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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Scrubs returns tonight

It’s back! And I’m positively giddy. My pals, the Scrubs doctors of Sacred Heart Hospital, are retuning to the air tonight at 9 p.m. EST on NBC. OK, so they’re only my pals in my imagination, but a hey, a girl can dream.

In tonight’s season premiere, J.D. ends up in Las Vegas with the Blue Man Group. You wouldn’t want to miss that, would you? I know you usually watch Grey’s Anatomy, but why not tape it tonight, and hang out with the Scrubs gang instead?

In honor of Scrubs' triumphant return, here’s some juicy scoop I gathered from a little digging and from a press conference call last week with show creator Bill Lawrence and the always-adorable Zach Braff. Get ready to laugh.

How can Scrubs possibly compete with Grey’s Anatomy?

Zach: “I keep telling Bill we need more sex on the show.”
Bill: “We’re going to nickname Zach’s character ‘McWeenie.’ Zach and Patrick Dempsey have sort of the same hair. Those guys (the Grey’s folks) have cornered the late-night soap opera (market.) But, I’m confident there is room for both.”
Zach: “People shouldn’t have high expectations as to what (Scrubs) is going to do against Grey’s Anatomy and CSI. I don’t think anyone, including us, have any expectations that we’ll (outperform Grey’s.) We just don’t have that fan base, but we do have a loyal fan base."

Who will guest star this season?
Bill: “The one I’m hoping to get back is Scott Foley because he hasn’t been here in a while. (This year) guest stars are all friends of the family. The guest stars are the established ones who will most likely be faces you’ve seen before: Tom Cavanagh, Elizabeth Banks, Mike Weston and Cheryl Hines."
Editor’s note: Bill, please get Scott Foley back this season, and preferably in that smoking-hot wet suit outfit. I do love Noel Crane!

Why the Nielsens don’t accurately reflect some popular programs?
Bill: "The Nielsens are a sham. I truly don’t’ feel the Nielsens (reflect) the shows that are the most popular. Our core demographic is college kids and there isn’t a Nielsen box at any college campus in the country."

In other Scrubs news, E!Online is reporting that a major character will die this season. Gulp. Turk, J.D, I hope you’ve gotten your flu shots.

And if you haven’t heard, an all-musical episode will air, much to my delight. The promos look amazing. Don't forget to watch Scrubs tonight!

Finally, to kick off the new season, Entertainment Weekly has a great interview up with my favorite “Brown Bear,” Turk. The story also has links to his highly entertaining kung-fu segment and poison dance. It’s a must read. Enjoy.

One Tree Hill shockers

Lucas Scott isn’t the only one whose heart stopped last night. Holy heart paddles! Wednesday’s episode of One Tree Hill had more shockers than a night out with Britney Spears.

Haley was mowed down by evil gambler guy. Consequently, Nathan then beat up evil gambler guy after the car crash and may, or may not, have killed him. Dan Scott is – I can’t believe I’m saying this – doing something selfless. And Lucas chucked his heart meds so he could save the game and was rewarded with cardiac arrest, after seeing his best friend Hayley, lifeless and bleeding.

I think I need a heart pill.

Wednesday’s episode was a brilliant display of drama, emotion and plot twists. If you missed it, don’t make that mistake again. I’m doing what I can to promote this show. It’s one of my guilty pleasures, much like Melrose Place was in the ‘90s.

One Tree Hill has never been a critic’s choice, other than a few of us. And that’s too bad. Yes, sometimes, the show can be overly dramatic, too sports-centric, and at times, play like a music video, as moody pop tunes accompany numerous scenes. But, at the core, One Tree Hill is satisfying escapism with villains, love stories and smart literary references. And I enjoy the music, too. So who cares if none of the kids look like they’re in high school, or even act like high-school students? It doesn’t matter. It’s still an entertaining hour of television.

