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

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Drama Takes a Sad Turn

For those of us looking forward to seeing how the Republicans answer last week’s Democratic Convention, we’re going to be a little disappointed…

Sadly, Hurricane Gustav is the reason as it is expected to make landfall in Louisiana sometime tomorrow.

Plans are being made as we speak to alter the convention schedule, starting with Monday’s scheduled speech by President Bush. He is now expected to remain in Washington to deal with the Gustav situation.

Stay tuned to your favorite news outlet for further details…

Pick of the Week: Are You Ready For Some Football?

I thought long and hard about this week’s Pick since there was so much to choose from. But in the end, I had to go with what most excited me…

My Pick of the Week is the opening week in the NFL.

The season kicks off Thursday, September 4th with the Washington Redskins visiting the World Champion New York Giants on NBC. The 7 p.m. start time allows NBC to also show John McCain’s acceptance speech…

Then, Sunday, the season kicks off in earnest with a HUGE matchup on CBS at 1 p.m. You guys know I like starting off the season by seeing the Bengals in action and I know you Steelers fans like to see your team. But who doesn’t want to see Chad Pennington take on his former team as the Dolphins take on the Jets? According to WOWK’s website, Huntington-Charleston viewers will be watching the Steelers, but I certainly hope someone reconsiders that decision before Sunday. Go Chad!...

Sunday night, it’s the return of one of my favorite shows, “Football Night in America” (7 PM, NBC), followed by the season premiere of Sunday Night Football as the Chicago Bears travel to Indianapolis to take on the Colts (8:15 PM)…

Are you ready for some football? I know I am…

This Week's Schedule...

Hope you wrap up your Labor Day plans early because Monday is jam-packed with TV treats…

And the rest of the week? Just keep reading…

Monday, September 1st
Gossip Girl—8 PM—CW—Season Premiere
Prison Break—8 PM (2 hours)—FOX—Season Premiere (Read my review here.)
One Tree Hill—9 PM—CW—Season Premiere
Raising the Bar—10 PM—TNT—Premiere (Read my review here.)
National Republican Convention—10 PM—NBC, CBS, ABC

Tuesday, September 2nd
90210—8 PM (2 hours)—CW—Premiere
The Shield—10PM—FX—Season Premiere
National Republican Convention—10 PM—NBC, CBS, ABC

Wednesday, September 3rd
Bones—8 PM (2 hours)—FOX—Season Premiere
America’s Next Top Model—8 PM (2 hours)—CW—Season Premiere
Sons of Anarchy—10 PM—FX—Premiere
Top Design—10 PM—Bravo—Season Premiere
National Republican Convention—10 PM—NBC, CBS, ABC

Thursday, September 4th
Kitchen Nightmares—8 PM—FOX—Season Premiere
NFL Kickoff—Redskins at Giants—7 PM—NBC
National Republican Convention—10 PM—NBC, CBS, ABC

Friday, September 5th
Stand Up to Cancer—8 PM—ABC, CBS, NBC
Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?—8 PM (2 hours)—FOX
Samurai Girl (Parts 1 & 2)—8 PM—ABC Family
Dogtown: Saving the Michael Vick Dogs—9 PM—National Geographic Channel
Monk—9 PM—USA—100th Episode
Swingtown—CBS—Season Finale

Saturday, September 6th
Britney’s Greatest VMA Moments—1 PM—MTV
Cops—8 PM—FOX—Season Premiere
Samurai Girl (Parts 3 & 4)—8 PM—ABC Family
America’s Most Wanted—9 PM—FOX—Season Premiere
The Locator—9 PM—WE—Premiere
John Edward Cross Country—10 PM—WE—Season Premiere
Saturday Night Live—11:29 PM—NBC—Encore of the episode hosted by Tina Fey

Sunday, September 7th
Football Night In America—7 PM—NBC—Season Premiere
Samurai Girl (Parts 5 & 6)—8 PM—ABC Family
Sunday Night Football—8:15 PM—NBC—Bears at Colts
2008 MTV Video Music Awards—9 PM—MTV
America United: In Support of Our Troops—9 PM—ABC
True Blood—9 PM—HBO—Premiere
Entourage—10 PM—HBO—Season Premiere

I’ll have more about these shows in the next few days…

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Most Compelling Drama on TV

So over the next few weeks, I’m going to be telling you about the new shows that you’ll soon see on your TVs.

But let’s face it. The most compelling drama anyone could ever create is already unfolding…

I’m not what I would call a political person. I follow the news and I have opinions (which I generally keep to myself), but I don’t get that involved.

However, last night, I watched NBC’s coverage of the Democratic Convention even though “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover” was on Bravo AND the season premiere of “CSI: Miami” was looking up at me from my couch.

Who knew that I would choose Barack Obama over Horatio Caine? Certainly not me…

And don’t worry, I taped “Tabatha’s.” And I will tape it again next week so I can watch John McCain.

Because just when you thought this thing couldn’t add any more drama, McCain completely steals Obama’s thunder by picking a woman as his VP candidate.

It’s the kind of thing we’d see on “The West Wing” isn’t it?

On second thought, I don’t think “The West Wing” ever came up with anything this good…

Coverage of the Republican Convention begins on NBC, CBS and ABC Monday, September 1st at 10 p.m. when President Bush is scheduled to speak. Vice Presidential Nominee Sarah Palin will speak on Wednesday night, while McCain will take the stage on Thursday.

I also recommend you check out “Meet the Press” Sunday, August 31st as presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin will be among Tom Brokaw’s guests. Check your local listings for the time in your area (“MTP” airs at 11 a.m. on WSAZ.) or catch the encore on MSNBC at 6 p.m...

And speaking of campaigns and “Meet the Press,” let me start my campaign now for NBC Political Director Chuck Todd to take over “Press” when Brokaw steps down after the election. In my opinion, he is the only choice…

A Word About Last Night's Local News

You guys have no doubt noticed that I don’t say a lot about local TV (i.e. the Huntington/Charleston market).

Part of that is because since this is the Internet and people from all over the world, who have no clue who Tony Cavalier or Rick Dayton are, can read my blog. But it’s also because I have friends at at least three of the stations and so I don’t want to have to mince my words.

But since I lost a lot of sleep last night staying up to watch coverage of the explosion at the Bayer CropScience plant in Institute, I feel like I should say something…

First of all, let me say that my thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected by this accident…

Second, I should probably explain why I would stay up until 12:30 a.m. to watch a bunch of news people talk about an area I'm nowhere near and read information about pesticides off the Internet. Honestly, I can’t help it. It’s the journalist in me. I love to flip back and forth between stations and see how a big story gets covered (I do the same thing with the national networks.). I’ve been in a TV newsroom when something like this strikes so I can feel the adrenaline that I know is coursing through everyone’s veins coming off my TV.

So, kudos to WSAZ, WOWK and WCHS for their extended coverage of this incredibly important news story. Granted, some moments were better than others, but they should all be applauded for doing the best they could to get the information out to the people who truly needed it. And it was nice to see the traditional news method of TV become integrated with the new method of the Internet.

But if I had to give a gold star, I’d give it to Jessica Ralston (of WSAZ) who was truly a voice of reason and calm during a scary situation. I actually hesitated to type that, not because I was afraid one of my friends would get mad, but because my fiancé thinks Jessica’s the greatest thing on TV since TV was invented and quite frankly, I’m a little tired of hearing about her (No offense, Jessica.). But I believe in giving credit where credit is due…

And if you’re worried about my fiancé getting mad when he reads this, don’t. He never reads my blog. He’s too busy reading Jessica’s…

Thursday, August 28, 2008

“Prison Break” Review: Back Together Again

Of all the shows I expected to be on my must-see list this season, “Prison Break” was definitely not one of them.

But as Wentworth Miller (Michael) said, this season brings “the ole gang back together.”

And darn it all, it looks like that gang is going to include me…

Maybe I’ve been watching too much Bravo. Or maybe I’ve been living in a world without “24” too long. But for some reason I found the unrealistic twists and turns and outrageous storylines of the season premiere to be somewhat reassuring…

You may remember me saying that I just couldn’t see how “Break” could go another season. But you’ve got to hand it to the writers for finding a way. As I said, it’s not the most realistic way, but it does have potential.

