhood as his mother balanced raising three children and working multiple jobs. At age 10, Omar moved to Las Vegas and found the stability he always longed for when the Henrys, his next door neighbors, a loving black family, became Omar’s legal guardians after he moved in, and provided him with a thriving and nurturing environment and multi-cultural journey to adulthood.” Likely to be riddled with stereotypes, but could be able to sidestep them. We may watch. Probably in 2020.

Queer as Folk is getting a makeover/reboot on Bravo for 2019-20. “Written and directed by [Stephen] Dunn, the new version, which will feature new characters in a new setting, is described as a modern take on the original British series [developed by Russell T. Davies]  that centers on a group of club-going friends who find support in the gay community following a tragedy.” I didn’t watch because it focused exceesively on promiscuous gay men (not my favorite demographic), but “The original Queer as Folk, starring Aidan Gillen, Charlie Hunnam and Craig Kelly, chronicled the lives of three gay men living in Manchester’s gay village around Canal Street…in 1999 [and]…2000. A North American remake also was launched in 2000…[s]et in Pittsburgh [that] starred Gale Harold, Randy Harrison, Hal Sparks, Peter Paige, and Scott Lowell.” These first two versions were groundbreaking. The new one, not so much. Why doing?

—Any contemporary romance lovers and/or Robyn Carr readers out here? We sometimes like her novels, and Virgin River is a new Netflix series, with a stellar cast—Alexandra Breckenridge (This Is Us, The Walking Dead), Martin Henderson (Grey’s Anatomy, Miracles From Heaven), Tim Matheson (The Affair, The Good Fight) and Annette O’Toole (Smallville, Marvel’s The Punisher) —that is based on twenty of them, all set in one small  town (a common author-of-romances ploy). “Melinda Monroe (Breckenridge)…answers an ad to work as a nurse practitioner in the remote California town of Virgin River. Desperate to move on from her painful past, she’s left everything behind in Los Angeles, thinking it will be the perfect place to start fresh and leave her painful memories behind. But she soon discovers that small-town living isn’t quite as simple as she expected and that she must learn to heal herself before she can truly make Virgin River her home. Henderson plays Jack Sheridan, a sharp-witted ex-Marine commander, who moved to Virgin River after his service was over in search of a peaceful life, far away from the horrors of war. Matheson portrays Doc Mullins. Set in his ways and a bit of a curmudgeon, he’s not keen on working with anyone including Mel, who he views as a challenge to his authority. O’Toole is Hope McCrea, Virgin River’s brash and blunt mayor—a little rough around the edges, but her saving grace is her love for the town and her mission to preserve it….[Also features] Jenny Cooper (Grey’s Anatomy) as Joey Barnes, Mel’s charming older sister, adviser, trusted confidante, and best friend; David Cubitt (Siren) as Calvin, the unquestioned leader of the largest of the many illegal pot fields that litter the landscape around Virgin River; Lexa Doig (Arrow) as Paige Lassiter, a local entrepreneur, and an illustrious baker with a warm smile who has secrets of her own; Daniel Gillies (The Originals) as Mark: Mel’s first love, strikingly handsome and accomplished, a surgeon in the Los Angeles ER where Mel worked; Lauren Hammersley (Orphan Black) as Charmaine Roberts, an attractive hair stylist from nearby Clear River, and competition for Jack’s attention; Benjamin Hollingsworth (Code Black) as Dan Brady, another former Marine under Jack’s command, Brady differs from Preacher in almost every way; Colin Lawrence (Riverdale) as John “Preacher” Middleton, Jack’s best friend, the two men served in the military together, and Ian Tracey (Bates Motel) as Jimmy, Calvin’s lieutenant and enforcer, anyone unfortunate enough to incur Calvin’s wrath is inevitably forced to deal with Jimmy.” if you like evening soap operas, you’ll love this!  We’ll try it!  Probably releases in 2020.

Mr. Nice Guy, based on the same-titled book, is to be a the half-hour dramedy series to be written by Fresh Off The Boat co-executive producer, Laura McCreary (also, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Don’t Trust The B—-in Apt. 23) and Cathy Schulman (Crash, The Illusionist  and Bad Moms) will produce. “Real-life husband and wife authors, [Jennifer] Miller and [Jason] Feifer, served as inspiration for the dramedy. It centers on Carmen and Lucas, a pair of magazine writers who unknowingly work for the same publication when they have a one-night stand. Their subsequent individual reviews of the encounter go viral, so they decide to continue the relationship and write weekly dueling columns reviewing each other’s performance in bed.” No cast, network or schedule for release, yet. Probably 2020. We might watch, but with low expectations (sit com…).

—If you like George Takei, regardless of what he’s in, or Ridley Scott, or horror, you’ll probably already be watching The Terror on AMC (premiered in March, 2018), and be glad that Takei is joining for SEASON 2. Not for us, but the anthology drama is “[s]et during World War II [and] follows a series of bizarre deaths that haunt a Japanese-American community and a young man’s journey to understand and combat the malevolent entity responsible. Kiki Sukezane (Lost in Space), Miki Ishikawa (9-1-1), Shingo Usami (Unbroken) and Naoko Mori (Everest) also have joined [for SEASON 2 in 2019]….Inspired by a true story, The Terror [SEASON 1] centers on the Royal Navy’s perilous voyage into uncharted territory, attempting to discover the Northwest Passage. Faced with treacherous conditions, limited resources, dwindling hope and fear of the unknown, the crew is pushed to the brink of extinction. Frozen, isolated and stuck at the end of the earth, The Terror highlights all that can go wrong when a group of men, desperate to survive, struggle not only with the elements but with each other.” Christopher Naoki Lee “will play Ken Uehara, an outspoken young Japanese-American man from San Francisco whose affluent family is imprisoned at the same internment camp as several of the other characters.” Also featuring Jared Harris (The Crown, Mad Men), Tobias Menzies (Outlander) and Ciarán Hinds (Game of Thrones) star.” Not for us, but glad Takei is getting more work on TV!

Netflix users will like this 2019 Netflix list:, which describes the upcoming and newest shows,  including some we’ve already been anticipating:
——October Faction (see below), with Tamara Taylor;
——What/If (see below), with Renee Zellweger;
——Raising Dion, a superhero’s family story, with Michael B. Jordan, Ali Ahn (The Path) and Jason Ritter [Kevin (Probably ) Saves the World and Gilmore Girls], is “based on commercial and music video director, Dennis Liu’s, short film about an African-American single mother who discovers her young son has multiple, constantly changing abilities. Raising Dion…follows the story of …Nicole Reese [uncast as of 4/12/19] who raises her son, Dion [uncast as of 4/12/19], after the death of her husband, Mark (Jordan). The normal dramas of raising a son as a single mom are amplified when Dion starts to manifest several magical, superhero-like abilities. Nicole must now keep her son’s gifts secret with the help of Mark’s best friend, Pat (Ritter), and protect Dion from antagonists out to exploit him while figuring out the origin of his abilities. Ahn will play Suzanne Wu, a scientist who lacks the ability to fake enthusiasm or interest. She’s either fascinated or disengaged. She knows more about the company and its people than anyone”;
——No Good Nick (releases 4/15/19; see below), with Melissa Joan Hart and Sean Astin.

Intelligence for Sky One will star David Schwimmer (Friends, American Crime Story, Will & Grace) and Nick Mohammed (The Martian and Christopher Robin), who will also write the scripts. Schwimmer will also co-executive produce. The 6-part comedy series will be “a workplace comedy series based in Cheltenham and set in the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters. Schwimmer plays a power-hungry, maverick NSA agent who joins an inept and tactless computer analyst (Mohammed) and a newly-formed team tackling cyber-crime. What could go wrong? ‘Even though the stakes are really high for the team, fighting cyber-crime, our …series reveals the reality is not dissimilar to any other office environment, from temperamental photocopiers to meeting rooms being double booked,’ said Nerys Evans, Expectation’s Creative Director, Comedy…” Don’t know where, on what service/network, or with whom else this series will occur. Maybe for 2020. Could be interesting, could be stupid. We’ll see.

Turn of the Screw for Freeform is to be “a fresh modern spin on Henry James’ supernatural thriller [an 1898 horror novella], from Alexandra McNally (Under the Dome, White Collar, Gossip Girl, Melrose Place) and Josh Berman (Drop Dead Diva, CSI Bones, The Blacklist, Notorious)….A twisty Gothic soap reimagined for modern times, the series will follow Elena, a Mexican-American nanny who is hired to care for the two children of a widowed-father at their summer home on idyllic Bainbridge Island. It seems like the perfect job with potential for a ‘happily ever after’ ending, but things take a sinister turn when Elena begins seeing ghosts and her grip on what is real and what is not blurs.” May be too dark for us, but we’ll try it. Probably in 2020.

Batwoman is coming! Any DC CW fans out there who watched the recent “Crosever Event”—Supergirl, Arrow, Flash, consecutive Episodes, Elseworlds, starring: The Flash, Barry (Grant Gustin); Arrow, Oliver (Stephen Amell; and Supergirl, Kara (Melissa Benoist)? Then you met the new Batwoman, played by Ruby Rose. Here is more info about plans for Batwoman’s character: “Batwoman is more than Kate Kane, cousin to Bruce Wayne: She’s openly gay, and her introduction in these episodes is a prelude to plans to develop and produce a new Batwoman series starring Rose”; Marcos Siega (You, The Vampire Diaries, God Friended Me, The Following, Time After Time, The Passage) will direct. “‘We created it with a larger story in mind, for sure,’” executive producer, Caroline Dries, said at a recent press event….[This series] will be the first live-action superhero show starring a gay character….[S]he’s armed with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind, Kate Kane (Rose) soars onto the streets of Gotham as Batwoman, an out lesbian and highly trained street fighter primed to snuff out the failing city’s criminal resurgence. But don’t call her a hero yet. In a city desperate for a savior, Kate must overcome her own demons before embracing the call to be Gotham’s symbol of hope.” Megan Tandy (Teen Wolf, UnReal, Charmed), Camrus Johnson (Luke Cage, There’s Jonny), Dougray Scott (Snatch, The White Woman in White, Departed), and Nicole Kang (You, Orange is the New Black, The Code) are also starring. “Tandy will play Sophie Moore. After graduating from military academy, Sophie rose through the ranks to become a high-level private security agent and one of Gotham’s staunchest protectors. Despite her bite and regimented outlook, Sophie has a soft side, illuminated by Kate Kane’s return. Johnson will portray Luke Fox. A Dark Knight loyalist and son of Wayne’s R&D director, Lucius Fox, Luke works to keep Wayne Tower secure in his boss’s absence. While Luke considers himself the guardian of all things Batman—specifically his symbol —he also recognizes the city’s need for a new hero. Kang is Mary Hamilton. Excitable, talkative, and an influencer-in-the-making, Mary is Kate Kane’s step-sister and polar opposite. But what Mary lacks in a filter, she makes up for with her compassion for Gotham’s underserved communities, proving she has more in common with Kate than she thinks….Scott will play Jacob Kane, a former military colonel with a chip on his shoulder for Batman, Jacob Kane now commands Gotham’s private security firm, The Crows, and has made it his mission to protect his city better than the Dark Knight ever could. But it’s only a matter of time before his unwavering disdain for vigilantes puts him at odds with Gotham’s new caped crusader…who also happens to be his own daughter….Rachel Skarsten (Reign, Birds of Prey) will play Alice. If Batwoman had a Joker, it would be Alice, the leader of her Lewis Carroll–inspired Wonderland Gang. Swinging unpredictably between maniacal and charming, Alice has made it her mission to undermine Gotham’s sense of security.” Also starring Elizabeth Anweis (9-1-1, Twin Peaks: The Return, The Affair and NCIS: Los Angeles) as “Catherine Hamilton-Kane, Kate Kane’s step-mother. Catherine made her fortune as a savvy, bullheaded defense contractor, and all those billions position her as one of Gotham’s most powerful residents. For Catherine, it’s a matter of the bottom line: Batwoman is bad for business.” Look for this in 2019-20. We’ll watch!

Arrow and BatwomanThe Flash as Arrow, with Batwoman, from The CW, at https://www.indiewire.com/2018/12/the-cw-batwoman-ruby-rose-elseworlds-1202027068/

The Black Tapes will appeal to X-Files and Outer Limits fans. It is to be adapted by Matthew Arnold (Emerald City) from a popular podcast by Paul Bae and Terry Miles, that “follows a journalist’s investigations into the unexplained supernatural mysteries caught on tape by a skeptical scientist. Each week the two of them embark on a journey exploring the literal and figurative ghosts that haunt them both…[H]ost, Alex Reagan, narrates a nonfiction-styled fictional story over multiple episodes, using a format that has been compared to Serial. The story begins as a biography of paranormal investigator, Dr. Richard Strand, an ‘evangelical skeptic,’ on a mission to debunk all claims of the supernatural. Reagan becomes interested in his collection of unsolved cases, which she begins calling his ‘Black Tapes,’ and the podcast evolves into an exploration of these cases, paranormal culture, and the mysterious life of Dr. Strand..I might try it, but Mom probably won’t. Look for it in 2020. ”

—One for conspiracy theorists everywhere: the story of the life and murder of one of  JFK‘s lovers, painter Mary Pinchot Meyer, “who lived in Washington, D.C., was married to Central Intelligence Agency official, Cord Meyer, for 13 years and became romantically involved with Kennedy after her divorce from Meyer in 1958. She was found shot to death on October 12, 1964, on the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal towpath, nearly three weeks after the release of the Warren Commission Report on the Kennedy assassination. Meyer had allegedly challenged the report’s conclusions, and also had been critical of the CIA, raising speculation of CIA involvement in her murder. The man accused of her murder, Ray Crump, Jr., was acquitted at trial in July, 1965, and her murder remains unsolved.” Written by David Seidler (The King’s Speech), “and based on Peter Janney’s book, Mary’s Mosaic, the drama/murder mystery explores different theories about the killing of Meyer while also exploring her secret romantic relationship with President John F. Kennedy.” Executive producers, Joby Harold and Tory Tunnell, are also producing Spinning Out (see below) for Netflix. We may watch. The limited series is likely to be releasing in 2020, but not sure where.

The Last Spy for NBC is coming from the creator of Designated Survivor, David Guggenheim. It “is a high-octane character-driven espionage drama in which the members of an elite, deep-cover CIA unit are killed after their real-life identities are exposed. In the aftermath, the only operative to escape the onslaught recruits her own team of former spies and assets to complete their missions while also working to unravel the conspiracy behind who betrayed her friends and colleagues.” Guggenheim likes these “last one standing” stories, doesn’t he? Has a good production team and sounds intriguing. We’ll try it. Probably in 2020.

The Great Believers is being developed into a series by Amy Poehler (busy woman) from the 2018 award-winning novel by Rebecca Makkai. The story “is set in mid-1980s Chicago and 2015 Paris, using the AIDS epidemic and a mother’s search for her estranged daughter to explore the effects of senseless loss and our efforts to overcome it. The arc revolving around a group of mostly gay male friends conveys the terrors and tragedies of the epidemic’s early years and follows its repercussions over decades.” Sounds depressing, but many should watch. Probably appearing in 2020; not sure where. .

—Love ice skating depicted on film? Check out Netflix’s new series, Spinning Out. Starring Willow Shields (The Hunger Games) and Kaya Scodelario (The Maze Runner films, Skins), this series “is set in the world of competitive figure skating. Created by Samantha Stratton(Mr. Mercedes), a former competitive figure skater herself, the series centers on Kat Baker (Scodelario), an up-and-coming, high-level single skater who’s about to turn in her skates after a disastrous fall took her off the competition track. When Kat seizes an opportunity to continue her career as a pair skater with a talented bad-boy partner, she risks exposing a fiercely kept secret that could unravel her entire life. On and off the ice, Kat and her new partner will face daunting odds, injury to body and soul, financial sacrifice, and even potential mental breakdown on their way to realizing their Olympic dream…Shields will play Kat Baker’s younger sister, Serena. While Serena lacks her sister’s natural grace on the ice, she makes up for it with discipline and fierce determination. Her complicated relationship with her sister is made up of equal parts loyalty and competition….Two-time Olympian and NBC correspondent, Johnny Weir, Sarah Wright Olsen (American Made, Marry Me), Will Kemp (Reign, Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce)Kaitlyn Leeb (Shadowhunters, Total Recall), Amanda Zhou (October Faction, IT: Chapter Two) and Mitchell Edwards (All American, The Fix) have joined the cast…. Weir plays Gabe, who seems like an easygoing guy—but under his funny, laidback exterior, he’s a cutthroat competitor who will stop at nothing to beat Kat and Justin. Olsen is Mandy, Justin’s stepmother. Raised in rural Kentucky, Mandy started her own real estate business from scratch. She fell in love with Justin’s widower father when she sold him a house and has helped raise his two younger sons. Kemp portrays Mitch, the charming, British ‘it coach’ in the region who has gotten scores of girls into high-level competitions. When he first signs on to be Serena’s coach, she’s sure that she finally will beat her sister. Leeb is Leah, Gabe’s skating partner who is as mean as she is beautiful. When she’s replaced by Kat as Justin’s pairs partner, she makes it her life’s mission to take the two of them down. Zhou plays Jenn, Kat’s foul-mouthed best friend who doesn’t suffer fools. Jenn is an extremely talented single skater, the daughter of Chinese immigrants who own a successful local sporting goods store and Serena’s main competition. Edwards is Marcus, son of a prominent African-American family and Kat’s co-worker at the lodge bar. Besides being a bartender, he also is a gifted skier who is trying to find his place in a predominantly white sport.”  Also starring January Jones (Mad Men) as “Carol Baker, Kat (Scodelario) and Serena’s (Willow Shields) mother. Carol is a former high-level figure skater who had to forfeit her dreams when she became pregnant with her oldest daughter at a young age. The head of the Baker family, Carol fiercely pushes both her girls to become Olympians in order to fulfill the dream she could never achieve herself. Simultaneously, she struggles with personal demons that threaten to ruin her relationship with her daughters, the thing she values about all else.” Doubt if any of these stars will do their own skating much (or at all), but could be fun to watch, anyway. We’ll try it. Probably in 2020.

—How much do you love Kyra Sedgwick (Ten Days in the Valley, The Closer, Cavedweller)? She is now directing (Grace & Frankie, Story of a Girl) as well as producing, to add to her great acting, and her new company, Big Swing Productions, led also by Meredith Bagby (Dreamgirls, Terminal, Last Kiss, Ring II, Lemony Snicket, Just Like Heaven, Dinner for Schmucksand Valerie Stadler (Prey for Rock & Roll, Cavedweller, Life of a King, Fallen Star: Finding Home, and Sunset Stories) has a great slate of upcoming feminist, diverse, queer-positive, innovative and creative film and TV projects: https://deadline.com/2018/12/kyra-sedgwick-big-swing-productions-tv-film-slate-meredith-bagby-and-valerie-stadler-girls-weekend-1202519084/
We’re interested! Probably in 2020, but not sure where, yet.
For TV [no casting info, network/streaming location(s) or air dates, yet]:
——The F**king New Guys is “based on the true story of NASA’s first class of civilian Shuttle astronauts, which included the first American woman in space, the first African-American, the first Asian-American, the first mother, the first queer person, and the first Jewish person. The series, which tracks a watershed in both civil-rights history and space travel, will tell the story of these astronauts — friends, rivals, lovers and ultimately family — through the infancy of the Shuttle program to the Challenger disaster and beyond. It’s described as The Right Stuff for this generation”;
and
——The Authentics is “based on the book by Abdi Nazemian, is a young-adult TV series that begins when heroine Daria, a proud first-generation Iranian-American, discovers through a DNA test that she’s adopted. It’s a secret that sends her on a cultural journey through a Los Angeles she never knew existed and helps her build a more expansive view of family. Rachel Goldberg is attached to direct.”

—Known as the “Queen of Tejano” music, the late Selena Quintanilla “was one of the biggest Latino crossover artists. The singer-songwriter, model, actress and fashion designer was tragically killed in 1995 at age 23 by her former fan club president. Her posthumous crossover album, Dreaming of You, debuted atop the Billboard 200 later that year, a first for a Latinx artist. Selena’s story was previously brought to the screen in the 1997 feature biopic starring Jennifer Lopez.” Now, a series about her life is coming to Netflix, from Moisés Zamora (Star), who is the writer/executive producer. Another executive producer will be Selena’s sister, Suzette Quintanilla. I’m sure a lot will love this. Not our thing, though. Probably in 2020, but ABC may beat it to the punch: already been developing its own pilot for a series, same idea. We’ll see.

—So excited!  One of my favorite radio shows/podcasts, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! is headed to NBC, as a series! “Hosted by Peter Sagal, NPR’s weekly news-themed radio panel show Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! is a funny and fast-paced game of provocative questions and snappy answers about current events. It features celebrity guests, which have ranged from Jordan Peele, Stephen Colbert, Guy Richie, and Greta Gerwig to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The TV adaptation will stay true to the original while delivering bigger, visual and variety-themed games that can’t be captured on the radio. It will be an hour-long current events trivia game featuring three celebrity panelists who will compete in a series of comedic challenges, earning points as they correctly answer questions about the week’s news. The panelist who earns the most points will earn a cash prize for the charity of his or her choice. A host for the TV version has yet to be announced.” CBS tried to create a series in 2008, after it won a Peabody Award, but it didn’t go forward. Hope this works for NBC!  Maybe in 2020.

Blacksmith for NBC will be adapted from a graphic novel by Malik Evans and Richard Sparkman. Jeff Wadlow (Truth or Dare) is to write it, and it is ” centered on Alex Malloy, known in the intelligence community for building high-tech weapons for U.S. government agencies. When he discovers some of the files containing his weapon designs have fallen into the wrong hands, he sets off on a journey to recover the files before his weapons are used for harm.” We might try it, but it’s likely to be mostly violence and chases and not much plot or character development; not our favorite formula. Probably in 2020.

A Tabloid Empire from BBC will be a 3-Episode documentary about Rupert Murdoch‘s  media companies and their influence over the British press. It will first air on BBC Two, so we’ll have to wait to see it.  The series “will explore the extraordinary reach of the Murdoch empire across the British press. Covering the period from 1997 to 2012, the series examines how the press went from exerting astonishing influence over British politics and public to being mired in scandal from phone hacking to corruption, culminating in the revelations of the Leveson Enquiry. The series will use archive and exclusive interviews with those at the center of the story, highlighting the colourful characters and unrivalled power of those at the top.” Sounds interesting. Probably available in the USA in late 2019.

New York Undercover is a troubled reboot, kicked over to ABC from Fox. Doesn’t bode well, IMO. It’s a Dick Wolf “cop drama,” though, and already succeeded for 5 years in the 1990s. So, we’ll see. This version will be written by Ben Watkins (Amazon’s Hand of God), and they claim: “as a procedural, New York Undercover can be reinvented with new characters and cast. Even the original series rebooted itself in the fourth and final season with a largely new cast, joining [Malik] Yoba and Season 2 addition Luna Lauren Velez as the other series regulars exited.” Yoba “will reprise his role as J.C. Williams from the original series. In the followup, Williams is now overseeing the unit and the next generation of detectives….Velez will reprise her role as Nina Moreno. MC Lyte (Power), Otmara Marrero (StartUp), Toby Sandeman (She’s Gotta Have It), Anna Enger (Chicago Med) and Octavio Pizano (If Loving You Is Wrong) will also star….Lyte is Lt. April Freeman, a hard-driving boss with a genius IQ. Marrero will play Melissa Ortiz, a fiery young detective who blends well undercover. Sandeman is Nat Gilmore, charismatic with an easy smile and a quick fuse. Enger portrays Lisa Kim, an ambitious climber. Pizano is Moses Hernandez, an eager beaver with a hero complex.” So, look for this with mostly new actors in 2020, probably.

Conway for NBC is set in St. Louis (!?!) and coming from Vin Diesel (yup), “a crime drama about a brilliant detective….Written by Jonny UmanskyConway centers around St. Louis detective, Cal Conway, who finds his world turned upside down when he wakes up from a coma with exceptional cognitive abilities. Returning to the force, he sets out to solve the city’s most complex cases but the discovery of a lethal side effect makes Cal wonder whether his new abilities are more of a blessing or a curse. The series is inspired by a real world condition, affecting just 50 people around the world, who have survived traumatic brain injuries. In these rare instances, the brain responds to trauma in spectacular ways, resulting in individuals suddenly possessing extraordinary new genius-level talents and cognitive abilities.” How is this not The Dead Zone? Stephen King should sue… UmanskyDiesel and Shana C. Waterman will be executive producers. We will probably try it, though. We like shows like this! Look for it in 2020.

Deadtown is being adapted by Shauna Cross from Catherynne M. Valente’s novella, The Refrigerator Monologues. “[T]he hour-long premise is a blueprint to create an original superhero universe set in the modern era with an underlying theme of female empowerment. Five recently-dead women meet in Deadtown, a purgatory where they discover that their entire lives were merely in service to the superhero men they happened to cross paths with, resulting in each of their deaths. Or in comic book terms, they were ‘refrigerated’—frozen out of the story once they provided emotional backstory for the men. Until now. They start to discover their own powers, tell their sides of the narrative, and decide to write their own damn stories. And a group of seemingly ordinary women discover their own true power. It’s a subversive, kick-ass exploration of what it means for women to find their inner power—and use it. Cross …[Whip It (the Drew Barrymore-directed roller derby film was adapted from Cross’s novel, Derby Girl), Bad Santa 2 and If I Stay],… is working on…an adaptation of the classic Erica Jong erotic novel, Fear of Flying.” Executive producers are Cross and ValenteLawrence Grey, Ben Everard and Cliff Roberts. Sounds awesome! We’ll try it. Probably releases in 2020 on Amazon.

Tigers in Red Weather is set in one of my favorite and old family haunts, Martha’s Vineyard, off the coast of Massachusetts’ Cape Cod, at the end of World War II. Based on the novel by Liza Klaussmann, the “riveting, atmospheric tale centers around two female cousins and their families whose lives begin to unravel one summer when a body is discovered in the woods. Rich with emotional duplicity, the multi-faceted thriller explores the complexity of women and the choices they make.” No network, release date, cast or much other info, yet, but the production company (Character 7) has produced earlier series for AMC, Starz and BBC One. We’ll look for it in 2020.

The Spy Who Came in from the Co-Op for BBC is based on David Burke’s nonfiction, biographical history book whose full title i:s The Spy Who Came in from the Co-Op: Melita Norwood and the Ending of Cold War Espionage. This will depict “the story of wartime intelligence, super-power relations and spies and their handlers—seen through the experience of Norwood. The title comes from a report in The Times newspaper from 1999 after Norwood’s work was revealed, but British authorities decided at 87 she was too old to prosecute. Norwood had helped shorten the Soviet Union’s atomic bomb project by up to five years. She was a member of one of a communist spy networks in Britain, who, by guaranteeing those weapons of mass destruction, threw down a challenge to America as sole superpower in the post-Second World War era. Norwood started spying in 1932, when she worked for the British Non-Ferrous Metals Research Association, which played a key role in Britain’s atomic research. The British government, which believed she was a more valuable asset for the KGB than the Cambridge Spy Ring, had discovered her allegiances in 1992 when Vasili Mitrokhin, the first chief directorate of the KGB, defected to the UK. She died in 2005 aged 93….David Burke is an historian of intelligence and international relations and previously wrote The Lawn Road Flats: Spies, Writers and Artists.”  Sounds amazing. We’ll watch. Probably available in the USA in 2020.

Queen Sono is to be Netflix’s “first original African series,” starring Pearl Thusi (Quantico) as “a highly trained spy in a South African agency in the series….Created by director, Kagiso Lediga, who worked with Thusi in dark romantic comedy Catching Feelings, and exec producer, Tamsin Andersson, who produced Catching Feelings and Lediga’s coming-of-age adventure Wizard, the series will see Thusi’s character take on dangerous missions, while also facing challenges in her personal life.” Sounds fascinating. We’ll try it. Probably releasing in 2020.

Les Misérables fo PBSMasterpiece series will be a six-part  adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel in 2019. Not the musical play or film of the play or the other film, this is a drama that “stars Dominic West as Jean Valjean, David Oyelowo as Javert, Lily Collins as Fantine” with Adeel Akhtar and Olivia Colman as Monsieur and Madame Thénardier,…Ellie Bamber as Cosette, Josh O’Connor as Marius and Erin Kellyman as Eponine.” Andrew Davies (Pride & Prejudice) will write this version, which focuses on “Valjean and Javert’s cat-and-mouse relationship, and [is] set against the epic backdrop of France at a time of civil unrest. Tom Shankland is directing.” If you like tragedies with horribly sad parts and endings, class war and the like, you’ll love this. We’ll skip it.

Rachet (not to be confused with Ryan Murphy‘s Netflix show, Ratched). for CBS “centers on Jessica Rachet (Natasha Leggero), who must start a new life and make new friends after her rich fiancé dies suddenly and leaves her to fend for herself.” It will be written by Leggero (Another Period)and Morgan Murphy (2 Broke Girls). Doubt if we’ll watch, but maybe… Probably in 2020.

Reef Break is coming to ABC in August, 2019. It is supposed to be a “13-episode summer crime drama” and “a sexy, action-packed drama.” Stars Poppy Montgomery as “Cat Chambers, a thief-turned-fixer for the governor of a stunning and seductive Pacific Island paradise. Impulsive, reckless and irresistible, Cat’s less-than-perfect past gives her an instinctive gift for understanding crime and criminals as she becomes enmeshed in fast-paced, high-octane adventures and island intrigue….[Chaim] Desmond will play Jake Wyatt, a detective on the island who knows his way around a life-or-death scenario. After a one-night stand as strangers, Wyatt and Cat…suddenly are working on a case together—a scenario he’s not quite prepared to handle.” Also starring Ray Stevenson (Black Sails, Dexter, Divergent, Insurgent), who “plays Jake. A man’s man, a bit down on his luck at the moment, Jake Elliot prefers the beach bum lifestyle, even if he is a federal agent. Preferring to lay low near the water, Jake is rarely at the office. He’s got a history with Cat, and the two aren’t completely emotionally done with each other.” Ken Sanzel will write as well as serve as showrunner. We like Poppy (Unforgettable) and will give this a try.

ABC has yet another untitled comedy. This one, coming from writer, Paul  McLalin (Superstore), “follows a blue-collar family in Kalamazoo, Michigan, who are adjusting to life after the family’s patriarch is laid off from the local manufacturing plant by his son and both have to adjust to their new roles in the family.” Sounds classist, stereotypical and dim. Probably for 2020.

Night Gallery fans out here? NBC nixed it, but SyFy is picking up the reboot. This is “a re-imagination of Night Gallery, from Teen Wolf creator/executive producer, Jeff Davis, and Midnight, Texas executive producer, David Janollari….Night Gallery, which ran on NBC from 1969-73 …was [Rod] Sterling’s supernatural/horror follow-up to his sci-fi-themed anthology series, The Twilight Zone. Serling was the host of Night Gallery, appearing in an art gallery setting to introduce each segment of an episode by unveiling a painting that illustrated the story.” Wonder what they mean by “re-imagination”? Probaby gorier, more disturbing and violent. Yuck. Some will love it, I’m sure. Probably 2020.

Dr. Mirage may come to The CW via Laurie McCarthy (Iron Man 3, Looper, Point Break, Reign, CSI: Miami, Felicity and Beverly Hills, 90210). “It is based on the graphic novel about a female paranormal investigator who can communicate with dead souls except the one she wants to reach—the love of her life.” I can’t tell if it’s animated. If it’s not, we’ll try it. Probably for 2020.

The Dublin Murders airs on Starz (which we do not get), but we can probably see it elsewhere (streaming or DVD). “The atmospheric, psychological thriller…is adapted by series creator and writer, Sarah Phelps, and stars Killian Scott (C.B. Strike) and Sarah Greene (Penny Dreadful). follows Rob Reilly (Scott)—a smart-suited detective whose English accent marks him as an outsider —who is dispatched to investigate the murder of a young girl on the outskirts of Dublin with his partner, Cassie Maddox (Greene). Against his better judgment and protected by his friendship with Cassie, he is pulled back into another case of missing children and forced to confront his own darkness. As the case intensifies, Rob and Cassie’s relationship is tested to the breaking point and when Cassie is sent undercover for another murder case, she is forced to come face to face with her own brutal reckoning.” The cast also includes Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (Avengers: Infinity War), Moe Dunford (Vikings), Leah McNamara (Vikings), Ian Kenny (Solo: A Star Wars Story), Eugene O’Hare (The Fall), Jonny Holden (Women on the Verge), Conleth Hill (Game of Thrones) and Peter McDonald (The Last Kingdom). The eight-episode series is adapted from Tana French‘s novels in the Dublin Murder Squad crime series, In The Woods and The Likeness. We’ll look for this in 2020 or later.

—If you didn’t get to to NYC or couldn’t afford to see Springsteen on Broadway, Netflix is offering it, starting 12/15/18! Happy Holidays to all Bruce Springsteen fans!

—This sounds fun! Super Clean, created by Heath Amodio and Cullen Bunn, “explores the superhero genre from the human side. Becky Masters, an uber-organized and brilliant human, and her ragtag team of non-powered cohorts navigate the danger and drama of ‘cleaning up’ after superheroes and villains, all while Becky works to prove her superhero boyfriend is innocent of a dastardly crime.”

super-clean-comic

For the CW, written by Sascha Rothchild (GLOW). We’ll try it. Probably for 2020.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers, anyone? Spides, “a science fiction thriller with a twist,” was written for SyFy by Rainer Matsutani, Eckhard Vollmar, Peter Hume, Carola Lowitz and Mark Wachholz, although why it takes so many writers to crib from other shows, I do not know. “Set in modern-day Berlin, Spides follows Nora, played by [Game of Thrones’ Rosabell Laurenti] Sellers, a young woman who wakes from a coma without any memory of her previous life after taking a mysterious drug. [Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D’s FalkHentschel plays local police detective David Leonhart, while [Black Panther’s FlorenceKasumba plays his partner, Nique Navar, who are hunting down that drug in relation to dozens of missing teens. When Nora sets out to discover what happened to her, she begins to unravel a conspiracy of aliens who are using a synthetic drug to infiltrate humans to use as host bodies. The more truth Nora uncovers, the more of her own dark secret is revealed: she is the key to the invasion she is fighting. Rounding out the cast are Désirée Nosbusch (Bad Bank), Damian Hardung (Name Of The Rose), Susanne Wuest (Perfume), Aleksandar Jovanovic (Dr Who), Branko Tomovic (Homeland), Kimberly Leemans (The Walking Dead).” I’m sure it’s very depressing and we probably will not watch. Set for 2020.

3,000 Hours for NBC comes from Erin Cardillo and Richard Keith (Life Sentence, and upcoming The Family Practice and Nobody’ Princess) and “revolves around a group of master’s psychology candidates who embark on the 3,000 clinical hours they must spend in the field with patients to get their degrees—all while balancing their education, friendships and messy personal lives. Along the way, they’ll not only find unique and surprising ways to help their patients, they’ll also learn how to help each other and, ultimately, themselves.” Many people I know well went /are now going through this, so I’ll watch. Not sure about Mom. Probably for 2020.

The Marriage Lie for ABC, inspired by Kimberly Belle’s bestselling book, has scripts  written by Michael Cooney, “Iris and Will have been married for seven years and life is as close to perfect as it can be. But on the morning Will flies out for a business trip to Florida, Iris’s happy world comes to an abrupt halt. Another plane headed for upstate New York has crashed into a field, killing everyone on board and, according to the airline, Will was one of the passengers. Grief-stricken and confused, Iris is convinced it all must be a huge misunderstanding. Why did Will lie about where he was going? And what else has he lied about? As Iris sets off on a desperate quest to uncover what her husband was keeping from her, the answers she finds shock her to her very core. Iris’ immaculate life spirals into a rabbit hole when she discovers a connection between her husband and a past layered with secrets that he has kept hidden from her until now.” Didn’t we already see something like this in a film (Random Hearts) with Harrison Ford and Kristen Scott Thomas? They were the cuckolded spouses left behind when their partners were killed in a plane crash, which revealed their long-standing affair and traveling together. Why do this again? We won’t watch. Probably for 2020.

Someone Like You is a new sci-fi drama planned for Fox from David Gould (Mars, Star and Rizzoli & Isles) “influenced by Japan’s booming Rent-A-Family industry, whereby people, who do not have close relatives turn to rent-a-family agencies to hire spouses, parents, children and other types of ‘family members.’ Someone Like You explores our most core human need, the desire for connection. Led by a brilliant social researcher turned CEO, our team of hired multi-generational ‘Kin’ shapeshift into spouses, siblings, parents, sons and daughters…filling the void in the most vulnerable moments, for someone like you…” The premise makes me sad, but could be intriguing. Probably for 2020.

—An Untitled female-centric Texas Rangers drama for Fox, written by Matt Cook, “centers on Lauren Crawford Flynn, one of only two females in the legendary and notoriously tough Texas Rangers, who balances the demands of her intense, high stakes job in a male dominated world with the challenges of being a single mom to a young teenage daughter.” We might watch, if it’s not too “shoot-em-up.” Probably for 2020.

neXt for Fox, written by Manny Coto (24: Legacy co-creator/executive producer), is “a propulsive, fact-based thriller grounded in the latest A.I. research. It features a brilliant but paranoid former tech CEO who joins a Homeland Cybersecurity Agent and her team to stop a terrifying A.I. outbreak that threatens us all.” Starring: John Slattery (Mad Men) as “Paul Leblanc [who]  is extremely intelligent. People think he may be a sociopath but he’s really just a narcissist with money instead of social graces”; Jason Butler Harner (Ozark) as “Ted LeBlanc, Paul’s somewhat narrow-minded younger brother, who is a corporate executive at a tech company“; and, Michael Mosley (Seven Seconds, Ozark) as “CM, a Southern ex-con hacker with a genius IQ who works at the FBI cybercrime division.” Also starring: Fernanda Andrade, Elizabeth Cappuccino, Aaron Moten, Gerardo Celasco; and, Eve Harlow (Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., Heroes Reborn), who “will play Gina. Easy to offend, a bit of a nerd and ultra woke, she works at the FBI cybercrime division….Cappuccino will play Abby. A smart college who is somewhat estranged from her father, Paul, and has learned how to live without him in her life.” Sounds too crisis-ridden, for me, but Mom might like it. Greenlit for 2020.

The Bone Collector was already a book and a film; now it’s going to be a series called Lincoln for NBC starring Russell Hornsby (The Hate U Give, Proven Innocent)Arielle Kebbel (Midnight, Texas), Ramses Jimenez (Fear the Walking Dead)Brooke Lyons (Life Sentence), Roslyn Ruff (Divorce), Tate Ellington (The Brave), and Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos). It is based on 1997 book series by Jeffery Deaver and the 1999  film (with Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie). It “follows Lincoln Rhyme, a retired genius forensic criminologist left paralyzed after an accident on the job. When a harrowing case brings him back to the force, Rhyme partners up with an ambitious young detective, Amelia Sachs, to take down some of the most dangerous criminals in the U.S….Imperioli will play Rick Sellitto, an NYPD detective and Lincoln’s partner….Kebbel’s Amelia Sachs is extremely bright and can hold her own in any situation. The character’s last name matches that in the books. In the movie, it was changed to Amelia ‘Donaghy’….Jimenez will play Eric Ortiz, an NYPD detective and Sellitto’s (Imperioli) new partner. Lyons portrays Kate, an invaluable addition to the investigative team….Ellington will play Felix, who is part of the CSI team and quick to speak his mind…. Ruff is Claire, Lincoln’s caregiver.” It will be scripted by VJ Boyd and Mark Biancull(S.W.A.T.) and directed by Seth Gordon (The GoldbergsSchooled, The Good DoctorSneaky Pete, Marry Me). Sounds familiar, but I did not see the film and never read the books. May try this, though. Probably for 2020.

The Strange Case Of the Alchemist Daughter is coming to the CW. “Set in Victorian London, where two radically different young women—one the daughter of Dr. Jekyll; the other, Mr. Hyde—discover they’re half-sisters when a series of gruesome murders appear connected to their deceased father. They unite with other unsung but remarkable daughters of famous literary figures to rise above societal norms and unearth the mystery of their origins.” First of all, who would marry or have sex with, much less raise a child of, Mr. Hyde’s? Child of rape, perhaps? Secondly, how could they be unaware of each other until adults when their father lived in ONE HOUSE? Where were these women raising their daughters? With what money? I guess I should ask the  author, Theodora Goss (since she has been a finalist for the Nebula, Locus, Crawford, Seiun, and Mythopoeic Awards, as well as on the Tiptree Award Honor List; The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club book series also includes European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman). This sounds somewhat interesting. We might try it, but probably won’t like it. For 2020.

—Do you love Patricia Cornwell‘s Dr. Kay Scarpetta’s character and others from her books? You’re in luck!  A new series based on Cornwell‘s ideas, Redstick, is coming to NBC, to be “written and co-exec-produced by Samantha Humphrey (S.W.A.T., Body of Proof, NCIS: New Orleans). The seriesfollows Dr. Annie Dodge, who is summoned from New York to her hometown of Baton Rouge, LA, after the sudden death of her father, the city’s beloved coroner. Now, as she’s mourning the loss of her childhood hero, Annie finds herself reluctantly stepping into her father’s role to solve an ongoing murder while navigating the complicated waters of Bayou politics, Southern hospitality and a simmering past romance….Dr. Annie Dodge draws parallels to Cornwell’s most famous character, Dr. Kay Scarpetta, a medical examiner. The bestselling Scarpetta series is comprised of 24 novels including Postmortem, Body of Evidence and All That Remainsamong others. Her other works include the Andy Brazil/Judy Hammer series and At Risk/Win Garano series.” Excited for this one! Probably in 2020.

Ambitions for OWN is “a soapy family drama” starring Robin Givens (RiverdaleThe Fix), Essence Atkins (Marlon, Half and Half), Brian White (Ray Donovan, Scandal), Kendrick Cross (Acrimony), Brely Evans (Being Mary Jane) and Erica Page (Ozark, Bad Dad Rehab). with Kevin Arkadie (The Quad, New York Undercover) as showrunner and Benny Boom (All Eyez On Me, Black Lightning) as director. This is a “multigenerational family saga centered around one woman (Atkins) who, having recently relocated and intent on revitalizing her marriage, finds herself going head to head with some of the most powerful and deceitful players in the city. Givens plays Stephanie Carlisle, the wife of Atlanta Mayor, Evan Lancaster (Brian White), whose true loyalty is to her own family’s prestigious law firm, where she is the latest in a long line of distinguished lawyers. Stephanie desperately wants to be in charge of the Carlisle family law firm and quietly fumes about her father, Stephen’s, condescending assertion that she’s simply not ready yet. Atkins portrays Amara, a lawyer in U.S. Attorney’s Office who has newly arrived in Atlanta with her husband, Titus (Kendrick Cross). Originally from Texas, she is quickly gaining attention from the U.S. Attorney’s Office as a diligent prosecutor but disappoints her supervisor by turning down the offer to run point on a major local case. White’s Evan Lancaster, the Mayor of Atlanta, is married to attorney Stephanie Carlisle (Robin Givens). Evan’s political ambitions seem to cloud his judgement as he is willing to do anything to get to the next level in his career. Cross’s Titus is an attorney who recently moved with his wife Amara (Essence Atkins) to Atlanta. Titus has been hired as in-house counsel for a big pharma company run by Hunter Purifoy, who is fighting a class action suit brought by the powerful Carlisle family. Evans is Rondell, Atlanta Mayor Evan Lancaster’s (White) sister, who runs a not-quite-profitable restaurant called Thelma’s Place. Page plays Bella, a fashion designer in Atlanta who designs all of Stephanie Carlisle’s (Givens) dresses for her.”
Also joining are Stephen Williams (Yellowstone, 21 Jump Street, The Leftovers, Supernatural, True Detective, The Chi and IT) and Christina Kirkman (All That). “Williams will play Stephen Carlisle, a powerful attorney and father of Stephanie (Givens)….Kirkman is Lori, a smart, challenging, force to be reckoned with who works as PR exec at Purifoy Pharmaceuticals, owned by her father, Hunter Purifoy….Brian Bosworth (What Men Want), Deena Dill (Conrad & Michelle, Vice Principals), Gino Anthony Pesi (Shades of Blue, 42) and Kayla Smith (Star, Black Lightning) are set for recurring roles…Bosworth plays Hunter Purifoy, a savvy, pharmaceutical scion and the leader of Purifoy Pharmaceuticals, who is in the throes of combating a class action suit brought by the powerful Carlisle law firm family. Hunter is very pleased to have brought in lawyer Titus Washington (Kendrick Cross), and clearly expects great things from him. Dill portrays Juniper Purifoy, the wife of Hunter Purifoy (Bosworth), owner of Purifoy Pharmaceuticals. Pesi is Greg Peters, an aggressive, self-confident, real estate developer who’s trying to get Rondell Lancaster (Brely Evans) to sell him the family restaurant so he can use the block in an upcoming development plan. Smith plays Carly Lancaster, the smart, determined daughter of attorney Stephanie Carlisle (Robin Givens) and Atlanta Mayor Evan Lancaster (Brian White). Carly is a theater student at Spelman College. For 2020. We might watch.

Strong Girl, for the CW, “is an adaptation of a Korean format. It follows a former war photographer named Rayna who discovers she is indestructible and potentially the strongest woman in the world. Ghosted by her Spec Ops fiance when she reveals her newfound power to him, Rayna is hired as a bodyguard by a billionaire named Oliver, who sees her true potential.” From writer, Melissa Scrivner-Love (Fear the Walking Dead, Person of Interest and Rosewood), who is also writing Witnesses (see below). We may try it. Probably for 2020.

Witnesses is set up for Fox from writer, Melissa Scrivner-Love (Fear the Walking Dead, Person of Interest and Rosewood), who is also writing Strong Girl (see above). It is about a woman “in her first weeks back on the Lexington, KY, police force after a mysterious 10-year hiatus… 35-year-old (yet still rookie) Detective Sandra Perkins finds herself working the worst homicide the region has seen in over a decade. In order to end this killer’s spree, Sandra must seek answers from Helen Lane, retired Homicide Detective who should have been Sandra’s mentor, but who is actually the reason Sandra left the force years ago. Our two heroines must work through the dark past they share in order to prevent more innocent victims of a killer they both thought had been put to rest years ago.” Also sounds interesting and is probably for 2020.

Save the Deli is yet another “workplace comedy” (guess where?)  for NBC, based on a book by David Sax, with scripts to be written by Lauren Bachelis. This one will be “centering on a 30-year-old woman, who, much to the shock of her family, friends and mostly herself, becomes the new owner of her Chicago family deli after her grandfather dies. Naturally, her very opinionated staff and family members make the job unbearable since they all have conflicting ideas of how to save the deli. In addition to using Sax’s book…[this] draws on Bachelis’ personal experiences. Her grandfather owned Mort’s, the Jewish deli in Tarzana.” If it’s not too stereotyped and has GREAT writing, it may be bearable…barely. Probably for 2020.

-Pushover is coming to ABC. It’s “a darkly comedic soap from Kevin (Probably) Saves The World creators, Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters.” I liked that short-lived show, but I doubt if either of us will like this, which is described as being about “a woman who has been ‘nice’ all her life and decides to become a villain, with the help of her landlord, the office custodian, and the IT department.” Yuck. But, between them, they have been involved in many shows one or both of us have liked: Agent Carter, Law & Order: SVU, Hawaii Five-0, and Dollhouse. We may try it. Probably in 2020.

—Are you a Jason Bourne franchise fanatic? Then you’ll be glad to know that his “origin story” is getting its own TV series, to be written by Tim Kring (Heroes and Heroes Reborn) on the USA Network! Treadstone will star Jeremy Irvine (War Horse, Mamma Mia 2) and Brad J. Smith (Sense8), and it “explores the origin story and present-day actions of a CIA black ops program known as Operation Treadstone —- a covert program that uses behavior-modification protocol to turn recruits into nearly superhuman assassins. The first season follows sleeper agents across the globe as they’re mysteriously ‘awakened’ to resume their deadly missions. Irvine stars as J. Randolph Bentley, a spy dispatched by the CIA to eliminate a key target, but ends up embroiled in an international conspiracy. Smith plays Doug McKenna, an all-American oil-rig worker whose life changes after he discovers long buried truths about himself.” Mom will watch, for sure. If it’s not too bloody or torture-filled, I will try it, also. For 2020.

The Plot Against America, from the same-named late Philip Roth‘s novel, is being made into a 6-Episode series for HBO, so we’ll have to wait for it to appear elsewhere in 2019-20 or later. The novel “has been called a masterwork of counterfactual history, [and] was published in 2004. It is an alternative history in which Franklin D. Roosevelt is defeated in the presidential election of 1940 by Lindbergh and follows the fortunes of the Roth family during the Lindbergh presidency, as antisemitism becomes more accepted in American life and Jewish-American families like the Roths are persecuted on various levels….It imagines an alternate American history told through the eyes of a working-class Jewish family in New Jersey as they watch the political rise of Charles Lindbergh, an aviator-hero and xenophobic populist, who becomes president and turns the nation toward fascism. Frequent collaborators, [DavidSimon and [EdBurns, are writing and executive producing.” We’re not fans of these types of stories, nor of Roth, but many are.

—Noughts + Crosses is going to be a 6-part “dystopian drama” series based on the ground-breaking, racially themed, YA sci-fi/romance novel by the same title, for BBC One TV, directed by Julian Holmes (Daredevil) and Koby Adom and produced by Johann Knobel (Shameless). The story  “follows two young people, Sephy and Callum, played by [Masali] Baduza and [Jack] Rowan, respectively, who are divided by their colour but united by love. Sephy is a ‘Cross’, a member of the black ruling class and daughter of a prominent politician. Callum is a ‘Nought’, a white member of the underclass. The two have been friends since early childhood but their relationship grows ever more complicated as they come of age. It’s the story of two families separated by power and prejudice but forever entwined by fate. [Paterson] Joseph plays Sephy’s father, the Home Secretary Kamal Hadley, [Bonnie] Mbuli plays her mother, Jasmine, and her sister Minerva is played by [Kike] Brimah. [Helen ] Baxendale and [Ian] Hart play Callum’s parents, Meggie and Ryan, and [Josh] Dylan will play his older brother, Jude. [Shaun] Dingwall plays Liberation Militia leader, Dorn….The adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s young adult book, the series tells the story of first love in a dangerous, alternate world where racism divides society. It is written by Toby Whithouse (Being Human), Lydia Adetunji (Riviera), Nathaniel Price (Tin Star) and Rachel De-Lahay (Kiri)….” Sounds dark but fascinating. I’ll want to go read it, first. You? Also, not sure when/where we can view it in the USA. Probably DVD, for us, in 2020.

Until the Wedding for ABC is coming from an Israeli-based series. This “romantic drama” (Ad Hatuna in Hebrew) is written by Becky Mode (Smash, The Playboy Club, A Gifted Man, Feed the Beast, SEAL Team), directed and executive produced by Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich), and produced by the team of Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly  (Elementary, SEAL Team), and Alan Aranya  (Betrayal, Hostages). It tells “the story of how one couple’s decision to get married can affect everyone in their lives. The show will explore the intimate relationships of a group of friends/family as they are forced to reckon with their own romantic lives and come to terms with the realities of love and marriage.” E.J. Bonilla (Unforgettable), Britt Lower (Ghosted, High Maintenance), Michael David-Stahl (The Deuce, Chambers), Trent Garrett (Andi Mack, Here and Now)Liza Colon-Zayas (David Makes Man,Titans), Juani Feliz (Shades of Blue, Blue Bloods), Vered Blonstein (The Good Doctor), Michael Benjamin Washington (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, 30 Rock), Christian Coulson (Nashville, Mozart in the Jungle), Christian Borle (Smash, The Good Fight),and Olivia Thirlby (Goliath) will star. Thirlby will appear as “Adrienne, the one all her friends go to first for advice. She’s super empathic and warm with a biting sense of humor. Idealistic, ambitious and really smart, Adrienne has an especially high EQ. She’s a highly skilled psychologist who’s sometimes better at taking care of other people than she is of herself. A trauma specialist, she’s still a little commitment-phobic after a terrible breakup with a fellow do-gooder she met in Kenya two years ago. She regrouped back home in New York and fell in love with a stable, menschy guy. When the fellow do-gooder makes an unexpected reappearance at the moment the mensch is about to propose, Adrienne is thrown for a loop and her world goes topsy turvy….Lower will play Naomi, Adrienne’s roommate and best friend. Defiantly single, defiant in general — there’s nothing Naomi loves more than a good fight. Smart, uncensored, very funny, Naomi’s an up- and-coming writer with a new book of essays that’s getting serious traction. Though Naomi would say anything to anyone, there are very few people she truly lets in. A fiercely loyal friend, Naomi would go to the end of Earth for the people she loves….Bonilla’s Danny Garcia is a serious mensch, warm, funny, wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s not afraid to say what he thinks or express emotion. He’s the kind of guy who was born 40, and then had to shoulder a lot of responsibility growing up. Super-smart and tech savvy, Danny came from nothing. He built an online fraud detection company that’s about to go public, but he’s a family guy first. He’s a romantic, and madly in love with his girlfriend, Adrienne. Things get complicated when Adrienne’s ex-boyfriend shows up on the weekend Danny plans to propose….Stahl-David is Will, Adrienne’s (Thirlby) ex and an incredible surgeon. Garrett is Nick. Colon-Zayas is Nancy, Danny (Bonilla) and Laura’s (Thirlby) mother. Feliz plays Isabel. Bronstein is Laura, Danny’s (Bonilla) sister. Washington is Sam, Miles’ (TBD) husband….Coulson will play James, Will’s (Michael Stahl-David) sexy international friend and an investor in Nick’s (Trent Garrettrestaurant and Will’s plus-one at the wedding….Borle will play Miles, Adrienne’s charming, highly accomplished brother and stay-at-home dad.” We are familiar with and liked two of the five shows Mode has written, so we’ll try this. Probably 2019-20.

—Another HBO show (a 6-Episode series) starring Nicole Kidman, Donald Sutherland and Hugh Grant, written by David E. Kelley (they are both involved in Big little Lies) that we’ll have to wait to see elsewhere, but will want to find, is The Undoing, “[a]n adaptation of Jean Hanff Korelitz’s book, You Should Have Known…[that] centers on Grace Sachs (Kidman), who is living the only life she ever wanted for herself. She’s a successful therapist on the brink of publishing her first book, has a devoted husband [Grant] and young son who attends an elite private school in New York City. Weeks before her book is published, a chasm opens in her life: a violent death, a missing husband, and, in the place of a man Grace thought she knew, only a chain of terrible revelations. Left behind in the wake of a spreading and very public disaster, and horrified by the ways in which she has failed to heed her own advice, Grace must dismantle one life and create another for her child and herself….Sutherland will play Franklin Renner, Grace’s father, a retired financier and loving grandfather, who is tasked with protecting his family when turbulent revelations come to light….Noah Jupe’s Henry Sachs is Jonathan and Grace’s son, age 12. Precocious and artistic, Henry seeks to keep his family together as recent revelations tear them apart.” Sounds dismal, but intriguing. We’ll look for it in 2020.

The Sorority Girl Who Saved Your Life for ABC is another project from the producing team of Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly  (Until the Wedding [above], Elementary, SEAL Team) and now including Ellen Pompeo (Grey’s Anatomy star). Based on an upcoming nonfiction memoir by Tracy Walder and Jessica Anya Blau and adapted into a series by Arrow‘s Wendy Mericle, it “details the incredible true story of Tracy Walder. Walder happened upon a CIA recruiter at a jobs fair and was recruited by the agency while a USC student and Delta Gamma sorority sister. She would spend the next five years as a covert operative for CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, assuming aliases, thwarting terrorist attacks, and hiding in the trunks of cars on her way to debrief terrorists at black sites. During her time at the CIA, Walder travelled to the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Southeast Asia, receiving awards for her service. She went on to leave the CIA to join the FBI, one of the few women to ever do so. Walder, who has Master’s in education from Chapman University, is now a mom and teacher of foreign policy at an all-girls boarding school in Dallas, Texas. Sounds like Covert Affairs plus Meet Jane Doe plus Alias! We’ll try it. Probably in 2019-20.

—Did you watch and love the original USA Network sci-fi series, The 4400? I watched all 4 SEASONS and loved it. It’s coming back, but not until 2020-21 The reboot (a “reimagining”) will be on the CW, from the original series’ writer, Craig Sweeny, and Taylor Elmore (Justified). “Over the course of recent history, four thousand four hundred [4400] young adults in their reproductive prime have gone missing all over the world—-some disappearances happened as recently as a few weeks ago, while others date as far back as the infamous day the Soviets launched the Sputnik satellite in 1957. One day in 2019, all 4400 show up at the sites of their original abductions. None of them have aged a day; none have any memory of where they’ve been. The so-called “4400” must grapple with their return to a changed and hostile world… and also contend with the reality that they’ve come back altered in ways that none of them yet understand.” Very cool. .

—Why do comedians think their lives are so interesting and producers agree with them so that they keep making series based on their lives, which usually SUCK? Here is another one likely to flop, on Fox: “the untitled comedy is loosely based on [Jonathan] Prince’s life. The plot centers on a couple in their 40s falling in love and blending their families, all of which is complicated by the constant presence of her eccentric billionaire ex-husband.”It is to be written by Chris Moynihan (Marlon) and Prince (American Dreams), whose writing credits that are not recommendations, as far as we are concerned. Possible to air in 2019-20, for about 5 minutes. NOT FOR US.

—An untitled military medical drama for CBS is from writer-producer, Josh Reims (Dynasty, Undercovers, Mistresses), actor-writer-producer, Lance Krall, and Jerry Bruckheimer productions that states that it is “an intimate look at the high-octane, complicated lives of the med students, residents and attending physicians at the elite Uniformed Services University, where every doctor is also a trained soldier whose patients can be anyone from a fellow serviceperson to the President of the United States.”  We might try it. We usually like Bruckheimer‘s shows. Possible to air in 2019-20.

Bruckheimer TV also has:
—— Under the Bridge, a medical drama, set for CBS, starring Jennifer Morrison (House, Once Upon a Time), Justin Kirk (Weeds), Sarayu Blue (I Feel Bad), Reggie Lee (Grimm), and David Ajala (Falling Water, Supergirl, Nightflyers): “When a scandal rocks the medical practice she runs with her husband, Michael, and their friends, Caitlin Lanchaster (Morrison), a surgeon rises to the occasion and takes the lead in trying to mend both the practice and her own marriage….Morrison’s Caitlin Lancaster is a cardiothoracic surgeon who has managed to be ambitious without offending anyone, a skill set one acquires as a woman. Curious and open but never naive, Caitlin is forced to return to work after a self-imposed sabbatical when her husband is voted out of the medical practice they created together with their group of best friends….Kirk’s Michael is a charming, affable ‘natural leader who loves the limelight’ and just happens to be one of the top cardiothoracic surgeons in the state. Michael is a real mover and shaker in the private practice he founded some years back with his and Caitlin’s best friends, Dan, Charlie and Ameni. Always the class clown, Michael is learning that his irreverent and sometimes inappropriate behavior have landed him in hot water, and the hospital they are aligned with wants him booted out….Blue will play Ameni, an OB with a sub-specialty in high-risk pregnancies who is opinionated, relentlessly passionate and enjoys a good fight. A wind-up toy who never slows down, you can get Ameni going on any subject in about three seconds flat, but her positions are wildly inconsistent, which is what makes her so much fun. When the hospital places an ultimatum on the private practice she shares with her best friends, Ameni decides to vote Michael out which causes a rift between her and Caitlin….Lee will play Charlie, the neurologist in the practice, and Michael and Caitlin’s close friend since med school. …Ajala  will play Dan, a gorgeous, dry and somewhat broken man who ‘works hard for everything, except sex. That comes easily.’ Back in the day, he hoped that Kate would wind up with him, but she married his best friend, Michael (TBD), instead. When Dan votes to separate Michael from their medical practice, Michael considers it a personal betrayal. Only Dan knows the real reason: that in order to protect his best friend, he must be willing to sacrifice their relationship.” Written and executive produced by Rina Mimoun (Mistresses) and directed by Victoria Mahoney (Star Wars: Episode IX and The Red Line);
and
——Lifeboat Clicque
 in development at the CW (xee below).
These are all likely to air in 2019-20.

