November is #SciFi Month! 15 Days left for Deals on #Ebooks, #Print #Books! Some #Free!

November is #SciFi Month! 15 Days left for Deals on #Ebooks, #Print #Books!
Some #Free!

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graphics and announcement from: The Little Red Reviewer

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The Spanners Series first three Volumes of utopian science-fiction/romance by Sally Ember, Ed.D. are on sale NOW as ebooks and regular price but discounted on Kindle Match when you buy both ebooks and print versions together!

Proud member of Clean Indie Reads #CR4U and Clean Indie Fantasy
Fantasy and Science-Fiction Network #FSFnet

 

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graphics and announcement from: The Little Red Reviewer

Smashwords hosts The Spanners Series‘ ebooks in every format (reader’s choice) and these are on sale!
free (Volume I)
only $2.00 (Volume II) COUPON CODE for Volume II, good on Smashwords, only, 11/1-11-30/18  ZU96Y
only $1.00 (Volume III) COUPON CODE for Volume III, good on Smashwords, only, 11/1-11-30/18: LD49Y

(usually $3.99 each for ebooks) for the the month of November, 2018! See below for links and more info.

Whether you’re sweating, freezing, rained or snowed on or anywhere in between, there is still time to READ!
Give ebooks for gifts for birthdays, graduations, holidays, anniversaries, vacations: any time!

The paperbacks of all three Volumes are in the Kindle Match/Kindle Matchbook program at Amazon!
See below for links, details and coupon codes (on Smashwords, only) for each of the Volumes.

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This Changes Everything, Vol. I, The Spanners Series

Dr. Clara Ackerman Branon, 58, begins having secret visits from holographic representations of beings from the Many Worlds Collective, a consortium of planet and star systems in the multiverse. When Earth is invited to join the consortium, the secret visits are made public. Now Earthers must adjust their beliefs and ideas about life, religion, culture, identity and everything they think and are.

Clara is selected to be the liaison between Earth and the Many Worlds Collective and she chooses Esperanza Enlaces to be the Chief Media Contact. They team up to provide information to stave off riots and uncertainty. The Many Worlds Collective holos train Clara and the Psi-Warriors for the Psi Wars with the rebelling Psi-Defiers, communicate effectively with many species on Earth and off-planet, eliminate ordinary, elected governments and political boundaries, convene a new group of Global Leaders, and deal with family’s and friends’ reactions.

In what multiple timelines of the ever-expanding multiverse do Clara and her long-time love, Epifanio Dang, get to be together and which leave Clara alone and lonely as the leader of Earth?

This Changes Everything spans the 30-year story of Clara’s term as Earth’s first Chief Communicator, continuing in nine more Volumes of The Spanners Series.

Are YOU ready for the changes?

Volume I, This Changes Everything:
Ebooks are PERMAFREE on Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/376197
and Amazon: http://www.amzn.com/B00HFELTG8 

These paperbacks are in the Kindle Match program on Amazon. This means that if you purchase both the ebook and its paperback counterpart (in this case, download Volume I for free), you get a discount for the total package. Vol I Amazon link: http://www.amzn.com/B00HFELTG8

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This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, Vol. II, The Spanners Series

Intrigued by multiple timelines, aliens, psi skills, romance and planetary change? Clara and the alien “Band” are back in Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever.

Now as Chief Communicator, Clara leads the way for interspecies communication on- and off-planet. Fighting these changes are the Psi-Defiers, led by one of the oldest friends of the Chief of the Psi-Warriors, its reluctant leader, Rabbi Moran Ackerman. Stories from younger Spanners about the first five years of The Transition fill Volume II.

How would YOU do with the changes?

Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever:
EBOOKS now $2.00, 50% off the regular price of $3.99, using COUPON CODE ZU96Y on Smashwords, any ebook format (reader’s choice).

These paperbacks are in the Kindle Match/Kindle Matchbook program on Amazon. This means that if you purchase both the ebook and its paperback counterpart, you get a discount for the total package. Vol II Amazon link:: http://www.amzn.com/B00KU5Q7KC

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This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, Vol. III, The Spanners Series

Clara, Moran, Espe, Epifanio and the alien Band of holos are back in This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, Volume III of The Spanners Series. Psi-Defiers launch increasingly violent protests during this five-year Transition, attempting to block Earth’s membership into the Many Worlds Collective. Earth’s nations and borders must dissolve and Psi-Warriors must strengthen in their battle against the rebels.

Clara, as Earth’s first Chief Communicator, also juggles family conflicts and danger while creating psi skills training Campuses to help Earth through the Psi Wars. Clara timults alternate versions of their futures as the leaders’ duties and consciences force them to make difficult choices across multiple timelines, continuing to train and fight.

Will the Psi-Warriors’ and other leaders’ increasing psi skills, interspecies collaborations and budding alien alliances be enough for Earth to make it through The Transition intact? If there is no clear path for Clara’s and Epifanio’s love, does she partner with Steve or go it alone?

What do YOU do with wanted/unwanted changes?

Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change:
EBOOKS now $1.00, 75% off the regular price of $3.99, using COUPON CODE LD49Y on Smashwords, any ebook format (reader’s choice).

These paperbacks are in the Kindle Match/Kindle Matchbook program on Amazon. This means that if you purchase both the ebook and its paperback counterpart, you get a discount for the total package. Vol III Amazon link:: http://www.amzn.com/B0177Z1KRM

3 paperbacks
The Spanners Series‘ three paperbacks.

*************************************************************************************The Spanners Series‘ cover art and logo by WillowRaven: http://www.willowraven-illustration.blogspot.com/
Print editions and ebooks published under Timult Books

logo Timult Books


REVIEWERS: Ask for FREE Ebook coupon codes for Volumes II and III on Smashwords any time: sallyember AT yahoo DOT com


For more information about Sally Ember, Ed.D., her bio, books, blog, video talk show (CHANGES conversations between authors), guest blog posts and guidelines, links to author interviews, book trailers and more: http://www.sallyember.com

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“The Friday TV Report” 43 for 10/26/18, Updated 11/9/18, from Sally Ember, Ed.D., and her mom

“The Friday TV Report” 43 for 10/26/18, Updated 11/9/18, from Sally Ember, Ed.D., and her mom
Mom and I, August, 2018

I (Sally) update this ever-changing post of TV viewing news, ongoing mini-reviews and premiere/return dates of certain non-premium cable TV, Amazon Prime and Netflix shows with our opinions (begun in fall, 2015). Check on Fridays! Next full post = October 26, 2018, after many more new and returning shows have aired for the first time and have been shown for a few weeks.

Whenever a one-season show is canceled, I erase my review and its listing from this page (because, otherwise, it 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.

ALSO, every time another sexual harasser/abuser/rapist/bully is revealed to be associated with a series or show, WE STOP WATCHING. Period. #Metoo #TimesUp Adding to that, if anyone excuses, defends, supports or enables these criminals, WE STOP WATCHING THAT PERSON’s shows, also. Bye-bye, Jason Bateman (wrong side on Jeffrey Tambor). Bye-bye, Whoopi Goldberg (wrong side on Bill Cosby). We never watched Louis C.K., but ‘bye ‘bye Edie Falco. We can hardly keep up with the growing list of the abusers and their apologists, but here is a recent list: https://www.glamour.com/gallery/post-weinstein-these-are-the-powerful-men-facing-sexual-harassment-allegations

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 am also 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 (11/9/18)? 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 look “popular,” 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 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 43rd post, for 10/26/18;
each post is UPDATED frequently; Updated 11/9/18.

Next full post, 11/30/18.


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, since Kavanaugh/Trump/Woodward, 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”) for the 2018-19 Season (as of 11/9/18).


image from Pixabay

Yay
9-1-1 (SEASON 2 is getting better; EXTENDED 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)
Bull (Good for SEASON 3)
*Cable Girls (Las Chicas Del Cable) (Good, but darker for SEASON 3)
*Call the Midwife (EXCELLENT show; RENEWED for SEASON 8)
Carter (mostly fun; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
C.B. Strike (very well-written and -acted; RENEWED for SEASON 4)
Chicago Med (Okay for SEASON 4)
Chicago PD (Okay for SEASON 6)
Chicago Fire (Okay for new SEASON)
Designated Survivor (Netflix will air SEASON 3 in 2019!)
Elementary (RENEWED & midseason premiere for SEASON 7)
Endeavor (RENEWED through SEASON 6)
F.B.I.  (good enough, but writers have a challenge, here; EXTENDED for SEASON 1)
For the People (midseason premiere –RENEWED for SEASON 2)
*Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (RENEWED for SEASONS 3 & 4)
*Genius (Einstein, 2017; Picasso, 2018; not sure who for [ArethaMary Shelley?] 2019)
God Friended Me (sweet; EXTENDED for SEASON 1)
Good Behavior (CANCELED for SEASON 2)
*Good Girls (midseason premiere–RENEWED for SEASON 2)
Grace & Frankie (RENEWED for SEASONS 5 & 6; we sort of like it)
*Grey’s Anatomy (Good for SEASONS 15 & 16; then, ENDING)
How to Get Away with Murder (okay for SEASON 5)
In Contempt (Interesting, but characters aren’t great; SEASON 2 uncertain)
Instinct (Very fun; midseason premiere–RENEWED for SEASON 2)
Madam Secretary (Great for SEASON 5)
Manifest (intriguing; EXTENDED for SEASON 1)
Marvel’s The Defenders (CANCELED & RENEWED twice for SEASON 2)
Marvel’s Jessica Jones (Darkly funny; RENEWED for 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; EXTENDED for SEASON 1)
NCIS (Okay for SEASON 16)
NCIS New Orleans (Okay for SEASON 5)
Orville (RENEWED for SEASON 2)
*Ozark (FUN to see “my” lake! Okay for SEASON 2; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
Private Eyes (trite, but somewhat cute; split SEASON 3, resumes ? in 2018)
Reverie (CANCELED for SEASON 2)
Shetland (great show; dialect is hard for USA’ers; RENEWED for SEASON 5)
*Shrink (Strangely funny; status unknown for SEASON 2, as of 11/9/18)
*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)
Take Two (VERY FUN)
The Blacklist (RENEWED for SEASON 6; midseason premiere)
The Bletchley Circle (RENEWED and relocating to San Francisco!)
The Bodyguard (sadly compelling; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
*The Bold Type (RENEWED for SEASON 3)
The Gifted (Good for SEASON 2)
The Good Cop (We like this)
The Good Doctor (Good for SEASON 2)
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 Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (RENEWED for SEASONS 2 & 3 and won two major Golden Globe Awards!)
The Heart Guy (AKA Doctor, Doctor) (RENEWED; waiting for DVD)
The Resident (Got better; Good for SEASON 2; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
The Rookie (We like this a lot; EXTENDED for SEASON 1)
Timeless (LOVED this; SEASON 3 = CANCELED; 12/2018 = 2-hour film “finale,” announced)
*Unforgotten (Extremely well-written, acted and intriguing; RENEWED for 4th)
*Younger (I like thisRENEWED for SEASON 6 & moved to PARAMOUNT)
*Young Sheldon (I like it, increasingly; Okay for SEASON 2)

Check our opinions against the networks’ decisions with updated lists of Canceled and Renewed/Canceled shows (UPDATED 11/9/18):
 http://TVShowsCancelled.com/

Nay
*Absentia (TOO DARK; RENEWED for SEASONS 2 & 3)
A Million Little Things (disappointing; EXTENDED for SEASON 1)
*Black Lightning (TOO VIOLENT and DARK, OFF MY LIST after 2 Episodes; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
*Burden of Truth (went downhill; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
I Feel Bad (as bad as the title; NOT extended for SEASON 1)
Killing Eve (TOO DARK; we stopped watching; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
*Legacies (Trite, but some will like it;Extended for SEASON 1)
Liar (TOO DARK; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
*Love Is ____ (BORING and TRITE)
**Magnum P.I (BORING; EXTENDED for SEASON 1)
McMafia (TOO VIOLENT and NO GOOD GUYS, but RENEWED for SEASON 2)
*Pose (Not a keeper, for me, but kind of well-done; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
Rosehaven (UNLIKABLE CHARACTERS AND PLOT, but 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 2)
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, anyway; NO WAY; RENEWED for SEASON 2 but may be CANCELED for SEASON 3)
*The Alienist  (too dark for me, but well-done; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
The Cafe (SO BORING)
The Conners (as bad as I thought it would be, even without Barr)
The Cool Kids (unwatchable, but others like it; EXTENDED for SEASON 1)
The Doctor Blake Mysteries (EXCELLENT series, but star got blackballed for bad behavior and is OUT for SEASONS 5 and beyond and for the other films; changing name to The Blake Mysteries and featuring his new wife, instead)
The Kids are Alright [sic]( SUCKED. Waste of time and actors; EXTENDED for SEASON 1)
*The Magicians (RENEWED for SEASON 4, but I quit watching)
The Miniaturist (We quit mid-Episode 1)
This Is Us (OFF OUR LIST: egregiously awful scripts; in SEASON 3)
Yellowstone (Didn’t like it; RENEWED for SEASON 2)

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


(image from Pixabay)
*A.P. Bio (somewhat funny; midseason premiere–RENEWED for SEASON 2)
*Black-ish (not so good for SEASON 5)
Blindspot (Not great for SEASON 4)
Charmed (we like the updates but not the plots or directing; SEASON 1 extended)
Chesapeake Shores (WRETCHEDLY STUPID for SEASON 3; watched in fast-forward)
*Greenhouse Academy (Trite, but watchable; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
*grown-ish (I am not the target demographic for this, for sure!; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
*Humans (not liking SEASON 3; couldn’t even finish watching it together)
Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger (extremely and unnecessarily confusing; remarkably, RENEWED for SEASON 2)
*Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (returning summer, 2019–RENEWED for SEASON 6)
*Midnight, Texas (weird but compelling [I like Charlaine Harris); okay for SEASON 2]
Murphy Brown (lots of “in” jokes, disappointing)
Supergirl (Okay for SEASON 4)
The Good Place (off our list for SEASON 3)
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan (Too much shooting and not enough script)
Travelers (RENEWED for SEASON 3)
*When Calls the Heart (RENEWED for SEASON 5 and HMM had a full-length film released in April, 2018)
*Will and Grace (still “off” for SEASON 10)


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 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.

Latest summary of everything RENEWED or CANCELED or in question, as of 11/9/18: https://www.spoilertv.com/2013/09/the-complete-spoilertv-20142015-tv.html

AND, hot off the presses, the 2018-19 updated premiere dates, by month (all subject to change): http://m.zimbio.com/2018+Fall+TV+Premiere+Dates?utm_source=fcbk&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Fcbk-ZM-Specials-US-Mobile-Droid-Demo-W4665-2018-Fall-TV-Dates-3

—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 2019-20.

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.

—I read and liked all three books and the encyclopedia that accompanied the series by Deborah HarknessA Discovery of Witches, and was disappointed that the TV series (now getting three SEASONS) is only on paid channels we do not get (Sundance Now, Shudder, AMC streaming, and the UK’s SKY). Another one we have to ask our library to get the DVDs for in 2019-20, I guess. Well worth it, though. “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 Kingstond, 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. Must remember to request this next year!

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), 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.” 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 and 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 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.” 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 al 4 SEASONS and loved it. It’s coming back! 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. Probably i 2019-20.

—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 set at CBSCouncil of Dads in the works at NBC, and Lifeboat Clique in development at the CW.” 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, PhD 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), so now, 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) is bringing an untitled comedy to ABC, “inspired by Hannah’s nontraditional Indian family…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.” Not for us, but look for it, if it’s your cup of tea, in 2019-20.

—An untitled family comedy for ABC starring Leslie Odom, Jr., (Hamilton) who will also executive produce, includes leadership from Kerry Washington (Scandal) and writer, Saladin K. Patterson (The Last O.G., The Big Bang Theory), “inspired by the experiences of real-life couple, Pastor Touré Roberts and Pastor Sarah Jakes-Roberts. Leslie, played by Odom, and Hope 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.” 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.

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 and dad 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”;
——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”;
——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, is “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 is “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.

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.” 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.

The Emperor of Malibu for CBS is a comedy coming from writers, Kevin Kwan (Crazy Rich Asians), and David Sangalli, with executive producer, Michelle Nader (2 Broke Girls), that “revolves around two very different families-—-one from Shanghai, with new money, and one from the U.S. East Coast, with old money — who learn to co-exist when their children get married.”  This sounds as inspid to me as many other comedies, but it’s good to get the people who aren’t white a chance to be ridiculous, right? We won’t watch, but many will. Probably for 2019-20.

—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, 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.'” 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. Probably releases later in 2019.

—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. As of 11/9/18, no host named, yet. Stay tuned!

