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"…

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Picks of the Week: It's All About Bravo

So now that the TV season is officially over, I can completely focus on the magic that is Bravo.

Who am I kidding? It’s always been about Bravo…

This week’s Picks of the Week are “Top Chef: Chicago” and “Step It Up and Dance.”

“Top Chef” moves the action to Puerto Rico this week for part one of the season finale. The final four—Richard, Antonia, Stephanie and Lisa—will compete to see who makes part two.

I’m rooting for two people—Richard to win and Lisa to go home.

“Top Chef: Chicago” airs Wednesday, June 4th at 10 p.m. on Bravo…

“Step It Up and Dance” is not the best of reality competition shows. But for some reason I’ve been watching it. Maybe it’s because the host is Elizabeth Berkley, the queen of cheesy goodness. Maybe it’s because some of the male dancers are super-cute.

Or maybe it’s just because it’s on Bravo…

Whatever the reason, I’ll be watching the season finale this week, rooting for my guy Nick, who has finally started to, well, step it up and dance.

But he didn’t do himself any favors by shaving…

“Step It Up and Dance” airs Thursday, June 5th at 10 p.m. on Bravo…

Friday, May 30, 2008

"Lost": Hmmmm...

So at the end of last night’s “Lost,” all I could say was “Hmmm.”

Not “Gasp!” or “Oh my gosh!” or “Wow!” Just “Hmmm.”

In fact, with about five minutes to go, I told myself that there had better be a whopper of a cliffhanger or I was going to be disappointed.

That’s right. I said it. Disappointed. And I’ve got a feeling I will be the only one who says that, but I can’t help it. It’s how I feel…

Warning: If you have not seen the season finale of “Lost,” stop reading now.

My disappointment started with the cruel way they dispatched Jin. Yes, I know, you could see it coming from a mile away, but it was just cruel. I’m all for making Sun a vengeance seeker (What’s up with her and Widmore?), but couldn’t they have killed him some other way? Jack choosing Kate over him was just wrong.

And whose idea were the explosives anyway? Keamey or Widmore? Just curious…

Then there was the whole Jeremy Bentham business. Yes, I understand that the show wanted to keep the suspense going as to who was in the coffin, but did anyone else feel it was a little ridiculous that everyone kept referring to Locke by this new name? It’s not like he changed his appearance or anything. I felt like Hurley when he asked Sayid, “Why do you keep calling him that?”

By the way, since Doc Jensen has yet to post his recap, I actually checked out Jeremy Bentham on Wikipedia myself. He was an “English jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer” best known for “his advocacy of utilitarianism.”

In “The Principles of Morals and Legislation,” he wrote, “Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are fastened to their throne. They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think…”

Okay, I can see Locke in that. And I understand that Locke would have to change his name since everyone thought he was dead. But I don’t understand why people who spent all of that time with him would refer to him by another name—both first and last, mind you—other than to create suspense during a two-hour episode.

I did, however, like the way the show switched us back and forth between it being Ben and Locke. And I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I was glad it was Locke because I’m really starting to like Ben. Michael Emerson is absolutely fantastic in the role and totally deserves the Emmy that Terry O’Quinn (Locke) swiped from him last year. His droll delivery of his lines is often the best part of the show and definitely was last night.

But there was one other major highlight—the reunion of Desmond and Penny. I should have seen it coming, but for some reason I just didn’t. I hesitate to say it was a happy ending, because you know that just isn’t going to be the case since Ben has already threatened Penny’s life.

Which leads me to the questions left behind by the finale…

What happened to Faraday and the raft of Oceanic survivors when the island disappeared?

Why was Charlotte on the island before?

What happened to Claire?

What is the deal with Jack’s dad, Christian? Is he Jacob’s disciple or something? Or is he actually Jacob? And if he is, what does that even mean?

And the biggest question. Why do I feel so disappointed?

Maybe it’s because after hoping all this time that the survivors would get off the island, now I know they’ve got to go back. And for some reason, that just doesn’t work for me…

What did you think about the finale? Am I wrong to feel slightly cheated?...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

"Star" Gets Off to a Swift Start

NBC is pulling out all the stops for “Nashville Star”…

According to USAToday.com, Taylor Swift will perform during the show’s two-hour premiere Monday, June 9th.

The episode will show highlights from casting calls and will reveal the top 12 finalists.

Billy Ray Cyrus is the host with judges John Rich, Jewel and award-winning songwriter Jeffrey Steele (“What Hurts the Most”).

Encores of the show will air on CMT…

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thursday Night is the Time to Get "Lost"

Thursday night is “Lost” night on ABC…

It all kicks off at 8 p.m. with an encore of part one of the season finale (which aired two weeks ago) with “additional footage,” according to the ABC promos.

Then it’s the two-hour season finale that you just know will blow all of our minds.

And I would suggest having some tissues handy as well…

I will have my thoughts on the finale afterward—if I’m not so blown away I can’t type—so be sure to come share your thoughts…

Some Good News On the Strike Front

So I have some actual good news to report on the strike front…

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists has reached a tentative deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on a new three-year contract.

According to EW.com, AFTRA made some gains in “new media,” but no gains were made in DVD residuals.

AFTRA is the second-largest performers union representing such shows as “Rules of Engagement,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “’Til Death.”

The ball is now in the court of the Screen Actors Guild, which was scheduled to resume its talks with the AMPTP this morning. Insiders believe that the AFTRA agreement will put more pressure on SAG to reach an agreement and avoid another strike—which would be a good idea since Hollywood is still recovering from the last one…

Friday, May 23, 2008

Happy Memorial Day!

Ladies and gentlemen, after a month of special episodes, network upfront presentations and season finales, the time has come for me to take a little break…

So I wish you all a happy and safe Memorial Day and I will see you next week…

Pick of the Week: A Complete No Brainer

This week’s Pick was a complete no brainer.

There’s only one season finale left and it is a DOOZY…

My Pick of the Week is the season finale of “Lost”…

We’ll get some important answers tonight--the identity of the person in the coffin, how the Oceanic 6 got off the island--but you know we’ll get a whole bunch of new questions.

And honestly, would you have it any other way?

The two-hour season finale of “Lost” airs Thursday, May 29th at 9 p.m. on ABC…

CBS Finale Roundup

Here’s my annual round-up of season finales on CBS…

“The Big Bang Theory”: Will It Go Boom?

This show has become one of my very favorites. It is truly the funniest show on TV--besides “CSI: Miami,” of course. The humor can be a little cerebral and it’s always geeky, but it’s hilarious nonetheless.

If you’ve never seen it, “Bang” is the story of two geeks, Leonard and Sheldon (Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons) who live next door to a beautiful blonde, Penny (Kaley Cuoco). Leonard has a huge crush on Penny, but has never acted on it--until the finale…

After Penny breaks up with her boyfriend, Leonard asks her out and she accepts. But both of them have their doubts, until Leonard kisses Penny and she likes it. When the episode ends, we see the two of them going on their first date.

Of course, we all wanted Leonard to get his shot with Penny, but did it happen too early? We all know how getting the couple together can be a “jump the shark” moment. And if they don’t work out, what will the show’s premise be then?

I had just added this show to my must-see-list. I hope I don’t end up marking it off…

“How I Met Your Mother”: What?!
At the end of last season, I said “Mother” was the most frustrating show on TV. I understand that the premise is finding out who the “mother” is and if they tell that the show could possibly jump the shark. But sometimes I just want to scream, “Tell us already, would ya?”

However, in the past few weeks (minus that silly Britney episode), I’ve fallen for the show’s charm, thanks in large part to Sarah Chalke’s turn as Stella. And the season finale was incredibly charming--minus that WAY too long Marshall with lice flashback--as Ted realized he loved Stella and reconciled with Barney. Plus, Barney realizing he loves Robin was…wait for it…AWESOME!

But then, the show completely threw me for a loop when Ted proposed to Stella in the show’s cliffhanger.

What?!

