BLACK FRIDAY — In TV parlance, being on the bubble is industry-slang, meaning there’s a better-than-average-chance of your show being dropped … without any warning. Last Friday in TV land a series of bombs went off. 20 shows were canceled in 24 hours. This week are the-so-called Upfronts, where each TV station presents to advertisers and the like, their new season; that begins in September. If your show is a goner, then you found out about it Friday and your invitation to the Upfronts is kindly rescinded.
Friday, Blindspot was renewed; Scorpion and Superior Donuts was canceled; Timeless was left in limbo; Kevin Can Wait canceled; The Blacklist, barely renewed although it won’t appear to 2019.Our favorite Elementary, even though it just returned three weeks back, was renewed for another season and Gotham and Criminal Minds, were renewed for a final one and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit received a go-ahead for an unprecedented 20th season.
One wag quipped that these days, there’s no such thing as a series finale, but rather a season finale. Scorpion, a show which was quirky but lovable, was left hanging with one of the weirdest endings I’ve ever seen. Timeless, which had their two-hour season finale last night (and, the death of a major character) had no idea whether they’d get another season.
In the golden years, a show got 22 episodes; there days, you’re lucky if you show gets greenlighted for 5!
Strange times for sure in TV land, but I must admit that I’m glad Blindspot made it through! Great show.
FOREIGNER — Classic rock band Foreigner are now officially a classical rock band. The legendary 70’s rock band is number one on Billboard’s Classical Chart.
The album that has crossed Foreigner over from Classic to Classical is Foreigner With The 21st Century Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, an album of the band’s greatest hits recorded with the orchestra conducted by Ernst van Tiel.
“I could never have imagined when I set out to create Foreigner 40 years ago, that we’d still be touring around the world and performing the music we love all these years later,” Foreigner founder Mick Jones said in a statement. “Dave Eggar and Chuck Palmer’s orchestral arrangements have shown us a new symphonic dimension of our music, which I hope our fans will enjoy.”
Watch the new-updated “Urgent”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVnMXYuO-cw
Foreigner 2018 is Mick Jones (guitar), Kelly Hansen (lead vocals), Jeff Pilson (bass, vocals), Tom Gimbel (rhythm guitar, sax, vocals), Michael Bluestein (keyboards), Bruce Watson (guitar) and Chris Frazier (drums)
In October they will tour Australia accompanied by an 18-piece orchestra led by celebrated Canberra conductor Kenneth Lampl.
Foreigner Australian dates
Friday, October 12: Royal Theatre, Canberra
Sunday, October: 14: Botanic Park, Adelaide
Tuesday, October 16: Riverside Theatre, Perth
Thursday, October 18: Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House, Sydney
Tuesday, October 30: Hamer Hall, Melbourne
MILLER’S BREW — Robert Miller’s Project Grand Slam previewed a bit of their new album (out June 29) called Trippin’ this past Friday night during their monthly residency at the Greenwich Village club. Opening with their brilliant “Metro Shuffle,” the band quickly showed their expertise as they instantly settled into a spectacular rhythm. Their version of The Kink’s “You Really got Me” is a stunner and “Lament” from the new album, featuring an alluring Ziarra Washington hit an immediate high point. “Lament” is a solid-gold winner in the smooth jazz-groove that this band hits so well, so often. Tristan Clark on guitar is sensational and Mario Castro on sax immediately envelopes you. Miller himself, no slouch on bass, is terrific as well. Their track “Gorilla” is definitely one of their standout hits as the crowd in the club immediately began rocking to it. On the new album, the company has re-imagined The Who’s “I Can’t Explain,” successfully continuing Miller’s delightful habit of taking a Brit-biscuit and giving it the PGS-treatment. Uncannily good and the crowd loved it.
A new track called “March of the Diplomats,” was received very well. It could be the track from the album. A terrific show. PGS-approved for sure.
SHORT TAKES — I got hooked on an old Columbo called Columbo Loves The Nightlife (2003) and who do I see in it, but Soprano– Steve Schirripa. He’s was fantastic. We need to see more of Steve onscreen these days. Here’s the IMDb description of the show: Columbo gets a taste of the Los Angeles rave scene as he investigates the apparent suicide of a tabloid reporter… Friday, May 25, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland opens a new exhibit called Rock on TV. The event will feature a performance by singer-songwriter-producer, television personality, actor & entrepreneur, Cee Lo Green and a special appearance by 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, Darlene Love. Here’s their description of the new exhibit: Rock & Roll and television both burst on the scene at almost the same time in the late 1940’s. Rock and TV shaped each other as they grew up together, and they shaped all of us. Not only did fans everywhere hear new music, they could see who made it. It transformed how people discovered music and still does to this day. Rock on TV explores how television opened the door for some of the biggest icons, and how they, in turn, transformed television itself. Monkee-Micky Dolenz, about to embark on his June-M&M tour with Michael Nesmith, has contributed a new interview for the exhibit.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Nancy Berk; Jane Blunkell; Bill Amendola; Jim Kerr; Mark Bego; Robert Hilburn; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Race Taylor; Tony Seidl; Marc Jacobs; Anthony Noto; Marc Elliot; Chris Gilman; Joanna Bonaro; and, CFS.