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News Briefs: Will Revolution's Blazing Ratings Save NBC? (No.)

RUSHING TO JUDGMENT NEWS

... NBC's Revolution debuted last night on NBC, and fittingly, it could start a "revolution" for NBC. Wordplay! Despite mediocre reviews (like mine), the sci-fi drama drew an impressive 11.7 million viewers and a 4.1 rating in the adult demo, partly due to its The Voice lead-in and partly due to us sci-fi fans tuning into anything sci-fi-ish. It's the biggest network drama premiere since ABC's V (ahem) and the biggest for NBC since Bionic Woman (eek!), so let's not pencil this into 2013 just yet. Elsewhere, Fox's medical mobster drama The Mob Doctor (it's about a doctor who works for the mob; MaryAnn didn't care for it) got off to a crummy start, pulling in 5 million viewers and a 1.5 rating. Update your Dead Pool entries accordingly. [TV Line]


BUSINESS TIME

... FX has renewed Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell for a second season. Seven more episodes have been ordered, and they'll be paired with FX's other late-night comedy show, Brand X with Russell Brand, when it returns October 11. [FX via press release]

... HBO is developing Nutshell Studies, a drama about a housewife who solves grisly crimes in the 1950s. It's being described as "Hitchcockian," which is probably in part due to the involvement of producer Guillermo del Toro, who has a very Hitchcockian body type. [THR]

... The CW says you can keep your original ideas! The network has put into development Wunderland, a contemporary take on Alice in Wonderland. It goes a little something like this: A young female detective (let's say, played by Kristin Kreuk) discovers a world that exists under Los Angeles. Expect the Cheshire Cat to be a shirtless hunk who smiles with his abs. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Since House flatlined, you've been wondering what creator David Shore has been up to. Well let me tell you! He's sold a drama project to ABC about a former cop who's become a two-bit lawyer who works the system for his clients. Now if he'll only moonlight as a doctor, we'll be that much closer to making Doctor Cop Lawyer a reality! [Deadline Hollywood]


CASTING NEWS

... Jeff Winger's deadbeat dad has finally been cast. Community is bringing in James Brolin (Josh's dad, Marcus Welby, M.D.) to play Papa Winger, and he'll make his debut during Season 4's Thanksgiving episode. [TV Line]

... Supernatural is leaning on the never-ending reserve of Canadian science-fiction actresses and has hired Amanda Tapping (Sanctuary) for a recurring role. She'll play Naomi, a straight-laced angel who comes from a group "we've never seen before," according to new showrunner Jeremy Carver. Look for her first appearance in the seventh episode of the new season. [TV Line]

... In more Canadian sci-fi actor news, Battlestar Galactica's Tahmoh Penikett has booked a role on The CW's ab-ulous Arrow. Penikett, oh let's just call him Tahmoh since it's such an adorable name, will play the henchman of a mob boss who happens to be the father of The Huntress. No word on how many episodes Tahmoh is booked for. [THR]

... CBS's midseason comedy Friend Me is being considered a companion piece to The Big Bang Theory, and it has found its Penny. Amanda Lund will play the role of Amanda, a newly single hottie who just moved to California and now lives next door to two guys who work at an internet site. And yes, those two guys have two geeky friends they hang out with (albeit virtually). [Deadline Hollywood]


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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So it's safe to say that I should delete Mob Doctor from my DVR? I believe I made an attempt at watching it, but fell asleep.



Friend Me. Although I'll be the first to admit that virtual friends are the best, I can't say that I'm the slightest bit intrigued by the concept of that.



Maybe NBC doesn't need a DNR afterall.
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Ha! Mob Doctor was ALREADY in my Dead Pool.
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The article mentioned the "Bionic Woman." That show could have made if the writers would have not made her (the main character) such a liberal. A spy is a spy. This show will fail also because the premise and the characters are weak. Sorry, but it needed to be said.
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"such a liberal"... wonder what you mean... I thought the show was just boring and unimaginative...
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JAMES BROLIN! That casting is too much, that's awesome, they couldn't have picked a larger personality to overwhelm Jeff Winger with.



