It's been a quiet week on the box, so let's take a look around the web - here are a handful of news stories that caught my eye in the past week or so ...
First things first: Dan Harmon is back on Community ... in, like, some form, or another. Maybe. According to many, many reports, fourth season showrunners Moses Port and David Guarascio have both decided to leave the show - and word is that NBC has approached Dan Harmon, the show's creator, about returning to Community in some capacity. Harmon himself even made mention of it on his podcast, saying "f*** it, I don't care who knows". As I wrote a few weeks back, Community without Harmon was like a horse with a broken leg that needed to be put down. I'm excited for his potential return.
Melissa Leo has her next post-Treme TV role: co-starring with Matt Dillon on Wayward Pines, an event series from notorious director M Night Shyamalan. And by "notorious", I mean "maker of notoriously, and increasingly, disappointing films". Wayward Pines follows a Secret Service agent who goes in search of a pair of missing FBI agents. Fortunately, the series will only be around 10 episodes, so we'll only have to endure around 200 lame twists.
Who knew TV could affect money markets?! Apparently mixed reviews of Arrested Development's fourth season precipitated a drop in Netflix shares earlier this week. From the story: "Netflix's stock fell more than 6 per cent Tuesday (US) as investors reacted to critics' mixed reviews of the first new Arrested Development episodes since the Fox broadcast network cancelled the series seven years ago." I've seen a few episodes, and will have some proper thoughts about the season in due time, but I certainly didn't think it was bad enough to hit the panic button.
Lena Dunham's protestations about a Girls porn parody will probably fall on deaf ears in the pornography industry, but I wanted to repeat her reasons for being disgusted by the parody here, mostly because I think they make complete sense: "1. Because Girls is, at its core, a feminist action while Hustler is a company that markets and monetises a male's idea of female sexuality. 2. Because a big reason I engage in (simulated) onscreen sex is to counteract a skewed idea of that act created by the proliferation of porn 3. Because it grosses me out."
Steven Soderbergh said he was retiring, yet here he is producing a show for Cinemax: underrated British actor Clive Owen will lead the cast of The Knick, a hospital drama set in early 1900s New York, and named for the Knickerbocker Hospital. Apparently the Knickerbocker Hospital started as a temporary medical centre for Civil War soldiers, but was later famed as "a leader in medicine in the pre-antibiotics age". Since Cinemax is also responsible for Strike Back, Banshee and Hunted, I'm going to go ahead and assume that this will be some kind of ER-Hostel crossover.
This chart, which shows viewership increases and decreases for returning shows this season (versus last season) is interesting, if only for the fact that it tells us only six shows enjoyed a viewership increase of 10 per cent or more, whereas a whopping 52 shows suffered a viewership drop of 10 per cent or more, and seven shows dropped by more than 30 per cent. If you're suspicious that broadcast television is in dire straits, at least in the USA, then this is probably the evidence you're after.
In case you missed it, Graham Norton hosted a Fresh Prince of Bel Air reunion on his show. The full episode should be airing on TV3 next Friday. Sing it with me now! "Innnnnnnn West Philadelphia, born and raised ..."
Last, we've got our first look at Boardwalk Empire's coming fourth season - including our introduction to new character Valentin Narcisse, played by Jeffrey Wright, who will be a foil for our Nucky. Check it out:
What TV news has caught your eye in the last week or so? Anything here excite you?