Thursday March 23,2017

NBC's Trial & Error is worth checking out if you need another 30-minute sitcom in your life.

A sneak peak at the final season of Orphan Black.

That was one HELLUVA Tribal Council last night.  Per Jeff Probst, "Tribal was electric. It was thrilling. For me, the reason it was so exciting is because I had a ringside seat to watching some truly great players going full tilt boogie knowing they were risking everything with every move they made. What you saw is exactly what happened — it just broke open. It makes sense if you take away emotion and just look at it from a gameplay point of view. You come into a situation with one really big unknown: Where are the alliances? So if you are sitting at Tribal, you have a pretty decent fear that it could be you. Everybody knows how good the game is at blindsiding players.  So you evaluate your choices. Hold tight and 'stick with the plan' or call an audible. It doesn’t take much for the panic to set in and people begin to call audibles. You want to survive the vote so you have to do everything you can because Survivor is always an all-in game. Someone is going to be out. You do not want it to be you. It’s MADDENING. What struck me most was the lack of certainty that was hovering above every player. Nobody had any idea of the truth. You could feel it. There was so much tension because everybody was on edge. Finally, you reach a point where it’s time to vote, which is the same as showing your cards. You take a deep breath and write down a name and hope you’re right."

A 3-part Vanderpump Rules reunion special will air on Bravo over 3 weeks beginning Monday.

More on the Scripps upfronts below, but Food Network and Cooking Channel plan to introduce nearly 50 new series and specials this year, along with 40 returning shows. Food Network's 2017 slate includes Iron Chef Gauntlet, hosted by Alton Brown, Guy Fieri's upcoming docu-series Guy's Big Project which is being described as a show that will offer fans and foodies a shot to have their dream show made into reality.  Thanks for the detailed log line there! Cooking Channel is offering up Farmer's Market Flip, hosted by Jeff Mahin, something it's calling Monster Food, and another sure fire winner, Late Night Eats.

Thank you Samantha Bee.

The season 2 finale of Baskets airs tonight on FX.

"CBS has its eye on the 2017-18 TV season, handing out early renewals to 16 more of its current series, including rookie series BullMacGyverKevin Can WaitMan With a Plan and Superior Donuts.  Also scoring pickups: Venerable procedurals Hawaii Five-0Blue Bloods and NCIS: Los Angeles, as well as Madam SecretaryScorpionNCIS: New OrleansLife in Pieces and Mom. No-brainer renewals for non-scripted institutions Survivor60 Minutes and 48 Hours brings the number to 16 (or 18, if you include the already greenlit The Big Bang Theory and NCIS). So, what’s missing from the network’s renewal blitz? Criminal Minds2 Broke Girls and Elementary are arguably the most glaring omissions. Also MIA: Sophomore dramas Code Black and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, freshman comedy The Great Indoors, waning utility players The Odd Couple and Undercover Boss.   In far less surprising news, ill-fated rookie dramas Doubt (pulled after two airings)Pure Genius (failed to score a back-nine order) and Training Day (Saturday-bound, and in the wake of star Bill Paxton’s passing) also failed to make the cut. Ditto Ransom and Hunted."

"Family Matters alum Jaleel White is set as a series regular opposite John Larroquette and Bobby Moynihan in CBS’ single-camera comedy pilot Me, Myself & I. Written by Dan Kopelman and directed by Randall Einhorn, Me, Myself & I examines one man’s life over a 50-year span. The show will focus on three distinct periods in Alex Riley’s life: as a 14-year-old in 1991, a 40-year-old in present day (Moynihan) and a 65-year-old in 2042 (Larroquette). White will play Darryl, middle-age Alex’s best friend and business partner, who offers guidance — and a cot in his garage — in the aftermath Alex’s divorce."  At least it's a fresh idea.

What to expect from season 3 of The Carmichael Show.

Here's the latest trailer for season 3 of Fargo.

Per Deadline, "HGTV is boosting its 2017 programming lineup with nine new series, including a Fixer Upper spinoff and franchises of the popular series Flip or Flop, as well as releasing new episodes of 28 of its popular titles.

