CHICAGO – If you can remember the 1990s outside of childhood, you are in the glow of middle age, so congratulations. The Brown Paper Box Co. theater ensemble takes us back to those thrilling days of yesteryear with “Spike Heels,” a relationship comedy centering on the co-mingling antics of two couples, with a slight nod toward George Bernard Shaw and the play “Pygmalion” (or its musical counterpart, “My Fair Lady”).
CHICAGO – Why are audiences turning away from “New Girl” this season? I would hope that it’s purely a question of time slot competition (Tuesdays have gotten crowded all of a sudden) and overall decline in FOX ratings because it sure as Hell has nothing to do with quality. This is a show that increased steadily in laughs-per-minute over its first season, just released on DVD, and continues to work at the start of its second. Check out the new Fox DVD release to see how it all went down.
CHICAGO – NBC has long owned Thursday nights for comedy (although ratings have eroded every year), CBS dominates Monday nights, and Wednesday nights were recently claimed by ABC and the “Modern Family” juggernaut. This leaves Tuesdays for FOX.
CHICAGO – FOX announced today that they have renewed their three biggest critical hits, the Tuesday night comedies “New Girl,” “Raising Hope,” and “Glee.” Kevin Reilly, President of Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company, made the announcement via press release, in advance of the company’s official May Fall schedule announcement. The renewals for smash hit “New Girl” and reliable performer “Glee” came as a surprise to no one. “Raising Hope” was closer to the bubble and so the early renewal makes for good news for its fans.
CHICAGO – Networks have long attempted four consecutive comedies on one night but it’s not a common thing to find on FOX (at least not live-action). So when it was announced that FOX would try to replicate what CBS has on Mondays, ABC has on Wednesdays, and NBC has on Thursdays with their own four-in-a-row on Tuesday nights, TV watchers were curious.
CHICAGO – “Our Idiot Brother,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, is a light, good-natured comedy with a stellar ensemble that doesn’t quite click into place as a truly stand-out entry in the genre but features such a positive tone and overall message that it’s a difficult movie for which to mount too much of an offense against. The cast is so incredibly likable and so is the overall theme of the movie that it’s easy to approach like its title character and just go with the flow.
CHICAGO – Disney’s theatrical version of the classic A.A. Milne creation, “Winnie the Pooh,” was decimated at the summer box office by bigger, louder, and far more annoying family fare. Hopefully those of you with young ones in your family or those of you just young at heart will catch up with it because it was, without question, the best family film of the Summer of 2011. It’s a charming, delightful return to the Hundred Acre Wood that playfully offers what has always worked about these timeless characters.
CHICAGO – FOX made a lot of TV viewers happy this afternoon when, on the strength of its first two outings, they renewed “New Girl” for a full season. The Zooey Deschanel sitcom will be on until at least Spring of 2012, making it the first new series to get a full-season order from its network. Congratulations to the whole “New Girl” team.
CHICAGO – Demographic numbers aren’t in yet and there certainly isn’t a story as huge as Monday night’s ludicrous ratings for “Two and a Half Men,” but we thought you might want to know that FOX’s “New Girl” and CBS’s “Unforgettable” seem to be off to good starts. “Glee” was down in its season premiere while “Ringer” dropped in its second week.
CHICAGO – Is there anybody in show business that knows their character and personality profile better than Zooey Deschanel? Her accessible, quirky persona – evident in “(500) Days of Summer” – scores big time again with the new sitcom “New Girl,” premiering September 20th on FOX.
CHICAGO – Do you want the good news or the bad news, TV fans? The good news is that the upcoming crop of new Fall programs from the five major networks (totaling 27 new shows) is not as bad as last year’s incredibly-horrible debut slate. The bad news is that it’s still pretty bad. There is no “Lost,” no “Glee,” no “Modern Family,” no instant stand-outs of any kind.