Courtyard New York Manhattan/SoHo completes $2 Million renovation

June 6, 2017

Photos courtesy of Courtyard New York Manhattan/South
(Photos courtesy of Courtyard New York Manhattan/South)

The following is a press release from Courtyard New York Manhattan/SoHo:

When the 120-room Courtyard New York Manhattan/SoHo opened in the Hudson Square area on Varick Street in 2010, it was a sleek, modern addition to a unique neighborhood known since the 1930s for its spacious lofts and printing houses.

Today, the area is home to designers, marketing and tech companies, trendy restaurants and shops — and now the completely reimagined SoHo hotel. The Greenwich Village hotel adopted a “120 rooms in 35 days” mantra to complete a $2 million remodel that included 119 rooms and one suite plus all public areas and the lobby-level Table 181 lounge. In a little over a month, taking three to four floors at a time, the renovation was completed quickly — which meant little inconvenience to guests who are now treated to a brand-new look with even more comfort.

Rooms at the boutique-style SoHo hotel feature custom-fitted furnishings in muted red and black colors and abstract touches, bringing in the feeling of the neighborhood. New wallcoverings, curtains, lamps and mattresses give the accommodations a fresh look. Each room has a refrigerator, coffee station, safe and complimentary Wi-Fi. On floors 14-20, city view rooms overlook either the Hudson River or Manhattan skyline, with the Empire State Building as a centerpiece. A unique design feature in several rooms is a glass wall that extends several inches beyond the surface of the building, giving guests a surreal glass niche in which to gaze out over the city.

The SoHo hotel’s two-story lobby is a great place to relax or work in one of the intimate media pods or at a high-top seating area at Table 181, open for breakfast and evening beverages. Starbucks® drinks also are available.

About Courtyard New York Manhattan/SoHo
Courtyard New York Manhattan/SoHo at 181 Varick Street between King and Charlton streets is walking distance to well-known neighborhood places such as Jacques Torres Chocolates and City Winery. Varick Street is just two blocks from the heart of SoHo, with its many art galleries, shops and restaurants. The hotel features 19 floors with 119 rooms and 1 suite in addition to 1 meeting room with 231 square feet, a restaurant, on-site laundry facilities and a fitness center with cardio equipment and free weights. For information, visit www.marriott.com/NYCMT or call 1-212-414-8282.

Courtyard offers a refreshing environment that helps guests stay connected, productive and balanced. Intuitive services and design accommodate guests’ needs for choice and control. With over 1,000 locations in over 40 destinations, Courtyard hotels participate in the award-winning Marriott Rewards® frequent travel program that allows members to earn hotel points or airline miles for every dollar spent during each stay.

2017 IDCon: Joe Kenda, Tony Harris, Chris Hansen, Candice DeLong and other ID stars greet fans, share stories

May 20, 2017

by Carla Hay

Investigation Discovery show host Lt. Joe Kenda ("Homicide Hunter") was a popular personality at IDCon 2017.
Investigation Discovery show host Lt. Joe Kenda (“Homicide Hunter”) was a popular speaker at IDCon 2017. (Photo by Carla Hay)

Aficionados of true crime got an unforgettable experience at Investigation Discovery’s second annual fan event IDCon, which took place at the Altman Building in New York City on May 20, 2017.  ID show hosts Joe Kenda, Tony Harris (who was IDCon 2017’s lively and humorous emcee), Paula Zahn, Tamron Hall, Chris Hansen, Candice DeLong, Garry McFadden, Maria Elena Salinas, Graham Hetrick, Michelle Ward and Rod Demery all participated in the event, and most of them did meet-and-greet sessions with fans. The event kicked off with a greeting from Henry Schleiff, group president of Investigation Discovery, American Heroes Channel, and Destination America. He thanked the fans for making ID the top-rated U.S. cable network for women. IDCon 2017 also premiered sneak preview footage of the upcoming ID scripted movies “Final Vision” (about the Jeffrey MacDonald murder case) and “The Dating Game Killer” (about serial killer Rodney Alcala).

Investigation Discovery show host Tony Harris (“Scene of the Crime”) emceed IDCon 2017. (Photo by Carla Hay)

The event space expanded this year to include a downstairs lounge area. The lounge had an ID Addict Truth Booth where fans can videorecord their ID Addict confessions, some of which could be televised or posted on ID’s social media.

IDCon 2017 attendees could confess their ID channel addiction in the ID Addicts Truth Booth and have their confessions videorecorded for possible airings on the network. (Photo by Carla Hay)

Other new activations this year the “Liar! Liar! Liar!” polygraph demonstration; a competitive “Be an Eyewitness” photo competition game; an “Evidence Board” to break down the facts behind the unsolved murder of Chandra Levy; and an exclusive photo booth where attendees can “Become the Notorious Headline” by having their photos imposed on mock crime-magazine covers.

IDCon 2017 attendees could participate in the Liar! Liar! Liar! polygraph test demonstration. (Photo by Carla Hay)

IDCon 2017 attendees were served free samples the first three wines from the recently announced ID Wine Club (which is available as of June 1). There was also plenty of ID merchandise for purchase. The items included a black T-shirt that has the IDCon 2017 logo and a gray T-shirt that says “I’d Rather Be Watching ID.” (The T-shirts come is sizes S, M, L and XL.) There were also thermoses and mason jars with Kenda’s signature catch-phrase “My My My.”

All proceeds for IDCon will be donated to New York’s Silver Shield Foundation, an organization which provides educational support to families of firefighters and police officers killed in the line of duty. ID Addicts unable to make the trip to New York can watch select panels via the network’s Facebook Live streams, or go to network’s social handles at Twitter, Instagram, and SnapChat for behind-the-scenes coverage.

ID host Tony Harris (pictured at right) gets a live polygraph exam at IDCon 2017.(Photo by Carla Hay)

A few fans at IDCon who were posting on social media and using the hastag #IDCON2017 during the event were randomly selected to win prizes, such as selfie sticks. Attendees also had the opportunity to answer trivia questions sent via text messages to win a grand prize of a trip for two on the Kenda Cruise, a partnership with Princess Cruises. Kenda announced the winner at the end of the event.

Here were some of the highlights of IDCon 2017 panels:

Missing From the Headlines

IDCon 2017
“Missing From the Headlines” panel, at IDCon 2017. Pictured from left to right: Investigation Discovery senior vice president of production Sara Kozak (panel moderator), Tamron Hall, Chris Hansen, Maria Elena Salinas and Paula Zahn. (Photo by Carla Hay)

Moderated by ID senior vice president of production Sara Kozak, this panel of TV journalists—Hansen, Zahn, Hall and Salinas—discussed some of the crime cases (usually murders) that they have brought to their ID shows.

Hall mentioned that in an upcoming episode of her show “Deadline: Crime,” Tyler Perry will be featured, and he donated $100,000 toward solving the crime. She elaborated, “Tyler saw the story on the local news … And he agreed for the first time to do a sit-down, on-camera interview about this case.”

Even when cases are solved, there is often a messy aftermath that doesn’t always equal a happy ending. Zahn mentioned the case of John Purvis, who was wrongly convicted of murder and freed nine years later, as an example of a case that stands out for her. Tragically, Purvis’ mother, who was his strongest supporter in the ordeal, died before he was released from prison. And a police officer risked his job and reputation to prove that Purvis did not commit the crime. “Even after they had proven [Purvis’ innocence] through DNA technology, this cop with still dealing with people who were doubting his testimony.”

Salinas also discussed an upcoming episode of “The Real Story” about the June 2016 mass murder at the predominately gay Pulse nightclub in Orlando. She said that Omar Mateen, the shooter who was killed by police officers , may not have been motivated by terrorism but rather homophobia. Salinas said one of the people interviewed in the episode is a man who claims he was one of Mateen’s gay lovers and says the reason for the Pulse shooting was “[Mateen] wanted to get back at some men he had one-night stands with who told him they were HIV-positive.”

All of the panelists agreed that one of the most important aspects of their jobs is having crime victims’ families tell their stories on the shows. Hansen mentioned that an upcoming episode of “Killer Instinct” is about the 1997 murder of Susannah Chase, a 23-year-old in Boulder, Colorado. Her killer was tried and convicted 12 years after the murder. Hansen, who interviewed Chase’s brother and sister, noted:”When they sit down and talk about their sister 20 years after [the murder] happened, it’s almost like the first time.”

Salinas added about families affected by murders and other violent crimes, “They have something to say … We have to remember that in a crime, it’s not just the deceased who are the victims, it’s the family that’s the victim. Sometimes it’s two separate families—also the family of the perpetrator. They sometimes provide details that we didn’t know before.”

People Magazine Investigates

“People Magazine Investigates” panel at IDCon 2017: Pictured from left to right: People deputy editor Dan Wakefield (panel moderator), People senior editor Alicia Dennis, People staff writer Caitlin Keating and People senior writer Christine Pelisek. (Photo by Carla Hay)

People magazine’s senior editor Alicia Dennis, senior writer Christine Peliseck and  staff writer Caitlin Keating gathered for a panel moderated by deputy editor Dan Wakeford to discuss the ID series “People Magazine Investigates,” which explores true crime stories that were covered by People. The panelists talked about how it was a relief that ID respectfully handles the recreations on the show because one of their biggest concerns before the TV show began was the real people in the magazine’s crime stories would be recreated for television. The panel also discussed the series’ first episode about the Long Island serial killer (who still hasn’t been caught) and the bizarre twist of how Mari Gilbert, the mother of one of the victims, was stabbed to death by her other daughter, according to prosecutors for the crime. Gilbert’s interviews for the show were among the last she ever did.

Notorious Headlines

“Notorious Headlines” panel at IDCon 2017: Pictured from left to right:producer Steph Watts (panel moderator), Candice DeLong, Beth Karas,Sgt. Derrick Levasseur, Dr. Kris Mohandie and producer Tim McConville. (Photo by Carla Hay)

Moderated by producer and reporter Steph Watts, this panel featured hosts and producers of ID shows that covered famous crimes. The panel included FBI profiler Candice DeLong (host of “Deadly Women”); legal analyst Beth Karas (“An American Murder” mystery specials on Casey Anthony and JonBenét Ramsey); police sergeant Derrick Levasseur and forensic psychologist Kris Mohandie (commentators, “Is OJ Innocent? The Missing Evidence”); and showrunner Tim McConville (“An American Murder Mystery”/”American Scandal”).

DeLong, who was one of the few people who has interviewed Unabomber serial killer Ted Kaczynski, said he was the only “evil genius” she ever met. DeLong also recalled that one of the strangest aspects of their conversation was that he gave her advice on “how to boil turnips on an open stove” after she had asked him what it was like to live in a remote, rural area. “It was the worst date I’ve ever been on, ” she joked. DeLong also said after interviewing him as an FBI profiler and reading his journals, her opinion of Kaczynski is that he only cared about two things: “his quarter-acre of land with a shack on it and the other was killing people.”

For the still-unsolved murder of college student Chandra Levy, Karas said that Washington politics and the high-profile aspect of the case played a big role in hindering the police investigation. “You have to have press conferences constantly, you’re under scrutiny … It’s a headache, but the public has a right to know, so it’s a delicate balancing act. They made mistakes along the way.” Gary Condit, a U.S. Congressman who later admitted to having an affair with Levy, was a person of interest for years, but Karas believes that Condit (who was cleared from the investigation) “had nothing to do with the disappearance [of Chandra Levy]” and that the reason why he fell under public suspicion so quickly was “bad timing for him” in a world where the media had obsessively covered the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

In 2016, several JonBenét Ramsey TV specials (including one from ID) aired within weeks of each other. McConville said that “time” is the biggest challenge when there is race to bring these competing specials on the air. “The pressure is to work fast. It was a race to get out there to find contributors. We were aware of the other specials coming out, but I don’t think we let that knowledge influence the way we were thinking of telling the story.”