All Together Now for NBC stars Bradley Whitford. 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). If the singing is any good, we might like it. Otherwise…. Pass. Probably for 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 (aka 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. 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 Timeless finale is scheduled to air 12/20/18 (see my series’ listing, below, for  details): “The two-part finale will be written by Lauren Greer and Arika Lisanne Mittman, directed by John Showalter and will reunite cast members, Abigail Spencer, Matt Lanter, Malcolm Barrett, Goran Višnjić, Paterson Joseph, Annie Wersching, Sakina Jaffrey and Claudia Doumit.” If you are a true fan (self-named #clockblockers), you’ll  like this site, which has their silly pix from the first table read of the script:  https://deadline.com/2018/10/timeless-cast-tweet-table-read-photos-clockblockers-1202486620/

Emergence for NBC is coming soon. It’s “a mystery drama” from creators/executive producers, Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters [Kevin (Probably) Saves The World, Agent Carter and Resurrection], and director, Paul McGuigan (Designated Survivor, Devious Maids, Lucky, Carnival Row), that “centers around a sheriff who takes in a young child 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.”  We have liked several of this team’s  former series, so we’ll try this, but the premises is weird. Probably for 2019-20.

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 from 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. 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 which that 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, 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 [probably NOT 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.” May be very creepy, though. We’ll try it. Probably 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….”Written by Georgaris and to be directed by FrankelThe Baker and the Beauty follows the impossible Miami love story between a simple baker and an international superstar.” Sounds excessively inane and completely unnecessary. Who would watch this? I suppose it depends on the casting? Inexplicably very popular in Israel, it’s going on its third SEASON. PASS. Probably 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 insipid? 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 doesn’t need more airtime, but he’s getting three 90-minute installments! From Sherlock‘s Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat will come “a new take on the Bram Stoker story” for BBC and Netflix. “Set in 1897, the series will revolve around the blood-drinking count from Transylvania who sets his sights on Victorian London. Moffat and Gatiss said: ‘There have always been stories about great evil. What’s special about Dracula is that Bram Stoker gave evil its own hero.'” Doubt if we’ll watch, but many will. Probably releases in 2020.

—Have I mentioned how offensive I find the Christians’ appropriation of the term “faith-based,” since ANY religion can have faith, not only Christians? Ridiculous. But, when you see that erm, it ONLY means Christians, now. Horrible. Rant over. Oh: I also despise Dr. Phil. So, you can imagine my lack of excitement about this first of two new projects, from him 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 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 da), as “a new iteration of the iconic cop drama that will revolve around the son of Dennis Franz’s Detective Andy Sipowicz character from the original series.” 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 with Assistant District Attorney Sylvia Costas (Sharon Lawrence) who was tragically killed in Season 6, while Theo was just a little boy.” Mom watched 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.

Sisters (not to be confused with so many other shows with that name or that word in their title) is coming to Fox from Down Under, from Annie Weisman and Jason Katims (co-exec producers/creators of The Path) as well as the original Australian series’ co-creator, Imogen Banks. “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.” 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?

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 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.

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:
——Council of Dads, 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.”
——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 “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.” 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.

—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!

One Tree Hill is having a cast reunion, Tis the Season: A One Tree Hill Cast Reunion 11/22/18 on lifetime as a Christmas movie, but WITHOUT Sophia Bush, Chad Michael Murray, Autumn Reese (they’re probably too busy WORKING) and many others. The TV film will feature: Hilarie Burton, Tyler Hilton, Danneel Ackles, Antwon Tanner and Stephen Colletti. “The Tree Hill Ravens are back together to celebrate the Christmas season… [to] reunite for a special evening that will include a few surprise special guests.” Sounds awful. Mom never watched this, but I watched most of the early SEASONS and may record and fast-forward. Probably egregious, and I dislike Christmas movies, usually, anyway (Jewish Buddhist, here).

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.

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. 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), 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.

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), with writer, Daniel Peak (Horrible HistoriesNot Going Out), and director, Ben Palmer (The Inbetweeners, Back), is another “police comedy,” with no other details, so far (11/9/18), 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.

Documentary Now! returns to IFC 1/20/19 for SEASON 3. 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 could be fun. Now in its third SEASON on IFC, this Episode will be centitled “’Batsh*t Valley,’ …[and will be 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; probably 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. If this one is any good, we may go back and watch some others somewhere, if they’re available. “The seven-episode ’52nd’ (aka third) season of the documentary spoof series includes parodies of recent Netflix hit, Wild Wild Country, D.A. Pennebaker’s Original Cast Album: Company, bowling doc League of Ordinary Gentlemen, and Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present. Guests include Cate Blanchett, Michael C. Hall, Michael Keaton, Owen Wilson, Tim Robinson, Bobby Moynihan, Natasha Lyonne, and John Mulaney.” FMI: https://www.indiewire.com/2018/10/documentary-now-michael-keaton-owen-wilson-wild-wild-country-1202011119/

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.” Other collaborators are Chuck Tatham (Modern Family) and Todd Spiewak. Maybe for 2019-20. We probably won’t watch.

—An untitled 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) may be coming to NBC in 2019-20. It “centers on a disgraced New York City Councilman 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?

—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 HordChampions 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.” Aaron Guzikowski (Prisoners) will write the script. No cast, yet, but sounds interesting. We’ll try it. Probably for 2019-20.

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), 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.” Probably not for us, and for 2019-20.

Carol’s Second Act is coming to CBS with Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond, The Middle) 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.” These creators have a very uneven track record, for our tastes. Sounds iffy. Probably 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.

—*Deadly Class sounds like a show I might like. SyFy premieres it 1/16/19. 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.I might watch. Mom won’t.

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.” 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. 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? 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’d watch this, for sure! Not sure about Mom, though… For 2019-20.

Patty’s Auto will come to Fox 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.” Could be fun. We’ll try it. Probably 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), that is 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 insipid 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 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 ax good shows and put up this junk! Probably for about 5 minutes in 2019-20.

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, for NBC, is touted as “an hourlong musical dramedy” from Austin Winsberg (Jake in Progress, Gossip Girl, The Sound of Music LIVE!), Paul Feig  (Bridesmaids), Eric and Kim Tannenbaum (Two and a Half Men). Described “tonally as What Women Want meets La La Land. It follows a whip-smart, socially awkward girl in her late 20s who is suddenly given an extraordinary ability to know the deepest desires of the people around her through songs.” Could be interesting or awful; depends if it’s more Winsberg or more Feig & the Tannenbaums… Probably for 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.

Felicitaciones to the newest and unique recipients (first Latinx and first couple) of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song for 2019 are 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, which will air on PBS in the spring of 2019.” Can’t wait!  These tributes are fabulous! We’ve seen them all!

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.

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 probably doomed. Doubt if we’ll watch.

Lifeboat Clique 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.

No Good Nick (a pun, if you know Yiddish… a “nogudnik” is someone who is inept or criminal; can’t do anything right) is another comedy coming to Netflix 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) into their family of four before realizing she is a street-smart con artist with a secret agenda.” Ordered 20 Episodes already: they’re way too optimistic, IMO. We probably won’t watch, but many will. Probably releasing in 2019.

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 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.” Probably for 2019-20.

Triage is another medical drama by Grey’s Anatomy‘s producer, Zoanne Clack; this one is for Fox. The series will be “interweaving three distinct phases of a group of doctors’ lives, as they explore cutting-edge medical techniques, and face challenges both personal and professional.” We’ll give it a try. Probably for 2019-20.

Danny 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 coming to ABC, to be written by Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman, many series in Shondaland, Gilmore Girls, The O.C., Sex & the City), “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’ll try this.

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.’” Probably for 2019-20.

—*Cursed will star Katherine Langford, from Netflix‘s 13 reasons Why, as “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.” Probably for Netflix‘s 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? Maybe for 2019-20.
——Prodigal Son, from writers, Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver, “centers on Malcolm Bright, 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.” 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. 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.  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 in 2019!

—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 BushRafael Acloque (24: Legacy)and Matt Reeves (Batman), with writer, David C. White (Sons of Liberty), 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.” May appear in the fall season of 2019-20, if it’s picked up.

—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, 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. 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. Whoopeeee??? 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 TRITE), 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.  Probaby for 2019-20.

Bewitched, ABC’s newest remake, is to be “racially inclusive,” written by Yamara Taylor and Kenya Barris (co-writers of Black-ish). This reboot “will center on an interracial blended family. ‘Samantha, a hardworking black single mom who happens to be a witch, 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.’ 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. Probably for 2019-20.

—Because of the (unexpected?) success of Crazy, Rich Asians, ABC has invited the development of a new rom-com that will be “an hourlong 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.

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.” 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.

The Coroner is the newest CBC legal/medical drama planned for 2019-20, starring 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.” We generally like series from the CBC channel, 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 do like a lot of CBC’s (Canadian Broadcasting Company) TV series. Due to be released in 2019. “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.”

—Anyone been missing Patrick Dempsey (Grey’s Anatomy, Maid of Honor)? 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. 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.

—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—formerly 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.

—If you might want to catch up on or become a fan of Chicago PD, good news: first five seasons will air on ION Television starting in early 2019.

Patrick Stewart is returning to the Star Trek universe, 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 is the home of 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. We’ll give them 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.

—Excited about an upcoming untitled Bob Fosse/Gwen Verdon bio, an eight-episode limited series commissioned by FX, starring Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams, from Lin-Manuel Miranda & Thomas Kail (Hamilton) and Steven Levenson (Dear Evan Hansen)! “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.”
(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. Eager to see this! Probably airing in 2019.

Hair Live! on NBC, MAYBE premiering 5/19/19 (what would have been my dad’s 90th birthday, irrelevantly), will have great co-directors: 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). Casting TBA. Production/release may be delayed, however, by the unexpected death in the summer of 2018 of its main producer, Craig Zadan. 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 Warnesand 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’ll watch 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, “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 Changd, 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.

Y: The Last Man for FX has Amber Tamblyn, Diane Lane, Barry Keoghan, Imogen Poots, Lashana Lynch, Juliana Canfield, Marin Ireland as the stars of this pilot that is based on the “post-apocalyptic science fiction DC comic series” by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra. “Y traverses a post-apocalyptic world in which a cataclysmic event has decimated every male mammal save for one lone human. The new world order of women will explore gender, race, class, and survival. Tamblyn will play Mariette Callows. Daughter of the President of the United States, Mariette has been groomed for a career in politics and to uphold her father’s conservative values.” Michael Green (American Gods, Blade Runner 2049, Logan) and Aïda Mashaka Croal (Luke Cage, Turn) are Showrunners and Executive Producers. Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson of Color Force (American Crime Story, Pose, The Hunger Games) and Brian K. Vaughan are Executive Producers and developed the series. Melina Matsoukas (Insecure, Master of None, Beyonce: Formation) directed the pilot episode and also serves as Executive Producer. “Y: The Last Man is a 60-issue science fiction comic book series published beginning in 2002. It received three Eisner Awards and received the first Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story for Y: The Last Man, Volume 10.” Dark premise, odd beginnings, great cast. We might try it. Look for it 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;
——-PBS will have Les Misérables, starring Dominic West and David Oyelowo;
——Netflix will also have Sally Wainwright’s Gentleman Jack, a period drama with Suranne Jones starring.
—-Michaela Coel’s Black Earth Rising is also on Netflix. This “looks at how people build and maintain happy relationships and asks whether lifelong monogamy is possible—or even desirable.”

HBO and PBS are co-producing:
——Ruth Wilson’s Mrs Wilson;
——Mike Bartlett’s Press;
——Mammoth Screen’s remake of The War of the Worlds;

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, releases 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. 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.”  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.

The Undoing, a new project by the prolific writer/producer, David E. Kelley, will also soon be a limited series starring Nicole Kidman as well (busy woman!). Probably available in 2020.

Briarpatch on USA 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) 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.” If it gets 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, Sandition, is going to be completed and adapted for TV. coming to PBSMasterpiece in 2019, via adapter/completer, Andrew Davies (Bridget Jones’ Diary, Mr. Selfridge), the story “follows Charlotte Heywood, the impulsive oldest daughter of her family. 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.” No casting or director info, yet. Probably out in 2019-20.

Dead to 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.

—I recently finished reading The Oracle Year (published 4/3/18), 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.

The Opposition‘s last episode aired 6/28/18, but Jordan Keppler is getting another chance on Comedy Central, with a new show, a “weekly half-hour series. Tentatively titled Klepper, it will feature the comedian out in the field, traveling the country and speaking to people.” Hope it’s better than the previous attempt, which was awful, IMO.
We’ll try it. Probably for 2019-20.

—Some of you might watch this show on CBS this fall, The Neighbors, and, therefore, care, that it’s been recast…twice. Beth Behrs 2 Broke Girls will now star (replacing Dreama Walker), along with Josh Lawson‘s replacement, Max Greenfield (New Girl), and Cedric the Entertainer. Unbelievably, it’s been extended further in to SEASON 1.

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.

800 Words, ran for 3 SEASONS. It premiered June 1 on Acorn TV but released originally in 2015-16.


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’ll have to wait for it to be picked up on Netflix or Amazon Prime, or get purchased by our library on DVD (we suggest these a lot). Maybe for 2019.

—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:
—— comedy, Cavendish, from the 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.” Will air Winter, 2019;
—— 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;
—— family adventure, Northern Rescue, 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. Will air winter, 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 Winter, 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 Winter, 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 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.

Richard Gere is coming to TV for his 1st major role, on BBC for 2 miniseries. First up is Mother Father Son (8 Episodes), 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?).

—Oh, no: Gillian Anderson (The X-Files, The Fall) stars in Netflix’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. Still in production; no availability date, yet. We can live in hope this never airs.

—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, oroginally stated it would focus on the life and works of author, Mary Shelley, for SEASON 3, “…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/
AND, as of 10/31/18, the new focus may be Aretha Franklin!
https://deadline.com/2018/10/genius-clive-davis-aretha-franklin-season-3-executive-producet-1202492352/

—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 (as of 11/9/18).

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. 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:
——Ratched, starring Sarah Paulson as a young Nurse Ratched (from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest); and,
—— The Politician, a satirical musical comedy starring Ben Platt (Pitch Perfect, Dear Evan Hansen), and possibly guest-starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Barbra Streisand. WOW! With those singers, we’re bound to watch the second; not sure about the first. Probably 2018-19 releases.

—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.
I read the book. WARNING: it is VERY 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. Probably 2018-19.

—Even more rebooting news: Mad About You is probably NOT happening, according to co-star, Paul Reiser. Still possible, but unlikely, is his take on it. If it does happen, the plot structure would have 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. On NBC, but NOT for the 2018-19 season (as of 11/9/18).

—Also, if you can never get enough of Meryl Streep, she is “is still attached to star in the J.J. Abrams-produced show, The Nix, which is rumored to be set up over at Amazon.” More about the show: “Nathan Hill‘s multi-generational story…follows a woman who gets national media attention for throwing rocks at a conservative governor on the presidential campaign trail and her estranged son who uses her sudden controversial fame to advance his career by smearing her profile.” FMI: http://www.slashfilm.com/the-nix-tv-series/ Probably 2018-19 season. Gotta have us some Meryl on TV!

FREEFORM has Cleopatra in development, its “first-ever period drama.” Heralded as “an epic, female-centric adventure series following the life of the most-beloved ruler in Egyptian history, Cleopatra, who after being exiled as a young woman decides to stand up against the patriarchy and fight back for her freedom and rightful place as heir.” The series plans to depict Cleo’s “rise and transition to becoming not only the first, last and only female Pharaoh, but also the world’s most powerful person all while engaging in a classic love triangle that changed the map of the world forever. Executive produced by Michael Sietzman (Quantico, Code Black), Christina Davis, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Daniel McDermott and Mike Weiss. Probably awful and expensive to produce, too. Probably for 2019-20.

—On a roll with two OTHER new series (Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger aired summer, 2018, so see reviews later in this post for that one), both sci-fi, FREEFORM is becoming a force to be reckoned with for those who like their fare. Augs: “created and directed by Scott Stewart (Blumhouse’s Dark Skies)… set in the all-to-near future when society is divided into two classes: Augs, the privileged who can afford the latest technological-biological enhancements that provide an always-connected augmented reality view of the world; and, Norms, the disenfranchised rest who’ve become a nearly invisible underclass.” The series is another dystopian futuristic Romeo and Juliet or any of a hundred others that pit rich against poor via a romance. Probably 2019-20.

Relief is a new medical drama (do we really need another one?) in development at NBC. Maria Bello (we’ve been loving her for years, especially in her current role as “Jack” on NCIS) and Jessica Goldberg (The Path) are the co-creators. The series centers on a “successful female doctor in L.A. who delivers supplies to her estranged brother on a remote island devastated by an earthquake. A series of dramatic events propels her decision to stay on and become part of a group of volunteers from around the world who are saving lives and healing themselves in the process.” We’ll try it. Probably 2019-20.

—Did you love the short-lived Hayley Atwell vehicle, Conviction? So did we! Its creator, Liz Friedlander, will write and direct a new, Untitled series! This one is a “female-centric cop drama…[that is] the first female partnership in an elite division of the LAPD, where the two detectives use their particular set of skills to tackle the most high-profile cases as well as a system that doesn’t necessarily want them there” for ABC. If it’s not too trite, could be good. Probably for 2019-20.