There’s been a lot of speculation that Stella is the mother and this development (although we haven’t heard her answer yet) would lend some credibility to that. But I can’t help but wonder if this is too soon.

And if she says no, I’ll be crushed. Because I really would like for her to be the mother. And not just because I want the show to get on with this thing…

“NCIS”: Give Me a Break!
So if I had to choose a person to die on this show, Director Jenny Shepherd would have absolutely been my choice. She’s annoyed me ever since she came on the show. The only problem was that her death insured that drama would overshadow the show’s usual humorous charm since she was the director and she was so intertwined with Gibbs. And having the death occur in the first hour just made it even worse.

But it was the show’s cliffhanger that really made me roll my eyes--for the second year in a row, I might add. After Jenny’s funeral, the new director called the team to his office and let them know he was reassigning McGee and DiNozzo, sending Ziva home and giving Gibbs a new team…

Give me a break!

I understand the show wants to shake things up, but why? I told you it’s the little show that could, so shouldn’t they just leave well enough alone? The ending really looked like something Donald Bellisario would do. And I thought he and his ways were long gone…

“Numb3rs”: “I think it’s to be continued…”
Speaking of shows trying to shake things up, “Numb3rs” threw in a real twist when Charlie (David Krumholtz) and Don (Rob Morrow) ended up on opposite sides of an issue, leading to Charlie losing his ability to work with the FBI. Now, obviously, this situation will get repaired, or else there’s no show. As Alan, their dad, said when Don left for the bureau without Charlie, “I think it’s to be continued…”

Interestingly, the idea of Charlie and Don being on opposite sides was the original premise of the show. In fact, the brothers were so estranged that the original pilot (with another actor playing Don) actually ended with Don hitting on Amita. Obviously, the estrangement is an idea that the show still wants to pursue, but I hate it when this show tries to get all personal.

However, I loved the fact that Larry did not leave with Megan. I was a little worried that Peter
MacNicol might be forced out by Diane Farr’s exit. And let’s face it. He’s the only real reason to watch this show…

"Back to You" Deserved to Be Back

You know I was not a fan of “Back to You,” the recently cancelled FOX sitcom starring Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton.

But after watching the last 10 minutes of the series finale, I am more convinced than ever that it deserved another chance…

“Back” should have been a huge smash, but the mega-watt stars couldn’t overcome the show’s ill-conceived premise--the recently reunited feuding news co-anchors shared a child.
But in the finale the premise that doomed the show actually opened the door for a creative renaissance…

Chuck (Grammer) and Kelly (Heaton) finally told their daughter, Gracie, who her father was, but they decided they couldn’t tell anyone else. Why? Because the television station where they worked had recently kicked off the ad campaign, “Chuck and Kelly do it again.” And an admission of a child would give that phrase a whole new meaning…

But when Gracie is hurt by their desire to keep the secret, Chuck does the right thing and tells everyone live during a newscast. When they return to the newsroom, everyone applauds and congratulates them.

However, the final scene shows Chuck and Kelly trying to stay awake during “Good Morning, Pittsburgh” apparently having been demoted from their evening news spots.

This new development could have led to some good comedy as Chuck and Kelly tried to get back to the top.

But unfortunately, we’ll never find out where it was headed…

I understand the show was just too expensive to justify saving it, but couldn’t FOX have cut the budget for something else to find the money? Like say, by firing Randy Jackson from “American Idol”…

Thursday, May 22, 2008

"Grey's Anatomy": A Big Night for Kissing

You guys know I don’t watch “Grey’s Anatomy,” but I watched the last fifteen minutes of the finale so I could see this big movie kiss that everyone’s been promising for weeks now.

Little did I know that there would be more than one…

With all the kissing that was going on, I half expected McSteamy to go back into the hospital and plant one on Bailey…

And I’ve got good news Mer-Der fans. That look of doubt in Meredith’s face shouldn’t worry you.

Warning: If you don’t want to know any details about next season, stop reading now…

Show creator and head writer Shonda Rhimes has told anyone that will listen that she plans on getting the two of them back together AND keeping them together…

So what did you think of the “Grey’s” finale?

"So You Think You Can Dance": I just can't do it...

My boss told me I really need to watch “So You Think You Can Dance.”

I’m sure there are some of you who feel the same way. But I’ll tell you the same thing I told her.

I just can’t do it…

For five long months, I give two nights a week of my life to “American Idol.” The summer is when I finally get a break and see what it’s like outside…

But I know a lot of you are watching, so feel free to leave any thoughts that you have about tonight’s premiere here…

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"Dancing With the Stars": I Called It Again

Tonight, “Dancing With the Stars” handed out that disco ball to its newest champion.

And once again, I called it before the season started. Here’s what I wrote on March 3rd…

So, who do I see as an early favorite? I’m going with Kristi and Mark. Kristi is
a professional skater so we know she has moves and Mark is a good partner—if his
shoulder is completely healed.


Now, in all honesty, it didn’t take an expert to know that Kristi was going to be good. The question was whether or not she was going to be popular.

But let’s face it. If Kristi hadn’t have won, it would have been completely unfair considering how good she was.

And don’t worry about Jason. He was meeting with Hollywood studios last week and even had a meeting with Denzel Washington to discuss possible acting opportunities (according to USAToday.com)…

So what do you think? Did the right dancer take home that coveted disco ball?

"Gossip Girl": I Know I Should Love You

If you’re a fan of “Gossip Girl,” you know that her signature signoff is “You know you love me. XOXO, Gossip Girl.”

But for me, it’s been more like “You know you should love me…”

After all, “Gossip” is from Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, the dynamic duo behind my beloved “The O.C.” But for some reason, I just haven’t been able to get behind “Gossip.”

Maybe it’s because it’s too much like my beloved “The O.C.” I mean, think about it. We have a guy from the wrong side of the tracks who falls for the socialite with issues and a fondness for alcohol. There’s the female best friend from the wrong side of the tracks that’s always there for our guy when he needs her. There’s the gorgeous misunderstanding mother with an interesting past of her own. And there’s the rich man who sets his sights on the gorgeous mother while ruling his own family with an iron fist.

Couldn’t Josh and Stephanie have come up with something else?

On second thought, maybe it’s okay that they stick with rerun stories since their one attempt at something original--Jenny’s war with Blair--didn’t make any sense. I mean, think about it. Why would a bunch of rich junior girls from the East Side follow after a freshman from Brooklyn? It just didn’t compute and it wasn’t really worth watching.

What was worth watching was Chuck evolve into an actual human being. You may remember that I was totally disgusted by him after the premiere and honestly, I found him hard to watch for most of the season. But then a few weeks ago, Chuck started to change. He started becoming an actual friend to Serena and an older brother to Eric. And last night, the evolution was complete as Chuck admitted he was in love with Blair and found a romantic way to get her back. I actually clapped when they kissed because they’re the only couple on the show I care about.

Don’t get me wrong. Dan and Serena are all right and everything, but I just can’t handle a Ryan-Marissa redux considering all the horrible turns that pairing took before they mercifully killed Marissa…

So you can imagine I was not happy about how the episode turned out. But in all honesty, I should have known better. I’ve been down this road with Josh Schwartz before..

Warning: If you have not seen Monday’s episode of “Gossip Girl,” stop reading now…

In one brief moment, all of the good will “Gossip” had built up in me, completely disappeared as after hearing his dad tell him how a relationship with Blair would end his partying ways and make him respectable, Chuck turned his back on Blair and set his sights on another girl.

And suddenly, flashbacks of that horrible night when Schwartz destroyed “The O.C.” rushed into my head…

So, Serena is going to end up with Nate, Dan is going to end up with Vanessa and I am going to end up watching something else Mondays at 8 next year.

I just can’t go through this again…

XOXO

"CSI: Miami": A Cheesy Homage to a Classic

I promised you lots of cheesy goodness from the “CSI: Miami” season finale. And what could be cheesier than an homage to the most classic cliffhanger of all time?