For the ID special “Is OJ Innocent? The Missing Evidence,” Mohandie said in addition to getting the cooperation of the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson, it was important for the investigative team to get interviews with former Los Angeles Police Department investigator Tom Lange to directly address accusations that the police planted evidence in the OJ Simpson case. Mohandie said that other key witnesses that were interview coups for the special included Allan Park (the limousine driver who arrived at Simpson at home on the night of the murders) and witness Jill Shively, whose was dropped by the prosecution after she gave a tabloid interview. “She saw something very important that night. Whether she sold her story to a tabloid is irrelevant, in my mind. She had been blamed by the prosecution for losing the case, and  [interviewing her’ gave us a chance to tell her that she had nothing to do with the loss of this case.” Levasseur added, “We were really focusing on Jason Simpson [O.J. Simpson’s oldest son] and that theory [that he might have been involved in the murders].”

The Case That Keeps Me Up at Night

“The Case That Keeps Me Up at Night” panel at IDCon 2017: Pictured from left to right: Dr. Michelle Ward (moderator), Rod Demery, Joe Kenda, Garry McFadden and Graham Hetrick. (Photo by Carla Hay)

Moderated by criminal psychologist Dr. Michelle Ward, this panel talked about cases solved by investigators/ID hosts Kenda (“Homicide Hunter”),  Demery (“Murder Chose Me”), McFadden  (“I Am Homicide”) and Hetrick (“The Coroner: I Speak for the Dead”) .

ID’s long-running “Homicide Hunter” is one of the network’s highest-rated series, so Kenda got the biggest cheers from the audience. When asked which case haunts him the most, Kenda and the other panelists gave a similar answer: “I don’t have a single case,” said Kenda, who added, “I did not solve 31 murders. All 31 haunt me to this day. Why didn’t I solved them? I solved 356 of them. People often ask me, “What was the most horrible case you’ve ever seen?”

Kenda and McFadden, who were on an IDCon panel together in 2016, mentioned many of the same things they talked about on that year’s panel, such as how their police work affected them and their personal lives. McFadden talked about a homicide victim’s daughter whom he eventually began to treat as if she were his own daughter.

One of the most interesting questions asked of the panelists was whether or not they think the worst murderers are created by nature or by nurture. Given that most serial killers and other murderers have siblings who do not become murderers too, the panelists said they believe that murderers’ disorders can be explained by “nature,” i.e., something to do with what’s going on inside the individual’s body, whether it is mental illness, a psychological defect or the effects of long-term substance abuse.

Ultimately, Demery said that murderers and other criminals “make a choice” to commit the crimes, and they should be held responsible for their choices. McFadden noted, “We all have the ability [to murder], but we may not act on it.” Hetrick added, “I think the study of environment is very important, and I think it’s important that we look at physical things ….certain pathologies of the brain. They’re all very important. They’re not as important from a personal standpoint as much as they are to understand how we can [help] society.”

2017 TV Upfronts: The CW announces 2017-2018 schedule; see photos and videos

May 18, 2017

by Carla Hay

Nathalie Kelley and Grant Show in “Dynasty” (Photo by Mark Hill/The CW)

The CW officially announced its 2017-2018 schedule during the network’s upfront presentation at the New York City Center in New York City on May 18, 2017. Most of the existing shows had previously been announced as renewed. However, the upfront presentation made it official that the following shows have been cancelled: “The Vampire Diaries,” “Reign,” “Frequency” and “No Tomorrow.” The end of “The Vampire Diaries” had been announced a year before it happened.

New scripted shows include  the drama “Valor,” a new version of the iconic 1980s soap opera “Dynasty,” the comedy “Life Sentence” and the superhero drama “Black Lightning,” which is based on the DC Comics character.

Fall premiere dates will be announced at a later time. Please note that shows picked up but not listed on the schedule below will debut later in the 2017-18 season. These shows include “The 100,” “iZombie” and “The Originals.”

The following is an excerpt from a CW press release:

The CW FALL 2017-18 SCHEDULE

All times listed are Eastern/Pacific Time.

MONDAY

8-9 p.m.  “Supergirl”
9-10 p.m. “Valor”

TUESDAY

8-9 p.m.  “The Flash”
9-10 p.m. “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow”

WEDNESDAY

8-9 p.m.  “Riverdale”**
9-10 p.m. “Dynasty”

THURSDAY

8-9 p.m.  “Supernatural”
9-10 p.m. “Arrow”**

FRIDAY

8-9 p.m.  “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”
9-10 p.m. “Jane the Virgin”

**=new night

NEW DRAMA SERIES

“VALOR”

Matt Barr and Christina Ochoa in “Valor” (Photo by Jordon Nuttall/The CW)

An elite unit of U.S. Army helicopter pilots called the Shadow Raiders are sent on a top secret mission to Somalia, a mission that goes terribly awry. Only two members of the team return safely: Warrant Officer Nora Madani (Christina Ochoa), one of the unit’s first female helicopter pilots, and her commanding officer, Captain Leland Gallo (Matt Barr), while the whereabouts of their comrade Jimmy Kam (W. Tre Davis) are unknown. Now back in the U.S., Madani and Gallo are the only ones who know the truth about what really went wrong in Somalia. Nora’s boyfriend, First Lieutenant Ian Porter (Charlie Barnett), suspects she’s not telling him the full story, and Jess Kam (Corbin Reid), Jimmy’s wife and Nora’s friend, is frustrated and furious at being kept in the dark. Meanwhile Thea, (Melissa Roxburgh) the enigmatic CIA officer charged with investigating the failed mission, has her own suspicions about what occurred. With Nora still recovering from a gunshot wound suffered during the mission, the commander of the Shadow Raiders, Col. Robert Haskins (Nigel Thatch), grounds her from flying. But when it’s discovered that Jimmy is alive and being held captive by a group of ruthless terrorists, Nora is determined to join Gallo back in the cockpit to rescue their friend. As preparation and training intensify, Nora and Gallo grow closer, and soon find themselves torn between duty, honor and desire as they wonder who they can trust, and whether the secrets they’re hiding will help save Jimmy—or put them all in terrible danger.

“Valor” stars Matt Barr (“Sleepy Hollow”), Christina Ochoa (“Animal Kingdom”), Charlie Barnett (“Chicago Fire”), W. Trè Davis (“Shades of Blue”), Corbin Reid (“How to Get Away With Murder”), Nigel Thatch (“Selma”) and Melissa Roxburgh (“Star Trek Beyond”). From CBS Television Studios and Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Bill Haber (“Rizzoli & Isles”), Anna Fricke (“Being Human”), Kyle Jarrow (“Lost Generation”) and Michael Robin (“Nip/Tuck”).

“DYNASTY”

Nathalie Kelley and Grant Show in “Dynasty” (Photo by Mark Hill/The CW)

Fallon Carrington (Elizabeth Gillies) is charismatic, cunning, and poised to become the new COO of her father’s global energy empire – or so she thinks. When her father, Blake Carrington, (Grant Show) summons Fallon and her brother, Steven, (James Mackay) home to the family compound in Atlanta, Fallon is horrified to learn that the reunion isn’t to announce her promotion—but rather to make the acquaintance of their stepmother-to-be, Cristal (Nathalie Kelley). Cristal is stunning—and almost as young as Fallon, as Fallon is quick to point out—but she isn’t just some flimsy gold-digger to be scared off. Cristal is driven, principled, a savvy publicity maven at Carrington Atlantic, and she truly loves Blake. However, the wealth and privilege of the Carringtons’ world proves challenging to her, as she clashes with the staff, including Blake’s butler Anders (Alan Dale), as well as Fallon, who all make it very clear Cristal doesn’t belong. Family dynasties flow through blood, and Fallon would sooner draw blood than call Cristal “Mom.” Fallon asks Culhane (Robert Christopher Riley), the family’s chauffeur—and Fallon’s secret lover—to help expose Cristal for the fraud Fallon thinks she is. But when that backfires, and Blake chooses Cristal over his own daughter, Fallon sidles up to Blake’s biggest rival, Jeff Colby (Sam Adegoke), mixing business and pleasure to seek her revenge—leaving a jealous Culhane to watch from the sidelines. While the Carringtons’ rocky relationships prove the theory that family sticks together no matter what, Cristal is reminded of exactly that when her nephew, Sammy Jo (Rafael de la Fuente), arrives with a suitcase full of secrets from Cristal’s past. Now Cristal’s carefully concealed history could bring her future crashing down – and who knows who else she might take down with her.

“Dynasty” stars Grant Show (“Melrose Place”), Elizabeth Gillies (“Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll”), Nathalie Kelley (“UnReal,” “The Vampire Diaries”), James Mackay (“The Leftovers”), Alan Dale (“The O.C.”), Sam Adegoke (“Murder in the First”), Robert Christopher Riley (“Hit the Floor”), and Rafael de la Fuente (“Empire”). From CBS Television Studios in association with Fake Empire, with executive producers Josh Schwartz (“Gossip Girl), Stephanie Savage (“Gossip Girl”), Sallie Patrick (“Revenge”), Esther and Richard Shapiro (the creators of the original “Dynasty”) and Brad Silberling (“Jane The Virgin”).

“BLACK LIGHTNING”

Cress Williams in “Black Lightning” (Photo courtesy of J Squared Photography/The CW)

Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is a man wrestling with a secret. As the father of two daughters and principal of a charter high school that also serves as a safe haven for young people in a New Orleans neighborhood overrun by gang violence, he is a hero to his community. Nine years ago, Pierce was a hero of a different sort. Gifted with the superhuman power to harness and control electricity, he used those powers to keep his hometown streets safe as the masked vigilante Black Lightning. However, after too many nights with his life on the line, and seeing the effects of the damage and loss that his alter ego was inflicting on his family, he left his Super Hero days behind and settled into being a principal and a dad. Choosing to help his city without using his superpowers, he watched his daughters Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain) grow into strong young women, even though his marriage to their mother, Lynn (Christine Adams), suffered. Almost a decade later, Pierce’s crime-fighting days are long behind him—or so he thought. But with crime and corruption spreading like wildfire, and those he cares about in the crosshairs of the menacing local gang The One Hundred, Black Lightning returns—to save not only his family, but also the soul of his community. Based on the characters from DC,

“Black Lightning” is from Berlanti Productions and Akil Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti (“Arrow,” “The Flash”), Salim Akil & Mara Brock Akil (“Being Mary Jane,” “The Game,” “Girlfriends”), and Sarah Schechter (“Arrow,” “The Flash”). The Black Lightning character was created by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden.