As for Dan Scott, well, I wanted to smack him when he told Nathan that he’d killed evil gambler guy. How did he know that? I think the gambler guy may have died when he crashed the car, and the blood and bruises could have easily been explained from the crash. Still, Dan stepped up and is going to take the blame, it appears. Dan Scott, a nice guy? I guess the guilt from Keith’s murder did drive him mad. It seems his character transformation is beginning.

Next week looks to be a great episode, too, as Lucas heads to the other side. And I don’t mean South Carolina. Uncle Keith, apparently in ghostly form, joins Lucas from the beyond for some juicy drama. Don’t miss it. But, be warned: take your heart medication before watching.

Tube News: Friday Night Lights, Veronica Mars, Vanished, Ugly Betty and more

Friday Night Lights schedule change
Friday Night Lights
moves to Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on January 10. For those of you still using a VCR, don’t forget to change the timer. For those of you who still think a show with “Friday” in the title should air on Fridays, well, apparently NBC doesn’t agree with you.

Veronica Mars to go to stand-alone episodes
Veronica Mars
creator Rob Thomas told E!Online’s Kristin Veitch in an exclusive interview that the show is trying to get away from season-long mystery arcs and focus on stand-alone episodes. Don’t panic yet. Veronica can be just as savvy solving a weekly case and tweaking Sheriff Lamb, as she is with the long arcs. Thomas and the CW network believe the format change may help attract new viewers. Hey, short of handing out cash to get people to watch this show, I’m game for anything.

Vanished cancelled
To all of you who’ve e-mailed inquiring about the fate of Vanished, sorry, folks, but the show was cancelled on November 16. Even Eddie Cibrian, and his dimples, couldn’t save Vanished from vanishing.

Chris Gorham staying with Ugly Betty
Henry, the cute accountant on Ugly Betty, will be making several more appearances, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Chris Gorham returns to the role tonight. My guess is he’s still smitten with Betty. Someone should break this to Walter gently.

Nia Long to visit Boston Legal
Nia Long checks into Boston Legal for three episodes, according to Zap2it. Long will play an attorney who seeks out Alan Shore for help. Insert your own punch line here.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Veronica Mars and One Tree Hill news

If you haven’t heard already, Veronica Mars and One Tree Hill were picked up for full-season orders. Can I get an amen? Thank you CW! Veronica Mars received an order for 20 shows this season, while One Tree Hill is producing 21 episodes.

Thanks to all of you who put up with my ubiquitous rants about watching Veronica Mars and finally jumped on board this year. (Yes, Mary Kay, I’m talking to you.)

Tuesday’s episode of Veronica, brought an end to the season’s first big mystery, and scored the highest ratings EVER in adults 18-34 and 18-49, according to a press release from the CW. Mercer and the dorm R.A., Moe, were revealed as the Hearst rapists. I’m not sure what to make of that development, and I hope we’ll get some clarification as to why these two were working as a wacked-out team.

In the most shocking moment of the night, the dean took a bullet to the head, which I assume will be the next big story arc, as Veronica and pals try to solve his murder. (I’m sorry to see Ed Begley, Jr., exit. He was a hoot.) I know Veronica’s paper on how to plan the perfect murder is going to come into play here.

In sad news, Veronica and Logan called it quits. But don’t despair, Tubers. They’re “epic,” remember? I predict that this is just a speed bump. The best moment of the episode was when Logan took a bat to some cop cars, just so he could get arrested and thrown into a jail cell with Mercer, the guy who tried to rape Veronica. See, our hero to the rescue. The look he leveled on Mercer gave me chills. Go Logan!

The Nine pulled from ABC schedule

Hey Tubers, I’m back from a Thanksgiving holiday vacation to the Big Apple, and what I’m most thankful for this year is, my life, after some high-speed crazy cab rides that quickly made me understand the appeal of the New York City subway system. While I was away, plenty of TV scoop broke, so let’s get to it.