The first fifteen minutes of the premiere fly by at a breakneck pace as the show catches us up on all the characters. But it moves through that so quickly because where they are is not nearly as important as where they’re going—back together.

After Michael and Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) both make major missteps, they both end up—where else?—back in jail. But a way out emerges quickly in the form of Don Self (Michael Rapaport), a Homeland Security agent who wants to bring down The Company. He asks Lincoln and Michael to steal Scylla, The Company’s black book, and then break into an unknown Company facility in exchange for their freedom. They take a pass until they realize they will never be safe until The Company is destroyed.

But they can’t do it alone. So Self brings in Sucre (Amaury Nolasco), Bellick (Wade Williams), and even Mahone (William Fichtner) to help out. Joining the familiar five is newcomer Roland (James Hiroyuki Liao), an electronics expert who is also working for his freedom.

The dynamics in the group are chock full of entertaining possibilities. Bellick is nervous and clueless and provides the humor while Mahone is not entirely stable and must deal with Lincoln’s thirst for revenge (Remember that Mahone killed Michael and Lincoln’s father.). And Roland brings an edgy and hip perspective to the team that is sure to set off fireworks.

And don’t worry. T-Bag (Robert Knepper) is still around. He’s just separated from the group. But it won’t be for long as the gang soon realizes that T-Bag may hold the key to the whole thing.
Of course, The Company still casts a huge shadow over everything. And the new Company assassin, Wyatt (the wonderfully mysterious Cress Williams), lurks around every corner to create trouble for our gang and their friends and loved ones.

Now at this point, you’re probably remembering how I said I was done with “Break” after the way they killed Sara. But if you took a close look at the cast photo, you know why I changed my mind.

Yes, Sara (Sarah Wayne Callies) is back. And before you get mad at me for revealing a major surprise, let me assure you that I haven’t ruined anything as Sara’s resurrection is part of those breakneck opening fifteen minutes. But again, her reappearance is not the important thing. It’s where she’s going once she does reappear that matters—which is into the thick of things with the rest of the gang.

However, Sara is not the person we once knew as she is scarred by her captivity at the hands of The Company. Sadly, the chemistry between Callies and Miller also is not the same, but I’m hoping that’s due more to the change in Sara as opposed to issues off-screen.

One thing is the same—the brilliance of Robert Knepper and William Fichtner. For me, Knepper IS “Prison Break” and T-Bag is as captivating as ever in the premiere as he does one of the most disgusting things he’s ever done (and that’s saying something).

Meanwhile, Fichtner (who was so great in his “The Dark Knight” cameo) creates new facets for an already complex character as Mahone receives real motivation to turn on The Company…

After the whirlwind opening, the remainder of the two-hour premiere settles into the familiar “Break” pattern of crazy twists, big surprises and lots of red herrings to fool us along the way. The body count is extremely high, including the death of a “Break” trademark. And, of course, there’s a huge cliffhanger that will definitely bring you back for more…

I feel quite certain that “Break” will find some way to disappoint me along the way this season, but for now, we—like the ole gang—are back together again.

Who’d have thunk it?

“Prison Break” premieres Monday, September 1st at 8 p.m. on FOX…

Cast Photo Credit: Florian Schneider
Other Photo Credits: Michael Lavine
Provided by FOX

The CW's Fall Premiere Schedule

The CW is also getting a jump on the competition with two of the most anticipated premieres of the fall…

It all kicks off Monday, September 1st, with the season premiere of “Gossip Girl” at 8 p.m. I’ve seen the first five minutes and they are just as racy as the promos promise. The “Girl” premiere is followed by the season premiere of “One Tree Hill” at 9 p.m…

Tuesday, September 2nd at 8 p.m., it’s the one everyone’s been waiting for—the two-hour premiere of “90210,” the reimagining of “Beverly Hills 90210.” What’s interesting is that since the CW sent out no screeners of this one, everyone will be seeing it for the first time Tuesday night…

Wednesday, September 3rd, it’s the two-hour season premiere of “America’s Next Top Model” beginning at 8 p.m…

Tuesday, September 9th, “90210” moves to its regular timeslot at 8 p.m. Then, it’s the premiere of “Privileged” at 9 p.m. Based on the book “How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls,” the show follows a live-in tutor to wealthy teenage twin sisters in Palm Beach…

Thursday, September 18th, it’s the premieres of both “Smallville” (8 p.m.) and “Supernatural” (9 p.m.)…

September 21st, it’s the premiere of the CW’s outsourced Sunday night. “4 Real” follows celebrities as they meet with young leaders around the world (6 p.m.). “In Harm’s Way” is a reality show that showcases people in life-threatening jobs (7 p.m.). “Valentine” follows a match-making family of Greek gods (8 p.m.). And “Easy Money” is a dramedy about a family of loan sharks (9 p.m.). They will be joined by the comedy “Surviving Suburbia” on Sunday, November 2nd at 7:30 p.m…

Friday, October 3rd, it’s the premieres of “Everybody Hates Chris” (8 p.m.) and “The Game” (8:30 p.m.)…

Wednesday, October 22nd at 9 p.m., “Stylista,” a reality spin on “The Devil Wears Prada,” premieres…

I’ll, of course, have my thoughts on “Gossip Girl” and “90210” after I see them on Monday night…

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

FOX's Premiere Schedule

Fall Premiere Season doesn’t start in earnest until September 22nd, but FOX and the CW are getting a head start on the competition by kicking their fall schedule off next week…

Tonight, we’ll take a look at FOX’s premiere schedule…

It all kicks off Labor Day, September 1st with the two-hour season premiere of “Prison Break” (which I will have a review of tomorrow night) beginning at 8 p.m…

Wednesday, September 3rd, the crew of “Bones” travels to England for the two-hour fourth season premiere beginning at 8 p.m…

Thursday, September 4th, it’s the two-hour season premiere of “Kitchen Nightmares” with Gordon Ramsay (8 p.m.)…

Friday, September 5th, meet the newest class on “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” as Kathy Ireland and Georgia State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox compete in a two-hour episode (8 p.m.)…

Saturday, September 6th, it's the return of FOX's Saturday night stalwarts "COPS" (8 p.m.) and "American's Most Wanted: America Fights Back" (9 p.m.)...

Sunday, September 7th at 8 p.m., it’s a sneak preview of the newest FOX reality/game show, “Hole In the Wall,” hosted by Brooke Burns and Mark Thompson. The premise is that two teams compete against each other, contorting their bodies to fit through moving walls with weird cut-out shapes.

Monday, September 8th at 8 p.m., it’s the return of “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” as “Prison Break” moves to its regular timeslot at 9 p.m…

Tuesday, September 9th at 8 p.m., it’s the premiere of the highly anticipated “Fringe” from executive producer J.J. Abrams. FOX describes the show as “a fantastical thriller about an unlikely trio who uncover a deadly mystery involving a series of unbelievable events and realize they may be a part of a larger, more disturbing pattern
that blurs the line between the possible and the impossible.” That’s followed by another preview of “Hole In the Wall” at 9:35 p.m…

Wednesday, September 10th, “Bones” moves into its regular time period at 8 p.m., followed by the season premiere of “’Til Death” (9 p.m.) and the premiere of “Do Not Disturb,” a comedy that goes behind the scenes of a hip New York Hotel (9:30 p.m.). The pilot of “Disturb” was directed by Jason Bateman…

Thursday, September 11th, “Hole In the Wall” settles into its regular timeslot (8 p.m.) as does “Kitchen Nightmares” (9 p.m.)…

Friday, September 12th, “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader” (8 p.m.) moves into its regular timeslot, followed by the premiere of “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” (9 p.m.)…

Tuesday, September 16th, “House” returns in its new 8 p.m. timeslot, followed by “Fringe” in its regular timeslot.

FOX’s “Animation Domination” returns Sunday, September 28th beginning at 8 p.m. with “The Simpsons,” “King of the Hill,” “Family Guy” and “American Dad”…

And, of course, “24” will return in January. But we’ll get the two-hour movie, “24: Exile,” to hold us over until then. It premieres Sunday, November 23rd…

Tomorrow night, we’ll take a look at the CW. And don’t forget, I’ll have my review of the “Prison Break” season premiere…

Photo Credits:
Prison Break--Florian Schneider
Bones--Jay Maidment
Kitchen Nightmares--Patrick Ecclesine
5th Grader & Hole--Patrick Wymore
Fringe--George Holz
Do Not Disturb--Scott F. Shafer
Lyrics--Greg Gayne
House--Timothy White
24 Exile--Kelsey McNeal
Photos provided by FOX

TBS To "Meet the Browns"

The hardest working man in show business is adding another show to his resume…

TBS announced yesterday that Tyler Perry will be bringing “Meet the Browns” to the network beginning in January 2009. Perry will be the executive producer and director, as well as a writer for the show.

