Tuesday, August 4, 2015

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.”

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.

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.

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.

POSTED: Friday, May 1, 2015, 4:13 PM
Cherry Hill East singers. (Image via Twitter)

With "Pitch Perfect 2" hitting theaters later this month, Lifetime's announced a new docu-series, tentatively titled "Sing It!" and already in production, that will follow two "elite" a capella groups from New Jersey, including Cherry Hill East High School's Stay Tuned, "as they are given a chance to work with the world’s best coaches and face off in weekly competitions."

Coaching the Cherry Hill East singers: Deke Sharon, a singer and composer who was music director and arranger for both "Pitch Perfect" films.

According to Lifetime, he's also "founder, director and arranger for the pioneering a cappella group House Jacks and has shared the stage with countless music legends, including Ray Charles, James Brown, Crosby Stills and Nash, Run DMC, The Temptations, LL Cool J and the Four Tops, and performed for luminaries including President Bill Clinton."

POSTED: Monday, April 20, 2015, 11:18 AM
Jon Stewart attends the First Annual Comedy Awards at Hammerstein Ballroom on March 26, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

I really, really hope Jon Stewart doesn't have to spend the next several years explaining why, after 16 years of delivering the fake news, he's decided to move on.

Because we've seen what that looks like for "Sopranos" creator David Chase, and it mostly isn't pretty.

Tony Soprano may or may not be dead, but Stewart's very much alive, and his decision, at 52, to try something different seems like a good one. And not just because even the fake news can wear a body down -- though Stewart's struck me, on many nights in the past year or so as being at least as frustrated as he's funny. Running in place isn't good for anyone, and for those lucky enough to have a choice, moving on can be a good thing.

POSTED: Monday, April 6, 2015, 11:38 AM
Edward Snowden sits down with John Oliver. (Screenshot via HBO)

I'll admit I felt a twinge of regret that John Oliver was no longer at Comedy Central when Jon Stewart announced in February that he'd be leaving "The Daily Show" sometime this year.

We had the summer of 2013 to see what Oliver could do in Stewart's chair -- he kept it sizzling hot most nights -- and as much as I've loved what he's been doing since on HBO as the host of "Last Week Tonight," I wouldn't have minded seeing a lot more of him.

This Sunday, though, showed that Oliver had made the smarter move, as he unveiled a surprise interview -- in Russia -- with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. And somewhere between asking if Snowden missed Hot Pockets (yes) and talking about how the government can see pictures of penises belonging to U.S. citizens, he pulled off a tough interview, at one point calling Snowden on his culpability in a New York Times error that allowed access to redacted material related to U.S. efforts against al-Quaeda.

POSTED: Monday, March 30, 2015, 9:38 AM
Comedian Trevor Noah. (REUTERS/Courtesy Comedy Central)

A 31-year-old South African comedian will replace Jon Stewart at the helm of "The Daily Show" later this year, Comedy Central announced Monday.

Trevor Noah, who joined the show last year as a contributor, has, according to the network, "hosted numerous television shows, including his own late-night talk show in his native country, 'Tonight with Trevor Noah.'"

Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless called Noah "an enormous talent."

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 graye@phillynews.com.

Ellen Gray Daily News TV Critic
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