Pretentiousness is not a lovable trait, and it’s great to see when a bit of comeuppance enters the picture. In the new sitcom A.P. Bio, Glenn Howerton is Jack Griffin, a Harvard philosophy scholar who is forced to return to Toledo, Ohio and work as an Advanced Placement biology teacher. Instead of working in the higher echelons of academia, Jack is now employed at Whitlock High School where he butts heads with students, faculty, and Principal Durbin (Patton Oswalt).
“When you see someone who thinks so highly of themselves get handled, you get a certain amount of pleasure watching that,” said Howerton.
That being said, having a lack of filter may be somewhat of an admirable quality. “It’s also fun to see a character who is all id,” adds Oswalt. “Whatever he is feeling in the moment, he lets you now. For all of the times in your life when you have to kind of hide (what you’re feeling) – you envy those people. Whatever they feel, they just let it go out. It’s pretty amazing.”
Click on the media bar to hear Howerton talk about how improvising helps enhance the quality of the show, even if many of those moments don’t make it in the final cut.
A.P. Bio premieres February 1 on NBC (9:30/8:30c).
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 Liars‘ Lucy 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.