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

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Sports Night" DVD Review: Getting What It Deserves

In a recent interview with “GQ,” Aaron Sorkin admitted that he screwed up “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”…

“I made too many mistakes. I would give anything to go back and get another bite of that apple. Basically, to use a sports analogy, you can have the best team in football playing the worst team in football. But if the best team in football throws four interceptions, they’re not going to win.”

That may sound cocky, but let’s fact it. “Studio 60” should have been brilliant.

Why? Because Aaron Sorkin had already done a brilliant show that went behind the scenes of a fictional show—the gone too soon “Sports Night”…

Unfortunately for Sorkin; his producing partner, director Thomas Schlamme; and all of us “Night” fans, ABC didn’t understand the show at all, which was obvious from the dumb promos and the addition of that hideous laugh track (which Sorkin and Schlamme are still upset about). But in ABC’s defense, the show was unlike any comedy TV had ever seen before. It was a multicamera show that looked like a single camera one. The dialogue was rapid-fire and abundant. And because it was the first time Sorkin and Schlamme worked together, the show featured the birth of the walk-and-talk.

In all honesty, “Sports Night” was a good five years ahead of its time and ABC just didn’t know what to do with it…

Thankfully, the fine folks at Shout! Factory did know what to do with it—give it the DVD release it deserves with “Sports Night: The Complete Series 10th Anniversary Edition” DVD box set.

If you never saw it, “Sports Night” goes behind the scenes of a cable sports news show called “Sports Night” (Sorkin based it on “SportsCenter.”). Casey McCall (Peter Krause) and Dan Rydell (Josh Charles) are the anchors who exhibit their quick wit both on and off the set. The show’s producer is Dana Whitaker (Felicity Huffman) who takes no crap from the men around her. Natalie Hurley (Sabrina Lloyd) is her right-hand woman as an associate producer. The nerdy Jeremy (Joshua Malina) is another associate producer and Isaac Jaffe (Robert Guillaume) oversees it all as the managing editor/executive producer.

The heart of the show is not the sports, but the relationships between the characters. Casey is struggling to deal with his divorce, but also with his feelings for Dana. Natalie and Jeremy pair up fairly quickly and go through quite a bit in the show’s two seasons. And though we see Dan with a few women over the course of the show, it’s his relationships with Isaac and Casey that illuminate his character the most.

The cast was brilliant, as evidenced by their success in later projects. And even in his first TV show, it was obvious how good Sorkin would be at it.

The show was not perfect by any means, however. The Casey-Dana story was incredibly frustrating (something Sorkin unwisely repeated on “Studio 60”) and as in all his projects, Sorkin could get a little preachy. But overall, it was a brilliant piece of work that deserves to be remembered.

And this set goes above and beyond in doing that…

To say the set is comprehensive would be a major understatement. In addition to all 45 episodes, there are two full discs of bonus materials. There’s a great featurette with interviews with Sorkin, Schlamme, key crew members and the principal cast (with the exception of Sabrina Lloyd) that follows the show from beginning to end. There’s also a cool featurette that compares “Sports Night” to “SportsCenter,” an interview with Sorkin and Schlamme, a closer look at the technical aspects of the walk-and-talk and an extremely comprehensive gag reel.

As if that wasn’t enough, there are also eight commentaries with key cast and crew (this time including Sabrina Lloyd), and a booklet with interesting facts about the show and a great introduction from Sorkin.

If you have the old DVD set that was released in 2002 and are trying to decide whether an upgrade is worth the money, let me settle it for you. No “Sports Night” fan should be without this set.

But even if you’ve never heard of the show, I highly encourage you to check this one out. If it was on the air now, I think it would be successful…

IF you took out that horrid laugh track…

“Sports Night: The Complete Series 10th Anniversary Edition” is available now…

Image courtesy of ShoutFactory.com

Monday, September 29, 2008

"NCIS" Review: And the Point Was...?

If there’s one thing I hate to see shows do it’s introduce a pointless story just to attract ratings.

But when the show is “NCIS,” it’s hard to get really upset since the ratings ploy worked (It actually topped “House.”) and I really want this show to succeed.

That doesn’t make the story any less frustrating, however…

As you may recall, when last season ended, new NCIS Director Vance (Rocky Carroll) split up Gibbs’ (Mark Harmon) team sending Tony (Michael Weatherly) to an aircraft carrier, Ziva (Cote de Pablo) back to Israel and McGee (Sean Murray) to the computer division.

When the premiere opened, Gibbs was still with his new team, while Abby (Pauley Perrette) begged him to get the old team back.

During an investigation, Gibbs’ team discovered a connection to Ziva, which led to Gibbs discovering his team was split up not as punishment, but so they could assist the director in other areas. And, Gibbs was given the new team because one of them was a traitor that needed flushed out.

Of course, in order to do that, Gibbs needed help from his old team, bringing them one by one back into the show.

After some investigation and a bit of a twist (Why does Palmer’s girlfriend have to be the bad guy?), the team was back together again, with the exception of Tony, who was still on the carrier.

So, what was the point? The story had zero dramatic value, especially since the team reunited so quickly. Ratings were the only reason.

But when you’re going head-to-head with “House” (and later “American Idol”), can you really blame them?

And since the story is giving us a Tony-centric episode this week, as he is forced to remain on the carrier, I can overlook it—for now…

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

Sunday, September 28, 2008

“Desperate Housewives” Review: Ummm…

I said in my Pick of the Week post that the five-year jump in time was a risky strategy for “Desperate Housewives” and that after the season premiere, we’d have a better idea about whether the risk would pay off.

Well?

Umm…

The episode got off to a strong start as we started to get an idea of what happened with Susan (Teri Hatcher) and Mike (James Denton). The flashback showed a car accident which seemed to leave Mike seriously injured.

And then after a shortened title sequence, we zoomed right back to the present as Edie (Nicollette Sheridan) returned with her motivational speaker husband, Dave (Neal McDonough). Lynette (Felicity Huffman) had to break up her sons’ casino. Gaby (Eva Longoria Parker) was dealing with her overweight daughter and Susan (Teri Hatcher) was having no-strings-attached sex with her house painter (Gale Harold) and sporting a much more sophisticated wardrobe. Bree (Marcia Cross) was a tough catering executive with Katherine (Dana Delany) as her unhappy business partner and Andrew (Shawn Pyfrom) as her right-hand man.

But as the show unfolded, everything fell into its familiar pattern. Lynette and Tom (Doug Savant) clashed over how to deal with their sons, Bree and Katherine clashed over Bree taking credit for her work and Gaby was up to her selfish tricks when she made her daughter run behind her car.

It was like we had entered bizarro Wisteria Lane, where everything was the same yet somehow different. And a boring different at that…

Which begged the question, why make the jump? If the show was going to follow its usual character patterns, why not leave it where it was?

Fortunately, the show got a little more interesting in the last 15 minutes as we learned some more information. Mike survived the accident, but Susan couldn’t deal with the death of the mother and child in the car that hit them. Danielle reclaimed her child from Bree, pushing Bree into her business so she would have something else in her life. And Edie’s husband, Dave, apparently spent time in a mental facility for his rage, and now it appears he’s on Wisteria Lane to unleash that rage on someone.

My guess, by the way, is that he’s the husband of the woman who died in Susan’s car accident. But that’s just a guess…

My biggest concern going into this season was that everything would change too radically. But now I’m afraid that everything hasn’t changed enough. However, I’m willing to give it another episode before I get too critical…

What did you think? Are you liking the new season or would you rather they didn’t travel in time?...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pick of the Week: Let’s Get “Dirty”

Nothing can kill a show faster than adding an unnecessary character who steals the focus from the original characters just so the show can add a name actor or actress.

That’s why I’m very concerned about the addition of Lucy Liu to “Dirty Sexy Money.” I just don’t get why she’s necessary.

But since “DSM” was my favorite new show last season, I can’t not make it my Pick…

So, my Pick of the Week is the season premiere of “Dirty Sexy Money.”

Everything I’ve read about the show said it plans to get dirtier and sexier. “‘Dynasty’ on steroids,” William Baldwin (Patrick) called it, which completely worries me since I thought it was fine the way it was…

Plus, I’ve been hearing stories of a death early in the season. And I don’t like the sound of that at all.

I guess we’ll just see…

“Dirty Sexy Money” premieres Wednesday, October 1st at 10 p.m. on ABC…

This Week’s Schedule…

The fall premieres continue this week. Plus, we get some specials and the debate I think we’ve really been waiting for…

Monday, September 29th
Chuck—8 PM—NBC—Season Premiere
**You can read my review here.
Gossip Girl—8 PM—CW
**Michael Kors guests.
How I Met Your Mother—8:30 PM—CBS
**Regis Philbin guests.
Life—10 PM—NBC—Season Premiere
**“Life” will also air Friday at 10 PM (its regular timeslot).

Wednesday, October 1st
Pushing Daisies—8 PM—ABC—Season Premiere
America’s Got Talent—9 PM—NBC—Season Finale
**Leona Lewis performs.
Private Practice—9 PM—ABC—Season Premiere
Dirty Sexy Money—10 PM—ABC—Season Premiere

Thursday, October 2nd
Vice Presidential Debate—9 PM—ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX
Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style—11 PM—Bravo—Season Premiere

Friday, October 3rd
Ghost Whisperer—8 PM—CBS—Season Premiere
**You can read my review later this week.
Everybody Hates Chris—8 PM—CW—Season Premiere
Wife Swap—8 PM—ABC—Season Premiere
Tommy Hilfiger: Ironic Iconic America--8 PM--Bravo
**A video companion to Hilfiger's book, "Iconic America," which showcases interesting places across the country.
The Game—8:30 PM—CW—Season Premiere
The Ex List—9 PM—CBS—Series Premiere
**You can read my review later this week.
Supernanny—9 PM—ABC—Season Premiere
Star Wars: The Clone Wars—9 PM—Cartoon Network
Numb3rs—10 PM—CBS—Season Premiere

Saturday, October 4th
My Big Redneck Wedding—9 PM—CMT—Season Premiere
**The bride was adopted by her groom’s family, which means they are legally brother and sister.
MADtv—11 PM—FOX
**The crew gives us an election special.

Sunday, October 5th
4Real—5 PM—CW
**In the premiere of this series, which chronicles celebrities visiting with community activists, Cameron Diaz hangs out with a Peruvian medicine man.
America’s Funniest Home Videos—7 PM—ABC—Season Premiere
The Girls Next Door—10 PM—E!—Season Premiere

“Chuck” Review: A Lot of Potential, But…

After seeing the first six episodes of “Chuck,” NBC made the unusual move of extending its episode order before a single show aired. Clearly that means NBC feels it’s got something special.

And after seeing the season premiere, I can see why they would think that, but it still hasn’t sold me…

If you’ve never seen it, “Chuck” is Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi), a member of the Nerd Herd, the computer techs at Buy More (Think Geek Squad at Best Buy.). By opening an e-mail from a rogue agent, Chuck downloaded the Intersect, a computer carrying all of the country’s intelligence secrets, into his brain. So Chuck is forced to become an unlikely spy as he uses what he knows to assist the two agents assigned to protect him—Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) and Casey (Adam Baldwin).

In the premiere, the team gets their hands on the Cipher, the last component for a new Intersect, which will make Chuck no longer needed. Seeing his spy days coming to an end, Chuck starts dreaming of a real future—one without Buy More and one with Sarah, as he finally asks her out.

This being a TV show, things, of course, don’t quite work out the way Chuck wants them to. Michael Clarke Duncan guest stars as an enemy operative trying to get the Cipher for himself and Chuck works with Casey and Sarah to stop him in order to preserve his future. But unbeknownst to Chuck, the CIA has deemed him expendable once they get their hands on the Cipher.

The story is a solid one, but it just doesn’t pop as much as it could. The episode gets off to a great start, but it quickly starts to drag. And even the action sequences aren’t as dynamic as they should be. The episode really could’ve used the McG touch (McG is one of the executive producers.)…

But when you have a cast as strong as this one, it’s hard to say too much bad about the show. Zachary Levi is one of the most perfectly cast TV leads in recent memory. Yvonne Strahovski is a true find and Adam Baldwin is always welcome. Even Sarah Lancaster (Chuck’s sister, Ellie) and Ryan McPartlin (Ellie’s fiancé, Captain Awesome) are showing some improvement.

As I said, it’s easy to see why NBC would be encouraged, because there’s a lot of potential here. But it’s just not enough to get me to add it to my must-see list…

“Chuck” premieres Monday, September 29th at 8 p.m. on NBC…

It Just Got Interesting…

As the drama on “Project Runway” starts to finally heat up (Kenley REALLY needs to go), the drama behind the scenes is absolutely scorching…

“The Hollywood Reporter” reported last night that a New York Supreme Court judge ordered Lifetime and the Weinstein Co. to “stop any promotion, marketing or exhibiting” of “Runway” until NBC Universal's dispute with the Weinstein Co. is over.

The judge ruled that an amendment to the show’s licensing agreement granting NBC Uni “the right of first refusal” did exist.

This puts future cycles of the show on Lifetime completely up in the air…

Interestingly, the judge also expressed concern for “Runway” fans in his 43-page ruling. “What is of concern for this court is the time 'Project Runway' will be off of the air during the course of this litigation. Implementing this injunction will leave the program in limbo while the matter proceeds to trial.”

Personally, what I think is best for the fans is for “Runway” to stay on Bravo. But sadly, even if NBC Uni wins in court (which I think they could), we won’t get that either. NBC Uni and TWC had already agreed to move future cycles of the show to another NBC Uni network, such as USA to appease TWC.

So, on second thought, the best thing for fans is for the Weinstein Company to leave the show. After all, it’s clear that a New York Supreme Court judge has more concern for “Runway” fans than they do…

And the First Cancellation of the Fall Season Is…

It looks like we may have our first victim of the new fall season…

FOX has pulled next week’s episode of “Do Not Disturb” and replaced it with a repeat of “Til Death.”