Gina Rodriguez, actor (Jane the Virgin), producer, author, is the executive producer of a new series in association with CBS, Femme, to air on the CW network. Femme is “a drama series from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend writers, Audrey Wauchope and Rachel Specter, [that] …follows four millennial women from different walks of life who become unlikely friends and fierce allies after meeting online in a secret feminist social media group. They form a sisterhood army in the real world to support each other through both serious and humorous crises and to help other women in need.” Probably NOT airing in the 2018-19 season.
BTW: We read/are reading a series of 30+ novels by Fern Michaels involving a group of women who form the secret Sisterhood that this series seems to have ripped off.
FMI: https://blog.womenandhollywood.com/gina-rodriguez-set-to-ep-women-centric-series-from-crazy-ex-girlfriend-writers-32a4a3f0a5ad

NBC’s version of a new Nancy Drew series “’…follows the author of the most famous female teen detective book series who is thrust into a real-life murder mystery….In need of help, she turns to her two best friends from childhood, who were the inspiration for all those books, and the women who have a real axe to grind about the way their supposed best friend chose to portray them all those years ago.’” Confusingly, this new series is still being produced by CBS studios but won’t run on that channel and no longer stars Sarah Shahi (Person of Interest, Fairly Legal, Reverie) who played Nancy in CBS’ pilot for this newly relocated and redesigned series. Probably airing in the 2018-19 season. I grew up reading and loving these books, so this better be good [Nancy Drew is a fictional American character in a mystery fiction series created by publisher Edward Stratemeyer as the female counterpart to his Hardy Boys series. The character first appeared in 1930. The books are ghostwritten by a number of authors and published under the collective pseudonym Carolyn Keene.” from Wikipedia]. Probably 2019-20.

Veronica Mars‘ fans who have Hulu (WE DO NOT) will be VERY glad to know that Kristen Bell has announced the newest incarnation of that character into an 8-Episode  mini-series is on track, with Max Greenfield, Enrico Colantoni and Jason Dohring joining from the original cast as well. “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] Oswalt will 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. Probably for 2019.

Natasha Lyonne (Orange Is the New Black), writer-director Leslye Headland (Sleeping with Other People) and Amy Poehler (of numerous films, SNL and Parks and Rec) are teaming up for an Untitled eight-episode comedy series for Netflix. Lyonne will star and co-write with Headland. “[T]he series follows Nadia (Lyonne) on her journey as the guest of honor at a seemingly inescapable party one night in New York City.” Set in New York City. Probably not our cup of tea, but Bridesmaids and Rough Night fans will likely love it. For the 2018-19 season.

Amy Poehler is mighty busy these days! She is also “exec producing an as-yet (11/9/18) Untitled family comedy that has received a put-pilot commitment from NBC.” New Girl producer, Kim Rosenstock, is writing the pilot and series, which doesn’t sound all that interesting (to me): it “centers on a newly single mom ‘who is forced to rely on the last people she wants help from: her family.'” Probably 2019-20. FMI: https://blog.womenandhollywood.com/amy-poehler-and-new-girl-producer-kim-rosenstock-join-forces-for-nbc-family-comedy-137e4ce087ea

–ONE MORE from Amy Poehler, Three Busy Debras, which will appear soon on Adult Swim channel: “The “absurdist” half-hour project centers on three disturbed housewives (Sandy Honig, Mitra Jouhari, and Alyssa Stonoha) who live in a yuppie Connecticut suburb — one that exists outside of our reality.” Stars Honig, Jouhari, and Stonoha wrote and created the pilot. Anna Dokoza is directing and Poehler will produce via her company, Paper Kite Productions.

Quality of Life, a new series about a family-run funeral business is fronted by the great Jamie Lee Curtis, who will star, co-write, and executive produce the comedy for CBS. Co-written by Janis Hirsch (Will & Grace, Murphy Brown), this will be one of the few comedies to feature a woman over 60. Sounds intriguing. Probably 2019-20.

ABC is developing a pilot for Eligible, a drama based on Curtis Sittenfeld’s 2016 novel Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Sherri Cooper Landsman and Jennifer Levin, who developed The CW’s Beauty & the Beast, and I. Marlene King, creator of Freeform’s Pretty Little Liars, will serve as executive producers. Probably 2019-20.

Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black and Doubt) will star in Spirited, “a one-hour drama about a fake psychic who discovers she has genuine powers.” This will be executive produced by Elizabeth Banks, with the pilot to appear (perhaps) on ABC. Probably 2019-20.

—How much do we love Madam Secretary‘s creator, Barbara Hall? LOTS! Moonlighting, Northern Exposure, Joan of Arcadia, Judging Amy and Homeland are also among her fabulous writing credits, and now she has another series in development at CBS. A CIA drama, Family Business, centers on three adult siblings working in the intelligence community, just as their parents do/did. How is Hall continuing with Madam Secretary,  doing this one AND Ms Mayor? Maybe she shares a James Patterson-ish stable of writers! Probably 2019-20.

Janet Tamaro‘s new series (Tamaro is the creator of one of our faves—now GONE…sob—Rizzoli & Isles), Smoke and Mirrors, “will follow a retired female detective who is pulled pack into the job from her now-quiet family life. In true Tamaro fashion, the detective teams up with another female cop — a young undercover detective — and crime and drama ensue from there. Tamaro will both write and exec produce the project.” Probably 2019-20.

The Jetsons is being “revived”! ABC is preparing a “live-action series revival…based on the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon…[as] a multi-cam sitcom set 100 years in the future that follows the exploits of the Jetson family.” Probably 2019-20.

—“Ava DuVernay, Charles D. King’s Macro & Victoria Mahoney to adapt Octavia E. Butler’s sci-fi novel Dawn for TV.”
https://scifitalk.com/2017/08/10/ava-duvernay-charles-d-kings-macro-victoria-mahoney-to-adapt-octavia-e-butlers-sci-fi-novel-dawn-for-tv/  “…the first of the author’s Lilith’s Brood trilogy and a seminal work of the Afrofuturism movement. It is, shockingly, the first film or television take on the Genius Grant and Hugo Award-winning author’s work.” Probably 2019-20. http://flavorwire.com/609150/ava-duvernay-developing-tv-adaptation-of-octavia-butlers-dawn

—Now we hate CBS Access even more! They added wonderful star, Audra MacDonald, as a series regular for The Good Fight. THEY SUCK for charging extra to watch these shows!

—Not on our list, but, perhaps, on YOURS, is Margaret Cho‘s autobiographical dramedy, Highland, coming soon on TNT. Directed by the woman who brought Transparent, Girls, and Better Things to television and previously collaborated on three specials: Margaret Cho: CHO Revolution, Margaret Cho: Beautiful, and Margaret Cho: Dependent, Nisha Ganatra. The stories are “inspired by Cho’s own history of drug use and follows two extended, dysfunctional Korean-American families ‘who share the same patriarch [and] must come together after tragedy strikes. As it turns out, the most reliable person in both families is the one who just got out of rehab.'” Probably airing in the 2018-19 season.

—September 20, 2019: mark your calendars, if you’re 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! It’s official (as of 9/18/18) that 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. 


This is the 43rd post, for 4 weeks, ending 10/26/18, Updated 11/9/18.
Next full post, 11/30/18.

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.”

Also, VERY STRANGELY, starting in 2016, some scheduled shows don’t even air or only air for one or two episodes and then are summarily canceled. What is the point of that? Why put so much time, money, effort, acting and producing talent into shows and then not even air the episodes that were already recorded? At least they sometimes air the rest of discontinued shows at odd times, like Doubt, which they did (in the summer after canceling it after only airing 2 episodes), but we think it’s odd that TV producers and networks would leave shows “in the can.” What happens to those episodes? Plus, the premature renewals of unaired or newly aired shows will come back to haunt those decision-makers (mark our words with Will & Grace, for example: renewed before airing and HORRIBLE).

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 11/9/18, 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


For 10/26/18, Updated 11/9/18

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 11/9/18)

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

*Legacies The CW (premiered 10/25/18; Extended for SEASON 1)
This series will undoubtedly please fans of Supernatural (not us), The Magicians (briefly, I was), Greenhouse Academy and Harry Potter, because the series ”tells the story of the next generation of supernatural beings at The Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted, where 17-year-old Hope Mikaelson (Danielle Rose Russell) and others come of age in the most unconventional way possible, nurtured to be their best selves — in spite of their worst impulses — under the watchful eye of headmaster Alaric Saltzman.”
I gave it a try, out of curiosity. Some interesting parts, and I may watch while coloring, but very predictable and too much teenage angst for me. Not knowing any of the actors already, I was lacking enthusiasm after Episode 1 and may not continue.
Trite; Extended for SEASON 1

*Midnight, Texas TNT (returned 10/26/18 for SEASON 2)
This is the second of Charlaine Harris’ series based on her novels that involve “supernaturals” with humans (first was True Blood) that I am watching solo (Mom’s not into those beings). I loved the Sookie Stackhouse (protagonist) novels that True Blood was based on, but it really went off the rails mid-series and into its own dark, weird plots and subplots with characters that I didn’t like so much. When I started the Midnight, Texas series, I was very disappointed. Couldn’t get into it and gave it back to the library. I didn’t even watch the first two Episodes of this when they aired.
Stars some actors I’ve seen before (François Arnaud, Sarah Ramos, Jason Lewis) and many I haven’t (Dylan Bruce, Parisa Fitz-Henley, Arielle Kebbel and the rest).But, Sarah Ramos seems to be out after Episode 1. Strange.
Gains Nestor Carbonell, Jaime Ray Newman, Trace Lysette and Josh Kelly for SEASON 2 That’s a lot of new folks to juggle. Luckily, they don’t all enter at once, but 2 were in Episode 1 already.
With some cool guest stars, special effects and plots/subplots, if you like all that (which I sometimes do).
Okay for SEASON 2

*Blackish ABC (returned 10/16/18 for 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

The Good Cop Netflix (released 9/21/18; 10-episode series)
Experienced, rule-breaking former cop works with somewhat OCD, younger, rule-following cop to crack jokes, make friends, and, oh, yeah, solve crimes. Sound familiar? Because it IS! But, these two are father and son! Didn’t know that, going in.
This hasn’t gotten great reviews, but we like it very much. We’re 3 Episodes in and it’s nice that it’s not gory, has had no car chases, and offers interesting characters and unusual plots.
From the creator of Monk (which we loved), Andy Breckman, with more of a father-son vibe than Monk had. Could be fun. Danza plays “Tony Sr., a disgraced former NYPD officer who never followed the rules. He lives with his son, Tony Jr., (Groban, in his first starring role), an earnest, obsessively honest NYPD detective who makes a point of always following the rules. This ‘odd couple’ become unofficial partners as Tony Sr. offers his overly cautious son blunt, streetwise advice.” Monica Barbaro plays “Cara Vasquez, the street-smart and self-assured newest detective on the All-City Homicide Task Force. She believes in getting the job done, even if that means bending the rules.” Isiah Whitlock Jr., plays “veteran homicide detective Burl Loomis, who’s marking the days left until retirement. Slow on his feet but quick with a deadpan retort, he has little patience for the department’s younger, more energetic members.” Could be insipide; could be good.
Starring: Tony Danza, Josh Groban (almost unrecognizable!), with Monica Barbara, Isiah Whitlock, Jr., and Bill Kottcamp (those last 3 are new to us, but we like them)
We like this a lot

Supergirl CW (returned 10/14/18 for SEASON 4)
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!
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 Season 4 “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.”
Someone as yet unnamed (as of 11/9/18) 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.”
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 may prove to be midway between, interest-wise.
Okay for SEASON 4

The Rookie ABC (premiered 10/16/18; EXTENDED for SEASON 1)
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; EXTENDED for SEASON 1

Blindspot (returned 10/12/18 for SEASON 4)
We didn’t like SEASON 3 much, and SEASON 4 isn’t looking to be much better. We don’t like the changes in Jane’s character or the double-triple-agent aspects for her and
We fast-forwarded through a lot of it because it was so boring. The writers seemed lost, using very contrived and not believable ways to separate, then bring the cast together, again, each with secrets that we’re supposed to care about uncovering, Mostly, we do not.
Sullivan Stapleton is Kurt Weller, married to Jaime Alexander, “Jane”/Remy. Rob Brown, Audrey Esparza and Ashley Johnson round out the “regulars.”
Reshma Shetty left (too bad), but Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio joined this SEASON. Ennis Esmer will keep doing double-duty, being on this occasionally and regularly on Private Eyes.
Might ditch it for SEASON 4

*Splitting Up Together ABC (returned 10/16/18; EXTENDED for SEASON 2)
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

*The Kids are Alright [sic] ABC (premiered 10/16/18; EXTENDED for 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 (premiered 10/16/18)
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

Charmed The CW (premiered 10/14/18; Extended for SEASON 1)
We really like 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.
“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 like the updates, but not the plots or directing; Extended for SEASON 1

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 (returned 10/4/18 and EXTENDED for SEASON 2)
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

Madam Secretary CBS (returned 10/7/18 for 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 10/5/18 for 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.

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 (premiered 9/24/18; EXTENDED for SEASON 1)
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; EXTENDED for SEASON 1

God Friended Me CBS (premiered 9/30/18; EXTENDED for SEASON 1)
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.”
Also stars: Brandon Micheal Hall, Violett Beane, Suraj Sharma, Javicia Leslie
Kind of sweet; EXTENDED for SEASON 1

How to Get Away with Murder ABC (returned 9/27/18 for SEASON 5)
Timothy Hutton (Leverage) is joining for SEASON 5. no details about his role, but should be interesting.
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 1 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!
Keeping, but did not like much of SEASON 4; RENEWED for SEASON 5

NCIS New Orleans CBS (returned 9/25/18 for 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.
Hello, to Necar Zadegan, possibly to lead the team (if Pride takes the offered promotion), and, soon, 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

Murphy Brown CBS (13-episode revival; premiered 9/27/18, BUT Episode 1 aired for 35, not 30 minutes!)
For the first Episode, we thought they did a great job of rebooting the original ground-breaking, award-winning, feminist series, “which centers on Candice Bergen’s titular journalist, originally ran for 10 seasons from 1988–98 on CBS. The revival will air to coincide with the original’s 30th anniversary.” Diane English, its creator, is involved, as are many of the original writers and co-stars. The premiere was up-to-date, yet brought in many “in jokes” and references to the previous years on the air, which was fun for fans.
But, Episodes 2 and 3 got progressively worse, going for the cheap laughs, not going into stories enough to actually be more than “bits,” and generally being disappointing.
Also returning/starring: Faith Ford, Joe Regalbuto, Grant Shaud/Tyne Daly, Jake McDorman, Nik Dodani.
Some heavy-hitters are being brought in (to rescue this?): some are going to guest stars (Bette Midler and Katie Couric, who were in the original series as these same characters); some will be recurring characters (John Larroquette, Brooke Shields and Peter Gallagher are series newcomers). Could help…
We generally hate sit-coms for the laugh tracks, and this is no exception.
Increasingly disappointing. 

The Cool Kids FOX (premiered 9/28/18; EXTENDED for 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

The Good Place NBC (resumed 9/27/18 for SEASON 3)
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!
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 won’t continue for SEASON 3

Single Parents ABC (premiered 9/26/18; EXTENDED for 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

*Grey’s Anatomy ABC (returned 9/27/18 for SEASON 15 & RENEWED for SEASON 16; see top of this post for SPINOFFs news; ; then, ENDING in 2020)
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 and his new wife, Dr. Bailey and many more long-time characters.
Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother, Mercy Street, Rise) is coming on as a blind date for Meredith, for one (or more?) Episodes this SEASON. That could be fun!
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, 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 left the show at the end of SEASON 14 (2018).