NEW COMEDY SERIES

“LIFE SENTENCE”

Lucy Hale in "Life Sentence" (Photo by Jordon Nuttall/The CW)
Lucy Hale in “Life Sentence” (Photo by Jordon Nuttall/The CW)

“Life Sentence” follows Stella (Lucy Hale), a girl who has spent the last eight years living like she was dying (because she was). Just like the “manic pixie dream girl” heroines in her favorite sappy cancer movies, Stella traveled the world, faced her darkest fears and found true love on a whirlwind trip to Paris. But when Stella finds out that her cancer has been cured, she is suddenly forced to face the long-term consequences of the “live in the moment” decisions she made, including marrying a total stranger. And if that’s not enough, she also finds out that her “perfect family” isn’t so perfect after all. Turns out, because she was dying, everyone in her life hid their problems from her. But, now that she’s well, all bets are off. Stella is shocked to learn that her parents, Peter (Dylan Walsh) and Ida (Gillian Vigman), have fallen out of love, partly because Peter spent their retirement helping Stella make the most of her final days, and partly because Ida has fallen in love with her best friend (Stella’s godmother), Poppy. Also, it turns out Stella may be responsible for the fact that her sister, Elizabeth (Brooke Lyons), gave up her own dreams to take care of Stella and start a family with her husband Diego (Carlos PenaVega), just to give her parents something positive to focus on. Then there’s Stella’s often overlooked brother, Aiden (Jayson Blair), who’s pushing 30 and still lives above the garage, sells Adderall to soccer moms and uses Stella’s cancer to guilt them into sleeping with him. And, of course, there’s her husband Wes (Elliot Knight), a handsome Londoner who she agreed to spend the rest of her life with, thinking that would only be six to eight months, tops. Now that their forever just got a whole lot longer than they were expecting, Wes begins to worry that he can’t continue to pretend to be her perfect husband for the rest of his life. With a real future suddenly in front of her, Stella’s cinematic life snaps into reality, and instead of living like she’s dying, she will have to learn to live like she’s living, and help her family and friends do the same. This multi-generational, coming-of-age story proves that we all end up living somewhere between our dreams and reality… and maybe that’s okay.

“Life Sentence” stars Lucy Hale (“Pretty Little Liars”), Elliot Knight (“Once Upon A Time”), Dylan Walsh (“Nip/Tuck”), Gillian Vigman (“The Hangover”), Jayson Blair (“Whiplash”), Brooke Lyons (“The Affair”) and Carlos PenaVega (“Big Time Rush”). From Doozer Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios, with executive producers Erin Cardillo (“Fuller House,” “Significant Mother”) Richard Keith (“Fuller House,” “Significant Mother”), Bill Lawrence (“Scrubs,” “Cougar Town”), Jeff Ingold (“Ground Floor”), Oliver Goldstick (“Pretty Little Liars”) and Lee Toland Krieger (“The Age of Adaline,” “Riverdale”).

2017 TV Upfronts: CBS announces 2017-2018 schedule; see photos and videos

May 17, 2017

by Carla Hay

Iain Armitage and Zoe Perry in “Young Sheldon” (Photo by Robert Voets/CBS)

CBS officially announced its 2017-2018 schedule during the network’s upfront presentation at Carnegie Hall in New York City on May 17, 2017. Most of the existing shows had previously been announced as renewed. However, the upfront presentation made it official that the following shows have been cancelled: ‘Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders,” “The Great Indoors,” “Hunted” and “The Odd Couple.”

New scripted shows include “SEAL Team,” “S.W.A.T.,”‘Wisdom of the Crowd,” “9JKL,” “Me, Myself & I,” “Young Sheldon” (which is a prequel of sorts to “The Big Bang Theory”), “Instinct” and “By the Book.” Some of actors starring in these shows are known for starring in past long-running hit shows. David Boreanaz (“SEAL Team”) previously starred in “Bones.” Shemar Moore (“S.W.A.T.”) is a former star of “Criminal Minds.” Jeremy Piven (“Wisdom of the Crowd”) is best known for his Emmy-winning role on “Entourage.” Mark Feuerstein previously headlined “Royal Pains,” while his “9JKL” co-star Linda Lavin had her most famous role in the sitcom “Alice.” Bobby Moynihan, Jaleel White and John Larroquette (“Me, Myself & I”) are best known for their stints on, respectively, “Saturday Night Live,” “Family Matters” and “Night Court.” Alan Cumming of “Instinct” previously starred in “The Good Wife.”

Premiere dates will be announced at a later time for the following renewed shows: “Code Black,” “Elementary,” “Man With a Plan,” “The Amazing Race” and “Undercover Boss.” Please note that shows picked up but not listed on the schedule below will debut later in the 2017-18 season.

The following is an excerpt from a CBS press release:

CBS FALL 2017-18 SCHEDULE

All times listed are Eastern/Pacific Time.

MONDAY

September 25  to October 23, 2017:

8-8:30 p.m.   “The Big Bang Theory”
8:30-9 p.m.    “Young Sheldon”
9-9:30 p.m.    “Kevin Can Wait”
9:30-10 p.m.  “Me, Myself & I”
10-11 p.m.         “Scorpion”

As of October 30, 2017:

8-8:30 p.m.   “Kevin Can Wait”
8:30-9 p.m.    “9JKL”
9-9:30 p.m.    “Me, Myself & I”
9:30-10 p.m.  “Superior Donuts”
10-11 p.m.         “Scorpion”

TUESDAY

8-9 p.m.        “NCIS”
9-10 p.m.      “Bull”
10-11 p.m.     “NCIS New Orleans”

WEDNESDAY

8-9 p.m.        “Survivor”
9-10 p.m.      “SEAL Team”
10-11 p.m.     “Criminal Minds”

THURSDAY

September 28 – October 26, 2017

8-11 p.m.       “NFL Football”

As of November 2, 2017

8-8:30 p.m.   “The Big Bang Theory”
8:30-9 p.m.   “Young Sheldon”
9-9:30 p.m.   “Mom”
9:30-10 p.m. “My Life in Pieces”
10-11 p.m.        “S.W.A.T.”

FRIDAY

8-9 p.m.        “MacGyver”
9-10 p.m.      “Hawaii Five-O”
10-11 p.m.     “Blue Bloods”

SATURDAY

8-9 p.m.        Repeat episode of a show to be announced
9-10 p.m.      Repeat episode of a show to be announced
10-11 p.m.     “48 Hours”

SUNDAY

7-8 p.m.       “60 Minutes”
8-9 p.m.      “Wisdom of the Crowd”
9-10 p.m.     “NCIS Los Angeles”
10-11 p.m.    “Madam Secretary”

NEW DRAMA SERIES

“SEAL TEAM”

David Boreanaz, Neil Brown Jr. and Max Theriot in SEAL Team (Photo by Skip Bolen/CBS)
David Boreanaz, Neil Brown Jr. and Max Theriot in SEAL Team (Photo by Skip Bolen/CBS)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKMPAOGIA7I

“SEAL Team” stars David Boreanaz in a military drama that follows the professional and personal lives of the most elite unit of Navy SEALs as they train, plan and execute the most dangerous, high stakes missions our country can ask of them. Deployed on clandestine missions worldwide at a moment’s notice, and knowing the toll it takes on them and their families, this tight-knit SEAL team displays unwavering patriotism and fearless dedication, even in the face of overwhelming odds. Ben Cavell, Ed Redlich, Chris Chulack, Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly are executive producers for CBS Television Studios. Emmy Award winner Chulack directed the pilot.

“SEAL Team” stars David Boreanaz as Jason Hayes, Max Thieriot as Clay Spenser, Neil Brown Jr. as Ray, A.J. Buckley as Sonny, Toni Trucks as Diaz and Jessica Paré as Mandy Ellis.

“S.W.A.T.”

Shemar Moore in “S.W.A.T.” (Photo by Michael Yarish/CBS)

Inspired by the television series and feature film, “S.W.A.T.” stars Shemar Moore as a locally born S.W.A.T. sergeant newly tasked to run a specialized tactical unit that is the last stop in law enforcement in Los Angeles. Torn between loyalty to the streets where he was raised and allegiance to his brothers in blue, former Marine Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson (Moore) has everything it takes to successfully bridge the divide between his two worlds and excel at leading his dedicated team of brave men and women as they risk their lives to protect the community. Aaron Thomas, Shawn Ryan, Justin Lin, Neal Moritz, Marney Hochman, Danielle Woodrow and Pavun Shetty are executive producers for Sony Pictures Television in association with CBS Television Studios. Lin directed the pilot.

“S.W.A.T.” stars Shemar Moore as Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson, Stephanie Sigman as Jessica Cortez, Alex Russell as Jim Street, Jay Harrington as David “Deacon” Kay, Lina Esco as Christina “Chris” Alonso, Kenny Johnson as Dominique Luca and Peter Onorati as Mumford.

“WISDOM OF THE CROWD”

Jeremy Piven and Richard T. Jones in “Wisdom of the Crowd” (Photo by Diyah Pera/CBS)

“Wisdom of the Crowd” stars Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Jeremy Piven as a visionary tech innovator who creates a cutting-edge crowdsourcing app to solve his daughter’s murder, and revolutionizes crime solving in the process. Inspired by the notion that a million minds are better than one, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Jeffrey Tanner (Piven) develops “Sophe,” an online platform for publicly shared information, and recruits the original cop who searched for his daughter’s killer, Det. Tommy Cavanaugh (Richard T. Jones), to work with him. As Tanner taps into the “wisdom of the crowd,” his unexpected success fuels his determination to solve even more cases than just the one that’s personal to him. Ted Humphrey; Adam Davidson (pilot); Avi Nir, Alon Shtruzman, Peter Traugott, Rachel Kaplan (Keshet Media Group); and Dror Mishani and Shira Hadad are executive producers for CBS Television Studios in association with Universal Television. Davidson directed the pilot. Based on the Israeli format of the same name.

“Wisdom of the Crowd” stars Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Jeremy Piven as Jeffrey Tanner, Richard T. Jones as Det. Tommy Cavanaugh, Natalia Tena as Sara Morton, Blake Lee as Josh Novak, Jake Matthews as Tariq Bakari and Monica Potter as Alex Hale.

“INSTINCT”

“Instinct” stars Alan Cumming as a former CIA operative who is lured back to his old life when the NYPD needs his help to stop a serial killer. Dr. Dylan Reinhart (Cumming) is a gifted author and university professor living a quiet life teaching psychopathic behavior to packed classes of adoring students. But when top NYPD detective Lizzie Needham appeals to him to help her catch a serial murderer who is using Dylan’s first book as a tutorial, Dylan is compelled by the case, comes out of retirement and taps into his old skill set. Though Dylan and Lizzie initially clash, when it comes to catching killers, they realize they will make an ideal team if they both trust their instincts. Based on the soon to be published James Patterson book. Michael Rauch, Marc Webb, Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin (Secret Hideout), James Patterson, Bill Robinson, Leopoldo Gout and Alan Cumming are executive producers for CBS Television Studios. Webb directed the pilot.

“Instinct” stars Alan Cumming as Dr. Dylan Reinhart, Bojana Novakovic as Lizzie Needham, Daniel Ings as Andy, Naveen Andrews as Julian Cousins and Khandi Alexander as Lt. Monica Ford.

NEW COMEDY SERIES

“9JKL”

Elliott Gould, Linda Lavin, David Walton, Liza Lapira and Mark Feuerstein in “9JKL” (Photo by Cliff Lipson/CBS)

“9JKL” stars Mark Feuerstein in a family comedy inspired by his real life. Josh Roberts (Feuerstein) is a new divorcé and actor between projects who moves home to New York to regroup, living in an apartment sandwiched between his doting, meddlesome parents on one side and his competitive brother, sister-in-law and their new baby on the other. As Josh’s family literally comes at him from both sides, he realizes he desperately needs to establish some personal boundaries, because his loving family is always going to be right there for him. Always. Dana Klein, Mark Feuerstein, Aaron Kaplan, Wendi Trilling, Dana Honor and Pam Fryman are executive producers for Kapital Entertainment in association with CBS Television Studios. Fryman directed the pilot.

“9JKL” stars Mark Feuerstein as Josh Roberts, Linda Lavin as Judy, Elliott Gould as Harry, David Walton as Andrew, Liza Lapira as Eve and Matt Murray as Nick.

