I have to say, of all the media coming out prior to the premiere of Gotham, the materials of Robin Taylor’s take on Oswald Cobblepot have me the most intrigued.
We need to remember as we enter into Gotham that we are looking at the proto forms of the characters we’ve come to know. Jim Gordon is just a detective, Bruce Wayne is just a boy and so on. Oswald Cobblepot, who will eventually become The Penguin, is one of the most overlooked back stories of the Batman universe outside of The Joker, who has always been kept purposefully vague.
Taylor seems to be taking a really interesting run at Cobblepot, and I’m probably more anxious to see how he develops than anyone else. While my favorite Rogue’s Gallery villains are Joker, Two-Face and Catwoman, their stories are well known, there’s a lot to play with when it comes to Cobblepot and it’s looking like this could be a lot of fun.
With Labor Day weekend winding down, the unofficial end of summer has arrived, and that means it’s time for our favorite shows to return to the networks.
Through out September and October all of our favorite shows, as well as all of the new ones will be making their debuts. The first couple of weeks are relatively quiet, but the week of Sept. 21 is when things kick into high gear and we will be inundated with returning shows.
I’ve assembled a handy table below for you track when everything will be premiering. So make sure you clean out your DVRs of all the stuff you have saved up and get ready for a whole lot of new content.
Fox has made a pilot commitment to a reboot of the 1980s super-hero dramedy, The Greatest American Hero.
The Greatest American Hero told the story of a teacher who was gifted with a super powered suit by aliens, but due to immediately losing the instruction manual he never fully understood how to use it. The series ran for three seasons for a total of 44 episodes. A lot of people remember it fondly, but I think they confuse their love of the theme song with the actual quality of the series.
Phil Lord and Chris Miller – coming off their success of rebooting 21 Jump Street – will be leading this project. Oddly enough The Greatest American Hero was the brainchild of Steven J. Cannell, who also happened to be the guy behind 21 Jump Street, so apparently Lord and Miller are now in the Cannell business. They also worked on the highly successful The Lego Movie, so they do have talent, but I just don’t know if this is a series we need to revisit.
Come on folks, we need some new entertainment, lets not just keep revisiting the same shows again and again.
The folks over at Bleeding Cool have seen the Gotham pilot, and from the screencaps they shared, it’s looking awesome.
Of the numerous comic based series coming to TV this fall, Gotham has me the most excited while also filling me with the most terror. As a long time Batman fan, every new take on the character worries me. That being said, I always go in with an open mind, and sometimes you find amazing things such as Batman: The Animated Series, or Batman Beyond. And then sometimes you find the Schumacher Batman films and you just go, “Oh no.”
Gotham is going to be a whole new look at the mythos, however. There will be no “Batman” in this story, at least not yet. This story is going to focus squarely on Det. Jim Gordon who will one day become Commissioner Gordon.
According to the Bleeding Cool folks, the show is part police drama/part comic book series, and they say they do both well. While of course they couldn’t share the episode with the world, they did take some screencaps to give us a taste of the show, and I have to say that it is looking awesome. Yes… even the pearls hitting the pavement. (Which fans will know what that means.)
One picture is definitely worth singling out.
This is a stand-up comic in Fish Mooney’s club. Apparently he’s not a very good comic, but for some reason Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) thinks he’s hilarious. For those of you have ever read Alan Moore’s truly amazing The Killing Joke, you can see where this might some day lead. I won’t say beyond that.
Fox has proven yet again that nothing is certain in the world of television, even when you’ve been granted a series order.
Hieroglyph was slated for a mid-season debut on Fox and former Fox Chairman of Entertainment Kevin Reilly had given it a straight to series order. The network had ordered one episode shot and told it to begin work on its first season.
Then Reilly left. As you can imagine, things turned.
Travis Beacham (Pacific Rim) and Anna Fricke (Being Human) were working on the breakdowns of the scripts for the season when the network took a look at them and went, “Nope!” and pulled the plug. The network chalked it up to “creative reasons,” which is more than likely code for, ‘we didn’t want to sink any more money into this idea that was approved by the former boss.’
You can check out the original teaser below, though I suspect it will be pulled off the Internet in the not too distant future.
I won’t count this as the first cancellation of the season as that just seems mean.
How do you know your show had problems? When fully completed episodes will never air.
Things looked promising for the Fox sitcom Us & Them. It had a great cast and was based on a hit British show, Gavin & Stacey. Fox picked up the show for the 2013/2014 season as a mid-season replacement, and then everything went south rapidly.
As production was wrapping on the sixth episode, Fox was unhappy with the quality of the scripts coming in and cut the episode order from 13 to six. This was quickly followed by deciding the series was dead in the water and Gavin & Stacey was effectively canceled last October without a single episode having aired. It was expected, however, that Fox would use this summer to burn off the six episodes to recoup at least some of its investment in the series.
Well, it looks like Fox really disliked the show because now it appears the episodes will never see the light of day.
A network source speaking with TV Line says that the six episodes have been shelved and will never air on the network. There is a chance – a slim one at best – that they could end up somewhere else, but I wouldn’t hold your breath for that to happen.
Us & Them may end up going down in the history books as one of those forgotten series such as all of those unaired pilots that never surface. I am willing to bet, though, that someday, somewhere these episodes will surface on a cable channel in some late night slot as a series that time forgot.
What does this teach us? Just because your series makes it out of pilot season, it doesn’t mean that you have cleared the last hurdle to making it to air.