“Browns” will star David Mann as Leroy Brown, a character who first appeared in Perry’s film, “Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns.”

TBS has already struck gold with “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne,” which the network calls ad-supported cable’s #1 sitcom of all time.
Photo Credit: Erin Patrice O' Brien
Provided by TBS

This fall, Perry will unveil Tyler Perry Studios, a 200,000-square-foot studio created from a former Delta Air Lines facility in Atlanta, where his films and television shows will be filmed…

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Let Tabatha "Takeover" Your TV

Shockingly, I’ve never been a big fan of “Shear Genius”…

You would think that with my love for all things Bravo, I’d be all about it. I guess I just can’t get into a hair competition.

So when “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover” came on after an encore of “Project Runway,” I had no intention of really watching it.

But there’s just something about Tabatha that sucked me in within the first five minutes. And by the time she declared, “I hate crying,” I was completely hooked.

For those of you who don’t know, Tabatha is Tabatha Coffey, the fan favorite from season one of “Shear Genius.” She gained her popularity not only through her skills as a stylist, but also through her droll wit and no-nonsense personality (not to mention that cool accent).

“Takeover” puts both of those on display as Tabatha helps turn around failing salons. In the premiere, her cause is Ten Salon and Spa in Long Beach, California, which has been open for two years and is dangerously close to going under and taking its owners, husband and wife Chris and Kwanna, with it.

The show follows the “Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style” formula with its step-by-step process. First, Tabatha watches hidden camera video of the salon with the owners to give them and her a better idea of what’s going on.

You can’t help but laugh as Tabatha looks at a squirming Kwanna and Chris and says, “Isn’t this fun?”

Then Tabatha dives right in by assessing the staff, marketing the salon and then totally renovating it. And, of course, she makes a return visit to see if they’ve followed her recommendations.

As I said, the show follows a formula. But it doesn’t come off as formulaic. And that’s because of Tabatha.

It also helps that in the premiere, Ten owner Kwanna is incredibly clueless. After Tabatha has Kwanna and Chris shred their THREE separate manuals with detailed scripts for every possible salon scenario, Kwanna tells the camera that was hard because the manuals had worked well for them.


And Tabatha may hate crying, but she certainly sees a lot of it in the premiere as Kwanna breaks down again and again. In fact, Tabatha manages to soften up a little, but not enough to stop the changes.

And trust me. That’s just the way you want it.

This week’s previews show Tabatha taking on an arrogant salon owner with a messy, unhygienic salon. Tabatha won’t even have to ask if this one is fun. I can already tell it will be…

So let Tabatha take over your TV so you can join the fun too…

“Tabatha’s Salon Takeover” airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on Bravo. You can see encores of the premiere Wednesday, August 27th at 10 a.m. and Thursday, August 28th at 5 p.m…
Photo provided by Bravo

ABC Picks Up Some More

ABC announced today that it has picked up five more shows to launch mid-season.

And yes, you can thank that pesky Writers’ Strike for the delay…

“Castle” is a drama starring Nathan Fillion as a horror novelist that helps the NYPD solve crimes…

“The Unusuals,” an ensemble dramedy, stars Amber Tamblyn…

“Cupid,” starring Bobby Cannavale and Sarah Paulson, is a reinvention of a 1998 romantic comedy starring Jeremy Piven and Paula Marshall…

“Better Off Ted” is an office comedy starring Jay Harrington…

And “Single With Parents” is a comedy starring Alyssa Milano as a woman juggling her family and work…

ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson said they are still looking at other pilots that may get the greenlight…

Monday, August 25, 2008

"Raising the Bar" Review: Bochco's Back, Baby!

I know you guys are tired of hearing me say this, but it’s just too appropriate here.

A TV pilot—say it with me now—is a very tricky thing. You have to find the perfect balance between sufficiently introducing the characters and story and making the story interesting enough that people will want to come back and watch.

And unfortunately, the pilot of Steven Bochco’s “Raising the Bar” doesn’t find that balance. Fortunately, however, the fine folks at TNT wisely sent the media the first three episodes so we could see how good the show really is.

I just hope viewers give it the same chance…

“Raising the Bar” follows three sides of the justice system—the public defender’s office, the district attorney’s office and a judge’s courtroom. Bochco created the show with David Feige (author of “Indefensible”), a former public defender.

So, it’s no surprise that the emphasis is on the public defender’s office and its heart and soul, Jerry Kellerman (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), who is based on Feige. Jerry is willing to do anything to help his clients, including go to jail. His boss, Roz (Gloria Reuben), offers her support when she can, as does Richard (Teddy Sears), who is often referred to as “Mr. Rich” because of his wealth (He gave up a cushy job in his father’s law firm.). Richard constantly flirts with Roz, but she doesn’t give in because she is his boss. Bobbi (Natalia Cigluiti) joins the PD’s office in episode two as a transfer from Brooklyn who catches Jerry’s eye…

The DA’s office is led by Nick (Currie Graham), a sleazy ladies’ man who is only interested in wins. His sleazy innuendos are often aimed at Michelle (Melissa Sagemiller), an ADA who often cares more about justice than wins. She’s joined in the office by Marcus (J. August Richards).

The main judge in the show is Judge Trudy Kessler (Jane Kaczmarke). She’s as tough as they come and slightly eccentric. Her clerk is Charlie (Jonathan Scarfe), who has some interesting traits of his own…

It’s important to note that although they’re on different sides, Jerry, Teddy, Michelle, Marcus, and Charlie are all friends and help each other when they can.

In the pilot, Jerry defends an innocent man on a rape charge. Knowing the man is innocent, Michelle helps Jerry out, but Judge Kessler will have none of it. Kessler and Jerry clash so much that Jerry ends up in jail and his friends and boss must intervene.

Meanwhile, Richard must defend a man who killed and mutilated his gay lover. Richard’s work is cut out for him because the man does not want to reveal he’s gay.

The pilot is a little too choppy as it tries to give us a quick summary of each character. And it bangs Jerry vs. Judge Kessler over our heads a little too hard. I know they’re trying to drive the point home that Jerry is passionate and Kessler is tough, but we can grasp that fairly quickly without all the unnecessary rhetoric.

There are two interesting twists in the pilot, though. The first you will see coming in the first 10 minutes—especially if you’ve seen any of the promos. The second is actually a double twist. The first part you’ll totally see coming, but the second comes out of left field and is classic Bochco.

In all honesty, the main problem with the pilot is that Jerry is so interesting and Gosselaar is so good that we just don’t care about anyone else—especially Roz since Gloria Reuben comes off as a little miscast.

Fortunately, she—and everyone else—finds her stride in the second episode and by the third, they’re completely rolling.

And since the best moments in the promos didn’t even occur in the first three episodes, I know it’s only going to get better.

It’s great to have Bochco back on TV, and this show is definitely classic Bochco with its mix of the legal and the personal. And Bochco wisely went with his go-to-guy Gosselaar (Yes, I’ll keep calling him that.) to anchor the ensemble. Kaczmarek is also beautifully cast in a role she has some familiarity with (She’s voiced a judge in numerous episodes of “The Simpsons.”). And by the third episode, you’re completely drawn to Teddy Sears.

There’s no question that Bochco is back. Just make sure you give him some time to get there…

“Raising the Bar” premieres Monday, September 1st at 10 p.m. on TNT…
Cast Photo Credit: Art Streiber
Currie Graham and Teddy Sears Photos Credit: Kyle Christy
Jane Kaczmarek Photo Credit: Richard Foreman
Mark-Paul Gosselaar Photo Credit: Karen Neal
Photos provided by TNT

The "Dancing" Cast Revealed--For Real!

This morning on “Good Morning America,” the new “Dancing With the Stars” cast was revealed.