“BY THE BOOK”

“By the Book” is a comedy about a modern day man at a crossroads in his life who decides to live strictly in accordance with the Bible. Chip Curry (Jay R. Ferguson) is the film critic for a New York newspaper and a soon-to-be father who wants to be a better man following the loss of his best friend. As he begins his sincere spiritual journey toward a more moral life with the help of his wife and friends, he wonders if he’ll be able to take a page – or every page – out of the Good Book, and if the effect will be of Biblical proportions. Based on The New York Times bestselling book “The Year of Living Biblically” by A.J. Jacobs. Patrick Walsh, Johnny Galecki, Andrew Haas, Spencer Medof and multiple Emmy Award winner Andy Ackerman (pilot) are executive producers for Alcide Bava Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios. Ackerman directed the pilot.

“By the Book” stars Jay R. Ferguson as Chip, Lindsey Kraft as Leslie, Ian Gomez as Father Gene, David Krumholtz as Rabbi Ableman, Tony Rock as Vince and Camryn Manheim as Ms. Meadows.

“ME, MYSELF & I”

Jack Dylan Grazer, Bobby Moynihan and John Larroquette in “Me, Myself & I” (Photo by Neil Jacobs-Robert Voets/CBS)

“Me, Myself & I” stars Bobby Moynihan in a comedy about the defining moments in one man’s life over three distinct periods: as a 14-year-old in 1991, at age 40 in present day and at age 65 in 2042. During these pivotal periods of yesterday, today and tomorrow, Alex always finds a way to move forward with determination and humor, knowing his life story isn’t defined by the bad things that happen to him, but instead by how he chooses to deal with them. Dan Kopelman, Aaron Kaplan, Dana Honor and Randall Einhorn (pilot only) are executive producers for Kapital Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios. Einhorn directed the pilot.

“Me, Myself & I” stars Bobby Moynihan (Alex, present day), Jack Dylan Grazer (Alex, 1991), Brian Unger (Ron, 1991, present day), Jaleel White (Darryl, present day), Kelen Coleman (Abby, 2042), Skylar Gray (Abby, present day), Christopher Paul Richards (Justin, 1991), Mandell Maughan (Maggie, 1991), Reylynn Caster (Nori, 1991), with Sharon Lawrence (Eleanor, 2042) and John Larroquette (Alex, 2042).

“YOUNG SHELDON”

Iain Armitage in “Young Sheldon” (Photo by Robert Voets/CBS)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XR-jIhwIfIw

For 9-year-old Sheldon Cooper (Iain Armitage), it isn’t easy growing up in East Texas. Being a once-in-a-generation mind capable of advanced mathematics and science isn’t always helpful in a land where church and football are king. And while the vulnerable, gifted and somewhat naïve Sheldon deals with the world, his very normal family must find a way to deal with him. “The Big Bang Theory’s” multiple Emmy Award winner Jim Parsons narrates as Adult Sheldon. This single-camera, half-hour comedy gives us the chance to meet Sheldon in childhood, as he embarks on his innocent, awkward and hopeful journey toward the man he will become. Chuck Lorre and Steve Molaro created the series and executive produce along with Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak for Warner Bros. Television. Jon Favreau directed the pilot.

“Young Sheldon” stars Iain Armitage as Sheldon, Zoe Perry as Mary, Lance Barber as George Sr., Raegan Revord as Missy and Montana Jordan as Georgie Jr. “The Big Bang Theory’s” multiple Emmy Award winner Jim Parsons narrates the comedy as Adult Sheldon.

2017 TV Upfronts: ABC announces 2017-2018 schedule; see photos and videos

May 16, 2017

by Carla Hay

Freddie Highmore in “The Good Doctor” (Photo courtesy of ABC)

ABC officially announced its 2017-2018 schedule during the network’s upfront presentation at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall in New York City on May 16, 2017. Most of the existing shows had previously been announced as renewed. However, the upfront presentation made it official that “Toy Box” has been cancelled.

ABC is also reviving its Emmy-winning comedy “Roseanne” for eight episodes in 2018, with all of the show’s original stars back on board: Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Fishman and Lecy Goranson. Sarah Chalke, who played the character Becky in later seasons, will also appear in another role.

New scripted shows include “Alex, Inc.,” “The Crossing,” “Deception,” “For The People,” “The Good Doctor,””The Gospel of Kevin,”  “Marvel’s Inhumans,” “The Mayor” and “Splitting Up Together,” “Ten Days in The Valley.” New reality shows are  “American Idol,” “The Bachelor Winter Games” and “Dancing With the Stars Junior.” Some of actors starring in these shows are known for being in past long-running hit shows. Kyra Sedgwick of “Ten Days in the Valley” formerly starred in “The Closer.” Freddie Highmore (“The Good Doctor”) previously starred in “Bates Motel.” Zach Braff (“Alex, Inc.”), who used to star in “Scrubs,” returns to a starring role on a TV series. Jenna Fischer (“Splitting Up Together”) is best known for being on the U.S. version of “The Office.” Jason Ritter (“The Gospel of Jason”) was a co-star of “Parenthood.”

There will be two new live musical event specials: “The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live!’  and “Rolling Stone 50.”

Fall premiere dates will be announced at a later time. Please note that shows picked up but not listed on the schedule below will debut later in the 2017-18 season.

The following is an excerpt from an ABC press release:

ABC FALL 2017-18 SCHEDULE

All times listed are Eastern/Pacific Time.

MONDAY

8-10 p.m.        “Dancing with the Stars”
10-11 p.m.      “The Good Doctor”

TUESDAY

8-8:30 p.m.        “The Middle”
8:30-9 p.m.        “Fresh Off the Boat”**
9-9:30 p.m.        “Black-ish”***
9:30-10 p.m.       “The Mayor”
10-11 p.m.              “The Gospel of Kevin”

WEDNESDAY

8-830 p.m.        “The Goldbergs”
8:30-9 p.m.        “Speechless”
9:30-10 p.m.       “Modern Family”
9:30-10 p.m.       “American Housewife”***
10-11 p.m.              “Designated Survivor”

THURSDAY 

8-9 p.m.        “Grey’s Anatomy”
9-10 p.m.       “Scandal”
10-11 p.m.      “How to Get Away with Murder”

FRIDAY 

8-9 p.m.        “Once Upon a Time”***
9-10 p.m.      “Marvel’s Inhumans”
10-11 p.m.      “20/20”

SATURDAY 

8 p.m.        “Saturday Night Football”

SUNDAY 

7-8 p.m.        “America’s Funniest Home Videos”
8-9 p.m.        “To Tell the Truth” ***
9-10 p.m.      “Shark Tank”***
10-11 p.m.     “Ten Days in the Valley”

** = new time period

*** = new day and time period

NEW DRAMA SERIES

“THE CROSSING”

Sandrine Holt, Steve Zahn and Natalie Martinez in “The Crossing” (Photo/Bob D’Amico/ABC)

Refugees from a war-torn country seek asylum in a small American fishing town, only the country these people are from is America—and the war they are fleeing hasn’t happened yet. As the government tries to uncover the truth behind this mysterious migration only one thing is certain: The lives of the people here—both the townspeople and these newcomers—will never be the same.  Writers Dan Dworkin & Jay Beattie executive produce with Jason Reed.

“The Crossing” stars Steve Zahn as Jude Miller, Natalie Martinez as Reece, Sandrine Holt as Emma Ren, Rick Gomez as Nestor, Jay Karnes as Craig Lindauer, Marcuis Harris as Caleb, Simone Kessel as Rebecca, Kelly Missal as Hannah, Rob Campbell as Paul, Grant Harvey as Roy, Bailey Skodje as Leah, Jon D’Leo as Will, Luc Roderique as Bryce and Tommy Bastow as Marshall.

The pilot is directed by Rob Bowman. The series is from ABC Studios.

“DECEPTION”

Jack Cutmore-Scott in "Deception" (Photo by Giovanni Rufino/ABC)
Jack Cutmore-Scott in “Deception” (Photo by Giovanni Rufino/ABC)

When his career is ruined by scandal, superstar magician Cameron Black has only one place to turn to practice his art of deception, influence and illusion—the FBI. Using every trick in the book and inventing new ones, he will help the government catch the world’s most elusive criminals while staging the biggest illusions of his career.  The series is from writer/executive producer Chris Fedak (“Chuck”) and executive producers Greg Berlanti, Martin Gero and Sarah Schechter.  Illusionist David Kwong (“Now You See Me”) will co-produce.

“Deception” stars Jack Cutmore-Scott as Cameron Black/Jonathan Black, Ilfenesh Hadera as Kay Daniels, Lenora Crichlow as Dina Clark, Amaury Nolasco as Mike Alvarez, Justin Chon as Jordan Kwon, Laila Robins as Special Agent Deakins and Vinnie Jones as Gunter Gustafsen.

The series is from Berlanti Productions and Quinn’s House in association with Warner Bros. Television. “Deception” is directed by David Nutter, who is also executive producer.

“FOR THE PEOPLE”

Susannah Flood, Ben Rappaport and Rege Jean Page in “For the People” (Photo by Eric McCandless/ABC)

Set in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, aka “The Mother Court,” this new Shondaland drama follows brand-new lawyers working for both the defense and the prosecution handling the most high-profile and high-stakes federal cases in the country – all as their lives intersect in and out of the courtroom. The series is created by Shondaland’s Paul William Davies and is executive produced by Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers.

The series, from ABC Studios, stars Ben Rappaport as Seth Oliver, Susannah Flood as Kate Littlejohn, Wesam Keesh as Jay Simmons, Regé-Jean Page as Leonard Knox, Ben Shenkman as Roger Gunn, Hope Davis as Jill Carlan, Vondie Curtis-Hall as Judge Nicholas Byrne and Anna Deavere Smith as Tina Krissman.

“THE GOOD DOCTOR”

Freddie Highmore in “The Good Doctor”(Photo by Liane Hentscher/ABC)

Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore, “Bates Motel”), a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome, relocates from a quiet country life to join a prestigious hospital’s surgical unit. Alone in the world and unable to personally connect with those around him, Shaun uses his extraordinary medical gifts to save lives and challenge the skepticism of his colleagues. The series is from David Shore (“House”), and “Lost” and “Hawaii Five-O” star Daniel Dae Kim.

The series stars Freddie Highmore as Dr. Shaun Murphy, Antonia Thomas as Dr. Claire Brown, Nicholas Gonzalez as Dr. Neal Melendez, Chuku Modu as Dr. Jared Kalu, Beau Garrett as Jessica Preston, Hill Harper as Dr. Marcus Andrews and Richard Schiff as Dr. Aaron Glassman.

The series is from Sony Pictures Television and ABC Studios. David Shore is writer and executive producer. Daniel Dae Kim, David Kim and Sebastian Lee are also executive producers. Seth Gordon directed the pilot and is also an executive producer.

“THE GOSPEL OF KEVIN”

Jason Ritter in “The Gospel of Kevin” (Photo by Ryan Green/ABC)

Kevin Finn (Jason Ritter, “Parenthood”), a cluelessly self-serving person, is on a dangerous path to despair. In a downward spiral, Kevin returns home to stay with his widowed twin sister (JoAnna Garcia Swisher, “Once Upon a Time”) and niece.  On his first night there, an unlikely celestial being named Yvette appears to him and presents him with a mission: to save the world.  A light drama from executive producers Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters (“Marvel’s Agent Carter,” “Resurrection,” “Reaper”).

