More Fall TV I wanna see…

The 69th Annual Emmy Awards airs on CBS this Sunday, September 17th.  It’s my Superbowl. I’ll have my snacks and cheer loudly at the TV when someone I like wins.  I’ll hate most of the speeches, but some folks I will be rooting for are: Brian Tyree Henry, Titus BurgessNeal DeGrasse Tyson, Angela Bassett and Aziz Ansari for “Master of None” and Ron Cephas Jones.   If Leslie Jones wins for “SNL that would be amazing.

BET’s most recent try at a Late Night talk show, “The Rundown with Robin Thedeis executive produced by comedy veteran Chris Rock who knows a thing or two about producing a late night talk show. (remember Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell?) Thede is a comedian and was head writer on “The Nightly Show“, something few if any black women can say.  ‘The Rundown’ is described as a fast paced half hour look at the week’s headlines, celebrity news makers, social media buzz and pop culture trends.  I can’t say Thede stood out as a performer on “Nightly”. Perhaps comedian Mike Yard would have been a better choice to host The Rundown. We’ll see October 12th.

It was surprising when SNL fired Jay Pharoah after six years.  He quickly bounced back, landing the lead role in Showtime‘s new comedy “White Famous“.  Produced by Jamie Foxx, Pharoah plays young comedian Floyd Mooney, who must navigate tricky situations while staying true to himself and his credibility – as he strives for a career that makes him, in the words of his agent “white famous.”  Pharoah says he “connected immediately to the material”.  It premieres October 15th.

Craig Robinson guest starred on Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and I correctly guessed Fox would cast him in a new series. “Ghostedpremiering October 1st, is a paranormal buddy comedy, spoofing Sci-Fi shows like “The X Files”. Robinson plays a former detective turned mall security guard who is forcibly recruited to join the “Bureau Underground” and investigate unexplained activity.  Adam Scott co-stars as an astro-physics professor turned bookstore employee who becomes his partner.  Scott totally ruined the movie Hot Tub Time Machine II for me and I have a feeling he will ruin this show too.   I hope I’m wrong.

Shemar Moore returns to TV in a reboot of SWAT.  Premiering November 2nd, Moore explained to E News, “This is the same name from the ‘70s show, it’s the same theme song…Those are the only similarities…we’re taking on real life,” Moore said. “It’s just what’s happening today…It’s not just black vs. blue…it’s fear, racism, terrorism, subject matter of today.”   Honestly?  I see enough of that on the news.  I’ll be checking for how Shemar looks in that SWAT uniform.  Don’t judge me.

Fresh from “The Carmichael Show,  David Alan Grier hosts game showSnap Decision” on GSN and syndication. Contestants are asked to make snap judgements about three random strangers.  “Face Value” on BET has the same premise.   It’ll be interesting to see if both shows survive.  Meanwhile, Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios premieres “Funny You Should ask” featuring comedians who give hilarious answers to questions asked by contestants. Jon Kelly, formerly of Extra TV hosts.

Finally, congratulations to “United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell“, winning best unstructured reality program, at this weekend’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards. Dave Chappelle won his very first Emmy for hosting “SNL”  last November.  Bandleader/musician Rickey Minor won outstanding music direction Andre “RuPaul” Charles, for Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program and “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah won the Outstanding Short Form Variety Series Emmy.  





TV I’m looking forward to this fall

TV Guide’s annual Fall preview issue was a huge deal to me.  At my Gran Gran’s house, I would curl up in my uncle’s chair, read every page and write down which shows I planned to watch.  Below is some of what I am watching this fall.

CBS’s “Me, Myself and I” looks promising. It stars Bobby Moynihan from SNL and TV legend John Larroquette.  The secret weapon tho, is the return of Jaleel White. Yeah, he plays the stereotypical black best friend but I don’t care.  I have been waiting for him to be cast in a new comedy for years!  Now we can see him flex those comedic chops we know hes got.  I hope the writing doesn’t suck. The promos look good.

ABC’S The Mayor looks funny.  I think it’s because Yvette Nicole Brown stars in it. I truly enjoy her as a comedic actress. She plays mom to star Brandon Michael Hall’s character Courtney Rose, a young rapper who decides to run for mayor as a way to drum up publicity for his mixtape. He wins the election and hilarity ensues. Daveed Diggs of ABC’s “Blackish” and “Hamilton” fame is one of the Executive producers and writes original music for the show. Larry Wilmore is helping out on the writing team too!  He wrote for Blackish and helped Issa Rae bring Insecure to TV.  I smell a hit show….