Warning: If you have not seen the season finale of “CSI: Miami,” stop reading now…

The actual storyline of this episode made little sense--other than to set up the final moments and to tease us some more with the thought of Eric and Calleigh as a couple (Get them together already!)--but it had something to do with illegal killer bullets ending up on the street. And somehow Ron, the boyfriend of Julia, the mother of Kyle, Horatio’s son, was involved.

One by one, the stage was set as Horatio was threatened by Ron and the episode’s main bad guy. Then, we saw Julia going somewhere with a gun, and even Kyle seemed ready to use his own gun.

Then, just like that classic “Who shot J.R.?” moment (although way cheesier), Horatio was shot with a whole list of suspects--including one I should’ve seen coming, but didn’t…

Ryan had left the interrogation room because he had somewhere to be, which I thought was suspicious, but then it completely slipped my mind--until Ryan emerged in front of the police station with the text message, “It is done.”

I’m a big fan of Ryan, so I was pretty upset that they were making him a bad guy. And then I remembered that this is “CSI: Miami,” the show that loves to tease with us things that aren’t what they seem (Eric’s “death” anyone?). So I‘m, pretty sure that Ryan was not involved (Maybe he was receiving the text message Horatio was sending when he was shot?). But it does give the whole cliffhanger a nice little twist that they will no doubt screw up next year…

And as for Horatio, I hope you don’t actually think he’s dead, because there’s just no way. There is no “CSI: Miami” without Horatio.

So, how will he survive? Especially if the shooter used those illegal bullets?

Why, his magic sunglasses, of course. Why do you think he was reaching for them at the end?…

Monday, May 19, 2008

"Desperate Housewives": The Future Is Now

I promised you a twist…

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

I had actually heard about the show’s time jump a few months ago. But that’s when creator Marc Cherry was still debating on whether to move forward or go backward to a time when Mary Alice was still alive.

But the ABC promos (“a glimpse into the future”) and a “USA Today” article posted Friday cleared things up to the point where I was not surprised by the “five years later” bit.
In fact, I was disappointed. The show makes a bold move like this and the only thing to signal it is a lousy graphic?

But then the revelations started occurring…

At the end of the episode, my fiance--who was sweet enough to watch with me--said, “Who’s that guy?” And I, of course, answered, “I have no idea”…

But as important as the question of that guy’s identity is, there’s an equally important question that must be asked. Will this be where the show is from now on or was this just a “Lost”-style flashforward where we see the future and then we’ll spend the rest of the show’s life trying to get to that point?

That one I can actually answer. For Wisteria Lane, the future is now.

According to an article posted today on USAToday.com, when next season premieres, we will be in the future we saw at the end of last night’s episode.

So were does that leave Mike? James Denton, who plays Mike, told USAToday.com that he won’t find out whether he still has a job until mid-June. “My agents are fielding offers. If anyone needs my services, they should give us a call.”

I do not like the sound of that…

The people we know are definitely gone, according to the article, are Joy Lauren (Danielle), Andrea Bowen (Julie), Lyndsy Fonseca (Dylan) and the children who played Tom and Lynette’s kids.

Doug Savant (Tom) told USAToday.com that he was “devastated for the kids.” Teen actors will be cast during the summer to replace the boys.

So why the move? Cherry said it offers “cleanliness.” He said in the article that he learned after the debacle of season two that “you have to go back to square one to build up the tension again.”
So, he decided this year to “really mix it up.”

Cherry plans to end the series in 2011 and is still considering making a leap backward--possibly for the final season…

You have to give Cherry credit. His twist did totally obliterate any lingering thoughts on the whole Dylan mystery--which is a good thing since its resolution was a bit disappointing and didn’t completely make sense.

And what was the point of the whole Ellie story? To get Carlos and Gaby some money?

But I LOVED the resolution of the Kayla story. I actually clapped when Tom picked up that phone.

And I really hope that Katherine has the good sense to beg Adam for forgiveness and get him back. He did save her life after all (Note to makeup people: It is just wrong to mess up a pretty face like that.).

But it’s that Susan question that dominates my thoughts on the episode. Who is that guy? And where’s Mike? Could it be, as EW.com suggests, that Mike’s “I want him to have someone to live up to” speech was a foreshadowing of Mike’s death?

When they showed only the back of the head of the man Susan was talking to, I knew it was going to be someone else. But I was guessing someone we already knew like her ex-husband, Karl, or even Adam. Someone we don’t know, though? I don’t know if I like that or not…

I guess I’ll Stay Tuned…

Picks of the Week: The Wars Are On!

Because the week is jam-packed, I had to go with a trio of Picks for the week…

First, be sure you’ve got some crackers to scoop up all the cheesy goodness you’ll get from the season finale of “CSI: Miami.” Yes, Elizabeth Berkley is back AND someone is targeting all the CSIs. Sunglasses on, H. It’s time to get serious.

“CSI: Miami” airs Monday, May 19th at 10 p.m. on CBS…

Second, it’s the little show that could, “NCIS.” Going head-to-head with “American Idol,” the show has still brought in 14 million viewers a week. And this week, it’s taking on “Idol” and “Dancing With the Stars” with a two-hour season finale. And this one has an extra twist as something really bad happens to the team (which I may or may not be very unhappy about depending on who’s involved).

“NCIS” airs Tuesday, May 20th at 8 p.m. on CBS…

Third, it’s the most anticipated episode of my reality obsession, “Top Chef.” They told us two weeks ago that “restaurant wars” was now “wedding wars.” But thankfully, they were just teasing us as the restaurant wars are on this week. I’m just sorry that crazy Andrew won’t be a part of it. However, as a consolation, the Simon Cowell of the kitchen, the fabulous Anthony Bourdain will fill in for Tom as head judge.

“Top Chef” airs Wednesday at 10 p.m. on Bravo…

The Finale Week of Sweeps...

Some of the biggest finales of the year air this week, so get out those calendars and get ready for the last week of sweeps…

Monday, May 19th, it’s the season finales of “Bones” (8 PM, FOX), “Gossip Girl” (8 PM, CW), “The Big Bang Theory” (8 PM, CBS), “How I Met Your Mother” (8:30 PM, CBS), “House” (9 PM, FOX), “One Tree Hill” (9 PM, CW) “Flavor of Love 3” (9 PM, VH1), “Two and a Half Men” (9 PM, CBS), “Rules of Engagement” (9:30 PM, CBS) and “CSI: Miami” (10 PM, CBS). “Dancing With the Stars” has its final performance show (8 PM, ABC), followed by the two-hour premiere of “The Bachelorette” (9:02 PM, ABC)…

Tuesday, May 20th bring us the season finales of “NCIS” (8 PM, CBS), “Reaper” (9 PM, CW), and “Dancing With the Stars” (9 PM, ABC) and the series finale of “Shark” (10 PM, CBS). “American Idol” has its final performance show (8 PM, FOX)…

Wednesday, May 21st are the season finales of “American Idol” (8 PM, FOX), “Criminal Minds” (9 PM, CBS), “CSI: NY” (10 PM, CBS), “Law and Order” (10 PM, NBC) and “Boston Legal” (10 PM, ABC). CBS brings us another “Price Is Right Million Dollar Spectacular” (8 PM) and Comedy Central presents the season premiere of “Mind of Mencia” (10:30 PM)…

Thursday, May 22nd are the highly anticipated season finales of “Ugly Betty,” guest starring Naomi Campbell and Lindsay Lohan (8 PM, ABC), and “Grey’s Anatomy” (9 PM, ABC). To make way for the two-hour “Grey’s” finale, “Lost” fans will have to wait until next week…Two summer reality staples have their season premieres “So You Think You Can Dance” (8 PM, FOX) and “Last Comic Standing” (9:30 PM, NBC)…

Saturday, May 24th, USA presents a marathon of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” featuring the fans’ choices for the best episodes featuring Chris Noth. (9 AM). Among the ones airing is “Renewal” (5 PM), in which Logan talks about a dream he had about his old partner Lennie (the late, great Jerry Orbach), which was inspired by a dream Noth had about Orbach…Also, CBS makes the strange move of airing a new made-for-TV movie on Saturday night with “Vinegar Hill” starring Mary-Louise Parker as a woman who is forced to move in with her in-laws (8 PM, CBS)…

Sunday, May 25th, is all about racing. The double feature kicks off with “The Indianapolis 500” (1 PM, ABC) and then continues with the “Coca-Cola 600” (5 PM, FOX)…Animal Planet presents the early days of Flower, the meerkat who died last year, with “Meerkat Manor: The Story Begins,” narrated by Whoopi Goldberg (8 PM, Animal Planet)…If you have HBO, you can relive the insanity of the 2000 election with the movie, “Recount” (9 PM)…

Phew! This is going to be a busy week. Good thing Monday’s a holiday…

Thursday, May 15, 2008

FOX's Fall Schedule: The Return of "24"

FOX announced its fall schedule today, but the big announcement was the official return of “24.”
FOX will present a two-hour movie Sunday, November 23rd at 8 p.m. The movie will take place just a few months before the start of day seven and will have Jack in the middle of an incident in Africa as the United States prepares to inaugurate its first female president. Parts of the movie will be shot on location in South Africa.