Could Marvel be so annoyed with Fox holding onto the rights of the Fantastic Four films as to suspend publishing the comics?
A report surfaced recently from Bleeding Cool that Marvel will be suspending the Fantastic Four and Ultimate Fantastic Four comic books for an unknown amount of time so as not to help promote Fox’s upcoming reboot of the film franchise. The evidence has been amassing for some time now that something was in the works as artwork celebrating Marvel’s upcoming 75th anniversary does not include any member of the team, one which is considered to have founded the modern day version of Marvel. The report goes on to state that the characters can appear in other books, but they may not be the focus of the story.
Additionally, artists working on an upcoming set of trading cards for the 75th anniversary were also recently sent a letter telling them to avoid any use of the Fantastic Four and certain other characters related to the franchise.
All of this stems from when Marvel sold the film rights to the Fantastic Four to Fox during its bankruptcy in the 1990s. The deal was less than favorable to the comic publisher and says that the studio may keep the rights for as long as it continues to produce new material based on it.
While Marvel would like to bring all of its characters home – Spider-Man is at Sony and the X-Men are at Fox – the lack of the Fantastic Four has been the most problematic as it ties up major Marvel villains as well such as Dr. Doom, Galactus and the Skrull alien race. Additionally, with three studios producing films based on Marvel characters, it runs the risk of burning out the audience that much faster from too many films on the screens.
It is highly doubtful Marvel’s tactic will have much of an impact, on the success of a new Fantastic Four film, and in the end it really only seems as though it would only really do harm to long term fans of the franchise.
Marvel has had no comment on the matter, but if true, it seems the comic publisher is ready to do whatever it takes to bring its characters home.
This year was one of the heaviest cancellation cycle viewers have ever seen, it definitely could be qualified as a blood bath at the networks.
With the cancellations over, and the upfronts completed showing off the new series, it’s time to look over what happened at the networks this season.
ABC – 12
CBS – 5
Fox – 9
NBC – 10
The CW – 3
A total of 39 shows met their end this season, making it the biggest bloodbath since I started keeping track.
First Season Shows
CBS – 6
Fox – 6
NBC – 8
The CW – 2
Of the 39 shows canceled, 33 of them were brand new. What can we learn from this? New shows really did not speak to viewers this year. The public is becoming more discerning about what it sets aside time for, and the networks just keep putting up formulaic show after formulaic show. This upcoming season also looks to be filled with new shows that aren’t long for this world.
ABC – 6
CBS – 4
Fox – 6
NBC – 5
The CW – 0
For clarification, these are shows of all ages, and not just first seasons, this also goes for the dramas and reality shows. Lets face it, comedies were a mess this year as they have been for a while. The networks seem completely incapable of discovering humor that will click with an audience and what won’t.
ABC – 6
CBS – 2
Fox – 2
NBC – 5
The CW – 3
While pretty much every new comedy was canceled, the dramas didn’t fare much better.
ABC – 0
CBS – 0
Fox – 1
NBC – 0
The CW – 0
And this is the pay off: Reality shows are cheap to make. Don’t get fooled by million dollar prizes, they’re still insanely cheap to make when compared to a comedy, and even more so when compared to a drama. Despite declining ratings on these shows, they are absolute cash cows.
The Outlook for the 2014/2015 Season
Things are not going to be any easier this season. The crops of shows that are upcoming is a whole new slew of shows that just left me cold. There are a few standouts in The Flash and Gotham, and I’m not saying that just because they are based on comic books. Both look to be high quality shows.
The networks have got to look a bit deeper at how things are going and begin to realize it’s time for things to change. One thing to remember is that every time a show is canceled, hundreds of people are put out of work. This isn’t some game, these are people’s livelihoods at stake.
FOX swung the cancellation axe on Wednesday, and four series took the hit.
With the network upfront presentations coming next week, it was inevitable that the cancelations would begin rolling in at an increased clip. On Wednesday Fox took out three of its four freshman comedies. Dads, Enlisted and Surviving Jack all got hit, leaving Brooklyn Nine-Nine as the only freshman comedy on the network to receive a second season order.
The only one I tried was Dads and I didn’t even make it through a full episode. It was just awful.
On the drama side, Greg Kinnear’s Rake also was canceled, which surprised exactly no one.
Fox also canceled Almost Human earlier this week leaving the network with very few shows surviving into a second season.
This is a big week for cancellations and renewals with more sure to come.
Prepare for the history of Batman as Fox has officially ordered Gotham to series.
We’re a week away from the network upfront presentations which means the last minute scramble is on for renewals and pilot orders. Fox was the first to pull the trigger on Monday and announced that its Batman origin story entitled Gotham has indeed been ordered to series.
The only surprise here was the fact that this was not yet official. The original reports had Gotham being a “straight-to-series” order meaning that it just begin production. Perhaps this was just a formality to make the series order official, but any way you slice it – and barring cancelations – we will have three comic book series on network TV next fall.
And wasting no time, the first teaser trailer is already out. Enjoy!
GOTHAM is based upon characters published by DC Entertainment and is produced by Warner Bros. Television. Executive producer Bruno Heller (“The Mentalist”) wrote the pilot, which was directed and executive-produced by Emmy Award nominee Danny Cannon (the “CSI” franchise, “Nikita”). John Stephens will also serve as executive producer on the series.
GOTHAM is an origin story of the great DC Comics Super-Villains and vigilantes, revealing an entirely new chapter that has never been told.