Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fox Fall Pilot Review - Brothers - Premieres September 25; WGN America Punk'd Us, No Punk'd

Brothers

Brothers - Fridays 8:00PM ET/PT on Fox
Premieres Friday, September 25, 2009 at 8:00-9:00PM ET/PT

BROTHERS is a comedy about a former NFL hot shot who learns that even though you can always go home again, doing so might be more difficult than you think.

MIKE TRAINOR (Michael Strahan) seemingly has it all - he's a good-looking, wealthy and recently retired NFL player living the high life in New York City, but he's about to get sidelined. When Mike gets a phone call from his mom, ADELE (CCH Pounder), who orders him home to Houston, he quickly realizes that the more his life has changed, the more his family has stayed the same.

His brother CHILL (Daryl Chill Mitchell), whose life changed drastically after a car accident left him in a wheelchair, is struggling to keep Trainor's, his sports-themed restaurant, afloat. Even though the publicity from his famous brother might help business, Chill doesn't want help from Mike. The rivalry between the brothers is exactly the same as they were when they were kids. If they can stop their bickering, put aside their differences and learn to be teammates, Mike and Chill might just turn out to be each other's biggest asset.

Wedged between Mike and Chill are their parents. Their father, whom everyone refers to as COACH (Carl Weathers), is the local high school football coach and the conservative, opinionated alpha male of his clan. Coach thinks he runs the show, but it's actually Adele who calls the shots. Saucy, stern and a schemer, she is the mastermind behind this family.

And when she learns that Mike's business manager took off with all his money, she orchestrates a plan to keep Mike in Houston, save Chill's restaurant and bring the family back together under one roof again.

Adele's plan helps Mike realize that his family -- however dysfunctional they may be -- is the only one he's got. And although he may not have a penny to his name, as long as he's surrounded by people who love him, he'll always be a rich man.

BROTHERS is created by Don Reo and produced by Tantamount Studios and Impact Zone Productions, Inc. in association with Sony Pictures Television. Eric Tannenbaum, Kim Tannenbaum, Mitch Hurwitz and Don Reo serve as executive producers. Ted Wass directed the pilot written by Don Reo.

Cast Details:

* Michael Strahan as Mike Trainor
* Daryl Chill Mitchell as Chill Trainor
* CCH Pounder as Adele Trainor
* Carl Weathers as 'Coach' Trainor

Michael Strahan (Mike Trainor) - Super Bowl Champion and Fox NFL Sunday co-host Michael Strahan retired from football in 2007 after completing 15 seasons with the New York Giants and leading the team to their dramatic Super Bowl victory over the previously unbeaten New England Patriots. Strahan had an outstanding final season and lead one of the top defenses in the league. In 2005, he was among the league's leaders in total sacks, and earned his seventh trip to the Pro Bowl. In 2001, Strahan completed what is widely considered to be one of the greatest seasons ever for a defensive player. As the charismatic leader of the New York Giants, Strahan was named the 2001 NFL Player of the Year by Sports Illustrated and the Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press. He was also one of only four players to lead the NFL in sacks for two seasons.

Strahan's additional television credits include Pros vs. Joes, which pits amateur contestants against professional athletes in a series of athletic challenges; the family-oriented cable series "Backyard Stadiums," where he and his co-host visited various neighborhoods to build batting cages, putting greens and outdoor recreational centers. He also hosted "Sack and Renovate," giving viewers an inside look at the renovation of his 100-year-old home and revealing his own passion for antiques.

Daryl Chill Mitchell (Chill Trainor) was born in Bronx, NY, and grew up on Long Island with his five brothers and three sisters. Mitchell first garnered public attention as a member of the rap group Groove B Chill. The Hudlin Brothers, who directed one of Groove B Chill's videos, cast the group in the 1990 feature film House Party, where Mitchell had the opportunity to work alongside Martin Lawrence and Tisha Campbell. He enjoyed the experience so much that he decided to turn his focus from music to acting.

Mitchell followed House Party with appearances in the feature films Boomerang, House Party 2, Sgt. Bilko and Home Fries. His more recent films include The Outside Man opposite Denzel Washington, 10 Things I Hate About You, Galaxy Quest, Lucky Numbers, Black Knight and The Country Bears. His television credits include The John Larroquette Show, Veronica's Closet, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Law & Order, The Cosby Show, Here and Now, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and I'm With Stupid. In November 2001, Mitchell was temporarily sidelined by a motorcycle accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. However, it never halted his momentum, and once he was in control of his wheelchair, Mitchell went back to work as a series regular on the series Ed. Mitchell's character, Eli, was known for using the phrase "Roll...or fold," and Mitchell adopted that saying to express his take on life.