I’m curious to see how Shonda Rimes is going to end ABC’S “Scandal“.  I stopped watching 2 seasons ago when Olivia moved in to the White House with Fitz and other ridiculous stuff started happening. What happened to the smart, feisty independent woman Oliva Pope was?   Hopefully Shonda will pull Scandal from the abyss of ridiculousness so it can go out with the respect it deserves.

I’m also wondering how CBS’s “Hawaii 50” plans to explain the departures of original cast members Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park.  They boldly asked to be paid comparably to the stars of the show and left the series when denied.  I cared more about their characters than stars Scott Caan and Alex O’Loughlin.

I’ve wondered where actor Cress Williams has been.  He played the ex-football playing Mayor on the CW’s “Hart of Dixie“, but many know him as “Scooter” Kadijah’s boyfriend on “Living Single”. Well folks, he is the star of CW’s “Black Lightning”. Produced by Mara Brock Akil, and Salim Akil, “Black Lightning” is a superhero who comes out of retirement to fight for justice.  It premieres mid season, and will definitely be on my watch list.

Fellow Chicagoan Deon Cole is killing the TV game right now with 4 shows!  This fall he brings his hilarious “Blackish” alter ego, Charlie to Freeform‘s “Grownish” starring Yara Yashidi.  It follows Dre and Bow’s oldest daughter Zoe at college. Charlie is an adjunct marketing professor at the school.   That alone is a reason to watch.

Cole is also hosting BET’s “Face Value”. Executive produced by comedian Wanda Sykes, Face Value is a game show where contestants answer questions about people based on nothing but their appearance. Tiffany Haddish formerly of The Carmichael Show and breakout star of the movie “Girls Trip ” co-hosts.  BET hasn’t had any success with game shows but this one might be a keeper.

Keenan Thompson is developing a kids sketch show for Nickolodeon. According to Deadline Hollywood, “Skoogle” will feature Thompson as the voice of  the titular Skoogle, an Siri/Alexa-like digital assistant for kids, created to help with their daily problems. Along with his cast of kid entrepreneur inventors, Skoogle will satirize everything from service apps to streaming entertainment to social media.  This seems like fun.

There is more…much more…stay tuned.




Stuff that’s just wrong…

The fact that Liquid Plumber thinks the only way to sell us their product is to show us random ass cracks.  No.  It’s just wrong.

Somebody at CBS thought Candy Crush would be a good night time game show.  Um…no. That’s wrong too.

Comedy Central used to be the place where you could catch a comedy special or three on Saturday night.  That’s where I saw Katt Williams for the first time as well as Charlie Murphy, Bill Burr and other comedians out there on the circuit.  Now Comedy Central is chock full of classic comedy movies (how many times are they going to rerun “Coming to America“?)  or recent movies that flopped at the box office (see Joe Dirt II).  It’s boring and it’s wrong people.  Bring back stand-up on Saturday night Comedy Central!

Steve Harvey is on TV all day every friggin day and it needs to stop!  There are other talented comedians capable of hosting shows.  Over saturation of any personality is WRONG!

The fact that after a year, Larry Wilmore is not back on TV with another talk show. There is nothing like “The Nightly Show” on air right now. This is WRONG.

BET’s “The New Edition Story” was not nominated for any kind of Emmy.  That’s sooooo WRONG!

Those Twix candy bar commercials where you’re asked to choose between left Twix and right Twix.  WTF??? It’s just a candy bar!  Eat it and move on people!

Why did Dos Equis beer replace the original “Most Interesting Man In The World” ? When did he suddenly become uninteresting?  What is the criteria? Replacing him was wrong.  I need answers.

Tyra Banks as host of America’s Got Talent is wrong.  I’m sorry but she adds no excitement to the festivities.  Marlon Wayans would have been great.  He’s silly, zany and can react to performers comically.

I’ve tried to accept Mr. Clean’s new image. But seriously, Mr. Clean saucily shaking his well muscled booty while mopping the floor?  It just feels wrong to me.  Isn’t there supposed to be some kind of mention about getting rid of dirt, grime and grease?  

Finally, Samuel L. Jackson singing “Let’s Stay Together” on those Capital One commercials is ALL KINDS OF WRONG! RevAl Green is still alive and I bet he is shaking his fist (full of dollars, I hope) at the TV every time that commercial airs. Why Capital One?  Whyyyyy?

Summer TV Salad

Summer TV is usually a salad of shows that got cancelled during the past season or are being tried out to see if it can find an audience.

For example, Doubt is currently being burned off on CBS on Saturday nights.   It stars Dule Hill, Laverne Cox and Katherine Heigl.   The show had potential until they put Heigl in the cast.

