The Herald-Dispatch |


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

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Will They Stay or Will They Go?

D-Day is upon us…

At midnight tomorrow, the Writers Guild of America’s contract will expire and then we’ll get the answer to the big question—Will they stay or will they go?

All indications now point to the latter, although “Variety” reports the actual walkout may not start until next week.

As I’ve told you before, most shows have enough episodes in the can to last into next year. But now there’s another problem. The Teamsters union, which represents many behind-the-scenes people, including casting directors, has pledged its support to a strike by encouraging its members to not cross the picket lines. This could disrupt any shows trying to produce already written episodes.

One group of shows in serious trouble is soap operas. To continue producing daily episodes, the soaps will have to hire scab writers, which could seriously alter current storylines. Of course, in some cases, that might be a good thing…

For now, all we can do is stay tuned…

The "24" Trailer: Giving It the Benefit of the Doubt

I knew you were expecting a post from me about the “24” trailer, and I didn’t want to disappoint you.

That’s why I’m sitting here starting my fourth attempt at it…

Since I’ve seen it three times now, you’d think this would be easy. But yet here I am struggling…

I think that’s because I’m afraid how you will react when you read this. I’m actually kind of afraid myself about what I’m about to say.

Because I should be fuming. I should have thrown stuff at my computer. But I didn’t…

Warning: If you don’t want to know what’s in the trailer, stop reading now.

The trailer opens with Jack testifying before a Senate hearing. Kurtwood Smith (“That 70s Show”) is perfectly cast as the Senator who interrogates Jack. There’s some intense one-on-one stuff here that you just know is going to be great, as Jack refuses to apologize for what he’s done over the years to protect the country.

Cut to Jack being asked once again to help save the world—this time by the FBI, since CTU is no more. We’re introduced to his new love interest, the FBI agent entrusted with keeping Jack in check.

I hate her already…

It’s at this point we learn a big “secret” about the season. I put secret in quotes because I already told you it was a possibility. One of the people involved with this new threat—whatever it is—is none other than Tony Almeida.

Then we get some vague glimpses of the new Tony with his closely shaved hair (Hate it!) doing bad things and Jack trying to talk to him. There’s also quick glimpses of Chloe and Bill in dark rooms similar to the one we see Tony in (a clue perhaps?).

The trailer concludes with a glimpse of Jack aiming his gun at Tony.

See why I should be mad?

So why aren’t I? Because for some reason I can’t explain, it works for me. In fact, I’m actually getting excited about it.

Maybe because I love Carlos Bernard and I’m excited about the possibilities for him as an actor. Maybe it’s because I know it will mean some great scenes for Kiefer.

Or maybe it’s because I know this is “24” and nothing is ever what it seems. Revealing Tony as the bad guy in the trailer seems like such a dumb move that there’s got to be something else at play here.

It’s also possible that I’m giving the writers way too much credit and the return of Tony will be totally wasted. But I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt—even though nothing they did last season warrants that.

Maybe I’m just not thinking clearly because I’m totally distracted by how hot Kiefer looks in that tan jacket…

You can see the trailer for yourself here…

The CW Doesn't Fear the "Reaper"

The CW has done some script ordering of its own…

They’ve ordered three additional scripts for “Reaper.”

Also, “The Hollywood Reporter” reports that “Aliens In America” plans to stay in production past its 13-episode order, hoping the CW will order the other nine…

Good News About "DSM"


So it’s not a full season order, but it’s pretty close…

ABC has ordered three more scripts for “Dirty Sexy Money.”

Maybe this will be the show that finally helps Steve McPherson and me bury the hatchet…

ABC also ordered three more scripts for “Carpoolers” and six more scripts for “Samantha Who?”…

Monday, October 29, 2007

Pick of the Week: A Major Milestone

If you had told Seth MacFarlane back in 2002 that his show was going to hit the 100 episode mark, he would’ve asked you what you were smoking.

But this Sunday, “Family Guy” will celebrate 100 episodes, making it my Pick of the Week…

“Family Guy” is not for everyone, but you have to love its story. The show premiered in 1999. I admit that I was a fan from the start, but FOX moved the show around so much, it was too hard to stay with it.

Apparently, everyone else had that problem too because in 2002, FOX cancelled “Family Guy.” But in 2005, after it achieved success on cable and was a huge TV DVD seller, FOX brought it back.

And now, it’s hitting a major milestone no one thought it would…

The “Family Guy” 100th episode celebration begins Sunday, October 28th at 8:30 p.m. with a clip show, followed by the 100th episode at 9 p.m. on FOX…

This Week's Sweeps Schedule

Just when I thought things were slowing down, another magical time has arrived—November sweeps, which kicks off Thursday.

So here are the treats the networks have planned for you during this first sweeps week…

Thursday, November 1st, Helen Slater, who played Supergirl in the movie of the same name, guest stars on “Smallville” (8 p.m., CW). Kari Matchett joins the cast of “ER,” joining another “24” alum, Reiko Aylesworth (10:01 p.m., NBC)…

Sunday, it’s a mini-marathon of “The Simpsons,” beginning with last season’s “24” parody episode. Then, the “Family Guy” 100th episode celebration kicks off with a clip episode, followed by the 100th (8:30 p.m., FOX)…

My apologies...

So a late arrival back into town and some other stuff prevented me from updating my blog when I promised.

Later tonight, I'll have my Pick of the Week and the first events of November sweeps. Honest...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

This Weekend...

I have to go out of town this weekend, so I planned to do several posts before I left.

But that didn't happen, so I apologize.

So when I return Sunday night, I will have my Pick of the Week AND the first major events of November sweeps.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Another "Prison Break"?


Of all the shows on TV I though might be in line for a spin-off, “Prison Break” was not one of them.

But lo and behold, here come some FOX execs to prove me wrong…

FOX has ordered a script for “Prison Break: Cherry Hill,” which would focus on Molly, an upper-middle-class housewife who suffered a family tragedy at the hands of The Company and comes to Michael Scofield to figure out how to get revenge. Her revenge plan lands her in prison for life, where she learns that her loved ones are actually alive—which, of course, leads to an escape plan.

Molly, who has not yet been cast, will be introduced on “Prison Break” this season. If “Cherry Hill” doesn’t work out, she will continue on “Break,” possibly as a new love interest for Michael.

It sounds to me like FOX is just having trouble letting go…

Get Ready to Head Back Down the "Road"


The show voted last year’s worst by critics, “October Road,” is ready for its comeback…

“Road” will return with a special Thursday premiere November 22nd at 10 p.m. Then, it will settle into its regular timeslot Monday, November 26th at 10 p.m…

Billy Ray Heads for the Big Screen


Billy Ray Cyrus has signed on to star in the independent movie, “Flying By.” He’ll play a businessman who “risks his marriage, family and fortune to pursue his dream of being in a rock band,” according to “The Hollywood Reporter.”

Olesya Rulin (Kelsi, “High School Musical”) will play his daughter.

The film is scheduled to start shooting November 26th in San Diego…

The "Daisies" Keep Blooming


This fall’s critical darling, “Pushing Daisies,” received a full season order this week from ABC.

I am hoping that “Dirty Sexy Money” is next on their list...

The Changing Face of TV News

Remember the days when a network news anchor was the epitome of maturity and journalistic integrity?

Apparently those days are gone…

NBC announced this week that its evening news anchor Brian Williams will host “Saturday Night Live” November 3rd with musical guest Feist.

So we’re supposed to watch him make a fool of himself on Saturday night and then watch him talk about death and destruction on Monday night?

I know that Williams has been trying to lighten his persona for years now, but I’m not sure this is the way to do it…

Monday, October 22, 2007

Muerte "Laughlin"


It was the show every critic in America predicted would fail. And boy, were they right.

Today, CBS wasted no time and pulled the plug on “Viva Laughlin.” It will be replaced this Sunday by an encore presentation of “CSI.” “The Amazing Race” will take over the timeslot beginning November 4th.

Since CBS only let “Viva” go two episodes, it almost makes you wonder why they bothered at all. Of course the answer to that is Hugh Jackman. I think CBS got a little starstruck and greenlit the show, even though they didn’t fully believe in it (How could they?).

If anyone out there is interested in seeing the remainder of the completed episodes, it looks like you’re out of luck. CBS has already removed the show from its website…

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Picks of the Week: Two Faves and a Halloween Treat

The premieres and the special events are slowing down, so I thought I would take this opportunity to spotlight two of my favorites.

This week’s Picks of the Week are “Journeyman” and “Dirty Sexy Money”…

I’ve already told you that “Journeyman” is in trouble so I especially hope those of you with Nielsen boxes or diaries will take my advice. Last week, Dan was forced to admit to his wife that his presumed dead fiancé travels through time like him. And Dan learned that he must sometimes break the rules in order to accomplish his missions. This week, Dan “leaps” at the absolute worst time—when he’s alone with his son.

