Some selective highlights and mini-reviews to get you through the long holiday weekend:
Last week, she was a hapless office assistant on Up All Night. Tonight, in the same time period on a different network, she's an insufferable sibling who makes Thanksgiving a chore, as Saturday Night Live vet Molly Shannon shows off her range, playing Frankie's demanding sister Janet on ABC's The Middle (8/7c). A holiday visit to Frankie's mom and dad (Marsha Mason and Jerry Van Dyke) becomes a recipe for disaster: "Stir in one broken toy, one passive-aggressive sister and let stew overnight ... Take unresolved issues and soak in alcohol." Frankie insists that "Everybody in one house is what makes holidays special," but anyone who's ever spent the festivities sleeping on an air mattress will relate to this first-rate episode.
Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, Josh Gad
The Book of Mormon's Josh Gad will make his Modern Family debut on Wednesday — and if you can imagine, his character is even more awkward than Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell).
"He grew up...
Another Buffy alum is heading for the halls of Seattle Grace.
Adam Busch, who played evil-doer Warren, will guest-star on Grey's Anatomy as ...
Is Kelsey Grammer resurrecting Frasier Crane?
Contrary to a series of tweets on the actor's Twitter page that suggested a Frasier reunion and spin-off, Grammer's rep, Stan Rosenfield, tells TVGuide.com that no such project — or any project involving Dr. Frasier Crane, the famous small-screen psychiatrist — is in the works. ...
Modern Family - Fred Willard
Fans of ever-smiling comedy icon Fred Willard will be pleased to learn that Phil Dunphy's father Frank will be pulling his RV back into Modern Family next season thanks to a casting match made in heaven (with a little help from series star Ty Burrell).
"They said that ...
Family Guy courtesy Fox
New releases announced today, July 16:Back To You - Season 1 will be coming out October 14 Dark Shadows -The Beginning, Vol. 6: Episodes 179 - 209 will be coming out October 28 Family Guy - Volume 6 will be coming out October 21 The Simpsons - The Complete 11th Season will be coming out October 7 War and Remembrance - The Complete Series will be coming out October 28 Visit TVShowsOnDVD.com for the complete stories on these and other news items.
Question: I was wondering if you had any idea why Fox chose to cancel Back To You instead of 'Til Death. If I remember correctly, Back To You pulls in higher ratings and has a bigger backing from critics than 'Til Death does. Was it mostly a cost related issue? I would assume Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton don't come cheap.
Answer: You would assume correctly. I can't explain why 'Til Death got a reprieve, but everything I heard and read regarding Back to You's cancellation had to do with money. There was a costly bidding war last year over that show and those talents — not just the stars, but the veteran sitcom writers who created it — and I think it's fair to say that the show ultimately fell short, both creatively and in the ratings. Many have wondered what would have happened had CBS, which seems a much more suitable home for this kind of comedy, had landed it. A moot point now ...
Patricia Heaton and Kelsey Grammer in Back to You by Sam Jones/Fox
Having sitcom stalwarts Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton in starring roles wasn't enough for Fox to bring Back to You back to you, the viewer, for a second season. "This was not an easy decision," said Fox Entertainment chief Kevin Reilly. "But with that kind of top-profile talent and...proximity to [American Idol] in the second half of the season, the expectations were higher."Reilly emphasized Fox is working to develop a live-action comedy franchise, but Back To You didn't seem to fit that bill. "The show did not seem to be strking a chord, and in terms of creative direction...it was a pretty mixed bag," he said. The show did go down with a fight. It got off to a strong start when it debuted last fall, attracting more than nine million viewers. Two episodes that followed Idol in April each brought in more than 12 million sets of eyeballs. While that's respectable it won its timeslot on those two occasions, in terms of viewers and the highly coveted adult 18-49 group ...
America's Next Top Model by Elizabeth Carrillo/The CW
Wednesday's weecap:8 pm/ETThe first hour of Deal or No Deal edged out TPIR to come out on top, with 7.76 million total viewers. Fox's 'Til Death wrapped its season with 5.79 mil (slipping 250K), while Back to You bid TV adieu with 6.87 mil. Top Model crowned its new champ in front of 4.92 mil.9 pmIdol added 1.85 mil to enjoy its best Wednesday numbers in six weeks, delivering 24.25 mil. Criminal Minds placed second with a typical 12.7 mil. Farmer Wants a Wife (1.9 mil) dipped another 210 thou.10 pmCSI: NY (11.6 mil) dropped a mil, L&O (8.6 mil) was down a hair, and Boston Legal (7.67 mil) gained 270K.Related:• Cheers & Jeers sizes up Top Model's big winner• Fox Fall: Back to You Won't Be Back • POLL: Who Should Win American Idol?
Back to You courtesy Joe Viles/FOX
With the upfronts officially arriving next week, Fox is among the first to unfurl some of its plans. Per the Reporter, the network has renewed 'Til Death for a third cycle yet is not bringing back Back to You. Though the Grammer-Heaton sitcom drew good notices and decent numbers, it's reckoned that production costs ran too high (due to its marquee stars). Also, Fox is giving a series pickup to The Inn, which is described as "Upstairs/Downstairs at a hip New York hotel." The pilot was directed by Jason Bateman (Arrested Development), and the cast includes Niecy Nash (Reno 911), Jerry O'Connell (Crossing Jordan), Molly Stanton and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. MWMRelated:• Exclusive: Fox's New Amsterdam Is Not Immortal CW Axes Aliens in America CW "Outsources" Sunday Night; Two Dramas, Two Comedies Coming