Category Archives: TV Show

The Walking Dead’s Ratings Reveal a Bad Omen

The Walking Dead seems to be on a march toward ratings death. The 8th season of the series only aired two episodes and the viewership numbers don’t exactly look promising. The ratings currently reside at their lowest ranking since season 2. That is awful news because a ratings decline becomes very difficult to turn around. Once fans leave the series, they do not often return. Pulling several million departed viewers isn’t exactly something that can easily be done. Someone at The Walking Dead and AMC has to figure how to stop the ratings death spiral or else this series won’t last much longer.

The incredibly exciting World Series currently taking place may be drawing viewers away from The Walking Dead. While this might account for some lost viewership, serious examination shows the entire Negan and The Saviors storyline is flopping. The decision to make the show even more violent than usual further turned off fans. The excruciating death of fan-favorite character Glenn was too much for many in the audience to bear. They tuned out of the show and do not seem to be coming back. Maybe something can be done to draw them back in, but the Negan “All-Out War” storyline won’t do it. Ratings so far indicate antipathy towards the events.

The end of the series won’t exactly happen this season. More than eight million people turn in to watch. The Walking Dead tops its cable competition by a wide margin. The series also makes money through all sorts of additional revenue such as video games. The declining ratings show the series won’t likely have legs too far beyond the 10th season. Hopefully, once the current storyline ends, the series can reboot its direction and try and rebuild ratings.

Saturday Night Live Takes Weird Swing for Halloween

Halloween just passed, and it’s a good thing because NBC’s Saturday Night Live may have been using the holiday as an excuse to throw out some questionable programming. This past weekend, SNL did not air a new episode, instead offering an animated program based on the spooky day.

The cartoon was based on the Tom Hanks character “David S. Pumpkins” and told a story of how he should be the Santa Claus-type figure of Halloween, bringing candy to all the little girls and boys.

The program itself was weird and unexpected, and no one is sure if it worked. Was it for children, as the plot and style seemed to indicate? Or was it for adults, since it aired at 11:30 PM Eastern on a Saturday night?

The episode wasn’t funny enough to be purposely designed for adults, yet it felt too weird to be a kids program. There was some odd middle ground that I doubt SNL was purposely aiming for. Yet that was where the end product fell into.

Besides the execution, the show itself was a bizarre programming choice. David S. Pumpkins was a one-off sketch character of Hanks from a year ago. The original sketch was endearing because of its oddity. It wasn’t exactly funny as much as it was smirk-worthy because of its unnecessary existence and silly behavior. The sketch succeeded within the episode that it aired because of the freshness of it. Remaking and blowing that sketch out into an entire program felt like a major reach.

Another reach is referring to David S. Pumpkins as a “beloved” SNL character. He isn’t that, and it feels like the show may be forcing things in order to develop new material during weeks in which no live show is airing. There is no harm in doing this, but it isn’t the best form of entertainment.

Netflix Unveils Upcoming Shows For March

Netflix has announced the shows and movies that will be debuting this March, along with those that will be leaving. Fans will thus be bidding adieu to the movies “Jaws” and “The Nanny Diaries” and TV series like “Monarch of the Glen.”

 

On the other hand, they will be able to enjoy a variety of movies ranging from the 1944 documentary “The Negro Soldier” to the 2016 biopic “Hands of Stone,” which is about the Panamanian boxer, Roberto Duran.

 

Of course, Netflix will be unveiling a bunch of original new shows and movies. For example, “Amy Schumer: The Leather Special” will debut on March 7. The comedienne will perform a stand-up routine at the Bellco Theater in Denver during which she will riff on drinking, dating and the perils of being newly famous.

 

Marvel’s Iron Fist” debuts on March 17, and it concerns a martial artist with superpowers. In addition to being a show in its own right, it will lead up to “The Defenders,” a miniseries starring Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. In the show, the title character returns to New York after a 15-year disappearance.

 

The Most Hated Woman in America” is a biopic that will debut on March 24. It concerns the notorious atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair who battled to have Bible-reading banned in public schools. The Supreme Court ruled in her favor in 1963. She was eventually murdered in 1995.

 

The Discovery” is a science fiction movie that will premiere on March 31. In it, a scientist discovers that the afterlife really exists. That discovery leads to such dire consequences as a rash of suicides.

 

 

The Punisher May Be Coming To Netflix In 2017

The Punisher was not originally planned as a series for Netflix, but plans change. Jon Bernthal did such a fantastic job as the vigilante during season two of Daredevil, the fan response was overwhelmingly positive. Frank “The Punisher” Castle – and Bernthal – stole the show. The Hand and Elektra were nice additions to the second season, but The Punisher was the supporting character who drew the most attention.