The Carmichael Show came back in July and NBC totally squandered the opportunity to keep it on the network. Critics gushed over its social relevancy and how creator and star Jerrod Carmichael was influenced by TV icon Norman Lear. The show touched on timely and relevant issues specific to the black community. Then it went on hiatus for so long that I asked TV critic Matt Roush if it was ever coming back. Carmichael leaked the news that he and NBC couldn’t come to an agreement so, it wasn’t coming back.   I knew NBC would drop the ball on this.  I mean, they gave Tamron Hall’s spot to Megan Kelly even though Tamron’s ratings were solid.  What replaced Carmichael?  The embarrassingly stereotypical “Marlon” starring Marlon Wayans and Essence Atkins.

Speaking of embarrassing, what is going on over at the Centric network?  They branded themselves as “the only multi platform that celebrates the diverse and beautiful world of black women”.  Yet the content of their programming is a showcase of crappy reality shows (see “From The Bottom Up”) and ratchet, poorly written sitcoms.  Who is watching “Beauty and The Baller“?  Black women are more than arm pieces for basketball players or former felons starting over.  A lot of women are home on Saturday nights. The OWN network found success programming wholesome reality shows focusing on every day issues like raising kids and climbing out of debt.  Since OWN is moving more into premium thoughtful dramas, Centric can take the wholesome reality genre and run.

After a disastrous run on ABC’s The View, actress Raven Symone is back on the Disney Channel with “Raven’s Home“.  A continuation of her hit series That’s so Raven, she’s divorced with two kids, one of whom shares the same psychic powers as she.  It’s wholesome family fun.

I really loved Jennifer Lopez’s “World Of Dance” and was in awe of dancers Les Twins.  Their ability to show enormous emotion coupled with dance moves so unique, they left me breathless.  There was no question they would win the 1 million dollars.

Lastly, ABC’s Bachelorette with Rachel whatever her name is, was a hot mess as always. Oh, you thought it would suddenly make sense because it was a black lady? Ha!  That was time you’ll never get back.

Emmy nominations and other stuff…

Ron Cephas Jones of NBC’s This Is Us was nominated for an Emmy as Best Supporting Actor in a drama for his heartfelt portrayal of William Hill, the biological father of Randall played by Sterling K. Brown.  I’m also happy to see Brian Tyree Henry  nominated for his performance as William’s cousin during that pivotal “Memphis” episode.  But why didn’t OWN’s Queen Sugar get a single nomination?  Not one for Kofi Siriboe’s  Ralph Angel? Tina Lifford’s Aunt Vi definitely deserved a nod.   I was disappointed Issa Rae’s HBO series “Insecure” wasn’t nominated but not surprised.  W. Kamau Bell of CNN’s “United Shades of America” is also nominated in the same category as Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart of “Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party”.  Does that make any sense to you?     Alec Baldwin is nominated in this category for ABC’s “Match Game and last year’s winner RuPaul Charles is nominated for VH1’s “Drag Race“.

I’m also not surprised that Trevor Noah‘s Daily Show wasn’t nominated.  After a shaky start, Noah finally got his sea legs and The Daily Show is just as relevant as topical as ever.  But John Oliver’sLast Week Tonight” on HBO is the one to beat”.   “SNL’s” Leslie Jones was nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series but I don’t understand how.  Every time I see her she is portraying a variation of the stereotypical, loud, desperate for a man, black woman.   Jones has more range than that, I believe.  Shout out to “Orange is the New Black’s” Uzo Abuba, Samira Wiley of “The Handmaid’s Tale and Thandie Newton of “Westworld” for their nominations as well.

What kind of foolery was ABC engaged in when they decided Mike Myers would be the best choice to host “The Gong Show” as fictional character Tommy Maitland?  Why does Myers think we are interested in his tired obsession with weird British characters?  You know who would be a better host?  Radio host and reality TV star Ricky Smiley.   Smiley has been around a long time hosting shows on BET.  I never liked his comedy but he has the perfect sort of zaniness needed for The Gong Show.   Oh, and Candy Crush should not be a game show!

I’m sad that The Carmichael Show was cancelled but again, not surprised.  I knew its days were numbered because it took NBC a year to put it back on the air and the show openly discussed sensitive topics from an African American perspective.  Instead, we’re getting The Marlon Wayans show later this summer.  The promos look promising.

Also promising is TBS’sThe Guest Book“.  Created by Greg Garcia who also gave us “My Name Is Earl”.  This quirky comedy is about  the lives of employees who work at a small town hotel and the visitors who rent cottages in the area.  The promos for the show are funny.   I love a quirky, well written comedy and The Guest Book looks like it will fit the bill.    It premieres August 2nd and I will be watching.




