Category: Zooey Deschanel

Sizing up 2011's rookie TV series

“New Girl” Zooey Deschanel, with Jake Johnson

As the 2011 TV season tips into 2012, cable shows such as “Homeland” and “American Horror Story” have aired their explosive climaxes, while network newbies that survived the fall are just about halfway through their premiere seasons. Here’s a look at six series that showed early promise and how they’re living up to expectations.

New Girl” | Fox

The premise: Jess (Zooey Deschanel), an attractive but socially awkward woman in her mid-20s, moves in with three single guys after she splits with a philandering tool of a boyfriend.

The vibe: Hipster comedy that avoids coming off as hipper-than-thou.

References: “That Girl,” “Three’s Company,” “Friends,” “(500) Days of Summer”

Sample line: “Pink wine makes me slutty.” — Jess, having a night out with the guys to lift her spirits

Casting call-out: Cece (Hannah Simone), Jess’ best friend, exudes Grrrrl Power in the man cave Jess now calls home.

Performance/prospects: Averaging 8.2 million viewers per episode, “New Girl” will be back for a second season. The big question is will “New Girl” start feeling old?





“Up All Night” | NBC

The premise: Yuppie power couple Chris (Will Arnett) and Reagan Brinkley (Christina Applegate) trade Jell-O shots and last calls for baby formula and middle-of-the-night feedings when newborn Amy comes along.

The vibe: Modern love and marriage. And baby makes comic relief.

Referencing: “Mad About You,” “Mr. Mom,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show”

Sample line: “He just doesn’t understand. I just had a baby. I mean underneath this, I have a girdle and two pairs of Spanx on.” — Reagan to Ava, after accepting her well-meaning friend’s gift of a red thong

Casting call-out: Maya Rudolph in Oprah mode as Reagan’s friend/boss Ava, who seems to spend as much time at the Brinkleys’ house as she does at the television studio.

Performance/prospects: With what might be described as “tweener” ratings (averaging 5.75 million viewers per episode), the series was picked up for a full season in October. Whether this baby makes it to Season 2 … stay tuned.




“Homeland” | Showtime

The premise: Having gone missing for eight years in Iraq, Marine Sgt. Nicholas Brody (Damien Lewis) is rescued and returned to the U.S., where CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) suspects he has been “turned” by the enemy and tracks his every move. An overwhelming sense of paranoia and claustrophobia ensues.

The vibe: “Big Brother” meets “Nurse Jackie,” only Nurse Jackie is a pill-popping CIA agent with bipolar disorder.

References: “24,” life in these United States since 9/11

Sample line: “He’s lying!” — Agent Carrie, after Sgt. Brody aces a polygraph test in which he was asked if he had ever cheated on his wife. And she would know.

Casting call-out: Brody’s best friend and fellow Marine, Mike Faber (Diego Klattenhoff), who stood in as the man of the house while his buddy was in captivity — in more ways than one.

Performance/prospects: With its growing audience and critical acclaim, get ready for another season of white-knuckled viewing in 2012.



Once Upon a Time” | ABC

The premise: Fairy tale characters, including Snow White (Ginnifer Godwin) and the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla), are cast out of their idyll to the fictitious small town of Storybrooke, Maine, where they lose their memories and their supernatural mojo.

The vibe: Complicated storytelling and nostalgia for simpler times.

References: “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color,” “Twin Peaks”

Sample line: “Where are we going?” “Somewhere horrible, absolutely horrible.” — an exchange between Snow White and the Evil Queen, just before the denizens of the world of make-believe are transported to contemporary America

Casting call-out: Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison), long-lost biological daughter of Prince Charming and Snow White, who leaves home and moves to Storybrooke at the urging of a mysterious, precocious boy named Henry Mills (Jared Gilmore).

Performance/prospects: With viewers numbering in the 10 million range, it looks like lightning should strike twice for “Once” and fans can expect a second season.



 

“American Horror Story” | FX

The premise: Cheating husband Ben Harmon (Dylan McDermott) uproots his wife, Vivien (Connie Britton), and daughter, Violet (Taissa Farmiga), from Boston to live in L.A., where they move into a haunted house that they bought for a song. Suspended disbelief (especially on the great real estate deal part) ensues.