—Fans of Explorers (1985 sci-fi film by Joe Dante) which “was an early screen credit for both River Phoenix and Ethan Hawke, [that] tell[s] the story of a trio of friends who build a spaceship based on designs that one of them sees in a supernatural vision,” will be glad it’s coming as a series to TV, from co-creators, Cary Fukunaga and David Lowery. For Paramount, probably 2020-21, because those two are VERY busy already.

King of Sting is coming to Fox and is “a drama series based on the true story of the most successful undercover operative in DEA history, who happens to be an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala named Carlos Sagastume. Written by Dave Kalstein (Quantico, NCIS: Los Angeles)King Of Sting follows Carlos. Living a double life, he risks his life infiltrating the inner circles of the world’s most dangerous criminals WHILE trying to keep his marriage together and raise his kids in Miami —- this is the story of his American Dream…. Sagastume was the star witness at the 2011 trial of Bout. A former drug dealer, Sagastume became one of the highest paid informants in history, earning more than $9 million over 15 years. Collecting evidence against Bout was among his major achievements. He posed as a member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia to coax Bout to travel from Russia to Thailand in March 2008 to arrange the delivery of deadly weapons to Colombian rebels to fight Americans.” Sounds gruesomely fascinating. If it’s not too bloody, we would watch. For 2019-20.

Bait & Tackle is CBS‘ answer to Love, Dad for ABC (see below), I guess, since it “revolves around three adult siblings who must step up to run the family business—-a small town bait & tackle shop—-when the family patriarch retires.” Oh, big difference; this patriarch lives but retires.  Created by Linda Figueiredo (Stuck In the Middle, 2 Broke Girls, Last Man Standing and Rules of Engagement), musician, Brian Kelley, and Johnny Galecki, We’ll probably try both and pick one. Also, in 2019-20.

Best Lives is coming to Fox from Daisy Gardner (The Goldbergs, Modern Family, 30 Rock and Downward Dog) and Lisa Harrison. It is “a family comedy about a brother and sister who are each starting over after a divorce. The child-free brother, who just left a one-year marriage, with a cat, is convinced he’s going through the exact same thing as his overstretched sister, who just left a 10-year marriage, with a kid, and doesn’t get that their challenges are completely different scales of magnitude. Ultimately, they manage to pull each other through, and they discover that the elusive best lives they’ve been chasing are with each other.” Doubtful this will work and even more doubtful we will watch. Probably for 2019-20.

Michael Yo is bringing his life’s stories to a comedy show series, but I doubt if we care. Some will, since the “untitled comedy centers on a young couple’s life that is made more complicated when the guy’s (Yo) over-achieving African American, Ph.D. Scientist/Ex-Military father and scheming Asian mother show up to help them take care of their newborn baby and adjust to their new surroundings.” It is to be co-written by him and Nick Adams (Bojack Horseman). Doesn’t say, yet, where or when it will air.

Love, Dad, is a new ABC drama coming from The Good Doctor‘s star as well as some-time writer and director, Freddie Highmore’s, Alfresco Pictures, written by Dave Collard, who co-exc produces with Highmore. “Adult siblings from a blue-collar family in the most blue-collar of cities —-Buffalo, New York—…. navigate the ups and downs of their lives. [T]hey’re aided (and sometimes impeded) by each other, but also an unlikely source — -their dead father, who has left them each an email account that he’s been writing to for their entire lives, so that he would always be there for them… even when he wasn’t.”  Sounds interesting. We’ll probably try it and look for it some time in 2019-20.

—Who wants a Frasier reboot? Not I!  But, Kelsey Grammer apparently does! He spoke about it “during a panel celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the hit NBC series as part of the USC Comedy Festival Vol. 4 held in Los Angeles on Saturday [11/3/18]….
  “’A lot of us are quite committed to the concept that you would never try to redo what we once had,’ he added during the panel that also included Frasier co-stars [David Hyde] Pierce, Jane Leeves, and Peri Gilpin, co-creators/executive producers, Peter Casey and David Lee, director/exec producer, James Burrows, and writer/producers, Anne Flett and Joe Keenan.” FMI: https://deadline.com/2018/11/frasier-reboot-update-kelsey-grammer-original-cast-premise-25th-anniversary-1202495638/

Blank is the newest (and seemingly unnecessary) medical drama, coming to ABC from writer, Trev Callaway (Revolution, APB), and director, Dave Semel, “about a successful but egotistical surgeon who suffers a traumatic brain injury that changes his personality and erases his memory, but leaves his surgical skills fully intact. From a**hole to good soul, he shocks and confuses his colleagues and family with a new POV—-unburdened by the past and uniquely present in his patients’ lives.”  We usually like these and we liked APB, so we’ll try it. No casting, yet. Probably for 2019-20.

Einstein is ANOTHER NBC police procedural with an oddball detective, coming for 2019-20, perhaps. “Written by Michael Reisz (Shadowhunters) and produced by Carol Mendelsohn (Capital), “Einstein follows a whip-smart, smooth-talking and illegitimate descendant of Albert Einstein who is recruited by the police for his skills at solving particularly complex cases.” WHY? Don’t we already have/haven’t we already had a dozen of these? This one is based on the popular German series by the same name, written by Martin Ritzenhoff and Matthias Dinter. We’ll give it a try, with low expectations.

—We couldn’t even watch one full Episode of McMafia (see below); its developer is putting up another drama that we also probably won’t want to watch: The Rumour is based on a novel by Lesley Kara, whose “story [is] loosely based on the real-life case of British child killer, Mary Kill…[It] starts when single mum, Joanna, hears a rumour at the school gates that a notorious child killer is living under a new identity in their sleepy little town of Flinstead-on-Sea. Although she never intends to pass it on, one casual comment leads to another and now there’s no going back. It follows Sally McGowan, who was just ten years old when she stabbed Robbie Harris to death forty-eight years ago… [N]o photos of her exist since her release as a young woman, but[she is presumed to be]  the supposedly reformed killer who now lives among the small community. How dangerous can one rumour become? And how far will Joanna go to protect her loved ones from harm, when she realizes what she’s unleashed?” I can’t fathom why anyone would want to write, much less adapt for TV, such a sad story, but they do/did. Coming to BBC some time in 2019.

—The late and much-missed fantasy and sci-fi writer, Terry Pratchett, created/fostered the books and short stories based in Discworld and delighted sci-fi fans for decades with his quirky characters and plots set in that realm. BBC America is bringing some of this to TV viewers in The Watch as an 8-Episode miniseries. “[A] ‘punk rock thriller’ inspired by the City Watch subset of Discworld novels,…the character-driven series centers on …misfit cops as they fight to save a ramshackle city of normalized wrongness, from both the past and future, in a perilous quest. The Watch features many Discworld creations, including City Watch Captain, Sam Vimes, the last scion of nobility, Lady Sybil Ramkin, the naïve but heroic Carrot Ironfoundersson, the mysterious Angua and the ingenious forensics expert, Cheri, together with…[the] iconic characterization of Death….” This will be “‘a distinctly British but defiantly global exhilarating thriller that is disruptive in its approach to the fantasy genre and also big on the themes of mortality, inclusion, alternative facts and justice. It’s a dizzying riot of hope, joy, suspense and audaciously dark humor. We can’t wait to work with BBC America to bring it all to life for existing fans and brand new audiences.’ Rob Wilkins added, ‘Many years ago, Terry made the brave decision to allow brand new Watch stories to be told with his existing characters. It’s taken a long time for anything to happen because we guard these characters with our very lives. So many of Terry’s biggest ideas seem more vital and urgent now than ever before and I am thrilled to be working with Simon [Allen] and such a talented team, who understand the unique genius of their creator. They have really keyed into the subversive qualities of Terry’s voice and they clearly adore Discworld as much as I and millions of fans around the world do.’” Could be very cool. Worth checking out. Probably in the USA in 2019.

Hannah Simone (New Girl) has had her autobiographical, untitled comedy greenlit for ABC. “Inspired by Hannah’s nontraditional Indian family, [this series] follows the broke, single and nearly thirtysomething, Hannah (Simone) as she and her father form a new bond when he announces that he and her mother are separating. It’s described as ‘a unique coming-of-age story where father and daughter are starting over together.’ Simone, who was born in London to an Indian father and an English mother of German, Italian and Greek Cypriot descent, has a strong bond with her father. Four years ago, she penned an emotional tribute to him in Time magazine, praising him for his ‘courage, vision and pioneering feminist spirit.’ Simone has introduced her father to some of her celebrity pals, and the two did a promotional spot for Toyota reminiscing about the time he thought her how to drive.” Also starring Alana Ubach (Coco) and Jane Leeves, who does not have to give up being on The Resident for this, apparently. “Leeves’ Caroline is New Age-y with a fondness for crystals and meditation, the type who ‘really wants to know your sign.’ She is effusive, warm, a bit batty and flamboyant, but well-meaning. She stuns her grown children by announcing she and Sid are divorced and she has fallen in love with someone new…herself….Ubach will play Susan, the family’s closest friend, filled with confidence and booze and always over-the-top. Susan can be counted on to say exactly the wrong thing at all times.” Not for us, but look for it, if it’s your cup of tea, in 2019-20.

NBC is putting up yet another police drama, this one is coming from Kevin O’Hare (The Brave) and Dean Georgaris (this team also has a pilot for The Baker and the Beauty on spec). This “untitled Kevin O’Hare Project is based on police pilot programs in major U.S. cities. The drama follows an unlikely group of LAPD officers and detectives incentivized to live and become active members in the community they patrol, all in hopes of changing perceptions and reducing violence.” I seriously doubt if this will make it, but it’s not my money. We may try it, if it airs. Probably for 2019-20.

—Writer-director-producer, Nick Stoller (Neighbors) has 4 new comedy projects going to various networks, likely for 2019-20. They all sound awful and we probably will not watch any of them:
——Our House, “written by Brendan O’Brien (Neighbors), which has received a put pilot commitment at CBS,…centers on a devoted mom [Bridget, Katherine Heigl, Suits, Doubt, Grey’s Anatomy, Roswell] and dad [Shawn, Malcolm Barrett, Timeless] who are committed to raising their children with the love and support the mom never got as a kid, but discover how difficult that is with her insane parents and siblings back in the picture…. Shawn [is] a kind-hearted and open-minded ‘super dad’ who, along with his wife, Bridget, is committed to raising his children in a home where emotions can be shared freely—the opposite of how Bridget was raised. Shawn recently moved his family from California to  New York’s Rockland County, where he now lives and works as a therapist out of his wife’s family home. With his old-school in-laws and wife’s siblings back in the picture, Shawn finds his patience fading fast. He’s always wanted to be closer to Bridget’s family, but this might be closer than he bargained for….Heigl’s Bridget tries her best to be a laid-back, progressive parent like her therapist husband, but often finds herself reverting to the old school style of her parents. Now that she’s moved back into her childhood home, surrounded by her parents and crazy siblings, finding a balance between these wildly different parenting styles is going to be more difficult than she imagined.” Also starring Nancy Lenehan (Veep) and Phil Hendrie (New Girl). Lenehan will play Laura, Bridget’s loving, passive-aggressive mother who feels like she no longer has a place in her family after her daughter renovates the childhood home she grew up in and raises her kids with a radically different parenting style. Once Bridget and Laura learn to communicate better and commiserate over the difficulties of raising a family, their complicated relationship improves—and Bridget realizes she’s not as different from her mother as she thought. Hendrie portrays Rory, Bridget’s old-school, sometimes problematic father who spends his time trying to appease his wife Laura—even if that means meddling in the lives of his children. Rory’s adoration for his family is tested when he finds himself at odds with his daughter Bridget’s new ‘hippy dippy’ parenting style.” We will try it, but hopes are not high…;
——Super Simple Love Story  (fka The Us Project and The Story of Us), “written by Mike Royce (One Day at a Time), also at CBS,…is a story told through interviews and vignettes spanning 10 years, about how an unlikely couple becomes an unlikely family.” Starring sisters, Laura Marano (Austin & Ally) and Vanessa Marano (Switched at Birth), with Elizabeth Alderfer (Disjointed), Ronny Chieng (The Daily Show), Susan Wokoma (Year of the Rabbit), and David Walton (New Girl). Parker Young (Imposters) will play “Jared, Morgan’s (Alderfer) live-in boyfriend. A new jiu jitsu fanatic, Jared practices constantly in order to excel at his first amateur tournament that’s quickly approaching and which he has no chance of winning. He lives on a diet of corn fungus smoothies and occasionally wears a strange ‘elevation mask’ to increase lung capacity and oxygen efficiency—but it also makes him look like Bane. Although he has sweet qualities, Jared appears to be unaware that his eccentric enthusiasms are driving Morgan away from him….Vanessa Marano will play Nell, the older daughter of Kevin and Holly (TBD), Nell is a teenager and the leader of the two daughters. Laura Marano will portray Jen, Kevin and Holly’s younger daughter who idolizes her sister, Nell, so much that she pretends they’re twins….Alderfer will play Morgan, a self-described ‘bailer’ who has drifted from job to job and, now in her 30s, is experiencing alarm bells about getting serious about life. She’s concerned that her current job at a ‘click-hungry’ website is making the world worse, and that her ju jitsu-crazed boyfriend (Young) might not be the one. Then she meets Kevin (Walton), and the next decade of her life is transformed. Walton’s Kevin is a recently divorced father of two teenage girls (Vanessa and Laura Marano). Normally secure and loyal, Kevin still is heartsick over his ex—though he won’t admit it—and has been adrift since the split. Then he meets Morgan, and their tangled romantic relationship begins….Chieng will portray Harris, Kevin’s (Walton) friend and former college roommate, an atheist without a filter who ‘loves to debate’ and mostly ruins every social interaction by getting in his own way—and everybody else’s. Wokoma will play Abby. While friend and co-worker Morgan (Alderfer) agonizes over job and relationship fulfillment, Abby is happy to hate her job as long as the check clears— and hit on cute Rabbi Sarah without hesitation.” Directed by Pam Fryman (Abby’s, Murphy Brown). Despite having 3 titles already, it has been “greenlit” for 2019-20;
——Common Areas, “written by Hilary Winston (Happy Endings) and Mat Harawitz (LA to Vegas),” for ABC…[says it’s about this topic]: in cities where rents have skyrocketed, people are turning to micro-units in luxury buildings, where they can get a bedroom for the price of an apartment in any other city. These dorm residents are getting a lot more than just a tiny bedroom and athlete’s foot, they’re getting a community (but also probably athlete’s foot)”;
——Next Door, “penned by Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley (Uncle Buck) for Fox…is a multi-generational comedy about three diverse suburban couples, all at crossroads in their lives, who bond while investigating the murder of the worst person in their neighborhood.”

IFC is developing 5 comedy series to be considered for 2019-20 and beyond:
——Margaret Cho is co-creating “Almost Asian…a dark comedy about a perpetual outsider, Katie (Katie Malia, The Mindy Project), and her desperate journey to find her identity as both a dancer and a mixed-raced millennial struggling in Los Angeles. As with the web-series on which it’s based, Malia stars and serves as executive producer. The series is also executive produced by Margaret Cho (30 Rock), Sarah Martin (Margaret Cho: PSYCHO), Jessie Boemper (Thugs, the Musical!) and Evan Shapiro (Please Like Me, Harmonquest).” Not in our ‘wheelhouse, but some will like it;
——Funny or Die and Nate Dern are bringing Annika Erotica,  “a comedy series about Claire Radkowski, a sweet and simple Associate Junior Pastor whose life is turned upside down after her self-published erotic novel, written under the nom de plume ‘Annika Erotica,’ suddenly goes viral. With the help of her fame-obsessed best friend, Jilly, as well as Chaste Hymen, Claire’s mentor in romance novel writing, Claire must choose between keeping her secret passion hidden from her conservative Colorado Springs community or finally living openly as her fullest (and potentially horniest) self”;
—–Art Thieves “follows three misfit master criminals who infiltrate the houses of the super-rich and attempt to steal their beloved masterpieces. The series is executive produced by Mitch Magee (Funny or Die Presents) and Daniel Powell (Inside Amy Schumer).” I might watch, but will low hopes;
——Beth, “a comedy series about an agoraphobic man who, though happy with his current lifestyle, is thrust out of his comfort zone and back into the outside world after a long time ex-girlfriend contacts him out of the blue. Beth is executive produced by Timm Sharp (Blunt Talk, Enlightened) [and] Jonathan Ames (Bored to Death, Blunt Talk).” PASS for both of us;
——The Middle Passage, “an original comedy series satirizing America’s racial and  sociopolitical climate through long-form narrative sketches. The series provides thought-provoking and comical commentary on today’s cultural landscape and touches on a variety of social issues through a blend of mystery, sci-fi, thriller, horror and fantasy sketches….Co-executive produced by Jonathan Braylock (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), James Carr (TripTank), James III (Adam Ruins Everything) and Jerah Milligan (Broad City),” this is exactly the type of program we would never watch, but some will adore.

—I am from Missouri and live here now, again, so the name “Schlafly,” when preceded by “Phyllis,” is an embarrassment and stimulus for anger. In better news, one of her sons is a LIBERAL whose breweries are a big source of donations and venues for liberal political and social change causes. So there! Meanwhile, for a docu-series on TNT, Cate Blanchett will play Phyllis Schlafly in Mrs. America, which plans to “focus on the ’70s-era fight for the Equal Rights Amendment. ” This series will include a “roster of pivotal figures during the legal and public battle to pass the amendment. In addition to being an outspoken opponent of the Equal Rights Amendment, Schlafly also took stances against same-sex marriage during her decades in public life as a voice in the American conservative movement.” Footage from or actual appearances of those living include: Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug and Jill Ruckelshaus. Oh, PLEASE include footage of the absolutely brilliant demonstrations of “Ladies Against Women” that sat in on many of Schlafly’s speeches and anti-ERA rallies? So great!  FMI on that: http://meetinggroundonline.org/how-ladies-against-women-flummoxed-phyllis-schlafly/
From one of the activists in the above article about one ation from “Ladies Against Women (LAW),” Barbara Winslow: “LAW was a part of the Reagan for Shah coalition, which was founded by a guerilla theater troupe called the Plutonium Players following the 1980 Reagan landslide. Various groups affiliated with the Reagan for Shah Committee had marched in the 1981 Doo Dah Parade in Pasadena, California. I contacted Ladies Against Women, they sent us materials, and we created the Cleveland Chapter of LAW. The flyers we sent out, with a picture of Schlafly, announced how thrilled we were that ‘our dear leader’ was coming to Cleveland and asked that everyone please come out and greet her. The leaflet was signed by faux groups whose names played on the various progressive groups in Cleveland. For example, ‘WELCOME,”’an organization that promoted school desegregation, became ‘unWELCOME’; ‘Women Speak Out for Peace and Justice’ became ‘Ladies Whisper for War and Injustice.’ Schlafly’s organization, the Eagle Forum, became the Vulture Forum…and so on….The day Schlafly showed up there were about 100 of us on picket lines. We did not want to mock conventional images of working class women with hair rollers and schmattas, but everyone had to wear a hat, gloves and an apron. We carried picket signs which said:

“My home is his castle”

“Save the males”

“59 cents is too much. Real ladies do it for free”

“I’d rather be ironing”

“Outlaw Masturbation: Billions of future draftees are murdered by this practice”

“Sperm Are People, Too”

“Tasting it is wasting it”

“Keep America Strong; Invade a Broad”

“We chanted ‘Keep America on the Track; One Step Forward, Two Steps Back’ and ‘Hit Us Again, Hit Us Again, Harder, Harder.’ You get the picture. Two of our members showed up barefoot and pregnant with pillows on their stomachs.” They were brilliant. read the whole article.
I’ll watch. Mom likely won’t. Probably airs  in 2019-20.

Unrelated (fka Besties) is another comedy, coming to Freeform from Casey Johnson and David Windsor, who created The Real O’Neals and worked on Galavant (which we loved) and Don’t Trust The B—- In Apt. 23, with input from co-creators/executive producers, Ranada Shepard (Born Again Virgin) and Kenya Barris (Grown-ish), about “self-absorbed Jesi and conservative, over-achiever, Becca, go from strangers to sisters when they find out through a genetic testing company that they share the same birth mother in this contemporary ensemble comedy about identity, self-discovery and what ultimately defines us.” Will star: Jordin Sparks (American Idol alum and Sparkle), Kris D. Lofton (Ballers), Matt Shively (The Real O’Neals), Gigi Zumbado, Jessika Van (Seoul Searching), Davi Santos (Tell Me a Story, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged) . “Zumbado will play Jesi, a free-spirited, 23-year-old, Cuban American, raised by two adoring gay dads, who is more than thrilled to find out she has a half-sister (Sparks). Van will portray Luna, Becca’s (Sparks) roommate and a brilliant med student who is No. 1 in her class but has no intention of being a doctor. Santos will play Simon, the assistant to a high-powered agent, who is constantly at odds with Jesi….Lofton will play Todd, Becca’s brother, a mama’s boy who still lives in their parents’ basement.” Another “comedy” about finding out late in life that one has bio sibs? Really unnecessary. PASS. Probably for 2019-20.

Halfway There is yet another comedy we probably won’t watch, this one for CBS, written by and starring comedian, Iliza Shlesinger, and also written by the team of Sherry Bilsing-Graham and Ellen Plummer-Kreamer (I Hate My Teenage Daughter, Friends, and New Adventures of Old Christine). It “centers on a comic (Shlesinger) who prides herself on ‘guiding women’ in her act. She is forced to put that to practical use when her half-sister moves in with her.” Sounds overdone and trite, both. Doubt if we’ll watch. Probably for 2019-20.

Home Economics is another new comedy coming to Fox from writers, Michael Colton and John Aboud (A Futile and Stupid Gesture, Penguins Of Madagascar, andThe Comebacks), and producers, Eric and Kim Tannenbaum (Two And A Half Men, The Odd Couple, Young & Hungry, Impastor and The Last O.G.). We haven’t seen the work of the writers and haven’t seen or liked these producers’ shows, but some may. This series is “inspired by Colton’s family, uses sibling rivalry to explore the most taboo but also the most relatable of subjects: money…[and] follows three adult siblings: one in the 1 percent, one middle-class, and one barely holding on.” I’m uncertain  why anyone thinks class differences within families are sources of humor, but these are popular, now, due to the growing class and political divides across the world, I suppose. Not for us. Probably for 2019-20.

—Who else loves Emma Thompson? Too bad HBO and BBC One are airing this first, or we’d be right on it, all 6 Episodes. Now, we have to wait for Years and Years (pun intended). This “dystopian family drama” by writer, Russell T. Davies, features Thompson as “Vivienne Rook, an outspoken celebrity turned political figure whose controversial opinions divide the nation. She’s a new breed of politician, an entertainer, a rebel, a trickster, and her rise to power leads us into an unknown future.” Rory Kinnear (Spectre) will be “Stephen Lyons, a financial advisor and the family’s peacekeeper who is married to Celeste (Marcella’s T’Nia Miller), an ambitious and opinionated accountant. Quantico’s Russell Tovey plays Daniel Lyons, a hard-working housing officer and Stephen’s brother. Their sister, Edith (Paddington 2’s Jessica Hynes), is radical, dangerous and calculating with a secret life.” Ruth Madeley (Cold Feet) plays “the heavily pregnant Rosie. Anne Reid (Last Tango in Halifax) plays “imperial grandmother Muriel…” It is set in Manchester, starting with “one crucial night in 2019. The story will then accelerate into the future, following their lives and loves over the next 15 years as Britain withdraws from Europe, America becomes a lone wolf, China asserts itself, and a new world begins to form. That’s when Rook [Thompson] then begins her rise to power.” Sounds great. We’ll watch! Probably out in DVD or on a streaming service we can watch some time in 2020.


BTW: there are more than a half-dozen of these types of ethnic family comedies coming down the pike for 2019 and beyond. I do not list most of them because they all sound the same (substitute the Person of Color’s ethnicity, age, superficial circumstances and keep the rest) and are likely to be insipidly awful, IMO.

—Mark your calendars! 6/9/19 is our favorite award show, the 73rd Annual Tony Awards, broadcast live on CBS from Radio City Music Hall in New York City, 8 – 11 PM ET, and online! Nominations are announced 4/30/19. UPDATED 3/19/19: James Corden will host (again). Yay! Official events and nominations, here: https://www.tonyawards.com/en_US/news/press_releases/2019-02-14/2019-02-14_2019_tony_awards_announces_calendar_of_official_tony_events.html

Perfect Harmony (fka All Together Now) for NBC stars Bradley Whitford (The West Wing, The Handmaid’s Tale, Valley of the Boom and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip). It “is about a rural church choir that gets the gift it never thought it needed when a salty, Ivy league professor (a role earmarked for Whitford) becomes its director” and comes from Whitford (The Handmaid’s Tale), Lesley Wake Webster (Speechless) and Jason Winer (Single Parents). Who knew Bradley Whitford is musical? Not I! If the singing is any good, we might like it. Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect+, True Blood, The Good Wife, Good Girls Revolt) is also starring. “Camp will play Ginny, a waitress and divorced mother. Ginny plays the piano for the church and is the de facto director of the choir.” Also starring Will Greenberg (Wrecked), who “will play Wayne, Ginny’s (Camp) ex-husband.” Also featuring: Geno Segers (Banshee) and Rizwan Manji (Outsourced). Segers will play Shep Rollins. Rugged and strong, he is the youngest of six enormous brothers. Manji will portray Reverend Jax. He was not born in the U.S. but has a lifelong love affair with American pop culture.”  Looking more interesting, now. Airing in 2019-20.

—Just what no one needs: another FBI drama. But, no one listens to me. So, here is another one, for Fox, an “Untitled FBI Women Project (fka The Tribe) is inspired by journalist and author, Doug Stanton‘s, interviews of women in law enforcement. It is a character-driven drama set inside the New York City field office of the FBI featuring the stories of three female agents as they struggle to balance their professional and personal lives. The series explores the personal lives of our heroines juxtaposed with the demands of protecting America from its greatest threats.” This one is coming from Monica Macer [Queen Sugar, which we did not watch; but she also wrote for SEASON 2 of Nashville (before it began to SUCK) and Deception, which we really liked]. We’ll probably try it. Probably for 2019-20.

Daybreak for Netflix will star Matthew Broderick. We like him. Billed as “high school apocalypse dramedy series…co-created by Aron Eli Coleite and Brad Peyton based on Brian Ralph’s graphic novel.” It will have 10 Episodes about “17-year-old high school outcast, Josh [Ford], searching for his missing girlfriend, Sam [Simnett], in post-apocalyptic Glendale, CA. Joined by a ragtag group of misfits, including Colin Ford (Captain Marvel, We Bought A Zoo), Alyvia Alyn Lind (Coat of Many Colors, Young and the Restless), Sophie Simnett (Poldark, Endeavor), Austin Crute (Booksmart, Atlanta), Gregory Kasyan (Quest, The Brave), Krysta Rodriguez (Trial & Error, Smash)Cody Kearsley (Riverdale, Spiral) and Jeante Godlock (The Simone Biles Story: Courage to Soar), as “a pyromaniac 12-year-old, Angelica (Lind), and Josh’s former high school bully, Wesley (Crute), now turned pacifist samurai,” and other “misfits.” Josh tries to stay alive amongst the horde of Mad Max-style gangs (evil jocks, cheerleaders turned Amazon warriors), zombie-like creatures called Ghoulies, and everything else this brave new world throws at him.” FMI: https://deadline.com/2018/10/daybreak-colin-ford-sophie-simnett-jeante-godlock-cody-kearsley-sophie-simnett-cast-netflix-series-1202489777/
This is Broderick‘s first TV series role as a regularly appearing star, but he is in The Conners and Better Things as a recurring guest star. For Daybreak, Broderick “will play Burr, the cheerful, upbeat principal of Glendale High. Principal Burr knows the name of every kid in school and their favorite character to play in ‘Overwatch.’ In a hashtag-filled world of #metoo and #blacklivesmatter and #timesup, Burr is genuinely trying to be part of the solution: a good guy, an advocate and ally for all. But let’s face it, kids can be monsters.” Funny to see Ferris Bueller now as the high school’s Principal, eh? We might watch, but I doubt it. Probably for 2019.

The Laundromat for Netflix has some heavy-hitters in its ensemble, big screen cast: Robert Patrick, Gary Oldman, Meryl Streep, Antonio Banderas,  David Schwimmer and Will Forte. This  “centers around one of the largest money laundering schemes ever. The ‘Panama Paper’s refers to the documents that linked money laundering to politicians and powerful higher-ups, such as U.S. President Donald Trump. The documents came to light due to a whistleblower with knowledge of the Mossack Fonseca law firm.  Schwimmer plays Matthew Quirk, an attorney who speaks on behalf of one of the insurance companies after 20 elderly passengers die on a boating excursion. The boating company learned its insurance isn’t the large company it thought it was, but merely just a P.O. box in Nevis. Quirk commits suicide after seeing no way out of the liability situation, but the incident triggers lawyers, government officials, and more to track down these shell companies. Those investigations lead to the laundering geniuses at the Panama-based law firm, Mossack Fonseca, who created hundreds of thousands of ‘companies’ to help the wealthy avoid paying taxes. The film has a script by Scott Z. Burns, based on the Jake Bernstein book, Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite.” I don’t usually include films unless they’re on TV as a special, but this will be on Netflix and is so timely, I thought readers should know about it. We will definitely watch this. Steven Soderbergh directs. Look for it in 2019.

—The networks, especially NBC, never seem to tire of police dramas (especially those set  in large cities) and commissioned another one. This “Untitled Police Women Project explores the personal and professional lives of four LAPD women officers who have been best friends since the police academy.” ABC (2015’s Broad Squad) and CBS (2018’s Chiefs) have had their own attempts at this subgenre already fail even to make it past pilots. So, low expectations, but we’ll try it. Probably for 2019-20.

Jill at her Worst is yet another misogynistic, condescending, insulting look at mothers and married women, penned by another oblivious man, Tom Hobert (The Middle, Scrubs, Spin City), for Fox. Sheesh. Don’t they have enough of these? This one is supposedly a comedy that “centers on devoted mother, Jill, who puts her family’s needs before her own, making her a flawed, funny mess—as narrated by her husband, who loves her dearly.” I call BS on the entire premise and hope it never airs.

—Love those UK detective series? We do, too. Here is another one, set for airing in the UK in 2019-20 from thriller novels by Katerina Diamond “that feature lead characters, DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles…..The books are set in Devon….In the first, The Teacher, Exeter suffers a rising count of gruesome deaths and Grey and Miles must solve the case to make their city safe again. As they’re drawn into a network of corruption, lies and exploitation, every step brings them closer to secrets hidden at the heart of the community. Other titles include The Secret, The Angel and The Promise.” Sound interesting. We’ll try them.

—Love Mark Ruffalo? We do, too. He’s coming to HBO (so we’ll have to wait for the DVD) in two roles for I Know This Much is True, a six-Episode series based on Wally Lamb’s book. Written, directed and executive produced by Derek Cianfrance (The Place Beyond the Pines and Blue Valentine), “the family saga follows the parallel lives of identical twin brothers, Dominick and Thomas Birdsey, both played by Ruffalo, in an epic story of betrayal, sacrifice and forgiveness set against the backdrop of 20th century America.” Sounds interesting. Also starring Melissa Leo (The Fighter), Rosie O’Donnell (SMILF), Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife), Imogen Poots (28 Weeks Later), Juliette Lewis (Camping) and Kathyrn Hahn (Mrs. Fletcher). “Leo will play Ma (Concettina Ipolita Tempesta Birdsey), mother of Dominick and Thomas. O’Donnell portrays Lisa Sheffer, a social worker for unit two at the Hatch Forensic Institute where Thomas is staying. Panjabi is Dr. Patea, Thomas’ newly appointed psychologist. Poots will play Joy Hanks, Dominick’s live-in girlfriend. Lewis is Nedra Frank, a self-absorbed grad student hired by Dominick. Hahn portrays Dessa Constantine, Dominick’s ex-wife.We may get to see it in 2020 or later.

Hanging On is a new “lesbian/family” comedy from the very busy Diablo Cody and Sabrina Jalees for Fox. “Jalees is writing and potentially starring in Hanging On. In it, to escape the boredom of retirement and a strained relationship, Phyllis and her husband make a cross-country move from North Carolina and into a house across the street from their lesbian daughter [Jalees] and her new fiancé. Unexpectedly, moving far away from their old life and being inspired by their daughter’s relationship brings them closer together.” Sounds silly. Doubt if we’ll watch, but glad to see more same-sex relationships on TV in shows for which sexual orientation identity is not the focus. Probably for 2019-20.

TNT is bringing Kevin Dunn (Veep), Yasha Jackson (Black Mirror, Ray Donovan, Blue Bloods), and Elizabeth Shue (CSI) to star in Constance. “Written by KC Perry and directed by Jesse PeretzConstance is a fun, darkly humorous, veneer-stripping story about one woman’s refusal to fade into obsolescence. It follows a former beauty queen turned small town bureaucrat, Constance Young (Shue), whose life is thrown into turmoil after her husband’s mysterious death. Realizing she and her family are on the verge of financial ruin, Constance turns to cooking the books at City Hall, while simultaneously trying to reinvent herself through the hyper-competitive world of direct-sales cosmetics. Dunn will play Dale Fogerty, the City Manager at City Hall, and Constance’s… boss. ‘Glowing with entitlement,’ he tries to be sensitive to his employees, but even in his most genuine of moments and with the best of intentions, he still operates from a place of clueless privilege.” We like these actors, so we might watch. Probably for 2019-20.

—I like Heather Graham (Half Magic, Get Shorty, Law & Order: True Crime and Flaked) and think she’s been very underrated. I’m glad she’s getting a series, again, and a good-sounding one: The Hypnotist’s Love Story, “greenlit” for ABC, is based on a novel by the ever-popular Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies [already a series], The Husband’s Secret and Truly Madly Guilty [also about to become a series]). “Written by Katie Wech (Jane the Virgin, Star and Rizzoli & Isles), The Hypnotist’s Love Story centers on successful hypnotherapist, Ellen [Graham], who, after a string of failed romances, is optimistic about her current boyfriend, until he reveals a disturbing truth: a stalker ex-girlfriend who has been following him for years. Ellen finds herself intrigued and oddly thrilled by the stalker, entirely unaware that they’ve already met.” Starring Juliet Rylance (McMafia, The Knick) as “Ellen…a passionate and talented hypnotherapist who has helped countless clients overcome obstacles and achieve their goals but never has managed to achieve her own goal of finding lasting romance.  That is, until Patrick came along…” and Adam Canto (Designated Survivor) as “Patrick, [who]  is a devoted single father—warm, romantic, charismatic and quite possibly the one Ellen’s been waiting for. But he also lives with the stalker secret. Patrick longs for his relationship with Ellen to work, but fears this new relationship can’t withstand the pressure of the unseen woman who’s always out there, always watching.” Liza Lapira (Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life, 9KJL) will also star, as “Julie, Ellen’s impish best friend who owns a dress shop.” Jane Seymour (The Kominsky Method, Hooten and the Lady) plays “Anne, Ellen’s mother, a stylish, independent single mother by choice who is confounded by her daughter’s longing for traditional romance.” Francesca Gregorini will direct. May be very creepy, though. We’ll try it. For 2019-20.

The Baker and the Beauty for ABC is a “romantic comedy based on the successful Israeli series. The adaptation will come from creators, Dean Georgaris (The Brave, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life), and David Frankel (Manifest), Keshet Studios and Universal TV….” Starring Michelle Veintimilla (Gotham), Nathalie Kelley, David Del Rio (Grease Live!) and Victor Rasuk, written by Georgaris and to be directed by FrankelThe Baker and the Beaut “follows the impossible Miami love story between a simple baker, Daniel Garcia (Rasuk) and an international superstar, Noa Hollander (Kelley), [who]  has it all: She’s the most famous woman in the country, the beautiful daughter of a real estate magnate, a successful model with an international career and, up until now, one half of a Hollywood power couple. The son of Cuban immigrants, Daniel Garcia is a simple guy who still lives with his parents and works at the family bakery. A chance encounter at a fancy restaurant—where Daniel may or may not propose to his eager girlfriend of eight years and where Noa is avoiding public speculation about a breakup from her Hollywood lover—leads to unexpected sparks and an even more unlikely love story. Rasuk’s Daniel is the eldest son of a very tight-knight and loving immigrant family. Honest, grounded, comfortable in his own skin, Daniel’s future is all mapped out for him. He’ll inherit the family bakery, marry his long-time girlfriend, and have a really nice life. But are those things what he really wants?…Del Rio will play Mateo Garcia, Daniel’s younger brother. …Veintimilla will play Vanessa.” Sounds excessively inane and completely unnecessary. Who would watch this? I suppose it depends on the writing? Inexplicably very popular in Israel, it’s going on its third SEASON. PASS. Set for 2019-20.

The Last Cop is an unusual cop show under development, but I’m not sure for what channel or when it will air. It is adapted from a successful, 5-year, German series which  “tells the story of Mick Briggs, an alpha male detective, who wakes up from a 25-year coma and struggles to find his identity as a man, husband and father in a world he neither recognizes nor understands.” Dean Parisot (Good Girls) will direct and Adi Hasak (Shades of Blue) will write the pilot. Then, we’ll see if it gets picked up, I guess. We might watch, if it does.

ABC believes parts of Sarah Chalke‘s (Scrubs, Roseanne) life story are worth televising. I doubt it. But, Chalke and Scrubs‘ creator, Bill Lawrence, are to create a TV series about her…NOT entitled “Everybody loves Sarah,” though. The untitled project “will be written by Emily Fox (Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce),…about two very different sisters who take over the adoption agency that their parents, a lawyer and a social worker, have run out of their home for the last 30 years.” Which leads where, exactly? I see nothing interesting, here. Probably for 2019-20.

—Another show by Amy Poehler is coming: does she ever sleep? Tails will be on NBC and star Riki Lindhome, who will co-write this junk with Monica Padrick (Community), “Tails follows Erika, played by Lindhome, a woman in her late 30s, who despite the pressure she feels from the world around her, refuses to settle in any area of her life.” Could they be more vague or sound more banal? We won’t be watching. Doubt if many will. Probably for 2019-20.

Dorian is coming to The CW from Marisa Coughlan (Super Troopers 2) and producer, Len Goldstein (Hart of Dixie), as a gender-reversed “comedic spin on Oscar Wilde’s The Picture Of Dorian Gray …[that] centers on a woman who made a deal with the devil 50 years ago to remain young has spent the subsequent decades living selfishly and without consequences. As the downsides of eternal youth finally land on her, Dorian is ready to grow up and age gracefully, but, to do so, she’ll have to make amends for half a century of bad behavior.” This premise sounds even worse in modern times, doesn’t it? Doubt if we’ll watch. Probably for 2019-20.

No Hard Feelings is coming to The CW as “a one-hour dark comedy” from co-writers, Jordan Reddout and Gus Hickey (Will & Grace, Grown-ish, Man With A Plan, and The Muppets), and Brad Silberling. It’s “about a group of friends who conspire to exact revenge on an old rival who assaulted one of their own and got away with it back in college.” Oh, please? Can the culprit be based on the inimical Brett Kavanaugh? We might watch that… Probably for 2019-20.


Dracula also gets Netflix/BBC treatment in 2020! Starring Claes Bang (The Girl in the Spider’s Web) as Dracula, and John Hefferman (The Crown) and Dolly Wells (Doll & Em), “The trio will star alongside No Offence’s Joanna Scanlan, His Dark Materials and Patrick Melrose’s Morfydd Clark and Phantom Thread’s Lujza Richter….[C]o-writer, Mark Gatiss… (Doctor Who and Sherlock) will also appear….[T]he three 90-minute episodes…[are to be] written and created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss…[I]nspired by Bram Stoker’s classic novel and will re-introduce the world to Dracula, the vampire who made evil sexy. In Transylvania in 1897, the blood drinking Count is drawing his plans against Victorian London.” Since this story has been depictedevery which way, from camp to serious, in silent to full-color films, and inspired COUNTless vampire stories still occurring, WHY do it again? Sigh. Not watching.

—Have I mentioned how offensive I find the Christians’ appropriation of the term “faith-based,” since ANY religion can have faith, not only Christians? Their use of this term to mean only Christians’ faith is ridiculous. Rant over.
Oh: I also despise Dr. Phil.
So, you can imagine my lack of excitement about this first of two new projects, from Dr. Phil and his son, Jay McGraw (jerks), for CBS:
—–One is a “faith-based” medical TV series entitled Chaplain (also, only a Christian term, although many try to shoehorn other religious groups’ leaders into that term, it is not “catch-all”), with Nick Weiss (Drunk Wedding), Isaac Laskin and Reign co-creator/executive producer, Laurie McCarthy. “Written by Weiss and Laskin, Chaplain centers around a talented, scientifically minded ICU doctor and her free-thinking, faith-oriented brother [who] clash over the best approach to the business of saving lives when he is hired as chaplain at her hospital.” Why would any non-medically trained religious advisor—ostensibly there to give comfort and assist with dying—have anything to do with medical decisions at a hospital? Absurd.
——The McGraws and Scott Prendergast (Silicon Valley) are also producing a legal drama, Melanie, for CBS. “Written/executive produced by Prendergast, Melanie centers on a ‘scattered but astute criminal defense attorney who uses her seemingly inept methods to disarm judges, charm juries, and win cases,’ [who] returns home to join her brother’s white-shoe law firm and help her family of outsiders get back on their feet.”
Great. Sexist, classist AND prejudiced in general. The trifecta of why I won’t watch this tripe.

NYPD Blue is getting a sequel on ABC (which I’d take over a reboot, any day), as “a new iteration of the iconic cop drama” that will star Alona Tal (SEAL Team, Hand of God) and “revolve around the son of Dennis Franz’s Detective Andy Sipowicz character from the original series….Tal will play Detective Nicole Lazarus, one of the detectives working out of the 15th Precinct. Nicole has a tangled personal life; her soon-to-be-ex-husband is divorcing her, and he’s trying to get his mitts on a slice of her pension. She’s trying to ease the pain by having a no-strings affair.” Original creators are involved in this sequel: Matt Olmstead (Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D.), Nick Wootton (Scorpion) and Jesse Bochco (son of the late Steven Bochco). “Unfortunately for all Andy Sipowitz fans, in the sequel his character is dead. The return of NYPD Blue follows his son, Theo, as he tries to earn his detective shield and work in the 15th squad while investigating his father’s murder. Theo seems to have taken after his father as he too is a hard-drinking, hard-headed and quick-witted cop….Theo is Andy Sipowitz’s son [Fabien Frankel] with Assistant District Attorney Sylvia Costas (Sharon Lawrence) who was tragically killed in Season 6, while Theo was just a little boy….Kim Delaney will reprise her Emmy-winning role as Det. Diane Russell from the original series, while Bill Brochtrup will reprise his role as PPA John Irvin….” Ashley Thomas (24: Legacy and Salvation) “will play Detective Chris Gamble, another detective in the precinct. Mom wat”ched the original, But I did not. Not sure if I’ll watch this, but look for it in 2019-20.

Ranger, based on a recent novel via James Patterson‘s assembly line, is coming to CBS in 2019-20. “Set as a one-hour drama from writers and executive producers, Jason Hall, TJ Brady and Rasheed Newson, it follows a Texas ranger and his ‘cantankerous’ father who move to South Florida. There, the titular ranger becomes a homicide detective and searches for his brother’s killer.” I doubt if I’ll watch, but Mom is a long-time Patterson fan.

—How fun will this be? Amazon is developing “a contemporary musical television series inspired by Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night” that focuses on gender identity issues, from some great writers and creators: Spring Awakening‘s Steven Sater;  Insatiable’s creator, Lauren GussisCrazy Ex-Girlfriend’s executive producer, Marc Webb; and, Ryan Seacrest Productions.  “Written by Sater and Gussis with Webb set to direct, the untitled series tells the complicated love story between a young man and biological young woman who, over the course of the series, begins to identify as gender-fluid. In order to hold onto the love of his life, our young male hero writes an original musical version of Twelfth Night for his beloved to star in and perform over winter break. But they’re not alone—a group of college kids find themselves sequestered on an empty snowbound campus—and when the magic of the play kicks in, everyone involved ends up exploring every manner of sexuality and gender identity. Longtime Sater collaborator, Duncan Sheik…[will] co-write the songs…” We’ll definitely try this. Probably not until 2020, since musicals take longer to create and produce. Casting should be interesting…

The Name of the Rose stars John Turturro and is coming to many global channels, including the BBC and then either Sundance TV or AMC in the USA. The 8-Episode series already exists and co-stars a LOT of males (hey; it’s about monks and the Inquisition; what do you expect?): Michael Emerson (Lost, Person of Interest), Rupert Everett (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children), Damian Hardung (Red Band Society), Sebastian Koch (Homeland), James Cosmo (Game of Thrones), Richard Sammel (Inglourious Basterds), Fabrizio Bentivoglio (Human Capital), and, probably as an afterthought, one woman, Greta Scarano (In Treatment). I never read Umberto Eco’s novel from 1980, because its topics were uninteresting to me. Still are. But, some will like this story, historical/religious setting and characters, I suppose. “Set in Italy in 1327, the series follows the Franciscan monk, William of Baskerville (Turturro), and his novice, Adso von Melk (Hardung), as they arrive at a secluded monastery in the Alps. There they become witnesses to a series of mysterious murders. While Baskerville and Melk investigate and search for the killer, they are hunted themselves by the merciless inquisitor, Bernard Gui (Everett), who prosecutes those who criticize the Pope.” Hard pass. Look for it in 2019.

—Now untitled (fka Sisters and not to be confused with so many other shows with that name or that word in their title) has been greenlit for Fox from Down Under’s Annie Weisman and Jason Katims (co-exec producers/creators of The Path) as well as the original Australian series’ co-creator, Imogen Banks; Leslye Headland will direct“Written by Weisman [(Desperate Housewives)], Sisters is based on the Australian series created by Jonathan Gavin and Banks. It centers on only child, Julia Bechly, who finds her life turned upside down when her father is forced to reveal that over the course of his pioneering career as a fertility doctor, he used his own sperm to conceive dozens of children. As she dutifully begins to track down her emerging group of siblings, among a sea of brothers, Julia discovers only two sisters—both of whom quickly become a part of her now redefined family.” Beyond that…? There already are true stories, a film and another series with a similar premise, with dozens or hundreds of such “siblings” I feel a giant “so what?” about this. What did people expect, once sperm banks were used so often, anyway? Does sharing DNA constitute enough to make people “siblings”? Brittany Snow (all three Pitch Perfect films) has joined in the lead role, playing Julia Bechley, with Megalyn Echikunwoke (Vixen) to play “one of the two sisters, Edie, a successful criminal defense attorney who is partners in both work and life with her husband. Despite her desire for stability, she’s dissatisfied with her marriage and can’t seem to scratch the itch.” Timothy Hutton (Leverage, Jack Ryan, How to Get Away with Murder) is also starring: “handsome, charming & brilliant Dr. Leon Bechley is a distinguished & highly respected fertility specialist.” Emily Osment (Young & Hungry) is joining, as “Roxy, [who] is a feisty, unfiltered & impulsive, irrepressible ‘compact spark plug of a woman.’ She is a former Olympic gymnast who is now a ‘Sports Legend of Yesteryear.”’ Mo McRae (Wild, Pitch) will play “Tim, Edie’s (Echikunwoke) husband and fellow attorney.” Doubt if we’ll watch.

Family Reunion is a family comedy coming to Netflix starring Tia Mowry Sister, Sister, The GameInstant Mom and the great Loretta Devine (Grey’s Anatomy, The Carmichael Show)“created and executive produced by Meg DeLoatch (Fuller House, Eve) and directed by Eric Dean Seaton (Prince of Peoria, Modern Family)….The African American family sitcom, which is penned entirely by Black writers, stars Mowry as Cocoa McKellan, a free spirited, fun, conscious mother from Seattle. When she and her former football-playing husband, Moz, and their four children travel from their home in the big city to the small town of Columbus, Georgia, for the McKellan Family Reunion, they get to know an extended family they didn’t even realize they were missing. Devine plays the loving but strict matriarch of the family, M’Dear.” Anthony Alabi (Raven’s Home, Insecure) will be Mowry’s husband. The McKellan children are: Talia Jackson, Isaiah Russell-Bailey, Cameron J. “CJ” Wright and Jordyn James. Probably releases in 2020. Doubtful that we’ll watch.  We mostly do not like sitcoms, remember?

Grimm spin-off, anyone? We never watched it, but many did. No word on casting, and most of the originators are not directly involved. But, the “untitled new show will be based on existing series mythology and ‘will feature returning fan favorites while also introducing new characters, new dangers and new mysteries.'” Ho-hum. Look for it on NBC some time in 2020, maybe.

—If you live or vote in the USA and haven’t been watching, listening to, reading or catching up on social media with Rachel Maddow, START. TRMS (MSNBC), her new podcast and her blog are the best (latest, most reliable) sources of actual news, facts and commentary on our recent and current horrendous elections, administration, congressional and other horrors. Their tweets are also great.

Family History, for ABC from writer, Deborah Schoeneman (Girls, The Newsroom), “is inspired by the recent explosion in genetic genealogy testing. It follows a young tech reporter in the Bay area whose life changes when she discovers a family secret via a DNA-testing web site. The show explores nature versus nurture and how technology has caught up to our secrets. …The show would also draw on Schoeneman’s real-life experiences.” May be a bit “one-note” for us, but we may try it. Probably for 2019-20.

Blood Ties is yet ANOTHER police drama coming to NBC. This one is created and produced by Vincent Laresca and Jennifer Lopez (who just finished her Shades of Blue police series, which we hated and stopped watching almost immediately) and Tom Szentgyorgyi (who worked on Reverie and The Mentalist, which we like[d]), “based on an idea by Laresca. When convicted homicide detective, Steve Horvath, is exonerated, he’s given his job back but finds he now has unconventional insight about the criminals he faces. Teaming up with an unexpected rookie who has a secret agenda of his own, Horvath must learn to adapt to life outside of prison while trying to figure out who framed him and why.” If J Lo isn’t starring, Mom might watch. otherwise, she’s out. I may watch, either way. Probably for 2019-20.

Javier Gullón sold and will adapt his own sci-fi stories into screen projects. The Spanish screenwriter will turn First into a film; Satellite will become a TV series “with the emotional nature of Arrival and the wonderment of Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” Don’t know when, where, or how to watch this, but if it’s around, we will try to see it and let you know! 2020, perhaps?

—Alice is yet another “old” sit-com getting a reboot. This one comes to Fox from co-writers and -producers, Diablo Cody (One Mississippi) and Liz Astrof (2 Broke Girls), from the 1976 TV series that starred Linda Lavin, which was based on a film starring Ellen Burstyn. So it goes. This version “centers on Long Island housewife, Alice Hyatt, who has finally worked up the courage to leave her cheating husband. She drives cross-country to Arizona with her teenage son, Tommy, and gets a job as a waitress at a roadside diner where the staff becomes their new surrogate family.” Probably 2019-20. We are unlikely to watch because the first two versions weren’t that great.

 

Move is a musical/dance dramedy coming to Fox from Silvio Horta (Ugly Betty), Mary J. Blige and Gail Berman. “Written by HortaMove is inspired by the life of famed choreographer and creative director, Laurieann Gibson.  who, in order to redeem her damaged reputation in the cutthroat music/dance world, sets her sights on creating a flawless tour for a diva pop singer. To get the coveted gig, though, she’ll have to fend off competition from her arch rival…who happens to be her former assistant. At the same time, she must act as mother hen to her talented, but often difficult, team of dancers who depend on her.” I’m sure some will love this; we won’t. Probably for 2019-20.

—Two series from the creators of the short-lived (but we liked it) series, Doubt, Joan Rater and Tony Phelan, who also worked on two of my favorite shows, Madam Secretary and Grey’s Anatomy, are the writers and producers of the newest dramas coming to NBC:
——Trust, which is “based on the French-language format Banking District,… [D]escribed as part thriller, part family drama…[i]t follows psychology professor, Michaela Murphy, as she unexpectedly takes over her family’s banking business when her brother suspiciously falls into a coma. In order to save her brother’s life, the bank and her family’s legacy, Michaela must contend with her estranged family and in doing so begins to uncover a host of long-buried secrets.”
These will probably air in 2019-20. We’ll watch.

The Loudest Voice in the Room is one of two projects currently in development about the late sexual predator and leader of Fox Network News for several decades, Roger Ailes, starring Russell Crowe as Ailes and featuring the great Naomi Watts as the courageous woman who began his much-deserved and very delayed downfall, Gretchen Carlson, for Showtime. This will be a “limited series adaptation of Gabriel Sherman’s book” of the same title. “Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy), Sienna Miller (Live by Night), Simon McBurney (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation) and Annabelle Wallis (The Mummy) have all joined the cast. MacFarlane will play Brian Lewis, former head of PR at Fox News, with Miller as Ailes’ wife, BethMcBurney as media mogul, Rupert Murdoch, and Wallis as Laurie Luhn, a Fox News exec who [was victimized] in an abusive relationship with AilesThe Loudest Voice in the Room will explore the last decade of Ailes’ life, as well as key events from his past and the sexual harassment allegations that led to his downfall prior to his death. …[Th]e other [project] is “director, Jay Roach’s (Trumbo), feature film, Fair and Balanced, which will detail the sexual harassment scandal from the point of view of the women who were instrumental in bringing [Ailes] down.” As well-done as these may be, I find the entire sordid story so sickening that I’m sure I won’t watch. #MeToo IS so much of my life, I don’t want to watch it played out on screens. But, very worthwhile, I’m sure, and many should watch. Look for these in 2019-20.

Enslaved is to be a six-part documentary series hosted by Samuel L. Jackson that “will chart the horror of slavery through underwater archaeology. Created by doc outfit Associated, the series is being timed to coincide with the 400-year anniversary [1619-2019] since the first African was brought to the New World as a slave….[It] will retrace the harrowing sea voyage that brought millions of Africans, over hundreds of years, to a life of slavery. The doc and its host, Jackson, who is a licensed diver, will go in search of the sunken slave ships that went down with their human cargo. The actor’s own ancestors came from Gabon in West Africa.” Journalist, Simcha Jacobovici (The Naked Archaeologist), will direct. “’For me, this is much more than a TV series,’ said Jackson ‘For me, Enslaved is an attempt to give a voice to the millions whose voices were silenced.’…’Our goal is to tell a global story of suffering and resistance, of oppression and overcoming, through the adventure of finding and marking sunken slave ships,’ [Jacobovici added.]” Sounds powerful, painful, and compelling. I will watch,and keep you all posted and where to watch. Look for this in 2019.

Her Body and Other Parties is coming to FX with scripts written by Gillian Welch,  from “Carmen Maria Machado’s lauded short story collection….[The series will stage] psychologically vivid tales of women’s fears and desires on landscapes of horror, fabulism, and wild-haired absurdity. It’s described as a feminist Black Mirror with fairy tale themes, its hours threaded together with a recurring ensemble of female characters.” Could be more like Dietland, in which case I’ll watch. But, maybe not. We’ll see. Probably for 2019-20.

Mr. Mom—yes, the ’80s film—is becoming a series. Why? I have no idea. The original wasn’t that great., even though it was written by John Hughes, had Michael Keaton playing an unemployed father who becomes a stay-at-home dad to his three young children when his wife [Teri Garr] lands a new job. The series will pick up the story some 35 years later as the now-adult baby Megan wants to go back to work, leaving her husband to take on parenting duties.” Nothing to see, here. And, probably we won’t, anyway. But, for fans of old MGM films, you’re in luck: “The deal between Vudu and MGM aims to create a number of original series based on MGM’s extensive film and TV catalogue, which will be available in North America on Vudu’s free Movies On Us service.”

Deputy is coming to Fox. Why ANOTHER hour-long police procedural? This one is from producer/director, David Ayer (Bright) and writer, Will Beall (Gangster Squad, Castle, Training Day), and it stars Stephen Dorff (True Detective), Yara Martinez  (The Tick, Bull), Siena Goines (Grey’s Anatomy)Bex Taylor-Klaus (Dumplin’, Hellfest), Shane Paul McGhie (What Men Want), and Brian Van Holt (The Bridge). The “Peter Principle”- themed show “centers on Deputy Bill Hollister, a career [police officer] who’s very comfortable kicking down doors and utterly lost in a staff meeting. But when the LA County Sheriff drops dead, Bill becomes acting sheriff of Los Angeles County, in charge of 10,000 sworn deputies policing a modern Wild West. The ensemble procedural has the full cooperation of the LA Sheriff’s Department….Martinez will play Hollister’s wife, Dr. Paula Reyes, a trauma surgeon. Strong-willed yet sensitive, she’s a good match for her husband…. Goines will play Deputy Rachel Quinn. Practical, meticulous and a workaholic, this clever detective pieces together details overlooked by others, and does so quickly. Taylor-Klaus is Deputy Breanna Bishop. Smartly dressed and sarcastic, this ‘quietly badass’ driver is in charge of newly appointed Sheriff Hollister’s security detail. McGhie portrays Deputy Joseph Blair. Bright-eyed and buzz-cut, this whippet-slender young man is the son of Hollister’s old partner….Van Holt will play Deputy Cade Walker. A former Marine who served in Afghanistan and is eight years sober, Cade works MAJORS—‘the Delta Force of the LASD.’ He’s tough, with a highly developed gallows humor.” We did love Castle, so we may try this. Probably for 2019-20.


Julian Fellowes (Downton Abby, The Gilded Age) is up to creating more UK scripted dramas with an Untitled series about its art. “’We’re doing story behind portraits in the royal collection. This came out of conversations about every great film like The Duchess. The portraits hang in the royal collection and there’s incredible stories behind them,’ [executive producer, Nigel Hall] said. ‘Every episode, which is Julian’s idea, ends with the portrait being painted. For instance, one of the stories is a servant who worked for three kings and the queen. It’s a bit like The Butler. They’re all fascinating stories.’…Spread across 13 historic royal residencies in the UK, the collection is owned by Queen Elizabeth II and overseen by the Royal Collection trust. There are around 1m objects including 7,000 painting and 30,000 watercolours and drawings as well as photographs and furniture.” People who love art, the UK, or both, will want to watch. We’ll pass. Airing in the UK first, so in the USA after that, in 2020.

A Confession is the newest detective drama coming out of the UK, but will have only 6 Episodes. Starring Martin Freeman (Sherlock; Love, Actually) and Imelda Staunton (too many to name), “Written by Jeff Pope, the series tells the story of how Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher, played by Freeman, deliberately breached police procedure and protocol to catch a killer, a decision that ultimately cost him his career and reputation. Set in Swindon, Wiltshire, A Confession details the disappearance of 22-year-old Sian O’Callaghan in March, 2011….Meanwhile, Karen Edwards, played by Staunton, the mother of Becky Godden, a 20-year-old who disappeared a decade previously in 2003, is watching the investigation unfold on the local news and in the town centre.  Reminded of Becky’s disappearance, she becomes gripped by fear that her daughter will somehow be involved in what is unfolding before her eyes as the search for Sian goes on. Paul Andrew Williams (Broadchurch) directs.” We may watch. Airing in the UK first, so in the USA after that, in 2020.

—Busy guy, Martin Freeman (Sherlock; Love, Actually), He’s also starring with Daisy Haggard (Episodes) in a new “parenting” comedy, Breeders, for FX that “exposes the paradox of parenting where it is possible, in the same moment, to love your child, while being apoplectically angry at them. Freeman stars as a caring father discovering he’s not quite the man he thought he was.” Created by Freeman with Simon Blackwell and Chris Addison (both of Veep). We probably won’t watch. For 2020.

Siblings is a comedy coming for CBS created by and starring David Hornsby (It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Good Girls) and produced by Brian Keith Etheridge (The Ranch) that “centers on two very different siblings who decide to live together and raise their kids after one of them gets divorced.” If one of these kids is newly known to the dad and is gay, we have Champions (canceled after one SEASON, from Mindy Kaling). So, why another promise so similar? No idea. We won’t watch. Probably for 2019-20.

