Syfy's "Sharknado" may be the only movie franchise in history to be the television event of the summer for two consecutive years under completely different circumstances. It came out of nowhere, with no special advance promotion, and became a true pop-culture sensation even before the end of its first telecast, thanks to a burgeoning real-time response on Twitter by a handful of Hollywood heavyweights and their legions of followers. The media hasn't stopped talking about it since.
Tonight at 9 p.m. ET Syfy will premiere the most eagerly anticipated movie sequel of the year, "Sharknado 2: The Second One." The Syfy marketing, promotion and publicity machines have been in overdrive priming fans for tonight's big show -- arguably one of the top television events of the summer. Last year, in the weeks leading up to the premiere of the first "Sharknado," that wasn't the case. As the world prepares for "Sharknado 2," here's a look back at the initial excitement surrounding the franchise one year ago. It was the Summer of "Sharknado."
Those of us who are old enough to remember them the first time around should make time to watch the first eight seasons of "All in the Family" all over again. Millennials might benefit from watching them as a brilliant study of the social history of America during the time when their parents were kids and a much-needed reminder that the problems of their day were issues for previous generations as well.
Will these tiresome tweets ever go away? I'm all for tweeting while watching television if that is what someone is moved to do. (Indeed, Twitter has made watching awards shows tolerable again.) But I think that tweets belong on Twitter rather than on TV. The ongoing annoyance here is that the tweets seem utterly pointless from every perspective.
The pre-VCR days are just dim, dusty memories to those of us who came of age with live television as our only viewing option. We had to watch something when it was on or during its summer repeat, or risk the terror of perhaps never again having the chance to see it unless it popped up in syndication in the far-off future. To anyone born during the VCR period or after, talk of such concerns is generally inconceivable. So I couldn't help but be amused by a storyline in an episode of the '70s firemen-and-paramedics drama "Emergency!"
The streets of San Diego's Gaslamp District are teeming today as thousands of fan boys and fan girls descend on the city for the show business extravaganza known as Comic-Con. A screening of "Sharknado 2" -- one of the high points of the just-concluded Summer 2014 Television Critics Association tour -- is sure to be a big hit at the Con this weekend, and I'm expecting this evening's panel with the cast of the movie to be standing room only. The "Sharknado 2" premiere party Friday night is already one of the hottest tickets at the Con.
The annual San Diego Comic-Con kicks off tonight and will be in full mad swing by noon tomorrow. So what better time to take an early look at the two new network series that will likely generate the most excitement there? The two shows I'm referring to are The CW's "The Flash" and Fox's "Gotham," both produced by Warner Bros. Television.
FX made big news yesterday with the official announcement that it has renewed its critically acclaimed spring franchise "Fargo." In making the announcement, FX revealed that "Fargo" Season Two will tell an entirely new story, have an entirely new cast and will be set in a time period different from Season One. Season Two will also feature a narrative link of an entirely different kind.
The CW last Monday tried something interesting. As part of its original summer programming initiative, which is heavy with comedy, The CW debuted two new scripted comedies, both imports from Canada -- "Backpackers" and "Seed." Unfortunately, the effort seems to have failed, at least in terms of early ratings information -- which is not supposed to count for much of anything anymore, according to research executives at many broadcast and cable networks, but that's another matter.
I wonder if procedural crime dramas are going to fall out of favor, not because of audience fatigue (though that wouldn't be surprising; how much murder and mayhem can any one person take?), but due to the fact that episodes of such shows are largely stand-alone or self-contained? To put it another way, shows with giant FPV (Future Viewing Potential) are the new prom kings and queens of the television business.