And here it is…

Lance Bass is teaming with newcomer Lacey Schwimmer (a former “So You Think You Can Dance” finalist)…

Celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito (who I adore) is teamed with Karina Smirnoff…

Misty May-Treanor, who just won a gold medal in women’s beach volleyball will be teamed with Maksim Chmerkovskiy…

Maurice Greene, formerly the “World’s Fastest Man,” will dance with Cheryl Burke…

Toni Braxton is teaming with Alec Mazo…

Kim Kardashian will dance with Mark Ballas…

Cody Linley, who has played Jake in several episodes of “Hannah Montana,” will dance with Julianne Hough…

Cloris Leachman will pair with Corky Ballas, Mark’s father…

Showkiller Ted McGinley is pairing with newcomer Inna Brayer…

Brooke Burke will dance with Derek Hough…

Jeff Ross, who is known as TV’s “celebrity roastmaster general,” will pair with Edyta Sliwinska…

Former NFLer Warren Sapp will dance with Kym Johnson…

And Susan Lucci will pair up with Tony Dovolani…

As you guys know I have been very good lately in picking the winner before the season begins, just based on the list. So I am going to go out on a limb and try that again…

My early favorite? Misty and Maks. If you’ve watched her on the beach, you know she’s got moves and Maks is a great partner. And I think Maurice and Cheryl will give them a run for their money. But I would not count out Susan and Tony. I just have a feeling about them…

“Dancing With the Stars” premieres with a three-night season premiere beginning Monday, September 22nd at 8 p.m…

Sunday, August 24, 2008

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Believe it or not, the new fall TV season will kick off next week.

But if you’re thinking you haven’t heard much about it, you’d be right.

Thanks to the Writers’ Strike, there are way fewer new shows premiering. And because those new shows were picked up without pilots, there’s been a lot of re-working, which means media screeners have been going out a lot later than usual.

But not to worry. I am here to help you navigate this most wonderful time of the year with previews, reviews and more, beginning this week.

So, of course, stay tuned…

TBS Brings the Funny...Commercials

For the ninth time, TBS is bringing us a special featuring the funniest commercials of the year.

And “World’s Funniest Commercials 2008” definitely brings the funny as we see commercials from all around the world, including some from the U.S. I’d never seen before.

There’s a hilarious commercial for the Vancouver Film Festival, a slightly bizarre song parody of “YMCA” advertising Israeli HDTV and a Volkswagen commercial that will cause you to never see “Toy Story” the same way again. And there’s a classic Chinese VISA commercial about the Olympics featuring Yao Ming and Jackie Chan.

The show’s premiere coincides with the end of the Olympics so naturally it awards gold, silver and bronze medals to three ads. I was a little disappointed with the gold winner, but the silver will blow you away.

The show is hosted by Kevin Nealon and his wife, a somewhat stiff Susan Yeagley. But thankfully, their segments are short and the focus remains on the commercials.

“World’s Funniest Commercials 2008” premieres Tuesday, August 26th at 9 p.m. on TBS…

A Big Monday Night for TNT...

Monday is a big night for the dramas of TNT…

First, Kevin Bacon returns to direct his wife, Kyra Sedgwick, on “The Closer” at 9 p.m.

Then, “Saving Grace” serves up its summer finale at 10 p.m. This is, of course, to make room for “Raising the Bar” next week.

And don’t forget that you can read my review of “Bar” Monday night…

Pick of the Week: Time to Rock the Vote and a Disney Bonus

Now that the Olympics are over, the country’s focus will change to the most dramatic thing we’ll see on TV this fall…

The Presidential Election.

My Pick of the Week is the Democratic National Convention.

If you’re a big political junkie, you can get all-day coverage on the cable news channels (I recommend MSNBC, led by Chuck Todd and Tom Brokaw). Otherwise, the networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) will provide coverage beginning at 10 p.m. each night.

The big nights of the week are Tuesday, when Sen. Hillary Clinton is scheduled to speak and Thursday, when Sen. Barack Obama will speak.

I have to say that this is a little bittersweet for me since I was looking forward to Tim Russert explaining it all to me. Fortunately, we will have Tim’s son, Luke, on the floor to help fill the void.

The Democratic National Convention runs Monday, August 25th-Thursday, August 28th…

Speaking of presidents, has there ever been a better TV president than Charles Logan from “24”?

Now I know that he was technically a bad guy, but he was played by Gregory Itzin. That automatically makes him awesome.

Now Itzin brings his awesomeness to “Hannah Montana,” as he plays the snobbish father of Miley’s new boyfriend.

It’s a role that Itzin is familiar with, as you may recall he was Phoebe’s rich father-in-law on “Friends.”

“Hannah Montana” airs Sunday, August 31st at 8 p.m. on Disney Channel…

Friday, August 22, 2008

Mark-Paul on Bochco: "I don't know if I'm his go-to-guy"

You guys know that I christened Mark-Paul Gosselaar Steven Bochco’s go-to-guy after Bochco brought his former “NYPD Blue” star to his reboot of “Commander In Chief.” And now Gosselaar is starring in Bochco’s first foray into the world of cable, TNT’s “Raising the Bar.”

So when I had the chance to talk with Gosselaar, I got his thoughts on my title for him.

“Well, I think all my persistent knockings on his door have finally paid off. You know, because I don’t know if I'm his go-to guy or if I've just been telling him, please, you know, whenever you have a project, think of me because I'd love to work with you again. I still feel, you know, quite indebted to him for hiring me for NYPD Blue, but I mean, honestly though, I think that we have the same sort of passion for our work and, you know, when he has a project, I would, you know, jump at the chance to – to be a part of it. Because I know that he creates such an environment for me, as an actor, to be creative in and also to feel secure that he's going to give me the stories and – and just protect – to protect us in a way that allows us just to enjoy the process.”

I think Gosselaar is selling himself a little short—especially since he was Bochco’s first choice to play Jerry Kellerman, the main character in “Bar.”

In his conference call with reporters, Bochco had nothing but glowing praise for Gosselaar.
“I love him and I don't say that loosely. I really adore this guy. Such a special guy. When we worked together on ‘NYPD Blue’ for, I think it was five years. I really came to have enormous regard for him personally as well as artistically. He's passionate about the work. He really invests himself in the work, and yet he's not a prima donna, he's just a wonderful person to work with. You just couldn't have a better guy on your team.”

Sounds like he’s Bochco’s go-to-guy to me…

“Raising the Bar” premieres Monday, September 1st at 10 p.m. on TNT…

And Monday, you can read my review of the show…
Photo provided by TNT

Mark-Paul on "Saved By the Bell": "I'm Proud"

I honestly thought that Mark-Paul Gosselaar was going to get through his media conference call promoting his new show, “Raising the Bar” without anyone mentioning “Saved By the Bell.” But then the final question finally evoked the spirit of Zack Morris.

I tried really hard not to audibly groan. But I’m glad the reporter asked Gosselaar about “Bell,” because it gave me one more reason to be a fan of his…

Mark-Paul Gosselaar is proud of “Saved By the Bell.”

And why wouldn’t he be? Zack Morris rocked! And it’s clear that Gosselaar is well aware where his bread is buttered…

“If by me having more fans from ‘Saved by the Bell’ or from ‘NYPD Blue’ or any of the other projects that I've done helps us get more of an audience, so be it…I'll, hopefully, have, you know, more and more fans watching my projects that I do….Our whole campaign is trying to get those people on board to watch the new show or at least have their parents, you know, that were born in the 70s and 80s watching ‘Raising the Bar.’”

So how does he view Zack Morris now? “I only see it as a positive. You know, I'm – out of the work I've done, you know, that was one of the projects that I was proud of. There's a couple, you know, if you look at my resume, that I'm not so proud of. But, you know, that was one of that I am proud of.”
Gosselaar got a laugh out of the reporters when he said that some people don’t realize when the show was produced and still think he is doing “Bell.”

“I’m proud of the show that I did. It's been 15 years, but the show still is now generating a whole new wave of viewers and I think that will continue.”

See why I love this guy?

“Raising the Bar” premieres commercial-free Monday, September 1st at 10 p.m. on TNT…
Photo Credit: Art Streiber
Provided By TNT

Has the "Dancing" Cast Been Revealed? has posted what it says is the list of this fall’s “Dancing With the Stars” contestants…

Here it is…

Kim Kardashian
Lance Bass
Toni Braxton
Brooke Burke
Maurice Greene (Olympic sprinter)
Cody Linley (“Hannah Montana”)
Susan Lucci
Warren Sapp
Ted McGinley
Mark McGrath
Cloris Leachman
Jeff Ross (comedian)
Misty May-Treanor

There are some interesting names here, with the most intriguing to me being Misty May-Treanor who just won gold in beach volleyball in Beijing. She said she was ready to concentrate on starting a family so I find this to be an interesting detour if it’s true…

Mark McGrath is also another interesting name since he reportedly left “Extra” to focus again on Sugar Ray. I guess this is one way to promote them…

Cloris Leachman is an inspired choice. I think she can give them a run for their money if she gets a good partner. Susan Lucci also falls into the inspired category.

But why, oh why, would you go with Ted McGinley, the biggest showkiller of them all?

We’ll find out Monday morning on “Good Morning America” just how accurate this list is…

“It’s officially the end…”

So what went through the minds of the producers while they were filming this season of ‘The Two Coreys”?

Did they think they would actually be able to reunite the Coreys? Did they have any idea about Haim’s pill problem?

And did they have any idea that this would officially be the end of the Coreys?

These are just some of the questions that were left unanswered when “Coreys” wrapped up its second (and most likely last) season Sunday with another intense half-hour.

The episode began with the Coreys meeting separately with Dr. Nicki to watch the video of their big blowout following the failed “intervention.” A graphic tells us that the producers gave her the tape because they were concerned—which is interesting, because they may have actually caused the drama to start with (Feldman wrote on his blog that it was the producers’ idea to throw Todd Bridges, Pauly Shore and the Coreys all in one room together. But Feldman adds that regardless of whose idea it was that Feldman knew about it because it was on the call sheet.). Dr. Nicki suggested that the Coreys meet up again to get closure, but neither one was open to it.

And after Dr. Nicki once again confronted Haim about his drug use, Haim stormed out. The next thing we saw was a graphic telling us that Haim had been in an accident.

The smashed-up bricks outside a house told the story. Corey Haim was clearly not okay…

Another graphic told us that Corey’s assistant, Nelle, happened upon the camera crew filming the accident scene and went to Haim’s house to help. She and Mark Jacobs, one of the show’s producers, tried to reason with Haim to flush all of his pills. Though Haim asked for the cameras to be turned off, the microphones continued to record.

The exchange that followed was downright painful as Haim made excuse after excuse to not flush the pills. “I need my Vicodin,” he said. I need this, my doctor prescribed that…

Clearly some doctor needs his prescription pad taken away…

Nelle did get Haim to flush some pills, but was it all of them?

Another graphic told us that Haim agreed to pay the damages to the house. And with that behind him, Haim decided to take Dr. Nicki’s advice and called Feldman to set up a meeting.

Feldman clearly told Haim goodbye on the phone, but Haim went to the meeting site anyway, expressing his anger when Feldman didn’t show.

“It’s officially the end of the two Coreys,” he told the camera.

We did see Feldman finally get in his car, but whether it was to meet Haim was unclear.

What is clear is that a 20+ year friendship is over. But something else that is not clear is why I care so much…

How did I let myself get so sucked into this show?

Maybe I just wanted to see how that kind of relationship dies. Maybe it made me examine my own relationships.

And maybe, just maybe, I was hoping for some glimmer of hope that these two can work it out.

What can I say? I’m a sucker for a happy ending. And even if the two Coreys never find their way back to each other as friends, I hope that they each find their own happy ending apart…

Time to Check Out of “Outsider’s Inn”

It seemed like such a cute idea…

Put Maureen McCormick, Bobby Brown and Carnie Wilson—who were so adorable in “Gone Country”—together in a crazy situation (in this case, running a bed and breakfast) and watch them go.

But unfortunately, the producers aren’t watching them go, they’re telling them where to go and what to do and what to say.

And in a “reality” show, that’s a show killer.

There have been several reality shows that have used staged situations to create comedy—“The Simple Life,” “The Two Coreys” (season one)—but “Inn” is so staged it’s embarrassing. The supporting players are clearly actors and not very good ones at that. And McCormick is overacting so badly it makes you long for the “acting” of Paris and Nicole. Carnie Wilson still manages to be charming, but it’s all so contrived, you barely notice.

One of the great things about McCormick and Brown on “Gone Country” is that their friendship happened spontaneously (and surprisingly, I might add). Obviously, the people behind “Inn” have forgotten that.

It’s time to check out of “Outsider’s Inn”…

“Outsider’s Inn” airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on CMT…

Photo Credit: Krista Lee
Provided by CMT

“Gone Country 2”: I’m Over It

I said a trainwreck was a comin’ on “Gone Country 2” and boy, was I right.

But it wasn’t the one I was expecting…

Yes, Sean Young took the stage and she was horrible. But the real trainwreck was John Rich, who chose to masquerade as an old Mark Twain-like riverboat entertainer. It was completely ridiculous, but not nearly as ridiculous as the fact that the contestants didn’t know who he was (If that was for real.). I joined the show in progress and I knew who he was.

So how does dressing up in costume help find a new country artist? It doesn’t. But it does put the spotlight on John Rich, which is exactly where he wants it.

If you couldn’t tell, I’m completely over him. And since it looks like he’ll be taking a much bigger role in the show this year, I’m over “Gone Country”…

“Gone Country 2” airs Fridays at 8 p.m. on CMT…
Photo Credit: Ron Jaffe
Provided by CMT

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Olympics Hangover

Hey Everybody!

Just wanted to apologize for the lack of posts this week.

Let’s face it. I am enduring an Olympic-size Olympics hangover…

Too many late nights have done me in. I even slept through “Project Runway” last night, which I have never EVER done.

So tonight, I am going to do my best to get back on track. I’ve got lots to say about “Gone Country 2,” “Outsider’s Inn,” and, of course, “The Two Coreys.”

I’ve also got more on “Raising the Bar” including Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s thoughts on “Saved By the Bell” and his thoughts on me calling him Steven Bochco’s “go-to-guy.”

So, as always, stay tuned…

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pick of the Week: Hooray for Bollywood!

Before there was “Hannah Montana” or “High School Musical,” there was “The Cheetah Girls.”

And now they’re back on another exotic adventure in search of ratings gold…

My Pick of the Week is “The Cheetah Girls: One World.”

However, this time the girls are down a Cheetah as Galleria (Raven-Symone) is not in the movie (Raven was shooting “College Road Trip.”). But Dorinda (Sabrina Bryan), Aqua (Kiely Williams) and Chanel (Adrienne Bailon) are still around and they’re taking us to India where they’re starring in a Bollywood movie.

That means lots of dazzling, colorful dance numbers with bouncy pop songs. And how can you top that?

“Cheetah Girls: One World” premieres Friday, August 22nd at 8 p.m. on Disney Channel with encores Saturday, August 23rd and Sunday, August 24th at 8 p.m…

A BIG Disney DVD Day!

In case you’ve forgotten, today is a BIG DVD day for tweens—and adults who haven’t grown up yet…

“Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: The Best of Both Worlds Concert” hits stores today. The DVD has both a 2-D and 3-D version and it comes with four pairs of 3-D glasses. However, you may need to act fast as Disney is promising the release is for a limited time only.
Today is also the day to pick up “Camp Rock” on DVD. “Rock” is, of course, the Disney Channel movie starring the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato. You can read my review of it here.

Most stores are offering $10 off if you buy both “Worlds” and “Rock” in the same purchase.

And you thought back-to-school shopping was already expensive…

Image courtesy of

Friday, August 15, 2008

Goodbye, Mike Logan

“Entertainment Weekly” recently rated Mike Logan’s exit from “Law & Order” as one of TV’s all-time best character exits, but I couldn’t disagree more…

Yes, Logan slugging a dirty councilman was totally in character, but then having him suddenly transferred to Staten Island? Like others hadn’t done worse things? It just didn’t work for me.

Now, “L&O” gets another chance to get it right as Logan exits “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.”

In the episode, Logan goes up against an ambitious DA (Leslie Hope) to exonerate a man doing hard time for a crime he didn’t commit.

I still don’t have the story on why Chris Noth is leaving, but I hope it’s because he wants to pursue a film career (after the success of “Sex and the City”) and not because he got in another tussle with “L&O” guru Dick Wolf (In today’s “USA Today,” Wolf said Noth had been getting frustrated as an actor on the show. “I don’t think that I ever took that stuff seriously. It’s just part of his persona.”). I’d love to see him become the movie star he deserves to be.

