Sunday, September 29, 2013

Masters of Sex Series Premiere Review: "Pilot" - The Power of Sex

Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan shine in "Masters of Sex"
In my other life I’m a mild-mannered librarian.  In that role, a few years ago I served on the Kansas Notable Books committee, helping to select the dozen or so most influential books of the year that were either about Kansas, set in Kansas, or written by a Kansas author.  One of those books was Radiating Like a Stone, a collection of essays about working women in Wichita, Kansas in the 1970s.  One of the stories in particular struck me.  It was from a woman who had applied to the University of Kansas Medical School in 1975.  She was a little older than most other students, having already married and had two children.  As she sat before the admissions committee for her interview, they asked her only three questions:  “What does your husband think about this?  What are you going to do with your children?  And what was your role when you worked at Planned Parenthood?” 

I’m a child of the eighties.  I grew up with two working parents.  Most of my friends had two working parents.  The idea that ten years after the Civil Rights Act people would still have these very vocal negative conceptions of women in the workplace floored me but also sparked an interest in the stories of working women in the middle of the century.  For example, Don Draper may be the star of Mad Men, but it’s Peggy Olson whose story most grabs me.  She, and others like her, were the agents of change in the sixties.  They just didn’t know it yet.

So when Virginia Johnson walks up to the registrar, needing to sign up for classes in order to validate the lie she’s told Bill Masters about her interest in the sciences, and the registrar sneers and suggests her time would be better spent at home caring for her children, I just smiled, nodded my head, and set my DVR to record every episode.

A lot of people are going to focus on the sex, or on the science of Masters of Sex.  But what I see is the story of woman who is decades ahead of her time.  Virginia Johnson is a divorced mother of two who has decided to leave the world of night club performing for a job as a secretary in the obstetrics department at Washington University in St. Louis.  There she meets William Masters, a world-renowned obstetric surgeon with an intense academic and personal interest in the mechanics and physiology of sex.  It’s based on a true story, and a book of the same name. 

What’s funny is that, while Masters of Sex is based on the true story of Masters and Johnson, the story of these two, who will eventually publish their seminal research on sex, has largely been ignored outside of scientific circles.  If you asked random people on the street, many of them will likely recognize the names of Sigmund Freud and Alfred Kinsey, but unless you’ve studied Masters and Johnson in school, their work and names have likely passed you by. 

I’m kind of glad that I didn’t know much about the two coming into this show because watching their relationship and their research develop is incredibly fascinating.  We first see Masters bowing out of an awards function with a perfunctory acceptance speech so that he can hide in a prostitute’s closet, timing her orgasms.  It’s her confession to faking said orgasms, suggestion that he needs a female partner, and Johnson’s explanation for why women “fake it”, that brings her to Masters’s attention. 

Michael Sheen is fantastic as Bill Masters, but Lizzy Caplan is just unreal in the role of Virginia Johnson.  Her sexual liberty fascinates him most, given his own cold, practical sex life.  Caplan is given the most to do in the premiere episode as we see her acclimate to academic life and develop a relationship with one of the other doctors in the department.  We don’t get to actually see much of that relationship, but I think that’s for a reason, as it shows exactly how she feels about it.  She cares about Dr. Haas, she very clearly sees theirs as a physical relationship, while he ends up wanting more. 

As the title implies, there is a good deal of sex in Masters of Sex.  But what surprised and delighted me is how the sex is not presented only for prurient interests but actually has narrative importance.  Some shows (*cough,* True Blood and Boardwalk Empire) use their sex scenes only to titillate.  That’s not really the case here.  The first sex scene we get is between Masters and his wife Libby (Caitlin Fitzgerald), and it is clearly designed to show how mechanical and purposeful their sex life is.  There is no nudity and they have sex in one position, the position most likely to result in conception.  Their sex is perfunctory, with absolutely no pleasure derived.  Hell, Masters doesn’t even bother to take off his shirt and tie.  Johnson, on the other hand, engages in a far more pleasurable act of love-making which, let’s just say is extremely unlikely to result in conception.

These two scenes perfectly lay out the characters’ views on sex.  For Masters, sex is about procreation so the idea that a woman would fake receiving pleasure from the act is completely foreign to him.  We even see that he and his wife sleep in separate beds, implying that spontaneous sex isn’t even a consideration.  For Johnson, sex is only about pleasure.  Sex and love are two completely different ideas for her and the latter is not a prerequisite for the former. 

