Hits And Misses, Reality Risks and ‘Big Bang’ Contracts

Hosted by and

This summer saw lots of new, original programming in both cable and broadcast networks. Not all of it was great, but much of it has been renewed. Some new reality projects are taking interesting risks, but are networks willing to give the shows the marketing boost they need? And after resolving contract disputes for the show's main stars, The Big Bang Theory will be back, though no one ever really doubted its return.

Unlike in years before when summer was the time for reruns only, this summer offered a variety of new shows across lots of different networks. There was big hype surrounding programs like HBO’s The Leftovers, CBS’s Extant and FX’s The Strain. But the show that’s done really well? TNT’s The Last Ship, which counts Michael Bay as an executive producer. That show is one of several summer debuts that has been picked up for a second season.

And in the realm of reality TV, there’s been a lot of talk about all the nudity in shows like VH1’s Dating Naked, but the buzzy show of the moment is FYI’s Married at First Sight. Part of the appeal comes from the show’s docu-drama feel. Producers don’t appear to exploit the cast members like we might have seen in a version of this show 10 years ago. And ABC’s The Quest also feels like something new and adventurous, but with little marketing and a less-than-ideal time slot, did ABC bury a show that could have been a winner?

Plus, fans of The Big Bang Theory need not worry. The hugely successful CBS sitcom will be back with a new season in the fall, after only a brief hold-up during cast contract negotiations. The show’s three main stars will now make around a million dollars an episode and get a piece of the back-end from syndication. Given the continued popularity of the show — it still draws over 20 million viewers a week — there was never much doubt that CBS would find a way to resolve any contract disputes.

Finally, a quick round of Emmy predictions! Listen to find out who’s team Cranston and who’s team McConaughey (and even who’s team Woody Harrelson), which Spin-off guest is fine with Modern Family winning yet again, and which guests will riot if a different comedy doesn’t walk away with an award.

End of show Downloads:

Joe: Big Brother 16 is great to watch because unlike last season, the cast members are actually nice.

Maggie: John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight is worth checking out any time, but his approach to explaining payday lending is especially thought-provoking.

Mike: Even if you don’t have kids, check out the beautifully animated Disney XD show Gravity Falls.




Kaitlin Parker