Here is the rest of FOX’s fall schedule, as reported on Variety.com, TVWeek.com and TVGuide.com…

Monday
8 PM--Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
9 PM--Prison Break

Tuesday
8 PM--House
9 PM--Fringe

Wednesday
8 PM--Bones
9 PM--’Til Death
9:30 PM--Do Not Disturb

“Disturb” is a comedy about a New York hotel starring Jerry O’Connell.

Thursday
8 PM--The Moment of Truth
9 PM--Kitchen Nightmares

Friday
8 PM--Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
9 PM--Don’t Forget the Lyrics!

Saturday
8 PM--Cops
9 PM--America’s Most Wanted

Sunday
7 PM--The OT
8 PM--The Simpsons
8:30 PM--King of the Hill
9 PM--Family Guy
9:30 PM--American Dad

Here’s FOX’s January schedule, but be sure not to write it in pen, because it will change…

Monday
8 PM--Dollhouse
9 PM--24

“Dollhouse” is a drama from Joss Whedon (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) about a team “imprinted with personalities to solve secret missions, only to have their memories wiped clean in a high-tech lab/dorm.” It stars Eliza Dushku.

Tuesday
8 PM--American Idol
9 PM--Fringe

“Fringe” is the new drama from J.J. Abrams (“Lost”) about a female FBI agent, a scientist and his “bad-boy genius son” who investigate unexplained phenomena.

Wednesday
8 PM--House
9 PM--American Idol Results
9:30 PM--TBA Comedy

Thursday
8 PM--Hell’s Kitchen
9 PM--Secret Millionaire

“Millionaire” is a new reality show about rich people who go undercover into poor neighborhoods pretending to be documentary filmmakers while actually being there to hand out money.

Friday
Same

Saturday
Same

Sunday
7 PM--Comedy encores
8 PM--The Simpsons
8:30 PM--(January) King of the Hill
9 PM--(January) Family Guy
(Spring) Sit Down, Shut Up
9:30 PM--(January) American Dad
(Spring) The Cleveland Show

“Sit” is an animated comedy about a dysfunctional family at a school that reunites “Arrested Development” creator Mitch Hurwitz with Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Henry Winkler. “Cleveland” is the “Family Guy” spinoff featuring the Griffins’ neighbor, Cleveland.

Not returning are “Back To You,” “Canterbury’s Law,” “K-Ville,” “Nashville,” “New Amsterdam,” “The Next Great American Band,” “The Return of Jezebel James,” and “Unhitched.”

FOX will start rolling out its schedule the week of August 25th so they can present an alternative to the Democratic National Convention.. But considering how into the election everyone is this year, I think that might be a mistake…

Did NBC Actually Consider Putting O.J. on "Celebrity Apprentice"?

The answer to the above question is, thankfully, no--but not because Donald Trump didn’t take it to them…

Trump told “Extra” (as reported on USAToday.com), “Let’s say that NBC, when I mentioned O.J. Simpson, had a heart attack. They weren’t too thrilled. I’m not saying I would have done it either, but it was certainly somebody that would be interesting.”

It’s nice to see that Ben Silverman has some scruples…

"Talent" Winner Just Keeps Getting Bigger

So, if you’re a fan of “America’s Got Talent,” you might be wondering how Terry Fator, last year’s winner is doing.

Quite well, actually.

According to USAToday.com, Fator just signed a five-year deal with The Mirage in Las Vegas with an option for an additional five years. He will continue to perform at the Hilton in Las Vegas through the end of the year. Then, in February 2009, he will perform five shows a week in the 1265-seat Terry Fator Theatre.

Yes, that’s right. He’s getting his own theatre. I’d say that’s doing quite well, wouldn’t you?

Here's Terry's performance of "What a Wonderful World," which has had almost 6.9 million views since July...

The CW Sets Its Sundays...Without "Moonlight"

The CW has revealed the four new shows that Media Rights Capital will produce for them as reported on TVGuide.com…

“F.A.T. City,” a procedural crime drama set in Las Vegas
“Valentine’s Day,” a “Cupid”-like romantic drama
Comedies “Murphy’s Law” and “Surviving Suburbia”

No other details were released.

“Moonlight” fans had hoped that MRC would pick their show up, but that turned out to be Nikki Finke getting people’s hopes up again for no reason…

On her “Deadline Hollywood” blog, Finke reported that there was a chance the show could get picked up by MRC, but later reported that the company passed because it was looking for fresh material.

Finke concluded her “Moonlight” post by telling fans, “Hollywood is a business, and these are business decisions. Don’t take it personally. Just move on.”

Well, Nikki, maybe if you hadn’t given them hope, they could have moved on a lot sooner…

Sorry, I’m still really bitter from when she told us the Writers’ Strike would be over before Christmas…

Did Nina Get a New Gig?

You may recall that I told you Nina Garcia was the former Fashion Director at “Elle” magazine.
So what happened? No one is really sure, but she may have found herself a new job that could end up changing “Project Runway”…

“Fashion Week Daily” is reporting that Garcia will join “Marie Claire” as its fashion director in September.

So, does this mean that “Runway” will now be sponsored by “Marie Claire”? A Weinstein Company rep said that Garcia’s job change is “completely separate” and that negotiations for season six are just starting with “Elle.”

Garcia is on board for season five, but season six is still up in the air…

Jonas Brothers Overkill?

Disney Channel believes they have found its new “High School Musical” and they are going to shove it down our throats to make sure of it…

“Camp Rock,” a TV-movie starring the Jonas Brothers, will debut the weekend of June 20th on three different channels: Disney, ABC and ABC Family.
The soundtrack will drop June 17th and in a quick turnaround, the DVD will be released August 19th. Also, Demi Lovato, one of the movie’s stars, will tour with the Jonas Brothers this summer.

Can you say overkill?

In case you‘re wondering, “Rock” takes place at a summer rock camp where camp instructor Shane (Joe Jonas) sets out to find the girl who belongs to the amazing voice he heard in the kitchen one night (Lovato). Nick and Kevin Jonas co-star as Shane’s bandmates.
I’ll probably watch “Rock” just to see what the big deal is but I think Disney might want to lighten up before they burn the Jonas Brothers fad out…

The Latest on Isaiah vs. "Grey's"

Remember when I asked if “Grey’s Anatomy” had awoken the beast that is Isaiah Washington?
It appears the answer to that question could be yes…

Washington has filed a complaint with the Screen Actors Guild claiming “Grey’s” used his image without his permission.

In an episode earlier this month, Washington’s Dr. Burke was featured in a newspaper article with a photo announcing he had won an award. Washington’s publicist told “The Hollywood Reporter” that the show has the rights of the character to “advance the story, but not the image.” The rep said he expects a “financial settlement”…

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The CBS Fall Schedule: A Few New Wrinkles

CBS announced its schedule today. Here it is, as reported by Variety.com and EW.com…

Monday
8 PM--Big Bang Theory
8:30 PM--How I Met Your Mother
9 PM--Two and a Half Men
9:30 PM--Worst Week
10 PM--CSI: Miami

“Week” is a comedy about a guy who’s a “magnet for trouble.”