As I said, Johnson is a woman ahead of her time, ready for the sexual liberation movement of the late 60s and 1970s but stuck in the 1950s of Sally Homemaker.  I don’t know what will happen to her moving forward, but I’m fascinated to see her story develop.

I’ve been crying into the wilderness lately, raging against the idea that we are at the end of a Golden Age of Television all because the last great male antihero dramas are ending.  I don’t buy that argument because what we’ve seen in the last few years is an explosion of very good (if not completely great) dramas centered on women or a man and woman as professional partners.  Homeland, Top of the Lake, The Americans, Broadchurch, and The Bridge all fit those model, as do many others.  They may not all be as great as were The Sopranos, The Wire, or Breaking Bad, but the quantity of very good shows is far higher than it has been at any point in the last decade.  It’s still very early, but Masters of Sex shows every indication that it will join that group, if not lead it.

A couple of spare thoughts –

As I mentioned, there’s a lot of nudity and sex outside of the main characters’ sex lives, but any sex scene not involving Lizzy Caplan just felt mechanical and clinical, not exciting in any way.  This is not a complaint, mind you, but a compliment, since I'm sure that was exactly the point.

If mid-twentieth century feminism isn’t your thing, there’s a mid-twentieth century racial storyline as well.

“What does a blowjob mean?  What are you, a girl?”

“Bill Masters has yet to devise a baby guaranteed to arrive during business hours.  But mark my words, he will.”

So thoughts?  Comments?  Just want to tell me my blog sucks?  Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @TyTalksTV.

Tyler's Weekly Rating Roundup - Week ending September 29, 2013

I love television ratings.  I love what they tell us about individual shows, the networks, and the industry in general.  My intention with this weekly article is to take a look at the week in ratings and prognosticate about their future and the health of each network.  Trying to predict renewals or cancelations based on one week’s worth of data is usually a fool’s errand, so in this first week we’ll take more of a macro view of things.  Ratings presented here are the Adults 18-49 rating, which represents the percentage of adults between 18 and 49 watching a particular program.  We’ll go network by network starting with:
"Sleepy Hollow" has been the one real bright spot for Fox thus far
So last week, I wrote an essay predicting dire things for Fox if they can’t keep The X-Factor and American Idol from dropping.  Well, one week into the new season and Fox is in trouble.  The network is down almost 17% in same-day ratings from last season, and there’s no one show to blame.  Only Sleepy Hollow is up over last year, drawing a 3.1 A18-49 rating for its second episode, more than doubling The Mob Doctor’s rating from a year ago. 

While Sleepy Hollow is a genuine hit, it alone is incapable of stemming the bleeding from the rest of the Fox schedule.  Fellow Monday show, Bones, which is slated to shuffle off to Friday nights in a few weeks, is down 17% from a year ago.  The entire Tuesday night lineup, a particular cause for concern in 2012-13, is down more than 30%, though it should be noted that Fox debuted every show but Glee a week early this year.  Finally, the network’s fall anchor, The X-Factor, is in free fall, dropping almost 40% from premiere week last year. 

There are a few caveats to be made here.  As I said, we’re comparing Fox’s second week this year against its premiere week in 2012.  This may not seem like a big deal, but season (or series) premieres almost always rate higher than the following weeks’ episodes.  For example, Fox’s ratings fell 11% from Week One to Week Two last fall.  If we compare this week’s ratings against the network’s second week ratings from 2012, Fox is down only 6% overall, still not great, particularly for The X-Factor, but at least salvageable. 

I expect these variances to balance out over the course of the season, and Fox does still have the Super Bowl and NFC Championship Game, which will provide it with a huge ratings boost, but the network that lead the charts for almost a decade until last season is now in danger of falling to third place.

Fox program averages (2.19 network average):
Sleepy Hollow – 3.30
New Girl – 2.50
The X-Factor – 2.23
Brooklyn Nine-Nine – 2.20
Bones – 2.1
Glee- 2.0
Dads – 1.85
The Mindy Project – 1.70

Can "The Voice" carry NBC to a ratings title?
It looks like Robert Greenblatt can start preparing another mic-dropping speech for January Press Tour.  After a fall that saw NBC’s ratings up 25% from 2011 to 2012, the peacock network is up another 25% in the first week of 2013.  Now, the same caveat I applied to Fox’s ratings I apply here in reverse.  NBC debuted many of its shows early last year, trying to capitalize on the Olympics.  As such, while The Voice and Revolution, NBC’s two biggest shows of the fall, were in their second weeks at this point last season, The Voice premiered this week with four hours and The Blacklist debuted as well.

