That’s a Wrap: The Week in TV News

Get your pencils and erasers ready. Most of the major networks revealed the fates of their series this week, so we’ll start with the renewals.

– ABC’s Modern Family received a two-year renewal that will keep it around through Season 10. Meanwhile, the alphabet net has re-upped Black-ish for its fourth season. Fellow Wednesday block comedy The Goldbergs has been renewed for seasons five and six, while a spinoff centering on Bryan Callen‘s gym teacher Rick Mellor is reportedly in contention for a spot on the schedule. The Tuesday night sitcom American Housewife has been picked up for a second season. In non-sitcom renewals, ABC will bring back Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for a fifth season and the Kiefer Sutherland-starring Designated Survivor for a second season.

– Also at ABC, TV Line is reporting that Scandal will return to the schedule, but that its upcoming seventh season will be its last. And Once Upon a Time will also return for a seventh season, but will undergo a cast overhaul. Jennifer Morrison will not return as a series regular, while the contracts of other Once cast members are reportedly up and need to be renegotiated. Morrison will reportedly return for at least one episode to wrap up her story, and Rebecca Mader has revealed that she won’t return.

– Over at NBC, freshman sitcom Great News has performed well enough in a short run to be picked up for Season 2. The first season wraps on May 23. The peacock also renewed the James Spader-starring The Blacklist for a 22-episode fifth season, though The Blacklist: Redemption didn’t survive. And while ratings dropped on a new night, NBC will continue Blindspot for a third season. It’s mostly good news if you have “Chicago” in your show’s title as Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med will be back, though freshman series Chicago Justice remains in limbo. Also in limbo is the long-running Dick Wolf-created series Law & Order: SVU. NBC are also banking on their Taken adaptation, giving the marginally successful freshman series a second season with 16 episodes, up from the 10 produced for its first year run.

– There’s not a lot of movement for the CW. iZombie has been picked up for Season 4, while The Originals will be back for a fifth season.

– Meanwhile, over on the cable networks, Starz has already picked up American Gods for a second season after two strong airings for the adaptation of Neil Gaiman‘s novel. TV Line reports the second season will consist of at least eight episodes and will likely premiere in mid-2018.

– Netflix has given the green light for a second season of 13 Reasons Why. The 13-episode second season will premiere in 2018.

While all of those series can breathe a little easier, fate was not kind for several shows on the bubble. Here’s a rundown of those on the chopping block:

– ABC pulled the plug on Friday night sitcoms Last Man Standing and Dr. Ken. In fact, comedy was no laughing matter at ABC as The Real O’Neals and Imaginary Mary also got the axe. The critically hailed drama American Crime and investigative drama Secrets and Lies also ended up on the chopping block, as did the Shonda Rhimes series The Catch and the freshman series Notorious.

– FOX has dropped sophomore series Rosewood and the supernatural drama Sleepy Hollow from their schedule moving forward. Sunday comedies Making History and Son of Zorn both got cut as well, as did the futuristic cop drama APB.

– “Less” is actually less at NBC. The peacock announced that time travel drama Timeless and superhero-related sitcom Powerless will not return next year.

– Two of the lowest rated series on network television – Frequency and No Tomorrow – were both axed over at the CW.

American Idol is on its way back, but on a different network. ABC reportedly outbid FOX to revive the singing competition. The judge panel has yet to be announced, but there’s talk that new Live With Kelly and Ryan co-host Ryan Seacrest might reprise his role as Idol’s host for the network.

Though American Idol is coming back to the airwaves, two former Idol favorites will find themselves in spinning red chairs on The Voice. NBC has announced that Jennifer Hudson and Miley Cyrus will join Blake Shelton and Adam Levine for the fall 2017 cycle, while Kelly Clarkson will be one of two new coaches during the spring 2018 cycle.

NBC has given the green light to Good Girls, starring Mae Whitman and Retta. TV Line reports that the role of the third mother, played in the pilot by Kathleen Rose Perkins, is being recast. The show centers on three financially challenged suburban moms who contemplate robbing the local supermarket.