CCH Pounder (Adele Trainer) - Award-winning actress CCH Pounder has earned a long list of credits and accolades throughout a career that spans nearly three decades. Most recently, Pounder appeared in the feature film Orphan and the sci-fi television series Warehouse 13. Other recent credits include the cable series The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and the independent feature Rain, which garnered praise at the Los Angeles Pan-African Film Festival.

For seven years, Pounder portrayed "Det. Claudette Wyms" on the critically acclaimed series The Shield, a role that earned her an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, 10 NAACP Image Award nominations for Best Actress in a Drama Series, the Minorities in Business Prism Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Drama, two Golden Satellite Awards for Best Performance by an Actress in a Drama Series, the Genii Excellence in TV Award from the Southern California Chapter of American Women in Radio and Television and the LOOP Award from Lupus LA. Pounder's other honors include Emmy nominations for Best Supporting Actress for her role as "Dr. Angela Hicks" on ER and for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her work on The X-Files. In addition, Pounder earned a Grammy nomination for Best Spoken Word Album for Grow Old Along With Me: The Best Is Yet to Come, and she won an AUDI, the Audio Publishers Association's top honor, for the album Women in the Material World.

Carl Weathers ('Coach' Trainor) was born in New Orleans and attended San Diego State University, where he established himself as a football star. After graduating in 1970, Weathers played professional football as a free agent for the Oakland Raiders, as well as the Canadian Football League's B.C. Lions. He retired from the sport in 1974 in order to turn his attention to acting.

Weathers' big break came when he was cast to play the iconic role of "Apollo Creed" in the film Rocky and reprised the role in Rocky II, Rocky III and Rocky IV. His additional film credits include Predator opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger, Happy Gilmore opposite Adam Sandler, Action Jackson, The Comebacks, Force 10 from Navarone, Death Hunt and The Sasquatch Gang. Weathers' television film appearances include The Defiant Ones (which he also co-produced), Shadow Warriors, OP Center and The Hostage Heart. His TV series credits include Arrested Development, The Shield, In the Heat of the Night, Street Justice, Fortune Dane (which he also executive-produced), McCloud, Starsky and Hutch, S.W.A.T., Tour of Duty, Good Times, Barnaby Jones, Kung Fu, The Six Million Dollar Man and The Streets of San Francisco.

Pilot Plot:

I received the first two episodes for review.

#1 Pilot (Airs September 25)
Mike Trainor seemingly has it all he's a good-looking, wealthy and recently retired NFL player living the high life in New York City. With one phone call from his mom, Adele, Mike's life changes in an instant. He comes home to Houston to find that his brother Chill, whose life changed drastically after a car accident left him in a wheelchair, is struggling to keep his restaurant afloat and that his father's memory is not as sharp as it used to be. When Adele reveals everyone's secrets, the family decides it's time for a fresh start.
Directed by Ted Wass
Written by Don Reo

#2 House Rules/Anniversary (Airs September 25)
Mike's date spends the night at his parents' place propelling his mom, Adele, to set specific house rules for her very grown sons. As all the family members try to find their way living together again as adults, Mike and Chill are taken aback at their new assigned daily chores and strict limitations on overnight guests. Meanwhile, Coach forgets his and Adele's anniversary and lands in the doghouse, forcing him to come up with a creative way to make it up to her.
Guest Cast: Jazsmin Lewis as Monica; Shvona Lavette as Janine

Analysis:

This is Fox's only new live-action comedy and the only African-American sitcom currently on broadcast tv. It's a multi-camera comedy that is filmed in front of a studio audience. It will air on Friday nights at 8:00pm ET/PT.

In the "Pilot" episode, we are introudced to the Trainor family. Chill goes to pick up his brother at the airport. Mike talks to 'Coach' in the basement. Mike and Chill play some basketball in wheelchairs. Adele asks Mike to make a special appearance at Chill's restaurant. There are some serious talks between various family members. There's a nice mix of humor and heartwarming moments in the pilot.

