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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"…

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

"Traveler": This Is Why I Hate ABC

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson is my nemesis…

Why? Because he thwarts my TV viewing entertainment at every turn.

There’s almost no reason to watch any new shows on ABC because just as I get hooked on them, they get cancelled (“Knights of Prosperity”), their episodes are shown out of order (“In Case of Emergency”) or they’re unnecessarily overhauled until the thing that made them good is completely destroyed (“Commander In Chief”)…

Or in the case of “Traveler,” ABC gives the show a preview in a prime timeslot, but only orders eight episodes and then burns them off in the summer when no one will watch them, giving it no chance of getting picked up for a second season…

Yet, I’m watching anyway, because I just can’t help myself.

Yes, this is why I hate ABC…

“Traveler” begins as the story of three Yale graduate school roommates: Jay, the lawyer, Tyler, the venture capitalist, and Will, the chemical engineer. After graduation, the trio decides to go on a cross-country trip with Will making the plans, Tyler footing the bill, and Jay keeping them out of trouble.

Will begins the trip with a historic art museum in New York City, where he puts Jay and Tyler up to committing a prank. But when Tyler and Jay emerge from the museum, Will is nowhere to be found. Finally, Will calls Jay with a cryptic “I’m sorry I had to do this” before a bomb goes off in the building.

It’s only a matter of time before Jay and Tyler become the prime suspects after the FBI interprets their little prank as something more sinister. And before the end of the hour, it becomes clear to both Jay and Tyler that their friend Will set them up to take the fall. Now, they’re on the run from the FBI, trying to answer the question—Who is Will Traveler?

Like any good serial drama, there are twists and turns around every corner—each wilder than the next. And the show has a great look that just sucks you right in…

Plus, you’ve got the wonderful Steven Culp (Rex, “Desperate Housewives”) in the cast, so what more could you ask for?

Other than the answers we’ll no doubt never get, of course…

A new episode of “Traveler” airs Wednesday, May 30th at 10 p.m. on ABC, following an encore of the pilot at 9…

"Lost": Making It Hard to Hate It

I really want to hate “Lost”…

Executive Producers and co-creators Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse are complete jerks. They constantly belittle other shows (especially “24” and “Heroes”) and they often belittle their fans for criticizing the complex mythology of their show…

I really want to hate “Lost.” But when Lindelof and Cuse give us a solid episode like last week’s two-hour season finale, it makes it really hard...

All of the promotion of the episode promised “a game-changer” of an ending. And boy, did we get it…

When Kate came out of that car in the final moments, I was so busy trying to figure out how she and Jack could have known each other before the crash and not remembered it, that I missed what was actually going on—until I started to process those last 35 minutes in my head. The “golden pass,” Jack’s maps, telling Kate they needed to go back—that’s when it all came together for me. This was not a look into Jack’s past, it was a look into Jack’s future after he and Kate were rescued from the island.

And as much as I hate to admit it, it was a really good twist…

Since I had already seen the ending, I tried to catch the possible clues I might have seen while watching the episode in its entirety. But I have to admit, I don’t think I would have caught them. I did make note of the newer cell phone when I saw it the first time, but I just thought that signaled a more recent flashback. And I didn’t give a second thought to Jack’s heavy beard…

If I was a bigger “Lost” fan, I may have caught that the name of the funeral home—Hoffs Drawlar—was an anagram for flash forward…

Plus, I have to admit that I fell for the red herring they planted by mentioning Jack’s father. Seeing it the second time around it was fairly clear that Jack was only raving incoherently (I think)…

Don’t be surprised if Matthew Fox doesn’t get a little Emmy love for this episode..

One of the things that really makes me want to hate “Lost” is that it’s so complicated. I hate shows where you have to surf the Internet for hours afterward to look at screen caps from the episode to see what’s going on. But there I was Thursday morning, giving myself a headache trying to read that mysterious newspaper clipping. Here’s what I was able to make out:

Los Angeles
Man found dead in a downtown loft
J-- --antham of New York…

Who is the dead person whose name begins with a J? The mind reels…

One person we know is dead is Charlie, who finally met his fate during the finale. My original reaction was one of confusion. I didn’t understand why Charlie had to die since he could have just run out and shut the door behind him. But then I remembered that Charlie believed he had to die in order for Claire and Aaron to survive, which made his death rather touching and heroic. And he managed to pose one more question before he died. Just who are the people coming to rescue the survivors?...

I’m so glad he had a waterproof pen handy to help him do it…

My theory is that the people that Jack called are not the ones who eventually rescue the survivors. I think this was just a taste of the future and the show will go back to the way it was.

But it was nice to see the show truly is going somewhere, although I’m sure all of those people with the purgatory/limbo theories were a little disappointed…

The real key, however, will be the season premiere in February (Yes, you have to wait that long.). I’ve always said that nothing ruins the buzz of a good cliffhanger better than a lousy resolution…

Stay tuned…

Don't forget...

Just a reminder that tonight (Tuesday) you can see the season finales of both "House" and "Boston Legal."

"House" airs at 9 p.m. on FOX, while "BL" airs at 10 p.m. on ABC...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Pick of the Week: "Traveler"

You may recall that I almost picked “Traveler” as my Pick of the Week when it first aired a few weeks ago.

I didn’t pick it because I’ve been burned by ABC so many times, I didn’t want to take another chance.

Well, I will get burned on this one too, but it’s so good, I have no choice.

I’ll have a complete review for you in a later post…

“Traveler” airs Wednesday, May 30th on ABC. The pilot episode re-airs at 9 p.m., followed by an all-new episode at 10…

"The Simpsons": A Classic 399th...

You may recall that earlier this season I was pretty hard on “The Simpsons.” The episode I watched (featuring a guest appearance by Kiefer Sutherland) had such a rushed ending that it didn’t really make that much sense.

Unfortunately, that was still kind of the case with the 400th episode in which news anchor Kent Brockman lost his job for uttering a profanity on the air. After being fired, Brockman teamed up with Lisa to expose the right-wing media. The episode took shots at FOX News, FOX and anyone else they could think of. But when they offered Kent his job back to keep him quiet, he quickly jumped at it, leaving Lisa alone and leaving me a little bummed. Fortunately, the “censorship” by FOX saved it…

But in all honesty, it didn’t really matter to me what they did because the night was all about the 399th episode as “The Simpsons” took on “24” in hilarious fashion…

Where “South Park” only copied certain aspects of “24,” “The Simpsons” did a complete copy, right down to the opening credits. I have to admit it was a little weird hearing that clock and seeing those split screens. I actually got those familiar “24” nerves, until I remembered I was watching a different show…

“The Simpsons” should consider a real-time aspect more often because it kept the show tight and consistent as each scene built on the next beautifully. Homer’s toxic yogurt at the nuclear power plant became the basis of the bully’s stink bomb they planned to unleash during the school bake sale, which Marge was trying so hard to be ready for, while Lisa and Bart worked behind-the-scenes to stop the bully’s plans…

The CTU in this case was the Counter Truancy Unit that Principal Skinner created to combat school truancy. The Chloe of this CTU was Lisa Simpson and the Jack Bauer was, of course, Bart Simpson, the rogue agent Skinner was forced to turn to in order to save the bake sale. And, of course, there was a mole in CTU—Nelson, who was forced to work with the bullies after they held his ant farm hostage.

The show was full of funny moments. The scene where Bart took so long to set up the revelation of the mole that he didn’t get the name to Lisa before Nelson knocked him out was so funny, I had to stop the tape because I was laughing so hard. And Marge using her overbaked cake to help save the day was a great twist as well…

But the episode belonged to the real Jack Bauer—an animated version, of course—who made two inspired appearances in the episode. The first was with an animated Chloe when Jack accidentally broke into Bart’s phone communications and Bart took the opportunity to give Jack one of his famous joke names. And the second was during the ending when Jack tracked Bart down to bring him to justice for the prank call, allowing a nuclear bomb to go off in another city. Kiefer Sutherland did his usual great work, and I hope that “The Simpsons” producers seriously consider submitting his work on the show this season for Emmy consideration.

Unlike the last episode Kiefer appeared in, there was no rushed ending here, only a funny and smart episode from beginning to end…

In fact, the story was so cohesive, I’m hoping the “24” writers were taking notes…
Congratulations to “The Simpsons” for reaching 400 episodes and for giving us such a great episode to celebrate with—even if it was technically the 399th…

A CBS Finale Round-Up...

I hope all of you are having a great Memorial Day. I thought I would take this opportunity to catch up on some season finales that I haven’t had the chance to comment on.

We’ll start with some CBS finales…

“Close to Home”: “Hallelujah…”
I have always said that whenever you hear the song “Hallelujah” on a TV show it means that something bad has just happened, or something bad is about to happen.

In the case of “Close to Home,” it was both. The bad thing that just happened was the death of Maureen (Kimberly Elise). The bad thing that was about to happen was the cancellation of the show the next week.

I only saw the last half-hour, so I didn’t see how Maureen died, but it was apparently the culmination of the story involving Conlon’s campaign manager (Jonathan Silverman). Ironically, it was Maureen that the promos had singled out for death weeks before, so clearly she had a giant target painted on her already.

Maureen’s endorsement of Conlon from beyond the grave (via her videotaped deposition) was pretty powerful, but I would’ve liked to have seen Conlon (David James Elliott) be a bad guy after all. It would’ve been a nice twist.

But the final scene with the remaining cast members (and Annabeth’s potential new love interest) toasting Maureen’s memory was a great way to close out the season, as well as the show…

“How I Met Your Mother” Turns a Corner
I have always found “How I Met Your Mother” to be one of the most frustrating shows on TV.

It’s a cute romantic comedy, but it’s hard to root for the main couple—Ted and Robin—when you know that they don’t end up together, since we learned in the series premiere that Robin is not the mother of Ted’s children.

In the season finale, the show fixed all of that by breaking Ted and Robin up for good and setting the stage for the mysterious mother to finally make her appearance. I had always speculated that Lilly would turn out to be the mother, but the fact that she and Marshall actually got married and the adult Ted narrator (Bob Saget) said he had yet to meet the mother officially shot that theory down. Now the show has a fresh start…

Which is probably why CBS decided to give it another season. Personally, I think it earned it…

“Numb3rs” Attempts a “24” Twist…And Fails
I have to say from the beginning this finale sorely missed Peter MacNicol’s Larry. But since his absence insured MacNicol would appear in the “24” finale, I quickly got over it—even if the show didn’t.

This show usually makes my head hurt with all of its math equations, but this one leaned more on all out action—including a heroic turn by Charlie. There was math too, and I have to admit I actually followed most of it (which is really scary)…

But then, somewhere out of left field, the show introduced a “24” twist—a mole in the FBI. Since I’m not a regular viewer, it’s possible this twist was more set up than I know, but it seemed mostly out of nowhere when Coby was revealed as a spy for the Chinese (They’re becoming quite the popular villains these days, aren’t they?). And since I like Coby, that just made me hate it even more…

But that twist wasn’t as inconsistent as some of the other scenes in the episode. I know Don has emotional issues, but how could he have not even been fazed that Coby had betrayed them? And surely we’re going to get more details next season about Megan’s assignment since we didn’t get any in the finale. Plus, where was Don’s girlfriend after he outed their relationship the week before?

Maybe I need a mathematical formula to answer those questions…

“NCIS”: Huh?
I have always said that “NCIS” is the best show I’m not watching. It’s smart, funny and sophisticated…

Too bad none of those things were on display in the season finale…

Because the team was split up, doing different things, we didn’t get to enjoy the camaraderie that makes the show so special. I love Tony, but making him the focus of the episode just didn’t work. If this was Donald Bellisario’s way of telling Mark Harmon that he didn’t need him, I think we all know now why he resigned.

Since I’m not a regular viewer I don’t know much about who The Frog is. So the big revelation that Tony’s girlfriend is his daughter meant nothing to me and was a TOTAL letdown.

I really hope that Chas. Johnson gets the show back on track next season…

“The King” Abdicates His Throne
As series finales go, “The King of Queens” sure started out pretty seriously as Doug tried to deal with Carrie’s betrayal of him…

But in the middle of all of the seriousness, the show did manage to sneak in some pretty funny moments. There was the running joke of Lou Ferrigno telling everyone what a happy day it was, Spence and Danny realizing they missed each other as roommates, and of course, the wonderful Stiller and Meara together again as Arthur switched brides.

And although I didn’t totally like the whole story of Doug and Carrie racing to China to adopt the baby and all the marriage drama, the ending was a good one as we visited Doug and Carrie one year later, overwhelmed by two young children. The door opened and Arthur walked through, carrying his suitcase, saying only “It didn’t work out.”

The clips were also a nice touch, but I think they could have been integrated with the show a little better. Or CBS could have done the right thing and gave the show the true send-off it deserved with an actual clip show. Maybe if they had realized the great ratings these final episodes were going to pull in, they would have…

Friday, May 25, 2007

Happy Anniversary, Jay!

Tonight, Jay Leno will celebrate his 15th anniversary as host of “The Tonight Show.”

The sad thing is that this will be the last major anniversary Jay celebrates because he is handing over the reins to Conan O’Brien in 2009.

You may remember NBC made that decision to keep Conan from going to another network.