Oh CBS, nobody is going to watch Friend Me even if you gave out gold bars with every episode.
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11.7 million viewers Monday? Not bad. Let's see what happens next Monday...And am glad that Amanda Tapping will be back on tv again. Still pissed Syfy, still pissed...Friend Me sounds like TBBT. So its probably going to be TBBT then clone of the TBBT? CBS really?
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LOVED Revolution. Like, a lot.
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I never watch CW, but I might have to tune in to Wunderland. I like a nice smile. :)
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Amanda Tapping on Supernatural?! best news ever
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Agreed.
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Revolution was good, but V was better! I look forward to more.

Wunderland sounds intriguing!

Nutshell Studies could be cool.

Amanda Tapping on Supernatural will be Awesome!
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Amanda Tapping, Rochford, Essex, England, UK. She's not Canadian :)
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Revolution has the benefit that there's not much competition on yet. And it has been one of the most anticipated shows of the season so there' s many who are checking it out.



And to put it in perspective, the viewership for the Voice just before it was 13 million so Revolution lost viewers. The real test will be the ratings for the third episode, but it's probably strong enough so that NBC will give the show 13 episodes this year. Even if the ratings fall to half that's still good for NBC.
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Woah! The CW is buying every pilot that dares to pass by it! Unless they are planning to open up the 10PM slots and/or Sundays, this really makes no sense. So far the count is at 9! I think it's the highest number of pilots put in development by the CW, and it's just September!!! So far we have - Sleepy Hollow, Boiling Point, Wrecking Ball, Amazon, Copeland prep, Battle Royale, Embrace, The Selection (re-developing) and now Wunderland. Also why so many Sci-Fi's?...
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Sci-fi works well for their network. I think CW could actually benefit from expanding into the ten o'clock time slot. What they do need to work on however, is dedicating time and attention to their shows rather than scrapping them and going for something new in an effort to have an instant hit. Out of all these pilots they're raking up, the odds of one of them sticking around for a season let alone more than that is slim.
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Because sci-fi/fantasy shows work well on The CW. Just look at TVD and SPN and I think that it's a smart move on their part. Some of those in-development pilots look really interesting and the Fall TV season has barely started yet.
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Are you actually saying you don't want sci-fi's! What's this blasphemy!!!
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First episode ratings for such a hyped series do not mean much... considering the lukewarm reception of Revolution, they might wait the ratings of the next few episodes before considering a hasty renewal...
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Right. Revolution got a 4.1 rating. Bionic Woman (also on NBC) got 5.7. Many shows have had strong openings only to see their ratings fall with each new episode.



On the other hand, shouldn't the fact that the pilot was released early make the ratings at least a *little* more accurate?
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Those rating for "Revolution" are gonna dip like a fat kid on a teeter totter.
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Yeah, I can hear next week's CLANG already. And then the follow-up clang....and the clang after that....



...claang....
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Oh Supernatural! I've never anticipated anything with this much fervor since the days of Lost and season 4 & 5 of Supernatural!!! Love Amanda Tapping and this new group of angels sound cool!



Why are you being so harsh on Revolution? I really enjoyed the pilot. I say that's amazing numbers even if it had less competition and The Voice as a lead-in, since loads of people like me and my friends had already watched it online! If it keeps anywhere around a 3 demo rating in the future, its gonna succeed! I'm just disappointed to see so many ads just mention Abrams name, while its Kripke who's actually running the show! Give him some credit! He's awesome!



PS:

- V was horrible. Only saving grace was Morena Baccarin and her alien daughter. The show was touted as being the next Lost and hence it had those numbers.



- Bionic Woman was a victim of the writer's strike. I kept hearing people say it was quite good. I wasn't much invested in it back then.
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Doctor Cop Lawyer? Is that a The Wrong Coast reference? If so I approve.
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The part about a group of angels that we've never seen before in Supernatural sounds interesting to me. Nephilim, maybe?
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woot woot for superatural hiring Amanda Tapping :)
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Nice to see Tahmoh Penikett get a role. He's so good in everything, someone needs to get him a regular gig.
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Totally. I've liked him in everything from Cold Squad to BG, and he was great in Dollhouse.
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Goddammit, season eight of Supernatural! Stop trying to rope me back in after I kicked my habit of watching you! I LOVE Amanda Tapping but I don't know if I love her enough to tie-off once more and tune in for another season...