“The Gospel of Kevin” stars Jason Ritter as Kevin Finn, JoAnna Garcia Swisher as Amy, J. August Richards as Nate, Chloe East as Reese, Dustin Ybarra as Tyler and India de Beaufort as Kristin.

The pilot is directed by Paul McGuigan. The series is from ABC Studios.

“MARVEL’S INHUMANS”

Eme Ikwuakor, Ken Leung, Anson Mount, Serinda Swan, Isabelle Cornish and Iwan Rheon. (Photo by Michael Muller/ABC)

“Marvel’s Inhumans” explores the never-before-told epic adventure of the royal family including Black Bolt, the enigmatic, commanding King of the Inhumans, with a voice so powerful that the slightest whisper can destroy a city. After the Royal Family of Inhumans is splintered by a military coup, they barely escape to Hawaii where their surprising interactions with the lush world and humanity around them may prove to not only save them, but Earth itself. The legendary comic book series will be brought to life in a way that has never been done before, as a version of the first two episodes will be shown globally in IMAX theaters for a two-week period beginning September 1, 2017. ABC will then air the entirety of the series on the network, with additional exclusive content that can only been seen on ABC.

“Marvel’s Inhumans” stars Anson Mount as Black Bolt, Iwan Rheon as Maximus, Serinda Swan as Medusa, Eme Ikwuakor as Gorgon, Isabelle Cornish as Crystal, Ken Leung as Karnak, Ellen Woglom as an undisclosed character, Sonya Balmores as Auran and Mike Moh as Triton.

The series is executive produced by Scott Buck, along with Marvel’s Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory with Buck serving as showrunner.  Roel Reiné will direct the first two episodes. This series is a Marvel and IMAX project and is co-produced by Marvel Television and ABC Studios.

“TEN DAYS IN THE VALLEY”

Kick Gurry, Kyra Sedgwick and Erika Christensen in “Ten Days in the Valley” (Photo by Eric McCandless/ABC)

“Ten Days in the Valley” stars Kyra Sedgwick as Jane Sadler, an overworked television producer and single mother in the middle of a separation whose life is turned upside down when her young daughter goes missing in the middle of the night. Just like her controversial police TV show, everything is a mystery, everyone has a secret and no one can be trusted.

“Ten Days in the Valley” stars Kyra Sedgwick as Jane Sadler, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as John Bird, Kick Gurry as Pete Greene, Erika Christensen as Ali Petrovich, Felix Solis as David Gomez, Josh Randall as Tom Petrovich, Malcolm-Jamal Warner as Matt, Abigail Pniowsky as Lake and Francois Battiste as Gus.

“Ten Days in the Valley” is from Skydance Television. It is created and written by Tassie Cameron. Executive producers are Tassie Cameron, Kyra Sedgwick, Jill Littman, Dana Goldberg, David Ellison and Marcy Ross.

NEW COMEDY SERIES

“ALEX, INC.”

Audyssie Jame,, Elisha Henign, Tiya Sircar, Zach Braff, Hillary Anne Matthews and Michael Imperioli in “Alex, Inc.” (Photo by Craig Sjodin/ABC)

Based on the podcast StartUp, Alex Schuman (Zach Braff, “Scrubs”) is a brilliant radio journalist, husband and father of two who is about to do something crazy – quit his job and start his own company. He quickly discovers it’s going to be a lot harder than he thought. Zach Braff stars, directs and is executive producer with Matt Tarses (“Scrubs”) and Davis Entertainment (“Dr. Ken,” “Blacklist”).

Matt Tarses is writer and executive producer. Zach Braff is director and executive producer. John Davis and John Fox are executive producers of the series, from Davis Entertainment, as are Alex Blumberg, Chris Gilberti  and Matt Lieber (Gimlet Media) in association with Sony Pictures Television and ABC Studios.

“THE MAYOR”

Brandon Micheal Hall, Yvette Nicole Brown, Bernard David Jones, Marcel Spears and Lea Michele in “The Mayor” (Photo by Craig Sjodin/ABC)

Young rapper Courtney Rose (Brandon Micheal Hall) needs his big break. For years he’s toiled away in a small inner-city apartment, making music in his junk-filled bedroom closet. Tired of waiting for opportunity, Courtney cooks up the publicity stunt of the century—running for mayor of his hometown in California to generate buzz for his music career. Unfortunately for Courtney, his master plan goes wildly awry, ending in the most terrifying of outcomes: an election victory. With the help of his mother (Yvette Nicole Brown, “Community”) and friends, including Valentina (“Glee’s” Lea Michele), Courtney will have to overcome his hubris if he wants to transform the struggling city he loves.

The series stars Brandon Micheal Hall as Courtney Rose, Lea Michele as Valentina, Bernard David Jones as Jermaine Hardaway, Marcel Spears as TK and Yvette Nicole Brown as Dina.

From executive producer Daveed Diggs (Tony winner for Broadway’s “Hamilton”), writer/executive producer Jeremy Bronson (“Speechless,” “The Mindy Project,” “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”) and executive producer Jamie Tarses (“Happy Endings”), the series is from ABC Studios. The pilot is directed by executive producer James Griffiths (“black-ish”).

“SPLITTING UP TOGETHER”

Van Crosby, Jenna Fischer, Sander Thomas, Oliver Hudson and Olivia Keville in “Splitting Up Together” (Photo by Craig Sjodin/ABC)

Based on the Danish series, “Splitting Up Together” is the story of a couple (Jenna Fischer, “The Office,” Oliver Hudson, “Scream Queens”) whose marriage is reignited by their divorce. Emily Kapnek (“Suburgatory”) writes and serves as executive producer of this new comedy, along with Ellen DeGeneres.

The series stars Jenna Fischer as Lena, Oliver Hudson as Martin, Bobby Lee as Arthur, Diane Farr as Maya, Lindsay Price as Camille, Olivia Keville as Mae, Van Crosby as Mason and Sander Thomas as Milo.

Jeff Kleeman, Mette Heeno, Mie Andreasen and Hella Joof are also executive producers of “Splitting Up Together,” which is based on the original series created by Heeno. It is produced by A Very Good Production and Piece of Pie Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. Dean Holland directed the pilot.

NEW ALTERNATIVE SERIES

“AMERICAN IDOL”

ABC is bringing back “American Idol.” The network, along with producers FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment, a division of CORE Media Group, will revive television’s most successful and recognized music competition series for the 2017-2018 season, bringing back the fan-favorite and making more dreams come true. A host and judges will be announced at a later time.

“American Idol”‘s profound effect on the music industry is far-reaching and continually growing, launching the careers of superstars Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Katharine McPhee, Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry, among many others.  “American Idol” contestants have sold more than 60 million albums, resulting in more than 80 Platinum records and 95 Gold records. Its participants have generated more than 450 Billboard No. 1 hits and sold more than 260 million digital downloads.

“American Idol” is produced by FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment, a division of CORE Media Group. Executive producers include FremantleMedia North America’s Trish Kinane and Jennifer Mullin. FremantleMedia International distributes the series worldwide.

“THE BACHELOR WINTER GAMES”

America’s favorite participants from past seasons of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” from arch rivals to villains, will take competitive dating to a chilling new level. In an ode to the Winter Olympic Games and slated to premiere in February 2018, “The Bachelor Winter Games” will reunite the all-stars at a luxurious winter resort, where they will go head-to-head in winter-themed athletic challenges, including the toughest sport of all—love.

“The Bachelor Winter Games” is a production of Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Unscripted Television. Mike Fleiss and Martin Hilton to executive produce.

“DANCING WITH THE STARS JUNIOR”

A fresh new take on an established favorite, “Dancing with the Stars Junior” will pair celebrity kids and kids of celebrities with professional junior ballroom dancers to perform choreographed routines, which will be judged by a panel of renowned ballroom experts, to be announced at a later date.

Slated to debut in Spring 2018, “Dancing with the Stars Junior” is produced by BBC Worldwide Productions.

NEW SPECIALS

“THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY: THE LITTLE MERMAID LIVE!”

In a two-hour special event, ABC will take the iconic “The Little Mermaid” animated feature film and intertwine it with show stopping LIVE musical performances via cutting-edge technology for an explosive evening honoring one of Walt Disney’s most celebrated classics. Fans of “The Little Mermaid” and Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s Oscar-winning songs will enjoy this never-before-seen live action/animation hybrid television experience featuring a soon-to-be announced roster of some of their favorite celebrity artists, whose performances will weave seamlessly throughout the original animated film.

“The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live!” is set to premiere on Tuesday, October 3. The special is produced by Done + Dusted with Hamish Hamilton, Ian Stewart, David Jammy, Katy Mullan, and Richard Kraft, of Kraft-Engel Productions, serving as executive producers.

“ROLLING STONE 50”

For half a century, Rolling Stone has remained an iconic and important voice in American music, culture and politics. Now, the people who have told their stories through the Rolling Stone lens are coming together to reflect on the last 50 years. “Rolling Stone 50” will pay homage to the brand’s influence and impact through a curated journey of its most seminal moments. Live from New York City, the three-hour special television event, set to debut Wednesday, February 7, 2018, will showcase live performances, short films, iconic on-stage moments, never-before-seen musical pairings, and celebrities that have shaped pop culture, music and politics.

The special is a production of Done + Dusted and Wenner Media. Jann Wenner and Gus Wenner of Wenner Media and Ian Stewart, David Jammy and Katy Mullan of Done + Dusted serve as executive producers.

2017 TV Upfronts: Fox announces 2017-2018 schedule; see photos and videos

May 15, 2017

by Carla Hay

Seth MacFarlane, Penny Johnson Jerald, Adrianne Palicki, Halston Sage and Brian George in “The Orville” (Photo courtesy of Fox)

Fox has officially announced its 2017-2018 schedule during the network’s upfront presentation at the Beacon Theater in New York City on May 15, 2017. Most of the existing shows had previously been announced as renewed. However, the upfront presentation made it official that the following shows have been cancelled: “24: Legacy,” “MasterChef Junior,” “Kicking and Screaming,” “My Kitchen Rules,” “Prison Break” and “Scream Queens.”

New scripted shows include “9-1-1,” “The Resident,” “The Gifted,” “LA to Vegas,” “Ghosted” and “The Orville.” Several actors who are familiar to TV audiences star in these shows including Stephen Moyer (“The Gifted”), formerly of “True Blood”; “Ghosted” stars Craig Robinson, formerly of “The Office” and Adam Scott, who used to be on “Parks and Recreation”; “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane (“The Orville”); “American Horror Story” cast regular Angela Bassett (“9-1-1”); and Dylan McDermott (“LA to Vegas”), a former star of “The Practice.”

As previously announced, there will be two new live musical event specials: “Rent” and “A Christmas Story Live.”

Fall premiere dates will be announced at a later time. Please note that shows picked up but not listed on the schedule below will debut later in the 2017-18 season.

The following is an excerpt from a Fox press release:

FOX FALL 2017-18 SCHEDULE

All times listed are Eastern/Pacific Time.