Fans of The Nine, brace yourselves. We won’t find out what happened inside that bank anytime soon. ABC has pulled The Nine from its schedule, saying it will return “sometime later this season.” However, the network offered no specifics on when that might be. I’m guessing sometime close to never. (Pausing for your collective screams of disgust here.)

The Nine averaged 8.6 million viewers last week, losing more than half of the 17.7 million viewers, who watched the show’s lead-in Lost. This week, 20/20 will take its Wednesday timeslot, and Primetime will air in its spot the following week. ABC made the announcement Saturday, during the holiday weekend, when most TV critics were on holiday, (or risking their lives in a cab to make it from the Waldorf Astoria to The Guggenheim.)

For those of you who warned me about falling for another serial drama that could suffer the same fate as my beloved Invasion and Reunion, I guess I should have listened. But, it was Tim Daly, people. I’d pretty much watch him read the phone book. Oh, and Scott Wolf and Kim Raver added extra incentive to watch. Plus, the show was actually good.

Here’s my advice/plea to ABC: Every show can’t be a ratings homerun, with 20 million viewers watching. So, why not keep high-quality shows with meager ratings, and be the network that chooses high standards over high ratings? I know the answer already: money. Ratings equal bank. But wouldn’t it be nice if ratings didn't trump quality? It’s the theory they're using over at Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Wait. Bad example.

ABC has done no wrong in my book this year, until now. They had the best fall schedule of any network, filling it with quirky shows like Ugly Betty and Men in Trees and dramas like The Nine. Maybe they’ll surprise us and bring back The Nine, but I wouldn’t count on it. Apparently, 8.6 million people aren't enough to ABC to quantify caring about what happened in the bank.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Lois and Clark Season 4 available today

Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher fans, run, don’t walk to get the final season of Lois & Clark, released today on DVD.

I know you’ve been waiting for months for the final chapter in the Lois &Clark love story. (OK, so maybe it’s just me. But, hey, I fully admit my Dean Cain obsession, so there is no shame here.)

The final season includes the much-anticipated wedding and Clark in that crazy, sexy blue-black tight combo. So, order yours today by clicking here:

Veronica Mars news

Things are looking good for a full-season pickup of our favorite pixie detective, Veronica Mars, according to cast member Michael Muhney (Sheriff Lamb.) Muhney posted this comment about a full season three at the Rack of Lamb community:

“...don't worry. from everything I hear from agents, people at the network, and others, there should be a full season 3 coming our way. now, a season 4? nobody knows, and from what people suggest as speculation, it doesn't look promising. but, we'll cross that bridge when we get there...”

I won’t breathe a sigh of relief just yet, as I’m waiting, anxiously, for the CW to make this official.

In other Veronica Mars news, the popular video Web site Veoh, now has a Veronica Mars channel. It features behind-the-scenes footage and sneak-peek scenes, so check it out. A behind-the-scenes video of my favorite sheriff is one of several that can be viewed at the site.

Also, don’t forget tonight’s new episode at 9 p.m. EST. Here’s the official network description:

WHAT’S YOUR ALIBI? — Veronica (Kristen Bell) is disappointed in Keith (Enrico Colantoni) for his ongoing relationship with his client, Harmony (guest star Laura San Giacomo, “Just Shoot Me”), who invites him on a romantic weekend getaway. When Veronica retreats to Wallace (Percy Daggs III) and Piz’s (Chris Lowell) dorm room for some quiet time, Logan (Jason Dohring) seeks her help in clearing Mercer (guest star Ryan Devlin, “TRL”) of the rape charges, but refuses to give her his alibi. Ryan Hansen, Francis Capra, Tina Majorino, Michael Muhney and Julie Gonzalo also star. Harry Winer directed the episode written by Phil Klemmer (#3T58047).

Prison Break package from T-Bag

You won’t believe what I received in the mail. It’s a bloody hand. More specifically, it’s the right, bloody hand of T-Bag, from Prison Break. He sent it to me for safekeeping until he can come back to get it. He also sent a note with a phone number to reach him, in case I need him.

