Thursday, August 21, 2014

Daytime TV: All-American Summer Concert

Country Singer Tyler Farr Takes the Fox & Friends Stage 1 Year After National TV Debut
Fox News

Fox & Friends' All-American Summer Concert Series presents American country singer Tyler Farr on Friday at 8am Eastern.

The chart-topping country singer is known for hit songs such as: “Whiskey in My Water” and “Redneck Crazy.” A 2014 Music Row “Breakthrough Artist of the Year” nominee, Tyler will perform his greatest hits and dish on his summer tour with Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line.

Preview: Inside the Actors Studio

Bravo's Inside the Actors Studio Pays Tribute to Robin Williams

James Lipton's long-running, respectful and insightful Inside the Actors Studio (Bravo, 8pm) today takes a look back at comedian-actor Robin Williams who committed suicide earlier this month. The show is rebroadcasting an episode from 2001 with Robin.

News: The View

ABC's Revamped The View Includes a New Set and a Social Media Station

ABC's daytime show The View (11am) is undergoing a major overhaul that now includes a new logo (left), an in-the-round studio at ABC Broadcast Center in New York City, plus an on-camera social media station where co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O'Donnell will interact with viewers, ABC announced this morning.

The show in recent weeks has ditched co-hosts Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy while creators Barbara Walters and executive producer Bill Geddie recently left the show, which debuted in 1997.

The View will continue to focus on viewpoints of women from various backgrounds and age groups. But the network also says the new View will have more in-depth discussions than the current version.

The new season begins Monday, Sept. 15.

Preview: Spark: A Burning Man Story

Inside California's Counter-Culture Celebration

Spark: A Burning Man Story (Showtime, 8pm) - A compelling behind-the-scenes look into the cultural phenomenon of Burning Man. Filmmakers Steve Brown and Jessie Deeter embed themselves with the cofounders, staff and a select group of artists and attendees to create an inside look at this magical happening and its ongoing evolution, the people who make it a reality, and the unique effect it has on all those who attend. 

Recap: So You Think You Can Dance

America is Getting Closer to Finding Its Favorite Dancer

Zack Everhart, Jessica Richens, Valerie Rockey and Ricky Ubeda are the Top Four finalists on So You Think You Can Dance, and move one step closer to becoming America’s Favorite Dancer.

After a dramatic vote on [last night’s] show, Casey Askew and Jacque LeWarne were eliminated. Also, Rixton performed their hit single, “Me and My Broken Heart.”

Next Wednesday (8pm) on Fox, the Top Four – Zack Everhart, Jessica Richens, Valerie Rockey and Ricky Ubeda – will be paired up with All-Star partners to perform for America’s votes, leading up to the highly-anticipated Season Finale airing Wednesday, Sept. 3 (8pm).

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Stats: Legends

Massive Playback Boosts Sean Bean Drama to 8 Million Viewers

Eight million viewers and counting have watched the premiere episode of TNT's new original series Legends (9pm). The drama starring Sean Bean has more than tripled the initial Live + Same Day audience for last Wednesday's premiere telecast, with viewers catching the show through their DVRs, VOD, digital on-demand and a pair of Saturday encores.

Legends is the latest series to join TNT's summer slate, which last week accounted for seven of basic cable's Top 10 dramas, with Major Crimes, Rizzoli & Isles and The Last Ship leading the pack.

"It's clear from the rapidly growing audience for Legends that the show has captured the attention of viewers," said Michael Wright, president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM).

Preview: Speed Kills

Smithsonian Nature Doc Captures the Kill Frame By Frame

If any cable network can claim to be unfairly under-loved, it's CBS-owned Smithsonian Channel, an often-great network that requires GPS to find it far down your list of 1,000-plus channels. Too bad, unless you stumble on it on your TV or online at where it streams some of its shows.

The not-so-well-named Speed Kills (8pm) kicks off its second season of up-close camera work that captures animals hunting down and capturing their furry meals. The new season begins with Speed Kills: Desert in the world's oldest desert, Africa's Namib.

Preview: America's Got Talent

America's Got Talent is Winding Down ... and Losing Wind In Its Sail

There's something about America's Got Talent (NBC, 8pm; 9pm) this summer that feels especially dragged out. Perhaps none of the show's quirky contestants has captured the country's attention, or heart. Its Nielsen rating among adults 18-49 last Wednesday fell to a series-low 1.8, based on live-plus-same-day ratings.

Or maybe, it's just that AGT now in its 100th or so season no longer feels fresh or new. Although, the show probably just isn't sexy enough. Head-to-head competitor Big Brother on CBS is doing well up against AGT with a 2.0 rating in that same 18-49 demographic.

Whatever the cause of the AGT malaise, it's possible the show can turn it around, and get America excited again. Tonight, AGT cuts down its finalists after a string of quarter-final episodes.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Review: Happy Valley

Outstanding and Already Renewed Brit Cop Drama Debuts Overnight on Netflix

Sarah Lancashire photo
It’s hard to do the show justice, honestly, based strictly on a description. But the characters are so sharply drawn and the situation so suspenseful that Netflix’s famous binge function will likely be put to good use here.

Already a success for BBC One, Happy Valley (Netflix) nearly runs out of gas before its final installment, but by then the plot has established enough wrinkles to carry across the finish line. And while many of the cast members will likely be unfamiliar on this side of the pond, the performances are first-rate from top to bottom, starting with [Sarah] Lancashire, who manages to convey toughness and vulnerability without drifting into cliché.

Keep reading.

Preview: Cleaners

Crackle's Girl-Powered Action Thriller is Pretty Good

Sony's streaming service Crackle has dramatically ramped up its credibility with original shows like Chosen and Jerry Seinfeld's thoroughly entertaining unscripted series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

That list of high-quality, well-made originals also includes the action-drama Cleaners, which kicks off its second season today.

Cleaners stars a long list of Hollywood names, including Gina Gershon, David Arquette, Emily Osment and Emmanuelle Chriqui.

This season begins with Emily's Roxie and Emmanuelle's Veronica on a Caribbean island where their plan to split $57 million is spoiled by Mother (Gina Gershon) and David's FBI agent turned off-the-books CIA agent.