As for Revolution, I'm still gonna give it the four episode test. I wanna see Kripke shine at doing something else. Even if every frickin' advertisement for the show was emblazoned with Abrams' name, yet Kripke's was nowhere to be found...
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Maybe you should give SPN another chance. It looks better than the last previous 2 seasons.
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I don't think anything can save NBC aside from scraping the entire administration and replacing them with no one over the age of 40.



Whitney is still on. Animal Practice was green lit. Guys with Kids was green lit. Smash survived, Prime Suspect got canned. Awake (though stupid in my opinion) got canned. And Community yet again teeters on the brink. Which brings the question of what in the world is wrong with the people at NBC. They are making bad decisions. They are getting their arses handed to them by ABC, CBS and Fox (don't get me started on Fox's comedies) And they did nothing this year to give confidence that they are going to make anything better.
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I agree! I think the revolving door of shows is problematic. Like I said for CW, NBC has a problem with axing some shows before they even have the chance to find their footing, because they make the wrong assumption that they can pull off ratings like ABC and CBS and they just can't. They also have a tendency of giving an "ok" for half ass ideas because they're so desperate to have something out there that they'll settle for anything. It's like they throw whatever they can at the audience and then they see what sticks, and if it does stick they want instant success.
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It's more like they say, "Great! Now make it stick with 50% less money. We gotta cover this wall over here..."
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I think Animal Practice could be great if given the chance.
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It's spelled "scrapping". "Scraping" is what you do at the bottom of a barrel when you make ridiculous, sweeping arguments like not hiring anyone over 40 (instead of say...eliciting good ideas from talented people of any age or race, putting them into action, and actually trusting that they'll find their audience, GIVEN TIME). And the reason everything they do sucks so bad now is BECAUSE they're making crappy, fearful decisions based on what they think the Ritalin-raised, ADHD generation can handle, rather than just making good television for people who can focus for more than five minutes. You're probably too young to remember this, but both Seinfeld and Cheers were total bombs their first seasons before going on to become two of the most successful shows in history. If they could even get the greenlight today, they would both have been pulled by their 4th episodes. Do you get it now? It's hard to create and sustain art when everyone's heads are on the chopping block, and the timer is set. Doesn't matter what age those heads are.
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I don't like spelling correctors.



Especially regarding instances when you know exactly what word they meant to spell, and the rest of the comment is well written.



Now if a piece of writing is absolutely riddled with spelling errors, or the person in question is being a complete douche, then by all means point it out. But that obviously wasn't the case here.



He was making a joke! NBC is out of touch and stifles creativity. They have an "old" mentality. The "no one over the age of 40" crack was an allusion to NBC's general devoid of fresh ideas.



Life and business is about adaptation. NBC is quickly devolving into a single-celled organism (that was a joke).



And to blame my generation for NBC's current inability to consistently create good new shows makes me laugh. But according to you, I suppose it's a wonder I even had the attention span to read your entire comment to find the inadvertent humor in it.



Good TV flourishes EVERYDAY! Just to a startlingly and increasingly smaller percent on NBC.



HBO and Showtime seem to have no trouble at all making quality television, and in the process somehow keeping our Ritalin-addled brains focused long enough in order to sustain their art.



I think my five minutes are up.
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<3 this.
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Sweetheart, I don't give a rat's ass about what you "don't like".
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Charming. You've obviously aged well.
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Well for one it is called a typo. Sorry. For two I was only half serious about the under 40. Because if you did that NBC would be mostly stoner comedies. And for the most part I agree with you somewhat. Whitney is horrible and it was probably developed strictly for the under 30 crowd. Same with Guys With Kids and Are you There Chelsea, and canceling that horrid show honestly, might have been the only good decision NBC made last year.