And honestly, does that surprise anyone? That cancellation of “Back To You” is looking even dumber now, isn’t it?

This news comes just days after the show’s producers wrote a letter to TV critics apologizing for the show…

From “Variety”:


The “Do Not Disturb” crew blamed the show’s bad buzz on the fact that FOX
opted to postpone airing the pilot and instead bow with a different episode.

“We here at ‘Do Not Disturb’ agree that by airing the ‘Work Sex’ episode —
before airing the actual pilot — we created much confusion and we deserve all
the criticism, the bad puns (i.e. ‘an early checkout from the fall season,’ ‘Do
Not Make in the First Place,’ etc.) and, yes, even the accusation that it very
well could be the final nail in the multicamera sitcom’s coffin,” the scribes
wrote.

“Disturb’s” producers then go on to argue that their show wasn’t quite as
bad as the critics claimed — but nonetheless apologize “for being the
perpetrators of such bad television.”


You have to admire the producers’ chutzpah (even though FOX clearly didn’t), but I think they’re being a little delusional as well. The “Work Sex” episode was not bad because it was confusing. It was bad, because it was bad.

For the record, FOX says they will reschedule next week’s “Disturb” episode at a later date.
Sure they will. I’m still waiting on those “Nashville” episodes they promised to reschedule a year ago…
Photo Credit: Scott F. Shafer/FOX

Thursday, September 25, 2008

“The Unit” Review: You Want Some Laughs?

Once upon a time I was a big fan of Dennis Haysbert.

That is until he whined to anyone who would listen that “24” killed his character, David Palmer, for no reason. Apparently being the event that drove the best season of the show that eventually won an Emmy was not reason enough for him…

So considering my disdain for Haysbert, I didn’t expect to enjoy the premiere of “The Unit.”

But I actually did enjoy it. It was one of the funniest shows I’ve seen so far this season…

And yes, I’m well aware that “The Unit” is a drama. Apparently, the writers are not…

It’s clear that the show, which follows an elite Army secret ops team is trying to borrow a little from “24,” hoping that Haysbert’s Jonas Blaine will come off like another Jack Bauer. The problem is that Dennis Haysbert is no Kiefer Sutherland. Everything that comes out of his mouth comes out stilted. And any attempt at sarcasm falls flatter than a pancake.

But let’s be honest. The writers don’t do him any favors with some of the worst dialogue I’ve ever heard in an hour drama…

When a female officer from another unit offers herself to Jonas’ team as a shooter, Jonas yells at her, “You want some?”

How could you not burst out laughing at that?

But the laughs don’t stop there. When someone asks Jonas if he’s a loyal American, he answers, “That is one thing in my nature that is not at fault.”

He couldn’t just say, “Yes, sir”?

And when the show begins its action-filled climax, Jonas tells his men, “Someone say something clever because this is where we make our stand.”

I guess that was supposed to be clever…

It’s not fair to just pick on Haysbert because he doesn’t shoulder all the blame (just most of it since he gets most of the dialogue). Max Martini (Mack) mumbles and groans his way through every scene and Robert Patrick (Tom) is overacting so badly he’s gnawing the scenery…

For the record, the premiere does have a story. Within the first 10 minutes, the country is attacked in a number of places simultaneously. But the way it’s revealed is so mundane and boring, you just don’t care.

Honestly, the most interesting story belongs to the Unit’s wives, who get a big shock in the premiere that will change everything…

And just when you think the laughs are over, we see the reaction when a two-season old secret finally spills out. Hearing “the rules” of The Unit provided some of the biggest laughs of the night…

If you want a high octane, powerful drama, “The Unit” is not for you.

But if you need a good laugh, I’d give it a look…

“The Unit” premieres Sunday, September 28th at 10 p.m. on CBS…

Photo Credit: Sonja Fleming/CBS

“Cold Case” Review: Good Looks Only Go So Far

I’ve only seen “Cold Case” a couple of times. But the one thing that has always struck me about the show is how good it looks.

Unfortunately, good looks will only get you so far without a good story to back it up. And sadly, the premiere’s story falls short…

The show gets off to a good start as a find on eBay re-opens a cold case from the 1970s of a college football player who was killed before the championship game.

There are plenty of people of interest—the assistant coach, the other star player, the victim’s tutor and the generous booster.

The beauty of “Case” is that we see the witnesses as they were at the time of the murder. The hair, clothes and music fully transport us to the past. It’s just in this case, the past isn’t that interesting.

And the conclusion comes a bit out of nowhere. And honestly, I just didn’t buy it…

“Case” is still a decent procedural—if you’re into that kind of thing—but this premiere isn’t one of its finest hours…

“Cold Case” premieres Sunday, September 28th at 9 p.m. on CBS…

Photo Credit: Danny Feld/Warner Bros.

“The Amazing Race” Review: Still Amazing…

A few years ago, I was a huge “The Amazing Race” fan. I even went to a friend’s house for a viewing part once.

But I haven’t seen a single episode of “Race” in several cycles. And after watching this season’s premiere, I honestly can’t tell you why…

I also can’t tell you why Heidi Klum received an Emmy nomination instead of Phil Keoghan, but that’s another story…

This season is once again filled with an eclectic mix of friends, relatives, couples and ex-couples that make things so interesting…

Terence and Sarah are newly dating. And all “Race” fans know that means trouble…for them, but fun for us. Sarah proves that in the premiere when she throws a fit after a team doesn’t answer her when she speaks to them (?!)…

Marisa and Brooke are the token “dumb blondes.” The show refers to them as “Southern Belles”…

Andrew and Dan are fraternity brothers. But if you ask me, they’re trying a little too hard to live up to their title…

Aja and Ty are dating long distance and are hoping the race will allow them to get closer by spending more time together. Uh-huh. Trouble…

Mark and Bill are comic book geeks. Don’t laugh. That may give them more of an edge than you think…

Toni and Dallas are mother and son looking to improve their relationship. Tissue alert!…

Nick and Starr are brother and sister and that’s all I’m going to say about that…

Anita and Arthur are the token older couple. The show refers to them as “married beekeepers”…

Kelly and Christy are best friends and newly divorced…

Ken and Tina are newly separated after Ken, an ex-NFL player, cheated on her. They’re looking to see whether they can put their marriage back together. Oh yeah. No drama there…

Anthony and Stephanie are dating again after a year-long breakup. Anthony says he will propose to Stephanie if they make it through the race. We’ll just see about that one, now won’t we?...

This year’s race starts in Los Angeles, but in the blink of an eye, the teams are off to Brazil and mishaps with lost taxi drivers, secret alliances and crazy detours…

“Race” is really the only reality show that actually gets your adrenaline pumping as you watch the teams race each other. And then there’s the “Race” trademark—the frantically edited ending to each episode that keeps you guessing until the very last second who will be eliminated.

It’s really no wonder that “Race” has won the Outstanding Reality-Competition Series Emmy every year of its existence.

After all, it truly is amazing…

“The Amazing Race” premieres Sunday, September 28th at 8 p.m. on CBS…
Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

This Week’s TV on DVD Schedule

Here are this week’s TV on DVD releases…

Alvin & The Chipmunks: Holiday Gift Set
Alvin & The Chipmunks: Thanksgiving Celebration
Boston Legal (Season 4)
Brothers & Sisters (Season 2)
CSI: NY (Season 4)
Cashmere Mafia (Complete Series)
The Peanuts Holiday Collection
Friday the 13th: The Series (Season 1)
iCarly (Season 1)
The Price Is Right: Game Show Moments Gone Bananas
Samantha Who? (Season 1)
Schoolhouse Rock: The Election Collection
Two and a Half Men (Season 4)

What is "Dancing" Trying to Do?

So my award for the person I felt sorriest for on last night’s “Dancing With the Stars” would not have gone to Jeffrey Ross, but Mark Ballas for having to watch his dad spank an 82-year-old around the dance floor to a song about “coconuts”…

But then, I caught the last part of Mark’s dance with Kim Kardashian to “Baby Got Back.” Like father, like son, I guess…

Is “Dancing” trying to lose its family show image?

What did you guys think of last night’s performances? And who’s going home tonight?

Remember, the results show airs at 8 p.m. on ABC…

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

“Top Design”: Keeps Gettin’ Better…

Christina Aguilera has a new song called “Keeps Gettin’ Better.”

“Top Design” may want to seriously consider adopting it as its new theme song because it perfectly describes the show’s second season.

Thanks to great contestants, interesting challenges and great guest judges and clients, “Design” has become must-see-TV and is starting to outshine its more heralded counterpart, “Project Runway”…

Because what “Runway” seems to have forgotten this year, “Design” has kept front and center—the contestants. If you don’t have good contestants, no one cares and “Design” has good ones. One of them works for Martha Stewart. One of them worked on the “Sex and the City” movie. And of course, there’s my favorite, Andrea, aka Mrs. Ricky Schroder. But more important than their credentials, they’re also good characters…

And the judges seem to actually be watching the same show as we are. Jonathan, Margaret, and Kelly complement each other perfectly. Todd Oldham is a great mentor and even teaches the designers a thing or two along the way. And as I’ve said before, India Hicks is a fierce host…

Last week the contestants had to pair up and do a window display for a former “Runway” designer. There was Santino, an almost unrecognizable Jeffrey, Sweet P, Andre, and Daniel Franco (“Daniel Franco, where did you go, o-oh.”). Of course, Santino and Jeffrey had specific demands, Sweet P was sweet, Andre was overly dramatic about a pretty plain looking dress, and Daniel had a poem to describe his inspiration.

Andre’s team was doomed for the bottom when Andre had a freakout about wicker and Jeffrey’s team fell apart when team captain Kerry caved to his teammate’s plea to be able to make his own statement, which totally disagreed with Jeffrey’s vision. Meanwhile, Sweet P’s team had no trouble and thanks to his poem, Daniel Franco’s team (which included Andrea) cruised as well.

The biggest surprise of the night was not that Kerry went home, but that Daniel Franco can actually design clothes. His dress was gorgeous!

This week, the designers are faced with an almost impossible task—pleasing Jeff Lewis, who will be the guest judge.

I’m “Flipping Out” already…

“Top Design” airs Wednesday, September 24th at 10 p.m. on Bravo…
Photos provided by Bravo

Monday, September 22, 2008

"Dancing With the Stars" Gets Off to a Rowdy Start

Tom Bergeron kept calling it “the season of surprises.” I think it could be the first time the hype is actually right…

If you missed tonight’s season premiere of “Dancing With the Stars,” you missed a doozy.

There was some good dancing. There was some bad dancing. But all anyone will be talking about on all the blogs tomorrow is Cloris Leachman…and not for her dancing…

I adore Leachman and think it’s awesome that she’s doing this show. But as Bergeron (who really deserved that Emmy last night) alluded to in his intro, the reason to tune in for Leachman is not her dancing, but to see what she’s going to say. And she did not disappoint.

After a blah dance with her partner Corky Ballas, Cloris told the judges, “I’m not winning anyway, it doesn’t matter what you say.” She then tried to entice Bruno by propping her leg (which looks pretty darn good for an 82-year-old) up on the judges’ table. Then, she tried to distract Len with her cleavage (which looked pretty good as well) and then she sat on Carrie Ann’s lap. Len even said this was his chance to be a “boy toy.”

But the real action started backstage when Leachman got her scores. After seeing Carrie Ann’s score, Leachman railed, “That little s---,” getting the censors involved in the evening. In fact, they had to bleep her at least three times that I heard. I almost voted for her just so we could be sure to see her tomorrow.

However, Leachman wasn’t the only one who kept the censors busy. I think I heard Jeffrey Ross get bleeped at least once…

So what actually happened on the dance floor?

Cody Linley couldn’t stop looking at his partner Julianne’s behind…

Rocco DiSpirito proved he will do anything to get on TV. I like Rocco, but he should really stick to the kitchen. And I’m sure Karina was thinking, “I danced on a bum ankle for this?”…

Toni Braxton not only showed some smooth moves, but a lot of bravery doing the show with her heart condition. But that rendition of “Smooth” by the band sounded so dead…

Maurice Greene and Cheryl danced…

Brooke Burke got great complements from the judges, but I thought she was totally stiff (This is why I’m not a fan of this show. I can’t judge what’s good or bad.). Her partner, Derek, though is adorable. And is it just me or does Brooke look eerily like Shannon Elizabeth, Derek’s partner last year (and his current girlfriend)? Maybe that’s why Shannon was in the audience…

Ted McGinley appeared to be mocking the whole thing…

Jeffrey Ross danced despite his scratched cornea that his partner, Edyta, caused when she accidentally poked him in the eye. And then Bergeron tried to cut him off when he wouldn’t stop with the one-liners, but apparently the director wanted to keep hearing them because the camera didn’t switch…

Kim Kardashian showed she has some good moves…

Susan Lucci needed to show a little more hoochie mama in her moves, but how great did she look in that outfit?...

Misty May-Treanor looked absolutely gorgeous but she’s going to need a little more grace if she’s going to keep my streak alive…

Warren Sapp completely wowed the crowd by showing way more hip action than Susan Lucci did. He could be a real dark horse…

And last but not least, the ballroom welcomed some new blood as new pro Lacey Schwimmer (“So You Think You Can Dance”) scorched the dance floor with an awesome routine with Lance Bass. She’s going to be a lot of fun for us, but a lot of consternation for Len, who you just knew would hate her contemporary choreography. The look Bruno gave him when he posted a score of 6 was priceless…

Tomorrow night, one couple will go home at the beginning of the show and then the remaining couples will dance a second dance. Then Wednesday, a second couple will go home and the Jonas Brothers and Jesse McCartney will perform…

If I had to make a prediction as to who will go, I would have to say Jeffrey and Edyta. They got the lowest score from the judges and not a lot of people know who he is.

So what did you think of the premiere? Are you looking forward to seeing what Lacey and Lance do next? Did you find Cloris entertaining or do you think she was out of line? And what about Warren Sapp?