I’ve read that privately Jay is not happy about the change (and why would he be?) because he’s not ready to quit, but publicly he’s played the good company man and shown nothing but support to Conan. This week, he told “USA Today” that he will not try to extend his departure. “Conan’s going to take it. Conan is terrific. I like Conan and he’s earned it. I don’t own ‘The Tonight Show.’”

Let me say for the record that I’m a fan of Conan, but I still find it a slap in Jay’s face since his “Tonight Show” makes more money for NBC than any of their other shows and Conan’s “Tonight Show” is an unknown commodity…

Plus, I’m a huge Jay fan. What you see with Jay, is what you get and I’ve always loved that…

And there’s no bigger evidence of that than the real reason he agreed to step aside: He doesn’t want Conan to go through “the ridiculous nonsense,” as Jay calls it, that he went through after Johnny Carson’s retirement.

If you have never seen “The Late Shift,” the HBO movie based on Bill Carter’s book about the chaos after Carson’s retirement, I highly recommend you get your hands on it. It will truly make you happy for Jay and his success. And having read the book, I can tell you that the movie only cracks the surface of what happened…

As for what Jay will do after he leaves “Tonight,” he told “USA Today”: “I’ll get a job somewhere”…

That’s exactly what NBC is afraid of…

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Return of "Studio 60"

Don't forget that tonight (Thursday) marks the return of "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip."

There are only six episodes remaining.

"Studio 60" airs tonight at 10 on NBC...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Now I'm "Lost"...

So it was my plan to write something about tonight’s season finale of “Lost.”

But because of the “Idol” finale, I only caught the last 40 minutes, and now I’m the one who’s lost…

So feel free to post any comments you have and talk amongst yourselves until I can catch up…

"The King" Gets an Encore...

If you're like me and you missed the series finale of "The King of Queens," CBS is giving you another chance.

The finale will air again Thursday, May 24th at 8 p.m.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

"Dancing With the Stars": And the winner is...

"Dancing With the Stars" handed out the ugliest trophy in the business tonight and it went to...
Apolo Anton Ohno and his partner Julianne Hough, who defeated the early favorites Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson.
Laila and Maksim finished in third place. And if it looked like Laila didn't have as much shake as she did the first time she performed that dance, it might be because she's been suffering from a wrenched back ever since she picked up Apolo during the group dance...
As for the result, Apolo had the moves and was not afraid to take chances and Julianne had the choreography to take advantage of that. As much as I like Joey, Apolo really deserved it.

It's been a rough week for Julianne, the youngest contestant in the history of the show, as she has had to deal with the reaction to her calling off her August wedding. She and her fiance are still together (He was in the audience Monday night.), they just wanted to wait until things were a little less crazy. But of course people have presumed that the cancellation was because there was something else going on between Apolo and Julianne besides dancing...

Even her fiance admits that if he didn't know any better, he would think something was going on since they have such a white-hot chemistry together...

Julianne will be on the "DWTS" tour, but Apolo will now go back to concentrating on his speedskating.

"DWTS" will return this fall...

"24": A long wait until January...

A question popped into my head as I was getting ready for work this morning.

Which is worse? A show that produces 21 strong episodes and a 22nd that leaves you disappointed and makes you wonder if you’ll even watch next year, or a show that produces 23 mostly disappointing episodes and a 24th that leaves you so excited about next year you can’t see straight?

In the case of “Heroes” vs. “24,” I’ve got to give the edge to my beloved “24”…

Warning: The remainder of this post contains details about last night’s season finale of “24.”

I have to admit with all of this talk about a reinvented “24” next season (including the promise of some details in this week’s “TV Guide”), I wasn’t as jacked up about the finale as I usually am since I was already looking ahead to next year. But by 9:10, my stomach was starting to churn…

Boy, have I missed that feeling...

That’s not to say everything about the two hours was great, because it wasn’t. Like most of this season, it had its ups and downs…

First the ups…

I was a little concerned right from the get-go that Doyle was going to be the central character in the episodes and Jack would once again be reduced to a cameo appearance. Thankfully, Karen Hayes remembered the lesson that she learned while at CTU—Jack is always right—and intervened. I loved it when Vice President Daniels saw the light himself. He said that Karen was right, but we all know that means Jack was right…

It was great to see Bill Buchanan back, and out in the field. But I was so sure he was going to die that I was singing “Blaze of Glory” during the commercials…

Peter MacNicol continued his stellar work (although I would have liked to have seen him have more to do) as Tom bounced back and forth from weasel to nice guy. I had planned to name MacNicol the MVP of “24” this season, but Ken Tucker of “Entertainment Weekly” beat me to it last week…

The scenes on the oil rig platform were stunning and the excitement of the F-18s bearing down on it was “24” at its best. I’m not really sure why my stomach was turning since I knew Jack was going to be fine, but it felt good to finally be excited about the show…

Now, for the downs…

Was Ricky Schroeder that bad of an actor when he was a kid? His writhing in pain was absolutely laughable. And I’m not even going to discuss Rena Sofer (Marilyn) with her constant screaming and crying. But they didn’t make Josh Jack’s son, so I’m willing to look over her…

And what was up with Jack being so understanding to everyone? He told Nadia that it was okay to trade his nephew to his sociopath father because she was just doing what she thought was right. He told Doyle that what he did was okay because he was just following orders. Huh? Plus, he let Cheng live. The Jack Bauer I know would have never walked past him without putting a bullet in his forehead. And then there were those two completely awkward phone conversations with Nadia with that really bad dialogue…

In fact, most of Jack’s speeches last night seemed a little awkward. That whole “I know what it’s like to take another life” speech to Josh was bordering on ridiculous. Of course Jack knows what it’s like to take another life. He’s killed hundreds of people in six days! And Jack’s confrontation with his father? Almost pointless…

It’s pretty sad when you make the best actor on TV look like he’s sleepwalking through his lines. Thankfully, the writers made up for it later…

It’s a “24” tradition that the last 15 minutes or so of the finale are a little more touchy-feely as the day winds down, but I think they may have crossed the line this time. Chloe pregnant? Are you kidding me?...

Maybe the reason I thought they crossed the line was because there were so many happy endings flying around (which is EXTREMELY rare in the world of “24”). Chloe and Morris were having a baby (would’ve loved to have heard Jack’s reaction to that), Tom gave VP Daniels the incriminating tape (which even made Daniels smile) and told Karen he would actually miss her. Karen and Bill were exonerated of all charges so they could live happily ever after; and Josh was reunited with his mother. In fact, it was a happy ending for everyone…

Everyone except Jack…

It all began with Cheng’s ominous words to Bill: “My people won’t abandon me the way you did Jack Bauer”…

It was something we hadn’t really given much thought to since Jack got back from China. Why didn’t anyone try to get him back? Jack was wondering that same thing and he knew exactly the person to ask…

After deciding not to go back to CTU after he rescued Josh, Jack showed up at James Heller’s house (good thing he lived close). But he wasn’t there to beg to see Audrey. He was there to confront Heller about why he didn’t help him. Many fans were upset that Jack didn’t put up a fight against Heller when he told Jack he was cursed a few weeks ago. I could hear all of those fans cheering as Jack snarled, “How dare you!” It was great to see William Devane in such a powerful scene. James Cromwell (Phillip Bauer) was probably a little jealous…

“You had the power and influence,” Jack told him, taking out all of his rage on the man he looked up to like a father—even pulling a gun on him, as right there in that living room, Jack started to crack. His whole life he had followed orders and done what his country needed him to do, but when he needed his country it deserted him. He was tired of following orders from people like Heller (which explains a little why he was so sympathetic to Doyle and Nadia); and now, Audrey was all he had and he was going to take her back—take his life back—and Heller wasn’t going to get in his way. Until Heller uttered the words that stopped Jack dead in his tracks—“your wife.”

When his brother, Graem, played the Teri card earlier in the season, Jack beat the crap out of him; but this time, Jack knew it was true. He couldn’t protect Audrey no matter how hard he tried. And no matter how hard he might try to get away from saving the world, he couldn’t. So, he did the only thing he could—he let Audrey go. I probably would have cried during those scenes if I gave a crap about Audrey. And the fact that she didn’t even wake up to say goodbye was a little annoying, although I understand that made it a little less sappy and a lot easier on Jack.

The episode ended with Jack watching the sunrise on the balcony of the Heller home, allowing himself to think for a second about disappearing into the ocean—which made my stomach start churning again. The ticking clock fell silent as the screen faded to black…

The ticking clock is always reserved to mark a death—Ryan Chappelle, Edgar Stiles—and it was no different last night. But the death was not of a character, but of “24” as we know it. Next year, Jack will have a new life in a totally new environment until he gets sucked into yet another bad day.

And that’s why I’m so excited. My beloved “24” is getting a facelift. How it will turn out, I have no idea, but I think it’s off to a great start already.

It’ll be a long wait until January…

The "Heroes" Season Finale: Sometimes I Really Hate Being Right

In my Pick of the Week post, I said that the season finale of “Heroes” couldn’t possibly live up to all of the hype.

Sometimes I really hate being right…

Warning: The remainder of this post contains details about last night’s season finale of “Heroes.”

The risk of getting involved with a serial show is that the payoff won’t be as good as you hoped and you’ll be left feeling ambivalent about the entire season and doubting whether or not you’ll watch the next season.

And that is definitely what happened for me last night with “Heroes”…

In the show’s defense, it would have been better if NBC had made the last two hours of the season a two-hour episode, but I’m not sure it could have helped that much. Most of the episode was all over the place with parts of it not even making good sense.

The most confusing part was Peter’s travel through time to when he first started caring for Simone’s father (They didn’t tell us how he did it.). He learned that Simone’s father was one of the original heroes (with Mrs. Petrelli and Linderman), but he was opposed to the bomb. Simone’s father told Peter that his heart would save the world. I immediately thought of that scene in “Ghostbusters II” when they make the Statue of Liberty walk to “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher.” I couldn’t help but groan…

I needn’t have worried though because the scene really didn’t have anything to do with the rest of the show…

One of the qualities I have admired about “Heroes” all along is that it has tried to answer questions all along the way, and I admire them trying to wrap up everything in the finale, but it was all so “Quantum Leap”-ish that it was a huge disappointment…

After watching Nikki struggle with Jessica, her alter-ego, all season long, Nikki manages to get rid of her by punching Candice one time. And why did Jessica suddenly decide to help Nikki anyway? Talk about not making sense…

HRG was determined to destroy The Company’s tracking system, until Matt told him that no one was going to hurt Molly. He was willing to kill Mohinder, but Matt was able to convince him? And HRG didn’t realize before that he would need Molly to find Sylar? And what kind of name is Noah anyway? I’m sticking with HRG (If this was “Lost,” all the message boards would be explaining the biblical references.)…

Hiro went after Ando, against his father’s wishes (apparently Hiro’s dad was against the bomb), and saved him in one quick swoop, taking him back to Japan. This part of the journey he had to do alone, he told Ando. But what journey? It lasted all of about six seconds. He showed up in New York and stabbed Sylar once before Sylar sent him flying through the air (and through time, as it turned out). What was all of that training for?...

And how did Sylar, who had been a step ahead of everyone all season long suddenly let Hiro stab him? I sincerely hope this was just Sylar’s way of faking his death because otherwise, it just doesn’t work…

But what really didn’t work was the wrap-up to the whole bomb story. Throughout the entire episode we had to listen to Mrs. Petrelli tell everyone that the bomb was inevitable and that the world would be better off. If she was a man, she would have been twirling her mustache. I had some trouble going with the whole “the bomb will cleanse the country” story anyway (too 9/11 for me), but she just made it even more difficult.

The big Sylar-Peter showdown would have made the whole thing better, if it had ever happened. Instead we got just a few punches before Peter started going nuclear. I did think Sylar pushing the bullets back into Matt was pretty cool (even though I like Matt), but the rest of it was pretty lame. And last week Sylar was all excited to destroy the world, but this week he’s willing to stand by and let Peter do it?

HRG promised Peter that he would take him out if he couldn’t control Ted’s power, but, of course, Claire showed up like the cavalry to the rescue—only she couldn’t shoot Peter. And then who should show up but Nathan, who probably got as sick of listening to his mother as I did. “There is another way to end this,” he told Peter. But of course, that other way meant the death of Nathan, which I was completely opposed to, since he has become the coolest character on the show…

But no one asked me for my opinion, unfortunately, as Nathan would not be stopped. “You saved the cheerleader so we could save the world,” he told Peter, even though that phrase has absolutely no meaning now since saving Claire didn’t save the world (So I have no idea why the writers would have brought it back up.). Nathan grabbed Peter and flew off into space with him, where he exploded…

I really didn’t want to see “Heroes” continue the bomb story into next season because I was afraid it would go on forever like “Lost.” I should be careful what I ask for…

Because now there’s nothing left. I presume that Peter could come back, but Nathan is dead. Now that Jessica is gone, Nikki is just a mom with a powerful right hook and I never cared about D.L. or Micah. Mohinder will no doubt take Molly and search the world for more heroes, but will we care about them? And I’m thrilled that HRG lived, but what will he do now? Go back to being a father? That’s boring…

And then there’s Hiro. As Book Two began last night, we found Hiro in the 1600s with the Japanese warriors that had fascinated him as a kid. But do we really care about that either? Hiro was cute at first, but those constant subtitles just got annoying after a while. I would have much rather seen Nathan struggle to keep his secret safe while living in the public eye. And what was the purpose of having his wife walk again if they weren’t going to do anything with it?...

On second thought, since she’s played by Rena Sofer, never mind…

Last week, I told you that NBC had major plans for “Heroes.” I’m thinking they may have counted their chickens before they hatched. Now that the story people cared about is over, will they come back to the show? I, for one, am not sure that they will…

I’m not sure I will…

Sunday, May 20, 2007

"Blood Ties" reminds us that shape-shifters are nothing but trouble...

Tonight’s season finale of “Blood Ties” reminded us that shape-shifters are nothing but trouble…

The shape-shifter in this case was Norman, a demon we first met in the season premiere (when he was just human). He returned from the dead to claim Vicky’s soul. But in order to get it, he needed three important artifacts. So he took the shape of different people to find out where the artifacts were. And there was big trouble when he took the shapes of both Vicky and Henry…

As Henry, he happened on Vicky in a weak moment when she decided that if she was going to die, she was going to hook up with Henry first. But Norman being the strange one that he is, messed up his opportunity. As Vicky, he convinced Henry that she wanted to be with him, but he gave himself away when he started yelling at Henry strangely. Christina Cox (Vicky) and Kyle Schmid (Henry) did an excellent job playing Norman playing them. Schmid especially seemed to enjoy playing a goofy version of Henry.

But probably the biggest thing about tonight’s finale is that there was a bigger explanation of what’s been going on. Norman explained that the marks on Vicky’s wrists (that he put on her in the premiere) make her a doorway for all of the supernatural things that have been going on. The marks are a source of power if Vicky chooses to use them. “You can have anything you want,” Norman told Vicky. “Including him,” he said, referring to Henry. So does that mean that she could make Henry mortal? Or does that mean that she could not be turned into a vampire?

In the end, Henry and Vicky were able to stop the main demon from coming to Earth (and claiming Vicky). And they also decided to put aside what may have happened when Norman pretended to be them. But the Henry-Vicky-Mike love triangle seems to be finding some new angles for when the series returns in the fall. Especially since Mike’s colleague, Kate, is getting more and more jealous of Vicky (but, of course, Mike’s too dense to see that).

And let’s face it. It’s the love triangle that keeps me watching. Because the special effects are too cheesy and the endings too quantum leap-ish for it to be about the science fiction.

The good-looking vampire probably helps too…

"Desperate Housewives" leaves us hanging...

So, I was all ready to write a nice write-up about some of the big moments of tonight’s season finale of “Desperate Housewives” when they threw out the biggest moment of the season.

But was it really what it looked like?

Warning: The remainder of this post contains details about tonight’s season finale of “Desperate Housewives.”

Holy crap! Did Edie really hang herself? The Edie we know wouldn’t end her life over some man, would she? Did the show finally give her a storyline just so they could kill her?...

Up until that point we had gotten a solid hour of classic “DH” storylines…

Gaby discovered that Victor wanted to marry her to help his chances of being Governor (Mike Farrell was an excellent choice to play Victor’s father.). And Gaby, devastated by what she had gotten herself into, found herself in Carlos’ arms…

Lynette fought to hide her cancer from her friends and her mother; but Mom showed up anyway. She too had battled cancer after she cheated on Lynette’s stepfather. In fact, Lynette had said the illness was her mother’s punishment. Her mother wondered if Lynette felt her cancer was punishment for the situation with Rick…

Bree returned to Wisteria Lane pregnant. But Bree being Bree, there was more to the story. She was actually pretending to be pregnant so she could claim her daughter Danielle’s baby as her own. Danielle was holed up in a convent in Europe, while Julie became increasingly suspicious as to why Danielle hadn’t returned any of her calls or e-mails. I am suspicious as to why Julie would want to even talk to her after she slept with her boyfriend…

And Susan realized that she didn’t need a big, dramatic wedding and planned a surprise ceremony with only Julie in attendance. It was a pretty good payoff for this story and almost makes me believe that Susan is taking this “no more drama” thing seriously after all…

But it’s that final moment that will have everyone talking…

It was set up when Edie had a dream in which her mother told her she would die old and alone just like she did. Then, Carlos discovered Edie’s birth control pills and confronted her at Gaby’s wedding, causing a bit of a scene. He told her he was done with her because he could never trust her again, while Edie begged him not to leave her alone. The next time we saw Edie, she left Carlos a note, picked up a scarf, stepped up on a chair and presumably hung herself, as Mary Alice talked about people who stop walking…

I thought it was a good finale, but that last scene has me a little perplexed. If Edie is dead, why would they find it necessary to kill her? Did they think she had outlived her usefulness? And will they use this to reunite Gaby and Carlos?...

I think there’s no doubt that “DH” turned it around after a dismal second season, but the fourth is getting off to an auspicious start…

Your thoughts?...

Picks of the Week: The Last Manic Monday of the Season

This week’s picks were the easiest I’ve made all season long, and I don’t think they’ll shock anyone…

The final “Manic Monday” of the season begins with the two-hour season finale of “24” as Jack takes on his dad. It’s true that this season has not been all that great, and the Bauer family drama has played a role in that, but it’s still a “24” season finale, which means it’s can’t-miss-TV. Plus, with all the stuff flying around about the show being radically different next year, you won’t want to miss those final moments…

“24” airs Monday, May 21st at 8 p.m. on FOX…

Then, it’s time to save the world on the season finale of “Heroes.” The bomb storyline will be settled, plus we’ll get the set-up for next season. I don’t know how this episode can possibly live up to all of the hype, but we’ll see…

“Heroes” airs Monday, May 21st at 9 p.m. on NBC…

Then, at the end of the night, I’ll take a giant deep breath and try to sleep…

Sweeps Schedule: May 21st-May 23rd

Here we are. The last week of sweeps. And there’s plenty of stuff to see…

Monday, May 21st, it’s the season finale of “The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman” (9 PM, ABC) and the season finale of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (10:02 PM, NBC)…

Tuesday, May 22nd, “Veronica Mars” says goodbye with two episodes (8 PM, CW)… “NCIS” reveals a big secret in its season finale (8 PM, CBS)…ABC presents “The Bachelor: After the Rose” (8 PM) and the “Dancing With the Stars” season finale (9 PM)…The final two perform on “American Idol” (8 PM, FOX)…FOX premieres the summer reality show, “On the Lot,” the search for the next great filmmaker (9 PM)… “Law & Order: SVU” closes out its season with guest stars Ludacris, Nancy Grace and Star Jones Reynolds…CBS has its fourth movie starring Tom Selleck as detective Jesse Stone, “Jesse Stone: Sea Change” (9 PM)…

Wednesday, May 23rd, the final day of sweeps, the two biggest events are the season finales of “American Idol” (8 PM, FOX) and “Lost” (9 PM, ABC)…NBC offers a repeat of “Saturday Night Live in the 90s: Pop Culture Nation” (8 PM)…

For fans of “House” and “Boston Legal,” you can catch their season finales Tuesday, May 29th. “House” was bumped so FOX could premiere “On the Lot” after “Idol.” “BL” was bumped because it’s the red-headed stepchild of ABC…

FOX Gets Real

As they have for the last two years, FOX presented two different schedules: the fall schedule and the January 2008 schedule.

But before you get upset about your favorite show moving around all over the place, remember that the schedule FOX presents in May is NEVER the schedule we get in January…

Here’s the breakdown…

Monday
8 PM—Prison Break
9 PM—K-Ville
“K-Ville” is a police drama set in post-Katrina New Orleans starring Anthony Anderson (“The Shield”) and Tawny Cypress (“Heroes”).

Tuesday
8 PM—New Amsterdam
9 PM—House
“New Amsterdam” is a drama about a New York homicide detective who is immortal, but will become mortal when he finds his true love.

Wednesday
8 PM—Back to You
8:30 PM—‘Til Death
9 PM—Bones
“Back to You” is a comedy starring Patricia Heaton and Kelsey Grammer as reunited news anchors trying to recapture their on-screen chemistry. The show also stars Fred Willard.

Thursday
8 PM—Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
9 PM—Kitchen Nightmares
“Kitchen Nightmares” is a reality show starring Chef Gordon Ramsay of “Hell’s Kitchen.” Chef Ramsay will hit the road in each episode to fix a restaurant in crisis.

Friday
8 PM—The Search For the Next Great American Band (working title)
9 PM—Nashville (working title)
“Search” is the new show looking for the next great American band from the producers of “American Idol.” “Nashville” is a reality show that focuses on people trying to make it big in the music business in Nashville.

Saturday
8 PM—Cops
8:30 PM—Cops
9 PM—America’s Most Wanted: America Fights Back
11 PM—MADtv
12 AM—Talk Show with Spike Feresten

Sunday
7 PM—The OT (NFL post-game)
8 PM—The Simpsons
8:30 PM—King of the Hill
9 PM—Family Guy
9:30 PM—American Dad

January 2008 Schedule

Monday
8 PM—K-Ville (January)/Prison Break (Spring)
9 PM—24

Tuesday
8 PM—American Idol
9 PM—House

Wednesday
8 PM—Back to You
8:30 PM—‘Til Death (January)/The Return of Jezebel James (Spring)
9 PM—American Idol (January)/American Idol Results Show (Spring)
9:30 PM—‘Til Death (Spring)
“The Return of Jezebel James” is a comedy about two sisters who are polar opposites who move in together when one (Lauren Ambrose, “Six Feet Under”) agrees to have the other’s (Parker Posey, “Superman Returns”) baby. Amy Sherman-Palladino (“Gilmore Girls”) is the creator and executive producer.

Thursday
8 PM—Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
9 PM—Canterbury’s Law
“Canterbury’s Law” is a courtroom drama about a “rebellious female attorney” (Julianna Marguiles, “ER”) from executive producer Denis Leary.

Friday
8 PM—Bones
9 PM—New Amsterdam

Saturday
Same

Sunday
7 PM—King of the Hill
7:30 PM—American Dad
8 PM—The Simpsons
8:30 PM—Family Guy
9 PM—The Sarah Connor Chronicles
“The Sarah Connor Chronicles” follows Sarah Connor (Lena Headey, “300”) and her son, John, after the events of “Terminator 2.”

FOX also picked up the comedy, “The Rules for Starting Over,” from the Farrelly Brothers about a group of newly single friends trying to start over. It stars Craig Bierko (who single-handedly ruined “Boston Legal” this season).

This summer, FOX has four reality shows planned: the returning “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Hell’s Kitchen,” plus “On the Lot,” the moviemaking competition from Mark Burnett and Steven Spielberg, and “Anchorwoman,” which follows former Miss New York and WWE diva Lauren Jones as she becomes an anchorwoman at a small Texas TV station.

Here’s my take on the schedule…

Best Shot at a Hit: The obvious choice is “Back To You,” but we’ve seen this kind of thing before—big stars but no writers to back them up. But since this has the pedigree of Christopher Lloyd (“Frasier”), I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.

Best Shot at a Miss: I’m not sure we’re ready for a show about the troubles of post-Katrina New Orleans like “K-Ville.”

Most Questionable Scheduling Move: Since I know it will all change, I’m not even going to look at the crazy January schedule. The fall schedule looks pretty solid except I think that teaming the “The Search for the Next Great American Band” and “Nashville” may be too much music reality for one night.

Best Scheduling Move: If it sticks, leaving “House” in place Tuesdays at 9 for both schedules is a great move. And I like that “King of the Hill” is actually getting a real fall timeslot this year.

Biggest Disappointment: Last year, I said that FOX needed to come up with some short-run shows to fill the space until “Idol” and “24” returned in January, but reality shows wasn’t what I had in mind. I’m afraid it might all be too much.

Stay Tuned…

The CW gets ready to spread the "Gossip"

The CW plans to use reality shows to further its brand new schedule, which includes a show that might actually make me watch the CW on a regular basis for the first time…

Here’s the breakdown…

Monday
8 PM—Everybody Hates Chris
8:30 PM—Aliens in America
9 PM—Girlfriends
9:30 PM—The Game
“Aliens in America,” is a comedy about the friendship between a 16-year-old high school student from Wisconsin and the Pakistani Muslim exchange student that comes to live with his family.

Tuesday
8 PM—Beauty and the Geek
9 PM—Reaper
“Reaper” is a drama about a guy (Bret Harrison, “The Loop”) who discovers his parents sold his soul to the devil (Ray Wise, “24,” “Twin Peaks”) before he was born. Kevin Smith is one of the executive producers and he directed the pilot.

Wednesday
8 PM—America’s Next Top Model
9 PM—Gossip Girl
“Gossip Girl” is a new drama from Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, the duo behind “The O.C.” “Girl” is the story of “the privileged prep school teens on Manhattan’s Upper East Side” who keep up on the gossip at their school through the blog and text messages of the mysterious Gossip Girl.

Thursday
8 PM—Smallville
9 PM—Supernatural

Friday
8 PM—Friday Night Smackdown

Sunday
7 PM—CW Now
7:30 PM—Online Nation
8 PM—Life Is Wild
9 PM—America’s Next Top Model Encore
“CW Now” is a news and entertainment series from the executive producers of “Extra” aimed at adults 18-34. “Online Nation” is a new reality series featuring the best websites and viral videos from the Internet. “Life Is Wild” is a drama about a family who moves from New York City to spend a year in South Africa. It stars Brett Cullen (“Friday Night Lights,” “Pepper Dennis,” “The Replacements,” etc., etc.).

For midseason, the CW picked up two other reality shows: “Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants” that pits mother/daughter teams against each other in a beauty pageant with judges Carson Kressley and Shanna Moakler, and “Farmer Wants a Wife” which promises to “help one farm boy find the city girl of his dreams.”

The CW also renewed “One Tree Hill” for mid-season, but when it returns it will be four years in the future with the characters already graduated from college. On-line diaries will help fans learn what happened during those college years. “”Pussycat Dolls Present” will also return mid-season with the search for a PCD-inspired group.

Here’s my take on the schedule…

Best Shot at a Hit: Maybe I’m clouded by memories of “The O.C.,” but I think the CW could really have something with “Gossip Girl.” I know I’ll be watching.

Best Shot at a Miss: “Aliens In America” sounds like a sitcom based solely on stereotype humor and I’ve never found that funny.

Most Questionable Scheduling Move: I think it may have been a mistake to air “Beauty and the Geek” and “America’s Next Top Model” at the same time instead of letting them relieve each other as they’ve done in the past.

Best Scheduling Move: Putting “Gossip Girl” after “America’s Next Top Model.” This could be a formidable twosome—at least until “American Idol” returns in January.

Biggest Disappointments: I still think that the CW could have found somewhere for “Veronica Mars”—even if it was just mid-season. And I can’t imagine that fans of “One Tree Hill” are going to be happy with the four-year fast-forward.

Up next, FOX…

Friday, May 18, 2007

This Weekend...

I'm taking the weekend off, but when I return, I'll have LOTS of stuff for you, including the schedule for the last week of sweeps, my Pick of the Week (as if you even have to ask), and the CW and FOX fall schedules...

See you in a few days...

"Grey's Anatomy": "It's so over"

First of all, let me apologize to any of you "Grey's" fans who may have missed the end of last night's season finale. "TV Guide" said it ended at 10:07, but it didn't end until 10:15...

Warning: The remainder of this post contains details about last night's "Grey's Anatomy."

So, the woman Derek flirted with is Meredith's half-sister, and now she's an intern at the hospital. Of course she is...

Derek got offered the chief job, but he turned it down and convinced the chief to stay...

Callie became chief resident and she and George started trying to have a baby. But George failed his intern exams, and he appeared to choose quitting over starting over. You can't blame him, seeing how I would guess that Callie would be in charge of him if he did start over. And of course, Izzie threw a wrench into the whole thing by telling George she was in love with him...

Alex lost Rebecca/Ava to her husband...

But the biggest event of the night was Burke deciding he wouldn't force Christina to marry him. And then he left. Does this mean that Isaiah Washington is off the show, as many had been guessing for months? I have no idea...

When Meredith told the guests there would be no wedding she said, "You can go home now. It's over, it's so over" clearly referring to her and McDreamy more than the wedding itself...

So, any thoughts?...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The news "Veronica" fans have been dreading...

Let me interrupt your Thursday with the news all of you “Veronica Mars” fans have been dreading…

It looks like “Veronica” is truly dead.

But since I don’t want to be the messenger, let me give you the news from “TV Guide” reporter Michael Ausiello, who is blogging the CW presentation live. [The notes in brackets are mine.]:

OK, here it is in a nutshell, per Dawn Ostroff [CW Entertainment President]. Veronica Mars is dead. But, and there is a but, she says she's "talking to Rob and Kristen" [Thomas and Bell, the creator and star respectively] about doing something else. She's not calling it a spin-off, and wouldn't say whether it would feature the character of Veronica. Translation: I'm as confused as ever!

OK, a reporter just asked a VM follow-up — and Dawn continues to dodge. She says they're discussing "an idea," but adds, "I don't think it's going to happen."

The press conference is over. I tackle Dawn just as she tries to escape and I ask her to level with me. Is Veronica dead? "Veronica Mars is over, but we're talking about something else. I don't know if it's going to be anything. I'm being honest with you. It could come back in some form, but I don't know what form that would be." She confirmed that the deadline to make a decision is "somewhere around" the June 15 date I referred to previously. Long story short: mystery still not solved!

If it’s any consolation, Kristen Bell is the narrator of the new CW show, “Gossip Girl.”

I know there are a lot of “Veronica Mars” fans out there, so I am truly sorry for your loss…

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"Lost": The Set-Up

Tonight's "Lost" was all about setting up next week's two-hour season finale...

Warning: The remainder of this post contains details about tonight's "Lost."

They spent most of the hour trying to make us think that Charlie was going to die, which he didn't, but that's still a big possibility...

Next week is the big showdown with the Others, and hopefully, we'll find out what happened to Locke. I hate it when they leave that stuff hanging...

Thoughts?

CBS Gets Bold...

When you’re number one, you shouldn’t have to make too many changes, but CBS isn’t taking any chances, as they’re going a little more bold this season…

Here’s the breakdown…

Monday
8 PM—How I Met Your Mother
8:30 PM—The Big Bang Theory
9 PM—Two and a Half Men
9:30 PM Rules of Engagement
10 PM—CSI: Miami
“The Big Bang Theory,” created by Chuck Lorre (“Two and a Half Men”), is about brainy best friends and the sexy neighbor next door.

Tuesday
8 PM—NCIS
9 PM—The Unit
10 PM—Cane
“Cane” is a drama about the trials and tribulations of a large Cuban-American family starring Jimmy Smits, Hector Elizondo, and Nestor Carbonell.

Wednesday
8 PM—Kid Nation
9 PM—Criminal Minds
10 PM—CSI: NY
“Kid Nation” is a reality series in which 40 kids will have 40 days to build a new world in a ghost town that died in the 19th century.

Thursday
8 PM—Survivor
9 PM—CSI
10 PM—Without a Trace

Friday
8 PM—Ghost Whisperer
9 PM—Moonlight
10 PM—Numb3rs
“Moonlight” is a drama about a private investigator who’s also a vampire.

Saturday
8 PM—Crimetime Saturday (crime show reruns)
10 PM—48 Hours Mystery

Sunday
7 PM—60 Minutes
8 PM—Viva Laughlin
9 PM—Cold Case
10 PM—Shark
“Viva Laughlin,” executive produced by Hugh Jackman, is a mystery drama about a freewheeling businessman trying to run a casino. The show “occasionally [uses] upbeat contemporary songs to accentuate the drama and humor and advance the story.” It stars Lloyd Owen, Eric Winter (“Days of Our Lives”) and D.B. Woodside (“24”).

CBS picked up “Swingtown” for midseason. “Swingtown” explores swinging couples in the 1970s and stars Josh Hopkins (“Pepper Dennis,” “Brothers & Sisters”).

“The Amazing Race” and “The New Adventures of Old Christine” will also be back mid-season.

“Power of 10” will debut this summer. The reality series, hosted by Drew Carey, asks contestants to guess the behaviors and opinions of America by predicting the results of nationwide surveys.

Here’s my take…

Best Shot at a Hit: There’s just something about “Kid Nation” that I think will appeal to people. “Moonlight” has a good shot too, since it’s following the similarly spooky “Ghost Whisperer.”

Best Shot at a Miss: CBS has terrible luck in the Tuesdays at 10 p.m. slot and I don’t think that “Cane” is going to do anything to change that. A family drama really doesn’t go with “NCIS” and “The Unit.” And if you’re looking for the riskiest pickup, it’s got to be “Viva Laughlin,” but I’m holding out hope for that one.

Most Questionable Scheduling Move: The schedule is pretty solid, but if I have to pick one, I’d have to pick “Cane” for the above reasons.

Best Scheduling Move: When “Without a Trace” moved its season finale to Thursday, its old home, the results were outstanding. So, CBS is wisely putting it back where it belongs.

Biggest Disappointment: I guess I would have to say the cancellation of “Jericho,” even though I wasn’t a fan. I would’ve liked to have seen where the show was going next.

Tomorrow, it’s FOX’s turn…

ABC's Fall Schedule

I’m trying not to get too excited about any ABC’s shows, because I know just as soon as I do it will get pulled or shown out of order…

But I’m not bitter or anything…

Here’s the breakdown, even though there’s already talk about it changing…

Monday
8 PM—Dancing With the Stars
9:30 PM—Sam I Am
10 PM—The Bachelor
“Sam I Am” stars Christina Applegate as a woman with amnesia, who learns she wasn’t a very nice person.

Tuesday
8 PM—Cavemen
8:30 PM—Carpoolers
9 PM—Dancing With the Stars: The Results
10 PM—Boston Legal
“Cavemen,” according to the ABC press release, is a series that “looks at life through the eyes of the ultimate outsiders—three modern cavemen—as they struggle to find their place in the world.” “Carpoolers” is a comedy about four guys who share their lives on their commute starring Jerry O’Connell (“Crossing Jordan”) and Faith Ford (“Hope & Faith”).

Wednesday
8 PM—Pushing Daisies
9 PM—Private Practice
10 PM—Dirty Sexy Money
“Pushing Daisies,” which is getting A LOT of positive buzz, is about a man with the power to bring the dead back to life. “Private Practice” is the “Grey’s Anatomy” spin-off starring Kate Walsh and Tim Daly. ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson told reporters that “Practice” needs some work, after the “Grey’s” spin-off episode got bad reviews. “Dirty Sexy Money” is the story of a powerful family and their personal lawyer starring Peter Krause (“Six Feet Under”) and Donald Sutherland.

Thursday
8 PM—Ugly Betty
9 PM—Grey’s Anatomy
10 PM—Big Shots
“Big Shots” is about four male CEOs and how they support each other through “life’s surprising twists and turns.” It stars Michael Vartan (“Alias”), Dylan McDermott (“The Practice”), Christopher Titus (“Titus”) and Joshua Malina (“The West Wing”).

Friday
8 PM—Men In Trees
9 PM—Women’s Murder Club
10 PM—20/20
“Women’s Murder Club,” which is based on James Patterson’s novels, is about four women—a detective, a district attorney, a medical examiner, and a reporter—who pool their resources to solve cases. One of the women is played by Angie Harmon.

Saturday
8 PM—Saturday Night College Football

Sunday
7 PM—America’s Funniest Home Videos
8 PM—Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
9 PM—Desperate Housewives
10 PM—Brothers & Sisters

ABC also picked up “Cashmere Mafia,” “Eli Stone,” “Miss/Guided” and “Oprah’s Big Give.” “Mafia” is about four “ambitious and sexy women” balancing their careers and personal lives. It stars Lucy Liu and Bonnie Somerville (“NYPD Blue,” “Kitchen Confidential”). “Stone” is the story of a lawyer who starts to believe he’s a prophet starring Jonny Lee Miller and Victor Garber. “Miss/Guided” is about a woman who returns to her high school, where she was somewhat unpopular, as a guidance counselor. It stars Judy Greer (“13 Going On 30”) and Brooke Burns (“Pepper Dennis”). “Give” is an eight-episode reality series in which millions of dollars are given away to make a difference in people’s lives.

“Notes From the Underbelly” and “October Road” will return in mid-season.

Here’s my take on the schedule…

Best Shot at a Hit: “Pushing Daisies” is touchy-feely with a mystery component and it’s getting a lot of attention early. Plus, it’s in a timeslot without a lot of competition. The easy choice would have been “Private Practice,” but I’m not so sure about that one.

Best Shot at a Miss: Do I even have to say it? I think people will check out “Cavemen” out of curiosity, but when they see how stupid it is, they’ll tune out.

Most Questionable Scheduling Move: I think that ABC should have given “Men In Trees” another shot at the post-“Grey’s” timeslot.

Best Scheduling Move: Leaving Sunday intact.

Strangest Renewal: “Notes From the Underbelly” was not getting that good of ratings, so wouldn’t it have made more sense to bring back the critically acclaimed “The Knights of Prosperity”?

Biggest Disappointment: I still can’t believe that ABC went with “Cavemen.”

Next up, CBS…

Some good news from FOX...

You know that scene in “Major League” where Jake tells Rick and Willie how to react on cut day? He tells them that whatever happens, they should keep it in because they don’t want to celebrate in front of a guy “who just died and went down to the minors.”

I kind of feel like that’s what I’m doing here with all of the cancellations floating around, but I can’t help it. So my apologies to all of you who are fans of a show that has been cancelled…

FOX announced yesterday that it has ordered two more seasons of “24.”

I had already braced myself that next year would be the end, so this is an interesting—and welcome—development. Since this will no doubt be the final two seasons of the show, I applaud FOX for allowing it to go out gracefully AND not in the same year as “Lost,” because you know that’s all anyone will be talking about that year…

Yes, I’ve been a little hard on it this year, but it’s important to remember that even at its worst, “24” is still one of the best shows on TV…

CBS drops the bomb on "Jericho," while ABC steals all hope...

I’ve got a lot of catching up to do tonight with both ABC and CBS’ schedules on tap for you, but I wanted to give you the news you really want to hear—which of your favorites got the ax.

CBS cancelled “Jericho,” “Close to Home,” and “The Class.”

ABC destroyed the last shred of hope I had and cancelled “Knights of Prosperity” AND “In Case of Emergency.” “George Lopez” also got the ax, but ABC has until next month to work out something with “According to Jim.”

It’s interesting that in the case of “Jericho,” “Home” and “Knights”—and to a certain extent “Emergency”—the networks have no one to blame but themselves for their failures.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you already know my stand on “Knights”—the funniest new show of the season. ABC held off its premiere—even though it was one of the most critically acclaimed new shows—and then premiered it against a BCS bowl game and then forced it to take on “American Idol.” “Emergency” suffered from the same fate as “Knight”—though it was not critically acclaimed—and ABC showing the episodes out of order.

But does ABC really think that “Cavemen” is going to be better?!...
“Jericho” was forced to take a mid-season hiatus after being one of the few new shows with any buzz or ratings. When the show finally returned, everyone had moved on to “Idol” and forgot all about it.

For “Home,” it was probably a case of unnecessary retooling. Is it just a coincidence that the show’s ratings went down after they took out the home and family aspect of it and made it more of a straight procedural? I seriously doubt it…

I’ve already written about the “Jericho” finale, but I’ll have my thoughts on “Close to Home” after upfront madness is over…

My condolences to all of you who were fans of these shows…

Is "Veronica" Gone?

The bad news for “Veronica Mars” fans is that the show will not be on the schedule the CW announces tomorrow.

The small glimmer of hope is that this could be so creator Rob Thomas can write a script for the new concept of Veronica in the FBI. The CW has until June 15th to make a decision on the show.

However, I warn you that it is a very small glimmer, which is a significant turnaround from what I told you just a few days earlier. I'm guessing the CW was a little more confident in its development slate than what we thought...
We'll know more tomorrow...

"Dancing With the Stars": The Finals Are Set!

So even though I said I would stop watching “Dancing With the Stars” after Billy Ray got voted off, I did sit through last night’s results so I could see who made the finals.

This year, they’re going with three couples in the finals, and I don’t think it’s any surprise that it’s Laila and Maks, Joey and Kym, and Apolo and Julianne.

So who’s going to take it? Any thoughts?

Monday, May 14, 2007

"24" and "Heroes": "What's Gonna Happen Tomorrow"

As soon as the slightly scary previews of next week’s “24” finale were over, a song immediately popped into my mind…

“And nobody knows what’s gonna happen tomorrow…”

Warning: The remainder of this post contains details about tonight’s episodes of “24” and “Heroes.”

I spent the majority of “24” feeling sick to my stomach because I was sure the writers were going to do the unthinkable and reveal Josh as Jack’s son. Longtime “24” fans know that unless there was some sperm theft going on it’s mathematically impossible for Josh to be Jack’s kid unless he cheated on his wife more than the one time we know about and no one wants to hear that. But I’ve still got a really bad feeling that’s what we’re going to get…

Fortunately, my hero Peter MacNicol was around to make things a little better—okay, a lot better. MacNicol usually gets the best lines of the night (many ad-libbed) and tonight was no exception. I loved it when he said, “And we’re finally done” at the sight of Lisa and her boyfriend “finishing up.” Second place would go to Cheng telling Josh “Your grandfather is a visionary. You should be thrilled to have such an opportunity.” I don’t know what it was about that line that made me crack up, but it did…

Interestingly, I actually found myself missing Tom when he was not on the screen, even though we were getting lots of Jack. It was crazy. But then most of this season has been a little crazy…

Which takes me back to that song. It’s called “What Happens Tomorrow” and it’s by Duran Duran. The song continues, “We’ve got to believe it’ll be alright in the end.” I’ve got to believe that this season will be alright in the end and the sight of Bill Buchanan returning to action made me believe it for a split second until they showed what appeared to be Chloe lying on the floor (Hopefully, that’s just some diversion she’s planning for Jack and the previews are just teasing us.).

But that whole Josh thing is still hanging over my head. If the show does go there, I’m not sure I can get over it…

“We’ve got to believe it’ll be alright in the end…”

That same mantra applies for “Heroes” as well…

“And nobody knows what’s gonna happen tomorrow. We try not to show how frightened we are…”

But it’s hard not to be frightened—especially since so many of the heroes are dying. I was sure I would finally have to say goodbye to my guy HRG tonight, but instead it was Thompson (Yea!), D.L. and possibly Linderman that we said goodbye to, although I’m sure HRG is still in serious trouble.

We finally got to see how Micah fit into all of this and it showed just how long Linderman has been planning this thing. But I’ve still got some more questions…

What made Nikki suddenly take back over? Was she in control all along and she only let Jessica come to the forefront to do things that she couldn’t?...

If Linderman was able to heal Nathan’s wife then isn’t he capable of healing himself?

Who are these heroes who lost their way? Was Nathan and Peter’s father one of them?

And I’m going to keep asking this one until someone answers me. If Linderman had all of these plans for Nathan, why did he try to have him killed—twice?

In all honesty, I’m also a little concerned about where “Heroes” is going. There’s been such a huge buildup to this thing that I’m just worried the ending is going to disappoint.

“We’ve got to believe it’ll be alright in the end…”

NBC: Looking For Mass to Add to Class

While presenting to advertisers this morning, NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly said, “We’ve got the class and next season we’re ready to add some mass.” But will they?

Here’s a look at NBC’s schedule (with an assist from NBC’s official press release), with a reminder that it is subject to change (and probably will)…

Monday
8 PM—Deal or No Deal
9 PM—Heroes
10 PM—Journeyman
“Journeyman” is a romantic mystery-drama about a San Francisco newspaper reporter and family man who inexplicably begins to travel through time and change people’s lives, all the while dealing with the difficulties brought on by his sudden disappearances.

Tuesday
8 PM—The Biggest Loser
9 PM—Chuck
10 PM—Law & Order: SVU
“The Biggest Loser” will get a new host this season—Allison Sweeney (Sami, “Days of Our Lives”). “Chuck” is a one-hour comedic spy thriller from Josh Schwartz (“The O.C.”) and McG about a computer geek who is catapulted into a new career as a government secret agent.

Wednesday
8 PM—Deal or No Deal
9 PM—Bionic Woman
10 PM—Life
“Bionic Woman” is an update of the 70s show about a woman who is saved by cutting-edge top secret technology after a devastating car accident. “Life” is a drama about a detective who returns to the force after years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

Thursday
8 PM—My Name Is Earl
8:30 PM—30 Rock
9 PM—The Office
9:30 PM—Scrubs
10 PM—ER
NBC has ordered 30 half-hours of “The Office,” including five hour-long episodes, and 25 episodes of “My Name Is Earl.” Reilly said he will meet with “ER” Executive Producer John Wells in October to decide if this is the show’s last season.

Friday
8 PM—1 vs. 100/The Singing Bee
9 PM—Las Vegas
10 PM—Friday Night Lights
Fridays at 8 will be “Game Night” with a rotation of game shows starting with “1 vs. 100” for eight weeks, followed by six weeks of “The Singing Bee.” “Bee” is a variety-competition show that challenges contestants to accurately sing the lyrics to popular songs—even when the band stops playing. “Las Vegas” will return without James Caan and with Tom Selleck, although Caan will return for the season premiere.

Saturday
8 PM—Dateline NBC
9 PM—Drama Series Encores

Sunday
7 PM—Football Night In America
8 PM—Sunday Night Football

Sunday (January 2008)
7 PM—Dateline NBC
8 PM—Law & Order
9 PM—Medium
10 PM—Lipstick Jungle
“Lipstick Jungle” is a dramedy based on the best-selling novel by Candace Bushnell (“Sex and the City”) about three high-powered friends: an editor of a fashion magazine (Kim Raver), a movie exec (Brooke Shields), and a designer (Lindsay Price).

NBC also picked up “The IT Crowd,” a comedy that goes behind the scenes of an IT department; and “World Moves,” a dance talent competition from Executive Producer Randy Jackson.

There were other announcements as well as NBC announced the creation of “Heroes: Origins,” a six-episode series that will air in “Heroes” timeslot when it takes a hiatus. “Origins” will center on characters not yet seen on the original show. Viewers will be asked to pick their favorite character from “Origins,” who will then join the cast of “Heroes” the following year.

Jerry Seinfeld will return to NBC to create and star in 20 live-action comedy “minisodes” inspired by his experiences creating the upcoming animated feature film “Bee Movie.” The “minisodes” will air in the fall on NBC and NBC.com before and after the film’s release.

“Crossing Jordan,” “The Black Donnellys,” “Real Wedding Crashers,” “Raines,” “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” and “Andy Barker P.I.” were all cancelled. NBC has until June 1st to decide whether to renew “The Apprentice” (Donald Trump is already saying that another network is interested.).

Here’s my take on the schedule…

Best Shot at a Hit: My track record is not so good, considering I picked “Studio 60” last year, but I’ll go with “Chuck,” since I love Josh Schwartz. My original choice was “Lipstick Jungle,” but I’m afraid that ABC’s similar show may hurt it.

Best Shot at a Miss: NBC says that “Journeyman” tested through the roof, which makes me think that it’s going to be bad.

Most Questionable Scheduling Move: So you take a critically acclaimed family oriented show and put it Friday nights at 10? I appreciate the idea of putting “Friday Night Lights” on Friday, but 10 p.m. is too late. I think NBC is taking this whole unscripted hour at 8 thing a little too seriously.

Best Scheduling Move: Leaving Thursday nights intact.

Biggest Disappointments: This whole “Heroes: Origins” thing has got me thinking overkill. And holding out hope for “The Apprentice”? Are you kidding me?

Tuesday, it’s ABC’s turn…

CBS Looks to Go Edgier...

CBS announced today that it has picked up four new dramas and one comedy…

The dramas are “Swingtown,” starring Grant Show, about married couples in 1970s suburbia who explore couple-swapping and open marriages; “Cane,” starring Jimmy Smits, about a multi-generational Latin American family in the rum business; “Moonlight” starring Alex O’Laughlin as a private investigator who’s also a vampire; and “Viva Laughlin,” a musical drama about a family running a casino from Executive Producer Hugh Jackman.

The comedy is “The Big Bang Theory” about science geeks who befriend a party girl (Kaley Cuoco).

CBS will officially announce its schedule Wednesday…

MyNetworkTV gets help from Dr. Phil...

MyNetworkTV is turning to Dr. Phil this fall, as well as some familiar reality shows…

MyNet is continuing its shift from a telenovela format to a schedule of reality series, movies, ultimate fighting and specials.

“Divorce Wars” is based on a “Dr. Phil” segment in which unhappy couples are locked in a house for five days to resolve their differences. Dr. Phil will watch the couple and occasionally interject via intercom, but he will not be the host. “Divorce” will be produced by Oprah’s company, Harpo Productions.

MyNet is also bringing back the former NBC reality series “Meet My Folks” and FOX’s “Paradise Hotel.” “Hotel” will be a tamer version than the tawdry original.

Premiering in June is “The Academy,” which tracks a group of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department recruits.

This year, the network also plans six more celebrity driven specials produced by “Access Hollywood”…

Sunday, May 13, 2007

"Desperate Housewives": No More Drama?

What was that Susan said last week about no more drama?

Warning: The remainder of this post contains details from tonight’s “Desperate Housewives.”

Susan still had plenty of drama as she and Gaby fought over Gaby taking all of her wedding plans. But I have to admit I actually agreed with Susan on this one—except I can’t believe she was actually going to have the same wedding with a different guy…

More than that, I can’t believe that Mike just went along with it. What is up with him lately anyway? Is this really a guy who once killed someone?...

And Gaby’s comment about being with Susan if she were a lesbian? I think I heard men’s brains explode all over the country…

Speaking of exploding, the Lynette and Tom story finally came to a head. I still don’t like this story, but Doug Savant (Tom) is doing a great job with it. And I sort of understand the whole thing a little better now. Lynette was mad at Tom for talking to Rick because that ended their little thing that made her feel good about herself…

I said sort of…

Though I miss Bree, I like that they’ve added to Edie’s storyline. And I like that they haven’t completely forgotten her manipulative side. Although I think her latest scheme serves Carlos right after he did that birth control switch with Gaby…

Your thoughts?...

Pick of the Week: Seismic Sunday

Okay, so maybe seismic isn’t the right word; but I couldn’t think of anything for Sunday that’s as catchy as Manic Monday…

But Sunday, May 20th, is a big night as we get two big finales, a movie with one of my favorite stars, and a spoof of “24”…

“The Simpsons” is airing its 400th episode (and season finale); but before that milestone show (in which Kent Brockman gets fired for saying something inappropriate on the air), the 399th features the voices of Kiefer Sutherland and Mary Lynn Rajskub as their “24” counterparts Jack and Chloe. The back-to-back episodes of “The Simpsons” will air beginning at 8 p.m. on FOX...

“Desperate Housewives” promises us two weddings in its season finale, PLUS we get the return of Bree and Orson. “Desperate Housewives” airs at 9 p.m. on ABC…

The night wraps up with the season finale of “Blood Ties.” Tanya Huff, whose books “Blood Ties” is based on, promises that this will be a tearjerker. But since the show got renewed, I’ve got to believe that Vicky will survive her demon curse. “Blood Ties” airs at 10 p.m. on Lifetime…

Also on Sunday, is the premiere of the movie “The List,” a romantic comedy starring Wayne Brady as a guy looking for a woman with all of the traits on his list. “The List” airs at 8 p.m. on ABC Family with an encore at 10 p.m…

Sweeps Schedule: May 14th-May 20th

There is lots of sweepy goodness for everyone this week, so let’s break it down…

Monday, May 14th, CBS has wisely chosen to end its Monday shows a week early to avoid the “24”/“Heroes”/“Dancing With the Stars” free-for-all. The night kicks off with the season finale of “How I Met Your Mother” at 8, followed by the season finale of “Two and a Half Men” guest-starring Robert Wagner at 8:30. Then, “The King of Queens” says goodbye for good with a full hour at 9. Then it’s the season finale of “CSI: Miami” at 10…Kelsey Grammer directs the season finale of “Everybody Hates Chris” (8 p.m., CW) while “All Of Us” (8:30 p.m., CW) and “The Game” (9 p.m., CW) also serve up season finales…Lifetime has the original movie, “What If God Were the Sun?” starring Lacey Chabert and Gena Rowlands (9 p.m.)…

Tuesday, May 15th, “Gilmore Girls” says its final goodbye (8 p.m., CW)...CBS airs the Academy of Country Music Awards hosted by Reba McEntire (8 p.m., CW) and “American Idol” has its most crucial performance show of the season as the top three sing three songs (8 p.m., FOX)… "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" has guest stars Roy Scheider (in a rare TV appearance) and Rita Moreno (9 p.m., NBC)...“Driving Force” wraps up its second season (10 p.m., A&E)…

Wednesday, May 16th, CBS begins its salute to Bob Barker with “The Price Is Right Spectacular” (8 p.m.)…It’s the season finales of “Bones” (8 p.m., FOX), “America’s Next Top Model” (8 p.m., CW), “Criminal Minds” (9 p.m., CBS), “Thank God You’re Here” (8 p.m., NBC), “Medium” (10 p.m., NBC), “CSI: NY” (10 p.m., CBS) and “The Real World” (10 p.m., MTV). It’s likely the series finales for “According To Jim” (8 p.m., ABC) and “Crossing Jordan” (9 p.m., NBC)…And, “American Idol” tells us who will face off in the finale (9 p.m., FOX)…

Thursday, May 17th, the CBS salute to Bob Barker continues with “Bob Barker: A Celebration of 50 Years on Television” (8 p.m., NBC)…It’s season finale night for “Ugly Betty,” with guest star Kristin Chenoweth (8 p.m., ABC), “Grey’s Anatomy” (9-10:07 p.m., ABC), “Smallville” (8 p.m., CW), “Supernatural” (9 p.m., CW), “CSI” (9 p.m., CBS), “ER” (10 p.m., NBC) and hour-long finales of “The Office” (8 p.m., NBC) and “Scrubs” (9 p.m., NBC)…ABC gets ready for the finale of “Lost” with the recap special “Lost: The Answers” (10:07 p.m., ABC)…

Friday, May 18th, it’s the season finales of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (8 p.m., ABC), “Law & Order” with guest star Harry Hamlin (10 p.m., NBC), and “Numb3rs” with the return of Diane Farr (10 p.m., CBS)…CBS gives us “That’s the Way It Is: Celebrating Cronkite at 90” (8 p.m.), followed by “Dr. Phil: A Primetime Special” (9 p.m.)…ABC premieres “National Bingo Night” (9 p.m., ABC)…Larry David, the co-creator of “Seinfeld” and star of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” guest stars on “Hannah Montana” (8 p.m., Disney)…

Saturday, Sci Fi gives you a chance to catch up before the “Heroes” finale with a “Heroes” marathon beginning at 9 a.m…MADtv wraps up its season (11 p.m., FOX) with guest star Fred Willard and “Saturday Night Live” ends its season with Zach Braff and Maroon 5 (11: 30 p.m., NBC)…

Sunday, May 20th, it’s season finale night for “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (8 p.m., ABC), “Brothers and Sisters” (10 p.m., ABC), “King of the Hill” (7 p.m., FOX), “Family Guy” (9 p.m., FOX) and “American Dad” (9:30 p.m., FOX). CBS has the broadcast premiere of “Million Dollar Baby (8 p.m.)…For more of Sunday night’s finales and movies, be sure to read my Pick of the Week post…

It's Upfront Week!

This week is a big one for those of us who follow TV. It’s the week the networks make their fall schedule presentations, otherwise known as the upfronts.

And though we pretty much know by the time the presentation rolls around as to what shows will make the cut and what shows won’t, there’s always a few surprises that make things interesting and a few shows still hoping for that last-minute miracle…

NBC will kick things off on Monday, followed by ABC on Tuesday, CBS on Wednesday and CW and FOX on Thursday.

And, of course, I’ll be right here each day to give you a complete breakdown of the schedules

So, stay tuned…

ABC does the unthinkable...

ABC has done it. They have actually picked up “Cavemen,” the sitcom based on the GEICO commercials, even though some who have seen it say it’s terrible.

As I’ve said before, no one’s ever accused ABC of doing the right thing, and they didn’t this time—especially since it looks like they’ve cancelled “In Case of Emergency” to make room for it.

ABC has also renewed “Notes From the Underbelly” for a 13-episode season that will probably start next spring…

The good news is that “Knights of Prosperity” will reportedly return as well, with the unseen Ray Romano episodes serving as a new launching point for the show…

ABC has picked up seven new dramas: “Dirty Sexy Money,” starring Peter Krause and Donald Sutherland in a “Dynasty”-like soap; “Eli Stone” about a man who believes he may be a prophet; “Private Practice,” the “Grey’s Anatomy” spin-off starring Kate Walsh; “Pushing Daisies,” which is about a man who discovers he can resurrect the dead by touching them; “Big Shots,” which follows a group of male CEOs and stars Dylan McDermott, Michael Vartan, Christopher Titus and Joshua Molina; “Women’s Murder Club,” which is based on the James Patterson novels; and “Cashmere Mafia,” which stars Lucy Liu and follows thirty-something women in New York. If “Cashmere” sounds familiar, it should since it’s from “Sex and the City” guru Darren Star. In fact, “Sex and the City” author Candace Bushnell has accused Star of helping her develop NBC’s “Lipstick Jungle” and then selling it to ABC as “Cashmere”…

In addition to “Cavemen,” ABC has picked up the comedies, “Sam I Am,” starring Christina Applegate as an amnesiac and “Carpoolers,” which follows the lives of a group of men who carpool together.

ABC officially announces its schedule Tuesday…

"Death" Lives On...

FOX has renewed “’Til Death” and will likely pair the show with a comedy starring one of Brad Garrett’s former “Everybody Loves Raymond” co-stars, Patricia Heaton (Debra).

That comedy would be “Back To You,” starring Heaton and Kelsey Grammer as a reunited TV news anchor team. FOX won the heated bidding war for this one, which is this season’s sure thing (It’s important to note, though, that “Studio 60” was last season’s.)…

FOX has also picked up “Canterbury’s Law,” a legal drama starring Julianna Marguiles; “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” starring Lena Heady in the Linda Hamilton “Terminator” role; “K-Ville,” a post-Katrina New Orleans cop drama; and “New Amsterdam” about an immortal homicide detective.

In the comedy department, besides “Back To You,” FOX has picked up “The Return of Jezebel James” starring Parker Posey and created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, the creator of “Gilmore Girls;” and “The Rules of Starting Over” produced by the Farrelly brothers.

FOX will officially announce its schedule Thursday…

Good news for "Veronica Mars" fans?

Will “Veronica Mars” be saved? It depends on who you ask…

“USA Today” and the “Los Angeles Times” both said the show was dead. “Entertainment Weekly” has called it a longshot. But series creator Rob Thomas is not so sure…

Thomas told “Variety,” “Reports of our demise have been exaggerated. We are very much in the hunt for a shot next year.”

However, if “Veronica” does return next year it will likely be a different show as it will fast-forward a few years, putting Veronica in the FBI. CW President Dawn Ostroff reportedly liked the new concept.

The CW will officially announce its schedule Thursday…

NBC Saves "Law & Order," "Lights" and "Scrubs"

NBC has renewed “Law & Order” for an 18th season. “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” will move to USA for new episodes, with encore plays on NBC. USA is part of the NBC Universal family…

This comes on the heels of NBC’s renewals of critical favorite “Friday Night Lights” and a final season of “Scrubs.”

NBC has cancelled “Studio 60” (which is scheduled to air its final episodes beginning May 24th) and “The Black Donnellys.” Also on the chopping block is “Crossing Jordan,” which had appeared poised for survival…

NBC has also announced the pickups of five new dramas for fall: “Bionic Woman,” a 21st-century remake of the 1970s series starring Michelle Ryan and Katee Sackhoff (“Battlestar Galactica”); “Journeyman,” about a happily married journalist who begins to travel through time; “Chuck,” the show created by Josh Schwartz (“The O.C.”) and executive produced by McG about a reluctant government agent; “Life,” a drama about a cop who returns to his job after being wrongly imprisoned for murder; and “Lipstick Jungle,” based on the Candace Bushnell (“Sex and the City”) book by the same name and starring Brooke Shields and Kim Raver.

NBC will announce its official schedule Monday…

NBC Makes a Choice...

NBC has made a decision regarding its new weekend anchor, and no surprise they’ve chosen Lester Holt.

Holt will continue to co-host “Weekend Today,” making Saturday and Sunday very long days for him.

I guess NBC was serious about cutting costs…

All cynicism aside, Holt was the best choice. Personally, I think CBS should have given him a look instead of Katie Couric and I have always felt that he should be the principal substitute anchor…

Billy Ray and Karina Will Dance On...

When Billy Ray and Karina were voted off “Dancing With the Stars” Tuesday night, it marked the end of their run in the competition. But it did not mark the end of them working together.

Karina has filmed an episode of “Hannah Montana.” She has one scene with Billy Ray in which she tells his character, Robby Ray, that he will be suffering and his knees will be hurting.

Billy Ray also told “Entertainment Weekly” that he plans to have Karina dance in the video for his cover of “Brown-Eyed Girl,” which will be on his new CD. Billy Ray said his dream would be to incorporate dancing into some of his concerts—Karina dancing, not him.

However, Karina may be too busy as she’s paired with a new Russian partner in her professional career. Karina is a five-time U.S. champion and is ranked second in the world…

Also on Billy Ray’s CD (which Amazon is calling “Father’s Day”) will be a cover of “Over The Rainbow,” which Billy Ray says was inspired by the Eva Cassidy version, a cover of “You’ve Got a Friend” and a cover of “Put a Little Love In Your Heart.” He wrote the rest of the CD.

Billy Ray said he planned for his last album to be his last since it was a joke. “But I’ve never tried anything classy, and I started thinking about Eva Cassidy and other songs and artists that inspired me, and I said, ‘We’ll make one more album.’ So then Disney laid a contract on me, they seemed pretty serious about integrity, and here we are…

The CD will hit stores August 28th…

Friday, May 11, 2007

"Grey's Anatomy": Going It Alone

Warning: This post contains details about last night's "Grey's Anatomy."

So after distancing himself from her, McDreamy decides to be there for Meredith after the death of her stepmother, but she says she has to do it alone. So, of course, McDreamy finds himself flirting with another woman, but he doesn't do anything...YET...

Izzie shoves George away, even though she doesn't mean it. Wasn't this the same girl who not too long ago was lying on the bathroom floor because she was so devastated by losing the love of her life? She moves on quickly, don't you think?...

And Christina did some more dancing around the wedding. Next week's the finale. Will she go through with it?...

Thoughts?...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Moments Like This Are Why We Love NASCAR...

Sunday night on WLWT’s “Sports Rock,” The guy who calls himself the Box (whose real name escapes me at the moment) said that the reason NASCAR is so popular is because you don’t need an IQ to follow it.

To many, NASCAR fans are just dumb rednecks watching cars drive fast and turn left, waiting for the next crash.

No, my friends, the reason we fans love NASCAR is for moments like the historic one that happened this morning in a garage in North Carolina…

And yes, I know I’m not the NASCAR blogger, but since this story is bound to be all over your TV screens for the next several days, I hope you’ll forgive me…

As you’ve no doubt heard by now, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is leaving DEI (That’s Dale Earnhardt, Inc. for the non-NASCAR fan.) at the end of this season. This, ladies and gentlemen, is HUGE. Personally, I think it’s very sad that Teresa Earnhardt couldn’t give her stepson what he wanted—a majority stake in the company. I believe that’s what Dale Sr. would’ve wanted and now what has she got? You think she’s got Budweiser, or Wrangler, or any of the zillion companies Jr. gets money from on board with her? No way…

Which leads to a very interesting situation. Dale Jr. is the face of NASCAR and its most beloved driver, which means there will be a lot of people giving him a look. However, Jr. said in his press conference this morning that he wants to stick with Chevrolet and he wants to go to an established winning team instead of trying to make it with his own team (although he would go that route if he needed to). In my opinion, that leaves only two possible candidates: Hendrick Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing…

There’s been a lot of love between Jr. and Hendrick in the last few weeks. Jr. drove Kyle Busch’s car a few races back and Jr. has been extremely friendly with Jeff Gordon (much to the chagrin of the Jr. faithful). And how tempting would an offer from this year’s dominant team be—especially a team that has been so dominant with the Car of Tomorrow, which will probably be raced full-time next year?

Very tempting, indeed…Although can you imagine the reaction of the Jr. faithful to him being on the same team as Jeff Gordon? Who would they throw stuff at then?...

But how tempting would it be to drive for Richard Childress, the team where his father became a legend. Because the car owners own the car numbers, Jr. will no doubt lose the #8, but with Richard Childress he could drive the #3—his father’s number. How cool would that be?

