Wednesday, July 1, 2015

POSTED: Wednesday, June 3, 2015, 12:26 PM
Katie Holmes and Liev Schreiber in a scene from the coming season of Shwotime's "Ray Donovan."

In another bid for the business of cord-cutters -- and those who no longer watch TV on TV -- Showtime will add a standalone streaming service to be available on Apple devices early next month.

At $10.99, it will be cheaper than the $14.99 HBO  currently charges for HBO Now, though there's speculation that the premium cable giant, which launched its standalone service in April, may be reconsidering a price point that puts it at nearly twice the cost of a basic Netflix subscription (and which apparently hasn't stopped the problem of illegal downloads of shows like "Game of Thrones").

Launching next month would also give Showtime an opportunity to highlight the Season 3 premieres of "Masters of Sex" and "Ray Donovan," both scheduled for July 12.

Ellen Gray @ 12:26 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, May 21, 2015, 2:04 AM
A marquee for "The Late Show" with David Letterman stands outside of the Ed Sullivan Theater in Manhattan during taping of the final edition of the show in New York May 20, 2015. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

David Letterman didn't want us to be sad.

After 33 years and 6,028 shows in late-night television, the 68-year-old host of CBS' "Late Show" said his last "Thank you and good night" in a funny and intermittently  touching broadcast that ran long but seemed short.

I hope you watched it, because there are some things you just have to be there for, and Letterman specialized in moments that were meant for an audience watching in something approximating real time, not one that waited for the highlights on YouTube the next day.

Ellen Gray @ 2:04 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, May 14, 2015, 10:19 AM
"DC's Legends of Tomorrow" will join the CW's schedule next season

The CW will add three new shows next season, including a third drama drawn from the DC Comics universe of "Arrow" and "The Flash."

Only one new show,  “My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” will premiere this fall.

In a conference call with reporters Thursday morning before presenting his plans to advertisers in New York, CW president Mark Pedowitz described that hourlong comedy, which was originally a Showtime pilot, as “a perfect companion piece” to “Jane the Virgin,” which it will be paired with on Monday nights.

Ellen Gray @ 10:19 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, May 13, 2015, 9:47 AM
Ted Danson and Elisabeth Shue in a scene from this season's "CSI." (CBS)

NEW YORK -- "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" will end its 15-season run in a two-hour episode this fall, with original stars William Petersen and Marg Helgenberger returning for the finale, CBS executives announced Wednesday.

Ted Danson, one of the show's current stars, will transfer to spinoff "CSI: Cyber," which moves to 10 p.m. Sundays this fall, where he'll co-star with Patricia Arquette.

The finale, scheduled for Sept. 27, will mark the end of a remarkable run. "CSI," which paved the way for a number of shows that married science and crimefighting, anecdotally also influenced many young viewers to pursue careers in forensics.

Ellen Gray @ 9:47 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, May 12, 2015, 1:34 PM
Muppets Fozzie Bear, left, a Whatnot, center, and Kermit the Frog make a television appearance in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

The Muppets and Don Johnson will both be back on TV this fall, but ABC entertainment chief Paul Lee doesn’t want millennials to be scared.

“This is not kind of your grandmother’s Muppets. Not the old Muppets,” Lee told reporters in a conference call Tuesday in which he referenced millennials several times while discussing  the network’s 2015-16 schedule. Later Tuesday, he was to present the schedule to advertisers in New York.

“The Muppets,” which will air at 8 p.m. Tuesdays, will be a mockumentary-style comedy from Bill Prady (“The Big Bang Theory”) that, according to ABC press materials, “will explore the Muppets’ personal lives and relationships, both at home and at work, as well as romances, breakups, achievements, disappointments, wants and desires.”

Ellen Gray @ 1:34 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, May 11, 2015, 8:50 AM
Host Ryan Seacrest and American Idol judges, musician Harry Connick, Jr., singer Jennifer Lopez and musician Keith Urban, pose at the Fox Winter TCA All-Star Party at the Langham Huntington Hotel on January 17, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The Fox series that other networks once referred to as the “Death Star” is finally on its way out.

“American Idol” will return in January for its 15th and final season, Fox said Monday as it announced its 2015-16 schedule.

And the network’s previously announced limited series, “The X-Files,” gone from Fox nearly as long as “Idol” has been on the air, will return on Jan. 24 in a two-night premiere whose first night follows the NFC championship game, after which it will air for five consecutive Mondays.

Ellen Gray @ 8:50 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, May 8, 2015, 5:18 PM
Kevin Bacon in a scene from a recent episode of (Fox)

Philly's Kevin Bacon is footloose again.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Fox has canceled "The Following," after three seasons.

The dark, dark, dark drama from Kevin Williamson ("Dawson's Creek," "Scream") stars Bacon as Ryan Hardy, whose FBI career pretty much went south after he captured a  literary serial killer (James Purefoy) who'd maybe taken Edgar Allan Poe a bit too seriously.

Ellen Gray @ 5:18 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, May 4, 2015, 5:40 PM
Scene from Sunday's episode of "The Simpsons"

To the astonishment of exactly no one, Fox has renewed "The Simpsons" for the show's 27th and 28th seasons.

“I've outlasted Letterman, Jon Stewart and ‘McDreamy,’ because I have something they don’t: a costly 200-donut-a-day addiction,” boasted Homer Simpson in a statement released by the network Monday afternoon.

By the end of its new order, the show will have aired 625 episodes.

Ellen Gray @ 5:40 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
About this blog
As the TV critic for the Philadelphia Daily News, 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

Ellen Gray Daily News TV Critic
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