Freshout THE BOX

Take a deep breath, TV lovers, and en­joy that new-show smell

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - FRONT PAGE - BRAD OSWALD

FOR some peo­ple, it’s the fall­ing leaves. For oth­ers, it’s the ar­rival of that first overnight frost. For par­ents, see­ing the young’uns off on their back-to-school jour­ney is the sig­nal. And for sports fans, the kick­off of the NFL sea­son and the open­ing of NHL train­ing camps are the first sure signs that au­tumn has ar­rived. For TV watch­ers, how­ever, the chang­ing of the sea­sons hap­pens first on the ol’ flat screen, when sum­mer’s wave of new-show pro­mos give way to the ac­tual ar­rival of tele­vi­sion’s new and re­turn­ing se­ries. And this week, the prime­ti­me­nal equinox — the mo­ment at which all the ma­jor TV net­works roll out their new sched­ules at pre­cisely the same mo­ment — is fi­nally here. The 2014-15 TV sea­son be­gins in earnest this week, and that means it’s time to un­veil our an­nual Fall TV Pre­view — a week-long ex­am­i­na­tion of what’s about to be un­leashed by the broad­cast net­works on both sides of the Canada-U.S. bor­der. Start­ing to­day and con­tin­u­ing all next week in our daily en­ter­tain­ment pages, we’ll break down the night-by-night prime-time sched­ule, as­sess­ing what’s good, what’s bad and what’s truly aw­ful in the new-show crop and let­ting you know when your favourite on­go­ing se­ries are go­ing to re­turn. We hope you’ll find it use­ful. We’re sure you’ll think it’s fun. There’s no time to lose, so let’s get flip­ping! Ci­tytv’s Satur­day sched­ule, the re­sult of Rogers Me­dia’s earth-shak­ing $5.2-bil­lion deal to se­cure the rights to NHL hockey across all mul­ti­me­dia plat­forms in Canada. The Satur­day-night tra­di­tion will con­tinue to air on CBC for a few more years un­der a sub-leas­ing deal with Rogers, but the sun is slowly set­ting on Satur­day hockey on the pub­lic broad­caster. that other sit­com about a New York comic with weird friends and neigh­bours — you know, the show about noth­ing? — but Mu­laney ac­tu­ally man­ages to es­tab­lish its own tone and iden­tity, largely on the strength of its star’s ap­peal. The job of car­ry­ing the show is squarely on his shoul­ders, and one of the big­gest chal­lenges will be not let­ting Short steal ev­ery scene they share. Quotable: “This comes from a time in my life when I was liv­ing with two room­mates and I was try­ing to do standup com­edy and I wasn’t writ­ing for Satur­day Night Live (yet). It’s more loosely based on the time that I was sort of free­lance writ­ing for dif­fer­ent peo­ple, would write for co­me­di­ans to do things like award shows and talk shows. And, you know, it was such an in­ter­est­ing time be­cause, like the character (in this show), I kind of came into it with (an) old-fash­ioned idea of what show business was... And it was just a funny sur­prise to see what a grind it was.” — se­ries cre­ator/star John Mu­laney, on the loosely au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal in­spi­ra­tion for this se­ries.

Bot­tom line: Some view­ers will warm to Mu­laney’s unique ap­peal, but oth­ers will dis­miss this as more of the same old yada yada yada.

CBS/Global/Sept. 21

JOHN P. FLEENOR/FOX

John Mu­laney, right, plays a co­me­dian who writes jokes for Martin Short’s game-show host.

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