It's going to be a long off-season, especially where network TV is concerned, if the offerings don't soon improve from the dregs on display on this inauspicious opening night. Think of it as an excuse to catch up on repeats — or to dive into your DVR and/or On Demand archive to see what's new to you.
The only advice I have after enduring the pilot episode of NBC's woeful comedy Save Me is: Save yourself. This shrill parable of redemption, being burned off in back-to-back episodes (Thursday, 8/7c), is like a spiritual Enlightened for the tone deaf. Anne Heche, at her most manic (and that's saying something), stars as Beth Harper, a heroine possessed with an unbearable lightness of being — or you could just stop at unbearable — when she is suddenly transformed from an "angry drunken bitch" (her words) into a cockeyed optimist seemingly filled with a holy spirit after nearly choking to death on a sandwich.
The Voice topped Monday, but fell to a season low for a performance show.
The two-hour episode drew 10.6 million viewers and a 3.4 in the adults 18-to-49 demographic, down 11 percent from last week. Revolution (5.8 million, 1.9) was flat.
Dancing with the Stars' finale performance show (14.7 million, 2.5) grew ...
Freddie Highmore, Vera Farmiga
At 86, Mel Brooks is still the life of the party, a consummate ham and peerless joke-spinning storyteller. "I've come to stop the show," announces the irrepressible comic dynamo as he does just that, breaking into song mid-interview and reinforcing why PBS' American Masters titled its latest must-see career profile Mel Brooks: Make a Noise (Monday, check tvguide.com listings). His brilliant career in TV (Your Show of Shows, Get Smart), the movies and Broadway makes him an overdue American Masters subject, and his unflagging comic energy keeps everyone amused — including an intrusively visible camera crew. "I'm head over heels in love with myself," Brooks says, only half-joking.
Louis Ferreira and Kristin Lehman
On ABC's new police procedural Motive, the question at the start of each episode is not who committed a crime, but why. But the looming question on the minds of the show's cast and crew is whether the Canadian show, which was the highest-rated series premiere in Canada last season, can find equal success in the States.
Kaley Cuoco, Kunal Nayyar
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Question: Two slightly related questions. First, in recent weeks, we've had the return of (at least) three classic TV stars guest starring on hit shows, with Bob Newhart on The Big Bang Theory and Patty Duke and Meredith Baxter on Glee. While a large part of me got a kick out of seeing them again (especially Newhart), part of me was kind of saddened to see how much they've aged. Newhart seemed fairly frail (granted, it has been almost 25 years since Newhart left the airwaves), though still funny.
Summer is almost here!
On Thursday, ABC announced its summer schedule, which will kick off Thursday, May 9 with the premiere of Wipeout (8/7c). Other returning shows will come later in the month, with Rookie Blue kicking off on Thursday, May 23 (10/9c) and The Bachelorette debuting in a special time period on Monday, May 20 (9/8c).
ABC announces season finale dates