The annual “upfront” presentations by the broadcast networks have been completed.
Last week, I passed along the verdicts from the network execs on shows that got cancelled. This week, we check in on the shows that made for excitement among advertisers and others — “upfront” is so named because the networks try to sell as much commercial time as they can “upfront” ahead of the start of the new season.
There will be more sitcoms. It’s logical, when done right sitcoms can be extremely lucrative and it happens to be a genre of programming that cable networks — whether it’s basic cable or the HBOs and Showtimes of the world — haven’t been as successful.
According to trade reports, though, the networks may be lowering the bar for the coming season, noting that some comedies that have been borderline ratings successes are coming back. Shows such as NBC’s “Whitney,” “Up All Night,” “Community” and “Parks and Rec” and ABC’s “Happy Endings” and “Don’t Trust the B---- in Apt. 23.”
CBS, which has had more success with sitcoms, didn’t keep any that weren’t ratings successes. And among the networks, CBS is the one that will introduce more new dramas than comedies in the fall.
If those who saw the fall presentations are an indication of potential success, two comedies that are getting some of the best reactions are NBC’s “Go On” starring Matthew Perry and “Partners,” which is CBS’ only new comedy.
“Go On,” which is scheduled to air at 8 p.m. Tuesdays on KVOA 4, has Perry as cocky sportscaster Ryan King who is required by his boss to join a support group. The backstory is that he just lost his wife in a car accident.
“Partners”, 7:30 p.m. Mondays on KOLD 13, is based on the lives of creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, who created “Will & Grace.” They’ve been long-time best friends and business partners but that relationship is tested when one gets engaged to be married.
At the other end of the spectrum, the comedy that appeared to get the least reaction — the trades called it an uncomfortable silence — was a show called “The Neighbors,” 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays following “Modern Family” on KGUN 9. It’s about a family that buys a home in a gated community in New Jersey only to find out their neighbors — all their neighbors in the community — are from the planet Zabvron where, among other things, men bear children and they cry green goo from their ears.
Another one that didn’t play well to the crowd was NBC’s “Guys with Kids,” 8 p.m. Wednesdays KVOA 4, about three 30-something dads trying to hold on to their youth. Jimmy Fallon is the executive producer.
New dramas that piqued curiosity include CBS’ “Vegas,” 9 p.m. Tuesdays on KOLD 13, starring Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis in a series based on the true story of former Las Vegas Sheriff Ralph Lamb, and ABC’s “666 Park Ave.,” 9 p.m. Sundays KGUN 9, about the residents of a New York building who’ve made a Faustian contract.
Series that will be returning in the fall, include:
• ABC (KGUN 9): Second-season renewals went out to “Last Man Standing,” “Suburgatory,” “Scandal,” “Once Upon a Time” and “Revenge” (in addition to the already noted “Don’t Trust the B---- in Apt. 23”.) Also returning will be “Body of Proof,” “The Middle,” “Modern Family,” “Castle,” “Private Practice,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Dancing With the Stars” and “The Bachelor.”
• CBS (KOLD 13): “2 Broke Girls,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Big Bang Theory,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Mike & Molly,” “The Amazing Race,” “Blue Bloods,” “Criminal Minds,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “CSI: NY,” “48 Hours Mystery,” “The Good Wife,” “Hawaii Five-O,” “The Mentalist,” “NCIS,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Person of Interest,” “Survivor” and “60 Minutes.”
• Fox (KMSB 11): “American Dad,” “American Idol,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “Bones,” “The Cleveland Show,” “Family Guy,” “Fringe,” “Glee,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “New Girl,” “Raising Hope,” “The Simpsons,” “Touch” and “The X Factor.”
• NBC (KVOA 4): “The Voice,” “Parenthood,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “30 Rock,” “The Office” and, in midseason, “Smash.”
• CW (KWBA 58): “Gossip Girl,” “Nikita,” “Hart of Dixie,” “America’s Next Top Model,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “90210” and “Supernatural.”
Names in news
Sean Mooney has been named a weekend co-anchor at KVOA 4, replacing Brandon Gunnoe who is off to Boston where he’ll be weekend anchor at WHDH, the NBC affiliate.
Mooney, a graduate of the University of Arizona, also spent time as an anchor in Boston, working at the CBS affiliate for a year before returning to Tucson in 2000. Mooney also has been a news anchorman in the New York market, working at WWOR. His career goes back to 1988 when he made a name for himself working as an announcer for WWF Wrestling. Since returning to Arizona Mooney has worked as a reporter and producer for Fox Sports Net and run his own production company. His brother is well-known Tucson commercial photographer, Chris Mooney.
Meanwhile, Gunnoe is moving on after a quick two years in Tucson. Coming from Fort Myers, Fla., where he had been a weekend anchor for four years, Gunnoe was first a co-anchor on KVOA’s early weekday morning program “Tucson Today” and then moved to the weekends in November 2011.
One other change at KVOA recently is the arrival of meteorologist John Patrick on the weekend newscasts replacing Chris Nallan, who has parted ways with the station and is apparently looking to pursue other opportunities, as they say. Patrick arrived in March from Yuma, where he was the chief meteorologist on the CBS affiliate. He’s a Phoenix native.
Now it can be told: KGUN 9 weekend sports anchor Jake Knapp is headed for Phoenix where he’s going to work at KPNX, the NBC station. The station revealed last month that Knapp was leaving after six years but wouldn’t say where he was headed. His last day on the air at KGUN is Sunday.
Contact David Hatfield at firstname.lastname@example.org or (520) 295-4237. Inside Tucson Media appears weekly.