Even after tempering the enthusiasm a bit, it’s still nothing but good news for NBC.  The Voice is up over its dominating fall premiere ago, settling in behind only Sunday Night Football and The Big Bang Theory as the highest-rated shows on television.  Chicago Fire got a huge bump from airing after The Voice and could turn into a legitimate hit if it’s good enough to earn those ratings.  Even ancient stalwart SVU was up almost 30% for its two-hour season premiere.  And the two dramas that had soft launches, Revolution and Parenthood, still performed significantly better than the shows occupying their timeslots last year.

The one problem that remains on NBC’s schedule is the Thursday night comedy lineup.  Parks and Recreation debuted to a disastrous 1.3 rating, while The Michael J Fox show drew a 2.2 for its one-hour premiere.  Now, that rating isn’t terrible, it’s actually right on par with what The Office was doing last year.  But NBC didn’t give an upfront full-season order to the show for it to pull a 2.2.  They wanted this to be an anchor and right now, it just isn’t.

So NBC is still in search of that elusive hit comedy, but it’s still hard to see this opening week as anything but a rousing success for the network.

NBC program averages (3.20 network average):
The Voice – 4.90
The Blacklist – 3.80
Chicago Fire – 2.70
Law & Order: SVU – 2.70
The Michael J Fox Show – 2.20
Revolution – 1.80
Parenthood – 1.60
Parks and Recreation – 1.30

Is "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" ABC's last, best hope?
Premiere week was something of a mixed bag for ABC this year.  The network was up about 5.5% over last year, but that increase was due entirely to the phenomenal debut of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, without which ABC actually would have been down from a season ago.

That’s not to say it was all bad news.  Monday night was steady as Dancing with the Stars and Castle basically held their ratings from last year.  Modern Family, while down from last fall, was up from its spring airings and is still the #2 comedy on television.  Likewise, Grey’s Anatomy, even in its tenth season, is among the top five dramas.  And SHIELD managed to at least partially revive Tuesday night’s, posting a great 4.7 rating and giving at least a solid sampling audience to its leadouts, The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife.  Of course, the one true, complete failure of premiere week was Lucky 7, which failed to generate any kind of audience at 9:00 on Tuesday night.

The best news for ABC is SHIELD’s success.  I don’t know that it’s drawing quite the audience they were hoping for, but it’s an instant hit show, something the network hasn’t really had since Modern Family launched several years ago.  If Scandal can keep on building its audience on Thursdays, ABC could end up with a legitimately strong presence on three nights (along with Modern Family on Wednesdays), which is how they rebuilt themselves in the early 2000s, on the backs of Lost, Desperate Housewives, and Grey’s Anatomy.

We still have a great deal to learn about ABC’s season, as their most volatile night, Sundays, has yet to debut and we haven’t yet seen the debuts of Super Fun Night or Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.  I still think ABC finishes the season in last place, but there are at least some signs of life.

ABC program averages (2.67 network average):
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD – 4.70
Modern Family – 4.20
Grey’s Anatomy – 3.40
The Goldbergs – 3.10
The Middle – 2.50
Dancing With the Stars – 2.30
Trophy Wife – 2.30
Castle – 2.20
Back in the Game – 2.20
Nashville – 2.00
Lucky 7 – 1.30

"The Big Bang Theory" is the biggest hit on television.
After several years holding the title as “America’s Most Watched Network,” CBS finally broke Fox’s nearly decade-long grip on the Adults 18-49 ratings lead.  While not everything is perfect for the eye network, after one week, they seem to be well on their way to winning another demo title.

What has made CBS so strong is that there are just no real weaknesses on the schedule.  NBC actually has more highly-rated hours (for our purposes, a 3+ rating) but it also has multiple hours on its schedule rated below 2.  CBS not only has top-level strength (The Big Bang Theory is the highest-rated show on network television), but it has depth, with even its worst shows (Hostages excepted), pulling in at least a 2.0 rating.  CBS shows also tend to repeat very well, at least compared to the other networks, so the network is much better at suffering the winter doldrums than the others. 

