Over the last few years, NBC has done three wonderful live Broadway musical performances from a soundstage in NYC. Then Fox got into the game with a live show and changed things up. Grease did its production from Los Angeles and took things outside of the studio.
Yesterday, NBC announced at the NBCUniversal Summer 2016 TCA Press Tour, on December 7th, Hairspray Live is going to be dancing its way over to the Universal Studios Hollywood and they will be using part of the lot to make it look like they are in Baltimore.
Alex Rudzinski, Live Television Director, who also directed Grease Live, talked about working on this lot as compared to Warner Bros. He said, “I’m hugely excited to be able to use the Universal backlot as a space. In fact, what I can tell you is that Hairspray’s going to be using a much bigger area of the backlot than we ever did on Grease, so it’s very ambitious in terms of what we’re doing. Then he added, “But I think that’s a reflection on the excitement of the narrative and the story of Hairspray brings us. And what a fantastic cast we have in order to be able to use that space and use the dynamics of really being out on the backlot on this fantastically huge street that we’re recreating suburban Baltimore. And I think that’s going to be just an energy of scale that’s really going to make the show immersive for the viewers and make it really fun to watch.”
Something that is fun about watching a live event that is filmed outdoors is how the elements will affect the performance. When Grease went live earlier this year, we had a rare rainstorm that brought so much wind; several trees fell over in Burbank. How is Rudzinski planning for that? He revealed, “In any live broadcast, part of us as a team of producers and directors doing our due diligence is planning for the worst-case scenario in every area, not just weather. It’s in every technical part and every casting part. So you set up practices. You rehearse elements that can be under cover if it’s raining, but you hope you never risk the quality of the broadcast in any way.” Reminding us that, “And I think in Grease it rained for part of the outside scenes. I don’t think it detracted from the performance. Again, as part of the enjoyment of a live broadcast, it’s accepting the real-timeness of the event. So as long as we, as a team, embrace it and go with it, then it’s still going to be a superb night.”
Another change is that Director Kenny Leon told me there will be an audience for the scenes that call for one. For example when they are doing scenes from The Corny Collins Show. I think that factor will help to give the NBC productions more warmth.
I never was able to put my finger on what was missing from The Sound of Music, Peter Man and The Wiz until a Television Director, who worked on some live TV shows, pointed out to me there was no audience to laugh and applaud at the appropriate times. Without those sounds, it comes off as a little cold and vacant. Human interaction and live feedback is what stage actors feed off of and it also helps you feel like you are part of something.
Basically, what I am saying, is all of these changes have made me really excited for Hairspray Live! So get the hairspray ready for Hairspray!
Home Free is back on Fox tonight at 9p and there have been a lot of changes to the show. Even though there have been a lot of changes, the one thing that hasn’t changed is all the heart!
Mike Holmes is back and this time Tim Tebow is helping him out. Another change is that the contestants are not working as couples, but by themselves. Instead of building their Dream House, they are building it for their hero. Each contestant has a different hero, like one man’s whose mother-in-law helped him through cancer or another person who wants to give the house to the person who gave their parent a kidney.
But before they can give them a house, they have to compete. It starts out the same, where the winner of the first challenge gets to pick their team. But how they figure out who goes to the elimination challenge is different. On tonight’s season premiere one contestant will do something that will have everyone turn against them. It will be interesting to see what happens next week to him.
But before we get to that, we see what happen when someone is eliminated. That is where the heart comes in and because of that I am so happy the show is back!
Over on NBC at 9p, Aquarius is back and this season starts out on August 9, 1969. A day that not only lived in infamy for Charles Manson (Gethin Anthony), but also for the whole world. That is day his followers killed Sharon Tate and 3 of her friends.
As that date plays out, we go back to 1967 and some of Manson’s followers have befriended Dennis Wilson from the Beach Boys. They will eventually move in with him and that will change things for Manson. We will see him start to evolve more into the man we know.
Then there’s Hodiak (David Duchovny) who has no idea that someday he will be investigating the man that shocked the world.
Now that Aquarius is tackling the Tate-LaBianca Murders, it is so much more interesting to watch. While it was interesting to see him become the cult figure in the first season, we also want to get to that climax moment. Now both of those moments have been merged together for this season.
We are still 3 months away from the start of the Fall TV season, but that isn’t stopping NBC from announcing today when their new and old shows will be premiering. Blindspot is getting the lead spot on September 14th and Chicago Fire will have a lot of fires to put on when it finally debuts on October 11th. The Good Place is the first new show to get an air date and the Ted Danson/Kristen Bell comedy will debut after The Voice on September 19th and then it will move to it regularly scheduled slot on the 22nd. This is Us, the heartwarming story of 4 people who all share same the birthday will also get some help from The Voice on the 20th before settling in its timeslot on October 11th. The last new show to debut is the fast paced Sci-Fi drama Timeless on October 3rd.