“Dancing With the Stars” airs tomorrow (Tuesday) at 9 p.m. and Wednesday at 8 p.m. on ABC…

"Criminal Minds" Review: Hold On to Something

As I said earlier, CBS procedurals are not really my thing and that includes “Criminal Minds.”

But if every episode was as pulse-pounding as the season premiere, I might change my mind…

If you’ve never seen it, “Minds” follows the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI. When last we saw the BAU agents, each of them were getting into their SUV, and one of the SUVs blew up.

CBS has asked that I not reveal whose SUV exploded, but if you’ve seen the network’s VERY revealing promo, you already know (and I’ve given you a little hint in the photo). But you’ll know very quickly as the premiere picks up right where the finale left off.

And from the opening moments, the show pushes down on the gas and doesn’t let up with lots of twists and turns, dazzling special effects and amazing direction.

The problem is that “24” fans will pick up the biggest twist immediately because of casting, which was kind of a bummer. But it’s still fun to see it all play out.

What isn’t a bummer is Shemar Moore (Morgan), who is awesome running around the streets with a gun. If I was a “Minds” writer, I would have him do that every episode…and have him take off his shirt a few times…

This was the first time I had seen the show since Joe Mantegna joined the cast and I have to say I was totally shocked at how out-of-place he seemed. The rest of the cast, though, is top-notch.

If you’re a fan of “Minds,” you will be blown away by the premiere. But if you’re not and you’re looking to add another procedural drama to your must-see list, this may be the one…

“Criminal Minds” premieres Wednesday, September 24th at 9 p.m. on CBS…

Photo Credit: Sonja Fleming/CBS

"Gary Unmarried" Review: Actually Funny, But...

I’ve been a fan of Jay Mohr’s since “Picture Perfect,” but I had a bad feeling about his new sitcom, “Gary Unmarried.”

So I was relieved to find the show to be actually funny. Hilarious? No. Funny? Yes…

Mohr is Gary, a newly divorced contractor. He’s trying to adjust to being single while sharing custody of his two kids with his ex, Allison (Paula Marshall).

In the premiere, he gets two curveballs. First, he has a one-night stand that turns out to have a little more meaning (Jaime King). Then, he finds out that Allison is getting remarried—to their former marriage counselor (Ed Begley Jr.).

The show has a real been there, done that feel to it, but if you’re a Jay Mohr fan, you’ll want to stick it out because he’s good as a comedy lead. He just needs some more original things to do. The constant bickering between Gary and Allison will get old quick…

“Gary Unmarried” premieres Wednesday, September 24th at 8:30 p.m. on CBS…

Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

"The New Adventures of Old Christine" Review" Maybe I Just Don't Get It

A marriage to keep someone in the country is a sitcom staple.

But this season, “The New Adventures of Old Christine” is turning that idea on its ear. I’m just not sure if it’s funny…

In the season premiere, Christine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) gets hit with a double whammy. First, she finds out that her ex Richard (Clark Gregg) is proposing to “new” Christine (Emily Rutherford). Then, she finds out her best friend, Barb (Wanda Sykes) is getting deported to Barbados since she’s now divorced.

Of course, the answer for Barb is to get married. And who proposes? None other than Christine.

I won’t give away how it all turns out, but obviously there’s some hijinx along the way with both stories.

However, I’m not sure those hijinx are funny. Maybe because it’s been so long since I’ve seen “Christine” I just don’t get it. But for me, something that should be totally outrageous was just mildly humorous.

And I would really like to see more from such a critically adored show…

“The New Adventures of Old Christine” premieres Wednesday, September 24th at 8 p.m. on CBS…

Photo Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS

“NCIS”: A Mystery Picture

You may remember that during the season finale of “NCIS,” Gibbs’ team was split up. Tomorrow night, we’ll start to find out what happened to them.

But here’s your first hint: this picture the “NCIS” publicist sent me.

If you can’t tell, that’s Ziva (Cote de Pablo). Why is she singing? I have no idea. But I can promise you I’ll be watching to find out. I highly recommend you do the same…

“NCIS” premieres tomorrow (Tuesday) at 8 p.m. on CBS…

"The Mentalist" Review: A Perfect Fit

Here’s the basic premise of “The Mentalist.” A former phony psychic now works with the California Bureau of Investigation, using his attention to detail to solve cases.

If you think that sounds like “Psych,” you’d be right. But the two shows couldn’t be more different. Whereas “Psych” plays it for laughs, “Mentalist” plays it completely serious—and that’s not a bad thing.

In fact, the show is a perfect addition to the CBS schedule…

Simon Baker (“The Guardian”) is Patrick Jane, who was a psychic medium connecting people to “the other side.” The police asked for his help with the investigation of a serial killer, Red John. But things went horribly wrong, ending his psychic career.

And when Red John possibly resurfaces, Patrick throws himself into the investigation, vexing his boss (Robin Tunney), the skeptical detectives (Tim Kang, Owain Yeoman) and the new girl (Amanda Righetti), who believes in psychic phenomena.

As in most procedural dramas, the main character is a little unrealistically good at his job. But in this case, some of that unrealism points to the possibility that maybe Patrick is a real psychic after all. And Baker is so charming, you’re willing to overlook a little unrealism…

The first 10 minutes, which introduce us to Patrick, are fantastic and it’s one of the best character introductions I’ve ever seen. And the entire hour gets solid support from guest stars Steven Culp, Gail O’Grady and the Emmy Award-winning Zeljko Ivanek. It’s one of the stronger pilots I’ve seen this year.

The problem for me is that it’s just not my kind of show. The CBS procedurals have never been my thing. That’s not to say they’re not good, they’re just not my thing…

But if they are your thing, you’ll love “The Mentalist.” It fits in perfectly with the CBS schedule and should be yet another hit for the #1 network…

“The Mentalist” premieres Tuesday, September 23rd at 9 p.m. on CBS…

Pick of the Week: Time to Get "Desperate" Again

Since the ABC shows were not available for me to preview, I am completely in the dark about their new seasons.

Which just makes the anticipation of seeing Wisteria Lane five years in the future that much stronger…

My Pick of the Week is the season premiere of “Desperate Housewives.”

When last we left Wisteria Lane, we had zipped five years into the future. Tom and Lynette’s boys were now teenage delinquents. A frumpy Gaby had two young daughters. Bree and Orson were back together, but Susan was kissing a guy that wasn’t Mike.

The fast-forward was a risky move, but one that could pay off big time.

We’ll start to see Sunday night…

“Desperate Housewives” premieres Sunday, September 28th at 9 p.m. on ABC…

This Week's Schedule...

Ladies and gentlemen, the beginning of the fall TV season is officially here.

Here’s this week’s schedule…

Monday, September 22nd
Dancing With the Stars—8 PM (2 hrs.)—ABC—Season Premiere
Heroes (Clip Show)—8 PM—NBC
The Big Bang Theory—8 PM—CBS—Season Finale
How I Met Your Mother—8:30 PM—CBS—Season Premiere
Heroes—9 PM (2 hrs.)—NBC—Season Premiere
Two and a Half Men—9 PM—CBS—Season Premiere
Worst Week—9:30 PM—CBS—Series Premiere
Boston Legal—10 PM—Season Premiere
CSI: Miami—10 PM—CBS—Season Premiere

Tuesday, September 23rd
The Biggest Loser: Families—8 PM—NBC
**Rocco DiSpirito guests.
NCIS—8 PM—CBS—Season Premiere
The Mentalist—9 PM—CBS—Series Premiere
**I’ll have a review of this one shortly.
Without A Trace—10 PM—CBS—Season Premiere
**Steven Webber guests as the new boss.

Wednesday, September 24th
Knight Rider—8 PM—NBC—Series Premiere
The New Adventures of Old Christine—8 PM—CBS—Season Premiere
**I’ll have a review of this one shortly.
Gary Unmarried—8:30 PM—CBS—Series Premiere
**I’ll have a review of this one shortly.
David Blaine: Dive of Death—9 PM (2 hrs.)—ABC
CSI: NY—10 PM—CBS—Season Premiere
Lipstick Jungle—10 PM—NBC—Season Premiere

Thursday, September 25th
Ugly Betty—8 PM—ABC—Season Premiere
**Lindsay Lohan guests.
My Name Is Earl—8 PM (1 hr.)—NBC—Season Premiere
Survivor: Gabon—8 PM—CBS—Season Premiere
The Office—9 PM (1 hr.)—NBC—Season Premiere
Grey’s Anatomy—9 PM (2 hrs.)—ABC—Season Premiere
ER—10 PM—NBC—Season Premiere

Friday, September 26th
Gone Country—8 PM—CMT—Season Finale
The Suite Life on Deck—8 PM—Disney Channel—Series Premiere
**“The Suite Life of Zach and Cody” moves from a hotel to a cruise ship. London and Mr. Moseby follow, but mom and Maddy stay behind.
2008 Tour of Gymnastics Superstars—8 PM—My Network TV
**Nastia Luikin, Shannon Miller, Jonathan Horton and more perform their gymnastic routines on their national tour.
Presidential Debate—9 PM—CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX

Saturday, September 27th
Dirty Sexy Money—9 AM—SOAPNet
**Get caught up before the season premiere with a marathon of all 10 episodes.
Prism Awards—4 PM—FX
**This awards show honors the accurate depiction of drug and alcohol abuse in TV, movies and music.
Trial By Fire—9 PM—Lifetime
**Brooke Burns stars in this TV movie as a female firefighter looking to become a smoke jumper.

Sunday, September 28th
Amazing Race 13—8 PM—CBS—Season Premiere
**I’ll have a review later this week.
The Simpsons—8 PM—FOX—Season Premiere
Desperate Housewives—9 PM—ABC—Season Premiere
Dexter—9 PM—Showtime—Season Premiere
Cold Case—9 PM—CBS—Season Premiere
**I’ll have a review later this week.
Family Guy—9 PM—FOX—Season Premiere
Brothers & Sisters—10 PM—ABC—Season Premiere
Californication—10 PM—Showtime—Season Premiere
The Unit—10 PM—CBS—Season Premiere
**I’ll have a review later this week.

My Final Thoughts On This Year's Emmy Show

After last year’s theater-in-the-round fiasco on FOX, ABC could only improve with this year’s show. So did they?

Yes and no…

Using the sets from “Seinfeld,” “The West Wing,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and more was a great way to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Emmys. But unfortunately, as the show started running long (within the first half-hour mind you), they didn’t get the attention they deserved.

And why did the show run long yet again? The biggest reason was those five hosts. It was an interesting idea, but it just didn’t work. Why couldn’t they have just set up the presenters from those classic sets and just moved on? Instead we had to see Heidi Klum struggle to read the teleprompter—and struggle even harder to ad-lib. Plus, we had to endure that painful five minutes where the hosts stood around and talked about having nothing to talk about. Oprah’s introduction was classy and funny. They couldn’t have just stuck with that and then handed out the first award?

And poor Ryan didn’t get one single laugh all night. Howie Mandel totally rambled every time he opened his mouth. Jeff Probst was sufficiently smooth, but he was never given anything decent to say. Personally, I think ABC should have just let Tom Bergeron host it on his own. It was his network after all.

Or, they should have given Jimmy Kimmel the respect he deserves and turned it over to him. That way we could have gotten funny one-liners as opposed to long drawn out jokes with lousy punchlines.

The biggest problem with the show is that the producers feel like we have to be entertained instead of just presenting the awards. That’s why we get lame stuff like Josh Groban singing TV themes or Ricky Gervais pestering Steve Carell for five minutes instead of the chance to see the stars we actually tune in to see. Granted, they’re reading lame jokes off a teleprompter, but at least we get to see them.

I think a TV theme song medley was a great idea, but Josh Groban was not the way to go. Why not have some talented actors and actresses sing, like say Neil Patrick Harris and Kristin Chenoweth? That would have rocked, and would have made more sense. Groban was just a lame attempt to boost ratings.

Overall, however, I have to say the show was good. But sadly, it had the potential to be great…

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My Final Tally

Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, was my best night ever in the three years I’ve been doing this…

I actually picked eight out of the twelve winners. I’d say that’s not too shabby…

But for the first time, none of my Wild Card picks won. Sadly, only one of my Want to Win picks (Jean Smart) won…

I’ll have some final thoughts on the show in a second…

The First Half Hour...

So, let me give you my thoughts about the first half hour that I am now watching on tape…

How cool was it to see all of the principal cast members of “Everybody Loves Raymond” paying tribute to “Holy crap!” Peter Boyle’s catchphrase…

Why were Sandra Oh and Chondra Pierce praying during Oprah’s introduction?...

Am I the only one that thinks Heidi’s best look was the suit?...

Wow! Jimmy Kimmel was right. That opening bit with the hosts was rough. Why didn’t Tom Bergeron or Heidi Klum speak? Because they’re smart?...

So Neil Patrick Harris submitted ‘The Goat” and still didn’t win? I love Jeremy Piven, but come on! Three years in a row?!...Funny dig at the opening, though…

The whole old show set thing was a good idea to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Emmys…

Jean Smart won! It’s about daggone time! And I got another one. YEA!!! That’s for her gip two years ago when she should have won for “24.” And she looked gorgeous…

No wonder the show ran long. They took a zillion commercial breaks…

What was that weird ivory dress Heidi wore? And did anyone else think she was about to curse when she said “verklempt”?...

Zeljko Ivanek won! I didn’t see that coming, but I’m happy for him because I’m a big fan all the way from his “Homicide” days. I hate it for Michael Emerson, though. What does he have to do?...

Okay, the Ricky Gervais trying to get his Emmy back from Steve Carell bit went on way too long…

My Predictions Keep Coming True...

Jeff Probst won Reality Host? I didn’t see that one coming…

How awesome is Betty White? Can you believe she’s been in this business 60 years? I know the show is running long, but she deserved that standing ovation…

“30 Rock” wins Comedy Series! Did I really get six picks right? Could I actually get seven?...

And leave it to Tina Fey to actually plug her show’s premiere date and time during her acceptance speech. Of course, after you’ve already been up there twice before, what else is there to say?...

“Mad Men” wins drama! I actually got seven! Holy cow!