Vienna Blood, a 3-part series based on the novels by Frank Tallis, will star Matthew Beard (The Imitation Game), from writers, Steve Thompson (JerichoSherlock) and Robert Dornhelm (Anne Frank: The Whole Story), with Umut Dag (Cracks in Concrete) directing.  “Beard plays central character, Max Liebermann, the protégé of Sigmund Freud, and [the series is] set in 1900s Vienna. When Liebermann comes into contact with Oskar Rheinhardt, played by Tatort’s Juergen Maurer, a detective struggling with a strange murder case, he is called to help him solve the investigation. The three features will be based on Tallis’ first three books in the Liebermann Papers series of novels, and the films will be titled Vienna Blood: The Last Seance, Vienna Blood: The Realm of Night, and Vienna Blood: Fatal Lies. Conleth Hill (Game of Thrones), Jessica De Gouw (Dracula), Luise Von Finckh (Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten) and Charlene McKenna (Ripper Street) also star.” Sounds a bit dark, but interesting. We’ll try it. Probably for 2019-20 in the UK & Europe, then in the USA or on DVD in 2020.

American Soul for BET is “an unflinching look at the entrepreneur, [Don] Cornelius [Sinqua Walls], his Soul Train dancers, crew and musicians in an unforgiving Hollywood in the 1970’s –– how they work, play, rise and fall against the backdrop of Soul Train —-‘the hippest trip in America’ and one of the most predominant television shows for African American culture. Shannon Kane [(The Originals)] will play Ilsa Dejarnette, a beautiful, whip-smart, self-made entrepreneur. She is the lead attorney for a famous record label at the height of its power. Although not born into affluence, Ilsa is impeccably polished, having attended the world’s best finishing school and Ivy League institutions. Perri Camper (The Bobby Brown Story) will play Delores Cornelius, the wife of Don Cornelius, the gel of the Cornelius family. While Don is in Los Angeles, she holds down the fort back home in Chicago. Though loyal to Don, there’s no denying the strain the new show puts on their relationship and their family.” Doubt if we’ll watch. Probably for 2019-20.

—Need another sports drama with a female lead? Probably do, since we miss Pitch! Trailblazer is coming to ABC written by Joe Webb (Quantico) and co-produced by him and Michael Seitzman and Christina Davis. This show “centers on Jordan Cruz, the gifted men’s basketball coach at a small D3 college in South Dakota, who rises to fame when she’s recruited by UCLA to become the first female coach of a Division 1 men’s team. While she quickly wins over the school’s female President and shares an undeniable spark with the scout who discovered her, Jordan faces more enemies than friends as she disrupts the Old Boys’ clubhouse of big-time college hoops. The drama is about the strength it takes to achieve greatness, and the wisdom to realize we can’t do it alone.” Based on no one actually coaching, supposedly, but female BB Big 10 coaches are “on the rise,” meaning there ARE any. We might watch. Probably for 2019-20.

October Faction will start with 10 Episodes and star one of our faves from Bones, Tamara Taylor, and J.C. MacKenzie (Molly’s Game, The Wolf of Wall Street) along with Aurora Burghart (Sex Education), Gabriel Darku (Impulse, ReBoot: The Guardian Code), Wendy Crewson (The Vow, Room), Megan Follows (Reign, Anne of Green Gables) and Stephen McHattie (Watchmen, Maurice Richard). “Based on the IDW comics by Steve Niles…adapted and created by Damian Kindler (Sleepy Hollow, Krypton)October Faction follows globetrotting monster hunters, Fred and Deloris Allen, played by MacKenzie and Taylor respectively, who, after the death of Fred’s father, return to their hometown in upstate New York with their teenage children Geoff (Darku) and Viv (Burghart). As the family adjusts, Fred and Deloris must hide their identities as members of a secret organization, and our heroes quickly discover that their new small-town setting isn’t as idyllic as it seems.” Doesn’t say where or when it will air, but we’ll keep you posted! We’ll try it. Maybe 2020.

Americanized for ABC, coming from Reese Witherspoon‘s production company, is a  “comedy inspired by Sara Saedi‘s memoir, Americanized: Rebel Without A Green Card, …written by Saedi (iZombie).” It is “the story of a loving and off-beat Iranian family who’s been living with a huge secret: they’re undocumented immigrants. Told through an irreverent, heartfelt and a-political lens, the series will give viewers a window into the life of a Middle-Eastern household while exploring the universal truths that bond every type of ‘American’ family. In the book, Saedi shares her story of growing up in San Jose, California, in a loving Iranian family and her shock when she discovers she and the rest of her family are undocumented.” Not for us. One of many very smilar to it. Probably for 2019-20.

ABC also plans to air Food and Familia, a “multi-generational Latinx family comedy from Peter Murrieta…starring Danny Trejo, whose life inspired it. Written by MurrietaFood & Familia is a comedy about second chances…. When the matriarch of the family passes away, she leaves her restaurant to her son, Danny —- who’s about to get out of prison —- and her granddaughter, Michelle, who hates her father for abandoning her. This gift from beyond the grave might heal the father and daughter and get them back together but, it’s gonna be rocky as the two of them work their differences out while trying to operate a restaurant, live together, and become a real family again.” I doubt if we’ll watch either of these (Americanized or this one) or the dozen others like it, but many will, I’m sure. Look for them in 2019-20.

—Attempting to cash in the popularity of “police soaps,” Fox is bringing Saturday Night Special to series, from writer, Robert Specland (Nyad, The Impossible War, Reincarnation Type), producer, Marc Platt (La La Land, Grease: Live!, Jesus Christ Superstar: Live!, Bridge of Spies). It promises to be “exploring a tight-knit group of Washington D.C. cops with focus on the wildest, most dangerous shift of the week, giving us an in-depth look at the police force from the top down, Lieutenant to rookies, and how a job like this affects each of their lives, and their lives affect the job.” We have far too many of these, IMO, and they are very hate-fostering, even as they may attempt to do the opposite. No cast, release date, or other info, yet. Mom will probably check it out and let me know. Maybe 2020.

La Jauría, an upcoming 8-part series starring Daniela Vega (A Fantastic Woman) is “a psychological crime drama” with #MeToo components, produced by Juan de Dios and Pablo Larrain, which “takes place at ‘a posh private Catholic school whose students stage a take-over in protest at a teacher’s suspected sexual assault of a student. Blanca Ibarra, a student leading the takeover, suddenly goes missing. Amidst the search, a video goes viral of her being raped by a gang of unidentifiable men. A gender-based crime police unit formed by Elisa Murillo (Vega) and Olivia Fernández[ (Kevin Zegers; Mortal Instruments, City of Bones)] work to find Blanca before it’s too late and to stop what is revealed ti be far more than a one-off gender crime.’…Inspired by true events, the series mirrors closely a recent controversial gang rape case from Spain involving five men who raped an 18-year-old girl during Pamplona’s San Fermín festivities. The case prompted international outrage when the judge cleared the men of rape charges, finding them guilty of sexual abuse instead.” Sounds too gruesome for us, but could be very well done. Probably look for it in early 2020. Not sure where, though.

Code 404, starring Daniel May (Broadchurch, Tin Man), Stephen Graham, Amanda Payton (Trial & Error, Animal Kingdom), with writer, Daniel Peak (Horrible HistoriesNot Going Out), and director, Ben Palmer (The Inbetweeners, Back), is another British “police comedy,… [S]et in the near future, It will revolve around two Detective Inspectors, DI John Major (Daniel Mays) and DI Roy Carver (Stephen Graham), who are the top crime fighting duo in the Unit. But when an undercover sting goes horribly wrong, Major is gunned down on the job and killed. How will the SIU function without Major? It doesn’t have to. As an ‘asset’ considered too valuable to lose, Major’s body is fast-tracked into an experimental Artificial Intelligence project to bring him back from the dead. The only problem is, Major 2.0 may look like and sound like the original, but something has been lost in translation—quite a lot actually. His arrogant demeanor and gung-ho approach remain but his crime-fighting instincts have completely deserted him.” Carbon Copy meets Peaky Blinders? Coming from Sky One. Not sure where or when it will air. We probably won’t watch.

I Just Do is coming to Fox starring and co-written by comedian, Chris Spencer, with co-writers, John Beck and Ron Hart. I doubt if we’l like it, since it “is inspired by Spencer’s stand-up. It’s about an African-American family therapist (Spencer) and his loving and expressive Latina wife living beyond their means in an upper-middle-class neighborhood, where they are raising twin teenagers with the ‘help’ of their intrusive parents. The co-mingling of Black and Latino cultures gives a unique perspective on the universal challenges of marriage and family.” Sure. Uniquely insipid and subtly racist, with another awful laugh track and boring, trite, kitchy situations. Pass. Probably for 2019-20.

—Another DC Comics Universe series, Secret Six, is in the works, for CBS, produced and written by Rick Muirragui (Suits), that “centers on six morally ambiguous strangers, each with their own unique specialties and secret pasts, who are brought together by an enigmatic figure who blackmails them into working as a team to expose the corruption of the corporate and political elite.” If you are confused, join the club, because “‘The Secret Six’ is the name of three different fictional comic book teams in the DC Comics Universe. Each team has had six members, led by a mysterious figure named Mockingbird, whom the characters assume to be one of the other five members.” So, almost-bad guys become sort-of good guys when they’re forced to be by sort-of good guys? Very odd premises, there. We may watch, but I bet we won’t like it, unless it’s also witty and at least half of the six are likable. Probably for 2019-20.

Forrest’s Treasure for Fox will be a new drama produced by Elwood Reid (The Chi, The Bridge) and McG (Lethal Weapon, Supernatural, Shadowhunters), also “written by Reid with McG set to direct….[It] is described as a grounded, family drama with a flair for adventure, inspired by David Kushner’s upcoming book on the treasure of Forrest Fenn. When a family from Chicago moves to a small town in Montana to pick up the pieces of their fractured lives, they find meaning and purpose in the mystery of a hidden treasure. Santa Fe art dealer and author, Forrest Fenn, made national headlines with his 2010 claim that he had hid a treasure chest filled with artifacts, gold, and jewels worth more than a million dollars somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. It triggered a treasure hunt that has claimed at least four lives to date. According to Fenn, the treasure is yet to be found.” There was an Episode of Longmire that sounds as if it was based on this, set in Wyoming… We might watch. Probably for 2019-20.

Whites, for NBC, is “a comedy based on the UK format ‘{starring Alan Davies as the executive chef at a country house hotel, [which] had a brief run on BBC Two in 2010}’, from Matt Tarses (Scrubs, Alex, Inc, The Goldbergs, Atypical) [and] Will Arnett (BoJack Horseman, Arrested Development)…set in the fast-paced and hilarious kitchen at a beautiful restaurant in upstate New York. Roland White, a disgraced wunderkind of the New York culinary scene, has spent the past three years here in exile, and things are complicated when the owner hires Emily, a new pastry chef who is as gluten-free, farm-to-table and gender-neutral-pronoun-using as anyone on the planet.” We haven’t liked these creators’ former/current shows (broad comedy more suitable for adolescent males), so we won’t watch this, but some will like it a lot, we’re sure. Probably for 2019-20.

Bless Her Heart (not to be confused with Bless This Mess, also coming soon) may come to ABC from Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon),  Another Texas-based series from him, this “is a multigenerational family comedy centered on two very different Texas matriarchs who wreak havoc on their children’s lives when they all wind up living together.” At least the log line writers spelled “wreak” correctly. Other collaborators are Chuck Tatham (Modern Family) and Todd Spiewak. Maybe for 2019-20. We probably won’t watch.

Sunnyside is NBC’s newest upcoming comedy created by and starring Kal Penn (Designated Survivor, House, How I Met Your Mother) and co-written by Matt Murray (CommunityParks and Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-NineThe Good Place) and Michael Schur (The Good Place, SNL) has been greenlit for 2019-20. It “centers on a disgraced New York City Council[person] and former baseball wunderkind, Garrett Shah (Penn), who finds his calling when faced with six recent immigrants in search of the American Dream.” Politics, baseball, immigration, economics, with jokes: what could go wrong? Does star many immigrants, though,which is great: Kiran Deol, Moses Storm Diana, Maria Riva, Samba Schutte, Poppy Liu, Joel Kim Boster, Tudor Petrut. Doubt if we’ll watch.

—Remember the short-lived SyFy series based on the 15-book, best-selling series, The Dresden Files (contemporary fantasy novels written by Jim Butcher)? That ran for one SEASON, 12 Episodes, in 2007, starring Paul Blackthorne (Arrow). I saw one or two: unimpressive, violent and strange. They are being turned into ANOTHER series. “The books follow private investigator and wizard, Harry Dresden, as he recounts investigations into supernatural disturbances in modern-day Chicago. In the world of The Dresden Files, magic is real, along with vampires, demons, spirits, faeries, werewolves, outsiders, and other monsters. Harry Dresden works as the world’s only ‘consulting wizard,’ accepting supernatural cases from both human and nonhuman clients, as well as the Chicago PD’s Special Investigation unit. As the series progresses, Dresden takes on an increasingly important role in the supernatural world at large, as he works to protect the general public, making getting by as a working wizard and private investigator difficult for him. He finds himself facing off against an increasing variety of creatures (including other wizards), while facing the realization that his various cases may all be tied together behind the scenes and that his role might be even greater than he is willing to admit.” Perhaps this new version will be better? I’ll try it, but probably not for Mom. Don’t know where it will air, but probably look for it in 2019-20.

Woman Scouts for NBC brings adults into Girl Scouts, as a comedy. Why, exactly? Not sure. Ask those responsible: former Late Night With Seth Meyers writer, Allison Hord; and Champions co-creator Charlie Grandy, Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker.  It supposedly “centers on a feminist who, after dropping out of grad school, pledges to kickstart the lives of a group of women by becoming an adult Girl Scout troop. There’s no limit to what life achievement badge they can conquer together, if they can just figure out the whole sisterhood thing first,” but I am skeptical. Probably for 2019-20, if it even makes it out of pilot-land.

Raised by Wolves for TNT is a new sci-fi series from Ridley Scott that “centers upon two androids tasked with raising human children on a mysterious virgin planet. As the burgeoning colony of humans threatens to be torn apart by religious differences the androids learn that controlling the beliefs of humans is a treacherous and difficult task….'[A] wholly distinct and imaginative world, full of characters struggling with existential questions: What makes us human? What constitutes a family? And what if we could start over again and erase the mess we’ve made of our planet? Would we survive? Would we do better?’ said Scott” Travis Fimmel (Vikings) plays Marcus” Aaron Guzikowski (Prisoners) will write the script. No other cast, yet, but sounds interesting. Also starring: Amanda Collin, Abubakar Salim, Winta McGrath, Niamh Algar, Felix Jamieson, Ethan Hazzard, Jordan Loughran, Aasiya Shah and Ivy Wong. “Collin (A Conspiracy of Faith) is Mother, an android with a secret past who has been programmed to raise a brood of human children on a faraway planet. In addition to teaching her children to survive, Mother must also keep them from believing in the unreal; to ensure this virgin planet isn’t torn apart by the same religious differences that lead the Earth to its ultimate destruction. Mother hopes her family will serve as the nucleus for a peaceful, technocratic colony—a new beginning for humanity. But as she struggles to mold these growing humans, she also begins uncovering secrets hidden within her own programming, secrets that could help her protect her family, but could just as easily destroy them. Salim (Fortitude) will play Father, an android whose devotion to his human children is matched only by his devotion to Mother. Father is a considerably less complex model than Mother, but thanks to his wisdom and patience, he is no less important to the family’s survival. Like many human fathers, Father wants to be funny—especially in the eyes of Mother—but it’s a skill he often struggles with. What he is good at is always being there when you need him. McGrath (Aloft) will play Campion, a scrappy and soulful 12-year-old boy who was raised by Mother and Father since birth. When a ship of humans arrives from Earth, Campion is exposed to followers of religion for the first time in his life, and starts to question whether his android parents really know what’s best for him. Algar (The Virtues) is Sue, a strong, resourceful combat medic who put aside her reservations about coming to this new planet at the urging of her husband, Marcus. But as the planet’s mysteries and dangers threaten to upend the promise of a new life, Sue questions whether they have compromised too much in the name of survival. Jamieson (Game of Thrones) will play Paul, Sue and Marcus’ 12-year-old son, a boy of unshakable faith in both his religion and his father. Having always felt like an outsider back on Earth, Paul strikes up a complicated friendship—and rivalry—with Campion. Though the two young men begin to learn from one another, they also begin to challenge one another. Hazzard (The Long Song) will play the highly intelligent Hunter, age 17. His father was a high-ranking member of a powerful religious order back on Earth. But now that the hierarchy he once sat atop no longer exists, Hunter must learn what it’s like to be just like everybody else. Loughran (The Infiltrator) will play Tempest, 17. Raised with a religion she never really believed in, she sees Mother and Father as superior to the human guardians who so often let her down. Soon after arriving in the new world, Tempest discovers she is pregnant; the result of a rape she suffered at the hands of a high-ranking member of her church. Shah (Call the Midwife) will play Holly, 15, a burgeoning warrior who is trying to find her place in this strange new world. Wong (Star Wars: Rogue One) will play Vita, 9, the youngest member of the family, but also the most fearless…. Fimmel will play Marcus, a roguish, charismatic soldier, who was the ultimate survivor back on Earth. To escape the doomed planet, Marcus and his wife Sue made a dangerous decision that they must keep secret at all costs. But now that they’ve arrived in the new world, Marcus is struggling to reconcile the sins of his past, even as he continues to embrace the killer instincts that always kept him alive in the first place.” We’ll try it. Probably for 2019-20.

TNT is bringing two more Ridley Scott-led sci-fi series to its channel, probably in 2020:
——The Long Dark, created/executive produced by Drew Crevello, “’is kind of a religious apocalypse, and I find this fascinating because it’s so close to the truth,’ Scott said”;
——Explorers We, based on the short story by Philip K. Dick, “’is an entirely different creative realm, it’s got much more of a comedic vent to it,’ David Zucker [of Scott Free Productions] said.”
Not much to go on, but we may try one or both.

David Bowie fans will rejoice that the documentary trilogy about his life is now to be completed for BBC and soon (2018-19) to be available some way (Netflix?) in the USA. Part III is David Bowie: The First Five Years., following David Bowie: The Last Five Years, and David Bowie: Five Years, which came out in 2013. All three are produced and directed by Francis Whately. “Coming 50 years after the release of Space Oddity, th[is latest] 90-minute film explores the Bowie before Ziggy Stardust, following the period from 1966 when he changed his name from David Jones to Bowie. It includes footage from the BBC Archives including footage of a BBC audition in 1965 of David Bowie and the Lower Third, which included a performance of Chim-Chim-Cheree and Baby That’s A Promise. David Bowie: The First Five Years will also feature unheard audio recordings, archive and unpublished documents alongside exclusive interviews with David’s family, girlfriends, boyfriends and early collaborators.” I may try to find these, some day soon. FMI: https://deadline.com/2018/10/bbc-david-bowie-the-first-five-years-1202478250/  

Woman Up for ABC is going to star Zoe Lister-Jones (Life in Pieces), who will also direct. It is created by Liz Meriwether (New Girl and several new shows) and Jason Winer (Life in Pieces, Single Parents), “about two former teen moms who have worked their asses off to see their daughters all the way through high school graduation. And now, at 37, they’re ready to make up for the youth they never had.” Why do writers (and actual people) believe having one’s “youth” means being “childless”? Sad. Starring Mary Elizabeth Ellis (New Girl) as Liz and Tawny Newsome (Bajillion Dollar Propertie$) as Phoebe, with: Kym Whitley as Phoebe’s mom, Edna; Gabrielle Elyse as Phoebe’s daughter, Angela; and, Abby Quinn as Liz’s daughter, Grace. Bryce Charles (Black-ish)  will play young Liz (Ellis), and Tate Moore is young Phoebe (Newsome)” Probably not for us, and for 2019-20.

Carol’s Second Act is coming to CBS, starring Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond, The Middle), Bonnie Dennison (Third Watch), Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks, Sex & the City), Jean Luc Bilodeau (Baby Daddy). and Ito Aghayere (Logan Lucky), from creators Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins (Trophy Wife, The Mayor, Imaginary Mary, Black-ish), which”centers around Carol Chambers (Heaton), who, after raising her two children and retiring from teaching, embarks on a unique second act: she’s going to become a doctor….Dennison will play Jenny, Carol’s big-hearted daughter, who became a pharmaceutical rep because, as a pretty and charming young woman, it’s an easy job. Jenny loves and is supportive of Carol, and her practical and outgoing demeanor is a buoyant counterpoint to Carol’s neurotic medical colleagues. MacLachlan will play Dr. Frost. Handsome, affable and accomplished, he is the Senior Attending Physician on the ward (as well as the Department Chair) and thinks he’s funnier than he is. Considerably more empathetic than Dr. Maya (Ito Aghayere), Dr. Frost takes an immediate shine to Carol. …Aghayere portrays Dr. Maya, the Chief Resident in charge of Carol and the other three interns. A type-A, high-achieving disciplinarian, Dr. Maya is all business. She’s instantly annoyed because Carol is a chatty maverick who hates authority—and Dr. Maya and her authority are not up for debate….Bilodeau will play Daniel, the second member of Carol’s quartet of interns. He graduated from Harvard in 2014 and from Harvard Medical School in 2018 and already is published in The New England Journal of Medicine—twice.” Directed by Pam Fryman (Abby’s, Murphy Brown). These creators have a very uneven track record, for our tastes. Sounds iffy, but, greenlit for 2019-20.

The Riders is set to be adapted by David Kajganich (True Story, A Bigger Splash) for TNT, from Australian author, Tim Winton‘s, Booker Prize finalist novel, featuring the story of  “an expatriate Australian [who] eagerly awaits the return of his family in Ireland, but discovers that his wife has mysteriously vanished, and goes on a frantic search for her with his traumatized daughter.” Sounds very dark and not for us, but some will like it, surely. Probably for 2019-20.

Sue Sue in the City is the new title for The Middle’s spin-off for ABC with two regulars again starring: Eden Sher as Sue Heck and Brock Ciarlelli as Sue’s BFF, Brad Bottig…”Written by Heisler and Heline, the …comedy follows the twentysomething adventures of eternal optimist, Sue, as she leaves the small town of Orson to navigate the ups and downs of a career and young adulthood in the big city of Chicago. Ciarlelli played Sue’s boyfriend in the first season of The Middle. After they broke up, he remained on the show and in Season 7, he came out as gay and the two remained friends throughout the series which ended in May. In the finale of The Middle, Sue went off to college, but a flash-forward saw her married to next door neighbor Sean (Beau Wirick) after an on-again-off-again relationship.” It will also star Kimberly Crossman as “Remi, the chef at the hotel. Tough and talented. [S]she’s recently on the mend from a promising but failed relationship and food truck business when her now ex-boyfriend literally drove away with their dreams…” and Finesse Mitchell (SNL, Meet the Browns, Mad Families), who “will play Hudson, a bartender with a big heart who works at the hotel.” We never watched the original so probably won’t watch this, either, but some are devoted fans. Knock yourselves out! Probably for 2019-20.

Thicker Than Water for NBC a one-hour dramedy from co-creator/executive producer/star, Tig Notaro (One Mississippi), with co-executive producer, Cara DiPaolo, and producer, Michael McDonald (American Crime). “Written by Notaro and DiPaolo, loosely inspired by personal experiences, Thicker Than Water centers on a single mother who returns to her Tennessee hometown for her estranged father’s funeral, and finds herself graveside with several strangers who happen to be her half-siblings.” Another tired trope: Surprise!  You have siblings you’ve never known about or met. Make it matter! Doubt if we’ll watch, but maybe… Probably for 2019-20.

Nurses is being brought to CBS by a lead actor in NCIS; Los Angeles, Eric Christian. “Written by Cathryn Humphris (Colony, Mad Men, NCIS: New Orleans, Under the Dome; we like three of these)Nurses is described as a heart-pounding medical show centering around four trauma center nurses charged with everything from triage to surgery who must balance life and death stakes on the job with the drama of their complicated lives outside the hospital. It is based on the 2014 Finnish show of the same name (Syke), which was the most-watched series in the history of Yle Areena, the national broadcaster’s online streaming service. In October 2016, Sisters (Syrror) the Swedish adaptation of Nurses, premiered on TV4 to strong ratings.” So, we’re getting a USA version, probably in 2019-20. Could be good.

Life Lessons is also a new comedy coming to CBS from that lead actor in NCIS; Los Angeles, Eric Christian Olsen. Script is to be written by Mark Gross, and it is “based on the Canadian digital series, Kids On, created by Dave Keystone and Nolan Sarner. It centers on a guy who is a professional failure at life and finds advice and friendship in the most unlikely of places… a class of first graders.” So, we’re getting a USA version of this one as well, probably in 2019-20. Could be good, if it’s not too sappy and going for easy laughs at the expense of “cute” and absurdly precocious kids.

Bob ❤ Abishola, is the newest potential comedy series for CBS from Chuck Lorre (Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, Mom, Two and a Half Men: only one of these I watch; Mom watches NONE), starring Billy Gardell (Mike & Molly). It starts with this racist and absurd premise: “after having a heart attack, a man (Gardell) falls in love with his Nigerian nurse and sets his sights on getting her to give him a chance.” I call it “racist” because there wouldn’t be anything funny if the nurse were the same ethnicity as the patient, right? Awful.  I already hate this and hope it’s canceled immediately. What a waste of resources. Probably for 2019-20.

Exes-in-Law will be written by Niki Schwartz-Wright (Speechless, The Goldbergs, The Grinder, The Office) for NBC. Another new comedy about families in transition (how many can we tolerate?), and “inspired by its creator’s real-life experience, the series centers on Tess and Alex who, following an epic break-up, vow never to see one another again. Imagine their surprise when they discover that their younger siblings—who also happen to be their best friends— have been secretly dating and are planning to get married. ‘Now, not only do they have to see each other again, they’re about to be family,.’” The Fantasticks meets You, Again? Why? Another ego-centric comedian who believes their life matters more than it actually does. Probably for 2019-20.

—An untitled Amazon comedy series “investigating how political correctness, sex, race, and #MeToo play out on a contemporary college campus” will be written by Whitney Cummings (Whitney, 2 Broke Girls, The Female Brain; who will also star) and Lee Daniels (Precious, Empire), who will direct. It “centers on the staff of an ombudsman’s office. Cummings’ character, the lead, ‘must reconcile the dissonance between different generations of feminism, and the struggle to reconcile our primal desires, and socially constructed identities with current ethical obligations regarding race, class, and gender.'”  If the writers are able to be subtle rather than slapstick, not going for the cheap joke but actually looking at these issues with humor, could be interesting. I’ll try it. Probably for 2019-20.

The Luminaries BBC adaptation of the work by Eleanor Catton will star Eva Green (Penny Dreadful), Marton Csokas (Lord of the Rings) and Eve Hewson (Bridge of Spies). “Based on her 2013 Man Booker Prize winner of the same name, Catton’s screenplay depicts the ‘love, murder, and revenge”’that accompanied New Zealand’s 19th-century gold rush. After sailing from Britain to New Zealand’s South Island, adventurous Anna Wetherell (Hewson) meets and falls for Emery Staines. Though their connection is instant, the surrounding environment saturated with violence and greed threatens to tear them apart.” Sounds kind of dark, but interesting. If we can find it, we may watch. Filming in New Zealand this fall (2018), it will probably air in the UK somewhere in 2019-20, and come to the USA for 2020-21.

Strong Justice is yet ANOTHER FBI drama (how could we possibly absorb any more of these?), coming to NBC, with a twist: mother-daughter agents. Also from Elizabeth Banks (busy woman!) and Wendy Calhoun (Empire, Nashville, Revenge, Justified), it was “inspired by the true story of Marlo McGuire Graham and Ethel McGuire…[It] follows the FBI’s first-ever mother-daughter duo. Special Agents Etta and Memphis Strong ‘strive to be exceptional investigators despite sexist and racist hurdles. Both women tackle dangerous cases and fight for equality over two time periods, but their individual pursuits reveal truths that threaten to ruin their role-model legacy,’” We do like shows with strong female characters and police procedurals, so we’ll try it. Probably for 2019-20.

Wondrous Vulva (TRUE!) is a TV series is being developed from the creators of Killing Eve out of Bella Heesom’s new play, “Rejoicing At Her Wondrous Vulva the Young Woman Applauded Herself,” with the screenplays written by the playwright herself. “A celebration of women’s sexuality features personal stories as well as conversations between Brain and Clitoris. It’s an ‘epic journey of self-discovery through pleasure, shame, pride, fury, and jubilation as we struggle to break free of the deeply internalized male gaze and unleash our glorious, feral appetites.'” Starting to air in the UK somewhere, then who knows where in the USA? Probably Netflix. I am not believing that USA network TV will allow the word “vulva” in a series’ title! I’d watch this, for sure! Not sure about Mom, though… For 2019-20.

Patty’s Auto has been greenlit for Fox. It comes from Elizabeth Banks (producer/ director/ actor) and Darlene Hunt (writer/producer/actor), “inspired by Patrice Banks’ Girls Auto Clinic, an all-female auto repair shop in Pennsylvania. It centers on the ins and outs these women face on the job.” Carra Patterson (The Arrangement, Instinct, Bloodline and Elementary) will play Patty, with Sarah Levy (Schitt’s Creek), Paola Lázaro (Lethal Weapon), Jonathan Sadowski (Young & Hungry), and Joanna Adler (American Crime Story: Versace, The Sinner, Orange is the New Black and Devious Maids) to co-star. “Patterson’s Patty Stewart grew up poor, raised by a single mother. She’s now the respected, intimidating owner of Patty’s Auto, and she has made it her mission to empower her female employees. Levy will play Jenna. Vulnerable and insecure, she is a service technician who is the most likely employee to be caught crying while working under a car. In the throes of a divorce, she strives to keep her two young sons on the straight and narrow. Lázaro portrays Liza, a service technician from Puerto Rico who works hard and parties harder. She gets asked out a lot by male customers, but Liza’s ‘perfect man’ is a woman. Adler will play Chyna, Patty’s former shop teacher and mentor, and now the forewoman of Patty’s Auto. She teaches free car care workshops to the community and is a practical jokester who gets emotional when she talks about cars and her husband of 18 years, Jimmy….Sadowski will play Bill, the crass, tough owner of the Muffler Men auto repair shop across the street from Patty’s Auto. Despite his fierce competition with Patty, the two are more alike than different and are therefore drawn to each other.” Could be fun. We’ll try it. For 2019-20.

—Completeness for ABC is touted as “This Is Us meets Grey’s Anatomy
meets Westworld (without robots). In our increasingly atomized world, a company sets out a shingle to provide its clients with what’s missing in their lives. Whatever you need—a friend, a mother, a grandson, a husband—the Complete Company’s versatile facilitators can become it for you. The resulting relationships are more real than you’d expect, and sometimes way more complicated.” Written by Adam Stein (The Exorcist, Damages) and directed by James Griffith (A Million Little Things). Sounds somewhat interesting, but we’re skeptical. Probably for 2019-20.

Dana Klein (the creator/writer of 9JKL, which had a totally wasted, great cast because the writing SUCKED) has somehow been hired to write another comedy for CBS, The Squeeze, which “centers on a married couple that struggles to take care of both dependent children and dependent parents.”  Oy, vey. Sounds awful. We’ll pass. Probably for 2019-20.

CBS is inviting Quinta & Jermaine, a new comedy starring Jermaine Fowler (Superior Donuts) and Quinta Brunson (Broke), written by Larry Wilmore, Fowler and Brunson. They will play “childhood best friends who find themselves expecting a child while navigating adulthood.” Sounds overdone and unneeded, but some may like it, I suppose. Not for us. Probably for 2019-20.

The Obsolescents is the newest NBC comedy, with some mystery involved. From writer, Andrew Gottlieb (The Dangerous Book for Boys), it is still in development, via executive producers, Lorne Michaels and Meg Ryan, who will probably star. It “takes place in a New Jersey suburb where the facade of peace and civility is disrupted by the shocking death of a long-time Township Council member.” I hope they have more than that to offer, because that sounds trite and deadly dull. Probably for 2019-20.

Netflix will have Blake Crouch‘s upcoming novel, Recursion, as a Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beer’s Shondaland and Matt Reeves’ 6th & Idaho joint property, “which they will develop as a feature film as well as a television universe.” Recursion is available as a novel June 11, 2019. “Part save-the-world sci-fi thriller, part epic romance, as well as an intricate police procedural, the book explores what happens when a brilliant female scientist invents a powerful technology that allows people not just to reactivate their most visceral memories but to reinvent them entirely.  For some, it offers the chance to rewrite their entire lives. In the wrong hands, it will upend the world as we know it.” Crouch also wrote Dark MatterWayward Pines and Good Behavior. Sounds promising! We’ll look for it in 2019-20.

Helen Mirren will be yet another queen (by the end of her career, she may have played more royal monarchs than any other actor!)! She’ll be the title character in Catherine the Great, to be a 4-part miniseries on HBO, at first, but we’ll capture it on DVD from our library next year, for sure! Joined by Gina McKee (Notting Hill), Rory Kinnear (Penny Dreadful), Richard Roxburgh (Rake), Kevin McNally (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) and Sam Palladio (Nashville), Jason Clarke and Joseph Quin. “McKee will play Countess Bruce, Catherine’s lifelong friend and confidant. Kinnear is Minister Panin, a skillful politician, advisor and governor to Catherine’s son. Roxburgh will play Grigory Orlov, one of Catherine’s former lovers, who helped orchestrate the coup that brought Catherine to power. McNally portrays Alexei Orlov, who, with his brother Grigory, helped orchestrate the coup that brought Catherine to power. Palladio is Alexander Vasilichikov, Catherine’s young lover. Additional cast includes Clive Russell as The Fool; Lucas Englander as Lieutenant Mirovich; Antonia Clarke as Princess Sophie; Paul Ritter as General Suvorov; Paul Kaye as Pugachev; Thomas Doherty as Peter Zavadovsky; Raphael Acloque as Platon Zubov; James Northcoate as Alexander Bezborodko and Andrew Rothney as Alexander Dmitriev-Mamonov. David M. Thompson (Woman in Gold, Death Comes to Pemberley) executive produces for Origin Pictures with New Pictures’ Charlie Pattinson (Elizabeth I, The Missing, Skins), Mirren and Philip Martin. Jules Hussey (Hooten and the Lady) is producing…. Currently shooting in palaces and sets across Russia, Latvia and Lithuania, the four-part miniseries, written by Nigel Williams (Elizabeth I, Wodehouse in Exile), will chart the latter years of Catherine’s 34-year reign, as she builds Russia’s reputation as one of the great powers of Europe.” Sounds fascinating. I know NOTHING about this ear or these historic figures. Glad to learn! Check for DVD in 2019.

Generation Gap is the latest pilot to be commissioned by CBS. Written by Dan Kopelman (Me, Myself & I, Malcolm in the Middle, Galavant), “loosely based on personal experience, Generation Gap is about the hell of teenage years, as told from the dueling perspectives of a 16-year-old girl and her father.” We only like some of his work, but we may give it a try. Probably for 2019-20.

—Another untitled pilot for NBC that is probably doomed (from the creators of Brooklyn Nine-Nine) is a “half-hour [that] revolves around seven residents who live in a modern, communal living space modeled after college dorm. They come from all walks of life and all have personal reasons for choosing this alternative living situation. While they start out as strangers they soon become each other’s newest and closest friends through the forced interactions that happen when you’re living in close quarters.” Why? Who would watch this drek? They axe good shows and put up this junk! Probably for about 5 minutes in 2019-20.

Ruthless for the CW is in development from Michael Weatherly (NCIS, Bull) and written by George Olson. It “centers on an ex-CIA operative, desperate for a normal life after a decade spent as a government killing machine, and a slightly unhinged teenage girl craving an escape from the mundane, who are forced into an unlikely alliance. Together, they begin to expose the dark secrets of their idyllic suburb as the former assassin helps her gleeful protégé survive tenth grade without a body count.” Sounds unlikely enough to work!  We’ll try it. Probably for 2019-20.

First Lady is also coming to CBS via Michael Weatherly (Bull, NCIS) but with Eric Christian Olsen (NCIS: Los Angeles). “Written/executive produced by Jessica Grasl (Designated Survivor)First Lady centers around the beloved First Lady of the United States, who, determined to reclaim her life, does the unthinkable—she divorces her husband while he’s still in office and uses her prominence to become an advocate for truth and justice by revitalizing her career as an investigative journalist.” Sounds fun. Probably for 2020.

—When does Michael Weatherly sleep? He’s also co-producing another CBS show, a detective drama, MIA, with former cast-mate and on-air love, Cote de Pablo. This “centers on an undercover agent who becomes a homicide detective and gets assigned to a ‘by-the-book-partner’ at the Miami P.D. However, their partnership gets complicated when the new detective can’t keep the personal entanglements she made during her final undercover assignment from jeopardizing her future.” Neither of them plans to star, though. Too bad. Probably for 2020.

H-Town for CBS is in development by writer, Samantha Corbin-Miller  (Law & Order: SVU, Conviction, Crossing Jordan, The Practice, ER), “based on the … Canadian cop drama series, 19-2. In the U.S. version, when two Houston detectives from opposing sides of a multi-generational family feud are paired as partners, they find themselves surprisingly drawn to each other even as they investigate a case that may have far-reaching ramifications for both their families.” I’m not sure why, though: “An English-language adaptation, also titled 19-2, ran on Canada’s Bravo and CTV for four seasons, from 2014-2017″ So, another one? Different title? Odd choice. Wouldn’t it be cheaper just to air the English-language one here? Probably for 2019-20. We might try it.

—An untitled NBC show, billed as “a father-son autobiographical comedy,…[written by [Jon and Josh Silberman (It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia)],…based on Josh Silberman’s life, follows a father and son who find themselves starting their midlife and quarter-life crises the same week and make the decision to ‘move in together, so they can move on together.’” What in the world is a “quarter-life crisis”? Being aimless, single, under- or unemployed, confused at age 23? Aren’t most USA young adults that age struggling? Undoubtedly not our thing, but some may like it. Probably for 2019-20.

The Secret to a Good Marriage is the latest “spy drama” to come from the creators of Blindspot for CBS. “Written by [Martin] Gero & Brendan GallThe Secret to a Good Marriage centers on an elite pair of CIA spies who, in the wake of their fractured marriage, are pushed to their limits both professionally and personally, fighting to save the world while they forge a new kind of relationship for themselves and their son.” If picked up and others stick around, it will bring to 15 the number of series that Greg Berlanti‘s company has on the air for 2019-20. And, Berlanti has more “in the pipeline” for next year!

PANK is a new ABC one-hour drama, written by Felicia D. Henderson (Soul Food, The Quad, Gossip Girl, Fringe, Prince of Bel Air). “33-year-old Faith Jones is living and lovin’ her life as a PANK: Professional Auntie No Kids: a new guy, a new promotion, a new house, a fast car and plenty of disposable income. It’s kinda perfect—until the unexpected happens and circumstances force her to care for her brother’s three children. How will this childless-by-choice, badass PANK tackle raising three kids, while also maintaining the life she worked so hard to create?” How is this not the same plot as the film, Raising Helen (starring Kate Hudson), but with a cast of African-Americans? Probably for 2019-20, but likely is doomed. Doubt if we’ll watch.

Lifeboat Clicque for the CW is a new hour-long series based on Kathy Parks’ same-titled book. “Written by [Katie] Wech [(Jane the Virgin, Secret Circle, Star, Rizzoli & Isles, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Vegas) she is also co-producing], Lifeboat Clique is described as a ‘dark comedy.’ In it, when a freak tsunami hits a Malibu house party, a group of teenagers from diverse social circles are swept out to sea. The place where they wind up is new, but the high school politics and social hierarchies that emerge are not. From the wreckage, an unlikely leader emerges: A social outcast who has spent most of high school despising her fellow castaways, and now must master the social system she loathes… if she wants to survive.” Co-produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, this has a good chance for success, but I doubt if we’ll watch. We’re definitely not this show’s target audience. Probably for 2019-20.

Everything’s Under Control for ABC is a comedy about a working class Midwestern family from writers, Megan Gailey (Conan) and Aaron Burdette (Man Seeking Woman), and producer, Jamie Tarses, which depicts these people as ” just barely keeping it together, and then their grandmother gets Alzheimer’s.” This is a comedy? Really? I call “failure” before it’s even aired, but probably for 2019-20

Far Rockaway is a new drama for CBS being created by David Wilcox (Bull) and Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek: Discovery, Salvation, and many other great film and TV series credits), “based on the Spanish format titled Estoy Vivo owned by Imagina/Media. In Far Rockaway, a workaholic NYPD detective killed in the line of duty is granted a second chance to return to earth in the body of another cop in order to bring his killer to justice and heal the fractured family he left behind.” If this sounds a lot like Fox‘s one-year series, “Second Chance, which featured a murdered cop brought back in the body of a younger man,” you’d be right. We did like that, though, so we’ll probably try this, given its creators have been part of shows we like as well. Probably for 2019-20.

-NOS4A2 for AMC will premiere 6/2/19 and will boast having Zachary Quinto (HeroesStar Trek) and Ashleigh Cummings (The Goldfinch, Hounds of Love) as its stars. Also, Rarmian Newton (Rise) and Darby Camp (Big Little Lies) are joining.  Billed as a “horror drama,”  with Quinto, I waver…I do like Charlaine Harris‘ series—Midnight, Texas, and True Blood, which was one of my faves. Probably, NO to this, nevertheless. It is “based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Joe Hill, which will debut in 2019. “NOS4A2 introduces Vic McQueen (Cummings), a young, working class artist who discovers she has a supernatural ability to track the seemingly immortal Charlie Manx (Quinto). Manx feeds off the souls of children, then deposits what remains of them into Christmasland—a twisted Christmas Village of Manx’s imagination where every day is Christmas day and unhappiness is against the law. Vic must strive to defeat Manx and rescue his victims—without losing her mind or falling victim to him herself. Quinto’s Manx is a seductive immortal who feeds off the souls of children, then deposits what remains of them into Christmasland – an icy, twisted Christmas village of Manx’s imagination where every day is Christmas Day and unhappiness is against the law. Manx finds his whole world threatened when a young woman in New England (Cummings) discovers she has a dangerous gift. Cummings’ McQueen is young, working-class artist whose creativity awakens a supernatural ability to track Manx (Quinto). What Vic lacks in social confidence, she makes up for in courage, humor, and tough-as-nails grit. She strives to defeat Manx and rescue his victims without losing her mind or falling victim to him herself…. Newton will play Drew, Vic’s (Cummings) prep-school friend with a hidden sensitive side. He is inspired by Vic and rebels against his parents to pursue art school. Camp will portray Haley Smith, a tough kid with an adventurous spirit and a good sense of humor. She’s brave for a 10-year-old but sometimes too confident for her own good. She wants to be an artist just like Vic, her teenage neighbor and pseudo big sister.” Also features: Ashleigh Cummings (Hounds of Love), Olafur Darri Olafsson (Lady Dynamite), Virginia Kull (The Looming Tower), Ebon Moss-Bachrach (The Punisher), Karen Pittman (Luke Cage) and Ashley Romans (Shameless). Since this is a Dracula re-boot (Nosferatu: get it?), it is in horror film-style: check out Quinto’s appearance: 
Quinto creepy
A very creeped-out vampire, Zachary Quinto, here

Not for us.


Daddy Issues, now a “put pilot” by Fox, written by Morgan Murphy and Michelle Nader (2 Broke Girls co-writers), “is about two flawed sisters who are reunited with their ne’er-do-well father after the loss of their mother, leading all three to realize that sometimes what they thought was the problem is actually the solution.” A sit com we’ll likely ignore since we didn’t want to watch or haven’t liked any of these writers’ other shows, so far. Probably for 2019-20.

—New female-centered Untitled Marvel series is now NOT coming to ABC. It was to have been written by Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman, many series in Shondaland, Gilmore Girls, The O.C., Sex & the City), and was much-desired by many. It would have been “about female characters with superpowers.” We haven’t seen the film, but I have liked Heinberg ‘s writing in other series a lot, so we would have tried this. At least Jessica Jones has one more SEASON to air on Netflix!

Hoops, a female-centered basketball drama—the first on network TV—is being developed by co-producers Elizabeth Banks and Lebron James for NBC. Still has male players, but at least the coach is female. The series “centers on Stevie Decker, a former WNBA star and coach. Stevie ‘jumps at the chance to return to her alma mater to become the first female head coach of a men’s college basketball team. But coming home isn’t easy as her career took a toll on her family and the school she loves is embroiled in a sex scandal involving her mentor, a legendary former coach.’” We’re not B-ball fans, but we may try this. Probably for 2019-20.

—*Cursed for Netflix will start with 10 Episodes and will star Katherine Langford (13 reasons Why), Devon Terrell (Barry), Gustaf Skarsgard (Westworld, Vikings), Peter Mullan (Ozark), Lily Newmark (Temple, Sex Education), Shalom Brune-Franklin (The State, Our Girl), Daniel Sharman (Fear the Walking Dead, Medici), Sebastian Armesto (Poldark, Broadchurch), Emily Coates (Flack), Catherine Walker (Versailles, The Delinquent Season) and Billy Jenkins (The Crown, Holmes & Watson, Humans), Langford will play “Nimue, a teen heroine with a mysterious gift….[This is] a re-imagining of the Arthurian legend…told through the eyes of Nimue, who is ‘destined to become the powerful (and tragic) Lady of the Lake,’ [with] themes [that] include ‘the obliteration of the natural world, religious terror, senseless war, and finding the courage to lead in the face of the impossible.’ An enchantress, the Lady of the Lake is perhaps best known in medieval literature and legends associated with King Arthur for giving Arthur his famed sword, Excalibur, and raising Lancelot after the death of his father.” Zetna Fuentes (Ray Donovan) will direct at least two Episodes. I like some King Arthur/Merlin stories. Mom doesn’t, much. Probably for 2019 releases, and mostly for a YA audience, I imagine, but I may give it a go.

—Another book-into-TV, with no network or streaming partner, yet, Banker’s Wife is based on Cristina Alger’s book.  “[S]et against the world of global finance,…two women trying to find out the truth behind a mysterious plane crash. ‘As these women shine a light on hidden offshore accounts meant to be kept in the dark, they will become embedded in the crosshairs of danger within a larger conspiracy of money laundering, powerful politicians and a web of terrorists and criminals, thus transforming their lives forever.'” Starring Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl). Maybe for 2019-20.

Family Friendly for ABC is being created by the writing and co-producing team of Christine Pietrosh and Jessica Goldstein (Telenovela, Great News, Cougar Town; none of these was a show we watched or liked), as “a comedy that sees three working mothers join forces ‘to survive an office that, despite its wholesome public image, is not quite family friendly.’” Sounds like an modern-day 9 – 5, but way worse. Probably not worthwhile for us, and perhaps for 2019-20.

Lean on Me is in development on the CW as  “a gender-flipped TV reboot of the classic Morgan Freeman film….[The original film] follows a strict but passionate principal and his tireless work to improve the inner city school he oversees…[T]he TV adaptation will feature a similar story, but this time the principal will be a young black woman. When Amarie Baldwin ‘scores the principal job at an Akron, Ohio, public high school, she must dig deep to transform a failing campus into an urban oasis….In a time when education and school safety have life-or-death stakes, Amarie will take on a broken system that tests her mettle, love life, and family. But can she keep her moxie in check in order to embody the aspirational educator that motivates and uplifts an entire community?’” As a former teacher, I must give this a chance! Also written by Wendy Calhoun (how can she work so much?). Probably for 2019-20.

—**Designing Women, the popular series from the 1980s-90s, is getting an ABC sequel that “will follow the next generation of Sugarbakers with a crop of new, young, female designers at an Atlanta interior design firm, but still with the same razor-sharp dialogue and ability to cut through the political, cultural, and social factions that rarely agree on anything.” That means the original stars (those still living) may make guest appearances, but not be featured? or, they could have clips… Those luminaries were: Dixie Carter, Annie Potts, Jean Smart, Delta Burke, Meshach Taylor, Alice Ghostley, Julia Duffy, Jan Hooks and Judith Ivey. Mom might watch. I won’t. Probably for 2019-20.

—Two new “cop-drama” pilots commissioned by Fox:
——Connect, from writer, Rashad Raisani, based on a French format, is “a ‘high concept, adrenalized procedural about a brash hero with a gift that he will use to assist his cop brother with whom he has a troubled relationship. Each week we will see these two not only solving crimes but working to reconnect.'” As if anyone needs another one of THESE pseudo-buddy/family cop shows? Set for 2019-20.
——Prodigal Son, from writers, Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver (Legends of Tomorrow and Deception and Forever, which we loved)“centers on Malcolm Bright [Tom Payne (The Walking Dead), replacing Finn Jones (Game of Thrones, Iron Fist), who departed after the first table read over “creative differences”], who has a gift. He knows how killers think, how their minds work. Why? Back in the ‘90s, his father was one of the worst––a notorious serial killer called ‘The Surgeon.’ That’s why Bright is the best criminal psychologist around; murder is the family business. Bright uses his twisted genius to help the NYPD solve crimes and stop killers, all while dealing with a manipulative mother, annoyingly normal sister, a homicidal father still looking to bond with his prodigal son, and his own constantly evolving neuroses.” Starring Lou Diamond Phillips, Aurora Perrineau, Bellamy Young, Frank Harts, and Keiko Agena, with Michael Sheen as “Martin Whitly, [who] is intelligent, wealthy, charismatic—he also happens to be a predatory sociopath who murdered more than 20 people. Martin once was a devoted family man and successful cardiothoracic surgeon with high-profile patients….Young plays Bright’s mother, Jessica Whitly, an elegant WASPy New Yorker who wields sarcasm like a samurai sword. As the wife of a serial killer, she is a disgraced member of high society, but she refuses to hide from her truth, and she wishes her son would follow suit….Agena will play Edrisa, the slightly off-center coroner working with the NYPD detective team. She is thrilled by her work, and she is both smitten and fascinated with Bright.” This sounds like so many disasters waiting to happen I don’t know where to start. Flawed premise, to boot. Oh, well. It’s Fox. Good cast, too. Maybe for 2019-20.

State of Wonder, the 2011 novel by Ann Patchett, is being produced as a TV series by Emily Mortimer. No news about network, casting or much else, yet. The premise is: “Dr Marina Singh journeys into the depths of the Amazon rain forest in search of her former mentor, veteran scientist Dr Annick Swenson, who has vanished while conducting research into the prolonged fertility of the women of an isolated Amazonian tribe. As Marina embarks upon this uncertain odyssey, she will be forced to surrender herself to the lush but forbidding world that awaits her in the darkest reaches of the rain forest.” Could be interesting. If nothing else, the cinematography should be wonderful. Probably for 2019-20.

His Dark Materials has been adapted from the trilogy of books by Philip Pullman to be made into a series by BBC: “Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, [which offer] a complex tale of physics, philosophy and theology featuring witches and armored polar bears. [The series] tells the story of two children, Lyra and Will, who wander through a series of parallel universes.” Not even airing, yet, the second SEASON was just optioned! It is written by Jack Thorne and directed by Tom Hooper. The other Directors of SEASON 1 are: Dawn Shadforth, Euros Lyn, Otto Bathhurst, and Jamie Childs. The series stars Dafne Keoy, Clarke Peters, Ruth Wilson and Lin-Manuel Miranda, and also includes: Anne-Marie Duff, Ariyon Bakare, Will Keen (father of young lead, Dafne Keen), Ian Gelder, Georgina Campbell, Lucian Msamati, James Cosmo, Ruta Gedmintas, Mat Fraser, Geoff Bell, Simon Manyonda, Lewin Lloyd, Daniel Frogson and Tyler Howitt. Lyra, played by Dafne Keen (Logan) “is an orphan who lives in a parallel universe, alongside” Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), “who plays adventurer, Lee Scoresby.” McAvoy plays Lord Asriel, father of Lyra. Clarke Peters (The Wire,  Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), “plays the master who raises Lyra.” Ruth Wilson (The Affair) plays Marisa Coulter, “one of the main protagonists and the former lover of Lord Asriel.” Ariyon Bakare (Rogue One) plays Lord Boreal, “an antagonist in the books, who charms Lyra and houses her from the police before stealing her alethiometer.” Also featuring: Georgina Campbell (Black Mirror), Anne-Marie Duff (Shameless) and Ian Gelder (Games of Thrones), Will Keen (Wolf Hall and father of Dafne Keen), plays Father MacPhail. If you’re a dark fantasy fan, or have read these books, look for this later in 2019! Trailer and more info, here: https://deadline.com/2019/02/his-dark-materials-first-look-1202563643/

—How great is this? Barbara Hall (a key creator/writer for Madam Secretary and many more shows we have loved) is creating a new show, Ms. Mayor, for CBS! “Written by Hall… [when] a young activist runs for Mayor of NYC on a whim, her surprise victory launches her onto a political stage that she’s not prepared for, but is determined to take on with her idealistic enthusiasm.” Yippee! Probably for 2019-20.

—An untitled family comedy for ABC is coming, starring Kristen Schaal (SNL, Last Man on Earth) and created by Simon Rich (Man Seeking Woman). It’s “told from a child’s perspective [and] is about working together, overcoming adversity and getting the monsters in your closet not to eat you.” I doubt if we’ll watch, but many will. We’re not fans of most sit coms, especially Mom, and I can’t stand SNL. Probably for 2019-20.

—Missing Sophia Bush (Chicago P.D., One Tree Hill)? She’s coming back! Surveillance was commissioned by CBS and will be her newest series. Tagged as “a spy thriller drama” starring Bush, Dennis Haysbert (The Unit, 24, Reverie) and Matthew Modine (Stranger Things), with Rafael Acloque (24: Legacy)and Matt Reeves (Batman), writer, David C. White (Sons of Liberty), and director, Patricia Riggen (Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan), the series is described as being “centered around the head of communications for the NSA (Bush), a charming operative who finds her loyalties torn between protecting the government’s secrets and her own.” Also starring Catalina Sandino Moreno  (The Affair, Salvage) as “Natalie, who oversees all active operations at the NSA, the first woman to do so—and she’s excellent at her job. She is fiercely loyal to Maddy (Bush), her close colleague and longtime friend, and the two are like sisters….Modine will play Man in a Red Tie, a high level and mysterious government operative whose identity and true mission is shrouded in secrecy….Haysbert will play Barry, the NSA Deputy Director, a father figure to Maddy and her longtime mentor.” May appear in 2019-20. We’ll try it.

—If you love Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), then this may interest you: she is set to executive produce “a series adaptation of Femmebased on the short film of the same name….Written by Corey Camperchioli who also stars, and directed by Alden Peters, the short film Femme centers on Carson (Camperchioli), a gay twenty-something looking for love on all the wrong apps. After being rejected by an online hookup for being too ‘femme,’ Carson embarks on a hilarious journey towards self-discovery and acceptance by way of a manic existential crisis and a drag queen fairy godmother. Set in Hell’s Kitchen, the epicenter of New York City gay life, Carson must confront his own notions of masculinity and gender performance within. Jesus ‘Aja’ Rivera (RuPaul’s Drag Race), Stephanie Hsu (The Path), Johnny Sibilly (Pose), and Derek Klena (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) also star.” Probably not our cup of tea, but some will love this. Look for it (where? not sure… Netflix? Amazon?) in 2019-20, perhaps.

Adam Levine’s company, 222 Productions, and Universal TV have optioned rights to Thorn (14-book series of novels by James W. Hall). “The series follows Thorn, a fishing guide in the Florida Keys with a dark past. When that past comes back around in the form of new violence that rips his world apart, Thorn has to take drastic steps to protect and avenge his chosen family. Subsequent books in the series have the scarred Thorn solving problems and troubleshooting for people amid the contrasts of wealth and poverty in the Keys.” No writers, cast, producers or air dates, much less channel, yet.

—[An untitled drama] for NBC is coming soon from writer-producer, Nkechi Carroll (Rosewood). It “centers on recently divorced and unemployed Chelsea Barnum, who is looking for a second chance. When she packs up her kids and moves from the big city to the small town of Sutter, North Carolina, to accept a job as the new police chief, what she finds is something unimaginable: a criminal justice system run entirely by women of color. What started out as a second chance at a career ends up becoming a second chance at life, as together these women revolutionize crime and punishment while restoring hope, community and humanity to a town that desperately needs it.” Fascinating and much-needed premise: a female police chief. We’ll definitely watch. We loved Rosewood! Probably for 2019-20.

Capital was purchased and will air on NBC for 2019-20. Written by Sean Finegan, it “centers on Special Agent Joanna Ward who heads up an elite Washington, D.C., unit that catches the world’s most dangerous criminals because she knows that all high-stakes crimes have one thing in common. Money. Someone’s paying for it and someone’s profiting from it. But when her partner gets killed and her team comes under attack, Jo must form an unholy alliance with her arch-enemy: a money launderer-extraordinaire who’s on the run from his most dangerous client.” Sounds interesting.

—Why does anyone think we need a seventh iteration of Dick Wolf’s long-running Law & Order franchise? Apparently, some do. Law & Order: Hate Crimes is coming for 2019. Yippeeee??? To have a 13-episode, NYC start. Then, who knows?

Best Wishes, for ABC, is a new fantasy-modern romance story that we probably won’t watch (because it’s so OVERDONE), but many will. It “tells the story of a pragmatic, once successful man, Nick Day, who thinks the notion of wishes is a waste of time due to a personal tragedy he’s recently endured. But just as everything in his life is crumbling around him, things get more complicated when he’s approached by a potentially crazy woman claiming to be in the business of granting wishes. And she needs Nick’s help.” From  writer-directors, David Posamentier and Geoff Moore (Better Living Through Chemistry), this will have to be great not to be awful.  Probably for 2019-20.

Bewitched, ABC’s newest remake, has been pushed out, probably to 2020 or “off-cycle,” some time. This version of Bewitched, written by Yamara Taylor and Kenya Barris (co-writers of Black-ish), depicts a  different Samantha, as “a hardworking black single mom who happens to be a witch, [who] marries Darren, a white mortal who happens to be a bit of a slacker. They struggle to navigate their differences as she discovers that even when a black girl is literally magic, she’s still not as powerful as a decently tall, white man with a full head of hair in America.” The reboot “will center on an interracial blended family.” Sounds even more insipid than the original, and it was very bad. Even an updated, African-American Endora (who will be…Vanessa Williams? Oprah?) can’t save this, IMO.

—Because of the (unexpected?) success of Crazy, Rich Asians, ABC has invited the development of a new rom-com that will be “an hour-long Hawaiian family drama” from writer/journalist, Lisa Takeuchi Cullen. Ohana “is based on Kiana Davenport’s 1994 novel, Shark Dialogues…about four ‘hapa’ (a Hawaiian term for mixed race) women who inherit the family plantation when their grandmother, a ‘kahuna’…[a mystic], dies under mysterious circumstances. Each of the four protagonists is of a different mixed ethnicity—half-white, half-Japanese, half-Filipino, and half-black—nd their unexpected shared inheritance will force them to overcome years of jealousies, misunderstandings, resentments, and secrets.” Cullen is writing; Viola Davis and Julius Tennon will produce. Questions: Why is it that when white writers define fictional characters by ethnicity or “race,” we are called “racist,” and are told we are employing stereotypes and making assumptions that are unfounded about similarities that do not exist (critiques I happen to agree with, BTW), but when POC do this, as in the above book’s descriptions of the main characters for this series, it’s fine? I am stymied. And, why are POC allowed to use terms like “hapa,” “honky,” “haole,” etc., when these are so derogatory! We’ll probably not watch (not due to ethnicity of characters; due to the inaneness of its premises), but I bet this will be popular. Probably for 2019-20.

Temple is a “high-concept eight-parter… [that] is playwright, Mark O’Rowe’s, adaptation of the acclaimed Norwegian drama series, Valkyrien, about the workings of an illegal and subterranean clinic” in London. Mark Strong (killed off in the second installment of the film series, Kingsman, and currently in Deep State), Carice van Houten (Game of Thrones) and Daniel Mays (Line of Duty).”Strong will star as Daniel, a surgeon who is driven by personal tragedy to treat anyone in his underground London clinic who is willing to pay for medical help outside the system. Aided by Lee (Mays), a disgruntled transport employee, and Anna (van Houten), a guilt-ridden medical researcher, they treat a variety of increasingly desperate and highly dangerous patients, as Daniel’s morality is tested to the limit.” We don’t get Sky One, but its shows often come to the USA in various forms (DVD, Netflix, Amazon, cable TV). We like renegade medical people dramas (this one is deemed “darkly comic”) and we miss so many that have been canceled, that we’ll look for this late in 2019-2020.

—So sad about the sudden death of beloved producer, Craig Zadan, from surgical complications, age 69. https://deadline.com/2018/08/craig-zadan-dead-hollywood-reactions-kevin-bacon-neil-patrick-harris-sean-hayes-glaad-tonys-1202449862/ Not sure what that will mean for his upcoming productions on TV: live versions of Hair! (see below) and Bye, Bye Birdie (hadn’t heard about this one, yet) were planned. Stay tuned.