"Fixer Upper‘s Chip and Joanna Gaines, whose fourth season attracted more than 20 million viewers, has sparked a new half-hour spinoff series, Fixer Upper: Behind the Design. The show will be a behind-the-scenes companion that will focus on Joanna’s process to create the breathtaking designs showcased in each Fixer Upper episode.

"HGTV is also franchising Flip or Flop with five new duos and titles set in cities across the U.S.

"On tap for April, Flip or Flop Vegas stars MMA fighter Bristol Marunde and his wife, Aubrey, as they scoop up some of Sin City’s most neglected homes and transform them into sparkling showstoppers. Flip or Flop Atlanta (working title) follows Ken and Anita Corsini as they run a family business to update old Southern houses into modern homes that retain their original charm. Flip or Flip Fort Worth (working) stars flippers Andy and Ashley Williams, military veterans turned real estate investors, who buy, rehab and sell run-down houses all over the Lone Star state. Flip or Flop Nashville (working title) features real estate expert Page Turner and former NFL player and builder DeRon Jenkins—exes who still love working together to transform outdated properties into beautiful family homes. Flip or Flop Chicago (working title) showcases Mark and Liz Perez, who are inspired to improve older Windy City neighborhoods, one house at a time.

“'The tremendous, consistent ratings success of the original Flip or Flop with Tarek and Christina El Moussa inspired us to take a new look at house flipping programming,' said Allison Page, general manager, U.S. programming and development for HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and Great American Country. 'We saw an opportunity to highlight what works in other regions by featuring successful couples that had mastered the art of flipping in their town.'

"New to the HGTV family is Home Town, which premiered on March 21. Starring Mississippi-based home renovation experts, Ben and Erin Napier, Home Town is the first new series to hit the network’s schedule in 2017. Erin, an artist-turned-designer, and Ben, a woodworker and craftsman, deliver custom renovations, featuring eclectic yet traditional designs, for families in their small town.

"Also coming soon is a new season of the competition series Brother vs. Brother, which stars the sizzling Scott brothers as they battle in a new round of their home renovation rivalry in the fun beach community of Galveston, Texas. And, after another successful season of Property Brothers at Home, the network has triggered a new installment of that series for a year-end premiere. Additional series with new seasons are: Fixer Upper (Chip and Joanna Gaines); Property BrothersLove It or List It (Hilary Farr and David Visentin); Listed Sisters (Lex and Alana LeBlanc); and Good Bones (Karen E Laine and Mina Starsiak).

"HGTV also added new installments to its House Hunters franchise, including Beach Hunters, which travels to exquisite beach destinations to follow buyers in search of their beachside dream homes and House Hunters Family, where the whole family gets a say in the home buying process. Each episode features parents and their kids as they house hunt together to select which place suits them best. House Hunters: Outside the Box features open-minded buyers who want to make themselves at home in unconventional properties, such as abandoned gas stations, old windmills or rundown movie theaters.

"Additionally, HGTV’s highly successful fantasy destination programming gets three new entries, including Tiny Paradise, which features tiny tricked-out homes as they are built in enviable locales like Maui, Hawaii; Tulum, Mexico; and Telluride, Colorado. Lakefront Bargain Hunt Renovation highlights families who search for the perfect lakeside fixer upper, and Mountain Life follows couples house hunting for their dream mountaintop retreat. Other series in this genre also will get new seasons, including: Beachfront Bargain HuntLakefront Bargain HuntCaribbean Life, Island HuntersMountain LifeWe Bought the FarmIsland Life and Hawaii Life.

"See HGTV’s spring/summer 2017 on-air programming highlights below:

Home Town – airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT

Home renovation experts, Ben and Erin Napier, combine their love of small town living and revitalizing historic houses in the new HGTV series Home Town. The 10-episode series highlights the couple as they work to deliver eclectic yet traditional designs for families. First-time homebuyers, couples with young children and adults wishing to live closer to grandchildren all benefit from Erin’s imaginative hand sketches and Ben’s custom handiwork showcasing local reclaimed materials.