Catty, Soapy, Summer TV

Have you seen Niecy Nash in the new TNT series “Claws”?  She looks fantastic. When I heard this show was going to be set in a nail salon, I thought Niecy was going to be stuck playing a stereotypical sassy black woman. Boy was I wrong. Her character, Desna is sassy but she is also calculating and ambitious. Claws flips the script and tells the story of five nail technicians who enter the traditionally male world of organized crime when they begin laundering money for a neighboring pain clinic.  I enjoyed it. The criminals she works with are so misogynistic and hedonistic that I wanted to spray myself with disinfectant whenever they were on screen. Watch the last scene of episode one and tell me Niecy Nash shouldn’t be an Emmy nominee this year.  She’s so believable in this role.  Judy Reyes formerly of Devious Maids and Scrubs blew me away with her portrayal of “Quiet Ann”, a lesbian who provides security for the salon and carries on a secret hookup with one of the regulars. The supporting cast includes Jack Kesy who is so sleazy and gross as Roller, I felt like I needed to bathe every time he appeared on screen. I recommend Claws highly.

Daytime Divas premiered on VH1 starring my shero, Vanessa Williams.  She plays Maxine, the moderator and creator of the talk show, “The Lunch Hour”.  This show is an adaptation of Star Jones’  book “Satans Sisters” about what went on behind the scenes  at “The View”.  I had such high hopes for this show. It’s supposed to be a satire but the writers clearly have no idea how to write that.  They got veteran comedic actress Tichina Arnold  co-starring as Mo, the brash, outspoken comedian, McKinley Freeman, from “Hit The Floor” as Andrew, Maxine’s son and Norm Lewis who plays the doorman at the TV station and Maxine’s husband. The pilot episode was chock full of backstabbing, illicit hookups and stilted dialog.     I thought the second episode would be better but the plot feels so over the top and  inauthentic.  There is absolutely no chemistry between Andrew and Nina, who is also a co-host on “The Lunch Hour”.  Overall, there is too much story and the writing is weak.  Hopefully it will stabilize soon.

Nashville is back for its fifth season on CMT and the new show runners have managed to ruin what was once a decent nighttime soap about the world of Country Music.  I knew Connie Britton was leaving but damn!, Did they have to kill her character Rayna? She was the heart of the show!  Now, it’s one big mess.  Scarlett is pregnant by some British dude who is so random, I’m wondering where he came from!  And, in an attempt to add some diversity to the show, Rayna’s daughter Maddie is dating Clay, a young black musician she meets while an intern at Highway 65. And surprise! he gets pulled over by the cops with her in the car and SURVIVES! *Facepalm* What have they done to my show?

I’m looking forward to watching Freeform’s “The Bold Type” which stars Katie Stevens, Aisha Dee and Meghann Fahy as young employees trying to climb the fashion magazine ladder at the fictional Scarlet magazine. The promos look interesting though I only saw 3 persons of color in the entire spot.  Well, at least that’s authentic.  “The Bold Type” premieres July 11th.

Love Connection is back!

I admit it.  I watched Love Connection with Chuck Woolery back in the 80’s.  I’d shout at the screen “naw girl,  Don’t pick him” and laughed at the cheesy banter.  Well it’s back on Fox with Andy Cohen hosting.  I gotta say, Cohen’s an excellent choice to host this show.  I don’t know if I’m going to watch this though.  I just suffered thru two episodes of that horrible Ellen DeGeneres dating show “First Dates“.

I tried to watch the new season of ABC’S The Bachelorette.  Yeah, yeah she’s black and some of the guys are cute but gaaaah!  The insipid dialog and vapid characters made me want to poke my eyes out.  Instead, I changed the channel.  Angie Tribeca is on TBS and its waaay funnier.

Jamie Foxx comes back to TV as a host of the new game show “Beat Shazam“!  Shazam is an app that can identify songs. I’m intrigued.  Contestants play against each other in a race against the clock to guess the name of popular songs.  The ones with the best time go up against the app for cash and prizes.  It’s “Name That Tune“2.0”!

The Gong Show is also coming back this summer on ABC.  I have no idea who host Tommy Maitland is but I hope he is as zany and silly as dearly departed Chuck Barris.  I loved that dude.  His energy made you feel like you were at a crazy party with weird people and having a great time.  That’s what the Gong Show is about.

The UP Network has a new show called”Date My Dad” premiering in June.  It’s a comedy starring Barry Watson from the old WB network show “7th Heaven”, with Raquel Welch as his mother. Yep. 1960’s sex symbol  Raquel Welch.   The title of this show “Date My Dad”, got me wondering…what if “The Bachelor” was a bit older, mature, physically fit and hot?  And his daughters helped him choose the women? You know they’ve all got baggage! I’d watch that!  I don’t know what kind of shennanigans you can make mature people do but it would be immensely entertaining to see.