“Law & Order: Criminal Intent” airs Sunday, August 17th at 9 p.m. on USA…

For even more Logan action, catch USA’s four-episode marathon of “CI” Saturday, August 16th beginning at 7 p.m…
Photo provided by USA

The End of An Era

Sunday, it’s the end of an era as we see the final act of the two Coreys—both on-screen and off.

In last week’s episode, Haim’s assistant Nelle tried to get through to Haim and get him to admit he needed help for his pill addiction. It didn’t work as Haim told Nelle he had a permanent slur that he was trying to repair and that the pills were prescribed by doctors trying to help him. Then, Haim’s mom got in on the act and even talked to Dr. Nicki about Haim’s problems.

Although Haim was in complete denial, it was pretty clear from the episode that Haim had a real problem.

This Sunday, it’s the season finale and Dr. Nicki is trying again to help Haim; and she’s trying to get the Coreys back in the same room again.

Will she succeed in getting them together? Sadly, we know the answer to that one.

But I promise you it will still be worth watching…

“The Two Coreys” airs Sunday, August 17th at 10 p.m. on A&E…
Photo Credit: Andrew Eccles
Provided by A&E

John Stamos Gets Down and Dirty

If you’ve ever watched a Comedy Central Roast, you know they are as filthy as can be.

So at first glance, Bob Saget seems like an odd person to be the guest of honor since he is best known for his work on “Full House.” But fans of Saget know that he is a pretty filthy comedian himself.

Who does seem out of place is Saget’s former co-star, John Stamos, who will serve as the roastmaster for “The Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget.” But reports have him jumping right in with some inappropriate humor about the Olsen twins.

And apparently he wasn’t the only one to go there. Which reportedly didn’t make Saget all that happy…

“The Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget” airs Sunday, August 17th at 10 p.m. on Comedy Central…

Saget Photo Credit: Ian White
Photos provided by Comedy Central

Am I Over "Project Runway"?

You guys know I have had nothing but the utmost love for “Project Runway” since I fell for it midway through season two.

But Wednesday night, I actually heard myself say the words, “I am so over this show.”

I know. I can’t believe it either.

My disgust began last week with the Olympic challenge. The designers were challenged to design an outfit for the U.S. Olympic team for the Opening Ceremonies. I thought it was a good challenge, but unfortunately, the designers didn’t have a clue. And a trip through the track and field museum didn’t help as it only made the designers want to emulate the older designs they saw.

As last year’s winner, Christian, might say, it was a hot tranny mess.

In other words, the designs stunk…

In fact, there were only three out of the thirteen designs that were worth considering. I think Heidi should have totally dressed the designers down for missing the challenge so badly. But instead, she sent some of the worst designs to safety because their scores were good enough to move on. And for the second week in a row, the judges made a questionable choice for the winner.

The episode also tried very hard to create some villains, but it just didn’t work—unless you count Kenley’s laugh as a villain. I certainly hate it.

This week the designers teamed up, which usually always creates drama. Usually. But these designers are so blah that you can’t even get into their squabbles.

The designers were challenged with making an outfit for Brooke Shields’ character on “Lipstick Jungle.” And, of course, Shields will wear the winning outfit on the show (on NBC, naturally).

The designs were better this time, though I think the judges should have kept everyone on the runway instead of letting Joe and Korto’s poorly sewn dress slide.

But in all honesty, I have no idea what the judges are looking at anymore…

Now you might think my frustration with the judges in this episode stems from the elimination of Kelli from Columbus. But she actually deserved to go home (And reading her diss of the judges, the show and Brooke Shields on the Bravo website only confirmed that). My frustration was once again with the choice of winner.

Heidi said Jerrell and Stella’s (?!) dress was her favorite and it was clearly Shield’s favorite (Or so I thought. Tim Gunn said in his blog that she “hated” the belt.). Nina said nothing bad about it and Michael loved it as well (as did I). So why didn’t it win? I actually said, “What?!” when Keith and Kenley were announced as the winning team.

Last week, a blogger wrote what I had been thinking but didn’t dare write myself—Is Bravo trying to sabotage the show before it moves to Lifetime?

I honestly don’t think that they are (although releasing all of the challenges and guest judges before the season started is a little suspect), but there has to be some explanation for the bland contestants and bad judging decisions.

And I can’t be the only disillusioned fan out there. So if enough of us are over the show, it could be a problem for Lifetime.

So maybe there is a conspiracy after all…

Don’t worry. I’m not going to stop watching. I just won’t watch it with the same love.

And yes, that hurts…

“Project Runway” airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on Bravo…
Photo provided by Bravo

Flip Out This Weekend

It’s been a while since I’ve laughed as much in an hour as I did watching the “Flipping Out” reunion show.

Jeff, Jenni, Ryan and Zoila have such fantastic chemistry. And throwing Andy Cohen (the show’s host and Bravo’s programming VP) into the mix just escalated it.

Even if you’ve never seen an episode of “Flipping Out,” you’ll get a kick out of Jeff Lewis and his slightly warped, dry sense of humor.

And when Jeff said he’d love to renovate Kathy Griffin’s house, I think I could see the wheels in Andy’s head spinning out of control.

Jeff and Kathy in the same show? How awesome would that be?

Let’s make that happen, Andy…

In the meantime, you can see the “Flipping Out” reunion for yourself with an encore presentation Saturday, August 16th at 1 p.m. on Bravo…
Photo provided by Bravo

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Time to Check Into "Outsider's Inn"

Clearly CMT knew they had something special on their hands when they saw the friendship that developed on last season’s “Gone Country” between Maureen McCormick and Bobby Brown. They also recognized that Carnie Wilson was the breakout star from the show.

So now they’ve taken their three new stars and put them together in a brand new show, “Outsider’s Inn.”

In the series, McCormick decides to open a bed and breakfast in rural Tennessee and enlists Brown and Wilson to help her.

I have no idea where this show will go, I just know I’m going to go with it. These three were the heart and soul of “Gone Country” (not to mention they were all completely robbed of the title) and it’s nice to have them back—even with such a silly premise.

“Outsider’s Inn” premieres Friday, August 17th at 9 p.m. on CMT…

Now, if Dee Snider would just show up as a guest…
Photo Credit: Krista Lee
Provided by CMT

“Gone Country 2”: A Train Wreck’s A Comin’

You guys know that I fell in love with “Gone Country” last season.

But then, John Rich had to go all high and mighty about “American Idol” and now it’s hard for me to even look at him. However, I have to say I will watch Friday’s premiere because there is such a train wreck factor to this season, I don’t know how I can’t watch…

This season’s contestants are Sebastian Bach, Mikalah Gordon, Lorenzo Lamas, Jermaine Jackson, Chris Kirkpatrick (*N Sync), Irene Cara and Sean Young. Yes, the actress Sean Young.

See what I mean?

And since I understand now that Rich is just going for the person he thinks will generate the most fans/money and not actually the best singer/songwriter, I won’t have any expectations going in.

“Gone Country 2” premieres Friday, August 15th at 8 p.m.
Photo Credit: Ron Jaffe
Provided by CMT

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

NBC's Latest Olympics Pickle

Yesterday, I said that the Olympics created quite a pickle for NBC since their live events are running way outside of primetime.

Last night, they got themselves into another jam—two live events happening simultaneously. And tonight, that jam will get even worse as Michael Phelps will go for two golds at the same time the USA Women’s Gymnastics Team goes for the gold.

I’m glad I’m not the producer for tonight…

Last night, NBC cut away from the Men’s Gymnastics Team Final to show the three gold medal swimming events, including Michael Phelps. But when the U.S. gymnastics team began making a medal run, they wisely did not go back to the pool for a semifinal race. Bob Costas explained that when they had to choose, they would focus on the medal events. But that does not help them tonight, and something will probably get missed.

But NBC ran into one more problem last night—the gymnastics judges. Because of the scoring controversy in 2004, they are taking FOREVER to post their scores, which is wreaking havoc on NBC’s coverage.

How so? The USA men did not claim the bronze medal until 12:45 a.m.

Which is great for the night owls. But for those of us who have to go to work the next morning? Not so much…

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Bonus Flip

Last week, I said that we were getting one last flip. But God bless Bravo, they’re giving us one more…

Tuesday, we’ll get all the dirt with the “Flipping Out Reunion.”

