The pilot for Fox's Mulaney features one of the show's two stand-up comedian characters struggling to write a joke that sets up what the comic has already decided will be his catchphrase punchline.
In the same way, the series — created by and starring John Mulaney, a former Saturday Night Live writer and one of the sharpest, funniest stand-up comedians working today — has all the ingredients needed to create laughs, but it just can't seem to find a consistent way to deliver them.
Fall TV: Check out all the must-see new shows
Not surprisingly, the best parts of the early episodes feature Mulaney doing his stand-up routine for the live audience in front of his darkened apartment set. (Yes, it's a weird setting, but go with it.) But when the action shifts...
Rupert Friend, Claire Danes
If last season (and the last parts of the season before) left you wanting to run away from Showtime's Homeland, the good news is that it's safe to come back. The show may never again achieve the intensely suspenseful and emotional heights of year one, with its psychosexual tango between Carrie and the enigmatic war hero/possible terrorist tool Brody, and I'm still not convinced that basket-case analyst Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) should be posted anywhere hotter than Antarctica. But this Emmy-winning international spy thriller suddenly feels much more topical and urgent again in its fourth season, where the only remaining remnant of the Brody storyline is the infant daughter — a ginger baby, naturally (hauntingly Damian Lewis in aspect) — whom Carrie bore after witnessing the father's cruel fate.
Saturday Night Live's current most senior performer may be heading for the exit.
TMZ.com reports that Kenan Thompson, who has been on the show for...
Julianna Margulies, Jimmy Fallon
This week, Jimmy Fallon and Julianna Margulies teamed up for a SaturdayNight Live-esque sketch on The Tonight Show, and SNL alum Nasim Pedrad revealed her Aziz Ansari impersonation on Conan. An amazing mashup fused Orange Is the New Black with The Golden Girls, and competitive eating champion Takeru Kobayashi went up against ... a hamster. Oh, and Bryan Cranston performed a one-man "MLB on TBS" postseason show. Check out those clips and more in our weekly roundup of the best online videos:
Jada Pinkett Smith, Robin Lord Taylor
Gotham City to the rescue? Fox certainly hopes Gotham, its dark and stylish noir set in the corrupt, broken pre-Batman metropolis, will revive the fortunes of a network undergoing one of its most significant leadership transitions. (The architect of this fall's schedule, Kevin Reilly, stepped down in late May, and Dana Walden and Gary Newman, the Fox Studio heads who will take over network oversight in a more streamlined operation, won't start their new positions until the end of the month.)
The Gotham panel was the first and most impressive new-series presentation on Fox's day at the TCA press tour. (For more Fox news, go here.) With its revisionist twist on Batman mythology as it spills out origin stories featuring various supervillains-to-be, Gotham is the buzziest show on Fox's fall slate — airing on Mondays alongside breakout hit Sleepy Hollow won't hurt — but it's not without risk.
When Saturday Night Live returns this fall, it will be without a very familiar face.
No, we're not talking about the recently departed Brooks Wheelan, Noël Wells or John Milhiser — it's OK, no one really remembers what they did on the sketch show, either — but Nasim Pedrad, who is leaving after five years to star on...
John Milhiser; Noel Wells
The mass exodus continues at Saturday Night Live.
A day after featured player Brooks Wheelan tweeted that he had been fired from the variety show, fellow newcomers...
Actor/comedian John Mulaney married his girlfriend Annamarie Tendler over the holiday weekend, Us Weekly reports.
Bill Hader, Seth Meyers and Andy Samberg
Saturday marked the Season 39 finale of Saturday Night Live, but you would have never known it from the episode itself, which boasted best sketches that relied mostly on guest stars who were fixtures on previous seasons.
With Andy Samberg hosting, the blasts from the past continued with appearances by Bill Hader, Seth Meyers, Maya Rudolph, Martin Short, Kristen Wiig and Fred Armisen. We were shocked not to see a duet from Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.
Highlights included a hilarious cold open lampooning the Solange-Jay Z-Beyonce Elevator Incident, the return of the Kissing Family, and not one, but two digital shorts. Check out the night's best sketches below:
James Franco, Zooey Deschanel, Seth Rogen, Taylor Swift
Seth Rogen returned to Saturday Night Live for his third hosting stint this weekend, and it was distinctly not a charm.
The episode started off promisingly, with Rogen's monologue featuring cameos from celebs — some surprising (Zooey Deschanel), some predictable (James Franco), and some who were there to support musical guest Ed Sheeran (Taylor Swift). But the rest of the night was a bit of a slog, save for a bizarre sketch featuring Franco as a monster who decides to get plastic surgery to appear human.