TV Nerd News #7
Welcome back for another edition of TV Nerd News, or as I like to call it for pretty much no specific reason, TVNN! In case you’re new to this, I’ll be covering the week’s best TV news. This week largely focuses on renewals but instead of vaguely talking about it, why don’t I just explain in more detail?
4/2 – In “Duh! News”, HBO renews GAME OF THRONES for another season
- This really is a no-brainer and I’m not even saying that as a fan of the series but as someone who can read the kind of business the show brings the network. It’s ratings aren’t quite at the same level that The Walking Dead is for AMC but when you consider that HBO is a premium cable channel and requires subscription, its numbers are pretty crazy. I can’t imagine that the ratings will die down anytime soon and considering there’s a total of five books already published with at least two more on the way. None of this even touches on the fact that HBO is already considering doing a spin-off of the series, based on another series of books by author George R.R. Martin.
4/3 – Cinemax continues to expand its original programming, orders QUARRY
- Cinemax‘s transformation from movie/softcore porn channel to legitimate, original scripted programming is pretty remarkable, especially since the transformation’s happened fairly quickly. The network started by importing series from other countries, most notably is its first hit, Strike Back. Since then, they’ve been able to add not only other imports, but their own scripted series, the most recent of which has been their biggest hit, Banshee. Now comes news that they’ve ordered their first period piece, a post-Vietnam drama about a disillusioned Marine being drawn into the world of contract killers. What’s more is that underrated director John Hillcoat (Lawless) serves as producer and will direct the pilot.
4/3 – If ABC continues to be lame and cancels HAPPY ENDINGS, USA may pick up the pieces
- While this is pretty much just speculation at this point, this is tremendous news. As a big fan of Happy Endings, it’s treatment on ABC has been less than stellar. Yes, it’s gotten three seasons but the network has never seemed behind it that much. It began by airing Season 1 out of order and continued when it moved the show from a timeslot it was doing well in (post-Modern Family) to one where it was going up against if not American Idol, then Fox‘s biggest comedy, New Girl (Tuesdays). Unsurprisingly, the move didn’t work and now the show is stuck on Fridays (where network shows go to die) and about to be canceled. Enter USA, who has been desperately trying to put together their own comedy series (or two) to pair with Modern Family, which they acquired the syndications rights to. It’s still pretty early (after all, ABC could actually renew the show) but the fact that there appears to be options beyond ABC is definitely good news.
4/4 – ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT finally has a release date, season order again increased
- What began as a 10-episode primer for the eventual Arrested Development feature film has now ballooned to a 15-episode primer for the eventual Arrested Development feature film. A couple of months ago, Netflix increased the order to 13 because series creator/executive producer Mitchell Hurwitz (Running Wilde) said he had filmed enough footage for some additional episodes but now it looks like he ended up with more footage than he originally thought. Oh and it’s debuting on May 26, 2013! For those of you too cool for calendars (I kind of want to start a band named Too Cool for Calendars now), that means it’s about six weeks away! If you’re anything like me, you’ve been waiting (im)patiently to hear about the release date so this is very good news. Still, six weeks seems like too long!
4/5 – History is 100% with its original series, renews VIKINGS for another season
- Even though I watched the first couple minutes of the pilot and wasn’t super impressed, History definitely struck gold with its first original series, Vikings. Not only is it pulling in the ratings (it’s cable’s most successful new show) but is also receiving a decent amount of critical acclaim, as well. I hesitate to make this comparison since the shows are nothing alike, nor are the networks but this reminds of AMC’s success with Mad Men. At the time, AMC was nothing more than a movie channel but with Mad Men, it created buzz and cache, allowing them to continue putting original programming on the air which, of course, led to the debut of Breaking Bad. I’m not saying History has their own Breaking Bad lined up next but do you really think AMC would’ve gambled on a show like Breaking Bad had Mad Men not been successful? So regardless of History’s…errr, history, the fact that it was able to produce a “hit” in its first foray into original programming is pretty significant.