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

F.B.I. CBS (premiered 9/26/18; EXTENDED for SEASON 1)
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.”
Do we realllllly need another FBI show? In NYC? Do they not watch Blindspot? Quantico? These writers have a great challenge! So far, minimally met.
Stars: Connie Nielsen (replaced by Sela Ward, after pilot), Jeremy Sisto, Missy Peregrym, Ebonee Noel, Zeeko Zaki.
Good enough to continue watching; EXTENDED for SEASON 1

A Million Little Things ABC (premiered 9/26/18; EXTENDED for SEASON 1)
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.
Couldn’t even finish Episode 1; EXTENDED for SEASON 1

The Resident FOX (returned 9/24/18 for SEASON 2; resumes 1/14/19 after fall hiatus; 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 (returned 9/23/18 & 9/24/18 & EXTENDED for SEASON 2)
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). Sounded fun, but Episode 1 was very boring. If it continues like this, we’re out.
An Emergency Response drama created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk.
Starring Angela Bassett and Connie Britton.
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 1

NCIS CBS (returned 9/25/18 for SEASON 16)
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
Not sure about SEASON 16

Chicago Med NBC (returned 9/26/18 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?
Adding Molly Bernard and Colby Lewis to existing cast members, Nick Gehlfuss, Torrey DeVitto, Colin Donnell, Norma Kuhling, Oliver Platt, Rachel DiPillo, Brian Tee, S. Epatha Merkerson, Yaya DaCosta, Marlyne Barrett, and Norma Kuhling, for SEASON 4.
If we’re lucky, they got rid of Dr. Reese (Rachel DiPillo), who was way too messed up to be a psychiatrist, anyway. Glad Colin Donnell is staying.
“Bernard will be playing ‘Elsa Curry, an intelligent, know-it-all, intense and overconfident med student’ and Lewis has been cast as ‘Terry McNeal, a star football player who gave up a lucrative NHL contract to go to medical school.’”
KEEPING and okay for SEASON 4

The Gifted Fox (returned 9/25/18 for SEASON 2; resumes 1/1/19 after fall hiatus)
SEASON 2 is off to a shaky start, in our opinion. Lots of violence. Jumped ahead 6 months. Mostly still two factions and mysterious plans by the wealthy ones who now have the Gifted’s main family’s son and the pregnant-and-delivering Polaris on their side, with the weird triplets. 
Grace Byers
(Empire) joined for SEASON 2 as Reeva, “a smart, charming, authoritative, elegant, beautiful woman who is ruthless in her efforts to fight for her people.” If you remember, at the end of SEASON 1, the mutants and allies had a split. Those joining Emma Dumont’s Polaris, Percy Hynes White’s Andy Strucker and the Frost triplets (all played by played by Skyler Samuels) include this new character, Reeva.
We like this series, although we mute or fast-forward through all the shooting and fighting and car chases (so BORING and LOUD). The premise (a father who switches “sides” to save his family) is a lot like that of Colony, which we also like.
One of my long-time faves, Amy Acker, is the mom, in yet another show from Marvel comics (but not with Joss Whedon at the helm), co-parenting [with Stephen Moyer (True Blood)] a pair of mutant (X-Men-universe) children.
Also stars some others I/we have liked: Coby Bell (Burn Notice), Sean Teale (Reign, Incorporated), Emma Dumont (Aquarius, Bunheads).
“A suburban couple whose ordinary lives are rocked by the sudden discovery that their children possess mutant powers [are] Forced to go on the run from a hostile government. [T]he family joins up with an underground network of mutants and must fight to survive.”
For several trailers, show art and more casting, producers and plot info: http://www.denofgeek.com/us/tv/the-gifted/256921/marvels-the-gifted-trailer-release-date-and-more-news
KEEPING and all right for SEASON 2

Blue Bloods CBS (returned 9/28/18 for SEASON 9)
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.

Blue Bloods

KEEPING and all right for SEASON 9

Chicago P.D. NBC (returned 9/26/18 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.
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

Chicago Fire NBC (returned 9/26/18 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

This is Us NBC (returned 9/25/18 for SEASON 3)
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 this year after 1.5 Episodes. The script SUCKS. 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.
Unfortunately, the news is that the show plans to spend a “lot of time in Vietnam” for SEASON 3 to give more of Jack’s backstory. YUCK. 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.
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, with SEASON 2’s Episodes, we soon wondered why anyone likes this show this year. By early in SEASON 3, we were OUT.
The triplets are excessively juvenile and neurotic in “present” time; the flashbacks are deliberately incomplete and frustrating.
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

Bull CBS (returned 9/24/18 for SEASON 3)
We LOVE this show and great cast: 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! Terrible choice!
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 9/24/18 for SEASON 2)
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!
Starring Freddie Highmore in the title role, and including a couple of familiar faces [Richard Schiff (The West Wing) and Hill Harper (Covert Affairs, CSI: NY)]. Added Lisa Edelstein (House and many more) for SEASON 2, which is great.
BUT, they bring/have on good characters, only to eliminate them. Why?
We really like this one; KEEPING and Good for SEASON 2

New Amsterdam NBC (premiered 9/25/18; EXTENDED 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; EXTENDED for SEASON 1

Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan Amazon Prime (released 8/31/18)
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  several 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

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.
Also starring: Sydney Tamiia Poitier (yes; HIS 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; resumes in October)
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, Cle Bennet, Kurtis Mazhari (of The Listener and Blindspot).
For unknown reasons, this SEASON stopped in late August and then resumed in early October); a split SEASON, like Suits.
Predictable, but sweet & worthwhile

*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 10/51218)

Some PREMIERES/RETURNS are still unknown for 2018-19, so I give the known first/return air dates. I/we plan to watch the shows listed, below (UPDATED 11/9/18).

LINK to premiere dates for 2018-19: https://renewcanceltv.com/tv-show-premiere-dates-2018-guide/

Or, use this link for full schedule: http://www.thefutoncritic.com/showatch.aspx?series=&network=&daycode=&statuscode=7&genre=&studio=, updated frequently: UPDATED 11/9/18.

Try https://nextseasontv.com/tv-show-premiere-dates-2018-19/ for release dates.


Fall, 2018 (and beyond), New Shows Listed First

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

Maniac Netflix (10 Episodes; released 9/21/18; already CANCELED for SEASON 2)
Since it’s already CANCELED (10/14/18), we probably won’t watch.
Starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill, another new, limited series from creator, writer, and executive-producer, Patrick Somerville (The Leftovers).
“Set in a world somewhat like our world, in a time quite similar to our time, Maniac tells the stories of Annie Landsberg (Emma Stone) and Owen Milgrim (Jonah Hill), two strangers drawn to the late stages of a mysterious pharmaceutical trial, each for their own reasons. Annie’s disaffected and aimless, fixated on broken relationships with her mother and her sister; Owen, the fifth son of wealthy New York industrialists, has struggled his whole life with a disputed diagnosis of schizophrenia. Neither of their lives have turned out quite right, and the promise of a new, radical kind of pharmaceutical treatment—a sequence of pills its inventor, Dr. James K. Mantleray (Justin Theroux), claims can repair anything about the mind, be it mental illness or heartbreak—draws them and ten other strangers to the facilities of Neberdine Pharmaceutical and Biotech for a three-day drug trial that will, they’re assured, with no complications or side-effects whatsoever, solve all of their problems, permanently. Things do not go as planned.”
Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) is directing.
Sounds a lot like a Black Mirror Episode I watched and did not like at all. Probably won’t try this one, but we do like Emma Stone.
already RENEWED for SEASON 2

*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

The Romanoffs Amazon (released 10/12/18, 8-part miniseries)
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.”
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.
We’ll watch one Episode

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 premieres; 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 

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (The CAS) Netflix (20 Episodes; released 10/26/18)
Lucy Davis (Wonder Woman) to play Hilda Spellman, the aunt of Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka). “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 are going for edgy vs. cutesy, since The CAS purports to be “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: “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 .
I doubt if we’ll watch, but some of you might!

Homecoming Amazon (released 11/2/18)
Julia Roberts is set to star 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

Mickey’s 90th Spectacular ABC (premieres 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.

The Kominsky Method Netflix (releases 11/16/18)
Co-created by Chuck Lorre, but we don’t like most of his latest shows (The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men). If it’s not too ageist and, therefore, offensively silly, could be interesting. The story “follows an aging actor who now makes his living in Hollywood as an acting coach.”
Starring: Michael Douglas, Lisa Edelstein and Alan Arkin.
We’ll try it.

The Little Drummer Girl AMC (premieres on three consecutive nights, 11/19–21/18, with a two-hour episode each night)
Alexander Skarsgård (Big Little Lies, True Blood) stars and is co-producing this much-awaited series, from the team behind The Night Manager. Lady Macbeth‘s Florence Pugh is also starring in this miniseries. Based on the 1983 bestselling John le Carré spy novel (previously adapted into a 1984 film starring Diane Keaton).
The series is true to the novel, which “weaves a suspenseful and explosive story of espionage and high-stakes international intrigue. Set in the late 1970s[. T]he pulsating thriller follows Charlie (Pugh), a fiery actress and idealist whose resolve is tested after she meets the mysterious Becker (Skarsgård) while on holiday in Greece. It quickly becomes apparent that his intentions are not what they seem, and her encounter with him entangles her in a complex plot devised by the spy mastermind Kurtz (Michael Shannon). Charlie takes on the role of a lifetime as a double agent while remaining uncertain of her own loyalties.”
Also starring: Charles Dance (And Then There Were NoneGame of Thrones), Charif Ghattas (After the Ashes), Amir Khoury (Fauda), Michael Moshonov (The City and the City), Katharina Schuttler (Dogs of Berlin), and Simona Brown (Kiss Me First).
This could be gripping (we liked both the first film and the novel).
We’ll try it

Dirty John Bravo (premieres 11/25/18)
This “true-crime” series “centers on Debra Newell (Connie Britton), who has a seemingly perfect life: she’s successful, beautiful and lives in one of California’s most desirable coastal cities, Newport Beach. The only thing missing is love. So when she finally meets charming and handsome doctor, John Meehan (Eric Bana), she’s quickly swept into a whirlwind romance, much to the dismay of her daughters, Terra (Julia Garner) and Veronica (Juno Temple). Their fast-tracked relationship creates tension between Debra and the girls, leaving them no choice but to investigate the stranger who has swept their mother off her feet. And with a fraught family history, the backstory of Debra and her mother Arlane (Jean Smart) provides insight into why she may have been so vulnerable to John in the first place. As Debra gets drawn deeper into his lies and sinister game of psychological manipulation, it results in horrific consequences for an entire family.”
Already approved for two SEASONS, but SEASON 2 will offer an entirely different story and a new cast.
We like Connie Britton, but not usually “true crime.” This sounds more suited to Lifetime, with its seemingly endless stream of films about stupid, gullible, helpless women victimized by unscrupulous, dangerous men or other women, which we do not watch.
We MAY try it

41st Annual Kennedy Center Honor PBS (filmed live on 12/2/18; will air 12/26/18, and repeatedly then and after that)
This year’s honorees are: 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.”

*Project Blue Book History (premieres 1/8/19; 10 Episodes)
“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.”
Could be interesting. Trailer here: https://deadline.com/2018/10/project-blue-book-premiere-date-trailer-history-channel-ufo-drama-series-1202477171/
Starring: Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones), Neal McDonough, Michael Harney, Laura Mennell and Ksenia Solo.
I’ll try it

The Passage FOX (something on 11/2/18? on Filmstruck; premieres 1/14/19)
“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.
Probably trite

Rent FOX (airs 1/27/19, 7:00-10:00 PM ET, live/PT, tape-delayed)
The live musical production of the Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, Rent, is ON and we now have CASTING NEWS (10/29/18): 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’re in

2019 MusiCares Person of the Year CBS (happens and then air near 2/8/19)
Dolly Parton will be this year’s recipient, which airs the same weekend as The Grammy’s, which are 2/8/19. She will 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.
Should be great

Proven Innocent FOX (premieres 2/15/19)
“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.”
How could this be better than Conviction, which got canceled after one great season?
We’ll try it, with low expectations.

Other Shows we Plan to watch Already Available

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

*A Very English Scandal Amazon Prime (3-Episode miniseries released July, 2018)
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).”
Sounds strange, but oddly compelling. Probably I’ll watch, alone.

No Premiere Dates Set, Yet; Probably Airing in 2019

First Wives’ Club Paramount Network (10 Episodes to air early in 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

 *L.A.’s Finest: Bad Boys AMC (13 Episodes; midseason premiere date not set, yet)
Just what no one needs: another police show set in Los Angeles. Guess NBC agreed and recently PASSED on this, but, as of 6/26/18, it was resurrected by AMC/Charter. 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: 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.” Probably I will try it

*Bless This Mess Fox (midseason premiere date not set, yet)
“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, Ed Begley, Jr.

Grand Hotel ABC (midseason premiere date not set, yet)
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) and JenCarlos Canela  (both were on Telenovela together).
I doubt if we’ll watch, but many will. 

Blood & Treasure CBS (midseason premiere date not set, yet)
“A brilliant antiquities expert 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

The Fix ABC (midseason premiere date not set, yet)
A crime drama from writer-executive producers, Elizabeth Craft, Sarah Fain, and Marcia Clark (yes, THAT Marcia Clark…). 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.
Probably try it,

The Code CBS (midseason premiere date not set, yet)
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’s 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’m torn because I like some of these actors a lot and usually like legal shows, but I never like military dramas, much.
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’ll try it

Whiskey Cavalier ABC (midseason premiere date not set, yet)
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.”
Also stars: Ana Ortiz, Tyler James Williams, Vir Das.
We’ll try it.

Guess Who Died NBC (midseason premiere date not set, yet)
“Based on the experiences of Norman Lear, this comedy takes an inspiring look at the shared challenges and joys people can experience at any stage in their lives.”
If this isn’t too ageist and silly, it could be good. We’ll try it.
Starring: Holland Taylor (The Practice, Two and a Half Men) and Hector Elizondo (Last Man Standing, Chicago Hope).
We’ll try it.

Now & Then Freeform (midseason premiere date not set, yet)
“A group of college friends reunite after losing touch for years. They are brought back together due to unexpected circumstances, and they discover a new lease on life and their friendship.”
Some shows on this network are too soap opera-y for us, but some are great.
Starring: Myko Olivier (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Mia Serafino (Crowded), and Brandon Mychal Smith (Sonny with a Chance, Phil of the Future).
We’ll try it.

#FashionVictim E! (midseason premiere date not set, yet)
“Anya St. Clair is an innocent, angelic girl who tirelessly works as an associate editor at VIE magazine. Despite appearances, there is something truly dark about Anya. When she finally taps into her dark side, Anya experiences a rush and a spooky strength that might finally take her to the top of the fashion world.”
If it turns out that she’s a vampire, zombie, witch or shapeshifter, we’re out. Otherwise, we’re intrigued.
Starring: Willa Fitzgerald (Scream) and Matt Long (Jack & Bobby)
Depends on the actual premise.

*Red Line CBS (midseason premiere date not set, yet)
“[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

*[Untitled Kenya Barris Project] ABC (midseason premiere date not set, yet)
“An opinionated and fading TV star moves in with his daughter, her girlfriend, and their kid. What could possibly go wrong in this dysfunctional family comedy?
Sounds awful, but I might try one Episode.
Starring: Alec Baldwin (30 Rock, SNL)
Probably will suck

*Wayward Sisters The CW (midseason premiere date not set, yet)
“This 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.”
Sounds like Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s last season. I never watched Supernatural, but I might watch this.
Starring: Kim Rhodes (Supernatural, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody), and Kathryn Newton (Big Little Lies, Supernatural)
I’ll try it

The Enemy Within NBC (midseason premiere date not set, yet)
In this fast-paced, spy-hunting thriller, Erica Shepherd (Jennifer Carpenter) is a brilliant former 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.”
Also starring: Raza Jaffrey, Kelli Garner.
Sounds interesting, if it’s not too violent

The Inbetween NBC (midseason premiere date not set, yet)
“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

*Roswell, New Mexico THE CW (midseason premiere date not set, yet)
VERY EXCITED about this (I am such a GEEK!): Roswell is coming back! Updated stories and aged characters! 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).
“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.”
Probably not Mom’s cup of tea.
Can hardly wait!

Abby’s NBC (midseason premiere date not set, yet)
Another comedy; this one “set in an unlicensed bar in San Diego.” Why unlicensed? Why a bar? “The show is shot outside in front of a live audience.” Shot “outside” but “in a bar”? Sounds awful.
Natalie Morales (Santa Clarita Diet, Parks and Rec, Battle of the Sexes, The Grinder, Girls) stars, with Mike Schur: Morales plays “a war vet-turned-bartender”…who is “warmly convivial but never openly sentimental”…and who has “found her calling, hosting friends and newcomers in her open-air backyard bar where locals find camaraderie and a kind of sanctuary.”
Sounds like Cheers meets Frasier, but starring a woman and less liiely to succeed.
Probably not going to watch


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

**Law and Order—SVU NBC (returned 9/27/18; RENEWED forever [longest-running drama on network TV!])
Mom is keeping this on her list for sure; RENEWED.

**Hawaii 5-0 CBS (returned 9/28/18)
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 9/30/18; continued 10/7/18)
Mom is keeping this on her list for sure; RENEWED for SEASON 8

**Criminal Minds CBS (returned 10/3/18 for SEASON 14)
Mom is keeping this on her list, but bored with it; RENEWED


Other shows I’ve come across but haven’t found premieres/air dates announced or listed, yet (UPDATED 11/9/18)

Hanna Amazon (no release date set, yet)
“This TV adaptation of the 2011 thriller centers on a teen girl 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. We loved Enos in The Catch.
Starring: Joel Kinnaman (Altered Carbon) and Mireille Enos (The Catch)
Sounds possible

*Upload Amazon (no release date set, yet)
A “comedy…set in the future where humans are able to upload themselves into the afterlife of their choice.” Sounds bizarre, but could be good.
Starring: Robbie Amell (The Flash, The X-Files) and Andy Allo (The Game, Attack of the Show).
I’ll try it and let Mom know if it’s worthwhile.