The vibe: Tennessee Williams throws a shower for “Rosemary’s Baby.”

References: “Saw” franchise, “Don’t Look Now,” “The Amityville Horror” (1979 version), “Poltergeist”

Sample line: "Is everybody crazy?” — Ben to Vivien, after a drop-in from a poisonous cupcake-bearing neighbor (see below)

Casting call-out: Neighbor Constance, played to the hilt by Jessica Lange channeling Blanche DuBois.

Performance/prospects: Nearly 3 million viewers per week have bought in to the ghosts and goblins that populate the series, and its fans are rabid. FX is hoping it scares up more of them come fall.





“2 Broke Girls” | CBS


The premise: Working girl Max (Kat Dennings) and newly destitute heiress Caroline (Beth Behrs) forge a friendship and dream of starting a cupcake business while working in a Brooklyn diner. Oh, and they share a tiny apartment with Caroline’s horse, Chestnut.

The vibe: “Two and a Half Broke Girls.” Bawdy and naughty.

References: “Alice,” “The Simple Life”

Sample line: “I forgot you’re Equestrian Barbie. You came with a horse.” — Max to Caroline, after Chestnut pokes his head through the back door of Max’s apartment

Casting call-out: ”Saturday Night Live” original cast member Garrett Morris dispenses free advice as the diner’s cashier, Earl.

Performance/prospects: A huge hit for CBS in terms of viewers and the ages 18-to-49 target demographic. The girls will be back for another season of sass while they scrimp and save for that cupcake start-up.

ALSO IN SHOWTRACKER:

2011 favorite TV guest stars

2011 best TV meltdowns: From 'winning!' to whining

2011's most gruesome TV Deaths

 

— Wes Bausmith

Photo: Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson in "The New Girl." Credit: Greg Gayne/Fox

SAG Awards: TV surprises and snubs

Melissa McCarthy of "Mike and Molly" and Showtime drama "Homeland" were surprisingly among the missing when the nominees for the 18th Screen Actors Guild Awards were announced
Melissa McCarthy of "Mike and Molly" and the Showtime drama "Homeland" were among the huge raves of the TV season, but both were surprisingly among the missing when the TV nominees for the 18th Screen Actors Guild Awards were announced.

McCarthy scored an upset in September when she won an Emmy for lead actress in a comedy series for the CBS sitcom, but on Wednesday she was left out of SAG Awards' outstanding performance by a female actor in a comedy series category (though she did get a movie nod for "Bridesmaids"). Those nominees include Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara ("Modern Family"), Edie Falco ("Nurse Jackie"), Tina Fey ("30 Rock") and Betty White ("Hot in Cleveland").

Other prominent actresses that were omitted included Amy Poehler ("Parks and Recreation"), Zooey Deschanel ("New Girl"), Laura Linney ("The Big C"), Laura Dern ("Enlightened") and Christina Applegate ("Up All Night").

 PHOTOS: SAG Awards top nominees

Meanwhile, Ed O'Neill and Jesse Tyler Ferguson were the only adult cast members of "Modern Family" who did not score an individual SAG nod. In addition to Bowen's and Vergara's nods, Eric Stonestreet and Ty Burrell were nominated for outstanding performance by a male actor in a comedy series. O'Neill and Ferguson were included in the comedy ensemble nomination for "Modern Family."

Also missing among major actors in the comedy categories were Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory"), Neil Patrick Harris ("How I Met Your Mother") and Louis C.K. ("Louie").

"Homeland," starring Claire Danes ("Temple Grandin"), Damian Lewis and Mandy Patinkin, has been one of the critical highlights of the season, but the show and its performers were left out of the nominations.

A major surprise in the drama category was the nomination of Patrick J. Adams in USA's "Suits." Lewis beat out more well-known performers, such as Hugh Laurie ("House") and Kelsey Grammer ("Boss").

Who do you think should have been nominated? Vote in the poll below or let us know in the comments.