ABC has given a series order to a still-untitled comedy starring Zach Braff from Matt Tarses. Deadline reports Braff will star as a radio journalist and family man who quits his job and goes into business for himself.

The CW has done well with comic adaptations, and they’re hoping to continue that streak with Black Lightning. Hart of Dixie star Cress Williams has been cast in the title role and the network has given it a series order. Also new at the CW is Life Sentence, starring Pretty Little LiarsLucy Hale as a woman diagnosed with terminal cancer who lives life to the fullest, only to realize later she was misdiagnosed and must now deal with the decisions made when she thought she was dying.

FXX are reportedly planning an animated Deadpool series with Atlanta creator Donald Glover on board as one of the producers. Dark Horizons reports that the 10-episode first season will debut in 2018.

HBO have given the green light to My Dinner With Herve, a TV movie based on Sacha Gervasi‘s story about a past meeting between a struggling journalist and Fantasy Island star Herve Villechaize. Deadline reports that Jamie Dornan will play the journalist, while Peter Dinklage has signed on to play Villechaize.

FX have announced a July 5 start date for the new John Singleton-produced series Snowfall. The show, set in Los Angeles circa 1983, chronicles the start of the crack epidemic. The network has also given a July 16 premiere for the fourth and final season of The Strain.

The Duplass Brothers will see their anthology series Room 104 premiere on HBO on July 28. The comedy is set in a single room in an average American hotel with the visitors providing the story each week. Philip Baker Hall, Melonie Diaz, Keir Gilchrist, Orlando Jones, Tony Todd, James Van Der Beek, Mae Whitman, Natt Wolff and more are among the actors “checking in.”

Showtime have ordered a comedy series based on the Sundance-winning short film SMILF. The show stars Mr. Robot‘s Frankie Shaw as a Boston single mother dealing with an oblivious mother (Rosie O’Donnell) and a continually chaotic work and social life. The 10-episode first season will air this fall.

Fox has given a series order for The Resident, a medical drama starring The Good Wife‘s Matt Czuchry and Revenge‘s Emily Van Camp.

The CW will reboot the ’80s prime-time soap Dynasty. TV Line reports that Gossip Girl creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage will oversee Dynasty 2.0, which offers a modernized version and more racially diverse adaptation of the war between two wealthy families. Grant Show, Elizabeth Gillies, Nathalie Kelley, James Mackay, Alan Dale and more have been cast.

NBC has given a series order to A.P. Bio. TV Line reports that the series is being executive produced by Mike O’Brien, Lorne Michaels and Seth Meyers, with It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s Glenn Howerton starring as Jack, a philosophy professor who misses out on his dream job and gets stuck teaching high school biology. But rather than accept his situation, he decides to use his brainy students for his own purposes. Patton Oswalt, Lyric Lewis, Mary Sohn and Vanessa Bayer co-star.

USA Network will revive Psych for a two-hour holiday movie. TV Line reports that stars James Roday and Dule Hill will be joined by Maggie Lawson, Corbin Bernsen, Kirsten Nelson and Timothy Omundson in Psych: The Movie, which centers on an investigation when a mystery assailant comes after one of their own.

Showtime is reportedly close to signing off on Escape at Clinton Correctional, from Ben Stiller. Benicio Del Toro and Patricia Arquette are attached to star, with Stiller directing the eight-episode series. The show is based upon a prison break in upstate New York in 2015 that spawned a massive manhunt for two convicted murderers who were aided by a married female prison employee.

Tiffany Haddish will star opposite Tracy Morgan in a still untitled comedy series for TBS. The show centers on Morgan, who after being released from prison on good behavior, returns home to find he now lives in a gentrified neighborhood. Haddish is his former girlfriend, who has transformed from a tough girl to a refined socialite now married to a white guy.

‘American Idol’ Might Be Singing A New Tune: ‘Back To Life’

NUP_172800_1478.JPGGet ready for… “The Walking Idol”?  Well, not exactly.  You won’t see zombies singing on TV.  But you might see American Idol brought back from the dead.