Tuesday
8 PM--NCIS
9 PM--The Mentalist
10 PM--Without a Trace

“Mentalist” is a drama starring Simon Baker (“The Guardian”) as a detective with “a keen eye for details.”

Wednesday
8 PM--New Adventures of Old Christine
8:30 PM--Project Gary
9 PM--Criminal Minds
10 PM--CSI: NY

“Gary” is a comedy starring Jay Mohr as a divorced dad “navigating his new life as a bachelor--with kids.”

Thursday
8 PM--Survivor
9 PM--CSI
10 PM--Eleventh Hour

“Hour” is the newest creation from Jerry Bruckheimer about “two brainiacs who investigate scientific mysteries.”

Friday
8 PM--Ghost Whisperer
9 PM--The Ex-List
10 PM--Numb3rs

“List” is a dramedy about a woman (Elizabeth Reaser of “Grey’s Anatomy”) who goes back and dates all of her exes after she finds out she’s already met her future husband.

Saturday
8 PM--Drama Repeats
10 PM--48 Hours Mystery

Sunday
7 PM--60 Minutes
8 PM--The Amazing Race
9 PM--Cold Case
10 PM--The Unit

“The Rules of Engagement” will return midseason. “Harper’s Island,” a drama the network describes as a cross between “10 Little Indians” and “Scream,” will also premiere in midseason.

Not returning are “Cane,” “Jericho,” “Kid Nation,” “Moonlight,” “Shark,” “Viva Laughlin,” and “Welcome to the Captain.”

There are two interesting scheduling moves that jump right out at me. First, “Without a Trace” moves into CBS’s dead spot--Tuesdays at 10. You would think “Trace” could handle it, but since that will put it up against the similarly themed “Law & Order: SVU,” this move could backfire.

The second interesting move is putting “The Ex-List” Fridays at 9. Personally, I don’t see the flow between “Whisperer,” “List” and “Numb3rs,” but maybe they know something I don’t.

It’s also nice to see CBS trying to re-start its Wednesday comedy block. I’m not saying it will be successful, I just think it’s nice to see them trying…

And for the record, I believe that “Moonlight” deserved a second chance. I wasn’t a fan, but I still think it deserved it…

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

ABC's Fall Schedule: "Stable"

ABC announced its schedule today, and the trades are calling it “stable.” The network is only adding two new shows to the fall schedule with two more in line for mid-season.

However, there are 17 pilots still in contention for midseason spots.

Stupid writer’s strike…

Here is ABC’s fall schedule (as reported in “Variety“ and on TVGuide.com)…

Monday
8 PM--Dancing With the Stars
9:30 PM--Samantha Who?
10 PM--Boston Legal

Tuesday
8 PM--Opportunity Knocks
9 PM--Dancing With the Stars Results
10 PM--Eli Stone

“Knocks” is a mobile game show that will travel to homes and test how well people know their families. The show will travel to towns across America in semis carrying prizes.

Wednesday
8 PM--Pushing Daisies
9 PM--Private Practice
10 PM--Dirty Sexy Money

Thursday
8 PM--Ugly Betty
9 PM--Grey’s Anatomy
10 PM--Life on Mars

“Mars” is based on a BBC series about a modern-day police detective who mysteriously finds himself transported back to 1973, but still a cop. The show was originally developed by David E. Kelley, but Kelley will now concentrate on writing the last batch of “Boston Legal” episodes.

Friday
8 PM--Wife Swap
9 PM--Supernanny
10 PM--20/20

Saturday
8 PM--Saturday Night College Football

Sunday
8 PM--Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
9 PM--Desperate Housewives
10 PM--Brothers & Sisters

An untitled Tyra Banks/Ashton Kutcher beauty pageant reality show, “The Goode Family,” and “Scrubs” will premiere in midseason. “Family” is an animated series from the creator of “King of the Hill” about a family obsessed with doing the right thing.

“Lost,” “According to Jim” and “The Bachelor” will also return midseason.

Not returning are “Big Shots,” “Carpoolers,” “Cashmere Mafia,” “Cavemen,” “Men In Trees,” “Miss/Guided,” “Notes from the Underbelly,” “October Road,” and “Women’s Murder Club.” “Oprah’s Big Give” will also not return, but that was Oprah’s call, not the network’s.

I think the schedule overall is pretty strong, but having just watched its finale, I’m a little bummed that “Murder Club” is not coming back. I think it deserved another chance considering it was the network that killed it by jerking it around the schedule and firing its show runners.

And though I think it’s great that “Boston Legal” will get a chance to go out in style (This will be the last season.), I hate that it’s not getting to do it in its regular timeslot and instead will have to go against juggernaut, “CSI: Miami.”

I guess those are just more reasons to continue my fight with my sworn TV enemy, ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson.

Those and the fact that Lucy Liu will be joining “Dirty Sexy Money." That show doesn't need her...

"Moonlight" Fans Will Be Out For Blood

CBS will announce its schedule tomorrow, but we already know what shows won’t be on it.
And one of those will have a rabid group of fans out for blood…

CBS has cancelled “Moonlight.” They’ve also pulled the plug on “Shark,” but renewed “How I Met Your Mother,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and “The Unit.”

So why did the network cancel “Moonlight,” which had started to gain a major cult following? TVGuide.com reports CBS was not happy with the show’s retention of the “Ghost Whisperer” lead-in.

Does anyone else think that’s a lame excuse? Especially since they renewed “The Unit” which loses a large percentage of the “NCIS” lead-in?

I think we could possibly have another “Jericho” campaign on our hands here. But seeing how that turned out, I don’t think the effort would succeed…

The CW's Fall Schedule: Same Old Same Old

The CW announced its schedule today and here it is according to “Variety” and TVGuide.com…

Monday
8 PM--Gossip Girl
9 PM--One Tree Hill

Tuesday
8 PM--90210
9 PM--Surviving the Filthy Rich

“90210” is an update of “Beverly Hills 90210” starring Jessica Walter, Lori Loughlin and Jennie Garth (as Kelly from the original). “Rich” is based on a book series, a la “Gossip Girl” called “How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls.”

Wednesday
8 PM--America’s Next Top Model
9 PM--Stylista

“Stylista” is a reality show from Tyra Banks centered around “Elle” magazine.

Thursday
8 PM--Smallville
9 PM--Supernatural

Friday
8 PM--Everybody Hates Chris
8:30 PM--The Game
9 PM--America’s Next Top Model

Saturday & Sunday TBA
“Reaper” will return as a midseason replacement.
“Variety” reports the CW will launch its fall season September 1st.

If I had one phrase to describe this schedule, I would say same old same old. An update of “90210”? Another show about the rich based on a book series? Another reality show from Tyra Banks about high fashion? Not one original idea in the bunch…

Tell me again why they decided to create this network?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Is Your Show In or Out?

ABC will officially kickoff the upfront presentations tomorrow. But in the meantime, here are some of the renewals we already know, as reported on TVGuide.com, BroadcastingandCable.com and TVWeek.com…

ABC has renewed “Boston Legal“ and “Eli Stone,” but “October Road” and “Women’s Murder Club” have both been cancelled. Also, Zach Braff announced on his MySpace page what everyone already knew--that “Scrubs” will move to ABC next season…

CBS has renewed “How I Met Your Mother” and “The Unit,” but “Moonlight” and “The New Adventures of Old Christine” are still on the bubble. If CBS cancels “Christine,” reports have ABC “almost certain” to pick it up…

The CW has renewed “Reaper” for 13 episodes that are expected to debut mid-season. The network has also renewed “The Game”…

FOX has cancelled “New Amsterdam”…

NBC has already made its upfront presentation, so it instead used today to officially announce Jimmy Fallon as Conan O’Brien’s successor on “Late Night.” Ben Silverman, the co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, once again said NBC was trying to keep Jay Leno, but admitted that it would be “a reach” to keep him.

NBC has also posted a casting call on its website for a new fall reality show, “Momma’s Boy,” in which mothers of eligible bachelors “help their sons pick the right woman.” The show is executive produced by Ryan Seacrest and the producers of “Average Joe.” You can watch a video or Ryan talking about the show here.

Was Britney Better This Time Around?

So Britney returned to “How I Met Your Mother” tonight for another guest appearance.
And was it even better than her first one, as some critics suggested?

Her performance, yes. Her story no…

It was a cute concept. Spears’ Abby and Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) teamed up to get back at Ted. But Ted wasn’t having any of it and we didn’t get any kind of advancement in the Ted-Barney story. Plus, the ending, which was designed to leave the door open for Spears’ return, was kind of stupid.

I’m all for Britney getting her life back together. And I’m all for “How I Met Your Mother” trying to score ratings. But I’m with Neil Patrick Harris. I’d hate to see the show start “Will and Grace-ing” itself for the sake of higher ratings…

We all know how that worked out for “Will and Grace”…

"Desperate Housewives": What?!

So just when we thought we had the big “Desperate Housewives” mystery figured out, they throw us a MAJOR curveball…

Warning: If you haven’t seen Sunday’s “Desperate Housewives,” stop reading now.

Is Dylan not the same girl? And if she isn’t, what happened to the girl who grew up on Wisteria Lane? Is she the one who died?

It’s a twist I never saw coming and makes me really wish that the show would concentrate more on Catherine and a lot less on that demon spawn Kayla.

I mean, come on. First they threatened Lynette’s marriage with another man. Then, they gave her cancer. Then, they nearly killed her family in a tornado. Then, they brought the man who threatened her marriage back. Then, her kids committed a felony. And now this? Hasn’t she been through enough? I mean, how many tragedies does Lynette need in order for Felicity Huffman to win another Emmy?…

Don’t forget that the season finale of “DH” airs this Sunday at 9 p.m. and it’s a two-hour episode…

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Pick of the Week: A "Desperate" Twist

Please Note: This pick is for next week (Monday, May 12th-Sunday, May 18th).

As you can see from my last post, a lot of shows are wrapping up their seasons next week. And one of those season finales is an obvious Pick…

My Pick of the Week is the two-hour season finale of “Desperate Housewives”…

During these two hours, we will reportedly finally learn Catherine’s big secret. But the biggest buzz circles around the big twist we will reportedly see in the finale’s closing moments.

How big? I don’t actually know, but I have heard some rumors and if they’re true it will change the show forever…

Which means you won’t want to miss it…

The two-hour season finale of “Desperate Housewives” airs Sunday, May 18th at 9 p.m…

This Week's HUGE Sweeps Schedule

There are a TON of big events happening this week, so get out your calendars and start circling…

Monday, May 12th, “American Gladiators” returns to NBC for its second season with a two-hour premiere (8 PM)…Former “American Idol” finalists Ace Young and Brandon Rogers guest star on “Bones” (8 PM, FOX)…Britney Spears returns to “How I Met Your Mother” (8:30 PM, CBS)…“Samantha Who?” wraps up its season (9:32 PM, ABC), as does “Medium” (10 PM, NBC) and “The Hills“ (10 PM, MTV)…“House” serves up part one of its finale (9 PM, FOX), while Tom Sizemore guests on “CSI: Miami” (10 PM, CBS)…

Tuesday, May 13th, James Lipton (“Inside the Actors Studio”) guests on “According to Jim” (8:30 PM, ABC)…Hugh Hefner guests on “Shark” (9 PM, CBS), while Richard Burgi (Susan’s ex-husband Karl on “Desperate Housewives”) guests as an escaped soul on “Reaper” (9 PM, CW)… “Law and Order: SVU” wraps up its first season (10 PM, NBC) while “Women’s Murder Club” goes after the Kiss-Me-Not Killer in its season (or possibly series) finale (10 PM, ABC)…

Wednesday, May 14th, it’s the season finales of “America’s Next Top Model” (8 PM, CW) and “’Til Death” (8 PM, FOX) and the series finale of “Back To You” (8:30 PM, FOX)…“Deal or No Deal” goes to South Africa in search of next year’s new model (8 PM, NBC)…George Segal guests on “Boston Legal” to convince Denny to run for president (10 PM, ABC)

Thursday, May 15th is a huge finale night so get those DVRs/VCRs ready. Tonight’s season finales are “Smallville” (8 PM, CW), “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” (8 PM, FOX), “My Name Is Earl” (8 PM, NBC), “CSI” (9 PM, CBS), “Don’t Forget the Lyrics!” (9 PM, FOX), “Supernatural” (9 PM, CW), “The Office (9 PM, NBC), “Without a Trace” (10:01 PM, CBS) and “ER” with guest star Steve Buscemi (10 PM, NBC)…Gene Simmons guest stars on “Ugly Betty” (8 PM, ABC) and “Lost” gives us part one of its two part-finale (10:02 PM, ABC)…

Friday, May 16th, we get a reunion I don’t think any of us expected as the New Kids on the Block perform live on “Today” (7-9 AM, NBC)…Tonight’s season finales are “Ghost Whisperer” (8 PM, CBS), “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (8 PM, ABC), “Moonlight” (9 PM, CBS) and “Numb3rs,” with someone leaving the FBI (10 PM, CBS)…

Saturday, May 17th, SciFi gets us ready for the new Indiana Jones movie with a marathon of the first three (4 PM)…It’s a big night in the world of NASCAR with the Sprint All-Star Race XXIV (7 PM, SPEED)…“America’s Most Wanted” celebrates its 1000th capture (9 PM, FOX)…Elizabeth Berkley stars as a suspected black widow in Lifetime‘s “Dark Beauty,” co-starring Alicia Coppola. I can smell the cheese already, can’t you? (9 PM)…“Mad TV” wraps up its season (11 PM, FOX) as do “Talkshow with Spike Feresten” (Midnight, FOX) and “Saturday Night Live” with Steve Carell and Usher (11:30 PM, NBC)…

Sunday, May 18th, CBS presents the Academy of Country Music Awards (8 PM)…Tonight’s season finales are “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (7 PM, ABC), “Everybody Hates Chris” (8 PM, CW), “The Simpsons” (8 PM, FOX), “King of the Hill” (8:30 PM, FOX), “The Game” (9 PM, CW), “Desperate Housewives” (9 PM, ABC) and “American Dad“ (9:30 PM, FOX)…“Aliens In America” appears to be airing its series finale (8:30 PM, CW)…SciFi continues to get us ready for “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” with Lester Holt hosting a look at the actual legend of the 13 Mayan/Aztec quartz skulls (9 PM)…

Grammer and Heaton Won't Be "Back"

So let me go back and expand on something I mentioned in my last post.

FOX has cancelled “Back to You,” the comedy starring Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton.

Why is it that these mega-hyped shows with the mega-wattage casts fail? Is it because the networks concentrate so much on the stars that they don’t concentrate hard enough on the scripts?

Personally, I think that “Back” deserved another season since it was finally starting to get past the whole “we have a daughter” thing and because Grammer and Heaton deserved it--especially since FOX renewed “’Til Death”…

Is Your Favorite Show in Trouble?

Next week is upfront week.

Normally, that means splashy presentations with big stars and exciting videos. But thanks to the Writers’ Strike, it will be a much more scaled-down affair with very little video since most of the new shows haven’t even shot pilots yet.

Of course, NBC has already announced their schedule, but we’ll be hearing the plans of CBS, FOX, ABC and the CW. And that means hearing what shows that are on the bubble will have that bubble burst and be cancelled.