Why was January Jones wearing her shapewear as a dress?...

And the show is over. Now, I have to go back and watch the first half hour…

My Predictions Start to Come True...

Alec Baldwin wins Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series. If I get one more prediction, I’ll top my personal record. Of course, that would only be four, but still…

Glenn Close wins Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series. And there’s number four. Go me!...

Wait a minute! They have Kiefer present the Emmy for the category he couldn’t be nominated for this year? That’s not fair! And neither is not letting him say anything…

Bryan Cranston wins Outstanding Actor in a Drama! It’s a shocker, but I’m happy for him. He’s a great actor that got robbed numerous times during his “Malcolm in the Middle” days…

Didn’t you love that twinkle in Craig Ferguson’s eyes when he was pretending to have his hand on Brooke Shields’ behind?...

Tina Fey wins! Wow, maybe I shouldn’t watch any of the nominees every year…

I take it back. Jimmy Kimmel just did the funniest joke of the night. He brought all of the Reality Host nominees on the stage and made a somewhat lame attempt to read critiques from “the judges” (although him saying Paula wanted to sleep with Jeff Probst was funny). Then he said the winner “will be revealed after this commercial break.” A taste of their own medicine. Nice…

I have to say that I find it cute that Ryan is totally nervous…

Don Rickles Does It Again

Neil Patrick Harris said his bit with Kristin Chenoweth was cut “due to Howie Mandel’s prattling.” If he was serious about having a bit cut, what was it? Maybe he and Kristin were going to sing. I would’ve much rather heard that than Josh Groban…

And Don Rickles stole the show again, this time accepting Performer in a Variety or Music Special. The producers didn’t dare cut him since the audience gave him a standing ovation. He was funny once again…

Ah, Wayne Brady. His CD rocks by the way and I hope to have a review of it for you later…And didn’t Kate Walsh look gorgeous?...

The drama race just got interesting. “House” took directing and “Mad Men” took writing. That still gives “Mad Men” the edge, but if Hugh Laurie could pull out a win that might swing the momentum to “House”…

Yea! I haven’t missed Kiefer yet…

Don Rickles Steals the Show

Here was Kathy Griffin’s big moment and Don Rickles stole it right out from under her by completely mocking the entire experience. However, it was really funny…But Kathy, sweetheart, what was up with your hair?...

And big shocker, “The Amazing Race” takes home the Emmy for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program, as I predicted. It’s the sixth year in a row!...But tell me again why Phil Keoghan didn’t get nominated? Sorry, I’m really having trouble with that one…

And what was up with Don Rickles trying to steal their moment too?…

The Truth About the "Grey's" Promo

I interrupt my thoughts on the Emmys to talk about a commercial…

For those of you who are incensed by the “Grey’s Anatomy” promo that shows Rose telling Derek she’s carrying his child, let me just tell you right now…

It’s a crock.

How do I know that? Because “Grey’s” creator and head writer Shonda Rhimes came out and said so herself.

Why that scene even appears in the show, I have no idea. Maybe it’s Meredith’s nightmare or something. But according to Rhimes it isn’t true. And she would know. This is just a ploy by the promotions department…

And a cheap one at that…

I now return you to our regularly scheduled program…

The Emmys Get Political

Ryan Seacrest needs some highlights…And why didn’t anyone think his and Tom Bergeron’s joke about Hannity and Colmes being the funniest men on TV was funny?...

I think they should just let Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart host every year. They are always the funniest presenters…

“Recount” wins again. Yes, I’d say the Academy is feeling political. I need to Netflix that thing…

But clearly the Emmy producers are not feeling political. They RUDELY cut off the writer of “John Adams” when he started talking about how the mini-series was about a time when “articulate men” conveyed their thoughts in an articulate way. That may have been a time thing and not a political thing, but either way it was incredibly rude…

The Triumphant Emmy Return of "The West Wing"

I think nostalgia is great, but I’m not sure that whole “Laugh-In” thing to announce the winner of Comedy or Variety series was funny…

You guys know I love Christian Siriano, but what is that dress he designed for the trophy girl? It makes her look pregnant…

And, Heidi, what show is “The Bones”?...

I still can’t believe that they gave Kathryn Joosten the Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy. Mrs. McCluskey was in nearly every episode of “Desperate Housewives”!...But boy, she looked gorgeous tonight…

Who are all the nobodys in the front of the room who look so bored?...

I don’t know which was better. A segment encouraging people to vote or the fact that they used Martin Sheen and “The West Wing” to do it. I’m kind of on a “West Wing” high after watching a marathon Friday on my beloved Bravo…

Christina Applegate is an amazing, brave and beautiful woman. But that dress—that she could hardly walk in—was terribly unflattering…

So, “Recount,” the story of the 2000 Presidential Election, won Outstanding TV Movie. Does this mean that the Academy is in a political mood? If so, James Spader has it sewed up…

And how great is it that Kathy Griffin and Don Rickles are presenting together? You know the censor is at the ready…

The Big Josh Groban Performance...

Did anyone else think Josh Groban was mocking the “Friends” theme during his theme song medley?

And what was up with turning “Suicide Is Painless” into a show tune with Rockettes?

Wow, that was a tad on the lame side, wasn’t it?

The Academy Rights A Wrong

In a truly classy act, the Academy awarded Tommy Smothers with a commemorative Emmy for his work on “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.” Apparently, he left his name off the list of the writers when the show won because he thought he was too “volatile”…

And it’s obvious that Tommy tried very hard to restrain himself during his speech. But he got a loud ovation when he said it was hard for him to see “ignorance in action”…

I have a feeling the audio director was at the ready to cut his mic…

Here I Am...

Wondering where I was? Sorry, I was out of town and just got back in…

Just in time to hear what will probably go down as the funniest joke of the night from Conan O’Brien presenting Supporting Actress in a Drama:

“I planned to tell a few more jokes, but Katherine Heigl told me my material wasn’t Emmy worthy.”

Ooooooooh. That was FUNNY!

By the way, Dianne Wiest—as I predicted, won the award…

And could someone please tell Hayden Panettiere that she’s too young to being wear a dress like that?...

Friday, September 19, 2008

"Heroes" Review: Is "Heroes" Back?

Those of you who are longtime readers know that I absolutely fell in love with “Heroes” during its first season…

And then there was that dreadful first season finale. And then the even more dreadful second season.

And after episode three of that second season, I called it quits and declared myself done.
But ever since Comic-Con, where attendees saw the first hour of the third season premiere, all I’ve heard is how “Heroes” is back. So curiosity got the best of me and I had to see for myself. Thankfully, the fine folks at NBC obliged by sending me the first hour of the premiere.

So, is “Heroes” back?

Yes…and no…

The first 15 minutes are awesome. In fact, I would strongly recommend you not have anything liquid in your hands during the first 15 minutes because you will jump out of your seat (even though you’ll see it coming). But then, it starts to lose some momentum…

That’s not to say there aren’t some good twists because there are, but there’s some confusing ones too. And somehow the show has lost the charm that made me fall in love with it in the first place.

In fact, I’m hard pressed to remember what it was about the show that I loved so much. It all seems so far away now…

Warning: If you don’t want to know anything about the “Heroes” premiere, stop reading right now. However, there are only mild spoilers ahead…

After an interlude in the future, the premiere opens exactly where the finale left off as Nathan (Adrian Pasdar) is preparing to expose his abilities at a press conference. But Nathan is shot and we learn the shocking identity of the shooter (and it is shocking). That sets in motion a whole new chain of events involving a governor and his female friend, Tracy, who looks just like Jessica/Nikki (Ali Larter). Matt (Greg Grunberg), meanwhile, comes face-to-face with the shooter, only to be sent into a completely different adventure.

And Peter (Milo Ventimiglia)? Well, I can’t tell you anything about him without giving stuff away. Let’s just say he’s VERY important to this first hour.

Claire (Hayden Panetiere) has her own problems as she comes face-to-face with Sylar (Zachary Quinto), who’s come for Claire’s power. This story provides a lot of great action until it comes to its resolution, which is meant to kick off a mystery, but instead comes off as a little anti-climactic (at least for me). We do, however, get a little more insight into what Sylar does to people.

Hiro (Masi Oka) and Ando (James Kyson Lee) are back in Japan as Hiro has taken over his father’s company. But Hiro is bored because he feels like he’s not fulfilling his destiny. That is, until he gets a DVD message from his father urging him to protect a secret that will destroy the world. But Hiro being Hiro, he screws it up and now has to chase down the speedster Daphne (Brea Grant), as well as deal with a shocking revelation from the future.

And Mohinder (Sendhil Ramamurthy) decides to go back to India, until Maya (Dania Ramirez) helps him make a discovery about the origin of powers—one he hopes will help him receive some of his own.

There’s no doubt that this hour is better than any of the hours I watched during season two, but I just can’t get over one nagging doubt about the show.

No one ever dies.

Now I know that sounds like a good thing, but when that’s the case you just can’t believe in any of the twists. And that keeps you from becoming emotionally invested in the characters.

And maybe that’s my biggest problem. I just don’t care about any of them anymore.

Sadly, I guess I’m still done…

“Heroes” premieres Monday, September 22nd at 9 p.m. on NBC…

"Worst Week" Review: Can the Funny Continue?

When I heard the premise of the new CBS comedy, “Worst Week,” I just couldn’t see how it would be funny…

A man just can’t get it right when it comes to trying to impress his future-in-laws.

But the premiere takes that simple, unfunny premise and turns it into something hilarious. Whether it can continue that is another story…

The man is magazine editor Sam (Kyle Bornheimer). His girlfriend, Melanie (Erinn Hayes), is pregnant and they plan to get married. But they haven’t told her parents (Kurtwood Smith and Nancy Leneham), because they don’t like him.

And when you see the chaos he creates, it’s not hard to see why…

What should be a simple vacation at the parents’ house turns into a complete disaster. But it is a funny one as Sam’s faux pas get worse and worse (and not all of them tasteful, by the way).

The biggest problem with the show is that I don’t know how it will sustain the premise. Sam’s constant screw-ups could get old—no matter how funny they are.

But for now, I recommend you experience “Worst Week.” If anything, it will make you feel a whole lot better about your week…

“Worst Week” premieres Monday, September 22nd at 9:30 p.m. on CBS…

Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

“How I Met Your Mother” Review: From Frustrated to Hooked

I once called it the most frustrating show on TV…

So why am I now completely hooked on “How I Met Your Mother”?

Three words: Neil Patrick Harris.

I have always liked NPH, but after seeing his mad skills in “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” I have fallen head over heels. And the season premiere of “HIMYM” only solidified that…

I know that the show is technically about Ted (Josh Radnor) and the story of how he met his children’s mother, but for me the real star has always been HPH’s Barney. And in the premiere, Barney shows us something he never has before—real emotion.

You may remember in last season’s finale how from his hospital bed, Barney gave Robin (Cobie Smulders) a longing look that suggested he may have some real feelings for her. And in the premiere, he confirms that when he confides in Lily (Alyson Hannigan) that he’s in love with Robin. Lily then proceeds to try to help him…

You may also remember from last season’s finale that Ted proposed to Stella (Sarah Chalke). I won’t give away her answer, but I will tell you that Ted discovers a major problem with their relationship—Stella has never seen “Star Wars”…

The episode is charming, if not always funny. But I was completely shocked at how little the studio audience laughed at Barney’s jokes. Maybe they were weirded out by the sensitive Barney.

Personally, I thought he was legen—wait for it—dary…

“How I Met Your Mother” premieres Monday, September 22nd at 8:30 p.m. on CBS…

Photo Credit: Eric McCandless/FOX

“The Big Bang Theory”: The Funniest Show on TV…For Now

At the end of last season, I was concerned that “The Big Bang Theory” had screwed up by having Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Penny (Kaley Cuoco) go on a date.

I needn’t have worried…

The season premiere is a half-hour of non-stop laughs as Penny confides a secret in Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and he struggles to keep it from Leonard. In fact, at one point he even moves out and stays with both Howard (Simon Helberg) and Rajesh (Kunal Nayyar) to hilarious results.

“Big Bang” is truly the funniest show on TV, which really makes me question the developments in this season’s second episode…

Sara Gilbert joins the cast as Leslie, Leonard’s ex-girlfriend (This reunites “Roseanne” couple Gilbert and Galecki.), and I don’t know why she is necessary. I totally understand the idea of a love triangle, but Leslie’s constant putdowns of Sheldon are annoying. And the scientific dialogue is totally unrealistic coming out of Gilbert’s month. She’s just not believable.

But more importantly, the more camera time she gets, the less Jim Parsons gets and that’s never a good thing.

Maybe when the story is not all about her, it will work a lot better. I would hate to see the funniest show on TV self-destruct…

“The Big Bang Theory” premieres Monday, September 22nd at 8 p.m. on CBS…

Photo Credit: Sonja Fleming/CBS

“CSI: Miami” Review: Business As Usual

You guys know the love I have for “CSI: Miami.” So it was a true thrill to get an early look at the season premiere.

But since the fine folks at CBS have requested that I not reveal the resolution of last season’s cliffhanger, there’s not really much I can tell you…

In case you’ve forgotten, last season ended with Horatio (David Caruso) lying on an airport landing strip after being shot. The premiere picks up very shortly after that moment as the CSIs scramble to figure out what happened.

The first five minutes will rock your world. But it won’t take long for you to figure out the big twist.

We also get closure on the whole Calleigh-Jake thing—which is good news for those of us who want an Eric-Calleigh pairing. The lovely Yelena (Sofia Milos) lends a hand to the investigation and, yes, Elizabeth Berkley makes an appearance as well.

And that’s really all I can tell you. Not just because I’m not allowed to, but because I’m not really sure what happened.

The story didn’t quite make sense and everything tied up way too neatly and quickly. But there’s some really cool special effects and a pretty neat shootout to distract you from all that.

In other words, it’s business as usual. And that’s just the way I like it…

And let’s be honest. Do I really have to tell you whether Horatio lives or dies?

“CSI: Miami” premieres Monday, September 22nd at 10 p.m. on CBS…

Photo Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My 2008 Emmy Predictions

The time has come once again, ladies and gentlemen, for me to try and pick the Emmy Award winners.

For those of you who are new to this game, here’s how I do it. I pick who I think will win, who I want to win and a wild card, i.e. the nominee I think has the best shot at playing spoiler.
Last year I picked three winners and three of my wild cards won. I would like to do better this year, but since I am completely flying blind on most of these because I haven’t seen them, I’m not counting on it.
But here goes…
DRAMA SERIES:

"Boston Legal," ABC
"Damages," FX
"Dexter," Showtime
"House," Fox
"Lost," ABC
"Mad Men," AMC
Will Win: “Mad Men.” I have never seen a single episode of this one, but everyone seems to think it’s got a great shot of winning, so I’m going with it.
Wild Card: “Damages.” I’ve never seen this one either, but it’s got Glenn Close in it so it’s hard to not think it’s got a shot.
Want to Win: “Boston Legal.” Does it deserve to win? No. But you know how I love to see shows treated badly by their networks take prizes.
COMEDY SERIES:
"Curb Your Enthusiasm," HBO
"Entourage," HBO
"The Office," NBC
"30 Rock," NBC
"Two and a Half Men," CBS
Will Win: “30 Rock.” Again, I’m going with conventional wisdom.
Wild Card: “The Office”
Want to Win: “Two and a Half Men.” It’s the #1 comedy on TV. Doesn’t that deserve a little Emmy love?

ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES:
Gabriel Byrne, "In Treatment"
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
Michael C. Hall, "Dexter"
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"
Hugh Laurie, "House"
James Spader, "Boston Legal"
Will Win: James Spader. I was all set to pick Jon Hamm and then Tom O’Neill of Goldderby.com talked me out of it. I had promised myself that after he trashed David Cook I wouldn’t listen to anything O’Neill said again, but he made a great argument for this one. Last year, Spader won for the episode where Alan railed against the government for its inaction during Hurricane Katrina. The episode he submitted this year? Alan railed against the government in front of the Supreme Court.
Wild Card: Hugh Laurie. Critics and fellow actors love him so this could be his year. Reports are he didn’t submit a very strong episode, but that didn’t stop Kiefer Sutherland (Thank goodness.).

Want to Win: James Spader. See Drama Series Want to Win.

ACTRESS, DRAMA SERIES:
Glenn Close, "Damages"
Sally Field, "Brothers and Sisters"
Mariska Hargitay, "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit"
Holly Hunter, "Saving Grace"
Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"
Will Win: Glenn Close. ‘Nuff said.
Wild Card: Holly Hunter
Want to Win: Kyra Sedgwick. I just like her.

ACTRESS, COMEDY SERIES:
Christina Applegate, "Samantha Who?"
America Ferrera, "Ugly Betty"
Tina Fey, "30 Rock"
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "New Adventures of Old Christine"
Mary-Louise Parker, "Weeds"
Will Win: Tina Fey. There’s that conventional wisdom thing again.
Wild Card: Christina Applegate
Want to Win: Christina Applegate. Don’t we all want to see her win this?

ACTOR, COMEDY SERIES:
Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"
Steve Carell, "The Office"
Lee Pace, "Pushing Daisies"
Tony Shalhoub, "Monk"
Charlie Sheen, "Two and a Half Men"
Will Win: Alec Baldwin
Wild Card: Tony Shalhoub. Any time Shalhoub is nominated he is a threat to win.
Want to Win: Charlie Sheen. It would drive the critics crazy.

SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY SERIES:
Jon Cryer, "Two and a Half Men"
Kevin Dillon, "Entourage"
Neil Patrick Harris, "How I Met Your Mother"
Jeremy Piven, "Entourage"
Rainn Wilson, "The Office"
Will Win: Neil Patrick Harris. If he submitted “The Goat” as his episode…
Wild Card: Kevin Dillon
Want to Win: NPH. I love him, remember?

SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES:
Ted Danson, "Damages"
Michael Emerson, "Lost"
Zeljko Ivanek, "Damages"
William Shatner, "Boston Legal"
John Slattery, "Mad Men"
Will Win: Ted Danson. He’s an Emmy favorite playing against type.

Wild Card: Michael Emerson
Want to Win: Michael Emerson. I’m sure Danson was great and I really like Ivanek, but Emerson deserves to win. He is amazing.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA SERIES:
Candice Bergen, "Boston Legal"
Rachel Griffiths, "Brothers and Sisters"
Sandra Oh, "Grey's Anatomy"
Dianne Wiest, "In Treatment"
Chandra Wilson, "Grey's Anatomy"
Will Win: Dianne Wiest. No reason, I just have a feeling.

Wild Card: Rachel Griffiths
Want to Win: Candice Bergen. I just don’t want the “Grey’s” actresses to win. And it would be another trophy for “BL.”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY SERIES:
Kristin Chenoweth, "Pushing Daisies"
Amy Poehler, "Saturday Night Live"
Jean Smart, "Samantha Who?"
Holland Taylor, "Two and a Half Men"
Vanessa Williams, "Ugly Betty"
Will Win: Jean Smart. After getting ripped two years in a row, I think it’s her time.
Wild Card: Amy Poehler. Since I have no idea how she got nominated in this category to start with, she is absolutely a wild card.
Want to Win: Jean Smart. I love Amy Poehler, but it’s time for Smart to win.

REALITY HOST:
Tom Bergeron, 'Dancing With The Stars'
Heidi Klum, 'Project Runway'
Howie Mandel, 'Deal Or No Deal'
Jeff Probst, 'Survivor'
Ryan Seacrest, 'American Idol'
Will Win: Tom Bergeron. If he submitted the episode where Marie Osmond passed out, how could he not win?
Wild Card: Howie Mandel. Since his show is completely different, he will make this interesting.
Want to Win: Ryan Seacrest. Of course. But as long as Heidi Klum doesn’t win, I’ll be okay.

REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM:
"The Amazing Race," CBS
"American Idol," FOX
"Dancing With The Stars," ABC
"Project Runway," Bravo
"Top Chef," Bravo
Will Win: “The Amazing Race”
Wild Card: “American Idol.” The David vs. David finale could help “Idol” finally beat “Race”—if they submitted that and not the overly long “Idol Gives Back.”
Want to Win: “Top Chef.” You know my love for this show and for Bravo. Plus, it would be a slap in the face of Harvey Weinstein to see an “inferior ‘Project Runway’ knockoff” win, wouldn’t it?

So who do you guys think will win? Post a comment or send me an e-mail at hdstaytuned@hotmail.com...

And don’t forget the 60th Annual Emmy Awards will air Sunday, September 21st at 8 p.m. on ABC. I’ll be checking in throughout the night…
Photo Credits: Timothy White/FOX, Larry Riley/FX, Bravo

Kenley Must Go!

Okay. Let me hear you all out there in blog land…
Say it with me. “Kenley must go. Kenley must go. Kenley must go…”
You guys know I’ve been pretty hard on my beloved “Project Runway” this year. But over the last two weeks I’ve found myself getting into it—finally.

And all of my enthusiasm is being directed against my least favorite contestant of all time—Kenley.

She has gotten on my nerves from the beginning with that grating laugh and her cocky attitude. But over these past two weeks, she has become absolutely unbearable.

It started last week during the avant garde challenge. She was so sure her design was going to win and it looked ridiculous. When Tim told her it looked like Glinda the Good Witch (which it did), she was completely insulted and basically told Tim he didn’t know what he was talking about (which is a cardinal sin in my book). Then, when Heidi dared question her dress at the judging party, she told the camera, “If Heidi is going to start talking nonsense, then I’m going to step in and set her straight.” WHAT?!

Finally, when the judges trashed her on the runway, she angrily snapped back at them telling them how wrong they were. I would have sent her home just for that, but she managed to survive.

This week she was in no danger of going home, which only made her that much more annoying. When Tim tried once again to give her good advice, she told the camera, “I’m not going to listen to that.” Not listen to Tim? Granted, the judges have disagreed with him more often than not this season (including about Kenley’s outfit), but he’s still Tim Gunn! And when the judges trashed Joe’s outfit on the runway, Kenley burst out laughing, as did her client, who Kenley had turned into a “Mini-Me.” Thankfully, the judges heard my pleas and gave the win to Jerrell, which of course, made Kenley pout all the way off the runway…

Now, I should probably say here that there is a small chance that Kenley is being edited to play the villain. But based on her comments and attitude lately, it wouldn’t take much editing to convince me…

Kenley must go!

Which leads me to next week’s show…

In the previews—which you always have to take with a grain of salt—Tim tells Kenley to drop the attitude (See why I love him?), which will no doubt spark a nasty chat with the camera. And then, Kenley gets dressed down by the judges as well…

However, I am not going to take that to mean that Kenley will be gone and instead am going to continue my chanting. And yes, I know that the show has already been filmed and it won’t make a difference, but it makes me feel better…

Kenley must go. Kenley must go. Kenley MUST GO!...

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

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

This Week's TV DVD Releases

Here’s a look at what TV DVDs you can find new in stores this week…

“The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet: Christmas with the Nelsons”
“Alvin & the Chipmunks: “The Alvinnn!!! Edition”
“Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Complete Book 3 Collection”
“Chuck” (Season One)
“Criminal Minds” (Season 3)
“Cybill” (Volume One)
“Dirty Sexy Money” (Season One)
“Duckman” (Seasons 1 & 2)
“Father Knows Best” (Volume One)
“Goosebumps” (3 different volumes)
“Inside the Actors Studio: Robin Williams”
“Meerkat Manor: The Best of Season 3”
“Star Trek: Alternate Realities Fan Collective”
“Private Practice” (Season One)
“Pushing Daisies” (Season One)
“Seinfeld Season One: The Very Beginning”
“Torchwood” (Season 2)
“Will & Grace” (Season 8)
“Will & Grace: The Complete Series”

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

“Top Design” Walks the “Runway”

This season, Bravo gave “Top Design” its own re-design with the help of the producers of “Project Runway” and “Top Chef.”

And it shows, as it’s become a much stronger show.

But credit also belongs to the new host, India Hicks, who is absolutely perfect.

Oh, and did I mention that one of the contestants is Ricky Schroeder’s wife? And she’s a classic reality contestant?

But if that wasn’t enough, this week, the clients are former “Runway” contestants Jeffrey, Sweet P, Andre and one of my personal favorites, Santino. And from the looks of the previews, it looks like they’re going to be pretty demanding.

And isn’t that what makes it fun?

“Top Design” airs Wednesday, September 17th at 10 p.m. on Bravo…
Photos provided by Bravo

“’Til Death”/“Do Not Disturb” Review: The Wrong Choices?

I recently read an article that said because of a lack of comedies on network primetime TV, a lot of comedy writers are going to write children’s shows for Disney Channel and Nickelodeon…

It is hard to believe that the conventional sitcom is almost becoming extinct.

Take FOX, for instance. Though Sunday night is filled with animated comedies, FOX only has two sitcoms—“’Til Death” and “Do Not Disturb,” which air back-to-back on Wednesdays.

When I first saw “’Til Death” two seasons ago, I said it was funny, but I wasn’t sure how long the concept of a longtime married couple comparing itself to a newlywed couple would last.

Apparently FOX had the same reservations because they’ve totally revamped the show over the last season and a half. In fact, the newlywed couple will only appear in a few episodes this season. The show will instead focus on Joy (Joely Fisher), Eddie (Brad Garrett) and Eddie’s friend Kenny (J.B. Smoove).

I have to admit the season premiere, which dealt with Joy’s displeasure that her “assets” couldn’t get her out of speeding tickets anymore, was actually funny.

I honestly thought that FOX should have chosen “Back to You” over “’Til Death,” but now I can actually see why they would want to hang on to “Death.”

I cannot, however, see why FOX would have cancelled “Back” in favor of “Do Not Disturb”…

If you missed it, “Disturb” revolves around the staff of a ritzy hotel. Jerry O’Connell stars as Neil, the hotel’s General Manager, while Niecy Nash is the HR Director, Rhonda.

In the opener, Rhonda clashes with Neil because of his womanizing ways, but then ends up pulling some of his same tricks when she hooks up with the head of security.

And that was basically it.

Yes, there were some other stories, but the supporting cast is so uninteresting they’re not even worth mentioning.

The show is not terrible, but it’s not quite what I would call good either. Jerry O’Connell proved on “Carpoolers” that he has some great comic skills, but he doesn’t get to show them here. In fact, he comes off as stiff as everyone else. Nash starts out well, but when she gets more to do, she goes downhill quickly.

I know that “Back to You” was expensive to produce, but it was absolutely funnier than this.

No wonder there are no jobs for good comedy writers these days. The networks keep giving their jobs to bad writers…

“’Til Death” and “Do Not Disturb” air Wednesdays at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on FOX…

Photo Credits: Michael Desmond/FOX & Ray Mickshaw/FOX

TNT Holds On to the “Bar”

The fine folks over at TNT just sent me a press release to let me know that TNT has picked up a second season of “Raising the Bar.”

After breaking records with its premiere numbers of 7.7 million viewers, “Bar” has averaged 5.5 million over its past two outings.

I was worried that the numbers would drop after that blah pilot, but I’m glad to see they haven’t dropped low enough for TNT to pull the plug.

For those of you who quit watching after the first episode, I hope you will consider going back. I promise you it is getting better.

And for the record, no, I don’t like Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s hair. But it is still Mark-Paul Gosselaar…

By the way, TNT also renewed “Saving Grace” for a third season…

“Raising the Bar” airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on TNT…


Photo Credit: Karen Neal/TNT

"90210" Fans: Do Not Miss Tonight!

If you're a fan of "90210," or maybe even a fan of the show that inspired it, "Beverly Hills 90210," you will not want to miss tonight...

"TV Guide" is reporting that tonight is the night we learn the identity of the father of Kelly's baby.

Now if you're thinking that's way too soon in the ball game to be revealing something like that, I would agree with you. I would think the show would have waited until November sweeps, but maybe that will be when we actually see the dad.

Of course, the prevailing theory is that the father is Brandon (Jason Priestley) or Dylan (Luke Perry), but there's a growing camp that believes the father could be Steve (Ian Ziering) because of the kid's curly blonde hair.

I guess we'll find out tonight...

"90210" airs tonight (Tuesday) at 8 on The CW...

Next Week: Things Get CRAZY

Beginning September 22nd, things are going to get REALLY crazy in the world of TV.

So I’m going to use this week to get you caught up on what you’ll get from ABC, NBC and CBS.
Plus, I’ll have tons of previews and reviews for you.

Scroll down to get started with the premiere schedules of the big three.

And, as always, Stay Tuned…

CBS: Continuing Its Dominance

Because of the Writers’ Strike, FOX was last season’s most watched network, ending CBS’s run.

I hope that FOX enjoyed its time at the top because I don’t think it will happen again this year as CBS has put together a pretty strong schedule.

CBS will debut five new shows: “Worst Week,” “The Mentalist,” “Gary Unmarried,” “The Ex List,” and “Eleventh Hour.”

“Week,” which will premiere Monday, September 22nd at 9:30 p.m., is a comedy about a man who just keeps screwing things up with his fiancé’s parents. Trust me, it’s WAY funnier than it sounds…

“The Mentalist,” which will premiere Tuesday, September 23rd at 9 p.m., stars Simon Baker as a former fake psychic (or was he a fake?) that helps the police solve crimes…

“Gary Unmarried,” which will premiere Wednesday, September 24th at 8:30 p.m., is a comedy starring Jay Mohr as a newly divorced man struggling to adjust to his new life. And yes, I’ll preview it later this week…

“The Ex List,” which will premiere Friday, October 3rd at 9 p.m., stars Elizabeth Reaser (“Grey’s Anatomy”) as a woman who’s been told by a psychic that she’s already met the man she’s supposed to marry…

“Eleventh Hour,” which will premiere Thursday, October 9th at 10 p.m., is the new drama from Jerry Bruckheimer. It’s based on a British series and centers on a biophysicist and a FBI agent who investigate strange occurrences.

I will have reviews of all of them in the next few days, except for “Eleventh Hour,” which has not yet been made available to the media…

Here’s the rest of CBS’s premiere schedule. Shows in bold are those I will have reviews of in the next several days…

Monday, September 22nd, it’s the season premiere of the Monday comedy block with “The Big Bang Theory” (8 p.m.), “How I Met Your Mother” (8:30 p.m.), and “Two and a Half Men” (9 p.m.). The comedies are followed by the season premiere of “CSI: Miami” at 10 p.m…

Tuesday, September 23rd, it’s the return of “NCIS” at 8 p.m. “Without a Trace” premieres on its new night at 10 p.m…

Wednesday, September 24th, CBS tries a second comedy night as “The New Adventures of Old Christine” moves to a new night (8 p.m.). “Criminal Minds” returns at 9 p.m., followed by the season premiere of “CSI: NY” at 10 p.m…

Thursday, September 25th, it’s the two-hour premiere of the 17th edition of “Survivor,” “Survivor: Gabon” at 8 p.m…

Saturday, September 27th, it’s the season premiere of “48 Hours Mystery” at 10 p.m…

Sunday, September 28th, it’s the 41st season premiere of “60 Minutes” at 7 p.m., followed by the premiere of the 13th edition of “The Amazing Race” (8 p.m.), and the season premiere of “Cold Case” (9 p.m.) and “The Unit” (10 p.m.)…

Friday, October 3rd, it’s the return of “Ghost Whisperer” (8 p.m.) and “Numb3rs” (10 p.m.)…

Thursday, October 9th, CBS wraps up its fall premieres with the return of “CSI” at 9 p.m…

NBC: Trying to Turn the Corner

Thanks to the Writers’ Strike, NBC had to pick up some new shows without seeing a pilot. Which means that some pilots are still being tweaked as we speak.

That means there are still some unknowns on NBC’s schedule. And that’s not good for a network trying to turn the corner…

NBC has five new shows: “My Own Worst Enemy,” “Knight Rider,” “Crusoe,” “Kath & Kim,” and “America’s Toughest Jobs.”

“Enemy,” which premieres Monday, October 13th at 10 p.m., stars Christian Slater as Henry, a family man who discovers he’s been living another life as Edward, a dangerous secret operative. The show also stars Alfre Woodard and Mike O’Malley…

“Knight Rider,” which premieres Wednesday, September 24th at 8 p.m., is, of course, an update of the 80s show and a continuation of last year’s TV movie. The series stars the Knight Industries Three Thousand voiced by Val Kilmer…

“Crusoe,” which premieres Friday, October 17th, is a new take on Daniel Defoe’s classic, “Robinson Crusoe,” about a castaway on a desert island and his companion set during the time of the original. And that’s all I’m going to say about that one…

“Kath & Kim,” which premieres Thursday, October 9th at 8:30 p.m., is a comedy starring Molly Shannon and Selma Blair as a dysfunctional mother and daughter. And yes, you are correct. Molly Shannon is not old enough to be Selma Blair’s mother…

“America’s Toughest Jobs,” a competition reality show where contestants take on some of the most dangerous jobs in the world, has already premiered. It currently airs Fridays at 8 p.m., but it is slated to move all over the place over the next month…

Here is the rest of NBC’s premiere schedule…

Monday, September 22nd, the return of “Heroes” gets an all-night event with a clip show at 8 p.m. and a two-hour season premiere at 9 p.m. I’ll have a review of the first hour of the premiere later this week…

Tuesday, September 23rd, it’s the return of “Law & Order: SVU” at 10 p.m…

Wednesday, September 24th marks the return of “Lipstick Jungle” at 10 p.m…

Thursday, September 25th, “My Name Is Earl” (8 p.m.) and “The Office” (9 p.m.) get one-hour premieres. The final season of “ER” begins at 10 p.m…

Monday, September 29th, “Chuck” returns at 8 p.m. Then after “Heroes,” “Life” gets a special preview at 10 p.m. “Life” will also air Friday, October 3rd and Monday, October 6th at 10 p.m. before settling into its regular day and time Friday, October 10th at 10 p.m. I’ll have a review of the “Chuck” premiere (and the next two episodes) next week…

Thursday, October 30th, it’s the season premiere of “30 Rock” at 9:30 p.m…

By the way, NBC is expected to welcome back ‘Friday Night Lights” sometime next year after the episodes run on DirecTV…

ABC: Not A Lot of New

I thought I would start this look at ABC’s premiere schedule by looking at the new shows.

But it won’t take long since there are only two of them (although we will get several more during mid-season).

However, in all honesty, several of ABC’s returning shows will seem like new shows since we haven’t seen them in so long.

And yes, you can thank the infamous Writers’ Strike for all of it…

The two new shows are “Opportunity Knocks” and “Life On Mars.”

“Opportunity,” which premieres Tuesday, September 23rd at 8 p.m., is a traveling game show created by Ashton Kutcher that goes to families’ homes to play a trivia game about how well they know each other…

“Life On Mars” will premiere Thursday, October 9th at 10 p.m. It’s based on a BBC series and it’s about a detective (Jason O’Mara) who is hit by a car and wakes up in 1973. The show was originally helmed by David E. Kelley, but he jumped ship, the pilot was recast and the show was moved from LA to NYC. It’s hard not to sense trouble…

Here’s the rest of ABC’s premiere schedule…

Friday, September 19th, it’s the season premiere of the venerable “20/20” at 10 p.m…

Monday, September 22nd, ABC kicks off premiere week with the season premiere of “Dancing With the Stars” at 8 p.m. Then, “Boston Legal” begins its final season at 10 p.m. And because “BL” is so unloved by its own network, ABC only gave it 13 episodes…

Tuesday, September 23rd, “Dancing With the Stars” adds a second two-hour performance show for one night only at 9 p.m…

Wednesday, September 24th, it’s a night of specials. “Dancing With the Stars Results Special” airs at 8 p.m., followed by “David Blaine: Dive of Death,” where apparently Blaine will hang upside down for three days and then dive off. Alrighty then…

Thursday, September 25th is a big night with the season premieres of “Ugly Betty” at 8 p.m. and the two-hour “Grey’s Anatomy” premiere at 9 p.m…

Sunday, September 28th, it’s the season premieres of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (7 p.m.), “Desperate Housewives” (9 p.m.) and “Brothers and Sisters” (10 p.m.)…

Tuesday, September 30th, the “Dancing With the Stars Results Show” moves to its regular day and time period at 9 p.m…

Wednesday, October 1st, ABC welcomes back three shows that had their freshmen seasons cut short: “Pushing Daisies” (8 p.m.), “Private Practice” (9 p.m.) and “Dirty Sexy Money” (10 p.m.)…

Friday, October 3rd, it’s the return of reality shows “Wife Swap” (8 p.m.) and “Supernanny” (9 p.m.)…

Sunday, October 5th, the neverending “America’s Funniest Home Videos” returns at 7 p.m., as “Extreme Makeover: HE” moves to its regular timeslot at 8 p.m…

Monday October 5th, “Samantha Who?” returns at 9:30 p.m. as “Dancing” shortens to 90 minutes…

Tuesday, October 14th, ABC rounds out its fall premieres with the return of “Eli Stone” at 10 pm…

"Privileged" Review: Passable, But...

With all the hype surrounding “Gossip Girl” and “90210,” there hasn’t been that much attention paid to the other new rich kid show on The CW—“Privileged.”

But there’s not really anything attention grabbing about it…

If you missed it, “Privileged” tells the story of Megan (Joanna Garcia). Within the first five minutes Megan’s apartment burns down and she’s fired from her job as a writer at a tabloid. But her editor decides to help her by recommending her for a job as a live-in tutor in ritzy Palm Beach.

Laurel (Anne Archer) hires Megan to tutor her grandchildren: the tough-as-nails Sage (Ashley Newbrough) and her sweet follower Rose (Lucy Kate Hale). If Megan can get them into Duke, Laurel will pay off Megan’s student loans.

Megan is totally blown away by Laurel’s lifestyle, but it turns out she’s not a stranger to Palm Beach. We learn that her father and sister live there, but she doesn’t want them to know she’s back.

After making a little headway with the twins, Megan runs afoul of Sage and gets fired. But after Megan stands up to Sage, Laurel rehires her. However, Sage gets the last laugh when she invites Megan’s sister to a big social event and she and Megan get into it in front of the guy who’s been hitting on Megan.

Joanna Garcia (“Reba”) is adorable and the real reason to watch the show. Hale’s Rose is also cute, but Newbrough’s Sage is annoying.

And quite honestly, don’t we have enough shows about young, beautiful rich people on the air already?

“Privileged” tries way too hard to set itself apart by being witty with references to Spider-Man and phrases like “spoiler alert,” but it fails miserably.

The bottom line is that “Privileged” is passable, but if The CW plans to survive, it’s going to need to get a little more variety…

“Privileged” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on The CW…

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pick of the Week: Honoring the Best in TV...

This week’s Pick should have been a no-brainer, but since I watch hardly any of the nominees, I’m just not as into it this year.

But it is still the Emmys. And Kiefer is presenting…

So, my Pick of the Week is the 60th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.

You have to give ABC credit for trying some new things. The show will be hosted this year by the five nominees for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program: Ryan Seacrest, Heidi Klum, Jeff Probst, Tom Bergeron and Howie Mandel. It’s an interesting move since it will help promote other networks and since Seacrest was critically panned for his performance as host last year (I liked him.). Plus, I fear that Heidi Klum’s performance will just expose the Academy’s mistake in not including Phil Keoghan…

Another new thing is that Josh Groban will be singing a medley of TV theme songs. And that’s all I’m going to say about that one…

The fierce Christian Siriano will design one of the trophy girl dresses, as will Lauren Conrad (?!)…

And the Emmys are getting pretty brave by allowing the two-time Emmy Award winner Kathy Griffin to serve as a presenter…

Because of my lack of excitement and because of a very busy weekend, I won’t be live blogging this year’s event. However, I will be posting throughout the evening. And I’ll make my Emmy predictions this Friday…

The 60th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards airs Sunday, September 21st at 8 p.m. on ABC…

This Week's Schedule...

Some summer shows say goodbye as we get ready for the big premiere week next week…

Monday, September 15th
Extra—Check your local listings—Syndicated
**Mario Lopez takes over as host.
The Closer—9 PM—TNT—Mid-Season Finale
Weeds—10 PM—Showtime—Season Finale

Tuesday, September 16th
The Biggest Loser: Families—8 PM—NBC—Season Premiere
House—8 PM—FOX—Season Premiere
Wipeout—8 PM—ABC—Season Finale
Big Brother 10—9 PM—CBS—Season Finale
The Cleaner—10 PM—A&E
**Isaiah Washington guest stars.

Wednesday, September 17th
Bones—8 PM—FOX—Dog Whisperer Cesar Milan guests.
Top Design—10 PM—Bravo
**“Project Runway” alumni Santino, Jeffrey, Sweet P and Andre are the clients.

Thursday, September 18th
Smallville—8 PM—CW—Season Premiere
Supernatural—9 PM—CW—Season Premiere
Burn Notice—USA—Mid-Season Finale
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia—10 PM—FX—Season Premiere

Friday, September 19th
20/20—10 PM—ABC—Season Premiere

Sunday, September 21st
60th Primetime Emmy Awards—8 PM—ABC

Photo Credits: Karen Neal/TNT & Mark Lipson/FOX

Congratulations, Kathy!


Kathy Griffin did it once again as “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List” took the Emmy for Outstanding Reality-Non-Competition Program for the second year in a row last night at the Creative Arts Emmys…

Kathy did not tell anyone to suck anything (as she did last year), but she apparently did drop a few f-bombs on the audience. She told E! she was restraining herself so as not to lose her spot as an Emmy presenter Sunday.

