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Here are the preliminary broadcast ratings for Friday, September 22, 2017.

ABC

Time
Show
18-49 Rating
Total Viewers     (In Millions)
8:00pm
America’s Got Talent (R) (NBC)
0.65
3.20

Shark Tank (R) (ABC)
0.6
3.63

MacGyver (R) (CBS)
0.5
4.19

MasterChef (R) (FOX)
0.4
1.47

Masters of Illusion (CW)
0.3
1.47




8:30pm
Masters of Illusion (R) (CW)
0.4
1.38




9:00pm
What Would You Do? (F) (ABC)
0.7
3.35

Hawaii Five-0 (R) (CBS)
0.5
4.80

Beat Shazam (R) (FOX)
0.4
1.25

Penn & Teller: Fool Us (R) (CW)
0.3
1.30




10:00pm
Dateline NBC (NBC)
0.8
3.99
20/20 (ABC)
0.7
3.50

Blue Bloods (R) (CBS)
0.6
5.30
(R) = repeat


On the final Friday before the fall season, ABC said goodbye to reality staple 'What Would You Do?' (0.7). The series was up a tenth from its last episode. It led out of one last 'Shark Tank' encore (0.7) and an original '20/20'. The latter will return next week alongside the 2-hr premiere of Marvel's Inhumans.

NBC had one more 'AGT' repeat (0.65) leading into a down 'Dateline' (0.8).

Fox had 0.4s for their repeats of summer shows.

CBS had repeats of their drama line-up (0.5/0.5/0.6). All 3 will premiere next week.

The CW had more magic show repeats and originals with a shockingly strong 0.4 for a 'Masters of Illusion' repeat at 8:30.

Written Fuller of Himself by Bridger Cunningham


Image result for fuller houseHappy Anniversary, Full(er) House fans!  On this evening 30 years ago, new pilot Full House debuted on ABC's highly-rated Tuesday evening before being moved to the troubled Fridays.  The fledgling sitcom finished in a disastrous 71st place.  The dynamics changed the following season when it tied for 28th place and descended upward to 8th place by the 5th season in the 1991-92 season.  That height was marked by a move to Tuesday as the show managed to remain highly rated through 1994, ending in 25th Place in 1995.  Like the original show's ratings, its revival delivered a ho-hum 1st season followed by an improved follow-up.  The series has received scathing reviews with an oxymoron of observations being both valid and preposterous nature.  But reviewers musk as the valid question -- Why do viewers tune into the revival on Netflix?  Do they desire a relevant, updated continuation, or are they yearning for nostalgia and enjoy following three well-established child characters exploring adult lives?  Let's break down the show's existing delivery --

SEASON ONE

If readers abhor spoilers, this article will do its best to avoid too many reveals, but readers must read at their own risk.  So how did the season begin?  With a 36-minute debut chock with too much nostalgia, an all-too-outdated laugh track and too little shelf space for the bloated ensemble.  Fickle viewers would tune out as the episode delivered as unevenly as a sitcom reunion movie.  However, wise readers should tune into the second episode, as the show finds out what the pilot missed -- character development.  Subtracting the principle adults from the originals not only allows leading ladies DJ (Candace Cameron-Bure), Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) and Kimmy (Andrea Barber) to explore their adult personalities, but also gives a welcome introduction to DJ's sons Jackson (Michael Campion) and Max (Elias Harger), as well as Kimmy's daughter, Ramona (Soni Nicole Bringas).


Image result for fuller house dancingThe premise works as the one nostalgic element writers succeeded in was having the ladies step into the principle roles Danny (Bob Saget), Jesse (John Stamos) and Joey (Dave Couiler) delivered in the original.  DJ has assumed Danny's uptight yet orderly role as a widow with three boys, Stephanie is a wayward rocker like DJ, and Kimmy is the family outsider delivering outlandish doses similar to Joey.  And best of all, the children have varying personalities.  Jackson is a gawky teenager (channeling Danny's nerdiness), Max is a snarky, wisecracking neatfreak (channeling Danny's other traits), and Ramona is an anchoring element as her parents Kimmy and Fernando (Juan Pablo di-Pace) cannot seem to conduct themselves as adults.  The ensemble's misadventures deliver a refreshing update to the original premise, if they can get an inch from the scene-stealing Nostalgia which overdoses the premise.

Save for Dave Couiler's welcome guest appearance as a babysitter teaching the kids to survive the night without the net, the other cameos from Full House past crowded the 13 episodes.  Danny is now married to a lady named Teri.  A missed opportunity indeed, as powerhouse Eva La Rue was used less than the plants in the Tanner living room.  Danny dated women such as Cindy and Vicky, exploring their relationships with his daughters.  No one knows how Teri interacts with her adult stepdaughter, and more appearances could further their character growth.  La Rue is a class act and would never turn her nose up at additional appearances (she begged soap writers to craft a space for her years after leaving All My Children), so use it or lose it!