Babylon 5 redux! Warner Brothers announced that we’re going to have a reboot, under the direction and creative control of Zack Snyder (Man of Steel, 300, The Justice League), Damon Lindelof, leading the writing team, and J.J. Abrams as Executive Producer. So far, they plan to use almost all of the former cast of characters with new actors and storylines. More CGI, of course, and better sets. The series will be starring Mark Wahlberg (replacing Bruce Boxleitner [who will be on the DC Verse cross-over in  November, 2018; see Supergirl, below] as Commander John Sheridan), Aubrey Plaza and Melissa McCarthy [cast as BOTH Londo and G’Kar AND both Vir and Lennier (voices, only for 3 of those)]. For a planned release in the fall of 2019. For a lot more info, quotes from the creators and PHOTOS of some of the upcoming characters (mock-ups, of course): https://crudereviews.net/2018/08/22/breaking-babylon-5-reboot-in-the-works-snyder-named-as-showrunner-wahlberg-to-star/

Roar, a collection of short stories by Cecelia Ahern, is becoming a TV series, with each Episode to be showing a particular woman’s experiences with something absurd in her life. Co-creators of GLOW, Orange Is the New Black, Nurse Jackie and Weeds, Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, are to executive produce and showrun. Talk about advance PR: the book isn’t even coming out in the USA until April, 2019. Well, Ahern‘s previous books that became films were P.S. I Love You and Love, Rosie—both hits—and she was central to the creation of Samantha Who?, a short-lived TV series. But, Nicole Kidman and Per Saari’s Blossom Films, Bruna Papandrea’s Made Up Stories (these 3 were responsible for Big Little Lies, which is also a huge hit) and Theresa Park are producing. If the stories aren’t too depressing, could be interesting to us. Probably for 2019-20

Run, Bambi, Run!, is being developed from the nonfiction book by Kris Radish to series by Kyle Long (Unsolved, Good Guys, Suits) for USA Network. This is the first of several deals made with Universal Cable Productions for Long, who is both to write and executive produce. “The book follows the true story of Lawrencia ‘Bambi’ Bembenek, a former Milwaukee police officer, who was suing the department for sexual discrimination when she was arrested and eventually convicted for murdering her husband’s ex-wife. Bembenek insisted she was railroaded and after breaking out of prison became a national folk hero, inspiring the slogan ‘Run, Bambi, Run.'” Sounds weirdly compelling. We may try it. Probably airing in 2019-20.

—Successful writers (Nashville, Covert Affairs, Charlie’s Angels, Missing), Meredith Lavender and Marcie Ulin, are developing another musical drama, this time, for NBC. The story stars Madison, a gifted female musician “whose career is in jeopardy after an on-stage breakdown goes viral.’With a new boldness she teams up with her musical prodigy sisters to form a band that might be more than what they bargained for. Thrust into a world that is far more cut-throat and challenging than they ever imagined, they try to balance their individual ambitions, dreams, and secrets while trying to survive the roller coaster that is fame and success’…[t]he project hails from Milo Ventimiglia and Russ Cundiff’s DiVide Pictures and 20th Century Fox TV. We liked all their other shows, so I’m sure we’ll try this one. No title, casting or premiere date news, yet. Probably for 2019-20.

—Not to be completely confusing, but Jack Cutmore-Scott (Deception) is starring in and writing What/if?, a COMEDY (see below) for ABC “that explores how seemingly insignificant choices—with the help of a little bit of luck—can have life-changing consequences.” One of these, if they go to air, MUST change its title, right? We liked him in Deception, but usually hate sit coms. We’ll see. Probably for 2020.

What/If is “an upcoming anthology thriller series” giving film star, Renée Zellweger (botched facelift and all), her first TV series, but at Netflix. “Each season, the show will depict a different morality tale and delve into ‘the ripple effects of what happens when acceptable people start doing unacceptable things….Anne [Zellweger] is a venture capitalist who makes a lucrative, ethically perilous proposition to a financially strapped newlywed couple. Anne is magnetically charismatic, seductive, charming, even vulnerable when it serves her purpose…[b]ut she’s also a virtuoso of deception with a cauldron of destructive secrets, including a deeply buried metaphorical deal with the devil that set the course for her life back when she was still just a girl herself.’” Writer, Mike Kelley (Revenge), is creating and writing the series. He certainly knows how to write morally compromised/questionably ethical/seductive characters who are also charming! Cast includes Dave Annabelle (Brothers and Sisters, Red Band Society, New Amsterdam), Louis Hurthum (Westworld),  Samantha Ware (Glee), Juan Castano, Keith Powers (The New Edition Story, Famous in Love) and Saamer Usmani (Reign). “Ware will play Angela, Castano will portray Marcos, Powers is Todd and Usmani will play Avery….Also starring: Tyler Ross (The Killing)Derek Smith (Grey’s Anatomy), Nana Ghana (White Rabbit), Monique Kim (Looks That Kill) and Marissa Cuevas (Midnight, Texas).” We’ll look for it in 2019-20.

—How is it possible (or cost-effective) that writers whose series flop keep getting asked to write more? Life Sentence was awful (canceled even before its first SEASON ran completely), yet its writers (Erin Cardillo and Richard Keith, who also co-wrote Significant Mother, another flop), joined by director-producer, Jason Winer (Life in Pieces, a “success” we didn’t like at all), have been commissioned by Fox to write a new series about adoption, Family Practice (terrible title as well; sounds like a medical show). Incomprehensible. But, if you’re involved in any part of the adoption experience, you might watch. The series is “an emotional procedural set in the world of adoption, from the point of view of an eclectic group of attorneys and social workers who grapple with their own familial dysfunction while striving to create perfect families for their clients.” Probably for 2019-20. We’ll skip it.

—Anyone been missing Patrick Dempsey (Grey’s Anatomy, Maid of Honor)? Well, nevertheless, he’s baaaack! He and Alessandro Borghi (Suburra) are to star in Devils, a financial-world thriller, 10-part series, based on the novel by Guido Maria Brera. Set “in the London office of a major U.S. bank, where the ruthless Head of Trading, Massimo Ruggero (Borghi), from Italy, has been welcomed and introduced to the world of finance by Dominic Morgan (Dempsey), the bank’s CEO. When Ruggero ends up involved in an intercontinental financial war rocking Europe, he has to choose whether to ally himself with his mentor or fight him. The book was partly inspired by the financial crisis that swept global markets in 2008.” Also starring: Laia Costa (Victoria), Malachi Kirby (Roots), Pia Mechler (Everything Is Wonderful), Paul Chowdhry (Swinging With The Finkels), Harry Michell (Chubby Funny) and Sallie Harmsen (Blade Runner 2049). May be dry, upsetting, or strange, but could be good. Probably for 2019-20.

Dare Me, based on Megan Abbott‘s novel, is coming to USA TV maintaining its premises: “an unflinching exploration of volatile female friendships, jealousy, loyalty and the dynamics of power in a small Midwestern town. Peering behind the all-American façade, the series dives into the cutthroat world of competitive high school cheerleading, following the fraught relationship between two best friends (Herizen Guardiola, Mario Kelly) after a new coach (Willa Fitzgerald, Glow, Veep, Younger) arrives to bring their team to prominence. Part coming-of-age story, part small-town drama, part murder mystery, Dare Me exposes the physical and psychological extremes that some young women are willing to endure in order to get ahead….[as it] dives into the cutthroat world of competitive high school cheerleading. It follows the fraught relationship between two best friends (Guardiola and Kelly) …while the girls’ friendship is put to the test. Their young lives are changed forever when a shocking crime rocks their quiet suburban world. Part coming-of-age story, part small-town drama, part murder mystery, Dare Me exposes the physical and psychological extremes that some young women are willing to endure in order to get ahead. Rob Heaps (Imposters) will play Matt French, the hardworking husband of cheerleading coach, Colette French (Fitzgerald). After some hard times, his new job working for Burt Cassidy” (Paul Fitzgerald)— father of two of the competitive cheerleaders—“moves his family to Sutton Grove and offers the promise of the tide changing, at least as far as he knows.” Probably not for us, and for 2019-20.

—Good news for Kingsman films’ fans: filmmaker, Matthew Vaughn, is expanding the franchise four ways: a third film; 2) an early 1900s prequel spin-off, Kingsman: The Great Game; 3) a Statesmen film; and, 4) a miniseries (8 Episodes). Next film starts production in early 2019. We liked the first film but not the second, so we’re not sure about all these.
The miniseries has no details of casting, directing, release date or carrier, yet. Series is probably in 2019-20.

Adversaries, another legal drama from NBC, stars Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife, Blindspot) and comes from Alex Berger and Martin Gero (creators of Blindspot). The series will center “on a successful LA attorney who leaves her comfortable, coastal bubble to practice law in America’s heartland, her home state of Wisconsin. She’s forced to confront preconceived stereotypes and realize there’s more that unites us than divides us.” Sounds interesting. We’ll try it. Probably for 2019-20.

L.A. Complex, based on its predecessor (originally Highland Gardens), a Canadian drama, is coming to the CW from Martin Gero (Blindspot), but not until 2020-21.  The original’s description: “Toronto native and aspiring young actress Abby Vargas, moves to Los Angeles with little more than the dream of making it big. She finds an apartment in The Lux motel among a group of struggling young hopefuls who make up her new neighbours. Throughout this dramatic and often provocative series, all of the residents of the complex face temptation, tough decisions and the harsh reality of Hollywood, as they fight to succeed in their careers of choice, be it acting, music, dance or comedy.” Canadians would find this fascinating. I yawn. 

—Another one we might not like, but some will: My Husband’s Wife, the novel by Jane Corry, will be adapted into a TV series. This is “a female driven story about love, marriage and murder in an ever evolving East London. The plot unfolds over two decades and charts the lives of Lily, a 25-year-old rookie London lawyer, and Carla, her immigrant neighbor’s young daughter who lives in a flat across the hall. The two women form a close bond which will irrevocably change their lives forever.” No info about what network/station/service will run it, who will star, or when it will be released. Probably for 2019-20.

—I loved the book. The film was fine. Now, a TV series of The Time Traveler’s Wife is in the works for HBO, so we’ll have to wait until it’s out on DVD or streams somewhere. But, hey, worth the wait, since Stephen Moffat (showrunner for Sherlock, Doctor Who) is involved! The Time Traveler’s Wife is a cool concept, worth serializing, I think. Audre Niffenegger’s novel “revolves around a man who has a genetic disorder that causes him to travel through time unpredictably. This causes him to experience his life—especially his relationship with his wife and daughter—through a skewed lens, meeting his grade-school-aged daughter before she’s ever been born, and glimpsing tragic events that will occur far in the future.” No casting or premier/release date info, yet. Looks as if it will air in 2018-19.

The Ambassador—fka La Embajada (The Embassy) in its Spanish language version—was bought by ABC for its pilot. Produced and written by Ilene Chaiken (The ‘L’ Word, The Handmaid’s Tale) and co-produced by Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives, Devious Maids, Telenovela, Grand Hotel), the series depicts what happens when the “thrice married, very rich and politically connected US Ambassador to France is killed in a freak speedboat accident [and] his much younger and arguably unqualified third wife is appointed to replace him. Ambassador Roxanne Eagleton takes on the challenges of her new position as she also navigates the drama and intrigue of her late husband’s family while beginning to suspect that his death was not an accident. The Ambassador takes us behind the curtain of the US Embassy in France—the glamorous but treacherous ‘upstairs’ of the Ambassador’s life in Paris, and the ‘downstairs’ lives of the career diplomats that are there to serve their Ambassador and their country.” We’ll probably try it. Probably for 2019-20.

Patrick Stewart is returning to the Star Trek universe in 2019, and he will reprise his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in a new series (no title, yet) coming to CBS All Access that will “tell the next chapter of Picard’s life.” Star Trek: Discovery co-creator/executive producer, Alex Kurtzman, is on the bridge in the captain’s chair for this one, also. Also involved are Kirsten Beyer as writer and James Duff (both from Star Trek: Discovery) as executive producer, Akiva Goldsman, and Michael Chabon. I hate that they only put these on the paid part of CBS. Jerks. They are also putting the upcoming Star Trek: Short Treks, a four-part limited series, on this station. If you pay, you can probably see these in 2019-20. BOOOO!

Acorn TV (Australian network) is the home of MANY great shows, including this: an original six-part female detective series, Queens of Mystery, created by writer, Julian Unthank (New Tricks and Doc Martin), starring Olivia Vinall (The Woman in White), co-starring  Julie Graham (The Bletchley Circle)  and Sarah Woodward (The Politician’s Husband),  and featuring Siobhan Redmond (Alfresco), Andrew Leung (Doctor Who), Rebecca Grant (Holby City) and Martin Trenaman (The Inbetweeners).  “Queens of Mystery follows Matilda Stone, played by Vinall, a perennially single female detective and her three aunts, played by Graham, Woodward and Redmond, who are well-known crime writers that help her solve whodunit style murders as well as set her up on blind dates. Leung plays the dashing Dr. Daniel Lynch, Grant as Daniel’s mean-spirited girlfriend, Natasha; Michael Elcock as Police Constable Terry Foster, who has long been in love with Matilda, and Trenaman plays dry Inspector Derek Throne. The Amelie-esque contemporary murder mystery series will feature quirky characters, fast-paced dialogue and darkly comic murders.” Should air in Australia and other parts of the UK early in 2019. I hope we can get it on DVD or Amazon or Netflix soon after that. Looking forward to it. We like most shows from Acorn TV. Wish we could get it here! May be on DVD for 2019-20.

Madam C. J. Walker is an upcoming series produced by and starring Octavia Spencer (The Red Band Society, The Help). “The series will tell the ‘highly irreverent story of black hair care pioneer and mogul [Sarah Breedlove, better known as Madam C.J. Walker], and how she overcame hostile turn-of-the-century America, epic rivalries, tumultuous marriages and some trifling family to become America’s first black, self-made female millionaire.’ The series, which will run for 8 episodes, is based on the book On Her Own Ground by A’Lelia Bundles. Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou, Talk to Me) will direct and executive produce the first episode, with Nicole Asher writing. Janine Sherman Barrois (Claws) and Elle Johnson will share showrunning duties, and also executive produce alongside Spencer, LeBron James, Maverick Carter (SpringHill), Mark Holder, and Christine Holder (Zero Gravity).” Probably not our cup of tea, but some will love it! Look for it early in 2019, I think.

Dispatches From Elsewhere, “which will feature elements across multiple platforms, is about a group of ordinary people who stumble onto a puzzle hiding just behind the veil of everyday life. They will come to find that the mystery winds far deeper than they ever imagined.” Jason Segel is writing and will executive produce with Scott Rudin, Eli Bush and Garrett Basch for AMC. Sounds interesting, but we didn’t watch How I Met Your Mother and haven’t liked most of his films (so far). Look for it in 2019-20.

—“Legendary producer, Norman Lear, 96, has signed a new two-year [!at his age!?!] “first-look” deal with Sony Pictures Television. As part of the deal with Lear’s Act III Prods., Sony has the option to remake some of Lear’s legendary comedies, including All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Good Times, Maude and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.” I watched most of these shows first time around, and so did Mom, so this is interesting, to us! Not sure how they’ll work in the 20teens, though. The Cool Kids SUCKS, but we’ll give these other new shows a try. Probably for 2019-20.

—Don’t know anything about or whether these will become optioned, and probably not going to be anywhere we can see them until 2019-20 or later. but there are several new series in production for IFP:
——Radical Eye: The Life And Times Of Tina Modotti by Aaron Brookner (Uncle Howard);
——Watched by Afia Nathaniel (Dukhtar);
——Dream Team by Lev Kalman & Whitney Horn (“L” for Leisure);
——Year Zero by Ruby Marez & Brooke Sebold (Red Without Blue);
—–View From The Floor by Mindie Lind and Meghan Griffiths (Sadie).
———Non-fiction films and series include:
——Jacinta from Dan Cogan (Icarus)
——Case 993 from Josh and Dan Braun (Wild, Wild Country) and Danny Glover (Strong Island)
——Princess Nokia from Christine Vachon (Carol)
——Untitled Digital Dating Documentary Series from Julie Goldman and Chris Clements (Life, Animated)
Look for these in 2019-20.

Daisy Jones & The Six has been optioned by Amazon and set to be “a 13-episode order to a limited series based on Taylor Jenkins Reid’s upcoming novel….[It] centers on a fictional rock band in the 1970s, following their rise through the ranks of the LA music scene and beyond, eventually becoming one of the most legendary bands in the world.” Writers are Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (500 Days of Summer, The Fault In Our Stars). Amazon is marketing the H out of this, e.g., original music from the series will be made available, as well as print, audio and ebook formats, each only from Amazon as well. Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter (wife of one of the writers and other EPs) will exec produce for Hello Sunshine and Brad Mendelsohn will executive produce for Circle of Confusion. Scott Neustadter & Weber will also serve as executive producers, with Taylor Jenkins Reid as Producer. Probably not for us, but many will adore this. Look for it early in 2019, I believe.

Hair Live! on NBC, IS NOT GOING TO BE airing at all (was scheduled for 5/19/19. NBC says it’s going for more _famliy-friendly” shows. Huh? Have they SEEN their line-up?
The original co-directors were to have been Diane Paulus (she directed the recent revival of Hair!, which won a Tony) and Alex Rudzinski (he won an Emmy for directing Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert). I think that the unexpected death in the summer of 2018 of its main producer, Craig Zadan, is a huge factor in this decision, unfortunately. Why can’t they just say that?
Too bad. Would have been fun. For those too young, out of loop or who have already lost too many memory-holding brain cells to know, Hair! “tells the story of peace, love and hope, through a group of politically active hippies living a bohemian life in New York while fighting against and resisting the Vietnam War. Claude, his good friends, Berger and Sheila, and their ‘tribe’ are coming of age in the world of the sexual revolution [late 1960s, USA] while struggling with their rebellion against the war and their conservative parents and society. Claude must decide whether to resist the draft as his friends have done, or succumb to the pressures of conservative America to serve in Vietnam, compromising his principles and beliefs. Many of the original shows songs became hit pop singles and radio staples, including the Fifth Dimension’s medley of Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In, the Cowsills’ Hair, Three Dog Night’s Easy to Be Hard and Oliver’s Good Morning, Starshine. All hit the national Top 5.” Fun facts: Diane Keaton, Paul Jabara, Ben Vereen, Keith Carradine, Barry McGuire, Ted Lange, Meat Loaf, Holly Near, Melba Moore, La La Brooks, Jennifer Warnes and dozens of others; the London cast included the late, great Tim Curry (Rocky Horror Picture Show) in his first musical role and many others who later became famous appeared in the original Broadway show during its long run. Want to have some fun? Find the 1979 film and watch Treat Williams dance on posh tables and sing! The film also featured Melba Moore, John Savage and Beverly D’Angelo. We’d have watched this.

Joss Whedon is DEFINITELY rebooting Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, which promises to be AWESOME! NEWS (July, 2018): Monica Owusu-Breen (Midnight, Texas) is the writer, executive producer and showrunner; Whedon is to exec produce with original series’ exec producers, Gail Berman, Fran Kazui and Kaz Kazui, plus Joe Earley, from Berman’s Jackal Group. “The new slayer [is] to be African-American.” With the name “Buffy”? I do not think so. But, we’ll see! I’ll try it. Probably not for Mom, though. I watched every Episode of both Buffy and its spin-off, Angel, but she didn’t watch either series. Maybe for 2020?

—Probably not for us, but some will love it because it’s Shonda Rhimes: Netflix is getting the first new series written by her since Scandal. Rhimes “will adapt Jessica Pressler’s New York Magazine feature on con artist/phony socialite, Anna Delvey, her crimes and misadventures. “Delvey, whose real name is Anna Sorokin, bluffed her way into becoming an NYC ‘it’ girl and, by lying and scamming money from friends, businesses, and banks, she almost succeeded in opening a club. Delvey is now being held at Rikers Island without bail. She has been charged with multiple counts of grand larceny and theft of services.” Look for it in 2019-20.

Shonda Rhimes has 7 new series coming to Netflix besides the one about Anna Delvey, the con woman (see above):
——Sunshine Scout, a dark comedy, is to be a half-hour show in which “an apocalyptic disaster spares a rag-tag group of teenage girls at sleepaway camp who must then summon their moxie and survival skills to weather the fallout and ensure all that remains of humanity abides by the Sunshine Scout Law.” Jill Alexander will write and co-exec produce.
——Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, is “a documentary about [the] Debbie Allen Dance Academy’s famous annual reimagining of The Nutcracker….with its inclusive cast of all ages and its blend of dance traditions[, which] has further cemented Debbie Allen’s legacy as one of the greatest forces for good in dance. Oliver Bokelberg (DP/Director Scandal) will serve as director, cinematographer and producer.”
——Pico & Sepulveda, “[s]et in the 1840s against the surreal and sensual backdrop of the then-Mexican state of California, the series tracks the end of an idyllic era there as American forces threaten brutality and war at the border to claim this breathtaking land for its own.” Janet Leahy will write and exec produce the series.
——[untitled Bridgerton project, “based on Julia Quinn’s best-selling series of novels. This smart feminist take on Regency England romance unveils the glittering, wealthy, sexual, painful, funny and sometimes lonely lives of the women and men in London’s high society marriage mart as told through the eyes of the powerful Bridgerton family.” Chris Van Dusen (Scandal) will adapt, exec produce and showrun the series.
——The Residence (not to be confused with the currently airing medical drama, The Residents), “based on Kate Andersen Brower’s 2016 nonfiction book, The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House, an inside look into the lives of the First families—from the Kennedys to the Obamas—through the eyes of their staffers.”
——Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change, based upon Ellen Pao’s memoir “about her gender discrimination suit against former employer, Kleiner Perkins, which exposed gender disparity in Silicon Valley’s hiring and promotion practices.”
——The Warmth of Other Suns, based on Isabel Wilkerson’s award-winning book by the same title, which is to be adapted into a script by Anna Deavere Smith. The series “tracks the decades-long migration of African-Americans fleeing the Jim Crow South in search of a better life in the North and the West between 1916 and 1970.”
All probably in 2019-20.

—New shows from the BBC that are set to air on various other channels soon (some mentioned in detail, below this announcement) on Amazon, PBS, Netflix, HBO, AMC) are varied and sound interesting.
——-John Malkovich– stars in another Agatha Christie adaptation, The ABC Murders, on Amazon (see schedule, below);
——-PBS will have Les Misérables, starring Dominic West and David Oyelowo (see above);
——Netflix will also have Sally Wainwright’s Gentleman Jack, a period drama with Suranne Jones starring.

HBO and PBS are co-producing:
——Mike Bartlett’s Press;
——Mammoth Screen’s remake of The War of the Worlds (why does anyone need 3 of these?)

Nine Perfect Strangers is Big Little LiesLiane Moriarty‘s latest novel-to-TV-series, with Nicole Kidman to star in it and exec produce, along with her other producing partners from the big hit HBO series. The novel, Nine Perfect Strangers, released 11/6/18. “The book takes place at a remote health resort where a group of people are gathered for a reboot on life. Frances Welty (Kidman) serves as the story’s protagonist as a former best-selling romantic novelist mending a broken heart.” Occurring for Netflix in 2019, probably.

Truly Madly Guilty, also based on writing by Liane Moriarty, is soon to be available as a limited series. Don’t know where it will air, yet, but look for it in 2019-20, perhaps.

The Expatriates “is based on the Hong Kong-set novel by Janice Y.K. Lee,” and another ridiculously busy woman, Nicole Kidman, is starring in and exec producing yet ANOTHER series, this one on Amazon, probably appearing in 2019. It has writer, Melanie Marrich (Big Love, The OA, The Affair). The novel/series is “set in ‘The Vertical City’ of Hong Kong, and explores the lives of a close-knit expatriate community….The story weaves an addictive tapestry that follows a group of complex women and their lives as outsiders in Hong Kong. It’s a compelling exploration of the strength of these women as they persevere through struggles with marriage, career, parenting and unimaginable loss….follows a community where affluence is celebrated, friendships are intense but knowingly temporary, and personal lives, deaths and marriages are played out publicly—then retold with glee….There’s Margaret, a world-renowned American architect struggling with the unwavering suspicion that something could be wrong with her latest project—an ambitious skyscraper already gracing the Hong Kong skyline—until an unexpected event upends her life; Mercy, a Korean-American college graduate with a questionable past seeking a new life, who quickly finds herself embroiled in an unforgivable scandal; Hilary, a British expat who yearns for a child despite her uncertain marriage, then dabbles in local customs and make-believe identities in a deliberate attempt to change her fate; Tammy, a high-flying alpha-expat who is blindsided when her husband’s Chinese second family appears on her doorstep; Barbara, whose decadent lifestyle belies a ticking clock; Franny, an Australian expat loyal to anyone she’s having lunch with, who faces an existential crisis; and Olivia, a Chinese local socialite who experiences a humiliating loss of status.This is a delicious world of unusual alliances, heartfelt truths and mystifying superstitions; a place where fortunes are made and lost, families sundered and brought together, identities made and then remade in pursuit of an extraordinary life.” Sounds watchable. Probably for 2019-20.

Three Wishes is Big Little LiesLiane Moriarty‘s latest novel-to-TV-series, with the adaptation to be written by playwright/TV writer, Lila Feinberg (Younger). “Three Wishes follows three wildly different sisters as their lives intertwine and unfold around their glamorous Manhattan wedding weekend that ends in a shocking tragedy. When a scandalous secret emerges, the tight-knit bond among the sisters is tested as they unravel a mystery that ripples throughout each of their lives.” Occurring for Netflix in 2019, probably.

Briarpatch for USA TV has been optioned for a pilot for 2019 which will star Rosario Dawson (Jane the Virgin, Unforgettable, Sin City, Rent, Deathproof, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders, Rent) and Jay R. Ferguson, Edi Gathegi, Brian Geraghty. Based on Ross Thomas’ novel, the plot has Dawson playing Allegra “Pick” Dill, “a talented and tenacious PI working for a Senator in Washington, DC. When her ten-years-younger sister, a homicide detective, is killed by a car bomb, Allegra returns to her corrupt Texas hometown. What begins as a search for the murderer becomes a fraught and dangerous excavation of the past Allegra has long sought to bury…in a blend of crime, thriller, mystery, and pulp fiction….Ferguson (Mad Men, Living Biblically, The Real O’Neals) will play Jake Spivey, Allegra’s childhood best friend and former running buddy. Once the poorest kid in town, he’s returned from years of shadowy business abroad and reinvented himself as the region’s richest swell. Now, it’s said, he dabbles: In real estate, in society, in women. Whispers abound that he might just be dabbling in drugs, guns, and politics too — only most locals can’t decide which of those would be worse. Gathegi (StartUp) plays A.D. Singe, an estate attorney, an iconoclast, and — rarest of all in these parts — an optimist. He was Felicity Dill’s friend and is ready to be Allegra Dill’s friend too, if only she’ll let him. Geraghty (Ray Donovan) plays Captain Gene Colder, a model cop and citizen. A former boy scout, a current assistant deacon, and an inveterate professional climber, he was Felicity Dill’s boss ever since she was promoted to homicide. Now he’s ready and eager to do anything he can to wrap-up the investigation into her murder.” It has been picked up, look for it in 2019-20.

The Long Song is the upcoming drama from the BBC that will star Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter) and Tamara Lawrance (King Charles III). David Heyman is its creator, and the story “starts in 1838 on the British-ruled Caribbean island as three hundred years of slavery came to a chaotic end. The 3-part series follows July, a strong-willed young female slave on a Jamaican plantation, played by Lawrance, who goes from being a slave to the mother of a gentleman. The story is told from July’s perspective as she looks back over her life. Atwell plays her odious mistress, Caroline Mortimer, while Jack Lowden (War and Peace) plays a charming new island arrival. Henry stars as Godfrey, Doña Croll (EastEnders) as Old July, Sharon Duncan-Brewster (The Boy with the Topknot) as Kitty, Ayesha Antoine (Chewing Gum) as Molly, Arinzé Kene (King Lear) as Thomas, Ansu Kabia (Murder on the Orient Express) as James Richards, Jordan Bolger (Peaky Blinders) as Nimrod, Joy Richardson (Children of Men) as Miss Rose, Madeleine Mantock (Charmed) as Miss Clara and Leo Bill (Taboo) as John Howarth.” Sounds fascinating, and we LOVE Hayley Atwell! Look for it in 2019-20.

Jane Austen’s unfinished novel, Sanditon, is going to be completed and adapted for TV. coming to PBSMasterpiece in 2019, via adapter/completer, Andrew Davies (Bridget Jones’ Diary, Mr. Selfridge), and will star Theo James (Downton Abbey and Divergent) and Rose Williams (Reign), with Anne Reid (Last Tango In Halifax) and Kris Marshall (Love, Actually). The story “follows Charlotte Heywood [Rose Williams], the impulsive oldest daughter of her family,…and her spiky relationship with the charming Sidney Parker, played by James…. A chance accident leads Charlotte from Willingden to Sanditon and exposes Charlotte to the intrigues and dalliances of a seaside town on the make…The drama takes viewers from the West Indies to the rotting alleys of London and exposes the hidden agendas of each character and sees Charlotte discover herself and ultimately find love….It’s a rich, romantic, family saga built upon the foundations Jane Austen laid….Anne Reid will play Lady Denham. Two husbands dead and gone, Lady Denham received money from the first and a title from the second and expects to be treated with a great deal of deference. Notoriously tight-fisted, she seems to delight in the power that she wields over the town, particularly those waiting to cash in from her death. Playing the head of the Parker family, Kris Marshall stars as Tom Parker, an enthusiastic and happily married man with a vision of putting Sanditon on the map.” No director info, yet. Probably airsin 2019-20.

Dead to Me (different from the 1990’s Dead Like Me) is coming to Netflix in 2019. Starring Christina Applegate. Written and exec produced by Liz Feldman (2 Broke Girls), Applegate will be “an outwardly stable woman secretly on the edge following her husband’s fatal hit and run.” No more about casting or director, yet.

Panic Amazon Studios, YA pilot from Lauren Oliver, to be directed by Leigh Janiak, is “based on Oliver’s bestseller of the same name…et in a small, stagnant town where graduating seniors compete every year for a way out and ‘life-changing money’ in an illegal, highly dangerous game. ‘Anonymous judges force the players through a series of challenges that will compel them to confront their deepest fears—and upend their ideas of who they are, who to trust, and who they might become,’ [Deadline‘s source] source details. ‘This year, 47 players will compete for the biggest pot ever. All of them will be changed. Only one will win.’…The Delirium trilogy, Broken Things, and Rooms are among Oliver’s books….Oliver wrote and created the pilot. She’s also among the executive producers.” Sounds kind of Hunger Games-ish, but I might try it. Probably out in 2019 on Amazon Prime.

The Wilds, Amazon Studios, YA pilot from Sarah Streicher (Daredevil, Drunk History and Mixology), “is about a collection of very different teen girls stuck on an island. Making matters even worse, the young women are—unbeknownst to them—the subjects of a large-scale social experiment. ‘Part survival drama, part [dystopian] slumber party, The Wilds explores the past and present struggles of these young women, offering up a vivid portrayal of what it means to grow up female in our time—whether you are lost in the wilderness or not,’ Deadline summarizes….Jamie Tarses and ABC Signature are producing. Streicher is serving as EP [with others]…” I doubt if we’ll like this one, but some will. Probably out in 2019 on Amazon Prime.

College, from Amazon Studios, is a YA pilot from Marja-Lewis Ryan, that “will follow six roommates ‘as they hook up, mess up, and grow up on their own terms’ in the world of higher education.” Is this grown-ish for “white” people? Probably out in 2019 on Amazon Prime.

The Oracle Year (published 4/3/18) was one of the most interesting and fun books I’ve ever read (and I have read probably 100K books in my life). When I went to write a review and looked up the author, Charles Soule, I discovered this news: “Tomorrow Studios, Marty Adelstein’s joint venture with ITV Studios, has acquired The Oracle Year, the upcoming debut novel of best-selling comic book franchise writer, Charles Soule, for development as a TV series.”

“[The book] centers on a twentysomething New Yorker who wakes to 108 visions of specific predictions of the future, and monetizes those predictions to become the most famous person in the world.” I would create a much better blurb than this and include it in my review, but, for now… I hope it makes past pilot and into series statuS! Maybe for 2019 or later. FMI: https://deadline.com/2018/01/tomorrow-studios-developing-tv-adaptation-charles-soule-the-oracle-year-1202263590/

David Makes Man, OWN’s coming-of-age drama series, from Moonlight co-writer, Tarell Alvin McCraney, will star: Phylicia Rashad, Akili McDowell (The Astronaut Wives Club). Co-starring: Nathaniel Logan McIntyre (Magic Camp and Barry), Broadway actor, Isaiah Johnson (Hamilton, The Color Purple), Ade Chike Torbert (East Los High), Jordan Bolger (Peaky Blinders), Cayden K. Williams (Girls Trip), and Travis Coles (Liza on Demand). The series “centers on David (McDowell), a 14-year-old prodigy from the projects who is haunted by the death of his closest friend and relied on by his hardworking mother to find a way out of poverty. He must choose between the streets that raised him or the higher education that may offer him a way out. Set in South Florida, the lyrical drama, inspired by events in McCraney’s own life, explores the inherent trauma sustained in the fight for survival. McDowell’s David is a former block drug dealer from a state housing project in Homestead, Florida, who rides a bus every day to attend a magnet school for academically gifted kids. Aware of the expectations and perceptions others have of him, he has become an expert chameleon who toggles between two distinct personas that reflect his surroundings — but this exacts an emotional price. Rashad will play Dr. Woods-Trap, a respected and intimidating instructor at David’s middle school who is one of those teachers that students remember for the rest of their lives. Her assignments are challenging but rewarding, and her students genuinely like and respect her. Though firm with David, she sees something special in him and becomes his advocate.” Probably not our favorite plot or themes, but some will like it. Look for it in 2019-20.

Erase, a new show for USA channel, starring Callie Thorne (Necessary Roughness) “is the story of Donal O’Neal (Denis Leary, Rescue Me), a dirty ex-cop who decides to do the right thing and bring down his complicit superior officers. In this gritty crime thriller, laced with elements of black comedy, Donal races against time to repair the damage he’s done to his estranged family while trying to avoid being killed by his enemies.Thorne will play Donna O’Neal, Donal’s (Leary) first love, mother of his children and ex-wife. A woman of strong backbone, incorruptible moral compass, whose strength and Achilles heel is her compassion.” We don’t much like Denis Leary, but we do like Callie Thorne, so we’ll probably try it. Likely for late in 2019-20.

The Couple Next Door, Shari Lapena’s best-selling thriller novel, is becoming a series to be written by playwright/TV writer, Lila Feinberg (Younger). The series “will follow three couples, living in the same apartment building in Manhattan, as their lives intertwine and unfold in the aftermath of a dinner party that ends in a shocking crime.” Sounds intriguing. No casting info or release date, yet. Probably 2019-20.

The Mallorca Files is an upcoming BBC/Britbox “ten-part drama…set amongst the expat community on the sunny Spanish island and features a British and German detective clashing over their very different approaches to policing the island. While self-confessed introverted Brit, Miranda Blake [Elen Rhys], takes her career seriously, German, Max Winter [Julian Looman], is a classic extrovert and unashamedly unconventional. The two characters battle it out to solve crimes in the sun-drenched setting.” From Dan Sefton (The Good Karma Hospital and Delicious). Co-writers, Rachael New, Alex McBride, Sarah Louise Hawkins and Dan Muirden, join Sefton, who said: “With influences from Almodovar to Coen Brothers, The Mallorca Files brings a fresh new spin to the story of two supposedly mismatched cops forced into an uneasy partnership. Set in the picture-perfect Balearic Island of Mallorca, action-packed, quirky and full of memorable characters, wit, and spectacle, this show is the perfect antidote to the British Winter. It has fun with a classic TV genre.” For 2019-20, but not sure where to watch, yet. We will try it, but we don’t like the work of the filmmakers he is influenced by, so probably won’t like it much.

Raising Dion, Netflix‘s newest series, has Jason Ritter [Gilmore Girls, Kevin (Probably) Saves The World] to star. Michael B. Jordan (Creed) is a co-creator and will have a supporting role. Also involved are: veteran showrunner, Carol Barbee (UnReal, Judging Amy); writer-producer, Michael Green (American Gods, Logan); and, executive producer, Kenny Goodman. The “hour-long sci-fi family drama [is] based on commercial and music video director, Dennis Liu’s, short film about an African-American single mother [Nicole] who discovers her young son [Dion] has multiple, constantly changing abilities….Ritter will play Pat, a comic-book-reading scientist who worked with Mark (Jordan), his best friend. With Mark gone, Pat makes a big effort to be there for Nicole and Dion, and loves them like family. Not only is Pat smart, cute, and successful – he also has a special bond with Dion.” We like stories with gifted/powered kids and I like Jason Ritter, so we’ll try this. Probably for 2019-20.

—Where does Apple TV content go after it airs there? We will want to find this one! Are You Sleeping stars Ron Cephas Jones (This is Us), Octavia Spencer, Mekhi Phifer, Elizabeth Perkins (yes, from Big, among other credits), Michael Beach, Tracie Thoms (UNreal), Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), Haneefah Wood (Baskets), and many more great actors. Producers include Octavia Spencer’s and Reese Witherspoon‘s companies and a few more giants. “[C]reated and written by Nichelle Tramble Spellman based on the true-crime novel by Kathleen Barber, [the series] provides a unique glimpse into America’s obsession with true-crime podcasts and challenges its viewers to consider the consequences when the pursuit of justice is placed on a public stage. Spencer stars as Poppy Parnell, a relentless investigative reporter who looks to uncover the truth behind a decades-old questionable murder verdict through her new podcast….Paul stars as convicted murderer, Warren Cave, whose guilt or innocence has remained a question in many people’s minds for the past 20 years….Phifer plays Markus Knox, a former detective and long-time friend of Poppy Parnell. Beach plays Ingram Rhoades, a successful attorney and Poppy’s husband….Thoms plays Desiree Scoville, Poppy’s older opinionated sister. Wood plays Cydie Scoville, Poppy’s fiercely loyal sister. Cephas Jones plays Leander “Shreve” Scoville, Poppy’s father….Perkins stars as Melanie Cave—mother of Warren Cave, the subject of Poppy’s podcast…. Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex) plays twin sisters Josie and Lanie. When we can find it, we’ll try it. Looking in 2019.

Away, an upcoming 10-episode series billed as “an epic love story and a thrilling tale of survival set against humanity’s greatest endeavor – the first human mission to Mars….centers on Emma Green, an American astronaut who must leave her husband and teenage daughter behind in order to command an international space crew embarking upon a treacherous, year-long mission. It is a series about hope, humanity and how ultimately, we need one another if we are to achieve impossible things,” is coming to Netflix. From playwright, Andrew Hinderaker, Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) and Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Felicity). No cast news or premiere date, yet. We like some sci-fi, so we may try this. Probably 2019-20.

—Since we didn’t have any attachment to Fox‘s midseason 2019 comedy, Dan the Weatherman‘s, first cast, re-casting doesn’t affect us, but we do like Ashley Williams, who got the ax. I do like JoAnna Garcia Swisher (from the too-short-lived Kevin (almost) Saves the World), but am not familiar with the show’s star (still Thomas Lennon) or the new “child,” from The Mick, Jack Stanton. The series “centers on Dan (Lennon),” who, “after getting fired from his cushy job as a weatherman at the local TV station, finds it’s not enough to be a charming man in this world. He reluctantly ends up at the local cable station.” Natalie Ceballos, James Earl and Daniel Stern co-star. We probably won’t watch. Sounds insipid.

—Bad Robot will produce its first episodic TV documentary series on the life and work of Elizabeth Taylor. “The aim is to make the definitive look at the iconic Elizabeth Taylor as one of the originators of our contemporary concept of celebrity, as a trailblazer for women working in Hollywood, and for the way she used her elevated status to forge frontiers in her activism and charitable work. The film will also examine Taylor’s role in the lives of her family and friends, in addition to her roles onscreen.” Probably for 2019-20.

The Americans has recently ended. Star, Matthew Rhys, already has another gig (short-term), with new co-star Jamie Dornan. The Fall creator, Allan Cubitt, has cast them in Death And Nightingales, “a three-part drama based on Eugene McCable’s modern Irish classic.” Ann Skelly (Kissing Candice, Red Rock) is also starring in this “story of love, betrayal, deception and revenge…set in the haunting countryside of Fermanagh in 1885. It’s a world of spies, confessions and double dealings where neighbors observe each other and inform. The tale takes place over a desperately tense 24-hour period. It’s Beth Winters’ (Skelly) 25th birthday and also the day she has decided to join the charming Liam Ward (Dornan) to escape from her limited life and complex relationship with her Protestant landowner stepfather, Billy (Rhys). As decades of pain and betrayal finally build to a devastating climax, Death And Nightingales sees a woman struggling to control her own destiny and will ultimately illuminate tensions that tear both families and nations apart.” Probably for 2019, and probably not in the USA until later that year or 2020, since it’s starting on BBC Two, a channel we don’t get here.

—We’ll check out most of these 6 options when they come to our stations or Netflix or Amazon Prime, for sure! The air dates listed, below, are for Canadian station CBC (which we can’t get), unless otherwise named.
FMI about these and other CBC productions, visit: https://renewcanceltv.com/cbc-renewals-2018-19-schedule-anne-heartland-frankie-drake-more/
New Canadian scripted series include:
—— legal aid series, Diggstown, featuring the first female, black, lead character in an original Canadian drama, “created by Floyd Kane (Across the Line) and set in the gritty arena of legal aid, focusing on Marcie Diggs, a star corporate lawyer who reconsiders her priorities after her beloved aunt commits suicide following a malicious prosecution. Landing at a legal aid office in Dartmouth, Marcie is driven by one thing—to never again allow innocent lives to be destroyed by the justice system.” Will be on Netflix and CBC, 2019;
—— the return of Street Legal, means “the iconic character-driven legal drama returns with both familiar faces and new characters, and a focus on how the law is practised in Canada today, including contemporary themes and issues. Bringing Street Legal into the 21st century, we pick up 25 years later with Olivia Novak (Cynthia Dale), now a named partner at a major Bay Street law firm.” Will air spring?, 2019;
—— limited series, Unspeakable, is “a searing depiction of the tainted blood scandal that began in the early 1980s…told through the stories of two families severely affected by the worst public health disaster in Canadian history, with a strong cast, including Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead), Shawn Doyle (Bellevue), Michael Shanks (Saving Hope) and Camille Sullivan (The Disappearance).” Will air spring?, 2019.

—More live TV: “This fall [2018], CBC will…broadcast the Canadian premiere of the new adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s literary classic, Vanity Fair…starring Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One) as Becky Sharp, an ambitious social climber desperately trying to escape poverty and scale the heights of English society.” We may try this. Probably scheduled in the USA in 2019.

The New York Times may be getting “woke,” or, just attempting “to redress some of its shady, sexist history.” The NYT is co-producing Overlooked, “a scripted anthology series about influential women who did not receive an obit in the Times [which] will consist of 10 episodes per season, each focusing on the story of notable woman. Women will write and direct every episode of Overlooked.” No premiere date, yet, or even a broadcast medium/station announced. Probably for 2018-19. #itsabouttime

—New Lifetime 10-episode series, American Princess, will star one of my lifetime faves, Lesley Anne Warren (the first and best Cinderella, right?), as Joanntha, a “snobby Upper East Side [NYC] mother from hell,” and Max Ehrich (Under the Dome), with Georgia Flood, created by Jamie Denbo and Jenji Kohan and Tara Herrmann (Orange is the New Black, GLOW). The show “follows Amanda (Flood), an Upper East Side socialite, who runs away from her own dream wedding when she realizes that the life she thought she wanted wasn’t actually right after all. When she stumbles upon a Renaissance Faire, she experiences an unexpected awakening, leading her to leave everything she thought she cared about behind. While at the Faire, Amanda quickly develops new friendships, rivalries and romance that opens her eyes to new beginnings….Joanntha has a narcissistic personality disorder, a massive pill problem and never fails to drunkenly bulldoze every social event she attends.” Ehrich is “Brett, Amanda’s Manhattan lawyer groom and a bit of an Upper East Side prince.” Also featuring: Lucas Neff, Seana Kofoed, Rory O’Malley, Mary Hollis Inboden. Might be good; probably not: it’s on Lifetime, the misogynistic “channel for women.” Probably not 2018-19, but later.

—Any Vivien Leigh (Gone with the Wind, A Streetcar Named Desire) or Natalie Dormer (GoT, Hunger Games) fans out here? Then, you’ll love this new project, in which Dormer plays Leigh and each Episode focuses on one of Leigh‘s most-famous film projects, as a Genius-type fictionalized docuseries (number of Episodes TBD), for FremantleMedia and UK production company Mainstreet Pictures. “In that context of 1940s Hollywood and its shell of glamour and global scope, plus Tony Award winner Leigh’s 20-year marriage to Laurence Olivier, issues of mental health, career, female empowerment or the lack thereof, and love will be explored in the series.” Probably 2019-20.

—Some heavy-hitters cast in this upcoming HBO series, Watchmen: Jean Smart, Regina King, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Adelaide Clemens and Andrew Howard. Too bad they chose a sexist title, but the series is “based on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ iconic limited comic series, Watchmen.” Described as “a dark satirical and dystopian take on the superhero genre…set in an alternate history where ‘superheroes’ are treated as outlaws, Watchmen embraces the nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel while attempting to break new ground of its own.” We will try to watch when it gets picked by Amazon or Netflix, as so many HBO series do, or perhaps on DVD at our library in 2019 or -20.

—I could never get into reading any of her novels, but Isabel Allende is an award-winning author who is turning to exec produce this series based on The House of the Spirits, one of her best-known books and her debut novel. The book and series tout as the main story: “the triumphs and tragedies of three generations of the Trueba family.” Unfortunately, it is happening first on Hulu, so another one we’ll have to hope comes out on DVD at our library, maybe in 2019.

—The Supremes are in session! “’The relationship between Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg is complex and rich; a rarity among women at this level of power,’ explained [Denise] Di Novi. ‘From opposite backgrounds and ideologies, they worked together and made an indelible mark on women’s history. We intend to explore how they rose from their early days as lawyers to their arrival at the Supreme Court, forging what would become one of the most powerful professional relationships in American history.’” Alyssa Milano’s Peace by Peace Productions and Denise Di Novi and Nina Tassler’s PatMa Productions, “a company that truly values and nurtures female empowerment,” are co-developing the series. Milano, Di Novi, and Tassler are exec producers as well. Untitled and no premiere date, yet. 2019-20, perhaps.

—More about strong national female leaders: PatMa Productions is developing a limited series about Israel’s first female prime minister, Golda Meir, based on Francine Klagsbrun’s book, Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel. 2019-20, perhaps.

Harrow, an Australian drama series, premiered in Australia in March, 2018, starring one of our favorite actors, Ioan Gruffudd (his character on Forever was also a forensic pathologist!), as Dr. Daniel Harrow, who is “a forensic pathologist with a total disregard for authority. He has an unfailing empathy for the dead which helps him solve even the most bizarre of cases. Willing to bend every rule, he is determined to give victims a voice and reveal the truth behind what happened to them. Meanwhile, a terrible secret from his past threatens him, his family, and his career.” SEASON 1 had ten episodes. Maybe since the tenth Episode aired 5/11/18, we can look for it on a streaming service or channel available in the USA later in 2018 or in 2019? It’s from a new production branch of ABC, from ABC Studios International.

—Similarly, another favorite of ours, Poppy Montgomery (Without a Trace, Unforgettable), will star in and exec produce a second drama series from ABC Studios International; this one is for French broadcaster, M6. Currently untitled, it will be an English-language series that is touted as “a ‘sexy’ and ‘action-packed’ crime drama that sees Montgomery play Cat Chambers, a thief turned fixer for the Governor of a stunning and seductive Pacific Island archipelago. Impulsive, reckless, and irresistible, Cat’s less-than-perfect past gives her a gift for understanding crimes and criminals as she becomes enmeshed in fast-paced, high octane adventures and island intrigue. Cat must also deal with old friends, enemies, and lovers including an FBI agent ex-husband, the gang boss she put in jail, and a police detective lover who is in over his head in the ‘blue-sky’ drama.” I don’t know where/when we can view this, after it’s produced for France, either. Stay tuned! 2019-20, perhaps.

National Geographic‘s excellent series, Genius, originally stated that, for SEASON 3, it would focus on Mary Shelley, but changed to Aretha Franklin, “The Queen of Soul,” for SEASON 3. Probably keeping Shelley for SEASON 4, which means look for it in early 2021.  “…best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus….A brilliant thinker, radical intellectual and proto-feminist, Mary Shelley (1797-1851) brought to life one of the most enduring stories of the modern age while still a teenager, Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus,…a cautionary tale of unchecked scientific ambition and a sophisticated meditation on social institutions, personal freedom and compassion that has captured imaginations and continues to be relevant since it was first published 200 years ago. Shelley masterfully invented the Science-Fiction/Horror genre with her tale of a creature brought to life, subsequently going on to create the Post-Apocalyptic genre with her later novel, The Last Man.”
FMI (but no casting news, yet): http://deadline.com/2018/04/genius-3-subject-revealed-nat-geo-anthology-series-renewed-1202367541/

—A series adaptation of Hidden Figures for National Geographic channel is being developed. Series’ pilot probably ready for 2019-20. But, can’t find any other info (UPDATED 4/12/19).

Allison Pearson,’s new novel, How Hard Can It Be? (the sequel to I Don’t Know How She Does It), is becoming a TV-type series from Bruna Papandrea’s Made Up Stories production company (Big Little Lies). This sequel “picks up the story of Kate Reddy as she approaches her 50th birthday. Kate is now a Sandwich Woman dealing with all the challenges of midlife: teenagers sharing pictures of their intimate parts on social media, aging parents taking a second pass at childhood, a marriage gone flat, not to mention menopause and memory loss.” The book doesn’t even get released until early June, 2018, so pilot is probably not ready until early in 2019, and is probably for a 2019 summer or fall series opener, if it gets picked up (and by what network or streaming service?).

A League of Their Own TV-type series is being developed by Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) and Will Graham (Mozart in the Jungle) for Amazon with Sony Pictures Television. Not planning on reviving, but may “give a nod” to some of the original characters.  Probably for 2019. If it’s not too stereotyped, could be good. We were mad when they canceled Pitch.

—A female-led African warrior TV-type series about the Dahomey Warriors is in development by Sony and EbonyLife. There may be three series, total. haven’t see or wanted to see Black Panther (or the latest 3 Star Wars films: too many fights and not enough plot), but for fans of BP, I bet this will be a hit. Probably for 2019-20

—Coming to TV: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah, a “heartbreaking novel about love, race, and identity,” with Danai Gurira as the writer and Lupita Nyong’o as its star (they co-starred in Black Panther and collaborated twice before that). Like the novel, the miniseries will follow its protagonist, “Ifemelu, as she grows up in Nigeria, travels to the United States to attend college, builds her writing career, and returns home as an adult. Throughout her journey, she grapples with questions of race and culture, and maintains an intense connection to her first love, Obinze.” No director or release date, yet. Could be good, if it’s not too slow-paced. Maybe 2019-20.

—“Jennifer Lawrence and former E! News host, Catt Sadler, and documentary filmmaker, Stephanie Soechtig, are working on a #MeToo-themed docuseries,” which plans to “take a deep dive into issues facing women today,” including the gender pay gap as well as sexual harassment/assaults. Probably very depressingly realistic. PBS has already been airing a quickly developed docuseries entitled #MeToo: Now What? (see review, below), but interest in these topics must be high. They’re shopping for a distributor and there is no release date, yet. Maybe 2019-20.

—Another producer/creator is moving some shows to Netflix: Ryan Murphy (9-1-1, Feud: Bette & Joan, Glee) has two new series going over to the streaming site. One is:
——Ratched, starring Sarah Paulson as a young Nurse Ratched (from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), in what he claims is a “feminist” version, along with The Assassination of Gianni Versace’s stars, Finn Wittrock and Jon Jon Briones. “Briones will play the head doctor at the mental institution where she works. Wittrock will play a violent criminal who shares a secret with Nurse Ratched. Sharon Stone, Charlie Carver, Judy Davis, Harriet Harris, Hunter Parrish, Amanda Plummer, Corey Stoll, Rosanna Arquette and Cynthia Nixon are also joining the cast

–An adaptation of a newer novel by Twilight author, Stephenie Meyer, The Chemist, is in the works. I read this and it’s not half-bad, if you like thrillers with unbelievable plot twists that feature women protagonists who are very bad-ass and gruesome.
WARNING: it is VERY graphically and excessively violent. It “is about a woman working for ‘a U.S. government agency so clandestine it didn’t even have a name.’ When they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning. When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back, but it means taking one last job for her ex-employers.” May appear on Fox for 2018-19. Not for those with weak stomachs.

—Even more rebooting news: Mad About You is happening, but on Spectrum (where to watch that?) later in 2019. The plot has the stars jumping ahead about 19 years and having Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt face their “empty nest” after their daughter’s departure for college. I was never a fan, but some loved this show.  (UPDATED 4/12/19).

 


This is the 48th post, for 3/22/19, Updated 4/12/19
Next full post, 4/26/19.

CANCELED, TBD or RENEWED shows’ statuses can be found here:  http://TVShowsCancelled.com/

For the shows we watch, I put each one’s status beneath its review or listing, when it is known.

Also, I have been steadily removing my reviews or expectations for/of all shows that have been discontinued/canceled since we started this series of posts in 2015, or that we gave up on watching.


BACKGROUND

My mom (86) and I (64) are probably not the “target demographic” for almost any show on television or any movie being produced currently. We live in the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri, USA (Midwest, for those of you unfamiliar: think of that huge “Gateway Arch”—That’s here). I grew up here but then didn’t live here for 42 years; I’ve been back for over three years, now.

We were both raised Jewish, but I have been a meditator since 1972 and a practicing Buddhist since 1996. We are both Caucasian women-born-women. We are considered “middle class” although we have almost zero dollars of “disposable income.” My mom is hetero; I am bisexual. We are both partly disabled. I am highly educated (doctoral degree plus other training); my mom has extensive work experience, with a high school diploma.

My mom, Carole, age 86, 2018

My mom has been a TV watcher for over 60 years. I watched a lot as a kid, but from about 1972 – 2002, I didn’t have a TV and hardly watched it elsewhere, either. I usually didn’t have a TV between 2005 – 2014 as well, but I watched some shows online (Hulu, usually) or Netflix.

We think we should be part of a group that at least some producers are aiming to please, because we (especially Mom) now watch a lot of television. We also get movies regularly from DVD borrowing through our local library. We even occasionally go to a theatre to see a movie. We eagerly await the “new season” of television every one of the four times it seems to occur every year: “Fall Sweeps” happen, but so do Mid-season Sweeps, Mid-year New Seasons, and channels with an entirely different set of “seasons.”

We also occasionally watch TV shows and movies on Netflix (since 2016) and Amazon Prime (since summer, 2017)

However, we are consistently disappointed that many shows we do like are canceled and some shows we despise seem to go on forever. Plus, we have several pet peeves:

—“Why is it always so dark in all these shows? I can’t see a thing. What is the point?”
—“Why is the music so loud but the dialogue is barely audible?”
—“Why do so many writers depict adult characters as adolescents with endless insecurities and incessant competition and/or bickering?”
—“Car chases, foot chases and fighting are NOT PLOT.”
—“There is no one to like on this show!”

Keep up with the changes! http://thefutoncritic.com/guide/
or here, for the schedule (UPDATED 4/12/19, for future months):   http://TVShowsCancelled.com/

We don’t watch: most “sit coms”; any zombie or most vampire shows; reality shows (except the baking shows on BBC/ABC); extremely violent shows; premium channels (HBO, Showtime, Starz, EPIX, Cinemax, Sundance NOW); most YA/”teen” or any children’s/animated shows.

NOTE: Our viewing “schedule” includes a lot of recording-and-watching-later, due to simultaneous broadcasts and my early bedtime.

**usually only Mom watches
*usually only I watch


Post 48, for 3/22/19, Updated 4/12/19

I/we continue with this Friday TV Report: New and Returning PBS/BBC, Netflix, Amazon Prime, regular cable network (non-premium) TV Shows and some specials (shows that were more recently viewed are higher up on the review sections) and some on DVD from our local library (that were on premium or non-USA channels, originally).