That T-Bag, he sure knows how to get attention, doesn’t he? Or should I say the FOX publicity team, that put this package together, knows how to get attention? They deserve – wait for it - a hand, for this clever PR stunt.

I’m not sure what to do with the bloody stump, other than hiding it in my co-workers desk drawers so I can watch them squeal in horror. (Yes, it’s the little things in life that give me pleasure.) I could put it on ice. Or sell it on eBay to the highest bidder. Or I could wait for further instructions. What do you think, Tubers? I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t get on the bad side of a man so tough he can live without his chopped-off appendage.

Here’s the note from T-Bag. Be sure to call the number listed to hear a creepy, yet enjoyable, message from the man himself.

Prison Break airs on FOX Mondays at 8 p.m. EST.

Tube News

Friday Night Lights and What About Brian get full seasons
NBC has given the go ahead for a full season of Friday Night Lights, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The show follows a small Texas town, where football is the main star. The delectable Kyle Chandler stars as the coach of the high-school football team. The show has received only mediocre ratings in its Tuesday timeslot, (an average of 6.7 million viewers) but it has been a hit with critics. Rumors persist that the show may move to Sundays, later this year, to avoid having to go head-to-head with American Idol. Meanwhile, ABC gave the go ahead for a full season of What About Brian. (I’m not a fan of the drama starring Barry Watson.) However, the show’s audience has grown from 6.3 million to 6.7 million recently, so someone must be watching.

The King of Queens returns in December
To all of you who’ve written to ask about the fate of The King of Queens, I have good news to report. (Sorry, I still don’t watch the show, but I’ll certainly pass on the 411 to you.) CBS will broadcast back-to-back new episodes of The King of Queens on Wednesday, Dec. 6 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EST) and Wednesday, Dec. 13 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EST.) New episodes will also air on Dec. 20 (8 p.m. EST) and Dec. 27 (8 p.m.) Seven more episodes will be broadcast in 2007. Those dates are not yet available.

Jericho schedule change
CBS recently announced it will change the schedule pattern for Jericho, the hit freshman drama about the aftermath of a nuclear explosion in a small, peaceful Kansas town. Jericho will conclude its fall season on Wednesday, Nov. 29 (8 p.m. EST) and return in February with all original episodes for the remainder of the season. In other words, no repeats! Jericho will return on February 14th with a recap special looking back at the first 11 episodes, followed by an original episode on February 21st. The all-new episode on February 21st will provide a look into life in Jericho the day before the nuclear bombs exploded. If you’ve missed any episodes of the show, you can catch them on the CBS broadband channel Innertube.

Remaining Smith episodes on Innertube
Those of you who fell for Smith, the CBS drama starring Simon Baker that was abruptly cancelled, you can watch the remaining episodes on the CBS Web channel Innertube. Thank you CBS for sharing those episodes with fans of the show. That was a classy move.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

People’s Choice Award Nominees

Grey’s Anatomy, House, Oprah Winfrey, Eva Longoria and Jennifer Aniston are just some of the shows and TV stars nominated for this year’s People’s Choice Awards. The winners will be revealed Tuesday, Jan. 9 at 9 p.m. EST, live on CBS.

Fans, you can vote for your favorites in each category at PCAvote.com. Online voters can also register for a chance to win a VIP trip to “The 33rd Annual People’s Choice Awards” at the Web site.

Here is a complete list of nominees, with the television nominees listed first, of course!