MONDAY

8-9 p.m.         “Lucifer”
9-10 p.m.       “The Gifted”

TUESDAY

8-9 p.m.             “Lethal Weapon”
9-9:30 p.m.      “The Mick”
9:30-10 p.m.    “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”

WEDNESDAY

8-9 P.M.              “Empire”
9-10 P.M.            “Star”

THURSDAY

8-9 p.m.               “Gotham”
9-10 p.m.             “The Orville”

FRIDAY

8-9 p.m.                “Hell’s Kitchen”
9-10 p.m.             “The Exorcist”

SATURDAY

7-10:30 p.m.      “Fox Sports Saturday: Fox College Football”

SUNDAY

7-7:30 p.m.       “NFL on Fox”
7:30-8 p.m.       “The OT” or “Bob’s Burgers”
8-8:30 p.m.       “The Simpsons”
8:30-9 p.m.       “Ghosted”
9:30-10 p.m.    “The Last Man on Earth”

NEW DRAMA SERIES

“THE GIFTED”

Percy Hynes White, Stephen Moyer, Amy Acker and Natalie Alyn Lind in “The Gifted” (Photo by Frank Ockenfels/Fox)

“The Gifted”  tells the story of a suburban couple whose ordinary lives are rocked by the sudden discovery that their children possess mutant powers. Reed (Stephen Moyer, “Shots Fired,” “True Blood”) and Caitlin (Amy Acker, “Person of Interest”) Strucker are typical middle-class parents dealing with the realities of raising a family. However, when their teenage kids, Lauren (Natalie Alyn Lind, “Gotham”) and Andy (Percy Hynes White, “Night at the Museum 3”), are involved in an incident at their high school which reveals they are mutants, Reed and Caitlin do all in their power to protect their children. Forced to go on the run, the Struckers must leave behind their old lives to flee from a relentless government agency that tracks down mutants, the Sentinel Services, which includes Agent Jace Turner (Coby Bell, “Burn Notice”). Complicating matters further is the fact that Reed is a prosecutor in the district attorney’s office tasked with going after mutants. Desperate and running low on options, the family’s only choice is to contact an underground network that helps mutants in trouble. The mutants in the network—Eclipse / Marcos Diaz (Sean Teale, “Reign”), Blink / Clarice Fong (Jamie Chung, “Gotham”), Polaris / Lorna Dane (Emma Dumont, “Aquarius”) and Thunderbird/ John Proudstar (Blair Redford, “Satisfaction”)—are dealing with their own issues. With one of their members in prison and their team possibly compromised, they face an uncertain future in a world that looks increasingly dangerous for mutants. Written by Matt Nix (“Burn Notice”), directed by Bryan Singer (the “X-Men” franchise) and executive-produced by Nix, Singer, Lauren Shuler Donner (“X-Men: Apocalypse,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” “The Wolverine”), Simon Kinberg (“X-Men: Apocalypse,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past”), Jeph Loeb (“Marvel’s Daredevil,” “Marvel’s Jessica Jones”) and Jim Chory (“Marvel’s Daredevil,” “Marvel’s Jessica Jones”), “The Gifted” is a story of survival, a story of mutants coming to terms with who they are, a story of parents accepting the fact that their kids aren’t who they thought they were and loving them just the same—even if all of their lives are at risk because of it.

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: 20th Century Fox Television, Marvel Television

WRITER: Matt Nix

DIRECTOR: Bryan Singer

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Bryan Singer, Matt Nix, Lauren Shuler Donner, Simon Kinberg, Jeph Loeb, Jim Chory

CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Derek Hoffman

CAST: Stephen Moyer as Reed Strucker, Amy Acker as Caitlin Strucker, Sean Teale as Eclipse / Marcos Diaz, Jamie Chung as Blink / Clarice Fong, Coby Bell as Jace Turner, Emma Dumont as Polaris / Lorna Dane, Blair Redford as Thunderbird / John Proudstar, Natalie Alyn Lind as Lauren Strucker, Percy Hynes White as Andy Strucker

“THE ORVILLE”

"The Orville" on Fox
Penny Johnson Jerald, Mark Jackson, Seth MacFarlane, Peter Macon, Scott Grimes, Adrianne Palicki, J. Lee and Halston Sage in “The Orville” (Photo by Noah Schutz/Fox)

From Emmy Award-winning executive producer and creator Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy,” “Ted”) and directed by Jon Favreau (“The Jungle Book,” “Iron Man”), “The Orville” is a one-hour science fiction series set 400 years in the future that follows the adventures of the U.S.S. Orville, a mid-level exploratory vessel. Its crew, both human and alien, faces the wonders and dangers of outer space, while also dealing with the familiar, often humorous problems of regular people in a workplace…even though some of those people are from other planets, and the workplace is a faster-than-light spaceship. In the 25th century, Earth is part of the Planetary Union, a far-reaching, advanced and mostly peaceful civilization with a fleet of 3,000 ships. Down on his luck after a bitter divorce, Planetary Union officer Ed Mercer (MacFarlane) finally gets his chance to command one of these ships: the U.S.S. Orville. Determined to prove his worth and write a new chapter in his life, Ed finds that task all the more difficult when the First Officer assigned to his ship is his ex-wife, Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Friday Night Lights”). As the new commander, Ed assembles a qualified, but eccentric crew, including his best friend, Gordon Malloy (Scott Grimes, “ER,” “Justified”), who has problems with authority, but is the best helmsman in the fleet; Dr. Claire Finn (Penny Johnson Jerald, “24,” “The Larry Sanders Show”), one of the Union’s most accomplished physicians; Bortus (Peter Macon, “Shameless,” “Bosch”), an alien from a single-sex species; Isaac (Mark Jackson, “That Royal Today”), an artificial life-form from a machine society that thinks biological life-forms are inferior; navigator John Lamarr (J. Lee, “Family Guy,” “The Cleveland Show”), whose casual humor cuts through even the most dire situations; Alara Kitan (Halston Sage, “Neighbors,” “Goosebumps”), a young, inexperienced security officer whose home planet’s high gravity gives her superior physical strength; and Yaphit, a gelatinous creature voiced by comedian Norm Macdonald (“The Middle,” “Saturday Night Live”). Somehow, Ed and Kelly must put the past behind them and, with the help of the crew, navigate fascinating and sometimes dangerous adventures in outer space, as well as the tumultuous and captivating day-to-day personal relationships with their colleagues.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: 20th Century Fox Television

CREATOR/WRITER: Seth MacFarlane

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Seth MacFarlane, Brannon Braga, David A. Goodman, Jason Clark, Liz Heldens

DIRECTOR/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Jon Favreau (pilot)

CAST: Seth MacFarlane as Ed Mercer, Adrianne Palicki as Kelly Grayson, Penny Johnson Jerald as Claire Finn, Scott Grimes as Gordon Malloy, Peter Macon as Bortus, Halston Sage as Alara Kitan, J. Lee as John Lamarr, Mark Jackson as Isaac, Chad Coleman as Klyden, Norm Macdonald as Yaphit

“9-1-1”

Angela Bassett in “9-1-1” (Photo courtesy of Fox)

From prolific creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, new procedural drama 9-1-1 is a fast-paced exploration into the lives and careers of first responders—cops, paramedics, firefighters—the people who put their lives on the line to save others. Starring Academy and Emmy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Angela Bassett (“American Horror Story,” “What’s Love Got to Do with It”), the series is based on the real-life, high-pressure experiences of emergency response providers who are thrust into heart-stopping situations that are equal parts unpredictable, intense and uplifting.

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: 20th Century Fox Television, Ryan Murphy Television, Brad Falchuk Teley-Vision

CREATORS/WRITERS/EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk

CAST: Angela Bassett

“THE RESIDENT”

Manish Dayal, Emily VanCamp, Shaunette Renee Wilson, Matt Czuchry, Valerie Cruz and Bruce Greenwood in “The Resident” (Photo by Justin Stephens/Fox)

Focusing on three doctors at different stages of their careers and a dedicated young nurse, “The Resident” is a provocative new medical drama that rips back the curtain to reveal the truth of what really happens, both good and bad, in hospitals across the country. Meet Dr. Conrad Hawkins (Matt Czuchry, “The Good Wife”), one of the best doctors at Chastain Park Memorial Hospital. Charming, arrogant and only a third-year resident, Conrad does everything in the most unconventional way possible. Along with treating patients, Conrad believes it is his job to burst the illusions of first-year residents, like Dr. Devon Pravesh (Manish Dayal, “Halt and Catch Fire”), and turn them into real-life doctors. Devon is an innocent idealist, who wears his finely tuned moral compass and passion for science like armor. With Conrad’s help, however, Devon quickly discovers the reality of his chosen profession is not what he imagined, and that ethical lines are often blurred. Nothing, not even the best medical school in the country, could have prepared him for what he’s about to learn. As Devon accompanies Conrad through the hospital’s halls, he meets distinguished chief of surgery Dr. Randolph Bell (Bruce Greenwood, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” “Mad Men”), the face of the hospital and its most sought-after doctor, whose diminishing skills, and the errors they cause, are covered with the help of allies under his command; Dr. Mina Okafor (Shaunette Renée Wilson, “Billions”), a rising star surgeon from Nigeria who is threatening Bell’s dominance, but who also is in the U.S. on a visa; and Nicolette Nevin (Emily VanCamp, “Revenge”), one of Chastain Memorial’s most respected nurses and Conrad’s on-again-off-again romantic partner. While Conrad opens Devon’s eyes to the stark realities of hospital life, the once-optimistic young doctor soon realizes that the practice of medicine is a business, like any other. Not all patients are angels and not all doctors are gods, but one thing’s for sure: expectations are meant to be shattered.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: 20th Century Fox Television

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Antoine Fuqua, Amy Holden Jones, David Boorstein, Oly Obst

CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Hayley Schore, Roshan Sethi

WRITERS: Amy Holden Jones, Hayley Schore, Roshan Sethi

DIRECTOR/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Phillip Noyce

CAST: Matt Czuchry as Dr. Conrad Hawkins, Emily VanCamp as Nicolette Nevin, Manish Dayal as Dr. Devon Pravesh, Shaunette Renée Wilson as Dr. Mina Okafor, Valerie Cruz as Renata Lopez and Bruce Greenwood as Dr. Randolph Bell

NEW COMEDY SERIES

“GHOSTED”

Craig Robinson and Adam Scott in ‘Ghosted” (Photo by Kevin Estrada/Fox)

Starring Craig Robinson (“The Office,” “This Is the End”) and Adam Scott (“Parks and Recreation,” “Big Little Lies”), “Ghosted” is a single-camera, action-comedy about the unlikely partnership between two down-on-their-luck polar opposites tasked with an even more unlikely mission: saving the human race from aliens. Leroy Wright (Robinson) is a cynical skeptic and former missing persons detective, who, if we’re speaking frankly, thinks that “aliens” are a big ole bunch of B.S. and that people who believe in them are certifiably nuts. People like Max Jennifer (Scott). Max is a genius “true believer” in the paranormal who’s convinced his wife was abducted by aliens. At low points in their lives, both Leroy and Max are recruited by Captain Ava Lafrey (Ally Walker, “Colony,” “Sons of Anarchy”), a take-no-prisoners, former Air Force test pilot and head of the Bureau Underground, a secret government organization investigating paranormal cases. Lafrey, along with her staff—Barry Shaw (Adeel Akhtar, “Unforgotten,” “The Night Manager”), an overly friendly forensic pathologist, and Delilah Ward, a highly opinionated tech specialist—will support Leroy and Max in their quest for answers. Now, this heroic group of underdogs will look into “unexplained” activity in Los Angeles that often leads them to scary, thrilling and hilarious places, as they attempt to uncover the truth and keep the earth rotating on its axis for at least one more day.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: 20th Century Fox Television

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Tom Gormican, Kevin Etten, Craig Robinson, Adam Scott, Naomi Scott, Oly Obst, Mark Schulman

WRITERS: Tom Gormican, Kevin Etten

DIRECTOR/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Jonathan Krisel

CAST: Craig Robinson as Leroy Wright, Adam Scott as Max Jennifer, Ally Walker as Captain Ava Lafrey, Adeel Akhtar as Barry Shaw

