Freshout THE BOX
Take a deep breath, TV lovers, and enjoy that new-show smell
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.
John Mulaney, right, plays a comedian who writes jokes for Martin Short’s game-show host.