On an individual show level, there was nothing really surprising about premiere week.  The Big Bang Theory premiered up from last year (though down a little from its high mark in January), further proving that it is everybody’s second-favorite show.  What is so impressive about The Big Bang Theory and its place on television right now, is that it seems like the one show people will default to when they’re not watching anything in particular.  You see this especially when the show repeats, either on CBS or on TBS.  In the final numbers, the show attracted 20 million viewers for its second half-hour, which is just an incredible feat in this day and age. 

Hostages was the closest thing to a failure for CBS in premiere week, though it’s ratings were even with what Hawaii Five-0 drew in the same time slot last year.  If I were a betting man, I’d bet that Hostages gets to run its full season before being canceled and fraudulently submitted to the Emmys as a miniseries.

CBS isn’t in first place after the first week, NBC is.  And there a lot of questions still hanging in the air for the rest of the year.  How will the Super Bowl rate?  Will NBC get a boost from the Olympics?  When will The Voice come back?  The answers to these questions will likely determine which network will finish on top, but right now, with Fox falling apart, my money is still on CBS.

CBS program averages (2.96 network average):
The Big Bang Theory – 5.80
The Crazy Ones – 3.90
How I Met Your Mother – 3.70
NCIS – 3.60
NCIS: LA – 3.00
Two and a Half Men – 2.90
Criminal Minds – 2.80
Two Broke Girls – 2.80
Survivor – 2.40
Mom – 2.50
Person of Interest – 2.30
Elementary – 2.10
CSI – 2.00
Hostages – 1.80

So thoughts?  Comments?  Just want to tell me my blog sucks?  Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @TyTalksTV.

Friday, September 27, 2013

2013-14 Network Preview, pt. II - A False Start for NBC

This is the second in a series of five articles previewing the 2013-14 network season.  I’ll be giving some overall thoughts on the state of each network and breaking down each schedule to tell you the shows I watch and give recommendations for shows you might want to watch.  Now up: NBC.

On January 6th of this year, NBC Chairman Robert Greenblatt gave a mic-dropping speech at Press Tour, in which he attempted to declare the network’s fall surge as a revolution of sorts.  And he had every reason to crow.  NBC was up almost 25% year-to-year while every other network was down.  Of course, the elephant in the room was that NBC’s growth came largely on the backs of Sunday Night Football, The Voice, and Revolution, three shows that weren’t going to be on the air in January, February, and most of March.  The ensuing crash was predictable, even if its severity wasn’t. 

Without its top three shows to anchor the schedule in the winter and spring, NBC went into a tailspin.  The Biggest Loser did okay in The Voice’s place but couldn’t replicate its highs.  Both of the dramas they debuted pulled in horrible ratings.  Every comedy not named Community, Parks and Recreation, or The Office cratered so badly that none of them would be renewed.  The network fell so hard that not even the returns of The Voice and Revolution could do anything more than just salvage the season.  When the smoke cleared, Greenblatt was forced to sheepishly return to the Press Tour stage in July and try to spin the season’s results by declaring that “flat is the new up.”

Maybe Greenblatt has a point.  Maybe flat is the new up.  Over the last two seasons, NBC is the only network to not see its A18-49 rating decline (they’re barely up by 0.1).  And there are few things for the peacock network to be genuinely happy about.  Obviously, Sunday Night Football and The Voice were huge hits.  Ideally they wouldn’t have to run the latter into June, but I’m assuming that was a scheduling issue for the judges last year.  They finished second for the year in the Same-Day ratings (which most closely correlate to the ratings advertisers pay most for).  They also saw a relative resurgence in the drama department.  It wasn’t a huge resurgence, but Chicago Fire and Revolution were both relative hits, while Grimm, Parenthood, and Law & Order: SVU remained solid. 

Where NBC really struggled was in the comedy department.  Greenblatt’s strategy was to eschew the critically adored, low-rated comedies like Community and Parks and Rec in favor of broader, presumably more popular shows like Go On and The New Normal.  Unfortunately, that strategy failed miserably.  The aforementioned comedies performed admirably after The Voice on Tuesdays, but once their lead-in was replaced with Betty White's Off Their Rockers, they tanked.  The Wednesday comedies crashed pretty quickly as well (Animal Practice was the first show canceled in 2012) and, at the end of the year, only critically adored, low-rated comedies Community and Parks and Rec were left standing.

