Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Monday, September 29, 2014, 11:22 AM
Just when you thought all the Derek Jeter retirement was finally over, three kings of comedy weigh in with the last word. Chris Rock, Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell just put up this clip on Funny or Die.

Those are Hall of Fame funnymen, folks. Their tribute may be less glowing than you might expect. Each one acknowledges that the farewell tour for Jeter may have been excessive.

But the respect seems real as they tip their hats to the Captain.

POSTED: Friday, September 26, 2014, 12:26 PM
What do you do when the other network has a new NFL contract that threatens to gobble up the night (Thursday) with the most advertising dollars at stake?

If you’re ABC, you sing “Help me, Shonda/Help, help me, Shonda.”

What better counterprogramming could you hope for against the turf giant than a triptych of Shonda Rhimes shows?

POSTED: Thursday, September 25, 2014, 5:04 PM
"The Big Bang Theory" with Penny (Kaley Cuoco), Leonard (Johnny Galecki, right), and Sheldon (Jim Parsons). (CBS)

TV programmers have a basic, brutal philosophy: If you can help your lineup, great; but you must do everything in your power to degrade and destroy the competition.

Hence CBS’s announcement today. Mom, the Chuck Lorre sophomore sitcom starring Anna Faris will not be returning to the Monday night schedule this week as planned. Instead, for at least the next three weeks, The Big Bang Theory will show back to back episodes to lead off Mondays. Mom will be returning, but much later in the fall and on Thursdays.

The reason is simple. Monday was a temporary stop for The Big Bang Theory. The idea was always for CBS's biggest comedy hit to return to Thursdays when CBS’s Thursday Night Football schedule ends in late October.

POSTED: Monday, September 22, 2014, 5:55 PM
Actors Keegan-Michael Key (L) and Jordan Peele speak onstage at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
“Cousin Delroy is getting married…to a man.” Of course the family wants to be supportive but they’re really not sure what to expect at the ceremony. Certain logistical problems need to be sorted out, for instance, “Where do you get the Euros to buy gay gifts?”

Thankfully, Gary, “a practicing member of the homosexual community” is there to field questions. But not for long. The mounting insanity of the inquiries drives him screaming from the room.

But it’s a riotous sketch on the fourth season premiere of Key & Peele (Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. on Comedy Central).


POSTED: Friday, September 19, 2014, 2:06 PM
We don’t even want to think about the mental state of the person who came up with the idea of Mike Tyson Mysteries, but we sure are glad they did.

It’s a pretty standard setup: The former boxer with the face tattoos and lisping voice is dressed for action in a blue track suit. That’s because he’s fighting crime and busting crooks with a specially selected team. Its members: the Ghost of the Marquess of Queensbury (voiced by Community’s Jim Rash), Mike’s adopted Korean daughter, Yung Hee (voiced by MAD’s Rachel Ramras) and a pigeon who was once human (voice of comedian Norm Macdonald).

They ride around in a van that seems to have been borrowed from the Scooby and the Gang in a retro animation style reminiscent of Super Friends.

POSTED: Thursday, September 18, 2014, 12:58 PM
(Barry Wetcher/NBC)

Well, if you were thinking that the new lady cop comedy would beat the kids-in-a-hospital melodrama, you were absolutely right.

The 2014-15 season began in earnest (and Julio Gallo) last night with two series premiering.

At 9 p.m., Fox’s Red Band Society, about kids on a pediatric ward, drew just north of four million viewers. The real disappointment is that it notched only a 1.3 rating among 18-49 year olds, which was supposed to be its prime demographic. That was a lower rating than its lead-in Hell’s Kitchen.

POSTED: Thursday, September 18, 2014, 11:19 AM

This will not go down as his proudest moment. This afternoon (3 p.m. on NBC10) on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Philly funnyman Kevin Hart loses a dance-off – not to the hostess; that would have been bad enough – but to portly actor Josh Gad (1600 Penn).

Pretty random matchup? No, they’re co-stars in The Wedding Ringer which comes out next year.

Now admittedly, Kevin’s taking a pretty restrained and dignified approach here, but it’s sad to see him get absolutely blown out of the water by Gad’s “bar mitzvah moves”.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 10:10 AM
ABC’s Dancing with the Stars is looking a little shopworn. Well, this was …what?, the 167th season starting last night? But if the show always had a loose definition of ‘stars’, we’ve gotten to the point of scraping the bottom of the barrel. And thanks to the reality show genre, our greatest natural resource is dubious celebrity.

Some things changed last night. The effervescent Julianne Hough is back, but as a judge. Other ingredients remained the same, such as the emergence of some unexpected talent (hulking Randy Couture of The Expendables franchise has happy feet!) and displays of atrocious dancing (not you, Lolo Jones. We’re talking directly to Betsey Johnson.)

Scores are pretty random on the first few nights of competition. It’s all about cutting the weakest from the herd. And it wasn’t the oldest contestant in the group, professional stoner Tommy Chong, 76, who had us shielding our eyes.


About this blog

A true child of TV, David Hiltbrand has worked as a critic at People and as a columnist and editor at TV Guide.

Reach David at dhiltbrand@phillynews.com.

David Hiltbrand Inquirer TV Critic
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