Ask Matt: Life After ‘Bones,’ Midseason Malaise, ‘Survivor,’ ‘Nashville,’ ‘The Carmichael Show’ and More
Welcome to the Q&A with TV critic (also known to some TV fans as their "TV therapist") Matt Roush, who'll address whatever you love, loathe, are confused or frustrated or thrilled by in today's vast TV landscape. One caution: This is a spoiler-free zone, so we won't be addressing upcoming storylines here unless it's already common knowledge. Please send your questions and comments to [email protected] (or use the form at the end of the column) and follow me on Twitter. Look for Ask Matt columns on most Tuesdays and Fridays.
Will There Ever Be Another Bones?
Question: Not so much a question about a show, but a type of show. Now that Bones is done after next week, do you foresee another like it? I really enjoyed it and would love to see another. Sure there are other similar shows on, but not with as much lab time. — Donald
Matt Roush: TV will never be at a loss for crime procedurals. But it struck me, when I was eulogizing Bones on one of my regular weekly radio appearances, that when the show premiered, we were in a boom time for forensic dramas of the CSI variety (all of which are now currently history). I’m sure someone will come up with a new way to make scientific detectives look cool again, and in terms of Fox finding another keeper to fill the Bones void, they may have found that in Lethal Weapon—a very different sort of show, but it looks to have legs as well.
Was Doubt’s Timing Off?
Question: Why do TV producers introduce new shows (like Doubt) near the end of the season when viewers already are set in their viewing ways? On that note, will they air the remaining episodes of Doubt on Saturday nights or in the summer? I really liked the show. Also, speaking of cancellations, that awful new show Trial and Error (with the great John Lithgow) should be canceled. I hate it after only 5 minutes. — Shari
Matt Roush: Midseason tryouts have been a thing since I’ve been covering the industry—these days, it’s just another way to avoid airing repeats of ongoing series—and TV in general is working on more of a year-round basis with premieres constantly occurring on network, cable and streaming platforms, regardless of the time of year. The fall is still the most traditional time for network shows to premiere, but often shows pegged for midseason are seen as more in need of a special promotional push so as not to get lost in the tonnage of fall premieres. Every so often, a midseason show pops—see Grey’s Anatomy, which didn’t arrive until late March of, gulp, 2005. As previously discussed, CBS hasn’t made any announcements about Doubt’s future, but the entire season was already in the can, so it’s very possible it will be burned off at some point. And I respectfully disagree with you about Trial & Error. The humor is very broad, but Lithgow is killing it as the suspected murderer who keeps putting his worst foot forward—on camera. Maybe you should have given it 10 minutes?
Frustrated After Tribal Council
Question: Am I the only fan who is totally shocked and outraged by this week’s elimination on Survivor? What on earth is wrong with those people? Sandra is an arrogant, bullying, annoying person who no one seems to want around. Malcolm is a strong, smart player who is incredible in challenges. I just don't get it. — Oceancats
Matt Roush: You’re almost surely not alone. I was hearing from friends about how crazy Wednesday’s tribal council was, but isn’t that part of the fun and suspense of Survivor to never know if or when your own favorite’s hopes will be dashed? Players like Malcolm have a target on their back because they’re strong and smart and incredible in challenges. There seems to be a growing swell of sentiment against Sandra as a super-villain this season, and it seems like just a matter of time before her torch is put out. But never knowing when or if that will happen is one of the reasons we keep watching.
Spread the Wealth on Nashville
Question: I've been disappointed in this season of Nashville. It doesn't feel like an ensemble anymore. Only a few characters have storylines (mostly Maddie and Scarlett, now that Rayna is gone), and they're characters I don't like. Maddie is particularly annoying. Do you think the rest of the cast will have a chance to shine in the second half of the season? I miss stories about Avery, Will and Gunnar! - Andie
Matt Roush: More Maddie-bashing! Given the events of the last episodes, and the producer-writers’ foreknowledge that Rayna would be making a big exit, it’s understandable that the focus wouldn’t be spread as evenly as fans might like. The real challenge when the show returns from hiatus is to give the male characters as meaty storylines as the ladies. With the Internet mogul making eyes at Will, he at least seems to be set up in an interesting storyline. But if Gunnar is only going to be moping around Scarlett, and Avery is reduced to being Juliette’s manny, that will be a problem for sure. I trust these new producers, though, so am hopeful, especially now that the show is moving past its star’s departure. If it ever truly can, that’s the question.
Imposters, Lies Are Original Treats
Question: I am really enjoying Bravo’s The Imposters, also HBO’s Big Little Lies. These shows are different and original. They are thought-provoking, as we all know someone who could be just like these characters. Will they be renewed or are they just for one season? So many of the shows these days are just alike and you can figure out what is going to happen. — Unsigned
Matt Roush: Big Little Lies, being an all-star “limited series” adaptation of a best-selling book, is expected to finish up its story as a one-shot deal. Imposters could continue, and Bravo has a good track record of renewing its scripted shows, so stay positive. I agree they’re both just offbeat enough to be interesting, and I hope Lies nails the ending (if it hews close to the book, it should).
Will Carmichael Get Out More?
Question: During the upcoming third season, will the world that The Carmichael Show is set in be expanded to additionally and regularly feature new locations and their associated cast of characters, such as Jarrod and/or Maxine’s workplace and co-workers, Joe’s local hangout and hangout buddies, and some of Cynthia’s friends and their homes? I’m also curious what exactly does the character of Jarrod Carmichael do for a living? While I’ve loyally watched the show’s first two seasons, I don’t recall ever hearing his exact job title. I only recall hearing that his job involves him working in a white-collar office setting. — Alex
Matt Roush: I could be wrong, but the premise has always seemed to me that the show is based on Jerrod Carmichael’s life, so I’ve assumed he’s a starting-up stand-up who hasn’t achieved fame yet, and any job he has would be about paying the bills. Opening a show like this up is usually a good thing, although the meat of the series will always be in the family conversations about hot-button topics. I haven’t heard much about the next season (which begins May 31), except for the recent news stories about an upcoming episode that will include several unedited uses of the “n”-word, a seeming attempt to rob the word of its power.
A Good Outcome for Scorpion
Question: Hi Matt! Have you heard ANYTHING about Scorpion? Season finale news? Renewal? I need my #Waige & #Quentis fix!! — Venus
Matt Roush: Good news. Scorpion was among the 18 (!) series renewed by CBS this week. The network hasn’t released information about the season finale yet, but this isn’t a spoiler column, so you may have to wait until then to see how they leave things hanging. Note to those concerned about the shows that didn’t make the early cut (including Elementary, Code Black and both Criminal Minds shows), the network says more pick-ups will be announced later, probably around the time of the Upfront announcements in May.
Sympathy for the Demon
Question: I have several episodes of The Exorcist recorded, but am wondering if you have heard if it's going to be renewed? Also, what is the date the networks have to decide on which shows will be renewed? — T.L.
Matt Roush: The Exorcist is very much on the bubble, and I’m not very encouraged about its chances—although given that Sleepy Hollow is still with us, at least for now, who can say what Fox will choose to stick with? Even if it’s not picked up, be sure to watch those final episodes. They’re terrific.
That’s all for now. We’ll pick up the conversation again next week. Thanks as always for reading, and remember that I can’t do this without your participation, so please keep sending questions and comments about TV to [email protected] or shoot me a line on Twitter (@TVGMMattRoush), and you can also submit questions via the handy form below.