Years from now I believe that we’ll look back at today as a key moment in the history of NASCAR—especially when Junior wins a championship with someone else and DEI becomes a shell of what it once was…

Yes, it’s moments like this that make us love NASCAR. But with this story, there are many more moments to come…

Stay tuned…

Note: To get the latest on this and all NASCAR news, visit the At the Track blog by clicking on the link on the right.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

"Lost": Holy Crap!--UPDATED

So I looked down for just a split second and ended up missing the biggest moment of “Lost” this season…

They really mean it when they say you can’t miss a second…

Warning: The remainder of this post contains details about tonight’s episode of “Lost.”

Did “Lost” actually kill Locke? Granted, he’s started to outlive his usefulness, but I was under the impression that he and Jack would have a throwdown before they got rid of him. I REALLY didn’t see this one coming…

I have NO idea what’s going on with this Jacob stuff, but the whole thing was kind of cool. It was great to see Jon Gries (Broots from “The Pretender”) as Ben’s dad, but did we have to watch him die?

And just how old is Nestor Carbonell’s character supposed to be anyway? Or maybe I should ask how old Ben is supposed to be. Obviously younger than I thought…

I’ll stop babbling now for your thoughts…
UPDATE: I usually don't read all of the theories on all of the message boards about what every single frame means, but I couldn't help myself this time. The prevailing theory is that Jacob is Locke. A Locke from another timeline, perhaps...

Judge for yourself. Thanks to the "Lost" Easter Eggs blog for this picture...


"Jericho" serves up a doozy...

So even though I hadn’t seen an episode of “Jericho” since the season premiere, I managed to correctly predict who died…

Warning: The remainder of this post contains details about last night’s episode of “Jericho.”

But even though I knew who it was going to be, it didn’t lessen the emotional impact of the scenes as Jake was forced to deal with his father’s death. Gerald McRaney’s death speech was beautifully done.

And how about that cliffhanger as Jericho and New Bern prepared to go to war with the new government preparing to intervene and round up Hawkins? Talk about a doozy…

I’m really rooting for this one to get renewed, if only to get Daniel Benzali back on primetime TV…

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Billy Ray says goodbye...

When Tom announced Ian and Cheryl as safe, Billy Ray’s fate was sealed.

But the show sure did its best to make it interesting as Joey and Kym joined Billy Ray and Karina in the bottom two.

Of course, Samantha was so busy trying to make it dramatic that the stars were unsure if she had just announced Apolo and Julianne as safe or in the bottom two. And the look of shock on Cheryl’s face was a classic.

Face it, Cheryl. It’s YOUR fans that are keeping Ian in this thing...

But back to Billy Ray, who was so expecting his departure that he told Samantha during the first interview that he was already getting ready for his appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel.” He and Karina even bopped their way through the elimination music…

But Billy Ray left with as much charm and charisma as he came in with. He deserved to go, but I will miss him.

I will have much more on Billy Ray and “Dancing With the Stars” later this week…

The latest renewals...

Here’s today’s renewal news…

FX renewed both “Dirt” and “The Riches” for second seasons…

FOX’s “Talkshow with Spike Feresten” will return, but negotiations are still ongoing for another season of “Mad TV”…

Though it appeared to be headed toward a conclusion, “Blood Ties” will be back on Lifetime for a second 10-episode season this fall (Yea!)…

The CW is now casting a second season of “The Search for the Next Pussycat Doll.” This time the show will form an entirely new group “inspired” by the Pussycat Dolls…

Sometimes this show makes me feel stupid...

Most of the time, I usually keep up with all of the "Heroes" action. But then sometimes I'll be reading someone else's blog and I'll feel like an idiot for not catching a major point.

This morning was one of those times...

Warning: The remainder of this post contains details about last night's "Heroes."

Though I was pretty sure that Molly, the young girl with the ability to track the heroes was the girl Matt saved early in the season, I missed another key point. Matt, HRG and Ted went to New York to destroy The Company's tracking system--the Walker system. Walker is Molly's last name, which means Molly is the system they went to New York to destroy...

Somehow I don't think Matt's going to let that happen...

Manic Monday: I don't know what to say...

As I watch the shows I blog about like “24” and “Heroes,” I look for central themes or major moments that I can focus my writing around.

But on this Manic Monday, the only central theme I could come up with is “I have no idea what to say”…

Warning: The remainder of this post (and a picture) contains details about last night’s episodes of “24,” “Heroes” and “CSI: Miami.”

Last week, I finally admitted that “24” was in trouble. And then two executive producers admitted that this season had been a disappointment. Coincidence? Of course, but obviously I’d like to think my admission caused them to make theirs…

So this week, the promos promised us “the episode we’ve been waiting for.” You know a season is bad when the promo department resorts to lying, because I’m still waiting for that episode…

Yes, we got Jack shooting it out with the bad guys—which was cool—but then he made one of his blunders that he usually makes in the beginning of the season. Jack, always stop the fan with the empty gun. You’ll need the one with ammo in it to shoot the bad guys.

And how can you not love Peter MacNicol who is becoming my hero with each and every week. Tom’s lack of patience with Lisa as she began to have second thoughts about helping spread false information to the Russian spy was classic. And hey. At least he got a show out of it…

But where was the dramatic reveal of Jack’s father working with Cheng? In the old days, the show would have never put James Cromwell’s name in the credits. And we would have heard his voice before they showed his face. But these days it seems like everyone’s just in a hurry to get this season over with.

Even the classic “24” main character death got a rush job as we barely had the chance to process Milo moving to the head of the possible death list before he was killed. And regardless of what the writers say, I can’t think of any other reason for his death than shock value…

But if it gives us one less annoying person at CTU to worry about, I’m okay with it.

As for ending the season with the return of one of the worst storylines in show history?

I have no idea what to say…

Usually I have plenty to say about “Heroes,” but not this time. I know we’re setting up something big here, but after last week’s amazing episode, this one was a disappointment…and a little confusing…

Again, I have to ask, why did Linderman try to kill Nathan if he needed him to be the person to lead the country after the explosion? Remember that it was Linderman’s goons that caused the accident that crippled Nathan’s wife. Was that just to keep him in line? And now Nathan’s mom is suddenly in this up to her neck?

And how many of you think that when Molly gets her powers back she’ll be able to tell Mohinder where his supposedly dead sister is?

But for me, the moment that most sticks out from this episode was Sylar sitting on the floor using his mother’s blood to paint a picture of the explosion…

I truly didn’t know what to say…

Since I sped through “Heroes,” I got to see the last 10 minutes of “CSI: Miami.” It looked as if Ryan (who is looking seriously hot with that spiky hair) was going to get his job back, but instead, Horatio gave Ryan one of his cryptic lines, put on his sunglasses, and walked away…

And once again, I had no idea what to say…

Still managed to find something to write, though, didn’t I? Maybe I had more to say than I thought...

Monday, May 07, 2007

Was Tonight Billy Ray's Last Dance?

So was tonight Billy Ray’s swan song?

I sincerely believe that it was--unless his fans rally against Bruno calling his dance "crap"...

He gave it a lot more of an effort tonight, but there’s no question that he needs to go. If he does not, and Ian and Cheryl are eliminated first, Billy Ray will officially become the Sanjaya of “Dancing With the Stars”…

I just wish he could have gotten that 8 he so desperately wanted…

UPDATE: Remember the person in my office who was going to stop voting for Billy Ray? That was her plan, until Bruno dared say Billy Ray was "crap." So she once again voted the maximum 24 times. I have a feeling she wasn't alone, although she said she had less trouble getting through than on previous weeks...

It's possible that Billy Ray's comeback ("the pot calling the kettle black") could end up hurting him. Or it's possible that his fans will rally and two-time champ Cheryl could find herself out of the competition Tuesday. She'll definitely find herself in the bottom two...

But it won't be her fault. Did they actually make her do a Latin dance to "Imagine"?

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An "NCIS" standoff is defused...

There was a battle brewing behind the scenes that may have destroyed “NCIS” as we know it.

Fortunately, that didn’t happen…

Donald Bellisario, the show’s executive producer and creator has stepped down as showrunner after a tense standoff between himself and “NCIS” star Mark Harmon.

According to “TV Guide,” Harmon became frustrated with Bellisario’s “chaotic management style” which included faxing script pages to the set at the last minute.

Bellisario has been replaced by Chas. Floyd Johnson and headwriter Shane Brennan, so fans should not see any changes.

But I think fans would agree that even a few minor changes would be better than losing Mark Harmon. And obviously CBS agrees as well…

“NCIS” airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS…

"Dancing" in a city near you...

This Summer, “Dancing With the Stars” will once again hit the road.

The “Stars” tour begins June 20th and ends July 24th. Tickets go on sale Saturday.

Participants include Joey Lawrence (Season 3) and Edyta Sliwinska, Joey McIntyre (Season 1) and Julianne Hough, Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke (Season 2’s winners), Alec Mazo, and Louis Van Amstel.

The only announced participants from this season are Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson. Does that mean they’re the favorites to win?...

Pilot Watch: Will "Cavemen" See the Light of Day?

One of the dumbest ideas for a comedy pilot I have ever heard is ABC’s “Cavemen,” which is based on the GEICO cavemen ads.

And those who have seen it say the pilot is as dumb as the idea. I sincerely hope that ABC isn’t dumb enough to give this one a pickup. I still can’t believe they greenlighted a pilot…

By the way, the pilot features only a cameo by John Lehr, who plays the main caveman in the GEICO ads. He was unable to do the pilot because of his commitment to “10 Items or Less,” the TBS comedy he stars in and executive produces.

Lehr is the actor who played Jesse’s brother in the Christina Applegate comedy “Jesse.” “Friends” fans will recognize him as Eric, the guy who was supposed to be Chandler’s roommate instead of Joey…

"Medium" Sees Another Season on NBC

NBC announced today that it’s renewing “Medium” for a fourth season.

There was some speculation that if NBC did not renew the Patricia Arquette series that CBS might pick it up.

“Medium” has struggled this year against ABC’s “Lost” and CBS’s “CSI: NY”…

NBC will announce the rest of its pickups next week during its upfront presentation…

ABC To Announce Future Of "Lost" Today

How was that for an attention grabbing headline?

Take a deep breath, “Lost” fans. What I’m about to tell you is actually good news…

ABC is expected to announce today that “Lost” will end in 2010 after three more shortened 16-episode seasons. The episodes will air repeat-free from February to May (a la “24”).

Executive Producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof have signed new contracts that will keep them on the show for the duration.

Why is this good news? Because it means that Cuse and Lindelof now have an endpoint from which to map out the show and presumably provide all of the answers. And running the episodes from February to May without interruption is really the only way to do a serial show…

If there’s a downside it’s that Cuse and Lindelof now have 48 more episodes to stretch this thing out…

Lindelof promises “USA Today” that the “answer-filled” season finale will begin to give the audience an idea of where the show is headed “and it will not be at all what they expect.”

“The last five minutes of the finale are going to seal our fate.” Hmmm…

The two-hour “Lost” season finale airs May 23rd at 9 p.m. on ABC…
Photo courtesy of Gannett News Service

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"Desperate Housewives": No More Drama?

Warning: This post contains details about last night’s episode of “Desperate Housewives.”

“You’re a drama junkie,” Toni the guide told Susan. “When there is no drama, you create it.”

Wow! Have there ever been truer words spoken on this show? I thought the whole Susan chasing after Mike thing was going to be stupid, so imagine my surprise when it was used to sum up all of the thoughts we had all been thinking all season long…

“I would’ve waited for him,” Toni told Susan when Susan shared her dilemma about Mike in the coma. I would have too, Toni. I would have too.

The only disappointment with this story was the ending. Yes, we got a nice romantic reunion, as Mike picked Susan up and planted a nice big one on her. But after almost an entire season of waiting for these two to get back together, a longer scene would have been nice.

Wait, I forgot. With Susan, it’s no more drama…

But with Lynette, it’s plenty of drama—drama that doesn’t always make sense. I loved Tom’s “conversation” with Rick, but the rest of it? Was that just so Felicity Huffman could show us how well she can cry? I just didn’t get it…

And speaking of not getting things, it looks like I was wrong about Edie faking a pregnancy to keep Carlos. She tried more drastic measures—like trying to get joint custody of her kid (How great was it to see Greg Evigan again?). Fortunately, Carlos put a stop to it, but did he mean what he said? You know he’s still hung up on Gabrielle…

And speaking of Gabrielle, you just knew there would be something up with Victor. But what kind of town is Fairview anyway that you have to use mob tactics to be the mayor? Couldn’t he have just fired that guy? And clearly Victor is not the shrewdest of politicians since he let Gabrielle sport that bruise in front of everyone at the party. I would’ve bought her a big bracelet to cover it up before people started thinking I had given it to her…

But maybe that’s just because I’m a drama junkie myself…

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Pick of the Week: The Walls Will Tumble...

I almost went with “Traveler” as this week’s Pick, but since I’ve been burned by ABC WAY too many times this year, I decided to go with something a little safer…

This week’s Pick of the Week is the season finale of “Jericho.”