For CBS, that includes “How I Met Your Mother,” which most experts agree will be back; “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” which might be picked up by ABC if it’s cancelled; “The Rules of Engagement;” and “The Unit.” “Moonlight” is also a bubble show that could cause a “Jericho”-type reaction if it’s cancelled. Fans have already organized blood drives to promote the show (It’s about a vampire, get it? Blood drive?)…

ABC’s bubble shows are “Women’s Murder Club,” “October Road,” and “Boston Legal.” “Legal” was voted the number one show most fans wanted to save in the annual “USA Today Save Our Shows” poll, but its production costs are fairly high and it is the most underappreciated show on the network. ABC has already cancelled “Men In Trees”…

FOX has already revealed some of its bubble decisions renewing “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” and “’Til Death,” while cancelling “Back to You”…

And Michael Ausiello is reporting on TVGuide.com that the CW is cancelling “Aliens In America,” while “Reaper” is still up in the air…

I’ll have reports on each network throughout the next week…

My TV Enemy Will Stick Around

Those of you who are regular readers of “Stay Tuned,” know that my TV enemy is Steve McPherson, the president of ABC Entertainment.

Well, it looks like Steve and I will be able to fight it out for several more years to come as McPherson has just signed a new multiyear deal to stay on as president.

So why the confidence in him? Since taking over in 2004, ABC has gone from having one show in the top 20 of the 18-49 demo to having seven--four in the top 10. And ABC has won November sweeps in the 18-49 demo for the past three years.

Now, since McPherson is my enemy, allow me to rain on his parade a little by saying that neither “Lost” nor “Desperate Housewives,” the two shows that helped ABC get out of the cellar, were developed during his tenure. He just inherited them…

The CW Outsources Sundays

It looks like the CW is throwing in the towel on Sunday nights…

According to TVGuide.com, the network has signed a deal with the production finance company Media Rights Capital to take over its Sunday night programming block (7-10 p.m.). MRC will develop two dramas and two comedies and sell the ad time for the night.

And yes, you are correct that this move is a little radical, but the CW obviously feels they have no other choice since all of their other Sunday attempts have failed…

Friday, May 09, 2008

Did "Grey's" Wake the Beast?

On Thursday’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” Christina discovered that her ex-fiance, Dr. Burke, had won a major award. She found out from an article that featured his picture. The scene was part of the promo ABC was running for the episode.

Unfortunately, “Grey’s” fans weren’t the only ones to see the promo. Isaiah Washington also saw it and wasn’t happy. Washington’s rep tells TMZ that his lawyer has contacted SAG and ABC “as to the appropriateness of that action.”

I think they may have woken the beast…

By the way, since I don’t watch “Grey’s,” feel free to post a comment about the season thus far on this post.

Could Someone Please Give Me Directions?

So could someone give me directions please? I am terribly “Lost”…

My “Lost” adviser, EW.com’s Doc Jensen said that last night’s episode was for the major “Lost” fans who dissect every minute detail to fit all of the clues together. I guess that’s why I’m still not sure what’s going on.

Warning: If you have not yet seen Thursday’s episode of “Lost,” stop reading now.
Doc Jensen theorized that Ben is now leading the life that Locke was supposed to live. The Island/The Others had to go to their fallback plan because Locke failed the test; but that Charles Widmore has still been trying to get Locke to accept that life to defeat Ben.

And then he said a whole bunch of other stuff that totally lost me…

So could somebody help me out here? Just what is going on? Why and how were Christian and Claire in the cabin? Who was the person who ordered “the purge”? And what is the deal with that ageless other, Richard?

Doc Jensen said the prevailing theory about Richard is that he is a survivor from the Black Rock (which some say explains the pirate-like eyeliner). How that’s possible is more of the stuff that made my head hurt.

The only thing I completely understood about last night’s show is that “Lost” has a great knack for making some of my favorite actors completely creepy. I’ve always thought John Terry (Christian) was a great romantic leading man, but on “Lost” he completely makes my skin crawl. And what about Nestor Carbonell (Richard)? I’ve been a fan of his since the “Suddenly Susan” days (and especially during “The Tick” days). But when he looked in the window at baby Locke--YIKES!

Next week we get part one of the season finale as we get closer to seeing the Oceanic Six get off the island and then…

I honestly have no idea…

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I Put the Jinx On Again

It’s official. I am not saying anything else about the SAG talks until a deal is reached…

You’ll remember that I told you that reports had a deal being reached this week. Well apparently those reports were not true.

According to EW.com, yesterday, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers announced that it is breaking off talks with the Screen Actors Guild and instead is concentrating its effort on reaching a deal with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

SAG had issued a statement that said it was willing to negotiate around the clock, but the AMPTP said there were “significant differences” that prevented talks from continuing.
Experts believe that if the AMPTP reaches a deal with AFTRA, which represents actors for “Rules of Engagement,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “’Til Death” and other shows, it will put pressure on SAG to make a deal to avoid another strike, when TV shows have yet to recover from the last one.

I’m not sure I could recover either…

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Stop the "Mother" Madness!

If anyone at WOWK is reading this, PLEASE stop cutting off the last 30 seconds of “How I Met Your Mother”!

For the past two weeks, I’ve been forced to watch the last five minutes on the Internet after early commercials cut off the last part of the show.

This week, we only missed one final joke, but last week we missed the revelation that Robin and Ted were living together on his 31st birthday.

If the madness doesn’t stop, next week we might miss some important moment of Britney Spears’ return to the show.

Wait a minute. Important moment? I must be joking…

"CSI: Miami": A Tour De Force Goodbye

If I were making a list of shows that have the potential to make me cry, I wouldn’t put “CSI: Miami” on it.

Yet, there I was, crying away at the end of last night’s episode.

Now in all honesty, I’m not sure if the scene was that sad or I was just thinking about how I wouldn’t get a call from my mom to ask me, “Is she really leaving?”

Warning: If you have not yet seen Monday’s “CSI: Miami,” stop reading now…

I had already read that Khandi Alexander was leaving, so when CBS started its promos proclaiming “One CSI will leave forever,” I knew who it was. But instead of some dramatic and shocking departure, the show gave Alexander a tour de force goodbye as Alexx was forced to face the high cost of her job to her family.

Although her decision seemed a little quantum leapish, I was willing to overlook it since the quick turn of events allowed Alexander to get a proper sendoff. Major kudos to the show for not using the scene to promote some new song and instead going with a simple instrumental over silent goodbyes.

The beauty of the scene even allowed me to overlook the holes in the show’s mystery--and there were many--because that wasn’t the most important part of the show. A proper exit for an original cast member was.

Which leads to an important question. Why did Alexander leave?

I honestly can’t tell you. According to Michael Ausiello of “TV Guide,” who broke the story on her departure, Alexander chose to leave when her contract expired at the end of this season. As to the reason for her choice, Ausiello posted, “Let's just say Alexander had some, um, issues with a certain aspect of the show and leave it at that, K?”

Hmmm…

If Alexander did leave under strained circumstances, then the show deserves even more credit for giving her the exit she deserved.

Now, let’s go back to some cheesy goodness…

Monday, May 05, 2008

"Two and a Half Men": Lame, Lame, Lame, Lame

Those of you who watch “Two and a Half Men” know its signature theme song:

“Men, men, men, men. Manly men, men, men…”

Well tonight, that theme should have been changed to “lame, lame, lame, lame. Man, this is so lame…”

I said in my Pick of the Week post that the “Two and a Half Men”-“CSI” writers’ switch would either be one of the most clever sweeps stunts ever or one of the lamest.

After part one, I would definitely put it in the latter category.

Warning: If you have not seen tonight’s episode of “Two and a Half Men,” stop reading now.

First off, where was the explanation? Other than using the “CSI” theme song and a small cameo by George Eads, there was no real explanation for the sudden injection of “CSI”-style flashbacks.

So they didn’t make sense.

And quite frankly, the ones detailing Jake’s stomach were pretty gross.

And the sudden revelation that Evelyn’s new husband and stepdaughter were con artists? It was just too quantum leapish to actually work. “Men” is a sitcom. It’s not meant to have a real plot.

