The Herald-Dispatch |


Stay Tuned
Reviews, previews and much more on "24," "Lost," "The Real Housewives," "How I Met Your Mother," "NCIS" and many more of your favorite shows. This is the place to talk about all of the things that make us "Stay Tuned"…

Thursday, November 30, 2006

A Short Break...

Due to the craziest set of circumstances I've ever experienced, I am moving this weekend, so I will be out of touch until Monday.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

"The Nine" Gets Yanked...

Fans hoping to catch the next installment of “The Nine” tonight are going to be disappointed.

ABC has pulled the show after it posted its lowest ratings yet last week. However, insiders say that ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson is a fan of the show and hopes to find it a new home later in the season. The network never gave the show a full season order, so unless that changes there are only six episodes remaining. It will be replaced tonight with a special edition of “20/20.”

I could see this coming, which is why I was upset with myself that I forgot to watch it last week. I hope to catch it online, but if any of you saw it, please post a comment so I can find out what happened with Lizzie...

Idol Update, Part 2: "Daughtry" Sales, Katharine's Changes, the BMAs & the Final Word on Kelly vs. Clay


Daughtry did themselves proud this week by selling 304,000 copies of their self-titled debut—good enough for #2 on the Billboard Chart (As predicted, Jay-Z debuted at #1 with sales of 680,000.). Tomorrow, we’ll see if “It’s Not Over” makes the singles chart…

Speaking of debut CDs, you’ll have to wait a little longer to hear Katharine McPhee’s, if she has her way. Katharine told VH1 that she has been extremely vocal about pushing her release date to 2007, so she won’t be rushed. Among the contributors to her CD are Babyface, Chad Hughes of the Neptunes, Kara DioGuardi (who has written songs for Kelly Clarkson and Hilary Duff) and Timbaland’s production partner Nate Hills. Katharine says the CD is a combination of Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand and the Pussycat Dolls.

One song you won’t find on the CD is “Over the Rainbow.” Katharine told producers she didn’t want the song on the album, because it didn’t go with the other songs. She also promises there won’t be any songs about her personal issues. And she tells VH1 that if the record thing doesn’t work out, then she’ll try “the movie thing,” and if that doesn’t work, she’ll “just get knocked up and be a happy married woman.”

In my opinion, the problem with Katharine is that no one is sure what genre to put her in, so I applaud her trying to get that worked out before the CD is released. But I think she’s making a mistake not capitalizing on “Idol” now, especially during the holiday shopping season. The show could give her a boost when it returns, but will fans have moved on by then? Just ask Justin Guarini about the impact a release delay had on him…

Finally, “Billboard” released its finalists for the 2006 Billboard Music Awards and Carrie Underwood is a finalist in three country categories: Artist of the Year, Female Country Artist of the Year, and Country Album of the Year. Plus, she’s nominated for Album of the Year. However, since the winners are determined by actual performance on the Billboard charts, I think her only award shot is Female Artist, since she’s up against two sales juggernauts in the other categories—Rascal Flatts and “High School Musical.” Carrie is scheduled to make an appearance, so that helps her chances. Remember that Chris and Katharine will appear as well. The “Billboard Music Awards” airs Monday, December 4th at 8 p.m. on FOX…

And while Blogger is allowing me to post pictures, please permit me to put in one final word about Kelly vs. Clay, courtesy of RT, my second favorite Canadian:

'Nuff said...

Question of the Week: Holiday Movies and Specials

This is the time that the networks roll out their traditional holiday specials and movies.

ABC aired “A Charlie Brown Christmas” last night and USA has aired “Elf” at least a dozen times already.

So this week’s Question of the Week is: What is your favorite holiday special or movie?

I have a list of specials/movies that I watch (though some are on tape or DVD) that includes “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “Mickey’s Christmas Carol,” “The Animaniacs Christmas Special” and the remake of “Miracle on 34th Street” (I know the original’s a classic, but who can resist Dylan McDermott’s baby blues?).

But my favorite is without a doubt “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” Not only is it still hilarious, but it makes me wax nostalgic for my high school days when a certain English teacher accidentally showed her students something other than a holiday movie (That’s a long story.).

It also reminds me of my old neighbors who covered their entire house with lights, wrapping them straight across the windows and stapling them to their siding. I can still hear the “kerchunk” that would greet me every Saturday morning after Thanksgiving. The last year I lived there they added to their display with a Nativity scene featuring a neon pink baby Jesus. Everyone in town called them the Griswolds (from the movie), even though that wasn’t their real name.

I’m told they don’t decorate their house anymore, though. I like to think it’s because they know I’m no longer around to enjoy it.

Of course, it may also have something to do with the newspaper actually calling them the Griswolds in print…

By the way, Bravo is scheduled to air “Christmas Vacation” Sunday, December 12th at 8 p.m. and again at 10 p.m.

Now, it’s your turn…

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Idol Update--Jennifer Hudson, Chris & Katharine; Plus Fantasia & Taylor Try to "Breakaway"

In the biggest non-surprise of the week, Clive Davis has signed Jennifer Hudson to Arista Records. Funny how nobody wanted her until she became a frontrunner for an Academy Award nomination…

Usually when an Idol winner releases their second CD, it’s an attempt to separate themselves from the show and “Breakaway” so to speak. Apparently Fantasia is following in those footsteps.

In an interview with VH1, Fantasia says her second CD, “Fantasia,” which drops December 12th, is “totally different” and that she didn’t have time to put her own input on the first one. Fantasia admits that her producers had a hard time at first with her vision, but she was persistent. “I feel like this album is my baby,” she says.

Part of the problem many people had with the first CD was the number of songs dealing with all of the things she went through in her life, but that’s not the case here. Aretha Franklin, Missy Elliott, Babyface and many others contributed to Fantasia’s vision of “urban rock.” The first single is “Hood Boy” featuring Big Boi. “Hood Boy” got special mention in this week’s “Entertainment Weekly” on the Must List. Fantasia will appear on “The Tonight Show” Wednesday (11:35 p.m., NBC)…

It looks like Taylor Hicks may not be waiting until that second CD to distance himself from “Idol.” In an interview with “Relix” magazine, Taylor admits that he doesn’t watch “Idol.” But more interestingly he says that he passed on another song before he was given “Do I Make You Proud.” He told the producer, “No way, you’re not going to make me sing this song. I’m out of here,” and he got up and walked out of the studio [I can’t help but wonder if the song was Katharine’s atrocious single, “My Destiny.” Surely there couldn’t have been another song worse than that one.].

There’s no doubt that Taylor’s CD is going to be a lot different than any other Idol winner’s. I’ve heard three of the songs and they all have an old soul kind of feel to them with lots of horns. “The Right Place” has a gospel quality to it, while “The Runaround” is a little over –brassy, but custom-made for Taylor’s dance moves. “Dream Myself Awake” is a good song that I would go with for his first single, but I’m betting on “Runaround.” You can hear them for yourself at http://www.taylorhicks.com/. Taylor is scheduled to appear on “Christmas at Rockefeller Center” Wednesday at 8 p.m. on NBC and Friday night on “The Tonight Show” (11:35 p.m., NBC)…

“Idol” is well-represented in the nominees for the VH1 “Big in ‘06” Awards. Chris Daughtry is up for Big Reality Star and Katherine McPhee is nominated for Big “It” Girl. You can still vote at www.big.vh1.com/index.html. I only ask that you vote for Kiefer Sutherland for Big TV Star while you’re there. The “Big in ’06 Awards” air Sunday, December 3rd at 9 p.m. on VH1…

Speaking of Chris and Katharine, they will both be presenters at the Billboard Music Awards December 4th at 8 p.m. on FOX…

I’ll post Chris’s CD sales as soon as I get them tomorrow…

Last Night's "Heroes"

As is always the case with “Heroes,” I have a few questions…

So Sylar steals people’s special powers by removing their brains? And then what? Does he put it inside his brain? Is that why he always wears a baseball cap? And if that is what he does, then wouldn’t he also have the waitress’ brain tumor too?...

How wild was it that Nathan flew for the first time during the car accident? I thought that scene was very cool.

And how classic (yet sad) was it that Hiro teleported when he closed his eyes to kiss the girl? I was wondering how they were going to fix that one and I admit I didn’t see that coming…

How come we didn’t see Isaac’s origin story? Is that because he’s the hero that will fall next week?...

And are we really going to find out that HRG is just being a good dad?...

Thoughts?

Monday, November 27, 2006

I'm back...

Why is it that whenever I take a few days off, Blogger takes days off as well?

I apologize for the tardiness of these posts, but I believe everything is up and running now. Be sure to scroll down for what you've missed.

Picks of the Week: Hellos, Goodbyes and Old Friends

First, we say a short goodbye to “Prison Break” with what is sure to be a wild cliffhanger. The show will return January 29th. “Prison Break” airs Monday, November 27th at 8 p.m. on FOX…
Over on NBC, we say hello to our “Heroes” as we meet them before they had their powers (and watch them get them). Last week’s “Save the cheerleader” episode was a little disappointing, but this one could be a crucial piece to the puzzle that no fan should miss. “Heroes” airs Monday, November 27th at 9 p.m. on NBC…

And Tuesday, make time for some old friends with the annual showing of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Don’t even try to tell me that you don’t still tear up when the kids save Charlie Brown’s tree. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” airs Tuesday, November 28th at 8 p.m. on ABC…

Thursday, “The O.C.” returns after a one-week absence. It’s not a special episode of any kind, I just won’t rest until all of you are watching this show. “The O.C.” airs Thursday, November 30th at 9 p.m. on FOX…

Plus, don’t forget that Matthew Fox is hosting “Saturday Night Live” this weekend. I guarantee you there will be a “Lost” parody of some kind. The bad news for Fox is that Tenacious D is the musical guest, which means he could have the show stolen right out from under him. “SNL” airs Saturday, December 2nd at 11:30 p.m…

The End of Sweeps

Alas, we’ve reached the end of the magical time known as November sweeps. Here’s what’s scheduled for the last four days…

Monday, Wayne Brady guest stars as Barney’s brother on “How I Met Your Mother” (8 p.m., CBS). “The Bachelor: Rome” wraps up its season with a two-hour finale (9 p.m., ABC) and TBS debuts a new original comedy “10 Items or Less,” (11 p.m.) which has been described as “The Office” in a grocery store…

Tuesday, ABC premieres the latest “24” clone, only this time, it’s a comedy. “Big Day” chronicles a bride’s preparations for her wedding (9 p.m.). TBS premieres its second original comedy, “My Boys,” which tells the story of a female sportswriter and her male friends (10 p.m.). “Boston Legal” wraps up its two-parter (10 p.m., ABC) and Mariska Hargitay returns to “Law & Order: SVU” and brings Bob Saget and Catherine Bell (“JAG”) with her (10 p.m., NBC)...

Wednesday, Al Roker and Ann Curry host “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” (8 p.m., NBC) with Christina Aguilera, Enya, Taylor Hicks, John Legend, Bette Midler, Martina McBride, Sarah McLachlan, Lionel Richie and Sting. “Jericho” wraps up the first part of its season before taking a 10-week break (8 p.m., CBS).

Thursday, “The Office” gets some help from its British creators with a story co-written by Ricky Gervais (8:30 p.m., NBC). “Scrubs” finally returns with its sixth season premiere (9 p.m., NBC) and “Men In Trees” moves to its new day and time (10 p.m., ABC)…

Last Night's "Desperate Housewives"

So apparently the new neighbor turned out to be an even bigger monster than Lynette realized.

But here’s my question. If he is leaving town (and I’m still wondering about that), why did they even do this story to start with? Will Lynette make it her mission to go after him? Lynette’s stories have been really weak this year.

I have to say I was surprised by his confession because most of the magazines and websites had him pegged as a potential spoiler for Lynette’s marriage. Maybe that was the original thought and they abandoned it halfway through?

And I’m starting to think that Orson’s mother killed Monique. Or did she help Alma do it? I was glad to see that Alma’s alive because I would still like to see Orson be a good guy—if you can look over the whole hitting Mike with his car.

Your thoughts?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Spending Thanksgiving With "Friends"...

Because of my TV obsession, when I think “Thanksgiving,” I don’t think about my family gathered around the table.

I think about “Friends”…

This year my wish was finally going to be granted with the release of a “Friends” Thanksgiving DVD (Yes, I know I have all of the season sets, but it’s just not the same.). But apparently, the previous single DVD releases were a bust, so Warner Brothers changed their plans.

Since these episodes are so much a part of my holiday, I thought I would take a minute to stroll down memory lane and rank them from my least favorite to my favorite. Note there are only nine because there was no Thanksgiving episode in season two…

9) “The One with the Late Thanksgiving” (Season 10)
Joey, Phoebe, Rachel and Ross all have other things to do, so they show up late for dinner. Since the beauty of these episodes is all the friends together, this one was a bit disappointing—especially for the last one.

8) “The One Where Chandler Hates Dogs” (Season 7)
When Phoebe sneaks a dog into Monica and Chandler’s apartment, Chandler is forced to admit that he hates dogs. And Ross becomes obsessed with Chandler’s “Name the States” game, while Rachel makes her move on Tag—thanks to Joey. Again, the friends are split up for much of the episode and the dog thing just really doesn’t work for me.

7) “The One Where Underdog Gets Away” (Season 1)
Due to a variety of circumstances, Monica ends up cooking dinner for everyone. However, they all have different potato requests (except for Chandler who hates Thanksgiving), driving Monica crazy. But dinner is ruined when they’re all locked out of Monica’s apartment after going to see the Underdog balloon that got away from the parade. This was the first episode where I really got a sense this show was going to be something special.

6) “The One With the Football” (Season 3)
When the other friends decide to play touch football, Ross and Monica try to put aside their competitive ways and join in. But things turn ugly when Joey and Chandler fight over a girl and Monica challenges Ross for the “Geller Cup” (which is a troll doll attached to a piece of wood). This one has some classic moments, including Rachel’s big play that doesn’t quite end the way you think it would.

5) The One With Rachel’s Other Sister” (Season 9)
Christina Applegate won an Emmy for her portrayal of Rachel’s sister, Amy, who causes trouble for everyone when she gets the crazy idea that she should raise Emma if Ross and Rachel died. The mix of sweetness and humor (mostly at Chandler’s expense) are a perfect combination.

4) “The One With All the Thanksgivings” (Season 5)
It’s a trip down memory lane as we see the first time Monica and Rachel met Chandler. It was a slight rewrite of history, but seeing Courteney Cox in the fat suit and Jennifer Aniston in that nose is always fun. Plus, Monica’s attempt to “seduce” Chandler is a classic and I always laugh when they bang his severed toe against the ER door.

3) “The One With Chandler in a Box” (Season 4)
After Chandler kisses Joey’s girlfriend, Kathy, Joey punishes him by putting him in a box. Plus, Monica invites Richard’s son (Michael Vartan) to dinner as her date. I really like this one for its sentimentality and the relationship between Joey and Chandler.

2) “The One With the Rumor” (Season 8)
Monica invites Will (Brad Pitt), an old friend from high school, to dinner. The problem is that he hates Rachel, who discovers Will and Ross formed an “I Hate Rachel” club in high school and started an ugly rumor about her. Not every major guest star the show had worked out (like Bruce Willis), but this one did. However, I admit it’s a little hard to watch now.

1) “The One Where Ross Got High” (Season 6)
Chandler tries to impress Monica’s parents so she can tell them they live together; but instead, he discovers that they don’t like him because they think he got high in their house. But when Monica outs Ross as the real culprit, a flurry of secrets come out. Plus, Rachel screws up the Thanksgiving dessert. This is one of my favorite episodes of all-time, as those 30 seconds of secret flying are one of the funniest sequences ever.

TBS is scheduled to do a mini-marathon on Thanksgiving Day with “The One Where Ross Got High” (8 p.m.), “The One Where Chandler Hates Dogs” (8:30 p.m.), and “The One With All the Thanksgivings” (9 p.m.).

However you spend your Thanksgiving, I wish you and yours a happy one. I’ll be taking the rest of the week off; but I’ll be back on Monday…

Thanksgiving Viewing Schedule

Here’s just a taste of what Thanksgiving will bring you television wise…

Of course, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The 80th edition will be hosted by Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera on NBC (9 a.m.) and Hannah Storm and Dave Price on CBS (9 a.m.)…

NBC has its own holiday tradition with the National Dog Show, hosted by John O’Hurley (11 a.m.) while CBS and FOX stick with football. The Detroit Lions host the Miami Dolphins (12:30 p.m., CBS) and the Dallas Cowboys host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4 p.m., FOX). The NFL Network premieres its game coverage as the Kansas City Chiefs host the Denver Broncos (8 p.m.). Bryant Gumbel and Cris Collinsworth have the call.

Turkey Day also means marathons and here is just a sampling:

“The Closer”—13 hours of the Kyra Sedgwick drama (8 p.m., TNT)
“Eureka”—20 hours of the quirky SciFi hit (10 a.m.)
“That 70s Show”—12 hours (Noon, FX)

A Sitcom Icon's Meltdown

I've been so caught up in the whole Kelly-Clay thing, that I haven't commented on the bigger story this week--the meltdown of Michael Richards, who will always be known as Kramer from "Seinfeld."

The truth is, I really don't know what to say. As Derek pointed out in a comment yesterday, the timing is lousy for the release of "Seinfeld" Season 7 on DVD this week. I've even heard that people are considering boycotting the reruns.

Here is what I would like to know. How did Richards get to be so bitter and angry?

I know it's hard for actors who have played an iconic character to get past that and move on with their careers. But to build up into this?

As I said, I just don't know what to say...

Kelly vs. Clay vs...Rosie?

I promised myself I wasn’t going to say anymore about the whole Kelly-Clay thing. You guys have been bringing up so many of the good points yourself, I didn’t really need to (Feel free to keep it coming, by the way.).

But then Rosie got involved, and try as I might to stop myself, here I am typing this.

If you missed it, yesterday on “The View,” Rosie O’Donnell blasted Kelly Ripa for her rant against Clay. Her main complaint was that Kelly’s response to Clay putting his hand on her mouth, “I don’t know where that hand has been,” was homophobic.

I really appreciate Rosie standing up for Clay, but there were two problems with her argument. First, it gave people a chance to take Kelly’s side. Regardless of what you thought about the incident, most people would agree that Kelly’s reaction was not anti-gay. She was simply trying to one-up Clay in the laugh department, and apparently trying to control her anger.

Second, Rosie’s accusation once again opened up the can of worms that Clay has been trying to get away from his entire career—the question of his sexuality. Making it worse was Kelly calling into the show to defend herself and openly discussing the topic with Rosie on national TV, without Clay present to defend himself.

However, what made me angry was not Rosie opening her mouth, because I know she meant well. It was Kelly opening her mouth once again and saying that Clay probably thought that since he’d been bullied his whole life, he would take this opportunity to bully her.

WHAT?!

No doubt Kelly will discuss this—or even the Tori Spelling spoof of the moment on the “American Music Awards” last night—on the show today, but I won’t be seeing it. As much as I hate to miss Daughtry’s first national TV appearance, I have sworn off “Live with Regis and Kelly.”

And yes, that even includes appearances by Kiefer Sutherland—which should tell you how mad I am about this whole thing.

The saddest thing of all is that due to the lack of promotion for the appearance, no one would have ever even known about what happened if Kelly had just kept her mouth shut.

But I guess we know all to well what an impossibility that is…

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Idol Update: November 21, 2006

I thought that this would be a fairly uneventful week “Idol”-wise; but Kelly Ripa took care of that. If you’ve missed all the fervor over Kelly vs. Clay Aiken, be sure to scroll down and read my previous posts…

I realized later that in my review of the new Daughtry CD, I didn’t say whether I liked it or not. I do, I just think it’s a little too familiar. Don’t look for it to hit No. 1 since Jay Z’s CD is also out today. You can listen to it for free at http://music.aol.com/songs/new_releases_full_cds.adp?defaultTab=6&defaultItem=1. Daughtry will appear on “Live With Regis and Kelly” Wednesday, November 22nd—if anyone still wants to watch that show…

Speaking of releases, Katharine McPhee’s CD has been pushed back to December 19th. Katharine is scheduled to appear on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on CBS. The coverage begins Thursday, November 23rd at 9 a.m…

The American Music Awards air tonight (Tuesday) at 8 p.m. on ABC. Katharine, Taylor Hicks, Clay and Ryan Seacrest are scheduled to present. Carrie Underwood is scheduled to perform. Carrie is nominated for Favorite Country Female Artist (along with Faith Hill) and Favorite New Breakthrough Artist. Kelly Clarkson is nominated for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist and Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist…

TV DVD Releases: "Alias" Collection, "Seinfeld," and More!

Remember a few weeks ago when I said that “Alias” fans will have to make the choice to upgrade or not. Well this is the week and it’s a doozy of a decision. “Alias: The Ultimate Collection” features all 105 episodes encased in a detailed replica of the Rambaldi Box. You also get a hardbound book that is supposed to answer the show’s “biggest mysteries.” Plus, if you find the secret compartment, you’ll discover a bonus disc. I would seriously consider the upgrade.

Here are the other releases scheduled for this week…

Da Ali G Show: Da Complete Seereez
Alias (Season 5)
Boston Legal (Season 2)
Davey & Goliath: The Lost Episodes
Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist (Season 2)
Family Affair (Season 2)
How I Met Your Mother (Season 1)
Kenny vs. Spenny (Season 2)
Mother and Son (Season 1)
Perry Mason (Season 1, Volume 2)
Seinfeld (Season 7)
So noTORIous (Season 1)
Star Trek: The Animated Series (Complete Series)
Voltron: Defender of the Universe (Collection 2: Yellow Lion)

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Slight "Heroes" Con

I said in an earlier post that I didn't think the promos for "Heroes" were a con. That we would actually learn the meaning of "Save the cheerleader. Save the world."

Well, it turns out that it was a partial con as the cheerleader was saved; but we still don't know how that saves the world. Is it because HRG's people were able to get Sylar?

The tension of the show was pretty good, but the ending was a tad disappointing. Is that really what we've been waiting for?

The previews for next week show that we will learn more about how everyone got their powers (Nikki's story looks particularly interesting.) and we finally see the face of Sylar. And I think you'll see that it looks very much like Zachary Quinto, who was last seen as Tori Spelling's best friend on "So noTORIous" (He also played Adam in season three of "24.").

What did you think of the big Homecoming night? Let's discuss...

Proud to Be a FOX Fan

Today is a day you can be proud to be a FOX fan.

News Corporation, which owns FOX, announced today that it is pulling the planned O.J. Simpson special. The move comes after advertisers balked and several affiliates refused to air the show.

Although FOX made the decision, the real kudos here go to North Dakota’s Prime Cities Broadcasting for paving the way by being the first affiliates to refuse to air the show. Kudos to the advertisers as well for ignoring the lure of a sure-fire ratings grabber.

I’m usually opposed to affiliates and advertisers taking this kind of action, but I feel it was absolutely necessary in this case and applaud them for taking a stand.

Kelly vs. Clay: Are You Kidding Me?

This afternoon, I logged onto my blog to moderate comments; and I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

Several people (Thanks to them, by the way) posted to tell me about Kelly Ripa going off on Clay Aiken on this morning’s edition of “Live With Regis and Kelly.”

If you missed it, Kelly told Regis and the audience that she didn’t think Clay “was respectful in any way” to her during his stint as co-host on Friday. She also said there was some “impropriety” and “hostility.” What Kelly was most upset about was Clay putting his hand over her mouth during the Emmitt Smith interview.

Kelly apparently felt compelled to discuss the incident on this morning’s show after receiving “many” phone calls and hearing from Howard Stern who completely agreed that Clay behaved inappropriately.

Are you kidding me?

Obviously, Kelly can dish it; but she’s incapable of taking it. As I said in my earlier post, Clay was funny and he was forced to take shots at her (what she calls hostility) so he could get a word in edgewise. Was Kelly being respectful to Clay by not letting him talk?

As far as the hand over her mouth, you can call it rude if you’d like, but I think she had it coming after refusing to let Clay ask a question. And again, it was funny.

Not to mention that Clay was just doing what Regis has no doubt wanted to do for years.

I think what stuns me the most is that Kelly felt like she had to bring it up on today’s show, instead of just letting it go (Was that based on the advice of the classy Howard Stern?). Her unprofessionalism is astounding.

And it stinks for Clay that his new promotional push is being derailed by Kelly’s pettiness.

Basically what it boils down to is that Kelly can’t handle the fact that someone finally stood up to her—and got more laughs doing it. It’s just a shame that she has to badmouth Clay to feel better about it.

You can see Kelly’s rant at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFEZ9jkO14I.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Picks of the Week

Regardless of what you think of her, there are few artists as big as Madonna. This week, she brings her Confessions Tour to NBC with “Madonna: The Confessions Tour Live.” She’ll be doing a collection of her hits and new songs, but you won’t see “Live to Tell” as the controversial cross sequence has been edited. “Madonna” airs Wednesday, November 22nd at 8 p.m. on NBC…

But I’m pretty sure the biggest event of the week will be “Heroes” as we finally learn the meaning of “Save the cheerleader. Save the world.” And no, this isn’t a promo con. We are apparently going to get an answer—and I’m sure more questions. This will be a big test for the show’s story. “Heroes” airs Monday at 9 p.m. on NBC. I’ll be posting right after the show airs, so be sure to join the discussion…

For more of what you can see this week, scroll down to this week’s Sweeps Schedule…

Sweeps Schedule: Week of November 20th

Usually, Thanksgiving week means holiday specials, movies and reruns. But because turkey day is coming earlier this year, the networks are still in the heart of sweeps. That means a lot of cool stuff and new episodes, even on the holiday…

Monday, celebrate Thanksgiving with the Peanuts gang on “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” (8 p.m., ABC). Then, ABC goes a little more adult with “The Bachelor: Rome—The Women Tell All” (9 p.m.)…

Tuesday, music fans of all genres will be happy as ABC airs the “American Music Awards” (8 p.m.) and NBC has “Tony Bennett: An American Classic” (8 p.m.). Patty Hearst guest stars on “Veronica Mars” (9 p.m., CW)…

Wednesday, the reality show that helped start it all returns for its 18th season. “Real World: Denver” premieres at 10 p.m. on MTV…

Thanksgiving Day, it’s all new episodes of your favorites. “Deal or No Deal” gets a visit from the “Football Night in America” crew in a two-hour episode (8 p.m., NBC). Roger Daltrey of The Who guests on “CSI” (9 p.m., CBS). Of course, The Who performs all of the “CSI” theme songs. “Grey’s Anatomy” has an extended 70 minute episode, so set your VCRs accordingly (9 p.m., ABC). And “ER” does one of its very special episodes featuring Maura Tierney (10 p.m., NBC). “Shark” (10 p.m., CBS) is also new. Only FOX follows tradition with “Spider-Man 2” (8 p.m.)…

Friday, ABC’s got “Shrek 2” (8 p.m.)…

Saturday, it’s the basic cable premiere of “March of the Penguins” (9 p.m., Hallmark)…

Sunday, it’s a special holiday tradition—the Hallmark Hall of Fame tearjerker. This year it’s “Candles On Bay Street,” starring Alicia Silverstone (9 p.m., CBS). “Boston Legal” moves back to its original slot for one night to open up a two-parter (10 p.m., CBS)…

I’ll have all of the Thanksgiving Day specials for you in a different post on Wednesday…

Live With...Clay?

Neither the RCA, the Clay Aiken nor the show’s website said anything about why Clay was going to be on “Live With Regis and Kelly” Friday, so I just presumed he would be promoting his Christmas tour.

So imagine my surprise Friday night when I hit play on my VCR and saw Clay sitting at the desk, co-hosting with Kelly.

I really wish there would’ve been a little more promotion on this one because if you missed it, you missed something really cool.

Clay was funny, flirtatious and just plain fabulous. If you watch “Live,” you know that Kelly Ripa rarely lets anyone get a word in edgewise—including Regis. But Clay confronted that head-on, taking shots at Kelly whenever he could and even putting his hand over her mouth at one point so he could ask Emmitt Smith a question.

Ryan Seacrest might want to watch his back…

The downside was that all the excitement over trivia “a go-go” and Clay’s constant attempts to be heard led to the worst performance I’ve ever heard from him, as his voice cracked several times. In his defense, though, the sound was completely off as the band was not loud enough and his backup singers were too loud. However, it was nice to see Clay singing one of the original songs from his CD (He did “A Thousand Days.”).

Clay made up for the performance, though, with his fancy footwork with Karina Smirnoff (Mario Lopez’s “Dancing” partner). So much for Clay not being able to dance.

Though I’m discouraged by the lack of promotion this appearance got, I am encouraged that Clay appears to be back on track just before the Christmas shopping season. Clay even looked more like himself, ditching the long bangs and lightening his hair. I think he too was stung by some of the backlash, so it’s nice to see he’s moving past it.

And if the singing career fizzles, I think he’s definitely got something to fall back on.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Vive le Taylor and Ryan!

I have to say that when I first heard of a possible Taylor and Ryan coupling on “The O.C.,” I was concerned that this was the moment that would derail the show’s comeback.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Often on these shows, these kind of couplings come off forced. But this one honestly makes sense.

And that is the beauty of “The O.C.” this season. For the first time in two years, it makes sense.

In case you missed it, Taylor impulsively married an attractive Frenchman named Henri Michel while in Paris after he told her he loved her. The only problem was that Taylor didn’t love him. But when she received a letter from him, saying he was coming to visit, Taylor was worried she wouldn’t be able to tell him no and would have to go back to France.

With Seth in Providence with Summer, the only person Taylor could turn to was Ryan—who she barely knows. She asked Ryan to accompany her to meet her husband, but only his lawyer showed up. When the lawyer told Taylor that the only way she could get a divorce was if she’d been unfaithful, she told him that Ryan was her lover. But since they were speaking in French, Ryan didn’t know.

Later, when Taylor asked him to sign a paper she claimed was to attest to her character, Ryan discovered that Taylor was claiming they had slept together over 30 times. Ryan told her he just couldn’t handle something like this and left Taylor to handle the lawyer on her own.

As Ryan was leaving his new job (at a Mexican restaurant), he ran into Sandy, who gave him another “getting over Marissa” pep talk and told him how much he admired his desire to help people who needed it (After all, that’s how he and Marissa kept ending up together.). Ryan realized that he needed to help Taylor and rushed to meet her and Henri’s lawyer. When he got there, Taylor was crying that she didn’t love Henri and just couldn’t bear to go back. So, Ryan did the only thing he could, which was tell Taylor he was sorry he was late and give her a big kiss. The lawyer told Taylor he didn’t need Ryan’s signature. He knew love when he saw it.

Ryan just walked away before Taylor could speak, but of course, Taylor was completely smitten. And trust me. If a good-looking guy like Ryan gave you a kiss like that, you’d be weak in the knees too. As a thank you, Taylor showed up on Ryan’s doorstep with a peach torte (He told her that was his favorite fruit.). The episode ended with a happy Taylor leaving the poolhouse, her mind reeling.

It was “O.C.” magic like we haven’t seen since before the horrid end to season one. Ryan got to show off his sense of humor and his chemistry with Taylor was completely natural—not the forced kind he sometimes had with Marissa. I don’t know how the writers came up with this pairing, but I am so glad they did.

If you are not watching “The O.C.” you must make amends for that immediately. Yes, I know that it’s on the same time as “Grey’s Anatomy,” but that’s what VCRs are for. And besides, “Grey’s” will be in reruns very soon while “The O.C” will still be showing new episodes—which is FOX’s logic for keeping “The O.C.” in that timeslot (although I’m not sure you can use FOX and logic in the same sentence these days).

I still believe that no matter how good it gets (and despite my pleas), FOX will pull the plug on the show very soon; and you will kick yourself if you weren’t there for what’s sure to be a great ending.

Until then, vive le Taylor and Ryan!

Good News for "Smith" Fans!

What did we do before the Internet?

"Smith" fans can now see the four un-aired episodes of the show on CBS.com. You can also read synopses of the last five episodes that were never shot to give you an idea of how the series was going to end.

You can access all of this at http://www.cbs.com/primetime/smith/.

Another Show "Vanish"es From FOX...

FOX has pulled the plug on "Vanished" effective immediately. It will be replaced tonight by two hours of "Trading Spouses."

The remaining episodes will be shown on MySpace. You can access it through www.fox.com/vanished.

I actually gave up on "Vanished" again after watching the first episode after Agent Kelton was killed. It was just so ridiculous I had to stop watching. However, I still feel like this is another betrayal by a network who had seemed to promise a story resolution.

It's good that there is a way for us to see how it all comes out. It's just not the same watching it on a computer.

Ironically, beginning next Friday, "Vanished" will be replaced by "Justice," which FOX has already cancelled.

Order Up!

A few more shows have received full season orders from their networks…

FOX has given full orders to “’Til Death” and “Standoff." The order for “Standoff,” however, was for six additional episodes instead of the usual nine since after January, FOX will have less room on its schedule. There’s no word on where “Standoff” will move to after “American Idol” returns. I would’ve guessed Monday at 8 to fill the slot until “Prison Break” returns, but there’s a possibility “Break” could return in January, if the show can get ahead on its production schedule…

CBS is talks now to order additional episodes of “The Class.” There’s a good chance it won’t be the full nine since the network is so high on its midseason comedy, “Rules of Engagement” starting David Spade and Patrick Warburton…

I have still not heard anything about the future of “Help Me Help You” or “The Nine.” I’m guessing that ABC is giving things another week before making a decision…

The CW has ordered seven more episodes of “Veronica Mars,” bringing the total for the season to 20. Since the writers planned the season over 22 episodes, some changes in story are currently being made…

In other order news, ABC has ordered another season of “The Bachelor.” The network was encouraged enough by this season’s numbers to ask for another round, which could air as early as spring.

Friday Free-For-All: November 17, 2006

Allow me to kick off the Free-For-All with a few thoughts…

As much as I love “A Few Good Men” (and I really, really do), how is that movie appropriate programming for ABC Family?...

And as much as I love “The Lost Boys” (and I really, really do), how is that movie appropriate programming for American Movie Classics?...

Let’s get these two back on Bravo where they belong!

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, what’s on your mind this week?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The "Dancing" Crown is Awarded

So, Emmitt and Cheryl won the "Dancing With the Stars" title.

I have to say I'm a little surprised; and I don't think I was the only one. Karina (Mario's partner) looked pretty ticked.

And why couldn't Emmitt's family come join him in the celebration?

I bet everyone will be trying to get Cheryl as their partner next year.

Your thoughts?

TV on DVD Schedule: November 14, 2006

Here are the TV DVDs that hit stores this week…

3rd Rock From the Sun (Season 6)
Adventures of Superman (Seasons 5 & 6)
The Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes Comedy Hour (Golden Collection Vol. 4 & Spotlight Collection Vol. 4)
CSI (Season 6)
Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers (Vol. 2)
Columbo (Seasons 6 & 7)
DuckTales (Vol. 2)
Family Guy (Season 4)
Friends (The Complete Series Collection)
Get Smart (The Complete Series) (available only from TimeLife)
The Golden Girls (Season 6)
The Gummi Bears (Vol. 1)
Gunsmoke: The Directors Collection
Home Improvement (Season 5)
Homicide: Life on the Street (Complete Series)
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (Season 4)
NCIS (Season 2)
Northern Exposure (Season 5)
Quantum Leap (Season 5)
Reba (Season 4)
Six Feet Under (The Complete Series)
That Girl (Season 2)

"Jericho" Gets "Lost," While "The King" Returns

Following in the footsteps of ABC with “Lost,” CBS has decided to split the first season of “Jericho” in two.

The show will go on hiatus after its November 29th episode. It will return February 14th with a recap episode, followed by new episodes beginning February 21st. The network plans to use the Super Bowl and the Grammys to promote the show.

To fill the void, CBS will bring back “The King of Queens” for the month of December. Then, it will go on hiatus as well with seven episodes left to air in 2007 (Kind of makes you wonder why bother, doesn’t it?).

Idol Update, Part 2: Daughtry Rocks Out


There’s a pattern developing in “Idol” land, and it’s a welcome change.

It looks like the “Idol” gurus have finally learned their lesson and are allowing the Idols to be themselves on their CDs. It started a few weeks ago with Kellie Pickler and now the trend continues with Chris Daughtry.

“Daughtry,” the self-titled debut from Chris’ new band is the CD that Bo Bice probably wishes he could’ve made. Whereas Bo’s CD was full of light rock (instead of Bo’s stronger original stuff), Chris gets the chance to rock out. One track (“What I Want”) even boasts a guest appearance by Slash of Guns ‘n Roses.

Personally, however, I like Chris when he’s showing his softer side, which he does quite well on “Breakdown” and the power anthem, “What About Now.” My favorite track is “Over You,” which strikes a good middle ground between hard and soft with a more upbeat tempo.

The only problem is that I keep getting a “been there, done that” feeling when I listen to the CD. The first single, “It’s Not Over,” sounds like a combination of Nickelback’s “Saving Me” and Fuel’s “Hemorrhage”—which isn’t a bad thing, necessarily. I’m just concerned that Chris will get lost in the crowd of similar acts.

“Daughtry” hits stores November 21st. You can listen to it for free at http://www.vh1.com/artists/az/daughtry__chris/1377926/album.jhtml?popThis=playIt().

FOX Crosses the Line...And Makes Me Sick!

There’s a line in an Al Pacino movie that says something like “just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in.”

Well, just when I thought that FOX was out of the salacious sweeps special business, they allow the king of trash reality, Mike Darnell, to pull them back in.

Darnell’s previous attempts like “Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?” were almost laughable in their absurdity. “Who’s Your Daddy?” was insulting to adopted children everywhere.

But this one just makes me want to throw up.

Are you ready for this? FOX is planning a two-night sweeps event entitled “O.J. Simpson: If I Did It, Here’s How It Happened.”

In the special, Simpson will detail how he would have committed the murders he says he never committed. The interview was conducted by the publisher of his book, “If I Did It,” which will be released the day after the special airs.

The special will probably be a ratings blockbuster, but it will be one more smear on FOX’s reputation, which was finally starting to come around.

I know that FOX is in trouble. None of its new shows have been hits and they’re limping into January and the return of “American Idol.” They’ve also put a lot of their eggs into the basket of “24;” but it will no doubt be weakened by NBC’s “Heroes.” But to go down this road?

The only good thing that could come out of this is that Fred Goldman will probably receive most of the profits from the book to help settle the award he won from his civil suit. But I’m guessing this is absolutely not the way he would’ve wanted to get any money.

The special is scheduled to air November 27th and 29th at 9 p.m.; but this is the last time it will be mentioned by me on this blog. I will not list it in my Sweeps Schedule and I will not be watching it.

The thought of the network with the reigning Best Drama Emmy winner stooping this low just makes me sick to my stomach.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Question of the Week: "Dancing With the Stars"

So Mario and Emmitt danced their final dances and both ended up with a score of 89.

Emmitt is now favored to win according to Vegas, but what do you think?

This week's Question of the Week is: Who will win "Dancing With the Stars"?

What Did "Show Me the Money" Show You?

Did you catch "Show Me the Money" last night?

And if you did, did it make you feel a little sleazy for watching it?

I don't know which was worse--the scantily clad women dancing into every commercial break (not to mention during the extended introduction to the show) or William Shatner and the contestant dancing. I wasn't sure if I was watching a game show or "Solid Gold."

What did you think?

Another "Heroes" Question...

So about last night's "Heroes"...

Was anyone else lost? I usually keep up pretty good, but not last night.

Is HRG (Horned-Rim Glasses) really a good guy? Did someone implant the heroes with their powers?

And most importantly, are they really going to save the cheerleader in November?

Let's discuss...

Yes, Bianca Has Talent

Last week, I asked if Bianca Ryan, the winner of “America’s Got Talent,” had talent. I’m happy to report that the answer is undoubtedly, yes.

Listening to the CD, you would never guess that Bianca is only 12. Yes, her voice does show some youthful cracking during the ad-libs on “I Believe I Can Fly,” but on the rest of the CD her voice is completely solid.

Simon Cowell has done an interesting thing here. He has included standards like “You Light Up My Life” to appeal to older fans and new songs to appeal to the younger fans. Personally, I don’t like the older stuff (even though Bianca sounds great on them), but it’s a combination that just might work (Are you listening Clive Davis?).

The new songs are the standouts for me, especially the Hilary Duff-esque, “Superstar.” It doesn’t showcase her voice, but it lets her have fun and it’s a good song.

Let’s face it. There’s nothing original here; but it’s hard to deny that powerhouse voice.

Now all Simon needs to do is team Bianca with the ultimate duet partner—Clay Aiken. Talk about bringing down the house.

I’ll get to work on that one…

Forgot to say...

In my post, “Notes About the Weekend,” I forgot to give kudos to “Saturday Night Live,” which was actually funny Saturday. Maybe it’s because they didn’t do as many sketches as usual. I didn’t mean to watch the entire episode, but you kind of hated to go to bed because you didn’t know who you might miss. If you did, Steve Martin, Martin Short, Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett all made cameos…

Speaking of things that are funny, in this week’s “Sweeps Schedule,” I forgot to mention “Comic Relief 2006,” which will air Saturday, November 18th at 9 p.m. on TBS and HBO. Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams will be back for the first time in eight years to raise money for areas affected by Hurricane Katrina…

Idol Update: A "Dreamgirl," Carrie's Milestone, The Truth About that Meatloaf Duet, and Kelly & Clay Make Appearances

So who would you say is the most successful “Idol” alum? Kelly Clarkson? Clay Aiken?

Well in a few months, you might be saying Jennifer Hudson.

This week’s “Entertainment Weekly” names Jennifer as a best bet for a Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her role in “Dreamgirls.” The magazine also named “Dreamgirls” as a best bet for Best Picture.

Jennifer, an alum of the third season of “Idol” is most remembered for her shocking elimination when “the three divas” (Jennifer, LaToya London and Fantasia) ended up in the bottom three. Interestingly, the movie’s director, Bill Condon, tells “EW” that he had to teach Jennifer how to be a diva, because she was being too nice. “Dreamgirls” opens December 25th. And yes, Jennifer did beat out Fantasia for the part.

Jennifer is not the only “Dreamgirls”-“Idol” connection. Her co-star, Anika Noni Rose, played Kelly’s best friend, Kya, in “From Justin to Kelly”…

Last week, Carrie Underwood’s CD, “Some Hearts,” was certified as quadruple platinum. This makes it the second-best seller among the Idol albums (Kelly’s “Breakaway” is #1.). According to her label, this is only the second debut country album by a female artist to achieve that status (Gretchen Wilson has the other.).

Speaking of Carrie, she has received a People’s Choice Award nomination for Female Singer and another for favorite country song for “Before He Cheats.” “American Idol” received a nomination for Competition/Reality Show. You can vote for Carrie and “Idol” at http://www.pcavote.com/. I only ask that you kindly vote for Kiefer Sutherland while you’re there (for Male TV Star). “The People’s Choice Awards” air January 9th on CBS…

Kelly Clarkson will sing “Why Haven’t I Heard From You” on “CMT: Giants,” a special tribute to Reba McEntire. “Giants” airs November 18th at 8 p.m. on CMT…

Clay Aiken will appear on “Live With Regis & Kelly” this Friday, November 17th…

Fantasia’s forthcoming CD, “Fantasia,” will feature three tracks co-written and produced by Missy Elliott and another written by Diane Warren and produced by Babyface. The first single, “Hood Boy” features Big Boi of Outkast. The CD drops December 12th…

While doing publicity for his new CD, Meat Loaf offered some insight into last year’s “Idol” finale. Apparently, Prince didn’t show up until seven or eight minutes before he was supposed to go on. They were working up a number with Burt Bacharach and all the special guests when he showed up.

And what about that frightening duet with Katharine McPhee? Meat Loaf told VH1 he’s “never hated anything so much in [his] whole life.” He says he could never get the monitors right and because he couldn’t hear, his performance anxiety kicked in, making it an even bigger mess. He also says there was a “very strange vibe” backstage because it was a competition…

Remember that the “Idol” CD extravaganza kicks into high gear next week with the release of “Daughtry”…

(CD Photo courtesy of Amazon.com)

We're Back!

So first, I took Friday off and then Blogger decided to take a long holiday weekend itself.

But now we're both back (hopefully for good), so feel free to scroll down and see what you've been missing...

The Panthers will play on...

NBC has given a full-season order to "Friday Night Lights."

The show has garnered a lot of critical acclaim, but not much in the way of ratings against the tough competition of "Dancing With the Stars" and "NCIS."

NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly also said he's standing by "30 Rock," but he did not give it a full-season pickup.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Notes from the weekend...

I don’t know which was more disappointing Sunday—the “Simpsons” episode or the premiere of the “Simpsons” movie trailer.

After all of the hype about the trailer, I would’ve expected more than just one scene with a cute introduction. I realize that the movie is still in production, and one scene is probably all they could show; but they shouldn’t call that a trailer.

As for the episode, I’m still trying to figure out the point. Yes, the show got in some good digs at the government (although some of them were probably a little inappropriate for Veteran’s Day weekend), but the plot resolution was rushed and didn’t make sense.

I’m not a regular “Simpsons” viewer, so maybe that’s how the show normally works. But I was left asking myself what I was supposed to have found funny about the whole thing…

Here are some other thoughts about the weekend…

I loved seeing Dolly Parton guest star on “Hannah Montana” as—who else?—Aunt Dolly. If Kellie Pickler’s sitcom gets on the air, I’d be shocked if Dolly didn’t make an appearance…

Is anyone else sick of all those “Daybreak” promos? We get it already! I feel like I know everything that’s going to happen and I haven’t seen an episode yet…

Is my “Desperate Housewives” theory correct? Could Mike have really killed Monique? Or did Orson’s mother have something to do with it? Maybe Orson’s mom killed Monique and Mike knew it and Orson hit him to keep him quiet. This mystery’s getting good, but did we really need a pedophile to move into the neighborhood?...

Are the promos right? Is “Heroes” really going to explain the whole “save the cheerleader” thing in two weeks? And if they do, then what?...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

"Men In Trees" Gets a Boost...

ABC announced last week that it is moving "Men In Trees" to the best spot on TV--Thursdays at 10 after "Grey's Anatomy." ABC also gave the show a full-season pickup.

The move bumps "Six Degrees" from the schedule, but ABC says it will return in January. However, it has not been given a full season order.

"The Nine" and "Help Me Help You" are also still awaiting word on their futures.

Sweeps Schedule: Week of November 13th

Here are the sweeps events scheduled for this week…

Monday, “CSI: Miami” (10 p.m., CBS) presents a story inspired by the real life close call of Eva La Rue (Natalia)’s sister. “Jeopardy” (Check local listings) gives us more celebrities with James Denton (“Desperate Housewives”), Neil Patrick Harris (“How I Met Your Mother”) and Bebe Neuwirth. Other celebrities this week include Nick Lachey and Martin Short…

Tuesday brings us two premieres. ABC gives us a sneak preview of the William Shatner-hosted game show, “Show Me the Money” (9:31 p.m.), while CBS premieres the Stanley Tucci medical drama, “3 Lbs” (10 p.m.). Over on the CW, Laura San Giacomo reunites once again with her “Just Shoot Me” co-star Enrico Colantoni on “Veronica Mars” (9 p.m.). “Nip/Tuck” (10 p.m., FX) gives us a special episode as we see the McNamaras in 2026. This episode is also special because it features the departure of a major character…

Wednesday, BET brings us the “BET Hip-Hop Awards” (9 p.m.). Lord help them all if Kanye West doesn’t win anything. ABC premieres the Taye Diggs thriller, “Day Break,” which will fill the “Lost” timeslot until February. “I Pity the Fool” wraps up its first season (10 p.m., TV Land) while “Medium” returns to NBC (10 p.m.). Patricia Arquette’s husband, Thomas Jane, guest stars as Allison’s old (and deceased) boyfriend…

Thursday, “General Hospital” celebrates the anniversary of Luke and Laura’s wedding as they walk down the aisle again (3 p.m., ABC). But be warned. My sources say the ending will require a lot of tissues. “My Name Is Earl” (8 p.m., NBC) gives you claymation and Christian Slater, while “The Office” (8:36 p.m.) and “30 Rock” (9:20 p.m.) get expanded episodes. ABC hauls out its sweeps standard, the Barbara Walters special. This time it’s “30 Mistakes In 30 Years” (10 p.m.). This two-part special, which concludes Friday at 10 p.m., shows Barbara’s bloopers from her interview specials over the years…

Friday is season finale night for “Foxworthy’s Big Night Out” (8:30 p.m., CMT), “Ice-T’s Rap School” (9 p.m., VH1) and “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team” (9 p.m., CMT). “Monk” brings us a holiday special as Dan Hedaya guests as Monk’s father (10 p.m., USA)…

Saturday, CMT pays tribute to Reba McEntire with “Giants” (8 p.m., CMT). Dolly Parton, Faith Hill and Kelly Clarkson are among the performers paying tribute…

For more, be sure to scroll down to the Picks of the Week…

Picks of the Week: The Ones For All the Tostitos

In 2003, during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Keith Jackson created one of my favorite sayings. He said that this game was “for all the Tostitos.”

Well, Tostitos isn’t sponsoring anything this week, but I think that phrase still applies to this week’s three Picks of the Week.

First, it’s Mario vs. Emmitt for the “Dancing With the Stars” title. I don’t watch the show, but I’ve got to root for Mario since he’s a “Saved By the Bell” alum. Maybe they can get Elizabeth Berkeley (Jessie) next year. “Dancing With The Stars” airs Tuesday and Wednesday at 8 p.m. on ABC. Be sure to check out the Question of the Week Tuesday to vote for your choice…

Second, the time has finally come to crown a champion in NASCAR with the year’s final race, the Ford 500 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Jimmie Johnson needs to finish 12th or better to take the crown; but it won’t be easy. The Ford 500 airs Sunday at 3 p.m. on NBC…

But for my money, there is no bigger television event this week than the Ohio State-Michigan game. This one will decide who goes to the BCS Championship Game and you guessed it, play for all the Tostitos—or whatever product is sponsoring the game. Ohio State-Michigan airs Saturday at 3:30 p.m. on ABC…

Saturday, November 11, 2006

ABC continues to ask "What About Brian?"

ABC has given a full season pickup to "What About Brian."

The show hasn't done exceptionally well in the ratings, but it has held its own against "Studio 60" (for what that's worth). The network has been most pleased by its ability to hang on to "The Bachelor" audience (for what that's worth).

No more "Justice" in the world...

FOX has pulled the plug on one of my favorite new shows, "Justice."

The show will finish out its 13 episode order, but it has been cancelled (though no one will use that word anymore). It will be replaced by "House" reruns beginning this Monday.

You may remember that I was pretty fired up when the cancellation rumors started a while back, but I have to admit I'm not as passionate about the show as I once was. That's mainly due to it airing against my favorite new show, "Heroes." And if FOX has to sacrifice a show right now, I'd rather it be "Justice" than "The O.C."

The show could have been successful, it just never found the right place. "Justice" is the kind of show another network would put at 10 p.m. and FOX just doesn't have the option.

Everything Jerry Bruckheimer touches is gold--except on FOX. I'm guessing he'll think twice before going to them again.

Saturday Free-For-All!

Happy Veteran's Day, Everyone!

My apologies for taking the day off yesterday and not posting the Friday-Free-For-All. I also apologize to those of you who were trying to get comments up yesterday. I think I'm all caught up now.

So let's do the Free-For-All on Saturday. What things from the world of TV are on your mind today?

Here's something on my mind. I've got all of these cool pictures to share with you, and Blogger won't let me. So if anyone has any tips, please feel free to share.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Good News for "Studio 60"

NBC has given "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" a full season order.

The ratings have not picked up, but NBC really had no choice considering the investment it has put in the show. Plus, "Studio 60" is a favorite with upscale audiences (i.e. big spenders).

More sad news...

CBS has just announced that veteran "60 Minutes" correspondent Ed Bradley has died of leukemia. He was 65.

This came as quite a shock to me, because I didn't even know he was sick.

I am not a regular watcher of "60," but even I know that Ed Bradley was the heart of the program. He will be missed.

You can watch career highlights and post a comment at www.cbsnews.com.

Kellie Pickler: The Sitcom

I just couldn’t save this until Tuesday…

FOX is developing a half-hour comedy for Kellie Pickler.

According to “Variety,” Pickler will play a naïve small-town Southern girl (a real stretch, I know) who discovers her biological father is the state’s well-respected governor. His dreams of being President are put in jeopardy until he and Kellie form a father-daughter relationship that ends up helping his standing.

Chris Peterson and Bryan Moore (“That 70s Show”) will write and create the project, which has gotten a script order. “Idol” guru Simon Fuller will be one of the executive producers.

It’s important for Kellie fans to remember, though, that this does not mean the show will ever get on the air. You may remember that Season 4 fave Constantine Maroulis had a sitcom in the works for ABC (produced by Kelsey Grammer’s company), but ABC rejected the script and it never went any further. However, since FOX is behind this one, I think Kellie’s chances are a little better.

While I’m on the subject of Kellie, let me tell you that her CD, “Small Town Girl,” sold 79,000 copies in its debut week—good enough to top the Country Albums chart and hit No. 9 on the Billboard 200.

Soap Spotlight: A New Super Hero, Casting News and Your Online "Passions"

Last week, “Guiding Light” teamed up with Marvel Comics to create a new super hero, The Guiding Light.

And no, that’s not a joke.

Every Wednesday, “Light” does a special episode called “Inside the Light,” where they focus the entire hour on one character. Last week’s episode was “She’s a Marvel,” which focused on Harley Davidson Cooper. After an electricity mishap, Harley found herself with superpowers and became The Guiding Light.

In conjunction with the episode, you can find an eight-page “Guiding Light” story in several Marvel comics out this month.

“Light” head writer David Kreizman says that teaming up with Marvel was “such a natural fit for us because comic books and soap operas have so much in common.”

This is actually the second time “Light” and Marvel have teamed up. “GL” costume designer David Kreizman designed Storm’s wedding dress in the “Black Panther” comic.

You can see the entire episode and get all of the behind-the-scenes secrets at www.cbs.com/daytime/gl/behind/specials/...

Austin Peck wasted no time in finding another daytime role after he was written off the “Days of Our Lives” canvas (as Austin). Peck will play Brad Snyder on “As the World Turns.” Brad was last seen on the show (played by another actor) in 1999. Peck has signed a three-year contract and will first appear in early 2007…

In my favorite casting news of the week, Betty White will join “The Bold & the Beautiful” in a limited run as Stephanie’s mother, Ann Douglas. If you saw White whack that guy with a frying pan on “Boston Legal” last season, you know she was made to play a classic soap opera witch. Alley Mills (“The Wonder Years”) will play Stephanie’s sister, Pamela. Their first air date is scheduled for December 1st…

Finally, NBC announced this week that it is now streaming full episodes of “Passions” online at NBC.com (What did we do before the Internet?). The shows will remain accessible for a week until they are replaced by new episodes.

So why “Passions” and not “Days”? NBC owns “Passions,” which allows it to more easily clear the digital rights…

So what soap-related things are on your mind this week?

"Hannah" continues to have the "best of both worlds"...

Not even Barry Manilow could knock off the Disney juggernaut known as Hannah Montana…

The “Hannah Montana” soundtrack was once again No, 1 on the Billboard 200 selling another 203,000 copies. Barry Manilow’s “The Greatest Songs of the Sixties” came in second.

The “Hannah Montana” soundtrack is the first TV soundtrack to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. It’s only the third TV series soundtrack to ever top the chart and the first since “Miami Vice” in 1985-86 (1959’s “The Music from Peter Gunn” was the third).

Last week “Hannah” broke a record held by the Beatles and Elvis Presley with six singles debuting on the Billboard Hot 100 in the same week. The Beatles and Elvis each had three. “Hannah” had a total of seven songs on the chart, though, as another song re-entered the countdown from August.

Though the songs are actually performed by Miley Cyrus, they are credited to Hannah Montana. The one song credited to Cyrus, “I Learned From You” (her outstanding duet with her dad) did not make the chart; but I’m still holding out hope for it.

On a Sad Note...

If you watched “The Tonight Show” last night, you heard Jay Leno announce the passing of the “Fruitcake Lady.” She was 95 years old.

I only hope that I have that much spunk if I make it to 95. She will be missed.

You can view the remembrance that aired last night and leave a message of condolence at
http://www.nbc.com/nbc/The_Tonight_Show_with_Jay_Leno/fruitcake_lady/. If you’ve never seen any of her bits, it’s worth your time to see her cooking with Mel Gibson and Tom Cruise and watch her dole out advice in her homespun, yet blunt way.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

"Lost": Whatever...

You ever watched a show and the only reaction you could muster to everything in it was “Whatever”?

That was exactly how I felt about tonight’s “Lost.”

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen the episode, stop reading now.

Kate and Sawyer hooked up. Whatever. Locke found a new cryptic message on Eko’s walking stick. Whatever. The Others threatened to kill Sawyer so that Kate would convince Jack to do the surgery. Whatever. Sawyer told Kate he loved her. Whatever…

I did find Jack’s plan to help Sawyer and Kate escape interesting, but what was up with Kate’s reaction? Does she love Jack too? Whatever…

And when the show returns in February, will fans come back, or will they just say…

You get the idea.

Dear Mr Liguori...

Last year, in my previous blog, I wrote a personal letter to Peter Liguori, the President of FOX Entertainment, asking him to do the right thing and schedule “Prison Break” Mondays at 8 (to lead into “24”). A short while later, FOX announced that they were doing just that.

Now, just in case I may have been an influence on him, I’ve been hesitant to try it again, since I don't want to waste my powers of persuasion. But watching the second episode of “The O.C.,” I feel I have no choice.

So here goes…

Dear Mr. Liguori,

First of all, let me thank you for listening to my plea last year for “Prison Break.” I’m sure you’ll agree that it was an excellent move.

I urged you to do the right thing then and I want to take a moment to ask you to do the right thing now—this time for “The O.C.”

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, the show has been getting more buzz and critical acclaim than it has in years. Just this week, “Variety” proclaimed “the scripts are snappy, the plots make sense, the acting’s solid, the music is appropriately indie.”

Though I’ve only seen the first two episodes of the season, I must agree.

I know that the ratings for the season premiere were not good; but I hope you will not be too quick to pull the trigger. I also know that the show has declined in quality since that first season; but now it’s on the comeback trail. Please don’t cut that trail short.

I applaud you for giving the show a tryout on Wednesday nights. But I’m concerned what you will do if this airing scores poorly as well.

Therefore, I am asking you to do the right thing. Don’t give up on “The O.C.”

There’s a comeback coming. Please let us see it.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Angela Henderson

The TV DVD Dilemma

Last week, in my post on “Family Ties” coming to DVD, I told you that buying season one of a TV show improves the chances for future releases.

But if you’re a big TV DVD fan, you know there’s a problem with that statement. Often, brisk sales of a title just encourage the studio to find more ways to make money. This usually means the release of a special series collection with extra material that was not available with the original sets. This leaves fans who already have all of the individual sets in the cold.

Sometimes the studios look out for their loyal fans. When Warner Brothers released “Friends” in a deluxe wooden box, they made the box available for purchase by those of us who already had the sets.

But in most cases, loyal fans are just left without the bonus materials, wondering if they should re-buy the set just to get them.

There are three instances of that in the next two weeks…

Warner Brothers will go to the “Friends” well again with “The Friends Collection” November 14th. The collection features all of the discs as they were in the original season sets, but they are not divided by season. The bonus material is a 60-page booklet with cast pictures, episode descriptions and the original network pitch. But since those things are available in any of the books about “Friends,” it’s really not worth the upgrade.

“The West Wing” gets the complete series collection this week. The only real bonus here is a copy of the pilot script with an introduction by Aaron Sorkin; but the packaging is pretty cool. The box looks like a dossier and the discs are contained in file folders. If you already have the sets, you can get the script in “The West Wing Script Book.” So again, not worth the upgrade.

But if you’re a “M*A*S*H” fan with all of the seasons, you will be hard pressed to ignore this week’s release of the “Martinis and Medicine Collection.” The earlier sets didn’t contain a lot of bonus material, so they’re catching up big time here. The collection features the original 1970 film, two all-new bonus discs (with hours of special features) and a retrospective book. If you have a “M*A*S*H” fan in the house, this will be the only Christmas gift you’ll have to buy them this year.

“Alias” fans will be next to face the choice on November 21st with the release of the “Rimbaldi Edition” and yes, that box is pretty cool too.

TV on DVD Schedule: November 7, 2006

Here are the TV shows that were released on DVD this week...

Beverly Hills 90210 (1st season)
Clifford the Red Dog (Best of)
Doctor Who (Story #087 & Story #140)
The Electric Company (Best of, Vol. 2)
Grosse Pointe (Complete Series)
Grounded for Life (Season 4)
Inside the Actors Studio: Dave Chapelle
Inside the Actors Studio: Icons
JAG (Season 2)
M*A*S*H (Season 11)
M*A*S*H Martinis and Medicine Collection
Melrose Place (Season 1)
Police Squad! (Complete Series)
She-Ra: Princess of Power (Season 1, Vol. 1)
The Sopranos (Season 6, Part 1)
Ultraman (Vol. 2)
The West Wing (Season 7)
The West Wing: The Complete Series Collection

The Stars Will Be "Dancing" Into a City Near You

Following in the dancing shoes of “High School Musical,” another TV sensation has announced it’s going on the road.

“Dancing With the Stars” will hit 38 cities beginning December 19th. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba will be the show’s creative director, while Louis Van Amstel (Monique Coleman’s partner) will choreograph.

Joining the tour will be Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke, Joey McIntyre and Kim Johnson, Joey Lawrence and Edyta Sliwinska, and Willa Ford and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (who are now dating). Lisa Rinna and her husband Harry Hamlin will also take part with their partners, Van Amstel and Karina Smirnoff.

“Dancing” will hit Nationwide Arena in Columbus January 7th. It dances into Cleveland January 9th and Cincinnati January 17th. Tickets are now on sale.

Show. Me. The. Dancing Girls!

Sometimes, the most entertaining thing about a TV show is the network pres release.

Like the one for the new ABC game show, “Show Me the Money.”

Here’s how the show works. After answering a trivia question, a contestant will choose one of 13 dancers, each of whom has a scroll with a dollar figure to be added to or subtracted from the player’s winnings.

The dancers are called “Million Dollar Dancers” and according to ABC, they will always be “ready to break into any style of dance, while audacious master of ceremonies William Shatner spontaneously boogies with the beauties onstage.”

Okay…

“Show Me the Money” debuts Wednesday, November 22nd at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Will the "Price" Be Wrong for CBS?

If you missed it, the end of an era was announced last week…

Bob Barker announced he’s retiring as the host of “The Price Is Right” in June. Barker, who will turn 83 in December, has been the host for 35 years. CBS will air a primetime special celebrating his career in May.

CBS says the show will continue without Barker.

Though CBS refuses to engage in any speculation about a replacement, there are rumors it could be Dave Price of “The Early Show.” Price signed a new contract with CBS last week that calls for him to do “unexpected entertainment-based projects.”

There’s no doubt that CBS will need to tread lightly on this one. In fact, I would just wrap the show up and not even try to replace Barker.

But if he must be replaced, allow me to throw a name into the mix: John O’Hurley. O’Hurley, who surged in popularity after “Dancing With the Stars,” is currently the host of the syndicated “Family Feud.” But the quick pace of “Feud” does not fit with his dramatic style. “Price” would give him more freedom. And he would have the necessary credibility with the large numbers of college students who watch “Price.”

There’s a real chance that CBS could blow this one, so it will be interesting to see how they play it. The only thing at risk is CBS’s daytime dominance and lots of ad dollars.

As I said, they’ll need to tread lightly, or else the price could be wrong.

"Brothers & Sisters" Gives Us the Lowe-down

“Brothers & Sisters” is about to get a welcome addition.

Rob Lowe will join the cast as a Republican senator who becomes romantically involved with Kitty (Calista Flockhart). The part was written specifically for Lowe. He’s signed for only six episodes; but the show is hoping for more.

I think this role sounds like it may finally give Lowe the TV comeback he’s looking for, so I’m happy about that. However, I’m unhappy that this will probably mean the exit of Josh Hopkins. Even though I don’t watch “Brothers,” I’m a fan of Hopkins and I’d like to see him land on a hit show permanently.

"I've been waitin' all day for Sunday night..."

It’s hard to imagine how one man could so adversely affect two different shows on two different networks, but when James Brown left FOX for CBS, he screwed up both “FOX NFL Sunday” and “The NFL Today.”

I’ve always liked J.B., but now, he’s seriously getting on my nerves. Dan Marino, Shannon Sharpe and Boomer Esiason have become totally useless as the entire first half of the show has been turned over to Brown. And instead of just hosting and framing the experts’ comment, he has to always get in the last word, taking away from their time and making himself come of like a know-it-all. I think that Boomer looks frustrated by the whole thing—and he should be. He’d get more camera time hanging out at an ATM.

Meanwhile, the pre-game show at FOX is in a little bit of chaos, thanks to Brown’s departure. Joe Buck was a great choice for a replacement and I’m a big fan; but taking the show on-the-road every week has caused problems and knocked Terry, Howie and Jimmy off their game a little. They were much more comfortable in the studio the weeks that Joe was off; but Curt Menefee can’t handle the other guys as well as J.B. could. And their incessant need to call him Rerun (from “What’s Happening!”) doesn’t help (no matter how much he looks like him).

So where will you find the best NFL pre-game show? Without a doubt, it’s “Football Night In America” on NBC. NBC has clearly stolen shamelessly from both ESPN and ABC, but they’ve taken the best elements of both and added their own touch.

NBC has wisely chosen to do a recap of the day’s action, rather than an extended preview of the night’s game. For many of us, it’s our first chance to get caught up and “America” captures all of the angles.

But the real secret to why “America” is so good is the chemistry among its quartet of Bob Costas, Cris Collinsworth, Sterling Sharpe and Jerome Bettis. Costas has never been a traditional host and the laidback style allows him to show off his sarcastic wit.

Collinsworth was actually the first hire NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol made after getting the NFL, but the acquisition of John Madden kept Cris out of the booth (They tried him at play-by-play, but he didn’t work out.). And it was obvious in week one that he was little unsure of his role. But now the six-time Emmy winner has found his footing and he and 18-time Emmy winner Costas make a dream hosting duo. Sharpe, on the other hand, insists on yelling at the camera and Bettis is still finding his way, but they’re still a nice compliment to the hosts.

And most importantly, the hosts let them talk.

If I was Boomer Esiason, I’d get my agent on the phone…

Can "Talent" Produce a Star?

Simon Cowell is about to find out if “America’s Got Talent” can produce a star.

Bianca Ryan, the 12-year-old singing sensation that won “Talent” earlier this year, will release her first album November 14th on Columbia/Syco Records—Simon’s label.

The CD is filled with soaring ballads to showcase Bianca’s voice including “I Believe I Can Fly,” “The Rose,” and “You Light Up My Life.” From the clips I’ve heard, her voice is amazing; but it’s hard to buy a 12-year-old singing such serious lyrics.

Cowell has wisely gotten some of the best in the business, such as Diane Warren, to write Bianca some original songs and from what I’ve heard, they are the best on the CD. I especially like “Superstar” and “Why Couldn’t It Be Christmas Every Day?” They don’t show her range as well, but they also don’t age her as much as the standards do.

I don’t think Bianca will do “Idol” numbers, but it will be a real test of “Talent”—and Cowell—to see what she can do.

Time to Pay Up...

In 1999, FOX debuted a new animated comedy. It was some of the most topical and tasteless humor ever put on TV. Plus, it featured a character never-before-seen on any show: a toddler who talked like an adult (in a British accent, no less) and whose two main goals in life were to take over the world and to kill his mother.

The show was called “Family Guy.”

As disturbing as it could be, the show was funny and I watched it whenever I could. The problem was that you never knew where to find it because FOX kept shuffling it all over the schedule—clearly uneasy about its content. The network jerked the show around until 2002, when it finally pulled the plug.

Then something extraordinary happened. “Family Guy” was released on DVD and became the best-selling TV DVD title of all time (It has since been passed.). Then, the show started getting great ratings as part of the Adult Swim block on Cartoon Network. FOX was forced to take notice.

And in 2005, in an unheard of move, FOX actually brought “Guy” back. In a steady timeslot with genuine promotion, the show has flourished—even against “Desperate Housewives.” FOX’s turnaround on the show was made even bigger when it picked up “Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane’s “American Dad.” MacFarlane also has a live-action comedy in the works for later this season.

So, after years of treating MacFarlane’s work with no respect, FOX has now come to rely on him quite heavily.

And now, it’s time to pay up.

MacFarlane and Twentieth Century Fox TV are now in contract negotiations and production on the next season of “Guy” has been postponed until a deal is reached. “Variety” reports that the talks are “courteous” and a new deal is expected in the coming weeks.

Personally, I hope MacFarlane takes the studio for everything he can as the handling of “Family Guy” was one of the biggest blunders in the network’s history. The show was everything FOX stood for—edgy, hip and unconventional—but the network was too embarrassed to keep it on the air. Funny how they didn’t feel the same way about “Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?” or “Who’s My Daddy?”

There comes a time when everyone must pay for their mistakes and this is FOX’s time to pay for this one.

Another Week, Another Question About "Heroes"

So I just wanted to take a minute and ask my latest question about "Heroes."

Is Mr. Linderman the real bad guy? Does H.R.G. (Horn-Rimmed Glasses) work for him?

Think about it. He is connected to almost all of the heroes now in one way or the other. He gave money to Nathan. He blackmailed Nikki and D.L. Hiro and Ando got in trouble at his casino. Now, he has Isaac's painting that will help Peter save the world.

And speaking of which, why did Nathan lie to Peter about being able to get the painting back? Sorry that made two questions.

Just remember, save the cheerleader...save the world!

The Latest in Scheduling Changes...

Here are the latest scheduling changes…

FOX has pulled the plug—again—on “Happy Hour.” It will be replaced, beginning this Thursday, with a second episode of “Til Death” (8:30 p.m.). FOX has also pulled the plug on the game show, “The Rich List.” It will be replaced tonight by “The O.C.” (9 p.m.)…

The CW is bringing back “Reba” November 19th with two new episodes beginning at 7 p.m. The following week it will shift to its regular time slot Sundays at 7:30 p.m., with a rerun at 7 p.m. (Yeah, I don’t really follow that logic either.)…

Meanwhile, ABC has ordered four additional scripts of “What About Brian,” “The Nine,” “Men In Trees” and “Help Me Help You.” “The Nine” has struggled terribly, especially in its second half-hour. I’m wondering if that’s because people get tired of not learning anything new about the standoff and turn the channel…

CBS has also ordered four more scripts of “The Class”…

Meanwhile, NBC has ordered three more scripts for “Studio 60.” NBC is denying a recent Fox News report that the show is about to be axed. “MediaPost” is reporting a timeslot change is a more likely move. “Friday Night Lights” put up better numbers in the “Studio” timeslot last week, reaching a series high. NBC is expected to give “Lights” a full season order soon…

In cable news, Showtime has ordered a second season of “Dexter,” the drama starring Michael C. Hall as a forensics expert who is secretly a serial killer. And the third season of ABC Family’s hit, “Wildfire,” doesn’t premiere until January 1st, but it’s already been renewed for season four…

Important News For Fans of "The O.C."!

If you’re a present or past fan of “The O.C.,” I have two very important announcements for you…

First, “The O.C.” is on twice this week with new episodes tonight (Wednesday) at 9 and Thursday at 9.

Second, the show we love is on the comeback trail, so you better catch it now while you still can.

That’s right. I used the “c” word. I watched the second episode on MySpace last night and for the first time in a long time, I can’t wait for the next one. It appears that the TV columnists are right about this season, which makes me really excited to see that fourth episode they keep talking about.

I was a little pessimistic about the show after watching the gloomy premiere, but this episode proves my point that the death of Marissa can only help. I was concerned about Kaitlyn as her replacement, but she’s actually growing on me. And Luke’s little brothers, who follow her around constantly, are adorable. In one scene, they remind Kaitlyn that their brother slept with her mom; but she sets them straight by telling them, “Gay dad always trumps slutty mom.”

But that was just one of the moments that made me laugh out loud. There’s also a great scene with Seth being Seth as he ends up doing shots with a group of Marines (It’s a long story.). And the once annoying Taylor is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters. Maybe it’s because she reminds me of Elle Woods from “Legally Blonde.”

It’s also nice to see Sandy and Kirsten back to the way they should be and Julie is headed back to her bad girl ways—though a little more unhinged than usual. There’s a great scene between Julie and Sandy toward the end of the episode that will make you almost forget the last two seasons…

Yeah. It’s that good.

I’m still not happy about the way Summer is treating Seth, but for once, their story actually makes sense. Summer’s reaction is perfectly fitting for a person who just lost her best friend. And Ryan’s a little too brooding for my taste, but for the most part, it makes sense as well. I just don’t like the “after-school special” way the show keeps dealing with it.

You notice I said in the beginning that you need to catch the show while you still can. One of the reasons it’s getting a Wednesday airing is because FOX wants to try it out in a different timeslot since it bombed last Thursday. But since FOX has done very little to promote the change, I’m worried that they’ll bomb this time too—especially since tonight is the fall finale of “Lost.” Last season, I would’ve fully supported FOX putting the show out of its misery, but not now. Not when it may finally be getting good again.

You can see the first two episodes of “The O.C.” on MySpace (Just go to www.fox.com/oc to get there.), but if you’re a Nielsen family, I strongly urge you to watch the second episode tonight at 9 on FOX. Another new episode airs Thursday night at 9. Please watch that one too.

Question of the Week: Back to the 80s...

Last week, VH1 viewers voted Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On a Prayer” as the greatest song of the 80s.

So this week’s Question of the Week is: What song gets your vote for the greatest song of the 80s?

As for me, I love Hall and Oates (and I am so ticked off that they keep getting ignored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but that’s another story); but the one 80s song that will always make me crank up the radio and jump around the room is “Always On My Mind” by the Pet Shop Boys. Yes, I know it’s a remake; but it’s one of the most original remakes ever made.

So what about you?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Idol Update, Part 2: The New Season, Taylor, Daughtry, Ace and more!

As I posted earlier, FOX has announced the sixth season premiere of “Idol” for January 16th and 17th. The show will then settle into its regular timeslots of Tuesday at 8 p.m. and Wednesday at 9 p.m. The Hollywood round (my favorite part of the early shows) will run over two weeks starting February 6th. According to “USA Today,” the show will again be looking for 12 guys and 12 girls to make the final 24…

The early shows will give us auditions from Seattle, Birmingham, New York, Memphis, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and San Antonio. Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe promised “USA Today” that we’ll see some of the worst singers the show has ever had…

Simon Cowell has already blasted the auditioners in Seattle, saying his time there was “two days of total misery.” Simon says that Memphis was the best. Jewel will join the judges in Minneapolis, Olivia Newton-John in Los Angeles, and Carole Bayer Sager in New York…

There were a lot of rumors flying around (as there always are) that FOX would move the “Idol” results show to Thursdays; but thus far, they’re resisting that. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some “Idol” specials on Thursday to try and help out…

“Idol” reached a chart milestone last week when Carrie Underwood hit #1 on the Hot Country Songs and Country Detections charts with “Before He Cheats.” Carrie’s second #1 single brought Idol’s No. 1 total to 103. This counts all charts compiled by Billboard. Kelly Clarkson has the most No. 1s with 41. Here’s the breakdown of the others, according to “Billboard”:

Fantasia—11
Ruben Studdard—10
Carrie Underwood—10
Clay Aiken—9
Josh Gracin—6
Taylor Hicks—3
Kimberley Locke—3
Bo Bice—2
Diana DeGarmo—1
Tamyra Gray—1
William Hung—1
American Idol Finalists—5

Taylor Hicks is looking to create a new kind of sound on his debut album. He’s calling it “modern wamp,” which he describes as “swamp meets boogie meets jazz meets hip-hop.” He’s working with producer Matt Serletic, who produced the Santana and Rob Thomas smash, “Smooth.”

The tracklist is still being finalized, but one song was written by Bryan Adams and Taylor co-wrote one with John Mayer. The CD has been delayed until December 5th, because Taylor waited until after the Idols tour to start recording, unlike Katharine, Chris and Kellie…

Speaking of delays, Fantasia’s new CD has been postponed until December 12th. I’m guessing someone thought twice about releasing on the same day as Taylor…

You can now hear Daughtry’s first single, “It’s Not Over” at http://music.aol.com/franchise/firstlisten-a. You can also hear clips of three other tracks: “Home,” “Over You,” and “Used To.” Ace Young actually helped Chris work out the lyrics and music to this one while on the Idols tour, and it’s pretty good; but I’m afraid it might sound too “been there done that.” I actually like the other three better, especially “Over You”…

Speaking of Ace, you can now hear his single, “Scattered” for free at www.americanidol.com/music...

Kellie Pickler fans will want to pick up the new issue of “People.” Kellie gets a nice write-up with some cute pictures…

If the voice singing “Time Has Come Today” on the new Monopoly Here & Now commercials sounds familiar, it’s because it’s Bo Bice. Bo is still recovering from the intestinal surgery he had last month, which forced him to cancel the remainder of his tour…

My apologies to all of the Katharine McPhee fans out there for saying last week that she gave a lackluster performance of “I Have Nothing” on “Idol.” Her performance was actually quite good; but I still stand by my statement that it took a lot of guts for her to sing it in front of Whitney Houston…

One other thing about last week’s post. If you haven’t read all of the comments on it, I encourage you all to scroll down and do so. It shows you exactly how strongly Clay Aiken fans feel about his new CD. However, I wanted to clarify that I never said I didn’t like the CD, because I do. I am just disappointed that we didn’t get a better variety of songs. And I’m also upset that you can’t get “Back For More” anywhere. That was a good song that had some real radio potential…

Idol Update, Part 1: CMAs Recap

My plan was to just congratulate Carrie on her wins in my usual Idol Update, but Faith Hill threw a monkey wrench into that plan, so I’ve put the CMAs in a separate post.

If you missed it, Faith was caught on video in what appears to be quite a huff after Carrie beat her out for Female Vocalist of the Year. She is shown gesturing in surprise and exclaiming, “What?” before walking out of the shot. Hill released a statement today saying that Carrie is very deserving and “the idea that [she] would act disrespectful towards a fellow musician is unimaginable.”

Personally, I think it looks like she’s just playing around; but you can judge for yourself at http://youtube.com/watch?v=RYaD7pCXFog (What did we do before YouTube?)…

And yes, that is Anthony Federov Carrie is sitting next to. A-Fed was her date…

Now that we’ve gotten the controversy out of the way, let me congratulate Carrie on the Female Vocalist and the Horizon Award. “Two years ago I was sitting at home watching these very awards and watching all these other people win and having the best night of their life, and this is the best year of my life,” she said while unsuccessfully trying to hold herself together…

It was certainly a big night for Carrie as she worked an $850,000 dress on the red carpet. The dress was covered in Kwiat diamonds. The dress is now being auctioned off, with the proceeds going to Carrie’s charity of choice, the Humane Society. Carrie also gave a rousing performance of “Before He Cheats”…

Kellie Pickler was also on the red carpet co-hosting the arrivals for CMT. She also co-presented the Horizon Award that Carrie won…

One other Idol-related CMA note for you. “Sugarland,” which is on Sugarland’s new album was co-written by Season 2 finalist Vanessa Olivarez. Sugarland was also nominated for the Horizon Award…

It's Coming...

So I'm running pretty behind today thanks to my day job, but I promise that the Idol Update is coming later today with lots of good stuff including the latest on Taylor's new CD, where you can hear Daughtry's first single and the recap of the CMAs (If you missed it, Carrie had a BIG night.).

I've also got the latest news on the scheduling changes and important news for "O.C." fans.

So, please, Stay Tuned...

Monday, November 06, 2006

"American Idol": Mark Those Calendars!

FOX has finally announced the premiere dates for "American Idol"...

"Idol" will return with a four-hour two-night premiere January 16th and 17th.

There is still a lot of buzz circulating that the results show might move to Thursdays this season since FOX is struggling on that all-important night, but so far FOX is denying all of the rumors.

Be sure to come back tomorrow for Idol Update and the latest news on Taylor's CD and the CMAs...

New "Marshall" Spot

Did anyone see the new "We Are Marshall" spot during Sunday Night Football last night? With its jazzy upbeat music, I almost didn't recognize it as a "Marshall" commercial. It was a good move by Warner Brothers to focus on the football aspects for the football audience, during one of the biggest games of the year, but it was a little strange to see something so upbeat advertising something that will be so emotional.

Speaking of "We Are Marshall" ads, I've been a little disappointed that we haven't seen more of them during "Lost." Since Wednesday is the last episode before the movie opens, I'm hoping we'll see at least one. I believe that Matthew Fox will be the real star of the movie and he deserves some promotion. What better place to do it than during his show?

Kudos to "Housewives"!

I wanted to take just a minute and congratulate “Desperate Housewives” on its episode last night. I thought it was the best one in a long time.

SPOILER ALERT: Stop reading now if you haven’t seen it yet.

Now, it definitely had its flaws—like the “very special ‘Blossom’” feel it had throughout, since we knew that someone was going to die. Plus, I didn’t really understand the need for all of the time shifts in the beginning or the Mary Alice dream. I realize it was a way for Lynette to not feel so guilty about what happened, but it just didn’t work for me.

And Susan just keeps getting more and more annoying. Susan knows what a bad person Edie can be, so why wouldn’t she believe that Edie’s nephew was capable of bad things as well? As Julie said, she’d never given her mom any reason to doubt her before. Of course, it would be understandable if Julie was getting into trouble, seeing as how her mom has no trouble flitting off to France and leaving her daughter, who is still in high school, all alone!

And where did Ian disappear to at the end of the episode? He came back from the airport to be there for Susan, but he was nowhere to be seen when she reunited with Julie. Did he just come back to say, “I’m sorry your daughter might die. Oh well, off to France!”?

I’m kind of sorry I knew who was going to die, because it might have actually been a shocker—although process of elimination told you who it was going to be. I admit I still kind of jumped. You have to admire a show that recognizes a problem and then just gets rid of it so efficiently. Nora was annoying and her story truly needed to come to an end. It was nice to see her get such a dramatic sendoff that will no doubt find its way onto Felicity Huffman’s Emmy reel.

And who didn’t love Bree throwing a hostage crisis-watching party? However, I think it was kind of stupid on her part to not wonder if any of her friends could have been there since apparently it’s the only grocery store in town.

I should also take this opportunity to point out an error I made in a previous post. Orson told the dead woman (in French), “I miss you, Monique” not I’m sorry as I said before. Of course, that makes you wonder if Mr. Bigsby wasn’t the only one having an affair with her. I think Orson is an extremely welcome addition to the show and I love him as the male Bree, so I’m still hoping he’ll turn out to be a good guy after all.

Is it possible that Mike is actually the bad guy and Orson ran him over to avenge Monique? Just something to think about.

With Dixie Carter coming on board next week as Orson’s mother and the Austin and Julie as Romeo and Juliet story heating up, there may be hope for this show yet…

Picks of the Week: A Kiefer Weekend & "Lost" Gets Lost

For those of you going through Kiefer Sutherland withdrawal until “24” returns in January, this weekend is for you.

Saturday, you can see Kiefer as you’ve never seen him before in the documentary, “I Trust You to Kill Me.” The doc is supposed to showcase Rocco DeLuca and the Burden (who are signed to Kiefer and Jude Cole’s label, Ironworks) on their first tour, but no doubt it will be Kiefer (their road manager) tackling a Christmas tree that will have everyone talking. “Trust” airs Saturday, November 11th at 9 p.m. on VH1…

Sunday, Kiefer gets tough as a hard-nosed Army colonel trying to whip Homer into shape on “The Simpsons.” You can also get your first look at “The Simpsons” movie during the episode. The show airs Sunday, November 12th at 8 p.m…

For those of you looking for something besides Kiefer, I remind you that Wednesday’s “Lost” will be the last new episode until February 7th, so you won’t want to miss it. Not only will you get more info about Kate from a flashback, but you’ll also see Kate’s choice between Jack and Sawyer (as if we haven’t figured that one out already). “Lost” airs Wednesday at 9 p.m. on ABC…

Sweeps Schedule: Week of November 6th

Here’s what sweeps has to offer the week of November 6th…

Monday, the Country Music Awards hit ABC beginning at 8 p.m. Over on FOX, it’s the episode “Prison Break” fans have been waiting for as Michael and Sara reunite—although I feel quite certain we’re going to somehow be disappointed (8 p.m.). “Studio 60” continues to try and get on track with a guest spot by John Goodman (10 p.m., NBC)…

Tuesday, “Dancing With the Stars” gives us the final performance of the final three. I don’t even watch the show, but I am definitely rooting for Mario (8 p.m., ABC). Comedy Central does what it does best with “The Daily Show: Indecision 2006” (11 p.m.). All of the networks will be doing election coverage at 10 p.m. and please note that there will be cut-ins throughout the night as well…

Wednesday, “Dancing With the Stars” announces the final two on its elimination show (8 p.m., ABC). “Jeopardy” gives the celebrities a try as Nancy Grace, Regis Philbin and Carson Kressley match wits (Check your local listings.)…

Thursday, Jenny McCarthy guests on “My Name Is Earl” (8 p.m., NBC). The “Grey’s Anatomy” guys go on a camping trip (9 p.m., ABC), while on the CW, the original supernatural superstar, Linda Blair (“The Exorcist”), guests on “Supernatural.” Jane Kaczmarek, Doug Savant and Curt Schilling try their hand at “Jeopardy” (Check local listings.)…

Friday, Jewel guests on “Men In Trees” (9 p.m., ABC) and it’s a “Law & Order” showdown on “Jeopardy” (Check local listings.) with Sam Waterston, Kathryn Erbe (“CI”) and Christopher Meloni (“SVU”). The late great Jerry Orbach was one of the best “Celebrity Jeopardy” contestants ever…

Sunday, Dixie Carter guest stars on “Desperate Housewives” as Orson’s mother. Carter hired a then unknown Marc Cherry as her assistant during her “Designing Women” days. Drew Barrymore guests on “Family Guy” (9 p.m., FOX)…

Friday, November 03, 2006

"Kidnapped": A Network Betrayal

On October 9th, I wrote about “Kidnapped”: “I applaud NBC for promising to air all 13 episodes so that fans can see how everything turns out—even if it is on the dead zone known as Saturday nights.”

Well, now I see how much my praise means to NBC…

The network has pulled “Kidnapped” off its schedule permanently. This comes after the show drew a disastrous 1.2 rating in the beloved 18-49 demo Saturday night. NBC says the remaining eight episodes will be made available at NBC.com.

“Kidnapped” will be replaced by a rerun of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” beginning this Saturday.

I recognize that the ratings were bad, but it’s Saturday night, so who cares? What was the harm in airing the final eight episodes? Do we really need another “Law & Order” rerun that badly?

I didn’t watch “Kidnapped,” but I totally feel for all of you who now feel betrayed by NBC. You may still get some resolution; but now you’ll have to get it in streaming video on your computer screens. It’s really not the same.

I also have to believe that this is a bad sign for “Vanished,” since it may make FOX think twice about their plans to let the show wrap up its story. But I’m hoping that unlike NBC, FOX will do the right thing.

Idol Update Part 2: The CMAs

There was so much to say in this week’s Idol Update that I didn’t include anything about the CMAs.

Carrie Underwood is nominated for four awards: Single of the Year for “Jesus Take the Wheel,” Female Vocalist of the Year, Music Video of the Year for “Jesus Take the Wheel,” and the Horizon Award (the CMA equivalent of Best New Artist). “Jesus Take the Wheel” is also nominated for Song of the Year, which goes to the songwriter.

More than one magazine has already predicted that Carrie will take home Female Vocalist of the Year, even though she’s facing stiff competition from Sara Evans, Faith Hill, Martina McBride and Gretchen Wilson. The competition is even tougher for the Horizon Award with Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Sugarland and Josh Turner. However, it will be hard for the CMAs to ignore everything Carrie has accomplished this year, so I’ve got to believe she’ll win something.

I just hope it’s not Music Video of the Year. I have to admit I was pretty shocked to see “Jesus” among the nominations, considering what a waste of an opportunity that video was. Instead of just telling the story of the song, they chose to intersperse a bunch of sappy images that just didn’t tell the story. And since it was Carrie’s first single, her stiffness was still in full effect. I’m really not sure how “Jesus” could be nominated instead of a clever clip like “Like We Never Loved at All.”

Carrie is also scheduled to perform at the CMAs. I’m guessing she’ll sing “Jesus,” but I haven’t heard.

The CMAs, hosted by Brooks and Dunn, will air Monday, November 6th at 8 p.m. on ABC.












Photo courtesy of Gannett News Service

Friday Free-For-All: November 3, 2006

So, let’s hit it.

What’s on your mind this week?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Island Strikes on "Lost"

SPOILER ALERT: If you have not seen tonight's episode of "Lost," stop reading now.


So, the mysterious island smoke monster comes back to life just in time to kill Eko. I'm guessing the island was judging him for what he did (He was not a nice guy.).

But why did Eko really have to die? Turns out his portrayer, who I'm not even going to attempt to try and spell, only agreed to do the show for a short time. The writers agreed that this would be the best time to end his run and they insist that it had nothing to do with his behavior on the set, which reportedly was getting pretty bad.

I said I was getting tired of the whole psychological experimentation by The Others, but I like this new twist with Juliet, who will be so much better for Jack than Kate.

And speaking of Kate, she will finally choose which man is for her next week. Although, I think the previews kind of already gave that away.

So what did you think of tonight's episode? Let's discuss...

Soap Spotlight: Better "Days" Ahead

The last time I watched “Days of Our Lives” regularly was during Marlena’s “killing spree.” The story was Head Writer James Reilly at his kooky finest. Salem’s most upstanding citizen was murdering many major characters in creepy and sordid ways. It was brilliant…

Until it was revealed that all of Marlena’s victims were alive and that the whole thing had been Tony DiMera tricking Marlena into thinking she had killed her friends and family. All of the “victims” and Marlena lived for a time in New Salem, which was on Tony’s private island.

It was the stupidest thing I’d ever heard and one of the biggest copouts in the history of daytime. All of the buzz the story had generated for the show went right down the sewer. I stopped watching even before the truth was revealed, since I’d read the twist in a magazine and couldn’t bear to actually see it.

I haven’t watched since, unless you count the atrocious anniversary episode (and I try not to).

But from what I’ve read (and heard), things only got worse. Several old favorites were brought back, but Reilly didn’t seem to know what to do with them. And some of them—like Austin, Carrie, Lucas and Sami—he just sent down the same old path. Melissa Reeves (Jennifer) was so upset by the Frankie/Jennifer/Jack storyline that she asked to be let out of her contract.

Finally, Executive Producer Ken Corday took action and fired Reilly (He remains the head writer of “Passions.”). His replacement is Hogan Sheffer, who won FOUR Emmys as the head writer of “As the World Turns” just a few years ago. I watched “World” a little during his tenure, and I can tell you he’s a good writer—although I’ve never forgiven him for killing Jake McKinnon (my favorite soap character of all time).

Just to make sure I knew what I was talking about, though, I taped Monday’s episode. I was totally confused and I didn’t even recognize some of the characters; but there were definite signs of a turnaround. By getting rid of Austin and Carrie, Sheffer has returned Lucas and Sami to a mature, logical story (although they really should’ve cast a shorter actor to play Will). Bryan Datillo (Lucas) is seriously hot and that E.J.’s not too hard on the eyes either. It was also interesting to see John in a role he’s never been in before—the wise father.

And what was up with everyone wearing a suit? It’s about time John dressed the part of a business tycoon.

Sheffer is known for strong character development and that was evident, even in this uneventful episode. What will really be worth watching is when Sheffer uses his development skills to revive one of Salem’s most storied families—the DiMeras. And yes, that means Stefano (if a deal can be reached).

Sheffer still has some cleanup to do; and more characters to send out the door (Frankie will leave later this month.); but I think there are definitely better “Days” ahead.

Stay tuned…

California, here we come...a little depressed

I said that Marissa’s death may have finally freed “The O.C”

Now it looks like I might be wrong about that one.

That’s not to say Thursday’s season premiere is bad; it’s just a little gloomy. Seth is adrift in Newport without his beloved Summer, who’s gone hippy at Brown. Ryan is punishing himself for Marissa’s death by participating in a fight club. And Julie’s popping pills while her family crumbles around her.

It’s all understandable considering how last season ended, but it’s so hard to watch these fun, vibrant characters mope around.

I’ve read a couple of reviews that the fourth episode is as good as season one—which means it will be really good. I just hope that everyone (including FOX) can hang on that long.

“The O.C.” returns Thursday (November 2nd) at 9 p.m. on FOX.

"You get the best of both worlds..."

When Hilary Duff walked away (or was dragged away by her mom) from the “Lizzie McGuire” franchise, Disney had to have been a little worried about finding a replacement.

It looks like they’ve found her.

The soundtrack to “Hannah Montana” debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week after selling 281,000 copies. It’s the biggest debut for a soundtrack since 2005’s “Get Rich or Die Tryin’.”

For those of you who don’t have a tween in the house, “Hannah Montana” is the Disney Channel smash starring Miley Cyrus, the daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus, as Miley Stewart, a seemingly normal 14-year-old girl with a whopper of a secret: She’s actually singing superstar Hannah Montana. Billy Ray plays her father and manager.

The soundtrack features “Hannah” performing “The Best of Both Worlds” and other tracks from the show. There are also songs from Jesse McCartney and Click 5. But the real gem here is a duet by Miley and her dad, “I Learned From You.” It’s a sweet song about a daughter learning from her father and it may make you a little misty. I think Disney should put aside the Hannah character and release this one as a country single. You can hear a snippet at http://disney.go.com/disneyrecords/soundtracks/hannahmontana.

If you’re thinking of buying the soundtrack as a gift for your own little rock star, “Hannah Montana: Livin’ the Rock Star Life!” a DVD featuring four episodes of the show (including one never-before-seen), would make a great companion gift. The DVD also includes behind-the-scenes footage and Miley’s audition tape.

But if you just want to give the show a look, you can tune in this Friday, November 3rd for “Fan-tastic Friday” on the Disney Channel. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., you can catch four episodes of “Hannah,” followed by the phenomenon, “High School Musical.” Another episode of “Hannah” airs at 10:30 p.m.

HUGE NEWS!!!

HUGE NEWS!!!

I have some HUGE news for all of you TV fans out there!

Okay, it’s huge news for me…

“Family Ties” is finally coming to DVD!!! Season one is scheduled to release February 20, 2007.

Now, I admit that the first season was not the best, as the show was trying to get its footing—and Michael J. Fox had yet to break out—but I will definitely shell out the money to add it to my collection.

Why? Here’s something to remember about TV shows on DVD. Just because season one is released does not guarantee that the rest of the seasons will see the light of day. It’s all about the sales. For example, Warner Brothers released season one of “Night Court,” but because of low sales, they have no plans for any further sets. The same thing happened to “Boy Meets World.” It got three seasons out before Buena Vista pulled the plug.

Many fans hold off on buying the first season of a show because they want a guarantee that the entire series will be released. But by not buying the first season, they are actually hurting the chances of that happening.

It’s a vicious circle…

The moral of the story is that if you’re a “Family Ties” fan, get out there on February 20th and buy the season one set.

I’ll see you in the checkout line…

Sweeps Schedule: Week of November 1st

So, it’s time to tell you what the first week of November sweeps has to offer.

But first, what is sweeps anyway? The term refers to the four times of the year when Nielsen Media Research (who does TV ratings) collects data from sample homes in every one of the TV markets in the US. According to Nielsen, the term comes from the way the diaries are “swept up” around the country. Sweeps periods are in November, February, May and July of each year.

In order to capture the most viewers (and to help local stations set ad rates), the networks haul out all the special guest stars and major storylines they can muster. You’ll even see syndicated programs get into the act and local news programs usually do their major investigative pieces during that time.

Aren’t you glad you asked?

Now here’s what’s on tap for this week…

Thursday, Roseanne guest stars on “My Name Is Earl” (8 p.m., NBC), while “The Office” celebrates Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights (8:30 p.m., NBC). Salma Hayek begins her four episode guest stint on “Ugly Betty” (8 p.m., ABC). Hayek is the show’s Executive Producer. McDreamy’s sister comes to visit on “Grey’s Anatomy” (9 p.m., ABC); and “The O.C.” returns on FOX (9 p.m.)…

Friday, Chevy Chase channels Mel Gibson on a ripped-from-the-headlines “Law & Order” (10 p.m., NBC)…

Saturday, “Saturday Night Live” gives us “The Best of Darrell Hammond” (11:30 p.m., NBC).

Sunday, it’s the 17th annual “Treehouse of Horror” on “The Simpsons” (8 p.m., FOX). Guest voices include Dr. Phil, Richard Lewis and Fran Drescher. And there’s that previously mentioned hostage crisis on “Desperate Housewives” (9 p.m., ABC)…

Stay tuned…