Favorite TV Comedy: The King of Queens, My Name is Earl, Two and a Half Men
Favorite TV Comedy, Animated: Family Guy, King of the Hill, The Simpsons
Favorite TV Drama: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Grey’s Anatomy, House
Favorite Competition/Reality Show: American Idol, Deal or No Deal, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Favorite Female TV Star: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Eva Longoria, Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Favorite Male TV Star: Patrick Dempsey, Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland
Favorite Talk Show Host: Ellen DeGeneres, Jay Leno, Oprah Winfrey

Favorite Female Movie Star: Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock
Favorite Male Movie Star: Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington
Favorite Leading Lady: Cameron Diaz, Kirsten Dunst, Scarlett Johansson
Favorite Leading Man: Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Vince Vaughn
Favorite Female Action Star: Kate Beckinsale, Halle Berry, Uma Thurman
Favorite Male Action Star: Johnny Depp, Samuel L. Jackson, Jet Li
Favorite On-Screen Match-Up: Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn, The Break-Up; Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson and Leonardo DiCaprio, The Departed; Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

Favorite Female Singer:
Faith Hill, Shakira, Carrie Underwood
Favorite Male Singer: Trace Adkins, Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith
Favorite Group: The Black Eyed Peas, Nickelback, The Red Hot Chili Peppers
Favorite R&B Song: Christina Aguilera, “Ain’t No Other Man”; Justin Timberlake, “SexyBack”; Mariah Carey, “Shake It Off”
Favorite Hip-Hop Song: Nelly, “Grillz”; Chamillionaire, “Ridin’”; Eminem, “Shake That”
Favorite Pop Song: Shakira, “Hips Don’t Lie”; Nelly Furtado, “Promiscuous”; Pink, “Stupid Girls”
Favorite Country Song: Carrie Underwood, “Before He Cheats”; Rascal Flatts, “What Hurts the Most”; Tim McGraw, “When the Stars Go Blue”
Favorite Rock Song: Evanescence, “Call Me When You’re Sober”; Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Dani California”; Bon Jovi, “Who Says You Can’t Go Home”

Favorite Funny Female Star: Ellen DeGeneres, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Queen Latifah
Favorite Funny Male Star: Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, Robin Williams

Studio 60 and Men in Trees picked up

Great news, Tubers. We can all breathe a little easier. NBC gave the go ahead for a full season of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Hopefully, the full-season pick up will give the show time to score with the foolish folks who haven’t discovered this gem yet. NBC should be applauded for sticking with this quality drama, despite the fact that it wasn’t an instant ratings hit. After all, historically, some of the best shows on the tube had rocky starts. (Seinfeld, House, etc.) So, thank you to all of you who tuned in to Studio 60, after my pitiful plea. I’m sure it helped out in the ratings.

Another one of my favorite new shows also got a full-season pick up last week: Men in Trees. Thank you ABC! I fell for this quirky show from the moment it debuted, and now more people are going to fall for it, too, as it is inheriting the highly coveted post Grey’s Anatomy timeslot at 10 p.m. EST on Thursdays.

It’s been a good week for TV fans. To the network execs, kudos to you for sticking with quality scripted shows instead of going for the less expensive and much-less entertaining game shows and reality shows. On behalf of savvy TV fans everywhere, I salute you.

Family Guy news

Drew Barrymore and Carrie Fischer join the fun on Family Guy tonight at 9 p.m. EST on FOX.

The two leading ladies lend their voices in the episode “Whistle While Your Wife Works.” Here’s the official description of the episode: Peter (Seth MacFarlane) hurts his hand and his boss Angela (Fischer) demands he step it up, so Lois goes to the brewery and helps him play catch-up. Meanwhile, when Stewie (MacFarlane) discovers that Brian (MacFarlane) is dating a very attractive, but intellectually challenged girl named Jillian (Barrymore), he tries to convince Brian to break up with her, but Brian can’t close the deal because she is so hot.

Hmmm…may I suggest placing a call to Joey Tribiani? I hear he doesn’t have much going on these days.

For those of you who are addicted to your Xbox or your PlayStation2, the folks at Family Guy have produced a new video game just for you. Gamers can play through three stories that intersect in typical Family Guy fashion. Yes, trouble ensues.