I still plan to watch “CSI” Thursday just to see how this thing ends up. But so far, I’m really hoping that CBS keeps its writers on their own shows from now on…

"Project Runway": The News Just Keeps Getting Worse

First came word that “Project Runway” was leaving my beloved Bravo and going to Lifetime.

Then, we learned that “Elle” had fired Fashion Director and “Runway” judge Nina Garcia, leaving her future as a judge in doubt.

Then, last week, EW.com reported that “Runway” would be splitting its sixth season between New York and Los Angeles.

Now, this week, we learn that “Runway” will be making its move to Lifetime without its executive producers/co-creators, Magical Elves. According to EW.com, Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz, the duo responsible for the show, have signed an exclusive first-look deal with NBC Universal to develop shows exclusively for the company’s channels.

Moving to another city? Going without the pair that made it a success? I can’t imagine either of these things bode well for “Runway.”

However, to NBC, I say touché.

I must say this also makes me think that maybe the people at Magical Elves were not too crazy about the move.

Stupid Weinsteins…

The "Family Guy" Gets His Happy Ending

Imagine. You’re the youngest executive producer/show runner ever. Things are going well until your show gets cancelled and you’re stuck with no future prospects.

Now, it’s five years later and you’ve just become the highest paid TV writer-producer in the business--thanks to that same cancelled show.

Welcome to the world of Seth MacFarlane…

Last week, MacFarlane, the creator of “Family Guy” finally signed a deal with 20th Century Fox that is reportedly worth over $100 million and will keep him at 20th through 2012. It covers “Guy,” “American Dad,” the upcoming “Guy” spin-off, “The Cleveland Show,” new-media projects related to his series, and merchandising revenue.

Talk about your happy endings…

I bet every creator of a cancelled show dreams for the same.

I take that back. Every show creator dreams for this…

Will a Strike Be Avoided?

How about some good news about a possible Actors’ Strike?

Reuters reports that the Screen Actors Guild and the producers could close a deal as soon as tomorrow.

SAG has already dropped some of its demands in order to make a deal possible.

Man, I hope this story is true, but I’m not going to get my hopes up. I’ve been down that road before…

A Forgotten Treat

When I did my sweeps schedule for this week, I forgot a treat…

“Dancing With the Stars” will celebrate its 100th episode this week with two hours of dancing on Wednesday.

At 8 p.m. on ABC, you’ll see Carrie Ann, Len and Bruno show their favorite dances from the 100 episodes in an hour-long special. Then at 9 p.m., it’s the results show featuring performances from several “DWTS” alumni including Mario Lopez, Drew Lachey and Sabrina Bryan…

No One Can Do Just One

I’m starting to think that reality shows are like Lay’s Potato Chips.

No one can do just one…

Hot off the heels of serving as a mentor on Bravo‘s “Step It Up and Dance,” Broadway Director Jerry Mitchell will look for the new star of his show, “Legally Blonde,” on MTV. “The Search for Elle Woods” will debut June 2nd and follow 10 actresses as they compete to replace Laura Bell Bundy in “Blonde.”

Mitchell and casting agent Bernard Telsey will judge and unlike NBC’s “Grease: You’re the One That I Want,” the audience will have no input…

Sunday, May 04, 2008

This Week's Sweeps Schedule

So here are the treats May sweeps is offering us this week…

On Monday, May 5th, Ryan O’Neil returns to “Bones” as Bones’ father (8 PM, FOX)…

Wednesday, May 7th, get some more juicy details from Barbara Walters’ memoir on “Audition: Barbara Walters’ Journey” (10 PM, ABC)…

Thursday, May 8th, the yummy Eddie Cibrian (“Third Watch,” “Vanished,“ numerous ABC shows) begins a run on “Ugly Betty” (8 PM, ABC)…The crew from Sacred Heart become characters in a bedtime story on the NBC finale of “Scrubs” (8:30 PM)…“30 Rock” wraps up its second season with the return of Edie Falco (9:31 PM, NBC)…And “I Know My Kid’s a Star” wraps up its first season on VH1 (10 PM)…

Friday, May 9th, you can relive the glory that is Celine Dion’s career in the TV-movie, “Celine” (8 PM, WE)…“Crossroads” gives us another eclectic match-up when Maroon 5 and Sara Evans perform together (9 PM, CMT)…And Three 6 Mafia guest stars on “Numb3rs” (10 PM, CBS)…

Sunday, May 11th, NBC honors moms on Mother’s Day with “America’s Favorite Mom” hosted on Donny and Marie Osmond (7 PM)…Glenn Close guests on “The Simpsons” (8 PM, FOX)…“Survivor: Micronesia” wraps up its season (8 PM, CBS), as does “Brothers & Sisters” (10:02 PM, ABC)…

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Picks of the Week: The Old Switcheroo and a Bravo Bonus

This May sweeps stunt will go down in TV history as either one of the most clever stunts ever or one of the lamest…

This week, the #1 drama and the #1 comedy switch writing staffs…

Making my Picks of the Week: “Two and a Half Men” and “CSI.”

On “Men,” the guys get involved in a murder investigation and George Eads (“CSI”) guest stars, while on “CSI,” the team investigates the death of a difficult sitcom actress. No doubt, Chuck Lorre (the creator and head writer of “Men” who wrote this “CSI” episode) used his experiences with Cybill Shepherd and Roseanne as inspiration…

“Two and a Half Men” airs at 9 p.m. on Monday, May 5th and “CSI” airs Thursday, May 8th at 9 p.m. on CBS…

Now, here’s a Bravo Bonus…

It’s a tradition on “Top Chef” that the contestants split into teams and create restaurants in what the show calls “restaurant wars.” It’s usually one of the best episodes of the season.

But this year, they’re ramping up the action and making it “Wedding Wars.”

The previews are pretty vague, but it looks really intense and really difficult. So you won’t want to miss it…

“Top Chef” airs Wednesday, May 7th at 10 p.m. on Bravo

"Lost": Finding the "Missing Pieces"

So, Thursday, I went to ABC.com to look up the “Good Morning America” programming schedule for my other blog when a mysterious video started playing. Now normally I just ignore whatever video is playing, but since this looked like something pertaining to “Lost,” I watched it.

The camera was following something through the grass when we saw a pair of shoes. As the camera panned up, we saw the shoes belonged to Jack’s father, Christian, and the thing the camera had been following was Walt’s dog. Jack’s father told the dog to go find his son because he had work to do. The next thing we saw was the opening sequence of the “Lost” pilot…

Huh?!

I thought maybe we were seeing a preview, but I did some investigating and discovered the video was a part of “Lost: Missing Pieces,” which was done as a special bonus for Verizon V-Cast customers. The “Missing Pieces” website says the 13 two to three minute stories are newly created and not deleted scenes. They “reveal answers and new details about your favorite characters. For each story, we leave it up to the fans to figure out where these pieces fit into the overall mythology.”

So where does this Christian piece fit? Was he a ghost that only the dog could see? Or is he some image that the island manifested?

Warning: If you have not seen Thursday’s “Lost,” stop reading now

My chief “Lost” consultant, EW’s Doc Jensen is leaning toward that last one. In fact, he believes that Claire didn’t actually survive the house explosion and is a spirit herself--which Jensen says explains Miles’ fascination with her since he communicates with the dead.

Is that heavy or what?

Jensen also reported a theory this week that Jack’s appendicitis was caused by the island punishing him for not doing what it wanted and that in the future, it’s trying to get him back to train him the way it wants.

Okay…

This week’s episode was a pretty good one with a lot of clues, but I’m a little frustrated by the whole Sawyer-Kate-Jack love triangle. It seems like just when we think she’s made up her mind, she changes it again. Instead of just being happy with Jack, she had to screw things up by doing something for Sawyer, who we learned stayed behind.

But in her defense, I’m thinking that even without the interference of Sawyer that she and Jack still wouldn’t be happy thanks to Jack’s dad and the island who I’m starting to think may be one and the same--if that makes any sense…

After all, Hurley did see him in Jacob’s cabin…

By the way, you can see the “Missing Pieces” for yourself here...