Yes, although Idol’s 15-season run on Fox ended a couple years ago, Variety reports that NBC is in talks with producer Fremantle to revive the show that made household names out of previously-unknown artists like Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Chris Daughtry.  Working in NBC’s favor: The network runs another Fremantle show, America’s Got Talent,  featuring one of Idol’s original judges, the irascible Simon Cowell. And many believe that if the show is resurrected by NBC, the network would want Cowell to return to the judges’ panel.  To Cowell, though, the idea of life after death for Idol must be mind-blowing, considering that he never thought the show would make it past its first few episodes!  (Click on the media bar below to hear Simon Cowell)

Is an American Idol encore a good idea? Would you watch? And which judges would you bring back for the revival?  Tell us your thoughts!

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Posted by: Susan Brown

‘American Idol’ Winner Trent Harmon “Blessed” With “Real Deal” Experience


Trent Harmon is the final winner of American Idol, and for the 25-year-old it’s been quite a run. The powerhouse singer, who’s made ends meet as a waiter in Mississippi, beat out La’Porsha Renae for the crown, and was obviously thankful for the honor.

“(American Idol) is a machine that pumps out superstars,” said Harmon. “I’m just blessed to be able to have that opportunity to maybe go be one. Idol is the real deal. You may not like Idol. You may laugh at it, whatever you want to do, it doesn’t matter. There’s a stage full of people today that can put that (notion) to bed.”

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest, who described the finale as “overwhelming,” talked about saying goodbye to one of the most high profile jobs on television. “Even though I’ll be busy and I have to go to work in the morning, nothing will ever be like this,” said Seacrest. “This has been the most amazing launching pad for me personally and for so many of us and for that I’ll always be grateful and it’ll never be replaceable.”

Click on the media bar below to hear Harmon talk about what he thought about seconds before his name was announced as the winner of American Idol:

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Trent Harmon Has “Game Face” For ‘American Idol’ Finale


Tonight’s American Idol finale will have a Mississippi feel, as Amory’s Trent Harmon and McComb’s La’Porsha Renae are vying for the AI crown. Though Renae has been favored all season to win it all, Harmon had a standout showing last night thanks to his coronation song “Falling,” a bluesy tune penned by AI judge Keith Urban, Dallas Davidson, and Brett James.

“First of all, I love my friends,” said Harmon. “I love Dalton Rapattoni to death so I was really sad for about three seconds. Then I was like, ‘you know what, this is competition, I’m going to war.’ Not so much against La’Porsha (but) it’s time to get your game face on. I’m a ball player (and) I go in with that mindset of ‘It’s time to go to the mound’ and ‘It’s time to go to work.’

Whether or not he wins the American Idol crown, Trent Harmon aims to continue to stay focused on his career and follow his own voice no matter what the cost. Click on the media bar below to hear Harmon talk about being compared to Kelly Clarkson and life after American Idol:

Check out the American Idol finale tonight on FOX (8 pm et/pt).

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

‘American Idol’ Singer MacKenzie Bourg Ready To “Go To Work”


Even though MacKenzie Bourg was eliminated last night on American Idol, he is not going to sulk in the corner and lick his wounds. Instead, he sees this experience as an important part of his music journey, and he’s ready to forge ahead.

“I’m just kind of ready to go to work and get to the real part of what makes the people that get kicked off successful,” said Bourg, who performed the Leonard Cohen track ‘Halleluhjah’ on the show. “A lot of people spend a lot of time just moping on themselves – I don’t have any interest in doing that. I’m just ready to get the ball rolling and get music out.”

Bourg also adds that he had an instinct that he feels “really good” about his entire American Idol experience and he’ll take those lessons to heart. Click on the media bar below to hear MacKenzie Bourg talk about what he’s learned throughout his run on American Idol.

Catch American Idol on Tuesday, April 5 (FOX, 8 pm et/pt).

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi