6 killer lines from ‘Scream Queens’ debut

24 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘The Muppets’ Tops ‘Scream Queens’ in Premiere Week’s Tuesday Debuts.

Ryan Murphy directed “American Horror Story” and is now the creator of “Scream Queens,” which stars Emma Roberts and was filmed in New Orleans. “Ryan is so incredible,” Michele said during a recent interview “I think he’s done it yet again, bringing back this horror comedy genre.Fox Television was hailed this year for developing “Empire,” about the power struggle of an African American family fighting over control of a massive music empire.

UPDATE: In final nationals released Wednesday afternoon by Nielsen, the premieres of all three shows were adjusted up a tenth in 18-49: “The Muppets” (2.9/11 in 18-49, 9.01 million viewers overall), “Scream Queens” (1.7/6 in 18-49, 4.04 million viewers overall) and “Limitless” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 9.86 million viewers overall).NBC and CBS both had something to be happy about on Monday night with strong premieres for both Blindspot and Live in Pieces, respectively, but the most-hyped debuts of the first Tuesday of the fall season were on ABC and Fox. The two networks launched The Muppets and Scream Queens, with one overlapping half-hour at 8 p.m., and the the clear victor was Jim Henson’s aging puppet troupe.

But while critics and viewers applauded “Empire” as a major step in honoring cultural differences, those who tuned in to Tuesday night’s launch of Ryan Murphy’s horror-comedy “Scream Queens” may question Fox’s progress on the diversity front. Fox TV heads Dana Walden and Gary Newman showered Murphy (“American Horror Story,” “Glee”) and the series with glowing accolades at the show’s premiere Monday at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, but some reviewers had already blasted “Scream Queens,” saying the series’ attempts at humor, particularly when it comes to race and stereotypes, are misguided — and even offensive. “Scream Queens,” which mocks slasher movies, centers on murders at a fictional university that hosts a chapter of Kappa Kappa Tau, an elite sorority run by the rich and entitled mean girl Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts). NBC won Tuesday night in demos behind another two-hour installment of “The Voice” and an improved second week for new variety show “Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris.” CBS rolled in total viewers, with “NCIS” leading the way as usual as it kicked off its 13th season. In the opening minutes of the two-hour pilot, written by Murphy, who is white, and his white partners, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, Chanel berates the maid of the sorority (Jan Hoag), who is shown scrubbing a floor. “That obese specimen of human filth scrubbing bulimia vomit out of the carpet is Ms. Bean,” Roberts sneers. “I call her ‘white mammy’ because she’s essentially a house slave.” Chanel later forces the maid to recite the “I don’t know nothin’ about birthin’ no babies” line from “Gone With the Wind” — which, as Times critic Mary McNamara pointed out in her review, was actually said not by Mammy (Hattie McDaniel) but by another slave, Prissy (Butterfly McQueen).

It was up sharply from last year’s Tuesday comedy bow in the timeslot (a 1.3 in 18-49 and 4.2 million total viewers for “Selfie” in the second week of the television season). “Muppets” fared well across all age groups, earning an 8 share in adults 18-34, a 9 share in teens 12-17 and 10 shares in both adults 18-49 and 25-54. As was the case on Monday, and every day so long as society doesn’t collectively cut the cord, these live-plus-same day ratings tell a fraction of the story.

In the past, Murphy has been praised for his diverse casting and anti-bullying campaigns, especially on “Glee.” But the “white mammy” issue has caused some to take a second look at his older work. “There’s always a wink, a hair flip, a smirk to acknowledge the tongue-in-cheek nature of his jokes,” Cadenas wrote, “but that doesn’t lessen the vileness of these moments on his shows.” Cox added, “There’s something sinister about Murphy and friends’ insistence that it’s okay to dive into the reprehensible because we’re all supposed to know they don’t mean it.” Future “Scream Queens” episodes may reveal a reason behind Murphy’s broad-stroke caricatures. Last night’s “Scream Queens” did 60% better than the net’s lowly 1.0 nightly average for “Utopia,” “New Girl” and “The Mindy Project.” Starting next week, new comedies “Grandfathered” and “Grinder” will open the night for the net, with “Scream Queens” airing at 9. The drama based on the Bradley Cooper feature film was able to bring younger viewers to CBS, building on its “NCIS: New Orleans” lead-in by 7% in 18-49 (1.8 vs. 1.7) and by 25% in 18-34 (1.0 vs. 0.8). Elsewhere on ABC, the sophomore run of Fresh Off the Boat, a surprisingly robust midseason entry given Tuesday’s recent history of comedy failures, followed The Muppets with 1.9 rating among adults 18-49. The 1.8 rating in 18-49 (which is close to rounding up to a 1.9) for “Limitless” matches the regular-series timeslot high of last season for CBS, set by the season premiere of “Person of Interest.” And in a good sign, especially for a 10 p.m. newbie, “Limitless” maintained its demo rating from its first half-hour to its second.

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