Bravo is showing very little footage in the promos for the reunion, which was taped last week. But from what they do show us it looks like Jeff, Jenni, Zoila and Ryan all return. I feel quite certain we won’t see Chris E., and I’d say it’s a good guess we won’t see Chris K.—especially after the way Jeff badmouthed him on his blog. And besides, I think if either of them returned, we’d see it all over the promos.

You know how Bravo loves to sell drama…

But Jeff is going to be there, so that’s good enough for me.

“Flipping Out Reunion” airs Tuesday, August 12th at 9 p.m. on Bravo…
"Flipping Out" Cast Photo (with Chris E. on the far right) provided by Bravo

What's a Little Lost Sleep?

If some of your co-workers are a little bleary-eyed today, cut them a little slack. They were up late watching history being made…

People are already calling it an instant classic—the best swimming relay race ever. Unfortunately, it didn’t make the airwaves until after 11:30 p.m.

So much for primetime…

You have to admit that the Olympics do create quite a pickle for NBC. Normally, NBC shows the major events on tape in primetime, which means you have to spend your whole day avoiding the Internet and all other spoilers. But the time delay from Beijing is allowing NBC to show some major events live, which is great. Except that the time delay means the live events must be shown at odd hours outside of actual primetime.

And for anyone who doubts that some of the events are actually live only needed to witness last night’s Men’s 4 x 100 Free Relay. Because there is no way NBC would have kept that event out of primetime if they could have helped it.

Throughout all of the swimming events last night, commentator Rowdy Gaines kept hyping the relay by saying he just didn’t know how the Americans could pull it off. The French, who had been doing a little trash talking, were just too tough according to Gaines. And midway through the relay it appeared that he was right.

As the last leg began, Gaines said again, “I just don’t see how they can do it.”

But it’s not over until it’s over…

In a dramatic, world record shattering finish, the United States did do it with NBC’s phenomenal swimming play-by-play man Dan Hicks screaming all the way. It was one of those great moments that remind us of why we watch the Olympics—no matter how late at night it is.

Of course, this means that Michael Phelps’ dream of winning a record eight gold medals is still alive. Although it’s probably going to take a lot of late nights for us to see it.

But hey. The Olympics only happen every four years. What’s a little lost sleep?

If you missed it, you can watch the relay race in its entirety here.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Pick of the Week: A Huge Heart

I know that some of you just don’t understand why I’m such a fan of Kathy Griffin…

After all, she’s foul-mouthed, she tells filthy jokes, and her publicity schemes can sometimes get a little out of hand (cruising with Adnan Ghalib?).

So why is it that I can’t stop watching her? Because I know that under all of that is a huge heart. And there’s no bigger evidence of that than this week’s season finale…

Thus, my Pick of the Week is “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List.”

I first got hooked on “D-List” when I saw Kathy in Iraq entertaining the troops. I was so impressed that she was willing to risk her life just to give our soldiers a good laugh. Now, she’s not risking her life, but she is risking her heart as she goes to Walter Reed Hospital to entertain the injured soldiers there.

In a recent interview with “TV Guide,” Kathy said she had to fight with Bravo to make the hospital the focus of the entire hour.
“[T]hey didn’t want to make it a whole episode. But I found that those guys at the hospital—the majority were amputees—just have the sickest sense of humor and were so wanting to laugh and use humor to get through their situation, because that’s how they deal.” She told the magazine she told Bravo that she would still be “making a fool of myself and saying inappropriate things,” but she wanted to show what happens to “these people that you’re not gonna see on ‘The [bleeping] Kardashians.’”

I’m honestly surprised that she had to fight with Bravo on this one at all. I mean, what did they want to see?

Yes, there will be a lot of bleeping and some pretty filthy jokes, but I encourage you to watch because I know in the end you will be inspired and touched. But be sure to have your tissues handy, because you’re going to need them.

“Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List” airs Thursday, August 14th at 10 p.m. on Bravo…

Photo provided by Bravo

MTV Goes to the "Mall"

This week, MTV takes a shot at finding the next “High School Musical,”—albeit a more grown-up version…

“American Mall” centers around the drama in a shopping mall (in Ohio, no less). Ally (Nina Dobrev) works in her mom’s music store, and after hours she tries in vain to write a song. One night, she hears a male voice singing exactly the right words for her song.

The voice belongs to Joey (Rob Mayes), the mall’s janitor. But, of course, a team-up between the two of them is not that simple. There’s the rich girl, Madison, whose dad owns the mall, who is trying to hook up with Joey herself. Madison is played by Autumn Reeser, and I’m looking forward to seeing her make up for that atrocity known as “Lost Boys 2.”

In an article in this week’s “TV Guide,” the choreographer, Bonnie Story, promises that the musical numbers will use all the elements of the mall including the food court, escalators and mannequins.

“American Mall” premieres Monday, August 11th at 9 p.m. on MTV. You can also pick it up on DVD beginning Tuesday, August 12th…

Photo provided by MTV

Saturday, August 09, 2008

"The Two Coreys": The Worst Thing In the World For Each Other?

It was the episode we’ve been waiting for. And it did not disappoint…

The entire season of “The Two Coreys” had been leading up to this—the straw that broke the back of their friendship. The past two weeks were basically space fillers with Feldman writing a Valentine’s Day song for his wife (a bad one at that), Haim hanging out with his dad and Suzie posing for “Playboy.” But Sunday, we got back down to business with an explosive episode that probably had the Coreys’ fans bawling…

The episode entitled “Intervention” opened with the Coreys at therapy. Feldman proposed that Corey meet with some friends in the business who had been through similar things to offer their advice. It was clear that Feldman was talking about an intervention and Haim knew it, which was why he said no—even though Dr. Hunt thought it would be good. The session ended with Feldman inviting Haim to his house for dinner.

The next thing we see is Todd Bridges (“Different Strokes”) and Pauly Shore at Feldman’s house waiting on Haim. Not surprisingly, when Haim sees them there, he freaks out and attacks Feldman for springing an intervention on him. Feldman and Suzie argue that it isn’t an intervention, but apparently they forgot to tell Bridges who clearly came to rumble. Of course, Haim stormed out.

But the real drama happened when Feldman and Suzie went to Haim’s house to check up on him. Haim—who didn’t appear completely sober I might add—completely blasted him and Feldman and Suzie blasted back with both barrels. At one point, Feldman actually said, “Go ahead and kill yourself, I don’t care.”

Now I should tell you at this point that Feldman says on his blog that Haim actually agreed to the dinner party off-camera. And I can’t help but wonder how much of a part the producers played in all of this. But I believe the emotions behind it were real—WAY too real for me…

It was the first time all season that Feldman looked bad. Personally, I think that maybe the Coreys actually bring out the worst in each other. And maybe they would both be better off without the other in their life.

I admit I didn’t cry, but I couldn’t get one song out of my head—“Cry Little Sister” from ‘The Lost Boys.” Somehow, it seemed appropriate…

This week, Haim’s assistant Nelle gets involved and Dr. Nicki tries to find a way to get through to him. The new episode airs Sunday, August 10th at 10 p.m., followed by an encore of the “Intervention” episode at 10:30 p.m. on A&E…
Photo provided by A&E

Why I love Kiefer...

So for those of you who are wondering why I am such a fan of Kiefer Sutherland, I offer as evidence his appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman” Thursday night.

Letterman—who I have never thought was that good of an interviewer—opened up by asking Kiefer about his dad (?) and then, suddenly, jumped right in to ask him about his experience in jail.

Now, Kiefer was there to plug his new movie, “Mirrors,” not be grilled, a la Paris Hilton, about his time in prison. He could’ve just told Letterman that he wasn’t going to discuss it. But instead he confronted it head-on and managed to do it in a humorous way that didn’t belittle his offense.

Jeers to Letterman, though, for not pointing out during his Paris Hilton comparison that Kiefer actually spent 48 DAYS, which is a lifetime compared to the sentences celebrities have been getting as of late—including Paris.

Which makes me a little disappointed that the interview didn’t make more news. When Letterman grilled Paris, it was all over the Internet and TV and she didn’t say anything. But Kiefer admitted his fears and the lessons he learned from the whole experience. How is that not news?

You can see the interview here.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Gosselaar on "Commander": "It was awkward"

So is Mark-Paul Gosselaar disappointed that “Commander In Chief” didn’t get any closure?

With a laugh, he told me, “Yes and no.”

If you’re a longtime reader of my blog, you know all about the behind-the-scenes drama on “Commander” as ABC replaced the show’s executive producer/creator, Rod Lurie, with prolific TV producer Steven Bochco. However, even though ABC brought Bochco in to shake the show up, the network didn’t allow Bochco enough free rein and he was eventually let go. But just as the show got back on track, ABC pulled the plug.

Gosselaar was brought on the show by Bochco and he admits it didn’t quite fit. “It was awkward because it wasn’t Stephen’s child…I didn’t enjoy myself as much.”

As Gosselaar went on, he got even more frank. “That was an odd little show to be a part of…We were not as welcome as we would like to have been.”

Talking with Mark-Paul Gosselaar

I’m not going to lie to you. I was a little shaky as I dialed the phone.

Because I knew at the other end would be Mark-Paul Gosselaar…

Now, granted it was a conference call with other reporters and I didn’t even know if I’d get to ask a question, but it would still be him all the same.

So when the moderator told me it was my turn to ask a question—the first question, no less—it was everything I could do to keep myself together.

However, I did, and so I’ll have plenty of great stuff for you in the next few days from Mark-Paul and Steven Bochco, plus I’ll have a review of “Raising the Bar” for you.

So, of course, Stay Tuned…

Photo Credit: Art Streiber
Photo provided by TNT

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Get Ready to Raise the "Bar"

I have never watched a TNT drama, but all of that will change beginning on Labor Day.

Why? One name…

Mark-Paul Gosselaar

You guys know I’ve got nothing but love for him and the fact that he’s reteaming with producer, Steven Bochco? Even better.

The show is called “Raising the Bar” and I will have many more details about it between now and Labor Day.

Could some of those details include M-PG himself? Stay tuned…
Photo provided by TNT

Go "Country" With the Originals One More Time

Before the new cast debuts next week, the original cast of “Gone Country” is reuniting for one night only…

Friday, you can see the “Gone Country Reunion Special” at 10 p.m. on CMT.

The cast will reminisce, plus we’ll see never-before-seen footage from the show. And, the website promises that we’ll hear from the cast about what they really think of Julio’s win (I still don’t get it quite frankly.).

I’m also hoping that we get a sneak preview of “Outsider’s Inn,” which will show Maureen McCormick, Carnie Wilson and Bobby Brown running a bed and breakfast in Nashville. I’ve got to believe that will be more entertaining than watching Jermaine Jackson try to go country…

Photo Credit: Krista Lee
Provided by CMT

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Let the Games Begin!

So you guys don’t think I’m un-American, I wanted to say something about the Olympics.

The Opening Ceremonies are Friday beginning at 7:30 p.m. and then we will be deluged with two weeks of events (Gymnastics begins the games and track and field closes them.)

The events will be spread out over all of the NBC Universal networks EXCEPT Bravo, which will still be doing its thing (WOO-HOO!).

Since this isn’t a sports blog, I won’t be commenting on each of the events. However, I will probably be commenting from time to time about the coverage, how much I adore Bob Costas, or what my man Cris Collinsworth is up to.

If there’s something I don’t comment on but you would like to, just drop me an e-mail at

Let the games begin…

Who Will Be "Dancing" This Fall?

This fall’s “Dancing With the Stars” competitors will be announced on “Good Morning America” August 25th…

But, of course, the rumors have already begun…

TMZ is reporting that Toni Braxton will be on the show. “In Touch” reports that she will be joined by Kim Kardashian, Ty Murray (rodeo star and Jewel’s boyfriend), Dan Marino, Lance Bass and Florence Henderson.

In recent weeks, Kathy Griffin and Dan Quayle were both reported as receiving offers from the show, but passed…

Remember, however, that all of these names are just rumors...

Sunday, August 03, 2008

DVD Review: "The Lost Boys 2: The Tribe"

Since I was completely opposed to the whole idea of a sequel, I had no intention of watching “Lost Boys 2: The Tribe.”

But then came my obsession with “The Two Coreys” and curiosity got the best of me.

Now I know why curiosity killed the cat…


“Tribe” follows the same initial premise of “The Lost Boys” as two siblings, Chris and Nicole Emerson (Tad Hilgenbrink and Autumn Reeser), move to a new town and get sucked in by the wrong crowd. But this time, the wrong crowd (i.e. the vampires) are surfers. In fact, Chris knows most of them since he was a top surfer himself, but quit the sport after his parents died.

I should point out here for the die-hard fans that Chris and Nicole’s parents are never identified, but the last name of Emerson does imply they are related to the original’s Sam and Michael Emerson.

It’s only a matter of time before Nicole is seduced by Shane (Angus Sutherland), the head vampire. And Chris has to seek the help of Edgar Frog (Corey Feldman) to save his sister.

One of the great things about the original is its subtlety. But there is nothing subtle about this one as there is lots of nudity and plenty of blood (In fact, the vampires like to stab each other just for the fun of it.). I have to admit that I fast-forwarded through several of the gory scenes without losing any story.

Actually, I could have fast-forwarded through the whole movie without missing any story…

However, I expected the story to be bad. What I did not expect was just how awful Angus Sutherland was.

There’s no doubt after watching this that Angus was only cast to exploit the Sutherland name (He’s Kiefer’s half-brother.), because it certainly wasn’t for his acting. Although he has the perfect look for the part, he’s never even remotely convincing. And the strange slightly Scottish accent he uses doesn’t help.

Wait. I take that back. He was pretty convincing during his love scene with Reeser. Maybe that’s because he doesn’t talk…

Speaking of Reeser, you guys know that I’m a big fan, thanks to “The O.C.” and she’s good in this—up until the aforementioned sex scene when apparently Sutherland’s bad acting germs rub off on her.

And it’s a little hard to get over the decidedly un-sibling vibe that Nicole and Chris throw off…

So now, you’re probably wondering about the two Coreys. Since I thought it was ridiculous that Feldman was playing the character exactly the same way 20 years later (even with the same clothes), I was actually shocked to discover that Feldman was the best part of the movie (although that’s not saying much). He had several good lines (though most of the others were just repeats from the original) and his storyline was by far the most interesting.

But if you’re looking for a big Coreys reunion, you’re going to be disappointed. Haim only appears in a tacked-on scene during the closing credits that’s sure to anger many “Lost Boys” die-hards (although I found it intriguing, if somewhat confusing) and in two alternate endings that add even more intrigue to Edgar’s story.

Quite frankly, the story alluded to in the alternate endings is way better than the story we got. You can’t help but wonder if they were setting things up for another movie starring the Coreys or if they planned to expand the story in the movie, but couldn’t because of Haim’s meltdown on the set.

My fiancé just asked me if watching this atrocity would ruin my love for the original, and I told him no way. These two movies are nowhere near the same league with each other. I’ll just pretend that “Tribe” never existed.

Gosh knows it never should have…

Photo courtesy of

Pick of the Week: One Final "Flip"

The week I picked “Flipping Out” for my Pick of the Week, it topped one million viewers for the first time and then both “TV Guide” and “Entertainment Weekly” called it a must-see.

Now, obviously, I’d like to think I had something to do with that, but most likely it’s due to the irresistible drama the show has produced this year.

First, Jeff installed a nanny cam. Then Jeff caught Chris E. slacking off and using Jeff’s computer without permission. So, Jeff fired Chris E. and then Chris decided to move out of the home he shared with his wife, Jenni, Jeff’s executive assistant, and ask for a divorce. Last week, the drama led to Chris K. resigning as Jeff’s remaining house assistant forcing Jeff’s housekeeper, Zoila, to go to the grocery store for the first time.

This week, all of the drama reaches a head as “Flipping Out” airs its season finale.

So, of course, it’s my Pick of the Week…

In the finale, Jeff has to deal with being homeless after his home sells and he has to interview for a new house assistant.

“Flipping Out” airs Tuesday, August 5th at 10 p.m. on Bravo…

And don’t forget to log on after the show to read the cast’s blogs at Then you can find out the real dirt like the fact that Jeff believes Chris K. was only working for him to further his TV career—especially since both his sister and mother had been on “Project Runway” (which I’m guessing makes Chris’ sister Angela from season three)…