How I Met Your Mother
When CBS announced that How I Met Your Mother would return for a ninth and final season next year, the network took the unusual extra step of proclaiming that the show's heretofore unseen "mother" would be also finally be revealed.
HIMYM co-creator Craig Thomas (who says he wasn't consulted on that part of the release) admits he was surprised that CBS felt the need to spell it out. "The plan has always been to meet this girl at some point," he says. "I think we would be forbidden from show business if we ended the series without meeting the mother, and rightfully so. They want to make sure, I guess, that the audience knows they're not going to be jerked around or short changed in any way."
Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy
Fox's The Following opened to killer ratings on Jan. 21, attracting 13.3 million viewers (which includes three days of DVR use). Week 2 was just as sizzling for the new Kevin Bacon thriller, which experienced an even bigger DVR lift. Not bad for a show that doesn't look and wasn't marketed like your typical broadcast drama.
MTV's Buckwild ends its initial run on Thursday, Feb. 7 with a 30-minute clip special, "Bucking Unseen Moments," at 11/10c. The special is set to air immediately following two back-to-back season finale episodes of Buckwild starting at 10/9c.
The show, which has filled the Jersey Shore void on MTV, has performed decently for the network. According to MTV, Buckwild rates as the No. 1 original cable series on Thursday nights among viewers 12-34.
Phineas and Ferb
Disney Channel is launching a month-long Phineas and Ferb event leading up to its annual National Platypus Day celebration on Saturday, March 2 — in honor of the show's resident platypus, Perry.
This year, they've enlisted some unusual help: Good Morning America anchors George Stephanopoulos, Josh Elliott, Lara Spencer and Sam Champion can be seen in one spot dancing along to "O.W.C.A." (a riff, of course, on the Village People's "Y.M.C.A."). Phineas and Ferb fans know that "O.W.C.A." stands for Organization Without a Cool Acronym, the evil-fighting group where Perry the Platypus serves as his alterego Agent P.
The "O.W.C.A" song premieres on Radio Disney on Friday, the same day Disney Channel introduces the music video (which also includes a wide variety of Disney Channel stars dancing along).
The flagship episode ("Sidetracked") for this year's Phineas and Ferb "Platypus Day" will air Friday, March 1 at 9/8c. In the episode, Agent P teams up with his former partner, the human agent Lyla (voice of The Daily Show's Samantha Bee) to stop a hijacked train. On March 2, Disney Channel will air multiple episodes, while boy tween-centric Disney XD will run a five-hour marathon, starting with the new episode "Primal Perry," starting at 8 a.m./7c.
TV viewers have never had it so good — or maybe they have it too good. There's never been more original programming to navigate than at this very moment. Take Sunday nights: Even with the NFL season over, viewing options include The Good Wife (CBS), The Walking Dead (back Feb. 10 on AMC), Girls (HBO), Shameless (Showtime), Downton Abbey (PBS), Family Guy (Fox), Revenge (ABC) and Kourtney and Kim Take Miami (E!). And that's just in one timeslot: 9/8c.
That's a lot of DVR space being filled up week in and week out with must-see shows. "There's definitely more programming that I'm interested in watching than I can actually consume," says Showtime Entertainment president David Nevins.
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Viewers of Jimmy Kimmel Live tuned in Thursday night to see the late-night host bound and gagged at the corner of the stage. Matt Damon had hijacked the show, and proceeded to oversee what may have been one of the most star-studded episodes in talk show history.
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Wizards of Waverly Place
More than a year after the Wizards of Waverly Place hung up their wands, the show returns to Disney Channel with a one-hour special on Friday, March 15 at 8/7c. Selena Gomez is back to star in and executive produce the event, dubbed The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex.
In the special, the Russo family and pals travel to Tuscany, Italy, to meet relatives. But while attempting to prove that she's serious about her craft as a wizard, Alex (Gomez) accidentally conjures up a spell that splits her personality into two — a Good Alex and an Evil Alex. The two dueling Alexes eventually battle over the fate of her family and mankind atop the Tower of Pisa.
The Big Bang Theory has turned into a full-blown supernova. The sitcom, now in its sixth season, has been on a roll this year, posting ratings highs several weeks in a row. On Jan. 10, it crossed the threshold of 20 million viewers for the first time.
"We think it's pretty amazing," says executive producer Steve Molaro, who took over as showrunner this season from Bill Prady, co-creator of the series with Chuck Lorre. "It's an honor to have so many people watching the show." Molaro credits the sitcom's exposure in syndication — particularly on TBS, where Big Bang often tops the cable ratings charts — for boosting the CBS episodes. "Syndication has reached a lot of new people," he says. "I try not to get caught up in the numbers, but it's fun."