What everybody’s watching…and decidedly not watching.
• The Millers is a hit new comedy for CBS on Thursday nights. It starts Will Arnett and Margo Martindale, who are best known for, respectively, the Emmy-winning comedy Arrested Development and the Emmy-winning drama Justified. Neither of those shows ever brought in a huge audience. The premiere of The Millers attracted 13.09 million viewers, which is more than the most-watched episode of Arrested Development (7.98 million) and the most-watched episode of Justified (4.16 million) combined.
• The Big 4 broadcast networks don’t air many family sitcoms anymore. But the Disney Channel does. One of them is called Dog With a Blog. It’s about a family with a dog, and the dog…writes a blog. In early October, 3.5 million viewers tuned in to Dog With a Blog. That’s 400,000 more people than tuned in to that week’s episode of NBC’s Parks and Recreation.
• Super Fun Night is a new comedy hit for ABC for two reasons: 1) It stars Rebel Wilson, from Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect, and 2) It’s on immediately after Modern Family. This show has been in the works for almost two years. Wilson created the series and filmed a pilot in late 2011, which ABC turned down. They asked Wilson to try again, so she rewrote the script and filmed another pilot in 2012. The network didn’t like that attempt either, but still picked up the show to series and filmed a third pilot episode. That one wasn’t very good either, because ABC refused to air it. The first episode of Super Fun Night was actually the show’s second installment.
• TV reporters predicted one of the biggest new hits of the year would be The Michael J. Fox Show, which marked Michael J. Fox’s return to television after quitting Spin City in 2000 because of increasingly severe symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. In a bidding war with ABC and Fox for the show, NBC won by promising Fox and the show’s producers by committing to a full, 22-episode season before a pilot was filmed, or even written. So far, it hasn’t been the hit reporters or NBC expected.
• The biggest TV news story of the fall: the Breaking Bad finale. (If you haven’t seen it, don’t worry – we won’t spoil it for you.) A week after winning the Emmy Award for Best Drama Series, the five-year-old series wrapped up all of its plotlines in a critically acclaimed finale watched by more than 10 million people. Dreamworks Animation president Jeffrey Katzenberg wanted more Breaking Bad. He wanted to approach the show’s producers and offer them $75 million to produce just three new episodes. Katzenberg then planned to break up those episodes into 30 six-minute segments, release them to the Internet one-per-day for a month and charge a dollar each. Katzenberg decided not to go through with it.
• A few shows have already been cancelled: ABC’s lottery drama Lucky 7 (which had ABC’s lowest drama premiere ever), CBS’s comedy We Are Men, and Fox’s animated Murder Police…which hadn’t even aired a single episode yet.