Jesse and Rebecca also suffer from being downgraded plot props with little development.  The problem is this season failed to divulge developments the previous principles experienced in the last 20 years.  How did Danny fall in love with his beautiful 2nd wife (or perhaps 3rd?).  How did Jesse and Rebecca manage to make their marriage last so long?  Only Joey's backstory developed in the 2nd season.  Plus, Steve Hale's (Scott Weinger) return lacked the excitement and passion from the first run, as his story played out by season 7.  Having him return in a forced romance with DJ failed as Weinger and Cameron-Bure no longer hold the same chemistry as they did as teenagers.

Image result for fuller house vet
A Welcome Progression of Realism
Unlike these characters, DJ, Stephanie and Kimmy's developments in the 20+ year window have fleshed out appropriately.  Solid, sensible DJ became a veterinarian, pursued the conventional family route and was now a widower with three children.  The small dose of character-development she delivered in the pilot disclosed moderate money troubles, a realistic touch as she likely has mounds of student debt, raising a family in America's most-expensive region of the country.  Stephanie's finances are graver, as she has adopted a freelance musician's lifestyle with a load of maxed-out credit cards.  Kimmy delivered the highest helping of relevance as she became a party planner, channeling her eccentricity into a wise career.  She just ended a volatile, mixed-up marriage and is figuring out how to parent a teenage girl.

The three women taking shelter in Danny's profitable home (in one of San Francisco's priciest neighborhoods) is believable as all three desired to allow the four children to experience their childhood in their same neighborhood they grew up in.  Set design is impeccable, as the Tanner House was resurrected to precision and housed to to appropriate occupants.  The one plot point dwelled on (and viewers would appreciate if it was dropped) was the obsession over Michele not being present.  Everyone gets it.  Mary Kate and Ashley Olson continue to refuse a return engagement as they are happier not acting anymore.  It is time to focus on who is is here vs. who is not, as there are plenty of characters to love on screen.

Amazingly, John Brotherton managed to squeeze enough notice in this bloated cast to develop a welcome presence as newly relevant character in veterinarian Matt.  And Carly Rae Jepsen's update to the iconic opening matches the tone of the original and the right delivery of nostalgia vs. the forced doses this season exhibited.

SEASON TWO

Image result for fuller house
A tantalizing trio, or nauseous nostalgia?
After an all too trite closing hook from Season 1, Season 2 continued to develop the newer characters and the three ladies.  Juan Pablo di Pace was upgraded to a series regular as Fernando, filling a void of leading male performers from the first 13 episodes.  di Pace toned down the flamboyance enough to develop great chemistry with Harger's Max, who enjoys pestering and needling his household's freeloader.  Their foil complex enriched the premise and created a welcome distraction from the monotony of the Steve/DJ/Matt triangle.  The gentleman augmented the already-bloated cast with new girlfriends DJ doppelganger CJ (Virginia Williams) and Crystal (Gianna DiDonato).  Adam Hagenbuch entered the fold with great chemistry with Sweetin, albeit he retconned the entire Gibler family as Jimmy Gibbler, the never before mentioned character.  Characters mentioned from the Gibbler house in the past were three sisters (mentioned in the first season) and an older brother Ray (mentioned in Season 6).


Image result for fuller house halloween
Fitting.
These additions proved to be distractions, while younger additions with Paco, Lola, Taylor and Rose pleasantly augmented the younger cast.  The writers also receive kudos for integrating a larger helping of Hispanic and Asian supporting characters, two primary communities in the Northern California region.  Characters aside, the pacing of Season 2 delivered memorable developments as the season arced over the holiday season.  Halloween allowed the ladies to exhibit memorable zaniness as DJ delivered a corny party, Stephanie and Jimmy indulged in ghoulishness as zombies and Fernando and Kimmy properly did a sendup to Lucy and Ricky Ricardo.


Image result for fuller house thanksgiving
The cuddly Glastones?  NOT!
A sendup to a chaotic holiday found the Tanner/Fuller/Gibler/(Insert Other Family Names Here) household over Thanksgiving.  Save for Michelle, cast members of old and new filed into the house and all perforated the house's edges as everyone decided to crash under one roof (were the hotels all booked that evening?).  The highlight of the episode is everyone finally learned what Joey has been up to since the 90's.  He married a beautiful performer named Ginger (Laura Bell Bundy) and they had four bratty little children named Jerry, Lewis, Phyllis and Joan (all ingeniously named after Joey's favorite comics).