“LA TO VEGAS”

Dylan McDermott in “LA to Vegas” (Photo by Kevin Estrada/Fox)

From executive producers Will Ferrell (“Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” “Elf”), Adam McKay (“The Big Short”), Lon Zimmet (“Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt”) and Steve Levitan (“Modern Family”), “LA to Las Vegas” is a single-camera ensemble comedy about an airline crew and the eccentric passengers who, every weekend, take the roundtrip flight from Los Angeles to Las Vegas with one goal in mind—to come back a winner. Welcome to Jackpot Airlines, a budget carrier whose junket flight from LA to Vegas and back again, is filled with dreamers looking for that big score. Holding (or, more to the point, barely holding) these voyages together is Ronnie (Kim Matula, “UnREAL”), a long-suffering flight attendant who tries to keep her cool (oftentimes, with little success) whether she’s dealing with a bi-polar bride-to-be or the dead body in Row 13. Managing the revolving door of bachelor parties and 21st birthdays gets even trickier when Ronnie develops a “location-ship” with Colin (Ed Weeks, “The Mindy Project”), a regular passenger and an economics professor, whose son and soon-to-be ex-wife live in Vegas. Further complicating her job every weekend is Captain Dave (Emmy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Dylan McDermott, “The Practice,” “American Horror Story”), the narcissistic pilot whose fighter-pilot dreams never quite worked out; Bernard (Nathan Lee Graham, “The Comeback,” “Hitch”), the always-positive career flight attendant who thinks there’s no flight more magical than the LA-to-Vegas; Artem (Peter Stormare, “The Big Lebowski”), the genial professional gambler who serves as the plane’s resident (but unofficial) bookie; and Nichole (Olivia Macklin, “The Young Pope”), the sweet-natured, part-time stripper who’s a lot savvier than people realize. It won’t be easy, but this unlikely group of miscreants and dreamers will eventually go from being strangers on a plane to a supportive, if unconventional, family…from Friday to Sunday…whether they like it or not.

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: 20th Century Fox Television, Gary Sanchez Productions

WRITER/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Lon Zimmet

DIRECTOR/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Steve Levitan

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Chris Henchy, Owen Burke

CAST: Kim Matula as Ronnie, Ed Weeks as Colin, Nathan Lee Graham as Bernard, Olivia Macklin as Nichole with Peter Stormare as Artem and Dylan McDermott as Captain Dave

NEW SPECIALS

“RENT”

A re-imagining of Puccini’s “La Bohème,” and set in New York City’s gritty East Village, “Rent” tells the unforgettable story of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams during a time of great social and political turmoil. After winning four Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize, writer/composer Jonathan Larson’s tour de force celebrates its 21st anniversary this year, as it continues to offer an inspiring message of hope and friendship. “Rent” originally was produced in New York by New York Theatre Workshop and on Broadway by Jeffrey Seller, Kevin McCollum, Allan S. Gordon and New York Theatre Workshop. “Rent” will be executive-produced by Marc Platt, Adam Siegel, Julie Larson, Al Larson and Revolution Studios’ Vince Totino, Scott Hemming and Marla Levine.

“A CHRISTMAS STORY LIVE”

Fox and Warner Horizon Unscripted Television will partner with acclaimed film, television and theater producer Marc Platt (“Grease: Live,” “La La Land,” “Wicked”) on the LIVE musical event “A Christmas Story,” inspired by the holiday classic feature “A Christmas Story” and the Tony Award-nominated Broadway production “A Christmas Story: The Musical.” Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, recent Tony Award nominees for the musical “Dear Evan Hansen” and lyricists of “La La Land’s” Academy Award-winning song, “City of Stars,” also scored “A Christmas Story: The Musical,” and will compose several new songs for the LIVE television event, with Jonathan Tolins and Robert Cary (“Grease: Live”) adapting the book. The three-hour live television production of “A Christmas Story” will air this December on Fox.

2017 TV Upfronts: NBC announces 2017-2018 schedule; see photos and videos

May 15, 2017

by Carla Hay

Mike Vogel, Noah Mills, Hadi Tabbal, Demetrius Grosse, Natacha Karam in “The Brave” (Photo by Jeff Riedel/NBC)

NBC has officially announced its 2017-2018 schedule during parent company NBCUniversal’s upfront presentation at New York City’s Radio Music Hall on May 15, 2017. Most of the existing shows had previously been announced as renewed. However, the upfront presentation made it official that these shows have been cancelled: “The Celebrity Apprentice,” “Chicago Justice,” “First Dates,” “Little Big Shots” and “Trial & Error.”

Several familiar names in television will have new shows on NBC as stars and/or executive producers, including Ellen DeGeneres; Mindy Kaling; Chris Hardwick; former “Parks and Recreation” stars Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman; and former “How I Met Your Mother” stars Neil Patrick Harris and Josh Radnor.

As previously announced, NBC is also reviving its Emmy-winning comedy “Will & Grace” with all four of the show’s main stars: Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally.

NBC is also taking big steps to rival FX’s Emmy-winning hit anthology series “American Crime Story” by offering “Law & Order True Crime,” with the first season focusing on the 1989 Menendez murders, in which wealthy brothers Lyle and Erik Menendez killed their parents. Edie Falco stars as notorious defense attorney Leslie Abramson.

During NBCUniversal’s upfront event, Jennifer Hudson (who has joined “The Voice” as a coach in 2017) performed. Stars also attended to promote their shows on several other NBCUniversal networks, including USA Network,  Telemundo, Universo, Bravo, E!, Oxygen and Syfy.

Fall premiere dates will be announced at a later time. Please note that shows picked up but not listed on the schedule below will debut later in the 2017-2018 season.

The following is an excerpt from an NBC press release:

NBC FALL 2017-18 SCHEDULE

All times listed are Eastern/Pacific Time.

MONDAY

8-10 p.m.       “The Voice”

10-11 p.m.        “The Brave”

TUESDAY

8-9 p.m.           “The Voice”

9-9:30 p.m.    “Superstore”

9:30-10 p.m.   “The Good Place”

10-11 p.m.         “Chicago Fire”

WEDNESDAY

8-9 p.m.           “The Blacklist”

9-10 p.m.         “Law & Order: SVU”

10-11 p.m.        “Chicago P.D.”

THURSDAY

8-8:30 p.m.   “Will & Grace”

8:30-9 p.m.   “Great News”

9-10 p.m.         “This Is Us”

10-11 p.m.       “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders”

FRIDAY

8-9 p.m.         “Blindspot”

9-10 p.m.       “Taken”

10-11 p.m.       “Dateline NBC”

SATURDAY

8-10 p.m.     “Dateline Saturday Night Mystery”

10-11 p.m.     “Saturday Night Live” (encores)

SUNDAY

7-8:20 p.m.   “Football Night in America”

8:20-11 p.m.  “NBC Sunday Night Football”

NEW DRAMA SERIES

“THE BRAVE”

Mike Vogel and Shereen Martin in “The Brave” (Photo by Simon Mein/NBC)

From Keshet Studios and Avi Nir (executive producer of “Homeland”) comes a fresh, heart-pounding journey into the complex world of America’s elite undercover military heroes. While D.I.A. Deputy Director Patricia Campbell (Anne Heche) and her team of analysts wield the world’s most advanced surveillance technology from Washington, D.C., Adam Dalton and his heroic Special Ops squad of highly trained undercover specialists use their unbreakable bond and commitment to freedom to save lives of innocent people and execute missions in some of the most dangerous places in the world.

The cast includes Anne Heche, Mike Vogel, Sofia Pernas, Tate Ellington, Natacha Karam, Demetrius Grosse, Noah Mills and Hadi Tabbal.

Dean Georgaris will write and executive produce. Brad Anderson will direct and executive produce the pilot. Avi Nir, Alon Shtruzman, Peter Traugott and Rachel Kaplan also executive produce. “The Brave” is produced by Universal Television and Keshet Studios.

“GOOD GIRLS”

Retta and Mae Whitman in “Good Girls” (Photo by Justin Lubin/NBC)

When three suburban moms get tired of trying to make ends meet, they decide it’s time to stick up for themselves by robbing the local supermarket at (toy) gunpoint. But when the manager catches a glimpse of one of them and the loot is far more than they expected, it doesn’t take long for the three best friends to realize the perfect getaway will be harder than they think. From executive producer Jenna Bans (“Scandal”) comes this comedy-infused drama that mixes a little “Thelma & Louise” with a bit of “Breaking Bad.”

The cast includes Retta, Mae Whitman, Reno Wilson, Manny Montana, Lidya Jewett, Izzy Stannard and Matthew Lillard.

Jenna Bans will write and executive produce. Dean Parisot directs and executive produces the pilot. Jeannine Renshaw also executive produces. “Good Girls” is produced by Universal Television.

“LAW & ORDER TRUE CRIME: THE MENENDEZ MURDERS”

Edie Falco in “Law & Order True Crime:: The Menendez Murders” (Photo by Justin Lubin/NBC)

Starring the incomparable Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Edie Falco (“The Sopranos,” “Nurse Jackie”), this new eight-episode true-crime installment of the powerhouse “Law & Order” franchise delivers a gripping in-depth dramatization of the notorious murder case that changed America forever. When the Menendez brothers were tried on national TV for brutally killing their parents in Beverly Hills, their story became a national obsession. Now, the first edition of this anthology series delves into the players, the crime and the media circus, detailing the day-to-day battles of the trial and unveiling the shocking truth of what really went down when the cameras stopped rolling.

Rene Balcer will write and executive produce. Lesli Linka Glatter will direct and executive produce. Dick Wolf, Peter Jankowski and Arthur W. Forney also executive produce. “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders” is produced by Universal Television and Wolf Films.

“REVERIE”

Sarah Shahi and Dennis Haysbert in “Reverie” (Photo by Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)

From Mickey Fisher, the creator of “Extant,” this grounded new thriller follows Mara Kint (Sarah Shahi), a former hostage negotiator and expert on human behavior who became a college professor after facing an unimaginable personal tragedy. But when she’s brought in to save ordinary people who have lost themselves in a highly advanced virtual-reality program in which you can literally live your dreams, she finds that in saving others, she may actually have discovered a way to save herself.

The cast includes Sarah Shahi, Dennis Haysbert, Jessica Lu, Sendhil Ramamurthy and Kathryn Morris.

Mickey Fisher will write and executive produce. Jaume Collet-Serra will direct and executive produce the pilot. Brooklyn Weaver, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey also executive produce. Tom Szentgyorgyi is a consulting producer. “Reverie” is produced by Universal Television and Amblin Television.

“RISE”

From Jason Katims, writer and executive producer of “Friday Night Lights” and “Parenthood,” and “Hamilton” producer Jeffrey Seller comes a heartening new drama about finding inspiration in unexpected places. When dedicated teacher and family man Lou Mazzuchelli (Josh Radnor) sheds his own self-doubt and takes over the school’s lackluster theater department, he galvanizes not only the faculty and students but the entire working-class town. Inspired by a true story.

The cast includes Josh Radnor, Rosie Perez, Marley Shelton, Auli’i Cravalho, Damon J. Gillespie, Amy Forsyth, Rarmian Newton, Ted Sutherland, Casey Johnson, Taylor Richardson, Joe Tippett and Shirley Rumierk.

Jason Katims will write and executive produce. Mike Cahill will direct and executive produce the pilot. Michelle Lee, Jeffrey Seller and Flody Suarez also executive produce. “Rise” is produced by Universal Television, True Jack Productions and Seller Suarez Productions.