I would just like some innovation. Like Chuck was, like Community is. Or some cerebral shows like Prime Suspect was and in part Awake was as well. I just don't think anyone currently there is up to the task. They are too freaked out by the ratings.
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Mate, I have to admit it. I read your comment after a long, irritating day during which I forced myself to overlook, without comment, the usual kajillion spelling and grammatical errors in various professional publications, novels, etc. (which has become the rather alarming status quo), and your typo was the third one of the very same word I'd seen ALL on the same day. Taken in conjunction with the "over 40" comment, I just kind of lost it. Yes, I'm a spelling and grammar Nazi, and I do try to rein it in, especially in forums such as these. I have literally never corrected anyone's spelling on any forum. What would be the point, really? Like I said, I just kind of lost my shit yesterday, and I'm sorry if I misunderstood what you were going for. I agree with you about the innovation thing. Community is a favorite of mine (amazingly, not yet cancelled). So were Awake, The Killing, Lone Star, Wonderfalls, and too many other innovative and creative shows cancelled too soon. And yet Whitney, Toddlers and Tiaras, Jersey Shore, and the like, continue to be renewed. Juuuuust depressing. Anyway, your reply was classy. Thanks.
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I actually thought Revolution's pilot was better than a lot of people made it out to be. Maybe it's because my expectations were so drastically tempered by the pervasive negativity surrounding it on the webosphere (is that a word?), but I thought the premier did exactly what premiers are supposed to do: Set the plot in motion. With a premise as ambitious as Revolution's, I can forgive them for the lack of extensive character building in the first 42 minutes of the show.



I remember watching the premier of Terra Nova and Alcatraz, and after it was done thinking to myself, "what the fuck was that?" I really had no desire to continue watching those shows, other than to bash them on Tim's reviews.



Revolution DOES have a solid premise. There is so much room for growth, and the post-apocalyptic societal challenges they can explore are limitless. Kripke IS a very good showrunner. Let's lengthen the leash a little bit, people.



And the one distinct thing that separated Revolution from Terra Nova in my mind: PEOPLE DIED! Lots of 'em. I think I even saw a few splashes of blood during that sword fight. I did not get the same Disney vibe. It's still too Network family friendly for my taste, but a significant improvement.



Now of course there were flaws. Many questions still need to be answered. The basics simply cannot be ignored. But it's only been 42 minutes. Give it a fucking chance.



(I didn't know if I should post this comment here, or on Tim's review, so I did both.)
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Exactly, well said. I have much faith in Kripke and his direction for the show. My only worry is interference from execs. But you can't explain every detail of such an epic story in 42 mins. Looking back on many great shows, their pilots are usually not as good as the rest of the series...it takes a little time to really develop. There is so much potential here and I'm excited to see where he leads us!
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Totally agree with you. I thought the pilot was great. People think that the pilot wasn't good because most of them had high expectations for it. I firmly believe that Revolution can and will improve and that it can perform well enough not to get cancelled.
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Much agreed. Revolution isn't perfect (yet) but it isn't even in the same league as the utterly unwatchable Terra Nova. Terra Nova caused me physical pain. I wish that lousy show hadn't happened last year; then people wouldn't be so soured on expansive premises that they'd give this more of a chance.
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There is a interview Kripke did with Maureen Ryan that is running around the web. And if has reinforced my faith in what he wants to do with the show. If he gets the chance to do what he is intending. This show could be nothing short of fantastic. He wants not The Hunger Games or any of the recent flash in the pan literary (use that term very loosely) to screen type tripe. He wants this to be LOTR across a post-apocalypse America. And with that, he gets me as a viewer for as long as the show is on.
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My problem with Revolution is that the premise seems to be ripped off from S. M. Stirling's novels.



Also, where did all those swords they had in the promos come from? Is there a Swords R Us in the local (abandoned) mall, and I just missed it?
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Post-apocalyptic movies and books have been around since, well, forever (and especially since the '50s when nuclear annihilation was a real possibility).
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NBC Sucks for canceling Awake

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As great as Awake was, its ratings were terrible, even worse than Prime Suspect in the same time slot. We're lucky they aired all of the episodes, and in the correct order.



Not even a low rated network like NBC (which kept 30 Rock, Community, Parks and Recreation, Chuck, Friday Night Lights and Parenthood on the air) could be expected to renew it.
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That's not why NBC sucks. Canceling Awake was just a side effect. NBC sucks for a whole host of reasons.
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RIP Awake :( you are still sorely missed.
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You should have just shortened that to: "NBC Sucks".
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Not as long as Community clings to life.
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No Brain Cells that is NBC
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