Will The Punisher debut as soon as 2017?

Things are a bit complicated for the executives at Netflix. The company has made it very adamant that there will only be two Marvel series per year. Netflix did not want to water down its programming nor was there a desire to sacrifice quality. Currently, The Defenders and Luke Cage are planned for 2016 and Daredevil season three and Jessica Jones season two are slated for 2017. Adding The Punisher to 2017’s schedule would mean three programs in a single year. Maybe Netflix is rethinking things. The 2017 debut of The Punisher season one has not been confirmed, but a delay until 2018 or 2019 would be a bit much.

Most interestingly, Bernthal said “The Punisher” never appeared in Daredevil season two. Audiences only saw Frank Castle. At the end of the series, Frank Castle makes his first step towards becoming The Punisher. A full season dedicated to the character would show how Castle develops into The Punisher persona. Daredevil season one followed a similar, and critically acclaimed, melodramatic approach.

Another question being raised is whether or not The Punisher and other Netflix characters are going to appear in Avengers: Infinity War. Audiences have some time to wait for the answer.

“The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” Cancelled

Unlike the insanely successful “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report” with Stephen Colbert, “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” has failed to capture/retain the attention of Comedy Central’s audience. The last show will air this Thursday at 11:30 p.m. on August 18th.

Comedy Central’s target audience has been identified by The NY Times as males between the ages of 18 to 34 years old.

According to Tanya Giles, VP of research at Comedy Central, “Comedy is so central to who they are, the way they connect with other people, the way they get ahead in the world. One big takeaway is that unlike previous generations, humor, and not music, is their No. 1 form of self-expression.”

Part of the reason for the lack of viewer resonance is Jimmy Fallon’s monopolization of the nightly show circuit with his immensely successful “The Tonight Show”. The failure of the show is reminiscent of when “Family Guy” tried to catch a wider audience with “The Cleveland Show” where a previous sidekick black character was given an unsuccessful spin-off, perhaps because the character was too 2-dimensional to hold their own in comedy. Perhaps it was because a majority of the jokes were aimed at calling someone racist while perpetuating the “everyone is a racist” style that was seen in “The Mind of Mencia”, Ned Mencia’s show that was also cancelled.

Wilmore told The NY Times, “I’m really grateful to Comedy Central, Jon Stewart and our fans to have had this opportunity, but I’m also saddened and surprised we won’t be covering this crazy election or ‘The Unblackening’ as we’ve coined it. And keeping it 100, I guess I hadn’t counted on ‘The Unblackening’ happening to my time slot as well.”

Given Wilmore’s comment, it is debatable whether Comedy Central and/or their viewers are racist against him or Wilmore just hasn’t been as funny as his predecessors Steven Colbert and Jon Stewart.

Stranger Things Fuels Dungeons & Dragons Resurgence

Netflix is arguably now as big than almost any cable network, garnering a staggering 54 Emmy nominations this year. Among their most popular shows is Stranger Things, a homage to Steven Spielberg movies that features plucky kids, flashlights at night and weird alien creatures. The show’s popularity has fueled a resurgence of ’80’s nostalgia, and even people like Jessie Pinkman are marking out over Eleven, the girl with the psychic powers.

Stranger Things has revived interest in another ’80’s item as well: Dungeons & Dragons. One of the first scenes in the show depicts the kids playing D&D in an intense showdown with “The Demogorgon.” This has sent flocks of people to stores to pick up the D&D Starter Set. It seems apparent that there are a lot of people who had heard about Dungeons & Dragons but didn’t understand how it was played. Once they got a look at it on Stranger Things, they decided to try it out.

Dungeons & Dragons has been exploding in popularity for over two years now. The Player’s Handbook is currently #67 on the Amazon top 100 list two years after its release.

The game has benefited greatly from the 5th edition revisions, which make the game simpler, more accessible and more familiar to those who played AD&D in the ’80’s.

On top of that, there has been a flood of “actual play” shows on youtube such as Critical Role and Harmon Quest (yes, created by Community’s own Dan Harmon). The trend of video game streaming has now carried over to tabletop roleplaying games, and it is fueling a boom in the RPG industry.

Parents have found it to be an ideal way to spend time with their children, which is quite amusing to those old enough to remember the “satanic panic” that almost killed the game 30 years ago.

Nightly Show Cancellation Raises the Wrong Questions

Comedy Central has announced that The Nightly Show starring Larry Wilmore has been canceled. The show is one of a number of comedic spinoffs of The Daily Show. The Daily Show has quite a track record for creating new stars and has launched the careers of Stephen Colbert, Ed Helms, Steve Carrell and others.