Pure WGN (SEASON 1 premiere probably midseason, 2019; already renewed for SEASON 2)
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.
We’ll try it

False Profits NO LONGER at ABC (needs new network; premiere date not set, yet)
This “soap” dramedy pilot was NOT picked up even though ABC had its Episodes extended. Led by Bellamy Young (recently, POTUS on Scandal) and Vanessa Williams. Billed “as Desperate Housewives meets Glengarry Glen Ross, [i]t follows a team of down-and-out women in suburban Arizona as they fight their way to the top of the cutthroat world of a multi-level marketing cosmetics business.”
Probably awful, but depending upon where (if) it airs, we’ll try it.

The Gilded Age NBC (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

Man of the House ABC (premiere date not set, yet)
“Two recently divorced sisters decide to move in together to raise their kids under one roof. The oldest kid and only son is left to figure out what manhood means in a world where he’s now completely surrounded by females.”
With a production team that includes: Frank Pines (w, ep), Vijal Patel (w, ep), Gail Berman (ep), Joe Earley (ep), Kerry Washington (ep), Pilar Savone (ep), and Richie Keen (d), how bad could it be?
Starring: Alyson Hannigan, Leslie Bibb, Jake Short, Jenna Ortega, Reece Caddell, Jimmy Kimmel (voice-over narrator).
HOWEVER, as of June, 2018, Hanningan is set to star/recur on a show on WGN in 2019 which is already renewed for SEASON 2, Pure, so…?
We’ll try it

Most Likely To ABC (premiere date not set, yet)
Busy woman, Diablo Cody! Yet another of her projects is going to be aired in 2018-19: “In high school, Liz Cooney had everything and Markie McQueen had nothing. Twenty years later, they’re reunited under the same roof as single moms and unlikely housemates.”
Very busy bees, Greg Berlanti and his often-collaborator, Sarah Schechter, are involved in this project, as is Pam Fryman.
Probably a rehash of several other shows we didn’t like much.
Starring: Yvette Nicole Brown, Lesli Margherita, Laya DeLeon, Ashton Arbab, Mia Allan, Ella Allan, Donald Faison, Laya DeLeon
We’ll watch one Episode

*Steps ABC (premiere date not set, yet)
From Kristin Newman, starring Ginnifer Goodwin, the series “is based on the Swedish series, Bonus Family, aka Bonusfamiljen. The blended family comedy centers on four adults who, following two divorces, are “in three houses raising three kids after two divorces — together.” Newman (The Mayor, The Muppets, Galavant, and The Real O’Neals) penned the pilot.”
We loved Galavant, but the rest were/are awful….
Also starring: Kyle Bornheimer, Barry Rothbart, Ryan Michelle Bathe, Julie Hagerty, Cameron Boyce.
Probably unwatchable, but I’ll try one Episode

For Love ABC (premiere date not set, yet)
“Five years ago, Hope Castille’s fiancé was killed. This morning she received a phone call from him. An epic love triangle set against a grounded, secret world of magic in present-day New Orleans.”
Supernatural, fraud, kidnapping, what? We’ll tune in once to find out, then we’ll see.
Starring: Lex Scott Davis, Ethan Peck, Jon Ecker, Luke Arnold, Rachel Skarsten, Isabella Russo.
Could be all right

Get Christie Love ABC (premiere date not set, yet)
We loved Pitch and were sad it was cancelled, but the star, Kylie Bunbury, will take the lead in this reboot. It’s described as “an action-packed and music-driven drama…[T]he new Get Christie Love follows ‘Christie Love (Bunbury), an African-American, female CIA agent who leads a highly trained elite ops unit,’ who is ‘[b]eautiful and charismatic… Christie transforms into whoever she needs to be in order to get the job done, especially when it’s down to the wire and the stakes are life and death.'”
Sounds fun!
Also starring: Julia Kelly, Camille Guaty, Thomas Cocquerel, Shea Buckner, Juan Javier Cardenas, Steven Weber, Lisseth Chavez, Dennis Oh.
We’ll try it

Salvage ABC (premiere date not set, yet)
“Ex-cop Jimmy Hill just wants to be left alone after moving back home in rural Florida. But when a local murder is linked to the sunken treasure of a lost Spanish galleon, he’s drawn into the investigation by an idealistic deputy and pitted against the powerful town patriarch, outside criminal agents and his own father.”
Starring: Toby Kebbell, Charity Wakefield, Jim Belushi, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Jim Kaplan, Will Patton, Larcetta, Joelle Carter, Evan Parke.
Some great cast members; trite premises.
We’ll try it

Staties ABC (premiere date not set, yet)
“Hard-charging NYPD detective, Eliza Cortez, is banished to the boonies after a high-profile mistake and is paired with a new partner, Oregon State Trooper, Sam King. Sam’s investigative techniques don’t exactly follow protocol, as evidenced by his talking to trees for clues and his obsession with flying kites. Eliza is a fish out of water in this police procedural set in an eccentric town of quirky characters in coastal Oregon.”
Starring: Annie Ilonzeh, Andy Karl, Justin Johnston Cortez, David Zayas, Jennifer Aspen, Alexander Sokovikov, Ava Capri, Justin Johnson.
We’ll give it 1 Episode to prove itself, with low expectations

[Ella] UNTITLED ABC (premiere date not set, yet)
Amirah Vann (Underground, How to Get Away with Murder, Major Crimes) is to star as Ella, who is described as “a stand-up cop who goes out of her way to prove that police officers can still be good guys who treat people fairly…in an untitled NYPD drama at ABC, exec produced by Robin Roberts and Regina King and written by Pam Veasey (CSI:NY), who is also one of the executive producers. The series will “follow five African-American sisters, all officers in the NYPD, as they face the challenges of their high-risk jobs while juggling the responsibilities of marriage, motherhood, and family.”
Against the Wall, which we liked, but African-American- and female-centered? Intriguing.
Starring: Frances Turner, Amirah Vanh, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Frances Turner, Aubin Wise, Michael Beach, Leigh-Ann Rose.
We’ll try it

Two Nights Fox (premiere date not set, yet)
Diablo Cody (Juno) has another new project, executive producing a cop drama written by frequent co-creator, Emily Silver (Finding Carter), who will also serve as an EP. The story “…centers on Sunday Night, ‘a former cop with a memorable name and a smartass sense of humor who lives on a shrinking island with her pet squirrel and not much else….But when her foster father asks for help in the kidnapping case of a young girl, Sunday is pulled back into the world of law enforcement, forcing her to confront her own demons as she solves cases for the Criminal Investigative Division of the FBI.’”
Do we really need yet another investigative drama that partners an odd couple of investigators and/or a “consultant” from left field with a detective? I doubt it.
But, we’ll probably try it

[LeHane] Untitled Fox (premiere date not set, yet)
“Armed with their wits, street knowledge and an undeniable chemistry, private detectives, Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, right wrongs that the law can’t in the working-class Boston borough of Dorchester. Based on the novel by Dennis Lehane.”
Could be good; great cast.
Starring: Joseph Morgan, Peyton List, Christine Lahti, April Bowlby.
We’ll try it

*Daddy Issues Fox (premiere date not set, yet)
Don Johnson badly parents Erin Foster in this purported comedy, which “follows single, thirty-something, Andi, who refuses to settle down, and her friendship with her ‘playboy’ dad. Andi’s world is turned upside down when she discovers her dad has fallen in love with her best friend. Loosely based on Erin Foster’s life.”
Gee. I wonder if Dakota Johnson is a consultant on this? Gross, sad, therapy-as-television. NOPE.
Also starring: Jane Leeves, Janina Gavankar, Christine Woods, Mike O’Gorman.
Probably horrible, but I’ll watch one Episode

*History of Them CBS (premiere date not set, yet)
Gloria Calderon Kellett is heading “a social media-inspired rom-com…[and] a multicultural ensemble about how two friends, Luna and Adam, meet and fall in love, using the couple’s social media as a guide.” Kellett (One Day at a Time) writes and serves as executive producer. Pamela Fryman, Kellett’s How I Met Your Mother collaborator, will direct and exec produce.
If it’s funny enough, could be good.
Starring: Ana Villafañe, Brett Dier, Lisa Vidal, Felix Solis, Amit Shah, Caitlin McGee, Christopher Powell, Miranda Cosgrove (narrator).
I’ll try it and let Mom know

*I Mom So Hard CBS (premiere date not set, yet)
Michelle Nader has “a comedy based on Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley’s web series,” which “centers on two women who depend on each other’s friendship in order to get through the absurdities of marriage and motherhood.”
Not very original and probably not very funny, either.
Also starring: Freddie Prinze Jr, David Finn, Tymberlee Hill
I’ll try it and let Mom know

Cagney & Lacey CBS (premiere date not set, yet)
REBOOTED from the early 1980s series! “Two female police detectives and friends keep the streets of L.A. safe.”
Starring: Sarah Drew, Michelle Hurd, Ving Rhames.
Sounds fun!

Chiefs CBS (premiere date not set, yet)
“The professional and personal lives of three driven, successful but very different women who each is Chief of Police of their own precincts in L.A. County.”
Jorja Fox, Aunjanue Ellis and Alana de la Garza star as LAPD leaders.
Just what TV needs: more police dramas. NOT.
Also featuring: Demetrius Grosse, Michael Trucco.
If it’s written well, could be good.
We’ll try it

*Mixtape Fox (premiere date not set, yet)
Stars Madeline Stowe and Jenna Dewan Tatum in another LA music scene series. We haven’t liked any of these; probably won’t like this one, either. Too much rap, hip-hop, drugs, bad sex and bad people for my taste. Mom won’t even try these types of shows any longer.
Also starring: Callie Hernandez, Raul Castillo, Megan Ferguson.
I’ll try one Episode

**Murder CBS (premiere date not set, yet)
“Investigative drama explores crime through the unique and often conflicting perspectives of cops and killers, witnesses and victims, friends and family. Shot like a true-crime documentary, it follows the emotional journey of an investigation, allowing viewers to discern the truth and judge the suspects’ guilt or innocence for themselves.”
I think Mom’s on her own for this one. Sounds too realistic and violent, for me.
Starring: Michael Chiklis, Teyonah Parris, Luna Lauren Velez, Pallavi Sharda, Leonard Roberts, Andrea Demetriades, Jennifer Mudge.
Mom will try this

Main Justice (formerly, Unsolved) CBS (premiere date not set, yet)
With Jerry Bruckheimer and the main character’s inspiration, former Attorney General Eric Holder as producers, we’re curious.
Must be a trend: another legal drama, this one set in Washington, D.C., starring Peter Gallagher as the President, Timothy Hutton as the Deputy AG and Bokeem Woodbine as a new US attorney based on Eric Holder, may be to our liking, I’m sure, especially with these actors.
“In the tumultuous world of the 5th floor of the Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney General takes on the biggest legal and investigative cases in the country — all while being the youngest person to ever hold such an esteemed position. Inspired by the life and work of former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.”
Also starring: Aubrey Dollar, Deborah Ayorinde.
Could be fascinating

Dead Inside The CW (premiere date not set, yet)
“After surviving an explosion that killed her hotshot detective big brother, an underachieving beat cop starts seeing his ghost, flipping their sibling dynamic on its head and allowing her to truly live her life for the first time. They work together to help crime victims both living and dead and figure out the unfinished business keeping his spirit on Earth.”
More talking to dead people? Really?
Starring: Lyndon Smith, Freddie Storma, Hayley Marie Norman, Christine Ko, Myles Bullock.
Worth 1 Episode, I suppose

Miracle Workers TBS (7 Episodes, only; premiere date not set, yet)
“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.”
What a cast!: Daniel Radcliffe, Steve Buscemi, Geraldine Viswanathan, Jon Bass, Karan Soni.
We’ll try it

Tell Me Your Secrets (fka Deadlier Than the Male) TNT (premiere date not set, yet)
Stella Baker joins Lily Rabe, Amy Brenneman and Hamish Linklater in this “thriller drama series.” Amy Brenneman (fave of mine and my mom’s since Judging Amy and Private Practice; I loved her in Reign, and Mom loved her in NYPD Blue, too) stars in this odd premise for a series, which “follows a trio of characters, each with a mysterious and troubling past: a young woman who once looked into the eyes of a dangerous killer, a former serial predator desperate to find redemption and Mary, a grieving mother obsessed with finding her missing daughter. As each of them is pushed to the edge, the truth about their pasts and motives grows ever murkier, blurring the lines between victim and perpetrator.”
Also starring: Xavier Samuel, Enrique Murciano, Chiara Aurelia, Ashley Madekwe, Bryant Tardy.
Brenneman has been cast as the grieving mother, Mary. She’s spent years searching for her missing daughter, and ‘on one hand, her loss has made her a passionate advocate for vulnerable women, but on the other, the tragedy has given her new power and polish —– as well as a ruthless streak that makes her a threat to anyone who stands in her way.’”
Has some great writers behind it, but sounds very dismal and dark.
We’ll give it a try, though

*Girls Code Freeform (premiere date not set, yet)
“Follows the odd-couple partnership between a brazen, self-centered tech CEO and a community-building social entrepreneur who must overcome their many issues with each other in order to co-run a groundbreaking, all-female tech incubator.”
Sounds as if they are taking a good idea (a female-centered Silicon Valley) and will make it unwatchable, from my/our POV, but fans of Parks & Rec, Bridesmaids and other such nonsense (in our opinion) will probably like this a lot: “Paul Feig, New Girl’s Kim Rosenstock, and Freeform are…[developing] Girl Code, [which] is …created by Rosenstock and directed by Feig…[T]he half-hour comedy will be set in an all-female incubator….Joy Gorman Wettels (13 Reasons Why) originally brought the concept to Feig and Rosenstock. She will exec produce….”
Starring: Sophia Di Martino, Kirby Howell-Baptiste.
Freeform often surprises us, so we’ll try it (via me, first)

Suits: Second City SUITS spin-off USA (premiere date not set, yet, but pilot Episode aired as finale of of Suits‘ SEASON 7 in spring, 2018)
Gina Torres WILL star as Jessica Pearson, again, in this even though she left SUITS because she put it into her contract that it will film in LA (where she lives) instead of the usual Toronto-for-NYC.
Watch her on SUITS in the final winter, 2017, Episode (a brief return, only, for that season), then, watch for Torres to headline and produce the new series.
Also starring Simon Kassianides, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Morgan Spector.
We’ll watch this

*Twenties TBS (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

Southern Hospitality (formerly known as Three Rivers) ABC (premiere date not set, yet)
A comedy from collaborators, Sherry Bilsing-Graham and Ellen Kreamer (Friends, New Adventures of Old Christine), about “Rebecca, who left her family’s Texas ranch years ago to work at an upscale hotel in New York…after being promised ownership of the ranch by her smooth-talking cowboy dad, Beau, [i]s back and ready to utilize her big-city tactics to turn their rustic ranch into a destination spot.”
Doubt if we’ll watch.
Starring: Annaleigh Ashford, John Larroquette, Stephanie Styles, Shakira Barrera, Andrew Keenan-Bolger.
Sounds plausible and unique…NOT

Another Life Netflix (10 Episodes only; release not announced, yet)
“Astronaut, Niko Breckinridge, is focused on searching for alien intelligence, leading a crew on a mission to explore the genesis of an alien artifact. As Niko and her young crew investigate, they face unimaginable danger on what might very well be a one-way mission.”
Starring one of our faves (we miss Longmire), Katee Sackhoff, as the starship captain. Yay!
We’ll probably catch this at some point

Las Reinas ABC (premiere date not set, yet)
Las Reinas revolves around Detective Sonya De La Reina, who is forced to confront her past when a case compels her to reconnect with her estranged family—the most powerful criminal outfit in Miami. Thrust back into the world she thought she had left behind, Sonya must walk the murky line between the law and her family, and question her true destiny as a De La Reina.”
Sonia Braga stars, and featuring Eliezer Castro and Daniella Alonso. As if we need another one of these, either. But… We do like them.
We’ll give it a try

Trust Me BBC One (WHERE TO WATCH?)
Need to watch SEASON 1, which ended late August, 2017, because this was already renewed for SEASON 2!
“Having lost her job for whistle-blowing, a skilled, hardworking nurse assumes her best friend’s identity as a senior doctor to start a new life in Edinburgh.”
Starring Jodie Whittaker (who is the newest Dr. Who for Dr. Who!, so everyone laughs when she says, repeatedly, “I’m not a real doctor” in this show) as Cath Hardacre; Emun Elliott as Dr. Andy Brenner Sharon Small as Dr. Brigitte Rayne; Blake Harrison as Karl, Cath’s ex-husband; Nathan Welsh as journalist, Sam Kelly; Cara Kelly as Mona McBride; Lois Chimimba as Nurse Kare; and, Michael Abubakar as Dr. Charlie McKee.
Looks interesting, but can’t find it (yet, as of 11/9/18)

*American Masters on PBS aired Patsy Cline – Up Close, Personal in March, but it was not available here in Missouri; check local listings or watch online: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/video/all-video/?type=episodes)
Rosanne Cash narrated this, with many stars interviewed or on clips.
What a talent! Cline‘s story is sad, but her voice! Mom may watch, but probably not.
I am looking for this

Howard’s End Starz (4-Episode series premiered April, 2018: hope it comes to another outlet or DVD in summer, 2018, since we don’t get Starz)
Want more Hayley Atwell? Check out this trailer for an updated TV version of E.M. Forster’s Howard’s End (yes; 1992 film with Emma Thompson in the lead) on Starz (which we do not subscribe to, but it ran on the BBC, so maybe it will become available elsewhere later this year): https://www.cinemablend.com/television/1738070/howards-end-trailer-check-out-hayley-atwells-return-to-tv.
“[S]he’s a 20th-century woman navigating the perilous borders of London social classes. Hayley Atwell stars as Margaret Schlegel, an intelligent and idealistic woman living an unorthodox life with her sister, Helen (Philippa Coulthard) in Edwardian London. Margaret soon forms an unlikely friendship with the wealthy Ruth Wilcox, but when Ruth passes, she leaves Margaret the family country home known as Howards End. Despite upsetting the Wilcox family, Margaret grows closer the widowed Henry Wilcox (Matthew Macfadyen), starting a clash of personalities between two very different families. And, of course, there will be plenty of secrets and sassy British putdowns.”
Want to see this, some day!


Ongoing Shows or Specials We Like(d) and have watched (UPDATED 11/9/18; look for them on DVD, streaming, or on premium channels/repeat airings).

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 6)
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, airing 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!

Salvation CBS (SEASON 2 returned 6/25/18; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
Added Jonathan Silverman, brought back Taylor Cole for SEASON 2. But, we’re not happy with the plot and “bad guys” vs. asteroid subplots. Silly, really. Not sure where they plan to take it, but we’re bored.
Yet another sci-fi series in which the Earth is threatened by an asteroid strike. Really? Yet, superstar Executive Producer, Alan Kurtzman, is attached and the writers are popular, also.
“The series centers on tech superstar, Darius Tanz (Santiago Cabrera) and MIT grad student, Liam Cole (Charlie Rowe), who bring Pentagon official, Grace Barrows (Jennifer Finnigan) a staggering discovery – that an asteroid is just six months away from colliding with Earth….Stars Santiago Cabrera, Jennifer Finnigan, Charlie Rowe, Jacqueline Byers, Rachel Drance, Shazi Raja and Ian Anthony Dale.”
It’s tolerable….Barely. Some things got better, some worse, but we stuck with the entire season.
KEEPING but bored and confused for SEASON 2; RENEWED for SEASON 3

Suits USA (SEASON 8 wasn’t good; SEASON 9 unknown status)
We didn’t like SEASON 8.
Odd send-off 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
Probably canceled; SEASON 8 ended; 9 status unknown

*Good Behavior TNT (CANCELED for SEASON 3)

Good Behavior TNT

Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) is amazing in this series based on the Blake Crouch stories surrounding Letty Dobesh (an American ex-con con artist), “in a near future where corporations have unlimited power,” like, NOW…. I watched the first season by myself and wasn’t sure if I’d continue. There is a lot of violence, drug use and pathetic people, which are not what I usually want to watch. However, I am somewhat interested in con games and this has proven to be more interesting than violent.
Juan Diego Botto plays a complicated love interest for Letty: very interesting dynamic between them.
The other characters are drawn deliberately as pathetic and/or extremely depraved, for the most part, except for Letty’s son, played well by Nyles Julian Steele.
Lusia Strus plays Letty’s mother well, but the character is bizarre.
I liked this show, but it’s CANCELED for SEASON 3

Burden of Truth CW (premiered 7/25/18; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
We have had the final 4 Episodes waiting to be watched and we keep postponing: not a good sign. 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. Watched a couple, then we keep postponing watching Episodes: not a good sign. Can’t even finish the SEASON.
Went downhill; RENEWED for SEASON 2.

*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 [was PBS (SEASON 5 premiered 6/22/18; Season 8 released on Netflix 9/7/18; SEASON 9 is releasing 11/9/18, which is now the only place to view the UK version after that, I believe)]
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

The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition ABC (premieres 12/6/18 for SEASON 4, with SAFE judges)
With Spice Girl, Emma Bunton, and Anthony ‘Spice’ Adams as co-hosts, and award-winning pastry chef, Sherry Yard and Paul Hollywood as judges, ABC is reviving this show (after canning the one abusive judge, Johnny Luzzini, mid-SEASON 3, and canceling the rest of its aring).
Glad they’re back. Great premise and show.
Definitely KEEPING  

Take Two ABC (premiered 6/21/18; SEASON 2 status unknown)
VERY FUN! We like this a lot. “Sam Swift (Rachel Bilson), the former star of a hit cop series, is fresh-out-of-rehab following a bender of epic proportions. Desperate to restart her career, she talks her way into shadowing rough-and-tumble private investigator, Eddie Valetik (Eddie Cibrian), as research for a potential comeback role. Though lone wolf Eddie resents the babysitting gig, high-spirited Sam proves herself to be surprisingly valuable, drawing on her acting skills and 200 episodes of playing a detective.”
We like Rachel Bilson (The OC, Hart of Dixie, and a brief stint on Designated Survivor were fun) and Eddie Cibrian (latest gig was Rosewood).
Also stars: Aliyah O’Brien, Xavier de Guzman, Alice Lee.
VERY FUN

*A.P. Bio NBC (premiered 2/1/18; RENEWED for SEASON 2; midseason premiere date not set, yet)
This sounded interesting: Patton Oswalt (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and others I have never heard of or seen (yet) are starring 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; midseason premiere

*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.

*The Bold Type Freeform (RENEWED 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 watching all 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; RENEWED for SEASON 3

Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger FREEFORM (RENEWED for SEASON 2)
This latest from the Marvel universe has characters and story elements that are suspiciously like those of 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 like it all right, but we have found Marvel‘s TV series to be very uneven; some are unwatchable. This one is way too confusing.
VERY CONFUSING, but continuing; RENEWED for SEASON 2

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; look for DVD early in 2019)
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)
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 SEASONS 6 and beyond and for the other films; changing series name to The Blake Mysteries and 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. SEASON 4 is out on DVD (June, 2018) and SEASON 5 will soon follow (finished airing in January, 2018).
We like this, and too bad about the star

Reverie NBC (CANCELED for SEASON 2)
Another great cast for a new show with a shaky premise, IMO: brings Sarah Shahi (Person of Interest), Dennis Haysbert (24), Sendhil Ramamurthy (Heroes), Kathryn Morris (Cold Case) and Jessica Lu (Awkward) together.
Reverie purports to be a “grounded and dramatic thriller about a former detective specializing in human behavior who is brought in when the launch of an advanced virtual reality program has dangerous and unintended consequences.”
We didn’t like Episode 1, much; it was very creepy, at first, and we left it and returned days later. The rest of it was better and it had a “happy ending.” BUT, there are many aspects to this we don’t like, much, and if it’s an week-by-week journey into other people’s fantasies and her talking them “out” of staying in them, we’re probably not going to continue with it and we predict its cancellation.
Subsequent Episodes were better (less creepy and more interesting), so we finished the SEASON. Doubt it will be renewed.
CANCELED for SEASON 2

*Genius National Geographic (SEASON 2 returned 4/24/18, about PABLO PICASSO)
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.
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 3. It may instead be Aretha Franklin! Stay tuned!
Watched part of SEASON 2 (Episode 1) and wasn’t thrilled. Haven’t gone back (as of May 2).
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.
Flips back and forth between college-aged (Johnny Flynn) and professorial-/World War II-aged Einstein (Geoffrey Rush). Also stars the great Emily Watson as his second wife for a while, then stays with the older versions for the last few Episodes. Spoiler: ends with Einstein’s death and its aftermath.
Pablo Picasso is the subject for SEASON 2.
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.
Excellently done; SEASON 3, RENEWED, but subject uncertain, as of 10/31/18

Elementary CBS (midseason premiere for SEASON 7 date not set, yet)
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 SEASON

*Younger moving to PARAMOUNT (was on TV LAND)(returned 6/5/18, SEASON 5; RENEWED for SEASON 6)
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.
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

*Good Girls NBC (RENEWED for SEASON 2; midseason premiere date not set, yet)
Since this got renewed, I decided to check it out and got hooked. Watched almost the entire first season On Demand (inexplicably, Episode 4 is missing) and was entertained, provoked and interested. Will watch next year, for sure. Mom isn’t interested, though.
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; RENEWED for SEASON 2

*Shrink NBC (premiered January, 2018; can’t find SEASON 2 status, yet)
This oddball comedy 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

Unforgotten PBS (RENEWED for SEASONS 3 & 4 and coming to ABC; available for SEASON 3 date not set, yet)
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).
SEASON 3 hasn’t run in the USA, yet (11/9/18), but the series will continue to air on PBS. 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 Langcreated/wrote it.
Extremely well-written, acted and intriguing; RENEWED for SEASON 4

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 (RENEWED for SEASON 3)
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

Instinct CBS (RENEWED for SEASON 2; midseason premiere date not set, yet)
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 SEASON 3)
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-off of Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Marvel’s Luke Cage, was awful, but it did get renewed for SEASON 2 on Netflix, but no SEASON 3. We watched Episode 1, but it was so violent and not very interesting that we thought we wouldn’t continue.
But, 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.
Then, we will probably watch SEASON 1 of Marvel’s Iron Fist (renewed for SEASON 2, but then CANCELED) and Marvel’s Daredevil‘s first two seasons (because DD was renewed for SEASON 3) to get more of a sense of what is going on with this part of the franchise.
We mute all the fighting (wishing we could fast-forward!).
Continuing to watch; RENEWED for SEASON 3

Timeless NBC (SEASON 3 = CANCELED; 12/20/18 = 2-hour film “finale”)
A last-minute kind of save, again: “In late August, it was announced that December, 2018 [12/20/18], is the release date for the promised “two-hour movie to wrap up the finale cliffhanger.” The producers are also supposedly “shopping around for a new home,” which means there is still HOPE for SEASON 3 and beyond!
We still really LOVE this show. The writing is strong, the characters are interesting, and the twists (due to time travel, of course, and junk science…) are fascinating. 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).
SEASON 3 = Canceled; 2-hour FINALE film airs 12/20/18

For the People ABC (RENEWED for SEASON ; (midseason premiere date not set, yet)
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; midseason premiere for SEASON 2 RENEWED  

*Call the Midwife PBS (RENEWED through SEASON 8)
Strong return for SEASON 6, but not many new storylines.
This year’s “Christmas” opener involved the setting 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 2 more years, SEASONS 8, 9.
Lost several favorite characters in SEASON 6 and, now, 7. Sorry to see them go.
KEEPING and RENEWED for SEASON 8
http://renewcanceltv.com/call-midwife-renewed-series-9-bbc-one/

*When Calls the Heart Hallmark (Christmas Episode 12/25/18; RENEWED for SEASONS 5 & 6)
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 plays 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; SEASON 3 release date not announced, yet)
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 it late in the fall, 2018, is my guess, 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?
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 older 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 older 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’ 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.
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!
John Lithgow was and Clara 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, but returning summer, 2019)
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.
Probably not worth your time; RENEWED for SEASON 6

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Amazon Prime (SEASON 1 available 11/29/17; RENEWED for SEASONS 2 & 3)
Has 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.
KEEPING and RENEWED for SeasonS 2 & 3

The Blacklist NBC (no midseason premiere date set, yet, for SEASON 6)
Now that we know Reddington is Lizzie’s father, the show seems to have taken a bizarre turn. Also, the writers have made a couple out of two of the FBI agents and a murderer is being blackmailed about it for the other. What is up, Blacklist?
The new relationship between Lizzie and her dad is intriguing, though, and we like the new humor.
BUT, killing off Tom was terrible, and the changes in Lizzie are quite questionable for SEASON 5.
Plus, another daughter for Reddington suddenly surfaces? Why?
Keeping for SEASON 6; midseason premiere

*Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (ongoing and RENEWED for SEASONS 3 & 4)
I loved Samantha Bee on The Daily Show and awaited her new individual show with great anticipation. I was not disappointed.
Bee was funny, insightful, appropriately outraged and very bold, extremely feminist and “in-your-face,” but since I agree with her POV, this all worked great, for me. I laughed out loud and sighed 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 TRUMP!
Definitely keeping and glad it was RENEWED for SEASONS 3 & 4

The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco ITV (SEASON 1, 8 Episodes, aired 7/26 – 9/16/18)
Don’t know when we can watch it on 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

Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind HBO (aired 7/16/18)
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)
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

Shetland BBC One/Netflix (SEASON 4 DVD came out 10/2/18, but no release date on Netflix, as of 11/9/18; 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 (RENEWED for SEASONS 5 & 6; usually releases in early Spring)
The writing has deteriorated even worse for SEASONs 3 & 4. 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 is gone. Peter Gallagher is the best of the bunch, but his lines are so trite.
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 SEASONS 5 & 6

Orville FOX (returns 12/30/18 for SEASON 2)
We worried that Seth MacFarlane & Co. would be guilty of trying too hard and that the show would be awkward, unfunny, terrible. The first twenty minutes or so weren’t great, but they weren’t terrible, either. We liked Adrianne Palicki in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and were glad to see her in this show, albeit 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.”
We are watching them all; they get better (the first one was pretty bad).
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 2

Marvel’s The Defenders Netflix (SEASON 1 released in 2017, but now may be RENEWED after having been unexpectedly CANCELED/withdrawn after having been renewed for SEASON 2; yo-yo much?)
Picks up where Marvel’s Jessica Jones‘ SEASON 1 left off but she is only one of several oddball individuals with unusual “super” powers, many of whom have their own shows on other networks or Netflix, all from Marvel comics (Marvel’s Ironfist, Marvel’s Luke Cage, Marvel’s Daredevil and their own shows on Netflix (see Marvel’s Jessica Jones entry, here).
We’re wondering if Marvel’s Jessica Jones‘ SEASON 2 will pick up where this one leaves off, or where SEASON 1 of its own series left off, somehow?
Anyway, too much fighting, but interesting; we’re watching mainly to see Jessica.
Also, this show’s second season isn’t expected until “5 more seasons of other shows” whose main characters are in it/related to it, and that means 2019 or later: https://goo.gl/V71dX4
Unexpectedly compelling; CANCELED after having been renewed for SEASON 2

Big Little Lies HBO and DVD (SEASON 1 premiered 2/19/17; SEASON 2 premieres spring/summer, 2018)
Won many awards already (Golden Globes, SAG).
“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 (airing in 2019)! “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

Travelers Netflix (SEASONS 1 & 2 available in 2017-18; RENEWED for SEASON 3)
A sci-fi series starring Eric McCormack which, in our opinion, had a very rocky start (Episode 1 is confusing and extremely violent), but may improve.
Dubious foundations as well, but we’ll give it a few more Episodes, perhaps. Another episodic time travel show has the premise that the agents come from the future and have to take over the bodies of people in the past (our “present”) in order to stop the end of the world. At least they are supposed to “battle their own guilt at the harm they sometimes have to do for the greater good,” a conscience that is sorely lacking in several of Timeless‘ characters, for example.
Watching, but it’s DARK; RENEWED for SEASONs 2 & 3


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 (3 SEASONS already released and 3 planned films, for 2019 and beyond, and a more modern spin-off as well)
NEWS (July, 2018): The spin-off version will 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.”
Plus, the first of 3 planned movies with the original cast, still set in the post-war, 1920s, Australia, begins filming October, 2018, for an early 2019 release!
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. Th 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)
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.”

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 NAYed: OFF OUR LIST

**Magnum P.I. reboot (premiered 9/24/18; EXTENDED for SEASON 1)
Mom loved the original, but HATED this: too many car chases and little plot.

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

I Feel Bad NBC (premiered 9/19/18 & really started 10/4/18; NOT extended for SEASON 1)
Still more from Amy Poehler, this sit-com stars Sarayu Blue, Aseem Batra (Scrubs) as the writer, and Julie Anne Robinson (The Good Place) as the director; based on Orli Auslander’s book, I Feel Bad: All Day. Every Day. About Everything. The series’ tagline says that it depicts “one woman’s hilarious unfiltered take on the side effects of trying to have it all.”
We were concerned it would be insipid and weren’t sure we’d try it, but we did. I have a serious question, raised elsewhere on this blog: I find that it IS horribly racist/prejudiced and degrading for a TV show or film to depict people from one country, group, background, religion, ethnicity, derogatorily and I DO NOT GIVE IT A PASS merely because the writers share that background. Why does anyone accept this? Internalized oppression causes this kind of behavior, and it’s not pretty. We shouldn’t support it in any form.   BTW: It’s also sexist, demeaning to women, ageist, generally offensive, and not funny, either. I FEEL BAD about this type of show, and would now never read the book, either. We couldn’t even get through one Episode.
Also starring/featuring: Paul Adelstein, Aisling Bea, Zach Cherry, Johnny Pemberton, James Buckley.
As bad as we thought it would be. Don’t bother; NOT extended for SEASON 1 

*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. But, it’s 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 (ENDED for SEASON 1; RENEWED for SEASON 2)
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.

After after Episode 3, TOO DARK & not continuing); RENEWED for SEASON 2

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 (returns 10/9/18 for 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 10/3/18 for SEASON 2)
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 2

Will & Grace NBC (returned 10/4/18 for 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, but their first episodes are also on CBS (RENEWED, SEASON 2 but may be CANCELED for SEASON 3)
#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.’”
Episodes run through November 5, then restart in January, 2018, for the rest of the first 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).

WE WON’T PAY EXTRA TO WATCH, and it’s not that good, anyway: OFF OUR LIST; RENEWED, SEASON 2 but may be CANCELED 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)
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.

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 (returns 1/23/19 for SEASON 4)
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 4

Absentia Amazon Prime (was first on Sony AXN) (ENDED for SEASON 1; RENEWED for SEASONS 2 & 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.’”
OFF OUR LIST; RENEWED for SEASONS 2 & 3

*Love Is____ OWN (ENDED for SEASON 1;  SEASON 2 status unknown)
I couldn’t even watch 10 minutes of this, it was so boring.
“The love story of a modern-day power couple in the world of black Hollywood as they navigate a complex set of social codes….created and produced by Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil. Based on Akils’ real-life relationship….[The series will] tell the story of their rise to fame in Hollywood starting in the 1990’s. When they meet, Nuri [Weaver] is a comedy sitcom staff writer who longs to work in drama and Yasir (Catlett] is an aspiring, out-of-work writer/director.”
Starring: Michele Weaver and Will Catlett, and featuring Tammy Townsend, Loretta Devine, Wendy Davis, Clarke Peters, Idara Victor.
Trite and boring; NAY

Camping HBO (premiered 10/14/18)
This has gotten terrible reviews, so we won’t bother getting it on DVD. The comedy revolving around an extended family’s camping/birthday party events, starring Jennifer Garner (Alias) and David Tennant (Doctor Who) starts at HBO, but like many other series, will probably get streamed on Netflix or Amazon in 2019 or 2020.
“A group of old friends arrives at the underwhelming Brown Bear Lake campsite to celebrate a landmark birthday, sparking heightened emotions, latent tensions (sexual and otherwise) and memories they’d rather forget. The obsessively organized and aggressively controlling Kathryn (Garner) gathers together her meek sister, her holier-than-thou ex-best friend and a free-spirited tagalong to mark husband David’s 44th birthday—and what was supposed to be a delightful, back-to-nature camping trip quickly becomes a weekend of tested marriages and woman-on-woman crime that won’t soon be forgotten.” Also starring: Juliette Lewis, Arturo Del Puerto, Ione Skye, Janicza Bravo, Brett Gelman, Bridget Everett.
Probably canceled soon

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

These Were Announced, but May Never Appear…

—Inexplicably (to me), ABC is planning on airing The Little Mermaid as a “sing-along,” mixing “real-life singing with animated songs” in 2018-19. I guess kids will like it.  Rob Marshall (ChicagoMary Poppins Returns) will direct. Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, In the Heights) and Alan Menken (he scored the 1989 film are collaborating on the music for this. No cast or premiere date, yet; but “likely to be years away” (as of 11/9/18).

Everwood is being re-run and may be poised to be revived as well, on the CW. The show originally ran 2002-2006 with Gregory Smith and Vivien Cardone, along with Emily vanCamp and Chris Pratt playing pairs of teen siblings (Greg, Emily and Vivien actually were teens for the first few years). Starring Treat Williams (Chesapeake Shores) and Tom Amandes as rival doctors/their respective fathers, it was fun, easy on the mind and eyes entertainment. My mom never saw it, so we’ll probably watch (I already saw most of the episodes). There was a reunion of most of the cast in summer, 2018, but no actual plans to reboot it, yet. Here’s a fun “then and now” slide show of the cast:  http://www.zimbio.com/What+the+Cast+of+’Everwood’+Looks+Like+Now/articles/66ASAszbQIQ/Tom+Amandes

Jacqueline Bisset apparently already starred in Journey to Miyakojima, which began shooting October, 2017, in Japan, but no word (UPDATED 11/9/18) as to where it aired or if it had a USA premiere date. “The family drama centers on ‘a quietly ailing’ family matriarch [Bisset] and NBA team owner who hopes to ‘reunite her shattered family at a serene island off the coast of Okinawa, thousands of miles away from home.’…She convinces her granddaughter, who suffers from an eating disorder that’s getting increasingly serious, to stay at a guesthouse on the island, ‘where its beauty, a chance meeting with a treasure hunter, and a century-old shipwreck heal their wounds.’” Probably 2019-20.

—One of the most significant influences on my and many others’ lives was a science-fiction book published in the 1960s by Robert Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land, and this now “classic tale of a human raised by Martians is being adapted into a television series”! This is a “a co-production between Paramount Television and Universal Cable Productions” being developed for the SyFy network. Premiere date not set, yet. Probably 2019-20.


How #Republicans Stole Every #USA #Presidential #Election They “Won” Since 1980 and How To Stop Them in 2020

How #Republicans Stole Every #USA #Presidential #Election They “Won” Since 1980 and How To Stop Them in 2020

rig-electionsfrom http://cps-news.com/wp-content/misc_html/gop-election-rigging.html

From The Washington Post to The New York Times to Mother Jones magazine to the League of Women Voters to many other independent, reputable sources (these and others quoted and linked, below), we now know how and which aspects of these elections have been rigged by Republicans and their cronies. What can we do? GET INFORMED and FIGHT BACK!

“‘This election [2016’s] was rigged.  And it needs to stop,’ said Chris Carson, president of the League of Women Voters of the United States….’We are not talking about vigilante voter intimidation,’ said Carson. ‘We are talking about official, legal voter suppression by state legislatures and election officials.'”
This article, posted on 11/23/16, lists 13 states with KNOWN voter suppression tactics that were utilized.

“Millions of would-be voters didn’t participate because of obstacles designed to discourage them….Fourteen states had new voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election, and 20 have had such restrictions put in place since 2010, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, a group that opposes such laws….[T]he Leadership Conference Education Fund, a civil rights group, found that counties previously covered by the Voting Rights Act have closed down at least 868 polling places. The closures (often without adequate notice) disproportionately affect minority voters.”
From The Washington Post, 11/29/16.

On 3/20/18, we saw this headline: “Cambridge Analytica bosses were secretly filmed boasting about how they helped Trump win the US election.” By late summer, 2018, this “business” had been closed down/renamed, its managers fired and some indicted (including Mark Turnbull, the managing director, and CEO Alexander Nix), and many others under investigation who used their “services” have also been indicted/arrested via Robert Mueller‘s independent prosecution team looking into Russian AND OTHER MEDDLING in the 2016 elections, among other things.
From https://amp.businessinsider.com/cambridge-analytica-boasts-won-trump-election-facebook-data-2018-3

If you are a more visual learner, try charts and tables/graphics, which depict the extent and types of fraud committed during the 2016 election, posted on 9/18/17: “What Really Happened in 2016, in 7 charts”

And, don’t be fooled by all the Republican rhetoric: “Yes, Russian Election Sabotage Helped Trump Win; Republicans want you to think that meddling didn’t figure in the 2016 election result. Don’t.”   From 7/24/18. Very upsetting.

“[T]he modern-day swing of election rigging began with the 1980 Presidential Election. Democrat Jimmy Carter was President, running for his second term. Republican Ronald Reagan was the GOP’s nominee for President. However, the stage was set for rigging that election exactly one year earlier.

“On November 4, 1979, a mob of young Islamic revolutionaries overran the U.S. Embassy in Tehran Iran, taking more than 60 Americans hostage. The Carter Administration worked for more than a year to free the hostages, getting a small number released, then attempting a failed rescue mission. The Americans were held for a total of 444 days, only to be released peacefully just minutes after Republican Ronald Reagan took office in 1981.

“Americans were surprised at the release; in particular, the timing. Why just minutes after Reagan took office? It would be a dozen years later before the general public would know the truth….

“Republicans conspired to delay the freedom of 52 American citizens and government employees for more than a year, endangering their lives in the process, in order to win an election.” from http://cps-news.com/wp-content/misc_html/gop-election-rigging.html

And, that’s just example number ONE.

The 2016 election was the first presidential contest in more than 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act. Voter suppression, which disproportionately favors Republicans, is something the Republicans have been working toward for decades, unfortunately, and they have been succeeding.

FYI, some terms:
—The popular vote = whether the candidate won the state or not; one vote, one person
—The electoral vote = how much that state was ‘worth (how many electoral college votes that state has)’ for that election.
—About the Electoral College:
——The District of Columbia and 48 states used to have “winner takes all,” meaning. whichever candidate has the majority of popular votes gets that state’s entire electoral college vote count.
——Two states in 2016 had “proportional winning,” meaning, each candidate’s percentage of popular votes received determines how many electoral college votes that candidate gets from that state for the electoral college’s total. More states are joining this group, as of 2007 (Maryland became the first state to switch), known as the “National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.”
Connecticut and other States Dump “Winner Takes All” for Electoral College Allocations
Election Fraud = conspiracy to alter election results on the part of individuals, organizations, political parties, and/or local or regional/state/federal governmental officials by a variety of tactics, using many types of (sometimes LEGAL, now) voter suppression, such as: eliminating same-day registration; tampering with/unfairly purging or not accepting voter registrations; tampering with/miscounting votes/falsely recording votes from voting machines; unfairly altering /closing polling locations or giving false addresses and / or restricting the polling places’ open hours; restricting early voting; creating unfairly discriminatory voter ID requirements; printing false (post-election) dates or incorrect mail-back addresses on absentee ballots; sending out absentee ballots too late or not at all; not counting all votes; forcing people to use “provisional ballots,” then not counting them; barring ex-felons from becoming eligible to vote after serving their time; falsely claiming individuals are not eligible to vote and then illegally not allowing them to register or to vote; overcounting /stuffing votes; diminishing voting effectiveness by creating paper ballots difficult to read, use, understand or mark one’s vote clearly on; making it a felony for anyone other than a family member or caregiver to collect a voter’s absentee ballot; lying about a candidate’s political party affiliations, names or positions in order to confuse voters; putting up dead or false candidates; threatening to and placing ICE, police and other intimidating individuals at polling entrances while making public threats to arrest anyone guilty of anything who comes to vote; and so many more awful methods. NONE of these is the fault or responsibility of the VOTER.

voting_rights suppression map_2018from https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/10/voter-suppression-wisconsin-election-2016/

Voter Fraud—of which there is HARDLY ANY—IS the responsibility of an individual voter or group of voters. This involves people who do or attempt to vote more than once, or in more than one location, or use fake IDs or fake names to register or vote.
***************************************

How Close Were the USA Presidential Elections?

Currently (2018), 270 Electoral College votes are needed to “win” a Presidential election in the USA. Each State is allocated a number of Electors equal to the number of its U.S. Senators (always 2) plus the number of its U.S. Representatives (which may change each decade according to the size of each State’s population as determined in the Census*).

2000: George W. Bush vs. Al Gore
—Electoral College: 538 total/271 “won”
—No. of popular votes Bush received: 50,460,810 = Bush LOST by 543,816 votes
—Election decided by a Supreme Court vote, which gave the “win” to Bush
History will most likely record this as the first known illegal take-over of the White House. Dozens of people were involved, but most remember only a few names. Jeb Bush – George W’s brother – was governor of Florida and Katherine Harris was Secretary of State. With her job as Secretary of State, Harris simultaneously co-chaired George W. Bush‘s Florida election campaign, served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention, and took time off from her “day” job to go around the country stumping for Bush.

“…Harris declared George W [Bush] the winner by just a mere 536 votes (.009786%) over Democratic opponent Al Gore. Florida state election law didn’t require the Secretary of State to order a statewide recount, not even in such a ridiculously tight election. But this article by The New York Times quoted a recount by the Miami Herald which said Gore would have won a flawless Florida election by 23,000 votes. Even if the Miami Herald was 90% wrong, Gore would still have won by more than 1500 votes….

“…Choicepoint and Database Technologies, two companies (later combined into one company) hired by Katherine Harris’s office to examine the legality of registered voters in Florida, had doctored the outcome. 57,700 legal voters were removed from the list and not allowed to vote. (Later, independent experts said most of those voters would have voted for Al Gore based on their party registration.)

“Choicepoint said 8,000 of those Florida voters were felons, thus negating them as legal voters. But as it turned out, those 8,000 Florida voters had committed only misdemeanors, not felonies, which did not negate their voting eligibility.

“There were several thousand more purged from the voting register simply because they had the same last name as convicted felons. Some were even purged because their personal computers had notes indicating they might commit a crime in the future.

“…Bush “won” in Florida by only 536 votes”

2004: George W. Bush vs. John Kerry
Electoral College: 538 total/286 “won”
No. of popular votes Bush received: 62,040,610 = Bush “won” by 3,012,171 votes
Just as the election of 2000 was exposed as “fixed” after that election, so was the 2004 election.

“Had Kerry won Ohio, he would have won the election, he would have needed only 59,301 voters to switch their vote from Bush to win the state. The smear campaign (remember the “Swift Boat,” anti-Kerry lies**?) against Kerry, among other heinous practices, definitely impacted many people’s ability to vote and their choice of whom to vote for.” 

“59 newspapers that had backed Bush in 2000 endorsed John Kerry in 2004. The Republican Party was split on Bush with some very powerful names breaking off.

“On a level playing field, Bush could never have won again in 2004. But since their 2000 tactics worked so well, and without repercussions, he and his party once again turned to illegal means, but this time it was coupled with a highly publicized immoral attack on their opponent.”

“The following is just a small sampling of the irregularities.

  • Almost 3 million people living abroad never received their ballots or received them too late to vote. The pentagon shut down their web site used to file registrations, but they could never account for the reason the site was shut down.
  • Sproul & Associates, a consulting firm hired by the Republican National Committee to register voters in six states, was caught shredding Democratic registrations. The company was headed by Nathan Sproul, the former executive director of the Arizona State Republican Party.
  • In Ohio
    • Officials purged tens of thousands of eligible voters and neglected to process registration cards generated by Democratic voter drives.
    • Short changed Democratic precincts in voting machine allocation.
    • Some Republican precincts had a 98% voter turnout while some Democratic precincts had only a 7% voter turnout.
    • GOP election officials in Warren County invented a terrorist threat to keep the media from monitoring the official vote count.
    • One in every four citizens who registered in 2004 were not listed on the registration polls.
    • 80,000 votes for John Kerry was counted for George Bush.
    • 357,000 voters were prevented from voting or did not have their vote counted. The overwhelming majority were Democrats.
    • Phone calls were made from a hotel across the street from the Ohio Republican Party headquarters to Democratic voters threatening them if they showed up to vote.
    • Kenneth Blackwell was Ohio’s Katherine Harris this time around. Blackwell, as Secretary of State, was in charge of vote counting, yet he was co-chair of President Bush’s re-election committee. (Does this sound like déjà vu “all-over-again”? Why not, it worked in 2000.)

“Practically every irregularity of the 2004 election helped George Bush and hurt John Kerry. Pollster Lou Harris was quoted as saying ‘Ohio was as dirty an election as America has ever seen.“‘

2008: John McCain vs. Barack Obama
Electoral College: 538 total/365 won
No. of popular votes Obama received: 69,498,516 = Obama won by 9,550,193 votes
If the grassroots organizations that “got out the vote” for Obama had been less successful, Democrats would have “lost” this as well. But, winning by over 9 MILLION votes is impossible to hide. 

2012: Mitt Romney vs. Barack Obama
Electoral College: 538 total/332 won
No. of popular votes Obama received: 65,915,795 = Obama won by 4,982,291 votes
—“
About two weeks before the election, Anonymous released a video warning Karl Rove and his PAC, American Crossroads, that they were watching and if Rove and his group tried to rig the election through the electronic voting machines as they did in 2004, Anonymous would shut them down.

“When the election was over, ‘a group calling themselves The Protectors, believed to be comprised of Anonymous hackers, sent a letter to election transparency non-profit, Velvet Revolution, claiming to have thwarted attempts by GOP strategists to flip votes and rig the election in three swing states.’

“…[S]imple math produced by retired NSA analyst, Michael Dunihot:

“And mathematics showed changes in actual raw voting data that had no statistical correlation other than programmable computer fraud. This computer fraud resulted in votes being flipped from Democrat to Republican in every federal, senatorial, congressional and gubernatorial election since 2008 (thus far) and in the 2012 primary contests from other Republicans to Mitt Romney.”

2016: Donald J. Trump vs. Hillary Clinton
Electoral College: 538 total/304 won
No. of popular votes Trump received: 62,984,828 = Trump LOST by 2,868,686 votes
—“Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania were potentially manipulated, according to prominent computer scientists and lawyers who have spoken with the Clinton campaign”  https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/wisconsin-michigan-pennsylvania-election-hillary-clinton-hacked-manipulated-donald-trump-swing-a7433091.html
—“
[S]tates controlled by Republicans across the country have enacted disenfranchising voting laws that unquestionably target non-Republican voters. By doing so, Republicans won’t have to work so hard to come up with new ideas of how to rig elections. If they can achieve their goal by reducing the number of ‘qualified’ Democratic voters to something less than Republican voters, then they are home free. No need for rigging elections anymore.”

Republican election Fraud
from http://www.politicsplus.org/blog/2012/10/13/gop-election-fraud-still-going-strong/

“Election Fraud is not a new tactic, Republicans tested voter suppression in the election of the 43 President, George w. Bush. Since then the morbidly rich has only increased efforts, will they be successful in the 2018 election?” The Thom Hartmann Program, “How Republicans Tested and Got Away with Election Fraud”

A video, for those who like those:

This election was one of the worst uses of Republican-funded and -managed voter suppression to defraud, obstruct, deregister, disenfranchise and block Democratic voters in US history. “The 2016 election was the first presidential contest in 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), because the Supreme Court ruled in Shelby County v. Holder that states with a long history of discrimination no longer need to have their proposed voting changes approved by the federal government. …14 states—including important swing states—had new voting restrictions in place.”

For example (and there are HUNDREDS like this): “Donald Trump ‘carried’ the state by 27,000 votes, but 300,000 registered voters, according to a federal court, lacked the required forms of voter ID. Turnout in Wisconsin was at its lowest level in 20 years and fell by 52,000 in Milwaukee, where 70 percent of the state’s African-American population lives.”
Historically, and particularly in 2016, African-Americans were expected to vote for Democrats, like Hillary Clinton.

Also,
“On Election Day, there were 868 fewer polling places in states with a long history of voting discrimination, like Arizona, Texas, and North Carolina. These changes impacted hundreds of thousands of voters, yet received almost no coverage in the media.”
Making voting more difficult to access (by having fewer polling places, putting them further apart geographically, closing polling stations for early voting, etc.) in areas that poorer people, elderly people and college students would vote (all individuals who ordinarily use public transportation or lack vehicles of their own) disproportionately affects Democratic voters adversely, as Republicans well know.

“[Trump‘s] campaign openly boasted that ‘we have three major voter-suppression operations under way’ to reduce turnout among African Americans, young women, and liberals….The election results showed that when more people vote, Democrats do better. That’s why the GOP is so invested in voter suppression.”
https://www.thenation.com/article/did-republicans-rig-the-election/

—“[A] report from the Government Accountability Office, …found that strict voter ID laws in Kansas and Tennessee had decreased turnout by roughly 2 to 3 percent, with the largest drops among black, young, and new voters.

“According to a comprehensive study by MIT political scientist Charles Stewart, an estimated 16 million people—12 percent of all voters—encountered at least one problem voting in 2016. There were more than 1 million lost votes, Stewart estimates, because people ran into things like ID laws, long lines at the polls, and difficulty registering. Trump won the election by a total of 78,000 votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin….

“[W]hen Republicans took control of 26 state legislatures in the wave election of 2010, they passed a slew of laws making it harder to vote. Twenty-two states have adopted new voting restrictions since then, more than half of which first went into effect in 2016….Republican-controlled statehouses have already passed more voting restrictions in 2017 than they did in 2016 and 2015 combined. ”
https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/10/voter-suppression-wisconsin-election-2016/
**************************************

It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over

The WORST thing any candidate can do early in the counting process is concede. That was the key mistake made by Al Gore, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton. Once they concede, it doesn’t matter who actually “wins,” because concession means they have withdrawn from the race, formally. PLEASE tell your local and regional/state candidates: DO NOT concede, NO MATTER WHAT, until ALL legal challenges are finished and ALL votes are counted, which may take MONTHS.

Usually, it takes weeks to find out who actually wins any hotly contested races. For the 2018 mid-term races, due to the time it takes to count so many paper ballots and awaiting outcomes of legal challenges in “broken” states guilty of election fraud (polling location problems, broken machines, wrong ballots, illegal registration purging and discarding absentee ballots, etc), we could be looking at much longer.

More about the likely delays and their causes here, from 10/30/18:
https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/10/this-election-will-never-end/
****************************************************************
RESOURCES

General voting info and help, here:   https://www.fvap.gov/uploads/FVAP/States/eVAG.pdf
—Help track voting problems and report them here:  https://www.wral.com/how-you-can-help-track-voting-problems-during-the-midterm-elections/17905814/
If you or someone you know had their registration removed illegally/unfairly, were prevented from voting in some other way, were forced to use a provisional ballot (which may not ever be counted) or aren’t sure if your mail-in ballot was counted, here are places to call/email for help:
—For absentee ballot users, it may not be too late (postmarked on or before 11/6/18 is the rule in most states). Find out here: https://www.vote.org/absentee-voting-rules/
Protect the Votehttps://www.brennancenter.org/protect-the-vote
Provisional Ballot info here, state by state:  https://ballotpedia.org/State_by_State_Provisional_Ballot_Laws
and more info, here:
https://www.11alive.com/article/news/local/verify/verify-should-you-ask-for-a-provisional-ballot-with-a-receipt-if-you-are-challenged-at-the-polls/85-606659301

—For people with disabilitieshttps://www.aapd.com/advocacy/voting/

protect the vote

“We are happy to connect with voters however they need! Call us at 866-OUR-VOTE or text ‘Our Vote’ to 97779 with your questions or reports of problems. We’re here through election day to

“What kinds of voting problems might you run into?
✦ A problem with your voting machine
✦ If you want to change a vote you made on your ballot/machine
✦ Having your ID challenged
✦ Your name isn’t on the voter list
✦ Polls closing early
✦ Being intimidated or pressured at the polling location

“If you run into these, or any other problems while voting, take action right away.

1) Talk to a poll worker BEFORE you finish voting and tell them about the problem. They are there to help you. 

2) If they don’t or can’t help you, ask for their supervisor.

3) If you still have a problem, call Election Protection Hotline at (866) OUR-VOTE.” 

from: https://politicalcharge.org/2018/10/26/how-to-report-a-problem-with-voting/


For more information about past elections, there are great stats, explanations and comparisons offered here:  List of United States presidential elections and stats


NOTES:

*The way the USA population is counted for the every-ten-years USA Census is hotly disputed right now (2018.  For the 2020 election (unless there is a special election prior to that, WHICH IS POSSIBLE), the Census’ totals will be THE deciding factor for every state that still has “winner takes all” for its Electoral College (see above). There are also security issues (cyber and other), issues of “citizenship” being contested and may suppress participation in the Census due to fears of being deported if “counted,” and other problems: “The 2020 Census Is Already in Big Trouble”
and “Why America’s next census is controversial”
[T]he most prominent census-related debate has been the growing conversation about gerrymandering. The enumerated purpose of the census in the Constitution is to use the data gleaned to redraw congressional districts and reallocate representation to fit the population. Over the past few decades, as politics and demographics have become increasingly intertwined, the institutional incentives to game that system have mounted. Especially as Republicans have embraced their status as a party for white men, they’ve become more and more adept at using the census, especially the redistricting process, in order to maintain partisan advantage. But that advantage has been built mostly with the census data already in hand—influencing the data itself, perhaps by biasing it against noncitizens, would add another potent weapon to an arsenal that’s already proven its dominance over American electoral politics. And that is to say nothing of the possibility that between foreign and domestic interventions in data quality, the census could be rendered unusable or unreliable for those political processes altogether. Without a census, there is no American democracy. 

**”Swift Vets and POWs for Truth, formerly known as the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, was a political group of United States Swift boat veterans and former prisoners of war of the Vietnam War, formed during the 2004 presidential election campaign for the purpose of opposing John Kerry’s candidacy for the presidency….[T]here was not a speck of truth to the allegations, and the Bush inter-circle was exposed as being behind the attacks. Even John McCain questioned the ad and condemned it as “dishonest and dishonorable”

November is #SciFi Month! Get Deals on #Ebooks, #Print #Books! Some #Free!

November is #SciFi Month! Get Deals on #Ebooks, #Print #Books! Some #Free!

Hosted/started by  & .
Use

scifimonth-nov-2018 rectangle
graphics and announcement from: The Little Red Reviewer

logoAuthorsDen
The Spanners Series first three Volumes of utopian science-fiction/romance by Sally Ember, Ed.D. are on sale NOW as ebooks and regular price but discounted on Kindle Match when you buy both ebooks and print versions together!

Proud member of Clean Indie Reads #CR4U and Clean Indie Fantasy
Fantasy and Science-Fiction Network #FSFnet

 

scifimonth-no-2018-round

graphics and announcement from: The Little Red Reviewer

Smashwords hosts The Spanners Series‘ ebooks in every format (reader’s choice) and these are on sale!
free (Volume I)
only $2.00 (Volume II) COUPON CODE for Volume II, good on Smashwords, only, 11/1-11-30/18  ZU96Y
only $1.00 (Volume III) COUPON CODE for Volume III, good on Smashwords, only, 11/1-11-30/18: LD49Y

(usually $3.99 each for ebooks) for the the month of November, 2018! See below for links and more info.

Whether you’re sweating, freezing, rained or snowed on or anywhere in between, there is still time to READ!
Give ebooks for gifts for birthdays, graduations, holidays, anniversaries, vacations: any time!

The paperbacks of all three Volumes are in the Kindle Match/Kindle Matchbook program at Amazon!
See below for links, details and coupon codes (on Smashwords, only) for each of the Volumes.

SpannersVolume1coverfinal
This Changes Everything, Vol. I, The Spanners Series

Dr. Clara Ackerman Branon, 58, begins having secret visits from holographic representations of beings from the Many Worlds Collective, a consortium of planet and star systems in the multiverse. When Earth is invited to join the consortium, the secret visits are made public. Now Earthers must adjust their beliefs and ideas about life, religion, culture, identity and everything they think and are.

Clara is selected to be the liaison between Earth and the Many Worlds Collective and she chooses Esperanza Enlaces to be the Chief Media Contact. They team up to provide information to stave off riots and uncertainty. The Many Worlds Collective holos train Clara and the Psi-Warriors for the Psi Wars with the rebelling Psi-Defiers, communicate effectively with many species on Earth and off-planet, eliminate ordinary, elected governments and political boundaries, convene a new group of Global Leaders, and deal with family’s and friends’ reactions.

In what multiple timelines of the ever-expanding multiverse do Clara and her long-time love, Epifanio Dang, get to be together and which leave Clara alone and lonely as the leader of Earth?

This Changes Everything spans the 30-year story of Clara’s term as Earth’s first Chief Communicator, continuing in nine more Volumes of The Spanners Series.

Are YOU ready for the changes?

Volume I, This Changes Everything:
Ebooks are PERMAFREE on Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/376197
and Amazon: http://www.amzn.com/B00HFELTG8 

These paperbacks are in the Kindle Match program on Amazon. This means that if you purchase both the ebook and its paperback counterpart (in this case, download Volume I for free), you get a discount for the total package. Vol I Amazon link: http://www.amzn.com/B00HFELTG8

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This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, Vol. II, The Spanners Series

Intrigued by multiple timelines, aliens, psi skills, romance and planetary change? Clara and the alien “Band” are back in Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever.

Now as Chief Communicator, Clara leads the way for interspecies communication on- and off-planet. Fighting these changes are the Psi-Defiers, led by one of the oldest friends of the Chief of the Psi-Warriors, its reluctant leader, Rabbi Moran Ackerman. Stories from younger Spanners about the first five years of The Transition fill Volume II.

How would YOU do with the changes?

Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever:
EBOOKS now $2.00, 50% off the regular price of $3.99, using COUPON CODE ZU96Y on Smashwords, any ebook format (reader’s choice).

These paperbacks are in the Kindle Match/Kindle Matchbook program on Amazon. This means that if you purchase both the ebook and its paperback counterpart, you get a discount for the total package. Vol II Amazon link:: http://www.amzn.com/B00KU5Q7KC

Spannersvolume3coverfinal
This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, Vol. III, The Spanners Series

Clara, Moran, Espe, Epifanio and the alien Band of holos are back in This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change, Volume III of The Spanners Series. Psi-Defiers launch increasingly violent protests during this five-year Transition, attempting to block Earth’s membership into the Many Worlds Collective. Earth’s nations and borders must dissolve and Psi-Warriors must strengthen in their battle against the rebels.

Clara, as Earth’s first Chief Communicator, also juggles family conflicts and danger while creating psi skills training Campuses to help Earth through the Psi Wars. Clara timults alternate versions of their futures as the leaders’ duties and consciences force them to make difficult choices across multiple timelines, continuing to train and fight.

Will the Psi-Warriors’ and other leaders’ increasing psi skills, interspecies collaborations and budding alien alliances be enough for Earth to make it through The Transition intact? If there is no clear path for Clara’s and Epifanio’s love, does she partner with Steve or go it alone?

What do YOU do with wanted/unwanted changes?

Volume III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change:
EBOOKS now $1.00, 75% off the regular price of $3.99, using COUPON CODE LD49Y on Smashwords, any ebook format (reader’s choice).

These paperbacks are in the Kindle Match/Kindle Matchbook program on Amazon. This means that if you purchase both the ebook and its paperback counterpart, you get a discount for the total package. Vol III Amazon link:: http://www.amzn.com/B0177Z1KRM

3 paperbacks
The Spanners Series‘ three paperbacks.

*************************************************************************************The Spanners Series‘ cover art and logo by WillowRaven: http://www.willowraven-illustration.blogspot.com/
Print editions and ebooks published under Timult Books

logo Timult Books


REVIEWERS: Ask for FREE Ebook coupon codes for Volumes II and III on Smashwords any time: sallyember AT yahoo DOT com


For more information about Sally Ember, Ed.D., her bio, books, blog, video talk show (CHANGES conversations between authors), guest blog posts and guidelines, links to author interviews, book trailers and more: http://www.sallyember.com

2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALISTS (reblog)

2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALISTS (reblog)

national Book Awards Foundation logo

The National Book Foundation has announced its shortlists for the 2018 National Book Awards: 25 finalists in total in five categories—fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translated literature, and young people’s literature. The winner in each category will be announced at the 69th National Book Awards Ceremony held at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City on Wednesday, November 14. The ceremony will also be live-streamed online in its entirety.

#bookawards #nationalbookaward #finalists #authors #writers #fiction #poetry #nonfiction #YAlit

Mazel Tov to all finalists!

FICTION:

A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley (Graywolf)

Florida by Lauren Groff (Riverhead)

Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson (Soho)

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai (Viking)

The Friend by Sigrid Nunez (Riverhead)

The other shortlists are found here:

https://bookriot.com/2018/10/10/2018-national-book-award-finalists/

#MacArthur Foundation 25 Newest Fellows 2018: #Scientists, #Artists, #Dancers, #Musicians, #Writers, #Activists, More

#MacArthur Foundation 25 Newest Fellows 2018: #Scientists, #Artists, #Dancers, #Musicians, #Writers, #Activists, More

“The MacArthur Fellowship is a $625,000, no-strings-attached award to extraordinarily talented and creative individuals as an investment in their potential.”

There are three criteria for selection of Fellows:

  1. Exceptional creativity
  2. Promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishments
  3. Potential for the Fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.

Meet the newest crop of very fortunate creative sorts, this year’s MacArthur Fellows, who will each receive $125,000/year for 5 years to do WHATEVER THEY WANT!

Working in diverse fields, from the arts and sciences to public health and civil liberties, these 25 MacArthur Fellows are solving long-standing scientific and mathematical problems, pushing art forms into new and emerging territories, and addressing the urgent needs of under-resourced communities. Their exceptional creativity inspires hope in us all.

MacArthur Fellows 2018

For bios, specific info on each Fellow, and more about the Program and the Foundation, check out their website: https://www.macfound.org/programs/fellows/

Imagine: There are no outside or public applications or nominations. The process for selection is so secretive and unknown that very few people (no one outside the Foundation, supposedly) even knows who the nominating and selection committees’ members ARE each year!

“Although nominees are reviewed for their achievements, the fellowship is not a lifetime achievement award, but rather an investment in a person’s originality, insight, and potential. Indeed, the purpose of the MacArthur Fellows Program is to enable recipients to exercise their own creative instincts for the benefit of human society.

“The Foundation does not require or expect specific products or reports from MacArthur Fellows and does not evaluate recipients’ creativity during the term of the fellowship. The MacArthur Fellowship is a “no strings attached” award in support of people, not projects. Each fellowship comes with a stipend of $625,000 to the recipient, paid out in equal quarterly installments over five years.”

In the Foundation’s favor, this year—for the first time since I’ve been tracking it, which is many years—the female-appearing Fellows outnumber the male-appearing Fellows: 10 seeming males, 13 seeming females, and two gender-free. The Fellows process has been great on “diversity” and varying geographic locations (but still too many are from the coasts) for quite a while. You can check out the stats on their site any time.

Very cool!