Shows we recently have watched and reviewed (UPDATED 4/12/19)

*The Bold Type Freeform (retureds 4/9/19 for SEASON 3)
Mom and I watched most of Episode 1 when it first aired and didn’t like this show at all. Took it off our list and off this review site as well. BUT, with the dearth of shows to watch without Mom last summer, I picked up with Episode 2 On Demand and was surprised by the good writing and acting (neither present in Episode 1 to any extent) and kept willall the way to Episode 1 (end of SEASON 1).
Excellent and continuously improving acting and writing, and Episodes 1 & 2 of SEASON 2 were great. The writers are capably covering complicated and interesting topics without overly simplifying or resolving facilely (rare on any TV show these days). In addition to great depiction of female mentoring and friendships, this show delved into inherited breast cancer (the BRCA gene), rape and sexual assault injustices, office relationships/romances, bisexuality and sexuality, gender inequality and identity, political topics, career moves, drinking, bed bugs, financial difficulties, immigration/deportation, religious and class differences, interpersonal competitions and more.
Starring Katie Stevens, Aisha Dee (liked her on Chasing Life) and Meghann Fahy as the three millennial leads, with mentoring roles played by Melora Hardin and Stephen Conrad Moore; romance/friendship roles played by Sam(uel) Page, Matt Ward, Nikohl Boosheri, Dan Jeannotte.
Any writers who correctly reference/quote the late, great Nora Ephron in TWO Episodes get my vote!
KEEPING; Good for SEASON 3

Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger FREEFORM (returned 4/4/19, 2-hour premiere for SEASON 2)
Still confusing, too dark (production values are awful) and not great, but we tried it for SEASON 2.
This latest from the Marvel universe has characters and story elements that are suspiciously like thoseprobably notof Fox‘s Gifted: Tandy Bowen (Olivia Holt) and Tyrone Johnson (Aubrey Joseph) are “two teenagers from very different backgrounds who find themselves burdened and awakened to newly acquired superpowers which are mysteriously linked to one another….They quickly learn they are better together than apart, but their feelings for each other make their already complicated world even more challenging.”
Except, they don’t “quickly” do anything in Episodes 1 or 2. We will continue, but this plot moves brutally slowly and is very confusing, to boot. Not our favorite combination.
Also, who else thinks Olivia Holt must be related to Julia Stiles, somehow?
Also starring Andrea Roth, Gloria Reuben, Miles Mussenden, Carl Lundstedt, Emma Lahana, Jaime Zevallos, and J.D. Evermore.
We liked it somewhat, but we have found Marvel‘s TV series to be very uneven; some are unwatchable. This one is way too confusing.
VERY CONFUSING, probably not continuing for SEASON 2

The Code CBS (premiered 4/9/19; then weekly, 4/15/19)
(Not to be confused with the former title of Private Eyes, or 100 Code, or Code Black, had Mira Sorvino and David Annable in the lead roles only for the pilot, and then both left! Does not bode well.)
It was billed as “a new legal military drama….The military’s brightest minds take on our country’s toughest challenges—inside the courtroom and out—where each attorney is trained as a prosecutor, a defense lawyer, an investigator—and a Marine.”
I was torn because I like some of these actors a lot and usually like legal shows, but I never like military dramas, much. Mom loved JAG, so we tried it.
We couldn’t even finish Episode 1. Too much “in country” (Afghanistan, for this one) and hardly any legal scenes. Yuck.
Luke Mitchell (Blindspot) replaces Annable. Sorvino isn’t going to be replaced by any series regulars.
Also stars: Anna Wood, Ato Essandoh, Phillipa Soo, Raffi Barsoumian.
We will not continue

Fosse/Verdon  FX  (8 Episodes; premiered 4/9/19)
We were excited about this Bob Fosse/Gwen Verdon bio, starring Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams, from Lin-Manuel Miranda & Thomas Kail (Hamilton) and Steven Levenson (Dear Evan Hansen). BUT, after Episode 1 (which we didn’t even finish), we were disappointed. We will try more, but it’s so DARK (literally as well as metaphorically).
“Based on Fosse, the biography written by Sam Wasson, the limited series tells the story of the singular romantic and creative partnership between Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon. He was a visionary filmmaker and one of theater’s most influential choreographers and directors; she was the greatest Broadway dancer of all time….Nicole Fosse, daughter of Fosse and Verdon, is Co-Executive Producer.”
(You can watch one of their classic dance numbers HERE, https://deadline.com/2018/07/bob-fosse-gwen-verdon-fx-limited-series-michelle-williams-sam-rockwell-star-lin-manuel-miranda-thomas-kail-steven-levinson-1202432819/.)
“Together they changed the face of American entertainment—at a perilous cost. Featuring Fosse’s choreography, the series explores the hidden corners of show business, the price of pursuing greatness, and the suffering inflicted in the name of art.”
In case you don’t know, Bob Fosse and later, he in collaboration with his wife, Gwen Verdon, originated a tight, sinewy style of choreography made famous by Ben Vereen, Joel Grey, Anne Reinking, Bebe Neuwirth and others in award-winning shows Pajama Game, Damn Yankees, Chicago, Pippin, Cabaret, Sweet Charity‘s that was imitated in multiple shows after that. All That Jazz, an autobiographical film that Fosse wrote and directed, was completed during his first heart attack (starring the late Roy Scheider), but he died from another attack soon after the film’s release, at the young age of 60. A true original and genius of dance.
Cast includes: Norbert Leo Butz, Margaret Qualley, Aya Cash, Nate Corddry, Susan Misner, Bianca Marroquin, Kelli Barrett, Evan Handler, Rick Holmes, Paul Reiser, Ethan Slater and Byron Jennings.
Disappointing, so far (Episode 1)

F.B.I.: Most Wanted CBS  (“planted pilot” aired as an Episode in F.B.I.‘s SEASON 1—Spring, 2019—and then gets its own Episodes in 2019-20)
We liked this spinoff for F.B.I. that is “centered around the division of the FBI tasked with tracking and capturing the notorious criminals on the FBI’s Most Wanted list.”
Written by Dick Wolf and Rene Balcer (Law & Order, The Council) and directed by Fred Berner (Law & Order), this follows Wolf’s Chicago series’ franchise playbook.
Julian McMahon (Marvel’s Runaways) “will play Jess LaCroix, an ‘agent’s agent’ who’s at the top of his game and oversees the team from the FBI’s Most Wanted Unit, which is assigned the most extreme and egregious cases.” Also starring: Kellan Lutz (The Legend Of Hercules, The Expendables 3), Roxy Sternberg (Mars, Emerald City), Alana de la Garza (Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders) and the fabulous Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Rider, Game of Thrones)—all grown up, now—who “will play Lynn Khanna, a cowboy boot-wearing FBI analyst from a conservative Dallas family. She is a master of data-mining and social engineering with a sharp, earthy sense of humor. Lynn is tough, playful and young in years but an old soul at heart….De la Garza will play A.S.A.C. (Assistant Special Agent in Charge) Isobel Castile, Fugitive Squad Supervisor, polished and focused West Point graduate with a brief stint in Silicon Valley. She’s a rising star who shuns politics and is a guided missile in the field….Sternberg will play FBI Agent Sheryll Barnes, an ex-NYPD detective with elevated street smarts….Lutz will play FBI Agent Crosby—an Army intel vet Jess has taken under his wing, communications whiz.” Nathaniel Arcand (Cold Pursuit) “will play Agent Clinton Skye, Mohawk Nation, Jess’ brother-in-law, a marksman with a law degree.”
We watch the original, so I guess we’ll give this a try as well.
Cautiously optimistic; we like it, so far

*A Discovery of Witches AMC & BBC (simulcast and premiered in the USA , 4/7/19; RENEWED for SEASON 2 & 3)
Watched Episode 1. Like the actors and story, but the music and ambiance are so overblown, it was difficult to enjoy it. Also, the talking is hard to understand (poor audio balance). Will continue, but disappointed.
I read and liked all three books and the encyclopedia that accompanied the series AND the 4th book related to the same series by Deborah HarknessA Discovery of Witches, and was disappointed that the TV series (now getting three SEASONS) was only on paid channels we do not get (Sundance Now, Shudder, AMC streaming, and the UK’s SKY). BUT, it was so popular they brought it to cable!
A Discovery of Witches is a modern-day love story set in a world where witches, vampires and demons secretly live and work alongside humans, hidden in plain sight. Season 1 follows Diana [Teresa Palmer], a young scholar at Oxford who is a descendant of the Salem witches. When she accidentally unlocks an enchanted manuscript, she is compelled to embrace the magic in her blood and enters a forbidden romance with charming 1,500-year-old vampire Matthew (Matthew Goode). In the second season, Matthew and Diana are hiding in time in the fascinating and treacherous world of Elizabethan London , where they must find a powerful witch teacher to help Diana control her magic and search for the elusive Book of Life. Owen Teale, Alex Kingston, Lindsay Duncan, Valarie Pettifor, Edward Bluemel, Aiysha Hart, Trevor Eve, Malin Buska and Gregg Chillin also will return for Season 2.” Sounds as if each SEASON is based on one of the volumes of the 3-book series.
Will continue, but tentatively

The Fix ABC (premiered 3/18/19; immediately CANCELED)
The Code CBS (premiered 4/9/19; then weekly, 4/15/19)
(Not to be confused with the former title of Private Eyes, or 100 Code, or Code Black, had Mira Sorvino and David Annable in the lead roles only for the pilot, and then both left! Does not bode well.)
It was billed as “a new legal military drama….The military’s brightest minds take on our country’s toughest challenges—inside the courtroom and out—where each attorney is trained as a prosecutor, a defense lawyer, an investigator—and a Marine.”
I was torn because I like some of these actors a lot and usually like legal shows, but I never like military dramas, much. Mom loved JAG, so we tried it.
We couldn’t even finish Episode 1. Too much “in country” (Afghanistan, for this one) and hardly any legal scenes. Yuck.
Luke Mitchell (Blindspot) replaces Annable. Sorvino isn’t going to be replaced by any series regulars.
Also stars: Anna Wood, Ato Essandoh, Phillipa Soo, Raffi Barsoumian.
We may not continue(Not to be confused with the Netflix show, same title, that released 12/21/18, which is a

comedy, starring D.L. Hughly, Katherine Ryan and a panel of comedians with one expert, who talk about the ; CANCELEDssues of the day.)
We couldn’t even finish the first Episode: very depressing. Having lived through the O.J. Simpson debacles, we couldn’t stomach this thinly veiled fictionalization of another male abuser/murderer.
Billed as “a crime drama” from writer-executive producers, Elizabeth Craft, Sarah Fain, and Marcia Clark (yes, THAT Marcia Clark…), it now plans to have one large case each SEASON for its main plot. For SEASON 1, it “focuses on a prosecutor drawn back into the biggest loss of her career. Maya Travis has left Los Angeles for a quiet life in rural Oregon. Eight years after her devastating defeat, the murderer strikes again, forcing Maya to return to Los Angeles to confront him one more time. Will she play by the rules, or will she do whatever it takes to get him behind bars?” This series “looks like it could parallel the O.J. Simpson case from the early ’90s, on which Clark served as prosecutor.” For 2018-19 season. Probably a rhetorical question, there, and not one that needs answering, nor is this a series that needed to be made.
Robin Givens (Riverdale, The Bold & the Beautiful) will be in the role of Julianne Johnson, Sevvy’s  (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) ex-wife who is very loyal to him. Erik Palladino (NCIS: Los Angeles) is “Leo Foster, a deputy at the D.A.’s office.” Skye P. Marshall (Black Lightning, The Rookie) is “Angela Ashley, an ambitious young lawyer who becomes involved in the case.” Taylor Kalupa (Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders) is “Jessica Meyer, the murder victim for whom Sevvy is under suspicion.”
YES, because Robin Tunney is starring. Also has: Adam Rayner, Merrin Dungey, Breckin Meyer, Marc Blucas, Mouzam Makkar, Alex Saxon, Scott Cohen, Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje.
We hated this. Off our list.

Republic of Doyle Netflix (available for all 6 SEASONS—2010-2014— in 2016)
“The sleepy port city of St. John’s, Newfoundland, is changing. While an influx of oil has flooded its coffers, it’s also brought to the surface the corruption—where there’s cash, there’s trash, after all. And doing his part to clean things up is private eye, Jake Doyle, who, with the help of his dad and partner at the Doyle P.I. Firm, takes on all cases—with the odd homicide thrown in just to keep things interesting.”
Somewhat fun, but too many trite tropes and chase scenes, with several obnoxious characters, including the star,/co-writer, Allan Hawco, who is not nearly as adorable as he thinks he is. But, after one SEASON, he grew on us and we keep watching. The father -son relationship is dysfunctional (rather, Malachy, is played by Sean McGinley), and his “relationship” with his ex-wife is downright pathological. Best character is the step-mother of the star, played by Lynda Boyd. Co-starring Krystin Pellerin and Marthe Bernard.
CBC gave it a lot of years and it won awards: maybe it gets better?
We sort of like it and it grows on us

Gone WGN (premiered 2/27/19)
We watched because Chris Noth (Law & Order, Sex & the City) and stayed because of the others and the plots. We like this. This series actually began and aired in 2018-2019 in Europe, then WGN bought and aired it in 2019. Not sure about SEASON 2, yet (as of 4/12/19).
Noth is back in law enforcement, this time as an FBI agent, with Danny Pino (Magnum P.I.) as his partner. They are in this limited series based on One Kick by Chelsea Cain. They will work with a layperson played by Leven Rambin (True Detective), who was abducted as a child, “on a task force devoted to missing-person cases….Gone follows the story of Kit ‘Kick’ Lannigan (Rambin), survivor of a highly publicized child-abduction case, and 20-year veteran Frank Novak (Noth), the FBI agent who rescued her. Years later, he recruits her to join a special task force dedicated to solving abductions and missing persons cases. Paired with former Army intelligence officer, John Bishop (Pino), Lannigan uses her intuitive wit and martial arts skills to solve cases and bring victims home. Tracie Thomas and Andy Mientus co-star….{c]reated and written by Matt Lopez (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice).”
Usually “happy” endings, so not too dark.
We like this a lot

*Good Girls NBC (returned 3/3/19 for SEASON 2; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
The writers of this show seem to believe that ANYONE can be a murderer, drug dealer, sociopath, thief, accomplice to other crimes, if desperate/angry enough. Very pessimistic view of humans, right? Compelling, though. Very good acting.
SEASON 2 started off rough (too much violence). Not liking it so much, now. We’ll see.
Starring one of my faves since she was a teen actor, Mae Whitman, with two new to me: Christina Hendricks and Retta, with co-stars, Manny Montana, Izzy Stannard, Matthew Lillard, and Reno Wilson, and features many other strong performances.
Lauren Stamile (Complications, American Horror Story, Blindspot, Chicago Fire) joins for SEASON 2 to “play Gretchen Zorada, a confident, intelligent and pedigreed defense attorney working on Manny’s (Manny Montana) case.”
“When sisters, Beth and Annie, and their best friend, Ruby, become fed up with playing by the rules and not getting the respect they deserve, they band together to take control of their lives—by holding up a local grocery store. Beth’s the perfect wife and mother, but her used-car-dealing, cheating husband has sent her family into financial ruin; Ruby is happily married to a policeman but can’t afford the medical bills and experimental drugs to help her daughter; and Annie, a single mom, is caught in a nasty custody battle with her ex. In desperate need of money, the women plan the heist expecting to ease their financial burdens. But new to the game of crime, they get pulled in deeper than they ever imagined—and the only way out of this will be together.”
Strangely compelling, but getting too violent; Not sure about SEASON 2; RENEWED for SEASON 3

The Enemy Within NBC (premiered 2/25/19)
The previews did not do this justice, and the first Episode would have been inexplicable without the previews, so, go figure. Anyway, we’re continuing, and we like it a lot. We liked Morris Chestnut (Rosewood) better as a humorous good guy, but he’s good in this, too.
“In this fast-paced, spy-hunting thriller, Erica Shepherd (Jennifer Carpenter) is a brilliantformer CIA operative, now known as the most notorious traitor in American history serving life in a Supermax prison. Against every fiber of his being but with nowhere else to turn, FBI Agent, Will Keaton (Morris Chestnut), enlists Shepherd to help track down a fiercely dangerous and elusive criminal she knows all too well. For Keaton, it’s not easy to trust the woman who cost him so much. While Shepherd and Keaton have different motivations for bringing the enemy to justice, they both know that to catch a spy… they must think like one….[RobertGossett portrays Thomas Heffron, the dignified, yet grief-stricken father of Will Keaton’s (Chestnut) murdered fiancee, Laine. Heffron is as close to a father figure as Keaton has ever had in his life, and while the two men are bonded by their shared loss, Heffron struggles to accept Keaton’s willingness to work with former CIA agent, Erica Shepherd (Carpenter), the person responsible for his daughter’s death.”
Also starring: Raza Jaffrey, Kelli Garner, Cassandra Freeman and Noah Mills.
We liked it enough to continue

Whiskey Cavalier ABC (premiered 2/27/19)
We like this a lot, but some of the characters are stereotypes and the circumstances are very silly, at times. We usually do like Scott Foley, and this did not disappoint. Lauren Cohan is delightful, too. Looking forward to more!
Billed as “a high-octane, hour-long action dramedy that follows the adventures of tough but tender FBI super-agent, Will Chase (codename: “Whiskey Cavalier”), (Scott Foley, barely having taken a break after Scandal ended, who also co-produces). Following an emotional break-up, Chase is assigned to work with badass CIA operative, Francesca “Frankie” Trowbridge (codename: “Fiery Tribune”) (Lauren Cohan). Together, they lead an inter-agency team of flawed, funny and heroic spies who periodically save the world (and each other) while navigating the rocky roads of friendship, romance and office politics….Dylan Walsh will play Alex Ollerman, Will Chase’s boss at the FBI who has a secret agenda and a shocking endgame.”
Also stars: Marika Domińczyk (Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds, Vegas, Rizzoli & IslesBrothers & Sisters; wife of Scott Foley), Christa Miller (Cougar Town, Undateable, Private Practice, CSI: Miami and Scrubs; exec producer, Bill Lawrence‘s wife), Ana Ortiz, Tyler James Williams, Vir Das.
Domińczyk plays Martyna (Tina) Marek, a sexy, tough-as-nails mercenary who collides with Team Whiskey during a harrowing mission in Eastern Europe. Her arrival fuels romance, rivalry and shifting allegiances, as this charismatic femme fatal rewrites the rules everyone is playing by. Miller plays Kelly Ashland, a close friend of Frankie’s (Cohan) family who stepped in after the death of her parents. Now a Federal Judge, the steely, non-nonsense Kelly finds herself embroiled in a crisis that puts her directly in the sights of Team Whiskey.”
Looking forward to more

Frankie Drake Mysteries DVD/CBC (SEASON 1 released early 2019; RENEWED for SEASONS 2 & 3)
These are excellent!  Many actors are from other CBC shows we have liked, and the stars are fabulous: Lauren Lee Smith (The Listener) is Frankie, and Chantal Riley (soon to be on Pearson) is her partner, Trudy,  and, Wendy Crewson is a hoot as Frankie’s mother. We oike how they insert real people and events along with the fictional (notably. recurring appearances by a young Ernest Hemingway, who DID write for the Toronto newspaper before going to paris!). Fantastic hats, costumes, set designs, props, also. We can forgive some lazy anachronisms regarding ways of talking, hair and make-up colors, and general attitudes, because these are fun!
“Set in stylish 1920s Toronto, [FDM] follows the female-only agency Drake Private Detectives, led by the eponymous Frankie Drake and ,her partner Trudy Clarke. Incorporating a brand of justice that doesn’t always follow the law, Frankie and Trudy investigate mysteries and crimes that either the police refuse to take on, or that their clients cannot take to the police at all. Against a backdrop of social change, radical politics and jazz music, the series is immersed in both the real Toronto of the 1920s and the world of mystery and suspense conjured by creators, Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci.”
We like these a lot

*A Very English Scandal Amazon Prime (3-Episode miniseries released July, 2018)
YUCK!  I know this is based on a true story, but it’s awful, despite somewhat good acting. Not for me.
Stephen Frears directs this deceptively dark story about the lengths to which people go to keep secrets or escape them. The three-part series is a dramatization of a scandal that rocked England in 1970s. British politician, Jeremy Thorpe (Hugh Grant), is put on trial for conspiring to murder his former lover, Norman Scott (Ben Whishaw).”
Not for me

Proven Innocent FOX (premiered 2/15/19; already CANCELED)
This was surprisingly good! Very engaging and uplifting. But, inexplicably and quickly CANCELED!?!
“A legal drama set in an wrongful conviction firm. Led by a fierce and fearless female lawyer with a hunger for justice, the team reopens investigations, putting their own lives in danger to exonerate the innocent that were ‘proven’ guilty. Our lead’s motivation comes from her infamous past; as a young adult she was found guilty and later exonerated in a high-profile case in which she became a tabloid sensation, household name and national celebrity. While a hero and a victim to some, her bold and bullish tactics garner her some enemies—one of whom will do anything to see her go down for a crime we know she did not commit. We will watch her defend others as she fights to maintain her own innocence.”
Laurie Holden will play Greta Bellows, the wife of Gore Bellows (Kelsey Grammer), the hard-as-nails and tough-on-crime state’s attorney. She is shrewd and sexy, a Lady Macbeth type. Smooth and driven, she’s got her eyes on the prize and wants her husband to win the Attorney General race, possibly even more than he does.”
Also co-starring in the series are Russell Hornsby, Vincent Kartheiser, Riley Smith, Nikki M. James, Clare O’Connor, and Rachelle Lefevre.
Caitlin Mehner (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) and Tembi Locke (Eureka) are set for recurring roles, with Mehner as “Heather Husband, a classic mean girl from high school and Madeline Scott’s (Lefevre) nemesis who continues to torment her in adulthood,” and Locke as “Vanessa Dale, a professional and empathetic therapist to Easy Boudreau (Hornsby). ”
Candice Coke (La La Land), Tiffany Dupont (Brian Banks, 9-1-1) and Catherine Lidstone (Weeds, Star, Murder in the First) will also recur: “Coke will play Wren, a hardened female prisoner, but when around loved ones she lets her guard down. She’s a good listener, but don’t try and double-cross her….Dupont will play Nikki Russo, a badass policewoman who knows how to protect herself. She and Bodie (Vincent Kartheiser) have a tumultuous relationship. Lidstone portrays Isabel Sanchez, a recent law school graduate who is smart, fresh-faced, driven, and eager. This sweet young woman hopes to make a career in criminal law, and maybe politics, too.”
This seems to be almost as good as Conviction, which got canceled after one great season.
We really liked this; CANCELED

*Miracle Workers TBS (7 Episodes only; premiered 2/12/19)
This was very weird. It tries very hard to be funny and original, but is neither. It also considers itself droll, witty, camp and fascinating: also misses all four, by a wide margin. Too bad. I like Daniel Radcliffe. Can’t stand Buscemi, though, and this is no exception.
It is based on Simon Rich’s book (What in God’s Name) and comes from producer, Lorne Michaels (SNL), as a seven-episode limited series that “turns the perception of heaven on its head while also making the case that humans are worth saving.”
Starring Daniel Radcliffe and Steve Buscemi, who also executive produce, with Karan Soni (Deadpool) and Geraldine Viswanathan (Blockers). “Radcliffe plays Craig, a low-level angel responsible for handling all of humanity’s prayers. Buscemi plays Craig’s boss, God, who has pretty much checked out to focus on petty hobbies. To prevent Earth’s destruction, Craig and fellow angel, Eliza (Viswanathan), must answer a seemingly impossible prayer: help two humans, Laura and Sam (played by Sasha Compere and Jon Bass), fall in love. Guest stars Tituss Burgess, Margaret Cho, Angela Kinsey, Tim Meadows, John Reynolds, Lolly Adefope and Chris Parnell will also appear throughout the season….Anthology whose first season is set in heaven and follows Craig, a low-level angel responsible for handling all of humanity’s prayers. His boss, God, pretty much has checked out to focus on his favorite hobbies. To prevent Earth’s destruction, Craig must achieve his most impossible miracle to date.”
Somewhat trite premises, but good acting

*Documentary Now! IFC (returned On Demand 2/9/19; premiered 2/20/19 for SEASON 3; RENEWED for SEASON 4)
I doubt if we’ll watch any of these together, and I won’t watch most, BUT I did an entire blog post reviewing Wild, Wild Country, the documentary about Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, last April (2018), so seeing Michael Keaton and Owen Wilson in a parody of that documentary was VERY fun, and sad, both.
Now in its third SEASON on IFC, this Episode was entitled “Batsh*t Valley.’ It was described as this series’ “version of a story about a reclusive spiritual community, in the vein of Wild, Wild Country and The Source Family. Wilson is set to star as the leader of this secluded group in the woodlands of Oregon, with Keaton playing the FBI agent bent on investigating and exposing the truth behind the entire operation. Necar Zadegan will also star in the episode [NCIS: New Orleans; as a Ma Anand Sheila-type character], written by Seth Meyers and directed by Alex Buono.” This will be the fourth Episode of the new SEASON.
This was good enough that I may go back and watch some others somewhere, if they’re available. Looking forward to the Stephen Sondheim-based Episode, also: “Six new Sondheim-ian songs were written for the send up of Original Cast Album: Company, the 1970 D. A. Pennebaker documentary about the grueling overnight cast recording of Stephen Sondheim’s hit musical.”
This SEASON also includes parodies of …”bowling doc, League of Ordinary Gentlemen, and Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present. Guests include Cate Blanchett, Michael C. Hall…Tim Robinson, Bobby Moynihan, Natasha Lyonne, John Mulaney….Richard Kind, Renee Elise Goldsberry, James Urbaniak, and Paula Pell.”
FMI: https://www.indiewire.com/2018/10/documentary-now-michael-keaton-owen-wilson-wild-wild-country-1202011119/
I liked two and may watch more; RENEWED for SEASON 4

*Pure WGN (SEASON 1 premiered 1/23/19; already renewed for SEASON 2)
Purely awful. Couldn’t even get through two Episodes and hated every minute. Mennonites as drug dealers and murderers? WHY? Also, never saw Alyson Hannigan anywhere. AND, a lot of it is in German, so SUBTITLED!  ARGHHH! Waste of time.
Weird concept and not our usual kind of show, but we like some of the creative team members’ other work and some of the actors. “Inspired by true events, the series goes deep inside a closed, secretive subculture through the eyes of Noah Funk (Robbins), a conflicted, good-hearted man trying to protect his family and preserve his faith. Noah is a newly elected Mennonite pastor, who is determined to rid his community of the scourge of drugs and its ties to a trans-border smuggling alliance with ruthless Mexican cocaine cartels. Just when he thinks he’s won, Noah and his wife Anna (Paxton-Beesley) are thrust headlong into a desperate world of violence, greed and betrayal. Hannigan will play Esther Dunkel, a lapsed Mennonite who is nobody’s fool and has been helping her lawyer-boyfriend funnel a fortune in cartel cash through a local bank. When the cops start closing in on the ever-resourceful Esther, she has no other option but to engineer her own escape.”
Season 2 cast also includes: Chris Heyerdahl (Hell on Wheels), Zoie Palmer (Ransom) and Victor Gomez (Orphan Black). Created and written by Michael Amo (The Listener) and directed by Ken Girotti (Orphan Black, Vikings).
Starring: Alyson Hannigan, Ryan Robbins and Alex Paxton-Beesley.
Purely awful; Off my list

*You (was on Lifetime, now) Netflix (RENEWED for SEASON 2 and releasing in 2019, summer)
Embarrassed to say I checked this show out of curiosity and got hooked; watching the entire series On Demand. Will follow it to Netflix, for sure, but on my own.
You was “developed by Sera Gamble & Greg Berlanti based on the book by Caroline Kepnes.”  It involves multiple murders, stalking, obsession, narcissism, misogyny, bookstore, writing, female competitions, overbearing parents, class wars: not very uplifting.
SEASON 2 moves from NYC to LA, and is “loosely based on the author’s second book in the series, Hidden Bodies.
Victoria Pedretti (The Haunting Of Hill House) will be the new stalking victim, opposite stalker/murderer, Penn Badgley (Gossip Girl) in this “psychological thriller.”
Pedretti will play Love Quinn, an aspiring chef working as a produce manager in a high-end grocery store. Love is uninterested in the world of social media, branding and self-promotion, focused instead on leading an interesting life. She is also tending to a deep grief—and when she meets Joe Goldberg (Badgley), she senses a shared knowledge of profound, life-changing loss.”
Also adding Chris D’Elia (Undateable and Whitney), Robin Lord Taylor (Gotham), James Scully (Heathers), Marielle Scott, Charles Barnett (Russian Doll, Chicago Fire), Melanie Field (Heathers), Magda Apanowicz (Continuum), and Jenna Ortega (Jane the Virgin). D’Elia will play Henderson, a designer-hoodie, black Ray-Bans, expensive sneakers-wearing famous comedian with a ‘hard-life-lessons, man-of-the-people’ thing working for him.” Taylor plays Will, who “deals with unsavory sorts as part of his job, but is himself a thoughtful, personable, and highly intelligent guy who marches to the beat of his own drummer. That is, until he gets trapped in a bad situation….Scully will play Forty Quinn, Love’s (Pedretti) beloved brother, Forty is confident, opinionated and privileged—at his best, a charming buddy; at his worst, a razor-sharp bully. He’s been working a 12-step program with all the sincerity (and smugness) he’s got, relying heavily on his sister for support and attention. But it never takes much of a shove for him to fall back off the wagon….Scott will play Lucy, an edgy-chic literary agent with a deadpan wit and a sense of humor about her own LA-ness. Her career-driven nature is balanced by her earthy partner, Sunrise and their toddler. … Ortega is Ellie, a teenager who grew up fast in the big city, Ellie likes to act and appear older than her years. Secretly living with minimal supervision or nurturing in her life, she must take care of herself and isn’t afraid to get into murky waters to make a little cash. This includes working cons on the adults around her, including Joe Goldberg….Barnett will play Gabe, Love’s (Pedretti) oldest friend and closest confidant. He’s a successful acupuncturist and psychedelics aficionado living L.A. life to the fullest….Field will play Sunrise, a stay-at-home mommy blogger who raises a toddler with her partner, Lucy, in their gorgeous Venice Beach home. A New Age wellness aficionado who’s monetized her interests with a popular Instagram, she’s the cheerleader of her friend circle. Apanowicz will portray Sandy, a woman from Joe’s past with an infectious smile and restless spirit. She has been beaten up by life….Ambyr Childers plays Candace, Joe’s ex-girlfriend. It really did not end well. He thought she was dead. Turns out, not so much. She’s alive, and feeling less than forgiving. She appeared in four episodes in Season 1″ and is returning for SEASON 2, somehow. Also coming in for SEASON 2 is Adwin Brown (Heathers, The Fosters, Adam Ruins Everything, Scorpion, The Middle, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine), to play “A ‘true West Coaster’ who’s a mix of both meditation and stress, Calvin manages a high-end grocery store, and although he feels his life is more together than most, working at an unconventional store for some unconventional bosses tests him.”
I find it more disturbing and fascinating than “thrilling,.” Very well-acted and -directed and it seems to have been written by someone who understands narcissistic, violent, misogynistic obsession all too well.
Will keep watching, reluctantly

Janet King DVD/Acorn (3 SEASONS)
We got all three SEASONS from our library and watched them happily. Marta Dusseldorp, the star of this, was also the star of A Place to Call Home, which we love. This is an Australian urban legal drama, and very well done. Recommended.
We liked this

*Roswell, New Mexico THE CW (premiered 1/15/19; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
I was VERY EXCITED about this (I am such a GEEK!): Roswell is back! Updated stories and aged characters! But, with each Episode (I’m about halfway through SEASON 1), it gets worse. Probably not keeping.
Jeanine Mason is in a lead role; lucky for her, I hope. The original series launched many careers: writing (Kevin Kelly Brown); producing (Jason Katims) and, acting (Shiri Appleby, Jason Behr, Katherine Heigl, Brendon Fehr, Majandra Delfino and Nick Wechsler). But so far, not so great.
“Based on the Roswell High book series by Melinda Metz. After reluctantly returning to her tourist-trap hometown of Roswell, New Mexico, the daughter of undocumented immigrants discovers a shocking truth about her teenage crush who is now a police officer: he’s an alien who has kept his unearthly abilities hidden his entire life. She protects his secret as the two reconnect and begin to investigate his origins, but when a violent attack and long-standing government cover-up point to a greater alien presence on Earth, the politics of fear and hatred threaten to expose him and destroy their deepening romance.”
Not Mom’s cup of tea.
I am somewhat disappointed, and probably stopping; RENEWED for SEASON 2

Rent FOX (aired 1/27/19, 7:00-10:00 PM ET, NOT live/PT, tape-delayed)
The NOT-live musical production of the Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, Rent, was NOT shown live because one of the stars (Brennin Hunt, Roger) broke his leg and they had no understudies! So, we all saw the dress rehearsal, which was taped.
Brandon Victor Dixon (Tom Collins, “the computer scientist who returns to New York after being expelled from MIT”), Vanessa Hudgens (Maureen Johnson,” the outgoing performance artist who’s not afraid to take on the establishment”), Kiersey Clemons (Joanne Jefferson, “Maureen’s girlfriend and an Ivy League-educated lawyer”), Brennin Hunt (Roger Davis, “a struggling musician and Mark’s roommate and best friend”), Valentina (Angel Dumont Schunard, “a young drag queen and street percussionist who embraces life and lives it to its fullest”), Mario (Benjamin Coffin III, “Mark and Roger’s former roommate-turned-landlord, who is after their rent”), Tinashe (Mimi Marquez, “the dancer who struggles with addiction”), Keala Settle (who will perform “Seasons of Love” and in the ensemble) , and Jordan Fisher (Mark Cohen, “an aspiring filmmaker, who serves as the show’s narrator, while filming the lives of his friends”).
Billed as: “a re-imagining of Puccini’s La Bohème, and set in New York City’s gritty East Village, Rent tells the unforgettable story of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams during a time of great social and political turmoil. Winner of four Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize, writer/composer Jonathan Larson’s tour de force continues to offer an inspiring message of hope and friendship.” Producer is Marc Platt (Grease: Live, La La Land, Wicked), and the estate of the late writer/composer Jonathan Larson, will executive-produce. This will be our third version (first film, first live filming of the play already viewed) to watch, but we like this show a lot, sad as it is.
We watched, but were not impressed

*I Am the Night TNT (premiered 1/28/19; 6-Episode miniseries)
We watched Episode 1 and were not impressed. It was confusing and distressing, without much info as to its purpose. We’ll give it one more because we like Chris Pine, but… I watched parts of a few more: AWFUL. Nevermind!
From Director, Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman, Monster), comes a “suspense drama” starring Chris Pine. “Written by Sam Sheridan and inspired by true events, I Am the Night tells the gripping story of Fauna Hodel (India Eisley), a teenage girl who is given away at birth, and grows up outside of Reno, Nevada. Fauna lives more-or-less comfortably with the mysteries of her origin, until one day she makes a discovery that leads her to question everything. As Fauna begins to investigate the secrets of her past, she meets a ruined reporter (Pine), haunted by the case that undid him. Together they follow a sinister trail that swirls ever closer to an infamous Los Angeles gynecologist, Dr. George Hodel (Jefferson Mays), a man involved in some of Hollywood’s darkest debauchery, and possibly, its most infamous unsolved crime….[D]irector, Patty Jenkins, reunites with stars, Chris Pine and Connie Nielsen. For everyone else, this six-episode TNT miniseries is an entertaining, thrilling blend of LA noir and bildungsroman…. Pat (India Eisley), a young woman who finds out she’s adopted and sets out to find her birth mother….[J]ournalist, Jay Singletary (Pine,) torpedoed his career by reporting on Hodel’s alleged misdeeds. Jay—now working the sleazy stringer circuit to pay the bills— eventually teams up with Pat, aka Fauna, to find out the truth about her family….[I]t’s Pat’s struggle with her own identity that makes the show. She’s a light-skinned mixed-ace girl being raised by a black single mother (Golden Brooks) in a small Nevada town. Like the other black citizens, she is routinely mistreated and harassed. But, for those who don’t know her, Pat passes for white. Things get even more complicated when Pat realizes she’s adopted and was born ‘Fauna Hodel.’ Her birth certificate says her mother is white and her father is black. And that’s just the beginning of her journey. Each episode, it seems, Fauna discovers something new about herself….[T]he story of Fauna finding out who she really is…[is] an extremely specific experience, of course, but it’s also recognizable to anyone who wrestled with their own sense of self as a teenager….”
If it’s not too depressing, could be intriguing.
Nevermind!

Case Histories Amazon Prime (2 SEASONS)
We love Jason Isaacs and the rest of the cast and stories are great. HOWEVER, the Edinburgh-Scottish accents can be very difficult for us midwestern USA folks to understand. Each Episode is in two parts or all one part, depending on your viewing stream. ” based on the Jackson Brodie novel series by Kate Atkinson….[Also starring] Amanda Abbington, Zawe Ashton, Millie Innes. Former soldier and policeman, Jackson Brodie, becomes a private investigator.”
We liked this

*The Passage FOX (premiered 1/14/19; likely CANCELED)
I couldn’t even enjoy watching 10 minutes of this. I did give it two Episodes, though: mostly awful. Too much horror-genre and car chases/gun fights stuff. BORING.
“Based on author, Justin Cronin’s, best‐selling trilogy of the same name, The Passage is an epic, character‐driven thriller about a secret government medical facility experimenting with a dangerous virus that could either cure all disease or cause the downfall of the human race. The series focuses on a 10‐year‐old girl named Amy Bellafonte, who is chosen to be a test subject for this experiment, and Brad Wolgast, the Federal agent who becomes her surrogate father as he tries to protect her.”
Starring: Mark‐Paul Gosselaar, Saniyya Sidney, Vincent Piazza, Brianne Howey, Jamie McShane, Caroline Chikezie, Emmanuelle Chriqui.
Sehis potential spin-off of Supernatural aired a backdoor pilot in January. The show focuses on Sheriff Jody Mills and a group of talented but troubled young women (all of whom are orphaned by supernatural tragedies). Together, they emerge as a formidable monster-slaying force.en this or something like it about 5 times already in the last few years, but we’ll try it.
Too much horror genre for me; likely CANCELED

*Project Blue Book History (premiered 1/8/19; 10 Episodes; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
I was a fan of the original and best sci-fi shows: The Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, The X Files, but not the remakes. I am a sci-fi writer (http://www.sallyember.com/Spanners) and fan/avid reader from age 8. I SHOULD have been the “target demographic” for this show, right?
It barely kept my interest. It tries to be a cross between The Americans, The X Files, and who knows what else, but it fails in all areas, IMO. It was BORING, confusing, trite and not very interesting even in the “weird” parts. Based on actual events doesn’t cut it if the writers make the events DULL However, enough people like it that it got renewed!
Dr. J. Allen Hynek is a brilliant college professor who is recruited by the Air Force to spearhead a clandestine operation into unsolved cases. Each episode will draw from actual files and will blend UFO theories with authentic historical events to chronicle the most mysterious, top-secret phenomena of the ‘50s and ‘60s….based on the true, top-secret investigations into unidentified flying objects and related phenomena conducted by the U.S. Air Force from 1952-69.”
Starring: Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones), Neal McDonough, Michael Harney, Laura Mennell and Ksenia Solo.
Barely kept my interest; RENEWED for SEASON 2

Love, Gilda  CNN (aired 1/1/19 and will air again and online)
If you ever were a fan of the late Gilda Radner (gone too soon, from ovarian cancer, in her 40s), Saturday Night Live (especially its earliest years), great comedy, and her collaborators/legacy comedians (Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Chevy Chase, Martin Short, Dan Ackroyd, Bill Murray, Lorraine Newman, Jane Curtin, Melissa McCarthy, the late John Belushi and John Candy, and so many more), then you will love this documentary about her life based on her own notes, her autobiography, interviews, home movies, and other clips/shots. It is extremely well-done, mostly chronological, and hilarious (and, sad).
We loved this

*The Romanoffs Amazon (released 10/12/18, 8-part miniseries)
Supposedly “successful” writers/creators (Mad Men) penned this “anthology show, with each episode following a separate person who believes they are a descendant of the Russian royal family.” However, I found it baffling, boring, and pointless as well as more than a bit sad. I had no idea people were so obsessed with being or finding Romanoff descendants (fake or not), and I DO NOT CARE. Wasted, but great actors in these, though.
Starring: Diane Lane, Aaron Eckhart, Kathryn Hahn, Paul Reiser.
Sounds weird, but could be interesting, if they’re not all just mentally ill/delusional/con artists.
I watched two Episodes and wished I hadn’t

*Deadly Class SyFy (premiered 1/16/19) 
Sounded like a show I might like, but it was NOT. I barely finished Episode 1 (early released pilot) and erased the record function. Not going back. Too violent, too juvenile, too trite, not interesting. Revenge-based plots interspersed with all the worst elements of high school (gangs, bullies, hyper-emotionality and -sexuality). YUCK.
A “1980s period piece, which is set in an elite boarding school catering to crime families and produced by the Russo Brothers,” stars Benedict Wong (Doctor Strange, Annihilation) and Benjamin Wadsworth (Teen Wolf). “Set in a dark, heightened world against the backdrop of late ’80s counter-culture, Deadly Class follows the story of Marcus (Benjamin Wadsworth), a teen living on the streets who is recruited into Kings Dominion, an elite private academy where the world’s top crime families send their next generations. Maintaining his moral code while surviving a ruthless curriculum, vicious social cliques and his own adolescent uncertainties soon proves to be vital. Based on the best-selling 2014 Image Comics graphic novel by Rick Remender and Wes CraigDeadly Class is a coming-of-age journey full of ancient mystery and teen angst.” Also starring Lana Condor (To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before), María Gabriela de Faría, Luke Tennie, Liam James, and Michel Duval.
Not for me

Orville FOX (returned 12/30/18 for SEASON 2; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
We were right to be worried that Seth MacFarlane & Co. would be guilty of trying too hard and that the show would be awkward, unfunny, terrible, but, somehow, endearing. The first twenty minutes or so weren’t great, but they weren’t terrible, either. SEASON 1 limped along and we stuck with it, with uneven payoffs, in our opinions. SEASON 2 started off horribly, though. We accidentally missed the entire first 20 minutes, and we didn’t mind at all because this was a BORING and ridiculous Episode, especially for a returning SEASON premiere. However, each Episode got better. Now, we’re hooked.
We liked Adrianne Palicki in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and were glad to see her in this show, albeit in a similar role. Always glad to see Victor Garber, too, however briefly.
Besides these two, the show has quite a cast: Penny Johnson Jerald (Castle), Scott Grimes (ER), Peter Macon (Shameless), J Lee (Family Guy), Halston Sage (Crisis)
The premise: “Set 300 years in the future, the hour-long dramedy follows the adventures of the Orville, a not-so-top-of-the-line exploratory ship, in Earth’s interstellar Fleet. Facing cosmic challenges from without and within, this motley crew of space explorers will boldly go where no comedic drama has gone before.”
Not sure we’ll stick with this.
Series was RENEWED, but SEASON 1 was reduced by 1 Episode, which will be added to fall, 2018, SEASON 2’s run.
KEEPING; RENEWED for SEASON 3

The Good Fight CBS Access (must pay for current shows; DVDs for past 2 SEASONS; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
We loved The Good Wife and were sad that this new spinoff was pay-per-view. Delighted to find the DVDs at our local library! Returning/continuing are: Cush Jumbo, Christine Baranski, Gary Cole, Carrie Preston, Sarah Steele, Matthew Perry, and some others who pop up occasionally. 
Added newly: Bernadette Peters, Paul Guilfoyle, Justin Bartha, Delroy Lindo, Rose Leslie, Erica Tazel, Nyambi Nyambi, Louis Gossett, Jr., and so many more greats who are regulars or guest/recurring stars.
The writing and directing are stellar  (but not consistently done by the same people).
Added the wonderful Audra MacDonald and Michael Sheen (Masters Of Sex) in SEASON 2. For SEASON 3, Sheen plays “charismatic Machiavellian Roland Blum, who’s more interested in winning than following the law. The character is based on Roy Cohn, or his more recent iteration Roger Stone, King said, describing  Blum is a Satan in the law firm.”
This is fabulous!

41st Annual Kennedy Center Honor PBS (aired 12/26/18 and repeatedly after that)
This year’s host was Gloria Estefan and the honorees were: Cher; composer, Philip Glass; Reba McEntire; jazz great, Wayne Shorter; and, the creators of Hamilton—writer and actor, Lin-Manuel Miranda; director, Thomas Kail; choreographer, Andy Blankenbuehler; and, music director, Alex Lacamoire. These awards “recognize artists who have made enduring and indelible marks on the culture.”
Great mix of live performances, bio-clips, interviews and tributes. Well worth watching.
Fabulous!  

Timeless NBC (12/20/18 was 2-hour film “finale”)
If you have not watched this series, the “review” at the beginning of the finale will NOT help you enough. However, if you have kept up, these were good reminders. The fijnale itself was somewhat disappointing, but did tie up a lot of loose ends and explain some things, which were the intentions. We’ll miss this.
The Timeless finale reunited cast members, Abigail Spencer, Matt Lanter, Malcolm Barrett, Goran Višnjić, Paterson Joseph, Annie Wersching, Sakina Jaffrey and Claudia Doumit.” The writing was still strong, the characters were still interesting, and the twists (due to time travel, of course, and junk science…) were fascinating, if a bit inconsistent, science-wise.
We LOVE Abigail Spencer (Rectify, Suits). We enjoyed Matt Lanter (90210), Paterson Joseph (The Leftovers), and Malcolm Barrett (Better Off Ted), who were new to us. We also appreciate the returns of Goran Visnjic (ER) and Claudia Doumit (Scandal) from previous shows we like, and I’ve seen and liked Sakina Jaffrey (House of Cards).
AND, “if co-creator, Shawn Ryan, gets his way, Timeless Season 3, 4, 5 or a movie would happen every few years”! He said: “when you’ve cheated extinction twice, there’s always something in the back or your mind, thinking that maybe you can cheat it again. So that’s why I refuse to talk about this as definitively finite…”
2-hour FINALE film aired 12/20/18, but, who knows?

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (The CAS) Netflix (20 Episodes; released 10/26/18;  SEASON 2’s 20 Episodes release 4/5/19;’ SEASONS 3 & 4’s 16 Episodes commissioned for later in 2019 or 2020 release)
We could not even get through one Episode (Satanists!?!), but it’s been extended and renewed already. Also, had a Christmas-themed “special” that aired 12/14/18.
Lucy Davis
(Wonder Woman) plays Hilda Spellman, the aunt of Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka). McKenzie Grace [Captain Marvel, Gifted, The Haunting of Hill House] is also joining for a guest spot, “as Li’l Sabrina—a dead ringer for Kiernan Shipka’s teenage Sabrina. During the holiday special (which debuted December 14 [2018] on Netflix), [viewers got] to see what Sabrina was like as a precocious pre-teen witch. While the Church of Night celebrates the Winter Solstice, Li’l Sabrina goes out of her way to ask Santa for something special….Alexis Denisof [Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.plays Adam Masters, the boyfriend of Mary Wardwell (Michelle Gomez). Handsome and charming, Adam returns to Greendale after a stint overseas working with Physicians Without Frontiers—unaware that his fiancé has been taken over by the demoness Madam Satan. Jedidiah Goodacre [The Originals] plays warlock Dorian Gray, the owner of Dorian’s Gray Room, an exclusive nightclub. He is an enigmatic gentleman of an indeterminate age and is very good at keeping secrets, especially his own—a cursed portrait he hides from prying eyes (just like the novel!)…
“Darker and grittier than the original Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,” The CAS is still featuring “a magically-inclined high school student with a talking cat.” But, they went for “edgy” (read: violent, mean, bloody, horror-like) vs. cutesy (like the original).
The CAS is “a coming-of-age story with horror elements, the occult and witchcraft. In this version, Sabrina is trying to reconcile her two halves — human and witch — while trying to protect herself, her family, and the world against the forces of evil.” Going more for Buffy than Bewitched, with a bit of The Exorcist thrown in, it seems. Too bad.
“Sabrina [will be]wrestling to reconcile her dual nature —– half-witch, half-mortal –— while standing against the evil forces that threaten her, her family, and the daylight world humans inhabit.” In other words, more horror than cute/funny. Not our thing. “[This version of the series] imagines the origin and adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch as a dark coming-of-age story that traffics in horror, the occult and, of course, witchcraft. Tonally in the vein of Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist, the adaptation finds Sabrina wrestling to reconcile her dual nature—half-witch, half-mortal—while standing against the evil forces that threaten her, her family and the daylight world humans inhabit.”
The CAS is being framed “as a companion series to Riverdale [also from Archie Comics] for the 2018–19 season” for the CW channel. The same team created Riverdale‘s pilot.
Cast also includes: Ross Lynch, Michelle Gomez, Chance Perdomo, Jaz Sinclair, Lachlan Watson, Bronson Pinchot, Gavin Leatherwood, Richard Coyle, Tati Gabrielle, Adeline Rudolph, Abigail Cowen, Dorian Gray.
We hated it; RENEWED for SEASONS 2,  3 & 4

The Kominsky Method Netflix (released 11/16/18; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
This is fun. Kind of depressing, but so well-done. Totally worth it, if you like stories about Hollywood folks, elderly male issues and a great friendship, father-daughter relationships, acting. Co-created by Chuck Lorre, but we don’t like most of his latest shows (The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men). We enjoyed most of this and look forward to SEASON 2. The story “follows an aging actor who now makes his living in Hollywood as an acting coach.”
Starring: Michael Douglas, Lisa Edelstein, Nancy Travis, Sarah Baker and Alan Arkin; SEASON 2 is adding Jane Seymour, Jacqueline Bisset and Paul Reiser.
Seymour will play Madelyn who is described as a seventy-something, well-to-do woman whom Norman (Alan Arkin) had a mad love affair with in the ’60s before he met his wife. After fifty years, the two reunite and start it again. Bisset steps into the role of Gabrielle, who is Mindy’s (Sarah Baker) mom and Sandy’s (Michael Douglas) French ex-wife who delights in still being able to push the buttons of her ex-husband. Rounding out the trio is Reiser, who plays a sixty-something high school teacher who gets romantically involved with Mindy.”
We like it; RENEWED for SEASON 2

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Amazon Prime (SEASON 1 available 11/29/17; SEASON 2 released 12/5/18; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
SEASON 2 is off to a great start. SEASOn 1 won 2 Golden Globes and is up for other awards.
This is an unsurprisingly delightful (coming from Daniel and Amy Sherman-Palladino of The Gilmore Girls, among other shows of theirs that I like) period piece, circa 1962 (Lenny Bruce’s stand-up era) that features a kick-ass, funny, smart, young Jewish wife & mother who accidentally becomes a stand-up comic after her pathetic, cheating husband aspires to have his own stand-up career and fails miserably, then leaves her for another woman.
“Set in early 1960s Manhattan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a 60-minute dramedy that centers on Miriam “Midge” Maisel, a sunny, energetic, sharp, Jewish girl who had her life mapped out for herself: go to college, find a husband, have kids, and throw the best Yom Kippur dinners in town. Soon enough, she finds herself exactly where she had hoped to be, living happily with her husband and two children in the Upper West Side. A woman of her time, Midge is a cheerleader wife to a man who dreams of a stand-up comedy career, but her perfect life is turned upside down when her husband suddenly leaves her for another woman. Completely unprepared, Midge is left with no choice but to reevaluate what to do with her life. When she accidentally stumbles onto the stage at a comedy club, she soon discovers her own comedic skills and decides to use this newfound talent to help her rebuild a different life for herself.”
Starring the fabulous, award-winning Rachel Brosnahan in the title role as “Midge” (Miriam) and Michael Zegen as her awful husband. Also featuring Luke Kirby as the infamous Lenny Bruce, and the inimitable Tony Shalhoub as Midge’s unsupportive father and Marin Hinkle (doing double-duty as the principle of Speechless‘ high school, too) as her frosty mother. With Alex Borstein as her staunchest supporter/new agent,
Gaining Zachary Levi for SEASON 2.
Intelligent, funny, poignant and interesting.

We watched all of SEASON 1 and eagerly await SEASON 2.
Loving SEASON 2; RENEWED  SEASON 3

A Very Wicked Halloween: Celebrating 15 Years on Broadway (Musical Special) NBC (premiered 10/29/18 )
THIS WAS WONDERFUL! I had to explain context for my mom, who’s never seen the production, but so much fun! Highly recommended! Two of our favorite performers, the original Wicked stars, Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, “reunite to host and perform during this NBC special. Performing alongside the pair of Tony winners will be pop star and Broadway alum Ariana Grande, … the a cappella group, Pentatonix, the current Broadway cast of the musical (led by Jessica Vosk and Amanda Jane Cooper), Adam Lambert, and Ledisi.”
Highly recommended!

The Bodyguard Netflix (released 10/24/18; already RENEWED for SEASON 2)
We found this to be sadly compelling and very well -acted and -written. This is another 6-part BBC miniseries (one not to be confused with the Whitney Houston film) that “centers on David Budd, a bodyguard played by Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) assigned to protect Home Secretary Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes)” (Durrells of Corfu, which I love).
We finished, but the questions were not all answered. AND, even though they killed off/captured several key characters, it has been renewed for SEASON 2!?!!

The Bodyguard
image from BBC One, Richard Madden and Keeley Hawes from The Bodyguard
We like it; already RENEWED for SEASON 2

*Black-ish ABC (returned 1/8/19 for the now-extended SEASON 4)
SEASON 4 started off with stupid plots and subplots that did not capture my interest at all. Not feeling it this year. We’ll see. This show has had great acting (sometimes), excellent storylines that are relevant and important (and very informative without being heavy-handed), especially for African-Americans (but not only), and funny bits that aren’t usually too silly.
The writers have tackled postpartum depression, incarceration, Type II (Adult Onset) diabetes, divorce, bullying, class issues/homelessness/charity/poverty, marital issues, sibling rivalry, workplace harassment, racism, sexism and so much more, fitting each or more than one topic into a 30-minute segment that features a family that has children from ages 20+ to an infant and one set of divorced grandparents who live in “the backyard.”
I understand why the actors and writers (Kenya Barris, Peter Saji) have won so many awards.
Starring Tracee Ellis Ross, Anthony Anderson, Jenifer Lewis, Lawrence Fishburne, , and the kids (Yara Shahidi, Marcus Scribner, Miles Brown, Marsai Martin and the infant).
No longer so good for SEASON 4

Supergirl CW (returned 1/20/19 for the rest of SEASON 4; RENEWED for SEASON 5)
For SEASON 3, Supergirl seemed depressed, angry and unwilling to play nicely as Kara Danvers so much. Now in SEASON 4, she’s driven and a bit “over the top” with “work,” but finally seems grown up and is mentoring another reporter who reminds her of her younger self. So, good on Melissa Benoist and the writers for finally showing her acting her age!
“The CW DC Crossover” with three consecutive December nights of sequential Episodes of Supergirl, Arrow and Flash—3rd year of that—Elseworlds, was confusing, but we got into it and liked it. Definitely paved the way for next year’s, also.

Some explanations of “The CW DC Crossover’s” most recent outcomes, and what’s coming (perhaps):
and
and

Crisis on Infinite Earths, one of the most important superhero comics of all time, has officially been announced as the subject of the 2019 Arrowverse crossover.
However, Arrow was CANCELED for 2019-20. So, maybe Batwoman makes the triple Crossover next year.
Also for SEASON 4, we are without Odette Annable, Emma Tremblay, Jeremy Jordan, Carl Lumbly, Floriana Lima and Chris Wood, but David Harewood appeared in Episode 1 and may recur. Chyler Leigh, Mehcad Brooks, Katie McGrath, Brenda Strong, Lynda Carter and Jesse Rath are continuing, along with some new ‘bad guys,” Rhonda Mitra and Robert Baker, with a thinly-disguised anti-immigration (anti-alien) storyline this year (like many other shows we watch… mhhh).
Nicole Maines—the first trans actor as a superhero in a TV series—and Rhona Mitra and Sam Witwer are also joining. Bruce Boxleitner is set to some in as Vice-President Baker. Can Bruce sing?
Another newbie: look for Azie Tesfai (Jane The Virgin, The Kominsky Method) for SEASONS4 & 5 “as Kelly Olsen, the sister of …[James] Olsen…. Kelly is an intelligent and insightful woman who spent time in the military in order to pay for medical school. She’s recently discharged from the military and is currently finishing her training as a psychiatrist. She’s got a large heart and cares deeply about others.”
Jon Cryer is coming on as the iconic villain, Lex Luthor, in SEASON 4 as well. Stay tuned!
Also, another CW three-night cross-over event is happening again this year, with the finale of it on Supergirl (12/11/18), sandwiching in Arrow (12/10/18) and starting with Flash (12/9/18) (which we’ll watch only for this event) in order to introduce viewers to Batwoman, Lois Lane and their version of Gotham City. Tyler Hoechlin will again be this DC-verse’s Superman (he’s appeared on Supergirl a couple of times already); Ruby Rose will be Batwoman; Elizabeth Tulloch (Grimm) will be Lois Lane. LaMonica Garrett is also joining, as “The Monitor, a cosmic character with a singular spot in the eight-decade publication history of DC Comics. In April 1985, The Monitor was introduced as a powerful entity at the center of ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’…The Monitor, also known as Mar Novu, was created by writer, Marv Wolfman, and artist, George Pérez.”
Jessica Meraz (Major Crimes) “will play Menagerie/Pamela Ferrer. An iconic DC villain and a member of Manchester Black’s “Elite,” Menagerie is a jewel thief who doesn’t mind hurting people.”
BTW: We liked the first cross-over, with only Flash & Supergirl, in 2016, because it was a musical, but last year’s (2017) was BORING (alternate, Nazi-infested Earth with too much violence and an overload of dystopian elements). 2018’s proved to be midway between, interest-wise.
If you’re a die-hard DC/Batman fan, read this: What’s Up With Batman? and more DC TV info, link here
Okay for SEASON 4; RENEWED for SEASON 5

The Rookie ABC (returned 1/8/19 for the EXTENDED SEASON 1; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
One of our favorite (but, of course, short-lived) shows, starring Hayley Atwell, was Conviction. Its co-creator is directing this new series! Liz Friedlander is also the Executive Producer of the ABC pilot of the crime dramedy, which stars one of our all-time favorite dramedy actors, Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Castle), as John Nolan, “the oldest newbie on the LAPD … inspired by a true story. Nolan “cast[s] aside his comfortable, small town life and move[s] to LA to pursue his dream of being a cop….[S]urrounded by rookies 20 years his junior, Nolan must navigate the dangerous, humorous, and unpredictable world of a ‘young’ cop, determined to make his second shot at life count.” We like this a lot, but many do not. We think our taste is not “typical,” so it will likely get canceled. But, until then, we intend to enjoy it.
Fillion plays a complicated, realistic, good-hearted, courageous, intelligent, unmacho middle-aged new cop, which is refreshing, with some others who are somewhat 2-D (so far), but whom we hope will expand as we go along.
The cast as several new to us: Afton Williamson as Fillion‘s Training Officer (so far); Melissa O’Neil as his co-trainee and love interest (so far); Mercedes Mason as the Captain; and, Alyssa Diaz as another TO with Titus Makin, Jr., as another rookie.
Richard T. Jones (whom we always like) as the Sergeant-in-Charge and Eric Winter (whom we also like) as another TO (but he was injured in Episode 1, so not sure about his involvement), with Mircea Monroe as his drug-addicted, homeless ex? wife who may recur, are the rest of the main characters (so far).
We like it; RENEWED for SEASON 2

*Splitting Up Together ABC (returned 1/8/19 for the EXTENDED SEASON 2, but may be CANCELED!)
I like this show and the main actors, but the side actors and bits are still too “thin” for me. The issue of the premiere Episode is one I relate well to: what happens when someone loves you but doesn’t like you? Can this couple reunite while divorced and be happy? Stay tuned. I will.
“The story of a couple whose marriage is reignited by their divorce.”
I like this show more than I expected to. For SEASON 2, Ali Larter (Heroes, Pitch, Legends) “will play no-nonsense Paige, who Martin finds attractive and Lena finds intimidating. Using her own ‘normal’ divorce as a reference, Paige is unafraid to speak her mind, and she makes her feelings known about Lena and Martin’s unconventional arrangement.”
Starring: Jenna Fischer, Oliver Hudson, Olivia Keville.
Co-Starring: Diane Farr, Lindsay Price, Bobby Lee, Van Crosby, Sander Thomas. 
Surprisingly sweet and increasingly endearing; Good & EXTENDED for SEASON 2, but may be CANCELED!