The second episode, "House Rules/Anniversary," isn't quite as funny as the pilot. It opens with a scene at The Gutter bowling alley. Mike meets Monica who gives him some bowling shoes. Adele and Chill are shocked when they see Monica at the fridge dressed only in a football jersey. This casues Adele to set some house rules. Mike is embarrassed to tell Janice that he is living with his mama. Carl plays some foosball with Carl and Mike in the game room. Coach forgets that it's his wedding anniversary and Adele is not very happy about it. He creatively makes it up to her.

Houston is the location of the show, although you really wouldn't know it by watching the first couple of episodes. They probably could use some more exterior shots or references to the city. The house looks quite nice and the sets are spacious. It just seemed unusual that they have such a small kitchen table in an otherwise large kitchen. Carl has a nice game roon with green carpeting that has yard markers like a football field. The Trainor's set looks your typical bar/resturant with a large photo of Strahan in his football uniform.

Conclusion:

This show looks pretty funny from the first couple of episodes, especially the pilot. Michael Strahan has some natural instincts and on-screen charisma. He is basically playing himself on the series. Comedic timing isn't always easy, but he appears to have it down already. Daryl Chill Mitchell brings over 20 years of comedy experience and has some funny scenes. CCH Pounder is not known for comedy, but she really steals the show with some hilarious lines. She reminds me a bit of Jo Marie Payton from Family Matters. Her character is very strong and brings an authoritative presence to the show. Carl Weathers is known for more serious and action-oriented roles, but he has shown he can do comedy from his appearances on Arrested Development. The cast certainly seems like they have some good chemistry and act like they are a real family.

The show is airing on Friday nights at 8pm ET/PT. I don't think there will be as much pressure on it airing on that night in that time slot. Fox NFL Sunday has given this show a lot of promotion. I'm sure we will be seeing the gang from that show making guest appearances at some point in the season. Kim Kardashian and Mike Tyson will also be guest starring. There are quite a few jokes about Michael Strahan's teeth, Chill's wheelchair and handicap, white people, Coach's memory problems and references to the Rocky franchise in the first few episodes. They are funny in these episodes, but will they get old in later episodes? I guess they won't soon run out of material and can get creative to work these types of jokes in each episode. I think they will need to develop some better storylines in future episodes instead of just randomly tossing in the jokes. If you need some good laughs and occasional warmth, the show is definitely worth checking out on Friday nights.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 4/5
Funniness: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 09/24/09

Discuss the show after you watch it on Friday, September 25 on our message board.

Related Links:

  • FOX.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Brothers Photo Gallery


  • Preview:




    Now back to some news! Last month we gave you WGN America's fall schedule, they made a minor change to this. Punk'd was set to launch this week at 5am, but was replaced by Funniest Pets & People...but that delay was only supposed to be a week for Punk'd. Now WGN America has "punk'd" America (ha!) by not going to air it at all! Effective Monday, Sept. 28 America's Funniest Home Videos will air in the 4am ET hour (Mon-Wed) and Reno 911 will air Tues-Fri (and Sundays as planned) at 5am. Toni On! New York will air at 5am on Mondays. Punk'd was also scheduled to air Thursdays at 9pm ET following WWE Superstars, but now we get America's Funniest Home Videos instead. The same goes true for Sundays at 11am ET, with AFV instead of Punk'd. We are not sure what happened with Punk'd, maybe Ashton planned this?
    View the full WGN America Fall 2009 schedule by Sept. 28.
    And stay tuned in the coming weeks for more WGN America news, including classic TV marathons for the major holidays this holiday season starting with Halloween!

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    Tuesday, July 28, 2009

    TV Land September 2009 Schedule; ABC and Fox Schedule Changes

    TV Land has announced its September 2009 line-up. Is it their fall line-up though? We're not sure yet. Because this only covers Aug. 31-Sept.27. So TV Land could have something in store starting Sept. 28. There aren't much changes to the schedule. But before we get to that, we have to tell you The Andy Griffith Show will air Mondays 6-10pm and Sunday nights 4-6am now for all of August and a few times on Tuesdays (Aug. 4 and 25) from 6pm-7:30pm. Now that that is out of the way, we can tell you about September. There are only a few changes, mainly in primetime. Weekdays from 7-9pm will now be The Andy Griffith Show starting Monday, Sept. 14. It will lead into marathons on Mon-Thurs from 9pm-12am with more Andy on Mondays, Roseanne on Tuesdays, M*A*S*H on Wednesdays, and The Cosby Show on Thursdays. M*A*S*H's regular 5-6am Wednesday airings will be preempted for more Three's Company as a result of this change. Everything else is the same as August, except Little House is back Sundays 4-6am instead of Andy...for now. I say for now because the August Andy Griffith changes happened after the September schedule was released.
    TV Land PRIME original series How'd You Get So Rich and Make My Day will have their season finales on Wednesday, Sept. 9. Weekends will still have classic marathons that have a classic show and Andy Griffith paired up. Those shows include Beverly Hillbillies, Bonanza, and Brady Bunch. Speaking of Brady Bunch, that is their 40th anniversary marathon. It's unbelievable that it has been 40 years since that "one day when that lady met that fellow" but it's true and TV Land is celebrating in grand style for one whole week. Beginning Monday, September 21 to Friday, September 25 catch episodes from 7pm-9pm and then if that isn't enough of this bunch, catch even more episodes on Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27 from 10am-6pm to round out the celebration. It's the best of the Bradys all week long and it will be positively groovy!!
    That's not all for anniversaries! The Cosby Show is turning 25! Join TV Land PRIME Thursday, September 24 from 9pm-12am and say Happy 25th Birthday to The Huxtables as PRIME celebrate the years of laughter The Cosby Show brought to our TV screens. This quarter-century milestone marathon features extra-special episodes that highlight memorable moments from the series and pays special tribute to America's favorite sitcom family.
    Finally, catch premieres of this month's movies on Labor Day (Monday, September 7 from 9am-6:30pm) if you can't wait for them every Fridays at 9pm! All-month long the network will air new movies and you can see them on Labor Day first...Private Benjamin, Airplane II, The Bodyguard and Field of Dreams.
    So is this the fall schedule? Will something new be added on Sept. 28? We're not sure yet. But stay with us! And as usual, this schedule is subject to change, since TV Land always changes something. So again stay with us for that, if it happens. View the full TV Land September 2009 schedule and highlights.

    ABC has altered its schedule a bit. Late yesterday just hours before The Bachelorette finale, they decided to air an instant special encore of The Bachelorette finale for Tuesday (July 28) from 8-10pm, preempting the season finale of The Superstars and an all-new episode of comedy Better off Ted. So if you missed the drama of the Bachelorette finale, you can watch it again leading into the special all-new After the Final Rose special. So with The Superstars season finale now on Tuesday, Aug. 4 from 8pm-9:30pm, the Scrubs repeats will no longer air...but it will air at 9:30pm on this date. The final two episodes of the season of Better off Ted were originally supposed to air July 28 and Aug. 4 at 9:30pm, will now air for an hour on Tuesday, Aug. 11 from 9-10pm following Night 3 of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. One other note, ABC will encore the pilot episode of summer hit Dating in the Dark on Monday at 9pm, shifting the all-new episode to 10pm. The show will air new episodes at 10pm starting the following week now. See the announcement we made on this last night in a list form.
    Also at ABC, we announced on Friday on our message board that Shark Tank is scheduled to air additional airings on Sundays on August 30, September 6 and 13, 2009 at 9:00 PM ET/PT. Shark Tank is also still scheduled to air on Sundays on August 9, 16 and 23, 2009 at 9:00 PM ET/PT after Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?, as planned. However, Shark Tank is no longer scheduled to air on Tuesdays, effective August 25, 2009 in the 8:00 PM ET/PT slot. Tuesdays at 8PM starting Aug. 25 is now TBD. Shark Tank will move to Tuesdays at 8PM this fall now, likely Sept. 22 or 29. 13 episodes have been ordered and six will air in the "summer" season.

    Fox has made some changes to its fall line-up. They are moving the premieres of So You Think You Can Dance and Glee up a week to Wednesday, Sept. 9, while pushing comedies Brothers and 'Til Death back slightly. Brothers will now premiere with back-to-back episodes in the 8pm hour on Friday, Sept. 25, while 'Til Death will take over the 8:30pm Friday slot the following week on Friday, Oct. 2. Fox will air more Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader episodes Fridays at 8pm now on Sept. 11 and 18. If you missed the special pilot of Glee this past May, Fox will re-air it on Wednesday, Sept. 2 and again on Friday, Sept. 4 at 9pm. Glee will also encore its first two episodes on Friday, Sept. 11 and 18 at 9pm.