Flip or Flop Vegas – Premieres Thursday, April 6, at 9 p.m. ET/PT

MMA fighter and general contractor Bristol Marunde and his wife, Aubrey, a real estate agent and designer, hit the Las Vegas property jackpot one flip at a time. With his demo strength and her design sense, they snap up some of Sin City’s most neglected homes and transform them into stunning showpieces worthy of their high-roller zip code.

Mountain Life – Premieres Saturday, April 8, at 11 and 11:30 p.m. ET/PT

From the wooded peaks of the East Coast’s Blue Ridge to Hawaii’s tropical Mauna Loa, the mountains are the ultimate retreat for people who want to get away from it all. The gorgeous views and fresh air draw homeowners to these remote locations. In each episode, HGTV follows families as they search for their perfect mountaintop retreat.

Lakefront Bargain Hunt: Renovation – Premieres Saturday, April 15, at 9 p.m. ET/PT

Families search for the perfect lakeside fixer upper in Lakefront Bargain Hunt: Renovation. Each episode features couples as they tour several affordable homes with beautiful views of the water and select which property they’re willing to overhaul to create the ideal lakeside abode.

House Hunters: Outside the Box – Premieres in April

House Hunters: Outside the Box showcases open-minded buyers who are making themselves at home in unconventional properties. During the series, creative families prove that a traditional house is not always the ideal home. Inspired home seekers are breaking the mold to buy the most offbeat dwellings imaginable, such as abandoned gas stations, old windmills, rundown movie theaters, churches and even banks.

Beach Hunters – Premieres Sunday, June 4, at 10 and 10:30 p.m. ET/PT

From the rugged cliffs of the Pacific Northwest to the sunny shorelines of the East Coast, Beach Hunters travels to exquisite beach destinations to help home buyers find their dream homes on the sand. The series follows families on their journey as they tour three beachside homes and then select which one will be their new seaside retreat.

Tiny Paradise – Premieres in July

Tiny Paradise showcases the construction of tiny homes built to feature enviable views of gorgeous locales such as Tulum, Mexico; Maui, Hawaii; and Telluride, Colorado. The series follows the construction as these luxurious little homes are tricked-out with observation decks, reflection pools, greenhouses, indoor/outdoor kitchens and lots of multifunctional furniture.

House Hunters Family – Premieres in July

In House Hunters Family, parents and their kids tour three properties and try to agree on the home they all love the best. Sometimes, however, the biggest opinions come from the smallest family members. Questions about who gets their own room or whether there’s space for their outdoor trampoline become hot topics. Each episode reveals how meeting the needs of the entire family is no easy task.

Flip or Flop Atlanta (working title) – Premieres in August

Home renovation and real estate duo Ken and Anita Corsini run an Atlanta-based family business where they flip more than 100 houses a year. During the series, this enterprising couple rehabs old Southern houses and turns them into modern homes that retain their original charm.

Fixer Upper: Behind the Design – Sneak Peek on Tuesday, March 28, at 11 p.m. ET/PT

Fixer Upper Behind the Design is the perfect series for viewers who want to know how Joanna Gaines creates her signature home designs and how it all comes together so perfectly—shiplap and all—in each inspiring episode of Fixer Upper."

Per TVLine, "Billy Eichner’s Difficult People character is about to get his 'first real boyfriend'… and he’s landed a good one.

"John Cho has signed on to play a key recurring role in Season 3 of the Hulu comedy, the network announced Wednesday. Cho will appear in multiple episodes as Todd, an advertising executive who’s every bit as mean and twisted as Billy (Eichner) and Julie (Julie Klausner). In fact, Todd and Billy meet while one-upping each other in a prank war; they soon couple up, as Billy explores his first romantic relationship as an adult. (Well, “adult.”)

"Season 3 of Difficult People is slated to debut this summer, with ten half-hour episodes. Eichner and Klausner return, along with costars Andrea Martin (Marilyn), James Urbaniak (Arthur), Cole Escola (Matthew) and Gabourey Sidibe (Denise).