Missing from the Fall lineup is Grimm and I am not happy about it. Sorry Nick Cannon, I would rather watch Grimm.
Wednesday Sept. 14
Monday, Sept. 19
8-10: The Voice
10-11: The Good Place (preview)
Tuesday, Sept. 20
8-10: The Voice
10-11: This Is Us
Wednesday, Sept. 21
8-9: Blindspot (time period premiere)
9-10: Law & Order: SVU
10-11: Chicago P.D.
Thursday, Sept. 22
8:30-9: The Good Place (time period premiere)
9-10: Chicago Med
10-11: The Blacklist
Friday, Sept. 23
8-9: Caught on Camera With Nick Cannon
9-11: Dateline NBC
Monday, Oct. 3
Tuesday Oct. 11
9-10: This Is Us (time period premiere)
10-11: Chicago Fire
Last year when NBC announced that they were sending Henry Winkler, William Shatner, George Foreman, Terry Bradshaw and Jeff Dye to Asia for a docusries called Better Late Than Never, I have been anxiously waiting for this show to debut. Just like the title, Better Late Than Never, almost a year after they filmed their trip, it finally has a premiere date. It will debut on August 23rd and it looks like it will be the best comedy to grace our televisions in a real long time. Yet, only one comedian and two actors are part of it and it’s unscripted.
Not only should you be prepared to laugh until your cry, you will also learn a lot about The Orient as they try not cause an International incident. Which looks like they might’ve according to that trailer.
Young & Hungry takes flight with a new episode tonight and you don’t want to miss the series’ funniest episode to date. The episode picks up right where it left and Gabi is stuck on the plane with Josh and his psychiatrist. When Gabi sees the two of them together, she assumes the worse and decides not to tell him that she is in love with him. Now she has no alternative but to go to Australia because she doesn’t have enough miles or cash to fly back to San Fransisco.
She calls Sofia from the plane and tells her everything that happened. Adam (Tyler Ritter) overhears the conversation and makes Gabi an offer she can’t refuse. His fiancee left him at the alter and he is on his way to his honeymoon in Hawaii. The hotel where he is staying is couples only. If Gabi pretends to be his wife during the stay, he will buy her a ticket back to San Fran. Of course she says yes! Will this fake couple become a real one?
Also staying at this couples only hotel is Elliot (Rex Lee), his husband Alan (Brian Safi) and Yolanda (Kym Whitley). When they find out the hotel’s policy, they pretend to all be a couple. The hotel is trying to bring in that demographic, so they give them three nights free if they can use them to promote the hotel. Will they get away with it?
So much more happens in this episode that you don’t want to miss. Plus is a laugh riot and who doesn’t need to laugh?
Then at 8:30p, Baby Daddy is back and they make a strong case to watch it. The episode starts off shortly after where it left off.
Ben (Jean-Luc Bilodeau) is dealing with Zoey’s baby daddy coming back in to her life and her dumping him for her former boyfriend. Something that will lead to both men going to jail.
But it is Danny (Derek Theler) who will wind up in court. Riley (Chelsea Kane) is suing him for not telling her that he slept with Sam when they were in high school.
Will the Wheeler brothers get their women back or will their mom (Melissa Peterman) be the only woman in their life? Tune in for another episode that will have you laughing from the beginning until the end.
Then at 10p, The Night Shift is back on NBC with an intense two parter.
The episode starts off with a man looking for his young son that he says his wife brought in. When the hospital doesn’t have any record of the boy, they realize the mother was brought unconscious and the boy is missing. Now they have to find him before it is too late. Then when they do, there will be a reveal you will never ever see coming.
They were not the only ones in the accident, a Lesbian couple, who were fighting at the time, were also injured. One woman is OK, but the other one is not looking like she is going to survive. Doctors finally diagnose what is wrong with her and it has nothing to do with the accident. Can they save her?
Dr. Drew Alister (Brendan Fehr) is stationed over in Afghanistan when a very young pregnant woman comes in with complications. Her husband is an Afghan soldier and he refuses for her to be looked at by them. Dr. Syd Jennings (Jennifer Beals) tries to convince Drew to release her, but it doesn’t work. Now the two of them are in trouble with not only the Afghan military, but their own. What are their consequences?
Then when all of this is resolved next week, the following week’s episode is very powerful. When a White man, who is on trial for killing a Black man, comes in for treatment, the hospital is plagued by protestors. The whole city is filled with riots and several of our doctors will take it to the streets trying to help the injured. An injured White office shot a Black teen and now they have to decide who will go to the hospital first. After they decide, the remaining victim and the doctors will be trapped with no help in sight. Can they save that life and more importantly their own. It is a must not miss episode.
Actually all of The Night Shift episodes are must not miss, so watch it tonight and every Wednesday this summer.