RELATED:

The complete list of nominees

Complete list of TV nominations

 PHOTOS: SAG Awards top nominees

-- Greg Braxton 

Photo: Damien Lewis and Claire Danes in "Homeland." Credit: Kent Smith / Showtime

Fox pulls 'New Girl' until November

Zooey Deschanel as "Jess" and Max Greenfield as Schmidt in a scene from "New Girl." Credit: Fox

Fox has put a pause on "adorkable," shelving new episodes of the Zooey Deschanel-starring series “New Girl” until November.

Due to scheduling conflicts with Major League Baseball playoffs and further expanded editions of “The X Factor” on three nights in October — yet another two-hour edition of  the singing competition series airs next week for the episodes filmed at the judges' houses — “New Girl” and fellow Tuesday shows, “Glee” and “Raising Hope” will not be back until next month.

“New Girl,” the first new series this Fall to get a full season order, usually airs Tuesdays, but had special epsiodes slotted for post-"X Factor" airings on a few upcoming Wednesdays because of the network’s commitment to post-season baseball.

Now the so-called adorkable Deschanel and her three guy roomies will take a three-week break after a mere three-week run. 

At least viewers have the slow-mo chicken dance to hold them over.

— Yvonne Villarreal
Twitter.com/villarrealy

RELATED:

'New Girl' gets a full season order from Fox

Zooey Deschanel's 'New Girl' draws big ratings

Photo: Zooey Deschanel as "Jess" and Max Greenfield as Schmidt in a scene from "New Girl." Credit: Fox

'New Girl' gets a full season order from Fox

Zooey 
Fox's "New Girl" is going to be around for a while.

The comedy, starring Zooey Deschanel as an awkward single woman who moves in with three single men following a bad breakup, has been given a full season order by the network. Fox has ordered an additional 11 episodes, bringing the season order to 24 episodes.

The announcement came after last week's premiere and Tuesday's second episode scored high ratings.

"New Girl" premiered as Fox's highest rated fall sitcom in 10 years.

"It's great that the audience has responded so positively, and we're confident that even more people will embrace the show -- and more comedy on Fox -- this season," said Fox President of Entertainment Kevin Reilly.

ALSO:

Review: "How to Be A Gentleman"

"Awkward" creator discusses season finale and what lies ahead

-- Greg Braxton

Photo: Zooey Deschanel. Credit: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press.

Zooey Deschanel's 'New Girl' draws big ratings

Zooey Deschanel in 'New Girl' on Fox

It was the revenge of the nerds for Fox Tuesday night, as Zooey Deschanel's new sitcom, "New Girl," topped the ratings. But the "Glee" phenomenon is showing signs of fading.

"New Girl," which has bespectacled alt-goddess Deschanel playing a geeky young woman who moves in with three men after she catches her live-in boyfriend cheating, opened to a relatively modest 10.1 million total viewers, according to early data from Nielsen.

But it was among young adults that "New Girl" really shone. The comedy was, impressively, the top-rated program of the night among adults ages 18 to 49, the demographic most sought by advertisers. "New Girl" notced a 4.7 rating/12 share, waltzing past its rivals in the 9 p.m. half-hour.

The bad news for Fox is that "Glee's" passionate fan base seemed to be missing in action. The high school musical drew just 8.9 million viewers and lost nearly a third of its 18-49 audience compared with last year's Season 2 rollout. Most embarrassingly, "Glee" was handily beat in 18-49 by the season premiere of "NCIS" (3.8 rating versus 4.2) -- a crime program not known for its tremendous youth appeal.

At 10 p.m., CBS looked solid with the premiere of "Unforgettable," its new crime show inspired by news stories about people who can remember every moment from their lives. The drama dominated the hour with an average of 14 million total viewers.

ALSO:

Back to basics with "Glee" premiere

Charlie Sheen fans dump on Ashton Kutcher

"Two and a Half Men" premiere hits ratings record

-- Scott Collins (twitter.com/scottcollinsLAT)

Photo: Zooey Deschanel, right, and Hannah Simone in "New Girl." Credit: Isabella Vosmikova / Fox

Advertisement
Connect

Recommended on Facebook



In Case You Missed It...

Video





Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.

Categories

Shows


Archives
 



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: