Neil Gaiman Pens a Second “Doctor Who” and Christopher Guest’s First TV Series

Plus more renewals, cancellations and series orders, a sodomy trial on Da Vinci’s Demons along with the finales for Once Upon a Time and Revenge.


In the lead-up to the upfronts, NBC gave an expected sixth season order to Parks and Recreation. It also cancelled troubled comedies Whitney (which got rid of its most interesting aspect when Maulik Pancholy’s character was written out) and 1600 Penn as well as comedies Up All Night (which was expected, considering the show’s many troubles) and Guys with Kids.

Parks and RecreationLeslie Knope wins another one.

Fox took care of an expected cancellation notice, axing Touch. However, with Kiefer Sutherland free, Fox is now talking about reviving 24 as a limited series. I’m all for the return to comedy mini-series on Broadcast TV.

Meanwhile, fans of Nikita can breathe a sigh of relief as the series’ fourth season was announced. It sounds like it won’t be a full season. That may confirm earlier rumors of the spy drama getting a short wrap-up season, it might also be part of an increased focus on shorter cable-like runs.

Nikita, "Invisible Hand"

The CW also announced its new shows which includes Greg Berlanti’s reboot of Tomorrow People and the historical soap about Mary Queen of Scots, Reign. That also means the second attempt at turning The Selection into a series has been rejected. That might be because the source material sounds pretty insufferable.

Vulture wraps up it’s analysis of the big four broadcast networks before the upfronts with a look at CBS. After years of hearing its claims of being the most-watched network get an asterisk by media critics (who would note that doesn’t include the younger demographics), the network is number one in the advertiser-friendly group of adults under 50. That’s thanks to seeing shows like The Big Bang Theory and Person of Interest managing to grow their audience. (BBT has overtaken Modern Family as TV’s top comedy.) However, the network had one major failing in that it didn’t find new hit comedies to replace older hits like How I Met Your Mother.

PartnersPartners, CBS’ big “could’ve, should’ve, would’ve” of the season.

E! reports that Randy Jackson is quitting American Idol. Jackson was the last of the original Idol judges, making this the end of an era for the former juggernaut.

Fresh off the second-season success of Scandal, Shonda Rhimes says that she’d like to create a show about “a woman carrying a gun and kicking people’s butts.” While I think Rhimes’ version of Alias sounds fun, has anyone at Disney thought about handing her a stack of select Marvel comics? Rhimes just might be able to figure out how to bring Jessica Jones to the small screen.

As the season’s top new show, Elementary is already making plans for its second season, which will be filmed in London, the first time it will film outside of New York.

Elementary, "Dead Man's Switch"“I look forward to filming somewhere warmer with clearer skies… wait, where?”

So far, Heather Morris has not signed up to return to Glee. There’s always the chance she’ll return as a guest-star but for now she’s not a part of the show anymore.

ABC has passed on the pilot Murder in Manhattan, which starred Annie Potts as a woman who solved mysteries with her daughter but it hopes to sell the series to another network. ABC hopes it can repeat the way it sold Devious Maids to Lifetime last year.

With the cast signed for two more seasons, CBS has renewed Criminal Minds for a ninth season.

Friday’s Listings

Anderson Live (syndicated) Check local listings
Some days there’s a great guest list, others it becomes clear this show is heading to its final episode (and not in a building-to-the-grand-finale way). Today’s show seems to make the most of that, making Anderson Live’s warm-up comedian Dena Blizzard guest-host, which sounds like a great way to give a closing thank you to a talented staffer who hasn’t been on-camera. Today’s show also features Anderson taking questions from the audience. Actually, next week’s announced episodes are all repeats so this might be the final episode.

The Rachael Ray Show (syndicated) Check local listings
Out chef Art Smith is demonstrating his “Unfried Chicken” recipe (which should be a major contrast to Rachael’s mac & cheese-variation-of-the-week). If that weren’t faboo enough, there’s also a visit from Vanessa Williams.