Players can be Stewie, and really, who wouldn’t want to be? Stewie matches wits against his arch-nemises half-brother Bertram, as they vie to take over the world, or take control of Peter and fight to stop Mr. Belvedere, who he thinks is trying to take over the world. Players can also slip on a collar and down a martini as Brian. Now that sounds like fun, no? And did I mention that players can also attempt their own prison break, and attempt to prove Brian’s innocence in a puppy parental case gone awry.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Veronica Mars a cheater?

Photos courtesy of CW

Last week, Wallace turned to the dark side for test answers for his mechanical-engineering class. Tonight, Veronica is accused of plagiarizing a criminology paper.

Now, I think we all know that Veronica could probably teach a criminology class and has about as much reason to cheat as Weevil has for hair conditioner. So, watching her get out of this one should be good.

Please watch tonight’s show, as Veronica Mars still hasn’t been given a full-season order from the CW. The show needs viewers. Ratings have been good, not great, so please drink the Kool-Aid and start watching this show. Here is the official description of tonight’s episode.

Veronica (Kristen Bell) is accused of plagiarizing her paper for Professor Landry’s (guest star Patrick Fabian, Joan of Arcadia) criminology class. In trying to clear herself, she discovers that her mentor is not who she thought he was. Wallace (Percy Daggs III) is pardoned by Dean O’Dell (guest star Ed Begley, Jr., Arrested Development) for cheating on his exam, but makes a decision that could affect his college career. Piz (Chris Lowell) invites Veronica to a night of bowling, and she decides to bring Logan (Jason Dohring) and Parker (Julie Gonzalo), unaware Piz wanted the evening to be more of a date. Enrico Colantoni, Ryan Hansen, Francis Capra and Tina Majorino also star. Michael Fields directed the episode written by John Embom.

Catch it tonight at 9 p.m. EST on the CW network.

Monday, November 06, 2006

A plea for Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

It’s not often I beg. But these are dire times, Tubers. Please, please, please watch Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip tonight (Monday) at 10 p.m. EST. The show needs your eyeballs. Sadly, it still hasn’t been picked up for the full season, and I’ve come to depend on the show as my Monday-night treat.

You may have heard that Studio 60 was cancelled. Wrong. A FOX news report earlier this month claimed that the show was done, but that report was later refuted by an NBC executive.

Why should you watch? Quite simply, it’s good. There are no complicated story-arcs to follow. No hatch mysteries to solve. No intricate quests to “save the cheerleader and save the world.” Studio 60 is simple, entertaining escapism, with a marvelous cast. The writing is from Aaron Sorkin, and that should be enough to tell you that it’s crisp, humorous and entertaining. Matthew Perry, Bradley Whitford, Amanda Peet, D.L. Hughley and Steven Weber are spectacular, too.

Tonight’s episode features John Goodman, and I know you don’t want to miss that. So, please watch, Tubers. The show has improved week after week, and you won’t be disappointed. (The episode with Christine Lahti and Sting, was one of the best hours of television anywhere this season.) If you don’t believe me, I challenge you to head over to NBC and check out what you've been missing.

The final reason you should watch Studio 60 is that NBC needs to get the message that quality scripted television is what we want to see. Otherwise, get ready for more silly game shows, mindless reality shows, and demoralizing sitcoms. The choice is yours.

The O.C. schedule change

This week, The O.C. is moving back to its old timeslot on Wednesday at 9 p.m. EST. That said, the show also will air an original episode the following night on Thursday at 9 p.m. EST, too.

Hey, don’t kill the messenger. You’re getting two new episodes this week, and a double dose of Ryan and Seth is always a good thing.

The O.C. season premiere fizzled in the ratings last week, so FOX is trying the move back to Wednesday nights to see how the show fares.

Now, I realize I’m just a lowly TV critic, but may I suggest moving the show to night when it’s not up against ratings-powerhouses Grey’s Anatomy or Lost? Sundays, Mondays or Tuesdays would be a much better choice.

Rob Lowe joins Brothers and Sisters

Rob Lowe is returning to television. The good news is that it’s not for a stinker-of-a-show like Dr. Vegas. Instead, Lowe is joining one of the season’s best new shows, Brothers and Sisters on ABC.

Lowe will play a Republican senator, who becomes a love interest for Calista Flockhart, according to TV Guide. He debuts on Nov. 19.

Lowe is most well-known to TV addicts for his role on The West Wing. But those of us who grew up in the 1980s will forever know him as Sodapop from The Outsiders and for his roles in Class and St. Elmo’s Fire.

Those of you who’ve been lukewarm toward Brothers and Sisters, believe me when I tell you the show has improved with each episode. (Greg Berlanti of Dawson’s Creek and Jack and Bobby fame is one of the executive producers.) Sally Field, Calista Flockhart and Dave Annable are the reasons to watch, and the newly added Treat Williams is — yes I’m going to say it — a real treat.

Catch Brothers and Sisters on ABC Sundays at 10 p.m. EST.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The O.C. returns tonight

Seth, Ryan, and my favorite TV-bad-girl Julie Cooper-Nichol return tonight in the season premiere of The O.C. at 9 p.m. EST on FOX.

Those of you who lost interest in the Orange County gang, please come home to — cue the music — “Cal-if-or-nia.” Many of you tuned out of the Marissa Cooper show last year, and I was right there with you.

But there’s good news. If you haven’t heard, the annoying, trouble-making debutante has been silenced permanently, so it’s time to check back in. (Thank you, show execs.) Bring on Taylor Townsend, Summer and Chrismukkah. Rest in peace, Marissa.

Tube News

Tube Talk takes on Texas
A big Texas hello (howdy?) to our new readers from the Austin American Statesman newspaper, where Tube Talk is now featured on the Web site. Welcome, folks! And thanks for your e-mails. We love you, too. Also, congratulations to our first Tube Talk contest winners, Beverly Clark, of Heber Springs, AR, and Melissa Becker of Clearwater, FL, who are the recipients of some nifty ABC prize packages. Yep, I used the word nifty. Someone alert Richie Cunningham.

Bob Barker retiring
The man who made the term “come on down” a household phrase is hanging up his microphone. Bob Barker announced Tuesday that he will retire in 2007, after 35 years as the host of The Price is Right. No word yet on who will “come on down” to replace Barker.

Dean Cain’s Las Vegas status
Dean Cain
fans, I hear you. If the hordes of e-mail I’m getting about Casey’s absence on last week’s premiere of Las Vegas is any indication, NBC must be getting swamped. Cain previously said he didn’t think he’d be back this season. However, it appears we may not have seen the last of Casey Manning, according to show creator/executive producer Gary Scott Thompson. He told fans in a chat, after last week’s premiere, “I love Dean Cain too. (I) love working with him and would love for him to be back on the show. Unfortunately, at the time we started shooting season four he had other opportunities, including a movie he wanted to do, and asked if we could hold off bringing him back for now.” So, it sounds like Casey could be heading back to Vegas at some point. Who wants to break it to Sam?

Smallville’s Lionel Luthor speaks
Guess who has a crush on my gal Chloe? Here’s a hint. His last name is Luthor, and he isn’t the follicly challenged one. Smallville’s Lionel Luthor, actor John Glover, spoke with TV Guide recently and discussed Lionel’s attraction to Chloe, and why he’s now using Martha Kent’s back door…Mind out of the gutter, people. Shame on you. It’s Mrs. Kent.

Smallville’s Justin Hartley interview
I’m not the only one with a thing for Dean Cain. In this interview with E!Online, Smallville’s newest hero, The Green Arrow (Justin Hartley,) revealed his man-crush for Cain, the former man-of-steel. Hartley is hilarious in this interview, and it’s a must-read for Smallville fans. Is it wrong to want Lois Lane to get some loving from the awesome archer?

Grey’s Anatomy McSteamy interview
In this interview with People, Grey’s Anatomy’s newest doctor, Eric Dane, dishes on how he maintains that McSteamy body, what he thinks of his rivalry with Dr. McDreamy, and what he likes to cook for breakfast. I take my eggs scrambled, Dr. McSteamy.