Regardless of her acceptance speech, I would like to offer my congratulations to Kathy for doing it again. Regardless of what you think of her, her show deserved it…

You can see the Creative Arts Emmys Saturday, September 20th at 8 p.m. on E!...
Photo provided by Bravo

"SNL" Off to a Hilarious Start, But...

If you missed last night, “Saturday Night Live” got off to a hilarious start as Tina Fey returned to play Sarah Palin alongside Amy Poehler’s Hillary Clinton.

The rest of the show? Not so funny…

You can see the open here. And as you laugh your head off, contemplate this question. What will “SNL” do without Amy Poehler?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Get a Sneak Preview of the Return of Jack Bauer


Sunday is your second chance to see the biggest premiere of the fall season. Plus, you’ll get a preview of fall’s most anticipated event…

Or at least the event I’m most anticipating…

FOX is presenting an encore of the “Fringe” premiere Sunday (September 14th). But before “Fringe” begins, we’ll get an extended scene from the upcoming film “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” Then, we’ll get a preview of “24: Redemption” (The title has been changed from “24: Exile.”), the two-hour movie that will lead into season seven of “24.”

The “24” preview may just be the same trailer I’ve already shown you, but does it really matter? It’s Jack Bauer back on TV after forever, so you’ll definitely want to watch it…

The previews and “Fringe” encore begin at 8 p.m. on FOX…
Photo provided by FOX

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"Fringe" Review: Just Not My Kind of Good

I am a big fan of Mark Valley and I have wanted him to find a good role ever since “Boston Legal” hosed him…

But I knew from his absence from the “Fringe” publicity materials that he was doomed. And if that didn’t give it away, his character telling the female lead he loves her did.

The good news for Mark Valley fans is that before he exited the show, he took us on a crazy ride that left us wondering just who his character was anyway.

Plus, it looks like in the world of “Fringe,” it’s possible that we haven’t seen the last of him…

To try and break this show down is no easy task. After all, it comes from the brain of J.J. Abrams and we know how he loves complex themes. But I will do my best…

Warning: If you have not seen the season premiere of “Fringe” and plan to do so, stop reading now…

Olivia (Anna Torv) is an FBI agent. She’s carrying on a secret relationship with a fellow agent, John (Valley). They’re both called to investigate a strange case—all the passengers on an airplane melted away to bones. And then while investigating the case, John is infected with the mystery toxin, which makes his skin translucent and will kill him within 24 hours.

To save the man she loves, Olivia decides she needs Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble) who was doing similar experiments 17 years ago. But he’s in a mental institution where his only visitor can be his son, Peter (Joshua Jackson). Peter reluctantly agrees to help Olivia and the three form an uneasy alliance. Walter discovers that he can help John, but it takes a lot of strange steps to get there.

It’s at this point where the show starts to drag as Walter connects Olivia and John’s brains in an overly long segment. But then in a blink of an eye, Olivia finds who she’s looking for, they get the answers they need and John’s life is saved.

But if you think that’s the end, then you don’t know J.J. Abrams…

During her investigation, Olivia learns that Walter did his experiments with William Bell, who went on to start the company, Massive Dynamic, which once employed the man who injured John. While investigating the company, Olivia hears about “the pattern” that she doesn’t have clearance to receive details about.

But apparently the Homeland Security agent that has been working with the FBI on the airplane case does. Agent Boyles (Lance Reddick) asks Olivia to come work for him and help stop “the pattern,” but Olivia refuses.

However, she begins to change her mind after the person responsible for releasing the toxin on the plane drops a bomb on Olivia—he was taking orders from a member of the FBI.

Do you even have to ask who? Of course it’s John, who kills the accomplice and flees the hospital. Olivia pursues him and John is killed in the ensuing accident, but not before he leaves Olivia a cryptic clue. He tells her, “Ask yourself why Boyles sent you to the storage unit.”

Realizing that someone must stop “the pattern” before it’s too late, Olivia convinces Peter to stick around and be his father’s guardian so they both can help her.

But the show ended with John’s body being wheeled into Massive Dynamic so he can be questioned (And yes, you’re reading that right.)…

“Fringe” (which comes from the term “fringe science,” i.e. the paranormal) has already been called the best new drama of the season and it definitely has elements that help it make a claim to that title.

First of all, let me say that the cast is fantastic. Anna Torv is a revelation in the lead and Joshua Jackson is surprisingly strong as Peter. And John Noble does a fantastic job of weaving in and out of lucidity. Plus Lance Reddick (who “Lost” fans will recognize as the creepy Matthew Abaddon) is always perfect to play a mysterious authority figure.

Second, the show looks amazing. Abrams didn’t direct the pilot, but he clearly found someone (Alex Graves) who shares his fantastic eye for detail.

The first 40 minutes or so had me totally entranced as I tried to figure out how I was going to add another show to my must-see list. And then, the show just lost me and I never came back.

Granted, I was super-psyched by the John plot twist, but then he died…

I guess my biggest problem is that this isn’t my kind of show. And even though Abrams has insisted in interviews that the “Fringe” mythology will not be that complicated, there’s still a mythology and I just can’t get into that.

But if that is the kind of thing you get into, you’ll love “Fringe.” It’s really good, it’s just not my kind of good…

“Fringe” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on FOX. You can catch an encore of the premiere Sunday, September 14th at 8 p.m…

And if you watched it, let me know what you think…
Photos Credit: Ben Mark Holzberg/FOX

The Numbers on "Stand Up"

“The Hollywood Reporter” reports that the “Stand Up 2 Cancer” telethon averaged 10.3 million viewers during the hour.

By contrast, FOX’s “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” averaged 6.6 million, and the CW’s “Smackdown” averaged 4.5 million.

By the way, in case you were wondering, FOX said they did not carry the telethon because they want to concentrate their charity efforts on “Idol Gives Back.”

And yes, I think that’s a pretty lame excuse too…

“Cancer” reportedly raised $100 million for cancer research…

This Week's DVD Releases

The big month of TV DVDs continues this week.

Here’s a look at some of the titles you’ll find in stores now…

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Daytona Jones and the Pearl of Wisdom
CSI: Miami (Season 6)
Grey’s Anatomy (Season 4)
Gulliver’s Travels (Mini-Series)
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Season 3)
Judge Judy: Second to None
Medium (Season 4)
Smallville (Season 7)
The Spectacular Spider-Man: Attack of the Lizard
The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries (Season 1)
Ugly Betty (Season 2)
Wings (Season 7)

Be sure to save some money because more good stuff is coming…

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

"90210": Can It Save the CW?

To say that the fate of a network rests on a single show seems a little far-fetched.

Unless that show is “90210.” And then, nothing could be closer to the truth…

The CW is totally counting on “90210” to turn things around. But are they putting too many eggs in one basket?

Honestly, yes…

The show is not bad, it just lacks the zip necessary to save a network…

If you missed it, “90210” returns to West Beverly High, the scene of its parent “Beverly Hills, 90210.” Harry and Debbie Wilson (Rob Estes and Lori Loughlin) move to Beverly Hills from Kansas to care for Harry’s mother, Tabitha (the fabulous Jessica Walters). In tow are their daughter, Annie (the gorgeous Shenae Grimes), and their adopted son, Dixon (Tristan Wilds).

The show has all the traditional teen drama elements. There’s the popular mean girl, Naomi (Annalynne McCord) with the popular boyfriend, Ethan (Dustin Millegan). And there’s the slightly quirky friend that doesn’t quite fit in, though in this case there are two—Silver (Jessica Stroup) and Navid (Michael Steger).

Also around are the English teacher Ryan (Ryan Eggold) and guidance counselor Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth). Harry is the school’s new principal, who apparently hooked up with every chick in the school when he was a teenager.

The storylines stay close to teen drama clichés. Annie and Ethan must deal with their past relationship, especially when Annie catches him cheating on Naomi. Dixon struggles to make the team (in this case, lacrosse) and Naomi has to write a paper or fail English class. Plus Naomi’s friend, Adrianna (Jessica Lowndes), has to steal to pay for drugs. And Annie steals the spotlight from her in the spring musical.

Meanwhile, Silver, who is Kelly’s sister, uses her blog to get back at people, including her ex-best friend, Naomi, who she hates for telling everyone her father was having an affair.

The cast is actually quite good. Grimes is a revelation as Annie and she and Wilds have a great chemistry. Loughlin and Estes are perfect as the main parents and Walter is always fantastic (They really need to give her more to do.). But even the cast can’t lift the show above the same old clichés—that is until the show delivers its first bombshell. Harry and Naomi’s mother have a child together that he didn’t know about that she gave up for adoption.

That bombshell compelled me to stick around for the second hour, but unfortunately it didn’t live up to the first. And the addition of Shannen Doherty only made it worse, as she seemed totally out of place. Plus, we added even more clichés including a prank against a rival school and a rich guy taking Annie on a jet for their first date.

And, of course, there’s a love triangle as Ethan breaks up with Naomi and considers rekindling things with Annie, only to see her with Ty (Adam Gregory).

As I said, the show is really not bad, but what “90210” doesn’t seem to understand is that today’s young people are different than they were in the “Beverly Hills” days. They need more than just pretty people and good music. They need snappy dialogue and refreshing storylines. Give them the same old, same old and they’ll turn off their TVs.

And that could spell the end of the CW…

“90210” airs Tuesdays at 8 PM on the CW. You can see the first episode at www.cwtv.com...

"Hole In the Wall" Review: Cheese Over Charm

Last week I said that “Hole In the Wall” shouldn’t be entertaining, yet somehow it is.

Or at least it was until I actually saw the show…

The overall concept is endearing as teams try to squeeze through oddly shaped holes, but FOX makes it so unbelievably cheesy, the charm wears off rather quickly.

The cheesiness begins with Thompson, the over-the-top announcer FOX uses for all of its game shows. But this time, he’s not just the announcer, he’s the co-host. He stands on a perch above the playing area making smart aleck comments about the team members and bellowing “It’s time to face the hole,” while Brooke Burns stands below talking to the teams.

You almost get the impression that FOX is looking for a Michael Buffer type thing. I kept waiting for Thompson to yell, “Let’s get ready to rumble”…

I said I was disappointed that Burns has gone back to hosting game shows. Now I’m just embarrassed that she’s chosen this one. A gifted comedic actress like her deserves so much better than to stand around in a short dress and scream “Let’s see it again!” In all honesty, I’m not even sure what her purpose is…

FOX toned down some of the cheesiness of “Moment of Truth” after viewers complained. I’m hoping they’ll do the same thing here. I would start by giving Burns more to do and just using Thompson to introduce the teams. After all, if she’s going to be a game show host, she might as well get to actually do it…

“Hole in the Wall” gets another preview tonight at 9:35 on FOX. It premieres in its regular timeslot Thursday, September 11th at 8 p.m…

Photos Credit: Patrick Wymore
Provided by FOX

What Is He Doing There?

After Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann did the first round of highlights on Sunday night’s “Football Night In America,” Bob Costas said, “I’m still trying to figure out what I’m doing here.”

And as much as I hate to admit it, I was wondering what he was doing there too…

For the second year in a row, “FNIA” made a significant change to its lineup. Last year they replaced Sterling Sharpe with Tiki Barber and brought in Olbermann to do the highlights with Costas. This year, they reunited the “classic” Sportscenter duo of Olbermann and Patrick to do the highlights leaving Costas to basically introduce commercial breaks and Peter King’s occasional drop-ins.

In fact, I think it’s possible that Cris Collinsworth talked more than Costas.

But in all honesty, Costas’ reduced role wouldn’t be that big of a deal if it was reduced for a good reason. But I didn’t see one Sunday night…

In a recent media conference call, Collinsworth said, “The ‘Football Night in America’ show, we've come a long way, baby. We went from having Cris Collinsworth doing the highlights in the first year to having Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann do them now, the greatest highlights team of all time. We're awfully excited about that and can't wait to kick it off.”

You guys know that I’m a big fan of Cris and I rarely disagree with anything he has to say. But if Olbermann and Patrick are the greatest of all time, I’m the new quarterback of the New England Patriots…

Now it’s possible that Patrick was just a little rusty and he and Olbermann need to get back in a rhythm, but for the second year in a row, I find myself asking, why fix what wasn’t broken?

Because making the great Bob Costas almost unnecessary is definitely not a fix…

“Football Night In America” airs Sundays at 7 p.m. on NBC…

Photo provided by NBC

Monday, September 08, 2008

"The Rachel Zoe Project" Review: Shutting It Down


With so many shows about style, it only makes sense that Bravo would follow the life of a celebrity stylist.

And there’s no one better to do that with than Rachel Zoe.

With her brash attitude and her crazy catchphrases—in Zoe speak, shutting it down is a good thing—Zoe makes even the most mundane thing interesting.

In the premiere, we see Rachel shop for a client (and herself), do fittings for a big celebrity event, visit Michael Kors, and meet with people about expanding her brand.

But even though the show is called “The Rachel Zoe Project,” the star of the show is Taylor, Rachel’s styling associate. Rachel hires Brad to help Taylor out but Taylor immediately turns on him. She’s jealous of the attention Rachel gives him and she decides that Brad needs to learn on his own, as opposed to teaching him. And don’t even get her started on chit-chat in the office.

Providing balance to it all is Rachel’s adorable husband, Rodger, who is also her business manager.

The opener is a tad on the slow side, but the previews (and the preview special) show us that things will pick up quickly as Rachel must choose between devoting time to clients and devoting time to the Rachel Zoe brand. And Taylor continues her battle with Brad, leading to lots of tears (from Brad) and a huge ultimatum...

In other words, “The Rachel Zoe Project” is going to shut it down…

“The Rachel Zoe Project” premieres Tuesday, September 9th at 11 p.m. after the season finale of “Million Dollar Listing” on Bravo. It moves into its regular timeslot Tuesday, September 16th at 10 p.m…
Photo provided by Bravo

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Bravo Does It to Me Again


Believe it or not, there are some Bravo shows I don’t watch…

I have never gotten into any of “The Real Housewives” series, so I didn’t get into “Date My Ex: Jo and Slade.”