NEW COMEDY SERIES

“A.P. BIO”

Glenn Howerton in “A.P. Bio” (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

When a philosophy scholar loses out on his dream job and goes to work as a high school Advanced Placement biology teacher, he makes it clear he will not be teaching any biology. Realizing he has a room full of honor roll students at his disposal, he decides instead to use the kids to his own benefit.

The cast includes Glenn Howerton, Patton Oswalt, Lyric Lewis, Mary Sohn, Aparna Brielle, Jacob McCarthy, Nick Peine and guest star Vanessa Bayer (pilot only).

Mike O’Brien will write and executive produce. Lorne Michaels, Seth Meyers, Andrew Singer and Mike Shoemaker also executive produce. Osmany Rodriguez will direct. “A.P. Bio” is produced by Universal Television, Broadway Video and Sethmaker Shoemeyers Productions.

“CHAMPIONS”

J.J. Totah and Mindy Kaling in “Champions” (Photo by: Jordin Althaus/NBC)

Vince, a charismatic gym owner with no ambition, lives with his younger brother Michael, a gorgeous idiot. Their simple life of women and working out is put on hold when the teenage son of Vince is dropped off on their doorstep by Priya (Mindy Kaling), one of his old high school flings.

The cast includes Anders Holm, Andy Favreau, J.J. Totah, Mouzam Makkar, Nina Wadia and guest star Mindy Kaling.

Charlie Grandy and Mindy Kaling will write and executive produce. Michael Alan Spiller will direct and executive produce. Howard Klein also executive produces. “Champions” is produced by Universal Television, 3 Arts Entertainment, Eyes Up Productions and Kaling

“WILL & GRACE”

“Will & Grace” stars Megan Mullally, Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes at NBCUniversal’s upfront event at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on May 15, 2017. (Photo by: Heidi Gutman/NBCUniversal)

That’s right, honey! A decade after their unforgettable eight-season run, comedy’s most fabulous foursome is back. Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally reprise their infamous roles as Will, Grace, Jack and Karen in this exclusive 12-episode event. The legendary James Burrows, director of every original “Will & Grace” episode, returns along with a slew of razor-sharp jabs and dirty martinis. Behold once again, from the minds of Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, TV’s wittiest ensemble ever.

The cast includes Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally.

Max Mutchnick and David Kohan will write and executive produce. Alex Herschlag, Tracy Poust & Jon Kinnally also executive produce. James Burrows will direct and executive produce. “Will & Grace” is produced by Universal Television.

NEW ALTERNATIVE SERIES

“THE AWESOME SHOW”

Chris Hardwick (Photo by MJ Kim)

From executive producer/host Chris Hardwick (“The Wall”), executive producer Mark Burnett (“The Voice”) and Silicon Valley’s Singularity University comes a new series that will showcase the groundbreaking scientific and technological advances that are shaping the future, as well as celebrate the pioneers and communities at the forefront of this golden age of unprecedented discovery, innovation and opportunity. Each episode of “The Awesome Show” will be a rollercoaster ride through the world of innovation as told by the people who are shaping it and whose lives are affected by it. The series will highlight stories of revolutionary scientific and technological advances and will marvel at mankind’s tremendous feats, both now and in the future.

Mark Burnett, Chris Hardwick and Alex Murray executive produce. “The Awesome Show” is produced by Universal Television Alternative Studio in association with Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Fish Ladder.

“ELLEN’S GAME OF GAMES”

The one and only Ellen DeGeneres returns to primetime to host an exciting new game show that’s one big party! Featuring super-sized versions of some of the most beloved games from “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” as well as new ones, contestants will be pulled from the studio audience to maneuver massive obstacles while answering trivia questions, all under the pressure of Ellen’s mischievous and hilarious antics. With DeGeneres’ witty and comedic sensibility plus fun-filled games, each episode is sure to entertain the entire family and deliver lots of laughs. One lucky contestant will get the chance to win the grand prize, but everyone will have a blast!

Ellen DeGeneres, Jeff Kleeman, Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly, Andy Lassner, Kevin Leman and David A. Hurwitz executive produce. Russell Norman directs. “Ellen’s Game of Games” is produced by Warner Horizon Unscripted in association with A Very Good Production and Telepictures.

“GENIUS JUNIOR”

Neil Patrick Harris (Photo by Christopher Polk/NBC)

No stranger to young geniuses, Neil Patrick Harris hosts an exciting new game show that celebrates the smartest kids in America. These talented “genius juniors” will team up to take on mind-blowing tests of logic, math, memory, spelling and more. Through escalating rounds, they will be tested in each area of the brain, culminating in an ultimate challenge to be crowned the smartest and brightest. The winning team will take home a life-changing prize — setting the stage for a big, bright future ahead.

Neil Patrick Harris, Pam Healey, John Hesling, Phil Parsons and Ed Egan executive produce. “Genius Junior” is produced by Shed Media in association with Prediction Productions.

“THE HANDMADE PROJECT”

Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman of “The Handmade Project” at NBCUniversal’s upfront event at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on May 15, 2017. (Photo by Cindy Ord/NBCUniversal)

From executive producer and host Amy Poehler and co-host Nick Offerman comes a lighthearted competition celebrating the creativity and craftiness in all of us. Each week, eight amateur makers will take on a series of projects they must complete in their own unique way. As the competition escalates, the amateurs will be challenged to master progressively difficult skills, culminating in a final craft-off between the most creative and tenacious contestants. Shot in a serene outdoor setting, this friendly competition will focus on the character and camaraderie of DIY culture – and through it all, Poehler and Offerman will provide encouragement, guidance and plenty of laughs.

Amy Poehler, Brooke Posch, Nicolle Yaron, Nick Offerman, Dave Becky and Anthony Dominici executive produce. “The Handmade Project” is produced by Universal Television Alternative Studio in association with Paper Kite Productions.

Saks Fifth Avenue in Manhattan opens The Wellery space devoted to wellness

May 11, 2017

Saks Fifth Avenue Wellery
Saks Fifth Avenue Wellery (Photo courtesy of Justin Bridges Photography)

The following is a press release from Saks Fifth Avenue:

Saks Fifth Avenue announces the opening of The Wellery concept shop in New York City’s Manhattan borough. In the first-of-its-kind space, guests can find more than 16,000 square feet of immersive experiences dedicated to wellness. Located on the second floor of the Fifth Avenue flagship at 611 Fifth Avenue at 50th Street, the Saks Wellery features a curated edit of the best products, classes and services in the city for living a healthier and more balanced life. This unique space will be open for a limited time through October 2017.

The Saks Wellery is a lifestyle-centric shopping destination for today’s experience-seeking consumer.  The space is comprised of 22 individual spaces offering visitors the most sought-after fitness classes and equipment, women’s and men’s activewear and athleisure apparel, and skincare products and treatments. A dedicated Saks Wellery concierge is available on-site to direct customers, or help them determine which offerings best suit their wellness needs. The Saks Studio space will host rotating pop-up classes and events from some of the City’s most exciting gyms and fitness programs.

 

“Saks has a long history of creating breakthrough, experiential environments in our stores—in 1935, an indoor ski slope was constructed in the flagship store in order to offer skiing lessons. The Saks Wellery, our latest concept shop, focused entirely on wellness, continues the Saks tradition of elevating shopping to a higher level by building exciting customer experiences,” said Saks Fifth Avenue Chief Merchant Tracy Margolies. “We want the Saks Wellery to be a sanctuary for our customers—a place to find peace and solace in the middle of our bustling city.”

The Wellery will offer more than 1,200 of the City’s best fitness classes through October. Studios offering fitness classes in dedicated studios include ConBody, a prison-style boot camp using only one’s body weight, and Bendable Body, a specialized stretching method that works on connective tissue. The Saks Studio space will feature rotating pop-up classes from several local companies beginning Saturday, May 13. MNDFL offers meditation classes and the instructors at modelFIT teach class-goers how to move with strength and grace through daily activities. In addition to fitness classes, the Saks Studio will host wellness-focused events, including reiki healing, meditation, massages, and more.

To feel rejuvenated and healed, visitors can visit Breathe Salt Rooms to experience dry salt therapy, then grab a hydrogen-infused HFactor water for the road. For clients in need of a beauty fix, SKINNEY MedSpa offers services including non-invasive body contouring and hi-tech facials, and Sundays nail studio specializes in two-in-one manicures with meditation.

Fitness aficionados can check out and test the latest home gym equipment in showrooms from Technogym, Peloton, and Martone Cycling Co. New York City’s Drive 495, a luxury fitness boutique, offers customized stretching and workout routines aimed at helping clients achieve athletic goals, as well as custom golf club fittings for PXG’s innovative club technology. Heroine Sport, Phat Buddha, Beyond Yoga, S’well, and Alala are just a few of the brands featured in the activewear shop.

Fitness classes throughout the floor can be booked ahead of time through the individual brands’ websites, and walk-ins can stop by the Wellery concierge to check on class availability. The Wellery concierge can be reached by phone at (212) 940-2457.

The complete list of Saks Wellery shops is as follows: Bendable Body, Blink Brow Bar, Bodyism, Breathe Salt Rooms, Care/of, ConBody, Decorté, Drive 495 featuring PXG, Glow Recipe, Greyson Clothiers, Martone Cycling Co., Peloton, Ron Dorff, Saks women’s athleisure shop, Saks Wellery concierge featuring Hfactor, Saks Studio, SKINNEY MedSpa, sundays, Technogym and Trish McEvoy.

2017 BookExpo: Hillary Clinton is a headlining speaker

May 10, 2017

by Carla Hay

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton (Photo by Virginia Sherwood/MSNBC)

Hillary Rodham Clinton will make a speaking appearance during BookExpo at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on June 1, 2017. This year’s BookExpo, a trade event for people in the book industry,  will take place May 31 to June 2 at the same location. The fourth annual BookCon, a fan event for book consumers, will also be held at the Javis Convention Center on June 3 and June 4, 2017. Both events are produced by ReedPOP.

Clinton’s speaking engagement is billed as “An Evening with Hillary Rodham Clinton” and will take place on BookExpo’s Main Stage from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Clinton’s appearance will be a separately ticketed event with limited availability open to registered BookExpo attendees only. Seating will be on a first come, first served basis.

After serving as the 67th U.S. Secretary of State (from 2009 to 2013), Clinton authored the 2014 bestselling memoir “Hard Choices.” In 2016, she became the first woman to be nominated for U.S. president by a major political party. Prior to being Secretary of State, Clinton was a U.S. Senator representing New York from 2001 to 2009, and was First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Clinton is also the author of 2016’s “Stronger Together: A Blueprint for America’s Future” (which she co-authored with Tim Kaine) and the 1996 bestseller “It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us.” Her next book (title to be announced) will be published by Simon & Schuster in September 2017.

As previously reported, BookExpo 2017 has also lined up superstar author Stephen King, who will appear for the first time at the event. King will be part of the Adult Book & Author Breakfast on June 1.

 

2017 Lowdown Hudson Music Fest: Common, OK Go are headliners

May 9, 2017

 

Award-winning rapper Common and modern rock group OK Go are headlining the seventh annual Lowdown Hudson Music Fest, a free outdoor festival at Brookfield Place’s Waterfront Plaza in downtown Manhattan on July 18 and July 19, 2017. Common will headline the July 18 show, while OK Go is headlining on July 19.

There are no reservations or tickets for this free event. The doors open at 5 p.m., and the performances start at 6 p.m.

An estimated 15,000 attendees attend the festival every year, according to Arts Brookfield, the company that produces the event. Previous headliners have included The Roots, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, Los Lobos, Neko Case and Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings.

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