The Nightly Show focused on the black perspective in America. Many people said that it was an important show as it shined a light on the African American experience in the United States. And yet, it averaged just 700,000 viewers per week. That’s far less than The Daily Show, even though that show is struggling mightily under new host Trevor Noah.

There was a bit of an outcry over the cancellation. This reminds me of another recent moment in our culture, when people took to the internet to complain about how there are no Black Widow action figures in the Avengers toy line. Every male from Iron Man to Hawkeye was there.

It was explained by Marvel and toy executives that they don’t make Black Widow action figures because female action figures don’t sell. This provoked outrage and a storm on social media. The company quickly relented and began making Black Widow figures.

In both cases, people are claiming that they want something, but then when it is offered they don’t actually take it. Clearly many of the people complaining about the cancellation of The Nightly Show didn’t watch it. Black Widow action figures are, in fact, the lowest-selling figures in the line. Action figures are primarily bought by boys. Clearly, there aren’t that many girls interested in buying the Black Widow.

It is nice to feel the need to be inclusive and to consider others. But to harangue a business for simply not wanting to lose money on something doesn’t feel right. They shouldn’t be punished for simply adhering to reality.

To me, the question people should be wondering about is why nobody watched The Nightly Show rather than complaining that it got cancelled. For me, I didn’t watch the show because I just don’t think Larry Wilmore is funny. He is likeable and he can be amusing, but I don’t think he is suited for the host role.

Obviously, other people had similar feelings. That is not Comedy Central’s fault.

Larry Wilmore’s The Nightly Show Cancelled

Larry Wilmore was one of the first correspondents of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart to leave the shelter of Stewart’s comedic wings after Stephen Colbert exploded onto the scene with his Colbert Report. Wilmore’s The Nightly Show held its own in Colbert’s former time slot, but ratings have dwindled since Stewart’s retirement, and Comedy Central has decided to pull the plug on The Nightly Show.

In a statement to Mashable, Comedy Central said that “production on The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore will cease after its August 18 episode.” Much to the chagrin of Wilmore himself, who expressed regret that he “won’t be covering this crazy election.”

Comedy Central president Kent Alterman told The Hollywood Reporter that “it hasn’t connected with our audience in ways that we need it to,” which is no surprise considering Wilmore’s The Daily Show alumni competition. John Oliver, another of Stewart’s hatchlings, has gained a following to rival Stewart’s own, especially after his medical bill payoff stunt, and longtime The Daily Show cast member Samantha Bee has been dubbed Stewart’s “real heir,” thanks to her show Full Frontal and its energetic and biting commentary on the political environment. Pile those on top of Stephen Colbert, arguably the most successful of Stewart’s veterans, and it becomes difficult — or in Wilmore’s case, impossible — to stand out in such a crowd.

The cancellation marks the end of Wilmore’s 10-year career with Comedy Central. He will continue to work as executive producer on ABC’s Black-ish, and also HBO’s upcoming Issa Rae comedy Insecure.

The decision makes The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah the only black voice left in late-night television. Alterman says he remains committed to Noah despite initial drops in ratings, which are similar to Stewart’s experience when he filled Craig Kilbourn’s seat at the Daily Show desk. As for filling Wilmore’s time slot, Alterman says, he is “totally open to women and in whatever form diversity would come, we’re open to it for sure.”

America’s Got Talent Reaches An All Time High After July 4th Weekend

America’s Got Talent is the most well respected talent show on television today. Known for discovering singers like Bianca Ryan and magic acts like Collins Key, the show is known for creating massive amounts of viral hits on YouTube. The show recently hit an all time high on Tuesday night’s show on July 5,2016. After the holiday weekend, the series rose to becoming the highest-rated episode of the season and also celebrated the most-watched episode ever since the show premiered. With more than 12.6 million people tuning in, they dominated the 8 to 10 p.m. section. It’s one of the highest rated showing in years, and they witnessed a growth of more than 10 percent in their ratings.

The CBS and ABC channels were the only channels to air originals after the weekend. Shows like Zero Movement, Uncle Buck, and To Tell The Truth aired episodes. The channels all fought over who would gain the attention and views. Millions of people watch the episode of Simon Cowell nonchalantly being intensely honest to people.

America’s Got Talent has been on the air since 2011 receiving respectable reviews for finding new raw talent every single year and broadening the opportunities of performers in all disciplines outside of just dancing and singing. Actors, entertainers, magicians, puppeteers, and performers from all sorts of entertainment have gone on to America’s Got Talent to showcase their skill and performances. The show continues to dazzle audiences year after year, alongside inspiring up and coming performers to audition for the show.