“Journeyman” airs Monday at 10 p.m. on NBC…

Last week, “Dirty Sexy Money” pulled a dirty trick on the audience by not revealing to us which Darling children are not Tripp’s (I don’t think any of them are his.). But watching Tripp blackmail Leticia’s doctor and then trick Leticia into revealing the truth was so awesome, I’m willing to forgive them. I just hope when it comes Emmy time that the producers remember to submit Donald Sutherland in the supporting category.

This week, Nick finally meets the man his father was investigating before he died (and may have actually been working for), Simon Elder (Blair Underwood).

“Dirty Sexy Money” airs Wednesday at 10 p.m…

Finally, if you’re lucky enough to have SoapNet, have they got a treat for you.

Just in time for Halloween, it’s a three-episode marathon of “Days of Our Lives” featuring Marlena’s possession. If you missed it in 1995, you’ll want to catch it this time as Marlena (Deidre Hall) becomes possessed by the devil and sets a church on fire, morphs into a panther and levitates. But don’t worry. It’s all good campy fun.

The “Days” marathon airs Sunday, October 28th beginning at 9 p.m…

This Week’s Premiere Schedule…

There are five premieres of note this week…

First, on Monday, October 23rd, MTV premieres “Kaya” (10:30 p.m.), a scripted drama about a rock band struggling with success…

Wednesday, October 24th, NBC premieres “Phenomenon” (8 p.m.), a reality series in which Criss Angel and Uri Geller mentor 10 aspiring mentalists who will compete for audience votes…

Then, on Thursday, October 25th, it’s the premiere of the final season of “Scrubs” (9:31 p.m., NBC). Plus, it’s the season premiere of “Run’s House” (10 p.m., MTV) and the series premiere of “Making Menudo” (10:30 p.m., MTV)…

Can DVRs Save One of My Faves?


Can DVR ratings save a struggling new show?

Boy, do I hope so, because they could be the only thing to save “Journeyman”…

According to the first live plus seven DVR ratings of the season (which count shows recorded on DVRs that are watched within seven days of the show’s original airing), “Journeyman,” “Bionic Woman,” and “Private Practice” were the only new shows to have a “measurable increase.”

However, NBC’s research chief told the “Hollywood Reporter” that these ratings are “not the magic bullet that will make a struggling program into a success. They’re not going to get a miracle.”

Uh-oh…

Plus reports are that NBC sent out a survey last week to ask viewers if they would be more likely to watch “Friday Night Lights” if it were on Mondays at 10—“Journeyman”s timeslot…

FOX Sets the “Terminator” Date


If you’ve been watching FOX lately, you’ve no doubt seen the promos for “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.”

FOX has announced it will premiere Monday, January 14th at 8 p.m. as a lead-in for part two of the “24” premiere.

Thankfully, someone at FOX wised up and realized that “Terminator” would be a fantastic lead-in for “24.”

If anyone still cares, “Prison Break” will have its fall finale December 17th and then will return April 14th and run through June…

And the first official casualty of the fall is…

Last week, the CW cancelled “Online Nation.”

The Sunday at 7:30 p.m. slot will now be filled with encores of “Aliens In America.”

Let the "24" Hype Begin!

Thursday, October 25th at 1 p.m. I have scheduled a meeting with my computer, so don’t even think about bothering me…

Why? Because that is when FOX unveils the trailer for season seven of “24.” We won’t see much, but even a taste is enough for me.

The trailer will officially be unveiled on the Panasonic jumbo screen in Times Square, but the rest of us can see it at www.24trailer.com.

The first promo for the new season will air that night during Game 2 of the World Series.

“24” premieres January 13, 2008 on FOX…

"Hannah" Goes 3-D


For those of you who are bummed about missing the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus tour, here’s good news…

The tour is being filmed for a 3-D theatrical release to hit theaters for one week only beginning February 1, 2008.

No word on how wide of a release it will be, though, so you might want to hold off on making any promises just yet…

More Pick-Up News...

As expected, ABC gave “Private Practice” a full-season order this week. “Practice” is this season’s #1 new show…

CBS gave a full order to “The Big Bang Theory,” which is this season’s #1 new comedy (or at least it was until the premiere of “Samantha Who?”)…

CBS also gave a full order to “The Unit.” The network had originally renewed it for its third season with only a 13-episode order…

FOX, meanwhile, renewed “Kitchen Nightmares” for a second season…

"The Apprentice" Is Off and Running

Filming has begun for the celebrity edition of “The Apprentice”…

Seven of the 14 contestants were seen on the streets of New York manning two hot dog carts for charitable donations.

So who were they? Piers Morgan (“America’s Got Talent”), Trace Adkins, Stephen Baldwin, UFC fighter Tito Ortiz, Lennox Lewis, Vinnie Pastore (“The Sopranos”) and Gene Simmons.

No word on who the others are and where they were on this particular day.

And that’s all I’m going to say about that…

My True Guilty Pleasure

A true guilty pleasure is a show that you love, but are completely ashamed to admit that you watch.

I’ve told you about “Kathy Griffin: My Life On the D-List,” but there’s one show I’ve never told you about.

My true guilty pleasure is “Entourage.”

So why do I feel guilty about watching an Emmy Award-winning show? Because if you’ve ever seen it, you know it can be downright filthy. The f-word drops every couple of seconds, naked women appear frequently and there’s nothing off limits when it comes to sex.

But still, there’s something endearing about this group of guys—no matter how much they curse.

If you’ve never seen it, “Entourage” follows actor Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) and his entourage: his actor brother Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon), his friend Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) and his manager/best friend Eric (Kevin Connolly). We also see Vince’s agent, Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven).

The show could very easily be just about four guys chasing women and smoking pot. But fortunately the writing goes much deeper than that. Yes, Turtle and Drama use Vince, but they’re always there when he needs them. And it’s interesting to see Eric struggle to balance friendship with business and his morals with Hollywood life.

The show could also very easily go over the top with caricatures instead of characters, but that never happens. Ari is often larger than life, but Jeremy Piven never lets him lose his heart. And Kevin Dillon always finds a way to make Drama more than just the dorky, less successful Chase brother.

My biggest problem with “Entourage” is how long it takes for me to see new episodes. I don’t have HBO, so I have to wait for the DVDs and since HBO loves to make its fans wait, it can be a pretty long time between season sets.

Earlier this month, HBO released Season 3, Part 2 of the show, but it was only eight episodes—which was pretty annoying considering how strong they were. I have no idea when we’ll see season four.

To make us feel better, we do get some special features. The Paley Festival panel is entertaining, especially when Jeremy Piven opens his month. “Anatomy of ‘Entourage’” is somewhat informative, although listening to everyone complain about how hard it is to do 20 episodes is a little annoying.

“Entourage” is a great show, but I would feel a little less guilty if there were a censored version. I’m actually hoping the show goes into syndication some day just so I can see how they edit it. I hope someone is making a list of synonyms for the f-word right now…

Season 3, Part 2 of “Entourage” is now available on DVD…

“Viva Laughlin” Review: CBS Deals Us a Bad Hand

I made “Viva Laughlin” my Pick of the Week because I thought we were going to get some good old-fashioned cheesiness.

So when the show started, I was a little disappointed. The music really wasn’t that big of a deal. Most shows use music to set the mood. “Viva” just happened to have characters that quietly sang along with that music.

Although I must interject that the near mumbling was a little annoying since there were dance steps and it was a total waste of Hugh Jackman’s voice.

But then the show decided to get cute with a duet of “One Way or Another” between the show’s star Lloyd Owen and Melanie Griffith; and the cheese flowed freely throughout. However, it wasn’t the fun cheesy that makes you laugh. It was the bad cheesy that makes you totally uncomfortable.

In fact, if I were to describe “Viva” in one word, uncomfortable would be it…

If you missed it, “Viva” follows Ripley Holden (Owen), who sold his convenience store chain to open a casino in Laughlin, Nevada. But his partner, Buddy, pulls out of the deal and Ripley is forced to go to his rival casino owner, Nicky Fontana (Hugh Jackman). But Nicky wants the casino for himself, so he passes. Ripley then goes to Bunny (Melanie Griffith), Buddy’s wife, to get her to change Buddy’s mind. However, Ripley won’t agree to her terms (She wants him to sleep with her.). And then Buddy ends up dead in Ripley’s office, which gets the police all over Ripley. Finally, Ripley finds a way to get some money by placing a major bet at Nicky’s casino and winning big.

Sound uneventful? That’s because it was.

The sad truth is that even without the singing, “Viva” would be a bad show. The story is dull. The attempts at family drama are pathetic and Owen is just not that appealing as a leading man.

If you’re looking for appeal, all of that belongs to Eric Winter, who plays Detective Peter Carlyle. He’s slightly quirky and Winter plays that well—not to mention he’s seriously hot. His partner is also pretty funny.

But they seem totally out of place. Their comic moments just don’t mesh with the gloomy tone of the rest of the show. Or maybe they don’t mesh because they’re worth watching and the rest of the show isn’t.

And why cast the fabulous D.B. Woodside if you’re not going to use him?

There’s been a lot of turnover behind the scenes with “Viva” so there’s a small chance the show could get better, but it’s going to take a lot of work. Personally, I would like to see the show embrace the music and actually let the actors sing. But it’s pretty obvious the plan is to phase that part of the show out entirely. The problem is there won’t be anything left. The musical element would at least make it original.

I said that “Viva” could be so bad you wouldn’t want to miss it. I got the bad part right; but honestly, I’m hoping you didn’t take my advice.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I feel the need to burst into a chorus of “How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously?” but I’ll actually be singing…

“Viva Laughlin” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on CBS…

“Samantha Who?” Review: You Should Remember This One

It seems like the silliest premise for a show.

A woman develops amnesia and while rediscovering her life, she discovers she wasn’t a very good person.

But in the hands of sitcom veterans like Christina Applegate, Kevin Dunn and the fabulous Jean Smart, the premise is sitcom gold…

The woman is Samantha (Applegate), who has been in a coma for eight days after a hit-and-run accident. She has quirky parents (Dunn and Smart) she doesn’t remember and she lives with a boyfriend, Todd (Barry Watson), she doesn’t remember. Her best friend Andrea (Jennifer Esposito) is a boozing party girl, but Samantha doesn’t remember that either, or the fact that she was one too.

Soon, it becomes clear to Sam that she wasn’t the world’s nicest person before her coma. She hadn’t spoken to her parents in two years (and Andrea doesn’t want that to change) and she was cheating on Todd (which Andrea supports). Now, she wonders if she can use this second chance to change her life.

Minus the one misstep of Sam getting kicked out of an AA meeting (not to mention Andrea hiding the fact Sam’s an alcoholic), the script absolutely crackled. The dialogue was sharp and in the hands of such a wonderful cast, it was a true pleasure to watch (when ABC wasn’t stuffing in more commercials). I love Jean Smart as a drama queen, but her comic timing is second to none. And it’s nice to see Applegate back in such a good role.

In all honesty, though, I’m not completely sure how this show can keep this premise up; but I’m willing to stick it out for now.

At least until I remember that this show is on ABC, and I hate them…
“Samantha Who?” airs Mondays at 9:30 p.m. on ABC…

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pick of the Week: A Potential Disaster

My Pick of the Week is usually a show that I think is going to be good.

But this week’s Pick is a show that could be so bad you don’t want to miss it.

My Pick of the Week is “Viva Laughlin.”

Let’s face it. The potential for disaster here is pretty strong. It’s a crime drama that incorporates singing. However, the actors don’t sing the songs on their own. They sing along with the original recordings.

It’s based on the British show, “Viva Blackpool.” But that show is meant to be campy, and “Laughlin” is playing it straight, which could spell disaster.

Like I said, you don’t want to miss it…

“Viva Laughlin” premieres Thursday, October 18th at 10 p.m. on CBS…

This Week's Premiere Schedule

There are still some premieres left this week, so let’s get caught up…

Monday, October 15th, Drew Carey begins the new era of “The Price Is Right” (11 a.m., CBS) and ABC premieres one of the best reviewed shows of the season, “Samantha Who?” starring Christina Applegate (9:30 p.m.)…

Thursday, October 18th, CBS gives a special Thursday premiere to “Viva Laughlin” (10 p.m.)…

And Friday, FOX premieres its second attempt at an “American Idol” spin-off, “The Next Great American Band” (8 p.m.)…

"Days" Makes a HUGE Mistake

“Days of Our Lives” fans may want to shield their eyes at the checkouts this week. Because there’s a headline on the cover of this week’s “Soap Opera Digest” that might just rock your world…

If you don’t want to know what’s going to happen, stop reading now…

Are you still with me?

If you are, then let me tell you the headline reads, “John Dies!”

And the article inside makes it pretty clear that this is not a trick. Drake Hogestyn, who has played John since 1986, is gone from the show. And the cast is devastated.

So what happened? I wish I could tell you…

It all started when John ended up in a coma. The fans were promised a beautiful romantic story for their beloved John and Marlena, but it never happened. In fact, Hogestyn was off the canvas for months. Then John finally emerged from the coma to presumably be a major part of the DiMera storyline, but it never happened. Meanwhile, the clock kept ticking toward the end of Hogestyn’s contract this December.

Behind the scenes, a new producer, Ed Scott, was hired who doesn’t take any crap from actors. There were rumors that Hogestyn was unhappy (and why wouldn’t he be) and that didn’t sit well with Scott. Head Writer Hogan Sheffer continued to exclude John from his stories and the show continued to be far from Hogestyn’s contract guarantee. Even Hogestyn’s open attitude toward the press changed as he refused to discuss his lack of story (which many viewed as him trying to make the best of a bad situation). In June, Hogestyn called his fan event, “John Black’s Final Mission.” While his castmates waited for things to get settled, Hogestyn was reading the writing on the wall.

And now, Wednesday, October 17th, John will breathe his last breath.

Now, I know this is a soap, so there could be a twist here, but that’s not what it looks like this time.

And if that’s the case, “Days of Our Lives” has made a huge mistake.

I know it was just a little while ago that I said “Days” was back on track—because it was—but now it’s headed for a trainwreck. The DiMera vendetta storyline has gone south with the E.J.-Sami-Lucas triangle. Tony and Anna returned, but were given nothing to do. And Andre’s reign of terror became terrible for viewers.

And now this.

I understand that change must come and people can’t stick around forever, but to do this to Hogestyn after 21 years of loyalty, and to do this to the fans is just wrong. And I don’t know how “Days” will recover.

They’ll certainly do it without me…

The Writers Strike Update: This Could Get Ugly

If things don’t improve soon with negotiations between the Writers Guild of America and the networks, we could be saying goodbye to some of our favorite shows by early next year…

On October 18th, the writers will vote on whether to give negotiators authority to strike. If that happens, a strike can be called at any time after the contract expires October 31st.

The last writers strike in 1988 lasted six months.

So what would be the effects of another six-month strike? First, nightly shows like “The Daily Show” and “The Tonight Show” would be affected. Then, comedies and dramas would go into some reruns and then eventually all reruns. There would also be lots more reality shows, game shows and sports. Shows imported from cable and other countries are also possibilities.

Because shows will have a number of episodes in the can, the strike probably wouldn’t be noticeable on the screen until early 2008.

There is another possible outcome here, but it’s even worse. The writers could decide to wait until June to take action since June 30th is when the contracts end for actors and directors. That way they could all strike together.

I told you it was worse…

So what’s the major issue here? Digital media—specifically downloading. Insiders say that writers are ready to fight for a bigger portion of those profits. Carlton Cuse of “Lost,” who is on the negotiating committee, told “USA Today” that there’s a “wide gap” between the parties and that things “will have to change demonstrably in the next few weeks.”

By the way, the strike would also have an effect on movies, causing a smaller slate of new ones at the theater.

As I said, this could get ugly…

“Women’s Murder Club” Review” Sign Me Up For Membership

Because I write this blog, I feel it is my duty to watch as many of the new shows as I can. That’s why I end up watching shows I normally wouldn’t otherwise.

And sometimes that’s a good thing, because one of those shows can end up surprising me…

The latest of those is “Women’s Murder Club.” Based on the books by James Patterson (who is an executive producer), the show stars Angie Harmon as Lindsay Boxer, a tough, driven detective whose zeal for her job ended her marriage. To help her solve her cases are her friends Clair (Paula Newsome), a medical examiner, and Jill (Laura Harris), an assistant district attorney. She also has her partner, Jacobi (Tyrees Allen). To complicate matters, her ex-husband, Tom (Rob Estes), is named her new boss and he tells her he’s getting married.

Harmon has said the show is “CSI” meets “Sex and the City” and that description is a good one, as a single case weaves throughout the show while we follow the personal lives of the “club.” Lindsay is dealing with her lingering feelings for her ex, while Jill is trying to commit to her boyfriend while fighting her attraction to an ambitious public defender (the always yummy Kyle Secor). And Claire is a family woman whose retired cop husband is in a wheelchair.

The “club” is later joined by Cindy (Aubrey Dollar), a newspaper reporter, who may prove useful to Lindsay in catching the Kiss Me Not Killer, Lindsay’s biggest unsolved case.

The writing is good, but the real appeal here is Angie Harmon, who was born to play this part (although I’d love to see what she could do on “24”). Her combination of tough and vulnerable really makes the whole show work. The supporting cast is solid as well—especially Newsome—although Harris comes off a little creepy in the pilot (Get that girl some blush, stat!).

“Club” should be exactly the kind of show I hate, but instead I’m filling out a membership card…

“Women’s Murder Club” airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on ABC…

Ratings Report: Who's In Trouble?

In case you’ve forgotten, here’s how this whole new show thing works…

First, a network orders a pilot. If they like what they see, they pick it up and order a number of episodes—usually 13. If the show does well, they give it a full season order and pick up the “back nine” for a total of 22 episodes. And then, of course, if the show does well all season, it gets renewed for another year.

It’s usually several weeks into the season before we start getting full pickup announcements, but this week, the CW showed some early “XO XO” to “Gossip Girl” by giving it a full order (For the record, its ratings were not outstanding, but pretty good for CW, and it is improving.). Also this week, NBC ordered additional scripts for “Chuck,” “Bionic Woman,” “Life” and “Journeyman.” Script orders are not as definitive as pickups, but they’re usually a good sign. ABC is expected to issue a full order to “Private Practice” any day now, since it is, thus far, the season’s #1 new show.

So who’s in trouble? FOX’s “K-Ville” and CBS’s “Cane” are prime candidates for early hiatus. If not a reality show, CBS’s “Kid Nation” would probably have been pulled already. FOX’s “Back To You” is struggling, but I think FOX will stick it out. And apparently, NBC is going to give some time to “Life” and “Journeyman,” even though they are both leaking viewers—especially “Life.”

The picture will start getting clearer in the next few weeks, so stay tuned…

Am I Really Hooked On an ABC Show?

As much as it pains me to love anything on ABC, I have fallen head over heels for one of its new dramas.

I am CRAZY about “Dirty Sexy Money”…

You may recall I was a little disappointed with the show’s pilot. But the second episode added the two things the show really needed: outrageousness and an extra dose of Sutherland.

And the show hasn’t looked back yet…

Granted, some of the show’s stories can be a little over the top (Patrick in love with a transsexual for one), but the show makes them work. And those rich brats I complained about before are really starting to come into their own. The once annoying Brian is delivering some of the show’s funniest scenes. Karen is back to her flighty self and even Jeremy has a renewed purpose. Plus, Juliet is now a pretty funny parody of Paris Hilton. Her catfight with another socialite on the red carpet of Patrick’s Senate run announcement party was hysterical.

But it’s the added story for Donald Sutherland’s Tripp that’s really making the show sing. The look on his face when his wife’s birthday unlocked the combination to Dutch’s suitcase was as awesome as it was heartbreaking.

I’m not sure what I think about the addition of a new character in the murder mystery mix, but I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. Because, whether I want to admit it or not, I am hooked on an ABC show.

It’ll probably be cancelled by November…

“Dirty Sexy Money” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on ABC…

"Pushing Daisies": So Now I Know

So I only made it through about 15 minutes of this week’s “Pushing Daisies” before I turned the channel to watch the next-to-last episode of “Top Chef: Miami” for the fourth time.

I just couldn’t handle it…

Now in its defense, a rudely timed Emergency Alert System test made me miss the whole setup of the episode’s mystery. But I don’t think it would have mattered.

The colors, the music, the cutting back and forth to flashbacks, that narration—it was all just too much. And so I turned the channel.

I applaud “Pushing Daisies” for its originality and wonderful cast, but it’s just not for me.

So now I know…

Friday, October 12, 2007

Get Ready to "Bend and Snap" This Weekend

Just a reminder that MTV will premiere "Legally Blonde: The Musical" this Saturday (the 13th) at 1 p.m.
It's the first time a Broadway musical has been shown on TV while it is still running on Broadway. And MTV is promising us an "all access pass" to what goes on behind the scenes as well.

If you miss it Saturday, MTV is reairing it at 7 p.m. on Sunday the 14th...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Kiefer Heading to Jail to Protect "24" (Updated)

So since I mentioned it in my last post, I might as well go into it now…

In case you haven’t heard, Kiefer’s lawyers have worked out a deal for him and it’s a pretty good one for both him and “24.”

I’ve read the court papers on TMZ.com and it’s a little complicated, but here’s the gist:

In all, Kiefer will do 48 days in jail. He will surrender December 21st and will remain in custody until January 7th for the probation violation (He’ll be given credit for 18 days for that time.). After that, he must serve an additional 30 days before July 1st.

This means that he’ll be spending his first stint in jail during the "24" Christmas production break and will probably do the other 30 days after "24" wraps production for the year.

And if you're thinking he'll get a Nicole Richie-type sentence shortening due to "overcrowding," you'd be wrong. The agreement says he must serve all 48 days and cannot be released to electronic monitoring.

Kiefer issued this statement: "I'm very disappointed in myself for the poor judgment I exhibited recently, and I'm deeply sorry for the disappointment and distress this has caused my family, friends and co-workers on '24' and at 20th Century Fox."

Here's the FOX statement: "Today our friend Kiefer Sutherland resolved his criminal case at the earliest opportunity. Kiefer made clear to us at the time of his arrest that his first concern was the welfare of those he worked with and that he intended to do whatever was necessary to prevent shutting down the show because of his situation. He told us that even if he had to sacrifice more time in custody in order to protect the show and the jobs of those who work with him, he would do so. From what occurred today, it is evident he is a man of his word. We wish him well and look forward to a long relationship with him."

And isn’t that the saddest thing about all of this? Kiefer is truly a nice guy and a real professional. He just has a real problem.

So thankfully, part of his sentence is an 18-month intensive alcohol treatment program which includes six months of weekly counseling sessions. I sincerely hope he takes it seriously this time.

He may not get another chance...

"Dancing" Makes Billy Ray and Miley Take a Back Seat


In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say I was a little distracted since I had just gotten a text message from a friend telling me about Kiefer’s plea deal, but what was up with that Billy Ray-Miley performance on the “Dancing With the Stars” results show?

They give Seal, who earlier murdered his own song, the opportunity to sing without the professional dancers, but Billy Ray and Miley—the hottest ticket in the country right now—are relegated to the background of a dance from Maks and Karina that was totally inappropriate for the song.

No wonder Miley seemed a little uncomfortable.

This could have been a real opportunity for a heartfelt father-daughter duet that could’ve been a real moment for the show. But instead, we got that.

The good news is that the recording of the duet will be available on iTunes beginning tomorrow. It is also supposed to be available on the ABC website here, but I couldn’t get it to come up.

The song is also being released to country music stations as we speak…

"Heroes": I'm Done!

So now that my decision to write off “Prison Break” has been confirmed to be a good one, I’ve decided to make another decision…

I’m done with “Heroes.”

Shocking, isn’t it? As much as I loved the show last season, to be done with it after only three episodes? But they’ve really left me no choice. It’s just so boring.

In fact, I actually stopped watching it live after 15 minutes and called my parents. I mean, there were THREE stories with subtitles last night. THREE! And I didn’t care about any of them. I didn’t even care about the ones that were in English!

I get the twin thing already. When the brother isn’t with her, she kills people. How many times do we have to see the stuff come out of her eyes?…

We get the Hiro thing already. He’s falling in love with his hero’s girl. We don’t need him to write it down for Ando to explain it to us…

I’ve always liked Stephen Tobolowsky, but as the new head of The Company, he just comes off as weird, not mysterious like Eric Roberts did as Anderson last season. In fact, The Company is coming off as a complete caricature…

I knew that D.L. was a goner just based on what I had read and seen before the season started, but the quick way they dispatched him was a little messed up. And waiting until the third episode to do it?...

So apparently Sylar returned, but he is not at all the Sylar we know—the scary, yet somehow misunderstood villain he was last year. And that’s due more in part to the writing than his lack of powers (And the recast of Candace? Pathetic. I’m glad he killed her.)…

I realize that Peter has amnesia, but does he really think being in some kind of Irish gang spitting out stilted clichéd dialogue is better than the life he had? And he’s already making out with some chick he just met that he knows nothing about? And he saw what he could do and that he couldn’t be killed, why didn’t he just take the box instead of helping them rob the armored car?

And how many more times do we have to hear Claire whine that she can’t be herself? That didn’t seem to bother her last season. And the whole thing with West should be magical and intriguing, but it just falls completely flat.

The whole thing reminds me of what happened to another favorite show of mine that suffered one of the worst sophomore slumps I’ve ever seen—“The O.C.” During that second season, the show’s creator Josh Schwartz was being pulled in other directions by FOX and so he left the show in the hands of other writers, namely an up and coming one by the name of J.J. Philbin. In the hands of someone who didn’t know them, the characters became unrecognizable. And it didn’t get any better until the final season when Schwartz and his partner Stephanie Savage reclaimed the show from Philbin.

So does anyone want to guess who the sole writer of last night’s “Heroes” episode was? That’s right. The same J.J. Philbin, who is now a co-executive producer on the show after Bryan Fuller departed to create “Pushing Daisies.”

I hate to break it to you, Regis, but your daughter’s becoming a bit of a show killer.

Which begs the question. Why would you put these wonderful characters we all fell in love with in the hands of someone who has no idea who they are?

Even my beloved HRG is boring in Philbin’s hands. And I think you know that last scene didn’t make me any happier. In fact, it was what sealed my decision.

Warning: If you haven’t seen last night’s “Heroes,” stop reading now…

According to Isaac’s painting (And we need to go back to that thread why?), HRG is going to die. Now, I realize that painting could not be what it seems (like the painting of Peter at Homecoming), but I’m not going to stick around to find out.

If the only reason to watch is going to be gone, then I’m gone. I’m just going to take off before he does…

Why Writing Off "Prison Break" Was a Good Call

You know, the problem with writing a show off is that there’s always that nagging doubt that you’re going to miss something.

So it’s always nice when something happens that confirms you made the right decision. And that happened for me on last night’s “Prison Break.”

Now because I’d already given up on it, I didn’t see it; but I read about it online today…

Warning: If you have not yet seen last night’s episode of “Prison Break,” stop reading now…

After two years of hoping to see them get together, but only getting a couple of kisses and heated looks. After Michael went to jail to protect her, Sara is now dead. You’ve got to be kidding me!

If you missed it, Lincoln was given a box with her head in it.

Now, I’m a “24” fan, so I understand all about killing people for dramatic effect, but this is a little ridiculous. However, there’s a little more to this story…

Sara was actually killed last night for two reasons that have nothing to do with story: network interference and a good old-fashioned contract dispute.

Here’s the deal, courtesy of my TV scoop hero, Michael Ausiello of “TV Guide”…

When last season ended, Sara’s portrayer, Sarah Wayne Callies was pregnant and planned to take some time off at the beginning of the season. Then the writers planned to make her a major part of the season three storyline. But the show’s final pitch was rejected by FOX and the writers were forced to come up with something else. That something else was to kill Sara to change Michael’s motivations. They planned to do it mid-season after they had a chance to do a proper goodbye.

But Callies wasn’t interested in doing 13 episodes, or 10, or four, or even one. She passed on every offer, and the show was forced to pull the trigger earlier than they had planned (Callies did allow the show to use her image for the death.).

In Callies’ defense, she did think she was going to be a part of the entire season, so to hear that was getting cut had to be a major slap in the face and may have led to her decision to not uproot her new family for just a limited run. But it’s a HUGE slap in the face for the fans.

I’m really glad I’m not one of them anymore, because I would be REALLY ticked off right now…

"Traveler": The Creator Tells All...

In the old days, before this wonderful thing we call the Internet, when a TV show was cancelled we never heard from it again. If it happened to end in a cliffhanger, we rarely heard how it all would’ve turned out.

But thankfully, those days are starting to disappear. However, I’ve never seen a case of a show’s creator going as far as David DiGilio, the creator of “Traveler,” has to explain his plans.

And let me tell you. It was going to be amazing, with a MAJOR shocker coming down the road.

Stupid ABC…

You can check out his plans for yourself here. It might make you as angry at ABC as I am, even if you weren’t a “Traveler” fan.

And kudos to TVGuide.com, for giving DiGilio a place to share…

"Side Order of Life": Making Me Look Good


Everyone likes to think they actually know what they’re talking about, so I hope you’ll forgive me while I pat myself on the back a little…

Let me take you back to July 20th and my post about the season premiere of “Side Order of Life”:


I have to admit that I spent most of the hour trying to identify the voice of
Cell Phone Guy. I’ve decided it’s Steven Weber, but I haven’t found anything to
back that hunch up (If you guys have a clue, please let me know).

Well, if you saw Sunday’s season finale, you know that Cell Phone Man was revealed to be none other than Steven Weber—or more precisely, a character played by Steven Weber.

In all honesty, I was a little surprised I turned out to be right because I couldn’t see Steven Weber and Marisa Coughlin as a couple. And having seen them together, I still can’t. But I think that the show was looking for someone with a distinctive voice as much as someone who would look good with Coughlin.

But I appreciate them making me look good…

"Desperate Housewives": Mostly On Board

Okay, so for about an hour and 50 minutes, I was pretty much on board with the new season of “Desperate Housewives”…

I really liked the way they resolved that lame Edie cliffhanger and I thought the Edie-Carlos-Gaby triangle was a good story—especially Edie’s blackmail scheme (Wait until Gaby hears about that money!).

I’m not totally sold on the Susan pregnancy storyline, but it’s probably got some good comic potential. I just hope being pregnant makes her stop whining and actually start being happy.

Lynette’s cancer storyline has not gotten too annoying yet, although I thought her initial lack of sympathy toward Gaby’s father’s death was a little callous. Could she not see where Gaby was going with the story?

You know I love Bree when she’s at her most Bree-ish (and Orson is wonderful in support), but I’m not completely sure we needed two of her. I think it bothers me because Dana Delany (Katherine) was creator Marc Cherry’s original choice to play Bree, but she said no. Now, it’s like Cherry is giving her the role after all. But so far, it’s provided some good comedy and I really like Nathan Fillion as Katherine’s husband, even though they seem completely incompatible. Maybe that’s part of the mystery…

And speaking of this year’s mystery, it seems fairly solid so far. Plus, it finally gives Julie something decent to do…

Like I said, pretty much on board.

But then, Carlos had that fateful meeting with that stranger, giving him money to take care of his situation with Edie.

Now, I’m not going to jump to any conclusions here, because it’s possible this wasn’t what it seemed. But if it is, then Carlos is hiring someone to kill Edie. And as violent as Carlos could be in that first season, a hit is a little out of character—especially since earlier he was so concerned about leaving Edie in her fragile state.

If this proceeds down that road, I might just have to jump overboard…

“Desperate Housewives” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on ABC…

"Top Chef: Miami" The Bad Guy Wins Again

Don’t you just hate it when the winner of the reality show you’ve been hooked on for months turns out to be the one person you didn’t want to win?

It happened last season on “Project Runway” when the favorite, Michael, choked and Jeffrey took the title. And it happened last week on the finale of “Top Chef”…

If I had to predict what was going to happen, I would’ve said that Dale would choke and make one of his famous errors in judgment, leaving Casey and Hung to fight it out with Casey coming out on top.

But just like “Project Runway,” the favorite—in this case, Casey—choked (due in some part to her hang-up over the high altitudes) and my least favorite, Hung, came out on top. In fact, Casey choked so bad, her only dish that scored with the judges was mostly made by Howie, the chef with the worst reputation on the show.

I was psyched for a little while because it looked like Dale had a shot and I’ve always liked him (He reminds me of Robert, my favorite “Runway” designer of all time.). But then Tom uttered the word no cook—professional or not—wants to hear: inedible. Tom was talking about Dale’s third dish, which he changed at the last minute since Hung and Casey were doing the same dish (There’s that error in judgment I was talking about.). So that was that—although Rocco DiSpirito’s blog says the judges—Ted, Padma, Tom and Gail—deliberated nine hours.

And I can’t help but think that Hung’s personality entered the equation at some point. It’s clear that Hung was meant to be the villain of the show; but it’s unclear how much of that was editing and how much was him (but since season two villain Marcel was one of his supporters, I’m guessing it’s more the second one).

But just like Jeffrey on “Project Runway,” Hung honestly deserved to win, whether I wanted him to or not.

And apparently, I’m not too upset since I’ve already watched the finale a second time, and I am watching it again now as I type this. I told you I was hooked.

Thankfully, “Project Runway” will be back November 14th to get me over this. But since these two shows have become so similar, I’m concerned that “Runway” will attempt a live finale as well. Personally, I thought it took away some of the drama and the post-announcement excitement. But that was probably mostly due to host Padma Lakshmi’s inability to read a cue card. However, because they only left about five minutes for the announcement, we were robbed of a proper winner’s interview and a nice edited piece showing his family’s reaction. It was a nice idea, but a totally unnecessary way to cap off a great season. Watching Casey choke was drama enough.

I will say that doing it this way should make the reunion WAY more interesting…

The reunion episode of “Top Chef: Miami” airs Wednesday, October 10th at 10 p.m. on Bravo…

"Pushing Daisies" Review: I Just Don't Know...

If you looked up quirky in the dictionary, you might find a cast picture from “Pushing Daisies.”

Because if this show is not the living definition of quirky, I don’t know what it is…

If you missed it, “Daisies” is about piemaker Ned (Lee Pace), who has the power to raise the dead with one touch. But a second touch kills them permanently.

Ned has teamed up with Emerson (Chi McBride), a private eye, to use his powers to solve murders and collect the rewards. But there’s a hitch. If he doesn’t make them dead again in one minute, someone else dies.

But when Ned discovers that his childhood crush, Chuck (Anna Friel), is one of the victims, he ignores all of that and keeps her alive. Of course, they can’t touch, which makes their attraction difficult.

Much to Emerson’s dismay, Chuck becomes part of the team and the trio work to solve Chuck’s murder, while crossing paths with Chuck’s wacky aunts (Swoosie Kurtz and Ellen Greene).

Adding another wrinkle to the story is Olive (Kristin Chenoweth), a waitress at the Pie Hole, Ned’s bakery, who has a huge crush on Ned.

The cast is rounded out by Jim Dale, the voice of the Harry Potter audiobooks, who provides the narration.

The show fancies itself as a fairy tale and everything reflects that well. The colors, the characters and the narration all lend themselves to that style. The cast, meanwhile, is fantastic. Pace and Friel are a perfect pair. Chenoweth and Kurtz are always solid; and it’s great to see McBride playing for laughs for a change.

But did I like it? I just don’t know…

For every funny moment, there was an equally cringe-inducing, overly sweet moment. And there’s definitely a creepy factor…

As I said, I just don’t know. Do you?

“Pushing Daisies” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC…

"Carpoolers" Review: Harmless, Mindless Fun

Anything would be funnier compared to that atrocity known as “Cavemen.” So maybe that’s why I found myself actually enjoying “Carpoolers.”

Because in reality, there wasn’t all that much to enjoy…

“Carpoolers” centers on four men who ride to work together so they can take advantage of the carpool lane (They don’t work together.). Dougie (Tim Peper) is a newlywed and the newest member of the carpool. Gracen (Fred Goss) is a psychologist with a slacker son and an ambitious wife. Laird (Jerry O’Connell) is a divorced dentist who’s the ladies man of the group. And Aubrey (Jerry Minor) is the driver who keeps them all together.

The pilot episode revolved around Gracen and his fear that his wife makes more money than him after she buys a $300 toaster. The guys discuss it in the car, they get into some crazy sitcom situation and then they resolve things in the end.

Like I said. Not much.

So what was it that appealed to me? Two words—Jerry O’Connell.

I’ve never really been a big Jerry O’Connell fan, but for some reason I really liked him in this. He’s got nice comedic chops and he’s just so darn cute…

In all honesty, “Carpoolers” kind of reminds me of “In Case of Emergency,” which is maybe what appealed to me the most. It’s harmless, mindless comedy. It’s not hilarious, but thankfully, it’s not “Cavemen” either…

“Carpoolers” airs Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m…

"Moonlight" Review: I Love a Good Vampire Story, But...

You guys know I love a good vampire story.

I’m just not sure “Moonlight” falls into that category…

The vampire in this case is private investigator, Mick St. John (Alex O’Loughlin). He’s eternally in his 30s after being bitten 60 years ago by his bride on their wedding night. Now he’s decided to go straight by doing good deeds and only drinking donated blood.

His friend Josef (Jason Dohring) is a successful professional, who just happens to also be a vampire. He often sends Mick out to solve cases that threaten to expose their existence to the world.

While investigating a murder that appears to have been committed by a vampire, Mick crosses paths with Beth (Sophia Myles), an Internet news reporter. At first, it seems that Mick has just met her. But we soon learn that Mick has been watching her for years because the two have a secret history.

Mick’s wife kidnapped Beth as a little girl, planning to turn her into a vampire so the three of them could be a family. But Mick rescued Beth by destroying his wife (He set their house on fire.).

When Mick rescues Beth from the murderer, she starts to remember what happened to her as a child. And Mick begins to realize he is starting to have feelings for Beth. But by the end of the second episode, Beth has fully remembered what happened as a child and Mick is forced to admit he’s a vampire…

“Moonlight” has had A LOT of backstage turmoil, as the original pilot was scrapped and the entire cast canned (except O’Loughlin). And I think that shows through on the screen. The supporting characters have very little to do and the mysteries are a tad uneven.

But because I do enjoy a good vampire story, I like when Mick goes into full vampire mode, flying around and beating the crap out of people. However, it’s not enough to get me over what bothers me the most about the show—where it’s headed (which was spelled out clearly in the promos following the premiere).

It seems that Beth and Mick are headed for romance. O’Loughlin and Myles (a dead ringer for Kate Winslet) are appealing and have good chemistry; but there’s just something creepy about Mick falling in love with a woman he first met as a little girl.

And because I can’t get past that, I can’t get into the story that appears to be at the heart of the show. Which, of course, means I can’t get into the show.

So much for a good vampire story…

“Moonlight” airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on CBS…

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Pick of the Week: TV's Hottest Love Triangle Returns

So my hint about this week’s Pick was “the return of a drama you can really sink your teeth into.”

Did you get my bad vampire pun? That’s right. My Pick of the Week is the return of “Blood Ties.”

When last we left our love triangle of Henry, the vampire; Vicki, the private investigator; and Mike, the cop and Vicki’s ex-boyfriend; the demon that cursed Vicki in the premiere episode returned and played some tricks on Vicki and Henry that forced them to confront their attraction. But after Henry saved Vicki and the world—with Mike’s help—the duo put their attraction aside. However, I think it’s a safe bet that it’s going to get harder to ignore as time goes on.

“Blood Ties” is not the most logical show on TV and the endings are always too convenient and incredibly rushed, but the love triangle is so good and so well developed, you’re willing to forgive the rest of it.

Now, as to why Lifetime has decided to bury the show at 11 p.m. on a Friday, I can’t really say, but I’d say it’s a sure bet that these will be the final shows we get…

“Blood Ties” premieres Friday, October 12th at 11 p.m. on Lifetime…

This Week's Premiere Schedule

There are still some premieres left in the network bin, so let’s take a look at what’s premiering this week…

Monday, October 8th
I Love New York 2—9 p.m.—VH1

Friday, October 12th
Women’s Murder Club—9 p.m.—ABC
Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead—9 p.m.—Lifetime
Wizards of Waverly Place—9:30 p.m.—Disney Channel
Men In Trees—10 p.m.—ABC
America’s Psychic Challenge—10 p.m.—Lifetime
Blood Ties—11 p.m.—Lifetime

Two movies are premiering this week as well…

“Twitches Too,” the “Twitches” sequel starting Tia and Tamara Mowry, premieres Friday, October 12th at 8 p.m. on Disney Channel while “The Gathering,” a two-part movie about a coven of witches starring Peter Gallagher, premieres Saturday, October 13th at 9 p.m. on Lifetime with the conclusion Sunday, October 14th at 9 p.m…

Friday, October 05, 2007

Catching Up...

Sunday is my fiance's birthday, so I'll be spending some time with him and away from the computer this weekend.

But never fear, I'll be back Monday with my thoughts on "Carpoolers," "Pushing Daisies" and the "Top Chef" finale. Plus, I'll get you caught up on next week's season premieres and I'll have my Pick of the Week.

Here's a hint on that last one. It's the return of a show you can really sink your teeth into...

Have a great weekend!

Where Will Jay Go?

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that I think this whole Jay Leno retirement thing really stinks.

For those of you who are new, let me give you a quick recap…

A few years back, Conan O’Brien’s NBC contract was up and he was getting A LOT of attention from some other networks, namely FOX. The only thing that would get him to stay? The promise of “The Tonight Show.”

So being the nice guy that he is, Jay agreed to step down from the show in 2009. Jay was hoping to avoid another debacle like he went through after the retirement of Johnny Carson (You MUST see the HBO movie “The Late Shift.” It will blow your mind and it doesn’t even tell half the story.)

But there’s just one problem with this scenario. Jay’s “Tonight Show” is still #1 in the ratings and the #2 moneymaker for the network (Only “Today” brings in more dough.). So, NBC is going to replace a guy at the top of his game with an unproven commodity just to please the unproven commodity.

See what I mean?

Now, let me say again for the record that I love Conan. I think he’s hysterical. But can you really see Triumph the Insult Dog playing to the 11:30 p.m. crowd? My parents, for example, love Jay; but I can’t see them devoting two minutes to Conan. And they won’t be alone.

The biggest beef against Jay is that he’s too mainstream (which is probably why he’s never won an Emmy), and that he tries to hard to appeal to the masses. Since when is that a bad thing? It’s hard to believe that NBC could show such little love to a guy who has done so much for them. To still be #1 with all of NBC’s primetime troubles is just extraordinary.

New NBC Entertainment Co-Chair Ben Silverman apparently recognizes the problem a lot better than Jeff Zucker did because he said he’s looking for a place for Jay at NBC after 2009. But if NBC changes its mind and reneges on Conan’s deal, it will cost them serious cash. Besides, they’re already working on Conan’s theater on the Univeral lot in Los Angeles, kicking out its previous tenant, “Desperate Housewives.” So, the possibility of a flip-flop on the issue is pretty slim. And as I’ve said before, I sincerely hope Jay lands at another network and kicks some peacock butt.

And maybe that’s going to happen…

Gossip columnist Cindy Adams reported Wednesday that Jay “does not—repeat, not—want to not be doing it anymore…He is definitely—definitely—moving to another network. Friends think he’s making a big money deal. But, he says, he’s not one to follow the money. He’s one to follow the access. The best TV airtime. The best spot.”

Who does Adams think has the inside track? FOX.

The problems with FOX are two-fold. Number one, Jay’s mainstream comedy is not really what FOX is about and FOX’s audience (mostly 18-49 year-olds) is not Jay’s audience. Second, Jay would most likely be on at 11 p.m., and I have no idea what effect that would have.

I would much rather see Jay at ABC. Of course, CBS would be the most ironic place, but it’s out of the question until at least 2010 because of David Letterman’s contract.

And all the while, as the speculation and rumor swirling begin, Jay is continuing about his business, doing his #1 show, working on his cars, and doing stand-up on the weekends.

How can you not love this guy? I know I do…

"Nashville" Gets Set to Return

The cast of FOX’s “Nashville,” which was recently pulled after two episodes, have been told that the show will return November 9th.

In the meantime, the show will complete production on eight episodes.

FOX is expected to do a new promotional campaign for the return…

Hannah/Miley Mania: "It's Like the Beatles"

How hot of a ticket is the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus concert?

Her Memphis show sold out in eight minutes. Though the highest ticket price is $65, average resale price is $214. That’s higher than Justin Timberlake, Beyonce and even The Police.

A ticket for the Charlotte show recently sold for $2565.

The tour’s organizer told the AP, “It’s like the Beatles”…

Samberg's Latest Gets Pulled

So before I even got the chance to catch up and post the link, NBC.com has pulled Emmy winner Andy Samberg’s latest digital short classic.

If you missed it, Andy—with help from Maroon 5’s Adam Levine and a cameo by Jake Gyllenhaal—serenaded Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (uncannily portrayed by Fred Armisen) with “Iran So Far Away.” Apparently, however, Samberg and “SNL” did not clear a musical sample from the group Aphex Twin.

A message on NBC.com says the clip is coming soon, so hopefully, this will all get straightened out so we can see it again…

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Billy Ray and Miley: Singing Together At Last

Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus have recorded a duet and the first place you can hear it is next week’s “Dancing With the Stars” results show…

It’s a duet of Billy Ray’s “Ready, Set, Don’t Go,” the first single off his latest CD, “Home At Last.” The song will be released to country radio stations immediately following the performance.

As you know, Billy Ray wrote the song about Miley, so this could be possibly be a real tearjerker—and a HUGE hit…

“Hannah Montana” fans know that the duo recorded another duet on the first “Hannah Montana” soundtrack called “I Learned From You.”

The results show of “Dancing With the Stars” airs Tuesday, October 9th at 9 p.m…

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

"Cavemen" Review: ???

Does anyone remember that episode of “Friends” from the first season ("The One With the Butt") when Joey did the play, “Freud!”? It was a musical about the life of Sigmund Freud and it was really bad. When the curtain went down for the final time, Rachel summed up the whole group’s feelings by saying, “I feel violated.”

That’s exactly how I feel about watching “Cavemen.”

I just can’t believe that someone actually thought this show was good enough to be on network television. And when I think of how “Knights of Prosperity” was cancelled for this crap, it just makes me want to cry.

If you missed it—and I hope for your sake you did—the show follows three cavemen roommates. One of them is an intellectual who is opposed to dating outside their kind (i.e. homo sapiens). One works at a Lowes-type store and is dating a homo sapien and the other just moved to California to try and get over his old girlfriend. I guess the show is supposed to be a cross between “Friends” and “Sex and the City,” but it’s just so ridiculous it’s a complete insult to those shows that I even said that.

I’m not a big fan of sexual innuendo, but caveman sexual innuendo? Am I actually supposed to be sitting through this without losing my dinner?

I know the show is supposed to be about confronting prejudice as the cavemen fight to gain equal footing with the homo sapiens, but it’s just so ridiculous. If I want to see a comedy integrate racial prejudice successfully into its storylines, I’ll watch reruns of “A Different World,” or even “The Jeffersons.”

Of course, watching people read the phone book would be more entertaining than this disaster.

I’m going to need another shower just to get the stench of this stinker off me…

“Cavemen” airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC…

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Things aren't looking too good...

In case you missed it, Kiefer Sutherland was officially charged Friday with misdemeanor driving under the influence and driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or above (The actual level has not been disclosed, although some reports had it at twice the limit.). If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of a year in jail and a minimum of four days.

If he is found guilty of violating his probation (from his 2004 arrest), he could be sentenced to an additional six months.

Kiefer’s arraignment is October 16th. He does not have to appear, unless the judge orders him to be there. But eventually Kiefer will have to face the same judge who sentenced him to probation in 2004—the same judge that threw the book at Paris Hilton. And then there’s that 1993 conviction for alcohol-related reckless driving hanging over his head.

In other words, things aren’t looking too good…

Now, let me say again that I believe Kiefer does deserve to go to jail, but if he does get 18 months in jail, you can say goodbye to “24.” And I would hate to see all of those people lose everything they’ve worked so hard for because of one man’s stupid decision.

And speaking of stupid decisions, allow me to share one more thing before I put this issue to rest. RT, who you all know as my second favorite Canadian (although this whole thing moves her A LOT closer to being my favorite), sent me a link to a video that absolutely turned my stomach. It shows Kiefer, clearly intoxicated, signing autographs for fans as he leaves the FOX party. There’s a guy standing next to him helping him move through the crowd who is either party security or a PR guy. After Kiefer gets away from the fans, he is escorted to his car by the unknown guy and…wait for it…TWO COPS! Yes, you read that correctly. One of them even asks Kiefer where his car is.

Two cops put an intoxicated man behind the wheel of a car and let him drive away. Now you know why it made me sick…

Now, those of you who are fans of conspiracies would say that those two cops then called the other cops who pulled Kiefer over, and I guess anything is possible. The boards and blogs are certainly buzzing about it, including a post over at TMZ.com by a woman who claims her boyfriend, who was working the party, is helping Kiefer’s lawyer fight for his innocence.

Again, let me reiterate that Kiefer should go to jail. But what about those THREE people who let him drive? No, Kiefer should have never put himself in that position to start with, but alcohol impairs judgment. Shouldn’t someone have stepped in to help?

I think what makes me the sickest about this whole thing is that it brings back some bad memories for me. It reminds me of a person I knew that was busted because someone didn’t care enough to take the keys. Thankfully, that situation worked out okay, but it could’ve been so much worse. I’d like to think if I had been there, I would’ve done something…

I hope that if you find yourself in a similar situation, you’ll do something too…

This Week's TV on DVD: The Walls Will Tumble


There are still some big titles hitting DVD this week, the biggest of which is Ken Burn’s “The War.” If you didn’t catch it on PBS last week, you can see it beginning today on DVD…

The other big title is the first season of “Jericho.” I look for this one to sell pretty well since people will want to see what all the fuss is about…

Here are the other major TV titles hitting stores today:

“Criminal Minds”—Season 2
“Entourage”—Season 3, Part 2
“A Salute to Hee Haw: Collector’s Edition”
“How I Met Your Mother”—Season 2
“I Love New York”—Season One
“Little People, Big World”—Season One
“The Sarah Silverman Program”—Season One
“The Secret World of Alex Mack”—Season One
“Shark”—Season One
“Star Trek: The Next Generation”—The Complete Series

Monday, October 01, 2007

"Big Shots" Review: Not As Bad As Advertised?

The reviews for “Big Shots” have been pretty crummy. So why did I find myself actually getting into it?

Maybe it’s because the cast is incredibly appealing (Read that as hot.). Or maybe it’s just not as bad as everyone said…

“Big Shots” revolves around four friends:

Duncan (Dylan McDermott) is the CEO of a cosmetics company. He’s chasing after one of his ex-wives, while trying to control their daughter. He’s on top of the world until a reporter reveals she’s doing some snooping into his life. It seems that Duncan was arrested for soliciting a prostitute, which he later saw to be a transvestite. Duncan pays the hooker to be quiet, not knowing he/she was wearing a tape recorder for the reporter.

James (Michael Vartan) is a VP at AmeriMart. However, his boss informs him at a party that the company needs reorganized and he’ll be fired the next day. But just a few minutes later, his boss is killed in an accident at the party. At his funeral, James learns that his boss and his wife were having an affair, so he leaves her. But James’ situation causes him to give an impassioned speech to the Board of Directors that gets him named the new CEO.

Karl (Joshua Malina) is the CEO of a pharmaceutical company. He and his wife are in therapy, but the big problem in their marriage is that he is having a steamy affair. But when his mistress, Marla, realizes that his marriage is not as shaky as she thought, she decides to tell his wife everything. But instead, they end up becoming friends.

Brody (Christopher Titus) basically lives to please his wife, who we never see. It’s his need to make her happy that actually leads to the accident that causes the death of James’ boss.

“Big Shots” is clearly meant to be a male “Sex and the City,” as evidenced by the number of times a certain male body part is mentioned in the first half-hour. And it succeeds for the most part, although I find it a little strange that these career-driven men have so much time to spend together.

But you really can’t beat the combination of Dylan McDermott and Michael Vartan. Joshua Molina is adorable as always and I’ve always been a Christopher Titus fan (even if I have never forgiven him for canceling his Funny Bone appearance).

The show is not great, mind you, but it’s not bad. And future episodes will have the touch of “Veronica Mars” creator Rob Thomas, who signed on as a consultant after the show was picked up.

So, I’m not ready to write this one off just yet, even though I probably should.

I guess I just can’t say no to those gorgeous McDermott baby blues…

“Big Shots” airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC…

"Dirty Sexy Money" Review: It's Got the Money Down...

If there was an award for show titles, “Dirty Sexy Money” would definitely win.

I’m just not sure it lives up to that moniker just yet…

The central character of “Dirty Sexy Money” is Nick George (Peter Krause). Nick grew up around the wealthy Darling family because his father, Dutch, was their lawyer. In fact, Dutch spent so much time with the Darlings, Nick’s mother left him and Nick.

Nick became a lawyer, but he promised himself he would never be like his father and never work for the Darlings…

After months of avoiding his father’s phone calls, Nick learns his father has died in a plane crash. So once again, Nick meets up with the Darlings at his father’s funeral.

And, of course, it’s only a matter of time before he breaks his promise after Tripp (Donald Sutherland), the Darling family patriarch, makes him an offer he can’t refuse.

But when Nick gets sucked into the Darling world, he starts to regret that decision…

Patrick (William Baldwin) is the NY Attorney General who’s contemplating a run for the U.S. Senate. However, he has a major skeleton in his closet—he’s cheating on his wife with a transvestite.

Juliet (Samaire Armstrong) is an aspiring actress who thinks her career is about to take off until she finds out her father financed the play she’s starring in. Though her father cautions her against doing anything dramatic to interfere with his anniversary party, she “tries” to commit suicide. But after a talk with her mother, she decides she needs to strike out on her own and moves out.

Karen (Natalie Zea) is about to marry her fourth husband, but she can’t stop thinking about Nick. However, her fiancé doesn’t get too upset about that since he enjoys Karen’s money and lifestyle.

Brian (Glenn Fitzgerald) is a reverend who completely despises Nick. However, that doesn’t stop him from asking for Nick’s help in getting a child into an elite private school. It turns out the child is Brian’s, but he won’t claim him because of the embarrassment it would cause his wife and family. When the child’s mother confronts Brian, she becomes frustrated, gives Brian the boy, and walks away.

Jeremy (Seth Gabel) is the partier. He gets himself into legal trouble after his gambling nets him a yacht that has drugs on board.

Letitia (Jill Clayburgh) is the family matriarch. When we first meet her, she’s taking Dutch’s death rather hard. It seems like she’s a little unhinged, but it becomes obvious that there’s another reason why she’s so upset.

After Nick’s wife, Lisa (Zoe Mclellan), misreads a moment between Nick and Karen, Nick quits. But he’s quickly sucked back in when Karen drops two bombshells on him. First, Brian used Darling Foundation money to pay an airplane mechanic. Second, Dutch and Letitia had been having an affair for years and Brian wasn’t happy about it.

So, Nick decides to work for the Darlings after all so he can get to the bottom of his father’s death.

“DSM” has a lot of possibilities, but it has some issues too. I’ve always like Samaire Armstrong, but Juliet is just one problem child too many. Natalie Zea’s Karen is a wonderfully ditzy character, but in order to introduce the murder mystery, she becomes completely serious and it’s a little jarring.

In fact, the entire murder mystery is a little jarring, because it feels so tacked on. But it does provide a plausible explanation for why Nick would risk his family to work for the Darlings. And I’m sure it will get much more development as we go on.

And development is really what the show needs. A few less bratty kids would help too…

It did have some genuinely funny moments involving Patrick and the running joke of the ringtones Nick’s secretary programmed into his cell phone to identify the Darlings’ numbers (Juliet’s is “Rich Girl.”).

But since Greg Berlanti has worked post-pilot magic before (He helped rescue “Brothers & Sisters” from its gloomy pilot.), I have no intention of giving up on it.

At least not until the dirty and sexy kick in…

“Dirty Sexy Money” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on ABC…

"Reaper" Review: Sometimes Warped Works

Sometimes, warped just works.

And that is certainly the case with the CW’s “Reaper”…

If you missed it, “Reaper” is the story of Sam (Bret Harrison). Sam’s a bit of a slacker who dropped out of college because it “made him sleepy.” He works at a Home Depot-like store with his best friend, Sock (Tyler Labine), his other friend, Ben (Rick Gonzalez), and his crush Andi (Missy Peregrym).

When the show begins, it’s Sam’s 21st birthday, but his parents are acting really weird about it. Strange things start happening to him at work and then a man calling himself the Devil (Ray Wise) shows up in his car.

Finally, his parents give him the explanation: They sold Sam’s soul to the devil before he was born, and the deal comes to fruition on his 21st birthday. To pay off the debt, the Devil wants Sam to collect souls that have escaped from Hell. If he doesn’t, the Devil will take Sam’s mom.

Sam, of course, is reluctant to go along with the Devil’s plan, but Sock think it’s really cool; and he and Ben agree to help.

But Sam’s first recovery attempt goes horribly wrong as a demon arsonist destroys an entire city block and Ben gets hurt. But after the Devil gives him a little more insight into his job—and threatens him—he and Sock go at it again, this time with success as Sam learns to use his newfound powers.

As I said, it’s warped, but it’s a good warped. In all honesty, there shouldn’t be anything funny about the Devil and escaped demons from Hell. Yet, somehow it is.

Part of the credit for that goes to the clever writing, but I would give most of the credit to the wonderful cast. Bret Harrison (“The Loop,” “Grounded for Life”) is adorable as usual, and Tyler Labine is always funny. But the star of the show is absolutely Ray Wise. He’s hilarious, but he’s also sufficiently creepy. And Missy Peregrym, who was so sinister on “Heroes” last season, is perfect as the girl-next-door Andi (an excellent recast from their first choice, Nikki Reed).

And there’s something beautifully ironic about a guy doing good deeds for the Devil.

Now, Sam, Sock and Ben continue to recover lost souls, while keeping it from Andi and Sam’s parents, who Sam lied to and told them his service to the Devil was over. And he has to deal with the Devil continually popping up unexpectedly in his life.

I have to admit that this post in no way does justice to the show. It’s just one of those you have to see for yourself. And you will laugh in spite of the show’s subject matter. You just can’t help it.

Like I said, in this case, warped works…

“Reaper” airs Tuesdays at 9 on the CW…

Pick of the Week: If you can't stand the heat...


I blame the long delay for new episodes of “Project Runway.”

Why else would I get hooked on a cooking competition show where the contestants cook meals I can’t even pronounce, let alone know what they are?

But hooked I am. In fact, some of the episodes I’ve seen four or five times (Gotta love Bravo). And I can’t just watch the episodes. I have to read all of the blogs to get even more info (Two-time guest judge Anthony Bourdain’s is always hilarious.).

And that’s why the season finale of “Top Chef: Miami” is my Pick of the Week…

In part one of the finale, Brian was eliminated after failing to deliver on his elk dish. That left Hung, Casey and Dale to compete for the title—the first time the show has ever had three in the finale.

And this year, there’s another first. The winner will be announced live. Talk about turning up the heat…

The finale of “Top Chef: Miami” airs Wednesday, October 3rd at 10 p.m. on Bravo. Please note it’s “supersized,” so it will run until around 11:15 p.m…

This Week's Premiere and Special Events Schedule...

My busy week turned into a crazy weekend which turned into a hectic morning, so I apologize for not posting all of the things I said I would. They’re still coming…

In the meantime, let me get you caught up on this week’s premiere schedule…

Monday, October 1st
Everybody Hates Chris—8 p.m.—CW (Chris Rock guests)
Celebrity Expose—8 p.m.—My Network TV
Aliens In America—8:30 p.m.—CW
Girlfriends—9 p.m.—CW
The Game—9:30 p.m.—CW

Tuesday, October 2nd
Cavemen—8 p.m.—ABC
Carpoolers—8:30 p.m.—ABC
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy—9 p.m.—Bravo (2 hrs.)

Wednesday, October 3rd
Pushing Daisies—8 p.m.—ABC
The Sarah Silverman Program—10:30 p.m.—Comedy Central
Better Half—11:15 p.m.—Bravo

Thursday, October 4th
30 Rock—8:30 p.m.—NBC (Jerry Seinfeld guests)
Supernatural—9 p.m.—CW
Law & Order: Criminal Intent—10 p.m.—USA

Friday, October 5th
Degrassi: The Next Generation—8 p.m.—The N
Friday Night Lights—9 p.m.—NBC

Sunday, October 7th
America’s Funniest Home Videos—7 p.m.—ABC
Life Is Wild—8 p.m.—CW

There are also some special events going on this week…

Monday, October 1st
Two and a Half Men—9 p.m.—CBS—Janeane Garofalo guests
Rules of Engagement—9:30 p.m.—CBS—Heather Locklear guests (a reunion with David Spade)

Tuesday, October 2nd
Dancing With the Stars—9 p.m.—ABC—The results move into their regular time slot
Eureka—9 p.m.—Sci Fi—Season Finale

Wednesday, October 3rd
Criminal Minds—9 p.m.—CBS—Mandy Patinkin’s final show
Top Chef—10 p.m.—Bravo (Season Finale)

Thursday, October 4th
Ugly Betty—8 p.m.—ABC—Rick Fox (ex-husband of Vanessa Williams) guests
Smallville—8 p.m.—CW—Supergirl (‘nuff said)
Grey’s Anatomy—9 p.m.—ABC—Ben Vereen and Diahann Carroll guest
General Hospital: Night Shift—11 p.m.—SOAPNet—Season Finale

Friday, October 5th
Numb3rs—10 p.m.—CBS—Aaron Stanford (“Traveler”) guests

Saturday, October 6th
MADTV—11 p.m.—FOX—Susan Sarandon (?!) hosts a clip show
Saturday Night Live—11:29 p.m.—Seth Rogen hosts with musical guest Spoon

Sunday, October 7th
American Dad—9:30 p.m.—FOX—Forest Whitaker (?!) and Molly Shannon guest
Side Order of Life—10 p.m.—Lifetime—Season finale