Coming in to the 2013-14 season, NBC has three goals:
1)      Maintain the ratings for Sunday Night Football, The Voice, and their returning dramas.
2)      Find one new hit drama.
3)      Get something out of their new comedies.
The first point is important because basically all of NBC’s gains the last two years have come from football and The Voice.  Those two shows have to hold.  Additionally, they’re now anchoring Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday nights with returning dramas and they can’t afford to lose ground there.  Additionally, if they can get one new hit out of their four new dramas, they’ll be solid on all five weeknights.  Dramas aside, though, they need a new comedy hit.  Community is in its fifth season with Parks and Rec in its sixth.  They’ve invested a lot in the new Sean Hayes and Michael J Fox sitcoms and they really need one of them to hit.

If NBC accomplishes those three objectives, they should easily find themselves at least in third place again with a chance for second, depending on how far Fox falls.  It will also leave them in a very strong position to build for 2014 and beyond.

The Voice is NBC's anchor, without which the network would be dead.
With that all done, let’s look at NBC’s 2013 fall schedule.  Unlike with the Fox article, I’m not going to dig too terribly deep into the returning shows, unless there’s something I really think you should watch.

Monday –
The Voice (7:00pm CST)
Do you watch it?
As I said in my Fox preview, I don’t really watch singing competitions anymore, and have only a seen a few hours of The Voice.

Will it last?
The Voice is NBC’s biggest show outside of Sunday Night Football.  They are sure to run it into the ground long before canceling it.

The Blacklist (9:00pm CST)
Do you watch it?
Yep.  Judging only by the pilot, The Blacklist should be a wonderfully cheesetastic production.  James Spader is at his James Spaderiest, here serving as a super-criminal who turns himself in to help the FBI catch other super-criminals.  It’s fun, though perhaps limited in its ceiling.  It’s unlikely to be a great show, but is probably never going to be a bad show.

Will it last?
The Blacklist debuted to a monster 3.8 A18-49 and more than 12.5 million viewers for its opening episode, easily winning its timeslot and instantly making it NBC’s top scripted show.  I wouldn’t be surprised to get a full-season pickup announcement on Tuesday.

Tuesday –
The Biggest Loser (7:00pm CST)
Do you watch it?

Will it last?
Now in its 15th cycle, The Biggest Loser has been shrunk from two hours per week to just one.  The ratings have been okay the past few years and, if NBC can keep the cost down, there’s no reason the show couldn’t keep chugging along like Survivor or The Amazing Race

The Voice (8:00pm CST)
See Above

Chicago Fire (9:00pm CST)
Do you watch it?
No.  The show does have its fans, but it’s just not for me.

Will it last?
Chicago Fire started slowly last year, debuting to mixed reviews and mediocre ratings.  As the season went along, however, the ratings steadily picked up and the show turned out to be, while not exactly adventurous, at least capable of “embracing what it did best: action and friendships.”  The improved ratings lead to NBC ordering a police station spinoff and giving Chicago Fire its second-best timeslot, fitting it in on Tuesday nights after The Voice.  We saw last year what kind of boost that show can give to the shows that follow (both Revolution and Go On were hugely popular in the fall), but we also saw that viewers aren’t guaranteed to stick around if the shows aren’t any good (both Revolution and Go On collapsed in the spring).  Chicago Fire is in a good position, but they’re going to have to earn it this year.  So far, they’ve done just that, debuting to a 2.7 rating after The Voice  on Tuesday. 

Wednesday –
Revolution (7:00pm CST)
Do you watch it?
Yes, but I’m wavering.

Will it last?
Revolution was NBC’s biggest success last fall (other than The Voice maintaining its numbers in the fall cycle) but the series gradually lost steam, not to mention half its audience, until its final weeks were only drawing a 1.9 or 2.0 rating, even behind The Voice.  The show is on its own this fall, leading off Wednesday nights.  It was a slow start in premiere week, with just under 7 million viewers and a 1.8 rating, on par with where the show ended last spring and up from where the timeslot was a year ago, but probably underwhelming for what NBC hoped for.  If Revolution stays where it is now, it should get renewed.  But it can’t afford to drop much.

Law & Order: SVU (8:00pm CST)
Do you watch it?
I had a college roommate who loved all of the Law & Order shows, so I’ve seen many of the early seasons, but I haven’t watched a full episode in probably five years.

Will it last?
SVU is the last remaining Law & Order despite debuting before Criminal Intent, Trial by Jury, and Los Angeles.  It’s not nearly the anchor it was for NBC during the network’s leanest years, but all of NBC’s renewed dramas were sitting in the same high-1s, low-2s area by the end of last year and, of all the dramas they renewed, I’d put SVU behind only Chicago Fire in terms of long-term security.

