Friday Link Roundup – Upfronts 2016 Edition

Upfronts 2016

This week the major networks held their 2016 upfronts. This is where the networks announce their fall lineups and it’s usually the first chance to build some excitement around their new shows. For more information on what the upfronts are and how they work you can read the Wikipedia page (#snore) or watch the second episode “Valerie Triumphs at the Upfronts” of the oft-overlooked HBO show The Comeback.


  • This year the general pessimism on the success rate for these shows seems to be at an all time high. Perhaps ABC’s decision to announce all the shows they’re cancelling (we see you Agent Carter, Castle, Galavant, The Muppets, and Nashville) days before the upfronts wasn’t the best idea.
  • The president of ABC commented on cancelling Nashville and Castle, but honestly the answer is such boring network-speak that I almost didn’t bother including the link. Click if you want, but don’t expect much.
  • Other shows that were cancelled recently include CSI: Cyber (Dawson’s Creek star James Van Der Beek and the Oscar winning Patricia Arquette just weren’t enough), Rush Hour (which I guess was a television show?), The Grinder and Grandfathered (so long hunky older Rob Lowe and hunky older John Stamos), Game of Silence (which I’m going to guess was a very boring version of Game of Thrones), and The Mysteries of Laura (someday that Debra Messing will get her big break…)

Ok but on to more uplifting things! Lots of new shows were announced this week and just maybe some of them will even last more than a whole season:

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I’m Here for Samantha Bee

Samantha Bee

The hosts of late-night television programs on the major networks are all white males. If you expand out to include the cable late nighters, you add some racial diversity to the mix (Hi Larry Wilmore and Trevor Noah! It’s great to see you both here, as of 2015). When Vanity Fair profiled the “titans of […]

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What’s Your Name, Darling?

Peggy, Miss Carter, Agent Carter, Marge, Margaret, Peg. Sometimes it seems like everyone has a different way of referring to the World War II vet and founding member of S.H.I.E.L.D. The names she uses, and the names she gets assigned to her have significant consequences for the story Marvel’s Agent Carter is telling. Let’s take […]

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5 Supporting Pairs that Outshine their Leads

The main narrative thrust of a television show is necessarily tied to its lead characters. The story you’ve showed up for is about those leads, and even in large ensembles, there is usually one pairing (or family) that is the focus. We’re talking about Lucy and Desi, Sam Malone and Diane Chambers (later Rebecca), Kevin […]

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Ep. 6 – Orphan Black

The Pop Cult Podcast Orphan Black Clone Club

We really love Orphan Black, and we think more people should watch it. We’ve kept spoilers to a minimum (early season one only). Jeff and I are joined this week by our special guest panelist, Taryn Cheal, and we spend the first segment singing the praises of the show, from its deft world-building techniques, to […]

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The Changing Role of the Male Mentor on Television

Television shows with a male mentor holding a clear position of power over a female character are nothing new. This specific relationship has existed almost as long as TV itself. Often this dynamic was even portrayed between married couples. Programs like I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, and I Love Lucy showed that even though the […]

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