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THE TV COLUMN

Trickle of returnees before a flood; Bad spinoff?

By Michael Storey

This article was published September 19, 2013 at 3:12 a.m.

The preseason premieres continue in advance of Monday’s official fall season beginning.

Here are the returning shows set to debut Friday. All are on ABC.

7 p.m.: Last Man Standing.

7:30 p.m.: The Neighbors.

8 p.m.: Shark Tank.

How crazy will it be next week? Thirty returning series and 11 new ones will be vying for your attention and space on your DVR.

Returning favorites include such shows as The Voice, Revolution, Modern Family, Nashville, Glee and NCIS.

Pre-season buzz-worthy programs include Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Crazy Ones and The Michael J. Fox Show.

I’ll have the complete schedule and more on the new shows in Sunday’s column. Meanwhile, here are a bunch of TV tidbits that have been waiting for room to run.

Killing dead again. AMC has canceled The Killing for the second time. Looks as if this time it’s a done deal.

The recently ended Season 3, which was only made possible by a deal with Netflix, hovered around 1.5 million viewers - not enough to bring the dark drama back fora fourth round.

AMC future. AMC dramas in the works are Line of Sight starring The Walking Dead’s David “the Governor” Morrissey; Halt & Catch Fire, starring Pushing Daisies’ Lee Pace; and the period drama Turn, based on the book Washington’s Spies.

AMC needs new dramas because it’s preparing to bid farewell to Breaking Bad, and Mad Men will end its run in 2014. Meanwhile, the prognosis for the new cop drama Low Winter Sun isn’t good.

Winding down. Only two episodes are left of one of the best dramas in years. The Breaking Bad penultimate episode is 8 p.m. Sunday, with the series finale set for 8 p.m. Sept. 29.

Series creator Vince Gilligan predicts the ending will be polarizing and not everyone will be satisfied.

However, series star Betsy Brandt (she plays Marie Schrader) said, “This is the perfect ending for this show.”

Switching to comedy, Brandt has moved on to play the wife on the highly anticipated Michael J. Fox Show, which debuts at 8:30 p.m. Sept. 26 on NBC.

Breaking spinoff. A deal hasn’t been finalized just yet, but AMC is also moving forward with a Breaking Bad prequel featuring lawyer Saul Goodman before he was Walter White’s attorney. Bob Odenkirk, who plays Goodman, is expected to star in the title role of Better Call Saul.

Heaven help us. Remember the good ol’ days when TLC stood for The Learning Channel? Well, it’s hard to fathom what we’re learning these days.

TLC is now the home of such “educational” series as America’s Worst Tattoos, Breaking Amish, Extreme Cheapskates (and Cougar Wives and Couponing), Long Island Medium, My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, My Crazy Obsession, My Strange Addiction, Sister Wives, Virgin Diaries, Hoarding: Buried Alive, Toddlers & Tiaras and the patronizingly subtitled (so you can understand the hick accents) Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.

Arkansas TLC connections? There are Tontitown’s Duggars of 19 Kids & Counting (Season 12 premiered at 8 p.m. Tuesday). And the Cheer Perfection mama drama in Sherwood continues at 9 p.m. Wednesdays.

And now this.

The six-part Alaskan Women Looking for Love debuts at 9 p.m. Oct. 6. The series is certain to be educational. Or as educational as the rest of the lineup.

Viewers will follow six native Alaskan friends, weary of men “consumed by fishing and hunting and often sporting long hair and scruffy beards,” as they head to Miami Beach, where they hope love awaits.

The women, ages 22 to 34, quickly discover they are fish out of water in Florida. Still, they are “ready to exchange their boots for high heels and fancy dates.”

I’m betting there will be no subtitles.

Fey back on SNL. Tina Fey will return to her old stamping grounds when she hosts the Season 39 premiere of Saturday Night Live. What? Season 39! I feel so very old.

Look for Fey at 10:30 p.m. Sept. 28. She will be joined by musical guest Arcade Fire.

Come Oct. 5, Miley Cyrus will be the host and musical guest. Cyrus is still causing tongues to wag following her twerking demonstration on the recent MTV Video Music Awards.

And now Cyrus has a provocative video out for her song “Wrecking Ball.” Most of it she spends lounging lasciviously in her underwear and licking a sledge hammer.

Yes. A sledge hammer.

But she’s also swinging nude on the wrecking ball in segments. Only artfully placed arms and creative cropping keep her from an X rating.

All of this bad-girl behavior is carefully crafted to put a stake through the heart of the 20-year-old’s Hannah Montana image. Cyrus has succeeded. But she had better be careful what she wishes for. What has replaced Hannah Montana is starting to look too skanky to be redeemed without an intervention.

The TV Column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Email: mstorey@arkansasonline.com

Weekend, Pages 32 on 09/19/2013

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