I haven’t seen a single episode of “Jericho” since the outstanding premiere, but everything I’ve read says this one will absolutely be worth watching—especially since a main character won’t last the hour…
“Jericho” airs Wednesday, May 9th at 8 p.m. on CBS…

Photos courtesy of Gannett News Service

Sweeps Schedule: May 7th-May 13th

Here is a taste of the sweeps magic you’ll get May 7th through May 13th…

Monday, May 7th, it’s Marshall and Lily’s wedding day on “How I Met Your Mother” (8 p.m., CBS), while Blair Underwood returns to “The New Adventures of Old Christine” for the season finale (8:30 p.m., CBS)...“Girlfriends” wraps up its season (9 p.m., CW) and Enrique Iglesias guests on “Two and a Half Men” (9 p.m., CBS)…

Tuesday, May 8th, “George Lopez” wraps up the season and possibly the series (8 p.m., ABC)…“The Unit” also wraps up its season (9 p.m., CBS), as does “Tori & Dean: Inn Love” (10:30 p.m., Oxygen)…Piper Perabo guests on “House” (9 p.m., FOX), Paul Rudd guests on “Veronica Mars” (9 p.m., CW), and Bernadette Peters guests on “Boston Legal” (10 p.m., ABC)…Kristy Swanson guests as an Anna Nicole-like character on “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (9 p.m., NBC)…

Wednesday, May 9th, “Bones” does a tie-in with MySpace where viewers can learn about the suspects online (8 p.m., FOX)…“One Tree Hill” goes to the prom in the real-life town of Honey Grove, Texas, which won a contest to host the show’s prom (9 p.m., CW)…Neve Campbell, Jason Priestley and Howie Mandel guest star on “Medium” (10 p.m., NBC), while John McEnroe plays himself on “CSI: NY,” as he’s suspected of murder (10 p.m., CBS)…“Lost” gives us the flashback we’ve been waiting for—the story of Ben (10 p.m., ABC)…

Thursday, May 10th, NBC supersizes its Thursday schedule once again, beginning with the season finale of “My Name Is Earl” (8 p.m.)…“Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” does a special two-hour episode (8 p.m., FOX)…“Supernatural” begins its two-part season finale (9 p.m., CW)…Melinda Clarke returns to “CSI” as Lady Heather (9 p.m., CBS)… “Without a Trace” moves to its old night for its season finale (10 p.m., CBS)…Stanley Tucci begins an arc as the new chief on “ER” (10 p.m., NBC)…ABC debuts “Traveler,” an action-adventure about friends who become fugitives after they’re set up by their friend, Will Traveler (10:01 p.m., ABC)…

Friday, May 11th, “Today” kicks off its Summer Concert Series with Martina McBride, Josh Turner and Gretchen Wilson…“Ghost Whisperer” wraps up its second season (8 p.m., CBS), as does “Close to Home” with guest star Jonathan Silverman (9 p.m., CBS)…

Saturday, May 12th, “Saturday Night Live” serves up its first new episode of sweeps with host Molly Shannon and musical guest Linkin Park…

Sunday, May 13th, “7th Heaven” says goodbye—for real this time (8 p.m., CW)… “Survivor: Fiji” wraps up its season with a two-hour episode, followed by the hour-long cast reunion (8 p.m., CBS)…

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Which shows do fans want saved?

A few weeks ago, I told you about the “USA Today” annual Save Our Shows survey.

So which shows do “USA Today” readers want to save? Out of 63,000 online votes, 56% said “Law & Order” should be saved, followed by “Scrubs,” “Friday Night Lights” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”—all NBC shows.

Here’s the entire list…

“Law & Order”—56%
“Scrubs”—50%
“Friday Night Lights”—49%
“Law & Order: Criminal Intent”—47%
“The New Adventures of Old Christine”—38%
“The Unit”—37%
“Crossing Jordan”—33%
“Medium”—33%
“Jericho”—33%
“Ghost Whisperer”—30%
“Gilmore Girls”—28%
“Supernatural”—26%
“The Class”—22%
“According to Jim”—20%
“October Road”—19%
“What About Brian”—17%
“George Lopez”—13%
“The War At Home”—12%
“Knights of Prosperity”—9%
“In Case of Emergency”—6%

I seriously doubt that the networks give this poll any credence, but it’s interesting to see which shows have support. “USA Today” did not include “Veronica Mars,” because they believed it to already be a goner (but I’m not as sure)…

So what is the prognosis for some of these shows? Both “Law & Order” shows are in danger, with “Criminal Intent” being in the most trouble. “Friday Night Lights” is expected to return and if “Scrubs” is cancelled by NBC, ABC is expected to pick it up. Recent reports say that “Crossing Jordan” will survive, which is probably bad news for “Law & Order” and “Medium,” which has a slim chance of a CBS pickup. “Gilmore Girls” will not return and I would bet against “According to Jim,” “George Lopez,” “The Class,” and “What About Brian.” Michael Rappaport has been cast in another FOX pilot, so I would also bet against “The War at Home.”

We’ll find out officially next week when the networks announce their schedules during the upfront presentations. And, of course, I’ll be here to keep it all straight for you…

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Congrats--again--to my guy Cris...

Congratulations to my guy Cris Collinsworth for winning two--yes, two--Sports Emmys Monday night.

Cris won for Outstanding Sports Analyst-Studio Analyst for his work on NBC and HBO and Outstanding Sports Personality-Sports Event Analyst for his work on the NFL Network.

Keith Olbermann would do well to remember that when he starts trying to take over "Football Night in America."

NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol should really take note as well...

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"Barbaro" Doc Set for Saturday Night...

"Barbaro: A Nation's Horse," the acclaimed documentary about Barbaro and the nation's support of him, will air Saturday, May 5th at 8 p.m. on NBC.

The doc was scheduled to air Sunday afternoon, but did not after NHL coverage ran long.

"Grey's Anatomy": A Spin-Off Is Launched...

Warning: This post contains details about last night's "Grey's Anatomy."

So, Meredith experiences ANOTHER tragedy (Could we give her a break, please?), Christina finds a dress (whether she wanted to or not) and the spin-off got its official launch (although ABC has made no official announcement about whether it wil fly).

Thoughts?...

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

The "Girls" Say Goodbye...

The CW announced today that they are cancelling "Gilmore Girls." The series finale will air May 15th...

"TV Guide" reports that Warner Brothers made one final offer to Lauren Graham and Alexis Biedel for substantial raises for a shortened 13-episode season, but the offer was rejected.


"TV Guide" also reports that the announcement was met with surprise by the rest of the cast and the crew because they thought the shortened season was "in the bag."

This will no doubt affect whether the CW renews "Veronica Mars," since they now have an extra hole in the schedule...

"High School Musical" Week...

It’s a great week for all of you “High School Musical” fans out there…

“Another Side,” the debut CD from “HSM” star Corbin Bleu hit stores this week. It’s full of cute poppy songs that fans will like, but in my opinion, none of them have the zip of Bleu’s “HSM” co-star Ashley Tisdale’s “Be Good to Me” (which is my favorite song on the radio these days). The ballad “Still There for Me,” a duet with another “HSM” co-star, Vanessa Hudgens, is the standout. You can listen to it through Sunday at http://music.aol.com/songs/new_releases_full_cds.adp?defaultTab=1...

Also new to CD shelves this week is “High School Musical: The Concert,” which features highlights from last year’s tour starring Bleu, Tisdale, Monique Coleman, Lucas Grabeel, Hudgens and Drew Seeley (filling in for Zac Efron). The concert DVD will hit stores June 26th…

Friday at 9 p.m., Disney Channel will show us an hour of highlights from “High School Musical: The Concert”…

And, don’t forget that you can find out all the latest details about the Huntington version of “High School Musical” on the Tri-State Theater blog by clicking on the link on the right…

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"Lost": Making Connections...

Warning: This post contains details about last night's episode of "Lost."

So, Locke and Sawyer are connected and Jack and Juliet appear to be up to something...

Your thoughts?...

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Billy Ray Survives--Whether He Wanted To Or Not...

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a reality competitor be so disappointed about staying in the competition. Maybe he was faking it, but I really think Billy Ray Cyrus was disappointed that he didn’t get sent home…

Don’t worry, Billy Ray. Your time is coming soon. Unless a certain person in my office votes for you another 24 times next week…

Your thoughts?...

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"Heroes": Brilliant!

I don’t even know where to start with last night’s episode of “Heroes”…

There were twists and turns, main character deaths, great special effects, major throwdowns and even some answers…

It was, in my opinion, the most inventive hour of TV all year. But I have a feeling we haven’t seen anything yet…

Warning: The remainder of this post contains details about last night’s episode of “Heroes.”

So, let’s start with the answers, as we finally learned how saving the cheerleader will save the world—or at least, how Future Hiro thinks it will. Future Hiro believed that Sylar was responsible for the explosion, but he couldn’t stop Sylar because he killed Claire and absorbed her indestructibility. So, Future Hiro figured that if Claire was saved then Sylar wasn’t indestructible, Hiro could kill him and New York would be saved…

However, we know that theory is completely flawed. Claire was alive and the explosion still happened, because it wasn’t Sylar who caused it. That was a cover story Nathan created to protect the real culprit—his brother, Peter. But saving the cheerleader may still help stop Sylar, which as we saw would not save the world, but would still save thousands of lives…

It was interesting to see Matt in a completely different light last night. Matt had always felt inferior as a beat cop, so it made sense that he would relish the opportunity to be a Homeland Security bigwig—even if it meant betraying his own kind. But I have to say watching him kill HRG was not cool. I had to remind myself that this future could still be changed…

I loved watching Peter with full control of his powers. The whole “Matrix” thing he had going for him was pretty cool and I loved watching him and Future Hiro fight the bad guys. And Peter and Nikki? That was pretty crazy…

But the wildest twist last night was the truth about Nathan. I was wondering for the entire hour what happened to him that made him so cold. I was wondering how Linderman was able to twist him so badly. And when he started telling Claire all about gathering power, I got even more confused. Why was he talking so strangely—both in his manner of speech and in what he was saying? When he mentioned Candice, I rewound the tape to try and catch why he would need her to become President. And then, it dawned on me, just before it dawned on Claire. Nathan was actually Sylar.

It was absolutely brilliant…

Adrian Pasdar’s Sylar impersonation sold it as all of the clues were there, if we had just looked for them. It was hard to watch as the blood started running down Claire’s face…

And even though I knew that this episode was five years in the future, it was hard to watch (Future) Hiro die. I’m guessing the paper Future Hiro handed Ando will tell Ando how to save his own life, a la Marty and Doc in “Back to the Future.”

So now we’re back to the present and as the commercial says, “It’s time to save the world.” But I have a bad feeling that saving the world is not going to mean a happy ending for everyone…

Stay tuned…

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"24": The truth hurts...

If there was a theme to last night’s “24,” it was this…

The truth hurts.

Warning: The remainder of this post contains details about last night's episode of "24."

Just ask Vice President Daniels, who had to face the fact that Lisa was sleeping with another man. I was a little surprised that such a proud man would spill his personal secrets so quickly, but the show was trying to make him a more likeable guy—trying being the operative word. If they succeeded at all it was because of the brilliance of Peter MacNicol (Tom) reacting to the news (The chewing on his folder was classic!)…

And what about Lisa, who had to face the fact that she had been tricked into committing treason. But I think I’d rather take on a firing squad than a scorned Noah Daniels…

Chloe and Morris had to face the truth that their relationship is over, but I think that was more painful for us than them. Chloe sobbing like a baby? Do the writers even watch this show?...

Then there was Nadia, who became the latest in a long line of CTU officials who finally saw the light (i.e. realized Jack is always right). But it took the one-two punch of Doyle and Milo to do it. Doyle, who had already seen the light when he allowed Cheng to escape with the component, decided to help Jack protect Audrey from the psychiatrist (J.C. McKenzie, yet another illustrious “Murder One” alum). And then Milo delivered the crushing blow by telling Nadia that if she’d just let Jack talk to Audrey she could have avoided the entire mess she had created…

But what about Audrey? I was starting to get the feeling that this was another case of wasting a familiar character just for the sake of bringing them back (the Logans, anyone?). Granted, Jack and Audrey got a terrific scene and Kim Raver was brilliant as the catatonic Audrey, but it all felt so forced…

And then, the hammer fell, as Jack had to face his painful truth…

“You’re cursed, Jack,” Audrey’s father told him. “Everything you touch—one way or another—ends up dead.” It was a classic “24” scene that made your stomach churn as you saw both the anger and realization in Jack’s eyes.

Yes, the truth hurts. But the most painful truth was the one that I discovered—that my beloved “24” is in real trouble.

The critics have been telling me that all year, but I continued to defend it. I believed that the show was just falling back into its familiar pattern and that it would turn things around for this last batch of episodes.

I truly believed that last night too until the moment the truth slapped me right across the face—the moment Rena Sofer appeared in the previews, signaling the return of Marilyn Bauer (If everything Jack touches dies, I hope he puts his hands all over her.).

Do the writers even have a clue what’s going on anymore?

The truth hurts…

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"Dancing With the Stars": Has Billy Ray Given Up?

Did anyone else feel like Billy Ray Cyrus was giving up last night?

Granted, I only saw his first dance, but I found his “I wanted to showcase this beautiful woman” argument a little unconvincing. I’m wondering if with everything he has to do these days, he’s finally had enough…

If that is his wish, I’d say he’ll get it very soon. And then I can stop watching this show…

But since I am still watching, what was up with all of the 10s flying around last night?

Thoughts?

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