But now, without meaning to, I’ve gotten myself hooked and now I’m eagerly awaiting the season finale to see how it will all turn out…

Darn you, Bravo and your endless marathons!

If you’ve never watched, “Date My Ex” is a dating show with a twist. The bachelorette is Jo De La Rosa from “The Real Housewives of Orange County.” Helping her make her choice are her two best friends, Katy and Myia (who also hosts the show) and Jo’s ex-fiance, Slade. In fact, the prospective bachelors live with Slade so he can get to know them better.

I knew something was up two weeks ago when Bravo didn’t show any promos for the show until late in the week. And when they did, they were generic promos without any episode clips. So when I had the chance to catch up, I took it to figure out what was going on.

So now, let me catch you up…

After Jo picked the final two, Chris and Lucas, Slade announced that he wanted to be considered and asked Jo for a date. When she said yes, Chris bolted for the door and Lucas followed. After A LOT of talking, Jo was able to convince the guys to stay and promised to renege on her date with Slade.

However, Jo did end up having a picnic lunch with Slade (after her dates with Chris and Lucas) at which Slade popped a big question—“Do you still have feelings for me?”

And that’s where we left off…

Now, do I think we’ve gone through this whole thing just for Jo to pick Slade? I honestly thought it was possible—especially since that’s where I thought it would go all along just by watching the previews—until I saw Bravo’s latest promos which really seem to rule that out.

But even if he’s not Jo’s choice, I can’t help but wonder if Slade had this planned from the beginning.

Oh, and did I mention that there’s a “bromance” brewing between Chris and Lucas?

Gotta admit. It’s pretty interesting…

The previews for the season finale show Jo retreating to San Diego to think and Chris and Lucas going after her. But when they get there, they find they’re not alone as Slade is there too.

Now since I have zero background on these people, you’d think I wouldn’t care. Yet somehow I do…

Bravo’s done it to me again…

“Date My Ex: Jo and Slade” airs Monday, September 8th at 10 p.m. on Bravo…

And just for the record, I’m rooting for Slade. That would be the most interesting choice, would it not?...
Photo provided by Bravo

Pick of the Week: Live From New York

Sometimes you watch a show because you know it will be entertaining. But sometimes you watch a show because you’re just too curious not to…

Thus is the case with My Pick of the Week: the season premiere of “Saturday Night Live.”

The phenomenal Michael Phelps will be the host with Lil Wayne as the musical guest.

You guys know that I’m a big fan of Phelps (Who isn’t?) but I just have no idea how he’ll do. But I do know that I will be watching to find out.

And if he doesn’t work, at least we’ll have some political humor to entertain us. I’m betting Kristen Wiig will take on Sarah Palin…

“Saturday Night Live” premieres Saturday, September 13th at 11:29 PM on NBC…

This Week's Schedule...

FOX and the CW continue unveiling their premieres and there are plenty of specials to entertain us…

Monday, September 8th
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles—8 PM—FOX—Season Premiere
CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock—9 PM (2 hrs.)—ABC
**Julianne Hough, Taylor Swift and Kellie Pickler host this look at some of the performances from June’s CMA Music Festival.
Date My Ex: Jo and Slade—10 PM—Bravo—Season Finale

Tuesday, September 9th
Fringe—8 PM (to 9:35 PM)—FOX—Series Premiere
**Does it matter what this show is about? It’s J.J. Abrams…
Fashion Rocks—9 PM—CBS
**Denis Leary hosts this melding of fashion and music with performances by Beyonce, Rihanna, Chris Brown and more.
Privileged—9 PM—CW—Series Premiere
**Call this one “Gossip Girl” 2.0 as a tutor is sucked into the world of privilege when she moves in with wealthy twin sisters.
Hole In the Wall—9:35 PM—FOX—Preview
**FOX gives us another preview of the newest Japanese game show import.
The Rachel Zoe Project—11 PM—Bravo—Series Premiere
**The newest reality show from Bravo gives us an inside look at the life of celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe.

Wednesday, September 10th
‘Til Death—9 PM—FOX—Season Premiere
Project Runway—9 PM—Bravo
**Last year’s fierce winner Christian guests, as does season one winner Jay and season two’s fan favorite Daniel.
Do Not Disturb—9:30 PM—FOX—Series Premiere
**Jerry O’Connell stars in this comedy that shows the behind-the-scenes hijinx at a ritzy hotel.

Thursday, September 11th
Hole In the Wall—8 PM—FOX—Season Premiere
America’s Got Talent—8:30 PM—NBC
**The finalists are unveiled.
102 Minutes That Changed America—9 PM (to 10:41 PM)—History
**To commemorate the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, History presents this new documentary.
MTV’s Top Pop Group—10 PM—MTV—Series Premiere
**Mario Lopez hosts this reality show in search of the next great pop group.

Friday, September 12th
2008 ALMA Awards—8 PM—ABC
**Eva Longoria Parker hosts this awards show honoring the best in the Hispanic arts.
Gym Teacher: The Movie—8 PM—Nickelodeon
**Christopher Meloni stars as a former Olympian turned phys-ed teacher.
Don’t Forget the Lyrics—9 PM—FOX—Season Premiere
Monk—9 PM—USA—Summer Finale
Psych—10 PM—USA—Summer Finale

Saturday, September 13th
Coco Chanel—8 PM—Lifetime
**Shirley MacLaine stars as the legendary designer.
Saturday College Football: Ohio State at Southern California—8 PM—ABC
**Can you say HUGE?
MADtv—11 PM—FOX—Season Premiere
Saturday Night Live—11:29 PM—NBC—Season Premiere
**Michael Phelps hosts with Lil Wayne as the musical guest.
Talkshow with Spike Feresten—Midnight—FOX—Season Premiere

Sunday, September 14th
NASCAR Sprint Cup at New Hampshire—2 PM—ABC
**The “Race to the Chase” begins with the first of the 10 chase races.

Photo Credits: Florian Schneider (Terminator), George Holz (Death), Tiffany Wilcoxson (Lyrics)
Photos provided by FOX

Thursday, September 04, 2008

A "Bell" Reunion!

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s finally happening…

The cast of “Saved By the Bell” is reuniting…sort of.

On Sunday’s episode of “Robot Chicken,” Seth Green’s stop-motion series, the gang from Bayside High meets Jigsaw from “Saw.” Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Zack), Mario Lopez (Slater), Lark Voorhies (Lisa), Dustin Diamond (Screech) and Dennis Haskins (Mr. Belding) all recorded voices, but they did so separately.

By the way, Gosselaar told EW.com that he “can’t wait” to read Dustin Diamond’s “Bell” tell-all to be released in 2010. “I read that it was about sex, hardcore partying and drug use…I’d like to know what kind of hardcore partying I did and about this rampant sex that was happening.”

M-PG admits that they “all dated each other” and they were “very open” about that…

The “Boo Cocky” episode of “Robot Chicken” is scheduled to air Sunday, September 7th at 11:30 p.m. as part of Adult Swim on Cartoon Network…

Photo provided by Cartoon Network

It Shouldn't Be Entertaining, But...

It shouldn’t be entertaining. Yet, somehow it is…

If you were completely confused by my description of FOX’s new game show, “Hole In the Wall,” check out this trailer. It will explain it much better than I could…



My biggest disappointment is that Brooke Burns has gone back to game show hosting when she was just starting to make a name for herself in sitcoms…

“Hole In the Wall” debuts with a special preview Sunday, September 7th at 8 p.m. on FOX…

Stand Up to Cancer Tomorrow Night

Tomorrow night, ABC, CBS and NBC will band together to fight a common enemy—cancer.

All three networks will air “Stand Up to Cancer” at 8 p.m. The hour-long show will feature over 50 of the biggest names in the business informing and entertaining, as well as answering the phones and taking pledges.

But I think what we all want to see is the first performance of the charity single, “Just Stand Up.” Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Rihanna, Fergie, Sheryl Crow, Miley Cyrus, Melissa Etheridge, Ashanti, Natasha Bedingfield, Keyshia Cole, Ciara, Leona Lewis, LeAnn Rimes, and Carrie Underwood are all scheduled to perform.

Personally, I can’t wait to see how Miley Cyrus will fit in with all of those divas…

If you haven’t heard the single, yet you can hear it here.

Cris on Chad: “Pennington’s not going to give that game away.”

Yesterday, some of the members of the “Sunday Night Football” crew had a conference call with the media.

During the call, my guy Cris Collinsworth fielded a question about Chad Pennington. Here’s what he had to say:

"Pennington's not going to give that game away. You know what they're going to do with Parcells, they are going to shorten the game, they're going to run the football, they're going to try and play some defense, they are going to have a whole different look. But Chad Pennington is a manager of the game, and he's a professional quarterback. And they have not had professional quarterbacks down there in the past two, three, four years. He is at least going to not beat them, and that is a major step forward at that position."

Remember that Chad is taking on his old team, the New York Jets, this Sunday at 1 p.m. Since we can’t see the game from the comfort of our own homes (unless you have one of the season pass options), I’m sure that there will be several places around the area showing the game. Feel free to share those with me by posting a comment or sending an e-mail to hdstaytuned@hotmail.com.

And if there’s any way that WOWK can change its schedule between now and Sunday, I strongly encourage them to do so. Steelers fans will get over it…

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Let the Flames Begin!


Sunday, you can see one of my faves as Bravo runs a marathon of “Top Chef: Chicago.”

I don’t know what the occasion is, but I don’t really care. All I care about is that my beloved “Top Chef” is back—for at least one day.

I’m a little disappointed that it’s only five episodes, but I’ll take what I can get.

The marathon begins Sunday, September 7th at 10 a.m. on Bravo…
Photo provided by Bravo

“HSM 3”: Does Ryan Get the Girl?

Remember how I said I hoped my favorite “High School Musical” character, Ryan (Lucas Grabeel) would have a prom date in “HSM 3: Senior Year”?

I’m thinking I might get my wish…

Last week, I got a toy catalog with the new “HSM 3” graduation dolls. There were dolls of Troy, Gabriella, Chad, Taylor, Sharpay and Ryan (in a kilt?). But there was also a doll of a girl I didn’t recognize. A quick check of the Internet told me it was Kelsi (Olesya Rulin), which must mean she plays a bigger role in the movie.

A quick check of the soundtrack listing confirms that as Kelsi is shown to sing a duet with—you guessed it—Ryan.

So does this mean a romance for Ryan and Kelsi? Man, do I hope so. I think Ryan—and Lucas—have earned it…

“HSM 3: Senior Year” opens October 24th, only in theaters…

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A Big DVD Day

Today is a big DVD release day as the networks try to get you caught up on all of their shows before their premieres.

Here’s a look at what you can pick up in stores beginning today, courtesy of the people at the TV Shows on DVD website…

“Arthur” (Season 11)
“The Big Bang Theory” (Season One)
“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”
“Cheers” (Season 10)
“Desperate Housewives” (Season 4)
“Doctor Who” (Story #093 & #097)
“Eli Stone” (Season One)
“Faerie Tale Theatre” (Complete Series)
“Ghost Hunters: Live From the Waverley Sanitorium”
“Ghost Whisperer” (Season 3)
“Honey West” (Complete Series)
“Life” (Season One)
“Little People, Big World” (Season 2, Vol. 1)
“The Office” (Season 4)
“Supernatural” (Season 3)

ABC will hit the stores with the rest of their big shows (except “Lost”) throughout the rest of the month…

“Bar” Raises the Ratings

The execs from the CW breathed a big sigh of relief when the ratings for “Gossip Girl” came in today. “Girl” had its best-ever ratings in several key demos, bringing in a 3.8…

But the big winner, in my opinion, was “Raising the Bar,” which became ad-supported cable’s #1 new series launch of all time (according to a TNT press release), scoring a 5.7. I just hope those people stick with the show long enough to see it get good…

The big loser last night was “Prison Break” which brought in a 6.4, a 12 percent drop from last season…

Last night’s most watched show was “Deal or No Deal,” which brought in a 10.4…

In a World Without The Voice…

Today we lost a great voice in the world of entertainment…

Don LaFontaine, the voice of numerous movie and television promos (many beginning with his signature phrase, “in a world”) passed away today.

In recent years he was most known for his classic GEICO commercial which you can see below.

He will be missed. Those “24” promos just won’t be the same next year…

The Million Dollar "Deal"

There were reports last week that the first $1 million prize would be handed out last night on “Deal Or No Deal.”

But I didn’t post anything about it because I was sure that NBC would milk this thing a little longer…

I don’t know what disappoints me more. That NBC didn’t take the opportunity to boost its ratings, or that I missed seeing the episode.

If you missed it too, here’s last night’s winning moment…

So What Did You Think?

So I gave you my opinions on “Prison Break” and “Raising the Bar,” but what did you guys think?

Feel free to post a comment or drop me an e-mail at hdstaytuned@hotmail.com...

“Gossip Girl” Review: Off to a Good Start, But…

As you may recall, at the end of last season, I said I was done with “Gossip Girl”…

But since it is one of the most talked about shows on TV, I checked out last night’s premiere. And to be honest, it was pretty good.

But I am still so over it…

My excitement for “GG” waned last season during the whole Georgina story. It just didn’t make any sense and it didn’t serve any purpose other than to split up Dan and Serena. I had issues with Jenny’s storyline as well. And the resolution of the Lilly-Rufus story. And Chuck standing up Blair was outrageous.

The premiere fixed one of those things as it looks like Dan and Serena are headed for reconciliation. And I have to admit watching Chuck pine away for Blair is interesting, but I just can’t get into it.

Maybe it’s because I’ve seen it all before…

I mean, didn’t we see the whole Chuck-Blair thing on “The O.C.” with Seth and Summer? And didn’t we watch Nate’s younger man-older woman story with Luke and Julie, also on “The O.C.”?

So maybe that’s what it all really boils down to…

After the roller coaster I went through with “The O.C.,” I just can’t do it again. No matter how good it may look from time to time…

“Gossip Girl” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on the CW…