Image result for fuller house
The principle cast, a holiday and a tree.  Enjoy the simplicity.
Christmas delivered a nice wholesome delivery and gave viewers the greatest gift of all -- less cast, more sentiment!  And New Year's Eve delivered the coup de grace to an improved season.  After taking a critical look at the first season's strengths and pitfalls, the second season managed to create a landmark for Netflix next to Orange is the New Black.  The show still garners flack from critics who complain about everything from too much nostalgia to displaying the ladies drinking.  But guess what?  The target audience is not the 8-17 year olds, but rather the 8-17 year olds who watched the original and enjoy seeing where their beloved ladies landed.  Fuller House, like its predecessor, will never attract Emmys, but who cares?  The show is clearly here to stay, as Netflix is using it as a launch for longer episode runs and an experimental split-drop release of nine episodes each spanned twice over the season.  Add Fuller House to your bingelist, as 35 episodes/18 hours of greatness are available to marvel.



***Spoilers Ahead***

About A Girl

J Lee, Halston Stage, Seth MacFarlane (left to right). Jordin Althaus/FOX

Political undertones in entertainment are a polarizing subject in today's divided landscape. It seems that there isn't any middle ground with this topic. Either you enjoy seeing social issues discussed on- screen or you would rather watch something detached from current events. Like Sunday's episode, The Orville pulls off a risky move despite being very early in its run. This time, instead of shifting character dynamics, the series dives head-first into a dramatic and controversial debate about changing the gender of Bortus's child. When we first learned that Bortus came from an all-male species in the pilot, it seemed like a throwaway gag meant to act as a catalyst for MacFarlane's bathroom-oriented joke. But, the writers were saving that detail for something a lot more meaningful. While I won't say that 'About A Girl' was as entertaining as the past two episodes, it was still very captivating and engaging in a different way.

The episode starts off with last week's semi-cliffhanger and centers on Bortus and his husband struggling with the fact that their child is a female in their all-male species. At first, Bortus is set on converting his kid into a boy. But, after watching an iconic Earth movie, he changes gears and wants his child to stay the way he is. For a show that was advertised and billed as "Family Guy in space", it's really surprising to see something so touchy being handled in a serious manner. The stakes are raised even higher when the matter is put in a Moclan court of law and ends in a bitter fashion. Despite their anti-female nature, I was expecting the Moclans to eventually cave and let Bortus's child stay a girl. Instead, the episode goes down a more somber route with his child being forced to go through the procedure and the crew's hard work going to waste. I'll admit, the ending left a bad taste in my mouth, but it was a very admirable thing to do. This cements the fact that the show won't settle for the predictable and satisfying ending and instead focus on something more realistic and unexpected. So, while I wasn't a fan of the outcome, it was fresh and well-done.

While it was solid, some aspects of 'About A Girl' were lacking. First off, the installment almost entirely abandons comedy for a dramatic route. Sure, in an episode like this, it makes perfect sense to stick with the show's dramatic guns. Nevertheless, I do hope that the series makes a trek back to more light-hearted territory that was present in the past two episodes. Additionally, there was a lack of action and adventure. The episode progressed slowly at first and the whole debate about the gender of Bortus's child felt tedious at times. In fact, 'About A Girl' didn't really find its footing until the court case. I think the main problem with this plot is that The Orville hasn't earned the right to do an episode like this yet. It would have been better to have this as a plot after learning more about Bortus, Klyden, and the Moclan species. That way, we would be a lot more invested in the characters and the situation. Outside of that, some of the other cast members didn't get much to do. I hope that the series will be able to focus on the ensemble as a whole in future episodes instead of only focusing on some and taking attention away from others.

Ultimately, 'About A Girl' isn't a bad episode. It hits the emotional beats quite well, but the series should have waited a bit longer before hitting them. Unlike the episodes before it, this installment wasn't very fun to watch, but I understand why the writers wanted to do a politically charged episode like this. The promo for the next episode depicts a return to whimsical adventure and comedy. Personally, I prefer to see more of that in the show.


Stray Thoughts

  •  That cowboy scene gave me 'A Million Ways to Die in the West' flashbacks
  • Glad to see more of Yaphet. I hope he gets a bigger role soon.
  • In episode two, there were a ton of Kermit references. This time, we get Rudolph. Who's the next classic children's character to be an integral part of an episode? My money's on Winnie the Pooh.
  • It's reassuring to know that cancer will be cured in 2056. I'm also surprised that Gordon didn't know who he was. The other stuff that Kelly asked him was trivial, but this was something big. 
  • I really want more Issac. 

Grade: B-


What did you think of 'About A Girl'?

Great
Good
Okay
Bad
Awful
QuizMaker

Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Catch an all-new episode next Thursday at 9/8c on FOX.

When worlds collide, am I right?

Epix


S1E6 'Epinephrine'

In this episode, Miles goes into panic mode when Amara and her crew come to LA while his family are in town at the same time, Rick becomes Amara's tour guide, and Louis tries to get paid for his "contribution" to the movie. Meanwhile, Yago tries to get information from a wounded enemy.

I felt a lot of Déjà vu when Amara started to mess around with the casting of the movie which makes me think that for a mob boss, Amara sometimes feels pretty childish. Trying to stop Katie from seeing Amara could have been stretched out until the season finale but I'm glad Miles told Katie in this episode itself since that premise could have gotten old very quickly. Lastly, Poor Louis doesn't seem to get as much love as he deserves,but at least now he's got himself a romantic interest so that's nice

Quote of the week: "It's fine. I'll have to burn the place to the ground but it's fine"
Below are the Top 25 programs on cable on Thursday, 9/21/17. Items of note include Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce, The Guest Book on TBS, and The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.
Show
Network
18-49 Viewers
Viewers (mil.)
Thursday Night Football: LA v SFNFL2.87.45
Thursday Night Football PostgameNFL1.383.18
Thursday Night Football Pre-kickNFL0.932.62
TimelineNFL0.631.37
Project RunwayLifetime0.521.94
Thursday Night Football ShowcaseNFL0.451.09
Pitch Perfect 2FX0.410.86
Flipping OutBravo0.351.03
NFL Total AccessNFL0.340.71
College Football: Temple v. So. FLESPN0.340.99
Mountain MenHistory0.332.00
The Guest BookTBS0.320.98
Mountain MenHistory0.322.17
Loud HouseNickelodeon0.321.60
Guilty RichInvest. Discovery0.321.14
Wild 'n OutMTV0.310.63
Welcome to the WayneNickelodeon0.31.21
House Hunters InternationalHGTV0.31.53
The Rachel Maddow ShowMSNBC0.292.67
House HuntersHGTV0.291.47
Flip or Flop AtlantaHGTV0.291.23
Kiss of DeathInvest. Discovery0.281.03
Desert FlippersHGTV0.281.19
Tucker Carlson TonightFox News0.282.58
The GoldbergsNick-at-Nite0.270.60
Off the chart, Girlfriends Guide to Divorce ticked down to 0.14. Better Things ticked up to 0.19. Morning Joe was steady at 0.1, and Deadline White House was also steady, at 0.11. Velshi & Ruhle was up to 0.09. Wolf was steady at 0.14. Hannity was down to 0.26. As for late-night shows, Conan ticked down to 0.15 while the Daily Show had a massive downtick to 0.22, a September low.  
Thursday was the calm before the storm, with only a few original shows and low-ones being more than enough to top the night. Fox had their debuts on pre-premiere week, and their only real completion for #1 on the night was from CBS. In the end, Fox won the night with CBS taking second and NBC third. Fox's season debut of Gotham went OK, with a 1.0 debut for its first-ever Thursday episode. The show's down a lot from the last debut, but that's to be expected with this move and a 1.0 is perfectly fine for Fox. How it will hold up next week is the real question, same for the Orville. Speaking of the Orville, it debuted in its timeslot with a 1.1, which is okay but a huge drop from its NFL-fueled series debut and second episode. It's a pretty disappointing number, but it still stands a shot at renewal if it stays in the 0.8-1.0 range. CBS had strong repeats of The Big Bang Theory and Mom for the 8 and 9 hours, and an anemic finale for Zoo at 0.5. NBC had a American Ninja Warrior repeat at 0.9, with a Chicago Fire repeat at 0.6. The CW's Penn & Teller and Whose Line? were both at 0.4.

Finals Update: The 9 PM repeat of the Big Bang Theory (+0.1) adjusted up. NBC's American Ninja Warrior repeat (-0.1) adjusted down.
Time
Show
18-49 Rating/Share
Viewers (mil)
Channel
8 PMThe Big Bang Theory (R)1.2/67.12ABC

Gotham (P)1.0/53.13Fox

American Ninja Warrior (R)0.8/43.38NBC

Grey's Anatomy (R)0.6/33.33ABC

Penn & Teller: Fool Us0.4/21.60The CW
8:30 PMMom (R)1.0/45.98CBS
9 PMThe Big Bang Theory (R)1.2/56.01CBS

The Orville1.1/44.04Fox

Whose Line Is It Anyway?0.4/11.21The CW

Scandal (R)0.4/22.78ABC
9:30 PMMom (R)0.9/35.00CBS

Whose Line Is It Anyway? (R)0.3/11.13The CW
10 PMChicago Fire (R)0.6/33.29NBC

Zoo (F)0.5/32.91CBS

How To Get Away With Murder (R)0.4/22.02ABC