Days of Our Lives (NBC) Check local listings
Now that Rafe knows that Nick got some issues with homophobia, he’s on the rampage to talk to Gabi about it. I hear Sonny shows up today, though I’m not sure what happens to him.

Nikita (CW) 8:00 PM ET
Considering how traumatic the last few weeks have been, Michael’s starting to reconsider that engagement to Nikita. (As a side note, I love it that, for once, the guy is reconsidering this life of danger.) There are more pressing matters, like the fact that Amanda is still out there, but since next week is the season finale, I’m expecting she’ll still be a threat at the hour’s end.

Da Vinci's Demons, "The Tower"

Da Vinci’s Demons (Starz) 9:00 PM ET
Since before Da Vinci’s Demons debuted we’ve been wondering how it would handle Leonardo Da Vinci’s sexuality. We should be getting a decent answer when Leonardo faces a trial on sodomy charges.

Merlin (Syfy) 10:00 PM ET
Morgana and Merlin debate the mysteries of various strangers who are all tied to the same secret.

Merlin, "Kindness of Strangers"Someone thank Merlin for giving Arthur nightshirts made from such thin fabric.

Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO) 10:00 PM ET
Bill has a pretty gay guest list as he talks with Zachary Quinto and food columnist Mark Bittman. Then, the roundtable includes Glenn Greenwald, Charles Cooke and Joy Reid. I think that’s the least-insufferable panel I’ve seen in the Real Time

Saturday’s Listings

Doctor Who (BBC America) 8:00 PM ET
It’s the return of geek-fave writer Neil Gaiman in an episode that sees The Doctor take the kids that Clara watches to the “most wonderful amusement park in the galaxy.” As much as that may sound like a fun time, all this would happen in between episodes if there weren’t a menace to deal with, so underneath that fun are newly upgraded cybermen. Who aren’t usually associated with fun.

Doctor Who, "Nightmare in Silver"

Dangerous Intuition (Lifetime) 8:00 PM ET
The latest Lifetime movie sets up a battle of Tricia Helfer versus Estella Warren as a woman (Helfer) thinks her ex-husband’s (David Cubitt) new wife may pose a danger to their daughter. I wonder if after playing Caprica Six, playing a Lifetime woman in distress counts as a change of pace.

Smash (NBC) 8:00 PM ET
Tom thinks he can win a Tony if he can impress at the Houston & Levitt tribute but that leaves him relying on Julia, who is busy with “Hit List” and Ivy, who thinks Tom’s number might be a little too risque for her comfort.

Orphan Black (BBC America) 9:00 PM ET
Was anyone expecting “Noises Off but with clones” last week? Because that’s what it felt like. Can this show get any better than that? The idea of Sarah and Paul teaming up is a good start, even better is Cosima continuing to investigate Delphine and Dr. Leekie.

Orphan Black, "Parts Developed in an Unusual Manner"

The Nerdist (BBC America) 10:00 PM ET
Buzz Aldrin visits the couch while Maria Bamford is the comedy act.

Saturday Night Live (NBC) 10:00 PM ET
I’m feeling mixed about tonight’s SNL reunion. Guest host Kristen Wiig is a very funny woman (I still love her for her role on The Joe Schmo Show) but none of her original SNL characters really work for me. I guess that means I’m hoping for the return of Kathie Lee Gifford and Suze Orman. Meanwhile, this week’s musical guest is Vampire Weekend with out member Rostam Batmanglij.

Sunday’s Listings

Once Upon a Time (ABC) 8:00 PM ET
For the final fairyback of the season, Once heads to Neverland where Hook remembers the time he met a young Bay and tried to keep him from the Lost Boys. Oh, and Storybrooke looks like it’s about to be annihilated.

Once Upon a Time, "And Straight on 'Til Morning"At this point, it’s starting to feel like that little peek of Colin O’Donoghue’s chest is taunting us.

XOX Betsey Johnson (Style) 8:00 PM ET
I know more about Betsey Johnson as someone who can inject some fun into celebrity culture than as a designer, so it makes sense that she’s getting a reality show, one that follows Betsey with her daughter Lulu as they try to turn their business around from bankruptcy.