NBC looking for comics
NBC Universal is looking for comics of diverse backgrounds with fresh and funny stand-up material. Comics have the chance to audition for NBC talent executives, New York casting directors, and other industry players on Monday, Nov. 6, at 10 a.m. at Carolines on Broadway in New York, NY. (Carolines is located at 1626 Broadway Between 49th and 50th Streets.) The first 100 comics will be seen and a select few will be asked to return the following evening for a live performance. Comics should bring a prepared two-minute polished set. For more information, visit this site.

Dancing with the Stars tour
Several of your favorite Dancing with the Stars dancers may be heading to a town near you. Last year’s champions, Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke, will join Joey Lawrence, Harry Hamlin, Lisa Rinna, Willa Ford and their respective partners for a national tour. I guess Bruno wasn’t invited.

Veronica Mars’ Halloween Treat

Veronica Mars sure knows how to celebrate Halloween. She didn’t exactly spend the fright-filled night “rolling ‘Tweeners for chocolate,” but she did manage to solve a robbery, exonerate Evil Weevil and finally get on Sheriff Lamb’s good side. Yep, it’s all in a day’s work for the effective detective.

Tuesday’s episode had so many delicious moments, but one of the best was when that publicity-hog Sheriff Lamb broke into The Robot. Hello 1980s! Who knew the sheriff could move like that? Meanwhile, my Wallace turned into a cheater, and Cliff proved he should chuck that law license and do voiceovers for the Olive Garden. The Hearst rape mystery continued, and dare I say it, actually got interesting. There were also some greet lines, including this gem from Veronica commenting about the case, “Hello, square one. Nice to see you again.”

For those of you confused as to what Logan and Veronica were dressed as for Halloween, apparently it was the musical group The White Stripes. But don’t worry if you didn’t get it. I didn’t either. We can’t all be cool kids. (When I first spotted that wig on Logan, I though he was posing as Shaggy from Scooby Doo.)

Kudos to the writers for having Keith Mars use the name Adrian Monk, one of my other favorite TV detectives, during the break-in scheme. And thank you Rob Thomas for pulling out Johnny Cash’s Busted to accompany the scene where the criminals got their comeuppance. Nice.

Scrubs returning Nov. 30

Mark your calendars and set your VCRs and DVRs for Nov. 30 at 9 p.m. EST. That is an order, people, not a request.

Nov. 30 is the night that Scrubs returns with new episodes, and I know you’ll be watching, or we can no longer be friends.

The kookiest docs on the tube are taking over the 9 p.m. EST timeslot on NBC as part of a new Thursday schedule. The new comedy lineup for NBC Thursdays will be My Name Is Earl (8-8:30 p.m. EST); The Office (8:30-9 p.m. ET); Scrubs (9-9:30 p.m. ET); and 30 Rock (9:30-10 p.m. ET.)

In any other year this is what I’d hoped for, that the Sacred Heart gang would finally get NBCs highly coveted Thursday comedy slot and be partnered with Earl and The Office. But this isn’t most years. It’s a year when many of the best and most popular shows on television are airing at 9 p.m. Thursday. Hence, Turk, J.D., Dr. Cox and the rest of the Scrubs gang are going head-to-head with Grey’s Anatomy, C.S.I., The O.C., and Supernatural. (Gulp.)

In short, I’m worried, Tubers. There is no way Scrubs can take down ratings-winners Grey’s Anatomy and C.S.I., so barring a miracle, it’s already ranking third. So, please don’t forget about Scrubs, even if you have a date with The O.C. or Supernatural.

I know Thursday nights are now a nightmare for TV fans, and unless you have two DVRs or friends you can bribe to tape the other shows for you, you’ll have to choose. I vote for the former option, frankly, because no one should have to choose between McDreamy, Seth Cohen and Turk.

Copyright 2007 Tube Talk