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Critic's Notebook: Fox at TCA

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. read more

Ask Matt: Men Getting Married, 24, Blacklist, TNT Shows and the Emmys

Jon Cryer, Ashton Kutcher

Send questions and comments to askmatt@tvguidemagazine.com and follow me on Twitter!

Question: I have never been a fan of Two and a Half Men (tried to watch it years ago, but the only thing I found funny was Conchata Ferrell) and never understood how it has stayed on the air for so long. I saw that creator Chuck Lorre is planning on the main storyline next season to be about the two main characters (Walden and Alan, both heterosexual) "marrying" each other in order for Walden to achieve his goal of adopting a child. To me, I find this appalling on so many levels. Gay men and women (and their straight allies) have fought for so long for equal marriage rights, so having two straight men "marry" just seems like a mockery for those fighting for marriage equality. I am a little ashamed of Lorre even coming up with this idea (particularly as his biggest star, Jim Parsons, on his biggest show, The Big Bang Theory, is gay). Your thoughts? — Tim in Atlanta

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Exclusive: Tricia Cast and Michael Fairman Return to The Young and the Restless

Tricia Cast, Michael Fairman

Hard to believe but it's been nearly a year since The Young and the Restless said goodbye to Katherine Chancellor, the divinely salty doyenne played by the late Jeanne Cooper. On Aug. 26-27, the CBS soap will mark the one-year anniversary of Katherine's death with a remembrance ceremony in Chancellor Park that brings back actors Tricia Cast (Nina) and Michael Fairman (Murphy).

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Critic's Notebook: The CW at TCA

Grant Gustin

The broader the better. Give it to The CW, the little network that could be forgiven for having had a Rodney Dangerfield complex in past seasons, as it enjoys a rare moment of critical goodwill. You'd almost think we were back in the glory days of The WB — whose sole remaining remnant on the current slate is Supernatural, which brought its stars out for a 10th-season victory lap. Though The CW is only launching two new shows this fall (in October), they're two of the very best... read more

Critic's Notebook: CBS at TCA

Dean Winters, Josh Duhamel

When at first you do succeed: do it again. Imitation, not innovation, was the prevailing takeaway when CBS presented its fall prospects (and one notable midseason contender) at the TCA press tour on Thursday.

Not that the network's entertainment chairman Nina Tassler had any apologies for doubling down on what works — not when a franchise like NCIS (launching its second spinoff in September) can achieve what she called the "creative holy grail" with its global dominance, or when syndication and/or streaming deals with outlets like Hulu, Amazon and WGN add to the bottom line for shows including the acclaimed The Good Wife and Elementary and the sci-fi hits of the last two summers. "These [new] platforms aren't replacing each other. They're complementing one another and enhancing the value of the content as it moves from window to window."

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First Look: Jesse Bradford and Summer Glau in Crackle's Legal Thriller Sequestered

Sequestered

The jury's in on Crackle's new legal thriller Sequestered, which stars Summer Glau (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) as a juror forced to choose between her beliefs and the safety of her family.

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Exclusive: General Hospital's Nancy Lee Grahn and William deVry Dish About Julexis

William deVry and Nancy Lee Grahan

It all started in the backseat of a Chevy Camaro when they were kids over 30 years ago —now they're so insanely popular they have their own army. TV Guide Magazine took General Hospital's William deVry and Nancy Lee Grahn to lunch and had them explain the soap-opera phenomenon that is "Julexis."

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Inside Lifetime's Chilling New Dystopian Series The Lottery

David Alpay and Marley Shelton

It's 2025, a world without strollers, preschool and Sesame Street. There's no need when the youngest child on Earth is 6 years old and every woman alive has become infertile. Humans are an endangered species.

That's the gut-wrenching premise of Lifetime's provocative new thriller The Lottery. You might call it a prequel to the 2006 movie Children of Men, a spiritual parable set in a violent, childless future. "While they have the same point of departure, it's a... read more

Review: USA's Rush and Satisfaction; FX's Un-RomComs

Matt Passmore

It started with the swearing, a not-so-subtle indication that USA Network's "blue skies" credo was welcoming some adult turbulence into its programming. Its shows of recent vintage, including the sleek, sexy and casually profane Suits and the gritty undercover drama Graceland, have started to move USA into edgier, bolder territory. Two new Thursday dramas, Rush (9/8c) and Satisfaction (10/9c), are furthering that evolution, threatening to go over the top with their shock-value content in what looks like a bad case of FX/AMC envy. The results are decidedly mixed.

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