TV Junkie: 'American Horror Story' Premieres

Premieres Tonight: Comedy Central's "South Park" & "Nick Swardson's Pretend Time" return at 10 & 10:30pm respectively, and both premiere episodes are hilarious. It would seem that Swardson could make a handsome living as a TV writer and performing as a film actor but he pours so much energy into his show, you can't help but watch (here's our interview with him from last year).

The most hyped premiere of the night is Ryan Murphy's "American Horror Story" on FX at 10pm. Ryan Murphy is co-creator and co-writer of the show but it's his development as a director that makes "American Horror Story" so much different than "Nip/Tuck" and "Glee." The most common "complaint" I'm seeing from other critics about "American Horror Story" are that Murphy employs a variety of horror movie cliches in almost every episode. I think that these critics are forgetting that horror is a genre that uses a specific set of tools to tell a variety of stories, similar to Hong Kong martial arts films, spaghetti westerns, and other genres. You can't fault "AHS" for what it is when its identity is so clearly stated in the very title of the show.

To be sure, we'll get more depth in "AHS" because it's a TV series and not a 90-minute rollercoaster ride but this series is definitely over-the-top, what else could we expect from Murphy? While "Nip/Tuck" brought extreme stories, some "ripped-from-the-headlines," and put them under the bright lights of a plastic surgeon's operating room, "AHS" is all about the shadows, and bringing forth the various psychosis that lurk there but only sometimes bringing them into focus.

Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, and Taissa Farmiga compose an almost broken family that moves from Boston to a mansion in Hollywood, but this mansion was the sight of one or multiple murder crimes. Denis O’Hare of "True Blood" has a recurring role (Truebies rejoice!) but it's Jessica Lange, in her first recurring TV role as the family's neighbor, that raises the playing field in this bizarre, bloody, and creepy experiment. I've only seen 2 episodes so I don't know if this series will be #greatgreatgreat, but I did enjoy "Nip/Tuck" as a guilty pleasure and I think this show has potential, particularly in the performance department. Horror fans might also enjoy seeing familiar ideas reinterpreted for the small screen but parents who let their kids watch "Glee" should definitely keep them away from this very adult show.
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Production in LA was up 15% in Q3 as compared to a year ago. This is good news as this summer suffered a huge drop as the area lost 10 hour-long drama series. It's all excellent evidence that the state's TV and film production tax credit works and should not be revoked regardless of the political shenanigans in Sacramento.
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If you're a fan of Fox's "The New Girl" you'll want to head over to KCRW to hear Elvis Mitchell interview executive producer of the series, Jake Kasdan, on "The Treatment."
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This could be #greatgreatgreat: Multi-Oscar winners, the Coen Brothers, have a deal with Fox that could bring an hour-long comedy to the network sometime in???
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It looks like Fox animated series "The Simpsons" is in jeopardy of not going beyond its 23rd year. It looks like the voice actors have tried to negotiate a 30% pay cut in exchange for a share in the profits of the series but Fox wants them to take a 45% cut without any other compensation. The dispute needs to be worked out by December or there won't even be a series finale written.
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The TV Junkie Must-Watch Plan: "Up All Night," "Free Agents," "Modern Family," "Raising Hope," "American Horror Story," "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," "Late Show With David Letterman," "The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson"

8:00pm Up All Night NBC - New Car Reagan and Chris look for a practical family car that still has style; Ava finds preparing for serious

8:00pm The Curse of Frankenstein TCM - (1957) The condemned baron (Peter Cushing) recalls making a mute monster (Christopher Lee) in his own image.

8:30pm Suburgatory ABC - The Barbecue Surprised Tessa realizes she is attracted to her jock suburban neighbor; George feels pressured to throw the perfect barbecue.

8:30pm Free Agents NBC - Rebranding The team assists a client caught having an affair; Dan, Gregg, Emma and Helen create an online profile for Alex.

9:00pm Modern Family ABC - Door to Door Jay helps Manny with a school fundraiser; Claire petitions for a stop sign at a busy intersection; Phil and Luke try to create a viral video; Gloria searches for Stella.

9:00pm George Harrison: Living in the Material World HBO - (2011) Filmmaker Martin Scorsese examines the life of musician George Harrison, weaving together interviews, concert footage, home movies and photographs.

9:00pm MythBusters Discovery - Newton's Crane Cradle Testing a viral video that uses wrecking balls to transfer energy.

9:30pm Raising Hope Fox - Henderson, Nevada-Adjacent, Baby! Henderson, Nevada-Adjacent! Virginia, Burt, Jimmy and Sabrina go to Las Vegas for Virginia's cousin's wedding; Jimmy tries to take advantage of the locale to make his move on Sabrina.

9:30pm Happy Endings ABC - Baby Steps Alex's new T-shirts intended for children end up being a hit with with teenagers; Jane searches for the child she believes was conceived from an egg she donated years ago.

10:00pm American Horror Story FX - Series Premiere. A therapist moves his family across the country to escape their troubled past, but quickly discovers their new home comes with its own kind of baggage.

10:00pm South Park Comedy Central - Season Premiere. Ass Burgers Cartman copes with Asperger's Syndrome.

10:00pm Penn & Teller Tell a Lie Discovery - Series Premiere. A Head of Hair Can Lift a Mustang Seven claims including, a head of hair can lift a car full of people and profanity can ease pain.

10:30pm Nick Swardson's Pretend Time Comedy Central - Season Premiere. Baby Not From Booty Nick discusses dive bars; an infomercial; Wheelchair Cat defending one of his 9 lives in court.

11:00pm The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Comedy Central - Hugh Jackman is interview guest

11:30pm The Colbert Report Comedy Central - Interview guests Mos Def & Talib Kweli.

11:35pm Late Show With David Letterman CBS - Actor George Clooney; Mastodon performs.

11:35pm The Tonight Show With Jay Leno NBC - Actor Tim Allen; TV personality Theresa Caputo; Scotty McCreery performs.

12:05am Jimmy Kimmel Live ABC - Actor Will Arnett; actress Jane Levy; J. Cole performs.

12:35am The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson CBS - Actor Joel McHale; singer Elizabeth Cook.

12:35am Late Night With Jimmy Fallon NBC - Former professional basketball player Shaquille O'Neal; actress Evan Rachel Wood; Portishead performs