The Simpsons (Fox) 8:00 PM ET
When Marge tries to get Bart to be more artistic, he’s resistant until she hires a pretty piano teacher. If that plot feels a little familiar, this one does have the voices of Bill Hader, Jane Krakowski and Patrick Stewart. Oh, and Justin Bieber, but we’re hoping that won’t be too bad.

The Simpsons, "The Fabulous Faker Boy"

Survivor (CBS) 8:00 PM ET
The most recent season did have a gay competitor, event planner Michael Snow, but it didn’t get a lot of attention (I’m guessing anyone who might be interested were still too traumatized by watching Colton two seasons earlier) until he was eliminated. However, he was the first person to make it onto the jury, so he’ll be back in this week’s finale and the reunion that will follow.

The Great Bear Stakeout (Discovery) 9:00 PM ET
Some animals get us to pay attention by being fiercely predatory, some get us to watch them by being adorable. With bears, documentary filmmakers get both. Keep your fingers crossed, this two-hour documentary following grizzly bears in Alaska will offer a good mix of stealing honey from bees, fishing for salmon and chasing prey.

Game of Thrones (HBO) 9:00 PM ET
Daenerys gets ready to meet with a slave lord. I hope there’s another double-cross in the works.

Nurse Jackie

Nurse Jackie (Showtime) 9:00 PM ET
Thor hasn’t really done much to fall into the “gay BFF” cliche, but this week Jackie needs help feeling sexy and confident for her date with Frank. For Jackie.

Revenge (ABC) 9:00 PM ET
The first season of Revenge was 24 glorious hours of television but it just utterly fell apart this season as Emily apparently ran out of faces to ’X’ out on that photograph and, instead… well, I can’t remember what Emily has done this season by now. It all feels like a blur of glaring at Victoria in between Porter brothers buffooning their way to being easy vengeance targets and something about the check that initially funded Nolcorp. This week’s two-hour finale promises “dangerous events,” a “catastrophic moment” and a “heartbreaking death.” I’m just going to spend the summer hoping Emily gets a new photo to mark up.

Revenge, "The Truth"I’m hoping they found the plot, so they’ll have it in the third season.

American Dad (Fox) 9:30 PM ET
For its season finale, American Dad goes Freaky Friday when Klaus thinks he’s found his human body, but ends up forcing a body switch with Stan to give himself a way to reach it. Hopefully, the episode will also reveal which Klaus fan switched bodies with an American Dad writer to get the first Klaus story in a while.

Mad Men (AMC) 10:00 PM ET
Ever since Peggy left SCDP, Mad Men fans wondered if she would be working with the old team again. Did any of us think that would happen with Don and Ted would accomplish that by becoming a corporate Carol and Mike Brady? Now, the employees of Sterling Cooper Draper Price and Cutter Gleason & Chaogh have to go through the rough spots of becoming one big happy family. I eagerly await Joan’s righteous anger when she hears the news.

Family TreeDrat. I already did an IT Crowd reference this week. There’s nothing left to turn off and on again.

Family Tree (HBO) 10:30 PM ET
HBO steps into the mockumenary genre with the master of the genre Christopher Guest in this series about a man (Britcom fave Chris O’Dowd, though most of the media doesn’t think you’ll recognize him outside of his Bridemaids) who discovers there’s an entire branch of his family tree he didn’t know existed.

What Would Ryan Lochte Do? (E!) 10:30 PM ET
Tonight’s episode asks, “What Would Ryan Lochte Do… If He Got Plastered?” which makes one think, “You showed us last week, duh. And the week before that and in the premiere, too.” However it turns out they’re talking literal plaster since Ryan’s favorite bar is making a casting of his “most popular body part.”

What will you be watching this weekend? Please share in the comments!

Lyle Masaki is a fan of obscure superheroes, video games, adorkable guys and that show you loved that got cancelled way too soon.