*The Kids are Alright [sic] ABC (returned 1/8/19 for the EXTENDED SEASON 1)
Another comedy about a ’70s family. Oy. This really sucked. There is nothing redeeming about it. Even the kid whom the mother claimed was “excellent” sucked, and the rest are given unmemorable shticks rather than individual characters (the crass one, the uncertain seminarian, the tattletale, etc.) What can you do in 22 minutes with 6 kids and an infant and 2 parents? Nothing worth watching, apparently. Stupid premise.
“Set in the 1970s, this ensemble comedy follows a traditional Irish-Catholic family, the Clearys, as they navigate big and small changes during one of America’s most turbulent decades. In a working-class neighborhood outside Los Angeles, Mike and Peggy raise eight boisterous boys who live out their days with little supervision. The household is turned upside down when oldest son, Lawrence, returns home and announces he’s quitting the seminary to go off and ‘save the world.’ Times are changing and this family will never be the same. There are 10 people, three bedrooms, one bathroom and everyone in it for themselves. The series is inspired by the childhood of writer/executive producer Tim Doyle.”
Stars: Michael Cudlitz, Mary McCormack, Sam Straley, Caleb Martin Foote, Sawyer Barth, Christopher Paul Richards, Jack Gore, Andy Walken, Santino Barnard.
As awful as it could be without trying to be; EXTENDED for SEASON 1

*The Conners ABC (returned 1/4/19; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
The Roseanne spin-off show went on without her, and the writers did kill off her character: BRAVA! John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson, Michael Fishman and others returned. Unfortunately, the show wasn’t good to begin with, and it hasn’t gotten  much better.
Good for you, ABC. The 200+ people involved in this show did not deserve to lose their jobs for Barr‘s horrible words, attitudes, racism and other bizarre behaviors.
Justin Long is joining the cast “as Neil, a love interest for Darlene (Gilbert…with Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory)… as Darlene’s ex-husband, David, and Juliette Lewis, who will play Blue, David’s girlfriend.”
Still terrible; RENEWED for SEASON 2

Charmed The CW (returned 1/20/19 for the rest of Extended for SEASON 1; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
We really liked the updates/modernizations, but after 4 Episodes, we’re UNcharmed. The storylines are confusing, the production values make many key scenes too dark to see what is happening, and there is way too much whining. Mom stopped watching. I fast-forward and mostly don’t care.
“After the tragic death of their mother, three sisters in a college town are stunned to discover they are witches. Soon this powerful threesome must stand together to fight the everyday and supernatural battles that all modern witches must face: from vanquishing powerful demons to toppling the patriarchy….Hargrove plays Parker. President of the Phi Delta Upsilon fraternity. Parker is the quintessential upper-class pretty boy with a wild streak and a sensitive side. His charm and confidence catch Maggie’s (Jeffery) eye when he defends her from a rude customer at her waitressing job.”
My mom watched every Episode and loved the original. I guess we’ll try this.
Starring: Madeleine Mantock, Melonie Diaz, Sara Jeffrey, Rupert Evans, Ser’Darius Blain, Charlie Gillespie, Ellen Tamaki, Nick Hargrove.
We liked the updates, but not the plots, characters or directing; RENEWED for SEASON 2

C.B. Strike HBO and DVD (which is the way we watch; DVD of SEASONS 1, 2, 3 all one one available; 3 SEASONS on HBO; RENEWED for SEASON 4, but airs in the UK, first)
Tom Burke plays the title character in this J.K. Rowling-as-Robert Galbraith-inspired British detective series, featuring an ex-military cop and currently recovering, wounded P.I., and his new assistant with their cases. Well-acted, well-shot, and interesting.
Has three SEASONS out on HBO; we watched and liked SEASONS 1, 2 & 3 on DVD from our library.
We like this; RENEWED for SEASON 4

Station 19 ABC (returns 3/7/19; EXTENDED for SEASON 2; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
We like this enough to keep watching, but it is very trite and way too much happens in the dark, which is frustrating even if realistic. Jaina Lee Ortiz (Rosewood) is set to star as a firefighter in another Grey’s Anatomy‘s spinoff, set in “a Seattle firehouse. The newest Shonda Rhimes series will center around the firefighters’ life-and-death situations at work and their personal lives.”
We like the cross-overs with Grey’s Anatomy, though.
Good enough; Episodes’ stories/quality are uneven; Okay and EXTENDED for SEASON 2; RENEWED for SEASON 3

Madam Secretary CBS (returned 1/6/19 for the rest of SEASON 5)
GREAT SHOW! LOVE Tea Leoni and Tim Daly, and the “kids” are still great, as are the others. Great Seasons 3 & 4. Still loving this.
Great for SEASON 5

MadamSecretary

*Speechless ABC (returned 1/4/19 for the rest of SEASON 3)
This show has held up and I’m glad it’s back, but sometimes it is very silly. John Cleese as Minnie Driver‘s father was a great idea, but he was mostly wasted. She is always great and I really enjoy this show’s POV and cast, usually. Some Episodes are very poignant.

speechless

I appreciate the spot-on jokes at the expense of the do-gooders—white liberals and somewhat clueless—the Principal, played perfectly by Marin Hinkle , who is excellent in many other shows I’ve watched, and one of J.J. DeMeo’s teachers, played fabulously by the always-funny Rob Corddry.
(Micah Fowler, who was great in Labor Day, is amazing as the main character, J.J. DeMeo, who has something like cerebral palsy (but they don’t say exactly what in the early episodes) and a great sense of humor, who is a budding adolescent who needs to individuate, big time. He is helped admirably by Cedric Yarbrough as his African-American personal Aide, which allows the writers to poke at racism and biases.
The siblings (played well by Mason Cook—cast in many shows, including The Night Shift and Grey’s Anatomy—and Kyla Kenedy, also on The Night Shift) and the dad (also played strongly by John Ross Bowie, round out the cast and bring the plot into areas that aren’t always about having a disabled family member, which is great.
USUALLY GOOD and KEEPING; Good for SEASON 3

Manifest NBC (returned 1/7/19 for SEASON 1; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
We were intrigued by both of the first three Episodes of this series and look forward to more!
“When Montego Air Flight 828 landed safely after a turbulent but routine flight, the crew and passengers were relieved. Yet in the span of those few hours, the world had aged five years and their friends, families and colleagues, after mourning their loss, had given up hope and moved on. Now, faced with the impossible, they’re all given a second chance. But as their new realities become clear, a deeper mystery unfolds and some of the returned passengers soon realize they may be meant for something greater than they ever thought possible. From Robert Zemeckis and Jack Rapke comes an emotionally rich, unexpected journey into a world grounded in hope, heart and destiny.”
Starring: Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas, Athena Karkanis, J.R. Ramirez, Luna Blaise, Jack Messina, Parveen Kaur.
Displaced in time and wondering how to adjust? I can relate.
We like it; RENEWED for SEASON 2

God Friended Me CBS (returned 1/6/19; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
Whoa! Here is Joe Morton (Scandal, many more), already? Wow!
Great production and creative team; tired trope for an idea, so I am surprised, after the failure of two similar last year, it would be picked up; but, here it is. I mean, it’s by Greg Berlanti and it stars Joe Morton! How bad could it be?
The answer: not as bad as I feared, but VERY predictable. Touched by an Angel, Heaven Can Wait, etc.: been there, done that, but, doing it again with social media. Really? Probably won’t last. Too bad, because Brandon Micheal Hall already failed in one badly scripted series (The Mayor; NOT his fault) and is very charming.
“Questions of faith, existence and science are explored in this humorous, uplifting series about an outspoken atheist whose life is turned upside down when he is ‘friended’ by God on social media. Unwittingly, he becomes an agent of change in the lives and destinies of others around him.”
Adam Goldberg joins as “Simon Hayes, the techie billionaire who may or may not be owner of the God Account.”
Also stars: Brandon Micheal Hall, Violett Beane, Suraj Sharma, Javicia Leslie
Kind of sweet; RENEWED for SEASON 2 

How to Get Away with Murder ABC (returned 1/17/19 for the rest of SEASON 5; RENEWED for SEASON 6)
Timothy Hutton (Leverage, Jack Ryan) joined for SEASON 5, but we stopped watching midway through SEASON 4. Got awful.
Glad Viola Davis won the Emmy. She deserved it. Good acting by her and many on this show is not enough to save it, though. Cicely Tyson is also amazing, especially in Episode 6 of SEASON 4, as Annalise’s (Davis) mother. Fabulous.
We haven’t liked the directions taken by the writers intend for “the kids” or Bonnie, though, or any of the characters much, but we did continue watching.
The writers of this show are a weird bunch, for sure.
The production values are so bad and the timeline jumping done so poorly that we have no idea what’s going on most of the time. Filming is too dark and cuts are too quick. Dialogue is not loud enough.
LOVED the cross-over Episodes with Scandal in its final SEASON! Reminded us of the reasons we originally liked this show! The Supreme Court speeches were awesome! Cicely Tyson was even more amazing!
But, the hyper and compulsive sex scenes, the characters’ whininess, the cross-cuts with time, and the general ack of heroes made us stop watching.
Got awful, we stopped watching midway through SEASON 4; RENEWED for SEASON 5

NCIS New Orleans CBS (returned 1/4/19 for the rest of SEASON 5)
Still liking this and looking forward to SEASON 5, especially Scott Bakula‘s character. SEASON 5 picked up a bit later, but almost exactly where SEASON 4 left off (Pride got shot) and kept going, but what’s with the angel story? STUPID. Then, they “promoted” Pride, but he keeps showing up at NCIS main office, anyway. Huh? Make up your minds, writers!
Hello, to Necar Zadegan, purportedly to lead the team (Pride took one of two offered promotions), and to Geoffrey Owens (guest on several shows we watch) as Commander Atkins, and Reggie Lee (Grimm), who will fill “a major recurring role opposite Scott Bakula… [as] Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge, Steven Thompson. Thompson will often butt heads with Pride (Bakula) as each have a very different process to approaching and prioritizing their workload.”
Sorry Shalita Grant decided to leave, but no one has been tapped to replace her, yet. They could have torn a page or two from the Bones‘ writers’ scripts: have rotating “auditions” for new agents, each with a speciality that fits the Episode’s crimes, instead of these tired tropes of conspiracies against Pride.
KEEPING, but not so happy, for SEASON 5

*The Good Place NBC (returned 1/10/19 for SEASON 3; RENEWED for SEASON 4)
These writers lost their ways for SEASON 2 and still haven’t found it for SEASON 3. We watched the first two Episodes and couldn’t even finish Episode 3. There is more hamming than acting, but some of the actors do well with terrible scripts;  actual actors are wasted in this show.  VERY BORING and STUPID, still. Too bad: we do love Kristen Bell! I watch SEASON 3’s Episodes alone, now, and don’t like them, much.
The writers do tackle existential and cosmological questions head-on, though, which is probably the reason I keep watching. Check out this article about that: https://www.indiewire.com/2019/01/the-good-place-explained-michael-schur-season-3-1202025660/
Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars), Ted Danson (CSI: Cyber), Manny Jacinto (The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story), William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, D’Arcy Carden
We haven’t both continued for SEASON 3; RENEWED for SEASON 4

*Grey’s Anatomy ABC (returned 1/17/19 for the rest of SEASON 15; Adding Episodes for SEASON 15; RENEWED for 16; then, MAY be ENDING in 2020; see other parts of this post for SPINOFFs news)
I am a long-time fan of this show, especially, Ellen Pompeo. Spawned its 3rd and 4th spin-offs for 2018!
SEASON 15 began true to form: the bizarre, the near-misses, sexual fantasies, family and weird relationship dramas amidst hiring issues and medical emergencies. Kind of repetitive, after 15 years, but, so what? Plenty to keep one’s interest, if you like these characters and this kind of drama, which I do (Mom stopped watching this years ago: “Too much sex” was her reason.). Excellent character arcs for Alex Kare (Justin Chambers) and his new wife, Camilla Luddington as Jo Wilson, Dr. Bailey (Chandra Wilson) and many more long-time characters.
Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother, Mercy Street, Rise) went on a blind date with Meredith, for one (or more?) Episodes this SEASON. Amy Acker (The Gifted, Person of Interest) is coming also this year, as another Shepherd sister. Weird to see Jennifer Grey as the mom of the drug-using single teen mom, Betty/Brittany, involved with Owen (Kevin McKidd) and Amelia (Caterina Scorsone). Bringing on Deluca’s (Giacomo Gianniotti) father, played by Lorenzo Caccialanza (Days Of Our Lives), adds some mystique. And, YAY! Abigail Spencer is returning, as Owen’s (Kevin McKidd) sister, for the end of this SEASON (2019, spriung)!
Sara Ramirez (now on Madam Secretary; she played bisexual Dr. Callie Torres here for 10 seasons) may return at some point before the end. We’ll see.
Alex Landi will be this series’ first Gay male surgeon, Dr. Nico Kim. Better late than never! The series has been groundbreaking with featuring and starring Lesbians, Bisexuals and Questioning women, and some trans characters floated around, but no Gay males, up until this coming SEASON 16.
Love the anti-homophobia storylines and the actions/discussions the show inspires, especially for parents of LGBT kids and for everyone about bullying. Excellent PSAs built right into the show.
Very strong return for each SEASON, and I always enjoy it, even though some key characters keep leaving/being asked to leave.
Grey’s Anatomy‘s casting/recasting:
Happy to welcome Chris Carmack (Nashville) as the newest orthopedic surgeon with an attitude, Greg German, and Kim Raver as regulars for SEASON 15 (pregnant with Owen’s baby!).
Sorry to lose Jessica Capshaw (Arizona Robbins) and Sarah Drew (April Kepner), who chose to leave the show at the end of SEASON 14 (2018).

KEEPING for SEASON 15 & RENEWED for 16; then, ENDING

F.B.I. CBS (returned 1/8/19; RENEWED for SEASON 2 and getting a spinoff)
We gave this a try and were underwhelmed at first, but Episode 2 was a lot better, so we’re staying.  We LOVE Sela Ward, and she started in the second Episode.
This is billed as “a scripted drama about the inner workings of the New York office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
The spin-off will air its pilot as an Episode in SEASON 1 and then get its own Episodes in 2019-20: F.B.I.: Most Wanted. (See below.)
Stars: Connie Nielsen (replaced by Sela Ward, after pilot), Jeremy Sisto, Missy Peregrym, Ebonee Noel, Zeeko Zaki.
Good enough to continue watching; RENEWED for SEASON 2

The Resident FOX (returned 1/14/19 for the rest of SEASON 2; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
Miles Gaston Villanueva (Law & Order True Crime), Jane Leeves (Frasier) and Jenna Dewan (Mixtape, World of Dance) joined for SEASON 2. Dewan is “Julian Lynn. Sharp and sophisticated, … a medical device rep with an ability to connect with just about anybody. Her warmth, beauty and charisma make her highly effective at a job she loves. A former dancer, Julian got her life back with the help of a device. Now she’s passionate about helping others do the same. As the season progresses, she gradually becomes aware of the lack of transparency in her chosen field and realizes there may be dangerous issues ahead.” Leeves is an orthopedic surgeon and foil for Bruce Greenwood‘s CEO. Villanueva is coming on as “Alec, a born innovator, a loner and iconoclast who has spent a lifetime on the move. His father was an eccentric and Alec lived part of his childhood in a converted school bus. He studied to be an infectious disease doctor, but after a stint volunteering with Partners in Health on a Navajo reservation, he embraced a vision of medicine that tries to alter lifestyle via community outreach to prevent, rather than treat, illness. Alec is tender with patients but blunt with everyone else. And yet he is a charmer. His relationships with women tended in the past to lack deep roots. Whenever it was necessary, he moved on.”
Manish Dayal, Emily van Camp (Revenge, Everwood) and Matt Czuchry (The Good Wife and Gilmore Girls) star in yet another medical drama series. How could we need any more of these? Yet, we LOVE this one!
“This medical drama follows the relationship between a senior resident and a young doctor at a hospital.”
Also stars two other veteran actors: Bruce Greenwood (as a creepy, no-longer-excellent surgeon who won’t quit); Melina Kanakaredes was the “bad guy” in SEASON 1, and only in flashbacks for SEASON 2.
Bloodier, darker, with meaner characters and more tragic situations than we usually like. But, endearing characters, also, and interesting plots. We’re hooked.

KEEPING for SEASON 2, but many characters are unlikable; RENEWED for SEASON 3

*Ozark Netflix (SEASONS 1 & 2 available; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
Did not enjoy SEASON 2 much. Watched it all, though there were dozens of murders and it was much darker. I’m reluctant to return to it.
SEASON 1 was odd, dark, violent and disturbing, but strangely sweet and compelling. My favorite aspects are the stories, scenes and interactions with the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, where I spent some of the happiest times of my childhood and adolescence, 1963 – 1970, at Camp Hawthorn (near Kaiser, Missouri) and Camp Sabra (which is what Camp Hawthorn became when it merged with Camp Wah-Kon-Dah), on the Staenberg Peninsula, which both share lakefront activities because of the Lake of the Ozarks. I canoed on, swam in, water skied on, sailed on, camped beside and enjoyed that lake so much that it was a delight to see it in this series, even when the storylines are tragic and the characters are horrendous and unlikable.
Who exactly are the “good” and who are the “bad” guys, anyway?
Starring Jason Bateman, Laura Linney and some I don’t know so well, the story is about criminals, mostly, and how this one family becomes them and deals with them, both.
Definitely rated “R.”
Not for everyone, but I sort of like it; RENEWED for SEASON 3

9-1-1 FOX (RENEWED for SEASON 3)
For SEASON 2, lost Connie Britton (gone to Dirty John, among other projects; she’s got ants in her pants!) and gained Jennifer Love Hewitt (Ghost Whisperer).
An Emergency Response drama created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk.
Starring Angela Bassett and Peter Krause.
The writers seem to be trying too hard to set up the most bizarre and objectionable characters and rescue situations as possible, but we were underwhelmed and not all that interested during SEASON 1. SEASON 2 is somewhat better.
KEEPING and EXTENDED for SEASON 2; RENEWED for SEASON 3

NCIS CBS (RENEWED for SEASON 17)
We miss Pauley Perrette‘s Abby and David McCallum‘s Ducky, but we keep watching. This year’s season opener was very upsetting, however, and if there are more like this, we may not continue.
We are fans of this show, so far, but…If it weren’t for Mark Harmon
We miss Pauley Perrette, but good; RENEWED for SEASON 17

Chicago Med NBC (RENEWED for SEASON 5)
Colin Donnell anor SEASON 5, but will occasionally guest star.
Getting a full 22 Episodes for SEASON 4. We LOVE Oliver Platt, and the rest of the cast are good, with interesting (but largely implausible) stories. A bit too much soap opera-esque-ness in these nighttime medical shows: how do they have so much time on their hands?
Starring: Molly BernardColby LewisNick Gehlfuss, Torrey DeVitto, Rachel DiPillo, Brian Tee, S. Epatha Merkerson, Yaya DaCosta, Marlyne Barrett.
KEEPING and okay for SEASON 4; RENEWED for SEASON 5

Blue Bloods CBS (RENEWED for SEASON 10)
My mom LOVES this show and watches re-runs for fun, mostly because she loves Tom Selleck as the family patriarch and Chief of Police. It’s grown on me.
SEASON 9 focused way too much on the new engagement of Jamie and his partner, which didn’t need or deserve that much air time, in our opinion. I guess the writers thought focusing on family would be good, but we disagree. MORE STORY!
Glad to see Lorraine Braco (Rizzoli’s mother on Rizzoli and Isles, most recently) has a role, now, as the new mayor of NYC (BTW: NYC has NEVER had a woman mayor, so good on them!). But, why did the writers/producers get rid of Linda (Danny’s wife)?
Definitely staying tuned, if only to see what these writers are up to this year. Great to end with Jamie and his partner’s engagement; now, need more of Erin.
Also starring: Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, Will Estes, Len Cariou, Sami Gayle, Marisa Ramirez and Vanessa Ray.

Blue Bloods

KEEPING and all right for SEASON 9; RENEWED for SEASON 10

Chicago P.D. NBC (RENEWED for SEASON 7)
Jon Seda is leaving this show for SEASON 7, but will occasionally guest star.
Getting a full 22 Episodes for SEASON 6.  Okay start to SEASON 6, but missing the dead lead (Elias Koteas) a lot, and disappointed in the storylines, immaturity and volatility of the male cops (true last SEASON as well). Trying too hard to be “current,” also, we think.
Liked the addition of Anne Heche and hope to see more of her.
Nicki Micheaux (Good Trouble) and Alexis Louder (Harriet) join in 2019. “Louder will play Jasmine Price, the composed, bright, hopeful, impressive daughter of Ray Price (Wendell Pierce). A rising political star on the wings of her successful father…” Micheaux plays “Alicia Price, the wife of Ray Price ….She’s a very intelligent and graceful wife and mother. She’s at times steely, measured and dutiful to her husband.”
Disappointed that so many ON THE FORCE are doing so many bad things.
Starring: Jason Beghe, Marina Squerciati, Jesse Lee Soffer, Jon Seda, Patrick Fleuger, Laroyce Hawkins, Amy Morton, Tracy Spiridakos
KEEPING for SEASON 6; RENEWED for SEASON 7

Chicago Fire NBC (RENEWED for SEASON 8)
Getting a full 22 Episodes for SEASON 4. One of my CHANGES conversations between authors‘ guests, poet performer, James Gordon, has recurring minor roles on this and Chicago PD!)
Losing one or more main characters is tricky, but they handled it all right. They wrote out the character (she took another job!) of the woman who actually and quite unexpectedly died IRL, DuShon Monique Brown (very sad), and sent the other to help EMTs in Puerto Rico. We weren’t liking the way they wrote Monica Raymund last SEASON anyway, so good riddance.
A new partner in the ambo is interesting, so we’ll see. Not liking the CFD chief’s spy story, though.
Starring: Jesse Spencer, Taylor Kinney, Eamonn Walker, David Eigenberg, Joe Minoso, Kara Killmer, Yuriy Sardarov, Christian Stolte, Miranda Rae Mayo, Gary Cole; added Annie AlonzehSteven Boyer and, soon, Jordan Belfi (American Curious)  this year.
KEEPING, and okay for now; RENEWED for SEASON 8

Bull CBS (returned 1/4/19 for the rest of SEASON 3)
We LOVED this show and its great cast, but now that we know why Eliza Dushku (and probably Jill Flint as well) haven’t returned, and how disgustingly Weatherly, Moonves, Caron and CBS have ROUTINELY behaved toward women, we may not continue watching.
Stars: Michael Weatherly (NCIS), Freddy Rodriguez (The Night Shift), Geneva Carr (Law & Order: SVU), Christopher Jackson (Broadway’s Hamilton), Jaime Lee Kirchner (Mercy), Annabelle Attanasio. Weird third season opener, though.
Very good writing and acting all around, with the “right side” usually prevailing, often in a Perry Mason “gotcha” moment during the trial. We like that.
For SEASON 3: sorry to lose Cable, and why bring on such a well-known actor as Jill Hennessy to play her bereaved mom, only for about 2 minutes in Episode 2? Strange.
Lie to Me did some of this much better, though. We liked the way they’re bringing in more from each of the main characters’ pasts by having them take cases of ex-lovers, siblings, etc.
BUT (SPOILER ALERT), Cable had to be killed off because the actor left the show before this SEASON started! Wonder if she is another #MeToo complainant…
Not sure about this new monthly retainer client situation… Seems unworkable. Bull & Co. are supposed to be the GOOD GUYS!
KEEPING for SEASON 3

The Good Doctor ABC (returned 1/14/19 for SEASON 2; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
I had thought I was kind of bored with autistic savant characters (they’re EVERYWHERE, now, aren’t they?), but this series is excellent, despite the trite trope. Each Episode is somewhat Royal Pains-like (improvising in restaurants; chest tubes with ball-point pens types of “surgeries”), but we like it.
SEASON 2 is off to a strong start, but we are sad to see a couple of cast members leave; one returned!
Adding later in SEASON 2: Exec Producer, Daniel Dae Kim (Hawaii 5-0) in front of the camera as “Dr. Jackson Han, a brash new Chief of Surgery at St. Bonaventure. Dr. Han’s arrival will shake things up at St. Bonaventure and specifically put Dr. Shaun Murphy’s …career in jeopardy.”
Starring Freddie Highmore as Shawn Murphy, and including a couple of familiar faces [Richard Schiff (The West Wing) and Hill Harper (Covert Affairs, CSI: NY)].  Also, Antonia Thomas as Dr. Claire Browne, Nicholas Gonzalez as Dr. Neil Melendez, Tamlyn Tomita as Allegra Aoki, Christina Chang as Dr. Audrey Lim, Fiona Gubelman as Dr. Morgan Reznick, Will Yun Lee as Dr. Alex Park, Paige Spara as Lea Dilallo, and Lisa Edelstein (House, The Kominsky Method, and many more) as Richard Schiff‘s brain surgeon. .
We really like this one; KEEPING and Good for SEASON 2; RENEWED for SEASON 3

New Amsterdam NBC (RENEWED for SEASONS 2 & 3; returned 1/8/19 for SEASON 1)
We like this show better each week, especially since it “calmed down” a bit. Dear Writers: you do not have to provide an emergency every 2 minutes to keep our attention. Please, as your character reminded the lead, SLOW DOWN! This show has potential, but…
“Inspired by Bellevue, the oldest public hospital in America, this unique medical drama follows the brilliant and charming Dr. Max Goodwin, the institution’s newest medical director [Ryan Eggold, recently killed off in The Blacklist and star of its short-lived spinoff] who sets out to tear up the bureaucracy and provide exceptional care. How can he help? Well, the doctors and staff have heard this before. Not taking ‘no’ for an answer, Dr. Goodwin must disrupt the status quo and prove he will stop at nothing to breathe new life into this understaffed, underfunded and underappreciated hospital—the only one in the world capable of treating Ebola patients, prisoners from Rikers and the President of the United States under one roof—and return it to the glory that put it on the map.”
Also starring: Freema Agyeman, Janet Montgomery, Jocko Sims, Anupam Kher, Tyler Labine, with Margo Bingham and Sendhil Ramamurthy (Reverie, Heroes, Heroes Reborn, Covert Affairs) coming on soon.
We wish it were more like Red Band Society and less like Bedlam.
We like it; RENEWED for SEASONS 2 & 3

Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan Amazon Prime (SEASON 1 released 8/31/18; RENEWED for SEASONS 2 & 3)
John Krasinski (How I Met Your Mother) does all right as the newest Jack Ryan  (but we liked Chris Pine better, and who can forget Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck or Alec Baldwin, all of whom have had a turn playing this iconic role?), as do the other cast members, with the lousy script they were given.
But, Mom is a long-time reader and fan of both the Jack Ryan books and films and was very put off and confused by how out-of-context most of this new series seemed to all the rest that have already been made/written. I’ve only seen a few films and never read any of the books, but I agree.
Also, in trying to modernize it (original was set in the 1970s-80s), they set Ryan and the CIA in yet another tired plot of Middle-Eastern-men-as-villains, with car bombs, deception, revenge-seeking for events from 30+ years ago and more recent hostility, etc., polus, “interrogation” scenes, which we hate.
We watched all 8 Episodes, and some are all right, but VERY dark and violent.
Starring: John Krasinski, Timothy Hutton (he gets around!)
Too much violence and not enough script; RENEWED for SEASONS 2 & 3

Midsomer Murders PBS and Netflix (SEASONS 1 – 17 released already; the others are on DVDs, through SEASON 25)
During this lull in summer TV, my mom and I found Midsomer Murders on Netflix and have been enjoying its being less bloody and violent than USA detective shows, and its quirkiness. PBS started airing SEASON 13 this past month as well (September, 2018).
We believe the writers hate women (most culprits have been female so far, and we’re 12 SEASONs in), the English countryside’s small towns (not-so-subtle digs at how “quaint” and “backward” they are), special interests/social clubs (which contain obsessive people willing to kill over orchids, fishing rights, rare books, bike racing, golf, choir competitions and whatever), and marriage (marriages and other relationships on this series mostly suck–the couples are so mean to one another!). Every one of these small towns has way too many crimes and murderers per capita and a lot of drunkards, liars, adulterers and thieves. Also, most Episodes have some kind of fete (festival), and these are hilarious.
We also like to play: “Who is that actor?” (now 15-20 years older from the Episodes we’re watching) and “Where else have we seen him/her before or since? (mostly since). <a href=”http://IMDB.com&#8221; rel=”noopener”
Or, check here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Midsomer_Murders_characters
target=”_blank”>http://IMDB.com is so good for answering those questions, usually. The series is based on the books by Caroline Graham, “featured 251 deaths, 222 of which were murders.”
Starring Bergerac‘s John Nettles as the the lead detective, DCI Barnaby, for the first 13 SEASONS, and Jane Wymark and Laura Howard (also for 13 SEASONS) as the wife and adult daughter of Barnaby, as regulars. An ever-changing roster of supporting and Episodic characters fills out the roster nicely each Episode. Seasons are generally from 4 – 8 Episodes long, but each Episode is about 90 – 100 minutes (basically, = 2 night-time hour-long slots, with commercials, we think, originally).
Turns out we can get the DVDs for SEASONS 18 – 25 at our local library, and plan to do so during the next hiatus of TV after we’re done with Netflix‘s offerings.
Warming: In 2011, producer/creator, “Brian True-May, caused controversy when he said the television series ‘was the last bastion of Englishness because it did not have actors from ethnic minorities….We’re the last bastion of Englishness and I want to keep it that way.’ The 61-year-old was suspended for his comments” and was forced to step down at the end of that year’s Episodes.
True-May banned swearing, violence and sex scenes from the show but his idyllic formula does not stop challenging storylines, or other elements of diversity which do not involve ethnicity. ‘If it’s incest, blackmail, lesbianism, homosexuality … terrific, put it in, because people can believe that people can murder for any of those reasons,’ he told the Radio Times. “A study in 2006 found that Midsomer Murders was ‘strikingly unpopular’ with minorities.”
We wondered about the lack of non-Caucasians…
The weather is also atypical of southern England and more like southern France or Spain (hardly ever rains, hardly ever very cold). or they arranged to film each Episode in any season but winter.
Liking these, but some scripts are dull

Carter WGN (10-Episode series premiered 8/14/18; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
We like Jerry O’Connell, usually, so we tried this. We have watched 2 Episodes, and it’s not great, but getting better, sort of. It’s a police procedural in which a TV actor returns to his small Canadian town and people make him a police consultant, convinced he knows more than he actually does from having played a detective on TV in a successful series. We also like a lot of the CBC‘s series, so this boded well.
However, the writing is mostly terrible. They make O’Connell’s character too buffoonish and everyone else is drawn 2-dimensionally and stereotypically. The first two plots, though, had some twists so maybe it’s not hopeless.
UPDATE: By Episode 5, it’s gotten a lot better. Glad to see it.
Help for SEASON 2: Andy Berman (Psych, Rosewood) is joining as showrunner and Executive Producer. We liked both of those shows, so that should be great!
Also starring: Sydney Tamiia Poitier (yes; Sidney’s daughter!), Kristian Bruun, Joanne Boland, Sherry Miller, John Bourgeois, Vijay Gill, Matt Baram, Dave Leigh.
We like this; RENEWED for SEASON 2

Private Eyes ION (premiered 2/11/18; returned for SEASON 2 on 6/24/18, split season went on hiatus in August; resumed  2/10/19; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
Canadian TV can make some great shows, and we like this one (formerly entitled The Code). “Private Eyes is an investigative drama series featuring two strong and forever competing characters. Ex-pro hockey player, Matt Shade (Jason Priestley), irrevocably changes his life when he decides to team up with fierce P.I., Angie Everett (Cindy Sampson) to form an unlikely investigative powerhouse. Angie may find Shade naïve in the way that he sees the world, but his passion and heart brings something special to her one-woman business. Shade sees working with Angie as an opportunity to redeem himself, yet he’s partnering with a woman who fundamentally believes that people don’t change. If he’s the unstoppable force, she’s the immovable object. They’ll challenge each other on every level.”

Private Eyes: Already had 2 SEASONS that aired in Canada.

Also starring: Jordyn Negri, Barry Flatman, Cleo Bennet, Kurtis Mazhari (of The Listener and Blindspot).
For unknown reasons, this SEASON stopped in late August and then resumed in early February); a split SEASON, like Suits.
Predictable, but sweet & worthwhile; RENEWED for SEASON 3

*Cable Girls (Las Chicas del Cable) Netflix (2 Seasons, so far; SEASON 3 released 9/7/18)
An excellent 1928-29, Spain-based somewhat true account of the beginnings of the telephone company, trade unions and the precursors to the Spanish Civil War from the telephone operators’ and other women’s points of view. Excellent writing, acting, plots and subplots that include bisexuality, transgender identity and domestic violence, women’s rights’ issues as well as the usual infidelities, class wars, crimes, lies and substance abuse/drinking problems.
Warning: DUBBED (Spanish to English), very well, and also offers subtitles if you prefer or can’t turn them off.
SEASON 3 returned about 5 months after SEASON 2 and enjoying it, but it’s very disturbing, in parts.  Still well-written, acted,and interesting.
Starring: Blanca Suárez, Yon González, Ana Fernández, Maggie Civantos, Nadia de Santiago, Martiño Rivas, Ana Polvorosa, Sergio Mur.
Ends with several cliff-hangers (one is almost literal) at the end of SEASON 2. SEASON 3 is coming later in 2018.
I like this, but Mom doesn’t.


2018-19 PREMIERES/RETURNS (not yet reviewed/watched as of 4/12/19)

Some PREMIERES/RETURNS are still unknown for 2019, so I give the known first/return air dates. I/we plan to watch the shows listed, below (UPDATED 4/12/19).

LINK to premiere dates, renewals and cancellations for 2019: https://renewcanceltv.com/tv-show-premiere-dates-2018-guide/

Or, use this link for a frequently updated 2019, schedule: http://www.thefutoncritic.com/guide/winter-2019-grid/
UPDATED 4/12/19.

Also, try https://nextseasontv.com/tv-show-premiere-dates-2018-19/ for release dates.

On **Mom’s list, only, and she’s keeping them (YAYs for her):

**Law and Order—SVU NBC (returned 1/7/19; RENEWED for SEASON 21 [longest-running drama on network TV!])
Mom is keeping this on her list for sure; RENEWED.

**Hawaii 5-0 CBS (returned 1/4/19)
Mom is keeping this on her list for sure; RENEWED

**Saturday Night Live (SNL) NBC (returned 9/29/18 for SEASON million)
Mom is keeping this on her list, but I am bored with it; RENEWED

**NCIS Los Angeles CBS (returned 1/6/19)
David Ja,mes Elliot and Catherine Bell from JAG are reprising their roles on this in 2019-20! Mom is thrilled, since she watched every Episode of that great show.
Mom is keeping this on her list for sure; RENEWED for SEASON 8

**Criminal Minds CBS (returned 1/3/19 for SEASON 14)
Mom is keeping this on her list, but bored with it; RENEWED


2018-2019 Planned viewing; New Shows Listed First

Unforgotten PBS (RENEWED for SEASONS 3 & 4 and coming to ABC; available for SEASON 3 premiered 4/7/19 on PBS)
Unforgotten is yet another British-based detective series brought over to the USA years after being broadcast in its native land (2015, for this one) that my mom and I often enjoy. The main characters are DCI Cassie Stuart (Nicola Walker) and DI Sunny Khan (Sanjeev Bhaskar) who investigate historic cold cases with their team. Each SEASON lasts 6 Episodes (two cases per SEASON).
The series will continue to air on PBS until ABC gets it for SEASON 4 and perhaps beyond.
Walker appeared in a similar role but was mostly the object of her former partner’s hallucinations, since she was murdered at the beginning of that mini-series (River, which we also liked a lot), so it is good to see her alive and well in this one. We’ve watched so many of these BBC shows, now, that we recognize many of the other actors, even minor ones, and each one is very well-directed and performing, with a great script.

‎Also starring/featuring: Trevor Eve, Bernard Hill, Ruth Sheen, Tom Courtenay, Gemma Jones, Brian Bovell, Cheri Lunghi, Hannah Gordon, ‎Claire Goose, Tamzin Malleson, Peter Egan, and Frances Tomelty. Chris Lang created/wrote it.
Extremely well-written, acted and intriguing; RENEWED for SEASON 4

The ABC Murders  Amazon Prime (released 2/1/19)
Agatha Christie‘s Hercule Poirot is revived yet again, with John Malkovich in the main role. Never have liked him, but these are great stories, so we might watch.
Maybe

Russian Doll Netflix (8 Episodes, released 2/1/19)
This is a dramedy from Natasha Lyonne (Orange is the New Black) and Amy Poehler; “Lyonne plays a woman who gets caught in a time loop, repeatedly going to the same party and dying every night, only to wake up the next morning unharmed.”
Starring: Natasha Lyonne, Greta Lee, Yul Vazquez, Elizabeth Ashley, Charlie Barnett.
We’ll try it

2019 MusiCares Person of the Year CBS (happened 2/8/19, but did not air; can’t find when/where, as of 4/12/19)
Dolly Parton will be this year’s recipient. This should have aired the same weekend as The Grammy’s, which aired 2/10/19. She will be its first country-music artist to be so honored. We’ll be delighted to watch this tribute to an extremely generous, intelligent, talented woman. We’ve watched several of these annual events, and they’re excellent. Many great singers participating.
Should be great, if we can find it

*Lorena Amazon Prime (4-Part Docuseries; released 2/15/19)
I remember this all too well, but a new take on it would be welcomed.
“Lorena Bobbitt became a household name in 1993 when she cut off her then-husband’s penis with a kitchen knife while he slept. Her shocking attack—and the fact that her trial was televised—made her an overnight news sensation….Lorena offers a powerful portrait of a woman pushed to the brink—and a nation wholly unprepared to deal with its epidemic of domestic abuse. The docuseries provides a helpful historical overview of what services and legal recourse were available to abused women at the time, or more accurately, the lack thereof. Hopefully the rise of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements will encourage Bobbitt skeptics to view the case through a new lens, and encourage all of us to do more for the millions of women who continue to be affected by domestic abuse.”
I may watch; Mom won’t

The Coroner CBC, then Amazon (released, but not free; winter, 2019)
This is the newest CBC legal/medical drama, and stars Roger Cross (Dark Matter) and Serinda Swan. “The series, which will shoot in Toronto, centers on a newly appointed coroner investigating suspicious deaths in Toronto….Inspired by M.R. Hall’s best-selling book series, Coroner centers on a newly appointed coroner investigating suspicious deaths in Toronto.” Serinda Swan (Inhumans) fills the title role of “Jenny Cooper, a brave, determined yet vulnerable coroner driven by an intense desire for the truth. A former ER doctor and recently widowed mother, the passing of her beloved husband has unlocked a primal connection to death, tied to a secret in her past that is only now coming to the surface. She loves her son more than life itself and strives to support him while also trying to take care of herself.”
We do like a lot of CBC’s (Canadian Broadcasting Company) TV series, but this adds to an already ridiculously high number of medical/legal dramas. How many ways can people find bodies killed in how many ways? We’ve already seen dozens of repeated body discovery scenarios and similar murder methods across the many shows we watch/have watched.
We’ll try it 

Heartstrings Netflix (8 Episodes, released February, 2019)
“Told as an anthology series, each of the eight episodes will be based on one of [Dolly] Parton’s songs, showcasing the stories, memories, and inspirations behind her most beloved numbers. But there will be new music scoring each episode, along with more classic hits, and the genres of each entry will span love stories, westerns, and revenge comedies.”
Probably sappy, but we’ll try it

Aretha! A Grammy Celebration for the Queen of Soul CBS (premiered 3/10/19)
Proves that Aretha Franklin has gone but NEVER will be forgotten, as evidenced by this fabulous line-up for her tribute in 2019: Tyler Perry will host, and performers include Janelle Monae, Alicia Keys, John Legend, kelly Clarkson, Celine Dion, Patti LaBelle, Alessia Cara, Jennifer Hudson, Common, Brandi Carlile, H.E.R., SZA, Chloe X Halle, BeBe Winans, Yolanda Adams and Shirley Caesar. This will be filmed January 13th at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and air later in 2019. “Franklin, who died in August at age 76, earned 18 Grammy wins and 44 nominations throughout her career.”

*John & Yoko: Above Us Only Sky A&E (premiered 3/11/19)
I have seen other documentaries and fictionalized films about them, but I do love to watch and hear about it all over again. This focuses on the making of Imagine and other contemporaneous peace-promoting events.
I’ll watch

Northern Rescue Netflix (available 3/18/19; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
What is it with newly dead wives as the plotline? Here’s another one, starring William Baldwin as the widower, with Michele Nolden as the departed wife. Their two children  are played by Amalia Williamson and Taylor Thorne. This one is darker and more realistic, but the benevolent sister-in-law, played by Kathleen Robertson, helps them out.
May be watching; RENEWED for SEASON 2

*Happy! SyFy SEASON 2 (premiered 3/27/19)
Another ex-cop trying to be sober… YAWN. But, this one was murdering people and has sworn off “for his daughter.” He has a nemesis (don’t they all?), so we’l see. Don’t know what makes it sci-fi, though.SEASON 1 aired in marathon style in mid-March, so I’ll trhy it.
Starring Chris Meloni, Bryce Lorenzo and Christopher Fitzgerald, this may be watchable.
We’ll try id

Mrs. Wilson PBS (3-Episode miniseries; premiered 3/31/19)
Based on the memoirs of the star’s, Ruth Wilson, own real-life grandmother! “The drama follows Alison Wilson, who is happily married until her husband, popular spy novelist, Alec Wilson (played by Iain Glen, Game of Thrones), dies and a woman turns up on the doorstep claiming to be his wife. Turns out, Alison Wilson’s former MI6 spy husband had three wives.” Read what she says about playing that family role, here: https://deadline.com/2019/02/ruth-wilson-grandmother-spy-grandfather-wives-mrs-wilson-pbs-tca-1202547633/ ;
We’ll try it

*Bless This Mess Fox (6 Episodes; premieres 4/16/19)
Very low expectations, given the trailer. “A newlywed couple gives up their drab and unfulfilling lives in NYC and moves to Nebraska to live a simpler life. It doesn’t work out like they planned.”
Sounds insipid, but I like the cast, and Liz Meriwether is a writer whose shows we often like, so I’ll try it and let Mom know.
Starring: Lake Bell, Dax Shepard, Ashton Kutcher, Ed Begley, Jr., Pam Grier and JT Neal.
FYI: The role of Greir’s daughter, pdayed by Christina Offley in the pilot, is being reconceived to be of a different age and recast.
I’ll try it

 

No Good Nick Netflix (releases 4/15/19)
Funny?  Maybe: it’s a pun, if you know Yiddish… a “nogudnik” is someone who is inept or criminal; can’t do anything right. Another comedy coming with tried-and-true stars: Melissa Joan Hart and Sean Astin, who “play Liz and Ed, a hyper-competitive career mom and lovable but dorky ‘fun dad,’ respectively, who unwittingly welcome 13-year-old Nick—short for Nicole (Siena Agudong)—into their family of four before realizing she is a street-smart con artist with a secret agenda: She has infiltrated the family with the intention to get revenge on them for unknowingly ruining her life. But as Nick gets to know the family, she will find compassion for them and will struggle with whether or not she can ultimately go through with the plan.”
Ordered 20 Episodes already: they’re way too optimistic, IMO.
We may watch

Motown Celebration: A Grammy Celebration CBS (premieres 4/21/19)
Just what it sounds like. Great!
We’ll watch 

*Being Mary Jane BET (finale film, 2 hours, airs 4/23/19)
This was a BET multi-SEASON series starring Gabrielle Union that I watched in its entirety as it aired, increasingly disappointed in the scripts and acting (it started out with such promise). BMJ “ended” a year ago, but announced a “finale” movie-length Episode (ala Timeless) to be aired 4/16/19. Fans “will find out if Mary Jane (Union) accepts Michael Ealy‘s character’s (Justin) proposal” or not. Purportedly a feminist-founded series, it is appalling that the writers believed that settling her relationship status with or without a marriage is a ‘finale” to a successful, strong, career-oriented female character’s entire storyline (one of the few African-American women to be so positioned, I might add). but some will want to watch, I’m sure.
I’ll watch

The Red Line CBS (premieres 4/28/19 and runs for four 2-hour Episodes on consecutive Sundays)
Trailer and more info, here: https://movizark.com/2019/02/07/the-red-line-first-trailer-for-the-ava-duvernay-produced-cbs-series-arrives-check-it-out/
CBS is already talking numerous SEASONS after this one! “Following the lives of three vastly different Chicago families whose stories of loss and tragedy intersect in the wake of the mistaken shooting of an African-American doctor by a white cop. As the stories of the Calder, Young and Evans families crisscross and converge, a message of hope appears —it’s possible to emerge from tragedy stronger, and it’s important to come together with others, not just to survive, but to thrive.” Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Ava DuVernay are executive producers.
Large cast includes Noah Wyle (The Librarians and many more), Noel Fisher (Shameless), Michael Patrick Thornton (Private Practice), Emayatzy Corinealdi, Howard Charles, Aliyah Royale, Vinny Chhibber and Elizabeth Laidlaw.
We’ll try it

Emilio & Gloria Estefan: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song PBS (premieres 5/3/19)
These annual Gershwin Prize award shows are some of our favorites because they highlight the songs of great songwriters with stellar performances throughout, along with biographical info about the recipient(s). Fabulous! 
Felicitaciones
 to the newest and unique recipients (first Latinx and first couple) to be given this great honor, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, winners of over 25 Grammys and other awards and currently the topics of the  popular, multiple Tony-Award-winning Broadway and national touring musical, On Your Feet! “Previous winners include Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Tony Bennett, Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Paul McCartney and Smokey Robinson….The couple will receive their award at an all-star tribute concert in March, 2019…”
FYI: Gloria Estefan is only the second woman (Carole King was the first) and the first WOC to be a recipient!
Can’t wait!  These tributes are fabulous! We’ve seen them all!
Definitely watching this!

Klepper Comedy Central (premieres 5/9/19)
The Opposition
‘s last episode aired 6/28/18, but Jordan Klepper is getting another chance with a new show, a “weekly half-hour series… [that] will feature the comedian out in the field, traveling the country and speaking to people…[with] the debut episode spotlighting veterans who are using wrestling to cope with PTSD….In addition to veteran care, environmental activism, and education challenges for undocumented students, Klepper also will explore veteran deportation, discrimination in the burgeoning marijuana industry, Native Americans’ struggle to gain visibility, the contemporary space-exploration landscape, and guerilla activists’ use of firearms. Each episode is accompanied by a filmed podcast in which Klepper and series producers discuss behind the scenes, and how their perspectives have changed as a result. Klepper continues the conversation with topic experts.”
Hope it’s better than the previous attempt, which was awful, IMO.
We’ll try it 

Blood & Treasure CBS (5/21/19, 2-hour premiere)
“A brilliant antiquities expert ]Matt Barr] and a cunning art thief [NOW known to be played by Sofia Pernas (The Brave)] team up to catch a ruthless terrorist who funds his attacks through stolen treasure. As they crisscross the globe hunting their target, they unexpectedly find themselves at the center of a 2,000-year-old battle for the cradle of civilization.”
Didn’t these just get canceled (The Librarians meets Hooten & the Lady)? We liked those, so I guess we’ll try this, but, SHEESH!
Also starring: Katia Winter, Michael James Shaw, James Callis.
Worth a try

Elementary CBS (5/23/19  premiere for FINAL SEASON 7)
We surmise SEASON 7 will be in London!?
Strong start for SEASON 6, and as a Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS) survivor, myself, I can relate quite well to the storyline about Sherlock’s difficulties.

Very sad to hear (on July 8, 2017), about the sudden and very unexpected death (from alcoholic heart failure, at the too-young age of 39) of a recurring character actor on this show, Nelsan Ellis, whom I first admired as Lafayette on True Blood. We will miss him: he was a true talent. There was a one-line tribute to Nelsan at the end of Episode 1 of SEASON 6; glad to see it.

We both like this show a lot even though it’s sometimes very difficult for us to understand some of the dialogue or to understand Sherlock because of the show’s poor audio quality and his rapid-fire speech in a British accent.
Great to see Lucy Liu, Johnny Lee Miller, John Michael Hill and Aidan Quinn back again.
KEEPING, and midseason premiere for 7th & FINAL SEASON

The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special with Celine Dion CBS (airs 5/29/19)
We really enjoy a lot of the shorter segments (how talented is James Corden?), and the first Special, with Sir Paul McCartney, was fabulous.
We’ll watch

The Inbetween NBC (premieres 5/29/19t)
(Not to be confused with Mr. Inbetween, which already premiered.)
“Cassie Bishop was born with a gift, though she may call it a curse. She can see and communicate with the dead, helping them with their unresolved problems … whether she likes it or not. When her longtime friend Det. Tom Hackett and his new partner, former FBI Agent, Damien Asante, need help solving a darkly puzzling murder, Cassie agrees to use her abilities. Despite her reluctance, she may have found a way to keep her demons at bay, all while solving some of the city’s most challenging cases.”
Writer/executive producer is from two shows we have loved [Moira Kirland (Castle, Madam Secretary)], so we have high hopes for this one, even though there have already been at least a half-dozen shows with this premise.
Starring: Justin Cornwell, Harriet Dyer, Anne-Marie Johnson, Cindy Luna, Chad James Buchanan, Paul Blackthorne.
Hoping it’s great, but could be very trope-ish

*Unidentified Inside America’s UFO Investigation” History Channel (premieres in May, 2019; 6 Episodes)
Unidentified will be centered around an interview with Luis Elizondo, the former military intelligence official who helmed the Pentagon’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program until it was shuttered in 2012. Elizondo was one of the primary sources in The New York Times’ 2017 report about AATIP, where he researched and investigated ‘Unidentified Aerial Phenomena.’…  Unidentified will feature newly authenticated evidence and footage of UFOs, as well as interviews with eyewitnesses and former military personnel….The show will ‘expose a series of startling encounters and embark on fascinating new investigations that will urge the public to ask questions and look for answers.’…Along with [Executive Producer, Tom] DeLonge and ElizondoUnidentified will feature other members of the To the Stars Academy, which DeLonge founded in 2015 to enable researchers to explore the ‘outer edges of science’ and technology. These include: Chris Mellon, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and Intelligence; Hal Puthoff, a CIA researcher and quantum physicist;, and, Jim Simian, a retired CIA intelligence service member.”
FMI and a trailer: https://www.rollingstone.com/tv/tv-news/tom-delonge-history-channel-mini-series-unidentified-ufo-807180/
Some of these types of shows are fascinating; others are cheesy and boring. I’ll try it; Mom won’t.
I’ll see

The Hunt Amazon (10 Episodes, available May, 2019)
(Not to be confused with a 2019 feature film with the same title, starring Emma Roberts and Amy Madigan). Being created by David Weil (Moonfall), who will write and executive produce. Logan Lerman (The Perks of Being A Wallflower, Jack & Bobby, Fury, Noah and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters) is starring, as “Jonah Heidelbaum, who, when his grandmother is slain by a mysterious intruder in their apartment, sets out to track the culprit—only to find himself swept up in the mysterious organization known as The Hunt, a group of justice-seeking individuals dedicated to rooting out the Nazi murderers living in the U.S. under assumed identities. Based on an original idea, drawing from real-life events,”
Also starring Al Pacino as one of “a diverse band of Nazi Hunters living in 1977 New York City. ‘The Hunters,’ as they’re known, have discovered that hundreds of high-ranking Nazi officials are living among us and conspiring to create a Fourth Reich in the U.S. The eclectic team of Hunters will set out on a bloody quest to bring the Nazis to justice and thwart their new genocidal plans….”
“Jerrika Hinton (Grey’s Anatomy) is poised play Millie Malone, a gutsy FBI agent who’s marginalized in the Bureau because of her race and gender.Lena Olin (Alias) will play a Nazi.”
Also starring Dylan Baker, Greg AustinCatherine TateTiffany BooneSaul Rubinek, Kate Mulvany, James Le Gros, Ebony Obsidian, Caleb Emery, Henry Hunter Hall, Jeannie Berlin and Carol Kane. Ebony Obsidian (If Beale Street Could Talk) as Carol Hawthorne, Jonah’s neighbor and romantic interest. Caleb Emery (Little) and Henry Hunter Hall (When They See Us) will play Jonah’s best friends, Arthur ‘Bootyhole’ McGuigan and Sherman ‘Cheeks’ Johnson, respectively. James Le Gros (Drugstore Cowboy) plays veteran FBI agent, Detective Grimbsy, who is also Millie’s (Hinton) boss at the New York bureau. Berlin (The Night Of) [plays] Jonah’s grandmother.”
Sounds frightening but compelling and horribly timely.
We may watch.

Tales of the City Netflix (10 Episodes release 6/7/19)
I saw the first iteration of Armistead Maupin‘s Tales of the City (based on his award-winning LGBT stories) years ago—1990s).  As a sequel more than a reboot, there is a 10-Episode revival coming to Netflix (trailer here: https://movizark.com/2019/04/10/tales-of-the-city-netflix-unveils-1st-trailer-of-the-armistead-maupin-series-adaption-check-it-out/), thatfinds Laura Linney’s Mary Ann— in full-tilt midlife crisis mode—returning home to her daughter, Shawna  (Ellen Page), and ex-husband, Brian (Paul Gross), in San Francisco, 20 years after leaving them behind to pursue her career….[This series will] feature new ‘joys and complications… for the residents of 28 Barbary Lane’… Mrs. Madrigal’s tenants, both old and new, will be entangled in delicious new adventures and ever-expanding possibilities for love.'”

armistead-maupine28099s-tales-of-the-city
The cast also includes Tales vets Olympia Dukakis (Anna, one of TV’s earliest trans characters), Barbara Garrick (DeDe), as well as Zosia Mamet (Girls, Mad Men, United States of Tara, Parenthood), Murray Bartlett (Looking) and Charlie Barnett (Chicago Fire).
I doubt if Mom will watch, but I will

Grand Hotel ABC (premieres 6/17/19)
This “is a soapy drama set against the backdrop of a Miami Beach hotel, centering on the family who owns the business, the staff who run it and the explosive secrets they hide under the perfect exterior….
“El Rey, a popular Miami recording artist who’s sexy, charismatic, energetic, and amusingly cocky… is a major player both in the industry and with the women. He is offered a chance to be a staple performer at the hotel.”
Starring Eva Longoria (who also co-produces), Demian Bichir and JenCarlos Canela  (both were on Telenovela together), with Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy), Ken Kirby (The Gifted), and Freddie Stroma (Time After Time).
Sagal will play Teresa, an investor in the hotel with mysterious intentions. She clashes with Santiago (Demian Bichir) and will stop at nothing to protect her investment. Sagal will appear in at least three episodes. Stroma will portray Oliver, the associate manager of the Finn Hotel in Miami. Oliver is an old friend of Alicia’s from business school who now finds himself in competition for her business and maybe even her heart….Kirby will play Byron, a savvy business tycoon with investments across the globe. He and his family have been looking for a stake in the Miami real-estate business.”
Cassandra Seerbo (Sharknado, Make It or Break It, Baby Daddy, Bring It On: In It To Win It, and Bering Sea Beastis also cast as “Vanessa, a professional football cheerleader vacationing at the hotel who decides to extend her stay after making a connection with one very lucky member of the staff.”
I doubt if we’ll watch, but many will. 

Pandora The CW (premieres summer, 2019, TBA)
This has potential to be comething we’d like, if it’s not too violent.
“Set in the year 2199, Pandora is a sci-fi action series about a resourceful young woman who has lost everything but finds a new life at Earth’s Space Training Academy where she and her friends learn to defend the galaxy from threats, both alien and human. When secrets about the nature of her own identity begin to surface, she must uncover the truth, and whether she will be humanity’s savior or the instrument of its destruction….Executive produced by Mark A. Altman (Castle), Steve Kriozere (NCIS), Thomas P. Vitale, Karine Martin and Chris Phillip.”
We’ll try it

Bulletproof The CW (premieres summer, 2019, TBA)
We like British and Australian cop shows better than USA’s because they’r way less violent and the characters are less macho. Hope this is another one like that, but I’m skeptical.
“Adrenalin-fueled and packed with compelling characters, Bulletproof follows two undercover cops, Bishop (Noel ClarkeStar Trek: Into Darkness) and Pike (Ashley WaltersTop Boy) as they chase down hardened criminals in London’s East End. Despite their differences, Bishop and Pike work brilliantly together even when the chemistry between them looks set to explode. Full of grit and sometimes gloss, Bulleetproof is stylish and funny with entertaining, riveting criminal cases in each episode….Executive producers are Allan Niblo (Britannia, Monsters), Michele Buck (Endeavour, Midsomer Murders), Judy Counihan (No Man’s Land, Fresh Meat), Nick Love (The Football Factory, The Sweeney), Noel Clarke, and Ashley Walters.”
We’ll try it

*Downton Abbey film (still untitled, as of 4/12/19) PBS (9/20/19 air date)
Missing the 20th-century Brits in Downton Abbey?  The ITV/PBS series has announced the release date of this much-anticipated sequel film to its 6-year series’ run in 2018! The original principal cast, including Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Kevin Doyle, Joanne Froggatt, Matthew Goode, Harry Hadden-Paton, Robert James-Collier, Allen Leech, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Sophie McShera, Lesley Nicol, and Penelope Wilton, are set to return, to “reprise their upstairs/downstairs roles.” AND, they’re going to be joined by new additions, Imelda Stanton, Geraldine James, Simon Jones, David Haig, Tuppence Middleton, Kate Phillips, and Stephen Campbell Moore. PLUS, expect a visit by actors playing HRH Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip! 
Here are trailers: https://deadline.com/2018/12/downton-abbey-movie-teaser-trailer-first-look-video-1202520195/ and https://www.indiewire.com/2019/04/downton-abbey-full-trailer-plotline-returning-characters-1202055633/
Definitely watching this! 

The Politician Netflix (releasing 9/27/19)
Starring Jessica Lange and Dylan McDermott, “the new satirical comedy primarily tracks Payton (Ben Platt), a wealthy Santa Barbara politician who will drive the series. Each season will track a different political race he’s working on…Gwyneth Paltrow, January Jones, Zoey Deutch, and Lucy Boynton are all series regulars.” Also “popping in” will be two more megastars: Judith Light and Bette Midler!?!
We love Ben Platt (Pitch Perfect, Dear Evan Hansen), Gwyneth Paltrow (Duets), Dylan McDermott, January Jones, Jessica Lange (who knew those last three can sing?]) and the amazing, possibly guest-starring…Barbra Streisand [update: 3/25/19, Streisand‘s horrifying comments and attempted walkback of same regarding the kids abused by Michael Jackson (now adults, as seen in the HBO documentary about Neverland) may get her axed from this show].
WOW! With those singers, we’re bound to watch the second; not sure about the first.
Exciting!

Already/Soon Available but not Watched, Yet (Updated 4/12/19)

The Last Laugh Netflix (released 12/10/18)
“When retired talent manager Al Hart is reunited with his first client, Buddy Green, a comic who quit show business 50 years ago, he convinces Buddy to escape their retirement community and hit the road for a cross-country comedy tour.”
Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Andie McDowell, Chevy Chase
A TRAILER HERE: https://movizark.com/2018/12/30/the-last-laugh-trailer-chevy-chase-and-richard-dreyfuss-lead-this-netflix-comedy-check-it-out/
We’ll try it

Black Earth Rising Netflix (released 1/25/19)
Hugo Blick is telling another female-led contemporary thriller. Michaela Coel stars as Kate Ashby, a legal investigator in London whose difficult past comes back to haunt her when her adoptive mother takes on a case prosecuting an African militia leader. Though now she works for an American barrister named Michael Ennis (John Goodman), Kate was born in Rwanda and orphaned by the genocide. She wants answers about what happened to her birth family, and the new case might offer some insight.”
Sounds heavy, but interesting

The Land of Steady Habits Netflix (released 9/14/18)
Connie Britton has risen from the dead (Rayna James, Nashville) to play a leading role in Nicole Holofcener’s ensemble dramedy based on Ted Thompson’s 2014 novel of the same name.
Starring Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline), and Thomas Mann (Fargo).
We’ll try it

*Anne of Green Gables: Fire & Dew PBS (premiered 9/23/18; NOT the same as the series on Netflix, now in its 2nd SEASON)
This is another adaptation of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s series of books, into a trio of TV movies written by Susan Coyne. This one picks up the plot with in a later time in her life than the Netflix series (so far, anyway; it’s in SEASON 2). It’s also not in a series format. We missed the first two parts of this trio:
——Anne of Green Gables (premiered 11/16), which “tells the story of Anne Shirley, a precocious young girl taken from an orphanage and placed in the care of the uptight Marilla Cuthbert and her brother, Matthew. The conservative Marilla has a profound effect on the adventurous Anne and creates a journey of learning and personal engagement”; and
——Anne of Green Gables: Good Stars (premiered 11/17), which picks up the story a bit later. “When Anne Shirley turns 13, she faces complex issues with her friends, inspirational adults and Marilla and Matthew. At the same time, she begins a friendship with Gilbert Blythe that emotionally escalates to disrupt the status quo of her peaceful world. Her free-spirited nature is challenged by her perceived need to become sensible, and her journey toward this goal is fraught with confusion and more than a few unfortunate—albeit, amusing—mishaps”), but they can be watched online and elsewhere.
Starring: Ella Ballentine, Martin Sheen, Sara Botsford, Drew Haytaoglu.
“Anne arrives in Charlottetown to attend accelerated classes, and she continues to work toward her dream of being a school teacher. Anne finds herself facing choices for her future, stirrings of romance, and tragedy unlike anything she’s ever known….Through the influence of a spirited new teacher, Miss Stacy (Natalie Lisinska), Anne (Ella Ballentine) steps up her ability at scholarship and competes for the few spaces available at a teacher’s college. When Anne leaves for Queen’s College, Matthew and Marilla (Martin Sheen and Sara Botsford) feel a sudden emptiness in their lives. Anne moves to Charlottetown and is overwhelmed by her new surroundings, difficult classes at teacher’s college, and a deepening romance with Gilbert (Drew Haytaoglu). At the same time, Matthew and Marilla deal with health and financial difficulties that jeopardize their lives at Green Gables.”
I’m interested in how these two adaptations differ. Loved these books as a child!
I’ll try to watch the first two; recording number 3 to view later

Wanderlust Netflix (released 10/19/18)
Another series about open marriage, but this time, a middle-aged couple. So? Probably awful, but we like Toni Collette, so we may try it.  Collette plays Joy Richards, a therapist trying to find a way to keep her spark alive with her husband after a cycling accident causes them to reassess their relationship. As we meet her family, friends, neighbours and clients, remarkable yet relatable stories of love, lust and forbidden desire emerge.” Also starring Steven Mackintosh (A Song for Jenny), Zawe Ashton (Fresh Meat) and Royce Pierreson (Line of Duty);
Might be awful, but we’ll see

Mark Twain Prize for American Humor PBS (occurred 10/21/18; 11/19/18 premiered; usually rebroadcast multiple times), and also, online at http://www.pbs.org )
Mazel Tov to Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Seinfeld) on being named the next recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, which happens annually. For 2018, the show is scheduled for October 21 at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall in Washington, D.C. “Given in recognition of ‘individuals who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th-century novelist and essayist, Samuel Clemens, best known as Mark Twain,’ the prize’s previous recipients include Tina Fey, Carol Burnett, Whoopi Goldberg and many men.”
These are always fun 

Homecoming Amazon (released 11/2/18; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
Julia Roberts starred in SEASON 1 but is not returning for SEASON 2 in her first-ever series, described as “a half-hour thriller based on a popular podcast of the same name that is directed by Mr. Robot‘s Sam Esmail.” The story “details a social worker’s efforts to help soldiers returning from war (though perhaps, it seems, to nefarious corporate ends).”
Apparently, Roberts wasn’t quite prepared for what a grind it is to act in a series compared to a feature film. We expect she did well, though.
Also starring: Bobby Cannavale, Dermot Mulroney, Alex Karpovsky, Jeremy Allen White.
We may watch it; RENEWED for SEASON 2

Mickey’s 90th Spectacular ABC (premiered 11/4/18)
Probably not our thing, but some will love this (FOR KIDS): “ABC has set a two-hour prime-time special celebrating 90 years of Mickey Mouse …with 15-time Emmy winner, Don Mischer, producing and directing…. [It] will feature musical performances, tributes and never-before-seen short films along with stars from music, film and television to celebrate the birthday of the internationally beloved character. Performances and special appearances will be announced soon.”
Mom joked: “They’re finally celebrating something from Hollywood that is older than I am!”
We’ll record and fast-forward, probably.