"Cho is probably best known now for playing Sulu in the rebooted Star Trek movie franchise. But he has a small-screen past as well: He starred alongside Karen Gillan in ABC’s ill-fated sitcom Selfie and had a recurring role on Fox’s Sleepy Hollow. He also had series-regular roles on NBC’s Matthew Perry comedy Go On and ABC’s sci-fi drama FlashForward."

Per The Hollywood Reporter, "Fox is getting ready for summer.

"On Wednesday, the network unveiled its summer schedule, including the premiere dates for its Love Connection reboot and Gordon Ramsay's forthcoming live cooking competition.

"Love Connection — hosted by Andy Cohen, executive produced by The Bachelor's Mike Fleiss and featuring same-sex couples for the first time in the show's history — will premiere Thursday, May 25, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, followed by the first-year musical game show Beat Shazam, hosted by Jamie Foxx and exec produced by Mark Burnett at 9 p.m. Based on the Shazam app, the latter pits teams of two against each other as they try to identify the biggest hit songs of all time.

"Ramsay's live cooking show, The F Word With Gordon Ramsay, will kick off on Wednesday, May 31, at 9 p.m. following the return of his long-running MasterChef. The live show, which will be tape-delayed on the West Coast, will see teams of foodie families and friends compete in a high-stakes cook-off in a bid to win the favor of host Ramsay, audience members and celebrity guests. The show also will feature cooking demos and out-of-the-kitchen adventures.

"Returning unscripted series include the John Cena-hosted military competition American Grit and So You Think You Can Dance with returning judge Mary Murphy.

"See Fox's summer schedule below:

Sunday, May 14                   

7:00-10:00 p.m.  — 2017 Miss USA

Thursday, May 25                 

8:00-9:00 p.m. — Love Connection
9:00-10:00 p.m. — Beat Shazam

Wednesday, May 31             

8:00-9:00 p.m. — MasterChef
9:00-10:00 p.m. — The F Word With Gordon Ramsay

Sunday, June 11                   

9:00-10:00 p.m. — American Grit

Monday, June 12

8:00-9:00 p.m. — So You Think You Can Dance
9:00-10:00 PM — Superhuman"

From ESPN: "The NFL is following through on plans to address the pace of games, commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in a letter to fans Wednesday.

"Reacting to consumer feedback, Goodell wrote that the league's goal is to give fans 'more of what you want: a competitive game with fewer interruptions and distractions from the action.' The proposed changes mirrored plans he previewed last month during his annual Super Bowl news conference.

"The most notable shift will be what Goodell called 'increased flexibility' for broadcast partners to 'avoid untimely breaks in the action.' Specifically, he mentioned 'how annoying' it is when a commercial is followed by a kickoff and then followed by another commercial.

"'I hate that, too,' Goodell said. 'Our goal is to eliminate it.'

"Other plans include:

  • Centralizing replay reviews and shifting the final authority to league officials in New York City. Referees would follow along on a video tablet rather than use a sideline replay 'hood.'

  • More attention paid to the amount of time that passes when the game clock is stopped. The league plans to add a play clock following extra points, and possibly after touchdowns, to standardize the time between it and the kickoff. It also hopes to standardize when the play clock starts after a player runs out of bounds.

"Goodell's push on this issue comes after a season in which NFL television ratings fell 8 percent compared to 2015. NFL owners will discuss these proposals, and in some cases vote on them, next week during their annual meeting in Phoenix."

Per USA Today, "BIG3 is already going to prime time.

"Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 basketball league announced Tuesday a broadcast partnership with Fox Sports, which will host the league throughout its summer schedule on FS1 on Monday nights and peak with the championship game live on Fox. Ice Cube broke the news on Skip and Shannon: Undisputed, the first in what is sure to be a long line of cross-promotion.

"BIG3’s season opens Sunday, June 25 at Barclays Center, and the first broadcast airing will be the following day. The league, which will feature former NBA players in 3-on-3, half-court action, already has commitments from Allen Iverson, Chauncey Billups, Jason Williams, Rashard Lewis, Kenyon Martin, Charles Oakley and more.

"The hype’s been built, enough that Fox Sports jumped onto the bandwagon. And that’s a big deal for both BIG3 and Fox, for a few reasons, as For The Win discussed with BIG3 Commissioner Roger Mason Jr.

"1. BIG3 shows its legitimacy right away.

This league hasn’t even announced its full schedule or given us much of a preview of what its games will look like, yet it already has a national TV deal. That’s the power of marketing, between the awesome logosthe player commitments and the social media presence.

'Any time you’re a first-year league, and you’re able to sign with a broadcast partner like Fox, I think it speaks volumes to the players we have and to what this product is going to be on the court,' Mason said.

Hall of Famer Rick Barry, a coach in BIG3, told FTW last month that he knew this was different than all the bizarre, quickly defunct leagues he’d participated in. The TV deal cements that.

2. FS1 needs this audience.

Fox Sports missed the boat on NBA rights when ESPN and Turner paid crazy amounts of money to keep the expanding competitor out. Now, they hope to get basketball fans to tune in. But that’s just the obvious component. The demographic likely will skew young and diverse, as the NBA’s does. And that’s where the cross-promotion comes in; if BIG3 takes off, that could lead its viewers into other FS1 programming.

'For me, when I was a kid, 6 or 7 years old, that’s when I knew every player and was at the height of being a fan,' Mason said. 'As I got older and started playing, yeah, I knew the guys, but when I was young was when I really knew everything. Those 6- or 7-year-olds from 10 or 11 years ago, they’re 17 and 18 now. When they were younger, they were watching Iverson, they were watching Billups, they were watching a lot of the players that are in our league.'

3. Summer Monday nights needed this.

Basketball fans everywhere get the itch over the summer months. Sure, The Basketball Tournament has turned into a decent diversion, but its structure makes it difficult to keep track of the players and names involved, and its lack of a consistent TV presence is unwieldy. It’s a great promotion, but it’s more for the players than the fans to this point.

BIG3 went the opposite direction: Ice Cube built this league because he wanted to see it, as a fan. And anyone who gets sick of day after day of little more than baseball should be excited to at least see what BIG3 can offer on Monday nights. The fact that it’s not live action could be an impediment, but Mason sees it as a blessing, too.

'When we looked at, from a TV standpoint, Monday night prime time, sort of like what you have with Monday Night Football, we just thought the ability to have it on Mondays was just too good to pass up,' he said. 'So we’ll have the live element for people that go to the arenas, but that Monday night slot that we have with Fox Sports is really a big deal for us.'

4. This makes BIG3 even more attractive to ex-players.

Mason said he had conversations with and interest from ESPN and Turner Sports for rights to BIG3. But Fox Sports could be a good fit for more than simply game programming.

Many of the players in this league already are either in or trying to get into the broadcast world, and Fox Sports’ channels offer a lot of programming opportunity and not as much competition in terms of NBA analysts and personalities. Furthermore, whereas any deal with Turner likely would have heavily involved NBA TV, this platform is a bit broader.

'We expect a great partnership,' Mason said. 'Cube and (fellow league founder) Jeff Kwatinetz have been doing business with Fox and have some other shows on television, so there’s a relationship there. On the sports side, this game is going to be competitive. … We just think this is going to be a great deal for not only Fox Sports, but also for basketball fans who get to watch pros get back at it. Once people see these games, they’re going to be excited. And this is going to be the start of a lot of momentum for the BIG3.'

5. They better get this right.

FS1, with all of its recent shake-ups, needs a reason for viewers to find it on their dial.

BIG3 should be that, for a week. That first Monday night, with all the stars and promotion and the rest, should have enough hype to draw viewers who have never even watched FS1. But they’re not going to be loyal right away. How will FS1 handle the editing, to make it feel important even though the stakes are so vague and the action is pre-recorded? How will BIG3 handle its unique rules and player pool, so that play is clean and exciting? How will the players handle being competitive and entertaining and the same time?

In that sense, a deal with Turner would have been the safe route. But BIG3’s brief history hasn’t been about taking safe routes. This league isn’t even 6 months old and already has a national TV deal. Now everyone involved has to work to make sure this gamble pays off, for Fox Sports, BIG3 and all those hungry fans."