After six seasons, when the producers of most TV sitcoms are feeling lucky just to simply still have a place on the schedule for their shows, the biggest question facing “Modern Family” is whether room will need to be made on the mantle for a sixth straight Emmy for outstanding comedy series.
“I feel very good about what we did this season,” co-creator Steven Levitan told Variety Monday at a For Your Consideration event on the 20th Century Fox lot, where fans – and, importantly, Television Academy voters – assembled to watch the sixth-season finale and listen to members of the cast and creative team discuss the most recent crop of episodes, which all agreed felt as fresh and funny as the high-water mark seasons that preceded them.
NBC and CBS were the season’s ratings winners in key demo categories, and Fox had the hottest new show in years, but the best story of the 2014-15 television season just might have belonged to ABC.
The Alphabet emerged as the only major network to draw a larger young-adult audience this season than last, thanks in large part to a strong rookie class that included hits “How to Get Away With Murder” and “Black-ish” as well as other solid newcomers like “Fresh Off the Boat” and “Secrets and Lies.” “The Goldbergs” blossomed in in its second year, while veterans like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” “Modern Family” and “Shark Tank” also continued to produce.
CBS introduced new drama hit “Scorpion” and renewed four other first-year shows, while Fox launched megahit “Empire” and solid newcomer “Gotham” and the CW discovered its biggest hit to date, “The Flash.” NBC, on the other hand, was unable to find any new hits, with modestly rated drama “The Mysteries of Laura” its only show from this season to return in the fall.
I think for better or for worse, I read the internet and I understand people are getting plot-twist fatigue, but personally I think we end the season with a run of episodes that were so twisty and turny and each one seemed to be more surprising than the next. I’m really proud of that. One of my litmus tests is, do we feel like we won’t be able to top it next season? And I certainly feel like we basically blew up the show and that continues on through the finale, so I’m really proud of that, because it’s something you can’t repeat — obviously you can’t blow up the show every year, so it’s exciting to me. The finale, when we finished writing it, I jokingly said I want to call it “Sticking the Landing” because there’s so many plot twists — and the thing about all the plot twists is, it’s all well and good but you’ve got to be able to explain it on the B-side, and all those questions have got to get answered, and at the same time you want it to be an entertaining episode on its own. It can’t just be 42 minutes of us reading Twitter and answering everyone’s questions, and knock on wood, I kind of feel like it’s satisfying in that regard. It answers the questions you have; it sets up new ones that hopefully people will carry into season four; it’s a very definitive ending…
People ask me, “does it end on a cliffhanger” and it really depends on your definition of a cliffhanger, because if your definition of a cliffhanger includes, “well how can they possibly continue to do this show after this episode?” then yes, this is very much a cliffhanger. [Laughs.] At the same time, it probably could function as a series finale if that’s the route we were going, but we’re at work on season four and I’m excited about what we’ve come up with.
Discuss a television show the day after it airs–perhaps the peak window for fan chatter–and there’s a good chance someone will scold you for spoiling them. Mention plot points on Twitter–a site whose entire modus operandi is immediacy–while the show is being broadcast, and you’re even more likely to make someone angry. The confusion and disagreement about spoilers tend to collide in particularly unpleasant ways on social media, where information flows instantly from feed to feed in ways that are both instant and easily amplified.
Now that NBC has locked up television rights for the Olympics through 2032, the NBA league contract that expires in two years is basically the only major sports rights package available before 2020. That means the NBA has a strong negotiating position in the marketplace as its television contract gets close to an expiration date.
“The NBA’s television contract is coming up at a favorable time in the cycle,” said Marc Ganis, president of Sports Corp Limited, noting that professional football, baseball, and hockey, as well as college football, all signed new long-term national television rights deals in recent years. “There are more networks in the marketplace that need NBA games than will get them.”
“The partnership further solidifies the PS3 system as the most complete home entertainment hub on the market today, enabling consumers to play high-definition games, watch Blu-ray movies, listen to music, view photos, browse the Internet, and download content from PlayStation®Network – from exclusive games to blockbuster movies and popular TV shows. PS3 system owners will soon enjoy an unparalleled experience watching their favorite movies and TV shows streamed instantly from Netflix, downloading from the PlayStation Network or watching Blu-ray/DVD media. The Netflix offering expands on the entertainment experience delivered to PS3 system owners via PlayStation Network.”
“SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ — In a landmark agreement, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced that its animated series NARUTO Shippuden has been acquired by Disney–ABC Cable Networks Group for debut on Disney XD (www.DisneyXD.com) television channel beginning in October.”
“NEW YORK, Aug. 10 /PRNewswire/ — Nickelodeon‘s iCarly — basic cable’s number-one kids’ program among total viewers quarter to date, was the champ with total viewers, kids and tweens with its ‘iFight Shelby Marx’ special (Aug. 8, 8 p.m. ET/PT ), which drew 7.9 million viewers (P2 ) and set a series record as the most watched iCarly special with viewers (P2 ). ‘iFight’ was basic cable’s number-one telecast with kids and tweens on Saturday night, and lead the competition by triple-digits, with all kids and tween demos.”