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    Tuesday, June 16, 2009

    Fox Fall 2009 Premiere Dates; ABC Family July 2009

    Fox has set the fall premiere dates for its new and returning series. The 2009-2010 season will kick off Wednesday, Sept. 16 with the sixth season premiere of So You Think You Can Dance at 8:00PM ET/PT, followed by the series premiere of Glee at 9:00PM ET/PT, the biting new one-hour comedy for the underdog in all of us that features a soundtrack of hit songs from past and present. Then on Thursday, Sept. 17, fan favorite Bones returns at 8:00 PM ET/PT and the second season of Fringe at 9:00PM ET/PT return. Brothers, the new family comedy starring Michael Strahan, premieres Friday, Sept. 18 in the 8:00PM ET/PT half-hour, followed by the return of comedy 'Til Death at 8:30PM ET/PT, and the second season premiere of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse wraps the night off at 9:00PM ET/PT.
    The actual season begins on Monday, Sept. 21 with House jumpstarting its sixth season with a special two-hour premiere from 8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT. Tuesdays at 8:00PM ET/PT will continue to be Hell's Kitchen until that wraps up on Oct. 13. Sunday, Sept. 27 marks the return of "Animation Domination" with the amazing 20th season premiere of The Simpsons at 8:00PM ET/PT, the series premiere of The Cleveland Show at 8:30PM ET/PT and the season premieres of Family Guy at 9:00PM ET/PT and American Dad! at 9:30PM ET/PT.
    The second week of the season will see the second season of hit drama Lie to Me will premiere Monday, Sept. 28 at 9:00PM ET/PT following House. So You Think You Can Dance will air two nights per week when the original dance competition has its time period premiere Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 9:00 PM ET/PT, and later expands to two-hour performance shows beginning Tuesday, Oct. 27 from 8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT, when Hell's Kitchen wraps. In addition, new Saturday late-night entry The Wanda Sykes Show (working title) debuts Saturday, Nov. 7 at11:00 PM ET/PT.
    Fox will also have the MLB Playoffs with the ALCS this year and of course the World Series. ALCS is on Friday, Oct. 16; Saturday, Oct. 17; Monday, Oct. 19; Tuesday, Oct. 20; and if necessary on Thursday, Oct. 22; Saturday, Oct. 24; and Sunday, Oct. 25. The World Series airs Wednesday, Oct. 28; Thursday, Oct. 29; Saturday, Oct. 31; Sunday, Nov. 1; and if necessary on Monday, Nov. 2; Wednesday, Nov. 4; and Thursday, Nov. 5. So baseball will be preempting something at least once.
    View the premiere dates in a list form.

    This July on ABC Family will not see any regular schedule changes to the daytime line-up, but we have plenty to talk about. New single-camera comedy 10 Things I Hate About You launches on Tuesday, July 7 in the 8:00PM ET/PT half-hour. It will be followed by an episode of That '70s Show at 8:30PM ET/PT. 10 Things I Hate About You will have a special encore the same night at 9:00PM ET/PT if you missed it an hour earlier. Other regular encores every week are: Wednesdays at 12am, Thursdays at 4:30pm, and Saturdays at 10am.
    Then on Tuesday, July 21 the multi-camera sitcom Ruby & the Rockits launches! It will air Tuesdays at 8:30PM ET/PT (replacing That '70s Show repeats) following 10 Things I Hate About You. Ruby & the Rockits will have a special encore the same night at 9:00PM ET/PT if you missed it a half-hour earlier...also 10 Things I Hate About You will have an encore at 9:30PM that night. Other regular encores every week for Ruby & the Rockits are: Wednesdays at 12:30am, Fridays at 4:30pm, and Saturdays at 10:30am.
    View full details on these two original comedies, from our previous story. Can these two comedies do better than Roommates and Sophie?
    Other original programming is the movie Labor Pains. Lindsay Lohan stars as an assistant at a publishing company who pretends to be pregnant in order to avoid being fired by her boss. It premieres Sunday, July 19 from 8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT. Along with Lohan, the film includes an all-star cast with Cheryl Hines, Chris Parnell, Luke Kirby, Kevin Covais and Janeane Garofalo.

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