Connie Britton, Stephen Amell
Was CW's Arrow — and its sexy star Stephen Amell — super enough? Did Connie Britton's Nashville on ABC hit the right now? And did NBC's Chicago Fire heat you up?
Now that the three new Wednesday-night dramas have premiered, we want to know your thoughts...
Hayden Panettiere, Connie Britton
Though the TV season is already a few weeks old, tonight counts as one of the biggest rollouts of fall, with three high-profile premieres on three networks, including my favorite pilot of an admittedly anemic batch.
Even in a better season, ABC's Nashville (10/9c) would stand out, making beautiful music and juicy drama with its sensationally entertaining medley of backstage rivalries, family and political shenanigans, and enough sexy-sudsy twists to transform Music City into Sin City. Can you enjoy Nashville if country music isn't your thing?
As country-music superstar Rayna Jaymes, Boston-born Connie Britton takes the y'all she perfected as Tami Taylor on Friday Night Lights and sets it to music on ABC's highly anticipated Nashville, premiering tonight. Set in the change-on-a-dime music industry, the series charts the fates of veteran Rayna and It Girl Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) as they compete for downloads and dollars. For Rayna, those two things will prove ever more elusive in the next few episodes, as secrets from her personal life begin to threaten her career — and her bandleader ex, Deacon (Charles Esten), grows closer to catty rival Juliette. We caught up with Britton on the Tennessee set of her new show....
Hayden Panettiere and Connie Britton
Nashville creator and executive producer Callie Khouri wants people to know that you don't have to love (or even like) country music to enjoy her new show — but you might fall in love with the show's original tunes anyway.
"It's far from a show just about country music," Khouri, who won a screenplay Oscar for writing Thelma and Louise, tells TVGuide.com. "It has characters that are real, they're layered, they're complicated, they're terrible, they're fantastic, they're all the things that people are."
Question: I noticed that there are back-to-back new episodes of Modern Family this Wednesday night leading up to the premiere of the new musical drama series Nashville, while Suburgatory won't have its season premiere episode until the following week! Why did the TPTB at ABC felt the need to air two new episodes of Modern Family instead of premiering the second season of Suburgatory after MF and before Nashville? Was it because the network believes that two new episodes of MF running back-to-back together can make a more powerful lead-in to the series premiere of Nashville ratings-wise than Suburgatory, or is the network just that plain lazy with their programming schedule? — Chris B
When Jimmy Kimmel decided to pull a prank on Twitter during Sunday night's 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, Tracy Morgan didn't hesitate to help out. Actually, he was more than willing: He suggested taking his shirt off for the bit — something Kimmel (probably wisely) decided to nix.
Morgan wasn't the only one who quickly answered Kimmel's call for help with this year's awards show. Stars from Girls' Lena Dunham and Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul to singer Josh Groban and the reality emcees who butchered the Emmys as hosts five years ago all went beyond the call of duty. Jimmy Kimmel Live! co-head writers Molly McNearney (who in her spare time is also Kimmel's fiancée) and Gary Greenberg gave TV Guide Magazine some exclusive tidbits on how this year's Emmy laughs came together...
Nashville, the city, and Nashville, the country music industry, are expecting big things from Nashville, the new fall drama from ABC. The serialized drama, which stars Connie Britton as an country singer juggling her home life and struggling to remain a relevant artist, might not have made it on the air a few years ago.
But just as country music is moving toward the mainstream, the mainstream is gravitating toward country music — and TV execs, hungry for audiences, are eager to tap into country's loyal fan base. "We know from our proprietary research that about 96 million Americans qualify as country music fans, based on their listening habits and purchase behavior," says Country Music Association marketing director Cory Chapman. "That leads to a big opportunity for a network to go after that audience."
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Question: It seems that many TV critics (you being a notable exception) are coming down hard on The Newsroom, and I was wondering if you have an idea of why this is. Yes, it's preachy, but every Aaron Sorkin show and movie is. Successful, intelligent career women are portrayed as being driven mostly by their hormones, but that's true of every woman character on TV that's written by a man (unless played by Julianna Margulies or Connie Britton). And some of the plot contrivances (the wayward e-mails, the Bigfoot obsession, the cute blonde assistant who is smart when the plot needs her smart and dumb when the plot needs her dumb) are cringe-worthy. On the other hand, you've got a talented, likable cast ably delivering some of the snappiest dialogue on TV, which right there puts it ahead of 95 percent of everything else.
I'm not saying it's not flawed, but the pluses outweigh the minuses by quite a bit, and the show is wildly entertaining. So why the heavily negative reaction? Is Sorkin held to a higher standard? Are journalists taking more shots because the show is set in a milieu they know (a newsroom) rather than the White House? Curious on your take on this. — Rick
The second chapter of American Horror Story, which will feature characters in a mental institution, will be fittingly called "Asylum," FX announced Wednesday.
"We picked 'Asylum' because it not only describes the setting — an insane asylum run by Jessica Lange's character which was formerly a tuberculosis ward — but also signifies a place of haven for the unloved and the unwanted," executive producer Ryan Murphy said in a statement. "This year's theme is about sanity and tackling real-life horrors."
Where were you when the Modern Family talent deal finally went down? If you were a member of the Television Critics Association, or one of the creators of ABC's most popular and acclaimed comedy, you were at the network's Friday night post-press tour party. You could actually feel the tension go out of the room — a tension that had clouded much of ABC's TCA day, a major distraction for entertainment president Paul Lee, who tersely deflected questions about cast negotiations during his press session.