Ironside (9:00pm CST)
Do you watch it?
Probably not.

Will it last?
Ironside is getting a late debut, owing to NBC's decision to run a two-hour premiere of SVU this week.  It’s difficult to predict ratings in advance, but given that it’s a remake of a 70s show, I don’t hold real high hopes.  I just don’t know what audience is clamoring for a remake of Ironside, though I guess Hawaii Five-0 has done well enough.

Thursday –
Parks and Recreation (7:00pm CST)
Do you watch it?
Parks and Recreation is the best comedy on network television.  Of course I watch it.

Will it last?
I think NBC would love to have canceled this show by now, but it just keeps plugging along while every other comedy fails.  Its ratings in week one were pretty dreadful, though.  Parks and Recreation was usually the highest-rated of the low-rated but critically acclaimed NBC triumvirate (along with Community and 30 Rock), but it dropped to a 1.3 rating in its one-hour premiere last night.  Barring a significant recovery or yet another collapse of NBC’s comedy line-up, this could well be the last year for Leslie Knope and company.  Catch this wonderful show while you can.

Welcome to the Family (7:30pm CST)
Do you watch it?
Maybe.  I like Mike O’Malley, but I’ve never really taken to NBC’s recent attempts at “broad comedy.”  I might watch a few episodes and then check back in later in the year.

Will it last?
Welcome to the Family, like Sean Saves the World was held back a week so that Parks and Rec and The Michael J Fox Show could launch with hour-long premieres.  I don’t anticipate good ratings for this show but, then again, good ratings aren’t really necessary for an NBC comedy anymore, only mediocre ratings.

Sean Saves the World (8:00pm CST)
Do you watch it?
Probably not.  I don’t really care for Sean Hayes and I doubt this will change my mind.

Will it last?
See above, re: Welcome to the Family.

The Michael J Fox Show (8:30pm CST)
Do you watch it?
For now.  I love Michael J Fox.  The show isn’t laugh-out-loud funny so far through two episodes, but it’s sweet, endearing, and entertainment.  I’ll give it some time to find its feet.

Will it last?
The Michael J Fox Show debuted to a 2.1 rating for its hour-long premiere, definitely not what NBC was hoping for, but far better than any other comedy outside of the The Office has down without a leading from The Voice.  It already has a full-season order and it’s tough to see NBC bailing on a second unless the show absolutely tanks.

Parenthood (9:00pm CST)
Do you watch it?
Not yet, though I really want to.  By all accounts, Parenthood is pretty fantastic, it’s just one of those shows that’s always been on my list of things to watch, I’ve just never gotten around to it. 

Will it last?
Parenthood has a made a reputation as the low-rated stalwart on NBC’s schedule.  The show debuted to a 1.6 rating on Thursday, down from its finale in the spring, but more than doubling the network’s previous debut in the timeslot, Rock Center. As I mentioned earlier, NBC has experienced something of a drama renaissance in the last year, so Parenthood now finds itself at the bottom of the totem pole.  It will need better ratings than that to get a sixth season, especially since it’s already reached the 88 episode plateau needed for syndication.

Friday –
Grimm (8:00pm CST)
Do you watch it?
Yep.  Grimm is, at the very least, a fun show.

Will it last?
There has long been fear among fans of Grimm that the show is destined for cancelation owing to its location on Friday nights.  But the show draws perfectly fine ratings for where it’s scheduled and, by the end of this season, it will be only one season away from syndication, making it a virtual lock for a fourth season.  NBC has also shown a lot of faith in the show by giving it good timeslots following the Olympics last summer and The Voice in the spring.  Barring a complete collapse, Grimm is safe.

Dracula (9:00pm CST)
Do you watch it?
I’m planning on it.

Will it last?
Honestly, at this point it’s impossible to say.  If its ratings are on par with Grimm, or perhaps even a little lower (owing to Dracula’s foreign co-production), it should be okay.

Sunday –
Sunday Night Football (7:00pm CST)
Do you watch it?
It’s Sunday Night Football.  Does anybody not watch it?

Will it last?
Television’s highest-rated program is back for another year and not going anywhere any time soon.

So thoughts?  Comments?  Just want to tell me my blog sucks?  Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @TyTalksTV.