Pine Gap Netflix (6 Episodes; released 12/7/18)
Created by Felicity Packard and Greg Haddrick, directed by Matt King.
At top-secret U.S.-Australian joint defense facility, Pine Gap, fissures appear in the critical alliance as spies work with, and against, each other.”
Starring: Parker Sawyers, Jacqueline Mckenzie, Steve Toussaint, Tess Haubrich, Stephen Curry, Lewis Fitz-Gerald, Mark Leonard Winter 
We’ll try it. 

Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind HBO (aired 7/16/18; looking for it free)
Absolutely watching this when it comes out elsewhere. A documentary on the life and work of one of our most precious geniuses, gone too soon, Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind, looks fabulous, but sad.
BTW: one of my best friend’s mothers died of the same disease that caused Robin Williams to commit suicide, and he was not wrong. It’s a slow horrible, debilitating dementia and physical atrophying illness—Lewy Body Disease—that no one survives or recovers from. Her last years were bedridden, mostly unable to communicate with any logic or make sense of anything, not recognizing anyone or any place, barely able to eat or talk. That was what he was facing. So sad.
Looking for this in 2019.

Jane Fonda in Five Acts HBO (premiered 9/24/18; looking for it free)
We have to wait for it to hit Netflix, Amazon or DVD, but well worth the wait, we’re sure. This was billed as “a candid documentary About the formidable actress and activist.” Despite an uneven script and some silliness, we have enjoyed Fonda‘s playing off Lily Tomlin in Grace & Frankie on Netflix these last several years. “Drawing on 21 hours of interviews with Fonda, the film premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival to largely positive reviews. Per the official synopsis: ‘[Fonda] speaks candidly and frankly about her life and her missteps. She explores the pain of her mother’s suicide, her father’s emotional unavailability, 30 years of an eating disorder and three marriages to highly visible, yet diametrically opposed, men.’…[It] also includes interviews with family and friends—Robert Redford, Lily Tomlin, producer Paula Weinstein and former spouses, Tom Hayden and Ted Turner—as well as rare home movies and verité footage of the 80-year-old Fonda’s busy life today.”
Looking for this in 2019

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman Netflix (SEASON 1 released in mid-2018; SEASON 2 for 2019)
We want to see but haven’t watched any of these 6 (soon to be 12) interviews, yet. For SEASON 1, Letterman talked with President Barack Obama, George Clooney, Malala Yousafzai, Jay-Z, Tina Fey and Howard Stern.
We’ll get to it eventually

Terriers Netflix (only one, 13-episode season)
A “surfy SoCal Sherlock Holmes tone” to a comedic crime series about pair of friends who “solve crimes in a fictional-ish Southern California coastal town.”
Starring Donal Logue and Michael Raymond-James .
Could be good

*Seeing Allred Netflix (documentary; available 2/9/18)
About one of my all-time heroines, attorney, feminist, women’s rights advocate and all-around brilliant writer and leader, Gloria Allred.

“Women’s rights attorney, Gloria Allred, takes on two of the biggest adversaries of her career — Bill Cosby and Donald Trump — as sexual violence allegations grip the nation and keep her in the spotlight.”
I will watch this soon!

Collateral (miniseries) Netflix (released 3/9/18)
Directed by S.J. Clarkson. “Investigating the murder of a pizza delivery man, a London detective (Carey Mulligan) uncovers a tangled conspiracy involving drug dealers, smugglers, and spies.”
We like a lot of the BBC & Australian TV detective shows, particularly the ones with strong female characters.
We’ll put it on our list

*Jane (Documentary) National Geographic (premiered 3/12/18)
This documentary of Jane Goodall goes well with the docuseries on Dian Fossey, right? “Using a trove of unseen footage, Jane tells the story of Jane Goodall’s early explorations, focusing on her groundbreaking field work, her relationship with cameraman and husband, Hugo van Lawick, and the chimpanzees that she studied.”
I’ll probably watch this

Requiem Netflix (6-part series released 3/23/18)
Another British detective series (which we usually like); this one is set in both 1994 and 2014 or so, focusing on an adult musician who is now in her twenties and may be the grown-up version of a missing toddler from a small Welsh town. The series “encompasses elements of both the supernatural and thriller genres.”
Stars Lydia Wilson as the cellist and Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey) as the detective and Joel Fry as the cellist’s best friend, with James Frecheville, Sian Reese-Williams, Claire Rushbrook, Richard Harrington.
Requiem is…written and created by Kris Mrksa and directed by Mahalia Belo.”
Could be interesting

A Little Help with Carol Burnett Netflix (released 5/4/18)
Carol Burnett, at the age of 85 (one year my mom’s junior), has created and is starring in a new series, “joined by a group of the most honest and unfiltered people in the world—a gaggle of straight-talking, entertaining five- to nine-year-old kids. These very opinionated ‘experts’ weigh-in on a variety of relatable and humorous dilemmas brought in by everyday adults. Each episode will feature a celebrity contributor brave enough to bring in their own dilemma for the kids to comment on in front of a live audience.”
We love her and will try this

800 Words (ran for 3 SEASONS. Released originally in 2015-16. Aired on PBS in 2019 and now is on streaming services)


Cast of 800 Words

Self-named a “sweet, refreshing family drama.” It “follows Australian widower, George Turner’s (Erik Thomson), impulsive decision to start afresh in the New Zealand coastal town of Weld, where he spent his summer vacations as a child. He quits his job as a popular 800-word columnist for a Sydney newspaper… [and]… buys a house online in a remote seaside town in New Zealand. He then has to break the news to his two teenage kids, Shay and Arlo (Melina Vidler, Benson Jack Anthony), who just lost their mom and now face an even more uncertain future….The Aussie invaders quickly become the center of attention in this small town populated by weird and wonderful locals.” Co-Created by Maxine Fleming and James Griffin ( We seem to like many of the shows produced/aired on ACORN (Australian), and this one looks good, also. We can get it on Netflix or Amazon Prime. This aired on our local PBS station, but we missed it.

Northern Rescue Netflix (released winter, 2019; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
This is “a heartwarming family drama starring William Baldwin (Dirty Sexy Money, Too Old To Die Young) [as John West] and Kathleen Robertson (Murder in the First, Bates Motel) [as his sister-in-law, Charlotte]. After the death of his wife, Sarah, John (Baldwin), a Search & Rescue [SAR] officer, packs up his three children [Amalia Williamson, Spencer MacPherson (DeGrassi: Next Class) and Taylor Thorne (Odd Squad)] and moves from their hectic urban life to a small northern town, where they all struggle with their new surroundings, new friends, and accepting Sarah’s death.” Also featuring: Michelle Nolden (Saving Hope) as Sarah West, John’s wife (in flashbacks); Michael Xavier (Bitten) as Paul Simmons, a volunteer member of the SAR team; and Peter MacNeill (Call Me Fitz) as Harry, John’s retired SAR commander.
We may try  it; ; RENEWED for SEASON 2

Hanna Amazon (8 Episodes for SEASON 1 released 3/9/19; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
“This TV adaptation of the 2011 thriller centers on a teen girl [Miles] who was raised by an assassin. Kinnaman will play Hanna’s father, Erik. He is a battle-tested solider who trains Hanna to survive the remote and dangerous forests of Poland. Meanwhile, Enos will portray Marissa—an ambitious CIA agent who’s racing the clock to track down Hanna.”
If this isn’t too violent, we’ll like it. The film was interesting, and we loved Enos in The Catch.
Starring: Esme Creed-MilesJoel Kinnaman (Altered Carbon) and Mireille Enos (The Catch)
Sounds possible; RENEWED for SEASON 2

No Premiere Dates Set, Yet; Probably Airing in 2019 (Updated 4/12/19)

*L.A.’s Finest: Bad Boys on Spectrum, first; we’ll have to wait for it to be aired somewhere else (13 Episodes; premieres 5/13/19)
Just what no one needs: another police show set in Los Angeles. Guess NBC agreed and recently PASSED on this, but it was resurrected by AMC/Charter.

LAs finest photo
somewhat laughably, this shows Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba as LAPD detectives.

This one is a spin-off of the film, Bad Boys, that was almost called Bad Girls, but, instead, is now renamed (3rd title) L.A.’s Finest: Bad Boys. Written by Brandon Margolis and Brandon Sonnier and directed by Anton Cropper, this unnecessary derivative is about “the free-spirited former DEA agent, Burnett—played by Gabrielle Union, (Being Mary Jane)in 2003’s Bad Boys II.” She now “has a fresh start in her new job as an LAPD detective,… partnered with Nancy McKenna (Jessica Alba), a working mom who can’t help but look at Syd’s freedom with some ‘grass-is-greener’ envy. These two have totally different lifestyles and approaches, but they both are at the top of their fields in this action-packed, character-driven procedural….The series follows Burnett (Union), who last was seen in Miami taking down a drug cartel. She now has left her complicated past behind to become an LAPD detective. Paired with a new partner, Nancy McKenna (Alba), a working mom with an equally complex past, Burnett is pushed to examine whether her unapologetic lifestyle might be masking a greater personal secret. These two women don’t agree on much, but they find common ground when it comes to taking on the most dangerous criminals in Los Angeles.” Also featuring: Ernie Hudson, David Fumero, Jordan RodriguesErnie Hudson, Zack Gilford, Duane Martin, Ben Baines, Ryan McPartlin. “Fumero will play Lt. Jason Calloway, an LAPD lieutenant with the Narcotics Division. He and Syd had a one-night stand that colors their occasionally adversarial relationship around the office. A good cop and a total pro; not above arresting any cop who crosses the line. Rodrigues will portray Arlo, a menacing figure who always appears cool, calm, and collected. He is a fun, modern entry into the pantheon of Bad Boys villains.” Jake Busey (Predator) is also featured, to “play Bishop Duvall, an enigmatic criminal hoping to gain a foothold in the Los Angeles drug world.”
Probably I will try it

*Twenties BET (2019 premiere date not set, yet)
By the creator of The Chi (Showtime), Lena Waithe, something we probably won’t like. “The comedy follows a trio of women: Hatti [Gibbs], who is queer and black, and her two straight BFFs…, Marie (Elmore) and Nia (Graham), who spend most of their days talking shit and chasing their dreams. It’s a show about friendship, finding love, and messing everything up along the way….She’s a lesbian who always falls for straight women. Out of cash and desperate for a break, Hattie interviews with Ida B. (Brown), a successful African-American television writer/producer who calls her out on some shady tweets she made some years prior. But when Ida B. offers Hattie a job as a writer’s PA, Hattie may finally have her foot planted firmly on the ladder of Hollywood success.”
Probably wretchedly stereotypical and trite (as if it’s enough to describe a character by giving sexual orientation and gender? NOT).
Starring: Jonica T. Gibbs, Christina Elmore, Gabrielle Graham, Sophina Brown. 
I may watch one Episode. Mom won’t

The Gilded Age NBC (2019 premiere date not set, yet)
Not sure if Julian Fellowes‘ newest period drama is for you, but you loved Downton Abbey? This will help you decide: Michael Engler, “who directed multiple episodes of Downton Abbey, including the two-hour series finale, is set to direct the opening two-hour episode of Fellowes’ 10-episode series,” and “also will serve as executive producer with Fellowes and former Downton EP, Gareth Neame.” Fellowes is the creator and writer: “The Gilded Age is a sweeping fictional epic of the millionaire titans of New York City in the 1880s—a period of immense social upheaval, of huge fortunes made and lost, and of palaces that spanned the length of Fifth Avenue. In the series, Marian Brook is the wide-eyed young scion of a conservative family who will embark on infiltrating the wealthy neighboring family dominated by ruthless railroad tycoon, George Russell, his rakish and available son, Larry, and his ambitious wife, Bertha, whose ‘new money’ is a barrier to acceptance by the Astor and Vanderbilt set. Marian is about to experience a whole new world springing up right outside her front door.” Look for this later in 2019-20.
No stars attached, yet, and no cast listed at all, but how bad could it be?
We’ll try it

MotherFatherSon BBC Two (DVD or Netflix, for us) (8 Episodes; early 2019 premiered, but not here, yet) 
Richard Gere
is onTV for his 1st major roles, on BBC Two for 2 miniseries. First up is this one, created and written by Tom Rob Smith (The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story). “[T]he drama follows Max (Gere), a charismatic, self-made American businessman with media outlets in London and around the world.” Co-starring will be: Helen McCrory (Peaky Blinders) as “Kathryn, a British heiress who has been estranged from Max following the breakdown of their marriage some years before”; Billy Howle (Dunkirk) as their 30-year-old son, Caden, “who runs Max’s U.K. newspaper and is primed to follow in his father’s footsteps as one of the most powerful men in the world.” The main premise revolves around “Caden’s self-destructive lifestyle.” When that “spirals out of control, the devastating consequences threaten the future of the family, its empire, and a country on the brink of change.” Sarah Lancashire (Happy Valley), Sinéad Cusack (Call the Midwife) and Paul Ready (The Terror) are also starring. James Kent will direct; producers are Sharon Bloom and Lisa Osborne, with executive producers, Tom Rob Smith, Alan Poul, Hilary Salmon and Elizabeth Kilgarriff. Could be good, but may not be our cup of tea. Wayward 30-somethings are tedious, for us, and even Richard Gere may not rescue this tired trope (very Rupert Murdoch-ish, eh?).
When we can find it, we’ll try it. 

Cavendish CBC (then Netflix or Amazon?) (premieres spring?, 2019)
A comedy from the Canadian creators of Picnicface, comedy troupe founders, Mark Little and Andrew Bush, along with Garry Campbell (Kim’s Convenience). “Bush and Little star as two bickering brothers who return to their PEI hometown to take care of their grumpy and ailing father, only to collide with the eccentric townsfolk and their even stranger superstitions.”
Probably not our thing, but many will like it. We may try it. Canadian and British sit coms are VERY hit-or-miss with us,; most USA sit coms are definite misses.
May try it 

First Wives’ Club now on BET, not Paramount Network (10 Episodes to air mid-season 2019)
Yet another film-into-series kind of a reboot, and African-American-ized for casting. Starring Ryan Michelle Bathe (Empire), Jill Scott (Why Did I Get Married?, Baggage Claim) and Michelle Buteau (Broad City, Key & Peele) as the three leads. “The original film is based off the best-selling book of the same name by [the late] Olivia Goldsmith.” Writer will be Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip). The 1996 film starred the incomparable trio of Diane Keaton, Bette Midler and Goldie Hawn, and was set in LA. This new series will be set in New York City. “It follows three women and their soon-to-be-exes, Ari (Bathe, married to Mark Tallman’s David), Bree (Buteau, married to Ronreaco Lee’s Gary) and Hazel (Scott, married to Malik Yoba’s Derrick) who band together after their marriages fall apart, and who find strength in their sisterhood- and of course a little revenge. Scott’s Hazel is a gorgeous music superstar who has faded from the limelight and lost the confidence she once had. She has a raw talent and a killer voice that’s been silenced by her husband/manager, Sean, for years. When she realizes that he’s been unfaithful in both business and marriage, she is ready to wreak havoc and assert her artistic identity. Buteau’s Bree is an overwhelmed mom and doctor who hasn’t let loose in years. She is fiercely loyal and committed, so when her husband cheats on her, she is deeply betrayed and not ready to forgive. With the help of Hazel and Ari, she learns to harness her sexual energy and break out of her shell.”
I can think of few films that deserve less to be remade, much less rebooted into a TV series. What a waste of talent, time, money and energy. No one needs this. It’s a little like deciding to remake Thelma and Louise into a TV series (spoiler alert: they drive off a cliff at the end!). There is nothing new to say or show in these stories or characters.
We may watch one Episode

*Red Line CBS (October, 2019, premiere date not set, yet)
Not to be confused with the limited series, The Red Line, spring, 2019)
“[D]epicts the aftermath of a white cop mistakenly shooting a black doctor….Three different families that all have connections with the case [are featured] as the story is told from each perspective.” Also serving as executive producers are Ana DuVernay (Selma, A Wrinkle in Time), Supergirl’s Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter.
Starring: Noah Wyle, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Aliyah Royale, Noel Fisher, Michael Patrick Thornton, Vinny Chhibber, Howard Charles, Elizabeth Laidlaw.
I may watch one Episode, but Mom probably won’t

Pearson (SUITS spin-off; fka Second CityUSA (premieres summer, 2019; pilot Episode aired as finale of of Suits‘ SEASON 7 in spring, 2018). Newest trailer for new show, here: https://morgan-magazine.com/2019/04/12/usa-networks-pearson-latest-trailer-sees-gina-torres-try-to-stay-clean-in-dirty-chicago/
Set to be “raw and grittier” than its parent series. First trailer and more info here: https://deadline.com/2019/01/suits-spinoff-pearson-raw-grittier-spoilers-gina-tores-tca-1202545041/
Gina Torres WILL star as Jessica Pearson, again, and, since this series “will chronicle both Jessica’s professional and personal life, she will be seen wearing more casual clothes than in Suits…[T]here are no Suits characters crossing over on the first season of Pearson.”
Watch for Torres to headline and produce the new series.
Also starring Simon Kassianides, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Morgan Spector, Bethany Joy Lenz, Chantel Riley, Isabel Arraiza and Eli Goree.
We’ll watch this


Ongoing Shows or Specials We Like(d) and have watched (UPDATED 4/12/19; look for them on DVD, streaming, or on premium channels/repeat airings).

*The Split BBC (SEASON 1 aired in 2018; SEASON 2 premieres in 2019-20)
“Set in the messy world of London’s high-end divorce circuit, the legal-world series follows modern marriages and the legacy of divorce.”
Starring: Nicola Walker, Annabel Scholey, Fiona Button, Deborah Findlay, Stephen Mangan, Rudi Dharmalingam and Barry Atsma, with Donna Air and Ben Bailey coming in for SEASON 2.
I really like Nicola Walker and this is the third show I’ve seen her in. Mom won’t watch, but I like it.
Great acting 

Endeavor BBC/PBS Masterpiece/Amazon Prime (SEASON 4 premiered in USA on PBS week of 6/24/18; available on AZ Prime through SEASON 3; RENEWED through SEASON 7; SEASON 5 released 1/29/19 and airs on PBS in our area 6/16/19; SEASON 6 is on Prime, but you have to PAY to watch, even if already a member!  BOOO!)
We really like this show! A ’60’s era British detective/crime-solving series that my mom and I have been enjoying on Amazon Prime and plan to finish by watching recordings from PBS. We finished SEASONS 3 and 4, now (late October, 2017) and, except for the vocal music (‘way too much opera and classical /religious choral music for my taste, which wants NONE of that), believe this is one of the best series of its type around. Barrington Pheloung writes the other music, which is beautiful (and not vocal).
Apparently, a closely-guarded secret from his peers and friends is Detective Morse’s first name, which is “Endeavor.” This series is a prequel to the beloved (but one we haven’t watched, yet) Inspector Morse series; both are set primarily in Oxford, England.
Starring Shaun Evans as young Endeavour Morse, who is beginning his career as a Detective Constable with the Oxford City Police CID, the series has a great supporting and co-starring cast, including Roger Allam, Anton Lesser, Jack Lasky and Sean Rigby on the police force, with recurring roles/frequent appearances by Caroline O’Neill, Sara Vickers, Abigail Thaw and Shvorne Marks. Pilot episode aired in 2012. SEASON 5 will appear in 2018.
Enjoy this a lot; KEEPING and watched; RENEWED for SEASON 6

Designated Survivor was ABC; 10 Episodes on Netflix for SEASON 3 (releasing later in 2019)
The main cast members (Kiefer Sutherland, Kal Penn, Adan Canto, Italia Ricci, Maggie Q) are returning, with a new showrunner and “channel,” but it’s coming back! Joining for SEASON 3 will be Anthony Edwards (ER), Elena Tovar (Dynasty, Genereal Hospital) and Julie White (Transformers).
“Edwards
will play Mars Harper, the President’s [new] Chief of Staff. Harper is likable and folksy in his manner, and uses that gentility to impose his will. Savvy, experienced, and professional, Harper has served many administrations in many capacities. He is respected by all, regardless of party or ideological orientation. He’s come to impart discipline and organization to a West Wing that, from his perch, has lacked focus. He will clash with other staff when he sees that the President’s (Sutherland) needs are not made number one, which will at times put him at odds with the new Campaign Manager, (White) who might have her own agenda.
“White’s Lorraine Zimmer is a force of nature. She takes no prisoners with her strongly held views, backed by years of professional experience running successful campaigns. Previously, she ran a PR firm and is noted for disrupting established businesses. She is embroiled in a nasty divorce, for which she’s expected to pay the alimony. At first, Zimmer is wary of working with President Kirkman (Sutherland), who’s never run in an election. But she’s keenly savvy and notes that he’s blazing a new trail as the nation’s first incumbent president running as an Independent. Zimmer loves the challenge of shaping the campaign, noting that she’ll go down in history if she helps Kirkman pull a win. That zest to win may drive her to engage in dirty tricks and ultimately more nefarious backroom deals.
Tovar is expected to appear in all 10 episodes, playing Isabel, the White House Director of Social Innovation.”
We like this show a lot. Can’t wait!
Starring: Kiefer Sutherland, Kal Penn, Adan Canto, Italia Ricci.
So glad this is coming back!

Suits USA (rest of SEASON 8 returned 1/23/19–first part wasn’t good. We didn’t like SEASON 8. SEASON 9’s 10 Episodes (airing this summer, 2019, will be the last).
Best quote, ever, from the series’ creator, Aaron Korsh: “You can never know that one of your stars is going to marry the Prince of England…” True enough!
For reminiscing with photos (yes, the newly named Duchess of Sussex is featured prominently!) and more info/scoops:
https://deadline.com/2019/01/suits-through-the-years-photo-gallery-meghan-markle-patrick-j-adams-1202539978/
and https://deadline.com/2019/01/suits-end-renewed-10-episode-9th-final-season-usa-network-1202539754/ and
https://deadline.com/2019/01/suits-final-season-spoilers-creator-aaron-korsh-meghan-markle-patrick-j-adams-return-ending-spinoff-1202538942/ .
Odd send-off in SEASON 7 for the two lead characters, Patrick J. Adams and Meghan Markle (as of May, 2018, the Duchess of Sussex!), who departed the series at the end of SEASON 7.
We tuned into see what happened in Episode 1 of SEASON 8, with Katherine Heigl‘s arrival, “to play Specter-Litt’s newest partner, Samantha Wheeler, described as ‘being cunning enough to become the firm’s greatest ally or most powerful enemy.'” and the Donna-Harvey drama.
They’ve made Harvey’s character ridiculous and set up a testosterone war among all the male leads that we find tedious. Not liking Heigl‘s character, much, nor her outfits (what’s with the women-in-white thing on this show, anyway?), but we’ll stick with it, for a while.
Sarah Rafferty is the impossibly perfect Donna who is about to get a new “love interest,” Thomas, played by Sasha Roiz (Grimm, Lucifer, Salvation). He is “the handsome and charming CEO of a high-end furniture design company that has been a longtime client of Zane Specter Litt Wheeler Williams [which answers the questions left open at the end of SEASON 8 doesn’t it?]. When he returns to the firm for help, Donna steps in to assist, but in doing so also catches his eye.” Could be fun!
Gabriel Macht is the complicated and very psychologically messed-up Harvey. Donna and he still have the greatest scenes and lines (and their characters are decades-long friends, which shows).
Glad to see Dulè Hill showing up here after the doomed Doubt; again, as a lawyer.
Gina Torres is OFF the show but is scheduled to do a spin-off (Second City) as Jessica. She was briefly on the doomed The Catch and good there, too.
Louis is still the most richly drawn and has the most fun/awful stuff to do, and all done very well by Rick Hoffman. Not much liking the romance parts, but his legal and personal dramas are all right.
Love Louis’ assistant, Gretchen, played marvelously by the veteran actor, Aloma Wright.
My mom and I complain that none of these lawyers seems to keep their tempers in check, can stop throwing testosterone at the walls (women included), or can behave as anything more than glorified adolescents, except for Jessica
SEASON 8 ended; 9 is FINAL, short and airs summer, 2019

*Burden of Truth CW (premieres 6/2/19 for SEASON 2;  RENEWED for SEASON 3)
We had the final 4 Episodes waiting to be watched and we kept postponing: not a good sign. I finally watched them alone; not great, but did get somewhat better.
Yet another legal drama, but this one was produced in Canada and features “a big-city lawyer who returns to her hometown to take on what she thinks is a simple case, only to find herself in a fight for justice for a group of sick girls.”
Stars Kristin Kreuk (Smallville) Peter Mooney, Alex Carter and Benjamin Ayres.
Story is weird. Some characters are good, some merely stereotypes. Not sure about the likability of either the story or the stars. I watched the last several Episodes alone and found it all very uneven and not very satisfying.
very uneven; RENEWED for SEASON 3.

*Anne with an ‘E’ Netflix (SEASON 2 became available 7/6/18; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
SEASON 2 continued with a slightly older Anne and edgier storylines, tackling racism, sexism, homophobia, bullying, classism, grifters and many other topics I don’t remember being prominent or featured at all in the original books. The TV series is based a great series of middle-grade books by Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables, which “follow[s] Anne (Amybeth McNulty), an outsider who, against all odds, fights for love, acceptance, and her place in the world. Season 2 adds new characters and continues to explore themes of identity, prejudice, feminism, bullying, gender parity and empowerment. Geraldine James, R.H. Thomson, Corrine Koslo, Dalila Bela, Aymeric Jett Montaz, Lucas Zumann and Kyla Matthews return for Season 2, along with newcomers, Dalmar Abuzeid (Sebastian Lacroix) and Cory Grüter-Andrew (Cole MacKenzie).
I loved these books as a kid and the series is great. Glad it got RENEWED for SEASON 2.
Loved SEASON 2; RENEWED for SEASON 3

The Great British Baking Show [Bake-Off]  [was/is PBS (SEASON 5 premiered 6/22/18; Season 8 released on Netflix 9/7/18; SEASON 9 released 11/9/18, and PBS keep releasing SEASONS that are older, I believe); RENEWED in the UKon its origin channel, 4, through 2021]
This is the ONLY “reality” contest/show we watch, and were sad when the American version of the show, The Great American Baking Show, was derailed and removed from broadcasting mid-season in 2017 by the bad behavior of one judge, Johnny Luzzini. So, we were delighted to have it back with SEASON 5, which hadn’t been aired before, with its original presenters, Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, and judges, Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. Makes us hungry, but very informative, interesting, fun.
We can smell what they bake, sometimes, we swear!
Also, catch the Master Classes when they appear (some in August, based on desserts made in their previous classes: great actual lessons for baking their ways!
The newest version has Prue Leith, Paul Hollywood as judges and Sandi Toksvig, Noel Fielding (newly blond, as of September, 2018) as EmCees.
Definitely KEEPING 

*A.P. Bio NBC (RENEWED and returned 3/7/19 for SEASON 2; CANCELED)
This sounded interesting and still gets me to come back, but it’s mostly SILLY: Patton Oswalt (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and others I had never heard of or seen star  in a comedy about a “cynical Ivy League professor [who] loses out on his dream job and goes to work as a high school biology teacher where he imposes his unorthodox teaching style and uses the kids to plot out revenge on those who wronged him.” Mom and I watched Episode 1, but she wanted to bail about 10 minutes into it. I have watched 2 Episodes while doing other things, for a few laughs (some are even intelligent), but I’m sure it’s doomed. Mostly tropes, cliches, stereotypes and shticks rather than characters.
Good for a few laughs, and, amazingly, RENEWED for SEASON 2; CANCELED

*Grey’s Anatomy: B-Team ABC.com only (available January, 2018)
Grey’s Anatomy‘s 2017-18 Interns got their own show (sort of) and you do NOT have to pay to watch it, but it’s only viewable online and only has 6 Episodes; each one is about 2 minutes long.
“[A]vailable to stream now” http://abc.go.com/shows/greys-anatomy-b-team/episode-guide/season-01/01-episode-one “with all six episodes focusing on Grey Sloan Memorial’s newbies docs as the navigate their way through their first day as surgeons. Starring in the digital series are Sophia Taylor Ali as Dahlia Qadri, Jake Borelli as Levi Schmitt, Alex Blue Davis as Casey Parker, Jaicy Elliot as Taryn Helm, Rushi Kota as Vik Roy and Jeanine Mason as Sam Bello.”
FMI: http://www.eonline.com/news/905683/grey-s-anatomy-s-new-interns-are-getting-their-own-show?cmpid=rss-000000-rssfeed-365-tvnews&utm_source=eonline&utm_medium=rssfeeds&utm_campaign=rss_tvnews
Kind of like previews or vignettes more than Episodes, but fun, if you’re a fan of Grey’s.

A Place to Call Home ACORN (then DVD and Amazon; already has 5 SEASONS on DVD; SEASON 6—its final—starts airing on ACORN 9/10/18 and ends 10/29/18; DVD releases 4/23/19)
Medical, social class and religious persecution drama set in rural Australia, post-World War II, with strong female characters, especially in the lead roles. Sarah (Marta Dusseldorp) is fabulous as “a nurse returning to 1950s Australia after 20 years in Europe. A convert to Judaism, Sarah emerged from the horrors of World War II strong, principled, and defiant—a thoroughly modern woman still bearing the weight of the past. On the ship home, Sarah meets the wealthy Bligh family. She quickly charms dashing widower, George (Brett Climo, Snowy River: The McGregor Saga) and his spirited daughter, Anna (Abby Earl, The Great Mint Swindle). Less pleased is his mother (award-winning actress Noni Hazlehurst, Little Fish), particularly after Sarah witnesses a desperate act by George’s son, James (David Berry, Home and Away). As Sarah settles into life in her new town, Mrs. Bligh does everything she can to maintain her iron grip on her family-and keep Sarah out of it. A thoroughly addictive drama brimming with secrets, passion, romance, and intrigue, A Place to Call Home explores the ties that hold families together and the betrayals that can tear them apart.”
Also starring Jack Irish.
We LOVE this and SEASON 5 was excellent!

The Doctor Blake Mysteries Netflix (on PBS and other online outlets; also, DVDs through SEASON 5 available)
Star Craig McLachlan has been accused and was investigated for sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior on set. He got blackballed for bad behavior (spring, 2018) and is OUT for the final film, The Blake Mysteries: A New Beginning, which aired on 11/30/19 in the UK and we’re trying to get it on DVD in 2019. This is featuring his new wife, instead.
The Doctor Blake Mysteries is an original, period murder mystery series, starring one of Australia’s favourite, most versatile actors, Craig McLachlan, as the maverick town doctor, Lucien Blake. A risk-taker, he is impulsive and not afraid to upset the status quo. Dr. Lucien Blake left Ballarat as a young man. But now, he finds himself returning, to take over his dead father’s medical practice. And one of the unwanted duties his father left him is the on-call role of police surgeon. Set in the old gothic gold rush town of Ballarat in 1959. The wealth that built its grand architecture long gone-but not the mysteries, murder and deceit that linger beneath the surface of its faded glory.”
Also starring Joel Tobeck, Nadine Garner, Rick Donald.
SEASON 1 aired in 2013. SEASON 2, with another 10 episodes, aired in 2014 and SEASON 3 aired in 2015. SEASONS 1- 5 are out on DVD as of late 2018.
We like this, and too bad about the star

*Genius National Geographic (SEASON 2 returned 4/24/18, about PABLO PICASSO)
“Aretha Franklin, Queen of Sou”l, is the topic for SEASON 3, to premiere early in 2020. “Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Suzan-Lori Parks, will exec produce and showrun…[with co-EPs,] Franklin collaborator, Clive Davis, and Atlantic Records chair and CEO, Craig Kallman….[SEASON 3] will cover the ‘Respect’ singer’s iconic career, how her work changed music and the world, her time as a gospel prodigy, and her civil rights activism. Many of her biggest hits, such as ‘I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)’ and ‘Chain of Fools,’ will be included in the project, as will her renditions of ‘I Knew You Were Waiting for Me,’ ‘Freeway of Love,’ and ‘Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves.’…Franklin received 18 Grammys, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and countless other awards and accolades throughout her nearly-six-decade career. Her records have sold over 75 million copies worldwide, and she was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She died August 16, 2018, of advanced pancreatic cancer. She was 76.” Look for this in early 2020. No casting news, yet. FMI: https://womenandhollywood.com/aretha-franklin-to-be-subject-of-genius-season-3-suzan-lori-parks-will-showrun/
SEASON 2 starred Antonio Banderas as the adult Picasso. I wasn’t captivated and stopped watching after Episode 1, though; haven’t gone back to it.
SEASON 1 of this bio-pic series was based on the life and work of Albert Einstein. Only I watched these, but I really enjoyed each Episode.
Flipped back and forth between college-aged (Johnny Flynn) and professorial-/World War II-aged Einstein (Geoffrey Rush). Also starred the great Emily Watson as his second wife for a while, then stayed with the older versions for the last few Episodes. Spoiler: ends with Einstein’s death and its aftermath.
Directed by Ron Howard (yes, that one). http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/genius/ has trailers and more info.
Divided into 10 “Chapters,” with each episode’s airing more than once per week.
Mary Shelley, the author of many novels and the person credited with creating science-fiction as a genre with her incredible Frankenstein, MAY or MAY NOT be the subject of SEASON 4. See NEWS, above. Stay tuned!
Excellently done; SEASON 3, RENEWED

*Younger NOT yet moving to PARAMOUNT (STILL on TV LAND) (returns 6/12/19 for SEASON 6; premieres on new network in June, 2020)
I got hooked on this by watching all the previous episodes on-demand, and now eagerly await its return. I LOVE Sutton Foster, so even though the premise is ridiculous and Hilary Duff is predictably awful, I watch.
But, Season 4 was surprisingly much better, partly because some of the characters are now in on the secret (true age of Foster‘s character, Liza—early 40s vs. the purported mid-twenties) and some of their reactions are excellent.
OFF THE RAILS at the end of Episode 1 for SEASON 5, though: I have no idea how they’re going to walk this back or forward. NO SPOILERS, here. Still puzzled by where this can go after watching Episode 2. Hmmmmm.
Also starring Debi Mazar, Miriam Shor, Nico Tortorella, Peter Hermann, Molly Bernard and Charles Michael Davis; and, featuring guest stars: “Laura Benanti, Phoebe Dynevor, Michael Urie, and recurring cast member, Chris Tardio, … [with] Nicole Ari Parker (Empire), [who] will play Maggie’s (Mazar) love interest; novelist and screenwriter, Michael Cunningham, (The Hours); novelist, Meg Wolitzer (The Wife); and, actresses, Becky Ann Baker (Girls), Willa Fitzgerald (Dare Me) and Beth Leavel.”
Most people won’t like this, but I somehow do; RENEWED through SEASON 6

*Humans AMC (returned 6/5/18 for SEASON 3; SEASON 4 status unknown)
Scary and depressing return. Mom dropped out halfway through the third SEASON. Strong characters who are back again and some new ones, but the storyline is now so conflictual and sad. We like how the director instructs the actors who play “Synths” to walk in a distinctive way and gives them all these green contacts so we can tell them from humans right off. Much more violent, so, even though it’s intriguing, we didn’t even finish watching Episode 1 of SEASON 3.
Gemma Chan, Katherine Parkinson, Lucy Carless star. We really liked this show and thought we’d welcome it back, because it’s very creative, raising important, thought-provoking social issues about who/what is “human” and what is not, and well-acted. We didn’t sign up for a civil war, though. I finished the SEASON, reluctantly and alone.
Maybe not KEEPING; SEASON 3, finished

*Shrink NBC (premiered January, 2018; can’t find SEASON 2 status, yet)
This oddball comedy (NOT to be confused with Rob Liefeld‘s Shrink, an upcoming animated film that centers on “a psychiatrist whose patients are superheroes”) started as an improvised pilot in 2012, when it won the Second City Touring Company alum and former Daily Show producer, Ted Tremper, Best Comedy and Critics Award at the New York Television Festival in 2012. It later got “picked up” for SEASON 1 (8 Episodes) in 2017 for 2018.
If you’ve ever been in therapy or been a therapist, you (as I have) may find this strangely funny and compelling. Also, occasionally stupid as well as touching. Mom won’t watch, but I’m catching it On Demand (it began airing in January, 2018).
David Tracey (Tim Baltz, also one of the show’s creators and co-writers), is “a medical student who has lost his residency and has over half a million dollars in school debt. He discovers that he can become a clinical therapist if he performs 1,920 hours of supervised therapy, and he begins seeing patients for free in his parents’ garage.”
Some of the characters are more shticks or a series of one-liners or tropes rather than characters, but Baltz is endearing and earnest as a therapist-in-training, unconventional as it is. I’m also enjoying the depiction of the strange dynamics in his relationship with his childhood therapist-now-supervisor, played by Sue Gillan.
Strangely funny; hoping for SEASON 2

In Contempt BET (premiered 4/10/18; SEASON 2 status unknown)
We didn’t much like the characters in Episode 1, but some have grown on us and we continue to watch.
Legal drama depicting “the fast-paced world of a legal aid office in New York City and follows Gwen Sullivan, an opinionated attorney whose passion for her job and clients make her arguably the most talented public defender in her district,” on BET, which means strong casting of African-Americans; long-overdue on network TV, for sure. It is compelling, but it’s hard to know whom to root for: most are unlikable.
Starring: Erica Ash (Survivor’s Remorse), Mouna Traoré (Book of Negroes), Megan Hutchings (Reign), and featuring Tobias Truvillion (Empire, The Blacklist), Richard Lawson (Poltergeist, Grey’s Anatomy, Real Husbands of Hollywood) and Eugene Clark.
Produced/created in Canada and expected to “replace” Being Mary Jane [which I watched every Episode of; canceled in 2017] for BET viewers, it was conceived by Terri Kopp (Law & Order, Third Watch, BET‘s Rebel), who serves as showrunner.
Interesting, but characters aren’t very likable

*Greenhouse Academy Netflix (no release date, yet, for SEASON 3; RENEWED for SEASON 4)
A teen-focused, sci-fi, somewhat soap-opera-y half-hour show that I somehow like enough to keep watching. Elite boarding schools have an odd appeal, don’t they?
Starts with a tragedy that is NOT what it seems, as we find out, slowly. Bad guys vs. good guys, but no heroes, yet. It’s always about money, too, which is trite.
Not a lot of info in SEASON 1, but SEASON 2 is more revealing.
Starring:Ariel Mortman, Finn Roberts, B J Mitchell, Chris O’Neal, Dallas Hart, Leo Cruz, Alex Woods, Grace van Dien, Brooke Osmond. Jessica Amlee, Jackie Sanders. Benjamin Papac, Max Miller. Cinthya Carmona, Sophie Cardona (“students” are all in their 20s, but playing high schoolers). 
Dana Melanie
(Wild Nights With Emily) and Rafael Cebrian (Narcos) are joining for SEASON 3: Melanie is to replace Aviv Buchler as Emma Geller; Cebrian will be playing a new character, Enzo.
Somewhat predictable, but fun; RENEWED for SEASON 4

Instinct CBS (6/16/19 premiere for SEASON 2)
Alan Cumming (The Good Wife) is back, and he seems to be having a lot of fun, and so are we. We enjoy this show a lot and look forward to more!

Mandatory Credit: Photo by MediaPunch/REX/Shutterstock (7450455h)
Alan Cumming
44th International Emmy Awards, New York, USA – 21 Nov 2016

Cumming plays “a former CIA operative who has since built a ‘normal’ life as a gifted professor and writer [who] is pulled back into his old life when the NYPD needs his help to stop a serial killer on the loose. Based on the soon-to-be-published James Patterson book.”
Also starring: Naveen Andrews, Whoopi Goldberg, Bojana Novakovic, Sharon Leal, Daniel Ings.
and, this latest description, in an article in which Cumming claims there are “hidden anti-Trump messages” in this show: “Instinct stars Alan Cumming as a former CIA operative who is lured back to his old life when the NYPD needs his help to stop a serial killer. Dr. Dylan Reinhart is a gifted author (Goldberg plays his editor) and university professor living a quiet life teaching psychopathic behavior to packed classes of adoring students. But when tenacious top NYPD detective, Lizzie Needham (Novakovic), appeals to him to help her catch a serial murderer who is using Dylan’s first book as a tutorial, Dylan is compelled by the case and comes out of retirement. Helping them is Julian Cousins (Andrews), Dylan’s invaluable CIA comrade, who rivals Dylan in brilliance and wit, and can get top-secret dirt on anyone, anywhere, anytime. Lizzie’s boss, Lt. Jasmine Gooden (Leal), is glad to see her best detective finally agree to work with someone on a case, since Lizzie has refused any partner since a tragic event one year ago. But as Dylan feels reenergized tapping into his old skill set, his husband, Andy (Ings), is concerned that Dylan’s breaking their pact about putting away his cloak and dagger for good. Though Dylan and Lizzie initially clash, when it comes to catching killers, they realize they will make an ideal team if they both trust their instincts. Based on the [upcoming] James Patterson novel.”
Very fun! We LOVE this!; RENEWED & midseason premiere for SEASON 2

Marvel’s Jessica Jones Netflix (returned for SEASON 2 on 3/8/18; RENEWED for final SEASON 3, which will release in spring, 2019); NEWS: Serial Box is bringing some episodic content featuring this character and a few other Marvel Universe shows to paying customers in 2019-20.
Season 2 of JJ was not as good as Season 1, but we do like some of the backstories it has included and the featuring of minor characters, despite the “looking backward” feel to it. And, the acting is STELLAR!
Disappointingly, the spin-offs and “cousins” of Marvel’s Jessica Jones, like Marvel’s Luke Cage, was awful and short-lived (some were renewed for SEASON 2 on Netflix, but no SEASON 3).
After finishing Marvel’s The Defenders, SEASON 1 (which may now be RENEWED after having been unexpectedly CANCELED after having been renewed for SEASON 2; yo-yo much?), we will probably go back and watch the rest of Luke Cage; SEASON 2 releases on Netflix 6/22/18.
We mute all the fighting (wishing we could fast-forward!).
Continuing to watch; RENEWED for final SEASON 3, then having podcasts (!?!)

For the People ABC (returned 3/7/19 for SEASON 2, but may be CANCELED!)
Another courtroom drama… We sometimes like these, but they can be SUPER boring if not done right. Strong start, and we’re liking it. Glad it got RENEWED for SEASON 2.
Bull, yes. Chicago Justice, no.
We do recognize some of the stars and the newcomers are good, also.
Features Ben Rappaport (Mr. Robot, The Good Wife), Hope Davis (American Crime), Anna Deavere Smith (Nurse Jackie), in a small but recurring role, Lyndon Smith (Parenthood), Ben Shenkman (Royal Pains), and some others.
Blurb: “Set in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, aka “The Mother Court,” the drama follows brand-new lawyers working for both the defense and the prosecution handling the most high-profile and high-stakes federal cases in the country — all as their lives intersect in and out of the courtroom.”
Another (and probably last) Shonda RhimesABC production; then, she’s off to Netflix!)
Strong start; liking it; SEASON 2 RENEWED, but may be CANCELED!  

*Call the Midwife PBS (12/25/18 special for SEASON 8; returned 3/31/19; RENEWED through SEASON 11)
Strong return for SEASON 6, but not many new storylines. Even so, these writers tackle difficult issues quite well: South African apartheid, alcoholism, sexism, extra-marital affairs, classism, poverty, domestic violence, racism, prejudice, gossip, Travelers (“Gypsies”), dementia, Thalidomide’s birth defects, birth control pills, prostitution, lesbianism and homosexuality (when illegal and abhorred), adoption, infertility, late-in-life romance, Down’s Syndrome; and, a lot about communal living, especially among those in religious organization’s challenges, e.g., nuns and renouncing vows, following orders, being “called.”
Each year’s “Christmas” opener involves the real-time actual year (SEASON 6’s was of the 1962-63 “Big Freeze” in Britain and its impact on their neighborhood and people). Scary, funny, sad, interesting.
8-episode run for SEASON 7 in the USA starts in early April, 2018; same pattern for 4 more years, SEASONS 8 – 11.
Lost several favorite characters in SEASON 6 and, now, 7. Sorry to see them go.
KEEPING and RENEWED for SEASONS 8 – 11

*When Calls the Heart Hallmark (Christmas Episode 12/25/18; RENEWED for SEASONS 6 & 7; returned 2/24/19 for SEASON 5, but stopped 3/17 and reshot due to Lori Loughlin‘s criminality and removal; resumes for special, two-night “event”  5/5 & 6/19)
Erin Krakow is good as the lead character, Elizabeth Thatcher, a rich young woman who left her safe, city family life to become a Canadian prairie teacher in a one-room school house, with an adorable Daniel Lessing as her Canadian Mountie/ love interest/now dead husband (SEASON 5). Yes; hers is one of my alternate reality jobs.
Chris McNally (Supernatural) and Kevin McGarry (Heartland) will be in the cast for SEASON 6: McNally will play Lucas Bouchard, a charming gambler and saloon owner who is hiding more than a card up his sleeve. McGarry is Nathan Grant, the epitome of the strong, silent type and takes all his responsibilities to heart as the new Mountie in town.”

When calls the heart

Lori Loughlin has been AXED due to her indictments for criminal behaviors (March, 2019) and they’re going to reshoot the remainder of SEASON 5’s Episodes to eliminate her, somehow. On hiatus as of mid-March, pending those new versions). She played her typically maternal and saccharine character, and also, the Mayor, the best friend/ cafe owner/ widow/ adoptive mother/ landlady. Other characters are also “stock” and mostly two-dimensional, but I blame the Hallmark Channel‘s writers (Janette Oke and Derek Thompson, most recently, but there are 18+!) more than I fault the actors.
Also has Chelah Horsdal and many others from the Hallmark stock character stables.
The show is very sappy, predictable, silly and overly sentimental, with many stereotypes and tropes, but I still watch.
SPOILER ALERT: Jack (Daniel Lessing) is killed off right after they get married at the end of SEASON 4, leaving Elizabeth pregnant (of course, since the film of the same name stars the character who is Elizabeth and Jack’s granddaughter).
Keeping; SEASONS 5 & 6, RENEWED

*The Crown Netflix (RENEWED for SEASONS 3 – 6; SEASONS 3 & 4 release dates both in mid-2019, back-to-back)
For SEASON 3, it is to be set about 20+ years past SEASON 1 (1947 – 1955) and about 10+ years past SEASON 2 (up to about 1965), and gets an entirely new cast of main characters for SEASONS 3 & 4, and again for SEASONS 5 & 6!
The Crown season 3 will pick up sometime in the 1970s, reportedly spanning Queen Elizabeth II’s reign from about 1971 to 1979. No release date has yet been announced.” But, look for SEASONS 3 & $ early in 2019, apparently, on NETFLIX.
We will miss the young- to – early middle-aged Queen Elizabeth II, as played so well by Claire Foy, and the younger version of Princess Margaret, strutted so delightfully by Vanessa Kirby.
But, how excited are we to get Helena Bonham Carter as the older and even more scandalous Princess Margaret? And, an odd choice: Gillian Anderson (The X-Files, The Fall, Hannibal, Sex Education) as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (FYI: “Thatcher served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990, making her Britain’s longest-serving PM of the 20th century”!).
Curious to see how Olivia Colman takes over for Claire Foy as Elizabeth. When interviewed, she claimed NOT to be intending to “copy” Foy‘s performances.
MORE CASTING NEWS (7/26/18), here! For great side-by-side comparison photos and more info: https://www.eonline.com/news/948927/the-crown-season-3-cast-meet-the-new-additions-taking-over-the-royal-roles#photo-920393
—-Josh O’Connor (God’s Own Country) will be a grown Prince Charles.
—-Marion Bailey (Allied) replaces Eileen Atkins as the older Queen Mother, Mary.
—-Jason Watkins is playing Prime Minister Harold Wilson.
—-Erin Doherty (Call the Midwife) will play Princess Anne.
—-Tobias Menzies (Outlander) will play the middle-aged Prince Phillip (replacing Matt Smith, whom I didn’t much like in that role, anyway).
—-Ben Daniels (The Exorcist) will play Antony Armstrong-Jones, the middle-aged version of the husband of Princess Margaret.
—-Helena Bonham Carter will play a middle-aged Princess Margaret.
Still no word on who will play the young adult versions of Prince Charles‘ other siblings.
Deserved every award it got and then some. Have watched all of SEASONS 1 & 2 already and LOVED it. I don’t know much about the relationship between Elizabeth and Philip, nor their friends and family, so it’s all news, to me.
Princess Diana arrives in SEASON 4, played by newcomer, Emma Corrin.
This series is so well-written, acted, and produced I can’t say enough good things about it. The scenes make me laugh, cry and get goosebumps. After watching SEASON 1, I was inspired to watch THREE documentaries about the Royal Family! Watched (premiered 2/10/19), PBSMargaret, The Rebel Princess and got even more info. She had a sad life, I think.
John Lithgow (as Prime Minister Winston Churchill) was and Clare Foy were outstanding, as were all the rest of the cast and writing. Truly remarkable.
Mom wasn’t interested, but I keep her posted on how great it is.
If you like this and don’t know much about Queen Elizabeth II‘s reign or the concomitant history, watch In her Own Words: Queen Elizabeth, also on PBS and online. Aired in late May, 2017, so available any time. Another good doc was Princes of the Palace, about all of them since Prince Phillip, which aired in September, 2017, and is available online as well.
Watched and LOVED SEASONS 1 & 2. SEASONS 3 – 6 RENEWED, and recast every 2 SEASONS

*Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (RENEWED for SEASON 6—returning 5/10/19, & RENEWED for final SEASON 7)
I only half-watch (while coloring). It’s gotten increasingly implausible, more violent, and sillier (without humor) in the last three seasons, but, somehow, I still watch to see how it all goes.
I certainly like the child clairvoyant, the time travel aspects, the tech inventions and the romances more than the fighting and displays of temper and testosterone.
In casting and character news, Deke Shaw, who plays Jeff Ward (Jemma [Elizabeth Henstridge] and Fitz’s [Iain De Caestecker] grandson), is going to be a “regular,” joining other regulars, Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Henry Simmons, and Natalia Cordova-Buckley.
Trailer and more info for SEASON 6 here: https://movizark.com/2019/01/29/marvels-agents-of-s-h-i-e-l-d-season-6-first-intense-trailer-teases-coulsons-return-check-it-out/
Probably not worth your time; RENEWED for SEASONS 6 & final 7

The Blacklist NBC (premiered January, 2019; RENEWED for SEASON 7)
Now that we know Reddington is/isn’t Lizzie’s father, has a half-sister, may have to watch this father/not father get executed: what is up, Blacklist?
The new relationship between Lizzie and Reddington /no Reddington is intriguing, though, and we like the nuances and mysteries. Great performances by all.
Okay for SEASON 6; RENEWED for SEASON 7

*Young Sheldon CBS (RENEWED for SEASONS 3 &74)
I never watched The Big Bang Theory, so I wasn’t going to watch this. However, having seen the star, Iain Armitage, in Big Little Lies and being amazed at how good he was, and then I saw him be excellent in a movie, I decided to try it. Didn’t like it much, at first, but it really grew on me. Somewhat silly and often goes for the laugh, but sometimes, really hits the mark.
“It’s 1989 and 9-year-old Sheldon Cooper has skipped four grades to start high school along with his less-intellectual older brother. As he struggles to be understood by his family, classmates and neighbours, his mother arms him with the best tool she can come up with: reminding bullies his dad is the football coach and his brother is on the team. His twin sister doesn’t share his exceptional mind, but she has a much clearer vision of what life has in store for the young genius. Jim Parsons, who plays the adult version of Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory, narrates.”
Also in this cast: Zoe Perry. Lance Barber. Montana Jordan. Raegan Revord. Jim Parsons. Annie Potts, Wallace Shawn
Grows on me; RENEWED for SEASONS 3 & 4

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee TBS (ongoing and RENEWED for SEASON 4)
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee: Christmas on I.C.E.
TBS (premiered 12/19/18)
Not the White House correspondents’ Dinner, 2nd Edition
(1st one was in 2017) TBS (premieres 4/27/19, and serving hamberders): “‘I promised myself I’d never do another one of these,’ Bee says in a new promo for the event (watch it HERE), ‘but someone’s gotta roast that motherfcker and if they won’t do it, I will.’”
I loved Samantha Bee on The Daily Show and awaited her new individual show with great anticipation. I have mostly not been disappointed, but I haven’t been watching as regularly, either: TOO MUCH of #45.
Bee is funny, insightful, appropriately outraged and very bold, extremely feminist and “in-your-face,” but since I agree with her POV, this all works great, for me. I laugh out loud and sigh with relief at many of her “bits.”
Finally: a feminist’s POV delivered with wit and humor about this horrible election season! Yeah! And, more coming, I’m sure.

Full Frontal

Strong return for SEASON 2, but I AM SO SICK OF this administration and all rethuglicans!
Definitely keeping and glad it was RENEWED for SEASON 4

The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco ITV/BritBox (SEASON 1, 8 Episodes, aired 7/25 – 9/16/18; can pay EXTRA to watch on Amazon Prime, but we won’t)
Don’t know when we can watch it on DVD or Netflix (it is on Britbox), but looking forward to it! This series is based on the original show, The Bletchley Circle (which we LOVED), adding Episodes and relocating to San Francisco a few years after the other Episodes left off! Millie (Rachael Stirling) and Jean (Julie Graham) are “investigating a friend’s murder in the Bay Area three years after the events” of ending of the first series. It is BritBox’s first original series, with four two-hour episodes. “The original series centered on a group of female WWII code-breakers who reunite in the 1950s to track down a serial killer.”
We hope Netflix picks this one up soon!
We plan to watch

Shetland BBC One/Netflix (SEASON 4 DVD came out 10/2/18, but no release date on Netflix; UPDATED 3/8/19; RENEWED for SEASON 5)
The accents of the actors on this show are often very difficult for us midwestern-USA listeners to understand, but the show is a great “who done it” format with very little gore/violence on screen and lots of excellent writing (best handling of female colleague’s sexual assault by a male colleague I’ve ever seen on TV or film), characterizations and situations (similar to DCI Banks, which we also loved). We watched SEASONS 1, 2 & 3 on Netflix now (summer programming isn’t so great on regular TV). We plan to watch it on BBC America, if it runs here, or resume when the rest comes onto Netflix in spring or summer, 2018.
“DI [Detective Inspector] Jimmy Perez (Douglas Henshall) and his team (mostly, Alison O’Donnell, Steven Robertson) investigate crimes within the close-knit island community of Shetland.”
Like DCI Banks, the series started with a double Episode pilot, then each season had/has 3 or 4 double Episodes.
The setting is supposedly on one or more of the Shetland archipelago of islands as part of northeastern Scotland, but is actually filmed mostly in Scotland itself. Still, beautiful scenery of many coastal lays.

Great murder mystery show, if you can understand what they’re saying; RENEWED for SeASON 5

Grace & Frankie Netflix (SEASON 5 released 1/18/19; RENEWED for SEASON 6)
The writing has deteriorated even worse for SEASONS 3, 4, 5, but we keep watching. The acting is worse, also, for every actor except Jane Fonda, who manages to have a character and not a caricature more than the rest. Bad directing, bad writing, terrible hamming/performing rather than acting, especially by the men. Still ZERO chemistry between ANY of the couples on this show, hetero or homo. Poor casting?
My mom and I watch, but we are constantly disappointed and disgusted.
We saw Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda on talk shows often and we do respect them as actors. However, each of their characters has become a 2-D version of its original concept, and the characters of all the gay men, including Martin Sheen ‘s and Sam Waterston‘s, are always pathetic stereotypes.
Robert (Sheen) and Sol (Waterson) are wooden and unbelievable as passionate lovers.
Lily Tomlin is still performing a hippie character trope.
Jane Fonda is the only one of the four who actually inhabits a realistic version of a character via acting, and I think she gets the best storylines.
Brooklyn Decker and June Diane Raphael are given, as Sheen‘s and Fonda‘s adult daughters, mostly comedy bits and one-liners to enact, and they are not getting the sisterly relationship in any believable way.
Baron Vaughn and Ethan Embry (Tomlin‘s and Waterston‘s adult sons) are not given that much to do, and even that is more slapstick than acting.
Most of the supporting characters are written as stereotypes of whatever group they are purported to belong to by ethnicity, age, job or other status, which is sloppy and lazy writing and disappointing for the talents of these actors. We hoped these actors would get to do more than mug, crack jokes and be cardboard cutouts.
Ernie Hudson returned as Lily‘s lover, Jacob, but then was gone, and is coming back for SEASON 6. Peter Gallagher is the best of the bunch, but his lines are so trite. They sometimes have great guest stars as female friends, but, again, these, the people in the offices, and the gay friends are all 2-D stereotypes and wasted in this show.
This show could be SO MUCH BETTER! But, the writing usually trivializes what few actual issues there are, going for silly and getting sillier, even though the topics are significant.
For example,
—Why do Sol and Robert’s arguments make them sound as if they’re 14-year-old girls?
— Why trivialize/parody the dying, strokes, heart attacks, losses, dementia, knee problems, muggings, burglaries, robberies and other crimes committed against senior citizens while parodying real concerns about home owners having loaded guns on site or need to be put into assisted living?
—How could women raising several children deal with husbands who won’t grow up besides divorcing them?
—How do couples who based their entire relationship on lifetimes of duplicity, dishonesty, and other problems that do not disappear once they are discussed form positive relationships?
—Does none of these characters have a distinct moral compass? They all lie to each other.
—Good to raise the issues senior citizens deal with in relationships and sexuality (vaginal dryness, erectile dysfunction, shyness/awkwardness (newly dating after being married for decades), lack of interest, but why not show more respect, even in a comedy?
–How do/can addicts “make amends” when they’ve lied, stolen, destroyed property and relationships/trust for many years and still can’t be readily trusted?
—Do children ever “get over” sibling rivalry? Do in-laws ever get along? How do jealousy and competition and affect adult relationships?
—How could adults deal effectively and respectfully with children’s phobias and anxieties rather than patronizing or minimizing?
Wish the writers would tackle these and other issues head-on rather than with one-liners and sit-com scenarios. The actors would then actually have something to do and the viewers would probably be feeling that their time had been well-spent instead of wasted.
CONTINUING, but frequently disappointed; RENEWED for SEASON 6

Big Little Lies HBO and DVD (SEASON 1 premiered 2/19/17; SEASON 2 premieres 6/9/19; we’ll get it later in 2019, probably)
Won many awards already (Golden Globes, SAG). Trailer for SEASON 2 here: https://deadline.com/2019/04/hbo-season-2-teaser-big-little-lies-1202595647/ 
“The apparently perfect lives of three [really, five] mothers of first-graders unravel to the point of murder.”
As if it didn’t win enough awards for SEASON 1, Meryl Streep is joining the SEASON 2 cast! “Streep will play Mary Louise Wright, the mother of Perry Wright, the abusive creep played by Alexander Skarsgard in the first season.” And, Perry may not exactly be dead, according to other reports I’ve read! Also gains Douglas Smith for this one as well as a new director, Andrea Arnold. Need to get this one on DVD since we don’t get HBO, but it’s very worth waiting for!
FMI and some spoilers: https://soundbooks.org/2018/01/24/whoa-big-little-lies-season-2-will-star-meryl-streep/
Starring the amazingly talented Shailene Woodley, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Zoe Kravitz, with husbands played by Alexander Skarsgard, James Tupper, Jeffrey Nordling, Adam Scott,. The kids are headlined by the ever-present Iain Armitage (Young Sheldon, now) as the much-maligned Ziggy, with Darby Camp and Ivy George as the other featured first-graders with Kathryn Newton and an older sibling of Camp.
Won lots of and was nominated for even more Emmys for 2017.
Excellent writing, acting, directing and overall production. BUT, very depressing/distressing stories, with a lot of graphic violence, frequent and oddly dysfunctional sex and destructive verbal and physical behaviors among the characters. Almost none is likable, and all are pathetic in some way, but compelling.
David E. Kelley, Barbara Hall, Liane Moriarty are responsible: how could it be bad?
KEEPING and RENEWED for SEASON 2; we have to get it on DVD

The Heart Guy (AKA Doctor, Doctor) ACORN TV (SEASON 1 on DVD) (RENEWED for SEASONS 2 & 3; SEASON 3 premieres in USA 11/12/18)
Surprisingly and increasingly engaging 10-Episode Australian-made dramedy starring some actors I’ve seen in other Australian series and BBC shows.
Story is plausible and interesting, even if some of the characters are very broadly drawn. “A rising heart surgeon’s life takes a turn he never expected and soon everything comes crashing down. He soon finds himself a former big city doctor turned small town doctor. It could be the worst year of his life or just what the doctor ordered.”
Diverse cast starring and featuring: Rodger Corser (McCleod’s Daughters, Home and Away) as Hugh Knight, Nicole da Silva (All Saints, Home and Away) as Charlie, Ryan Johnson (Fairly Legal, Home and Away, All Saints) as Matt Knight, Hayley McElhinney as Penny, Tina Bursill (All Saints, Home and Away) as Meryl Knight, Steve Bisley as Jim Knight, Shalom Brune-Franklin as Aoife, Belinda Bromilow as Betty, Matt Castley as Ajax, Winta McGrath as Floyd.
We don’t subscribe to ACORN, so we get the DVDs from our public library. I can’t find anywhere to watch this online without paying for ACORN, so far.
Enjoying this a lot; Looking forward to SEASON 2 on DVD

*Black Mirror Netflix (SEASONS 1 – 4 available after 1/5/18; RENEWED for SEASON 5)
This British version of an updated Twilight Zone-ish series is very unsettling (I’ve only watched two episodes, but those were so disturbing I may not return any time soon). However, they are well-written, well-acted and “realistic,” as far as they can be while venturing into odd and futuristic territory. Recommended if you like bizarre, weird, unnerving and challenging. I know my mom won’t like it, so I watch when she’s not around.
I recognize some of the actors from other BBC series (Downton Abbey, Mr. Selfridge, New Tricks and others), so that is fun.
VERY DARK. I have watched about 12 episodes, now. Many are truly awful, dystopian, nightmarish depictions of our future.
It’s now in its 4th season, so if you can stomach it, there are many episodes to watch!
Watching, but nauseated; RENEWED for SEASON 5


RECOMMENDED but discontinued/canceled/ already Shown/Ended for now;
Can Catch Again (On Demand or online)

Some of these, above and below, we’re still watching. They could be available On Demand or online, but we’re not sure when/if they are returning

For PBS special productions (Great Performances of filmed live plays, concerts, more), stream them online: http://www.pbs.org

*The Pinkertons Netflix (one SEASON only, from 2016-17)
Martha MacIsaac (FABULOUS!), Jacob Blair and occasionally, Angus McFadyen, with a lot of others with marvelous acting chops guest star or appear repeatedly in this post-Civil War-era depiction of some of the actual cases and people involved with The Pinkerton Detective Agency in Kansas City, Missouri. Mom doesn’t like period pieces, much so I watched the first 22 Episodes (divided into 2 “SEASONS”). Hoping for another one or two SEASONS!
Great acting, verisimilitude, politics and humor along with serious early CSI work, filmed well.
Excellent series; wish for another SEASON!

*Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Netflix and DVD (3 SEASONS already released and 3 planned films, for 2019 and beyond, and a more modern spin-off as well)
NEWS (March, 2019): The spin-off version will air on Acorn TV in April, 2019, and be set in the 1960s, Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries, and it “will feature Peregrine as the niece of the original Miss Phryne Fisher—evoking the same spirit, sense of social conscience and love of fashion as her famous aunt….In 1964, when the famous aunt she never knew, Phryne Fisher, goes missing over the highlands of New Guinea, the gorgeously reckless Peregrine Fisher (Geraldine Hakewill, Wanted) inherits a windfall. Peregrine sets out to become a world-class private detective in her own right with the unerring guidance of The Adventuresses’ Club, a group of exceptional women of which her celebrated aunt was a member. A natural rule breaker, Peregrine is fearless, fun, and charmingly down-to-earth, as well as having a keen INSTINCT for solving crimes. With newfound wealth and The Adventuresses to hone her rough edges and become THE FAMILY she’s never had, Peregrine is unstoppable. The series co-stars Joel Jackson (Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door, Deadline Gallipoli) as smart, ambitious cop, Detective James Steed, and Catherine McClements (Wentworth) as Birdie, an ex-member of WW2 Special Forces and head of The Adventuresses.”
Plus, the first of 3 planned movies with the original cast, still set in the post-war, 1920s, Australia, Miss Fisher and The Crypt of Tears, will release in 2019! It “follows the Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher on a Middle Eastern adventure IN SEARCH OF an ancient treasure. The film features several series regulars, including Nathan Page as Detective Inspector Jack Robinson, Miriam Margolyes as Aunt Prudence and Ashleigh Cummings as her loyal assistant and maid, Dorothy ‘Dot’ Collins.”
Another excellent, feminist, fun detective series from Australia with a female protagonist, Miss Fisher, played so well by Essie Davis, and a male counterpart (Nathan Page). Great supporting cast, especially her side-kicks, fun music and interesting plots.

Set in the twenties, so Mom won’t watch it. I really like the series and look forward to the spin-off and films. The writers promise more “Fashion, feminism and fun” from all of the next additions.Visit their Facebook page for more info!
Worth your time

American Masters on PBS: Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, PBS (out on DVD/VOD 4/24/18; premiered 5/18/18)
THIS WAS FASCINATING and very sad, as well. If you have an interest, it’s very well done, with amazing film and still photos from many decades of Lamarr‘s life, interviews with her children and granddaughter and many others as well as Lamarr herself.
Here are some clips: http://www.pbs.org/video/bombshell-hedy-lamarr-story-trailer-alebky/
I have a particular connection to Ms. Lamarr because one of my former partner’s mothers and aunt were her friends—three young women who were beautiful, talented, Jewish Austrians and Holocaust survivors. After they all had escaped from Austria and made their way to Los Angeles during Hitler’s rise in the late 1930s, these three appeared in two movies together (my partner’s relatives had very minor roles). They were also friends with another fellow Jewish Austrian, Johnny Weismuller, known for his roles as Tarzan.
Hedy Lamarr was the original wild child. Her scandalous nude appearance in the 1933 Czech film, Ecstasy, made her infamous at the age of 17. She married a prominent Austrian businessman who became a weapons dealer to the Nazis. Lamarr, who was born Jewish, fled her husband in the middle of the night, boarding a boat for America with nothing to her name except a single designer gown. On board, she dazzled MGM boss, Louis B. Mayer, and convinced him to offer her one of the best contracts in Hollywood. As a movie star, she was considered by many to be ‘the most beautiful woman in the world.’ Songs were written about her beauty. Snow White [Disney’s original animated version] was modeled on her iconic look. She married six times and had affairs with everyone from Howard Hughes to Spencer Tracy.”
We liked this a lot

The Late Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke– 3rd Primetime Special CBS (aired 4/23/18) AND the one with Paul McCartney (aired 8/20/18)
We LOVE these scenes and were glad to watch even the ones we’d already seen on James Corden‘s show. Then, we were rewarded by a funny opening scene that turned into a hip-hop number AND a brand-new “Broadway Crosswalk” musical excerpts set with great guests!
Guess we weren’t the only ones who liked seeing Sir Paul McCartney in a James Corden‘s Carpool Karaoke segment! Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live From Liverpool was a full-length, primetime special that CBS aired 8/20/18. You can find it on YouTube or online, elsewhere. Sir Paul is also featured on a September edition of 60 Minutes, so catch that as well.
In other Carpool Karaoke news: SEASON 2 will feature many pairings, “including Jamie Foxx, who appears in the first episode with daughter, Corinne; Jason Sudeikis (both from Shazam), jamming with the Muppets; Matthew McConaughey” (can he sing or rap?!) with Snoop Dogg; and, “Rashida Jones and dad, Quincy,” on Apple TV and later, YouTube.
So fun!

*Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart (Documentary) PBS (Premiered 1/19/18)
I’ve watched about half of this: it is FANTASTIC! Worthwhile, every moment!
“Award-winning filmmaker, Tracy Heather Strain, examines the activism and art of Lorraine Hansberry beyond her best-known play, “A Raisin in the Sun.” The film features interviews with Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Harry Belafonte, and Louis Gossett Jr., narration by award-winning actress, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, and the voice of Tony Award-winning actress, Anika Noni Rose, as Hansberry. The result is a timely and revealing portrait of an activist and artist whose popular recognition has, until now, remained long overdue.” (Press materials)
FANTASTIC! Worthwhile, every moment!

*Mozart in the Jungle Amazon Prime (SEASONS 1 – 4 available; CANCELED after SEASON 4)
Magical realism meets drug-addled, drunk and driven musicians and other artists in this odd romp through classical and other orchestral experiences; I have been enjoying it a lot. Funny thing: I avoided watching it for a while because I thought it was set in South America or Africa and would be weird; then, I realized Bernadette Peters stars in it AND then found out there is no “jungle” except for New York City.
Starring some fabulous characters, even if most are not actually musicians (or not that good) IRL: Gael García Bernal, Lola Kirke, Saffron Burrows, Debra Monk and a host of others (many actually playing the musical instruments or dancing, some not); and featuring Bernadette Peters, Malcolm McDowell, Dermot Mulroney, Jason Schwartzman, Gretchen Mol, Wallace Shawn, the great Joshua Bell (violinist/Concert Master), and many others you may recognize.
“Love, money, ambition and music intertwine in Mozart in the Jungle, a half-hour comedic drama that looks at finding yourself and finding love while conquering New York City. A brash new maestro, Rodrigo (Gael Garcia Bernal), stirs up the New York Symphony as young oboist, Hailey (Lola Kirke) hopes for her big chance.”
Great fun and music, both; CANCELED after SEASON 4

Vexed Netflix (2 SEASONS)
This British detective series is trite, but cute and somewhat interesting. Can be funny enough to laugh out loud. Strong characters, good plots. Weird, though, that we never see or meet anyone else from their police station: no DCI (Detective Chief Inspector), no other colleagues (except occasionally, in the background).
Starring: Toby Stephens and Lucy Punch (SEASON 1) and Toby Stephens and Miranda Raison (SEASON 2)

Toby Stephens and Miranda Raison, stars of SEASON 2 of Vexed

Somewhat trite, but cute; 2 SEASONS

Fearless Amazon (premiered/available 10/27/17, but only has one SEASON)
We like British mysteries/crime dramas a lot. Here is another new one.
“The series follows human rights lawyer, Emma Banville (Helen McCrory) as she tries to overturn the conviction of killer, Kevin Russell (Sam Swainsbury). Russell was convicted of murdering a 15-year-old schoolgirl, but after serving 14 years of his sentence he still adamantly maintains his innocence. As Emma begins her investigations into the original case, led by DCS Olivia Greenwood, (Wunmi Mosaku), she is immediately met with a negative backlash from the public and press who wish to keep Russell behind bars. As she delves deeper into the case and stumbles upon a possible conspiracy, Emma finds her own personal life under the spotlight.”
We have watched all the Episodes, but just found out it won’t have a SEASON 2.
Is strange, but interesting; only has one SEASON)

*Little Women (PBS) (premiered 5/13/18; 3-part mini-series)
Great acting, and, of course, excellent stories and writing. Glad they did it, but it seems unnecessary. The one glaring “off” note was some of the music, which was very modern.
From writer, Heidi Thomas (Call the Midwife), and director, Vanessa Caswill (Thirteen), this adaptation of Louis May Alcott‘s classic looks interesting.
Starring: Angela Lansbury, Michael Gambon, Emily Watson, Maya Hawke, Willa Fitzgerald, Annes Elwy, Kathryn Newton and Jonah Hauer-King.
It was all right; good for newbies

*Freaky Friday: The Musical The Disney Channel (premiered 8/10/18)
Directed by Steve Carr, based on Mary Rodgers’ book, starring Heidi Blickenstaff (reprising her “mom” role from the stage version), and Cozi Zuehlsdorff (Dolphin Tale films) as the daughter, the musical depicts the pair “who both wish they could switch places with the other for a day” and, magically, they do. It’s “a journey of self-discovery and empathy neither one could have imagined.” Bridget Carpenter wrote the screenplay (based on her stage adaptation), and Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey wrote the music and lyrics, respectively. “Eight songs from the stage production and two new songs, including one co-written by Zuehlsdorff, are performed in a theatrical pop-rock style by the cast.”
Sounded fun. I usually like musicals and this story is cute. However, most of this was fluff and the remake was completely unnecessary. The story stretches incredulity, anyway, and this version did nothing to offset that.
Great singing from the female leads and the dance chorus members were great. However, all the vocals were lip-synched, and almost none of the “teens” is actually a high school-aged teen. Disappointed in all of that.
Also, the “messages” were way too heavy-handed in the script. Sheesh!
C+ grade. Not a great update, but fun

American Film Institute (AFI) Lifetime Achievement Awards TNT (6/21/18 first aired)
We watched George Clooney get kudos, tributes and honors he richly deserves from the American Film Institute (AFI) Lifetime Achievement awards ceremony and it was WONDERFUL, It aired here on TNT June 21, 2018, and is often repeated or available online after that.
What a mensch! So many wonderful Hollywood folks came out to say great things about him and showcase his generosity, humor, wit and talent. Read about it and watch excerpts here: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/george-clooney-honored-afis-life-achievement-award-1118272
WE LOVED THIS

*Madiba BET (mini-series aired mid-February, 2017)
A FANTASTIC, original mini-series (from BET’s press release, April 2016) “BET partners with executive producers, Lance Samuels, Kweku Mandela and Daniel Iron for an original production that focuses on the story of Nelson Mandela, the globally beloved humanitarian, as well as the many other leaders of the African National Congress — Oliver Tambo (Orlando Jones) and Walter Sisulu (David Harewood) — who fought alongside Mandela in the multi-racial, multi-national movement that led to the end of South African apartheid. Academy Award(R) nominee Laurence Fishburne completely transforms in the lead role, under the direction of Kevin Hooks (Passenger 57, Prison Break), who also serves as Executive Producer.”
Very moving, informative, inspiring. Sad and important, both, that we’re still fighting these fights.
Learned a lot from this.

*When We Rise ABC (5-part miniseries, started airing 2/27, with the two-hour series premiere, then aired the rest, every night through 3/3/17, but it will also be available via ABC On Demand and probably online as well; May have another season!).
This is/was my era. I know people whose names are on the AIDS quilt: dead friends and loved ones, friends’ partners and relatives. I am bisexual and was a reproductive rights, pro-ERA, feminist activist for many of these interlocking movements. These are my people. I remember these arguments, coalitions’ building and falling apart, feminists divided by homophobia, race-baiting among the GLBT and feminist communities: searching for safety among women only to find myself rejected as a bisexual; searching for camaraderie among the gay men only to find the misogynistic, hateful attitudes to be unworkable; wishing for cis-gender and heteronormative people, especially those with money and power, to wake up and grow up (still waiting for most of them).
This series is excellent! Each episode is so moving, well-done, informative and true-to-life that it ought to be required viewing for all politicians, GLBT people and their families, friends, allies and detractors, and the rest of the USA population. A lot of this series’ scenes have moved me to tears.
“Written and created by Academy Award-winning screenwriter, Dustin Lance Black…chronicles the real-life personal and political struggles, set-backs and triumphs of a diverse family of LGBT men and women who helped pioneer one of the last legs of the U.S. Civil Rights movement from its turbulent infancy in the 20th century to the once unfathomable successes of today.”
Starring Guy Pearce, Mary-Louise Parker, Rachel Griffiths, Ivory Aquino, Carrie Preston, Michael K. Williams, Rosie O’Donnell, Whoopi Goldberg.
The extra hour within this series which aired before Night III, has interviews with some of the actual people this series is based upon, real footage of their meetings, speeches, marches, encounters, photographs of the original activists and their work. Extremely inspiring.
YOU MUST WATCH ALL OF THIS; TBD for SEASON 2

Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors (aired 11/30/16 on NBC)
See top of this post for news about the 2019 MusicCares Award for Parton and the airing of that show!
Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love is a sequel to the fun 2015 film based on her memoirs and recently released as a children’s book, Coat of Many Colors.
We were somewhat mystified and disappointed at the role the adult Dolly Parton gave herself in this sequel biopic, of one fall of her childhood at age 9: why would she have the local business owner (played by Parton’s real-life younger sister, Stella Parton), call her out as a prostitute? The child-aged Dolly says things like: “I want to look just like you when I grow up!” and the adult Dolly, known as “The Painted Lady” in the film, responds: “Maybe you will!” big smile. Very bizarre. The Painted Lady is a benefactor whose money is considered “dirty” and taken away by the store owner from child Dolly, but she keeps appearing throughout the film. Unclear as to why.
Which begs the question I’ve long had: why would anyone do to themselves what Dolly Parton has done (all the plastic surgery, wigs, false eyelashes, excessive dieting, garish make-up and clothes, for decades), and refuse to age gracefully? Dolly Parton is an inspiration and role model for many singers/songwriters and business owners, and she does consider herself an advocate for women. So, why does she refuse to look like a ordinary person?
Alyvia Alyn Lind, who plays young Dolly, reprised her role from the film last year and did a splendid job most of the time, but she could have been directed better. Some of the scene in which she has to speak more than a line or two are very stilted and artificial. The shorter interactions and her singing/playing guitar scenes are the best parts. Jennifer Nettles and Kelli Berglund, playing the eldest daughter, were excellent and well cast as Dolly’s mom and oldest sister. Mary Lane Haskell reprised her role as the school teacher, Miss Moody, who I hope is true-to-life and lived long enough to see how successful Dolly Parton became.
WARNING: This film has a very strong mystical, grandiose/romantic, heavy-handed Christian /Christmas messages which the adult Dolly definitely still believes in and wants everyone to know. There are appearances of visions, prayers, Baptisms, magic, God, blessings, angels and the like in her life and in this and the former film. If you believe in all that or like watching films like this, you’ll love it. We are not so fond (raised Jewish and practicing Buddhist, here).
may return in 2017

Top of the Lake Sundance (China Girl, SEASON 2, aired in fall, 2017; SEASON 3 discussed)
Stars Elizabeth Moss [2017 EMMY winner for The Handmaid’s Tale] as a New Zealand detective recovering from her own traumas while attempting to rebuild her life. Apparently, this premiered in 2013 with 7 Episodes, so this is its second season, but it is new to us. Good and bad reviews; excellent cast. Can’t find where to watch SEASON 1, so we’re starting here. (SEASON 1 is set in a remote mountain town in New Zealand.)
Mostly, having watched to the bitter end (which SUCKED, BTW), we have to say: there is not one functional and/or likable character in the entire bunch of misfits, criminals, tragic victims and struggling teens and adults. Most of the situations are awful. There are gratuitous nudity, active simulated sex, symptoms of mental illness, several incidents of violence and other horrific examples of humanity in almost every scene. Some of the scenes (especially those of the porn-watchers/prostitute-users in the cafe) are so terrible we couldn’t stand to listen to the dialog, however realistic.
Beautiful settings, though, since they shot on location and not near LA, as most shows do.
Also stars: Nicole Kidman, David Wenham, Peter Mullan, Thomas M. Wright, Gwendoline Christie, David Dencik and Ewen Leslie.
[SPOILER ALERTS, from now on]
SEASON 2 is set near Sydney, Australia, and centers on finding the murderers of “Cinnamon,” found dead and floating in the lake stuffed into a suitcase. The local police call the case “China Girl,” even though she is from Thailand.
Robin Griffin (Moss) leads the investigation with an unstable constable accompanying her and apparently spying on her for their boss, with whom she is having an extra-marital affair and pregnancy, which becomes part of the story in odd ways).
Episode 1 (SEASON 2) was unnecessarily confusing, presenting viewers with many unlikeable characters, awful situations, dysfunctional families and no discernable plot. Nicole Kidman appears in a couple of scenes and more in later Episodes. There is an adoptive child/parent reuniting as a subplot that involves several of the characters through until the end in sordid and strange ways.
Excellent acting and probably realistic, but WHY? Horrible plots, situations and characters don’t make for “good” TV, IMHO.
Didn’t love it. Not sure who would, but we did finish it

*Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist National Geographic (3-part docuseries; Premiered 12/6/17)
“Culled from over 40 hours of rare archival footage, this three-part special allows the pioneer researcher to narrate her own tale, with excerpts from Dian Fossey‘s writings read by Sigourney Weaver (who previously portrayed Fossey [in the biopic film,] Gorillas in the Mist).”
I am watching this, but it is SO SAD! What a treasure Fossey was.

*PSYCH USA (12/7/17, first film premiered; 2nd film releases in late 2019)
This silly but endearing show returned to the network that created it, USA, and NOT just for one “Holiday movie,” 12/7/17, as previously announced: the producer is planning at least two, possibly a total of 6 full-length PSYCH movies, as a “series,” 2017-2019.
In this one (and probably more( they sing, again! So fun.
“…[F]eaturing fake psychic detective, Shawn Spencer (James Roday) and his best friend, Burton “Gus” Guster (Dulé Hill), the team reunited once again… when the two-hour special premiered 2017 (December). Psych creator, Steve Franks, who co-wrote the movie with Roday, is directing. Lassiter (Timothy Omundson), Juliet (Maggie Lawson), Henry (Corbin Bernsen), and Chief Vick (Kirsten Nelson) also returned for the movie, which picks up three years after the series finale.”
Psych: The Movie 2 releases in late 2019, to show this story: “Santa Barbara Police Chief Carlton Lassiter (Omundson), ambushed on the job and left for dead. In a vintage Psych-style Hitchcockian nod, he begins to see impossible happenings around his recovery clinic. Shawn (Roday) and Gus (Hill) return to Lassie’s side in Santa Barbara and are forced to navigate the personal, the professional, and possibly the supernatural. Separated from their new lives in San Francisco, our heroes find themselves unwelcome in their old stomping grounds as they secretly untangle a twisted case without the benefit of the police, their loved ones, or the quality sourdough bakeries of the Bay Area. What they uncover will change the course of their relationships forever.”

Silly, but fun

Great Performances, “She Loves Me” PBS (aired 10/20/17 and other dates and online)
A multiple Tony Award-winning revival of Jerry Bock‘s and Sheldon Harnick‘s cute musical play whose book (by Joe Masteroff) is a mix of You’ve Got Mail, The Shop Around the Corner and a few others like it.
Excellent vocals and acting, adorable choreography (by Warren Carlyle), great sets and amazing costumes.


Laura Benanti and Zachary Levi in She Loves Me, image from Playbill

Starring Laura Benanti (who knew she had such an amazing voice as a high soprano after seeing her sing alto/low soprano in Nashville?) and Jane Krakowski (always wonderful), singing and dancing. (Mom and I thought Jane was about 10 years too old for this part, but she pulled it off) as the female leads, with the charming Zachary Levi and Gavin Creel as their co-workers and respective love interests. Including very strong and fun performances from each of the minor characters and the entire ensemble. Delightful!
We love having Broadway LIVE in our home!

Falsettos on LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER PBS (aired 10/27/17, and online after that; go to http://www.pbs.org/show/lincoln-center/ for a preview trailer)
This is a “rock opera,” sort of: like Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell, there is almost no dialogue; all is sung. Amazing talent in this production! The story is strange and sad, but so well-acted and sung.
We love getting LIVE (recorded live) Broadway in our own home (St. Louis, Missouri, USA) for free (for the price of cable TV, that is)! In case you don’t know, “Falsettos is a musical with a book by James Lapine and William Finn, and music and lyrics by Finn. The musical consists of March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland, the last two installments in one trio of one-act Off-Broadway musicals….which tell the story of a gay man named Marvin, his lover Whizzer, Marvin’s wife, Trina, and their extended family, from the early ‘80s through the early days of the AIDS crisis.” (from Wikipedia and the PBS show page, which is also the the source of the image, below)

Starring Christian Borle, Stephanie J. Block and Andrew Rannells, who each was amazing! Bring tissues for the ending.
Strange but excellent

*Godless Netflix (available November, 2017; 7 Episodes)
Great cast: Jeff Daniels, Michelle Dockery, Sam Waterston, and many more great actors. But, it’s a WESTERN…!? Gruesome, violent, sad, but somehow, compelling.
I watched and mostly liked this

The Carol Burnett 50th Anniversary Special CBS (premiered 12/3/17)
The Carol Burnett Show turns 50 and to celebrate the momentous occasion, CBS will honor the groundbreaking comedy series with …[this] one-night event, which will film at the series’ original soundstage at CBS Television City in Los Angeles, will feature: Burnett, original cast members, Vicki Lawrence and Lyle Waggoner; costume designer, Bob Mackie; and a slew of special guests, including Kristin Chenoweth, Jane Lynch, Bernadette Peters, Maya Rudolph, Stephen Colbert, Harry Connick Jr., Bill Hader, Jay Leno, Jim Carrey and Martin Short.”
My mom is a big fan and a contemporary of Burnett. We LOVED this! Highly recommended, despite some very cheesy parts and unnecessary banter with “new” comedians.
Mom said she missed Harvey Korman and Tim Conway (Korman died in 2008; Conway is ill; both were regulars on the original show).
Definitely LOVED this

*The African-Americans: Many Rivers to Cross PBS (started airing in October, 2013; re-aired July, 2017; gets repeated often and available online http://www.pbs.org)
The wonderful historian, himself African-American, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is the narrator and principal investigator/researcher for this amazing series, which chunks the history of African-Americans into hundreds of years, at first, then dozens, then just a few decades by the end (4 Episodes, 75 minutes each; 6 hours, total).
The series “guides viewers on a journey across two continents to explore the transition of African-Americans. The series encompasses five centuries of events, visits key sites, and engages in debates with historians and eyewitnesses like school integration pioneers, Ruby Bridges and Charlayne Hunter-Gault, former Black Panther, Kathleen Neal Cleaver and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.”
I’m into documentaries like this

Jesus Christ Superstar NBC (premiered LIVE on Easter Sunday, 4/1/18)
A Broadway-filmed “live” (at filming time) showing of Jesus Christ Superstar (JCS)! If you’ve never seen it, it’s very worth it, when done well. It’s brilliant. JCS was one of the first “rock operas” of the 1960s-1970s. It has almost no dialogue and many amazing songs. Much more serious and politicized/satirical than Godspell, and not the same angle at all on the story of Jesus’ rise and fall, this one is told from Judas’ POV.
Amazing sets and lighting design, especially for the closing scenes. Our highest praise is for the staging.
Some of Camille Moore‘s choreography was good, some silly and/or derivative of other (not this) shows, some moves and configurations were interesting; none was great.
Some of the singers are NOT Broadway experienced and were difficult to hear or understand, even with microphones. Some were not on key too much of the time. Maybe they’ve been too reliant on post-production recording software to tune them up?
David Leveaux‘s direction was not great, either. Many actors were poorly situated or coached for the camera angles and lyrics. Some seemed to miss the points of their characters at key moments in their songs. Some were not well-directed or couldn’t act as well as they sang (or couldn’t do either aspect well), so some were poorly cast and it seemed more for their celebrity than their talent or suitability for this venue and these roles.
I’ve seen the first JCS film multiple times and the play produced in a variety of theatres. My opinion is both as a fan and as a professional. My mom had never seen it, anywhere, and is not a professional, but we agreed on all of these points.
Brandon Victor Dixon was the best and most experienced (Hamilton, for one), but even his songs were not great, some of the time. Sara Bareilles was one of the better ones, singing and acting, but poorly cast (there was zero chemistry between her and Legend). John Legend as Jesus was mediocre (and we’re being generous) at best; not at all up to the part, its subtleties or vocals.
Alice Cooper as King Herod was a sensation for casting, but barely audible, uninteresting and mostly flash with no substance (great costume, though). Jin Ha and Norm Lewis were not vocally capable of their demanding parts. Ben Daniels was a better actor than singer, as Pilate.
Overall, though, well-produced and fun/interesting/sad to watch. Worth your time, especially if you’ve never seen the play or the film (Mom was a newbie).

Mostly great and worth watching


Shows we/I NAYed: OFF OUR LIST

Single Parents ABC (returned 1/9/19 for the EXTENDED SEASON 1)
Too bad: this had some potential, but it really rotted. Mom and I couldn’t even watch more than 10 minutes. Brad Garrett as the parent of 6-year-olds was the worst. The rest were disappointing or insipid, but not as unbelievable as he was.
Liz Meriwether (New Girl is the creator/EP) of this new series, “…with J.J. Philbin…[which] revolves around a group of dysfunctional single parents who lean on each other as they raise their kids, look for love, and ultimately realize survival is only possible with the help of each other.” Possibly the fourth-most overused trope (police procedurals, medical and legal dramas precede it) and probably not worthwhile, either.
“[T]he group meets Will (Taran Killam), a 30-something guy who’s been so focused on raising his daughter that he’s lost sight of who he is as a man. When the other single parents see just how far down the rabbit hole of PTA, parenting and princesses Will has gone, they band together to get him out in the dating world. Will is written to his strengths, Killam said: ‘being an idiot and wearing my heart on my sleeve.'”
Starring: Jake Choi, Taran Killam, Leighton Meester, Brad Garrett, Kimrie Lewis, Sadie Hazelett, Grace Hazelett, Devin Trey Campbell.
Unwatchable; EXTENDED for SEASON 1

A Million Little Things ABC (returned 1/17/19; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
We only watched about 30 minutes, but didn’t like this at all. Since when were cancer (especially male breast cancer, which already goes largely undetected due to sexism and gender dysphoria issues), suicide (another crowd-pleaser?), adultery/divorce (not funny, and not interesting, either) and child neglect 9see ALL of the families, here) topics of comedy shows? NOT.
Says this is an “hour-long drama with comedy elements—about a group of eight friends, four men and four women, in which the one whose life looked most put together commits suicide—is loosely based on personal experience” of its creator, DJ Nash. “[F]eatures an all-star ensemble cast—many of whom had led their own series—David Giuntoli, Grace Park, Ron Livingston, Romany Malco, Allison Miller, Christina Moses, Christina Ochoa, James Roday, Stephanie Szostak and Lizzy Greene….[The] title stems from the popular adage,’Friendship isn’t a big thing—it’s a million little things,’ [and] is described as being in the tone of The Big Chill. It revolves around a group of friends from Boston who bonded under unexpected circumstances. Some have achieved success, others are struggling in their careers and relationships, but all of them feel stuck in life. After one of them dies unexpectedly, it’s just the wake-up call the others need to finally start living. Along the way they discover that friends may be the one thing to save them from themselves.”
I feel sorry for DJ Nash, if these stories (any of them) are based on his life, but who would want to watch these people? They’re all pathetic, and NOT FUNNY.
Adding Drea De Matteo (playing Mrs. Nelson, a woman who lives at Barbara Morgan’s old address) for the rest of SEASON 1. Still do not care.
Couldn’t even finish Episode 1; RENEWED for SEASON 3

This is Us NBC (returned 1/16/19 for the rest of SEASON 3; RENEWED for SEASON 4, despite being AWFUL)
Won multiple Golden Globe, Emmy and SAG awards, we do not understand why we disliked this show enough to avoid watching it and finally ditched it in SEASON 2 after 1.5 Episodes and haven’t watched SEASON 3 at all, together. I watched a couple and was convinced we were right.
The scripts have increasingly SUCKED. Acting is all right and even good, but we hate the characters and the story!  We continued to be underwhelmed and frustrated by the immaturity and selfishness of these characters, especially Kate and Kevin. Also, very annoying the ways they keep jumping timelines and storylines without much info or warning: CONFUSING.
The choice to spend a “lot of time in Vietnam” for SEASON 3 to give more of Jack’s backstory clinched it, for us. We already lived through that.
Starring Mandy Moore (Red Band Society), Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes and Gilmore Girls), Justin Hartley (Revenge), Sterling K. Brown (The People v. O.J. Simpson), Chrissy Metz (American Horror Story), Susan Kelechi Watson (Louie), Chris Sullivan (The Knick), and Ron Cephas Jones (Mr. Robot) only in flashbacks, now. Gaining Goran Višnjić (Timeless and ER) in Beth’s (Mandy Moore) flashbacks, but that won’t save this drek.
We were originally surprised by the quality of the acting and the story’s twists and turns and unexpected pathos in SEASON 1 and looked forward to more. But, by early in SEASON 2, we were OUT. The triplets are excessively juvenile and neurotic in “present” time; the flashbacks are deliberately incomplete and frustrating (but the actors who play them as younger selves are well-cast and excellent).
The main characters have younger and teenage versions of their characters played out in several Episodes throughout the series. Starting 2/19/19, Randall’s wife, Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson), will get her younger father, Abe Clarke (Carl Lumbly, of Supergirl and Alias), and two younger selves [Rachel Naomi Hilson (Rise, Madam Secretary, Law and Order SVU, The Americans, The Affair, Elementary, The Slap) and Akira Akbar (Grey’s Anatomy)], with Phylicia Rashad as Carol, Beth’s mother, and Goran Višnjić (Timeless) as Vincent, a teacher of Beth.
I also professionally take strong issue with MANY writing decisions:
—1) the depiction of the difficulties in the relationship between Mom and daughter, blaming the daughter’s weight problem, self-esteem and immaturity on the Mom. That is trite, misogynistic and misleading. Plenty of people have talented, beautiful parents and do not become obese, emotional wrecks. PLUS, how could this girl gain weight, lose weight, gain weight and blame it on OTHERS? Ridiculous.
—2) Mandy Moore plays an odd version of this character, one who is much too agreeable, saintly, “nice” and tolerant, canonizing and taking inappropriate responsibility for “curing” her lying, alcoholic, weak husband to an extreme I find cloying and horrifying. Writers’ faults, I know, but, still…
—3) The parents came from dysfunctional families/bad parents and managed to become decent parents (mostly). So, why are their adult children so screwed up? The death of a parent, especially when they’re already seniors in high school, while tragic, is NOT a sufficient trauma to cause each of their many neuroses and such atrocious self-absorption/selfishness.
One highlight: Justin Hartley plays a “bad actor” very well, which is not easy at all.

this-is-us-2016

Milo Ventimiglia was/is amazing and so was/is Sterling K. Brown (from my home town, Olivette, in St. Louis County, Missouri, USA!), in very emotionally demanding roles. Always like Mandy Moore, and were pleased with two new actors for us, Chrissy Metz and Susan Kelechi Watson. at first. But, now…
OFF OUR LIST by early in SEASON 3; RENEWED for SEASON 4, anyway

The Cool Kids FOX (returned 2/15/19 for the rest of EXTENDED SEASON 1)
This was so bad, we could only watch about 10 minutes and turned it off. Insults women, men, older people, comedy, acting, all at once. A waste of some great talent; pathetic and NOT FUNNY.
“Three guy friends in a retirement community are the top dogs until they’re blown out of the water by the newest member of the community, a female rebel whose ready to challenge their place—it’s high school with 70-somethings.”
This looks very inane and ageist, but some will probably like it; depends on how much is slapstick and how much is actual humor (not at the expense of being old, either).
Starring: Vicki Lawrence, Martin Mull, David Alan Grier, Leslie Jordan.
Could not even watch one entire Episode; EXTENDED for SEASON 1

**Magnum P.I. reboot (returns 2/18/19; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
Stars: Jay Hernandez, as former Navy SEAL Thomas Magnum; and, Perdita Weeks, Zachary Knighton, Stephen Hill, Tim Kang and Amy Hill. 
Mom loved the original, but HATED this: too many car chases and little plot; RENEWED for SEASON 2 

*The Miniaturist PBS (premiered 9/9/18; 3-part miniseries)
Sometimes shows with odd premises are fabulous; sometimes, the writers and director are trying too hard to be cool and it all gets muddled. This tried too hard, was boring and not worthwhile. We couldn’t even finish one Episode.
Based on Jessie Burton’s bestseller, “the story follows a teen bride whose husband gives her a miniature replica of their home as a gift—and it begins predicting her future.”
Anya Taylor-Joy (Split) stars in this sci-fi historical drama.
We tried and did not like it

*The Alienist TNT (ended for SEASON 1; RENEWED for SEASON 2; no midseason premiere date, yet)
This limited series is “based on … Caleb Carr’s best-selling novel, The Alienist. It was way too dark for  me, and Mom wouldn’t even watch (she doesn’t like historical dramas much, anyway). Very well-done, though, and I’m sure deserves its acclaim.
SEASON 2 will be called The Angel of Darkness and will include returns from Daniel Brühl (Rush), Luke Evans (The Girl on the Train) and Dakota Fanning (American Pastoral). The “new storyline…finds Sara Howard (Fanning), who has opened her own private detective agency, enlisting the help of Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (Brühl) and John Moore (Evans) to hunt down an elusive killer.
Not for us, but many like it; RENEWED for SEASON 2

Yellowstone Paramount Network (ended for SEASON 1; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
Kevin Costner is starring in a TV series this summer! Unfortunately, it’s a testosterone-ridden Western, which is not our favorite genre, but, still KEVIN COSTNER! We had high hopes. BUT, after watching about 2/3 of the opening 2-hour Episode, we were not thrilled. The characters and situations are stereotyped and trite. We weren’t interested in the plots and had no one to root for, either.
Taylor Sheridan, writer/director, was quoted as saying this series is “an R-rated Bonanza.” The series’ characters overlap with military SEAL-types, strangely, and they do ride horses. More “X-rated” than “R,” though (sex talk, the “F” word, and a scene with jetero sex happening up against the wall in the first Episode).
Also, the writer chose to pit the Anglos against the Native Americans, the developers against the ranchers and everyone against everyone in the oil corporation arenas; not themes we like, much.
Co-stars Dave Annabelle, whom we always like.
Also starring/featuring: Barrett Swatek, Luke Grimes, Kelsey Asbille, Wes Bentley, Kelly Reilly, Brecken Merrill, Pete Sands, Cole Hauser.
Didn’t like it; RENEWED for SEASON 2

*Pose FX (ENDED for SEASON 1; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
There is a lot to like about this show, due to its talented actors, costumes, research and 1980s feel of it all. And, the great Patti Lupone joins for SEASON 2. Plus, Ryan Murphy recently revealed that there “will be a time jump from season one. It will go from the ’80s to 1990. Specifically, the first episode will take place the day that Madonna’s Vogue was released—which is very appropriate for the show about the ball and vogueing culture of New York in the ’80s and ’90s.” Maybe more kitsch and less angst?  More details, here:
https://deadline.com/2019/03/pose-paleyfest-fx-ryan-murphy-mj-rodriguez-billy-porter-indya-moore-janet-mock-our-lady-j-steven-canals-dominique-jackson-patti-lupone-lgbtq-1202581451/
But, it was very depressing/disturbing on so many levels, and deciding to include a young and obnoxious Donald Trump-type as a seemingly unimportant character (after Episode 1, only) seems gratuitous and gross.
The dancers are excellent and I appreciate the verisimilitude that propelled the designs of the mid-1980s sets, costumes, music and interactions and which also drove the writing and stories.
As a cis-gender (mostly) senior female, even though bisexual, I’m a Jewish, Buddhist, white woman, so I’m not the target demographic for this show. I’m glad it exists and I hope it makes its mark with those who need to know about this era.
The acting and directing are very uneven; I believe they sacrificed in order to hire many transgender individuals as actors, which is fine, but some of them are AWFUL. Plenty of typical actors are awful in many series, though, so it’s unfair to hold this one to higher standards, isn’t it?
Ongoingly, and not solely due to performances from these cast members, directions from the director and stories from these writers, I sincerely am offended by the caricatures some “drag queens” make of the women, especially “mothers,” whom they claim to depict—however famous—and dislike intensely the campy, exaggerated ways that many of them walk, talk, dress, accessorize and handle themselves in relationships. I don’t know any women-born-women like that, except stereotypical Hollywood types, so why do so many transsexuals and transvestites choose these tropes to imitate? Why is this “glamorous”?
I also do not “get” the passion for the Ball culture. It eludes me completely.
Ryan Murphy’s newest show will delve into New York City’s drag ball culture, with a stellar cast of five up-and-coming transgender actresses in series regular roles.
Pose makes history for featuring the largest cast of transgender actors as series regulars on any scripted series. FX Networks, which produced other Murphy hits, Feud: Bette and Joan, American Crime Story, and American Horror Story,…cast MJ Rodriguez (Luke Cage), Indya Moore (Saturday Church), fashion model and ball scene fixture, Dominique Jackson, Hailie Sahar (Mr. Robot), and Angelica Ross (from the Emmy-nominated Her Story).
“All five are out, transgender women, and will be playing authentic transgender characters. Billy Porter, a Tony Award winner for Broadway’s Kinky Boots, rounds out the cast.” Set in the 1980s, Pose looks at the juxtaposition of several segments of life and society in New York: the rise of the luxury Trump-era universe, the downtown social and literary scene and the ball culture world. Murphy co-created the show with Brad Falchuk and Steven Canals.”
Mostly well done; not a keeper for me

Killing Eve BBC America/AMC (SEASON 2 premieres 4/7/19; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
We liked it enough to continue after Episode 1 and 2, and Sandra Oh is great, as usual, but there is an odd and not entirely likable assortment of other characters, and Episodes got increasingly darker.
The storyline—Oh’s character goes from MI-5 Analyst to Agent early in SEASON 1 to chase an assassin, and it’s already been gruesome—only gets weirder and worse.
“A security operative hunts for an assassin. Based on the Villanelle novellas by Luke Jennings.”
Starring: Fiona Shaw, Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer
SEASON 2 brings: Nina Sosanya (Good Omens)Edward Bluemel (A Discovery of Witches), Julian Barratt (Mindhorn), Henry Lloyd-Hughe(Indian Summers) and Shannon Tarbet (Genius).

After after Episode 3, TOO DARK & not continuing); RENEWED for SEASON 3

Shoot the Messenger WGN (ENDED for SEASON 1; SEASON 2 status unknown)
They started too soon with a murder of someone the viewers don’t even know. What is the point of that? Also, we didn’t like any of the main characters, so it’s off our list.
“Daisy, a reporter trying to balance personal life with her career, follows a story about a murder….[and] becomes embroiled in a web of urban gangs, the political class, corporate power-brokers and the police.”
Starring: Elyse Levesque (Orphan Black), Lyriq Bent, Lucas Bryant and Alex Kingston.
Weird and not worth our time

McMafia AMC (ENDED for SEASON 1; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
Another crime drama that begins with an explosive crime before we have had a chance to know anyone, then introduces a string of many unlikable people. Why? Also, far too many minutes with only subtitles because the languages used aren’t English. Hate that. Off our list.
“Alex Godman, the English-raised son of Russian mafia exiles, has spent his life trying to escape the shadow of their past, building his own legitimate business and forging a life with his girlfriend, Rebecca. But when a murder unearths his family’s past, Alex is drawn into the criminal underworld where he must confront his values to protect those he loves.”
Starring: James Norton, David Strathairn, Juliet Rylance.
TOO VIOLENT and NO GOOD GUYS; RENEWED for SEASON 2

*Black Lightning CW (returned 1/21/19 for the rest of SEASON 2)
“A retired superhero becomes a vigilante for justice.” So, a middle-aged African-American man used to be and then resumes his superhero antics in a violent city. Based on the comic books. I like the actors, but…Mom won’t watch, and I did not continue.
Adding Kearran Giovanni (Major Crimes) as “Cutter, a smart, proud, tough and beautiful woman more than able to best a man in combat — a mercenary trained by British intelligence” for SEASON 2. Adding Erika Alexander for three episodes in SEASON 3 “as Perenna, a therapist with telepathic abilities that works with Jennifer (series co-star China Anne McClain) to help her handle her manifesting powers and the complex bundle of emotions they stir up.”
Starring Cress Williams, China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams and a bunch of others I recognized.
TOO VIOLENT and DARK; OFF MY LIST after 2 Episodes; RENEWED for SEASON 2

Rosehaven Sundance (RENEWED for SEASONS 2 & 3)
An Australian sit-com that falls flat in every possible way. Do not waste your time. Even if you can understand what they are saying, they aren’t saying anything worthwhile. The story is silly, the characters are pathetic and none of them is likable.
Almost incomprehensible and boring: OFF OUR LIST; RENEWED for SEASONS 2 & 3

SEAL Team CBS (returns 3/13/19 for the rest of SEASON 2; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
I broke down and watched the first Episode On Demand. I didn’t like much of it, but I am a huge fan of David Boreanaz from his Buffy/Angel days all the way through Bones, so he and the characters and stories about the characters hooked me. Got Mom to watch one Episode and we watched another one together. I viewed (as described) the other 3 Episodes and decided to record the rest of the series. Fast-forward doesn’t work On Demand, so was glad to have that for recordings for those scenes we hate. I managed my dislike by muting all the mission scenes; any scenes with gunfire or creeping around at night were also muted or I averted my eyes until those scenes ended.
Then, neither of us wanted to watch any more Episodes: too violent and depressing.

David Boreanaz

I like Jessica Parè. Max Thieriot has an odd role, but he plays it well. Toni Trucks and Neil Brown, Jr., are new to me, but I like them in this.
Note: Boreanaz has to be too old (mid-40s) for this kind of action-hero role, but somehow, it works. If there are any actual active SEALS still mucking about like that at his age, I’d be shocked. Are there?
even David Boreanaz couldn’t make us keep watching all this violence and Middle Eastern warfare; RENEWED for SEASON 3

*Will & Grace NBC (returns 1/31/19 for the rest of SEASON 10; RENEWED for SEASON 11)
David Schwimmer (Friends) as Noah Broader, a “cantankerous, divorced writer, and a love interest for Grace” (Debra Messing). and Molly Shannon is returning as Valerie Bassett, their crazy, stalker neighbor; Matt Bomer (White Collar) is returning as “a smooth-talking, self-satisfied TV news anchor” who is Will’s (Eric McCormack) suitor, McCoy Whitman, for SEASON 10. Additional guest stars (could only help) include Alec Baldwin (already returned), Chelsea Handler, Minnie Driver and Mary McCormack (returning).
After all the hype and the adorable trailers this crew did for the 2016 election, we were psyched. Inevitable, I suppose, for us to be very disappointed, then? A few good jokes, but mostly insipid, and WE HATE LAUGH TRACKS! Mom could only watch one Episode; I watched the rest alone, but didn’t like any of it, much.
We kept saying: “They’re too old for these jokes and situations.”
The writers decided to freeze them as characters, so no one improved, no one matured (other than aging physically), and they’re all in bad shape, psychologically.
Kind of sad, really.
They also all tried too hard to make the show “the same, but current” instead of letting the characters AGE and allowing the new versions of these characters to be lucky to be alive and interacting in current contexts. This show is the worst kind of time warp.
It might be cute or funny, in one’s thirties or younger, to be rootless/homeless, almost friendless, without a primary relationship that is satisfying, and fixated on inappropriate/unavailable partners, with sarcastic/negative banter with the friends one does have. But, in one’s forties and fifties, it’s pathetic, in our opinion.
Jack as a gay “slut” is disturbing when you think that he has an adult son by now (where was his son, by the way?).
Karen as a drunk republican is not only not funny, but her sexually assaulting Grace in homage to Trump was offensive and hurtful to all women and definitely not at all humorous.
Will and Grace’s relationship as each other’s haven/fall-back is all right, I suppose, but I wish they’d respect each other more, if they intend to remain non-sexual life partners.
Sean Hayes, Debra Messing, Eric McCormack and Megan Mullally star.

DON’T BOTHER.
OFF OUR LIST; RENEWED & expanded for SEASONS 10 & 11

LIAR Sundance (ENDED for SEASON 1; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
Recently became aware of this show and we gave it a try. Very depressing and odd. We do like the stars, so we’re willing to watch one more Episode, but some of the English accents are very difficult to understand, the plot/characters are confusing (deliberately, we’re sure), and the storylines are very big downers.
Starring Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey) and Ioan Gruffudd (Forever and Fantastic Four) as a teacher and the parent of a student who become involved and mayhem ensues, probably due to, oh, I don’t know: dishonesty? All with British accents, of course.
“Laura is a smart and dedicated teacher, not long out of a relationship and unsure about getting back on the dating scene. Andrew is a renowned surgeon whose son is a student at Laura’s school. An initial attraction leads to a date, but neither fully realizes the far-reaching consequences that their meeting will have on each other or their families. Truth and consequences go hand in hand in a tense and gripping thriller that examines both sides of a relationship and both sides of the truth. Are there really two sides to every story? LIAR explores the devastating cost of deceit on both the couple and their friends and family, as secrets and lies are laid bare…”

It only has 6 Episodes, but we could not make it through the second Episode.
OFF OUR LIST; RENEWED for SEASON 2

Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access for subscribers, only (premieres 2/19/19 for SEASON 2; RENEWED for SEASON 3 and getting two spinoffs)
#payTVsucks, including CBS All Access, but here is some fun! You can watch this #StarTrekDiscovery trailer (and Episode 1, this fall, 9/24/17, for free), anyway.
https://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/star-trek-tv-series-info/
We liked that the show cast so many females in top officer positions, but otherwise, we were very disappointed. And, we are Trekkies from the beginning. Neither of us wants to watch a show focused on a war with Klingons, so we aren’t sorry we aren’t paying to watch further.
“…the Star Trek: Discovery series will be set about 10 years before the original series. The first teaser promised ‘new crews,’ ‘new villains,’ ‘new heroes,’ and ‘new worlds’—– and we’ve since learned that we’ll see something that unfolds within the ‘Prime’ canon of the established Star Trek universe, but not tied to the events in the movies.
“Fuller told CNN the series’ placement between the four-season prequel series Star Trek: Enterprise and the original 1966 series ‘gives us an opportunity to bridge the gap between Enterprise and the original series.'”
Michelle Yeoh and Patrick Stewart each stars in spinoffs for 2019-20.
Episodes run through November 5, then restart in January, for the rest of the each season.
Discovery‘s Captain Lorca will be the fabulous Jason Isaacs (we loved him in Awake, but didn’t like the story of Dig, even though he was good in it; great in Case Histories).

WE WON’T PAY EXTRA TO WATCH, and it’s not that good, anyway: OFF OUR LIST; RENEWED for SEASON 3

*Con Man Syfy (premiered [really, dropped all of SEASON 1 “On Demand”] 9/30/17)
Seems that this series is going to have both seasons showing/”On Demand” this year (2017-18). Here is a trailer for SEASON 2: http://conmantheseries.com/
It also has a video game and comic book merchandise, for those so inclined.
Starring Alan Tudyk, em>Con Man is “a somewhat fictionalized version of his experiences as a well-known sci-fi actor who attends a lot of fan conventions” as a result of his having been a star of the cult fave/ Joss Whedon series and film, Firefly and Serenity.
Con Man was first produced in 2015 and featured a great cast, including Firefly/Castle star, Nathan Fillion, and other Joss Whedon / sci-fi faves: Amy Acker, Felicia Day, Sean Astin, Tricia Helfer, Casper Van Dien, Nolan North, Mindy Sterling, Alison Haislip, Michael Trucco, Sky Haarsma, Seth Green and Wil Wheaton.
HOWEVER, i watched all of Episode 1 and could only continue through part of Episode 2: it is that bad. I continued just to see what Nathan Fillion had to do with this piece of junk (very little, it seemed). This series is beyond silly; Mom won’t watch, and I won’t watch past Episode 2.10, but some will love it.
Could have been great if it had had writers who had tried less to show off with obscure references, cameos by sci-fi and comedic actor friends of theirs, Tudyk’s and whoever else’s (Joss Whedon‘s, I presume) and more good writing that could delve into the nitty-gritty, lived experience of actors who are making money (not much, it seems) as objects of obsessed fans and not much else. I would have liked to know what challenges and responses are for an actor who is actually capable of so much more but for whom no new breaks come due to having been identified with one gig.
Unfortunately, not worth your time

Chesapeake Shores Hallmark (returned 8/5/18 for SEASON 3; we watch in Fast-Forward; RENEWED for SEASON 4)
Meghan Ory, Jesse Metcalfe, Barbara Niven, Treat Williams

Chesapeake Shores

This has gotten more insipid and unwatchable as we go. We start an Episode, then find other things to watch before we reluctantly return to finish it, days later. The Hallmark movies’ and series’ writers make everything so predictable, yet illogical; the writing is so heavy-handed; worst of all, the characters are depicted as being emotionally adolescent regardless of their biological ages. Also, HORRIBLY fake Irish-American accents. Tragic.
We like all the lead actors, but the age differences between “generations” defy reality.
Also, the grandmother and the mother look too much alike and are NOT supposed to be related, whereas the five siblings look NOTHING alike nor do they resemble either of their parents all that much. Terrible casting.
The storyline also gets less believable as they go along.
Why, Treat Williams? Why, Barbara Niven? Why?
KEEPING, but liking even less for SEASON 3; RENEWED for SEASON 4

Great Performances, “Present Laughter” PBS (aired 10/25/17 elsewhere; 11/5/17 here; and, online/later)
“[A] sparkling revival of Noel Coward’s Present Laughter, a comedy about a self-obsessed actor in the midst of a mid-life crisis. The cast features Kevin Kline, who won the Best Leading Actor Tony Award, as well as Kate Burton, Kristine Nielsen and Cobie Smulders.”
We watched about 40 minutes of this, up to and including Kate Burton‘s entrance, hoping it would improve, but NO. It really was unwatchable (for us).
I’m sure they were faithful to the original script and intent of the play and that these kinds of broad, sweeping and screeching performances (no one but Kline was acting, and he only some of the time; everyone was PERFORMING) are “the usual” for a Noel Coward production. We simply didn’t like any of it: not the characters, the performances, the lack of plot, the 1920s era. We found it insipid, boring and flat.
If this type of thing is to your liking, go for it.
We LOVE Kevin Kline and Broadway brought to our home, but NO

Great Performances, “Indecent” PBS (airs frequently and is online at pbs.org)
We couldn’t watch it after about 20 minutes. Weird, boring, oddly not interesting even though it should have been. Maybe trying too hard?
Set in the 1920s, “[t]he Tony Award-winning play…Written by Pulitzer Prize-winner, Paula Vogel, created by Vogel and Rebecca Taichman, and directed by Taichman, Indecent is about the love and passion to create theatre, even in the most difficult of circumstances. The play follows a troupe of actors, the cast of Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance, who risked their lives and careers against enormous challenges to perform a work in which they deeply believed, at a time when art, freedom and truth were on trial. It is a story told with compassion and honesty, but also with great theatricality, and joyous songs and dances.”


Max Gordon Moore as Sholem Asch and Adina Verson as Madje Asch in INDECENT © Carol Rosegg

Features Katrina Lenk, Mimi Lieber, Max Gordon Moore, Tom Nelis, Steven Rattazzi, Richard Topol and Adina Verson, and musicians Matt Darriau, Lisa Gutkin and Aaron Halva. The production also features Ben Cherry, Andrea Goss, Eleanor Reissa, Zoë Aqua, Uri Sharlin and Doug Wieselman.
Music was composed by Lisa Gutkin and Aaron Halva, who play onstage along with cast members throughout the show.
FMI: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/indecent-about-indecent/7689/
We couldn’t watch it after about 20 minutes

*The Magicians SyFy (returned 1/23/19 for SEASON 4; RENEWED for SEASON 5)
Stopped watching, mid-SEASON 3. BORING.
First episode of SEASON 3 was better than SEASON 2’s, but the writers are still including too much campy “in” joke references to other fantasy/sci-fi shows.
This series is based on the books by Lev Grossman and follows young Quentin Coldwater (Jason Ralph) and his friends as they discover their magical abilities and ward off evil creatures who threaten to destroy the magical world Quentin and his friends have come to know….Quentin Coldwater, a grad student at Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, has been fascinated by the magical fantasy world since he was young. But as he has gotten older, Quentin and his 20-something friends have discovered that the magical world they read about as children is not only real, but it poses dangers to humanity. While studying at the secret upstate New York school, the friends struggle to cope with the aftermath of a catastrophe that befalls the institution.
If they had stuck to that, I would have stayed, but they have strayed VERY far from this premise into odd places I’m not interested in at all.
“Last season, Quentin and friends embarked on the epic ‘quest of the seven keys’ to restore lost magic. In the finale, just as the magicians had restored magic by unlocking the fountain at the other end of the Wellspring, the Library, Irene McAllistair (Jaime Ray Newman) and Dean Fogg (Rick Worthy) swooped in to reroute the magic. In exchange, Dean Fogg negotiated the lives of his students, erasing their memories and giving each—except Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley), who is now imprisoned by the Library – a new, magic-free identity. Even with new identities, the group is far from safe: inside Castle Blackspire: an ancient, powerful and unkillable Monster escaped confinement and has jumped bodies to a new host, Eliot (Hale Appleman). Season 3 ended with The Monster finding a mind-wiped Quentin, and Season 4 will pick up with The Monster seeking out the others, and maybe something else…”
Starring also: Stella Maeve, Arjun Gupta, Summer Bishil, Jade Tailor, Brittany Curran, Trevor Einhorn.
STOPPED watching mid-SEASON 3; RENEWED for SEASON 5

Absentia Amazon Prime (was first on Sony AXN) (10 Episodes each year; ENDED for SEASON 1; RENEWED for SEASONS 2 —Available 6/14/19—& 3).
This was very dark, depressing, scary and NOT FOR US. We lasted through 1 Episode, but that is IT for us.
Stana Katic (loved her in Castle) plays an FBI agent (Emily Byrne) returned from being presumed dead. “’While hunting one of Boston’s most notorious serial killers, Agent Byrne disappears without a trace and is declared dead,’ Deadline summarizes. ‘Six years later, Emily is found in a cabin in the woods, barely alive, and with no memory of the years she was missing. Returning home to learn her husband (Patrick Heusinger, Casual) has remarried and her son is being raised by another woman, she soon finds herself implicated in a new series of murders.’…In season two, after tracking down and killing her abductor, Emily struggles to define her new normal as a mother and a survivor of six years of physical and mental torture. Even while she rebuilds her relationship with her son, Emily still cannot shake the darkness of her past. She enlists Boston police detective, Tommy Gibbs (Angel Bonanni), in a secret investigation of her mysterious history. When the case turns deadly, she risks everything to uncover the truth and protect her family.”
OFF OUR LIST; RENEWED for SEASONS 2 & 3

Beat Shazam Fox (ENDED for SEASON 2)
We couldn’t get past Episode 3 of SEASON 2: the format is lousy, the hype is annoying; we increasingly can’t guess the music (thank goodness for mute and fast-forward). Jamie Foxx is wearing jackets for every Episode (Why? it’s INDOORS, Jamie!) and, for SEASON 2’s opener, is inexplicably wearing a flannel shirt tied around his waist UNDERNEATH the unnecessary jacket!?! He has been directed to be excessively Steve Harvey-ish (irritatingly “amusing,” and dancing with and teasing the contestants). The show’s producers/directors somehow think it’s a good idea to have “guest stars” briefly show up for some Episodes, but they do almost nothing but appear, e.g., Mariah Carey (wearing OMG-knows-what), Snoop Dog, and some athletes (again, why?).
Silly, but somewhat fun.Also, interesting fact: African-Americans comprise only about 12 – 20% of the USA population (depending upon how one “counts,” according to the official census of 2010), but they comprise about 70% of this show’s contestants and guest stars. Trying to right some imbalances, for sure, and nodding to the amazing contributions of African-Americans to the music industry. So, yea for the casting directors.
Nice that he gave his daughter, Corinne, October‘s job for SEASON 2, but sorry, October!
There is so much hype, repetition and junk that we fast-forward a LOT on this show.
We liked trying to guess the songs; BUT we dropped it midway through SEASON 2

Sex Education  Netflix (released 1/11/19; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
Oh, no! Hide your eyes: Gillian Anderson (The X-Files, The Fall) stars in ’s sex-therapy original series, Sex Education, as a sex therapist whose son, Otis (Asa Butterfield, Ender’s Game), “a socially awkward high school virgin who lives his sex therapist mother…teams up with ‘whip-smart bad-girl,’ Maeve, to set up a clinic to deal with their fellow students’ weird and wonderful problems.” Oy. Not for us.
No way; RENEWED for SEASON 2 

 


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7 thoughts on ““The Friday TV Report” 48 for 3/22/19, updated 4/12/19, from Sally Ember, Ed.D., and her mom

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