Wednesday, February 10, 2016

POSTED: Monday, February 8, 2016, 3:27 PM
'The Muppets' is changing its tune (ABC)

When it comes to Kermit and Miss Piggy, maybe Grandma knew best.

“Not your grandmother’s Muppets” -- ABC entertainment chief Paul Lee’s rallying cry for the revival of the Jim Henson franchise – doesn’t seem to have cut it with viewers, who’ve largely shunned The Muppets update in which Miss Piggy’s a late-night host and her once-favorite frog (and producer)  is seeing another pig.

Or at least he was until last week, when The Muppets returned from a winter break to a new time slot at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

POSTED: Sunday, February 7, 2016, 9:07 PM
Julianna Margulies stars in CBS' "The Good Wife," which will end its seven-season run on CBS on May 8, the network announced Sunday (Jeff Neumann/CBS)

How appropriate that it should be announced during the Super Bowl.

CBS' "The Good Wife," which has suffered through years of football delays every fall, will end its seven-season run on May 8, the network announced in a promo that ran during Sunday's Super Bowl, heralding the show's final nine episodes.

It's not a huge surprise: Creators Robert and Michelle King were due to leave the show at the end of this season and star Julianna Margulies recently hinted she wouldn't be left behind.

POSTED: Monday, February 1, 2016, 8:56 AM
Aaron Tveit, left, and Julianne Hough rehearse for "Grease: Live." (Kevin Estrada/FOX via AP)

Not even El Nino -- or a brief sound problem -- could short-circuit Fox's Grease: Live Sunday night.

It really was (sorry) "electrifyin'."

 Not every moment, of course. And the songs that may have gone over best were the ones people tend to forget -- Keke Palmer's show-stopping Freddy, My Love and Jordan Fisher's Magic Changes.

POSTED: Sunday, January 31, 2016, 3:58 PM
Comedian Louis C.K. (FILE PHOTO)

No one -- including Louis C.K. himself, apparently -- knows if we'll ever see another season of FX's Louie, but it's not because the man's been goofing off.

On Saturday, he surprised fans with the first installment of Horace and Pete, a new TV show/teleplay/streaming/download he's selling online  for $5 an episode.

Set in a Brooklyn bar that's been in the same fractious family for a hundred years, it stars its creator and director as the latest in a long string of Horaces and Steve Buscemi as the latest in an equally long string of Petes. Alan Alda plays their crass, angry Uncle Pete and other stars include Jessica Lange, Edie Falco and Saturday Night Live's Aidy Bryant. 

POSTED: Thursday, January 28, 2016, 1:57 PM
Tina Fey and Kevin Hart will present at the Oscars. (Getty Images)

Philly's Kevin Hart and Upper Darby's Tina Fey are among the first 11 celebs confirmed to present at the Oscars on Feb. 28, according to ABC.

Presenter lists -- a public-relations staple that mostly serves to remind people, that, yes, Virginia, there is an Oscarcast -- might be a little more interesting this year, in light of Spike Lee's decision to skip the awards show and Jada Pinkett Smith's call for a boycott to protest the lack of major nominations for people of color for the second straight year. (Her husband, Philly's Will Smith, overlooked for his work in "Concussion," won't be attending.)

Comedian Chris Rock will be hosting for the second time.

POSTED: Friday, January 22, 2016, 11:29 AM
Oprah Winfrey on stage during her An Evening With Oprah tour on December 2, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Getty Images)

Oprah fans, mark your calendars.

Winfrey's return to small-screen acting is scheduled for May 24, the first night of a two-night premiere for OWN's "Greenleaf," a drama set in a megachurch in which she'll play a blues club owner named Mavis McCready in what's being billed as a recurring role.

(And, yes, OWN still stands for Oprah Winfrey Network.)

POSTED: Sunday, January 17, 2016, 6:40 PM
Tina Fey (center, between Ellie Kemper and Jane Krakowski) at a Television Critics Association session for Netflix's "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016 (Evan Scott/Netflix)

Season 2 won't premiere on Netflix until April 15, but Tina Fey's "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" has an order for a third season, the streaming network announced Sunday.

The Upper Darby-raised writer, actress and producer met with reporters at the Television Critics Association's winter meetings, along with cast members , Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess, Carol Kane and Jane Krakowski.

 "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," which premiered last spring on Netflix, was created by Fey and her fellow "30 Rock" producer Robert Carlock with NBC in mind, but eventually was sold to the streaming service, which guaranteed them a second season as part of the deal.

POSTED: Saturday, January 16, 2016, 12:23 PM
Actor Tracy Morgan poses in the press room at the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Comedian Tracy Morgan  ("30 Rock") will develop and star in a comedy pilot for FX to be written by Jordan Peele ("Key & Peele," "Fargo") and John Carcieri ("Eastbound & Down"), the cable network announced Saturday.

Here's how FX is describing the show:

"A career criminal is released from prison after 15 long years, hoping to reintegrate into a society that long ago left him behind. Now a man whose only expertise is making grilled cheese with an iron must navigate a modern world of political correctness, internet, and self-driving cars."

About this blog
Yes, I'm a TV critic. But I've always believed my job is less about thumbs -- up or down -- and more about the conversation. Because the more choices we have, the fewer people in our lives know what we're talking about when we say, "Did you see that?" And that's when television really starts to get interesting. Reach Ellen at graye@phillynews.com.

Ellen Gray Daily News TV Critic
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